Monthly Archives: November 2015

The Study Quran

Could this Quran curb extremism?

The Study Quran project has a ruinous flaw which is promoted as central to the undertaking – commentary from outside the Quran.

The various sects of Islam have do not attribute their differences to the Quran, but to their own commentary. The commentary is based on sources external to the Quran. These sources known as traditions or Hadith and Sunnah are condemned in the Quran.

The Quran is a fully detailed scripture for religious law. Yes one may comment on the verses, but the comment must be supportable by other verses from the Quran. The source has to be internal rather than external to the Quran. There is a translation which does precisely that.

[Quran 5:101] O you who believe, do not ask about matters which, if revealed to you prematurely, would hurt you. If you ask about them in light of the Quran, they will become obvious to you. GOD has deliberately overlooked them. GOD is Forgiver, Clement.

For any study of a verse, the whole verse should be looked, subsequently verses before and after a particular verse and finally in light of the whole Quran prior to drawing any conclusion.

IN LIGHT OF THE QURAN – FREEDOM OF RELIGION

[2:256] There shall be no compulsion in religion: the right way is now distinct from the wrong way.

IN LIGHT OF THE QURAN – BASIC RULES FOR ALL FIGHTING

[60:8]  GOD does not enjoin you from befriending those who do not fight you because of religion, and do not evict you from your homes. You may befriend them and be equitable towards them. GOD loves the equitable.

[60:9]  GOD enjoins you only from befriending those who fight you because of religion, evict you from your homes, and band together with others to banish you. You shall not befriend them. Those who befriend them are the transgressors.

VERSE 47:4

[4:74] If you encounter (in war) those who disbelieve, you may strike the necks. If you take them as captives you may set them free or ransom them, until the war ends. Had GOD willed, He could have granted you victory, without war. But He thus tests you by one another. As for those who get killed in the cause of GOD, He will never put their sacrifice to waste.

Islamic Reformation

In “An Open Letter to Moderate Muslims,” Mr. Ali Rizvi ends by saying Islamic reformation needs radicals. We cannot agree more. Here is the radical idea from the Quran.

Quran is the only source of religious law and following any other source for religious law is idolatry (6:114-115; 7:52; 10:37, 6:19; 6:38). Yes this means that we accept the Quran literally, as it is actually written and without any need for metaphorical explanations. This concept within the words of the Quran is alien to ‘Muslim’ scholars, moderate Muslims and Western scholars of Islam.

Almost all contracts have a “The entire agreement clause.” The Quran makes it clear that it is the only source of religious law. No other source including Hadith or Sunnah may be a source of religious law. No outside or parol evidence other than the words of the Quran can be considered for religious law.

Those who call themselves Muslims and indeed the Moderate Muslims have little or no idea what the Quran states. Most who call themselves Muslims have set aside the Quran and go by volumes of Hadith & Sunnah written 250+ years after the revelation of the Quran. The Quran condemns any hadith or Sunnah (system) other than the Quran. The Western Scholars revel at all the nonsense in the books of Hadith/Sunnah and have no hesitation in defining Islam (in English: Submission) based on books other than the Quran.

Absolutely there should be the study of the Quran. Numerous translations are available in the internet for side by side comparisons. Most translators translate (including Western Scholars) through the lens of the books of Hadith/Sunnah. This is a fatal error. The Quran stands on its own and should be studied that way.

Mr. Reza Aslan in his book, “No god but God” narrates that when Abu Bakr was elected as Caliph he proceeded to carry out his duties with the principle, “what would Mohammad do” in a particular situation. The right principle to follow at that time as well as now is “what to do in light of the Quran.”

A study of the Quran and any conclusion should be based on examining the complete verse, looking at preceding/following verses and subsequently in light of the Quran (5:101).

Reading the Quran in Arabic (2:171), ablution before touching the Quran (56:79), prohibiting menstruating women from touching the Quran and carrying out religious duties, Sunni taraweeh in the month of Ramadan, holding the Quran over someone’s head, cutting-off of hand and FGM are not supported in the Quran. All of this, which qualifies as nonsense originates from the man-written and fabricated books of hadith/Sunnah.

[5:38]  The thief, male or female, you shall mark their hands* as a punishment for their crime, and to serve as an example from GOD. GOD is Almighty, Most Wise.

*5:38 The practice of cutting off the thief’s hand, as decreed by the false Muslims, is a satanic practice without Quranic basis. Due to the special importance of this example, God has provided mathematical proof in support of marking the hand of the thief, rather than severing it. Verse 12:31 refers to the women who so admired Joseph that they “cut” their hands. Obviously, they did not “cut off” their hands; nobody can. The sum of sura and verse numbers are the same for 5:38 and 12:31, i.e., 43. It is also the will and mercy of God that this mathematical relationship conforms with the Quran’s 19-based code. Nineteen verses after 12:31, we see the same word (12:50).

[12:31]  When she heard of their gossip, she invited them, prepared for them a comfortable place, and gave each of them a knife. She then said to him, “Enter their room.” When they saw him, they so admired him, that they cut their hands. They said, “Glory be to GOD, this is not a human being; this is an honorable angel.”

IN LIGHT OF THE QURAN – FREEDOM OF RELIGION

[2:256] There shall be no compulsion in religion: the right way is now distinct from the wrong way.

IN LIGHT OF THE QURAN – BASIC RULES FOR ALL FIGHTING

[60:8]  GOD does not enjoin you from befriending those who do not fight you because of religion, and do not evict you from your homes. You may befriend them and be equitable towards them. GOD loves the equitable.

[60:9]  GOD enjoins you only from befriending those who fight you because of religion, evict you from your homes, and band together with others to banish you. You shall not befriend them. Those who befriend them are the transgressors.

VERSES REFERRED BY MR. ALI RIZVI

[4:88-89]  Why should you divide yourselves into two groups regarding hypocrites (among you)? GOD is the one who condemned them because of their own behavior. Do you want to guide those who are sent astray by GOD? Whomever GOD sends astray, you can never find a way to guide them.
They wish that you disbelieve as they have disbelieved, then you become equal. Do not consider them friends, unless they mobilize along with you in the cause of GOD. If they turn against you, you shall fight them, and you may kill them when you encounter them in war. You shall not accept them as friends, or allies.

[4:90-91]  Exempted are those who join people with whom you have signed a peace treaty, and those who come to you wishing not to fight you, nor fight their relatives. Had GOD willed, He could have permitted them to fight against you. Therefore, if they leave you alone, refrain from fighting you, and offer you peace, then GOD gives you no excuse to fight them.
You will find others who wish to make peace with you, and also with their people. However, as soon as war erupts, they fight against you. Unless these people leave you alone, offer you peace, and stop fighting you, you may fight them when you encounter them. Against these, we give you a clear authorization.

Lessons from History

[8:12-13]  Recall that your Lord inspired the angels: “I am with you; so support those who believed. I will throw terror into the hearts of those who disbelieved. You may strike them above the necks, and you may strike even every finger.”
This is what they have justly incurred by fighting GOD and His messenger. For those who fight against GOD and His messenger, GOD’s retribution is severe.

Grossness of Murder

[5:32]  Because of this, we decreed for the Children of Israel that anyone who murders any person who had not committed murder or horrendous crimes, it shall be as if he murdered all the people. And anyone who spares a life, it shall be as if he spared the lives of all the people. Our messengers went to them with clear proofs and revelations, but most of them, after all this, are still transgressing.

Capital Punishment: When is it Justified?

[5:33-34]  The just retribution for those who fight GOD and His messenger, and commit horrendous crimes, is to be killed, or crucified, or to have their hands and feet cut off on alternate sides, or to be banished from the land. This is to humiliate them in this life, then they suffer a far worse retribution in the Hereafter.
Exempted are those who repent before you overcome them. You should know that GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.

[47:4]  If you encounter (in war) those who disbelieve, you may strike the necks. If you take them as captives you may set them free or ransom them, until the war ends. Had GOD willed, He could have granted you victory, without war. But He thus tests you by one another. As for those who get killed in the cause of GOD, He will never put their sacrifice to waste.

VERSE REFERRED BY OTHERS

[9:4-7]  If the idol worshipers sign a peace treaty with you, and do not violate it, nor band together with others against you, you shall fulfill your treaty with them until the expiration date. GOD loves the righteous.
Once the Sacred Months are past, (and they refuse to make peace) you may kill the idol worshipers when you encounter them, punish them, and resist every move they make. If they repent and observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and give the obligatory charity (Zakat), you shall let them go. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
If one of the idol worshipers sought safe passage with you, you shall grant him safe passage, so that he can hear the word of GOD, then send him back to his place of security. That is because they are people who do not know.
How can the idol worshipers demand any pledge from GOD and from His messenger? Exempted are those who have signed a peace treaty with you at the Sacred Masjid. If they honor and uphold such a treaty, you shall uphold it as well. GOD loves the righteous.

Should we use the word Allah or God

In as many times as we have been on the internet or in a discussion or a chat group, we almost always run into someone who feels offended that we use the word “God” when we talk about the One and Only God (Allah in Arabic).

It is surprising to notice that most of these Muslim brothers and/or sisters do not know that the word “Allah” is the Arabic word for the word “God”. Many of them believe that “Allah” is the name of the Muslim God. They do not realize that the word “Allah” does not belong exclusively
to the Muslims and that it has always been used before (and after) Islam by the Arabic-speaking Jews and Christians when they speak about God.

Talking to English speaking people about God using the word “Allah” is very much the same like speaking to Arabic speaking people about “Allah” using the word God. It makes all the sense to show respect to the people and their language by speaking to them in the language they use.

Insisting on the use of the word “Allah” which is the Arabic word for God immediately creates the illusion that “Allah” is a whole different deity than God of the whole world. It creates a god that belongs ONLY to the Muslims, and takes the universality of Islam out of it. We found
the comment sent by Abu Iman Robert Squires to be very informative and we re-produced it here.

The word “ALLAH”

A Comment by : Abu Iman Robert Squires

Assalamu Alaikum,

I would like to strongly concur with your observations about the use of the word “Allah” in English and any other language. Both from my conversion experience in America and my experience doing da’wah here in Kuwait, it is definitely 100% – without a shadow of a doubt – better to use the word “God” when making da’wah to English speaking people.

This alone is enough to open many hearts and minds since many people think that Muslims worship a different God. I’ve come across some Arab brothers who insist in using only the word “Allah”. They somehow think that it implies Tawhid while the word “God” implies the Trinity, etc., etc.

You know, the problem with such people is not their knowledge of Arabic, but their ignorance of English. The mushriks (disbelievers) at the time of the Prophet (saws) used the word Allah, and so do Arabic-speaking Christians. The word itself in no way implies tawhid. The reason it implies
tawhid to Muslims is that they’re Muslims. Others use this word in ways that are nothing but shirk.

The word God implies tawhid to me because I have the Islamic concept of Him. It’s all in the concept, but has nothing to do with the word itself. Also, there are statements in some da’wah pamphlets that say “all prophets since Adam used the word Allah” and that “the word Allah is
exactly the same as the Aramaic word Jesus used for God”.

The first statement is baseless and can be proved to be logically incorrect from the Quran. The second statement is incorrect, but the words are only similar, but NOT exactly alike. This whole trend of using “Allah” in English seems to come about rather recently.

Most of the translations and writings done back in the 1940’s and 1950’s used the word “God”, which is a perfectly good translation of the word Allah in Arabic. M.M. Pickthall being the main exception, since he seemed to have used “Allah” in all of the translations that I’ve seen.

The change came, I believe, as a result of Nasserite Arab Nationalism. Many Arabs I know over here still don’t know the difference between Islam and Arab Nationalism! They seem more interesting in defending their pride heritage than really spreading the message. But this is in no way limited to Arabs, I’ve dealt with Pakistanis, Malaysians, Turks and Afghanis that have the same hang-up.

The mentality of some of these brothers almost approaches that of the Bani Isra’il – the “our God vs. your God” mentality! By the way, I’ve never met an English-speaking convert to Islam (or Spanish-speaking, or French-speaking) who disagreed with me on this point. Most them went
through a stage wondering why (some) Muslims insist on using Allah.

I should also add that I know a lot of Muslims that use “God” when speaking English. I find this rather common among most Egyptians that I know. In Morocco, where I visit quite frequently, the also use Dieu when they parlez francais.

Insh’allah, more Muslims will realize this and our da’wah will become more effective. This is a BIG barrier, but many Muslims don’t realize it. Many come up with baseless reasons to justify it (for whatever reason). What do we converts know anyway!!! Ha! Another point before I go…some people like to try to draw exact parallels between English and Arabic words which just don’t fit.

The word “ilah” in Arabic can be used for a false god or for Allah. (Like when God says (paraphrased) the “ilah” of Ibrahim”, and numerous other example.) Anyone who can read the Quran should know this. However, unlike the word “god” in English, which ALWAYS implies a false god. Non- native English speakers sometimes mistakenly believe that “god” and “God” are the same English word, but they are not. They carry completely different meanings. If they doubt this, then they simply don’t know how to speak the English language. And to say that the word “Allah” can only be used for the Supreme Almighty Creator is refuted by the Quran itself.

It clearly says (and I paraphrase here rather liberally) that Christians say that “Allah is Jesus”. There you have it, applying “Allah” to something that isn’t “Allah” right there in the Quran. You see, what people really mean to say is that you SHOULDN’T use “Allah” for anything
except the Almighty Creator, but you still CAN. The same thing goes for the word God.

People can use it in the wrong way, but that doesn’t make it right. The truth is that this word too should only be used for the Almighty Creator. Remember…God has sent prophets to everyone in their OWN LANGUAGE, i.e. a language that they can understand. How many more people
around the world wouldn’t be dying on SHIRK if many Muslims woke up and started making da’wah in a way people can understand? Well, I’ve spoken my peace.

Abu Iman Robert Squires

***

Here is another comment and response by Steven Thomas;

To: BILL H——–

From: STEVEN THOMAS

Sorry Bill, but your sources are dubious at best. Souroush for instance is a evangelical missionary associated with Jimmy Swaggart – great reliability there!

The fact is that Allah does not refer to the moon god or have associates. The linguistic breakdown of Allah is “The/Al God/Lah”. That is why all Christian Arabs (monophysists, Nestorians, Orthodox, Roman, and Protestant (yes, even Mr. Shouroush) use the term Allah to refer to God the Father when they speak Arabic. Lest you wonder where I am coming from, my degrees are Biblical Arch. and Arabic language.

Try again.

Steven.

— The Pitts <c—@centurytel.net> wrote:

The god of the Quran and the God of the bible are completely different. Allah being contrived from AI-Llah the moon god. Please feel free to research it yourself. As your own documentation says,..”don’t mean to offend anyone.”

Peace,

There is no one offended here.

God of the Arabic Bible is called “Allah”. I do not think you believe that there is a god for the English Bible and another god for the Arabic Bible and a third for the Italian bible…etc. It would be too naive.

There is ONLY one God. His name in English is God, in French: un dieu, in Italian: dio, in German: Gott, in Spanish: Dios, in Portuguese: Deus, in Arabic: Allah, and in Aramaic : alaha.

All these are no more than the names of God in different languages To this day the Christian Arabs pray to Allah and talk about Allah. They called Him Allah even before Islam was born and they know they were not worshipping any moon god. Those who still speak Jesus language
(Aramaic/syriac) call God alaha to this day like Jesus did. Jesus did not pray to a moon god but to alaha (Allah), the One and Only God.

The Arabic Bible, use the word Allah for God. If you want any images of the Arabic Bible with the word Allah in it (for God of the Bible), please let me know.

If you want to verify it, call any Arabic church in the USA or any English speaking country and ask them what they call God in their Arabic Bible and whether they still use the word Allah in their Bible or not.

Jewish Arabs also pray to Allah and talk about Allah just like an English person talks about God.

The Origin of the name “Allah”

It seems unlikely that the name Allah comes from al-ilaah “the God”, but rather from the Aramaic/Syriac alaha, meaning ‘God’ or ‘the God’. The final ‘a’ in the name alaha was originally the definite article ‘the’ and is regularly dropped when Syriac words and names are borrowed into Arabic. Middle-eastern Christianity used ‘alah’ and ‘alaha’ frequently, and it would have often been heard.

But in the Aramaic/Syriac language there are two different ‘a’ vowels, one rather like the ‘a’ in English ‘hat’ and the other more like the vowel in ‘ought’. In the case of ‘alah’, the first vowel was like ‘hat’ and the second like ‘ought’. Arabic does not have a vowel like the one in ‘ought’, but it seems to have BORROWED this vowel along with the word ‘alah’. If you know Arabic, then you know that the second vowel in ‘allah’ is unique; it occurs only in that one word in Arabic.

Scholars believe that Jesus spoke mostly Aramaic, although sometimes he spoke Hebrew and he might have spoken Greek on some occasions. If Jesus spoke Aramaic, then he referred to God using basically the same word that is used in Arabic.

From Christoph.Heger@t-online.de (Dr. Christoph Heger)
Newsgroups: soc.religion.islam
Subject: Re: How About That Moon God?
Date: Wed Mar 25 18:59:38 EST 1998
Message-ID: <6fc5pa$c8l$1@waltz.rahul.net>

Greetings to all,

The theory that Allah had been the name of an old Arabic moon god (or moon goddess?) is not familiar to me and I am not in a position to accept or falsify it. The following remarks only are thought to serve further elucidation of the matter.

The ancient Greek historian Herodotos in the first volume of his historic work “Histories Apodexis”, line 131-132, refers to the religion of the Persians. He writes:

“They sacrifice to the sun and the moon and the earth and the fire and the water and the winds. Only to those they sacrifice of old. In addition they learnt to sacrifice to Urania [=the Celestial one, i.e. Aphrodite; Ch.H.], too. They learnt it from the Assyrians and the Arabs. The
Assyrians call Aphrodite Mylitta [Assyrian: Bilit; Ch.H.], the Arabs Alilat…”

This “Urania”, indeed, in some connections appears as a moon goddess. “Alilat”, of course, is to be related to the Arabic feminine form “al-ilah”, a nomen unitatis which has the meaning of “the (single) deity”.

The etymological derivation of “Allah” as a contraction of “al-ilah”, which was maintained in numerous contributions to sri, too, is “popular” etymology and surely not historic. It would be rather strange that especially the “i” should have been disappeared due to neglect of the
speakers, since the syllable “il” is the most important in “al-ilah”: “il” or “el” is the semitic word for God since times immemorial.

Instead, the word “Allah”, as a lot of other words, especially words of the religious sphere, was imported from the Syriac (Aramaic) language: “alaha” – with three long a-vowels -, is the Aramaic word for the (Christian) unique God. The last (long) “a” characterizes the status absolutus
in the Aramaic language and was duly omitted by the Arabs like case endings in the Arabic vernacular, whereas the understanding of the first syllable of “alaha” as an article was a common misunderstanding like for instance in “al-Iskandar” from Greek “Alexandros” etc. The doubling of the “l” is irrelevant, since the doubling sign is a very late invention of Arabic orthography, centuries after Muhammad.

Kind regards,

Christoph Heger

Even some of the traditional Scholars agree on this one; see this Question and answer from a traditional scholar

The Origin of the Word ‘Allah’…

Question:

What is the derivation of “Allah”? Some scholars say it derives from al+ illah (“the God”), but many Muslim Ulema and translators of the Quran (such as Maulana Muhammad Ali) disagree with this, and say that “Allah” is whole in itself, as a proper name for the Supreme Creator. But is there any philological relationship between Allah and other Semitic terms for “God” such as Eloah (Hebrew) and Alaha (Aramaic/Syriac)?

Thank you.

Peace and blessings of Allah be with you.

Shahid M, USA

Reply

Although a lot has been said about the philology of the word ‘Allah’, however, in my opinion, the former of the two opinions noted by you seems to be closer to the correct one. A detailed discussion compiling the opinions of various scholars of the Arabic language regarding the origin of the word can be seen in “Lisaan al-Arab” under the word “Aliha” (a-l-h). In my opinion, ‘Allah’ is an Arabic word meaning ‘the God’. According to the general principle of making proper nouns from common nouns in the Arabic language, the word “ilah” (common noun) has been converted to “al-ilah”, which became “Allah” due to the turgidity and the slight difficulty of pronunciation of the word “al-ilah”.

The Quran, because its prime and first addressees were the Arabs, used the word “Allah” for the Supreme Being, as that had traditionally been the word used for the Supreme Being in that language. The same had been the case in the older scriptures. Those scriptures, like the Quran, used those words for the Supreme Being, which had already in vogue in those languages, to refer to the Supreme Being.

However, there have been scholars of the Arabic language who ascribe to the opinion that “Allah” is the actual name of the Supreme Being. It is indeed important to the evidence that they have provided into account. Nevertheless, I feel that to give God a name is a requirement of us,
humans. God, being the absolute being is in no need for a name.

May the Almighty guide us all to the path of His liking.