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 the ‘Miracles, Myths, Mistakes and Matters’ Category

Solomon speaking to Ants? – Not too Antsy though!

Monday, January 23rd, 2017

Solomon speaking to Ants? – Not too Antsy though!

This chapter will address and remove many misconceptions that are attributed to Prophet Solomon (PBUH), for example he spoke the language of insects and birds; subjugated the jinn, birds, mountains, seas and winds.

In other chapters, various allegations attributed to Solomon are refuted including his alleged practice of magic, making altars for his wives, association with Harut and Marut1 and leaning on his asa (-rod) at the time of his death and continuing to lean for an extended period of time till it crumbled due to termites.2

Solomon is discussed in various contexts in many chapters of the Quran. We will focus on chapters 21, 27, 37 and 38.

Justice, Wisdom and Knowledge

21:78-79. And (We bestowed Our favours on) David and Solomon. Behold! they gave their (respective) judgment in the disputed matter about a certain crop when the sheep of a certain people strayed into it at night, and We were bearers of witness to the judgment they gave (them). So We gave Solomon the true appreciation of it (- the matter); to each one of them We gave wisdom and knowledge…

Solomon is distinguished in history for his sense of justice, wisdom and knowledge that is reflected in various paintings depicting trial in which he decided the claim of motherhood by two women of the same child.3 His wisdom is evident when he interacts with Queen of Sheba and subtly persuades her to give up her pagan beliefs. Quranic narrations about the technological advancements and knowledge of metallurgy, mining, sailing, architecture, administration and military in his reign touch upon various angles. In this chapter, these Quranic references will be used to debunk the myths attributed to him.

Harnessing of technologies

21:79… And We had subjected the mountains [of Levant and its dwellers – Amalekites] and the birds which celebrated (Our) glory along with David. That is what We always do.

Subjection of mountains refers to Solomon building roads and gaining access into the mountains which he used for mining and building dams. For these projects, he employed the natives of Levant, the Amalekites, known as the jinn in Quran for their wild nature. Subjection of mountains by Solomon is no different than subjection of sun and the moon by modern technologies for solar energy and lunar mining proposals – And He has made subservient to you the night and the day and the sun and the moon. And (similarly) the stars (too) are made subservient to you by His command. Surely, in that there are many a sign for a people who make use of their understanding (16:12). Similarly, birds celebrating God’s glory at the time of David are no different from the birds of our own times, who are simply following laws of nature, in David’s times or ours. Celebrating God’s glory is a reference to abiding by the laws of nature, and should not be taken in a literal sense, as if the birds were actually singing some humanly decipherable hymns. Have you not pondered that it is Allâh Whose praises celebrate those who are in the heavens and on the earth, and (so do) the birds on the wings. Each one of them knows his own (way of) prayer and glorification (according to his or its own faculties). And Allâh knows well what they do (24: 4). This glorification is not limited nor is unique to the birds and David, but includes everything in the universe – The seven heavens, the earth and all those inhabiting them extol His glory. Infact, there is not even a single thing but glorifies Him with His true and perfect praise, but you do not understand their glorification. Verily, Most Forbearing is He, Great Protector (17:44).

Similarly, the subjection of birds refers to the fast and effective means of communication in Solomon’s kingdom by his carrier pigeons.

21:80. And We taught him (the art of) making coats of mail for you (people), that they designed to fortify you against (one another's) violence (in your wars). Will you then be grateful?

David brought Israelites out of Bronze Age into Iron Age. He borrowed iron smelting from Hittites of Turkey. Coats of mail refers to the well-equipped army of Solomon and the use of iron in his kingdom.

21:81. And (We subjected) to Solomon the violent wind; it blew according to his commandments towards the land (of Can`ân) which We had blessed and We have knowledge of all things.

Subjection of violent wind clearly alludes to Solomon perfecting the art of sail-making, keels and science of sailing for his fleet which could then sail into the wind instead of away from it. This technique is commonly called as 'Close Hauled'4 and ‘Beating’ or ‘Tacking’5,6

21:82. And (We subjected to him) some of the expert deep divers who dived for him and did other (sundry) works besides that; and it was We who kept watch over them [i.e. Solomon’s kingdom prospered under Divine help due to his just and knowledgeable rule].

Benediction on Solomon

Quran further gives glimpse of benedictions on Solomon and his deep appreciation:

38:30. And We gave (a pious son like) Solomon to David. How excellent a servant (of Ours) he was! For he turned to Us in obedience and repentance again and again.

38:31. (Think of the time) when towards the close of the day, steeds of the noblest breed and swift of foot were brought before him.

38:32. He said, `I prefer the love of good things because they make (me) remember (God), my Lord.' And (he remained busy in his devotion and prayer), when these (horses) disappeared (while passing by) behind the veil (of distance),

38:33. (He said,) `Bring them back to me.' Then (as they were brought) he began to stroke their hind legs and necks (with kindness).

Solomon’s appreciation for his steeds and stroking their hind legs and necks is no different from someone appreciating the automobiles by passing one’s hand over chrome and curves, colloquially termed as ‘kicking some tires.’

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

Solomon is tested like as any other king or ruler. What sets Solomon apart from the rest is that he believed in a righteous rule and not a meritless dynasty. Solomon rejected the principle of inheritance to power as explained in Quran:

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

Verse 38:35 is discussed in detail in a separate chapter: ‘Staff of Solomon – a Throne, not a Termitarium.’7

38:36. So (We accepted his prayer and) We subjected to him a gentle wind. It blew gently according to his requirements in the direction he desired to go.

38:37. And (We also subjugated to him) the rebellious people (- the unruly Amâliqah people of far off lands), all (their) builders and divers;

38:38. And others (among them, who were) bound in chains [i.e. the rebellious Amaliqah that are addressed elsewhere in Quran as jinn, were probably for the first time in service of a Jewish king, Solomon. Historically, Amaliqah were always adversarial to Jewish rule].

38:39. (We said to him,) `This is Our gift that knows no measure. So give it freely or withhold it (from whomsoever you deem fit) without reckoning.

38:40. Behold! there is for him (- Solomon) Our close proximity and an excellent resort.

Quran gives some more glimpses of favors bestowed on Prophets David and Solomon:

34:10. And certainly We bestowed Our (gracious) favours on David. (We said,) `O (you dwellers of the) mountains, obey him.' And (We assigned) the birds and the swift footed horses (their duty); and We made the iron soft and pliant for him [when the Israelites moved from bronze to iron age after they borrowed iron smelting technology from the Hittites during the reign of his father, King David].

34:11. (We said to him,) `Make full length coats of mail (to cover the whole body) forging links of proper measure (for their smooth working).' (And We also said to him and his followers,) `Do righteous deeds. I am a keen Observer of what you do.'

34:12. And We made such winds serve Solomon the blowing of which in the forenoon (and thus help sailing of his ships) was equal to (a voyage of) a month (by the other ships); similarly its blowing in the afternoon was (also) equal to (a voyage of) a month (by them) [– alluding to technological advanced sailing methods of Solomon’s fleet]. And We made a spring of molten copper to flow for him. Also (given into his service were) some of the jinns (- wild and rebellious mountain tribes known as Amalaqites), who worked under him as trained craftsmen) by the command of his Lord. And (We also told them) whoever of them deviated from and disobeyed Our command (- that they should obey Solomon) We shall make him suffer the agony of burning.

34:13. Those (jinns -handy craftsmen) made for him (- Solomon) whatever he desired, places for worship and plans and basins (as large) as the tanks and large and heavy cooking pots well-set (on their trivets due to their large size). (And We said,) `Act gratefully, O people of David.' Yet few are My people who are (really) grateful.

34:14. And when We ordained death for him (- Solomon) the people only came to know of his death through a (worthless) creature of earth (- Solomon's son) that was eating away his (father's) staff (- ruling power and glory). So when it fell down [– the stable rule of Solomon after his death,] the jinn [– the subjugated Amalaqites] realized then plainly that had they known the secret (of the hollowness of the kingdom) they would have never remained in (a state of) humiliating torment.

The last verse above refers to Solomon's inept son, Rehoboam and his rule. It is not too uncommon for incompetent sons to bring the downfall of their father's rule. In recent history we see how the inept sons contributed to the downfall of a rule, rule of the tyrants – Gaddafi and Saddam.

As discussed elsewhere in this book, science is the knowledge governed by laws made by none other than God Himself. As the science is advancing it is only validating, rather than invalidating, Quran. In the context of extra-Quranic myths attributed to Solomon, science tells us that ants in particular communicate with chemical signals and not by sound.

The readers of Quran, at times, equate the genie of fairy tales with the jinn of Quran. The former is a creature of human imagination, whereas the latter is a human attribute – the fiery nature, haughtiness, well built, ability to perform extraordinary feats, people who are generally not visible in public so that others can only make conjectures about them e.g. kings or desert dwellers etc. A jinn is a person who stands distinct and separate from the ordinary people, such as a heavy weightlifter, basketball dunker, mesmerizing orator, actor or artist on stage. Such a distinct person usually is considered a notch above the rest. Even different laws apply to public figures as opposed to private citizens.

The superficial reader of Quran takes the distinct but erroneous impression that the birds are at par with humans in intelligence and supernatural beings exist among our midst. A contextual reading of the Quran with an open mind is a must to avoid such absurd deductions. No wonder, in any educational system of the world, reading and comprehension is emphasized in elementary schools.

Administration:

27:15. And We granted knowledge to David and Solomon, and they said, `All true and perfect praise belongs to Allâh alone Who has exalted us over many of His believing servants.'

History bears witness that both David and Solomon, were great prophets, law givers, judges, rulers, administrators, project managers, architects, personnel managers, generals, equestrian handlers, sailors, metallurgist and many others, as a consequence of the granted knowledge.

The Birds – Cavalry and Messenger Pigeons:

27:16. And Solomon succeeded David and he said, `O you people! we have been taught the language of the birds (and also the technique of horsemanship), and bestowed with everything (essential for us). This indeed is a distinct favour (of God and His grace).'

Before the reader is carried away by fancies of one's imaginations, Solomon used 'we' clearly establishing that the skill of language of the birds was prevalent amongst the people of the time. One can safely assume that there is nothing special about Solomon alone. Even in present times, anyone who has seen a pigeon trainer is surprised to see how the trainer controls the flight behavior of the whole flock by gestures and whistles. To the onlooker the trainer is, as if, talking to the birds and the birds are responding. Till very recently, pigeons were used to send messages. As recently as Waterloo, Nathan Rothschild, overnight became the richest person in the world by merely employing a pigeon as a messenger to find out the outcome of the battle, a day before rest of England. This teaches us the value of information as a commodity, which Nathan alone possessed about the Waterloo, and using it he manipulated London stock exchange into his overnight riches and elevated his status from a mere money lender to a nobility with full court access. No wonder, by some accounts, the Rothschilds subsequently purchased Reuters and then Associated Press, the modern day pigeons and thus mastered the – language of the birds¸ albeit on a global scale.

Disciplined force:

27:17. And there were gathered together before Solomon his hosts comprising of jinn (- haughty) and (ordinary) men and birds [– tair i.e. swift animal including cavalry] and swift footed horses, and they were then arranged in separate well-disciplined columns.

The above verse possibly alludes to some expedition that Solomon undertook that included a few distinguished commanders (–jinn), mounted cavalry (–birds) and supply trains (–horses).

Marching Army:

27:18. (Once he was marching with them) until when they (his armies) reached the valley [-Arabic: wadi] of (the tribe named) al-Naml, a distinguished Namlite [addressing his tribemates] said, `O al-Naml! get into your habitations lest Solomon and his hosts should crush you unknowingly.'

It is not unusual to name valleys and canyons after animals and tribes e.g. Coyote Canyon in the state of Utah and the state itself too is named after Ute tribe of Native Americans. If the above verse is read as if it were the ant rather than the human dweller of the Valley of Ants speaking about Solomon's army, then it would mean that the ants somehow have understood human affairs for centuries, yet we are still unaware of it! Imagine an ant versus Solomon, with Solomon bent upon destroying an ant colony with all his might. What an absurd interpretation. The verse is written about a Namalite, a human being and not an ant. As explained by Nooruddin in his exegesis of Quran, Arabs named tribes after animals e.g. Banu Asad (-lion), Banu Kalb (-dog) and in this case the tribe is named after insect, Al-Naml (-ant). The use of the term ‘wadi l-naml’ concretely means Valley of the Ants, whereas, it logically means the Valley of the Tribe al-Naml.

The miracle is supposed to be that Solomon could understand what the ant said (to other ants). But this implies that ants have an understanding of human affairs and communicate among themselves about those matters (as the ant here says: “O ants, go into your houses, lest Solomon and his hosts crush you” — 27:18). Solomon being able to understand the ant could be a miracle, but how did that ant and all the other ants addressed by it have the capacity of knowing who Solomon was? If those ants had this level of understanding then ants throughout history, even now, would have the same capacity of knowledge. There is no authority in the Quran for believing that such creatures have human-like knowledge of current affairs (that Solomon is the king who is coming with his army).”8

Allamah Nooruddin in his exegesis explains that Valley of Naml is located just south of Taif which in turn is south-east of Makkah. The dwellers of this valley were called ‘Ants’ i.e. Naml because their source of livelihood depended upon their picking gold dust from the sand in the manner of ants. This geographic clarification places Solomon and his army nearest to Yemen. That is where Solomon was stationed when his Intelligence Officer, Hudhud, made a short espionage trip to the Yemenite kingdom of Saba and returned with important news, discussed later.

Humbleness of Solomon:

27:19. Thereupon he (- Solomon) wondered and was pleased with (the good opinion the Namlite expressed about his own and his army's power and piety) and said (praying), `My Lord! rouse me up that I may offer thanks for the favours You have shown me and my forefathers and that I should do such deeds as are righteous and may please You, and count me through Your mercy with Your righteous servants.'

Clearly Solomon is humbled in the above verse by witnessing the awe his force is held in by the people. To be humble in victory and in distress is one of the attributes of the Prophets that this verse brings to fore. Later in history, we see Prophet Muhammad in same humbleness, head bowed, riding his camel he entered Makkah at the head of 10,000 strong army consisting of distinguished commanders (–jinn), cavalry (–birds) and mounted and supply trains (–horses). The narrative of Solomon’s army is repeated in history on the arrival of the Prophet and his army on the outskirts of Makkah. Abu-Sufyan, the Makkan chief, visited the camp of the Prophet and admitted to complete victory of the Prophet, just as the Nalamite chief had done for Solomon. As a term of general amnesty given by the Prophet, Abu-Sufyan returned to the city and announced that anyone who stayed in his home would be given amnesty. In effect, Abu-Sufyan, repeated the words of the chief of Namalites: `O Makkaites! get into your habitations lest Muhammad and his hosts should crush you unknowingly.'

The famous hoopoe:

27:20. And (once) he reviewed the birds and the (cavalry of) swift running horses and said, `How is it that I do not see (my officer named) Hudhud? Is he deliberately absent?

27:21. `I will certainly punish him very severely, rather I will execute him or else he must give me some valid excuse (for remaining absent).

Similar to jinn, some readers of the above verse take this to mean that hudhud (English: hoopoe) was an actual bird. They derive their support from the current and adjoining verses that refer to Solomon inspecting the 'birds'. If the reader of these lines has seen British TV comedy serial of early 1990s – 'Are you being served', he will be all too familiar with a character by the name of Captain Peacock9,10 who, although named after a bird, was in fact a human being. Similarly, Hudhud of Solomon, even though named after a bird, was in fact Captain Hudhud, a human. It is not uncommon for generals to call out their juniors by their name without using their rank. Similarly, in the above verse, Solomon is asking for an important officer, Hudhud, who is noticed by his mere absence. The reaction of Solomon reflects of a general who is perturbed by an apparent lack of discipline and possibly an AWOL (absent without leave) in his ranks.

Hudhud – apparently an intelligence officer:

27:22. But he (- Solomon) had not to wait long (before Hudhud came) and said, `I have acquired that information which you do not possess. I have come to you from (the territory of a Yemanite tribe) Saba' with sure and important news (to tell).

The key phrase in this verse is when Hudud says – I have acquired that information which you do not possess. This clearly points to intelligence information and not any other knowledge because earlier we quoted that Allah had already given knowledge to – to each one of them [-David and Solomon] We gave wisdom and knowledge (21:79).

27:23. `I found (there) a (wonderful) woman ruling over them (- the Sabaeans) and she has been given everything (she requires) and owns a magnificent throne.

27:24. `I (also) found her and her people worshipping the sun instead of Allâh. And satan has made their deeds fair-seeming to them (so that they take pride in their practices), and has thus hindered them from the right way, so that they do not follow true guidance.

27:25. `And (satan has done this) so that they do not worship Allâh while Allâh is He Who brings to light all that lies hidden in the heavens and the earth and knows all that you (O people!) conceal (in your minds) and all that you make known (of your designs).

27:26. `Allâh! there is no other, cannot be and will never be One worthy of worship but He, the Lord of the Mighty Throne.'

At times, intelligence agencies operate without disclosing their mission, even to their superiors. Apparently, Hudhud is a Muslim because he is able to point out polytheistic practices of the people he pried upon while he was on a reconnaissance mission to adjoining kingdom of Sheba. Being a subordinate of a Muslim king, Solomon, he notices which others will not notice, and that is the religious practices of the kingdom of Sheba and comments on their pagan customs and worships. He apparently has also made his way into the court of the Queen of Sheba that he is able to comment on her magnificent throne. He also comments on the qualities of the Queen, yet rejects it all in comparison with Lord of the Mighty Throne. Apparently, all this happened when Solomon was in the Valley of the Ants, in deep Arabia and near Yemen. Reaching out to monarchs of the world, getting to know them by sending ambassadors to the courts of Persia, Byzantium, Egypt and Yemen is what Prophet Muhammad also did. Solomon or Muhammad, it is the job description of prophets to reach out and spread the message far and wide.

Trust but verify:

27:27. (Thereupon Solomon) said, `We will now look into it and see whether you have spoken the truth or whether you are of the liars.

27:28. `Take this letter of mine, deliver it to them (-the people of Saba') then withdraw from them and wait what (answer) they make in return,

Being a king, Solomon needs to verify the single-source information from Hudhud. Hence, he sends a letter to Queen of Sheba at the hands of Hudhud. Again, it is ridiculous to imagine that before it was only Solomon who could converse with the birds, now it is the pagan Queen of Sheba who can also understand a bird and takes it seriously. Further, carrier pigeons can only fly one way – towards their home and never away from it. They are not Fed-Ex, going multiple ways. History tells us that similar to Solomon, Prophet Muhammad also sent letters to Byzantine king Heracles, Chosroe of Persian, Egyptian and Yemani kings inviting them to Islam while telling them to give up their pagan practices.

Queen – befitting her qualities, takes counsel:

27:29. (When the Queen saw the letter) she said, `Chieftains! there has been delivered to me a noble letter.

27:30. `It is from Solomon and it says, "With the name of Allâh, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful (I commence to write to you).

27:31. "Do not rise up against me but come to me (surrendering yourselves) in submission".'

27:32. She said, `Chieftains! give me your sound and mature advice in the matter which confronts me, (for) I decide no important matter except when you are present with me (to advise).'

27:33. They said, `We are a people possessing (extraordinary) power and are gallant fighters; but as for the decision it rests with you, therefore you may thoroughly consider what order you want to give.'

27:34. She said, `Surely, when the kings enter a township (as invaders) they ruin it and reduce its most honourable residents to the most degraded positions. And such indeed will be their (- of Solomon and his men's) ways.

27:35. `I am going to send them a (significant) gift and shall wait to see what (answer) the envoys bring back.'

Obviously the contents of the letter are noble, that makes Queen of Sheba send friendly presents to Solomon, who apparently is not impressed by the pomp of the gifts:

27:36. So when he (- the Queen's envoy) came (with the present) to Solomon he (- Solomon) said, `Do you mean to help me with (your) wealth? Well, what Allâh has given me is far better than what He has given you. You seem to be rather proud of your gift.

27:37. `Go back to them (and tell your people that), we shall certainly come down upon them with hosts they have no power to withstand and we shall, surely, drive them out from there (- their country) disgraced, while they are subjugated?'

Clearly Solomon is perturbed by the gift, which later verses clarify as a throne. Possibly the throne had some art work that was abhorring to the prophet, quite possibly idols or nudes engraved into it (Muhammad Ali).

Making of a throne for Queen of Sheba:

All the pieces are in place for making of a throne befitting Queen of Sheba: gift of the throne from Sheba, the description of her existing throne in her court from Hudhud, the craftsmen, the jinn, who can make even a better one, and the Israelitethe jeweler who could design it making the throne ornate with possibly precious metals and stones:

27:38. (Later on addressing his courtiers Solomon) said, `Nobles! which one of you will bring me a throne befitting her (- the Queen) before they come to me surrendering in submission.'

27:39. A stalwart from among the jinn said, `I will bring it to you (prepared as you desire), before you rise and depart from your place of encampment. Surely, I am strong and expert enough (to accomplish this task and can be) trusted (with it).'

27:40. One (Israelite) who had knowledge of the Scripture said, `I will bring it to you before your Yemanite (noble guests) come to you.' And when he (- Solomon) saw it (- the throne) set before him he said, `This is due to the grace of my Lord; so that He may reveal my inner self to show whether I am grateful (for all His favours) or ungrateful. Indeed, he who thanks, his thanksgiving is for his own good, and he who shows ingratitude (let him remember that) My Lord is truly Self-Sufficient (and is in need of no praise), Oft-Generous (and Noble in His own right).'

Contrary to the prevailing belief, nowhere in the above verse is any reference to the original throne of the Queen which is in Sheba, to be brought to the kingdom of Solomon. After seeing the first version of the throne made in the due course of time, Solomon suggests further improvements:

27:41. He (further) said, `Make her own (old) throne seem discredited to her (in her own estimation by making this new throne of a very excellent standard). We shall see (thereby) whether she follows the right way (by discarding her old idolatrous throne) or whether she is (one) of those who do not follow the right way.'

27:42. When she came (to Solomon) it was said to her, `Is your throne like this?' She said, `It is as though it were much the same. We had been given the knowledge (about your excellence and perfection) before this and we have already surrendered in submission (to you).'

27:43. And (Solomon) held her back from the things she used to worship apart from Allâh, for she belonged to an unbelieving people.

27:44. It was said to her, `Enter the palace.' And when she saw it she took it for a great expanse of water. She was greatly perturbed. (Solomon) said, `It is a palace paved smooth with slabs of glass.' She (realizing the truth that she worshipped outward objects like the sun in place of Reality, the true God,) said, `My Lord! I have done injustice to myself and (now) I submit myself through Solomon to Allâh, the Lord of the worlds.'

Obviously, Solomon treats the Queen as a revered guest. At the same time, using his wisdom and knowledge,11 he uses her own psychology of superficial perception of awe and grandeur, to convince her of the facade of worldly things that were apparently important for her faith and power, yet she was tricked by them in the first place. She realizes the deception of her own belief and converts to Islam. Solomon asking the Queen `Enter the palace' possibly refers to his marriage with the Queen of Sheba (-Bilqis).


8 Ahmadiyya view of miracles in the Quran” – Reply to an objection, by Dr. Zahid Aziz., The Light & Islamic Review. July–September 2003, Volume 80, Number 3. http://www.muslim.org/light/light033.htm#3
11to each one of them [-David and Solomon] We gave wisdom and knowledge (21:79).
All  verses of Quran are quoted from English Translation of the Holy Quran by Allamah Nooruddin

Moon – Struck or Split

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

Moon – Struck or Split

There is folklore that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on being challenged by his opponents split the moon with a gesture as a sign of his truthfulness. Verse 54:1 in Quran is used to validate the event by the proponents of the physical miracle – The hour drew near and the moon was split apart.1 In support of this claim Hadiths are quoted as well, some of which are attributed to Ibn-Abbas and Anas. The former was not even born at that time and by some accounts the latter was only four years old. It is interesting to note that we do not find anyone of significance in history that was moonstruck to convert to Islam by witnessing the awesome event, which in itself is an obvious negation of placing any value to physical splitting of the moon. If Hadiths are extrapolated in a literal sense, then it could possibly mean the incidental phenomenon of a partial moon eclipse in which, there is a transient splitting of the moon into lighted and dark parts for the duration of the eclipse, or another natural event for example an asteroid impacting the lunar surface and the resultant flash witnessed on the earth. It does not befit prophets to toy with the eclipse of the moon, rather such natural phenomenona are exploited by the likes of Christopher Columbus who fooled the natives of Jamaica for a secondary gain.1a

Can the moon be physically split and then rejoined later to its full whole, even for a so called miracle? At any time, if and when the moon is physically split, it will be a globally witnessed event. Why is there not an independent record of this mind shattering event in history from different regions of the world? Was there a separate moon for Makkah that split and another one for the rest of the world which remained intact? Countless questions could be raised for a physically splitting moon. Any such conjecture is rubbished by Quran when it refers to the stability and preset stages of the moon, all of which result passively from varying degree earth shadow falling on it:

36:39. And (think over the phase of) the moon, We have determined its various mansions, so that (after traversing these mansions) it returns (to the stage when it appears) like an old dry twig of a palm-tree.2

In the next corresponding verse Quran further negates even a ‘miraculous’ suggestion which disturbs the laws of nature, at least so far as the sun, moon and earth are concerned, unless it could be established that moon can naturally split and then rejoined:

36:40. It is not given to the sun to attain to (the purpose ordained for) the moon, nor is it given to the night to outstrip the day. All of these (luminaries) go on floating smoothly in an orbit (of their own).3

If by any chance, there is shifting of any of these celestial bodies from their ordained course and behavior as outlined in verses 36:39-40, then for sure it might be point of no return. We would have reached the end of times, and it would be pointless to carry this discussion any further of whether moon was split by the Prophet:

75:6-11. He [- the skeptic] asks (with contempt and doubt), `When shall the Day of Resurrection come to be?' (It shall be the day) when the sight (of a person) is confused (and he is confounded for being unable to find the right course). And the moon will eclipse. And the sun and the moon will be brought together. The human being shall say on that day, `Whither to flee?' To nowhere at all, there is no refuge.4

Moon referred to in Chapter/Surah Qamar was the national symbol of Arabia similar to the Sun for Persia. Moon symbolized the power centers in Arabia, foremost of which were the city of Makkah with the tribe of Quraish at its helm. This interpretation of the moon symbolizing the powers of Arabia is found in a Hadith about Safiyyah, the daughter of Huyyah ibn Aktab, chief of the Jewish tribe of Banu Nadir in Madina, a longtime opponent of the Prophet. Her tribe relocated from Madina to Khaybar after the Battle of Uhad. Safiyyah once dreamt that moon fell into her lap. When she narrated the dream to her father (and by some accounts to her husband), he contemptuously slapped her with scornful and quizzical interpretation that she intended to marry a king of Arabia. She was married to Kenana ibn al-Rabi, the treasurer of Khybar, who was killed during the siege of the city by Muslim army under the Prophet. After she became a war widow, she married the Prophet, the ‘King of Arabia,’ a prophecy thus fulfilled.

The context of the subject matter of verse 54:1 (Chapter: Qamar – Moon) is essentially a continuation of the topic in the last verses of the preceding Chapter: Najm – Star, which are quoted below:

53:56. This (Prophet) is a Warner (towards all the peoples of the worlds) from among the (series of) Warners (to one particular people) of old.

53:57. (The Hour of punishment) that was (promised) to come has drawn nigh.

53:58. None can avert this (doom) besides Allâh.

53:59. Do you then wonder at this announcement (and yet pay no heed to it),

53:60. (For on hearing the mention of the Hour of punishment) you laugh rather than weep.

53:61. And you remain proudly heedless and haughty.

53:62. You should better prostrate yourselves before Allâh and worship (Him).5

These verses draw attention to one of the functions of the prophet which is to warn people of the natural consequences of their moral depravity. Essentially, prophets by their very definition of making prophecies, also forewarn of a calamity. To prevent the disaster, the prophets educate and reform their audience to shore up their social and moral defenses with virtue and morality to avert the doom, just as a meteorologist forewarns with the data gathered from the realm of physical science and predicts the enormity and destruction of an impending storm. The said verses in context of pagan Makkans was a forewarning of an impending dissipation of their power against the apparent hapless Muslim who were suffering among their midst from incessant oppression at their hands. Quran forecast the fall of Makkans:

13:31. Had there been a Qur’ân whereby mountains could be moved, or whereby the earth could be torn asunder, or whereby the dead could be made to speak (it is this very Qur’ân indeed). Behold! The commandment and all power belongs to Allâh. Have not those who believe realized yet that if Allâh had (enforced) His will He would have indeed guided all humankind. And as for those who disbelieve, one calamity or the other will continue to befall them owing to their (evil) activities till you come to alight in their neighborhood, until the promise of Allâh (about the conquest of Makkah) comes to pass. Verily, Allâh will not fail (this) promise (of His).6

The prophecy in the verses of Surah Najm is furthered concretely in the subsequent Surah Qamar by specifically mentioning the destruction of the power of Makkan government, whose banner bore a full moon on it. Additionally, there is also an implicit reference to splitting of Makkan society, the flag bearers of the moon, which we saw in migration of Muslims from their midst to Madina:

54:1. The Hour (of doom of the enemies of the Prophet) has drawn nigh and (to indicate it) the moon is rent asunder.

54:2. Yet, whenever these (disbelievers) see a sign they turn away (paying it no heed) and say, `(It is) an oft-repeated and tremendous illusion.'

54:3. They have cried lies (even to this sign) and have followed their low desires. Yet every decree (of God) shall certainly come to pass.

54:4. And certainly there has already come to them the important accounts (concerning the fate of the ancients) in which there is provision of abstaining (from obstinately following the wrong course).

54:5. (And wherein is) profound and perfect wisdom but the warnings were of no avail (to them).7

In the same chapter 54 there are passages in verses 9 through 42 reminding the destruction of nations before who were similarly in moral abyss as Makkans and who did not reform despite being sent prophets as Warners e.g. Noah and his tribe – the flood, Hud and nation of Ad – furious winds and sand storms, Salih and his tribe – earthquake, Lot and the people of Sodom and Gomorrah – earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, Moses and Pharaoh and his people – drowning. With these examples Quran then challenges the Makkans in the same chapter for their false sense of security:

54:43. Are those of you who are disbelievers better than these? Or have you been promised amnesty (from punishment) in the (previous) Scriptures.

54:44. Or do (Makkan disbelievers) say, `We are a united force, capable of defending one another (against any calamity)? 8

Quran then goes on to foretell a sequence of events that history bears witness happened so in the battles of Badr, Uhad to certain extent, and finally the Battle of Trench:

54:45. Soon that united force shall surely be routed. They will turn (their) backs (and flee before the Muslims).

54:46. The (promised) Hour (of their complete discomfiture) is their appointed time. The fact is that the Hour will be grievously calamitous and most bitter.

54:47. Surely, the guilty are (involved) in clear error and (suffering from) insanity.

54:48. On that day they shall be dragged on their faces into the fire (of the battle, it will be said to them), `Suffer the smite of fire.'

54:49. Verily, all things have We created in correct proportion and measure.

54:50. Our command is (at once carried out by) only one (word) as quickly as the twinkling of an eye.

54:51. We have surely destroyed (gangs of) people like you (O disbelievers! before). But is there anyone who would take heed? 9

The final prophecy of this chapter in verse 54:51 fully materialized when Makkah was overcome by Muslims within eight years of their exile to Madina. The defeated citizens of the former were then summoned to the Holy Kaaba by the Prophet and rest is history when he forgave them all:

54:6. Therefore turn away from them, (and await) the day when the summoner will summon them to a most disagreeable thing,

54:7. While (with the sense of remorse) their eyes will be downcast, they will come forth from (their) graves as though they were (swarms of) locusts being scattered about,

54:8. Rushing headlong towards the summoner. The disbelievers will say, `This is a hard day.'10

For sure, the conquest of Makkah was a hard day for the natives, their pitiable state was like locusts scattered about, their eyes were downcast when they were summoned to the Holy Kabah by the Prophet, a most disagreeable thing that they could not have imagined, and their power symbolized by “Moon” on their banner/flag had been totally rent asunder by their victims of persecution and attacks of the previous twenty-one years.

It was this return to Makkah that was promised elsewhere in Quran as well to the Prophet and his companions:

28:85. (Prophet!) He who has made (the teaching of) the Qur'ân binding on you shall most surely bring you back to your ordained place of return, (the place of Pilgrimage – Makkah). Say, `My Lord knows him best who has brought guidance as well as those who are steeped in clear error.'11

With the above discussion in mind when we reread verse – Yet, whenever these (disbelievers) see a sign they turn away (paying it no heed) and say, `(It is) an oft-repeated and tremendous illusion' (54:2) 12 – it comes to fore that Quran is addressing the future generations after the time of the Prophet as well, who in hindsight are witness to sign of splitting of the ‘moon,’ the destruction of the mighty opponents of the Prophet and Islam.

The symbolism in Quran is according to common usage.13 For example, similar to moon, it uses the term ‘hands’ in reference to power of Abd al-Uzza, also known as Abu Lahab (a title given to him meaning – ‘father of the flame’, for both his reddish face and his fiery temper). Abu Lahab was the uncle and incorrigible enemy of the Islam. He wielded power because of his wealth and his priestly status from his association with the Kaaba. He too was prophesized to be destroyed in Chaper/Surah Masad – LET the two hands of Abû Lahab (the Prophet's uncle, one of his most inveterate opponents and other fiery tempered enemies of Islam) perish, and let he himself (also) perish! His wealth and what he has accomplished shall avail him naught. He shall soon enter a Fire full of leaping flames (to burn others of his kind as well)…(111:1-3.).14 He did not participate in the battle of Badr and literally perished a week later in Makkah from a contagion in a helpless state.

It is interesting to note that the destruction of moon and hands referred to in Chapters/Surahs Qamar and Masad are in the past-tense i.e. both moon15 and hands have been destroyed. Nooruddin interprets the usage of past-tense in his exegesis. The past-tense implies that the decisions of the destruction of Makkan powers had already been taken by Allah, hence the use of past-tense, whereas, the manifestation of prophecies was only a matter of time before they unfolded in history, repeatedly, after revelation of these verses.

In summary, Surah Qamar and Surah Masad are interrelated on a spectrum in the sense that former refers to the doom of organizational opposition against Islam and the latter refers to individual opposition undermining Islam.  Both chapters speak in the past tense, former about the symbol moon – the organizations. The latter refers to symbol of hands – the power of the individuals. The doom of both is predestined. History bears witness to the truth of this predetermination, irrespective of whether Muslim societies were overwhelmed and ruled by others, message of Quran and Islam always prevailed. Yet, some of us are still moon struck with conjectures while history is replete with moon splits.


1 Al-Qamar – The Moon: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
1a "March 1504 lunar eclipse": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/March_1504_lunar_eclipse
2 Yasin – O Perfect Man!: Nooruddin
3 ibid
4 Al-Qiyamah – The Resurrection: Nooruddin
5 Al-Najm – The Parts of the Quran: Nooruddin
6 Al-Rad – The Thunder: Nooruddin
7 Al-Qamar – The Moon: Nooruddin
8 ibid
9 ibid
10 ibid
11 Al-Qasas – The Narrative: Nooruddin
12 Al-Qamar – The Moon: Nooruddin
13 Quran frequently symbolizes power and capacity by using the term ‘hands’ e.g. And the Jews said, `Allâh's hand is fettered (from assisting the helpless Muslims).' Fettered are their own hands (from assisting the enemies of Islam), and they are deprived of blessings of Allâh for what they said. Nay, (the truth of the matter is that) both His hands are wide open (and free). He spends as He pleases. And that which has been revealed to you from your Lord will most surely increase many of them in inordinate rebellion and in disbelief. And We have kindled enmity and hatred among them till the Day of Resurrection. Every time they kindle a fire for war, Allâh puts it out, but they strive to create disorder in the land, whereas Allâh does not like the creators of disorder (5: 64). Al-Maidah – The Table Spread with Food: Nooruddin
14 Al-Masad – The Twisted Strands: Nooruddin
15 The hour drew near and the moon was split apart (54:1): Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz

A Brief Philosophy of Jihad in the Quran

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

A Brief Philosophy of Jihad in Qur’ân1

A great misconception prevails, particularly among the Christians, propagated by their zealous missionaries, with regard to the duty of JIHÂD in Islam. Even the greatest research scholars of the West have not taken pains to consult any dictionary on Arabic, nor referred to the Qur’ân to find out the meaning of the word. According to the Arabic-English Lexicon of E. W. Lane and the great scholar of Islam Râghîb, the word Jihâd means: The use of or exerting of one’s utmost powers, efforts, endeavours or ability in contending with an object of disapprobation; this is of three kinds, namely: a visible enemy, the devil, against one’s own self. All these meanings are used in the Qur’ân when a reference to JIHÂD is made. The duty of JIHÂD is far from being synonymous with that of war, and the meaning of JIHÂD, ‘the Holy war’ as supposed by the western writers is equally unknown to Arabic and the fundamental teachings of the Holy Qur’ân. Even in the Traditions of the Prophet (Hadîth), this word was never synonymous with ‘the Holy war’. The Prophet of Islam called the greater Pilgrimage to Makkah (Hajj) as JIHÂD (Bukhârî 25:4).2 [Emphasis added]

The penultimate achievement for a Muslim is to acquire the attributes of God, in whose image he is created to begin with:

2:138. (Assume) the attributes of Allâh! and who is fairer than Allâh in attributes? We are His worshippers ever.3

It then takes a laborious toiling from a Muslim to achieve that Divine rendezvous:

84:6. O Mankind! verily you are (by nature) toiling on towards your Lord a laborious toiling, then (through arduous service to Him) you shall surely meet Him.4

To understand the nature of toiling on toward your Lord, we first have to understand the human himself. Internally, a man is a composite of physical and non-physical aspects, i.e., body and soul. Externally he thrives in both the material and non-material world. Internally and externally, his physicality is inseparable from his spirituality. In the big scheme of things, ultimately he rules by mind over matter. Similar to this interplay of tangible and non-tangibles, Jihad, i.e., striving has its own components, physical and spiritual. But the interesting point is that since Jihad is the sum total of the physical and non-physical effort, its rewards are both physical and non-physical as well. Simplistically, a student has to physically and mentally strive in his or her studies before the spiritual and material benefits come forth as rewards, e.g., a doctoral degree with its material reward of salary and spiritual rewards of a social status and benefit to humanity. Factually, Jihad in Islam is inseparable from the life of a Muslim, since the ultimate goal of a Muslim is to assume Allah's attributes which essentially enable one’s striving to be a better human.

For a human to assume Allah’s attributes for oneself and spread them in society, Quran takes on the central role with the following parable:

25:48. And it is He Who sends the winds as happy heralds of His mercy, and We send down from above water (also representing Divine revelation) for the purification (of the souls as well).

25:49. That We may thereby bring the dead land to life and give it as a drink to (most of the things) whom We have created, beasts and mankind in large numbers.[-a parable of giving life to the spiritually dead by the Divine revelation, before by Torah, Bible, Vedas, etc., and now Quran]

25:50. And We have explained this (topic) to them in diverse ways so that they may take heed, but most of the people would refuse (to adopt any other attitude) except (that of) disbelief.

25:51. If We had so willed We would surely have raised (in place of universal Prophethood) a Warner in every town.

25:52. So do not follow the disbelievers [of spiritual awakening], and strive hard against them with the help of this (Qur'ân), a mighty striving.5

Thus it begets Quran to provide guidance for that mighty striving. And it does. Contrary to general belief, firstly, it unburdens man from prevalent dogmas:

22:78. And strive your hardest to win the pleasure of Allâh, as hard a striving as is possible and as it behoves you. He has chosen you and has imposed no hardship upon you in the matter of your faith, (so follow) the creed of your father Abraham. He named you Muslims (both) before this and (again) in this (Qur’ân)…6

Quran, while advocating for its message does not shy away from its own merits and distances itself from being a dogma:

2:256. There is no compulsion of any sort in religion (as) the right way does stand obviously distinguished from the way of error.7

Quran then assures success for those who strive hard in Our cause by being doers of good:

29: 69. And those who strive hard in Our cause We will certainly guide them in the ways that lead to Us. Verily, Allâh is always with the doers of good.8

Our cause, that is, Allah’s cause, is obviously the cause of doers of good.

Doer of good’ is the goal of Jihad. Like any good, Jihad can be pursued by physical and material efforts:

61:11. You should believe in Allah and His Messenger, and strive hard in Allah’s way with your wealth and your lives. That is better for you, if only you knew!9

Additionally, Jihad needs spiritual efforts as well:

9:112. They who turn (to Allah), who serve (Him), who praise (Him), who fast, who bow down, who prostrate themselves, who enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil, and who keep the limits of Allah — and give good news to the believers.10

Both the physical and spiritual components of Jihad are interlocked and inseparable. One is the inherent property of the other and has a mutual symbiotic effect.

Above is the gist of Jihad (or Striving in Islam), which is an individual effort for one to be near his God in both attributes and behavior. Under various chapter headings, this book11 has tried to draw attention to the concept of God and to the human spiritual stages, moral pathways and Divine laws that govern human progress both in material and mission as to what makes him godly. Any deviations from these general principles of Jihad are either man made or a smear against Quran. Whether from within or without Islam, one such smear is the synonymic view of Jihad and War.

Islam is not a mystical or racial cult and Muslims are not supposed to live in a vacuum disconnected from the rest of the world and other ideologies. In the real world, wars do happen between people and countries. Many times these wars occur between people of different faiths; this might be the ‘Crusades’ for some, but in Quran there is no concept of a ‘Holy War’. There is no allowance for an aggressive war neither a war for spreading the faith. On the reverse, In Quran there are strict rules for war prevention, defensive war, with peace preferred over war, religious freedom for all religions, and resistance to persecution.

Firstly, for all intents and purposes the word “Islam” means peace, both in letter and in spirit, within the person and within the society:

10: 25. Allâh invites (us all) to the abode of peace and He guides him who wishes to be guided to the exact right path leading to the goal.12

Secondly, in this abode of peace, there is freedom of faiths for all:

2:256. There is no compulsion of any sort in religion…13

Thirdly, this freedom of religion has to be preserved for all:

22:40. …If Allâh had not repelled some peoples by means of others, cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques wherein the name of Allâh is mentioned very frequently, would have been razed to the ground in large numbers. And Allâh will surely help one who helps His cause. Allâh is, indeed, All-Powerful, All-Mighty.14

Of note is that one of His cause is, protection of cloisters and churches and synagogues besides mosques. While living among a multi-faith community, Muslims are deemed to follow the norms of fairness:

5:3. … And do not let hatred of a people — because they hindered you from the Sacred Mosque — incite you to transgress [The principle laid down here requires from Muslims equal treatment for all nations, for those whom we hate as well as for those whom we love. Only this principle of Islam can serve as the basis for an international code for the modern world and an international law.]. And help one another in righteousness and piety, and do not help one another in sin and aggression, and keep your duty to Allah [Editor’s note: Muslims ought only to cooperate with one another in matters of goodness, and are forbidden to help each other in wrongdoing against others. This injunction prohibits the evils of blind patriotism and unconditional support for one’s own people even when they commit injustices against others.]. Surely Allah is Severe in retribution.15

Fourth, arms may be picked up, but only in self-defense:

22:39. Permission (to fight in self-defense) is (now) given to those (Muslims) against whom war is waged (for no reason), because they have been done injustice to, and Allâh has indeed might and power to help them;

22:40. Those who have been driven out of their homes without any just cause. Their only fault was that they said, `Our Lord is Allâh…16

Fifth, on moral grounds, for the sake of persecuted humanity, Quran challenges the onlookers of any faith if its followers do not join a rightful defensive struggle:

4:75. What (excuse) have you (to offer) that you would not fight in the cause of Allâh and for (the rescue of) the weak and the down-trodden men and women and the children who all say, `Our Lord! take us out of this town of which the people are tyrants, and grant us a defender who comes from You and a helper by Your Own grace.'17

Once again it is noted that another cause of Allâh is the protection of (the rescue of) the weak and the down-trodden men and women and the children.

Sixth, Quran gives assurance of forgiveness to the aggressors if they desist in the future:

8:38. Say to these who disbelieve that if they desist (now from persecuting the Muslims) they will be protected against the past (misdeeds), but if they revert (to their old ways of mischief), then the example of their predecessors has already gone before (and they will meet the same doom).18

Seventh, war by Muslims can be initiated only if there is an existing persecution against them, since there are no preventive wars in Quran:

8:39. And (O Muslims!) fight them until there is no more persecution (in the name of religion) and adopting a (certain) religion is wholly for the sake of Allâh, but if they desist, then surely Allâh is Watchful of what they do (and they will not be done injustice to).

8:40. But if they turn back (and refuse all these terms and fight you) then know that Allâh is your Protecting Friend, what an excellent Protecting Friend! and what an Excellent Helper!19

Eight, once a defensive war is thrust on Muslims, then Quran enjoins steadfastness and unity among the ranks:

8:45. O you who believe! when you encounter a host, remain steadfast, and remember Allâh much that you may triumph.

8:46. And obey Allâh and His Messenger and dispute not with one another or you will be demoralised and your strength will depart (from you) and do persevere, for Allâh is surely with the patiently persevering ones.

8:57. Therefore if you find these (breakers of trust) in battle array, then (by inflicting an exemplary punishment upon them) disperse those behind them so that they may be admonished.

8:58. And if you fear (and have reasons to fear) treachery from a people, then annul (their pact) on terms of equality. Indeed, Allâh loves not the treacherous.20

Ninth, in Quran, at times peace has to be secured by preventing a war from strength, but without any aggression:

8:60. (Believers! it is your duty also that you) keep prepared to meet them with whatever you can afford of armed force and of mounted pickets at the frontier, to strike terror thereby into the hearts of the enemies of Allâh and your enemies and such others besides them that you do not know, (but) Allâh knows them. And whatever you spend in the cause of Allâh, it shall be repaid to you in full and you will not be dealt with unjustly.21

Tenth, despite an existing state of war, peace is to be preferred even at the risk of deceit by the enemy:

8:61. And if they incline towards peace, you should also incline towards it and put your trust in Allâh. Surely, it is He Who is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.

8:62. But if they intend to desert you, (remember that) Allâh surely suffices you. It is He Who has strengthened you with His help and with the believers;22

Eleventh, no captives of the enemy are to be taken by the Muslims unless there is an actual battle, a war which can only be defensive to begin with. Even in a state of war, it is clearly prohibited to target any civilians or noncombatants:

8:67. It does not behove a Prophet to keep captives unless He has triumphed after a regular bloody fighting in the land. (If you take captives without warfare,) you desire the temporary and frail goods of this world, while Allâh desires (for you the good of) the Hereafter. And Allâh is All-Mighty, All-Wise.23

Twelfth, prisoners of war are to be dealt with mercifully:

8:70. Prophet! Say to those captives (of war) who are in your custody, `If Allâh finds any good in your heart, He will give you even better than that which has been taken away from you (as ransom) and will protect you (against your sins), for Allâh is Great Protector, Ever Merciful [and so should be the Muslim captors],

8:71. But if they intend to play false with you, (remember that) they were false to Allâh before, but He delivered them into your control. And Allâh is All-Knowing, All-Wise.24

Thirteenth, Quran encourages treaties with enemies and enjoins the respect of these treaties. Yet, if the enemy violates the treaty of peace and resorts to war then it gives full freedom to Muslims to defend themselves. While doing so, Muslims are mandated to provide protection and safety to enemy defectors and lead them to freedom. The following verses have both historical references as well as guidelines in general:

9:1. (This is) a declaration of complete absolution on the part of Allâh and His Messenger (from all obligations) to those of the polytheists with whom you had entered into a treaty (but they broke it repeatedly).25

9:2. So you may go about (freely O you breakers of the treaties!) in the land for four months (since the date of this declaration), and know that you cannot frustrate (the will of) Allâh, and (know) that Allâh will humiliate the disbelievers.

9:3. And this is a proclamation from Allâh and His Messenger to the people on the occasion of the Greater Pilgrimage (on the day of Sacrifice) that Allâh and His Messenger owe no obligation to these polytheists. If you (O polytheists!) turn to Him in repentance it is better for you. But if you turn away then know that you cannot frustrate (the will of) Allâh. And proclaim (O Prophet!) the news of a grievous punishment to these disbelievers;

9:4. Excepting those of the polytheists with whom you have entered into a treaty (and) who subsequently did not fail you in any manner, nor did they back up anyone against you. So abide by the treaty you had entered with them to the end of the term you have fixed with them. Allâh, surely loves those who keep their duty.

9:5. But when the prohibited (four) months ([according to Arab custom] when no attack on the breakers of the treaties was permissible) have expired, slay such polytheists (who broke their treaties) wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every place from which it is possible to perceive the enemy and watch their movements. But if they turn in repentance and keep up Prayer and go on presenting the Zakât, leave their path free. Indeed, Allâh is Great Protector, Ever Merciful.

9:6. And if any of the polytheists seeks your protection, grant him protection so that he may hear the word of Allâh, then conduct him to a place where he feels himself safe and secure. That (treatment) is (to be meted out to them) because they are a people who have no knowledge (of Islam).

9:7. There can be no treaty (on the part) of these Polytheists (after their repeated violations of the same) in the sight of Allâh and His Messenger. This, however, does not apply to those with whom you entered into a treaty near the Holy Mosque (at Makkah). So long as they keep true to (the treaty for) you, you should also keep true (in maintaining the treaty) for them. Allâh, surely, loves those who become secure (against the breach of trusts).

9:8. How (can there be a treaty with deliberate violators of agreements) while, if they get the better of you they would respect no bond, nor words of honour in dealing with you. They would try to please you with (mere words of) their mouths whereas their hearts dissent (from what they say), and most of them are perfidious.

9:9. They have preferred paltry gains (- this world) to the revelations of Allâh and thus have turned (people) away from His path. Surely, evil is what they do!

9:10. They observe no bond nor any word of honour while dealing with one who trusts (them). It is these who are the transgressors.26

9:11. But if (even) such (sworn antagonists) turn in repentance and keep up Prayer and go on presenting the Zakât, they are your brethren in faith. And We explain the commandments in detail for a people who know.

9:12. If they break their oaths after (they have ratified) their pledge and revile and commit aggression against your Faith, then fight such leaders of disbelief that they may desist. Indeed, solemn (binding) oaths have no value with them.

9:13. Will you not fight a people who have broken their solemn oaths and proposed to turn out the Messenger and were the first to commence (the fight) against you. Are you afraid of them? Nay, Allâh is more worthy that you should stand in awe of Him if you be (true) believers.

9:14. Fight them, Allâh will punish them at your hands and humiliate them and will grant you victory over them, and He will heal (the agonies of) the minds of a believing people.27

Fourteenth, even in actual war, Muslims are enjoined not to be aggressive:

2:190. And fight in the cause of Allâh those who fight and persecute you, but commit no aggression. Surely, Allâh does not love the aggressors.

2:191. And slay them (the aggressors against whom fighting is made incumbent) when and where you get the better of them, in [a] disciplinary way, and turn them out whence they have turned you out. (Killing is bad but) lawlessness is even worse than carnage. But do not fight them in the precincts of Masjid al-Harâm (the Holy Mosque at Makkah) unless they fight you therein. Should they attack you (there,) then slay them. This indeed is the recompense of such disbelievers.

2:192. But if they desist (from aggression,) then, behold, Allâh is indeed [the] Great Protector, Ever Merciful.

2:193. And fight them until persecution is no more and religion is (freely professed) for Allâh [note – in Qur’ân Allah uses his unique name as God for all peoples]. But if they desist (from hostilities) then (remember) there is no punishment except against the unjust (who still persist in persecution).

2:194. (The violation of) a sacred month [according to Arab tradition] may be retaliated in the sacred month and for (the violation of) all sacred things the law of retaliation is prescribed. Then he who transgresses against you, punish him for his transgression to the extent he has transgressed against you, and take Allâh as a shield, and know that Allâh is with those who guard against evil.28

Such are the guidelines above from Quran for peace, tolerance, freedom of religions, protection of the persecuted, avoidance of aggression, conforming to peace treaties, prevention of war, resorting to war only in self-defense, etc. All these universally accepted human values of Quran are primarily based upon the sanctity of life that it mandates:

5:32. …We laid down for the Children of Israel that he who kills a human being – unless it be for (murdering) a person or for (reforming) disorder in the country, it is as if he has killed [the] entire human race. And whoso saves a (human) life, it is as if he has saved the entire mankind. Certainly, Our Messengers had already come to them with clear arguments, yet (even after that) many of them were certainly those who committed excesses in the land.29

It is obvious from the discussion so far that there is no room in Quran for extra-judicial killing or murders or killing of civilians and non-combatants. As to any suicide bomber Quran has this to say:

Do not cast yourselves to destruction by your own hands.” — 2:195

Do not kill yourselves.” — 4:2930

The insinuators of terror who train the suicide bombers and abet carnages and the blind followers who follow such leaders and their misguidance as word of God are forewarned:

2:165. (Inspite of all these evidences in support of the unity of God) there are some people who take to themselves compeers as opposed to Allâh. They love them as they should love Allâh. But those who believe are stauncher in (their) love for Allâh. And if only those who committed this wrong could but see (the time) when they shall see the punishment, (they would realize) that the complete power only belongs to Allâh and that Allâh is Severe at inflicting the punishment.

2:166. (At that time) when those who were followed (- the leaders) shall disown and sever themselves from their followers and they shall see the punishment (with their own eyes) and all their ties and means shall be cut asunder.

2:167. And (at that time) the followers shall say, `If we could only return (to the life of the world) we would disown them and sever ourselves from them as they disowned and severed themselves from us.' Thus Allâh will make them regret their deeds and they shall never (of themselves) get out of the Fire.31

The question that arises is that are these teachings of Quran for a restrained sword a mere rhetoric or were they ever practiced? The answer is summed up by Khwaja Kamaluddin in his book ‘The Ideal Prophet’ in chapter – Right Use of the Sword32:

For the first time the world was taught by the Prophet the right use of the sword. Secular and sacred history alike show that the sword has never been dispensed with. It was unsheathed by the Hindu Prophets and the Hebrew Patriarchs for neither the Hebrew Law nor that of the Hindus is in any way favourable to "pacifism." The Prince of Peace [–Jesus] also declared that he came to send on the earth "not peace but a sword;" he came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets; the laws of his religion permitted it, and his prophets waged war. In fact he would have had recourse to the sword had a favourable occasion arisen, but it did not; and if he prevented Peter from drawing the sword, it was because the time was not propitious. Violence would but have entailed further trouble for him and for his followers. Besides, what Jesus himself could not do has been done with considerable thoroughness by his followers. His words have proved dangerously prophetic. A large portion of the wealth and the brain of Christendom is expended in discovering various ways in which they may send sword and fire more efficaciously into the world; and that, not for the furtherance of any humane cause, but to pander to the spirit of aggression and "grab."

I, however, maintain that at times it becomes one of our highest humanitarian duties to unsheathe the sword. We cannot conscientiously stand aside as indifferent spectators when the liberties of an oppressed people are being trampled upon, when religious freedom is at stake. There do arise situations when the use of arms becomes an unavoidable necessity. But the arms have often been abused, and it was the duty of a Prophet from God to tell us the right occasion when the sword can be wielded [The House Divided – by the author Khawaja Kamaluddin].”

Jesus was prepared to send sword and fire into the world, but Muhammad was compelled to do so. He allowed the use of arms on the following three occasions:

i. To save a house for the worship of God from destruction, be it Christian, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist or Muslim. (Holy Quran, 22:40)

ii. To establish freedom of conscience. Everyone, according to Quranic teaching, has the right to choose his own faith, and no one should force his religious beliefs on others by persecution or otherwise. And if a person does so, it is the duty of a Muslim to fight against such religious persecution, irrespective of whether the aggrieved be a Jew or a Christian and the persecutor a Muslim. (Holy Quran, 2:190-193)

iii. In self defence. (Holy Quran, 22:39)

But in each case a Muslim should suspend hostilities whenever the oppressor shows an inclination towards peace. (Holy Quran, 2:194)

Other Prophets of the world, especially the Hebrew, drew the sword for a cause of doubtful righteousness, as the Old Testament shows; but Muhammad did what righteousness demanded. Nevertheless, the Western mind has become so much poisoned by the prejudiced statements carped at Islam, that it will not care to hear what is true.


1 This chapter is reproduced from the book: Consumer Guide to God – A Muslim Perspective, In Light of Quran by M. Ikram Jahangiri
2 Adapted from “Jihad-Holy War – A Misconception” in the Introduction section of translation of The Holy Quran, p. 47A-48A: Nooruddin
3 Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
4 Al-Inshiqaq – The Bursting Asunder: Nooruddin
5 Al-Furqan – The Standard of True and False: Nooruddin
6 Al-Hajj – The Pilgrimage: Noorddin
7 Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
8 Al-Ankabut – The Spider: Nooruddin
9 Al-Saff – The Ranks: Nooruddin
10 Al-Taubah – The Repentence: Nooruddin
11 Consumer Guide to God – A Muslim Perspective, In Light of Quran by M. Ikram Jahangiri
12 Yunus – Jonah: Nooruddin
13 Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
14 Al-Hajj – The Pilgrimage: Nooruddin
15 Al-Maidah – Food: Muhammad Ali, Ed. Zahid Aziz
16 Al-Hajj – The Pilgrimage: Nooruddin
17 Al-Nisa – The Women: Nooruddin
18 Al-Anfal – The Voluntary Gifts: Nooruddin
19 ibid
20 ibid
21 ibid
22 ibid
23 ibid
24 ibid
25 Al-Taubah – The Repentence: Nooruddin
26 ibid
27 ibid
28   Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
29 Al-Maidah – The Table Spread with Food: Nooruddin
30 As quoted on p.52 in the book – Islam, Peace and Tolerance by Dr. Zahid Aziz
31 Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
32 The Ideal Prophet by Khwaja Kamaluddin. Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha’at Islam Lahore, Re-Published 1996, p. 145-147. Link: http://www.aaiil.org/text/books/kk/idealprophet/idealprophet.shtml

Satan or Satanic – The Devil is in the Details

Sunday, March 13th, 2016

Satan or Satanic – The Devil is in the Details


In Nature things become energetic when facing their antagonists, so do we need some enemy to arouse our moral forces which otherwise would remain dormant. Thus Satan clearly ranks on the moral plane with the toxins of the physical plane. We find in the Qur’ân the same functions assigned to him as are allotted to toxins in the physical kingdom. Like them he introduces himself within us from outside. He acts as an enemy, and weakens our sense of morality and tries to destroy it. But if our moral nature asserts itself strongly enough and we follow the laws of God we become immune from all sin. The Devil, then, like toxins sub-serves a moral end. The two poisons, I mean toxins and Satan, assail our health and spirit on identical lines. Evil works on the same lines as those adopted by Satan according to the description of the Qur’ân. They are, indeed, one and the same. The only thing left to decide is whether it is the perversity of our own mind that we call Satan or is it some personality existent in the external world, who invites the mind to evil. In other words is Satan a mere faculty or a being who inspires us to use our faculties for evil?1


A human being lives in a physical, emotional, natural and social environment, interacting with it every moment of his or her life, and thus being exposed to a constant onslaught of foreign elements. Physically, the body has an immune system that provides a defense against such foreign elements. If the host defenses are strong then the outward outcome of this interaction is commonly noted as fever and allergies; otherwise the body will be consumed by these elements.

Similarly, on the psychological plane, we possess ego-defenses. When the human psyche is challenged by external reality, immature psychological defenses result in a state of anxiety, depression or, in extreme cases, psychosis and its accompanying distress. Mature defenses create humor, altruism or sublimation where negative influences are converted into positive outcomes and a blissful state.

On the moral plane, events or opportunities in one’s environment challenge the moral defenses. If the moral defenses are firm, the outcome is virtue and godliness of man. Otherwise satanic ideas, intentions, impulses and behaviors set in that work to one’s detriment, affecting one’s psyche, physical, and social environment. Qur’ân addresses these opposite moral extremes:

 

91:7. And the (human) soul and That (Mighty Lord) Who made it perfect,

 

91:8. Then He revealed to it (– the soul, the ways of) its evil and its righteousness,

91:9. (All these are cited to witness that) one who purifies it (– his soul), certainly succeeds,

91:10. And he indeed is ruined who corrupts it.2


Satanic attributes emanate from weak moral defenses. The satanic attributes and their manifestations are mentioned in Qur’ân under the collective name Satan or Iblis. Satan:

Abolishes an inherent happy state of man:

2:36. After sometime the satan caused them both to slip from this (order of not going near evil) and thus brought them out of (the happy state) which they were in…3 [both allude to Adam and his female companion. Of note is that in Qur’ân, Adam is a template representation of man]


Incites evil:

2:169. He (– satan) only bids you to indulge in evil and to (do) things foul and obscene and that you say against Allâh things you do not know.4

22:3. …every satan (who is) devoid of all good.5


Is the antithesis of spirituality:

2:208. …and do not follow the footsteps of satan, verily he is your enemy, severing (you from Allâh).6

6: 142. …and do not follow in the footsteps of satan, for he is indeed an enemy disuniting you (from Allâh).7

19:44. `My dear sire, do not serve satan, surely satan is disobedient to the Most Gracious (God). 8 [sire is Nimrod, who is being addressed by Abraham]

35:5. … so do not let the present life deceive you, and do not let the avowed seducer seduce you away from Allâh.9

36: 60. `O Children of Adam! did I not enjoin on you never to worship satan, for he is to you an enemy severing (your) ties (with Me).10

36:62. `Yet he (– satan) has certainly led astray a number of people from among you. Why do you not even then make use of your understanding (so as to rectify your error)?11

43: 62. Do not let the satan turn you away from following it, for he is your an enemy cutting off (your) ties (with God).12


Is hypocritical by its very nature:

59:16. Again, (the case of the hypocrites is) like (that of) satan. Behold! he says to a human being, `Disbelieve!' But when he disbelieves, he says, `I have nothing to do with you. I fear Allâh, the Lord of the worlds.'13


Incites fears of poverty:

2:268. Satan threatens you with poverty and incites you to niggardliness…14


Encourages monetary exploitation:

2:275. Those who practice usury and interest, (their condition is such as) they will not be able to stand except like the standing of one who has lost his reason under the influence of satan.15


Acts in cohorts:

3:175. (Now you have come to know that) it is satan, in fact, who merely threatens through his friends…16

35:6. Surely, satan is an enemy to you, so treat him as an enemy. He calls his party only (to follow him) …17


Nurtures selfishness:

4: 37. Regarding those who practise niggardliness and advocate to be niggardly and conceal that which Allâh has given them out of His bounty and grace, We have in store a humiliating punishment for such thankless people;

4:38. As well as for those who spend their wealth for public show and do not believe in Allâh and the Last Day. And whoso has satan for his companion (let him bear in mind that) an evil companion he is.18


Sustains tyranny:

4:75. What (excuse) have you (to offer) that you would not fight in the cause of Allâh and for (the rescue of) the weak and the down-trodden men and women and the children who all say, `Our Lord! take us out of this town of which the people are tyrants, and grant us a defender who comes from You and a helper by Your Own grace.'

4:76. Those who believe fight in the cause of Allâh, and those who choose disbelief fight in the cause of the transgressor; fight you, therefore, against the friends of satan, surely, the stratagem of satan is ever weak.19


Rumor mongering:

4: 83. And when there comes to them news (a mere rumour), be it a matter of peace or of fear, they spread it around. … And had it not been for the grace of Allâh upon you and His mercy you would all have followed satan, excepting a few.20


Arouses vain desires

4:119. `And certainly, I will lead them astray and assuredly I will arouse vain desires in them, and I will incite them (to polytheistic practices)…21


Sets in moral decay:

4:119. and I will most assuredly make them change (for the worse,) the things created by Allâh.'22


Evokes false hopes:

4:120. He (– satan) holds out promises to them and arouses false hopes in them. But satan promises nothing but vain things to them.23

17:64. …Indeed, satan promises them nothing but mere fraud.24


Incites hate and squander:

5:91. Satan only intends to precipitate enmity and hatred between you by means of intoxicants and games of chance and to stop you from the remembrance of Allâh and from (observing your) Prayer…25

17:27. Certainly, the squanderers are like satans and satan is always ungrateful to his Lord.26


Imbues arrogance:

6: 43. … (It was for the fact that) their hearts had hardened and satan had made their deeds seem fair to them.27

27: 24. … And satan has made their deeds fair-seeming to them (so that they take pride in their practices), and has thus hindered them from the right way, so that they do not follow true guidance.28

29: 38. …Satan made their (evil) deeds fair-seeming to them and (by making them take pride in their doings) turned them away from the right way, though they were enlightened and sagacious people.29 [them are the tribes of Ad and Thamud]


Creeps up unaware and incessantly:

7:6. (Iblîs) said, `Now, since You have adjudged me to be perverted and lost, I will assuredly lie in wait for them (– the Children of Adam) on the straight and exact path that leads to you.30

7:17. `There will I come upon them from their front and from their backs and from their right and from their left so that You will not find most of them grateful (to You)’.31

7:27. …Verily, he (– satan) sees you, he and his tribe, in such a way as you see them not…32

7:202. And their brethren (the human associates of satan) draw them into error and they do not relax (in their evil designs).33

17:62. …If You grant me respite till the Day of Resurrection, I will most certainly bring his progeny under my sway, having overpowered them, I shall destroy them for sure, except a few.'34


Sows discord:

7: 200. Should any imputation from satan (who spreads reports for sowing dissension) afflict you…35

7:201. Verily, (as for) those who (really wish to) guard (against calamities) when some (enraging) suggestion from satan assails them…36

12: 5. He said, `My dear son! relate not your vision to your brothers lest they should intrigue against you, for satan is to a human being an enemy disuniting’.37[Here Jacob is conversing with his son Joseph]

12: 100. And he took his parents to the royal court and they all fell down prostrate (before God) because of him and he said, `My father! this is the real fulfillment of my vision of old. My Lord has made it come true. He has been gracious to me, indeed, when he released me out of the prison and brought you from the desert. (This all happened) after satan had stirred up discord between me and my brothers. Surely, my Lord is Benignant to whomsoever He pleases. He it is, Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.'38[he is Joseph addressing his father Jacob about his brothers]

17: 53. …for satan (is keen to) provoke discord among them. Satan indeed is an enemy to the people, disuniting (one another).39


Seeds forgetfulness of moral obligations:

12: 42. And of the two, he knew to be the one who would be released, he said, `Mention me to your lord.' But satan made him (-the released person) forget to mention (Joseph) to his lord so that he (– Joseph) remained confined in the prison for a few years.40


Is transgressor by its nature:

16: 36. shun the transgressor (– satan).'...41


Is a source of deceit, misery and vice:

20: 120. But satan made an evil suggestion to him. He said, `Adam! shall I direct you to the tree which leads to eternal life and a kingdom which never decays.

20:121. So they (Adam and his wife) ate from that (tree), so that their shortcomings became unveiled to them and they began to cover themselves with the leaves of the garden. Adam did not observe the commandment of his Lord, so he became miserable.42

24: 21. …he (– satan) surely enjoins immorality and indecency…43


Hinders pursuit of virtue:

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…44

25: 29. `He indeed led me astray from this source of rising to eminence (– the Qur'ân) after it had come to me. And satan is ever a deserter of [a] human being (in the hour of need).45

There is longitudinal satanic experience by humans and the human suffering because of it:

7:27. O Children of Adam! do not let satan put you in trouble (in the same way) as he turned your parents out of the garden, stripping them of their raiment (of innocence) with the result that their shortcomings were made manifest to them both…46

Like any creation of His, Satan actually has a purpose and that is refinement of man on spiritual plane:

22:53. (Allâh permits the interference of satan) so that He may make (the hindrance which satan 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). In fact the wrongdoers have gone far (in their antagonism).47

Practice makes it perfect; even to ingrain the satanic nature in man:

19:45. `My dear sire, if you went on serving satan, I fear lest some punishment from the Most Gracious (God) should seize you so that you should become an associate of satan.'48 [sire is Nimrod being addressed by Abraham]

22:4. About whom it is decreed that whoever makes friends with him, he will invariably lead him astray…49 [Satan is addressed as him]


Remorseless and repeated transgressions become self-perpetuating vices that seed and nurture satanic nature into man, becoming part of his persona. Therefore, to break His Laws is a sin against oneself:

43:36. As for him who forsakes the admonition of the Most Gracious (God), We appoint for him a satan who then becomes an intimate companion for him.

43:37. These (satans) turn the people away from the right path and the people think (about themselves) that they are following the right course of guidance;

43:38. Till when such a person comes before Us (on the Day of Judgment) he will say (to his respective satan), `Would that there had been the distance of the east and the west between you and me. What an evil companion is he!

43:39. (It will be said to the satanic people that Day,) `Now, when (it has been once proved) that you have acted unjustly, (the fact) that you are sharers in the punishment (with those who misled you) will be of no use to you at all this Day.

43:40. (In this state of theirs, Prophet!) would you make the deaf to hear, or guide the blind and him who is (engrossed) in glaring error.50


When the Law-breaker faces the consequences of his transgression the vices that he was attracted to and submitted to will disown him. For example, intoxicants cannot be blamed for acts committed under the influence, but the person who becomes intoxicated by his free will.

14:22 Satan (their selfish desires) will disown them after the Judgment has been issued, "Verily God promised you a true promise; and I promised you and failed you. And I had no power over you except that I called unto you and you obeyed me. So blame me not, blame yourselves. Neither can I help you, nor can you help me. I refuse to accept that you worshipped me ever." Surely, for those who displace trust with betrayal is a painful doom.51

Remedy to repel evil and distress from Satan:

41:33. And who speaks more fair than the person who calls people towards Allâh and (accordingly) does what is right and says, `I am invariably of those who submit (before God)’.

41:34. And good and evil are not alike. Repel (evil) with that (benign and graceful way) which is best, and lo, the person between whom and you there is enmity will behave as if he were your warm-hearted friend.

41:35. Yet it is only the steadfast and patiently persevering who are allowed this (grace) and it is only those who possess a large share of good who are allowed this (moral standard).

41:36. Should some sort of trouble from satan vex you, seek refuge in Allâh. For surely He, only He is the All-Hearing, All-Knowing.52


Qur’ân provides a moral vaccination against the lurking satanic nature that pervades humans, many a times without their awareness:

113:1. Say, `I seek refuge in the Lord of the day break, and the plain appearing and emergence of truth.

113:2. From the evil of that which He has created,

113:3. And from the evil (that usually prevails in the times) of darkness when it overspreads (at night), [darkness and night also include the moral impoverishment]

113:4. And from the evil of those who try (and whisper evil suggestions) to deter (people) from doing their duty,

113:5. And from the evil of the envier when he envies.'53

 

114:1. Say, `I seek refuge in the Lord of mankind,

 

114:2. The Sovereign, the Controller of all affairs of mankind,

114:3. The God of mankind,

114:4. (That He may protect me) from the evil (of the whisperings) of the whisperer, the sneaking one.

114:5. Who whispers evil suggestions into the hearts of mankind,

114:6. From among the jinn (– fiery natured haughty) and the (ordinary) people.'54

 


1 'Satan: A Moral Necessity' by Khwaja Kamal-ud-din, pp. 6-7, Woking Muslim Mission and Literary Trust, The Shah Jehan Mosque, Woking, Surrey, England. This article is also attributed to K. Kudos in Islamic Review, pp. 324-5, Vol XX, No. 10, October 1932, Woking Muslim Mission and Muslim Literary Trust.
2 Al-Shams – The Sun: Nooruddin
3 Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
4 ibid
5 Al-Hajj – The Pilgrimage: Nooruddin
6 Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
7 Al-Anam – The Cattle: Nooruddin
8 Maryam – Mary: Nooruddin
9 Fatir – Originator: Nooruddin
10 YaSin – O Perfect Man! : Nooruddin
11 YaSin – O Perfect Man! : Nooruddin
12 Al-Zukhruf – The Ornaments: Nooruddin
13 Al-Hashr – The Banishment: Nooruddin
14 Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
15 ibid
16 Al-Imran – The Family of Amran: Nooruddin
17 Fatir – Originator: Nooruddin
18 Al-Nisa – The Women: Nooruddin
19 ibid
20 ibid
21 ibid
22 ibid
23 ibid
24 Isra – The Night-Journey: Nooruddin
25 Al-Maidah – The Table Spread with Food: Nooruddin
26 Isra – The Night-Journey: Nooruddin
27 Al-Anam – The Cattle: Nooruddin
28 Al-Naml – The Tribe of Naml: Nooruddin
29 Al-Ankabut – The Spider: Nooruddin
30 Al-Araf – The Elevated Spaces: Nooruddin
31 ibid
32 ibid
33 ibid
34 Isra – The Night-Journey: Nooruddin
35 Al-Araf – The Elevated Spaces: Nooruddin
36 ibid
37 Yusuf – Joseph: Nooruddin
38 ibid
39 Isra – The Night-Journey: Nooruddin
40 Yusuf – Joseph: Nooruddin
41 Al-Nahl – The Bee: Nooruddin
42 Ta Ha – Perfect Man! be at Rest: Nooruddin
43 Al-Nur – The Light: Nooruddin
44 Al-Hajj – The Pilgrimage: Nooruddin
45 Al-Furqan – The Standard of True and False: Nooruddin
46 Al-Araf – The Elevated Spaces: Nooruddin
47 Al-Hajj – The Pilgrimage: Nooruddin
48 Maryam – Mary: Nooruddin
49 Al-Hajj – The Pilgrimage: Nooruddin
50 Al-Zukhruf – The Ornaments: Nooruddin
51 Ibraheem – Abraham: Shabbir Ahmed
52 Fussilat – Detailed and Clear in Exposition: The Spider: Nooruddin
53 Al-Falaq – The Daybreak: Nooruddin
54 Al-Nas – The Mankind: Nooruddin

Case Study 5: Wife-Beating? Why Beat Around the Bush When There is No Validation in Quran!

Monday, February 1st, 2016
Case Study 5: Wife-Beating? Why Beat Around the Bush When There is No Validation in Quran!

The words wa-ḍribū hunna, used in the verse 4:34 of the Quran, are mistranslated as "and beat them" to justify wife-beating. Wa means "and", the word translated as "beat" is iḍribū, and hunna means "them" in the feminine tense. Translating iḍribū as "beat" is one of the most flagrant slaughters of a word in Quran.

(Note on terminology: The imperative iḍribū is a command in the plural to carry out the action known as ḍarb. Whenever a word occurs before an imperative such as iḍribū, the last vowel of that word replaces the initial i of the imperative; thus we have here: waḍribū. Note also that the Arabic letter represented by in modern transliteration used to be represented as dz, and is sometimes written as just d, as in some references below.)

The action of ḍarb has several meanings and connotations including to ‘seek away’ or ‘turn them away.’ Ignoring the Quran and Sunnah, some of the translators have chosen to use the most violent and the most out of context meaning of this word. Reading verse 4:34 in context of the immediately following verse 4:35, it becomes crystal clear, and leaves no room for any doubt, whatsoever, that this word is used here in its most non-violent and its most reconciliatory sense. Furthermore, all other verses in Quran addressing the exact same topic of a discord between a husband and a wife, one and all, in unison, prescribe civilized, community-based solutions and not violence.

The Prophet himself is on several records to have harshly condemned any and every sort of violence towards one’s wife. Since it is established that Prophet Muhammad was the ‘the Quran walking,’ it follows that he would never have condemned any act permitted by the Quran.

This word in itself is not the root cause of pain and suffering for women. Rather, the wrong meaning attached to it is what can become a justification for human rights violation in the name of Allah. Below are quoted its root, forms and meanings, all of which are far removed from its misuse to beat one’s wife:

Dzaraba – This word admits a great variety of meanings and interpretations as: To heal, strike, propound as an example, put forth a parable, go, make a journey, travel, mix, avoid, take away, put a cover, shut, mention, state, propound, set forth, compare, liken, seek away, march own, set, impose, prevent, fight, traffic with anyone’s property for a share in the profit, leave for sake, take away thing (with ‘an). Dzaraba bi arjulihî: He travelled. Dzarab al-ardza: Without or with : To travel. Dzaraba fulânun al-gha’ita: To go to relieve the bowels, go to privy, go for earning livelihood. Lâ tudzrabu akbâd al-ibili illa alâ thalâthati masâjida: La Turkal flâ yusaru ilaihâ: One must not ride to go but for three mosques. Adzrabu: To go and sworm. Dzârib: Depressed ground; Hard ground in a plain; sandy valley; Commissioner as he has to travel much. Dzarabtu lahû al-ardza Kullahâ: I went searching him everywhere. Dzarbun: Kind Manner; Lean; Thin; Similar; Alike; The act of striking; A blow; Going from place to place; Vicissitude of life; Affliction especially that which relates to one's person, as disease, death, degradation is common and general suffering. Dzaraba (prt. 3rd. p.m. sing.): He set forth, coined, propounded, compared, gave, mentioned, traveled, took away, avoided (with ‘An). Dzarabû (prf. 3rd. p.m. plu.): They set forth. Dzarabtum (prf. 2nd. p. m. plu.): Ye went forth, set forth. Dzarabnâ (prf. 1st. p. plu.): We have set forth. We put over a cover (with ‘Alâ). Yadzribu (imp. 3rd. p. m. sing.): He illustrates, sets forth, compares, likens. Confirms. Yadzribûna (imp. 3rd. p. m. plu.): They smite, travel. Yadzribna (imp. 3rd. p. f.plu.): She draws over, strikes. Lâ Tadzribû (prt. neg. m. plu.): Coin not. Nadzribu (imp. 1st. p. plu.): We set forth, narrate, will leave (with ‘An). Idzrib (prt. m. sing.): Strike; Go; Seek a way; March on. Idzribû (prt. m. plu.): You strike. Dzuriba (pp. 3rd. p. m. sing.): Held up; Will be set up. Dzuribat (pp. 3rd. p. f. sing.): They are smitted. Dzarbun (v.n. used in the sense of imperative to emphasize the command). Dzarban (v.n. acc.): Going about; Striking. (L; T; R; LL) The root with its above forms has been used in the Holy Qur’ân about 58 times.1

The linguistic spread of the word Dzaraba is so extensive that the ‘Arabic-English Lexicon’ by Edward William Lane (London: Willams & Norgate 1863) allocates to it six pages of three columns each i.e. pages 1777 – 1783.2

At the end of this chapter are listed all the verses from Quran, a total of 53, in which the usage of Dzaraba is identified with all its variations and none of which mean corporal punishment. Even where Dzaraba is used for being ‘smitten’ or a physical ‘strike,’ that usage is fully qualified in the same or adjoining verses, with what, how to, how much and why, to smite or strike. However, it is never, ever used in the sense of beating or corporal punishment.

Wife-beating is an example where a disgusting behavior by men is justified by fishing in Quran for its validation. A barbaric meaning is injected ‘into’ Quran, rather than reading the decent rules of a civil society ‘out of’ Quran. Such abhorring reasoning is found not in Quran, but in certain translations, one of which is quoted below from Sayyid Abul A'la Mawdudi, the translator:

Men are the protectors and maintainers of women because Allah has made one of them excel over the other, and because they spend out of their possessions (to support them). Thus righteous women are obedient and guard the rights of men in their absence under Allah's protection. As for women of whom you fear rebellion [Arabic: nushūzahunna], admonish them, and remain apart from them in beds, and beat them [Arabic: iḍ’ribūhunna]*. Then if they obey you, do not seek ways to harm them. Allah is Exalted, Great (4:34).

* This does not mean that a man should resort to these three measures all at once, but that they may be employed if a wife adopts an attitude of obstinate defiance. So far as the actual application of these measures is concerned, there should, naturally, be some correspondence between the fault and the punishment that is administered. Moreover, it is obvious that wherever a light touch can prove effective, one should not resort to sterner measures. Whenever the Prophet (peace be on him) permitted a man to administer corporal punishment to his wife, he did so with reluctance, and continued to express his distaste for it. And even in cases where it is necessary, the Prophet (peace be on him) directed men not to hit across the face, nor to beat severely nor to use anything that might leave marks on the body. (See Ibn Majah, 'Nikah', 3 – Ed.)

If you fear a breach between the two, appoint an arbitrator from his people and an arbitrator from her people. If they both want to set things right, Allah will bring about reconciliation between them. Allah knows all, is well aware of everything (4:35).3

Irrespective of who said what in their translation and then tried to reconcile the stated meaning of allowance for beating of wife with lengthy apologies, the fact remains the same, that they all advocate wife beating. Additionally, even if for the sake of an argument ‘beat them’ is assumed to be the correct meaning, then nowhere in Quran will one find the extent and limits of the allowed beating of wives by their husbands. Such translations essentially give a vengeful husband the ‘license’ to beat his wife into disfigurement or death? It only nurtures the evil of ‘honor killings.’

Before we take the translation of verse 4:34, sanctifying wife beating, seriously, we also read in the same translation and in the same chapter –“Do they not ponder about the Qur'an? Had it been from any other than Allah, they would surely have found in it much inconsistency (4:82)”4 With this standard of Quran we have to make sure if this translation of verse 4:34 is inconsistent with other verses, which factually it is. We do not have to remind the translator of verse 4:34 above that according to his own translation of another verse‘…They [–wives] are as a garment to you [–husbands] and you [–husbands] are as a garment to them [–wives] … (2:187).’5 If both spouses are garments of protection and grace for each other and if per chance, according to verse 4:34, the wife sheds her obligation of being a garment for her husband, it still remains obligatory for the husband to remain the garment of protection and grace, not that of violation, for his wife and resort to beating her. In another verse from the same translator it states “…Live with your wives in a good manner. If you dislike them in any manner, it may be that you dislike something in which Allah has placed much good for you (4:19).6 Unless someone can justify wife beating as being consistent with living with good manner (that is enjoined on the husbands) translation of verse 4:34 flagrantly contradicts 4:19. In another place in the same translation we find “…who restrain their anger, and forgive others. Allah loves such good-doers (3:134).7 According to this translation, on the one hand Quran encourages suppression of anger and promotes forgiveness while on the other in verse 4:34 it perpetuates anger when it gives the option to beat one’s wife. By the standards of Quran, where there is no inconsistency therein (4:82), this translator woefully creates inconsistency when he allows beating of a wife by her husband and thus leaves us no option but to reject his translation of verse 4:34.

Inflicting physical punishment on women was sadly common in many societies, and, unfortunately, some men derive the legitimacy of punishing their wives from the word Adzribu stated in this verse [4:34]. Adzribu is derived from dzaraba a word with a great variety of meanings and interpretations in the Arabic language and in the Holy Qur'an. Such meanings include to heal, strike, put forward an example, put forth a parable, make a journey, move away, travel, mix, cover, impose, prevent, or take something away. This word has been used in the Holy Qur'an fifty-eight times with different meanings (cf. 30:28; 43:5; 2:273; 2:60; 2:61;18:11;57:13). Thus, adzribu does not mean here [in verse 4:34] to strike physically and it certainly does not mean to inflict physical punishment on women. Meanings such as “take something away” or “put forth an example” (symbolically) can be used as the translation of this word here. The Holy Prophet (pbuh) [–the first and foremost exegete of Quran,] is reported to have said, "You will not find these men as the best among you who punish their wives" (Daud 12/42). Also, He rhetorically asked, "Could any of you beat his wife and then lie with her in the evening?" (Bukhari).8

If the verse 4:34 allows for physical punishment of one’s wife in a marital dispute, no matter how mild the punishment inflicted, then such a husband who beats his wife is merely following the injunction in Quran. How is it then even possible for the Prophet to abhor such a follower of Quran, if the Quran allowed wife beating in the first place. We have two choices in this example, either Quran as translated above is wrong or the Prophet is misquoted, but not both could be right simultaneously. Obviously, neither Quran can be wrong for its actual message of non-violence towards anyone, especially the women, nor the Prophet could be wrong for hadith attributed to him of non-violence towards wives. Once again, without even discussing the linguistics, we are left with no choice but to reject wife beating as the utterly wrong meaning attributed to Quran. On the reverse we have the following hadith about the Prophet:

Abu Abdullah Al-Jadali narrated: "I asked 'Aishah about the character of the Messenger of Allah. She said: 'He was not obscene, nor uttering obscenities, nor screaming in the markets, he would not return an evil with an evil, but rather he was pardoning and forgiving."[Tirmidhi]9

We also have another verse from Quran about the sublime nature of the Prophet and a corresponding hadith attributed to Aisha, the wife of the Prophet, that the Prophet was “the Quran walking” in his character:

68:4. And you possess outstandingly high standard of moral (excellence).10

Narrated Sa'd bin Hisham: “…I said: Mother of faithful [-Aisha], tell me about the character of the Messenger of Allah (). She asked: Do you not recite the Quran ? The character of Messenger of Allah () was the Qur'an…” [Sunan Abu Dawud’]11

How is it possible for a walking talking Quran to not have followed its injunction, and allowed wife beating? Rather on the reverse, we have hadiths from Aisha which only prove that he was a man far removed from violence and follower of Quran in this matter:

"The Messenger of Allah () never beat any of his servants, or wives, and his hand never hit anything." [Ibn Majah]12

"Rasulullah Sallallahu 'Alayhi Wasallam did not hit anything with his mubaarak hands, besides the time when he made jihaad in the Path of Allah. He did not hit a servant nor a women (wife, slave girl etc.)"[ Shama’il Muhammadiyah (–Tirmidhi)]13

“Messenger of Allah () never hit anything with his hand neither a servant nor a woman but of course, he did fight in the Cause of Allah. He never took revenge upon anyone for the wrong done to him, but of course, he exacted retribution for the sake of Allah in case the Injunctions of Allah about unlawful acts were violated.” [Muslim]14

In marital discord, no matter how egregious, and alleged on the wife, it cannot be left in the hands of a husband to inflict corporal punishment. In another place a verse from the same translation removes the authority to arbiter in a dispute from individuals and vests it with the government, relegates to the example of the Prophet and if the matter is beyond the former two, it shifts it into the hands of Allah:

Believers! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger, and those from among you who are invested with authority; and then if you were to dispute among yourselves about anything refer it to Allah and the Messenger if you indeed believe in Allah and the Last Day; that is better and more commendable in the end (4:59).15

At least in the example of the Prophet, there is no wife beating to be found, but this translator did find it in Quran. One of the worst allegations in a marriage is that of a charge of adultery on a spouse, especially the wife, which for an arrogant ‘honor killer’ husband is a trigger happy moment. Even in such an extreme situation Quran does not allow beating of one’s wife, as conceded by Mawdudi (see his translation of verse 24:6-10 below). But, none-the-less, ignoring this, Mawdudi, allows for violence for merely “rebelling” against the husband in verse 4:34, whereas in Quran the matter is required to be referred to Allah, as explained in the verses from the same translator:

As for those who accuse their own wives but have no witness except themselves, the evidence of one of them is that he shall swear four times by Allah and declare that he is true (in his charge). Then the fifth time he shall declare that Allah's curse be upon him if he be false (in his charge). (As for the woman), it shall avert the punishment from her if she swears four times by Allah that the man is false (in his charge) and the fifth time she invokes Allah's wrath upon herself, if he be true (in his charge). If Allah had not shown you His grace and mercy and if Allah had not been most Forgiving and All-Wise, (you would have been in a great fix because of accusing your wives)(24:6-10).16

Even if the adultery is witnessed or falsely alleged, the authority to punish is not in the hands of individuals, but can only be carried out by the state:

The woman and the man guilty of fornication, flog each one of them with a hundred stripes – and let not any pity for them restrain you in regard to a matter prescribed by Allah, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day, and let, some of the believers witness the punishment inflicted on them (24:2).17

As for those persons who charge chaste women with false accusations but do not produce four witnesses, flog them with eighty stripes and never accept their evidence afterwards, for they themselves are transgressors, except those who repent and reform themselves; Allah is Forgiving and Merciful (24:4-5).18

Under any law, there cannot be a double punishment for a given crime because according to the translator under discussion “…do not commit aggression because Allah does not like aggressors (2:190).19 However, according to the same translation it may be allowed so, first beating of the wife by the husband (4:34) and later lashing by the state (24:2).

The weakness of the translation of verse 4:34 quoted above can be ascertained for its meaning of another word ‘Nashuz’ which is also referred to in the same verse and also in another place quoted below from the same translation:

If a woman fears either ill-treatment [Arabic: nushūzan] or aversion from her husband it is not wrong for the husband and wife to bring about reconciliation among themselves (by compromising on their rights), for settlement is better. Man's soul is always prone to selfishness, but if you do good and are God-fearing, then surely Allah is aware of the things you do (4:128).20

This translation reeks of double standards. The word ‘Nashuz’ is taken for rebellion by a wife in verse 4:34 and ill-treatment by a husband in verse 4:128. In the former case, when allegedly wife is at fault, the quoted translation sanctions violence against wife first which essentially defeats any chance of reconciliation in the subsequent verse 4:35. In the latter case, in verse 4:128, it advocates reconciliation alone when the alleged fault lies with the husband. Whereas, we know that in Quran a wife has equal rights and at par with the husband ‘… And women have rights similar to those against them in a just manner…(2:228)’.21 Should we then presume that to reclaim their equal rights, denied by said translator in marital discord, wives too must resort to inflict spousal abuse? This self-created contradiction in Quran can be expunged merely by using the correct and contextual implications of the word ‘Adzribu’ in verse 4:34 for its non-violent meanings e.g. ‘seek away’ or ‘turn them away’. These meanings pave way for reconciliation between the estranged couple enjoined in the subsequent verse 4:35. By such appropriate meanings for ‘Adzribu’, both verses 4:34 and 4:128 are normalized and their mutual contradiction is thus resolved along with the contradiction with verse 2:228 and many other verses that specifically mention kind treatment of wives in general any specifically in marital discord. Such sensible approach does not diminish message of Quran. It only diminishes violence in the society and increases reconciliation in a household in which the consequent victims might not only be the spouses themselves, but also the children and other family members.

Quran addresses marital discord from both ends of the spectrum. It addresses the view point of the husband, the likely head of household, in verses 4:34-35 and the aggrieved wife in verse 4:128.

Aggrieved husband – The ignorant justify violence towards women while relying on verse 4:34 which according to them allows wife beating. This assertion is similar to stoning to death. The sources for both maybe found elsewhere, but not in Quran. The following is a plain reproduction of verses 4:34-35 and their footnotes from English Translation of the Holy Quran, by Maulana Muhammad Ali in its revised edition by Zahid Aziz. By contrasting Muhammad Ali’s translation to Mawdudi’s, readers can judge for themselves how ignorantly Quran is misused by some, the likes of which include Mawdudi, to condone an ignominious behavior of wife beating for which there is no room in Quran in its plain read below:

4:34. Men are the maintainers of women22, with what Allah has given some of them above others and with what they spend out of their wealth. So the good women are obedient (to Allah)23,…

Obedience here signifies obedience to Allah. This significance of the word is made clear by a comparison with 33:31, 33:35, and 66:5.

33:31. And whoever of you [– Prophet’s wives] is obedient to Allah and His Messenger and does good, We shall give her a double reward [– greater reward], and We have prepared for her an honourable sustenance.

…guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded…

This refers to their guarding the husband’s rights. The two qualifications of a good wife as given here are her obedience to God and chastity.

…And (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish24 them, and leave them alone in the beds25

The word translated here as desertion, when used about a woman in connection with her husband, means her rising against her husband. This is explained by the commentators in a number of ways; for example, her leaving the husband’s place and taking up an abode which he does not like or that the wife resisted her husband and hated him and deserted him. The remedy for her correction is that she is to be admonished, but if she persists in the wrong course, her bed is to be separated, i.e. a cessation of sexual relations.

…and turn them away (from wrongdoing)…

Editor’s Note: The words translated as “turn them away” use the term darb, and have often been translated as “beat them”. Maulana Muhammad Ali rendered them as “chastise them” and explained that very slight chastisement was allowed only in extreme cases, which should not leave an impression, and further that this permission is meant only for the crass type of people in society among whom such chastisement is acceptable. However, as he pointed out in his footnotes on verses 2:60 and 2:73, the verb darb signifies “all kinds of actions except a few”; and apart from striking it is used to mean, for example, marching on, setting forth a parable, and likening. In these other senses it is commonly used in the Quran. It is used in 43:5 as meaning to turn (something) away: “Shall We then turn away the Reminder from you…?”, which is how Maulana Muhammad Ali and many other translators have rendered this verse. This sense seems to be applicable here. Thus the meaning here would be that by admonishing and, if necessary, breaking off sexual relations, the husband should turn the wife away from her wrong course, or it may mean that if these measures fail he should turn her away from himself, i.e. divorce her. It may be added that the Quran clearly forbids a man from causing injury to his wife. In its rules for divorce, husbands are told about their wives: “retain them with kindness or let them go with kindness and do not retain them for injury” (2:231), “retain them with kindness or part from them with kindness … do not injure them in order to impose hardship upon them” (65:2, 6). In fact, only a few verses prior to v. 34 above, in v. 19, husbands have been instructed as follows about their wives: “Nor should you cause them hardship… And treat them kindly. Then if you hate them, it may be that you dislike a thing while Allah has placed abundant good in it”.

…So if they obey you, do not seek a way against them. Surely Allah is ever Exalted, Great.

4:35. And if you fear a breach between the two, appoint an arbiter from his people and an arbiter from her people. If they both desire agreement, Allah will effect harmony between them. Surely Allah is ever Knowing, Aware.26

This verse lays down the procedure for divorce. It is not for the husband to put away his wife; it is the business of the judge to decide the case. He is required to appoint two arbiters, one belonging to the wife’s family and the other to the husband’s. These two arbiters will find out the facts, but their objective must be to effect a reconciliation between the parties. If all hopes of reconciliation fail, a divorce is allowed, but the final decision for divorce rests with the judge who is legally entitled to pronounce a divorce. Cases were decided in accordance with these directions in the early days of Islam.

Of note is that verses 4:34-35 outline progressive steps in a married relationship gone sour, where each step essentially gives a pause to rethink, forebear and reconcile i.e. to give a verbal advice – admonish them; temporary separation – and leave them alone in the beds; symbolic termination of certain privileges – turn them away; mediation – if you fear a breach between the two, appoint an arbiter from his people and an arbiter from her people. If there was any remote possibility of allowance for ‘wife beating’ in verse 4:34, then for sure there is no residual chance for mediation as outlined in verse 4:35.

One of the criticism levelled against verse 4:34 is that it is male centric. Like any statue of law its narrative is that of male gender, but in no way negates the rights of the female gender. The reverse is equally applicable:

2:228. … And women have rights similar to those against them in a just manner…27

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.

Similarly, as pointed out in the footnotes quoted from Maulana Muhammad Ali above, other verses ensure as an injunction, explicit kindness towards wife even during the divorce process when each party might be expectantly hateful towards the other:

4:19. O you who believe, it is not lawful for you to take women as heritage against (their) will…

Among the pre-Islamic Arabs, when a man died his elder son or other relations had a right to possess his widow or widows, marrying them themselves if they wished, without settling a dowry on them, marrying them to others, or prohibiting them from marriage altogether. This is abolished by these words.

…Nor should you cause them hardship by taking part of what you have given them, unless they are guilty of manifest indecency…

This passage remedies another evil. Some husbands who were dissatisfied with their wives gave them trouble in order to force them to claim a divorce and remit the dowry (i.e., the legally-due nuptial gift from the husband to the wife). This is disallowed. If the judge finds that the fault lies actually with the husband, he will not allow the dowry to be remitted in his favour. It can only be taken back if the woman is guilty of immoral conduct. In such cases, when the fault is with the woman, she may be required to return it wholly or in part.

…And treat them kindly. Then if you hate them, it may be that you dislike a thing while Allah has placed abundant good in it.28

If per chance verse 4:34 is interpreted to allow ‘wife beating’ then such a deduction will create contradiction in Quran as the verse 4:19 above enjoins the husband quite clearly to treat them kindly always, even when there is property dispute during the divorce process:

4:20. And if you wish to have (one) wife in the place of another and you have given one of them a heap of gold, take nothing from it. Would you take it by slandering (her) and (doing her) manifest wrong?

Another social evil was that a husband, wanting to marry another woman instead, would accuse his wife of adultery or other gross immorality, thus compelling her to obtain a divorce by paying a large sum of money.

4:21. And how can you take it when you have been intimate with each other and they have taken from you a strong covenant?29

Marriage is here called a covenant or agreement between the husband and the wife. As there can be no agreement unless both parties give their consent to it, marriage in Islam can only be entered into with the free consent of the husband and wife.

In another place Quran ensures the kind behavior towards wife even at the conclusion of the divorce, a time when mutual hatred and apathy might run amok:

2:231. And when you divorce women and they reach their prescribed time, then retain them with kindness or let them go with kindness and do not retain them for injury so that you exceed the limits…

If the husband is proved to give injury to the wife, he cannot retain her, and she can claim a divorce. Injury to the wife may be of a general nature or one given with the object of compelling her to remit her dowry to obtain a divorce. It is for the judge to see that the husband is not taking undue advantage of his position. On the other hand, the husband is enjoined to show liberality to the divorced wife, and the judge would no doubt see that the injunctions of the Quran were observed. It is made clear in 4:35 that decision in matters of divorce rests with the judges appointed, not with the husband or the wife.

…And whoever does this, he indeed wrongs his own soul. And do not take Allah’s messages for a mockery,…

The injunctions relating to the kind treatment of women must not be taken lightly, we are told here. Retaining women to cause them injury has already been declared to be a transgression and emphasis is now laid on the proper observance of these injunctions by stating that these are most serious matters relating to the welfare of society as a whole.

…and remember Allah’s favour to you, and what He has revealed to you of the Book and the Wisdom, instructing you by it. And keep your duty to Allah, and know that Allah is the Knower of all things.30

If we read the above verses on a range of behavior expected of the husband towards his wife, then these verses quite vividly put the husband at the service of the wife i.e. Men are the maintainers of women (4:34) and treat them kindly (4:19). This benevolence is enjoined on husbands towards their wives even after divorce i.e. if…you have given one of them a heap of gold, take nothing from it (4:20) and when you divorce women and they reach their prescribed time, then retain them with kindness or let them go with kindness and do not retain them for injury (2:231).

Aggrieved wife Similar to verses 4:34-35 for aggrieved husband, the aggrieved wife is also given her equal and similar rights:

4:128. And if a woman fears ill-usage from her husband or desertion, there is no blame on the two of them if they effect a reconciliation between them. And reconciliation is better. And greed is met with in (people’s) minds. And if you do good (to others) and keep your duty, surely Allah is ever Aware of what you do.31

Quran addresses both husband and wife to be just in their marital dispute the cause of which might be beyond the individual spouses and extend to involve relatives and others, and the consequent arbitration requiring testimony, which it mandates in verses 4:35 and 4:128:

4:135. O you who believe, be maintainers of justice, bearers of witness for Allah, even if it is against your own selves or (your) parents or near relatives — whether he is rich or poor, Allah has a better right over them both. So do not follow (your) low desires, that you deviate. And if you distort (the truth) or turn away (from it), surely Allah is ever Aware of what you do.32

In conclusion, there is no basis for aggression towards one’s wife in Quran and Sunnah. Quran does not allow any maltreatment of women even after their divorce. On the contrary, kind treatment must be shown towards women under all circumstances. If the dispute is beyond the prerogative of a household, the matter is referred to authorities, communal or governmental, who then have to arbiter in light of Quran and Sunnah.

—————————-

Listed below are all the verses from Quran, a total of 53, in which the usage of araba is identified with all its variations and none of which mean corporal punishment:

2:26. Surely Allah does not disdain to set forth [Arabic: yaḍriba] any parable — a gnat or anything above that. Then as for those who believe, they know that it is the truth from their Lord; and as for those who disbelieve, they say: What is it that Allah means by this parable? Many He leaves in error by it and many He leads aright by it. And He leaves in error by it only the transgressors,33

2:60. And when Moses prayed for water for his people, We said: March on [Arabic: iḍrib] to the rock with your staff. So twelve springs flowed from it. Each tribe knew their drinking-place. Eat and drink of the provisions of Allah, and do not act corruptly, making mischief in the land.34

2:60. And (recall the time) when Moses prayed for water for his people and We said (to him), `Go with your people and smite [Arabic: iḍrib] that particular rock with your staff.' So (when he did so) there gushed forth from it twelve springs so that every tribe came to know of its drinking place. (We said,) `Eat and drink of sustenance provided by Allâh and commit not transgression in the land like peace-breakers.'35

2:61. And when you said: Moses, we cannot endure one food, so pray your Lord on our behalf to bring forth for us out of what the earth grows, of its herbs and its cucumbers and its garlic and its lentils and its onions. He said: Would you exchange what is better for what is worse? Enter a city, so you will have what you ask for. And degradation and humiliation were stamped [Arabic: ḍuribat] upon them, and they incurred Allah’s wrath. That was so because they disbelieved in the messages of Allah and would kill the prophets unjustly. That was so because they disobeyed and exceeded the limits.36

2:73. So We said: Strike him [Arabic: iḍribū-hu] with it partially. Thus Allah brings the dead to life, and He shows you His signs that you may understand.37

2:273. (Charity is) for the poor who are confined in the way of Allah, they cannot go about [Arabic: ḍarb-an] in the land; the ignorant man thinks them to be rich on account of (their) abstaining (from begging). You can recognize them by their mark — they do not beg of people demandingly. And whatever good thing you spend, surely Allah is Knower of it.38

3:112. Degradation will be [Arabic: duribat] their lot wherever they are found, except under a covenant with Allah and a covenant with people, and they shall incur the wrath of Allah, and humiliation will be made to cling [Arabic: duribat] to them. This is because they disbelieved in the messages of Allah and killed the prophets unjustly. This is because they disobeyed and exceeded the limits.39

3:112. Smitten [Arabic: ḍuribat] are they with ignominy wherever they are found unless they have a bond (of protection) from Allâh, or a bond (of security) from the people. They have incurred the displeasure of Allâh and have been condemned [Arabic: ḍuribat] to humiliation. That is so because they would disbelieve in the Messages of Allâh and would seek to kill the Prophets without any just cause. And that is so because they rebelled and had been transgressing as usual.40

3:156. O you who believe, do not be like those who disbelieve and say of their brethren when they travel [Arabic: ḍarabū] in the earth or engage in fighting: If they had been with us, they would not have died, or been killed; that Allah may make it a regret in their hearts. And Allah gives life and causes death. And Allah is Seer of what you do.41

4:34. Men are the maintainers of women, with what Allah has given some of them above others and with what they spend out of their wealth. So the good women are obedient (to Allah), guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded. And (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the beds and turn them away [Arabic: iḍ’ribūhunna] (from wrongdoing). So if they obey you, do not seek a way against them. Surely Allah is ever Exalted, Great.42

4:94. O you who believe, when you go forth [Arabic: ḍarabtum] (to fight) in Allah’s way, make investigation, and do not say to anyone who offers you salutation, You are not a believer, seeking the good of this world’s life. But with Allah there are abundant gains. You too were such before, then Allah conferred a benefit on you; so make investigation. Surely Allah is ever Aware of what you do.43

4:101. And when you journey [Arabic: ḍarabtum] in the earth, there is no blame on you if you shorten the prayer, if you fear that those who disbelieve will give you trouble. Surely the disbelievers are an open enemy to you.44

5:106. O you who believe, call to witness between you, when death draws near to one of you, at the time of making the will, two just persons from among you, or two others from among others than you, if you are travelling [Arabic: ḍarabtum] in the land and the calamity of death befalls you. You should detain them after the prayer. Then if you doubt (them), they shall both swear by Allah (saying): We will not take for it a price even for a relative, nor will we hide the testimony of Allah, for then certainly we shall be sinners.45

7:160. And We divided them into twelve tribes, as nations. And We revealed to Moses when his people asked him for water: March on [Arabic: iḍ’rib] to the rock with your staff; so out flowed from it twelve springs. Each tribe knew its drinking-place. And We made the clouds to give shade over them and We sent to them manna and quails. Eat of the good things We have given you. And they did not do Us any harm, but they wronged their own souls.46

8:12. When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, so make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. So strike [Arabic: iḍ’ribū] above the necks and strike [Arabic: iḍ’ribū] every finger-tip of them.47

8:50. And if you could see when the angels cause to die those who disbelieve, striking [Arabic: yaḍribūna] their faces and their backs, and (saying): Taste the punishment of burning.48

13:17. He sends down water from the clouds, then watercourses flow according to their measure, and the torrent bears along the swelling foam. And a scum like it arises from what they melt in the fire for the sake of making ornaments or tools. Thus does Allah compare [Arabic: yaḍribu] truth and falsehood. Then as for the scum, it passes away as a worthless thing; and as for that which benefits people, it remains behind in the earth. Thus does Allah set forth [Arabic: yaḍribu] parables.49

14:24. Do you not see how Allah sets forth [Arabic: ḍaraba] a parable of a good word as a good tree, whose root is firm and whose branches are high,50

14:25. yielding its fruit in every season by the permission of its Lord? And Allah sets forth [Arabic: ḍaraba] parables for people that they may be mindful.51

14:45. And you dwell in the abodes of those who wronged themselves, and it is clear to you how We dealt with them and We made (them) [Arabic: waḍarabnā] examples for you.52

16:74. So do not coin [Arabic: taḍribū] likenesses for Allah. Surely Allah knows and you do not know.53

16:75. Allah sets forth [Arabic: ḍaraba] a parable: There is a slave, the property of another, controlling nothing, and there is one to whom We have granted from Ourselves a goodly provision, so he spends from it (on good works) secretly and openly. Are the two alike? Praise be to Allah! But most of them do not know.54

16:76. And Allah sets forth [Arabic: ḍaraba] a parable of two men: One of them dumb, controlling nothing, and he is a burden to his master; wherever he sends him, he brings no good. Is he equal with him who enjoins justice, and he is on the right path?55

16:112. And Allah sets forth [Arabic: ḍaraba] a parable: A town safe and secure, to which its means of subsistence came in abundance from every quarter; but it disbelieved in Allah’s favours, so Allah made it taste a pall of hunger and fear because of what they did.56

17:48. See, what they liken [Arabic: ḍarabū] you to! So they have gone astray, and cannot find the way.57

18:11. So We prevented [Arabic: faḍarabnā] them from hearing in the Cave for a number of years,58

18: 11. So We sealed [Arabic: faḍarabnā] up their ears (to cut them off from the outside world) in their Place of Refuge for (only) a number of years.59

18:32. And set forth [Arabic: wa-iḍ’rib] to them the parable of two men — for one of them We made two gardens of grape-vines, and We surrounded them with date-palms, and between them We made corn-fields.60

18:45. And set forth [Arabic: wa-iḍ’rib] to them the likeness of the life of this world as water which We send down from the cloud, so the vegetation of the earth becomes luxuriant by it, then it becomes dry, broken into pieces which the winds scatter. And Allah is the Holder of power over all things.61

20:77. And certainly We revealed to Moses: Travel by night with My servants, then strike [Arabic: iḍ’rib] for them a dry path in the sea, not fearing to be caught, nor being afraid.62

22:73. O people, a parable is set forth [Arabic: ḍuriba], so listen to it. Surely those whom you call upon besides Allah cannot create a fly, though they should all gather for it. And if the fly carry off anything from them, they cannot take it back from it. Weak are (both) the invoker and the invoked.63

24:31. And say to the believing women that they lower their gaze and restrain their sexual passions and do not display their adornment except what appears of it. And they should wear [Arabic: walyaḍrib’na] their head-coverings over their bosoms. And they should not display their adornment except to their husbands or their fathers, or the fathers of their husbands, or their sons, or the sons of their husbands, or their brothers, or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or those whom their right hands possess, or harmless male servants, or the children who do not know women’s nakedness. And they should not strike [Arabic: walā yaḍrib’na] their feet so that the adornment that they hide may be known. And turn to Allah all, O believers, so that you may be successful.64

24:35. Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth. A likeness of His light is as a pillar on which is a lamp — the lamp is in a glass, the glass is as it were a brightly shining star — lit from a blessed olive-tree, neither eastern nor western, whose oil gives light, even though fire does not touch it — light upon light. Allah guides to His light whom He pleases. And Allah sets forth [Arabic: yaḍribu] parables for mankind, and Allah is Knower of all things —65

25:9. See what parables they set forth [Arabic: ḍarabū] for you — they have gone astray, so they cannot find a way.66

25:39. And to each We gave [Arabic: ḍarabnā] examples and each did We destroy with utter destruction.67

26:63. Then We revealed to Moses: March on [Arabic: iḍ’rib] to the sea with your staff. So it parted, and each side was like a huge mound.68

29:43. And these parables, We set them forth [Arabic: naḍribuhā] for people, and none understand them but the learned.69

30:28. He sets forth [Arabic: ḍaraba] to you a parable about yourselves. Do you have, among those whom your right hands possess, partners in what We have given you, so that you are equal in it, you fearing them as you fear each other? a Thus do We make the messages clear for a people who understand.70

30:58. And certainly We have set forth [Arabic: ḍarabnā] for people in this Quran every kind of description. And if you bring them a sign, those who disbelieve would certainly say: You are only deceivers.71

36:13. And set out [Arabic: wa-iḍ’rib] to them a parable of the people of the town, when messengers came to it.72

36:78. And he strikes out [Arabic: waḍaraba] a likeness for Us and forgets his own creation. Says he: Who will give life to the bones, when they are rotten?73

37:93. So he turned upon them, striking [Arabic: ḍarban] with the right hand.74

38:44. And take in your hand [a] few worldly goods and earn goodness [Arabic: fa-iḍ’rib] therewith and do not incline to falsehood. Surely We found him patient; most excellent the servant! Surely he (ever) turned (to Us).75

38:44. And (We commanded him,) `Take in your hand a handful of twigs and strike [Arabic: fa-iḍ’rib] (the riding beast) therewith. And do not ever incline towards falsehood. Indeed, We found him steadfast. An excellent servant was he. He was always turning (towards God) in obedience.76

39:27. And certainly We have set forth [Arabic: ḍarabnā] for people in this Quran examples of every sort that they may be mindful.77

39:29. Allah sets forth [Arabic: ḍaraba] a parable: A man belonging to partners differing with one another, and a man (devoted) wholly to one man. Are the two alike in condition? Praise be to Allah! But most of them do not know.78

43:5. Shall We then turn away [Arabic: afanaḍribu] the Reminder from you altogether because you are a people committing excesses?79

43:17. And when one of them is given news (of the birth) of that the like of which he ascribes [Arabic: ḍaraba] to the Beneficent, his face becomes black and he is full of rage.80

43:57. And when the son of Mary is mentioned [Arabic: ḍuriba] as an example, lo! your people raise a clamour at it.81

43:58. And they say: Are our gods better, or is he? They set it forth [Arabic: ḍarabūhu] to you only by way of disputation. Indeed, they are a contentious people.82

47:3. That is because those who disbelieve follow falsehood, and those who believe follow the Truth from their Lord. Thus does Allah set forth [Arabic: yaḍribu] their descriptions for people.83

47:4. So when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, strike [Arabic: ḍarba] the necks; then, when you have overcome them, make (them) prisoners, and afterwards (set them free) as a favour or for ransom till the war lay down its burdens. That (shall be so). And if Allah please, He would certainly exact retribution from them, but that He may try some of you by means of others. And those who are killed in the way of Allah, He will never allow their deeds to perish.84

47:27. But how will it be when the angels cause them to die, striking [Arabic: yaḍribūna] their faces and their backs?85

57:13. On the day when the hypocrites, men and women, will say to those who believe: Wait for us, that we may borrow from your light. It will be said: Turn back and seek a light. Then a wall, with a door in it, will be raised [Arabic: faḍuriba] between them. Within it shall be mercy, and outside of it punishment.86

59:21. If We had sent down this Quran on a mountain, you would certainly have seen it falling down, splitting apart because of the fear of Allah. And We set forth [Arabic: naḍribuhā] these parables to people that they may reflect.87

66:10. Allah sets forth [Arabic: ḍaraba] an example for those who disbelieve — the wife of Noah and the wife of Lot. They were both under two of Our righteous servants, but they acted treacherously towards them, so they (the husbands) did not avail them at all against (the punishment of ) Allah, and it was said: Enter the Fire with those who enter.88

66:11. And Allah sets forth [Arabic: ḍaraba] an example for those who believe — the wife of Pharaoh, when she said: My Lord, build for me a house with You in the Garden and deliver me from Pharaoh and his work, and deliver me from the wrongdoing people.89

73:20. Your Lord knows indeed that you pass in prayer nearly two-thirds of the night, and (sometimes) half of it, and (sometimes) a third of it, as do a group of those with you. And Allah measures the night and the day. He knows that (all of) you are not able to do it, so He has turned to you (mercifully); so read of the Quran whatever is easy for you. He knows that there are sick among you, and others who travel [Arabic: yaḍribūna] in the land seeking of Allah’s bounty, and others who fight in Allah’s way. So read as much of it as is easy (for you), and keep up prayer and give the due charity and offer to Allah a goodly gift. And whatever of good you send on beforehand for yourselves, you will find it with Allah — that is best and greatest in reward. And ask forgiveness of Allah. Surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.90


NOTE: Many aspects of this chapter have been compiled with the help of online resource: http://corpus.quran.com/

1 Dictionary of The Holy Quran, (c) 2010, Abdul Mannan Omar, p.328-329
3 An-Nissa: ‘Tafheem ul Quran’ by Sayyid Abul A'la Mawdudi (Author), Zafar Ishaq Ansari (Translator)
4 ibid
5 Al-Baqarah: ‘Tafheem ul Quran’ by Sayyid Abul A'la Mawdudi (Author), Zafar Ishaq Ansari (Translator)
6 An-Nissa: ‘Tafheem ul Quran’ by Sayyid Abul A'la Mawdudi (Author), Zafar Ishaq Ansari (Translator)
7 Al-I-Imran: ‘Tafheem ul Quran’ by Sayyid Abul A'la Mawdudi (Author), Zafar Ishaq Ansari (Translator)
8 ‘The Exegesis of the Holy Quran’ as Explained by Nooruddin, Excerpted from footnote to verse 4:34, p. 469.
9 ‘Jami` al-Tirmidhi’ – Chapters on Righteousness And Maintaining Good Relations With Relatives. Link: http://sunnah.com/tirmidhi/27/122
10 Al-Qalam – The Pen: Nooruddin
11 ‘Sunan Abu Dawud’ – Book of Prayer (Kitab Al-Salat): Voluntary Prayers. Link: http://sunnah.com/abudawud/5/93
12 ‘Sunan Ibn Majah’ – The Chapters on Marriage. Link: http://sunnah.com/urn/1263030
13 ‘Shama'il Muhammadiyah’ – Noble Character And Habits Of Sayyidina Rasoolullah. Link: http://sunnah.com/urn/1803300
14 ‘Riyad as-Salihin’ – The Book of Miscellany. Link: http://sunnah.com/riyadussaliheen/1/644
15 An-Nissa: ‘Tafheem ul Quran’ by Sayyid Abul A'la Mawdudi (Author), Zafar Ishaq Ansari (Translator)
16 An-Nur: ‘Tafheem ul Quran’ by Sayyid Abul A'la Mawdudi (Author), Zafar Ishaq Ansari (Translator)
17 ibid
18 ibid
19 Al-Baqarah: ‘Tafheem ul Quran’ by Sayyid Abul A'la Mawdudi (Author), Zafar Ishaq Ansari (Translator)
20 An-Nissa: ‘Tafheem ul Quran’ by Sayyid Abul A'la Mawdudi (Author), Zafar Ishaq Ansari (Translator)
21 Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
22 This is the contractual duty of husbands in marriage keeping in view that women on their part bear with issues unique to their gender, for example, menstruation, pregnancy, labor, postpartum, breast feeding, childcare and home maker, besides nurturing a home and its environment out which the husband is able to undertake his stated obligations outside the home.
23 Despite that Men are the maintainers of women, there is no reciprocity of obliged subjugation of women to their husbands, and rather they are to adhere to laws of Allah in matters of daily living and not of a man, the husband. This nullifies the apparent material advantage of a husband over his wife.
24 Merriam-Webster: 1 a: to indicate duties or obligations to. b: to express warning or disapproval to especially in a gentle, earnest, or solicitous manner. 2: to give friendly earnest advice or encouragement to.
25leave them alone in the beds’ – a temporary separation, for example, to live in a separate room. This also prevents any abuse of the wife that might emerge from the all too common escalating arguments and consequent rage when there is close proximity of the disagreeing parties.
26 Al-Nisa – Women: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
27 Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
28 Al-Nisa – Women: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
29 ibid
30 Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
31 Al-Nisa – Women: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
32 ibid
33 Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
34 ibid
35 Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
36 Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
37 ibid
38 ibid
39 Al`Imran – The Family of Amran: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
40 ibid
41 ibid
42 Al-Nisa – Women: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
43 ibid
44 ibid
45 Al-Maidah – Food: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
46 Al-Araf – The Elevated Places: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
47 Al-Anfal – Voluntary Gifts: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
48 ibid
49 Al-Rad – Thunder: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
50 Ibrahim – Abraham: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
51 ibid
52 ibid
53 Al-Nahl – The Bee: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
54 ibid
55 ibid
56 ibid
57 Bani Israil – The Israelites: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
58 Al-Kahf – The Cave: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
59 Al-Kahf – The Place of Refuge: Nooruddin
60 Al-Kahf – The Cave: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
61 ibid
62 Ta Ha: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
63 Al-Hajj – The Pilgrimage: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
64 Al-Nur – The Light: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
65 ibid
66 Al-Furqan – The Criterion: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
67 ibid
68 Al-Shuara – The Poets: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
69 Al-Ankabut – The Spider: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
70 Al-Rum – The Romans: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
71 ibid
72 Ya Sin: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
73 ibid
74 Al-Saffat – Those Ranging in Ranks: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
75 Sad: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
76 Sad – The Truthful God: Nooruddin
77 Al-Zumar – The Companies: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
78 ibid
79 Zukhruf – Gold: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
80 ibid
81 ibid
82 ibid
83 Muhammad: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
84 ibid
85 ibid
86 Al-Hadid – Iron: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
87 Al-Hashr – The Banishment: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
88 Al-Tahrim – The Prohibition: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
89 ibid
90 Al-Muzzammil – The one covering himself up: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz

Case Study 7: Hijab, the Niqab and the Beard! On the Faces or on the Minds? A Case of Mistaken Identity

Monday, December 14th, 2015
Case Study 7: Hijab, the Niqab and the Beard! On the Faces or on the Minds? A Case of Mistaken Identity

7:26. O Children of Adam! Indeed We have sent down to you a garment which covers your shame [Arabic: sawātikum]…1

While addressing all Children of Adam i.e. both men and women, this verse lays down the basis of any article of dress in Islam, least of which covers your shame. The Quranic injunction for a garment essentially states that all those parts of the body, which, if exposed are a source of individual shame or embarrassment, must be covered. In the light of this fundamental guideline of Quran all wearers of Veil or Hijab under the pretext of Islam, have to ask themselves if exposing their scalp hair, forehead, ears or face is shameful. A universal answer is in the negative, rather on the reverse; all these are a source of one’s identity and dignity. If due to some cultural pressure or misinterpretation of Quran, the face and hair of a woman carry a shame that needs to be covered, then by implication, the faces and scalps of men are equally shameful, which too must be covered by equal standards that are applied on women. Contrary to general assumptions, Quran is liberal enough to allow for a personal choice for one to cover one’s head with Hijab, or the face with a Veil (Niqab) or a Beard.

Parts of the body which need garments to cover public shame are explicitly outlined in Quran and are limited to the private parts of both males and females and female bosoms. By reduction, Quran forbids uncovering of gender differentiating anatomical regions between men and women, which are none but sexual in their function:

23:5-6. And who guard their private parts, Except from their spouses, that is those whom they justly and rightfully own in proper wedlock, in that case they are not to be blamed.2

24:31. And tell the believing women … cover their bosoms…3

Additionally, as we will discuss below, the dress in Quran is not only to cover the nakedness, but also is a source of elegance and modesty, both at home and in public life for both men and women. Both males and females are expected to dress and adorn within limits that eliminates the basis of any unwanted insinuation, attention, ridicule or scandal mongering.

Globalization and the freedom of thought that it provides by breaking cultural boundaries, also gives us individual freedom to choose a dress of our liking. But, it becomes a problem when a given dress is worn and enforced in the name of Islam, for which the Quran gives no basis. The closest case that can be made for a Veil in the name of Islam is that it nurtures chastity. But this kind of chastity preservation is no different than the chastity belt of the Europeans in the dark ages.

The so called ‘Islamic veil’ and the Beard are nothing but a cultural baggage of the old world, mistaken as identity of Islam. No matter how one slices and dices the Quran, metaphorically or literally, there is neither mention of dress articles of Hijab or Veil nor covering of the heads nor the faces of women. But, if pursued in the cultural context, the practice of Veil is essentially perceived to maintain the modesty of women in public while preventing lustful glances of men. Instead of taking men to task, men seem to be given a leeway in their behavior, while putting women to misery. This is a safe deduction, because such women are unveiled in their homes and around their close family members including men. Of note is that in Quran, there is no home bound woman. On the reverse, in Quran, a woman is expected to be immersed in public life, all of which are the obvious deductions in the verses quoted later. At the same time what prevents the reverse lustful glances of females from behind their veils to the men around them?

40:19. He knows the treachery of the eyes even (when they commit sinful acts secretly) and what the hearts conceal.4

For our discussion we will differentiate, where needed, between a Hijab and Veil5. The term Hijab will be used to mean a headscarf that covers the head, part of forehead, the ears and the area around the neck. The Veil is just an extension of Hijab in that it additionally covers the face, and depending upon local culture, may or may not leave the eyes exposed. At times, both Hijab and Veil will be used interchangeably when the discussion is about any dress article that covers the head of the woman.

For the specifics of dress code that is misattributed to Islam, suffice is to read the relevant sections in the book ‘Religion of Islam’6 by Maulana Muhammad Ali that fully expunge face veil from a policy perspective, based upon Quran, Sunnah and Hadith.

The purpose of this chapter is different, which is to refute the underlying themes, both in the thought and culture that create the basis of the Hijab, the Veil and the Beard. Veil and its enforcement are essentially based upon the male chauvinistic tendencies, in which the male ego is guarded more than the modesty of the woman. In turn, women, the half of the population, pay a heavy price for the protection of that male ego, both, in limitation of their role in the society as well as their unwarranted isolation which prevents them from living their lives to the fullest. Both, the eyes and ears are not only anatomical features, but are gateways to the faculty of hearing and seeing that ultimately affect the thinking. Any impediment, both physical and intellectual, of these faculties to grow is factually against Quran:

67:23. Say, `It is He Who has brought you into being and made for you ears (to hear), eyes (to see) and hearts (to understand). Yet little thanks do you give!'7

Hiding, to any degree, of the ears, the eyes or the skin, the presumed acts of piety, is not a source of virtue in Quran. Rather, the intention and righteous behaviors drive one’s virtues:

2:177. It is not righteousness that you turn your faces towards the East and the West [–the outwards acts], but righteous is the one who believes in Allah, and the Last Day, and the angels and the Book and the prophets, and gives away wealth out of love for Him to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the traveller and to those who ask and to set slaves free and keeps up prayer and gives the due charity; and the performers of their promise when they make a promise, and the patient in distress and affliction and in the time of conflict. These are they who are truthful; and these are they who keep their duty.8

Hijab – The term Hijab as used in Quran has the following meanings to it:

Hajaba – To cover, veil, hinder anyone from access, shut out. Hijâb: Veil, curtain, screen; Barrier. Mahjûbûna: Veiled; Shut out; Blind. Hijâb (n.): Barrier. Mahjûbûn (pct. pic. m. plu): Blinds. (L; T; R; LL) The root with its above two forms has been used in the Holy Qur’ân about 8 times.9

Nowhere in Quran is the use of the term Hijab in context of an article of dress. The term Hijab is found in the following verses:

7:46. And between them [–the dwellers of heaven and hell] is a veil [Arabic: ḥijābun]10

17: 45. And when you recite the Qur'ân, We place between you and those who do not believe in the Hereafter, an impregnable screen [Arabic: ḥijāban],11

19:17. so she [–Mary] screened [Arabic: ḥijābun] herself from them.12

33:53. O you who believe, do not enter the houses of the Prophet unless permission is given to you for a meal, not waiting for its cooking to be finished — but when you are invited, enter, and when you have taken food, disperse — not seeking to listen to talk. Surely this gives the Prophet trouble, but he forbears from you, and Allah does not forbear from the truth. And [similarly] when you ask of them [–Prophet’s wife while they are in their homes] any goods, ask of them from behind a curtain [Arabic: ḥijābin]. This is purer for your hearts and their hearts. And it is not fitting for you to give trouble to the Messenger of Allah, nor to marry his wives after him ever. Surely this is grievous in the sight of Allah.13

The verse 33:53 is often quoted to justify Hijab for women. What is missed in the reading of the verse is that it speaks of protecting the privacy of any house hold and upholding of moral and good manners in settings in which a non-family member approaches the woman of the house for borrowing of a favor while the man of the house may not be there. Any transaction thereof may happen without face to face contact as home is a private space and not a public place. It is a burden on the visitor to create the space and barrier from the lady of house and not vice-versa. In the stated verse there is not even a remote reference to a screen or a traditional Hijab to be placed on the face of the lady of the house. Even if for the sake of an argument, no matter how twisted that there is an implied Hijab as a dress code in the verse, then that piece of cloth rather be on the face of the visitor – And when you ask of them any goods, ask of them from behind a curtain.

Additionally, another verse establishes spiritual relationship between wives of the Prophet and the believers – The Prophet is closer to the faithful than their own selves, and his wives are (as) their mothers…(33:6)14. How is it even possible for a mother to hide from her children?

38:32. He [–Solomon] said, `I prefer the love of good things because they make (me) remember (God), my Lord.' And (he remained busy in his devotion and prayer), when these (horses) disappeared (while passing by) behind the veil (of distance) [Arabic: ḥijābi],15

41:5. And they [–who turn away from Quran] say: Our hearts are under coverings from that to which you call us, and there is a deafness in our ears, and there is a veil [Arabic: ḥijābun] between us and you…16

42:51. And it is not granted to a mortal that Allah should speak to him, except by revelation or from behind a veil [Arabic: ḥijābin], or by sending a messenger and revealing by His permission what He pleases. Surely He is High, Wise.17

Veil – As we have seen above that there is no dress article of Hijab in Quran, equally there is no injunction of Veil. By some convoluted logic, Hijab is extrapolated from the term Khimar, which is discussed next.

Khamira/Khamara – To cover over, conceal, veil, hide, ferment. Khamar: Any intoxicating thing; Any fermented drink; Grapes; Anything that clouds or obscure and covers the intellect. It includes all intoxicating substances. It is devil’s work (5:90). It is wrong to say that the moderate use of wine or such things is allowed and that only drinking to excess is prohibited. The Companions of the Holy Prophet never made use of a drop of such things after the prohibition was made known. The Holy Prophet said, A small quantity of anything of which a large quantity is intoxicating is prohibited (Abû Dâûd 25:5). Wine is also called Khamar because it covers or obscures or affects the intellect or the senses, or because it agitates and excites the brain so as to make it lose its power of control. Khumur plu. of (Khimâr): Head cover, scarf, covering and specially a woman’s head veil, screen. Khamar (n.): Any intoxicating thing. Khumur (n. plu. of Khimâr): Head cover; Scarf; Covering and specially a woman’s head veil; Screen. (L; T; R; LL) The root with its above two forms has been used in the Holy Qur’ân about 7 times.18

In Quran, closest the term Khimar, which is confused with Hijab, refers to is the prevalent custom of headscarf in Arabs. Nowhere does Quran ordain to shroud one’s head with Khimar, the scarf or to befuddle it with Khamar – the intoxicant. Rather, Quran wants one to be clear headed, both literally and metaphorically:

45:23. Have you considered the case of him who has taken his own low desires for his god and whom Allâh has forsaken and adjudged as lost on the basis of (His infinite) knowledge, and whose ears and heart He has sealed and whose eyes He has covered with a veil? Who then will guide him after Allâh (has condemned him for his being given to evil ways)? Will you then pay no heed?19

Said terms do not ordain any covering, literal or metaphorical, for head or brain, male or female:

2:219. They ask you about intoxicants [Arabic: khumurihinna]20

5:90. O you who believe, intoxicants [Arabic: khamru]21

5:91. The devil desires only to create enmity and hatred among you by means of intoxicants [Arabic: khamri]22

12:36. And two youths entered the prison with him. One of them said: I saw myself pressing wine [Arabic: khamran]23

12:41. My two fellow-prisoners, as for one of you, he will serve wine [Arabic: khamran]24

24:31. And say to the believing women that they lower their gaze and restrain their sexual passions and do not display their adornment except what appears of it. And they should wear their [i.e. their existing] head-coverings [Arabic: khumurihinna] over their bosoms…25 – Before Islam women used to appear in public with their breasts partly uncovered. The khimar (pl. khumr) means a head-covering, and women were thus required to cover their breasts with a part of their head-covering.26

47:15. (Here is) a description of the Garden promised to those who guard against evil. Therein are streams of water (which is) unstaling, and streams of milk the taste and flavour of which does not change, and streams of juice extracted from grapes [Arabic: khamrin]…27

The tenets of the head coverings for women are only to be found in Judaism and Christianity. Jewish women cover their heads when visiting synagogues and scarf is part of regular dress of a nun. Fact is that the authority for covering a woman’s head is found in New Testament, not Quran, which symbolizes degradation of a woman below a man:

1 Corinthians 11:7–10. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. For man is not from woman, but woman from man. Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man. For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.28

Beard – “…hadiths are quoted to justify the most extremes of behaviour. And the Prophet’s own appearance, his beard and cloths, have been turned into a fetish: so now it is not just obligatory for a ‘good Muslim’ to have a beard, but its length and shape must also conform to dictates! The Prophet has been reduced to signs and symbols – the spirit of his behaviour, the moral and ethical dimensions of his actions, his humility and compassion, the general principles he advocated have all been subsumed by the logic of absurd reduction.”29

Besides Veil, facial hair/beard and headwear also are becoming symbols of a Muslim. It is ironic that outward appearance is now regarded as the gateway to Islam. It is a sorry state that hereditary Islam has fallen into the same category where it can be identified by its dress or appearance just like a catholic priest or a rabbi. On the contrary, Islam stresses morality of intentions, behaviors and actions. Instead of following the principles of a dress code, a specific dress article or grooming has itself become the principle. It is a classic example of maintaining the outward shell of a religion while killing its soul that we find frequently mentioned in Quran in which extensive examples explain the decay that set in the Islam of the Israelites.

Beard is an outcome of not shaving. Quran has nothing to do with the personal choice to shave or not. Little does a Mullah know that the injunction not to shave is not in Quran but in Torah:

Leviticus 21:5 ‘They shall not make any bald place on their heads, nor shall they shave the edges of their beards nor make any cuttings in their flesh.30

The only reference in Quran for a beard is essentially of ridicule when Moses on his return from the Mount Sinai found the Israelites worshipping the cow effigy and he in a rage held his brother, Aaron, by his beard:

20:94. (Aaron) said, `O son of my mother! [–Moses] do not hold me by my beard nor (pull me) by my head. (If I was not strict to them it was because) I was afraid lest you should say, "You have caused a disruption among the Children of Israel and did not preserve my word".'31

While there is no authority in Quran for headwear or the beard, one finds references in Old Testament, for grooming standards and cultural values that they engender:

Leviticus 19:27. You shall not shave around the sides of your head, nor shall you disfigure the edges of your beard.32

Jeremiah 14:3-4. Their nobles have sent their lads for water; They went to the cisterns and found no water. They returned with their vessels empty; They were ashamed and confounded And covered their heads. Because the ground is parched, For there was no rain in the land, The plowmen were ashamed; They covered their heads.33

Ezekiel 44:20. They shall neither shave their heads nor let their hair grow long, but they shall keep their hair well trimmed.34

2 Samuel 10:4. Therefore Hanun took David’s servants, shaved off half of their beards, cut off their garments in the middle, at their buttocks, and sent them away.35

1 Samuel 21:13. So he changed his behavior before them, pretended madness in their hands, scratched on the doors of the gate, and let his saliva fall down on his beard.36

Enforcement of the Hijab, the Veil or the Beard in the name of Islam is essentially a fanciful conjecture. And, we know that Quran abhors such fancies in the matters of faith:

5:77. Say, `O People of the Scripture! do not exaggerate in (the matter of) your religion falsely and unjustly, nor follow the fancies of a people who had gone astray before (you) and had led many astray, and (now again) who have strayed away from the right path.37

The requirements of Hijab, Veil and Beard as articles of faith are extra-Quranic fatwas of Mullahs. This is where the lines are blurred between a Mullah, a Priest and a Rabbi. To the Mullah, Quran admonishes against attributing to it any cultural inventions, including the infamous face veil and home bound women etc., all of which invariably are restrictions on women alone:

7:33. …and (He forbids you also) to associate with Allâh that for which He has sent down no authority, and to say concerning Allâh that which you do not know (that it is in fact said by Him).’38

Quran ridicules the blind followers of such dogma pushers and all those who take such edicts at par with word of God:

They take their doctors of law and their monks for lords besides Allah (9:31).39 – This does not mean that they took them actually for gods; the meaning is that they followed them blindly in what they enjoined and what they forbade, attaching to them a Divine dignity. Muslims who accord a similar position to their ulama, spiritual leaders or saints are guilty of the same error.40

Those doctors of law who invent nonsense in the name of a religion and attribute it to Allah, Quran banes them in plain language:

2:79. Woe, then, to those who write the Book with their hands then say, this is from Allah; so that they may take for it a small price. So woe to them for what their hands write and woe to them for what they earn.41

Fact is that when the dogma mongers are confronted with authority from Quran negating their arguments for a Hijab, the Veil and a Beard, invariably it invokes their anger. No too surprisingly Quran also states the same about their reaction:

22:71-72. And they serve besides Allah that for which He has not sent any authority, and of which they have no knowledge. And for the unjust there is no helper. And when Our clear messages are recited to them, you will notice a denial on the faces of those who disbelieve — they almost attack those who recite to them Our messages. Say: Shall I inform you of what is worse than his? The Fire. Allah has promised it to those who disbelieve. And evil is the destination.42

Chasity is the goal and the Dress only one of its means – If Islam stands for modesty and chastity then for sure it also stands against ‘chastity belts’ and Masquerade Balls. The former is forced chastity, with or without intention of chastity of those that it is enforced upon. The latter can be non-chastity of intent under a veil. Veil, voluntary or enforced, which isolates a person from social life, is a concrete attempt in a ‘mobile’ monasticism:

57:27. …And We placed compassion and mercy in the hearts of those who followed him [– Jesus], but as for monasticism they invented it themselves, We did not enjoin it upon them…43

In the stated verse, Quran clearly implies that it is a misconception that monasticism and self-renouncement leads to God. Veil and Hijab are a case in point. At least this verse rejects isolationism in the name of Islam. If the purpose of a veil is to promote chastity, then instead of a silly veil, Quran mandates chastity of thoughts and actions, one hidden, other open for both men and women:

6:151. Say, `Come, I will rehearse to you what your Lord has made binding on you; [i] it is that you shall associate not anything as partner with Him, [ii] and that you shall be good to parents, [iii] and that you waste not your children because of poverty. It is We Who make provisions for you as well for them too. [iv] (Allâh has also enjoined upon you that you) approach not indecencies, whether open or hidden, [v] and that you kill no soul which Allâh has made sacred, except in the cause of justice.' This has He enjoined you with, so that you may (learn to) abstain (from evil).44

7:33. Say, `Verily, My Lord has forbidden all (acts of) indecency, open and hidden, and every (kind of) sin and aggression, which is never justifiable;…45

After establishing the above parameters, open and hidden, of thought and action as prerequisites for decency, Quran admonishes against attributing to it any dogmas, including the Hijab or the Veil or the Beard:

7:33. …and (He forbids you also) to associate with Allâh that for which He has sent down no authority, and to say concerning Allâh that which you do not know (that it is in fact said by Him).’ 46

In its commands, Quran also mandates that while enforcing its injunction for decency in the society (He forbids you also) to associate with Allâh that for which He has sent down no authority, and to say concerning Allâh that which you do not know (that it is in fact said by Him). Hijab, Veil and Beard, find no authority in Quran.

One of the purposes of Quran is to promote collective social (Public) health so that morality and decency in the society is nurtured. Such attributes can emanate from voluntary rejection of unchaste intentions and behaviors and not from enforcement of chastity belts, nor from the Veil. Quran lays out the law of moral purity based upon intention to be pure:

24:21. O you who believe! do not follow the footsteps of satan. He that follows the footsteps of satan (should remember that) he (- satan) surely enjoins immorality and indecency. But for the grace of Allâh and His mercy (that rests) upon you, not one of you would ever have been pure, but Allâh purifies him who wishes (to be purified). And Allâh is All-Hearing, All- Knowing. 47

Besides explaining the relationship of the type of person and the corresponding deeds, Quran declares that good and bad are consequences of personal choices. Quran in its arguments creates intellectual space in the society for virtuous people by outlining the psycho-social principle governing their virtuous behaviors and vice versa:

24:26. The evil and impure deeds are (a characteristic) of impure people and the bad and impure people are (inclined) towards the bad and impure deeds. Similarly good and pure deeds are (a characteristic) of good and pure people and the good and pure people are (inclined) towards good and pure deeds. It is they (- the good and pure) who are innocent of all that they (- the accusers) may allege (about them). There awaits them protection and an honourable and generous provision.48

In promoting chastity in the society, Quran first focuses on the means of individual chastity for which, among other reasons, it enjoins recitation and meditation on Quran while observing the prayers:

29:45. Recite (preach, follow and meditate on) that which has been revealed to you of the Book (– the Qur'ân) and observe Prayer. Verily, Prayer restrains (the observer) from indecency and abominable things and loathsome deeds and from all that runs counter to reason and moral sense. Yet of all, the greatest thing is that Allâh will remember you and help you rise to eminence. And Allâh knows all that you do.49

Chastity can only be nurtured with chaste intentions and chaste environment. It has its roots in individual modesty. In order to prevent indecency, open and hidden, while expecting each gender to participate in public life, Quran addresses both men and women:

24:30. Tell the believers to restrain their looks (in the presence of women not closely related to them and so lawful for marriage) and guard their chastity. That is purer and best for them. Surely, Allâh is Well-Aware of what they do.

24:31. And tell the believing women to restrain their looks (also in the presence of men who are not near of kin and so lawful for marriage) and guard their chastity …50

While ensuring gender equality in public life, Quran prescribes a certain mode of dress for women, which in turn ensures their gender neutrality outside of home. The above verse continues:

24:31. … and not to disclose their (natural and make-up) beauty except such as cannot be helped (and is apparent) [as governed by the local customs and need of the hour e.g. in presence of a physician or in contemporary security checks] and draw their head coverings [that is still part of regular dress in certain cultures, and thus use it to] cover their bosoms [to avoid any sensuality that may be perceived. Note – head covering itself is not a must as it is more cultural than religious. The main purpose is to avoid low neck lines], and they should not display their beauty [of their figure] save to their husbands or to their fathers or to their fathers- in-law or to their own sons or to the sons of their husbands or to their own brothers, or to the sons of their brothers or to the sons of their sisters or their women (who are their decent companions) or to their bondsmen or to such of their male attendants as have no sexual appetite or to such young children as have yet no knowledge of the frailties of women. And let them not strike (the ground with) their feet so that which they (must) hide of their beauty or adornment [and to possibly avoid unnecessary attention to the jingle of their jewelry that is culturally worn around ankles]) may become known. And (O believers!) turn to Allâh; one and all, that you may attain (true happiness and) your ultimate goal. 51

The verse 24:31 gives a broad leeway taking into consideration the local customs which can change with time or need of the hour, e.g. in medical or security checks. Men and women are expected to lower their gaze viz-a-viz each other. If there are interposing veils between them, then the injunction to lower the gaze become superfluous. Lowering of gaze by itself implies that there is no veil between them. In the hadith of Asma,52 elder sister of Aisha – the prophet’s wife, who once wore a thin dress while visiting Aisha, the Prophet turned his face away, not lowered his gaze alone, points to necessity of dress to cover the nakedness of the body, else lowering the gaze would had sufficed for the prophet. The above verse essentially neutralizes the unintended sexual energy between genders. Besides the outward decorum, women are told to keep their voice firm; else they might be perceived weak and taken advantage of:

33:32. O wives of the Prophet [as model of character for others]! you are like no other women, if you would guard against evil, so be not soft in speech lest he who carries a disease in his heart should feel tempted, and you should speak decent words in a dignified tone.53

In the verses quoted so far there is an implicit public life for women which outline their behavior outside their homes. The following verse makes their public role even more explicit:

4:32. And do not covet the favours which Allâh has bestowed on some of you to excel others. Men shall have the share of the fruit of their labour, and for women is the share of the fruit of their labour. You had better seek from Allâh His bounty. Verily, Allâh has perfect knowledge of all things.54

In the verse 4:32 it is plainly clear that opportunity for labour and returns from labour for both men and women are at par without any distinction, though women may choose not to work, because:

4:34. Men are the maintainers of women, with what Allah has given some of them above others and with what they spend out of their wealth… 55

In Quran, chastity is a super-set of virginity. The best public policy for preserving the chastity is the institution of marriage, which is repeatedly emphasized in Quran as a societal duty, and is obvious in the following verses as well:

24:32. Arrange marriages for those of you who are single and for your male and female slaves as are deserving and fit (to lead a married life). If they are poor Allâh will grant them means out of His bounty; Bountiful is Allâh, All-Knowing.56

24:33. And those who find no (means of) marriage should (exercise restraint and) keep themselves chaste until Allâh grants them means (to marry) out of His grace and bounty. (There is another commandment,) as for those of your bondsmen (or women) as ask for a written contract (of freedom for themselves on payment of ransom), write this (deed of manumission for them) provided you find good capabilities in them and give them out of Allâh's wealth which He has given you. (Another commandment for you is that,) with a mind to gain (by this unrighteous means) the benefits of the present life do not constrain your slave-girls to unchaste life (by keeping them unmarried) when they desire (to marry) to preserve their virtue. But if anybody forces them (to abstain from marrying and to become unchaste) they will find, after they are forced, that God is Most Forgiving, Ever Merciful.57

In the verses 24:32-33, even slaves, males and females, are to be married. However, it is a separate topic as to how effectively Quran abolished slavery within one generation after advent of Islam, without resorting to civil wars that United States endured.

Quran acknowledges the spectrum of chaste and unchaste tendencies in a society. There will always be a segment in the society that will deliberately draw attention towards itself and in the process provoke harassment, no matter how much uncalled for. Thus to prevent the harassment of chaste women outside their homes Quran gives a remedy:

33:59. Prophet! tell your wives, your daughters and women of the believers that (while going out of their houses) they should draw lower upon them the portions of their (loose) outer coverings from over their heads on to their bosoms (so as to veil therewith the arms, the neck, the hair and ornaments worn over them). This practice is more likely to help them to be distinguished (from other women who make a display of their beauty and ornamentation) and so saves them from trouble. Allâh is Great Protector, Ever Merciful.58

In the stated verse, there is no mention of head coverings as mistakenly assumed in general understanding and practice. It only focuses on outer coverings to be drawn over the clothes that otherwise might have been revealing of form and figure of the body. Said verse also has historical context for women living in a hostile environment, where their appearance, stance and gait are scrutinized and can they be sexually taunted or harassed, and if not, then at least gawked at. When early Muslims were in exile in Medina, the local poets from opposing tribes are on the record for their compositions of sensual ridicule of Muslim women. One such poet, Ka'ab bin Ashraf, using his poetry even instigated the Battle of Uhad in which Makkans attacked Medina in the third year of migration.  As to how far Ka'ab went in his personal attacks against Muslim women can be deduced by the following verses that he composed in which he sexually insulted Lubaba – Umm al-Fadl bint al-Harith. Of note is that Lubaba is the second woman to embrace Islam after her friend Khadija (Prophet’s first wife), and twenty years before her husband Abbas (Prophet’s uncle) became a Muslim. It is she who came to the defense of Abu-Rafi, Abbas’s freed Muslim slave, who was overjoyed by news of victory of Badr for which he was being tortured by Abu-Lahab (Prophet’s uncle and brother of Abbas), she split open Abu-Lahab’s scalp with a strike, who then died a week later of unrelated causes.59 Ka'ab wrote:

Are you off without stopping in the valley
and leaving Umm Fadl in Mecca?

Out would come what she bought from the pedlar,
her bottles, henna and hair-dye.

What lies between elbow and ankle is in motion
when she tries to stand up and does not.

Like Umm Hakim when she was with us,
the bond between us strong and unbreakable.

She is the one Amirite [-her tribe] who bewitches my heart,
and if she wished, she could cure my sickness.

The glory of women and of a people is their father,
a people held in honour, true to their oath.

Never did I see the sun rise at night till I saw her
display herself to us in the darkness of the night!60

The verse 33:59 continues into the next where sexual harassment of women is mentioned:

33:60. If the hypocrites, those who carry a disease in their hearts and the scandal-mongers (who circulate false rumours to cause agitation) in the city, do not give over (their evil designs and stop their activities), We shall (one day) make you exercise authority over them, then they will not dwell long in this (city) with you (as your neighbours).61

Nowhere in Quran is there an injunction to enforce Veil as a dress code; rather it mentions only the guidelines for modesty. How can one enforce such a specific code in a secular work environment or on non-Muslims? Appropriate clothing is integral to modesty:

7:26. O Children of Adam! We have given you a raiment that covers your nakedness and is a source of (your) elegance and protection. Yet the raiment that guards against evils, that is the best (of robes). That is one of the commandments of Allâh so that they may attain eminence.62

As far as chastity is concerned, it is in intentions and actions, which is the raiment that guards against evils, that is the best (of robes). While elucidating modesty and dignity for both men and women, Qur’ân actually mandates that both genders pay attention to their elegance:

7:31. O Children of Adam! look to your elegance (by dressing properly) at every time and place of worship, and eat and drink but exceed not the bounds, for He does not love those who exceed the bounds.63

Thus, the whole mankind is addressed in Quran when it states to look to your elegance (by dressing properly) at every time and…eat and drink but exceed not the bounds in either liberalism or conservatism of dress because He does not love those who exceed the bounds. While enforcing dress code at times Muslim societies get carried away beyond reason into conservatism that Quran abhors and on the reverse encourages the society to adorn itself and to be elegant:

7: 32. SAY, ‘Who has made unlawful Allâh’s beautiful things of adornment and elegance which He has produced for His servants and the delicious and pure things of (His) providing?’ Say, ‘They are primarily meant for the believers (and for the disbelievers too) in this present life (but) exclusively for (the believers) on the Day of Resurrection [in a metaphorical sense].’ In this way do We explain the Messages for a people who would know. 64

Thus, who has made unlawful Allâh’s beautiful things of adornment and elegance which He has produced for women that the veil, Niqab, tries to prevent? At least from women’s point of view, it would be a fallacy that the world is for men only and to overcome their fetish and guilt to gawk at women, men have to force women to wear Niqab. Instead of veil, Quran states in the verse, requoted:

7:33. Say, `Verily, My Lord has forbidden all (acts of) indecency, open and hidden, and every (kind of) sin and aggression, which is never justifiable; and (He forbids you also) to associate with Allâh that for which He has sent down no authority, and to say concerning Allâh that which you do not know (that it is in fact said by Him).’ 65

Say, `Verily, My Lord has forbidden all (acts of) indecency, open and hidden, and every (kind of) sin irrespective of Niqab, and aggression, which is never justifiable to enforce Niqab. Niqab being a point and case where (He forbids you also) to associate with Allâh that for which He has sent down no authority, and to say concerning Allâh that which you do not know (that it is in fact said by Him).’

Preserving privacy, which is also integral to chastity, Quran lays out the following guidelines:

24:27. O you who believe! do not enter houses other than your own unless you have obtained willing permission and (mind!) you should greet the inmates of these (houses). That is better for you. You have been given this commandment that you may be heedful.

24:28. But if you find nobody in them do not enter therein, unless you have got (from the owners or the rightful care-taker previous) permission. And go back if you are told to go back, that would be pure and best for you. Indeed, Allâh is Well-Aware of all that you do.

24:29. It is no sin on your part to enter (freely) non-residential houses wherein your goods are lying [–places of business]. And Allâh knows all that you profess and all that you conceal.66

Privacy even within the family environment is to be respected:

24:58. O you who believe! it is binding on those whom your right hands possess (domestic servants) and those (of your children) who have not reached the age of puberty to ask your permission (before coming into your private rooms) in three instances, before the morning Prayer, and when you lay aside your clothes due to the heat (in summer) at noon and after the night Prayer. These are three times when your privacy should be respected. At other times no blame shall lie on you or on them (if they come to you without permission), for they have to move about (waiting upon you) some of you (attending) upon others (according to need). That is how Allâh explains to you His commandments, for Allâh is All-Knowing, All-Wise.

24:59. When the children among you reach the age of puberty they (too) should seek permission (to come to your rooms) just as those (elderly people mentioned) before them do. That is how Allâh explains to you His commandments and Allâh is All-Knowing, All-Wise.

24:60. And (as to the elderly spinsters who are past child-bearing age and) who do not hope for sexual intercourse, it is no offence for them to lay aside their outer garments provided they do not do it to display their beauty. But if they abstain (even from that) it is much better for them. Indeed Allâh is All-Hearing, All- Knowing.67

Thus, Quran not only gives the definition of modesty, it also outlines methods and public policy to enhance it. No dress code in Quran limits, rather encourages, each gender to be fully immersed in a productive public life. In can be safely deduced that the emphasis of Islam is to create a society in which each adult is connected with ties and perceives others through outcomes of a marriage, in which each adult male or female, barring a few exceptions, is married, and each person carries a relationship of belonging to a family as either a husband, a wife, a mother, a father, a son, a daughter, a sister or a brother. No one is alone to be left as a target of harassment by others. A woman in Islam carries a dignified and loving existence as a wife, a mother, a daughter and a sister.

With the discussion so far, we revisit one of the verses quoted earlier:

7:26. O Children of Adam! We have given you a raiment that covers your nakedness and is a source of (your) elegance and protection. Yet the raiment that guards against evils, that is the best (of robes). That is one of the commandments of Allâh so that they may attain eminence.68

Clearly, Quran defines basic standards for a dress – raiment that covers your nakedness; the purpose of dress which is to be – a source of (your) elegance and protection, both from the weather and any unwanted attention; goal of a dress – so that they may attain eminence.

Face veil defies the requirements of a dress in verse 7:26 i.e. it neither covers the nakedness nor is a source of elegance; yet in present times is a source of scrutiny for security purposes, thus denying any protection, except possibly against sunburn.  The Veil has yet to provide eminence in the work place, because it is a barrier to work in the first place.

The topic of the Veil once invoked the humor of Akbar Allahabadi (d. 1921), an Urdu poet from India:

Bay pardah nazzar aayeen joe chund bebe-yaan
Sighting of unveiled women

Akbar zameen mein ghayrat-e-quomi say garh gay-aa
Induced a chauvinistic guilt in Akbar (-the poet)

Poo-cha joe oun say aap kah pardah woh kaya hua
When I asked – what happened to your veil?

Keh-nein lugeen keh uqqal pay murd-oon key parh gay-aa
Women retorted, it’s now veiling the minds of the men

One cannot but agree with the response of the women. It is men, who mostly create, dictate and enforce dogmas. Veil is one of such dogmas. It can be safely extrapolated that Islam is nowhere to be found in a Hijab or a Veil or a Beard, though all three could be found in Islam of some cultures.


Note: There are many interwoven ideas drawn from ‘The Exegesis of the Holy Quran’ as Explained by Nooruddin, but could not be quoted due to their diffuse nature.
1 Al-Araf – The Elevated Places: Sayyid Abul A'la Mawdudi (Author), Zafar Ishaq Ansari (Translator)

2 Al-Muminun – The Believers: Nooruddin
3 Al-Nur – The Light: Nooruddin
4 Ghafir – Granter of Protection: Nooruddin
5 What's the difference between a hijab, niqab and burka? Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/24118241
6 ‘Religion of Islam’ by Maulana Muhammad Ali – Chapter 6: Marriage – Veil, Decent Dress; Chapter 10: General Regulations – Clothing.
7 Al-Mulk – The Supreme Power: Nooruddin
8 Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
9 Dictionary of The Holy Quran, (c) 2010, Abdul Mannan Omar, p. 113
10 Al-Araf – The Elevated Places: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
11 Isra – The Night-Journey: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
12 Maryam – Mary: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
13 Al-Ahzab – The Allies: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
14 ibid
15 Sad – The Truthful God: Nooruddin
16 Ha Mim, also called Fussilat: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
17 Al-Shura – Counsel: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
18 Dictionary of The Holy Quran, (c) 2010, Abdul Mannan Omar, p. 166
19 Al-Jathiyah – The Fallen on the Knees: Nooruddin
20 Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
21 Al-Maidah – Food: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
22 ibid
23 Yusuf – Joseph: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
24 ibid
25 Al-Nur – The Light: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
26 Footnote c (31-2) of verse 24:31 – Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
27 Muhammad – Muhammad: Nooruddin
29 RETHINKING ISLAM by Ziauddin Sardar, Professor of Postcolonial Studies, London, The Dawn, No. 7, 2002, p. 7-8, Surname. Link pdf: http://aaiil.org/suriname/dawn/2002_02.pdf
31 Ta Ha – Perfect Man! be at Rest: Nooruddin
37 Al-Maidah – Perfect Man! be at Rest: Nooruddin
38 Al-Araf – The Elevated Places: Nooruddin
39 Al-Bara’at – Immunity: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
40 Footnote c (31) of verse 9:31 – Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
41 Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
42 Al-Hajj – The Pilgrimage: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
43 Al-Hadid – The Iron: Nooruddin
44 Al-Anam – The Cattle: Nooruddin
45 Al-Araf – The Elevated Places: Nooruddin
46 ibid
47 Al-Nur – The Light: Nooruddin
48 ibid
49 Al-Ankabut – The Spider: Nooruddin
50 Al-Nur – The Light: Nooruddin
51 ibid
52 Narrated Aisha (the Prophet's wife): Asma, daughter of Abu Bakr, entered upon the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) wearing thin clothes. The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) turned his attention from her. He said: 'O Asma, when a woman reaches the age of menstruation, it does not suit her that she displays her parts of body except this and this, and he pointed to her face and hands. Abu Dawud, Book 32, Number 4092
53 Al-Ahzab – The Allies: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
54 Al-Nisa – The Women: Nooruddin
55 ibid
56 Al-Nur – The Light: Nooruddin
57 ibid
58 Al-Ahzab – The Allies: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
61 Al-Ahzab – The Allies: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
62 Al-Araf – The Elevated Places: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
63 ibid
64 ibid
65 ibid
66 Al-Nur – The Light: Nooruddin
67 ibid
68 Al-Araf – The Elevated Places: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz

Flame, Fire, Shooting Star – or Shooting Down of the Nonsense with Quran?

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

Flame, Fire, Shooting Star – or Shooting Down of the Nonsense with Quran?

Shooting stars in the night sky, also known as meteors, are a common experience. A myth prevails among Muslims that shooting stars occur when the angels shoot flames to chase away the Jinn, the Satan, when he tries to sneak into the heavens to listen into the whisperings of the angels and when he tries to steal secrets from the heavens. Such beliefs, though extra-Quranic, are somehow extrapolated from the various verses of the Quran. Barring a few, the exegeses of the verses referring to the shooting stars are preposterous, for example:

Before the prophethood of Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam), the Jinn used to eavesdrop freely without being expelled from the upper terrestrial realms. They would listen to the discussions of the angels and learn about future events. They would return to the World and reveal this information to fortune tellers. When the future events transpired as foretold by the fortune tellers, they [–the people] would believe that the fortune tellers possessed knowledge of the unseen, thus, they were deceived by the fortune tellers.

However, when Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) was sent to the World, the Jinn were barred from entering all the upper terrestrial realms and the flaming stars increased to an extent that it filled the terrestrial spheres, therefore, they could no more eavesdrop on the conversations of the angels. Whenever any Jinn would try to eavesdrop, it was pursued and struck by a flaming/shooting star which never missed its target.1

Such mythical interpretations provide fodder for the critics of Quran. One such critic uses the shooting star verses to disparage Quran. Instead of rebutting nonsense such as these myths it would be prudent to respond to the critic. In answering the critic, we shall put forth arguments from within Quran that will simultaneously remove the basis of the sarcasm of the critic and expunge the twaddle of an apologetic myth. The critic writes:

In order for a book to demonstrate a divine origin, it must possess the attributes that accompany such a claim. For example, it must refrain from making statements that are outlandish and indicative of an author who was a simply a product of his times, and who shared in the common superstitions, mythology, and misconceptions that afflict humans unaided by supernatural agency.

With this in mind, examine the Quran of the Muslim religion. The Quran makes several statements regarding heavenly “lamps” and their relationship to “devils.”

And verily in the heaven We have set mansions of the stars, and We have beautified it for beholders. And We have guarded it from every outcast devil, save him who stealeth the hearing, and them doth a clear flame pursue (Surah 15:16-18, emp. added).

Lo! We have adorned the lowest heaven with an ornament, the planets; with security from every forward devil. They cannot listen to the Highest Chiefs for they are pelted from every side, outcast, and theirs is a perpetual torment; save him who snatcheth a fragment, and there pursueth him a piercing flame (Surah37:6-10, emp. added).

And (the Jinn who had listened to the Quran said): We had sought the heaven but had found it filled with strong warders and meteors. And we used to sit on places (high) therein to listen. But he who listened now findeth a flame in wait for him (Surah 72:8-9, emp. added).

And verily We have beautified the world’s heaven with lamps, and We have made them missiles for the devils, and for them We have prepared the doom of flame(Surah 67:5, emp. added).

The reader is given the distinct impression that Allah uses shooting stars, or meteors, as missiles to drive evil spirits or demons away from heaven (to prevent them from listening to heavenly conversations) and to torment them. Such language cannot be dismissed as merely figurative, poetic, or phenomenal. Of course, Muslim apologists recognize the absurdity of the idea of physical objects being hurled at spiritual beings, so they offer an alternative explanation. They claim the verses in question refer to soothsayers and astrologers who seek signs from the stars, but who become frightened by meteorological phenomena (see Pickthall, n.d., pp. 408,417). We leave the reader to judge whether this interpretation accounts adequately for the wording of the quranic text.

REFERENCES: Pickthall, Mohammed M. (n.d.), The Meaning of the Glorious Koran (New York: Mentor).2

Before we discuss the Quran, it is critical to trace the source of the myth of devil sneaking into heaven. We find that source in the apology of Justin Martyr3, the early second century Christian apologist. Justin Martyr was forced to admit that the so-called Christian rites had existed among the pagans, centuries before Jesus. Justin was asked by the Emperor of Rome to explain why he, the Emperor, should embrace Christianity and give up his ancestral faith if the various articles of Emperor’s own faith in the Mithraic Dispensation were the same as those in the new cult called after the name of Christ. Mithra, the Emperor thought, was the origin of Christ. Justin could not deny the Emperor’s contravention and tried to explain it away:

“And when we say also that the Word, who is the first-birth of God, was produced without sexual union, and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter. [First Apology of Justin, Chap. XXI – Analogies to the History of the Christ.4]

5Justin’s explanation, however, is very interesting, as we read in his Apologia. He said that for centuries before, Satan went into the higher regions in heaven and overheard angels rejoicing over the appearance of Jesus Christ in the days to come. Satan thus came to be acquainted with all the features of the story of the coming Christ, and he, being the arch-enemy of truth, tried, therefore, to confound it with falsehood. With this foretold knowledge of coming of Christ, the Satan then visited numerous countries, from Persia to England, and all those that surrounded the birthplace of Jesus, and introduced cults each of which had the same story of its god as is now told of Jesus by the Church.

Official Christianity has been found to emanate from the cult of Mithraism, and not from the religion of Jesus. Paying attention to Christian doctrine would be an insult to intelligence. The Christians themselves have realized that the Church story of Christianity, from beginning to end, was only a faithful reproduction of the stories of several pagan gods. The original narrative of Jesus was purposely lost sight of by the Early Church Fathers, who portrayed the Lord of Christianity purely from the pagan point of view. They depicted him as the last of the generation of Pagan Christs – Nimrod/Baal, Heru Sa Aset and Bast – twins born of Aset i.e. Isis, Mithras, Horus, Attis, Dionysus the son of Zeus, Siris (Egypt), Adonis (Syria), Tammuz (Babylon), Hercules, Perseus, Helios, Bacchus, Apollo, Jupiter, Hermes, Orpheus, Sol Invictus – (The “Unconquered Sun”). Barring a few, all of these gods were reported to have been born of a Virgin on Christmas night. They all came in their respective periods of history, to redeem the condemned human race by their blood, and willingly went to the Cross or were killed on the Friday afternoon immediately preceding Easter Sunday. It has also been established that all these pagan gods were buried and remained for two days in the grave; they rose again on the Easter Sunday morning and ascended to heaven afterwards, with a promise of a second coming in the latter days; and that the pagans used to participate in meals on Sunday in commemoration of their crucified god, believing that they ate his blood and flesh.

Justin Martyr had to invent the reason behind the prevailing customs, rituals and beliefs of the pagans of the time by attributing it to the “advance planning” by the Devil:

“The devils, accordingly, when they heard these prophetic words, said that Bacchus was the son of Jupiter, and gave out that he was the discoverer of the vine, and they number wine among his mysteries; and they taught that, having been torn in pieces, he ascended into heaven.” [First Apology of Justin, Chapter LIV – Origin of heathen mythology.6]

“And the devils, indeed, having heard this washing published by the prophet, instigated those who enter their temples, and are about to approach them with libations and burnt-offerings, also to sprinkle themselves; and they cause them [the pagans] also to wash themselves entirely, as they depart [from the sacrifice], before they enter into the shrines in which their images are set.” [First Apology of Justin, Chapter LXII.—Its imitation by demons.7]

Though the ingenious story by Justin could not convince the Emperor, it nevertheless explained the difficulties attaching to the new faith to its followers. A century later Christianity was accepted as the truth by Constantine for purely political reasons, and he then made it even worse.

In summary, the nonsensical belief that God and his angels only live in the heavens, where the devil tries to sneak into, is purely a Christian dogma to circumvent the simple question as to why Christianity is the same as old Pagan religions. Justin Martyr concocted that centuries before Christ or the pagan religions got established on the earth, the devil in one of his sneaking into heavens was able to overhear angels discussing the future coming of Christ. On his return to earth, the devil developed pagan religions ahead of time of coming of Christ. The practices of these pagan religions were the same as those of the Christianity of the future when it would arrive after the advent of Jesus. Hence, when Christianity arrived, the pagans were only practicing its rituals ahead of time and ordinary people are left with the question of why Christianity is following pagans, whereas, according to Justin Martyr, the former are following the latter, but only ahead of time.

The myth of devil sneaking into heavens is a Christian apology that has crept into Muslim thought as well. The Justinian apology is then read as explanation of certain verses of Quran, whereas the message of Quran is poles apart from such nonsense. Contrary to the myth, there is no division of God’s ‘world’ into the earth and heavens; it is all one master plan, of which earth is a small part. God of Quran does not live in a heaven, while the earth is left without His presence, the attributes of a physically limited God.

In the discussion to follow we will use the example of Christianity, only as a case in point, to understand the verses referred to in the criticism at the beginning of this chapter. However, the same verses of Quran have much larger implications that are aptly discussed by Maulana Muhammad Ali in his Urdu translation and commentary of the Holy Quran. The Arabic keywords, which create difficulty for some while reading the related verses, are Shihâb, Thâqib and Mubîn. These words along with their roots and meanings are outlined in Dictionary of the Holy Quran by Abdul Mannan Omar, with emphasis added in pertinence to current discussion:

Shahaba To burn, scorch, become of a colour in which whiteness predominates over blackness. Shihâb plu. Shuhub: Flaming fire; Bright blaze; Bright meteor, Star; Penetrating flame; Shining star; Brisk; Sprightly; Flame; Brand; Radiating or gleaming fire; Shooting or falling star; Star or the like of a star that darts across the sky. Shihâb al-herb: Dauntless warrior; One who is penetrating sharp and energetic in a war. Shihâb (n.): (15:18; 27:7; 37:10; 72:9). Shuhub (plu. of Shihâb ): (72:8). (L; T; R; LL).8

Thaqaba To shine, penetrate, perforate, pierce, spread (odour), soar aloft. Thâqib (act. pic. m. sing.) Bright shining; Piercing through darkness; Piercing brightness; Brightly shining. (37:10; 89:3). (L; T; R; LL)9

Bâna To be distinct and separate, far away, remote from, divorced (women), clear, obvious, appear, explain. Tabyyana: To be clear, easily understood, appear. Baina yadaihi: Before him; In his presence. Bayân: Declaration; Explanation; Argument; Rhetoric; Clear meaning; Intelligent and distinct speech. It applies to both thought and speech, in as much as it comprises the faculty of making a thing or an idea apparent to the mind and conceptually distinct from other things or ideas as well as the power to express the cognition in spoken or written language. Bayyinah plu. Bayyinât: Evidence; Clear proof; Argument; Precise testimony; Clear. Mubîn: Explaining clearly; Clear; Beyond doubt; Obvious; Parting; Cutting. Tabayyana: To be or become manifest, clear. With li or an or with le and an: To be distinct. With min: To be made known. With li: To perceive. Although the word Bainun generally rendered as ‘between’ is in reality a substantive meaning ‘interval’ or ‘connection’.10

Frequently, Quran draws analogies from physical phenomena, which all humans can independently experience and draw lessons from. Shihâb-e-Thâqib and Shihâb-e-Mubîn, relevant to current discussion, are some of the analogies. Dr. Basharat Ahmad explains why Quran draws moral implication from analogies to physical phenomena:

It is also a well-accepted principle among the intelligentsia that a direct parallel exists between the physical and the spiritual worlds in that a similarity of relationship runs through both spheres. So, if testimony is drawn from the physical world in regard to a particular matter, then a wise person, by using his initiative, can draw the conclusion that a similar law must reside in the spiritual world.11

The metaphorical reference to shooting stars will be easy to understand if the reader keeps in mind the following meanings of meteor:

‘any person or object that moves, progresses, becomes famous, etc., with spectacular speed’12

All such dogmas attributed to Quran must withstand the challenge put forth by Quran or else must be rejected. This challenge is to anyone, be it the soothsayer, a jinn, Satan, or an apologist like Justin Martyr, to bring forth any proof of what they claim is from God:

52:38. Have they the means through which they can overhear (the Lord)? If so, let their listener bring forth a clear authoritative proof (just as the Prophet of God does).13

Even though it is vain, the Apology of Justin Martyr and its devil sneaking into heavens is not a clear authoritative proof, but is the only escape hatch for Christianity to distance itself from its pagan roots. Still, with his apology in mind, when we read the rebuttal in Quran, we see the rug being pulled out from under the feet of Christianity when Quran uses the analogy of bright shining flame of logic of Quran pursuing the Christian dogma.

The critic took verses 37:6-10 out of context. The first four verses, 37:1-4, are the preamble to the subsequent verses, 37:6-10, quoted by the critic. The preamble verses were deliberately omitted by the critic. The preamble is significant in understanding the verses that follow. The preamble states that the illogic in the matter of faith will dissipate at the hands of the followers of Quran and believers in absolute monotheism. The later example of stars, quoted by the critic, is only a simile to the character of the people mentioned earlier in the preamble:

Quran as a source of guidance to drive away falsehood at the hands of its followers

37:1. Cited as witness are those who range themselves in close ranks (in various fields of life),

37:2. And those who drive away (the forces of evil) vigorously,

37:3. And those who recite and follow the Reminder (- the Qur'ân),14

In the next verse, 37:4, it is stated that the dissipation of falsehood at the hands of those who range themselves in close ranks is contingent upon their belief in absolute monotheism:

Monotheism as a requirement to stand guard over truth

37:4. Verily, your God is One [and not Trinity in this case],15

The subsequent verses 37:5-10, even if taken narrowly, expunge the basis of Justinian apology. Whereas, in a broader sense, these verses are about enlightened monotheists, the stars, decked against falsehood, the Satan, and pursuing all false claims, for example Christianity, by the bright and flaming arguments from Quran. Even if the following verses are read concretely, at least they expunge the apology by Justin Martyr and refute the basis of Christianity i.e. no Devil, no Satan or for that matter any Jinn can have access to the exalted assembly, both, physically or metaphorically. The Justinian access to heavens by Satan was not there before Christ nor after him. Of note is that the critic only quoted verses 37:6-10 and totally ignored the preceding verses 37:1-5, quoted above, which tell the reader who those stars actually are – the believers in monotheism and Quran:

Guarding of the truth by those who range themselves in close ranks, an allegory

37:5. Lord of the heavens and the earth and all that lies between them and Lord of the places of the rising and spreading of light.

37:6. Verily, We have beautified and embellished the nearer space (- the heaven visible to you) with an excellent embellishment, the stars and planets.

37:7. And (We have placed therein) an effective safeguard against every insolently disobedient satan.

37:8. They (having no access to the source of prophecy) cannot listen to (what goes on in) the exalted assembly (of the arch angels). They are reproached (for their false conjectures) from every side,

37:9. They are repulsed. A perpetual punishment awaits them.16

Finally, the verse 37:10 puts it quite succinctly that the pagan dogmas might invent fragments of some truth or spirituality but even that figment cannot stand up to the confrontation from any bright shining flame of an argument from Quran.

Destruction of falsehood

37:10. Yet if anyone of them snatches away but once (to find out something), he is pursued by a bright shining flame [Arabic: shihābun thāqibun].17 [Emphasis added]

With rebuttal to Justin Martyr out of the way let’s revisit the intended use of the term stars in Quran. Prophet Muhammad has used the word star for his companions:

“My companions are like stars.”

Similarly, Quran too uses the term star to denote humans, the example of which we find in the vision of Joseph and its fulfillment, where his brothers are symbolized as stars:

12:4. (Remember the time) when Joseph [in his childhood] said to his father, `My dear father! I have seen (in a vision) eleven stars and the sun and the moon. I saw them falling down prostrate (before God) because of me.'

12:100. And [when Joseph was as an adult and in-charge of the treasuries of Egypt] he took his parents to the royal court and they all [father = sun, mother = moon, eleven brothers = 11 stars, all part of childhood vision of Joseph (verse12:4)] fell down prostrate (before God) because of him and he said, `My father! this is the real fulfillment of my vision of old. My Lord has made it come true. He has been gracious to me, indeed, when he released me out of the prison and brought you from the desert. (This all happened) after satan had stirred up discord between me and my brothers. Surely, my Lord is Benignant to whomsoever He pleases. He it is, Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.'18

In the case of Joseph, not only the stars symbolize humans, but also the terms sun and the moon. Just as Jesus, the prophet of God, spoke in parables, so does Quran. To explain its message Quran makes use of parables, but with a caveat. Quran declares that correct understanding of its parables leads to guidance, whereas, incorrect grasp of its parables can be a source of error:

2:26. Indeed, Allâh does not disdain to cite a parable of (a thing) even (as small as) a gnat or (of something) smaller than that. (Be it as it may) those who have believed know that this is a true (parable) from their Lord. As for those who disbelieve say, `What could Allâh mean by (citing) such a parable?' Many does He adjudge to be erring because of these (parables) and many does He guide through them. Yet it is only the transgressors whom He adjudges to be erring because of them.19

Allah even uses a parable for Himself. The inventors of myths in Quran and the critics, alike, will agree that if God Almighty in Quran gives an imagery of Himself in its verses, then that imagery is not physical but a parable which can awaken in the mind of the reader an innate ‘God sense.’ Such a parable about God symbolized as star is as follows:

24:35. Allâh is the Extensive Light of the heavens and the earth. His light can be compared to a (lustrous) pillar on which a lamp is put. The lamp is inside a crystal globe. The globe of glass is as if it were a glittering star. It (- the lamp) is lit by (the oil of) a blessed olive tree which belongs neither to the east nor to the west (rather welds the whole world in its fold). Its oil is likely to glow forth of itself even if no fire touch it. This (lamp) is a combination of many lights over and over. Allâh guides towards His light whoever desires (to be enlightened). And Allâh sets forth excellent parables for the people, and Allâh alone has full knowledge of everything.20

Use of the term star in Quran has many blissful connotations. Illumination from Allah through Quran, the word of God, is also addressed as glittering star (note: the singular). The error of a concrete read of star is put to rest forever – Allâh sets forth excellent parables for the people, and Allâh alone has full knowledge of everything. Thus, the usage of the terms stars and heavens in Quran are excellent parables for the people to drive home its message. The correct understanding of its parables differentiates the erring ones from those who are guided through the Quran. The parable of heavens and bright fiery flame are just a case in point where its concrete read will be a source of error but those reading it for its intended message are guided aright.

In the story of Joseph (verses 12:4, 12:100), there is also a corresponding mention of Satan who for a while was able to disrupt the brotherhood of the starssatan had stirred up discord between me and my brothers. Similarly, in the verses under discussion, 37:1-10, Quran speaks of the same Satan who tries to sneak into the star-decked heaven, to stir up the discord in the spiritual and moral domain of Islam in which are found those who range themselves in close ranks (in various fields of life), And those who drive away (the forces of evil) vigorously, And those who recite and follow the Reminder (- the Qur'ân) (v. 37:1-3). Any intrusion of Satan in such a spiritual space is chased away by a bright fiery flame of logic from Quran. This logic is shaped into cogent arguments by the stars, standing shoulder to shoulder in their dialogues, writings and publications. These stars, the Muslims, who defend and spread their faith against the intrusion of Satanic dogmas are identified in Quran:

51:1. I call to witness those (beings) who went forth to scatter (the Qur'ânic teachings) far and wide with a true scattering,

51:2. They carry (their blessed) load (of truth),

51:3. Then speed along (exposing the wrong belief and evil practices) with love and peace,

51:4. And then distribute and apportion the work by (Our) command,

51:5. Verily, the promise you are made (about the spread of Islam) is true,21

All arguments in defense and propagation of Islam by these stars, the Muslims, must be strictly based upon Quran else the stars will decay and dissipate into small stars and lose their light:

77:1. I call to witness those (messengers of Truth) who are sent forth to spread goodness (in continual series),

77:2. Those that drive off forcefully (falsehood and forces of evil as chaff is carried before the wind),

77:3. And those that spread (the truth) far and wide,

77:4. And those that fully distinguish (the right from the wrong),

77:5. And those carrying the Message of (rising to) eminence far and wide (- the Qur'ân),

77:6. (And those presenting this source of eminence) in an attempt to purify (some) from the abomination of sin and to warn (others),

77:7. Verily, that which you are promised must come to pass.

—–

77:8. So when the small stars will be made to lose their light,22

In another set of verses cited by the critics, Quran repeats the same analogy of bright fiery flame for its truth which burns out the bizarre Christian doctrine that Justin Martyr erected:

15:16. We have indeed set up constellations in the heaven, and We have decked it fair for the beholders,

15:17. And We have guarded it against (the intrusion of) every rebellious rejected satan.

15:18. As to one who wishes to steal a hearing (of the revelation to distort it) a bright fiery flame [Arabic: shihābun mubīnun] pursues him.23

Just as in verse 37:10 before, the verse 15:18 too puts it succinctly that the pagan dogmas might steal and adopt fragments of some truth or spirituality, but even that figment cannot stand up to the confrontation from any bright fiery flame of an argument from Quran.

The allegorical construct of flame pursuing Christianity does not end by mere arguments against it in Quran, but also pursues it in the hereafter, the logical end of all dogmas:

77:28. On that day woe shall befall those who belie (the truth).

77:29. (It will be said to the followers of Trinity,) `Now, move on towards that (punishment) which you cried lies to,

77:30. `Move on to the shadow that has three branches [–Trinity],

77:31. `(Which is) neither affording shade (to you) nor protects (you) from the flame.'24 [Emphasis added]

The reference to star studded heavens, the torch bearers of Quran, is not only in the verses that the critics at the beginning of the chapter refer to; it is also mentioned in another place, which Dr. Basharat Ahmad contextualizes:25

85:1. By the heaven full of stars!

85:2. And the Promised day!

85:3. And the bearer of witness and that to which witness is borne!

Let us ponder over the state of darkness and misguidance that overspread Arabia at that time as well as over the difficulties and turbulence that prevailed around it, and then let us consider the magnificence and explicitness of this prophecy in which the triumph of truth has been so lucidly portrayed. The testimony of the star-studded heavens is presented here in order to proclaim to the world that the time had come when the land of Arabia would accept the heavenly teaching and Allah's kingdom, which is in heaven, would be established on earth with such glory and grandeur that, metaphorically speaking, it could be said that earth would turn into heaven. And just as the heaven was full of stars, in the same way, the earth would abound with people who, like the stars, would be illuminated with heavenly light as the Holy Prophet (pbuh) himself had said: "My Companions are like the stars."

By the promised day is meant that for the fulfilment of these matters, a particular day has been set aside and a promise of that day has been firmly given when truth would triumph over falsehood. This would constitute an irrefutable evidence that just as truth had prevailed in Arabia in the time of the Holy Prophet, so, too, would it triumph for all times to come.

The witness mentioned above was no other than the Holy Prophet (pbuh) who gave evidence of the success of the religion of Islam and made prophecies about it. It also referred to those who were witnesses of this eventuality, in particular, the Holy Prophet's Companions, who saw with their own eyes the glorious fulfilment of these prophecies.

The expression by what is witnessed refers to evidence which was prophesied, that is, the triumph of Islam.

It also means what was actually seen and that is an allusion to the palpable manifestation of the defeat and destruction and the humiliation and abasement of the unbelievers. This occurrence serves as a testimony that Islam will always continue to spread and predominate and it is also a warning to those who will try to destroy it and impede its progress in the future that they will suffer the same fate as the opponents of the Holy Prophet (pbuh).

Dr. Basharat Ahmad further explains the use of the term stars in another verse:26

82:2. And when the stars become dispersed.

This, too, is another subtle metaphor. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is reported to have said: "My Companions are like the stars." They were likened to stars because they were filled with the heavenly light which the Holy Prophet brought. The meaning is that when these showers of divine assistance and heavenly signs fall upon the earth and Islam becomes triumphant, then another sign will come into effect and that is the heavenly stars, that is, the Companions of the Holy Prophet, and other Muslims who will be filled with this same light, will travel all over the earth to disperse this divine light, that is, to propagate the religion of Islam world-wide.

It was not only the Christians who trace the roots of their beliefs stolen from ‘heavens’, there are others, the astrologers, who depend on heavenly confabulations, the Zodiacal nonsense, to earn their bread and butter, while seeding bizarre beliefs. Quran states that they too cannot escape the blazing fire:

67:3. It is He Who has created seven heavens, one upon another in conformity (with each other). You can see no flaw, no incongruity and no imperfection in the creation of the Most Gracious (God). Then look up once more (to heaven). Do you see any flaw?

67:4. Look again and yet again (to find out any confusion in Divine law). (The result will only be that) your eye will return to you dazzled while it is weary (and you will be unable to find any discordance).

67:5. We have, certainly, adorned the lowest heaven with (stars-like) lamps and We have made them as means of conjecture [Arabic: rajuman – throwing a stone in the dark, guess] for the evil ones (and the astrologers who invent good or bad omens from the movement of the stars). (Remember) We have prepared for these (soothesayers) the punishment of the blazing Fire.27

We know that the Jews at the time of the Prophet in Madina were also immersed in practices of astrology and sorcery28:

4:51 Have you not seen those to whom a portion of the Book was given? They believe in sorcery and diviners and say of those who disbelieve: These are better guided in the path than those who believe.29

So far we have discussed Christian, Jews and astrologers separately. Quran then sums up the Christianity, the astrologers and the Jews of Byzantine kingdom and quotes an event when a party of them visited Makkah for its annual market and poetry festival of Souk Oakz.30 There, at a way point, Nakhala, they had a night long discourse on the matters of faith with the Prophet. The flaming effect of Quran on cleaning away the dross from their beliefs is thus mentioned:

72:1. Say, `It has been revealed to me that a party of the jinn (- the non-Arab Jews of Nasîbîn, called Jinn because of their being strong, sharp and effective in affairs) listened (to the Qur'ân), so they said (to their people on their return), "Surely, we have heard a wonderful Qur'ân,

72:2. "It guides towards righteousness, so we declare our faith in it. We shall no longer worship any god besides our Lord.

72:3. "And the truth is that the Majesty of our Lord is exalted. He has taken to Himself no consort nor (has He begotten) a son,

72:4. "And (we admit) that the foolish among us used to say many exaggerated and blasphemous things against Allâh.

72:5. "And (we acknowledge) that (we believed in them because) we never thought that men and jinn could ever possibly utter a lie about Allâh.

72:6. "The fact is that some humble and lowly men from among the common folk used to seek refuge with some (big and influential) men from among the jinns and (thus) they increased these (jinns) in arrogance (and conceit).

72:7. "These men (from the jinn) believed even as you believe that Allâh would raise no one (as Messenger).

72:8. "And we (- the non-Arab Jews, the jinn who had listened to the Qur'ân, as diviners and astrologers) had primarily sought to probe the secrets of space above but we found it teeming with strong guards and shooting stars (a phenomenon which generally occurs before the advent of a divine Reformer).

72:9. "And that we used to sit in some of the observatories to listen to something. But he that tries to listen (in order to forecast some event) now (with the advent of Islam) finds a shooting star in ambush for him.

72:10. "(We confess that) we do not know whether evil is (hereby) augured for those who are on the earth or whether their Lord (thereby) intends to bestow right guidance for them.

72:11. "And some of us are righteous and some of us are otherwise. We follow different ways.

72:12. "And we have come to know for certain that we can never frustrate the purpose of Allâh in the earth, nor can we escape Him by flight (in any direction).

72:13. "No sooner did we hear the guidance (contained in the Qur'ân) than we believed in it. And he who believes in His Lord does not have to fear that his reward will be reduced or injustice will be (done to him).

72:14. "And some of us submit (to the will of God) while some of us are deviators (from the right course)".' (It has also been revealed to the Prophet that) those who submit (to God's commandments) are actually those who earnestly aim at the right way and find it out;

72:15. And that the deviators from the right course are the fuel of Gehenna.31

While the exegeses fret over the concrete interpretation of shooting stars with piercing light, a phenomenon visible to naked eye only during the darkness in the night sky, they ignore what happens during the daytime, the focus of one’s life. Quran explains that the darkness is in the minds of the people. It is the Prophet and the Quran which appear with piercing brightness to quell that darkness. In Quran we find the following:

86:1-3. By the heaven and the Comer by night [– l-ṭāriqi]! And what will make you know what the Comer by night is [– l-ṭāriqu]? The star of piercing brightness.

Tariq (from tarq, striking a thing) originally signifies a comer by night, because one who comes by night finds the doors shut, and knocking at the doors becomes necessary. The Comer by night is here the Holy Prophet; the revelation of the Quran is also spoken of as taking place on a blessed night (44:3, 97:1). The reason is that the Holy Prophet appeared when total darkness spread on the earth, and no one ever stood more in need of knocking at the doors which were shut against him and fastened with strong bolts. It is noteworthy that Jesus compares his advent to that of a thief: “…if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched…Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matthew, 24:43–44). It may be added that Tariq is also the name given to the morning star, because it comes at the end of the night.

The Comer by night is called the star of piercing brightness, indicating that the Comer by night is a star of such resplendent brightness that all darkness will be dispelled before him.32

Because of his piercing brightness, the Prophet removes the darkness from the souls. He is also called a bright sun which spreads light:

33:45. Prophet! We have sent you to be a Witness, a Bearer of glad tidings and a Warner.

33:46. And (We have sent you) to be a Summoner to Allâh by His command and to serve as a bright sun which spreads light.

33:47. And (Prophet!) give the believers glad tidings that there awaits them great grace from Allâh.33

The analogy of sun, the moon and stars in Quran is summed up for Prophet Muhammad and those who follow him in the true spirit of Quran and they are collectively a source of guidance for humanity. The example of the Prophet is both like that of a sun which is a source of light and like that of a moon that itself borrows light from Allah:

25:61. Blessed is He Who has placed stars in the heaven and has set in it the glowing sun (that produces light) and the glittering moon (that reflects light).34

16:16. And (He has established many other) landmarks as well; (it is by these) and by the stars (too) that the people can follow the right direction.35

While the Prophet is both a sun and a moon in his person, these two attributes are also in proximity of each other in him:

71:16. `And He has set the moon in their midst for light and the sun He has made as a glorious lamp.36

75:8-9. And the moon will eclipse. And the sun and the moon will be brought together.37

The sun and the moon are a source of spiritual light in the person of the Prophet. To experience the prophet, one must feel his light and warmth in one’s spiritual life as confirmation of one’s belief in its actuality:

91:1-3. I call to witness the sun and its light and heat, And the moon when it borrows light from it (- the sun), And the day when it reveals its (- the sun's) glory38

The skeptics might argue that if analogy of stars in Quran is for ‘holy ones,’ the rightly guided, then Quran also speaks of their setting. Implied in this argument is that the guidance from such stars can diminish. This is where the skeptics would be wrong. Dr. Basharat Ahmad in his commentary39 of a similar verse explains it quite cogently:

53:1. By the star [–Najm] when it sets [–Idha hawa].

Najm means, a star, in particular, the constellation of Pleiades by means of which Arab travellers seek their destination whilst traversing the desert in which no semblance of a roadway can be found, especially during the night, when not even the slightest inkling of a road can be detected. This is alluded to in another verse of the Holy Qur'an: "And by the stars they find the right way" (16:16).

Idha hawa means when it sets or declines. This is so because if the Pleiades are exactly overhead one can have no indication from them of the right way. Of course, when they incline to the West or to the East, the right direction can be easily ascertained and the traveller can be guided by them to the desired course in his journey.

It is also a well-accepted principle among the intelligentsia that a direct parallel exists between the physical and the spiritual worlds in that a similarity of relationship runs through both spheres. So, if testimony is drawn from the physical world in regard to a particular matter, then a wise person, by using his initiative, can draw the conclusion that a similar law must reside in the spiritual world.

Such is the case here, also. We are told that if in the physical world, when a traveller in the desert or the sea or the wilderness can find no trace of a road in the darkness of the night and has to resort to the stars to reach his destination, why should the same not apply to a wayfarer in spiritual matters? In other words, Allah, Most High, is reminding us that when there are no earthly means of guidance on land and sea and darkness envelops the world on all sides, and in accordance with this verse of the Holy Qur'an: "Corruption hath appeared on land and sea…" (30:41), and all kinds of misguidance fall like the darkness of the night, and all existing religions and creeds have been tainted by innovation and error, and there is no sight of the straight path, is it not necessary for the Almighty to create a heavenly star of guidance for spiritual wayfarers as He did for travellers in the physical world? And why a star? one may ask. As a heavenly guide, a star never deviates from the right course and so its guidance can never be wrong.

While the stars act as a guide in the darkness of the night for the spiritual traveler, there must be a corresponding hope for reaching the destination, the ending of spiritual wilderness, which is assured in Quran for one’s prayers:

52:49. And proclaim His glory for part of the night and also at the declining of the stars (when the night is about to end).40

Quran takes the analogy of guiding star in spiritual matters to its natural end point, which is none but Allah:

53:49. And that it is He Who is the Lord of Sirius (- a star worshipped by some polytheists).41

Furthermore, Quran draws attention of seekers traversing the illuminated path in search of its light source, a spiritual description of Allah Himself in a verse requoted below:

24:35. Allâh is the Extensive Light of the heavens and the earth. His light can be compared to a (lustrous) pillar on which a lamp is put. The lamp is inside a crystal globe. The globe of glass is as if it were a glittering star. It (- the lamp) is lit by (the oil of) a blessed olive tree which belongs neither to the east nor to the west (rather welds the whole world in its fold). Its oil is likely to glow forth of itself even if no fire touch it. This (lamp) is a combination of many lights over and over. Allâh guides towards His light whoever desires (to be enlightened). And Allâh sets forth excellent parables for the people, and Allâh alone has full knowledge of everything.42

While the devilish conjectures and Justinian Apologies cannot sneak into ‘heavens,’ the prophets, in their spiritual journey, ascend to the heavenly realm to experience firsthand the apparently unexplainable,43 and then return to humanity to share the spiritual light and guidance that they had received:

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.44

The myth of shooting stars visible as streaks in the night sky chasing the Satan is addressed in “The Meaning of Shihab Mubin (Brightly Shining Flame)” by Imam Kalamazad Mohammed45, which is excerpted below:

And certainly We have made strongholds in the heaven, and We have made it fair-seeming to the beholders (15:16).

And We guard it against every accursed devil (15:17).

But he who steals a hearing; so there follows him a visible flame (15:18).

The above verses of the Holy Quran have given rise to great controversy among Muslim commentators of the Holy Quran and their explanations of verse 18 have resulted in non-Muslim Orientalists painting a false picture of the purity, sanctity and inviolability of the Quranic revelation.

If we consider the verse under examination, that is, verse 18, we shall see that the following questions logically spring to the mind:

* What is the meaning of stealing a hearing? Can Satan really eavesdrop on Allah's communication to His angels?

* What is the nature of the shihab mubin (brightly shining flame)?

* What is the significance of the shihab mubin that pursues Satan?

Some Muslims commentators of the Holy Quran quote a certain hadith and say that this verse (18) refers to the time when Allah is about to vouchsafe revelation to a prophet. What happens in the heavens, they opine, is that the angels fall down in a swoon because of the majesty of the occasion and the first to rise is Angel Gabriel who asks Allah: "What has Thou spoken?" to which Allah replies: The truth which is most exalted and great. (One hadith says that the angels, on recovering from their unconsciousness, question one another concerning the announcement and then Allah responds. But in any case, the response of Allah is the same, that is, The truth which is most exalted and great.)

What happens then according to these commentators is that Satan steals a hearing either before or after the angels come out of their swoon and he then passes on Allah's communication to his friends on earth — the soothsayers and astrologers who now mix this truth from Allah with a hundred lies and begin to make predictions concerning the future. When one of their predictions happens to come true, the rejecters of the prophet seize upon it gleefully and regard them (the soothsayers, etc.) as really versed in their knowledge of the Unknown.

It is interesting to note that myths of Satan stealing a hearing are the same as Justinian apologies before the Roman king, where he tried to make a case for his Christian mythologies, which was discussed earlier in this chapter. The myth of Devil overhearing the conversation in heavens by Justin Martyr and the misread of Muslims of the verse 15:8 i.e. Satan stealing a hearing are eerily similar and apologetic. It is clear that Christian myth has seeped into Muslim thinking.

Continuing with the article – The Meaning of Shihab Mubin (Brightly Shining Flame) by Imam Kalamazad Mohammed:

However, this explanation does not take into consideration the clear verses of the Holy Quran which emphatically negative such a possibility of Satan eavesdropping on the conversation between Allah and His angels. For example: And the devils have not brought it, and it behoves them not, nor do they have the power to do (it). Surely they are far removed from hearing it (26:210-212).

If someone should argue that the Quranic revelation is not meant here in the above verses but rather some other affair is referred to, then this, too, is expressly denied in the following verse of the Holy Quran:

Or do they have the means by which they listen? They let their listener (Satan) bring a clear authority (52:38).

Some commentators even attribute a report to Ibn Abbas which allegedly says that originally there was no obstacle to Satan ascending to the heavens until Prophet Jesus was born when three heavens were closed off. However, when the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) came on earth, all the heavens were sealed off from Satan. But this report has no basis in the Holy Quran or the Hadith.

As regards the shihab mubin (piercing flame) which pursues Satan, some commentators say that this refers to stars that are actually thrown at Satan. When faced with the objection that if that were so then by now all the stars would have disappeared or at least there would have been a great reduction in the number, they change their view and assert that it is really a fragment of a shining star that is thrown at Satan. But this contradicts the express verse of the Holy Quran which states:

And certainly We have adorned this lower heaven with lamps and We have made them means of rajuman (conjectures) for the devils and We have prepared for them the chastisement of burning (67:5).

(Rajuman, plural of rajmun, comes from rajama which means to stone but also to speak conjecturally or with doubt, as in rajman bil ghaib (18:22). That is, speaking conjecturally of that which is hidden, or unknown. — Lane)

As such, by the devils are meant the soothsayers and astrologers who claim to have access to the Unseen through their knowledge of the stars.

According to Maulana Muhammad Ali, if Satan can really steal a hearing from Allah's secret communications then this results in a slur on Allah's perfect power. That is, is Allah not powerful enough (Allah forbid!) to preserve His secrets from Satan (or from others for that matter)? If it is argued that Allah sends a shihab mubin (piercing flame) when He discovers that a secret is stolen by Satan, still it can be argued that:

Satan can mix the truth he has eavesdropped from Allah with many untruths. It still casts a bad reflection on Allah's complete power over all His affairs if the archenemy of man can steal messages of Allah to His chosen ones.

Again, this is contrary to the clear verses of the Holy Quran in which the diviners and astrologers confess in the following words:

And we sought to reach heaven but we found it filled with strong guards and shuhuban (pl. of shihab) (flames). And we used to sit in some of the sitting places thereof to steal a hearing. But he who tries to listen now finds a shihab (flame) lying in wait for him (72:8-9).

These two verses also clear up whatever misconception may arise in the minds of the believers when reading the following two verses:

They give ear and most of them are liars (26:223).

Except him who snatches away but once, and there follows him a shihabun saqib (brightly shining flame) (37:10).

After reading 72:8-9, no one can now believe that Satan can steal a hearing or snatch away any secret from Allah, Most High, Most Powerful. So what do these verses (15:18, 26:223, 37:10) really mean? Maulana Muhammad Ali says that sometimes the soothsayers and astrologers make certain conjectures or certain predictions about the future from their own intellectual reasoning and sometimes a few of these predictions do come true. Just as the prophets have a relationship with Allah, so, too, the soothsayers and astrologers have a bond with Satan and when these few "prophecies" are fulfilled they make grandiose claims about themselves and claim to be on the same level with the prophets in the matter of knowledge of the Unseen. This, of course, is sufficient to convince the rejecters of truth, for all they look for is any excuse that will justify their refusal to accept the prophets of Allah.

As regards the visible flame (shihab mubin), Maulana Muhammad Ali explains that, according to the dictionary meaning, it refers to any flame but also to the phenomenon of the shooting star which we sometimes witness in the open expanse above us. Whatever the physical reason for this is open to conjecture, but the belief that these shooting stars really attack Satan is not far-fetched for it is reported in the Hadith that these occurrences were very frequent just before the birth of the Holy Prophet. However, from the verse already quoted above (72:9) it is clear that shihab mubin does not refer to the shooting stars which existed from eternity but to a new occurrence which came into existence later in time. In other words, the expression shihab mubin is used to mean that light which destroys the influence of the soothsayers and astrologers whose weak conjectures were having an effect on the gullible people. And what is this light? Two things according to Maulana Muhammad Ali:

The powerful God-given prophecies of the prophets which put to flight the feeble predictions of the diviners as light puts darkness to flight. This is supported by the Holy Quran itself which refers to the Holy Prophet as an-najmus saqib (the star of piercing brightness — 86:3) and wan-najmu idha hawa (by the star when it sets — 53:1).

The Holy Quran itself, according to 56:75: Fala uqsimu bi mawaqi 'inujum (But nay, I swear by revelations of portions of the Holy Quran), in which nujum (pl. najm), which, according to commentators of the Holy Quran, mean portions of the Holy Quran, because every portion of it testifies to the truth of the Holy Quran and the falsity of the astrologers.

With the above plain read of the Quran for its parables and the discussion that followed, still if there is any lingering doubt about Satan and Jinn sneaking into celestial framework of spiritual truths of Quran, we quote the celestial arguments to clear the remaining fog:

51:7. And I call to witness the sky with (its) numerous orbits (of celestial bodies),

51:8. That contradictory are the things you say (for your not believing in God's word and in His Prophet),

51:9. Through which are deluded away (from the truth) such as would be deluded (to falsehood).

51:10. Woe to the falsehood-mongers,

51:11. Who are in the depths of obstinacy and confusion (due to false-beliefs) and give no heed (to the truth).46


2 ‘The Quran and Throwing Stars’ by Dave Miller, Ph.D. Link: http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=8&article=299&topic=47
3 Saint Justin Martyr – The Apologist. Link: http://www.britannica.com/biography/Saint-Justin-Martyr
4 The Ante-Nicene Fathers: Translations of the Writings of the Fathers down to A.D. 325. Link: https://archive.org/stream/antenicenefather01robe#page/170/mode/2up
5 The body of the said narrative is excerpted and adapted from – Islam and Christianity, by Khwaja Kamal-ud-din, p. 1-10.
6 The Ante-Nicene Fathers: Translations of the Writings of the Fathers down to A.D. 325. Link: https://archive.org/stream/antenicenefather01robe#page/180/mode/2up
7 The Ante-Nicene Fathers: Translations of the Writings of the Fathers down to A.D. 325. Link: https://archive.org/stream/antenicenefather01robe#page/182/mode/2up
8 Dictionary of The Holy Quran, (c) 2010, Abdul Mannan Omar, p. 299
9 ibid, p. 82
10 ibid, p. 70-71
11 'Anwaar-ul-Quran' in Urdu by Dr. Basharat Ahmad. Translated into English by Imam Kalamazad Mohammed. Link: http://aaiil.org/text/hq/comm/bash/ch53.shtml,p. 5-7.
13 Al-Tur – The Mount: Nooruddin
14 ibid
15 ibid
16 ibid
17 ibid
18 Yusuf – Joseph: Nooruddin
19 Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
20 Al-Nur – The Light: Nooruddin
21 Al-Dhariyat – The Scatters: Nooruddin
22 Al-Mursalat – Those Sent Forth: Nooruddin
23 Al-Hijr – The Rock: Nooruddin
24 Al-Mursalat – Those Sent Forth: Nooruddin
25 'Anwaar-ul-Quran' in Urdu by Dr. Basharat Ahmad. Translated into English by Imam Kalamazad Mohammed. Link: http://aaiil.org/text/hq/comm/bash/ch85.shtml
27 Al-Mulk – The Supreme Power: Nooruddin
29 Al-Nisa – Women: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
30 Saudi Tourism – “Souk Okaz is one of the markets where the Arabs met for trading and presenting poems and speeches in the past. Today, it is revived at the same historical location to be a unique poetry, artistic, and historical meeting. Souk Okaz now combines the ancient history and the shining present. Here, the visitor will find the modern techniques and the location’s geography with its historical value. Also, folklore performances are organized in Souk Okaz. The visitor can reach the venue by using his own car or by accompanying a tourism group.” Link: http://www.sauditourism.sa/en/About/Pages/he-7.aspx. “It was a most popular forum for the Arabs coming to perform pilgrimage in the Pre-Islamic times. Today, just like the bygone days, it is a forum of intellectuals, literatis and poets. Folk performances are held in the central yard of Souk Okaz.” Link: http://sauditourism.sa/en/Events/Pages/Okaz.aspx. See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Souk_Okaz
31 Al-Jinn – The Jinn: Nooruddin
32 Al-Tariq – The Comer by Night: Maulana Muhammad Ali, Edited by Dr. Zahid Aziz – English Translation of the Holy Quran with Explanatory Notes.
33 Al-Ahzab – The Confederates: Nooruddin
34 Al-Furqan – The Standard of True and False: Nooruddin
35 Al-Nahl – The Bee: Nooruddin
36 Nuh – Noah: Nooruddin
37 Al-Qiyamah – The Resurrection: Nooruddin
38 Al-Shams – The Sun: Nooruddin
39 'Anwaar-ul-Quran' in Urdu by Dr. Basharat Ahmad. Translated into English by Imam Kalamazad Mohammed. Link: http://aaiil.org/text/hq/comm/bash/ch53.shtml,p. 5-7.
40 Al-Tur – The Mount: Nooruddin
41 Al-Najm –Parts of the Quran: Nooruddin
42 Al-Nur – The Light: Nooruddin
44 Al-Najm – Parts of the Quran: Nooruddin
45‘The Meaning of Shihab Mubin (Brightly Shining Flame)’ by Imam Kalamazad Mohammed Sahib – based on Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Sahib's writings. Link:http://aaiil.org/text/articles/others/meaningshihabmubinsaqibbrightlyshiningstarflame.shtml
46 Al-Dhariyat – The Scatters: Nooruddin

You Can Do Magic♫ You Can Have Anything That You Desire♪ – But, Not So In Quran – Harut, Marut and the not so Holy Masons

Monday, October 5th, 2015

You Can Do Magic♫ You Can Have Anything That You Desire♪1 – But, Not So In Quran – Harut, Marut and the not so Holy Masons

Humans have always been fascinated with the ‘unknown’. We were all children once and children are universally enthralled with ‘magic.’ Magic tugs at their hearts and evokes fancy that goes beyond the physical confines of apparently ‘rigid’ laws of physics. By thinking magically, children can imaginatively transcend time and space. Impossible becomes possible and wishes find hope in magic. ‘Magic’ and ‘magical thinking’ provide an imaginary means to give one control over the physical world in which a person might otherwise find oneself helpless. In technical terms, it protects the (Freudian) ego. Some of the adults outgrow their ‘magical thinking’, while others continue to believe in it. Still, others dwell in it to the extent that they try to practice, preach and prove it. Some take it to the next level and set up shops providing an actual fee for service either to cast a spell or remove a presumptive one. They gain monetarily by diagnosing, treating and preventing the magical effects on one’s health or social relationships. Different experts catering to the market needs provide services in sub-specialties of magic – evil eye, amulets, ghoul, demon-possession, exorcism, witchcraft, fortune telling, astrology, palmistry, horoscope, clairvoyance, knowledge of the hidden, soothsayer, diviner, voodoo etc. Those Muslims who believe in ‘magic’ try to sanctify their occult beliefs and practices through Quran and Hadith. This chapter is addressed squarely at such beliefs and expunges any validation, no matter how remote, of such nonsense that uses crutch of Quran to stand on.

Quran frequently uses terms metaphorically. These symbolizations, if read concretely, can seed myths, for example, fire of Hell, fruits of Heaven and giving of life to a dead land. Similarly, the term ‘magic’ is misunderstood. It is alleged that Quran can be used to cast magic on the audience, but nowhere does Quran actually endorse magic as it is commonly understood. Like the followers of other religions, Muslims too, over a period of time, started attributing magical stories to their faith, their Prophet and their Book to the extent that now magic is a commonly held belief amongst many Muslims. The mythical basis of magic inferred from Quran is then conjectured into literature and apologies. The reproduction in this chapter of several examples of such literature, though lengthy, goes a long way to show the extent and pervasiveness of such beliefs. Following is an example where its author tries to validate magic from Quran by tracing its roots to the trio of Prophet Solomon, Satan and the two angels – Harut and Marut:

How black magic started – The history and story of Harut, Marut, Prophet Sulaiman, and the devils
The events in this post are based on two Quranic verses of Surah Al-Baqara and Ibn Kathir’s writings. Harut and Marut (mentioned in the Quran in Surah Al-Baqarah) were two angels who are known to be behind bringing black magic to this world. Quran clarifies the misunderstanding related to their role. They are mentioned in connection with the events that took place during the time of Prophet Solomon / Sulaiman (alaihis salam) the wise prophet and king, who came after Prophet Moses / Musa (alaihis salam). Allah’s revelation in the Quran about Sulaiman (alaihis salam) also clears the misconceptions that the Jews had about him that he was “just a sorcerer or idolator who was carried by the wind.”

Prophet Sulaiman’s powers
Allah had bestowed Prophet Sulaiman (alaihis salam) with certain powers over mankind, Jinn and all other living creatures. Satan wanted to deprive him of this power. One day, as it was his practice, before going to answer the call of nature, Sulaiman (alaihis salam) gave his ring to a woman called Al-Jaradah. Satan took advantage of this opportunity, came in the form of Sulaiman, and took the ring from her and put the ring on. As Allah had decreed to bless the holder of the ring to have many powers, all mankind, the jinn and devils submitted to Satan. Later, when Sulaiman came seeking his ring from the woman, she accused him of being an imposter. Prophet Sulaiman endured this with patience as he knew that this was a test from Allah the Almighty.

How black magic and fortunetelling became widespread?
With Satan having new powers, the devils were now free to do whatever they wished. It was at this time that they wrote books of black magic and buried them underneath the throne of Prophet Sulaiman (alaihis salam). Black magic and fortune telling came to the earth through these devils who (after having the new powers) would eavesdrop on the descending angels about matters decreed in the Heavens. The devils would then come down to inspire the soothsayers with it, and the latter would add to it many lies of their own. People would then believe them and regard them as trustworthy. The people started writing down these matters and the word spread among the Children of Israel that the Jinn knew the unseen.

Later, when Allah restored to Prophet Sulaiman (alaihis salam) his kingdom, and all those who had strayed away came to follow the straight path once again, Allah the Almighty informed Sulaiman (alaihis salam) about the magic that had become commonplace among his people. This then drove Sulaiman to quickly seize and gather all these writings and put them in a chest and bury them under his throne. All the devils who tried to even approach the chest were burned alive. Prophet Sulaiman took an even harder stance declaring that he would behead anyone who claimed that the devils knew the unseen.

Asif was Sulaiman’s scribe. He knew the Greatest Name of Allah and used to write what he was ordered to by Sulaiman and then bury it underneath the throne. After Sulaiman’s death, a devil came in the form of a human being to the people and said: “I will lead you to an everlasting treasure that will never run out.” He was referring to the writings of Prophet Sulaiman that were buried under the chest. The Satan led the people to dig under Sulaiman’s throne. To provide credibility to his word he also offered to be killed if he was not correct in his claims. After the people dug out all the writings, the devil told them that it was these writings that had given Prophet Sulaiman power over mankind, the Jinn and the birds. The devils altered these books by adding magical and blasphemous writings. The devils wrote about different types of sorcery meant to fulfill different desires.

For example, the devils wrote about how people could get some wishes fulfilled by standing facing the sun and saying some words, and how they could get other wishes fulfilled by standing with their back to the sun and repeating some other words. They wrote this in a book and sealed it with a ring bearing the inscription found on Sulaiman’s ring and titled it with: “This is what has been written by Asif Ibn Barkhiya by the order of King Sulaiman Ibn Dawud: from the treasures of knowledge.” Then, they buried it under Sulaiman’s throne.

It was rumored and circulated that Sulaiman had been a sorcerer. Satan established himself as an orator and said: “O people! Sulaiman was not a prophet; he was only a sorcerer! Go and seek his sorcery in his dwellings and luggage.” And he led them to the buried “treasure”. The people said: “By Allah! Sulaiman was a sorcerer who subjected us through his magic.” But the believers from among them said: “Nay, he was a faithful Prophet.”

Quran’s verses and explanation on the reality of black magic
During Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.S.) time, the Jews kept these writings and disputed the prophet (s) regarding them. They would ask Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.S.) about matters from the Torah. They said: “Muhammad confounds the truth with falsehood: he puts Sulaiman with the prophets while he was just a sorcerer who was carried by the wind.” When they asked him about sorcery, Allah the Almighty revealed to the prophet (s) the following verses:

They followed what the Shayatin (devils) gave out (falsely of the magic) in the lifetime of Sulaiman (Solomon). Sulaiman did not disbelieve, but the Shayatin (devils) disbelieved, teaching men magic and such things that came down at Babylon to the two angels, Harut and Marut, but neither of these two (angels) taught anyone (such things) till they had said, “We are only for trial, so disbelieve not (by learning this magic from us).” And from these (angels) people learn that by which they cause separation between man and his wife, but they could not thus harm anyone except by Allah’s Leave. And they learn that which harms them and profits them not. And indeed they knew that the buyers of it (magic) would have no share in the Hereafter. And how bad indeed was that for which they sold their ownselves, if they but knew.And if they had believed, and guarded themselves from evil and kept their duty to Allah, far better would have been the reward from their Lord, if they but knew! Quran (Surah Al-Baqara, Verses 102-103)

Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.S) informed the Jews of this narration and they left defeated and humiliated. Regarding the angels Harut and Marut mentioned in the verses, Ibn ‘Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) elaborated that: “The angels Harut and Marut used to warn anyone who came to them to learn magic and would say to him: “We are only for trial, so disbelieve not (by learning this magic from us).” They knew what is good, what is bad, what is belief and what is disbelief and thus they knew that magic was associated with disbelief. Ibn ‘Abbas continued: “However, if they could not dissuade the person, they would tell him to go to a particular place to learn magic.Allah the Almighty says:

“…And from these (angels) people learn that by which they cause separation between man and his wife,…” (Al-Baqarah, 2:102).

i.e., the people learned from Harut and Marut the magic by which they would cause separation between man and his wife though the man and wife might have affinity and affection for each other. Separation between them is caused by the cunning of the devils as transmitted in Imam Muslim’s Sahih from the Hadith narrated by Jabir Ibn ‘Abdullah as said by the Prophet (S.A.W.S.): “Iblis places his throne upon water; he then sends detachments (for creating dissension); the nearer to him in rank are those who are most notorious in creating dissension. One of them comes and says: “I did so and so.” And he says: “You have done nothing.” Then one amongst them comes and says: “I did not spare so and so until I sowed the seed of discord between a husband and a wife.” Satan goes near him and says: “You have done well.” Al-A’mash said: “He then embraces him.”

The dissension between a husband and wife can be created through magic by the devil making each of them imagine something bad — a view, or manner, etc. – about the other. Allah the Almighty says:

But they could not thus harm anyone except by Allah’s Leave” (Al-Baqarah, 2:102).

The lesson from the story is that magic is for real and Allah has provided Satan certain powers to harm mankind, especially those who believe in Allah and His message of truth. To prevent us from Satan’s plans and mischief, Allah has also provided us with many verses and adhkar that we can find in the Quran and Hadith. We should, therefore, be regular in reciting those Azkar to avoid getting in the traps of Satan all satanic activities.
Source: Ibn Kathir Stories2

Any intelligent reader will be perplexed by the above fantastic narrative in which its author presents hearsay for a fact and then relies on confabulations to interpret Quran. One is compelled to wonder if the author even for a moment considered his interpretations sheer nonsense. The myth states that Harut and Marut were angels. These angels were not only living amongst the Babylonians, but were also teaching them magic. This myth can be debunked by a single verse in Quran. The verse simply states that all and sundry can see the angels only after they are dead and that too only in the hereafter:

25:22. On the day when they will see the angels, there will be no good news for the guilty…3

The legend of Solomon for his magical powers, his magical kingdom and his epic return to power is also found in Arabic literature, eerily similar to the fantasy in the Hollywood production of Tolkien’s ‘Lord of the Rings – The Return of the King,’4 and is summarized below:

Miraculous Power: Solomon is represented as having authority over spirits, animals, wind, and water, all of which obeyed his orders by virtue of a magic ring set with the four jewels given him by the angels that had power over these four realms. A similar ring is mentioned in stories of the "Arabian Nights." The power inherent in the ring is shown by the following story: It was Solomon’s custom to take off the ring when he was about to wash, and to give it to one of his wives, Amina, to hold. On one occasion, when the ring was in Amina’s keeping, the rebellious spirit Sakhr took on Solomon’s form and obtained the ring. He then seated himself on the throne and ruled for forty days, during which time the real king wandered about the country, poor and forlorn. On the fortieth day Sakhr dropped the ring into the sea; there it was swallowed by a fish, which was caught by a poor fisherman and given to Solomon for his supper. Solomon cut open the fish, found the ring, and returned to power. His forty days’ exile had been sent in punishment for the idolatry practised in his house for forty days, although unknown to him, by one of his wives (Koran, sura xxxviii. 33-34; Baiḍawi, ii. 187; Ṭabri, "Annales," ed. De Goeje, i. 592 et seq.).5

The foremost basis for magic in Quran is attributed to two angels, Harut and Marut in Babylon, in verse 2:102. The advent of these angels occurred centuries after the reign of Solomon and will be part of discussion in this chapter. The mythical interpretation of Harut and Marut is essentially a Persian legend of two fallen angels, Avestan Haurvatāt and Amurdād, who were banished due to their promiscuous act with a Persian princess. The princess was then able to extract the secret name of God from them. Once she uttered that secret name, she ascended to the heavens as Venus (Al-Zuhrah). The angels in turn were punished and imprisoned in chains from ankle to knees, hanging upside down in a well in Mount Damāvand, their thirsty tongues sticking out just short of the water at the bottom and they taught magic. They will stay in this state till the Day of Judgment6. This legend of fallen angels has similarities in the Bible:

2 Peter 2:4 – For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment;7

Since the support for magic in Muslim apologies is based upon references to verse 2:102 of Quran in which Solomon and angels Harut and Marut are mentioned, hence this verse will be addressed straightaway before the term ‘magic’ itself is expunged from Quran in the later part of this chapter. As a matter of principle, whenever there is a reference in Quran to a bygone event, Quran rectifies the errors of pervious Scriptures because it declares itself as a guardian of the truth and absolves, besides Solomon, numerous other prophets as well that have been smeared in the Old Testament:

5:48. And We have revealed to you this perfect Book [–Quran] comprising the truth and wisdom, fulfilling (the prophecies of) the Scripture which was present before it and stands as a guardian over it…8

To understand verse 2:102 it is important to take into account the historical events. These events spanned from Solomon in 9th century BC, to Harut and Marut in Babylon into 5th Century BC. The historical context is important in understanding the relevance of this verse in Madina during the 7th century AD.

About two hundred years after Solomon came Isaiah, the prophet. Isaiah gave a two part prophecy about Babylon. The first part of Isaiah’s prophecy states that Babylon will be overcome by a Persian-Mede king without pillage of the city. The second part of the same prophecy mentions total destruction of the city such that it will never resurrect again.

A hundred years after Isaiah, Nebuchadnezzer II, the Chaldean, razed Solomon’s temple and displaced Israelites from Canaan into Babylon in captivity.

Seventy years later Isaiah’s prophecies were indeed fulfilled. Babylon was overcome by a Persian-Mede king(s) without pillage of the city. This Persian king (or possibly two kings) had the characteristics of Harut, which is most likely a title rather than the name of any particular person. Harut comes from the root word Harat which means to ‘clear’ the land. The second prophecy also came true. The total destruction of Babylon was accomplished by another Persian king referred to as Marut in Quran. Marut comes from the root word Marat which means to ‘level’ the land. The Israelites got their freedom under Harut and Marut albeit over a century. They returned to Jerusalem.

The prophecy of Isaiah foretold the role of Harut and Marut in Babylon. Harut and Marut were no less than angels for the Israelites. Harut and Marut were probably not actual names of these kings. They were referred to as Harut and Marut because they possessed the attributes of Harat and Marat. One cleared Babylon and the other totally levelled. In fact Babylon was cleared by two consecutive Persian kings and thus Harut may refer to two individuals and not one.

The details of these will emerge as we discuss the verse 2:102 of Quran. This verse will be broken down into smaller parts to grasp the context and relevance of the matters that it addresses:

2:102. Moreover, they (- the Jews of the Prophet’s time) pursue (the same tactics) which the rebels [Arabic: shayāṭīnu i.e. devils] had followed against the empire of Solomon…9

Obviously, the verse is referring to intentions, actions and incitement by certain people, the Jews of Madinah (verse 2:101), who were conniving against the sitting government of the Prophet. They were hatching schemes in the same manner that was once done against the government of Solomon – Moreover, they (- the Jews of the Prophet’s time) pursue (the same tactics) which the rebels [Arabic: shayāṭīnu i.e. devils] had followed against the empire of Solomon.

2:102. …And it was not Solomon that had committed breach of faith [Arabic: kafara i.e. disbelieved], but it was the rebels [Arabic: shayāṭīna i.e. devils] that had committed breach of faith…10

This section of the verse 2:102 draws parallels between the rebels at the time of Solomon and the Jews at the time of Prophet Muhammad. The Jews in Madinah, similar to rebels at the time of Solomon, allege that Prophet Muhammad is committing breach of faith and is a false prophet. Whereas, it were the Jews of Madina who were breaching their own faith by their rebellious acts against the promised prophet. The advent of Muhammad was foretold in their own scriptures:

Deuteronomy 18:18. I will raise up for them a Prophet like you [–Moses] from among their brethren [–Ismaelites], and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.11

Deuteronomy 33:2. And he said: “The Lord came from Sinai, And dawned on them from Seir; He shone forth from Mount Paran [–Hejaz, Makkah], And He came with ten thousands of saints [later during the conquest of Makkah]; From His right hand Came a fiery law [–Quran] for them…”12

Prophet “Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years,” (1 Kings 11:42)13 approximately from 971 (or 967) B.C. to 931 BC. His kingdom prospered and extended from Euphrates to Nile. He built the First Temple in Jerusalem. Verse 2:102 is a reference to the time of tranquility and prosperity under Solomon when people from far, China, India and Egypt, converged towards his kingdom and brought with them their respective faiths which became a source of rebellious ideas and movements in his kingdom. The falsehoods attributed to Solomon by these rebels/devils found their way into the Old Testament, unrefuted.14

In Quran, the use of the term ‘devils’ opposing the prophets is used for opposition leaders who use any and every vile scheme to disrupt the message of the prophets and tarnish their image. Similar to the scheming against Prophet Solomon by usurpers in his kingdom, schemes were hatched against Prophet Muhammad, but with a difference. Solomon faced conspiracies because he was a king. Whereas, Prophet Muhammad faced persecution because he was a commoner. The same term ‘devil’ or ‘rebel’ is used in Quran for leaders opposing both prophets:

2:13-14.And when it is said to them, Believe as the people [Arabic: l-nāsu; Companions of the Prophet] believe, they say: Shall we believe as the fools believe? Now surely they are the fools, but they do not know. And when they meet those who believe, they say, We believe; and when they are alone with their devils [Arabic: shayāṭīnihim; evil companions, ring-leaders], they say: Surely we are with you, we were only mocking.15

In the verse 2:102 when Quran states that it was not Solomon that had committed breach of faith, it is factually correcting the Bible which alleges that Solomon in his old age committed breach of faith and setup altars for worship by his non-Jewish wives:

1 Kings 11 – King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter—Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. 2 They were from nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.” Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. 3 He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray. 4 As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been. 5 He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites. 6 So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord; he did not follow the Lord completely, as David his father had done. 7 On a hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable god of Moab, and for Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites. 8 He did the same for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and offered sacrifices to their gods.16

Thus, according to Quran, it was the rebels [Arabic: shayāṭīna i.e. devils] that had committed breach of faith, and not Solomon. This rumor mongering of polytheistic practices of Solomon as spread by the ‘devils,’ the opposition against Solomon, later found its way into the quoted passage of 1 Kings 11, unrefuted. Even more, not only Prophet Solomon was accused of being an enchanter and a sorcerer, but also Prophets Moses and Muhammad, and even the Quran itself was called magic, which we know is not true:

10:2. Is this a (matter of) wonder for the people that We have sent Our revelation to a man from among themselves (saying), `Warn the people (against the evils of disbelief and sin) and give glad tidings to those who believe that they stand on a strong and honourable footing with their Lord?’ The disbelievers say, `Certainly, this (man) [–Muhammad] is an evident enchanter.’17

33:69. Believers! be not as those who maligned Moses [as a sorcerer: verses 20:57, 20:63, 20:71, 51:39]. Indeed Allâh absolved him of their allegations [including that Moses was a sorcerer]. And he (- Moses) is ever high- honored in the sight of Allâh.18

74:24-25. then said: This [Quran] is nothing but magic from of old, this is nothing but the word of a mortal!19

The angels under discussion, Harut and Marut and their alleged teaching of magic, come into picture much later after the death of Solomon when the Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in 597 B.C. by Nebuchadnezzar II, the Babylonian king, and he displaced the Israelites into Babylon. This exile period was the time of Prophets Daniel, Ezra, Ezekiel and Josiah.20 Verse 2:102 thus continues.

2:102. …They (- the Jews of Madînah) teach the people the modes of intriguing [Arabic: siḥ’ra i.e. enchantment, magic, embellished deceit]; and also (pursue) that which had (once) been revealed to the two angels, Hârût and Mârût in Babylon21[Emphasis added]

The very statement – that which had (once) been revealed to the two angels, is a multifactorial proof that Harut and Marut were not angels but humans. According to Quran angels are not the end recipients but conveyers of the revelations. Furthermore, angels do not live amongst humans:

17:95. Say, `Had there been angels on the earth (in place of human beings) walking about secure and sound We (too) would have invariably sent down an angel from heaven as a Messenger to them.’22

While it will become obvious in the discussion to follow that Harut and Marut were Persian kings who cleared and levelled out the enemies of Israelites, it is also important beforehand to clear the air surrounding the use of the word ‘angels’ for them. Both, within Quran and in common usage, the word ‘angel’ is ascribed by people to others for their virtuous characteristics. For example, after the guests of wife of Aziz heard about the pious behavior of Joseph and then saw him, they exclaimed and called him an angel:

12:30. And the women talked in the city, `The wife of the ‘Azîz (- Potiphar, the captain of king’s guard) seeks to seduce her young slave against his will. His love has indeed penetrated deep in her heart. Indeed, we see her in obvious error (in going too far in her love).’

12: 31. And when she heard of their sly whisperings (and taunting remarks), she sent for them and prepared a repast for them, then (on the women’s arrival) she gave to each one of them a knife (to eat fruit therewith) and said (to Joseph then), `Come forth in their presence.’ So when they saw him they found him a dignified personality and cut their hands (through wonder and) said, `Glory be to Allâh! He is not a human being. He is but a noble angel.23 [Emphasis added]

Two angels, Hârût and Mârût in Babylon is a reference to the history calling those savior kings angels. Quran is referring to a term used by Jews where it addresses them in the verse 2:102. This verse addresses the Jews of Madinah who were not only conspiring but were also teaching/inciting sihr, i.e. embellished deceit, to others as well, against the government of the Prophet. In doing so they were also using the tactics that were once employed at the time of Harut and Marut in Babylon. Before one starts interpreting the terms Harut and Marut from folklore one has to understand the root of these words, Harat and Marat, and their usage in Quran. In simple terms, Harat – means clearing up of the land. Marat – means levelling of the land.24

Harata To spear, slit, widen, impair (reputation), have a wide mouth, have wide sides of the mouth, tear up. Hârût: A descriptive name one who tore up. According to Ibn ‘Abbâs Harût and Marût were two men (Baghawî). They are both descriptive names the former being derived from harata (he tore up) and marata (he broke). These names signify that the object of these men (kings) was to tear asunder and break the glory and power of the empire of the enemies of the Israelites. The Holy Qur’ân discredits the Christian and Jewish stories of sinning and rebellious angels (II Epistle of Peter 2:4; Epistle of Jude 5:6; Midrash). See also Mârût. Hârût: Name of an Israelite king who was given the power and authority by God to destroy the enemies of the Israelites. (2:102). (L; T; R; LL) 25

Marata To break, make barren, Maratun: Barren and stripped land; Man without eyebrows. Mart: Hairless beast. Mârût: Attributive name of a king whose object was to break the glory of the enemies of Israelites, as Ibn ‘Abbâs says. His companion was Hârût. Mârût: Name of an Israelite king (2:102). (Ibn ‘Abbâs, Baidzâwî; Ibn Jarîr; Dhahhâq; LL).26

Similar to Gog and Magog27, Harut and Marut are also coupled terms. They signify certain peoples. Their names reflect their sequential actions i.e. Harat – who first cleared up the city of Babel, the ruins of which are found in southern Iraq of modern times, and Marat – who then levelled it altogether. Only then the Israelites, who were earlier displaced from Canaan by Nebuchadnezzar II, had their freedom restored and returned to Palestine. Thus, Harut and Marut must have been nothing but angels for the Israelites.

The origins of the term – that which had (once) been revealed to the two angels, Hârût and Mârût in Babylon is found in history. It was revealed in a prophecy to Prophet Isaiah (around 740 B.C.) the manifestation of two angels, Harut and Marut, who in their strategy will seek relief for Israelites from slavery by their developing an alliance with the kingdoms of Media (also written as Medes) and Persia. It so happened later that it were the Persian kings28 who ended the slavery for the Israelites after the city of Babel was first ‘cleared’ in 539 BC by Cyrus the Great (Cyrus II 560–530 BC, also known as Dhul Qurnain in Quran) who drained the moat around the fortification of the city and then took over the city peacefully and without pillage.29 This reflects the behavior of a Prophet King, be it Dhul Qurnain conquering Babel then or Prophet Muhammad conquering Makkah later. The prophecy states:

Isaiah 13:17. “Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, Who will not regard silver; And as for gold, they will not delight in it.30

See also Isaiah 45:1-8.31

The second time Babel was again attacked and its rebellious king and his followers were killed in 521 BC by Darius I.32 The prophecy of Isiah was thus fulfilled for ‘Harut’:

Daniel 5: 13 Then Daniel was brought in before the king. The king [Belshazzar, son of Nebuchadnezzar II] spoke, and said to Daniel, “Are you that Daniel who is one of the captives from Judah, whom my father [Nebuchadnezzar II] the king brought from Judah?… 30 That very night Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans [–the natives of marshy south-east portion of Mesopotamia], was slain. 31 And Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old.33

The mention of – “Then Daniel was brought in before the king,” clearly points to the fact that Israelites were still under the subjugation of the Babylonian king when ‘Harut’ struck – “Darius the Mede received the kingdom.” For the third time the city was pillaged, the citizens killed and the city itself ‘levelled’ forever by the army of Xerxes I in 482 BC.34,35 The same prophecy points to this event which fulfilled the role of ‘Marut’:

Isiah 13:18-20. Also their bows will dash the young men to pieces, And they will have no pity on the fruit of the womb; Their eye will not spare children. And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, The beauty of the Chaldeans’ pride, Will be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It will never be inhabited, Nor will it be settled from generation to generation; Nor will the Arabian pitch tents there, Nor will the shepherds make their sheepfolds there.36

See also Jermiah 5137

The exiled Israelites returned from Babylon over a period stretching from 538 B.C. to 445 B.C.38

In the stated verse – They (- the Jews of Madînah) teach the people the modes of intriguing; and also (pursue) that which had (once) been revealed to the two angels, Hârût and Mârût in Babylon, essentially points to the alliance that started in Babylon between the subjugated and displaced Jews and the Persian kings. This alliance continued even during the time of the Prophet in Madina. The Jews of Madina asked the Persian king for support against the Prophet. It is on record that the governor of Yemen, then province of Persia, sent guards to arrest the Prophet in Madina. By Divine knowledge, the next day, the Prophet told them that the Persian king whose orders they were following had been killed by his own son. The guards returned empty handed.

2:102. …But these two [–Harut and Marut] would not teach (anything to) anyone without first declaring, `We are but a trial (for you here), do not, therefore commit breach of faith.’…39

Harut and Marut, the kings, were Divinely inspired to convey to Israelites with whom they were in alliance, that even though they secured freedom for them, the whole effort was essentially a moral trial according to Quran – We are but a trial (for you here). Harut and Marut further conveyed to the Israelites that after they get their freedom from the Babylonians, the Israelites, in the future must not commit breach of faith in the same manner, as the rebels against Solomon had – it was not Solomon that had committed breach of faith, but the rebels that had committed breach of faith.

Here the Jews of Madina are admonished not to commit a similar breach of faith against the Prophet, the ruler of Madina. Despite their peace treaty with the Prophet, the Jews continued to stoke rifts between Aws and Khazraj, the Arab tribes in Madina, who had found peace between themselves only after they had converted to Islam. The Jews incessantly and successfully provoked Makkans to attack Madina resulting in battles of Badr and Uhad. Their tribe committed treason during the Battle of Confederates. They even tried to kill the Prophet by entrapping him in their neighborhood by attempting to crush him under a rock from a roof top. The breach of faith of peace treaty by Jews is summated in the book ‘Muhammad and the Jews. A Re-examination’ by Barakat Ahmad under its chapter ‘The Jewish Support for Medinan Opposition’(see footnote40).

The enslaved Israelites in Babylon were morally correct to hatch a secret alliance with the Persian kings. On the contrary, in Madina the Jews had no moral basis for their conspiracy against the government of Prophet Muhammad. After the arrival of the Prophet in Madina, they freely entered into a written alliance and on equal footing with the Prophet (Mesaq e Madina41). They lived as several independent tribes and went about their daily lives without any hindrance. After agreeing to an alliance treaty any secret planning by them against the Muslims was clearly a breach of faith. The current verse refers to it – do not, therefore commit breach of faith.

History is witness to the rebellious behavior of Israelites. They repeatedly lost to the outside forces, their kingdom, its capital Jerusalem and the Solomon’s Temple, not only before the time of Harut and Marut, but afterward as well. They contrived to kill Jesus and even tried to kill the Prophet in Madina. Quran recounts this disorderly conduct of the Israelites:

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

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

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

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

17:8. Still it is well-nigh that your Lord will again have mercy on you, (through Islam) but if you return (to mischief, We warn,) We too will return (to Our punishment), We have made Gehenna a prison-house for the ungrateful.42

Quran refutes the notion that angels could possibly teach evil crafts. By definition angels are agencies of Allah, and only good flows from Allah, not evil. Angles cannot disobey God and have no free will of their own to mislead mankind:

16:49-50. And to Allah submits every living creature that is in the heavens and that is in the earth, and the angels (too) and they are not proud. They fear their Lord above them and do what they are commanded.43

66:6. …They [–the angels] do not disobey Allah in what He commands them, but do as they are commanded.44

If Harut and Marut were angels like Gabriel and Michael (verse 2:98), the possibility of their misleading the people by teaching magic is repugnant to teachings of Quran. If these angels were teaching magic, an evil craft, then this is clearly the Christian doctrine of ‘Fallen Angels’ and has nothing to do with Quran:

2 Peter 2:44. For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;45

Angels, real or mythical, at least by the standards of Quran, cannot disobey Allah because by their very attribute they do not have a free will of their own and they do as they are commanded (verse 66:6) by Allah. If by any remote imagination, Harut and Marut taught magic, then either they were not angels or God forbid, Allah Himself is the teacher of magic and deception through them (I seek mercy of Allah). The myth states that Harut and Marut taught magic to the people; hence by implication they were visibly interacting with humans. By Quranic standards, angels cannot be perceived by physical eyes. They can be ‘seen’ only with a spiritual vision, a subject that is dealt with in a separate chapter.

Angels teaching magic is a total misread of the verse 2:102. The revelation via the angels strictly adheres to the principles of faith and is free from misguidance. In the verses preceding the current verse it is stated that for one to go against Divine Commandments, in this case that knowledge which is revealed to Prophet Muhammad, in both spiritual and worldly domains, is actually one going against Allah Himself:

2:97-101. Say, `He who is an enemy to Gabriel, because it is he who has brought down this (Qur’ân) on your heart by the command of Allâh, and which confirms (the Scriptures) which preceded it, and is a guidance and good tidings to the believers, `(Let him bear in mind that) whoever is an enemy to Allâh and His angels and His Messengers and Gabriel [–the angel of highest knowledge, the revelations of spiritual domain] and Michael [–the angel of worldly and material knowledge], then, of course, Allâh (Himself) is an enemy to such disbelievers.’ And We indeed have sent down to you clear arguments which none but the disobedient reject. Is it not a fact that every time they made a covenant, some of them cast it away? Rather most of them have no (true) faith. And (now) when a great Messenger (Muhammad) has come to them from Allâh confirming that (Scripture) which is with them [–Torah], a party of those who were given the Scripture cast away the Book of Allâh behind their backs, as if they know (it) not.46

2:102. …So they (- the followers of Hârût and Mârût), learnt from them that (teaching) by which they made a distinction between man and his wife, (- they taught men only and not women), yet they would not harm anyone thereby (by their practice), save by the command of Allâh…47

This is a historical reference to the secrecy of alliance between enslaved Israelites in Babylon with kings of Media (now North-Western Iran) and Persia.48 The level of secrecy was of highest level to the extent that, metaphorically or for real, even their women folks were kept in dark. This practice of secret councils survived in the Masonic religion to this day. The core tenet of Freemasonry is to keep women out of their organization that Quran refers to when it states – they made a distinction between man and his wife, (- they taught men only and not women). This tenet is outlined in the ‘Constitution of Freemasons’:

The Persons admitted Members of a Lodge must be good and true Men, free-born, and of mature and discreet Age, no Bondmen, no Women, no immoral or scandalous Men, but of good Report.”49 [Emphasis added]

The modus operandi of Masonic societies makes distinction between man and his wife, and all their meetings and rituals are held in utmost secrecy. Jews of Madina during the time of the Prophet resorted to the same Masonic practices. They, like the time of Harut and Marut in Babylon, schemed and sought help from the king of Persia.

The reference in Quran – yet they [i.e Harut and Marut] would not harm anyone thereby (by their practice), save by the command of Allâh, points to liberating role of Cyrus II, Darius I and Xeres I in Babylon as discussed before. Further, Quran also admonished the Freemasons in Madina that their conspiracies would not harm anyone thereby, save by the command of Allâh. Early Islamic history testifies to fulfillment of this admonishment of Quran to the rebellious Jews of Madina and is outlined in the subsequent portion of the verse 2:102 below.

2:102. …But these people (- the Jews of the Prophet’s time, on the contrary) are learning things that would harm them and do them no good. (They do it) even though they know that he who adopts this course will have no share (of good) in the Hereafter. Indeed, evil is that thing which they have sold themselves for. Had they but known (this fact).50

In the last segment of the verse 2:102, Quran warns the holders of secret counsels against Islam. Since, Prophet Muhammad is holding an appointed office and his message is from Allah, anyone scheming against the Prophet is factually scheming against Allah. Such a person or organization is bound to commit things that would harm them and do them no good. This warning was validated later in Madina. The Jewish tribes of Banu Qainuqah, Banu Nadhir and Banu Quraiza were subsequently displaced out of the city for their incessant scheming against the Prophet and the Muslims. While Quran does not forbid holding councils to promote good in the society, it squarely addressed and forewarned the intriguing Masonic councils of Jews in Madina:

58:7. Do you not see that Allâh knows whatever lies in the heavens and whatever lies in the earth? There are no three holding a secret counsel but He is their fourth. There are no such five but He is their sixth. Whether they are fewer than that or more, He is with them, no matter where they are. Then on the Day of Resurrection He will tell them (in the form of requital) all that they have been doing. Surely, Allâh is Possessor of full-knowledge of all things.

58:8. Have you not seen those who were forbidden (to hold) secret counsels and yet repeatedly returned to what they were forbidden to do, and they conferred together secretly (encouraging) sin, transgression and disobedience to the Messenger? When they come to you they greet you (with words) with which Allâh has not greeted you, but they say one to another, `Why does Allâh not cause us to suffer for what we say (hypocritically).’ Sufficient for them is Gehenna (to reckon with them satisfactorily). They shall enter it. What an evil resort!

58:9. O you who believe! when you hold secret counsels do not confer to promote sin, transgression and disobedience to the Messenger. Rather confer (to promote) piety, and righteousness and restrain from evil. And take Allâh as a shield, (Allâh) before whom you shall be gathered together.

58:10. Holding secret counsels (with evil intentions) is (the work) of satan (who does it) to cause unrest and distress to those who believe. Yet he can do them no harm at all except by the leave of Allâh. Therefore let the believers repose their trust in Allâh.51 [Emphasis added]

In summary, the verse 2:102 brings to fore the devilish acts, the secret scheming by evil minded, the Jews of Madina against Prophet Muhammad. It also explains the modus operandi of these schemers which was based upon the same evil schemes that were plotted against Prophet Solomon, including efforts to defame him (1 Kings 11). The verse also recounts the story of Harut and Marut who liberated Israelites. The verse highlights the distinctive characteristic of the schemers in that they exclude women from among their midst – the Freemasons, a secret society with its origins during construction of Solomon temple, if not earlier.52 The Jews of Madina were in collusion with Persian kings in their schemes. The goal of these schemers was to destroy Islam. The verse ends with the prophecy that they would fail. That was evidenced later by the expulsion of Jews from Madina.53 Maulana Muhammad Ali also explains the matter in one of his sermons (see footnote).54

After refuting magic attributed to verse 2:102 we turn our attention the word ‘magic.’ Various terms that the advocates of magic allude to by referencing them in Quran are discussed for their lexicographical basis in ‘Dictionary of Quran’ by Abdul Mannan Omar:

Sahara, Suhura / Sahira To gild, fascinate, bewitch, wheedle, turn anyone from enchant, practice sorcery, hoax, involve in trouble, deprive of understanding. Sihr: Witchcraft; Sorcery; Eloquence; Seduction; Falsehood; Deception; Turning of a thing from its proper manner to another manner; Anything the source of which is not quite visible; Showing off falsehood in the form of truth; Crafty device; Mischief; Mesmerism; Hypnotism. Sâhir plu. Sâhirûn and Sâharâ; Wizards; Fraud; Deluder; Man of vast knowledge. Mashûr: Bewitched; Feeded. Sihrân: Two magics, two magicians. Mushharun: Bewitched. Sahira: To rise or act at day break. Sahar/Suhar: plu. Ashâr: Day break; End; Edge. Later part of the night; Core of the heart; Inner part of the heart; Heart. Saharû (prf. 3rd. p.m. plu.): They enchanted, cast a spell. Tashara (imp. 2nd. p.m. sing. acc.): Thou enchant, cast a spell. Tusharûna (pip. 2nd. p.m. sing.): Ye are turned away, led away. Sihrun (n.): Intrigue; Hoax; Device; Spell; Enchantment; Deception; Sorcery; Skillful eloquence; Witchcraft; Fraud; Illusion; Magic; Trickstery. Sihrân (n. dual.): Two magicians. Sâhirun (act. pic. n. sing.): Magician; Thing of which the origin is subtle; Corruption; Falsehood. Sâhirûna (act. pic. m. plu): Magicians. Sâhirâni (act. pic. m. dual.): Two magicians. Saharatun (act. pic. m. plu.): Magicians. Sahhâr (ints.): Big magician. Mashûr (pct. pic. m. sing.): Enchanted; Defrauded; Deprived of reason; Under spell; Victim of deception; Who is given food. Mashurûna /Mashurîna (nom./acc. act. pic. m. plu. II.): Enchanted ones. Musahharin (pis. pic. m. plu. II.): Bewitched one; Under Spell; Who are dependent on being given food. Saharun (n.): Early dawn; In the last watch of the night. Ashâr (n. plu. of Sahar): Early dawn. (L; T; R; LL; Râzî) The root with its above forms has been used in The Holy Qur’ân about 63 times.55

It would be an error to discuss or even refute ‘magic’ from within Quran. There is no such existential entity of ‘magic’ and it is not the subject matter of Quran to discuss a non-entity. Still the term ‘magic’ has many hues to it, for example, the illusory enchantment and sorcery of arguments which fall under their metaphorical usage in Quran. The alleged sorcery attributed to Moses and the priests of Egypt is rebutted in a separate chapter.56 If at all, magic and omens fall in the rubric of superstitions. Quran expunges superstitions, one and all, from its midst:

5:103. Allâh has not instituted (superstition like those of) any Bahîrah (-an animal having her ear slit and let loose for free pasture, dedicated to some god, their milk was not used, nor their back, nor their meat); or Sâ’ibah (-an animal having given birth to ten females, liberated to pasture where she would, not be ridden, nor milk drunk except by her young); or Wasîlah (-an animal which gave birth to seven females consecutively and at the seventh birth she bore a pair male and female. Each of the latter was let loose and the milk of the animal drunk by men only and not by women;) or Hâmi (-an animal that is left at liberty without being made use of in any way whatsover). But those who disbelieve have fabricated a lie (by such superstitious dedications) in the name of Allâh. Most of them cannot refrain (from such polytheistic superstitions).

5:104. And when it is said to them, `Come to what Allâh has revealed and to this perfect Messenger.’ They say, `Sufficient for us is that (tradition) whereon we have found our forefathers.’ What! (would they follow them blindly) even though their forefathers had no knowledge whatsoever and had no guidance? 57

Not to be left behind in superstition mongering, ironically, even some exegesis of Quran advocate magic. Instead of refuting superstitions altogether, the exegesis promote its existence and then offer apologies. Following is an example from such an exegesis where it quotes the example of a fee for service of ‘Quranic spells’ and sanctifies it from alleged reports attributed to the Prophet and his Companions:

Many people in this regard argue from Hadrat Abu Said Khudri’s tradition which has been related in Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Musnad Ahmad, Abu Daud and Ibn Majah, and it is supported also by a tradition related in Bukhari on the authority of Ibn Abbas. According to it the Holy Prophet sent some of his Companions including Hadrat Abu Said Khudri on an expedition. They halted on the way at the settlement of an Arabian tribe and demanded hospitality from the people, but they refused to extend any hospitality. In the meantime the chief of the tribe was stung by a scorpion and the people came to the travelers to ask if they had any medicine or formula by which their chief could be cured. Hadrat Abu Said said: "Yes, we do have, but since you have refused us hospitality, we would not treat him unless you promised us to give us something." They promised to give them a flock of goats (according to some traditions, 30 goats), and Hadrat Abu Said went and started reciting Surah Al-Fatihah and rubbing his saliva on the affected place. Consequently, the chief felt relieved of the effect of the poison and the people of the tribe gave them the goats as promised. But the Companions said to one another; "Let us not make any use of the goats until we have asked the Holy Prophet about it", for they were not sure whether it was permissible to accept any reward for what they had done. So they came before the Holy Prophet and related what had happened. The Holy Prophet smiled and said: "How did you know that Surah Al-Fatihah could also be used for curing such troubles? Take the goats and allocate my share also in it."

But before one used this Hadith for permission to adopt a regular profession of granting amulets and reciting charms, one should keep in view the conditions under which Hadrat Abu Said Khudri had recourse to it, and the Holy Prophet not only held it as permissible but also said that a share for him also should be allocated so that there remained no doubt in the minds of the Companions that such a thing was permissible. The conditions in Arabia in those days were, as they still are, that settlements were situated hundreds of miles apart, there were not hotels and restaurants where a traveler could buy food when he reached one of these after several days journey. Under such conditions it was considered a moral duty that when a traveler reached a settlement the people of the place should extend hospitality to him. Refusal on their part in many cases meant death for the travelers, and this was looked upon as highly blameworthy among the Arabs. That is why the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) allowed as permissible the act of his Companions. Since the people of the tribe had refused them hospitality, they too refused to treat their chief, and became ready to treat him only on the condition that they should promise to give them something in return. Then, when one of them with trust in God recited Surah Al-Fatihah over the chief and he became well, the people gave the promised wages and the Holy Prophet allowed that the wages be accepted as lawful and pure. In Bukhari the tradition related on the authority of Hadrat Abdullah bin Abbas about this incident contains the Holy Prophet’s words to the effect: "Instead that you should have acted otherwise, it was better that you recited the Book of Allah and accepted the wages for it." He said this in order to impress the truth that Allah’s Word is superior to every other kind of enchanting and practice of secret arts. Furthermore, the Message also was incidentally conveyed to the Arabian tribe and its people made aware of the blessings of the Word that the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) had brought from Allah. This incident cannot be cited as a precedent for the people who run clinic in the cities and towns for the practice of secret arts and have adopted it as a regular profession for earning livelihood. No precedent of it is found in the life and practice of the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) or his Companions, their followers and the earliest Imams.58

The manner in which the above incidence is described is repugnant to the very spirit of Quran. The exegesis alleges that the Companions of the Prophet withheld and refused to offer its message and its benedictions to a victim of scorpion bite. The exegesis also alleges that benedictions of Quran were offered only in return for a fee, an act, which later the Prophet not only endorsed but also for his share of the fee. On the contrary, Quran repeatedly mentions that the Prophet does not, cannot and will not ask for a reward for the message of Quran:

6:90. It is these whom Allâh has guided; so follow their guidance. Say, `I ask you no reward for bringing this (guidance). This is nought but a reminder for all world.59

10:72. `But if you turn back (you will suffer for it). I have asked of you no reward (for any of my services to you). My reward lies with Allâh alone. And I have been commanded to be of those who fully resign themselves (to Him).’60

11:51. `My people! I ask of you no reward for this (teaching). My reward is not due but from Him Who created me. Will you not then understand?61

26:109. `And I ask no reward from you for it (- the delivery of the Message of God). My reward lies with the Lord of the worlds alone.62

26:127. `I ask no reward from you for this (service I render). My reward lies only with the Lord of the worlds.63

36:21. `Follow those who ask no reward from you and who are following the right path.64

The said exegesis sanctifies withholding of help by Hadrat Abu Said from the victim of scorpion bite. On the contrary, Quran looks down on such a behavior by anyone, especially by a Muslim, from withholding a simple good deed:

107:4-7. So woe to those who Pray, But are unmindful of their Prayer (and ignore the spirit and aim of it), And they like (only) to be seen (of people while they make a show of their deeds), And who withhold (legal) alms and other acts of kindness (starting from the Zakât to the lowest form of lending ordinary things of utility like a needle or a piece of thread to a neighbour).65

According to Quran, withholding of good from others is essentially a trait of hypocrites:

9:67. The hypocrites, both men and women, are all (strictly) alike. They enjoin the wrong and forbid the right and withhold their hands…66

The above account of treating a scorpion (or snake) bite victim fails to mention other interventions that were probably conducted for the patient besides the payer that any Muslim intuitively recites in Surah Al-Fatihah. Asking fee for a service and one’s labor is quite legitimate. Bites of snakes and scorpions are painful and distressing to the victim, but with passage of time some recover on their own, which might have happened in this case. Additionally, the report also mentions Prophet’s laughter, implying that he made light of the whole matter.67

Returning to the subject at hand, with a pre-existing belief in magic, some readers of Quran try to find references in it to validate their beliefs. They ascribe the origin of magic to Prophet Solomon (PBUH), which are essentially Jewish folktales. The myths attributed to Solomon include his magical Seal and his control over demons etc. The origins of magic are reinforced with a superficial read in Quran where it mentions Jinns, Harut, Marut; Solomon talking to Birds (Hudud) and Ants; and subservience of wind to Solomon. The myths specific to Solomon are addressed in a separate chapter. Quran rubbishes it all, the imaginative knowledge of the ‘unseen,’ fortune telling, the supernatural of the magic and mind reading. The unseen is not be confused with that which is discovered by science. Discovering of the unseen by science is knowledge based experience of God’s laws and is encouraged in Quran:

20:114. …say: My Lord, increase me in knowledge.68

18:109. Say, `If every ocean became ink for (recording) the words and creation of my Lord, surely, the oceans would be spent up before the words and creation of my Lord came to an end, even if we brought to add (therewith) as many more (oceans).69

31:27. And if all the trees in the earth were pens, and the sea with seven more seas added to it (were ink), the words of Allah would not be exhausted. Surely Allah is Mighty, Wise.70

Underlying the presumed mystery of magic is the power to know and to control the unseen, which according to Quran is with only God:

2:255. Allâh, there is no other, cannot be and will never be One worthy of worship but He, the Ever Living, Self-Subsisting and All-Sustaining. Slumber overtakes Him not, nor sleep. Whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth belongs to Him. Who is there that will intercede with Him, save by His leave? He knows their future and their past; and they encompass nothing of His knowledge (of the things) except of such (things) as He (Himself) pleases (to tell). His knowledge and suzerainty extends over the heavens and the earth and the care of them both tires Him not. He is the Supreme, the Great. 71

6:59. All the treasures of the unseen lie at His disposal. No one knows them but He; He knows whatsoever is in the land and in the sea. There falls not a single leaf but He knows it, nor is there a grain in the dark beds of the earth, nor anything fresh or dry but all is recorded in a clear book (-in God’s perfect knowledge).72

6:73. … He is the Knower of all the hidden realities and the seen. And He is the All-Wise, the All-Aware. 73

20:110. (God the Almighty) knows all that is before (-the people – their future) and all that is behind them (-their past); they cannot encompass Him with (their) knowledge.74

22:76. He knows the future of the people and their past; and to Allâh do all matters stand referred (for judgment).75

64:18. He is the Omniscient of the unseen and the seen. (He is) the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.76

Of all the people, even Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was unaware of the unseen and the future, minus the prophecies disclosed to him:

7:187. They ask you about the Hour, when it will come to pass. Say, `Surely, the knowledge thereof is with my Lord. He alone will reveal it at its proper time. It shall be heavy on the heavens and on the earth. It shall not come upon you but all of a sudden.’ They ask you (about it) as if you were curiously solicitous about it (from Allâh). Say, `The knowledge of it is only with Allâh, but most people do not know (this fact).’

7:188. Say, `I have no power over (bringing) any gain or (avoiding) any harm to myself save to the extent that Allâh will. And had I known the unseen I would surely have secured a great deal of good (for myself) and no harm would ever have come to me. I am only a Warner (to the wicked) and a Bearer of good tidings (to the people who believe).77

21:109. But if they still turn back say, `I have given you clear warning in all fairness. I do not know, however, whether that threat held out to you will be (fulfilled in the) near or distant (future).78

72:25. Say, `I have no knowledge whether that (punishment) you are threatened with is near (at hand) or whether my Lord will fix a later term for it.’79

No human, including the prophets, has been given the power to know that which is in the minds of the others:

5:109. (Imagine) the day when Allâh will gather together all the Messengers and asks, `What response did you receive?’ They will say, `We have no real knowledge (about the minds of the people), surely it is You alone Who have true and perfect knowledge of all things unseen.’80

According to Quran, no person has the knowledge of the future beyond a prediction based upon some naturally occurring variable such as weather:

53:35. Has he [–the disbeliever in Quran or for that matter any ordinary human] the knowledge of the unseen so that he can see (his own future)?81

No human can achieve the knowledge of the ‘unseen’ of his/her own future, be it the formal ‘education’ of the occult and fortune telling:

19:77-78. Have you considered the case of one who denies Our Messages and says `I shall indeed be given great wealth and a number of children.’ Has he looked into and gained knowledge of the unseen or has he taken a promise from the Most Gracious (God)?82

The only exception to knowledge of future is the prophecies based solely upon that which is imparted by God Himself. The example of prophecies in Quran are of Noah asked to prepare for the flood, Lot and his followers told to leave the dwellings of Sodom and Gomorrah, Joseph interpreting the dreams and predicting the famine and the fate of his fellow inmates, Exodus of Moses and Israelites, Mary foretold of the birth and mission of Jesus, Prophet Muhammad informed of his overcoming the Makkans etc.:

72:26-28. He [–Allah] alone knows the hidden (future) and He does not grant predominance to any one over His secrets, Except to him whom He chooses to be a Messenger (of His, to whom He frequently tells many news about the hidden future). (And when He does this) He orders an escort of (guarding angels) to go before him and behind him; That He may make it known (to the people) that they (- the Divine Messengers) have properly delivered the Messages of their Lord. He encompasses (in His knowledge) all that they have, and keeps count of all things.83

3:179. And Allâh is not going to leave (you), the believers, as you are, unless He has distinguished the corrupt from the good. Nor is Allâh going to reveal fully to (everyone of) you, the unseen; but Allâh chooses (for His Messages) such of His Messengers as He will. Believe, therefore in Allâh and His Messengers; and (remember) if you believe (truly) and guard against evil then there is for you a great reward.84

The miseries that people suffer from and then attribute them to magic spells and cast counter spells for relief are debunked by Quran:

6:63. Say, `Who delivers you [including the soothsayers, the magicians] from the horrors of the land and the sea when you call upon Him in humility and in open supplication (saying), "If He delivers us from this (hardship) we shall ever be grateful (to Him)"‘

6:64. Say, `It is Allâh who delivers you from these (horrors) and from every calamity, still you associate partners (with Him).’

6:65. Say, `He has power to send upon you a calamity from above and from beneath your feet or He may throw you into confusion by making you confront with conflicting parties, and make you taste the dissension (and violence) of one another.’ Behold! how We explain Our Messages in different ways so that they may give thought.

6:66. Your people have cried lies to this (Qur’ân), though it is the truth. Say, `I am not responsible for your affairs.’85

Quran ridicules any ‘magical’ beliefs in all matters:

6:71. Say, `Shall we call, besides Allâh, upon that which can neither profit us nor harm us (by itself), and shall we be turned back on our heels (and led astray) after Allâh has guided us, like one whom the evil ones have made to follow his caprices (leaving him) utterly bewildered in the land; (whilst) he has companions who call him to the guidance (of Allâh, saying), "Come to us".’ Say, `Verily Allah’s guidance is the only perfect guidance. And we are commanded (by Him) to submit to the Lord of the worlds.’86

As to the detractors from the message of Quran who base their faith on superstitions, Quran states:

6:70. And leave alone those who take their religion as a futile and frivolous thing causing diversion (from Allâh). Present life has beguiled them, therefore go on admonishing (such people) by means of this (Qur’ân) lest a soul should be consigned to perdition because of its misdeeds. There is no patron for it (-the soul) apart from Allâh, nor intercessor, and even if it may offer every compensation it will not be accepted from it. It is these who are destroyed for what they accomplished. There awaits them a drink of boiling water and a grievous punishment because they disbelieved.87

Nowhere Quran endorses the nonsense of magic. Rather, it ridicules the deniers of Quran who called Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as an enchanter:

10:2. … The disbelievers say, `Certainly, this (man) is an evident enchanter.’88

Further, the same people who alleged witchcraft to the success of Prophet Muhammad even called Quran itself as magic:

74:24. And said, `This (Qur’ân) is nothing but an age long magic handed down (by tradition).89

If no human can know the future or what’s in the minds of the people, and while Quran makes a mockery of the concept of magic, then one wonders as to what leads certain readers to ascribe the endorsement of magic in Quran? That kind of confused thinking emanates from certain verses which are discussed and clarified next. The last two chapters of Quran, namely the Dawn90 and Mankind91 (jointly called Mu’awwidhatayn) are attributed by a superficial read as a protection against the supernatural evils and witchcraft. The subject matter of these chapters has nothing to do with magic. These chapters remind one of the evil of everything created and the evil whisperings into the minds that mankind suffers from. When reading these surahs, reproduced from ‘English Translation of The Holy Quran With Explanatory Notes’ by Maulana Muhammad Ali, edited by Dr. Zahid Aziz, the reader is encouraged to also read the corresponding footnotes which bring to light the full context of what is stated in these chapters:

 

113:1. Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of the dawn,92
113:2. from the evil of what He has created,93
113:3. and from the evil of intense darkness,94 when it comes,
113:4. and from the evil of those who cast (evil suggestions) in firm resolutions,95
113:5. and from the evil of the envier when he envies.96

 

114:1 Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of mankind,
114:2. the King of mankind,
114:3. the God of mankind,
114:4. from the evil of the whisperings of the sneaking (devil),
114:5. who whispers into the hearts of people,
114:6. (and is) from among the jinn and mankind.97

Here a prayer has been taught to seek protection in Allah against all such evils which come in the way of a believer in his/her struggle of life.98 There is also an associated myth surrounding these surahs about the Prophet. The single sourced legend is attributed to Hisham bin Urwah. According to the report a Jew cast magical spell on the Prophet. Due to the spell he fell ill for an extended period of time. Under the effects of the spell he almost lost his mind to the extent that even his prophethood becomes questionable. Consequently, Gabriel revealed the two stated chapters of Quran to the Prophet after reciting of which he was able to shed off the alleged spell and recovered his health. Even though the whole story could be refuted on the sole basis that in it there is also mention of Ali, Zubair and others prominent Companions as witnesses to the matter, but no hadith is related from these Companions for this significant event. We quote the following from an exegesis which takes the report both for a fact and then offers an apology which factually endorses the ‘magic’ as a fact rather than a myth. The exegesis interprets ‘magic’ for its literal and infantile meanings in Quran rather than its implied metaphorical usage:

As far as the historical aspect is concerned, the incident of the Holy Prophet’s being affected by magic is absolutely confirmed, and if it can be refuted by scientific criticism, then no historical event of the world can be proved right and genuine. It has been related by Bukhari, Muslim, Nasai, Ibn Majah, Imam Ahmad, Abdur Razzaq, Humaidi, Baihaqi, Tabarani, Ibn Sad, Ibn Mardayah, Ibn Abi Shaibah, Hakim, Abd bin Humaid and other traditionists on the authority of Hadrat Aishah, Hadrat Zaid bin Arqam and Hadrat Abdullah bin Abbas, through so many different and numerous channels that forgery is out of the question. Although each tradition by itself is an isolated report (khabar wahid), we give it below as a connected event from the details provided by the traditions.

After the peace treaty of Hudaibiyah when the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) returned to Madinah, a deputation of the Jews of Khaibar visited Madinah in Muharram, A.H. 7 and met a famous magician, Labid bin Asam, who belonged to the Ansar tribe of Bani Zurayq. They said to him: "You know how Muhammad (upon whom be Allah’s peace and blessings) has treated us. We have tried our best to bewitch him but have not succeeded. Now we have come to you because you are a more skilled magician. Here are three gold coins, accept these and cast a powerful magic spell on Muhammad." In those days the Holy Prophet had a Jewish boy as his attendant. Through him they obtained a piece of the Holy Prophet’s comb with some hair stuck to it. Magic was worked on the same hair and the teeth of the comb. According to some traditions, magic was worked by Labid bin Asam himself, according to others, his sisters were more skilled than him and he got the spell cast through them. Whatever be the case, Labid placed this spell in the spathe of a male date-tree and hid it under a stone at the bottom of Dharwan or Dhi Arwan, the well of Bani Zurayq. The spell took one whole year to have effect upon the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace). In the latter half of the year the Holy Prophet started feeling as if was unwell. The last forty days became hard on him, of which the last three days were even harder. But its maximum effect on him was that he lay melting away from within. He thought he had done a thing whereas, in fact, he had not done it: he thought he had visited his wives whereas he had not visited them; and sometimes he would doubt having seen something whereas, in fact, he had not seen it. All these effects were confined to his own person; so much so that the other people could not notice what state he was passing through. As for his being a Prophet, no change occurred in the performance of his duties.

There is no tradition to say that he might have forgotten some verses of the Qur’an in those days, or might have recited a verse wrongly, or a change might have occurred in the assemblies and in his counsels and sermons, or he might have presented a discourse as Revelation which may not have been revealed to him, or he might have missed a Prayer and thought that he had performed it. God forbid, if any such thing had happened, it would have caused a clamor and the whole of Arabia would have known that a magician had overpowered the one whom no power had been able to overpower. But the Holy Prophet’s position as a Prophet remained wholly unaffected by it. Only in his personal life he remained worried on account of it. At last, one day when he was in the house of Hadrat Aishah, he prayed to Allah to be restored to full health. In the meantime he fell asleep or drowsed and on waking he said to Hadrat Aishah: "My Lord has told me what I had asked of Him." Hadrat Aishah asked what it was. He replied: "Two men (i.e. two angels in human guise) came to me. One sat near my head and the other near my feet. The first asked: what has happened to him? The other replied: Magic has been worked on him. The first asked: who has worked it? He replied: Labid bin Asam. He asked: In what is it contained? He replied: In the comb and hair covered in the spathe of a male date-tree. He asked: where is it? He replied: under a stone at the bottom of Dhi Arwan (or Dharwan), the well of Bani Zurayq. He asked: what should be done about it? He replied: the well should be emptied and it should be taken out from under the stone. The Holy Prophet then sent Hadrat Ali, Hadrat Ammar bin Yasir and Hadrat Zubair: They were also joined by Jubair bin Iyas az-Zurqi (two men from Bani Zurayq). Later the Holy Prophet also arrived at the well along with some Companions. The water was taken out and the spathe recovered. There they found that beside the comb and hair there was a cord with eleven knots on it and a wax image with needles pricked into it. Gabriel (peace be on him) came and told him to repeat the Mu’awwidhatayn. As he repeated verse after verse, a knot was loosened and a needle taken out every time, till on finishing the last words all the knots were loosened and all the needles removed, and he was entirely freed from the charm. After this he called Labid and questioned him. He confessed his guilt and the Holy Prophet let him go, for he never avenged himself on anyone for any harm done to his person. He even declined to talk about it to others, saying that Allah had restored him to health; therefore he did not like that he should incite the people against anyone.

This is the story of the magic worked on the Holy Prophet. There is nothing in it which might run counter to his office of Prophethood. In his personal capacity if any injury could be inflicted on him as it happened in the Battle of Uhud, if he could fall from his horse and be hurt as is confirmed by the Hadith, if he could be stung by a scorpion as has been mentioned in some Traditions and none of these negates the protection promised him by Allah in his capacity as a Prophet, he could also fall ill under the influence of magic in his personal capacity. That a Prophet can be affected by magic is also confirmed by the Qur’an. In Surah Al- A’raf it has been said about the magicians of Pharaoh that when they confronted the Prophet Moses, they bewitched the eyes of thousands of people who had assembled to witness the encounter (v. 116). In Surah Ta Ha it has been said that not only the common people but the Prophet Moses too felt that the cords and staffs that they cast were running towards them like so many snakes, and this filled Moses’ heart with fear. Thereupon Allah revealed to him: "Don’t fear for you will come out victorious. Cast down you staff." (vv. 66-69). As for the objection that this then confirms the accusation of the disbelievers of Makkah that the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) was a bewitched man, its answer is that the disbelievers did not call him a bewitched man in the sense that he had fallen ill under that effect of magic cast by somebody, but in the sense that some magician has, God forbid, made him mad, and he had made claim to Prophethood and was telling the people tales of Hell and Heaven in his same madness. Now, obviously this objection does not at all apply to a matter about which history confirms that the magic spell had affected only the person of Muhammad (upon whom be peace) and not the Prophethood of Muhammad (upon whom be peace), which remained wholly unaffected by it.

In this connection, another thing worthy of mention is that the people who regard magic as a kind of superstition hold this view only because the effect of magic cannot be explained scientifically. But there are many things in the world which one experiences and observes but one cannot explain scientifically how they happen. If we cannot give any such explanation it does not become necessary that we should deny the thing itself which we cannot explain. Magic, in fact, is a psychological phenomenon which can affect the body through the mind just as physical things affect the mind through the body. Fear, for instance, is a psychological phenomenon, but it affects the body: the hair stand on end and the body shudders. Magic does not; in fact, change the reality, but under its influence man’s mind and senses start feeling as if reality had changed. The staffs and the cords that the magicians had thrown towards the Prophet Moses, had not actually become snakes, but the eyes of the multitude of people were so bewitched that everybody felt they were snakes; even the senses of the Prophet Moses could not remain unaffected by the magic spell. Likewise, in Al-Baqarah: 102, it has been said that in Babylon people learned such magic from Harut and Marut as could cause division between husband and wife. This too was a psychological phenomenon. Obviously, if the people did not find it efficacious by experience they could not become its customers. No doubt, it is correct that just like the bullet of the rifle and the bomb from the aircraft, magic too cannot have effect without Allah’s permission, but it would be mere stubbornness to deny a thing which has been experienced and observed by man for thousands for years. 99

The above exegesis does not take into account other versions of the myth that have contradictory details between them make the whole matter not worthy of any further review and must be rejected. This report is attributed to Hisham bin Urwah, who for most of his life lived in Madinah, and in his later years moved to Iraq where he died. Imam Muslim, who was his peer in Madina, quotes him for other hadiths, but not this one. One can safely state that this hadith came to fore during later years of Hisham while he was in Iraq. The timeline alone proves that Hisham did not have this hadith in Madina. From other sources, we know that while in Iraq, Hisham had started to lose his sensibility, most likely because of his old age. It is from Iraq that Hisham became the source for another nonsensical hadith alleging marriage of the Prophet to Aisha when she was six years old.100 It conclusively proves that such single sourced hadiths of Hisham, when he was old and after he had moved to Iraq; he based his narrations on hearsay and attributed them to Urwah, his father. In some manner this hadith actually fits the mental state of Hisham himself when he was losing his memory in his old age – “He thought he had done a thing whereas, in fact, he had not done it: he thought he had visited his wives whereas he had not visited them; and sometimes he would doubt having seen something whereas, in fact, he had not seen it.” This hadith is not about magic, but a disguised malice and attack on the sanity of the Prophet and consequentially on Islam itself. No sane person can simultaneously live in two different realities as this report alleges. It seems that the myth of magic afflicting the Prophet is sourced on similar myths attributed to prophets in the Bible, for example, in New Testament Jesus is led by Satan to Jerusalem:

Luke 4:5-9. The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’” The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here…101

Little do the exegetes know that in their concocted magical spell afflicting the Prophet to the point of him going insane, they are factually forwarding the allegations of the ardent enemies of the Prophet, both during his lifetime, and even in the present:

15:6. And they say, `O you to whom this Reminder (- the Qur’ân) has been revealed! you are a mad man indeed.102

23:25. `He is but a man gone mad, you had better bear with him for a while (and see the consequences).’103

68:51. Those who disbelieve would fain have dislodged you (from your God-given mission) with their (angry) looks when they heard the Reminder full of admonition (- the Qur’ân, but you were firm and steadfast). And they say, `He is certainly a mad man.’104

While the said report clearly alleges the Prophet to have lost his sanity, Quran repeatedly absolves him of any vestige of insanity:

52:29. So (Prophet!) keep on exhorting, as by the grace of your Lord, you are neither a soothesayer, nor a mad man.105

68:2. By the grace of your Lord you are not a mad man at all. 106

81:22. And that this compatriot of yours (-Muhammad) is not at all mad.107

In their advocacy the proponents of the stated hadith make a distinction between the so called afflictions of ‘magic’ and ‘satan’ as if they are two separate entities. These advocates are probably unware themselves and even make the Prophet ignorant of the fundamental guidance in Quran to seek Allah’s help:

41:36. Should some sort of trouble from satan vex you, seek refuge in Allâh. For surely He, only He is the All-Hearing, All-Knowing.108

The above report of magic vexing the Prophet if taken in the manner that it is interpreted in the exegesis; it raises more questions than it answers109. The stated hadith mentions two angels appearing to the Prophet, maybe in a dream, and that too after about a year of his pain and sufferings. Whereas, we know, Gabriel appeared immediately after the Prophet was chased out of Taif with injuries. Why was there such a delay of angels coming to the rescue while he was still receiving revelations during the 7th and 8th years of Hijrah and the magic was still in effect? Was the Gabriel absent during this period? Did the yearlong delay by the angels not risk his message? If this hadith is taken as true then it creates a fundamental contradiction against Quran. One is constrained to ask as to where were those guarding angels that are promised to every Messenger?

72:26. He alone knows the hidden (future) and He does not grant predominance to any one over His secrets,

72:27. Except to him whom He chooses to be a Messenger (of His, to whom He frequently tells many news about the hidden future). (And when He does this) He orders an escort of (guarding angels) to go before him and behind him;

72:28. That He may make it known (to the people) that they (- the Divine Messengers) have properly delivered the Messages of their Lord. He encompasses (in His knowledge) all that they have, and keeps count of all things.110

It is a bogus hadith which goes against Quran for the mere fact that there is no such thing as magic. In Quran, the Prophet’s safety and sensibility at the hands of his enemies at any time was assured by Allah Himself111:

5:67. O Messenger, deliver what has been revealed to you from your Lord; and if you do not, you have not delivered His message. And Allah will protect you [– Muhammad] from people. Surely Allah does not guide the disbelieving people.112,113[Emphasis added]

In summary, there is no ‘magic’ to be found in Quran, nor in the life of the Prophet, nor in the doctrine of Islam. But, we are still left with the word ‘magic’ in history, minds and beliefs. Whatever its source maybe, according to Quran, to entertain magic in one’s thoughts or actions is a waste of time because  – the enchanters never succeed (10:77).114

Magic can only be found in a wishful thinking of a child, or an adult who has refused to grow up, or in the insanity of someone struck with love. That bewitched mind may find more of solace than truth in the ballad sung beautifully by the band ‘America.’ It can be consolingly enjoyed by listening to this link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jb8Sa0jp7Pw

"You Can Do Magic"115


I never believed in things that I couldn’t see
I said if I can’t feel it then how can it be
No, no magic could happen to me
And then I saw you

 

I couldn’t believe it, you took my heart
I couldn’t retrieve it, said to myself
What’s it all about
Now I know there can be no doubt

You can do magic
You can have anything that you desire
Magic, and you know
You’re the one who can put out the fire

You know darn well
When you cast your spell you will get your way
When you hypnotize with your eyes
A heart of stone can turn to clay
Doo, doo, doo …

And when the rain is beatin’ upon the window pane
And when the night it gets so cold, when I can’t sleep
Again you come to me
I hold you tight, the rain disappears
Who would believe it
With a word you dry my tears

You can do magic
You can have anything that you desire
Magic, and you know
You’re the one who can put out the fire

You know darn well
When you cast your spell you will get your way
When you hypnotize with your eyes
A heart of stone can turn to clay
Doo, doo, doo …

And If I wanted to
I could never be free
I never believed it was true
But now it’s so clear to me

You can do magic
You can have anything that you desire
Magic, and you know
You’re the one who can put out the fire

You know darn well
When you cast your spell you will get your way
When you hypnotize with your eyes
A heart of stone can turn to clay
Doo, doo, doo …

You’re the one who can put out the fire
You’re the one who can put out the fire
You’re the one who can put out the fire …

 


 

1 The title of this chapter is a satire of the song by ‘America’. Link: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/america/youcandomagic.html
3 Al-Furqan – The Criterion: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
8 Al-Maidah – The Table Spread with Food: Nooruddin
9 Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
10 ibid
14 Excerpted and rendered into English of explanation of verse 2:102 by Nooruddin – Haqaiq ul Quran (Urdu). Link: http://www.alislam.org/quran/tafseer/?page=205&region=H1
15 Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
17 Yunus – Jonah: Nooruddin
18 Al-Ahzab – The Confederates: Nooruddin
19 Al-Muddaththir – The one wrapping himself up: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
20 Excerpted and rendered into English of explanation of verse 2:102 by Nooruddin – Haqaiq ul Quran (Urdu). Link: http://www.alislam.org/quran/tafseer/?page=206&region=H1
21 Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
22 Isra – The Night-Journey: Nooruddin
23 Yusuf – Joseph: Nooruddin
24 Excerpted and rendered into English of explanation of verse 2:102 by Nooruddin – Haqaiq ul Quran (Urdu). Link: http://www.alislam.org/quran/tafseer/?page=206&region=H1
25 Dictionary of The Holy Quran, (c) 2010, Abdul Mannan Omar, p. 589-590
26 ibid, p. 529
27 Materialism And Falsehood – Gog, Magog And Dajjal, The Antichrist. Link: http://ahmadiyya.org/WordPress/2015/07/05/materialism-and-falsehood-gog-magog-and-dajjal-the-antichrist/
28 Wikipedia: Achaemenid kings and rulers. Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achaemenid_Empire#Attested
31 “Thus says the Lord to His anointed, To Cyrus, whose right hand I have held—To subdue nations before him And loose the armor of kings, To open before him the double doors, So that the gates will not be shut: ‘I will go before you And make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze And cut the bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness And hidden riches of secret places, That you may know that I, the Lord, Who call you by your name, Am the God of Israel. Link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+45.1-3&version=NKJV
32 Wikipedia: Wars of Darius I, Babylonian_revolt. Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wars_of_Darius_I#Babylonian_revolt
39 Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
42 Isra – The Night-Journey: Nooruddin
43 Al-Nahl – The Bee: Nooruddin
44 Al-Tahrim – The Prohibition: Nooruddin
46 Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
47 ibid
48 Wikipedia. Map – Achaemenid Provinces during the rule of Darius I. Link:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_(region)#/media/File:Provinces_of_the_Achaemenid_empire.png
49 The Constitutions of the Free-Masons (1734): The Charges of a Free-Mason – III. Of LODGES. p. 49. Produced by James Anderson, Benjamin Franklin (Grand Master of Masons of Pennsylvania) Link: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1028&context=libraryscience
50 Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
51 Al-Mujadilah – The Pleading Woman: Nooruddin
52 The Constitutions of the Free-Masons (1734): The Constitution, History, Laws, Charges, Orders,
Regulations, and Usages of the Right Worshipful Fraternity of Accepted Free-Masons. p. 7-47. Produced by James Anderson, Benjamin Franklin (Grand Master of Masons of Pennsylvania) Link: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1028&context=libraryscience
53English rendering and paraphrase from the footnotes of verse 2:102 in ‘Bayan ul Quran (Urdu)’ by Maulana Muhammad Ali, p. 63-64, pub. 1980.
54 The Three Conditions Of Humankind: Friday Sermon of Hazrat Ameer (Head) Maulana Muhammad Ali Sahib – November 27, 1914. Link: http://aaiil.org/text/hq/sermons/mali/3cond_pf.shtml
55 Dictionary of The Holy Quran, (c) 2010, Abdul Mannan Omar, p. 250-251
56 Staff Of Moses – Rod Of Mastery Not Mystery; Serpentine, But Not Suppositious (Part I). Link: http://ahmadiyya.org/WordPress/2015/04/26/staff-of-moses-rod-of-mastery-not-mystery-serpentine-but-not-suppositious-part-i/
57 Al-Maidah – The Table Spread with Food: Nooruddin
58 Question of Reciting Charms and Amulets in Islam. ‘Tafhim al-Qur'an’ – The Meaning of the Qur'an: Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi. Introduction for both Surah Al Falaq (113) and Surah An Nas (114). Link: http://www.englishtafsir.com/Quran/113/index.html
59 Al-Anam – The Cattle: Nooruddin
60 Yunus – Jonah: Nooruddin
61 Hud – Hud: Nooruddin
62 Al-Shuara – The Poets: Nooruddin
63 ibid
64 Ya Sin – O Perfect Man!: Nooruddin
65 Al-Maun – The Acts of Kindness: Nooruddin
66 Al-Taubah – The Repentence: Nooruddin
67 The referred passage from the said exegesis maybe understood when read for its full context in light of ‘Fazalul Bari’ (in Urdu) by Maulana Muhammad Ali for its hadith number 2276* and its footnote 1, and hadith number 5737* and its footnote 3 to the extent that one may legitimately ask for compensation for one’s efforts and expertise – Link: http://www.muslim.org/fazlul-bari/main.html. The corresponding hadiths in Muhsin’s Khan ‘Sahih Bukhari’ are: Volume 7, Book 71, Number 645* and 633** – Link: http://www.usc.edu/org/cmje/religious-texts/hadith/bukhari/071-sbt.php
68 Ta Ha – Ta Ha: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
69 Al-Kahf – The Place of Refuge: Nooruddin
70 Luqman – Luqman: Nooruddin
71 Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
72 Al-Anam – The Cattle: Nooruddin
73 ibid
74 Ta Ha – Perfect Man! be at Rest: Nooruddin
75 Al-Hajj – The Pilgrimage: Nooruddin
76 Al-Taghabun – Manifestation of Loss: Nooruddin
77 Al-Araf – The Elevated Places: Nooruddin
78 Al-Ambiya – The Prophets: Nooruddin
79 Al-Jinn – The Jinn: Nooruddin
80 Al-Maidah – The Table Spread with Food: Nooruddin
81 Al-Najm – Parts of the Qur'ân: Nooruddin
82 Maryam – Mary: Nooruddin
83 Al-Jinn – The Jinn: Nooruddin
84 al`Imran – Family of Amran: Nooruddin
85 Al-Anam – The Cattle: Nooruddin
86 ibid
87 ibid
88 Yunus – Jonah: Nooruddin
89 Al-Muddaththir – One Endowed With Excellent Capabilities: Nooruddin
90 Al-Falaq – The Dawn: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
91 Al-Nas – The Mankind: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
92 Footnote: a (1) The reference in the Lord of the dawn is to the gradual manifestation of the Truth and its ultimate triumph.
93 Footnote: b (2) Editor’s Note: Anything which God has created can cause harm if it is used in an incorrect way, without the light of knowledge.
94 Footnote: c (3) This signifies darkness in which there is no ray of light, and stands for the dark difficulties with which an affair is sometimes attended — difficulties through which a person is unable to see his way. Man is, therefore, here taught to pray that his affairs may not be enveloped in utter darkness.
95 Footnote: d (4) These words indicate those who put evil suggestions into the resolution of people or into the management of their affairs. This verse deals with the second difficulty in the management of an affair. The first difficulty is its being enveloped in utter gloom (v. 3); the second is that darkness is dispelled, but the resolution to accomplish the affair is yet weak. (Editor’s Note: The view that this verse refers to witches, who had once cast a spell on the Holy Prophet by “blowing on knots”, is entirely baseless and contrary to the teachings of the Quran.)
96 Footnote: e (5) This is the third difficulty. Success is now in sight, but there are those who envy that success. Therefore, Divine protection has still to be sought when a person is successful in accomplishing an affair.
Note that the Prophet, who was charged with the heavy task of establishing truth in the world and making it triumphant over falsehood, had to face all these difficulties, and his faithful followers, whose goal of life is the same as that of the Prophet, stand most in need of resorting to this prayer with which the Quran draws to a close.
97 Footnote: a (6) These verses are a complement to the previous chapter. Three kinds of mischief are pointed out there which may be done to the cause of Truth. Here a fourth, but the gravest mischief of all, is pointed out, that of the sneaking devil, who comes stealthily and casts evil suggestions into the hearts of people. The whispering of the evil one is the greatest mischief because its source is in the hearts of people (v. 5). Al-khannas (v. 4) is the devil because he retires or shrinks or hides himself.
Man is here taught to seek refuge in God Who is, in the first place, the Rabb of mankind, i.e., its Nourisher by degrees to Perfection; secondly, He is the Malik or King of mankind, i.e., holds control over them, so far as the physical laws of nature are concerned; thirdly, He is the Ilah of mankind, Who alone deserves to be worshipped and before Whom the whole of mankind must ultimately bow. In other words, the protection of God is sought because He is the Nourisher Who brings to perfection, and He holds control over Matter as well as Mind. The Divine purpose is thus again disclosed at the end, as it is disclosed in the very beginning (1:1) of the Holy Quran. It is to bring mankind to perfection. Nothing in this world can frustrate this purpose, as God holds control over matter as well as mind.
98 Commentary on Chapter 113 (Al-Falaq – The Dawn) of the Holy Quran: by Dr. Basharat Ahmad, Translated by Imam Kalamazad Muhammad. Link: http://aaiil.org/text/hq/comm/bash/ch113_pf.shtml
99 Question of Holy Prophet's being affected by Magic. ‘Tafhim al-Qur'an’ – The Meaning of the Qur'an: Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi. Introduction for both Surah Al Falaq (113) and Surah An Nas (114). Link: http://www.englishtafsir.com/Quran/113/index.html
102 Al-Hijr – The Rock: Nooruddin
103 Al-Muminun – The Believers: Nooruddin
104 Al-Qalam – The Pen: Nooruddin
105 Al-Tur – The Mount: Nooruddin
106 Al-Qalam – The Pen: Nooruddin
107 Al-Takwir – Loosing Of The Light: Nooruddin
108 Fussilat – Detailed and Clear in Exposition: Nooruddin
109 The referred passage from the said exegesis can be rejected by its full and erroneous context in light of ‘Fazalul Bari’ (in Urdu) by Maulana Muhammad Ali for its hadiths number 3268* and its footnote 1– Link: http://www.muslim.org/fazlul-bari/main.html. The corresponding hadiths in Muhsin’s Khan ‘Sahih Bukhari’ are: Volume 7, Book 71, Number 658, 660 and 661* – Link: http://www.usc.edu/org/cmje/religious-texts/hadith/bukhari/071-sbt.php
110 Al-Jinn – The Jinn: Nooruddin
111 Excerpted and rendered into English of explanation of Chapter 113 by Nooruddin – Haqaiq ul Quran (Urdu). Link: http://www.alislam.org/quran/tafseer/?page=572&region=H4
112 Al-Maidah – Food: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
113 Footnote: a (67) The promise is given here that the Holy Prophet will remain under Divine protection as against the innumerable dangers that threatened him from all quarters and the numerous plots against his life. But it also refers to the Prophet’s spiritual protection. God protects prophets by creating them pure from every sin in their very nature, keeping them firm in trials, sending down tranquility upon them and protecting their hearts against evil.
114 Yunus – Jonah: Nooruddin

The Bottled Up – Jinn or Genie? Arabian Nights Refuted!

Saturday, August 8th, 2015
The Bottled Up – Jinn or Genie? Arabian Nights Refuted! 

To understand the intended use of the term jinn in Quran, reader is referred to the book ‘Religion of Islam’ by Maulana Muhammad Ali under its chapter ‘Angels’ and in sub-section ‘The Jinn’. The discussion at hand serves a different purpose which is to rebut the myths of Jinn accredited to Quran. 

The fanciful jinns that are misattributed to Quran are actually found in New Testament:

The Quran and Traditions do not speak of jinn as they exist in popular imagination, interfering in human affairs or controlling the forces of nature or assuming human or any other shape or taking possession of men or women and affecting them with certain diseases. Such ideas are unfortunately associated with the existence of jinn in the Gospels. The stories of Jesus casting out devils are more wondrous than fairy tales: "And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God" (Luke. 4:41). A devil was cast out of a dumb man and he began to speak (Mattew. 9:33); a woman from Canaan had a daughter possessed with the devil and Jesus at first refused to cast out the devil because she was not an Israelite (Matthew. 15 22-24); as many as seven devils went out of Mary Megdalene (Luke. 8:2); the devils cast out of another two men were sufficient for a whole herd of swine: "They went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters" (Matthew. 8:32). And this power of casting out devils was given to all those who believed in Jesus (Mark. 16:17).[1] 

Even though Quran uses the term jinn for an all encapsulating meaning for its attributes, still, for the sake of discussion and to develop an understanding, if one is to arbitrarily classify the jinns in Quran, then there is the main jinn, the Iblis also known as the Satan and the common jinns that are erroneously equated with genii of the fairytales. We will try to deal with these two categories of jinn separately but before it is demystified, inevitably their understanding will merge into one common entity, the humans. While discussing jinn, it is stipulated that all its connotations must emerge from within the Quran and no extraneous insinuations will be entertained. To understand jinn in Quran, we have to understand the human, the ins or nas, first because jinns are not only a subset of the latter but the implications of jinn are for the ins. Simply put, if there are no ins then there would be no jinn either. The terms used for humans in Quran are explained in “Dictionary of Quran” by Abdul Mannan Omar: 

Insun (collective noun): Mankind; Human being. Insân (common gender): One having attachments; Fellowship; Love; Affection; Human being. Its plu. is Unâs which is commonly contracted into Nâsun. Insyyun: Human being plu. Ânâsî and Unâs. Ânasa: To perceive with love. Musta’nisîn: Seekers of familiarity. Seeking to listen. (L; T; LL) The root with its above seven forms has been used about 97 times in the Holy Qur’ân.[2]

Nâsa To swing, halt in a place, move, toss. Al-Nâsun: Collective noun regarded as the plu. of Insân (human being). According to some its root is Unâs. Its first letter Hamzah is taken off when preceded by Al. According to others it is derived from Nasiya (to forget, forsake), and its origin is Insiyân on the measure of Ifilân. It is also said its origin is Nâsa (to swing, halt in a place, move, toss.) All these meanings describe the human being. Al-Nâs (collective noun): Human being; Mankind. (L; R; T; LL) The word is used in the Holy Qur’ân as many as 241 times.[3] 

Before we start the discussion centered on the term Mega-jinn or Mahajinn[4] it must be stated from the outset that the core message of Quran is, without exception, for all humanity to submit to Him and His laws which is expressed in the term ‘worship’: 

51:56. And I have created the jinn (fiery natured and houghty) and the (ordinary) people [Arabic: insa] only that they may worship Me.[5]

In historical perspective the jinns addressed in verse 51:56 were none but the opposing forces of Arabia led by their prominent chieftains against the Prophet, which are identified in the verses preceding it:

51:54-55. So turn away from them (and their foul way of talk). There lies no blame on you (for what they do). Yet keep on exhorting (the people), for, verily, exhortation proves useful to the believers.[5a]

Quran is cognizant of the segmentations in the society led by its ideologies, institutions and institutional heads that act as power brokers and trend setters for the common citizenry. It is these who create and/or nurture false beliefs and values for the ins or nas, which in due course defocus the objective of worship (v. 51:56) by the people who come under their sway. Such leadership is addressed in Quran head-on for their false creeds: 

6:123. And thus have We made in every town the leaders of its guilty ones, that they may make plans in it. And they plan only against themselves, and they do not perceive.[6] 

More so, Quran stresses its message with an emphasis on the ordinary people and their beliefs as it is they who by their numbers alone make the fabric of the culture. On the other hand, the privileged classes, even though in minority, try to keep the status quo intact through which they enjoy the perks of their esteemed status. For example, ordinary citizens, at any given time are subjugated in their thoughts and actions by ruling class, financial institutions, clergy, trend setting socialites etc. This breakdown of the society into rulers and the ruled, leaders of dogmas and those led into such dogmata are addressed as jinns or shayatan on one hand and the ‘nas’ or the ‘ins’ on the other hand in Quran. It is the misleading satanic forces and their engendered values in the society that Quran admonishes humankind against: 

35:5-6. Humankind! the promise of Allâh is undoubtedly true, so do not let the present life deceive you, and do not let the avowed seducer [Arabic: taghurra] seduce you away from Allâh. Surely, satan [Arabic: shayatan] is an enemy to you, so treat him as an enemy. He calls his party only (to follow him) with the result that they become of the inmates of the blazing Fire.[7] 

43:62. Do not let the satan turn you away from following it [–the Quran], for he is your an enemy cutting off (your) ties (with God).[8] 

Historically, across the board, every prophet faced opposition from the privileged classes, their doctrines and those under their sway, the examples of which we find in narratives about – Noah & the tribal chiefs, Hud & tribe of Ad, Salih & tribe of Thamud, Abraham & Nimrod, Lot and Sodomites, Moses & Pharaoh and his courtiers, David & Goliath, Jesus & Pharisees along with Romans, and Prophet Muhammad and the idolaters of Arabia:

6:112-113. And in the same manner have We made the evil ones from among (ordinary) human beings and the jinns enemies to every prophet; some of them suggest one to another gilded speech to beguile (them). Had your Lord (enforced) His will, they would not have done so; so leave them alone with what they forge; And the result (of their so doing) is that the hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter are inclined to it (- their guile), and they take pleasure therein and they continue committing their (evil) deeds as they are doing

6:130. `O multitude of jinn (- fiery natured, houghty) and (ordinary) peoples! did there come to you no Messengers from among yourselves who related to you My Messages and warned you that you would face this your day?' They will say, `(Yes,) we bear witness against ourselves.' And the present life has beguiled them. And they will bear witness against themselves (on that day) that they were disbelievers.[9] 

As a case in point, in early Islamic history it were the elites of Makkah, the shayatan, the metaphorical devils, and all those under their influence who resisted the message of Islam, whereas it were the ordinary folks, the nas, who accepted Islam:

 2:13-14.And when it is said to them, Believe as the people [Arabic: l-nāsu; Companions of the Prophet] believe, they say: Shall we believe as the fools believe? Now surely they are the fools, but they do not know. And when they meet those who believe, they say, We believe; and when they are alone with their devils [Arabic: shayāṭīnihim; evil companions, ring-leaders], they say: Surely we are with you, we were only mocking.[10]

Ultimately, it were the ordinary people, the nas, that created the momentum in the Arabian society to achieve the equality of mankind. In this struggle of jinns with nas or ins, a time came when the rule shifted from Makkah to Medina. Despite the power they gained later, the Prophet and his successors, the future righteous Caliphs, remained in Medina as ‘ordinary people’ and never segregated themselves into the ‘jinns.’ As is evident from history, their holding the higher office as rulers was essentially a burden rather than a reward for them in which they served the people, unlike the jinns that make the ins serve them. After the death of the righteous Caliph Ali, the Muslim society too then segmented into the elites and ordinary folks, the jinns and ins respectively. On the reverse it is also true that once jinn class is established in the society, it is the ins class that in order to share the perks of the jinn class tries to associated themselves with them, which then in turn further empowers the jinn. For example, Communism found its foothold with the prime objective to eliminate the jinn class, but ironically it too then evolved its own jinn class, the sacrosanct politburo, and soon the proletariat, the ins under them transformed into sycophants to seek the favors of the jinns, which in turn only empowered the types of ‘Stalins’ amongst them who further tightened their vice like grip on the body and souls of the masses that they ruled:

 72:6. "The fact is that some humble and lowly men from among the common folk used to seek refuge with some (big and influential) men from among the jinns and (thus) they increased these (jinns) in arrogance (and conceit).[11]

This cabal of relationship between jinns and ins in the power structure is further elucidated in Quran in which both selfishly benefit from each other:

6:128. Beware of the day when He will gather them all together (and say), `O multitude of jinn! you made a great many of the (ordinary) people subservient to yourselves (in disobedience).' And their votaries from the people will say, `Our Lord! some of us benefited one from another…[12] 

Thus it could be safely stated that the purpose of Quran is to nullify the exploitative influence of jinn class on the ins and even to transform the jinns into ins as well, so that human intellect and values, both individually and collectively in the society can evolve to their intended righteous perfection. 

Practically speaking, if there were no ins, then there would be no contrasting jinn either. The jinn class needs the ins class under it to thrive. On the evolutionary timeline, in Quran, this struggle between jinn and ins started with the metaphorical creation of Adam. It is this resistance from the jinns to be assimilated into ins and to serve the ins, the ordinary citizenry, that is referred to in the parable of Adam, the symbol of humankind. In this parable all the good forces in human nature symbolized as angels, submitted to Adam, whereas the jinn, the rebellious and disruptive tendencies, both within a person and in the manipulative segments of the society, did not. Reader should bear in mind that Iblis, the Satan in Quran belongs to jinn class: 

18:50. And (recall the time) when We said to the angels, `Submit to Adam.' So they all submitted (bowing), but Iblîs (did not); he was one of the jinn, he disobeyed the command of his Lord…[13] 

On the other hand the Adam is the ordinary human, the ins. The said parable reads as follows: 

7:11. We did determine you, then We gave you shape, then said to the angels, `Make submission to (the Children of) Adam,' so they all submitted. But Iblîs (did not), he would not be of those who submit. 

7:12. (God) said, `What prevented you from submitting when I commanded you (to submit)?' (Iblîs [–the jinn]) said, `I am better than he (- the human being). You created me from fire whereas You created him from clay.'[14] 

On the reverse, as stated before, the jinn class that considers itself better than he (- the human being) will always strive for the status quo and will make each and every effort, deception and lure and by every means to keep itself in a select status, be it the jinns of the ruling class, the financial elites or the clergy, that we find in the example given by Quran of Pharaoh, Korah and the Haman respectively and how all three networked together against the ordinary Israelites. The parable for Adam thus continues: 

7:13. (God) said, `Get down from this (haughty state) for it is not proper for you  [–Iblis, the jinn] to behave proudly here, so be gone. Surely, you are of those who have agreed to remain in an abject position.' 

7:14. He (- Iblîs, in impertinent defiance) said, `Grant me respite till the day when they are raised up again.' 

7:15. (God) said, `Surely, you are of those (already) given respite.'[15] 

Thus far, according to Quran there will be a never ending struggle between the privileged and the ordinary classes. In this tug of war, the privileged, symbolized as Iblis, will try to influence and control the rest: 

7:16. (Iblîs) said, `Now, since You have adjudged me to be perverted and lost, I will assuredly lie in wait for them (- the Children of Adam) on the straight and exact path that leads to you. 

7:17. `There will I come upon them from their front and from their backs and from their right and from their left so that You will not find most of them grateful (to You).' 

7:18. (God) said, `Get out from this (state), despised and driven away. Be sure, whosoever of these (human beings) follows you I will certainly fill Gehenna with you all.'[16] 

Stripped of the jinn class, the humanity, the ins class symbolized as Adam, naturally lives in a blissful paradise in this world. But unbeknownst to Children of Adam, the jinn class is ever sneaky: 

7:19. And (We said), `O Adam! dwell you and your wife in this garden, then eat you both when and where you like but do not (even) approach this tree or you both will become of the transgressors.' 

7:20. 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 [i.e. a self-serving taunt of Satan for its lures to the mankind of power, haughtiness, selfishness, greed, conceit and immorality – the deceptions of Satan].' 

7:21. And he ardently swore to them both (saying), `Most certainly, I am one of your sincere advisers [and leading you into e.g. correct political thought, financial system, religious doctrine, racial identity, gender bias and social status].' 

7:22. Thus he led them on the way of guile and deceit. And when they tasted of the tree [symbolic of satanic attributes] (and committed the things forbidden to them), their shortcomings became manifest to them [of how powerless they were without an association with a political identity, economic order, clerical thought and social circle]. They (in order to cover themselves) began to stick the leaves of the garden [–the ‘band aids’ of spiritual/economic/social life] 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)?'[17] 

The divisive forces of jinn classes divide the society across its various segments – politically, economically, spiritually, racially and socially, to the level that each segment and its sub-segments becomes an enemy of one to another and in due course lose their God given heavenly state. The jinn classes rule and maintain their influence by divide and rule of the ins classes. Further: 

7:23. Both of them [–Adam and his wife] said, `Our Lord! we have done injustice to our souls, and if You do not protect us (against the consequences of our faults) and do not have mercy on us, we shall surely be of the losers.' 

7:24. (God) said, `Get down (from this land). Some of you [–humankind] are (indeed) enemies of others, and there will be for you on this earth a habitation and (enjoyment of) provision for a while.' 

7:25. And (He added), `In this (very universe) you shall live and therein you shall die and from it you shall be brought forth (in the Hereafter).'[18] 

Thus we see that following the lures of Iblis, the jinn, ordinary citizenry is deprived of their peace. Interestingly, humanity symbolized by Adam and his wife when thrown out of their paradise were not thrown into hell, instead they only lost their heavenly state. It is to this disruption of heaven on earth by the Satan, the jinn class, that Quran admonishes the humanity, the ins, against: 

7:26. O Children of Adam! We have given you a raiment [symbolized by worldly attire and resources] that covers your nakedness and is a source of (your) elegance and protection. Yet the raiment [symbolized by Divine Guidance, Quran] that guards against evils [of the selfish allures of the jinn class], that is the best (of robes). That is one of the commandments of Allâh so that they may attain eminence [individually and collectively as a society]. 

7:27. O Children of Adam! do not let satan put you in trouble (in the same way) as he turned your parents [i.e. the generations before] out of the garden [i.e. the blissful state], stripping them of their raiment (of innocence) with the result that their shortcomings were made manifest to them both. Verily, he (- satan) sees you, he and his tribe, in such a way as you see them not. Verily, We have made satans friends of those who do not believe. [19] 

It is against such kind of deep manipulation and incessant attacks of the jinns on the ins, subtle or obvious, by the doctrines which are perverted and lost (7:16) Quran warns the Children of Adam (7:27) against that in which shayatan, the jinn will lie in wait for them (- the Children of Adam) and come upon them from their front and from their backs and from their right and from their left (7:16-17) with the sole purpose that You [–Allah] will not find most of them grateful (to You) (7:17). The jinn class – he (- satan) sees you, he and his tribe, in such a way as you see them not (7:27) by what is hidden in the temptations of a gilded speech to beguile (6:112) that it offers to the ins by its veritable marketing arms through the media, lectures, literature, pulpits, advertisements, analysts, think-tanks, interest groups, lobbyists, ‘wall streets’, the portfolio managers, the banks – usury and interest, national interests, political expediencies, diplomacy etc. In another place, Quran repeats the same about the modus operandi of the Iblis, the jinn

17:61. And (recall the time) when We said to the angels, `Submit to Adam!' Then they all submitted. But Iblîs (who too was told to do the same, did not), he said, `Shall I submit to one whom You have created out of clay?' 

17:62. And he added, `What do You think? This is he whom You have honoured and placed above me. If You grant me respite till the Day of Resurrection, I will most certainly bring his progeny under my sway, having overpowered them, I shall destroy them for sure, except a few.' 

17:63. `Be gone!' said He; `As for those of them who follow you, Gehenna is the recompense of you all, an ample recompense. 

17:64. `And beguile whomsoever of them you can with your speech and rally your horsemen against them, and your foot men (- fast riders and slow walkers in disobedience, with all your might) and share with them their wealth and children and hold out promises to them (what you like).' Indeed, satan promises them nothing but mere fraud. 

17:65. `As to My true servants, you shall have certainly no authority over them. And sufficient is your Lord as Disposer of affairs.'[20] 

It is to this sneaking, enticing, guiling and pressure tactics of jinn that draw away the mankind from their straight and exact path that leads to you [–Allah] (7:16), that Quran draws attention of the ins. In the Chapter Nas (‘The People’) of Quran, the ins are told to seek the protection of Allah in all spheres of their lives from all varities of jinns, be they in the garb of apparent lordships, sovereigns, controllers or false gods. In doing so Quran reminds the ins that it is none but Allah who is their Lord, Sovereign, Controller and God

114:1. Say, `I seek refuge in the Lord of People [Arabic: nāsi],

114:2. `The Sovereign, the Controller of all affairs of People,

114:3. `The God of People,

114:4. `(That He may protect me) from the evil (of the whisperings) of the whisperer, the sneaking one.

114:5. `Who whispers evil suggestions into the hearts of People,

114:6. `From among the jinn (- fiery natured, houghty) and the (ordinary) people.'[21] 

It is a common daily experience that various self-serving power centers at the helms of affairs of politics, military, economics, clergy, crime, indecencies, intoxicants, and even the mind of the individual itself under the lures of hedonism as influenced through whisperings of the media, marketing, sale pitches, sermons, hate-speeches etc. that carry forward the influence of the jinn or even the ins, when it whispers evil suggestions into the hearts of People

With the discussion of the Mega Jinn, the Iblis, the Satan in Quran out of the way, now we turn our attention to refute the myths about jinns attributed to Quran of the type which are found in folklore, lullabies, Arabian Nights, Hollywood productions and Disneyland stories. Jinns are ordinarily equated to as some kind of non-human ‘ethereal beings’ whose existence is separate from humankind. However, without exception, Quran sets in stone the basics of all forms of life, be it the humans, animals, fish, birds, fish, microbes i.e. 

21:30…And it is from water that We created all life…[22] 

Specifically, to creation of humans and their certain attributes that distinguish them from animals, Quran mentions: 

55:14. He created human being from the essence extracted from dry ringing clay like a piece of baked pottery [that can make a sound] (-with the faculty of speech and possessing pliant and submissive nature).[23] 

15:26. Surely, We created human being from dry ringing clay, (transformed) from black mud moulded into shape [i.e. essentially possessing a moldable character, of both body and mind].[24] 

Then in another place in Quran humans are created of haste

21:37. …Man [Arabic: insānu] is created of haste…[25] 

However, we also read in Quran that apparently other “beings” i.e. the jinn are made of destructive nature like that of fire and hot wind: 

15:27. And We created the jinn before (him) from the fire of intensely hot wind. [26] 

55:15. And He created the jinn from a flame of fire (- possessing fiery nature). [27] 

With the above statements of Quran about role of water, fire, clay and haste in creation of beings, the concept of jinn can be further analyzed. At least from the superficiality of things, water and clay are compatible. Test of this compatibility survives the challenge of human experience of daily living as well the principles underlying the science of evolution. In the former case, clay pottery can only take shape in presence of water. Whereas, in the latter the clay signifies the earthly elements that when blended in presence of water, evolves into life forms, which includes humans. Thus it can be safely cocluded that man is made from water and clay. We know that haste is both a noun and a verb, but for sure it is not in the domain of matter or energy and it only signifies the natural behavior of a being. We also know that humans have a hasty nature. 

One combination of above mentioned things is not reconcilable i.e. water and fire as both cannot exist together, though one can be a product of the other. For example, in the earth's environment the bye product of fire is water. Yet, when water is decomposed into its component hydrogen and oxygen, which when burnt together give back the water. Thus fire is only a transitory stage between water and its component gases, but a non-entity itself, just like electricity, where it could be created but nothing can be made of it. With these basics of physics and chemistry out of the way then it becomes quite clear that if jinn is made from fire, then it cannot be a living being as all life is made from water – it is from water that We created all life (21:30). Obviously, either Quran is self-contradicting by actually making a living jinn out of fire and not water or our interpretation of nature of what jinn stands for in Quran is incorrect. 

Through the lens of Quran it becomes obvious that jinns are not a separate living entity from humans, but are categorized as jinns due to their attributes. For example, in daily life we find the ordinary people, the nas or ins, being quite hasty in their thinking and decision making to buy a product or following a doctrine. At the same time we do not find haste as an attribute of the jinns who are at the helm of a political thought, religious ideology or economic order. Instead, in jinn we find patience and a modus operandi of fire and hot wind in their canvassing the ordinary people, the ins, to follow whatever they have to sell to them. Thus we can quite easily concur that humans, both jinns and ins, have a fiery and hasty nature respectively. 

If someone still insists that jinn are non-human intelligent beings, then by Quran, those jinn are not living because they are not made from water. And a non-living thing cannot interact with humans in the manner that such advocates of jinn assume jinns to act and behave, e.g. listening to Quran from Prophet Muhammad or being subjugated by Prophet Solomon. It only proves that jinns of Quran are not the genii of the bottle. It was the Arab mind who believed in the tales of genie found in Arabian Nights and mistook it for the jinn in Quran. 

Even though the burden is not on Quran to disprove the fairytale genii, but if read intelligently, it even does that as well: 

7:179. And, verily, We have created many of the jinns and the ordinary people whose end is Gehenna. They have hearts wherewith they do not understand and they have eyes but they do not see with them (the truth), and they have ears but they do not hear (the Messages) with them. They are like cattle, nay, they are (even) worse. It is these who are utterly heedless (to the warnings).[28] 

At least the above verse makes jinn synonymous with people as both have same intelligence and are endowed with physical and intellectual faculties of hearts, eyes and ears

As to what is that jinn of Quran that we are arguing about, can be quite clearly elucidated from its meaning, as excerpted, from the 'Dictionary of Quran' by Abdul Mannan Omar: 

Janna: To be dark, cover, wrap, conceal, be mad; dark; covered (with plants), be mad (with joy or anger), be hidden to, be excited. It is used in transitive and intransitive sense. Junnatun: Covering; Shield; Protective. Janîn plu. Ajinntun: Embryo; Fetus; Anything hidden. Janûn : Madness; Insanity; Diabolical fury; Passion. Majnûn: Mad; Possessed; Luxuriant (plant). Jannatun : Garden; Paradise. Jinn : Genius; Any hidden thing; Intense or confusing darkness; Evil spirits which inspire evil thought; Germ; Insect; Imaginary beings whom the infidels worshipped; Peoples of different far flung countries living detached from other civilized peoples; People who inhabited the earth in prehistoric times, subjected to no laws or rules of conduct, before the birth of Adam who laid the foundation of the civilization and Sharî‘at; Jews of Nasîbîn; Stalwarts whom Solomon had taken into custody and having subjected them and made them work as constructors of huge buildings and who were experts divers. Ibn Manzûr in his Dictionary Lisân al-‘Arab has quoted a verse of an ancient poet in which he calls his beloved by the word of Jinnî. Zuhair ibn Abî Sulmâ has used the word Jinn for people who are peerless, having no match or equal. Tabrîzî writes in his book Sharh al-Hamâsah that Jinn is a being who is highly potent, shrewd and possessed of great powers and abilities; Whatever hides or conceals or covers; Whatever remains hidden or becomes invisible; Such thing or beings that remain aloof from the people as if remaining concealed from eyes of the common folk, as Kings and other potentates generally do. It is in this sense that the word is used by Zuhair. The primary meaning of the word Ma‘shar in the verses 6:128, 130; 55:33 also reinforce this interpretation. Ash‘arahû means he lived in close communion with him and was on intimate terms. Thus by calling Jinn and Nâs (human beings) as a single community clears that here Jinn and human beings are not two different kinds of beings. 

Janna (prf. 3rd. p. m. sing): Overshadowed; Covered. Jinn (n.): Definite order of conscious being, intelligent, corporal. They eat and drink and propagate their species and are subjected to death. Jânnun (n.): Jinn. Jinnatun (n. plu.): Madness. Majnûn (pat. pic. m. sing.): Mad one. Jannatun (n.): Enclosed garden. Paradise. Jannatân (nom.) Jannatayn (acc/ n. dual): Two gardens; Two paradises. Jannâtun (n. plu.): Gardens; Paradises. Junnatun (n.): Shield; Shelter. Ajinnatun (n. plu.): Embryos. (L; T; R; Jawharî; Tabrîzî; LL) The root with its above forms has been used in the Holy Qur’ân about 201 times.[29]

Quran is very clear and so is the Prophet that he was exclusively sent as a guide to mankind and not to any other entity:

4:170. O mankind! this Messenger has indeed come to you with the truth from your Lord, so believe, it will be better for you…[30] 

7:158. Say, `O mankind! I am a Messenger to you all from Allâh to whom belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth…[31] 

34:28. (Prophet!) We have sent you not but towards entire mankind.[32] 

Nowhere humans have worshiped jinns, but for sure they have worshiped humans e.g. Pharaoh and Jesus, perceiving them to have godly attributes: 

6:100. Yet they ascribe to Allâh as (His) associates the jinns, although He has created them also. And they falsely ascribe to Him sons and daughters without any knowledge. Glory be to Him. And He is far beyond and above all the things that they attribute (to Him).[33] 

Where it all got mixed up was when the following verses are misread for jinn in the Chapter ‘The Jinn’ in Quran. The historical details in this chapter most likely refer to party of Jews and possibly Christians (72:1-15), though the former is more likely in reference to verses 46:29-31: 

72:1. Say, `It has been revealed to me that a party of the jinn (- the non-Arab Jews of Nasîbîn, called Jinn because of their being strong, sharp and effective in affairs) listened (to the Qur'ân), so they said (to their people on their return), "Surely, we have heard a wonderful Qur'ân, 

Side note: Nasîbîn[34] is in the border region of modern day Turkey and Syria. These ‘jinn’ from Nasîbîn visited the oasis of Nakhlah located between the cities of Makkah and Taif for its annual market and poetry festival of Souk Oakz that is held annually even today[35]

“…it transpires that the jinn in question were followers of the Mosaic faith, inasmuch as they refer to the Qur'an as "a revelation bestowed from on high after [that of] Moses", thus pointedly omitting any mention of the intervening prophet, Jesus, and equally pointedly (in verse 3 of the present surah) stressing their rejection of the Christian concept of the Trinity. All this leads one to the assumption that they may have been Jews from distant parts of what is now the Arab world, perhaps from Syria or even Mesopotamia. (Tabari mentions in several places that the jinn referred to in this surah as well as in 46:29 ff. hailed from Nasibin, a town on the upper reaches of the Euphrates.) I should, however, like to stress that my explanation of this occurrence is purely tentative.”[36] 

72:2. "It guides towards righteousness, so we declare our faith in it. We shall no longer worship any god besides our Lord.[37] 

The next verse squarely points towards Jewish faith of the party of the jinn that listened (to the Qur'ân) and concurred that Jesus Christ was not son of God: 

72:3. "And the truth is that the Majesty of our Lord is exalted. He has taken to Himself no consort nor (has He begotten) a son [–a reference to the Christian faith of Byzantines, under whose rule the visitors to Souk Oakz/Makkah lived]. 

72:4. "And (we admit) that the foolish among us used to say many exaggerated and blasphemous things against Allâh. 

Side note: The above verses 72:3-4 also refer to Jews themselves who according to Quran used to attribute son-ship to Ezra[38]

9:30. There are some of the Jews who say, `Ezra is the son of Allâh,' while the Christians say, `The Messiah is the son of Allâh.' These are mere words that they speak. They only imitate the words of the infidels of old. Allâh assail them! Whither they are deluded away![39] 

The claim of son-ship (9:30) also implies the preferential status attributed by people of Scripture to themselves: 

5:18. The Jews and the Christians say (in respect of each of themselves), `We are the sons of Allâh, and His loved ones.'…[40] 

72:5. "And (we acknowledge) that (we believed in them because) we never thought that men and jinn could ever possibly utter a lie about Allâh. [41] 

The next verse separates the common folk from the jinns, the segmentation of any society: 

72:6. "The fact is that some humble and lowly men from among the common folk used to seek refuge with some (big and influential) men from among the jinns [–the Byzantine rulers and their Christian clergy] and (thus) they increased these (jinns) in arrogance (and conceit). [42] 

Side note: the use of the phrase – men from among the jinns, clearly refers to a certain class of the society different from the common folks. Essentially, implying that jinns are humans but for certain unique attributes are counted as different from the ordinary people, for example, clergy, bureaucracy, establishment and nobility. This kind of segmentation is starkly clear when travelling by an airline where the society is segmented into economy class and first class. 

The Jews never expected a prophet from non-Israelites: 

72:7. "These men (from the jinn) believed even as you believe that Allâh would raise no one (as Messenger). 

72:8. "And we (- the non-Arab Jews, the jinn who had listened to the Qur'ân, as diviners and astrologers) had primarily sought to probe the secrets of space above but we found it teeming with strong guards and shooting stars (a phenomenon which generally occurs before the advent of a divine Reformer). 

Side note: This seems to be a reference to Old Testament where the ‘Prophet like me’[43] foretold by Moses, Muhammad, is prophesized whose advent was to coincide with appearance of ‘A Star’ which was awaited as a heavenly sign and was misattributed to birth of Jesus: 

Numbers 24:17. “I [–Moses] see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near; A Star shall come out of Jacob; A Scepter [–a King] shall rise out of Israel, And batter the brow of Moab, And destroy all the sons of tumult.[44] 

This fallacy of awaiting ‘A Star’ from House of Jacob and actually looking towards the heavens for its arrival is rebutted by Quran and even by the Jews of Nasîbîn themselves who after listening to the Prophet realized that it was Prophet Muhammad that the prophecy referred to: 

72:9. "And that we used to sit in some of the observatories to listen to something. But he that tries to listen (in order to forecast some event) now (with the advent of Islam) finds a shooting star in ambush for him. [45] 

Side Note: Quran mocks such beliefs in heavenly signs. It forewarns that rather than paying attention to the Message, such seekers of spiritual light and guidance focusing on appearance of nonsensical Zodiacal signs will be misled and destroyed by such pursuits. That we see in attributing birth of Jesus to the appearance of mythical star at his birth by the three travelers, the ‘wise men,’[46] the astrologers who were the only ones to see the heavenly sign, and who interpreted it to his imminent birth. The dogma of son-ship attributed to Jesus turned out to be – a shooting star in ambush for him (v. 72:9), the believer of such dogmata. What a misleading star which led the ‘wise’ astrologers to the court of Herod rather than to the crib of baby Jesus! 

After reading the above verse, readers have to ask themselves as to have there existed non-human observatories? The topic of shooting star is dealt in a separate chapter of this book. The Jews of Nasîbîn converted to Islam after meeting with the Propet that is referred to in next verses: 

72:10. "(We confess that) we do not know whether evil is (hereby) augured for those who are on the earth or whether their Lord (thereby) intends to bestow right guidance for them. 

72:11. "And some of us are righteous and some of us are otherwise. We follow different ways. 

72:12. "And we have come to know for certain that we can never frustrate the purpose of Allâh in the earth, nor can we escape Him by flight (in any direction). 

72:13. "No sooner did we hear the guidance (contained in the Qur'ân) than we believed in it. And he who believes in His Lord does not have to fear that his reward will be reduced or injustice will be (done to him). 

72:14. "And some of us submit (to the will of God) while some of us are deviators (from the right course)".' (It has also been revealed to the Prophet that) those who submit (to God's commandments) are actually those who earnestly aim at the right way and find it out; 

72:15. And that the deviators from the right course are the fuel of Gehenna. [47] 

One is constrained to ask in light of the above verse (72:15) that if jinn are made from fire, then Gehenna, the hell and its fire must be a reward not punishment for the jinn, because by common perception jinn are made from fire themselves. Rather, for punishment they must land in a freezing heaven. 

The following sets of verses clearly identify jinn as Jews, the people who were follower of Moses. These Jews of Nasîbîn who were referred to in verses 72:1-15 before, met the Prophet and held with him a night long discourse on the outskirts of Makkah and on their return conveyed the Message to their own people:

46:29. And (Prophet! recall the time) when We brought some people from among the jinns to you. They wished to listen to the Qur'ân. When they attended it (- its recitation) they said (one to another), `Be silent (and listen).' When this (recitation) was over they went back to their people as warners.[Emphasis added] 

46:30. They (having gone there) said, `O our people! we have listened to a Book which has been revealed after (the time of) Moses confirming that (divine Scripture) which is before it. It guides to the truth and to the right and straight path. 

46:31. `O our people! accept the call of one calling to Allâh and believe in Him. (If you do so) He will keep you safe from (the woeful consequences of) your sins and will screen you from the woeful punishment.[48] [Emphasis added] 

Maulana Muhammad Ali explains the events in reference to party of jinn in Quran as follows: 

The jinn mentioned in the first section of ch. 72 are evidently foreign Christians, since they are spoken of as holding the doctrine of sonship (72 3, 4). In 72:6, they are called rijal (pl. of rajul) , which word is applicable to the males of human beings only (LA.). Again, in the 46th chapter the word jinn has been used in the sense of foreigners when a party of the jinn is stated to have come to the Prophet and listened to the Holy Book and believed in it (46:29), because all the injunctions contained in the Qur'an are for men, and there is not one for the jinn. This was evidently a party of the Jews of Nisibus as reports show, and the Qur'an speaks of them as believers in Moses." Commenting on this incident, Ibn Kathir has quoted several reports from the Musand of Ahmad, which establish the following facts. The Prophet met a party of jinn at Nakhla when returning from Ta'if in the tenth year of the Call. These are said to have come from Nineveh. On the other hand, there is a well-established story that the Prophet on his way back from Taif took rest in a garden where he met a Christian who was a resident of Nineveh; and the man listened to his message and believed in him. It may be that he had other companions to whom he spoke of the Prophet, and that these came to him later on. Another party of jinn is said to have waited on him when he was at Makkah, and he is reported to have gone out of the city to a lonely place at night time, and to have spent the whole night with them. And we are told that their traces and the traces of the fire which they had burned during the night were visible in the morning. When prayer-time came and the Prophet said his prayers in the company of Ibn Mas'ud, the narrator, two of them are said to have come and joined the service. They are supposed to have been Jews of Nisibus and were seven in number (IK. 29). The Prophet went to see them outside Makkah, evidently because the Quraish would have interfered with the meeting and ill-treated any who came to see him.[49] 

The following set of verses lump jinn and ins (ordinary people) into one community of mankind, the disobedient, who will suffer in the same fire of hell: 

6:128. Beware of the day when He will gather them all together (and say), `O multitude of jinn! you made a great many of the (ordinary) people subservient to yourselves (in disobedience).' And their votaries from the people will say, `Our Lord! some of us benefited one from another but (at last) we have reached the end of the (appointed) term which You determined for us.' He will then say, `The Fire is your lodging, therein to abide, unless Allâh wills (otherwise).' Verily, your Lord is All-Wise, All-Knowing. 

6:129. In the like manner do We let some of the unjust have power one over another because of their (wrongful) deeds.[50] 

In the above verses unless both jinn and ins (ordinary people) are the same community, then at least there is no human experience of humans ever being under subjugation or ruled over by the jinns. Only humans ruled over the humans and will continue to do so in the matters political, social, economic and spiritual etc., in each of which the society can be misled by its leadership. For example, in political domain a dictator needs support from the masses to remain in power. In the social matters there are trend setters and celebrities that can lead the way for common folks to a life of hedonism. In economic aspects our lives are overrun by usury and speculative institutions in the garb of banks and stock-markets and the ordinary people are consumed by these practices. In the matters spiritual it is everyday experience of how a few from the pulpit can mislead the masses into ignorance. 

In another place Quran gives the commonality of both jinn and ins of their being able to read, write and even publish: 

17:88. Say, `If there should join together all human beings and the jinn to produce the like of this Qur'ân, they would never be able to produce anything like it, even though some of them might be the helpers of others.'[51] 

If the jinn were a separate entity, rather than a category of ins, then the next verse alludes to same jinns as helpers. Even to entertain an idea of non-human helpers in history is ridiculous as there is no such recorded event: 

2:23. And if you have any doubt as to (the truthfulness of the Qur'ân) which We have revealed to Our servant from time to time, produce a single Sûrah (- Qur'ânic chapter) like any of (the chapters of) this, summoning (to your assistance) all your helpers (that you have) beside Allâh, if you are truthful (in your doubts)…[52] 

Clearly, the helpers in the both the above verses 17:88 and 2:23 are the jinns, the human scholars and experts. 

The next verse draws attention to the historical fact that Messengers were sent to all mankind, the jinn and ins

6:130. `O multitude of jinn (- fiery natured, houghty) and (ordinary) peoples! did there come to you no Messengers from among yourselves who related to you My Messages and warned you that you would face this your day?' They will say, `(Yes,) we bear witness against ourselves.' And the present life has beguiled them. And they will bear witness against themselves (on that day) that they were disbelievers.[53] 

If jinn that are considered to be separate and superior entity from ins, then why do they need Messengers (6:130) from lower degree of ins? Should it not be the opposite? 

In another place in Quran it is evident that jinn and ins are alike subjected to the same laws of physics and restricted by escape velocity, essentially implying that both are the same people: 

55:33. O body of jinn (- fiery natured) and (ordinary) the people! If you have the power and capacity to go beyond the confines of the heavens and the earth, then do go. But you will not be able to go unless you have the necessary and unusual power.[54] 

There is also an interesting commonality to both jinns and ins in which they can land in Hell: 

7:179. And, verily, We have created many of the jinns and the ordinary people whose end is Gehenna [i.e. Hell] [55] 

50:30. On that Day We will ask Gehenna, `Are you filled up (with the inmates of the hell)?' It will go on saying (expressing its state), `Are there anymore (that I can take)?[56] 

11:119. …`Verily I will fill Gehenna with the (rebellious) jinn and (ordinary) people all together,'…[57] 

32:13-14. Had We (enforced) Our will We would have (already) given every soul its (appropriate) guidance. But (as it is) the word from Me has come true (that) I will surely fill Gehenna with some of the jinn (- houghty) and (ordinary) men, all (the erring ones) together. So suffer (the punishment for your evil deeds). Since you had given up (the idea of) the meeting of this day of yours so We too have forsaken you (now). Suffer therefore the long-lasting punishment because of the misdeeds you used to do.[58] 

Besides the above sets of verses mentioning jinns and ins in hell, nowhere in Quran is there corresponding mention of jinns ending up in heaven, while it is only the ins who are assured of it. Isn’t it unfair to those jinns who do good deeds to be rewarded? Yes, they are rewarded once they turn themselves into ins, that we see in early Islamic history when the chiefs of Arabia lived like a common man. 

To cap it all is the mother of all arguments, the Hell, which is termed as a destiny and a mother for both jinns and ins. 

101:1-11 The calamity! What is the calamity? And what will make you know how terrible is the calamity? The day when people will be as scattered moths, and the mountains will be as flakes of wool. Then as for him whose good deeds are heavy, he will live a pleasant life. And as for him whose good deeds are light, the abyss is a mother [Arabic: Ummu] to him. And what will make you know what that is? A burning Fire. [59] [Emphasis added] 

In light of the above verses it becomes obvious that for anyone to land in Hell, irrespective of one having been created out of water, clay, fire or haste, their common attribute is that of being evil in their thoughts, designs, intentions or actions, all of which are the sole prerogatives of a human mind. When the Hell calls out to wrongdoers to “come back to mama” for spiritual healing and purification it becomes obvious that no mother can breed two different species, the jinn or ins, rather she can have children of the same species but with different personalities, some being jinns and others ins.[60] Thus it could be safely stated that if Hell is like a ‘mother’ then, its children are only humans, but segmented into jinns and ins

The jinns of Prophet Solomon (PBUH) are covered in separate chapters elsewhere.


[1] ‘Religion of Islam’ by Maulana Muhammad Ali. Chapter: Angels, p. 146-147.
[2] Dictionary of The Holy Quran, (c) 2010, Abdul Mannan Omar, p. 35-36.
[3] ibid, p. 583.
[4] Maha: a Hindi term meaning mega, major or prominent. The term Maha-jinn, a derogatory term used for a major usurer, a source of evils in the society.
[5] Al-Dhariyat – The Scatters: Nooruddin
[5a] ibid
[6] Al-Anam – Cattle: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
[7] Fatir – Originator: Nooruddin
[8] Al-Zukhruf – The Ornaments: Nooruddin
[9] Al-Anam – The Cattle: Nooruddin
[10] Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
[11] Al-Jinn – The Jinn: Nooruddin
[12] Al-Anam – The Cattle: Nooruddin
[13] Al-Kahf – The Place of Refuge: Nooruddin
[14] Al-Araf – The Elevated Places: Nooruddin
[15] ibid
[16] ibid
[17] ibid
[18] ibid
[19] ibid
[20] Isra – The Night-Journey: Nooruddin
[21] Al-Nas – The People: Nooruddin
[22] Al-Ambiya – The Prophets: Nooruddin
[23] Al-Rahman – The Most Gracious: Nooruddin
[24] Al-Hijr – The Rock: Nooruddin
[25] Al-Anbiya – The Prophets: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
[26] Al-Hijr – The Rock: Nooruddin
[27] Al-Rahman – The Most Gracious: Nooruddin
[28] Al-Araf – The Elevated Places: Nooruddin
[29] Dictionary of The Holy Quran, (c) 2010, Abdul Mannan Omar, p. 104-105.
[30] Al-Nisa – The Women: Nooruddin
[31] Al-Araf – The Elevated Places: Nooruddin
[32] Saba – Sheba: Nooruddin
[33] Al-Anam – The Cattle: Nooruddin
[34] Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nusaybin
[35] Saudi Tourism – “Souk Okaz is one of the markets where the Arabs met for trading and presenting poems and speeches in the past.   Today, it is revived at the same historical location to be a unique poetry, artistic, and historical meeting. Souk Okaz now combines the ancient history and the shining present. Here, the visitor will find the modern techniques and the location’s geography with its historical value. Also, folklore performances are organized in Souk Okaz. The visitor can reach the venue by using his own car or by accompanying a tourism group.” Link: http://www.sauditourism.sa/en/About/Pages/he-7.aspx. “It was a most popular forum for the Arabs coming to perform pilgrimage in the Pre-Islamic times. Today, just like the bygone days, it is a forum of intellectuals, literatis and poets. Folk performances are held in the central yard of Souk Okaz.” Link: http://sauditourism.sa/en/Events/Pages/Okaz.aspx. See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Souk_Okaz
[36] Footnote 1 to verse 72:1 by Muhammad Asad.
[37] Al-Jinn – The Jinn: Nooruddin
[38] Explanation of the said verse by Nooruddin in his Urdu lectures published as “Haqaiqul Furqan”. Link: http://www.alislam.org/quran/tafseer/?page=222&region=H4
[39] Al-Taubah – The Repentance: Nooruddin
[40] Al-Maidah – The Table Spread with Food: Nooruddin
[41] Al-Jinn – The Jinn: Nooruddin
[42] ibid
[43] Deuteronomy 18:15-19. “The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, according to all you desired of the Lord your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.’ “And the Lord said to me: ‘What they have spoken is good. 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. And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him. New King James Version. Link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+18%3A15-19&version=NKJV
[44] New King James Version. Link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=numbers+24%3A17&version=NKJV
[45] Al-Jinn – The Jinn: Nooruddin
[46] Matthew 2:1-12. Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.’” Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.” When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way. New King James Version. Link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=+Matthew+2%3A1-12&version=NKJV
[47] Al-Jinn – The Jinn: Nooruddin
[48] Al-Ahqaf – The Sand Dunes: Nooruddin
[49] ‘Religion of Islam’ by Maulana Muhammad Ali, Chapter: Angels, Sub-section: Jinn p. 146
[50] Al-Anam – The Cattle: Nooruddin
[51] Isra – The Night-Journey: Nooruddin
[52] Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
[53] Al-Anam – The Cattle: Nooruddin
[54] Al-Rahman – The Most Gracious: Nooruddin
[55] Al-Araf – The Elevated Places: Nooruddin
[56] Qaf – Allah is Almighty: Nooruddin
[57] Hud – Hud: Nooruddin
[58] Al-Sajdah – The Prostration: Nooruddin
[59] Al-Qariah – The Calamity: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
[60] See also the explanation for the verse 15:27 – Haqaiq ul Furqan (Urdu) by  Nooruddin

Materialism and Falsehood – Gog, Magog and Dajjal, the Antichrist

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

Materialism and Falsehood – Gog, Magog and Dajjal[1], the Antichrist

Gog and Magog are not inventions of Islam. They are prophecies about certain peoples and their conduct that we find in Old Testament.[2]

Ezekiel 38:1-9. Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, set your face against Gog [Yajuj of Quran], of the land of Magog [Majuj of Quran], the prince of Rosh [Roos, Russia], Meshech [Moscow], and Tubal [–river North of Moscow], and prophesy against him, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen [–the characteristic of Scythian and Magogian who domesticated horses – equestrian nomads of the northern Russian steppes], all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords. Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer [genealogy: Noah->Japheth->Gomer->Askenaz->Scythians;  Noah->Japheth->Magog->Gog-hasan;  Noah->Japheth->Magog->Hiongnu->Huns; Scythians<–>Huns[3]] and all its troops; the house of Togarmah [Georgians, the Armenians and some Turkic peoples[4]] from the far north [i.e. Europe] and all its troops—many people are with you.[5]

Despite their vivid description, demystifying Gog and Magog in the Old Testament has been an ever elusive topic. There is a general consensus that they represent prophecies about certain peoples symbolized by territory of their origin i.e. Europe – land of Magog…Rosh, Meshech, and Tubalfrom the far north.  Their military power and splendor are symbolized by – army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords. Their global reach is reflected in mention of lands and nations far and wide, away from Europe – Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya. Their far reaching deep-seated sway on the peoples of the earth is thus stated – many people are with you. Their ideology is anti-God, both in letter and spirit to which – Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you. Since the exegetes of these prophecies are Gog and Magog themselves, the Christians – mostly of Europe, the anti-God to begin with, it was quite natural that the interpretation of this symbolism was never understood by their coreligionists and its realization has been kicked down the road of history by them like an empty can. Besides, a prophecy comes to full light only after it has been fulfilled. A thief will never call himself a criminal until the time when his conscience is awakened to repent and redeem by undoing the exploit.

The mysteries of Gog and Magog are best understood if spelled by the horse’s mouth. That we find in a speech given by Winston Churchill, the wartime Prime Minister of British Empire, which is captured in the book – ‘Churchill: The Power of Words’ by Martin Gilbert, p. 401-402.

'THE MAIN FOUNDATION OF PEACE'

On 25 October 1951 the Conservative Party was returned to power at the General Election, and Churchill became Prime Minister for the second time. On 9 November 1951, three weeks before his seventy-seventh birthday, he gave his first speech as peacetime Prime Minister, at the Lord Mayor's Banquet at London's Guildhall, ball, which had been massively damaged during the wartime Blitz, and whose historic statues of Gog and Magog – the mythical warring giants who are guardians of the City of London – had been destroyed. Churchill told the gathering:

Though I have very often in the last forty years or so been present at your famous Guildhall banquets to salute the new Lord Mayor, this is the first occasion when I have addressed this assembly here as Prime Minister. The explanation is convincing. When I should have come here as Prime Minister the Guildhall was blown up and before it was repaired I was blown out!

I thought at the time they were both disasters. But now we are all here together in a union which I hope will bring good luck. I am sure we all wish the Lord Mayor a successful year of his arduous office. […]

It is only by studying the past that we can foresee, however dimly, the future. I cannot help feeling the impact of these thoughts in this war-scarred Hall. Its battered monuments remind us of other struggles against the Continental tyrants of the past, in generations before the supreme ordeal of 1940 which we all endured and won together.

I am so glad, my lord Mayor, that you have decided to replace the effigies of Gog and Magog. It was to me a painful blow when they were burnt to ashes by Hitler's bombs. They will look fine in the gallery up there. Indeed I think they are not only ancient but up-to- date. It seems to me that they represent none too badly the present state of world politics.

World politics, like the history of Gog and Magog, are very confused and much disputed. Still I think there is room for both of them. On the one side is Gog and on the other Magog. But be careful, my Lord Mayor, when you put them back, to keep them from colliding with each other, for if that happens both Gog and Magog would he smashed to pieces and we should all have to begin all over again, and begin from the bottom of the pit.

Whatever are the differences between Gog and Magog, at any rate they are made out of the same materials. Let me tell you what the materials are: vast masses of warm-hearted, hard-working human beings wanting to do their best for their country and their neighbours, and longing to build their homes and bring up their children in peace, freedom and the hope of better times for the young when they grow up. That is all they ask of their rulers and governors and guides. That is the dear wish in the hearts of all the peoples of mankind.

How easy it ought to be with modern science standing tiptoe ready to open the doors of a Golden Age, to grant them this humble modest desire. But then there come along all these tribes of nationalists, ideologues, revolutionaries, class warfare experts. and imperialists with their nasty regimentation of academic doctrinaires, striving night and day to work them all tip against one another so that the homes instead of being built are bombed and the breadwinner is killed and the broken housewife left to pick the surviving children out of the ashes. There is the structure: that is the composition which Gog and Magog have in common and there is the fate which both will suffer if you, my Lord Mayor, and others concerned in our City affairs or those who deal with world affairs do not act with ordinary common sense and keep Gog and Magog from falling upon one another.

The historical perspective of the statues of Gog and Magog that Churchill referred to is laid out by Nicholas M. Railton in his article – Gog and Magog: the History of a Symbol, p. 24-25[6].

The two giants, carved by William Goos, welcomed Henry V in 1415 on his return to London after Agincourt and during the following centuries have offered protection to official ceremonies, midsummer pageants, Lord Mayor Shows, banquets and proceedings within the Guildhall. To Queen Elizabeth I they were known as Gogmagog and Corineus as they guided her to her coronation on 12 January 1558. The former, a descendant of Albion, was armed with arrows and a globe of spikes attached by a chain to a pole (known in the Middle Ages as a 'morning star'), the latter, in traditional Roman costume, as a Trojan invader with spear and shield. The figures no doubt contributed to the myth that London was founded by Greek invaders from Troy under the leadership of Brutus (Corineus' commander-in-chief) as Troja Nova. Both figures were warriors, bearing the scars of war on their faces and hands, and found a home in the London Guildhall by 1593 at the latest. Gogmagog mutated into two giants – most probably under the influence of Scripture – and Corineus was thrown on to the rubbish heap of history. Gog and Magog continued to 'watch and ward' events in the heart of the English capital and were even used to win votes. A handbill produced during a mayoralty election, dated 4 October 1816 and addressed to the London Tavern Livery and their Spouses, promised the giants would 'dance a minuet by steam' once the candidate had been elected. The honour and liberty of England was closely bound up with the presence and protection afforded by the two warrior heroes. New giants carved by Richard Saunoers in 1708 were destoyed by German bombs which hit the building on 29 December 1940, but in 1953 new statues carved by David Evans were unveiled in the west gallery of the Guildhall, Gog to the north and Magog to the south. A phoenix was added to the shield to underline the resurrection of the ancient mythical Britons.

A struggle between the two, recorded in Geoffrey of Monmouth's twelfth century Histories of the Kings of Britain, is said to have ended in a wrestling match near Plymouth, Corineus being Trojan general in Cornwall. Gogmagog loses the match and is thrown into the sea at a place Geoffrey said was still called Goemagot's Leap in the twelfth century. In 1494 figures of the two giants were re-cut into the turf on Plymouth Hoe. Huge rocks known as Gog and Magog can still be seen off Land's End. They also gave their names to the Gog Magog Hills near Cambridge. It is said that semblances of the legendary giants were once cut into the turf of this chalk outcrop which dominates the whole of the plain to the Wash.

Churchill in a nutshell, described Gog and Magog for who they are, the Slavonic and Teutonic races, the Eastern and Western Europeans, their military and economic power, and their wars and their materialistic doctrines of our times that hold sway over every aspect of the globalized culture that only came into existence over past several centuries. He was able to state what he spoke only because he fully identified himself with Gog and Magog. He lived and led their global tribulations both during and outside the World Wars of last century. Besides Churchill, “in the 1st century C.E. the Jewish historian Josephus claimed that Gog and Magog were the Scythians[7].”[8] Eerily, his sketch of Gog and Magog reflects what the Old Testament, Quran and Hadiths describe about them and is the topic of current chapter.

Under the shadow of Gog and Magog also evolved a spiritual disfigurement, the Dajjal that is extensively mentioned in visions and prophecies of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as reported in the Hadith collections of Bukhari, Muslim, and Hanbal. It could be equally stated on the reverse that it was because of the doctrine of Dajjal that Gog and Magog fulfilled the prophecies attributed to them both in the Old Testament and the Hadiths.

The source of the turmoil that Churchill faced as head of Magog is identified in Quran to be the Christianity, pertinently of Europe:

19:88-91. And they say: The Beneficent has taken to Himself a son. Certainly you make a detestable assertion! The heavens may almost be torn apart at it, and the earth split, and the mountains crumble down in pieces, that they ascribe a son to the Beneficent! [9]

Quran clearly prophesizes the commotion of Gog and Magog that the whole world later endured at their hands in recent centuries, especially during the World Wars – The heavens may almost be torn apart at it, and the earth split, and the mountains crumble down in pieces, and then ties it to that which emanated from their doctrine driven by Christianity in which they – ascribe a son to the Beneficent!

It is to this tearing of heavens, splitting of earth and crumbling of mountains, if taken literally, was what Churchill expressed his concerns about in his speech, after he had seen it all in its full galore as the Prime Minister of British Empire during World War II and also witnessing before that in World War I.

Besides Gog and Magog, the Old Testament identifies their companionship of a ‘Satan’ in a global triad:

Revelation 20:7-8. … Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog…[10]

Because of Gog and Magog and their accompanying Satan, which is essentially the Dajjal of Hadith, the world continues to suffer exploitation at their hands and remains at risk of the omnipresent wars of future as well in which they will continue to have a direct or indirect role.

It is important for the reader to understand that Dajjal is a doctrine whereas Gog and Magog are races that unleashed the Dajjalic doctrine, which in turn is the basis of the term ‘Antichrist.’ What does the very title ‘Antichrist’ mean? Answer is simply, one who is ‘anti’ of what Jesus Christ was – son of Mary i.e. a human who was born and died in a natural way, what he stood for and what his message was about – monotheism, peace, love, equity, charity, self-effacement and struggle against materialism and usury; one who attributes to Jesus what Jesus was not i.e. the godhead, and that which Jesus rebuts himself in a parable in Quran where he distances himself from the ‘Antichrist’ doctrine:

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.[11]

A keen observer will notice the words of Jesus – "Worship Allâh, my Lord as well as your Lord", which question the fundamental Christian doctrine that “if Jesus was God then how could he himself have worshipped another God?”[12] Quite logically then according to Quran god-ship was attributed to Jesus after his death. It is this doctrine that is the Antichrist, the Christian doctrine of Trinity and all the cohort forces that have and continue to propagate it by any means, be it from the pulpit, the government, the financial intuitions or the media. Atonement too in itself is Antichrist to begin with. Due to evil of Atonement, the human conscience of Gog and Magog was un-suppressed which in turn then unleashed the beast in them on the world stage. It was because of their doctrine of Atonement which absolves one from all the sins perpetrated and those yet to be committed, irrespective of ruthless barbarism, daily life driven by greed in all its affairs, never ending exploitation of world’s resources both by individuals and nations, subjugation of other humans, colonization and enslavement with impunity of the body and soul of humanity. It was the belief in wicked Atonement which thus gave the European nations a free-hand for their global plunder to an extent and magnitude never before imagined nor witnessed in the world history:

Ezekiel 38:7-13. “… In the latter years … You [–Gog and Magog] will ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and all your troops and many peoples with you.” ‘Thus says the Lord God: “On that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will make an evil plan: You will say, ‘I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates’— to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land. Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions will say to you, ‘Have you come to take plunder? Have you gathered your army to take booty, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great plunder?’”’[13]

Please note the global evil plan outlined in Old Testament of the European colonists against the defenseless world in which they – will say, ‘I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates’— to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations – the colonies[14]. The literal plundering of colonies by Gog and Magog was also prophesized when the subjugated in a cry of helplessness – will say to you, ‘Have you come to take plunder? Have you gathered your army to take booty, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great plunder?’ How true!

Gold and silver – COLUMBUS hungered for gold but found little. However his followers did: Cortes plundered the Aztec temples and Pizarro stole shiploads of Inca wealth. But while Indians worked the Spanish mines of Bolivia and Mexico, most of the wealth eventually wound up in the pockets of Dutch, British and French businessmen. The old European mercantile economy was shaken by the massive injection of American wealth. In 1500, Europe had $200 million worth of gold and silver: a century later the amount was eight times greater. Inflation sent the value of precious metals plummeting worldwide. (The Ottoman Empire saw the value of its silver hoard fall 50 per cent by 1584, knocking the Islamic power from contention as a major trading bloc.) And as the American booty spread around Europe, a new merchant and capitalist class was launched. Soon the British and Dutch expanded into North America, India, China and southeast Asia. By 1750 a truly global trading network had been established with Europe in firm control. The catalyst: American gold and silver.

Profit and slaves – THE unimaginable wealth of the Americas soon rendered redundant the old trade routes through Africa – once the main source of new supplies of gold and silver. Africa now had only one thing the Europeans wanted: slaves to work the mines and plantations of the new world. Slavery had existed in Africa for centuries but the demand for cheap labour in the Americas turned the sale of black flesh into a booming and immensely profitable business. By 1619 a million slaves had been brought to Spanish and Portuguese colonies in South America. The British and French easily dominated the slave trade as Spanish ships were too busy hauling all the new American wealth back home. Like American Indians, black people throughout the Americas were abused, degraded and murdered in the pursuit of profit. This legacy of racism and intolerance still cripples social relations throughout the Americas – from Argentina to the Arctic.

Banks and business – OPPORTUNITIES for profit in the Americas also produced the ancestors of today's giant multinational corporations. Pirates like Francis Drake got private financing and royal approval for his plunder of Spanish treasure. Later these pirates also branched out into slavery (forming businesses like the Royal African Company) and eventually plantation agriculture. In the Caribbean and along the coast of Virginia and the Carolinas, plantations growing sugar, tobacco, rice and cotton were hacked out of the forest and black slaves imported to work them. Later, British traders launched business ventures like The Hudson Bay Company (which was 'granted' by Charles II a chunk of Canada larger than Western Europe) and The Virginia Company. The imperial goals of Britain were closely tied to these private business interests. As the corporations prospered (backed by the unrivalled strength of the British Navy) a sophisticated banking system sprang up to handle all the new wealth, followed soon by stock markets to attract new investors.[15]

Dajjal in Arabic means that someone who covers the truth with falsehood – a liar, [who] covers with its numbers and covers the earth with unbelief.[16] Paulian Christianity by its very definition is a lie covering the prophethood, mission and mercy of Jesus Christ with doctrines attributing godhood and Atonement to him. The Church has used any and every means to overcome the truth brought forth by human conscience, i.e. Islam, about him, both by the crusades before and in the wars of recent past and even in the present, which Quran rebuts:

4:171. O people of the Scripture! do not go beyond the limits (of propriety) in the matter of your religion, nor say anything regarding Allâh except that which is perfectly true. The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary was only a Messenger of Allâh, and (a fulfillment of) His word which He communicated to Mary, and a mercy from Him. Believe, therefore, in Allâh and in all His Messengers, and do not say, `(There are) three (Gods).' Refrain (from following this doctrine) it will be better for you. Verily, Allâh is the One and only God. He is Holy. Far above having a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth. And Allâh suffices as a Disposer of affairs.[17]

5:72-73. Indeed, they have disbelieved who say, `Allâh – He is the Messiah, son of Mary,' whereas the Messiah (himself) said, `O Children of Israel, worship Allâh Who is my Lord and your Lord.' Surely whoso associates partners with Allâh, him has Allâh forbidden Paradise, and his resort will be the Fire and these transgressors shall have no helpers. Most certainly, they have disbelieved who say, `Allâh is the third of the three.' But infact there is no other, cannot be and will never be One worthy of worship except One God. And if they refrain not from what they say, there shall certainly befall those who disbelieve from among them, a grievous punishment.[18]

There is a waxing question about the true identify of Dajjal amongst the Muslims because its identity is shrouded in numerous prophecies in Hadiths which give its description in awesome details[19]. Since the term Dajjal is found in Hadith and not in Quran, by using the Hadiths one finds clues to its identity through its manifestations. To understand its turpitudes it becomes obligatory to recognize the national, religious, temporal and political aspects of Dajjal. The Hadiths point to first and last ten verses of Chapter Al-Kahf (– ‘Cave’ or ‘The Place of Refuge’), and by implication the whole chapter itself, as the starting point to identify and understand Dajjal before one is able to protect oneself against its tribulations and influence[20]. Of note is that the relevant Hadiths are prophecies based upon the visions of Prophet Muhammad, hence they were hidden in a futuristic mystery for centuries, deciphered for their metaphorical meanings only a little over a century ago by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, India that fit the then prevalent geo-political upheaval in the world. The same tumult that has prevailed in the world for the last three hundred years is still ongoing into a foreseeable future. Of note is that in Hadiths the agitations of Dajjal are in no way related to end of the times as misconstrued generally.

The religious identity of the Dajjal is found in the initial verses of said chapter that clearly identify it as Christianity, the doctrine of son-ship:

18:4. And that it [– the Quran] may warn those who say, `Allâh has begotten a son.'

18:5. (This is absolutely wrong.) They have no real knowledge of Him, nor (had) their fathers. Grievous is the word that comes out of their mouths. They speak naught but a lie.[21]

The next verses identify the Dajjal historically, when Christianity in its infancy gave up the material world for religion and adopted monasticism that we see in its early Unitarian Christians[22] and Ebionites[23], the ‘People of the Place of Refuge’:

18:9. Do you think that the People of the Place of Refuge and of the Inscriptions were a wonder among Our signs.

18:10. (Recall the time) when the young men betook themselves to the Place of Refuge and said (in prayer), `Our Lord! grant us mercy from Yourself and provide for us right course in our affair (setting all things right for us).'

18:11. So We sealed up their ears (to cut them off from the outside world) in their Place of Refuge for (only) a number of years.

18:12. Then We raised them up (for making certain efforts) that We might distinguish as to which of the two groups had made better use of the time they had stayed there according to its rightful requirement.[24]

This state of monasticism in Christianity where it rejected worldly pursuits lasted for the initial three hundred years, and some more, till the time when Roman emperor Constantine converted to Christianity and First Council of Nicaea was held in 325 C.E.[25] where Trinity thus established[26] and remains of any monotheism in its faith thus expunged:

18:25. And they (- the early Christians) stayed in this Place of Refuge three hundred years [by a solar calendar] and extended (their stay) another nine (years) [if counting by lunar calendar].[27]

After about a thousand year when Trinity was adopted as the basis of Christianity, started the European Renaissance (French: rebirth), which set into motion the global turmoil of Gog and Magog:

Revelation 20:7-8. Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. [28]

The national identity of Dajjal is found in the following verses of the same chapter of Quran which is that of Slavonic and Teutonic races, who subsequently converted to Christianity:

18:92. Then he [`Dhul-Qarnain[29] – i.e. Cyrus II, 600 or 576 – 530 BC[30]] launched out on (yet another) course (to the northern part of his empire, – to the territory between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasian Mountains).

18:93. So that when he reached a place (- Derbent) between two barriers (on one side the Caspian Sea and on the other the Caucasian mountains) he found in their vicinity a people who could hardly understand speech (in his Persian language).

18:94. They said, `Dhul-Qarnain! Gog and Magog (-respectively the ancestors of the present Teutonic and Slavonic races) are playing havoc in this country. Shall we pay you tribute on condition that you set up a barrier between us and them?'

18:95. He said, `The power which my Lord has endowed me with about this is better (than this your tribute), you (only) help me with (your resources and human endeavour of physical) strength. I will raise a rampart between you and them.'

18:96. (Then he said,) `Bring me ingots of iron [– a clear reference to iron age which had started several centuries before].' (So that when all was provided for and) he had filled the space between the two barriers, he said, `Now blow (with your bellows).' (They blew) till when he had made it (- the ignots red hot as) fire, he said, `Bring me molten copper that I may pour (it) thereon [– the gates of the walled barrier].'

Note: The time period of fortification by Dhul-Qarnain overlaps with construction of the Great Wall of China which too was erected overtime as a barrier against the same Scythian and Magogian warring hordes.

18:97. So (there was built the rampart which) they (- Gog and Magog) could neither scale nor they had the strength to cause a breach through it.[31]

The above verses also metaphorically place a temporal check on these races until a certain time when they were unleashed in the recent history only after the Dajjalic doctrine had taken hold of them – Now when the thousand years have expired [after the First Council of Nicaea 325 C.E.], Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea (Revelation 20:7-8). In a different chapter, Quran also makes reference to the unstoppable nature of the Gog and Magog, when they were let loose on the earth to dominate it from every high point of superiority vis-à-vis their science and technology, maritime and military might, economic strength and cultural lures, by which they colonized, exploited and dominated the globe over its air, land and sea, and all aspects of global socio-economic and political affairs that the recent history and current times testify to:

21:96. … when (the great powers like) Gog and Magog [nations which existed but were restricted at the time of advent of Quran] are let loose [globally in the future] and come crashing down from every height and from the crest of every wave, and when they occupy every point of vantage (dominating the whole world and when they excel all other nations).[32]

The characteristic upheaval that the same European Christian races created in the world, firstly by their surging over the globe and secondly, when the same people surged against each other right from within Europe in centuries of warfare[33], the Colonial wars, American war of independence, through the Napoleonic wars and the World Wars I & II in which they faced hell in this earth of their own making. By extension the same military forces continue to surge ever since, years on end that recent events testify to including the decades of wars in Palestine, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan:

18:98. He [`Dhul-Qarnain – i.e. Cyrus II] said (thereupon), `This (rampart signifies) a great mercy of my Lord. But when the promise of my Lord (about the spread of the tentacles of Gog and Magog all over the world) shall come to pass, He will raze it [–the temporary physical and allegorical barrier erected by `Dhul-Qarnain in verses 18:95-98] to the ground (crumbling it to pieces), and the promise of my Lord is certainly true.'

18:99. And We shall leave them (- Gog and Magog) alone at that time surging as waves (in furious attacks) one over another. And the trumpet shall be blown [–i.e. global announcement of their domination, upheaval, wars, their pacts and treaties including United Nations, 4 of the 5 members of Security Council belong to Gog and Magog]. Then shall We gather them all together [–League of Nations, United Nations, Eastern European Communist Block, NATO, European Union. Here also is a prophecy of the world gathering under the banner of Islam].

18:100. And We shall (in a way) present hell on that day [e.g. World War I & II etc.], face to face to the disbelievers.[34]

Similar to Quran, the Old Testament also prophesizes the upheavals of Gog and Magog that the world saw after their slicing up of Middle East – the Land of Israel, dismemberment of Ottoman Empire and then going into World War II against each other:

Ezekiel 38:14-23. “Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “On that day when My people Israel dwell safely, will you not know it? Then you will come from your place out of the far north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a mighty army. You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes.” Thus says the Lord God: “Are you he of whom I have spoken in former days by My servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied for years in those days that I would bring you against them? “And it will come to pass at the same time, when Gog comes against the land of Israel,” says the Lord God, “that My fury will show in My face. For in My jealousy and in the fire of My wrath I have spoken: ‘Surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel, so that the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all creeping things that creep on the earth, and all men who are on the face of the earth shall shake at My presence. The mountains shall be thrown down, the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.’ I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains,” says the Lord God. “Every man’s sword will be against his brother. And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.”’[35]

Sadly, the above passage is a summary of World Wars I & II so far, when – says the Lord God, “that My fury will show in My face. For in My jealousy and in the fire of My wrath I have spoken: ‘Surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel, so that the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all creeping things that creep on the earth, and all men who are on the face of the earth shall shake at My presence. The mountains shall be thrown down, the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.’ I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains,”. The global extent of the war was thus prophesized – “Every man’s sword will be against his brother. And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. About 73 million died in WWII[36] alone, whereas 39 million casualties occurred in WWI.[37] The reference to Israel in the prophecies about Gog and Magog essentially alludes to the victimization of Jewish people wherever they maybe, at the hands of European Christians, firstly during Crusades in the Middle East and then in Europe in recent centuries  – Then you will come from your place out of the far north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a mighty army. You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land.

The intensity of their might and the warfare technologies can be discerned by their creating equivalent of hell on earth, the examples of which are found in Quran:

55:33. O body of jinn (- fiery natured) and (ordinary) the people! If you have the power and capacity to go beyond the confines of the heavens and the earth, then do go. But you will not be able to go unless you have the necessary and unusual power.

55:35. Flames of fire, smoke and molten copper will be let loose upon you and you will not be able to defend yourselves.

55:37. And when the heaven splits up and turns crimson like red hide (how will you fare then)?[38]

The economic and industrial face of Dajjal is identified in the last verses of the Chapter Al-Kahf which pinpoints them by their unique manufacturing base and their daily lives overtaken by materialism at the cost of any spiritual gains for the mere fact that despite following a so called religion, Christianity, they are not following truth but a falsehood, which is just another name for Dajjal, the Antichrist. Essentially, the world under their sway and unbeknownst to themselves, they too are consumed by their own ‘Dajjalic’ doctrine which as noted in Quran has transformed from its initial monasticism of about three hundred years after Jesus Christ to its current state of materialism over last several centuries:

18:101. Those (of them) whose eyes were under a cover (not heeding) My Reminder, and they could not even afford to hear (to the voice of truth).

18:102. Do those disbelievers [of Dajjalic doctrine, the Christians, the only doctrine centered on a ‘son’ of God in prevailing religions of the world] think, even then, that they can take My servants as patrons to My exclusion? (Let them know) surely We have prepared Gehenna for the disbelievers as an entertainment.

18:103. Say, `Shall We inform you of those whose [materialistic] deeds shall spell their utter loss?'

18:104. (They are) those whose [materialistic] efforts are (all) lost in (pursuit of things relating to) the life of this world, yet they think they are doing works of good manufacturing [while they are blind to spiritual aspects of human growth].[39]

Contrary to verses 18:9-12 when the early Christianity had abandoned the worldly life for religion and adopted monasticism, the above verse points to a reversal point in its doctrine, when it will renounce religion for materialism. The next verse then provides the reason for such a doctrinal shift which is now their national remorselessness and a belief in unaccountability of their exploitations, diplomatically called as economic and national interest, and their unbelief in life after death which inherently would act as a check on their selfish behaviors:

18:105. It is these who disbelieve in and deny the Messages of Allâh and the meeting with Him. So their deeds have gone vain, and on the Day of Resurrection We shall assign them no weight.[40]

The doctrine of Dajjal removed any vestige of regret from the psyche of its followers which consequentially makes them remorseless in their global exploitation that resulted primarily from their core belief in Trinity and its accompanying Atonement, a falsehood, pure and simple. The Quran gives a disclaimer and distances its message from the followers of doctrine of Dajjal:

18:110. Say, `I [-Muhammad] am but a human being like you. It has been revealed to me that your God is only One God [i.e. not Trinity]. So let him who hopes to meet his Lord do deeds of righteousness and let him associate no one in the worship of his Lord.[41]

After giving the prophecies about arrival and global domination by the doctrine of Dajjal, Quran also speaks of its destruction, not in terms of killings, but crumbling of the Cross which is its controlling ideology:

2:97. And when the time (of the fulfillment) of the true promise (about the destruction of the forces of falsehood and materialism as represented by Gog and Magog) draws near, behold! the eyes of those who do not believe (in the triumph of truth), will be transfixed (and they will exclaim), `Ah, woe to us! we were really forgetful of this (day), nay, we were of course unjust.'

2:98. (It will be said to them,) `Surely, you and the things [including the Trinity,, Atonement and materialism] which you worship apart from Allâh are, of course, fuel of Gehenna, where you shall enter.'

2:99. Had these things been true gods [–Trinity, Atonement and materialism] (as you claim to be) they would not have come to it. But (as it is) they shall all enter it and abide in it for long.[42]

The destruction of forces of materialism in above three verses are alluded to in another Hadith, in which it was prophesied that sun will rise from the west, again interpreted by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to be the rise of Islam from the west. It too was prophesized by Ezekiel once the tribulations of Gog had come to pass:

Ezekiel 38:14-23. “Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog…Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.”’[43]

Interpretation of the said hadith is the first step towards that sunrise when Islam will be adopted instead of Christianity by the Gog and Magog and Dajjal will be vanquished. While other religions may be non-Christians, Islam is singularly Antichristian. Islam in its ideology is the only antidote against the Antichrist as Islam is an anti-Dajjal by nature. It is not the only bulwark against the Dajjalic doctrine, but has the inherent intellectual capacity to overcome it. Islam uniquely stands against son-ship and sun-ship. While standing against son-ship attributed to Jesus Christ (peace be upon him), it flushes away the ‘mysteries’ of crucifixion and resurrection. It does not hesitate to expunge the bad math of ‘three equals one’. It also does away with the make-belief moral value of sun-ship originated by Constantine and his Sun’day worship and the symbols of tonsure ‘sun-disks’ of the monks, eastward facing entrances of sun-altars – the Churches, the pagan celestial festivals of winter solstice and vernal equinox – the Christmas and Easter representing the yearly decline and rise of Sun God, the cross’ing of Sun through Pisces – the symbol fish, the virgin births of sun-gods, the resurrections and healing powers of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Babylonian and Persian sun-gods – including Jesus of the New Testament. It even bodily buries Jesus, the prophet, in a heaven on earth, in the vale of Kashmir and the mother, Mary in Murree, not too far from the son:

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 [Note the key word “refuge” i.e. the final destination of an escape] upon a worth-living lofty plateau abounding in (green and fruitful) valleys and springs of running water [– a historical and geographical reference to Kashmir].[44]

Ali Akbar in his book ‘Prophecies of the Holy Quran’[45] on page 71 summarizes the subject matter as referenced in Quran in its Chapter Al-Kahf – The Cave as follows:

Regarding chapter 18, all but two sections of this particular chapter (sections 9 and 10) are related to the history of Christianity and the European nations from their early past to their coming future,

Verses 94 to 98 identify Gog and Magog as the European nations.

Verses 4, 5 and 102 identify their religion as Christianity.

Verse 104 speaks of them as great industrial nations of the future.

Verse 7 states that they will beautify the earth.

Verse 9 speaks of them as great trading nations.

Verses 99 and 100 state that they will bring great destruction to the world.

Verse 8 says that whatever embellishments they have made will be reduced to dust without harvest.

As stated before, the allegorical verses can be interpreted when a meaning has been made manifest. So it is left to the reader to make his own judgment as to whether they are made manifest or not in our present day. The Holy Qur'an foresaw and foretold that universal calamity would be brought about by the Western Christian nations. And one might well ask why the Holy Qur'án does mention these particular European nations. The reason for this is quite clear: Allah alone is the Knower of the past, the present and the future. And He knows and tells us that the time will come when these nations will become free and prevail over all the heights of the world. With their material power and false attitude towards life they would sway the world so much that, as the Prophet has said: No people of the world will have the power to fight them (Muslim). They would do all this in order to gain their own material ends, but outwardly in the name of His servant Jesus. But in fact, according to the Holy Qur'án and the Bible, the Prophet Jesus had nothing to do with them, for he was only the prophet towards the Children of Israel. Reference to this can be found in the New Testament: These twelve disciples Jesus sent forth and commanded them, saying: Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matthew, 10:5-6).

It thus becomes important for Muslims to understand their own condition under the subjugation of Gog and Magog and the sway of Dajjal that will pollute their own spiritual state for which reader is referred to the book – ‘The Antichrist, and Gog and Magog’ by Maulana Muhammad Ali. The remedy for the doctrine of Antichrist, the Dajjal, is first to recognize it, which we find in Chapter 18th Chapter Al-Kahf (The Place of Refuge or The Cave) of the Quran and secondly to intellectually strive against its influence in personal lives and confronting it with arguments in Quran, because it is Quran alone that can make the Dajjal dissolve away like salt in water:

25:52. So do not follow the disbelievers, and strive hard against them with the help of this (Qur'ân), a mighty striving.[46]

If and when Gog and Magog are stripped of their Dajjalic doctrine of Trinity, Atonement and materialism which are a stark reality of its existence,[47] and the Cross is broken as an imaginative figment; only then its monocular blindness[48] of the Right spiritual eye[49] could be restored to its full spiritual brightness at par with its contralateral bright eye of materialism, and the consequent result will be spiritually enriched nations that with their unparalleled modernity of science and knowledge will be blessings for the humanity.


[1] “The Antichrist and Gog and Magog” by Maulana Muhammad Ali – A must read on the topic. Link: http://www.aaiil.org/text/books/mali/gog/gog.shtml
[2] Gog is mentioned by name in 1 Chronicles 5:4; Ezekiel 38:1-3,14,16,18,2; Ezekiel 39:1,11,15; Revelation 20:8. Similarly, Magog is mentioned in Genesis 10:2; 1 Chronicles 1:5; Ezekiel 38:2; Ezekiel 38:2; Ezekiel 39:6; Revelation 20:8.
[3] GOG AND MAGOG – THEIR NAMES IN HISTORY, THEIR PLACES IN PROPHECY. Link: http://www.soundchristian.com/magog/

[4] Wikipedia. Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Togarmah; see also footnote 3.
[5] New King James Version: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel+38%3A1-9&version=NKJV

[6] PDF Link: http://biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/eq/2003-1_023.pdf

[7] Scythian, also called Scyth, Saka, and Sacae, member of a nomadic people, originally of Iranian stock, known from as early as the 9th century bce who migrated westward from Central Asia to southern Russia and Ukraine in the 8th and 7th centuries bce. The Scythians founded a rich, powerful empire centered on what is now Crimea. The empire survived for several centuries before succumbing to the Sarmatians during the period from the 4th century bce to the 2nd century C.E. Encyclopedia Britannica. Link: http://www.britannica.com/topic/Scythian

[8] Encyclopedia Britannica. Link: http://www.britannica.com/topic/Gog

[9] Maryam – Mary: Muhammad Ali – Zahid Aziz
[10] New King James Version. Link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+20%3A7-8&version=NKJV

[11] Al-Maidah – The Table Spread with Food: Nooruddin
[12] A quote from documentary “National Geographic: Inside Mecca”.
[13] New King James Version. Link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel+38%3A8-13&version=NKJV

[14] History of Colonialism. Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_colonialism

[15] ‘Simply… The Stolen Continent.’ Link: http://newint.org/features/1991/12/05/simply/

[16] Paraphrased from “The Antichrist and Gog and Magog” by Maulana Muhammad Ali
[17] Al-Nisa – The Women: Nooruddin
[18] Al-Maidah – The Table Spread with Food: Nooruddin
[19] “The Antichrist and Gog and Magog” by Maulana Muhammad Ali.
[20]  Whoever commits to memory the first ten verses of the chapter entitled the Cave will be immune from (the trials of) Dajjal (Al-Muslim 6:42; Abu Dawud; Tirmidhi; Musnad Ahmad.). Whoever recites the last ten verses of the chapter entitled the Cave will be safe from the trials of Dajjal (Al-Muslim; Tirmidhi; Abu Dawud 36:12.).
[21] Al-Kahf – The Place of Refuge: Nooruddin
[22] Wikipedia: Unitarians. Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Unitarianism#Early_origins

[23] Wikipedia: Ebionites. Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebionites

[24] Al-Kahf – The Place of Refuge: Nooruddin
[25] Wikipedia: First Council of Nicaea. Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Council_of_Nicaea

[26] Wikipedia: Link: Comparison between Creed of 325 and Creed of 381. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicene_Creed#Comparison_between_Creed_of_325_and_Creed_of_381

[27] Al-Kahf – The Place of Refuge: Nooruddin
[28] New King James Version. Link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+20%3A7-8&version=NKJV

[29] Daniel 8:1-4. In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar a vision appeared to me—to me, Daniel—after the one that appeared to me the first time. I saw in the vision, and it so happened while I was looking, that I was in Shushan, the citadel, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in the vision that I was by the River Ulai. Then I lifted my eyes and saw, and there, standing beside the river, was a ram which had two horns, and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher one came up last. I saw the ram pushing westward, northward, and southward, so that no animal could withstand him; nor was there any that could deliver from his hand, but he did according to his will and became great.
Daniel 8:15-20. Then it happened, when I, Daniel, had seen the vision and was seeking the meaning, that suddenly there stood before me one having the appearance of a man. And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of the Ulai, who called, and said, “Gabriel, make this man understand the vision.” So he came near where I stood, and when he came I was afraid and fell on my face; but he said to me, “Understand, son of man, that the vision refers to the time of the end.” Now, as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep with my face to the ground; but he touched me, and stood me upright. And he said, “Look, I am making known to you what shall happen in the latter time of the indignation; for at the appointed time the end shall be. The ram which you saw, having the two horns—they are the kings of Media and Persia.
[30] Wikipedia: Cyrus the Great. Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyrus_the_Great

[31] Al-Kahf – The Place of Refuge: Nooruddin
[32] Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
[33] Wikipedia: List of conflicts in Europe. Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_conflicts_in_Europe

[34] Al-Kahf – The Place of Refuge: Nooruddin
[35] New King James Version: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel+38%3A14-23&version=NKJV

[36] Wikipedia: World War II Casualties. Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties

[37] Wikipedia: World War I Casualties. Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_I_casualties

[38] Al-Rahman – The Most Gracious: Nooruddin
[39] Al-Kahf – The Place of Refuge: Nooruddin
[40] ibid – The Place of Refuge: Nooruddin
[41] ibid – The Place of Refuge: Nooruddin
[42] Al-Baqarah – The Cow: Nooruddin
[43] New King James Version: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel+38%3A14-23&version=NKJV

[44] Al-Muminun – The Believers: Nooruddin [45] Published by The Woking Muslim Mission & Literary Trust, The Shah Jehan Mosque, Woking, Surrery, U.K. 1968. Link: http://www.aaiil.org/text/books/others/misc/propheciesholyquran/propheciesholyquran.shtml
[46] Al-Furqan – The Standard of True and False: Nooruddin
[47] Hadiths refer to Dajjal having Kufr, i.e. unbelief; prominently written on its forehead that even the unlettered believer will be able to read it, implying the unbelief and actions of Dajjal will be obvious to all and sundry of the believers.
[48] In Hadiths, Dajjal is described to have blindness in Right eye, implying its spiritual void whereas its Left eye is bright as a shining star, indicating its highly developed worldly and materialistic vision.
[49] In amblyopia (blindness in one eye), the brain prefers the healthier eye over the other which could be impaired due to various reasons. The impaired eye is thus ignored to the point that due to inadequate stimulation the visual cortex does not mature normally. The blindness may go unnoticed by the patient and may persist into older age and missed because of the overriding of perception of normal vision by the other eye. The treatment in children usually involves patching the normal eye for a few hours every day for a few months so that the affected eye and its brain circuits may get a chance to mature.