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Islamophobia or Not?

June 10, 2018 Leave a comment

I just want to give some of my thoughts here on the subject of Islamophobia. I have seen those who speak out against Islamophobia — the fear of Islam and Muslims and I have seen those who want to put all Muslims in the same box with the same label on them. In all fairness we need to look at this subject realistically.

First of all, we need to define Islam. Islam means in Arabic — submission, that is, submission to God. The Bible teaches that we should submit to God.

Now do not be stiff-necked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the Lord; and enter His sanctuary, which He has sanctified forever, and serve the Lord your God, that the fierceness of His wrath may turn away from you. (II Chronicles 30:8, NKJV)

Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? (Hebrews 12:9, NKJV)

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (James 4:7, NKJV)

So, there is nothing wrong from both a Jewish standpoint and a Christian one about the concept of submitting to God. Both Testaments of the Bible teach that.

The problem lies in what exactly constitutes this submission to God. What are the commandments of God that we are supposed to keep? Muslims are not unanimous on this subject. There are those who think like Anjem Choudary. There are those who think like DAESH (also called ISIL, ISIS, and the Islamic State group). There are those who think like other terrorist groups (Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and Hezbollah, for example). The religions that these various groups practice are to them Islam. There are those who do not think those “radical Islamists.”

One can label these groups as non-Islamic, Pseudo-Islamic, or call their versions of Islam radical Islam. However, one labels them does not matter. They still exist.

Then, there is the subject of sharia. This word means different things to different Muslims because there is more than one version of sharia. To many Muslims, sharia is nothing more than an ethical code. All it is is rules concerning fasting and prayer, and how one should treat one’s fellow man. Many Muslims believe that whenever a traveler enters a predominantly Muslim country, he or she comes under the protection of the Muslims, even if that person is “an infidel.” Many Muslims believe that whenever they enter another country they come under a covenant with that country to obey its laws. (This is sharia, believe it or not.) Many Muslims believe that they should love for their neighbor what they love for themselves. (This is an Islamic version of the Golden Rule.) In contrast to these Muslims, there are still those who believe that they should try to implement their extreme version of Islam into society. They believe that the hadd punishments — the cutting off of hands, floggings, etc. — should be inflicted upon “sinners” by the state. So, they want to change the society in which they live so that these hadd punishments become the law of the land. There are verses in the Koran which say to cut off the hand of a thief and to flog fornicators and adulterers. (Koran 5:33,38; 24:2) Not all Muslims, however, interpret those verses the same way. Some interpret Koran 5:38, for example, figuratively. They think that it means to obstruct the power and resources of a thief, not to cut off his hand. So, it is not fair to say that all Muslims believe that one should cut off the hand of a thief or flog someone for fornication. There are those Muslims who believe that adulterers should be stoned to death. This belief is derived from the Sunnah — a collection of alleged sayings and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad which were written down over 200 years after he had died. (There is no death penalty for adultery or fornication in the Koran.) There are Muslims who accept all of the hadiths (those alleged sayings and deeds of Muhammad) which are graded by the compilers as sahih (authentic). There are other Muslims who do not accept all of the sahih hadiths. They accept only the ones which do not contradict the teachings of the Koran. The Hanafi Muslims are like that. Most of the Pakistani Muslims are Hanafi Muslims. There are other Muslims who reject all of the hadiths and accept only the Koran. Those Muslims are called Koranists (or Quranists).

What I am basically trying to say here is that there is more than one version of Islam. Anyone who claims to give the Muslim interpretation of the Koran and says that all Muslims interpret the Koran that way does not know what he is talking about. Anyone who quotes from a hadith book a sahih hadith and thinks that all Muslims accept that hadith does not know what he is talking about. Still, there are those Muslims who really do accept those barbaric sahih hadiths and think that they should practice them. (I’m  not talking about the good, positive ones.)  For example, there is a sahih hadith that says that Muhammad said, “Whoever changes his religion, kill him.” They use this hadith to justify killing apostates from Islam. (There is no death penalty for apostasy in the Koran, by the way.) Then, there are all of those crazy ones about drinking camel urine as a medicine and other such things. (Maybe someone invented that hadith in order to promote his business of selling camel urine. To me, those hadiths are nothing more than hearsay and fabrications.)

To some Muslims, Islam means fasting, praying, helping others, doing good deeds, and giving to the poor. All of the “radical” stuff they reject.

I remember going to see some Muslims in their apartment once. I was trying to convert one of them to Christianity. This happened during my college days. The Muslims were from Turkey. I got nowhere with any of them. They did not believe the Bible. They kept telling me that the priests had corrupted it. (I think they are in error on that subject.) As I was leaving, I asked one of them, “Don’t y’all believe that you must cut off the heads of those who refuse to convert to Islam?” He said to me, “There is no compulsion in religion.” Another Muslim has told me the same thing on another occasion. When I started reading the Koran, I found out that the Koran actually does say that. (Koran 2:256)

Then, there is the issue of abrogation. Muslims do not agree on which verses in the Koran have been abrogated. There are some Muslims who believe that Koran 2:256 which says that “there is no compulsion in religion” has been abrogated by some later verses spoken by Muhammad while he was in Medina. Some Muslims believe that there are hadiths that abrogate verses in the Koran. Other Muslims do not believe that Koran 2:256 has been abrogated at all. There are Muslims who believe that the hadiths cannot abrogate the Koran because the Koran is the supreme standard by which everything else must be judged. The Koran, in their view, is the revelation. The hadiths are not. So, they reject hadiths that contradict the Koran and accept the ones which they think help them better get at the true meaning of the Koran.

So, the point I want to make here is that there is more than one version of Islam. Whenever someone accuses someone else of being an Islamophobe, I must question which version of Islam they are referring to. There are some versions of Islam that I think any sane Western person should fear. There are other versions that no one should fear. If someone is talking about the type of Islam that involves praying, fasting, reading the Koran, and helping the poor but none of the so-called “radical” stuff like the hadd punishments, then no one should fear that kind of Islam. On the other hand, if one is talking about the type of Islam that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi practiced or the kind practiced by the Taliban, then people should fear that kind of Islam.

What about Koranophobia? I am not Koranophobic. The Koran contains a lot of good teachings in it that we Christians would agree on. “God will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” (Koran 13:11) God is “the Most Merciful of those who show mercy.” (Koran 7:151; 12:64, 92; 21:83) As for the verses that people like David Wood and Robert Spencer quote (Koran 3:28,85; 5:51; 9:5,29,73,111,123; 98:6), it all boils down to interpretation. Not all Muslims interpret those verses the way they do. Some Muslims unfortunately do, however.

Likewise, not all Christians interpret the Bible the same way.

So, should Western non-Muslims be Islamophobic? Well, it all depends on what you mean when you say Islam. Some versions of Islam we should fear. Other versions we should not fear. In some instances there should be Islamophobia. In other instances there should be no Islamophobia at all. That is the correct answer to this question, in my opinion.

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Sectarian Islam is Unkoranic

November 4, 2017 Leave a comment

I have watched some of Sam Gerrans’ videos on Youtube and I agree with much of what he says. I do not agree with everything that he says. He rejects the hadiths as hearsay. I do, too. He rejects Sunni Islam which has been built on that massive collection of hearsay called the Sunnah. He calls it “brand Islam.” I have identified three key problems with “brand Islam.”

Here is a video from his Youtube channel. I found it very interesting.

 

The only ones who say anything resembling the shahada in the Koran are the hypocrites. (Koran 63:1) A lot of the practices derived from the hadiths, for example, the manner of prayer, are innovations. (Sunni Muslims hold their hands in certain ways while praying.) The Koran says that Muhammad received no new revelations and was not an innovator among the messengers. (Koran 41:43; 46:9)

That massive collection of hearsay, called the Sunnah, is the first key problem with “brand Islam.” All of it was written down over two hundred years after Muhammad died, except for Malik’s collection of hearsay. It was written down sometime between a hundred and two hundred years after Muhammad died. Muhammad died in 632. The compiler of Sahih al-Bukhari was born in 810. The compiler of Sahih Muslim was born in 815. Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim are the two most important encyclopedic collections of hearsay in Sunni Islam. All of the other encyclopedias of hearsay were compiled by people who were born after 815. Read more…

Was Muhammad a Pedophile?

June 30, 2017 Leave a comment

One of the often repeated attacks on Islam is the accusation that Muhammad had sexual relations with a nine year old girl. Many critics of the religion mistakenly think that this is in the Koran. Others cite sources outside of the Koran as authoritative proof that he actually did this. I want to look at this accusation rationally and provide some possible alternative explanations.

First of all, I need to clear up a misconception regarding this alleged incident. Nowhere in the Koran does it say how many wives Muhammad had. We know from Arabic grammar that he had at least three wives because Arabic nouns have singular, dual, and plural number. Respecting the nouns and most pronouns, the plural number indicates three or more. However, the Koran limits the number of wives that a man can have to four. (Koran 4:3) Muhammad claimed to follow the Koran. (Koran 6:50; 7:203; 10:15; 46:9) So, it is reasonable to assume that he had no more than four. The names of his wives are not mentioned in the Koran. The ages of his wives are not mentioned either. We do not know from reading the Koran if Muhammad had a wife named Khadijah who was fifteen years older than he. We do not know from the Koran that Muhammad married a six year old girl named Aisha and had sexual relations with her when she was nine.

So, where do these tales about the Islamic prophet’s wives come from? The answer is from the Sunnah. The Sunnah is a large collection of stories about Muhammad. Many contain alleged sayings of Muhammad. Those sayings and stories are called hadiths (in Arabic, ahadith).

Here are the hadiths that talk about Muhammad having sexual relations with a nine year old girl named Aisha.

Narrated Hisham’s father: Khadija died three years before the Prophet departed to Medina. He stayed there for two years or so and then he married `Aisha when she was a girl of six years of age, and he consumed that marriage when she was nine years old. (Sahih al-Bukhari 3896)

Narrated `Aisha: that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old, and then she remained with him for nine years (i.e., till his death). (Sahih al-Bukhari 5133)

Narrated `Aisha: that the Prophet married her when she was six years old and he consummated his marriage when she was nine years old. Hisham said: I have been informed that `Aisha remained with the Prophet for nine years (i.e. till his death). (Sahih al-Bukhari 5134)

Narrated ‘Urwa: The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with `Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death). (Sahih al-Bukhari 5158)

A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: Allah’s Apostle married me when I was six years old, and I was admitted to his house when I was nine years old. (Sahih Muslim 1422b)

Narrated ‘A’isha: ‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported that Allah’s Apostle married her when she was six years old, and he (the Holy Prophet) took her to his house when she was nine, and when he (the Holy Prophet) died she was eighteen years old (Sahih Muslim 1422d)

Narrated ‘Aishah: The Messenger of Allah married me when I was seven years old. The narrator Sulaiman said: or Six years. He had intercourse with me when I was nine years old. (Sunan Abi Dawud 2121) Grade: Sahih

It was narrated from ‘Aishah that the Messenger of Allah married her when she was six years old, and consummated the marriage with her when she was nine. (Sunan an-Nasa’i 3255) Grade: Sahih

The hadiths are graded sahih (authentic), hasan (good), or daif (weak). All of the above hadiths were graded by the compilers as sahih (authentic).

Now, before someone jumps to a conclusion, it is good to know more about these hadiths and their compilers. The compiler of the hadith collection titled Sahih al-Bukhari was born in 810 and died in 870. The compiler of the hadith collection titled Sahih Muslim was born in 815 and died in 875. The compiler of the hadith collection titled Sunan Abi Dawud was born in 817 and died in 889. The compiler of the hadith collection titled Sunan An-Nasa’i was born in 829 and died in 915. Muhammad died in 632. The hadith compilers based the truthfulness of the hadiths on a chain of narrators. That chain of narrators is called an isnad. The isnad appears in the Arabic text of the hadith collections but not in the English translations of those collections. It basically says something like, “So-and-so narrated that so-and-so narrated that so-and-so narrated that so-and-so narrated that so-and-so said or did…” Since so much time has passed and none of these hadith compilers were alive between 632 and 810, it is impossible for them to verify the truthfulness of the isnad. They would need a time machine. To this date, no man has ever possessed a time machine. Another thing to remember is that the hadith compilers were Persians. The first Muslims were Arabs. The Arabs and the Persians fought against each other. The Persians did not like the Arabs. So, people from an ethnic group that hated the Arabs were compiling hadiths for Arab Muslims to use in their religion.

Basically then, those hadith collections are nothing more than a large collection of hearsay compiled by people who were members of an ethnic group that hated Arabs. Why should anyone believe any of those hadiths? They are simply a bunch of fabricated stories which, for all that we can really know, may very well have no basis in fact at all.

Think of an ancestor of yours who died 200 years ago. Can you produce a nine volume encyclopedia containing factual accounts of what that ancestor said and did? Can you produce six or seven different nine volume encyclopedias containing such factual accounts about that ancestor? I know that I could not do that. Use your brain then. Those hadiths are hearsay. Would any Superior Court judge in the United States admit those hadiths as evidence in court? No, of course not.

Maybe a ninth century pedophile wanted to justify his pedophilia before various religious leaders and court judges. Maybe that ninth century pedophile invented this story about the Islamic prophet to do that. Maybe the Persians wanted to make fools of the Arabs and have them marrying nine year old girls. Maybe they invented this story about Muhammad and Aisha so that they could do that. Maybe there is some truth to the hadiths regarding this matter.  Maybe Muhammad pretended to do all of that with a nine year old girl, but never really did that. Maybe he did all of that in order to hide his virtues. There are many Christians Saints who have done things to hide their virtues. Muhammad could have been doing the same thing.

Anyway, the Koran teaches that women have a choice regarding whom they marry.

And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them in kindness, and men are a degree above them. Allah is Mighty, Wise. (Koran 2:228, Pickthall)

A man has the right to choose his wife and women have similar rights to men. So, they have the right to choose their husbands. A woman cannot be inherited from a deceased relative against her will.

O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. (Koran 4:19, Yusuf Ali)

A divorced woman can choose whom she marries. Her next marriage is formed by an agreement between her and her next husband in kindness.

And when ye have divorced women and they reach their term, place not difficulties in the way of their marrying their husbands if it is agreed between them in kindness. This is an admonition for him among you who believeth in Allah and the Last Day. That is more virtuous for you, and cleaner. Allah knoweth; ye know not. (Koran 4:232, Pickthall)

A man who owns a slave girl is forbidden to force her into prostitution.

Force not your slave-girls to whoredom that ye may seek enjoyment of the life of the world, if they would preserve their chastity. And if one force them, then (unto them), after their compulsion, lo! Allah will be Forgiving, Merciful. (Koran 24:33, Pickthall)

Since a slave girl can decide to preserve her chastity, her master cannot automatically expect her to become his wife or provide him with sexual favors outside of wedlock. A man may marry his slave girl, but only then with her permission. If he wants to have sexual relations with her, HE MUST MARRY HER!

And whoso is not able to afford to marry free, believing women, let them marry from the believing maids whom your right hands possess. Allah knoweth best (concerning) your faith. Ye (proceed) one from another; so wed them by permission of their folk, and give unto them their portions in kindness, they being honest, not debauched nor of loose conduct. (Koran 4:25, Pickthall)

Concerning slavery, the Koran actually encourages masters to emancipate their slaves. (Koran 2:177; 24:33; 90:12,13) Slavery existed in the seventh century among the Muslims because they lived in a non-Islamic culture that denied women the same rights as those of men. The Muslims used that institution of slavery to protect unmarried women (divorced women and widows) from prostitution. If a woman lost her husband back then, she could not go get a job at a convenience store on the corner of Main Street and Sixth Avenue. She was very dependent on men to help her or she would have to prostitute herself in order to survive. Remember that Arabia is a desert. People lived in the desert, not in a rainforest or subtropical environment with trees and vegetation.

As for this girl named Aisha if she really existed at all, she would have been too young to consent to marriage. She would have needed to have been older in order to make an informed decision. A young six year old girl is under the authority of her parents. She really would not have a choice if her father wanted her to marry a fifty year old man. Marriage is a choice granted to both men and women according to the Koran.

But then again, maybe that girl Aisha was nineteen and not nine when she had sexual relations with Muhammad. Maybe they both agreed to marry each other and then made love after the wedding. I really do not give much credence to that large collection of hearsay called the Sunnah anyway. So, I really do not care what those hadiths say.

 

Apostasy and a False Hadith

May 31, 2017 Leave a comment

It is very unfortunate that there are many Muslims and predominantly Muslim countries who actually think that they have a moral mandate to put to death anyone who leaves Islam. The Koran and the Bible do not teach this. There are hadiths that do teach that, unfortunately. Those hadiths are based on hearsay reports and no intelligent person should think that the Islamic prophet actually commanded anyone to kill an apostate from Islam.

In the Old Testament, there is a passage in Deuteronomy which commands the Israelites to put to death by stoning those who apostatize from the monotheistic religion taught in the Torah and worship other gods.

And if there should be found in any one of thy cities, which the Lord thy God gives thee, a man or a woman who shall do that which is evil before the Lord thy God, so as to transgress His covenant, and they should go and serve other gods, and worship them, the sun, or the moon, or any of the host of heaven, which He commanded thee not to do, and it be told thee, and thou shalt have enquired diligently, and, behold, the thing really took place, this abomination has been done in Israel; then shalt thou bring out that man, or that woman, and ye shall stone them with stones, and they shall die. He shall die on the testimony of two or three witnesses; a man who is put to death shall not be put to death for one witness. And the hand of the witnesses shall be upon him among the first to put him to death, and the hand of the people at the last; so shalt thou remove the evil one from among yourselves. (Deuteronomy 17:2-7, LXX)

The other peoples among whom the ancient Israelites were traveling when they were on their way to the land of Canaan were polytheists. Those who abandoned Abrahamic monotheism ended up accepting one of the polytheistic religions of the indigenous peoples in that part of the world. The first one to cast a stone at an apostate was supposed to be one of the witnesses. So, if the witness was bearing false witness against his neighbor — a violation of one of the Ten Commandments — he would also be guilty of murder as well. If anyone escapes the judgment of man for the commission of murder, he will most definitely not escape the judgment of God. (Genesis 9:5,6; Deuteronomy 32:35,43)

In the New Testament, apostates were not killed. The Christians disfellowshipped them.

But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner — not even to eat with such a person. (I Corinthians 5:11, NKJV)

This verse in the New Testament abrogates the commandment in Deuteronomy 17:2-7. In the Koran, it says:

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)

The commandment to disfellowship apostates is better than the one to kill them. By disfellowshipping them, the Christian community is able to nonverbally express their disapproval of the apostates’ practice of idolatry and hope that they eventually repent and return to the worship of the one Triune God.

Christians often just allowed the apostates and heretics to leave the Christian community on their own.

They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us. (I John 2:19, NKJV)

No one was killed for committing apostasy in the first century. By the way, the author of I John was a rightly guided Muslim (Matthew 10:2; Koran 3:52) and a messenger of Allah. He also wrote the Gospel according to St. John, two more epistles, and the Book of Revelation.

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

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)

As for that which We inspire in thee of the Scripture, it is the Truth confirming that which was (revealed) before it. Lo! Allah is indeed Observer, Seer of His slaves. (Koran 35:31, Pickthall)

Muhammad did not receive any new revelations. He received confirming ones — revelations which confirmed what the messengers before him had already taught.

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)

Muhammad was not an innovation among the messengers.

Say: I am no new thing among the messengers (of Allah), nor know I what will be done with me or with you. I do but follow that which is inspired in me, and I am but a plain warner. (Koran 46:9, Pickthall)

He accepted the Scriptures of the Orthodox Christians.

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 God and your God is One, and unto Him we surrender. (Koran 29:46, Pickthall)

I believe in whatever Scripture Allah hath sent down, and I am commanded to be just among you. Allah is our Lord and your Lord. (Koran 42:15, Pickthall)

So, Muhammad accepted I Corinthians 5:11 and I John 2:19 as Holy Scripture. He never commanded anyone to put to death an apostate.

Furthermore, in the Koran it says that Muhammad followed the Koran.

I but follow what is revealed to me. (Koran 6:50, Yusuf Ali)

I only follow what is revealed to me from my Lord. (Koran 7:203, Shakir)

I only follow what is revealed to me. (Koran 10:15, Sahih International)

I only follow that which is revealed to me, and I am not but a clear warner. (Koran 46:9, Sahih International)

The Koran says that Muhammad was not supposed to be a compeller or controller over his ummah (community).

We are Best Aware of what they say, and thou (O Muhammad) art in no wise a compeller over them. But warn by the Qur’an him who feareth My threat. (Koran 50:45, Pickthall)

So remind, [O Muhammad]; you are only a reminder. You are not over them a controller. (Koran 88:21,22, Sahih International)

There are two passages in the Koran about apostasy. The first one is in the Fourth Surah.

Lo! those who believe, then disbelieve and then (again) believe, then disbelieve, and then increase in disbelief, Allah will never pardon them, nor will He guide them unto a way. (Koran 4:137, Pickthall)

It is very unreasonable to believe based on this verse that the Islamic prophet actually commanded his followers to kill apostates. The apostate described in this verse would have been stoned to death twice. He would have had to have been resurrected after the first stoning so that he could be stoned to death once more. No capital punishment for apostates is mentioned in this verse. The punishment is that God will never pardon him. That is to say, he receives eternal damnation at the Last Judgment. Also, God will never guide him “unto a way.” He is allowed to continue on in his error, much the same way as many atheists and agnostics do today.

The next passage pertaining to apostasy is in the 16th Surah.

Whoso disbelieveth in Allah after his belief – save him who is forced thereto and whose heart is still content with the Faith – but whoso findeth ease in disbelief: on them is wrath from Allah. Theirs will be an awful doom. That is because they have chosen the life of the world rather than the Hereafter, and because Allah guideth not the disbelieving folk. Such are they whose hearts and ears and eyes Allah hath sealed. And such are the heedless. Assuredly in the Hereafter they are the losers. (Koran 16:106-109, Pickthall)

The punishment that apostates receive is in the Hereafter — the afterlife. There is no commandment in these verses to kill an apostate.

Muhammad died in 632 A.D. In the ninth century, a collection of hadiths was compiled. It is called Sunan an-Nasa’i. The compiler of these hadiths was born in 829 and died in 915. Here is a hadith from this collection which falsely states that Muhammad told his followers to kill apostates.

It was narrated from ‘Ikrimah: “Some people apostatized after accepting Islam, and ‘Ali burned them with fire. Ibn ‘Abbas said: ‘If it had been me, I would not have burned them; the Messenger of Allah said: ‘No one should be punished with the punishment of Allah.’ If it had been me, I would have killed them; the Messenger of Allah said: ‘Whoever changes his religion, kill him.” (Sunan an-Nasa’i 4060)

Based on the teachings of the Koran and the Bible, it is highly unlikely that the Islamic prophet ever told anyone, “Whoever changes his religion, kill him.”

The hearsay  hadiths contain falsehood. The Koran and the Bible which the Koran confirms contain truth. The Koran says:

That is because those who disbelieve follow falsehood and because those who believe follow the truth from their Lord. (Koran 47:3, Pickthall)

One can either follow falsehood — those hearsay hadiths — or the truth. Here is another passage of Scripture which Muhammad accepted.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6, NKJV)

Let us obey the Koran and the Bible and “follow the truth from our Lord.” Ignore those hearsay hadiths. They really cannot be trusted. As-salamu alaykum.

Obeying the Messengers

May 30, 2017 Leave a comment

Islam has evolved into a one prophet religion contrary to the teachings of the Koran. Many Muslims have replaced Jesus with Muhammad and the Bible with the Koran. They quote the hadiths attributed to the Islamic prophet and the Koran, but they hardly ever quote the Bible. Many of the hadiths clearly contradict the teachings of both the Bible and the Koran. The Koran says in many places, “Obey the Messenger.” If one is truly obeying Muhammad, he will reject those false, fabricated hadiths which teach things that clearly contradict the Koran and the Bible. He would have a multi-prophet faith and not a one prophet faith. The Bible would be one of the books he looks to for guidance.

Here are two false hadiths saying that Muhammad ordered some people to burn down the homes of some people who did not attend the prayer services.

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “No doubt, I intended to order somebody to pronounce the Iqama of the (compulsory congregational) prayer and then I would go to the houses of those who do not attend the prayer and burn their houses over them.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 2420)

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet said: “I was about to order my boys to collect bundles of firewood, then order Salat to be held, then burn (the homes) of the people who did not attend the Salat.” (Jami at-Tirmdhi 217)

Muhammad died in 632. The compiler of Sahih al-Bukhari was born in 810 and died in 870. The compiler of Jami at-Tirmidhi was born in 824 and died in 892. These two hadiths were written down over two hundred years after Muhammad died. There is no mention in the Koran about Muhammad ordering his followers to burn down someone’s home. Actually, the Koran paints a very different picture of Muhammad.

Although the Koran teaches that we should pray at set times (Koran 4:103), it does not say that people are to be compelled to do that. Actually, it teaches just the opposite. In the 50th Surah, it says:

We are Best Aware of what they say, and thou (O Muhammad) art in no wise a compeller over them. But warn by the Qur’an him who feareth My threat. (Koran 50:45, Pickthall)

In the 88th Surah, it says:

So remind, [O Muhammad]; you are only a reminder. You are not over them a controller. (Koran 88:21,22, Sahih International)

In the 21st Surah, it says:

And We have not sent you but as a mercy to the worlds. (Koran 21:107, Shakir)

Furthermore, Muhammad says in the Koran:

I but follow what is revealed to me. (Koran 6:50, Yusuf Ali)

I only follow what is revealed to me from my Lord. (Koran 7:203, Shakir)

I only follow what is revealed to me. (Koran 10:15, Sahih International)

I only follow that which is revealed to me, and I am not but a clear warner. (Koran 46:9, Sahih International)

Therefore, it is highly unlikely that Muhammad would have told some of his followers to burn down the homes of those who did not attend a prayer service at a mosque.

However, some people unfortunately believe these false, fabricated scraps of hearsay to be true. They read verses like these in the Koran.

Verily in the messenger of Allah ye have a good example for him who looketh unto Allah and the Last Day, and remembereth Allah much. (Koran 33:21, Pickthall)

Say, (O Muhammad, to mankind): If ye love Allah, follow me; Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (Koran 3:31, Pickthall)

They, then, think that they have a moral obligation to imitate the life of the Islamic prophet as it is depicted in those fabricated hadiths. They do things like burning down people’s homes or trying to coerce non-Muslims to embrace their version of Islam. Those hadiths often paint a picture of Muhammad that is foreign to that which is found in the Koran. Instead of being “a mercy to the worlds” he is depicted as a ruthless warlord with absolutely no sense of compassion at all.

One can choose to believe the hearsay hadiths or believe the Koran. If one chooses to believe the Koran, he must follow the example of the Islamic prophet and not be a compeller over others. He must also choose to listen to other prophets in addition to Muhammad. The Koran says:

The messenger believeth in that which hath been revealed unto him from his Lord and (so do) believers. Each one believeth in Allah and His angels and His Scriptures and His messengers – We make no distinction between any of His messengers – and they say: We hear, and we obey. (Grant us) Thy forgiveness, our Lord. Unto Thee is the journeying. (Koran 2:285, Pickthall)

The first generation Muslims believed the Bible as well as the Koran. First century Islam was not a one prophet, Bibleless religion like it has become today. Moreover, the first generation Muslims, according to the Koran, were “the best community that hath been raised up for mankind.”

Ye are the best community that hath been raised up for mankind. Ye enjoin right conduct and forbid indecency; and ye believe in Allah. And if the People of the Scripture had believed it had been better for them. Some of them are believers; but most of them are evil-livers. (Koran 3:110, Pickthall)

Those who reject the Bible and disbelieve the messengers of God which preceded Muhammad have wandered far astray.

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)

They have become “disbelievers in truth.”

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. (Koran 4:150,151, Pickthall)

The Bible contains the revelations of Allah. Those who reject the Bible, therefore, reject God’s revelations. The Koran says:

Lo! those who disbelieve the revelations of Allah, Allah guideth them not and theirs will be a painful doom. (Koran 16:104, Pickthall)

This is very serious! It is important that one believe the Bible and obey those messengers in the Bible. The Koran actually teaches this!

One needs to be aware, however, that many of the commandments in the Old Testament have been abrogated by better ones or similar ones in the New Testament. The Koran says:

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)

The Koran also says:

And follow the best of what was revealed to you from your Lord before the punishment comes upon you suddenly while you do not perceive. (Koran 39:55, Sahih International)

So, one should obey the abrogating commandments and not the abrogated ones.

The Koran also says:

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 no new thing among the messengers (of Allah), nor know I what will be done with me or with you. I do but follow that which is inspired in me, and I am but a plain warner. (Koran 46:9, Pickthall)

Muhammad did not receive any new revelations from God. He was not an innovation among the messengers. He taught the same things that the Bible taught. He received confirming revelations, not different ones.

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)

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)

And this is a Book which We have sent down, blessed and confirming what was before it, that you may warn the Mother of Cities and those around it. Those who believe in the Hereafter believe in it, and they are maintaining their prayers. (Koran 6:92, Sahih International)

And this Quran is not such as could be forged by those besides Allah, but it is a verification of that which is before it and a clear explanation of the book, there is no doubt in it, from the Lord of the worlds. (Koran 10:37, Shakir)

This [Qur’an] is the message for those with me and the message of those before me. (Koran 21:24, Sahih International)

As for that which We inspire in thee of the Scripture, it is the Truth confirming that which was (revealed) before it. Lo! Allah is indeed Observer, Seer of His slaves. (Koran 35:31, Pickthall)

And before this, was the Book of Moses as a guide and a mercy: and this Book confirms (it) in the Arabic tongue; to admonish the unjust, and as Glad Tidings to those who do right. (Koran 46:12, Yusuf Ali)

Therefore, any interpretation of the Koran which contradicts the Bible is a false interpretation.

So, whenever we see words like these in the Koran, we should know that it is the Bible and the Koran which formed the basis for determining how to judge matters between Muslims.

O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the messenger and those of you who are in authority; and if ye have a dispute concerning any matter, refer it to Allah and the messenger if ye are (in truth) believers in Allah and the Last Day. That is better and more seemly in the end. (Koran 4:59, Pickthall)

But nay, by thy Lord, they will not believe (in truth) until they make thee judge of what is in dispute between them and find within themselves no dislike of that which thou decidest, and submit with full submission. (Koran 4:65, Pickthall)

The Koran itself says:

Lo! We reveal unto thee the Scripture with the truth, that thou mayst judge between mankind by that which Allah showeth thee. (Koran 4:105, Pickthall)

It also says:

And We did not send any messenger except to be obeyed by permission of Allah. (Koran 4:64, Sahih International)

Those hearsay hadiths which came over two hundred years after the Islamic prophet’s death and which should not be trusted do not form the basis of judgment in settling disputes among believers.

The Koran warns about using scriptures which do not give light.

And among mankind is he who disputeth concerning Allah without knowledge or guidance or a scripture giving light, turning away in pride to beguile (men) from the way of Allah. For him in this world is ignominy, and on the Day of Resurrection We make him taste the doom of burning. (Koran 22:8,9, Pickthall)

The Bible contains light.

Who sent down the Book that Moses brought as a light and a guidance to men? (Koran 6:91, Arberry)

And We bestowed on Him the Gospel wherein is guidance and a light. (Koran 5:46, Pickthall)

The false hadiths contain no light. They frequently contradict the teachings of both the Bible and the Koran. The Koran says:

That is because those who disbelieve follow falsehood and because those who believe follow the truth from their Lord. (Koran 47:3, Pickthall)

Those who follow those false hadiths are following falsehood. According to the Koran, they are unbelievers.

Much of Sharia law is based on those hearsay hadiths and false interpretations of the Koran derived from reading those scraps of hearsay. If the hearsay hadiths are scrapped, those barbaric practices found in many Sharia criminal codes would have to be scrapped, too.

So, let us scrap those false hadiths and stick with the Bible and the Koran.

Categories: Islam Tags: , , ,

Why FGM is Haraam

May 21, 2017 Leave a comment

Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. (Genesis 1:31, NKJV)

For Thou lovest all the things that are, and abhorrest nothing which Thou hast made: for never wouldest Thou have made any thing, if Thou hadst hated it. (Wisdom 11:24, KJV)

I am going to give my opinion on the subject of FGM (female genital mutilation). From what I have learned from watching a Youtube video and from what I have read on the internet, this practice is quite common among Muslims. The Koranists (those who take only the Koran and reject the hadiths) are usually opposed to the practice. I believe that the practice of circumcision, whether it be of a man or a woman, is contrary to the teachings of the Koran. I do not believe the hadiths.

Here are some hadiths about circumcision.

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Messenger said, “Five practices are characteristics of the Fitra: circumcision, shaving the pubic region, clipping the nails and cutting the moustaches short.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 5889)

Abu Huraira reported: Five are the acts quite akin to the Fitra, or five are the acts of Fitra: circumcision, shaving the pubes, cutting the nails, plucking the hair under the armpits and clipping the moustache. (Sahih Muslim 257a)

Abu Musa reported: There cropped up a difference of opinion between a group of Muhajirs (Emigrants and a group of Ansar (Helpers) (and the point of dispute was) that the Ansar said: The bath (because of sexual intercourse) becomes obligatory only-when the semen spurts out or ejaculates. But the Muhajirs said: When a man has sexual intercourse (with the woman), a bath becomes obligatory (no matter whether or not there is seminal emission or ejaculation). Abu Musa said: Well, I satisfy you on this (issue). He (Abu Musa, the narrator) said: I got up (and went) to ‘A’isha and sought her permission and it was granted, and I said to her: 0 Mother, or Mother of the Faithful, I want to ask you about a matter on which I feel shy. She said: Don’t feel shy of asking me about a thing which you can ask your mother, who gave you birth, for I am too your mother. Upon this I said: What makes a bath obligatory for a person? She replied: You have come across one well informed! The Messenger of Allah said: When anyone sits amidst four parts (of the woman) and the circumcised parts touch each other a bath becomes obligatory. (Sahih Muslim 349)

Narrated Umm Atiyyah al-Ansariyyah: A woman used to perform circumcision in Medina. The Prophet said to her: Do not cut severely as that is better for a woman and more desirable for a husband. Abu Dawud said: It has been transmitted by ‘Ubaid Allah b. ‘Amr from ‘Abd al-Malik to the same effect through a different chain. Abu Dawud said: It is not a strong tradition. It has been transmitted in mursal form (missing the link of the Companions) Abu Dawud said: Muhammad b. Hasan is obscure, and this tradition is weak. (Sunan Abi Dawud 5271) Grade: Sahih (Al-Albani)

I am not going to talk about male circumcision in detail here, but save that subject for another blog post

Female circumcision is undoubtedly un-Koranic. Nowhere in the Koran is there any commandment to circumcise a girl or a woman. The four hadiths quoted in this post are hearsay and should be ignored. Muhammad died in 632. The compiler of Sahih al-Bukhari was born in 810 and died in 870. The compiler of Sahih Muslim was born in 815 and died in 875. The compiler of Sunan Abi Dawud was born in 817 and died in 889. One has a choice. One can believe the hearsay hadiths or the Koran and the Bible.

In the Koran, it says:

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)

If Muhammad actually taught that girls and women should be circumcised, he would have been teaching a new revelation in contradiction to what Allah told him in Koran 41:43. He would also have been “an innovation among the Messengers” in contradiction to Koran 46:9. There is no commandment in the Bible to circumcise females. Male circumcision was practiced in Old Testament times with the institution of the Abrahamic covenant. (See Genesis 17.) It was abolished in the New Testament. (See Acts 15:22-29; Romans 2:25-29; Galatians 5:1-6; 6:15.)

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

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 accepted the teachings of the Bible.

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, Muhammad never told his followers to circumcise anyone. The hadiths are false and fabricated. They should not be trusted.

And pursue not that of which thou hast no knowledge; for every act of hearing, or of seeing or of (feeling in) the heart will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning). (Koran 17:36, Yusuf Ali)

The compilers of the hadiths did not have a time machine. They could not travel back in time and see if Muhammad actually taught that men and women should be circumcised. They recorded what people had passed down by word of mouth — hearsay.

The Koran says:

And they have no knowledge thereof. They follow but a guess, and lo! a guess can never take the place of the truth. (Koran 53:28, Pickthall)

If you believe and practice the false hadiths, you are relying on a guess and not the truth.

The Koran says:

We have indeed created man in the best of moulds. (Koran 95:4, Yusuf Ali)

There is no need to remove any part of a person’s body. God created men and women in the “best of moulds.” Their genitals do not need to be altered in order to please God. It also says in the Koran:

So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me. (Koran 2:152, Sahih International)

And certainly We gave wisdom to Luqman, saying: Be grateful to Allah. And whoever is grateful, he is on!y grateful for his own soul; and whoever is ungrateful, then surely Allah is Self-sufficient, Praised. (Koran 31:12, Shakir)

Say: He it is Who brought you into being and made for you the ears and the eyes and the hearts: little is it that you give thanks. (Koran 67:23, Shakir)

We should be grateful to God for our genitals. We should not despise them. We should not think that some part of them should be surgically removed. God is the Best of Creators (Koran 23:14; 37:125) and He made “all things good which He created.” (Koran 32:6,7)

FGM is an attack on the goodness of God. It renders a woman unable to experience the amount of sexual pleasure that God intended her to experience when she makes love to her husbland.

When a girl is circumcised, part or all of her clitoris is removed. This is definitely barbaric and should be condemned.

Here is a video by David Wood on this subject.

Although I often disagree with him about his interpretations of the Koran, I strongly agree with him on the subject of female circumcision. The Koran does not teach the practice of female circumcision. The hadiths and Islamic jurists teach that. The hadiths are hearsay. The Islamic jurists, who formulate Sharia law, are in error.

I have seen another video on Youtube which showed that some women in some parts of the world have had more than just their clitorises removed. Their labia minora had been cut out and the labia majora had been stitched together, leaving a small hole for sex and urination. That is even worse and is absolutely abominable. I will not put that video on this post because it is too graphic.

The problem with Islam as it is practiced by many today is following the hearsay hadiths, practicing the teachings of the Islamic jurists and Koranic commentators who have used those hearsay hadiths, and disobeying the Koran’s instructions to believe all the messengers of God and accept all the Scriptures which came before it. (Koran 4:136) It has become a one prophet religion without the Bible. Many Muslims are following the Koran and a massive collection of hearsay. Islam without the Bible is not genuine Islam according to the Koran. (Koran 4:150-152)

In conclusion, there is no commandment in the Koran to circumcise anyone. There is no commandment in the Bible to circumcise females. The practice of female circumcision is found in the hearsay hadiths. Muhammad accepted the Bible. He was not an “innovation among the messengers of God.” He had no new revelations. Therefore, he never taught female circumcision. God has created human beings in the “best of moulds.” We should be thankful to God for our private parts and not wish to have any part of our genitals removed. FGM is an attack on the goodness of God. When someone follows the hearsay hadiths and practices female circumcision, he is disobeying the Koran and following a guess. He is not following the truth. (Koran 17:36; 53:28) Therefore, FGM is haraam.

He Hit the Nail Flat Square on the Head

May 14, 2017 Leave a comment

I discovered this video on Youtube. It was posted a couple of years ago. In it the Islamic scholar, Shabir Ally, tells about the source of Islamic extremism. I want to share the video here. I think that he “hit the nail flat square on the head.” This is the problem and the reason why so many professing Muslims resort to barbaric extremism.

I have been reading and studying the Koran. It is really quite benign. Of course, there are some passages which could be interpreted as encouraging war, but only if one cherry picks verses out of the context of the passage and does not look at what is being said in its historical context. Actually, the Koran encourages people to live in peace with each other. There is no commandment in the Koran to force people to accept Islam. There is no commandment in the Koran to mutilate a young girl’s genitals. There is no commandment in the Koran to kill someone in order to preserve one’s family’s honor. There is no commandment in the Koran to stone anyone to death for committing adultery or fornication. There is really no commandment in the Koran to kill an apostate, but some people cherry pick a verse or two from the Koran to support the practice. Looking at those verses in the context of the passages in which they occur and looking at what the rest of the Koran says, no one should be put to death for apostatizing from Islam.

I have already written some blogs on many of these subjects.

The problem is those hearsay hadiths written down over 200 years after Muhammad died. People have been using that massive collection of hearsay to formulate Sharia law and interpret the Koran. The classical tafsirs (Koranic commentators) have relied on those hearsay hadiths. Shabir said that in the videos.

Many of those hadiths (short stories about Muhammad and quotes of sayings allegedly attributed to him) contradict the teachings of the Koran and the Bible.

Scrap the hearsay and you have a much more pleasant version of the religion.