Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Hope in Allah’s Salvation?

A former Muslim’s Perspective

Mutee’a Al-Fadi

When I was a Muslim I was taught to believe that our eternal destiny and our hope of salvation in paradise are only known to Allah and under his divine control. We or any other creature have no hope whatsoever in securing such on our own, nor have we any control over our final destiny, even though Islam teaches that people may have hope to be saved by works, provided they are covered by the mercy of Allah on Judgment Day. Furthermore, the Qur’an explicitly teaches that Allah is the ultimate authority over guiding and misguiding people and that he has already determined their eternal abode. The following verses from the Qur’an demonstrate this belief very clearly:

Then what is the matter with you that you are divided into two parties about the hypocrites? Allah has cast them back (to disbelief) because of what they have earned. Do you want to guide him whom Allah has made to go astray? And he whom Allah has made to go astray, you will never find for him any way (of guidance). Q. 4:88 Hilali & Khan

Revile not ye those whom they call upon besides God, lest they out of spite revile God in their ignorance. Thus have We made alluring to each people its own doings. In the end will they return to their Lord, and We shall then tell them the truth of all that they did. Q. 6:108 Y. Ali

We sent not a messenger except (to teach) in the language of his (own) people, in order to make (things) clear to them. Now Allah leaves straying those whom He pleases and guides whom He pleases: and He is Exalted in power, full of Wisdom. Q. 14:4 Y. Ali

In addition, when we study the teachings of Muhammad we find further confirmation of such belief. The following hadiths serve as examples:

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "Allah says, 'The vow, does not bring about for the son of Adam anything I have not decreed for him, but his vow may coincide with what has been decided for him, and by this way I cause a miser to spend of his wealth. So he gives Me (spends in charity) for the fulfillment of what has been decreed for him what he would not give Me before but for his vow." (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 78, Number 685)

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "Adam and Moses argued with each other. Moses said to Adam. 'O Adam! You are our father who disappointed us and turned us out of Paradise.' Then Adam said to him, 'O Moses! Allah favored you with His talk (talked to you directly) and He wrote (the Torah) for you with His Own Hand. Do you blame me for action which Allah had written in my fate forty years before my creation?' So Adam confuted Moses, Adam confuted Moses," the Prophet added, repeating the Statement three times. (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 78, Number 685)

Abdullah b. Amr b. al-'As reported that he heard Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Verily, the hearts of all the sons of Adam are between the two fingers out of the fingers of the Compassionate Lord as one heart. He turns that to any (direction) He likes. Then Allahs Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: O Allah, the Turner of the hearts, turn our hearts to Thine obedience. (Sahih Bukhari, Book 033, Number 6418)

Upon examining these Islamic sources one can become convinced that Allah, the so called “most compassionate and most merciful”, actually has neither compassion nor mercy for his Muslim people, let alone for non-Muslims. In light of what we have just examined, I want to raise the question of how can anyone have a glimmer of hope in a god who made it very clear that no one has any control concerning their eternal destiny, whether it be based on their good deeds or any other means.

Furthermore, these sources show very vividly that all humans, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, are predestined to do whatever act is ordained for them including the act of shirk, which is the association of other deities beside Allah. In other words, Allah has predestined some to commit shirk against him and others not to. If this statement sounds utterly outrageous, the following verse should provide a clear proof:

And when We wish to destroy a town, We send Our commandment to the people of it who lead easy lives, but they transgress therein; thus the word proves true against it, so We destroy it with utter destruction. Q. 17:16 Shakir

When we review some of the Islamic commentaries dealing with this verse we will read the following:

Al-Tabari in his commentary said:

Ibn Abbas said: “We send Our commandment to the people of it who lead easy lives”, means, we [Allah] commands its wicked people to transgress in the town, and once they do so I [Allah] will destroy them. (Source)1

Ar-Razi also stated:

... “
We send Our commandment to the people of it who lead easy lives”, meaning we [Allah] increase its [the town’s] transgression. (Source)

Al-Qurtubi added: Allah declared in the verse preceding this one that he sends prophets to warn people before he destroys them, not that it matters to him to do so, but rather as a promise from him, and he does not change his promises.2 So if Allah wanted to destroy a village to fulfill his promise, he will order its people who live an easy life to commit abomination and injustice, therefore his commandment to destroy it will be accomplished. He is declaring that whoever perishes, will perish by Allah’s will, for he is the one who work all things with a divine purpose to fulfill his commandments. (Source)

How comforting is that thought? How can anyone trust in a god that has a divine purpose to destroy people by commanding them to sin and commit abominations to fulfill his divine purpose?

Furthermore, the Qur’an states that it was sent by Allah as a guidance ONLY to those believers who do good deeds.

Surely this Qur’an guides to that which is most upright and gives good news to the believers who do good that they shall have a great reward. Q. 17:9 Shakir

When examining some of the classical Islamic commentaries concerning this verse we read the following:

{and gives good news to the believers} ... brings glad tiding in addition to its guidance to those who are upright, who believe in Allah and his messenger, and do good deeds in this world according to what Allah has commanded them ... {shall have a great reward} from Allah as a reward for their belief and for their good deeds. {great} meaning a great reward, which is paradise, which Allah has prepared to those whom he is pleased with. (Source)

Ibn Katheer
Allah describes his book which he has revealed to Muhammad that it guides to the straight path and the clearest of ways. It also brings glad tiding to those who believe in it and do good deeds according to its teachings, that they will have great reward on the day of judgment. (Source)

Just to recap this part of our analysis, as a Muslim person or even someone who is seeking to know more about Islam, do the preceding accounts from the god of Islam give you a sense of security or assurance? If the god who claims to be the one true god, the creator of heaven and earth, the judge of mankind, if this god can’t even assure his people of being protected from his actions, and further, if he can’t even assure his righteous people as well, how then can you be certain that you will be saved from his wrath?

However, even if we were to comprehend or harmonize the preceding so called “divine” accounts, we find ourselves with even more confusing teachings concerning someone’s hope in the Islamic version of Salvation.
3 This time we focus our attention on the Hadith traditions and what Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, had to say about this topic regarding someone’s assurance of salvation.

Narrated 'Abdullah: The Prophet said, "No human being is killed unjustly, but a part of responsibility for the crime is laid on the first son of Adam who invented the tradition of killing (murdering) on the earth. (It is said that he was Qabil). (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 9, Book 83, Number 6)

This hadith appears to place the blame of the crime of murder in the world on the first son of Adam, who killed his brother. If this is true of murder, then one can say that this is true of other crimes as well. Such Islamic teaching is very confusing because it portrays humans to be in complete control of their actions whereas Allah is removed from such action. Yet earlier we read that Allah claimed to be the author of every single deed committed by humans, the good ones and the bad ones alike. This begs the question of who is in charge here, Allah or humans.

The following hadith further affirms this view that man has authority over his/her own actions.

Narrated Anas bin Malik: The Prophet said, "Allah will say to the person who will have the minimum punishment in the Fire on the Day of Resurrection, 'If you had things equal to whatever is on the earth, would you ransom yourself (from the punishment) with it?' He will reply, Yes. Allah will say, 'I asked you a much easier thing than this while you were in the backbone of Adam, that is, not to worship others besides Me, but you refused and insisted to worship others besides Me." (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 76, Number 562)

So far we have shown contradictions between the Islamic teachings of the Qur’an and Hadith regarding the actions of humans and their relation to Allah’s predestination of such actions. However, our confusion does not stop there. The following verses from the Qur’an introduce another agent whose authority can determine the actions of humans, even having authority over their eternal destination:

But the Shaitan 4 made them both fall from it, and caused them to depart from that(state) in which they were; and We said: Get forth, some of you being the enemies of others, and there is for you in the earth an abode and a provision for a time. Q. 2:36 Shakir

Here is what Al-Tabari has to say about this verse:

{made them both fall from it}… meaning Iblis
5 [Satan] because he caused them [Adam and Eve] to sin which Allah had punished them for by removing them from heaven.

Notice that the agent who caused Adam and Eve to fall is Satan. Although, this claim may sound reasonable to accept, the language of the Qur’an tries to remove any human will from this entire action, thus making Satan not only the master mind but also the author of the fall of man.

However, if we read what Az-Zamakhshari had to say concerning this verse we uncover a hidden agent behind Satan’s action:

. . . Satan caused them to fall because he made them eat from the tree. . . a similar scenario can be found in what Allah said in {and I did not do it of my own accord} [Q. 18:82 Shakir]

What Az-Zamakhshari is referencing in [Q. 18.82] had to do with the story of a servant who accompanied Moses for a season to test his patience by performing certain acts of violence against others. When questioned by Moses concerning these actions, the servant’s response was: “
I did not do it of my own accord, since it was Allah who commanded me to do it.”

In other word, Az-Zamakhshari is comparing the story of the servant with the story of the fall of Adam and Eve by stating that even though it was Satan who caused them to fall, he [Satan] was actually performing an action commanded to him by Allah. And so, we come full circle back to Allah as the sole author of all deeds of mankind. Hence, we have to ask our readers again: How can you trust in such a god who commands even the devil to cause you to sin against him in an effort to punish you?

The following verse makes the issue at hand even more convoluted by stating that Allah couldn’t save some of the nations of the past due to the power of the deception of Satan.

By Allah, We verily sent messengers unto the nations before thee, but the devil made their deeds fairseeming unto them. So he is their patron this day, and theirs will be a painful doom. Q. 16:63 Pickthall

It is rather disturbing to know such a thing, especially when Allah is swearing by himself as a testimony to the truth of this account. Al-Tabari in his commentary of this verse stated:

Allah swore by himself to his prophet Muhammad (saw) saying: By Allah, O Muhammad we sent messengers before you to their nations with the same message we sent you with to your nation, by inviting them to worship one god; to be sincere to him in worship; and to obey his commands. . . but Satan made their disbelief fairseeming to them until they rejected their messengers. (Source)

How can any individual Muslim have confidence that Allah will make any effort to protect him or her from Satan and his deception if Allah did not even care to protect entire nations? Can we even assume that Allah is able to protect anyone from Satan? It is clear, after all, that Satan was able to mislead them all even though Allah sent messengers to them, supposedly because he was intending to guide them? So, Satan deception is actually stronger than Allah’s guidance? In fact, when you read the verse closely you will be able to see that Allah uses the reference to what happened to the nations of the messengers before Muhammad as an indirect warning that the same can happen to Muhammad’s nation.

Furthermore, upon examining other verses dealing with Satan and his impact on the entire human race, the following verse makes it clear that Allah’s warning to Adam and Eve in Eden was not only against the eating from the forbidden tree, but it also was to avoid Satan:

So by deceit he brought about their fall: when they tasted of the tree, their shame became manifest to them, and they began to sew together the leaves of the garden over their bodies. And their Lord called unto them: "Did I not forbid you that tree, and tell you that Satan was an avowed enemy unto you?" Q. 7:22 Y. Ali

What this verse tells us then is that Satan had power over Adam and Eve so much so that Allah can’t even protect them from his deception. This is different than God warning Adam and Eve against disobeying God’s command
6 and the consequences of such action, as the Bible teaches.7

The power of Satan according to the Qur’an includes false revelations of the Qur’an to the messengers and prophets of the past.

Never did We send a messenger or a prophet before thee, but, when he framed a desire, Satan threw some (vanity) into his desire: but Allah will cancel anything (vain) that Satan throws in, and Allah will confirm (and establish) His Signs: for Allah is full of Knowledge and Wisdom. Q. 22:52 Y. Ali

Islamic commentaries and tradition reveal to us that the main purpose behind the revelation of this verse is that Satan revealed to Muhammad verses which Allah had not intended, and Muhammad would assume them to be from Allah. The Allah revealed this verse to him to comfort him and assure him that Allah will remedy this problem. Just let’s examine what Al-Tabari had to say about this particular verse:

It was said: the reason behind the revelation of this verse to the messenger of Allah (saw), is that Satan put in his mouth some of the verses he was reciting from the Qur’an, which was not revealed to him from Allah. As a result, the messenger of Allah (saw) was getting depressed over this, but Allah comforted him with these verses. (Source)

Al-Qurtubi added: The idolaters used to say, the prophets should never err or forget, however Allah revealed that they [the prophets] are mere humans . . . and it is permissible for humans to forget and err until Allah establishes his verses and abrogates the deceptions of Satan. (Source)

My dear Muslim brothers and sisters, I beseech you to ponder what you have just read concerning the revelations of the Qur’an. How can you be certain that whatever promises given to you throughout the Qur’an are actually from Allah? How can you be certain that your salvation according to the Qur’an is assured? What if it was Satan who spoke or uttered these promises through Muhammad or the other prophets who preceded him?

This is a very serious matter since the Qur’an teaches that one must follow the teaching of Allah and the prophet:

And obey Allah and the Messenger; that ye may obtain mercy. Q. 3:132 Y. Ali

Those are limits set by Allah: those who obey Allah and His Messenger will be admitted to Gardens with rivers flowing beneath, to abide therein (for ever) and that will be the supreme achievement. Q. 4:13 Y. Ali

If the above verse is not strong enough to reveal to you the power of Satan, how about the verse below where the tone is more than clear that Allah is appealing to his human creations not to follow Satan who has been deceiving numerous people leading them astray, away from the straight path.

Did I not charge you, O children of Adam! that you should not serve the Shaitan? Surely he is your open enemy, and that you should serve Me; this is the right way. And certainly he led astray numerous people from among you. What! could you not then understand? Q. 36:60-62 Shakir

The problem with these verses is not only that Satan has so much power over Allah’s creation, the human beings, but the fact that Allah is a co-conspirator with Satan from the beginning. If that sounds surprising, just read the following verses and judge for yourself:

O ye Children of Adam! Let not Satan seduce you, in the same manner as He got your parents out of the Garden, stripping them of their raiment, to expose their shame: for he and his tribe watch you from a position where ye cannot see them: We made the evil ones friends (only) to those without faith. Q. 7:27 Y. Ali

The prominent Islamic exegete Al-Baydawi in his commenatry “Anwar At-tanzeel wa Asrar At-ta’weel” says concerning this verse:

{We made the evil ones friends (only) to those without faith.} by what we [Allah] founded between the evil ones and the unbelievers of compatibility. . . by sending the evil ones to them and giving them power to deceive them and empowering them to do wickedness.

The prophet of Islam also feared Satan and his power. The following hadith tradition states this point vividly:

Narrated Safiya bint Huyai: The wife of the Prophet that she went to Allah's Apostle while he was in Itikaf (staying in the mosque) during the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan. She spoke to him for an hour (a while) at night and then she got up to return home. The Prophet got up to accompany her, and when they reached the gate of the mosque opposite the dwelling place of Um Salama, the wife of the Prophet, two Ansari men passed by, and greeting Allah's Apostle, they quickly went ahead. Allah's Apostle said to them, "Do not be in a hurry. She is Safiya, the daughter of Huyai." They said, "Subhan Allah! O Allah's Apostle (how dare we suspect you)." That was a great thing for both of them. The Prophet then said, "Satan runs in the body of Adam's son (i.e. man) as his blood circulates in it, and I was afraid that he (Satan) might insert an evil thought in your hearts." (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 73, Number 238)

How comforting can it be to know that the most powerful, most knowing god [Allah], can chose to only save some or even at times uses Satan to deceive humans. In fact, the preceding verses depict Satan with an almost equal power to this god. In light of all what we have examined, is this truly a god you can follow and rest your very assurance of salvation upon? If you can’t rest upon God’s attribute of omnipotence to be able trust in Him for protection from the devil’s schemes, how can we then trust him to save us from hell and eternal punishment?

Hence, I like to appeal to my fellow Muslim people, what chance do you have before Allah to survive his awaiting punishment or to please him? I think you will agree that the answer to this is: None whatsoever.

As a result, I ask you to place your hope of Salvation from God’s wrath and His eternal damnation on the person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ, whose power over Satan was evidenced from birth and even admitted by Muhammad:

Narrated Said bin Al-Musaiyab: Abu Huraira said, "I heard Allah's Apostle saying, 'There is none born among the off-spring of Adam, but Satan touches it. A child therefore, cries loudly at the time of birth because of the touch of Satan, except Mary and her child." Then Abu Huraira recited: "And I seek refuge with You for her and for her offspring from the outcast Satan" (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 641)

When Muhammad said that he without a doubt had this Qur’anic verse in mind:

When she was delivered, she said: "O my Lord! Behold! I am delivered of a female child!"- and Allah knew best what she brought forth- "And no wise is the male Like the female. I have named her Mary, and I commend her and her offspring to Thy protection from the Evil One, the Rejected. Q. 3:36 Y. Ali

In conclusion, I pray that the evidences presented to you throughout this paper will open your eyes to one truth, that Jesus Christ is the only one who can protect you and provide you with the straight path to Heaven. His work of Salvation is guaranteed
10 and His love for you was evident on the cross. May the Lord bless you and open your eyes to the devil and His schemes in order that you may find light in Him.

1 Translations of Arabic sources are my own.
2 For more on the fact that Allah does change his promises, please see these articles: 1, 2, 3, 4.
3 For more on the Islamic teachings of Salvation and its inconsistency, see these articles: 1, 2, 3.
4 Shaitan is the Arabic word for “Satan”.
5 Iblis is another name for Satan in Islamic traditions.
6 Genesis 2:17
7 For more on this account in the Bible, please refer to Genesis chapter 3.
8 For more on this issue or the issue of the completeness of the Qur’an, please read the following articles: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
9 For more Qur’anic verses regarding the power of Satan over Humans, see Q. 16:63 and 17:63-64.
10 For more on this hope, please read this article.



Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Does Islam Discourage Slavery?

Dear Sir/Madam
I was looking at islam online and came across a Q&A section and was interested in a question about slave women as this is something often featured on FFI. I have copied it below and would be intrigued to read your take on it.
Regards Raheel

Sarah – United Kingdom
Title About Concubines & Slavery
Date 22/May/2006
Question As-salamu `alaykum!

Why is a man permitted to have concubines in addition to having a wife? And, in a case that a man has 4 wives (surely his needs are being met) why would it still be allowable to have a concubine? Why are concubines and harems allowed at all, especially if it doesn’t seem to be very fair for women? Does the wife have a say in it? What rights does a concubine have?

I understand how Islam permits polygamy with conditions that provide fairness and protection for women, but I just don’t understand the issue of concubines. Prophet Sulayman (Solomon) is said to have had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. Obviously, this was in a time before Islam regulated polygamy, but how can concubines be considered fair or respectable?

Jazakum Allahu Khayran.

Topic Culture & Society
Name of Counselor Amani Aboul Fadl Farag

Salam, dear Safina.
Thank you for raising this point which is a matter of confusion to many non-Muslims and Muslims as well!

First, it is important to define the term “concubine” as it is usually misunderstood. Some think that “concubine” refers to the mistress or the woman who lives a non-marital relationship with a man, and who is inferior in rank to the legal wife. This might be due to the fact that people see famous men like kings and princes having concubines in their courts. Of course, such a relationship is outlawed in Islam.

As for Islam, the term “concubine” refers to a woman slave who is owned by a certain man either through serfdom, or by being a war captive. According to this definition, it becomes obvious that taking concubines, as well as slaves, is out of date. It is a system that existed early in the history of humanity but has ceased to exist any more under the law of abolishing servitude, not only in the Muslim communities, but also all over the world. No one now is allowed to take a slave or a concubine in our modern times; it is criminal to do so.

This image of one man buying tens of women to meet his endless desires is but a far memory of an old history. This is not only for the legal considerations of abolishing servitude, but also for the economic and health problems befalling the modern man disabling him from following the model of Shahrayar, the king in The Arabian Nights, even if he aspires to!

The only form of relationship between men and women among Muslims now is that of marriage, and anything outside it is not accepted.

Having a look at the history of this phenomenon, one finds that it was not confined to the Muslim world, though it is sometimes portrayed as if it is a Muslim-made tradition, coming from the East.

The Arabian Nights represents Muslim society as highly sensual, living in an erotic atmosphere with every single man having an army of concubines playing around in his bed to satisfy his surfeit needs! If this was the real picture of Muslim society in its early and middle ages, then who was behind the great scientific and military achievements that happened at that time?

When Islam was revealed, taking male and female slaves —either through buying or being taken as war captives— was a widespread phenomenon. This was not only in the Arabian Peninsula, but also in the neighboring Roman and Persian Empires. The attitude towards slaves and concubines was inhuman and abusive of all human rights. Such maltreatment of slaves resulted in profound psychological sicknesses and chaotic orders within the societies, which produced — for example—the slave riot lead by Spartacus.

Because Islam existed in various historical epochs, it has been its inevitable role to cope with the norms and to regulate the legal systems of those epochs. So, for the tradition of taking slaves and concubines, that already existed then, Islam interfered by regulating it in an attempt to abolish it gradually. It couldn’t have been abolished abruptly, since it was such a deep rooted tradition.

Islam has always adopted the strategy of gradual reformation rather than rapid radical solutions, especially in aspects that are vital to people’s lives such as religion, economy or politics. The issue of idol worshipping, for example, took 13 years of persuasion till the Prophet decided to pull idols down. This has always been Islam’s malleable nature, which made its spirit — and not only script — survive for almost 15 centuries and not perish or extinct by time.

Back to the historical survey of the issue of concubines, Islam worked gradually in two directions to free slaves and concubines. The first was by encouraging the believers to buy and free slaves. Almighty Allah offered Paradise as a reward for whoever did that. As a result of such a divine promise, a large number of slaves were freed.

The second was by making the act of freeing slaves a form of kaffarah (punishment or penalty) as a make-up “penalty”, if a person commits some forbidden deeds. And in this way, punishment became pleasing to both the slave and the punished one, who would have wanted to receive God’s forgiveness, for the forbidden deed, by doing the good deed of freeing a slave.

Parallel to that process of gradual freeing — and until all slaves were freed — Allah granted slaves and concubines — who had not yet gained their liberty — many human rights that had never been given to them before.

For example, when a concubine begot a child by her master, the child would immediately be recognized as legal and free. The child would carry the father’s name and inherit the same like any brothers and sisters begotten by wives. As for the concubine herself, she is directly elevated to a higher status, that is of om-el-walad (legal mother of a legal child). Her owner can no longer sell her as a slave and in case he dies, she is automatically free.

No wonder that up to the 17th century, Mamluks — who were slaves owned by the Islamic state — were allowed high education and job opportunities exactly like their masters. They were trained in chivalry and were upgraded in the social rank until they reached the positions of sultans and kings of the whole Islamic state. This was termed in history as the Mamluk State. It was a state that lasted for several hundreds of years and was considered among the most fruitful periods in the history of Islam.

Nobody ever looked with sensitivity or with dissatisfaction at the experience of being ruled by a “slave” who owned by the state. This Mamluk State was in existence simultaneously while Americans were taking African people as slaves and concubines from Africa. These were being treated like animals and deprived from basic human rights, as we have read in history.

I only wanted to clear the idea of concubines as an interesting fact of the past, which has no mention in Islamic life any more in today’s world. Thank you and I am looking forward to receiving more of your interesting questions. Please keep in touch

Response by Ali Sina

Slavery or “right hand possession” is recognized and accepted in the Quran. Muslims are allowed and encouraged to raid non-Muslims and after killing the men take their women and children as slaves. Older women can be killed or left to die.

Based on his response it appears that Mr. Amani Aboul Fadl Farag says that Islamic law that comes from God and according to Muhammad is valid until the Day of Resurrection has become outdated. Is this not bid’a? (innovation). Isn’t bid’a prohibited in the Quran and punishable by death? Is Mr. Amani Aboul Fadl Farag saying that parts of the Quran are outdated? Doesn’t the Quran strictly prohibit taking parts of it and leaving other parts?

If slavery and right hand possessions are outdated, can we also conclude that other injections of the Quran may also be outdated?

For example, the Quran allows a man to marry four wives. This law seems outdated too. It causes psychological distress for the wives who have to compete with each other for their husband’s attention, and it causes rivalry among their children. Polygamy is very unhealthy from the psychological point of view for everyone involved. Can Muslims decide to ban polygamy and override the Quran?

What about the law of fasting? Fasting in places close to the Earth’s poles is impossible during the summer. Can Muslims pick and choose and make rulings that differ from the Quran and hadith? They actually do it, whenever they get stuck. But is it allowed?

What about the testimony of women? Today the modern secular law does not accept anything but equality between men and women. Can Muslims abrogate the laws of the Quran and adopt the secular laws of the kafirs because they are more up to date?

What about chopping the right hand of the thief? It is rarely practiced, but isn’t abolishing it a contravention from divine guidance?

How about beating one’s wife? Can an Islamic country prohibit it when the Quran prescribes it? Would that country be regarded Islamic?

Mr. Farag, by preferring the secular law over the laws of God is opening a Pandora box and allowing men to abrogate any law of God that they deem outdated. Is this allowed and if so where one has to draw the line? Is man’s understanding superior to the understanding of God? Can a man question the authority and the wisdom of the Quran?

Mr. Farag says that “
Islam interfered by regulating it in an attempt to abolish it gradually. It couldn’t have been abolished abruptly, since it was such a deep rooted tradition.”

Why slavery could not be abolished abruptly? Didn’t Islam abolish adopting children abruptly? Allah told his prophet to marry his own daughter in law to set an example and show to Arabs that the old rules are changed and an adopted son is not a son and his wife is halal. Wasn’t this far more shocking to the believers than abolishing slavery?

Muhammad even encouraged Muslims to fight against their own brothers and fathers if they like disbelief to Islam. Wasn’t this a much harsher teaching than abolishing slavery?

If Muhammad wanted to abolish slavery why did he reduce tens of thousands of free people into slaves? After their prophet, Muslims raided other countries killing millions of men and enslaving their wives and children. The actions of Muhammad and his early followers belie the claim of Mr. Farag that he wanted to abolish slavery gradually. Do we have a verse in the Quran or hadith saying that slavery should be abolished eventually?

Mr. Farag says,
Islam has always adopted the strategy of gradual reformation rather than rapid radical solutionsand to prove Islam’s “malleable” nature he brings the example of Muhammad’s desecration of Ka’ba and demolition of Pagan’s idols, which he says was gradual and took 13 years. Mr. Farag is twisting the facts. Muhammad demolished the idols of the Arabs in the very day he conquered Mecca and got hold of the Ka’ba.

Mr. Farag says Islam encouraged the believers to buy and free slaves. Nothing can be farther from the truth. Muhammad made slaves from free people and sold them. He started doing this since his very first successful raid at a small Meccan caravan at Nakhlah where the two surviving captives were kept for ransom and released after their relatives paid a hefty sum. Muslims started as a bunch of impoverished people but through raids they amassed huge wealth and countless slaves. The claims made by this Muslim scholar are not substantiated by facts. They contradict the history of Islam written by the early Muslims. Muslims did not have slaves when they migrated to Medina. They were a bunch of rebbelious youth and a few slaves themselves. So how can we understand the claim that Muhammad wanted to abolish slavery gradually? Why start it in the first place?

He also talks about the reward promised to Muslims for freeing slaves. Yes that is true. But his actions were belied by his words. Only fools judge a man’s character by his words. Wiser people look at the actions of the person. Look how many brain dead people have fallen for the empty words of a buffoon like Obama. Wiser people look at his actions and at his past.

Furthermore, Muslims did not manumit their able bodied and young slaves. They freed them when they became old and a burden to their masters. In this way, not only they did not have to maintain them, but also their sins were forgiven. The old slaves ended up as beggars in the streets and died alone and in poverty. What a mockery of justice! How many of the slaves that Muhammad during his raids did he set free and restored to them their wealth?

Mr. Farag says that slaves in Islam were granted rights that prior to that they did not have, “
for example, when a concubine begot a child by her master, the child would immediately be recognized as legal and free.”

This tradition existed in that desert society long before Muhammad was born. A good example is Abraham’s son Ismael, who was born to a slave woman and was recognized by Abraham as his son and not as a slave. After Ismael’s birth, his mother Agar also gained her freedom. It is just commonsense that a man would not sell his own children as slaves. Now we have to even give credit to Muhammad for something that is not only commonsense but existed for ever. In no society the child of a free man born to a slave was considered to be a slave. Remember that women were thought to be only incubators for mans’ progeny. The children belonged to the father. If the father was a free man, so were his children.

Like any good Muslim Mr. Farag could not resist pouring his venom on America. He accused Americans of
taking African people as slaves and concubines from Africa. These were being treated like animals and deprived from basic human rights, as we have read in history.”

He conveniently ignored the fact that those slaves were bought from Arab slave merchants who systematically raided the villages in Africa and took young men and women as slaves. Americans purchased those slaves, but it was the Arabs and Muslims who in the first place had reduced them into slaves. Facts seem to have little relevance for Muslims. This is like a butcher condemning meat eaters of cruelty to animals. The slavery ended because the westerners stopped buying slaves. Otherwise the Arab would be still providing them to any bidder.

In his attempt to deny historic facts Mr. Farag wrote: “
The Arabian Nights represents Muslim society as highly sensual, living in an erotic atmosphere with every single man having an army of concubines playing around in his bed to satisfy his surfeit needs! If this was the real picture of Muslim society in its early and middle ages, then who was behind the great scientific and military achievements that happened at that time?

Military achievements were made to reduce people into slaves and fill the harem of Muslim fighters with “right hand possessions” and sexual trophies. Taking sex slaves was the main incentive for jihad.

Muslim scholars try their best to mask the ugly truth about Islam, but their own books of history testify against them. With the advent of the Internet and the free spread of knowledge, truth can no longer be concealed. With the spread of truth Islam’s days are numbered.



Sunday, 10 March 2013

You cannot kill a Muslim because he killed a Christian"

"The indemnity for the death or injury of a woman is one-half the indemnity paid for a man. The indemnity paid for a Jew or Christian is one-third the indemnity paid for a Muslim. The indemnity paid for a Zoroastrian is one-fifteenth that of a Muslim." --'Umdat al-Salik, o4.9

Thus if [a] Muslim commits adultery his punishment is 100 lashes, the shaving of his head, and one year of banishment. But if the man is not a Muslim and commits adultery with a Muslim woman his penalty is execution...Similarly if a Muslim deliberately murders another Muslim he falls under the law of retaliation and must by law be put to death by the next of kin. But if a non-Muslim who dies at the hand of a Muslim has by lifelong habit been a non-Muslim, the penalty of death is not valid. Instead the Muslim murderer must pay a fine and be punished with the lash....Since Islam regards non-Muslims as on a lower level of belief and conviction, if a Muslim kills a non-Muslim...then his punishment must not be the retaliatory death, since the faith and conviction he possesses is loftier than that of the man slain...Again, the penalties of a non-Muslim guilty of fornication with a Muslim woman are augmented because, in addition to the crime against morality, social duty and religion, he has committed sacrilege, in that he has disgraced a Muslim and thereby cast scorn upon the Muslims in general, and so must be executed....Islam and its peoples must be above the infidels, and never permit non-Muslims to acquire lordship over them." -- Sultanhussein Tabandeh, A Muslim Commentary on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

"Four Sudan Islamists to hang for US diplomat murder," from
AFP, October 12:

KHARTOUM-- A Sudanese court sentenced four Islamists to death for a second time on Monday for the murder of a US diplomat and his driver in Khartoum last year.

The sentencing came after the mother of John Granville, who worked with the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and the wife of driver Abdel Rahman Abbas both demanded the men be executed.

Granville and Abbas were returning from a New Year's celebration in 2008 when the gunmen opened fire on their car, riddling them both with bullets.

"The murder of a person is as illegal from the point of view of shariah (Islamic law) as it is in Sudanese criminal law," the judge, Said Ahmed al-Badri, said when announcing the sentence.

The court had condemned the men to death in June for the New Year's Day murders of Granville and Abbas but the sentences were cancelled in August after Abbas's father forgave the men.

Under Islamic law, the victim's family has the right to forgive the murderer, ask for compensation or demand execution.

Granville's mother, Jane Granville, at the time had asked for the men's execution but her letter was rejected because it was not notarised. A new letter was submitted by her and read out by a court prosecutor on Sunday.

On Monday, Abbas's wife appeared before the court to demand the death penalty for the four convicts.

One of the defendants, Mohammed Osman Yusef, shouted after sentencing: "You cannot killed a Muslim because he killed a Christian."

Dressed in a traditional white robe, the bearded Yusef, a former military officer, also accused the United States of killing Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Islamic law condemns murder, regardless of the nationality or religion (of the victim)," the judge said. Some Muslim scholars say a Muslim can be punished, but not executed, for killing a non-Muslim.

The judge added that according to Islamic law Granville was a "dhimmi" in Sudan, referring to the status of non-Muslims in an Islamic state that affords them protection and a waiver from army service, in return for a tax.

Sudanese law does not recognise non-Muslims in the country as dhimmis....

It said the murder was in response to attempts to raise the banner of Christianity over Sudan, the largest country in Africa....