Author Topic: New article: What is the meaning of "al masjid al haram"?  (Read 86546 times)

Wakas

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Re: New article: What is the meaning of "al masjid al haram"?
« Reply #120 on: January 18, 2013, 02:56:10 PM »
Salaam aabdul,

I find Parwez's explanation of "the night journey" to be perhaps slightly more plausible than the traditional story. "aqsa" means "farthest", i.e. the superlative, not "afar", which does not seem to fit medina very well.

It is interesting that Parwez makes a link between 17:1-2, 17:60 and 48:27 to the believers overcoming the opposition, albeit via a tenuous way. I also make this connection but with more evidence.

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I am curious to know your reason for confirming the traditional view of Jerusalem being masjid al aqsa.

I did no such thing. I strongly recommend re-reading my article. I discuss the traditional view but that is not where the evidence leads:

http://mypercept.co.uk/articles/meaning-masjid-al-haram-Quran.html

All information in my posts is correct to the best of my knowledge only and thus should not be taken as a fact. One should seek knowledge and verify: 17:36, 20:114, 35:28, 49:6, 58:11. My articles

www.studyQuran.org

aabdul

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Re: New article: What is the meaning of "al masjid al haram"?
« Reply #121 on: January 18, 2013, 10:38:02 PM »
Salaam aabdul,

I find Parwez's explanation of "the night journey" to be perhaps slightly more plausible than the traditional story. "aqsa" means "farthest", i.e. the superlative, not "afar", which does not seem to fit medina very well.

Wassalam,

The word "afar" is something to do with translation!   As you can see from the link of his translation, he has provided "Limitless glory to Allah who moved his devotee one night from the sacred mosque (of Makkah) to the farthest mosque (in Madina - where atmosphere was much more conducive) and its environs We had blessed."

It is not clear whether according to you, it does not seem to fit medina, whether due to distance issue.  It is a fair amount of distance (over 350km) considering the means of transportation and incidently could be covered in a night time using the resources available at that time.

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I did no such thing. I strongly recommend re-reading my article. I discuss the traditional view but that is not where the evidence leads:

I am reading your article and I think I have to reread to grasp completely.  I notice you have ruled out physical journey since prophet "cannot ascend in the heaven/sky and is only a human" (I believe to counter traditional view of physical journey to Jerusalem), however a physical journey is possible to Medina in a night time without any ascension.  It seems you are of opinion of a spiritual journey into future in a vision/ dream.  I think you seem to take the night journey similar to Joseph's  vision in his dream 'eleven stars and the sun and the moon prostrating to him'.

I need your help to write for me the translation of verse 17:1, not word by word translation but like a commedery, based on your analysis of the terms without using from "the inviolable time of SJD/acknowledgement" to "the farthest/remotest time of SJD/acknowledgement" 

Wakas

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Re: New article: What is the meaning of "al masjid al haram"?
« Reply #122 on: January 19, 2013, 01:51:53 PM »
salaam aabdul,

To me, it seems odd to call medina "the farthest/remotest mosque", and this awkwardness does seem to also show through in Parwez's words, e.g. he switches between "afar" and "farthest" when they are different, and he tries to say rather than a building masjid can also mean a symbol/centre of obeying God's laws. The implication of this understanding of course is that nowhere in the entire world was God's laws being obeyed at this time outside of medina. Maybe.
And his understanding fails to adequately explain 17:7, i.e. it is unrelated to 17:1 in his view and requires external verification otherwise no-one would know what it refers to. To me, this is not ideal.

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I need your help to write for me the translation of verse 17:1, not word by word translation but like a commedery, based on your analysis of the terms without using from "the inviolable time of SJD/acknowledgement" to "the farthest/remotest time of SJD/acknowledgement" 

I'm afraid I cant without using those terms. This has already been done on the article page:

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17:1 Glory be to the One who took with/by His servant (at) night from the inviolable time of SJD/acknowledgement to the farthest/remotest time of SJD/acknowledgement which We have blessed around it that We may show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Listener, the Seer.


If we link these "coincidences" together, we have shown that 17:1 most likely refers to the messenger of Quran, there is an association between 17:1, 17:7, 17:60 and 48:27, and it is likely regarding a vision foretelling a future occurrence which will be blessed around, involving overcoming the opposition, which would serve as a warning/trial for such people, and is fulfilled upon entering AMAH securing, relieving your chiefs, restraining not fearing with a victory near (see 48:27 analysis). If so, is there an explanation of AMAH that can provide a fit?
    IF we take 'al masjid al haram' as "the inviolable time of SJD/acknowledgement" (i.e. the term referring to the time-period/event of the 'inviolable months') and 'al masjid al aqsa' as "the farthest/remotest time of SJD/acknowledgement" (implying a time of SJD/acknowledgement in the future), this would slot in perfectly with all that has been discussed previously. Around this future time is blessed, e.g. the believers have grown in numbers/power/authority, have overcome etc and a foretelling of this would serve as a warning/trial for the opposing people, and is completed upon entering AMAH, with a victory near. Much of AQ may have to be read to appreciate this progression in success for the believers. By "inviolable months" I am referring to "al ashhur al hurum" which are mentioned in 2:194, 2:217, 5:2, 5:97, 9:5 and refer to a time-period in which al hajj (the symposium/feast) is held, various regulations are in place etc. Please read these occurrences to familiarise yourself with this subject.
    Note how ru'ya/vision is a foretelling of a future occurrence/event, and how the above fits with our chosen meaning of maSJD and AMAH. In other words, maSJD, AMAH and 'al masjid al aqsa' must be a reference to a time-period. So we can say the prophet Muhammad experienced the vision and relayed revelation of chapter 17 during AMAH. Note that AMAH (i.e. the term referring to the time-period/event of the inviolable months) would have been a regular, or semi-regular, occurrence, e.g. every year perhaps. This is also suggested by AQ, e.g. 9:28, 28:27.

However, I can simplify it perhaps, by giving an example:

Let us assume the inviolable time of acknowledgement was a regular occurrence, perhaps yearly. Imagine during one of these time-periods, let's say 2nd to 28th of August Year 628 the messenger was given a revelation (e.g. chapter 17 of Quran) accompanied by a vision:
 
17:1 Glory be to the One who took with/by His servant (at) night from the inviolable time of SJD/acknowledgement (e.g. 2nd to 28th August 628, i.e. the current time-period the messenger is in) to the farthest/remotest time of SJD/acknowledgement (e.g. such a period in the future, let's just pick 2nd to 28th August 634 for example) which We have blessed around it that We may show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Listener, the Seer.

The use of "farthest/remotest" indicates the farthest/remotest for him, meaning AFTER being victorious during such a period he would unlikely see another, i.e. he would die before another, i.e. he would not be victorious (i.e. at the pinnacle of power) for 2+ AMAH periods in a row then die after. Interestingly, not only does Quran seem to follow such an outline, but so does tradition - yet another coincidence?
All information in my posts is correct to the best of my knowledge only and thus should not be taken as a fact. One should seek knowledge and verify: 17:36, 20:114, 35:28, 49:6, 58:11. My articles

www.studyQuran.org

aabdul

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Re: New article: What is the meaning of "al masjid al haram"?
« Reply #123 on: January 20, 2013, 12:26:40 AM »
And his understanding fails to adequately explain 17:7, i.e. it is unrelated to 17:1 in his view and requires external verification otherwise no-one would know what it refers to. To me, this is not ideal.

Dear Wakas,  Salaam,

According to Parwez verse 17:7 is not linked to 17:1.  I think he adequately explained 17:7 linking it with 17:104 not with 17:1 (which according to you is connected). Here it is;

(17:7) You have seen for yourselves that when you did the right thing it was to your own advantage and when you went astray you had to suffer the consequences of your wrong actions. When the time of reaction to your second lapse (invasion of Titus) arrived, people were raised up to humiliate you. They entered the Temple as on the previous occasion and destroyed everything which came in their way (17:104)*. 
         
                  (17:104)* Thereafter We said to the Bani-Isr?ael to settle down in the land and that when the second lapse came (17:4-7) they would be encircled and murdered. They were also told that they would be given another opportunity to revive when the last of the Rasool was raised.


http://www.tolueislam.org/Parwez/expo/expo_017.htm

Also I do not agree with your implication that nothing is required to be externally verified, especially discussions related to history,  to know the complete circumstances.  If it had been the case, Allah would not have mentioned in the Quran repeatedly to travel through the earth and learn what happened to earlier people.

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To me, it seems odd to call medina "the farthest/remotest mosque", and this awkwardness does seem to also show through in Parwez's words, e.g. he switches between "afar" and "farthest" when they are different, and he tries to say rather than a building masjid can also mean a symbol/centre of obeying God's laws. The implication of this understanding of course is that nowhere in the entire world was God's laws being obeyed at this time outside of medina. Maybe.

Firstly,  please I had already mentioned it is was casual transaltion of his original original work in Urdu and it was the problem of  the translator that he translated at one place "afar", and also this happened not in the translation of the verse in the Quran.   please.

Secondly,   the prophet went for Hijra from one specific place to another specific place in Medina and the place to which he went for migration was called "the farthest/remotest mosque" since after the migration this place had to be the center of Allah?s system, a symbol/centre of obeying God's laws.   For myself I do not see any thing really strange/odd considering the above explanation to call the place in medina as "the farthest/remotest mosque", especially considering also, at that point of time, no where in the world, Allah's system was in existence in the pure sense without any curruption (in the sense being practiced collectively and in the sense of a system/ centre for regular meetings for communal/administration issues for the purpose of establishing Sujood for Allah in complete sense) though there could be individual believers around the world at that point of time.

Wakas

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Re: New article: What is the meaning of "al masjid al haram"?
« Reply #124 on: January 20, 2013, 11:50:11 AM »
w/salaam aabdul,

I find 17:104 interesting as it could be rendered as "We said after him to the Children of Israel: "Dwell in the land, then when comes the after/last promise, We will bring with/by you a mixed crowd." - as it could refer to the inviolable time of acknowledgement wherein this takes place. The Quran does suggest this. Another coincidence? Maybe.

You said:
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Also I do not agree with your implication that nothing is required to be externally verified, especially discussions related to history,  to know the complete circumstances.

I did not say that. I said it is not ideal, that is all. If a self-contained explanation exists, then all the better in my view.

You may find Parwez's explanation in this instance reasonable, but there are other occurrences to also consider. I recommend re-reading my article, just to clarify my view in your own mind.

And lastly, if it was a translator error, i.e. "afar" and "farthest" and in the Urdu it is the same Urdu word, then fair enough. If this was your point, I did not realise that, thus thanks for clarifying.
All information in my posts is correct to the best of my knowledge only and thus should not be taken as a fact. One should seek knowledge and verify: 17:36, 20:114, 35:28, 49:6, 58:11. My articles

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aabdul

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Re: New article: What is the meaning of "al masjid al haram"?
« Reply #125 on: January 21, 2013, 03:04:46 AM »
However, I can simplify it perhaps, by giving an example:

Let us assume the inviolable time of acknowledgement was a regular occurrence, perhaps yearly. Imagine during one of these time-periods, let's say 2nd to 28th of August Year 628 the messenger was given a revelation (e.g. chapter 17 of Quran) accompanied by a vision:
 
17:1 Glory be to the One who took with/by His servant (at) night from the inviolable time of SJD/acknowledgement (e.g. 2nd to 28th August 628, i.e. the current time-period the messenger is in) to the farthest/remotest time of SJD/acknowledgement (e.g. such a period in the future, let's just pick 2nd to 28th August 634 for example) which We have blessed around it that We may show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Listener, the Seer.

The use of "farthest/remotest" indicates the farthest/remotest for him, meaning AFTER being victorious during such a period he would unlikely see another, i.e. he would die before another, i.e. he would not be victorious (i.e. at the pinnacle of power) for 2+ AMAH periods in a row then die after. Interestingly, not only does Quran seem to follow such an outline, but so does tradition - yet another coincidence?

Salaam Wakas bai,

I find that your meaning for "Masjid" as "time of SJD/acknowledgement" makes the all the other related verses where this word has come difficult to understand including  17:1.  Ordinary people will have to read two to three times your essay at the least to understand what you are talking about.  Though you tried to argue the quranic principle "the prophet cannot know the future" won't be contradicting your view,  however, according to me, your view indeed goes against Quran since as per your interpretation it would mean that prophet was indeed shown future happenings in his "vision". 

Also I am sure you won't be able to interpret the following verses (as an example I am quoting jus two verses only) with the same meaning "time of SJD / acknowledgement" for Majid.   What I provide below is translation by Parwez (bear in mind he does not do word by word translation and he has extensively dealth with why he does not do word by word translation in his work "Exposition of Quran").   I would like to know how do you explain these verses.  It is important because you can not confine the meaning  "time of SJD/acknowledgement" to 17:1 alone.

(9:19-21) It is true that the Mushrikeen used to provide drink to the pilgrims and maintain the sacred Mosque وَعِمَارَةَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ   but can they be placed equal to those who believe in Allah and the life hereafter and strive hard in the cause of Allah? They cannot be regarded as equal in the estimation of Allah. The Z?alimeen can in noise be considered as following the right path

(9:107-108) There are some amongst the hypocrites who have erected a mosque to show that they are true believers. But the purpose of building this mosque is to do damage to the Divine Order, promote Kufr and cause a split amongst the Momineen. This is not a mosque but a base for operations or those who had in the past fought against the Divine system. When asked about their intentions , these people will swear that their motive was good, but Allah bears witness that they are nothing but liars.  O Rasool you should never step into this mosque (a mosque which causes split in the Muslims is not worthy of your presence. You have nothing to do with these people or their mosque 6:160) - only that mosque is worthy of your presence which has been founded on Taqwa from the beginning and is frequented by those who are pure (from all types of factions and schisms) and are desirous of growing in purity. And Allah loves such people. 

Wassalam

Wakas

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Re: New article: What is the meaning of "al masjid al haram"?
« Reply #126 on: January 21, 2013, 08:22:02 AM »
salaam aabdul,

Re: the prophet not knowing the future
I have already dealt with this in my article, quote:
Some may claim that this understanding contradicts several passages in AQ in which the prophet Muhammad clearly states he does not know the future. However there is no contradiction, as none knows the future, including Muhammad (5:109, 6:50, 7:188, 10:20, 18:110, 27:65, 46:9, 81:24). Only God knows the future and this knowledge can be attained only through divine revelations/signs (3:44, 3:179, 11:49, 12:102, 30:2, 72:26-28). The messenger only follows what is inspired/revealed to him, and this particular vision is relayed in the revelation itself. This is also suggested when the vision is fulfilled in 48:27 "...He knew what you did not know...".

And secondly, you ask about my understanding in certain verses, yet in my articles I analyse EVERY occurrence. Please re-read them.

If you wish to compare my understanding with others, e.g. Parwez, I recommend a simple approach: create a checklist of various issues/problems and see which understanding is ticking all (or the most) boxes, AND see which meaning provides consistency.
All information in my posts is correct to the best of my knowledge only and thus should not be taken as a fact. One should seek knowledge and verify: 17:36, 20:114, 35:28, 49:6, 58:11. My articles

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aabdul

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Re: New article: What is the meaning of "al masjid al haram"?
« Reply #127 on: January 22, 2013, 12:36:53 AM »
salaam aabdul,

Re: the prophet not knowing the future
I have already dealt with this in my article, quote:
Some may claim that this understanding contradicts several passages in AQ in which the prophet Muhammad clearly states he does not know the future. However there is no contradiction, as none knows the future, including Muhammad (5:109, 6:50, 7:188, 10:20, 18:110, 27:65, 46:9, 81:24). Only God knows the future and this knowledge can be attained only through divine revelations/signs (3:44, 3:179, 11:49, 12:102, 30:2, 72:26-28). The messenger only follows what is inspired/revealed to him, and this particular vision is relayed in the revelation itself. This is also suggested when the vision is fulfilled in 48:27 "...He knew what you did not know...".
Wa' alaikumu ssalam,

Your wish to link with 48:27 to make "the vision" a "revelation",  I consider this attempt is weak since there is nothing to show in 48:27 to prove any sort of revelation to prophet.  In verse 48:27 Allah says  صَدَقَ اللَّهُ رَسُولَهُ الرُّؤْيَا  I think again Parwez has provided a fair link for this statement.  Here it is;

Translation by Parwez:-
(48: 27)  (O Rasool!) It was because of your most intense desire for the custodianship of Ka'aba  (2:144), that you dreamt you are entering the inviolable Mosque (in Makkah) as a conqueror (17:60).  Since your aspirations are according to Our promise, We shall certainly ensure that your dreams come true.*   You shall enter the Ka'aba in peace and security without any bloodshed and perform the rites of Hajj, like shaving the head or cutting the hair short (etc.,) without any fear.  You will not be afraid of anyone.  He knows what you know not; and in the near future He will bestow on you another victory.         
              *If Makkah had been conquered when this verse was revealed, it could also mean ?We have most certainly seen that your dreams do come true.?           
              (2:144) We are also aware of your constant yearning that you should have possession of, and jurisdiction over the place (Makkah) which We have proclaimed to be the centre of Our system. This will certainly happen. What you need to do is to direct all your activities towards liberating the K?aba from ungodly forces wherever you may be and whatever is your sphere of activity.  The fact is that these Ahl-ul-Kit?ab know fully well that your call is based upon truth from Allah (since it was mentioned in their books) but they will continue to oppose it out of stubbornness and prejudice. We are aware of all that they do. 
           (17: 60) Allah gives warning to the wrong-doers through the Rusul. If they apply their minds to the warning without prejudice, the circumstantial evidence would lead them to believe that the warning would come true. For instance, during the early stages of this movement these people were told that they would be brought around towards it gradually; but they simply mocked at it. You had narrated your vision to them saying that you would enter Makkah victoriously one day (48:27) but they never took it seriously. By the parable of the ?cursed tree? mentioned in Quran (37/62, 44/43, 56/52) they were warned that if their ring-leaders did not desist opposing the movement, they would be disgraced and humiliated. But they simply mocked at it. These warnings were given in order to cure them but it only increased their rebelliousness as happened in the case of Iblees. 


One serious Issue:-

Suppose if we assume that the supposedly "vision" that was show to prophet during the night journey was was part of a revelation, then several serious questions will arise;

(1) Why details of this vision  was not mentioned in 17:1? Why complete vision/ revelation was not provided in Quran?  Were there revelations to prophet outside Quran?  The only revelation the prophet received was the Quran and there were no outside revelations to prophet.  To believe that prophet received revelations outside Quran is contrary to the teachings of the Quran

(2) Can you show me any instances/ proof  from Quran to show that knowledge related to any future event is communicated to prophet seperately without being part of Quran?  The prophet is made to categorically state in Quran that he does not know the future.   Your theological stand would mean that the prophet personally knew certain things not mentioned in the Quran through divine revelations and there were outside revelations to prophet apart from Quran.

Wakas

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Re: New article: What is the meaning of "al masjid al haram"?
« Reply #128 on: January 22, 2013, 05:16:35 AM »
w/salaam aabdul,

Your stance is potentially contradictory:

You clearly hold the view that the prophet received no revelation except Quran AND he did not know the future.
Yet, you hold the view that he had a dream about the future and it came true.

Thus, the only position that I think you can hold is that the prophet told others about this dream, that even he didn't know if it was from God or not and if it would come true or not, and it did....... because it happened to coincide with God's promise. Sounds like he knew the future in this instance, according to you...... outside of revelation.


The problem for you however is that in 17:60 it clearly says "And We did not make the vision that We showed thee..." directly implying it was via a divine channel. Unless, you are implying God makes statements like this in Quran, and some of them come true, some dont. No. Of course they all come true.


And lastly, you still do not seem to understand my position on this, so let make it simple: the prophet only knows the future by way of divine revelation/signs. He does not know the future of his own accord. Note the word used in 17:1 it is "ayaat"/signs. His vision/revelation is relayed in Quran, found in chapter 17, with all the details needed. You cannot see it because of your understanding of AMAH. With my understanding of AMAH the info is self-contained, i.e. it is all in Quran.
All information in my posts is correct to the best of my knowledge only and thus should not be taken as a fact. One should seek knowledge and verify: 17:36, 20:114, 35:28, 49:6, 58:11. My articles

www.studyQuran.org

aabdul

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Re: New article: What is the meaning of "al masjid al haram"?
« Reply #129 on: January 22, 2013, 09:28:59 AM »
Your stance is potentially contradictory:

You clearly hold the view that the prophet received no revelation except Quran AND he did not know the future.
Yet, you hold the view that he had a dream about the future and it came true.

Salaam dear Wakas,

Well, I do not think there is any contradition in what I stated.  I tell you how.   The prophet dreamt of entering Mekkah victorious due to his own intense longing and constant focus to achieve this goal.  He would have failed in his mission if he had failed to liberate Mekkah from ungodly forces.  Note verse 2:144 that mentions prophet's intense desire to for the custodianship of Ka'aba.   It is natural someone who is so focused on a mission to see in dream (every possibility) the success of one's mission.   It was not like a dream of winning a lottery and finally by chance winning the said lottery.  The prophet and his companions were working for this goal day and night and their efforts finally enabled them to achieve the goal.   The dream came true NOT because prophet saw such a dream.  I hope my point is clarified now.   
 
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Thus, the only position that I think you can hold is that the prophet told others about this dream, that even he didn't know if it was from God or not and if it would come true or not, and it did....... because it happened to coincide with God's promise. Sounds like he knew the future in this instance, according to you...... outside of revelation.

The prophet knew the future in the sense that he had full convinction about the success of his mission and he knew the final outcome of his mission will be conquering Mekkah (not based on dream).   It is just like, for instance, I am preparing very well for an examination and trying my level best, day and night, to come at the top.   My hardwork and focus may make me naturally see in my dream I come top.  I may even tell others about this dream and consequently, imgine if I came at the top, and at that time, would anyone say that it is because I saw such a dream I came top??  In the same way, the prophet naturally might have told other people about the dream he had and about his conviction about the islamic movement finally conquering Mekkah; but many people might have simply mocked at it as I believe verse 17:60 suggests وَمَا جَعَلْنَا الرُّؤْيَا الَّتِي أَرَيْنَاكَ إِلَّا فِتْنَةً لِلنَّاسِ
 
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The problem for you however is that in 17:60 it clearly says "And We did not make the vision that We showed thee..." directly implying it was via a divine channel. Unless, you are implying God makes statements like this in Quran, and some of them come true, some dont. No. Of course they all come true.

Of course, Allah does make statements like this in Quran.  If something happens according to nature, or as an inevitable result, or something happens based on Allah?s will, it is a style of the Quran to attribute such happenings directly to Allah.  There are so many examples in the Quran, which I am sure you are aware about.  I will list couple of verses as example.

He had shown you that for which ye long (booty) (3:152)?.. Then He made you flee from them (your enemy) (3:152)

He Who taught (the use of) the Pen (96:4)

?It is not ye who slew them; it was Allah: when thou threw (a handful of dust) it was not thy act but Allah's? (8:17)

Whether ye cut down (O ye Muslim!) The tender palm-trees, or ye left them standing on their roots, it was by leave of Allah (5:59)

Regarding hunting dogs it is mentioned in 5:4 ?teaching them as God has taught you?!
 
Well, let me tell you I do respect you a lot and I have gone through some of your posts, containing full of wisdom.  However,  on this issue, I believe you have failed to grap the correct understanding, may be due to some preconceived notions (but I must congratulate your effort to go into indepth  details)