Reading the Koran. 23

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

One of the Quraysh, Al Nadr, had been to Persia and had learned many tales and sagas from the storytellers there. The traveler would announce, “I can tell a better tale than Mohammed.” Then he would proceed to tell them ancient sagas and stories of Persia. “In what way is Mohammed a better storyteller than me?”

But Mohammed’s stories were straight from Allah. Here are stories about David, a king of the Jews:

38: 17 Be patient with what they say, and remember Our servant David, a powerful man, who always looked repentantly to Allah. We made the mountains sing the praises of Allah in unison with him in the morning and the evening, and the birds gathered together; all joined him in praise of Allah. We made his kingdom strong and gave him wisdom and sound Judgment.

38:21 Have you heard the story of the two disputing men who climbed the wall of David’s private chamber? David was frightened when they entered his room. They said, “Do not be afraid. We have a dispute, and one of us has certainly wronged the other. Judge where the truth lies between us, and do not be unjust, but guide us to the right way. My brother has ninety-nine ewes [female sheep], and I have only one. He pressured me and said, ‘Let me have her.’”

38:24 David replied, “Certainly he has wronged you by insisting that you give him your ewe. It is true that many partners wrong one another, the exception being those who believe and behave correctly. There are few of those.” David realized that We had tried him. He asked forgiveness from his Lord, fell down bowing, and repented.

38:25 So We forgave him this sin; truly he is honored and well received by Us and has an excellent place in Paradise. It was said to him, “David, We have indeed made you a vice-regent on earth. Use truth and justice when judging between men, and do not follow your passions because they may cause you to stray from Allah’s path. Those who stray from Allah’s path will meet a terrible punishment because they have forgotten the Judgment Day.

Noah

71:1 We sent Noah to his people and said to him, “Warn your people before a terrible punishment befalls them.” He said, “My people, I come to you as a plain-speaking warner. Serve and fear Allah and obey me. He will forgive you your sins and give you respite until the appointed time, because when Allah’s appointed time has come, it cannot be delayed. If only you knew this!”

71:5 He said, “Lord, I have cried to my people day and night; and my cries only increase their aversion. Whenever I cry to them so that you may forgive them, they cover their ears and cover themselves in their cloaks, and persist stubbornly in their error. Then I called loudly to them. Then I spoke plainly, and I spoke to them privately and I said, ‘Beg your Lord for forgiveness because he is ready to forgive. He will open the sky and send down rain in abundance. He will increase your wealth and children and will give you gardens and rivers. What is the matter with you that you refuse to seek goodness from Allah’s hand when it was Him who made you in diverse stages?’”

71:15 “Do you not see how Allah created the seven heavens and set them one above another? He placed the moon there and made it a light, and made the sun a lamp and placed it there, and Allah caused you to spring out of the earth like a plant. Later he will turn you back into the earth and bring you out again. Allah has spread the earth for you like a carpet so that you may walk there along spacious paths.” Noah said, “Lord, they rebel against me and follow those whose wealth and children add only to their troubles.”

71:22 And they devised a great plot. They said, “Do not forsake your gods; do not forsake Wadd, or Sowah, or Yaghuth nor Yahuk or Nesr [names of Semitic gods].” They have led many astray and have added only error to the ways of the wicked. Because of their sins, they were drowned and forced into the fire, and they discovered that Allah was their only shelter.

71:26 And Noah said, “Lord, do not leave one family of unbelievers alive on earth. Because if you do, then they will trick your servants and will only breed more sinners and unbelievers. Lord, forgive me and my parents and every believer that enters my house and all the male and female believers. Give nothing but destruction to the wicked.”

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Enormities: Ascribing Associates To Allah Most High (Shirk)

Reliance of the Traveller.png

This is the first article in the chapter Enormities from the classical manual on Sharia called Reliance of the Traveller. I will post them one by one in the order they are given in the book, not leaving out anything.

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p1.0 ASCRIBING ASSOCIATES TO ALLAH MOST HIGH (SHIRK)

p1. 1 Ascribing associates to Allah Most High means to hold that Allah has an equal, whereas He has created you, and to worship another with Him, whether it be a stone, human, sun, moon, prophet, sheikh, jinn, star, angel, or other.

p1.2 Allah Most High says:

(1) “Allah does not forgive that any should be associated with Him, but forgives what is other than that to whomever He wills” (Koran 4:48).

(2) “Surely, whoever ascribes associates to Allah, Allah has forbidden him paradise, and his refuge is hell” (Koran 5:72).

(3) “Of a certainty, worshipping others with Allah is a tremendous injustice” (Koran 31:13).

p1.3 The Koranic verses concerning this are very numerous, it being absolutely certain that whoever ascribes associates to Allah and dies in such a state is one of hell’s inhabitants, just as whoever believes in Allah and dies as a believer is one of the inhabitants of paradise, even if he should be punished first.

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There is no information here how this enormity is to be punished under Sharia. What is the punishment for it in today’s Muslim countries which apply Sharia, like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan? Do they differ between each other? Do they differ from how Sharia was applied in the past?

Reading the Koran. 22

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

According to the Koran the ancient towns of Arabia were destroyed because they did not believe their prophet.

26:141 The people of Thamud [the people of a ruined Nabatean city near Medina] rejected the messengers. Their brother Salih said to them, “Will you not fear Allah? I am a faithful messenger worthy of all trust. Fear Allah and obey me. I ask for no reward. My reward comes only from the Lord of the worlds. Will you be left safely to enjoy all you have among gardens and fountains and corn-fields and palm-trees, heavy with fruit, and—insolent as you are—your homes carved from the mountain stone? Fear Allah and obey me. Do not obey the bidding of the extravagant who make mischief in the land, and do not reform.”

26:153 They said, “You are certainly one of the bewitched. You are only a man like us. Give us a sign if you are telling the truth.”

26:155 He said, “Here is a she-camel. She has a right to drink from the well, and you have a right to drink from the well, each at a scheduled time. But do not harm her, or the punishment of a terrible day will overtake you.”

26:157 But they hamstrung her, and then regretted it, so the punishment overtook them. Surely, there is a sign here, but most of them do not believe.

27:45 Long ago We sent to the Thamud their brother Salih saying, “Worship Allah.” But they became two quarrelling factions. He said, “My people, why do you embrace evil, rather than good? Why do you not ask Allah’s forgiveness so that you may receive mercy?”

27:47 They said, “We predict that you and your followers will bring us evil.” He said, “The evil that you sense will befall you will come from Allah. You are a people on trial.”

27:48 In the city there were nine men from one family who made mischief in the land and would not reform. They said, “Swear to one another by Allah that we will attack Salih and his family at night, and we will tell his vengeance-seeking heirs that we did not see the murder of his family, and we will be telling the truth.” They plotted and planned, but We also plotted, even though they did not realize. See how their plotting turned out. We destroyed them and their entire people. You may still see their ruined homes which were destroyed because they were wicked. Surely this is a sign for those who understand. We saved those who believed and acted righteously.

Reading the Koran. 21

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

The Koran had advice for Mohammed in these difficult times.

15:87 We have given you seven of the often-repeated verses [Sura 1] and the great Koran. Do not strain your eyes coveting the good things that We have given to some of the unbelievers, and do not grieve for them, but instead take the believers tenderly under your wing. Say: “ I am the one who gives plain warning.”

25:41 When they see you, they mock you, saying, “Is this the man whom Allah sends as a messenger? He would have led us far from our gods if we had not been so loyal to them!” When they see the punishment that is waiting, they will soon realize who was more misled. What do you think of someone who worships his own passion like a god? Would you be a guardian for such a person? Or do you think that most of them even hear or understand? They are just like cattle. No, they stray even further from the path.

Mohammed would come to the Kabah and tell the Meccans what terrible punishments that Allah had delivered to the others in history who had not believed their prophets. That was now one of his constant themes. Allah destroyed others like you who did not listen to men like me.

36:1 YA. SIN. I swear by the wise Koran that you are surely one of the messengers on a straight path, a revelation of the mighty, the merciful, sent to warn a people whose fathers were not warned, and consequently remain heedless.

36:7 Our sentence against them is just because they do not believe. We have bound their necks with chains that reach the chin, forcing their heads up. We have placed barriers in front, behind, and over them, so they cannot see. It does not matter whether you warn them or not, because they will not believe. You can only warn those who follow the message and fear merciful Allah in private. Give them glad tidings of forgiveness and a generous reward. It is true We will give life to the dead and that We record what they will do and what they have done. We have recorded everything in Our perfect ledger.

36:13 Use a parable to tell them the story of the people of the city [Antioch] when the messengers visited. When We first sent two messengers to them, the people rejected them, but We sent a third to strengthen their numbers. They said, “We are messengers sent to you by Allah.”

36:15 The people said, “You are merely men just like us. Allah has sent no revelation. You only tell lies.”

36:16 The messengers replied, “Our Lord knows that we have been sent to you. Our only duty is to proclaim the clear message.”

36:18 They said, “We predict evil from you. If you do not stop, we will certainly stone you and inflict a terrible punishment.”

36:19 The messengers said, “Your prediction of evil comes from within. Is it because you are warned? No! You are a people in error.”

36:20 A man [Habib, the carpenter] came running from the outskirts of the city and said, “My people, listen to the messengers! Obey those who do not ask any reward and who follow the right path. It would be unreasonable of me not to serve Him who created me, and to Whom we will all return. Should I worship other gods besides Him? If Allah wished to afflict me their intercession could not help me at all, nor could they save me. If I did worship other gods, I would be in clear error. I believe in your Lord, so listen to me.” It was said to him, “Enter the Garden of Paradise.” The man replied, “Oh, if only my people knew how gracious Allah has been to me and that He has made me one of the honored ones!”

36:28 After the man [Habib] from the outskirts died, We sent no army down from heaven against his people. We did not need to do so. It was nothing more than a single cry, and they were extinct. Oh! The misery that falls upon My servants! Every messenger sent to them has been mocked. Do they not see how many earlier generations We have destroyed? Every one of them will be brought before Us for judgment.

36:33 The dead earth is a sign for them. We give it life which produces grain for them to eat. And We have placed gardens of palms and grapes there with springs gushing water so they might enjoy the fruit of Our artistry. Their hands did not make this. Why will they not be grateful?

Sharia: Book of Enormities

I am starting another series at this blog, which will run interchangeably with Reading the Koran. It is based on the classical manual of fiqh for the Shafi’i school of Islamic jurisprudence. called Reliance of the Traveller, authored by an Islamic scholar Shihabuddin Abu al-‘Abbas Ahmad ibn an-Naqib al-Misri (AH 702-769 / AD 1302–1367). I’ll be posting excerpts from chapter Enormities, which describe what a Muslim must avoid to escape hellfire in the afterlife and Sharia punishments in this life. Here’s the author’s introduction to the chapter:

page 652 pO.O Enormities

THE AUTHOR’S INTRODUCTION

(n: The first of the books translated as appendices to our basic text ‘Umdat al-salik concerns the enormities alluded to above in the context of court testimony (dis: 024.3), and has been edited from the Kitab al-kaba’ir [Book of enormities] of Imam Dhahabi, who defines an enormity as any sin entailing either a threat of punishment in the hereafter explicitly mentioned by the Koran or hadith, a prescribed legal penalty (hadd), or being accursed by Allah or His messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace)

pO. 1 In the name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate.

o Lord, facilitate and help. The sheikh, Imam, and hadith master (hafiz, def: w48.2(end)) Shams ai-Din Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn ‘Uthman Dhahabi (may Allah forgive him) said:

Praise be to Allah for true faith in Him. His books, messengers, angels, and decrees. Allah bless our prophet Muhammad, his folk, and those who support him, with a lasting blessing that will grant us the Abode of Permanence near to Him.

This is a book useful in knowing the enormities, both in general and in detail. May Allah by His mercy enable us to avoid them. Allah Most High says, “If you avoid the enormities of what you have been forbidden, We shall acquit you of your wrongdoings and admit you to a generous place to enter” (Koran 4:31).

In this text, Allah Most High promises whoever avoids the enormities to admit him to paradise.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The five prescribed prayers, and from one Friday prayer to another entail forgiveness for what is between them as long as you do not commit the enormities.”

So we are obliged to learn what they are, that the Muslim may avoid them.

Reading the Koran. 20

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

Then one of the Quraysh said, “Then let the heavens be dropped on us in pieces as you say your Lord could do. Then if you do not we will not believe.” Mohammed said that Allah could do that if Allah wished or he might not if he wished.

They then said, “Did not your Lord know that we would ask you these questions? Then your Lord could have prepared you with better answers. And your Lord could have told you what to tell us if we don’t believe. We hear that you are getting this Koran from a man named Al Rahman from another town. We don’t believe in Al Rahman. Our conscience is clear. We must either destroy you or you must destroy us. Bring your angels and we will believe them.”

Mohammed turned and left. A cousin chased him and fell in beside him to talk. He said, “Mohammed, your tribe has made you propositions and you have rejected them. First, they asked you for things for themselves that they might see if you are true. Then they would follow you. You did nothing. Then they asked you for things for yourself so they could see your superiority over them and prove your standing with Allah. You did nothing. Then they said to bring on the punishments that your Allah has told you about and you have frightened us with his threats. You did nothing. Personally, I will never believe until you get a ladder up to the sky, you will climb it while I watch, and four angels will come and testify that you are truthful. But you know, even if you did all that, I still don’t know if I would believe you.”

Mohammed went home and was sad and depressed. He had hoped when they sent for him it was to announce their submission to his Allah and his teachings. Instead, it was resistance and questions.

26:204 What! Do they seek to hasten Our punishment? What do you think? If after giving them their fill for years and their punishment finally comes upon them, how will their pleasures help them? We have never destroyed a city that We did not warn first with a reminder. We did not treat them unjustly.

26:210 The devils were not sent down with the Koran. It does not suit them, and they do not have the power because they are banned from hearing it. Do not call upon any god but Allah, or you will be doomed. Rather, warn your close relatives.

26:215 And be kind to the believers who follow you. If they disobey you, say, “I will not be responsible for your actions.” Put your trust in Him who is mighty and merciful, Who sees you when you stand in prayer, and your demeanor among the worshippers, because He hears and knows everything.

26:221 Shall I tell you who Satan will descend upon? He will descend upon every lying, wicked person. They speak of what they hear, but most of them are liars. It is the poets that the erring follow. Do you see how they wander distractedly around every valley, and that they do not practice what they preach? But not so for the believers, who believe, do good works, and remember Allah often, and who defend themselves when unjustly treated. But those who treat them unjustly will find out what a terrible fate awaits them.

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.