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Some Verses About Forgiving Others

February 26, 2017 Leave a comment

Today in our Church it is Forgiveness Sunday. We begin Lent tomorrow. (I am Eastern Orthodox.)  I decided that I will post some verses from the Bible and the Koran about forgiving others.

In both the Old and New Testaments as well as in the Koran, it is taught that  we continue to receive forgiveness from God as we continue to forgive others.

Forgive thy neighbour the hurt that he hath done unto thee, so shall thy sins also be forgiven when thou prayest. (Sirach 28:2, KJV)

For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:14,15, NKJV)

And let not those who possess dignity and ease among you swear not to give to the near of kin and to the needy, and to fugitives for the cause of Allah. Let them forgive and show indulgence. Yearn ye not that Allah may forgive you? Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (Koran 24:22, Pickthall)

Jesus told St. Peter to forgive those who sin against him 70 times 7 times. Seven is a symbolic number for completion or totality. Jesus was telling him to always forgive those who offend him.

Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:21,22, NKJV)

Then Jesus told this parable about the importance of forgiving others.

“Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.” (Matthew 18:23-35, NKJV)

Failure to forgive others results in God not forgiving us. That is the point of the parable.

The Koran says that believers should forgive those who do not hope for the days of Allah, that is, those who do not look forward to the blessed afterlife promised by God to those who faithfully serve Him.

Tell those who believe to forgive those who hope not for the days of Allah; in order that He may requite folk what they used to earn. (Koran 45:14, Pickthall)

It says:

Kind speech and forgiveness is better than charity followed by injury; and Allah is Self-sufficient, Forbearing. (Koran 2:263, Shakir)

It also says:

Keep to forgiveness (O Muhammad), and enjoin kindness, and turn away from the ignorant. (Koran 7:199, Pickthall)

People who forgive others when they are angry are the kind of people who will enter Paradise.

So whatever thing you are given, that is only a provision of this world’s life, and what is with Allah is better and more lasting for those who believe and rely on their Lord. And those who shun the great sins and indecencies, and whenever they are angry they forgive. (Koran 42:36,37, Shakir)

The Koran also says that those who forgive others and change their way of life will be rewarded by God in the afterlife.

And the recompense of evil is punishment like it, but whoever forgives and amends, he shall have his reward from Allah; surely He does not love the unjust. (Koran 42:40, Shakir)

I was really touched by this video I found on Youtube. Someone smashed a beer can on this Muslim woman’s face. In court she forgave her attacker.

St. Stephen the Protomartyr forgave the Jews who were throwing stones at him before he died. (Acts 7:55-60)

Jesus prayed that the men who crucified Him would be forgiven. (Luke 23:34)

Although we are supposed to forgive others, we still should not passively allow injustices to be perpetrated against others. The Muslim woman in the video forgave her attacker, but it is not all right to allow people like him to continue to perpetrate such crimes against others.

How long will ye judge unrighteously, and accept the persons of sinners? Pause.  Judge the orphan and poor: do justice to the low and needy. Rescue the needy, and deliver the poor out of the hand of the sinner. (Psalm 81:2-4, LXX; Psalm 82:2-4, Hebrew)

Justice in society is important to God, too.

On a personal level we need to forgive others. On a societal level we should not allow injustices to flourish. Here is an example to think about. If someone kidnapped your daughter and taught her to be a prostitute, would that be all right? Of course not. For your daughter’s sake you should demand justice.

One mistake that many modern thinkers make is to think that Jesus had some sort of philosophical system that he used to determine right and wrong. That is not true. Jesus taught a way of life, not an ethical philosophy. There is mercy which we should all show. There is also justice that needs to be administered to curb immorality and injustice.

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Categories: Islam Tags: , , , ,

Interpreting the Koran

February 19, 2017 Leave a comment

In this blog post, I want to provide some principles of interpretation for interpreting the Koran. I have already been interpreting the Koran in many of my blogs. Now, I want to provide my readers with those basic principles that I use to understand the Holy Book of Islam.

The Koran was originally written in Arabic script without any vowels. The vowels were added later. I think that it is important, therefore, to examine the Arabic text and see how certain Arabic words in the Koran are used in other passages. I use corpus.quran.com to examine and analyze the Arabic text. There are, however, at least 26 different Arabic versions of the Koran. So, I am only able to examine the text used on that website and not any of the other 25 versions. There is another site on the internet that helps one to learn Arabic for free: arabic.speak7.com.

The Koran itself provides some principles of interpretation. It says that it is “fully explained.”

Shall I seek other than Allah for judge, when He it is Who hath revealed unto you (this) Scripture, fully explained? Those unto whom We gave the Scripture (aforetime) know that it is revealed from thy Lord in truth. So be not thou (O Muhammad) of the waverers. (Koran 6:114, Pickthall)

It also says that there are some passages which are figurative or allegorical.

He it is Who hath revealed unto thee (Muhammad) the Scripture wherein are clear revelations – they are the substance of the Book – and others (which are) allegorical. But those in whose hearts is doubt pursue, forsooth, that which is allegorical seeking (to cause) dissension by seeking to explain it. None knoweth its explanation save Allah. And those who are of sound instruction say: We believe therein; the whole is from our Lord; but only men of understanding really heed. (Koran 3:7, Pickthall)

So, one needs to discern the figurative passages from the clear ones.

The Koran teaches us to believe the Bible. The Koran tells us that the Torah is “a light and guidance for mankind.”

And they measure not the power of Allah its true measure when they say: Allah hath naught revealed unto a human being. Say (unto the Jews who speak thus): Who revealed the Book which Moses brought, a light and guidance for mankind, which ye have put on parchments which ye show, but ye hide much (thereof), and (by which) ye were taught that which ye knew not yourselves nor (did) your fathers (know it)? Say: Allah. Then leave them to their play of cavilling. (Koran 6:92, Pickthall)

It says that in the Gospel is “guidance and light.”

And We sent, following in their footsteps, Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming that which came before him in the Torah; and We gave him the Gospel, in which was guidance and light and confirming that which preceded it of the Torah as guidance and instruction for the righteous. (Koran 5:46, Sahih International)

It says that both the Torah and the Gospel are “a guidance for mankind.”

He hath revealed unto thee (Muhammad) the Scripture with truth, confirming that which was (revealed) before it, even as He revealed the Torah and the Gospel aforetime, for a guidance to mankind; and hath revealed the Criterion (of right and wrong). Lo! those who disbelieve the revelations of Allah, theirs will be a heavy doom. Allah is mighty, able to requite (the wrong). (Koran 3:3,4, Pickthall)

It says that people who reject the Bible have wandered far astray and are disbelievers in truth.

O ye who believe! Believe in Allah and His messenger and the Scripture which He hath revealed unto His messenger, and the Scripture which He revealed aforetime. Whoso disbelieveth in Allah and His angels and His Scriptures and His messengers and the Last Day, he verily hath wandered far astray. (Koran 4:136, Pickthall)

Lo! those who disbelieve in Allah and His messengers, and seek to make distinction between Allah and His messengers, and say: We believe in some and disbelieve in others, and seek to choose a way in between; such are disbelievers in truth; and for disbelievers We prepare a shameful doom. But those who believe in Allah and His messengers and make no distinction between any of them, unto them Allah will give their wages; and Allah was ever Forgiving, Merciful.(Koran 4:150-152, Pickthall)

It says that the People of the Scripture (the Jews and Christians) should observe the Torah, the Gospel, and the rest of the Bible.

Say O People of the Scripture! Ye have naught (of guidance) till ye observe the Torah and the Gospel and that which was revealed unto you from your Lord. That which is revealed unto thee (Muhammad) from thy Lord is certain to increase the contumacy and disbelief of many of them. But grieve not for the disbelieving folk. (Koran 5:68, Pickthall)

The Koran says that those who disbelieve Jesus’ disciples will be severely punished in the afterlife.

(They said:) We wish to eat thereof, that we may satisfy our hearts and know that thou hast spoken truth to us, and that thereof we may be witnesses. Jesus, son of Mary, said: O Allah, Lord of us! Send down for us a table spread with food from heaven, that it may be a feast for us, for the first of us and for the last of us, and a sign from Thee. Give us sustenance, for Thou art the Best of Sustainers. Allah said: Lo! I send it down for you. And whoso disbelieveth of you afterward, him surely will I punish with a punishment wherewith I have not punished any of (My) creatures. (Koran 5:113-115, Pickthall)

The writings of Jesus’ disciples are in the New Testament.

The Koran says that Muhammad and his followers accepted the Bible.

Say (O Muhammad): We believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and that which was vouchsafed unto Moses and Jesus and the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered. (Koran 3:84, Pickthall)

Say: O People of the Scripture! Do ye blame us for aught else than that we believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed aforetime, and because most of you are evil-livers? (Koran 5:59, Pickthall)

And argue not with the People of the Scripture unless it be in (a way) that is better, save with such of them as do wrong; and say: We believe in that which hath been revealed unto us and revealed unto you; our Allah and your Allah is One, and unto Him we surrender. (Koran 29:46, Pickthall)

Therefore call thou, and go straight as thou hast been commanded; do not follow their caprices. And say: “I believe in whatever Book God has sent down; I have been commanded to be just between you. God is our Lord and your Lord. We have our deeds, and you have your deeds; there is no argument between us and you; God shall bring us together, and unto Him is the homecoming.” (Koran 42:15, Arberry)

There are those who say that the Bible has been corrupted and cannot be trusted. The Koran, however, says:

The word of thy Lord doth find its fulfilment in truth and in justice: none can change His words: for He is the one who heareth and knoweth all. (Koran 6:115, Yusuf Ali)

For them are glad tidings, in the life of the present and in the Hereafter; no change can there be in the words of Allah. This is indeed the supreme felicity. (Koran 10:64, Yusuf Ali)

And recite (and teach) what has been revealed to thee of the Book of thy Lord: none can change His Words, and none wilt thou find as a refuge other than Him. (Koran 18:27, Yusuf Ali)

Even the Bible itself it says:

But the word of the Lord endureth forever. (I Peter 1: 25, KJV; see also Isaiah 40:8.)

The Koran confirms the Bible. It does not contradict it.

He hath revealed unto thee (Muhammad) the Scripture with truth, confirming that which was (revealed) before it. (Koran 3:3, Pickthall)

And unto thee have We revealed the Scripture with the truth, confirming whatever Scripture was before it, and a watcher over it. (Koran 5:48, Pickthall)

Muhammad did not receive any new doctrines in his revelations.

Nothing is said to thee that was not said to the messengers before thee: that thy lord has at his Command (all) forgiveness as well as a most Grievous Penalty. (Koran 41:43, Yusuf Ali)

Say: “I am not an innovation among the Messengers, and I know not what shall be done with me or with you. I only follow what is revealed to me; I am only a clear warner.” (Koran 46:9, Arberry)

So, the Koran essentially contains the same message as that of the Bible. Any interpretation of the Koran that contradicts the teachings of the Bible is a false interpretation. So, those who interpret the Koran to mean that Jesus did not die on a cross and arise from the dead on the third day are misinterpreting it. The Koran teaches us to believe the Gospel and not to reject it.

The Koran does not contain contradictions.

Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’an? If it had been from [any] other than Allah , they would have found within it much contradiction. (Koran 4:82, Sahih International)

Therefore, passages that appear to contradict each other must be examined in the light of other passages in the Koran and the Bible in order to better understand them. The so-called contradictions need to be “reconciled.” We Christians do this sort of thing with the Bible quite frequently. For example, compare Romans 3:28 with James 2:24. The two verses appear to contradict each other but we “reconcile”the “contradiction” by saying that genuine faith is manifested by a life of good works.

Whenever the Koran talks about Christian beliefs, it does not restrict itself to only Orthodox Christian doctrines. It frequently condemns various heretical beliefs, such as, Tritheism, Bitheism, Adoptionism, Sabellianism, and the Maryamite heresy. Orthodox Christians are called believers in the Koran. (Koran 30:2-5; 85:7) The Koran recognizes the existence of the different sects among Christians.

The sects among them differ: but woe unto the disbelievers from the meeting of an awful Day. (Koran 19:37, Pickthall)

But sects from among themselves fell into disagreement: then woe to the wrong-doers, from the Penalty of a Grievous Day! (Koran 43:65, Yusuf Ali)

Verses of  the Koran need to be interpreted in their historical context and in the context of the passage in which they occur. For example, in Koran 5:33 it says:

The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom. (Koran 5:33, Pickthall)

This verse is talking about what will happen to the polytheists who wage war against the Muslims in the seventh century. It is not talking about the types of punishments to be inflicted upon criminals. People fought with swords in ancient times. So, some of the polytheists who attacked the Muslims would lose their hands and feet in battle. Another example is the infamous “Sword Verse.”

Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (Koran 9:5, Pickthall)

In the verse which comes immediately after this one, we can see that the purpose of the war was not to force Islamic monotheism on the idolaters.

And if anyone of the idolaters seeketh thy protection (O Muhammad), then protect him so that he may hear the Word of Allah, and afterward convey him to his place of safety. That is because they are a folk who know not. (Koran 9:6, Pickthall)

All that an idolater seeking the protection of the Muslims was required to do was to hear the Word of Allah. He was not required to accept it.

In verses 12and 13 of this surah, it says:

And if they break their pledges after their treaty (hath been made with you) and assail your religion, then fight the heads of disbelief – Lo! they have no binding oaths – in order that they may desist. Will ye not fight people who violated their oaths, plotted to expel the Messenger, and took the aggressive by being the first (to assault) you? Do ye fear them? Nay, it is Allah Whom ye should more justly fear, if ye believe! (Koran 9:12,13, Pickthall)

The war that was being waged against the idolaters was a defensive one. So, the “Sword Verse” (Koran 9:5) is not a commandment to engage in offensive military jihad. The war the Muslims was fighting was started by the idolaters who broke their treaties and attacked the Muslims first.

Another principle for interpreting the Koran is found in the Tenth Surah.

And if thou (Muhammad) art in doubt concerning that which We reveal unto thee, then question those who read the Scripture (that was) before thee. Verily the Truth from thy Lord hath come unto thee. So be not thou of the waverers. (Koran 10:94, Pickthall)

I think the best way to apply this principle is to study the writings of the Church Fathers and Ecumenical Church Councils. There are many passages in the Koran which are very similar to those in the Bible. Look at how the Church Fathers and Ecumenical Church Councils interpreted such passages.

Then, there is the principle of abrogation. This principle is found in the Second Surah.

None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar: Knowest thou not that Allah Hath power over all things? (Koran 2:106, Yusuf Ali)

An abrogating revelation is either better than or similar to the abrogated one. So, for example, this verse in the Fifth Surah cannot be possibly interpreted literally.

As for the thief, both male and female, cut off their hands. It is the reward of their own deeds, an exemplary punishment from Allah. Allah is Mighty, Wise. (Koran 5:38, Pickthall)

It is not similar to any revelation found in the Bible regarding punishing thieves. The Bible says that thieves must pay back what they have stolen plus restitution. (Exodus 22:1-15; Leviticus 6:2-7) It is not better than any revelation found in the Bible either, because it creates a class of handicapped individuals who need others to help  take care of them. Furthermore, a person’s hand is worth far more than anything he could have stolen. So, a literal interpretation of this verse must be a false one. The verse must be interpreted figuratively. In another place in the Koran the verb translated “cut off” in this verse is translated “obstruct.”

Indeed, you approach men and obstruct the road and commit in your meetings [every] evil.” And the answer of his people was not but they said, “Bring us the punishment of Allah , if you should be of the truthful.” (Koran 29:29, Sahih International)

So, the verse should be translated:

As for the thief, both male and female, obstruct their hands. It is the reward of their own deeds, an exemplary punishment from Allah. Allah is Mighty, Wise.

This can be done by some form of detention or imprisonment. Since the Koran teaches the same message as the Bible, the thief should still be required to pay back what he stole plus restitution.

I used three principles of interpretation in determining the correct meaning of this verse.

The Koran is a very good book. It contains a lot of truths. It needs to be rightly understood and interpreted by those who read it. All of the misinterpretations of this book have produced Pseudo-Islamic extremism and violence in the name of Islam. I also think that it is unfortunate that so many critics of the book have never attempted to really understand it and interpret it the way I have. They quote verses from the Koran out of context, like the “Sword Verse,” for example. They quote the book’s denunciation of Christian heresies as if Muhammad were attacking some of the most basic doctrines of traditional Christianity when in fact he was calling Orthodox Christians believers. (Koran 30:2-5; 85:7) It was the teachings of the heretical Arians, Paulinianists, Nestorians, Tritheists, Maryamites, and Sabellians that he rejected. He rejected the idea that Jesus is another God in addition to the true God. He rejected the idea that all three hypostases of the Deity are Jesus. He did not reject the Orthodox Christian doctrine of the Trinity. The Word of Allah is a different hypostasis of God from the Father and the Holy Spirit, but not a different God. All Three are one and the same God. Jesus is the Word of Allah incarnate. (Koran 4:171) The Word of Allah is Allah. (John 1:1-4) The Koran tells us to believe the words of Jesus’ disciple, St. John the Theologian. (Koran 5:113-115) So, the Koran does not teach some doctrines which are contrary to those of Orthodox Christianity.

I hope that these principles of interpretation help someone to better understand the Koran.

When Life Begins and a False Hadith

February 5, 2017 Leave a comment

Slay not your children, fearing a fall to poverty, We shall provide for them and for you. Lo! the slaying of them is great sin. (Koran 17:31, Pickthall)

One of the tragedies of human society since ancient times is the horrible practice of abortion. The mainstream media often talks about abortion rights, but never mentions fetal rights. This callous, cold view of human life in its earliest stages of existence is not new. In the ninth century, a false hadith was recorded by al-Bukhari to justify first trimester abortions. It was written down between 810 and 870 — over two hundred years after Muhammad died in 632. The Koran and the Bible, which the Koran confirms, clearly teaches that life begins at conception.

Here is the false hadith.

Narrated `Abdullah: Allah’s Messenger, the truthful and truly-inspired, said, “Each one of you collected in the womb of his mother for forty days, and then turns into a clot for an equal period (of forty days) and turns into a piece of flesh for a similar period (of forty days) and then Allah sends an angel and orders him to write four things, i.e., his provision, his age, and whether he will be of the wretched or the blessed (in the Hereafter). Then the soul is breathed into him. And by Allah, a person among you (or a man) may do deeds of the people of the Fire till there is only a cubit or an arm-breadth distance between him and the Fire, but then that writing (which Allah has ordered the angel to write) precedes, and he does the deeds of the people of Paradise and enters it; and a man may do the deeds of the people of Paradise till there is only a cubit or two between him and Paradise, and then that writing precedes and he does the deeds of the people of the Fire and enters it.” (Sahih al-Bukhari: 6594).

The teachings of the Bible clearly contradict the teachings of this false hadith. Here is a passage from the Book of Judges — a book in the Bible accepted by both Jews and Christians.

2 And there was a man of Saraa, of the family of the kindred of Dan, and his name was Manoe, and his wife was barren, and bore not. 3 And an angel of the Lord appeared to the woman, and said to her, Behold, thou art barren and hast not born; yet thou shalt conceive a son. 4 And now be very cautious, and drink no wine nor strong drink, and eat no unclean thing; 5 for behold, thou art with child, and shalt bring forth a son; and there shall come no razor upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to save Israel from the hand of the Phylistines. (Judges 13:2-5, LXX)

Notice that in verse 3 of this passage the angel tells Manoe’s wife that she shall conceive a son. In verse 5 after she has already conceived her son, the angel tells her, “Behold, thou art with child.” This passage from the Bible clearly teaches that life begins at conception. The angel called the one-cell zygote in the woman’s Fallopian tube a “child.” God creates a human soul for an individual when he is first conceived by his mother.

Another passage in the Bible that teaches that life begins at conception is in the Book of Jeremiah.

And the Word of the Lord came to him, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee; and before thou camest forth from the womb, I sanctified thee; I appointed thee a prophet to the nations. (Jeremiah 1:4,5, LXX)

Here the Word of Allah is saying that He knew Jeremiah before He formed him in the belly, that is, the womb. We know that, according to modern science, the sperm unites with the egg in the Fallopian tube and not in the womb. About 11 days later, the embryo becomes implanted in the womb. So, while Jeremiah was in his mother’s Fallopian tube, Allah knew him. Jeremiah was a person with a soul.

One might think that this passage from the Book of Jeremiah could be teaching the pre-existence of the soul. However, that is not true. In the Koran, God tells Muhammad to ask the people who had read the Scriptures before him if he has any doubt about the meaning of a revelation.

So if you are in doubt, [O Muhammad], about that which We have revealed to you, then ask those who have been reading the Scripture before you. The truth has certainly come to you from your Lord, so never be among the doubters. (Koran 10:94, Sahih International)

Well, Orthodox Christians whom the Koran calls “believers” (Koran 30:2-5), rejected the doctrine of the pre-existence of souls as heresy at the Fifth Ecumenical Council of the Church in 553.

If anyone asserts the fabulous pre-existence of souls, and shall assert the monstrous restoration which follows from it: let him be anathema. (First Anathema against Origen, Second Council of Constantinople, 553)

The Koran confirms the Bible.

And unto thee have We revealed the Scripture with the truth, confirming whatever Scripture was before it, and a watcher over it. (Koran 5:48, Pickthall)

Muhammad was not an innovator. He simply taught what had already been taught by other messengers of Allah before him.

Nothing is said to you, [O Muhammad], except what was already said to the messengers before you. Indeed, your Lord is a possessor of forgiveness and a possessor of painful penalty. (Koran 41:43, Sahih International)

Say: “I am not an innovation among the Messengers, and I know not what shall be done with me or with you. I only follow what is revealed to me; I am only a clear warner.” (Koran 46:9, Arberry)

Muhammad taught what the angel in Judges 13 taught and what the Holy Prophet Jeremiah taught.

Furthermore, Muhammad accepted the Bible of the Orthodox Christians.

And do not argue with the People of the Scripture except in a way that is best, except for those who commit injustice among them, and say, “We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you. And our God and your God is one; and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him.” (Koran 29:46, Sahih International)

Therefore call thou, and go straight as thou hast been commanded; do not follow their caprices. And say: “I believe in whatever Book God has sent down; I have been commanded to be just between you. God is our Lord and your Lord. We have our deeds, and you have your deeds; there is no argument between us and you; God shall bring us together, and unto Him is the homecoming.” (Koran 42:15, Arberry)

Therefore, the Koran, like the Bible, teaches that life begins at conception. It does not teach the heretical doctrine of the pre-existence of souls.

Here are some verses from the Koran which teach that man was created from a sperm-drop. In other words, when a sperm from a drop of semen unites with a woman’s egg, a new person begins to exist. Allah has at that point in time created a soul for that person.

He has created man from a sperm-drop; and behold this same (man) becomes an open disputer! (Koran 16:4, Yusuf Ali)

His companion said to him, in the course of the argument with him: “Dost thou deny Him Who created thee out of dust, then out of a sperm-drop, then fashioned thee into a man? (Koran 18:37, Yusuf Ali)

And Allah created you from dust, then from a sperm-drop; then He made you mates. And no female conceives nor does she give birth except with His knowledge. And no aged person is granted [additional] life nor is his lifespan lessened but that it is in a register. Indeed, that for Allah is easy. (Koran 35:11, Sahih International)

Doth not man see that it is We Who created him from sperm? yet behold! he (stands forth) as an open adversary! (Koran 36:77, Yusuf Ali)

And that He creates the two mates – the male and female – from a sperm-drop when it is emitted. (Koran 53:45,46, Sahih International)

Was he not a drop of sperm emitted (in lowly form)? (Koran 75:37, Yusuf Ali)

Indeed, We created man from a sperm-drop mixture that We may try him; and We made him hearing and seeing. (Koran 76:2, Sahih International)

From a sperm-drop: He hath created him, and then mouldeth him in due proportions.(Koran 80:19, Yusuf Ali)

In these verses from the Koran, the stages of human development are mentioned.

O mankind! if ye have a doubt about the Resurrection, (consider) that We created you out of dust, then out of sperm, then out of a leech-like clot, then out of a morsel of flesh, partly formed and partly unformed, in order that We may manifest (our power) to you; and We cause whom We will to rest in the wombs for an appointed term, then do We bring you out as babes, then (foster you) that ye may reach your age of full strength; and some of you are called to die, and some are sent back to the feeblest old age, so that they know nothing after having known (much), and (further), thou seest the earth barren and lifeless, but when We pour down rain on it, it is stirred (to life), it swells, and it puts forth every kind of beautiful growth (in pairs). (Koran 22:5, Yusuf Ali)

Then We placed him as (a drop of) sperm in a place of rest, firmly fixed; then We made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood; then of that clot We made a (foetus) lump; then we made out of that lump bones and clothed the bones with flesh; then we developed out of it another creature. So blessed be Allah, the best to create! (Koran 23:13,14, Yusuf Ali)

It is He Who has created you from dust then from a sperm-drop, then from a leech-like clot; then does he get you out (into the light) as a child: then lets you (grow and) reach your age of full strength; then lets you become old, — though of you there are some who die before; — and lets you reach a Term appointed; in order that ye may learn wisdom. (Koran 40:67, Yusuf Ali)

The creation of man from dust in these Koran verses is referring to the creation of Adam in the Book of Genesis. (Genesis 2:7) Since all of us are descendants of Adam, we all  have our origin in the dust.

What is so tragic is that that false hadith in Sahih al-Bukhari has emboldened so many Muslim women to have first trimester abortions. Jesus said about Satan:

He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. (John 8:44, NKJV)

Satan has used a false hadith to deceive people into murdering their own children before they are born. However, fortunately, Allah is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy. (Koran 7:151; 12:92) Repentance is the first step to finding forgiveness from God. Any woman who has had an abortion at any stage during her pregnancy needs to start seeking God’s forgiveness.

Those false hadiths have caused so much mischief in the world and so much bloodshed. It is really better to ignore them altogether. One should never assume that they contain the actual teachings of the Islamic prophet just because some ninth century scholar says they do.

A guess can never take the place of the truth. (Koran 53:28, Pickthall)

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