What is the Quran’s definition of idolatry?
The Quran mentions as idols – calf (2:51), children (7:190), property (18:42), humans (7:194), intercessors (10:18), Satan (14:22), jinns (6:100), other gods (4:117), prophets & messengers (3:79, 18:102), Jesus (5:72), ego (25:43) and following a source other than the Quran (6:19) is defined as idolatry.
Why would following a source other than Quran for law be considered idolatry?
Because the Quran explicitly states so. Verse 6:19 states that the greatest testimony is God’s words in the Quran. Seeking the words of anyone else as testimony is idolatry. In addition, God’s words in the 6346 verses of the Quran are COMPLETE (6:115) and the ONLY SOURCE (6:114, 18:27) of law.
What is law?
One definition is that law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior. Statutory Law is the term used to define written laws, usually enacted by a legislative body. As submitters, if we claim to follow the Quran alone, the source of law is limited to God’s words in the Quran (6:114-115). The Quran is a statute book (2:185, 25:1) and is thus statutory law which unlike ‘Common Law’ is not based on precedents. Thus, as statutory law, the words of the Quran will always be and remain the only source of law. The words in a statute (verses) are given its plain, ordinary, and literal meaning.
God sent a messenger after all the prophets, who brought forth the great miracle of the Quran. Why should we not obey the messenger in numerous Quran verses which state “Obey God and His Messenger?”
The Quran commands us to obey God AND His messenger. It does not give us the luxury of obeying God OR His messenger. The inclusion of both God AND His messenger in the commandment boils down to the Quran, as God’s ‘ratification’ is in the words of the Quran.
Obey God and His Messenger
What about verse 4:80 which states “Whoever obeys the messenger is obeying God” and 49:1 which states, “do not place your opinion above that of GOD and His messenger?”
Verse 49:1 falls in the same category of obeying God AND His Messenger per above. In light of the Quran (5:101), so does verse 4:80. For example, by looking at the latter half of the Quran one may conclude that messengers bring scriptures (35:25, 57:25). However, in light of the whole Quran we know from 3:81 that only prophets bring scriptures while messengers confirm existing scriptures.
Here are four ‘obey the messenger’ teachings, all of which are sourced to the Quran:
- “We do not follow Rashad Khalifa, we follow the Quran alone and if I say anything that cannot be verified from Quran do not follow it” – Rashad Khalifa, Great Debate video
- “Principle is – if not in the Quran we do not follow it.” – Rashad Khalifa, 1989 conference speech video.
- God thus teaches us that even contemporary Sahaabah can misunderstand God’s messenger. We must uphold ONLY the Quran – Rashad Khalifa (SP – July 198).
- “As stated in 3:81 and 46:9, God’s Messenger of the Covenant does not bring anything new; everything I receive and pass on to you is already in the Quran.” – Rashad Khalifa, Feb 1990 SP.
Those who were with the messenger, including you had to obey him when he was alive. Now that he has died, we do not have to obey him?
It’s impossible to obey a dead messenger. It’s impossible for a dead messenger to judge about our affairs and our disputes (4:48, 4:65, 24:51). Even when he was alive the judgement was always based on God’s words in the Quran (5:48). The messenger’s focus was always God’s words in the Quran. And yes, the messenger left books, articles, video and audio recordings which contain his words. As we know and as the Quran proclaims, only God’s words in the Quran can be a source for law.
Those who were blessed to be with the messenger were tested in their interactions with the messenger (9:24) with various commandments when he was alive (24:62, 58:12).
The traditional Muslims to this day declare Muhammad IS a messenger of God.
What about the principal duties listed by God’s Messenger? Are we not to follow them? Are we to disregard them?
Each of the 14 duties listed refer to various verses of the Quran for each duty. In other words, they are all sourced to the Quran. For example, we believe that anyone who dies under the age of forty goes to Heaven because 46:15 states so and not because Rashad Khalifa said so. We thank God for His great blessing of sending the messenger who brought forth information embedded in the Quran and explanations which can all be sourced to the words of the Quran.
There is nothing in the principal duties nor in the appendices by which one may conclude that the words of the appendices (or footnotes or sub-headings) are a source of law. Bizarre as it may seem, there are submitters who consider the words of the appendices, footnotes, subheadings, etc. as words of God. For such submitters verses such as 6:114-115 which call the words of God as complete are discarded. It is also alien to them that ‘one of the great miracles’ is limited to the 6346 verses of the Quran. Their definition of the Quran might run a few paragraphs or to a page rather than the ‘6346 verses.’
It seems like you are asking us to disregard God’s messenger who did not speak on his own, provided explanations, was a guiding teacher and gave sacred instructions. Is that correct?
No, it is not correct. It is simply being pointed out that the messenger’s words cannot be a source of law. None of the messenger’s words which certainly qualify as explanations or instructions in his books, newsletters and videos/audios should be disregarded. They contain valuable information which includes embedded information from the Quran and should be accessible to any submitter or prospective submitter. When the messenger’s words are made a source of law, however, clear Quranic verses are violated. The Quran is explicit that the words of the Quran are the ONLY source for law (6:114).
Accepting Quran as the only source of law as commanded by our Creator does not mean we should disregard the messenger’s teachings as your question seems to suggest. The messenger’s teachings which include the miracle of the Quran reinforces that every word of the 6346 verses is from God and provides a perpetual proof for the present and future generations. Concealing such teachings including the miracle of the Quran is a crime. And indeed, it is a crime when in clear violation of the Quran, the words which constitute the teachings of the messenger (messenger’s words) are made a source for law. The words which make up law are limited to the Glorious Quran (6:19, 6:114-115).
The worshippers of God alone are constantly appreciative and thankful to God that He sent a messenger to bring forth the great miracle of the Quran and to direct us to worship God alone as per the scripture.
Are you denying that Rashad Khalifa received revelations from God?
In the February 1989, SP, Dr. Rashad Khalifa wrote, “As stated in 3:81 and 46:9, God’s Messenger of the Covenant does not bring anything new; everything I receive and pass on to you is already in the Quran” entitled as “New Major Revelation.”
Yes, Rashad Khalifa received revelations limited as stated by messenger himself to something which is already in the Quran. In other words, he received revelation about embedded information within the 6346 verses of the Quran.
The 6346 verses which constitutes God’s words in the Quran were revealed to Prophet Muhammad as the Final Scripture. Prophet Muhammad’s only duty was to deliver the Quran. The miracle of the Quran, embedded within the Quran was revealed to Rashad Khalifa who confirmed the existing scriptures (3:81). Like all previous messengers, Rashad Khalifa’s message was to worship God alone. He pointed out that we worship God alone by following the Quran, the whole Quran and nothing but the Quran.
The messenger preached from the Quran. How would following the authorized messenger’s explanations which came from the Quran, and who we are supposed to obey and trust, be considered in violation of 6:114 and 18:27?
‘Admission Test’ is a great conceptual explanation by the messenger which we agree with. The messenger’s conceptual explanation was based on the SOURCE – the words of God in the Quran, which we know to be COMPLETE for law (6:114-115).
When the messenger’s conceptual explanation and/or his words become the SOURCE, we see a corruption of the religion. Thus, using the messenger’s words ‘admission test’ as a SOURCE, it is proclaimed that anyone who dies with a headache or cancer or anything in between, failed the ‘admission test’ and thus destined for the worst in the Hereafter.
The words of statutory law (verses of the Quran) always remain the only source.
In English language, the Arabic word ‘shirk’ means association. In the above case the non-Quranic word ‘admission’ is associated with the Quranic word ‘test’ and religious conclusions are made on that association.
What is shirk?
Shirk is an Arabic word with a general meaning of “to share” or “associate.” The word Shirk in the Quran translates as idolatry, an unforgivable sin (4:48, 4:116). If anyone’s words other than God’s words are sourced for law it is tantamount to attributing partners with God.
Do you believe the messenger made mistakes?
No, the messenger made no mistakes in the delivery of the message. You should consider your question’s implication. If the source of law are God’s words in the Quran, it becomes completely irrelevant whether the messenger made any mistakes or not. The messenger’s information is with us in his human words. None of the messenger’s human words can ever become a source for law as that source is limited to God’s words in the Quran.
The message was delivered complete (21:10) with no mistakes 1400 years prior to Rashad Khalifa.
Do you believe Rashad Khalifa was a messenger of God?
Yes, absolutely I do by God’s grace. This also gives me the opportunity to point out that this is exactly the question traditional Muslims ask when it is pointed out to them to obey and follow only God’s words in the Quran. They substitute Prophet Muhammad in the above question.
Dr. Rashad Khalifa pointed out that Muhammad the man disobeyed Muhammad the messenger in verse 33:35. Are we not supposed to obey Rashad the messenger? Even Rashad himself pointed out that he as a man (human), had to obey the information which came down to Rashad the messenger. Are we not obligated to follow Rashad the messenger?
All the words we have from the messenger whether written in books/newsletters/articles or spoken in audios/videos are his words (except when he was reciting the Quran). We do not have the freedom, if we are to accept God’s words in the Quran (6:19, 6:114-115), to accept any of Rashad’s word/s as a source for law. Thus, whether he acted as a human or messenger is not relevant at all. I might point out that God’s blessed me to be with the messenger. I only considered him as a messenger and I don’t know any other submitter, who was with him, who did not consider him only as a messenger.
When Dr. Rashad Khalifa said “don’t go by what I say, go by the Quran” in videos and newsletter, he meant, “don’t go by what I say as a human…”
Well, he did not say what you think he meant. And even if he had said it, it still makes no difference as in the end, his words (as a human or messenger) cannot be a source of law. Also, this reminder about what was said by the messenger (“don’t go by what I say, go by the Quran”) is not being made as a source of law or authority (Quran is the only source for law and authority) but to point out that some of you, do not follow the Quran nor do you follow the messenger.
Did the messenger preach against the Quran? He would not say anything against the Quran otherwise he would have been fired. Do you not believe God is the source for the messenger’s teachings?
As mentioned, the source for law is limited to God’s words in the Quran. And absolutely, the messenger did not teach against the Quran. Dr. Rashad Khalifa was a messenger of God, authorized by the Possessor of the Throne, who provided sacred instructions and did not speak on his own. It is obvious that God was the source of the messenger’s teachings which bring forth the embedded information within the Quran and the great miracle. Obviously, the Author of the Quran revealed the secrets embedded within the Quran to His messenger.
Equally obvious and clear is the fact that Dr. Rashad Khalifa was a human messenger who imparted all teachings in his human words. The worshippers of God alone submit to God’s words without hesitation that the source for law is limited to God’s words in the 6346 verses of the Quran and that those words are COMPLETE in the Quran.
Some submitters consider Rashad Khalifa, messenger of God, as infallible or his words as infallible. Infallibility applies to God’s words in the Glorious Quran (2:2, 10:37). Ironically, this standard of infallibility is also a requirement for those who reject the Messenger of the Covenant, as they also incorrectly seek the infallibility criterion. I know submitters who previously considered Rashad Khalifa to be infallible and readily acknowledge it now. They also state that had anyone asked them if they believed Rashad Khalifa was infallible, they would have denied it, since they were unaware of that belief (6:23).
“Is it too much of a wonder that a reminder should come to you from your Lord, through a man like you, to warn you, and to lead you to righteousness, that you may attain mercy?” (7:63, see also 7:69, 10:2).
Can you give a single example of the messenger’s teachings which was not sourced in the Quran?
The messenger always advocated the Quran as the only source of law. The messenger’s preaching and explanation were sourced to the Quran. Just because his explanations were sourced to the Quran does not mean that his explanations ipso facto becomes the source of law. As a Statute Book the Quran ALWAYS remains the source of law irrespective of how many explanations were provided by the messenger. Thus, it is completely irrelevant whether the messenger said anything which cannot be sourced to the Quran.
The messenger interpreted the Quran for us. Are you not suggesting that we take away that right from the messenger and appropriate that right for yourself or ourselves?
The messenger’s message was to follow the Quran, the whole and nothing but the Quran. All his writings, talks, discussions were focused on the words of the Quran. There is no indication in any of his words that we should follow his words (his ‘interpretation’) over the words of the Quran. His ‘interpretation’ cannot become law since for statutory law one always goes back to the source (as the messenger always did). Neither is there any indication whatsoever in the Quran that any words other than God’s words in the 6346 verses of the Quran can be a source for law.
Once we accept the messenger, all verses in the Quran about the messenger such as 5:19, 98:2, 21:27, etc. apply. Why are you discarding those verses?
None of those verses are discarded. A worshipper of God alone accepts and follows ALL verses of the Quran. Indeed, the messenger provided instructions, explanations, did not speak on his own, brought forth the great miracle of the Quran and brought forth other embedded information from the Quran. NONE of the verses you refer to give us the freedom to make the messenger’s words a source of law. Submitters will submit without hesitation to God’s words in the Quran asserting that the words of God in the Quran are COMPLETE and the ONLY source for law.
In his final speech in the 1989 conference Rashad Khalifa said that the translation is God’s translation. All the words in the AEVQ are God’s words and we should not make any distinction among those words. Those words are God’s revelations. Why should any submitter not follow those words?
Dr. Rashad Khalifa announced his messengership in the May 1988 Submitters perspective and clearly referred to his translation (and numerous other SPs).
“The role of the number 19 as God’s own signature on everything He created is reported in the new edition of my translation of the Koran (in preparation).” (http://www.masjidtucson.org/publications/books/sp/1988/may_2/page4.html)
Anyone listening to that video will notice that Dr. Khalifa in an exchange with an individual was being questioned about mistakes in his translation. His response was the Quranic truth that absolutely everything is controlled by God (and thus “God’s translation”). A few sentences later he declared that translation (“God’s translation”) as obsolete. To say that Dr. Khalifa in a speech declared his translation as God’s translation is a falsehood. There is absolutely nothing in the Quran and Dr. Khalifa’s writings supporting the falsehood that Dr. Khalifa’s translation is a translation by God.
If you worship God alone and BELIEVE what God states in the Quran you will have no hesitation in accepting that God’s words in the Quran are COMPLETE (6:115) and the only source for law (6:19, 6:114). There can be no other words of God after the Quran as God’s words are COMPLETE in the Quran. It’s a falsehood to state that all the words of AEVQ are God’s words. We know that 6346 verses of the Arabic Quran are God’s words.
None of the traditional Muslims consider any words outside the Quran as God’s words. It’s mind-boggling that some submitters after attaining knowledge of “one of the great miracles” enveloping the 6346 verses of the Quran, consider the messenger’s explanations or the messenger’s words, as words of God.
Indeed, when one gets away from worship of God alone, common sense is stripped from that individual.
If we revealed this Quran to a mountain, you would see it trembling, crumbling, out of reverence for GOD. We cite these examples for the people, that they may reflect. [59:21]
How would you respond to the November 1989 Submitters Perspective article written by Dr. Rashad Khalifa, entitled, ‘Hypocrites Proclaim: “We Do Not Need A Messenger.”’ The same article also states, ‘The Quran, without the Messenger, Misleads the Wicked.’
The above article is mostly posted by submitters who cannot respond to the above Quranic truths nor can come up with the words of the Quran to support their conviction of using Dr. Rashad Khalifa words as a source for law either exclusively or in association (shirk) with the words of the Quran.
By God’s grace we all accept God’s messenger of the Covenant and don’t say that we did not need a messenger. The Submitters Perspective Newsletter was written for, directed to and mailed to a mass audience the most prominent of whom were traditional Muslims.
And indeed, ‘the Quran, without the messenger, misleads the wicked.’ The proven word of the Quran (14:27) provides healing and mercy for the believers (17:41) and augments the aversion of the disbelievers. We thank God that He sent a messenger well founded in knowledge who brought forth the great miracle of the Quran, the embedded information within the Quran and provided teachings as a guiding teacher – all based on God’s words of the Quran.
Nothing written in this SP article in any way obviates the Quranic truth that only God’s words in the Quran are the only source for law.
Do you not realize that when we follow the messenger, we follow the Quran?
When you follow the messenger, you are following the messenger. When you follow the Quran, you are following the Quran and will be readily quoting a verse to support a point of view. As pointed out before the Quran commands us to obey God AND His messenger. The Quran does not give us the luxury of obeying God OR His messenger. You cannot claim to follow the Quran alone by proxy by following the messenger’s words. You should at least be honest and truthfully state that you are following the messenger’s words.
Citing a source for a point of view is the most rudimentary aspect of exchange of ideas. When Quran is the source, the verses from the Quran are cited. When the messenger’s explanation is the source, be truthful (9:119) and cite the messenger.
Why do you bring this up especially as it is a source of consternation for various communities of submitters?
Idolatry is the only unforgivable offence (4:116). A reminder benefits the believers.
As submitters, we remind the traditional Muslims to follow the Quran and nothing but the Quran as the only source of law. We similarly remind the Christians and Jews to follow the Gospel and the Torah, and to study and follow the Quran.
Yet, we have submitters who uphold law which cannot be sourced to God’s words in the Quran but to the messenger’s words. Submitters who carry out this practice are laying a foundation for idolatry or worse, practicing idolatry themselves. Just like the traditional Muslims, they fail to uphold the words of God in the Quran as the only source for law. The traditional Muslims use words other than God’s words in the Quran for law. Some submitters do the same.
If we cannot uphold the Quran alone as indeed the Quran dictates and the messenger clearly stated, how can we pass the message to traditional Muslims to worship God alone and uphold the Quran alone?
What is the solution?
The solution lies in accepting, submitting to and obeying the simple and clear commandments in the Quran – that the words of God in the 6346 verse of the Quran are complete, perfect, only acceptable hadith (narration), fully detailed and the only source for law.
Reluctance to accept these basic truths from the Quran can only lead to one outcome – idolatry. If words of God in the Quran are not considered sufficient and other words are relied upon for law, it will most assuredly lead to idolatry thus establishing partners with God.
[25:30] The messenger said, “My Lord, my people have deserted this Quran.”
Please keep in mind that you are simply being reminded that the source of law are the 6346 verses of the Quran and that the words which comprise them are complete. If you perceive this as discounting the messenger’s teachings in any way, then you have simply not accepted the God’s words in 6:19, 6:114-115 and other verses of the Quran – that the words of the Quran (the Statute Book) are the ONLY source of law. Nor does this in any way introduce any element of doubt in Rashad Khalifa’s translation. After all, some of you cannot defend your beliefs based on his translation.
While God states in 21:10 that the scripture contains the message and while 6:114-115 state the scripture is complete and the only source; some of you believe that Rashad Khalifa had a message which was independent from the Quran and cannot be sourced to the Quran.
Quote from QURAN HADITH & ISLAM (by Rashad Khalifa)
When we seek “religious” instructions from Muhammad, or any other source beside God, we support Satan in his claim that God needs a partner. Therefore, those who worship God ALONE follow the instructions and teachings of GOD ALONE. As shown throughout this book, God’s teachings are complete, perfect, and fully detailed in Quran.
FINALLY: MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION
In your mind, can God survive ALONE???
Or, does God need Muhammad, in your mind, in order to be commemorated and worshiped???
In your mind, can GOD ALONE survive?
Or, does God need a partner, in your mind, such as Muhammad, Jesus, Mary, or some saint(s)???
Would you be perfectly happy and content if you knew about GOD ALONE, without Muhammad, Jesus, Mary, or any saint, or anyone, or anything?
Are you annoyed by talking about GOD ALONE?
When I keep talking about GOD ALONE, does this annoy you? Do you have to hear other names along with God? Can GOD ALONE survive in your mind?
When I repeat, and repeat, my talk about GOD ALONE, do you feel any repulsion? Or, are you happy and content with the talk about GOD ALONE??? Based on the Great Quranic criterion, as stated in 39:45, your answers to these questions provide the key to knowing yourself, and your destiny.