Quranic Ambiguities Analysed (22.11.09) (26.01.16)

· Islam
Authors

Analysis of Islamic Conceptions/Misconceptions based on the Qur’an. edited 23.11.09 (11,553 words)

There have been so many different conceptions of the Qur’anic verses and other Islamic beliefs that are worth analysing in detail.

Here we will analyse

(1) Arabic definition of Islam (SLM),

(2) Compulsion in Religion,

(3) Apostasy,

(4) 6 Pillars of Islam,

(5) Shariah Law,

(6) Defining an orthodox Muslim,

 (7) JIHAD,

(8) Dar al-Harb, Dar es Islam

(9) Compatibility of cultures.

Contents


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Masjid Al Haram

Prologue

The Qur’an contains a very complex number of verses because it was purported to have been written in the Seventh Century scribes of that time and has altered little since. It was not arranged in a chronological order but by the lengths of the verses. Hence there is no logical sequence. The Qur’an has been further complicated by the fact that The Prophet Mohammed altered or updated (abrogated) his views as circumstances changed in his life. Unfortunately several of the abrogated verses were not removed from the original Qur’an but left behind without any reference to the abrogation except in a general manner and this has caused even further ambiguities.

The verses seem to have been put together without much organization, and thus different implications can be manipulated or interpreted to convey different concepts , dependent upon the skill of the reader or their intentions. We will  look at some of these ambiguities to analyse and attempt to appreciate the intention of the Prophet Mohammed when he made these statements. Furthermore, the original text was written in classical seventh century Arabic and thus referred to the diction used during that era .  Arabic words are based upon the root symbols and can mean different things, dependent upon where the “accent marks” (vowels) are placed. If these “accent marks” were missing, due to the way script was written in the very early days, or errors, indifference or lost with time, several other interpretations are possible, hence the confusions. This makes for the need of great Arabic language skills to analyse the intended or true meanings of the words or verses.

A major pitfall when either Muslims or non-Muslims discuss Islamic beliefs is to forget that there are many sects in Islam that have differences in interpretation of Islamic ideology. However the two major sects in Islam are the Shia who number 218 million-15%, and the Sunni who number 1,237 million-85%,  world wide, (mid-2005 census). [21]  It is also evident that because of the divergence of ideologies, that  Shia Muslims are often not familiar with Sunni concepts and vice versa, adding to further contentions and misunderstandings. Such differences often make it difficult to cover all aspects of  these ambiguities, but can be critical in a discussion, if these subtleties are not recognized.

“ISLAM” MEANS “SUBMISSION” (TO ALLAH) AND NOT “PEACE”

That is what we (non-Muslims) are constantly told by most Muslims. In fact many Muslims believe that that is what Islam means and stands for, but is this not so according to the Arabic language translation of the word?

“Islam” is derived from the Arabic “aslama,” which means “surrender” (to the will of Allah). “Muslim” means “one who has surrendered to the will of Allah.”
The argument that “Islam means peace” is based on a three-fold interpretive error.

  1. Arabic is based on consonantal roots. Islam is derived from the root SLM. Arabic is also a poetic language that uses words derived from the same root as similes that are used to deepen the meaning of other words. SLM is also the root for the words salim, which means “safe,” saleem, “perfection,” sallama, “salvation,”salama, “blameless” and salaam, “well being.” Using all of these words gives an expanded meaning to the word Islam: “when one surrenders to the will of Allah, as revealed by His Prophet, one will find salvation, perfection, safety and well being.”
  2. The word salaam is often translated as “peace” but this is only one of several meanings. Its primary meaning is actually “well being.” It can also mean health, soundness, wholeness, safety and serenity. A common Arabic greeting is “as-sallam alaykum,” which is usually translated as “peace be upon you,” but it’s extended meaning is “may well being, wholeness and tranquillity be upon you.”
  3. The English word “peace” has two meanings. The first and primary meaning is derived from its Latin root “Pax.” This is translated as “cessation of conflict.” The term Pax Romania described the peace secured by surrendering to Roman law. The second meaning of peace is derived from the Latin serenus, meaning serenity/tranquillity — when one is serene one can also be said to be peaceful. The word salaam is actually synonymous with the second meaning of peace, serenity. The first meaning is better served by the Arabic word sulh (root SLH), from salaha, meaning; reconciliation, to make peace, or peace treaty.

In saying that Islam means peace Islamic apologists are simply indulging in word play in order to put as positive a spin on things as they can. It is to argue that Islam promotes “non-violence.” As we will see such a peace is only available to one who has first surrendered to Allah and it is denied to those who refuse to surrender. Mohammed would sign his treaty offers with the words, “aslem taslam,” “surrender and you will be safe.” [1]

The Root of SLM

Lissan al-Arab, one of the most authoritative lexicons of the Arabic language, mentions that the word “Islam” is derived from the root verb “istaslama (استسلاما);” which means “to submit” or “give in” or “surrender,” while the term “salam (سلام)” means “peace,” a truce, or a non-warring state.
The word Islam derives from the Arabic triconsonantal root sīn-lām-mīm (SLM [ س ل م ]). Many different words are created from this root word by inserting different vowels between the three root consonants. Many English speakers wrongly assume that if two Arabic words share the same root word then their meanings are related when in reality the fact that some words share the same root word does not imply a relationship between the meanings of the words. For instance, all of these words are derived from the root S-L-M:

Word Arabic Meaning
Islam اسلام Submission
Salam سلام Well-being/Peace
(Derivation of) Salama سلما The stinging of a snake or the tanning of the leather
Saleema سليما To be saved or to escape from danger (when referring to a female)
Saleem سليم To be saved or to escape from danger (when referring to a male)
Aslam اسلم To submit
Istaslama استسلاما To surrender
Musal مسل Undisputed
Tasleem تسليم To receive a salutation or becoming submitted
Many people have wrongly attempted to equate the word Islam with peace by showing that Islam, meaning ‘submission,’ shares a root word with Salaam, meaning ‘peace’. But if such relationships between the meanings of Arabic words can be created then that would imply that there is a relationship between one of the derivations of the infinitive Salama, meaning the stinging of the snake or tanning the leather, and Salam, meaning peace; a relationship which obviously does not exist. It can be clearly seen that the “Arabic Islam” is definitely the root from the “Arabic word Aslam” rather than to “Salam.” To imply that it could be related to the root of “Aslam” requires some feat of conjuring. [2]

“ISLAM” AS SEEN IN THE CONTEXT OF THE WHOLE QUR’AN

Anyone who has studied the Qur’an and the many verses with all its intent, as well as the criteria of the  basic Pillars of Islam would see that Islam means “Submission to the Will of Allah.” There is no other interpretation. But as the Arabic language, written with the imprecise root words of SLM which is the basis of “Aslam”(To submit) was well as “Salam” (Well being/Peace) the exact intention of that meaning must be derived from the rest of the verses in the Qur’an and its intention and significance as a whole to Islamic philosophy. But either out of ignorance or misguidance or intended obfuscation, it has been convenient to alter the true meaning of “Islam” to mean the word “Salam” which interprets into “well-being or Peace.” By so doing they accomplish the effect of portraying Islam as a religion of Peace thus obfuscating the true intent of the Prophet who meant it to mean “Submission to the Will of Allah.” This misleads both Muslims and non-Muslims alike and intentionally promotes a benign impression of Islam in line with the other peaceful  major religions  practised today.

It is a  misinterpretation that would easily convince both Muslims as well as uninformed non-Muslims who have not delved deeply into Islamic studies. Therein lies intentional or unintentional obfuscation and thus creating  misconception. A misconception, because it does not comply with the other basic doctrines of Islam, and this will be touched upon later. But the main intention for promoting that Islam stands for Peace is to create a peaceful benign image of Islam like the image of the other great religions of the world. That is the image that Muslims believe and would like to portray to the world.

International Definitions of ISLAM (for authentication)

The above descriptions showing the root of SML from the Arabic for Islam is “Aslam” (not “Salam”) should be convincing enough but the limited international list that follows indicate that reputable sources also subscribe to this interpretation. [2]

(1) “Islam: Submission to Allah’s Will.” Islamic Dictionary. [3]
(2) “Islam: Ar:Surrender (to Allah) from “aslama” to surrender.” Collins English Dictionary & Thesaurus. [4]
(3) “Islam:Arab=Surrender. n.f. aslama. he surrendered.” The Concise Oxford Dictionary. [5]
(4) “Islam C19. Ar. surrender (to Allah), aslama to surrender.” Collins Concise English Dictionary. [6]

There Is No Compulsion in Religion Qur’an 2:256 & 2:257 [But the options are either Satan or Allah]

This phrase, (out of context) has been used repeatedly to convince non-Muslims that Muslims are free to worship any religion that they wish. But Qur’an 2:256 should be read only as a couplet and not quoted out of context. We should also consider the rest of the verse as well as the following relevant verse.

[2.256] There is no compulsion in religion; truly the right way has become clearly distinct from error; therefore, whoever disbelieves in the Satan and believes in Allah he indeed has laid hold on the firmest handle, which shall not break off, and Allah is Hearing, Knowing.
[2.257] Allah is the guardian of those who believe (in him.) He brings them out of the darkness into the light; and (as to) those who disbelieve (an infidel), their guardians are Satan who take them out of the light into the darkness; they are the inmates of the fire, in it they shall abide.

Firstly, the first phrase of 2:256 by itself is clearly out of context and is definitely misleading. But reading the two verses as a couplet as it should always be, we can see that Mohammed meant that either you believe in Allah who will bring you into the “Light” or you may follow “Satan” who will lead you into darkness. [There is no choice, it is either Allah or Satan.] In other words those who are not Muslims are not compelled to become Muslims, if they prefer to follow Satan. It is very similar to the Christian doctrine of:

Jesus said to her,
“I am the resurrection and the life.
He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;
and whoever lives and believes in me will never die…”
(John 11:25-26)  or

John 5:24  “King James Bible
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”

However, it does not imply that there are No Compulsions for religion on Muslims. When it is read in conjunction with other verses in the Qur’an and the Hadiths, the restrictions become clear.

Contradicting Q:2:256 are other verses in the Qur’an that clearly implies the only way is the way of Allah, in no way complies with “There is No compulsion in religion” such as:

Bukhari:V4B52N220 “Allah’s Apostle (Mohammed) said, ‘I have been made victorious with terror.'”
Qur’an:8:12 “I shall terrorize the infidels [non-Muslims]. So wound their bodies and incapacitate them because they oppose Allah and His Apostle.”
Qur’an:8:57 “If you gain mastery over them (Infidels) in battle, inflict such a defeat as would terrorize them, so that they would learn a lesson and be warned.”
Ishaq:326 “If you come upon them (infidels), deal so forcibly as to terrify those who would follow(them), that they may be warned. Make a severe example of them by terrorizing Allah’s enemies.”
Qur’an:8:67 “It is not fitting for any prophet to have prisoners until he has made a great slaughter in the land.”
Ishaq:588 “When the Apostle Mohammed descends on your land none of your people,Jews and Christians, will be left when he leaves.”

The half a dozen verses from the Qur’an and Hadiths do not indicate that Islam is tolerant of any religion (way) other than Islam. So to claim that, “There is no compulsion if religion” within Islam is contradictory as Islam is intolerant of other beliefs. The above shows that there is no tolerance of infidels (non-Muslims).  The phrase (quoted out of context), “There is no compulsion in Religion”  is misleading and  untrue in the context of Islamic teachings.

THE PENALTY FOR APOSTASY IN ISLAM IS DEATH

Most Muslims will  tell us that there is no command in the Koran regarding the punishment for apostasy in their earthly life. One verse in the Qur’an that refutes this is:

Qur’an:4.89 “They desire that you should disbelieve (in Islam, become apostates) as they have disbelieved (infidels), so that you might be (all) alike; therefore take not from among them (apostates) friends until they fly (their homes) in Allah’s way; but if they (apostates) turn back, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and take not from among them a friend or a helper.”

However, the Qur’an is supplemented by the Hadiths and therein lies many of Mohammed’s personal views and statements on apostasy.

(1)  Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 260:
Narrated Ikrima:

Ali burnt some people alive (former Muslims), Prophet had said, ‘If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him.’ ”

Ishaq:550: The reason that Allah’s Messenger (Prophet Mohammed) ordered Abdullah Bin Sad slain was because he had become a Muslim and used to write down Qur’anic Revelation. Then he apostatised (rejected Islam) after becoming suspicious of some verses which the prophet changed after his (Mohammed’s) suggestions.

(2)  Ishaq:551 The Messenger (Prophet Mohammed) ordered Miqyas’ assassination because he became a renegade by rejecting Islam.

(3)  Bukhari, 5-59-632 Once Muadh ( one of the six trusted scholars by Mohammed called Kutab al-Wahi) paid a visit to Abu Musa and saw a chained man. Muadh asked, “What is this?” Abu Musa said, “[He was] a Jew who embraced Islam and has now turned apostate,” Muadh said, “I will surely chop off his neck!”

(4)  Bukhari Volume 9, Book 83, Number 17:
Narrated Abdullah:

Allah’s Apostle (Prophet Mohammed) said, “The blood of a Muslim cannot be shed except in three cases: In Qisas for murder, a married person who commits illegal sexual intercourse and the one who reverts from Islam (apostate) and leaves the Muslims.”[7]

***AFTER ELIMINATING APOSTATES REMOVE NON-PRACTISING MUSLIMS

Half a Muslim is worse than a kafir. Only a true Muslim can be a terrorist and can terrorise the world. The litmus test is the five times prayers in a mosque where they can be seen and counted.  Our great apostle thought of an ingenious way to correct this situation. When he noticed some Muslims missing congregational prayers in Mosque regularly, he wanted to set an example for others, he had the vermins burnt alive along with their houses and the families.

Bukhari:V1B11N626 “The Prophet said, “burn all those who had not left their houses for the prayer, burning them alive inside their homes.’”

Following this famous hadith and sunna , practising Muslims and Salafi followers of  Abdul Wahab killed or maimed 400,000 wishy washy Muslims of Arabia in 19th century . This terrorized the Muslims of the world and convinced them the power of Islam and increased conversion to Islam many folds.

EVEN OCCASIONAL MISSING OF PRAYERS MUST BE PUNISHED

BUKHARI:V1B11N617: “I (Mohammed) would order someone to collect firewood and another to lead prayer. Then I would burn the houses of men who did not present themselves at the compulsory prayer and prostration.” [8a]
Saudi Arabia (Religious Freedom)

“Religious Freedom Report 1999

Section I. Freedom of Religion

***Freedom of Religion does not exist (in Saudi Arabia). Islam is the official religion, and all citizens must be Muslims. The Government prohibits the public practice of other religions. Private worship by non-Muslims is permitted.
The Government has declared the Islamic holy book the Koran, and the Sunna (tradition) of the Prophet Muhammad, to be the country’s Constitution. The Government bases its legitimacy on governance according to the precepts of a rigorously conservative form of Islam. Neither the Government nor society in general accepts the concept of separation of religion and state.

***Conversion by a Muslim to another religion is considered apostasy. (To Muslims) public apostasy is a crime under Shari’a (Islamic law) and is punishable by death.

Islamic practice in Saudi Arabia, generally is limited to that of the Wahhabi order, which adheres to the Hanbali school of the Sunni branch of Islam as interpreted by Muhammad Ibn Abd Al-Wahab, an eighteenth century religious reformer. Practices contrary to this interpretation, such as visits to the tombs of renowned Muslims, are discouraged.” [8]

Attitudes towards Apostasy in some other Muslim Countries

(1) The Saudi Arabia views are express above. Death for apostasy.
(2) In 1980 Pakistan incorporated making any disparaging remark against any personality revered in Islam (Prophet Mohammed or Allah) into the penal code as an offence. In 1990, the Federal Shari’a Court (FSC) ruled that “The penalty for contempt of the Prophet Mohammed is death and nothing else.” This covers any blasphemy and apostasy is part of this contempt. But this wide ruling has allowed Muslim to harass and persecute suspected apostates, Christians, Ahmadis, and others.
(3) Afghanistan, a clear case in 2006 when Abdul Rahman was charged with apostasy for becoming a Christian and could have faced the death sentence but with International Appeals Rahman was allowed on health (mental) grounds to seek asylum in Italy.
(4) Iran has the death penalty for Apostasy.
Baha’i sect are considered heretics in Iran.  Her followers are persecuted in orthodox Islamic countries.
Ahmadi sect are considered heretics for altering the precepts of the Koran by several countries including Pakistan the nation of their Origin. Her followers are mercilessly persecuted in orthodox Islamic countries.
(5) Algeria: anyone proselytizing anything but Islam faces 2-5 years in jail and a fine of 5,000 to 10,000 Euros.
(6) Turkey does not implement the death penalty for apostasy.
(7) Islamic Vigilantes: have killed, beaten, threatened converts out of Islam in Pakistan, Palestinian territories, Turkey, Nigeria, Indonesia, Somalia, and Kenya. [9]

There are many Muslims who do not want to face the realities of apostasy and are in denial that most ordinary Muslims feel very strongly about this betrayal of their faith. This is because the doctrines of Islam, based upon the Qur’an and the Hadiths, have been instilled into most Muslims even from the age of understanding at 2 or 3 years of age. Islam is a part of a Muslim and they are totally integrated with every aspect of Islam, from the adoration of Allah, to living the 5 (or 6) Pillars of Islam, to their personal habits and rituals, to their hygiene and food intake, to their family codes of conduct, to Sharia Law, to their dress codes, to their political allegiances, to their financial and banking laws and codes, even to the ritualism’s of  death ceremonies. It is like no other religion. Islam is a complete religious, political, economic, social and cultural system of life!

The Five (or Six) Pillars of Islam

The popular belief that there are only Five Pillars of Islam is because that is the official view of Sunni Muslims who constitute 85 % of the world’s Muslim Population. Many Sunnis are not aware that other sects observe the six Pillars of Islam. However Sunnis do not dispute the following as a command of Allah, i.e.
Qur’an:2:216 “Jihad (holy fighting in Allah’s Cause) is ordained for you (Muslims), though you dislike it. But it is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and like a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knows, and you know not.” [Another translation reads:] “Warfare is ordained for you.”

Here is a quotation of the beliefs of the Kharijite Muslim sect:
“Originally, Kharijites were Shiites, partisans of Ali, but they rejected him, too, when Ali submitted to arbitration: Men, they argued, had no right to decide what Allah had already resolved in Ali’s favour and what could be determined on earth only through battle. In their fanatical idealism, they became anarchists, opposing both Muawiyah and Ali, Sunni and Shia, alike. Though the Kharijites shared the Shia’s sense of historical injustice at Ali’s loss in Islam’s historic power struggle, the sect was ultimately rejected by all Muslims, including the Shia. For it was a Kharijite who murdered Ali. For Kharijites, jihad, or spreading Islam by the sword, was their faith’s sixth pillar. Islam became decidedly pragmatic in the mid-seventh century under Umayyad rule, reverting more or less to a secular kingship. Muawiyah, the gifted fifth caliph who ruled not from Arabia but from Damascus, introduced a dynastic element to Islamic rule and institutionalized practices that most modern Islamic militants reject as secularism, the effective separation of religion and state. [22]

The following is another documentary evidence that Shia Muslims accept the Doctrine of Jihad as their sixth Pillar of Islam:

“All Shia Muslims believe there are seven pillars of faith, which detail the acts necessary to demonstrate and reinforce faith. The first five of these pillars are shared with Sunni Muslims. They are shahada, or the confession of faith; namaz, or ritualized prayer; zakat, or alms giving; sawm, fasting and contemplation during daylight hours during the lunar month of Ramadan; and hajj, or pilgrimage to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina once in a lifetime if financially feasible.

The other two pillars, which are not shared with Sunnis, are jihad—or crusade to protect Islamic lands, beliefs, and institutions, and the requirement to do good works and to avoid all evil thoughts, words, and deeds.” [23]

 Sunnis declare that there are only Five Pillars of Islam when the Shi’ites and Kharijites acknowledge that there are six or even seven pillars of Islam. So it is not erroneous that the concept of six Pillars of Islam because throughout the Qur’an, Jihad is accepted as one of the commands of Allah for all sects of Islam.

The following is another source of the concept of the Six Pillars of Islam:
The Qur’an mandates six basic practices for the Muslim. These practices are often called the Six Pillars of Islam.

1.  The Confession (Shahada): “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah,” this creed is repeated by every Muslim and marks one’s conversion to Islam.

2.  Prayers (Salat): Muslims are required to pray five stated times each day. These prayers, known as salat, may be done individually or in a mosque. Prior to entering into prayer, each Muslim must perform ablution. Each prayer is accompanied by postures and actions, and consists of recitations from the Qur’an, in Arabic, and individual petitions. All individuals, when they pray, must face toward Mecca, which is the birthplace of Muhammad. In addition to the five stated prayers, the Muslim may also offer informal prayers, called doas. These may be voiced in any language and are of a more personal nature.

3.  Alms giving (Zakat): This alms-tax is a mandatory donation to charity. This obligation to share one’s wealth with the less fortunate is stressed throughout the Qur’an, and constitutes about two and a half percent of one’s annual income. An additional tax of the equivalent of one day’s food is required to be paid on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, the holiday of feasting that marks the end of Ramadan. Some Muslims also give a voluntary endowment, called a waqf, for the building of mosques, schools, libraries and hospitals.

4.  Fasting (Sawm): Fasting must be observed during the daylight hours of the month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. During this time, observers abstain from eating, drinking, smoking, sexual intercourse, and spend time reflecting on the needs of the poor and their obligations to Allah. Ramadan was observed by some groups prior to the rise of Islam, and was taken from the Sabaeans.

5.  Pilgrimage (Hajj): It is required of every Muslim who is physically and financially able to go on at least one pilgrimage to Mecca during his lifetime. During the hajj, all participants, men and women, rich and poor, and all nationalities, are equal. While non-Muslims are banned from Mecca, the millions who journey to there for the annual pilgrimage arrive in the same pilgrim dress of unsewn white material, and perform the same prescribed rituals, including circulating the Ka’ba, kissing the black stone, offering an animal sacrifice, drinking from the well of Zamzam, and casting stones at the Devil.

6.  Jihad: The struggle to propagate the faith of Islam throughout the world. [10]

The Qur’an and Hadiths

The Qur’an, with supplements from the Hadiths are the basis of Islam. Muslims believe that the Qur’an in its original Arabic to be the literal “Word of Allah” is the divine guidance for mankind that was revealed to the Prophet Mohammed through the angel Gabriel over a period of 23 years and that it is Allah’s final revelation to humanity as Mohammed was the “Final Seal of Allah.” (That there would be no other prophets after Mohammed.)  Muslim theologians consider the Qur’an to be eternal and uncreated, and that is the way Muslims see their Qur’an. Based on the Koran and the Hadiths the Shari’ah Law evolved the principles that rules all aspects of Muslim life. [11]

Shari’ah Law based on the Qur’an and Hadiths

What is the Shari’ah?

Examples of Shari’ah Law
Islam is often in the news these days. News articles that relate to Islam sometimes refer to the Shari’ah. What is the Shari’ah? The Shari’ah is the Islamic Sacred Law which was developed hundreds of years ago by Islamic jurists using the Koran and Hadiths (records of what the Prophet Muhammad said and did during the time he was alive) as guideposts. The Shari’ah outlines a complete way of life in a legal framework which tells a believer how to do everything from, how to pray, what to eat, to how to practice personal hygiene. What does the Shari’ah law actually state? Here are some examples of Shari’ah law:

1. Offensive, military jihad against non-Muslims is a communal, religious obligation;
2. A person who is ignorant about Islamic legal opinion must follow the legal opinion of a scholar;
3. The penalty for a Muslim apostate (someone who no longer believes in or no longer follows the tenets of Islam) is death;
4. When slaughtering animals for food, a knife must be used to cut the windpipe and gullet;
5. A woman is only eligible to receive half the inheritance of a man;
6. Marriage may be forced on virgins by their father or father’s father;
7. A non-Arab man may not marry an Arab woman;
8. A woman must seek permission from her husband to leave the house;
9. A Muslim man cannot marry a woman who is a Zoroastrian, an idol worshipper, an apostate from Islam or a woman with one parent who is Jewish or Christian, with the other being Zoroastrian; a Muslim woman cannot marry anyone but a Muslim;
10. A free Muslim man may marry up to four women;
11. Retaliation is obligatory in most cases when someone is deliberately murdered except when a Muslim kills a non-Muslim, a Jew or a Christian kills a Muslim apostate or a father or mother kill their offspring;
12. Non-Muslim subjects (Ahl al-Dhimma) of a Muslim State are subject to a series of discriminatory laws —“dhimmitude.”
13. The penalty for fornication or sodomy is being stoned to death;
14. The penalty for an initial theft is amputation of the right hand. Subsequent thefts are penalized by further amputations of feet and hand;
15. A non-Muslim cannot testify against a Muslim in court; a person who is “without respectability” cannot give legal testimony; a woman’s legal testimony is only given half the legal weight of a man’s (and is only acceptable in cases involving property); to legally prove fornication or sodomy requires 4 male witnesses who actually saw the act;
16. The establishment and continuation of the Islamic Caliphate (by force, if necessary) is a communal obligation;
17. Sodomites and Lesbians must be killed;
18. Laughing too much is forbidden;
19. Musical instruments are unlawful;
20. Creating pictures of animate life is forbidden;
21. Female circumcision, which includes the excision of the clitoris, is obligatory;
22. Slavery is permitted;
23. People may be bribed to convert to Islam;
24. Beating a rebellious wife is permissible; and,
25. Lying is permissible in a time of war (or jihad). [12]
The above definitions are a few examples that guide the behaviour of orthodox Muslims. The link will provide further examples of Shariah Law to those who are interested.[12]

Defining: The Orthodox Muslim, The Extremist Muslim, The Terrorist Muslim, The Moderate Muslim,  The Nominal Muslim, The Apostate Muslim

These are the common terms used to refer to Muslims today. Some are due to “political correctness” but most are out of ignorance. So I would like to discuss the realities or the myths of Muslims to clarify ambiguities.

A Muslim

After a great deal of investigation, I have come to the conclusion that there is only one class of Muslim.  A person who is an orthodox Muslim who piously accepts the Qur’an as the indisputable and unchanging Word of Allah and that the Mohammed was latest and final prophet, who observes strictly the 5 (or 6) Pillars of Islam, who accepts that Sharia Law is the only law derived from the Koran and the Hadiths, and who accepts that there is no other god but Allah. That description encompasses the boundaries of a Muslim, an orthodox Muslim. All Muslims adhere to this description as all Muslims are equal in the eyes of Allah. The above describes a Muslim in a religious context and that is my visual image of a Muslim. A Muslim is one who has submitted to the Will of Allah and follows the 6 Pillars of Islam.
Thus, to label Muslims as “extremist” or “terrorist” or “fundamentalist” or “moderate” is incorrect. All the aforementioned Muslims are simply Muslims following the orthodox teachings and principles of Islam. All read the same Qur’an, the same Hadiths, and accept the same Sharia Laws and worship in similar Mosques following the same rituals. All the aforementioned Muslims accept every command of the Word of Allah as stipulated in the Koran.

A Moderate Muslim

This is a “politically correct” term used initially so as not to offend or alienate  Muslims. But it is a misnomer unless some westerners mean a “Nominal Muslim” similar to a “nominal Christian” in the western jargon. We shall elaborate on this later. But I see what most people say are “moderate Muslims” are those Muslims who work and live peacefully within their communities not causing any problems with their neighbours. But they, nevertheless are as devout in their beliefs as “orthodox Muslims” but exist peacefully. I assess such Muslims as “dormant Muslims” or “sleeper Muslims” who are playing a low profile in an alien or unfriendly environment. These are the Muslims who will not raise their voices against the Islamic Jihadists who perpetrated the 9/11 atrocities in New York, or the 7/7 carnage in London because it is not politic to do so. They may even rejoice quietly among themselves when they see Islam winning over non-Muslims. In fact these Muslims empathize with the cause of Islamic Jihadists worldwide but lie low. But they are orthodox Muslims, living a quiet and peaceful life, and unobtrusive, yet loyally and piously Muslim.

Why the Deafening Silence from Moderate Muslims after 9/11 and 7/7 and others?

Because if they are “religious or true” Muslims they will obey the commands of Allah and all Muslims know the Qur’an well, such as:
Qur’an:2:216    “Jihad [holy fighting in Allah’s Cause] is ordained for you [Muslims], though you dislike it. But it is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and like a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knows, and you know not.” [Another translation reads] “Warfare is ordained for you.”

So if they are “religious” Muslims, to speak out against any Muslim acting in the service of Allah they would be blaspheming? All Muslims are aware that if they spoke out against those acts, they are speaking out against Jihadism, i.e. speaking out against the teachings of the Qur’an. The few who do speak out against some of these atrocities as un-Islamic, like Dr. Wafa Sultan and Amil Imani are taking risks with their lives. They will be classified as apostates and a Fatwa issued on them. Both those mentioned have alreadyd death threats.

Dr. Wafa Sultan, a Syrian-American psychiatrist, who is now an ex-Muslim, said,
“The clash we are witnessing around the world is … a clash between a mentality that belongs to the Middle Ages and another that belongs to the twenty first century,” she said. “It is a clash between freedom and oppression.” [18] [19]

Amil Imani, is an Iranian-American, who is now an ex-Muslim and writes about Islam. Amil says.
“There is no such thing as moderate Islam. There is no such thing as secular Islam or a secular Muslim. It’s the nature of the faith to deny any separation of religion and the state or religion and society. There are numerous sects within Islam. One and all are extremes and not in the least amenable to change. Keep in mind that Islam claims that it is the perfect eternal faith for mankind. Splits have occurred and will continue to occur in Islam. Yet, reformation has not happened in nearly 1400 years and is not going to happen. Islam is carved in granite, just the way it was. No change is possible. Allah’s Qur’an is a sealed volume. ” [20]

This concept that there is no flexibility in Islam is difficult for those with a Christian background to understand. Remember that it is a Seventh Century concept/religion mentality that and you have to understand. The Jews and Christians and Romans of that era were all of a similar mentality. They were living in harsh, nomadic, desert, illiteracy, where life and early death were the norms of the day. But Christianity has since moved on into the 21st Century, while Islam has remained  in the 7th Century because of the concept of the finality of the word of Allah as contained in the Qur’an.

The following will illustrate the Commands of Allah from the Qur’an and the Hadiths to show that every Muslim owes obligations to Allah, if he is a Muslim, without exception. Of special interest is Qur’an 4:95 below that show that even 1400 years ago Mohammed recognized that there would be those Muslims “who sit at home and receive no injurious hurt………but Allah prefers Jihadists who strive hard and fight  above those who sit home. He has distinguished his fighters with a huge reward. (in Paradise)”

It would not take much to influence the attitudes of those who sit at home to join the  Islamic Jihad because of their faith and their knowledge of the wishes of Allah. The significances of the following 10 Qur’anic and Hadith verses says much to Muslims.

Qur’an:2:216 “Jihad [holy fighting in Allah’s Cause] is ordained for you [Muslims], though you dislike it. But it is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and like a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knows, and you know not.” [Another translation reads]: “Warfare is ordained for you.”
Qur’an:4:95 “Not equal are those believers who sit at home and receive no injurious hurt, and those who strive hard, fighting Jihad in Allah’s Cause with their wealth and lives. Allah has granted a rank higher to those who strive hard, fighting Jihad with their wealth and bodies to those who sit (at home). Unto each has Allah promised good, but He prefers Jihadists who strive hard and fight above those who sit home. He has distinguished his fighters with a huge reward.”
Bukhari:V4B52N44 “A man came to Allah’s Apostle and said, ‘Instruct me as to such a deed as equals Jihad in reward.’ He replied, ‘I do not find such a deed.'”
Bukhari:V1B2N25 “Allah’s Apostle was asked, ‘What is the best deed?’ He replied, ‘To believe in Allah and His Apostle Muhammad.’ The questioner then asked, ‘What is the next best in goodness?’ He replied, ‘To participate in Jihad, religious fighting in Allah’s Cause.'”
Qur’an:33:22 “Among the Believers are men who have been true to their covenant with Allah and have gone out for Jihad [holy fighting]. Some have completed their vow to extreme and have been martyred fighting and dying in His Cause, and some are waiting, prepared for death in battle.”
Bukhari:V4B53N412 “Allah’s Apostle said on the day of the conquest of Mecca, ‘There is no migration now, only Jihad, holy battle. And when you are called for Jihad, you should come out at once.'”
Bukhari:V4B52N311 “Allah’s Apostle said, ‘There is no migration after the Conquest of Mecca, but only Jihad. When you are called by the Muslim ruler for Jihad fighting, you should go forth immediately, responding to the call.'”
Muslim:C28B20N4631 “I heard Muhammad say: ‘I would not stay behind when a raid for Jihad was being mobilized unless it was going to be too hard on the believers. I love that I should be killed in Allah’s Cause; then I should be brought back to life and be killed again.'”
Qur’an:9:111 “Allah has purchased the believers, their lives and their goods. For them (in return) is the Garden (of Paradise). They fight in Allah’s Cause, and they slay and are slain; they kill and are killed.”
Bukhari:V4B52N196 “Allah’s Apostle said, ‘I have been ordered to fight with the people till they say,”None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.”‘

These Moderate Muslims are not Muslims who have accepted the peaceful aspects and rejected the militant aspects of Islam, because by rejecting any part of the Qur’an amounts to rejecting the Word of Allah, and that is blasphemy, and the penalty is death. So taking this into consideration, either a Muslim accepts the whole of Islam or he is an apostate. An apostate is not a Muslim, he is a “non-Muslim.” So calling a Muslim a “Moderate Muslim” implies he is not an orthodox Muslim, but a “false Muslim.” So either a Muslim is a Muslim accepting all the conditions expected of a Muslim or he is an apostate. There can be no half-Muslim. But a Muslim could be a “dormant Muslim.” That can be the only explanation for a “moderate Muslim.”

The Nominal Muslim

There are many Muslims, especially some living in the West, who could be classified as “nominal Muslims” similar to “nominal Christians” who live the life of the “Muslim culture” but do not observe any of the Commands of Allah. In fact they may even contravene all or some the Commandments of Allah like (1) Not observing the mandatory Islamic religious prayers and ritualism, (2) Not observing Halal foods and alcohol ban and other personal practices, (3) Not adherring to rules like,  Sex outside the codes of Sharia Law, (4) or not attending prayers in Mosques, (5) or Ignoring the requirements of the 5 (or 6) Pillars of Islam, and so on. But these people are still seen as Muslims but are actually non-practising Muslims. To be correct and precise these people are Muslim renegades or ex-Muslims as described above.

Misconceptions are due to lack of understanding

So it is quite evident that to the westerner, such critical assessment is impossible unless we understand what constitutes “Haram & Halal” in Islam. This requires a good understand of Islam, the Hadiths, the Islamic traditions, Islamic history, Sharia Law, and the Islamic culture. Here we can only see the tip of the iceberg.

The other adjectives for Muslim’s speak for themselves.

Jihad is Holy Fighting in Allah’s Cause…and is One of its Pillars (Noble Qur’an:2:190)

Without a doubt, this word Jihad conjures a lot of ambiguity and a lot of emotion, so let us look deeper into what this word signifies to a Muslim as well as to non-Muslims. The Arabic root of this word is JHD. Jihad is a derivative of “jahada” meaning “to struggle or to strive.” So it means “to struggle or to strive in the cause of Allah/Islam” or “to achieve Allah’s will, or to surrender to Allah’s will and Allah’s cause.” Thus we see that the word “mujahid” is one who struggles/fights to achieve Islamic ideals, and “mujahideen is the plural of the word. But the root Arabic JHD also forms the work “ijtihad” meaning “intellectual or spiritual struggle.” This shows why the Afghans are referred to as “mujahideen.”
However to many who are guided by the Qur’an the word “Jihad” conveys the perception of an “Islamic Holy War.” It is easy to see why this concept is uppermost in most minds, to both Islamic and non-Islamic minds. [16]:

Qur’an:2:216 “Jihad (holy fighting in Allah’s Cause) is ordained for you (Muslims), though you dislike it. But it is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and like a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knows, and you know not.” [Another translation reads]: “Warfare is ordained for you.”

Bukhari:V1B2N25 “Allah’s Apostle was asked, ‘What is the best deed?’ He replied, ‘To believe in Allah and His Apostle Muhammad.’ The questioner then asked, ‘What is the next best in goodness?’ He replied, ‘To participate in Jihad, religious fighting in Allah’s Cause.'”

The Qur’an does spell it out loud and clear with no ambiguity, and even more so in the Hadiths:

Noble Qur’an:2:190 Footnote: “Jihad is holy fighting in Allah’s Cause with full force of numbers and weaponry. It is given the utmost importance in Islam and is one of its pillars. By Jihad Islam is established, Allah’s Word is made superior (which means only Allah has the right to be worshiped), and Islam is propagated. By abandoning Jihad Islam is destroyed and Muslims fall into an inferior position; their honor is lost, their lands are stolen, their rule and authority vanish. Jihad is an obligatory duty in Islam on every Muslim. He who tries to escape from this duty, or does not fulfill this duty, dies as a hypocrite.”
Bukhari:V4B52N65 “A man came to the Prophet and asked, ‘A man fights for war booty; another fights for fame and a third fights for showing off; which of them fights in Allah’s Cause?’ The Prophet said, ‘He who fights that Allah’s Word, Islam, should be superior, fights in Allah’s Cause.’ [Basically, Muhammad didn’t want to discourage any motivation for fighting. He just wanted to remind them that his cause was the one for which they needed to fight.]”
Muslim:C40B20N4676 “Jihad Is Compulsory.”
Bukhari:V4B52N284-5 “When the Divine Inspiration [Qur’an surah]: ‘Those of the believers who sit at home,’ was revealed, Maktum came to the Prophet while he was dictating the verse. ‘O Allah’s Apostle! If I were able, I would take part in Jihad.’ So Allah sent down revelation to His Apostle: ‘…except those who are disabled, blind, or lame.'”
Muslim:C40B20N4676 “Believers who sit home and those who go out for Jihad in Allah’s Cause are not equal.”
Bukhari:V4B52N54 “The Prophet said, ‘Were it not for the believers who do not want to be without me, I would always go forth in army-units setting out for Jihad.'”

It is a common concept among many Muslims that there are two meanings of Jihad, i.e., The Greater Jihad (akbar), meaning the inner, or spiritual struggle to purify oneself in the attempt to achieve the higher levels of perfection in Islamic life according to the Qur’an. And the concept of The Lesser Jihad (asghar), which implies the use of force to further the cause of Islam.  Apologists will claim that Jihad is a defensive action, but others believe that it means for the furtherance of Islam by what ever means. This leaves  room for interpretation/debate and dissimulation. Apologists for Islam insist that Jihad means the Greater Jihad, i.e., spiritual struggles to achieve a better Islamic way of life, but reading text from the Qur’an and Hadiths, like those quotations above, there are no doubts to the intentions of Mohammed when he dictated voiced his views. The Ahmadi religious sect believe and declare that Jihad is only only used in the defence of Islam an never for offensive purposes. This is misleading because the word “defensive” has not been clearly defined. However, Qutb has clearly defined it it can clearly be seen that the Ahmadi declaration is misleading.Qutb clearly spells out that Western decadence is a thread (enemy) to Islam and thus  Islam has to be defended and Western ideologies that must must be destroyed. The history of Islam too, from the seventh Century onwards has been a record of constant violence (Jihad) against Dar al-Harb.  [13]

Quoting David Cook author of “Understanding Jihad” says this:
“Others (mostly westerners) have fallen into this error as well. They comprise two basic groups: Western scholars who want to present Islam in the most innocuous terms possible (as appeasement)?, and Muslim apologists, who rediscovered the internal jihad (greater Jihad) in the nineteenth century and have been emphasising it ever since as the normative (acceptable) expression of jihad — in defiance of all the religious and historical evidence to the contrary.”

David Cook continues:
“There is no lack of evidence concerning the Muslim practice of Jihad (lesser Jihad). The classical and modern works on the subject are voluminous, and they are documented by an examination of Muslim actions as recorded by historians. There can be no reasonable doubt that Jihad(lesser Jihad) is a major theme running through the entirety of Muslim civilisation (including the Qur’an and Hadiths) and is at least one of the major factors in the astounding success of the faith of Islam.
And,

….after surveying the evidence from classical until contemporary times, one must conclude that today’s Jihad (lesser Jihad) movements are as legitimate as any that have ever existed in classical Islam…”

A highly respected Islamic scholar of mujahideens is the author, Ibn Taymiyya who has based his beliefs on a Hadith and states:

“There is a Hadith related by a group of people which states that the Prophet…said after the battle of Tabuk: ‘We have returned from jihad asghar(lesser) to jihad Akbar(greater).’

This Hadith has no source, nobody whomsoever in the field of Islamic knowledge has narrated it. Jihad (lesser) against the unbelievers is the most noble of actions, and moreover it is the most important action for mankind.”

Thus Ibn Taymiyya rejects the tradition of the greater Jihad in its entirety. So who are we to believe? This question is actually irrelevant for it is sufficient that enough Muslims follow the tradition of Ibn Taymiyya to challenge the Sufi tradition. In fact the four schools (madhhab) of Sunni jurisprudence as well as the Shia tradition only refer to the lesser Jihad. This means thatfor many Muslims the concept of the greater jihad is unorthodox and heretical. [13]

***DAR AL’HARB (The Abode of War)—***DAR AL’ISLAM (The Abode of Peace/Salvation)

According to the Laws of Islam, the World is divided between ***Dar al’Islam (Land of Peace or Islamic lands – the house or the abode or country of submission or where Muslim governments and Islam law prevail) or ***Dar al’Harb (Land of War or all non-Muslim nations-the house or the abode or country of war – is the rest of the world.)

Unless you can comprehend the above concept of the uncompromising Islamic vision of the world of Islam, you will never comprehend the psyche of the Islamic mind. And you will never be able to resolve the dilemma. It is a concept that is alien to the psyche of all other religions that I have known. It is the ultimate goal of Islam, to convert the whole world to ***Dar al’Islam or to Islam.

There is without doubt  all Muslims are convinced that Islam is superior to all other religions, and consequently the Muslim culture and their peoples are superior to all others. Muslims been instilled, from the Qur’an and Islamic tradition,  that there is only one god and he is Allah and those who believe in him are superior to all Kafirs (infidels.) who must be made to submit to Allah or be destroyed, or be held subservient to all Muslims, as dhimmis. [15]

Sayyid Qutb wrote from his prison cell in Egypt, before his execution in 1966 these views”

“Humanity today is living in a large brothel! One has only to glance at its press, films, fashion shows, beauty contests, ballrooms, wine bars, and broadcasting stations! Or observe its mad lust for naked flesh, or provocative pictures, and sick, suggestive statements in literature, the arts and the mass media!”

The decadent consumer culture of the West exported to the rest of the world by the might of capitalist corporations, is presented as a legitimate target, not least because it has infected Muslim societies, perverting them from the true path of Islam into a state of jahiliyya — the pagan state of ignorance before the coming of Islam. Qutb argues that the main source of the ignorance is the corrosive and corruptive influence of Western decadence. It was the duty of every Muslim to wage a Jihad against the West to rid the world of jahiliyya. Quito’s writing has been the key source for the justification for Islamic Jihad against ***Dar al’Harb (the western culture.) [13] [17]

Many Muslims declare that Islamic Jihad is only used only as a defensive instrument and only exercised when Muslims are attacked. Then let us examine what Muslims interpret as being attacked. Qutb argued that the concept of attack must be elaborated.

“If we insist in calling Islamic Jihad a defensive movement, then we must change the meaning of the word ‘defence’ to mean the defence of man against all those forces that limit his freedom. These forces may take the form of beliefs and concepts, as well as political systems, based on economic, racial and class distinctions” (Ref: Tomorrow’s Islam.)

Quite believes that the decadence of ***Dar al’Harb is the source of corruption of Muslims preventing them from exercising the teachings of Islam and so they have loss of freedom to choose. He believes the temptations and the corruption and the lies of the infidels prevents a Muslim from choosing the way of Islam, but when these lies are exposed, that people are then free to embrace Islam with no compulsion of religion, as the one and only true religion. ***Hence, it is fully justifiable for Muslims to defend themselves from the aggressive and corrosive influences of the Kafir by declaring Holy Jihad against them.

Sayyid Mawdudi, The Party of Islam in Pakistan, (Jemaat e-Islamiya), (Deobandism),  an Islamic scholar says it thus:

“Islam wants the whole earth and does not content itself with only a part thereof. It wants and requires the entire inhabited world. It does not want this in order that one nation dominates the earth and monopolises its sources of wealth, after having taken them away from one or more other nations. No, Islam wants and requires the earth in order that the human race altogether can enjoy the concept and practical program of human happiness, by means of which Allah (god) has honoured Islam and put it above the other religions and laws. In order to realise this lofty desire, Islam wants to employ all forces and means that can be employed for bringing about a universal all-embracing revolution. It will spare no efforts for the achievement of this supreme objective. This far-reaching struggle that continuously exhausts all forces and this employment of all possible means are called Jihad.” [14]

Skilfully and using the Arab art of  “Taqiyya” (obfuscation), and exploiting the western democratic process and even playing by the rules of “constitutional law” on unsuspecting secular Western societies, and slowly infiltrating the national institutions, Islamists intend to gradually take over the system and eventually change these nations and impose Sharia Law. This infiltration can be observed in varying degrees of accomplishment in Britain, America, France, Germany, the Scandinatian countries and elsewhere, and is mostly unseen and overlooked by the native populations.   The native populations re normally in total denial that there is any threat to their way of life and culture while this creeping Islamization is occurring under their very noses. To the Muslims, their behaviour is a natural way of their culture throughout the ages and they see nothing untoward about it. [15]

Qur’an:9:112    “The Believers fight in Allah’s Cause, they slay and are slain, kill and are killed.”

Qur’an:9:29    “Fight those who do not believe until they all surrender, paying the protective tax in submission.”

Ishaq:325    “Muslims, fight in Allah’s Cause. Stand firm and you will prosper. Help the Prophet, obey him, give him your allegiance, and your religion will be victorious.”

Qur’an:8:39    “Fight them until all opposition ends and all submit to Allah.”

Qur’an:8:39    “So fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief [non-Muslims]) and all submit to the religion of Allah alone (in the whole world).”

EPILOGUE

Only when we are able to comprehend and perceive the true ultimate goals of Islam will be ever be able to find a solution to the dilemma we face.

We have analysed the Arabic meaning of “Islam,” and observe that it does not directly translate into “Peace” but literally translates to “submission.”

We have analysed the Qur’anic couplet 2:256-7 and see that the phrase, “There is no compulsion in religion…” has been taken out of context and is conditional and that the freedom of choice is to accept Allah as the only god to follow.

It has also been regarded that “apostasy” is blasphemy against Allah and the penalty is death.

It has also been argued that there is only one class of Muslim, and that he accepts all commands of Allah including the “lesser Jihad.” A moderate Muslim is only a dormant(sleeper) Jihadist or he is a “Nominal Muslim, i.e. an apostate.”

It has also been argued that the psyche of a Muslim is that he and his religion and his culture is superior to that of the decadent west (Jews and Christians) and that this is considered a threat to Islam (Dar al’Islam) and must be destroyed, hence Dar al-Harb(western nations) are evil and are of Satan that has to be destroyed.

So Islamic immigrants are actually the front line foot soldiers of Islamic Jihadism and not the opportunistic Islamic hard working economic immigrant we think we are helping and affording refuge. We are actually importing thousands of “Trojan Horses” (moderate Muslims) into our fortresses.

This article is simply to portray an alternative perspective to the understanding of the gulf in the philosophies and differences in the cultures that will never be compatible. The problem has been denied and no solution has yet been found for the past 1400 years, and will haunt us till it is resolved. Because of the inflexibility of the commands of Allah, there will be no moderation or change that can be expected from Islam. Therefore, the only solution rests with the West, provided they understand the insurmountable Islamic doctrines. [16]

PHILOSOPHICAL DIFFERENCES

There can be little doubt that there is a great divide in the philosophy of Islam and that of the Christian philosophy. This has been the basis of all the conflicts we have experienced because neither party understands the philosophies of the other. Most people are too arrogant to even considering a compromise even if that is at all possible. On the other hand, most people are too ignorant of the cultural divide to even contemplate that a problem exists. So like the cowards that we are, we bury our heads in the sand, in Denial, and hope that the problem will go away or that someone else will come along to solve the problem. But that is no solution. The solution must come from within the individual groups themselves either through evolution or revolution.

Here are extracts:

January 24, 2006

“Pope Benedict XVI believes that unlike other religions, Islam cannot be reformed and, therefore, is incompatible with democracy, according to a Catholic leader who participated with the in a secretive meeting on the subject.

The Pope, according to Fessio, believes Islam cannot become compatible with democracy because a radical reinterpretation of the religion (Islam) would be required, which  is “impossible, because it’s against the very nature of the Quran, as it’s understood by Muslims.”

Describing Benedict’s response, Fessio said: “And immediately, the Holy Father, in his beautiful calm by clear way, said well, there’s a fundamental problem with that, because, he said, in the Islamic tradition God (Allah) has given his world to Muhammad, but it’s an ‘eternal word.’ It’s not Muhammad’s word.” [24]

Posted: January 24, 2006

END

Post Script:

I noticed that my reference (link) [3a] “Dajjal The False Prophets in Islam” has been removed from the web, I felt that I had best post the whole article here while it is still available on the internet with link (active at the moment.)

“Among the signs of the Last Hour is the appearance of approximately 30 false claimants of Prophethood known as Dajjals.

Narrated Abu Hurayrah: Allah’s Apostle said:

“The Hour will not be established until two big groups fight each other whereupon there will be a great number of casualties on both sides and they will be following one and the same religious doctrine, until about 30 dajjals appear, and each of them will claim that he is Allah’s Apostle…”

(Related by Bukhari and Muslim)

The last of these Dajjals would be the False Messiah:

Once the Prophet of Allah said, while delivering a ceremonial speech at an occasion of a solar eclipse, as Samura son of Jundub reported:

“…Verily by God, the Last Hour will not come until 30 liars of prophecy will appear and the final one will be the One-eyed False Messiah.”

(Narrated by Imam Ahmad as a sound Hadeeth).

In another authentic hadeeth, the Prophet of Allah informed that of 27 dajjals, 4 of them would be women:

Huthaifa narrated, that the Prophet said:

“In my Ummah (community/nation), there are 27 dajjals of liars, including 4 women (who will proclaim themselves Prophets). I am the last Prophet and none will come after me.”

(Related by Imam Ahmad and Al-Tabrani as a sound hadeeth)

Therefore, there would be 27-30 Dajjals who would appear, 4 of which would be women and the last of which would be the False Messiah, who the true Messiah, Prophet ‘Eessa (“Jesus”) would kill. The Prophet of Allah (Prophet Muhammad) already closed the loophole of building a series of Prophets and confirmed the impossibility of any newcomer as a Prophet after him. The dajjals he mentioned that have already appeared are discussed below. As I find more of them, I shall list them.

1 – Musailama al-Kassab: Among the first false claimants to Prophecy was Musailama al-Kazzab, who appeared during the time of Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be blessings and peace) and his Companions and caused numerous troubles among Muslims and had many followers. He eventually surrendered along with his supporters in Al-Yamam battle, led by the first Caliph Abu Bakr, and was killed.

2 – Sajah al-Kahenah: Along with Musailama in falsely claiming Prophethood, was his wife, Sajah al-Kahenah, although she later reversed her position after her husband, Musailama, had been killed.

3 – Saf son of Sayyad:Another False claimant to Prophethood that appeared during the time of the Prophet and his companions, was Saf son of Sayyad. He claimed he was a Prophet when he was on the threshold of adolescence, and was initially believed to be the False Messiah, as his characteristics were the same as those of the False Messiah. He later repented and embraced Islam.

4 – Tulayha son of Khwailid: Tulayha was another of the false Prophets who appeared during the time of the Prophet and his companions, but later repented and returned to the fold of Islam.

5 – Aswad al-Ansi: Also during the time of the Prophet and his companions was another false Prophet, named Aswad al-Ansi. He was based in Yemen and was killed by the Companions of the Prophet.

6 – Al-Mukhtar Al-Thaqafi: A Shi’ite rebel, al-Mukhtar son of Abi Ubayd is also accused of being a False Prophet. He claimed to be a representative of the Mahdi. Millennialist connotations surfaced after Mukhtar’s rebellion, following his announcement to the people of Kufa that he was a representative of the Mahdi.

7 – Mahmud son of al-Faraj: In Samara, a false Prophet by the name of Mahmud son of al-Faraj appeared in 849-850 CE with a claim that a Quran was revealed to him through the angel Gabriel. He is reported to have some followers in Samara and Baghdad. He was executed on the orders of caliph, al-Mutawakkil.

8 – “Bab”: Another liar/false claimant to prophecy, and the predecessor of Bahaullah, was Mizra Ali Muhammad, who initially declared himself the “Bab” (Gate) to the Shi’ite’s Mahdi, and eventually progressed into other claims. He was embraced by the Shaykhis sect of Shi’a , who were then renamed “Babis”. Subsequently, he declared himself to be the Shi’ite’s hidden Mahdi. After declaring himself the Mahdi, he moved on to call himself Nuqtiyiula and declared that the Quran and Muslim Shari’a were now abrogated. Shi’a and Sunni scholars condemned him and Bab faced a series of imprisonment, trials, and indignities before being shot dead by a firing squad in 1850.

9 – “Bahaullah”:  The self-proclaimed successor to the Bab, and another liar/false claimant to prophecy was Mizra Hussein Ali Nuri. In 1863 Hussein Ali, a prominent member of the Babi group, declared himself to be the person whom God will make manifest, whom the Bab had foretold. He also took the name Bahaullah (Glory of God) and formed a new religion, the Bahai faith. Bahaullah was banished from Persia and was eventually imprisoned in Akka-Palestine. There he wrote his main work, his Kitab-ul-Aqdas (Most Holy Book), and developed the doctrine of the Bahai faith into a comprehensive teaching.

10 – Elijah Muhammad: Elijah Muhammad, succeeding Wallace Dodd Ford, was another in the line of False Prophets. He founded the convoluted belief system based on ideas extracted from everything from Christanity to Masonry to Islam in Detroit, Michigan in the 1930s. He referred to it as the “Nation of Islam”.

11 – Kareem Agha Khan: In the early 1970s, another false-claimant to prophecy appeared within the Ismaili sect of Shi’ism, who proclaims himself to be a manifestation of God on Earth and a spokesman for Allah.

12 – Rashid Khalifa: Then we have another False Prophet, Rashid Khalifa, who came from Egypt, and claimed there to be an intricate numerical pattern to the Qur’an revolving around the number 19 in 1974. Because of this, he claimed to be a Messenger of God, alongside Prophets Ibraheem (Abraham) and Muhammad, and founded the group called “United Submitters International”, rejecting the hadeeths of the Prophet, and denounced ayats 9:128-129 of the Qur’an. For many years he was the Imam at the Tuscon Mosque in Arizona, where he was later stabbed to death in 1990.

13 – Al Mizra Abbas: Another liar, Al-Mizra Abbas, in 1233 AH/1818 CE, appeared in Tehran, Iran and died in Palestine.

14 – Shabbatai Zevi: Shabbatai Zevi was one of the False Prophets who appeared during a desperate period of Ashkenazi Jewish history in the 16th and 17th centuries, promising to lead his compatriots out of tzuresdike golus (painful exile) to dwell with the Lord in Eretz Yisroel (the land of Israel). It neither turned out as prophesised, nor did the high hopes of the Jewish colonies in Brazil.

15 – Saleh son of Tarif Brughwati: Saleh claimed prophethood and Mahdihood in 125 AH. After ruling over his people for 47 years, in 174 AH he abdicated the throne in favour of his son.

16 – Abu Mansoor ‘Eessa: Abu Mansoor ‘Eessa claimed prophethood and Mahdihood in 341 AH and ruled over his people for 28 years.

17 – Al-Harith son of Sa’id: Al-Harith son of Said claimed prophethood during the reign of the Umayyad caliph, Abd al-Malik son of Marwan. A number of royal soldiers were suspected of supporting him. He was executed in 698-699 CE.

18 – Mizra Ghulam Ahamd: Mizra Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian is a British-engineered false Prophet who appeared in India to quell resistance against the British colonialists. He claimed to be the Messiah as the similitude of Prophet ‘Eessa, the Mahdi, a Prophet, a Messenger, and the second advent of Prophet Muhammad simultaneously. He invited his fiercest oppenent, Molvi Sanaullah Amratsari, to a prayer duel. He advertised his supplication to Allah pleading Him to annihilate the liar amongst the two in the lifetime of the truthful one, by Cholera or by Plague. He considered them to be the sign of Divine Anger and Punishment. Mirza subsequently died of cholera a year later.

19 – Muhammad son of Sa’id: Muhammad son of Sa’id is considered as one of the four infamous forgers of hadith. He distorted the hadith: “I am the seal of prophets and there is no prophet after me” by adding: “unless Allah wills {otherwise}”. He is reported to have drawn his own conclusions from this addition and claimed prophethood for himself. He was executed on the orders of Abbasid caliph, Abu Jafar al-Mansoor.

20 – Mahmood Muhammad Taha: Mahmood Muhammad Taha was also a false claimant to prophecy who was based in Sudan, and he tried with maximum endeavor to mislead normal people from their Islamic way of life until he was beheaded in 1985.

21 – Jasmin?: A more recent individual who has appeared, and could potentially be a False Claimant to Prophecy is Jasmin. He appeared in 1998 in Bosnia, claiming the War of Bosnia and Herzegovina was the Battle of Armageddon, and claims that he is the Messiah, tasked by God to introduce the human community into the “golden age”, and claims that his destiny has been described under the symbol and notion of a lamb.

22 – Dr. Dwight York: Another fairly recent false claimant to prophecy was Dr. York. In the late 1960s York, started calling himself “Amunnnubi Rooakhptah,” and founded various quasi-Muslim black-nationalist movements (among these was the Ansaarullah Community) based on something called the “Science of Nuwaubu”. In the 1990s, he changed his community from worshipping Allah to worshipping pagan idols. Soon thereafter, he claimed to receive divine revelation, forming his own cult of Nuwaubians, following, what they call, “The Holy Tablets”, with beliefs, based on pantheism, with an anthropomorphic view of Allah. In 2002, he was arrested and charged with child molestation. In 2004, he was convicted, and sentenced to 135 years in prison.

23 – Riyaz Ahmad Gohar Shahiu: Another claimant to Mahdihood and prophecy, is Gohar Shahi. He was born in 1941 in the Indian sub-continent. He had a traditional Sufi upbringing, and at age 34 he went on a 3 year spiritual retreat (which he says to have been under the guidance of a “divine spirit”) into the mountains of Sehwan Sharif. Afterwards, he returned (claiming it to have been commanded by God), and started to preach his message of “Remembrance and Love of God”, disregarding religion and its practices, also claiming that his image is implanted on the moon, gaining a significant number of followers. The Ulema have since issued various fatwas against him.

Allah save all the ummah from fitna of dajjal.

Ameen” [3aa]

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REFERENCES

[1]  The Myth: Islam a Religion of Peace: http://www.integralworld.net/harris20.html

[2]  The etymology of Islam: http://www.wikiislam.com/wiki/Islam

[3]  Definition of Islam: Islamic Dictionary:  http://muttagun.com/dictionary3.html

          [3aa] Dajjal The false Prophets of Islam: http://turntoislam.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14644

[4]  Definition of Islam: Collins English Dictionary & Thesaurus

[5]  Definition of Islam: The Concise Oxford Dictionary

[6]  Definition of Islam: New Collins concise English Dictionary

[7]  Quran, hadiths, and sharia law call for death of apostates : http://www.danielpipes.org/comments.php/38436?id=38436

[8a] Jihad Terrorism:  http://www.islamreview.com/articles/regainuniversalglory.shtml

[8]  Saudi Arabia:Religious Freedom (non-existent): http://atheism.about.com/library/irf99/blirf_saudiarabia99.htm

[9]  Apostasy in Islam: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostasy_in_Islam

[10] The Six Pillars of Islam: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sixth_Pillar_of_Islam

[11] Qur’an:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quran

[12] What is Shariah? http://www.americanthinker.com/2005/08/top_ten_reasons_why_sharia_is.html

 [13] Jihad in the Hadiths/Shariah: http://www.peacewithrealism.org/jihad/jihad04.htm

[14] Jemaat e-Ismamiya (Deobandism)-Sayyid Mawdudi: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abul_Ala_Maududi

[15] Divisions in Islam: Dar al-Harb and Dar al-Islam: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divisions_of_the_world_in_Islam

[16] Revivalism:The Wahhabi Movement: http://www.nmhtthornton.com/wahhabi_movement.php

[17] Religion in contemporary World-AlanAldridge: http://www.polity.co.uk/book.asp?ref=9780745634050

[18] Wafa Sultan: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wafa_Sultan

[19] Wafa Sultan: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1187385,00.html

[20] Moderate Islam is No Islam by Amil Amani: http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/07/moderate_islam_is_no_islam.html

[21] Demographics of Islam: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Islam

[22] Sunni and Shiite Muslims: http://www.albany.edu/faculty/lr618/4islam.html

[23] Shi’ite Islam: http://www.sacredsites.com/middle_east/iran/shiaislam.htm

[24 Pope Benedict XVI’s views on Islam: http://differentvoices.wordpress.com/2007/12/05/can-islam-be-reformed-or-does-islam-need-to-be-reformed/

Additional Unassigned References:

[1a] Nikah mut’ah; Temporary Islamic marriages: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikah_mut‘ah

[2a] Benedict XVI believes Islam cannot reform: http://differentvoices.wordpress.com/2007/12/05/can-islam-be-reformed-or-does-islam-need-to-be-reformed/

[3a] Dajjal the False Prophets in Islam:

       http://www.geocities.com/muslimapocalyptic/dajjals.htm

[4a] Malaysia bans Ahmadiyya sect praying in Mosques:

       http://www.salem-news.com/articles/may012009/malaysia_problems_5-1-09.php

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