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Women’s Rights

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Ever Merciful

The State of Muslim Womens Rights:

Some male muslim leaders, scholars, and others, become defensive when the teachings of Islam on women’s rights are questioned, and respond by saying that Islam gives ‘similar’ or ‘equal rights’, and status, to women, comparable to men (e.g. mirza masroor sahib, current elected caliph of the ahmadiyya community). They cite the case of Aisha r.a., wife of the Prophet Muhammad s.a., as an erudite Muslim Woman Scholar whom the male Companions (Sahaaba) r.a. of the Holy Prophet Muhammad s.a. used to consult for insight and guidance on religious matters, as per the following hadith (tradition/report):

Abū Musa r.a. narrated: Never was a hadith unclear to us, the Companions r.a. of the Messenger of Allah s.a., and we asked ‘Aishah a.s., except that we found knowledge concerning it with her.” (Tirmidhi, Vol. 1, Book 46, Hadith 3883)

Continue reading “Women’s Rights”

Jihad?

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Ever Merciful.

I intend to respond to some of the issues raised on the issue of Jihad in the following website:

http://www.answeringmuslims.com/p/jihad.html

It is suggested on this polemical anti-Islamic site that there are three stages of Jihad, i.e. the term Jihad used in the sense of ‘fighting’, which is actually referred to as ‘qitaal‘ rather than Jihad in the Holy Qur’an. 

The primary meaning of the word Jihad in Arabic is to strive, which may be towards God [22:78, 29:69] against Satan, or one’s inner weakness [29:6], overcoming disbelief with the truth in the Qur’an [25:52].

The words for ‘a holy war’ in Arabic are ‘harbun muqaddasun’, not Jihad. The usage of the term Jihad in the Qur’an is as follows:

[22:78] “And strive in Allah as it behoves you to strive for it. He has chosen you, and has laid no hardship upon you in religion; so follow the faith of your father Abraham; He named you Muslims both before and in this Book, so that the Messenger may be a witness over you, and that you may be witnesses over mankind. Therefore observe Prayer and pay the Zakat, and hold fast to Allah. He is your Master. An excellent Master and an excellent Helper!”

How does one strive in Allah according to this verse [22:78]? By means of prayer and charity, holding firmly to Allah. There is no mention of fighting in this verse about Jihad.

Another verse is: [29:69] “And as for those who strive in Us — We will surely guide them in Our ways. And verily Allah is with those who do good.” Once again, Jihad is described as striving in ‘Us’, i.e. towards God, and it has little or nothing to do with literal fighting or warfare.

Yet another verse on Jihad is: [29:6] “And whoso strives, strives only for his own soul; verily Allah is Independent of all creatures.” Yet again, Jihad is for the benefit of one’s soul (nafs), fighting against the devil, overcoming weaknesses and sins.

Here’s another verse: [25:52] “So obey not the disbelievers and strive against them by means of it (the Qur’an) a great striving.” This verse talks about overcoming disbelievers by means of (the truth contained within) the Qur’an.

As all fair-minded persons will be able to see, the usage of the term Jihad in the Qur’an is essentially a spiritual one.

The meaning of overcoming aggression/transgression by means of fighting back [2:190] in defence of one’s self, or the protection of other innocent persons who are being oppressed can be seen to be implied in [4:95] but not directly stated as such. All of these meanings are found in verses of the Qur’an, the ‘go-to Book’ (i.e. dependable Book) for Muslims for 2-3 centuries. 

Jihad is not correctly defined as ‘holy war’, which appears to a term christians relate to when considering the concept of (the lesser) Jihad in the sense of physical warfare. At the same time, it is does not seem to me to be incorrect to say that an inner spiritual struggle, a struggle to uphold the truth by means of proofs, logic and reason, as well as a physical struggle to do away with criminal injustice and oppression, are all forms of ‘holy war’ in some sense. Surely, if done in the right way, without violating the stipulated rules and conditions, they should not be referred to as ‘unholy’. 

For those who prefer to refer to ahadith instead of the Qur’an, here is a relevant one to consider from the mass reported ‘farewell sermon’: 

Fadalah ibn Ubaid reported: The Messenger of Allah s.a. said during the final sermon, “Have I not informed you? The believer is the one who is trusted with the lives and wealth of people. The Muslim is the one from whose tongue and hand people are safe. The one striving in jihad in the way of Allah is the one who wages jihad against himself in obedience to Allah. The emigrant is one who emigrates away from sins and evil deeds.” [Musnad Aḥmad, 23438] 

Another relevant hadith on Jihad: 

Fadalah ibn Ubaid reported: The Messenger of Allah s.a. said, The one who strives in jihad in the way of Allah is he who strives against his soul.” [Sunan at-Tirmidhī, 1621]

The Jihad which the Companions r.a. of the Prophet s.a. waged in Mecca for about a decade was to remain patient and restrain themselves from retaliation and physically fighting their cruel persecutors, for this is what the Prophet s.a. instructed, as we shall see below. However, my emphasis in this article, as with my other articles, will be on the Holy Qur’an. Stage 1: Pardoning & Pacifism?

The remarks made about Stage 1 make it appear to be based on wisdom, for it is rather foolish to rise up against authorities who are more powerful, as it is foolish for a surgeon to commence an operation which is likely to worsen the condition of the patient rather than resolve it. This is why Jesus a.s. rebuked Peter when he used his sword to cut off the ear of a temple guard [Matthew 26:52]. 

Jesus a.s. himself instructed his disciples to purchase (two) swords [Luke 22:36], and this may well have been in order to deter any ‘lone wolf/terrorist’ (such as Barabbas, one of the zealots) who might have been instigated to launch an attack on Jesus a.s. by the jewish temple authorities, who we are told were plotting to kill Jesus a.s. [John 11:31], as a result of which he fled Jerusalem for Ephraim to stay with his disciples. Jesus a.s. also taught “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe.” [Luke 11:53] However, I would disagree with anyone (e.g. Dr. Reza Aslan) who alleges Jesus a.s. was a political and rebellious jew calling for an increase in disorder and unnecessary bloodshed by means of regime change to end Roman hegemony over Judea.  Jesus a.s. promoted peace. However, the problem with interpreting the rebuking of Peter by Jesus a.s. to mean a complete prohibition of fighting even in self-defence, or even for the protection of other innocent persons, or even to fight against tyranny such as Nazism, is that it makes the teaching of Jesus a.s. appear deficient. We read that christians themselves formulated a concept of ‘just war’ themselves when they acquired a position of responsibility sometime in the 4th century of the christian era. The vast majority of nations in the world have some sort of security measures in place for the protection of their citizens, so if the statement of Jesus a.s. is interpreted as implying complete pacifism under all circumstances, then christians would be asked to explain the wisdom in it if they themselves don’t act on it. 

Keep in mind that Muslims were taught to pardon rather than fight during the decade or so of Islam in Mecca, whereas we read that the command not to fight (against a ruling authority) was given by Jesus a.s. after about 3 years of his ministry in Jerusalem. He was never in charge of a state such that the responsibility of protecting innocent lives was a matter of concern for him, so it is open to speculation as regards what he might have taught in this regard.

In Mecca, Abdur Rahman bin Auf r.a. and a few other Companions r.a. are reported to have requested the Prophet Muhammad s.a. to permit them to fight back against the oppressive Qur’aish. The Holy Prophet s.a. said, 

“I have been commanded to pardon. Fight not therefore” [Sunan un-Nasa’i Kitabul Jihad].  This is in accordance with the pacifist way adopted by the righteous son of Adam a.s., as related in the Qur’an: 

[5:27-8] ‘… Allah accepts only from the righteous. If thou stretch out thy hand against me to kill me, I am not going to stretch out my hand against thee to kill thee. I do fear Allah, the Lord of the universe.” 

He was subsequently murdered by his wicked brother. The verse is included in the Qur’an for a very good reason, as it lends support to adopting a pacifist stance as a righteous way in some circumstances, which do arise from time to time, as they arose in the past, have arisen in our time, and will probably arise in the future. 

The Companions r.a. of the Noble Prophet s.a. dutifully obeyed him in Mecca and remained patient and pacifist as he had instructed them, enduring their persecution with patience and steadfastness. This situation lasted for about a decade, and in the midst of this persecution, some Muslims sought refuge in Abyssinia (Ethiopia) where there was known to be a just Christian King (rather than in the Byzantine Empire, about which historical, Jewish and Christian sources report that they were wrongdoers in some ways). There is also a hadith which advises Muslims to become pacifists like the righteous son of Adam a.s., viz: 

“Abu Musa al-Ashari reported: The Messenger of Allah s.a. said, “Verily, right before the Hour there will be a tribulation like pieces of the dark night in which a man may be a believer in the morning and an unbeliever by evening, or he may be a believer in the evening and an unbeliever by morning. He who sits down during it will be better than he who rises up, and he who walks during it will be better than he who runs. So break your bows, cut your bowstrings, and strike your swords against the rock. If someone comes to kill you, then be like the better of the two sons of Adam.” (5:28) [Abu Dawud, 4259] 

There is pacifism, non-retaliation and pardoning in other verses of the Qur’an as well:  [3:134] ” …Those who control their tempers (when they are roused) and who overlook people’s faults. …”

[42:40,43] “The recompense of an injury is a penalty in proportion thereto; but whoso forgives and effects thereby a reform in the offender, will have his reward with Allah. Surely, He loves not the wrongdoers. … And the one who is patient and forgives, that surely is a matter of strong determination.”

[41:34] “And good and evil are not alike. Repel evil with that which is best. And lo, he between whom and thyself was enmity will become as though he were a warm friend.” Thus, teachings similar to ‘turning the other cheek’ are clearly present in the Noble Qur’an and not exclusive to the message of Jesus a.s., as is a teaching of ‘love your enemies’ in the case of family members who bear and/or show enmity:

[64.15] “O ye who believe! surely among your spouses and your children are some that are really your enemies, so beware of them. And if you overlook and forgive and pardon, then surely, Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful.”

Please note that the righteous pacifism, non-retaliation and pardoning referred to in the verses mentioned above isn’t merely in the case when one is weak and unable to retaliate, leaving one with no other option but to forgive. The righteous son of Adam a.s. could have defended himself, and the husband might also take action against his family for their enmity, but in the interest of reform and reconciliation, of others and of one’s own progress in righteousness, patience and steadfastness are the options of choice. 

Stage 2: Defensive Jihad?

Stage 2 is described on the anti-Islamic website under consideration as ‘Defensive Jihad’. Though David doesn’t state anything obviously false in his description, two points need to be made. Firstly, the chiefs of Mecca had plotted to murder the Holy Prophet Muhammad s.a. in Mecca, and he escaped and migrated to Medina with the help of Allah Almighty. Secondly, angered by his escape, the chiefs of Mecca declared war against the Muslims and all the people of Medina who had given refuge to the Prophet Muhammad s.a. Hence, they made clear their hostile intentions in a letter written to the chief of Medina, Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salul (chief of the hypocrites) stating:

“You have given protection to an individual of ours (i.e., Muhammad sa), and we swear in the name of Allah that you shall either leave him and declare war against him, or in the least, exile him from your city. If not, we shall gather our entire army and attack you; and we shall kill your men and take your women in to our own possession, making them lawful unto ourselves.” [Abu Dawood Kitab al Kharaj, Vol II P. 495]

The idolatrous chiefs of Mecca also sent a letter to the Jewish tribes allied to the Holy Prophet (sa) stating: 

“You are men of weapons and fortresses. You should fight our companion or we shall deal with you in a certain way. And nothing will come between us and the anklets of your women.” [Abu Dawud]

Both the above statements can be found here: 

https://sunnah.com/abudawud/20/77

It is reported that when this letter reached Madinah, ‘Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salul (Chief of the Hypocrites) and his companions, who already harboured deep enmity in their hearts against Islam, prepared to wage war against the Holy Prophet s.a. When the Holy Prophet s.a. was informed of this, he immediately met these people and explained to them that:

“If you wage war against me, in fact it is you who shall suffer. For your own brethren and kindred would be your opponents. In other words, the Muslims from among the Aus and Khazraj will side with me in all circumstances. Hence, waging war against me only means that you would be taking up the sword against your very own sons, brothers, and fathers. Now you decide for yourself.” [Sunan Abu Dawud, Kitabul-Kharaji Wal-Imrah, Babu Fi Khabarin-Naar, hadith No. 3004]

This state of affairs is referred to in the Qur’an: “O ye Muslims! And remember the time when you were few and weak in the land, and were in constant fear lest people should snatch you away (i.e., wage a sudden attack against you and destroy you). But God sheltered you and granted you support with His Succour and opened the doors of pure favours upon you. Therefore, you should now live as thankful servants.” [8:26]

The Holy Prophet s.a. had become responsible for the protection of all the citizens of Medina (Muslims, Jews and Polytheists), so it became absolutely necessary to start measures to protect all of the innocent people of Medina, and to prepare to engage in a war which was forced upon the innocent Muslims who were being deprived of their human right of freedom of faith and conscience by the idolators of Mecca, even after they had migrated elsewhere.

On a matter of principle, if someone becomes aware of another person’s intention to stab and kill him, it is considered justified and proper to take appropriate measures to defend oneself or fight back, or even make a pre-emptive attack. Yet non-Muslim critics of Islam ignore the clear declaration of hostile intent against Medina by the chiefs of Mecca, and start making unreasonable accusations of raiding caravans which were being used for the purpose of funding the Meccan war effort. Consider the following UN plan:

“The UN security council has unanimously adopted a resolution aimed at disrupting revenues that Islamic state receives from oil and antiquities sales, ransom payments and other criminal activities. Finance ministers agree it will be a challenging goal.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/17/united-nations-plan-islamic-state-funding-terrorist-group-al-qaida

Secondly, it needs to be stated that the Qur’an not only granted permission to Muslims to fight back against the aggressors for a noble cause as stated in [22:39,40], it also makes unlawful the initiation of hostilities in [2:190], viz: “And fight in the cause of Allah against those who fight against you, but do not initiate hostilities. Surely, Allah loves not the transgressors.” Stage 3: Sura [9:29] & Offensive Jihad?

Next, David Wood quotes Sura [9:29] to make the erroneous claim that it promotes ‘Offensive Jihad’, thereby abrogating verses such as [2:190] which clearly and categorically prohibit the initiation of hostilities or any form of aggression or transgression, and [2:256] which clearly and categorically prohibits any form of compulsion in religion. David Wood also alleged in a 2015 debate that Muslims are commanded in [9:29] to fight people for disbelief in Allah, and also for their eating pork which has been declared unlawful by Allah and His Messenger s.a. 

However, David Wood is not the first person to propound this erroneous interpretation of the verse. Some muslim exegetes also suggested that the words refer to pork and wine. Though this gives the impression of interpreting the Qur’an by means of other verses of the Qur’an rather than an external source, this being the primary and standard method of interpretation, verses on diet and drink are not the relevant verses that are indicated by the verse [9:29]. The context of the verse being fighting, the relevant verse/s would be any prohibitions concerning fighting, such as [2:190]:

The prohibition on aggression/transgression clearly laid out in [2:190] is supported by [22:39,40], [60:8.9] and [9:13], the latter verse being in the same Sura as [9:29], along with the clear prohibition of any type of compulsion in religion [2:256]. Thus, [2:190] does not stand on it’s own in prohibiting aggression. These verses support the declaration by Ghulam Ahmad a.s. over a century ago that armed Jihad was haraam (i.e. prohibited) for the muslims of his time, as the stipulated reasons or conditions for it were not being met, e.g. there being religious freedom in India. Given the emphasis in the Qur’an on following the way of justice, and not swerving from the principles of justice even when dealing with enemies [5:8], it would annul the entire spirit of the message of the Qur’an to interpret [9:29] in such a way as to conflict with all such verses, whether directly relevant to the context of fighting or otherwise.  And if someone does insist on verses containing prohibitions on diet, drink and usury as being relevant to the words ‘what Allah and His messenger have forbidden’, then one could propose that these are some of the underlying reasons which were instrumental in non-Muslims initiating hostilities against Muslims in the first place, which then gave Muslims the rightful justification to fight against them, but never transgressing the limits or violating the principles set by Allah, as then it would cease to be ‘in the way of Allah’. Thus, it may be possible to see those other verses which are not directly relevant to the context of fighting, as giving an insight into why they had initiated hostilities against innocent and peaceful Muslims, who only wish to share, without any form of compulsion whatsoever, what they believe is good for other fellow human beings, as it is good for their own selves. 

The verse [9:29] translates into English as follows:

Fight those from among the People of the Book who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor hold as unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have declared to be unlawful, nor follow the way of justice, until they pay the tax with their own hand and acknowledge their subjection.” 

This isn’t the only verse in the Qur’an in which the expression of belief in Allah and/or the Last Day is mentioned. Other verses are: 

[2:8-12] “And of the people there are some who say, ‘We believe in Allah and the Last Day;’ while they are not believers at all. They would deceive Allah and those who believe, and they deceive none but themselves; only they perceive it not. In their hearts was a disease, and Allah has increased their disease to them; and for them is a grievous punishment because they lied. And when it is said to them: ‘Create not disorder on the earth,’ they say: ‘We are only promoters of peace.’ Beware! it is surely they who create disorder, but they do not perceive it.”

[2:232] “And when you divorce women and they reach the end of their period, prevent them not from marrying their husbands, if they agree between themselves in a decent manner. This is an admonition for him among you who believes in Allah and the Last Day. It is more blessed for you and purer; and Allah knows but you do not know.”

[5:81] “And if they had believed in Allah and this Prophet, and in that which has been revealed to him, they would not have taken them as their friends, but many of them are disobedient.”

[8:41] “And know that whatever you take as spoils in war, a fifth thereof shall go to Allah and to the Messenger and to the kindred and orphans and the needy and the wayfarer, if you believe in Allah and in what We sent down to Our servant on the Day of Distinction — the day when the two armies met — and Allah has the power to do all things.”

[65:3] “Then, when they are about to reach their prescribed term, keep them with kindness, or put them away with kindness, and call to witness two just persons from among you; and bear true witness for Allah. This is by which is admonished he who believes in Allah and the Last Day. And he who fears Allah — He will make for him a way out.”

Upon studying these verses, one can see that the usage of these words indicates an expectation that the persons concerned will act in accordance with their supposed beliefs, by doing good and/or refraining from an act of evil. Thus the implication is that even if people claim to believe in Allah and the Last Day when divine judgement is to take place, their not acting accordingly belies their claim of belief, and their violation of the principles of justice by initiating hostilities against those who believe in Allah and the Last Day and do act accordingly, not violating any divine commands, gives Muslims the justification to fight in self-defence and protection of innocent persons. As the Qur’an teaches complete freedom of religion, which includes both faith as well as the practices of religion, it simply cannot be understood that one is being permitted to fight a people due to their lack of belief in Allah and the Last Day. It is only when they act unjustly, violating the rights of other human beings, that one may fight against them. 

The verse [9:29] also refers to ‘Deen al Haqq’, which is usually translated as ‘the Religion of Truth’. Even if one were to accept this translation as accurate, there is no permission in any other verse of the Qur’an to initiate fighting against anyone merely for their beliefs or lack of them. This would be an injustice which would violate the letter and spirit of the teachings of the Qur’an. Following the Religion of Truth would necessitate acting on it’s teachings, and acting otherwise by violating it’s rules and principles would falsify one’s claim to belief.  Moreover, the Arabic word ‘Haqq’ also means that which is right and just. Thus the wording of the verse does not permit the misinterpretation that Muslims should themselves violate the Divine prohibition on initiating hostilities and thereby act wrongfully, because Muslims are to follow the way of justice and doing what is right, rather than injustice and a wrongful violation of other people’s rights. 

Now, the wording is “… walā yadīnūna dīna l-ḥaqqi …“. With regards to it grammatical aspects, it should be noted that if daana is used to mean to believe or follow a religion, it should have the particle ba after it [Al Mu’jam al Wasit (Cairo 1972); al Razi, al-Tafsir al-kabir, Vol. 8, p. 29; Muhammad Abdel Haleem, Exploring the Qur’an: Context and Impact, 2017, p. 32]. 

Thus it would have been written as: 

“… walā yadīnūna bi dīni l-ḥaqqi …

The wording “… walā yadīnūna dīna l-ḥaqqi …” translates as “and they do not follow the way of justice”.

One should also keep in mind that if it is Christians who initiated hostilities against Muslims, they would be violating their own Christian interpretation of the command of Jesus a.s. to his disciple Peter, viz: “Put your sword back in it’s place, for those all who draw the sword, will die by the sword” [Matthew 26:52] Thus, they still remain the aggressors, and the verse gives insight into the state of their rebellious minds and hearts.

Hence, David Wood’s misinterpretation of the verse as inculcating ‘Offensive Jihad’ is not at all supported by a careful consideration of the verse itself according to it’s proper context (fighting rather than diet), as well as numerous other verses of the Holy Qur’an. Thus the verse [9:29] actually reinforces the prohibition on compulsion [2:256] as well as the prohibition on fighting given in [2:190], which is further elaborated in [22:39,40] and reiterated in [9:13], rather than abrogates them.

In addition, the historical context of the verse is the murder (beheading) of a Muslim envoy by the Ghassanid Christians which was seen as a declaration of war as understood in those times, an incident reported by Maronite Christian Historian Phillip K Hitti in his book ‘History of the Arabs’. They rebelled against the wise instruction of Jesus a.s. that ‘those who live by the sword, shall perish by the sword’, and initiated hostilities by beheading the envoy, and being unrepentant, kept fighting against Muslims until they lost a large part of their Empire to Muslims. 

Some Christians accept that the incident of beheading is undeniable, for history tells us of the atrocities of the Byzantine Empire, but some other Christians question it’s truth. One can then ask those who question it’s truthfulness as to why the Muslims fabricated this excuse in that era if they thought that [9:29] commanded them to initiate hostilities for no reason other than disbelief in Allah and His Messengers and His Commandments. Other than finding mention in Muslim records about the atrocities of the Roman Empire against them, one can read the testimony of Christian Patriarch Mar Timothy [728/740-823 CE) concerning them. He states:

“And what Abraham, that friend and beloved of God, did in turning his face from idols and from his kinsmen, and looking only towards one God and becoming the preacher of one God to other peoples, this also Muhammad did. He turned his face from idols and their worshippers, whether those idols were those of his own kinsmen or of strangers, and he honoured and worshipped only one God. Because of this God honoured him exceedingly and brought low before his feet two powerful kingdoms which roared in the world like a lion and made the voice of their authority heard in all the earth that is below heaven like thunder, viz: the Kingdom of the Persians and that of the Romans.”

[Source: http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/timothy_i_apology_01_text.htm%5D 

Mar Timothy states that both the Romans and the Persians ‘roared in the world like a lion‘, by which he apparently meant to refer to their savagery and beastliness, in a manner that seems similar to the phrase ‘causing mischief/disorder in the land’, which is used in the Qur’an a few times. 

Nevertheless, it appears that the Romans/Byzantines were somewhat better than the Persians in this regard, or Sura 30 [ar-Rum] would not have shown a preference for the Romans in comparison with the Persians. It appears that they may have become worse after their hostility towards Islam, rejecting it’s message, and initiating conflict by beheading an envoy of the Holy Prophet s.a., and Allah knows best.

Another verse one may bring into the discussion is as follows:

[49:9] And if two parties of believers fight against each other, make peace between them; then if after that one of them transgresses against the other, fight the party that transgresses until it returns to the command of Allah. Then if it returns, make peace between them with equity, and act justly. Verily, Allah loves the just.

Just as there are complications of surgical procedures, there may well be times when believers may fall into conflict over differences and fight against each other. This verse instructs Muslims on how to deal with such situations. It appears to use the same sort of basic wisdom which parents would apply when their children fight each other, or school-teachers would use if fighting breaks out between two pupils in school, i.e. separate the fighting parties and make peace between them, and apply the standard principles of justice if fighting does break out between them, rather than supply them with weapons for wrongful financial gain.

Another issue one may deal with is the instruction given to Muslims prescribing fighting, viz:

[2:216] Fighting is ordained for you, though it is repugnant to you; but it may be that you dislike a thing while it is good for you, and it may be that you like a thing while it is bad for you. Allah knows all things, and you know not.

One may wonder why fighting was repugnant to Muslims. There are various possibilities. The first one that comes to mind is that Muslims had been commanded by the Prophet s.a. to pardon their persecutors  in Mecca, and not to retaliate against them by fighting, and this went on for 13 whole years, and so the Companions r.a. had inclined towards pacifism. Another consideration is that fighting involves the risk and likelihood of loss of personal life, hence the reluctance, for it is wise to preserve one’s life if possible. In general, surgery is resorted to when general medical treatments have failed, or are considered, on the basis of past experience, as likely to be ineffective. 

Surgeons would be unwilling to perform surgical procedures if the risks are considered to outweigh any benefits, such as loss of life during an operation on an elderly patient, for the surgeon may himself be sued for medical negligence if he does not abide by the rules and principles of performing surgery. One may derive lessons from this and apply them to the conditions and circumstances under which fighting becomes the preferred option. In the light of the above analogy with surgical intervention, one can now explain why it is unwise to fight in situations when there is little or no likelihood of being able to overcome those who initiate and spread disorder and corruption in the land.

In any case, the matter which Allah knows full well and Muslims did not know, as stated in [2:216] appears to be elaborated in the following verse, viz: [2:217] … And they will not cease fighting you, until they turn you back from your faith, if they can.

Thus, when the verses of the Qur’an are read in context and understood in the light of other verses, one can clearly see that there is no inculcation of the so-called ‘offensive Jihad’ anywhere in the Qur’an, and if anyone tries to suggest so, and appeals to the notion of abrogation, it is because of a misunderstanding or deliberate perversion of the Qur’anic text. It is reported that the famous scholar Shah Waliullah Dehlvi (rh) reconciled the majority of verses considered by other scholars to be contradicting one another, reducing them from about 500 to 5 verses which he was himself unable to reconcile. One should be able to reconcile any apparently conflicting verses with careful study and reflection on those verses, InshaAllah. I intend to add some remarks on jizya, but suffice it to say for now that the requirement to pay jizya rather than be forced believe and pay the zakat which is expected from Muslims, or be killed, reinforces rather than in any way abrogates the rather emphatic command that there is to be absolutely no form of compulsion in religion whatsoever [2:256]. 

A christian friend put forward to me (on 24th January 2019) the argument that [9:33] is part of the context of [9:29], and alleged that the verse proves that Islam teaches Muslims to initiate fighting in order to dominate those adhering to other religions, and thereby impose Islam on the world. The verse may be translated as follows: 

[9:33] He it is Who sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth (or justice, rights), that He may make it prevail over every (other) religion, even though the idolaters may dislike (it).

His interpretation might have been right if the wording was along the lines of:  He it is Who sent His Messenger with weapons and the religion of injustice, that He may make it prevail over every (other) region, even though the peoples may fight against (it). It is quite evident to me, as it ought to be to objective readers who are not inclined towards hastily accepting flawed eisegesis due to biases and pre-conceived notions, that the prevailing of right guidance and truth/justice is related to ideological supremacy rather than to military domination. However, it should be pointed out that many muslim scholars have erred greatly in interpreting [9:29], as is evident from this article:

https://www.academia.edu/4217510/Fighting_the_Unbelievers_Various_Perspectives_on_Quran_9_29_by_Muslim_Theologians?email_work_card=title

Sura [5:32-34] & the Issue of Abrogation: 

David Wood mentioned the Army Major named Nidal Malik Hasan who opened fire at Fort Hood in Texas on November 5th, 2009, and criticised a CNN article for quoting a part of Sura [5:32-33] and portraying most Muslims as knowing a noble principle mentioned in it. He insisted that Muslims have nothing to do with the commandment mentioned in [5:32] for it was given to Israelites, whereas the commandment to Muslims is given in [5:33]. Firstly, it needs to be pointed out that Christian critics of Islam are quick to blame Islam for the criminal actions of any Muslim, whereas they keep quiet if a Christian commits such crimes, as for example the case of Alexandre Bissonnette, who was wisely described by Imam Hasan Guillet as a victim before he turned into a killer: “Before shooting bullets into the heads of his victims, somebody planted ideas, more dangerous than the bullets, in his head.”

Here is some sort of proof that he considered himself a Christian ‘Crusader’:

One can also ask David Wood as to whether Christianity is responsible for the crimes of Nazi Germany, which is reported to have been 94% christian six years into the Nazi era according to a census conducted in May 1939, and also whether it is valid to condemn Jesus a.s. and the Gospels for the horrible crimes (genocide, ethnic cleansing) perpetrated by the Serbian christians during the Bosnian conflict of 1992-1995? Now, it is true that the verse [5:32] declares that the noble principle was indeed given to the Israelites by God Almighty. So, where is it? Why is it not found anywhere in the entire Hebrew Bible, the Tanakh or the ‘Old Testament’? It would appear that this commandment may have been removed from the Torah by the Israelites and relegated to the Talmud, as they had changed the name Ishmael to Isaac in [Genesis 22:2], with Isaac never ever been the only son, whereas Ishmael was the ‘only son’ for about 14 years according to the Bible itself. 

Why relegate it to the Talmud? Was this perhaps because the Israelites didn’t want it to be considered binding on them to act upon this noble teaching? As the verse [5:32] tells us, they subsequently committed excesses in the land, violating the principles they were taught. Now, there is an obvious connection between [5:32] and [5:33], which is that [5:33] talks about how to deal with those who violate the principles given in [5:32], and initiate warfare without justification, but also teaches Muslims to pardon those who repent of it [5:34]. This tallies with the righteous pacifist attitude of the murdered son of Adam a.s. not to retaliate if his sinful and wicked brother tried to murder him, the account of the two brothers commencing from [5:27].

This righteous pacifist way was also being adopted by the Muslim converts for about a decade in Mecca, who were reportedly told by Muhammad s.a. 

I have been commanded to pardon. Fight not therefore.” [Sunanun-Nasa’i Kitabul Jihad]. 

They migrated to Abyssinia/Ethiopia and then to Yathrib/Madinah rather than retaliate and fight. There are still some circumstances in which this pacifist attitude is still valid and wise, and was/is adopted to a fair degree by Ahmadi Muslims in Pakistan for example. 

However, the connection between verses [5:27-35] is the permission to defend and protect oneself and others from aggressors who unjustly take human life without a right or justification to do so. Whilst the killed son was reluctant to retaliate and kill his brother in self-defence, in the verses which follow it, we are advised that the Israelites were also given permission to intervene to save innocent life, as they were also permitted equitable retaliation [5:45], and Muslims are likewise permitted not to always adhere to the pacifist stance of the righteous son of Adam a.s., and retaliate against wicked aggression, as for example when others wage war for no reason other than a difference of belief, but without exceeding the limits of justice, and inclining to mercy and forgiveness wherever possible [5:33].  

It appears that the preservation of [5:32] in the Holy Qur’an is because it was removed from the Torah, for the Qur’an [2:106] tells us that whatever was ‘forgotten’ in the previous scriptures will be replaced with a similar teaching in the Qur’an, and this verse appears to be one such example. The Qur’an itself claims that it contains the teachings of the previous Books which were of a lasting nature [98:3], and also that it is a Book containing mutually similar verses [39:23], which can mean that the verses of the Qur’an have a similarity with other verses, as well as that some verses of the Qur’an have a similarity with some verses in previous scriptures.

If the objection is raised that the verses [2:106] uses the words ‘nunsiha’ meaning ’cause to be forgetten’, implying a divine act, and not that they themselves forgot or misplaced them, then it can be pointed out that [61:5] tells gives us the principle that Allah Himself caused their hearts to deviate after they themselves deviated. This same principle that divine action follows changes within human beings also applies to [5:14] which christians sometimes use to erroneously argue that Allah is responsible for any hatred and enmity among christians. Now, back to the main topic under consideration, Padre Jay Smith clearly admitted in a debate with Dr Shabir Ally that the violence in the Bible is much more ‘horrendous’ than that in the Qur’an. It may be that if the Israelites had preserved the noble principles mentioned in [5:32] within their Torah rather than transferring and relegating it to the Talmud (assuming they did so, and Allah knows best), one could have understood all the ‘horrendous violence’ in the ‘Hebrew Bible’ (as well as in Luke 19:27 and the Book of Revelations), in the light of that noble verse, just as Muslims can understand the fighting mentioned in the Qur’an as being defensive/protective in the light of the prohibitions mentioned in [2:190, 22:39,40, 9:13, 2:217]. However, as Jews and Christians can no longer do so, they struggle to explain the ‘horrendous violence’ in the Old Testament of the Bible, as was experienced by David Wood in a debate with Dr Shabir Ally, when he was desperately trying to suggest the use of hyperbole as a literary device for this purpose, which appeared to be a rather feeble explanation. Some Questions/Comments for David Wood (and other critics of Islam) to consider concerning the video ‘evidence’: 

[1] Is it valid to interpret a clause in such a way as to violate other clauses? Read Qur’an [3:7] and Article 30 of the UN Charter on Human rights.

[2] Does describing a patient nullify all hitherto written rules and stated principles of surgical intervention?

[3] Does any other verse of the Qur’an support the contention that ‘min fadlihi‘ (from His Grace) in verse [9:28] can be applied to booty from an unlawful war?

[4] Why would Muslims reject an easy source of income, but have to risk losing their lives for booty from a far more powerful enemy?

[5] The ahadith about fighting until they believe are not relevant to this verse which requires jizya rather than belief anyway!

[6[ Ahadith about expelling Jews and Christians will be understood in the light of [5:33] which mentions expulsion due to warfare.

[7] The questionable hadith about apostates is interpreted by some Hanafi jurists to apply to combatants, whilst some others reject it as it contradicts numerous verses of the Noble Qur’an. (Please also read my article on the ‘Sources of Islam’ regarding the reality about the ‘false labelling’ of  books of hadith’ as ‘sahih’ in the 5th century after Muhammad s.a., and two centuries after their compilation.)

[8] (5:51) can not be referring to all Jews and Christians, as (5:5) allows marriage, which is far more intimate than friendship! Moreover [5:82] tells us about friendship between (some) Muslims and (some) Christians; all verses from the same Sura! Another verse which helps to understand the apparent discord between these verses is [60:8].

[9] The Prophet s.a. never waged war against hypocrites, so to interpret Jahid (strive) in (9:73) as implying warfare is incorrect.

[10] The promise of paradise (9:111) is whether or not they have to fight – IF the conditions for fighting against injustice are met.

[11] The verses after (9:123) shows that it refers to hypocrites who have diseased hearts, so physical fighting is not meant here.

[12] The verses preceding (47:35) show that it applies when believers are unjustly hindered from pursuing the way of Allah (i.e. coercion)

[13] Al-Bukhari 6924 & Muslim 30 tell us that the war initiated by disbelievers ceases if they freely believe and cease hostilities. (Ahadith do not always give the proper context, but one may be able to correctly understand their proper explanation by reference to the Qur’an) [14] An-Nasa’i 3099 applies when conditions are met. Permission (22:39) was needed as the Prophet s.a. prohibited fighting in Mecca (reference above).

[15] Ibn Majah 2763 is considered weak, but IF accepted, it would only apply when the clearly stated Qur’anic conditions for fighting are met.  [Luke 19:27] or [Nuke 19:27]? 

I have no issues with [Luke 19:27], because I understand it is part of a parable, which I give a metaphorical interpretation which is not only according to the principles of Islam, but also consistent with the rest of the gospels. The problem is that the christians I have spoken to, as well as bible commentaries that I have read, give it the interpretation of literal mass slaughter of those who reject him as the Messiah when he returns. This interpretation is justified on the basis of him being God, and having the absolute authority to pass judgement in this world. Despite the realisation that it is an act of tyranny, and a violation of the human right of ‘freedom of religion’, it is claimed that God’s judgement, whatever it may be, is always righteous, and we have no choice but to accept it as such.

However, though I haven’t yet researched it, I don’t think that such an attitude would have been held by the first few generations of Christians. It is probably (I am yet to investigate the history) after acquiring responsibility, and formulating the concept of ‘just war’, and then violating the principles of just war that their predecessors had formulated, that recourse was had to such a highly objectionable literalistic interpretation by later deviant christians of what is undoubtedly a parable and should be understood metaphorically in it’s entirety. 

So, how do I see it? I see it in such a way as to be consistent with the rest of the message of the gospels, in which the Messiah a.s. is teaching the righteous pacifism that is also taught in the Qur’an [5:27,28]. The Qur’an mentions a dream shown to Abraham a.s. which he had misinterpreted as a literal slaughter, for child sacrifice is said to have been practised by some the people of his time. However, God prevented him from carrying it out literally, indicating to him the fact that his God was not cruel and unjust, and to us that prophets are fallible. The dream has been understood to mean that the slaughter happened in practice when Abraham a.s. left Ishmael and his mother in the desert to fend for themselves. Another point of view is that Abraham a.s. had given precedence, in his heart, to what he mistakenly thought was God’s command, over his own deep-seated feelings of love for his only son at the time, and that is what was actually required. It was a great trial because though he loved God more, he still loved his beloved son dearly. 

Either way, it was a highly emotionally charged incident. It is understood in Islamic literature that boycott is a form of killing, and when someone is made to leave a position of authority against their will, it can be a metaphorical form of killing. You could see the effect it had in the eyes of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, who reportedly felt betrayed, when she was leaving 10 Downing Street on 28th November 1990. I didn’t know enough at the time to opine whether her ‘slaying’ was right or wrong, but I could relate to her feelings due to my own circumstances at the time. But I expect those who Jesus a.s. was alluding to, will have been ‘big men’ who had abused their ‘position of authority’ in the spiritual realm, and having hence no longer deserved to remain in authority due to their violations of divine commands and misleading the multitudes before his return.

Thus, the correct Muslim interpretation of [Luke 19:27], in my view, is that it is about the restoration of peace and order in the spiritual realm, rather than to cause disorder in the worldly realm. It is about a responsible person rather than the tyrant King that people generally seem to think it is about, apparently so as to excuse their own criminal acts. A study of the history of muslim nations might also help determine the underlying reasons for muslims accepting and promoting extremist and criminal misinterpretations of the Qur’an. And Allah knows best.

Keep in mind that I have not yet seen the above peaceful interpretation given by a christian. David Wood himself indicates that it is about ‘the final judgement’ when Jesus a.s. returns literally: 

“Of course, this parable obviously has something to do with Jesus. But that simply proves the point. Jesus is about to die and ascend to the Father. Jesus’ return will be the final judgement, and Jesus tells us elsewhere that the angels will carry out his commands to execute judgement (see Matthew 13:41-43). So Luke 19:27, in its immediate context, is part of a story that has nothing to do with Jesus’ disciples killing anyone. And even when it is interpreted as referring to the final judgement, the passage still has nothing to do with the disciples killing anyone, because “those standing by” are angels sent for judgement.”

So, he understands it as a literal return and a literal killing, albeit by angels, though the passage itself doesn’t make this clear. So, he tries to wriggle out of the widespread literalistic christian understanding of it in the sense of bloodshed. I would recommend my christians friends to discuss among themselves the harmless metaphorical interpretation I have suggested, as this may well help reduce the (potentially) dangerous interpretation of [Luke 19:27] that lurks within some christian minds, even if christians in general do not accept a metaphorical return of Jesus a.s. in the form of someone like him in the spiritual sense, as John the Baptist a.s. came in the spirit and power of the Prophet Elijah a.s.

In any case, one can derive a valuable lesson from such a slaying. Forcibly removing someone in authority, even when they have done something wrong, can increase disorder. Just as a doctor only refers the patient to a surgeon after other less invasive treatments have been tried, if appropriate, and the surgeon too has to evaluate whether it is sensible to proceed with surgical intervention given it’s inherent complications, though collective intervention to prevent disorder is an option for the sake of helpless people, gentle attempts at persuasion using words of wisdom, and discussing the issue, are the first course of action to consider. And if surgical intervention is agreed upon after consultation, the wounds made with good intention should be the minimum necessary required to fix the disorder. If the necessary procedures with their precautions are not followed, are not such surgeons struck off the medical register upon review? 

This is because they become part of the problem, rather than being part of the solution. In any case, it is most unwise to go to either of the two extremes, of standing idly by when wrongdoing is ongoing, as if one has no human feelings for helpless people, or of replacing one butcher with two, leading to innumerable casualties and causing wanton destruction. Innocent civilians are left with countless physical and mental problems such as PTSD. Is this the good start to life that we wish new generations to live through? Asokha is said to have adopted what may be termed ‘righteous pacifism’ after witnessing the mass deaths resulting from his war of conquest in India in about 260 BC. A similar repentance is highly desirable from many in our time. Humans have the potential to change, so I hope and pray that people are shown what we have been doing as a species not only in our time, but in history, so that a large number might incline towards such pacifism instead of making non-cerebral reaction their habitual way, and co-operate with one another to use their collective might for the good of mankind. 

Who will take care of all the orphans, the handicapped, the hungry and displaced citizens of Syria, with the cities in ruins? Who has achieved anything constructive in 8 years of bloodshed? Is it not about time to start asking who will now help rebuild and rehabilitate Syria and restore peace to it’s people? Will the warring parties and those aiding them want to now co-operate and spend some money on a positive cause rather than buying and selling weapons? Going forward, it is not high time to step back, analyse the causative factors of this catastrophe which has unfolded before the worlds eyes, in a time when we can’t honestly claim we didn’t know enough of what was happening to reach an appropriate decision, after sufficient consultation with the parties involved and concerned, on how to restore order soon after it began? What has gone wrong? What can and should be done to set it right? 

The Promised Messiah a.s. on the reality of Jihad: 

It would be appropriate to present some excerpts on the conditional permission to fight from the founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, which was founded about 130 years ago in March 1889: 

I have written this book so that by adducing proofs from established facts, conclusive historical evidence of proven value, and ancient documents of other nations, I might dispel the serious misconceptions which are current among Christians and most Muslim sects regarding the earlier and the later life of Jesus. The dangerous consequences of these misconceptions have not only hijacked and destroyed the concept of Tauhid—Divine Unity, but their insidious and poisonous influence has long been noticed in the moral condition of Muslims in this country. It is these baseless myths and tales that result in spiritual maladies, like immorality, malice, callousness, and cruelty, which are almost endemic among most Islamic sects. Virtues like human sympathy, compassion, affability, love of justice, meekness, modesty, and humility are disappearing by the day, as if they will soon bid a hasty farewell to them. This callousness and moral degradation makes many a Muslim appear only marginally different from wild beasts. A Jain or a Buddhist is afraid of killing even a mosquito or a flea and detests such an act, but alas! there are many among Muslims who would kill an innocent person with impunity and commit wanton murder without the least fear of God Almighty Who rates human life higher than all other animals. Why then this callousness, cruelty, and lack of sympathy? It is because from their very childhood, myths and false stories regarding a false concept of Jihad are drummed into their ears and instilled into their hearts. As a result, they gradually become morally dead and cease to realise the heinousness of such abominable deeds. On the other hand, a man who murders an unsuspecting person and brings ruin to his family, thinks that he has done a meritorious and rightful deed and made the most of an opportunity to win social acclaim. This is because no sermons or lectures are delivered in our country to discourage such evils, and if at all there are any such sermons, they have an aura of hypocrisy about them; and the man in the street continues to think approvingly of such misdeeds. 

Hence, taking pity upon the plight of my people, I have already written books in Urdu, Persian and Arabic, in which I have proved that the popular concept of Jihad prevalent among Muslims, such as the expectation of a bloodthirsty Imam and cultivation of malice for others, are no more than false notions harboured by shortsighted clerics. Islam, on the contrary, does not allow the use of the sword in religion except in the case of defensive wars, wars which are waged to punish a tyrant, or those which are meant to uphold freedom. The need of a defensive war arises only when the aggression of an adversary threatens one’s life. Except for these three kinds of Jihad permitted by the Shariah – Islamic law, no other kind of war is allowed by Islam in support of religion. To highlight this concept of Jihad, I have distributed books in this country and in Arabia, Syria and Khurasan, etc., at great cost. But now, by the grace of God, I have adduced arguments powerful enough to dispel these unfounded beliefs from the people’s minds. I have found clear proofs and strong and conclusive circumstantial and historical evidence, the light of whose truth gives the tiding that, soon after their publication, there will come about a welcome change in the hearts of the Muslims. I am sure that after these truths have been comprehended, sweet and refreshing springs of modesty, humility and compassion will gush forth from the hearts of the righteous sons of Islam. There will be a spiritual transformation which will have a wholesome and benign impact on the nation at large. I am also sure that Christian scholars and all those who hunger and thirst after the truth, will benefit from this book. And, as I have just pointed out, the real object of this book is to correct the wrong beliefs which have found their way into the creeds of the Muslims and the Christians.” [Masih Hindustain Mein i.e. Jesus in India, Ruhani Khazain, vol.15, p.4-5]

No true Muslim has ever believed that Islam should be spread by the sword. Islam has always been propagated through its inherent qualities. Those who, calling themselves Muslim, seek to spread Islam by means of the sword are not aware of its inherent qualities and their conduct resembles the conduct of wild beasts.“ [Tiryaq-ul-Qulub, Ruhani Khazain, vol 15, p.167, footnote, 1902]

“The Holy Qur’an clearly forbids the use of the force for the spread of the faith and directs its propagation through its inherent qualities and the good example of the Muslims. Do not be misled by the notion that in the beginning the Muslim were commanded to take up the sword. That sword was not taken up for the spread of the faith, but in self-defence against the enemies of Islam and for the purpose of establishing peace and security. It was not part of the purpose of taking it up to have recourse to coercion in the matter of faith.“ [Sitarah Qaisariyyah, Ruhani Khazain, vol.15, p.120-121, 1899]

The Promised Messiah will not fight Disbelievers with the sword: The commonly held doctrine professed by some the divines that the Promised Messiah will descend from heaven and will fight the disbelievers and will not accept the poll tax and will offer only the choice of death or Islam, is utterly false. It is brimful of all types of error and mischief, and is utterly opposed to the Holy Quran and is only an invention of the impostors. [Nur-ul-Haq, Ruhani Khazain, vol.8, p.67, 1894]

Islam does not permit taking arms as rebels: It should also be remembered that Islam permits the taking up of the sword only in position to people who themselves take it up first, and it permit’s the slaughter only of those who embark upon slaughter first. It does not lay down that the Muslims while they are the subjects of a non-Muslim sovereign who deals with them with justice and equity should take up arms against him as rebels. According to the Holy Quran, this is the way of the wicked and not of the righteous. [Anjam-e-Atham, Ruhani Khazain, vol.11, p.37, 1897]

“The Promised Messiah came to put an End to War! The doctrine of Jihad as understood and propagated by the Muslim divines of this age who are called Maulvis is utterly incorrect. It can lead to nothing except that by their forceful preaching they would convert common people into wild beasts and would deprive them of all the good qualities of human beings; and so it has happened. I know for certain that the burden of the sins of those people who commit murders through ignorance on account of such preaching, and who are unaware of the reason why Islam had to fight battles in its early stages, lies on the necks of these Maulvais who go on propagating secretly these dangerous doctrines which result in such grievous loss of life….

It is written that when the Promised Messiah appears Jihad by the sword and all fighting for religion will come to an end as he will not take up the sword or any other earthly weapon. His only instrument will be his supplications, and his only weapon will be his firm determination; He will lay the foundation of peace and will gather the goat and the lion together. His age will be the age of peace and kindliness and human sympathy. Why do these people not reflect upon the fact that thirteen hundred years ago the Holy Prophet s.a. had said concerning the Promised Messiah: He will put an end to War.” [Government Angrezi Aur Jihad i.e. British Government and Jihad, Ruhani Khazain, vol.17, p.7, 1900]

[19:77] Allah increases in guidance those who follow the guidance.

[20:48] Peace be upon those who follow the guidance.

Jesus a.s. & His Supposed Crucifixion

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Ever Merciful.

Introduction:

There is no hadith, weak or sound, in which the Holy Prophet Muhammad s.a. elaborates the meaning of [4:157], though other verses relevant to Jesus a.s. and Christian doctrines were brought up in a discussion/debate with a delegation of 60 Christians from Najran who visited the Prophet s.a. in Medina, according to Sirat Rasulullah by Ibn Hisham. Muslim scholars appear to have developed an erroneous understanding of the verse by relying on highly contradictory (hence likely to be false) substitution legends which differ in the version given in different muslim tafasir on almost every detail, (such as differing even on the identity of the substituted person, who is said to be either a roman soldier, a passing Jew, Judas Iscariot, Simon of Cyrene, one of the disciples, Peter, or Sergius, or Tatianus) attributed mostly to unnamed Christian sources (which itself is highly suspicious, and a tell tale sign of ‘fake news’), which appear to have originated in Iraq in the middle of the second century after Hijra (“Christ in Islam and Christianity: Representation of Jesus in the Qur’an and the Classical Muslim Commentaries”, by Neal Robinson).

There is one narrator of substitution legends by the name of Wahb ibn Munabbih who may have been a Tabi’ee Muslim (possibly a Jewish convert), but there is no information given as regards where he obtained his information from. A grammatical objection relating to the pronoun against the notion of substitution was raised by the reknowned Arabic grammarian Zamakhshari (The Crucifixion and the Qur’an, by Todd Lawson), but he did not take it to it’s logical conclusion of rejecting the notion of substitution in it’s entirety, most probably because he did not have the far more sensible explanation of an ‘apparent death theory’ or ‘swoon theory’ to offer in his time. In any case, both these theories do not deny the historicity of the event of crucifixion, just the detail of what exactly happened on the cross, so the reported statement of the scholar Reza Aslan that “Islam doesn’t believe that Jesus was crucified … Jesus was most definitely crucified” is neither here nor there. 

The suggestion that the hidden pronoun in the word ‘shubbiha‘ in verse [4:157] refers to an unnamed substitute who was miraculously given the appearance of Jesus a.s. and crucified instead of Jesus a.s. is contrary to the basic rules of Arabic Grammar (and the rules in other languages, for that matter). A (hidden) pronoun (he) would be taken to refer to a person who has already been referred to in the verse (or in a previous verse/s), and the only person referred to in the verse is Jesus a.s. himself. Thus, the meaning of the verse would be that Jesus a.s. himself appeared like a person who was killed, whereas he did not actually die, and it was not even certain that he had actually died. The hidden pronoun can be seen to be ‘it’ rather than ‘he’, in which case it would be taken to mean that ‘it appeared like so to them’ or ‘it was made to appear like so to them’, i.e. it appeared that Jesus a.s. had been killed on the cross. This itself would make it a rather weak case to argue that another person was made to resemble Jesus a.s.

Muslims need to improve on the ability to discern truth from falsehood, and discard ‘fake news’ (though this term is not always considered the best term by those in the field, it has recently become popular) which is a cause of much corruption in the religion of Islam due to the false labelling of books of hadith as ‘sahih’ (i.e. authentic). It is not enough to know that ‘fake news’ exists, as there are those who would condemn others for spreading ‘fake news’, but become guilty of doing so themselves. There not being any ‘verifiable facts’ is a tell-tale sign of ‘fake news’, as can be learnt by studying this research guide: 

Synopsis:

The Holy Qur’an informs us that Jesus a.s. was not killed on a cross, contrary to the common view, but only appeared to have died on it. Doubts arose in the minds of both the Jews as well as the Romans as to whether he had actually died on the cross or not; they did not have adequate (medical) knowledge of the signs of life and death, other than the pursuit of conjecture, to arrive at a certainty that Jesus a.s. had been killed on the cross. In the light of relatively far more advanced modern medical knowledge of the physical signs of life and death, medically trained experts are required by law to confirm death, except in cases when death is obvious, such as in cases of decapitation or marked decomposition. Confirmation of death was required in the case of Jesus a.s. because he was on the cross for only a few hours, whereas in Roman times, an individual could last several days, even up to 9 days on the cross, before eventually being killed on it {1} Outside of Roman times, crucifixions lasting up to a period of 14 days was reported by Felix Carey, a Baptist missionary stationed in Burma (from 1806–12) {2}. 

When the Biblical record is studied in the light of modern medical knowledge, it confirms that the verse of the Qur’an (4:157) is completely accurate. Muslims generally did not understand the verse correctly over the centuries because the Holy Prophet Muhammad s.a. had (apparently) not explained this verse to his Companions r.a. This actually serves as evidence that the Holy Qur’an was revealed by the All-Seeing and All-Knowing God, because the Holy Prophet Muhammad s.a. had not studied the Bible to formulate the verse (4:157), nor did he or anyone else at the time, whether Christian or otherwise, have adequate medical knowledge of the signs of life and death to be able to understand the verse (4:157) correctly on his own accord. 

Part 1

The Christian Claim:

In this article, I will examine the Christian claim that death of Jesus a.s. on the cross is certain and indisputable, contrary to what the Holy Qur’an states in (4:157), and so they claim is his resurrection from the dead just as certain and indisputable.

First of all, I will summarise the Christian argument in favour of the death and resurrection of Jesus a.s. They cite scholarly unanimity, both Christian as well as non-Christian, as evidence in favour of their case, and assert that their view of Jesus a.s. is what is established from the Bible as well as  historical sources, whereas the Muslim case has little or no support other than from within Muslim circles. These arguments are weak however, for disputes should be settled on the basis of reason [Isaiah 1:18], for which principles of logic become applicable, such as the following logical fallacy:

“Argument From Authority: 

This is the flip side of the ad hominem; in this case, the argument is advanced because of  those advancing it. But arguments from authority carry little weight: the history of human kind is consistent in one fact: the frequency of human error.”

(https://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/eng207-td/Logic%20and%20Analysis/most_common_logical_fallacies.htm)

Please note the words: ‘frequency of human error’, which is also applicable to the next logical fallacy in their argument, viz: 

They argue that Muhammad s.a. came some 6 centuries after the events, and wasn’t an eyewitness to the crucifixion, so his testimony is not even worthy of consideration. One Christian scholar {3} questioned why he should believe in the 40 words (it’s not actually 40) of (4:157) and discard his belief in the death of Jesus a.s. on the cross, which is supported by non-Christians, and the vast majority of the world doesn’t question it. 

This argument is also weak, as it is an appeal to popularity, which is also flawed for the reason of the ‘frequency of human error’: 

Argumentum ad Populum (popular appeal or appeal to the majority): … 

Bandwagon“: the fallacy of attempting to prove a conclusion on the grounds that all or most people think or believe it is true. … 

The basis of the ad populum appeal is the assumption that large numbers of persons are more likely to be right than a given individual is likely to be right. Also, in light of peer pressure, many persons feel it’s better to be normal than to go against the crowd. Moreover, our social desire to be approved by others often results in our joining the “bandwagon”  …” 

https://philosophy.lander.edu/logic/popular.html

As I will demonstrate, the verse [4:157] provides undeniable proof that it is revealed by the All-Knowing God. My case for survival from the cross, which was, at least to start off with, indeed based that the Qur’an was revealed by the All-Seeing and all-Knowing God who fully knows the Unseen, but I will proceed to show how my faith in the what the Qur’an informs us of the reality behind the crucifixion reports, is consistent with the principles of logic. 

The Qur’an is a clear Book, but just as partially sighted people can’t see everything clearly enough, humans have limited knowledge, however learned they may be in the religious and secular fields, and may improve in understanding as their study of the Word of God and the Work of God improves. Hence, the fact that Muslims did not properly understand the verse [4:157] for several centuries does not raise a valid question on the clarity of the Qur’an itself.

The Claim of the Holy Qur’an:

Let us first study carefully what the Holy Word of Allah states on the matter of the claimed crucifixion of Jesus a.s., and evaluate the misgivings of people concerning the meaning and interpretation of the verse:

Referring to some wrongs of the Jews (human beings may perpetrate some wrongs and may do some good things as well, and the Qur’an refers to both in the case of Jews, as it does with other people), the Qur’an states:

وَقَوْلِهِمْ إِنَّا قَتَلْنَا الْمَسِيحَ عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ وَمَا صَلَبُوهُ وَلَٰكِن شُبِّهَ لَهُمْ وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ لَفِي شَكٍّ مِّنْهُ مَا لَهُم بِهِ مِنْ عِلْمٍ إِلَّا اتِّبَاعَ الظَّنِّ وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ يَقِينًا

[4:157] “And their saying, ‘We did kill the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah;’ whereas they slew him not, nor crucified him, but he was made to appear to them like so (one crucified); and those who differed therein were certainly in a state of doubt about it; they had no knowledge thereof, but only followed a conjecture; and they were not certain that they had killed him”

I will discuss some preliminary objections which arise in some people’s minds in the third part of this article. In this first part of the article, let us tackle a common misunderstanding of the wording “and they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but it was made to appear to them like so”. Some people erroneously taking this to mean that they did not kill Jesus a.s., nor did they even put him a.s. on the cross, but another man appeared to be like, or resembled Jesus a.s., and he was the one who was nailed and killed on a cross instead of Jesus a.s.

Firstly, it should be pointed out that the correct meaning of the Arabic word salb as used in verses of the Holy Qur’an as well as in Classical Arabic literature, is to “put to death in a certain well known manner” {4}. So what is being denied here is not mere hanging to a tree or nailing or fixing to a cross, but actual death by such means. This confuses some people, for they object as to why there was a need to deny killing twice, and this appears clumsy to them. However, there are other examples in the Qur’an where a word is mentioned in the general (aam) sense, and a more specific (khaas) application of the word is mentioned either before or afterwards (e.g. 4:163) {5}. The best example in this regard that I have come across so far, is [29:24], where both the killing and burning of Abraham a.s. are mentioned (i.e. their desire to do so); burning is a specific (khaas) form of killing, which is general (aam).

Nevertheless, another way of understanding this wording can be suggested to help satisfy such objections, that upon denial of his killing, the objection would arise in the minds of various people that it is widely believed by Jews and Christians as well as many others, on the basis of historical statements {6,7} that Jesus a.s. was indeed put to death on a cross in Judea under the Roman Governor Pilate, and no one is known to have ever questioned this belief over the 6 centuries prior to coming into being of Islam and the Qur’an. The next statement i.e. ‘nor did they crucify him’ affirms that it is nevertheless an erroneous belief, and that they did not actually kill him on the cross, ‘but he was made to appear to them like so’.

Events Recorded in the Bible:

Now that we have seen the claim made in the relevant verse of the Holy Qur’an, let us turn to a study of what the Bible tells us about the events under consideration, in the light of modern medical knowledge, for the issue is whether a human being died on a cross or not. Now, Christians could conceivably argue that he was God, or the son of God, and that knowledge of the signs of life and death as related to the human body would not apply to him. However, most if not all Christians claim to believe that Jesus a.s. was 100% human along with being 100% God, so the rules and principles of life and death would surely apply to him. Besides, when asserting his death, the Bible claims that ‘he gave up the ghost/spirit’, and we know that this is the wording that would be used for human beings who are thought to have died, whether it be certain or assumed. In any case, I have not yet come across a Christian who resorts to this apparently rather weak argument, so we will continue our analysis of the Bible on the basis of modern medical knowledge concerning the signs of life and death as applied to human beings.

For this purpose, we do not need to condemn the entire Bible as corrupted. Christian polemicists argue that the Qur’an (5:48) {8} tells the People of the Gospel to judge according to what is in the Gospel. The verse actually states that they should judge according to “what Allah has revealed within it”, implying that they should judge the truth of Islam and Muhammad s.a. according to the prophecies which were revealed by Allah to Jesus a.s. and are contained within their “four gospels”, which might be referred to as the Injil or Gospel, but only in an allegorical rather than literal manner.

The Qur’an does not refer to the entire Christian ‘New Testament’, but we can consider it with some reservations and conditions, for most of it wasn’t even written by the disciples of Jesus a.s. {9} who were under his guidance and training according to our understanding of the verses of the Holy Qur’an {10}. Pondering carefully over verses (4:159-160) {11} shows that Christians were influenced by the teachings of Paul (being accursed is the opposite of being raised in nearness to Allah), who accepted the Jewish argument (see below) based on (their interpretation of) Deuteronomy (21:22,23) {12}.

Paul, like the Jews, applied this verse of Deuteronomy to the supposed death of Jesus a.s. on the cross, and accepted that he was accursed of God (Galatians 3:13) {13}, with none of the actual disciples of Jesus a.s. ever making such a statement.

The Jewish Argument:

The Jewish point of view in this regard is stated in the Jewish Encyclopaedia:

“This last utterance was in all its implications itself a disproof of the exaggerated claims made for him after his death by his disciples. The very form of his punishment would disprove those claims in Jewish eyes. No Messiah that Jews could recognize could suffer such a death; for “He that is hanged is accursed of God” (Deut.xxi, 23), “an insult to God” (Targum, Rashi). How far in his own mind Jesus substituted another conception of the Messiah, and how far he regarded himself as fulfilling that ideal, still remain among the most obscure of the historical problems.” {14}

This Jewish argument against Jesus a.s. being the true Messiah is also mentioned in a Bible Commentary: 

“God’s providence ordered it so that to fulfil the prophecy of the curse and other prophecies, Jesus should be crucified, and so hang on the tree, though that death was not a Jewish mode of execution. The Jews accordingly, in contempt, call Him Tolvi, “the hanged one,” and Christians, “worshippers of the hanged one”; and make it their great objection that He died the accursed death [Trypho, in Justin Martyr, p. 249] (1Pe 2:24). Hung between heaven and earth as though unworthy of either!” {15}

It is regrettable that Paul didn’t argue against the Jewish assertion that Jesus a.s. had become accursed by dying on the cross. It is possible that the disciples of Jesus a.s. didn’t inform Paul that the rising from the dead was metaphorical and not literal due to their mistrust of him, for he was an active persecutor of Christians prior to his claim of having converted. Even if so, he could have pointed out that the Jewish charges against Jesus a.s. were false, and being an innocent man, he could not be considered accursed of God. Alas, he did not do so, which strengthens the case of those who claim that Paul is a corrupter of the message of Jesus a.s.

Christian Interpretation of the Gospels:

We are thus entitled to question the Christian interpretation of the gospels for very good reasons, such as other verses of their scripture which appear to contradict their interpretations, because we too have developed an understanding of how to interpret Scripture; or question their understanding of Scripture on the basis of God-given reason and logic, if we feel the need to do so. From what I have studied so far, it seems that a major issue is the Christian misinterpretation of the verses of the Bible, taking some verses literally when they should be understood metaphorically, and not interpreting the metaphorical verses in the light of the clear and decisive verses, and holding non-scriptural interpretations of some ambiguous statements, along with accepting the erroneous interpretations of Paul e.g. belief in the divine son-ship and divinity of Jesus a.s. {16}

Modern Medical Knowledge:

Let us now turn to the guidance given to police officers (and paramedics) with regards to determining life and death in our day and age, because in the normal course of their duty, they would be expected, from time to time, to determine whether someone had died, or was killed, whether by someone else, or themselves. We refer to police officers because they are not medical experts, thus being somewhat like personnel in the armed forces. Keep in mind that Roman soldiers were experts at killing or taking life, whilst medical doctors are experts at saving lives, and improving the quality of life.

So let us consult such guidance which is available online, which most if not all readers would be able to check for themselves in our day and age. The information given below is taken directly from handbooks of guidance for police officers and paramedics. (There are several relevant internet sites which can be accessed by searching for ‘obvious death’):

“3.2.3 Police officers are able to verify death in cases where it is obvious that life is extinct. How-ever, this will be limited to cases of decapitation or extreme decomposition. In all other cases, a medical professional will be required to verify death to avoid the very real risk of making the wrong decision.” {17,18}

Another document giving guidance to Police Officers states the following:

6.6 Obvious Death – The only circumstances where Police Officers may presume death is where there is decapitation, decomposition and decay, total incineration or significant mutilation as to make death indisputable and totally inconsistent with life, or following consultation with SAS (i.e. Scottish Ambulance Service). {19,20}

Another Police document states:

“359.2 INVESTIGATION CONSIDERATIONS

Death investigation cases require certain actions be taken. Paramedics shall be called in all suspected death cases unless the death is obvious (e.g., decapitated, decomposed). {21,22}

Yet another manual gives the following guidelines for paramedics:

2. a) Obvious Death – No Physician Present:

Upon completion of a thorough physical assessment and history taking, the paramedic may “presume” death has occurred if gross signs of death are obvious, i.e. by reason of decapitation, transection, visible decomposition, putrefaction or otherwise.

b) Obvious Death – “Otherwise”

Upon completion of a thorough physical assessment and history taking, the paramedic may presume death has occurred only in circumstances where the patient exhibits:

i) absence of vital signs, and

ii) obvious signs of death i.e. grossly charred body, open head or torso wounds with gross outpouring of cranial or visceral contents; gross rigor mortis.

Presumption of death is based upon knowledge, skills and training in patient assessment and care. Should there be any doubt that death has occurred, every effort must be made to resuscitate the patient.

Notes:

1. Gross rigor mortis is defined as one or more of the following findings in a patient with absent vital signs:

• limbs and/or body stiff; • coldness and/or posturing of limbs, body; • lividity (liven mortis); • complete or partial corneal opacification associated with any of the above. {23,24}

As we can see, even with modern medical knowledge, policemen (and even paramedics on occasions) can only verify death if it is obvious. Two millenia ago, with far less medical knowledge, a soldier was not in a position to even check for the four primary vital signs: body temperature, blood pressure, pulse (heart rate) and breathing rate (respiratory rate), as such medical knowledge and training was completely lacking at the time. Infact, even a trained medical doctor at that time would most probably not have been able to certify death in any way near to what that which is done in our day and age. The process of confirmation of death involves the following ten steps in our day and age:

1. Wash hands 2. Confirm the identity of the patient – check the wrist band 3. General Inspection: skin colour/any obvious signs of life 4. Look for signs of respiratory effort 5. Does the patient respond to verbal stimuli: e.g. ‘Hello Mr Smith, can you hear me?’ 6. Does the patient respond to pain? – press on fingernail/trapezius squeeze/supraorbital pressure 7. Assess pupils using pen torch; after death, both pupils become fixed and dilated. 8. Feel for a central pulse – carotid artery in the neck. 9. Auscultation – heart sounds (at least for 2 minutes); respiratory sounds (at least for 3 minutes) 10. Wash hands and exit the room. {25}

Examination of the Gospel Accounts in the Light of Modern Medical Knowledge:  

When we examine the gospel accounts about the supposed death of Jesus a.s. whilst on the cross, we find that he is assumed to have died because his head bowed after a few hours on the cross, immediately after finishing a drink which he was given (John 19:30). {26} This in itself leads us to speculate whether there was something in the drink that caused the bowing of his head. It may for instance have been a drug which induced a loss of consciousness. In any case, the gospel writers assume that at this point, Jesus a.s. ‘gave up the spirit’. However, we know very well that the ghost or spirit is not normally visible to the human eye.

Moreover, one does not have to interpret this literally to its fullest extent. As we understand it, the soul is somewhat separated from the body at the time of sleep. This separation is more pronounced in a fainted person, and even more so in a coma, and all of these can be seen as lesser forms of death, or minor deaths. Hence, when discussing this matter with Christians who have a regard for the Bible, one can act with wisdom and suggest the possibility that the statement ‘gave up the spirit’ does not necessarily have to mean a complete and permanent separation of the soul from the body, because this is not expressly stated in the wording employed. It can be understood as a minor form of separation of the soul from the body, but not to the fullest extent of separation as happens in actual and literal death.

We are also told that after the bowing of the head and subsequent giving up of the ghost, the soldiers came to break the legs of the two men who were nailed to the cross along with Jesus a.s., but because they ‘saw’ that Jesus a.s. was already dead, they spared his legs (John 19:33). {27} Again, the soldiers obviously did not actually see the soul permanently leaving the body of Jesus a.s., so they just assumed he had died, whereas he had only fainted. What would have obscured their sight of any signs of life or death would have been the darkness in the land reported by the Synoptic gospels (Mark 15:33, Matthew 27:45, Luke 23:44). {28,29,30} We cannot say that death was obvious either, for he was neither decapitated nor decomposed, nor were there any skeletal remains. There is no evidence from the Gospels that they checked for rigor mortis or blood-pooling. Thus, the Roman soldiers with scant knowledge of the signs of life and death, just thought he had died because he had fainted and was limp, and they may not have previous knowledge or experience of someone fainting on the cross. Nor is there any evidence from the Gospels that the vital signs of Jesus a.s. were checked. 

We know that the only confirmatory check performed by a Roman soldier was to prick his side with a spear according to the Gospel of John (John 19:34) {31}, the intention apparently being the same as stated in step 6 above, i.e. to check for a response to a painful stimulus. The soldier however did not appear to take into account the possibility of Jesus a.s. having feinted as a result of a drugged drink, and erroneously appears to have assumed that Jesus a.s. had passed away.

He might however have suspected that Jesus a.s. might be feigning death, because he was only a few hours on the cross, whereas crucifixion normally took several days. The soldier then appears to spear him in his side to check for a response to a painful stimulus from a person who might have been feigning death in order to try to save his legs from being broken as per the reportedly usual Roman method of accelerating death on the cross because the body had to be removed before sunset as the sabbath was about to begin. This caused ‘blood and water’ to come out at once from the wound (John 19:34) {31}.  Based on the passion narrative in the Gospels, Jesus a.s. did not react to the spear, and the Roman soldier appears to have assumed Jesus a.s. was dead, not taking into consideration the possibility that he could just as well have fainted, for he was not a trained medical expert. 

Now, much is made of the coming out of ‘blood and water’ by some Christians, claiming this is a sure sign of death, for the spear was thrust into the heart. {32,33} However, the Greek word used in the Gospel of John is enusen, which means a prick rather than the forceful thrust which would have been required to penetrate the heart. {34}  Moreover, this claim is at odds with the rather common knowledge nowadays as per the maxim that ‘dead men don’t bleed’, as there is no pumping heart to push the blood around the blood vessels in corpses. These Christians would claim that the maxim ‘dead men don’t bleed’ is not absolutely true, and they attempt to claim that there are exceptions to this generally accepted rule, citing bleeding from the wounds of victims of road traffic accidents. {35} Firstly, if the roman soldier was not even aware of the basics of the circulatory system, how could he know of any exceptions to that rule, which Christians claim amounts to a definitive diagnosis of death?

The knowledge of the heart causing the blood to flow around the body was first published in the 17th century, but it wasn’t until the 1800’s that this knowledge gained wide acceptance. {36}

Thus, the soldier being at the foot of the cross some 18 centuries before this knowledge became widespread, he would not even have known that the coming out of blood from a human body was actually a sign of life, let alone know any exceptions to this general rule if the blood was accompanied by water. Either way, he would be in no position to reach any conclusions from his observation of the ‘blood and water’ immediately coming out of the spear wound. Neither was the soldier in any position to verify death on its’ account, nor can we claim, on the basis of speculation about what may have happened within the body which has not even been reported to us.

Thus, I have established my statement that the Qur’an provides proof in this verse of being revealed by the All-knowing God, for the statement that ‘they did not have knowledge (about how to distinguish the signs of life and death), other than the pursuit of a conjecture’ is something which would not have been known to any Arab or non-Arab in the time of the Holy Prophet Muhammad s.a., whereas medical doctors do have a great deal of knowledge of this matter in this day and age, a knowledge which might increase even further in the coming decades and centuries.

Notes/References:

Part 1

1. Crucifixion and the Death Cry of Jesus Christ By M. D. Geoffrey L. Phelan, Appendix B. 2. “Six people were crucified in the following manner: their hands and feet nailed to a scaffold; then their eyes were extracted with a blunt hook; and in this condition they were left to expire; two died in the course of four days; the rest were liberated, but died of mortification on the sixth or seventh day. Four persons were crucified, viz. not nailed but tied with their hands and feet stretched out at full length, in an erect posture. In this posture they were to remain till death; everything they wished to eat was ordered them with a view to prolong their lives and misery. In cases like this, the legs and feet of the criminals begin to swell and mortify at the expiration of three or four days; some are said to live in this state for a fortnight, and expire at last from fatigue and mortification. Those which I saw were liberated at the end of three or four days.” [Proceedings of the Baptist Convention for Missionary Purposes; held in Philadelphia in May 1814, p. 100; The Baptist Magazine (1815), Vol-ume 7. London: Button & son. p. 67.] 3. James White 4. Lane’s Lexicon, page 1713. 5. [Qur’an 4:163] “But those among them who are firmly grounded in knowledge, and the believers, believe in what has been sent down to thee and what was sent down before thee, and especially those who observe Prayer and those who pay the Zakat and those who believe in Allah and the Last Day. To these will We surely give a great reward.” 6. In Rome, in the year 93CE, Josephus published his lengthy history of the Jews. While discussing the period in which the Jews of Judaea were governed by the Roman procurator Pontius Pilate, Josephus reportedly included the following account (which is embroiled in controversy as the statement is too ‘Christian’ in nature):  “About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man.  For he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah. And when, upon the accusation of the principal men among us, Pilate had condemned him to a cross, those who had first come to love him did not cease.  He appeared to them spending a third day restored to life, for the prophets of God had foretold these things and a thousand other marvels about him.  And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared.” [Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, 18.3.3 §63 (Based on the translation of Louis H. Feldman, The Loeb Classical Library.] 7. “Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judæa, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind.” [Tacitus, The Annals, passage (15.44); translation from Latin by A. J. Church and W. J. Brodribb, 1876) 8. [Qur’an 5:48] And let the People of the Gospel judge according to what Allah has revealed therein, and whoso judges not by what Allah has revealed, these it is who are the rebellious. 9. A Muslims Commentary of the Bible, Syed Ahmad, 2013, pp. 17-25 10. [Qur’an 5:111-112] “When Allah will say, “O Jesus, son of Mary, remember My favour upon thee and upon thy mother; when I strengthened thee with the Spirit of holiness so that thou didst speak to the people in the cradle and in middle age; and when I taught thee the Book and Wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel; and when thou didst fashion (a creation) out of clay, in the likeness of a bird, by My command; then thou didst breathe into it (a new spirit) and it became a soaring being by My command; and thou didst heal the night-blind and the leprous by My command; and when thou didst raise the dead by My command; and when I restrained the children of Israel from (putting) thee (to death) when thou didst come to them with clear Signs; and those who disbelieved from among them said, ‘This is nothing but clear deception.’ And when I inspired the disciples of Jesus to believe in Me and in My Messenger, they said, ‘We believe and bear Thou witness that we have submitted.’ (The ‘birds’ fashioned by Jesus a.s. out of ‘clay’ were none other than the disciples in the sense that he nurtured them in faith such that a time came when they made great personal sacrifices for the cause of faith, overcoming material considerations and soaring towards the heavens above, like birds overcome gravity and fly towards the sky. It is therefore no surprise that the disciples are mentioned directly in 5:112 after a mention of the ‘birds’ in 5:111). 11. [Qur’an 4:159-160] On the contrary, Allah exalted him to Himself. And Allah is Mighty, Wise. And there is none among the People of the Book but will believe in it before his death; and on the Day of Resurrection, he (Jesus) shall be a witness against them. 12. [Deuteronomy 21:22-23] If a man has committed a sin worthy of death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, his corpse shall not hang all night on the tree, but you shall surely bury him on the same day (for he who is hanged is accursed of God), so that you do not defile your land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance.” 13. [Galatians 3:13] Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse for us. For it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” 14. Jewish Encyclopedia under Article ‘Jesus” sub heading ‘Crucifixion’ Vol 7, P 166 15. Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary (on Galatians 3:13) 16. A Muslims Commentary of the Bible, Syed Ahmad, 2013, pp. 58-60, 528-531 17. Hampshire Police Constabulary (UK), document: ‘01501 Procedure, Coroners and Sudden Deaths’ 18. https://www.hampshire.police.uk/SysSiteAssets/foi-media/hampshire-constabulary/policies/01501_procedure_-_coroners_and_sudden_deaths.pdf 19. Police Scotland, Investigation of Death, Standard Operating Procedure, p. 11. Version Number 3.00, Date Published 20/7/2017 20. http://www.scotland.police.uk/assets/pdf/151934/184779/investigation-of-death-sop 21. Citrus Heights Police Department Citrus Heights PD Policy Manual 22. http://www.citrusheights.net/DocumentCenter/View/13137/Policy-359—Death-Investigation 23. Basic Life Support Patient Care Standards, January 2007, Version 2.0, Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, Ontario (Canada), p 1-54, 55.] 24. http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/public/program/ehs/edu/pdf/bls_patient.pdf 25. https://geekymedics.com/death-confirmation/ 26. [John 19:30] “When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” 27. [John 19:33] “But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they didn’t break his legs.” 28. [Mark 15:33] “From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land.” 29. [Matthew 27:45] “From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land.” 30. [Luke 23:44] “ It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over all the land until the ninth hour.” 31. [John 19:34] “Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.” 32. Zugibe, Fredrick ‘The Crucifixion of Jesus; A Forensic Enquiry’ 33. Qureshi, Nabeel A. ‘Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, p. 151 34. A Muslims Commentary of the Bible, Syed Ahmad, 2003, pp. 738-740 35. Zugibe, Fredrick ‘The Crucifixion of Jesus; A Forensic Enquiry’ 36. https://wiki.geneseo.edu/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=84479151

[19:77] Allah increases in guidance those who follow the guidance.

[20:48] Peace be upon those who follow the guidance.

Future Prophets

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious Ever Merciful. 

The ‘finality of Prophethood’ has become the shibboleth (i.e. a distinguishing long-standing outmoded dogma) of so-called muslim orthodoxy, but what is the truth behind it? The Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah and Imam al Mahdi a.s., claimed to be a Prophet, and there is a controversy about his claim of Prophethood during discussion and debate between Ahmadi Muslims and other muslims.

Other muslims, sunnis as well as shi’ites, claim that there can be no Prophet after Muhammad s.a., even though they, at the same time, believe in the coming of Prophet Jesus a.s. in the latter days, about whom it is stated in the hadith literature, that he will receive (fresh) revelation, and will be a Prophet of Allah.

Let us now discuss the possibility of the coming of Prophets after the Holy Prophet Muhammad s.a. in the light of some verses of the Noble Qur’an.

Continue reading “Future Prophets”

Womens Rights Arabic

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

(هذا المقال هو ترجمة للمقالة الإنجليزية الأصلية عن حقوق المرأة ، والتي أعدتها لي صديقة أردنية مسلمة منذ فترة طويلة ، لأن لغتي العربية ليست جيدة بما فيه الكفاية في الوقت الحالي. ومع ذلك ، فإن المقال باللغة (الإنجليزية يتم تعديله وتحديثه من وقت لآخر.

(This article is a translation of the original english article on womens rights which was done for me by a long-standing Jordanian Muslim friend of mine, as my Arabic isn’t good enough at the moment. However, it is the english article which is being tweaked and modified from time to time.)

حالة حقوق المرأة المسلمة:

يتحول بعض القادة والعلماء المسلمين من الذكور إلى موقف دفاعي عندما يتم التشكيك في تعاليم الإسلام بشأن حقوق المرأة ، ويردون بالقول إن الإسلام يمنح المرأة “حقوقًا مماثلة” أو “حقوقًا متساوية” مقارنة بالرجل. ويستشهدون بحالة عائشة رضي الله عنها ، زوجة النبي محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم ، بصفتها عالمة مسلمة مثقفة كان الصحابة الذكور رضي الله عنها. الرسول الكريم محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم تستخدم للتشاور والتوجيه في الأمور الدينية ، وفقًا للحديث التالي (التقرير):

روى ابو موسى: لم يغب عننا حديث عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ، الا وسألنا عائشة رضي الله عنها ، إلا وجدنا معها العلم به. (الترمذي ، المجلد 1 ، الكتاب 46 ​​، الحديث 3883)

Continue reading “Womens Rights Arabic”

Taqwa or Piety

The Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi a.s. frequently spoke and wrote on the subject of Taqwa, which is often translated into English as righteousness or piety.

He a.s. also raises the issue of Taqwa in his booklet ‘Al Wasiyyat’ (The Will), the subject matter of which may be described as being the various forms of death (whether physical, moral or spiritual) and subsequent life. He a.s. writes:

“God addressed me and told me that Taqwa is a tree such as should be planted in the heart. The very water which nourishes Taqwa is the water which irrigates the whole garden. Taqwa is a root such that if it does not exist every thing becomes meaningless; and if it remains intact then nothing is lost.” [The Will, p. 10]

We should keep this in mind if and when we witness a decline in spirituality in the Ahmadiyya Jama’at, when conflicts between members abound, with some wronging others, divorce increasing, and important principles such as truthfulness and mutual love and kindness are being neglected, whilst unconditional obedience to and respect for those in authority, and ‘blind faith’ in them, despite them violating the principles in the Qur’an and Sunnah, is emphasised beyond measure.

Allah the Exalted states in the Holy Qur’an:

[Q. 49:14] “O mankind, We have created you from a male and a female; and We have made you into tribes and sub-tribes that you may recognise one another. Verily, the most honourable among you, in the sight of Allah, is the one who is the most righteous among you. Surely, Allah is All-knowing, All-Aware.

Thus it is neither one’s gender nor race which is the source of true honour in the eyes of God, nor can it be so in the eyes of true believers. Rather, it is taqwa (piety) which makes a person worthy of honour.

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Right-hand Possessions

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Ever Merciful

This issue has acquired importance in our time due to the recent extreme human rights violations perpetrated by the terrorist organisation known as ISIS or ‘Daesh’.

My assessment is that this is a result of the false labelling of hadith collections as ‘sahih’, apparently due to the lack of proper and intensive study of the Qur’an by the likes of Bukhari and Muslim, for there is a significant amount of doubtful and criminal reports in their compilations, and which have been accepted uncritically over the centuries, and in so doing, verses of the Noble Qur’an were misinterpreted under the influence of such false reports, with subsequent generations of Muslims accepting them out of regard or reverence for their predecessor male scholars.

These male scholars were either biased against women in some way, or at least did not perceive their biases and those of their predecessors, and who both compiled and canonised hadith compilations including those Ahadith which are misogynistic, as well as issued the interpretations of Qur’an, Ahadith and Sira literature, with at times, little regard for the rights and feelings of women, and with little to no input from Muslim women scholars over the centuries. So, let us now analyse this issue with an unbiased and critical mind.

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Obedience:

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, ever Merciful.

There is much emphasis in the Pakistani, and some other cultures, on respect for and obedience to parents, husbands, elders, teachers, leaders etc. However, to what extent is this so in Islamic teachings? My study has shown that this is not the case in the teachings of Al-Islam. For instance, I am yet to see any command from Allah s.w.t. in the Qur’an to wives to obey their husbands, or an order to children to obey their parents. In this article, I examine what Allah s.w.t. and His Noble Messenger s.a. have taught us in this regards.

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The Numbers Conflict

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Ever Merciful


One conflict at the present time is that different senior official representatives of the administration or nizam of the Jama’at have been making disparate claims about the number of members for over a decade, as evident from the links provided in the ‘Evidence’ section below.

Please keep in mind the following admonition of Hadhrat Masih al Ma’oud a.s. prior to studying the data below:

“When a doctrine becomes old, and a person has believed it for a long time, it becomes very difficult for him to desert it. He cannot tolerate hearing against it. Rather, on hearing the opposite, he becomes furious, and is even prepared to seek the blood of the opponent, because the old habit becomes part of his temperament.” [Malfoozat Vol 3, p. 538, 1 Aug 1904]

“The fact of the matter is this, that unless a person ponders over any subject, and does so with an open mind, and without prejudice, paying attention to all aspects, and does not listen/read attentively, he can’t desert the old belief. When a person hears something new to him, he should not immediately jump up to oppose it. Instead, it is his obligation to ponder over all it’s aspects, and think over it in solitude, judiciously, honestly, and above all, fearing the Almighty.” [Malfoozat, Vol. 2, p. 355, 31 August 1901]

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