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Rebuttle


A Subjective Inquiry into Islam

What Makes Islam So Successful?

An Objective Rebuttal

Research By: Brigadier (R) Aftab Ahmad Khan, MA,MBA

Dedicated to

Ikram ul-Majeed Sehgal

Some Contents Published in Monthly “DJ”- Defence Journal Karachi

This Book is also available at following URLs:

http://islamphobia.wordpress.com

http://attacksonislam.wordpress.com

http://endeavour-peace.page.tl/Islam-Attacked_Rebuttal.htm

https://faithforum.wordpress.com/attack-islam-rebuttal/

E-Book-PDF: https://docs.google.com/fileview?id=0B0Qfx8dX9TCvZjFkYzY3OWYtYWVmNC00MzNlLWIxMGEtZjc2NDQxYWU2MWU3&hl=en

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An inquiry into Islam-A Subjective Criticism

What Makes Islam So Successful?

Summary of Criticism on Islam

  1. A standardized version of the idea-collection is written down.
  2. The Qur’an includes instructions for its own spread, implement Islamic law all over the world.
  3. Qur’an includes instructions for its own preservation, protection, no modernization.
  4. Islam commands its followers to create a government to bring all people on earth under the rule of Islamic law.
  5. Permission to spread the religion by war.
  6. Lands must be conquered.
  7. Allowing polygamy to produce new soldiers.
  8. It is a punishable offense to criticize Islam.
  9. You can’t leave Islam once you’re in.
  10. Islam must be your first allegiance.
  11. Dying in fighting for Islam, the ONLY guaranteed way to Paradise.
  12. You must read the Qur’an in Arabic.
  13. You must pray five times a day.
  14. The prayers involve moving together in time.
  15. A woman is in a thoroughly subordinate position.
  16. The only way a woman can guarantee her passage into Paradise is if her husband is happy with her when she dies.
  17. Allah gives Himself permission to edit his own work
  18. The Qur’an uses the carrot and stick to reinforce behavior.
  19. Islam provides a huge and inspiring goal.
  20. Non-Muslims must pay a large tax.
  21. A Muslim is forbidden to make friends with a non-Muslim.
  22. The Qur’an counsels the use of deceit when dealing with non-Muslims.
  23. Islam must always be defended
  24. Islamic writings teach the use of pretext to initiate hostilities.
  25. The explicit use of double standards.
  26. It is forbidden to kill a Muslim
  27. If Muslims drift away from Islam, Allah will end the world.
  28. The message in a standard Qur’an is difficult to decipher.

Read complete rebuttal below, OR for point by point rebuttal, click each one of following links:

Islam Attacked-Rebuttal

0.Islam – A Short Introduction:

1.Written Scripture

2.Global Agenda

3.Preservation

4.Global Shari’a

5.Spread by Sword

6.Conquest

7.Polygamy

8.No Criticism

9.No Apostasy

10.Allegiance

11.Paradise

12.Arabic

13.Prayers-5

14.Synchronism

15.Women Status

16.Loyalty of Women

17.Editing Scripture

18.Carrot-Stick

19.Big Goal

20.Non Muslims Taxed

21.No Friendship

22.Deceit?

23.Defence

24.Pretext

25.Dibble Standards

26.Kill NonMulims

27.End of World

28.Ambiguous Qur’an

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An Objective Rebuttal

“Abraham was not a Jew nor yet a Christian; but He was true In Faith, and bowed His will to God, and He joined not gods with God.  Without doubt, among men, the nearest of kin to Abraham, are those who follow him, As are also This Messenger (Muhammad) and those who believe and God is the Protector of those who have Faith.”(Qur’an;3:67-68), “Jesus said unto them, If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the (deeds) works of Abraham”(John;8:39). “Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right?”(Jesus Christ, Luke;12:57).

Introduction:

The 911 terrorist attack on Twin Towers in which many innocent people including Muslims lost their lives, has been condemned by every sane person including Muslims all over the world. In the aftermath unfortunately thousands of innocent people in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq have lost their lives in the riposte lead by USA and NATO forces. The terrorists with little loss, using the name of Islam to justify their un-Islamic activities are killing the innocent Muslim with impunity through suicide bombing and other sabotage activities. The few thousands terrorists have hijacked Islam, the universal faith of peace. Every wrong they commit, Islam is blamed. The terrorists have no religion, if IRA was not labeled with Christianity; Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka were not called Hindu terrorists, why the term ‘Muslim Terrorists’?  This is no secret that the Jihadis in Afghanistan were creation of USA to defeat the communist Russians in eighties; they were trained, equipped, financed and organized by American CIA involving Pakistan and some other Muslim countries. The concept of Jihad like many mediaeval rulers was also misused by American to get cheap cannon fodder against communist Russians. Once abandoned after Russian defeat, this semi literate Jihadis chalked out their own agenda [or being used by anti Islamic forces as a tool?]. They have been declared as heretics, out of folds of Islam by councils of eminent Islamic Scholars of Pakistan and Muslim world including Saudi Arabia. The critics of Islam pick up their doctrines to critics Islam, because they can not counter the Islamic ideology followed by majority Muslims. Killing innocent people [Muslims or non Muslims] is a cardinal sin and crime against humanity (Qur’aan;5:32). Who is the biggest victim and sufferer? The innocent Muslims in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq are the main victims of Americans drone attacks on one side and suicide bombing by terrorists on the other side. Only few Americans have been killed by terrorists. The self evident results of this ‘War of Terror’ so far point towards existence of a covert plan working against the interest of Muslims and Islam to deprive them of even marginal independence by keeping them embroiled in covert wars. I wish this perception to be wrong, but there is nothing to support such an assumption.

In the post 9/11 scenario there has been mushroom growth of pseudo intellectuals to blame and criticize Islam, Qur’an the Holy Scripture and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) for all the troubles on this planet especially the menace of terrorism. Amazingly they appear to be lacking in the basic knowledge of their own faith [Christianity] and scripture [Bible]. Their crude little knowledge about Islam is based upon anti Islamic biased sources which add fuel to the fire. Intellectually they are at the same level as extremists of Afghanistan or elsewhere. They try to make their writings authentic by quoting isolated verses from Qur’an mostly out of context to extract meanings satisfying their preconceived notions. These Islamophobes engage in “mental reservation” when they mention half-truths about Islam.  The methodology is to mix half-truths with references and outright lies, either without references or irrelevant references.  Such people  claim: “A non-racist, unbigoted inquiry into the core teachings of Islam and what it all means (if anything) for non-Muslims”. Sounds good! But the dichotomy is self evident form word ‘(if anything)”. The claims of non religiousness  is self contradictory, as such sites are full of hate material against Islam, Muslims, their beliefs, practices and Holy Scripture. One is made to believe as if no good can be found in Islam, even a Muslims marrying a widow as a social welfare service is projected as a scheme to produce more warriors.

Such sites claim to educate the non Muslims about real face of Islam through novel idea to read book on Qur’an written by some non Muslim. Fearful of rapid growth and popularity of Islam all over the world especially among the pragmatic Europeans and American, these critics of Islam try to censure it by bringing up key components of the package of ideas (or bundle of beliefs) known as Islam as per his perceptions. For example the practice of Taqiyah is one of the fundament doctrines of Shi’a, [the minority sect of Islam,15-20%], criticizing Taqiyah by projecting it be the doctrine practiced by All the Muslims, is nothing but deceit, indicating malicious designs, false propaganda. Most of Muslims may not be aware of terms like Taqiyah, once I discussed it with one of my friends, a devout practicing Muslim, he showed his total ignorance, in fact he heard this term very first time from me! Hence critics embroiled the Muslims to respond to some thing which they don’t follow. Similarly why should we be discussing the doctrines of extremists, while majority rejects them. How if some one criticize the institution of Pope, and expect a Protestant Christian to defend it. Apart form deceiving the simple reader, such subjective criticism divert the time and energies of Muslims form real issues. Such is the nature of general objections raised against Islam, which can be found all over the web. The twenty eight points of subjective criticism have been taken as a base for objective analysis and rebuttal. Since Islam is the faith followed by all the prophets, a legacy of Prophet Abraham [pbuh], references form Bible are also quoted where ever required, this is especially for the satisfaction of followers of earlier scriptures.   Before analyzing each point one by one, it is important to briefly refresh our knowledge of Islam and its basic doctrines followed by majority Muslims.

Islam – A Short Introduction:

Islam is an Arabic word, meaning for the attainment of ‘peace’ through total surrender to the ‘Will and Commandments of God’. It is the faith preached by all the prophets from Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus Christ and lastly by Muhammad (peace be upon them all). “Abraham was not a Jew nor yet a Christian; but He was true In Faith, and bowed His will to God (in Islam), and He joined not gods with God.  Without doubt, among men, the nearest of kin to Abraham, are those who follow him, As are also This Messenger (Muhammad) and those who believe and God is the Protector of those who have Faith.”(Qur’an;3:67-68).” “Jesus said unto them, If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the (deeds) works of Abraham”(John;8:39). Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) aslo said; “I can of myself do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is righteous; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me.”(John;5:30); “Thy will be done”.(Mathew; 6:10,26:42).“Not every one who says to me, Master, Master, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven (Islam: Surrender to will of GOD). On that day many will say to me, Master, Master, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers’.” (Methew;7:21-23). One word for ‘Doing the will of Father in heavens’ in Arabic is ‘Islam’.

Fundamental Principles of Islam:

Anyone wishing to embrace Islam has to accept its intellectual principles with total conviction right from the start. This means he will have developed the faith within himself. The principles he has to accept are outlined briefly as follows:

1)       This material world is not the ‘all’ and ‘end of all’ of existence and life in this world is only a part of the eternal life.

2)       Man existed even before he was born and will continue to exist after death; he did not create himself but had been created before he was conscious of his human existence.

3)       The inanimate objects around him couldn’t have created him, as he is a rational being and they are not; * everything in this universe has been created from nothingness by the one God, God the Almighty.

4)       God is the only one who grants life and causes death. It is He who created everything, and if He wishes. He will destroy and obliterate it.

5)       Almighty God does not resemble His creation in any way. He existed before this creation and He is eternal and has unlimited knowledge.

6)       He is completely just in a way that cannot be assessed in human terms; it is He who has laid down what we call the laws of nature.

7)       He has created everything according to a well-defined measure before all creation, thus all the phenomena of activity, inactivity, consistency and inconsistency that we can observe in both animate and inanimate beings have been clearly defined and distinct boundaries have been set.

8)       Man has been bestowed with the power of intellect to deal with whatever matters he is presented with and he has been given the power of reasoning with which he can make his own choice and will power to enable him to achieve what he wants.

9)       God has created an eternal life beyond this temporary life, where the doer of good will be rewarded with a life in paradise and the wrong doer will be punished and exist in hell. This God is One. No one else may be worshipped but Him; no one can take us nearer to Him to plead on our behalf without His permission. Thus we should worship God alone, in all sincerity and purity.

10)   All the material beings that we can see and feel which have been created by Him. He has also created unseen beings, some animate and others inanimate, which we cannot see. Among the unseen beings are the angels, who have been created for absolute good; and then there are the Satans, who have been created as dark and negative forces.

11)   Apart from these there is a third category of unseen beings, the jinn, who are divided into Satans and ‘good’ or ‘obedient’ jinn and from amongst human beings.

12)   God selects certain people to whom the Shari’ a (Divine Law) is revealed, so that they can guide humanity towards it, these people are the prophets. [i.e. The Law of Moses and Shari’a of Muhammad (pbut)]

13)   This divine law is contained in all the books revealed from the God. God takes us through progressive “steps” in each book until the final book, the Holy Qur’an. Books that preceded it were either distorted or got lost and forgotten. The Holy Qur’an, however, has remained intact. The last of these prophets is Muhammad bin Abdullah, an Arab of the Quraysh tribe. With him there was an end to all the previous divine messages and religions. There has been no other prophet since his time. The Holy Qur’an is the constitution of Islam. Whoever endorses the fact that it has been revealed by God and believes in it completely, is a Mu’min (believer). Iman (faith) in this sense can only be seen by God because human beings cannot penetrate into human hearts and know what is in them. Therefore it is essential, in order to be accepted in the fold of Islam, that a man declare his faith.

The Articles of Islamic Faith:

The root of affirmation of ‘Islamic Faith’ is based on the conviction upon unity of Allah (Tawheed-monotheism). In order to be a  Muslim one has to believe in the Six Articles of Faith, which has been repeatedly mentioned in Qur’an at;24:62, 2:136,177,285, 4:136, 3:114, 4:78, 54:3, 17:99, 29:20, 64:67  and many other places.

The six ‘Articles of Faith’ and 5 pillars of Islam are adhered to by the majority Muslims. They    are orally confessed by the Muslims (believers), which should also be deep rooted, in the heart:

1)        To affirm his/her belief in Allah (Single God).

2)        To believe in His messengers (from Adam to Noah, Abraham to Moses and Jesus Christ peace be upon them all, twenty five mentioned by name in Qur’an), and Muhammad (peace be upon him) to be His Last Messenger.

3)        His books, Qur’an and all scriptures revealed to His Messengers which also include the original Torah, Psalms (Zabur) and original Gospel (Injeel) to Jesus Christ (pbuh).

4)        To believe in Al Ghaib [metaphysical creatures like the angels, Jinns, etc].

5)        Resurrection after death on the Day of Judgment, accounting and the scales, hell and paradise.

6)        The good and evil of destiny are in the power of Allah, the Most High.

The Day of Judgment is one of the cardinal beliefs in Islam. Allah says: “That Day will every soul be requited for what it earned; no injustice will there be that Day for Allah is Swift in taking account.”(Qur’an;40:16-17). The time of occurrence of Day of Judgment is not known to any one except God (Qur’an;31:34). Paradise is the abode of enjoyment which Allah, the Exalted, prepared for the righteous. No eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard of, and no human being has ever thought of the blessings that they will enjoy there (Qur’an;32:17). The Hell is the abode of punishment that Allah has prepared for the sinners and unbelievers: “(Qur’an;18:29).

The Islamic creed of confession (Shahada) is the verbal commitment and pledge to testify: “La ilaha Illallah , Muhammad-ur- Rasul-Allah” [None has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the Messenger of Allah].

The ‘Five Pillars of Faith’ are the physical manifestation of combination of faith and practices, which are also the forms of worship (Qur’an;2:21, 43:64, 69:52); the first two; Shahada & Salah (prayer 5 times a day) are daily, next two Zakat (Charity, Alms) ) & Saum (fasting, during month of Ramadan) are annual and the last Hajj (Pilgrimage to Makkah) is once in life if one can afford.

Some More Aspects of Islamic Faith and Beliefs:

Oneness of God: The God (Allah) is One and the Only One. He is not two in one or three in one. This means that Islam rejects the idea of trinity or such a unity of God which implies more than one God in one.

Oneness of mankind: People are created equal in front of the Law of God. There is no superiority for one race over another. God made us of different colors, nationalities, languages and beliefs so as to test who is going to be better than others. No one can claim that he is better than others. It is only God Who knows who is better. It depends on piety and righteousness.

Innocence of Man at Birth: Muslim believes that people are born free of sin. It is only after they reach the age of puberty and it is only after they commit sins that they are to be charged for their mistakes. No one is responsible for or can take the responsibility for the sins of others. However, the door of forgiveness through true repentance is always open.

State and Religion: Muslims believe that Islam is a total and a complete way of life. It encompasses all aspects of life. As such, the teachings of Islam do not separate religion from politics. As a matter of fact, state and religion are under the obedience of Allah through the teachings of Islam. Hence, economic and social transactions, as well as educational and political systems are also part of the teachings of Islam.

Jihad- Important Element of Faith (Ayman): Strenuous Efforts (Jihad) made sincerely for advancement of the cause of Allah, though not included among five pillars of Islam; but it is an important element of the Faith (ayman, Belief).(Qur’an;49:15). The aim of making Strenuous Efforts (Jihad) is three fold: The first and foremost is to; ‘Strive Against Selfish Desires’ (Nafs ammarah), to purify the heart, so that the faith (ayman) of Islam is deeply rooted in the heart, to become fully subservient to the commands of God and His Apostle Secondly, making strenuous efforts (Jihad) to convey the Last message of God (Islam) to the humanity(Dawah) called Bigger Jihad (Jihad Kabira)(Qur’an;25:52). Thirdly Jihad (warfare) is to be conducted by Islamic State to provide protection to Muslims and non Muslims against oppression. The specific word used exclusively for warfare is Qitaal (Qur’an;2:216-217) or Qatelu, wa-Qatalu (Qar’an;4 89-91). The warfare is to be conducted with in laid down Islamic principles. Killing of innocent people and creating mischief on earth (fisad fil ardh) for power and glory is not Jihad.

Muslims love the Prophet, his household; (Qur’an;33:6) and the Pious Companions of the Prophet (pbuh). It may not be appropriate for any believer to criticize them rather they deserve of beautiful praise. (Qur’an;7:42-43, 57:10, 9:100 & 59:10).

A Sinner Muslim: If a Muslim fails to perform some of his obligations and is remiss in practice or commits some such actions as are forbidden, yet he believes in the liability of all obligations and the impropriety of all unlawful deeds, he will continue to be a Muslim though he will be a sinner. [The concept of Takfeer i.e declaring a non-practicing Muslim, to be ‘apostate’ and liable to be killed; by some extremist groups, calling themselves as ‘True Muslims only’, is rejected by mainstream Islam.]

Qur’an:

More over the Muslims believe in what is stated in the Holy Qur’an regarding the creation of the paradise, earth and man. His behaviour and conduct in everyday life should reflect such a belief. A Muslim will therefore accept and abide by the Holy Qur’an, the authenticity of which he has no doubt. it is a book of codes with which a Muslim can govern his daily life. He accepts what is declared to be lawful and refrains from what is forbidden. He acts on what it instructs, and abstains from what is not permitted. Other religions may be confined to their respective places of worship. Islam however is not confined to s the mosque. In fact its impact and influence pervades all places— the mosque, the home, the streets and government offices. It is a religion to be observed at times of war as well as peace. Islam is an unalienable factor in the life of every Muslim. He is guided by its teachings on every aspect of life. It informs him of what is lawful and what is forbidden.

All actions of a Muslim can be classified under one of the following five categories: Lawful, Recommended, Obligatory, Forbidden and Reprehensible. Whereas other religions may only include forms of worship and may not include politics and acquisition of knowledge that is not the case with Islam. Besides being a religion of worship, Islam also contains a set of civil and criminal codes of law; it includes international law, rules and regulations of administration, principles of ethics and the science of politics. You can open any book on Islamic Jurisprudence and you will find these topics discussed.

Worship in some religions may only take the form of prayer. But Islam includes every action done for the good of the people, with the intention of dedication to God in addition to prayer and fasting. If religion is thought to be separate from the realm of knowledge, then Islam can be described as a religion of learning – because the very first word of Divine Revelation was “Read” (Recite). It did not say, “Fight” nor did it say, “Accumulate money and possessions” or, “Renounce the world”. “Read” was the first word revealed in the Holy Qur’an, followed by a discourse on knowledge. The biggest gift God has granted to mankind is the gift of knowledge, knowledge of what man did not know. No other blessing can match it – be it in the form of wealth, physical strength or fame and glory.

It is necessary for every member of an Islamic society, with in his capability to acquire every area of knowledge needed. No other religion on earth except Islam considers the acquisition of knowledge as a religious duty. It therefore exhorts its followers to learn the sciences of chemistry, medicine, aviation, etc. Islam is also the religion of’ ‘riches’. God has described wealth as khair – ‘good’. But man’s attachment to wealth is described as follows: “And violent is he in his love of wealth.”(Qur’an;100:7). Muslims should therefore seek to be rich, but they should acquire their wealth lawfully, and this wealth should not become an obsession.

Every Muslim should be aware of another duty he should perform: to convey the Message of Islam to others, and to call others to the path of God with wisdom and beautiful preaching. He should not compel or force anyone to accept Islam: “Let there be no compulsion in religion.”(Qur’an;2:256). He should present the salient features of Islam in a way that appeals to both the head and the heart. Muslims should be living examples of the glorious principles of Islam. They SHOULD NOT present a perverted and distorted picture of Islam.

It must be kept in mind that Islam is not afraid of debate on any issue and it does not avoid discussions on intellectual plane. Islam has arguments and proofs for all matters. It also demands proof and argument form its opponents: “Say, “Bring forth your argument if you are telling the truth.”(Qur’an;2:111); “Whoever invokes another god besides Allah – about whose divinity he has no proof thereof..”(Qur’an;23:117). It is impossible to give proof against the Oneness of God. If such Muslim missionaries take up the task, the whole world will accept the religion of God [by choice not coercion]. For God has revealed this religion and He will preserve it: “We have without doubt, sent down the message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption).”(Qur’an;15:9). Islam will continue to exist, the future is for Islam (presently Islam is the fastest growing religion in Europe and North America, women are leading the men).

What Islam Expects From The Muslims?

1)       To inhere in their best civilization and matchless culture in a manner that they surpass all the civilized nations of the world. They should be the most prosperous of all as far as the different branches of knowledge are concerned.

2)       Invite the humanity towards Islam, by conveying the message with wisdom, peacefully, in a logical and convincing way. They should argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious.

3)       Not to kill the innocent people of any faith (including own self, through suicide) except by law, they don’t have to create mischief on earth by creating anarchy or disturbing the peaceful coexistence.

4)       Warfare against injustice and oppression and self defence is permissible, to be declared by the Islamic State but the rules lay down for its conduct by Shari’a (Islamic Law) be strictly adhered to. Those who surrender or do not fight or remain neutral are not to be disturbed. The prisoners are to protected and provided peace and security.

5)       To use the right of retaliation to any injustice or oppression with equality, not exceeding the limits forgiveness and patience is however preferable.

6)       To fulfill all bilateral and international accords (like UN Charter) for peace and stability of humanity. To treat all members of society with equality fairness and justice.

7)       Non Muslims in the Islamic society enjoy complete protections and freedom to practice their faith. The places of worship of other religions are to be protected.

What is NOT demanded by Islam!

1)       Islam does not demand form a Muslim to give up the world altogether.

2)       Islam does not expect Muslims to be ignorant, lacking in knowledge of their faith and other branches of knowledge.

3)       Nor does it require one to make the mosque a permanent abode, never to leave it.

4)       Islam also does not insist that one should live in a cave and spend his whole life there —- Not at all.

[More on Islam: https://faithforum.wordpress.com , http://endeavour-peace.page.tl ]

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12:07 AM

An Objective Rebuttal

To

Subjective Inquiry into Islam

The Squawk

What Makes Islam So Successful?

The success and popularity of Islamic faith lies in the truthfulness of its universal fundamentals mentioned above based upon nature, justice, humanity, simplicity devoid of myths and strict monotheism, the cardinal point of Abrahamic faith which has been totally ignored by critics of Islam under the Islamophobia. However according to them, the success of Islam could be traced through the following 28 beliefs:

1)       A standardized version of the idea-collection is written down.

2)       The Qur’an includes instructions for its own spread, implement Islamic law all over the world.

3)       Qur’an includes instructions for its own preservation, protection, no modernization.

4)       Islam commands its followers to create a government to bring all people on earth under the rule of Islamic law.

5)       Permission to spread the religion by war.

6)       Lands must be conquered.

7)       Allowing polygamy to produce new soldiers.

8)       It is a punishable offense to criticize Islam. [hereafter, divine punishment calamites]

9)       You can’t leave Islam once you’re in.

10)   Islam must be your first allegiance.

11)   Dying while fighting for Islam is the ONLY way to guarantee a man’s entrance into Paradise.

12)   You must read the Qur’an in Arabic.

13)   You must pray five times a day.

14)   The prayers involve moving together in time.

15)   A woman is in a thoroughly subordinate position.

16)   The only way a woman can guarantee her passage into Paradise is if her husband is happy with her when she dies.

17)   Allah gives Himself permission to edit his own work

18)   The Qur’an uses the carrot and stick to reinforce behavior.

19)   Islam provides a huge and inspiring goal.

20)   Non-Muslims must pay a large tax.

21)   A Muslim is forbidden to make friends with a non-Muslim.

22)   The Qur’an counsels the use of deceit when dealing with non-Muslims.

23)   Islam must always be defended

24)   Islamic writings teach the use of pretext to initiate hostilities.

25)   The explicit use of double standards.

26)   It is forbidden to kill a Muslim

27)   If Muslims drift away from Mohammed’s teachings, Allah will end the world.

28)   The message in a standard Qur’an is difficult to decipher.

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Objective Rebuttal

Analysis/Comments-1

Before analyzing each one of these points, one should be very clear about Qur’an and its doctrines as perceived and practiced by the believers. Right in the beginning:

“THIS DIVINE WRIT – let there be no doubt about it is [meant to be] a guidance for all the God-conscious who believe in [the existence of] that which is beyond the reach of human perception, and are constant in prayer and spend on others out of what We provide for them as sustenance; and who believe in that which as been bestowed from on high upon thee, [O Prophet Muhammad,] as well as in that which was bestowed before thy time: for it is they who in their innermost are certain of the life to come. It is they who follow the guidance [which comes] from their Sustainer; and it is they, they who shall attain to a happy state!”(Qur’an;2:2-5). “Verily this is no less than a Message to (all) the Worlds:”(Qur’an;81:27).

Islam has standardized version of the idea-collection is written down:

The sacred writings of religions, comprising a large portion of the religious literature of the world. The sacred scriptures containing the message of guidance are available to the people after the messengers are gone. Allah says: “He has spelled out His revelations for people who want to understand.”(Qur’an;10:5). Scriptures vary in form, volume, age, and degree of sacredness. Nearly all scriptures were originally oral and were passed down as memorized texts through several generations before being put in writing except Qur’an, the sacred scripture of Islam, which beside being memorized was also written down at the time of revelation under direct supervision of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Qur’an, the latest  scripture mentions Torah, Zabur (Psalms) and Injeel (Gospel) by name, the scriptures revealed to Prophet Moses, David and Jesus Christ (peace be upon them all) respectively, however this does not preclude existence of other scriptures, like the one to Abraham (peace be upon him), now extinct. Allah says: “We have sent thee (O’ Muhammad) inspiration as We sent it to Noah and the prophets after him; We sent inspiration to Abraham Ishmael Isaac Jacob and the Tribes to Jesus Job Jonah Aaron and Solomon and to David We gave the Psalms. Of some Messengers We have already told thee the story; of others We have not; and to Moses Allah spoke direct.”(Qur’an;4:163-164).

The Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) is the scripture of Judaism; the Bible (Old and New Testaments together) is the scripture of Christianity. Word ‘Bible’, is derived from Greek biblos (“book”) can be compared with byblos (“Papyrus”: The writing material of ancient times and also the plant from which it was derived). In the fifth century after Christ, name ‘Bible’ began to be given to the entire collection of sacred books, the “Library of Divine Revelation.” The name Bible was adopted by Wickliffe, and came gradually into use in the English language. Interestingly the word ‘Bible’ does not exist in the text of Bible. The order as well as the number of books differs between the Jewish Bible, the Protestant and Roman Catholic versions of the Bible. The sixty-six different books of the Bible were composed by many different writers, in three different languages, under different circumstances; writers of almost every social rank, statesmen and peasants, kings, herdsmen, fishermen, priests, tax-gatherers, tentmakers; educated and uneducated, Jews and Gentiles; most of them unknown to each other, and writing at various periods during the long period spread over 1600 years. No original manuscripts exist. There is probably not one book which survives in anything like its original form. There are hundreds of differences between the oldest manuscripts of any one book. These differences indicate that numerous additions and alterations were made to the originals by various copyists and editors. The earliest extant Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures from the original Hebrew is known as Septuagint. Presumably this translation was made for the use of the Jewish community in Egypt when Greek was the lingua franca. The Pentateuch was translated near the middle of the 3rd century BC; the rest of the Hebrew Scriptures were translated in the 2nd century BC. The name Septuagint was derived from a legend that 72 translators worked on the project. Its influence was far-reaching. The Septuagint rather than the original Hebrew Bible was the main basis for the Old Latin, Coptic, Ethiopic, Armenian, Georgian, Slavonic, and some Arabic translations of the Bible. The books of New Testament lack conformity, there are more than 5000 manuscripts, written during different periods by different authors mostly unknown. Hence the Muslims, while believing in all the previous prophets and ‘original scriptures’ adhere to Qur’an, the final preserved revelations, ‘The Last Testament’ available for the guidance of humanity which abrogated all the previous scriptures.

[Allah knows best]

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Objective Rebuttal

Analysis/Comments-2

The Qur’an includes instructions for its own spread, implement Islamic law all over the world:

The UN Charter grants individual freedom of faith. The Christian missionaries has been working world over during last 2000 years. The Buddhist monks spread Buddhism to China, Central Asia, Far East up till Japan. What is so alarming if Muslims spread the message of God to humanity? Qur’an instructs the followers to convey the message of God to the humanity: “O Prophet, surely We have revealed to you the Book with the truth, for the instruction of Mankind. He who follows the Right Way shall follow it for his own good; and he who goes astray shall do so at his own peril. You are not set up as a guardian over them.”(Qur’an;39:41). At the end of his last sermon during last Hajj (632 C.E) the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “ O’ People, no messengers or prophet will come after me and no new faith will be born. Reason well, therefore, O’ People, and understand my words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Qur’an and my example, the Sunnah and if you follow these you will never go astray. All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly. Be my witness oh Allah that I have conveyed your message to your people.” This message is to be conveyed to humanity through beautiful preaching, not violence, God says: “Call unto the way of thy Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation, and reason with them in the better way. Lo! thy Lord is best aware of him who strayed from His way, and He is Best Aware of those who go aright.”(Qur’an;16:125).

Qur’an forbids forced conversions as evident form few verses quoted out of many in Qur’an: “There shall be no coercion in matters of faith. Distinct has now become the right way from the (way of) error: hence, he who rejects the powers of evil and believes in God has indeed taken hold of support most unfailing, which shall never give way: for God is all-hearing, all-knowing.”(Qur’an;2:256). “An so (O Prophet)  exhort them, thy task is only to exhort: Thou canst not compel them to (believe). As for those who turn their backs and disbelieve, Allah will punish them with the mighty punishment.”(Qur’an;88:21-24). “.. You (O Muhammad) are not there to compel them to believe. So admonish with this Qur’an every such person who fears My warning.”(Qur’an;45;50). “So (O’ prophet) exhort them, for your task is only to exhort, you can not compel them (to believe).”(Qur’an;88:21-22). “to you  [unbelievers] be your religion (Din), and to me mine.”(Qur’an;109:6). “Notwithstanding that no human being can ever attain to faith otherwise than by God’s leave, and (that) it is He who lays the loathsome evil (of disbelief) upon those who will not use their reason? (Qur’an;10:100).

Those who used their intellect understood the true faith of Islam and freely reverted to Islam (every human is born by nature as servant of God- Muslim), while others continued to follow their faith and lived peacefully in the Muslim rule. Just few centuries back the freedom of choice of faith was not available to the people as it is now. The tyrant rulers did not allow their people to accept any different faith, so they had to be subdued to provide freedom of choice of faith to the people. Those who did not accept Islam continued to live as peaceful citizens; the millions of Coptic Christians still living in the Arab world are testimony to this fact of history. If some one indulged in coercion it is individual act, Islam does not teach so.  History is witness to the fact on colonization the European Christian missionaries thronged the colonies to convert the people to Christianity, using all means including coercion, incentives in the form of education, health and social services so we find Christianity as the biggest faith in numbers. The inquisitions on Spain to convert Muslims and Jews is dark chapter of humanity. In the present environment of religious freedom, at least in theory there is no official restriction to convey the message of Islam through preaching, hence there is no need to wage war on this pretext.

No Forced Conversions during Muslim Rule in Spain, Greece, and Part of Europe & India: The example of Spain, India, part of Europe with majority non Muslim populations despite Muslim rule for centuries is an un deniable fact of history. No war was fought in Far East and East Africa; Indonesia is the larges Muslim country of the World, while East Africa has predominantly Muslim population. Islam is the fastest growing religion in North America and Europe, not by sword but due to preaching of Islam by the Muslims. The truthfulness of Islamic faith has attracted the ignorant common Christian, Jews, atheists and non Muslims who, through the media and internet are learning and embracing Islam after comparative studies of religions.

James Michener in his article ‘Islam: The Misunderstood Religion,’ Reader’s Digest, May 1955, pp. 68-70: “No other religion in history spread so rapidly as Islam. The West has widely believed that this surge of religion was made possible by the sword. But no modern scholar accepts this idea, and the Qur’an is explicit in the support of the freedom of conscience.”

The Law:

The Islamic Law [Shari’a] is one of most misunderstood aspect of Islam other being Jihad. Hence it must be understood in correct perspective. The peaceful coexistence is the basic requirement of any community for its survival, development and expansion. Law, may be defined as the discipline concerned with the customs, practices, and rules of conduct of a community that are recognized as binding by the community. The enforcement of the body of rules is through a controlling authority. The Westerners are most fearful of Shari’a, the Islamic Law, which they perceive to be a barbarian law enforcing harsh punishments like stoning to death for adultery, cutting of hand for theft and lashing for drinking alcoholic and other heinous crimes. They ignore the fact that these divine laws are not new, the Old Testament include the Law given by God through Moses, commonly referred as Law of Moses. Some  examples are: Life for a life, eye for eye [Exodus; 21:23-25 : Leviticus; 24: 18-21, Deuteronomy; 19:21. Qur’an;5:44-45]. However Qur’an goes a step ahead for forgiveness: “The recompense for an injury is an injury proportionate to it; but if a person forgives and makes reconciliation he shall be rewarded by Allah; He does not like the wrongdoers. Those who avenge themselves when wronged cannot be blamed.”(Qur’an;5:40-41). Death for Killer [Leviticus; 24:17, Qur’an;17:33]. Adultery is prohibited, according to Qur’an;17:32 and Mathew;5:28. Death by Stoning  for sexual crimes-(Deuterinomy;22:20-21).Death by stoning is also prescribed for blasphemy (Lectivis;24:16).  Theft is a serious crime, strictly forbidden by Qur’an and Bible [Deuteronomy;5:19 & Exodus;Chapter:20, 11;Leviticus;19, Qur’an;60:12, 29:29, 7:86]. Amputation of hand of thief is the punishment prescribed in Qur’an;5:38 and Matthew;18:8. Apparently in the age of Jesus thieves were crucified, [Matthew;27:38]. Homosexuality is great sin [1Corinthians;6:9,  1 Timothy;1:10, Romans;1:27-28, Genesis;13:13, 18:20, Qura’n;7:80-81]

Prophet Jesus Christ, the son of Mary (peace be upon him) declared: “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them.  For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”(Mathew;5:17-20 also  the Beatitudes, Matthew; 5:3-12 and the Lord’s Prayer Matthew; 6:9-13). However Paul over ruled Jesus Christ by declaring; “But now we are discharged from the Law, dead to that which held us captive, so that we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit.”(Romans;7:6).

The New Testament lays down the general principles of good government, but contains no code of laws for the punishment of offenders. Punishment proceeds on the principle that there is an eternal distinction between right and wrong, and that this distinction must be maintained for its own sake. It is not primarily intended for the reformation of criminals, nor for the purpose of deterring others from sin. These results may be gained, but crime in itself demands punishment.

Among the Jews Talmudic Law and Jurisprudence is considered to be of ‘divine’ origin. While rabbinic courts in Israel have jurisdiction only in the area of family life, it has become one of the aims of religious (Orthodox) Jewry there to establish Talmudic law as the general law of the state.

The New Testament lays down the general principles of good government, but contains no code of laws for the punishment of offenders: “For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”(Romans;13:9). “For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.  And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?” (1 Peter; 3:10-13). Punishment proceeds on the principle that there is an eternal distinction between right and wrong, and that this distinction must be maintained for its own sake. It is not primarily intended for the reformation of criminals, nor for the purpose of deterring others from sin. These results may be gained, but crime in itself demands punishment. The Western Christendom had to fill the void, continue to follow Roman Law and its derivatives. On separation of the religion form state, by declaring the religion to be personal matter of individual they initially depended on Roman Law, later on Civil Law. The Churches followed Canon Law which in its wider sense includes precepts of divine law, natural or positive, incorporated in various canonical collections or codes; may be defined as that body of rules and regulations (canons) concerning the behaviour and actions of individuals and institutions within certain Christian churches, which have, through proper priestly authority, defined and codified such rules.

Islamic law (Shari’a):

Since Islam is a complete code of life covering all aspects including social, economic, political, and military and other aspects of human life, hence the Islamic law (Shari’a) spells out the moral goals of the community, where state and religion are not separate entity. While remaining with in parameters of Divine Laws, there is flexibility to meet the modern challenges through Ijtehad. Total and unqualified submission to the will of Allah is the fundamental tenet of Islam: Islamic law is therefore the expression of Allah’s command for Muslim society and, in application, constitutes a system of duties that are incumbent upon a Muslim by virtue of his religious belief. Known as the Shari’a (the path leading to the watering place), the Islamic law constitutes a divinely ordained path of conduct, that guides the believers towards a practical expression of his religious conviction (rituals) and all aspects of life (social, economic, political etc) in this world and the goal of divine favour in the world to come.  In Islamic society, therefore, the term law has a wider significance than it does in the modern secular West, because Islamic law includes both legal and moral imperatives. For the same reason, not all-Islamic laws can be stated as formal legal rules or enforced by the courts. Much of it depends on conscience alone. The Shari’a duties are broadly divided into those that an individual owes to Allah (the ritual practices or ‘ibadat) and those that he owes to his fellow men (mu’amalat). It is the latter category of duties alone, constituting law in the Western sense, that is penal law. The other laws include; offenses against the person, homicide, law of transactions, family law, succession law, procedure and evidence etc. The Qur’anic revelations laid down basic standards of conduct for the first Muslim community established under the leadership of the Prophet (peace be upon him) at Medina in 622 C.E.  The Qur’an is the book of guidance for the believers; it also lay down the parameters of legal code. The Qur’an contains about ninety verses directly and specifically addressing questions of law. Islamic legal discourse refers to these verses as Allah’s law and incorporates them into legal codes. “…those who do not judge by the law which Allah has revealed are indeed disbelievers.”(Qur’an;5:44). The remainder of Islamic law is the result of jurisprudence (fiqh), human efforts to codify Islamic norms in practical terms and legislate for cases not specifically dealt with in the Qur’an and Sunnah. Although human generated legislation is considered fallible and open to revision, the term Shari’a is sometimes applied to all Islamic legislation. Modern scholars have however challenged this claim, distinguishing between Shari’a and fiqh and call­ing for reform of fiqh codes in light of modern conditions through Ijtehad.

Ijtehad: It means ‘independent reasoning’ as opposed to taqlid (imitation). In the absence of direct guidance from Qur’an or Sunnah for a given situation, the exercise of rational judgment by a competent authority is termed as Ijtehad. It is a unique and important component of Shari’a. Ijtehad started during the life of the Prophet  (peace be upon him), who while sending ‘Muadh ibn Jabal’ to Yemen, asked him: “According to what will you judge?” “According to the Book of God,” replied Muadh. “And if you find nothing therein?” “According to the Sunnah of the Prophet of God.” “And if you find nothing therein?” “Then I will exert myself (exercise Ijtehad) to form my own judgment.” The Prophet was pleased with this reply and said: “Praise be to God Who has guided the messenger of the Prophet to that which pleases the Prophet.” The rules of Ijtehad were framed by Abu Bakr, the first Caliph. He laid down the principle that in deciding a case he would obtain guidance the first instance from the Holy Qur’an. If the Holy Qur’an was silent in the matter, he would look for guidance to the traditions of the Holy Prophet as duly authenticated. If the traditions were also silent he was to decide the case according to his best judgment He held: “If my decision is just then it will be from God. If it is erroneous, it will be mine, and may God pardon me.” Ijtehad is fallible since more than one interpretation of a legal issue is possible. Hence there is enough flexibility in Shari’a to meet demands of modern society with in basic parameters of divine law.

Differences of Shari’a from Western Systems of Law:

In classical form, the Shari’a differs from Western systems of law (based on Roman Law) in two principal respects. In the first place the scope of the Shari’a is much wider, since it regulates man’s relationship not only with his neighbors and with the state, which is the limit of most other legal systems, but also with his Allah and his own conscience. Ritual practices,(ibadat) such as the daily prayers, almsgiving, fasting, and pilgrimage, are an integral part of Shari’a law and usually occupy the first chapters in the legal manuals. The Shari’a is also concerned as much with ethical standards as with legal rules, indicating not only what man is entitled or bound to do in law, but also what he (obligatory) ought, in conscience, to do (halal), something that is lawful and permitted in Islam, or refrain from doing (haram) not permissible. Accordingly, certain acts are classified as praiseworthy (mandub), which means that their performance brings divine favour and their omission divine disfavour. There is an other category not halal or haram but some thing doubtful, classified a Undesirable (makruh), it is divided into Makruh Tahrimi “that which is nearly unlawful without it being actually so,” and Makruh Tanzihi “that which approaches the lawful or undesirable yet is closer to the lawful.” For example  it is undesirable (makruh) for a person to buy back what he has given in charity (sadaqah, or zakat), or “to wish for one’s death, or pray to Allah for it, due to poverty, distress, illness, or the like. However in neither case is there any legal sanction of punishment or reward, nullity or validity. Thus the Shari’a is not merely a system of law, but a comprehensive code of behaviour that embraces both private and public activities.

The second major distinction between the Shari’a and Western legal systems is the result of the Islamic concept of law as the expression of the divine will. Shari’a law though appears to be rigid in certain aspects but there is room for flexibility in fiqha through Ijtehad to meet the challenges of growing and changing needs of society. In Islamic jurisprudence it is not the society that moulds and fashions the law, but the law that precedes and controls society, however the legitimate changes and requirements of the modern society are kept in view with in bounds of Divine Will. The Western Law, is not based on the Bible, they have discarded the Law of Moses, which Jesus declared as his mission(Mathew;5:17-20). By contrast in the Western Law, it is the society that moulds and fashions the law thus consumption of alcohol, homosexuality, gay marriages (not permitted in Bible) have been made legal, on the desire and public support of the Western Society, where as in Shari’a, it is not possible to make such laws which are unnatural and clearly against the Divine Will, manifested in Qur’an and Sunnah. As it can be observed that the most part of Shari’a relates with the duties and obligations of Muslims, between himself and God, and with in society. How can all the Shari’a can be applied to non Muslims? In Muslims countries the non Muslims live as free citizens, according to their own religious laws in matters like marriages, worships etc. The criminal law of the land is applicable to all. Similarly a Muslim living in non Muslim country is governed through the criminal law of the land. Indian Muslims have Muslim personal law on religious matters but criminal law of India is applicable as for all citizens. If majority of a country accepts Islam, then that society can decide to opt for the Islamic law. Presently many Muslim countries are not adhering to Shari’a in totality, how can they impose it upon others? Which law should govern the state, is to be decided by the people: “There is no coercion in matters of Faith” (Qur’an;2:256); “conduct their affairs with mutual consultation, spend out of the sustenance which We have given them, and when they are oppressed, help and defend themselves.”(Qur’an;42:38-39).

Imposing Islamic Law [Shari’a] upon others, at global level could be an enviable wish of enthusiasts, which can only be implemented if the people accept Islam or where ever Muslim rule is established, or people themselves opt for it considering effective. The Roman empire governed the subjects through their laws. The colonial powers introduced their laws in their colonies, though the masters have gone, the legacy continues.  But enforcing the religious part of Shari’a upon non Muslims was never practiced nor is it feasible. It should not conflict with commandment of Qur’an;2:256. Allah says: “O Prophet, We have put you on the Right Way (Shari’a) concerning the religion, so follow it, and do not yield to the desires of ignorant people;”(Qur’an;45:18). Muslims are to convey the message of God to others; “[O’ Prophet] So keep on giving admonition, for you are an admonisher not a taskmaster over them. As for those who turn their backs and disbelieve, Allah will punish them with the mighty punishment. Surely to Us is their return, then surely it is for Us to take their account”(Qur’an;88:21-26). Muslims are required to just convey the message of Qur’an, it is Allah who may cause it to prevail: “He it is who has sent forth His Apostle with the [task of spreading] guidance and the religion of truth, to the end that He may cause it to prevail over all [false] religion – however hateful this may be to those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God.” (Qur’an; 9:33, also 48:28). While Muslims perform their duty of preaching Islam, they believe that Prophet Jesus Christ, the Son of Mary (peace be upon him), will return before end of the world. He will prove that he was only a messenger of God and a human being, nothing more. He will kill the swine, break the cross, and abolish Jazyah [a tax taken from the non-Muslims who are in the protection of the Muslim government]. He will establish the Kingdom of God, all submitting to the will of God (Islam). He will rule as just ruler for 40 years, [under Shari’a] kill anti Christ (Sahih-Bukhari: 3:425, 656, 4:657, Abu-Dawood, Hadith:2025).

The Islamic society was a pluralistic society ever since its inception. In the city state of Medina established under Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) included Jews, Christians, polytheists, non believers and Muslims. As per Charter of Medina, there was  religious freedom, equal rights and responsibilities for Jews and others. At times the Jews of surrounding areas used to come to the Prophet (pbuh) for justice: “Therefore, if they come to you with their cases, you may judge between them or refuse to do so. Even if you refuse, they will not be able to harm you the least, but if you do act as a judge, judge between them with fairness, for Allah loves those who judge with fairness. But why do they come to you for judgment when they have the Torah which contains Allah’s commandments? Yet they turn back after that. In fact, they are not true believers.”(Qur’an;5:42-43). But those who were part of Islamic state are governed by Shari’a on criminal matters: “And unto thee [O Prophet] have We vouchsafed this divine writ, setting forth the truth, confirming the truth of whatever there still remains of earlier revelations and determining what is true therein. Judge, then, between the followers of earlier revelation in accordance with what God has bestowed from on high, and do not follow their errant views, forsaking the truth that has come unto thee. Unto every one of you have We appointed a [different] law and way of life. And if God had so willed, He could surely have made you all one single community: but [He willed it otherwise] in order to test you by means of what He has vouchsafed unto, you. Vie, then, with one another in doing good works! Unto God you all must return; and then He will make you truly understand all that on which you were wont to differ. Hence, judge between the followers of earlier revelation in accordance with what God has bestowed from on high, and do not follow their errant views; and beware of them, lest they tempt thee away from aught that God has bestowed from on high upon thee. And if they turn away [from His commandments], then know that it is but God’s will [thus] to afflict them for some of their sins: for, behold, a great many people are iniquitous indeed.”( .”(Qur’an;5:48-49). As far as their personal and religious mattes are concerned the Jews and Christians were governed in their own way. The non Muslims continue to eat pork or drink wine, though prohibited in Shari’a. This clearly indicates that Shari’a is not to be imposed upon non Muslims in their personal matters.

There is not commandment for the Muslims to implement Islamic law all over the world by force. This is an absurd misleading distortion.

[Allah knows best]

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Objective Rebuttal

Analysis/Comments-3

Qur’an includes instructions for its own preservation, protection, no modernization.

The previous scriptures [Torah, Psalms and Gospel] could not remain in original revealed form.  Qur’an being the last and final book for the guidance of mankind, has to be preserved till eternity: “Nay, but this [divine writ] is a discourse sublime, upon an imperishable tablet [inscribed]” (Qur’an;85:21-22). “No falsehood can ever attain to it openly, and neither in a stealthy manner, [since it is] bestowed from on high by One who is truly wise, ever to be praised” (Qur’an;41:42). God has himself taken responsibility to protect it against corruption: “We have without doubt sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption)”(Qur’an;15:9). This prophecy has been strikingly confirmed by the fact that the text of the Qur’an has remained free from all alterations, additions or deletions ever since it was enunciated by the Prophet in the seventh century of the Christian era; and there is no other instance of any book, of whatever description, which has been similarly preserved over such a length of time.

As far as modernization of Qur’an is concerned, such a thought can only come in to the mind of atheist. God is Omnipotent (Geneses17:1; Exodus;6:3, Qur’an;6:61), Omniscient (Psalms;139:1-6; Proverbs;5:21, Qur’an;60:10). He knows well every thing of past, present and future, so His final message shall encompass requirements of all the times. Qur’an does not need any modernization. The books written by human being need to be updated not the Last Testament by Divine. The fundamental doctrines of Qur’an like Oneness of God, Resurrection, trial on Day of Judgment, Metaphysics, eschatology and other fundamentals of Faith are for ever. Similarly the 5 pillars of Islam [worship modes] remain unchanged for ever. However to cater for aspects not clearly mentioned in Qur’an and Sunnah [Traditions of Prophet (pbuh)] can be resolved through Ijtehad [analogy] explained above. The Christians, first discarded the Law, preached and practiced by Prophet Jesus Christ, The son of Mary (peace be upon him): “And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, commits adultery: and whoso marries her which is put away doth commit adultery”(Matthew;19:9);“You have heard that it was said by them of old time, You shall not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.”(Matthew;5:27-28). They continue to discard and ignore even the moral other teachings of Paul in in New Testament: “Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes nor homosexuals offenders, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God” (1Corinthians;6:9-10). On the pretext of moderation the Christendom continue to discard the basic moral teachings of the scripture they claim to believe, but such a proposition is unacceptable to the Muslims.

[Allah knows the best]

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Objective Rebuttal

Analysis/Comments-4

Islam commands its followers to create a government that supports it to bring all people on earth under the rule of Islamic law.

Every religion which commends itself widely to human beings and lasts through some space of time has a glimpse of Truth in it. But Islam being the perfect light of Truth is bound to prevail. As the greater Light, through its own strength, outshines all lesser lights, so will Islam outshine all else, in spite of the displeasure of those to whom light is an offence. Allah says: “He it is who has sent forth His Apostle with the [task of spreading] guidance and the religion of truth, to the end that He may cause it to prevail over all [false] religion- however hateful this may be to those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God.” (Qur’an; 9:33, also 48:28, 3:19). The divine disposition of events in the coming of Islam and its promulgation by the Prophet (pbuh) are themselves evidence of the truth of Islam and its all-reaching character; for there is nothing which it has not influenced. The fast growth of Islam has forced them to launch a new crusade, because ideologically they can not outshine Islam. There is no need to enforce Islam or Shari’a upon others, they are willingly accepting Islam after pragmatic analysis viz their existing beliefs and spiritual deprivation.

Lack of understanding of Islam is bound to raise disdainful perceptions. While Bible mentions about rule through kings [1 Samuel;8:20] Qur’an emphasize government based upon Shura [consultation, core of modern democracy] (Qur’an; 42:38). The success of Islam rests in its doctrines like strong conviction of life hereafter, the cardinal doctrine of Islam. The life in this world is not an end in itself; it has to be viewed in totality along with final reward in hereafter. Hence worldly power and authority may not necessarily be the only reward or goal for believers, their main thrust is on eternal life in hereafter. However asceticism and monasticism is not prescribed by Islam. Success in this life and hereafter is the balanced approach with inclination to hereafter. It is elucidated by Qur’an: “And verily the hereafter will be better for thee than the present.” (Qur’an;93:4),“Those who do wish for the (things of) the Hereafter, and strive there for with all due striving, and have Faith,- They are the ones whose striving is acceptable (to Allah.). Of the bounties of Thy Lord we bestow freely on all- these As well As those: the bounties of Thy Lord are not closed (to anyone).. See How we have bestowed more on some than on others; but Verily the Hereafter is more In Rank and gradation and more In excellence” (Qur’an;17:19-21). The acquisition of power or rule in Islam is not for worldly gains of glory, wealth and splendor but to free the people form the yokes of materialistic ideologies which subjugate people for exploitation and oppression for benefit of few. This motivated the people of Visigothic kingdom in Spain to liberate the masses from the tyrannical, suppressive and corrupt rule of King Roderick.

Allah Grants, Kingship, Rule and Authority on Land to Any One, Even Unbelievers: The Sovereignty belongs to Allah. God is not bound to grant Kingship and Rule on the land to some specific people only; it is totally at His discretion. Hence high status wealth and honor is not symbol of closeness to Allah. He grants rule and authority on land to unbelievers as well as believers (pious and sinners) according to His Wisdom and Plan: “Say: “O Allah! Maalik al-Mulk [Lord of power and Rule] , You give power to whom You please and strip off power from whomsoever You please; You give honor to whom You please and disgrace to whom You please; all the good is in Your hand; surely You have power over everything.”(Qur’an;3:26). Prophet Jesus Christ, the Son of Mary Christ warned Jews: “Therefore I say unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.”(Matthew;21:43)., It was the death-knell of the Jewish nation with their hopes of political and religious world leadership, ultimately transferred to the Children of Ishmael (Arabs & Muslims):

He may grant Authority & Rule to His believing servants to check mischief on land: “Had not Allah repelled some people by the might of others, the monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which Allah’s praise is daily celebrated, would have been utterly demolished. Allah will certainly help those who help His cause; most surely Allah is Mighty, Powerful.”(Qur’an;22:40).“By Allah’s will they routed them: and David slew Goliath; and Allah gave him power (al-Mulk) and wisdom and taught him whatever (else) He willed. And did not Allah check one set of people by means of another the earth would indeed be full of mischief but Allah is full of bounty to all the worlds.”(Qur’an;2:251). If believers as a community desert the cause of Allah and deviate from the straight path, He may punish them and replace with better people, [see Qur’an;4:133, 70:40-41;35:15-16]. It happened in destruction of Abbasids Arabs rulers through Mongols, who later converted to Islam, afterward Ottoman Turks took over the rule.

Rule and Power is not the sole domain of believers, it is also granted to Un-Believers:

As it is historically established fact that belief in One God or obedience to God is not the criteria for grant of rule and authority on the land. History is full of tyrants like Pharaoh, Alexander, Hitler and Stalin who built mighty empires despite being unbelievers. An example is quoted: “Remember how you were made successors (Khulafa) after ‘Ad and settled in the land, capable of building mansions in the valleys and carving out homes in the mountains. Therefore, remember the favors of Allah and do not spread mischief in the land. The arrogant leaders from his nation asked the oppressed among them who have believed: “Do you really believe that Salih is a Messenger from his Lord?” They replied: “We do indeed believe in the revelation which he has been sent.””(Qur’an;7:74-75).Remember that he made you successors (Khulafa) after the people of Noh and gave you a tall stature as compared to other people. Therefore, remember the favors that you have received from Allah, so that you may prosper. They replied: “Have you come to us with the demand that we should worship Allah Alone and give up those whom our forefathers used to worship? Well, bring us what you are threatening us with if what you say is true!””(Qur’an;7:69-70).

Allah in His Mercy, grants prosperity and wealth to humanity as a whole. It is trial to check their gratefulness to God through obedience: “That it is He Who gives wealth and satisfaction”(Qur’an;53:48).“When they neglected the warning they had received, then, instead of punishment, We opened the gates of every kind of prosperity for them; but just as they were rejoicing in what they were given, We suddenly seized them; lo! They were plunged into despair! ;”(Qur’an;6:44 also 7:95 17:18, 21.35, 18:7).

Allah bestows His grace freely, but He never withdraws it arbitrarily. Before He changes their state and circumstances, an actual state of rebellion and contumacy has arisen in their own souls, which brings about its inevitable punishment: “Allah has never changed the blessings which He has bestowed on a people until they themselves changed the condition of their souls; verily Allah hears all and knows all.”(Qur’an;8:53).“Allah never changes the condition of a people until they intend to change it themselves.”(Qur’an;13:11)

Allah is not intent on punishment. He created man virtuous and pure; he gave him intelligence and knowledge; he surrounded him with all sorts of instruments of His grace and mercy. If, in spite of all this, man distorts his own will and goes against Allah’s Will, yet is Allah’s forgiveness open to him if he will take it. It is only when he has made his own self blind and changed his own nature or soul away from the beautiful mould in which Allah formed it, that Allah’s Wrath will descend on him and the favorable position in which Allah placed him will be changed. When once the punishment comes, there is no turning it back. None of the things which he relied upon- other than Allah-can possibly protect him.

Power to Believers:

The concept of Khilafat is has been adopted as a maxim by some organizations and groups in Muslim countries to seek support form the masses to gain power. Some of them believe in peaceful struggle while the extremist justify use of violence and terrorism to get in to power. It is claimed that through establishment of Khilafat they will be able to implement Shari’a, get rid of corrupt rulers, provide quick justice, end oppression of Muslims and exploitation of their resource by super powers. Hence they will regain the lost glory of Muslim Ummah by uniting them under a Khalifah. Some even think of extending to global level.  They derive support form verse 55, of Surah Nur (24), commonly known as ‘Ayah Ishtikhlaf’ [The Verse for Khilafat]:

“Allah has promised, to those among you who believe and work righteous deeds, that He will, of a surety, grant them in the land, inheritance (of power), (yasta-khlif-anna -hum fe-al-‘ard) As He granted it to those before them; that He will establish in authority their Religion – the one which He has chosen for them; and that He will change (Their state), after the fear In which They (lived), to one of security and peace: ‘They will worship Me (alone) and not associate aught with Me. ‘If any do reject Faith after this, They are rebellious and wicked.”(Qur’an;24:55).

Instead of taking this one verse in isolation, it may be appropriate that it may be read and interpreted against the background of the Qur’an as a whole. The general divine policy for grant of Khilafat in the sense of power, rule, and kingship has been outlined in the verses of Qur’an mentioned above.[Qur’an;3:26, 2:251, 22:40, 5:40, 48:14. 47:38, 4:133, 70:40-41, 35:15-16, 7:69, 7:74, 8:53, 13:11].

Majority of scholars including Syed Abul Ala Moududi and Moulana Mufti Muhammad Shafi through Ibn Kathir, agree that the direct addressees of this promise of Allah, were the Muslims living in the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him). However indirectly it may also apply to the future generations of Muslims under identical conditions. The promise of Allah for bestowal of successorship (Khalifah) in the land is ONLY for those believers, who are true in faith, pious in character, sincere in devotion and who follow Allah’s religion in letter and spirit eschewing every tinge of shirk (polytheism). Allah warn the hypocrites that this promise is not meant for those people who are Muslims in name only, lacking above mentioned qualities and pay mere lip service to Islam, they are neither worthy of this promise nor its addressees. Therefore they should entertain no hope of having any share in Khalifah (successorship) in the land.

Muslims believe that Prophet Jesus Christ, the Son of Mary (peace be upon him), will return before end of the world. He will prove that he was only a messenger of God and a human being, nothing more. He will kill the swine, break the cross, and abolish Jazyah [a tax taken from the non-Muslims who are in the protection of the Muslim government]. He will establish the Kingdom of God, all submitting to the will of God (Islam). He will rule as just ruler for 40 years, kill anti Christ (Shahi-Bukhari:3:425, 656,4:657, Abu-Dawud, Hadith:2025). Hence any one else trying to under take the mission of Prophet Jesus Christ, the Son of Mary (peace be upon him) can himself find his place!

Political Philosophy of Islam:

In the traditional democracies where Sovereignty belongs to the people, exercised thorough their elected representatives, in Islam the Sovereignty belongs to Allah [Qur’an;9:116], “Allah grants kingship [rule] to whom He pleases.”(Qur’an;2:247). The power is exercised by the ruler, elected or chosen by Muslims through consultation (Shura, 42:38) as representative (Khalifah) through Shari’a [Islamic law]. Islamic philosophy is based on the belief that all spheres of life (including hereafter), spiritual, social, political, and economic form an indivisible unity that must be thoroughly imbued with Islamic values. This ideal forms such concepts as “Islamic law” (Shari’a) and the “Islamic state” and accounts for Islam’s strong emphasis on social & spiritual life and duties in society. Even the cardinal religious duties prescribed in the five pillars of Islam have clear social implications therefore; religious authorities have had considerable political influence in the Muslim societies.

Caliphate-A Political Concept: A caliphate is the traditional Islamic form of government, headed by a Khalifah (Caliph), either appointed or elected, who is considered the political leader of all Muslims. The caliphate also incorporates a shura, a body similar to a parliament that represents the will of the people and may elect and advise the caliph. One group of thinkers considers that the concept of Caliphate as a political concept does not rely on any clear evidence from the Sunnah. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) established a state at Medina comprising believers and non believers, he did mention about his successors in rule (Khalifah). Narrated Abu Huraira; The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The Israelis used to be politically ruled and governed by prophets: Whenever a Prophet died, another would take over his place. There will be no prophet after me, but there will be Caliphs who will increase in number.”[Extract from Sahih Bukhari volume.4, Number.661].

The Prophet (peace be upon him) however did not specifically advocate any form of government, or the political entity. This is the reason why the choice of the first five caliphs in Islam took five different procedures. All of them meet the general principle that Islamic government is consultative (shura), practice justice, and establish system of Prayer (Salah) and Zakah (alms, obligatory charity), enjoining good, forbidding evil in line with Qur’anic injunctions at 42:38, 3:159 and 22:41. The era of first four caliphs is considered as an era of Khilafat-e-Rashida [Rightly Guided Caliphs]. The individual character, personalities of first four caliphs and their strict adherence to the tenets of Islam being close associate of Prophet (peace be upon him) made them a role model for others to follow. However no Muslim ruler could ever reach closer to the high standards of ‘Khilafat-e-Rashida’ except Caliph Umar bin Abdul Aziz (682-720), [also called Umar-II]. The other rulers in Muslim history, who declared to be Caliph, were hereditary kings, using ‘Khalifah’ as title to claim some legitimacy and religious support.

Khilafat- Historic Overview: Though originally, and ideally according to some, a caliphate  is a unique entity that unites all Muslims under its rule, there have been concurrent and even competing caliphates at some points in history. The caliphate began after the death of Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him).  The first four successors to that office were chosen by consensus of the Muslim community’s elders and were known as leaders of the believers. After them the caliphate became hereditary. Two principle dynasties, the Umayyads and Abbasids, dominated the caliphate until destruction by Mongols in 1258. The Mamluk sultanate kept members of the Abbasid family as titular caliphs in Cairo until the Ottoman conquest of Egypt in 1517. Ottoman sultans were then widely recognized as caliphs till abolition of the caliphate by Atatürk in 1924 on establishment of republic of Turkey.

While the majorities of caliphates have been centered in the Middle East and exercised authority over Muslims around the world, a notable exception is the Caliphate of Cordoba [Spain] that ruled the Iberian Peninsula during the 10th and 11th centuries. The Iberian Peninsula became part of the Islamic Empire during the 8th century, when the Umayyad Caliphate ruled out of Damascus. In 750, the Abbasids overthrew the Umayyads in the Middle East, marking the beginning of a five-century dynasty. However, descendents of the Umayyads remained in control of Spain, eventually setting up a caliphate there. Many of Spain’s most famous and beautiful buildings date from the period of the caliphate, including the Great Mosque of Córdoba (Qurtaba).

It should be noted that, although the office of the caliph (Khalifah, one who is successor to the Prophet in rule) is not a spiritual office [First Four Rightly Guided Caliphs, may be an exception being very close pious companions of Prophet (peace be upon him), directly taught and groomed by him], but the institution was imbued with political and religious symbolism, particularly regarding the unity of the Muslim community hence traditionally many Muslim rulers symbolically bore allegiance to the Caliph. The caliph held temporal and sometimes a degree of spiritual authority this does not imply any functions comparable to those of the Roman Catholic Pope. The caliph has no authority either to define dogma or, indeed, even to legislate. He is the chief executive of a community based upon religion, and his primary function is to implement the sacred law and work in the general interests of the community. He himself is not above the law and if necessary can even be deposed, at least in theory. The ruler could not become absolute because a basic restraint was placed upon him by the Shari’a law under which he held his authority and which he dutifully was bound to execute and defend. When, in the latter half of the 16th century, the Mughal emperor Akbar in India wanted to arrogate to himself the right of administrative-legal absolutism, the strong reaction of the orthodox thwarted his attempt. In general, the ‘ulama` (religious scholars) jealously upheld the sovereign position of the Shari’a against the political authority.

The effective shift of power from the caliph to the sultan was, again, reflected in the redefinition of the functions of the caliph. It was conceded that, if the caliph administered through wazirs (viziers or ministers) or subordinate rulers (amirs), it was not necessary for him to embody all the physical, moral, and intellectual virtues theoretically insisted upon earlier. In practice, however, the caliph was no more than a titular head from the middle of the 10th century onward, when real power passed to self-made and adventurous amirs and sultans, who merely used the caliph’s name for legitimacy.

The Islamic Government: The Islamic system of government is based on consultation, equal justice, freedom of expression, and serving the interest of the community. [see Qur’an;42:38, 39,42,43]A government that does not try its best to serve and protect the interests of the community is not Islamic even if it professes to believe in Islam and its system and values. In fact the aim of all Islamic legislation is to serve the interests of the community and to protect every individual – his self, mind, offspring, property and religion, as these are the five essentials of a human being. Islam does not lay down any rigid form of Islamic government, leaving this to every Muslim community to determine within the outlined guiding principles. Islamic government is a consultative one. While talking about consultative government, Islam does not lay down any form for how the consultation is to be made. Every Muslim community may decide what institutions to establish in order to achieve the requirement of consultation. If it opts for a democratic system of the type which prevails in Europe, then that system can certainly be accommodated within an Islamic government. In a different set up, a Muslim country may decide to choose its overall leader by elections or by a referendum or by some other means, which ensures that the feelings of the Muslim community are determined. Any of these methods is acceptable. A democratic government could be an Islamic government if it resolves to implement Islamic law, because by definition a democratic government provides a process of consultation. If such consultation is genuine and the law to be implemented is Islamic. It must also guarantee freedom of expression and equality of all people before the law. Secularism is incompatible with the Islamic system, because secularism allows no position for religion in the system of government. But if we take the aspect of equality of all people which secularism advocates, then this concept of secularism is compatible with Islam. What is most important to remember is that an Islamic government is an ideological government. It believes in the Islamic faith and it seeks to implement the laws of Islam, sparing no effort for the achievement of that goal.

A country is Islamic if it declares that it wants to conduct its affairs in line with the code of living God revealed in the Qur’an and explained by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). This means that any law or regulation a country adopts will be in line with the message of Islam. If it is found that there is a contradiction between any part of a law in force in that country and Islamic teachings, then that law will be considered null and void while Islamic teachings will be implemented. Take, for example, a country, which declares itself Islamic, but the law in force permits usury, use of intoxicants, narcotics, gambling, fornication and, homosexuality, such country can not be called Islamic.

Last five hundred years witnessed gradual decline of Muslim empires and colonization of their lands by Christians from the West. Though most of Muslims got independence but the legacy continues in the form of neocolonialism. The nostalgia of Caliphate lingers on the collective memory of Muslims as a symbol of unity in the glorious past. The urge for revival of splendor and dignity has turned some to make efforts for revival of the Caliphate, as a quick fix to the complex problems of lost identify and grandeur but they lack mass support. Keeping in view the success of European Union model, it may not be rejected altogether. There are many other forums for regional cooperation in the new world which is a global village now. The high-tech communications, advancement in science and technology has brought people together. Hence a distant dream may come true in future. The OIC may act as spring board.

Shari’a is part of Islamic faith, which does not advocate compulsion and coercion: “If it had been the will of your Lord that all the people of the world should be believers, all the people of the earth would have believed! Would you then compel mankind against their will to believe?”(Qur’an;10:99, also 6:149); “There is no compulsion in religion”(Qur’an;2:256). Hence how it is justified to allege that; ‘Islam commands its followers to create a government that supports it to bring all people on earth under the rule of Islamic law’. However every one has the right to preach and convince others about its merits of his ideology, followers of capitalism, communism, and atheism are ever trying to project usefulness of their ideologies and systems, what’s wrong if Muslims inform the world about the merits of Shari’a?   Saudi Arabia has partly implemented Shari’a; the crime rate is among the lowest among similar cultural groups. As far as criminal law is concerned every society or state has its own laws, which could be based upon Roman Law, Common Law [English Law], Islamic Law or any other which they consider to be effective and suitable to them. If a society chooses to adopt Islamic criminal law even if they are non Muslims it is their choice. Similarly in an Islamic state, Shari’a is the law of land, then all the citizens will be governed by it [except on their religious matters], as is the case with those who adopt Roman Law. Lets take an other example, death penalty has been abolished in European Union states. In USA some states have it while others don’t. It’s their choice, then why object to adoption of Shari’a [Islamic Law] by choice not coercion! If some people think that Shari’a law is good to keep peace and order in society and peacefully plead for it, no one should get alarmed. The Muslims in UK or in EU want Shari’a as their personal law, it should not bother others.

While the ignorant extremist among Christians criticize Islamic and its political system, their intellectuals hold opposite views. The modern philosopher and political theorist, Rousseau (1712-78 C.E) admits, the practicability of the Islamic polity and records in ‘Social Contract’, that: ‘Muhammad held very sane views, and linked his political system well together; and as long as the form of his government continued under the Caliphs, who succeeded him, the government was indeed on and so far good’.

Sir George Bernard Shaw writes: “If any religion had the chance of ruling over England, nay Europe within the next hundred years, it could be Islam.” “I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence which can make itself appeal to every age. I have studied him – the wonderful man and in my opinion for from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Savior of Humanity.”…”I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness: I have prophesied about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today.”[ ‘The Genuine Islam,’ Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936]                                                             [Allah knows the best]

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Objective Rebuttal

Analysis/Comments-5

Permission to spread the religion by war.

This is another successful innovation (source). Although some other religions have spread themselves using force, they had very little justification from their own religious doctrines to do so. Not so with Islam. Expanding by conquest is very much accepted and encouraged by the idea-collection. Islamic teachings present it this way: The non-Muslims need to be saved from the sin of following laws other than Allah’s. If they won’t voluntarily change their laws to Shari’a, then it is a Muslim’s duty to insist. The world cannot be at peace until every government on earth follows the laws of Allah. Mohammad’s own experience showed the example — an example, says the Qur’an 91 times, that every Muslim should follow. At first, Mohammad tried to spread Islam by peaceful means. After thirteen years he’d gained 150 converts. But then he changed tactics and started using caravan raids, warfare, executions, ransoming captives, and assassination, and within ten years he converted tens of thousands. After he died, his followers used the same tactics and converted millions. And by now it is one and a half billion. The use of warfare combines synergistically and powerfully with the instruction to create an Islamic state. So Islam spread quickly as their armies got bigger. They conquered and set up Islamic states, most of which have lasted to this day, and the laws within an Islamic state make Islam very difficult to dislodge. The laws also make it very advantageous to convert to Islam. This is one of the most effective methods ever invented for getting an idea-collection followed by huge numbers of people. It’s a method of control and indoctrination similar to those used successfully in communist and totalitarian states. But as you’ll discover below, Islam makes unique use of the power of the law to enforce complete conversion to the religion.

Islam started under unique conditions. All other major religions were started within an already-existing state. Islam is an historical exception to this rule. Any organized government will, of course, put a stop to violent uprisings of a rebellious political group — especially one that wants to wage war and apply its own system of law. Christianity arose within the Roman Empire, for example. If Christianity had been a militant or political uprising, Rome would probably have killed or imprisoned the followers. Probably many military or political religions did start up then, but we’ve never heard of them. They couldn’t get off the ground. But Islam arose in Arabia when there was no central ruling power. The whole area was comprised of individual tribes. Under those circumstances, conversion by war and the use of force was possible.

Warfare and Humanity:

It is irrational to ignore the lust of blood in stubborn man as a form of evil which has to be combated “within the limits”, set by Allah. At the time of creation of Adam: “The angels said: Will You place there one who will make mischief and shed blood? ..”(Qur’an;2:30). It may undoubtedly be realized that human beings often resort to war without solid justification, at times over petty matters. One has to look at history, the past and present.  The motives of war could be many, broadly they are; (1) Pursuit of trade and to gain economic advantage, (2) Spread of influence or religion, (3) Desire for security and political power, and (4) Combination of one or more of these three. At different times and in different places, different motives are dominant. War is a state of usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between political units, such as states or nations or between rival political factions of the same state or nation. It is a popular myth among critics that Islam was spread through wars [Jihad] ordained upon Muslims through Qur’an. Warfare is one of the ways to defend oneself when all peaceful efforts and persuasion fails, and aggressor try to impose its will upon weak. Human history is witness to the fact that those who did not resist oppression and aggression suffered.

Warfare [armed struggle, Qital] was also permissible in the previous scriptures. It is mentioned in Qur’an: “Indeed God has purchased from the believers their persons and their wealth and in return has promised them paradise; they fight in the cause of Allah and slay and are slain. This is a true promise which is binding on Him mentioned in Torah, the Gospel and the Qur’an; and who is more true in fulfilling his promise than Allah? Rejoice, therefore, in the bargain which you have made, and that is a mighty achievement.”(Qur’an;9:111). As regards actual ‘fighting with the sword’ there has been some difference in theological theories at different times, but very little in the practice of those who framed those theories.

Ruthless Wars of Extermination in Bible:

Apart form the other religions and civilizations, Judaism, Christianity and Islam have common roots, through their common ancestor Prophet Abraham [peace be upon him]. Hence a glance at their scriptures is relevant for evaluation. The Israelites took possession of the Promised Land by conquest. They engaged in a long and bloody war before the Canaanites tribes were finally subdued. Israel was employed by God to sweep them away from off the face of the earth. In entering on this new stage of the war, the tribe of Judah, according to divine direction, took the lead. In the days of Saul and David the people of Israel engaged in many wars with the nations around, and after the division of the kingdom into two they often warred with each other. They had to defend themselves also against the inroads of the Egyptians, the Assyrians, and the Babylonians. The whole history of Israel from first to last presents but few periods of peace. With occupation of Palestinian lands, through ruthless oppression and persecution the prospects of peace in the world are bleak. The Biblical wars were ruthless wars of extermination; the Old Testament does not mince words:

“And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the word. And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.” (Leviticus;26:7-8)

“Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD” (Psalm;149:6-9).

“And he said unto them, Thus says the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor. And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.” (Exodos;32:26-28)

“Now therefore Kill every male among the little ones, and Kill every woman (female) that hath known man by lying (having sex) with him. “But keep Alive for yourselves all the Girls and all the women who are Virgins.”(Numbers;31:17-18).

The Jews salvaged for themselves; “and thirty-two thousand persons in all, women who had not known man by lying with him.”(Numbers; 31:35).

“But in the cities of these peoples that the LORD your God gives you for an inheritance, (O’ Jews) you shall save alive nothing that breathes,(Deuteronomy;20:16).

‘And they (the Jews) Utterly Destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, ox and sheep, and Ass, with the edge of the sword”(Joshua;6:21),”He (Joshua) let None remain alive.” (Joshua;10:28).

Qur’an also motions about Jewish warfare at ;2:54,  5:21-22; 5:26; 2:246, 2:251.

In the New Testament the Prophet Jesus Christ, the Son of Mary (peace be upon him) says:

“But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.”(Luke; 9:27)

Saint. Paul, in commending the worthy fruits of Faith, mentions the warriors of the Old Testament as his ideals:

“And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets — who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, received promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.” (Hebrews; 11: 32-34).

The monkish morality of the Gospels in their present form has never been followed by any self-respecting Christian or other nation in history.

1)       Pope Urban II (1088-99 C.E) coined the phrase ‘Holy War’, launched the Crusades movement which was subsequently vigorously supported by his followers for two centuries(1095-1291 C.E),  causing death and destruction to millions besides sowing seeds of hatred and enmity among the followers of two great civilizations which still haunts the humanity.

2)       The association of Missionaries with Crusades posed a moral theological problem that troubled medieval Christian thinkers.

3)       Thirteenth-century Christian theologians held that conversion could not be forced, but most agreed that force could legitimately be used to preserve a situation in which peaceful propaganda was possible, and they continued to support the Crusade.

4)       Furthermore, Europe’s fear was such that the Crusade idea persisted well into the 17th century, and the conviction that, in certain circumstances, war might be just became more deeply enrooted in the conscience of the West. Along with the now generally accepted use of the word ‘Crusade’ to denote any ‘Common Endeavour in a Worthy Cause’ (Christian Jihad), this is one of the most enduring results of the movement.

After the bloodstained conversions in South America, the colonization of most of the free world by diplomacy, intimidation aggression and coercion took place.  Pope Pius XII was obliged, under the pressures of World War II, to clarify and redefine the church’s teachings on war and peace as well as to work out a strategy of survival. Pope Pius XII , tacitly condoned the Nazi holocaust.

The deadly wars and large scale killings of people among weaker nations mostly Muslim which goes unabated on the pretext of war against terror lead by the American Evangelist and Neocons,  the claim of love and peace by the Western (Christian) world appears to be hollow. The saying of Jesus (peace be upon him) is as much applicable to them as before:

“You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”(Mathew; 7:5).

Jihad Tolerance & Coexistence:

Islam, the complete way of life   has not ignored this important aspect, as at times war becomes unavoidable, especially against aggression. Islam is the only religion which laid down ethics and guiding principles for conduct of warfare as evident from form following verses deliberately ignored by the critics:

“Permission to fight back (Qital) is hereby granted to the believers against whom war is waged and because they are oppressed; certainly Allah has power to grant them victory” (Qur’an;22:39).

“If one amongst the pagans ask thee for asylum [in battle] grant it to him so that he may hear the word of Allah and then escort him to where he can be secure: that is because they are men without knowledge” (Qur’an;9:6).

“As for such ([of the unbelievers) as do not fight against you on account of (your] faith), and neither drive you forth from your homelands, God does not forbid you to show them kindness and to behave towards them with full equity: for, verily, God loves the equitable. Allah only forbids you to make friendship with those who fought you on account of your faith and drove you out of your homes and backed up others in your expulsion. Those who will take them for friends are indeed the wrongdoers. (Qur’an;60:8-9)

The Quranic verses related with the conduct of warfare in battlefield are frequently quoted out of their context, there by misleading the reader to misperceive Islam as a militant religion. It should be understood that in order to fully comprehend the doctrines of Qur’an one has to see the overall “The Message of The Qur’an” in the light of all the verses related to the particular subject [no abrogation] and their complete context, like the verse: “fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them”(Qur’an;9:5) is very popular among the critics of Islam but they do not quote the next verse: “If one amongst the pagans ask thee for asylum grant it to him so that he may hear the word of Allah and then escort him to where he can be secure: that is because they are men without knowledge.”(Qur’an;9:6).Quoting a verse or part of a verse in isolation does not serve the true purpose, this is the practice of followers of previous scriptures : “Then, for having broken their solemn pledge, We rejected them and caused their hearts to harden – [so that now] they distort the meaning of the [revealed] words, taking them out of their context; and they have forgotten much of what they had been told to bear in mind; and from all but a few of them thou wilt always experience treachery. But pardon them, and forbear: verily, God loves the doers of good.”(Qur’an; 5:13)

Jihad is a very important doctrine of Islam, which lays down guidelines and principles, to be adhered by a Muslim while striving against various forms of resistance; i.e. internal (against selfish desires and evil temptations) or external for the cause of God. Jihad is derived from the Arabic word ‘Juhd’, which means “effort”, verb Jahada, means “he struggled” or “strove hard” or “exerted himself”, namely, in a good cause and against evil. Consequently, Jihad denotes “striving in the cause of God” in the widest sense of this expression: that is to say, it applies not merely to physical warfare (qital) but to any righteous struggle in the moral sense as well; thus, for instance, the Prophet described man’s struggle against his own passions and weaknesses (Jihad An-Nafs) as the “Greatest Jihad” (Bayhaqi, on the authority of Jabir ibn ‘Abd Allah).

The great German scholar Muhammad Asad, who reverted Islam, in his commentary “The Message of Qur’an”, while explaining verse 2:190, writes: ‘This  [2:190] and the following verses lay down unequivocally that only self-defence (in the widest sense of the word) makes war permissible for Muslims. Most of the commentators agree in that  the expression la ta’tadu signifies, in this context, “do not commit aggression”; while by  al-mu’tadin “those who commit aggression” are meant. The defensive character of a fight “in God’s cause” – that is, in the cause of the ethical principles ordained by God – is, moreover, self-evident in the reference to “those who wage war against you”, and has been still further clarified in 22:39 – “permission [to fight] is given to those against whom war is being wrongfully waged” – which, according to all available Traditions, constitutes the earliest (and therefore fundamental) Qur’anic reference to the question of Jihad, or holy war (see Tabari and Ibn Kathir in their commentaries on 22:39). That this early, fundamental principle of self-defence as the only possible justification of war has been maintained throughout the Qur’an is evident from 60:8, as well as from the concluding sentence of 4:91, both of which belong to a later period than the above verse. In view of the preceding ordinance, the injunction “slay them wherever you may come upon  them” is valid only within the context of hostilities already in progress (Razi), on the understanding that “those who wage war against you” are the aggressors or oppressors (a war of liberation being a war “in God’s cause”). The translation, in this context, of fitnah as “oppression” is justified by the application of this term to any affliction which may cause man to go astray and to lose his faith in spiritual values (cf. Lisan al-‘Arab). Consequently, the concept of a defensive war in God’s cause (Jihad) plays a very prominent role in the socio-political scheme of Islam and is frequently alluded to throughout the Qur’an. The general circumstances in which war is permitted are mentioned at verses 2:190-194, 22:39, 60:8-9.

Islam Laid Down Ethics and Rules for Conduct of Warfare:

The great religion as Islam, that provides a complete code of life, also addressed the possibility of war. The  code of conduct of warfare which Qur’an provides is more civilized than any in the whole history of humanity, the salient features are:

1)       Warfare [Qital] for Allah’s Cause Only: Jihad Qur’an [including the form of warfare] is not for self glory or spoils of war but for the cause of Allah only.(Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 9.625).

2)       Non Aggression, Self Defence: Initially the Muslims were not allowed to fight even for self defence, however when oppression exceeded the limits, Allah granted permission to the Muslims to fight for self defense (Qur’an;22:39).

“Fight for the cause of Allah those who fight against you, but do not commit aggression. Allah does not love aggressors. Kill them wherever you may find them, and drive them away from wherever they drove you away; for oppression is even worse than killing. However, do not fight them near the Sacred Mosque unless they fight you first there. Should they fight you, then kill them. Thus shall the unbelievers be rewarded. But, if they desist, know that Allah is Much Forgiving, Merciful. Fight them until there is no more oppression and submission is made to Allah. If they desist, let there be no hostility except against the wrongdoers.”(Qur’an;2:190-193).

3)       Just War against Oppression: Jihad is meant to serve Allah’s cause ALONE to eliminate oppression and to ensure that people are given an opportunity to freely submit to the will of God.(Qur’an;8:39).

4)       Kindness and Equity to Non Aggressors: Allah says: “As for such of the unbelievers who do not fight against you on account of your faith, and neither drive you forth from your homelands, Allah does not forbid you to show them kindness and to behave toward them with full equity. Indeed Allah loves those who act equitably. Allah only forbids you to turn in friendship toward such as fight against you because of your faith, and drive you forth from your homelands, or aid others in driving you forth. Those who turn toward them in friendship are truly wrongdoers.”(Qur’an;60:8-9).

5)       Killing a believer, or innocent human not permitted: Qur’an;4:93, 5:32,17:33.

6)       Mischief on Land Rejected: Qur’an;28:77,2:11-12, 2:60, 206, 3:63, 7:56).5:33-34.

7)       Kindness to Non Combatants:(Qur’an; 60:8.

8)       Suicide is not permissible: Qur’an;2:195,,4:29, Sahih Al Bukhari Hadith Numbr:8.126; Sahih Muslim Hadith. Number.486.

9)       Resist Persecution: Qur’an;9:41;22:78; 3:29:6.

10)   Freedom of Faith: Qur’an;2:256

11)   Killing by Burning not Allowed: Sahih Al Bukhari, Hadith, Number.4.259, and 4.260).

12)   Mutilation of the Dead Bodies is Prohibited : Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) prohibited to mutilate the dead bodies. (Sahih Muslim Hadith.804).

13)   Treachery: “If you fear treachery from any of your allies, you may fairly retaliate by breaking off the treaty with them (through properly notifying them to that effect), for Allah does not love the treacherous.”(Qur’an;8:58).

14)   Peace offer be Accepted: Allah says:” If the enemy is inclined towards peace, do make peace with them, and put your trust in Allah. He is the One Who hears all , knows all.”(Qur’an 8:61).

15)   Care of Sick & Hungry Captives: Narrated Abu Musa: The Prophet said, “Free the captives, feed the hungry and pay a visit to the sick.(Sahih Al Bukhari, Hadith, Number.4.282).

16)   Fulfilling Safe Conduct: Al Muwata Hadith, Number.21.12.

17)   Grant of Asylum : Allah says: “If one amongst the pagans ask thee for asylum grant it to him so that he may hear the word of Allah and then escort him to where he can be secure: that is because they are men without knowledge.”(Qur’an;9:6).

18)   Taking Prisoners of War :Qur’an;47:4, Qur’an;8:70-71.

19)   Providing Cloths to Prisoners of War:. Sahih Al Bukhari, Hadith, Number.4.252.

20)   Prohibitions-of Killing Religious People, Women, Children, Aged, Sick People, Animals  and Cutting Trees  in Military Expeditions : Sahih Al Bukhari, Hadith, Number.4.257,258, . Al Muwata Hadith. Number;21.10.

21)   Safety of Mosques, Churches and Synagogues: “Had not Allah repelled some people by the might of others, the monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which Allah’s praise is daily celebrated, would have been utterly demolished.”(Qur’an;22:40 also;2:114).

22)   Mutilation of the dead bodies is prohibited: Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) prohibited to mutilate the dead bodies. (Sahih Muslim Hadith.804).

23)   Women’s Role : The women are not required to participate in combat, as per Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 4.128, can provide water and medical aid.(Sahih Al Bukhari, Hadith, Number.4.134).

24)   Exemption of Non Muslim Subject from Warfare: The non Muslims subjects who pay poll tax (Jazya) are exempted form military service and provided protection by the state.

Guidelines references for the conduct of warfare are summarized here:

1)       To rescue the helpless oppressed old men, women, and children; 4:75

2)       Obligatory; 2:216

3)       Bigger Jihad (Jihad Kabira), through Qur’an (preaching) ;25:52.

4)       In Allah’s cause, 4:74, 4:77, 4:84, 9:38-39, 9:41

5)       Not for material gain, not to kill those seeking peace 4:94

6)       Deliberate killing of believer, punishment is hell  forever;4:93

7)       Part of faith; 49:15

8)       Warfare [Qatelu, wa-Qatalu]; 2:216-217; 4 89-91.

9)       In self defense; 2:190; 22:39; 60:8; 4:91

10)   Killing only during hostilities in progress, 2:191, 4:89, 4:91, 5:33, 8:39, 8:57, 9:5, 9:12 ; 9:1-6

11)   Don’t fight nonbelievers who neither fought against your faith nor driven you out of your homes,  treat them justly; 60:8

12)   Aggression: Forbidden, 2:190, 4:90, 60:8 , Sin of, 5:2

13)   Be brave, 4:104

14)   Fighting between two groups of believers, 49:9

15)   Do not acquire slaves except through war, 8:67

16)   Do not be fainthearted crying for peace; 47:35

17)   Exemptions, 9:122, 48:17

18)   Asking for it for wrong reasons, 9:43, 9:45, 9:49, 9:86, 9:93

19)   For helpless, 4:98, 9:91

20)   For ill, offering Salah, 4:102, 9:91

21)   If foes cease, then you must cease, 2:193, 4:90, 8:37, 8:61

22)   Warfare forbidden during the four sacred months, 9:36 , Unless attacked, 2:194, 2:217

23)   Free slaves after fighting ends, 47:4

24)   Go forth humbly, 8:47

25)   Prepare well, 8:60

26)   Repentance of recent belligerents, 5:34, 9:5, 9:11

27)   When ordained, 2:190-193, 2:216-217, 4:91, 22:39, 60:8

28)   Striving hard against disbelievers, 9:73, 25:52, 66:9

29)   Striving hard in Allah’s cause, 2:218, 3:142, 4:95, 5:35, 5:54, 8:72, 8:74-75, 9:16, 9:19-20, 9:24, 9:44, 9:86, 9:88, 22:78, 29:6, 29:69, 49:15, 60:1, 61:11

30)   Non-believing parents trying to persuade a believer to polytheism, 29:8, 31:15

31)   Don’t create mischief [fasaad] in land; 28:77; 2:11-12;  2:60, 206, 3:63, 7:56

32)   Wards off evil from those who are true believers:22:38-40

33)   Suicide not Permissible; 2:195 ; 4:29

34)   Sins forgiven, those participate in  the cause of Allah; 61:12-13; 4:95 3:157

Tolerance & Coexistence

35)   No compulsion, coercion in religion; 2:256 , 6:104,107; 88:21-26; 6:66,107; 10:108; 25:43; 39:41; 42:6; 4:80; 42:48; 3:20; 5:99; 16:3524:54; 29:18;42:48; 31:23; 18:29;

36)   Some believe, some disbelieve, God will judge; 7:87

37)   Sanctity of Human life ; 17:33

38)   Killing one innocent human like killing humanity; 5:32

39)   Help and  rescue the helpless oppressed old men, women, and children; 4:75

40)   Warfare in self defense, Allah does not like transgressors.;2:190

41)   Don’t fight nonbelievers who neither fought against your faith nor driven you out of your homes,  treat them justly; 60:8

42)   Friendship with non believers; 60:9

43)   No compulsion, coercion in religion; 2:256 , 6:104,107; 88:21-26; 6:66,107; 10:108; 25:43; 39:41; 42:6; 4:80; 42:48; 3:20; 5:99; 16:3524:54; 29:18;42:48; 31:23; 18:29;

44)   Preaching Islam with wisdom, fair exhortation, and reason; 16:125

45)   Non believers rewarded [in this world]; 13:26; 10:7; 53:29;  3:113-115; 42:20; 28:83,84; 18:46’ 20:131

46)   Non believers communities not destroyed for disbelief  (only) if they behave righteously towards one an other; 11:117; 3:178

47)   Muslims believe in all Previous Scriptures [Torah, Psalms, Gospel] & Prophets, Jews and Christians addressed honorability as “People of the Book”;3:199; 2:136,3:3-4, 57:26, 4:163, 2:79

48)   Food [halal, permissible] of Christians and Jews allowed to be consumed; 5:5

49)   Marriage with chaste Christians or Jewish women allowed; 5:5

50)   Christians are nearest in affection to believers;5:82

51)   Leave ignorant 7:199; 39:39-40; 109:4-6

52)   Some believe, some disbelieve, Allah will judge; 7:87

53)   Insult not whom they worship besides Allah; 6:108

54)   Protect places of worship Mosques, Churches, Synagogues;22:40

55)   Pardon;  5:13 , Bear with  non-believers,  45:14 , Forgive readily, 42:36-37 , 2:109

The great historian De Lacy O’Leary wrote in “Islam At the Cross-roads”: “History makes it clear however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword upon conquered races is one of the most fantastically absurd myths that historians have ever repeated.”

Thomas Arnold, a former Christian missionary in India, who cannot be accused of being pro-Islam, in his famous book ‘The Preaching of Islam’, indicates that there have been certain periods where Muslim rulers have diverted from this tolerance, but it was due to a deviation from Islamic principles, rather than conformance to them. He concludes that the two primary reasons for the spread of Islam all over the world were merchants and the Sufis, two groups of people who went out, worked with humanity and gently invited others to their faith.

An article in Reader’s Digest ‘Almanac’, year book 1986, gave the statistics of the increase of percentage of the major religions of the world in half a century from 1934 to 1984. This article also appeared in ‘The Plain Truth’ magazine. At the top was Islam, which increased by 235%, and Christianity had increased only by 47%. May one ask, “Which war took place in this century which converted millions of people to Islam?”

Today the fastest growing religion in America and in Europe is Islam. Which sword is forcing people in the West to accept Islam in such large numbers? This is the spiritual sword of Truth and reason.

The question arises that if such are the principles for conduct of warfare in the cause of Allah alone [Jihad with arms], they why the Muslims conquered all the empires around Arabia and beyond? The answerer may be found in the next pint of rebuttal.

[Allah knows the best]

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Objective Rebuttal

Analysis/Comments-6
Lands must be conquered: According to Islamic teachings, the earth is Allah’s. If there are parts of the earth not following Islamic law, it is the duty of the faithful to gain control of that land and establish Shari’a. It is a sin to let it be. Lost lands must be reconquered (Spain and Israel, for example).

Comments:

Bible and Qur’an agree that the God is the supreme Creator of universe: [Qur’an;59:24; Genesis;1:1,26] He is Absolute sovereign (Qur’an;59:23,5:28, Daniel;4:25,35), Mighty (Qur’an;2:255,11:66; Job;36:5) and Omnipotent (Qur’an;6:18,61; Geneses17:1; Exodus;6:3). He is the Lord of Universe:   “Lord of the heavens and of the earth and all between them, and Lord of every point at the rising of the sun!”[Qur’an; 37:5]. “To Him belongs what is In the heavens and on earth, and all between them, and all beneath the soil.”[Qur’an; 20:6.].  “fill heaven and earth? says the LORD”[Jeremiah;23:24, 1Kings;8:27]. The whole universe belongs to Him, He does not need human help to gain control of land, which He has created and is the Lord:

“For, had God so willed, He could surely have made you all one single community; however, He lets go astray him that wills [to go astray], and guides aright him that wills [to be guided]; and you will surely be called to account for all that you ever did!”[Qur’an:16:93]

The gaining control of lands and people, for material gains, glory and power is not the objective of a good Muslim. [Already explained above in comments # 4] who has to understand, practice and then convey the message of God to the humanity in peaceful environments without coercions.[Qur’an;2:256, 16:25]

The message of Islam is to be conveyed to the humanity peacefully, the question arises then why the Muslims armies smashed the Persian, Byzantine and other empire around Arabia?

1)       The answerer two folds, firstly according to the traditional procedure of Allah, if a Messenger (Rasool) himself delivers the message of guidance to the community or nations, and they became rebellious by refusing to accept it: then those nations and communities were entitled to divine punishment. (Qur’an; 5:33-34, 11:117, 13:32, 28:59, 65:8, 73:15-16). Allah says: “But those who disobey Allah and His Messenger and transgress His limits will be admitted to a fire, to abide therein: and They shall have a humiliating punishment.”(Qur’an;4:14). Besides punishment in hereafter, the punishment in this world is either through the followers of the messenger if they are strong enough, but if they are weak in numbers and strength then the Divine punishment befalls upon them through natural calamites resulting in their destruction. The example of Divine punishment to the nations of Noah, Aad, Samood and Lot (peace be upon them) in the form of destruction through natural calamities like floods, earthquakes, tornados etc are well recorded in Qur’an and  Bible [Genesis; 7:1-24, 8:1-22, Ge 18:16-33; 19:1-29; De 23:17, 29:23; 32:32; Isa 1:9-10; 3:9; 13:19; Jer 23:14; Eze 16:46-56; Zep 2:9; Mt 10:15; Ro 9:29; 2Pe 2:6, Exodus;15:4. Qur’an 25:37, 26:171-174, 51:37, 54:41-42, 23:48, 41:16,7:78, 11:67, 11:82, 29:37-40]. The Jews continue to suffer for disobeying and humiliating Prophet Jesus Christ, the Son of Mary [peace be upon him]. A large number of Jews were killed by fellow men on command of God for disobedience to Moses and calf worship (Exodus;32:1-35).

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), prior to his death (632 C.E) had invited the rulers of neighboring powers to Islam through epistles and emissaries. Those who responded negatively, they were entitled for Divine punishment as per the tradition of God. After Prophet (peace be upon him), this pending task was accomplished by his successors by subduing the Byzantine and Persian empires. It is no more applicable now. Apart from Divine punishment the object of Jihad was not to coerce them to accept Islam, but to ensure that freedom of choice is provided to the people of neighboring areas to choose between truth (Haqq) and falsehood (Batil), forced conversion is prohibited by Qur’an;2:256. The non Muslims always enjoyed freedom of faith as protected citizens under Muslim rule. It is incorrect to consider every war fought by Muslims as Jihad. Jihad is the struggle only for the cause of Allah (jihad-fi-sabi-lillah): the concept of Jihad was nevertheless, used by some medieval Muslim rulers (even presently by some groups) to justify wars motivated by self power, sectarianism, geographical and economic ambitions.

After the death of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in 632 C.E, initially the early Muslim caliphates, the Arabs, then the Persians and later the Turks set about to convey the message of Islam to the humanity. The tyrant oppressor rulers did not allow the freedom to convey the message of Islam to their people. It was different world to 21st century. They had to be subdued in order to free the people from oppression and listen to the message of Islam. “… so that he may hear the word of Allah and then escort him to where he can be secure: that is because they are men without knowledge” (Qur’an;9:6). In process they created classical Islamic civilization. Later, in the 13th century, both Africa and India became great centers of Islamic civilization and soon thereafter Muslim kingdoms were established in the Far East in Malay-Indonesian world while Muslims flourished in China with the efforts of Muslim traders and preachers. It is unprecedented in the history of mankind wherein the uncivilized people of the desert, became torch bearers of the great civilization of the world with in a short period of 23 years. It was only possible due to the strict adherence to the faith of Islam, its doctrine, beliefs and practices, effectively preached and demonstrated by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). His successors carried forward his mission with zeal and devotion, enjoining good and forbidding evil; and observing the limits set by Allah.

The super power status facilitated in extending the Muslim influence and in conveying the message of Islam world over, even in the areas not directly under Muslim rule. Forced conversion is forbidden in Islam (Qur’an;2:256), as evident that, despite Muslim rule in Spain, India and Eastern Europe for centuries, the majority of population remained non Muslim and freely continued to practice their faith. Where as, after the end of eight centuries of Muslim rule in Spain (711-1492 C.E) Muslims and Jews were forced to convert to Christianity and those who declined, were  expelled by force. The Muslim traders and preachers through their good conduct and moral righteousness achieved the miracle of conversion in Indonesia, Malaysia in the Far East. The East coast of Africa as far down as Mozambique, as well as the bulk of the inhabitants on the West coast of the continent are Muslims, but history does not record any invading hoards of Muslims from anywhere. This forced De Lacy O’Leary in to write: ‘History makes it clear however, that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword upon conquered races is one of the most  fantastically absurd myths that historians have ever repeated.’ (“Islam at the Crossroads” London, 1923, p.8). Despite all the negative propaganda by the hostile media, even after 9/11, Islam remains the fastest growing religion in North America and Europe, no one is carrying the sword to force the conversion. The Muslim conquests of the seventh century and thereafter have continued to play an important role in human history, down to the present day due to the significance and capacity of Islamic civilization to influence the humanity, which emerged from the direction provided by Islam in the moral, spiritual, sociopolitical, economic and all other aspects of human life.

In present time the above mentioned two reasons are no more applicable. Under UN Character, people enjoy the freedom to preach and practice any religion. More over the latest communication like, satellite TV channels and internet have brought the people ever closer in a global village. They can freely communicate, so Islam is the fastest growing religion. The lost lands can be reconquered not with sword and guns but with the sword of spirit of Divine message.

[Allah knows the best]

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Objective Rebuttal

Analysis/Comments-7

The idea-collection provides new soldiers by allowing polygamy. According to Shari’a law, a Muslim man can marry up to four wives, and he can have sex with as many slave girls as he wishes.

Comments:

Polygyny: The idea that polygamy is practiced to produce more soldiers is absurd, not worthy of comments because it was more of social welfare measure to look after the widows, orphans and to provide respectable household in a society where women outnumber the males. However some general comments are proffered.

Common Practice in Bible: Polygyny has been practiced since ages. The most glaring and reprehensible error committed by Western writers is to suppose that Islam either adopted or legalized polygene. In none of the other religious scriptures, whether it be the Bible, the Vedas, the Ramayan, the Mahabharat or the Geeta, there is no restriction on the number of wives, a man may possess. According to these scriptures one can marry as many women as one wishes. It was only later, that the Hindu priests and the Christian Church restricted the number of wives to one. The Bible did not condemn polygene. To the contrary, the Old Testament and Rabbinic writings frequently attest to the legality of polygene. King Solomon (peace be upon him) is said to have 700 wives and 300 concubines (1 Kings;11:3) Also, King David (peace be upon him)  is said to have had many wives and concubines (2 Samuel;5:13). The Old Testament does have some injunctions on how to distribute the property of a man among his sons from different wives (Deutronomy;22:7). The only restriction on polygyny is a ban on taking a wife’s sister as a rival wife (Leviticus;18:18), though Prophet Jacob (peace be upon him) married two sisters Leah and  Rachel. The Talmud advises a maximum of four wives. European Jews continued to practice polygamy until the sixteenth century. Oriental Jews regularly practiced polygamy until they arrived in Israel where it is forbidden under civil law. However, under religious law which overrides civil law in such cases, it is permissible.  Father Eugene Hillman in his insightful book, ‘Polygamy reconsidered’ writes, “Nowhere in the New Testament is there any explicit commandment that marriage should be monogamous or any explicit commandment forbidding polygamy.” Moreover, Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) has not spoken against polygamy though it was practiced by the Jews of his society. Father Hillman stresses the fact that the Church in Rome banned polygamy in order to conform to the Greco-Roman culture (which prescribed only one legal wife while tolerating concubinage and prostitution). He cited St. Augustine; “Now indeed in our time, and in keeping with Roman custom, it is no longer allowed to take another wife.” African churches and African Christians often remind their European brothers that the Church’s ban on polygyny is a cultural tradition and not an authentic Christian injunction. Bishop and Deacon are asked to have one wife [1 Timothy;3:2,12], indicating widely practiced polygyny.

In Islam Legal Permission and Moral Prohibition: The Qur’an is the only religious book, that contains the phrase ‘marry only one’, (the legal permission) with instructions of ‘justice’, which is difficult, hence a moral prohibition. The permission (not order) granted to Muslim men to marry up to four women is generally misunderstood.

Various scholars have interpreted the Qur’anic verses;4:2-3; 4:129. in different ways, Abdullah Yousaf Ali explains; ‘The conditional clause about orphans need to be noticed, introducing the rules about marriage. The immediate occasion of the promulgation of this verse was after battle of Uhud, when the Muslim community was left with many orphans and widows and some captives of war. Their treatment was to be governed by principles of the greatest humanity and equity. The occasion is past, but the principles remain. Marry the orphans if one are quite sure that in that way the interests of orphans and their property will be protected, with perfect justice. If this is not possible then other arrangements may be made for the orphans.’ The clause of treating wives with ‘equity and justice’ (Qur’an;4:129) puts a ‘moral restriction’ on polygyny. The Sunnah of Prophet and Companions indicate the existence of more than wives, but may be that they could be fair at least in the matters of equitable provisions, however one can not control the heart, which may be more inclined to one wife over the others. By keeping more than one wife, one is putting himself on and additional trial, any slip may result in to divine anger and retribution. Some Muslim countries have banned polygyny basing on the analogy of ‘impossibility of equity and justice beyond human control’. The concept of temporary marriage (Mutt’a) is not permissible among four Sunni schools of jurisprudence.

The Qur’an has “tolerated” or “allowed” polygyny, and no more. There are places and times in which there are compelling reasons for polygyny. In most human societies, females outnumber males. Islam as a universal religion suitable for all places and all times couldn’t ignore these compelling reasons. It has to be added also that polygyny in Islam is a matter of mutual consent. No one can force a woman to marry a married man. The abuse of polygyny and repudiation of wife by the husband, even when her conduct is faultless, has recently led to the enactment of reformed family laws in most Muslim countries. The Qur’an repeatedly emphasizes the kind treatment of women.

Slave Girls: Slavery has been abolished gradually, it was only permissible for the captive in war. Contrary to the popular view and the practice of many Muslims in the past centuries, neither the Qur’an nor the life-example of the Prophet provides any sanction for sexual intercourse without marriage. Explains Muhammad Asad, in ‘The Message of Qur’an’ while explaining verses 4:24,25, 24:32-33. He further writes; some of the most outstanding commentators hold the view that ma malakat aymanukum denotes “women whom you rightfully possess through wedlock”; thus Razi in his commentary on this verse, and Tabari in one of his aternative explanations (going back to ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abbas, Mujahid, and others). Razi, in particular, points out that the reference to “all married women” (al-muhsanat min an-nisa’), coming as it does after the enumeration of prohibited degrees of relationship, is meant to stress the prohibition of sexual relations with any woman other than one’s lawful wife.

“AND [you ought to] marry the single from among you as well as such of your male and female slaves as are fit [for marriage].”[Qur’an;24:32], “And if any of those whom you rightfully possess desire [to obtain] a deed of freedom, write it out for them if you are aware of any good in them: and give them [their share] of the wealth of God which He has given you. And do not, in order to gain some of the fleeting pleasures of this worldly life, coerce your [slave] maidens into whoredom if they happen to be desirous of marriage; and if anyone should coerce them, then, verily, after they have been compelled [to submit in their helplessness), God will be much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace!” [Qur’an;24:33],

The Qur’an especially encourages men to marry widows. This is an important idea to add if you are going to be losing a lot of soldiers in war. You need some way of replenishing your army. Otherwise the idea-collection could die out from a lack of offspring.

Comments:

There is no verse in Qur’an which talk of marriage with a widow, but three verses [2:234, 240, 33:53] emphasize equitable and kind treatment with a widow. However marrying a widow is not to use her as soldier producing machine but a social welfare measure, which: 1) provide her social security and respectable status in society. 2) Care of her children, family and financial needs. 3) Discourage bad practices like illicit sexual relationship or prostitution. This aspect can not be understood for people living in a society where standards of morality are quite different.  The Prophet [pbuh] said, “The one who looks after a widow or a poor person is like a Mujahid (warrior) who fights for Allah’s Cause, or like him who performs prayers all the night and fasts all the day.” [Sahih Al Bukhari Hadith # 7.265]

New Testament has this to say about widows: “The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord. But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God”[1Corinthians;7:39-40]. “Honor widows that are widows indeed. But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them learn first to show piety at home, and so repay their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.” [1Timothy;5:3-4]. “But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to grow wanton against Christ, they will marry;” [1Timothy 5:11].

[Allah knows the best]

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Objective Rebuttal

Analysis/Comments-8
It is a punishable offense to criticize Islam. You can see why this one is a good supporting idea for the collection. It helps suppress any ideas that would reduce the authority of Islamic ideas. This idea is in the Qur’an, and Mohammad set a fierce example of punishing people who criticized him or Islam.

Comments:

This is nothing but fabricated false accusation, no one be it Christian, Jews, Buddhist or Hindu would like criticism of his faith so the Muslims. However calling it ‘punishable’ indicate trial and punishment in court. Where as the verses mentioned indicate divine punishment here and hereafter. Verses from Qur’an;33:57,58:5, 22:3,7, 11,15, 19 & 25 quoted are general in nature, a warning to disbelievers for swear punishment in hell in hereafter for their disbelief and bad deeds, they are cursed in this world and hereafter. While in verse 65:10, 22:14, 23 the believers have given the good news of reward in hereafter for their faith and good works. Warning and Good News is normal in almost all the religions including Christianity and Judaism, the eschatology include the concept of hell and paradise so in Islam.

Bible: “For a fire is kindled in my anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with its increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains”[Deuteronomy 32:22]. “You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the judgment of hell?”[Matthew 23:33], “And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”[Matthew 13:42], “But I will forewarn you whom you shall fear: Fear him, who after he has killed has power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him”[Luke 12:5].“And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto you, Today shall you be with me in paradise”[Luke 23:43]. “You have been in Eden the garden of God;”[Ezekiel 28:13]

Qur’an: “If your Lord had so willed, He would have certainly made mankind one single nation but that is not what He wants, so they will continue to differ. Except those on whom He has bestowed His mercy; and that very freedom of choice and action is the whole purpose of their creation. That is how the Word of your Lord, that He will fill Hell with jinns and human beings all together, will be fulfilled.”[Qur’an;11:118-119]

“Ask them: “Which is better, this hell or the eternal paradise which the righteous are being promised, which will be the reward of their good deeds and also their final destination; wherein they will live forever and get everything that they wish for: and this is the promise worth praying for, which your Rabb is going to fulfill.”[Qur’an;25:15-16]

The example of Divine punishment to the nations of Noah, Aad, Samood and Lot (peace be upon them) in the form of destruction through natural calamities like floods, earthquakes, tornados etc are well recorded in Qur’an and  Bible [Genesis; 7:1-24, 8:1-22, Ge 18:16-33; 19:1-29; De 23:17, 29:23; 32:32; Isa 1:9-10; 3:9; 13:19; Jer 23:14; Eze 16:46-56; Zep 2:9; Mt 10:15; Ro 9:29; 2Pe 2:6, Exodus;15:4. Qur’an 25:37, 26:171-174, 51:37, 54:41-42, 23:48, 41:16,7:78, 11:67, 11:82, 29:37-40]. Same is repeated: “How many cities have turned away from the command of their Lord and His messengers! Therefore, We judged them severely and punished them with a harsh punishment. They tasted the evil consequences of their own behavior, and the consequences of their behavior were ruinous”[Qur’an;65:8].

Sins are punished by God in this world, hereafter or in both. In Muslim countries the non believers are not punished for their disbelief, as long as they do not commit an act of blasphemy openly. The crimes or offense like Blasphemy are punishable through court of law according to the nature of offence. Muslims love their Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him] even more than their children, parents even own life. Any blasphemy against him like making fun through caricatures etc is not freedom of expression or criticism. In most of the European countries even Holocaust denial is a punishable crime. Muslims love and respect Prophet Jesus Christ, the son of Mary [pbuh], they will even accept any blasphemy against him.

[Allah knows the best]

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Objective Rebuttal

Analysis/Comments-9

You can’t leave Islam once you’re in.

Apostasy:

The Bible prescribes death by stoning for apostasy: “You shall stone him to death with stones, because he sought to draw you away from the LORD your God..”(Deutronomy;13:10). Apostasy has always been considered as a capital offence in all the religions and political systems of the world, because it is considered as a high treason against the established norms of society. The pagan Romans brutally killed the early Christians on same ground. Subsequently this practice was repeated by the Christian Church against opposing Christians, who were killed and burnt alive. Certain church theologians of the 4th and 5th centuries considered apostasy to be as serious as adultery and murder. In the 20th century, the Roman Catholic Code of Canon Law still imposed the sanction of excommunication for those whose rejection of the faith fitted the technical definition of apostasy. Death penalty for apostasy remained in force in England for long time. It was abolished due to social and cultural developments.

In early Islam, the pagans of Makkah, and Jews of Medina used to indulge in this practice to gain intelligence and to demoralize the fragile expanding Muslim community of Median. Hence apostasy is considered as a major sin in Islam. Whether it is punishable by Islamic law is a debatable matter among Muslim scholars. Some believe that the apostate should be punished after trial because they consider this crime as a betrayal, high treason against the community, while others opine that if someone changes his faith and does not challenge the Islamic society, it is a matter between him and Allah, Who will punish him in hereafter. However, both opinions agree that it is a major worst form of sin punishable by Allah. As per Qur’an; “Those who turn back as apostates after Guidance was clearly shown to them the Evil One has instigated them and buoyed them up with false hopes.”(Qur’an;47:25). Allah’s Apostle (peace be upon him) is reported to have said, “The blood of a Muslim who confesses that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that I am His Apostle, cannot be shed except in three cases: In Qisas for murder, a married person who commits adultery and the one who reverts from Islam (apostate) and leaves the Muslims.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith:9.17). Non-Muslims are allowed to teach their faith to their followers, but they are not allowed to go against the mainstream of the Muslim society.

Blasphemy: In many societies blasphemy in some form or another has been an offense punishable by law. The Mosaic Law decreed death by stoning as the penalty for the blasphemer :Bring forth him that has cursed outside the camp; and let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation stone him. And you shall speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Whosoever curses his God shall bear his sin. And he that blasphemes the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemes the name of the LORD, shall be put to death.” [Leviticus 24:14-16]. In Christianity, blasphemy has been regarded as a sin by moral theologians; St. Thomas Aquinas described it as a sin against faith. Under the Byzantine emperor Justinian I (reigned 527-565) the death penalty was decreed for blasphemy. In the United States many states have legislation aimed at the offense. In Scotland until the 18th century it was punishable by death, and in England it is both a statutory and a common-law offense. It was recognized as the latter in the 17th century; the underlying idea apparently was that an attack on religion is necessarily an attack on the state. This idea probably has been the reason why penalties have been laid down for blasphemy in some secular legal codes.

Muslim consider it is blasphemy to speak contemptuously not only of God [and His Word, Qur’an] but also of Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him]. The non Muslims should respect this and should not do any action which may hurt the feelings of 1.5 billion people. Muslims believe and respect all the Biblical prophets and revelations of God till Jesus Christ [pbuh] and don’t differentiate among them.[Qur’an2:136], they respect their places of worship [Qur’an22:40] and not to revile the deities of non Muslims[Qur’an; 6:108].

In the present era all the signatories of UN charter have to see that the covenant is not against the spirit of Islam: You shall fulfill your covenants; surely you shall be held accountable for your pledges.”[Qur’an;17:34]; “O believers! Be true to your covenants!”[Qur’an;5:1]. The term ‘aqd (“covenant”) denotes a solemn undertaking or engagement involving more than one party. According to Raghib, the covenants referred to in this verse “are of three kinds: the covenants between God and man [i.e., man’s obligations towards God], between man and his own soul, and between the individual and his fellow-men” – thus embracing the entire area of man’s moral and social responsibilities.

[Allah knows the best]

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Objective Rebuttal

Analysis/Comments-10

Islam must be your first allegiance. You are a Muslim first, before any allegiance you give to your family, your tribe, or your country. This does two things: It causes a unity of people across borders which allows the group to grow bigger than any other entity. In other words, the “Nation of Islam” can grow bigger than any country, no matter how large (which gives the group a massive numerical advantage).

Comments:

The Islam has the unique concept of one Ummah, this Arabic word has very large meanings; it is timeless includes all believers and worshippers of only One God, past, present and future. Ummah is best translated as Brotherhood, “Community”, “race”, and “nation,” and “people” are words which import other ideas and do not quite correspond to “Ummah“. “Religion” and “Way of Life” are derived meanings, which could be used in other passages according to context. The people of very different temperaments and virtues, widely different in time, race, color, language, surroundings, history, and work to be performed, but forming the closest brotherhood as being men and women united in the highest service of Allah. They prefigure the final and perfected Brotherhood of Islam. The brotherhood of all followers of Islamic monotheism is one brotherhood:

“Verily, This brotherhood [Ummah] of yours is a single brotherhood, and I am your Lord and Cherisher: Therefore serve me (and no other).”[Qur’an;21:92, 23:52]

Allah’s Message was and ever is one; and His all Messengers [Adam, Noah, Abraham Jacob, Moses to Jesus Christ and Muhammad (peace be upon them all)] treated it as one. It is people of narrower views who come later and trade on the earlier names that break up the Message and the Brotherhood into jarring camps and sects.

“But (later generations) cut off their affair (of unity), one from another: (yet) will They all return to us. Whoever works any act of righteousness and has Faith,- His endeavour will not be rejected: we shall record it In His favour. ).”[Qur’an;21:93-94, 23:52]

“But they (mankind) have broken their religion among them into sects, each sect rejoicing in its tenets. So leave them in their error till a time.” [Qur’an;23:53-54]

Hence those calling themselves as Jews and Christians are to be reconciled to be part of this biggest brotherhood:

“The believers are but a single Brotherhood: so make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers; and fear Allah, that ye may receive mercy.” [Qur’an;49:10]

The revival of the Muslim Brotherhood in some form is the greatest social ideal of Islam. On it was based the Prophet’s Sermon at his last pilgrimage, all peaceful endeavors be made to realized this ideal in suitable form. One way to that Muslims should continue to: “Invite (all) to the way of Thy Lord with wisdom and preaching; and argue with them In ways that are best and Most gracious: for Thy knows best, who have strayed from His path, and who receive guidance.” [Qur’an;16:125]

Some people think that Muslim Ummah should be one political unit at global level under the Caliph and they try to resort to all means including violence to achieve it. The UN, EU, Common Wealth and many other organization of cooperation exist, OIC is a loose forum to debate issues faced by Muslims. What ever form of forum or institution is desired to be developed it should not create anarchy, bloodshed or fasad fil ardh but peace. It must be ensured that any such movement should not be based in interpretation of one or two verses but be based upon the over al concepts of Qur’an to ensure that it does not contradict with any verse of Qur’an [no abrogation].

“Unto every one of you have We appointed a [different] law [Shari’a] and way of life [minhaj]. And if God had so willed, He could surely have made you all one single community: but [He willed it otherwise] in order to test you by means of what He has vouchsafed unto, you. Vie, then, with one another in doing good works! Unto God you all must return; and then He will make you truly understand all that on which you were wont to differ.” [Qur’an;5:48]

By origin mankind were a single people or nation [Qur’an;4:1, 2:213]. That being so Allah could have kept all alike, with one language, one kind of disposition, and one set of physical conditions (including climate) to live in. But in His wisdom, He gives diversity to human in these things, not only at any given time, but in different periods and ages. This tests human capacity for Unity (Wahdaniyat) still more, and accentuates the need of Unity and Islam. The term Shari’a is used in the Qur’an to denote a system of law necessary for a community’s social and spiritual welfare. The term minhaj, on the other hand, denotes an “open road”, usually in an abstract sense: that is, “a way of life”. The terms Shari’a  and minhaj are more restricted in their meaning than the term din, which comprises not merely the laws relating to a particular religion but also the basic, unchanging spiritual truths which, according to the Qur’an, have been preached by every one of God’s apostles, while the particular body of laws (Shari’a) promulgated through them, and the way of life (minhaj) recommended by them, varied in accordance with the exigencies of the time and of each community’s cultural development. This “unity in diversity” is frequently stressed in the Qur’an (in the first sentence of 2:148, in 21:92-93, or in 23:52). Because of the universal applicability and textual incorruptibility of its teachings – as well as of the fact that the Prophet Muhammad is “the seal of all prophets”, i.e., the last of them (Qur’an;33:40) – the Qur’an represents the culminating point of all revelation and offers the final, perfect way to spiritual fulfillment. Thus now believing and following Prophet Muhammad [pbuh] is obligatory [Qur’an;47:2]. This uniqueness of the Qur’anic message does not, however, preclude adherents of earlier faiths, who by chance could not receive the message of Qur’an, from attaining to God’s grace: for – as the Qur’an so often points out – those among them who believe uncompromisingly in the One God and the Day of Judgment (i.e., in individual moral responsibility) and live righteously “need have no fear, and neither shall they grieve”.

[Allah knows the best]

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Objective Rebuttal

Analysis/Comments-11

Dying while fighting for Islam is the ONLY way to guarantee a man’s entrance into Paradise. This belief creates fearless, enthusiastic warriors, especially given the Qur’an’s vivid descriptions of the sensuous delights of Paradise. A Muslim man has a chance of getting to Paradise if he is a good Muslim, but it is not guaranteed. However, if he dies while fighting for Islam, he is guaranteed to get in, and that’s the only thing he can do to guarantee it.

Comments:

The Islamic Doctrine of Redemption, Salvation:

Muslims offer whole selves and possessions to Allah, and Allah gives them Salvation.

“Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the Garden (of Paradise): They Fight In His Cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him In truth, through the Law, the Gospel, and the Qur’an: and who is more faithful to His Covenant than Allah. then rejoice In the bargain which ye have concluded: that is the achievement supreme.”[Qur’an; 9:111]

This is the true doctrine of redemption: and we are taught that this is the doctrine not only of the Qur’an but of the earlier Revelations, the original Law of Moses and the original Gospel of Jesus Christ. Any other view of redemption is rejected by Islam, especially that which corrupted the teachings of Jesus Christ to create Christianity, which thinks that some other person suffered for our sins and we are redeemed by his blood. It is our self-surrender that counts, not other people’s merits. Our complete self-surrender may include fighting for the cause, both spiritual and physical. As regards actual fighting with the sword there has been some difference in theological theories at different times, but very little in the practice of those who framed those theories. The Jewish wars were ruthless wars of extermination. The Old Testament does not mince matters on this subject. In the New Testament St. Paul, in commending the worthy fruits of Faith, mentions Gideon, Barak, and other warriors of the Old Testament as his ideals, “Who through faith subdued kingdoms… waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens…” (Hebrews;11:32-34). The monkish morality of the Gospels in their present form has never been followed by any self-respecting Christian or other nation in history. Nor is it common-sense to ignore lust of blood in unregenerate man as a form of evil which has to be combated “within the limits, set by Allah”.

Fighting in the ‘Cause of Allah’ is prerequisite, fighting for the worldly gains, power and plunder under the guise of Jihad will not earn paradise by hell. [Jihad has been explained above, for details: https://faithforum.wordpress.com/e-books/]

[Allah knows the best]

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Objective Rebuttal

Analysis/Comments-12

You must read the Qur’an in Arabic. This unites believers by language, and language has a very powerful unifying influence. For added incentive to learn Arabic, another basic Islamic principle says you can’t go to Paradise unless you pray in Arabic.

So Muslims all over the world share a language. This makes it easier to coordinate far-reaching campaigns of protest, political pressure, and war.

Comments:

Arabic, the language of initial recipients of Qur’an, it is a rich living language, spoken of large number of people in North Africa, Middle East. The Muslims not familiar with Arabic learn to at least recite Qur’an. Qur’an is an Arabic word which means: something (1) to be read, or (2) recited, or (3) proclaimed. It may apply to a verse, or a chapter [Sura], or to the whole Book of Revelation. The Qur’an is in Arabic; therefore the Arabs, among whom it was promulgated, could have no difficulty in understanding its precepts and using it in judging of right and wrong in all their affairs. Through Arabs this message was to be conveyed to the whole world.  Every one of God’s prophets was entrusted with a message “in his own people’s tongue, so that he might make [the truth] clear unto them” [Qu’an;14:4]. That the message of the Qur’an is universal, and not restricted to the Arabs alone, is brought out clearly in many places: “Say [O Prophet]: ‘O mankind! Verily, I am an apostle of God to all of you.”[Qur’an; 7:158]. Each of the earlier prophets was sent to his, and only his, community: thus, the Old Testament addresses itself only to the children of Israel, and even Jesus, whose message had a wider bearing, speaks of himself as “sent only unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew;15:24). In contrast, the message of the Qur’an is universal – that is, addressed to mankind as a whole – and is neither time-bound nor confined to any particular cultural environment. It is for this reason that Muhammad, through whom this message was revealed, is described in the Qur’an:21:107 as an evidence of “[God’s] grace towards all the worlds” (i.e. towards all mankind), and as “the Seal of all Prophets” [Qur’an; 33:40] – in other words, the last of them.

“We have sent it down As an Arabic Qur’an, In order that ye may learn wisdom.[Qur’an;12:2]

“Thus have we revealed it to be a Judgment of authority In Arabic. Wert Thou to follow their (vain) desires after the knowledge which hath reached thee, then wouldst Thou find neither Protector nor defender against Allah”[Qur’an; 13:37]

“Had we sent This As a Qur’an (in the language) other than Arabic, They would have said: “Why are not its verses explained In detail? What! (A Book) not In Arabic and (A Messenger) an Arab?” say: “It is a guide and a healing to those who believe; and for those who believe not, there is a deafness In their ears, and it is blindness In their (eyes): They are (as it were) being called from a place far distant!”[Qur’an; 41:44]

“The (Qur’an) is indeed the Message, for Thee and for Thy people; and soon shall ye (all) be brought to account.”[Qur’an; 43:44].

Muslims offer obligatory Salah [prayer] five times a day, in which Qur’an is recited in original Arabic, revealed 1400 years ago. Many Muslims which include children, young and old memorize Qur’an,  known as Hafiz. Preferably the prayer leader [Imam] in the mosque is Hafiz. During the month of Fasting [Ramadhan] in the evening congregation Qur’an is recited in Taraweeh Prayer by prayer leader, listened by the whole congregation. Thus Qur’an, Arabic,  Islam and Muslim are inseparable unit. It is correct to state that Muslims all over the world share a language. This further cements the Islamic brotherhood.

[Allah knows the best]

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Objective Rebuttal

Analysis/Comments-13

Muslim must pray five times a day. This is one of the five “pillars” —that is, one of the five central practices — of Islam. Within an Islamic state, this practice is enforced by law. Every Muslim must pray five times a day. The practice helps Islam dominate a Muslim’s life, filling his daily rhythm with Islam.

Comments:

Prayer –Salah A Pillar of Islam:

Prayer is converse with God; the interaction of the soul with God, not in contemplation or meditation, but in direct address to him. Prayer may be oral or mental, occasional or constant, ejaculatory or formal. Prayer presupposes a belief in the Supreme All Mighty Allah, his ability and willingness to hold communication with us, his personal control of all things and of all his creatures and all their actions. Acceptable prayer must be sincere, offered with reverence and godly fear, with a humble sense of our own insignificance as creatures and of our own unworthiness as sinners, with earnest importunity, and with unhesitating submission to the divine will. Prayer must also be offered in the faith that God is, and is the hearer and answerer of prayer, and that he will fulfill his word:

“Bring your Lord to remembrance deep in your soul with humility and in reverence without raising your voice, both in the mornings and in the evenings; and be not of those who are heedless. Surely those who are close to your Sustainer do not feel too proud to worship Him; they declare His glory and prostrate themselves before Him.”(Qur’an;7:205-206).

“When my servants question you about Me, tell them that I am very close to them. I answer the prayer of every suppliant when he calls Me; therefore, they should respond to Me and put their trust in Me, so that they may be rightly guided.”(Qur’an;2:186)

“And your Lord says: “Call on Me, I will answer your prayers. Surely those who are too arrogant to worship Me shall soon enter hell in humiliation.”(Qur’an;40:60).

Similarly in Bible:

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.”(Matthew;7:7-8)

Muslims are required to offer five times the daily prayers (salah) a form of worship of Allah. Prayer is the physical, spiritual and social form of worship in congregation. It is general misconception that the five prayers in a day are only practiced in the present day Islam which is the revived faith of Prophet Abraham [pbuh]. Prayers have been part of  those ‘Surrender to Will of God’ right from the beginning, Qur’an refers them at: 2:43, 14:37, 14:40, 11:87, 3:39, 19:31, 3:113. The Prayer of a Muslim is not complete without recitation of The Opening Chapter (Surah Fateha) of (Qur’an; 1:1-7). Some what like Surah Fateha prayer is mentioned at Exodus; 34:6-7, Mathew;6:9-13, also in Psalms; 7:1-17 and 8:1-9.

Offering the prayers (Salah) has been repeatedly mentioned in Bible:

“And Abram fell on his face:”(Genesis; 17:3-5)

“And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped”[Exodus;34:8].

“Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and said unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder”.(Mathew;26:36, 26:39).

“Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour”.(Acts; 3:1)

Prayer also mentioned at Genesis; 18:22, 22:5, 26:25, 12:8, Exodus; 4:31, 5:3, 5:7, 5:8 & 34:8-9, Psalms;86:9,  95:5, 5:7, 55:16,  55:17, 95:6, 138:2, 1 Kings; 8:33, 34, Jeremiah;7:2, Daniel; 6:10,  9:3, Joshua;7:6, Mathew;14:23 & 17:21. Also at Acts:10:9, 12:12, 16:13, 16:25, 20:36, Luke; 22: 44-46, Mark; 1:35 & 9:29.

Prayer is frequently enjoined in previous scripture [Ex 22:23,27; 1Ki 3:5; 2Ch 7:14; Ps 37:4; Isa 55:6; Joe 2:32; Eze 36:37] and many testimonies that it has been answered [Ps 3:4; 4:1; 6:8; 18:6; 28:6; 30:2; 34:4; 118:5; Jas 5:16-18]

Ablution: Cleanliness, purity and ablution has always been obligatory for prayer for Muslims. Ablution before prayer is also mentioned in Bible:

“And Moses and Aaron and his sons washed their hands and their feet there at:”(Exodus;40:31).

“Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them”.(Acts;21:26).

Although Du’a is part of Slaha in itself, however normally prayer is followed by supplications [Du’a]. There are many Qur’anic Du’a and those offered by Prophet [pbuh]. A comprehensive Qur’anic Du’a:

“Our Lord! Give unto us in the world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and guard us from the doom of Fire.”(Qur’an;2:201).

Adam and Eve prayed for forgiveness:

“They said: “Our Lord! we have wronged Our own souls: if Thou forgive us not and bestow not upon us Thy Mercy, we shall certainly be lost.” .”(Qur’an;7:23).

The prayer [Salah] of Muslims includes following postures also mentioned in Bible:

1)     Standing (1Sa 1:26; 1Ki 8:14,55; 2Ch 20:9; Mr 11:25; Lu 18:11,13).

2)     Bowing and falling prostrate (Ge 24:26,52; Ex 4:31; 12:27; Mt 26:39; Mr 14:35)

3)     Kneeling in prayer (1Ki 8:54; 2Ch 6:13; Ps 95:6; Isa 45:23; Lu 22:41; Ac 7:60;9:40)

4)     Spreading out the hands (1Ki 8:22,38,54; Ps 28:2; 63:4; 88:9; 1Ti 2:8)[in Du’a]

The Christians do not follow any special form of prayer in general except the “Lord’s Prayer” (Mt 6:9-13), which is, however, rather a model or pattern of prayer than a set prayer to be offered up.

The supplications which apparently remain unfulfilled, are accepted by Allah, but due to His foreknowledge or Will not considered for time being here, are added in the record of good virtues for reward in hereafter. Prayer is like the dove that Noah sent forth, which blessed him not only when it returned with an olive-leaf in its mouth, but when it never returned at all.

[Allah knows the best]

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Objective Rebuttal

Analysis/Comments-14

The prayers involve moving together in time. When Muslims pray, they all face the same direction, they bow down, get on their hands and knees, and put their face on the mat, all in unison, and then rise back up. So the method of prayer in Islam helps Muslims feel unified with each other.

Comments:

The Muslim method of prayer is not their invention; this has been the method pleasing to God, practiced by all those who had previously ‘Submitted to the Will of God’, mentioned in Bible:

1)  Standing (1Sa 1:26; 1Ki 8:14,55; 2Ch 20:9; Mr 11:25; Lu 18:11,13).

2)  Bowing and falling prostrate (Ge 24:26,52; Ex 4:31; 12:27; Mt 26:39; Mr 14:35)

3)  Kneeling in prayer (1Ki 8:54; 2Ch 6:13; Ps 95:6; Isa 45:23; Lu 22:41; Ac 7:60;9:40)

4)  Spreading out the hands (1Ki 8:22,38,54; Ps 28:2; 63:4; 88:9; 1Ti 2:8)[in Du’a]

The Christians had abandoned it but Muslims being inheritor of the legacy of Abraham are carrying on with the tradition and reaping the fruits of unity.

[Allah knows the best]

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Objective Rebuttal

Analysis/Comments-15

A woman is in a thoroughly subordinate position. This idea really helps support other ideas in the collection. If women had too much influence, they’d try to curb the warring. Women in general don’t like to send their husbands and sons off to war. But if women have no say in the matter, then the rest of the ideas can express themselves without interference. By subordinating women, the idea-collection prevents their effective vote against war, violence, and conquest. The rules and laws within Islam that keep women subordinate are numerous. For example

1)      She is not allowed to leave her house unless she is accompanied by a male relative.

2)      Under Islamic law, a woman is forbidden to be a head of state or a judge.

3)      She can only inherit half of what a man can inherit. In court, her testimony is only worth half of a man’s.

4)      She is not allowed to choose where she will live or who she will marry.

5)      She is not allowed to marry a non-Muslim or divorce her husband.

6)      He, however, can divorce her with a wave of his hand. And according to Shari’a, he can (and should) beat her if she disobeys him.

All of these ideas keep her subordinate, which helps keep the war machine going unimpeded by domestic rebellion.

Comments:

Status of Women in Islam:

The myth of lower status of women in Islamic society is based upon lack of knowledge of Islam. The local cultural traditions followed in some Muslim societies have nothing to do with Islam. While criticizing Islam for subjugating women it should be remembered that before the advent of Islam the status of women in earlier civilizations was very low to the extent that they were denied basic human dignity. The women were degraded and were denied all rights under the Babylonian law. If a man murdered a woman, instead of him being punished, his wife was put to death. In the Greek Civilization, women were deprived of all rights and were looked down upon. In Greek mythology, an ‘imaginary woman’ called ‘Pandora’ is the root cause of misfortune of human beings. The Greeks considered women to be subhuman to the extent that they were considered impure, and they were bought and sold in marketplaces. A woman could not refuse a husband chosen by her guardian and she could not disobey her husband in anyway. Later, they acquired a somewhat batter status, but they remained inferior to men. Though chastity of women was precious, and women were held in high esteem, the Greeks were later overwhelmed by ego and sexual perversions. Prostitution became a regular practice amongst all classes of Greek society. When Roman Civilization was at the zenith of its ‘glory’, a man even had the right to take the life of his wife. Prostitution and nudity were common amongst the Romans. Under the Roman Empire, women did not have the right to own anything. If a woman had any property of her own, it was automatically transferred to the ownership of the head of the family. Later, in the reign of Justinian (483-565 C.E), women were given the right to retain what they earned through their own work, but money from other sources (gift etc) remained with the head of family.

Christian Europe was influenced by notions that prevailed in the days of paganism about the status of women. Eve is considered responsible for the fall of Adam from grace indicated by word “Evil”.  As recently as 1805, the English law allowed the man to sell his wife. In the year 586 C.E that is when Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was still a young man, the French elegies organized a convention in which they discussed whether women were human or not. They concluded that a woman was a human being created only to serve men. Even after the French Revolution, in the late 18th century, the French law continued to consider that an unmarried woman was totally unqualified to enter into any contract without the consent of her guardian. The French law of the time stipulated that those who did not have legal status were “young boys, idiots and women.” The Egyptian considered women evil and as a sign of a devil. Before the advent of Islam, the Arabs looked down upon women and very often when a female child was born, she was buried alive. Islam uplifted the status of women and granted them their just rights 1400 years ago. The perception in Islam the women are mistreated, their status is lower than men and they do not enjoy equal rights has been created by the ignorant under prejudice, after having failed in the ideological front,  however the cultural treatment meted to the women in some of the Muslim societies has provided the basis for such perception. If certain rights of woman are being ignored, restricted, or denied in present-day Islamic societies, it is the responsibility of the society which is not enforcing them, Islam cannot be blamed for it. The status of women in Islam is evident form the privileges granted to her.

Men and women are absolutely equal with regard to their human status.(Qur’an;33:35;4:1).Although man and woman have been created equal, but they are not identical. The Judeo-Christian traditions put all the blame for man’s fall from heaven on women, conception of the creation of Adam and Eve is narrated in detail in Genesis, chapters 2 &3 . God is quoted to address the women (Genesis; 3:16). Islam repudiates that and makes Adam and Eve equally responsible for their actions (Qur’an;2:36. According to Bible, the period of un-cleanliness of women upon birth of girl child is double than the male child(Leviticus’12:2-5). Islam treats the children and their mother with equity whether the child is male or female. Prior to Islam, several Arabian tribes used to bury newborn girls alive. Islam not only forbade that practice but also denounced it in clearest of terms. Prophet (peace be upon him), says: “He who looks after two young girls until they attain puberty will on the Day of Judgment be with me like these two (and he pointed with his two fingers). His companions say that they understood that this also applies to a man with one daughter.” A woman is liable to reward or punishment like men according her faith, worship and deeds. The same standard of justice applies to both men and women.(Qur’an;16:97. 3:195).

Modesty: The status of women in Islam is often the target of attacks in the Western media. The veil (Hijaab) worn by Muslim women is considered by many as an example of the ‘subjugation’ of women in Islamic law. Hijaab (veil) is a type of cloth worn by women over the head, shoulders, and bosoms (excluding the face; however some cover the face as well). The Muslim women are dressed up modestly which not only enhances their status to a respectable position but also help in controlling indecencies,(Qur’an;7:33). It may be kept in view that modest dress for women has always been a part of biblical traditions, but now Christians are themselves defying Bible: “A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God.”(Deuteronomy;22:5); “also that women should adorn themselves modestly and sensibly in seemly apparel, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly attire.”(1Timothy;2:9). Veil, as a covering for the head was usually worn by Jewish women (Genesis;38:14). It was worn, as a token of modesty (Genesis;24:65), as a token of subjection (Corinthians;11:3,6-7,10) and for concealment (Genesis;38:14). The removing of veil was considered rude and insolent (Song of Solomon;5:7) and  threatened as a punishment to ungodly women (Isaiah;3:23). It is also mentioned: “but any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled dishonors her head — it is the same as if her head were shaven”.(1 Corinthians;11:5).

Rabbi Dr. Menachem M. Brayer (Professor of Biblical Literature at Yeshiva University) in his book, ‘The Jewish Woman in Rabbinic Literature’ writes; it was the custom of Jewish women to go out in public with a head covering which, sometimes, even covered the whole face leaving one eye free. He quotes some famous ancient Rabbis saying,” It is not like the daughters of Israel to walk out with heads uncovered” and “Cursed be the man who lets the hair of his wife be seen….a woman who exposes her hair for self-adornment brings poverty.” Rabbinic law forbids the recitation of blessings or prayers in the presence of a bareheaded married woman since uncovering the woman’s hair is considered “nudity”. Dr. Brayer also mentions that “During the Tannaitic period the Jewish woman’s failure to cover her head was considered an affront to her modesty. When her head was uncovered she might be fined four hundred ‘zuzim’ for this offense.” Dr. Brayer also explains that sometimes, the veil symbolized a state of distinction and luxury rather than modesty. The veil personified the dignity and superiority of noble women. It also represented a woman’s inaccessibility as a sanctified possession of her husband. The veil signified a woman’s self-respect and social status. The fact that the veil was the sign of nobility was the reason that the prostitutes were not permitted to cover their hair in the old Jewish society.  Jewish women in Europe continued to wear veils, till their lives became more intermingled with the surrounding secular culture. The external pressures of the European life in the nineteenth century forced many of them to go out bare-headed. Some Jewish women found it more convenient to replace their traditional veil with a wig as another form of hair covering. Today, most pious Jewish women do not cover their hair except in the synagogue. Some of them, such as the Hasidic sects, still use the wig.

In the Christian tradition, it is well known that Catholic Nuns have been covering their heads for hundreds of years, but that is not all. St. Paul in the New Testament made some very interesting statements about the veil: St. Paul’s rationale for veiling women is that the veil represents a sign of the authority of the man, who is the image and glory of God, over the woman who was created from and for man. St.Tertullian in his famous treatise ‘On The Veiling of Virgins’ wrote, “Young women, you wear your veils out on the streets, so you should wear them in the church, you wear them when you are among strangers, then wear them among your brothers…” Among the Canon laws of the Catholic church today, there is a law that requires women to cover their heads in church. Some Christian denominations, such as the Amish and the Mennonites for example, keep their women veiled to the present day. The reason for the veil, as offered by their Church leaders is that, “The head covering is a symbol of woman’s subjugation to the man and to God”, the same logic is introduced by St. Paul in the New Testament. Jesus said: “But I say to you, that every one looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart”. (Mathew;5:28). This implies that while, the men should lower their gaze, the women should not display their beauty.

It is obvious that Islam did not invent the head cover. However, Islam did endorse it as a symbol of modesty and respect not of subjugation. The Qur’an instructs:  “Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty……And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what ordinarily appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms…” (Qur’an;24:30,31); “There is no blame on such elderly women who have no interest in getting married, if they lay aside their cloaks without displaying their adornment, but it is better for them if they do not discard. Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.”(Qur’an;24:60). The Qur’an is quite clear that the outer garments (Jalabib) is an essential part of a recipe designed for the purposes of modesty. Allah says in Qur’an: “O’ prophet, tell your wives and daughters and the believing women that they should cast their outer garments over their bodies (when abroad) so that they should be known and not molested” (Qur’an;33:59). Different methods were evolved with the expansion of Islam and intermixture with other cultures. The custom of veiling women as known at present (which originally arose as a sign of aristocracy but later served the purpose of segregating women from men; the pardah), was acquired in Iraq then under influence of Iranian culture. Much has been said about the synthesis of Hinduism and Islam in the period of Muslim dominance, but, as far as the Hindus were concerned, this was generally a matter of superficial observances. Thus, veiling (purdah), the strict seclusion of women, became commonplace among the Hindu upper classes of northern India.

The modesty is prescribed to protect women from molestation or simply, modesty is protection. According to Bible: “If a man meets a virgin who is not betrothed (engaged), and seizes her and lies with her, and they are found, then the man who lay with her shall give to the father of the young woman fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he has violated her; he may not put her away all his days.(Deuteronomy;22:28-29), “If a man seduces a virgin who is not betrothed, and lies with her, he shall give the marriage present for her, and make her his wife. If her father utterly refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money equivalent to the marriage present for virgins.”(Exodus;22:16-17). The marriage of the victim of rape with the rapist is a punishment to her, she may not like to spend the rest of her life with such a criminal, payment of money equivalent to the marriage present will hardly deter such criminals. There is swear punishment for adultery and rape in Islam. The marriage is by choice and with mutual consent of the woman and man. The modestly and dignity of women is well guarded, leveling a false allegation (Qadhf) against chaste women is a hadd crime, having strict punishment mentioned in Qur’an;” And those who launch a charge against chaste women, and produce not four witnesses (to support their allegations)- Flog them with eighty stripes; and reject their evidence ever after: for such men are wicked transgressors”(Qur’an;24:4). Islam has laid down harsh punishments for such crimes, which strictly guards the modesty of women.

While traveling long, the women are to be in the company of a Mehrarm [father, husband, brother], this is for their protection. Islam is for all times all cultures, presently with advancement of means of travel like airplane, modern scholars permit the travel of women in groups.

Under Islamic law, a woman is not forbidden to be a head of state or a judge: Recently Muslim women had been heading Government as Prime Minister; Benazer Bhutto (late) twice in Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and in Bangladesh Sheik Hasina Wajid and Khalida Zia. Megawati Sukarnoputri was elected to rule Indonesia, the biggest Islamic country in the world. There are many women appointed and working as judges in the courts all over the Muslim world. Arwa bint Ahmad bin Mohammad al-Sulayhi (born 1048 C.E) was the ruling queen of Yemen for 70 years (1067-1138 C.E). She is still remembered with a great deal of affection in Yemen as a marvelous queen. Her name was mentioned in the Friday sermons right after that of the Fatimid caliph in Cairo. She had good knowledge of the Qur’an and Sunnah. A university in Sana’a is named after her, and her mausoleum in Jibla continues to be a place of pilgrimage for Yemenis and others. The other eminent ladies who played important role in the affairs of state and philanthropy include, Buran the wife of Caliph Mamun. Among the Mughals Noor Jehan, Zaib un Nisa left their mark in Indian history. Razia Sultan was an other eminent women ruler in India. However jurists do have divergent opinions on the role of women in politics.

Freedom in Choice of Spouse but not Non Muslim: Islam grants freedom of choice to woman in selection of her spouse. When a woman told the Prophet (peace be upon him), that her father forced her into a marriage with a cousin of his, hoping to achieve a better social position for himself, the Prophet (peace be upon him) made it clear that this was wrong and nullified the marriage. The woman then declared that she approved what her father had done, but she wanted to make clear to all Muslims that men have no power over women. If a father marries his daughter to someone without her consent, a Muslim judge must nullify that marriage if she puts the case to him. In some rural tribal communities the custom of marriage of women with Qur’an for the purpose of keeping the property with in the family is not only sacrilegious but shameful, reminding the days of ignorance (jahliyah). Women are not allowed to marry non Muslim because, she may remain under pressure to freely practice her faith and other associated social problems and up keep of children.

Women Granted the Right to Divorce (Khula): Islam granted the right of divorce to women 1400 years ago, once no woman could dream of this freedom. In the procedure for divorce by man, it was ensured that sufficient checks and balances are in built to avoid impulsive decision which may have to be regretted later.(Qur’an;2:229). The women are free to marry any one else after divorce on completion of waiting period: “When you have divorced women and they have reached the end of their waiting period do not prevent them from marrying other men if they have come to an honorable agreement. This is enjoined on everyone amongst you who believes in Allah and the Last Day. This is more virtuous and chaste for you; Allah knows what you do not know.”(Qur’an;2:232).

Evidence: Women were not allowed to bear witness in early Jewish society. The Rabbis consider that the women can not bear witness due to the nine curses inflicted upon all women as Eve was blamed for the fall of Adam from heaven. Women in today’s Israel are not allowed to give evidence in Rabbinical courts. The Rabbis justify why women cannot bear witness by citing Genesis;18:9-16. In the Christian West, both ecclesiastical and civil law debarred women from giving testimony until late last century. If a man accuses his wife of unchastity, her testimony will not be considered at all according to the Bible. The accused wife has to be subjected to a trial by ordeal. In this trial, the wife faces a complex and humiliating ritual which was supposed to prove her guilt or innocence (Numbers;5:11-31).

In Islam the testimony of a woman is accepted as equal to that of a man. In fact the woman’s testimony can even invalidate the man’s. If a man accuses his wife of unchastity, he is required to solemnly swear five times as evidence of the wife’s guilt. If the wife denies and swears similarly five times, she isn’t considered guilty and in either case the marriage is dissolved, details are given in Qur’an (24:6-11) and exegesis. However in case of financial transactions two male witnesses or one male and two females are required so that if one of them errs the other can remind her (Qur’an;2:282). It does imply that, as a rule, women are less familiar with business and financial procedures than men and, therefore, more liable to commit mistakes in this respect, because in Islamic society the women is not required to work, the man is responsible to support the family, however there is no restriction on a women if she desires to work by her free will. The cultural traditions in the Eastern societies, tend to keep the women away, but with more education the trend is changing.

Polygyny Permissible–Not Obligatory: It should not be appropriate to assume that the Qur’an is exhorting the believers to practice polygyny, or that polygyny is considered as an ideal. In other words, the Qur’an has “tolerated” or “allowed” polygyny, and no more. There are places and times in which there are compelling reasons for polygyny. In most human societies, females outnumber males. Islam as a universal religion suitable for all places and all times couldn’t ignore these compelling reasons. It has to be added also that polygyny in Islam is a matter of mutual consent. No one can force a woman to marry a married man. The abuse of polygyny and repudiation of wife by the husband, even when her conduct is faultless, has recently led to the enactment of reformed family laws in most Muslim countries. The Qur’an repeatedly emphasizes the kind treatment of women.

Right of Inheritance: Qur’an and the Bible have divergent views on female inheritance of the property of a deceased relative. The Biblical attitude has been succinctly described by Rabbi Epstein: “The continuous and unbroken tradition since the Biblical days gives the female members of the household, wife and daughters, no right of succession to the family estate. In the more primitive scheme of succession, the female members of the family were considered part of the estate and as remote from the legal personality of an heir as the slave. Whereas by Mosaic enactment, the daughters were admitted to succession once no male issue remained, the wife was not recognized as heir even in such conditions.” Why were the female members of the family considered part of the family estate? Rabbi Epstein has the answer: “They are owned –before marriage, by the father; after marriage, by the husband.” The Biblical rules of inheritance are outlined in Book of Numbers;27:1-11. A wife is given no share in her husband’s estate, while he is her first heir, even before her sons. A daughter can inherit only if no male heirs exist. A mother is not an heir at all while the father is. Widows and daughters, in case male children remained, were at the mercy of the male heirs for provision. That is why widows and orphan girls were among the most destitute members of the Jewish society.  Christianity has followed suit for long time. Both the ecclesiastical and civil laws of Christendom barred daughters from sharing with their brothers in the father’s patrimony. Besides, wives were deprived of any inheritance rights. These iniquitous laws survived till late in the last century. Among the pagan Arabs before Islam, inheritance rights were confined exclusively to the male relatives.

Islam abolished all these unjust customs and gave all the female relatives inheritance shares: Man and woman have been given the right to inherit from the parents and the near relatives by Qur’an: “Men shall have a portion of what the parents and the near relatives leave, and women shall have a portion of what the parents and the near relatives leave…” (Qur’an;4:7). A woman’s right to inherit is as much protected by law as that of a man. However, it must be remembered that whereas the right to inherit of both man and woman is equal, their shares in the inheritance may differ. In certain cases, the share of woman in inheritance is equal to the man, according to Qur’an: “For parents a sixth share of the inheritance to each if the deceased left children”(Qur’an;4:11), however in certain cases the woman gets half of what a man in her position would get. The cause of this variation is the financial responsibilities and liabilities with which man has been burdened, not woman. As compared to Muslim man, Muslim woman is financially secure and provided for as a wife, mother, daughter or sister by her husband, son, father and brother respectively. “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient and guard in (the husband’s) absence what Allah would have them guard”(Qur’an;4:34). If a woman has no male relations, then it is the responsibility of the state to maintain her. Whereas, a man, except in one or two cases, is supposed to not only look after his family and other needy relations, but also to make financial contributions to good causes in society. Thus, a larger share in the inheritance does not depict the supremacy of man over woman, but it is rather a concession granted to him in lieu of his financial and other responsibilities. Regrettably it is observed that in most of Muslims communities, while men happily get the more share than the women in inheritance but mostly they do not meet this obligation, which they owe to the entitled women. Such men would be answerable to Allah for this sin.

Among many nations, including Arabs in the Days of Ignorance, the widow was considered a part of her husband’s property to be inherited by his male heirs, a step-son or brother took possession of a dead man’s widow or widows along with his goods and chattels. This shameful custom was forbidden by Islam, Allah says:” And marry not women whom your fathers married except what is past: it was shameful and odious an abominable custom indeed.”(Qur’an;4:22). The widows and divorcees have the freedom to marry whomever they choose. There is no stigma attached with divorce or widowhood in Islam (Qur’an;2:231,232, 234, 240). The western tradition of adoption of her husband’s family name by a woman when she marries him is a token of her subjugation to him. If divorce takes place, she returns to her own family. It is very strange that in some Western countries, even after divorce, a woman may continue to be known by her husband’s family name. Historically speaking, a woman in the Western society was in a position of total subordination to her husband. In Islam, she retains her own family name because she is allowed to retain her identity.

Violence against Women: Domestic violence is very old menace, Arabs were no exception, and their maltreatment to women is a well known historic fact. They used to beat their women on small matters as it is still vogue in all the underdeveloped as well as the most developed societies of the world, where special laws have been made to discourage it. In the year 1995 in USA alone the lawmakers showed a heightened awareness of and sensitivity to domestic violence, with several states increasing penalties for abusers. New York enacted the omnibus Family Protection and Domestic Violence Act, and Maryland passed three new domestic-violence laws. Colorado passed five domestic-violence bills, including one that mandated arrest for the violation of a restraining order and jail time for a second offense. Virginia passed a number of laws with stiffer penalties for domestic violence, while Michigan had 14 new laws that would help in prevention and prosecution.

This menace was handled in Islam objectively, by formulating the guidelines where by men can not resort to use of force against their wives as per their wish every now and then on minor matters. Allah says in Qur’an: “Men are overseers over women because Allah has given the one more strength than other, and because men are required to spend their wealth for the maintenance of women. Honorable women are, therefore, devoutly obedient and guard in the husband’s absence what Allah require them to guard their husband’s property and their own honor. As to those women from whom you fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, first admonish them, then refuse to share your bed with them, and (and last) if necessary beat them (lightly); Then if they obey you, take no further actions against them and do not make excuses to punish them. Allah is Supremely Great and is aware of your actions.”(Qur’an;4:34). It is evident from many authentic Traditions that the Prophet himself intensely detested the idea of beating one’s wife and said on more than one occasion, “Could any of you beat his wife as he would beat a slave, and then lie with her in the evening?”(Sahih Bukhari;8.68 and Muslim). According to an other Tradition, he forbade the beating of any woman with the words, “Never beat God’s handmaidens”(Abu Dawood, Nasa’i, Ibn Majah, Ahmad inn Hambal, Ibn Hibban and Hakim, on the authority Ilyas ibn ‘Abd Allah; ibn Hibban, on the authority of ‘Abd Allah ibn Abbas; and Bayhaqi, on the authority of Umm Kulthum). When the above Qur’anic verse, authorizing the beating of a refractory wife was revealed, the Prophet is reported to have said: “I wanted one thing but God has willed another thing – and what God has willed must be best” (Manar V, 74). With all this, he stipulated in his sermon the occasion of the Farewell Pilgrimage, shortly before his death that, beating should be resorted to only if the wife “has become guilty, in an obvious manner, of immoral conduct”, and that it should be done “in such a way as not to cause pain (ghayar mubarrih)”; authentic Traditions to this effect are found in Muslim, Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood, Nasa’I and Ibn Majah. On the basis of these Traditions, all the authorities stress that this “beating”, if resorted to at all, should be more or less symbolic – “with a toothbrush (muswak), or some  such thing” (Tibri, quoting the views of scholars of the earliest times), or even “with a folded handkerchief” (Razi); and some of the greatest Muslim scholars (e.g., Ash-Safi’i) are of the opinion that it is just barely permissible, and should preferably be avoided: and they justify this opinion by the Prophet’s personal feelings with regard to this problem. [Commentary by M.Asad]. In case all the efforts fail the family council is recommended in the next verse: “If you fear a breach of marriage between a man and his wife, appoint one arbiter from his family and another from hers; if they wish to reconcile, Allah will create a way of reconciliation between them. Allah is the Knowledgeable, Aware.”(Qur’an;4:35).

Allah says: “You have indeed, in the life of Messenger of Allah, the ‘Best Model’ for him whose hope is in Allah and the Day of the Hereafter, and who engages himself much in the remembrance of Allah.”(Qur’an;33:21), “Obey Allah and obey His messenger;” (Qur’an;64:12). Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is not reported to have used force against his wives. In fact he has been very kind to them. Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu’minin: Habibah daughter of Sahl was the wife of Thabit ibn Qays Shimmas. He beat her and broke some of her part. So she came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) after morning, and complained to him against her husband. The Prophet (peace be upon him) called on Thabit ibn Qays and said (to him): Take a part of her property and separate yourself from her. He asked: Is that right, Apostle of Allah? He said: Yes. He said: I have given her two gardens of mine as a dower, and they are already in her possession. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Take them and separate yourself from her. (Sunan of Abu-Dawood, Hadith Number. 915). Narrated Laqit ibn Sabirah: Messenger of Allah, I have a wife who has something (wrong) in her tongue, i.e. she is insolent. He said: Then divorce her. I said: Messenger of Allah, she had company with me and I have children from her. He said: Then ask her (to obey you). If there is something good in her, she will do so (obey); and do not beat your wife as you beat your slave-girl. (Sunan of Abu-Dawood, Hadith Number. 72). Narrated Mu’awiyah ibn Haydah: I said: Apostle of Allah, how should we approach our wives and how should we leave them? He replied: Approach your tilth when or how you will, give her (your wife) food when you take food, clothe when you clothe yourself, do not revile her face, and do not beat her. (Sunan of Abu-Dawood, Hadith Number. 878). It may be reasonable to conclude that it is permissible (not compulsory,  undesirable) for the husband to use force lightly under extreme circumstance involving disloyalty and ill-conduct by his wife but only after fulfilling certain conditions i.e. first admonishing, then declining to share  bed with her. It is obvious that these are not abrupt or emotional acts but, rational and gradual actions which should result in corrective positive response from the wife. If she obeys, then it is forbidden to take any  further actions against her or to make excuses to punish, since the matter stands resolved. However if she does not improve her conduct, then the other option is divorce, but prior to it a light coercive action (just barely permissible, and should preferably be avoided) may save the marriage. It is obvious that any pious and sane woman will not create such conditions; she may desist during first two steps. The killing of women on suspicion of ill-conduct termed as ‘Honor Killing’ (karokari) prevalent in many societies is totally against teachings of Islam.

Reconciliation: If the matter persists resulting to the breach of marriage, use of council by arbitrator form family of woman and man is to be arranged for reconciliation: “If a women fears cruelty or desertion from her husband, there is no blame if both of them agree to reconcile by means of a compromise, after all compromise is better. Human souls are prone to narrow- mindedness, but if you show generosity and fear Allah in your dealings, surely Allah is well aware of your actions.”(Qur’an;4:128). The lawful but most undesirable act is divorce (Sunan of Abu-Dawood, Hadith Number. 893). The doors of reconciliation remain open for some time. Allah says: “Divorced women must keep themselves waiting for three menstrual periods; it is not lawful for them to hide what Allah has created in their wombs if they believe in Allah and the Last Day. In such cases their husbands have a right to take them back in that period if they desire reconciliation. Women have rights similar to those exercised against them in an equitable manner, although men have a status (degree of responsibility) above them. Allah is Mighty, Wise.”(Qur’an;2:228).

Entrepreneurship: A woman in the Islamic system is not required to work for her living. Her husband or her guardian is responsible to look after her. If she has none to support her, the state is required to undertake that task. At the same time, a woman is fully entitled to work either as a free agent or an employee. A woman has equal rights to be entrepreneur, contract, earn, possess property and assets independently. From the Islamic point of view, there is no decent job, which is restricted to or made the absolute reserve of men. Provided that the Islamic standard of propriety and morality is maintained, a woman may have any respectable job. Women conducted trade and business even during the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him). In fact, his first wife Khadija was a successful and famous business woman of Makkah. Parents have no right to force their daughters to marry against their will. Just as a woman has the right to choose her spouse, she also has the right to seek divorce (khula) from him.

Illustrious Role of Women in Muslim Society:

The main responsibility of women is to look after the household and children but it does not imply that the women have to confine herself to her house only. They have the right to participate in public life in dignified manner.(Sahih Muslim Hadith. 3535).

The women got exalted positions in the Muslim society. Woman is equal to man in the pursuit of education and knowledge. The Prophet declared: “Search for knowledge is a sacred duty imposed on every Muslim man and woman.” The life of Aysha (Mother of Believers,) is proof that a woman can be far more learned than men and that she can be the teacher of scholars and experts. Khadijah al-Kubra (the Great) and Fatima az-Zahra (the Resplendent), Aysha as-Siddiqah (the one who affirms the Truth) are regarded as highly respected woman in Islam. Her life also substantiates that a woman can exert influence over men and women and provide them with inspiration and leadership. The Second Caliph of Islam, Umar, appointed a woman, Shaffa Bint Abdullah, to supervise the market. He would often consult her and held her in high esteem. Sukayna (also “Sakina), the great granddaughter of the Prophet (peace be upon him), and daughter of Imam Hussein was the most brilliant most accomplished and virtuous women of her time. She grew up to be an outspoken critic of the Umayyads. She became a political activist, speaking against all kinds of tyranny and personal, social and political iniquities and injustice. She was a fiercely independent woman. She married more than once, and each time she stipulated assurance of her personal autonomy, and the condition of monogamy on the prospective husband’s part, in the marriage contract. She went about her business freely, attended and addressed meetings, received men of letters, thinkers, and other notables at her home, and debated issues with them. She was an exceedingly well-educated woman who would take no nonsense from anyone howsoever high and mighty he or she might be.

Conclusion: Islam has offered dignity, justice, and protection to women which, for long, have remained out of their reach. Although man and woman have been created equal, but they are not identical. Both have been fashioned differently from each other, so their roles and responsibilities are also different. The variation in their functions does not imply that one is inferior to the other. In Islam, both men and women can rise in spiritual eminence and knowledge. The Muslim women dressed modestly is in respectable position. Islam granted the right of divorce to women 1400 years ago, once no woman could dream of this freedom. Women were not allowed to bear witness in early Jewish society. In the Christian West, both ecclesiastical and civil law debarred women from giving testimony until late last century. In Islam the testimony of a woman is accepted as equal to that of a man except in financial cases. In fact the woman’s testimony can even invalidate the man’s in certain cases. Inheritance rights were confined exclusively to the male relatives; Islam abolished all these unjust customs and gave all the female relatives inheritance shares. Muslim woman is financially secure and provided for as a wife, mother, daughter or sister by her husband, son, father and brother respectively. Before the advent of Islam women were denied basic human dignity. Regrettably in some Muslim societies, the rights granted to the women by Islam are denied due to the local culture and traditions, for which Islam can not be blamed. The rights granted to women by Islam are unrivalled in the history of religion, evident form the fact that among the new coverts to Islam in the West are women because the in Islam the women are not subjugated but emancipated. Islam can not be blamed for the local cultural traditions which are found to be against women. There is no religious pressure upon women to create hindrance in the religious obligations of their adult sons, brothers or husbands if any chooses to participate in some military campaigns for the cause of Allah.

[For details read: http://endeavour-peace.page.tl/MuslimWomen.htm]

[Allah knows the best]

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Objective Rebuttal

Analysis/Comments-16

The only way a woman can guarantee her passage into Paradise is if her husband is happy with her when she dies.

This idea obviously helps with the subjugation of women. It gives her a strong incentive to subordinate her wishes to her husband’s, because while she might have a chance to get into Paradise if she’s a good Muslim, the only way she can guarantee she will go to Paradise (and avoid eternal suffering in hell) is to make sure her husband is happy with her when she dies.

Comments:

The basic condition for salvation for a man or woman is ‘belief’ and performance of good deeds. Obedience to husband is a various act which would further facilitate her entry to paradise. A Christian or Jewess wife just being obedient to her Muslim husband on all matters but faith in Islam do not fulfill the basic criteria laid down by Qur’an and Hadith. Only obedience to husband is not enough, because as evident form following verses and Hadith:.

“Whoever does righteous deeds, whether male or female, provided he is a believer, We shall surely grant him a new life, a life that is good, and We will certainly reward such people according to the noblest of their deeds in the hereafter.” ”[Qur’an;4:32]

“Men will be rewarded according to their deeds and women will be rewarded according to theirs”[Qur’an;4:32]

“Men are the protectors and maintainers of women because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other and because they support them from their means.  Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient and guard in (the husband’s) absence what Allah would have them guard…”[Qur’an;4:34]

Narrated Anas ibn Malik: Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “When a woman observes the five times of prayer, fasts during Ramadan, preserves her chastity and obeys her husband, she may enter by any of the gates of Paradise she wishes.” AbuNu’aym transmitted it in al-Hilyah.[Al-Tirmadhi Hadth# 956]

Narrated Ubadah ibn as-Samit: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“If you guarantee me six things on your part I shall guarantee you Paradise. Speak the truth when you talk, keep a promise when you make it, when you are trusted with something fulfill your trust, avoid sexual immorality, lower your eyes, and restrain your hands from injustice.” Ahmad and Bayhaqi, in Shu’ab al-Iman transmitted it. [Al-Tirmidhi Hadith#1260]

All commandments applies to applies to both men and women, unless specified, spiritually men and women are equal.

[Allah knows the best]

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Objective Rebuttal

Analysis/Comments-17

Allah gives Himself permission to edit his own work. It says in the Qur’an that if a passage written later contradicts an earlier passage, then the later one is the better one, the later, violent, intolerant verses abrogate the earlier peaceful, more tolerant passages.

Comments:

The Doctrine of Abrogation

An Analysis-1

The revelations from Allah as found in the Qur’an, touch on a variety of subjects, among them beliefs, history, lives of the prophets, Day of Judgment, Paradise and Hell, and many others. Particularly important are the ahkam (legal rulings), because they prescribe the manner of legal relationships between people, as Allah wishes them to be observed. While the basic message of Islam remains always the same, the legal rulings have varied throughout the ages, and many prophets before Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) brought particular codes of law (Shari’a) for their respective communities, like Law of Moses [Torah]. Qur’an, is for the final message for the humanity, clear and concise for ever which replaces all previous so its message:

“And now that We replace one message by another – since God is fully aware of what He bestows from on high, step by step – they [who deny the truth] are wont to say, “Thou but inventest  it!” Nay, but most of them do not understand it!”[Qur’an;16:101]

“Any message which, We annul or consign to oblivion We replace with a better or a similar ones. Dost thou not know that God has the power to will anything?”[Qur’an;2:106]

Qur’an which abrogates all the previous scriptures is clear in the doctrines:

“He it is who has bestowed upon thee from on high this divine writ, containing messages that are clear in and by themselves – and these are the essence of the divine writ – as well as others that are allegorical. Now those whose hearts are given to swerving from the truth go after that part of the divine writ which has been expressed in allegory, seeking out [what is bound to create] confusion,7 and seeking [to arrive at] its final meaning [in an arbitrary manner]; but none save God knows its final meaning. Hence, those who are deeply rooted in knowledge say: “We believe in it; the whole [of the divine writ] is from our Sustainer – albeit none takes this to heart save those who are endowed with insight.”[Qur’an;3:7]

Allah has taken the responsibility to guard Qur’an, His final message against corruption:

“We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and we will Assuredly guard it (from corruption).”[Qur’an;15:9.]

“No falsehood can approach it from before or from behind. It is a revelation from the One Who is Wise and Praiseworthy.”

Qur’an and Abrogation:

The principle laid down in the passage mentioned above [Qur’an;16:101, 2:106] – relating to the supersession of the Biblical dispensation by that of the Qur’an – has given rise to an erroneous interpretation by many Muslim theologians. The word ayah (“message”) occurring in this, context is also used to denote a “verse;” of the Qur’an (because every one of these verses contains a message).Taking this restricted meaning of the term ayah, some scholars conclude from the above passage that certain verses of the Qur’an have been “abrogated” by God’s command before the revelation of the Qur’an was completed. Apart from the fancifulness of this assertion – which calls to mind the image of a human author correcting, on second thought, the proofs of his manuscript – deleting one passage and replacing it with another – there does not exist a single reliable Tradition [Hadith] to the effect that the Prophet [pbug] ever, declared a verse of the Qur’an to have been “abrogated”. The root cause of the so-called “Doctrine of Abrogation” may be the inability of some of the early commentators to reconcile one Qur’anic passage with another: a difficulty which was overcome by declaring that one of the verses in question had been “abrogated”. This arbitrary procedure explains also why there is no unanimity whatsoever among the upholders of the “doctrine of abrogation” as to which, and how many, Qur’an verses have been affected by it; and, furthermore, as to whether this alleged abrogation implies a total elimination of the verse in question from the context of the Qur’an, or only a cancellation of the specific ordinance or statement contained in it. In short, the “Doctrine of Abrogation” has no basis whatever in historical fact, and must be rejected. On the other hand, the apparent difficulty in interpreting the above Qur’anic passage disappears immediately if the term ayah is understood, correctly, as “message”, and if we read this verse in conjunction with the preceding one, which states that the Jews and the Christians refuse to accept any revelation which might supersede that of the Bible:

“Neither those who disbelieve among the People of the Scripture nor the idolaters love that there should be sent down unto you any good thing from your Lord. But Allah chooses for His mercy whom He will, and Allah is of infinite bounty.“Any message which, We annul or consign to oblivion We replace with a better or a similar ones. Dost thou not know that God has the power to will anything?”[Qur’an;2:105-106]

Hence the abrogation relates to the earlier divine messages and not to any part of the Qur’an itself.[‘Message of Qur’an’ y Muhammad Asad]

All the verses of Qur’an remain valid and be applied according the prevailing situation and context.

Analysis-2

Now lets take the other view, some scholars consider that the doctrine of abrogation also applies to Qur’an. According to prolific Egyptian scholar, Suyuti [d 1505] there are 21 instances in the Qur’an, where a revelation has been abrogated and replaced by another. He also indicates that there is a difference of opinion about some of these: e.g. 4:8, 24:58, etc. Some scholars have attempted to reduce the number of abrogation in the Qur’an even further, by explaining the relationships between the verses in some special ways, e.g. by pointing out that no legal abrogation is involved. Shah Waliullah (d. 1759) the great Muslim scholar from India only retained the following five out of Suyuti’s twenty one cases as genuine.

1)      Instructions to leave ‘Will’ before death, and ratio of share of rightful heirs. [2: 180 considered to be abrogated by 4: 11, 12]:

2)      Maintenance allowance to the widow and residence for 1 year, she may remarry if she desires after waiting period of four 4 months and ten days.[Verse; 2:240 considered to be abrogated by 2: 234]

3)      Raising morale of the believers for combat, being  superior to unbelievers.[Verse; 8:65 considered to be abrogated by 8:66  ]

4)      Regarding restriction on marriage and number of wives of Prophet Muhammad [pbuh] [Verse; 33:50 considered to be abrogated by 33: 52]

5)      Offering charity [Sadiqah, to poor] before privately consulting the Prophet [pbuh], offering prayer [Salah] and Zakah [obligatory] alms.[ Verse 58: 12 considered to be abrogated by 58: 13]

It may be noticed that even in these five cases last two [33:50 & 58: 12 ] are specific to the private person of Prophet are part of history. Hence in real terms we are left with only first three cases [2: 180, 2:240 & 8:65] of supposed abrogation on the subject of:  1) Inheritance, 2) welfare of Widow and 3) Superiority of believers in combat. These are minor in nature and do not involve any change in the Fundamentals of Faith, or doctrines of Islam and practices.

Conclusion: Application of “Doctrine of Abrogation” with in Qur’an has neither, scriptural support nor historical evidence, hence must be rejected. However Qur’an clearly abrogates all the previous scriptures. Qur’an is the final book of divine guidance for the humanity, catering for all situations, probabilities, different cultures, environments for all times, hence applied accordingly by the experts well versed in the knowledge. All the verses weather they emphasize the peaceful coexistence, tolerance, justice or use of force remain applicable in diverse situations.

“A DIVINE WRIT [is this], with messages that have been made clear in and by themselves, and have been distinctly spelled out as well- [bestowed upon you] out of the grace of One who is wise, all-aware,  so that you may worship none but God”.[Qur’an11:1-2]

“The Words of your Lord have been completed with credibility and justice; there is no way to change His Words. He is the Hearer, the Knower”[Qur’an;6:115].

“There is no changing the Words of Allah that is the Supreme Triumph”.[Qur’an;10:64].

The Doctrine of Abrogation and Bible:

Practically New Testament appears to be abrogating the entire Old Testament as evident form following:

1)      The concept of monotheistic and henotheistic God of Old Testament replaced it with Trinity vaguely inferred in New Testament, a total shift to form a new religion, thus abrogating OT.

2)      Genesis 8:21 abrogated by Exodus 32:14

3)      Paul claimed that Jesus Christ abrogated his own commandments: “Do not go among the Gentiles”  (Matthew 10:5-6, 15:22-24) abrogated by (Matthew 28:18-20) go to all nations [gentile].

4)      Jesus said “I have not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill”. (Matthew 5:17-19) but later in the New Testament this is abrogated by change in the Laws of Divorce, Justice and Oaths:

  1. Abrogation of Divorce: (Deuteronomy 24:1-2) by (Matthew 5:31-32) (Matthew 19:7-9)
  2. Law of Absolute Justice:  (Deuteronomy 19:21) by  (Matthew 5:38-42)
  3. Law of Oaths: (Deuteronomy 23:21-23) by  (Matthew 5:33-37)

5)      Later Paul abrogated teaching of Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:17-19) and claimed:

  1. “For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.”(Galatians;2:19)
  2. “But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.”(Romans;7:6).

It may be pointed out that these are NOT minor abrogation of social or legal issues of pubic nature but Change in the basic Doctrines and beliefs, establishing the new religions different to the one followed by Prophet, Abraham, Jacob, Moses and Prophet Jesus Christ, the son of Mary [peace be upon them all].

[Allah knows the best]

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Objective Rebuttal

Analysis/Comments-18

The Qur’an uses the carrot and stick to reinforce behavior.

Throughout the book are vivid descriptions of hell, where sinners and non-Muslims have to drink boiling, stinking water, are thrown face down into a raging fire, and have to be there for eternity, suffering endless torments in agony.There are also vivid descriptions of Paradise.

Concept of Paradise and Hell in Abrahamic Faiths:

Reward for good deeds and punishment for evils is part of almost all the major religions. The form differs. Hindus have the concept of Transmigration of soul or rebirth: An individual Atman [soul] survives death. Perhaps it might be said, one’s Atman passes through a succession of lives.  The station assigned in each life depends on one’s past deeds in former lives.  One’s station depends on their total Karmic history.  Through action, knowledge, devotion a person can improve their lot in the next life.  Ideally, there is a “upward” progression of “stations” until Moksha is achieved. The Atman [soul] is what transmigrates.

The concept of paradise for the blessed and hell for the sinners or non believers is part of eschatology in the three Abrahamic faiths. (Qura’n;32:17, 18:29, 65-11). According to Bible: “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting   contempt.”(Daniel;12:2).However the time of The Hour (Day of Judgment) is only known to God: Qura’n;7:187, 43:66, 6:31, 40:16-17 & Mark;13:32). Everyone will be judged on the same basis, by the same criterion, and his or her destiny will be known. God may pardon whomever He wills, and He certainly forgives a countless number of people much of their sins. Whoever is so forgiven will end up in Heaven, while those who are not, will end up in Hell. The basic element that earns forgiveness of sins is belief in one God. (Qura’n;4:31,48,116; 39:53, 36:12, 3:133, 136,33:71).

Bible mentions about Hell & Paradise [Eden]: “For a fire is kindled in my anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with its increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains”[Deuteronomy 32:22]. “You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the judgment of hell?”[Matthew 23:33], “And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”[Matthew 13:42], “But I will forewarn you whom you shall fear: Fear him, who after he has killed has power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him”[Luke 12:5].“And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto you, Today shall you be with me in paradise”[Luke 23:43]. “You have been in Eden the garden of God;”[Ezekiel 28:13] also Genesis;2:8-17,  Revelation;2:7, Ezekiel 28:13,31:9,16.

It is part of divine justice to reward the people for their obedience to God by believing in Him unseen and perform good deeds. Those who disobey God and do not believe in Him, His messengers and books are not equal to the believers, shall suffer punishment in hell fire. He forgives minor sins of believers. Instead of calling it policy of ‘stick and carrot’ the batter is ‘Reward and Punishment ‘or’ ‘Divine Justice’.

[Allah knows the best]

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Objective Rebuttal

Analysis/Comments-19

Islam provides a huge and inspiring goal.

Comments:

There is nothing wrong to preach the faith or ideology one considers to be right, as long as the methodology is peaceful. The success and popularity of Islamic faith lies in the truthfulness of its universal fundamentals mentioned above based upon nature, justice, humanity, simplicity devoid of myths and strict monotheism, the cardinal point of Abrahamic faith which has been totally ignored by critics of Islam under the Islamophobia. Just compare the doctrine of Trinity with Islamic monotheism and the implementation of methodology through Law [Shari’a], which the early doctors of Christianity abrogated even against teachings of Prophet Jesus Christ [pbuh], the son of Mary still available at Mathew;5:17-20.

The UN Charter grants individual freedom of faith. The Christian missionaries has been working world over during last 2000 years. The Buddhist monks spread Buddhism to China, Central Asia, Far East up till Japan. What is so alarming if Muslims spread the message of God to humanity? Qur’an instructs the followers to convey the message of God to the humanity:

“O Prophet, surely We have revealed to you the Book with the truth, for the instruction of Mankind. He who follows the Right Way shall follow it for his own good; and he who goes astray shall do so at his own peril. You are not set up as a guardian over them.”(Qur’an;39:41).

At the end of his last sermon during last Hajj (632 C.E) the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “ O’ People, no messengers or prophet will come after me and no new faith will be born. Reason well, therefore, O’ People, and understand my words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the Qur’an and my example, the Sunnah and if you follow these you will never go astray. All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly. Be my witness oh Allah that I have conveyed your message to your people.” This message is to be conveyed to humanity through beautiful preaching, not violence, God says:

“Call unto the way of thy Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation, and reason with them in the better way. Lo! thy Lord is best aware of him who strayed from His way, and He is Best Aware of those who go aright.”(Qur’an;16:125).

Qur’an forbids forced conversions as evident form few verses quoted out of many in Qur’an: “There shall be no coercion in matters of faith. Distinct has now become the right way from the (way of) error: hence, he who rejects the powers of evil and believes in God has indeed taken hold of support most unfailing, which shall never give way: for God is all-hearing, all-knowing.”(Qur’an;2:256). “An so (O Prophet)  exhort them, thy task is only to exhort: Thou canst not compel them to (believe). As for those who turn their backs and disbelieve, Allah will punish them with the mighty punishment.”(Qur’an;88:21-24). “.. You (O Muhammad) are not there to compel them to believe. So admonish with this Qur’an every such person who fears My warning.”(Qur’an;45;50). “So (O’ prophet) exhort them, for your task is only to exhort, you can not compel them (to believe).”(Qur’an;88:21-22). “to you  [unbelievers] be your religion (Din), and to me mine.”(Qur’an;109:6). “Notwithstanding that no human being can ever attain to faith otherwise than by God’s leave, and (that) it is He who lays the loathsome evil (of disbelief) upon those who will not use their reason? (Qur’an;10:100).

It is great privilege for the Muslims, as inheritor of the last divined scripture [Qur’an;35:32], have been entrusted by God to convey it to the humanity, a great inspiring goal indeed:

“And thus have We willed you to be a community of the middle way (Ummah Wasat), so that [with your lives] you might bear witness to the truth before all mankind, and that the Apostle might bear witness to it before you. And it is only to the end that We might make a clear distinction between those who follow the Apostle and those who turn about on their heels that We have appointed [for this community] the direction of prayer which thou [O Prophet] hast formerly observed: for this was indeed a hard test for all but those whom God has guided aright. But God will surely not lose sight of your faith – for, behold, God is most compassionate towards man, a dispenser of grace.”[Qur’an: 2:143]

Middlemost Community [Ummah Wasat], is a community that keeps an equitable balance between extremes  [as opposed to extremism, followed by some] and is realistic in its appreciation of man’s nature and possibilities, rejecting both licentiousness and exaggerated asceticism. In tune with its oft-repeated call to moderation in every aspect of life, the Qur’an exhorts the believers not to place too great an emphasis on the physical and material aspects of their lives, but postulates, at the same time, that man’s urges and desires relating to this “life of the flesh” are God-willed and, therefore, legitimate. On further analysis, the expression “a community of the middle way” might be said to summarize, as it were, the Islamic attitude towards the problem of man’s existence as such: a denial of the view that there is an inherent conflict between the spirit and the flesh, and a bold affirmation of the natural, God-willed unity in this twofold aspect of human life. This balanced attitude, peculiar to Islam, flows directly from the concept of God’s oneness and, hence, of the unity of purpose underlying all His creation: and thus, the mention of the “community of the middle way” at this place is a fitting introduction to the theme of the Ka’bah, a symbol of God’s oneness. [For detailed comments on Shari’a, please refer to the comments.2 above]

[Allah knows the best]

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Objective Rebuttal

Analysis/Comments-20

Non-Muslims must pay a large tax.

Once a country is following Shari’a law, non-Muslims are given the choice between becoming Muslim or becoming a Dhimmi. Dhimmis are allowed to practice their non-Muslim religion if they pay the Jazyah (a tax). If they convert to Islam, they no longer have to pay the Jazyah. This obviously creates a practical incentive to convert. This is ingenious. The tax takes money away from non-Muslims and their competing religions and gives that money to support Islam. The income from these taxes (usually a 25% income tax) helped fund the Islamic conquests during the first two major jihads. They conquered vast lands, most of them already filled with Christians and Jews, many of whom did not convert at first, and their Jazyah poured huge sums of money into the Islamic war machine. Eventually, the numbers of Christians and Jews in those countries dwindled down as they converted or escaped (or in some cases, were massacred), until now, in most Islamic countries, Jews and Christians are very small minorities. The tax-the-non-Muslims idea helps the Islamic idea-collection make more copies of itself by suppressing competing religions and financially supporting Islam. Several ideas within Shari’a law extend this effect. For example, non-Muslims are not allowed to build any new houses of worship. They’re not even allowed to repair already-existing churches or synagogues. This puts the houses of worship of any competing religion in a state of permanent decline.

Also, non-Islamic prayers cannot be spoken within earshot of a Muslim— again, preventing Muslims from being infected by a competing religion. No public displays of any symbols of another faith may be shown either.

All of this prevents the spread of any competing ideas, and makes competing religions die out over time. That’s why today there are so many “Muslim countries.” Almost every other country in the world is made up of different religions, but because of these principles, Islam tends to displace all other beliefs and cultures wherever it becomes established.

Comments:

Status of Non Muslims:

In communities which base their civil rights on brute strength, the weaker go to the wall, and public opinion expects nothing else. Even in modern democracies of the saner sort, it is often told that it is the fate of minorities to suffer; strength of numbers here becomes the passport to power and privilege. Islam, while upholding balanced views in general, enjoins the most solicitous care for the weak and oppressed. The minorities are treated with justice in every way-in rights of property, in social rights, and in the right to opportunities of development. The non-Muslim living under the protection of a Muslim state is referred as Dhimmi, a free non-Muslim subject. They are exempt from duties of Islam like military service and zakat, instead they are required to pay jizyah (poll-tax). Historically some Islamic governments paid this poll tax for poor non-Muslim subjects or reduced it to mere symbolic tax. If the State cannot protect those who paid jizyah, then the amount they paid is returned to them. Islam guarantees full protection and security of the State including freedom of religion to all. The killing of innocent people is strictly prohibited, according to Qur’an:

“..if anyone slew a person unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land it would be as if he slew the life of all mankind: and if anyone saved a life it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind. Then although there came to them Our apostles with clear Signs yet even after that many of them continued to commit excesses in the land.”(Qur’an;5:32)

Thus the notion that the minorities are treated as second class citizens in an Islamic state is based on malicious propaganda.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the main enforcer of human rights safeguarding the legitimate interests of minorities. The monks of Mount Sinai were provided protection. On establishing the first Islamic state at Medina, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) entered into many alliances, treaties with the Muslims and the non-Muslims, securing peace and tranquility for the Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

The Charter of Medina, in fact was the first ever written constitution in the history of mankind. This was based on the contract agreed upon by Muslims, Jews and others, stipulating that they all would be treated as equal citizens of Medina, giving the non-Muslims right of choosing a legal system they wished their affairs be governed by, be it Islamic or Jewish law or pre-Islamic Arab tribal traditions. This confirms the principle “no compulsion in religion”, freedom of expression and religious practice was open to everyone. It gave the right of protection, security, peace and justice; not only to Muslims, but also to the Jews who lived in the City of Medina, as well as the allies of Jews who were non-Muslims. The Jews were recognized as a separate political and ethnic minority, and allowed to practice their religion quite freely. In fact, Jews were considered on an equal bases as Muslims under the Islamic State.

Safety, Security and Protection of Non Muslims: Narrated Abdullah bin Amr : The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“Whoever killed a Mu’ahid (a person who is granted the pledge of protection by the Muslims) shall not smell the fragrance of Paradise though its fragrance can be smelt at a distance of forty years (of traveling).”(Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith:9.49).

Narrated Amr bin Maimun: The second Caliph Umar (after he was stabbed by a man from minority), instructed (his would-be-successor) saying:

“I urge him (i.e. the new Caliph) to take care of those non-Muslims who are under the protection of Allah and His Apostle (peace be upon him) in that he should observe the convention agreed upon with them, and fight on their behalf (to secure their safety) and he should not over-tax them beyond their capability.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith: 4.287).

Freedom of Faith: There are no forced conversions in Islam, the non Muslim subjects have the right to freely choose to convert to Islam or keep practicing their faith. But once a person converts to Islam, it is obligatory to practice his faith to be a good Muslim. Apostasy has always been considered as a capital offence in all the religions and political systems of the world, because it is considered as a high treason against the established norms of society.

The Bible prescribes death by stoning for apostasy:

“You shall stone him to death with stones, because he sought to draw you away from the LORD your God..”(Deutrony;13:10).

The pagan Romans brutally killed the early Christians on same ground. Subsequently this practice was repeated by the Christian Church against opposing Christians, who were killed and burnt alive. Death penalty for apostasy remained in force in England for long time. It was abolished due to social and cultural developments. In early Islam, the pagans of Makkah, and Jews of Medina used to indulge in this practice to gain intelligence and to demoralize the fragile expanding Muslim community of Median. Hence apostasy is considered as a major sin in Islam. Whether it is punishable by Islamic law is a debatable matter among Muslim scholars. Some believe that the apostate should be punished after trial because they consider this crime as a betrayal, high treason against the community, while others opine that if someone changes his faith and does not challenge the Islamic society, it is a matter between him and Allah, Who will punish him in hereafter. However, both opinions agree that it is a major worst form of sin punishable by Allah. As per Qur’an; “Those who turn back as apostates after Guidance was clearly shown to them the Evil One has instigated them and buoyed them up with false hopes.”(Qur’an;47:25). Allah’s Apostle (peace be upon him) is reported to have said, “The blood of a Muslim who confesses that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that I am His Apostle, cannot be shed except in three cases: In Qisas for murder, a married person who commits adultery and the one who reverts from Islam (apostate) and leaves the Muslims.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith:9.17). Non-Muslims are allowed to teach their faith to their followers, but they are not allowed to go against the mainstream of the Muslim society.

Kindness and Equity: Muslims are encouraged to act towards all the non-Muslims living in Islamic state with kindness and equity, evident from this verse of Qur’an, mostly ignored and not quoted by critics:

“As for such (of the unbelievers) as do not fight against you on account of your faith, and neither drive you forth from your homelands, Allah does not forbid you to show them kindness and to behave towards them with full equity. Indeed, Allah loves those who act equitably”(Qur’an;60:8).

There are numerous Hadiths, which encourage Muslims to be kind to other religious communities, especially those who constitute minorities in the Muslim State. As a result many deserving non Muslims were able to get very high positions in the Muslim hierarchy. Islam does not forbid engagement in respectful and peaceful dialogue with others, especially the People of the Book, provided that neither side exploit the illiteracy or dire financial need of others so as to psychologically manipulate them in the name of outreach.

Legal and Dietary Freedom: Islamic law also permits non-Muslim minorities to set up their own courts, which implement family laws drawn up by the minorities themselves. The rights of minorities are well protected in Islam. Another interesting fact in Islamic history is that although Muslims are prohibited from preparing, selling and consuming alcohol, whereas the ruling is not the same with non-Muslim. If non-Muslim minority in an Islamic state wish to do so, and do not involve Muslims, they would actually be given this right, they even consume pork, strictly prohibited for the Muslims. This points out that the concept of human rights in Islam has often been given a much negative view. Special Status of People of the Book : The Christians and Jews are called People of the Book in Qur’an. Muslims are asked to call upon the People of the Book for common terms, that is to worship One Allah, and to work together for the solutions of the many problems in the society:

“Those who believe (in the Qur’an) and those who follow the Jewish (Scriptures) and the Christians and the Sabians (monotheistic followers of John the Baptist) and who believe in Allah and the last day and work righteousness shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve.”(Qur’an;2:62).

The scholars think that this is about those Jews and Christians who could not receive the message of Qur’an.

Equitable Muslim Rule of Spain: The history of Islam proves this, when Muslims, Christians, and Jews lived together in dominant Islamic societies. The Spain was under the tyrannical, suppressive and corrupt rule of King Roderick, who after death of King Witiza, in 710 C.E through intrigue managed to become king.  Roderick was a brute ruthless, tyrant and corrupt ruler, he faced a revolt of the Basques and was never recognized in the Northeast. He even did not spare the daughter of Count Julian the governor of Ceuta and raped her. Meanwhile, Witiza’s family had made contact with the Muslims for assistance against oppressor rule of Roderick, Count Julian also requested Musa bin Nasir, the Muslim governor of North Africa for help. He after getting approval of Caliph sent Tariq bin Zyad to Spain in 711 C.E, by 713 C.E Spain was under Muslim control. This rapid success can be explained by the fact that Hispano-Visigoth society welcomed the end of tyrannical rule of Roderick. The Jews, harassed by the legal ordinances of Toledo, were particularly hostile toward the Christian government. Moreover, the Muslim conquest brought advantages to many elements of society: the burden of taxes was on the whole less onerous than it had been in the last years of the Visigoth epoch; serfs who converted to Islam (mawali; singular: maula) advanced into the category of freedmen and enrolled among the dependents of some conquering noble. This group formed the majority of the population because during the first three centuries religious, social and economic motives induced a considerable number of natives to convert to Islam, there were no force conversions. Jews were no longer persecuted and were placed on an equal footing with the Hispano-Romans and Goths who still remained within the Christian fold. Thus, in the first half of the 8th century, there was born a new society in Muslim Spain.

In Spain under the Umayyads and in Baghdad under the Abbasid Khalifahs, Christians and Jews enjoyed a freedom of religion that they did not allow each other or anyone else. In contrast forced conversions to Catholicism have been documented at various points throughout history. The most prominently cited allegations are the conversions of the pagans during Emperor Constantine (306-337 C.E); of Muslims, Jews and Eastern Orthodox during the Crusades(1095-1291 C.E) ; of Jews and Muslims during the Spanish Inquisition; and of the Aztecs by Hernando Cortes in South America.

The Jews which fled from Spain during the Inquisition, were welcomed by the Muslims and they settled in the heart of the Islamic Ottomans Caliphate. They enjoyed positions of power and authority. In contrast the Muslims who lived in Christian Spain were persecuted and prejudiced against on account of their faith. When the 2nd Caliph Omar took Jerusalem from the Byzantines in 634 C.E, he insisted on entering the city with only a small number of his companions. Proclaiming to the inhabitants that their lives and property were safe, and that their places of worship would never be taken from them, he asked the Christian patriarch Sophronius to accompany him on a visit to all the holy places. The Patriarch invited him to pray in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, but he preferred to pray outside its gates, saying that if he accepted the invitation to pray in church, later generations of Muslims might use his action as an excuse to turn it into a mosque. A mosque was built on the spot where Omar prayed. The Christians entrusted the Muslims, and as such the key of the Church in Jerusalem kept in the hands of the Muslims.

Freedom of Worship: It is one function of Islamic law to protect the privileged status of minorities, and this is why non-Muslim places of worship have flourished all over the Islamic world. Muslims during their rule granted freedom of worship to all religious communities in the Holy City of Jerusalem. Throughout the Muslim world, churches, synagogues and missionary schools were built within the Muslim neighborhoods. These places were protected by Muslims even during the contemporary crises in the Middle East. Qur’an is very specific:

“Did not Allah check one set of people by means of another there would surely have been pulled down monasteries churches synagogues and mosques in which the name of Allah is commemorated in abundant measure. Allah will certainly aid those who aid His (cause); for verily Allah is Full of Strength Exalted in Might (Able to enforce His Will).”(Qur’an;22:40)

While throughout Europe and America, Muslims are not permitted to make the call to prayer (adhan) on loud speakers, church bells ring freely in the Muslim world. Exception is Saudi Arabia, which is sacred to Muslims more that Vatican to Roman Catholics. The sacred sites are forbidden for the non Muslims on Divine command. Recently in Switzerland the constructing minaret for the mosque has been stopped. In USA, there is great opposition to plan of constructing a mosque in proposed Islamic cultural center few blocks away from ground zero.

Marriage with Women of People of the Book : Islam is not exclusive faith, social intercourse, including food and inter-marriage, is permitted with the People of the Book. According to Qur’an: “This day are (all) things good and pure made lawful unto you. The food of the People of the Book is lawful unto you and yours is lawful unto them. (Lawful unto you in marriage) are (not only) chaste women who are believers but chaste women among the People of the Book revealed before your time when ye give them their due dowers and desire chastity not lewdness nor secret intrigues.  If anyone rejects faith fruitless is his work and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good).” (Qur’an;5:5).

Racisms Rejected: Any man or woman, of any race or faith, may, on accepting Islam, freely marry any Muslim woman or man, provided it be from motives of purity and chastity and not of lewdness. As always, food, cleanliness, social intercourse, marriage and other interests in life, are linked with the duty to Allah and faith in Him. Duty and faith are for individual’s own benefit, here and in the Hereafter.

Reward of Good Deeds of Non Believers: Islam looks after the interest of non believers with justice, the good deeds of non-believer will not be wasted. Narrated Anas ibn Malik: Allah’s Apostle (peace be upon him) said about reward for a non-believer:

That  he (unbeliever) would be made to taste the reward (of virtue in this world). (Sahih Muslim Hadith:1305).

The children of minorities (non-Muslims), are similar to the children of Muslims with respect to their entry into Paradise.(Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Fiqh 4.89a).

Social Courtesies : There are other social courtesies which Muslims are urged to extend to non Muslims: like the respect is to be extended to the non Muslim deceased;(Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith:2.399). Condolences are desirable, even if the deceased was a non-Muslim.  It is permissible for a Muslim to visit a sick non-Muslim person.(Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Fiqh 4.5). The strong emphasis placed on the need to behave with equity towards minorities has been heeded by Muslims throughout the ages. Minorities in the Muslim State have always enjoyed a fair and kind treatment by the Muslim majority. On the personal level, there is nothing to stop any Muslim from forging a friendship with non-Muslims who harbor no ill intentions against Islam or its followers.

Tolerance and Moderation: Tolerance and moderation is the hallmark of Islam. Tolerance and moderation is the hallmark of Islam, Allah says :

“We have made you (Muslims) a community of the middle way (keeping balance in extremes) so that you may testify against mankind and that your own Messenger may testify against you.”(Qur’an;2:143).

Human life of Muslims and non Muslims alike, has a very high place in Islam, Allah says:

“whoever kills a person, except as a punishment for murder or mischief in the land (through judiciary), it will be written in his book of deeds as if he had killed the mankind and whoever will save a life shall be regarded as if he gave life to all the mankind.”(Qur’an;5:32).

Killing is only permitted in state of war or through judiciary if some one commits some crime warranting such punishment.

The English educationist and historian, Thomas Arnold observed:

‘During the Muslim rule, on the whole, the level of tolerance exhibited towards non Muslims was missing in Europe till modern times’.

Marmaduke Pickthall observed:

“It was not until the Western nations broke away from their religious law that they became more tolerant, and it was only when the Muslims fell away from their religious law that they declined in tolerance”.

[Allah knows the best]

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Objective Rebuttal

Analysis/Comments-21

A Muslim is forbidden to make friends with a non-Muslim. A Muslim is allowed to pretend to be a friend, but in his heart he must never actually be a friend to a non-Muslim. This is one of the best protections Islam has against Muslims leaving the faith because conversions a new religion are usually made because a friend introduced it. Being forbidden to make friends with non-Muslims helps prevent that from happening.

Comments:

There is not restriction on establishing normal friendship with non Muslims, those who fight, expel or help in expulsion of Muslims are not to be made friend. This is natural and nothing discriminatory:

“Allah only forbids you to make friendship with those who fought you on account of your faith and drove you out of your homes and backed up others in your expulsion. Those who will take them for friends are indeed the wrongdoers”. (Qur’an;60:9).

Some translators have mixed up the meanings of Arabic verb waliya (from which the noun wali, pl. awliya‘, is derived) which need to be understood. It signifies, primarily, the nearness or closeness of one thing to another:  Although the term wali, when applied to God, as well as to the relationship between one created being and another, is often used in the Qur’an in the sense of “helper”, “friend”, “protector”, “guardian“, etc., none of these secondary meanings can properly – i.e., without offending against the reverence due to God – describe man’s attitude to, or relationship with, Him. Thus, God is spoken of in the Qur’an (2:257 and 3:68) as being “near unto (wali) those who believe” Consequently, reference to the believers as awliya’ of God is best rendered as “they who are close to God”, in the sense of their being always conscious of Him. Mostly in the context of non Muslims ‘wali’ is to be understood to mean ‘protector  friend’ or ‘guardian’, how some one opposed to your faith can be taken as protector or guardian?

Muslims have been cautioned against intrigue of enemies, because initially the hypocrites of Medina and Jews living around Medina, were playing double game of deception, some verses considered as discriminatory against non believers not to take them as wali, in each verse their negative behaviors is cited as the reason, which is fully understandable:

“O ye who believe! Choose not My enemy and your enemy Awliyaa [protector, friends] Do ye give them friendship when they disbelieve in that truth which hath come unto you, driving out the messenger and you because ye believe in Allah, your Lord? .”[Qur’an; 60:1]

“Let not the believers make unbelievers their awliyaa‘ [protectors, allies, friends] rather than the believers; anyone who does so will have nothing to hope for from Allah – except if you do so as a precaution to protect yourselves against their tyranny in this way. But God warns you to beware of Him: for with God is all journeys’ end.”[Qur’an; 3:28]

“Have you not seen the ones who have befriended those people who are under the wrath of Allah? They are neither on your side nor yet on theirs and they knowingly swear to falsehood.”(Qur’an;58:14).

“O you who have attained to faith! Do not take for your friends such as mock at your, faith and make a jest of it -be they from among those who have been vouchsafed revelation before your time, or [from among] those who deny the truth [of revelation as such] – but remain conscious of God, if you are [truly] believers: for, when you call to prayer, they mock at it and make a jest of it – simply because they are people who do not use their reason.” .”[Qur’an; 5:57-58]

The Faith is a fundamental matter in the lives of Muslims, their associations and friendships will naturally be with those who share their Faith. More than anything else, it obviously alludes to a “moral alliance” with the deniers of the truth: that is to say, to an adoption of their way of life in preference to the way of life of the believers, in the hope of being “honored”, or accepted as equals, by the former. Since an imitation of the way of life of confirmed unbelievers must obviously conflict with the moral principles demanded by true faith, it unavoidably leads to a gradual abandonment of those principles. In ordinary every-day affairs of business, Muslims are asked to seek the help of Believers rather than Unbelievers. Only in this way can the community be strong and united. But where there is no question of preference, or where in self-defence they have to take the assistance of those not belonging to their Faith, that is permissible.

“O believers! Take neither Jews nor Christians as your protecting friends: they are only protecting friends of one another. Whoever of you disobeys this commandment will be counted as one of them. Surely Allah does not guide the wrongdoers.” [Qur’an; 5:51].

According to most of the commentators (e.g., Tabari), this means that each of these two communities extends genuine friendship only to its own adherents – i.e., the Jews to the Jews, and the Christians to the Christians – and cannot, therefore, be expected to be really friendly towards the followers of the Qur’an. This prohibition of a “moral alliance” with non-Muslims does not constitute an injunction against normal, friendly relations with such of them as are well-disposed towards Muslims. It should be borne in mind that the term wali has several shades of meaning: “ally”, “friend”, “helper”, “protector”, etc. The particular choice depends upon context. It is gets more clear:

“It may well be that Allah will put love between you and those with whom you are now at odds because of the order which is given to you, for Allah is All-Powerful, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. Allah does not forbid you to be kind and equitable to those who had neither fought against your faith nor driven you out of your homes. In fact Allah loves the equitable.” [Qur’an; 60:7-8].

“nearest in affection to the believers are those who say: “We are Christians.” That is because  among them there are men  that are priests and monks, who do not behave arrogantly.” [Qur’an; 5:82].

Muslims are cautioned to take non believers as protectors, [Wali] due to the negative and hostile behaviour of most of non believers. However normal friendship and working relationship with those with affable attitude is not forbidden. While forming any opinion, especially the non Muslims are requested to keep all the verses of Qur’an on the subject in view, there is no abrogation:

“The Words of your Lord have been completed with credibility and justice; there is no way to change His Words. He is the Hearer, the Knower”[Qur’an;6:115].

[Allah knows the best]

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Objective Rebuttal

Analysis/Comments-22

The Qur’an counsels the use of deceit when dealing with non-Muslims.

The various issues raised in critique are discussed below.

Zones of Islam, Peace & War:

The view appears to be taken form ‘radical extremist sources’, which still living in the past use the outdated jargons like ‘Zone (House) of War’ [dar-ul-harab] and permanent state of war between Islam and rest of the world to justify, legitimacy of their equally nefarious activates as of their opponents. The militants shrewdly try to take shelter behind Islam. The traditional scholars considered the world comprising three zones: 1) The House of Islam (Dar-ul-Islam), zone where Muslims are ascendant; 2) The House of Peace (Dar-ul-Aman), those countries (zones, powers) with whom Muslims have peace agreements and treaties, and 3) The House of War (Dar-ul-Harab) the rest of the world which did not allow to convey the message of Islam to their people. In the present world all the nations are members of United Nations Organization and signatory to its charter of peaceful coexistence and basic human rights, whereby every human being is free to adopt and practice any faith. Qur’an very strictly emphasize adherence to treaties:

“yet it is your obligation to help them [Muslims] in the matters of faith if they ask for your help, except against a people with whom you have a treaty”[Qur’an;8:72]

“So fulfill your treaties with them to the end of their term; for Allah loves the righteous.” ”[Qur’an;9:4]

“Those who make treaties with you and time after time violate their treaties, and have no fear of Allah. If you encounter them in combat, make them a fearsome example for others who would follow them so that they all may learn a lesson.”[Qur’an;856-57]

Hence now whole world be termed as ‘The House of Peace’ (Dar-ul-Aman), except the conflict zones, where Muslims are under oppression and subjugation. Muslims are not in permanent state of war with rest of the world, the inferences drawn by some traditional scholars for specific circumstances do not become dogma for ever. There is no Pope and no Papal decree in Islam. Qur’an and Sunnah is available to all, the modern scholars and thinkers have to employ Ijtehad, [independent reasoning] as opposed to Taqlid [blind imitation, of opinions of the past].

[Ijtehad, has already been explained above in comments # 2].

Deceit & Deception in Warfare:

In fact, “War is deceit” is one of the oldest military principles in history. Sun Tzu, a Chinese strategist [600 BC]  in his famous book The Art of Wa’r writes: All warfare is based on deception”. Italian Renaissance thinker Niccolo Machiavelli wrote: “Though fraud in other activities may be detestable, in the management of war it is laudable and glorious, and he who overcomes the enemy by fraud is as much to be praised as he who does by force.” In WW-II, When the Nazis rounded up Jews, many Jews claimed to be Christians in order to save themselves and their children. 

Deception and Bible:

God commands to refrain form lying: “Keep far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay you not: for I will not justify the wicked”“(Exodus; 23:7). However deception in war…is legitimate according to Jewish law.  Joshua used stratagem in capturing the city of Ai (Josh:8), and the same was copied against Bejamin (Jud:20).  Ehud ben Gera killed Eglon, King of Moab, by disguise and deceit (Jud:3:20-22). In recent history Gen. Fred Funston devised an artful plan to entrap Emilio Aguinaldo.  Such deceit, however, is recommended in order to avoid needless bloodshed and hasten peace. Deception in war is mentioned at Judges 5:24-26;  Judges 4:17-21. We know that there are specific statements asserting very clearly that God does not tell lies (Num. 23:19; Titus 1:2). However, God does use deception [1 Samuel, Chapter: 16]. In an other incidence the king invited the priests of Baal [idol] to a large religious gathering.  When they arrived, the Bible reports, “Jehu acted with guile in order to exterminate the worshippers of Baal” (II Kings 10:18-19). When it comes to trying to reconcile feuding parties, Jewish law is remarkably tolerant of “white lies.”  Of Aaron, Moses’ brother and Israel’s first high priest, the Rabbis relate that he would utilize untruthful means to make peace between people who had fought (The Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan 12:3).

Islam on Deception & Deceit:

Though ‘Deception’ is a well recognized doctrine of war, to facilitate victory, there is no verse in Qur’an which says that “War is deceit” however it is mentioned in a Hadith:

Narrated Ka’b ibn Malik: When the Prophet (peace be upon him) intended to go on an war expedition, he always pretended to be going somewhere else, and he would say: “War is deception.”[Abu-Dauod # 1113, also Sahih AL-Bukhari Hadith #4.267, 268].

Human life is very precious; since every one has own limits due to weak nature, an option is provided by Qur’an;16:106. Though Qur’an makes it clear in several places that martyrdom in the cause of faith is highly meritorious, “God does not burden any human being with more than he is well able to bear” [2:233 and 286, 6:152, 7:42, 23:62, and many other Qur’anic statements to the same effect]. To lighten the burden there are exceptions to the cases like that of ‘Ammar, whose father Yasir and mother Sumayya, were subjected to unspeakable tortures by nonbelievers for their belief in Islam, but never recanted. ‘Ammar, suffering under tortures himself and his mind acted on by the sufferings of his parents, uttered a word construed as recantation, though his heart never wavered and he came back at once to the Prophet [pbuh], who consoled him for his pain and confirmed his faith.

“Allah wishes to lighten your burdens because humans have been created weak by nature”[Qur’an;4:28]

“Anyone who is forced to deny faith after its acceptance, while his heart remains loyal to the faith shall be absolved; but any who denies faith willingly after its acceptance and open his breast to unbelief, shall incur the wrath of Allah and shall be sternly punished.”[Qur’an;16:106].

Inference was also used by the Muslims of Spain after their defeat followed by infamous inquisition under Roman Catholic Church  to protect their lives against tyranny of Christians; ultimately most of them had to migrate.

Withdrawal, in normal circumstances is considered as cowardice but if employed intelligently, as part of a plan, it becomes an other important stratagem of war to gain victory:

“and whoever turns his back to them on such an occasion – unless it be a strategy of war, or to join towards a detachment – shall incur the wrath of Allah and his abode shall be hell, and how awful shall be that dwelling!” ”[Qur’an;8:16]

Alliance is formed between two parties is for the mutual benefit, Qur’an urges Muslims to give preference to fellow believers if there is a choice, but if they have no choice being in a weaker position alliance can be formed with non believers as well.

“Let not the believers make unbelievers their awliyaa‘ [protector allies] rather than the believers; anyone who does so will have nothing to hope for from Allah – except if you do so as a precaution to protect yourselves against their tyranny in this way. But God warns you to beware of Him: for with God is all journeys’ end.”[Qur’an; 3:28]

It does not involve any deceit, it must be remembered that Qur’an is very strict in honoring treaties [see above Qur’an;8:72, 9:4]. History is full of example where the belligerents form military or political alliance under special circumstance.

Taqiyah- Self-Protection- Judaism, Islam and Christianity:

Self protection is part of human nature, when ever human feels threatened they take measures for their safety, some are physical while other are mental, use of intellect especially if one is physically weak. Taqiya, [also spelled Taqiyah, Arabic Taqiyah] meaning “self-protection”, is the practice of precautionary denial of religious belief in the face of potential persecution or concealing one’s belief and foregoing ordinary religious duties when under threat of death or injury to oneself or one’s fellow Muslims. The concept is derived on inference form Qur’an 3:28 and 16:106 as well other literature. An other refined form of self protection is Kitman i.e protecting through ambiguous statements, actions or jesters that apparently make the other person to believe you are agreeing with them, when in fact you are not. Closely related is  ‘mental reservation’, which is telling the truth, but not the whole truth, with an intention to mislead. The word “taqiya” is properly translated to “religious dissimulation” and is accepted in Judaism as it is among Shi’a [15% of Muslims].

According to the common Catholic teaching it is never allowable to tell a lie, not even to save human life. They admit the doctrine of the ‘lie of necessity’, and maintain that when there is a conflict between justice and veracity it is justice that should prevail. They have formulated ‘The Theory of Mental Reservation’ as a means by which the claims of both justice and veracity can be satisfied. Deception using “mental reservation” is therefore permitted in Catholicism, if for “a good reason.” If, for example, hoodlums or terrorists  demand to know if a man is hiding inside your home, it is permissible to deceive them using mental reservation.

Truth and Exceptions:

Religions emphasize morality; truthfulness being a great virtue. Prophet Muhammad [pbuh] was known by the name of Al-Amin (The Trustworthy), and even his greatest enemies did not know of him as a liar.  The only “lie” they counted against him was his claim to be a prophet of God. Qur’an and Hadith places special emphasis on truthfulness, some are quoted here:

“Forgiveness and reward for men and women who speak truth; Qur’an” [Qur’an;33:35], “shun all false statements.”[Qur’an;22:30], “Nay! We give falsehood a violent blow with the Truth to knock it out and behold! Falsehood vanishes away.”[Qur’an; 21:18], “believers! Fulfill your contract obligations”[Qur’an;5:1], ““Those who witness no falsehood” [Qur’an; 25:72]

Narrated Ubadah ibn as-Samit: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“If you guarantee me six things on your part I shall guarantee you Paradise. Speak the truth when you talk, keep a promise when you make it, when you are trusted with something fulfill your trust, avoid sexual immorality, lower your eyes, and restrain your hands from injustice.” Ahmad and Bayhaqi, in Shu’ab al-Iman transmitted it. [Al-Tirmidhi Hadith#1260]

However the exception is on three occasions:

Narrated Asma’, daughter of Yazid: Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “Lying is allowed only in three cases: 1) by a man to his wife to please her, 2) in war, and 3) to put things right between people.”: Transmitted by Ahmad and Tirmidhi Hadith #1303.

Narrated Um Kulthum bint Uqba: That she heard Allah’s Apostle saying, “He who makes peace between the people by inventing good information or saying good things, is not a liar [Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith: 3.857]

Any action appearing to be contrary to truthfulness becomes the topic of debate and criticism, especially if it involves a person holding very high religious position like founder of Christianity, St. Paul:

St. Paul Practices Taqiyah: Acts, 23:6‑9

St. Paul, the real founder of Christianity, after preaching to Jews and Gentiles [non Jews] came to Jerusalem, [around 30 years after Jesus Christ] stories about his preaching of different doctrines had already reached Jerusalem, he was asked:

“you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs”.[Acts 21:21].

He was asked to purify himself, with some other sinners to shave off heads to establish that what ever things were told concerning him were nothing; but that he also walk orderly, and keep the law. [Acts 21:24]. He obliged to do so [an indirect confession of wrong doing, sin? Or deceit to save himself ?] When the seven days period of purification almost ended, some of the Jews who had seen him preaching different doctrines, saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him [Acts 21:27]  they:

“Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teaches all men everywhere against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and has polluted this holy place.”[ Acts 21:28]

Jews gathered and mob wanted to kill him. Paul was rescued by the security and taken in to custody. Later Paul was brought before the chief priests and all their council of the Jews who wanted to punish him for the doctrines he was preaching. Instead of defending himself against the allegations, which were true, Paul cleverly divided the court on sectarian lines and through this deceitful stratagem managed to save his life. The account has been narrated in New Testament book of `Acts; 23:6-9 below:

“But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question. And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided. For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both. And there arose a great cry: and the scribes that were of the Pharisees’ party arose, and contended, saying, We find no evil in this man: but if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him, let us not fight against God.”[Acts;23:6-9]

Comments By Christian Scholars:

This action of St. Paul for his ‘Self-Protection’ [Taqiyah] has been appreciated but also criticized by the Christian theologians, some extracts are reproduced here:

1)        Abbott New Testament Commentary: At this time, such a statement was adapted to give a false impression. The conduct of Paul in this, and in the former case, has generally been approved,–the cases having been regarded as examples of commendable adroitness. But whether it was best to resort to these indirect measures, rather than to take the bold and perfectly honest course usually characteristic of him, ought not to be considered as settled simply by the fact that he did resort to them. We was liable to fall into error and sin in his conduct and measures, as well as all other inspired men. We observe that no permanent good resulted from the artifices in either case.

2)        Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible: Whatever may be thought of the propriety of this course, it cannot be denied that it was a master-stroke of policy, and that it evinced a profound knowledge of human nature.

3)        John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible: And in this the apostle showed the prudence and wisdom of the serpent, along with the innocence of the dove, hereby to divide the assembly, and free himself from them; and it was but just and right; for since they would not hear him about to make a fair and open defence of his cause, but ordered him to be smitten on the mouth, it was but justice to throw them into confusion, and save himself.

4)        Geneva Bible Footnotes: We may sometimes lawfully set the wicked against themselves, so that they stop assaulting us, in order that the truth is not hindered.

5)        The People’s New Testament Commentary: “All prospect for a fair trial was hopeless. Paul well knew from experience that personal odium would bias his judges, and violence prevail over justice. He therefore uses in the cause of truth the maxim so often perverted to the use of falsehood, Divide and conquer.

6)        William Burkitt’s Expository Notes: Learn hence, that an innocent and prudent policy may warrantably be made use of by the members and ministers of Jesus Christ, without any blemish to their holy profession, in order to our preservation from the hands of persecutors; a serpentine subtilty may be made use of, together with a dovelike innocincy. Thus did St. Paul here: when he perceived that one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out, &c.

7)        Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary: By this adroit stroke, Paul engages the whole Pharisaic section of the council in his favor; the doctrine of a resurrection being common to both, though they would totally differ in their application of it. This was, of course, quite warrantable, and the more so as it was already evident that no impartiality in trying his cause was to be looked for from such an assembly.

Prophet Jesus Christ, [pbuh] saved Himself from Jewish Mischief:

Jews try to Entangle Jesus: [Also narrated in Mark;12:13-17; Luke;20:20-26]

The Jews wanted to kill Jesus Christ, [they had killed many prophets in history] but they could not do so, till they bring some serious charge against him for trial by Roman Governor Pontius Pilate. They saw he did nothing worthy of death; they therefore issue their counsels in a resolution to send some persons to discourse with him, under the pretence of conscientious, good men, to propound some questions to him, his answer to which might give them some opportunity to accuse him of blasphemy or sedition. The men they pitch upon were from two opposing sects, some of them Pharisees, some Herodians.  The Pharisees were against paying tribute to Cesar; looking upon themselves as a free people, and the emperor as an usurper. But the Herodians were for it. Herod being made by the Roman emperor king of the Jews, was zealous for having the Jews pay tribute to Cesar; and such of the Jews as sided with him, and particularly his courtiers and favorites, were called Herodians.

The policy and wicked craft here used, in employing these two contrary sects to put the question to Jesus Christ concerning tribute; thereby laying him under a necessity (as they hoped) to offend one side, let him answer how he would. If to please the Pharisees he denied paying tribute to Cesar, then he is accused of sedition; if to gratify the Herodians he voted for paying tribute, then he is looked upon as an enemy to the liberty of his country, and exposed to a popular odium.

“Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Teacher, we know that you are true, and teach the way of God in truth, neither care you for any man: for you regard not the person of men. Tell us therefore, What think you? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why test me, you hypocrites? Show me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny. And he said unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They said unto him, Caesar’s. Then said he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s. When they had heard these words, they marveled, and left him, and went their way.”[Matthew;22:15-22]

Abraham said of Sarah as his Sister: This was to save his life.  Though it was not putting a direct lie into her mouth, she being his sister in some sense, as appears from Genesis;20:12 yet it was done to conceal truth, and to deceive the Egyptians, and tended to endanger his wife’s chastity, as well as showed great timorousness in him, and distrust of the divine care and protection of him. Fear of the people among whom he was, tempted him to equivocate. His conduct was highly culpable. It was deceit, deliberate and premeditated.[Geensis:12:13].

Taqiyah- Self-Protection & Islam:

Fundamental Tenet of Shi’ites: The Shi’ites, the minority branch of Islam [15%], has made Taqiya as a fundamental tenet because of their suffering from persecution and political defeats throughout their history. The Ibadiyah (a Muslim sect found in eastern Africa, southern Algeria, and Oman) called for prudent fear and avoidance of foolish and unnecessary martyrdom and regarded taqiya as a basic religious requirement. Many other sects went underground when they felt that open expression of their beliefs was harmful to their cause.

Taqiyah-Not Practiced by Great Sunni Leader & Theologian:

The Shi’a doctrine of Taqiyah is based on the principle of opting for the lesser evil. Telling a lie is not as big a sin as destroying a life. Therefore, lie is preferable to putting oneself in danger of life. By the same reasoning, if there is likelihood that one’s Taqiyah may destroy the belief of other believers, then Taqiyah is forbidden to such a person. In the case of Imam Hussein, the grand son of Prophet Muhammad [pbuh],  the symbol of Islamic values and religious uprightness, if he did swear allegiance to Yazid,  Islam would have been completely disfigured others would be misled into un-Islamic tenets and beliefs. Thus he sacrificed his life with companions, to set an example.

Imam Ibn Hanbal (780-855, Baghdad), was a Sunni Muslim theologian, jurist, and martyr for his faith. He was the compiler of the Traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (Musnad) and formulator of the Hanbali, the most strictly traditionalist of the four orthodox Islamic schools of law] refused to subscribe to the Mu’tazili doctrine. He was put in chains, beaten, and imprisoned for about two years. After his release he did not resume his lectures until the inquisition was publicly proclaimed at an end. Some orthodox theologians, to survive the ordeal, had recanted, and later claimed the privilege of dissimulation, Taqiyah, as a justification for their behaviour. Other theologians, following the example of Ibn Hanbal, refused to repudiate their beliefs. Some rules have been laid down as to when a Muslim may or may not use Taqiyah. Ultimately, it is left to the conscience of each individual to judge, when the situation arises, whether taqiya is absolutely necessary and whether his private interests or those of the religion and the community are being served.  Practically Taqiyah remains the tenet of Shi’a Muslims, a minority, the majority Muslims have not adopted as a tenet of faith.

Conclusion: Taqiyah simply means that a Muslim can renounce his faith in order to save his life from torture or death.  The doctrine of Taqiyah is also found in Judaism, which commands its followers to save their own lives even by lying.  Many Christian thinkers also believe this is something permissible.  As for Kitman, this means “mental reservation” (i.e. telling half the truth in order to mislead someone), is a doctrine accepted by the Church and Judaism. If Muslims are to be vilified for believing in lying and using deceit in war, then Jews are to be condemned even more for believing that lying is permissible to kill idolaters for their idolatry.  If Muslims are to be vilified for allowing lying to save life, then Christians are to be vilified more for the belief that lying is permitted to further the interests of the Church.  The critics wish Islam to be judged by a standard that their own religious belief cannot withstand.  These Islamophobes engage in “mental reservation” when they mention half-truths about Islam.  The methodology is to mix half-truths with outright lies. May Allah guide them.

[Allah knows the best]

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Objective Rebuttal

Analysis/Comments-23

Islam must always be defended.

Comments:

Defence is the right of every community against any type of aggression. Qur’an ask the believers to be prepared to defend themselves, the common saying  ‘weakness invite aggression’

“Indeed, [even aforetime] did We send forth Our apostles with all evidence of [this] truth; and through them We bestowed revelation from on high, and [thus gave you] a balance [wherewith to weigh right and wrong], so that men might behave with equity; and We bestowed [upon you] from on high [the ability to make use of] iron, in which there is awesome power as well as [a source of] benefits for man:42 and [all this was given to you] so that God might mark out those who would stand up for him and His Apostle, even though He [Himself] is beyond the reach of human perception Verily, God is powerful, almighty!”[Qur’an; 57:25]

“Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of Allah and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom Allah doth know. Whatever ye shall spend In the cause of Allah, shall be repaid unto you, and ye shall not be Treated unjustly.”[Qur’an; 8:60]

In every fight, physical, moral, or spiritual, Muslims have to arm themselves with the best weapons and the best arms against their enemy, so as to instill wholesome respect into him for you and the Cause one stand for. There are always lurking enemies whom you may not know, but whom Allah knows. It is duty of every Muslim, to be ready against all, for the sacred Cause under whose banner they are fighting.  Be always ready and put all your resources into your Cause. You do not do so in vain. Allah’s reward will come in various forms. He knows all, and His reward will always be more generous than you can possibly think of.

[Allah knows the best]

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Objective Rebuttal

Analysis/Comments-24

Islamic writings teach the use of pretext to initiate hostilities.

Comments:

  1. Principle of Pretext: The critic is highly influenced by the ideology of extremist, which are few in numbers if you take the total 1.5 Billion Muslims in the world. It is just like that some on select the ideology of any small Christian sect to criticize the Roman Catholics or Protestants. The Muslims do not need any more pretext, West has provided them enough. All the ills of effecting the world peace has been initiated by the Western Imperialism, now lead by USA. The Palestinian conflict the root cause of threat to world peace is the creation of West, and nourished by West. Killing two birds with one stone, avenging the Jews for killing [alleged] of Jesus Christ [God of Christians] on one hand and keeping Muslims under turmoil so as to control and exploit their natural resources [oil]. The simmering Kashmir issue was created by British while leaving India in hurry in 1947. Afghan Mujahideen [now known as terrorists Taliban and Al Qaeda] are creation of US/West against communist USSR.
  2. The bogie of Takfeeri Doctrine is used a pretext to kill innocent Muslims. The pronouncement to declare any non practicing Muslim, to be an apostate, (Murtad) hence liable to be killed is called Takfir. It has become a central ideology of militant groups across the world to kill innocent Muslims including children, women, young and old at public places and even in mosques, through suicide bombing. Mainstream Muslims and Islamic groups reject the pseudo concept of ‘Takfir’ as a doctrinal deviation [bid’at], heresy, un-Islamic and marked by bigotry and zealotry. If a Muslim fails to perform some of his obligations and is remiss in practice or commits some such actions as are forbidden, yet he believes in the liability of all obligations and the impropriety of all unlawful deeds, he will continue to be a Muslim though he will be a sinner.
  3. 3. Permanent State of War? Who is gaining through state of permanent war like environments created by the West against Muslims and Islam?  Muslims are looser, their people are being killed in large numbers in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Palestine. Their   resources are diverted in defending themselves instead of education and socio-economic development. Western companies who supply war material are the gainer. The state of war is useful to the West so that their world domination remain unchallenged.
  4. Theory of Zones of Islam, Peace & War is Dead: The view appears to be taken form ‘radical extremist sources’, which still living in the past use the outdated jargons like ‘Zone (House) of War’ [dar-ul-harab] and permanent state of war between Islam and rest of the world to justify, legitimacy of their equally nefarious activates as of their opponents. The militants shrewdly try to take shelter behind Islam. The traditional scholars considered the world comprising three zones: 1) The House of Islam (Dar-ul-Islam), zone where Muslims are ascendant; 2) The House of Peace (Dar-ul-Aman), those countries (zones, powers) with whom Muslims have peace agreements and treaties, and 3) The House of War (Dar-ul-Harab) the rest of the world which did not allow to convey the message of Islam to their people. In the present world all the nations are members of United Nations Organization and signatory to its charter of peaceful coexistence and basic human rights, whereby every human being is free to adopt and practice any faith. Qur’an very strictly emphasize adherence to treaties:

“yet it is your obligation to help them [Muslims] in the matters of faith if they ask for your help, except against a people with whom you have a treaty”[Qur’an;8:72]

“So fulfill your treaties with them to the end of their term; for Allah loves the righteous.” ”[Qur’an;9:4]

“Those who make treaties with you and time after time violate their treaties, and have no fear of Allah. If you encounter them in combat, make them a fearsome example for others who would follow them so that they all may learn a lesson.”[Qur’an;856-57]

Hence now whole world be termed as ‘The House of Peace’ (Dar-ul-Aman), except the conflict zones, where Muslims are under oppression and subjugation. Muslims are not in permanent state of war with rest of the world, the inferences drawn by some traditional scholars for specific circumstances do not become dogma for ever. There is no Pope and no Papal decree in Islam. Qur’an and Sunnah is available to all, the modern scholars and thinkers have to employ Ijtehad, [independent reasoning] as opposed to Taqlid [blind imitation, of opinions of the past].

  1. Provocation: It’s not the Muslims who are provoking; it is few extremists among the West and USA, who provoke Muslims every now and then, the media give them wide converge, to make it appear as if those are views of entire West.
    1. a.      The caricature issue is periodically created; prior it was Salman Rushdee affair. Such blasphemous activities provoke the Muslims all over the world. This is done on the pretext of freedom of expression. On the other hand it is crime to deny holocaust! Double standards.
    2. b.      All this is done to keep Muslims embroiled in smaller issue and dominate them to control their resources.
    3. Paradise: One can go to paradise, even without fighting and dying. One can enjoy life in this world and hereafter both.  The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “If you guarantee me 6 things on your part I shall guarantee you Paradise:

1)      Truth be spoken, when you talk

2)      Promise be honored  a when you make it

3)      Trust must be fulfill your when you are trusted with something

4)      Sexual immorality be avoided,

5)      Lower your eyes,

6)      Injustice should not be done.

Hadith Narrated Ubadah ibn as-Samit: Ahmad and Bayhaqi, in Shu’ab al-Iman transmitted it. [Al-Tirmidhi Hadith#1260]

  1. Shari’a law: In most of the countries with majority Muslim population are not following Shari’a law. It reminds the famous quotation: ‘charity begins from home’ Muslims have to first put their own house in order before embarking upon universal mission. Islam was first established in Arabia, then it was spread the world over.
  2. Lack of Power Base: How can weak people, economically as well militarily can launch aggression against the most advanced and richest Western powers. It appears that the critics are not aware of geopolitics. Terrorist with their activities can not change the world.
  3. Role Model: Prophet Mohammad [pbuh] is the role model for the Muslims, but apart from participating in few defensive battles, he was a preacher, husband, ruler, leader, humane, trustworthy, kind and loveable simple personality, why it is thought that only his military aspect is to be copied and not other aspects?
  4. Middle East: If Middle East is not of any significance, then why West and USA are making every effort to keep their physical military presence in the region, they should pack up and leave world will be much safer.
  5. Phobia: While few extremist claiming to be Muslims are suffering from ‘Infidel Phobia’, a large number of Westerners are suffering from Islamophobia. Instead of getting entangled in to philosophies of terrorists which majority Muslims reject, they should try to find out what real Islam is? Only then will they be able to work jointly with mainstream Muslims for world peace.

[Allah knows the best]

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Objective Rebuttal

Analysis/Comments-25

The explicit use of double standards.

Comments:

  1. Freedom to Preach, Practice: The Christian missionaries are working all over in the Muslim countries in the guise of spreading education, improving society through health and social works. There is mushroom growth of NGOs [Non Governmental Organizations] sponsored by charity and other missions from West. It is only in few countries like Saudi Arabia where there is some restriction. There is large population of non Muslims, especially Christens among Muslims. Muslims treat Christians with respect because Qur’an calls them ‘People of The Scripture’:

“nearest among them in love to the believers wilt thou find those who say: “We are Christians:” because amongst these are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world and they are not arrogant”[Qur’an:5:82].

However they can not be allowed to preach openly, their doctrines which are against the teachings of Islam. They are allowed to preach and practice their faith among themselves. The scholarly debates among intellectuals of diverse religions take place as ‘Interfaith Dialogue’. The population will also get hostile for any blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad [pbuh] and Qur’an, and there could law and order problem.

Blasphemy against Prophet [pbuh]: It is well known that Muslims, practicing or non practicing love Prophet Muhammad [pbuh] more than themselves, their children and parents. Why then in West every now and then, some move is launched like cartoons episode. All Biblical Prophets till Jesus Christ [pbuh] are believed and respected by Muslims. They can not even think of defaming Moses, David, Solomon Or Jesus Christ [peace be upon them all]. If any one does he shall go out of fold of Islam:

“Allah did choose Adam and Noah the family of Abraham and the family of Imran above all people” 3:33

To those who believe in Allah and His Apostles and make no distinction between any of the Apostles We shall soon give their (due) rewards: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful. 4:152

Freedom of Worship to Non Muslims: It is one function of Islamic law to protect the privileged status of minorities, and this is why non-Muslim places of worship [Churches] have flourished all over the Islamic world [with one exception]. Muslims during their rule granted freedom of worship to all religious communities in the Holy City of Jerusalem. Throughout the Muslim world, churches, synagogues and missionary schools were built within the Muslim neighborhoods. These places were protected by Muslims even during the contemporary crises in the Middle East. Qur’an is very specific:

“Did not Allah check one set of people by means of another there would surely have been pulled down monasteries churches synagogues and mosques in which the name of Allah is commemorated in abundant measure. Allah will certainly aid those who aid His (cause); for verily Allah is Full of Strength Exalted in Might (Able to enforce His Will).”(Qur’an;22:40)

While throughout Europe and America, Muslims are not permitted to make the call to prayer (adhan) on loud speakers, church bells ring freely in the Muslim world. Exception is Saudi Arabia, which is sacred to Muslims more that Vatican to Roman Catholics. The sacred sites are forbidden for the non Muslims on Divine command. Recently in Switzerland the constructing minaret for the mosque has been stopped. In USA, there is great opposition to plan of constructing a mosque in proposed Islamic cultural center few blocks away from ground zero.

[Allah knows the best]

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Objective Rebuttal

Analysis/Comments-26

It is forbidden to kill a Muslim but not forbidden to kill a non-Muslim:

Comments:

This is absolutely false allegation, fabrication, deceit, white lie, reflecting either total ignorance, lack of knowledge of Islam, or the nefarious designs with evil intentions to defame Islam through false propaganda and baseless allegations. Qur’an is very clear on sanctity of human life, believer or non believer.

Killing a believer, or innocent human not permitted in Islam: Qur’an;4:93, 5:32,17:33.

“if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief In the land – it would be As if He slew the whole mankind: and if any one saved a life, it would be As if He saved the life of the whole mankind.” [Qur’an;5:32].

To kill or seek to kill an innocent human being, be it Muslim or non Muslim, is to kill all innocent people. On the other hand, to save an individual life in the same circumstances is to save a whole community. What could be stronger condemnation of individual assassination and revenge?

“Nor take life – which Allah has made sacred – except for just cause. and if anyone is slain wrongfully, we have given His heir authority (to demand qisas or to forgive): but let Him nor exceed bounds In the matter of taking life; for He is helped (by the Law).”[Qur’an;17:33]

“If a man kills a believer intentionally, His recompense is Hell, to abide therein (for ever): and the wrath and the curse of Allah are upon him, and a dreadful penalty is prepared for Him.”[Qur’an;4:93]

Here are more references from Qur’an on the subject:

1)       Killing only during hostilities in progress, 2:191,4:89, 4:91,5:33, 8:39, 8:57, 9:5, 9:12 ; 9:1-6

2)       Don’t fight nonbelievers who neither fought against your faith nor driven you out of your homes,  treat them justly; 60:8

Tolerance & Coexistence

1)       No compulsion, coercion in religion; 2:256 , 6:104,107; 88:21-26; 6:66,107; 10:108; 25:43; 39:41; 42:6; 4:80; 42:48; 3:20; 5:99; 16:3524:54; 29:18;42:48; 31:23; 18:29;

2)       Some believe, some disbelieve, God will judge; 7:87

3)       Sanctity of Human life ; 17:33

4)       Killing one innocent human like killing humanity; 5:32

5)       Help and  rescue the helpless oppressed old men, women, and children; 4:75

6)       Warfare in self defense, Allah does not like transgressors.;2:190

7)       Friendship with non believers; 60:9

8)       Preaching Islam with wisdom, fair exhortation, and reason; 16:125

9)       Non believers rewarded [in this world]; 13:26; 10:7; 53:29;  3:113-115; 42:20; 28:83,84; 18:46’ 20:131

10)   Non believers communities not destroyed for disbelief  (only) if they behave righteously towards one an other; 11:117; 3:178

[Allah knows the best]

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Objective Rebuttal

Analysis/Comments-27

If Muslims drift away from Mohammed’s [pbuh] teachings, Allah will end the world.

That makes converting others and promoting Islam a matter of survival. It also motivates Muslims to prevent each other from losing faith.

Comments:

When and how the world will end it is known to Allah alone [Qura’n;7:187,16:77, 21:109, 31:34, 33:63]. In the Bible Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) is also reported to have denied having knowledge of the final hour: “But of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”(Mark; 13:32). Some events which will take place before the Day of Judgment has been mentioned in Qur’an while other details have been mentioned in Hadith. It is mentioned in the Qur’an that the Day of Judgment will be preceded by strange happenings in the universe.(Qur’an;27:82,  21:96). One of these is that a walking creature will come out of the earth, which will speak to people, mentioned in Qur’an: “And when the Word is fulfilled against them (the unjust) We shall produce from the earth a beast to (face) them: he will speak to them for that mankind did not believe with assurance in our Signs.”(Qur’an;27:82).Since God has not given any more information about this creature, it is not appropriate to indulge in guesswork. It is appropriate to believe the Qur’anic statement as it is, knowing that God is able to do what He pleases in the manner and fashion He chooses. Another indication which the Qur’an has mentioned is the release of Yajuj & Majuj (Gog and Magog) after the collapse of the barrier (wall) which separates them from known world: “Until the Gog and Magog (people) are let through (their barrier) and they swiftly swarm from every hill”.(Qur’an;21:96). It is not known as to who Gog and Magog are, or where their land lies, or where the wall is. If humanity manage to identify these on the basis of research and linking various sorts of evidence and come up with a conclusion which is not contrary to the Qur’an, it would be accepted. Otherwise, the Qur’anic statement in its generality should be accepted as such. Before the Day of Judgment the earth would be first full of corruption that people would be so used to it that they will not even think about God or their religious duties. True knowledge becomes scanty, while ignorance becomes widespread. Drinking intoxicants and adultery becomes commonplace. Women become greater in number than men, and honesty becomes a rare commodity in human society. Social standards become inconsistent, and lowly people rise in society. If some one draws the inference that all this means: If Muslims drift away from Mohammed’s teachings, Allah will end the world” it their own perception and opinion.

Many of the Hadiths that mention abut future events, particularly those relating to the Day of Judgment and its signs and the events that precede it are not at the highest level of authenticity. Some of them are of the grade of Sahih (authentic), and some are Hasan (acceptable), while others are poor in authenticity. Moreover, many accept a figurative interpretation. The coming of the Imposter (Dajjal)  and rightly guided man (Arabic: Mahdi) a messianic figure who will appear in the last days.  The Imposter (In Christianity called Anti-Christ) will appear during a period of great tribulation, before the end of time; after a reign of 40 days or 40 years, will try to remove all goodness from human life. He will be followed by the Jews and will claim to be God in Jerusalem. He will work false miracles, and will delude a great many people. None but the true believers will be able to recognize that he is an impostor.

The rightly guided one (Mahdi), will fill the Earth with justice and equity, restore true religion of Islam, and usher in a short golden age lasting seven, eight, or nine years before the end of the world. He will strive hard to put an end to the Impostor who would have wreaked havoc and spread corruption. He would fight that Imposter with those who believe in the right faith. He appears before the Second Coming of Jesus and when Jesus comes, he hands over the leadership of the believers to him. He is believed to be an ordinary human being to whom God grants guidance. The Twelver Shi’as (Imamis) believe that their twelfth Imam Mahdi, who is believed to have gone into occultation since 329 A.H (939 C.E) will reappear at the end of time as the messianic Imam who will restore justice and equity on earth. He is therefore referred to as Imam al Muntazir the expected or awaited Imam. The second coming of the Prophet Jesus Christ will take place around this period:

“And (Jesus) shall be a Sign (for the coming of) the Hour (of Judgment): Therefore have no doubt about the (Hour), but follow ye Me: This is a straight way.”[Qur’an;13:61]

Prophet Jesus Christ, the son of Mary  [peace be upon him] will break the cross and kill pigs. He would gather around him some believers who would be dedicated to the cause of the divine faith. He will fight the Impostor and kill him to establish a world order. He will rule the world according to law of Qur’an (Shari’a)and establish peace and Islamic rule in world. All Jews and Christians will believe him as ‘Messenger of Allah and a human being’, they will follow him. Jesus will die his natural death.  The time of the Day of Judgment or Doom’s Day, is only known to Allah and Allah alone. Every one has to die, to be resurrected on the Day of Judgment, it will be as if he is awaken from sleep, its timeless.[Qur’an;36:52.], “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”(Daniel;12:2).

Bible and Events Preceding the End of the World:

In the Old Testament the Jewish conception of the struggle is found in the prophecy of Daniel, written at the beginning of the Maccabean period (167-164 BC). The historical figure who served as a model for the Antichrist was Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the persecutor of the Jews, and he left a lasting impression upon the conception. Since then, ever-recurring characterizations of this figure are that he would appear as a mighty ruler at the head of gigantic armies, destroy three rulers (three horns) and devastate the Temple of God.  “I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.” (Daniel;7:8).“And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.” (Daniel;7:24). “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” (Daniel;7:25). In later times, the tyrant who was God’s enemy became a figure of prophecy, applied to various situations of crisis. Also, Jewish and Christian writers of apocalypses saw in the emperor Nero (died C.E 68) the Antichrist.

Christian Concept of Antichrist: The earliest mention of the name Antichrist, which was probably first coined in Christian eschatological literature (concerned with the end of time), is in the letters of St. John (I John; 2: 18, 22; II John; 7), although the figure does appear in the earlier II Thessalonians as “the lawless one.” Yet the conception of a mighty ruler who will appear at the end of time and whose essence will be enmity of God is older and was taken over by Christianity from Judaism. Jesus is attributed to have said: “Then if any one says to you, `Lo, here is the Christ!’ or `There he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.”(Mathew;24:23-24). The Antichrist appears as a tempter who works by signs and wonders and seeks to obtain divine honors; it is further signified that this “man of lawlessness” will obtain credence, especially among the Jews because they have not accepted the truth. This version of the figure of Antichrist, who may now really for the first time be described by this name, appears to have been at once widely accepted in Christendom. The idea that the Jews would believe in Antichrist as punishment for not having believed in the true Christ seems to be expressed by the author of the Fourth Gospel (John; 5:43). The conception of Antichrist as a perverter of men led naturally to his connection with false doctrine (1John; 2:18,22, 4:3; 2John;1: 7). In the Book of Revelation the Antichrist is seen as a worker of wonders and a seducer. In the history it became a common feature to call the opponents as Anti Christ which has now subsided. Among some modern Protestant theologians the Antichrist can be interpreted as whatever resists or denies the lordship of Christ and tends to deify a political power–within either the church or the state. In dispensational and pre-millennial theology the expectancy of a personal Antichrist at the end of time remains strong.

Gog and Magog : According to the Bible, Gog is a hostile power that is ruled by Satan and will manifest itself immediately before the end of the world: “And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea”. (Revelation;20:8). In the biblical passage in Revelation and in other Christian and Jewish apocalyptic literature, Gog is joined by a second hostile force, Magog; but elsewhere (Ezekiel;38; Genesis;10:2) Magog is apparently the place of Gog’s origin. An independent legend of Gog and Magog surrounds two colossal wooden effigies in the Guildhall, London. They are thought to represent survivors of a race of giants destroyed by Brutus the Trojan, the legendary founder of London (Troia Nova, or New Troy), and brought there to act as porters at the gate of the royal palace. Effigies of Gog and Magog have existed in London from the time of Henry V. The first figures were destroyed in the Great Fire (1666 C.E) and were replaced in 1708. The second pair was destroyed in an air raid in 1940 and again replaced in 1953. In the legends recounted by the medieval English historian Geoffrey of Monmouth, Gogmagog, or Goëmagot, was a giant chieftain of Cornwall who was slain by Brutus’ companion Corineus.

Second Coming of Jesus : The Second Coming of Jesus is also called Second Advent, or Parousia, in Christianity, it is the future return of Jesus Christ in glory, when it is understood that he will set up his kingdom, judge his enemies, and reward the faithful, living and dead. Early Christians believed the Advent to be imminent, and those who have later professed what is known as Adventism have believed that the visible appearance of Jesus may occur at any moment and that Christians should be ever ready for it. Such believers find evidence for the Second Coming in the Gospels (Matthew;24,25; Mark;13; Luke;21:5-26; John;14:25-29), in the Book of Revelations, and in other biblical and traditional sources.

Armageddon: In the New Testament it is the place where the kings of the Earth under demonic leadership will wage war on the forces of God at the end of world history, probably in Hebrew it is the “Hill of Megiddo”. Armageddon is mentioned in the Bible only once, in Revelations: “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. “And I saw, issuing from the mouth of the dragon and from the mouth of the beast and from the mouth of the false prophet, three foul spirits like frogs;  for they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty. (“Lo, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is he who is awake, keeping his garments that he may not go naked and be seen exposed!”) And they assembled them at the place which is called in Hebrew Armageddon.”(Revelation;16:13-16). The Palestinian city of Megiddo was probably used as a symbol for such a battle because of its strategic importance in Palestinian history. Because it controlled a pass that cut through the Mount Carmel ridge from the coastal Plain of Sharon into Esdraelon, Megiddo commanded the road leading from Egypt and the coastal plain of Palestine into Galilee, Syria, and Mesopotamia. Megiddo was the scene of many battles, and Revelations seems to imply that the “hill” on which the city fortress stood, or the “mountain” heights behind it, had become a symbol of the final battlefield where God’s heavenly armies will defeat the demon-led forces of evil. Other biblical references suggest Jerusalem as the site of this battle.

Conclusion: A true, God fearing believer should not be afraid of coming of Day of Judgment and end of the world, because he believes it is decreed by Allah, and it has to come, no one can stop or delay it. What a Muslim has to do is to prepare well for it, and keep on seeking forgiveness form Allah, also try to save as many people as possible by conveying to them the message of God and coming of the final day. This world is not permanent abode, the next world is. He is not excessively attached with this world, his goal is next world, so why be afraid if the world ends today, tomorrow of later? The conscious believes may wish to stay in this world of trial for some time more, only to perform good deeds in obedience to Allah, so that he gets his past sins washed away and replaced with virtues. Some think that longer stay in the world may result in more sins, so its batter to pack up and go, if Allah wills. [Allah knows best]

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Objective Rebuttal

Analysis/Comments-28

The message in a standard Qur’an is difficult to decipher

Comments:

Qur’an answers:

“He it is who has bestowed upon thee from on high this divine writ, containing messages that are clear in and by themselves – and these are the essence of the divine writ – as well as others that are allegorical. Now those whose hearts are given to swerving from the truth go after that part of the divine writ which has been expressed in allegory, seeking out [what is bound to create] confusion, and seeking [to arrive at] its final meaning [in an arbitrary manner]; but none save God knows its final meaning. Hence, those who are deeply rooted in knowledge say: “We believe in it; the whole [of the divine writ] is from our Sustainer – albeit none takes this to heart save those who are endowed with insight.” (Qur’an;3:7)

Divine Guidance:

First of all the reader should understand the real nature of the Qur’an. Whether one believes it to be a revealed book or not, one will have to consider, as a starting point, the claim that is put forward by itself and its bearer, Muhammad (Allah’s peace be upon him), that this is the Divine Guidance. During their respective terms, the Messengers [some mentioned by name in Bible and Qur’an like; Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Jacob, Moses and Jesus] fulfilled their mission admirably well. But it is a pity that the majority of the people were not inclined to accept their invitation and even those who joined their community gradually became corrupt. So much so that some of these communities totally lost that Guidance and others tampered with the Commandments of Allah and mixed them up with false things.

Then the Lord of the Universe sent Muhammad (Allah’s peace be upon him) as His last Messenger to fulfill the same mission for which Messengers had been sent before him. He extended his invitation to all the human beings, including the corrupt followers of the previous Messengers and asked them lo follow the Right Way. He organized all those who accepted the Divine Guidance in to one community which in turn , was required to re-establish its collective way of life based on the Guidance and to exert its utmost to reform the world which had gone astray. The Qur’an which was revealed to Muhammad (Allah’s peace be upon him) is the Book which contains that Invitation and that Divine Guidance.

Central Theme:

The Subject of Qur’an is; Man: it discusses those aspects of his life that lead either to his real success or failure. The Central Theme that runs throughout the Qur’an is the exposition of the Reality and the invitation to the Right Way based on it. It declares that Reality is the same that was revealed by Allah Himself to Adam, and to all the Messengers after him, and the Right Way is the same that was taught by all the Messengers. It also points out that all theories contradictory to this Reality invented by people about God, the Universe, Man and his relations with God and the rest of His creation, are all wrong and that all the ways of life based on them are erroneous and lead to ruinous end.

The Aim and Object of the revelations is to invite Man to that Right Way and to present clearly the Guidance which he has lost because of his negligence or has perverted by his wickedness.

If the reader keeps these basic things in mind, he will find that in this Book [Qur’an] there is no incongruity in the style, no gap in the continuity of the subject and no lack of interconnection between its various topics. As a matter of fact, this Book is not irrelevant anywhere with regard to its Subject, its Central Theme and its aim. From its very beginning to its end, the different topics it deals with are so intimately connected with its Central Theme that they may be likened to the beautiful gems of the same necklace, despite their different colors and sizes.

Background:

One cannot fully understand many of the topics discussed in the Qur’an unless one is-acquainted with the background of their revelation. One should know the social, historical or other antecedents or conditions which help to explain any particular topic. For, the Qur’an was not revealed as a complete book at one and the same time; nor did Allah handed over a written copy of it to Muhammad (Allah’s peace be upon him) at the very beginning of his mission and command him to publish it and invite people to adopt a particular way of life. More over, it is not a literary work of the common conventional type that develops its central theme in a logical order; nor does it conform to the style of such a work. The Qur’an adopts its own style to suit the guidance of the Islamic Movement that was started by Allah’s Messenger under His direct command. Accordingly, Allah revealed the Qur’an gradually [step by step] to meet the requirements of the Movement in its different stages.

1)      Makki Surahs [610-622 C.E]: Chapters Revealed in 13 years Mission at Makkah:

2)      Madani Surahs [622-632 C.E] :Chapters Revealed during Last 10 years:

Style:

It must have become clear from the above that the revelation of the Qur’an began simultaneously with the beginning of the Islamic Movement [610 C.E] and continued for twenty-three years [632 C.E]:-

1         The different portions of the Qur’an were revealed according to the requirements of the various phases of the Movement; it is thus obvious that a book like this cannot have the kind of uniformity of style which is followed in formal books on religion and the like.

2        It should also be kept in mind that the various portions of the Qur’an, both long and short, were not meant to be published in the form of pamphlets at the time of their revelation but were to be delivered as Discourses and promulgated as such. Hence they could not be in the style of a written work.

3        Moreover, these Discourses were necessarily of a different nature from that of the lectures of a professor; therefore their style would naturally be different from them also.

4        The Holy Prophet was entrusted with a special mission and had to appeal both to the emotions and to the intellect; he had to deal with people of different mentalities and cope with different situations and various kinds of experiences during the course of his mission. Such a person has to do all that is required for extending a message and for leading a movement.

5        The Prophet had to impress the different aspects of his message on people’s minds in order to change the established world of ideas, and to appeal to the feelings and emotions in order to counteract the forces of his opponents.

6        The Prophet also had to train and reform his followers and to imbue them with spirit and courage, and to refute the arguments of opponents and to expose their moral weaknesses and so on. That is why the style of the Discourses that Allah sent down to His Messenger had to be what suited the requirements of a Movement. It is, therefore, wrong to seek the style of a formal book or that of college lectures in the discourses of the Qur’an.

7        This also explains why the same things are repeated over and over again in the Qur’an. A Mission and a Movement naturally demand that only those things should be presented which are required at a particular stage and that nothing should be said about the requirements of the next stage. That is why the same things are repeated over and over again as long s the movement remains in the same stage, no matter whether it remains there for months or for years. Of course, these things have been differently worded and styled to avoid monotony and couched in a beautiful and dignified language to make them effective and impressive. Moreover, it repeats at suitable places its basic good aspects and principles in order to keep the Movement strong at every stage. That is why those Chapters [Sarah] which were revealed at a particular stage of the Movement generally deal with the same topics, though, of course, in different words and in various forms. Moreover, all the Sarah of the Qur’an contain references to the basic creed i.e. the unit of Allah, His attributes, the Hereafter and accountability, punishment and reward, Prophethood, belief in the Book etc…. They all teach piety, fortitude, endurance, faith and trust in Allah and like, just because these virtues could not be neglected at any stage of the Movement. If any of these bates had been weakened at any stage even in the least, the Islamic Movement could not have made any progress in its true spirit.

Order of Chapters:

This has been exploited by the opponents to create misunderstandings about the Qur’an and make ridiculous conjectures about the present arrangement of the Chapters. They are of the opinion that “Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) followers published it, without any discernible order as to chronology or otherwise; merely trying; as would seem, to put the longest chapters first —“. A little thinking in the light of the difference between the Makki and the Madani Surahs will also answer the question why the Chapters [Surahs] of the Qur’an were not arranged in the sequence in which they were revealed

Such conjectures are based on ignorance of the wisdom underlying the order of the Qur’an. Though it was to be the Book for all times, it had to be revealed gradually, step by step in twenty-three years according to needs and requirements of the different stages through which the Islamic Movement was passing. It is obvious that the sequence of the revelations that suited the gradual evolution of the Movement could not in any way be suitable after the completion of the Qur’an. Another order, suitable to the changed conditions, was needed. In the early stages of the Movement the Qur’an addressed those people who were totally ignorant of Islam and, therefore, naturally it had first of all to teach them the basic articles of Faith. But after its completion the Qur’an was primarily concerned with those who had accepted Islam and formed a community for carrying on the work entrusted to them by the Holy Prophet. Obviously, the order of the complete Book had to be different from its chronological order to suit the requirements of the Muslim Community for all times.

Moreover the Qur’an first of all had to acquaint the Muslims thoroughly with their duties concerning the regulation of their lives. It had also to prepare them for carrying its message to the world which was ignorant of Islam. It had also to warn them of the mischief and evils that appeared among the followers of the former Prophets so that they should be on their guard. Hence Al-Baqarah and similar Madani Surahs, and not AI-‘Alaq and similar Makki Surahs, had to be placed in the beginning of the Qur’an.

In this connection, an other aspect should also be kept in view, that it does not suit the purpose of the Qur’an that all the Surahs dealing with similar topics should be grouped together. In order to avoid one-sidedness at any stage of its study, it is essential that the Makki Surahs [the part of Qur’an, revealed during initial 10 years] should intervene between the Madani Surahs and that the Madani Surahs should follow the Makki Surahs, and that the Surahs revealed at the later stages so that the entire picture of the complete Islam should always remain before the reader. That is the wisdom of the present order [sequence].

It should also be noted that the Surahs of the Qur’an’ were not arranged in the present order by his successors but by the Holy Prophet himself under the guidance of Allah. Whenever a Surahs was revealed, he would send for one of his amanuenses and dictate it word by word and direct him to place it after such and such and before such and such a Chapter. Likewise in this case of a discourse or passage or verse that was not meant to be an independent Sarah by itself, he would issue directions about the exact place where it was to be put in the Sarah of which it was to form a part. Moreover he used to recite the Qur’an during the Salah (prescribed prayer) and on other occasions in the same order and direct his companions to remember and recite it in the same order. This is the established fact the that the Surahs of the Qur’an were arranged in the present order on the same day the Qur’an was completed by the one whom it was revealed under the guidance of the One who revealed it.

Qur’an is not a Normal but The Unique Book of Divine Guidance:

Before the reader begins the study of the Qur’an, he /she must bear in mind the fact that it is a unique Book, quite different from the books one usually reads. Unlike conventional books, the Qur’an does not contain information, ideas and arguments about specific themes arranged in a approach to it, one is baffled when he does not find the enunciation of its theme or its division into chapters and sections or separate treatment of different topics and separate instructions for different aspects of life arranged in a serial order. On the contrary there is something with which the reader has not been familiar before and which does not conform to the normal conception of a book. He finds that it deals with creeds, gives moral instructions, lays down laws, invite; people to surrender their will to God [Islam], admonishes the disbelievers, draws lessons from historical event, administers warnings, give good tidings, all blended together in a beautiful manner. The same subject is repeated in different ways and one topic follows the other without any apparent connection. Sometimes a new topic crops up in the middle of another without any apparent reason. The speaker and the addressees, and the direction of the address change without any notice. There is no sign of chapters and divisions anywhere. Historical events are presented but not as in history books. The problems of Philosophy and Metaphysics are treated in manner different form the textbooks on the subjects.  Man and the Universe are mentioned in a language different from the natural sciences. Likewise it follows its own method of solving cultural, political, social and economic problems and deals with the principles and injunctions of law in a manner quite different from that of the sociologists, lawyers and jurists. Morality is taught in a way that has no parallel in the whole literature on the subject.

That is why the unwary reader is baffled and puzzled when he finds all these things contrary to his pre-conceived conception of a book. He begins to feel that the Qur’an is a book without any order or interconnection between its verses or continuity of its subject, or that it deals with miscellaneous topics in an incoherent manner, or that it had been given the form of a continuous book though it was not a book in the commonly accepted sense of the word. As a result of this, its opponents raise strange objections against the Qur’an and its modern followers adopt strange devices to ward off doubts and objections. They either resort to escapism or put forward strange interpretations to ease their minds. Sometimes they try to create artificial connections between the verses to explain away the apparent incoherencies and as a last resort, they even accept the theory that the Qur’an deals with miscellaneous topics without any order or coherence. Consequently verses are isolated form their context and confusion is produced in the meanings.

This happens when the reader does not take into consideration the fact that the Qur’an is a unique book. It does not, like other books, enunciate at the very beginning the subject it deals with and the object it intends to achieve. Its style and method of explaining things are also quite different from those of other books one commonly reads and it does not follow any bookish order. Above all it is not a book on religion in the sense this word is generally understood. That is why when a reader approaches the Qur’an with the common notions of a book, he is rather puzzled by its style and presentation. He finds that at many places the background has not been mentioned and the circumstances under which a particular passage was revealed have not been stated. As a result of these things, the ordinary reader is unable to benefit fully from the most precious treasures contained in the Qur’an, though occasionally he may succeed in discovering a few gems here and there. Only those people become victims of such doubts who are not acquainted with these distinctive features of lie Qur’an. They seem to find miscellaneous topics scattered all over its pages and feel difficulties about its meanings. Nay, even those verses, which are absolutely clear, appear to them to be quite irrelevant in the contexts they occur.

The reader may be saved from all these difficulties, if he is warned beforehand that;

The Book he is going w study is the only book of its kind in the whole world: that its literary style is quite different form that of all other books: that its theme is unique and that his preconceived notions of a book cannot help him understand the Qur’an.

Nay these may even become a hindrance. He should, therefore, firs! of all free his mind from preconceived notions and get acquainted with the distinctive features of this Book. Then and then alone can he understand it.

In order to understand the Qur’an thoroughly it is essential to know the nature of this Book, its central idea and its aim and object. The reader should also be well acquainted with its style, the terms it uses and the method it adopts to explain things. He should also keep in view the background and circumstances under ‘Which a certain passage was revealed.

Authenticity:

The Qur’an, which is now in use all over the world, is the exact copy of the Qur’an which was compiled by the order of Abu Bakr and copies of which were officially sent by Uthman to different places. Even today many very old copies are found in big libraries in different parts of the world and if anyone has any doubt as to whether the Qur’an has remained absolutely safe and secure against every kind of change and alteration, he can compare any copy of the Qur’an with any of these copies and reassure himself. Moreover, if one gets a copy of the Qur’an from a bookseller, say, of Algeria in Africa in the West and compares it with a copy obtained from a bookseller, say, in Java [Indonesia] in the East, one will find both the copies to be identical with each other and also with the copies of the Qur’an made during die time of Uthman.  If even then anyone has any doubt left in his mind, he is advised to take any copy of the Qur’an from anywhere in the world and ask anyone, out of the millions of Huffaz [who have memorized the Qur’an by heart] to recite it word by word from the beginning to the end. He will find that the recitation conforms verbatim to the written text. This is a clear and irrefutable proof of the fact that the Qur’an which is in use today is the same Qur’an which was presented to the world by Muhammad (peace be upon him).

A septic might entertain a doubt about its revelation from Allah, but none can have any doubt whatsoever regarding its authenticity and immunity and purity from any and every kind of addition or omission or alteration, for there is nothing so authentic in the whole human history as this fact about the Qur’an that it is the same Qur’an that was presented by the Holy Prophet to the world.

The reading of the Qur’an (with a few minor variations) is the same as practiced and taught by the Holy Prophet. All the scholars and Qurr’a [plural of Qari, an expert in recitation] of the Qur’an have been unanimous in asserting that only that reading will be authentic which;

(a)  Conforms to the script of the copy circulated by Uthman.

(b)  Complies with the lexicon of Arabic, its usages idioms and grammar, and above all; is traceable by genuine and continuous links to the Holy Prophet himself.

That is why there are only a few variations in its reading and those are not contradictory in their meanings but enlarge their scope and make them more comprehensive. Thus there is absolutely no doubt that the Holy Prophet himself practiced those various readings in the instance which exit today, and they make the meanings more comprehensive.

Qur’an and Abrogation:

There is no abrogation of verses in Qur’an; this issue has already been explained above [17]. The principle laid down in the passages at Qur’an;16:101 & 2:106 are relating to the supersession of the Biblical dispensation by that of the Qur’an.. Apart from the fancifulness of this assertion – which calls to mind the image of a human author correcting, on second thought, the proofs of his manuscript – deleting one passage and replacing it with another – there does not exist a single reliable Tradition [Hadith] to the effect that the Prophet [pbug] ever, declared a verse of the Qur’an to have been “abrogated”. The root cause of the so-called “Doctrine of Abrogation” may be the inability of some of the early commentators to reconcile one Qur’anic passage with another: a difficulty which was overcome by declaring that one of the verses in question had been “abrogated”.

Alleged Abrogated Verses are not Doctrinal: Now lets take the other view, some scholars consider that the doctrine of abrogation also applies to Qur’an. According to prolific Egyptian scholar, Suyuti [d 1505] there are 21 instances in the Qur’an, where a revelation has been abrogated and replaced by another. He also indicates that there is a difference of opinion about some of these: e.g. 4:8, 24:58, etc. Some scholars have attempted to reduce the number of abrogation in the Qur’an even further, by explaining the relationships between the verses in some special ways, e.g. by pointing out that no legal abrogation is involved. Shah Waliullah (d. 1759) the great Muslim scholar from India only retained the following five out of Suyuti’s twenty one cases as genuine.

6)      Instructions to leave ‘Will’ before death, and ratio of share of rightful heirs. [2: 180 considered to be abrogated by 4: 11, 12]:

7)      Maintenance allowance to the widow and residence for 1 year, she may remarry if she desires after waiting period of four 4 months and ten days.[Verse; 2:240 considered to be abrogated by 2: 234]

8)      Raising morale of the believers for combat, being  superior to unbelievers.[Verse; 8:65 considered to be abrogated by 8:66  ]

9)      Regarding restriction on marriage and number of wives of Prophet Muhammad [pbuh] [Verse; 33:50 considered to be abrogated by 33: 52]

10)  Offering charity [Sadiqah, to poor] before privately consulting the Prophet [pbuh], offering prayer [Salah] and Zakah [obligatory] alms.[ Verse 58: 12 considered to be abrogated by 58: 13]

It may be noticed that even in these five cases last two [33:50 & 58: 12 ] are specific to the private person of Prophet are part of history. Hence in real terms we are left with only first three cases [2: 180, 2:240 & 8:65] of supposed abrogation on the subject of:  1) Inheritance, 2) welfare of Widow and 3) Superiority of believers in combat. These are minor in nature and do not involve any change in the Fundamentals of Faith, or doctrines of Islam and practices.

Conclusion: Application of “Doctrine of Abrogation” with in Qur’an has neither, scriptural support nor historical evidence, hence must be rejected. However Qur’an clearly abrogates all the previous scriptures. Qur’an is the final book of divine guidance for the humanity, catering for all situations, probabilities, different cultures, environments for all times, hence applied accordingly by the experts well versed in the knowledge. All the verses weather they emphasize the peaceful coexistence, tolerance, justice or use of force remain applicable in diverse situations.

“A DIVINE WRIT [is this], with messages that have been made clear in and by themselves, and have been distinctly spelled out as well- [bestowed upon you] out of the grace of One who is wise, all-aware,  so that you may worship none but God”.[Qur’an11:1-2]

“The Words of your Lord have been completed with credibility and justice; there is no way to change His Words. He is the Hearer, the Knower”[Qur’an;6:115].

“There is no changing the Words of Allah that is the Supreme Triumph”.[Qur’an;10:64].

The “Doctrine of Abrogation” has no basis whatever in historical fact, and must be rejected. The abrogation relates to the earlier divine messages and not to any part of the Qur’an itself. All the verses of Qur’an remain valid and be applied according the prevailing situation and context.

Universality:

Everyone knows that the Qur’an claims to provide guidance for the whole of mankind, but when one reads Qur’an; it is found that it is mainly addressed to the Arabs, who lived at the time of its revelation. Though at times it also addresses other people and mankind in general, it mainly discusses those things which appealed to the taste of the Arabs and were linked with their environment, history and customs. This naturally gives rise to the question:

Why does the Qur’an contain so many local and national sentiments of the period in which was revealed, when it was meant of the guidance of the whole mankind?

Those who don’t understand the wisdom of this, begin to argue that: The Qur’an was really meant for the reform of the Arabs of that period but later on somehow or other, the claim was made that it was guidance for the whole of mankind and for all ages.

If one does not raise this objection merely for the sake of objection but really wants to understand the matter, he is advised to:

1         Read the Qur’an and mark the parts which give rise to this doubt. He should then point out any tenet, idea or principle therein that might have been meant particularly for the Arabs of that period only.

2        He should lay his finger on any moral principle, practical rule or regulation that is not of universal application and was meant only for the Arabs of that period, time and place. The mere fact, that the Qur’an refutes the blasphemous creeds and condemns the evil customs of a particular people, living at a particular time and place and bases arguments for the unity of God on the material gathered from their environment, is not a sufficient proof to establish the allegation that its invitation and appeal was local and temporary.

3        One should examine the question closely and decide whether what it says regarding the blasphemous people of Arabia is or is not equally true of every period and every place, and whether we can or can not use every where, with minor changes, the same arguments that the Qur’an puts forward for the Unit of God. If the answer to these questions is in the affirmative, then there is no reason why such a universal revelation should be dubbed as local or temporary, simply because it was addressed to a particular community and during a particular period. There is no philosophy, no way of life and no religion in the world which expounds, from the beginning to the end, everything in the abstract without making any reference to particular cases or concrete examples, for it is simply impossible to build a pattern of life merely in the abstract. Even if we suppose, for the sake of argument, that it were possible to do so, most surely such a system will always remain merely a theory on paper and will never take a practical shape.

Moreover, it is neither necessary nor useful to start any ideological movement form the very outset on international lines that is meant to be ultimately international. The only right method of beginning this will be to start the movement in the country of its origin, present and practice its theories and fundamental principles which are to form the basis of the required system of life, with full force. Then its exponents should impress these things on the mind of their own country and prove their worth by evolving a happy and successful system of life. This will naturally attract other nations, and their intelligent people will themselves come forward to understand the movement and start it in their own countries. Thus a certain ideological system does not become national simply because it was at first presented to a particular nation and its arguments were a national from an international and a temporary from a permanent system is this:

1         A national system aims either to establish its own superiority over other nations or presents principles and theories which, by their very nature cannot be applied to other nations.

2        On the other hand, an international system grants equal status and equal rights to all human beings and puts forward principles of universal application.

3        Moreover, the principles of a temporary system become impracticable with the passage of time while the principle of a permanent system is applicable to all times.

If one studies the Qur’an in the light of the above, one will come to the conclusion that its teachings are of universal application.

Complete Code:

Another aspect that causes mental confusion is the often repeated assertion that the Qur’an is a complete code of life. But when one reads it, one does not find detailed rules and regulations regarding social, cultural, political and economic problems etc… One is therefore, baffled to see that it does not contain any detailed regulations even about Salah [Prayer] and Zakat [Alms] which are such important obligatory duties that the Qur’an itself lays great emphasis on them over and over again. That is why a casual reader cannot understand how this Book can be called a complete code. This confusion is caused because the objector loses sight of the fact that Allah did not only send down the Book but also appointed His Messenger to demonstrate its teachings by putting them into actual practice.

To illustrate this aspect, take the case of the construction of a building. If only a plan of the proposed building is laid down and no engineer is appointed to supervise and direct its construction, then every detail must be supplied. But if an engineer is also appointed along with the plan to construct the building on the spot, obviously there is no need for a detailed plan. In that case only a sketch with its essential features will be quite enough. It would, therefore, be wrong to find fault with such a plan as being incomplete. As Allah sent His Messenger along with the Qur’an, only general principles and absolutely essential instructions were needed and not their details.

Hence the main function of the Qur’an is to present clearly the intellectual and moral bases of the ‘Islamic Way’ and reinforce them with arguments and appeals to the heart. As far as the practical side of the building of the Islamic Way of life is concerned, it only defines the limits and bounds of every aspect of life without giving detailed rules and regulation. Moreover it fixes sign-posts for guidance at certain important places to show how those parts are to be constructed in accordance with Allah’s will. The actual work of building the ‘Islamic Way of life’ in accordance with the instructions contained in the Book was entrusted to he Holy Prophet. He was specially sent to set up the pattern of life for the individuals, the society and for the Islamic State according to the principles of the Qur’an. Thus the Qur’an is a complete code in the sense that it is to be taken along with the Sunnah [Traditions] of the Holy Prophet.

Divergence in the Interpretations:

Another question which troubles the minds is that of divergence in the interpretation of the Qur’an. People say that on the one hand, Qur’an condemns very severely those who create differences in the Book of Allah and cause division in their religion; on the other hand, so many different interpretations of the injunctions of the Qur’an have been made that there is hardly to be found any command with an agreed interpretation. And it is not that the people of the later periods alone who differ with one another but even the great scholars of the early period, including the companions of the Holy Prophet and their followers, all did not agree in every detail in regard to Commands and Prohibitions.

1)      Do all these people then deserve the condemnation pronounced in the Qur’an for making different interpretations?

2)     If this is not so, then what kind of differences of opinion have been condemned in the Qur’an?

The issue is too big, requiring in-depth exclusive deliberations. Suffice it to say here that the Qur’an is not against healthy difference of opinion in the interpretation of its injunctions provided that:-

1)      There is agreement on the basic principles of Islam among those who differ and that they remain united within the ambit of the Muslim Community.

2)     The Qur’an condemns that kind of divergence which is against the unity of God, involving glorification of individuals leading to worship, polytheism, crookedness resulting in to disputes and sectarianism.

As the two kinds of divergence are neither alike in their nature nor in their results, they should not be placed in one and the same category. The first kind of divergence is essential for the progress and is the very soul of life and every community of intelligent and thinking people must encourage it, Its existence is a sign of life and only that community can afford to repress it which desires to have only blockheads in it. The second kind of divergence as everyone knows, disintegrates the community which nourishes it: therefore its appearance in a community is not a sign of health but a symptom of disease and it can never produce good results.

These kinds of ‘Divergence of Opinion’ may further be illustrated by the following:

Supposing there are two scholars or two judges, who agree, on principle, that Allah and His Messenger alone are entitled to obedience and that the Qur’an and the Sunnah are the final authority to determine all laws and regulations. They may then differ in the details or in the decision of a case, provided that neither of them makes his opinion as the criterion of Islam or un-Islam nor declares the other to be outside its fold on account of such a difference of opinion. They may put forward to the public or to the highest court, if it is some judicial matter, or to the legislative body of the community, if it concerns them. Then either one of the two different opinions will prevail or both will be accepted.

But it should be noted particularly that no difference can be allowed in the basic principles of Islam nor in such matters as may lead to the scholar or a jurist or a saint or a leader should form an opinion about some matter (which Allah and His Messenger do not consider to be basic) and declare it to be the basic principle of  Islam and then denounce all those who differ from him to be outside its fold, and then on this basis, proceed to form a community of his own followers saying;

“This is the real Muslim Community and all outside it are doomed to Hell. Therefore, if you are a Muslim, come and join it, otherwise you are not one.”

It is this kind of difference of opinion which the Qur’an condemns. As regards the first kind of difference, several instances of it occurred during the time of the Holy Prophet himself. He not only permitted it but also spoke well of it, for it was a healthy sign, which showed that intelligent people of the Community were busy thinking and making research. This also showed that the intelligent people of the Community were taking interest in Islam and its teachings and were trying to find solution; for the problems of life within Islam and not outside it. It also provided a proof of the golden rule that while the Community should remain united on principles, it should at the same time, grant freedom of research to its thinkers within due limits so that the doors of progress should remain open.

Recommendations for Study:

Finally, here are a few recommendations for the study of the Qur’an with understanding.  As different people turn to the Qur’an with different aims and objectives, it s not possible of offer any general advice about the method of its study so as to fulfill the requirements of all. Here focus is only on those people who want to understand it and seek guidance from it for the solution of human problems. Therefore, some suggestions are offered which may help satisfy their needs and remove their difficulties:-

1         The one pre-requisite for understanding the Qur’an is to study it with an open mind. Whether one believes it to be a revealed book or not, one should, as far as possible, free one’s mind of bias in favor of an or against it and get rid of all pre-conceived opinions and then approach it with the sole desire of understanding it. Those people, who study it with preconceived notions of their own, read only their own ideas between its lines and cannot, therefore, grasp what the Qur’an wants to convey. It is obvious that this method of study can never be fruitful even with other books but it is utterly fruitless when applied to the study of the Qur’an.

2        If one wants to have merely a cursory acquaintance with the contents of the Qur’an, then perhaps it might suffice for him to read it once. But, if one wishes to have a deep knowledge of it, one will have to go through it several times and each time from a different point of view.

3        Those who desire to make a through study of the Qur’an should read it at least twice with the sole purpose of understanding, as a whole, the system of life it presents. One should also try to find out its fundamentals and the way of life it aims to build on them. During this preliminary study, if some questions occur in his mind, the reader should note them down and somewhere in the Qur’an itself. If he finds answers to his questions, he should note them down along with the questions. But if he does not find an answer to any question in his first reading, he should patiently make the second reading. In the light of experience it is found that in the second reading hardly any question remains un-answered.

4        After getting a general insight into the Qur’an in this way, one should begin its detailed study and take down notes of the different aspects of its teachings. For instance:-

  1. a.      One should note down what pattern of life it approves and what it disapproves.
  2. b.      One should note down the qualities of a good man and those of a bad man, side by side, in order to bring both the patterns clearly before his mind simultaneously.
  3. c.      Similarly, one should note down, side by side, those things which lead to the success and salvation of man and those which lead to his failure and ruin.
  4. d.      In the same way, the reader of Qur’an should put down, under different headings, the teachings and instruction of the Qur’an about creed, morality, duties, obligations, civilization, culture, economics, politics, law, social system, peace, war and other human problems. These notes should be consolidated to form a complete sketch of each aspect of the teachings and then fitted together to form a complete system of life.

5        Then, if one desires to know the Qur’anic solution of a certain human problem he should first make a study of the relevant literature, both ancient and modern, and then note down the basic issues. He should also make use of the research so far made into the problem and note down the points at issue. He should then study the Qur’an with a view to finding out the answers to those issues.

6        One will find an answer to it even in those verses which one had skipped over without ever imagining that it lay hidden therein.

7        It is suggested that each paragraph of Commentary of Qur’an, may be made the unit of study. At first it should be studied from the original Arabic Text with the help of some literal translation and then with the help of the commentary of Qur’an. It is expected that the meanings of the Qur’an will surely become clear by the grace of God.

But in spite of all these methods, one cannot grasp the inspiring spirit of the Qur’an unless one begins to put its message into practice, for the Qur’an is neither a book of abstract ideas and theories which may be studied in an easy chair nor is it a book of religious enigmas which may be unraveled in monasteries and universities.

Qur’an is a Book that has been sent down to invite people to start a movement and to lead its followers and direct their activities towards the achievement of its mission. One has, therefore, to go to the battlefield of life to understand its real meaning. That was why a quiet and amiable person like Muhammad (peace be upon him) had to come out of his seclusion and start the Islamic Movement and fight against the rebellious world. It was the Qur’an that urged him to declare war against every kind of falsehood and engage in conflict with the leaders of disbelief without any consideration of the consequences. Then it attracted good souls from every home and gathered them under the banner of its leader in order to strive against the upholders of the old order who organized themselves into a gang to oppose them. During this long and bitter struggle between right and wrong, truth and falsehood, which continued for twenty three years or so, the Qur’an went on guiding the Movement in every phase and at every stage, until it succeeded in establishing the Islamic Way of life par excellence.

It is thus obvious that one cannot possibly grasp the truths contained in the Qur’an by the mere recitation of its words. For this purpose one must take active part in the conflict between belief and un­belief. Islam and un-Islam, truth and falsehood. One can understand it only if he takes up its Message, invites the world to accept it and moves on and on in accordance with its Guidance. Thus by yourself will you experience and understand all that which happened during the revelation of the Qur’an. You will meet with the same conditions that were experienced at Makkah, Ta’if and Habash and pass through the same kind of fire that had to be passed through at Badar, Uhd, Hunain, Tabuk [expeditions of war] etc. You will meet many people like Abu Jahl and Abu Lahab [bitter opponents of Islam] and come across hypocrites and the double-faced. In short, one will come across all types of people mentioned in the Qur’an. Incidentally, this is a wonderful experience of its own kind and worth the trial.

While passing through any one of these stages of this experience, one will find some verses and some Surahs of the Qur’an, which will themselves tell that they were revealed at such and such a stage and brought such and such instructions for the guidance of the Movement. In this way the Qur’an will lay bare its spirit even though one might not be able to understand all the lexical meanings of its words and solve all the intricacies of grammar and rhetoric. The same formula applies to its Commandments, its moral teachings, its instructions about economics and culture and its laws regarding different aspects of human life. These things can never be understood unless they are put into practice. It is thus obvious that those individuals and communities, who discard it from practical life, cannot understand its meaning and imbibe its spirit by mere lip-service to it.

The true knowledge is with Allah; we should have full trust in Him and turn to Him for true guidance. As it is not intended to discuss in this short guide, all the problems which might arise during the study of the Our’ an, many have been purposely left untouched those questions that might arise during the study of some verses or Surahs, are dealt in commentaries on the Qur’an at their proper places. Only those questions and problems which pertain to the general study of the Qur’an as a whole have been mentioned here. The reader is, therefore, requested to defer giving his final judgment on such questions till he has read the whole of Qur’an with commentary by renowned scholars like; Syed Abul A’ala Maududi, Muhammad Asad, Muhammad Shafi, Abdullah Yousaf Ali, F.M.Malik, Pickthal and alike.

Qur’an can not be understood without Key, The Hadith & Serah:

The basic doctrines of Islam is monotheism, which is the message of all previous scriptures and prophets, the verses are very clear on commandments:

“He it is who has bestowed upon thee from on high this divine writ, containing messages that are clear in and by themselves – and these are the essence of the divine writ – as well as others that are allegorical. Now those whose hearts are given to swerving from the truth go after that part of the divine writ which has been expressed in allegory, seeking out [what is bound to create] confusion, and seeking [to arrive at] its final meaning [in an arbitrary manner]; but none save God knows its final meaning. Hence, those who are deeply rooted in knowledge say: “We believe in it; the whole [of the divine writ] is from our Sustainer – albeit none takes this to heart save those who are endowed with insight.” (Qur’an;3:7)

The basic legal issues of day to day life of Muslims [muamlat], the second part of Shari’a are also mentioned in Qur’an. For detailed comprehension of legal issues one has to study much more, the job of scholars. In this age of computers and internet, one can easily find all the verse on a given topic at one place, with references and cross references with in Qur’an and Hadith. Qur’an has to be read and understood in totality, by an individual, the commentaries are there for assistance. The important matter of Faith can not be left in casual way. Qur’an can not be understood properly through commentary by a non believer:

“This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah. Who believe In the Unseen, are steadfast in prayer, and spend out of what we have provided for them; and who believe In the Revelation sent to thee, and sent before Thy time, and (in their hearts) have the assurance of the Hereafter. They are on (true) guidance, from their Lord, and it is these who will prosper. As to those who reject Faith, it is the same to them whether Thou warn them or do not warn them; they will not believe.”[Qur’an;2:2-6]

[Allah knows the best]

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Conclusion:

Historically the strong empires and kingdoms of old times and colonial, Super Powers of present age have been subjugating the other weaker nations for exploitation and oppression. The adventures of Alexander of Macedonia till the ambitions of Hitler did not die with these individuals their legacy survives. The US lead wars started initially as a covert operation against communist USSR in Afghanistan in eighties is still on with switching of sides of belligerents. The Muslim had to establish themselves against the Byzantine and Persian mighty super empires of 7th century C.E for their survival. Soon the Desert Storm smashed the mighty powers, by middle of 8th Century C.E they were knocking at the door of France after liberating Iberian peninsula, north Africa, later the Byzantines were expelled form middle East, crossed Iran and entered the central Asia, the rest is history. They laid the foundation of Islamic Civilization which for next millennium kept the world and Europe in defensive. Amazingly no Muslim force landed at the shores of Indonesia [the larges Muslim nation on earth] and other Far Eastern countries, they were reverted to Islam by Arab traders. Surprising even after conquering such vast lands, people were not forced to convert to Islam. Had it been so, 800 years later they would not have been expelled form Spain unceremoniously. What ever conversion took place it was through preaching by devoted and pious people and traders. Some odd incidence of coercion here and there can be ignored as individual act not as an official policy.

Once Muslims slacked, the Mongol hordes smashed Baghdad in 12th century C.E. However they learned the lesson and revived to be again overwhelmed by European colonizers starting in 15th century C.E. The rise and fall of nations and empires is a natural process in human history. Who could imagine Jews getting a hold in Palestine after 2000 years!  However while other empires are part of history, Muslims survive as  dominant community in 57 countries. Effort to subjugate them continues because the oppressive Western Capitalism considers them to be a threat to their expansionist designs. Muslim lands are rich in energy and other natural resources strategically located at world population and communication centers. The huge human capital of 1.5 Billions, mostly youth, add to their strength, the ideology of Jihad [striving for self defence and cause of Allah, Not through Terrorism] acts as force multiplier. Hence plan to keep them embroiled in petty disputes, wars and conflicts with a view to exploit their resources and keeping under check through supporting the corrupt rulers. The strength lies in the ideology of Islam which is being targeted. Islam is being projected as a threat to Western civilization and human freedom. Shari’a is projected as a barbarian law to undermine the human freedom which West claims to jealously guard. The reality is that presently except Saudi Arabia, which has some form of Shari’a, no other Muslim country has Shari’a in real sense, so why create the bogy? To scare the nations around the globe through false alarm so as to retain domination of Western imperialism.

The anti Islam websites and blogs are unleashing steams of propaganda based on half truths, creating more confusion by misrepresenting Islam also being done by the terrorists. These Islamophobes engage in “mental reservation” when they mention half-truths about Islam.  Their methodology is to mix half-truths (50-70% ) with outright lies (the remaining 50-30%).  Effort has been made to provide short response to allegations leveled against Islam. It is not comprehensive, as I would have like it to be, but this study/rebuttal should serve as springboard for objective study and understanding of Islam. All the Muslims, and Muslims, are urged to read and understand, Qur’an, without any prejudice and preconceived ideas; they will not only benefit themselves but can also help others in understanding Islam. I recommend, following English Translations and commentaries of Qur’an, they can be downloaded form authentic Islamic websites free of cost.

1)        Muhammad Asad, ‘The Message of Qur’an’: https://docs.google.com/fileview?id=0B0Qfx8dX9TCvZWJjMjQ2ZjQtOWEzNS00MGIyLWJiZjItOTNmMWNiZTcyYWMw&hl=en

2)      Translation, Commentary  By Abdullah Yousaf Ali,

3)      The Meanings of Qur’an’ (Tafheem-ul-Qur’an)” by Syed Abul A’ala Maududi.

4)        A Quick Guide for the Study of the Qur’an:

https://docs.google.com/fileview?id=0B0Qfx8dX9TCvZWJjMjQ2ZjQtOWEzNS00MGIyLWJiZjItOTNmMWNiZTcyYWMw&hl=en

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Allah knows the best

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Our Lord! Do not punish us if we forget or make a mistake”[Qur’an;2:256]

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Attack on Islam-Rebuttal: Book available @:
http://attacksonislam.wordpress.com
http://wp.me/PCgrB-o0
e-Book-pdf:

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