Glazov Gang: Choudary, Spencer and Jasser Battle It Out On “Jihad in Chattanooga.”

free-672x372By Jamie Glazov July 31, 2015:

This special episode of The Glazov Gang was joined by Anjem Choudary, a London Imam, Robert Spencer, the Director of JihadWatch.org, and Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, the Founder and President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy.

The three guests came on the show to discuss “Jihad in Chattanooga.”

Don’t miss the fireworks:

Bill Warner answers questions about Islam

hadith sira koran warnerBy Bill Warner, July 21, 2015:

Bill Warner answers these questions: Reliable Hadith; How to push back against Islam; Difference between a Muslim and Islam; What is the Islamic chain of authority; Sweet and kind Muslims; Muslim literacy; Mohammed and Jesus; Why are we afraid? Immigration; Koran; Catholics and the creation of Islam; Well meaning Muslims; Why do we have to obey Ramadan rules; Archeology and Islamic history; The corruption of the Koran. https://www.facebook.com/billwarnerauthor

SIGNS OF TAQIYYA

Deceitful Islamic signs scattered across an English city and the truth about Islam:

Photo by Paul Wilkinson

Photo by Paul Wilkinson

Cherson and Molschky, by Paul Wilkinson, July 13, 2015:

For some time there have been numerous Islamic signs popping up on the sides of Muslim-owned businesses and mosques in the neighbourhood in which I live.

I previously wrote a personal account of ‘How Nottingham Has Changed in the Last 15 Years’ regarding Islamisation due to a large population of Pakistani Muslims, but because these signs seem to almost sink into the subconscious, I decided to examine their messages further.

Firstly, these signs strike me as something from an authoritative state, for example George Orwell’s 1984. Daniel Greenfield highlighted in his article: ‘The Islamic Hijacking of George Orwell: Islam is peace, freedom is slavery.

“Islam is a religion of Peace. That is as certain as the three slogans of the Ministry of Truth; War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery and Ignorance is Strength. These three slogans of the Party in George Orwell’s 1984 are especially applicable to Islam; a religion of war that claims to be a religion of peace, whose political parties (such as the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party) use “Freedom” in their name but stand for slavery, and ignorance of its true nature creates an illusion of strength for industrialized nations that imagine that they are only battling a tiny handful of outmatched extremists.”

Unsurprisingly, the opposite of what is portrayed in the signs is true. Muslims rely on decades of empowering political correctness and the ignorance of Islam that most of the general public possess, for a variety of reasons, to spread Islam further. Those possessing an understanding of Islam are usually unable to challenge the signs’ presence or wording due to obstacles of political correctness, stigma and even lawfare from Muslim groups.

‘Fruit of Islam’
Photo by Paul Wilkinson

Photo by Paul Wilkinson

This sign apparently informs us that the following attributes are all components of Islam: Generosity, Kindness, Forgiveness, Justice, Gentleness, Patience, Courage, Gratitude, Humility and Honesty.

How does this fare with reality?

Indeed Muhammad’s ‘virtues’ included being a thief, waging war, having concubines, encouraging rape, having sex with a child, murder, etc. Muhammad was a brutal, unforgiving warlord and painting him in a different light is plain deception.

‘Read it! The Most Positive Book in the World’
Photo by Paul Wilkinson

Photo by Paul Wilkinson

This is utterly bizarre, the sign actually challenges people to receive a free Qur’an, and see the imaginary ‘positivity’ for themselves! Most Muslims spend their time playing on nonbeliever’s ignorance to further Islam but this project should open people’s eyes to what the Qur’an actually contains!

image005Source: Twitter @mattpope123

The Qur’an could be classified as hate speech, as ‘The Religion of Peace’ site illustrates:

  • The Qur’an draws a distinction between one’s own identity group and those outside it.
  • Moral comparison based on this distinction.
  • Devaluation or dehumanisation of other groups and the personal superiority of one’s own.
  • The advocating of different standards of treatment based on identity group membership.
  • A call to violence against members of other groups.

“The holiest book of Islam (61% of which is about non-Muslims) draws the sharpest of distinctions between Muslims (the best of people, 3:110) and non-believers (the worst of creatures, 98:6).  Praise is lavished on the former while the latter is condemned with scorching generalization.  Far from teaching universal love, the Qur’an incessantly preaches the inferiority of non-Muslims, even comparing them to vile animals and gloating over Allah’s hatred of them and his dark plans for their eternal torture.  Naturally, the harsh treatment of non-believers by Muslims is encouraged as well.”

How this book can remotely be described as being ‘positive’ is anyone’s guess. Only if the reader believes in Muhammad and Allah I suppose, whereas for nonbelievers there is a feeling of inferiority due to its supremacist nature.

When the Qur’an is laid out in chronological order, Muhammad’s last commands were open-ended war against nonbelievers and to spread Islam by any means possible. Chapter 9 is a huge inspiration to jihadists. What better way to be a good Muslim by following in Muhammad’s footsteps and waging holy war for Allah? Why the Qur’an is not banned in civilised countries is a mystery.

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David Wood: What Is the Qur’an?

Quran (2)Answering Muslims, by David Wood, June 12, 2015:

What is the Qur’an? Is it the Word of God? Is it the greatest book ever written? Are there scientific miracles in the Qur’an? Does the Qur’an promote justice, fairness, and women’s rights? Has it been perfectly preserved? Let’s find out.

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Ten Fast Facts You Need to Know about the Quran

 Approximately 1.6 billion people are convinced that the Quran is the eternal Word of Allah. Given the role the Quran plays in world events, isn’t it time for the rest of us to learn about the book Muhammad delivered to his followers?

Where are Those Moderate Muslims — and How Should We Deal with Them?

American Thinker, by Steve Chambers, June 9, 2015:

Eleven months before 9/11, I heard a series of lectures from a Muslim doctor to a Protestant congregation, in which he contradicted much of what I had learned about the religion’s history and foundation when I had studied it and lived abroad among Muslims two to three decades earlier.  For example, he assured the credulous audience that Islam had never been spread by the sword, but rather that was a Western canard.  Already extremely concerned about militant Islam, I started reading updated works on the ideology.  It didn’t take me long to realize that my prior understanding hadn’t been superseded by new discoveries.  At best, the pious doctor was offering a positive spin on Islam; more likely he was actually, deliberately engaging in taqiyya – righteous deception to advance Islam.

With the attacks of 9/11, I began an extensive, deliberate effort to understand the religion and the violence that it was spewing.  I read authors across the spectrum of attitudes towards Islam, from the highly sympathetic Karen Armstrong to the implacably critical Ibn Warraq.  I also attend the lectures of Islamic scholars such as leading apologist John Esposito (“the antidote to Bernard Lewis,” one liberal minister mockingly assured me), and I interviewed pious Muslims.  I then organized my thoughts by writing them down in what eventually became a book.  One of the most significant insights I obtained from this process was that there are eight basic principles of Islam that lead to its violent aggression.  Exhibit 1 enumerates those tenets.

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Each of these principles comes directly from the Qur’an, except the last.  They are all virtually universally accepted in Islam, as attested by my interviews with Muslims as well as the writings of western Islamic scholars.  These principles impel observant Muslims to struggle to advance Islam to its divinely ordained position of global dominance, and while doing so to unite with other Muslims while holding non-Muslims at arm’s length, at best.  At worst (as we have been seeing recently in Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Nigeria), Muslims should force others either to convert to Islam or take one of two other alternatives: if Christians or Jews, to submit to Muslim rule while paying a tax to show their submission; or if they can’t, or are of another or no faith, to die.

Recently a Protestant minister and I led a two man panel discussion of Islam, and when we came to this exhibit, he explained to the audience that these eight tenets makes some Muslims militant.  I had to correct him, pointing out that these tenets make Islam militant and that extremists accept them explicitly.  That distinction is vital.

Since they impel the faithful to violence, these tenets raise the question: How can believing Muslims do anything other than engage in jihad?  Put another way, how can Muslims be moderate?  That in turn raises the question, what is a moderate Muslim?

Research for the book uncovered the view, widely held across the sympathy spectrum, that “moderate” Muslims accepted a series of pacifying interpretations of Islam and its scriptures.  These interpretations, which had evolved over Islam’s first five centuries, essentially toned down its harsher messages and rubbed off its sharper edges, enabling Muslims to live harmoniously with one another and, particularly since about the 19th Century, more peacefully with non-Muslim neighbors.  The difference extremists exhibited was that they took the commands of their scriptures literally and hence acted upon them.

However, seeking to understand which Muslims were moderate and how large a portion of the 1.6 billion global Muslim community, or Ummah, they represented, it is impossible to find hard numbers: The definition of “moderate” is simply too slippery.  Is a Muslim living peacefully in rural villages of Morocco or Indonesia, practicing traditional Islam but outraged that a Jewish state took land from Muslims in direct violation of shari’a, moderate?  What if he suddenly decided to act on his outrage?  What about a Muslim of Pakistani descent living near Nottingham with similar views, at least up until he decided to go to a terrorist training camp?  (This is the real story of Kasim Hafeez before he renounced violence.)  Are Muslims living in peace on the Arabian Peninsula who donate generously to Hamas — a legitimate Islamic charity in their eyes — moderate?  Is a Muslim doing the same thing in Dearborn or a Chicago suburb moderate?  Is a Muslim moderate if he engages in non-violent jihad, such as lawfare, in order to make Islam dominant, as practiced by members of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim Student Association?  Bright lines don’t exist, yet virtually everyone commenting on Islam speaks of “moderate Muslims.”  Few, however, define them.

In presentations on radical Islam, one of the conceptual devices I have employed that helps people think about the ideological differences between Muslims is Exhibit 2.

194753_5_

The vertical axis refers to whether Muslims read their sacred texts interpretively, as has been the practice of most Muslims for about 1,000 years, or strictly literally as the Wahhabis, Muslim Brotherhood and their various ideological offspring, including al Qaeda, ISIS, and the Iranian Shi’a Islamists, insist.  The horizontal axis measures how traditional a Muslim is in his attitude towards and practice of Islam, versus how modernized he is, in one of two ways.  “Modernized” can mean adapted to modernity, but it can also mean incorporating into Islam elements of 20th Century authoritarian ideologies such as communism and fascism, again as directed by the Muslim Brotherhood.

The two dimensions are of course continua and there are no hard and fast boundaries.  In addition, one might add a third dimension, the intensity of belief.  That is probably most relevant in the upper left quadrant of traditional non-militants, where intense piety might make Muslims more likely to become militant and move downward or even to the lower right.  It is possible that among modernist literalist jihadis in the lower left there are some cynical opportunists who couldn’t care less about the spiritual aspects of Islam but are selfishly attracted to the jihad by the opportunity for power and booty.  However, such inwardly secular extremists probably represent a small portion of such militants and may be marginalized or even culled out by the true believers.

While the quadrants have equal areas, they most definitely do not represent equal proportions of the Ummah.  The upper left quadrant contains the vast majority of Muslims.  That would include Muslims not just in traditional Islamic societies from the Maghreb through South Asia and into Indonesia, but also in sequestered Muslim communities in the West.  When Muslims from that quadrant become radicalized by the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots, or to drive out infidel Russians or Americans, they descend, at least initially, into the lower left quadrant.  Some might then move to the lower right.

Those in the lower right are the highly radicalized, militant Muslims that are most aggressively pursuing the Third Jihad.  Some, such as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed Khalifa Ibrahim, come from traditional, pious, even scholarly Islamic backgrounds, and have apparently imbibed inebriating amounts of the Muslim Brotherhood’s radicalizing ideology.  However, it appears that most of the older leaders came from more modern, even Western backgrounds, perhaps even indifferent to Islam early in life.  When these people first became serious about Islam, they read it literally, often with the guidance of other radicalized Muslims, and hence adopted its purest, harshest meanings.  Radicals of this sort include Osama bin Laden, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, Mohammed Atta, and Major Nidal Hassan, among many others.  Dr. Daniel Pipes recognized this phenomenon 20 years ago, and has since commented on it frequentlyMany others have noted it as well.  Increasingly, we are seeing young Muslims who have been deliberately radicalized by their elders, whether in Islamic countries, at radical mosques in the West, or simply online, including the Boston bombing brothers, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

We haven’t yet addressed one quadrant, the upper right.  This holds the still practicing but interpretive, open-minded, modernized, often Westernized Muslims, whether they live in Chicago or Cairo, London or Lahore.  Widely recognized examples are Fareed Zakariah, King Abdullah and especially Queen Noor of Jordan; lesser known but still prominent ones includeTarek Fatah, Irshad Manji, Dr. Qanta Ahmed, and Dr. Zuhdi Jasser.  Some, such as Dr. Jasser, take the unusual position that the Qur’anic commands to violence and aggression were meant for 7th Century Arabia, not the 21st Century world, but most appear to have a more conventional view of the scriptures and simply interpret them more peacefully or choose to ignore the more violent commands.  They may be the Muslim equivalents of cafeteria Catholics.  Muslims in this quadrant are the ones most Westerners encounter in their daily lives as neighbors, friends, and coworkers.  Importantly, the population in this quadrant is probably quite small, but may seem representative to the typical Western, non-Muslim observer because they are the types of Muslims most Westerners encounter.  Whether there are more of them than the extremists in the lower right is debatable, but they probably have less influence on Islam overall because of the threats they face for speaking out.

So which are the elusive moderates?  While most Westerners would view those in the upper right as moderate, most pious, practicing Muslims would probably consider them liberals.  Indeed, the extremists in the lower right view those in the quadrant above not as Muslims at all, but as apostates whom they declare takfir (excommunicated) and target for “reversion” to the true Islam, or extermination.  It is no wonder that so many modernized Muslims keep their heads down and their mouths shut about militant Islam.

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MICHAEL YOUSSEF TALKS STRAIGHT ON ISLAM

Supplicating_Pilgrim_at_Masjid_Al_Haram._Mecca_Saudi_ArabiaPhilos Project, by Andrew Harrod, May 27, 2015:

Arab-American pastor Michael Youssef writes that “militant Islamists demand conformity to an ancient and merciless code of laws” that stems from the “original and authentic Islam of the seventh century.” Youssef’s compelling new book Jesus, Jihad, and Peace: What Bible Prophecy Says about World Events Today expounds on that claim, offering a fascinating analysis from an Egyptian native about Islam’s essential character and its relationship to the free world.

Not everyone will agree with Youssef’s analysis. Those who see militant Islam as a perversion of the faith will be troubled by Youssef’s claim that Islamic Republic of Iran’s founder Ayatollah Khomeini “was not expressing a distorted view of Islam.” Youssef cites global supremacy as a “basic Islamic doctrine,” and sees Khomeini’s statements as perfectly aligned with Koranic teachings. According to Youssef, “Genuine biblical Christianity does not impose itself, but Islam, by contrast, is a religion of law, submission and punishment with a history … of massacres, enslavement, torture and brutality far exceeding the crimes of the Crusaders.”

Some apologists claim that Islam is a religion of peace, suggesting that the word “Islam” comes from the Arabic salaam. But Youssef contends that “anyone with even the most elementary knowledge of the Arabic language knows that Islam comes from aslama, or ‘total submission.’”  Efforts to rebrand jihad as warm and fuzzy (like a recent attempt by the Council on American-Islamic Relations) “appear more intended to confuse than educate.” The idea of jihad as an inner struggle is actually “relatively uncommon” among Muslims, Youssef says.

What many do not know – although this idea is well understood by those who take the Koran seriously – is that Islam’s central religious text leaves no room for moderation. While God blesses Jews and Christians (and Sabeans) in Koran 2:62, Youssef points out that “Muslim scholars generally interpret this verse as a blessing on the Christians and Jews who lived before Muhammad and his complete revelation.” Muslim orthodoxy additionally maintains that “any nonliteral interpretation of the Koran is a compromise with Western godlessness.”

Youssef correlates Islam’s harshness with that faith’s “unknowable deity,” or Allah in Arabic. In Islam, God is an “entirely separate form of being – remote, aloof and distant,” while the “Christian assertion that we are created in God’s image is blasphemy.” The Muslim view of Allah is intertwined with the Arab view of leadership in which rulers must be absolute monarchs or dictators. Youssef points out that because Muslims see Allah as an unyielding and vengeful god, “they tend to interact with others in a judgmental, unforgiving way.”

Youssef sees Islam as a threat to both Muslims and non-Muslims. “Almost since its inception, Islam has been at war with itself,” Youssef wrote, adding that Shiites and Sunnis “have battled and killed one another in order to prove themselves to be the purest, most zealous, most dogmatic Muslims of all.” Meanwhile, the existence of Israel on land that Muslims believe once belonged to the House of Islam strikes at the heart of Islamic ideology. “Muslims will not rest until the Jews either accept the Islamic religion or leave Palestine.”

Youssef speaks about a “growing trend in Muslim countries … toward Islamic fundamentalist ideology, regardless of which branch of Islam is advocated.” Under Egyptian dictators Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak since 1973, for example, Islamic governments became more radical in an attempt to appease the extremists. Yet jihadists still assassinated Sadat in 1981 and a Muslim Brotherhood-dominated uprising deposed Mubarak in 2011. “Appeasing extremists never earns their gratitude — only their contempt,” Youssef remarks.

Outside of Muslim-majority societies, “‘Islamophobia’ is merely a label that radical Muslims use to silence and intimidate … a form of jihad.” With such tactics, “universities are becoming willing accomplices in squelching free speech, oppressing women and girls in the Islamic world and advancing … a ‘stealth jihad’ agenda for America.” “Islamically correct” views also dominate media organizations like the New York Times. “America, following in the footsteps of Europe, has made a seemingly suicidal decision not to defend its culture from being infiltrated and undermined by Islamists,” he says.

“Islamic extremists see Christianity as the most potent ideological threat they face — far more potent than other religions, communism or atheism,” Youssef writes, adding that Christianity blocks the advancement of Islam on virtually all geographic, historical and ideological fronts. Radical Muslims view Christians and other non-Muslims as infidels who are faithless and treacherous.

But Youssef is careful to note that most Muslims are not radical. In 2013, in Youssef’s native Egypt, “Muslims threw off the yoke of political Islamism and provided a historic proof that there are truly moderate Muslims and that extremists are probably no more than 20 percent or so of the Muslim world.” But a May 2014 Pew poll showing 13 percent support for Al-Qaeda across 11 Muslim countries approximated 208 million Muslims, a not-so-small number that Youssef says worried him. He also wonders why Muslim moderates who “interpret the Koran according to their own conscience often do not speak out against the excesses of the fundamentalists who do not hesitate to respond with force and cruelty.”

Notwithstanding Islam’s “false worldview,” Youssef says that he has “genuine affectation and appreciation for Muslim people,” among which he has “many dear friends and acquaintances.” “My heart aches for the Muslim,” he writes, adding that the “Christian concept of salvation for sinners is completely unknown in Islam.” On this earth, Muslims can never know if they have done enough to earn Allah’s favor. “Islam is surrender without any guarantee of peace.”

Ultimately Youssef recognizes that this struggle is not just a material one — it’s ideological. “No matter how many terrorists you kill, there are always more lining up to take their place in the name of entrenched Islamic doctrines,” he concludes, emphasizing the need for a war of ideas. “Though the War on Terror is critically important in restraining the jihadist onslaught, war alone is not the answer. We must also fight for the hearts and minds of those who would do us harm.”

THE BEHEADING SURA: Robert Spencer’s Blogging the Qur’an: Sura 8, ‘Booty’

7468acb2fffb50d4983d0633b9844c348d13dbf35d2da353f65442bc8c9f460d_largePJ Media, by Robert Spencer, May 22. 2015:

As we all know, Islam is a Religion of Peace. Barack Obama and John Kerry and David Cameron and the New York Times and the Washington Post and CNN tell us that; political and media elites — left and right — take it as axiomatically true.

Now, we come to the Qur’an’s own evidence of that fact.

In Sura 8, “Al-Anfal” — “Booty,” or “The Spoils of War” – Allah speaks about Muhammad’s confrontation with the forces of the pagan Quraysh at Badr, during which the Muslim prophet … turns the other cheek! He exhorts his followers to love their enemies and to pray for those who persecute them! He begins a Gandhi-esque nonviolent protest!

Sura 8 dates from the second year of the Medinan period, the second part of Muhammad’s prophetic career. Islamic tradition holds that it was revealed not long after the Battle of Badr, the first great victory of the Muslims over their chief rivals of the time, the pagan Quraysh tribe.

The title of this sura is better known than most, since Saddam Hussein used Al-Anfal as the name for his genocidal 1988 campaigns against the Kurds, in which between 50,000 and 100,000 people were murdered.

At Badr, the Quraysh came out to meet Muhammad’s three hundred men with a force nearly a thousand strong. Muhammad had provoked the battle by sending his men out to raid a Quraysh caravan, telling them:

This is the caravan of Quraysh carrying their property, so march forth to intercept it, Allah might make it as war spoils for you.

As the battle loomed, according to Muhammad’s earliest biographer Ibn Ishaq, the Islamic prophet strode among his troops and issued a momentous promise, one that has given heart to Muslim warriors throughout the ages:

By Allah in whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, no man will be slain this day fighting against them with steadfast courage advancing not retreating but Allah will cause him to enter Paradise.

One of the Muslim warriors, Umayr bin al-Humam, exclaimed:

Fine, Fine! Is there nothing between me and my entering Paradise save to be killed by these men?

He flung away some dates that he had been eating, rushed into the thick of the battle, and fought until he was killed.

The Quraysh were routed. Some Muslim traditions say that Muhammad himself participated in the fighting; others that it was more likely that he exhorted his followers from the sidelines. In any event, it was an occasion for him to avenge years of frustration, resentment, and hatred toward his people who had rejected him.

One of his followers later recalled a curse Muhammad had pronounced on the leaders of the Quraysh:

The Prophet said, ‘O Allah! Destroy the chiefs of Quraish, O Allah! Destroy Abu Jahl bin Hisham, Utba bin Rabi’a, Shaiba bin Rabi’a, Uqba bin Abi Mu’ait, Umaiya bin Khalaf (or Ubai bin Kalaf).

All these men were captured or killed during the battle of Badr. Ibn Ishaq says that one Quraysh leader named in this curse, Uqba, pleaded for his life:

But who will look after my children, O Muhammad?

In the confrontation, Uqba had thrown camel dung, blood, and intestines on the Prophet of Islam, to the great merriment of the Quraysh chieftans, while Muhammad prostrated himself in prayer. Muhammad had pronounced a curse on them, and now it was being fulfilled. Who would care for Uqba’s children?

“Hell,” Muhammad declared, and ordered Uqba killed.

The victory at Badr was the turning point for the Muslims. It became the stuff of legend, a cornerstone of the new religion. And Allah rewarded those to whom he had granted victory. In verses 1-4 he praises the true believers, who follow the Islamic rules concerning prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, and address for the first time the question of the spoils of war from Badr. There was great booty for the victors — so much, in fact, that it became a bone of contention.

Muhammad was receiving questions about the disposal of the booty, and Allah tells the Muslims that that is entirely up to Muhammad (v. 1). This was in accord with a special privilege that Allah had granted to Muhammad. Muhammad explained: “I have been given five (things) which were not given to any amongst the Prophets before me.” These included the fact that “Allah made me victorious by awe (by His frightening my enemies)” and “the booty has been made Halal (lawful) to me (and was not made so to anyone else).”

Victorious with “awe” is often translated in other hadiths as “victorious through terror.”

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Robert Spencer’s Blogging the Qur’an: Sura 7, ‘The Heights’

quran_cover-800x480PJ Media, By Robert Spencer On May 14, 2015:

Did you know that you were born Muslim?

It’s right in Sura 7, “The Heights,” which also contains a number of Bible stories from the Qur’an, all designed to — you guessed it! — excoriate unbelievers.

“The Heights” is another Meccan sura, dating from around the same time as Sura 6: Muhammad’s last year in Mecca before the Hijra to Medina. It begins, as do several other chapters, with a first verse consisting of mysterious Arabic letters — the meaning of which, we’re told, is known only to Allah. Then follows Allah telling Muhammad not to doubt the Qur’an, for it is “a Book revealed to you, so let there not be in your breast distress therefrom” (v. 2). After thus consoling his prophet, Allah gives us yet another warning of the dreadful judgment (vv. 3-10), when those whose good deeds outweigh their evil deeds will enter Paradise, while others will go to hell “for what injustice they were doing toward Our verses” (v. 9)  — that is, ayat, or verses of the Qur’an. They will be condemned (vv. 3-10).

Allah boasts: “And how many cities have We destroyed, and Our punishment came to them at night or while they were sleeping at noon” (v. 4).

Such verses about divine judgment do not necessarily refer solely to thunderbolts from heaven. The Qur’an also says: “Fight them; Allah will punish them by your hands” (9:14). Consequently, jihad terrorists consider themselves to be the instruments of Allah’s judgment, destroying cities and punishing unbelievers in accord with the Qur’an.

Then comes the story of Satan (verses 11-25).

It begins with the creation of Adam, and Allah’s command that the angels prostrate themselves before this new creation. A hadith has Muhammad informing us that when Allah created Adam, he made him 60 cubits tall — that is, about 90 feet. “People,” he said, “have been decreasing in stature since Adam’s creation” (Sahih Bukhari 4.55.543).

However, Muhammad is also depicted as telling us that the first inhabitants of Paradise will be Adam’s size: “The first group of people who will enter Paradise, will be glittering like the full moon and those who will follow them, will glitter like the most brilliant star in the sky. They will not urinate, relieve nature, spit, or have any nasal secretions. Their combs will be of gold, and their sweat will smell like musk. The aloes-wood will be used in their centers. Their wives will be houris. All of them will look alike and will resemble their father Adam (in statute), sixty cubits tall” (Sahih Bukhari 4.55.544).

He did not explain why they will sweat but not spit or urinate. The houris, of course, are the fabled virgins of Paradise.

Satan refused to prostrate himself before Adam (v. 11; we also saw this in 2:34). When Allah asks him why, he answers pridefully: “I am better than him. You created me from fire and created him from clay.” (v. 12). Ibn Kathir explains that Satan was wrong about this. Satan, he says, “lost hope in acquiring Allah’s mercy” because “he committed this error, may Allah curse him, due to his false comparison. His claim that the fire is more honored than mud was also false, because mud has the qualities of wisdom, forbearance, patience and assurance, mud is where plants grow, flourish, increase, and provide good. To the contrary, fire has the qualities of burning, recklessness and hastiness. Therefore, the origin of creation directed Shaytan [Satan] to failure, while the origin of Adam led him to return to Allah with repentance, humbleness, obedience and submission to His command, admitting his error and seeking Allah’s forgiveness and pardon for it.”

Allah banishes Satan — from Paradise, according to most commentators — but allows respite, which Satan then says he will use to spend his time tempting the Muslims away from the straight path (vv. 16-17).

What exactly is Satan? That’s unclear.

Allah here groups him among the angels (v. 11), as he does elsewhere in the Qur’an (2:34; 15:28-31; 20:116; 38:71-74). However, Allah also says “he was one of the jinns” (18:50). The angels “do not disobey Allah in what He commands them but do what they are commanded” (66:6).

Many of the jinns, however, “have hearts with which they do not understand, they have eyes with which they do not see, and they have ears with which they do not hear. Those are like livestock; rather, they are more astray. It is they who are the heedless.” (7:179).

This creates a difficulty. If Satan is an angel, how can he disobey Allah? But if he is a jinn, why does Allah blame him in Sura 7 and its cognate passages for disobeying a command Allah gave not to the jinns, but to the angels?

This has led to some ingenious explanations throughout Islamic history. The Tafsir Al-Jalalayn says that Satan was “the father of the jinn, who was among the angels.” Muhammad Asad identifies the jinns with the angels, but this contradicts the passages of the Qur’an that say the angels are not disobedient. The contemporary Islamic apologist Dr. Zakir Naik contends that while Satan is grouped with the angels, he is never actually called an angel, and so there is no contradiction. He says that Satan is nevertheless held responsible for disobeying a command that is addressed to the angels because Allah meant it collectively — all the angels as well as Satan should obey it. The problems with this interpretation are many [1].

Allah then recounts the temptation of Adam and Eve, their sin, and their banishment from the garden (vv. 19-25). Then he warns the Children of Adam to heed the commands and signs (ayat) of Allah, and to avoid sin (vv. 26-41).

He recounts a conversation between the “Companions of the Garden” and the “Companions of the Fire” (vv. 42-50). The Companions of the Garden will point out that Allah’s promises have proven true (v. 44); the Companions of the Fire will ask the Companions of the Garden to “pour upon us some water or from whatever Allah has provided you,” but the Companions of the Garden will reply: “Indeed, Allah has forbidden them both to the disbelievers” (v. 50). Allah reminds believers to acknowledge and obey him (vv. 51-58).

Then Allah tells some stories of other prophets (vv. 59-95): Noah (vv. 59-64); the extrabiblical figures Hud (vv. 65-72) and Salih (vv. 73-79); Lot (vv. 80-84); and another extrabiblical prophet, Shu’aib (vv. 85-95).

These stories all follow the same pattern: the prophets warn the people to whom they are sent in language much like Muhammad’s, and they are scorned and rejected in much the same way that Muhammad was by those who are characterized in the Qur’an as hypocrites and unbelievers.

For example, Shu’aib tells the arrogant people of the Madyan: “We would have invented against Allah a lie if we returned to your religion after Allah had saved us from it. And it is not for us to return to it except that Allah, our Lord, should will” (v. 89) — just as earlier Allah says to the Children of Adam: “And who is more unjust than one who invents about Allah a lie or denies His verses?” (v. 37).

Lot’s story bears traces of the Sodom and Gomorrah incident in the Bible, as Lot tells his people: “Indeed, you approach men with desire, instead of women. Rather, you are a transgressing people” (v. 81). Allah warns again of the destruction that will come to towns that reject him (vv. 96-102) — yet their unbelief is Allah’s doing: “Those cities — We relate to you some of their news. And certainly did their messengers come to them with clear proofs, but they were not to believe in that which they had denied before. Thus does Allah seal over the hearts of the disbelievers.” (v. 101).

He sealed over their hearts, so how could they believe even if they wanted to?

Allah then spends a considerable amount of time telling the story of Moses (vv. 103-171). He begins with a retelling of the story of Moses and Pharaoh, told in a way that suggests the hearers have heard it before: for example, we see Moses telling Pharaoh to “send with me the Children of Israel” (v. 105), but it is assumed that the reader will know that the Israelites were at this time oppressed as slaves in Egypt.

Moses performs various miracles before Pharaoh, as in the Biblical account — although when Moses’ hand becomes “white for the observers” (v. 108), Ibn Abbas says this was “not because of leprosy,” which is contrary to Exodus 4:6. The Ruhul Ma’ani says that Moses’ hand shone brighter than the sun. Pharaoh, as in the Biblical story, is unimpressed.

But Pharaoh’s magicians are, and say: “We have believed in the Lord of the worlds, the Lord of Moses and Aaron” (vv. 121-122). Pharaoh then threatens to cut off their hands and feet on opposite sides and crucify them (v. 124) — the same punishment Allah prescribes for those who wage war against Allah and Muhammad (5:33). The magicians pray that Allah will “pour upon us patience and let us die as Muslims” (مُسْلِمِين, v. 126).

This is another reminder that the Qur’an considers the Biblical prophets all to have been prophets of Islam whose messages were later corrupted to create Judaism and Christianity.

Read more

Don’t Take Jews and Christians as Friends?

kl (1)Frontpage, By Dr. Stephen M. Kirby On May 11, 2015:

Some claim that Chapter 5, Verse 51 of the Koran prohibits Muslims from being friends with Jews and Christians. Others claim that there are various ways of interpreting this verse, and that this verse is only advising Muslims not to take Jews and Christians as, for example, legal or spiritual advisers. Because the Koran is considered the timeless Word of Allah to be followed by Muslims, let’s see which claim is supported by Islamic doctrine.

The Koran

Since most Muslims do not speak Arabic, the Koran has been translated into numerous languages to help Muslims learn about their faith. Since it is blasphemy to provide an incorrect translation of the meaning of a Koran verse, there is a tremendous burden on the shoulders of the translator to make sure the translation accurately reflects the Arabic verse. With this in mind, let’s look at how 5:51 has been translated into English by Muslim scholars in five different modern translations of the Koran:

O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as Auliya’ (friends, protectors, helpers), they are but Auliya’ of each other. And if any amongst you takes them as Auliya’, then surely, he is one of them. Verily, Allah guides not those people who are the Zalimun (polytheists and wrongdoers and unjust).

Interpretation of the Meanings of The Noble Qur’an, trans. Khan and Al-Hilali (2007)

O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for friends. They are friends one to another. He among you who taketh them for friends is (one) of them. Lo! Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk.

The Meaning of the Glorious Koran, trans. Marmaduke Pickthall (1930; rpt. 1992)

You who believe! do [sic] not take the Jews and Christians as your friends; they are the friends of one another. Any of you who takes [sic]them as friends is one of them. Allah does not guide wrongdoing people.

The Noble Qur’an: A New Rendering of its Meaning in English, trans. Abdalhaqq and Aisha Bewley (2011)

O ye who believe! take [sic] not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust.

The Meaning of the Holy Qur’an, trans. Abdullah Yusuf Ali (2010)

For some years the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has been distributing a particular translation of the Koran at no charge. This translation was done by Muhammad Asad, and here is how he translated 5:51:

 O YOU who have attained to faith! Do not take the Jews and the Christians for your allies: they are but allies of one another – and whoever of you allies himself with them becomes, verily, one of them; behold, God does not guide such evildoers.

The Message of the Qur’an, trans. Muhammad Asad (2003)

In Footnote 72 for this verse, Asad explained that “allies” meant “friendship”:

According to most of the commentators (e.g. Tabari), this means that each of these two communities extends genuine friendship only to its own adherents – i.e., the Jews to the Jews, and the Christians to the Christians – and cannot, therefore, be expected to be really friendly towards the followers of the Qur’an.

The Koran Commentaries (Tafsirs)

Asad referred to commentators who have provided an explanation for this verse. Asad is referring to authoritative Islamic scholars who have written commentaries (tafsirs) on the Koran that Muslims have used for centuries to understand the meaning of each verse. So let’s see how some of those authoritative scholars have explained 5:51.

In a section titled The Prohibition of Taking the Jews, Christians and Enemies of Islam as Friends, Ibn Kathir explained this verse by pointing out that,

 Allah forbids His believing servants from having Jews and Christians as friends, because they are the enemies of Islam and its people, may Allah curse them. Allah then states that they are friends of each other and He gives a warning threat to those who do this, And if any among you befriends them, then surely he is one of them.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Vol. 3, p. 204

The Tafsir Al-Jalalayn (p. 256) explained that this verse meant Muslims were not to join Jews and Christians “in mutual friendship and love,” or “in their unbelief.”

The Tafsir Ibn ‘Abbas (p. 143) stated that Muslims who take Jews and Christians as friends are “not included in Allah’s protection and safety.”

One might point out that these three tafsirs were written centuries ago, and then make the claim that the understanding of this verse has surely been “modernized.” So let’s look at two, more recent tafsirs.

The Tafsir as-Sa’di was written in the early 20th century. Here is how 5:51 is explained:

 Allah, while describing to His believing servants the ignorant condition and unethical demeanor of the Jews and the Christians, orders them to not maintain alliance with them. This is because the Christians and the Jews aid one another and are united in their opposition of others. You should not make them your allies; rather, they are your enemies and they care not the least concerning your loss; they will leave no stone unturned to misguide you. Only a person who is like them will make alliance with them.

Tafsir as-Sa’di, Vol. 1, p. 512

The Tafsir Ahsanul-Bayan was first published on 1995; here is how this tafsir explained 5:51:

 The verse forbids Muslims to keep intimate relations with them and take them as protectors and helpers, because they are the enemies of Allah, the Muslims, and Islam. It should be noted that those who take them as protectors and helpers will be considered among them.

Tafsir Ahsanul-Bayan, Vol. 1, p. 616

So here we have five authoritative tafsirs joining together in explaining that 5:51 prohibits Muslims from being friends with Jews and Christians; and in the context of this verse, three of these tafsirs (including the two most modern) specifically refer to Jews and Christians as the enemies of Islam.

Additional Evidence

The idea that Muslims should not take Jews and Christians as friends is reinforced in the following verses of the Koran:

Chapter 5, Verse 82

Verily, you will find the strongest among men in enmity to the believers (Muslims) the Jews…

Chapter 9, Verse 29

Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad), and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

Chapter 98, Verse 6

Verily, those who disbelieve (in the religion of Islam, the Qu’ran and Prophet Muhammad) from among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) and Al-Mushrikun, will abide in the fire of Hell. They are the worst of creatures.

These ill-feelings towards Jews and Christians were repeated in teachings of Muhammad, e.g.:

 Abu Huraira reported that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) had said: Do not greet the Jews and the Christians before they greet you and when you meet any one of them on the roads force him to go to the narrowest part of it.

Sahih Muslim, No. 2167

Narrated Abu Hurairah: Allah’s Messenger said, “The Hour will not be established until you fight against the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say, ‘O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.’”

Sahih Al-Bukhari, No. 2926

Muhammad even said that Jews and Christians would take the place of Muslims in Hell:

 Abu Burda reported on the authority of his father that Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) said: No Muslim would die but Allah would admit instead of him a Jew or a Christian in Hell-Fire.

Sahih Muslim, No. 2767R1

And on his death bed Muhammad had this to say regarding Jews and Christians:

 It has been narrated by ‘Umar b. Al-Khattab that he heard the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) saying: I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslims.

Sahih Muslim, No. 1767

Conclusion

In 5:51 Allah commands Muslims not to be friends with Jews and Christians. This understanding is supported by five modern translations of the Koran; the message of additional verses of the Koran; five authoritative tafsirs, written at different times between circa 900-1995 AD; and the teachings of Muhammad.

But what about Muslims who appear to be friends with Jews and Christians in defiance of Allah’s timeless command? There are a number of explanations:

  1. In reality they might be following another command of Allah: Chapter 3, Verse 28 of the Koran allows Muslims to pretend to be friends with non-Muslims if those Muslims live in a non-Muslim society and fear for their safety.
  1. They might just decide they can actively deny certain verses in the Koran. But Muhammad had a warning about this:

 It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas that the Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever denies a Verse of the Qur’an, it is permissible to strike his neck (i.e. execute him)…”

Sunan Ibn Majah, No. 2539

  1. They might just use their own personal opinion in re-interpreting the commands of Allah. But Muhammad had a warning about this too:

Muhammad bin Jarir reported that Ibn ‘Abbas said that the Prophet said, ‘Whoever explains the Qur’an with his opinion or with what he has no knowledge of, then let him assume his seat in the Fire.’

Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Vol. 1, pp. 32-33

  1. Or they might just simply decide to passively ignore this timeless command from Allah.

Keep in mind that denying or ignoring a doctrine does not mean that doctrine is no longer valid. 5:51 is a valid part of Islamic doctrine and has been so since the 7th century. And anytime a wayward Muslim wants to, he can return to that doctrine.

Robert Spencer’s Blogging the Qur’an: Sura 6, ‘Cattle’

quran2PJ Media, by Robert Spencer, May 5, 2015:

After five chapters denouncing unbelievers, the Qur’an’s sixth sura, “Cattle,” spends most of its time … denouncing unbelievers.

Are you starting to notice a pattern?

“Cattle” dates, according to Islamic tradition, from Muhammad’s last year in Mecca, before the Hijra, or Flight, to Medina during the twelfth year of his prophetic career. In Medina he became for the first time a political and military leader as well as a religious one. At Mecca, he had been solely a preacher of his new and uncompromising monotheism in an atmosphere of increasing antagonism with his own tribe, the Quraysh, who were pagans and polytheists.

Sura 6 is preoccupied with that antagonism, and features, among imprecations against the unbelievers, Allah speaking to Muhammad to console him for the Quraysh’s rejection of his message.

Allah begins by reaffirming that the unbelievers have rejected the truth of their Creator (vv.. 1-12). He warns: “See they not how many of those before them We did destroy?” (v. 6). Allah mocks their unbelief, saying that if he had sent Muhammad a “a written message on parchment,” the unbelievers would have dismissed it as “obvious magic” (v. 7), and if he had sent an angel in the form of a man, they would have just been confused (v. 9). Nothing will satisfy the unbelievers: they are inherently perverse.

If you ever get into a discussion or debate with a devout and knowledgeable Muslim, you will see this contempt for unbelievers up close — it’s imbibed from the Qur’an.

Then Allah emphasizes his own oneness (vv. 13-32), and claims that “those to whom We have given the Book” — that is, the Jews and Christians — “know this” — that is, the truth of Muhammad’s message — “as they know their own sons” (v. 20).

This is because, says Ibn Kathir, “they received good news from the previous Messengers and Prophets about the coming of Muhammad, his attributes, homeland, his migration, and the description of his Ummah.” That is, their unbelief in Islam is not a sincere rejection based on honest conviction, but sheer perversity: they “lie against their own souls” (v. 24).

And there is nothing worse than this. Nothing. 

Allah asks, “And who is more unjust than one who invents about Allah a lie or denies His verses?” (v. 21). “Verses” here again, is ayat or signs, the name used for the verses of the Qur’an: they’re signs of the truth of Allah. Allah emphasizes here that there can be no greater sin than shirk, the association of partners with him. The Tafsir al-Jalalayn asks, “And who, that is, none, does greater evil than he who invents a lie against God, by ascribing to Him an associate, or denies His signs?”

In Islam, there is no greater evil. In 1997 the “Invitation to Islam” newsletter asserted [1]:

Murder, rape, child molesting and genocide. These are all some of the appalling crimes which occur in our world today. Many would think that these are the worst possible offences which could be committed. But there is something which outweighs all of these crimes put together: It is the crime of shirk.

Some people may question this notion. But when viewed in a proper context, the fact that there is no crime worse then shirk, will become evident to every sincere person.

There is no doubt that the above crimes are indeed terrible, but their comparison with shirk shows that they do not hold much significance in relation to this travesty. When a man murders, rapes or steals, the injustice which is done is directed primarily at other humans. But when a man commits shirk, the injustice is directed towards the Creator of the heavens and the earth; Allah. When a person is murdered, all sorts of reasons and explanations are given. But one thing that the murderer cannot claim, is that the murdered was someone who provided him with food, shelter, clothing and all the other things which keep humans aloft in this life.

Yet those who commit this worst of all sins are still doing so not out of their own free choice, but because Allah has “thrown veils on their hearts,” so that they do not understand Muhammad’s message (v. 25). Hellfire awaits them (vv. 26, 30).

Muslims should be careful not to value the things of this world, for “What is the life of this world but play and amusement?” (v. 32). Says the Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn Abbas, “Do you not comprehend that this world is evanescent and that the Hereafter is everlasting?”

Many do not. In verses 33-73 Allah consoles Muhammad for the unbelievers’ rejection of his message: “We know indeed the grief which their words do cause thee” (v. 33), but they are “deaf and dumb” (v. 39), and wouldn’t believe even if they witnessed great miracles (vv. 35, 37). The fact that Allah, in a perfect book that has existed from all eternity, is so solicitous of his prophet and concerned about his grief at being rejected, is for pious Muslims only further confirmation of Muhammad’s importance and exalted status. Allah’s solicitude for Muhammad became the springboard for an exaltation of Muhammad in the Islamic mystical tradition. The Persian Sufi mystic Mansur Al-Hallaj (858-922) said that Allah “has not created anything that is dearer to him than Muhammad and his family.” The Persian poet Rumi (Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi, 1207-1273) said that the scent of roses was that of the sweat of the Prophet of Islam:

Root and branch of the roses is
the lovely sweat of Mustafa [that is, Muhammad],
And by his power the rose’s crescent
grows now into a full moon.

Likewise a modern Arab writer opined that Allah “created Muhammad’s body in such unsurpassable beauty as had neither before him nor after him been seen in a human being. If the whole beauty of the Prophet were unveiled before our eyes, they could not bear its splendor.”

In verses 40-49 Allah discusses how he has sent messengers all over the world, warning of punishment to those who disbelieve. He then instructs Muhammad to issue various warnings to the unbelievers (vv. 5-58). The he emphasizes his absolute sovereignty (vv. 50-59), with v. 59 making a succinct statement of his omniscience: “And with Him are the keys of the unseen; none knows them except Him. And He knows what is on the land and in the sea. Not a leaf falls but that He knows it. And no grain is there within the darknesses of the earth and no moist or dry but that it is in a clear record.” (Similarly, “We have neglected nothing in the Book,” v. 38, is believed by some Islamic interpreters to refer to theLawhul Mahfuz, the Protected Tablet, on which Allah has written everything that occurs in the universe, even the minutest actions of animals and birds.) Allah tells Muhammad to “leave alone those who take their religion to be mere play and amusement, and are deceived by the life of this world” (v. 70).

Then he discusses Abraham rejecting polytheism by noting the deficiencies of various pagan objects of worship: the stars, the moon, the sun (vv. 74-83). Those who glibly associate Allah with the moon-god — a pre-Islamic Arabian god of war — should note v. 77: “When he saw the moon rising in splendour, he said: ‘This is my Lord.’ But when the moon set, he said: ‘unless my Lord guide me, I shall surely be among those who go astray.’”

Allah then expands upon the immediately preceding discussion of Abraham’s rejection of idolatry by enumerating the other prophets of Islam (remember, Abraham was a Muslim according to Qur’an 3:67): Noah before Abraham, then Abraham’s children Isaac and Jacob, and then after that David, Solomon, Job, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, Zechariah, John the Baptist, Jesus, Elijah, Ishmael, Elisha, Jonah, and Lot (vv. 84-90).

These are, of course, all Biblical figures, although we shall see later on that the Qur’an does discuss some prophets who don’t appear in the Bible. Nevertheless, the Qur’an situates Muhammad as the crown and perfection of the Biblical prophetic tradition, explaining the differences between what Jews and Christians understand Abraham, Moses, Jesus and the rest to have said and what Muslims believe they said to the Christian corruption of their own scriptures.

Allah then goes back to emphasizing his oneness, and the dependence of all creation upon him (vv. 91-103). He begins this with yet another accusation that the Jews are not obeying the revelations given to Moses: they display it (“make it into separate sheets for show”) but they don’t obey it (they “conceal much of its contents”) (v. 91). Allah chastises those who say that he has not revealed anything to any human being. According to As-Suyuti’s Ad-Durrul Manthur, this verse was revealed after Muhammad teased a “hefty” Jewish scholar named Malik bin Sayf. Muhammad asked him, “Did you see in the Torah that Allah detests a hefty scholar?” Malik bin Sayf was enraged and shouted: “By Allah! Allah has not revealed anything to any human being!” His outburst is quoted, and rebuked, in v. 91.

The Qur’an is the “most blessed book,” confirming previous revelations. It also equips Muhammad to warn the “Mother of Villages” — that is, Mecca — of the impending judgment upon those who do not accept Islam (v. 92) and “invent a lie against Allah” (v. 93). Everyone will appear before Allah alone on the Day of Judgment, with no help from family or friends (v. 94). Allah pens a stirring meditation (vv. 95-103) on how he makes all things grow, sends the rain, and oversees all things: “No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision: He is above all comprehension, yet is acquainted with all things” (v. 103). (لاَّ تُدْرِكُهُ الأَبْصَارُ وَهُوَ يُدْرِكُ الأَبْصَارَ وَهُوَ اللَّطِيفُ الْخَبِ) A beautiful verse in any language. He also attempts a reductio ad absurdum on the Christian doctrine of the Incarnation: “How can He have a son when He hath no consort?” (v. 101) Ibn Kathir asks: “How can He have a wife from His creation who is suitable for His majesty, when there is none like Him How can He have a child? Then Verily, Allah is Glorified above having a son.” The idea that fatherhood and sonship might not be conceived of in physical terms is not considered.

In verses 104-117 Allah tells Muhammad to “turn aside from those who join gods with Allah” (v. 106), for “had Allah willed, they had not been idolatrous,” and it’s not Muhammad’s problem: “We have not set thee as a keeper over them, nor art thou responsible for them” (v. 107). The Muslims should not revile the gods of the unbelievers, lest the unbelievers revile Allah (v. 108); according to As-Suyuti’s Lubabun Nuqul, Allah revealed this verse in response to an actual incident, when the pagans responded to the Muslims’ denigration of their gods by denigrating Allah. Every prophet has enemies — devils who are both humans and jinn (v. 112). The jinn (from which comes the English “genie”) are spirit beings who can see humans, but humans cannot see them. The messengers from Allah have come to them also (v. 130).

Allah then tells Muslims not to eat meat unless Allah’s name has been pronounced over it (vv. 118-121); this is the foundation for the halal preparation of meat, which dictates that the jugular vein, windpipe and foodpipe of the animal be severed after the butcher recites “In the name of Allah.” Then the blood is drained out. The Muslims would be “pagans” if they obeyed the advice of unbelievers in this matter (v. 121).

According to Ibn Kathir, this means that “when you turn away from Allah’s command and Legislation to the saying of anyone else, preferring other than what Allah has said, then this constitutes Shirk.” (Shirk, of course, is the greatest sin of all, the associating of partners with Allah.)

This is one reason why democracy has had such difficulty taking root in Islamic countries.

Then Allah returns to the perversity of the unbelievers who demand signs from Allah but wouldn’t believe even if they received them (vv. 122-134). Whether or not someone becomes a Muslim depends entirely upon whether Allah wills to lead him to Islam or to lead him astray (v. 125). By following the “straight path” (v. 126) of Islam, Muslims will make Allah their friend (v. 127). In verses 128-131 Allah addresses jinns as well as humans, warning them of the same Judgment. Ibn Jarir and Dhahak say that jinn prophets were sent to the jinn; however, Mujahid and Ibn Jurayj contend that the jinn listened to the human prophets. This is the more common view.

Allah then criticizes various pagan practices, notably the sacrifice of children (verses 137, 140). “Be not prodigal” (v. 141) refers, says Ibn Jurayj, to over-enthusiasm in charity: “This Ayah was revealed concerning Thabit bin Qays bin Shammas, who plucked the fruits of his date palms. Then he said to himself, ‘This day, every person who comes to me, I will feed him from it.’ So he kept feeding (them) until the evening came and he ended up with no dates.” Others, however, maintain that it simply directs Muslims not to be wasteful in general. In verses 142-144 Allah forbids various pagan customs regarding the usage of animals.

Then in verses 146 and 147 Allah details the specifics of Jewish food laws. Allah tells Muhammad that if the Jews accuse him of lying about this, he should respond: “Your Lord is full of mercy all-embracing; but from people in guilt never will His wrath be turned back.” Ibn Kathir observes that “Allah often joins encouragement with threats in the Qur’an.”

The sura ends with a final appeal to the unbelievers in verses 148-165. According to Ibn Mas’ud, verses 151-153, a summary of what is prohibited in Islam, constitute “the will and testament of the Messenger of Allah on which he placed his seal.” One should not kill, since Allah has made life sacred, “except by way of justice and law” (v. 151). What does that mean? Muhammad explained that the “blood of a Muslim … cannot be shed except in three cases: in Qisas [retaliation] for murder, a married person who commits illegal sexual intercourse and the one who reverts from Islam (apostate) and leaves the Muslims.

So adultery, apostasy and revenge are the only justifications for taking a life. Verses 153 and 161 repeat that Islam is the straight path.

Allah will “try you in the gifts He hath given you” (v.165). Muhammad explained this also: “Verily, this life is beautiful and green, and Allah made you dwell in it generation after generation so that He sees what you will do. Therefore, beware of this life and beware of women, for the first trial that the Children of Israel suffered from was with women.

Ex-Muslim Mona Walter Left Islam After Reading the Quran

Mona Walter

Ex-Muslim: Koran Revealed a Religion I Did Not Like

CBN, by Dale Hurd, April 28, 2015:

GOTHENBURG, Sweden — Mona Walter is on a mission. Her mission is for more Muslims to know what is in the Koran. She says if more Muslims knew what was in the Koran, more would leave Islam.

Walter came to Sweden from Somalia as a war refugee when she was 19. She says she was excited about joining a modern European nation with equal rights for women. But as a young Muslim woman, that was not the Sweden she encountered.

A Real Introduction to Islam

It was in Sweden that she first experienced radical Islam on a daily basis.

“I discovered Islam first in Sweden. In Somalia, you’re just a Muslim, without knowing the Koran. But then you come to Sweden and you go to mosque and there is the Koran, so you have to cover yourself and you have to be a good Muslim.”

Walter says she grew up in Somalia never having read the Koran.

“I didn’t know what I was a part of. I didn’t know who Mohammed was. I didn’t know who Allah was. So, when I found out, I was upset. I was sad and I was disappointed,” she recalled.

And it was in Sweden that Walters says she discovered Allah is a god who hates, and that Islam is not a religion of peace.

“It’s about hating and killing those who disagree with Islam. It’s about conquering. Mohammed, he was immoral. He was a bloodthirsty man. He was terrible man, and Muslims can read that in his biography — what he did to Jews, how he raped women, how he killed people. I mean, he killed everyone who didn’t agree with him,” she explained.

Discouraged, Walter left Islam and became an atheist, until one day a family member encouraged her to read the Bible. She still remembers the first time she read Matthew 5:44, where Jesus said to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

Christianity, a New Perspective

“It was very strange for me to ‘love your enemy,’ because in Islam it is ‘kill your enemy.’ ‘Kill your enemy and anyone who refuses Islam.’ But Jesus Christ was all about love and peace and forgiveness and tolerance, and for some reason, I needed that,” she said.

She went to see Pastor Fouad Rasho of Angered Alliance Church, a Syrian immigrant who ministers to former Muslims in Sweden.

“She started to believe and she came to me. And that was the beginning of her trusting,” he said.

When she accepted Christ, Walter said she felt “so happy” and “filled with joy.”

Walter says the Lord gave her a burden for Muslims who still do not know the truth about Islam.  And she began to study the Koran, and began copying verses from the Koran and handing them out on the street to Muslim women.

Rescuing Muslims with Truth

“Sometimes they listen and sometimes they become very upset, and I tell them, ‘You know your husband has a right to beat you if you don’t obey him?’ And they say ‘No, It does not say that.’ ‘Yes, it does say that.’  I thought if I tell them about Muhammed and about the Koran and about this god of Islam who hates, who kills, who discriminates against women, maybe they will have a choice and leave,” she explained.

But in politically correct Sweden, Walter has come under attack for simply repeating what is in the Koran.

“I’ve been called an ‘Islamophobe,’ and yeah [they tell me], ‘You’ve been bought,’ ‘You’re a house nigger,’ and stuff like that, terrible things, ” she said.

She has also been called a racist. Walter warns that Islamic radicalism is a serious threat in Sweden, and says Swedish society should care more about women trapped in Islam.

“[Swedes] will think, ‘Oh, we’re in Sweden; we have freedom of religion,’ but Muslim women don’t have freedom of religion. They live under the law of Allah, not under Swedish law. So they will suppose everyone has freedom of religion. We don’t have freedom of religion. It’s not for Muslim women. It’s for everyone else,” Walter argued.

Walter lives under death threats and sometimes travels with police protection.  She wanted to show us Muslim areas around Gothenburg, but had to first dress as a Muslim. She believes if she were to show her face, she would be attacked.

“I can never go to those areas just being me, flesh and blood Mona. I would never get out of there alive,” she said.

“I mean, Muslims are normally good people like everyone else,” she continued. “But then when they read the Koran, then they become a killing machine.”

“This so-called ISIS or el Shabab or Boko Haram, they’re not like extremists. They’re not fanatical. They’re just good Muslims, good Muslims who follow the teachings of Islam. The prophet Mohammed, he did that. They’re doing what he did,” she explained.

Walter now uses videos and speaking appearances to spread her message. And she says she won’t stop, even though her life is in danger.

THE WORST SURA? Robert Spencer’s Blogging the Qur’an, Sura 4: ‘Women’

PJ Media, By Robert Spencer On April 20, 2015:

Beating your wife? Fine. Saying Jesus was crucified? Not so good.

Welcome to Sura 4, “Women,” another important Medinan sura containing laws for the conduct of women and Islamic family life, and a great deal more.

Allah starts by saying that he created men and women from a “single soul” (v. 1). Many Muslims in the West have pointed to this verse as evidence that Islam recognizes the full human dignity of women. Ayatollah Murtada Mutahhari says [1] that “other religions also have referred to this question, but it is the Qur’an alone which in a number of verses expressly says that woman has been created of the species of man, and both man and woman have the same innate character.”

He then quotes 4:1. The “single soul” from which mankind was created was Adam’s, and while the Biblical story of Eve’s creation from Adam’s rib is not repeated here, Muhammad refers to it in a hadith that suggests that while men and women may have the same “innate character,” that doesn’t mean they are equal in dignity, for women are crooked.

The prophet of Islam is depicted as saying:

Woman has been created from a rib and will in no way be straightened for you; so if you wish to benefit by her, benefit by her while crookedness remains in her. And if you attempt to straighten her, you will break her, and breaking her is divorcing her. (Bukhari 8.3467)

Pictured: Woman who has not read Sura 4.

Pictured: Woman who has not read Sura 4.

Then comes the basis for Islamic polygamy (v. 3), allowing a man to take as many as four wives, as long as he believes he is able to “deal justly” with all of them.

According to the Mishkat Al-Masabih, Muhammad said:

The person who has two wives, but is not just between them, shall appear on the Day of Judgment in such a condition that one half of his body will be collapsing.

But of course, justice in these circumstances is in the eye of the beholder. Ibn Kathir says this the requirement to deal justly with one’s wives is no big deal, since treating them justly isn’t the same as treating them equally:

It is not obligatory to treat them equally, rather it is recommended. So if one does so, that is good, and if not, there is no harm on him.

And as for polygamy, why don’t women get to have four husbands? Muhammad Asad notes:

One might ask why the same latitude has not been given to women as well; but the answer is simple. Notwithstanding the spiritual factor of love which influences the relations between man and woman, the determinant biological reason for the sexual urge is, in both sexes, procreation: and whereas a woman can, at one time, conceive a child from one man only and has to carry it for nine months before she can conceive another, a man can beget a child every time he cohabits with a woman. Thus, while nature would have been merely wasteful if it had produced a polygamous instinct in woman, man’s polygamous inclination is biologically justified.

Oh.

Allah goes on to say in v. 3 that if a man cannot deal justly with multiple wives, then he should marry only one, or resort to “the captives that your right hands possess” — that is,slave girls.

Oh.

Slave girls, just like in the Islamic State, which everyone from John Kerry to Joe Biden to David Cameron — learned imams all — denounces today as “un-Islamic.”

Bulandshahri explains the wisdom of this practice, and longs for the good old days:

During Jihad (religion war), many men and women become war captives. The Amirul Mu”minin [leader of the believers, or caliph — an office now vacant] has the choice of distributing them amongst the Mujahidin [warriors of jihad], in which event they will become the property of these Mujahidin. This enslavement is the penalty for disbelief (kufr).

He goes on to explain that this is not ancient history:

None of the injunctions pertaining to slavery have been abrogated in the Shari”ah. The reason that the Muslims of today do not have slaves is because they do not engage in Jihad (religion war). Their wars are fought by the instruction of the disbelievers (kuffar) and are halted by the same felons. The Muslim [sic] have been shackled by such treaties of the disbelievers (kuffar) whereby they cannot enslave anyone in the event of a war. Muslims have been denied a great boon whereby every home could have had a slave. May Allah grant the Muslims the ability to escape the tentacles of the enemy, remain steadfast upon the Din (religion) and engage in Jihad (religion war) according to the injunctions of Shari”ah. Amen!

Allah also directs Muslims to “marry women who seem good to you.” Ibn Majah records a tradition in which Muhammad details the qualities of a good wife, including that “she obeys when instructed” and “the husband is pleased to look at her.”

Pictured: Feminists protesting against Sura 4. Or something

Pictured: Feminists protesting against Sura 4. Or something

In the following verse, Allah requires a husband to give his wife a dowry. Ibn Kathir explains that “no person after the Prophet is allowed to marry a woman except with the required dowry.” However, the wife may choose to free the husband from this obligation: “If the wife gives him part or all of that dowry with a good heart, her husband is allowed to take it.”

Allah then gives rules for inheritance and related matters (vv. 5-14). He directs that when an estate is being parceled out, daughters are to receive half the share that sons receive (v. 11). Why not? They’re “crooked,” after all.

Following that, he lays down penalties for sexual immorality. He prescribes home imprisonment until death (unless “Allah ordain for them some (other) way”) for women found guilty of “lewdness” on the testimony of four witnesses (v. 15). According to Islamic law, these four witnesses must be male Muslims; women’s testimony is inadmissible in cases of a sexual nature, even in rape cases in which she is the victim.

If a woman is found guilty of adultery, she is to be stoned to death; if she is found guilty of fornication, she gets 100 lashes (cf. Qur’an 24:2).

The penalty of stoning does not appear in the Qur’an, but Umar, one of Muhammad’s early companions and the second caliph, or successor of Muhammad as leader of the Muslims, said that it was nevertheless the will of Allah.

“I am afraid,” he said, “that after a long time has passed, people may say, ‘We do not find the Verses of the Rajam (stoning to death) in the Holy Book,’ and consequently they may go astray by leaving an obligation that Allah has revealed.” Umar affirmed: “Lo! I confirm that the penalty of Rajam be inflicted on him who commits illegal sexual intercourse, if he is already married and the crime is proved by witnesses or pregnancy or confession.” And he added that Muhammad “carried out the penalty of Rajam, and so did we after him.”

Then Allah gives instructions for how to punish men who commit adultery or homosexual acts (v. 16).

Pictured: Guys who might not have spent so much at Kinko’s had they read Sura 4.

Pictured: Guys who might not have spent so much at Kinko’s had they read Sura 4.

The Tafsir Al-Jalalayn says that this verse refers to men who commit “a lewd act, adultery or homosexual intercourse.” They are to be punished “with insults and beatings with sandals; but if they repent, of this [lewd act], and make amends, through [good] action, then leave them be, and do not harm them.” However, it adds that this verse “is abrogated by the prescribed punishment if adultery is meant [by the lewd act],” that is, stoning. The Islamic jurist al-Shafi’i, it goes on, requires stoning of homosexuals also, but “according to him, the person who is the object of the [penetrative] act is not stoned, even if he be married; rather, he is flogged and banished.”

Read more at PJ Media

Pentagon: Bible and U.S. Founding Documents Promote ‘Sexism’

By Raymond Ibrahim, April 14, 2015:

Here again we see why Western “elites,” including the highest echelons of the U.S. military, are clueless and incapable of acknowledging — much less responding to — Islam:

Modern sexism is rooted in the Bible, U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, according to a Pentagon-approved seminar.

In a presentation prepared by the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI), a Department of Defense joint services school based in Florida, the Bible, U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, along with Great Man theory, are to blame for “historical influences that allow sexism to continue,” The Daily Caller reported.

“Quotes from the Bible can be misinterpreted as having a sexist influence when brought out of context and not fully understood,” the course says. “In 1776, ‘We the people…’ only included white men: Slaves and women were not included until later in history.”

The course also cites the Declaration of Independence as a historical cause of sexism for referring to only “all men” being created equal.

[…]

“While there is no DoD Policy that requires persons to take these online courses,” the spokesman told The Daily Caller, 2,075 Department of Defense personnel have taken the “Sexism” course since 2011.

Meanwhile, to even hint that Islam’s core texts promote sexism — if not downright misogny — can get one fired.  Yet the Koran declares that women are inferior to men, that men have authority over them and are permitted to beat them, that polygamy is permissible — each man can have four wives — that females only inherit half of males’ inheritance, that female testimony in an Islamic court of law is equivalent to half a man’s.

And every day, in every Muslim country, every woman experiences these very real, “non-abstract” distinctions.

Islamic prophet Muhammad himself likened females to dogs and other animals — “for all are ridden” —  and said that women are deficient in intelligence and make up the majority of hell’s denizens.

Yet, it’s the Bible, U.S. Constitution, and Declaration of Independence that women need fear, says the Pentagon.

MUST READ: Robert Spencer’s Blogging the Qur’an: Sura 3, ‘The Family of Imran’

1379610730_Quran_cover(Read prior installments here: parts one, two, three, four, five, and six.)

PJ Media, by Robert Spencer, April 13, 2015:

Are you a non-Muslim? Then Allah hates you (Qur’an 3:32).

Are you Jewish or Christian? In the Qur’an’s third chapter, Allah will tell you why you’re following a false religion.

The Qur’an’s third chapter is entitled “The Family of Imran” — that is, Amram, the father of Moses and Aaron (Exodus 6:20), who is mentioned in verses 33 and 35. Like most titles in the Qur’an, this title doesn’t denote the sura’s theme, but is just a word taken from within the chapter that is simply a means to distinguish it from other chapters.

According to Maududi, Sura 3, which is a Medinan sura, is “especially addressed” to Jews and Christians, as well as to Muslims.

It contains, he says, a “continuation of the invitation in Al-Baqarah [Sura 2], in which they have been admonished for their erroneous beliefs and evil morals and advised to accept, as a remedy, the Truth of the Quran.” Likewise Bulandshahri says that Sura 3 is a “talking proof” against the Jews, Christians, and idolaters, since it addresses them all. ”It invites them towards the truth and refutes their false beliefs, which includes the blasphemous ideologies concerning Sayyidina [Masters] Isa and Ibrahim [Jesus and Abraham].”

That concern is evident from the beginning of the chapter. Allah proclaims that the Qur’an now revealed to Muhammad confirms what was written in the Torah and the Gospel (v. 3). Ibn Kathir explains that “these Books testify to the truth of the Qur’an, and the Qur’an also testifies to the truth these Books contained, including the news and glad tidings of Muhammad’s prophethood and the revelation of the Glorious Qur’an.”

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Allah teaches that the Torah was originally Islamic, but was rewritten by the Jews.

This again explains why mainstream Islamic tradition regards the Jewish and Christian Scriptures as corrupted: they don’t, after all, confirm what is in the Qur’an, and so Jews and Christians must have dared to alter them — and now, Allah says, “they were deluded in their religion by what they were inventing” (v. 24).

Asad therefore emphasizes:

It is to be borne in mind that the Gospel frequently mentioned in the Qur’an is not identical with what is known today as the Four Gospels, but refers to an original, since lost, revelation bestowed upon Jesus and known to his contemporaries under its Greek name of Evangelion (‘Good Tiding’), on which the Arabicized form Injil is based. It was probably the source from which the Synoptic Gospels derived much of their material and some of the teachings attributed to Jesus. The fact of its having been lost and forgotten is alluded to in the Qur’an in 5:14.

In contrast to the Jews’ and Christians’ corrupted scriptures, Allah has now revealed the “Criterion” (Arabic فُرْقَانَ — furqan, v. 4), which is, as Ibn Kathir puts it, “the distinction between misguidance, falsehood and deviation on one hand, and guidance, truth and piety on the other hand.” According to Qatada and many other Islamic authorities, this “criterion” is the Qur’an itself, although others say it refers to all the revealed scriptures — in their uncorrupted form, of course.

The same verse also promises a “severe punishment” to those who “disbelieve in the verses of Allah.” The 20th century Indian Muslim scholar Allama Shabbir Ahmed Usmani sees this as proof that Jesus cannot be divine, for while “God is powerful to venge [sic] and punish whenever He deems fit,” Jesus “cannot be a sovereign like God because he could not overcome the miscreants who were chasing him to kill.”

After saying that he has revealed this great Criterion of what is right and wrong, Allah cautions believers against getting carried away, explaining that some verses in the Qur’an are clear and some aren’t, “such as,” says the Tafsir al-Jalalayn, “the opening verses of some sūras,” including the opening verse of this sura.

These are not to be explored too deeply by the Muslims (although they have been): Allah warns that it is only “those in whose hearts is deviation” who “follow that of it which is unspecific, seeking discord and seeking an interpretation. And no one knows its interpretation except Allah” (v. 7).

Why would Allah include material in his “clear” revelation of guidance to human beings that only he knows the meaning of? He doesn’t say.

Allah then exhorts the believers not to reject faith in him (vv. 8-27), and warns the unbelievers that grievous punishment awaits them in hell.

He refers to the Battle of Badr (v. 13), the first great victory for the Muslims, when a small force prevailed against a much larger army of pagan Arabs from Muhammad’s Quraysh tribe (they had rejected his prophetic claim). Maududi says that the first thirty-two verses of Sura 3 were “probably revealed soon after the Battle of Badr,” and this verse says that it was a “sign” when the two armies met; “one was fighting in the cause of Allah, the other resisting Allah.”

These armies “saw as twice their number,” which Ibn Kathir explains: “When the two camps saw each other, the Muslims thought that the idolaters were twice as many as they were, so that they would trust in Allah and seek His help. The idolaters thought that the believers were twice as many as they were, so that they would feel fear, horror, fright and despair.”

Allah, Maududi says, “gives victory to His believing servants in this life” — that is, the Muslims’ victory was due to their obedience to Allah. The reverse is also true: when Muslims suffer, all too often they ascribe their suffering to being insufficiently Islamic, and the remedy is always more Islam. There is no idea in Islam of the Biblical principle that the wicked may prosper because of the fallen nature of the world — in Islam, if the wicked prosper, it is because the Muslims aren’t Islamic enough.

Allah declares that “the religion in the sight of Allah is Islam” (إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِندَ اللّهِ الإِسْلاَم) (v. 19), and that the People of the Book reject it only “out of jealous animosity between themselves.” The Jews and Christians, says Bulandshahri, recognized Muhammad “to be the final Prophet but their obstinate nature prevented them from accepting.” Allah says that they will be saved if they submit to Allah (v. 20); Bulandshahri continues: “One cannot force these people to accept, but can merely advise them. Inviting them to accept Islam is the duty of the Muslim.”

After that, Allah warns of his judgment, and above all warns believers not to take unbelievers as “friends or helpers” (َأَوْلِيَا — a word that means more than casual friendship, but something more like an alliance), “except when taking precaution against them in prudence” (v. 28). This is a foundation of the idea that believers may legitimately deceive unbelievers when under pressure.

The word used for “guard” in the Arabic is tuqātan (تُقَاةً), the verbal noun from taqiyyatan — hence the increasingly familiar term taqiyya. Ibn Kathir says that the phrase “except when taking precaution against them in prudence” means that “believers who in some areas or times fear for their safety from the disbelievers” may “show friendship to the disbelievers outwardly, but never inwardly. For instance, Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Ad-Darda’ said, ‘We smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them.’ Al-Bukhari said that Al-Hasan said, ‘The Tuqyah [taqiyya] is allowed until the Day of Resurrection.’”

Read more

MUST READ: Robert Spencer’s Blogging the Qur’an: Sura 2, ‘The Cow,’ Verses 222-286

1A6A9599PJ Media, by Robert Spencer:

Do you want a guardian from Allah when you go to bed? Find out how below — but if you start any anal sex, the deal is off. This segment of the Qur’an’s second chapter says that right out.

My friend Jeff once told me that he had tried to read the Qur’an many times, but he “could never get through the damn ‘Cow.’” With this segment, we have.

One reason why it’s tough to get through is because “The Cow” is packed with legal regulations. Allah, according to Islamic theology the Qur’an’s sole speaker (although he refers to himself in the third person often enough), concerns himself in the latter part of “The Cow” primarily with various laws for marriage and divorce (vv. 222-242). He forbids intercourse during menstruation (v. 222).

In the next verse, he tells Muslims, “Your wives are a place of sowing of seed for you, so come to your place of cultivation however you wish” (v. 223), which some Muslims understand as prohibiting anal sex — so says Ibn Kathir. According to a hadith recorded by the Imam Muslim, considered by Muslims to be the second most reliable collector of hadith (after Bukhari) and others, the Jews are behind the revelation of this verse. “The Jews used to say that when one comes to one’s wife through the vagina, but being on her back, and she becomes pregnant, the child has a squint” (Sahih Muslim 3363) — or, according to other sources, is cross-eyed.

To refute this, this verse was revealed: “Your wives are a place of sowing of seed [tilth] for you, so come to your place of cultivation however you wish” (v. 223). Sayyid Qutb says that the use of the word “tilth” (Arabic حَرْثٌ), with its “connotations of tillage and production, is most fitting, in a context of fertility and procreation” — or, as Maududi puts it, Allah’s “purpose in the creation of women is not merely to provide men with recreation.” It is also to provide them with children.

Allah’s regulations for divorce emphasize regarding women that “men have a degree over them” (v. 228). This may be why men can divorce their wives simply by saying, “Talaq” — I divorce you — but women may not do this. Such an easy procedure leads to divorces in a fit of pique, followed by reconciliation — and the Qur’an anticipates this and attempts to head it off by stipulating that a husband who divorces his wife three times cannot reconcile with her until she marries another man and is in turn divorced by him: “And if he has divorced her [for the third time], then she is not lawful to him afterward until she marries a husband other than him” (v. 230). This has given rise to the phenomenon of “temporary husbands,” who marry and divorce thrice-divorced women at the behest of Islamic clerics even in our own day, so that these poor women can then return to their original husbands. This practice has, as one may imagine, given rise to abuses, and a hadith depicts Muhammad condemning it. Muslim clerics insist that the poor woman’s new marriage and divorce must be genuine before she can return to her original husband.

Allah then goes on to detail the arrangements men make for their wives in their wills (vv. 234, 240); those interested in the doctrine of abrogation will be interested in the fact that Ibn Kathir contends of v. 240 that “the majority of the scholars said that this Ayah (2:240) was abrogated by the Ayah (2:234).”

After that, it’s time to rake the Jews over the coals again. Allah in verses 243-260 refers to several Biblical stories, none in much detail. The Jews refuse to fight after having been commanded to do so (v. 246) and they rebel at the appointment of Saul as king (v. 247). If Allah had willed, the nations would have believed the prophets he sent to earth, but this was not his will, although his reasons are left unexplained (v. 253). It would have been interesting to know why he sent prophets while willing that they not be believed, but we’re not let in on the secret.

Then comes the Throne Verse (Ayat al-Kursi), v. 255. According to Islamic scholar Mahmoud Ayoub, this verse is “regarded by Muslims as one of the most excellent verses of the Qur’an. It has therefore played a very important role in Muslim piety.” The Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, is said to have agreed with a claim that this verse is so powerful that “whenever you go to your bed, recite the Verse of ‘Al-Kursi’ (2.255) for then a guardian from Allah will be guarding you, and Satan will not approach you till dawn” and with another about its being the “greatest verse in the Book of Allah.”

Qurtubi reports that “when the Throne Verse was revealed, every idol and king in the world fell prostrate and the crowns of kings fell off their heads,” and recounts a saying by Muhammad in which Allah tells Moses of the many blessings that people will receive if they recite the Throne Verse — another manifestation of the assumption that the People of the Book had at least some of the contents of the Qur’an, but perversely effaced them from their own Scriptures.

Immediately following that verse comes the Qur’an’s famous statement that “there is no compulsion in religion” (v. 256).

Muslim spokesmen in the West frequently quote that phrase to disprove the contention that Islam spread by the sword, or even to claim that Islam is a religion of peace. However, according to an early Muslim, Mujahid ibn Jabr, this verse was abrogated by Qur’an 9:29, in which the Muslims are commanded to fight against and subjugate the People of the Book. Others, however, according to the Islamic historian Tabari, say that the “no compulsion” verse was never abrogated, but was revealed precisely in reference to the People of the Book. They are not to be forced to accept Islam, but may practice their religions as long as they pay the jizya (poll-tax) and “feel themselves subdued” (9:29). No compulsion indeed.

Many see the “no compulsion” verse as contradicting the Islamic imperative to wage jihad against unbelievers, but actually there is no contradiction because the aim of jihad is not the forced conversion of non-Muslims, but their subjugation within the Islamic social order. Says Asad: “All Islamic jurists (fuqahd’), without any exception, hold that forcible conversion is under all circumstances null and void, and that any attempt at coercing a non-believer to accept the faith of Islam is a grievous sin: a verdict which disposes of the widespread fallacy that Islam places before the unbelievers the alternative of conversion or the sword.” Quite so: the choice, as laid out (according to a hadith) by Muhammad himself, is conversion, subjugation as dhimmis, or the sword: “Fight in the name of Allah and in the way of Allah. Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war… When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them….If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them.” (Sahih Muslim 4294)

Qutb accordingly denies that the “no compulsion” verse contradicts the imperative to fight until “religion is for Allah” (v. 193), saying that “Islam has not used force to impose its beliefs.” Rather, jihad’s “main objective has been the establishment of a stable society in which all citizens, including followers of other religious creeds, may live in peace and security” — although not with equality of rights before the law, as 9:29 emphasizes. For Qutb, that “stable society” is the “Islamic social order,” the establishment of which is a chief objective of jihad.

In this light, verses 256 and 193 go together without any trouble. Muslims must fight until “religion is for Allah,” but they don’t force anyone to accept Allah’s religion. They enforce subservience upon those who refuse to convert, such that many of them subsequently convert to Islam so as to escape the humiliating and discriminatory regulations of dhimmitude — but when they convert, they do so freely. Only at the end of the world will Jesus, the Prophet of Islam, return and Islamize the world, abolishing Christianity and thus the need for the jizya that is paid by the dhimmis. Muhammad is depicted in a hadith as saying: “‘By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, son of Mary (Jesus) will shortly descend amongst you people (Muslims) as a just ruler and will break the Cross and kill the pig and abolish the Jizya (a tax taken from the non-Muslims, who are in the protection, of the Muslim government). Then there will be abundance of money and no-body will accept charitable gifts.’” (Bukhari 3.34.425) Then religion will be “for Allah,” and there will be no further need for jihad.

After all that, Allah exhorts the believers to charitable giving, and condemns usury (vv. 275-281) — which is the foundation of the Islamic abhorrence of interest-based banking. He then stipulates, veering from subject to subject, that two women are equivalent to one man in giving testimony (v. 282). Muhammad is depicted as explaining, “This is because of the deficiency of a woman’s mind.” (Sahih Bukhari 3.48.826)

So much for “The Cow.”