Why Are We Here?

One of the major questions that any person asks when exploring the subject of life and religion in general is the ‘why are we here’ question.

Some people have claimed that if there is an afterlife and reward/punishment, then God is unfair since He is judging people who may not have wanted to be created or placed on Earth in the first place. Others have made claim that God is simply amusing Himself with our creation and then He gets to see us burn or move on to paradise like some characters in a video game. Others have taken an altogether different view and have claimed that we are here as the result of some intergalactic war/feud between God and Satan that took place eons ago and that Earth is the prison for Satan and his followers to redeem themselves back to the graces of the Almighty!

As is usual when confronting any subject where we may not have all the answers, the best source to turn to for the absolute truth is God’s Scripture – the Quran.


Does God Lead People Astray?

This article briefly presents a reply to the commonly held belief in many faiths that it is God (Allah) who has pre-determined the fate of people, and whatever good or bad happens to them in life is not a result of their own actions but was pre-written for them in their fate. If people are astray, then it is God to blame for that as well, according to this widely held notion in various Religions.

Some time ago we received the following question by e-mail, and it indicates that some people can arrive at this conclusion superficially reading some Quranic passages.


No Doubt (Jihad)

One of the most seriously misunderstood aspects of Islam is its position on fighting. This stems both from a widespread, general ignorance of Islam and a tendency to view the violent behavior of groups and individuals with only nominal ties to Islam as representative of Islam. For Muslims, the Qur'an contains God's own words and is not the work of inspired men. It is therefore, the ultimate authority which defines the beliefs and practices of Islam.

Often, people take verses, or parts of verses from the Qur'an, ignoring context and related verses, to make Islam appear warlike and violent, or to justify hostility and aggression. But a careful examination of the Qur'an yields a very different view.


Theft Punishment

12:1-3, "A.L.R. These are signs <ayat> 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."

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.


Was Prophet Mohammed Illiterate?

Muslim scholars and the entire Muslim world will tell us that prophet Mohammed was an illiterate man who could not read or write. They tell you this information to make the miracle of the Quran sound even more miraculous disregarding that such statements create some obvious questions:

  • According to historians, the prophet Mohammed encouraged his followers to learn to read and write and teach others the same so as to spread knowledge throughout the world. How is it that a man who led by example never learnt to read and write himself?
  • The Quran was transmitted to us through the prophet Mohammed’s own lips over a period of 23 years. Is it conceivable that the man who was in contact with God’s words and who was careful to have them written down and copied never bothered to learn to read what he was having written?

How to Study the Qur'an

“Do they not ponder the Quran?. Or do they have locks on their hearts?” (47:24)

The opponents of Islam will normally quote one or two verses out of context such as “and kill them wherever you find them” (2:191) to prove their conviction that Islam is a religion of hate and terror, and that its followers are akin to satanic worshippers for no true GOD would have sanctioned such teachings…

The problem is that the ignorant amongst the Muslims, as well as their self-appointed leaders, will fall into these sort of traps and even agree that they are ‘commanded’ to kill all Jews and Christians or that they are ‘commanded’ to beat women who are disobedient, or that they are ‘commanded’ to amputate the hands of thieves, etc..

All these problems come from the inability of Muslims and their self-appointed leaders to study the Quran as it was intended to be studied, and thus they risk turning the book of guidance and light into a book of horror and crime!


Rules of Engagement

There has been a lot of eye-opening debate on the Free-minds discussion board about the topics of engagement and marriage. I wholeheartedly agree with the opinion that we need to understand the original Quranic language as opposed to interpretations where the meaning of the words has been twisted by Talmudic Muslim (Sunni) distortions. One example is the expression “ma malakat aymanukum” which literally means “that possessed by your oath.” When studying the Quran, I had found that in many cases the literal translation of expressions provides a more accurate and consistent indication of their meaning than traditional interpretations. For example, the expression “ma malakat aymanukum” has been traditionally translated as “spoils/captives of war” when in fact the Arabic word for captives of war is “asra” and the Prophet was strongly prohibited from keeping war captives (see 8:67). Moreover, slavery is against God’s natural system.


The Democratic Principles of the Qur'an

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.


Glorifying Mohammed

This very common phrase (AL-SALAT ALA AL-NABI and AL-TASLEEM) derives from the following verse:

"God and His angels ‘Yossalloon ala al Nabi’, O you believers you shall ‘Salloo alayhee’ and ‘Sallemoo tasleema’." (33/56)

Since this is a clear command from God, we must surely obey it. However, and before obeying this command we must first understand the meaning of it. We notice that the verse contained two commands, the ‘Salla ala al Nabi’ and the ‘Tasleem’.

First we should inspect the present interpretation of these words among Muslims today, then we must find out whether this interpretation is in line with the one contained in the Quran. To do this, the easiest method is to ask any Muslim as to what is the meaning of the simple and widely spoken words ‘Salli ala al Nabi’.


Alcohol in the Qur'an

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.

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.

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.