Authenticity of the Qur'aan
Material on the Authenticity of the Qur'aan and Proofs that it is a Revelation from Allah
All praise is due to Allah , we praise Him and we seek his help and ask His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil of our selves and from the evil results of our actions. I testify that Allah alone is worthy of worship and that Muhammad is His slave and final Messenger. May Allahs salawaat (peace and blessings) be upon the last and final messenger Muhammad, his family and his followers. Ameen!
To begin: The best discourse is the book of Allah, and the best way is the way of Muhammad, and the worst of the matters in the religion are those newly introduced innovations, for every innovation in the religion is misguidance, and every misguidance is going astray and every going astray is in the Hellfire.
I have embarked on my commentary on the The Economist magazines survey Islam and the West (large insert in the August 6, 1994 issue) after some considerable deliberation, and find myself confronted with a considerable task, and indeed Allah is the best of helpers. Brian Beedham is able to rely on what Noam Chomskey calls manufactured consent. While dictatorships use force in order to achieve consent from the people and prevent opposition, democracies manufacture consent through the media by using it to providing a particular world view which conforms to the interests, by and large, of the ruling elite. He is able to get away with a short, condensed, article because he doesnt need to prove much of what he is saying, he only has to repeat the prefabricated conventional platitudes. For example, when he talks the Algerian Muslims as a singularly intransigent bunch of Islamic rebels, fundamentalists of the most bloody minded sort he doesnt have to prove it, because the establishment has already ensured that people believe this is the case. In fact the statement in not at all true. The Algerian fundamentalists proved willing to go to elections and seek a peaceful way re-establish the Islamic Shareeah . Recent events, such as the meeting of the opposition groups, including the rebel fundamentalists, in Rome, calling for talks and a return to free elections - which was even supported by the French government and was rejected by the Algerian government - shows that it is the Algerian government that has proved bloody minded. In spite of such obvious discrepancies Mr. Beedham is able to get away with it because consent has already been manufactured that the fundamentalists are rebellious and bloody minded.
Similarly he never feels he has to prove that democracy is an advantage, it is taken almost completely for granted, knowing his audience is already captive so as to speak. In the age of the sound-bite (or perhaps in this case word-bite), opposing the conventional wisdom is not easy, for what the likes of Mr. Beedham can say in a sentence opposing it would take a book. Even then it would be of doubtful effectiveness, for opposing the norms of society is perhaps one of the hardest paths to take for an instinctively societal creature like ourselves. Thus I shall be writing a series of letters, and not just one, thus enabling me to break down the commentary into more manageable pieces. I shall also refer certain topics to appendices, which may include video and audio tapes.
Islam: An Idea!
Of course no Muslim could accept Islam merely as an idea. As the survey itself mentions, Islam is based on the "word of God, revealed syllable by syllable to Muhammad fourteen hundred years ago" (p.4 c.2). Thus it is no mere idea, rather it is the idea, the ideology, the truth, exclusive of all others. As the Quran states:
"Indeed the religion before Allah is Islam"...
"Whoever wishes for a way of life other that Islam, never will it be accepted from them and in the hereafter they will be amongst the losers" (Surah Al Imraan 3:85).
The religion has been completed and perfected, and has no need for alteration or adjustment:
"This day we have completed your religion for you and perfected our favour upon you and chosen for your way of life Islam" (Surah Al Imraan 3:85).
The Prophet, peace be upon him, also said: "There is not one thing that shall bring you closer to the Paradise and away from the Fire without me having informed you of it, and there is not one thing that will take you away from paradise and towards the fire except that I have warned you about it." It is indeed true that Islam does not allow its followers to draw a distinction between the "inner" and "outer" aspects of life, between belief and actions, religion and politics, because in reality such distinctions are totally fallacious. Mans beliefs are the foundations and prime motivators for actions, for what is held to be true on the inside must manifest itself outwardly. Indeed the very first task given to Muhammad, peace be upon him, was to correct the false beliefs. It was not that the pagan Arabs did not believe in Allah, or God the Creator. In fact the Quran tells Muhammad, peace be upon him,:
"If you ask them who sends down rain from the sky, and gives life therewith to the earth after its death? They would certainly say Allah! Say: All the praise and thanks be to Allah! Nay! Most of them have no sense" (Surah al-Ankaboot 29:63).
"Say: Who provides for you from the sky and from the earth? Or who owns hearing and sight? And who brings out the living from the dead and the dead from the living? And who disposes the affairs? They will say: Allah. Say: Will you not them be afraid of Allahs Punishment (for setting up rivals in worship with Allah)? " (Surah Yunus 10:31).
Indeed the pagan Arabs used to worship Allah, pray to Him and sacrifice to Him in times of need and distress, as did the Jews and Christians, and they even claimed to love Him, but Allah rejected all of this from them and referred to them as senseless, and astray, and as disbelievers. So this is the reality concerning most of the men and jinn , that they claim to believe in Allah, and worship Allah, but what they believe about Him is incorrect, and the way they worship Him is incorrect . . .
"Most of them do not believe in Allah except while joining partners with Him" (Surah Yusuf 12:106) . . .
and its manifestations are many and the evil consequences numerous.
All of this has one common cause, or origin, and that is thinking and speaking about Allah without knowledge, and thus ascribing to Him that which should not be ascribed to Him, such as sons, or daughters, or human qualities and weaknesses, or claiming that some of the creation possess His powers and abilities, or by claiming that He, the Majestic, is pleased by some action that in fact angers Him, or that He is angered by some action that in fact pleases Him. So thus the idol worshippers call upon that which can neither benefit nor harm them, and the Christians call upon Jesus, and the Jews believe their racial origins guarantee His good pleasure, and those who believe that power, wealth and the such are means of success; all have put their faith and trust in something vain. This in itself is a great evil, for they have only wasted their time and effort, yet this is least of the evil consequences. As for that which is most severe . . . those who have fallen into associating partners with Allah have earned His anger and wrath, and upon them shall fall humiliation in this life and a most terrible fate in the next:
"Surely Allah will not forgive as-shirk (the association of partners with Him), but He forgives sins less than that of whomever He wishes" (Surah an-Nisa 4:48).
So "as-shirk", or ascribing partners to Allah (in whatever form it may take) is the unforgivable sin, because it is in reality the source of all evil, the greatest injustice, the worst oppression and wrongdoing. For if one is unafraid of speaking about Allah without knowledge, and this is a knowledge unattainable except through Him, for He is the best knower of Himself and His will, and that which pleases and displeases Him, then about what and about whom will one be afraid of speaking about ignorantly? For truly, as is obvious to anyone witnessing the destructive forces of nature, and untold misfortunes and miseries over which Allah alone has ultimate power and control, both in this life and the next, Allah is the most terrifying and most worthy of being feared. And also anyone witnessing the miraculous order, and precision, and symbiosis within the earth and universe, must realize the unparalleled knowledge and wisdom of its Creator. So if one is heedless of transgressing the laws of Allah, and thinks them of little or no importance, or worse considers them bad, evil, and outdated, then what of the laws conceived in the limited minds of men? If one is ungrateful to his Lord, the provider of all, then of what little consequence to such a one is ingratitude to the creation? If one denies the rights and dues of Allah, which are the most worthy of being fulfilled, then what rights and dues will such one be fearful of denying then? Thus imagine the case of a worker in a company run by yourself , who believes you are the lavatory cleaner, and the lavatory cleaner is the director! Would there not be evil results? Would you tolerate such a person? If so, for how long? Now envisage this fool teaching this to others, and insisting on it, so that the majority of the company came to believe it, ignoring your orders and prohibitions, and inventing them for themselves, and making their guide the lavatory cleaner who is moreover deaf and dumb!
The true cause of the evils that beset mankind are disbelief, sinfulness and ingratitude to Allah:
And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much (Surah as-Shura 42:30).
Evil has appeared on the land and sea, because of what your hands have earned. That Allah may make them taste a part of that which they have done, in order that they may return (Surah ar-Rum 30:41).
As the saying of the Prophet, peace be upon him,: "There is none who has a greater sense of ghira (a feeling of great fury and anger when ones honour and prestige is injured or challenged) than Allah, and so He has forbidden shameful deeds and sins. And there is none who likes to be praised more than Allah does" (Reported in Saheeh Al Bukhari). Allah is more infuriated by the disobedience of His slave than a man of honour is finding his wife fornicating with another man. So how is His fury with those who insult Him by ascribing rivals, and partners with Him, while He is glorious above such things! And the evil consequences are not limited to this life:
"Verily, those who disbelieved, and die while they are disbelievers, the whole earth full of gold will not be accepted from anyone of them even if they offered it as a ransom. For them is a painful torment and they will have no helpers" (Surah Al Imran 3:91).
The Prophet, peace be upon him, explained: "On the day of judgement a disbeliever will be asked: Suppose you had as much gold as to fill the earth, would you offer it to ransom yourself from the hell-fire? He will reply: Yes! Then it will be said to him: You were asked for something easier than that, that you should join none in worship with Allah, and submit yourself to Him, but you refused" (Reported in Saheeh al-Bukhari).
Indeed the message of all the prophets is one and the same:
"Verily, We have sent to every nation a messenger saying: Worship Allah and avoid false objects of worship" (Surah an-Nahl 16:36)
and indeed this is the very purpose for which Allah created mankind:
"I did not create the jinn and mankind except for My worship" (Surah ad-Dhaariyaat 51:56).
So as-shirk (i.e. ascribing partners to Allah) is in contradiction to that reason for which Allah has created us, and the purpose for which we exist, which is to choose to single out Allah for worship, avoiding all false deities, and to worship Him completely, with sacrifice, supplication, submission, subjugation, obedience and compliance, and with love, fear, hope, trust and reliance upon Him, seeking only His pleasure and not the admiration of His creatures, and to do all of that according to that which was revealed to His last and final Messenger Muhammad, peace be upon him, and not according to whims and desires and mere conjecture.
Furthermore, and of immediate relevance to the discussion, are those qualities, unique to Allah, that single Him out, such as "al-Hakim", the Judge; "al-Hakeem", the Wise; "al-Aleem", the All Knowing and "as-Shariy", the Legislator. Not only is Allah the Creator and Controller and Sustainer, but also the sole possessor of the wisdom and knowledge to legislate for mankind and to determine what is good and what is evil, what is right and what is wrong, what is lawful and what is prohibited, and thus what laws we should judge by, what social, economic and political system we should utilize . . .
"And no partner in legislating has He-He is alone" (Surah al-Kahf 18:60) . . .
"Indeed, the ruling is Allahs" (Surah Yusuf 12:40).
Allah admonished the Jews and Christians, and called them disbelievers, for
" . . . taking their priests and rabbis as lords besides Allah" (Surah at-Tawbah 9:31).
The Prophet, peace be upon him, went on to explain that the priest and rabbis "made lawful that which Allah had made unlawful, and made unlawful that which Allah had made lawful and the people accepted it...So that was their (i.e. the peoples) worship of them. Thus to ascribe legislative power to people is a clear and obvious form of disbelief, and shirk, or setting up rivals to Allah, and is the unforgivable sin, and a contradiction of the purpose of creation. If Allah blamed the people from the Jews and Christians for accepting from those among them who were learned in the Scripture and Divine legislation changes and alterations, and the making the forbidden allowed and visa versa, as we see them doing until this day, then how about those who accept such actions from every Tom, Dick and Harry, who have no scripture, and no wisdom and only pure speculation, whims and desires, as is the case of Democracy?!?
So the The Economist magazines survey admits that Islam makes no distinction between outward and inner, private and public life, yet goes on to suggest Muslims should abandon this, and adopt the ways of the worst error: disobedience to and rebellion against Allah, and commit the unforgivable sin of ascribing partners to Him. Truly Allah speaks the truth when He says:
"Never will the Jews or the Christians be satisfied with thee unless thou follow their form of religion (Surah al-Baqarah 2:120) and we seek refuge with Allah from that, for surely we would be of the losers.
To Clash or Not To Clash?
Will there be a confrontation between Islam and the West? Mr. Huntingtons clash of civilizations claims yes, but the survey is "not convinced". It is true that the world of Islam and the West have more in common with each other than they do with the Confucian and Hindu ones, but in reality both Mr. Huntingtons and Mr. Beedhams comparisons are unhelpful in understanding the reality of the matter. What Mr. Beedhams admits are important differences (Westerners not believing that God dictated the Quran and Muslims not believing the Jesus is the son of God) are in fact irreconcilable differences, at least from the Muslim stand point . . .
And they say the Compassionate (i.e. Allah) has taken to Himself a son. Certainly you utter a disastrous thing, whereby the heavens are almost torn asunder, and the earth split open and the mountains crumbles to ruin, that you ascribe to the Compassionate a son! When it is not befitting the majesty of the Compassionate that He should choose a son. There is none in the heavens or the earth but comes to the Compassionate as a slave (Surah Maryam 19:88-93).
Islam does not regard Christians who claim that Jesus is God, or the Son of God, as monotheists any more than Hindus who claim that Krishna is a manifestation of God or Buddhists who claim that Buddha is God. All of this is disbelief and polytheism. It is this that is the basis of conflict. It is a conflict not only sanctioned, but ordered in the Quran:
"Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor the last day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth among the people of the Book , until they pay the jizya (i.e. protection tax) with willing submission and feel themselves subdued" (Surah at-Tawbah 9:29).
This is not a confrontation of civilizations, nor is it a clash of cultures. Islam does not oppose the West, or anyone else, because of revenge over past hostilities, out of a desire to restore injured pride or because of the desire to amass their wealth and lands. The fight is for one purpose only and that is to establish the religion of Islam in its totality, as the Prophet, peace be upon him, explained when a man came to him and asked: "One of us fights for booty, another for his tribe and another to be known as brave, which one is fighting jihad?" The Prophet, peace be upon him, replied: "None of them. Only the one who fights to make Allahs Word the highest is fighting jihad." It is clear to any believer acquainted with Allahs Book (i.e. the Quran) and His Prophets Sunnah that jihad (i.e. struggling to the utmost of ones ability) is an intrinsic part of faith, and a duty among the duties in Islam. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, as reported by Tariq bin Shihab: "He who amongst you sees something evil should change it with his hand; and if he is unable he should change it with his tongue; and if he is unable to do that he should at least hate it in his heart, and that is the weakest form of faith" (Reported in Saheeh Muslim, No. 79).
Jihad has three characteristics. The first form is jihad of the heart, or jihad of the self. This is the internal struggle to acquire the correct creed, and to remove from ones self all doubts and misconceptions concerning this creed, and also the commands and prohibitions enjoined on the believer. It further more encompasses the purifying of the soul from base desires and acquiring noble qualities. The second level is the jihad of the tongue. This is the struggle against evil, and wrong beliefs and actions through preaching and writing books and the like. This form of jihad is characterized by its use against the deviants from among the Muslims, but also extends to the unbelievers. The final form of jihad is that of the hand, or sword, where one expends life and property. It is characterized by its use against unbelievers, but can also be used against deviant groups under the authority of the Muslim ruler. This jihad of the hand, often termed "Holy War", is further compartmentalized into three stages. The first is that of it being forbidden, as it was in the early days of Muhammads prophethood. If the Muslims are weak, and fighting is liable to cause only harm and no benefit, then they should desist. Such is the case of those dwelling in non-Muslim lands. The second stage is that of self-defense, or restricting the fight to "those who fight you" (2:190), and releasing the lands of the Muslims from the control of their enemies. This is the condition of the Muslims today. The final stage is that of fighting in order to open the path for establishing Allahs rule in the lands of the unbelievers, as was done by the Prophets companions and the Muslim rulers after them.
"And why should you not fight in the cause of Allah when there are weak and oppressed, old men, women and children whose cry is Oh Lord save us from those who oppress, and send to one who will aid and send to us one who will help!" (Surah an-Nisa 4:75).
Thus one the Prophets companions, Rabia ibn Amer, went to meet Rostrum, the famous Persian general, at his request and the general offered camels, and women and asked them to return to the desert. Rabia refused, and Rostrum asked him why then were they fighting. Rabia replied: "We have come to take mankind from the darkness to the light and from the worship of the false gods to the worship of Allah, from the narrowness of this world the wide expanse of this world and the next, and from the injustices of man made religions to the justice of Islam."
So this Jihad is the peak of the matter and fulfilling it is part of fulfilling the covenant with Allah, and abandoning it is the cause of humiliation and defeat for the Muslims. As Allah said:
"If you march not forth, He will punish you with a painful torment and will replace you by another people and you cannot harm Him at all, and Allah is able to do all things" (Surah at-Tawbah 9:39)
And the saying of the Prophet, peace be upon him,: "When you deal in al-ainiya (i.e. become complacent and satisfied with a domestic life) and hang on to the cows tails, and abandon jihad, then Allah will permit your humiliation at the hands of your enemies and will not lift it from you until you return to your religion." So today we find Muslims leading a life as if they had no prophet, nor belief in any Divine Message or Divine Revelation, nor expectation of any reckoning, nor is fear of the hereafter. They resemble the pre-Islamic nations, against whom they used to fight in the past. So they have turned on their heels as apostates from Islam and have imitated the ignorant nations in their civilization, in their social affairs, in their political systems, in their character and in the pleasures of their lives. So Allah hated them and forsook them, as He promised He would. He had warned them of this clearly in His Book, and on the tongue of His Messenger Muhammad, peace be upon him,: "Soon the nations will gather to take from you the same way you invite others to share from a feast!" A person asked the Prophet, peace be upon him,: Is that because we are small in our numbers?" The Prophet, peace be upon him, answered: No! You will be many, like the foam on the sea, but you will be rubbish, like the rubbish carried down by the flood water. And certainly Allah will remove from the breasts of your enemies the fear of you and into your breasts He will cast enervation." A person asked: What is enervation?" The Prophet, peace be upon him, replied: "It is love of life and fear of death." This has come true exactly, as the Prophet, peace be upon him, predicted, and if there is a Revival of Islam, then that is because anyone with ears and eyes can see how the Muslims are humiliated - their lands a feast for their enemies, ruled by laws and ways nothing to do with that which Allah has revealed. The solution to these problems has been given by the Prophet, peace be upon him, himself one thousand four hundred years ago: "Return to your religion", enjoin what Allah has enjoined and forbid what He has forbidden, prefer the next life to this, and for the Muslims to once again struggle with their lives and properties to bring themselves and others out of the oppression of man made ways of life to the justice of that which has been revealed by the All-knowing Creator!
So the matter of conflict between Islam and the West is not at all as the survey suggests, i.e. factors such as geography, past enmities, culture clash and so on; nor is the Islamic Revival some search for identity, coupled with some sort of inferiority complex. To the believer the conflict is one of truth against falsehood, justice against oppression, the way to Paradise against the way to Hellfire, the perfection of Allahs revealed way against the misguidance of human ignorance. Furthermore, all of this should make it clear that there is indeed an "insuperable reason why Muslims and Westerners cannot live peaceably with each other" (p.5 c. 2). Mr. Beedhams survey, for all its optimism, has made an oft-repeated mistake. He has judged the Muslims by his own standards, believing they want, as do the West, to reach some sort of compromise. The truth is that Islam teaches its followers to seek death on the battle field, that dying whilst fighting jihad is one of the surest ways to paradise and Allahs good pleasure. It is as Khalid bin Waleed, whom the Prophet, peace be upon him, called the Sword of Allah and hero of every good Muslim child, said in response to a Roman letter inviting him to surrender: We have with us people who love death as you love wine. It was Ronald Reagan who quite rightly pointed out that: How do you expect to defeat a people who believe that when you kill them they go to a paradise filled with beautiful virgins and rivers of wine? Whether the believer sees the result in his or her life time is irrelevant, for their duty is to carry on the jihad, and so be saved from Allahs wrath in this life and the next.
The conflict will be there as long as there are those who stubbornly resist submission to their Lord and Creator. If all of this seems intransigent and fundamentalist thats because IT IS. With Islam you are dealing with absolutes. This conflict, however, may not necessarily be a violent one, in the sense of war, causing loss of life, limb and property. Islam does not necessarily demand a change through violence if the end can be effectively achieved through other means. So perhaps there is cause for the surveys optimism, but the solution can only lie in a very different direction from what it suggests! Allah has promised in His Book that if the Muslims fail to keep their covenant, and fight against the foolish disbelief, then He will destroy them and
"Replace them with a people who will love Him, and He will love them, and they will be hard against the forces of disbelief and kind to the believers, and unafraid of those who find fault" (Surah al-Maidah 5:54).
And Allah speaks the truth, and His promise comes true, and this has proven so in the past, as when the Muslims left their religion, fought amongst each other, and reveled in the delights of worldly life . . . then the calamity of the Tartars feel upon them, destroying utterly the Muslim lands, and its capital Baghdad. Yet from these same conquerors, Allah made them the defenders and upholders of Islam, and from them to the Turks, who in their turn lapsed, and so Allah destroyed them at the hands of the Europeans. Thus is situation in which Muslims find themselves today. It is quite possible that history will repeat itself, and that Islam will be given its strength again through those who had formally tried to destroy it.
The whole issue of whether the West will accept Islam or not has been a topic of debate amongst Muslim scholars and thinkers. It seems unlikely that there will be any sort of military conquest of the Western world, at least in the foreseeable future, but conquest is not always through arms. Indonesia and Malaysia never saw invading Muslims armies. Islam "conquered" these lands with a different weapon altogether . The weapon was Islam itself. The real threat from the growth of fundamentalism to those in the Western, and other, parts of the world who would like to see Islam far removed from influencing the way they run their countries, is not of invading hoards of Muslim militants, but rather the effect of a practical example of Islam in operation in the form of a true Islamic state. Also the probability of these same "fundamentalist" states utilizing their resources to inform the world of the reality of what Islam is, as opposed to the lies and distortions it has been fed until now! How likely, then, is it for this true Islamic state to materialize, and how do people following a religion one thousand four hundred years old possibly expect it to work in the twentieth century?