Is There Something Within The Qur'an That Is Violent?
This is a difficult subject that many people do not understand, but you will by the time you finish reading it. If you are interested in this major question, then please read all of this page.
"(pbuh)" after a name means "peace be upon him". It is the highest form of respect in Islam to have this after the name of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), or Jesus Christ (pbuh), or Abraham (pbuh) or Moses (pbuh) of the Old Testament of the Bible. They are all considered Messengers of God (Allah in Arabic).
Looking at translations of what Osama bin Laden and other Islamic terrorists were saying, I found more than a dozen Qur'anic verses (with a yellow paragraph marker identifying them below) that they use for justification of their violent actions against "unbelievers" (non-Muslims). The interpretation of these Qur'anic verses, without considering anything else in the Qur'an, could be used easily to incite the less educated, poor and dissatisfied followers to sacrifice their lives in order to kill "non-believers" in exchange for a much better afterlife, if so directed by a religious leader or Imam. In addition quite a few terrorist attacks were committed by engineers and even medical doctors with remote controlled bombs so that they would not die. So something in Islam commands even some of the most educated as well to kill innocent "unbelievers". This is exactly what is being done by terrorist trainers for jihad. This is exactly what al-Qaida people are doing. Remember, that in the Taliban-controlled Afghanistan there were no schools that taught children reading, writing, and mathematics, let alone high school level subjects. There were Muslim schools for boys, called madrassas, that were focusing on hate against non-Muslims, revenge, killing, women having no rights, and so on.
With Palestine being a very important terrorist recruiting area, it makes a solution to the Israeli/Palestinian problem, establishment of a Palestinian state and helping the Palestinians develop good schools and infrastructure vitally important to reduce the opportunity for terrorist recruiting. But external Islamic interests with money and weapons through Hamas and Hezballah keep the terrorism very much alive with money and weapons from Iran. In addition and perhaps most importantly, the Islamic religious philosophy that is at the heart of Islamic terrorism and especially Al Qaida is called Qutbism, the enemy of the majority (moderate Muslims).
There are 1.3 billion Muslims in the world. The 2008 Gallup Poll indicates that 93% of them are moderate, peaceful Muslims, and 7% are radical Islamists. The Qur'an, Islam's holy book, is viewed as God's (Allah's) direct word to the believers of Islam. It is written in old 7th century classic Arabic. Even highly educated native Arab speakers have great difficulty translating it accurately. Since Arab speakers are a minority among Muslims, the great majority doesn't speak any Arabic. It is a safe statement that more than 99.9% of the 1.3 billion Muslims cannot read the Qur'an and understand it. Yet they all must learn to recite the words of the Qur'an in Arabic, even with the great majority not understanding it, because these Qur'anic verses are viewed as the words of God (Allah).
According to Islam, translations of the Qur'an are not accepted as the official words of the Qur'an, casting a shadow on any understanding of the Qur'an via a translation. So how do 1.3 billion Muslims understand what God says through the Qur'an to them? The only accepted way is by what a religious leader, or Imam teaches. Unfortunately, there are peaceful Imams, and there are radical Imams. Also as you will see below, there are peaceful verses in the Qur'an, and there are violent and hostile verses in the Qur'an. In some Muslim countries, the education of Imams is well regulated. But in other countries, it is not. There are Imams who preach a peaceful Islam. And there are Imams who preach a hostile Islam. There is no central authority in Islam to control this. For Muslims, God's (Allah's) command is what the Imam's tell them. This is the problem in a nut shell. By the way, all Holy Books seem to have some scary, barbaric and hostile words in them, including the Bible. They were written to less educated men, and with them, fear was used as an incentive. The original Bible is a Holy Book under Islam as well. But Islam claims that the Bible has been changed here and there during the centuries. And it has. Islam claims that the Qur'an has not been changed. But it has been changed also.
The Qur'an's verses were delivered to the Prophet Muhammad via the Archangel Gabriel from God (Allah). Muhammad was a great speaker, but could not read and write. He was a very dynamic speaker and leader. So his words were passed by word of mouth and some people wrote it down on stones, barks, wood in Aramaic. More and more of it was put into writing over 150 years or so, and at least seven versions of the Qur'an existed. Then the third Caliph Uthman instructed his people to collect all versions of the Qur'an, and he decided to burn all but one version, and had that one version reproduced for distribution. But even today different versions of the Qur'an exist. For example the Shia version of the Qur'an is different from the Sunni version of the Qur'an. Different means some differences exist on the order of 2%. Same in the Bible.
Neither bin-Laden nor his principal associate, Ayman al-Zawahiri, are graduates of Islamic universities. And so their proclamations ignore 14 centuries of Muslim scholarship, and instead take the form of lists of anti-American grievances and of Qur'anic quotations referring to early Muslim wars against Arab idolaters (the yellow cube-marked Qur'an verses below that I picked up from bin-Laden and Zawahiri quotations). These are followed by the conclusion that all Israelis and Americans, civilian and military, are to be wiped off the face of the Earth. All this supposedly amounts to an odd and extreme violation of the normal methods of Islamic scholarship. Had the authors of such fatwas followed the norms of their religion, they would have had to acknowledge that no school of mainstream Islam allows the targeting of civilians. An insurrectionist who kills non-combatants is guilty of "baghy" or “armed aggression,” a capital offense in Islamic law. I am not sure about this because I have not seen it in any reference document like the Qur'an or Sunnah, although it may be there. There are words and there are actions. I am sorry, but I just do not see enough of the Muslim actions following the Muslim words. This could be because Western Press shows only the violent side of Islam unfortunately.
IMPORTANT BACKGROUND ON THE PROPHET Muhammad (pbuh) AND HIS TIME: When the Qur'an was written 14 centuries ago, in the 7th century, life was very difficult in Arabia. A dam (Marib or Mrib Dam in today's Yemen) that provided the water from the south for most of agriculture was destroyed. The Romans were attacking often from the north and looting. Arab culture was virtually destroyed, and the Arabs fragmented and had to go back to tribal (family-centered) living in order to survive. Several different primitive religions of the time were worshipping multiple gods and even stones. They did not provide enough spiritual incentive for recovery. Remember that people were not educated then like they are today and that recovery had to start with the belief that they were on the right path, and they needed instructions on what that path was. Muhammad (pbuh) was a man of vision with obviously very good leadership qualities and very high intelligence. He was exposed to Christianity and Judaism from the north for many years. He had a vision from God (Allah in Arabic) preaching what became Islam later through several revelations, but initially he had to struggle for years with only 40 supporters while he lived in Mecca. The verses of the Qur'an that were written during this Meccan period were pacifist in nature. Then he found support from the business leaders in Medina, and Islam took off, with a lot of tribal conflicts first for years. During the Medina Period, the verses of the Qur'an focus on defending themselves and making peace agreements. There is really no way the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) could have made an impact under those harsh circumstances in my opinion without tough language and tough deeds. I do believe that one should consider the situation that existed when the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) lived, when trying to interpret the difficult text of the Qur'an, that was forbidden to be changed for any reason whatsoever since then. That is a major problem in my opinion because more and more people do not understand the Qur'an, and rely on others, who may have some agenda, for translation. The problem is that Islamic extremists (some of them Imams or prayer leaders) can take these yellow marked paragraphs TODAY, and convince the poor and suffering TODAY to take up arms against those their leaders designate as the enemy. And a lot of innocent people died, and will die on all sides as a result. Muslim against Muslim, or Muslim against non-Muslim. That is why, in my opinion, we must work together with the great majority of moderate Muslims in order to eliminate the terrorism driven by Islamic extremists. It is to our mutual benefit to do so.
Yusuf Ali (1934), Pickthal (1936), Shakir (1930) and Asad translations of the Qur'an into English are some of the ones that are most accepted in the Muslim world. They were all devout Muslims. I am using these official translations from these official translators to give you the best idea, and let's see where they lead us. At the end of the three translations for a single Qur'anic verse, I recap the English meaning AFTER the translators' words, starting with: "DOES THIS MEAN THAT: ". This way, everything is as open as possible and you, the reader can see exactly what I am doing and what the Qur'an (Koran) says.
Let's look at some verses of the Qur'an that will be an important consideration along with the yellow-marked Qur'an verses below that terrorists use
You may want to read this Introduction to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) by a non-Muslim professor. I found it very interesting. His background as well as the brief historical background are important if one wants to understand Islam.
You can use this source from the University of Southern California to get Qur'anic translations from three official Qur'an translators to English to verify quotations below if you wish.
I am presenting Qur'anic chapters (sura) in Chronological Order below. The published Qur'an is listing chapters with the most verses first, least number of verses last.
Qur'an 002.062 (Medina Period)
YUSUFALI: Those who believe, and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians*,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.
PICKTHAL: Lo! Those who believe, and those who are Jews, and Christians, and Sabaeans* - whoever believeth in Allah and the Last Day and doeth right - surely their reward is with their Lord, and there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve.
SHAKIR: Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians*, whoever believes in Allah and the Last day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve.
DOES THIS MEAN THAT: Those who are Muslims, Jews, Christians and Sabians, whoever believes in God and Judgment Day and does good, they will be rewarded by their Lord. They need to have no fear and neither shall they grieve.
*Sabianism is a monotheistic religion (believes in one God) that existed between Judaism and Christianity for a short time. Also I remember reading about another verse that said that there will be no Last Day (Day of Judgment), until all Jews are dead. I cannot reconcile that with God's infinite intelligence and beneficence.
ABOUT ABROGATION/SUPERCEDING: Qur'an 002.106 (Medina Period)
YUSUFALI: None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar: Knowest thou not that Allah Hath power over all things?
PICKTHAL: Nothing of our revelation (even a single verse) do we abrogate or cause be forgotten, but we bring (in place) one better or the like thereof. Knowest thou not that Allah is Able to do all things?
SHAKIR: Whatever communications We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring one better than it or like it. Do you not know that Allah has power over all things?
DOES THIS MEAN THAT: Nothing, not one verse of our revelations do We (God) abrogate or cancel or cause to be forgotten. But we do bring in place something similar or better. Don't you know that God has power over all things?
I cannot reconcile that with God's infinite intelligence and beneficence. It my opinion, God would deliver the perfect message from the start, not requiring later improvement by Him. This would also give any untrained Imam (e.g., Muqtada al-Sadr) more flexibility to use one verse or the other.
Qur'an 002.190 (Medina Period)
YUSUFALI: Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors.
PICKTHAL: Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loveth not aggressors.
SHAKIR: And fight in the way of Allah with those who fight with you, and do not exceed the limits, surely Allah does not love those who exceed the limits.
DOES THIS MEAN THAT: Fight those who fight you, but do not start hostilities. God does not like those who are aggressors. What are the limits?
Qur'an 002.256 (Medina Period)
YUSUFALI: Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.
PICKTHAL: There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is henceforth distinct from error. And he who rejecteth false deities and believeth in Allah hath grasped a firm handhold which will never break. Allah is Hearer, Knower.
SHAKIR: There is no compulsion in religion; truly the right way has become clearly distinct from error; therefore, whoever disbelieves in the Shaitan and believes in Allah he indeed has laid hold on the firmest handle, which shall not break off, and Allah is Hearing, Knowing.
DOES THIS MEAN THAT: Let there be no forcefulness (compulsion) in religion. Whoever believes in God and rejects evil, has a firm connection (to God) which will never break. God hears and knows all things.
Qur'an 002.285 (Medina Period)
YUSUFALI: The Messenger believeth in what hath been revealed to him from his Lord, as do the men of faith. Each one (of them) believeth in Allah, His angels, His books, and His messengers. "We make no distinction (they say) between one and another of His messengers." And they say: "We hear, and we obey: (We seek) Thy forgiveness, our Lord, and to Thee is the end of all journeys."
PICKTHAL: The messenger believeth in that which hath been revealed unto him from his Lord and (so do) believers. Each one believeth in Allah and His angels and His scriptures and His messengers - We make no distinction between any of His messengers - and they say: We hear, and we obey. (Grant us) Thy forgiveness, our Lord. Unto Thee is the journeying.
SHAKIR: The messenger believes in what has been revealed to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers; they all believe in Allah and His angels and His books and His messengers; We make no difference between any of His messengers; and they say: We hear and obey, our Lord! Thy forgiveness (do we crave), and to Thee is the eventual course.
DOES THIS MEAN THAT: The Messenger (Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, peace be upon them) believes what was revealed to him by God, His Angels, His books, and God's other Messengers. We make no difference between any of God's messengers, who say: We hear and we obey our Lord! Grant us Your forgiveness God. Our (life's) journey is toward You God.
Qur'an 008.012 (Medina Period)
YUSUFALI: Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): "I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instil terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them."
PICKTHAL: When thy Lord inspired the angels, (saying): I am with you. So make those who believe stand firm. I will throw fear into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Then smite the necks and smite of them each finger.
SHAKIR: When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.
DOES THIS MEAN THAT: Remember that God inspired the Angels saying: "I am with you. Strengthen those who believe in Islam, and cast terror into the hearts of those who do not believe in Islam. Therefore, strike off the unbelievers' heads and fingertips."
Why would a merciful and beneficent God say such a thing about those who are not Muslims?
Qur'an 008.038 (Medina Period)
YUSUFALI: Say to the Unbelievers, if (now) they desist (from Unbelief), their past would be forgiven them; but if they persist, the punishment of those before them is already (a matter of warning for them).
PICKTHAL: Tell those who disbelieve that if they cease (from persecution of believers) that which is past will be forgiven them; but if they return (thereto) then the example of the men of old hath already gone (before them, for a warning).
SHAKIR: Say to those who disbelieve, if they desist, that which is past shall be forgiven to them; and if they return, then what happened to the ancients has already passed.
DOES THIS MEAN THAT: Tell those who do not believe in Islam that if they stop persecuting those who believe in Islam, all past shall be forgiven. If they do not stop the persecution, then they will be dead(?). But...what counts as persecution?
Qur'an 008.039 (Medina Period)
YUSUFALI: And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere; but if they cease, verily Allah doth see all that they do.
PICKTHAL: And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is all for Allah. But if they cease, then lo! Allah is Seer of what they do.
SHAKIR: And fight with them until there is no more persecution and religion should be only for Allah; but if they desist, then surely Allah sees what they do.
DOES THIS MEAN THAT: Fight those who persecute you, until your persecutors stop and agree to the law and the faith of Islam everywhere. But...what counts as persecution? And all is forgiven if you agree to Islamic law and religion everywhere in the world.
Qur'an 008.060 (Medina Period)
YUSUFALI: Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of Allah and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom Allah doth know. Whatever ye shall spend in the cause of Allah, shall be repaid unto you, and ye shall not be treated unjustly.
PICKTHAL: Make ready for them all thou canst of (armed) force and of horses tethered, that thereby ye may dismay the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others beside them whom ye know not. Allah knoweth them. Whatsoever ye spend in the way of Allah it will be repaid to you in full, and ye will not be wronged.
SHAKIR: And prepare against them what force you can and horses tied at the frontier, to frighten thereby the enemy of Allah and your enemy and others besides them, whom you do not know (but) Allah knows them; and whatever thing you will spend in Allah's way, it will be paid back to you fully and you shall not be dealt with unjustly.
DOES THIS MEAN THAT: Prepare against the enemy of Allah, and other enemies who you don't know but Allah knows, all the force and military capability you have, in order to frighten the enemy. In this action, whatever you spend will be paid back to you fully, and you will not be dealt with unjustly.
It appears that the enemies are all non-believers of Islam, plus those that the Imam directs you against in the name of Allah, who are Muslims.
Qur'an 008.061 (Medina Period)
YUSUFALI: But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace, and trust in Allah: for He is One that heareth and knoweth (all things).
PICKTHAL: And if they incline to peace, incline thou also to it, and trust in Allah. Lo! He, even He, is the Hearer, the Knower.
SHAKIR: And if they incline to peace, then incline to it and trust in Allah; surely He is the Hearing, the Knowing.
DOES THIS MEAN THAT: If your enemy inclines toward and want peace, you also incline toward and want peace. Trust God. God is the one who hears and knows all things best.
YUSUFALI: If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter He will be in the ranks of those who have lost (All spiritual good).
PICKTHAL: And who so seeketh as religion other than the Surrender (to Allah) it will not be accepted from him, and he will be a loser in the Hereafter.
SHAKIR: And whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him, and in the hereafter he shall be one of the losers.
DOES THIS MEAN THAT:If you as a Muslim desire to give up Islam, Allah's (God's) promise of Heaven for you is void. You became a loser. But...what punishment does this mean?
"Any person (i.e., Muslim) who has changed his religion, kill him."
This tradition has been narrated by Abu Bakr, Uthman, Ali, Muadh ibn Jabal, Abu Musa Ashari, Abdullah ibn Abbas, Khalid ibn Walid and a number of other Companions, and is found in all the authentic Hadith collections.
Qur'an 003.113 (Medina Period)
YUSUFALI: Not all of them are alike: Of the People of the Book are a portion that stand (For the right): They rehearse the Signs of Allah all night long, and they prostrate themselves in adoration.
PICKTHAL: They are not all alike. Of the People of the Scripture there is a staunch community who recite the revelations of Allah in the night season, falling prostrate (before Him).
SHAKIR: They are not all alike; of the followers of the Book there is an upright party; they recite Allah's communications in the nighttime and they adore (Him).
DOES THIS MEAN THAT: The People of the Book (Christians, Muslims, Jews) are not all alike. Part of them stand for the right things, pray to God, bow to God and love God. But...who decides? Only God knows for sure. Therefore this verse is not meaningful in my opinion.
Qur'an 003.114 (Medina Period)
YUSUFALI: They believe in Allah and the Last Day; they enjoin what is right, and forbid what is wrong; and they hasten (in emulation) in (all) good works: They are in the ranks of the righteous.
PICKTHAL: They believe in Allah and the Last Day, and enjoin right conduct and forbid indecency, and vie one with another in good works. These are of the righteous.
SHAKIR: They believe in Allah and the last day, and they enjoin what is right and forbid the wrong and they strive with one another in hastening to good deeds, and those are among the good.
DOES THIS MEAN THAT: They believe in God and Judgement Day, conduct themselves properly and forbid indecent behavior. They compete with one another to do good deeds. These are the good people.
Qur'an 003.115 (Medina Period)
YUSUFALI: Of the good that they do, nothing will be rejected of them; for Allah knoweth well those that do right.
PICKTHAL: And whatever good they do, they will not be denied the meed thereof. Allah is aware of those who ward off (evil).
SHAKIR: And whatever good they do, they shall not be denied it, and Allah knows those who guard (against evil).
DOES THIS MEAN THAT: Whatever good they do, it shall not be forgotten. God remembers those who do good to ward off evil.
Qur'an 003:134 (Medina Period)
YUSUFALI: Those who spend (freely), whether in prosperity, or in adversity; who restrain anger, and pardon (all) men;- for Allah loves those who do good;-
PICKTHAL: Those who spend (of that which Allah hath given them) in ease and in adversity, those who control their wrath and are forgiving toward mankind; Allah loveth the good;
SHAKIR: Those who spend (benevolently) in ease as well as in straitness, and those who restrain (their) anger and pardon men; and Allah loves the doers of good (to believers or non-believers).
DOES THIS MEAN THAT: Those who spend what God has given them in good times or bad, and hold their anger and are forgiving to others (believers or non-believers); God loves those who do good.
Qur'an 003:135 (Medina Period)
YUSUFALI: And those who, having done something to be ashamed of, or wronged their own souls, earnestly bring Allah to mind, and ask for forgiveness for their sins,- and who can forgive sins except Allah?- and are never obstinate in persisting knowingly in (the wrong) they have done.
PICKTHAL: And those who, when they do an evil thing or wrong themselves, remember Allah and implore forgiveness for their sins - Who forgiveth sins save Allah only? - and will not knowingly repeat (the wrong) they did.
SHAKIR: And those who when they commit an indecency or do injustice to their souls remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their faults-- and who forgives the faults but Allah, and (who) do not knowingly persist in what they have done.
DOES THIS MEAN THAT: If you do something shameful/evil to others (believers or non-believers?) or to yourself, and will not knowingly repeat the same again, remember God, and ask for His forgiveness of your sins. Only God can forgive your sins.
YUSUFALI: Think not of those who are slain in Allah's way as dead. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance in the presence of their Lord;
PICKTHAL: Think not of those, who are slain in the way of Allah, as dead. Nay, they are living. With their Lord they have provision.
SHAKIR: And reckon not those who are killed in Allah's way as dead; nay, they are alive (and) are provided sustenance from their Lord;
DOES THIS MEAN THAT: Those who fight for Allah and Islam, and die are not really dead and gone. They live with Allah (God) in Paradise, as promised in Qur'an 009.111 .
Qur'an 003:199 (Medina Period)
YUSUFALI: And there are, certainly, among the People of the Book, those who believe in Allah, in the revelation to you, and in the revelation to them, bowing in humility to Allah: They will not sell the Signs of Allah for a miserable gain! For them is a reward with their Lord, and Allah is swift in account.
PICKTHAL: And lo! of the People of the Scripture there are some who believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto you and that which was revealed unto them, humbling themselves before Allah. They purchase not a trifling gain at the price of the revelations of Allah. Verily their reward is with their Lord. Lo! Allah is swift to take account.
SHAKIR: And most surely of the followers of the Book there are those who believe in Allah and (in) that which has been revealed to you and (in) that which has been revealed to them, being lowly before Allah; they do not take a small price for the communications of Allah; these it is that have their reward with their Lord; surely Allah is quick in reckoning.
DOES THIS MEAN THAT: Certainly among the People of the Book (Christians, Muslims, Jews) there are those who believe in God and that which was revealed to you and them, who humble themselves before God. For them there is a reward with their God, and God is swift to take account.
Qur'an 060.007 (Medina Period)
YUSUFALI: It may be that Allah will grant love (and friendship) between you and those whom ye (now) hold as enemies. For Allah has power (over all things); And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
PICKTHAL: It may be that Allah will ordain love between you and those of them with whom ye are at enmity. Allah is Mighty, and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
SHAKIR: It may be that Allah will bring about friendship between you and those whom you hold to be your enemies among them; and Allah is Powerful; and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
DOES THIS MEAN THAT: It may be that God will bring about love and friendship between you and your enemies (any of them). God is powerful, forgiving and merciful.
Qur'an 060:008 (Medina Period)
YUSUFALI: Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loveth those who are just.
PICKTHAL: Allah forbiddeth you not those who warred not against you on account of religion and drove you not out from your homes, that ye should show them kindness and deal justly with them. Lo! Allah loveth the just dealers.
SHAKIR: Allah does not forbid you respecting those who have not made war against you on account of (your) religion, and have not driven you forth from your homes, that you show them kindness and deal with them justly; surely Allah loves the doers of justice.
DOES THIS MEAN THAT: God does not forbid you to deal kindly and justly with those who fight you, if they are not fighting you for your religion or do not drive you out of your home. God loves those who are just.
Qur'an 060:009 (Medina Period)
YUSUFALI: Allah only forbids you, with regard to those who fight you for (your) Faith, and drive you out of your homes, and support (others) in driving you out, from turning to them (for friendship and protection). It is such as turn to them (in these circumstances), that do wrong.
PICKTHAL: Allah forbiddeth you only those who warred against you on account of religion and have driven you out from your homes and helped to drive you out, that ye make friends of them. Whosoever maketh friends of them - (All) such are wrong-doers.
SHAKIR: Allah only forbids you respecting those who made war upon you on account of (your) religion, and drove you forth from your homes and backed up (others) in your expulsion, that you make friends with them, and whoever makes friends with them, these are the unjust.
DOES THIS MEAN THAT: God forbids you to respect those who 1. fight you because of your religion, 2. drive you out of your home, and 3. turn to such people for friendship and protection. All those who turn to such people for friendship and protection are wrong doers.
Qur'an 004.056 (Medina Period)
Those who reject our Signs, We shall soon cast into the Fire: as often as their skins are roasted through, We shall change them for fresh skins, that they may taste the penalty: for Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise.
Lo! Those who disbelieve Our revelations, We shall expose them to the Fire. As often as their skins are consumed We shall exchange them for fresh skins that they may taste the torment. Lo! Allah is ever Mighty, Wise.
(As for) those who disbelieve in Our communications, We shall make them enter fire; so oft as their skins are thoroughly burned, We will change them for other skins, that they may taste the chastisement; surely Allah is Mighty, Wise.
DOES THIS MEAN THAT: For those who reject our communication ( Qur'an and Hadiths), we shall burn them in fire so that they taste our penalty for their rejection of Islam, for Allah is mighty and wise.
Qur'an 004:059 (Medina Period)
YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you. If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if ye do believe in Allah and the Last Day: That is best, and most suitable for final determination.
PICKTHAL: O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the messenger and those of you who are in authority; and if ye have a dispute concerning any matter, refer it to Allah and the messenger if ye are (in truth) believers in Allah and the Last Day. That is better and more seemly in the end.
SHAKIR: O you who believe! obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority from among you; then if you quarrel about anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you believe in Allah and the last day; this is better and very good in the end.
DOES THIS MEAN THAT: Muslims! Obey God and his Messenger Muhammad (pbuh), if you disagree about anything among yourselves. This is the best solution in the end.
"Obeying God and Muhammad (pbuh)" means obeying what is said in the Qur'an and Sunnah (examples from life of Mohammad's actual application of God's law in the Qur'an).
Qur'an 004.074 (Medina Period)
YUSUFALI: Let those fight in the cause of Allah Who sell the life of this world for the hereafter. To him who fighteth in the cause of Allah,- whether he is slain or gets victory - Soon shall We give him a reward of great (value).
PICKTHAL: Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward.
SHAKIR: Therefore let those fight in the way of Allah, who sell this world's life for the hereafter; and whoever fights in the way of Allah, then be he slain or be he victorious, We shall grant him a mighty reward.
DOES THIS MEAN THAT: If you fight for God, and live or die as a result, you will receive a reward of great value in Heaven.
Qur'an 004.076 (Medina Period)
YUSUFALI: Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah, and those who reject Faith Fight in the cause of Evil: So fight ye against the friends of Satan: feeble indeed is the cunning of Satan.
PICKTHAL: Those who believe do battle for the cause of Allah; and those who disbelieve do battle for the cause of idols. So fight the minions of the devil. Lo! the devil's strategy is ever weak.
SHAKIR: Those who believe fight in the way of Allah, and those who disbelieve fight in the way of the Shaitan. Fight therefore against the friends of the Shaitan; surely the strategy of the Shaitan is weak.DOES THIS MEAN THAT: Muslims fight in the cause of God. Those who reject Islam fight in the cause of Satan: so fight the friends of Satan. Satan's strategy is weak.
But...does this mean that if you do not want to become a Muslim you are fighting in the cause of Satan? Would an infinitely intelligent, beneficent and merciful God say that?
Qur'an 004.089 (Medina Period)
YUSUFALI: They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks;-
PICKTHAL: They long that ye should disbelieve even as they disbelieve, that ye may be upon a level (with them). So choose not friends from them till they forsake their homes in the way of Allah; if they turn back (to enmity) then take them and kill them wherever ye find them, and choose no friend nor helper from among them,
SHAKIR: They desire that you should disbelieve as they have disbelieved, so that you might be (all) alike; therefore take not from among them friends until they fly (their homes) in Allah's way; but if they turn back, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and take not from among them a friend or a helper.DOES THIS MEAN THAT:
Those who wish that you rejected Islam to disbelieve Islam as they do, do not take them as friends until they become Muslims. If they turn away from Islam, then kill them whereever you find them, and do not take them as friends or helpers.
Qur'an 004.095 (Medina Period)
YUSUFALI: Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home). Unto all (in Faith) Hath Allah promised good: But those who strive and fight Hath He distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward.
PICKTHAL: Those of the believers who sit still, other than those who have a (disabling) hurt, are not on an equality with those who strive in the way of Allah with their wealth and lives. Allah hath conferred on those who strive with their wealth and lives a rank above the sedentary. Unto each Allah hath promised good, but He hath bestowed on those who strive a great reward above the sedentary;
SHAKIR: The holders back from among the believers, not having any injury, and those who strive hard in Allah's way with their property and their persons are not equal; Allah has made the strivers with their property and their persons to excel the holders back a (high) degree, and to each (class) Allah has promised good; and Allah shall grant to the strivers above the holders back a mighty reward.
DOES THIS MEAN THAT: Those who fight in God's cause in person and with all their resources and those who do not fight, are not the same in God's eyes. Those who fight shall receive a great reward from God.
Qur'an 004.135 (Medina Period)
YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest ye swerve, and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.
PICKTHAL: O ye who believe! Be ye staunch in justice, witnesses for Allah, even though it be against yourselves or (your) parents or (your) kindred, whether (the case be of) a rich man or a poor man, for Allah is nearer unto both (them ye are). So follow not passion lest ye lapse (from truth) and if ye lapse or fall away, then lo! Allah is ever Informed of what ye do.
SHAKIR: O you who believe! be maintainers of justice, bearers of witness of Allah's sake, though it may be against your own selves or (your) parents or near relatives; if he be rich or poor, Allah is nearer to them both in compassion; therefore do not follow (your) low desires, lest you deviate; and if you swerve or turn aside, then surely Allah is aware of what you do.DOES THIS MEAN THAT: Muslims! Stand firmly for justice, as a witness to God, even if against yourselves, your parents, your relatives, if they are rich or poor since God is closer to both in compassion than you. Do not follow your passion even to diviate from the truth, because God is always aware of what you do.
Qur'an 047:004 (Medina Period)
YUSUFALI: Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: Until the war lays down its burdens. Thus (are ye commanded): but if it had been Allah's Will, He could certainly have exacted retribution from them (Himself); but (He lets you fight) in order to test you, some with others. But those who are slain in the Way of Allah,- He will never let their deeds be lost.
PICKTHAL: Now when ye meet in battle those who disbelieve, then it is smiting of the necks until, when ye have routed them, then making fast of bonds; and afterward either grace or ransom till the war lay down its burdens. That (is the ordinance). And if Allah willed He could have punished them (without you) but (thus it is ordained) that He may try some of you by means of others. And those who are slain in the way of Allah, He rendereth not their actions vain.
SHAKIR: So when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, then smite the necks until when you have overcome them, then make (them) prisoners, and afterwards either set them free as a favor or let them ransom (themselves) until the war terminates. That (shall be so); and if Allah had pleased He would certainly have exacted what is due from them, but that He may try some of you by means of others; and (as for) those who are slain in the way of Allah, He will by no means allow their deeds to perish.DOES THIS MEAN THAT: When you meet those in fight or battle who do not believe in Islam, cut at their necks until you defeated them, then make them prisoners (if they are alive). That is when the time is to be generous and set them free, or get a ransom for them, until the war is finished. IF it had been God's will, He could have punished them without you and He could have exacted retribution from them, but he lets you fight in order to test you. As for those Muslims who are slain in the way of God, He will not forget their deeds.
Qur'an 049:013 (Medina Period)
YUSUFALI: O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).
PICKTHAL: O mankind! Lo! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. Lo! the noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Lo! Allah is Knower, Aware.
SHAKIR: O you men! surely We have created you of a male and a female, and made you tribes and families that you may know each other; surely the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most careful (of his duty); surely Allah is Knowing, Aware.
DOES THIS MEAN THAT: People! We created you male and female, made you tribes and nations, so that you get to know (and not despise) each other. The best of you according to God is the one who is best in his/her conduct. And God is aware of your conduct.
Qur'an 005.008 (Medina Period)
YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.
PICKTHAL: O ye who believe! Be steadfast witnesses for Allah in equity, and let not hatred of any people seduce you that ye deal not justly. Deal justly, that is nearer to your duty. Observe your duty to Allah. Lo! Allah is Informed of what ye do.
SHAKIR: O you who believe! Be upright for Allah, bearers of witness with justice, and let not hatred of a people incite you not to act equitably; act equitably, that is nearer to piety, and be careful of (your duty to) Allah; surely Allah is Aware of what you do.
DOES THIS MEAN THAT: Muslims! Be just. Do not let hatred of people (believers or non-believers) make you unjust. Act and deal justly, that is your duty. Be careful, God is aware of what you really do.
Qur'an 005.032 (Medina Period)
YUSUFALI: On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our Messengers with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land.
PICKTHAL: For that cause We decreed for the Children of Israel that whosoever killeth a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind. Our messengers came unto them of old with clear proofs (of Allah's Sovereignty), but afterwards lo! many of them became prodigals in the earth.
SHAKIR: For this reason did We prescribe to the Children of Israel that whoever slays a soul, unless it be for manslaughter or for mischief in the land, it is as though he slew all men; and whoever keeps it alive, it is as though he kept alive all men; and certainly Our messengers came to them with clear arguments, but even after that many of them certainly act extravagantly in the land.
DOES THIS MEAN THAT: We decreed to the Children of Israel (Judaism) that whoever kills a person, unless it is for murder or corruption on earth (very vague, almost an open license to kill), it shall be as if the killer had killed all mankind; and if anyone saved a life of a person, it shall be as if he saved the life of all mankind. Then although Our Messengers came to them with clear arguments, but even after that many of them continue to act extravagantly in the land.
The first Caliph of Islam, Abu Bakr As-Siddique (R) is reported to have commanded Usama ibn Zaid (R):
THE LIMITS OF WAR IN ISLAM: “I command you to do ten things: you must not kill a woman or a child, or an elderly person; do not cut down trees, or vandalize homes, or wound a sheep or camel except if you must eat it; do not drown a palm tree, or burn it, do not be treacherous; do not be cowardly; and you will pass by people who have devoted themselves to monastery life: leave them alone with their devotions.” (Tarikh At-Tabari, V.3, p.210)
Qur'an 005.041 (Medina Period)
YUSUFALI: O Messenger! let not those grieve thee, who race each other into unbelief: (whether it be) among those who say "We believe" with their lips but whose hearts have no faith; or it be among the Jews,- men who will listen to any lie,- will listen even to others who have never so much as come to thee. They change the words from their (right) times and places: they say, "If ye are given this, take it, but if not, beware!" If any one's trial is intended by Allah, thou hast no authority in the least for him against Allah. For such - it is not Allah's will to purify their hearts. For them there is disgrace in this world, and in the Hereafter a heavy punishment.
PICKTHAL: O Messenger! Let not them grieve thee who vie one with another in the race to disbelief, of such as say with their mouths: "We believe," but their hearts believe not, and of the Jews: listeners for the sake of falsehood, listeners on behalf of other folk who come not unto thee, changing words from their context and saying: If this be given unto you, receive it, but if this be not given unto you, then beware! He whom Allah doometh unto sin, thou (by thine efforts) wilt avail him naught against Allah. Those are they for whom the Will of Allah is that He cleanse not their hearts. Theirs in the world will be ignominy, and in the Hereafter an awful doom;
SHAKIR: O Messenger! let not those grieve you who strive together in hastening to unbelief from among those who say with their mouths: We believe, and their hearts do not believe, and from among those who are Jews; they are listeners for the sake of a lie, listeners for another people who have not come to you; they alter the words from their places, saying: If you are given this, take it, and if you are not given this, be cautious; and as for him whose temptation Allah desires, you cannot control anything for him with Allah. Those are they for whom Allah does not desire that He should purify their hearts; they shall have disgrace in this world, and they shall have a grievous chastisement in the hereafter.DOES THIS MEAN THAT: Muhammad! Don't let those irritate you who are in a "disbelief in God" race with one another. Those who say "We believe" with their lips, but their hearts do not believe. And from among the Jews those who are listeners, just to find out about falsehoods, and who listen on behalf of others who do not come to You God. And for those whose temptation God desires (for a test), you cannot control anything for them with God. It is not God's job to purify their hearts. They will be disgraced in this world, as well as have awful doom in the Hereafter.
Qur'an 005.048 (Medina Period)
YUSUFALI: To thee We sent the Scripture in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety: so judge between them by what Allah hath revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging from the Truth that hath come to thee. To each among you have we prescribed a law and an open way. If Allah had so willed, He would have made you a single people, but (His plan is) to test you in what He hath given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to Allah; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute;
PICKTHAL: And unto thee have We revealed the Scripture with the truth, confirming whatever Scripture was before it, and a watcher over it. So judge between them by that which Allah hath revealed, and follow not their desires away from the truth which hath come unto thee. For each We have appointed a divine law and a traced-out way. Had Allah willed He could have made you one community. But that He may try you by that which He hath given you (He hath made you as ye are). So vie one with another in good works. Unto Allah ye will all return, and He will then inform you of that wherein ye differ.
SHAKIR: And We have revealed to you the Book with the truth, verifying what is before it of the Book and a guardian over it, therefore judge between them by what Allah has revealed, and do not follow their low desires (to turn away) from the truth that has come to you; for every one of you did We appoint a law and a way, and if Allah had pleased He would have made you (all) a single people, but that He might try you in what He gave you, therefore strive with one another to hasten to virtuous deeds; to Allah is your return, of all (of you), so He will let you know that in which you differed;DOES THIS MEAN THAT: We (God) sent the Scripture to you in truth, confirming the Scripture that came before it, and guarding it. Judge between them what God revealed, and do not follow their untruthful desires, that came to you. For every one of you We appointed a law and a way (to live), and if God wanted to, he could have made you all the same. So that He can try you according to what he gave you (He made you as you are), so compete with one another to do good things. You will all return to God and then God will show you the truth about where you did not follow God's way.
Qur'an 005:051 (Medina Period)
YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust.
PICKTHAL: O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for friends. They are friends one to another. He among you who taketh them for friends is (one) of them. Lo! Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk.
SHAKIR: O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.
DOES THIS MEAN THAT: Muslims! Do not take the Jews and Christians for friends and protectors. They are friends of each other. Whoever among you who takes them as a friend, is one of them. And God does not guide such wrong doers.
I am sorry, but I find this verse very unfair if considered by itself. Jews and Christians can be friends of each other today just like Muslims and Christians can, and they would not conspire against Muslims because of their religion. We all should be friends and tolerant of each other without having a need to convert one another. One should also read above Qur'an verses 060.007 - 060.009 above to put this verse into perspective.
Qur'an 005.069 (Medina Period)
YUSUFALI: Those who believe (in the Qur'an), those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Sabians and the Christians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness,- on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.
PICKTHAL: Lo! those who believe, and those who are Jews, and Sabaeans, and Christians - Whosoever believeth in Allah and the Last Day and doeth right - there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve.
SHAKIR: Surely those who believe and those who are Jews and the Sabians and the Christians whoever believes in Allah and the last day and does good-- they shall have no fear nor shall they grieve.DOES THIS MEAN THAT: Those who believe in the Qur'an, those who follow the Jewish, Sabian and Christian Scriptures, anyone who believes in God and Judgement Day and does good through life, shall have nothing to fear, and neither shall they grieve (specifically at the time this verse is about the Judaism claiming that they are God's chosen people, and anyone else is not).
Qur'an 009.005 (Medina Period)
YUSUFALI: But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, an seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
PICKTHAL: Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
SHAKIR: So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
DOES THIS MEAN THAT: When the sacred months have passed (four months were allowed to break peace agreements - the Sacred Months), then fight and slay the Pagans (non-religious or polytheism follower person in the 7th Century) wherever you find them, capture them, attack them, and prepare to ambush them with every technique of war. But if they repent and keep up prayer to God and practice regular charity to the poor, then give them freedom. God is forgiving and merciful.
Qur'an 009.029 (Medina Period)
YUSUFALI: Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.
PICKTHAL: Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the Religion of Truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.
SHAKIR: Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.
DOES THIS MEAN THAT: Fight a. those who do not believe in Islam, and b. Muslims (who have been given the Book) who do what is forbidden in Islam, until they are subjugated and pay a tax (Jizya) for their sins
Qur'an 009.039 (Medina Period)
YUSUFALI: Unless ye go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put others in your place; but Him ye would not harm in the least. For Allah hath power over all things.
PICKTHAL: If ye go not forth He will afflict you with a painful doom, and will choose instead of you a folk other than you. Ye cannot harm Him at all. Allah is Able to do all things.
SHAKIR: If you do not go forth, He will chastise you with a painful chastisement and bring in your place a people other than you, and you will do Him no harm; and Allah has power over all things.
DOES THIS MEAN THAT: If you don't do what I, God command you to do (in the Qur'an and the Old and New testaments of the original Bible), you will be painfully punished and replaced, and that shall not harm God at all, because God has power over everything.
Qur'an 009.073 (Medina Period)
YUSUFALI: O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and be firm against them. Their abode is Hell, - an evil refuge indeed.
PICKTHAL: O Prophet! Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites! Be harsh with them. Their ultimate abode is hell, a hapless journey's end.
SHAKIR: O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be unyielding to them; and their abode is hell, and evil is the destination.
DOES THIS MEAN THAT: God says: "Muhammad (note: 'and all Muslims'), strive hard against non-Muslims. Be harsh with them. Their ultimate end is Hell, an evil destination.
It can be safely concluded that anyone who is sent to Hell is therefore evil.
Qur'an 009.111 (Medina Period)
YUSUFALI: Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth, through the Law, the Gospel, and the Qur'an: and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded: that is the achievement supreme.
PICKTHAL: Lo! Allah hath bought from the believers their lives and their wealth because the Garden will be theirs: they shall fight in the way of Allah and shall slay and be slain. It is a promise which is binding on Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qur'an. Who fulfilleth His covenant better than Allah? Rejoice then in your bargain that ye have made, for that is the supreme triumph.
SHAKIR: Surely Allah has bought of the believers their persons and their property for this, that they shall have the garden; they fight in Allah's way, so they slay and are slain; a promise which is binding on Him in the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel) and the Qur'an; and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? Rejoice therefore in the pledge which you have made; and that is the mighty achievement.
DOES THIS MEAN THAT: When you are a Muslim, in order to have all Muslims fight in the interest of God; to kill and be killed, you and your possessions belong to God, in exchange for God taking Muslims to Paradise when they die. This promise is binding on Allah (God) through His law, the Gospel and the Torah. Who would be more faithful about his promise than God? Be very happy about this bargain, because this is a supreme achievement for you.
God is of infinite intelligence, infinitely powerful and most beneficent. Why would God therefore discriminate and single out Muslims for Paradise or Heaven? Why would God have a need to use Muslims, a small minority then, to kill non-Muslims on HIS behalf? I know that the answer will be for Muslims to prove their loyalty. Would someone like God really need that? Why would God be interested in your very humble earthly belongings compared to Paradise or Heaven? Why would God have a need to say "who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah"? HE WOULD NOT. A HUMAN BEING WOULD ASK THAT QUESTION. I am sorry but this verse makes no sense to me in terms of what God of infinite intelligence and power would say. He would not have to say anything of this nature. But a human being would say this if he wanted to recruit others during the 7th Century. I mean no insult to anyone, but there must have been a mistake in transliteration and translation, as Arabic script went from consonants only at the end of Muhammad's life to the addition of grammatical and vowel marks more than 100 years after Muhammad died. Any writing with consonants only, without any grammatical indicators could produce different meanings, so I suspect that this is what happened. In addition, Uthmann, the third Calif of Islam collected all versions of the Qur'an (about seven with differences within them) and had all destroyed but the one he approved. While some of these verses of the Qur'an would have been useful for Islam in its expansionist mode in the 7th and 8th Centuries, a few verses raise questions as to their applicability in the 21st Century. Since God with infinite intelligence would not make such a mistake, this situation raises some serious questions. The body of Islamic Clerics could very well order an examination of the old Arabic and some Aramaic texts that contained the first Qur'an, and could have a scientific study of how correct all verses are compared to the original revelations of Muhammad. To reiterate, most of the Qur'an, especially the part written in the Mecca Period are peaceful and represent excellent guide lines for life for anyone. But a minority of verses are violent and I just wonder how the two was combined. The original history leaves some language-related questions to be answered.
QUESTIONS I AM GETTING THAT SOUND REASONABLE
IF MY CONSOLIDATED INTERPRETATION OF YUSUF ALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR translations of the Qur'an are approximately correct, then:
- What was in the original Qur'an texts, all of which but one were destroyed by the Third Calif Utmann long after Muhammad's death. How was the fact resolved that the original Arabic text of the Qur'an contained no grammatical marks and used consonants only, landing itself to translation problems? How do we know that the current Arabic text is what Muhammad revealed?
- Did these words from the Qur'an fit the circumstances of Islam in a 7th Century Arabia, and very importantly, do they also fit the 21st Century without adjustment? Were these Qur'an translations influenced by human intervention, based on the needs of the 7th and 8th Century leadership?
- How do the above quotations from the Qur'an show that Islam is a peaceful religion?
- The overwhelming impression about Islam in the non-Islamic world is that the terrorist attacks against innocent people in the name of Allah ("Allah Akhbar!!"), are mostly conducted against people who are non-Muslims. With such evidence, and Islam not eliminating its terrorists, how can we believe that Islam is a religion of peace? Is it fair to say that what Islam actually does about this problem speaks clearly about where Islam really stands?
- Islam is made up of about 1.3 billion people. Why are they not eliminating the terrorist-attacks done in the name of Allah by radical Muslims against non-Muslims for decades?
- Some Muslims say that "Islam" means "peaceful" comparing it to the Arabic word "salaam" which means "peace". Islam really means "surrender to God" (and therefore to all verses of the Qur'an, the word of God). At the end of June 2007, several unsuccessful attempts were made in the UK to take thousands of innocent lives with car bombs. All with a new twist. Of 8 Muslims, 6 were medical doctors. People who were trained and took an oath to save lives. Could the Qur'an be interpreted violently even by highly educated Muslims who are medical doctors, if Islam is a peaceful religion toward non-Muslims?
- How can the Islamic Clerics make sure that the Imams deliver the same interpretation of all Qur'anic verses without any change or even shading of meanings?
- People talk, and people take actions. The real intent is always reflected by the actions. Listen to the actions. The Qur'an is God's (Allah's) words and commands in Islam. If you read the Qur'an, it will represent what all Muslims are to do and how they are to act. However, one cannot ignore history and that a number of verses were written to deal with a very difficult and hostile world 1400 years ago when the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) created Islam for the benefit of his people. And some factions of Islam use the same verses today to kill innocent people.
Respected Islamic leaders increasingly are speaking out against Islamic terrorism. Sheikh-ul-Islam, Talghat Tajuddin, the Supreme Mufti of the Commonwealth of Independent States (former Soviet states), recently challenged all Muslims to resist extremism and defend Islam:
"Violent, extremist Islamists invoke on their own head the true jihad. Challenging all the peoples of the Earth, and first of all mainstream Islam, professed by the overwhelming majority of the Islamic world, these forces put themselves in opposition to Islam. And reacting against them is a religious, moral, social, and political duty of each Muslim."
An example of a great Muslim community in the USA in 2010.
Example of a very threatening radical Muslim preaching to a crowd in the Middle East.
Read the translation carefully, twice if necessary.
I would like to know why moderate Muslims, who are 93% do not stop radical behavior when it makes Islam look like a barbaric religion to non-Muslims.
I would appreciate it very much if a few Islamic Clerics could help me with these questions and interpretations to make them absolutely correct - which they may not be at this time (7/4/07).
If you find any problems or distortions, please email me with an explanation, and specific proof from the Qur'an or from the Sunnah if possible. In my opinion, Islam is facing a serious challenge within. It is in our mutual interest to work together to defeat such extremism.
It would be nice if instead of complicated holy books, God's words in all religions would simply say:
- "I love you. If you love me, then learn to love each other, including your enemy. All people have good in them as well."
- "I know it is difficult not to get even if someone offended or hurt you. I ask you to be strong enough to forgive each other, including your enemy."
- "Treat others like YOU would like to be treated."
- "Make laws accordingly for a good life for everyone, enforcing those laws."
- "Live with others accordingly in groups, towns, and nations, treating others like YOU would like to be treated."
- "You will find that you created life close to a Heaven on earth, before we meet."
- "And do this for me."
We, the human race, keep killing for personal feelings against one another, for religious, nationality and tribal (color) differences to this very day. Is THAT what is important enough to take a human life? Could it be that how we would like to be treated (how we treat each other) is more important than the religion or nationality or tribe (color) we are, in order to live in peace instead of in a hostile world. What do you think? Listen to what your heart says. Not what others told you.
To conclude, I found a beautiful presentation that is appropriate in Christianity and Muslims told me, in Islam as well. I hope that you look at it. Click here, and when the Web site opens, click on "View Presentation". I hope that you will find it as beautiful a message as I and many others did.
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing!"
Edmund Burke 1729-1797
Irish philosopher and statesman
me if you
have any comments.