Quran&#039;s Structure / Laws http://free-minds.org/category/quranic-laws-behaviour en The Muhkam and Mutashabih http://free-minds.org/muhkam_mutashabih <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">The Muhkam and Mutashabih</span> <div class="field field--name-taxonomy-vocabulary-1 field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/category/quranic-laws-behaviour" hreflang="en">Quran&#039;s Structure / Laws</a></div> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">layth</span></span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2017-08-13T06:16:50+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 08/13/2017 - 13:16</span> <div class="field field--name-field-article-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/image_style_standard_for_article/public/Muhkam.jpg?itok=MebNWPah" width="275" height="183" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-image-style-standard-for-article" /> </div> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>In our continuous study of the Book of God, many of us have stopped over verse 3:7 to ponder and reflect, and then we move on after finding its meaning vague or open to interpretation.</p> <!--break--><blockquote><em>“He is the One who sent down to you the Book, from which there are <u><strong>fixed</strong></u> verses (Muhkam)-they are the Mother of the Book-and others which are <u><strong>equivalent </strong></u>(Mutashabih). As for those who have a disease in their hearts, they follow that of it which is equivalent, seeking to confuse, and seeking to derive an interpretation. But none know its interpretation except God, and those who are well founded in knowledge; they say: ‘We believe in it, all is from our Lord.’ And none will remember except those who possess intelligence.” (Qur’an 3:7)</em></blockquote> <p>Why does God tell us this fact about His Book? Why does He mention that its verses are split into at least 2 categories, ‘Muhkam’ &amp; ‘Mutashabih,’ and that the Mutashabih verses will be used by those who harbor a disease in their hearts to mislead and confuse others, while only those well founded in knowledge would grasp their interpretation?</p> <p>Isn’t the Quran easy to understand (54:17)? If so, then why would we think that there are parts of it that can be used to mislead?</p> <p>It is this sequence of questioning that leads most of us to skip 3:7, and to simply declare: ‘We believe in it, all is from our Lord’.</p> <p><strong>The Meaning of “Muhkam” and ‘Mutashabih”</strong></p> <p>The translators of the Qur’an struggled with this verse as much as we have struggled and have decided that God is speaking about ‘clear’ Vs. ‘ambiguous/allegoric’ verses:</p> <p><strong>Pickthall:</strong> He it is Who hath revealed unto thee (Muhammad) the Scripture wherein are clear revelations - they are the substance of the Book - and others (which are) allegorical. But those in whose hearts is doubt pursue, forsooth, that which is allegorical seeking (to cause) dissension by seeking to explain it. None knoweth its explanation save Allah. And those who are of sound instruction say: We believe therein; the whole is from our Lord; but only men of understanding really heed.</p> <p><strong>Yusuf Ali:</strong> He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are allegorical. But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: "We believe in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord:" and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding.</p> <p>From a pure language/linguistic view, the words ‘Muhkam’ and ‘Mutashabih’ can carry the following meanings:</p> <ul style="list-style-type:square"><li>Muhkam (Fixed/Firm/Established/Precise/Fundamental)</li> <li>Mutashabih (Equivalent/Similar/Alike)</li> </ul><p>So, how do we determine which verses of the Qur’an are ‘firm’ and which verses are ‘similar’ (or clear Vs. allegoric as the translators have written?). Clearly one person’s clear verse is another person’s allegoric verses – and vice versa!</p> <p><strong>The Book and the Qur’an</strong></p> <p>In 1990, a Syrian Civil Engineer, Dr. Mohammed Shahrour, published a very unique study of the Qur’an entitled “The Book and the Qur’an”. The work created much debate at the time, and at its premise was a very simple idea: that the ‘Qur’an’ is on a part of the Book of God and that there are other parts that are given other names/descriptions (i.e. that the Book of God is a compilation of books).</p> <p>While the premise of Dr. Shahrour was groundbreaking, his theory was difficult to follow as it was unclear in the definition of which parts of the Book were ‘Qur’an’ and which parts were simply ‘the Book’. Also, many of the concepts were difficult to follow, eluding the wider audience from appreciating the work(s).</p> <p>Dr. Shahrour has many other publications (mainly in Arabic) and is a delight for those who read Arabic to look at <a href="http://www.shahrour.org/">http://www.shahrour.org/</a>.</p> <p><strong>The Qur’an is a Compilation of ‘Books’</strong></p> <p>Building on the idea of Dr. Shahrour that the Book of God may contain more than one type of style in it, we find the following verse which seems to affirm such an understanding:</p> <blockquote><p><em>“A messenger from God reciting purified scripts. In them are valuable books. (Qur’an 98:2-3)</em></p></blockquote> <p>The manuscript that the Prophet was reciting is described as being a compilation of ‘books’. Could these books include the ‘Muhkam’ and ‘Mutashabih’ as well as other kinds?</p> <p>In-fact, the Qur'an itself uses such terminalogy elsewhere where it refers to a part of itself as: 'a <u>Book</u> that is equivalent/Mutashabih'...</p> <blockquote><p>"God has sent down the best narrative, a <u>Book that is equivalent</u>, but dual. The skins of those who are concerned towards their Lord shiver from it, then their skins and their hearts soften up to the remembrance of God. Such is the guidance of God; He guides with it whoever He wills. And for whoever God misguides, then none can guide him." (Qur'an 39:23)</p> </blockquote> <p>Thinking along these lines of different books, we are drawn back to the very first verses of the Qur’an in the beginning of Sura/Chapter 2 where the use of the word “Dhalika/That” has always stood out as a linguistic oddity, but was simply brushed away by most of us as a quirk in the language:</p> <blockquote><p><em>“ALM. <u>That Book (Dhalika Al-Kitaab)</u>, without doubt, is a guide for the righteous.” (Qur’an 2:1-2)</em></p></blockquote> <p>The Arabic word ‘Dhalika’ which is best translated as ‘That’ or ‘That Other’, cannot be used in spoken or written form to depict a thing that is at hand, but can only be used to refer to a thing that is somewhere else or further away (in Arabic the form to refer to a present item is to use the ‘Hatha’). So, the translators were forced to amend the material they were working on to make it flow…</p> <p><strong>Pickthall:</strong> This is the Scripture whereof there is no doubt, a guidance unto those who ward off (evil).</p> <p><strong>Yusuf Ali:</strong> This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah;</p> <p>If we keep the Arabic words to their correct grammatical form, and think along the lines of the Qur’an containing ‘more than one book,’ then the word ‘Dhalika/That’ is referring not to the verses in Sura/Chapter 2, but to other verses in other Suras/Chapters. Here is how the verses read after being corrected grammatically:</p> <blockquote><p><em>“ALM. That Book, in which there is no doubt, is a guide for the righteous. The ones who believe in the unseen, and hold the Communion, and from Our provisions to them they spend. And the ones who believe in what was sent down to you, and what was sent down before you, and regarding the Hereafter they are certain. Those are the ones guided by their Lord, and those are the successful ones.” (Qur’an 2:1-5)</em></p></blockquote> <p>Such reading transforms the meaning considerably as it means that there is ‘another book’ which does not include Sura/Chapter 2, and that such book is needed to guide the people who have advanced to become ‘righteous/mutaqeen.’</p> <p><strong>Which Book is Muhkam?</strong></p> <p>Knowing that the Qur’an is indeed a compilation of Books, and knowing that one of these Books is the ‘Muhkam Verses’, the question presents itself: How do we know which it is?</p> <blockquote><p><em>“And those who believe say: "If only a chapter is sent down!" But when a <u>fixed (Muhkam)</u> chapter is sent down, and fighting is mentioned in it, you see those who have a disease in their hearts look at you, as if death had already come to them. It thus revealed them.” (Qur’an 47:20)</em></p></blockquote> <p>The Qur’an has identified for us one of the chapters that are ‘firm,’ and that is the chapter where warfare has been decreed for the believers. Out of all the chapters in the Qur’an, there is only one where we can find warfare decreed:</p> <blockquote><p><em>“Warfare has been decreed for you while you hate it; and perhaps you may hate something while it is good for you, and perhaps you may love something while it is bad for you; and God knows while you do not know.” (Qur’an 2:216)</em></p></blockquote> <p>Chapter 2 is the longest and one of the most detailed chapters in the Qur’an, and we can state for a certainty that it is a ‘Firm/Muhkam’ chapter based on it containing the decree for warfare. While this information is priceless, it still does not give us the ‘criteria’ for finding the other chapter(s). Can we find more clues?</p> <blockquote><p><em>“ALR, a Book in which its revelations have been made fixed (Uhkimat), then detailed, from One who is Wise, Expert.” (Qur’an 11:1)</em></p></blockquote> <p>Verse 11:1 speaks of a Book whose verses have been made ‘fixed’, thus implying that the chapter itself is ‘fixed/muhkam’.</p> <p>Finally, not forgetting the most important verse which brought us to this subject, that is 3:7, we must conclude that such a verse and its prevailing chapter are also ‘fixed/muhkam’ verses, otherwise the instruction on categorizing the Qur’an becomes a ‘similar/mutashabih’ verse which can be ignored as it may cause misguidance to those who are not well founded in knowledge.</p> <p>Chapter 2 – fixed / Chapter 3 – fixed / Chapter 11 - fixed</p> <p><strong>The Initialed Suras/Chapters</strong></p> <p>A common fact to the composition of the Holy Book are the unique ‘initials’ that dominate 29 Suras/Chapters and which have been explored in the article <a href="https://free-minds.org/19-fact-or-fiction">’19: Fact or Fiction?’</a></p> <p>The reason this subject is being referred to here is that the 3 chapters that have been flagged as being ‘firm’ all have the common trait of being from the ‘initialed chapters’ which populate 29 chapters of the Qur’an:</p> <table align="center" border="2" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1" style="width:350px"><thead><tr><th scope="col">No.</th> <th scope="col">Chapter No.</th> <th scope="col">Quranic Initials</th> </tr></thead><tbody><tr><td class="rtecenter">1</td> <td class="rtecenter">2</td> <td class="rtecenter">A.L.M.</td> </tr><tr><td class="rtecenter">2</td> <td class="rtecenter">3</td> <td class="rtecenter">A.L.M.</td> </tr><tr><td class="rtecenter">3</td> <td class="rtecenter">7</td> <td class="rtecenter">A.L.M.S'.</td> </tr><tr><td class="rtecenter">4</td> <td class="rtecenter">10</td> <td class="rtecenter">A.L.R.</td> </tr><tr><td class="rtecenter">5</td> <td class="rtecenter">11</td> <td class="rtecenter">A.L.R.</td> </tr><tr><td class="rtecenter">6</td> <td class="rtecenter">12</td> <td class="rtecenter">A.L.R.</td> </tr><tr><td class="rtecenter">7</td> <td class="rtecenter">13</td> <td class="rtecenter">A.L.M.R.</td> </tr><tr><td class="rtecenter">8</td> <td class="rtecenter">14</td> <td class="rtecenter">A.L.R.</td> </tr><tr><td class="rtecenter">9</td> <td class="rtecenter">15</td> <td class="rtecenter">A.L.R.</td> </tr><tr><td class="rtecenter">10</td> <td class="rtecenter">19</td> <td class="rtecenter">K.H.Y.A'.S'.</td> </tr><tr><td class="rtecenter">11</td> <td class="rtecenter">20</td> <td class="rtecenter">T'.H.</td> </tr><tr><td class="rtecenter">12</td> <td class="rtecenter">26</td> <td class="rtecenter">T'.S.M.</td> </tr><tr><td class="rtecenter">13</td> <td class="rtecenter">27</td> <td class="rtecenter">T'.S.</td> </tr><tr><td class="rtecenter">14</td> <td class="rtecenter">28</td> <td class="rtecenter">T.S.M.</td> </tr><tr><td class="rtecenter">15</td> <td class="rtecenter">29</td> <td class="rtecenter">A.L.M.</td> </tr><tr><td class="rtecenter">16</td> <td class="rtecenter">30</td> <td class="rtecenter">A.L.M.</td> </tr><tr><td class="rtecenter">17</td> <td class="rtecenter">31</td> <td class="rtecenter">A.L.M.</td> </tr><tr><td class="rtecenter">18</td> <td class="rtecenter">32</td> <td class="rtecenter">A.L.M.</td> </tr><tr><td class="rtecenter">19</td> <td class="rtecenter">36</td> <td class="rtecenter">Y.S.</td> </tr><tr><td class="rtecenter">20</td> <td class="rtecenter">38</td> <td class="rtecenter">S'.</td> </tr><tr><td class="rtecenter">21</td> <td class="rtecenter">40</td> <td class="rtecenter">H'.M.</td> </tr><tr><td class="rtecenter">22</td> <td class="rtecenter">41</td> <td class="rtecenter">H'.M.</td> </tr><tr><td class="rtecenter">23</td> <td class="rtecenter">42</td> <td class="rtecenter">H'.M.A'.S.Q.</td> </tr><tr><td class="rtecenter">24</td> <td class="rtecenter">43</td> <td class="rtecenter">H'.M.</td> </tr><tr><td class="rtecenter">25</td> <td class="rtecenter">44</td> <td class="rtecenter">H'.M.</td> </tr><tr><td class="rtecenter">26</td> <td class="rtecenter">45</td> <td class="rtecenter">H'.M.</td> </tr><tr><td class="rtecenter">27</td> <td class="rtecenter">46</td> <td class="rtecenter">H'.M.</td> </tr><tr><td class="rtecenter">28</td> <td class="rtecenter">50</td> <td class="rtecenter">Q.</td> </tr><tr><td class="rtecenter">29</td> <td class="rtecenter">68</td> <td class="rtecenter">N.</td> </tr></tbody></table><div> </div> <div> <p>Could it simply be that all the 29 initialed chapters form the ‘firm’ verses of the Qur’an, while the remaining 85 chapters represent the ‘similar/mutashabih’ verses?</p> <p><strong>What About The Difference in Initials?</strong></p> <p>In the table of initialed verses, any reader will notice that there are a total of 13 combinations (ALM/ALMS’/ALR/ALMR/KHYA’S’/TH/TSM/TS/YS/S’/HMA’SQ/Q/N). It can only be speculated at this stage, that each combination represents a “type of book” and that the letters are akin to mathematical sets where intersection indicates common traits, for example:</p> <blockquote><p><em>“ALM. These are the signs of the <u>Book of Wisdom</u>.” (Qur’an 31:1-2) </em></p></blockquote> <blockquote><p><em>“ALR, these are the signs of the <u>Book of Wisdom</u>.” (Qur’an 10:1) </em></p></blockquote> <blockquote><p><em>“ALR, these are the signs of the <u>Book of Clarity</u>.” (Qur’an 12:2) </em></p></blockquote> <blockquote><p><em>“T'SM. These are the signs of the <u>Book of Clarity</u>.” (Qur’an 26:1-2) </em></p></blockquote> <blockquote><p><em>“T'SM. These are the signs of the <u>Book of Clarity</u>.” (Qur’an 28:1-2) </em></p></blockquote> <blockquote><p><em>“T'SM. These are the signs of the <u>Book of Clarity</u>. (Qur’an 26:1-2)</em></p></blockquote> <p>This reasoning tells us that all Suras/Chapters with “ALM” represent the “<strong>Book of Wisdom</strong>,” while all Suras/Chapters with “ALR” represent both the “<strong>Book of Wisdom</strong>” and the “<strong>Book of Clarity</strong>”, while all “T’SM” Suras/Chapters represent the “<strong>Book of Clarity</strong>”, etc.</p> <p>The qualities and features of each Book is not within the scope of this article, however, it would be an interesting exercise to match the qualities of each Book based on its common initials.</p> <p><strong>Where are the Controversial Verses?</strong></p> <p>Keeping in mind the premise that initialed Suras/Chapters are being presented as the ‘Muhkam Verses,’ and that the remaining 85 Suras/Chapters are being presented as the ‘Mutashabih Verses,’ then according to 3:7, that would mean that there are elements within those 85 Suras/Chapters where those with a disease in their hearts would find ammunition to mislead others…</p> <p>Below is a short compilation of some verses that have been misused by various groups and sects over the centuries to justify abuse, injustice, war, or outright idolatry:</p> <ul style="list-style-type:square"><li>Cutting off the hands of thieves (found in 5:38). This interpretation has proven to be in error as it ignores the story of Joseph and his brother in dealing with theft under God’s law.</li> <li>Taking the words of the Prophet as law (found in 59:7). This verse specifically deals with the Prophet distributing the ‘spoils of war’ and was never for the following of man-made laws.</li> <li>Marrying more than one wife (found in 4:3). This verse ignores the condition of ‘orphans’ being the subject matter for polygamy as a form of social justice rather than sexual adventure.</li> <li>Beating women into obedience (found in 4:34).</li> <li>Fighting the non-believers until they pay a ‘tax’ (found in 9:29). The subject deals with the groups who have fought the believers and are required to pay ‘reparations’.</li> <li>The misunderstanding for women to cover their heads (24:31).</li> <li>Keeping women at home in emulation of the Prophet’s wives (33:33).</li> <li>Constantly praising and revering the Prophet in a misunderstanding of the command (33:56).</li> </ul><p>The list can be expanded, however, the common thread that all these controversial verses have is that they all occur in the ‘non-initialed chapters.’</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong></p> <blockquote><p><em>“He is the One who sent down to you the Book, from which there are fixed verses (Muhkam)-they are the Mother of the Book-and others which are equivalent (Mutashabih). As for those who have a disease in their hearts, they follow that of it which is equivalent, seeking to confuse, and seeking to derive an interpretation. But none know its interpretation except God, and those who are well founded in knowledge; they say: ‘We believe in it, all is from our Lord.’ And none will remember except those who possess intelligence.” (Qur’an 3:7)</em></p></blockquote> <p>The author of the Qur’an would not have given us such instructions on how to study and apply His Book unless such instructions could be easily understood and applied. By believing that the ‘Mutashabih’ are ‘Allegoric’ and thus subject to subjectivity, or that ‘none know them except Allah,’ or that we do not need to know the difference between them, etc. is to speak in ignorance against God’s words and instructions which are meant to guide and save us from our wrongdoings and ignorance.</p> <p>This brief study has, God willing, shown that the Qur’an is a collection of ‘Books,’ and that two of these books, the ‘Muhkam’ and the ‘Mutashabih,’ can be identified very easily by the prefix that begins each chapter.</p> <p>What this means from a theological point of view is that the general population that is seeking the religion of Islam/Submission can be content with following the rules and guidelines and taking lessons from the stories and narrations contained with the 29 chapters of the ‘Book of Wisdom/Clarity’. The implications of which can be highlighted as follows:</p> <ul style="list-style-type:square"><li>The story of our creation and journey to Earth is addressed in detail (2:29-39)</li> <li>The stories of the Prophets and the history of Moses and the Children of Israel is given (2:40)</li> <li>The People of the Book are addressed in great detail to remind them of their covenant (3:187)</li> <li>The requirement for paradise is simply to believe in God and live a good life (2:62)</li> <li>Dietary prohibitions are limited to the 4 basic rules (2:173)</li> <li>The laws of marriage, divorce, finance, testimony, and all the major requirements for a functioning and dynamic society have been covered.</li> </ul><p>Perhaps with this advancement and simplification of our understanding, humanity will be able to come together and unite around the ‘Muhkam’ of the Qur’an which has at its core a message of peace, brotherhood, piety, morality, and justice.</p> <p> </p> <p class="rtecenter">By Layth Al-Shaiban (<a href="mailto:laytth@hotmail.com">laytth@hotmail.com</a>)</p> </div> </div> Sun, 13 Aug 2017 06:16:50 +0000 layth 200 at http://free-minds.org Dietary Prohibitions http://free-minds.org/dietary-prohibitions <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Dietary Prohibitions</span> <div class="field field--name-taxonomy-vocabulary-1 field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/category/quranic-laws-behaviour" hreflang="en">Quran&#039;s Structure / Laws</a></div> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2011-11-02T18:09:15+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 11/03/2011 - 02:09</span> <div class="field field--name-field-article-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/image_style_standard_for_article/public/halal_0.jpg?itok=lcmrvA2u" width="208" height="125" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-image-style-standard-for-article" /> </div> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>In our study of the Qur’an, we find that our Lord has placed a number of restrictions and guidelines on what and what is not permissible as food. It is the objective of this article to share these finding with the reader so as to build awareness of God’s laws for those who have submitted.   </p> <p><strong>First Rule –All Food in General is Lawful</strong></p> <p> “O people, eat from what is on the earth as good and lawful, and do not follow in the footsteps of the devil. He is to you a clear enemy.” 2:168</p> <p>Whether it is snails in France or horse meat in China, the first rule that the Qur’an teaches us is that “all food,” which is beneficial, is “lawful” unless it has been restricted.</p> <!--break--><p><strong>Second Rule – Avoid the Forbidden Foods</strong></p> <p>“So eat from what God has provided you, that which is good and lawful, and be thankful for the blessing of God, if it is indeed He whom you serve. <u>He has only forbidden for you what is already dead, and the blood, and the meat of pig, and what was sacrificed to any other than God</u>. But whoever is forced to, without seeking disobedience or transgression, then God is Forgiver, Merciful.” (16:114-115)</p> <p>“Say: ‘<u>I do not find in what is inspired to me to be unlawful for any eater to eat except that it be already dead, or running blood, or the meat of pig - for it is foul - or what is a wickedness, dedicated to other than God</u>.’ But whoever is forced to, without seeking disobedience or transgression, then your Lord is Forgiving, Merciful.” (6:145)</p> <p>In the above verse, four categories of food have been explicitly forbidden:</p> <ol><li> Animals that die of themselves – carrion;</li> <li> The blood of animals;</li> <li> The meat of pigs;</li> <li> Anything dedicated to other than God – as this constitutes shirk/idol worship.</li> </ol><p><strong>Third Rule – Avoid animals upon which God’s name has not been mentioned</strong></p> <p>“<u>And do not eat from that which the name of God has not been mentioned</u>, for it is wickedness. And the devils they inspire their supporters to argue with you; and if you obey them, then you are polytheists.” (6:121)</p> <p>Slaughtering an animal without mentioning God’s name at the time of slaughter makes the animal forbidden. This is to acknowledge God’s gift of the livestock to the Children of Adam which have been highlighted in many verses and for which the entire Pilgrimage is designed (see 22:28).</p> <p><strong>Fourth Rule – Avoid Certain Slaughter Methods</strong></p> <p>“Forbidden to you is that which is already dead, and the blood, and the meat of pig, and what was dedicated to other than God, <u>and that which has been strangled, and that which has been beaten to death, and that which has fallen from a height, and that which has been gored, and that which the wild animals have eaten from except what you managed to rescue</u>, and what has been slaughtered on altars, and what you divide by the arrows of chance. This is vile...” (5:3)</p> <p>Killing animals in a certain manner, such as strangulation or hitting with a blunt object – even if God’s name is being mentioned – renders the animal as unlawful</p> <p><strong>Fifth Rule – In Emergency, Exceptions are Allowed</strong></p> <p>“Forbidden to you is that which is already dead, and the blood, and the meat of pig, and what was dedicated to other than God, and that which has been strangled, and that which has been beaten to death, and that which has fallen from a height, and that which has been gored, and that which the wild animals have eaten from except what you managed to rescue, and what has been slaughtered on altars, and what you divide by the arrows of chance. This is vile. Today the rejecters have given up from your system, so do not be concerned by them, but be concerned by Me. Today I have perfected your system for you, and completed My blessings upon you, and I have approved submission as the system for you. <u>So, whoever is forced by severe hunger and not seeking sin, then God is Forgiving, Merciful</u>.” (5:3)</p> <p>“So eat from what God has provided you, that which is good and lawful, and be thankful for the blessing of God, if it is indeed He whom you serve. He has only forbidden for you what is already dead, and the blood, and the meat of pig, and what was sacrificed to any other than God. <u>But whoever is forced to, without seeking disobedience or transgression, then God is Forgiver, Merciful</u>.” (16:114-115)</p> <p>“Say: ‘I do not find in what is inspired to me to be unlawful for any eater to eat except that it be already dead, or running blood, or the meat of pig - for it is foul - or what is a wickedness, dedicated to other than God.’ <u>But whoever is forced to, without seeking disobedience or transgression, then your Lord is Forgiving, Merciful</u>.” (6:145)</p> <p>In God’s infinite mercy, exceptions to His rules are allows if one is in a desperate situation or in dire need.</p> <p><strong>Final Rule – Do Not Lie About God!</strong></p> <p>“And do not say, as to what your tongues falsely describe: “This is lawful, and that is forbidden;” that you seek to invent lies about God. Those who invent lies about God will not succeed.” (16:116)</p> <p>“And they said: “These livestock and crops are reserved, and none shall eat from them except as we please,” by their claims; and livestock whose backs are unlawful, and livestock over which they do not mention the name of God as an innovation against Him. He will recompense them for what they invented. And they said: “What is in the bellies of these livestock is purely for our males and unlawful for our wives, and if comes out dead, then they will be partners in it.” God will recompense them for what they describe. He is Wise, Knowledgeable.” (6138-139)</p> <p>“Say: “Have you seen what God has sent down to you from provisions, then you have made some of it forbidden and some lawful?” Say: “Did God authorize you, or do you invent lies about God?” (10:59)</p> <p>The above makes crystal clear – claiming that God has forbidden this or that when in-fact He did not is an unforgivable sin, putting the person doing so at jeopardy from the wrath of the Almighty!</p> <p> </p> <p class="rtecenter">Stay with the path of the Almighty…That is where the winners are.</p> <p> </p> <hr /><p class="rtecenter">Written for <a href="http://www.free-minds.org">www.free-minds.org</a></p> </div> Wed, 02 Nov 2011 18:09:15 +0000 admin 184 at http://free-minds.org The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Quran http://free-minds.org/universal-declaration-human-rights-and-quran <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Quran</span> <div class="field field--name-taxonomy-vocabulary-1 field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/category/quranic-laws-behaviour" hreflang="en">Quran&#039;s Structure / Laws</a></div> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/3" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">layth</span></span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2011-09-16T11:21:04+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 09/16/2011 - 19:21</span> <div class="field field--name-field-article-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/image_style_standard_for_article/public/decleration.jpg?itok=-AAJzHnv" width="259" height="194" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-image-style-standard-for-article" /> </div> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>The following is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that was adopted on December 10, 1948 by the General Assembly of the United Nations. The attempt of this analysis is to show how all of the fundamental human rights guaranteed in this declaration were already established guarantees in the Holy Quran.</p> <p><strong>Universal Declaration of Human Rights</strong></p> <p>Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,</p> <!--break--><p>Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,</p> <p>Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,</p> <p>Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,</p> <p>Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,</p> <p>Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in cooperation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,</p> <p>Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge,</p> <p>Now, therefore,</p> <p>The General Assembly,</p> <p>Proclaims this Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.</p> <p><strong>Article 1 </strong></p> <p>All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.</p> <p>The Quran also reiterates our common humanity and equality:</p> <p><em>[3:95] Their Lord responded to them: "I never fail to reward any worker among you for any work you do, be you male or female - you are equal to one another.… </em></p> <p><em>[4:25] … GOD knows best about your belief, and you are equal to one another, as far as belief is concerned…</em></p> <p><em>[17:70] We have honored the children of Adam, and provided them with rides on land and in the sea. We provided for them good provisions, and we gave them greater advantages than many of our creatures.</em></p> <p><strong>Article 2 </strong></p> <p>Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.</p> <p>Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.</p> <p> The Quran repeatedly explains that it is the human factor which divides us from uniting under our common Creator and Sustainer. It is the human factor which splits us into sects and divides us along superficial lines, pitting us against one another. We are all members of the same community in the eyes of God, and the only quality that distinguishes one above the other is our level of righteousness. Hence, the Quranic injunction not to differentiate between God’s messengers and to commemorate God Alone:</p> <p><em>[2:62] Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the Christians, and the converts; anyone who believes in GOD, and believes in the Last Day, and leads a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord. They have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.</em></p> <p><em>[2:136] Say, "We believe in GOD, and in what was sent down to us, and in what was sent down to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Patriarchs; and in what was given to Moses and Jesus, and all the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction among any of them. To Him alone we are submitters."</em></p> <p><em>[49:13] O people, we created you from the same male and female, and rendered you distinct peoples and tribes that you may recognize one another. The best among you in the sight of GOD is the most righteous. GOD is Omniscient, Cognizant.</em></p> <p><strong>Article 3 </strong></p> <p>Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.</p> <p><em>[17:33] You shall not kill any person - for GOD has made life sacred - except in the course of justice. If one is killed unjustly, then we give his heir authority to enforce justice. Thus, he shall not exceed the limits in avenging the murder, he will be helped.</em></p> <p><em>[2:191] You may kill those who wage war against you, and you may evict them whence they evicted you. Oppression is worse than murder…</em></p> <p><em>[7:157] …He exhorts them to be righteous, enjoins them from evil, allows for them all good food, and prohibits that which is bad, and unloads the burdens and the shackles imposed upon them. Those who believe in him, respect him, support him, and follow the light that came with him are the successful ones."</em></p> <p>The Quran goes as far as urging us to take whatever measures necessary to ensure that the fundamental Human Rights of others are met:</p> <p><em>[4:75] Why should you not fight in the cause of GOD when weak men, women, and children are imploring: "Our Lord, deliver us from this community whose people are oppressive, and be You our Lord and Master."</em></p> <p><strong>Article 4 </strong></p> <p>No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.</p> <p>When the Quran was revealed, slavery was in wide practice throughout the Arab World. Thus, it would have been impractical and suicidal to place an immediate ban on the slave trade. The Quran uses a better psychological approach to win people’s hearts in the struggle against slavery and all forms of discrimination by placing a strong emphasis on human dignity and  equality and encouraging the freeing of slaves, for if we are all equal then slavery cannot be justified:</p> <p><em>[90:10-14] Did we not show him the two paths? He should choose the difficult path. Which one is the difficult path? The freeing of slaves. Feeding, during the time of hardship . . . </em></p> <p><em>[2:177] Righteousness is not turning your faces towards the east or the west. Righteous are those who believe in GOD, the Last Day, the angels, the scripture, and the prophets; and they give the money, cheerfully, to the relatives, the orphans, the needy, the traveling alien, the beggars, and to free the slaves;…</em></p> <p><em>[9:60] Charities shall go to the poor, the needy, the workers who collect them, the new converts, to free the slaves, to those burdened by sudden expenses, in the cause of GOD, and to the traveling alien. Such is GOD's commandment. GOD is Omniscient, Most Wise. </em></p> <p><strong>Article 5 </strong></p> <p>No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.</p> <p>In the Quran, we are constantly reminded to take heed from the lessons of history and are sensitized to the gross evils of tyranny. The lack of mercy is also condemned:</p> <p><em>[28:4] Pharaoh turned into a tyrant on earth, and discriminated against some people. He persecuted a helpless group of them, slaughtering their sons, while sparing their daughters. He was indeed wicked.</em></p> <p><em>[2:191] You may kill those who wage war against you, and you may evict them whence they evicted you. Oppression is worse than murder…</em></p> <p><em>[26:130] "And when you strike, you strike mercilessly.</em></p> <p><strong>Article 6 </strong></p> <p>Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.</p> <p>A philosophy in which we are all equal before our common Creator and Provider reassures us of deferential and equal treatment before the law, irrespective of where we may be:</p> <p><em>[2:143] We thus made you an impartial community (a nation of the middle course), that you may serve as witnesses among the people, and the messenger serves as a witness among you…</em></p> <p><em>[35:10] Anyone seeking dignity should know that to GOD belongs all dignity. To Him ascends the good words, and He exalts the righteous works. As for those who scheme evil works, they incur severe retribution; the scheming of such people is destined to fail.</em></p> <p><strong>Article 7 </strong></p> <p>All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.</p> <p><em>[4:25] …GOD knows best about your belief, and you are equal to one another, as far as belief is concerned…</em></p> <p><em>[4:135] O you who believe, you shall be absolutely equitable, and observe GOD, when you serve as witnesses, even against yourselves, or your parents, or your relatives. Whether the accused is rich or poor, GOD takes care of both. Therefore, do not be biased by your personal wishes. If you deviate or disregard (this commandment), then GOD is fully Cognizant of everything you do.</em></p> <p>The following Quranic narration highlights how important it is to give everyone the same respect and attention irrespective of one’s socioeconomic background:</p> <p><em>[80:1-11] He (Muhammad) frowned and turned away when the blind man came to him (seeking guidance). How do you know? He may purify himself. Or he may take heed, and benefit from the message. As for the rich man, you gave him your attention.  Even though you could not guarantee his salvation. The one who came to you eagerly and is really reverent, you ignored him. Indeed, this is a reminder.</em></p> <p><strong>Article 8 </strong></p> <p>Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.</p> <p>The Quran encourages mercy and forgiveness whenever possible but decrees equivalent punishment as a fundamental right guaranteed to the victim:</p> <p><em>[2:178] O you who believe, equivalence is the law decreed for you when dealing with murder - the free for the free, the slave for the slave, the female for the female. If one is pardoned by the victim's kin, an appreciative response is in order, and an equitable compensation shall be paid. This is an alleviation from your Lord and mercy. Anyone who transgresses beyond this incurs a painful retribution.</em></p> <p><em>[16:126] And if you punish, you shall inflict an equivalent punishment. But if you resort to patience (instead of revenge), it would be better for the patient ones.</em></p> <p><strong>Article 9 </strong></p> <p>No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.</p> <p>We are constantly warned not to be overly suspicious of others without incriminating evidence. Such attitudes only bring about unjustified hostility and harm towards the accused:</p> <p><em>[49:12] O you who believe, you shall avoid being overly suspicious, for some suspicion may be sinful. You shall not spy on one another, nor shall you backbite one another; this is as abominable as eating the flesh of your dead brother. You certainly abhor this. You shall observe GOD. GOD is Redeemer, Most Merciful.</em></p> <p><strong>Article 10 </strong></p> <p>Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.</p> <p>Certainly, the Quran highlights the need for impartiality on all matters within the community:</p> <p><em>[2:143] We thus made you an impartial community (the nation of the middle course), that you may serve as witnesses among the people, and the messenger serves as a witness among you….</em></p> <p><em>[49:11] O you who believe, no people shall ridicule other people, for they may be better than they. Nor shall any women ridicule other women, for they may be better than they. Nor shall you mock one another, or make fun of your names. Evil indeed is the reversion to wickedness after attaining faith. Anyone who does not repent after this, these are the transgressors.</em></p> <p><strong>Article 11 </strong></p> <ol><li> Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defense.</li> <li> No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.</li> </ol><p>See relevant verses above.</p> <p><strong>Article 12 </strong></p> <p>No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.</p> <p>The Quran also highlights the need to ensure our privacy as individuals. For example, we see the Quranic injunction not to marry women who were previously married to our fathers. This rule ensures that we do not interfere with the private experiences and intimate thoughts that our fathers shared with their wives:</p> <p><em>[33:53] O you who believe, do not enter the prophet's homes unless you are given permission to eat, nor shall you force such an invitation in any manner. If you are invited, you may enter. When you finish eating, you shall leave; do not engage him in lengthy conversations. This used to hurt the prophet, and he was too shy to tell you. But GOD does not shy away from the truth. If you have to ask his wives for something, ask them from behind a barrier. This is purer for your hearts and their hearts. You are not to hurt the messenger of GOD. You shall not marry his wives after him, for this would be a gross offense in the sight of GOD.</em></p> <p><em> [24:58] O you who believe, permission must be requested by your servants and the children who have not attained puberty (before entering your rooms). This is to be done in three instances - before the Dawn Prayer, at noon when you change your clothes to rest, and after the Night Prayer. These are three private times for you. At other times, it is not wrong for you or them to mingle with one another. GOD thus clarifies the revelations for you. GOD is Omniscient, Most Wise.</em></p> <p>Privacy of the individual is emphasized:</p> <p><em>[24:2729] O you who believe, do not enter homes other than yours without permission from their inhabitants, and without greeting them. This is better for you, that you may take heed.  If you find no one in them, do not enter them until you obtain permission. If you are told, "Go back," you must go back. This is purer for you. GOD is fully aware of everything you do.  You commit no error by entering uninhabited homes wherein there is something that belongs to you. GOD knows everything you reveal, and everything you conceal.</em></p> <p>The reputation of the individual must be protected from all forms of unjustified attack or slander:</p> <p><em>[104:1] Woe to every backbiter, slanderer.</em></p> <p><strong>Article 13 </strong></p> <ol><li> Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State.</li> <li> Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.</li> </ol><p>The Quran guarantees the right of the oppressed to emigrate in the cause of God (the course of justice) and to rebel against all forms of oppression:</p> <p><em>[4:100] Anyone who emigrates in the cause of God will find on earth great bounties and richness.</em></p> <p><em> [4:97] Those whose lives are terminated by the angels, while in a state of wronging their souls, the angels will ask them, "What was the matter with you?" They will say, "We were oppressed on earth." They will say, "Was GOD's earth not spacious enough for you to emigrate therein?"….</em></p> <p><strong>Article 14 </strong></p> <ol><li> Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.</li> <li> This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.</li> </ol><p>See above.</p> <p><strong>Article 15 </strong></p> <ol><li> Everyone has the right to a nationality.</li> <li> No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.</li> </ol><p>A respect for all cultures as members of the one universal humanity is recognized through the Quran:</p> <p><em>[5:48] …Had GOD willed, He could have made you one congregation. But He thus puts you to the test through the revelations He has given each of you. You shall compete in righteousness. To GOD is your final destiny - all of you - then He will inform you of everything you had disputed. </em></p> <p><em>[49:13] O people, we created you from the same male and female, and rendered you distinct peoples and tribes, that you may recognize one another. The best among you in the sight of GOD is the most righteous. GOD is Omniscient, Cognizant.</em></p> <p><strong>Article 16 </strong></p> <ol><li> Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.</li> <li> Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.</li> <li> The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.</li> </ol><p>The sanctity of the family is clearly recognized, with a strong emphasis on the need to reconcile relationships equitably. The Quran also guaranteed women with divorce rights at a time when their subordination was the traditional norm:</p> <p><em>[25:54] He is the One who created from water a human being, then made him reproduce through marriage and mating. Your Lord is Omnipotent.</em></p> <p><em>[30:21] Among His proofs is that He created for you spouses from among yourselves, in order to have tranquility and contentment with each other, and He placed in your hearts love and care towards your spouses. In this, there are sufficient proofs for people who think.</em></p> <p><em>[2:102]…These two did not divulge such knowledge without pointing out: "This is a test. You shall not abuse such knowledge." But the people used it in such evil schemes as the breaking up of marriages….</em></p> <p><em>[4:129] You can never be equitable in dealing with more than one wife, no matter how hard you try. Therefore, do not be so biased as to leave one of them hanging (neither enjoying marriage, nor left to marry someone else). If you correct this situation and maintain righteousness, GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.</em></p> <p><em>[2:241] The divorcees also shall be provided for, equitably. This is a duty upon the righteous.</em></p> <p><em>[4:35] If a couple fears separation, you shall appoint an arbitrator from his family and an arbitrator from her family; if they decide to reconcile, GOD will help them get together. GOD is Omniscient, Cognizant.</em></p> <p><strong> Article 17 </strong></p> <ol><li> Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.</li> <li> No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.</li> </ol><p>Our right to property is clearly spelled out:</p> <p><em>[2:05] As soon as he leaves, he roams the earth corruptingly, destroying properties and lives. GOD does not love corruption.</em></p> <p><em>[65:1] O you prophet, when you people divorce the women, you shall ensure that a divorce interim is fulfilled. You shall measure such an interim precisely. You shall reverence GOD your Lord. Do not evict them from their homes, nor shall you make life miserable for them, to force them to leave on their own, unless they commit a proven adultery. These are GOD's laws. Anyone who transgresses GOD's laws commits an injustice against himself. You never know; maybe GOD wills something good to come out of this.</em></p> <p><em>[4:2] You shall hand over to the orphans their rightful properties. Do not substitute the bad for the good, and do not consume their properties by combining them with yours. This would be a gross injustice.</em></p> <p><em>[4:6] You shall test the orphans when they reach puberty. As soon as you find them mature enough, give them their property. Do not consume it extravagantly in a hurry, before they grow up…</em></p> <p><em>[4:29] O you who believe, do not consume each others' properties illicitly - only mutually acceptable transactions are permitted. You shall not kill yourselves. GOD is Merciful towards you.</em></p> <p><em>[38:24] He said, "He is being unfair to you by asking to combine your sheep with his. Most people who combine their properties treat each other unfairly, except those who believe and work righteousness, and these are so few." Afterwards, David wondered if he made the right judgment. He thought that we were testing him. He then implored his Lord for forgiveness, bowed down, and repented.</em></p> <p><em>[59:8] (You shall give) to the needy who immigrated. They were evicted from their homes and deprived of their properties, because they sought GOD's grace and pleasure, and because they supported GOD and His messenger. They are the truthful.</em></p> <p><strong>Article 18 </strong></p> <p>Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.</p> <p>Unlike most traditional Islamic societies, the Quran guarantees each individual complete freedom of religion:</p> <p><em>[2:256] There shall be no compulsion in religion: the right way is now distinct from the wrong way. Anyone who denounces the devil and believes in GOD has grasped the strongest bond; one that never breaks. GOD is Hearer, Omniscient.</em></p> <p><strong>Article 19 </strong></p> <p>Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.</p> <p>Here we see how each individual must be ensured of the right to his own beliefs and way of life:</p> <p><em>[18:29] Proclaim: "This is the truth from your Lord," then whoever wills let him believe, and whoever wills let him disbelieve.....</em></p> <p><strong>Article 20 </strong></p> <ol><li> Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.</li> <li> No one may be compelled to belong to an association.</li> </ol><p>Compelling others to accept your own beliefs and values is a completely alien concept to the Quran. We are each free to choose our own associations and paths in life. In-fact the Quran even recognizes that there is more than one path to God:</p> <p><em>[2:62] Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the Christians, and the converts; anyone who believes in GOD, and believes in the Last Day, and leads a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord. They have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.</em></p> <p><em>[2:148] Each of you chooses the direction to follow; you shall race towards righteousness. Wherever you may be, GOD will summon you all. GOD is Omnipotent.</em></p> <p>Thus, what we believe is our own individual choice and nobody has the right to interfere with our own personal decisions so long as they do not infringe on the rights of others.</p> <p><strong>Article 21 </strong></p> <ol><li> Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.</li> <li> Everyone has the right to equal access to public service in his country.</li> <li> The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.</li> </ol><p>Consensus and public accountability to the public in all policymaking is the Quranic standard:</p> <p><em>[42:38] They respond to their Lord by observing the Prayers (salat). Their affairs are decided after due consultation among themselves, and from our provisions to them they give (to charity). </em></p> <p><em>[39:18] They are the ones who examine all words, then follow the best. These are the ones whom GOD has guided; these are the ones who possess intelligence. </em></p> <p><strong>Article 22 </strong></p> <p>Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.</p> <p>In the Quran, we clearly see the emphasis on a need for consensus, co-operation and on a compassionate approach to ensure the satisfaction of everyone:</p> <p><em>[3:159] It was mercy from GOD that you became compassionate towards them. Had you been harsh and mean-hearted, they would have abandoned you. Therefore, you shall pardon them and ask forgiveness for them, and consult them….</em></p> <p><strong>Article 23 </strong></p> <ol><li> Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.</li> <li> Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.</li> <li> Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.</li> <li> Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.</li> </ol><p>The Quran encourages commerce and commands us to be fair and equitable in all transactions:</p> <p><em>[30:46] Among His proofs is that He sends the winds with good omen, to shower you with His mercy, and to allow the ships to run in the sea in accordance with His rules, and for you to seek His bounties (through commerce), that you may be appreciative.</em></p> <p><em>[17:66] Your Lord is the One who causes the ships to float on the ocean, that you may seek His bounties. He is Most Merciful towards you.</em></p> <p><em> [6:152] …You shall give full weight and full measure when you trade, equitably…</em></p> <p><em>[11:85] "O my people, you shall give full measure and full weight, equitably. Do not cheat the people out of their rights, and do not roam the earth corruptingly.</em></p> <p><strong>Article 24 </strong></p> <p>Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.</p> <p>The Quran gives us general statements on how rest is part of human nature. None should be denied a good night’s sleep as night and day are designated with their own specific functions in meeting our needs. Denial of our right to a reasonable amount of leisure time would be detrimental to our health and contrary to what the Quran prescribes for us:</p> <p><em>[28:73] It is mercy from Him that He created for you the night and the day in order to rest (during the night), then seek His provisions (during the day), that you may be appreciative.</em></p> <p><em>[33:53] …do not engage him in lengthy conversations. This used to hurt the prophet, and he was too shy to tell you. But GOD does not shy away from the truth…</em></p> <p><strong>Article 25 </strong></p> <ol><li> Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.</li> <li> Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.</li> </ol><p>The Quran guarantees social justice for everyone through the goals of fasting, zakat and prayer. Fasting is meant to instill within us a greater sense of empathy and social awareness towards the less fortunate. By voluntarily depriving ourselves of our need for food we are not only exerting self- restraint, but we are also more importantly inculcating within ourselves a greater sense of gratitude towards our Provider and generosity towards the poor. Zakat prescribes that we must set aside 2.5% of what we receive from our paychecks as a charity to those in need. These are religious duties upon every Muslim. Voluntary charity and caring for the orphans is also strongly encouraged.</p> <p><em> [107:1-7] Do you know who really rejects the faith? That is the one who mistreats the orphans. And does not advocate the feeding of the poor. And woe to those who observe the Prayers (salat) - who are totally heedless of their prayers. They only show off. And they forbid charity.</em></p> <p><em>[36:47]  When they are told, "Give from GOD's provisions to you," those who disbelieve say to those who believe, "Why should we give to those whom GOD could feed, if He so willed? You are really far astray."</em></p> <p><em>[2:215] They ask you about giving: say, "The charity you give shall go to the parents, the relatives, the orphans, the poor, and the traveling alien." Any good you do, GOD is fully aware thereof.</em></p> <p><em>[70:24-25] Part of their money is set aside. For the poor and the needy.</em></p> <p><strong>Article 26 </strong></p> <ol><li> Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.</li> <li> Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.</li> <li> Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.</li> </ol><p>The Quran generally encourages seeking God’s bounties and learning, emphasizing  the use of our faculties to verify information. God is  against anything that hinders the gaining of knowledge and encourages us to think freely rather than beeing blinded by our own traditions and values. We are also asked to open our eyes and reflect on God’s creation:</p> <p><em>[86:5] Let the human reflect on his creation.</em></p> <p><em>[54:17] We made the Quran easy to learn. Does any of you wish to learn?</em></p> <p><em>[17:36] You shall not accept any information, unless you verify it for yourself. I have given you the hearing, the eyesight, and the brain, and you are responsible for using them.</em></p> <p><em>[39:18] They are the ones who examine all words, then follow the best. These are the ones whom GOD has guided; these are the ones who possess intelligence.</em></p> <p><strong>Article 27 </strong></p> <ol><li> Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.</li> <li> Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.</li> </ol><p>It is a human tendency found in all cultures and religions to impose limitations upon ourselves that prevent us from enjoying God’s blessings. Such is the case in much of the Muslim World, as cultures impose upon themselves, especially upon women, limitations and restrictions that stunt their social, economical, and psychological development. All unreasonable limitations on our freedoms as individuals are condemned in the Quran:</p> <p><em>[7:32] Say, "Who prohibited the nice things GOD has created for His creatures, and the good provisions?" Say, "Such provisions are to be enjoyed in this life by those who believe. Moreover, the good provisions will be exclusively theirs on the Day of Resurrection." We thus explain the revelations for people who know.</em></p> <p><em>[22:78] You shall strive for the cause of GOD as you should strive for His cause. He has chosen you and has placed no hardship on you in practicing your religion - the religion of your father Abraham…</em></p> <p><em>[2:185] …GOD wishes for you convenience, not hardship, that you may fulfill your obligations, and to glorify GOD for guiding you, and to express your appreciation.</em></p> <p><strong>Article 28 </strong></p> <p>Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.</p> <p>Similarly, all human beings are to be guaranteed all their rights in the Quran by virtue of being human.</p> <p><strong>Article 29 </strong></p> <ol><li> Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.</li> <li> In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.</li> <li> These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.</li> </ol><p>The Quran strictly ensures us our rights so long as we do not infringe on the freedoms of others. It also reiterates that nothing shall abrogate God’s words:</p> <p><em>[18:27] You shall recite what is revealed to you of your Lord's scripture. Nothing shall abrogate His words, and you shall not find any other source beside it.</em></p> <p><em>[5:8] O you who believe, you shall be absolutely equitable, and observe GOD, when you serve as witnesses. Do not be provoked by your conflicts with some people into committing injustice. You shall be absolutely equitable, for it is more righteous. You shall observe GOD. GOD is fully Cognizant of everything you do.</em></p> <p><em>[4:171] O people of the scripture, do not transgress the limits of your religion, and do not say about GOD except the truth….</em></p> <p><strong>Article 30 </strong></p> <p>Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.</p> <p>Remarkably, the Quran takes note of the human tendency to use religion as an ideological tool in the oppression of others to meet corrupt and political agendas. It thus strongly condemns such behaviour:</p> <p><em>[3:7] He sent down to you this scripture, containing straightforward verses - which constitute the essence of the scripture - as well as multiple-meaning or allegorical verses. Those who harbor doubts in their hearts will pursue the multiple-meaning verses to create confusion, and to extricate a certain meaning. None knows the true meaning thereof except GOD and those well founded in knowledge. They say, "We believe in this - all of it comes from our Lord." Only those who possess intelligence will take heed.</em></p> <p><em>[2:79] Therefore, woe to those who distort the scripture with their own hands, then say, "This is what GOD has revealed," seeking a cheap material gain. Woe to them for such distortion, and woe to them for their illicit gains.</em></p> <p><em>[3:78] Among them are those who twist their tongues to imitate the scripture, that you may think it is from the scripture, when it is not from the scripture, and they claim that it is from GOD, when it is not from GOD. Thus, they utter lies and attribute them to GOD, knowingly.</em></p> <p> </p> <hr /><p class="rtecenter">By Omar Karkosh (e-mail: <a href="mailto:omar_e19@hotmail.com">omar_e19@hotmail.com</a>) </p> </div> Fri, 16 Sep 2011 11:21:04 +0000 layth 163 at http://free-minds.org The Significance of Spending in God's Way http://free-minds.org/significance-spending-gods-way <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">The Significance of Spending in God&#039;s Way</span> <div class="field field--name-taxonomy-vocabulary-1 field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/category/quranic-laws-behaviour" hreflang="en">Quran&#039;s Structure / Laws</a></div> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2011-09-14T17:13:59+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 09/15/2011 - 01:13</span> <div class="field field--name-field-article-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/image_style_standard_for_article/public/orphan.jpg?itok=ubgLUh5X" width="192" height="263" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-image-style-standard-for-article" /> </div> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em> “By no means shall ye attain piety until ye spend of that which ye love. And whatever ye give, God surely knoweth it well.” [The Quran, Imran (3): 92]</em></p> <p>Perhaps no other topic has been so much emphasized in the Quran than ‘spending in God’s way’. The Quran is replete with verses that extol the virtues of spending in God’s way, and characterize the act of such spending as part and parcel of righteousness. The rationale for spending for others is to be found in the consideration that man can hardly live alone in happiness without sharing his earnings and possessions with others, and also in the fact that all that we earn and possess is really the Grace of God and belongs to God only. </p> <!--break--><p>We need to share our harvests or earnings with others as an expression of our gratefulness or thanksgiving to God. For it is God who gives us livelihood [Baqarah (2): 57, 126, 172, 212; Imran (3): 27, 37; Nisa (4): 130; and many more verses]. Whether one calls it zakat or sadaqa, spending for the poor or in God’s way is thus an expression of the very worship of, and thanksgiving to, God for His manifold blessings that man enjoys.</p> <p>In fact such spending amounts to serving humanity, and serving humanity is essentially serving God. God-loving people spend for the poor, orphans and captives out of love for, and pleasure of, God, and they seek no reward or thanks in return [Insan or Dahr (76): 8-9]. We need to give only for pleasure of God, which is essentially our own pleasure [Lail (92): 20-21], and - this is proper giving - without any expectation of anything in return [Insan or Dahr (76): 9; Lail (92): 19-21]. Zakat means “purification”. Spending in God’s way is for one’s purification [Lail (92): 17-21]. None attains piety without such spending [Imran (3): 92]. Spending in a benevolent or God’s way is a way of purifying oneself, and often a way of atoning for mistakes or misdeeds or for inability to perform other desirable religious acts for one’s purification and piety. The Quran is emphatic in proclaiming that we cannot attain piety until we spend of that which we love. Some of the relevant verses are worth noting below:</p> <p><em>“By no means shall ye attain piety until ye spend of that which ye love. And whatever ye give, God surely knoweth it well.” [Imran (3): 92] … “Far removed from it (the blazing Fire) will be he who is upright, and who giveth from his riches for self-purification. He seeketh not a reward (in return) for a favor to any, but seeketh (only) the pleasure of his Lord, the most High. It is he who verily will find contentment.” [Lail (92): 17-21]</em></p> <p><em>“Take (O Muhammad) of their riches contributions (sadaqa) wherewith thou mayst purify them, and make them grow (in spirituality), and pray for them. Verily thy prayer is a boost for them. God is Hearer, Knower.” [Tauba (9): 103]</em></p> <p>Spending thus works essentially like prayer, or can broadly be conceived as part of prayer itself. Indeed, as God warns us in the Quran, neglecting needed help and support to needy people renders one’s prayer null and void [Ma’un (107): 1-7]. Spending in God’s way is an essential component of righteousness, as the Quran says:</p> <p><em>“It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces to the East or the West; but righteousness is that one should believe in God and the Last Day and the angels and the Book and the Prophets, and give away wealth, out of love of God, to relatives and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarers and to those who ask, and to free slaves, and establish prayer and pay the zakat (poor-due)[1]; and the keepers of promise, if they make one, and the patient in distress and affliction and in times of conflicts. These are they who are sincere and who are righteous.” [Baqarah (2): 177]</em></p> <p>A spirit of give and take best promotes human relationship as well as human dignity. And our mission should be aimed at giving more rather than at taking more. God’s Prophets gave more to humanity in the form of spiritual knowledge than they took from them in spiritual or material resources [An’am (6): 90; Yunus (10): 72 and many more verses]. Indeed society’s progress can be best advanced not only with a widespread dissemination of spiritual, educational and technological knowledge, but also with an equitable distribution of material resources.</p> <p>Indeed most often, a crucial test of whether a person is good or kind to another person is whether or not, and if so, to what extent, he is helping the other person in some material way. God is not kind to those who neglect spending for the poor and the helpless [Ma’un (107): 1-7]. The Quran emphasizes spending in God’s way as a greatly virtuous act:</p> <p><em>“Ah, what will convey unto thee (O Muhammad) what the Ascent is!</em></p> <p><em>(It is) to set a slave free,</em></p> <p><em>And to feed in the day of hunger</em></p> <p><em>An orphan near of kin,</em></p> <p><em>Or some poor man (or woman) in misery,</em></p> <p><em>And to be of those who believe, and enjoin one another patience and kindness.</em></p> <p><em>Such are the people who are on the right hand (path).” [Balad (90): 12-18]</em></p> <p><em>“Far removed from it (the blazing Fire) will be he who is upright, and who giveth from his riches for self-purification. He seeketh not a reward (in return) for a favor to any, but seeketh (only) the pleasure of his Lord, the most High. It is he who verily will find contentment.” [Lail (92): 17-21]</em></p> <p><em>“The likeness of those who spend their wealth in God’s way is as the likeness of a grain that groweth seven ears, with a hundred grains in every ear. God giveth increase manifold to whom He pleaseth. God is Bounteous, and All-Knowing.” [Baqarah (2): 261] … “And the likeness of those who spend their wealth seeking God’s pleasure and the strengthening of their souls is as the likeness of a garden on high fertile soil. When heavy rain falleth on it, it bringeth forth the crop twofold. And if heavy rain falleth not, then light rain (sufficeth). God is Seer of what ye do.” [Baqarah (2): 265]</em></p> <p>We need to submit ourselves completely, i.e., our body and mind, our thoughts, our prayer and devotions, and all of our material resources, if any, to the service of God. That implies that we need to spend out of what we earn in the way of God. A man does not live for him alone, and he does not get happiness by living alone. He gets real happiness – that is his virtue - by living for others. This is the raison d’etre of spending for others. Overall social uplift and maximization of mutual benefit to all critically depends not only on a widespread dissemination of spiritual, educational and technological knowledge, but also on an equitable distribution of material riches.</p> <p>God’s prophets came to disseminate their Divine or spiritual knowledge to all and sundry, and they did this yeomen’s service without any remuneration [An’am (4): 90]. When we spend for others in the form of direct distribution, we need to display the same spirit as shown by the prophets. That is that we need to spend without expecting any return from the receivers of our wealth. This is reflected in the following verses of the Quran:</p> <p>“And he (the giver of wealth) deemeth it (giving away of his wealth) not as a favor for anyone for (which he should seek) a reward (in return), except the seeking of the pleasure of his Lord, the Most High. And soon he will be well-contented.” [Lail (92): 19-21]</p> <p>Just as man needs to earn in God’s way, so he needs to spend as well in God’s way. Spending in God’s way means that he needs to share the boons of God he has earned with others. This he can do in several ways. One way will be to spend of his riches on goods and services others produce for his own consumption or consumption of his family. This will provide income to others as they sell their products. Another way will be to save and invest part of his income to help create opportunities for work and production. Still another way will be to directly distribute part of his riches to those who are in need and for other deserving causes labeled as the cause of God. He can and should save and invest part of his income for future consumption, but he should not keep it idle or hoard it. Hoarding is bad for an economy. It deprives others; it curbs effective demand in the economy and holds back economic expansion, and if the hoarding is done in goods, it creates artificial scarcities and high prices of the hoarded goods. The Quran strongly condemns hoarding:</p> <p><em>“And let not those who hoard that which God hath provided them of His Grace think that it is good for them. Nay it is worse for them. It (that which they hoard) will be tied around their necks like a collar on the Day of Resurrection. God’s is the inheritance of the heavens and the earth; and God is aware of what ye do.”  [Imran (3): 180]</em></p> <p>It is only the wrong-headed people who dispute the case for spending for others, as the Quran notes about them:</p> <p><em>“When it is said unto them: Spend of that with which God hath provided you, those who disbelieve (in good works) say to those who believe: Shall we feed those whom God, if He willed, could have fed? Ye are naught else than in clear error.” [Ya-Sin (36): 47]</em></p> <p>A society is neither egalitarian, nor healthy for its all-round development when some people swim in wealth, while others are ill-fed, ill-clad and ill-housed, and when they cannot provide for their health and education even at a basic level. A highly unequal distribution of income and wealth is also not good for an economy, as it adversely affects the development of its human resources, and holds down effective demand and holds back economic expansion. High inequality of income and wealth destroys social cohesion, peace and harmony, and breeds bitter feelings on the part of the poor and deprived people, and creates scope for social crimes, immorality and frustration. The have-nots at some time may feel so frustrated that they may even feel prompted to rise against the haves to pull them down. As Ahmad aptly points out:</p> <p>“That social order is wrong when one rolls in wealth and others fallow in gutters and squeeze themselves into garrets to starve unto physical and moral death.”[2]</p> <p>The Quran is for creation of an egalitarian society. Even though it gives recognition to private property and enterprise, it at the same time warns all of us that nothing really belongs to us; the ultimate ownership of everything belongs to God: “And unto God belongeth whatever is in the heavens, and whatever is in the earth; and unto God all things return.” [Imran (3): 109] The Quran urges us to spend out of our income and wealth:</p> <p><em>“O ye who believe! Spend of what We have provided for you before the Day comes when no bargaining (will be of any avail), nor friendship, nor intercession…” [Baqarah (2): 254] … “Say (O Muhammad): Verily my Lord enlargeth the provision and straiteneth it to such of His servants whom He pleaseth: and whatever ye spend (in the cause of God) He replaceth it. And He is the Best of Providers.” [Saba (34): 39]</em></p> <p><em>“And what aileth you that ye spend not in God’s way, when unto God belongeth the inheritance of the heavens and the earth? Those who spent and fought (in God’s way) before the victory are not on a level (with the rest of you). Such are of higher rank than those who spent and fought afterwards. Unto each hath God promised good. And God is aware of what ye do.” [Hadid (57): 10]</em></p> <p>In another verse of the Quran, God has promised forgiveness and a great reward to good believers who along with doing other good deeds also pay alms (sadaqa) [Ahzab (33): 35]. Everything that God prescribes for us in the Quran is fard or obligatory for us. When God specifically mentions in the Quran that something is obligatory for us, it must be especially obligatory for us. Sadaqa or spending is such a thing, which God specifically mentions as obligatory for us, and He mentions where such spending should go:</p> <p>“The alms (sadaqa) are for the poor and for the needy, and those who administer them, and those (new converts) whose hearts are made to incline (to truth), and to free the slaves and the debtors, and for the cause of God, and (for) the wayfarers; an obligatory duty (fard) imposed by God. God is Knower, Most Wise.” [Tauba or Baraat (9): 50]</p> <p>Such spending is for those who beg or are needy, and for those who are deprived or poor [Ma’arij (70): 25], and also includes spending for parents, near relatives, orphans, wayfarers, and for those who ask, as noted above in [Baqarah (2): 177],  and for other causes of God, including that for freeing of captives or slaves and for necessary reconciliation or rehabilitation of new converts to religion [Baqarah (2): 177, 215; Anfal (8): 41; Tauba or Baraat (9): 60; Nur (24): 22]. Spending is also for those who are in need of help, but being involved in the cause of God, are unable to move about in the land, and who do not beg importunately [Baqarah (2): 273]. Likewise, we need also to spend for other noble causes such as for relieving the burden of those who are heavily laden with debt [Tauba or Baraat (9): 60], and for miscellaneous other noble purposes, which can be termed as causes of God (See below for some explanation). As for the spending for the new converts, the Quran speaks well of the God-loving believers during the Prophet’s time, who were so generous to those who came to them for refuge that they gave preference to the refugees over themselves in helping them, even though they were poor [Hashr (59): 9].</p> <p>God advises those of us who are affluent that we should not make such promises as not to help our relatives, poor people, and those who leave their homes for the cause of God; and we are urged to forgive them and ignore their faults [Nur (24): 22]. He loves those who spend not only when they are in affluence or ease, but also when they are in hardship [Imran (3): 134]. He admonishes us to give others what is good, and not what we regard as bad and do not want to receive for ourselves [Baqarah (2): 267]. God characterizes freeing of war captives or slaves or marrying them as equal partners as very important righteous deeds. Spending for such purposes is likewise a great virtue in the sight of God <em>[Baqarah (2): 177; Tauba or Baraat (9): 60]. God says that those who contend that they are not required to spend for others, and say “if God willed He could have provided for all”, are in flagrant error [Ya-Sin (36): 47].</em></p> <p>Zakat in the sense of charity is also mentioned in the Quran:</p> <p><em>“That which ye give in usury in order that it may increase people’s property hath no increase with God, but that which ye give in charity (zakat), seeking Allah’s pleasure, hath increase manifold.” [Rum (30): 39]</em></p> <p>Thus, although unlike in the case of sadaqa, the Quran nowhere mentions where the zakat should go, and by how much in relation to income or wealth, both sadaqa and zakat appear to mean the same thing in principle, and also in practice. The generally believed notion among Muslims that zakat should be given at a fixed rate of 2½ percent of wealth defined in a certain way[3] is not mentioned in the Quran. The giving of zakat in such a proportion of wealth has been in vogue. However in the context of changed conditions of modern times, we need to rethink the issue of how one should spend of his income and wealth in light of the Quran, whether one calls this spending zakat or sadaqa, and since God has made sadaqa obligatory for us. It is spending in the way of God that really matters. The current practice of zakat at a low proportion of one’s wealth (which includes the value of most of one’s assets with some exceptions such as the family house) appears inadequate in light of the Quran, especially for high-income people, as well as from the point of view of the demands of society for a multiplicity of beneficial works (for God’s cause) on top of provisions for the poor. Concerning what to spend in God’s way and how much, the Quran explicitly states:</p> <p><em>“O ye who believe! Spend of the good things which ye have earned, and of that which We bring forth from the earth for you, and seek not the bad to spend thereof when you would not take it for yourselves except with disdain. And know that God is Free of Wants and Worthy of Praise.” [Baqarah (2): 267]</em></p> <p><em>“They ask thee concerning what they should spend. Say: That which is in excess (of your needs). Thus God maketh clear (His) revelations, that you may think.” [Baqarah (2): 219] … “And they who (the believers) when they spend (in charity), are neither extravagant nor niggardly; they keep a just (balance) between these (two limits).” [Furqan (25):67]</em></p> <p>The Quran asks us to spend in excess of our needs, and it asks us to think to decide about how much of our income and wealth we should spend, which should be a good balance between two extremes – a high ceiling of everything in excess of one’s needs for consumption and saving or investment (saving or investment that is needed for future consumption) and a low floor where the giver is basically niggardly to spare. Two other verses of the Quran also shed more light on how much one should spend out of windfall income or wealth like the spoils of war and other gains, which are as follows:</p> <p><em>“They ask thee (O Muhammad) about the spoils of war. Say: The spoils of war belong to God and the Messenger. So be careful of (your duty to) God, and set aright matters of your difference, and obey God and His Messenger if ye do believe.” [Anfal (8): 1]</em></p> <p><em>“And know that whatever thing ye gain, a fifth of it is for God, and for His Messenger, and for near relatives, and orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer, if ye do believe in God and in that which We have revealed to Our servant. …” [Anfal (8): 41]</em></p> <p>The first of these verses [Anfal (8): 1] relates to gains such as the war booties. Such gains wholly belong to “God and the Messenger”, which means that such gains should be distributed entirely for God’s cause – for meeting the needs of the poor and needy people and other welfare needs. The handing and distribution of these gains should be done and administered by the state or by state-sponsored appropriate public or private sector organizations (modern-day NGOs, for example). There may be other gains of the nature of what economists call “windfall gains”, the handling and distribution of which warrant similar treatment. Some examples of such gains are instant treasure-troves found by some people, and real estates, bank deposits and other assets left by deceased people who have no near relatives with any legitimate claim to such assets. The second verse [Anfal (8): 41] calls for spending or distribution of a fifth of other gains or income we earn for God’s cause, and for near relatives, orphans, needy, wayfarers, etc. That suggests that there should be a twenty percent tax on normal or regular income for both state and other welfare activities. These verses as well as the one that calls for spending whatever is in excess of our needs [Baqarah (2): 219] also suggest that there should be considerable flexibility in the way we should spend or distribute our income and wealth for benevolent purposes, and that the higher the income and wealth of a person is, the higher should be his capacity to spend for such activities, which implies a need for progressive taxation for welfare needs.[4] These verses clearly suggest that the proportion of one’s income or wealth, which is in excess of one’s needs, should be a considerably higher fraction than the 21/2 percent (of wealth), which is generally believed as the zakat amount.</p> <p>God wants us to be neither too generous nor too stingy in spending [Furqan (25): 57]. Whoever is stingy in spending in God’s way is stingy to themselves [Muhammad (47): 38]. The curse of God or dire punishment is in store for those who are stingy in spending [Ahzab (33): 19; Lail (92): 8-10]. At the same time, one needs to note that kind words and compassion are better than charity with an insult or injury; and a person should not nullify the virtues of his charitable actions by reminders or reproach or injury, or with a grudge [Baqarah (2): 262-264; Tauba or Baraat (9): 54]. There is virtue in one’s spending in God’s way, whether it is done publicly or secretly, but doing such charitable acts secretly is more virtuous than doing them publicly or with publicity; spending secretly atones for some of the giver’s ill-deeds [Baqarah (2): 271]. On the other hand, God does not love the extravagant, i.e., those who spend for wasteful purposes [A’raf (7): 31; An’am (6): 141; Bani Israel or Israa (17): 26-27]. The extravagant are brothers of the devil [Bani Israel or Israa (17): 26-27].</p> <p>Note that such spending should go not only to the destitute and needy, it should be used also for a multiplicity of noble causes, which we can lump up as God’s cause. A substantial chunk of such causes are best handled at the government level, while others may be left for private individuals. During our Prophet’s time, considerable resources in the forms of believing men and goods were mobilized for conducting war against the invading infidels. This is evidenced from the following Quranic verse:</p> <p><em>“Go forth (O ye who believe), equipped with light arms and heavy arms, and strive hard in God’s way with your wealth and your lives. This is best for you if ye only knew.” [Tauba (9): 41]</em></p> <p>The resources in the forms of men and goods used for purposes of defense were spending in God’s cause. There are many such needs in God’s cause that need to be met at the government or public sector level. The government should cater to such needs, and sadaqa or appropriate taxation should finance such needs. Indeed, the government expenditure and taxation system in a modern state need to be considered for considering what should be an appropriate sadaqa or zakat system for individuals. All those parts of government expenditure, which are meant for social welfare – feeding and rehabilitation of destitute people, provisions for unemployed workers, education, labor training, health and hospital services and similar spending directed especially to amelioration of the conditions of the poor, and those which are meant for ensuring what economists call “public goods”, which are best produced at the public sector level are indeed instances of spending for God’s cause. Some examples of public goods are social peace and security, defense against external aggression, administration of law and justice, promotion of social, cultural and spiritual development, economic policy making and general public administration for miscellaneous government functions. All such state functions should count within the purview of God’s cause. And in an impoverished developing economy, the state has a special role to play in promoting economic development, which indeed is the best answer to alleviation of poverty for the poor. For promoting economic development, considerable investment is needed in physical infrastructure (such as roads, highways, railways, waterways, ports, telecommunications, power and energy, etc.) as well as in human skills and education, technology and research. Promotion of such development is crucial for expanding employment opportunities and raising living standards and, in the long run for dealing with the problem of the poor.</p> <p>It is clear that spending in God’s way covers a lot more things than are currently covered by the zakat or sadaqa system. It matters little whether one calls it zakat or sadaqa. But this system is in need of major reform in light of the directions given in the Quran and in light of recent developments in the conception of functions of a modern state. Spending in God’s way then of individuals will comprise both the taxes they pay for benevolent works of the government at the government level and whatever they can afford to spend voluntarily at the private sector level on top of the taxes they pay. It should be recognized that what the government can or should do efficiently is inadequate to deal with the total problem of social inequity and to promote overall social welfare; and there is much still left to be done at the individual level. But limiting such benevolent and humanitarian spending to just 2½ percent of one’s wealth will be taking a very narrow view of spending in God’s way in light of the Quran.</p> <p>Such spending should not be limited just to a proportion of wealth alone. The verse [Baqarah (2): 267] cited above clearly points to spending from earning and production. Hence earning (or income) or production could also be used as a base for such spending. And the proportion should be a flexible one depending on how much one can afford neither being too generous nor too niggardly as directed in verse [Furqan (25):67] cited above, taking into account what he or she has already paid to the government in the form of taxes for God’s cause.</p> <p>The ultimate aim of the sadaqa system should be to eradicate poverty, and help people get work opportunities and become self-reliant, and not to perpetuate a beggars’ class in society, which is not only degrading for them but also a nuisance in society. To the extent possible and economically efficient, such spending should be handled at the state level. Many modern developed countries have well planned public welfare and social security systems embodying unemployment benefits and certain medical benefits and administered at the state level in conjunction with enterprise level lay-off and medical insurance benefits, and it is not left to the whims of individuals to cater to such welfare needs. Social security systems existing in some of the developed countries essentially exhibit the basic principles of the sadaqa system that the Quran propounds. Though there is some debate as to what developed countries are really doing for developing countries (they often take back what they give in different ways[5]), the concessional aid they give and what their sponsored multilateral development financing organizations give to the developing countries is also a kind of sadaqa at state level on the part of the rich countries to the poor ones. Such aid should also be counted in the calculation for how much more resources the government should raise domestically to cater to the needs of the poor and development and social welfare needs.</p> <p>The need for paying sadaqa at the individual level will last as long as the state cannot pay full attention to the problems of the helpless people. And as it appears, the state in many developing countries is almost invariably unable to take full care of the poor and the needy, and also considering that public sector welfare systems in developing countries are found to be almost always plagued by significant corruption as available evidence suggests, there remains considerable room for charities at the individual level. When a believing man is able to afford some spending and perceives the need for such spending, it becomes incumbent on him to engage in such spending.  That is as good as his prayer for his own spiritual advancement. And a significant part of his spending should be given to reputable international charitable organizations and international and domestic NGOs (non-governmental organizations), which are engaged in development and social welfare activities, and which are known to be more efficient and less corrupt than the relevant government departments.</p> <p>Another point to be noted in this regard is that the scope of such spending should also embrace interest-free or concessional lending, which the Quran calls qarz-hasana (beautiful lending) [Baqarah (2): 245; Hadid (57): 11, 18; Tagabun (64): 17; Maidah (5): 12; Muzzammil (73): 20]. In modern days, some of this concessional financing function is being performed in developing countries by developed country aid agencies and multilateral development financing institutions. The Quranic message of interest-free loans is applicable only for disadvantaged borrowers, who deserve to be treated with a humanitarian approach. The kind of interest that the Quran prohibits is usury, i.e., exploitative interest that is charged to people who deserve to be given an interest free loan on humanitarian grounds. This is Qarz-Hasana or a beautiful loan that the Quran talks about in several verses [Baqarah (2): 245; Hadid (57): 11, 18; Tagabun (64): 17; Maidah (5): 12; Muzzammil (73): 20]. This is a loan without interest or expectation of any gain to deserving people on humanitarian grounds. The question of interest cannot arise in such cases. The Quran even encourages the lenders to write off the original loans in cases where the borrowers are in difficulty to repay them. Some of the relevant verses are as follows:</p> <p><em>“Who is it that will lend unto God a beautiful loan, so that He will increase it manifold? God straiteneth and enlargeth. Unto Him ye will return.” [Baqarah (2): 245]</em></p> <p><em>“O ye who believe! Observe your duty to God, and give up what remaineth of usury, if ye are indeed believers. And if ye do it not, then be warned of war from God and His Messenger. And if ye repent, then ye shall have your principal. Deal not unjustly, and ye shall not be dealt with unjustly. And if (the debtor) is in difficulty, then postpone (repayment) until (he is in) ease; and that ye remit it as almsgiving (sadaqa) is better for you if ye but knew.” [Baqarah (2): 278-280]</em></p> <p>It is clear from these verses that in cases, which deserve humanitarian considerations, loans should indeed be extended free of interest, and where appropriate, such loans should be given as grants or alms (which is sadaqa in Quranic terminology).</p> <p><strong>Conclusion</strong></p> <p>The Quranic admonitions on spending in God’s way are quite elaborate for the benefit of mankind! The implications for spending in God’s cause mean that the scope of such spending goes well beyond the confines of a narrowly defined and generally understood zakat or sadaqa (charity) system, and includes spending for a lot of the functions of a modern state, which are to be financed by a well-devised taxation system. In fact the modern state should take on its shoulders a lot of the share of the burden of providing for the basic needs of the poor and disadvantaged groups in society. Some of the highly developed countries have a well-devised social welfare system. However, even with a well-devised social welfare system crafted by the modern state, the need for charity at the individual level does still remain.</p> <p>The best motive for, or the best kind of, spending in God’s way should be to help others stand on their own feet, not to keep them permanently in the beggars’ seats. Indeed to help another person in a way, which makes him to look for help all the time is inherently ill motivated, and cannot be liked by God. Such spending is like that of those who like to be seen by men, and is of no intrinsic virtue to them [Baqarah (2): 264]. From this point of view, the modern state should take appropriate measures to promote investment and development to increase opportunities for gainful employment of unemployed people. Such efforts also constitute spending in God’s way. At the individual level, such efforts would be savings, investment and work that would help build infrastructure and industries for employment-generating development.</p> <p>--------------------------------------------------------------------------------</p> <p> [1] The word zakat is generally understood as a kind of obligatory poor-due at a certain fixed fraction of one’s wealth. The word has also another meaning – purification. The use of the word zakat in the same verse after “spending for the poor” suggests that the word zakat in this verse should be taken to mean purification, rather than poor-due. In that case the meaning of the later part of the verse “akimus-salat o-atuz- zakat” should be like “establish prayer and attain purification”.</p> <p>[2] Ahmad, Panaullah, Creator and Creation, Bangladesh Islamic Foundation, 1986, pp. 61-62.</p> <p>[3] Wealth is defined as the value of most of one’s assets with some exceptions such as the family house. However, according to the Quran such spending can be out of both wealth and earnings. Current earnings make up income, and wealth is accumulated earnings.</p> <p>[4] I am grateful to Layth of free-minds.org for a comment, which has helped me correct some confusion on my part made in an earlier draft on the interpretation of the two verses under discussion.</p> <p>[5] One important case in point is the system of protection that the developed countries themselves provide to their domestic activities through government tariffs on imports from developing countries and government subsidies to their farmers for production of agricultural products, and in some cases, through subsidies on exports of certain agricultural products. According to recent World Bank estimates, such trade restrictions of both developed and developing countries hurt the poor developing countries more than they receive by way of aid from the rich countries.</p> <p> </p> <hr /><p class="rtecenter">By Abdur Rab (Email: <a href="mailto:rab_abdur@yahoo.com">rab_abdur@yahoo.com</a>)</p> <p class="rtecenter">Excerpted from a book under preparation by the author.</p> </div> Wed, 14 Sep 2011 17:13:59 +0000 admin 162 at http://free-minds.org Inheritance and Testament http://free-minds.org/inheritance-and-testament <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Inheritance and Testament </span> <div class="field field--name-taxonomy-vocabulary-1 field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/category/quranic-laws-behaviour" hreflang="en">Quran&#039;s Structure / Laws</a></div> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2011-09-08T07:36:24+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 09/08/2011 - 15:36</span> <div class="field field--name-field-article-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/image_style_standard_for_article/public/wills.jpg?itok=ubvrxmWG" width="198" height="131" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-image-style-standard-for-article" /> </div> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong>Testament</strong></p> <p>1. It is enjoined upon every Muslim to make a testament as regards his bequest before he dies. The last will ought to cover the entire property and all persons to whom he wants to give something without any distinction of heir or non-heir:</p> <p><em>(2:180) "It has been enjoined upon you that when you approach death and you are leaving behind your personal property, make a testament according to law for your parents and others close to you. This has been enjoined upon Muttaqeen as a duty from Allah.</em></p> <!--break--><p>The distribution of left-over property shall take place after the provisions of the 'will' have been fulfilled (4:11)."</p> <p>Note that this verse starts with the words "you are commanded" and ends with the words "that it has been made incumbent upon those who guard the Divine Law". Moreover the 'will' shall be for the entire property. The verse also clarifies that the 'will' can also be made for parents and near relatives and also for non-relatives; whom the testator considers nearer to himself.</p> <p>2. The Quran has given so much importance to the making of will that even (minute) details for it have been prescribed. The following verses of Surah Al-Maaidah (5th Chapter of the Quran) invite pondering:</p> <p><em>(5:106-108) "O you who believe! When death approaches any of you, take witnesses amongst yourselves while making testament; two just men of your own (brethren); or others from outside, if you are journeying through the land and your own men are not available and the chance of death befalls you.</em></p> <p>Afterwards when witnesses are needed, your judges shall detain them (in the mosque) after prayers (because mosques are your court-rooms). If you doubt their truth, let them both swear by Allah: we wish not to take in this any worldly gains, even if the beneficiary be our near relative; we shall not hide evidence before Allah; if we do, we shall become censurable.</p> <p>If after the witnesses have been recorded, it is found that they have deviated from the truth, two witnesses from among those against whom the witness has been given should come forward and upon an oath in the name of Allah, state that their statement is truer than the previous witnesses and that they shall not deviate a bit from the truth and if they do, they shall be liable to censure.</p> <p>In Divine Law witness over witness is allowed, so as to make certain that they speak the truth. By so doing, the first two witnesses shall fear that in case they give false evidence, the other two witnesses  shall prove it to be wrong and thus they shall become guilty of the perjury and this shall also bring them shame in society.</p> <p>It is necessary for you to remain conscious of the Divine Laws and do not forget that, deviating from the course set out by Divine Laws and treading upon some other course, it shall not lead you to the goal.</p> <p>It has been strongly emphasized that the witnesses shall not make a change in the contents of the testament:</p> <p><em>(2:181) "If any one changes the content of the will after hearing it, such people shall be guilty in the eyes of law and they ought to know that Allah hears and knows everything."</em></p> <p>It is further stated that:</p> <p><em>(2:182) "But if any one fears partiality or wrongdoing on the part of the testator, and thinks that he is inclined towards someone unjustly, he should advise the testator to do the right thing and bring about compromise between (the parties concerned) so as to protect those whose rights are being encroached. There is no wrong in doing so. To make a room for it in the Divine Law is clemency (Rahmat) from Allah."</em></p> <p>But it is obvious that this shall only be an attempt for making compromise, otherwise the final word shall be that of the testator.</p> <p>3. In the case of a widow, in addition to her share in the bequest, it is necessary that providing of maintenance for a year be included in the will:</p> <p><em>(2:240) "Those of you who die leaving widows behind should bequeath that their widows be provided a year's maintenance and not turned out of their houses. But if the widows leave (the residence) and make some other lawful arrangements for themselves, there is no blame on you for what they do. Remember that the Divine Law is very powerful, yet it is based on wisdom."</em></p> <p><strong>Inheritance</strong></p> <p>The injunctions for inheritance are given collectively in two verses of Surah 'An-Nisa' (4th Chapter of the Quran). It seems proper to begin with both the verses quoted together and then describe their details afterwards: (4:11-12) The law of inheritance is made clear in the light of these verses. In it the offspring is given the first place; and for it, Allah has ordained:</p> <p>1. "As regards your children's (inheritance), to each boy a share equal to that of two girls, i.e. one girl = 1/3 and one boy = 2/3; [that is because a male is responsible for the maintenance of the family, not the female].</p> <p>In the verse the words used are (4:34) i.e. male or female. It means, where Allah Himself has not fixed up the portions and both males and females are included among the heirs, this very principle shall be applicable, i.e. man's share being twice that of a woman.</p> <p>2. If the girls are two or more than two, the portion of all of them together shall be 2/3; if it is one girl, the portion shall be half. It means that if there are no boys and the heirs are only girls, their portions shall be divided as above.</p> <p>3. For parents, one-sixth share (1/6) of the inheritance to each, in case the deceased left children as well. If no children are left and the parents are the only heirs, the mother's, share shall be 1/3 and the father's share shall be 2/3. If the deceased left brothers and sisters, the mother's share is 1/6 (Read it in combination with item 5).</p> <p>Remember that this distribution in all cases shall take place after the fulfillment of the will and the payment of debts against the deceased. If the will does not cover the entire property of the deceased or the deceased has not left a will, the distribution of the left-over property shall be according to what has been stated above. This is because you do not know whoever from among your parents or offspring is closer to you in matter of being beneficial to you, therefore Allah Himself (Who knows all) has fixed their shares. It means that although the deceased had the knowledge as to whoever was more deserving (the reason, leaving a testament was made incumbent); but since he could not leave a will or his will does not cover the entire property, Allah, instead of leaving the matter to you, has Himself determined the shares.</p> <p>4. Now we come to the relations through marriage:</p> <p>i). In what your wives leave, your share is one-half in case she leaves no children; the share of the husband is 1/4 after the processing of the will and the payment of debt against the deceased.</p> <p>ii) In the bequest of a husband the share of the wife is 1/4, if he has no children, but if he has children, the share of the wife is 1/8 after the processing of the will and payment of debt against the deceased.</p> <p>5. (See in continuation of item {3} above. If the deceased has no children {known as 'kalaalah') but he has parents, brothers and sisters too, then:</p> <p>i) If there is one brother or one sister, each one of them shall receive 1/6.</p> <p>ii) If the number of brothers and sisters is more than one, then together they shall be entitled to 1/3.</p> <p>iii) The share of father and mother has been described in item (3).</p> <p>This shall also be after the processing of will and the payment of debts.</p> <p>6. If the deceased has neither children nor parents but has only brothers and sisters, the distribution of shares shall be according to verse (4:177) which shall be described later on.</p> <p>In the light of these injunctions, the following principles of distribution are tabulated:</p> <p>i) From the bequest of the deceased, first of all his debts ought to be paid and the rest shall be distributed according to his will. Details regarding the will have already been described. There is however, one more (verse) related to it:</p> <p><em>(4:33) "To every one of the beneficiaries We have appointed shares in the bequest left by parents and relatives; these are not restricted to family lineage only; the in-laws are also included in them; give them their due shares. For Allah is a Witness to all things, including their details."</em></p> <p>In this category (relations through marriage), husband and wife come first, because their mutual relationship is through matrimony and not by lineage; then come those with whom a contract was made to pay something. Apparently this contract shall be through a will.</p> <p>ii) If the deceased left no will or something has been left after the processing of the will, the distribution of this surplus property shall be according to verses (4:11-12).</p> <p>It is more practicable that the distribution of those shares which have been fixed by the Quran, ought to take place first and others shall follow later on.</p> <p>If a surplus is still left after the distribution has taken place according to the above laws, it shall be transferred to the Islamic Government as is the case with those who die without leaving heirs.</p> <p>The verse in which the word "Qalaalah" occurs, who leave neither parents, nor offsprings, is as follows: (4:176) (In the beginning of this Surah in which the laws of inheritance were described and in which the word 'kalaalah' was mentioned (those who die issueless) such a deceased kalaalah was mentioned: who had left parents, brothers and sisters</p> <p>(4:12). "O Rasool! You are being asked to give further details. Tell them that Allah ordains:</p> <p>If a person dies leaving no parents or children as heirs, the distribution of his property (wealth) shall be as follows:</p> <p>o If the deceased is a male and has only one sister, her portion shall be half of his bequest;</p> <p>o If there are two sisters (or more), their (combined) share shall be 2/3 (also see 4/11 for share in case of more than two sisters);</p> <p>o If both the inheritors are brothers and sisters, the entire left-over property shall be theirs. The principle of "share of two females equal to share of one male" shall apply (4/11);</p> <p>o If the deceased is a woman, the heir of her left-over property shall be her brother.</p> <p>[This distribution shall take place after the payment of debts and the processing of will (4/12)].</p> <p>"Thus does Allah make clear to you (His laws) lest you err, and Allah's knowledge encompasses everything."</p> <p>It is clear from the aforesaid verses that KALAALAH (issueless deceased) can be of two kinds: (i) those who leave parents (ii) and those who do not leave parents.</p> <p>If at the time of distribution of the bequest there are such people who have no share in the left-over property, but deserve help, the court can allow them something for their relief:</p> <p><em>(4:8) "If at the time of division of the bequest, other relatives, or orphans or the poor are present (who have no share in it) pay them also a little out of this (property); but make it clear to them that according to law they are not entitled to anything and what has been given to them is by way of comforting them."</em></p> <p>Those who distribute the left-over property, must exercise utmost care:</p> <p><em>(4:9) "Let those (disposing of an estate) do it correctly according to law and they should keep in mind that if they themselves leave behind helpless orphans, they would never have liked that they be dealt unjustly. Thus they should always keep before them the Divine Law and in such affairs speak words clear and sure."</em></p> <p>These are the limits laid down by Allah with which an Islamic State shall frame its by-laws remaining within these hints. "Limits" means the framework within which an Islamic State is legally authorised to make by-laws. These limits are immutable but the by-laws framed within these limits shall be changeable according to the exigencies of the changing times.</p> <p>That which is ordained by Allah is immutable whereas that which is man-made is changeable.</p> <p>The inheritance of an orphaned grandson.</p> <p>As regards inheritance, one important point ought to be kept in mind: we use the word "Waalid" for father only and the word Wald for sons and daughters, but in the Arabic language (and according to the Holy Quran), the word "Wald" includes father, grandfather and all others above (in the line of ascent). Similarly the word "Waalid" includes, sons, grandsons and great-grandchildren, all of them in the line of descent.</p> <p> </p> <hr /><p class="rtecenter">By Khurram Chaudhry (e-mail: <a href="mailto:khurram302@yahoo.com">khurram302@yahoo.com</a>)</p> </div> Thu, 08 Sep 2011 07:36:24 +0000 admin 155 at http://free-minds.org Halal & Haram http://free-minds.org/halal-haram <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Halal &amp; Haram</span> <div class="field field--name-taxonomy-vocabulary-1 field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/category/quranic-laws-behaviour" hreflang="en">Quran&#039;s Structure / Laws</a></div> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2011-09-07T17:36:33+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 09/08/2011 - 01:36</span> <div class="field field--name-field-article-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/image_style_standard_for_article/public/halal.jpg?itok=vbQI8iZb" width="300" height="300" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-image-style-standard-for-article" /> </div> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>How many times have you heard this phrase: "This is Haram, That is Halal"!</p> <p>If you are a Muslim, then you probably hear these words repeated around you every day. You will hear them in school, you will hear them on TV, you will hear your parents say them, you will hear scholars and Imams say them, and, you will find tons of books written on the subject.</p> <p>Just click on any of the traditional Islamic Web Sites and read any Q&amp;A or Fatwa section they may have. You should find something like this (someone actually asked this question in an Islamic site):</p> <p>"Is it Halal to eat in a Microwave in which Pork has been heated?"</p> <!--break--><p>The terms "Halal &amp; Haram" are so common, you will find most people now carry it in their vocabulary and say "Haram" to something they don't like or think is wrong without thinking.</p> <p>What do these words mean?</p> <p>"Halal" is an Arabic word used to describe things that are LAWFUL, "Haram" is the opposite and means UNLAWFUL. These two words are synonymous with God and can be found throughout the Quran. Both words when uttered by God are binding and irrevocable.</p> <p>What God has made lawful stays so, and what God has made unlawful stays so.</p> <p>To illustrate this point, below is an attempt by the Prophet Mohammed himself to reverse a Lawful thing that was decreed by God in order to please his wives:</p> <p><em>"O Prophet, WHY do you forbid "TUHARAM" that which God has made lawful "AHAL" in order to please your wives. God is Merciful and Forgiving. God has decreed to you how to revoke your oaths, and God is your Lord. He is most Wise and Knowledgeable" (66/1-2) </em></p> <p>On this subject we find that our Lord REPRIMANDED the Prophet Mohammed for uttering these words and re-confirmed His laws on the subject.</p> <p>Are any of us better than the prophet Mohammed?</p> <p>If he was reprimanded, what will be our fate?</p> <p><em>"And do not say lies for what your tongues describes: this is lawful (HALAL), and that is unlawful (HARAM), to lie about God. Those who lie about God will never succeed. They will have small pleasures (on Earth), AND FOR THEM IS A PAINFUL RETRIBUTION" (16/116-117)</em></p> <p>This is just how serious those words we hear uttered every day are. Those who speak in God's name and tell lies about Him will have no consequence but to receive a painful retribution on the day of days when we all face our Maker.</p> <p>God has made clear to us what is lawful and what is unlawful…Only the foolish would attempt to speak untruth in God’s name.</p> <p><em>"Say 'Do you see that which God has provided for you, you make some of it Unlawful (Haram) and some of it Lawful (Halal)? Say 'Did God allow you to do this? Or do you tell lies about God?" (10/59)</em></p> <p><em>"Say 'who has made Unlawful (Haram) the luxuries that God has provided his servants and the good things?..." (7/32)</em></p> <p>WHAT THINGS ARE HALAL &amp; WHAT ARE HARAM?</p> <p>The answers may be much simpler than you imagine:</p> <p><strong>HARAM</strong></p> <p>What is Unlawful in General?</p> <p><em>"Say 'Come, let me tell you what God has made Unlawful (HARAM)': </em></p> <p><em>That you set-up partners with Him, </em></p> <p><em>that you are unkind to your parents, </em></p> <p><em>that you kill your children for fear of starvation; We will provide for you and them. </em></p> <p><em>Do not come near evil deeds (Fahsha'a) what is apparent and what is hidden; </em></p> <p><em>do not kill the soul that God has made except by that which is just. That is what God prescribes for you may you understand. </em></p> <p><em>And do not take the funds of the orphans until they reach maturity, except for what is good for them. </em></p> <p><em>And be just when weighing the scales or giving portions (in trade). We do not burden a soul except with what it can handle. </em></p> <p><em>And if you speak, be just, even if it is with relatives. </em></p> <p><em>And fulfill any oaths you have made in God's name. </em></p> <p><em>This is what God prescribes for you, may you remember." (6/151-152)</em></p> <p>Also...</p> <p><em>"Say 'my Lord forbids (Haram) </em></p> <p><em>evil deeds which are apparent and hidden; </em></p> <p><em>and aggression without justification; </em></p> <p><em>and that you establish partners to God; </em></p> <p><em>and that you say about God what you do not know" (7/33) </em></p> <p>As for the Food that is Unlawful:</p> <p><em>"Say 'I find no food forbidden (Muharam) in what is revealed to me except that it be: </em></p> <p><em>Animals that die of themselves; </em></p> <p><em>Running blood; </em></p> <p><em>The meat of pigs, for it is contaminated; </em></p> <p><em>That which has been sacrificed for other than God. </em></p> <p><em>He who must eat these for dire need has no sin, your Lord is forgiving and merciful" (6/145)</em></p> <p>And for what is Unlawful in Marriage:</p> <p><em>"Unlawful for you (in marriage) are:</em></p> <p><em>your mothers, </em></p> <p><em>your daughters, </em></p> <p><em>your sisters, </em></p> <p><em>the sisters of your fathers, </em></p> <p><em>the sisters of your mothers, </em></p> <p><em>the daughters of your brother, </em></p> <p><em>the daughters of your sister, </em></p> <p><em>your nursing mothers, </em></p> <p><em>the girls who nursed from the same woman as you, </em></p> <p><em>the mothers of your wives, </em></p> <p><em>the daughters of your wives with whom you have consummated the marriage--if the marriage has not been consummated, you may marry the daughter. </em></p> <p><em>Also prohibited for you are the women who were married to your genetic sons. </em></p> <p><em>Also, you shall not be married to two sisters at the same time--except if this is already the case. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful." </em></p> <p><em>Also Unlawful are the women who are already married, unless they flee their disbelieving husbands who are at war with you. </em></p> <p><em>These are GOD's commandments to you..." (4/23-24) </em></p> <p>Also...</p> <p><em>"Do not marry the women who set-up partners with God until they believe..." (2/221)</em></p> <p>What is Unlawful in Trade:</p> <p><em>"...God has made trade Lawful (Halal) and forbidden (Haram) usury..." (2/275)</em></p> <p><strong>HALAL</strong></p> <p>All things that are not mentioned as being Haram, are, by default, Halal.</p> <p>Yes, that is how simple things are. What God did not mention as being Haram, is ALLOWED by the Almighty for His servants.</p> <p>We are NOT to play the role of God and falsely claim this is Haram or that is Haram because of our personal desires. We must REMEMBER that these words may only be uttered by our Lord and Master, and that He has already spoken.</p> <p>Please remember this the next time someone asks you: "Is this Haram?", and tell them that if it was never mentioned by God, then no power on Earth can make it Haram.</p> <p>May God guide us all to His light.</p> <p> </p> <hr /><p class="rtecenter">Written for <a href="http://www.free-minds.org">www.free-minds.org</a></p> </div> Wed, 07 Sep 2011 17:36:33 +0000 admin 146 at http://free-minds.org Adultery / Zina http://free-minds.org/adultery-zina <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Adultery / Zina</span> <div class="field field--name-taxonomy-vocabulary-1 field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/category/quranic-laws-behaviour" hreflang="en">Quran&#039;s Structure / Laws</a></div> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2011-08-30T17:40:13+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 08/31/2011 - 01:40</span> <div class="field field--name-field-article-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/image_style_standard_for_article/public/adultery_0.jpg?itok=SyIadOfh" width="259" height="194" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-image-style-standard-for-article" /> </div> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>In this article I will do the following inshaAllah:</p> <ul><li> Answer some of the points raised by Muslims regarding what is being revealed to the Messenger.</li> <li> Show what the punishment of Zina should be.</li> </ul><p>We look at the Quraan, which provides plenty of evidence that the Quraan is the ONLY revelation given to the Prophet.</p> <p><em>"And We have not taught him POETRY, nor is it meet for him; it is NOTHING but a ZIKAR and a PLAIN QURAAN, that it may warn him who would have life, and (that) the word may prove true against the unbelievers". (Quraan 36:69-70) </em></p> <!--break--><p>Here the Quraan says that what Allah has taught the Prophet is NOTHING but the PLAIN QURAAN.</p> <p><em>"Most surely, it is the Word brought by an honored Messenger, And it is not the word of a POET; little is it that you believe; Nor the word of a soothsayer; little is it that you mind. It is a REVELATION from the Lord of the worlds." (Quraan 69:40-43) </em></p> <p>In the above verse and in 36:69, Allah is telling the people that what the Prophet is saying is NOT POETRY. Was the Prophet(pbuh) used to speaking in Poetry form? No. What these verses are referring to is the Quraan, the Revelation.</p> <p>And Allah explains again what is being revealed to the Prophet (peace be upon him)</p> <p><em>" Ha Mim: A REVELATION from the Beneficent, the Merciful Allah: A BOOK, whereof the ayaat are explained in detail;- a QURAAN in Arabic, for people who understand" (Quraan 41:1-3). </em></p> <p><em>"And thus did We reveal to you an inspired BOOK by Our command. You did not know what the Book was, nor (what) the faith (was), but We made it a light, guiding thereby whom We please of Our servants; and most surely you show the way to the right path" (Quraan 42:52) </em></p> <p>Perhaps the following Ayaat give the most explicit evidence about what was being revealed to the Messenger:</p> <p><em>"And if ye are in doubt concerning that which, We reveal unto Our slave (Muhammad), then bring a Surah similar to it, and call your witnesses beside Allah if ye are truthful." (2:23) </em></p> <p>It is interesting to see that Allah is demanding people to produce a SURAH SIMILAR to WHAT is being REVEALED to the Prophet. He is not asking for ordinary speech, He is asking for a Surah. The ONLY Book we have with Surahs is the Quraan. No book of hadith or any other book is composed of SURAHS.</p> <p><em>"The hypocrites fear lest a Surah (chapter of the Qur’an) should be sent down to them telling them plainly of what is in their hearts. Say: Go on mocking, surely Allah will bring forth what you fear." (9:64) </em></p> <p>Here the hypocrites are identified as NOT being scared of the Prophet’s ordinary speech, but are ONLY identified as scared of having a SUARH to be sent down (Tanzeel). This explains again that the revelation that was being sent down was the QURAANIC SURAHS.</p> <p><em>"And those who believe say: Why has not a Surah (chapter of the Qur’an) been revealed? But when a decisive chapter is revealed, and fighting is mentioned therein you see those in whose hearts is a disease look to you with the look of one fainting because of death. Woe to them then!" (47:20) </em></p> <p>Here the believers are being identified as WATING for the QURAANIC SURAHS to be DECISIVE. The ordinary speech of the Prophet was NOT revelation from Allah. The believers are also waiting ALONG with the Prophet for a DECISIVE Surah.</p> <p><em>"O you who believe! do not put questions about things which if declared to you may trouble you, and if you question about them when the Quran is being revealed, they shall be declared to you; Allah pardons this, and Allah is Forgiving, Forbearing." (5:101) </em></p> <p>This is also a very interesting Ayah. It is important to note that the questions are ONLY allowed while the QURAAN is being REVEALED. The Prophet did live AFTER the Quraan was complete. If he was receiving revelations besides the Quraan, then the above condition would not have been made as the Prophet could answer those questions from OTHER “revelations” besides the Quraan. This is yet another evidence that the ONLY revelation that the Prophet received was the Quraan.</p> <p><em>"And thus have We revealed to you an Arabic Quran, &lt;auhaina_ ilaika qur a_nan arabiy yan&gt; that you may warn the mother city and those around it, and that you may give warning of the day of gathering together wherein is no doubt; a party shall be in the garden and (another) party in the burning fire." (42:7) </em></p> <p><em>"And this Quran has been revealed to me &lt;u_hiya ilayya ha_zal qur'a_n&gt; that with it I may warn you and whomsoever it reaches" (6:19) </em></p> <p>The WARNING the Prophet was supposed to give was to COME FROM THE QURAAN as the above Ayaat shows. The Prophet is NOT made to say within the Quraan that he received any other revelations besides the Quraan to WARN. Finally Allah spells out the duty of the Messenger:</p> <p><em>"We know best what they say, and you are not one to compel them; therefore remind him by means of the Quran who fears My Promise." (50:45) </em></p> <p><em>"I am commanded only that I should serve the Sustainer of this city, Who has made it sacred, and His are all things; and I am commanded that I should be of those who submit; And that I should recite the Quran. Therefore whoever goes aright, he goes aright for his own soul, and whoever goes ' astray, then say: I am only one of the warners." (27:91-22) </em></p> <p>His reminders MUST come from the Quraan ONLY. No other source is mentioned. So what is being revealed is the Quraan. Let us continue and read some more Quraan:</p> <p><em>"And when they listen to the REVELATIONS received by the Messenger, thou wilt see their eyes overflowing with TEARS, for they recognize the truth: they pray: "Our Lord! we believe; write us down among the witnesses."(Quraan 5:83) </em></p> <p>Here Allah is telling people that when the true believers listen to the WAHY received by the Messenger, they cry with tears in their eyes. I am sure all of you have either cried or has seen someone cry even today when the Quraan is recited. I have yet to see someone cry when hadeeth is narrated.</p> <p>Now, it is abundantly clear from the above Quraanic Ayaat that the revelation the Prophet was receiving was NOTHING but the Quraan and he was commanded to teach and warn by the Quraan.</p> <p>Thus, if we find a teaching associated with the Prophet but NOT based on the Quraan, then we cannot take that teaching as authentic as the Prophet taught BY THE QURAAN and NOTHING else.</p> <p>But the above evidence is not enough for those people who want to implement OTHER judgments besides the Quraan. In desperation they shred the Quraan into pieces and start reading isolated Verses WITHOUT making reference to OTHER verses that Explain them. One such verse is often quoted:</p> <p><em>“But nay, by your Lord, they will not believe until they make you the judge of what is in dispute between them, then they shall find in themselves no dislike of that which you have decreed, and submit in full submission. ” (Qur'an 4:65) </em></p> <p>This ALL the proponents of hadith need. They point to this Ayah in ISOLATION and start jumping up and down with joy that this ayah gives them freedom to use ANY and ALL judgments from the books of hadith and fiqh, even if those judgments are NOT in the Quraan. However, the Quraan does NOT reveal this verse in Isolation. It explains it through REPETITION as promised by Allah, i.e. the same topic is discussed in other parts of the Quraan, which explains why Allah made such a commandment.</p> <p>unzur kaifa nusarriful a_ya_ti la'allahum yafqahu_n</p> <p><em>"See how We repeat the verses that they may understand." (6:65) </em></p> <p>So let us see what the Prophet was COMMANDED to judge with and how the Quraan explains what the JUDGMENT of the Messenger is that we MUST Obey..</p> <p><em>"Surely We REVEALED THE-BOOK to you (Muhammad) with the truth that you (Muhammad) may JUDGE BETWEEN HUMANS as GUIDED BY ALLAH, and BE NOT AN ADVOCATE TO THOSE WHO BETRAY THEIR TRUST;"(Quraan 4:105) </em></p> <p>And then Allah uses the examples of the Jews and the Christians to warn the Prophet and all of us Muslims with the following warnings:</p> <p><em>"And why do they (the Jews) come to you (Mohammed) for JUDGMENT, when they have The-Torah, WHEREIN IS ALLAH'S JUDGMENT? Yet even after that, they turn away. VERILY, SUCH ARE NOT BELIEVERS.” (Quraan 5:43) </em></p> <p><em>“Indeed We Revealed the Torah wherein is Guidance and Noor (Light); with it THE-PROPHETS WHO HAVE BECOME MUSLIMS JUDGE the Jews, the rabbis, and the doctors of law; of what they have guarded of Allah's Book, and they were witnesses thereof. Therefore desire not the people, and desire Me; and do not exchange My Ayah for a small price. And WHOEVER DOES NOT JUDGE BY WHAT ALLAH REVEALED, THOSE ARE THE REJECTORS/KAFIROON.” (Quraan 5:44) </em></p> <p><em>“We ordained therein for them (Jews): "Life for life, eye for eye, nose for nose, ear for ear, tooth for tooth, and wounds equal for equal." But if any one remits the retaliation by way of charity, it is an act of atonement for himself. And WHOEVER DOES NOT JUDGE BY WHAT ALLAH REVEALED, THOSE ARE THE ZALIMOON/OPPRESSORS”.(Quraan 5:45) </em></p> <p><em>“And in their footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Torah that had come before him: We gave him the Injeel, therein was guidance and light(nur). A confirmation of the Torah that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who are conscious of Allah.” (Quraan 5:46) </em></p> <p><em>“Let the people of the Injeel (Christians) JUDGE BY WHAT ALLAH HAS REVEALED therein. And WHOEVER DOES NOT JUDGE BY WHAT ALLAH REVEALED, THOSE ARE THE FASIQOON/REBELLIOUS”.(Quraan 5:47) </em></p> <p><em>“And We Revealed to you (Muhammad) The-Book with the truth, confirming of The-Book before it, and superseding it. So (Muhammad) JUDGE BETWEEN THEM BY WHAT ALLAH REVEALED, and don't follow their vanity, diverging you away from the truth which hath come to you. For each We have appointed a SHARIAH and a way. Had Allah willed He could have made you one Ummah, but it is that He might try you in what He gave you; therefore VIEW WITH ONE ANOTHER IN VIRTUOUSNESS; to Allah do you all return, SO HE WILL LET YOU KNOW THAT IN WHICH YOU DIFFERED”;(Quraan 5:48) </em></p> <p><em>“And thus (Muhammad) JUDGE BETWEEN THEM BY WHAT ALLAH REVEALED, and do not follow their vanity; and be guard of them, lest they test you from part of what Allah has Revealed to you; but if they turn back, then know that Allah desires to afflict them on account of some of their faults; and surely many humans are fasiqoon”.(Quraan 5:49) </em></p> <p><em>“Is it then the judgment of jahiliyah/ignorance that they seek? And who is better than Allah to judge for a people who are certain?" (Quraan 5:50) </em></p> <p>Some important things to note here:</p> <p>Those who do not JUDGE by Allah’s Revelations are called Kafirun, Fasiqun and Zalimun by Allah (the examples given are those of Jews and Christians who did not JUDGE by the Torah and the Injeel).</p> <p>The Quraan is the Book given to the Muslims as SHARIAH (5:48), and the Quraan supersedes the previous Books(this also answers the point raised by those who say that stoning is valid as it was in the previous Books – The Quraan is the Final and the Superseding Book)</p> <p>So it is clear that Allah has, in no uncertain terms, commanded the Muslims and the Prophet to JUDGE by the Quraan. The Prophet was a slave of Allah and could never imagine doing something, which was NOT in Allah’s Book. This is how the Quraan explains itself by repeating the topics:</p> <p>Wa laqad sarrafna_ lin na_si fi ha_zal qur'a_ni min kulli masal(in), fa aba_ aksarun na_si illa_ kufu_ra</p> <p><em>"And certainly We have REPEATED for mankind in this Quran, every kind of similitude, but the majority of mankind do not consent to aught but denying." (17:89) </em></p> <p>This ayah explains that Allah REPEATES His message within the Quraan in order for people to understand. More importantly, this Ayah contains a sad but true prediction. Allah says that He has REPEATED EVERY KIND OF EXAMPLE in the Book. Yet, He predicts that the majority of human beings will DENY that He has EVERY KIND OF EXAMPLE in the Quraan. Here Allah does not talk about Kuffar, or the Jews or the Christians. But it is using the Word “NAS”, the WHOLE humankind, INCLUDING the Muslims. Today, it is NOT only the non-believers who deny that the Quraan has EVERYTHING we need, but also the so called Muslims, who insist that the Quraan does not have X, and the Quraan does not have Y. These same Mulsims INSIST that the JUDGMENTS in the Quraan are NOT ALL the judgments, but that we must look elsewhere to get “EVERYTHING”. Sadly, this is a prediction made by Allah, and the Muslims are themselves bent on being part of it, except for a few.</p> <p>Now, having established that the Prophet would never ever JUDGE but by the Book of Allah, let us look at the punishment for Zina.</p> <p><em>“If any of your women are guilty of any FAHISH act, Take the evidence of four (Reliable) witnesses from amongst you against them; and if they testify, confine them to houses until death do claim them, or Allah ordain for them some (other) way.”(Quraan 4:15) </em></p> <p><em>“And as for the two who are guilty of any FAHISH act from among you, give them both a punishment; then if they repent and amend, turn aside from them; surely Allah is Oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful.”(Quraan 4:16) </em></p> <p>In these Ayaat Allah is talking about ANY Fahish act, i.e. any shameful act, including adultery and fornication. In 4:15 Allah is SPECIFICALLY talking about women who commit fahish acts. Allah says to confine them to their houses until they die or Allah ordain for them some other way.</p> <p>In 4:16 Allah is talking in a general sense that whoever commits a Fahish act, we must punish them, and if after that they REPENT and AMEND, we must leave them alone. This ayah rules out ANY DEATH PUNISHMENT for a crime of FAHASHI because the ayah tells us that if after punishment the criminals REPENT and AMEND, we should leave them alone. If the person is dead, he/she cannot repent or amend, and it won’t make any sense for us to leave them alone after they repent.</p> <p>The punishment of death also does not make sense when we look at other ayaat of the Quraan which talk about punishments for Fahish acts.</p> <p><em>"If any of you have not the means wherewith to wed believing Muhsinaat, they may WED believing young girls from among those whom your right hands possess. And Allah has full knowledge of your faith. You are one from another. WED them with the leave of the people of their household, and give them their dowers, according to what is reasonable: they should be chaste, not fornicators, nor taking adulterous. When they are taken in WEDLOCK, if they commit any FAHISH act, their PUNISHMENT is HALF that of a Muhsina woman. This is for those who fear sin; but it is better for you that you practice self restrain. And Allah is Oft-forgiving, most Merciful" (Quraan 4:25) </em></p> <p>If punishment for any fahish act had been death by stoning, then the above ayah would not make much sense, as there is NO HALF of death by stoning. Let us see another place where punishments for Fahish acts are mentioned:</p> <p><em>“O women of the prophet! Whoever, of you commits an open Fahish act, the punishment shall be increased to her doubly; and this is easy to Allah.”(Quraan 33:30) </em></p> <p>If the punishment for some indecent act had been stoning to death, then what would it mean to double the punishment?</p> <p>So the above ayaat 33:30, 4:25 and 4:16 rule out the possibility of a death punishment for a Fahish act.</p> <p>Here is the punishment that is PRESCRIBED in the Quraan for ZINA(Adultery and Fornication):</p> <p><em>"The woman and man guilty of Zina, flog each of them with a hundred stripes: Let not compassion move you in their case, in a matter PRESCRIBED by Allah, if you believe in Allah and the last day: and let a party of the Believers witness their punishment" (Quraan 24:2) </em></p> <p>So let us now look at those hadeeth which say that the Prophet allegedly stoned adulterers. The questions need to be asked are as follows:</p> <p>1. Was the Prophet COMMANDED to JUDGE by Allah’s Book?</p> <p>The answer is YES.</p> <p>2. Would the Prophet ever disobey Allah?</p> <p>The answer is NO.</p> <p>3. What is the punishment of Adultery in the Book of Allah?</p> <p>The answer is 100 flogs.</p> <p>4. Considering the ayaat 4:16, 4:25, and 33:30, could the punishment for ANY Fahish act be death?</p> <p>The answer is NO.</p> <p>5. Is stoning EVER implied in the Quraan?</p> <p>The answer is NO.</p> <p>What is the natural and logical conclusion from the above five. The answer is that the Prophet of Allah could NEVER disobey Allah and inflict a punishment, which could NOT be derived from the Quraan. Thus the hadeeth of stoning are fabrications. There is also strong evidence that someone later tried to include stoning in Islam. If we consider the following narrations, it would become clear that there was effort made to try and justify stoning by ascribing things to Umar as well:</p> <p>Narrated Abu Huraira and Zaid bin Khalid: 'Umar Ibn al Khataab said" Allah sent Muhammad with the Truth and revealed the Holy Book, Quraan, to him, and among what Allah revealed, was the Ayah of the Rajam (the stoning of married person (male &amp; female) who commits illegal sexual intercourse, and we did recite this Ayah and understood and memorized it."( Bukhari: Volume 8, Book 82, Number 815)</p> <p>This and other narration quoted by those who call themselves Muslims are also fabrications because they have some implications which cannot be true.</p> <p>The main implication of this is that The Quraan we have today is NOT COMPLETE because the “Ayah” of Rajam as SUPPOSIDLY mentioned by Umar above is NOT IN THE QURAAN WE HAVE. This cannot be true because Allah has PROMISED to PROTECT the QURAAN.</p> <p>However, some people insist on having stoning in the Law of Allah. They would go to ANY lengths to corrupt the PURE message of Allah. Not satisfied with the stories of stoning of humans in the books of hadith, they included monkeys in it also to show that somehow stoning is a “Natural” law:</p> <p>Bukhari: Volume 5, Book 58, Number 188:</p> <p>Narrated 'Amr bin Maimun:</p> <p>“During the pre-lslamic period of ignorance I saw a she-monkey surrounded by a number of monkeys. They were all stoning it, because it had committed illegal sexual intercourse. I too, stoned it along with them.”</p> <p>The questions that arise from this are:</p> <ol><li> Do Monkeys have Nikah?</li> <li> What does it mean for a Monkey to commit “Zina” after being “married”?</li> <li> How did Amr bin Maimun know that the she-monkey had committed Zina?</li> </ol><p>Is this not a desperate attempt to give stoning a Divine “Yes”? But wait, there is more. After creating the stories of the Prophet stoning people, and after creating stories about monkeys getting stoned, the people realized that the Book of Allah DOES NOT mention stoning. So they TURNED to the famous “Theory of Abrogation”, and INVENTED false Quraanic “ayaat” about stoning, and made up stories that these “ayaat” were “abrogated” and taken out of the Quraan during the TIME OF UMAR, but the RULING of stoning is valid – what a twisted mentality. Anyway, the proponents of stoning created the following hadith to “strengthen” the “evidence” that Allah WANTS stoning:</p> <p>Imam Malik's Muwatta</p> <p>Book 41 No. 10</p> <p>Malik related to me that Yahya ibn Said heard Said ibn al-Musayyab say, "When Umar ibn al-Khattab came from Mina, he made his camel kneel at al-Abtah, and then he gathered a pile of small stones and cast his cloak over them and dropped to the ground. Then he raised his hands to the sky and said, 'O Allah! I have become old and my strength has weakened. My flock is scattered. Take me to You with nothing missed out and without having neglected anything.' Then he went to Madina and addressed the people. He said, 'People! Sunan have been laid down for you. Obligations have been placed upon you. You have been left with a clear way unless you lead people astray right and left.' He struck one of his hands on the other and then said, 'Take care lest you destroy the ayat of stoning so that one will say, "We do not find two hadds in the Book of Allah." The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, stoned, so we have stoned. By He in Whose Hand my self is, had it not been that people would say that Umar ibn al-Khattab has added to the Book of Allah ta-ala, we would have written it, -The full-grown man and the full-grown woman, stone them absolutely." We have certainly recited that.'" Malik said, "Yahya ibn Said said Said ibn al-Musayyab said, 'Dhu'l-Hijja had not passed before Umar was murdered, may Allah have mercy on him.' " Yahya said that he had heard Malik say, "As for his words 'The full-grown man and the full-grown woman' he meant, 'The man and the woman who have been married, stone them absolutely.' "</p> <p>Very interesting hadith. Beside the obvious contradiction with Allah’s Promise to Protect the Quraan, this hadith as explained by Malik ALSO creates an interesting image of Umar, the companion of the Prophet. He was the Khalifah and a man of such a strong character, but he is presented as someone who is AFRAID of PEOPLE. He does not seem to be afraid of Allah for leaving His Book “incomplete”, but he is afraid what people might say.</p> <p>For centuries proponents of stoning shoved down this hadith down people’s throats, until someone did more research into it and found out that the chain of narrators was not sound. What a shame. It takes someone to look at the “chain of narrators” to classify this hadith as “weak” (note: they still don’t call it a fabrication) after many years. Do these people really believe in the Quraan?</p> <p>However, many Muslims of today would rather trust some narration, compiled many many years after the Prophet rather than the Quraan. The Quraan keeps on saying that the PRESCRIBED punishment for ZINA is 100 flogs, and that death could never be a punishment for any Fahish act, but the Muslims keep on harping that we have narration (200 after the Prophet) and thus the punishment for adultery is stoning. If someone invites them to the Quraan to settle this dispute, they call him “misguided”, “shaitaan”, “kaffir”, etc. What to be said of these people, but the following:</p> <p><em>"Hast thou not turned thy vision to those who have been given a portion of the Book? They are invited to the Book of Allah, to settle their dispute, but a party of them Turn back and decline." (Quraan 3:23) </em></p> <p>Such are the Ayaat of Allah, which We rehearse to you in truth: then in what HADEETH will they believe besides Allah and His Ayaat? (Quraan 45:6).</p> <p>Then the Messenger will say:</p> <p><em>“O my Lord, truly MY PEOPLE neglected the Quraan”. (Quraan 25:30).</em></p> <p> </p> <hr /><p class="rtecenter">By Naveed</p> </div> Tue, 30 Aug 2011 17:40:13 +0000 admin 135 at http://free-minds.org Alcohol in the Qur'an http://free-minds.org/alcohol-quran <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Alcohol in the Qur&#039;an</span> <div class="field field--name-taxonomy-vocabulary-1 field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/category/quranic-laws-behaviour" hreflang="en">Quran&#039;s Structure / Laws</a></div> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2011-08-30T17:08:41+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 08/31/2011 - 01:08</span> <div class="field field--name-field-article-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/image_style_standard_for_article/public/alcohol2.jpg?itok=QfrQVZ65" width="203" height="248" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-image-style-standard-for-article" /> </div> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Over the years, the detrimental effects of alcohol are well recorded even in the West. The highway statistics of deaths, because of the influence of alcohol, are astronomically high. The US Congress once voted for the prohibition of alcohol in 1917, when cars were rare on the streets. Organizations such as MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) sprang up in recent years to elevate social conscience about the use of alcohol.</p> <p>But alcohol as a source of intoxication is poles apart from its beneficial aspects. Quite often, alcohol is needed as preservative and solvent in medicines.</p> <p>Nevertheless, very frequently, sermons are heard in the mosques to avoid those medicines that contain alcohol. Islamic journals could hardly be browsed without stumbling upon an article, advising the devout Muslims to check the alcohol and other ingredients in medicines. Even tooth paste - a cleaning substance, is not spared by the 'self-appointed' Islam-defenders.</p> <p>Contrary to popular belief, a Koranic verse of a very revered Sura describes the alcoholic drinks as gifted with "good nourishment", and or, "wholesome drink". Naturally, this Koranic verse may inspire a few truth-seekers to trace their memories on the Koran, and relate the journals and news coverage, on the life-enhancing marvels of selective alcoholic drinks.</p> <p>In reality, the medical researchers, in recent years, have confirmed that the taking of certain red wine in a prescribed limit has been proven to be highly deterrent against heart-attack. The effectiveness of alcohol, in the prevention of infection during oral surgery - and for that matter most surgery is indisputable. Nevertheless, the mullahs, the Imams, as well as those scholars, heavily brain-washed with the corrupted Islamic value based on the Hadith, are adamant in their belief that the Koran prohibits alcohol even as a life saver.</p> <p>Does the Koran really define alcohol as 'haram'? Let us examine the source - the Koran, and keep the Hadith not to intervene in this issue.</p> <p>The characteristics of haram or prohibitions found in the Koran usually begin with the expression "forbidden for you." In some occasions, it gives a strong warning of hellfire. For instance, about the prohibiton of swine meat, the Koran says:</p> <p><em>"Forbidden unto you are carrion and blood and swine-flesh.... (5. Al Ma' idah: 3).</em></p> <p>The Koranic prohibition about murder states:</p> <p><em>"Whosoever slayeth a believer of set purpose, his reward is hellfire for ever..." (4. An-Nisa: 93).</em></p> <p>There are five major verses in the Koran that deal with the alcoholic drinks. Selecting by their sequential positions in the Koran, the first one contains the most interesting dogma and will be addressed at the end of this topic.</p> <p>The second verse advises the followers of Islam not to engage in prayers when they are under the influence of alcohol. The Koranic text is:</p> <p><em>"O you who believe! Draw not near unto prayer when you are drunken, till you know that which you utter,. ...." (4. An-Nisa: 43).</em></p> <p>Obviously, the expression "forbidden for you" is not found anywhere nearby. Nor the threat of 'hellfire' is directly or indirectly traceable in the verse. Rather, the deterrence applies to praying under alcoholic influence.</p> <p>The third verse defines alcoholic drinks as "an infamy of Satan's handiwork." and indicates the believer that to succeed in life, it is advisable to stay away from alcoholic drinks. The Koranic text is:</p> <p><em>"O you who believe! Strong drink and games of chance and idols and divining arrows are only an infamy of Satan's handiwork. Leave it aside in order that ye may succeed." (5. Al Ma' idah: 90).</em></p> <p>Strikingly, no word of forbiddance or the fear of hellfire is found here to classify alcohol as 'haram'. More to the point, the advice: "leave it aside in order that you may succeed" relates to earthy success in life. No doubt, career successes are often impaired and impeded because of the excessive influence of alcohol. Amazingly, the Koran places rightful emphasis on it.</p> <p>The fourth verse relates to food in general including alcohol, and assures the believers not to be too concerned about consuming food, as long as they do 'good work'. The phrase 'good work' has been emphasized repeatedly. Here again the hellfire and words of forbiddance are missing. The verse states:</p> <p><em>"There shall be no sin unto those who believe and do good works for what they may have consumed. So be mindful of your duty and do good works; and again: be mindful of your duty, and believe; and once again: be mindful of your duty, and do right. Allah loveth the good." (5. Al Ma' idah :93).</em></p> <p>As stated earlier, the fifth verse relates to a significant Sura of the Koran. It describes the alcoholic drinks as gifted with "good nourishment", and or, "wholesome drink" (16.An Nahl : 67) The Koran, as translated, reads:</p> <p><em>"And from the fruit of the palm and the grapes, you get out wholesome drink and food: behold, in this also is a sign for those who are wise (Yusuf Ali).</em></p> <p><em>And of the fruits of the date-palm, and grapes, whence you derive strong drink and good nourishment. Lo! therein is indeed a portent for people who have sense. (Pickthall).</em></p> <p>Now we come to the first verse that we skipped in the beginning for analytical discussion. Here, alcoholic drinks are qualified as having both 'detrimental' and 'beneficial' aspects for the mankind. The verse places emphasis on the 'detriment' (interpreted as sin) than on the 'benefit'. This, in reality, is the status of alcohol even today and its interface with numerous life saving usage besides medicines. Incidentally, the word 'alcohol' is derived from the Arabic word 'alkuhul' and it originates during the Golden Periods of Islam.</p> <p>What God addressed to prophet Muhammad in the Koran, can logically be understood as:</p> <p><em>"They question you about strong drink and games of chance. Say: In both is great abuse and usefulness for mankind; but the abusive side of them is greater than their usefulness." (2. Al-Baqarah :219).</em></p> <p>It is worth mentioning here that the word "abuse" has been replaced as "sin" by the early promoters of Islam. It is really a mind-boggling issue whether the word "sin" is an appropriate opposite of "usefulness"?</p> <p>Philologists or the experts of languages tell us that they find groups of languages that have similar root words and similar ways of expressing the same idea. They, however, find in other areas of languages, an altogether different grammatical scheme. With all these linguistic characteristics, the antonyms or the opposite words of all languages are the same. For instance the opposite of 'good' is 'bad' and definitely not 'dog'. Thus, when the opposite of 'usefulness' is arbitrarily made to mean 'sin', question arises as to the credence to the interpretation and its validity.</p> <p>Despite having total absence of the fear of hellfire and prohibitive connotation, it is really a thought provoking question: Why alcohol is known as a prohibited (haram) drink in Islam? Perhaps, the answer is not apparent, rather buried under the rubbles of historical antiquities.</p> <p>Unlike today, access to the Koran was limited to a few people in the early days of Islam because of the absence of paper and printing press. Paper, though an ancient commodity in China, came to the Arab's hand and subsequently to the West only during the tenth century. And not until Johann Gutenberg's invention of printing press in the fifteenth century, the mass production of any book was feasible, including the Koran.</p> <p>Obviously, those religious elite, possessing copies of the Koran in parchment with golden calligraphy, had no rival in challenging their marinated interpretation, with their own recipe. Over the years, the unchallenged interpretations got ingrained in the religious belief and kept passing from generations to generations.</p> <p>Unfortunately, that's the way the Koranic verses have been interpreted, translated and propagated. In other words, the Koranic interpreters had to bend the linguistic rules to suit the whim of Islam's promoters during those early days, closer to 300 years after Prophet Muhammad.</p> <p>History tells us that the Seljuk warlords were mostly originated in Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan. Towards the collapsing days of the Abbasid dynasty, the Seljuks captured the administration of the Abbasid kingdom. The Abbasid Sultans remained happy only with a yearly allowance and hearing their names mentioned during the "Khutba" of the Friday-prayer.</p> <p>After analysing the historical sequence of the Abbasid dynasty, some historians are of the opinion that it was the Seljuk generals who chopped-off alcoholic drinks for their soldiers in the battlefield. A few years before the Seljuks, the Buyids systematically had formulated their theological and judicial ideas. And more than ever the ulemas got prominance in functioning as the interpreters of Islamic laws.</p> <p>The Seljuks, previously exposed to Christianity, were the new converts to Islam. It was a juncture of the time when the dominance of Bukhari's Hadith was more prevalent than the Koran. After all, when Bukhari insisted that his Hadith was no inferior to the Koran, it was normal for the Seljuks to place more importance on the Hadith - presumed to be the updated Islamic guidance than adhering to the Quran - viewed as old and outdated. The Hadith provided the Seljuks all the ammunition to rule the country in the false pretext of Muhammad's precedents.</p> <p>In fact, most Sharia Laws were developed during this Seljuk period of Islam based on the Hadith. The dreadful powers of Fatwa, apostasy, stoning to death, honour killing, Jihad with a reward of 70 virgins in the heaven and many more were enshrined in the Hadith while they were totally absent in the Koran. Obviously it doesn't leave any room for the researchers to ponder other than to conclude that the prohibition of alcohol too was a strategy of the Seljuks. It was largely the Seljuks that tossed Islam from its original orbit.</p> <p>It is an irony that the alcoholic drink had been a normal beverage during the time of the prophets prior to Muhammad. Wine was a significant item when Jesus was having his last supper with his twelve disciples. Even one of his miracles involved the making of wine for the guests in a party. In fact, the use of wine could be traced in the Old Testament to all the notable prophets including Moses, David and Solomon.</p> <p>The Koran tells us that wine is one of the significant attributes and rewards in the Heaven. Yet the early Imams arbitrarily made it a forbidden drink despite the fact that neither the word, 'forbidden', nor the warning of 'hellfire' relates to alcohol in the verses of the Koran.</p> <p>Presumably, it is a high time for the rational Muslims to ponder and read the verses of the Koran for themselves instead of relying solely on the hearsay. After all, the Islamic God Himself has declared the Koran as</p> <p><em>"....a lecture in Arabic containing no crookedness.... (Aa-Zumar 28).</em></p> <p>Could the Koran then be so complicated? Have the Muslims not been assured in the very preamble of Surah Al-Baqarah that the Koran is a "guidance"?</p> <p>Misrepresented by the ill-educated mullahs, misinterpreting the message of the Koran for political and military purposes, the Muslims are perceived today as backward people with nothing to offer to the rest of the world. While God allows even the forbidden swine-flesh to save life, what could be more evil than avoiding medicines because of their alcoholic contents?</p> <p>Source: Translation of the Koran, by Yusuf Ali, Pickthall and Shakir; The Holly Bible, King James Version; Classical Islam, Von Grunebaum.</p> <p> </p> <hr /><p class="rtecenter">By Mesbahuddin Faruq (<a href="mailto:mesbah_uddin@hotmail.com">mesbah_uddin@hotmail.com</a>)</p> </div> Tue, 30 Aug 2011 17:08:41 +0000 admin 133 at http://free-minds.org The Democratic Principles of the Qur'an http://free-minds.org/democratic-principles-quran <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">The Democratic Principles of the Qur&#039;an</span> <div class="field field--name-taxonomy-vocabulary-1 field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/category/quranic-laws-behaviour" hreflang="en">Quran&#039;s Structure / Laws</a></div> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2011-08-30T16:45:49+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 08/31/2011 - 00:45</span> <div class="field field--name-field-article-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/image_style_standard_for_article/public/democracy.jpg?itok=LT3L_BC6" width="140" height="140" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-image-style-standard-for-article" /> </div> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Considering the political state of the Sunni and Shia countries in the world today it would be very easy to suggest that Islam doesn’t promote democratic principles. We would expect that if Islam did promote democratic values then Muslims would be putting these principles into practice. I suggest though that it would be a very grave injustice to simply decide that Islam is not democratic based on this criteria. The criteria I suggest for judging whether Islam is democratic or not is the Quran. After all ‘the Criterion’ is one of the names of the Quran. So a clear distinction will be made between what is actually on paper and what is unfortunately practiced. At the very least I hope that by quoting Quranic verses I can convince you that the Quran does promote democratic principles. Then it will be up to you to decide how you judge Islam: by it’s book, or by the actions of those claiming to follow it.</p> <p><em>Whatever you have been given is but an enjoyment of this world. That which is with God is better and more lasting for those who believe, and place their trust in their Lord, and those who avoid the great sins and obscenities, and when they are angry they forgive, and those who respond to their Lord, and maintain prayer, and AMRUHUM (their decision, command, order, decree, authority) is by SHUWRA (consultation, deliberation) between themselves, and they spend from what we have provided them. (42:36-38)</em></p> <p>This verse is not about an elite group deciding amongst themselves for everybody else. The they of AMRUHUM is everybody who has an interest in the issue being decided. The AMRUHUM of the rulers would be about things such as which restaurant they decide to dine at. This is because such a decision only concerns them. The final decision regarding issues is made through the process of SHUWRA between the interested parties. Elections, referendums and representative parliaments are particular manifestations of SHUWRA because these methods facilitiate the process of consulting with the interested parties. SHUWRA can be seen to be of great importance as it is mentioned along with other important traits of the believers. The system which most consults people in the process of making decisions about issues which concern them is the system recommended by Islam. The Quran lays down principles universal in time and space. We have the flexibility to adapt the system to a changing environment to meet the requirements of the general principle of SHUWRA.</p> <p><em>O you who believe, when it is said to you, ‘TAFASSAHUW (make room, clear a space, provide an opportunity) in the MAJALIS (conference rooms, parliaments, councils, committees, gatherings)’ then make room. God will make room for you. And when it is said to you, ‘ANSHUZUW (get up, be elevated)’ then get up. God will promote in rank those of you who believe, and those of you who UWTUW AL-'ILM (possess knowledge, information). God is aware of what you do. (58:11)</em></p> <p>So we know that decisions are arrived at through SHUWRA. The MAJALIS are places where SHUWRA can take place. It must be noted that the Quran talks about a plural of MAJALIS which tells us that all decisions shouldn’t be monopolized in one MAJLIS. This verse represents the right of people to be provided an opportunity to participate in the decision making process. People wanting democratic space say to those already occupying the MAJALIS, ‘TAFASSAHUW so we can also participate in SHUWRA.’ According to the Quran we must make room for aspiring participants. Establishing the principle of TAFASSAHUW for others reinforces our rights to participate under the same principle. Interested people will want to participate when it is AMRUHUM. Elections, referendums, representative parliaments, freepress, freedom of political association and protest all encompass the principle of TAFASSAHUW by providing a platform for people to make their views known. In a broader sense the MAJALIS don’t exist only in particular buildings. They exist wherever people want to express their views for consideration. The street is a MAJLIS for protest and other activities. The media is a MAJLIS for views to be transported. God willing, Muslim democrats find inspiration in this verse despite the defiance of those with other agendas.</p> <p>Those in the MAJALIS are also told to ANSHUZUW, to get up and speak on behalf of themselves and also people who want them to give a voice to their views. Examples of this are members of parliament truly representing the aspirations of their electorate or people who prominently stand up for special causes eg. Princess Diana on land mines. ANSHUZUW also suggests some structure to the process of SHUWRA in which participants become elevated to indicate that it is now their time to capture the attention of the audience and express their views.</p> <p>During SHUWRA people will be promoted in rank according to their contribution towards finding the most appropriate AL-AMR. Believers and the UWTUW AL-ILM will shine through as being worthy of promotion because of the strength of their arguments in an open competitive environment where everyone is given an opportunity to present different views. Promotion is not based on family connections or wealth or threat of force. Indeed the Quran states:</p> <p><em>‘There is no compulsion in the system. Good reason is already distinctly clear from error..’ (2:256).</em></p> <p>It's important to add that while belief and knowledge are comlementary, UWTUW AL-ILM can also include non-Muslims who happen to be knowledgeable in the issues being discussed. Muslims as fallible individuals certainly won’t possess all the knowledge on every relevant topic. They should let what good reason comes from the non-Muslims be promoted above any incorrect ideas that Muslims may produce. A government that wants to produce the best results for it’s people shouldn’t deny their society the benefits of the knowledge of the non-Muslims. After all, let us remember that all knowledge originates from God. All knowledge is holy, regardless of who is the transporter of it.</p> <p><em>And among them are those who annoy the Prophet and say, ‘UDHUNUN (he is all ears, lending his ear to everything)’. Say, ‘UDHUNU (his listening) is best for you. He has faith in God, and has faith in the believers, and is a mercy to those of you who have faith.’ And those who annoy the Messenger of God, there is a painful punishment for them. (9:61</em>)</p> <p><em>It was because of the mercy of God that LINTA (you were gentle, flexible, moderate) towards them. If you were FAZZAN (blunt, crude), GHALEEZ AL-QALB (hard hearted, inconsiderate) they would have LAANFADDUW MIN HAWLIKA (broken away, disassociated themselves from around you). FA’FU‘ ANHUM (so pardon, exempt, release, free them) and ask forgiveness for them, and SHAAWIRHUM (consult, deliberate with them) concerning AL-AMR (the decision, command, order, decree, authority). Then when you have made your decision, then put your trust in God. Certainly God loves those who trust. (3:159</em>)</p> <p>From these verses we get an indication of the example of the Prophet Muhammad when it comes to governing. He was not a dictator. He was moderate and ‘all ears,’ listening to all of the contributions made in the SHUWRA process to reach a decision that was best for the people. Some people who were disrespectful of the right of people to have their views heard didn’t like the extent of Muhammad’s listening to the people. Because of Muhammad’s consultative and moderate style of governing people didn’t withdraw their support from him.</p> <p>Despite any ‘perceived’ faults of any people we are to FA’FU‘ ANHUM to allow them to be able to participate in the SHUWRA process. Firstly people are freed to participate and then they are actually consulted. The number of groups that need to be pardoned to participate are as many as have been the subject of discrimination and denial of participation in the past. People and parties can’t be disqualified because we don’t agree with them. We are to ask for the forgiveness of people at least to the extent of having their right to consultation protected.</p> <p>There is always some doubt about whether the AL-AMR that is reached is the correct one. We can’t always be certain that the alternative choices are as simplistically different as black and white. We have to have an element of faith to just let the decision take effect. ‘God willing.’ We are told to put our trust in God. We do this by implementing the conclusions reached.</p> <p><em>Certainly, believers are those who believe in God and His Messenger, and when they are with him concerning AMRIN (a decision, command, decree) , JAAMI’IN (comprehensive, broad, general, universal), they don’t hold a view until they are informed about it. Certainly, those who inform you are those who believe in God and the Messenger. So when they inform you about some of their concerns then listen to whoever you will of them and ask forgiveness for them. (24:62)</em></p> <p><em>And don’t make the summons of the Messenger amongst you like your summons between each other. God knows those of you who sneak away covertly. So let those who stay away from AMRIHI (his decision, authority) beware that an affliction may befall them, or that a painful punishment may befall them. (24:63)</em></p> <p>24:62 is talking to us about the correct frame of mind we should take to SHUWRA. We shouldn’t have already made up our minds about important JAAMI’IN issues. We should delay final judgement until we are informed by all of those who are present to inform us about their concerns. No matter how alarming the information is, we shouldn’t hold back any relevant information in the SHUWRA process. From 9:61 we know that Muhammad did sit and be informed of the concerns of the people. There should be full exposure and then careful consideration of information.</p> <p>24:63 tells us to take a summons to participate in SHUWRA even more seriously than our invitations between each other. Some people refused the summons of the Messenger and didn’t acknowledge his authority. People who refuse to reply to the invitation to participate in SHUWRA and don’t acknowledge the authority of the leader through SHUWRA are more vulnerable to afflictions happening in their lives because they don’t take full advantage of the system to protect their interests. These people are not hunted down. They just can’t count on the surrounding society to come to their aid when they aren’t interacting with the recognized authority. People should take advantage of the opportunity to vote, lobby and express their views.</p> <p><em>And don’t consume your wealth with futility and be suggestive with it to AL-HUKKAAM (the decision makers, legislators, judges) in order that you knowlingly consume a part of the wealth of the people with transgression. (2:188)</em></p> <p>This verse makes a clear statement against corruption of the democratic process by financial donations. Suggestive donations can prevent participants from true ANSHUZUW (getting up) on behalf of what they should. Bribes should neither be offered or accepted. The rights of all of the people shouldn’t be usurped by selfish narrow financial interests. Decisions must be made on their merits. They shouldn’t be bought and sold.</p> <p><em>O Prophet, when believing women come to you and pledge to you that they won’t…nor disobey you concerning MA’RUWF (that which is good, beneficial, suitable), then accept their pledge and ask God to forgive them (60:12).</em></p> <p>This verse indicates that a pledge of obedience to the Prophet was not unconditional. It is not ‘nor disobey you’ without further clarification. The Prophet only had to be obeyed when what he asked for was MA’RUWF. The Prophet was a human like all others, capable of making mistakes as observed in various places in the Quran (80:1-12), (66:1). This verse allows for consciencious objection based on a personal value judgement as to what is MA’RUWF. God told Muhammad that he could not accept pledges of unconditional obedience.</p> <p>God knows best.</p> <p><em>My Lord increase me in knowledge</em>.</p> <p> </p> <hr /><p class="rtecenter">By Neil Maybanks (<a href="mailto:n_maybanks3@hotmail.com">n_maybanks3@hotmail.com</a>)</p> </div> Tue, 30 Aug 2011 16:45:49 +0000 admin 131 at http://free-minds.org Theft Punishment http://free-minds.org/theft-punishment <span property="schema:name" class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Theft Punishment</span> <div class="field field--name-taxonomy-vocabulary-1 field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><a href="/category/quranic-laws-behaviour" hreflang="en">Quran&#039;s Structure / Laws</a></div> <span rel="schema:author" class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">admin</span></span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2011-08-30T07:17:25+00:00" class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 08/30/2011 - 15:17</span> <div class="field field--name-field-article-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/image_style_standard_for_article/public/theft.jpg?itok=u9J0Y0Oc" width="134" height="117" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="image-style-image-style-standard-for-article" /> </div> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em>12:1-3, "A.L.R. These are signs &lt;ayat&gt; of the profound scripture. We have sent it down, an Arabic Quran that you may understand. We narrate to you the best stories through Our revelation to you of this Quran. Before this, you were totally unaware." </em></p> <p>What is theft punishment in Quran? This article will show, God willing (Gw), that is to give the chance to the thieves to come forward, acknowledge their crime, and give back what they have stolen to the victim. They might even get a reward. If they do not come forward, prove should be found who are the thieves. Then they should work to pay the fees involved for the whole thing. What was stolen, if found, should be restituted to their owners. Otherwise, thieves should work for them until what they have stolen is repaid. </p> <!--break--><p>First, the article will explore the two literal understandings related to this issue and show their shortcomings. Then, it will conclude with the third non-literal and the closest to Quran’s spirit understanding just stated.</p> <p>So far, two punishments for theft were proposed as an understanding of aya 5:38.</p> <p><em>5:38, "The male thief, and the female thief, you shall &lt;eqta’u&gt; &lt;aydiyahuma&gt; as a punishment for their crime, and to serve as a deterrent from God. God is Almighty, Wise." </em></p> <p><em>5:39, "If one repents after committing this crime, and reforms, God redeems him. God is Forgiver, Merciful." </em></p> <p>The Arabic word &lt;eqta’u&gt; means "cut" while &lt;aydiyahuma&gt; refers to "the (three or more) hands of the male and female thief". Thus the expression &lt;eqta’u&gt; &lt;aydiyahuma&gt;, in aya 5:38 above, stands literally for "cut their (three or more) hands." Therefore, 5:38 reads literally:</p> <p><em>5:38, "The male thief, and the female thief, you shall cut their (three or more) hands as a punishment for their crime, and to serve as a deterrent from God. God is Almighty, Wise." </em></p> <p><strong>First Literal Understanding </strong></p> <p>The first understanding says that 5:38 means to cut off the thief's hand. I do not agree with this understanding for the following reasons. First, the Arabic word &lt;aydiyahuma&gt; is the plural (three or more) of &lt;yad&gt; (hand) used in dual form. As we know, each one of us has normally only two hands, including thieves. How can we possibly cut off the hands (three or more) of a thief? Even if we accept that the hands in this aya refer to the hands of both thieves, should we then cut off both hands of a thief?</p> <p>Second, what will benefit the one who lost their stolen goods in case they would not recovered them? And what would happen if someone were accused mistakenly or maliciously of theft and their hands were cut off? What if someone does not have hands and uses only his brain to plan thefts for their accomplices? This is not a fiction; it happened.</p> <p>Third, how could the above aya 5:39 be applied if someone has his or her hands cut off and repents later on and reforms? On other words, if cutting the hands in aya 5:38 is translated literally to mean cutting off the hands, then aya 5:39 can not stand logic and common sense. Let’s assume that someone steals something and pays the heavy price of his or her hands being cutting off. Then he or she repents and reforms. What does it mean in his or her case that,</p> <p><em>"God redeems him. God is Forgiver, Merciful"? (5:39). </em></p> <p>How will he or she be redeemed once he or she has lost his or her hands? How could he or she deserve a second chance without his or her hands? Indeed, understanding cutting hands as cutting off hands literally does not stand logic and common sense in the context of these two ayat 5:38-39 in particular, and in the context of Quran in general.</p> <p><strong>Second Literal Understanding </strong></p> <p>The second understanding that was proposed for aya 5:38 is to only mark the thief's hand. This understanding runs against the same problems as the first one. Besides the same above problems, we have a specific one to this case. With all esthetic surgery advances, someone could manage to steal millions and spend a few thousands to offer themselves an esthetic surgery to hide their hands’ markings. Criminals nowadays do go thru facial surgery in order to hide from justice and people.</p> <p>Furthermore, Ayat 12:31 and 12:50 were used to convey this meaning of marking the hands to 5:38.</p> <p><em>12:31, "..When they (the women) saw him (Joseph), they exalted him and they cut &lt;qatta’a&gt; their hands..." </em></p> <p>However, 12:31 and 12:50 do not use the exact wording as 5:38. They use the Arabic variation &lt;qatta'a&gt; of &lt;qata'a&gt; "cut" used in 5:38. Even though if someone agrees that both have the same meaning, the same word &lt;qatta'a&gt; is used in 5:33, 7:124, 20:71, 26:49 as to mean cut off or amputate.</p> <p><em>5:33, "The retribution for those who fight God and His messenger, and commit corruption in the land, is to be killed, or crucified, or to cut off/amputate &lt;qatta’a&gt; their hands and feet on alternate sides, or to be banished from the land..." </em></p> <p>Therefore why should someone use 12:31 and 12:50 to convey the meaning "to mark" and not 5:33, 7:124, 20:71, 26:49 to convey the meaning "to cut off/amputate"?</p> <p><strong>Non-Literal Understanding </strong></p> <p>Let’s consider now the third meaning and the closest to Quran’s spirit. The punishment is to cut off from the thieves’ resources and power. Here you are three reasons supporting this non-literal understanding.</p> <p>1. First, the Arabic word &lt;yad&gt; (in dual plural in 5:38 above) or "hand" is used in Quran in its literal and figurative meanings. For instance, 27:12 uses it in its literal meaning while 5:64 uses it in its figurative one to refer to wealth and resources.</p> <p><em>27:12, "Put your hand &lt;yad&gt; (O Moses) in your pocket; it will come out white, without a blemish. These are among nine signs &lt;ayat&gt; to Pharaoh and his people, for they are wicked people." </em></p> <p><em>5:64, "The Jews even said, "God's &lt;yad&gt; hand is tied down!" It is their &lt;yad&gt; hands that are tied down. They are condemned for uttering such a blasphemy. Instead, His both &lt;yad&gt; hands are wide open, spending as He wills..." </em></p> <p>Another example for the non-literal meaning is 38:45. It uses &lt;yad&gt; in plural (three or more) form. It conveys the meaning of power and possession of resources.</p> <p><em>38:45, "Remember also our servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They were resourceful &lt;ulu al-aydee&gt; (with many hands), and possessed vision/They possessed power and vision." </em></p> <p>&lt;yad&gt; is also used to infer someone's actions and doings (2:195, 22:10). It is used too to mean possession of a responsibility or a contract (2:237).</p> <p>Therefore, &lt;eqta’u aydiyahuma&gt; in the above aya 5:38 means to cut off from the thieves’ resources and power.</p> <p><em>5:38, "The male thief, and the female thief, you shall cut off from their resources and power as a punishment for their crime, and to serve as a deterrent from God. God is Almighty, Wise." </em></p> <p>Aya 5:39 that follows 5:38 makes complete sense.</p> <p><em>5:39, "If one repents after committing this crime, and reforms, God redeems him. God is Forgiver, Merciful." </em></p> <p>2. Second, let's consider the case of murder in Quran which is a worse crime than stealing. There are two earthly punishments. 4:92 deals with a believer's accidental killing. Neither capital punishment nor jail are involved. 2:178 deals with the second case when someone meant the killing. This aya gives the option of sparing the murderer's life. In both cases, there is ransom involved if possible. It is the case maybe because when someone is killed, a source of income is cut from their family and therefore should be compensated. In either case, punishment does not tall the cutting or marking of hands if it was the case in 5:38.</p> <p>3. Last but not least, sura 12 gives us a good example of how to punish the thieves.</p> <p><em>12:70, "When he provided them with their provisions, he placed the drinking cup in his brother's bag, then an announcer announced: "The owners of this caravan are thieves."' </em></p> <p><em>12:71, "They said, as they came towards them, "What did you lose?"' </em></p> <p><em>12:72, "They said, "We lost the king's cup. Anyone who returns it will receive an extra camel-load; I personally guarantee this."' </em></p> <p><em>12:73, "They said, "By God, you know full well that we did not come here to commit evil, nor are we thieves."' </em></p> <p><em>12:74, "They said, "What is the punishment for the thief, if you are liars?"' </em></p> <p><em>12:75, "They said, "The punishment, if it is found in his bag, is that the thief belongs to you. We thus punish the guilty."' </em></p> <p><em>12:76, "He then started by inspecting their containers, before getting to his brother's container, and he extracted it out of his brother's container. We thus perfected the scheme for Joseph; he could not have kept his brother if he applied the king's &lt;deen&gt; law/religion. But that was the will of God. We exalt whomever we choose to higher ranks. Above every knowledgeable one, there is one who is even more knowledgeable." </em></p> <p><em>12:77, "They said, "If he stole, so did a brother of his in the past." Joseph concealed his feelings in himself, and did not give them any clue. He said (to himself), "You are really bad. God is fully aware of your accusations."' </em></p> <p><em>12:78, "They said, "O you noble one, he has a father who is elderly; would you take one of us in his place? We see that you are a kind man."' </em></p> <p><em>12:79, "He said, "God forbid that we should take other than the one in whose possession we found our goods. Otherwise, we would be unjust."' </em></p> <p>The way I understand the above ayat is this is God's law for theft in application.</p> <p><em>12:7, "In Joseph and his brothers there are lessons for the seekers." </em></p> <p>Joseph and his brothers were submitters and children of Jacob and Abraham's great great-children.</p> <p><em>12:38, "And I (Joseph) followed instead the religion &lt;deen&gt; of my forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We have no right to commit shirk (associating partners) with God. Such is the blessing from God upon us and upon the people, but most people are unappreciative." </em></p> <p>It is very clear from the above ayat that they were not following the king’s law to punish the thieves but rather God’s law.</p> <p><em>12:76, "...We thus perfected the scheme for Joseph; he could not have kept his brother if he applied the king's &lt;deen&gt; law/religion. But that was the will of God..." </em></p> <p>First the presumed thieves were given the chance to come forward, acknowledge their wrongdoing, and then give back what they have stolen. They might even get a reward.</p> <p>Second, if they do not do so, they must be proven as thieves. Then, what was stolen, if found, should be restituted to their owners. Thieves should work to repay the fees involved in the whole process. They should also work to repay what was stolen in case they do not give it or the whole of it back.</p> <p>Besides, aya 5:38 refers to THE thief. If someone steals for the first time, comes forward and acknowledges his or her wrongdoing, he or she is not called THE thief. Aya 5:38 does not apply to those ones.</p> <p>This process put in application the theft punishment stated in 5:38 that is to cut off from the thieves’ resources and power. It leaves also the door open for thieves to repent and reform as God states in 5:39. This whole process is what is applied to thieves in some Muslim rural areas.</p> <p>These ayat give us also an example of someone who was set up for theft, for a good reason of course. But, what would happen to someone who was set up maliciously and has to face marking or cutting of his or her both hands?</p> <p>Had Joseph known that God's punishment for theft is marking or cutting hands (which his brothers would have apply), he would not scheme that way in order to keep his brother with him.</p> <p>Someone would argue that was God's theft law for previous communities and we are not bound by it. Well, when God wants to change something, He specifies it (2:187). Furthermore, Quran specifies when some laws do apply only for some communities (16:118) and therefore we are not bound to apply them.</p> <p>The cutting or marking hands as a punishment of thieves run into contradictions within Quran. However, meaning of "cutting hands" in 5:38 as cutting from the thieves’ resources and power, the case of murder’s punishment in Quran, and the example of God’s law in application in 12:70-79 are the three arguments, put forward in this article, to propose the third and closest to Quran’s spirit punishment for theft. It goes as follow. Chance should be given to the thieves to come forward, acknowledge their crime, and give back what they have stolen to the victims. They might even get a reward. If they do not come forward, prove should be found who are the thieves. Thieves should then work to pay the fees involved for the whole thing. What was stolen, if found, should be restituted to their owners. Otherwise, thieves should work for them until what they have stolen is repaid.</p> <p>We started this article with the first ayat of sura 12 that tells us that God narrates to us the best stories. We have seen how, indeed, we could apply the theft story from this sura to deduce the meaning of theft punishment and its application as stated in 5:38-39. We conclude this article with the last aya of the same sura 12.</p> <p><em>12:111, "In their stories, there is a lesson for those who possess intelligence. This is not a fabricated narration &lt;hadith&gt;; this (Quran) authenticates what it is between its hands, and provides the details of everything. It is a beacon and a mercy for those who believe." </em></p> <p> </p> <p>God bless you all, peace,</p> <p> </p> <hr /><p class="rtecenter">By Joe (<a href="mailto:joe28@iname.com">joe28@iname.com</a>)</p> </div> Tue, 30 Aug 2011 07:17:25 +0000 admin 127 at http://free-minds.org