Quran

ISLAM will provide soon a complete and fresh interpretation of the Holy Quran
that will convey its true and peaceful message.

See a few examples below:

Point 1: Does the Quran instruct Muslims to kill Non-Muslims?

Point 2: Does the Quran support anti-Semitism?

Point 3: Are we allowed to judge others or condemn them as "Infidels"?



Point 1: Does the Quran instruct Muslims to kill Non-Muslims?

Significance of the definite article "Al" (i.e., "the")

A friend of mine once told me that the Quran instructs Muslims to kill all Infidels. I agreed with him that violent interpretations of the Quran exist and permeate many of our Islamic books. My friend then quoted the following 3 verses to prove his point.

Quran: {The infidels are your sworn enemies Sura 4:101}
Quran {Prophet, make war on the infidels Sura 66: 9}
Quran {Never be a helper to the disbelievers Sura 28:86}

I thanked my friend for making this point as well as indicating these verses, and then responded as follows:

Comments:
Clearly, the above verses can incite much animosity and subsequent violence vis-a-vis all non-Muslims. Accepted literally - and uncritically - these verses lend themselves to the unjust persecution of otherwise innocent people, whose only crime is being non-Muslim. However, a pivotal matter of linguistic importance is often overlooked: the significance and usage of the definite article, "al" (i.e., "the"), which precedes the various disparaging Arabic words - kafirun, mushrikun - that describe non-believers in the Quran and which are often translated as "non-believers," "infidels," "idolaters," or "polytheists." Furthermore, in Arabic, the definite article is physically attached to the word it describes.

See below:

Quran: {The infidels are your sworn enemies Sura 4:101}
Quran {Prophet, make war on the infidels Sura 66: 9
Quran {Never be a helper to the disbelievers Sura 28:86}

The exact Arabic expression in these verses - indeed, in every verse that talks of the non-believer - is "Al-Kaferrin" or "Al-la-dhina Kafaru." The use of "Al-" or "Al-la-dhina" limits the verse (and thus commandment) to 1) a specific time and place in historyand 2) a specific group of people who were obstacles to the establishment of Islam in its nascent phase. It is these two factors that caused these verses to be revealed. Had the intentions of the Quran been to extend the application of these verses in perpetuity, it would have used the expression "Man Kafar," rather than "Al-Kafereen" or "Al-La-dhina Kafaru". The former, "Man Kafar," literally means any one who does not believe in God; while the latter, "Al-Kafereen," - the infidels - denotes a specific group of people: they who fought Prophet Mohamed in the early stages of Islam.

Moreover, the overriding principle which must ultimately guide our understanding of these verses is the constant Quranic reminder that good Muslims do not initiate violence against others so long as the latter do not provoke hostilities.

Quran 2:190 Fight in the cause of God those who start fighting you, but do not transgress limits (or start the attack); for God loveth not transgressors.

Indeed, according to other verses, even if a Muslim deemed someone an infidel, according to the Quran, he is still obligated to:

1. Behave with courtesy :
Consider, for instance, the following verse, which is supposed to instruct Muslims as to how they should deal with non-Muslims in the midst of hostilities (such as war): 9:6 And if any of the Idolatries (who are fighting you) seeks thy protection, grant him protection, so that he might [be able to] hear the word of God [from thee]; and thereupon convey him to a place where he can feel secure:
If Muslims are to behave with such clemency and magnanimity vis-a-vis the infidel during times of war and conflict, how much more should be expected of their interactions with non-Muslims during times of peace?

2. Respect his freedom of choice to be a "Disbeliever" - as this is a right bestowed upon humanity by God:
Quran 18:29 proclaims, "The truth is from your Lord": it is the free will of any person to believe (in God) or to be an Infidel (Un believer).

3. Even if a Muslim should be convinced that someone is a non-believer, still he must accept that his fate is in the hands of God alone, since no one human can condemn another - this must be left to the judgment of God.
Quran 88:25-26 for behold, unto (ONLY) Us (means God) will be their return, Then it will be for (ONLY) Us to Judge (humans).
22:17 Those who believe (in the Qur'an), those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Sabians (can mean an ancient religion or people with no specific religion), Christians, Magians, and Polytheists,- God will judge between them on the Day of Judgment: for God (alone) is witness of all things.

The significance of the definite article ("al") or the substantive pronoun ("al-la dhina") which confines the aforementioned verses to a specific time and place - that is, the past, history - as well as against a specific people (i.e., the polytheists of the Arabian peninsula), is also key to understanding those many other verses that are often cited to incite violence against non-Muslims:
1- The infidels are your sworn enemies Sura 4:101
2- Make war on The infidels who dwell around you Sura 9:123
3- When you meet The Infidels in the battlefield, strike off their heads Sura 47:4
4- Mohamed is Alla's apostale. Those who follow him are ruthless to The infidels Sura 48:29
5- Prophet, make war on The infidels Sura 66: 9
6- Never be a helper to The disbelievers Sura 28:86
7- Kill The disbelievers wherever we find them (Sura 2:191)
8- 9:29 [And] fight against those (Al-La-Zina) who - despite having been vouchsafed revelation [aforetime] [40] -do not [truly] believe either in God or the Last Day, and do not consider forbidden that which God and His Apostle have forbidden, [41] and do not follow the religion of truth [which God has enjoined upon them] [42] till they [agree to] pay the exemption tax with a willing hand, after having been humbled [in war]. [43]
9- 47:4 Therefore, when you meet The infidels (unbelievers), [4] smite their necks until you overcome them fully, and then tighten their bonds; [5] but thereafter [set them free,] either by an act of grace or against ransom, so that the burden of war may be lifted: [6]

 


Point 2: Does the Quran support anti-Semitism?


Someone once asked me if the Quran is anti-Semitic. He quoted the following verse to prove his point:

"Shall I point out to you something much worse than this by the treatment it received from Allah (The Jews), those who incurred the curse of Allah and His wrath, those of whom some He transformed into monkeys and pigs, those who worshipped evil - these are (many times) worse in rank, and far more astray from the even path!" Qur'an 5:60.

I agreed with him that many promoted doctrinally based anti-Semitism based on this verse. Many Islamic fundamentalists, for instance, still refer to Jews as pigs and monkey, based primarily on this verse. That said, a faithful Muslim would be committing a grave sin should he resort to calling Jews, that is, the "Children of Israel," pigs and monkeys, for the following reasons:

1. Most of the Prophets mentioned in the Holy Quran are from the Children of Israel. These include: Moses, Aaron, Yusuf (Joseph), David, Solomon, Zachariah, Younis (Jonah). In fact, Jesus - the Messiah - was one of the Children of Israel. Therefore, condemning or even just insulting all Jews by calling them names is an offense, not just against modern day Jews but also all these prophets as well who, even though they were of Jewish descent, are nonetheless considered by Muslims to be the brothers of prophet Mohamed and must be strongly forbidden (Haram) and prohibited.

2. Condemning all modern-day Jews by the actions or mistakes of their forefathers is against the Quran which clearly states that no one is responsible for the mistakes of others:

6:164 Say: "Shall I seek for (my) Cherisher other than Allah, when He is the Cherisher of all things (that exist)? Every soul is responsible for of its acts: no bearer of burdens can bear of burdens can bear the burden of another. Your goal in the end is towards God. He will tell you the truth of the things wherein ye disputed."

Accordingly, and based on this verse, judging All Jews by the possible mistakes of their forefathers or because of historical conflicts between some Jewish tribes and the early Muslims is absolutely forbidden (Haram).

3. It is further important to note that, in the original Arabic, this Quranic verse does not even use the word "Jews," which was added later in parenthesis to English translations and Arabic commentaries of the Quran). The Quran was actually referring to another nation by saying "worse than this" as he was talking about the Israelites who did not follow Moses in the verses before this one.
2- In fact, this verse could be understood in a metaphoric manner as the expression "Monkey" is used metaphorically in Arabic to refer to people who imitate without thinking and the word "pigs" is used metaphorically too to describe those who refuse good principles and prefer the bad ones.


4. Many other verses in the Quran, far from condemning the Jews, reveal an exalted status for the Children of Israel:

Quran 2:47 "Children of Israel! Call to mind the favor which I bestowed upon you, and that I preferred you to all other nations"

5. Muslims should also bear in mind that the Quran clearly states that Jews and Christians, and others, will be accepted by God as long as they believe in his existence, his judgment, and perform good deeds (e.g., assisting the poor and orphaned).

2:62 Those who believe (in the Qur'an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in God and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

(Note: in the above verse, the Quran says "their Lord" - not "your Lord" - which clearly indicates that God will accept Jews and Christians, based on their individual conceptions of God.)

 


Point 3: Are we allowed to judge others or condemn them as "Infidels"?


One of the issues that we must bring to the fore is the fact that the Quran forbids us from judging others. This has been expressed clearly in many verses.

Quran 88:25: For behold, unto Us will be their return,
Quran 88:26: Then it will be for (only) Us to call them to account.

By using the Arabic word "Inna" - which means "We" (i.e., God) - to begin 88:26 is a clear indication that it is ONLY God who can judge humans. To better comprehend why it is that humans are not capable (or allowed) to pass judgment against their fellow man, I offer the following analogy: Consider, for a moment, a long, stretching river - let's call it "The River of Truth." People are swimming at various points along this river. Now, let’s assume that absolute truth lay at the very end of the river, say, point 100. Based on this, we would assume that the person swimming alongside point 95 is closer to the Truth - and therefore better - than the person swimming alongside point 5.

However, what if the fact was that the closer person had started out at 100, and had actually drifted away from the truth by 5, whereas the further person had actually started at 0 and was now 5 closer to the Truth? While it would be impossible for us to know this - it is not impossible for God, for He would certainly know this about both persons, He would know that the person on 5 was striving hard (that is, performing Jihad) for Truth's sake. Based on this all too plausible scenario, it becomes obvious that in the eyes of God, the man on point 5 of the River of Truth is better than the person on point 95. It is for this very reason that the Quran has unequivocally stated that ONLY God can pass judgment on humans:

22:17 Those who believe (in the Qur'an), those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Sabians (can mean certain ancient religion or people with no specific religion), Christians, Magians, and Polytheists,- God will judge between them on the Day of Judgment: for God (alone) is witness of all things.

As finite humans we do not possess the foreknowledge of God and thus we are in no position to pass judgment over others.
Of course, we are capable of distinguishing between good and bad deeds - however, without the omniscience of God, we cannot judge this person or that as being either good or bad (as demonstrated earlier). If anyone had seen Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) (PBUH) as he worshiped various planets and stars, as well as the moon and sun, before he at last came to worship the true God (as recorded in the Quran as well ancient Jewish scriptures), they would have considered him a "mushrik"—that is, an idolater or simply, an infidel. In fact, God Himself was pleased with Ibrahim since he was at least making a sincere effort to find the true God.

Quran 6:75 And thus We gave Abraham [his first] insight into [God's] mighty dominion over the heavens and the earth - and [this] to the end that he might become one of those who are inwardly sure.

Quran 6:76 Then, when the night overshadowed him with its darkness, he beheld a star, [and] he exclaimed, "This is my Sustainer!" -but when it went down, he said, "I love not the things that go down."

Quran 6:77 Then, when he beheld the moon rising, he said, "This is my Sustainer!"-but when it went down, he said, "Indeed, if my Sustainer guide me not. I will most certainly become one of the people who go astray!"

Quran 6:78 Then, when he beheld the sun rising, he said, "This is my Sustainer! This one is the greatest [of all]!" - but when it [too] went down, he exclaimed: "O my people! Behold, far be it from me to ascribe divinity, as you do, to aught beside God!

Quran 6:79 Behold, unto Him who brought into being the heavens and the earth have I turned my face, having turned away from all that is false; and I am not of those who ascribe divinity to aught beside Him."

The search for Truth - the desire to find the Divine - is in and of itself a great deed, even if the individual seeker never ascertains absolute Truth. The act itself possesses great intrinsic value and is demonstrative of a willing heart.

As God plainly reveals in his Holy Quran:

Quran: 29:69 And those who strive in Our paths to find us (God)),- We will certainly guide them to our Paths: For verily God is with those who do right.

From here, we should learn once and for all to never be judgmental against others but to leave judgment to God alone.
Saiidna Issa (Jesus) PBUH is recorded in the scriptures as saying, "Judge not lest ye be judged...and by the same measure you judge others by, so too will you be judged."
Imagine how you would feel if you judged someone for their apparently bad deeds when, all the while, that person was suffering from a mental illness that influenced their negative actions? If this happened, it would be you who had sinned - who had truly committed a bad deed - for you passed judgment without knowing all the facts. It is for this very reason that God said to Prophet Mohamed in his Holy Quran :

Quran 46:9 Say: "I am no bringer of new-fangled doctrine among the apostles, nor do I know what will be done with me or with you. God is the ONLY one who can judge humans.