Reading the Koran. 19

This is another excerpt from Bill Warner’s book Abridged Koran where the verses of Koran are arranged in their chronological order and provided with facts from prophet Muhammad’s life, giving context for them.

CHAPTER 4 (continued) MORE ARGUMENTS WITH THE MECCANS

Another group of Meccans sent for Mohammed to see if they could negotiate away this painful division of the tribes. They went over old ground and again Mohammed refused the money and power that was offered. He said they were the ones who needed to decide whether they wanted to suffer in the next world and he had the only solution. If they rejected him and his message, Allah would tend to them. One of the Quraysh said, “Well, if you speak for and represent the only true god, then perhaps his Allah could do something for them.”

“This land is dry. Let his Allah send them a river next to Mecca.”

“They were cramped being next to the mountains. Let his Allah open up some space by moving the mountains back.”

“Our best members are dead. Let your Allah renew them to life and in particular send back the best leader of our tribe, Qusayy. We will ask Qusayy whether or not you speak truly.”

Mohammed said that he was sent as a messenger, not to do such work. They could either accept his message or reject it and be subject to the loss. Then one of them said, “If you won’t use your Allah to help us, then let your Allah help you. Send an angel to confirm you and prove to us that we are wrong. As long as the angel was present, let him make Mohammed a garden and fine home and present him with all the gold and silver he needed. If you do this, we will know that you represent Allah and we are wrong.” The Quraysh wanted miracles as a proof.

15:1 ALIF. LAM. RA. These are the verses of the Scripture, a recital that makes things clear.

15:2 The unbelievers will often wish they were Muslims. Let them enjoy themselves, and let false hope beguile them. They will eventually learn the truth.

15:4 We never destroy a city whose term was not preordained. No nation can delay or change its destiny. They say: “You [Mohammed] to whom the message was revealed, you are surely insane. If you were telling the truth, why did you not bring angels to us?”

15:8 We do not send the angels without good reason. If We did, the unbelievers would still not understand. Surely, We have sent down the message, and surely, We will guard it. Before your time, We sent apostles to the sects of the ancient peoples, but they mocked every messenger. Similarly, We allow doubt to enter the hearts of the sinners. They do not believe it, even though the example of the ancients has preceded them. Even if We opened a gate into heaven for them the entire time they ascended, they would say, “Our eyes are playing tricks on us. No, we are bewitched.”

Mohammed did not do miracles, because such things were not what Allah had appointed him to do.

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Reading the Koran. 18

This is another excerpt from Bill Warner’s book Abridged Koran where the verses of Koran are arranged in their chronological order and provided with facts from prophet Muhammad’s life, giving context for them.

CHAPTER 4 (continued)

Mecca was a small town and there were meetings about what to do about Mohammed.

43:68 My servants, there is no fear for you that day, nor will you grieve, because you have believed in Our signs and surrendered your will to Allah. You and your wives shall enter the Garden rejoicing. Trays and goblets of gold will be passed around to them, and they will have everything they desire. They will dwell there forever. This is the Garden that will be given you because of your good deeds in life. There is an abundance of fruit there for you to enjoy.

43:74 The guilty, however, will dwell forever in the torment of Hell. The punishment will not be lightened for them, and they will be overwhelmed with despair. We were not unjust toward them. It was they who were unjust. They will cry, “Malik [an angel who is a keeper of Hell], let your Lord put us out of our misery.” He will respond, “No! You will remain here.” Surely, We have brought the truth to you, but most of you hate the truth.

43:79 Do they make plots against you? We also make plots. Do they think that We do not hear their secrets and their private conversations? We do, and Our messengers are there to record them.

The Koran records some of the resistance of the Meccans to Mohammed.

38:1 SAD. I swear by the Koran, full of warning! Truly, the unbelievers must be filled with arrogant pride to oppose you. How many earlier generations did We destroy? In the end, they cried for mercy when there was no time to escape!

38:4 They are skeptical that a messenger would come to them from their own people, and the unbelievers say, “This man is a sorcerer and a liar! Has he combined all the gods into one Allah? That is an amazing thing!” And their chiefs [the leaders of the opposition to Mohammed in Mecca] went about and said, “Walk away. Remain faithful to your gods. This is a plot. We have never heard of such a thing in the earlier religion. This is nothing but an invented tale!”

38:8 They say, “Why, of all people, has the message been sent to him [Mohammed]?” Yes! They doubt My warnings because they have not tasted My vengeance. Do they possess the blessings of the mighty, your Lord’s mercy? Is the kingdom of the heavens and the earth and everything in between in their hands? If so, let them climb up to the heavens if they can! Any allies [Mohammed’s opponents] remaining here will be defeated.

38:12 Before them the people of Noah and Ad [Ad lay on an old trade route north of Mecca. It was abandoned in Mohammed’s day] and Pharaoh, the impaler, rejected their prophets. The people of Thamud [the people of a ruined Nabatean city near Medina] and Lot and the people who lived in the forest also rejected their prophets. They all called My messengers liars; therefore, their punishment was justified.

38:15 The unbelievers of Mecca today are only waiting for a single trumpet blast [announcing the Final Day] to happen soon. They will say, “Oh, our Lord, hurry our fate to us. Do not make us wait until the Judgment Day.”

DEALING WITH A REBELLIOUS WIFE

From Reliance of the Traveler, a known Islamic manual on Sharia law, p. 540

mlO.12 When a husband notices signs of rebelliousness in his wife (nushuz. dis: p42) (0; whether in words, as when she answers him coldly when she used to do so politely, or he asks her to come to bed and she refuses, contrary to her usual habit; or whether in acts, as when he finds her averse to him when she was previously kind and cheerful). he warns her in words (without keeping from her or hitting her, for it may be that she has an excuse). The warning could be to tell her, “Fear Allah concerning the rights you owe to me,” or it could be to explain that rebelliousness nullifies his obligation to support her and give her a turn amongst other wives, or it could be to inform her, “Your obeying me [def: (3) below] is religiously obligatory”). If she commits rebelliousness, he keeps from sleeping (and having sex) with her without words, and may hit her, but not in a way that injures her, meaning he may not (A: bruise her,) break bones, wound her, or cause blood to flow. (It is unlawful to strike another’s face.) He may hit her whether she is rebellious only once or whether more than once, though a weaker opinion holds that he may not hit her unless there is repeated rebelliousness.

(N: To clarify this paragraph, we mention the following rulings:

(1) Both man and wife are obliged to treat each other kindly and graciously.

(2) It is not lawful for a wife to leave the house except by the permission of her husband, though she may do so without permission when there is a pressing necessity. Nor may a wife permit anyone to enter her husband’s home unless he agrees, even their unmarriageable kin. Nor may she be alone with a nonfamily-member male, under any circumstances.

(3) It is obligatory for a wife to obey her husband as is customary in allowing him full lawful sexual enjoyment of her person. It is obligatory for the husband to enable her to remain chaste and free of want for sex if he is able. It is not obligatory for the wife to serve her husband (dis: w45.1); if she does so, it is voluntary charity.

(4) If the wife does not fulfill one of the above-mentioned obligations, she is termed “rebellious” (nashiz), and the husband takes the following steps to correct matters:

(a) admonition and advice, by explaining the unlawfulness of rebellion, its harmful effect on married life, and by listening to her viewpoint on the matter;

(b) if admonition is ineffectual, he keeps from her by not sleeping in bed with her, by which both learn the degree to which they need each other;

(c) if keeping from her is ineffectual, it is permissible for him to hit her if he believes that hitting her will bring her back to the right path, though if he does not think so, it is not permissible. His hitting her may not be in a way that injures her, and is his last recourse to save the family;

(d) if the disagreement does not end after all this, each partner chooses an arbitrator to solve the dispute by settlement, or divorce.)

Reading the Koran. 17

This is another excerpt from Bill Warner’s book Abridged Koran where the verses of Koran are arranged in their chronological order and provided with facts from prophet Muhammad’s life, giving context for them.

CHAPTER 4 (continued)

There were references in the Koran about the Koran.

44:1 HA. MIM. By the book that makes everything clear!

44:3 We revealed it on a blessed night—because We are always warning man—on a night when every command is made clear by Our command. We are always sending Our messengers as a mercy from your Lord. He hears and knows everything.

20:112 But those who believe and have done the right things will have no fear of wrong or loss. This is why We sent to you an Arabic Koran and explained in detail Our warnings so that they may fear Allah and heed them. Exalted above all is Allah, the King, the Truth! Do not hurry through its recital before its revelation is made complete to you. Instead say, “Lord, increase my knowledge.”

26:192 This Book has come down from the Lord of the worlds. The faithful spirit [Gabriel] has come down with it upon your [Mohammed’s] heart so that you may warn others in the clear Arabic language. Truly, it is foretold in the ancient scriptures. Is it not a sign that the learned men of the Israelites recognized? If We had revealed it to any of the non-Arabs and he had recited it to them, they would not have believed in it.

26:200 This is how We influenced the hearts of the wicked. They will not believe in it until they see the painful punishment. And it will come upon them suddenly when they do not expect it. They will say, “Can we have a reprieve?”

Mohammed continued to make it clear that not believing the words he brought from Allah would lead to a violent and painful eternity.

76:4 We have prepared chains, fetters, and a blazing fire for the unbelievers.

76:5 The righteous, however, will drink cups filled from a camphor fountain — the fountain Allah’s servants drink from — as it flows from place to place rewarding those who perform their vows and fear a day whose evil will spread far and wide. Even when they were hungry they gave their food to the poor, the orphan, and the prisoner. “We feed you for Allah’s sake. We are not looking for reward or thanks from you. We are afraid of suffering and punishment from Allah.”

76:11 But Allah saved them from the evil of that day and brought them happiness and joy. He rewarded their patience with Paradise and silk robes. Reclining on couches, none will suffer from extreme heat or cold. Trees will shade them, and fruit will dangle nearby. Silver cups and crystal goblets will pass among them: silver cups, transparent as glass, their size reflecting the measure of one’s deeds. They will be given ginger-flavored wine from the fountain called Salsabil. They will be waited on by eternally young boys. When you look at them you would think they were scattered pearls. When you see it, you will see a vast kingdom of delights. They will wear richly brocaded green silk robes with silver bracelets on their arms, and they will quench their thirst with a pure drink given them by their Lord. This will be your reward. Your efforts will not go unnoticed.

76:23 We have sent the Koran to you in stages to be a revelation. Wait patiently for Allah’s command, and do not obey the wicked and the unbelieving. Celebrate your Lord’s name in the morning, in the evening, and at night. Adore him and praise him all night long.

76:27 But men love the fleeting present and ignore the dreadful day ahead. We have created them, and We built them strong. When We want to, We will make others to replace them. This is certainly a warning. Whoever chooses, will take a straight path to his Lord. But unless Allah wills it, because he is knowing and wise, you will not succeed. You will receive his mercy if he chooses to give it, but he has prepared a terrible punishment for the wicked.

23:93 Say: Oh my Lord! If it is your will that I witness what you have promised, then, Oh my Lord, do not place me with the unjust. Certainly, We are able to show you with what We have threatened them. Repel evil with what is the best. We are well aware of what they say about you.

23:97 And say: Oh my Lord! I seek refuge with You from the suggestions of the evil ones. And I seek refuge with you, my Lord, from their presence.

23:99 When death overtakes one of the wicked, he says, “Lord, send me back again so that I may do the good things that I have left undone.” But, no, they are nothing but empty words. There is a barrier around the wicked that will remain until the Judgment Day. When the trumpet is blown, there will be no ties of kinship connecting them, nor will they ask about one another.

23:102 Those whose balance is heavy will attain salvation, but those whose balance is light will have lost their souls, and they will abide in Hell. The Fire will burn their faces, and their lips will twitch in pain. It will be said, “Were My signs not recited to you? Did you not reject them?”

23:106 They will say, “Lord, misfortune defeated us, and we were led astray. Lord, take us from here. If we return to evil, then surely we are unjust.

23:108 Allah will say, “Do not speak to Me, but instead be gone into the flames. Some of My servants would say, ‘Lord, we believe. Forgive us and have mercy on us, because you are the most merciful.’ But you ridiculed them so much that you forgot My warning while you were mocking them. I have rewarded them for their patience and constancy. They are the blissful.”

23:112 Allah will ask, “How many years did you stay on earth?”

23:113 They will say, “We stayed a day or part of a day. Ask those who keep count.”

23:114 Allah will say, “You stayed only a little while; if you had only known. Did you think that We had created you in vain and that you would not be brought back to us for judgment?”

23:116 Let Allah be exalted, the true king! There is no god but Him, the Lord of the throne of grace. If anyone invokes another god besides Allah, he does so without proof. His reckoning is with Allah, alone. Surely the unbelievers will not succeed.

23:118 Say: Oh my Lord! Forgive and have mercy on us, because you are the most merciful.

18:99 On that day We shall let them surge against one another like waves. The trumpet will be blown, and We will gather them all together. On that day We shall present Hell for all the unbelievers to see—unbelievers whose eyes were veiled from My signs and who could not even hear. What? Do the unbelievers think that they can take My servants to be guardians besides me? We have prepared Hell to entertain the unbelievers.

18:103 Say: Shall We tell you whose actions will make them the biggest losers? Those whose efforts are lost in this world’s life even while they thought that they were doing good deeds. These are the people who disbelieve in their Lord’s revelations and who do not believe they will meet Him in the afterlife. Their deeds will have been done in vain, and on the Judgment Day, We will not give them any weight. Their reward is Hell, because they disbelieved and mocked Our revelations and Our messengers. As for those who believe and do good deeds, they have the Gardens of Paradise for their entertainment where they will dwell forever, never wishing to leave.

Reading the Koran. 16

This is another excerpt from Bill Warner’s book Abridged Koran where the verses of Koran are arranged in their chronological order and provided with facts from prophet Muhammad’s life, giving context for them.

CHAPTER 4 (continued) A TRIBAL CHIEF TRIES TO CUT A DEAL

One day while the Quraysh were in council one of the chiefs, Utba, decided to approach Mohammed and see if he could make a deal that would please everybody. Things were only getting worse about Mohammed and the others said to go and try. So he went to the Kabah and there was Mohammed. “Nephew, you have come to us with an important matter. But you have divided the community, ridiculed our customs, and insulted our forefathers. See if any of my suggestions can help in this matter. If you want money, we will give you money. If you want honor we will make you our king. If you are possessed we will get you a physician.”

Mohammed said that he represented the only Allah. His teachings were beautiful, and then he began to recite the glorious poetry and imagery of the Koran. The tribal chief was impressed with the beauty of Mohammed’s words and left.

When the tribal chief returned to the Quraysh, he said, “Leave him alone, his words are beautiful. If other Arabs kill him, your problem is solved. If he becomes sovereign over all, you will share in his glory. His power will become your power and you can make money off his success.” They replied that Mohammed had bewitched him.

Mohammed spoke beautiful words about Islam.

23:49 And We gave the Book to Moses so that they might be guided.

23:50 And We made the son of Mary and his mother a sign, and We gave them a lofty abode for shelter, quiet and well provided with meadows and springs.

23:51 Oh messengers! Eat the things that are good, and do the right thing. I am aware of what you do. And truly your religion is the one religion, and I am your Lord, so fear and obey Me. But mankind has broken religion into sects, each rejoicing at that which they have retained. So leave them in their confusion and ignorance for a while.

23:55 Do they think that because We have given them an abundance of wealth and sons that We would rush to them with every blessing? No, they do not understand. But those who live in awe for fear of their Lord; and who believe in their Lord’s signs; and who accept no other gods with their Lord; and who give charitably with fear in their hearts because they know they will return to their Lord—these will rush for the good things, and they will be the first to attain them.

23:62 We do not place upon any soul a burden that is beyond its ability, and We possess a record which speaks the truth. They will never be wronged.

27:89 Those who do good deeds will be rewarded beyond their due. They will be safe from terror that day. And if any do evil, they will be thrown face down into the Fire. Should your reward not reflect your actions?

27:91 Say: I am commanded only to worship the Lord of this land who has made it sacred, and to whom all things belong. I am commanded to be a Muslim, one who has surrendered to Allah, and to recite the Koran. If anyone does good things, they do so only for the good of their souls, and if any go astray, say: I am only here to warn.

27:93 And say: Praise be to Allah who will soon show you His signs so that you shall know them. Your Lord is not unaware of what you do.

The So Much Talked-About Inner Jihad

A fatwa issued by Sheikh M. S. Al-Munajjid, a prominent Saudi Islamic lecturer and author:

source: http://archive.islamonline.net/?p=1020

First, jihad is of various kinds, some of which are obligatory upon everyone who is accountable, and some are obligatory upon the community as a whole, i.e., if some people undertake them then the rest are relieved of the obligation. And some kinds of jihad aremustahabb (recommended).

Jihad an-nafs (jihad against one’s self) andjihad ash-Shaytan (jihad against Satan) are obligatory upon everyone who is accountable. Jihad against the munafiqin (hypocrites),kuffar (disbelievers) and leaders of oppression and innovation is obligatory upon the community as a whole. Physical jihad (i.e., fighting) against the kuffar may become an individual obligation upon everyone who is able to do it in certain circumstances, which will be described below.

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said: Once this is understood, then jihad is of four kinds: jihad an-naf s(jihad against one’s self),jihad ash-Shaytan (jihad against Satan), jihad against the kuffar and jihad against the hypocrites.

1.Jihad an-nafs  (jihad against one’s self) is of four kinds:

a.Striving to learn the teachings of Islam without which one cannot attain success and happiness in this world or in the Hereafter. If this is missing, then one is doomed to misery in this world and in the Hereafter.

b.Striving to make oneself act in accordance with what one has learned. Simply knowing without acting, even though it may not cause any harm, is not going to bring any benefit.

c.Striving to call others to Islam, teaching those who do not know about it. Otherwise one will be one of those who conceal the guidance and teaching that Allah has revealed, and it will not benefit him or save him from the punishment of Allah.

d.Striving to bear patiently the difficulties involved in calling people to Allah and the insults of people, bearing all that for the sake of Allah.

If a person achieves all these four levels, then he will be one of therabbaniyyin (learned men of religion who practice what they know and also preach to others. [see Al `Imran: 79]). Thesalaf (righteous predecesors) were agreed that the scholar does not deserve to be called arabbani unless he knows the truth, acts in accordance with it, and teaches it to others. Whoever teaches, acts in accordance with his knowledge, and has knowledge will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

2.Jihad ash-Shaytan (jihad against Satan) is of two types:

a.Warding off the doubts that Satan stirs up to undermine faith.

b.Striving against Satan to ward off the corrupt desires that he provokes.

The first jihad is followed by certainty of faith, and the second is followed by patience. Allah says:“And We made from among them [Children of Israel], leaders, giving guidance under Our Command, when they were patient and used to believe with certainty in Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.)”(As-Sajdah: 24)

Allah tells us that leadership in religion is attained through patience and certainty of faith. Patience wards off desires and certainty wards off doubts.

———————————————————————

So we can see that inner (also called greater) jihad cannot be considered as something opposite to violent (lesser) jihad. It means simply strengthening faith in what Muhammad taught and cutting off any doubts. If Muhammad taught things like freedom of religion, freedom of speech, gender equality and equality before law, the fruit of the inner jihad would be corresponding. However this is not the case. I’ll dare to make a hypothesis that the peaceful majority we are constantly reminded of are those Muslims who are not very successful in their inner jihad, they do not know the Islamic doctrine well enough, they are not always ready to implement it, and they still have doubts if killing people for having and expressing different views or having different sexual behavior is a good idea.

Reading the Koran. 15

This is another excerpt from Bill Warner’s book Abridged Koran where the verses of Koran are arranged in their chronological order and provided with facts from prophet Muhammad’s life, giving context for them.

CHAPTER 4 PUBLIC TEACHING (continued)

The next day many of the Quraysh were at the Kabah when Mohammed arrived. They crowded around him and said, “Are you the one who condemned our gods and our religion?” Mohammed answered that he was the one. One of them grabbed him and Abu Bakr, Mohammed’s chief follower, pressed forward and said, “Would you kill a man for saying that Allah is his Lord?” They let him go. This was worst treatment that Mohammed received in Mecca.

But Mohammed was not afraid. He was on a divine mission.

21:107 We have sent you only to be a mercy for all people. Say: It has been revealed to me that Allah is the only god. Will you submit to Him? If they turn their backs, then say, “I have truthfully warned you alike. I do not know if Judgment Day will come sooner or later. Allah knows what is said openly and what you hide. I only know that you will be tried and that you may enjoy yourself for awhile.” Say: My Lord judges with truth. Our Lord is the beneficent Allah Whose help is sought against lies you ascribe to Him.

He continued to speak of Allah and the Koran. Many times in the Koran we find self-proofs of the validity of the Koran and the proof of Allah.

26:1 TA. SIN. MIN. These are the verses of the Book that make things clear.

26:3 You may torment yourself [Mohammed] if they do not believe. If We wanted, We could send them a sign from the sky that would force them to humbly bow their heads, but every new warning they receive from Allah is ignored. They have rejected the message, but they will learn the truth of what they mocked! Do they not see the earth and how much of so many noble things We have made there? Truly, there is a sign there, but most do not believe. And surely, your Lord, He is the mighty, the merciful.

67:6 The torment of Hell waits for those who do not believe in their Lord, and the journey there is terrible! When they are thrown in, they will hear the Fire roaring as it boils. It will almost burst with fury. Every time another group is thrown in, its keepers will ask them, “Did someone not warn you?”

67:9 They will say. Yes. Someone came to warn us, but we rejected him and said, ‘Allah has revealed nothing to us. You are deluded.”’

67:10 They will say, “If we had listened or understood, we would not have been among the prisoners of the Fire.” They will acknowledge their sins, but mercy is far away from the prisoners of the Fire.

67:12 However, forgiveness and a great reward waits for those who secretly fear their Lord. Whether you speak openly or secretly, He knows everything in your heart. Should He not know His creations? He is the subtle, the aware. He smoothed the earth for you, so walk its paths and eat the food He provides. Everything will return to Him after death.

67:16 Are you confident that Allah in heaven will not open the earth and swallow you in an earthquake? Are you sure that Allah in heaven will not send a hurricane against you? You will understand My warning then! It is true that your ancestors rejected their prophets. Was not My wrath terrible?

67:19 Do they not see the birds above, spreading and folding their wings? Only merciful Allah could keep them aloft. He watches over everything.

67:20 Who could help you like an army except merciful Allah? The unbelievers are totally deluded. Who would provide for you if He withheld His provisions? Still, they continue to be proud and reject Him. Is the person groveling along on his face better than those who walk upright on a straight path?

67:23 Say: He created you and gave you the gifts of sight, hearing, and feeling. Still, few are grateful. Say: He has sown you in the ground, and He will gather you. And they say, “If you are telling the truth, when will this promise be fulfilled?”

67:26 Say: Only Allah has knowledge of the time. I am only sent to publicly warn. But when they see it approach, the faces of the unbelievers will grieve. It will be said, “This is what you have been predicting.” Say: What do you think? Whether Allah destroys me and my followers, or grants us mercy, who will protect the unbelievers from a terrible punishment? Say: He is the merciful. We believe in Him and trust Him, and you will learn later who is clearly in error. Say: What do you think? If all water sank into the earth, who would bring you clear running water?

67:1 Blessed is He whose hands hold the kingdom and has power over all things; Who created life and death to determine who conducts themselves best; and He is the mighty, the forgiving! He created and raised seven heavens, one above the other. You cannot see one defect in merciful Allah’s creation. Do you see a crack in the sky? Look again and again. Your vision will blur from looking, but you will find no defects.