Resources on How to Pray From the Quran Alone

Muslim man is praying in mosque

One of the common questions Quran Alone/Quranist/Qurancentric muslims get is how do they pray with the Quran alone? Here are some resources I compiled below: 


VIDEOS

­How To Pray Salat Without Hadith (Quran Only)

This is a short video. It’s only about 3 minutes long. It basically states that Quran already mentions details about where to face, what condition to approach the prayer in, how to perform ablution, and what to say in your prayers. 


THOUGHTS ON THE STRUCTURE OF FIVE DAILY PRAYERS

The Contact Prayer (Masjid Tucson)­

Of the websites I researched, this seemed the closest to the traditional Islamic position, with 5 daily prayers, specific things to say during the prayer by position, etc. What to say during certain times of day.


THE IDEA THAT THERE ARE ACTUALLY ONLY THREE DAILY PRAYERS

The Ritual Prayer (Quran-Islam.org)

The Quranic Salat­ (Quran-Islam.org)

The sources on Quran-Islam seem closest to a lot of the Quranist positions I see online. That there is no specific mention in the Quran of 5 daily prayers, and that there are actually only 3 daily prayers mentioned by name in the Quran. It does give good Quranically sourced details on what to do and say.


TWO DAILY PRAYERS?

Prayer According to the Quran (Abdullah Nayer)­

The Salat According to the Quran (The Truth is From God)­

According to these sources, there are only 2 daily prayers, because most of the Quranic verses that mention specific times of prayer only say “both ends of the day,” and nothing else.


ORIGIN OF PRAYER

How Can We Learn To Pray If We Don’t Have Hadith To Teach Us? (Medium)­

An interesting article about how Islamic prayer started with Abraham, not Mohammad.


NO STRUCTURE NEEDED FOR PRAYER?

Salat in the Quran (Sam Gerrans – Quranite)­

The position in this source is that there isn’t very specific instructions in the Quran for prayer because people are supposed to think for themselves and figure it out. The idea that there are specific X times a day to pray and specific things to say are a Hadithist idea, and that the word salat is vague and all-encompassing, like “duty.”

The Problematic History and Science of Hadith

The Hadith are a collection of the sayings and activities of the Prophet Mohammad PBUH that the vast majority of Muslims believe are key to their faith. The problem is that the Hadiths were collected and written more than 200 years after the death of the Prophet Mohammad PBUH through a chain of oral narrations.

The Quran proclaims it is fully detailed and contains the details of everything (7:52, 6:114. 10:37).

So why is an additional source needed? 

We will examine several problems with the Hadith below.


THE HADITH ITSELF SAYS THE SAHABA (COMPANIONS OF THE PROPHET) AVOIDED RECORDING HADITH

What’s interesting is that according to the Hadith itself, the Sahaba (companions of the Prophet) were hesitant to collect any sayings of the Prophet Mohammad PBUH outside of the Quran.

Narrated Aisha: My father gathered the ahadith of the Messenger of Allah, and they totaled five hundred, then he spent his night sleeplessly turning on his sides. I thought that he was upset because of someone’s complaint, or because of some news which he had heard. The next morning, he said to me, `Daughter! Bring me the ahadith in your possession,’ so I brought them to him, and he set them on fire.” Then he said: “It is possible that there should be certain things in it which did not correspond textually with what the Prophet had uttered, so I was worried that I die and these ahadith remain with me.

Reference: • See p. 237, Vol. 5, of Kanz al-`Ummal • Refer also to Ibn Kathir’s book Al-Bidaya wal-Nihaya as well as p. 5, Vol. 1, of al-Dhahabi’s Tadhkirat al-Huffaz


EARLY CRITICISM OF HADITH

And yet this science of Hadith eventually began some 100 years after the death of the Prophet Mohammad PBUH, despite the fact that the Sahaba themselves were reportedly afraid to engage in it.

Systematic application of hadith criticism began with Abū ḥanīfa (died 767 CE/150 AH). A large number of forged hadith about the Prophet Mohammad PBUH was creating a situation out of control, so some scholars wanted to verify which hadith were legit and which ones were not, to try and avoid the spread of misinformation. 

According to the scholar Daniel Brown criticism of this Hadith science began in the second century of Islam when Al-Shafiʽi (767–820 A.D.)  was establishing the final authority of a hadith of Muhammad in Islamic law.

An opposing group known as Ahl al-Kalam criticized  both the traditionists’ method and the results of their work. They doubted the reliability of the transmission of the hadith, including the traditionists’ evaluation of the “qualities of the transmitters” of hadith they considered “purely arbitrary”, and thought the collections of hadiths to be “filled with contradictory, blasphemous, and absurd traditions.”

Source: Brown, Daniel W. (1996). Rethinking tradition in modern Islamic thought. Cambridge University Press. p. 10. ISBN 978-0521570770. Retrieved 10 May 2018.

Later, another group of Hadith rejecters known as the Mu’tazilites emerged (which flourished in Basra and Baghdad in the 8th–10th centuries CE). They also viewed the transmission of the Prophetic sunnah as not sufficiently reliable. And it was their view that the Hadith was mere guesswork and conjecture, while the Quran was complete and perfect, and did not require the Hadith or any other book to supplement or complement it.

According to Racha El Omari, early Mutazilites believed that hadith were susceptible to “abuse as a polemical ideological tool”; that the matn (content) of the hadith—not just the isnad (chain of authorities)—ought to be scrutinized for doctrine and clarity; that for hadith to be valid they ought to be “supported by some form of tawātur.” Tawātur (Arabic:تواتر) is a term in the science of hadith and the usul al-fiqh), which is used when an account is reported numerously by different narrators and through various chains of transmission, in a way that substantiates its authenticity. Such a report is called mutawatir.


MOST HADITH COME FROM A SINGLE CHAIN OF NARRATION, NOT MULTIPLE CHAINS OF NARRATION

In writing about mutawatir (hadith transmitted via numerous chains of narrators) and ahad (hadith with a single chain, i.e. almost all hadith) and their importance from the legal theoretician’s point of view, Wael Hallaq notes the medieval scholar Al-Nawawi (1233–1277 CE) argued that any non-mutawatir hadith is only probable and can not reach the level of certainty that a mutawatir hadith can. However scholars like Ibn al-Salah (d. 1245 CE), al-Ansari (d. 1707 CE), and Ibn ‘Abd al-Shakur (d. 1810 CE) found “no more than eight or nine” hadiths that fell into the mutawatir category.


CAN ANY HADITH BE ACCURATE WHEN THEIR TRANSMISSION IS SUBJECT TO HUMAN ERROR AND BIAS? 

Imagine you are telling a story to someone who tells a story to someone who tells a story to someone who tells a story. A 200 year game of telephone. Even with the most honest and well intentioned people involved, how much would that story diverge over the course of time?

One Mu’tazilite who expressed the strongest statement of skepticism of any source of knowledge outside of reason and the Qurʾān was Ibrahim an-Nazzam (c. 775 – c. 845). For him, both the single and the mutawātir reports could not be trusted to yield knowledge.

He recounted contradictory hadith and examined their divergent content (matn) to show why they should be rejected: they relied on both faulty human memory and bias, neither of which could be trusted to transmit what is true.

Al-Naẓẓām supported his strong refutation of the trustworthiness of ḥadith within the larger claim that hadith circulated and thrived to support polemical causes of various theological sects and jurists, and that no single transmitter could by himself be held above suspicion of altering the content of a single report.


SCHOLARS WHO DISPUTE HADITH

Al-Nazzam (775–845 CE), Ibn Sa’d (784–845 CE), Al-Nawawi (1233–1277 CE), Ibn Hajar (1372–1449 CE), later reformers Syed Ahmed Khan (1817–1898 CE), Muhammad Iqbal (1877–1938 CE); and scholars from the West such as Ignác GoldziherJoseph Schacht, and G.H.A. Juynboll, (and in the present day Israr Ahmed Khan).


FLAWS OF HADITH SCIENCE

For many critics, the contradictions of hadith with natural law and with other hadith demonstrated that the traditional scientists of hadith (muhaddithin) had failed to find all false hadith and there must be something wrong with their method.

Explanations of why this was included the neglect of hadith content (matn) by muhaddithin in favor of the evaluation of chain/isnad of the hadith. But this did not mean critics accepted the traditional evaluation of hadith transmission with its supposed knowledge of the character and capacity of the reported narrators, that the scientists had focused on. How could the study of the character of transmitters (ʿilm al-rijāl) be an exact science when it was “difficult enough to judge the character of living people, let alone those long dead”?

Information on the narrators was scarce and often conflicting. Hypocrites could be very clever. There was “no assurance that all the relevant information” had been gathered, and if hadith could be falsified, could not the historical reports about transmitters be as well?

Also, if the content (matn) of a hadith could be forged, why could not the chain of transmitters—the isnad? This was an issue traditional scientists of hadith had “completely discounted” and was “perhaps the most serious challenge of all” to classical hadith criticism. How could a hadith be judged “reliable” on the basis of its chain of transmission when we know that forgers commonly fabricated these chains “in order to hide their forgery?” There was, after all, strong incentive “to attribute one’s own information” to the most highly regarded authorities.

According to Bernard Lewis, “in the early Islamic centuries there could be no better way of promoting a cause, an opinion, or a faction than to cite an appropriate action or utterance of the Prophet.” This gave strong incentive to fabricate hadith.

Lewis, Bernard (2011). The End of Modern History in the Middle East. Hoover Institution Press. pp. 79–80. ISBN 9780817912963. Retrieved 28 March 2018.


UNRELIABLE TRANSMITTERS

The primary tool of orthodox ʻilm al-ḥadīth Hadith studies to verify the authenticity of hadith is the hadith’s isnad (chain) of transmitters. But in the oldest collections of hadith (which have had less opportunity to be corrupted by faulty memory or manipulation) isnad are “rudimentary”, while the isnads found in later “classical” collections of hadith are usually “perfect,” suggesting the correlation between supposedly high quality isnads and authentic hadith is not good.

I.e. if the earlier stuff is simpler and more basic, and the later stuff is much more elaborate and suddenly has new details that weren’t there before, this indicates embellishment and adding details that weren’t originally there. For example, if I was to tell my son a story that said, “I went to the store.” And then my great grandson told a story about me, “going to the store, the zoo and then getting a haircut.” This would be clear embellishment, adding details that weren’t in the original story.

According to Muslim Islamic scholar Jonathan A.C. Brown, 20th century Egyptian scholar Mahmoud Abu Rayya noted the problem of transmission of hadith from allegedly reliable Companions of the Prophet. One Abu Hurairah, joined the Muslim community only three years before the Prophet’s death (i.e. when the community was becoming triumphant) yet was the “single most prolific” transmitter of hadiths from among the Companions, passing on “thousands of hadiths he claimed” to have heard—far more traditions than companions who had been with Muhammad since the beginning. Abu Rayya and others think it highly unlikely Abu Hurairah could have heard the thousands of hadiths he claimed to transmitted, nor that he learned the details of ritual and law to avoid mangling the meanings of hadiths on these issues he reported.

Caliph ʿUmar prohibited transmission of hadith because the problem of forgery “had become so serious.” During the Umayyad dynasty, hadith forgeries that attacked their enemy Ali and supported dynasty founder Muʿāwiya were state sponsored. The succeeding Abbāsid dynasty circulated hadith predicting “the reign of each successive ruler”. Even traditionists whose job it was to filter out false hadith, circulated fabricated hadith for causes they thought worthy.


SOME AUTHENTIC HADITH CONTRADICT THE QURAN

Sahih hadith states that adultery should be punishable by stoning.

Reference: Sahih al-Bukhari 7543
In-book reference: Book 97, Hadith 168
USC-MSA web (English) reference: Vol. 9, Book 93, Hadith 633

The Quran has a different punishment for adultery, which is lashing. 24:2

“Sahih” hadith orders death penalty on apostates:

Some Zanadiqa (atheists) were brought to `Ali and he burnt them. The news of this event, reached Ibn `Abbas who said, “If I had been in his place, I would not have burnt them, as Allah’s Messenger forbade it, saying, ‘Do not punish anybody with Allah’s punishment (fire).’ I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah’s Messenger, ‘Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.'”

Reference: Sahih al-Bukhari 6922
In-book reference: Book 88, Hadith 5
USC-MSA web (English) reference: Vol. 9, Book 84, Hadith 57

While the Qur’an says there is no compulsion in religion (2:256)


THE FALSE DOCTRINE OF ABROGATION

One way that scholars have used to make some of their hadith more “legitimate” than the Quran is through the principle of abrogation. They say that the later revealed verses abrogate the earlier revealed ones.

The following verse is used to promote this principle of abrogation.
“We do not abrogate a verse or cause it to be forgotten except that We bring forth [one] better than it or similar to it. Do you not know that Allah is over all things competent (2:106)?” 

Quran-Islam.org has a great response to this. The word translated to “verse” here also means “sign.” So the verse could actually be saying:

Whichever ‘ayat’ (miracle/sign) We instate or cause to be forgotten, We replace it with that which is better than it or similar to it. Did you not know that God is Capable of all things? (2:106)

The idea that verses of the Quran can abrogate themselves also contradicts the following other verses:

A.L.R. A Book whose verses have been perfected. 11:1 (word by word grammar and Arabic of verse)
There is no changing the Words of God. 10:64  (word by word grammar and Arabic of verse)

How could the Quran be a book that is perfected and the unchanging word of God if it changes over a short period of Mohammad PBUH’s prophethood (some 22 years)?


BUKHARI WAS IMPRISONED BY THE SCHOLARS OF HIS TIME

Muḥammad ibn Ismā‘īl al-Bukhārī (Persian: بخاری‎, ‎) (19 July 810 – 1 September 870) is highly regarded by Sunni Muslims for collecting the most authentic collection of hadiths. He finished his collection around 846 AD, more than 200 years after the death of the Prophet Mohammad PBUH.

Most Sunnis tell me that Bukhari was wildly respected and revered in his time. However, not many know that he was at one point imprisoned and then driven out of the city by the Hadith scholars of his time. This is because he preached that one’s recitation of the Qur’an is created, whilst the Qur’an itself is uncreated.

Bukhari also preached the doctrine of predestination (similar to Calvinism). This is a doctrine that all of one’s actions are ultimately controlled by God and God alone.

According to Ibn Hajar, Bukhari signified that if someone was to accept autonomy in creating his acts, he would be assumed to be playing God’s role and so would subsequently be declared a polytheist.

Thus Bukhari preached against free will and individual accountability, a concept that the Quran highly promotes. (3:182), (18:29).

Sources:

Wahab, Muhammad Rashidi, and Syed Hadzrullathfi Syed Omar. “Peringkat Pemikiran Imam al-Ash’ari Dalam Akidah.” International Journal of Islamic Thought 3 (2013): 58-70. “Disebabkan itu, al- Bukhari dalam kebanyakan perkara berkaitan dengan persoalan akidah dikatakan akan mengambil pendapat Ibn Kullab dan al-Karabisi(al-‘Asqalani 2001: 1/293)”

Azmi, Ahmad Sanusi. “Ahl al-Hadith Methodologies on Qur’anic Discourses in the Ninth Century: A Comparative Analysis of Ibn Hanbal and al-Bukhari.” Online Journal of Research in Islamic Studies 4.1 (2017): 17-26.


HORRIFIC AUTHENTIC HADITH

50 Horrific Hadiths 

Most often when people cite their reasons for leaving Islam, they cite some horrific authentic hadith they read, such as the hadith where Mohammad PBUH is telling people to drink camel urine (an import from Zoroastrianism) or when Mohammad PBUH is stoning to death a monkey.


THE QURAN ITSELF PROHIBITS USE OF HADITH OUTSIDE OF QURAN

THE QURAN ALONE AS A DIVINE AUTHORITY

These are God’s verses which we recite unto you [O Muhammad] truthfully. Therefore, in which HADITH other than GOD and His verses do they believe in? (45:6

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

Say: “Shall I seek for judge other than Allah? – when He it is Who hath sent unto you the Book, explained in detail.” They know full well, to whom We have given the Book, that it hath been sent down from thy Lord in truth. Never be then of those who doubt. (6:114)

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

The Quran warns against those who will break down its message into portions and treat it as an uncomplete message. 

Just as We had revealed [scriptures] to the separators. Those who break the Qur’an into parts. Them, by thy Lord, We shall question, every one. (15:90-92).


CONCLUSIONS

There is much more to say on this topic, but I will stop here. People say that the Hadith is necessary to practice the Deen, but given that most of it wasn’t written and compiled until 2 centuries after the Prophet Mohammad PBUH’s death, how did those people in the first two centuries of Islam function according to this logic? If anything, the Muslim people experienced immense success in the growth of their civilization before any hadith was collected and written down.

The Quran has instructions for all the things that are necessary to practicing the Deen. It is a simple text that relies on people to use their own common sense and judgment to figure things out. We don’t need to be told what foot should we should use to step into the bathroom or what side we should sleep on. This is all minutia.

Everything we need to know to practice our faith is full and complete in the Quran. 

For the important matters such as how to pray, give charity, fast and do the hajj, there is some great advice here. 

Does Quran Verse 2:54 Refer to a Death Penalty for Apostasy?

Verse 2:54 of the Quran is a contentious one because it says the following in the standard Quran translations:

Word by word grammar and Arabic of verse 

Sahih International: And [recall] when Moses said to his people, “O my people, indeed you have wronged yourselves by your taking of the calf [for worship]. So repent to your Creator and kill yourselves. That is best for [all of] you in the sight of your Creator.” Then He accepted your repentance; indeed, He is the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful.

Pickthall: And when Moses said unto his people: O my people! Ye have wronged yourselves by your choosing of the calf (for worship) so turn in penitence to your Creator, and kill (the guilty) yourselves. That will be best for you with your Creator and He will relent toward you. Lo! He is the Relenting, the Merciful.

Yusuf Ali: And remember Moses said to his people: “O my people! Ye have indeed wronged yourselves by your worship of the calf: So turn (in repentance) to your Maker, and slay yourselves (the wrong-doers); that will be better for you in the sight of your Maker.” Then He turned towards you (in forgiveness): For He is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.

Shakir: And when Musa said to his people: O my people! you have surely been unjust to yourselves by taking the calf (for a god), therefore turn to your Creator (penitently), so kill your people, that is best for you with your Creator: so He turned to you (mercifully), for surely He is the Oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful.

Some have said that this is the justification for having a death penalty for apostasy, as described in the Hadith. Therefore, I think it is important to examine this verse and whether this may or may not be true. Indeed if one takes the hadith as a divine authority, they would accept that the penalty for apostasy is death.

Hadith al-Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 260:

Narrated by Ikrima: Ali burnt some people and this news reached Ibn ‘Abbas, who said, “Had I been in his place I would not have burnt them, as the Prophet said, ‘Don’t punish (anybody) with Allah’s Punishment.’ No doubt, I would have killed them, for the Prophet said, ‘If somebody (a Muslim) abandons his religion, kill him.’”

However, if one does not take the Hadith as a divine authority, and only the Quran, or the Quran above the Hadith, one might come to a different conclusion.


EDIP YUKSEL’S TRANSLATION – “KILL YOUR EGO”?

Edip Yuksel seeks to understand and translate the Quran outside of the influence of the Hadith. He has written and published Quran: a Reformist Translation. Buy it here on Amazon. Read the PDF here for free.

Disclaimer: I’m not saying I necessarily agree with this. I am just examining his argument. 

Here is his argument below: 

Ego, the self-exaggerating or self-worshiping self, should be avoided while the realist
or appreciative self should be nourished. It is astonishing to see that many translations of the Quran render the phrase uqtulu anfusakum as “kill each other.”

How could they not notice thirty verses down, that is, the 84th and 85th verses of this very chapter [“Do not shed each other’s blood”]? The Arabic word nafs is a multiple-meaning word and its intended meaning can be inferred by considering its proximate context consistent with the entire text of the scripture. The multiple meanings ascribed to the word nafs (person) suggest that our personhood is a complex program with multiple layers and one part of it, the ego, needs to be controlled with reason and submission to God alone.

However, there is another way. We should be open to read the text of the scripture without being restricted to the traditionally codified readings. We should be
able to read the oldest texts that do not contain dots or vowels, in all possible readings, with the condition that they fit the context well and do not create internal or external contradictions within the ayat (signs) of the scripture or the ayat of nature.

There is a divine blessing and purpose in such flexibility. For instance, we might read the following verses differently. If the alternative readings change the
meaning dramatically, they are exclusive.

However, sometimes both alternative readings can co-exist at the same time. One of the following, however, is a linguistic marvel; with its four alternative combinations, it excludes and includes at the same time, depending on the reference of the key word
(3:7)! The following is a sample list:

• 2:243 Kharaju or Khuriju (inclusive)
• 3:7 Putting full stop after the word God
and/or not stopping after the word God
(both exclusive and inclusive!)
• 5:43; 5:6 Arjulakum or Arjulikum
(exclusive)
• 11:46 Amalun or Amila (inclusive)
• 21:112 Qala or Qul (exclusive)
• 30:1 Yaglibun or Yughlabun (exclusive)
• 42:52 Nashau or Yashau (inclusive)
• 54:3 Kullu or Kulla (inclusive)
• 74:24 Yuthir or Yuthar (inclusive)

Kitab or Kutub (inclusive or exclusive) in numerous verses

Let’s now discuss the alternative reading we are suggesting for 2:54.

The expression faqtulu anfusakum is traditionally mistranslated as “kill yourselves” or “kill each other” and it contradicts a proximate verse (2:84); thus, we may choose to translate the word nafs as “ego.” If we prefer consistency in using “person/self” for translation of nafs, then we may follow the following alternative reading: Faqbilu anfusakum, that is, “turn to yourselves,” or “accept yourselves,” or “face yourselves.” To discover other examples of different yet consistent and meaningful readings, we are hoping to systematically study the entire Quran in the future.


EXAMINING THE STORY OF THE GOLDEN CALF IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

When the Prophet Mohammad was reciting the Quran, he was speaking to people who were well aware of the stories in the Old and New Testament. Thus, to read the Quran without awareness of the Old and New Testament is to read the text without much of its context. Let us examine the story of the Golden Calf in the Old Testament.

The golden calf was worshipped by the Hebrews during the period of Exodus from Egypt in the 13th century BC and during the age of Jeroboam I, king of Israel, in the 10th century BC. Mentioned in Exodus 32 and I Kings 12 in the Old Testament, worship of the golden calf is seen as a supreme act of apostasy, the rejection of a faith once confessed. The figure is probably a representation of the Egyptian bull god Apis in the earlier period and of the Canaanite fertility god Baal in the latter. (Britannica)

In Exodus 32 of the Bible, the Hebrews who escaped Egypt asked Moses’s brother Aaron to fashion up a golden calf during the long absence of Moses on Mount Sinai.

The Lord threatened disaster upon the people for doing this, but Moses begged the Lord to show them forgiveness. So the Lord did not kill them. The second time this happened, and Moses saw what the people were doing, he had the idol melted and made the people drink it.

Then the following happened:

25 Moses saw that the people were running wild and that Aaron had let them get out of control and so become a laughingstock to their enemies. 26 So he stood at the entrance to the camp and said, “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me.” And all the Levites rallied to him.

27 Then he said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.’” 28 The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died. 29 Then Moses said, “You have been set apart to the Lord today, for you were against your own sons and brothers, and he has blessed you this day.” (Bible Gateway)

So the “kill yourselves” in the Quran may refer to Moses’s command for the men in this biblical verse to kill those who were running wild and worshipping the golden calf.


DOES VERSE 2:54 COMMAND THE DEATH PENALTY FOR APOSTASY?

HOW CAN THERE BE A DEATH PENALTY FOR APOSTASY IF THERE IS NO COMPULSION IN RELIGION? 

If we are to understand 2:54 in its biblical context, it is a situation where God commanded one of his prophet’s to take a particular action because the particular people were running wild and out of control. Because of this, there were growing threats from the enemies of the people and it had become a matter of safety and survival to subdue them in that particular situation.

However, there is no law in the Quran mandating this into the civil laws of everyday human beings. If anything the Quran speaks against the compulsion of religion.

Quran-Islam.org has some good responses to this, so I will share some of what they said instead of reinventing the wheel. Be sure to read the articles on their website.

Does the Quran authorise ‘hadd al-riddah’?

How “quranic” is the death penalty for apostasy?

Here shall be no compulsion in religion. 2:256 (word by word grammar and Arabic of verse)

These words confirm that no one is to be forced to believe nor punished for disbelieving.

Say, “The truth is from your Lord, so whoever wills shall believe and whoever wills shall disbelieve. We have prepared for the transgressors a Fire whose walls will surround them. If they call for help, they will be helped with a liquid like molten brass that scalds the faces. What a miserable drink and a terrible resting place! 18:29 (word by word grammar and Arabic of verse)

Once again, confirming that God gives complete freedom to all people to either believe or disbelieve, then it is God who punishes the disbelievers and not the humans.

How can God guide people who disbelieved after their belief, when they had already witnessed that the messenger was truthful, and when clear proofs had come to them? God does not guide the transgressing people. The penalty for those is that God’s curse will be upon them, as well as the angels, and all the people. Therein they shall permanently remain. The punishment will not be lightened for them, nor will they be granted respite, except for those who repent after that and reform, then indeed, God is Forgiver, Merciful. 3:86-89

The words (disbelieved after their belief) in 3:86 clearly speak of those who abandon their faith after having been believers. (word by word grammar and Arabic of verse)

Then, in 3:89 we read about those who repent after disbelieving and that they are forgiven by God. The question is, how would they have the opportunity to repent and be forgiven if they were killed for disbelieving?

The promoters of the ‘hadd al-riddah’ try to wiggle out of this tricky situation by saying that the repentance can take place just before they are to be killed.

Immediately, the Quran exposes their false claim. The fact that God says in 3:89 that He forgives them excludes those who are sentenced to death then repent just before being executed. This is because the words in 4:18 state that repentance is not accepted by those who repent when they feel death coming.

Finally, the following verse totally demolishes any remnants of the notorious non Quranic ‘hadd al-riddah’:

Those who believed, then disbelieved, then believed, then disbelieved, then increased in disbelief, God is not to forgive them, nor will He guide them to a path. 4:137 (word by word grammar and Arabic of verse)

The obvious question is: If a murtad (a Muslim who deserts Islam) was to be killed, how then would anyone believe, then disbelieve, then believe, then disbelieve? Surely after the first episode of disbelief his head would have been chopped off?


DOES ABROGATION REMOVE THE COMMAND FOR TOLERANCE? 

How can one believe the Quran states, “Here shall be no compulsion in religion (2:256), while simultaneously believing that the penalty for apostasy is death? A view populated by scholars is that the later revealed verses of the Quran abrogate verses that were revealed at an earlier point.

It is difficult for me to fathom that an omniscient, all knowing all powerful God would change His mind in the short period of the 23 years of Mohammad’s prophethood.

The following verse is used to promote this principle of abrogation.
“We do not abrogate a verse or cause it to be forgotten except that We bring forth [one] better than it or similar to it. Do you not know that Allah is over all things competent (2:106)?” 

Quran-Islam.org has a great response to this as well.

The word translated to “verse” here also means “sign.” So the verse could actually be saying:

Whichever ‘ayat’ (miracle/sign) We instate or cause to be forgotten, We replace it with that which is better than it or similar to it. Did you not know that God is Capable of all things?

The idea that verses of the Quran can abrogate themselves also contradicts the following other verses:

A.L.R. A Book whose verses have been perfected. 11:1 (word by word grammar and Arabic of verse)
There is no changing the Words of God. 10:64  (word by word grammar and Arabic of verse)

How is it that the Quran is the well preserved word of God, but is simultaneously so difficult to understand and contradictory that we need Hadith to understand it?

How could the Quran be a book that is perfected and the unchanging word of God if it changes over a short period of some 23 years? Some may say this was to reflect the changing conditions Mohammad and the Muslims faced. And yet even so, there is not a single command in the Quran for people to insert the death penalty for apostasy in their legal systems.

The Quran makes it clear that human life is precious.

“Because of that We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or (and) to spread mischief in the land – it would be as if he killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind.” – Quran 5:32

That’s not to say there are no punishments for murder in the Quran 2:178. The Quran also gives people the right to kill others in warfare and self defense. 22:39. 2:190.

But there is nothing I see clearly giving people the command to put the death penalty for apostasy in their legal systems. And such a punishment seems to contradict the verses of the Quran if the Quran is to be read as a comprehensive, complete and non-contradictory text from God most high.


 CONCLUSIONS

I am hesitant to agree with Edip Yuksel’s conclusion that 2:54 means “kill your ego,” because it is an interpretation made out of context of the story that Mohammad is referring to in the Old Testament, which clearly discusses the people killing each other.

My own analysis is that in 2:54 the Prophet Mohammad was referring to an instance in which God commanded Moses to kill those among his people who were running wild and causing havoc. For all we know, these people were violent as well, since they forced Aaron to construct that calf under violent threats. There are many instances in the Quran where God punished a wildly arrogant, idolatrous and impudent people with his power. But this is the power of God and God alone (and in the case of 2:54, something God did through Moses). But it is not a power given to human beings to wield over each other, and it certainly does not seem to be something that the Quran was telling us to put in place in our legal systems.

Are Zina and Fornication Different Things?

Within the Islamic tradition, the sin of zina is classified as both “adultery” and “fornication.” Now make no mistake, in this blog entry I’m not trying to make some argument that fornication is acceptable. I’m simply asking the question, does zina always include fornication, or is zina specifically adultery? 

Here are some verses that might highlight this point. 

#1) The punishment for women who commit fahisha (general sexual indecency) and zina in the Quran are different. 

Here is the punishment for women who commit fahisha: 

If any of your women are guilty of fahisha, take the evidence of four (Reliable) witnesses from amongst you against them; and if they testify, confine them to houses until death do claim them, or Allah ordain for them some (other) way. (4:15)

Here is the punishment for women who commit zina: 

The woman and the man guilty of zina,- flog each of them with a hundred stripes: Let not compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day: and let a party of the Believers witness their punishment. (24:2)

The punishment of a man for both things is lashing, but for a woman the punishments are different. If all lewd sexual conduct was zina, then why are the punishments for fahisha and zina different?

There are also a lot more instances of fahisha used in the Quran, to refer to various types of sexual lewdness. And much less use of the word zina.  If they both meant the same thing, wouldn’t they be used with similar frequency? 

#2) The 11th-century Islamic scholar, Al-Thaʿlabi wrote that verses 17:22-39 of the Quran refer to the ten commandments. Zina is mentioned in these verses. And the ten commandments forbids adultery specifically. 

And do not approach zina. Indeed it is ever an immorality and is evil as a way. (17:32)

#3) Bishop Sebeos, Bishop of the Bagratunis stated the following about Mohammad in 660 AD:  “Muhammad legislated that they were not to eat carrion, not to drink wine, not to speak falsehoods, and not to commit adultery.”

This is not exact proof that zina is specifically adultery. But it certainly raises questions. Zina is spoken of in the Quran much more harshly than fahisha and even punished more severely. Therefore, I’m inclined not to think that all fahisha is zina. But rather zina is a type of fahisha (most likely adultery given the contextual and historical evidence). 

How did zina come to be associated with fornication? I believe that over time, as people tried to justify the punishment of hadith for adultery (stoning) they skewed the meaning of adultery in the Quran. Because the punishment for adultery or zina in the Quran is clearly described in Surah An Nur (Chapter 24), and it isn’t stoning to death. However, if scholars could make some claim that the punishment of Surah An Nur was fornication, then they could keep the stoning for adultery and do lashings for fornication. 

Also, the word zina may have changed over time due to Persian influence. Just as English words change. For instance, if I called you a “villain” today, it would mean something different than if I called you a “villain” in Shakespearean England. 

Different Meanings of Zina in Arabic and Persian

Here’s something interesting from Dr Kashif Khan

Quranic word “زنا” (zina) is an active participle of Arabic verb “زَنَ” (zna) which is derived out of proto root “زن” (za nun) and correctly means: suppressing, pressing with weight, pressurising or retaining someone by force or restricting someone, droning, buzzing, rushing over, disturbance, uproar, purgatory, making hell and gehenna etc.

Hence, Arabic word “زن” (zan) means “weight”, which is seen in the word “وزن” (wazan) and popular Arabic idiom “زن زائد” (zan zaid) is taken to mean “overweight” in everyday Arabic language.

Whereas, similar Persian word “زن” (zan) means “woman” in Persian language, from where “زنا” (zina) becomes “womanize” or “womanizing” to mean “engaging in sexual affairs” and under the Persian influenced Islamic Caliphates the Persian Imams replaced Arabic word “زنا” (zina) with Persian word “زنا” (zina) in the understanding and translation of Arabic Quran. Since then Quranic word “زنا” (zina) is falsely taken to mean: fornication, adultery, extramarital sexual relation or sexual intercourse outside marriage etc. 

Basics on the Byzantine Empire

“The Byzantine Empire was an expansive landmass that historians, archeologists, demographers, and cartographers alike are enamored with. Born as a Roman colony named Byzantium, it would undergo a name change to Constantinople in 330 CE by Constantine I. What made the city of Constantinople so valuable was its location between Europe and Asia. When overlaid with the modern geopolitical map, the Empire covered Egypt, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Turkey to name a few. While the Empire grew and shrank its boundaries with time, trade was its lifeblood due to its location, which is now known as the city of Istanbul.”

Go Here For More Information

Why Promiscuity is Bad For Us – Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro

On this page, I will include two perspectives on promiscuity: One from clinical psychologist Dr. Jordan Peterson and one from American conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro. Both men are members of the Intellectual Dark Web, a loosely defined informal group of commentators who oppose what they believe to be the dominance of identity politicspolitical correctnesspartisan politics, and cancel culture in higher education and the news media.


DR. JORDAN PETERSON’S PERSPECTIVE ON PROMISCUITY

You can see his perspective in the video above. He starts out with a discussion about how the advent of birth control in the 1960’s dramatically changed society. Women could have sex without the burden of an unwanted pregnancy. The response to that in the 1960s was basically to have a party. The era of “free love” began where there was much open sex and sexual experimentation. 

Peterson comments that the results of this were hard on the family. And then there was the HIV epidemic. 

And now in our time, there seems to be a cultural paradox where the old taboos about sex are seeping back in through the radical left, rather than the radical right. 

There are two ideas contrasting each other here. One idea is that consensual sex is harmless fun. Another idea is that if consent is misunderstood, sex can become extremely harmful. 

What makes sex okay and what makes sex not okay is a bit more complicated than merely voicing consent. 

There’s this idea in our culture that we can extract sex from emotional intimacy, or that we can extract sex from psychological intimacy. And now we’re seeing the backlash to that idea. People feel used. If someone has intercourse and then regrets it the next day, that’s evidence that it wasn’t consensual. 

So the question is, What constitutes consent?

Can we really do whatever we want to whoever we want with no consequences and have there be no trouble about consent? It is Peterson’s argument that sex doesn’t work well outside of committed relationships. 

Across all cultures historically, there has been a strong proclivity for a social enforcement of monogamy. Peterson argues that you deviate from that at your peril. 

Peterson also brings up the problem of alcohol and says that if people were serious about reducing rapes on campus, they would get rid of alcohol. Most date rapes occur when the victim is intoxicated. 

Peterson ultimately says, Don’t do anything physically with anyone you wouldn’t talk to them about. There is emotional harm in it. There’s the cheapening of both parties. It’s gonna take a long time to sort this out. But hopefully we can do this in a serious manner, and it won’t be a matter of mobbing those who made an error. 


BEN SHAPIRO GIVES DATING ADVICE TO FANS

In the video above, Ben Shapiro gives advice about dating, marriage, and sex to his fans. 

In this video, he states that consent should be the first step when it comes to sex, but certainly not the only step. 

In short, if you are dating just for fun, then you don’t care about the person. Women generally crave intimacy more than men. And this idea that people can just have a one-night stand that doesn’t mean anything isn’t realistic. 

It’s human nature to form emotional attachments to the people they have sex with. And once sex happens, it’s very difficult to detach from the person. That doesn’t mean an attachment will happen every time, but it can happen a lot of the time. According to a study published in the Journal of Sex and Research  about half of people who hooked up wanted to hook up again, and about a third expressed an interest in forming a long-term romantic relationship. So it might not be a good idea to hook up with someone you don’t even like as a friend. Because there’s a one in three chance they could feel romantically attached to you. 

The purpose of dating should be to find someone to marry. Pure and simple. Dating someone for fun is like starting a business with one of your friends for fun instead of seeking out a reliable business partner. If you date someone you don’t see as compatible in the long term, you could still get stuck with them (because of feelings and sex) and before you know it, you’re attempting to build a life with someone who has completely different values, with someone you’re not even compatible with.  And that’s pretty much a waste of time and emotional energy.

Also, for women, we have a much smaller window of opportunity to get pregnant. So if we put off the marriage search to our 30s, that’s going to make it pretty difficult to find the right guy, get married, and then get pregnant all before our biological clocks stop ticking. Not a politically correct statement, but it’s the biological truth. 

Some people want to wait until they’re economically stable before marriage, but Ben Shapiro says that’s not necessary. Yes, you want to be economically stable for your kids, but this isn’t necessary for marriage. Marriage and finances are a lot more separate than children and finances. People don’t even have to live together to be married. They simply have to be committed. 

The Ten Commandments in the Quran

The ten commandments in the Old Testament and the Bible are of fundamental significance for religions and cultures based on the Judeo-Christian tradition. It is a microcosm of God’s covenant with humanity. 

Does the Quran refer to the ten commandments? 


First, let me share the Ten Commandments from Exodus in the Bible: 

The Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:1–17 read as follows:

And God spoke all these words, saying, ‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

[1] You shall have no other gods before (or: besides) me.

[2]  You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of
anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or
that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the
children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

[3] You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the
Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.

[4] Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall
labour, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to
the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son,
or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your
livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six
days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them,
and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath
day and made it holy.

[5] Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be long
in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

[6]  You shall not murder.

[7]  You shall not commit adultery.

[8] You shall not steal.

[9] You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.

[10]  You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet
your neighbour’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or
his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbour’s.’

The Ten Commandments are reinforced in the New Testament. Jesus, who refers to them as simply ‘The Commandments’ (Mark 10:19), proclaimed them as binding under the New Law and provided a short list of them (Matthew 19:17–19).


References to the Ten Commandments, or God’s Covenant, in the Quran

Q. 2:83–84 

And remember We took a covenant from the Children of Israel (to this effect): Worship none but Allah; treat with kindness your parents and kindred, and orphans and those in need; speak fair to the people; be steadfast in prayer; and practise regular charity. Then did ye turn back, except a few among you, and ye backslide (even now).

And remember We took your covenant (to this effect): Shed no blood amongst you, nor turn out your own people from your homes: and this ye solemnly ratified, and to this ye can bear witness.

Q. 7:142–145

We appointed for Moses thirty nights, and completed (the period) with ten (more): thus was completed the term (of communion) with his Lord, forty nights. And Moses had charged his brother Aaron (before he went up): “Act for me amongst my people: Do right, and follow not the way of those who do mischief.”

When Moses came to the place appointed by Us, and his Lord addressed him, He said: “O my Lord! show (Thyself) to me, that I may look upon thee.” Allah said: “By no means canst thou see Me (direct); But look upon the mount; if it abide in its place, then shalt thou see Me.” When his Lord manifested His glory on the Mount, He made it as dust. And Moses fell down in a swoon. When he recovered his senses he said: “Glory be to Thee! to Thee I turn in repentance, and I am the first to believe.”

(Allah) said: “O Moses! I have chosen thee above (other) men, by the mission I (have given thee) and the words I (have spoken to thee): take then the (revelation) which I give thee, and be of those who give thanks.”

And We ordained laws for him in the tablets in all matters, both commanding and explaining all things, (and said): “Take and hold these with firmness, and enjoin thy people to hold fast by the best in the precepts: soon shall I show you the homes of the wicked,- (How they lie desolate).”


The Ten Commandments in the Quran According to Al-Thaʿlabi

The 11th-century Islamic scholar, Al-Thaʿlabi, wrote extensively on this subject in his popular work (‘The Legends of Pre-Islamic Prophets’). Side Note: Al-Thaʿlabi wrote an interesting story about the ten commandments involving the angel Gabriel making tablets out of a tree in paradise and then giving Moses a pen made out of light that stretched all the way from Earth to Heaven. 

Al-Thaʿlabi describes the commandments as being in Quran verses 17:22-39: 

(22) Set not up with God another god, or thou wilt sit condemned
and forsaken.

(23) THY LORD HAS DECREED:

[1] You shall not serve any but Him, and to

[2] Be good to parents, whether one or both of them attains old age with
thee; Say not to them ‘Fie’ Neither chide them, but Speak unto them words respectful, (24) and Lower to them the wing of humbleness out of mercy and say, ‘My Lord, have mercy upon them, as they raised me up when I was little.’ (25) Your Lord knows very well what is in your hearts if you are righteous, for He is All-forgiving to those who are penitent. (26) And

[3] Give the kinsman his right, and the needy, and the traveller; and
Never squander; (27) the squanderers are brothers of Satan, and
Satan is unthankful to his Lord. (28) But if thou turnest from them,
seeking mercy from thy Lord that thou hopest for, then speak unto
them gentle words. (29) And Keep not thy hand chained to thy neck, nor outspread it widespread altogether, or thou wilt sit reproached and denuded. (30) Surely thy
Lord outspreads and straitens His provision unto whom He will;
surely He is aware of and sees His servants. (31) And

[4] Slay not your children for fear of poverty; We will provide for you
and them; surely the slaying of them is a grievous sin. (32) And

[5] Approach not fornication; surely it is an indecency, and evil as a way. (33) And

[6] Slay not the soul God has forbidden [to be killed], except by right.
Whosoever is slain unjustly, We have appointed to his next-of-kin
authority; but let him not exceed in slaying; he shall be helped. (34)
And

[7] Do not approach the property of the orphan, save in the fairest
manner, until he is of age. And fulfil the covenant; surely the
covenant shall be questioned of. (35) And

[8] Fill up the measure when you measure, and weigh with the straight
balance; that is better and fairer in the issue. (36) And

[9] Pursue not that thou hast no knowledge of; the hearing, the sight,
the heart – all of those shall be questioned of. (37) And

[10] Walk not in the earth exultantly; certainly thou wilt never tear the
earth open, nor attain the mountains in height. (38) All of that – the
wickedness of it is hateful in the sight of thy Lord.

(39) THAT IS OF THE WISDOM THY LORD HAS REVEALED TO
THEE:

Set not up with God another god, or thou wilt be cast into Hell,
reproached and rejected.

Al-Thaʿlabi also describes the commandments as being in 6:151-3

(151) Say: ‘Come, I will recite WHAT YOUR LORD HAS
FORBIDDEN YOU;’ that you

[1] Associate not anything with Him, and to

[2] Be good to your parents, and

[3] Slay not your children because of poverty; We will provide you and
them; and that you

[4] Approach not any indecency outward or inward, and that you

[5] Slay not the soul God has forbidden, except by right. That then He
has charged you with; haply you will understand. (152) And that you

[6] Approach not the property of the orphan, save in the fairer manner,
until he is of age. And

[7] Fill up the measure and the balance with justice. We charge not any
soul save to its capacity. And when you speak,

[8] Be just, even if it should be to a near kinsman. And

[9] Fulfil God’s covenant. That then He has charged you with; haply
you will remember.

(153) And that [10] THIS IS MY PATH, STRAIGHT;
SO DO YOU FOLLOW IT, AND FOLLOW NOT DIVERS PATHS lest
they scatter you from His path. That then He has charged you with;
haply you will be godfearing.’ 


The Ten Commandments in the Quran According to Al-Suyuti

15th Century scholar Al-Suyuti states the following in Al-Itqān fi ‘Ulum Al-Qur’an (translated into English as The Perfect Guide to the Sciences of the Qur’an):

Some scholars said: ‘This means that these ayas [of Surah al-Anam]
comprise the very first ten verses that God wrote for Moses in the
Torah. They are [as follows]:

[1] The affirmation that there is no other god but God (tawhıd Allah);
The prohibition of:
[2] Polytheism (shirk);
[3] [Pronouncing] a false oath (al-yamın al-kadhiba);
[4] Dishonouring one’s parents (uquq);
[5] Murder (qatl);
[6] Adultery (zina);
[7] Stealing (sariqa);
[8] Bearing false witness (zur);
[9] Desiring that which belongs to others (madd al-ayn ila ma fı yad alghayr); and
[10] The command to honour Saturday [as a day without work] (al-amr bi ta zim al-sabt).


The Ten Commandments and their Quranic Equivalents According to Al-akım al-Tirmidhı 

The 10th-century scholar Al-akım al-Tirmidhı studied prophetic tradition, mysticism, and promoted the idea of an intimate connection between Biblical Decalogue and the text of the Quran. He provided Quranic verses and their equivalents in the 10 commandments: 

[1] Whoso associates with God anything, God shall prohibit him
entrance to Paradise, and his refuge shall be fire; and wrongdoers
shall have no helpers [Q. 5:72];

[2] God declared about parents: Be thankful to Me and to thy parents; to
Me is the homecoming [Q. 31:14];

[3] He said about murderers [sing. al-qatil]: And whoso slays a believer
wilfully, his recompense is Hell, therein dwelling for ever, and God
will be wroth with him and will curse him, and prepare for him a
mighty chastisement [Q. 4:93];

[4] and about the oath (al-hilf): Do not make God a hindrance, through
your oath, [to being pious and godfearing, and putting things right
between people] [Q. 2:224];

[5] and about the testimony [that there is no other god but God]
(shahada): Pursue not that [which] thou hast no knowledge of; the
hearing, the sight, the heart – all those shall be questioned of
[Q. 17:36]


The Ten Commandments and their Quranic Equivalents According to Al-Kisai

Al Kisai penned the work Qiṣas al-‘Anbiyā’ (Arabic: قصص الأنبياء‎) or Stories of the Prophets. 

He provides the Quranic equivalents of the ten commandments: 

[1] ‘O Moses, I am God. There is no God but I. Worship Me and
associate not anything with Me …’ Ibn Abbas said: The equivalent of
this in the Qur’an is: Be thankful to Me, and to
thy parents; to Me is the homecoming [Q. 31:14].

[2] ‘O Moses, kill not an inviolate soul except rightfully …’ The
equivalent of this in the Qur’an is: And whoso slays a believer
wilfully, his recompense is hell … [Q. 4:93].

[3] ‘O Moses, steal not what belongs to another …’ Ibn Abbas said:
The equivalent of this in the Qur’an is: And the thief, male and
female, cut the hands of both … [Q. 5:38].’

[4] ‘O Moses, commit not fornication with your neighbour’s wife.’ The
equivalent of this in the Qur’an is: Any one of you who has not the
affluence to be able to marry believing freewomen in wedlock, let him
take believing handmaids that your right hand owns … [Q. 4:25].

[5] ‘O Moses, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ Ibn Abbas said: The equivalent of this in the Qur’an is: The believers indeed are brothers; so set things right between your brothers …[Q. 49:10].

[6] ‘O Moses, eat not that over which my name has not been spoken.’ Ibn
Abbas said: The equivalent of this in the Qur’an is: And eat not of
that over which God’s Name has not been mentioned … [Q. 6:121].

[7] ‘O Moses, give yourself leisure to worship me on the Sabbath day.’
Ibn Abbas said: And well you know there were those among you that
transgressed the Sabbath … [Q. 2:65].


Sources for this article: 

O People of the Scripture! Come to a Word Common to You and Us (Q. 3:64): The Ten Commandments and the Qur’an. Sebastian Gunther. University of Toronto. 

The Majority is Not a Criterion of Truth – Quran Quotes

Often when people have an interpretation or idea that is different from the majority, they get told they can’t possibly be right (because everyone else isn’t doing it that way).

We must keep in mind there was a time when the majority of people thought the sun went around the Earth. And when Gallileo had the courage to speak against this, he was imprisoned by the Catholic Church.

When a large number of other Muslims begin to practice their religion in a way that is un-Islamicincorporating cultural or traditional practices that are not part of the faithwe must have the courage to stand for what is right. Even if we must stand alone. Because we are here to follow God, not people.


QURAN QUOTES ON THE MAJORITY

6:116….And if you obey most of those on the earth they will lead you away from the path of God; that is because they follow conjecture, and that is because they only guess.
2:100…the majority do not believe (in The One God)
2:243…majority are ungrateful.
3:110…the majority are wicked.
4:114…the majority whispers lies.
5:32…..the majority are transgressors
5:49…..majority are wicked
5:59…..majority are wicked
5:62…..the majority hasten to sin and transgression and consuming money illicitly. Miserable indeed is what they were doing.
5:64…..the majority are rebels and rejectors
5:66…..the majority practice on indecency.
5:71…..the majority are blind and deaf;
5:81…..the majority are wicked
5:103…the majority do not use common sense.
6:37…..the majority do not understand
6:111…the majority do not understand
6:116…the majority would lead you astray they follow nothing but mere surmise and they do nothing but make conjectures.
6:119…the majority wants to mislead you with their interests.
7:17…..the majority are ungrateful
7:102…the majority are fasikun
7:131…majority do not actually know.
7:187…majority do not actually know
8:34…..the majority do not actually know.
9:8…….the majority is wicked.
10:36…the majority following conjecture.
10:55…the majority do not actually know
10:60…the majority are ungrateful
10:92…the majority are heedless..
11:17…the majority do not believe the Quran.
12:21…the majority do not actually know
12:38…the majority are ungrateful
12:40…the majority do not actually know.
12:68 ..majority do not actually know.
12:103.the majority do not believe
12:106.the majority associating The One God.
13:1…..the majority do not believe
16:38…the majority do not actually know.
16:75…the majority do not actually know.
16:83…the majority are Kufr
16:101.majority do not actually know.
17:89…the majority are Kufr
21:24…the majority do not know what is right and wrong.
21:93…the majority disintegrated because of their made religion.
23:70…the majority do not like the truth.
25:44…majority are more astrayed than livestocks.
25:50…the majority do not want to hear the truth but continue to deny.
26:8…..the majority do not believe.
26:121.the majority do not believe
26:139.the majority do not believe
26:158.the majority do not believe.
26:174.the majority do not believe.
26:190.the majority do not believe.
27:61…majority actually do not know.
27:73…the majority are ungrateful
28:13…the majority do not actually know
28:57…the majority do not actually know
29:63…the majority did not really understand
30:6…..the majority actually do not know …
30:30…the majority do not actually know
30:42…the majority are actually polytheists
31:25…the majority do not actually know
33:72…the majority were wrong and like to do wrongs.
34:28…the majority do not actually know
34:36…the majority do not actually know
34:41…the majority serving the Jinn.
36:7…..the majority do not believe
37:71…the majority of the past are misguided
39:29…the majority do not actually know
39:49…the majority do not actually know
40:57…the majority do not actually know
40:59…the majority do not believe
40:61…majority ungrateful
41:4…..the majority turned disobedient
43:78…the majority do not like the truth
44:39…the majority do not actually know
45:26…the majority do not actually know
49:4…..the majority do not understand.
52:47…the majority do not actually know
57:26…the majority are wicked
71:24…the majority are astrayed by leaders who have increasingly in loss due to their property and children.
89:15…the majority of people when tried by his Lord to honor him and favoring his life, saith: “My Lord has honored me!”

 

Ramadan and Lent – A Shared Spiritual Origin?

In a previous post, I mentioned that Ramadan may actually be in September. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim year. It was Umar who changed the Muslim calendar to be the way it is today. There are arguments that before that, the Muslim people followed a 12-month calendar and used both the sun and moon as units of time.

If Ramadan were in September every year, fasting times around the world would be roughly the same. Nobody in Norway would have to pull off a 20 hour fastathon.

What is even more miraculous, is that Jesus (The Prophet Isa) may have done his 40 day fast around September.

Here’s an academic paper about it:

Ramadan, the Lost Christian Tradition: The correlation between the Islamic Ramadan Fasting and Jesus’s Temptation in the Wilderness.

The abstract of the paper reads as the following:

  • [Western writers sometimes refer to Ramadan as “the Muslim Lent.” There are deep resemblances between Ramadan and Lent (and some differences). But Ramadan is the Holy month of fasting for Muslims, from sunrise to sunset, where they do not eat food or drink water for 30 days. Even deeper still, there is a claim by some Muslim Clerics that Jesus fasted during Ramadan. If this is true, that would mean Islam is the continuation and preserver of authentic Christianity. Therefore, I want to investigate if there is any validity to this claim.]

There is also a discussion on Biblical Hermeneutics that states Matthew situated Jesus’s fast sometime after the summer around the Fall.

We know that Lent (the Christian fast) isn’t in September, but apparently, the practice of Lent and fasting in the Christian tradition was changed over time.

The surprising truth about fasting for Lent (The Conversation)

The article states that there were a variety of fasting traditions among the early Christians, but it was only later that they developed a fasting tradition that would precede Easter.

Facing Terrorist Evil and Oppression – The Strength of the Individual Empowered by Allah

Today three people were killed. One of them was a woman who was reportedly beheaded in a French church by a man shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is the Greatest). Other reports say she had her throat slit. NDTV.

Regardless of the specifics, it is a horrific act. And as a Muslim, hearing story after story of atrocities committed by people claiming to share my faith is incredibly demoralizing.

I was wondering today what individuals can do to fight against such evil. It is a difficult question to be sure. But in the endeavor to answer this question I was looking to guidance from the Quran and will share below what I found.

In writing this I am not in any way casting blame on the Muslim community. I am not interested in finger pointing or whataboutisms. I am simply interested in exploring what we, as Muslims, can do as individuals to empower ourselves and our communities against extremism. And in this endeavor, I will look toward God’s message of guidance – the Holy Quran, along with other sources of wisdom.

Made God forgive me if I make an error.

In any kind of adversity, God advises patience. 

And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient. (The Quran – 2:155)

Many godly people fought to help the Prophets in the cause of God. They did not lose courage, show weakness, or give in when facing hardships in their fight for the cause of God. God loves those who have patience. (3:146).

But more than being patient, we as Muslims have a responsibility to take an active role in fighting against evil, oppression and tyranny. We must use our words and our actions and anything we have within our power to speak out against such evil and stop it from taking place. This includes protecting the innocent and the vulnerable against violence and oppression.

And what is wrong with you that you fight not in the Cause of Allah, and for those weak, ill-treated and oppressed among men, women, and children, whose cry is: “Our Lord! Rescue us from this town whose people are oppressors, and raise for us from You one who will protect, and raise for us from You one who will help.” (4:71)

We cannot be silent or inactive in the face of evil, because that makes us complicit in such evils. 

“If I sit silently, I have sinned.” — Mohammad Mossadegh

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” — Archbishop Desmond Tutu

So when we see evil, we must speak out. And we must make efforts to root out extremism, violence, fear, and ignorance in our own communities. Some people say that such words blame the Muslim community. I’m not interested in pointing fingers. I’m interested in being better.

There is a Hadith that says the Ummah is like a body. When one limb bleeds we all bleed.

Al-Nu’man ibn Bashir reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The parable of the believers in their affection, mercy, and compassion for each other is that of a body. When any limb aches, the whole body reacts with sleeplessness and fever.”

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 5665, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2586

When one digit commits injustice, we all share in the consequences of this injustice, whether we like it or not. We all suffer the resulting Islamophobia. We must speak out and we must make our voices speaking to peace and justice louder than those promoting oppression and tyranny.

As Muslims we must compete with others in goodness and good deeds. 

 Everyone pursues his goal. Compete with each other in performing good deeds. Wherever you are, God will bring you all together. God has power over all things. (2:148)

To say such things is not to ignore the history of colonialism and the wars for oil that have weakened and divided the Muslim world. But rather to remind the Muslim world that as Muslims we must strive to be the world’s BEST people in goodness, no matter what adversity befalls us. For that is God’s command to His followers.

The fight against evil starts at the individual level. 

You should enjoin right conduct on others but mend your own ways first. Actions speak louder than words. You must first practice good deeds yourself, then preach (2:44)

In the bible, Prophet Isa (Jesus) said, “First, remove the beam out of your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:5)

If we wish to change the world, we must first start with ourselves. We must root out the hate, injustice and evil that dwells in our own hearts through complete submission to God and God alone—The Compassionate and Mercful—Creator of all and Lord of all that is good.

We must not put the words of men on par with God, even if they are scholars of the highest esteem. Because even scholars are people too, liable to make mistakes and errors. So we must read the Quran, think for ourselves, and implore to God in sincerity to guide us to the straight path.

As individuals, we must be gentle and kind ambassadors of our faith. 

It is by God’s grace that you were gentle with them — for if you had been harsh and hard-hearted, they would surely have deserted you — so bear with them and pray for forgiveness for them. (3:159)

When you are speaking about Islam to non-muslims, it is best to be kind and gentle. If you are harsh or get easily offended, you will drive them away from Islam. And we must also be kind in our words to each other, avoiding backbiting, criticism and ridicule.

As individuals, we must remember not to fight evil with evil, but with good. 

Not equal are the good deed and the bad deed. Repel evil by that which is better, and then the one who is hostile to you will become as a devoted friend. But none is granted it except those who are patient and none is granted it except one having a great fortune. (41:34)

If someone insults and yells at you, and you reply with kind words and patience, there is a chance they could be transformed from an enemy to a friend. And that is true victory.

What is goodness?

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. (2:177)

Goodness is generosity, kindness, the liberation of the oppressed, help to those who ask, and patience in the face of adversity. Goodness does not belong to any sect or any nationality. It is universal.

What is justice? 

And We ordained for them therein a life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth, and for wounds is legal retribution. But whoever gives [up his right as] charity, it is an expiation for him. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the wrongdoers. (5:45)

A punishment must match the crime. Forgiveness of the assailant is also an option if one wishes to seek their reward with God. Not only that, but forgiveness is also the most courageous response in the face of an offense. 

But indeed if any show patience and forgive, that would truly be an exercise of courageous will and resolution in the conduct of affairs. (42:43)

True courage is not executed through violence, harsh words or harsh actions, but through forgiveness and patience. That is not to say Islam is a pacifist faith. It does permit people to fight when they are being attacked, but only to fight combatants who are killing and oppressing them—never the innocent.

So the fight against evil and extremism starts at the individual level. Everyone can do something, no matter how small. Much like David versus Goliath. The truth has power. And no amount of money or weapons in the world can compete with the truth.

We must think deeply about our deen and research and contemplate it.  We must seek knowledge. God elevates those who seek knowledge to higher degrees (58:11). And we must not be afraid to speak out to others when they say things that are in error or ignorance. But we must speak to them in a kind way, avoid insults or rude behavior.

May God grant us the strength to follow the straight path.