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Posts Tagged ‘Terrorism’

CCM and CIM

May 12, 2017 Leave a comment

And unto David We gave the Psalms. (Koran 17:55, Pickthall)


Praise the Lord with the harp; make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings. Sing to Him a new song; play skillfully with a shout of joy. (Psalm 33:2,3, NKJV)

I first discovered Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) during my college days back in the 1970s. I used to listen to the Pat Terry Group, Amy Grant, and many others. I still like to listen to CCM every now and then although I, as an Orthodox Christian, might disagree with some of the theology in some of the songs. There is also something which I call Contemporary Islamic Music (CIM). I do not know what the Muslims call it. There are some really great songs that many of the Muslim singers sing which we Christians would agree with and also enjoy. In this blog post, I am going to display a few CIM videos and a few CCM videos. I hope that my readers enjoy them.

“The Power” by Maher Zain

“Insha Allah” by Maher Zain

“Time Waits for No One” by Junaid Jamshed and the Native Deen

“Hello” by Omar Esa

“Hijab” by some Muslim women

“Never in Our Name” by Iman Farrar

“The Way of Love” by Maher Zain

I disagree with some things that Maher Zain says about Muhammad in the previous video. I do not believe that Muhammad is the source of truth. (God is the source of all truth.) There are some other things that he says in the video about Muhammad that I do not accept. I will simply let the Koran and the Bible say what needs to be said. Ponder on the Koran. (Koran 4:82; 38:29)

And Muhammad is no more than a messenger; the messengers have already passed away before him. (Koran 3:144, Shakir)

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)

Let the People of the Gospel judge by that which Allah hath revealed therein. Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed: such are evil-livers. (Koran 5:47, Pickthall)

Jesus is the Light

He does have a great Mother’s Day song though.

“The Number One for Me” by Maher Zain

Here are some CCM videos.

“Awesome God” by Michael W. Smith

“El Shaddai” by Amy Grant

“You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban

“The Lost Get Found” by Britt Nicole

I hope everyone has enjoyed the videos. I just wanted to make known to my fellow Christians that there is such a thing as Contemporary Islamic Music. Listen to the CIM songs and the CCM songs. Compare and contrast.

An Exegesis of the Terrorism Verse in the Koran: Koran 3:151

April 9, 2017 Leave a comment

With all of the terrorist attacks being committed recently by Pseudo-Islamic extremists in the name of Islam or Islamism, I thought that it would be a good idea to write a blog post about the “Terrorism Verse” in the Koran. Many critics of the Koran quote this verse saying that the Koran promotes terrorism. Maybe the Pseudo-Islamic extremists think that this verse grants them divine authority to commit terrorist acts against innocent people, too. However, I do not believe that it does.

Here is the verse in question:

Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority: their abode will be the Fire: and evil is the home of the wrong-doers! (Koran 3:151, Yusuf Ali)

Yusuf Ali added the word “soon” to this verse, but the Arabic word which means “soon” does not appear in the Arabic text. So, we should ignore this adverb and look at the rest of his translation.

The text says:

We shall cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers.

Allah is speaking. Notice the first person plural is used. Here is more evidence from the Koran that God is Tri-personal. This verse is saying, We (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) shall cast terror into the hearts of Unbelievers.

The verse continues giving the reason for casting terror into their hearts.

For they joined companions with Allah, for which He sent no authority.

This part of the verse teaches that although Allah is Tri-personal, He is still only one God. The third person singular is used to indicate that God is one. The Unbelievers in this verse are the polytheists and not the Christians and the Jews. The polytheists worship other gods in addition to Allah.

The Koran is simply confirming whatever Scripture went before it. (Koran 5:48) In the Bible, there are similar teachings. Here are some examples.

But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments, and if you despise My statutes, or if your soul abhors My judgments, so that you do not perform all My commandments, but break My covenant, I also will do this to you: I will even appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever which shall consume the eyes and cause sorrow of heart. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. (Leviticus 26:14-16, NKJV)

They have provoked Me to jealousy by what is not God; they have moved Me to anger by their foolish idols. But I will provoke them to jealousy by those who are not a nation; I will move them to anger by a foolish nation. For a fire is kindled in My anger, and shall burn to the lowest hell; it shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains. I will heap disasters on them; I will spend My arrows on them. They shall be wasted with hunger, devoured by pestilence and bitter destruction; I will also send against them the teeth of beasts, with the poison of serpents of the dust. The sword shall destroy outside; there shall be terror within for the young man and virgin, the nursing child with the man of gray hairs. (Deuteronomy 32:21-25, NKJV)

For destruction from God is a terror to me, and because of His magnificence I cannot endure. (Job 31:23, NKJV)

Lord, why do You cast off my soul? Why do You hide Your face from me? I have been afflicted and ready to die from my youth; I suffer Your terrors; I am distraught. Your fierce wrath has gone over me; Your terrors have cut me off. (Psalm 88:14-16, NKJV)

Behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, will lop off the bough with terror; those of high stature will be hewn down, and the haughty will be humbled. (Isaiah 10:33, NKJV)

Your eyes will see the King in His beauty; they will see the land that is very far off. Your heart will meditate on terror: “Where is the scribe? Where is he who weighs? Where is he who counts the towers?” You will not see a fierce people, a people of obscure speech, beyond perception, of a stammering tongue that you cannot understand. (Isaiah 33:17-19, NKJV)

It is God who casts terror into people’s hearts. He may use individuals to do this. In Koran 3:151, the reason for God casting terror into the hearts of Unbelievers is because of the practice of idolatry — worshiping other gods in addition to the Holy Trinity. One can say that the same reason for God casting terror into people’s hearts is given in Leviticus 26:14-16 and Deuteronomy 32:21-25. One of God’s commandments in the Decalogue is: “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.”  (Deuteronomy 5:7)

This verse from the Koran is not encouraging offensive jihad on peaceful polytheists. There are only three reasons for warfare in the Koran: self-defense (Koran 2:190; 3:125; 9:13), to end religious persecution (Koran 9:12), and to liberate the oppressed (Koran 4:75). Even a polytheist who desires to be at peace with the Muslims and seeks their protection in war is not to be killed. (Koran 4:90,94; 9:6)

The Koran, like the Bible, forbids murder.

Take not life, which Allah hath made sacred, except by way of justice and law. (Koran 6:151, Yusuf Ali)

This verse from the Koran continues on by describing the ultimate punishment of unbelievers, that is, idolaters.

Their abode will be the Fire.

The Fire is, of course, Gehenna, that is, the Second Death mentioned in the Book of Revelation in the Bible. (See Revelation 20:11-14; 21:8,14,15.) St. Paul said that idolaters will not inherit the Kingdom of God. (I Corinthians 6:9,10; Galatians 5:19-21)

This verse from the Korans says, “Evil is the home of wrong-doers.” People who commit sins such as idolatry, murder, hatred, and dissensions live among people who do the same things. The polytheists spoken of in this verse were killing, hating, and fighting the Muslims, who were not starting fights with them. Their home was evil, that is, in an environment of evil.

One should not think that everyone who lives in an environment of evil is practicing heinous sins. Some people live in such an environment, but not by choice.

The critics of the Koran and the Pseudo-Islamic extremists do not interpret verses from the Koran in the context of the whole Koran and along with the Bible which the Koran confirms. The interpret verses as isolated texts.

So, this verse, which has been labeled “the Terrorism Verse,” does not promote terrorism. It is talking about God casting terror into the hearts of polytheists who fight against and persecute the Muslims. God probably did this when the Muslims were fighting back in self-defense, trying to stop the religious persecution they were suffering under the polytheists, or trying to liberate other oppressed Muslims from the oppression of the polytheists. They were not trying to forcefully convert people to Islamic monotheism. “There is no compulsion in religion.” (Koran 2:256) God cast terror into their hearts because they disobeyed His commandments and ascribed other gods as partners with the one and only true God — the Holy Trinity. God warned the ancient Israelites of similar consequences in the Torah. Verses from the Koran need to be interpreted in the context of the whole Koran as well as in the context of the passage in which they occur. The Bible needs to be consulted in order to get a good understanding of the meaning because the Koran confirms the Bible. It does not contradict it.  Interpreting verses from the Koran in isolation from the rest of the Scriptures, both Koranic and Biblical, is the error of Pseudo-Islamic extremists and critics of the Koran.

Categories: Islam Tags: , , , , , , ,

Practicing Islam

May 26, 2016 Leave a comment

In this blog I have some more videos from Youtube. Some Muslims might object to me posting some of them, but hopefully they will reflect a little before becoming irate and see what I am actually trying to illustrate.

Before watching them, first read these verses from the Koran and then as you watch the videos try to find how many times these commandments from the Koran are being broken. I have grouped them according to various topics.

Causing Corruption or Mischief in the Land

And of the people are some who say, “We believe in Allah and the Last Day,” but they are not believers. They [think to] deceive Allah and those who believe, but they deceive not except themselves and perceive [it] not. In their hearts is disease, so Allah has increased their disease; and for them is a painful punishment because they [habitually] used to lie. And when it is said to them, “Do not cause corruption on the earth,” they say, “We are but reformers.” Unquestionably, it is they who are the corrupters, but they perceive [it] not. (Koran 2:8-12, Sahih International)

Do no mischief on the earth, after it hath been set in order, but call on Him with fear and longing (in your hearts): for the Mercy of Allah is (always) near to those who do good. (Koran 7:56, Yusuf Ali)

And unto Midian (We sent) their brother, Shu’eyb. He said: O my people! Serve Allah. Ye have no other God save Him. Lo! a clear proof hath come unto you from your Lord; so give full measure and full weight and wrong not mankind in their goods, and work not confusion in the earth after the fair ordering thereof. That will be better for you, if ye are believers. (Koran 7:85, Pickthall)

But those who break the covenant of Allah after contracting it and sever that which Allah has ordered to be joined and spread corruption on earth – for them is the curse, and they will have the worst home. (Koran 13:25, Sahih International)

“So fear Allah and obey me. And do not obey the order of the transgressors, who cause corruption in the land and do not amend.” (Koran 26:150-152, Sahih International)

There is the type of man whose speech about this world’s life may dazzle thee, and he calls Allah to witness about what is in his heart; yet is he the most contentious of enemies. When he turns his back, his aim everywhere is to spread mischief through the earth and destroy crops and cattle [wal-nasla, literally, and offspring. See Koran 32:8.]. But Allah loveth not mischief. When it is said to him, “Fear Allah”, he is led by arrogance to (more) crime. Enough for him is Hell; an evil bed indeed (to lie on)! (Koran 2:204-206, Yusuf Ali)

And seek by means of what Allah has given you the future abode, and do not neglect your portion of this world, and do good (to others) as Allah has done good to you, and do not seek to make mischief in the land, surely Allah does not love the mischief-makers. (Koran 28:77, Shakir)

Displaying Hatred Instead of Love

O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah, witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do. (Koran 5:8, Sahih International)

Ye are the best community that hath been raised up for mankind. Ye enjoin right conduct and forbid indecency; and ye believe in Allah… Lo! Ye are those who love them though they love you not, and ye believe in all the Scripture. (Koran 3:110,119, Pickthall)

Every one pursues his goal. Compete with each other in performing good deeds. (Koran 2:148, Muhammad Sarwar)

Verbally Provoking Quarrels

Say to My servants that they should (only) say those things that are best: for Satan doth sow dissensions among them. For Satan is to man an avowed enemy. (Koran 17:53, Yusuf Ali)

Doing Evil

O mankind, eat from whatever is on earth [that is] lawful and good and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy. He only orders you to evil and immorality and to say about Allah what you do not know. (Koran 2:168,169, Sahih International)

Believers, submit yourselves to the will of God as a whole. Do not follow the footsteps of Satan; he is your sworn enemy. If you are seduced after you have received the authoritative guidance, know that God is Majestic and Wise. (Koran 2:208,209, Muhammad Sarwar)

O you who have believed, do not follow the footsteps of Satan. And whoever follows the footsteps of Satan – indeed, he enjoins immorality and wrongdoing. And if not for the favor of Allah upon you and His mercy, not one of you would have been pure, ever, but Allah purifies whom He wills, and Allah is Hearing and Knowing. (Koran 24:21, Sahih International)

Looking at a Woman’s Body Too Much

and Not Guarding One’s Modesty

Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do. 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 (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband’s fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers or their brothers’ sons, or their sisters’ sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! turn ye all together towards Allah, that ye may attain Bliss. (Koran 24:30,31, Yusuf Ali)

Disobeying Jesus

And when Jesus brought clear proofs, He said, “I have come to you with wisdom and to make clear to you some of that over which you differ, so fear Allah and obey Me.” (Koran 43:63, Sahih International)

Shouting

“O my son, establish prayer, enjoin what is right, forbid what is wrong, and be patient over what befalls you. Indeed, [all] that is of the matters [requiring] determination. And do not turn your cheek [in contempt] toward people and do not walk through the earth exultantly. Indeed, Allah does not like everyone self-deluded and boastful. And be moderate in your pace and lower your voice; indeed, the most disagreeable of sounds is the voice of donkeys.” (Koran 31:17-19, Sahih International)

Unbelief, Wickedness, and  Rebellion

And know that among you is Allah’s Messenger: were he, in many matters, to follow your (wishes), ye would certainly fall into misfortune: but Allah has endeared the Faith to you, and has made it beautiful in your hearts, and He has made hateful to you unbelief, wickedness, and rebellion: such indeed are those who walk in righteousness;- (Koran 49:7, Yusuf Ali)

Ridiculing, Insulting, and Name-Calling

O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name of disobedience after [one’s] faith. And whoever does not repent – then it is those who are the wrongdoers. (Koran 49:11; Sahih International)

Murder

For that cause We decreed for the Children of Israel that whosoever killeth a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind. (Koran 5:32, Pickthall)

How many times did you see Muslims break those commandments in the Koran in these videos? Do you think that they were practicing Islam?

Well, this is why so many non-Muslims are Islamophobic and dislike Muslims. They see things like these on TV and on Youtube and they think that all Muslims are like that. Most non-Muslims have never read the Koran. For them, the only Koran they know is what they see in videos like these.

Back in my Protestant days, I remember hearing a preacher say that the only Bible some people ever read is you. Well, that is the way it is with the Koran. Most non-Muslims have no interest in purchasing a Koran, let alone reading it. So, they form their opinions about the contents of the Koran based on what they see Muslims doing.

I remember my mother was once trying to google the internet to find out where in the Koran it says to kill the infidel. Actually, it does not really teach that. The killing in the Koran is almost entirely confined to warfare, which can only lawfully be waged for one of three reasons: self-defense, to liberate the oppressed, or to end religious persecution. (There are plenty of war passages in the Bible, too. Read them and ask yourself why are we not following the teachings in those passages today. Christian nations have fought many wars in the past. So, we Christians cannot truthfully say that the Muslims are the only ones who go to war.) The disbelievers (or infidels) in the Koran are the polytheists and the heretical Christians, like the Maryamites and the Sabellians. Trinitarian monotheists are believers. (Koran 30:2-5) Christians and Jews in the Koran are called People of the Scripture or People of the Book. We Christians are Kitabis, not Kuffaar.

Just as there are Christians who do not practice the teachings of Jesus, so are there Muslims who do not practice the teachings of the Koran.

The wandering Arabs say: We believe. Say (unto them, O Muhammad): Ye believe not, but rather say “We submit,” for the faith hath not yet entered into your hearts. Yet, if ye obey Allah and His messenger, He will not withhold from you aught of (the reward of) your deeds. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. The (true) believers are those only who believe in Allah and His messenger and afterward doubt not, but strive with their wealth and their lives for the cause of Allah. Such are the sincere. Say (unto them, O Muhammad): Would ye teach Allah your religion, when Allah knoweth all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth, and Allah is Aware of all things? (Koran 49:14-16, Pickthall)

Here are some more videos. The Koran says:

For that cause We decreed for the Children of Israel that whosoever killeth a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind. (Koran 5:32, Pickthall)

Now watch this video.

Was the Muslim woman practicing Islam? (Think now. That child might even be a Christian child.)

Now, look at this verse in the Koran.

And seek by means of what Allah has given you the future abode, and do not neglect your portion of this world, and do good (to others) as Allah has done good to you, and do not seek to make mischief in the land, surely Allah does not love the mischief-makers. (Koran 28:77, Shakir)

Now, watch the video.

Was this Muslim practicing Islam?

In the Koran, it says:

Surely the righteous shall drink of a cup the admixture of which is camphor, a fountain from which the servants of Allah shall drink; they make it to flow a (goodly) flowing forth. They fulfill vows and fear a day the evil of which shall be spreading far and wide. And they give food out of love for Him to the poor and the orphan and the captive: We only feed you for Allah’s sake; we desire from you neither reward nor thanks: surely we fear from our Lord a stern, distressful day. (Koran 76:5-10, Shakir)

Then eat thereof and feed therewith the poor unfortunate. (Koran 22:28, Pickthall)

It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces towards East or West; but it is righteousness – to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and practice regular charity; to fulfil the contracts which ye have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the Allah-fearing. (Koran 2:177, Yusuf Ali)

One of the Five Pillars of Islam is giving to charity (zakat). In the Bible, it is called almsgiving. Were those Muslims in the three previous videos practicing Islam?

In the Koran, it says:

Do no mischief on the earth, after it hath been set in order, but call on Him with fear and longing (in your hearts): for the Mercy of Allah is (always) near to those who do good. (Koran 7:56, Yusuf Ali)

Do not seek to make mischief in the land, surely Allah does not love the mischief-makers. (Koran 28:77, Shakir)

There is the type of man whose speech about this world’s life may dazzle thee, and he calls Allah to witness about what is in his heart; yet is he the most contentious of enemies. When he turns his back, his aim everywhere is to spread mischief through the earth and destroy crops and cattle [wal-nasla, literally, and offspring. See Koran 32:8.]. But Allah loveth not mischief. When it is said to him, “Fear Allah”, he is led by arrogance to (more) crime. Enough for him is Hell; an evil bed indeed (to lie on)! (Koran 2:204-206, Yusuf Ali)

Now, watch this video.

I think that this man was arrested for encouraging terrorism in Great Britain. Many moderate Muslims interpret those passages in the Koran about spreading corruption or mischief in the land as applying to terrorism. If he was doing that, was he truly practicing Islam?

In the Koran, it also says:

Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment. (Koran 5:33, Sahih International)

Great Britain has no death penalty. Crucifixion and amputation of hands and feet are human rights violations. Exile in this man’s case, if he is guilty, is not a good idea in this age. He will simply just start doing the same things in another country. Many Islamic countries use imprisonment instead of exile. So, by putting him in jail, is the government of Great Britain doing something which is congruent with the teachings of Koran 5:33?

[After studying the Koran and pondering on it for some time, I have changed my understanding of Koran 5:33. I believe that there are no criminal punishments mentioned in this verse. The verse is talking about the consequences that the polytheists would experience while waging an actual military war against Muhammad and the first generation Muslims. People fought with swords in the seventh century. So, someone could lose a hand and/or a foot in combat. The word translated “crucified” could mean “hanged.” Anjem Choudary and people like him are following in the footsteps of the devil which the Koran forbids us from doing. (Koran 24:21) The devil sows discord among men. (Koran 17:53) This is the activity of people who encourage terrorism. They, like the devil, are sowing discord among men. The Koran teaches that people should make peace among mankind. (Koran 4:114) The verses which command people to make peace and be at peace with others are not abrogated. “Peace is better.” (Koran 4:128) Abrogating verses are either similar to or better than the abrogated ones. (Koran 2:106) War, strife, and violence are not better than peace.]

Two more verses from the Koran.

God knows whatever is unseen in the heavens and in the earth. He is Well Aware of what you do. (Koran 49:18, Muhammad Sarwar)

Allah hath promised, unto such of them as believe and do good works, forgiveness and immense reward. (Koran 48:29, Pickthall)

I understand the words, “believe and do good works” to mean what St. James said in his Catholic Epistle about faith and works. “Faith without works is dead.” (James 2:26) Those who profess faith do not always possess genuine faith. Actions speak louder than words.

Murder, Suicide, and Terrorism in the Koran

March 5, 2016 Leave a comment

The suicide bombings carried out by radical, extremist, Islamic terrorists have created fear and hatred in the minds of many non-Muslims. Unfortunately, this fear and hatred have caused many of the moderate and progressive Muslims to become objects of hatred and discrimination by the non-Muslims. Much disinformation and hate propaganda regarding Islam and the Muslims has found its way onto the internet. Although it is true that there are Muslims who use the Koran and the other sacred literature of Islam to justify their terrorist activities. There are still many who understand the Koran in a different light, thus having a more positive and peaceful attitude toward non-Muslims. I am going to provide some citations from the Koran regarding murder, suicide, and terrorism in the Koran in order to show that these things are not encouraged by the Muslims’ holy book.

First, let us look at the prohibitions against murder in the Koran. In the third surah, it says:

Lo! Those who disbelieve the revelations of Allah, and slay the prophets wrongfully, and slay those of mankind who enjoin equity: promise them a painful doom. (Koran 3:21, Pickthall)

The “revelations of Allah” are the Bible and the Koran. Actually, the Koran had not been written down in the form of a complete book until after Muhammad’s death. Some scribes wrote down the revelations that Muhammad claimed to have received from the Archangel Gabriel. They wrote these down on palm leaves, bones, stones, etc. So, the Bible is principally intended here. The people who “slay the prophets wrongfully” are those Jews who murdered the Old Testament prophets, John the Baptist, and John’s father, Zachariah. Those who “slay those of mankind who enjoin equity” are people who murder those who encourage righteous living. The consequences of these activities is “a painful doom” in Hell.

The fourth surah contains another prohibition against murder.

O ye who believe! Squander not your wealth among yourselves in vanity, except it be a trade by mutual consent, and kill not one another. Lo! Allah is ever Merciful unto you. Whoso doeth that through aggression and injustice, We shall cast him into Fire, and that is ever easy for Allah. (Koran 4:29,30, Pickthall)

Here in these verses Hell is promised to those who kill others “through aggression and injustice.”

In the same surah there is more about the subject of murder.

It is not for a believer to kill a believer unless (it be) by mistake. He who hath killed a believer by mistake must set free a believing slave, and pay the blood-money to the family of the slain, unless they remit it as a charity. If he (the victim) be of a people hostile unto you, and he is a believer, then (the penance is) to set free a believing slave. And if he cometh of a folk between whom and you there is a covenant, then the blood-money must be paid unto his folk and (also) a believing slave must be set free. And whoso hath not the wherewithal must fast two consecutive months. A penance from Allah. Allah is Knower, Wise. Whoso slayeth a believer of set purpose, his reward is hell for ever. Allah is wroth against him and He hath cursed him and prepared for him an awful doom. (Koran 4:92,93, Pickthall)

These verses deal with killing a believer, that is, another Muslim. I think that they could also apply to a righteous Jew or a righteous Christian who has not adopted any of the heresies condemned in the Koran. (The heresies I am referring to are the subject of another blog.) The monotheist who has surrendered his will to Allah is according to some verses in the Koran a Muslim although he is not an Islamic one. (See Koran 2:62, 133; 3:52, 65-68, 113-115, 199; 4:125; 5:44-48; 7:159; 22:67; 29:69; 35:24; 37:71,72.) Verse 92 of this surah tells about the consequences for accidental manslaughter of a Muslim. (Contrast this with Numbers 35:9-34 and Deuteronomy 19:4-10.) The following verse tells about the punishment for murdering a Muslim. That punishment is “hell for ever.” Furthermore, Allah has “cursed him and prepared for him an awful doom.”

The sixth surah has a prohibition against abortion and murder.

Say: Come, I will recite unto you that which your Lord hath made a sacred duty for you: That ye ascribe no thing as partner unto Him and that ye do good to parents, and that ye slay not your children because of penury – We provide for you and for them – and that ye draw not nigh to lewd things whether open or concealed. And that ye slay not the life which Allah hath made sacred, save in the course of justice. This He hath command you, in order that ye may discern. (Koran 6:152, Pickthall)

The words, “slay not your children because of penury,” are often interpreted by Muslims as a prohibition against abortion. Muslims disagree among themselves regarding when the soul enters the fetus or embryo. There are some Muslims who agree with Christians and say that life begins at conception. There are others who say that life begins when the embryo is implanted in the womb. (Conception takes place in the fallopian tube and about 11 days later the embryo becomes implanted in the womb of a pregnant woman.) The majority of Muslims, however, believe that ensoulment occurs 40 days after conception. They base this belief on a hadith written down at least two hundred years after Muhammad’s death. As for the latter part of this verse, it clearly speaks of the sanctity of life. The only time that life can be taken is “in the course of justice.” Capital punishment for certain crimes is permissible in Islam.

Another prohibition against abortion occurs in the 17th surah.

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)

Here abortion is called a great sin.

In verse 33 of the same chapter, the sacredness of life is reiterated.

And slay not the life which Allah hath forbidden save with right. Whoso is slain wrongfully, We have given power unto his heir, but let him not commit excess in slaying. Lo! he will be helped. (Koran 17:33, Pickthall)

Here murder is forbidden. No life can be taken “save with right.” That means capital punishment for certain crimes and war when waged lawfully permit the taking of life, but in all other instances it is forbidden. In order to understand the words, “We have given power unto his heir,” read Surah 4:92,93 again.

The verse that is used by Muslims to indicate that suicide is forbidden is in the second surah.

Spend your wealth for the cause of Allah, and be not cast by your own hands to ruin; and do good. Lo! Allah loveth the beneficent. (Koran 2:195, Pickthall)

It says in this verse, “be not cast by your own hands to ruin.” Although the context of the passage indicates that one who does not spend his wealth for the cause of Allah, that is, to help the poor,  help build mosques, help spread the Islamic faith, etc., would be casting himself to ruin, it has another application. Do not harm yourself spiritually, physically, or in any other way. The principle of not casting oneself to ruin indicates a broader interpretation. Suicide is therefore forbidden. Also, remember the sanctity of life verses: Surahs 6:152 and 17:33. One should regard his own life as sacred as well as that of others.

Finally, there is a passage in the Koran that many moderate and progressive Muslims cite against terrorism. It is found in the fifth surah.

For that cause We decreed for the Children of Israel that whosoever killeth a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind. Our messengers came unto them of old with clear proofs (of Allah’s Sovereignty), but afterwards lo! Many of them became prodigals in the earth. 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; save those who repent before ye overpower them. For know that Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (Koran 5:32-34, Pickthall)

Verse 32 of this chapter indicates how much value is placed on the human life by Allah. Killing someone is equivalent to killing all mankind. Saving the life of someone is equivalent to saving all mankind. The idea here is the same idea expressed in the Jewish Talmud. He who destroys a man destroys a world. Those who do commit murder, of course, are destined for Hell. (See the previous citations in this blog.) St. John the Theologian would agree. He says, “No murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” (I John 3:15) The words, “strive after corruption in the land,” are interpreted as applying to terrorism.

The terrorist is indiscriminately killing innocent people, even Muslims. Terrorists killed and injured over one hundred Muslims in Ankara, Turkey on October 10, 2015. Those people were simply holding a peace rally. They wanted Turkey to stop fighting the Kurds. On November 13, 2015, terrorists killed more innocent people in Paris. They even killed some Muslims during their attacks. Terrorists also killed several thousand people on September 11, 2001. Many of the people who died during those attacks were also Muslims. These terrorists who call themselves Muslims do not hold life sacred as Surah 6:152 teaches. They do not regret destroying many worlds as that is what the Koran teaches concerning the value of human life. (Surah 5:32) They apparently carry out these horrible acts not even fearing the eternal consequences for doing so. Whatever kind of Hell awaits these people, I would not want to see. It must be something enormously terrifying.

Here is a video which explains Islam from a moderate Muslim viewpoint. Surah 5:32 is quoted in it.

 

Here is another video about a Muslim viewpoint regarding ISIS.

 

I think the narrator in the last video is a Shi’ite. The Shi’ites believe that there will not be an Islamic state until Jesus returns. However, there are plenty of Sunni Muslims who also denounce ISIS. ISIS is using religion to advance their own political agenda. Their version of Islam is extreme and is contrary to many of the teachings of the Koran.

There is also this matter regarding abrogation in the Koran. Surahs 2:106 says:

Such of Our revelations as We abrogate or cause be forgotten, We bring (in place) one better or the like thereof. Knowest thou not that Allah is Able to do all things? (Koran 2:106, Pickthall)

Many people are saying that the more benign verses in the Koran have been abrogated by the harsher ones like the Sword Verse (Surah 9:5).

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)

Maybe ISIS is teaching its followers this, but it really seems to be quite absurd. Surah 2:106 says that a revelation is replaced by one that is better or similar, that is, almost the same as the revelation that is abrogated. Is destroying thousands of worlds indiscriminately something that Allah wants people to do? (Each human life is valued as the value of all humanity. Surah 5:32) Does Allah want to turn warners and bearers of good tidings into warlords now? No one can believe without the permission of Allah. (Surah 100:101) This is absolutely ridiculous!

Anyway, what is Islam basically all about? It is about believing in the existence of only one God, believing that God sent Muhammad to convert polytheists to monotheism, praying five times a day, fasting,  giving to the poor, and making a trip to Mecca at least once during one’s life. Living a morally upright life is also what Islam is all about. No adultery, no fornication, no theft, truthfulness and just dealing with people is all taught in the Koran. The honor killings, the terrorism, and the other rubbish that gets media attention is not in the Koran. I have been reading it. It is not there! The first suicide bomber was back in the 1980s, not in the 7th century!

Not all Muslims agree about which verses and how many verses have been abrogated. There are some in the past who said 300. In recent times, there are Muslims who believe that fewer verses have been abrogated. One Muslim on his website said that only 21 were abrogated. Another Muslim said that a Muslim imam or sheik said that there are only five abrogated verses. Still another Muslim says that none were abrogated. He says that the revelations that were abrogated were those found in former revelations before the Koran. I think that he is referring to the Bible.

The revelation that abrogates must be better or similar to the one abrogated. I think that that is the test. Taking lives that Allah holds dear and sacred is not better. Since when has murder become better than saving someone’s life? “Whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind.” (Koran 5:32, Pickthall)

During my research on Islam, I have discovered that not all Muslims agree on what the Koran means. There are many different interpretations of the Koran and the Sunna among Muslims. Furthermore, they cannot even agree on which hadiths are authentic. (A hadith is short quote from Muhammad written down 200 to 300 years after his death. There is supposed to be chain of guarantors that authenticate the hadith. I think that a modern day lawyer would say that all of those hadiths are hearsay.) The Sunnis, the Shi’ites, and the Ibadis have different collections of hadiths. So, there is really not one version of Islam that all 1.25 to 1.7 billion Muslims subscribe to. The Wahhabis and the Salafis are the extremists. Ayatollah Khomeini did not teach traditional Shi’ite theology. He went off on the deep end and tried to establish an Islamic state in the 1980s contrary to the teachings of the Shi’ites. No Islamic state until Jesus returns. That is the traditional Shi’ite belief. There are even some Muslims today who call themselves Koranists. They accept none of the hadiths. They base their religious beliefs solely on the Koran. Then, of course, there are the Ahmadiyyah Muslims. They are a very peaceful sect of Muslims. Their sect was established in Pakistan a little over a hundred years ago. There are the Sufis and the Alevis. These are mystical Muslims. They are more interested in prayer and meditation than in world domination. My point here is that not all Muslims are terrorists. Some Muslims, who in my non-Muslim opinion, pervert the teachings of the Koran, are terrorists. I do not think that the Koran promotes murder, suicide, and terrorism.

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