The Truth About Stoning for Adultery in Islam

Shiro

Before presenting this illuminating lecture I have found about the somewhat diverse subjects of stoning adulterers and the treatment of dogs, I would like to say that I have always considered the intricate arguments about hadith (purported sayings of the Prophet Muhammad) along with accusations of modernism that take place among Muslims regarding the issue of stoning to death as an Islamically licit punishment for adultery to be indicative of the communities’ overall intellectual and moral decadence.

The issue is a rallying call for ‘orthodox’ Muslims (much like how they insist that apostates ‘must’ be killed – a fatwa in which many apostates in the West seemingly take an inordinate amount of pleasure – since they are practically assured of it not being carried out and likewise certain of the celebrity status and sympathy it will bring them from Liberals and the far right alike – and Liberals and the far right really are alike), and by ‘orthodox’ it is in fact meant puritanical and salafist orientations within Islam. Like other issues, this is a means for them to show how ‘practising’ they are. Conversely, those who wish to show their liberal credentials amongst ‘religious’ people likewise have their favourite issues to demonstrate their fervour – supporting gay marriage or feminism for instance.  In fact this behaviour shows both groups utter degeneracy. Both take positions designed for a priori ideological effect that in fact fly in the face of clear religious texts and common sense (or rather ‘exceedingly uncommon sense’ among puritans and liberals). Anyone who has spent any length of time amongst these people will see how similar they are (they are frequently incestuous with their members in fact – take the oft lamented example of Majid Nawaaz in the UK for example) and will instantly know the stereotyped and unthinking nature of their beliefs (their sense of self righteousness, manifest destiny and ethical superiority is another thing they share in common). You can never find a Bernie Sanders supporter in the US for example with any degree of nuance regarding the issue of abortion or any doubt that there is a ‘pay gap’ between men and women (there isn’t – except in underwear modelling, and even that to the detriment of the male participants). Express any degree of doubt on these issues or that gay couples should perhaps not receive tax deductions unless raising children – and you will instantly be labelled a bigot or a regressive conservative, so certain are they of these issues that their certainty is matched only by how unexamined this sureity is.

Thus it is with Salafis and those influenced by their bent, surely the majority of ‘practising’ Muslims today. We need only concern ourselves with puritans here, because as far as the repute of religion goes, puritans are far more likely to have a detrimental effect than Liberals: people in all religions, from Buddhism to Islam are largely convinced by now that anything difficult is more ‘religious’ and that ease of any kind is suspicious. Since that is the creed of all forms of puritanism, this automatically grants puritanical and salafi orientations a degree of authenticity, even amongst those that do not practice them, that is lacking from Liberals, since liberals protestations of religiosity are so manifestly laughable – it really is stupid to take for example, Micheal Moore as a Catholic when he is at the same time an admirer of ‘South Park’, abortion and gay marriage; virtually no one falls for this apart from other liberals – and not even most of them. This obvious fakery of liberals has not been lost on puritans, and they frequently resort to spuriously labelling the genuinely spiritual and religious as ‘sell outs’ and ‘brainwashed’ liberals, hoping to achieve the same  reflex dismissal of religious authority which we would rightly bestow on Micheal Moore, no matter how nice a guy he is, or ‘Catholic’ abortion advocates.

Stoning adulterers is one such issue deployed by Muslims of a puritanical persuasion to show how they are ‘authentic’ and unaffected by what society thinks. Most people interested in religion see these traits as laudable, especially as Liberals have caused them to think this by indeed making it appear that there is a conspiracy against any kind of religious or conservative idea involving academia, mass media and government. Since these institutions uncritically all say the same thing (gay marriage = ‘good’ for example, having previously said that gays needed electroshock therapy), people understandably surmise that this is some kind of collusion between these groups (this belief had much to do with Donald Trump’s recent election in fact – people just don’t believe what academics and celebrities as well as the media that host them say, because they can see the inflexibility, selective outrage and homogeneity of what is presented). Believing in this ‘thought hygiene’ enforced by mass media and celebrity culture, people can easily believe that not giving a damn about society and flying in the face of these things is a ‘good thing’. Puritans deploy this to great effect, because it saves them having to proffer some kind of theological justification for things like stoning adulterers: just the fact that it is against what liberals want and ‘old fashioned’ is enough to make it ‘religious’ in the eyes of both the genuinely religious and liberals, who themselves are ever ready to believe tall tales which disparage religion.

However, this degree of ‘proof’ for religious ideas is lamentable. Surely religious laws and concepts are to be justified based on some kind of logical or theological principles rather than that they offend liberal sensitivities, are too ‘easy’ or some other emotional justification that appeals to identity politics in much the same way as they LGTBQ+++ lobby?

The issue of adultery is one of the most depressing examples. Apart from the ‘if you believe this you will believe anything’ mentality that results from insisting on it, it is very depressing that most Muslims don’t seem to be able to grasp that something is a major sin or unethical unless it is associated with the death penalty or some kind of violence. It is a child like mentality where only physical punishment or a smack can make them understand right and wrong.

Of course, there is the more disturbing and wider question of why most Muslims regard sins of a sexual nature to be ‘worse’ than sins of far greater moral decrepitude, but this depressing topic will have to wait for another day and/or a particularly gifted psychoanalyst.

Amongst many others, consider the following reasons:

1) With no knowledge of Islam, hadith or Quran whatsoever, it is glaringly obvious that if the punishment for adultery is in fact stoning, then according to Islamic morals, adultery must be worse than child murder, since the punishment for adultery is clearly much worse than that for murder (bear in mind that it is a matter of ‘ijma’ or consensus that if a person is punished in this life for a crime, including stealing or murder or adultery, he or she will be sanctioned no further in the hereafter, thus the punishment really must fit the moral intensity of the crime). Adultery is said to be punishable by stoning (with small stones no less – and according to the Hanbali school, the person must be lashed one hundred times first and then stoned to death) and without the possibility of forgiveness by the aggrieved partner(s) i.e when proved, the punishment must be carried out if evidential standards are reached. Contrast this with the scenario where someone murders a child for no reason whatsoever but is killed in a much more painless manner (beheading) and has the possibility of forgiveness and reprieve from the child’s parents. This makes absolutely no sense in absolutely no universe.

2) Although linguistically, ‘zina’ and ‘zani’ in Arabic undeniably from the classical period of the Quran until now refer to either adultery or fornication (sex between unmarried persons), proponents of stoning for adultery (sadly the majority in Islam) claim that the Quran, which insists that the punishment for zina is lashing only, is referring only to fornication as opposed to adultery or both (which is the only linguistic possibility since zina means ‘illicit intercourse’ whether adultery or fornication). Apart from being the equivalent of linguistic codswallop, this argument reduces the Quran to a bizarre and foolish book which specifies in detail the punishment for the much less grievous issue of fornication by flogging but then omits to mention the more serious issue of adultery, which results in the death penalty. So according to most Muslims, God was badly in need of an editor to tell him what to include and not include in the Quran, since he included lots of ‘minor’ things but left the major issues such as killing and capital punishment to the relatively unprotected hadith canon. Of course, the perceptive will notice that the other salafi and Deobandi (an Indian Subcontinental offshoot of Wahhabism) favourite tropes of killing apostates and homosexuals suffer from this same deficiency of not being mentioned in the Quran but strangely being left to largely contested hadith. It is almost as if these people suffer from a kind of moral erectile dysfunction or fetish: unless violence is involved, they cannot get their moral sense up so to speak and understand that adultery and homosexuality are considered sinful in religion.

They are fond of saying that other important things like ‘how to pray’ are not mentioned in the Quran either (*hoping that you don’t realise that how to pray is not explained in the hadith either) so one shouldn’t worry about crimes requiring capital punishment not being mentioned either. Apart from this being a wonderful illustration of just how far these morally degenerated sects have taken the idea of ‘not caring what society thinks’, it is also incredibly banal for the mere fact that irreligious people will have a field day reminding believers that they think that the nuances of prayer are as important as the rules and reasons for killing – just as they are fond of reminding Muslims that the ‘book in which nothing has been left out’ – the Quran – has managed to leave out most of the reasons for killing another human.

3) Muslims are familiar with the claim that there was a passage about stoning in the Quran but that it was ‘abrogated’ by being totally removed. Quite apart from the fact that this claim is found in the hadith literature and is not Quranic nor mass transmitted nor ‘mashoor’ (famous) even according to the partisans of said hadith literature, the same literature says nothing about ‘abrogation’ at all but instead claims (attributed to A’isha) that the passage in question was in fact lost (that is the word used, not ‘abrogated’) by being eaten by a goat.

So to shoehorn stoning for adultery into Islam, Muslims have willingly acquired the far greater problem of the Quran being incomplete (an idea that is obvious disbelief) with various caveats, none of which will hold up to any degree of scrutiny. Furthermore, they have made the much vaunted mass-transmission and perfect preservation of the Quran totally pointless since they allow it to be abrogated by the not mass-transmitted and not perfectly preserved ahad hadith canon.

4) More concerning, some sahabah have narrated that rather than the ayats (passages) about stoning being in the Quran, the book that was in fact meant was the Torah and not the Quran at all (unlike the Quran, the punishment of stoning is mentioned in the Bible, even in the New Testament, in the story of Jesus’ challenge to would be ‘stoners’ that he who is without sin must cast the first stone, although currently modern Bible scholars seem to have  cast doubts on the authenticity of this tract too).

5) Even more glaringly, there is a debate in the classical sources about whether even ‘zani’ in the Quran means someone who commits fornication or adultery once or rather habitually, with some arguing that even flogging is only to be administered on those who commit these transgressions habitually – in the same way that one does not in common parlance call someone who steals just once in his life a ‘thief’ but rather a ‘thief’ or a ‘fornicator’ or an ‘adulterer’ is perhaps thought of as someone who habituates these actions. But of course, this debate, whatever its merits or demerits, is entirely ignored today by Muslims eager to show how ‘authentic’ they are (by ignoring what Islam actually says in favour of their favourite ‘imams’ and sectarian interests).

6) Even if we allow the hadith literature to set up a death penalty in contra-distinction to the Quran (not permissible by the early Hanafite principles nor by reason), all of the hadith referring to stoning during the time of the Prophet (pbuh) are from before the time of the revelation of the Quranic ayats dealing with the issue of adultery (of four relevant  hadith, three are from before the Quranic revelation, when the Mosaic Law presumably would have been in effect, and for one the narrator was ‘not sure’ when it took place). So they are in that case completely inadmissible as evidence in favour of the Islamicity of stoning and if anything it is the hadith of stoning which are abrogated as opposed to the Quran (assuming these hadith are authentic – which this speaker is claiming they are not, at least according to the Hanafis, the earliest and most widespread school of Islamic law and dogma).

Muslims today seem to struggle with the idea that not everything morally reprehensible, like adultery, requires a violent punishment. Violence as the sole means to show disapproval is not the method of the God of the Quran at least. Perhaps today’s Muslims seek the angry old man people claim to find in some parts of the Old Testament.

To me, what this issue has already revealed is a worrying sexual paranoia amongst Muslims and an even more worrying propensity to kill people based on highly speculative ‘proofs’, a propensity that crosses barriers, as evidence by both Saudi Arabia and Iran’s commitment to stoning adulterers. And indeed, it does show the kind of blood lust which Islamophobes would love to find. Add to this a wanton and deliberate campaign to ignore the classical sources and redact those which are admitted for the obvious a priori purpose of legitimising stoning, and the brazen hypocrisy, having decimated classical or traditional Islam in pursuit of one’s own puritanical obsessions, of then decrying ones opponents as ‘modernists’ and ‘hadith rejecters’.

I was to this end preparing an article on the issue to illustrate the numerous classical references showing the folly of insisting on this bizarre stance of stoning adulterers. So I was very happy to see this proponent of the Hanafi school take the hadith on stoning to task from the point of view of the Hanafite epistemology (which I understand views the hadith in light of the Quran as opposed to vice-versa).

Although I cannot agree with the learned scholar entirely, he introduces some much needed clarity and honesty into the issue.

As a wonderful and helpful aside he shows that dogs are not the big deal that many Muslims make them out to be as a wonderful illustration of the Hanafite approach to hadith.

Sheikh Atabek Shukrov Nasafi is a noted scholar and specialist in Islamic aqeeda and theological sciences. Undertaking his religious studies at first in secret in Uzbekistan while it was part of the USSR, he has gone on to have an eclectic and comprehensive Islamic education all over the Muslim world.

Already a scholar when he arrived in the Middle East, he studied in Damascus under such luminaries as Mhmd Adnan Darwish, graduating finally from Al Azhar but only after having studied both in Medina and the wider region, for example under Sh. Uthaymeen (and numerous others).

He is currently based in the Northwest of England where he is the founder of the Avicenna Academy.

http://www.avicennaacademy.com/

http://www.avicennaanswers.com

His book on hadith is available here:

http://www.avicennaacademy.com/mustalah-book/

or:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hanafi-Principles-Testing-Hadith-Shukurov/dp/0993018300/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1442062098&sr=8-1&keywords=hanafi+principles+of+testing+hadith

Mustalah-book-cover

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49 thoughts on “The Truth About Stoning for Adultery in Islam

  1. From the article:

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    I’ve always wondered how this could be so. If the punishment of stoning is a God-Ordained directive, incumbent upon us to carry it out on the adulterers, then surely said punishment should find explicit support in the Quran, should it not?
    For if the Quran is indeed the book of Allah; and if the Quran is Allah’s means of communicating his directive and commandments unto us – wherein he lays out (and details) said commandments and directives -, and if the punishment of stoning is a God-ordained punishment / directive, then Allah should have given some mention to it in his book, correct?

    How can the Quran contentiously call itself a scripture ‘EXPLAINED IN DETAIL’ and ‘A CLARIFICATION OF ALL THINGS’ and ‘A GUIDANCE FOR MANKIND’ and yet leave out any mention of stoning adulterers?

  2. Some passages from Crime and Punishment in Islamic Law by Rudolph Peters may be of interest in connection to this post:

    “Stoning to death was… extremely rare [under the Ottomans]. The only instance that I have come across took place in 1680, when a woman was stoned to death for having an affair with a Jew. The sentence was executed in the Hippodrome in Istanbul, in the presence of Sultan Mehmed IV. The case was regarded as so exceptional that it was recorded in the chronicles.”

    “In Egypt and the Ottoman Empire, the severe fixed punishments of amputation and stoning to death became obsolete without any express government decree. This happened during the first half of the nineteenth century. Documentary evidence with regard to Egypt shows that, even if lower qadis felt that they had to sentence a defendant to such penalties,
    which occasionally happened, muftis and higher courts would find grounds to reverse such sentences.”

    “[T]heoretically the whole domain of Islamic criminal law was applied by the nineteenth-century Ottoman qadis, but that they would not sentence offenders to the severe fixed penalties such as amputation or stoning to death, rather making use of the possibilities offered by the Hanafite doctrine for averting those penalties. They did so, no doubt, because they were aware
    that the executive powers would not execute such judgments.”

  3. From the article:
    “Muslims are familiar with the claim that there was a passage about stoning in the Quran but that it was ‘abrogated’ by being totally removed”

    I’ve always wondered how this could be so. If the punishment of stoning is a God-Ordained directive, incumbent upon us to carry it out on the adulterers, then surely said punishment should find explicit support in the Quran, should it not?
    For if the Quran is indeed the book of Allah; and if the Quran is Allah’s means of communicating his directive and commandments unto us – wherein he lays out (and details) said commandments and directives -, and if the punishment of stoning is a God-ordained punishment / directive, then Allah should have given some mention to it in his book, correct?

    How can the Quran contentiously call itself a scripture ‘EXPLAINED IN DETAIL’ and ‘A CLARIFICATION OF ALL THINGS’ and ‘A GUIDANCE FOR MANKIND’ and yet leave out any mention of stoning adulterers?

    • Indeed. That would be stupid.

      But nowadays, ‘faith’ and ‘imaan‘ means the ability to do stupid things and believe stupid things.

  4. The idea that the verse in Surah 24 on lashes is only regarding fornication and not adultery does not make much sense because the whole revelation was revealed in response to the incident of Aisha losing her necklace and s on… It was revealed in response to a specific issue of the false allegation and rumors against Aisha who was obviously married.

    If the verses was only regarding fornication, then the Muslims of Madina would find it very, very odd that an allegation of adultery gets verses revealed only on fornication.

    So to make sense the verse should be about fornication and adultery.

    Allah knows best.

    Also, I advise all to read Louay Fatoohi’s masterful analysis showing how the concept of Abrogation did not exist early on and he shows how most of the claims of abrogation is false.

    https://www.amazon.com/Abrogation-Islamic-Routledge-Studies-Religion/dp/1138809519

    Fatoohi also shows how there are serious weaknesses in all the hadiths used for stoning….I don’t remember the details since I read this book a couple of years ago but at least one or more of the hadiths have anachronisms, etc.

    Please check it out.

    Allah knows best.

  5. Great introduction indeed to Sheikh Shukurov’s speech.
    I am moved by the respect and understanding it shows towards Catholicism, something very rarely seen in Muslim websites. I am especially happy to see that the author realizes that Moore and others are Catholic in name only.
    Moore is a compulsive liar. Recently he made quite a show of being anti-finance but supported Wall Street’s candidate Hillary Clinton. The website http://fahrenheit_fact.blogspot.fr/ reveals the wealth of falsehoods and distortions in Moore’s infamous Fahrenheit 9/11 movie.

    • I doubt it. The only Muslims who will be aware of this coference are those who look into such things (or Wahhabis); and those who look into such things are already aware of Wahhabism’s heterodoxy.

  6. Yes, ISIS has nothing to do with Islam. Contrary to popular misconceptions, the theme of religious freedom is found in abundance in the Qurʾān. The Holy Book thus explains that, (Translations mostly from Abdel-Haleem, same for footnotes)

    1. Differences in people’s beliefs are bound to happen

    Verses that point out that the difference between people in matters of belief is a divine will from his Will, and hence it is something that happened and will continue to happen until the Day of Judgement.

    ________

    We favoured some of these messengers above others. God spoke to some; others He raised in rank; We gave Jesus, son of Mary, Our clear signs and strengthened him with the holy spirit. If God had so willed, their successors would not have fought each other after they had been brought clear signs. But they disagreed: some believed and some disbelieved. If God had so willed, they would not have fought each other, but God does what He will.

    Qurʾān — 2:253

    ________

    We sent to you [Muḥammad] the Scripture with the truth, confirming the Scriptures that came before it, and with final authority over them: so judge between them according to what God has sent down. Do not follow their whims, which deviate from the truth that has come to you. We have assigned a law and a path to each of you. If God had so willed, He would have made you one community, but He wanted to test you through that which He has given you, so race to do good: you will all return to God and He will make clear to you the matters you differed about.

    Qurʾān — 5:48

    ________

    If you find rejection by the disbelievers so hard to bear, then seek a tunnel into the ground or a ladder into the sky, if you can, and bring them a sign: God could bring them all to guidance if it were His will, so do not join the ignorant.

    Qurʾān — 6:35

    ________

    Follow what has been revealed to you from your Lord, there is no God but Him. Turn away from those who join other gods with Him.

    If it had been God’s will, they would not have done so, but We have not made you their guardian, nor are you their keeper.

    Qurʾān — 6:106–107

    ________

    Say, ‘The conclusive argument belongs to God alone. Had He so willed He would
    have guided you all.’

    Qurʾān — 6:149

    ________

    All people were originally one single community, but later they differed. If it had not been for a wordᵃ from your Lord, the preordained judgement would already have been passed between them regarding their differences.

    Qurʾān — 10:19

    ᵃ : Postponing judgement.

    ________

    And had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed –– all of them entirely. Then, [O Muḥammad], would you compel the people in order that they become believers?

    Qurʾān — 10:99

    ________

    If your Lord had pleased, He would have made all people a single community, but they continue to have their differences –– except those on whom your Lord has mercy –– for He created them to be this way, and the word of your Lord is final: ‘I shall definitely fill Hell with both jinn and men.’

    Qurʾān — 11:118–119

    ________

    If there were ever to be a Qurʾān with which mountains could be moved, the earth shattered, or the dead made to speak [it would have been this one],ᵃ but everything is truly in God’s hands. Do the believers not realize that if God had so willed, He could have guided all mankind? As for the disbelievers, because of their misdeeds, disaster will not cease to afflict them or fall close to their homes until God’s promise is fulfilled: God never fails to keep His promise.

    Qurʾān — 13:31

    ᵃ : Or ‘[they still would not believe]’.

    ________

    God points out the right path, for some paths lead the wrong way: if He wished, He could guide you all.

    Qurʾān — 16:9

    ________

    If God so willed, He would have made you all one people, but He leaves to stray whoever He will and guides whoever He will. You will be questioned about your deeds.

    Qurʾān — 16:93

    ________

    We have appointed acts of devotion for every community to observe, so do not let them argue with you [Prophet] about this matter. Call them to your Lord––you are on the right path––and if they argue with you, say, ‘God is well aware of what you are doing.’

    Qurʾān — 22:67–68

    ________

    ‘If it had been Our will, We could certainly have given every soul
    its true guidance, but My words have come true. “I shall be sure to fill Hell with jinn and men together.”

    Qurʾān — 32:13

    ________

    If God had so pleased, He could have made them a single community, but He admits to His mercy whoever He will; the evildoers will have no one to protect or help them.

    Qurʾān — 42:8

    ________

    2. Judgement between people in their differences in belief is in the Day of Resurrection and not in this earthly world

    Verses that show that the decision and final judgement between people in their differences in belief isn’t in this abode but it is in the abode of the Hereafter.

    ________

    The Jews say, ‘The Christians have no ground whatsoever to stand on,’ and the Christians say, ‘The Jews have no ground whatsoever to stand on,’ though they both read the Scripture, and those who have no knowledge say the same; God will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection concerning their differences.

    Qurʾān — 2:113

    ________

    God said, ‘Jesus, I will take you back and raise you up to Me: I will purify you of the disbelievers. To the Day of Resurrection I will make those who follow you superior to those who disbelieved. Then you will all return to Me and I will judge between you regarding your differences.

    Qurʾān — 3:55

    ________

    The [hypocrites] wait to see what happens to you and, if God brings you success, they say, ‘Were we not on your side?’ but if the disbelievers have some success, they say to them, ‘Did we not have the upper hand over you, and [yet] protect you from the believers?’ God will judge between you all on the Day of Resurrection, and He will give the disbelievers no means of overcoming the believers.

    Qurʾān — 4:141

    ________

    We sent to you [Muḥammad] the Scripture with the truth, confirming the Scriptures that came before it, and with final authority over them: so judge between them according to what God has sent down. Do not follow their whims, which deviate from the truth that has come to you. We have assigned a law and a path to each of you. If God had so willed, He would have made you one community, but He wanted to test you through that which He has given you, so race to do good: you will all return to God and He will make clear to you the matters you differed about.

    Qurʾān — 5:48

    ________

    You who believe, you are responsible for your own souls; if anyone else goes astray it will not harm you so long as you follow the guidance; you will all return to God, and He will make you realize what you have done.

    Qurʾān — 5:105

    ________

    Say, ‘I stand on clear proof from my Lord, though you deny it. What you seek to hasten is not within my power. Judgement is for God alone: He tells the truth, and He is the best of judges.’

    Say, ‘If what you seek to hasten were within my power, the matter would be settled between you and me, but God knows best who does wrong.’

    Qurʾān — 6:58–59

    ________

    He is the Supreme Master over His subjects. He sends out recorders to watch over you until, when death overtakes any of you, those sent by Us take his soul–– they never fail in their duty.

    Then they will all be returned to God, their true Lord. The Judgement truly belongs to Him, and He is the swiftest of reckoners.

    Qurʾān — 6:61–62

    ________

    We settled the Children of Israel in a good place and provided good things as sustenance for them. It was only after knowledge had come to them that they began to differ among themselves. Your Lord will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection regarding their differences.

    Qurʾān — 10:93

    ________

    [Prophet], follow what is being revealed to you, and be steadfast until God gives His
    judgement, for He is the Best of Judges.

    Qurʾān — 10:109

    ________

    The Sabbath was made obligatory only for those who differed about it. On the Day of Resurrection your Lord will judge between them as to their differences.

    Qurʾān — 16:124

    ________

    As for the believers, those who follow the Jewish faith, the Sabians, the Christians, the Magians, and the idolaters, God will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection; God witnesses all things.

    Qurʾān — 22:17

    ________

    On that Day control will belong to God: He will judge between them. Those who believe and do good deeds will be admitted to Gardens of Delight, while those who disbelieve and reject Our revelations will receive a humiliating torment.

    Qurʾān — 22:56–57

    ________

    And whoever invokes besides God another deity for which he has no proof – then his account is only with his Lord. Indeed, the disbelievers will not succeed.

    Qurʾān — 23:117

    ________

    He is God; there is no god but Him; all praise belongs to Him in this world and the next; His is the Judgement; and to Him you shall be returned.

    Qurʾān — 28:70

    ________

    [Prophet], it is your Lord who will judge between
    them on the Day of Resurrection concerning their differences.

    Qurʾān — 32:25

    ________

    Say, ‘God! Creator of the heavens and earth! Knower of all that is hidden and all that is open, You will judge between Your servants regarding their differences.’

    Qurʾān — 39:46

    ________

    [They will be told], ‘This is all because when God alone was invoked you rejected this, yet when others were associated with Him you believed [in them].’ Judgement belongs to God the Most High, the Most Great.

    Qurʾān — 40:12

    ________

    Whatever you may differ about is for God to judge. [Say], ‘Such is God, my Lord. In Him I trust and to
    Him I turn,

    Qurʾān — 42:10

    ________

    How can they believe in others who ordain for them things which God has not sanctioned in the practice of their faith? If it were not for God’s decree concerning the final Decision, judgement would already have been made between them. The evildoers will have a grievous punishment––

    Qurʾān — 42:21

    ________

    Neither your kinsfolk nor your children will be any use to you on
    the Day of Resurrection: He will separate you out. God sees everything you do.

    Qurʾān — 60:3

    ________

    Indeed, to Us is their return.

    Then indeed, upon Us is their account.

    Qurʾān — 88:25–26

    ________

    3. Compulsion and coercion is prohibited, and it is the way of the unbelievers and believers are its victims

    Verses that prohibit compulsion in religion and that show that it is the way of the unbelievers –– and not Prophets and their followers –– who use different methods such as compulsion, torture, slaughter, stoning, expulsion from homes, …etc to oppress believers to make them revert from their religion.

    ________

    There is no compulsion in religion: true guidance has become distinct from error, so whoever rejects false gods and believes in God has grasped the firmest hand-hold, one that will never break. God is all hearing and all knowing.

    Qurʾān — 2:256

    ________

    And had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed – all of them entirely. Then, [O Muḥammad], would you compel the people in order that they become believers?

    Qurʾān — 10:99

    ________

    He said, ‘O my people have you considered: if I should be upon clear evidence from my Lord while He has given me mercy from Himself but it has been made unapparent to you, should we force it upon you while you are averse to it?

    Qurʾān — 11:28

    ________

    His people’s arrogant leaders said, ‘Shu’ayb, we will expel you and your fellow believers from our town unless you return to our religion.’ He said, ‘What! Even if we detest it?

    Qurʾān — 7:88

    ________

    With the exception of those who are forced to say they do not believe, although their hearts remain firm in faith, those who reject God after believing in Him and open their hearts to disbelief will have the wrath of God upon them and a grievous punishment awaiting them.

    Qurʾān — 16:106

    ________

    [The people of Shu’ayb said to him:]

    They said, ‘Shu’ayb, we do not understand much of what you
    say, and we find you very weak in our midst. But for your family, we
    would have stoned you, for you have no great status among us.’

    Qurʾān — 11:91

    ________

    [The father of Abraham said to him:]

    His father answered, ‘Abraham, do you reject my gods? I will stone you if you do not stop this. Keep out of my way!’

    Qurʾān — 19:46

    ________

    [And the people of the two of Antakiya said to their prophets:]

    but they answered, ‘We think you are an evil omen. If you do not stop, we shall stone you, and inflict a painful torment on you.’

    Qurʾān — 36:18

    ________

    [And one amongst the companions of the cave said about his polytheist people:]

    Indeed, if they come to know of you, they will stone you or return you to their religion. And never would you succeed, then – ever.

    Qurʾān — 18:20

    ________

    [And the people of Noah said to him:]

    So they said, ‘Noah, if you do not stop this, you will be stoned.’

    Qurʾān — 26:116

    ________

    [And in the Qurʾān the attrocities of Pharaoh – such as his execution and slaughtering of those who believed with Moses – were mentioned in many instances.]

    Remember when We saved you from Pharaoh’s people, who subjected you to terrible torment, slaughtering your sons and sparing only your women––this was a great trial from your Lord––

    Qurʾān — 2:49

    ________

    damned were the makers of the trench, the makers of the fuel-stoked fire! They sat down to watch what they were doing to the believers. Their only grievance against them was their faith in God, the Mighty, the Praiseworthy, to whom all control over the heavens and earth belongs: God is witness over all things.

    Qurʾān — 85:4-9

    ________

    The disbelievers said to their messengers, ‘We shall expel you from our land unless you return to our religion.’ But their Lord inspired the messengers: ‘We shall destroy the evildoers, and leave you to dwell in the land after them. This reward is for those who are in awe of meeting Me, and of My warnings.’

    Qurʾān — 14:13–14

    ________

    [And about the people of Lot:]

    The only answer his people gave was to say, ‘Expel Lot’s followers from your town! These men mean to stay chaste!’

    Qurʾān — 27:56

    The only response his people gave was to say [to one another], ‘Drive them out of your town! These men want to keep themselves chaste!’

    Qurʾān — 7:82

    ________

    [Prophet], consider the leaders of the Children of Israel who came after Moses, when they said to one of their prophets, ‘Set up a king for us and we shall fight in God’s cause.’ He said, ‘But could it be that you would not fight, if it were ordained for you?’ They said, ‘How could we not fight in God’s cause when we and our children have been driven out of our homeland?’ Yet when they were commanded to fight, all but a few of them turned away: God has full knowledge of those who do wrong.

    Qurʾān — 2:246

    ________

    [And about the expulsion of the Prophet ﷺ from Makkah:]

    And indeed, they were about to drive you from the land to evict you therefrom. And then [when they do], they will not remain [there] after you, except for a little.

    Qurʾān — 17:76

    And [remember, O Muḥammad], when those who disbelieved plotted against you to restrain you or kill you or evict you [from Makkah]. But they plan, and God plans. And God is the best of planners.

    Qurʾān — 8:30

    You who believe, do not take My enemies and yours as your allies, showing them friendship when they have rejected the truth you have received, and have driven you and the Messenger out simply because you believe in God, your Lord –– not if you truly emigrated in order to strive for My cause and seek My good pleasure. You secretly show them friendship –– I know all you conceal and all you reveal –– but any of you who do this are straying from the right path. If they gain the upper hand over you, they will revert to being your enemies and stretch out their hands and tongues to harm you; it is their dearest wish that you may renounce your faith.

    Qurʾān — 60:1–2

    ________

    [About the believers amongst the followers of Muḥammad ﷺ]

    those who have been driven unjustly from their homes only for saying, ‘Our Lord is God.’ If God did not repel some people by means of others, many monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, where God’s name is much invoked, would have been destroyed. God is sure to help those who help His cause –– God is strong and mighty ––

    Qurʾān — 22:40

    [… and about it:]

    Their Lord has answered them: ‘I will not allow the deeds of any one of you to be lost, whether you are male or female, each is like the other [in rewards]. I will certainly wipe out the bad deeds of those who emigrated and were driven out of their homes, who suffered harm for My cause, who fought and were killed. I will certainly admit them to Gardens graced with flowing streams, as a reward from God: the best reward is with God.’

    Qurʾān — 3:195

    The poor emigrants who were driven from their homes and possessions, who seek God’s favour and approval, those who help God and His Messenger –– these are the ones who are true –– [shall have a share].

    Qurʾān — 59:8

    But God forbids you to take as allies those who have fought against you for your faith, driven you out of your homes, and helped others to drive you out: any of you who take them as allies will truly be wrongdoers.

    Qurʾān — 60:9

    Fight in God’s cause against those who fight you, but do not overstep the limits:ᵃ God does not love those who overstep the limits. Kill them wherever you encounter them,ᵇ and drive them out from where they drove you out, for persecution is more serious than killing.ᶜ Do not fight them at the Sacred Mosque unless they fight you there. If they do fight you, kill them –– this is what such disbelievers deserve –– but if they stop, then God is most forgiving and merciful. Fight them until there is no more persecution, and worshipᵈ ᵉ is devoted to God. If they cease hostilities, there can be no [further] hostility, except towards aggressors.

    Qurʾān — 2:190–193

    ᵃ : The Arabic command la ta’tadu is so general that commentators have agreed that it includes prohibition of starting hostilities, fighting non-combatants, disproportionate response to aggression, etc.
    ᵇ : The Muslims were concerned as to whether it was permitted to retaliate when attacked within the sacred precincts in Mecca when on pilgrimage (see Q.2:196). They are here given permission to fight back wherever they encounter their attackers, in the precinct or outside it.
    ᶜ : ‘Persecuting you unlawfully is worse than you killing them in the precincts in self-defence.’ The article al- in Arabic sometimes takes the place of a pronoun, as here ‘their persecution’ and ‘your killing them’, it is not the generic al-, cf. Q.2:217. See also Q.2:217 below.
    ᵈ : Worship at the sacred mosque.
    ᵉ : Cf. Q.8:39 and note ᶜ to Q.2:191 above.

    .

    They ask you [Prophet] about fighting in the prohibited month. Say, ‘Fighting in that month is a great offence, but to bar others from God’s path, to disbelieve in Him, prevent access to the Sacred Mosque, and expel its people, are still greater offences in God’s eyes: persecution is worse than killing.’ᵃ They will not stop fighting you [believers] until they make you revoke your faith, if they can. If any of you revoke your faith and die as disbelievers, your deeds will come to nothing in this world and the Hereafter, and you will be inhabitants of the Fire, there to remain.

    Qurʾān — 2:217

    ᵃ : To persecute people for believing in God is a worse offence than for the aggrieved party to fight back in the prohibited month. This further explains verse 191.

    ________

    [And concerning the persecution of prophets and messengers mentally and physically, the Qur’an points out that everyone of them suffered from these, …]

    but We have always appointed adversaries from the wicked, for every prophet: Your Lord is sufficient guide and helper.

    Qurʾān — 25:31

    [… and they range from threat to death, passing by torture, expulsion to humiliation. We’ll list here some few examples: Starting with Abraham:]

    They said, ‘Burn him and avenge your gods, if you are going to do the right thing.’ But We said, ‘Fire, be cool and safe for Abraham.’ They planned to harm him, but We made them suffer the greatest loss.

    Qurʾān — 21:68-70

    The only answer Abraham’s people gave was, ‘Kill him or burn him!’ but God saved him from the Fire: there truly are signs in this for people who believe.

    Qurʾān — 29:24

    ________

    [And about Noah:]

    So they said, ‘Noah, if you do not stop this, you will be stoned.’

    Qurʾān — 26:116

    ________

    [And Pharaoh threatened Moses with prison:]

    [Pharaoh] said, ‘If you take a god other than me, I will surely place you among those imprisoned.’

    Qurʾān — 26:29

    ________

    [And Lot was threatened with expulsion from his home:]

    but they replied, ‘Lot! If you do not stop this, you will be driven away.’

    Qurʾān — 26:167

    ________

    4 The Human being is free and responsible for his actions

    Verses that point out that the human being is free in his choice of the religion he wishes, if he wills he believes, and if he wills he disbelieves, and that he is responsible for his choice in front of God ﷻ.

    ________

    Say [Prophet], ‘Disbelievers: I do not worship what you worship, you do not worship what I worship, I will never worship what you worship, you will never worship what I worship:ᵃ you have your religion and I have mine.’

    Qurʾān — 109:1-6

    ᵃ : If you keep to your present gods (see Zamakhshari, al-Kashshaf, vol. iv)

    ________

    Say, ‘Now the truth has come from your Lord: let those who wish to believe in it do so, and let those who wish to reject it do so.’ We have prepared a Fire for the wrongdoers that will envelop them from all sides. If they call for relief, they will be relieved with water like molten metal, scalding their faces. What a terrible drink! What a painful resting place!

    Qurʾān — 18:29

    ________

    Whoever accepts guidance does so for his own good; whoever strays does so at his own peril. No soul will bear another’s burden, nor do We punish until We have sent a messenger.

    Qurʾān — 17:15

    ________

    We said, ‘Get out, all of you! But when guidance comes from Me, as it certainly will, there will be no fear for those who follow My guidance nor will they grieve –– those who disbelieve and deny Our messages shall be the inhabitants of the Fire, and there they will remain.’

    Qurʾān — 2:38–39

    ________

    So if they believe like you do, they will be rightly guided. But if they turn their backs, then they will be entrenched in opposition. God will protect you from them: He is the All Hearing, the All Knowing.

    Qurʾān — 2:137

    ________

    if they argue with you [Prophet], say, ‘I have devoted myselfᵈ to God alone and so have my followers.’ Ask those who were given the Scripture, as well as those without one, ‘Do you too devote yourselves to Him alone?’ If they do, they will be guided, but if they turn away, your only duty is to convey the message. God is aware of His servants.

    Qurʾān — 3:20

    ᵈ : Literally ‘submitted my face’.

    ________

    Everything in the heavens and the earth belongs to God. We have commanded those who were given the Scripture before you, and We command you, to be mindful of God. Even if you do ignore Him, everything in the heavens and the earth belongs to Him, and He is self-sufficient, worthy of all praise.

    Qurʾān — 4:131

    ________

    Now clear proof has come to you from your Lord: if anyone sees it, that will be to his advantage; if anyone is blind to it, that will be to his loss –– [Say], ‘I am not your guardian.’

    Qurʾān — 6:104

    ________

    Say, ‘People, the Truth has come to you from your Lord. Whoever follows the right path follows it for his own good, and whoever strays does so to his own loss: I am not your guardian.’

    Qurʾān — 10:108

    ________

    [Say, Prophet], ‘Worship no one but God. I am sent to you from Him to warn and to give good news. Ask your Lord for forgiveness, then turn back to Him. He will grant you wholesome enjoyment until an appointed time, and give His grace to everyone who has merit. But if you turn away, I fear you will have torment on a terrible Day: it is to God that you will all return, and He has power over everything.’

    Qurʾān — 11:2-4

    And Moses said, ‘If you should disbelieve, you and whoever is on the earth entirely – indeed, God is Free of need and Praiseworthy.’

    Qurʾān — 14:8

    ________

    Say, ‘Everyone does things their own way, but your Lord is fully aware of who follows the best-guided path.’

    Qurʾān — 17:84

    ________

    I am commanded to recite the Qurʾān.’ Whoever chooses to follow the right path does so for his own good. Say to whoever deviates from it, ‘I am only here to warn.’

    Qurʾān — 27:92

    ________

    [Prophet], stand firm in your devotion to the upright religion, before an irresistible Day comes from God. On that Day, mankind will be divided: those who rejected the truth will bear the burden of that rejection, and those who did good deeds will have made good provision for themselves.

    Qurʾān — 30:43–44

    ________

    We endowed Luqman with wisdom: ‘Be thankful to God: whoever gives thanks benefits his own soul, and as for those who are thankless––God is self-sufficient, worthy of all praise.’

    Qurʾān — 31:12

    ________

    Whoever directs himselfᵇ wholly to God and does good work has grasped the surest handhold, for the outcome of everything is with God. As for those who refuse to do this, do not let their refusal sadden you [Prophet] –– they will return to Us and We shall tell them what they have done: God knows all that hearts contain ––

    Qurʾān — 31:22–23

    ᵇ : Literally ‘his face’.

    ________

    it is He who made you [people] successors to the land. Those who deny the truth will bear the consequences: their denial will only make them more odious to their Lord, and add only to their loss.

    Qurʾān — 35:39

    ________

    If you are ungrateful, remember God has no need of you, yet He is not pleased by ingratitude in His servants; if you are grateful, He is pleased [to see] it in you. No soul will bear another’s burden. You will return to your Lord in the end and He will inform you of what you have done: He knows well what is in the depths of [your] hearts.

    Qurʾān — 39:7

    ________

    Say, ‘It is God I serve, dedicating my worship entirely to Him –– you may serve whatever you please beside Him.’ Say, ‘The true losers are the ones who will lose themselves and their people on the Day of Resurrection: that is the most obvious loss.

    Qurʾān — 39:14–15

    ________

    Indeed, We created man from a sperm-drop mixture that We may try him; and We made him hearing and seeing. Indeed, We guided him to the way, be he grateful or be he ungrateful.

    Qurʾān — 76:2–3

    ________

    by the soul and how He formed it and inspired it [to know] its own rebellion and piety! The one who purifies his soul succeeds and the one who corrupts it fails.

    Qurʾān — 91:7-10

    ________

    By the enshrouding night, by the radiant day, by His creation of male and female! The ways you take differ greatly. There is the one who gives, who is mindful of God, who testifies to goodness –– We shall smooth his way towards ease. There is the one who is miserly, who is self-satisfied, who denies goodness –– We shall smooth his way towards hardship and his wealth will not help him as he falls.

    Our part is to provide guidance –– this world and the next belong to Us –– so I warn you about the raging Fire, in which none but the most wicked one will burn, who denied [the truth], and turned away. The most pious one will be spared this –– who gives his wealth away as self-purification, not to return a favour to anyone but for the sake of his Lord the Most High –– and he will be well pleased.

    Qurʾān — 92:1-21

    ________

    This is a reminder. Let whoever wishes take the way to his Lord.

    Qurʾān — 73:19 – 76:29

    but truly this is a reminder. Let whoever wishes to take heed do so:

    Qurʾān — 74:54–55

    This is a message for all people; for those who wish to take the straight path.

    Qurʾān — 81:27–28

    ________

    5 Obligation to use the mind, to think and ponder, and prohibition from blindly following the religion of one’s parents

    And such verses have a clear relation to the fourth category, since they show that one should use reason, to observe, understand and ponder, and to be independent in his thinking, and not blindly follow a religion just because of a custom or it being the religion of his/her parents. And that’s what makes one free & responsible in his decision.

    These verses are extremely abundant. According to one estimate, these verses constitute more than 1/8 of the Holy Qurʾān. I’ll mention briefly some of these verses, but to find more of them, one may either open up a random page of the Qurʾān, or use indexed dictionnaries of the Qurʾān such as the one of Muḥammad Fouād ʿAbd al-Bāqī (freely available here), or one may search for the following keywords and their derivatives: عقل, فكر، عبر، نظر، أولي الألباب، ذكر، سير (السير في الأرض)، and the words آباؤنا وآباؤنا، and other similar expressions such as علم. To keep things short in this list, I’ll include just two verses from each keyword.

    ________

    But when it is said to them, ‘Follow the message that God has sent down,’ they answer, ‘We follow the ways of our fathers.’ Even though their fathers understood nothing and were not guided?

    Qurʾān — 2:170

    ________

    when it is said to them, ‘Come to what God has sent down, and to the Messenger,’ they say, ‘What we inherited from our forefathers is good enough for us,’ even though their forefathers knew nothing and were not guided.

    Qurʾān — 5:104

    ________

    in the alternation of night and day, in the rain God provides, sending it down from the sky and reviving the dead earth with it, and in His shifting of the winds there are signs for those who use their reason.

    Qurʾān — 45:5

    ________

    [We sent them] with clear proofs and written ordinances. And We revealed to you the message that you may make clear to the people what was sent down to them and that they might give thought.

    Qurʾān — 16:44

    ________

    who remember God standing, sitting, and lying down, who reflect on the creation of the heavens and earth: ‘Our Lord! You have not created all this without purpose–– You are far above that!–– so protect us from the torment of the Fire.

    Qurʾān — 3:191

    ________

    There is a lesson in the stories of such people for those who understand. This revelation is no fabrication: it is a confirmation of the truth of what was sent before it; an explanation of everything;ᵃ a guide and a blessing for those who believe.

    Qurʾān — 12:111

    ᵃ : There are two interpretations of this phrase: (i) ‘everything to do with the story of Joseph’; and (ii) ‘everything to do with religion’.

    ________

    God alternates night and day–– there truly is a lesson in [all] this for those who have eyes to see––

    Qurʾān — 24:44

    ________

    Say, ‘Look at what is in the heavens and on the earth.’ But what use are signs and warnings to people who will not believe?

    Qurʾān — 10:101

    ________

    So let man observe from what he was created.

    Qurʾān — 86:5

    ________

    who listen to what is said and follow what is best. These are the ones God has guided; these are the people of understanding.

    Qurʾān — 39:18

    ________

    Have you not considered that God sends water down from the sky, guides it along to form springs in the earth, and then, with it, brings forth vegetation of various colours, which later withers, turns yellow before your eyes, and is crumbled to dust at His command? There is truly a reminder in this for those who have understanding.

    Qurʾān — 39:21

    ________

    and We restored his family to him, with many more like them: a sign of Our mercy and a lesson to all who understand.

    Qurʾān — 38:43

    ________

    He gives wisdom to whom He wills, and whoever has been given wisdom has certainly been given much good. And none will remember except those of understanding.

    Qurʾān — 2:269

    ________

    Say, ‘Travel throughout the earth and see how He brings life into being: and He will bring the next life into being. God has power over all things.

    Qurʾān — 29:20

    ________

    All the messengers We sent before you [Muḥammad] were men to whom We made revelations, men chosen from the people of their towns. Have the [disbelievers] not travelled through the land and seen the end of those who went before them? For those who are mindful of God, the Home in the Hereafter is better. Do you [people] not use your reason?

    Qurʾān — 12:109

    ________

    6 The purpose of Prophets and Mesengers

    Verses that restrict the functions of Prophets and Messengers (Peace be upon them) in preaching and da’wa, and to give a clear warning, without any type of compulsion or coercion, and that negates the idea that the Messengers have to be guardians and watchers over people.

    ________

    if they argue with you [Prophet], say, ‘I have devoted myself to God alone and so have my followers.’ Ask those who were given the Scripture, as well as those without one, ‘Do you too devote yourselves to Him alone?’ If they do, they will be guided, but if they turn away, your only duty is to convey the message. God is aware of His servants.

    Qurʾān — 3:20

    ________

    Obey God, obey the Messenger, and always be on your guard: if you pay no heed, bear in mind that the sole duty of Our Messenger is to deliver the message clearly.

    Qurʾān — 5:92

    ________

    The Messenger’s duty is only to deliver the message: God knows what you reveal and what you conceal.

    Qurʾān — 5:99

    ________

    Whether We let you [Prophet] see part of what We threaten them with, or cause you to die [before that], your duty is only to deliver the message: the Reckoning is Ours.

    Qurʾān — 13:40

    ________

    Those who worshipped others alongside God say, ‘If God had willed, we would not have worshipped anything but Him, nor would our fathers. We would not have declared anything forbidden without His sanction.’ Those before them said the same. Are the messengers obliged to do anything other than deliver [their message] clearly?

    Qurʾān — 16:35

    ________

    But if they turn away [Prophet], your only duty is to deliver the message clearly.

    Qurʾān — 16:82

    ________

    Say, ‘Obey God; obey the Messenger. If you turn away, [know that] he is responsible for the duty placed upon him, and you are responsible for the duty placed upon you. If you obey him, you will be rightly guided, but the Messenger’s duty is only to deliver the message clearly.’

    Qurʾān — 24:54

    If you say this is a lie, [be warned that] other communities before you said the same. The messenger’s only duty is to give clear warning.’

    Qurʾān — 29:18

    ________

    [And the messengers said: (c.f. Q.36:13-18)]

    Our duty is only to deliver the message to you,’

    Qurʾān — 36:17

    ________

    If they still turn away [remember that] We have not sent you [Prophet] to be their guardian: your only duty is to deliver the message. When We give man a taste of Our mercy, he rejoices in it, but if some harm befalls him on account of what he has done with his own hands, then he is ungrateful.

    Qurʾān — 42:48

    ________

    so obey God and the Messenger. If you turn away, remember that Our Messenger’s duty is only to make plain his message.

    Qurʾān — 64:12

    ________

    We send messengers only to give good news and to warn, so for those who believe and do good deeds there will be no fear, nor will they grieve.

    Qurʾān — 6:48

    We only send messengers to bring good news and to deliver warning, yet the disbelievers seek to refute the truth with false arguments and make fun of My messages and warnings.

    Qurʾān — 18:56

    ________

    Has it not occurred to them that their companionᵃ is not mad but is giving clear warning?

    Qurʾān — 7:184

    ᵃ : This refers to the Prophet ﷺ.

    ________

    Say [Prophet], ‘I have no control over benefit or harm, [even] to myself, except as God may please: if I had knowledge of what is hidden, I would have abundant good things and no harm could touch me. I am no more than a bearer of warning, and good news to those who believe.’

    Qurʾān — 7:188

    ________

    So [Prophet] are you going toᵃ abandon some part of what is revealed to you, and let your heart be oppressed by it, because they say, ‘Why is no treasure sent down to him? Why has no angel come with him?’? You are only there to warn; it is God who is in charge of everything.

    Qurʾān — 11:12

    ᵃ : Literally ‘Perhaps you will . . .’, but this is a challenging figure of speech.

    ________

    Say [Prophet], ‘People, I am sent only to give you clear warning.’

    Qurʾān — 22:49

    ________

    [And Noah said:]

    I am here only to give people a clear warning.’

    Qurʾān — 26:115

    ________

    You, [O Muḥammad], are not but a warner.

    Qurʾān — 35:23

    ________

    It has not been revealed to me except that I am a clear warner.’

    Qurʾān — 38:70

    ________

    Say, ‘I am nothing new among God’s messengers. I do not know what will be done with me or you; I only follow what is revealed to me; I only warn plainly.’

    Qurʾān — 46:9

    ________

    Say, ‘God alone has knowledge of this: my only duty is to give clear warning.’

    Qurʾān — 67:26

    ________

    We sent down the Qurʾān with the truth, and with the truth it has come down –– [Prophet], We sent you only to give good news and warning ––

    Qurʾān — 17:105

    ________

    We sent you only to give good news and warning.

    Qurʾān — 25:56

    ________

    And those who disbelieved say, ‘Why has a sign not been sent down to him from his Lord?’ You are only a warner, and for every people is a guide.

    Qurʾān — 13:7

    ________

    [Prophet] say, ‘I am only here to give warning. There is no god but God the One, the All Powerful, Lord of the heavens and earth and everything between, the Almighty, the Most Forgiving.’

    Qurʾān — 38:65–66

    ________

    They ask you [Prophet] about the Hour, saying, ‘When will it arrive?’, but how can you tell [them that]? Its time is known only to your Lord; you are only sent to warn those who fear it.

    Qurʾān — 79:42-45

    ________

    I am commanded to recite the Qurʾān.’ Whoever chooses to follow the right path does so for his own good. Say to whoever deviates from it, ‘I am only here to warn.’

    Qurʾān — 27:92

    ________

    So [Prophet] warn them: your only task is to give warning

    Qurʾān — 88:21

    ________

    So all of these verses restrict and limit the function of Messengers to preaching, warning, and to give good news, using expressions such as “إِنَّمَا” and expressions of negation and restriction. And there other verses that negate that Messengers use or should employ compulsion and coercion, or be guardians over people, …etc

    ________

    So [Prophet] warn them: your only task is to give warning, you are not there to control them.

    Qurʾān — 88:21–22

    ________

    We know best what the disbelievers say. You [Prophet] are not there to force them, so remind, with this Qurʾān, those who fear My warning.

    Qurʾān — 50:45

    ________

    Now clear proof has come to you from your Lord: if anyone sees it, that will be to his advantage; if anyone is blind to it, that will be to his loss –– [Say], ‘I am not your guardian.’

    Qurʾān — 6:104

    ________

    What lasts with God is best for you, if you are believers: I am not your keeper.’

    Qurʾān — 11:86

    ________

    Whoever obeys the Messenger obeys God. If some pay no heed, We have not sent you to be their keeper.

    Qurʾān — 4:80

    ________

    If it had been God’s will, they would not have done so, but We have not made you their guardian, nor are you their keeper.

    Qurʾān — 6:107

    ________

    If they still turn away [remember that] We have not sent you [Prophet] to be their guardian: your only duty is to deliver the message. When We give man a taste of Our mercy, he rejoices in it, but if some harm befalls him on account of what he has done with his own hands, then he is ungrateful.

    Qurʾān — 42:48

    ________

    yet your people still reject it even though it is the truth. Say, ‘I have not been put in charge of you.

    Qurʾān — 6:66

    ________

    Say, ‘People, the Truth has come to you from your Lord. Whoever follows the right path follows it for his own good, and whoever strays does so to his own loss: I am not your guardian.’

    Qurʾān — 10:108

    ________

    We have sent the Scripture down to you [Prophet] with the Truth for people. Whoever follows the guidance does so for his own benefit, whoever strays away from it does so at his own peril: you are not in charge of them.

    Qurʾān — 39:41

    ________

    As for those who take protectors other than Him, God is watching them; you are not responsible for them.

    Qurʾān — 42:6

    ________

    Your Lord has the most knowledge about all of you: if He pleases He will have mercy on you, and if He pleases He will punish you. [Prophet], We did not send you to take charge of them.

    Qurʾān — 17:54

    ________

    Have you seen the one who takes as his god his own desire? Then would you be responsible for him?

    Qurʾān — 25:43

    ________

    And had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed – all of them entirely. Then, [O Muḥammad], would you compel the people in order that they become believers?

    Qurʾān — 10:99

    ________

    It is not for you [Prophet] to guide them; it is God who guides whoever He will. Whatever charity you give benefits your own soul, provided you do it for the sake of God: whatever you give will be repaid to you in full, and you will not be wronged.

    Qurʾān — 2:272

    ________

    Some of them look at you: but can you guide the blind if they will not see?

    Qurʾān — 10:43

    ________

    Though you [Prophet] may be eager to guide them, God does not guide those
    who misguide [others],ᵃ nor will they have anyone to help them.

    Qurʾān — 16:37

    ᵃ : C.f. verse 25 : On the Day of Resurrection they will bear the full weight of their own burden, as well as some of the burden of those they misled with no true knowledge. How terrible their burden will be!

    ________

    you cannot guide the blind out of their error: you cannot make anyone hear you except those who believe in Our signs and submit [to Us].

    Qurʾān — 27:81 – Qurʾān — 30:53

    ________

    You [Prophet] cannot guide everyone you love to the truth; it is God who guides whoever He will: He knows best those who will follow guidance.

    Qurʾān — 28:56

    ________

    Can you [Prophet] make the deaf hear? Or guide either the blind or those who are in gross error?

    Qurʾān — 43:40

    ________

    Some of them do listen to you: but can you make the deaf hear if they will not use their minds?

    Qurʾān — 10:42

    ________

    You cannot make the dead hear, you cannot make the deaf listen to your call when they turn their backs and leave,

    Qurʾān — 27:80, see also: Qurʾān — 30:52

    ________

    And not equal are the living and the dead. Indeed, God causes to hear whom He wills, but you cannot make hear those in the graves.

    Qurʾān — 35:22

    ________

    We have sent you [Prophet] with the truth, bearing good news and warning. You will not be responsible for the inhabitants of the Blaze.

    Qurʾān — 2:119

    ________

    I am commanded to recite the Qurʾān.’ Whoever chooses to follow the right path does so for his own good. Say to whoever deviates from it, ‘I am only here to warn.’

    Qurʾān — 6:52

    ________

    But if they turn away, say, ‘I have proclaimed the message fairly to you all. I do not know whether the judgement you are promised is near or far,

    Qurʾān — 21:109

    ________

    Say, ‘Obey God; obey the Messenger. If you turn away, [know that] he is responsible for the duty placed upon him, and you are responsible for the duty placed upon you. If you obey him, you will be rightly guided, but the Messenger’s duty is only to deliver the message clearly.’

    Qurʾān — 24:54

    ________

    What about those whose evil deeds are made alluring to them so that they think they are good? God leaves whoever He will to stray and guides whoever He will. [Prophet], do not waste your soul away with regret for them: God knows exactly what
    they do.

    Qurʾān — 35:8

    ________

    But [Prophet] are you going to worry yourself to death over them if they do not believe in this message?

    Qurʾān — 18:6

    ________

    [Prophet], are you going to worry yourself to death because they will not believe?

    Qurʾān — 26:3

    ________

    So leave them, [O Muḥammad], for you are not to be blamed.

    Qurʾān — 51:54

    ________

    If they disobey you, say, ‘I bear no responsibility for your actions.’

    Qurʾān — 26:216

    ________

    For the self-satisfied one you go out of your way –– though you are not to be blamed for his lack of spiritual growth ––

    Qurʾān — 80:5-7

    ________

    If they do not believe you, [Prophet], say, ‘I act for myself, and you for yourselves. You are not responsible for my actions nor am I responsible for yours.’

    Qurʾān — 10:41

    ________

    Say, ‘Everyone does things their own way, but your Lord is fully aware of who follows the best-guided path.’

    Qurʾān — 17:84

    ________

    [Prophet], say, ‘My people, you carry on as you are, and so will I: you will come to realize who will have a happy homecoming in the Hereafter.’ The evildoers will not prosper.

    Qurʾān — 6:135

    ________

    [And Shu’ayb said:]

    My people, do whatever is within your power, and I will do likewise. Soon you will know who will receive a disgraceful punishment and who is a liar. Watch out, and so will I.’

    Qurʾān — 11:93

    ________

    Say to those who do not believe, ‘Do whatever you can: we too are doing what we can,’
    and ‘Wait: we too are waiting.’

    Qurʾān — 11:121-122

    ________

    Say, ‘O my people, work according to your position, [for] indeed, I am working; and you are going to know
    To whom will come a torment disgracing him and on whom will descend an enduring punishment.’

    Qurʾān — 39:39-40

    ________

    [Prophet], say, ‘We are all waiting, so you carry on waiting: you will come to learn who has followed the even path, and been rightly guided.’

    Qurʾān — 20:135

    ________

    If they turn away, [Prophet], say ,‘God is enough for me: there is no god but Him; I put my trust in Him; He is the Lord of the Mighty Throne.’

    Qurʾān — 9:129

    ________

    7 Having a different religion does not prohibit kindness and justice

    ________

    God does not forbid you to deal kindly and justly with anyone who has not fought you for your faith or driven you out of
    your homes: God loves the just.

    But God forbids you to take as allies those who have fought against you for your faith, driven you out of your homes, and helped others to drive you out: any of you who take them as allies will truly be wrongdoers.

    Qurʾān — 60:8-9

    [The arabic word used in this verse ‘birr’ (dutiful respect and compassion) is the same word that the Prophet ﷺ commands Muslims to use in the treatment of their own parents, and he ﷺ says, ‘birr is good manners’ (Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim). This verse is—to borrow an expression used by Shaykh Yūsuf al-Qaraḍāwī—the constitution (dustūr) of relations between Muslims and non-Muslims.]

    ________

    [On the authority of Ibn Jarīr, Ibn ʿAbbās (ra) said: Some people of the Ansār that had family ties with [the tribes of] Banū Qurayẓah and al-Naḍīr, and they feared to give them charity – wanting them to convert to Islam, then this verse was revealed:]

    It is not for you [Prophet] to guide them; it is God who guides whoever He will. Whatever charity you give benefits your own soul, provided you do it for the sake of God: whatever you give will be repaid to you in full, and you will not be wronged.

    Qurʾān — 2:272

    ________

    Today all good things have been made lawful for you. The food of the People of the Book is lawful for you as your food is lawful for them. So are chaste, believing, women as well as chaste women of the people who were given the Scripture before you, as long as you have given them their bride-gifts and married them, not taking them as lovers or secret mistresses. The deeds of anyone who rejects faith will come to nothing, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.

    Qurʾān — 5:5

    Another of His signs is that He created spouses from among yourselves for you to live with in tranquillity: He ordained love and kindness between you. There truly are signs in this for those who reflect.

    Qurʾān — 30:21

    [This last verse shows that there must be love and kindness between spouses, and the first verse from Surat Al-Māʾidah made marriage with women of the People of the Book (Christians & Jews) lawful.]

    ________

    [And about the polytheist parents:]

    If they strive to make you associate with Me anything about which you have no knowledge, then do not obey them. Yet keep their company in this life according to what is right, and follow the path of those who turn to Me. You will all return to Me in the end, and I will tell you everything that you have done.

    Qurʾān — 31:15

    ________

    You who believe, be steadfast in your devotion to God and bear witness impartially: do not let hatred of others lead you away from justice, but adhere to justice, for that is closer to awareness of God. Be mindful of God: God is well aware of all that you do.

    Qurʾān — 5:8

    ________

    God commands you [people] to return things entrusted to you to their rightful owners, and, if you judge between people, to do so with justice: God’s instructions to you are excellent, for He hears and sees everything.

    Qurʾān — 4:58

    [And Ibn Kathīr narrated in his tafsīr that Ibn ʿAbbās and Muḥammad b. al-Ḥanafiyyah said, ‘This verse is for the righteous and wicked,’ meaning it is a command that encompasses everyone.]

    ________

  7. Hello again, everyone. I apologize for any rudeness I may have caused last time, and from know on will be more respectful in my questions, and tone. I would like to ask a question regarding Trinity in the Quran, and Catholic Commenter should probably get into this is as well:

    The Quran describes Trinity as such here:

    So believe in Allah and His messengers. And do not say, “Three”; desist – it is better for you. Indeed, Allah is but one God. Exalted is He above having a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth.

    And here:

    They have certainly disbelieved who say, ” Allah is the third of three.” And there is no god except one God.

    But I’ve heard Christians argue that this is not an accurate description of Trinity. As Miroslav Volf said in a book:

    “Christians often understand the doctrine of the Trinity as if there were three separate divine agents who form a kind of loving troika and as if, when they want to do something in the world, they deliberate as a committee. Muslims understand what Christians mean by the Trinity in a similar way. They claim that Christians associate another being—Jesus Christ—with God; Christians, in their view, believe in one God and then add to that one God a divine associate.

    But as I argue in my book, this is all wrong. It is a bastardized doctrine of the Trinity. Christians who know what they are talking about believe that there is one and only one God who has no associates—no divine troika, no divine committee of three. The Word and the Spirit are distinct but inseparable from the Speaker of the Word and Breather of the Spirit, and no divine “person”—neither Father, nor Son, nor the Spirit—ever acts independently in any activity. The Holy Three who are the Holy One interpenetrate each other in a way that creatures do not. Consequently, you cannot count God in the same way you count things in the world, and of course, you cannot count when it comes to God simply because God is not one of the things to be counted but is a source of all things that can be counted. Therefore, what Muslims deny about the Trinity, we Christians, when we know what we are talking about, do not affirm; Muslims are not contesting what we believe about the divine Trinity. So where some Muslims and Christians think there is an unbridgeable gulf, there is actually much commonality (though also some significant difference).”

    So my question is did the Quran portray Trinity accurately, and if not then why would God attack straw-man argument?

    Peace.

  8. @dantenerkog

    “The Quran describes Trinity as such here: So believe in Allah and His messengers. And do not say, “Three” (…) did the Quran portray Trinity accurately, and if not then why would God attack straw-man argument?”

    One could summarize this 4.171 verse as mentioning four things :

    1) Jesus being a messenger among others.
    2) (in continuity with 1)) (some) Christians exaggerating the role of Jesus and forgetting the other messengers.
    3) The details of Jesus’ birth from Mary.
    4) (in continuity with 3)) Rejecting the idea that God has offspring.

    Given those four elements, interpreting the word “three” in the verse as “Father/Son/Holy Spirit” is out-of-context and very unconvincing to say the least (and unsurprisingly, I know of no tafsir of this verse that understands “three” in this way. See http://www.altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=93&tSoraNo=4&tAyahNo=171&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0&LanguageId=2)

    The most obvious interpretation of “three” is Father/Mother/Son (which fits well with 3) and 4)). The Kashani Tafsir also mentions other possible interpretations, such as Essence/Life/Knowledge (which fits well with 2) and 3)), or God/Light/Darkness (which fits well with 1) and 2)).

    The reason why dawah carriers today interpret this verse in such a bizarre way is because they have an extremely oversimplified understanding of Christianity, leading them to view Christianity as monolithic and to view all Christian ideas as one and the same – for example, the Incarnation and the Trinity.

    This 4.171 verse is obviously about the Incarnation – but only confused or ignorant people would believe it to be about the Trinity.

    • “Ah okay. Is the second verse
      “They have certainly disbelieved who say, ” Allah is the third of three.” And there is no god except one God.”
      Referring to Trinity or something else?”

      For this one the tafsirs do interpret it (without proof) as referring to the Trinity, but if you look at the surrounding context of the verse for help, in 5.75 you see again that this is about Mary and the Incarnation, not Father/Son/Holy Spirit.

      My rule is simple : when in the Qur’an I read an unclear passage saying “X is wrong because of Y” and X might or might not refer to the Trinity, I always resolve my doubt by focusing on Y. Muslims on the other hand only see X and pay no attention to Y.

  9. Hmmmm, would say this is an accurate representation of the incarnation, and Mary? And another note why have so many Muslims meant it to take Trinity, and is this the orthodox/correct position historically?

  10. @dantenerokg
    “would say this is an accurate representation of the incarnation, and Mary?”

    Let me clarify that I believe those quranic passages to criticize wrong conceptions of the incarnation and Mary, not the true, orthodox conception.

    “why have so many Muslims meant it to take Trinity”

    Understanding between different religions is the exception rather than the rule, and we shouldn’t worry too much about that.
    The important thing is to understand one’s own religion correctly. Understanding another is often an unnecessary luxury.

  11. Hmmm, but isn’t the Islam/Quran against the Incarnation and Mary in general in all forms as these are crucial to the Jesus(pbuh) being the son of God in Christianity if I’m correct, which Islam denies.

    Shouldn’t it be addressing the correct form of the incarnation as well as wrong conceptions to draw people not only from heretical forms of Christianity(the sect Collydrians are super minor in Christian history, and please correct me if I’m wrong) the but from Christianity as a whole to Islam?

    Also if the Quran is addressing heretical sects then shouldn’t God have been more specific, and identify the heretical sects as heretics from Christianity/Judaism instead of calling them Christians or Jews in general (which gives the impression these beliefs are held by the majority of them)?

    How would you interpret this verse as well:

    “They do blaspheme who say: God is one of three in a Trinity: for there is no god except One God. If they desist not from their word (of blasphemy), verily a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemers among them.” – Quran 5:73

  12. “but isn’t the Islam/Quran against the Incarnation”

    If you believe that, please explain the difference betweenthe orthodox (aka Catholic) belief about the Incarnation and

    Qur’an 3.45 : “O Mary! Behold, God gives you good news of a word from Him,
    who shall become known as the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary…”

    Qur’an 4.171 : “Jesus, the son of Mary, was only a messenger of God and His
    Word which He bestowed on Mary …”

    “but isn’t the Islam/Quran against (…) Mary”

    ???????

    Qur’an 3.42
    Behold! the angels said: “O Mary! Allah hath chosen thee and purified thee – chosen thee above the women of all nations.

    Not to mention many other verses and a surah named after her.

    “these[the Incarnation & Mary] are crucial to the Jesus(pbuh) being the son of God in Christianity”

    Only in heretical forms of Christianity.
    The correct (aka Catholic) belief in Jesus being God/the son of God comes first and
    foremost from what Jesus said of himself : “I and the father are one”, “My father and
    your father” (“My sustainer and your sustainer” in the Qur’an). The whole trinitarian doctrine is but a footnote to Jesus’ words.

    One element which may introduce confusion here is the messianic verse

    Isaiah 7.14 :
    Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel
    (God with us).

    What we have here is just a sign, not something meant to be a rational proof. It does
    not mean that anyone born without a father must be a Messiah.

    “Shouldn’t it [the Qur’an] be addressing the correct form of the incarnation as well as wrong conceptions ”

    Why should it do it in detail? Detailed Christian treatises already existed before the Qur’an.
    And yes, the Qur’an does speak about the Incarnation, see verses above.

    “Shouldn’t it [the Qur’an] (…) draw people (…) from Christianity as a whole to Islam ? ”

    Since Christianity is true, true Christians have no need to be converted.
    Qur’an 2.62 Lo! Those who believe (in that which is revealed unto thee, Muhammad), 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.

    “shouldn’t God have been more specific”

    Remember, the Qur’an is meant to be short and easy to remember, and to make you think,
    not just spoon-feed knowledge to a passive audience.

    “shouldn’t God (…) identify the heretical sects as heretics from Christianity/Judaism”

    On the contrary, the Qur’an always refrains from using specifically Christian or Jewish theological terminology and always uses its own terminology. No need to over-burden Muslims …
    You make it sound as if one needed to be a Christian first before being a Muslim.

    “which gives the impression these beliefs are held by the majority of them[Christians & Jews]”

    Those beliefs are held by the majority of HERETICAL Christians & Jews, in a form
    or another. This also answers your critic about Collydrians being a minority sect.

    Considering that one of the possible meanings of “false worship” in Islam is using scholars and leaders (righteous or misguided) as an excuse to do bad things (see Qur’an 9.31 and that famous hadith), I consider the two following passages (one biblical and one quranic) to be equivalent in meaning :

    Qur’an 5.116 And when Allah saith: O Jesus, son of Mary! Didst thou say unto mankind: Take me and my mother for two gods beside Allah? he saith: Be glorified! It was not mine to utter that to which I had no right. If I used to say it, then Thou knewest it. Thou knowest what is in my mind, and I know not what is in Thy Mind. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Knower of Things Hidden?

    Matthew 7.22-23 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

    Finally I am surprised to see you asking again about Qur’an 5.73 when I already gave you a detailed answer about that above. Scroll up the comments in that thread and you will see it

  13. Thanks for your response, you always have insightful answers CC.

    This is a different question I’d thought I’d ask because the people at Asharis Assemble seem to have insight into the psychology of young Muslims, and I thought you might help me with an issue I’m suffering through.

    I’ve been suffering since the summer from a form of anxiety which is really hindering my life. In my final year of high school I discovered a set of songs which pulled me out of depression/self pity, and made me feel for the first time in 4 years happy with my life, and not jealous of other people going out, and doing stuff like drinking, partying etc. I showed them to my younger sisters(she’s 9), and my cousins as well(7, and 8) along with my twin brother, and it also really makes them happy as well, and gives all of us a sense of joy/fun due to the positive messages they send.

    The anxiety part comes here as over the summer I discovered Maher Zain and his songs. They are pretty good, and give me a sense of closeness to Islam. My anxiety kicks in is that whenever I listen to the other songs I mentioned I feel guilty whenever they make me really happy over Maher Zain’s songs(due to being about Islam), and these other ones are not. In fact anything related to them gives me a sense of anxiety due to the guilt, and now I face anhedonia(loss of pleasure) about them as well. I’m worried about going to Hell because of how happy they make me, and how I’d rather listen to them instead Maher Zain’s song(due to being about Islam, and praising Allah) or anything else like that. In fact whenever I use my earphones I feel I must put in a Maher Zain song or something like else or else I feel intense guilt. I know this seems absurd, and I’m really torn about how absurd it is(I REALLY hate myself for obsessing over this as it is so trivial), but I can’t shake this feeling of guilt, and threat of Hell, and now this anxiety is taking up most of my thinking in the day, which is really bothering me as I can barely focus in the day. I don’t want get into my mind these songs(which are really innocent and send good messages) that my cousins and sister like are ‘evil’, and will ‘lead me to hell’, and I don’t want to tell them the same thing as well. I think my point is Islam is giving me anxiety over something so trivial(and absurd), and I just want it to end. Any help will do.

    • The sufferings a young Muslim in the West has to go through in order to desist sin is well known. Many Muslims cannot stand them and fall into sin. But that is not the problem because falling into sin is something normal. The point is to try the best.

      The problem is when someone loses one’s faith in Islam as a whole or partly because of the difficulties. And in fact this website will only suggest you to disbelieve in parts of Islam. They will tell you that most things about which you have thought that they were a sin are not. It is absolutely understandable that you have difficulties because you want to avoid sinning. If it becomes too much you could fall into sin. It does not matter because Allah is forgiving. But you should not deny the sinfulness of sins.

      Music is forbidden in general. If listening to music helps you it will be better to hear to non-religious music sometimes. Islamic music is an oxymoron. The open sin is better than the sin covered in pseudo-religiosity.
      So try your best and when it comes over you take a break. Do not let yourself fall into depression or into rationalising of the sin. A human cannot stand everything. It is better to acknowledge one’s weakness before Allah and ask for help and forgiveness from Him.

  14. Catholic Commentator is a Catholic Christian. He has the opinion that Catholicism is a religion revealed by Allah before Islam. He sees Christianity as a valid religion which can be followed according to Islam. Based on this he explains how the Qur’an talked about Trinity.

    First of all I doubt that the admins here are agreeing with Catholic Commentator. But they simply do not want to go into confrontation with him because he supports Islam.

    The problem that seems to emerge when reading the Qur’an’s description of Trinity and standard Christian ones is that the first is a criticism. There is no need to fully describe Trinity to criticise it. All one has to understand is that Jesus was something of human form and Christians believe that Jesus is somehow God. The christology that deals about how Jesus exactly is God in detail will not change the main problem with the belief. Historically you have Nestorians/dyophysitites that tended to see Jesus more separate from the Father God. They used to be the oriental Christians while the Western Christians were the opposite, monophysitites.The oriental Christians today are not fully Nestorian anymore but there are some influences from Nestorianism that still distinguish them from Catholicism/Orthodoxy.
    I find it extremely far fetched to say that the Qur’an only rejects the Nestorians while accepting Catholicism/Orthodoxy. It might be true that the Qur’an specifically addresses oriental Nestorian Christians out of geographical and historical reasons like it addresses the Arabian Jews only when saying that the Jews believe Ezra is the son of God.
    In the history of Christianity there might be known christologies (like Arianism) that maybe are compatible with Islamic theology. Monophysitism is not.
    All one needs to understand about the Trinity and Christian belief about God is: Whoever believes that God acts in any human or bodily way is an idol worshiper. The details about such a belief do not change it’s blasphemous foundation. Everyone who believes in the divinity of Jesus is a disbeliever in the monotheist God. Everyone who rejects the Prophet or refuses to follow his message is a disbeliever.

  15. @Tolga

    “There is no need to fully describe Trinity to criticise it.”

    Muslim impatience and arrogance once again (especially arrogant as the Trinity regards the deep belief of billions of people over many centuries). This is very far removed from justice and fairness advised in the Qur’an. The best answer to you is probably : “there is no need to fully describe your Islam to criticise it”.

    Even Tim Winter who is an especially harsh critic of Christianity and the Trinity writes that “most of them[Muslims] never quite ‘got’ the point about the Trinity. Their analysis can usually be faulted on grounds not of unsophistication, but of insufficient familiarity with the complexities of Scholastic or Eastern trinitarian thinking. Often they merely tilt at windmills. ”

    “All one has to understand is that Jesus was something of human form and Christians believe that Jesus is somehow God”

    You make it sound as if Catholics were vague and muddle-headed about their beliefs. In reality, the divinity and humanity of Jesus is the subject of the most solemn declarations, such as the Chalcedonian creed.

    “Historically you have Nestorians/dyophysitites (…). They used to be the oriental Christians while the Western Christians were the opposite, monophysitites.”

    In the real world, both Nestorians and mono-physites were (or are) minority Christian sects, and both of them were/are wholly oriental.

    “All one needs to understand about the Trinity and Christian belief about God is: Whoever believes that God acts in any human or bodily way is an idol worshiper. ”

    I thought that God was the sole actor and mover of all bodies and humans acoording to Islam ?
    So believing that God acts through the mushafs (which are physical bodies) is idol worship ?

    “Everyone who believes in the divinity of Jesus is a disbeliever in the monotheist God.”

    Prove that.
    Explain also how it is possible that in the Medina constitution, Prophet Muhammad ordered Muslims to protect churches (which are places of idolatry and disbelief according to you).

    • It is true that most Muslims do not understand the Trinity. Many do not even know that Christians have such a belief regarding God and those who know maybe have simplistic strawman views about it. But I tried to explain why the details do not change the problem. I agree that ignorance is not good in any issue.

      ” “All one has to understand is that Jesus was something of human form and Christians believe that Jesus is somehow God”

      You make it sound as if Catholics were vague and muddle-headed about their beliefs. In reality, the divinity and humanity of Jesus is the subject of the most solemn declarations, such as the Chalcedonian creed.”

      With that statement I wanted to present the issue as general as possible because there many views. Chalcedonians have a clear view about this and others have another clear view. But the fundamental theological problem can be found in all views.

      “In the real world, both Nestorians and mono-physites were (or are) minority Christian sects, and both of them were/are wholly oriental.”

      Yes, I confused this because Nestorianism and monophysitsm are two opposite positions. But the Chalcedonian position (Western church) is in fact neither of these two.

      So the Chalcedonian creed is what you as a Catholic believe in. You asked the questions in defence of it:

      “I thought that God was the sole actor and mover of all bodies and humans acoording to Islam ?
      So believing that God acts through the mushafs (which are physical bodies) is idol worship ?”

      For me this way of arguing is not very transparent. Your view of Trinity which we can read in the Chalcedonian manifest and the examples you mentioned here cannot be compared in any way. We can read what Jesus is according to this theology.

      ” Explain also how it is possible that in the Medina constitution, Prophet Muhammad ordered Muslims to protect churches (which are places of idolatry and disbelief according to you).”

      The Prophet also ordered that the Zoroastrians should be protected. And they are as we know open “duotheists” or dualists. According to most Islamic scholars even all polytheists can be protected under the Dhimmah, not only the “people of the book” who are mentioned in the Qur’an and the Zoroastrians who are mentioned in hadith and handled in this way by the Rashidun.

      • I think the first thing that Muslims should try to improve is the theology. With a firm and reasonable theology the problems Muslims face practically can be solved. It has to be cleared how Islamic theology differs from Christian one. How does Islam address atheism and political ideologies? I think the only way is fundamental theological and philosophical opposition to them. Only when Muslims understand the motivation behind non-Muslim arguments for or against something a way out of the problems can be found. Muslims and non-Muslims can never have a common motivation because their foundation of seeing the world differs fundamentally.

        That is the conclusion I came to after looking at different ideas to reform Islam (Salafism, standard modernism, Sufi traditionalism etc. ). Based on this I am looking at the issues that come up.

  16. Tolga – you are an uncouth specimen who makes offensive statements like that the people on this site are telling others to disbelieve in parts Islam, Music is forbidden etc with no proof whatsoever.

    And how bloody DARE you takfir me? You vile interlocutor!

    As for us not wanting to disagree with Catholic Commentator – that is also stupid, as he and regular readers know we disagreed publicly on many things – for example on the historicity of Noah’s Flood, which is a much smaller issue than this. Catholic Commentator is a valued contributor to this site, but he does not write for it or edit it, so we have no reason to ‘fear’ him, so please stop your Mexican dramas.

    Unlike you, I actually like to listen to what people have to say without making takfir and attacking them, especially when I am not in the discussion and didn’t follow it fully. Also, I don’t jump in and spas out and start taking sides as soon as something I don’t agree with gets said.

    So you have a problems with his interpretation of the Quran. The number one group of people giving garbage interpretations to the Quran are not Catholics however but Muslims, on everything from sexual issues to the attributes of God. But I don’t see you lot getting excited about that. You just allow them to do it as ‘differences of opinion’. Its the same as the UK and US being ‘bad’ for invading Iraq etc – so young Muslims get radicalised and start attacking them. But then they ‘forget’ to attack Saudi, Qatar and all the other MUSLIM countries that supported that invasion.

    This is called ‘selective outrage’ AKA as BS.

    • I agree that my formulation sounded as if I made takfir on someone. I may consider some things as disbelief but I do not declare the one who has the belief to be a disbeliever. Before someone can become a disbeliever one has to openly reject something clearly known from the Qur’an. If it is something that is not so clear no takfir will be made.
      So excuse my formulation. I got a little bit emotional because I am aware of the problems young Muslims have as dante described.

  17. @Tolga

    “You asked the questions in defence of it [the Trinity]: (…) For me this way of arguing is not very transparent. Your view of Trinity (…) cannot be compared in any way.”

    I agree that it cannot be compared, but I simply refuted your claim without needing to make any special reference to the Trinity. You have basically failed so far to connect anything meaningful (be it true or false) to the Trinity.

    “According to most Islamic scholars even all polytheists can be protected under the Dhimmah”

    Would this protection extend to building and objects of worship ? Because that’s what my point was about. It makes sense for Muslims to be patient, kind and peaceful with polytheists, but it doesn’t make sense to actively protect their tools and means of idolatry. That would be implicit approval of the idolatry or at least complacency.

    • “I agree that it cannot be compared, but I simply refuted your claim without needing to make any special reference to the Trinity. You have basically failed so far to connect anything meaningful (be it true or false) to the Trinity. ”

      I guess I should have made the statement more precise. Formally you are right but I feel this discussion leaves the essential points of the topic.

      “Would this protection extend to building and objects of worship ? Because that’s what my point was about. It makes sense for Muslims to be patient, kind and peaceful with polytheists, but it doesn’t make sense to actively protect their tools and means of idolatry. That would be implicit approval of the idolatry or at least complacency.”

      You are right here. But in general such analogical arguing is not valid. For instance according to most Islamic scholars churches can stay but they cannot be rebuilt and new ones cannot be build anymore. However nothing of this matters for the theology because rules can have other specific motivations others than theological ones.
      But I do not know what happened to the Zoroastrian temples.

  18. @Tolga

    “I guess I should have made the statement more precise.”

    Indeed, why don’t you

    “However nothing of this matters for the theology because rules can have other specific motivations others than theological ones.”

    Which ” other specific motivations” in this case, I can’t see any

    • The reason why the Trinity according to different understandings (Chalcedonian/Miaphysite etc.) goes against the Islamic teaching is quite clear. The problem is that we are not discussing transparently. Everyone can read the Chalcedonian creed and see what could be said about it in relation to Islamic theology.

  19. Hello again. I have a few more questions/issues I would like to ask the PEOPLE OF THIS BLOG(NOT TOLGA).

    1. I’m having a real issue with the punishment of the grave as to me it seems ludicrously cruel, over-the top, and unnecessary torture(plus I admit I am skeptical of certain things about it such as only animals can hear it). I fail to see what the point is behind it as there is already the torment in Hell. I feel like a moral hypocrite if I endorse it as I am against torture(don’t wanna be like Sam Harris, ugh), but when it comes to stuff like this I have to turn a blind eye, and say it’s okay. Furthermore I also must ask that since God created us, and is omniscient, why did God create people knowing and decreeing that they would be tormented in the grave and in Hell before they existed/did anything, and this is an issue that really bothers me? Does God want to torment people, and if so how do we reconcile this with His benevolence?

    2. The people of this blog emphasize how the Quran wants us to use our intellect, think critically, use reason/evidence and have nothing to fear from it. I really like this approach but there is some problems for me. If God wants us to use our intellect/reason, and believe in things with evidence then how come in Islam He requires us to believe in stuff that go against reason(magic, Jinn, Jonah(pbuh) in the whale, virgin birth, creation of Adam from clay, etc), and have no evidence/go against the evidence we currently have. Another thing is that certain things of the Quran need to be taken allegorically/not literally(Jeffrey Lang gives the example of creation of Adam from clay, story of the two-horned one). If so then why did God reveal these stories in these forms that go against evidence/reason and similar to say myths of ancient Greece(creation of man from clay by Prometheus) which we dismiss easily. Why didn’t He make it cIear these stories are allegorical or not literal like He does with An-Nur, or how Plato does with his myths. I know some people argue that this was done to appease the people of ancient times, and make them accept the Quran more easily, but if God could reveal the secrets of creation/hereafter to these people, then couldn’t He also reveal the truths of the natural world as well(which in the Quran He frequently points too as His signs). Again I feel sort of like a hypocrite when I say I reject stuff like say a Pegasus/ghost out of reason, but believe in Jinn/magic.

    3. Speaking of which how would you respond to the claims of this article, specifically the idea that Epicurus/Lucretius said things more scientifically accurate and less ambiguously than the author of the Quran who is God as this does give me pause.

    Peace, and thanks in advance.

    • @dantenerokg

      The torment in the grave is not supported by Qur’an according to
      http://quransmessage.com/articles/grave%20punishment%20FM3.htm

      Also, doesn’t that belief include being “tested” in the grave rather than just being tormented ? It makes a lot of sense then, it is a last chance to repent, with the torment as an incentive.
      This is more or less the view of Ibn Kathir (see http://www.qtafsir.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2143&Itemid=96)

      “I feel like a moral hypocrite if I endorse it as I am against torture(don’t wanna be like Sam Harris, ugh), but when it comes to stuff like this I have to turn a blind eye, and say it’s okay.”

      This is wrong on several accounts, not least because you have not seen Hell yet,
      you have only heard of it. So there is no question of “turning a blind eye”.

      “Furthermore I also must ask that since God created us, and is omniscient, why did God create people knowing and decreeing that they would be tormented in the grave and in Hell before they existed/did anything, and this is an issue that really bothers me? Does God want to torment people, and if so how do we reconcile this with His benevolence?”

      Mmmclmru and I have commented on this a lot in the discussion with Zany here.
      God does not want evil but allows it as a means to a greater good.
      Strictly speaking God does not torment anyone, He only lets evildoers torment themselves.
      The fact that God knows “beforehand” of certain evils does not make Him guilty of those evils.

      “If God wants us to use our intellect/reason, and believe in things with evidence then how come in Islam He requires us to believe in stuff that go against reason(magic, Jinn, Jonah(pbuh) in the whale, virgin birth, creation of Adam from clay, etc)”

      All those things are not against reason, they are just miraculous, extraordinary.

  20. Also as a heads up I’ve been looking at the book “My Ordeal With the Quran”, and I must say I am not impressed as the author makes claims which are easily debunked like the Quran says the earth is flat, the sun sets in the west etc, and typical anti-Muslim stuff. He also shows ignorance of natural theology and gets the basic idea behind the cosmological argument wrong.

  21. @dantenerokg

    Your problem is much deeper. Obviously you do not understand basic principles. You do not know what “reason” and evidence is but you think you know. Until you learn about the basics you will not be able to solve anything.

    And that is the answer to your question “why did God create people knowing and decreeing that they would be tormented in the grave and in Hell”. Because people who do not understand basic terms but use them as arguments deserve this treatment.

  22. @Tolga
    “Everyone can read the Chalcedonian creed and see what could be said about it in relation to Islamic theology.”

    Everyone (including you I presume) can see, but … you can’t find the words !
    How sad that those wonderful ideas will stay in your head forever.

    Did you notice that dantenerokg explicitly asked you not to answer him ? And we can all see in retrospect how right he was. Looks like you missed a unique opportunity to stay silent.

  23. ”Whoever believes that God acts in any human or bodily way is an idol worshiper. The details about such a belief do not change it’s blasphemous foundation”

    Tolga is this about Christians? Sounds like a good description of Wahabbis to me who insist that God must literally have hands, is literally in a vertical position above us, and according to some, can even ‘fall.’

    dantenerokg; as CC says, events which seem to contravene the laws of nature are not against reason. There is no reason why the ultimate reality and originator of laws of nature should be constrained by them.

    If you pre suppose that philosophical materialism is true; atheism will usually be an inevitability. You should listen to someone like keith ward who IMO critiques the whole notion of materialism pretty well.

    • I have not seen any Wahhabis here defending this belief. I only see a Christian claiming that his creed is in accordance with the Qur’an. This is a case of whataboutism. For me this seems very Ill-intentioned from your side.

      “dantenerokg; as CC says, events which seem to contravene the laws of nature are not against reason. There is no reason why the ultimate reality and originator of laws of nature should be constrained by them. ”

      This is also the answer to danterokg’s question about punishment in hell. Someone who is too stupid to understand something that simple and even calls his not understanding of it “reason” and “evidence” deserves hell fire. Most cases of disbelief are based upon such stupid fallacies.

      • Did you not get the memo, that I didn’t want anything to do with you? Seriously how much of a psychopath are you for saying I “deserve hell-fire” for asking questions? I’d rather spend an eternity in hellfire with Catholic Commenter whose been nothing but nice, and courteous in answering my questions than spend paradise with someone as hateful as you. It’s people like you that give Islam a bad name. Why don’t you go back to your Wahabbi buddies, and talk about burning everyone who disagree with you in hell while worshipping your imposter, anthropomorphic Zeus/Odin which you disgracefully call “God”. I hope to see you banned, but your stupidity is quite amusing.

      • You are annoying and stupid.
        I allowed your foolishness when you made takfir of me but how dare you offended my readers too?
        Banned.

      • Er no, most cases of disbelief (today) come from either a complete lack of information or because of idiot Muslims who are a thousand times better at making Muslims apostasize then Islamophobes. Most sunnis establishments of any sort today are either openely wahhabi or strongly influenced by them, and categorically confirm struggling fears of young Muslims; God is a giant human like thing who has made his religion inaccessible without Ibn Kathir and Ibn taymiyya, and then he arbitrarily damns people for asking questions. And that all the single chain Hadiths that ISIS use are all true….but the ‘conditions’ aren’t quite right. Oh and that Ibn Sina, Al Farabi et al were all heretics….but we can still use them to tell non Muslims how scientific Islam is.

      • Ahhhhhh…now I see!
        Tolga is ‘Zany’ isn’t he, that guy who admitted he has psychiatric ‘history’ and kept coming back with aliases after being banned.

        Exactly the same style.
        Bold sweeping statements but unable to provide a single reference. Central Asian/Nigerian style of English too.

  24. @dantenerokg

    Do you know about the famous “Hidden treasure” hadith ? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Hidden_Treasure

    God is already perfect and without need by Himself, but in a sense he gets “even more glory” by creating the world. Sort of like how dreaming adds something to your life. In Catholicism we say that God has an essential and an accidental glory, and that the accidental glory is given to him by the created world. This latter glory is imperfect but still way above any other glory. Leibniz said that the created world is “best possible”, i.e. designed to give the most glory possible to God.

    A similar thing happens with evil. God might have created a world without evil and without free will, but then his Justice would have remained hidden.
    On a certain level, the evil deed and the punishment cancel each other out.
    But on a higher level, this results in a “greater good” as God’s Justice is revealed.

  25. Looks like its time for Chuckles to bow out. Good riddance.

    Now let’s continue with real intelligent discussion.

    I agree that God cannot will evil, and is not responsible for evil. But with regards about people who are in hell, God knows beforehand they will go to hell and created them, and determines their purpose in existence(which I guess is going to Hell). The thing is He created them without their consent, and isn’t it unfair to create someone for the purpose of being eternally tortured without their say in it/consent, and since God created them in the first place doesn’t that make Him responsible for their situation in the first place, and their chance to experience evil?

    I’m not a materialist as it has some HUGE hurdles to overcome(intentionality is a BIG one). True miracles are logically possible, and don’t go against reason in that sense(that’s how I interpret your statement of miracles not being against reason, but correct me if I’m wrong), and I should’ve been more specific in my wording(ie evidence). But it is also logically possible that say Helios rides the sun as a chariot to make it rise in the morning. Even though there is no logical impossibility of Helios doing so(unlike say the concept of a square circle), we have no reason to believe that this is the case based on what we know about the sun, and evidence gathered about it. Now then my point is that based on the evidence and stuff we know about the world, it tells us that things man wasn’t created from clay, magic doesn’t exist, no sign of Jinn, etc. The Quran tells us to not believe in things without evidence, yet we are also required to believe in stuff that evidence seems to go against, so I’m wondering how do you reconcile this. Furthermore I’m also wondering how can I say at one point I don’t believe in stuff like Helios riding the sun chariot due to evidence telling me otherwise, yet believe in the stuff the Quran mentions without feeling like a hypocrite.

    Also what is your take on the linguistic miraculous nature of the Quran? I’ve been asking a linguistic what he thought about it, and he responded with this:

    “In any case, the claims that these opinions are subjective come from both the nature of the claims and the methods used to evaluate them. There is no such thing as “great” in linguistic analysis. We have no way to assess what makes a particular text, style, sentence, word, etc. “great”. Additionally, as a science, it would be a betrayal of principles to give up trying to find an explanation for a given phenomenon and resort to calling it a miracle. Calling something a miracle is what is known as an argument from lack of imagination, since the term precludes any rational investigation. A miracle by definition defies explanation, but scientists such as linguists are in the business of providing explanations for things formerly inexplicable. The putative miraculous nature of the Quran has not been evaluated in any scientific way, and indeed, the claims are not scientific claims. Without a metric for greatness, one that is language-neutral without bias toward what is valued for Arabic or English or any other language, the claims can only ever be subjective.”

  26. @dantenerokg

    “The thing is He created them without their consent and isn’t it unfair to create someone for the purpose of being eternally tortured without their say in it/consent”

    So, let us call our hell-goer “X”.

    If by “X” you mean the relative, finite-duration human being in this world, obviously X couldn’t give his or her consent before being created, so there’s no unfairness from God here. And X is asked for his consent, offered a choice after being created.

    If you say that the choice and consent is illusory because God already knows the outcome, you would be right in a sense but then remember that the whole created world is illusory and that only God really exists. Which brings us to the next point :

    If by “X” you mean the complete, eternally existing being, which God manifested/created in this world like someone removing a veil around an object, this complete being has eternally all its evil or good attributes, and it is arbitrary and unjustified to transfer those attributes to God (that’s what you do when you call God unfair about this).
    Circles are round, but that doesn’t make God round, does it ?

    “my point is that based on the evidence and stuff we know about the world, it tells us that things man wasn’t created from clay, magic doesn’t exist, no sign of Jinn,”

    Okay, let us proceed step by step.

    Where is the evidence that “man wasn’t created from clay” ? This is merely something that we do not see, not something that “there is evidence against”.

    The claim that “magic does not exist” usually boils down to claiming the alleged witnesses of miracles are liars or mistaken or deceived by their senses. Proving that claim is a huge task, especially given the number of witnesses involved.

    “how can I say at one point I don’t believe in stuff like Helios riding the sun chariot due to evidence telling me otherwise, yet believe in the stuff the Quran mentions without feeling like a hypocrite. ”

    Simple. Qur’an makes a case for itself by being muttawatir.
    If someone insists you should believe in Helios riding the sun chariot, ask him or her
    to bring a proof comparable to the Qur’an.

    “There is no such thing as “great” in linguistic analysis. We have no way to assess what makes a particular text, style, sentence, word, etc. “great”.”

    Again, being muttawatir looks like a nice criterion to me.

    “Additionally, as a science, it would be a betrayal of principles to give up trying to find an explanation for a given phenomenon and resort to calling it a miracle.”

    Allow me to translate this sentence for you

    “Additionally, as a believing atheist, it would be a betrayal of my principles to give up trying to find a non-religious explanation for a given phenomenon and resort to admit being wrong.”

    Nothing wrong with disbelief or skepticism per se, except men (especially today) have the bad habit of immediately turning it into a dogma. This while simultaneously claiming to be against all dogmatism! Talk about a self-defeating attitude.

    I would advise your linguist friend to let not his atheist dogmatism interfere with his
    scientific work.

    “A miracle by definition defies explanation”

    Nonsense. A miracle is usually self-explanatory. God drowned Pharaoh’s army to punish Pharaoh, Jesus healed people for their own good, etc.

    Regarding the special case of the “linguistic miracle” of the Qur’an, I must confess that I am equally ignorant as you.

  27. Dear Catholic Commentator,

    Hope you and your loved ones are doing well.

    Please check this out….

    It’s about ring structure in the Qur’an that is prevalent throughout the Qur’an but the youtube only focuses on Surah 2 for lack of time.

  28. @Catholic Commentar

    With regards to the criteria of muttawatir my associate said this:

    “How is muttawatir a neutral criterion, if it’s embedded in the text? Moreover, why should consistency in detail so as to be considered truth be valued as a criterion for greatness? What is the logical connection between them? What implications would this have for texts that do not seek to present a version of truth, but rather of art?
    Is it possible for the Quran to be shown to violate such a criterion? If not, then you’re stacking the deck from the start, choosing a criterion that you know will work for some texts but not others?
    I also can’t figure out how this is meant to be language-neutral. It seems to place emphasis on a value that speakers of some languages care about deeply, but that others might think less of.
    In short, it does not seem scientific from what is presented thus far.”

    Also how would you guys respond to some of the claims about scientific errors in the Quran? I am skeptical about them as a previous video by you guys said most of these so-called errors are due mistranslations, but I don’t know how to judge these ones properly or refute them:

    1. 1) The expansion of the universe :

    (51/47) And the heaven We constructed with strength, and indeed, We are [its] expander.

    This particular verse, that comes in Quran immediately after the Noah episode and the punishment meted out to the disobedient cannot be seen in Isolation. It is complimented by two more verses:

    51/48. And the earth We have spread out, and excellent is the preparer.

    51/49. And of all things We created two mates; perhaps you will remember.

    The passage must also be read with Sura 41/09-13. By heaven, Allah means the sky that we see. For, He says:

    Say, “Do you indeed disbelieve in He who created the earth in two days and attribute to Him equals? That is the Lord of the worlds.” 10. And He placed on the earth firmly set mountains over its surface, and He blessed it and determined therein its [creatures’] sustenance in four days without distinction – for [the information] of those who ask.11. Then He directed Himself to the heaven while it was smoke and said to it and to the earth, “Come [into being], willingly or by compulsion.” They said, “We have come willingly.” 12. And He completed them as seven heavens within two days and inspired in each heaven its command. And We adorned the nearest heaven with lamps and as protection. That is the determination of the Exalted in Might, the Knowing.

    Further,

    21/30 Have those who disbelieved not considered that the heavens and the earth were a joined entity, and We separated them and made from water every living thing? Then will they not believe?

    No Arabic word meaning the Universe with its millions of galaxies occur in Quran. It speaks of seven heavens layered one over the other. Please also note that the word ‘sema-on; سماء’ actually means the sky.

    Also,

    67/3. [And] who created seven heavens in layers. You do not see in the creation of the Most Merciful any inconsistency. So return [your] vision [to the sky]; do you see any breaks?

    So “We are its expander” can mean one of the two things:

    a. After splitting the heaven from the earth (or vice-versa), he expanded the sky to spread it aloft as a protective roof over the earth. Surah 41/12And We adorned the nearest heaven with lamps and as protection.

    b. After cleaving heaven from the earth (or vice-versa), Allah expanded the heaven into seven layers.(67/3).

    It is thus abundantly obvious that by “we constructed it; we are the expander” Allah did not mean that he had expanded the universe as discovered by Edwin Hubble in 1929 that the universe is expanding in the sense that the galaxies are moving away from each other.

    Furthermore, if Quran did mean in this verse that the world has been expanding since God made it, that would mean that God made a pretty shrunken world – which is what the Big Bang theory suggests. So the expansion of the universe contradicts the creation theory supported by Quran. So what Allah says in this verse is that he expanded the sky as we see it, not the moving apart of the universe with its million galaxies of which Allah does not speak in the Quran and possibly did not know of.

    2. The trajectory of the Sun :

    ( 21/33) And it is He who created the night and the day and the sun and the moon; all [heavenly bodies] in an orbit are swimming.

    Unfortunately for Allah, he is wrong even if he created both the night and the day.

    Read with Surah 36 (36/37-40) “36:37-40 A token unto them is night. We strip it of the day, and lo! they are in darkness. And the sun runneth on unto a resting-place for him. That is the measuring of the Mighty, the Wise. And for the moon We have appointed mansions till she return like an old shrivelled palm-leaf. It is not for the sun to overtake the moon, nor doth the night outstrip the day. They float (swim) each in an orbit.”

    We find that the “Orbit”, assuming that an equivalent word existed in the 7th Century Arabic, of the Sun and the Moon are discontinuous in Quran which states that the sun runs for a resting place; that the moon goes to a mansion because she is so shrivelled (not seem shrivelled) that she has to rest in a mansion. It would appear that Allah did not know that the moon never shriveled; only got shadowed progressively from the day after the full moon to the New Moon.

    Science tells us that there is no comparison between the two orbits; the sun along with the earth, the moon and all the planets in the system orbit the core of our spiral galaxy – not the earth – at 828,000 km/h; yet a single orbit would take approximately 61 galactic years, which would be something like 4.35 Billion years – we have just about completed a single orbit since our universe was born. Obviously, this quantity has nothing to do with the 1000 human years or 50,000 angel years that makes Allah’s one day. There is, also, no question of the moon catching up with or following (Surah 91/2) the sun (in between or while on) their respective orbits. It is not for the sun to overtake the moon is akin to saying that it is not for Usain Bolt to overtake the International Space Station. Pretty untenable comparison.

    3. The role of mountains as ground anchors to stabilize the earth:

    (21/31) And We placed within the earth firmly set mountains, lest it should shift with them, and We made therein [mountain] passes [as] roads that they might be guided.

    Mountains are not placed on the earth like paperweights on newsprint. They are geological formations, mostly erupted as a result of tectonic forces and volcanism that progressively occurred during the course of the evolution of earth that set off 4.54 Billion years ago. Of these, the volcanic mountains are most unstable and dangerous to life forms. They have killed millions of living beings during earth’s age. Himalaya, the largest of the mountain range in the world, was formed – and is continuously rising inch by inch – since the impact of the Indian subcontinent that floated in from the South caused the eruptions at the line of impact.

    Mountains are gradually being eroded by rains and snow as well as human incursions and will flatten without upsetting the firmness of the earth. The earth, which is a sphere, finds a balance or state of equilibrium thanks to the gravitational force that pulls it towards the Sun and the centrifugal force that results from its orbit around the sun. The mountains do not prevent shifting of the earth; instead, they often cause temporary instability with volcanic eruptions, avalanches and earthquakes.

    Himalayan earthquakes are notorious; quakes of the order of 8 on the Richter scale are known. The 2015 earthquake in Nepal right in the midst of Himalaya mountains killed 9000 people – presumably still counting; In Afghanistan, another mountain-bound nation, earthquake at 7.5 Richter scale killed at least 300 humans in the same year. All the regions within and near the foothills of Himalayas – including Pakistan and upper India – are unstable.

    The ‘Ring of Fire,’ “a land-belt that extends from Chile, northward along the South American coast through Central America, Mexico, the West Coast of the United States, and the southern part of Alaska, through the Aleutian Islands to Japan, the Philippine Islands, New Guinea, the island groups of the Southwest Pacific, and to New Zealand” has caused 70,000 deaths in Peru in 1970 and “65 deaths and a billion dollars’ damage in California in February 1971”. This does not include the several other quakes that keep happening and the ‘swimming pool turbulence’ (called seiche (pronounced SAYSH) that frighten the aquatic revellers in California. The reason for the calamities is “a region of young, growing mountains and deep ocean trenches which invariably parallel mountain chains.”

    Obviously, if Allah placed the mountains to effect stability to the earth, he made a terrible un-godly and unscientific mistake. Mountains only cause instability and shifting.

    4. rarefaction of oxygen in the upper layers of Earth’s atmosphere, when climbing into the sky :

    (6/125) So whoever Allah wants to guide – He expands his breast to [contain] Islam; and whoever He wants to misguide – He makes his breast tight and constricted as though he were climbing into the sky. Thus does Allah place defilement upon those who do not believe.

    Progressive rarefication of air and hence that of oxygen is a fact that is not mentioned anywhere in the Quran. However, unlike what is mentioned in this verse, one’s breast and the lungs within do not tighten and constrict, but expand and loosen as we climb higher in the sky due to the depleting atmospheric pressure. If an airplane loses its oxygen supply while flying in the stratosphere, one gasps for oxygen to fill one’s expanding lungs, not to squeeze out the air from it. If a cosmonaut on the ISS while space-walking at 250 to 400 kilometers above earth was to get his pressure suit punctured, his lungs would expand and burst – not crush and implode. The feeling of tightness only happens when one dives deeper into the sea or goes down a very deep pit. As always, Allah is wrong in this verse relating to a matter of science.”

  29. @dantenerokg

    1. What do you mean by the muttawatir character being “embedded in the text”. Being muttawatir is established by comparing different sources, the more the better, so how can it be “embedded” in anything ?

    2. “Is it possible for the Quran to be shown to violate such a criterion? ”

    It is indeed, and many Islamophobes devote their time to try to achieve this, speaking of the “lost verses”, the “incompatible readings” etc.

    “you’re stacking the deck from the start, choosing a criterion that you know will work”

    I definitely do not know in advance the outcome of applying that criterion. Nor has anyone who has not actually looked at the data.

    3. “Why should consistency in detail so as to be considered truth be valued as a criterion for greatness? What is the logical connection between them? What implications would this have for texts that do not seek to present a version of truth, but rather of art?”

    Your associate has trouble seeing connection between truth and “greatness” (which, here, presumably means artistic beauty). He is not alone. The whole modern world has lost the monotheistic understanding of the identity between Truth, Beauty and Goodness (because God is all of those things and God is one). As a result, the only beauty modern man can think of is a beauty without truth (utopia, wishful thinking, fiction, irrational emotion, modern art). Similary the only truth modern man believes in is a truth without beauty (“cold” facts, scientific, mechanical, boring, lifeless formulas and theories).

    4. Regarding the expansion of the universe, isn’t it obvious that the “nearest heaven” in the Qur’an is the one we see, and that the “lamps” are the stars. Stars have always been a universal means for guidance and direction indeed, for sailors who didn’t have access to modern technology.

    Also, note that the expansion of the universe is not universally believed in today’s scientific world. Einstein did not believe in it, and if you google “universe expansion criticism” you will find a lot of material.
    See for example http://www.nature.com/news/cosmologist-claims-universe-may-not-be-expanding-1.13379

    5. Regarding the trajectory of the sun and moon, note that even the translation of the Qur’an says “[the moon] return LIKE an old shrivelled palm-leaf”. This point is just a visual analogy, not a scientific theory.

    Your associate claims that in Qur’an 36.40 about “day and night”, day really means Allah’s day of “1000 human years or 50,000 angel years “. Why does your associate claim that ? Doesn’t the context make it obvious that this verse is in fact speaking about our ordinary nights and days.
    Similarly, about “the moon when it follows it” in Qur’an 91.2 your associate ignores the traditional interpretation of it as referring to the visual impression one gets if we look at the sky during the first morning of a new moon (one sees the moon and the sun at the same time).

    6. “Mountains only cause instability and shifting” is an unwarranted generalization : not all mountains are volcanoes. There are lots of mountains in Ireland, but virtually no geological instability. Your associate would have a point if the Qur’an had said “volcanoes” and not “mountains”. But then, you can prove a lot of things about the Qur’an or any book by changing the words …

    7. If you try to jump in the air and rise as high as you can, your body will indeed tighten and constrict. I experience that feeling too when during my exercising I stretch my body by suspending myself with my feet in the air.
    Tafsirs interpret the expression “raise in the sky” (by one’s own means) in Qur’an 6.125 as metaphorically referring to something impossible, as if the disbeliever was impatient and wanted to reach heaven without purifying himself or herself first.

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