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    Jewel of LI Array Ansar Al-'Adl's Avatar
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    Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an (OP)


    REFUTATION OF THE ALLEGED INTERNAL CONTRADICTIONS IN THE QUR'AN

    These responses have all been uploaded onto the main site here:
    http://www.load-islam.com/artical_de...orious%20Quran

    Update
    I am now keeping a Table of Contents, so people can easily find their answers.

    Introduction
    1. The Inheritance Laws in the Qur'an
    2. The Number of Angels Speaking to Mary pbuh
    3. On The Length of God's Days
    4. The Number of Gardens in Paradise
    5. The Number of Groups on the Day of Resurrection
    6. Who Takes the Soul at the Time of Death
    7. The Number of Wings on Angels
    8. The Number of Days Taken to Create the Universe
    9. Was Creation Quick or Slow?
    10. Which was Created first, the Heavens or the Earth?
    11. Were the Heavens and the Earth called together, or ripped apart for Creation?
    12. The Time Taken to Destroy the Aad
    13. What Was Man Created From?
    14. Where is Allah?
    15. On The Origin of Calamity
    16. The Mercy and Guidance of Allah
    17. Will there be Inquiry in Paradise?
    18. Are Angels Protectors?
    19. Is Everything Devoutly Obedient to Allah?
    20. Does Allah forgive Shirk?
    21. Did Abraham commit Shirk?
    22. Worshipping the Same or a Different God?
    23. The Sequence of Events in the Children of Israel Worshipping the Calf
    24. The Guilt of Aaron in the Children of Israel Worshipping the Calf
    25. Was Jonah cast on the Desert Shore?
    26. The Reference to the Injeel and the Time of Moses
    27. Concerning the Food for the Inhabitants of Hell
    28. Forgiveness for Slander of Chaste Women
    29. How the Disbelievers will recieve their record on Judgement Day
    30. Can Angels Disobey? - The case of Iblis
    31. Can Angels Disobey? - The case of Harut and Marut
    32. Angel Gabriel and the 'Holy Spirit'
    33. Confirming the Old Revelation or Substituting it
    34. The Qur'an's Pure Arabic and the Presence of Foreign Words
    35. The Qur'an being contained in the Earlier Revelations
    36. Lot's Wife being called "An Old Woman"
    37. The Response of Lot's Nation to His Call
    38. Is the Punishment and Mercy of Allah Arbitrary?
    39. Did Abraham Smash The Idols?
    40. The Fate of Noah's Family
    41. Was Noah Driven Out?


    Most of them have already been answered, and most are very silly. I'll get around to refuting them insha'Allah. Until then, I encourage other members to have a go at them.

    Good resources:
    http://www.understanding-islam.org/r...asp?sscatid=89
    http://www.answering-christianity.co...n/quranerr.htm
    http://www.bismikaallahuma.org/
    http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Contrad/
    http://www.irf.net/irf/faqonislam/index.htm

    Salaam
    Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an

    The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
    "Surely I was sent to perfect the qualities of righteous character" [Musnad Ahmad, Muwatta Mâlik]


    Visit Ansâr Al-'Adl's personal page HERE.
    Excellent resources on Islam listed HERE.

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    Re: Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an


    Introduction

    Throughout the history of humanity, we see a continued pattern. Our Lord and Creator created us out of love, and placed us on this planet as His Viceroy, to enjoin what is good and to forbidwhat is evil. We maintain our loving connection with God through sincere worship to Him. Humanity is being tested through this life on earth. Those of us who believe in God and do righteous deeds will be rewarded in the next life. But those who persist in evil, even after recieving warnings, will be punished in the next life.

    Man has continually deviated from the true path of righteousness, to become enslaved by his personal desires. Thus, God appoints Prophets and Messengers among humanity, who recieve divine revelation, to call people back to the path of truth, the path of loving submission to Our Creator. God's Messengers recieved the word of God, His message and commandments for humanity.

    Muslims believe all of God's Messenger preached the same message of Islam (submission to the One God). This includes Prophet Adam, Prophet Noah, Prophet Abraham, Prophet Moses, Prophet Jesus, and God's final messenger Prophet Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of God be upon them all.

    The Qur'an is God's last revelation to humanity, revealed to Prophet Muhammad pbuh, and is the spoken words of God, which He has vowed to preserve throughout time. All previous messages including the Torah and the Injeel were only intended for their respective nations and served as test for their respective nation to preseve the message. Unfortunately, this test was not succesfully completed and the previous messages have become corrupted, tampered and mixed with the work of human beings. This is why God has sent the Qur'an to confirm the truth, but reject all deviation that has crept in. It is a criterion. The test of the Qur'an is not its preservation, but in spreading the message to all nations.

    Much has been said about the Qur'an, and both Muslims and Non-Muslims have praised it for its perfection and beauty. One may read about what has been said about the Qur'an, here.

    The question arises, how can one be assured that a book is from God?

    There are a number of reasons and much evidence which proves that the Qur'an is the word of God. These have been explored in many books, and on many websites, including here and here. For the purpose of this article, we will examine one of those reasons - consistency.

    We must remember that the Qur'an was revealed to Prophet Muhammad pbuh over a period of 23 years. During that time, he passed through widely diverse periods of struggle and peace. It is inconceivable that any human being would be able to remain consistent in their teachings and thoughts during this period of time. All human beings go through development and evolution in their thoughts and works. It is natural to obsevre such changes, and we would expect to see even greater changes in the teachings of a man through periods of persecution, peace, migration, success, suffering, unity, support, opposition, etc.

    Yet the Qur'an is free of all such human defficiencies and inconsistencies. And the only reason is because it is a revelation from Our Creator, Most Merciful.

    20:4 A revelation from Him Who created the earth and the heavens on high.

    69:41-43 It is not the word of a poet: little it is ye believe! Nor is it the word of a soothsayer: little admonition it is ye receive. (This is) a Message sent down from the Lord of the Worlds.

    The Qur'an, itself, provides us with this criteria to use in evalutating its claim of divine origin:
    4:82 Do they not consider the Qur'an (with care)? Had it been from other Than Allah, they would surely have found therein Much discrepancy/inconsistency.

    This criteria is acknowledged in previous revelations as well.

    1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion but of peace...."

    God is perfect, and therefore we should expect inerrancy and perfection in His words. This article will demonstrate, God willingly, that the Qur'an is free of such inconsistencies and human deficiencies, and therefore can only be the word of God, Glorified and Exalted.

    Often, we will see that there are multiple interpretations and explanations of certain verses. Consequently, we shall frequently present more than one explanation, each being sufficient to refute the allegation on its own.

    Last edited by Ansar Al-'Adl; 05-03-2005 at 07:35 PM.
    Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an

    The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
    "Surely I was sent to perfect the qualities of righteous character" [Musnad Ahmad, Muwatta Mâlik]


    Visit Ansâr Al-'Adl's personal page HERE.
    Excellent resources on Islam listed HERE.

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    Re: Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an


    Is Everything Devoutly Obedient to Allah?

    Concerning the nineteenth allegation,
    Is everything devoutly obedient to Allah? That is the claim in 30:26, but dozens of verses speak of the proud disobedience of Satan [7:11, 15:28-31, 17:61, 20:116, 38:71-74, 18:50] as well of many different human beings who reject His commands and His revelations.
    Verse in question,
    30:26 To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and the earth. All are subservient to Him.
    (Yusuf Ali translates subservient as devoutly obedient.)

    It is obvious that there are many creatures that disobey God, so there is no need to quote the other verses. We need only examine the first verse.

    1. The explanation of the verse will become clearer if we first explain some fundamental principles in Islam concerning Allah’s Will (Iraadah). Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih Al-Uthaymeen (d.2001CE) writes the following:
    We believe that Allah’s Will (iraadah) is of two types:
    1. Universal will (kawniyyah): So whatever occurs, happens only by His Will. It is not necessary that what occurs is actually liked by Allah. Thus, it is similar in meaning to volition (mashee’ah); as in Allah’s statement:

    And if Allah had so wished, they would not have fought eachother, but Allah does whatever He wills. [Al-Baqarah 2:253]
    If Allah Wills to leave you astray, He is wour Lord. [Hood 11:34]


    2. Legislated Will (shar’iyyah): It is not necessary that this Will should occur. This Will does not happen, except in what He loves and desires, such as in Allah the Exalted’s statement:
    Allah desires to forgive you [An-Nisaa 4:27]
    (Al-'Uthaymeen, Tenets of Faith, Al-Hidayah Publishing & Distribution, 2000, p.20-21)
    In light of the above explanation, we can say that the interpretation of verse 30:26 is that this verse is an indication of the inescable and universal submission of creation to the Creator. This verse refers to the obedience and submission of all creation to God’s Universal Will (kawniyyah). All creation is obedient to Allah’s kawniyyah whether voluntarily or involuntarily. Allah is the Supreme Authority and all things in the heavens and the earth act under His power. Shaykh Abdul Azeez ibn Baaz (d.1999) writes about the Universal Will of Allah:
    As for this Will, then nothing fails to fall under it. Thus, both the Muslim and the kaafir fall under this Universal Will; as do acts of obedience and disobedience, provisions and life-spans. They all occur by the Will of Allah and what He determines. (Shaykh Bin Baz's annotations to Tanbeehaatul-Lateefah of Imaam as-Sa'dee, p.41)
    Therefore, a disbeliever is always obedient to Allah’s Universal Will, even when He disobeys God’s commands. If God had so Willed, the disbeliever could have obeyd the commands. But Allah has made this life a test for us. Shaykh Abdul Azeez ibn Baaz also explains the Legislated Will (shar’iyyah):
    This covers what the Lord loves and is pleased with. This Will does not necessarily mean that what He Will will occur, rather it may or may not occur. So, for instance, Allah the Exalted Wills that He should be worshipped and obeyed. Yet some worship and obey Him, whilst others do not. This should demonstrate that these two wills [kawniyyah and shar’iyyah] are combined together in (i.e. acted upon by) the obedient person, but in the sinner it is only the Universal Will, since Allah did not desire for Him to sin, rather He forbade him from it. (Ibid.)
    Therefore, although all human beings are powerless to act against God’s universal will, they may or may not be obedient to God’s legislated will, since the latter is not enforced. Hence, the test in life is to follow and obey God’s legislated will. This becomes even more clear when we examine the classic tafsir (exegesis) like that of Ibn Kathir Ad-Damishqi (d.1372CE), who writes in his renowned Tafsir Al-Qur'an Al-Azim:
    (To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and the earth.) means, He owns it and it is enslaved to Him.
    (
    All are obedient to Him.) they are humble before Him and submit to Him, whether willingly or unwillingly. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Abridged, Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, 2000, vol. 7, p. 540
    The phrase, "whether willingly or unwillingly" should make it clear for the reader. This verse is not speaking of the voluntary submission that Allah asks us to give Him, nor the devotion of the heart. It simply points to the fact that Allah's supremacy indicates that all creation is bound by His Universal will, either willingly or unwillingly.
    So the difference between this verse and those verses which condemn those who are disobedient to Allah, is that this verse speaks of the obedience and inescapable submission to His kawniyyah, while the other verses speak of the voluntary submission to His shar’iyyah. Everything occurs by God's permission.
    For example, if one were to commit a sin, we would say they have disobeyed God. But we know that God allowed them to perform that sin, and He was testing them. Therefore, they were not able to defy God's power and universal will, although they did disobey His command, or legislated will. If God wanted to, He could have prevented them from commting the sin. But life is a test.
    Does this mean that there is no such thing as disobedience? Of course not. This verse only points out the different forms of obedience i.e. obedience to His kawniyyah and obedience to His shar’iyyah. We may be disobeying His commands, but we will always be involuntarily acting by His leave or permission. This has always been the understanding of this verse, as Ibn Kathir wrote, "willingly or unwillingly". It was God's will that we have a choice in the first place. He gave us the ability to choose to serve Him, or to become enslaved to the evil of our desires and the whisperings of Satan. Allah gave us the choice, and He allows us to do what we choose. But those who choose good will be rewarded, while those who choose evil will be punished.
    So why does God criticize the disobedient when they are actually obedient? The answer is that God criticizes them for their disobedience to His legislated will, which they are not binded by, or forced to follow. It is the universal will, to which they are forever subservient and obedient.

    2. A second point to note is the literal understanding of the word used in this verse. The arabic word used is "Qanitoon", which implies subordinate and submissive to Him. Hence, the meaning of this verse that all of creation is subservient to Him,
    As Qur'an commentator, Abul A`la Maududi (d.1979) writes on this verse:
    What is meant is that it is Allah alone Who has created man, and provided for his sustenance and others of his needs, that there is no god but He, and that He alone is man's Master and the only authority rightfully deserving of his worship. Therefore, it would be fitly in accordance with this natural fact that man should believe, and behave, as only Allah's creature and servant and not anyone else's at all.(Maududi, Four Basic Qur'anic Terms, Islamic Publications (pvt) Ltd., ch.4)
    And from a linguistic analysis, Sheikh `Abd al-Wahhab al-Turayri writes:
    The word being translated as 'devoutly obedient' is the word qnitn (from qunt) which means 'to be subservient, subjugated'. This can be contrasted with the word ti`n (from t`ah) which means to be willfully obedient.

    There are two types of subservience (qunt). There is the general subservience of all created things to Allah, since all things are subject to His decision and His determination. Then there is the specific subservience that is worship, where the servant willfully makes himself subservient and submissive before his Lord. The general sense is being used in this verse. All creatures are subservient to Allah's decision. If He wills, He can make then perish. If He wills, he can sustain their existence.

    Yusuf Ali's translation of qnitn as 'devoutly obedient' is inexact in this context.

    Mishaal ibn Abdullah writes:
    The word used in 30:26 is "Qanitoon," meaning subservient or "under the mercy of." This can be verified very easily by reading any number of references such as the 18 volume encyclopedia of Arabic language, "Lisan Al-Arab," Vol. 2, p. 73. The verse does not use the word "aabidoon" or "mo'minoon" meaning "worshipful, believing, or devout." (SOURCE)
    If we view this verse in this light, there is no contradiction. Again, the case of disobedience to God is irrelevant to the fact that all creation is subservient to Him, and under His command.

    3. The third point to be mentioned in response to this allegation, is on the subject of the verse. The critics claim that this verse is contradictory to other verses, because the verse states that all of creation is "devoutly obedient", i.e. voluntarily, while this is not the case with Satan and the evil humans and jinn, etc. But if we examine the various translations of the verse, we find that the majority do not translate it as "devoutly obedient", including Pickthall, Shakir, Daryabadi, Khan/Hilali, etc. Abdullah Yusuf Ali is the one who chooses this translation, therefore, it would seem logical that we examine his commentary on this verse.
    Yusuf Ali writes the following in reference to verse 30:26:
    3532. All nature in creation not only obeys God, but devoutly obeys Him, i.e. glories in its privelage of service and obedience. Why should we not do likewise? It is part of our original unspoilt nature, and we must respond to it, as all beings do, by their very nature. (Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur'an: Text, Translation and Commentary, McGregor &; Werner 1946, p.1058)
    This comment on this verse makes the issue very clear. If we are to accept Yusuf Ali's translation, we must evaluate his interpretation of this verse as a whole. And his interpretation is that this is not a reference to creatures with a choice, but to the rest of creation. This is the suppressed meaning of the phrase used in the verse. His statement, "Why do we not do likewise" makes it manifestly clear that his interpretation excludes certain beings from the meaning of this verse. It is common for the addressee of a statement to be excluded from its meaning.
    For example, if two friends enter a room filled with people, one of the friends may comment to the other that the people in the room are very roudy. And his companion would understand that this is a reference to everyone in the room, excluding themselves.

    Another example is if a group of firefighters charge into a burning building and one calls out, "Everyone get out of the building", we would not expect his fellow firefighters to exit the building, because it is understood that they are not included in the phrase, even though "everyone" would normally include them.
    As these examples demonstrate, this interpretation of the verse is that certain groups are naturally excluded from the statement. If one chooses Yusuf Ali's translation of "devoutly obedient", they must accept the interpretation in its entirety. It is not acceptable to combine pieces of different interpretations in order to generate a contradiction.

    Last edited by Ansar Al-'Adl; 08-11-2005 at 12:32 AM.
    Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an

    The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
    "Surely I was sent to perfect the qualities of righteous character" [Musnad Ahmad, Muwatta Mâlik]


    Visit Ansâr Al-'Adl's personal page HERE.
    Excellent resources on Islam listed HERE.

  5. #23
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    Re: Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an


    Does Allah forgive Shirk?

    Concerning the twentieth alleged contradiction,
    Does Allah forgive shirk? Shirk is considered the worst of all sins, but the author of the Qur'an seems seems unable to decide if Allah will ever forgive it or not. No [4:48, 116], Yes [4:153, 25:68-71].
    Verses in question,
    4:48 Allah forgiveth not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgiveth anything else, to whom He pleaseth; to set up partners with Allah is to devise a sin Most heinous indeed.

    4:116 Allah forgiveth not (The sin of) joining other gods with Him; but He forgiveth whom He pleaseth other sins than this: one who joins other gods with Allah, Hath strayed far, far away (from the right).


    And:
    4:153 ...Yet they worshipped the calf even after clear signs had come to them; even so we forgave them; and gave Moses manifest proofs of authority.

    25:68,70-71 And those who invoke not any other god along with Allah...and whoever does this shall receive the punishment...Except those who repent and believe (in Islâmic Monotheism), and do righteous deeds, for those, Allâh will change their sins into good deeds, and Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
    And whosoever repents and does righteous good deeds, then verily, he repents towards Allâh with true repentance.

    Shirk is the sin of associating partners with Allah, i.e. attributing divinity or worshipping other than the One Creator.

    The explanation of these verses becomes clear if we review the Islamic beliefs one at a time.
    1. The first principle is that Allah will forgive ALL sins of anyone who repents sincerely during this life, before their death. This is made clear in the following verse of the Qur'an:
    39:53-55 Say: "O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah. for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. Turn ye to our Lord (in repentance) and bow to His (Will), before the Penalty comes on you: after that ye shall not be helped. And follow the best of (the courses) revealed to you from your Lord, before the Penalty comes on you - of a sudden while ye perceive not!
    From the above verse we understand that Allah will forgive all of our sins if we repent before the coming of a "sudden penalty", which refers to death.

    2. The second principle here is that after one dies, they are at the mercy of Allah, who may choose to forgive them of their sins or punish them for it, according to what is just. Allah may forgive all of one's sins after they die, except shirk. After a person dies, they will not be forgiven for shirk. The only chance of forgiveness for shirk is if one repents before they die.

    3. The above understanding is derived from the Qur'an and the Sunnah, and can be found in many common Tafsir of the Qur'an. For example, Ibn Kathir Ad-Damishqi (d. 1372CE) writes for this verse in his renowned Tafsir Al-Qur'an Al-Azim:
    Allah does not forgive shirk, except after repenting from it.(Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Abridged, Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, 2000, vol. 2, p. 481)
    And Muhammad Asad comments on the verse:
    The continuous stress, in the Qur’an, on God's transcendental oneness and uniqueness aims at freeing man from all sense of dependence on other influences and powers, and thus at elevating him spiritually and bringing about the "purification" alluded to in the next verse. Since this objective is vitiated by the sin of shirk ("the ascribing of divine qualities to aught beside God"), the Qur’an describes it as "unforgivable" so long as it is persisted in, i.e., unless and until the sinner repents (cf. verses 17 and 18 of this surah).(Asad, Message of the Qur'an, The Book Foundation 2003)
    And verses 4:17-18 read:
    4:17-18 Allah accepts the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and foolishness and repent soon afterwards; it is they to whom Allah will forgive and Allah is Ever All Knower, All Wise. And of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil deeds until death faces one of them and he says: "Now I repent;" nor of those who die while they are disbelievers. For them We have prepared a painful torment.

    Shaykh Abu Ammaar Yasir Qadhi explains the reasoning behind this law:
    If a person dies practicing shirk, or not having repented from it, he can never be forgiven for this sin. However, if a person commits shirk before accepting Islam, and dies as a Muslim, then the sin of shirk will be forgiven. This is because a person will be judged by Allah based on his conditions and iman (faith) at the time of death, so if he committed shirk in the past, but eventually accepted Islam, then such a sin would be forgiven. (Qadhi, A Critical Study of Shirk : An Explanation of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab's Kash al-Shubuhat, Al-Hidaayah Publishing and Distribution 2003, p.22)
    Thus, when the verses are interpreted in light of other Qur'anic laws, there is no contradiction.

    Last edited by Ansar Al-'Adl; 08-11-2005 at 12:50 AM.
    Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an

    The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
    "Surely I was sent to perfect the qualities of righteous character" [Musnad Ahmad, Muwatta Mâlik]


    Visit Ansâr Al-'Adl's personal page HERE.
    Excellent resources on Islam listed HERE.

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    Re: Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an


    Did Abraham Commit Shirk?

    Concerning the twenty-first alleged contradiction:
    Abraham committed this sin of polytheism as he takes moon, sun, stars to be his Lord [6:76-78], yet Muslims believe that all prophets are without any sin.
    Verses in question:
    6:76-78. When the night covered him over with darkness he saw a star. He said: "This is my lord." But when it set, he said: "I like not those that set."
    When he saw the moon rising up, he said: "This is my lord." But when it set, he said: "Unless my Lord guides me, I shall surely be among the erring people."
    When he saw the sun rising up, he said: "This is my lord. This is greater." But when it set, he said: "O my people! I am indeed free from all that you join as partners in worship with Allâh.


    1. The general interpretation of the above verses is that this was an act done by Prophet Abraham to lead others to Islam. He had travelled to a land where people worshipped celestial bodies, and through this play, he demonstrated to them that only Allah is worthy of worship. He did not actually believe that these objects were His lord, but he wad pretending in order to drive home a point to his people in a special way. As Ibn Kathir Ad-Damishqi (d. 1372CE) writes in his renowned Tafsir Al-Qur'an Al-Azim:
    We should note here that, in these Ayat, Abraham, peace be upon him, was debating with his people, explaining to them the error of their way in worshipping idols and images....When he proved that these three objects were not gods, although they are the brightest objects the eyes can see, he said: "O my people! I am indeed free from all that you join as partners in worship with Allah.'' meaning, I am free from worshipping these objects and from taking them as protectors. Therefore, if they are indeed gods as you claim, then all of you bring your plot against me and do not give me respite.(Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Abridged, Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, 2000, vol. 3, pp. 389-390)

    2. Even if we suppose that Abraham was not pretending, this still would not prove the claim. This event occured before Abraham became a Prophet, and furthermore, there is no evidence that he was worshipping the celestial bodies, but only pondering on what is truly divine.

    3. While we are on the subject, we shall comment on the Islamic view on Prophets. Prophets are human beings who are selected to recieve revelation from Allah and guide people to the straught path. They are the best of humanity, so that their followers may take them as role models. Nevertheless, they are human, and thus, they are sometimes subject to a temporary lapse in judgement or minor mistakes. But they are believed to be free of sins, or infallible, especially after recieving revelation from Allah.
    Shaykh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (d. 1328 CE) said:
    The view that the Prophets are infallible and protected against committing major sins, as opposed to minor mistakes, is the view of the majority of Muslim scholars and of all groups. It is also the view of the scholars of tafseer and hadeeth and fuqaha’. Indeed, nothing has been narrated from any of the salaf, imams, Sahaabah, Taabi’een and those who followed them except that which is in accordance with this view. (Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 4/319)
    For more information, one may read the article here.

    Last edited by Ansar Al-'Adl; 08-12-2005 at 06:48 PM.
    Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an

    The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
    "Surely I was sent to perfect the qualities of righteous character" [Musnad Ahmad, Muwatta Mâlik]


    Visit Ansâr Al-'Adl's personal page HERE.
    Excellent resources on Islam listed HERE.

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    Re: Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an


    Worshipping the Same or a Different God?

    Concerning the twenty-second alleged contradiction,
    Worshiping the Same or a Different God? Muhammad is commanded to speak to the disbelievers: ... nor do you worship what I worship [109:3]. Which disbelievers is this referring to? Other verses in the Qur'an state clearly that those disbelieving his message are in fact worshiping the same God, Allah. People of the Book: [2:139, 3:64, 29:46]. Meccan Idolaters: [29:61-63, 16:35, 39:3]
    The referred chapter is as follows:
    109:1-6. Say : O you who reject faith!
    I worship not that which ye worship,
    Nor will ye worship that which I worship.
    And I will not worship that which ye have been wont to worship,
    Nor will ye worship that which I worship.
    To you be your Way, and to me mine.


    1. The first question is who is being addressed by these verses. Such a question deals elates to a science of the Qur'an known as Asbaab An-Nuzool, or the Reasons for revelation. By examining the historical context at the time of the verse's revelation, we may obtain a better understanding of the verses. The majority of scholars are agreed that this was revealed during the Prophet Muhammad's stay in Makkah, before he moved to Madinah. The verse was revelaed in response to an argument of the Makkan idolaters.

    And Abul Ala Maududi (d. 1979 CE) also provides some narrations in his commentary Tafheem Al-Qur'an:
    According to Hadrat Abdullah bin Abbas, the Quraish proposed to the Holy Prophet; "We shall give you so much of wealth that you will become the richest man of Makkah; we shall give you whichever woman you like in marriage; we are prepared to follow and obey you as our leader, only on the condition that you will not speak ill of our gods. If you do not agree to this, we present another proposal which is to your as well as to our advantage."When the Holy Prophet asked what it was, they said that if he would worship their gods, Lat and Uzza, for a year, they would worship his God for the same space of time. The Holy Prophet said: "Wait awhile; let me see what my Lord commands in this regard."Thereupon the revelation came down: Qul ya-ayyuhal- kafirun... and: Qul afa-ghair Allahi... (Az-Zumar: 64): "Say to them: ignorant people do you bid me to worship others than Allah?" (Ibn Jarir, Ibn Abi Hatim, Tabarani). According to another tradition from Ibn Abbas, the Quraish said to the Holy Prophet: "O Muhammad, if you kiss our gods, the idols, we shall worship your God."Thereupon, this Surah was sent down. (Abd bin Humaid).

    Said bin Mina (the freed slave of Abul Bakhtari) has related that Walid bin Mughirah, As bin Wail, Aswad bin al-Muttalib and Umayyah bin Khalaf met the Holy Prophet (upon whom be peace) and said to him:"O Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings), let us agree that we would worship your God and you would worship our gods, and we would make you a partner in all our works. If what you have brought was better than what we possess, we would be partners in it with You, and have our share in it, and if what we possess is better than what you have brought, you would be partner in it with us and have your share of it."At this Allah sent down: Qul ya-ayyuhal-kafirun (Ibn Jarir, Ibn Abi Hatim, Ibn Hisham also has related this incident in the Sirah).
    (SOURCE)

    Although the original addressees of these verses were the idolaters of Makkah, the scholars are agreed that these verses apply to all who reject faith ion God, as is made clear in the opening verse. Ibn Kathir Ad-Damshqi (d. 1372CE) writes in his renowned Tafsir Al-Qur'an Al-Azim:
    (
    Say: "O you who reject faith!'') includes every disbeliever on the face of the earth, however, this statement is particularly directed towards the disbelievers of the Quraysh. It has been said that in their ignorance they invited the Messenger of Allah to worship their idols for a year and they would (in turn) worship his God for a year. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Abridged, Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, 2000, vol. 10, p.614 )
    Thus, those being addressed by these verses include all disbelievers, or those who reject faith.

    2. The second point to note concerns the phrase "Nor will ye worship that which I worship". There is some confusion on this verse since it was known that the Makkan idolaters and the other rejecters believed in Allah. However, they did not believe in the other aspects of tawheed such as the belief that all acts of worship must be directed to Allah alone. In the verse 109:3, it says that they do not make Ibadah to Allah, which has been translated as they do not 'worship' Allah, but the term Ibadah is a more comprehensive word. They do not worship Allah, since worship in Islam is utmost devotion and love, but they disobeyed Allah by setting up partners with Him. On Ibadah Shaikh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said,
    Ibadah is a collective term for everything that Allaah loves and is pleased with from amongst sayings and inward and outward actions.(SOURCE)
    He also said,
    Ibadah is obedience to Allaah by carrying out what He has commanded through tongues of His Messengers.(SOURCE)
    Hence, the statement that the polytheists did not worship Allah is correct, since their belief in His existence does not equate the Islamic concept of worship and servitude to Allah. Abu Iyaad As-Salafi writes on Ibadah:
    The types of Ibaadah are many and include supplication, fear hope, reliance, love of obedience to Allaah, hatred of disobedience to Him, remorse, repentance, seeking aid from Him, vowing, sacrifice, bowing and prostrating and others besides these. Thus the first thing which a Muslim acknowledges is that he has been created for Ibaadah and that is due to his declaration of Laa ilaaha illallaaha (There is none worthy of worship except Allaah alone).(SOURCE)
    Hence, the foundation of any Ibadah is the testimony of Islam, that there is none worthy of worship except Allah alone. The simple fact that the polytheists disobeyed Allah, and rejected Islam means that they were not performing Ibadah. (For more information on Ibadah, please click here.)

    3. In addition to the above points, we may mention that none of the referred verses state that the disbelievers worshipped Allah. In fact, the very title of "disbelievers" or "rejecters of faith" implies that they do not worship Allah. The other verses only show that the disbelievers accepted Allah's existence.
    2:139 Say: Will ye dispute with us about Allah, seeing that He is our Lord and your Lord; that we are responsible for our doings and ye for yours; and that We are sincere (in our faith) in Him?

    29:46 And dispute ye not with the People of the Book, except with means better (than mere disputation), unless it be with those of them who inflict wrong (and injury): but say, "We believe in the revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you; Our God and your God is one; and it is to Him we bow (in Islam)."

    These verses are supposedly evidence that the disbelievers worshipped Allah, because of the mention that "Allah is our Lord and your Lord" or "Your Lord and Our Lord is One". This phrase simply states the Allah has universal control over everyone. As Ibn Kathir comments on 2:139:
    ((while He is our Lord and your Lord) meaning, He has full control over us and you, and deserves the worship alone without partners. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Abridged, Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, 2000, vol. 1, p.414 )
    The statement could even be made to an atheist. If one were to say to an atheist, "Allah is my Lord and your Lord", does this suddenly denote that the atheist worships Allah? Obviously not.
    In fact, we find the same example in the Qur'an. Prophet Moses made the same statement to Pharoah who believed that he was a god!
    79:21, 24. But (Pharaoh) rejected it and disobeyed (guidance)...Saying, "I am your Lord, Most High"
    26:25-26 (Pharaoh) said to those around: "Do you not hear (what he says)?"
    (Moses) said: "Your Lord and the Lord of your ancient fathers!"


    Clearly, this statement is not evidence that the disbelievers worshipped Allah.

    The next verse cited as evidence that the disbelievers worshipped Allah is:
    3:64 Say: "O People of the Book! come to common terms as between us and you: That we worship none but Allah; that we associate no partners with him; that we erect not, from among ourselves, Lords and patrons other than Allah." If then they turn back, say ye: "Bear witness that we (at least) are Muslims (bowing to Allah's Will).
    Quite evidently, this verse does not make any mention of the beliefs of the People of the Book and whether they worship Allah or not. The statement highlight is merely the call of the Muslims to people of other faiths. The Muslim invitation is That we worship none but Allah, which is known as Tawheed. If one were to call an atheist to worship none but Allah, does this mean that atheists worship God? Obviously this is an illogical argument.

    Another cited verse:
    29:61 If indeed thou ask them who has created the heavens and the earth and subjected the sun and the moon (to his Law), they will certainly reply, "(Allah)". How are they then deluded away (from the truth)?
    As previously mentioned, the disbelievers did accept Allah's existence and His supremacy, which is known as Tawheed Ar-Rububiyyah. But, they rejected the other aspects of Tawheed, especially directing all worship to Allah alone. They did not wish to give up the power that they held through their idols. (For more information on tawheed please click here).

    So this verse cannot be taken as evidence that they worshipped Allah.

    16:35 The worshippers of false gods say: "If Allah had so willed, we should not have worshipped aught but Him - neither we nor our fathers,- nor should we have prescribed prohibitions other than His." So did those who went before them. But what is the mission of apostles but to preach the Clear Message?

    39:3 Is it not to Allah that sincere devotion is due? But those who take for protectors other than Allah (say): "We only serve them in order that they may bring us nearer to Allah." Truly Allah will judge between them in that wherein they differ. But Allah guides not such as are false and ungrateful.

    These verses indicate that the polytheists did not worship Allah directly. They placed between material idols between themselves and Allah. Their Shirk (associating partners with Allah) was so extreme that they had removed Allah from the spiritual sphere of life.
    Clearly these verses are not evidence that the disbelievers were truly worshipping Allah. Their prayers and supplications were made to idols.

    4. It is also worth mentioning here that the statement from Surat Al-Kaafiroon, "Nor will ye worship that which I worship" means that they will not worship Allah alone wiithout partners, and in accordance with His attributes. As Muhammad Asad mentioned:
    In the above rendering, the particle ma ("that which") alludes, on the one hand, to all positive concepts and ethical values - e.g., belief in God and the believer's self-surrender to Him - and, on the other, to false objects of worship and false values, such as man's belief in his own supposed "self-sufficiency" (cf. 96:6-7), or his overriding, almost compulsive "greed for more and more" (surah 102).(Asad, Message of the Qur'an, The Book Foundation 2003)
    So "that which we worship" denotes worshipping Allah alone, and devoting everything for His cause. Syed Qutb (d. 1966) also responded to the same question in his tafsir Fi Dhilalil Qur'an:
    Although the Arabs before Islam were not disavowing Allah, they did not know Him by the true identity He accorded Himself as the One and the Eternal. (Qutb, In the Shade of the Qur'an, New Crescent Publishing Co. (Revised Ed. 1996), p.328)
    Therefore, even worshipping Allah without affirming His attributes is not true worship. As Abul 'Ala Maududi writes:
    I do not worship that which you worship- Though the disbelievers worshipped Allah also along with other gods, the worship of all their gods has been disowned, because the worship of Allah, in association with other gods, is no worship at all.(Maududi, The Holy Qur'an Translation and Brief Notes with Text, Islamic Publications (Pvt.) Ltd., 1991, p. 1018, emphasis added)
    The above should make it clear that the disbelievers did not serve Allah in any meaningful way, hence the Qur'an commands believers to disavow all that the Makkans serve.

    Last edited by Ansar Al-'Adl; 08-12-2005 at 07:28 PM.
    Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an

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    "Surely I was sent to perfect the qualities of righteous character" [Musnad Ahmad, Muwatta Mâlik]


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    Re: Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an


    The Sequence of Events in the Children of Israel Worshipping the Calf


    Concerning the twenty-third alledged contradiction:
    The event of worship of the golden calf: The Israelites repented about worshipping the golden calf BEFORE Moses returned from the mountain [7:149], yet they refused to repent but rather continued to worship the calf until Moses came back [20:91]
    Verses in question:
    7:149 When they repented, and saw that they had erred, they said: "If our Lord have not mercy upon us and forgive us, we shall indeed be of those who perish."
    The context of this verse is as follows:
    7:148-150. In his absence the people of Moses made a calf from their ornaments -- an image with a hollow sound. Did they not see that it could neither speak to them nor give them guidance? Yet they worshipped it and thus committed [a great] evil. When they repented, and saw that they had erred, they said: "If our Lord have not mercy upon us and forgive us, we shall indeed be of those who perish." And when Moses returned to his people, angry and sorrowful, he said: 'Evil is the thing you did in my absence! Would you hasten the retribution of your Lord? He threw down the Tablets and, seizing his brother by the hair, dragged him closer. 'Son of my mother,' cried Aaron, 'the people overpowered me and almost killed me. Do not let my enemies gloat over me; do not consider me among the wrongdoers'.

    The next verse in question is:
    20:91. They had said: "We will not stop worshipping it (i.e. the calf), until Mûsa (Moses) returns to us."

    Neither of these verses give a chronological sequence for the events, hence there is no contradiction.
    1. Verse 20:91 states that at one point during their worship of the calf, some or all of them announced that they intended to persist in this act until the return of Prophet Moses. This does not mean that they did persist in the act, they only intended to at one point in time. Moreover, some may have persisted while some may have repented.

    2. Verse 7:149 also does not necessarily imply whether they repented before or after Prophet Moses's return, nor does it imply whether it was the whole group repenting or just a portion of the group. Many conclude that this verse implies that they repented before the return of Prophet Moses simply because the next verse mentions the return of Prophet Moses. All we can conclude from the verses is that at some point in time some of them repented, and at some point in time, Moses returned and was angry. Mufti Muhammad Shafi, the Late Grand Mufti of Pakistan, writes the following in his monumental tafsir:
    When the Bani Isra'il were smitten with the mischief of calf-worship Sayyidna Harun (as) as the deputy of Sayyidna Musa (as) remonstrated with them but to no avail. They split into three factions. Those who remained loyal to Sayyidna Harun (as) and refused to be misled by Samiri and who numbered, according to Qurtubi, twelve thousand. The second faction adopted calf-worship with the reservation that if Sayyidna Musa (as), on his return, forbade them they would give it up. The third faction consisted of zealots who believed that Sayyidna Musa (as) would approve of their action and would join them in calf-worship but even if he did not, they themselves would never give up their new faith. (Shafi, Ma'ariful Qur'an, Maktaba-e-Darul-Uloom, Karachi, 2003, vol. 6, p. 149)
    So after reading the Qur'anic verse, there are still a number of possibilites left to the reader. They may have all repented before Moses arrived. They may have all repented after Moses arrived. Some may have repented before, while some may have persisted until Moses arrived, which is what Muft Muhammad Shafi suggests. The Qur'an gives no clear chronological sequence, which leads us to our next point.

    3. The Qur'an is not clear on the chronological sequence because it has no reason to be. This is not what Allah wants us to ponder over. Rather, we should ponder over the lesson and moral behind the story. As Allah says about the number of sleepers in the story of the sleepers of the cave:
    18:22 (Some) say they were three, the dog being the fourth among them; (others) say they were five, the dog being the sixth, guessing at the unseen; (yet others) say they were seven, the dog being the eighth. Say: "My Lord knows best their number; none knows them but a few." So debate not (about their number, etc.) except with the clear proof (which We have revealed to you). And consult not any of them about (the affair of) the people of the Cave.
    Allah has purposely not given us these minor details because they are of no benefit to us. We should instead contemplate the message of the Qur'an.

    4. Verse 7:149 has been interpreted in different ways as well. For example, Muhammad Asad renders the verse as follows:
    4:179 although [later,] when they would smite their hands in remorse,"' having perceived that they had gone astray, they would say, "Indeed, unless our Sustainer have mercy on us and grant us forgiveness, we shall most certainly be among the lost!""'
    This interpretation would indicate that this verse foresees a future event- that they would repent when prophet Moses would arrive. And commenting on the phrase in this verse, Walamma suqita fee aydeehim, Muhammad Asad writes:
    Lit., "when it was made to fall upon their hands"-an idiomatic phrase denoting intense remorse, probably derived from the striking ("falling") of hand upon hand as an expression of grief or regret. (Asad, Message of the Qur'an, The Book Foundation 2003)
    Ibn Kathir Ad-Damishqi (d. 1372CE) also implies the same message in his book Qasas Al-Anbiyah:
    This animal was unable even to seak or answer them. It could not benefit them nor harm them, nor did it have any sign of life in itself. Then how could it be a god?
    "And when they repented, and saw that they had gone astray, they said: 'If our Lord does not have mercy on us, and does not forgive us, we shall be among the losers.'" (7:149)
    When Moses returned to his people, and saw their worship of the calf, he threw down the Tablets that contained the teachings of the Torah. (Ibn Kathir, Stories of the Prophets, Darussalam Publications 2003, p.419)
    The underlined phrase seems to imply that he arrived when they were still persisting in the sin. His comment has been included with the context to demonstrate that he made the comment right after verse 7:149, but did not see any conflict between them.

    Last edited by Ansar Al-'Adl; 08-13-2005 at 05:07 AM.
    Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an

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    "Surely I was sent to perfect the qualities of righteous character" [Musnad Ahmad, Muwatta Mâlik]


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    Re: Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an


    The Guilt of Aaron in the Children of Israel Worshipping the Calf

    Concerning the twenty-fourth alleged contradiction:
    Concerning the worshippers of the Calf, does Aaron share in their guilt? No [20:85-90], yes [20:92, 7:151].
    Verses in question:
    20:85-90 (Allah) said: "Verily! We have tried your people in your absence, and As-Samiri has led them astray."
    Then Moses returned to his people in a state of anger and sorrow. He said: "O my people! Did not your Lord promise you a fair promise? Did then the promise seem to you long in coming? Or did you desire that wrath should descend from your Lord on you, so you broke your promise to me (i.e disbelieving in Allah and worshipping the calf)?"
    They said: "We broke not the promise to you, of our own will, but we were made to carry the weight of the ornaments of the [Pharaoh's] people, then we cast them (into the fire), and that was what As-Samiri suggested."
    Then he took out (of the fire) for them a statue of a calf which seemed to low. They said: "This is your god, and the god of Moses, but (Moses) has forgotten (his god).'"
    Did they not see that it could not return them a word (for answer), and that it had no power either to harm them or to do them good?
    And Aaron indeed had said to them beforehand: "O my people! You are being tried in this, and verily, your Lord is (Allah) the Most Beneficent, so follow me and obey my order."


    20:92 He [Moses] said: O Aaron, what hindered you from stopping them when you saw them going astray?

    7:150-151 And when Moses returned to his people, angry and sorrowful, he said: 'Evil is the thing you did in my absence! Would you hasten the retribution of your Lord? He threw down the Tablets and, seizing his brother by the hair, dragged him closer. 'Son of my mother,' cried Aaron, 'the people overpowered me and almost killed me. Do not let my enemies gloat over me; do not consider me among the wrongdoers'. 'Lord,' said Moses, 'forgive me and my brother. Admit us to Your mercy, for, of all those that show mercy, You are the most merciful.'

    1. Quite clearly, none of the verses of the Qur'an imply anything close to Aaron's guilt in the matter. Prophet Moses pbuh left Aaron in charge of his people when he went to recieve the revelation from Allah. Verse 20:90 indicates that Aaron struggled against the sin of his people and persisted in calling them back to the truth. As Shaykh Abdul Majid Daryabadi (d. 1979CE) comments on this verse:
    This more than vindicates Aaron's unflinching monotheism against the aspersions of the Bible. (Daryabadi, The Glorious Qur'an: Text, Translation & Commentary, The Islamic Foundation 2001, p.571)
    So the Qur'an clearly differs from the Bible in this regard, as the Bible states that Aaron was an accomplice in the crime, while the Qur'an maintains his constant opposition to evil, throughout this trial.

    2. Verses 20:92 and 7:150-151 state that Prophet Moses pbuh was upset upon his return and was angry with Aaron for not preventing his people from worshipping the calf. We know that Aaron tried to stop them and called out to them, but they persisted in their sin and threatened to kill him. At no point does the Qur'an say that he joined them in their sin. Commenting on verse 7:150, Ibn Kathir Ad-Damishqi (d. 1372CE) writes:
    (..and seized his brother by (the hair of) his head and dragged him towards him.)for Moses feared that Aaron might not have tried hard enough to forbid them from their evil action. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Abridged, Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, 2000, vol. 4, p.166 )
    Therefore, Prophet Moses pbuh was angry with Prophet Aaron pbuh because he feared he did not try hard enough to prevent the sin. But, Aaron never committed the sin himself. As Moiz Amjad writes:
    The words: "what hindered you from stopping them when you saw them going astray?" can by no means be taken to imply that Moses (pbuh) thought Aaron (pbuh) to be an accomplice in the crime of the calf worshippers. At the most they can be taken to signify Moses' (pbuh) anger at Aaron (pbuh) for not stopping the Israelites from committing the heinous crime. The same is the case of Al-A`raaf 7: 150.(SOURCE)

    3. Verse 7:151 shows Prophet Moses making a prayer of forgiveness for himself and Prophet Aaron. It is claimed that this is an indication that Aaron was part of the crime. If that was the case, why has Moses included himself in the prayer of forgiveness? Evidently, Moses is asking forgiveness for himself and Aaron because they did not prevent their people from sinning. The prayer of forgiveness does NOT mean that they were involved in the sin, themselves.

    4. On the issue of who made the calf, it is claimed that the Qur'anic accounts are contradictory. The Qur'an states:
    7:148 And the people of Moses made in his absence, out of their ornaments, the image of a calf (for worship). It had a sound (as if it was mooing). Did they not see that it could neither speak to them nor guide them to the way? They took it for worship and they were wrong-doers.
    This verse indicates that the people of Moses made the calf in his absence, out of their ornaments or jewelry.

    20:87-88. They said: "We broke not the promise to you, of our own will, but we were made to carry the weight of the ornaments of the [Pharaoh's] people, then we cast them (into the fire), and that was what As-Samiri suggested."
    Then he took out (of the fire) for them a statue of a calf which seemed to low. They said: "This is your god, and the god of Moses, but (Moses) has forgotten (his god).'"


    This verse does not contradict the former verse in any way. It clearly states that the Israelites participated in the making of the calf, when they threw the ornaments into the fire. Then As-Samiri shaped it for them. There are different interpretations on who As-Samiri was. As Ibn Kathir mentions in his Tafsir Al-Qur'an Al-Azim:
    Muhammad Ibn Ishaq reported from Ibn Abbas that he said, "As-Samiri was a man from the people of Bajarma, a people who wroshipped cows. He still had the love of cow worshipping in his soul. However, he acted as though he had accepted Islam with the Children of Israel. His name was Musa bin Zafar. (fn. Tarikh At-Tabari 1:424) Qatadah said, "He was from the village of Samarra. (fn. At-Tabari 18:363) (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Abridged, Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, 2000, vol. 6, p.382 )
    Ibn Kathir gives his own opinion on this matter is his Qasas Al-Anbiyah:
    A man from the among the Israelites, whose name was Aaron Samiri, came forth and took all the jewellery which had been borrowed from the Egyptians, and moulded it into a calf after he had melted them. (Ibn Kathir, Stories of the Prophets, Darussalam Publications 2003, p.418)

    According to Ibn Kathir's interpretation, As-Samiri was an Israelite himself, and made the calf with the help of his fellow Israelites. Either way, there is no contradiction between this verse and the above. (For a more detailed discussion on As-Samiri please see articles by the Islamic-Awareness.org team).

    20:85 (Allah) said: "Verily! We have tried/tested your people in your absence, and As-Samiri has led them astray.
    It is claimed by critics that this verse suggests that it was Allah who made the calf, which contradicts the previous verses.
    As we have mentioned in previous articles, Allah may test us in different ways. Allah tested the Children of Israel through the tricks of As-Samiri. Everything happens by the permission of Allah. Please refer to On the Origin of Calamity.
    Some scholars also believed that the calf made by the Israelites made an actual sound, and moved, i.e. it became alive. If that is the case, then Allah made it come to life as a test for the children of Israel, and there is still no contradiction. But the majority of scholars believe that it did not come to life.

    Last edited by Ansar Al-'Adl; 08-15-2005 at 02:32 PM.
    Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an

    The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
    "Surely I was sent to perfect the qualities of righteous character" [Musnad Ahmad, Muwatta Mâlik]


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    Re: Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an


    Was Jonah Cast on the Desert Shore?

    Concerning the twenty-fifth alleged contradiction,
    Was Jonah cast on the desert shore or was he not? "Then We cast him on a desert shore while he was sick" [37:145] "Had not Grace from his Lord reached him, he would indeed have been cast off on the naked shore while he was reprobate." [68:49]
    Verses in question:
    37:145 But We cast him forth on the naked shore while he was sick

    68:49 Had not a Grace from his Lord reached him, he would indeed have been cast off on the naked shore, while he was to be blamed/disgraced.


    1. It is very clear from the ahadith and the tafsir, that Prophet Jonah (Yunus) was saved by Allah, and released from the belly of the whale, upon the shore. Verse 68:49 is not disputing this fact at all. In reality, when one examines the verse more carefully, it becomes evident that the claim of verse 68:49 is that had Allah not been merciful and forgiven Jonah, he would have been blamed and disgraced for his mistake. This interpretation has been emphasized very clearly in several commentaries on this verse. Muhammad Asad writes in his commentary on the Qur'an:
    "[And remember:] had not grace from his Sustainer reached him, he would indeed have been cast forth upon that barren shore in a state of disgrace" Lit., "while he was still blameworthy", i.e., burdened with sin and unredeemed by repentance: implying that but for God's grace he would have died as a sinner. (Asad, Message of the Qur'an, The Book Foundation 2003)
    Shaykh `Abd al-Wahhab al-Turayri comments on the verse by saying:
    The pertinent phrase at the end of the verse is wa huwa madhmum. It means 'while in a state of disgrace' or 'while in a state of sinfulness'.
    The verse mentions the state that Jonah (peace be upon him) would have been in when he was cast off had it not been for the mercy off Allah. The verse is not saying that he was not cast off at all, but that he was not in disgrace when he was cast off.
    Indeed, Allah says immediately thereafter:
    Thus did his Lord choose him and make him of the Company of the Righteous. [Surah al-Qalam: 50]

    The same interpretation is emphasized by Imaam Abu Abdullah Al-Qurtubi (d. 1273CE) in his monumental Al-Jaami` le Ahkaam al-Qur'an:
    (he would indeed have been thrown on the upon the barren shore, disgraced), that is to say that if he had not been blessed by his Lords favor he would then have been thrown in disgrace, however, he was thrown in a state of illness, not in a state of disgrace. (Tafsir Al-Qurtubi)
    Imaam Fakhr Ad-Din Ar-Raazi (d. 1209CE) writes the same thing, in his comprehensive Tafsir Al-Kabir:
    Had it not been for this [mentioned] favor [of his Lord], he would have been thrown on the naked shore with the attribute of disgrace. However, due to this favor [of his Lord], though the "throwing on the barren shore" was still there, yet it was without the attribute of disgrace. Thus, when the attribute of disgrace was not there, then he [Jonah] was not thrown on the barren shore in disgrace. (Tafsir Al-Kabir)
    Imaam Abdur-Rahman Ibn al-Jawzee (d. 1201CE) writes in his commentary on the Qur'an:
    The meaning of the verse is that he was cast off without being in a state of disgrace, and this was on account of Allah’s grace on him due to his repentance and Allah’s mercy. (Zaad al-Masir 8/369)
    A more detailed list of quotes on this subject, is found in this article.

    2. Ibn al-Jawzee then goes on to explain that Ibn Jurayj had an entirely different interpretation for the verse. Ibn Jurayj interpreted “al-`urâ’” (the naked shore) in this verse to mean the place of gathering on the Day of Resurrection. Therefore, he saw the verse as negating Jonah’s being cast forth from the whale on the Day of Resurrection. Ibn Jurayj, consequently, understood the verse to mean that had it not been for the grace of Allah, Jonah (peace be upon him) would have remained in the whale until the Day of Resurrection and then been cast off in a blameworthy state.

    The interpretation of Ibn Jurayj is not an attempt to avoid any supposed contradiction between this verse and verse 145 of Surah al-Saaffat (chapter 37). Rather, it is derived from verses 143-144 of Surah al-Saaffat:
    37:143-144. And had he not been one of those who glorify (Allah), He would have tarried in its belly till the day when they are raised.

    Al-Qurtubi makes this clear, saying:
    It has been claimed that the meaning is: Had it not been for the grace of Allah, He would have remained in the belly of the whale until the Day of Resurrection and then been cast off on the plain of the Resurrection in disgrace. This is derived from Allah’s words ‘And had he not been one of those who glorify (Allah), He would have tarried in its belly till the day when they are raised’. (Tafsir al-Qurtubi)

    Shaykh Mahmud Al-Alusi (d. 1853CE) also points this out and then astutely observes:
    The far-fetched nature of this interpretation cannot go unnoticed. (Ruh al-Ma`ani 29/34)

    Shaykh `Abd al-Wahhâb al-Turayrî comments on the interpretations:
    The opinion of the majority of commentators – and not that of Ibn Jurayj – is the most likely one and the one that is apparent from the Arabic language.

    The opinion of the majority of commentators being referred to here, is that which was explained in the first portion of this article.

    3. Another point to note is that of the arabic language. The verb being used in verse 68:49 and 37:145 for "cast off" is actually being used in two different implications. In verse 37:145, it implies the initiation of an action, while in verse 68:49, it implies the continuation of an action.

    Moiz Amjad provides the following explanation:
    Verbs in the classical Arabic language were used in varying shades of their meanings. Sometimes the verb may be used to imply only the beginning or the initiation of the action (relating to that verb), sometimes it may be used to imply the completion of the action (in that verb) and sometimes, it maybe used to imply the continuity or the perpetuation of the action (in that verb)...
    If the above explanation is fully understood, it would then not be difficult to understand that the verb "nabadha" in the two referred verses is actually used in two slightly different implications. In the first verse (Al-Saaffaat 37: 145), the verb implies the initiation or the beginning of the action in that verb, while in the second verse (Al-Qalam 68: 49), it implies the continuity or the perpetuation or the permanence of the action. Thus, keeping this explanation in mind, the the second verse should actually have been translated in a slightly different manner. In my opinion, a more accurate translation of the second verse would be:

    Had it not been for the favor of his Lord upon him, he would indeed have been left thrown away upon the barren shore, disgraced.
    N. J. Dawood, who seems to be well aware of this usage of the verbs in the classical Arabic language, has translated Al-Saaffaat 37: 145 in the following words:
    We threw him, gravely ill, upon a desolate shore.
    and then has very accurately translated Al-Qalam 68: 49 as:
    Had his Lord not bestowed on him His grace, he would have been abandoned in the open to be blamed by all.
    This, in my opinion, is the correct translation of Al-Qalam 68: 49. (SOURCE)
    From the above explanation, we understand that the distinction between 68:49 and 37:145 is that the former states that he did not remain abandoned upon the desert, while the latter sates that he was cast on the desrt and recovered from his poor condition.

    Last edited by Ansar Al-'Adl; 08-18-2005 at 07:10 AM.
    Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an

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    Re: Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an


    The Reference to the Injeel and the time of Moses

    Concerning the twenty-sixth alleged contradiction,
    Moses and the Injil? Jesus is born more than 1,000 years after Moses, but in 7:157 Allah speaks to Moses about what is written in the Injil [the book given to Jesus].
    The verses in question:
    7:155-158
    And Moses chose seventy of his people for Our place of meeting: when they were seized with violent quaking, he prayed: "O my Lord! if it had been Thy will Thou couldst have destroyed, long before, both them and me: wouldst Thou destroy us for the deeds of the foolish ones among us? this is no more than Thy trial: by it Thou causest whom Thou wilt to stray, and Thou leadest whom Thou wilt into the right path. Thou art our Protector: so forgive us and give us Thy mercy; for Thou art the best of those who forgive.

    156. "And ordain for us that which is good, in this life and in the Hereafter: for we have turned unto Thee." He said: "With My punishment I visit whom I will; but My mercy extendeth to all things. That (mercy) I shall ordain for those who do right, and practise regular charity, and those who believe in Our signs"

    [It is they] who are [now] following the messenger - the Unlettered Prophet - whom they find mentioned in the Torah and the Gospel. He enjoins righteousness upon them and forbids them from evil. He makes clean things lawful to them and prohibits all that is foul. He relieves them of their burdens and of the shackles that had weighed upon them. Thus, those who have believed in him and have honored him and have aided him and have followed the light sent down with him, are the ones that shall indeed triumph.

    Say [to them O Prophet,]: O people! I am God's messenger to you all. [The God] Who has sovereignty over the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. There is no god but Him. He ordains life and causes death. Therefore have faith in God and His messenger, the Unlettered Prophet, who believes in God and His commandments. Follow him so that you may be rightly guided.


    1. The first point to note, is that this verse does not necessarily have to be part of Allah's dialogue with prophet Moses pbuh. It remains perfectly logical for verse 7:157 to be presented seperately from the two previous verses, or in relation to verse 7:158. For example, M. Farooq-i-Azam Malik renders verse 7:157 with the following interpretation:
    (Now special mercy is assigned to) those who follow the Rasool, the unlettered Prophet (Muhammad)....
    Hence, it is a seperate reference from Allah's speech to Prophet Moses. This interpretation is supported by the use of past tenses in the verse.

    2. Even if this is interpreted as part of the dialogue with Prophet Moses pbuh, it can still be considered a prophecy of future times. As Abdullah Yusuf Ali writes:
    In this verse is a pre-figuring, to Moses, of the Arabian Apostle, the last and greatest of the apostles of God. Prophecies about him will be found in the Taurat and the Injeel.
    These translators also use the translation of "whom they will find" or "whom they shall find", indicating it is a future prophecy.

    Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an

    The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
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    Re: Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an


    Concerning the Food for the Inhabitants of Hell

    Concerning the twenty-seventh alleged contradiction:
    What will be the food for the people in Hell? The food for the people in Hell will be only "Dhari" [Sura 88:6], or only foul pus from the washing of wounds [S. 69:36], or will they also get to eat from the tree of Zaqqum [S. 37:66]? Together, these verses constitute three contradictions.
    Verses in question:
    88:6 No food will there be for them but a bitter Dari'
    69:36-37 "Nor hath he any food except of Ghisleen. None will eat it except the Khati'un. (sinners)

    37:62-68. Is that the better entertainment or the Tree of Zaqqum?
    For We have truly made it (as) a trial for the wrong-doers.
    For it is a tree that springs out of the bottom of Hell-Fire:
    The shoots of its fruit-stalks are like the heads of devils:
    Truly they will eat thereof and fill their bellies therewith.
    Then on top of that they will be given a mixture made of boiling water. Then shall their return be to the (Blazing) Fire.


    The first task is to define these three substances found in Hellfire. Imaam Ibn Kathir Ad-Damishqi (d. 1372CE) has given a thorogh discussion of these terms in his renowned Tafsir Al-Qur'an Al-Azim. Concerning the Dari, he writes:
    Ali ibn Abi Talhah reported from Ibn Abbas that he said, "A tree from the Hellfire." (fn. At-Tabari 24:383). Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, 'Ikrimah, Abu Al-Jawza' and Qatadah, all said, "It is Ash-Shibriq (a type of plant)." Qatadah said, "The Quraysh called it Ash-Shabraq in the spring and Ad-Dari in the Summer." Ikrimah said, "It is a thorny tree which reaches down to the ground." (fn. At-Tabari 24:384). Al-Bukhari related that Mujahid said, "Ad-Dari is a plant that is called Ash-Shibriq. The people of Hijaz call it Ad-Dari when it dries, and it is poisonous." (fn. Fath Al-Bari 8:570). Ma'mar narrated that Qatadah said, "No food will there be for them but Dari, this is Ash-Shibriq. When it dries it is called Ad-Dari." (fn. At-Tabari 24:384). Sa'id narrated from Qatadah that he said, "No food will there be for them but Dari, this is the worst, most disgusting and loathsome of foods." (fn. At-Tabari 24:384). (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Abridged, Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, 2000, vol. 10, p. 457)
    This detailed discussion clarifies the meaning of the word beyond any doubts. We can conclude that Ad-Dari refers to any of thorny plant, similar to a species know to the Quraysh, while it also carries the wider meaning of a disgusting and loathsome food. Moving on to Ghislin, Imaam Ibn Kathir once again provides a detailed commentary:
    Qatadah said, "it will be the worst food of the people of the Hell-fire." (fn. At-Tabari 23:591). Ar-Rabi' and Ad-Dahhak both said, "It (Ghislin) is a tree in Hell." Shabib bin Bishr reported from ikrimah that Ibn Abbas said, 'Ghislin will be the blood and fluid that will flow from their flesh." Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn Abbas that he said, "Ghislin is the pus of the people of the Hell-fire." (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Abridged, Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, 2000, vol. 10, p. 148)
    The discussion of Ghisleen seems to point out two different views. One is that it is a tree in Hell, while there are other views that it refers to a collection of foul liquids, especially those fluids from the victims of Hell. Meanwhile others refer to it as simply the worst punishment. This information will be useful later on in the discussion. Concerning the Tree of Zaqqum, there is little ambiguity here, and it is sufficient to quote the explanation of Shaykh Umar Sulayman Al-Ashqar, Professor at the University of Jordan, who says:
    What we may understand from these âyât is that this tree is a repulsive tree, whose roots go deep into the bottom of Hell, and whose branches stretch forth all over. Its fruits are so ugly that they are likened to the heads of devils, so that everyone may easily understand just how ugly they are, even though they have never seen them. Although this tree is so vile and obnoxious, the people of Hell will become so hungry that they will have no choice but to eat from it until they are full. When they have filled their bellies, this food will start to churn like boiling oil, which will cause a great deal of suffering to them.
    (Al-Ashqar, The Final Day : Part 3 - Paradise And Hell In the Light of the Quran and Sunnah, International Islamic Publishing House 2000, p.104)
    This is how it has been described in Surat Ad-Dukhan:
    44:43-46. Verily, the tree of Zaqqûm, Will be the food of the sinners, Like boiling oil, it will boil in the bellies, Like the boiling of scalding water.
    Various Qur'anic commentators mentioned that this will tear up the innards of the inhabitant of Hell. From this verse we note that eating from Tree of Zaqqum gives rise to boiling oil in the internal organs, which tear them apart, releasing bodily fluids. In concluding the descriptions, one should also note that the Hereafter - both Heaven and Hell - is beyond the limits of Human understanding, and therefore these descriptions are only meant to paint a vague idea of the actual torment, for it is torment, the like of which no human mind can conceive.

    At this stage, there are several ways of explaining the alleged contradiction.

    1. Linguistically, there is no contradiction between only eating Dari, and eating from the Tree of Zaqqum. Ad-Dari is a general term for the thorny plants found in Hell-fire, the greatest of which is the Tree of Zaqqum. There is also no contradiction if we understand Ghisleen to refer to a Tree, as many of the early scholars did. This is what has been narrated from Ar-Rabi and Ad-Dahhak about what verse 69:36 means, as they said, "It (Ghislin) is a tree in Hell."

    2. We can also reconcile the verses by seeking a more comprehensive definition of Ghisleen. Muhammad Asad made an interesting comment on the meaning of Ghisleen:
    The noun ghislin, which appears in the Qur'an only in this one instance, has been variously - and very contradictorily - explained by the early commentators. Ibn Abbas, when asked about it, frankly answered, "I do not know what ghislin denotes" (Razi). The term "filth" used by me contains an allusion to the "devouring" of all that is abominable in the spiritual sense: cf. its characterization in the next verse as "[that] which none but the sinners eat" – i.e. (metaphorically) in this world, and, consequently, in the hereafter as well. (Asad, Message of the Qur'an, The Book Foundation 2003)
    This is a likely explanation since the punishments of Hell-fire are beyond human understanding, and therefore any reference to punishment in Hell is naturally a general reference. It is logical that Ghisleen is a comprehensive term used to refer to filth of any form.

    3. Even if we state that Ghisleen does indeed refer to a collection of foul liquids, then it becomes clear that one source of Ghisleen is the Dari plants. In fact, Imaam Abu Abdullah Al-Qurtubi (d. 1272 CE) mentions in his commentary, Al-Jaami'li Ahkaam Al-Qur'aan, the following narration:
    Khalid bin Ziyad said: I heard Al-Mutawakil bin Hamdan ask about this verse, "They will not have any food except from Dharee'" He said: It has reached me that Al-Dharee' is a tree in hell-fire [Jahanam] bearing blood and puss, with a bitter taste and that is their food. (SOURCE)
    Thus, from this explanation of the early scholars it becomes clear that ghisleen is found in the Dari and the Zaqqum. It can be interpreted to describe another aspect of the same food. Therefore, ingesting Dari is equivalent to ingesting Ghisleen.

    4. It should also be noted that the meaning of the verse in Arabic is meant to imply that there is no food other than food of such a nature. This is the beauty of the Qur'anic arabic, as Syed Qutb (d. 1966CE) notes:
    They are "made to drink from a boiling fountain. Their only food shall be the fruit of Dhari', which will neither nourish nor satisfy their hunger." Dhari' is said to be a tree of fire in Hell. This explanation is based on what has been revealed about the tree of "zayqoom" which grows at the centre of Hell. It is also said to be a kind of cactus thorn, which when green is called "shabraq" and is eaten by camels. However, when it is fully grown it cannot be eaten as it becomes poisonous. Whatever it is in reality, it is a kind of food like "ghisleen" and "shabraq" (names given by the Qur'an to refer to the food available in Hell) which neither nourishes nor appeases hunger.

    It is obvious that we, in this world, cannot fully comprehend the nature of that suffering and torture in the hereafter. The description is made in order to give our human perceptions the feeling of the greatest possible pain, which is produced by a combination of humiliation, weakness, failure, the scorching fire, drinking and bathing in boiling water, and eating food unacceptable even to the camels.

    From all these aspects we get a feeling of the ultimate affliction. But the affliction of the hereafter is, nevertheless, greater. Its true nature is incomprehensible except to those who will actually experience it. May Allah never count us among them.
    (SOURCE)
    Similary, another scholar says:
    Here there is a question that some other ayaat are talking about some other type of food people will have in the Hell-fire. Just like inna shajarata zaqqum - a tree that's called az-zaqqum. When Allah SWT says they will have only this thing to eat, it simply means they will have only these type of items in the Hell-fire. Nothing of real food. Everything that they will use for food over there will not be really food, just like they will go to that stream of pus and would start drinking from it - its not food. They would go to those trees that have poisoned fruits, full of thorns, and they will start chewing that - [but] it's not something to eat. So, it simply means nothing that deserves to be used as a food over there. People will just start taking things from here and there, whatever they find they will just start eating those.
    Hence, the type of exclusion given in the verses does not exclude substances of a similar nature. If the verses were about this life, and one stated that a group of people would have no food but terrible thorny plants, while another verse stated that the same group would have roast chicken (or some other pleasant food), then it might be a contradiction. However, this is not the case here. The meaning of the Qur'an is clear that no matter what the food, it will be an unbearable torture beyond human imagination.

    5. Lastly, it should be noted that there are different levels in Hell, and different groups in Hell. All these groups will recieve different punishments depending on what they deserve. The verse about Ghisleen states that none shall eat it except the khati'un (a category of sinners), who neither believed in Allah nor fed the poor and needy. Meanwhile, the chapter about Dari is only speaking about some people who will enter Naaran Haamiyah (88:2-4), which some scholars describe as a certain level of Hell-fire. As Imaam Al-Qurtubi mentions in his tafsir:
    Allah has said: "Therefore he has not here today a true friend, Nor any food save filth" [Al-Haqqah, 35-36] Allah said here "Nor any food save filth" which is different than Ghisleen. It is believed that Hell-fire is made of levels, those who eat from al-zaqoom, those who eat from al-ghisleen, those who eat from Al-dharee', those who drink from hameem, and those who drink from As-sideed. Al-Kalbi said: Al-Dharee' is for those on a certain station [in Hell] and Al-zaqoom are for those on a different station. (SOURCE)
    Therefore, this explanation from the earliest sources also refutes the alleged contradiction.
    These points should demonstrate that these verses do not signify a contradiction at all.

    Last edited by Ansar Al-'Adl; 08-09-2005 at 03:43 AM.
    Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an

    The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
    "Surely I was sent to perfect the qualities of righteous character" [Musnad Ahmad, Muwatta Mâlik]


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    Re: Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an


    Forgiveness for Slander of Chaste Women

    The Twenty-eighth allegation:
    Can slander of chaste women be forgiven? Yes [24:5], No [24:23].
    Verses in question:
    24:4-5. And those who launch a charge against chaste women, and produce not four witnesses (to support their allegations),- flog them with eighty stripes; and reject their evidence ever after: for such men are wicked transgressors;-Unless they repent thereafter and mend (their conduct); for Allah is Oft- Forgiving, Most Merciful.

    24:23 Those who slander chaste women, indiscreet but believing, are cursed in this life and in the Hereafter: for them is a grievous Penalty.

    The offence being referred to here is called Al-Qadhf, in Islamic law. It is defined simply as an unproven allegation that another individual has committed adultery or fornication. The response to this alleged contradiction is as follows:

    1. The first point to note is that forgiveness is offered for any sin from which a person sincerely repents. As Allah SWT says in the Qur'an:
    39:53 Say: "O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah. for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
    This is a point that has been unanimously agreed upon by the scholars of Islam. Allah is mercfiul and loves to forgive, hence Allah will forgive any sin, major or minor, so long as the believer turns to Allah with sincere repentance. In Islam, sincere repentance entails the following conditions:
    a) The sinner refrains from the sin
    b) the sinner must feel remorse for having committed the sin
    c) The sinner vows never to return to that sin, fearing Allah's punishment
    In the case of sins which involve other parties, the scholars have outlined another condition. As Shaykh Abdul Aziz Ibn Baz (d.1999), the late Grand Mufti Saudi Arabia, states:
    If your sin involves a right of a human being, then we must add a fourth condition: you must return to them their rights, whether it is wealth or something else; otherwise, you must seek their pardon. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, "Whoever has wronged his brother regarding his honor or something else, let him seek his pardon today..." (Bukhari #2449) (Fatawa Islamiyah, Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, 2002, vol. 7, p.254)
    Therefore, forgiveness is granted to one who commits Al-Qadhf, so long as he or she sincerely repents to Allah, which includes obtaining the forgiveness of the one against whom the allegation was made. If these conditions are met, there is no doubt that Allah will forgive such a person.

    2. The point of confusion seems to arise from verse 24:23 because it mentions that those who commit Al-Qadhf are cursed (arabic: Al-Lanah) in this life and in the hereafter. However, the meaning of Allah's curse is not that such people will never be forgiven. A similar verse in the Qur'an also uses the same phrase:
    33:57 Those who affront Allah and His Messenger - Allah has cursed them in this World and in the Hereafter, and has prepared for them a humiliating Punishment.
    Explaining the meaning of the curse, Muhammad Asad writes in his commentary:
    In classical Arabic, the term lanah is more or less synonymous with ibad (“removal into distance” or “banishment”); hence. God’s lanah denotes “His rejection of a sinner from all that is good” (Lisan al-Arab) or “exclusion from His grace” (Manar II, 50). (Asad, Message of the Qur'an, The Book Foundation 2003)
    Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih Al-Uthaymeen gives a similar explanation in response to a questioner:
    [The Questioner] asked whether he was cursed by Allah during the time he committed the acts of disobedience. We say that Allah's curse could have taken place while one is committing the act of disobedience or the warranted punishment could be delayed in accordance with what Allah's will decreed for him and His wisdom. But we do know that if Allah Almighty accepts his repentance, that the curse is non-existent. This is because Allah;s curse means banishment and exclusion from His mercy, and whoever repents in within Allah's mercy. (Fatawa Islamiyah, Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, 2002, vol. 7, pp.237-238)
    Therefore, there is no contradiction at all. On one hand, we have a verse that mentions sincere repentance as a means for forgiveness of Al-Qadhf, while on the other hand, we have a verse which states that those who commit Al-Qadhf are excluded from Allah's mercy if they do not repent. As Shaykh Muhammad Iqbal An-Nadvi, former Asst. Professor at the King Saud University in Riyadh, mentions:
    The curse of Allah mentioned is a conditional curse, which only applies to those who do not repent. The curse is not on the one who repents with sincere repentance.
    In his translation of verse 24:23, Muhammad Asad adds the phrase "without repentance" in parenthesis and provides the following comment:
    According to Razi, the absence of repentance is incontrovertibly implied in the condemnation expressed in the sequence, since the Quran makes it clear in many places that God always accepts a sinner’s sincere repentance. (Asad, Message of the Qur'an, The Book Foundation 2003)
    Moiz Amjad provides a similar explanation:
    Keeping the above explanation in perspective, it should be clear that even though Al-Noor 24: 23 has not mentioned the exception clause, yet it is clear that even there the punishment mentioned is for such slanderers who do not repent on their past doings and do not correct their behavior. The verse, should more accurately be understood as follows:
    Those who slander against chaste, innocent, believing women [and then neither repent for their slander nor correct their behavior], shall indeed be cursed in this world as well as the hereafter. For them shall be a grievous punishment. (SOURCE)
    Therefore, verse 24:23 is understood to refer to those sinners who commit Al-Qadhf and do not repent from it. It is not mentioned in the verse since it is already mentioned throughout the Qur'an, including the same Surah.

    3. Before completing this discussion, it is also important to mention the position of repentance in Islamic law. The scholars have agreed that if someone commits a sin, it is better for them to repent before it is brought into the legal system, so that they may avoid the punishment. As Shaykh Muhammad Iqbal An-Nadvi mentions:
    With regards to the sinner who repents, they may be pardoned if their repentance occurs before the case enters the legal procdure. After that, it must be dealt with according to the legal system.
    Likewise, Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih Al-Munajjid, a prominent Islamic scholar and author in Saudi Arabia, writes:
    The offenses which the sultan (Muslim ruler) hears of are the ones for which the hudood punishments must be carried out. As for those of which he does not hear, then it is better to repent from them and to conceal oneself with the concealment of Allaah. (SOURCE)
    The reason behind this ruling is obvious. When a case is submitted to the legal system, it is no longer private. Once it becomes public, it becomes a societal issue, and the danger of the sin spreading is greater if it is not dealt with. Therefore, anyone judged under the Islamic legal system can no longer be pardoned since their sin has become public. Once they are punished for their sin, the scholars are agreed that the sinner has been expiated for the sin, and thus purified. The punishment in this life will remove their punishment that they would have experienced in the next life.
    If the sinner repents during the procedure, or once the punishment is applied to him, then the repentance removes their status of being "wicked transgressors" and they are accepted into society, once again. The majority of scholars agree that such a person may have their record cleaned, and regain their right to act as a witness. However, Imaam Abu Hanifa differed on this issue as Shaykh Muhammad S. Al-Awa, a former Assoc. Professor of Law at the University of Riyadh, notes:
    According to the Hanafi school, this repentance does not affect the fact that the criminal's future testimony is to be rejected. (fn. Sarakhshi, Mabsut, vol. XVI, pp. 125-129). The Shafi'i, Maliki, Hanbali, and Zaydi schools hold a contrary view, according to which the testimony of the criminal can be accepted after his repentance. (fn. Shirbini's commentary on Nawawi's Minhaj al-Talibin, vol. IV, p.403 ff.; Mawwaq, commentary on Mukhtasar Khalil, vol. VI, p. 161; Mughni, vol. X, pp. 178-181; Al-Rawad al-Nadir, vol. IV, pp. 85-87.) (El-Awa, Punishment in Islamic Law; US American Trust Publications, 1993, p. 23)

    4. Some Muslims also explain the alleged contradiction by stating that the verses refer to different cases of Al-Qadhf. As Misha'al bin Abdullah writes:
    The general guideline is that Allah, who excels in mercy and forgiveness, does forgive all sins with repentance, as a general rule... Even this tremendous sin [of Al-Qadhf] can be forgiven if the person sincerely repents and turns to God in penitence before death. This is the general rule. However, there is an exception to this rule and this is found in the second set of verses a little further down this same chapter.
    In the second set of verses we are dealing with a completely different context and situation. This set of verses was revealed regarding a group of hypocrites lead by Abdullah ibn Ubai ibn Salool who tried to frame Aisha the wife of the prophet (pbut) and cast doubt on her integrity and chastity by alleging infidelity with a Muslim by the name of Safwan ibn Al-Muattal...This was a time of severe discord and tribulation and was not resolved until God revealed their innocence in this set of verses. The difference is that in this case the sin shall not be forgiven since it was directed at the prophet's wife in an attempt to destroy both their reputations.
    (SOURCE)
    And Shahid bin Waheed uses a similar explanation:
    I would like to state that the verse 24:4 (which the claimant did not mention) is setting a general rule about false accusation against a chaste woman and its punishment, whereas verse 24:23 is about the exceptional rule for believing women, i.e. Muslim women. Verse 24:5 is about repentance and forgiveness. (SOURCE)
    And Shaahin Amiri-Sharifi states:
    verse 24:5 is about "women" in general, even unbelievers but 24:23 talks about "believing women". (SOURCE)
    However, the agreed upon opinion is that which was already explained under points #1, #2, #3. That is the explanation which is in accordance with Islamic law.

    Last edited by Ansar Al-'Adl; 08-08-2005 at 11:40 PM.
    Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an

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    Re: Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an


    How the Disbelievers will recieve their record on Judgement Day

    Concerning the twenty-ninth alleged contradiction:
    How do we receive the record on Judgment Day? On Judgement day the lost people are given the Record (of their bad deeds): Behind their back [84:10], or in their left hand [69:25].
    Verses in question:
    69:25-31 And he that will be given his Record in his left hand, will say: "Ah! Would that my Record had not been given to me! And that I had never realised how my account (stood)! Ah! Would that (Death) had made an end of me! Of no profit to me has been my wealth! My power has perished from me!"...
    (The stern command will say): "Seize ye him, and bind ye him, And burn ye him in the Blazing Fire."

    84:10-12 But he who is given his Record behind his back Soon will he cry for perdition, And he will enter a Blazing Fire.


    1. It is strange how such verses can be considered contradictory at all! Is it not possible for someone to recieve their record in both their left hand and behind their back at the same time? Indeed, this is what all the scholars of Tafsir have mentioned about these verses. Imaam Ibn Kathir Ad-Damishqi (d. 1372CE) explains in his renowned Tafsir Al-Qur'an Al-Azim:
    (But whosoever is given his Record behind his back,) meaning, he will be given his Book in his left hand, behind his back, while his hand is bent behind him. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Abridged, Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, 2000, vol. 10, p.417 )
    Similarly, Abul 'Ala Maududi (d.1979CE) writes about verse 84:10 in his prominent Tafheem Al-Qur'an:
    In Surah Al-Haaqqah (v.25), it was said that his conduct-book will be given to him in his left hand, but here it is "behind his back". This will probably be for the reason that in order to avoid the humiliation of recieving the conduct-book in the left hand, in front of mankind, he will withdraw his hand behind and so recieve the conduct book "behind his back". (Maududi, The Holy Qur'an Translation and Brief Notes with Text, Islamic Publications (Pvt.) Ltd., 1991, p. 1018)
    Syed Qutb (d. 1966CE), a revolutionary Muslim writer, gives the same explanation as well in his commentary, Fi Dhilalil Qur'an:
    The Qur'an usually makes a distinction between receiving the book with one's right hand or left hand. Here we have a new image: the book is given from behind the back. There is no reason to prevent the combination of anyone being given the book in his left hand and from behind his back at the same time. It is an image of one who feels great shame and hates to be confronted with what he has done. We have no real knowledge of the nature of this book or how it is given in one's right or left hand or behind one's back. But we comprehend from the first expression the reality of escape, and from the second the reality of doom. (SOURCE)
    The above commentary should make it obvious that this allegation does not even approach a contradiction.

    2. Even for the sake of argument, we assume that it is contradictory to recieve something in one's left hand and behind the back, there are still other explanations. Why must both verses be referring to the same group? it is entirely possible that they are not referring to the same group of "doomed people". Also, one may give a metaphorical explanation as Muhammad Asad states:
    But as for him whose record shall be given to him behind his back;*
    * At first glance, this seems to contrast with 69:25, where it is stated that the record of the unrighteous "shall be placed in his left hand". In reality, however; the present formulation alludes to the sinner's horror at his record, and his wish that he had never been shown it (69:25-26): in other words, his not wanting to see it is symbolized by its appearance "behind his back". (Asad, Message of the Qur'an, The Book Foundation 2003)
    Indeed, this is plausible for human beings do not even know the nature of these records they will be given on the day of judgement. Will they be physical codices or scrolls? Or will they be in a different form, foreign to the human mind? If it is the latter, then we do not know what it means to "recieve" such a record in one's hands because we do not know how one would hold it.

    Last edited by Ansar Al-'Adl; 08-11-2005 at 12:30 AM.
    Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an

    The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
    "Surely I was sent to perfect the qualities of righteous character" [Musnad Ahmad, Muwatta Mâlik]


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    Re: Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an


    Can Angels Disobey? - The case of Iblis

    With regards to the thirtieth allegation:
    Can angels disobey? No angel is arrogant, they all obey Allah [16:49-50], but: "And behold, we said to the ANGELS: 'Bow down to Adam'. And THEY bowed down, EXCEPT Iblis. He refused and was haughty." [2:34].
    Verses in question:
    16:49-50 And to Allâh prostate all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth, of the live moving creatures and the angels, and they are not proud [i.e. they worship their Lord (Allâh) with humility]. They fear their Lord above them, and they do what they are commanded.

    2:34 And (remember) when We said to the angels: "Prostrate yourselves before Adam.". And they prostrated but not Iblîs (Satan), he refused and was proud and was one of the disbelievers (disobedient to Allâh)


    1. The confusion stems from the misconception that Iblis (satan) was an angel. In fact, he was not an angel but another species known as the Jinn, as clarified in the Qur'an:
    18:50 Behold! We said to the angels, "Bow down to Adam": They bowed down but not Iblis. He was one of the Jinns, and he broke the Command of his Lord. Will ye then take him and his progeny as protectors rather than Me? And they are enemies to you! Evil would be the exchange for the wrong-doers!
    There is no doubt about this point, as it is something which has been unanimously affirmed by the Muslim scholars. The Jinn are a seperate creation from the Angels.

    Imaam Ibn Kathir Ad-Damishqi (d. 1372CE) distinguishes Iblis from the angels in his tafsir of verse 18:50:
    [Iblis] had been created from smokeless fire, whereas the angels had been created from light, as is stated in Sahih Muslim where it is reported that `A'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said that the Messenger of Allah said:
    (
    The angels were created from light, Iblis was created from smokeless fire, and Adam was created from that which has been described to you.) When matters are crucial, every vessel leaks that which it contains and is betrayed by its true nature. Iblis used to do what the angels did and resembled them in their devotion and worship, so he was included when they were addressed, but he disobeyed and went against what he was told to do. So Allah points out here that he was one of the Jinn, i.e., he was created from fire... (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Abridged, Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, 2000, vol. 6, p.171 )
    Shaykh Abu Ameenah Bilal Phillips expains the islamic belief on Jinns and why they cannot be held to be angels:
    [The Jinn] are created from fire according to Allaah's statement in the Qur'aan; "The Jinns were created from the fire of a scorching wind." (Soorah Al-Hijr 15:27). They are not "fallen angels", as angels are made from light according to the following statement of Prophet Muhammad saws narrated by his wife 'Aa'eshah: "The angels were created from light and the Jinn from a fiery wind" (Sahih Muslim [English Trans.], vol. 4, p. 1540, no. 7134) and angels can not disobey God according to Allaah's staement in the Qur'aan, "...angels stern and severe, who do not disobey Allaah in what He orders them, but do whatever they are commanded." (Soorah at-Tahreem 66:6) (Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips (Ed.), Ibn Taymeeyah's Essays On The Jinn, 1996, 3rd Edition, International Islamic Publishing House, pp. 1-2, See footnote 1.)
    The same thing is mentioned by Shaykh Abdul Majid Daryabadi (d.1977CE) in his commentary on verse 2:34:
    Iblis, literally, being the disappointed one. He was not an angel but a jinn, as expressly mentioned in the Qur'an (Surah Al-Kahf, verse 50). (Daryabadi, The Glorious Qur'an: Text, Translation & Commentary, The Islamic Foundation 2001, p.13)
    Abul 'Ala Maududi (d. 1979CE) makes the same point as well, in his commentary:
    Moreover, one should not make the mistake of considering Satan an angel. Elsewhere the Qur'an itself clearly states that he was a jinn and jinn, as we know, are an independent species, distinct from angels. (see Qur'an 18:50) (Maududi, Towards Understanding the Qur'an, THe Islamic Foundation 1995, vol. 1, p.63 ftn. 46)
    Shaykh Umar Sulayman Al-Ashqar, Professor at the University of Jordan, explains the background behind Satan/Iblis's presence in paradise:
    Satan, which Allah mentions to us many times in the Qur'an, is from the world of the Jinn. He used to worship Allah at the beginning of his creation. He lived among the angels in the heavens. He entered paradise, but then he disobeyed Allah when he refused to prostrate to Adam, out of pride, arrogance and envy. Therefore Allah cast him out from His mercy. (Al-Ashqar, The World of the Jinn and Devils, Al-Basheer Company for Publications and Translations 1998, p.13)
    From the above statements it becomes clear that the scholars are agreed that, based on the Qur'an and authentic narrations, Iblis was a Jinn who was living amongst the angels in paradise. He had within him arrogance which became manifest in his refusal to bow down to Adam when Allah gave the command.

    2. We now come to the heart of the issue being discussed, which is the reason Iblis is misunderstood to be an Angel when, in reality, he is a Jinn. The source of the confusion is the fact that verse 2:34 states that all the angels bowed down except Iblis which seems to imply that Iblis was an angel. However, this is not the case as the Qur'anic commentators and Islamic scholars have explained. Hasan Al-Banna (d. 1949CE) clarifies some points on this issue:
    The context reveals that Iblis was not one of the angels though he was with them. If he had been one of them, he would not have rebelled. Their primary quality is that "they do not rebel against Allah in what He commands them and they do as they are commanded." The word "except" here does not show that he was one of them. The fact that he was with them allows this exception to be used. Iblis was one of the Jinn according to the text of the Qur'an. Allah created the jinn from smokeless fire. This is a clear statement that he was not one of the angels.(Quoted by M. Ashour in The Jinn in the Qur'an and the Sunnah, Dar Al Taqwa Ltd. 1989, pp. 11-12)
    Similarly, Syed Qutb (d.1966CE) comments in his prominent commentary, Fi Dhilalil Qur'an:
    The general drift of the narration suggests that Iblis was not of angelic species but merely associated with the angels. For, had he been of similar kind, he would not have disobeyed God, since the angels' foremost characteristic is that they "never disobey whatever God commands them and do as they are bidden" (al-Tahrim 66:6). The fact that Iblis had been singled out does not mean that he is, or was, one of their number. The exception is justified on the basis that he was with the angels, as well as by Arabic syntax, which allows the construction "the whole clan arrived but not Ahmad" without implying that Ahmad is a member of the clan.
    Furthermore, the Qur'an specifically identifies Iblis as belonging to another type of extra-terrestrial creatures, the jinn, who are created out of fire, eliminating the idea that he was angelic (al-Hijr 15:27, al-Kahf 18:50, al-Rahman 55:15).
    (Qutb, In The Shade Of The Qur'an, The Islamic Foundation 1999, p.49)
    Thus, the scholars mention that although the verse states that the angels bowed down 'except' (Ar., Ilaa) Iblis, this does not necessitate that Iblis was amongst the angels according to the arabic language. The specifc arabic syntax referred to by Syed Qutb is explained by Dr. Zakir Naik, a famous orator on Islam, who states:
    The English translation of the first part of the verse ‘We said to the angels bow down to Adam: they bowed down except Iblis’, gives us the impression that Iblis was an angel. The Qur’an was revealed in Arabic. In Arabic grammar there is a rule known as Tagleeb, according to which, if the majority is addressed, even the minority is included. If for example, I address a class containing 100 students of whom 99 are boys and one is a girl, and if I say in Arabic that the boys should stand up, it includes the girl as well. I need not mention her seperately.

    Similarly in the Qur’an, when Allah addressed the angels, even Iblis was present, but it is not required that he be mentioned separately. Therefore according to that sentence Iblis may be an angel or may not be an angel, but we come to know from Surah Al Kahf chapter 18 verse 50 that Iblis was a Jinn. No where does the Qur’an say Iblis was an angel. Therefore there is no contradiction in the Qur’an.
    (SOURCE)
    This issue is also dealt with by Shaykh Umar Sulayman Al-Ashqar in his book on the Jinns, in which he writes:
    [Some writers quote] verses in which Allah makes an exception from the angels of Iblis. And they argue that if he is being excepted from this group, it must have been that he was a member if that group as this is the customary mode of speech.
    ...Concerning their proof that Allah excepted Iblis from the angels, it is not a definitive proof. Such statements may be disjunctive.
    (Al-Ashqar, The World of the Jinn and Devils, Al-Basheer Company for Publications and Translations 1998, p.16)
    In his translation of Shaykh Al-Ashqar's book, Shaykh Jamal Al-Din Zarabozo adds the following explanation of the above quote in a footnote:
    Al-istithnaa al-munqata is a case where someone states, for example, "Everyone except so and so," while in reality "so and so" was no a member of the original group. Such a form of speech is acceptable and not uncommon in Arabic. However, such would probably be objectionable if stated in english. (Al-Ashqar, The World of the Jinn and Devils, Al-Basheer Company for Publications and Translations 1998, p.16)
    For this reason, we can understand that any translation of verse 2:34 (and similar verses) into english should use the phrase "not so Iblis" or "but not Iblis" as oppose to "except Iblis", in order to retain the correct meaning of the verse.

    The reason why Iblis was expected to bow down, even though the command was given to the angels, is explained by many scholars. Moiz Amjad writes about why Iblis was expected to prostrate:
    In my opinion, the answer to this question is that according to the Qur'an, although it was primarily the angels who were directed to prostrate before Adam, it was, nevertheless, expected of the jinn who were in the court at that time to follow suit. In other words, by directing the angels to bow down before Adam, God had directed a higher cadre of His creation to submit to a command, the lower cadre creations like jinn and any others that may have been present at the time, were expected to do the same. This style of speech is used in almost all human languages. For instance, when someone says: "When the Chief Justice enters the hall all the parliamentarians shall pay their respects by standing up for him", he generally implies that all those present in the hall (personnel of the press, the foreign diplomats, the media personnel and guests of the members) should stand to pay their respects to the Chief Justice. The word 'parliamentarians' in such a sentence is not to signify that the directive is given only to those who are members of the parliament, but is a generalization in which a higher cadre of personnel is given a directive with the implication that others are also expected to follow suit. (SOURCE)
    Mufti Muhammad Shafi, the late Grand Mufti of Pakistan, writes a similar explanation in his monumental commentary:
    If we go by the words of the Holy Qur'an, the command was given to the angels alone, but, in excepting Iblis from those who obeyed, the text also suggests that the command was given to all the created beings that existed at that time and possessed understanding, including the Jinn as well as the angels. But the Holy Qur'an mentions the angels alone, because when superior beings like the angels were required to show their respect for Adam (peace be upon him), inferior creatures like the Jinns must, it goes without saying, have been ordered to do the same. (Shafi, Ma'ariful Qur'an, Maktaba-e-Darul-Uloom, Karachi 2003, vol. 1, p. 171)
    And Mohammed Fareeduddin Siddique offers some more analogies:
    Satan is not an angel; rather he is of the Jinn as stated in Al-Kahf (18):50. Why then did he need to obey the command which was directed to the angels [specially when men and Jinns have the right to choose]? This is because; he was raised with them and required to obey the laws applied to them while in their [Angels] company. This is similar to requiring that a foster son obey the rules of his foster father while living within his house. It is not necessary for the foster father, whenever he commands his sons to do something, to follow up with an explicit "and my foster son too must do this," rather, it is implicitly understood that so long as the foster son lives in this house he shall follow the same rules and commands as apply to the other sons.

    If a politician declares that "any American who drinks and drives shall be thrown in jail," then does this mean that any non-American who is visiting the USA then drinks and drives shall be immune to this law? No. The law includes him by default; however, they are the minority so the command is issued to the majority with the implication being that anyone in their company is implicitly included.
    (SOURCE)
    From the above discussion we have established the following points:
    a) Iblis was a Jinn, distinct from angels
    b) Iblis was expected to bow down as well, when the command was given to the angels
    c) The phrase "they (the angels) bowed down, except Iblis" should be properly translated as "they (the angels) bowed down, but not Iblis" because according to the arabic syntax, the phrase does not necessitate that Iblis is an angel, and indeed we know that he is not from other verses in the Qur'an, ahadith, and authentic explanations of the early muslims.

    3. Muslims have also raised another important point in response to this allegation. If Iblis truly believed that that the command to bow down was solely directed towards the angels, he should have said so when God asked him "why did you not bow down?". Instead, we find that he made claims that he was superior to Adam because of the nature of his creation. (Cf. Al-Hijr 15: 30 - 33, Al-A`raaf: 7: 11 - 12, Sa'd 39: 73 - 76)

    4. Critics intend to confuse readers by quoting narrations of the early Muslims, especially those from the collection known as Tarikh At-Tabari which states that the Jinn were from amongst the angels. There are several errors with this method.
    a) First of all, At-Tabari is a collection that contains many narrations that were not authenticated, intended to be recorded for future investigation. It contains many weak and fabricated narrations in addition to some authentic ones. Imaam Ibn Jarir At-Tabari (d. 923CE), himself, mentioned this in his work:
    Let him who examines this book of mine know that I have relied, as regards everything I mention therein which I stipulate to be described by me, solely upon what has been transmitted to me by way of reports which I cite therein and traditions which I ascribe to their narrators, to the exclusion of what may be apprehended by rational argument or deduced by the human mind, except in very few cases. This is because knowledge of the reports of men of the past and of contemporaneous views of men of the present do not reach the one who has not witnessed them nor lived in their times except through the accounts of reporters and the transmission of transmitters, to the exclusion of rational deduction and mental inference. Hence, if I mention in this book a report about some men of the past, which the reader of listener finds objectionable or worthy of censure because he can see no aspect of truth nor any factual substance therein, let him know that this is not to be attributed to us but to those who transmitted it to us and we have merely passed this on as it has been passed on to us. (bû Jacfar Muhammad bin Jarîr al-Tabarî, Târîkh al-Tabarî: Târîkh al-Umam wal-Mulûk, 1997, Volume I, Dâr al-Kutub al-cIlmiyyah, Beirut (Lebanon), pp. 13.)
    And Dr. M.S.M. Saifullah comments by stating:
    Thus, al-Tabarî faithfully displayed the accounts in the exact manner through which he received them. Can he then be held liable or attributed if any objectionable accounts should arise? To translate this into laymen's terms, al-Tabarî has simply refused accountability by avoiding the task of historical as well as hadîth criticism. Therefore, any spurious/objectional accounts are not to be attributed to him. He only faithfully transmitted what he received, whether authentic or spurious. To say that al-Tabarî said such-and-such about "fallen angels" and Iblîs (and claiming it to be authentic!) simply shows one inability to grasp the fundamentals of al-Tabarî's book Tarîkh al-Tabarî: Tarîkh al-Umam wal-Mulûk. (SOURCE)
    It is amazing to note that these critics simply cite the narrations and then immediately accept them as valid without any thought to authenticity. As Shahid bin Waheed mentions:
    In brief, readers must know that narrations of all sorts, sound and weak have found a place in his commentary, because of this not every narration presented by al-Tabarî can be relied upon. In reality, Al-Tabarî was aiming through his commentary to collect and compile all narrations that could become available to him, so that this collected material could be put to use later on. Conceded is the fact that he has given the chain of reporters along with each narration so that whoever wished to investigate into the chain of narrators could do so and decide for himself if the narrations are true of false. (SOURCE)
    We challenge such critics to provide evidence that scholars of hadith have accepted the narrations, which they have quoted from At-Tabari, as authentic. It should be noted that the only collections of narrations that Muslims accept as fully authentic are Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim.

    b) The same critics attempt to defend their use of narrations from At-Tabari by citing evidence which demonstrates that Imaam At-Tabari could distinguish between weak and authentic narrations. Of course, their evidence only demonstrates that Imaam At-Tabari authenticated and examined some specific narrations, not that he authenticated his entire collection! No Muslim scholar would accept such a claim. Moreover, there is a narration mentioned in Ibn Kathir that completely falsifies the view that Imaam At-Tabari believed the Jinn (or Iblis) to be from the Angels. Ibn Kathir cites a narration from a renowned scholar amongst the early Muslims (tabi'een), Imaam Hasan Al-Basri:
    Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, "Iblis was not one of the angels, not even for a second. He was the origin of the Jinn just as Adam, upon him be peace, was the origin of mankind.'' This was narrated by Ibn Jarir with a Sahih chain. (ftn. At-Tabari 18:506) (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Abridged, Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, 2000, vol. 6, p. 171)
    Thus, not only do we have an authentic narration from one of the early Muslims stating that Iblis was a Jinn, distinguished from the angels, but we also have Imaam Ibn Jarir At-Tabari affirming this narration in his collection! Therefore, since Imaam At-Tabari narrates one authentic narration stating that Iblis was not an angel, and he also narrates some unauthentic narrations stating that Iblis was an angel, it is obvious which narration takes precedence. The narrations cited by critics have never been labeled as authentic by scholars, whereas the above narration clearly has. It is safe to conclude that this authentic narration properly describes the Islamic belief that Iblis was a Jinn, not an angel.

    c) One last point should be made about the usage of narrations from At-Tabari. It is obviously fallacious to use such narrations to prove a contradiction in the Qur'an since the Qur'an supercedes all narrations in any case.
    Shaykh Mustafa Ashour, an Egyptian Islamic scholar, also explains the origin of the view that Iblis was an angel:
    ...the books of Qur'anic commentary and history have transmitted to us statements from a group of scholars who mention that Iblis was one of the angels. These scholars say that he was a guardian of the Garden or the lower heaven and that he was one of the noblest tribe among them, etc.
    Ibn Kathir, however, points out that the early scholars related many traditions about this point. Most of them came from Jewish sources which were quoted so that they could be investigated.
    (Ashour, The Jinn in the Qur'an and the Sunnah, Dar Al Taqwa Ltd. 1989, p. 12)
    He then goes on to cite the evidence quotes earlier which demonstrates that Iblis was a Jinn and not an Angel.
    The narrations of Judaic influence found in commentaries are classifed as Israeliyyat. Mufti Muhammad Shafi describes the Israeliyyat as follows:
    Judaica or Isra'iliyyat are narratives which have reached us through Jews and Christians. It may be noted that the early commentators used to write down all sorts of narrations which reached them from an identified source. Many of these narrations were straight from Judaica. (Shafi, Ma'ariful Qur'an, Maktaba-e-Darul-Uloom, Karachi 2003, vol. 1, p. 411)
    The above explanation should clarify that narrations claiming that Iblis was an angel have no solid origin in Islam, while those that state that he was a Jinn are confirmed through many authentic channels.

    Last edited by Ansar Al-'Adl; 08-11-2005 at 12:31 AM.
    Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an

    The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
    "Surely I was sent to perfect the qualities of righteous character" [Musnad Ahmad, Muwatta Mâlik]


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    Re: Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an


    Can Angels Disobey? - The case of Harut and Marut


    The thirty-first allegation:
    Can angels disobey? No angel is arrogant, they all obey Allah [16:49-50], but verse [2:102] relates the story of two angels who sinned.
    Verses in question:

    16:49-50 And to Allâh prostate all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth, of the live moving creatures and the angels, and they are not proud [i.e. they worship their Lord (Allâh) with humility]. They fear their Lord above them, and they do what they are commanded.

    2:102 They followed what the devils gave out (falsely) against the power of Solomon: the blasphemers Were, not Solomon, but the devils, teaching men Magic, and such things as came down at babylon to the angels Harut and Marut. But neither of these taught anyone (Such things) without saying: "We are only for trial; so do not blaspheme." They learned from them the means to sow discord between man and wife. But they could not thus harm anyone except by Allah's permission. And they learned what harmed them, not what profited them. And they knew that the buyers of (magic) would have no share in the happiness of the Hereafter. And vile was the price for which they did sell their souls, if they but knew!


    1. The allegation is based on a misunderstanding of verse 2:102 and the story given of Harut and Marut. Many false interpretations of the above verse arise from Christian/Jewsish myths and legends that have been recorded in some books of Tafsir. These narrations are known called Iraeliyyat which Mufti Muhammad Shafi describes as follows:
    Judaica or Isra'iliyyat are narratives which have reached us through Jews and Christians. It may be noted that the early commentators used to write down all sorts of narrations which reached them from an identified source. Many of these narrations were straight from Judaica.(Shafi, Ma'ariful Qur'an, Maktaba-e-Darul-Uloom, Karachi 2003, vol. 1, p. 411)
    The scholars who wrote these books of tafsir recorded such narrations in order to provide a comprehensive record of narrations on a certain verse, which were intended to be investigated and scrutinised later to determine their authenticity. For more information please refer to our previous response on Can Angels Disobey?. We shall proceed, God willingly, by discussing the false interpretation of the verses based on weak and fabricated reports and then we shall present the true interpretation of the verses based on authoritative sources.

    2. There are numerous absurd tales that have been transmitted about these verses, yet they all center around the same basic story. To summarise the (false) story, the angels had become astonished at the acts of disobedience committed by the human beings on earth. They began to curse the humans and could not understand how they could be so sinful. According to the story, God informed the angels that they would have also sinned if they were in the position of human beings. So the angels elected Harut and Marut from amongst themselves and God gave tem human attributes and sent them to earth after commanding them to avoid wine, idolatry, fornication and murder. However, Harut and Marut eventually succumbed to their human lusts and fell into all of these sins. Consequently, God punished them for their transgressions.

    Such ridiculous tales have been rejected by all knowledgable scholars of Islam as fabrications which have no place in the religion. Shaykh Abdul Hamid Kishk discusses these narrations and tales in detail in his book on Angels:
    All this is part of myths and lies of the tribe of Israel and is not corroborated either by intellect or transmission or Shari'a. Some of the transmitters of this false fiction even go so far as to ascribe its transmission to some of the Companions and Followers but in doing so they enter the arena of sin and shameful crime and at the same time connect this lie to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, by taking it back to him. Glory be to You, my Lord, above and beyond this terrible lie!

    Imam Abu'l-Faraj ibn al-Jawzi gave a judgement about this story, and ash-Shihab al-'Iraqi writes that anyone who believes that Harut and Marut were angels who are being punished for their sin has disbelieved in Allah Almighty.
    Qadi 'Iyad said in Ash-Shifa', "What is said in the reports and commentaries about the story of Harut and Marut does not relate to anything, either sound or weak, from the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) himself, and there is nothing which is taken by analogy." A similar judgement was made by Ibn Kathir in respect of tracing the material in this story back to the Prophet.
    As for what does not go back to the Prophet, it is clear that it originates in the transmissions of the Judaica taken from Ka'b and others. It is the heretics of the People of the Book who connected them to Islam. Thus accurate commentators, who are skilful in recognising the sources of the deen (religion), refute them. Their intellects refuse to accept these myths, as do those of others such as Imam ar-Razi, Abu Hayyan, Abu's-Su'ud, al-Alusi, and others.
    Furthermore, even from a rational point of view these transmissions are unsound. The angels are protected from all wrong action let alone these things which would not even issue from an evil human being. Allah informs us that the angels "
    do not disobey Allah in anything He commands them and they do everything they are commanded to," as is related in some transmissions which I indicated previously and in the words of Allah Himself.(Kishk, The World of The Angels, Dar Al-Taqwa Ltd. 1994, pp.39-40)
    As Shaykh Kishk has pointed out, these myths are rejected outright by the scholars of Islam and are not even entertained as a possibility. As Imaam Abu Abdullah Al-Qurtubi (d. 1273CE) mentions in his tafsir, Al-Jaami` le Ahkaam al-Qur'an:
    We say [Qurtubi]: This is all very weak and far from Ibn 'Umar's words and others, none of it has been authenticated. It is a saying which contradicts the fundemental understanding of the angels who are Allah's trustworthy messengers and the ambassadors of Allah to His prophet's and Messengers, Allah says "They do not disobey Allah in what He commands them, and do as they are commanded" [Surat at-Tahrim, verse 6] Evenmore, Allah says, "Nay! they are honored servants. They speak not before He speaks, and they act (in all things) by His Command" [Surat al-Anbiyaa, verses 26-27] However, if we were to leave the Intellect to judge, it wouldn't object to the possibility of angel's being prone to disobedience and of them may be those who oppose what they have been created to do, and it can believe that the temptation is an innate characteristic in them since Allah is capable of creating what the mind cannot imagine. Similarly, we know that even Prophets, the friends of Allah [awliyaa], and the the scholar's worry of falling into temptations. Yet, for this occurence [the claim against Harut and Marut falling into sin] cannot be deemed possible unless there is sound evidence [transmission through listening or chain of narration] and there isn't anything that has been authenticated....And we have shown them to be upright [the angels] and they are indeed upright against all that has been said from the [false] Interpreters .(Tafsir Al-Qurtubi, ARABIC SOURCE)
    As Imaam Al-Qurtubi mentions, there is not a single authentic narration whic supports this story, hence it is unanimously rejected by Muslim scholars as false.

    3. Critics quote narrations from At-Tabari in order to lend support to this false tale about Harut and Marut. They also project this story as the view of Imaam Ibn Jarir At-Tabari (d. 923CE) himself. Yet this is evidently false, as Ibn Kathir quotes the following on Ibn Jarir At-Tabari:
    Ibn Jarir continued; "If someone asks about explaining this Ayah in this manner, we say that,
    (
    They followed what the Shayatin (devils) gave out (falsely) in the lifetime of Sulayman.) means, magic. Solomon neither disbelieved nor did Allah send magic with the two angels. However, the devils disbelieved and taught magic to the people in the Babylon of Harut and Marut, meaning Gabriel and Michael, for Jewish sorcerers claimed that Allah sent magic by the words of Gabriel and Michael to Solomon, son of David. Allah denied this false claim and stated to His Prophet Muhammad that Gabriel and Michael were not sent with magic. Allah also exonerated Solomon from practicing magic, which the devils taught to the people of Babylon by the hands of two men, Harut and Marut. Hence, Harut and Marut were two ordinary men (not angels or Gabriel or Michael).'' (fn. At-Tabari 2:419) (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Abridged, Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, 2000, vol. 1, p.315
    Thus, Imaam At-Tabari did not believe that Harut and Marut were angels who sinned, but that they were ordinary humans who taught magic. This also resolves the alleged contradiction as it is known that human beings are prone to sin while angels are not. However, Ibn Kathir and other scholars have mentioned that the view of At-Tabari is weaker than the most common interpretation (explained under #4). Nevertheless, it demonstrates that Imaam At-Tabari did not support the view which critics falsely attribute to him. Therefore, we find that no scholars support this erroneous myth that two angels came down to earth and sinned. There are some other scholars who share Imaam At-Tabari's view that Harut and Marut were two ordinary humans. As Shaykh Abdul Aziz Al-Harbi, Professor at Umm Al-Qura University, explains the viewpoint of At-Tabari in the following words:
    Another saying tells that [Harut and Marut] were ordinary men who pretended to be pious in the city of Bâbil. They used to teach people sorcery. People thought they were angels descent from the Heavens because of the piousness they observed from them.

    Their cunning was so clever that when they noticed what people thought about them of piety, they used to tell everyone who wants to learn from them:
    "Surely we are only a trial, therefore do not be a disbeliever.” [Sûrah al-Baqarah: 102]

    They did that to show people that their knowledge is divinely inspired knowledge and that they only sought goodness, just as liars claim in every era.

    They were called as angels because people called them that. In another reading by al-Hasan they were called kings.
    Muhammad Asad also gives a similar explanation in his commentary of the Qur'an:
    As regards the designation of Harut and Marut, most of the readings of the Qurlan give the spelling malakayn ("the two angels"); but it is authentically recorded (see Tabari, Zamakhshari, Baghawi, Razi, etc.) that the great Companion of the Prophet, Ibn `Abbas, as well as several learned men of the next generation - e.g., Al-Hasan al-Basri, Abu '1-Aswad and AdDahhak-read it as malikayn ("the two kings"). I myself incline to the latter reading; but since the other is more generally accepted, I have adopted it here. Some of the commentators are of the opinion that, whichever of the two readings is followed, it ought to be taken in a metaphorical sense, namely, "the two kingly persons", or "the two angelic persons": in this they rely on a saying of Ibn'Abbas to the effect that Harut and Marut were "two men who practiced sorcery in Babylon" (Baghawi; see also Manar I, 402). At any rate, it is certain that from very ancient times Babylon was reputed to be the home of magic arts, symbolized in the legendary persons - perhaps kings - Harut and Marut; and it is to this legend that the Qur'an refers with a view to condemning every attempt at magic and sorcery, as well as all preoccupation with occult sciences in general.
    (Asad, Message of the Qur'an, The Book Foundation 2003)
    So even the scholars who supported this interpretation did not view Harut and Marut as fallen angels but ordinary people who taught magic and may have claimed to be angels.

    4. As for the strongest and most widely-accepted interpretation of this verse, then scholars have agreed on some aspects yet differed on the minor details. The scholars have agreed that Harut and Marut were two angels sent by Allah to test the people of Babylon with magic, and these angels were only acting upon the order of Allah and commited no sin, nor even the slightest error. However, they differ as to the nature of the test. As Syed Qutb (d. 1966CE) mentions in his famous tafsir, Fi Dhilalil Qur'an:
    [The Qur'an] further refutes the allegation that the two Babylonian angels Harut and Marut, were sorcerors or taught witchcraft. It confirms that they were testing people's faith, for a purpose that has not been identified. Again, associating sorcery, black magic and witchcraft with disbelief in God, the Qur'an exonerates the two angels, confirming that they had explained the nature of their work to the people and given them fair warning, neverhteless, some people persisted with learning and practising sorcery, thus falling to temptation and causing harm. (Qutb, In the Shade of the Qur'an, The Islamic Foundation 1999, p.99)
    And Shaykh Saalih Al-Fawzaan explains in his response to the following question:
    [Question]:How is it that angels taught magic when teaching magic is a form of disbelief?

    [Answer]: This was a trial and a test for the people to see who was going to believe and who was going to disbelieve. So Allah sent these two angels to teach the people magic to test them and see who was going to believe and who was going to disbelieve, Accordingly, they did not teach any of the people, as Allah the Exalted has said:
    'Except that they said: "Verily we are only a trial, so do not disbelieve."' (2:102)
    So they would advise the student to abandon the learning of magic, while clarifying that it is disbelief. They were not just teaching people and remaining quite (about the disbelief of magic), rather they were advising them that it was disbelief. So when someone came forth by his own choice he disbelieved.

    Allah had the two angels teaching people magic as a test for them, not that magic is acceptable or that it is permissable. It was only to distinguish those who were going to disbelieve from those who were going to believe and accept the advice.
    (Al-Fawzaan, Duroos fee Sharh Nawaaqidh Al-Islaam, p.145)
    So when the angels began to teach magic, the devils spread the teachings to others and encouraged them to partake in this evil practice. As Shaykh Abdur-Rahman As-Sa'di (d. 1956CE) comments in his authoritative commentary on the Qur'an:
    [the devils disbelieved, teaching mankind magic] by their misguidance and keenness to deviate the son of adam and It was the Jews who followed/pursued this magic which Allah brought down with his two angels [Harut and Marut] in the lands of Babil in Iraq. Magic was brought down upon them as a test and a trial from Allah to his slaves.(Tayseeru al-Karim Ar-Rahman fee tafseer kalamil manan)
    There are some who say that the angels were sent by God as a temptation for mankind, offering them lessons in black magic after warning them of God's wrath upon those who practiced it. Nevertheless, people didn't heed the warning and succumbed to their desires to practice the magic. Other scholars say that the angels were sent, disguised as men, offering to teach magic and catching those who accepted their offer. Shaykh Abul 'Ala Maududi (d. 1979CE) gives the following conclusion on this verse:
    ...at the time when the whole Israelite nation was chained in slavery and captivity in Babylonia, God sent two angels in human form to test the Jews...These angels at once began working their magical wonders but they warned the people that their presence among them was designed to test their faith, and that they ought not to jeopardize their After-life by the practice of magic. Despite the warning it seems that the Israelites had become so fond of their magical artifices that they continued to resort to talismans and sorcery.
    ...One might also wonder why angels would teach people magic, which is after all intrinsically evil. In order to understand this we must remember that the nature of their tasks was no different from that of an undercover policeman who hands over marked currency notes to a corrupt official as a bribe with the aim of ensuring that he is caught red-handed.
    (Maududi, Towards Understanding the Qur'an, The Islamic Foundation 1995, vol. 1, p.97 ftn. 105)
    Other scholars feel that it is more likely that Harut and Marut were teaching magic for educational purposes, so that the people could recognize its symptoms, properties and effects and avoid it. As Shaykh Abdul Hamid Kishk explains:
    By "what had been sent down" He means the science of magic, which was sent down so that they could teach it to people and warn them against it. The reason the two of them were sent down was to teach people what magic was so that they would know the difference between magic and prophethood, and therefore that Sulayman was not a magician. It was to ensure complete understanding.

    They did not, in any case, teach anyone magic until they had first cautioned him saying to him, "We are merely a temptation and a trial and a test, so do not become unbelievers by teaching it and using it." Part of the point of the teacing was to warn people against it and to teach them the difference between it and and prophethood and prophetic miracles.
    (Kishk, The World of The Angels, Dar Al-Taqwa Ltd. 1994, p. 41)
    And Shariq Khan writes:
    Imam Laqani mentions in his primer in Islamic beliefs, Jawharat al-Tawhid ('Jewel of Divine Oneness'), that both prophets and angels are protected from sin. As such, it is sinful to believe that angels sin.

    Harut and Marut were two angels that taught people magic. Their story is mentioned in verse 102 of Sura Baqara. Jewish scholars call these the sinful Angels (see the Midrash). We believe that they were commanded by Allah to teach people magic, and so not sinful in doing so. There are two opinions about why the angels were sent.

    The first opinion, mentioned in the Tafsir al-Jalalayn, is that they were sent as a temptation and trial from Allah. Those who learned magic from them disbelieved, and those who did not, believed. This is why the angels warned the people before teaching them magic. The angels said, "We are only a trial; so do not disbelieve." (Quran 2:102)

    The second opinion about why the angels were sent is explained by Shaykh Sabuni in his Safwat al-Tafasir. He says that during their time there were many magicians claiming Prophethood, and people needed to be able to distinguish between the miracles of Prophets and the magic of magicians. The magic they taught could have been used to do this, or, it could have been used for evil.
    Similarly, Mufti Muhammad Shafi gives the following comments:
    Allah sent down to Babylon two angels, Harut and Marut, for informing the people as to the true nature of magic and as to its different forms, so that they should distinguish it from the miracles of prophets, and keep away from obeying magicians and practising magic themselves.
    ...In short, the two angels came down to Babylon, and started the work assigned to them -- that is to say, they used to explain the basic principles of magic, its different forms and the specific formulas, and then used to dissuade the people from getting themselves involved in these activities or with the magicians. Their work was exactly like that of a scholar who, finding that illiterate people sometimes fall into uttering heretical words or phrases on account of their ignorance, should collect in his speeches or writings all such phrases that have gained currency, and inform them as to what they must carefully avoid.
    Now, all sorts of people started coming to the angels for seeking information about the nature and the specific formulas of magic lest ignorance should lead them into error, in the matter of doctrines or that of deeds. In order to provide the correct teaching on this subject and to protect the people from error, the angels were scrupulous enough to make it a point to warn them of possible dangers in giving them the information. They insisted on making it quite clear that in allowing them to provide this kind of information to the people, Allah intended to put His servants through a trial, for He would see who uses this knowledge for protecting his 'iman (faith) by recognizing evil and avoiding it, and who falls into misguidance by adopting evil that he has come to recognize as evil -- a choice which can easily lead one into kufr (infidelity) in the matter of deeds or in that of doctrines. The angels repeatedly advised them to seek this dangerous information only with a good intent and to remain steadfast in this good intent, and not to misuse the knowledge so as to earn perpetual damnation.
    The angels could not be more honest and forthright. So, they explained the basic principles of magic and even the subsidiary details to all those who were ready to take the pledge to remain steadfast in their faith. Of course, if anyone broke the pledge and fell into transgression or infedility, it was his on business, and the angels could not be held responsible for it. Some were true to their promise, while many did not fulfill the pledge, and made their knowledge of magic a means of doing harms to people -- this in itself is a sin and transgression, while some modes of magic actually involve infidelity (kufr). Thus, through a misuse of their knowledge of magic, some turned into sinners and others into infidels.
    Let us repeat that the angels had taught magic for the purpose of reforming the people and helping them to the straight path. but those who misused this teaching did so out of their own perversity.
    (Shafi, Ma'ariful Qur'an, Maktaba-e-Darul-Uloom, Karachi 2003, vol. 1, pp. 266-268)
    This lengthy quote demonstrates several points. First of all, it explains the idea of angels teaching magic for the purpose of educating the public about this evil so that they would avoid it. It also mentions that the angels were sent as a test for the people to distinguish those who would succumb to the temptation of using magic from those who restrained themselves from such evils. Therefore, it is entirely possible that the angels may have been sent for all the purposes mentioned by scholars, including as a temptation to catch those who practiced sorcery, as a test for the people, and for educational purposes to distinguish good from evil.

    From the above discussion it becomes clear that the angels were acting as servants of Allah and were only carrying out their mission as commanded by Allah. The question of disobedience doesn't even arise, and consequently there is no contradiction between this verse and the verse which states that all angels are obedient.
    ________
    The author would like to thank Abu Abdullah Al-Kuwaitee for his contributions to the article, May Allah bless him.

    Last edited by Ansar Al-'Adl; 09-06-2005 at 10:18 PM.
    Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an

    The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
    "Surely I was sent to perfect the qualities of righteous character" [Musnad Ahmad, Muwatta Mâlik]


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    Re: Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an


    Angel Gabriel and the 'Holy Spirit'

    Concerning the thirty-second alleged contradiction:
    Who brings the revelation from Allah to Muhammad? The ANGEL Gabriel [2:97], or the Holy Spirit [16:102]?
    Verses in question:
    2:97 Say: "Whoever is an enemy to Jibrael (Gabriel), for indeed he has brought it (this Qur'ân) down to your heart by Allâh's Permission, confirming what came before it and guidance and glad tidings for the believers.

    16:102. Say, Ruh-ul-Qudus (the Holy Spirit) has brought it (the Qur'an) down from your Lord with truth, that it may make firm and strengthen (the Faith of) those who believe and as a guidance and glad tidings to those who have submitted (to Allâh as Muslims)


    1. The obvious point that the critic is missing is that the 'Holy Spirit' is simply another title of Angel Jibreel (Gabriel), peace be upon him. This is unanimously agreed upon by all Muslim scholars and there is no difference of opinion on this matter due to what has been narrated. Ibn Kathir Ad-Damishqee (d. 1372CE) cites the narrations which demonstrate that this was the understanding of the earliest Muslim generation, those who learnt directly from the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him):
    Jibril is Ruh Al-Qudus

    The proof that Jibril is the Ruh Al-Qudus is the statement of Ibn Mas`ud in explanation of this Ayah (fn. Ibn Abi Hatim 1:269). This is also the view of Ibn `Abbas, Muhammad bin Ka`b, Isma`il bin Khalid, As-Suddi, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, `Atiyah Al-`Awfi and Qatadah (fn. Ibn Abi Hatim 1:270). Additionally, Allah said,
    (
    Which the trustworthy Ruh (Jibril) has brought down. Upon your heart (O Muhammad ) that you may be (one) of the warners) (26:193-194).

    Al-Bukhari recorded `A'ishah saying that the Messenger of Allah erected a Minbar in the Masjid on which Hassan bin Thabit (the renowned poet) used to defend the Messenger of Allah (with his poems). The Messenger of Allah said,
    "O Allah! Aid Hassan with Ruh Al-Qudus, for he defended Your Prophet."(fn. Fath Al-Bari 10:562).

    Abu Dawud recorded this Hadith in his Sunan (fn. Abu Dawud 5:279) as did At-Tirmidhi who graded it Hasan Sahih (fn. Tuhfat Al-Ahwadhi 8:137). Further, Ibn Hibban recorded in his Sahih that Ibn Mas`ud said that the Prophet said,
    "Ruh Al-Qudus informed me that no soul shall die until it finishes its set provisions and term limit. Therefore, have Taqwa of Allah and seek your sustenance in the most suitable way."(fn. See As-Sunnah 14:304).(Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Abridged, Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, 2000, vol. 1, pp. 288-289)
    These narrations demonstrate that the correct understanding of the title "Ruh Al-Qudus" (Holy Spirit) is that it was a title of Angel Jibreel. In another place, Allah refers to him as Ruh Al-Ameen (the Trustworthy Spirit). Concerning this, Ibn Kathir records:
    (Which the trustworthy Ruh has brought down.) This refers to Jibril, peace be upon him. This was the view of more than one of the Salaf: Ibn `Abbas, Muhammad bin Ka`b, Qatadah, `Atiyyah Al-`Awfi, As-Suddi, Ad-Dahhak, Az-Zuhri and Ibn Jurayj. (fn. At-Tabari 19:396). This is an issue concerning which there is no dispute.(Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Abridged, Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, 2000, vol. 7, pp. 275-276)
    Hence, it becomes clear that those who are close to Allah are honored by Him with numerous titles, and so of the titles of Angel Jibreel is Ruh Al-Qudus and Ruh Al-Ameen.

    2. Critics attempt to prove that the spirit does not refer to Jibreel by quoting verses of the Qur'an that contain the word Ruh (spirit) but could not possibly be referring to Angel Jibreel because of the context. In these cases, the critics fail to realize that the word Ruh has several different usages in the Qur'an with a wide range of meanings. The word Ruh most commonly refers to the human soul in religious literature, especially the Qur'an and the Sunnah. However, it sometimes refers to other than the human soul as Shaykh Abu Bilal Mustafa Al-Kanadi explains:
    Just as the term "nafs" has several different connotations, so does the term "ruh." It is never used to refer to the physical body (badan) alone or to the soul when it is inside the body. Rather, it has various other usages in the Arabic language and in religious literature. (fn. See al-Tahawiyyah, pp. 444-445 and Kitab al-Ruh, pp.295-296). In the following words of Allah to His Messenger (saws), it is used to mean revelation, specifically the Qur'an:
    "And thus We revealed to you a spirit [i.e., the Qur'an] by Our command." (Surah al-Shura, 42:52)
    In other places in the Qur'an the word "ruh" is used to designate the Angel Jibreel, whom Allah entrusted with the conveyance of divine revelation. For example:
    "Verily, this [Qur'an] is a revelation of the Lord of the Worlds brought down by the trustworthy spirit [i.e., Jibril]." (Surah al-Shu'ara; 26:192-193)
    The various forces and senses contained in the human body are also spoken of as "spirits." Thus, it is said "al-ruh al-basir" ("the seeing spirit") and "al-ruh al-sami'" ("the hearing spirit") and so on. However, these are called "spirits" only by convention. These senses are extinguished upon the death of the physical body, and they are different than the ruh, which does not die or disintegrate.

    Finally, the term "ruh" is sometimes used in an extremely restricted sense - to designate the spirit of faith which results from one's knowledge of Allah, from turning to him in repentance and from seeking Him with love and aspiration. This is the spirit (i.e. consciousness of God) with which Allah strengthens His obedient, chosen servants as stated in the following Qur'anic verse:
    "For those, Allah has written faith upon their hearts and strengthened them with a spirit from Him." (Surah al-Mujadilah, 58:22)
    In this manner, knowledge is a "ruh" ("spiritual force"), as is sincerity, truthfulness, repentance, love of Allah and complete dependence upon Him. People differ in respect to these types of spiritual forces. Some are so overcome by them that they become "spiritual" beings. Thus it is said, "So and so has spirit." Others lose the power of such spiritual forces, or the greater portion thereof, and thus become earthly, bestial beings. (fn. For more details, see Lawami' al-Anwar, pp. 31-32; al-Tahawiyyah, p. 445 and Kitab al-Ruh, p. 297). About them it may be said, "So and so has no spirit; he's empty like a hollow reed," and so on. (Mustafa Al-Kanadi, Mysteries of the Soul Expounded, Al-Hidaayah Publishing & Distribution 2003, pp.21-23)
    Thus, when the term Ruh appears in the Qur'an, it may refer to the human soul, it may refer to Angel Jibreel, it may refer to attributes of faith which God blesses someone with, or it may refer to the Qur'an. We cannot, as critics incorrectly do, conclude that since some verses of the Qur'an use ruh in one sense, therefore all verses must conform to that same meaning of the word ruh. Such a notion would be illogical as it ignores the various meanings already associated with the word, as well as the explanation found in the Ahadith and the understanding of the early Muslim scholars. The verses cited with the word Ruh include the following:
    15:29 "When I have fashioned him [Adam] (in due proportion) and breathed into him a Ruh from Me, fall ye down in obediance unto him."

    21:91 And (remember) her [Mary] who guarded her chastity: We breathed into her a Ruh from Us, and We made her and her son a sign for all peoples.

    32:9 But He fashioned him [the human] in due proportion, and breathed into him the Ruh from Him. And He gave you (the faculties of) hearing and sight and feeling (and understanding): little thanks do ye give!

    38:72 "When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him a Ruh from Me, fall ye down in obeisance unto him."

    66:12 And Mary the daughter of 'Imran, who guarded her chastity; and We breathed into (her body) a Ruh from Us; and she testified to the truth of the words of her Lord and of His Revelations, and was one of the devout (servants).


    In all the above verses, the word Ruh can easily be understood as a reference to the human soul. Allah informs us that He breathed the Ruh into Adam, and into Mary (to give life to Jesus), just as He breathes the Ruh into every human being. There is some confusion because the arabic phrase attributes the Ruh to Allah, which lead some translators to render the verses as "[God's] Spirit". However, the reason the soul is attributed to God is because it is the creation of God and belongs to Him. This is exactly the same as the Qur'anic verse that says:
    91:13 But the Messenger of Allah [Prophet Saalih pbuh] said to them: "It is a She-camel of Allah [Ar. Naaqat-Allahi]. And (bar her not from) having her drink!"

    Just as the miraculous camel presented to the Thamud, which was the creation of Allah and one of His special signs, is attributed to Allah, so is the Ruh which is blown into every human being. Both are attributed to Allah as a sign of their miraculous nature and the fact that they are the direct creation of Allah. It is also worthy to note the words of Muhammad Asad on verse 21:91:
    AND [remember] her who guarded her chastity, whereupon We breathed into her of Our spirit [This allegorical expression, used here with reference to Mary’s conception of Jesus, has been widely - and erroneously - interpreted as relating specifically to his birth. As a matter of fact, the Quran uses the same expression in three other places with reference to the creation of man in general - namely in 15: 29 and 38:72, “when I have formed him… and breathed into him of My spirit” and in 32: 9, “and thereupon He forms [lit., “formed”] him fully and breathes [lit., “breathed’’] into him of His spirit”. In particular, the passage of which the last-quoted phrase is a part (i.e., 32: 7 - 9) makes it abundantly and explicitly clear that God “breathes of His spirit” into every human being. Commenting on the verse under consideration, Zamakhshari states that “the breathing of the spirit [of God] into a body signifies the endowing it with life’’: an explanation with, which Razi concurs. (In this connection, see also note on 4: 171.) (Asad, Message of the Qur'an, The Book Foundation 2003)
    And on verse 4:171, Muhammad Asad notes:
    As regards the expression, "a soul from Him" or "created by Him", it is to be noted that among the various meanings which the word ruh bears in the Qur’an (e.g., "inspiration" in 2: 87 and 253), it is also used in its primary significance of "breath of life", "soul", or "spirit": thus, for instance, in 32: 9, where the ever-recurring evolution of the human embryo is spoken of: "and then He forms him [i.e., man] and breathes into him of His spirit" - that is, endows him with a conscious soul which represents God's supreme gift to man and is, therefore, described as "a breath of His spirit". In the verse under discussion, which stresses the purely human nature of Jesus and refutes the belief in his divinity, the Qur’an points out that Jesus, like all other human beings, was "a soul created by Him".(Asad, Message of the Qur'an, The Book Foundation 2003)
    Thus, there is no conflict between these verses and the verses about Angel Jibreel as these describe the Ruh as a soul being breathed into human beings. It is simply another meaning of the word Ruh.

    3. Some Qur'anic commentators also mentioned about verses 21:91 and 66:12 that Angel Jibreel was sent to Mary to breathe the Ruh into her, by God's command. Some people have erroneously concluded from this interpretation that Jibreel is must be the speaker when the verse says "We breathed into her of Our Spirit" because he is the one who breathes the soul into her. This conclusion is false because the Qur'an often attributes the actions of the Angels to God Himself, as explained in previous articles, such as Who Takes the Soul at the Time of Death. The Angels act by the command of Allah and they themselves belong to Allah, hence Angel Jibreel's action of breathing the Ruh into Mary would be attributed to Allah. In fact, in all the verses which state that God breathes the Ruh into human beings, it is reasonable to assume that this occurs through the work of the Angels, the servants of Allah. This is similar to the hadith:
    Abdullah ibn Masood said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), who is the most truthful (of human beings) and his being truthful (is a fact) told us: ‘The constituents of one of you is gathered in his mother’s womb for forty days, then it becomes an Alaqah within another period of forty days. Then it becomes a Mudghah, and forty days later, Allaah sends His angel to it to breathe into it the Ruh. The angel comes with instructions concerning four things, so the angel writes down his livelihood, his death, his deeds and whether he will doomed or blessed.” (Sahih Muslim Book 33, #6893).
    For an explanation of the embryological terms involved in the hadith, please read here.
    From this hadith we can see that the standard process in the creation of all human beings involves an angel who breathes the soul into the human body, even though the action is still attributed to Allah who states that He breathes the soul into the body.

    4. Other passages used by critics to argue that the Holy Spirit is not Gabriel include:
    78:38 The Day that the Spirit and the angels will stand forth in ranks, none shall speak except any who is permitted by (God) Most Gracious, and He will say what is right.
    And the hadith:
    "Narrated Aisha: The Messenger of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) used to pronounce while bowing and prostrating himself: All Glorious, all Holy, Lord of the Angels and the Spirit." (Sahih Muslim, Book 4, Number 0987)
    It is claimed that since these quotes distiguish between the Spirit and the Angels, therefore the Holy Spirit cannot possibly be an angel. However, it has been mentioned in previous articles that this is the Qur'anic style which distinguishes between Jibreel and the Angels because of his great rank:
    2:98 Whoever is an enemy to Allah and His angels and apostles, to Gabriel and Michael,- Lo! Allah is an enemy to those who reject Faith.
    This verse mentions Angle Gabriel and Angel Michael seperately from the other angels, but we know that they are angels themselves. This is simply the Qur'anic style of emphasis. This was explained in the article The Number of Groups on the Day of Resurrection.
    Another hadith is also quoted in order to prove that Jibreel is distinct from Ruh Al-Qudus. It contains a poem composed by the companion of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), Hassan ibn Thabit (rd). In the last two lines of his poem, he says:
    "Whether anyone amongst you (the Quraysh) chooses to satirise the Messenger of Allah, or praise him, or help him, it is all the same,
    And Gabriel who is the Emissary of Allah, is with us, and indeed the Ruh Al-Qudus has no match"
    (Sahih Muslim, The Book of Companions of the Prophet, 6550, ARABIC SOURCE)
    In the above poem of Hassan ibn Thabit, the last line has been misunderstood to be differentiating between Angel Jibreel and Ruh Al-Qudus. This misunderstanding is partly due to the poor translation of this hadith which renders the last phrase as:
    "And Gabriel, the Apostle of Allah is among us, and the Holy Spirit who has no match."
    Either of the two underlined words can be removed to restore the true meaning of the arabic phrase. This poetic description can be illustrated using many examples:
    "The King has arrived, and his Majesty shall now attend to your needs" - Here "the king" and "his majesty" refer to the same person.
    "Don't worry, the police are here. The guardians of justice will protect you" - Again, the police are being poetically described as 'the guardians of justice'.
    These examples should demonstrate that this hadith of Hassan ibn Thabit does not distinguish between Angel Jibreel and Ruh Al-Qudus as critics claim. Rather, it merely describes the titles of Angel Jibreel.

    Having examined the relevant evidence, we can safely conclude that the name 'Ruh Al-Qudus' has been established as a title of Angel Jibreel and there is no evidence to indicate otherwise. Therefore, there is no contradiction between verses 2:97 and 16:102 since they both describe the tasks of Angel Jibreel.

    Last edited by Ansar Al-'Adl; 09-06-2005 at 09:22 PM.
    Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an

    The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
    "Surely I was sent to perfect the qualities of righteous character" [Musnad Ahmad, Muwatta Mâlik]


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    Re: Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an


    Confirming the Old Revelation or Substituting it

    With regards to the thirty-third alledged contradiction:
    The new revelation confirms the old [2:97] or substitutes it [16:101]?
    Verses in question:
    2:97. Say: "Whoever is an enemy to Jibrael (Gabriel) (let him die in his fury), for indeed he has brought it (this Qur'ân) down to your heart by Allah's Permission, confirming what came before it, as guidance and glad tidings for the believers.

    16:101. And when We change a Verse in place of another, and Allâh knows the best of what He sends down, they (the disbelievers) say: "You (O Muhammad ) are but a forger!" Nay, but most of them know not.


    The truth of the matter is that these two verses describe two totally seperate issues with regards to God's revelation. Verse 2:97 describes the fact that the Qur'an confirms the revelations delivered to previous nations, while verse 16:101 describes the Qur'anic concept of abrogation. The following points clarify these two issues:

    1. With regards to verse 2:97, Syed Qutb (d. 1966CE) writes the following in his prominent Fi Dhilalil Qur'an:
    The Qur'an was lodged in Muhammad's heart, confirming "
    the Scriptures revealed before it, and is a guidance and joyful tidings for the believers".
    The Qur'an confirms and endorses in general terms all Divine revelations recieved before it. The religion of God, as expounded and preached by all revealed Scriptures, is basically one and the same. All Divine revelations have come as guidance to man and as a source of joyful tidings for all believing hearts that are receptive and willing to have faith in God.
    (Qutb, In the Shade of the Qur'an, The Islamic Foundation 1999, vol. 1, p.95)
    And Shaykh Abu Ammaar Yasir Qadhi writes:
    However, as a manifestation of Allaah's mercy, mankind was not left without guidance in its social and political life. Rather, their Creator provided for them a set of laws that would govern them in their mutual affairs, and instruct them concerning all that was beneficial for them, and warn against all that was harmful to them. These code of laws varied from time to time, and from place to place, for each set of peoples had their own specific problems and peculiar situations that needed to be catered to. Allaah says,
    And for every nation, We appointed (their) religious ceremonies, so that they may mention the Name of Allaah...[3:50]
    Since each prophet was sent to a different nation, it was possible for one messenger to abrogate the laws of a previous messenger. (Qadhi, An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur'aan, Al-Hidaayah Publishing and Distribution 1999, p. 245)
    Thus, the Qur'an confirms the laws, beliefs and stories found in previous scritures while it also serves as a criterion in identifying false notions and doctrines which have crept into previous scriptures through corruption. Although the Qur'an confirms the message of the previous revelations it also contains some different laws which are more appropriate for the Muslim nation than older laws such as the Mosaic laws. As Moiz Amjad comments:
    Mr. Katz contends that the Qur'an cannot confirm as well as substitute the previous scriptures at the same time. The reason for this contention is that Mr. Katz has taken the word 'confirm' to imply 'to approve, to sanction or to endorse'. The word, however, is also used to mean: 'to verify, to prove and to certify'. Mr. Katz is correct in contending that the Qur'an cannot "confirm" (i.e. approve/sanction/endorse) the old scriptures as well as substitute or abrogate them. However, I am sure all would agree that there would be no contradiction in saying that 'even though the Christians "confirm" (i.e. verify/certify) circumcision to be a part of divine law, yet consider the obligatory nature of this law to be abrogated.' In the same way, there is obviously no contradiction in the statement that "the Qur'an, on the one hand "confirms" the divine origin of the previous scriptures, and on the other, substitutes its laws with the new laws". (SOURCE)
    The Qur'an only confirms the message of the previous revelations in their original form, not the tampered form that has survived. As for the tampered form, then the Qur'an confirms what is correct and distinguishes it from what is false. Furthermore, some of the details in the laws of previous revelations were particular for their respective nation, and consequently the Qur'an contains laws that are more appropriate for the followers of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

    2. With regards to verse 16:101, then this explains the concept of abrogation (naskh) in the Qur'an. The Qur'an was revealed gradually to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) allowing his followers to gradually becoming stronger in faith and able to follow the laws of Islam. As Shaykh Abu Ammaar Yasir Qadhi mentions:
    Among the blessings of Allaah to the Companions is that He revealed to them the laws of Islaam gradually, and thus made it easier for them to adopt these laws. Initially, there were no specific laws of halaal and haraam. The Companions during the Makkan stage were being trained spiritually so that they could form the nucleus of the future Muslim state in Madeenah. Once they had passed this stage, Allaah then completed the revelation of the sharee'ah in gradual steps, so that they could adapt to the lifestyle of Islaam.(Qadhi, An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur'aan, Al-Hidaayah Publishing and Distribution 1999, p. 86)
    Thus, early Qur'anic verses may have contained a general or light directive which was later substituted for a specific ruling laying down a concrete law. For instance, the Qur'an initially stated that there was much harm and some benefit in alcohol (2:219) after which many Muslims began to abstain from alcohol more. Then the Qur'an forbade the believers to perform prayer when intoxicated (4:43) and later on it declared alcohol to be categorically forbidden (5:90). In this manner, the Qur'an gradually revealed laws through a process of substituting a few verses, which aided in establishing the Islamic practices. Had alcohol been forbidden at once in a society where it was a firmly-rooted practice, the message would have been too difficult to follow. Abrogation does not imply any imperfection on the part of God, as some crtics claim. It only illustrates the changing condition of society and the need to provide laws relevant to a nation's context in the world. For more information on Abrogation, please refer to the article #####.
    To conclude, verse 2:97 indicates that the Qur'an confirms the truth found in previous scriptures while verse 16:101 describes the gradual revelation of Islamic law and how one verse is exchanged for another. Thus, there is no contradiction between the two.

    Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an

    The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
    "Surely I was sent to perfect the qualities of righteous character" [Musnad Ahmad, Muwatta Mâlik]


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    Re: Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an


    The Qur'an's Pure Arabic and the Presence of Foreign Words

    On the thirty-fourth alleged contradiction:
    The Qur'an is PURE Arabic [16:103] but there are numerous foreign, non-Arabic words in it.
    Verse in question:
    16:103. And indeed We know that they (polytheists and pagans) say: "It is only a human being who teaches him (Muhammad)." The tongue of the man they refer to is foreign, while this (the Qur'ân) is a speech Arabeeyun mubeen.

    1. This is simply an example of a mistranslation. The critics have incorrectly translated arabeeyun mubeen as 'pure arabic' when in reality it refers to clarity and eloquence, hence the phrase should be rendered as:
    while this (the Qur'ân) is clear, eloquent Arabic speech.
    In his explanation on this verse, Ibn Kathir Ad-Damishqi (d. 1372CE) writes in his renowned Tafsir Al-Qur'an Al-Azim:
    (The tongue of the man they refer to is foreign, while this (the Qur'an) is a (in) clear Arabic tongue.) meaning, how could it be that this Qur'an with its eloquent style and perfect meanings, which is more perfect than any Book revealed to any previously sent Prophet, have been learnt from a foreigner who hardly speaks the language? No one with the slightest amount of common sense would say such a thing. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Abridged, Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, 2000, vol. 5, p. 528; More Detailed Quote from Ibn Kathir here)
    Thus, this verse has nothing to do with etymology and the presence of foreign words in the Qur'an. It simply points out that the Qur'an cannot be attributed to a foreigner when it has been revealed in clear and eloquent arabic. To understand mubeen in a sense that negates words of foreign origin would be illogical in light of its context in other verses. For example, Allah says:
    31:11 Such is the Creation of Allah. now show Me what is there that others besides Him have created: nay, but the Transgressors are in manifest error.
    The phrase that has been rendered here as 'manifest error' is dalaalim mubeen. Hence, it it obvious that mubeen refers to something clear, especially in the sense that it is obvious. There is no doubt about it,whether it be about its origin, its implication for humanity, its laws, its guidance - it is all clear and straightforward. As Muhammad Asad writes about the word:
    whereas this is Arabic speech, clear [in itself] and clearly showing the truth [of its source].
    The participial adjective mubin may denote an attribute of the noun which it qualifies ("clear", "manifest", "obvious", etc.) as well as its function ("making clear" or "manifesting", i.e., the truth), either of which meanings is dictated by its context. In the consensus of authoritative opinion, both these meanings are comprised in the above instance; consequently, a compound phrase is necessary in order to render the term appropriately.(Asad, Message of the Qur'an, The Book Foundation 2003)
    From the above discussion it becomes apparent that the critic's objection about foreign words is totally irrelevant to the verse. The verse simply points out the fact that the Qur'an is obviously in clear arabic, hence it cannot be attributed to a non-arab. Regarding the stunning eloquence of the Qur'an, non-Muslim writer John Naish says:
    The Qur'an in its original Arabic dress has a seductive beauty and charm of its own Couched in concise and exalted style, its brief pregnant sentences, often rhymed, possess an expressive force and explosive energy which it is extremely difficult to convey by literal word for word translation. (John Naish, M. A. (Oxon), D. D., The Wisdom of the Qur’an (Oxford: 1937), preface viii.)
    For more quotes on the eloquence of the Qur'an, please see here and here.

    2. It should be noted that although the Qur'an has words of foreign origin in it, this does not detract from the purity of the language at all. Shaykh Muhammad Mohar Ali, a former Professor of the History of Islam at Madinah Islamic University, discusses such issues in detail in one of his recent works:
    Ever since the middle of the nineteenth century orientalists have turned their attention to what they consider "foreign words" in the Qur'an. They indeed take their cue from the writings of the Muslim classical scholars and exegetes themselves who, in their eagerness for meticulous studies of all aspects of the Qur'an, paid attention also to the words and expressions in it that were adopted and naturalized in the Arabic language of words and expressions of non-Arabic origin.
    ...Al-Suyuti and others before him emphasize three important facts in this connection. First, Arabic, Ethiopic, Syriac and Aramaic are cognate languages and have a good number of words in common because of their common roots. Second, in the course of the Arabs' long contact with the outside world, especially in the course of their trade and commerce, a number of words of non-Arabic origin entered the language and were naturalized, these being considered part and parcel of the Arabic language. Third, in the course of such adoption and naturalization the forms as well as the original meanings of the words underwent some modifications and changes.
    These facts are common in respect to all languages. So far as Arabic is concerned, however, the first mentioned fact may be a little more elaborated. Arabic, Aramaic, Syriac and Hebrew are all Semitic languages and all had the same origin... The later Arabic language developed out of this original Arabic-Aramaic language. It is because of this fact that all the above mentioned languages have a number of words and expressions in common, though their senses and connotations have undergone changes due to the influences of time and locality. At the time the Qur'an came down, a number of words of these cognate languages as well as languages of the neigbouring peoples had been naturalized in the Arabic language and were regarded as part and parcel of the standard and literary Arabic (al-'arabiy al-mubin). The occurrence of such words and expressions in the Qur'an is thus quite natural because it was sent down in the language of its immediate audience, the Arabs.
    ...The Qur'anic ayah (16:103)...very strongly rebuts the same allegation of instruction by some person made by the Makkan unbelievers and points out that the language of the individual hinted at was "foreign" ('a'jami), i.e. not Arabic. ...The literary Arabic of the time was very developed and expressive; and a passage of the Qur'an which does not contain any of the alleged "foreign" words is as much a masterpiece of composition as any other passage.
    (M. M. Ali, The Qur'an and The Orientalists, Jam'iyat 'Ihyaa' Minhaaj Al-Sunnah 2004, pp. 305-306, 308, emphasis added)
    In his above discussion on foreign words in the Qur'an, Shaykh M. Mohar Ali makes several important points. First, he points out that it is a characteristic of languages that they borrow extensively, and even entirely, from previous dialects, yet this in no way detracts from the purity of the language. He states that the foreign words become "part and parcel" of the language, which maintains the status of arabeeyin mubeen. He also points out that all these foreign words had already been accepted as part of the arabic language prior to Qur'anic revelation. In fact, Shaykh Mohar Ali continues by discussing the research on foreign words by Arthur Jeffery:
    In fact Jeffery's researches go to show that the words he identifies as of foreign origin had actually been naturalized and become regular Arabic words before they came to be used in the Qur'an. He lists some 275 such words other than proper names. "About three quarters of the words in this list", as Watt points out, "can be shown to have been in use in Arabic before the time of Muhammad, ... Of the remaining 70 or so, though there is no written evidence of their earlier use, it may well be true that they were already employed in speech..." (fn. Watt, bell's Introduction etc., op. cit., p. 85). And in view of the fact that Arabic, Syriac, Ethiopic, Hebrew or Jewish Aramaic are cognate Semitic languages having common origin in the original Arabic-Aramaic mentioned above, they have many words in common and also similar forms. It is thus difficult in many cases to say which of such common words is derived from which of these languages. (M. M. Ali, The Qur'an and The Orientalists, Jam'iyat 'Ihyaa' Minhaaj Al-Sunnah 2004, p. 313)
    Thus, these "foreign" words had already been integrated into the arabic language and were accepted as part of pure literary arabic. This notion is expressed accurately by Moiz Amjad as follows:
    it is not the lack of words borrowed from other languages that makes good and pure literature, but the clarity and the purity of the dialect. In fact, words of foreign-origin, when adopted by the literati of a language, become a part of that language. The Qur'an, in the referred verse has indeed stressed the clarity and the purity of the dialect to refute the allegation of the rejecters that a non-Arab has forged the Qur'an. Nevertheless, the fact that some of the words of the Qur'an are of a foreign-origin does not refute the purity of the Qur'anic Arabic, unless it is proven that such words had not already been adopted by the Arabs in there speech and/or literature.

    Obviously, the clarity and the style of the language of "Julius Caesar" is a clear evidence of the fact that its writer has a classical English background. The mere fact that 'Caesar' is a word of Roman (?) origin does not make Shakespeare any less an English writer. In fact, if any one criticizes Shakespeare for not using 'emperor' or 'ruler' (or any other pure English synonym for 'Caesar') in place of 'Caesar', to make it pure English, such a person not only has no sense of literature but is not even aware of the fact that the word 'Caesar' was used in the English language not merely to imply 'ruler' or 'emperor', but as a title for the Roman emperors.

    Exactly in the same manner, any one who thinks that the Qur'an has used any foreign words actually is mistaken by the fact that some of the words in the Qur'an have a foreign-origin. Nevertheless, the Qur'an has used only such foreign-origin words, which had not only been introduced in the Arabic language but were also commonly used by the Arabs. Thus, it should be kept in mind that it is not the origin of words used by a literature, that effects the purity or otherwise of that literature. On the contrary, it is whether such words of foreign-origin have been adopted in the language or not. If such words have generally been adopted as a part of the language, usage of such words would not affect the purity of the language or the dialect.
    (SOURCE)
    In light of the above explanation, it should be clear that the Qur'an is still considered pure arabic inspite of the fact that Arabic borrows, as all languages do, extensivley from previous dialects and languages.
    In conclusion, there is no contradiction in verse 16:103 as it points towards the fact that the Qur'an is clear and eloquent arabic speech that cannot be mistaken for any other language. The Qur'an is clear in its source, its wordings, its laws and its commands.

    Last edited by Ansar Al-'Adl; 08-18-2005 at 06:39 AM.
    Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an

    The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
    "Surely I was sent to perfect the qualities of righteous character" [Musnad Ahmad, Muwatta Mâlik]


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    Re: Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an


    The Qur'an being contained in the Earlier Revelations

    Concerning the thirty-fith allegation:
    The infinite loop problem Sura 26:192,195,196: "It (the Qur'an) is indeed a revelation from the Lord of the Worlds, ... in clear Arabic speech and indeed IT (the Qur'an) is in the writings of the earlier (prophets)." Now, the 'earlier writings' are the Torah and the Injil for example, written in Hebrew and Greek. HOW can an ARABIC Qur'an be contained in books of other languages? Furthermore, it would have to contain this very passage of the Qur'an since the Qur'an is properly contained in them. Hence these earlier writings have to be contained in yet other earlier writings and we are in an infinite loop, which is absurd.
    Verses in question:
    26:192-196. And truly, this (the Qur'ân) is a revelation from the Lord of the 'Alamîn (mankind, jinns and all that exists), Which the trustworthy Rûh [Jibrael (Gabriel)] has brought down; Upon your heart (O Muhammad ) that you may be (one) of the warners, In the plain Arabic language. And verily, it is in the Scriptures of former people.

    1. The allegation of the critic is that these verses of the Qur'an necessitate that the Qur'an must be contained, completely word-for-word in the previous scriptures due to the phrase "it is in the scriptures of former people". This claim, however, has no basis in language. Stating that one thing is "in" another does not necessitate that it be contained completely in the referred object/location. Consider the following examples:
    He was lying in bed. - Meaning that he was resting on the surface of the bed.
    Look! You're in the Newspaper! - Meaning that this person is mentioned or referred to in the newspaper.
    Everything the mechanic said was in the manual that we lost last year. - Meaning that the guidance given by the mechanic was also the same information/message that was available in the manual.
    The above three examples demonstrate that the claim is baseless. The Qur'an is in the previous scriptures as well, which does not necessitate that it be contained completely in the previous scriptures.

    2. Concerning the statement that the Qur'an is "in the scriptures of former people", there is a required supressed meaning associated with the verse. This is the meaning that is commonly placed in the brackets in a translation. One possible meaning is that the Qur'an is [referred to] in the previous scriptures. This is similar to the second example cited under the first point, "you're in the newspaper". Just as the person is mentioned in the newspaper, the Qur'an is also mentioned in previous scriptures. This is the interpretation given by Imaam Ibn Kathir Ad-Damishqi (d. 1372CE) in his renowned Tafsir Al-Qur'an Al-Azim:
    Allah says [that] this Qur'an was mentioned and referred to in the previous Scriptures that were left behind by their Prophets who foretold it in ancient times and more recently. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Abridged, Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, 2000, vol. 7, p. 276)
    Other scholars have interpreted the verse to mean that the Qur'anic message was given in previous revelations as well, i.e. they all carried the same essential teachings. This is similar to the other example, Everything the mechanic said was in the manual that we lost last year. Thus, both the Qur'an and the previous scriptures gave the same guidance, just as both the mechanic and the manual gave the same guidance. As Abul Ala Maududi (d. 1979 CE) mentions in his popular commentary, Tafheem Al-Qur'an:
    (196) [a revelation embodied] in the Scriptures of former people.
    The same message, the same Revelation, and the same Divine teachings can be found in all the previous Scriptures. The same call to worship the One True God, the same belief in the Hereafter, and the same invitation to follow the Prophets were also stressed in those earlier Scriptures. All the Books which have come down from God denounce associating others with Him in His Divinity. All of them ask people to shun materialism. All call people to the True Path which is inextricably linked with the idea of man's accountability to God. All demand from man one and the same thing: that he should give up all notions of his own sovereignty in deference to the Divine commands brought by the Prophets. In this respect, there is nothing novel in the Qur'an; there is nothing in it which was not part of the teachings of the previous Prophets. (Maududi, Towards Understanding the Qur'an, The Islamic Foundation 1995, vol. 7, p.114 fn. 122)
    Based on the above explanation, the verse would be rendered as And verily it is [preaching the same message as that found] in the Scriptures of former people. Thus, the understood meaning of the verse is that the Qur'an carries the same message as that of previous revelations from God. As Muhammad Asad writes:
    (196) And, verily, [the essence of] this [revelation] is indeed found in the ancient books of divine wisdom [as well].[Lit., “in the scriptures (zubur, sing. zabur) of the ancients” (see 21: 105). This interpretation of the above verse - advanced among others by Zamakhshari and Baydawi (and, according to the former, attributed to Imam Abu Hanifah as well) - is in full consonance with the oft-repeated Quranic doctrine that the basic teachings revealed to Muhammad are in their purport (manni) identical with those preached by the earlier prophets. (Asad, The Message of the Qur'an, The Book Foundation 2003, emphasis added)
    In light of the above explanation, it should be clear that the meaning of vers 26:196 is not that the arabic verses of the Qur'an are found in previous revelations, but that the Qur'anic message is the same as that found in previous revelations, and the Qur'an itself has been referred to in the previous revelations.
    Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an

    The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
    "Surely I was sent to perfect the qualities of righteous character" [Musnad Ahmad, Muwatta Mâlik]


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    Re: Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an


    Lot's Wife being called "An Old Woman"

    Regarding the thirty-sixth alleged contradiction:
    "An old woman" and God's character About the story of Lot: "So we delivered him and his family, - all exept an old woman who lingered behind." [Sura 26:170-171] And again: "But we saved him and his family, exept his wife: she was of those who lagged behind. [Sura 7:83]. Either this is a contradiction or if indeed Lot's wife is derogatorily called "an old woman" then this does not show much respect for her as a wife of a prophet.
    Verses in question:
    26:170. So We saved [Prophet Lut] and his family, all, Except an old woman (his wife) among those who remained behind.

    7:83. Then We saved [Prophet Lut] and his family, except his wife; she was of those who remained behind (in the torment).


    1. The first point that must be made is that the critic's has a gross misunderstanding with regard to the wife of Prophet Lot. She was not a noble woman worthy of respect in any way. As the Qur'an mentions about her:
    66:10 For those who are bent on denying the truth God has propounded a parable in [the stories of] Noah's wife and Lot's wife: they were wedded to two of Our righteous servants, and each one betrayed her husband; 21 and neither of the two [husbands] will be of any avail to these two women when they are told [on Judgment Day], "Enter the fire with all those [other sinners] who enter it!

    Thus, in Islam respect is not granted to anyone based on familal ties and relations, but rather on their character and their piety. The wife of Lot betrayed her husband and turned his people against him, while persistently rejecting God, despite the fact that her own husband was one of God's Messengers! Because of her evil, God mentions in the Qur'an that she was destined to be punished along with her rebellious nation:
    27:57. So We saved him and his family, except his wife. We destined her to be of those who remained behind.

    2. As for the two verses, then there is no contradiction between stating "Lot's wife" in one location, and stating "an old woman" in another location, since it is entirely possible that Lot's wife actually was an old woman, especially since Lot had been living and preaching amongst his nation for quite a long period.
    Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an

    The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
    "Surely I was sent to perfect the qualities of righteous character" [Musnad Ahmad, Muwatta Mâlik]


    Visit Ansâr Al-'Adl's personal page HERE.
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    Re: Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an


    The Response of Lot's Nation to His Call

    Concerning the thirty-seventh alleged contradiction:
    More problems with the story of Lot "And his people gave NO answer but this: They said, "Drive them out of your city: these are indeed men who want to be clean and pure!" [Sura 7:82 & 27:56]. Yet: "But his people gave NO answer but this: They said: "Bring us the Wrath of Allah if thou tellest the truth." [Sura 29:29]. Obviously these answers are different.
    Verses in question:
    27:54-56. And [thus, too, did We save] Lot, when he said unto his people: “Would you commit this abomination with your eyes open (to its being against all nature)? Must you really approach men with lust instead of women? Nay, but you are people without any awareness (of right and wrong)!” But his people’s only answer was this: “Expel [Lot and] Lot’s followers from your township! Verily, they are folk who make themselves out to be pure!”

    29:28-29. And Lot, [too, was inspired by Us] when he said unto his people: “Verily, you commit abominations such as none in all the world has ever committed before you! Must you indeed approach men [with lust], and rob the wayfarer? - and must you commit these shameful deeds in your open] assemblies?” But his people’s only answer was, “Bring down upon us God’s chastisement, if thou art a man of truth!”


    It is clear that when these verses are looked at in context, the responses given by the People of Lot are given in reponse to different allegations. It is ridiculous to assume that all the years of preaching Lot gave to his people only involved a singe dialogue, with a single response from his people. In his preaching he would have confronted them on many occasions about their evils. Notice also that verses 29:28-29 contain additional allegations in comparison to those found in verses 27:54-56.

    Alleged Contradictions in the Qur'an

    The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
    "Surely I was sent to perfect the qualities of righteous character" [Musnad Ahmad, Muwatta Mâlik]


    Visit Ansâr Al-'Adl's personal page HERE.
    Excellent resources on Islam listed HERE.

 

 
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