Reading the Koran. 7

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 3 (continued)

Since the word was out, Mohammed began to openly preach his new doctrine. He had been private for three years before he went public.

The first of many parables was given:

68:17 Surely, We have tried them [the Meccans] as We tried the owners of the garden, when they swore they would harvest its fruit in the morning; but added no exception [by saying, “If it is the will of Allah”].

Then an encompassing plague from your Lord swept through it while they slept, and by the morning the garden was barren, as if all its fruit had been cut.

68:21 At dawn they called to each other, “Go to your fields early if you want to cut your dates.” So they went, quietly whispering to each other, “No poor man will enter your garden today.” And so they went out at dawn to their fields with this purpose in mind.

68:26 But when they saw the garden, they said, “Surely we have gone astray. Indeed, our harvest is destroyed.” The best among them said, “Did I not say to you, ‘Why do you refuse to praise Allah?’” They said, “Glory to our Lord! Surely we have done wrong.”

68:30 Then they began to blame one another, and they said, “Woe to us! We were insolent! Perhaps our Lord will give us a better garden in exchange. Surely we beg this from our Lord.”

68:33 This has been their punishment, but the punishment of the hereafter is even greater, but they did not know this. Surely the Allah-fearing will be in Gardens of Delight in the presence of their Lord. Should We deal with those who have submitted to Allah like We do those who offend him? What has happened to you [unbelievers] to make you judge as you do? Do you have a Scripture from which you can learn how you can have the things that you choose? Or have you received an oath from Us, binding until Judgment Day, that you will have everything you demand? Ask them [the unbelievers] who will guarantee this? Or do they have other gods? Let them bring their other gods if they are telling the truth.

The Arabs had always believed in jinns, invisible beings created from fire.

Now they appeared in the Koran.

114:1 Say: I seek protection with the Lord of men, the king of men, the judge of men, and from the mischief of gossips, who whisper into the hearts of men tales against the jinn and men.

51:56 I created jinn and man only to worship me. I need no livelihood from them, and I do not need them to feed me. Truly, Allah is the sole sustainer, the possessor of power, and the unmovable!

51:59 Let those who injure you share the fate of the sinners of old. They should not challenge Me to hasten it. Woe to the unbelievers, because of the day they are threatened with.

The other deities in Mecca were attacked.

53:19 Do you see Al-Lat and Al-Ozza, and Manat [Arabic deities] the third idol? What? Do you have male children and Allah female children [Arabs called angels the daughters of Allah]? That is an unfair division!

53:23 These are mere names. You and your fathers gave them these names. Allah has not acknowledged them. They follow only their own conceits and desires, even though their Lord has already given them guidance.

53:27 Surely, the ones who give female names to the angels are the ones who do not believe in the hereafter, but of this they have no knowledge.

They are following a guess, and a guess cannot replace the truth.

53:29 Stay away from those who turn their backs on Our warnings and desire only the present life. This is all that they know. Truly, your Lord knows everything about those who stray from his path, and He knows everything about those who have accepted his guidance. Whatever is in the heavens and on the earth belongs to Allah. He may reward evildoers according to their own deeds and those who do good will be rewarded with good things.

53:32 Surely, your Lord is filled with forgiveness for those who avoid great sins and shameful acts and only commit minor sins. He knew you well when He brought you out of the earth and when you were in your mother’s womb. Do not try to justify yourself. He knows the Allah-fearing people the best.

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Reading the Koran. 6

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 3 (continued)

Mohammed preached the doctrine of the Day of Judgment.

88:1 Have you heard the news of the overwhelming event?

88:2 Some faces will be downcast that day, troubled and weary, burnt at the scorching Fire, forced to drink from a fiercely boiling fountain, with only bitter thorns for food, which neither nourishes nor satisfies hunger.

88:8 Other faces that day will be joyous, and in a lofty Garden, very pleased with their past efforts. No vain talk will be heard there. There will be gushing fountains. There will be raised couches, and goblets placed nearby, and cushions arranged, and carpets spread out.

88:17 Will they consider the camels and how they were made? Or consider how the sky was upraised, and how the mountains are rooted, and how the earth is spread?

88:21 Warn them, because you [Mohammed] are merely a warner. You have no authority over them, but whoever turns back and disbelieves, Allah will punish them terribly.

88:25 Truly they will return to Us. Then it will be time for Us to settle their accounts.

After the day of doom would come Paradise and Hell.

56:1 When the inevitable day of terror arrives, no one will treat its sudden arrival as a lie. That day many will be crushed! That day some will be exalted!

56:4 When the earth is shaken to its core, and the mountains crumble to powder and become scattered dust, and the people are divided into three groups, the people of the right hand—Oh, how happy the people of the right hand will be!

56:9 The people of the left hand—Oh, how wretched they will be!

56:10 The people who were foremost on earth [the first to follow [Mohammed], they will be foremost in the hereafter. A large number of those who lived before are the people who will be brought close to Allah, in Gardens of delight. A few of those who lived later [after Islam was well established] will be on decorated couches, reclining on them face to face. They will be waited on by immortal young boys with goblets and ewers and a cup of pure wine that gives no headache nor muddles the mind, and with fruits that are most pleasing, and with the flesh of birds that they desire. In compensation for their past good deeds, they will have houris [heavenly companions of pleasure] with big, dark eyes like pearls peeking from their shells. They will not hear any vain or sinful talk, only the cry, “Peace! Peace!”

56:27 The people of the right-hand—Oh! How happy the people of the right-hand will be resting on raised couches amid thornless sidrahs [plum trees] and talh trees [banana trees], thick with fruit, and in extended shade and constantly flowing waters, and abundant fruits, neither forbidden nor out of reach. And We have specially made for them houris, companions, chaste and pure virgins, lovers and friends of equal age with them for the people of the right hand, a large number of the people of old, and a large number of the people of the latter generations.

56:41 The people of the left-hand—Oh, how wretched the people of the left-hand will be amid scorching winds and scalding water, and in the shade of black smoke, neither cool nor refreshing. Formerly they were blessed with worldly pleasures, yet they persisted in terrible sin and used to say, “What will be resurrected after we have died and crumbled to bone and dust? What about our fathers, the men of old?”

56:49 Say: Yes, the former and the latter. They will all be gathered at the appointed hour.

56:51 Then those who denied [Mohammed was a prophet] and erred will certainly eat from the Ez-zakkoum tree [a tree of Hell], and they will gorge themselves with it. Then they will drink scalding water and will drink like a thirsty camel. This will be their feast on the Judgment Day!

There was added a new element to the religion. Any person who rejected the revelations of Mohammed would be eternally punished. The culture of religious tolerance in Mecca now had a new religion which preached the end of tolerance. Only Islam was acceptable.

Reading the Koran. 5

THE FIRST MALES TO ACCEPT ISLAM. CHAPTER 3 (continued)

A famine overtook the Quraysh and Mohammed’s uncle Abu Talib had a large family. Abu Talib was a well respected tribal leader, but had fallen on hard times. Mohammed went to another uncle, Al Abbas, and they both went to Abu Talib and offered to help raise two of his children.

Ali went into Mohammed’s house to be raised by him and Khadija. When Ali turned ten he joined with Mohammed in his new religion, Islam.

Mohammed and Ali used to go to the edge of town to practice their new ritual prayers. One day Abu Talib came upon them and asked what were they doing? Mohammed replied, “Uncle, this is the religion of Allah, His angels, His prophets and the religion of Abraham. Allah has sent me as an apostle to all mankind. You, my uncle, deserve that I should teach you the truth and call you to Islam.” His uncle said that he could not give up the religion of his ancestors, but that he would support Mohammed.

The native Arabic religions were tribal in that every tribe had its deities, but the ceremonies and traditions were passed down by oral tradition, not in writing.

Mohammed lived in Mecca, which had been a religious center for many generations. It had a stone building that was roughly shaped like a cube and was called a Kabah. There were at least five other Kabahs in other towns in Arabia. The Kabah was a religious center for many of the native religions. Some sources say that there were as many as 360 deities worshipped in Mecca, a city that was profoundly polytheistic and tolerant.

There were religious festivals that involved pilgrimages to Mecca, so at different times of the year, many tribes would gather to trade and do religious ceremonies.

One of the many gods in Mecca was Allah, a moon god. The native religions did not have any formal structure to the many deities, but Allah was a high god. Allah was the primary god of the Quraysh tribe of Mohammed, and Mohammed’s father was named Abdullah, slave of Allah.

The idea of having an Arabian prophet was new. The sources of the native religions were unknown, but the new religion of Islam had a self-declared prophet. The Jews had prophets, and now the Arabs had a prophet in Mohammed.

87:1 Praise the name of your Lord, the Most High, who has created and proportioned all things, who has determined man’s destinies and guided them, who brought forth the pasture, and reduced it to dusty stubble.

87:6 We will teach you to recite [the Koran] so that you do not forget, unless Allah wishes. He knows everything manifest and secret, and We will make it easy for you [Mohammed] to attain a state of ease. Therefore give warning because the warning is profitable. He who fears Allah will receive the warning, and only the most unfortunate ones will avoid it.

They will be flung into Hellfire, in which there is no death or life.

Since Mohammed was a prophet, it was natural that the Koran should pick the thread of the history of the Jews and their prophets, such as Abraham and Moses.

Abraham

51:24 Have you heard the story of Abraham’s honored guests? They went to him and said, “Peace!” And he replied, “Peace, strangers.” And he went among his household and brought out a fatted calf, and he set it before them and said, “Do you want to eat?” They did not, and he became afraid of them. They said to him, “Do not be afraid,” and gave him the news that he was going to father a wise son. Abraham’s wife came forward with a cry, striking her face, and said, “But I am old and barren!”

51:30 They said, “Your Lord says it is true, and he is wise and knowing.”

51:31 Abraham said, “What errand are you on, messengers?” They replied, “We are sent to a wicked people, to shower them with stones of clay, sent by your Lord for their excesses.”

51:35 We went to evacuate the believers in the city, but We only found one Muslim family, and We left signs warning those who fear the painful punishment. Moses was another sign. We sent him to Pharaoh with manifest authority. But Pharaoh was confident of his might and turned his back and said, “You are a magician, or insane.” So We seized him and his army and cast them into the sea, and he had only himself to blame.

Moses

79: 15 Have you heard the story of Moses? How his Lord called to him in the sacred valley of Tuwa, saying, “Go to Pharaoh. He has rebelled, and say, ‘Do you want to be purified?’ Then I will guide you to your Lord so that you may fear Him.”

79:20 And Moses showed Pharaoh a great miracle. But Pharaoh denied it and disobeyed. Furthermore, he turned his back and rebelled against Allah. He gathered an army and made a proclamation, saying, “I am your lord, the most high.” So Allah punished him and made an example of him in this life and the hereafter. Surely this is a lesson for those who fear Allah.

Reading the Koran. 4

THE FIRST CONVERT. CHAPTER 3 (continued)

Mohammed’s wife, Khadija, was the first convert. From the first she had encouraged him, believed him. She knew him to be of good character and did not think him to be deceived or crazy. Soon he stopped hearing voices or seeing visions and became depressed and felt abandoned. Then his visions started again and said:

93:1 By the brightness of the noonday sun and by the night at its darkest, your Lord has not forgotten you, and He does not hate you.

93:4 Certainly the future will be better than the past, and in the end your Lord will be generous to you, and you will be satisfied. Did He not find you living like an orphan and give you a home? Did He not find you lost and give you guidance? Did He not find you poor, and did He not give you enough?

93:9 Therefore, do not oppress the orphan, and do not scold the beggar. Instead, announce the bounty of your Lord.

Then Mohammed began to tell others who were close to him of words in his visions.

1:1 In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

1:2 Praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds. The Compassionate, the Merciful. King of the Judgment Day.

1:5 Only You do we worship, and to You alone do we ask for help. Keep us on the straight and narrow path. The path of those that You favor; not the path of those who anger You [the Jews] nor the path of those who go astray [the Christians].

107:1 What do you think of him who treats Our religion as a lie, who trusts that others will raise the orphan, and does not urge others to feed the poor? Woe to those who pray, but whose prayers are careless and to those who make a show of devotion, but refuse to help the needy.

70:22 Not the devout, who pray constantly and whose wealth has a fixed portion set aside for beggars and the destitute, and those who believe in the Judgment Day, and those who fear their Lord’s punishment – because no one is safe from their Lord’s punishment—and who control their sexual desires (except with their wives or slave-girls, with them there is no blame; but whoever indulges their lust beyond this are transgressors), and who keep their trusts and promises, and who tell the truth, and who are attentive to their prayers. These will live with honors in Gardens.

92:5 He who gives alms and fears Allah and accepts the good, to him We will make the path to happiness easy. But he who is greedy and does not think he needs Allah’s help and calls the good a lie, to him We will make the path to misery easy. And what good will his wealth do him when he dies?

92:12 Certainly it is up to Us to guide man and certainly the future and the past belong to Us. Therefore I warn you of the blazing Fire. Only the most wretched will be thrown into it, those who call the truth a lie and turn their backs.

92:17 Those who fear Allah will escape it and so will those who give away their wealth so that they may be purified; and who give freely without hope of reward, except seeking the pleasure of his Lord, the most high, certainly in the end they will be content.

95:1 I swear by the fig and the olive, by Mount Sinai, and by this inviolate land [Mecca]! We have created man in a noble image then reduced him to the lowest of the low, except those who believe and do the right things, because their reward will never fail.

95:7 Then, who can convince you that the judgment is a lie? Is Allah not the best of judges?

PRAYER

Mohammed began to do his prayers with his new understanding. At first he did two prostrations with each prayer. Later he understood that he should use four prostrations per prayer and use two prostrations when he was traveling.

Then when he was on a mountain he saw a vision in which Gabriel showed him how to do ritual ablutions as a purification ritual before prayer. He went home and showed his wife, Khadija, how he now understood the prayer rituals to be done and she copied him.

Mohammed, his wife and nephew, Ali, started praying at the Kabah with their new rituals of ablutions and prayer with prostrations. A visitor asked about this new ritual and was told that it was a new religion and that Mohammed said that he would receive the treasures of Rome and Persia.

73:1 You [Mohammed] wrapped up in your robe, awake half the night, more or less, to pray and recite the Koran in a measured rhythm, because We will send down to you a weighty message. Certainly nightfall is a time when impressions are stronger and speech is more certain. Obviously, the day is filled with constant work.

73:8 Remember the name of your Lord, and devote yourself to Him with complete devotion. Lord of the east and the west; there is no god except Allah. Take Him for your protector.

What Is Abrogation?

From Bill Warner’s Sharia Law for Non-Muslims:

The Koran is so filled with contradictions such as this that it provides a method to resolve the problem, called abrogation.
Abrogation means that the later verse is stronger than the earlier verse. However, both verses are still true, since the Koran is the exact, precise word of Allah. In the two verses above, the first verse is earlier than the second verse and is, therefore, weaker. It is always that way. The early, weaker “good” verse is abrogated by the later, stronger “bad” verse.
The “truth” of the earlier Meccan verses is demonstrated by the fact that it is the Meccan Koran that is quoted by Muslims and apologists. It may be abrogated, but it is still used as the sacred truth of the Koran.
Practically speaking, this means that the early verses are used when Islam is weak and the later verses are used when Islam is strong. This parallels Mohammed’s life.
Mohammed’s career had two distinctly different phases – early and late. In Mecca Mohammed was a religious preacher. Later, in Medina he became a politician and warrior and became very powerful. The early Meccan Koran gives the advice of Allah when Islam is weak and the later Medinan Koran says what to do when Islam is strong. The stronger Mohammed became, the harder he waged war against the Kafirs. The Koran gives the proper advice to every Muslim for every stage.

Abrogation is based on the following verse of the Koran:
“Whatever a Verse (revelation) do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring a better one or similar to it. Know you not that Allah is able to do all things?”

However there are other ideas what abrogation means and how it is implemented.
What do you think? Can you provide some examples how abrogation works?

What Is Your Opinion On Burkini Ban?

burkini

Here is an interesting article on the topic: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/burkinis-heres-why-we-should-fight-them-on-the-beaches/

It’s much more comfortable for outraged liberals to attack their own culture for trying, however clumsily, to protect its values than it is to address the vexed question of what you do about a fanatical religious minority which despises our freedoms. As one scathing wit put it on Twitter: “This burkini ban is ridiculous. It’s 2016 and we live in a liberal, tolerant society. People should be free to enslave whomever they choose.”

After a murderous summer, in which toddlers were mown down by a truck in Nice and an 85-year-old priest had his throat cut before his own altar, France is setting out what a modern, equal society can and cannot tolerate. She deserves our sympathy. Socialist prime minister Manuel Valls is surely right to call the burkini “a symbol of the enslavement of women”. If it isn’t, then why aren’t Muslim men wearing them, eh?

In my opinion, it is an exaggeration to say that people are totally free in their choice of clothes. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I think in many western countries, if you appear in the street totally naked (which is also a choice about clothes) you’ll be arrested. This reflects what the majority of people find acceptable and unacceptable, and it is imposed by the relevant legislation. These rules are conventional, they root from Judeo-Christian values. There were, and still are other cultures where nudity is acceptable, sadhus in India, for example. So it is a reality that like with most things in a democratic society, the majority imposes restrictions which represent their values.

But generally this burkini issue would not be an issue at all if there was an honest dialogue in the West about Islam and its values.

Reading the Koran. 3

BEGINNING TEACHINGS CHAPTER 3

4:13 These are the limits set up by Allah. Those who obey Allah

and His Messenger will be led into the Gardens watered by

flowing rivers to live forever. This is the ultimate reward!

Mohammed would take month long retreats to be alone and do the Quraysh religious practices. After the retreat he would go and circumambulate (circle and pray) the Kabah.

At the age of forty Mohammed began to have visions and hear voices. His visions were first shown to him as bright as daybreak during his sleep in the month of Ramadan. Mohammed said that the angel, Gabriel, came to him with a brocade with writing on it and commanded him to read. “What shall I read?” The angel pressed him and said, “Read.” Mohammed said again, “What shall I read?” The angel pressed him again tightly and again commanded, “Read!” Again the reply, “What shall I read?”

The angel said:

96:1 Recite: In the name of your Lord, Who created man from clots of blood.

96:3 Recite: Your Lord is the most generous, Who taught the use of the pen and taught man what he did not know.

Mohammed awoke from his sleep. Now Mohammed hated ecstatic poets and the insane. His thoughts were that he was now either a poet or insane, that which he hated. He thought to kill himself by jumping off a cliff. And off he went to do just that. Half way up the hill, he heard, “Mohammed, You are the apostle of Allah and I am Gabriel.” He gazed at the angel and no matter which way he turned his head the vision followed his eyes. Mohammed stood there for a long time.

Then Mohammed began to receive what he called revelations such as:

97:1 Surely, We have revealed it [the Koran] on the night of power. And who will explain to you what the night of power is? The night of power is better than a thousand months. On that night the angels and the spirit descended with their Lord’s permission, to do their every duty and all is peace until the break of day.

55:1 Merciful Allah has taught the Koran, has created man, and has taught him to speak. The sun and the moon follow their exact courses, and the plants and the trees bow down in adoration. He has uplifted the sky and set the balance of justice so that you may not exceed the right measure. Measure fairly, and do not cheat the balance.

55:10 He has prepared the earth for his creatures. On it there are fruits and palms with sheathed clusters and husked grains and fragrant plants. Which of your Lord’s blessings would you deny?

55:14 He has created man from clay like a potter, and He created the jinn from smokeless fire. Which of your Lord’s blessings would you deny?

55:17 He is the Lord of the east. He is the Lord of the west. Which of your Lord’s blessings would you deny?

55:19 He has freed the two seas [fresh water and salt water] so that they meet, but separated them with a barrier that they cannot breach. Which of your Lord’s blessings would you deny?

55:22 From the seas come pearls and coral. Which of your Lord’s blessings would you deny?

55:24 His ships sail the seas, towering like mountains. Which of your Lord’s blessings would you deny?

55:26 Everything on the earth will perish, but the majestic and glorious face of your Lord will endure forever. Which of your Lord’s blessings would you deny?

55:29 Everything in the heavens and the earth look to Him. Every day He exercises absolute power. Which of your Lord’s blessings would you deny?

55:31 Soon We will settle the affairs of men and jinn [invisible beings made of fire]. Which of your Lord’s blessings would you deny?