Saturday, September 08, 2007

"Peace be with you"

Iesha has posted a comment (here) concerning my "Branded on the Nose" entry. I address Iesha here.

----

Iesha,

I see you have bypassed most of my questions. No problem, I will simply ask again:. Once more:

Some believe the Bible but not the Quran. Some believe neither book. Do you think that they should have their skins burned off of them forever, continuously having fresh skin restored so it too can be burnt, further torturing those who came to a different conclusion from you?...If a person disbelieves the Quran for rational reasons, does that person deserve eternal torment?



I think it is evil to torture people for not believing something. What do you think? Please answer.

You write:


As-Salam u Alaikum

The words that I have cited above, most of you might not pronounce them correctly, these words are the ones which begin any conversation in the day to day life of a muslim be it formal or informal, be it the meeting with a friend or a business transaction.And what do these words mean?

Well according to how Islam has been branded, the ideal greeting should have been "death to the infidels" and things like that but these words actually mean:"Peace b upon u" And it is quite well known that even during the Prophet's time the Muslims used to openly greet even Non muslims with the same greeting.

Thats not all, after each of the five prayers a Muslim turns his face to the wright and left and says "Peace be upon u" meaning to send peace all around. Further among the many suplications one is "O lord!u r the peace and frm u is the peace, guide me to peace and make me enter the doors of peace" Further whenever a Muslim makes mention of nay of the Prophets of Islam, be it Moses or Jesus or any of the Biblical Prophets it is OBLIGATORY to say Peace b upon Him.

Now you tell me is this the way that an intolerant and fanatic religion tells its folllowers to behave in their daily life? How many times do u even use the word PEACE in your daily life?

Excuse me, but I have never said that Islam is an intolerant and fanatic religion. Those are your words, not mine. Please do not pretend I am saying something that I am not saying. That will get us nowhere. I have already explained to you that I have no objection to you finding comfort in Islam. You can certainly find good in Islam, and you are welcome to enjoy its culture. That is not the issue.

The problem is that you are trying to convince me that the Quran is infallible. It is this claim that I disagree with. I can see that the Quran is filled with mistakes, as I have explained to you in my previous post.

You mention that you greet people with "Peace be upon you." That is a good way to greet people. Your culture has good sayings. My culture has good sayings. This is not the issue. The issue is whether or not a certain book is perfect. Could I ask you to please stick with the issue?





And no Iwill not agree agree with u that there are mistakes in the Quran, NOT UNTILL MY LAST BREATH! Because Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him has said; "A true Muslim is He who holds firmly to his faith even if he is threatened, even if he is tied between two walls and his body is sawed into two, even if all his flesh is scrapped off bit by bit, still he should remain true 2 islam" This is my unshakable faith1 And u cant be so bad to me can u?

How do you know you will not change your mind before your last breath? What if you find new evidence before your last breath? Will you change your mind if you find new evidence that clearly shows you are wrong? A person that will not change his mind even if he is presented with clear evidence is a closed-minded person. Are you a closed-minded person?

If you try to argue that you know there cannot possibly be evidence against your beliefs, then I will ask you how you know that. Surely you do not know everything, do you? Well, if you do not know everything, how could you be absolutely certain that within the vast body of knowledge in the universe, there is not some evidence that proves you are mistaken about religion?

And so if we cannot be absolutely sure we know everything pertinent to the question, and if you do not claim to be closed-minded, then you must admit that you might someday find new evidence that will change your mind about the Quran. So is your statement above false? Is it possible that some day you may change your mind?

And no, of course I would not threaten someone and tie them between two walls and scrape the flesh off them so that they would believe what I believe. How can you possibly ask if I would be so bad? I wouldn't think of doing that. As I explained before, I believe in using the pen, not the sword, to spread my ideas.

Now, to begin with the thing i find wrong with merle's interpretation is that where ever there is a sentence like "WE shall punish them.... "WE shall brand them on their noses...WE shall burn them...", MERLE resorts to asking me and muslims in general "Why do U want 2 burn me? or Why do U want burning water 2 b poured over me" And he says "Should I be scared of u?"

WHEN DID I SAY THAT? THE QURAN SAYS THAT NOT ME WELL WELL... Just to remind our very intelligent friend, here the WE refers to GOD not Muslims, the punishment that is being refered to is the one which will be given in the hereafter, and yes it does expect u to be fearful but not of me or anyother Muslim, it expects u to fear Allah, who is as Jesus says "MY LORD AND UR LORD".


Excuse me, but did you notice that I never asked the three questions that you listed here (although the last question is close to something I asked). Why do you make up questions and pretend I asked them? Why not answer the questions that I actually asked instead of making up questions and pretending that I asked them? Wouldn't it be more meaningful if you actually answer the questions I ask, rather than make up questions and pretend I was asking those?

You say that it is God, not Muslims, that are doing the acts here. But the verses I quoted often referred to people doing the acts, not just God. For istance, Quran 9:123 says "O ye who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are near to you, and let them find harshness in you, and know that Allah is with those who keep their duty (unto Him)." I quoted that verse to you before. It clearly refers to people doing those acts. Do you agree with me that this verses recommends that people do evil acts? Or do you think it is right to harshly fight unbelievers?

If someone harshly fights others, what good is it to say "Peace be upon you" while harshly fighting the person being greeted? Would not that be decptive?

And how can you interpret the word "we" in the Quran to mean God? The word "we" appears to refer to Muhammed and his followers. Look at the first chapter of the Quran:


In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, The Beneficent, the Merciful. Master of the Day of Judgment, Thee (alone) we worship; Thee (alone) we ask for help. Show us the straight path,



Who does "we" refer to in this passage? Who is talking here? Clearly it is a man talking about Allah. The word "we" refers to people who worship Allah, who ask Allah for help, and who need to be shown a straight path. Likewise, in the verses I quoted previoulsy, "we" seems to refer to people. If it refers to God, how do you know that? Doesn't a book need to clearly define what it means before it uses a pronoun? If the word "we" does not mean the obvious--Muhammed and
his followers--where does the Quran state that "we" doesn't mean that? How can one arbritraly assign a meaning to the word "we", when there is nothing within the context of that book that makes that meaning obvious?

But even if "we" refers to God, how do you explain the fact that the "we" are doing things that most of us regard as evil, such as continuously torturing people because they don't believe what "we" think they should believe?


You can see for ur self in various places the Quran has harsh things to say to THOSE WHO BURRY GOLD AND SILVER, THOSE WHO STEAL THE ORPHANS PROPERTY,THOSE WHO FROWN AT THE GIRL CHILDA BIRTH, THOSE WHO LIE etc.

Many good books teach good morals. There are verses in the Quran that teach good morals. Great! But what about the verses that praise things that many people consider to be evil?


The basic declaration of Faith or EMAN in Islam is :"I believe in Allah and his books and his Prophets and his angels and in the day of judgement and in Destiny"

I find no evidence that the Quran is written by God, therefore I don't believe it. Do you think I deserve to be tortured for all eternity, because I carefully examined the data, and have reached a different conclusion from you?

5 comments:

coljac said...

I continue to be impressed by Merle's patient, firm and entirely reasonable writing style. Unfortunately, it's always so vastly superior to that of his opposite number, that we end up with more of a caricature of a debate than a real contest of ideas.

I wonder, Merle, if you've considered writing about other issues. I'd like to read a Merle Hertzler essay taking on the more subtle illogicalities that permeate political thought, for instance.

LorMar said...

I don't always agree with what he writes, but I too am impressed. He obviously takes the time to do research which is more than I can say for many people.

Iesha said...

Why did u jumo the gun brother merle?
Ireally appriciate ur patience but now before u wrote again u should have just waited 4 sometime, actually i was bussy writing the replies 4 u! Ireally appreciate ur efforts and i do have all the answers at the back of my mind.
I started writing on 8 th hust after i saw ur reply but it went to almost 10 pages so if u r in a hurry, let me tell u that ive but a bit of my reply where i replied earlier. And ofcourse when i said You i didn't mean MERLE at the back of my mind i tries to express the more COMMON western thought. And please if i use it in the future as i am habitual, dont take it personal.
Mr merle i've got what i was looking for, u do have the power to reason. The reason i couldnt interact with u freely is because ive had a bad experience with bloggers, no sooner does the debate start, that they mouth obscenities. But Imust say I admire ur ways, now onwards my tone will be softer an it naturally is but certainly it will not be apologetic

And yes one more thing please and please hold back ur quiries untill i finish completely answering those which u have asked till now.

It wasa pleasure having to bump into a good hearted person like u. Also excuse me if 4 a ling time im not able to reply, because right now im bussy giving one of the most important exams of my life.

GOOD BYE& GOD BLESS

Iesha said...

Brother Merle, you write
"And how can you interpret the word "we" in the Quran to mean God? The word "we" appears to refer to Muhammed and his followers. Look at the first chapter of the Quran:


In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, The Beneficent, the Merciful. Master of the Day of Judgment, Thee (alone) we worship; Thee (alone) we ask for help. Show us the straight path,




Who does "we" refer to in this passage? Who is talking here? Clearly it is a man talking about Allah. The word "we" refers to people who worship Allah, who ask Allah for help, and who need to be shown a straight path. Likewise, in the verses I quoted previoulsy, "we" seems to refer to people. If it refers to God, how do you know that? Doesn't a book need to clearly define what it means before it uses a pronoun? If the word "we" does not mean the obvious--Muhammed and
his followers--where does the Quran state that "we" doesn't mean that? How can one arbritraly assign a meaning to the word "we", when there is nothing within the context of that book that makes that meaning obvious?

But even if "we" refers to God, how do you explain the fact that the "we" are doing things that most of us regard as evil, such as continuously torturing people because they don't believe what "we" think they should believe?"

Ist of All, In the name of Allah is not a part of the revelation it is written to indicate the begining of every chapter and to remind a young reader to develop a habbit of saying it at the begining of each chapter.
Also these verses are called @
"the believers supplication" and were revealed with the purpose of serving as an everyday supplication for Muhammad pbuh and his followers.
The Quran says "We created the heavens and the earth ...etc" ufcourse refers to God.
Actually in Arabic we is not a separate pronoun, plurality, gender etc. are expressed by suffixing or prefixing syllables. YOU WANT THIS EXPLAINED? Ill be glad to.
And the Quran does specify where God is speaking and not because it is written in first person most of the time eg. it dosent always say God said so and so or God said to moses...etc It usually say :We said..or Your lord said etc U should remember rhis WE is the MAJESTIC WE as used by the king and queen etc.
When Quran refers to others speaking it makes it clear Eg. one place It says about the people talking to MARY as "o sister of aaron" some people say this is a mistake as aaron lived long time before her. but here the quran clearifies that the people spoke thus besise sister here means descendent.
Whenever i read an authentic translation, it seems quite clear who is spealing. Pl. specify u hav problems. Id b glad 2 help.

You say i invented questions and didntanswer the actual ones partly because those ones needed great detail and the ones i INVENTED i thought were going on in the minds of the other bloggers and they needed lesser time.
I will slowly try to cover all the questions.

Iesha said...

As Salam u alaikum

CORRECTION .


First things first.

I had earlier quoted the verses of the Qur'an “And those who burry gold and silver….. With it shall be branded their flanks and their backs…”

I had said that these verses were revealed concerning rich Muslims.
But I was wrong. While reading the Qur'an I came across the verse in chapter 9. I found out that I had missed out on the preceeding verse which clearly indicates that this is for those Arab Jewish Rabbis and Christian Monks who stole the property of orphans.

In Islam we have to speak the truth or else we end up going to hell forever.
I would never deliberately produce a lie even if it were powerful enough to unjustly tip the debate in my favour.

You see Brother Merle How much difference a single verse can make.
I believe u can understand the importance of reading the Qur'an in context.

If there’s any verse u have a problem with try reading it in context; that solves the problem most of the times. How ever Im not sure whether u really have A Qur’an.

Here I want to show u that I am ready to admit my mistakes provided I get ample proof.
I think even u should not hesitate to change ur views when u feel Im giving u enough proof.

*****************************************




“WE REVEAL THE QURAN TO YOU SO THAT THEY MAY SAY: ‘HE HAS STUDIED’. SO, WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH, BELIEVETH FOR HIS OWN GOOD AND WHOSOEVER IS BLIND TO THE TRUTH DISBELIEVETH FOR HIS OWN HURT.”

“VERILY IN THIS QURAN WE HAVE COINED SIMILITUDES OF ALL KINDS AND INDEED IF THOU COMEST TO THEM WITH A MIRACLE THEY SAY: YE ARE BUT TRICKSTERS”
[Al Qur'an ch.30 v.58]

There are two of your main Questions which If Allah wills I shall answer here.

Now firstly about NAME CALLING

What you call “name calling” is actually in the Qur'an’s words the ‘disappointment at the callous attitude of the Arabs’.
You tell me, if a person comes to u saying 2+2=5, and if u spend a decade convincing him that 2+2=4 and at the end he tells you that YOU are mistaken, what will u do? Won’t u get furious?

So why doesn’t the Qur'an have a right to call such people cattle when they really were no more than cattle.
Is it not enough that when the clear proofs came to them that their arrogance and pride kept them from accepting an excellent man from being their leader, that they should be called foolish?

And why do you call this name calling? This is nothing as compared to what the bible does. Does it not quote Jesus pbuh as saying “Go not ye into the land of the gentiles for there is no good in throwing pearls before PIGS” of course we can never accept that Jesus pbuh said such a thing but isn’t this racist?
And what about the conversation with the cannanite woman “its not meek to take the children’s bread and give it to the dogs”?
And what about the case of Moses when God is supposed to have promised him “Enter with the children of Israel, i shall drive out the Hititties, the Jebusites…”?

We’ll have to see whether the Qur'an is justified in calling the disbelievers foolish.

Firstly, consider this event; where a man after examining his scriptures affirms Prophet Muhammad pbuh to be the Messenger of God, which Muhammad (PBUH) has himself narated:

Muhammad pbuh for the first time received the revelations in the cave of MOUNT HIRA where he would go for meditation. That was a time when whole of Arabia knew him as AL-AMIN or THE TRUST WORTHY, he had an excellent reputation.
What happened that day was that He suddenly saw a flash of light in the cave, which grew brighter, and soon he saw an angelic creature, it shone with light and was huge. It said to him “IQRA” or “READ!” ( or proclaim). He was trembling with fear and thought to himself “How can I, an UMMI (Illiterate) read?” that was a time when only half a dozen people in Arabia knew to read, ABU JAHAL being one of them. And certainly Muhammad (PBUH) being born an Orphan and poor could never dream of such a thing as education. Then again it said to him “IQRA”, He mustered courage only to say: “MA ANA BI QA’ARI!” or “I do not read!” On this the angel gripped his body tightly and squeezed him and said “Read in the name of thy Lord who created u from a clot…..” These were the first verses revealed to Muhammad (PBUH) and form the Chapter AL ALAQ or The Clot in the Qur'an. .
Now Muhammad (PBUH) began to feel immense pain, but still the angel repeated the same thing. Finally he let him go and at once Muhammad (PBUH) went out through the entrance of the cave. But when he reached outside, there he was again this time with wings wide spread, and he said “Do not fear, I am Gabriel and thou art the Messenger of Allah”. Now this was too much, Muhammad (PBUH) was a man who never even spoke too much, he always shied away from public gatherings and now he was to proclaim the Word of God to his people?
He thought at once: “What will the Quraysh think? Never will I give them a chance to call me a MAN POSESSSED or BEWITCHED, I shall prefer dying” This shows the amount of self respect he had and also the honour he had gained among the Quraish.
As he prepared to throw him self from the mountain, the angel repeated “I am Gabriel and thou art the Prophet of God”. Where ever Muhammad (PBUH) turned, he found the angel.
This was too much, now he decided to run for his life. He ran until he reached home.
There was Khadijah, his lovely wife. He trembled with fear and told her “NASRUNI! NASRUNI!” Which means, “COVER ME! COVER ME!” She brought a blanket and covered him. She said, “What took u so long today? I even sent my messengers but they couldn’t find you.”
He then related the whole event to her. She tried to comfort him and told him “Thou have never wronged a soul and art of good character, why should the Lord intend u any harm?”
But he couldn’t be convinced for he thought that he was possessed by spirits.

She decided to take him to see her cousin. His name was WARAQQA and was old and blind, but he had mastered the Christian and Jewish scriptures. They went to him and told everything, he asked the Man’s name and as he came to know that he was Muhammad(PBUH) the son of Abdullah, that his father died before his birth, that he was nursed by Haleema and that he was of excellent manners, He exclaimed in joy: “QUDUSUN! QUDUSUN!” ie. “HOLY! HOLY!” and kissed his forehead. Among the Jews of Arabia this was the way to greet a Prophet.

Then Waraqqa told them that indeed Muhammad (PBUH) was the one Prophesised by the Prophets of old as THE LAST MESSENGER including Moses and Jesus. Jesus particularly foretold his coming as the PARQALEETA or THE ONE WHO PRAISES which in Arabic is AHMAD. And Ahmad is the second name of Prophet Muhammad pbuh.
So this is an example of a man who confirmed Prophet Muhammad’s Prophet Hood and so according to the Qur'an he is a Christian or Jew as well as a BELIEVER because he accepted the truth after verifying it.

In fact the Qur'an says: “THE PEOPLE OF THE SCRIPTURE KNEW THIS APOSTLE AS THEY KNEW THEIR OWN SONS, BUT NOW THAT THE TRUTH HAS BEEN REVEALED A PARTY OF THEM TURNS AWAY.”

“IF U HAVE ANY DOUBT CONCERNING WHAT HAS BEEN REVEALED 2 U, GO AND ASK THE JEWS AND CHRISTIANS FOR THE DOCTORS OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL DID BUT KNOW BUT THEY KNOWINGLY CONCEAL THE TRUTH.”

The Qur'an also says that Jesus said to the Children of Israel
“Oh Children of Israel! I am a Prophet to you with the Holy Torah and bringing glad tidings of a Messenger after me who shall be Ahmad.”

The Bible does say
“O children of Israel, Jesus of Nazareth, a man chosen from among men approved by signs and miracles that God did through him and ye are a witness to it…”

“If you love me and keep the commandments I shall pray the Father and He shall send you another COMFORTER who shall abide with you forever.”
Scholars of the Bible agree that later interpreters used COMFORTER & SPIRIT OF TRUTH in place of PARQALEETA, which clearly refers to Prophet Muhammad pbuh.

[Also refer to JOHN 14: 15-16 ; 15; 26-27 ; 16: 12-14 ; 16:16]



AS A CONTRAST TO THIS CONSIDER WHAT THE JEWISH DOCTORS DID.
First of All they thought like others that Prophet Muhammad pbuh was mad, but when he kept insisting that he wasn’t, they decide to make a fool of him by Questioning him about things only they knew.
BUT TO THEIR HORROR HE ACTUALLY ANSWERED ALL THEIR QUESTIONS AND EVEN TOLD THEM EXACTLY WHERE THEY HAVE FABRICATED STORIES IN THEIR SCRIPTURES!
For example: They asked him About THE TWO HORNED ONE WHO TRAVELLED TO THE SUN SET AND SUN RISE REGIONS OF THE EARTH. To this the answer was given through the revelations of the verses about ZILQARNAIN, which form a part of the Surah AL KAHF or Chapter of the Cave.[Verses 83 to 98] This astonished them.

Then they asked him about THE PEOPLE OF THE CAVE WHO SLEPT A THOUSAND YEARS. In connection to this the verses 9 to 26 of Chapter of the Cave were revealed.
In fact verse 22 is interesting, it reads:
“Some say they were three the dog being the fourth, some say they were four the dog being fifth……….Say the lord knows best their number, and do not consult any of them (Jews) about it”

This shows that the Qur'an not only knows that there are many fake versions to the story but also that the number which these Jewish doctors put forth is also incorrect. Can a man just fooling around be so sure of himself? I mean he is challenging the very validity of the Jewish version.

This followed many questions and he answered them all!
And a party of the doctors in fact came to him and kissed his hands and feet when they were satisfied by his answers and they said “Alas! The others will never accept thee for they wait for a Prophet from the descendance of Israel so that their lost glory is restored and thou descendeth from his brother.”

You can understand what the Qur'an meant when it said that “a party of them knowingly hide the truth”.

In fact even the JOURNEY TO AL AQSA AND HEAVEN was not left untouched. HE ACTUALLY PROVED TO THE JEWISH DOCTORS THAT HE HAD GONE TO AL AQSA IN JERUSALEM!

Just imagine even after all this reasoning and much more also owing to the excellent character of Prophet Muhammad pbuh if still a person would call him a mad man or a phony isn’t it enough for God to get furious with them?
And when the Qur'an is considered the word of God then it makes sense that it contains harsh comments for this particular group of people.


What you call “name calling” is actually the in the Qur'an’s words the disappointment at the callous attitude of the Arabs.
You tell me, if a person comes to u saying 2+2=5, and if u spend a decade convincing him that 2+2=4 and at the end he tells you that YOU are mistaken, what will u do? Won’t u get furious?

So why doesn’t the Qur'an have a right to call such people cattle when they really are no more than cattle.
Is it not enough that when the clear proofs came to them that their arrogance and pride kept them from accepting an excellent man from being their leader, that they should be called foolish?
And why do you call this name calling? This is nothing as compared to what the bible does. Does it not quote Jesus pbuh as saying “Go not ye into the land of the gentiles for there is no good in throwing pearls before PIGS” of course we can never accept that Jesus pbuh said such a thing but isn’t this racist?
And what about the conversation with the cannanite woman “its not meek to take the children’s bread and give it to the dogs”?
And what about the case of Moses when God is supposed to have promised him “Enter with the children of Israel, i shall drive out the Hititties, the Jebusites…”?

The reason that you don’t like this “name calling “ of the Qur'an is that you are applying it to every one and because u do not know about the heights of ignorance of the then Arabs.

First of all u must remember that what ever the Qur'an says about the people of Prophet Muhammad’s time refers to those people of Mecca who deeply troubled the Prophet Muhammad pbuh.

In fact even today if u go to Saudi Arabia (where I must say I found some of the most well behaved and tolerant people of the world specially in Medina), you will find a group of people “THE BADDOOS” who are the same people who tortured the Prophet Muhammad pbuh and do u know what the Arabs think of them even today?
They say “A BADDOO IS NO BETTER THAN CATTLE”. And this is not prejudice, it is common day observation that if Eg. You are driving a car and you press the Horn, a Baddoo will never move! Cattle I presume have more sense. In fact in the Holy Mosque, where there is perfect discipline during prayers (if u have ever seen video clips of the HAJJ or annual gathering u will surely be moved by the uniformity, coordination and discipline in the Prayers) even there u will find Baddoos pushing, screaming and tripping people over!
You tell me, if this is their condition today what would have been their condition 14 centuries ago? If 10 years of reform can reform Arabs into one of the most disciplined, hygienic, prosperous & medically advanced nations of the world and if 14 centuries can not tame the BADDOO of Mecca into a Human, what will?

The whole life of Prophet Muhammad pbuh passed witnessing the atrocities of the Barbaric Arabs. Some examples will suffice:

• When for the very first time Prophet Muhammad pbuh was ordered to convey the message to his people, he called all the people from the top of a mount and since it was THE TRUSTWORTHY who called they came running, he spoke to them thus:

“O people! I have been sent as a messenger. I am to you as a naked warner, to warn you of a great destruction like the Warner warns the people about the approaching enemy. He who listens to him and leaves during the night is saved but he who does not is wiped out. Same is the case with me. So listen to me, Proclaim that there is no God but One and I am his slave and Messenger.”

“Is this the rubbish for which you call us all the way here? May your hands perish for this joke you play with us!” cried ABU LAHAB, who happened to be Prophet Muhammad’s pbuh own uncle!

This deeply hurt Prophet Muhammad pbuh and it was on this occasion that the CHAPTER AL-MASAD of the Qur'an was revealed, which contains harsh words for ABU JAHAL also known as ABU LAHAB and his wife.

In fact ABU LAHAB was one of the very few Arabs who was educated and came to be known as ABUL HIKMAH (Father of Wisdom) because of his shrewdness but because of his barbaric attitude Prophet Muhammad pbuh called him ABU JAHAL (Father of Ignorance).

• It was an every day routine for the people of Mecca to taunt Prophet Muhammad pbuh. HIND, the wife of ABU JAHAL would spread thorns and sharp objects in the way frequented by Prophet Muhammad pbuh and would watch with glee when he was hurt. Whenever Prophet Muhammad pbuh passed by their window, she would throw a piece of cloth filled with refuse on him. Only to find it washed and kept back on the window!



• When Muslims had lost the war, the Arabs brutally ill treated the bodies of the Muslim warriors. Hind went to the extent of tearing out the heart of ABBAS, the Prophet’s uncle and ate it in front of him. All he could do was watch in horror.


• In the early days of Islam, the new converts to Islam were brutally tortured, specially the slaves. There was a place in the desert, where Muslims would be gathered together and tortured so that some even died.
BILAL (RA), a Black African slave who had embraced Islam was tortured the most. As he himself says, they would have him lie on the hot sand facing the ground and would have boulders rolled over him, such that his stomach and back had retained permanent scars.
Had it not been for Prophet Muhammad pbuh and Abu Backer (RA), who freed Bilal, they would have killed him.
Later he was to become the first MUAZZIN (The one who delivers call for Salaah) of Islam,



• Every time Prophet Muhammad pbuh would speak to them, they would say :

“If thou art truly a prophet, then show us miracles like the prophets of old, make springs gush forth, make the sun rise from the east, and show us some real miracles.”
And he would say: “When I come to thee with clear signs, and explain to thee with reason, ye still need miracles to reflect?”

From his answer we come to know that according to himself he had tried his level best, but the people were indeed cattle, for they needed miracles.

But despite the authenticity of his message Prophet Muhammad pbuh did show miracles which numbered in thousands not hundreds, and as he has said “The one MIRACLE I claim is the Qur'an” and a miracle indeed it is [according to Reverend Bosworth].

One of the Great miracles was the SHAQAT-UL-QAMAR i.e. THE SPLITTING OF THE MOON.
This was a miracle in which Prophet Muhammad pbuh was ordered to climb up a mountain. There Angell Gabriell came to him and said: “O Prophet of Allah, raise thy forefinger towards the moon so that Allah might show these blind people a sign.”
He did exactly as he was told, and Lo! And behold! When he raised his finger, the moon actually split into two and rejoined! But far from being convinced, this added to the ignorance of his people.

Coincidentally, in the history of the MALABAR, Islands south of India, we find an interesting piece of writing. It reads that one night the then King of Malabar was strolling in his lawn at night admiring the moon, when he thought that he actually saw the moon split! On calling on his courtiers, he told for the matter to be checked up Immediately. Months later owing to the good trade relations, merchants came with the news that it was one of the miracles at the hands of Muhammad, an Arab Prophet who preached Islam, the inert religion. This was enough for him to accept Islam, as he had seen it with his own eyes.


So, you see for the same act people had different interpretations, for some it was magic while for some it was a miracle.
But one thing is clear, in most of the cases the people were prejudiced to Prophet Muhammad pbuh and Islam, they did not even want to consider Islam. It would mean to them forsaking the religion of their fore fathers, it would take away their pride from them, the slave whom they till yesterday tortured would become their BROTHER, the great wealth that trade in idols brought would be lost! This would have not been acceptable to any blue-blooded Arab!
It is at this BLINDNESS and DEAFNESS that the Qur'an criticizes for those who are not ready to look into it rationally, not vice versa.

The Qur'an says In Chapter 36, verses 66 & 67:

“Had we willed, we could have wiped out their eyesight and they would struggle for the way, how could they then see? And had we willed we could have made them powerless to go back or to come forth.”

SO THE QURAN ACTUALLY DOES STRESS ON REASON BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT SEEING AND HEARING IS ALL ABOUT!

So, if we have been bestowed with the power to see and to choose, we ought to make the best use of this so that we may be able to reason rationally.
This shows that Qur'an expects a person to reason and those who don’t, they are called the CATTLE.
This again shows that the Qur'an expects reason to lead one to believe in the Qur'an .
And this is not unfounded, people throughout the history of the world have sought to reason and have been lead to believe in the Qur'an .

And those who don’t reach there are according to the Qur'an NOT TRYING HARD ENOUGH.

Besides, According to Prophet Muhammad pbuh; the criteria for guidance is: “Allah looks into peoples’ hearts and the one whom he finds to seek guidance, Allah guides him.”

For a moment, what ever u r: an atheist, agnostic, Darwinist, Christian, Jew; just leave this aside and with all ur heart and all ur soul pray: “Oh true God if u really Exist, then show us ur signs, Guide me for I have opened my heart to it, I shall accept the truth from whichever corner it might come. So, please guide me”.
And if Allah wills u will be guided. Amen.


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Now, coming to the question regarding Verse 5 of chapter 9; Let’s see what verse 5 says:

“Then when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters where ever ye find them, and besiege them and prepare for them each ambush. But leave their way if they repent…”

Now, I don’t understand how on earth Mr. Merle could deduce just by looking at this single verse what it is referring to.
Because this verse provides too little information. All that one can deduce is that: after some sacred months, someone’s got to kill some idolaters and to leave their way if they repent.
Many questions are left unanswered, like: Which sacred months? Who are these people? Who are the idolaters? Why should they fight them? What have they done that they should repent?


Take this verse and stick it inside the Church, and the people there might think it refers to them, any person would interpret it in their own religious and cultural background.

So, lets read this verse IN CONTEXT

The Qur'an in ch. 9 verse 5 says:
“Then when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters where ever ye find them, and besiege them and prepare for them each ambush. But leave their way if they repent…”

Does this mean whenever sacred months pass, Muslims ought to massacre Infidels?

And the very next verse reads:
“Let’s see what verse 5 says:

“Then when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters where ever ye find them, and besiege them and prepare for them each ambush. But leave their way if they repent…”

Now, I don’t understand how on earth Mr. Merle could deduce just by looking at this single verse what it is referring to.
Because this verse provides too little information. All that one can deduce is that: after some sacred months, someone’s got to kill some idolaters and to leave their way if they repent.
Many questions are left unanswered, like: Which sacred months? Who are these people? Who are the idolaters? Why should they fight them? What have they done that they should repent?


Take this verse and stick it inside the Church, and the people there might think it refers to them, any person would interpret it in their own religious and cultural background.

So, lets read this verse IN CONTEXT

The Qur'an says in ch. 9 verse 5 says:
“Then when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters where ever ye find them, and besiege them and prepare for them each ambush. But leave their way if they repent…”

Does this mean whenever sacred months pass, Muslims ought to massacre Infidels?

And the very next verse reads:
“AND IF ANY OF THE IDOLATERS SEEK THY PROTECTION, THEN PROTECT TEHM AND TAKE THEM TO A PLACE OF SAFETY…” [Chapter. 9 verse 6]

WHAT?
Now, wait a minute…
Lets move to verse 1 and read the context.

• VERSE 1: “Freedom form all obligations is declared by Allah and his Messenger towards those of the idolaters with whom you had a treaty”.

OK! So it was some kind of treaty with the idolaters which is now declared broken.

• VERSE 2: “Travel freely in the land for four months and know that ye can not escape Allah and that Allah will confound the disbelievers”

This seems to set a DEADLINE of four months for the idolaters.

• VERSE 3: “And a proclamation from Allah and his Messenger to all men on the day of the Great pilgrimage is that: Allah and his Messenger are free from all obligations towards the idolaters. If ye repent it is better for you but if ye averse ye can’t escape Allah. Give tidings to the disbelievers of a painful doom”.

OK! So if they don’t repent they shall be doomed. But for what should?


• VERSE 4: “But those of the idolaters with whom ye have a treaty and who have not abated any of your rights nor have supported the enemy against you, fulfill their treaty to them to their term. Lo! Allah loves those who keep their duty.”

OK! So those idolaters who have not broken their treaty need not worry. So, the tidings of a PAINFUL DOOM must be for those idolaters who have broken the treaty.


• VERSE 5: “Then when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters where ever ye find them, and besiege them and prepare for them each ambush. But leave their way if they repent… ”

So, according to verse 2 these sacred months may be the four months, which are the DEADLINE for those idolaters who have broken the treaty. And when the sacred months are over war is supposed to be declared against them. And they should be killed and besieged everywhere in the Battle field.
Hmm…Now it makes sense.


• VERSE 6: “AND IF ANY OF THE IDOLATERS SEEK THY PROTECTION, THEN PROTECT THEM AND TAKE THEM TO A PLACE OF SECURITY… ”


WOW! The Qur'an expects Muslims to protect the idolaters and to escort them to a place of safety!
SURELY EVEN THE WORLD’S MOST GENEROUS ARMY GENERAL WOULD NOT SAY THIS TO HIS WARRIORS.

OK, so despite declaration of war Muslims ought to protect the needy idolaters.
But it’s still not clear as to what the idolaters had done.

Ah! Here it is

• VERSE 7: “How can there be a treaty …save with those who made a treaty at the place of worship…AS LONG AS THEY ARE TRUE TO YOU BE TRUE TO THEM. Lo! Allah loveth those who keep their duty. ”

So, Muslims are not supposed to break the treaties with those who have been true to their promise.


• VERSE 8: “How?…When they have the upper hand they regard not the pact neither honour in respect of you…”


• VERSE 9: “…so they debar Believers from Allah’s way…”
[This refers to the instance where they banned Muslims from entering the Ka’ba GIVEN IN CHAPTER 8 VERSE 34.]


• VERSE 10: “And they observe towards a believer neither pact nor honour?...”

• VERSE 11: “But if they repent… they are your Brethren.”


• VERSE 12: “And if they break their pledges after their treaty and assail your religion, then fight the heads of the disbelievers…"
• VERSE 13: “Will ye not fight the folk who BROKE THEIR SOLEMN PLEDGES, PROPOSED TO DRIVE OUT THE MESESENGER AND DID ATTACK YOU FIRST.”


Oh! So they were first to attack the Muslims.
Hmm… now I see, this is war in SELF DEFENCE.

• VERSE 36: “…And wage war on the disbelievers as they are waging war on all of you.”


The VERSES 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13 & 36of Chapter 9 make it clear that

This is what the disbelievers did:

• The disbelievers had broken the treaty.
• They did not complete the treaty to its term.
• They abated rights of Muslims.
• They supported the enemy against them.
• They debarred Muslims from worshipping in the Ka’ba.
• They neither honoured the pact nor respected the Muslims.
• They broke their promises and assailed their religion.
• They proposed to drive out the messenger.
• They attacked the Muslims first.
• They waged war against all the Muslims.

And it is in consequence to this Muslims are instructed to:

• Muslims are freed from all bindings towards the disbelievers who violated the treaty.
• Muslims are to declare a deadline of four months for the disbelievers.
• If the disbelievers repent, their way is to be left free.
• If they repent they shall become their brethren.
• If they don’t repent war is to be declared against them.
• Muslims ought to protect the needy disbelievers.
• Muslims ought to escort needy disbelievers to a place of safety.
• Muslims ought to complete their terms with those who have not violated the treaty.
• Muslims ought to declare war on those disbelievers who declared war on them.
• Muslims ought to fight the Chiefs of disbelievers who assailed their religion.
• Muslims ought to REMAIN TRUE TO THEM AS LONG AS THEY ARE TRUE TO MUSLIMS.

In view of all that has been sighted above it is upto every rational mind to judge whether or not the Qur'an is justified in declaring a war for SELF DEFENCE.

If in this century of Human progress Bush and America can justify their claims of attacking Iraq in search for a terror suspect and can bring down the country’s entire economy crashing down leaving the people hungry and angry while using more ammunition than was used in the WHOLE GULF WAR and can still call it WAR FOR PEACE, I believe the Qur'an is more that justified in waging this war 1400 years ago in the light of the persecution of Muslims.
And if it did restore the long lost peace to the Arabian Desert, then IT WAS WORTH IT!

I’ve tried to pour my heart out…I wish u begin to see the Qur'an in the light of what it wants to convey and we should not look at it with the sole purpose of making it seem irrational, that way we will end up twisting the verses of the Qur'an and using them to our own convenience.

YOU CAN NOT SIMPLY INTERPRET THE QURAN IN YOUR OWN VIEW AND CLAIM THAT UR CORRECT.
ITS LIKE A PERSON WHO IS A PURE VEGETARIAN, WHENEVER HE HEARS PEOPLE TALK ABOUT MEAT, IT SENDS A SHIVER DOWN HIS SPINE.
BECAUSE WHENEVER HE THINKS OF “MEAT” HE VISUALIZES A LAMB WITH HIS HEAD CUT OFF, SMEARED IN BLOOD, KEPT ON A HUGE PLATE AND EVEN IMAGINES A MAN PIGGISHLY DEVOURING IT WITH STUFFED MOUTHFULLS.
THAT’S BECAUSE HE HAS NEVER HAD MEAT BEFORE. BUT OBVIOUSLY, A MAN WHO EATS MEAT KNOWS HOW STUPID THIS MAN IS.

SAME IS THE CASE WITH ISLAM, INORDER TO CRITICIZE ISLAM YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ISLAM OR ELSE, YOULL GET NO WHERE & YOU’LL END UP CRITICIZING YOUR SELF, NOT THE QUR'AN !

CHAPTER 10 VERSE 37 OF THE QUR'AN READS:
“AND THIS QUR'AN IS NOT SUCH THAT IT COULD EVER BE INVENTED EXCEPT BY ALLAH; IT IS BUT A CONFIRMATION OF THAT WHICH WAS REVEALED BEFORE IT AND AN EXPOSITION OF THAT WHICH IS DECREED FOR MANKIND BY THE LORD OF THE WORLDS-THEREIN IS NO DOUBT!”
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If one still wants to argue that the place where WE is used while declaring punishments for disbelievers, refers to MUSLIMS OR Prophet Muhammad pbuh , I would want to answer it like this.

There are two ways to approach the Qur'an : As the word of God or the Word of man.

I belong to the first line of approach i.e. I believe it to be the word of God. So to me and people like me it is easier to distinguish where the Qur'an refers to God and where it refers to men, because we read it as if God is speaking in FIRST PERSON.
So, on stressing our minds a little we know that when it plainly says “We shall punish them…” it refers to God.
And since we get to read the Qur'an more often we know that most of the places where the Qur'an says “on THAT DAY” refers to the day of judgement and “THE FIRE” refers to the fire of Hell and “THE AWFUL DOOM” refers to the punishments in the hereafter etc… because the Qur'an does not unnecessarily repeat things.
We also know that the Qur'an does not contain a single word of Prophet Muhammad pbuh, not even his COMMENTARY or EXPLANATION. All his explanations have been recorded separately in the BOOKS OF HADEETH (SAYINGS). Some times you may find these explanations given in the Qur'an as footnotes or as introductions to the Chapters.
Also, keeping in view things that God can do and actions which can be attributed to man the task becomes even easier. Eg. If the Qur'an says:
“We created the heavens and Earth in seven periods…”
A Muslim will surely know that this refers to God.

So, for Muslims it is absolutely clear where the Qur'an refers to God and where not.


Now, coming to the second line of approach; i.e. if the Qur'an is considered word of a man.

Even if one believes that Prophet Muhammad pbuh or Muslims wrote the Qur'an still one can’t say that WE when used in the Qur'an in first person can refer to Prophet Muhammad pbuh or Muslims. Why?

Well… because, even if one does not believe the Qur'an to be the actual word of God, we have to take it for granted that Prophet Muhammad pbuh BELIEVED all this to be from God and so even if we consider it to be FICTION we have to agree that the tone of the Qur'an is such that it wants to convey to the reader that the First person authoring the Qur'an IS GOD.
Consider Chapter 36 verse 69
“And WE have not taught him (Muhammad) poetry, nor is it meet for him.”

And consider “WE did not reveal to thee the Qur'an that Ye shall be distressed.”
Here obviously WE is God.

Consider Chapter 1 Al Fatiha or The opening: It reads
“Praise be to the one lord of the worlds. The most Gracious the most merciful. Owner of the day of Judgement. Unto him WE turn for worship and unto him WE turn for help...”

Obviously here WE refers to men, because God does not require to worship or to turn for help towards anyone. This is the one place where you would find WE referring to men in the first person. But it has to be kept in mind that these verses were revealed with the purpose of forming a part of the Muslim Salaah or Prayer. This is the reason it is called “Lord’s prayer for the believer.”



I too as a child had problems with these little things. But as time passed and I got a collective idea of the Qur'an everything became clear to me.

If one REALLY wants to understand the Qur'an one has to at least TRY to understand it.

Sometimes we got to stress our brains… what are they for?

You hold that the Qur'an should explain and clarify such things like the usage of WE.
What was Muhammad for? Before his death he has explained each and every verse of the Qur'an.
He has left no stone unturned. One of his companions has said: “There’s no bird in the sky that flaps its wings but the Prophet Muhammad pbuh has already told us about it!”

Prophet Muhammad pbuh would spend the whole day explaining the Qur'an to his companions. They would not move ahead until they had understood 10 verses.

The MUFASSIREEN or the Scholars of the Commentary of the Qur'an base all their explanation on what the Prophet Muhammad pbuh has said.
And as the Qur'an is today and as it has been understood by 14 centuries of Mufassireen can not be changed just because you or I feel right. Yes of course there verses which have a double meaning, but you and I can’t change the way the Qur'an has to be interpreted.

A person as ordinary as you or I trying to interpret the Qur'an in a new way and telling that the 14 Centuries of Mufassireen have interpreted it wrong would be as incongruous as a Khomeini preaching Christianity in the middle of the Royal Square in Christian Rome.

So, try and look at the Qur'an the way that is appropriate. And of course after that if you take out mistakes in it, You’re most welcome!

One might argue that we reserve a right to interpret the Qur'an as we like. But we have to remember that WHEN WE’VE DONE THAT AND WHEN WE TRY AND CRITICIZE, ITS NEITHER THE QUR'AN NOR ISLAM THAT WE ARE CRITICIZING. WE ARE ACTUALLY CRITICIZING OUR OWN INTERPRETATION!
AND THIS IS THE REASON THAT A RATIONAL APPROACH TO THE QUR'AN HAS SELDOM BEEN MADE!
AND IF WE ALL WOULD CONTINUE TO STICK TO OUR OWN INTERPRETATION THE QUR'AN COULD NEVER BE CHALLENGED!
So, for the sake of argument we have agree with the interpretation of the Qur'an as already laid down and then we have to proceed to find errors.
I hope you’re getting me…

Just to clarify the tone of the Qur'an, consider these Verses.

“When Ye were on the near bank and they were on the yonder bank and the caravan was below you and You could not have met one another but...” [Ch8 Verse 42]

Here the verse is in first person but this person is some one other than Muhammad and his followers and some one other than the disbelievers who were on the other bank, some one who was seeing in a way that He could see both Muhammad’s party as well as the enemies despite the fact that they could not see one another.

Also consider: “When Allah showed them unto thee (Muhammad) in a dream as a few because if He had showed them as many ye (Muslims) would have fought over the affair.” [Chapter 8 verse 43]

Again here the first person is neither Prophet Muhammad pbuh nor Muslims. And according to Prophet Muhammad pbuh this was brought to him by Gabriell from God.

So, if one wants to critically analyze the Qur'an it has to be agreed upon that the one speaking to Muhammad in the Qur'an is ‘suppose to be’ God.

Then if you want to proceed to prove that it is fiction; that’s your job.

People at the time of Prophet Muhammad pbuh would also laugh at the Qur'an and say: “What? Should we be punished for the fact that we can see through your evident magic and sorcery?”

To this the Qur'an replies: “What plea have they that they should not be punished by Allah when they debar his servants from the inviolable place of worship despite that they are not its fitting guardians…?”
[Chapter 8 verse 34]


Even if you do not still agree with me, FOR THE SAKE OF ARGUMENT, let me consider that WE can refer to Muslims or Muhammad.
This means that the Qur'an says that Muslims or Muhammad SHALL burn the disbelievers and pour on them scalding water.
And if the Qur'an does mean to say this then Obviously, Muhammad and his followers should have done exactly that, i.e. they should have poured boiling water on disbelievers and should have burned them. Right?

So, Did Muhammad and his followers torture the disbelievers? Did they pour scalding water on them? Were the disbelievers terrified of them?

Lets see…

Here are a number of incidents where Muhammad had to deal with disbelievers.

• The Jewish slave boy: Prophet Muhammad pbuh had a boy who used to work at his home. For many days the boy did not turn up. This worried the Prophet. So, he went to his home to see him. There he found him Asleep and was told that the boy was suffering from fever. He sat besides his bed and prayed for him. The boy opened his eyes to find his master stroking his head! The boy at once embraced Islam.
• A Jew’s funeral: Once as usual Prophet Muhammad pbuh and his companions were sitting in the mosque courtyard. Just then a funeral procession passed by. And to everyone’s surprise Prophet Muhammad pbuh got up immediately. When he was asked “O prophet of Allah that was the procession of a disbeliever”, He said “Was he not a soul? did he not feel pain?”


• The man who came to claim his money: Once during a large gathering that Prophet Muhammad pbuh was addressing a Jew came inside and started shouting at him saying that “They are all the same, they are all cheats, where is Muhammad, has he like his father devoured my money? I want my money back” The Prophet Muhammad pbuh was astonished. No one had spoken to him in such a tone ever. He kept his cool and replied: “But the term is not yet over for me to return your money.” At this the Jew said, “So what? I want my money now! You hear that?” This infuriated Ali (RA) who pulled out his sword and said “O messenger of Allah, give me permission that I may chop off his head! For such irreverent talk.” The Prophet Muhammad pbuh said immediately: “Oh Ali, put down your sword and don’t get angry. You have scared this man and humiliated him in front of every one, Go and pay him his money and this much amount extra as a punishment for you!”
Ali (RA) says that on the way home the Jew told him “Actually I didn’t come for the money. I came to test Muhammad.” “Test him for what?” asked Ali. “Our scriptures say that a Prophet shall come and he shall be such that the more angrier you try to make him the more patient he gets.” “So do accept him?” asked Ali. “After what I have seen of his character today I testify that he is a messenger and that I shall be a Muslim!”


• The man who urinated in the mosque: Once as usual men had come to discuss Islam with Prophet Muhammad pbuh in the Mosque. One among those fools urinated in a corner of the mosque! This infuriated the companions and they decided to punish the man. But Prophet Muhammad pbuh just ordered the flooring to be removed and the Mosque to be washed. The tolerance of this great man was really unending!


• After the battle of Khyber: After the Muslims had won the battle of Khyber, a Jewish Rabbi came to Prophet Muhammad pbuh and complained to him that the Muslims were taking away pages of the Torah as spoils of war. He immediately returned the pages and apologized and to his soldiers he said: “Allah does not Love aggressors.”



• Treatment of the prisoners of War: One of the most beautiful and touching part of Islam is how the disbelievers were treated. Firstly, according to H. Lamens “in all the wars fought during the life of Prophet Muhammad pbuh, very few lives were lost. Eg. in the BATTLE OF THE TRENCHES, where almost 10,000 men were arrayed on both sides if the losses on both sides would we added they would make up hardly 24 dead”! The treatment of prisoners was such that as they them selves say “Under the command of Prophet Muhammad pbuh the people of Medina welcomed us in their homes as guests. We were made to ride on camels while they themselves walked on foot…we were given leavened bread to eat while they contented themselves with dates…And the ransom for a learned prisoner was to teach 10 Muslim children to read! And in the Month of Ramadan all the prisoners would be set free!” Now, consider the treatment of Muslims in jails like the Abu Ghraib prison, in Guantanomobay at the hands of Americans who claim to be civilized.


• The Fatteh Makkah: We all learned at school that the English revolution was the GOLDEN REVOLUTION, because not even a bullet was fired. 1400 years ago, something more glorious happened. At the time when blood shed and violence was the order of the day, a man who had ventured to fight the dark forces of evil single handedly, Conquered with his army of followers the whole of Mecca WITHOUT A WAR BEING FOUGHT! And this was indeed a Glorious revolution penned down in the pages of history as FATEH MAKKAH or VICTORY OVER MECCA. It is said that when Prophet Muhammad pbuh reached Mecca there was a dead silence and all the people were preparing for their DOOM because they thought that Muhammad had come for the revenge. Too mistaken were they. For no sooner had they entered Mecca did the Prophet Muhammad pbuh say: “To day there shall be no hold on you, you are free so choose which way you like to go. I forgive you what you did now we shall all be brethren. So, Go! Free you are!”


• 11 Verses of the Qur'an revealed in support of a disbeliever: It is said that after a war a Muslim hypocrite stole an armor and shield which were the property of the State and he framed a Poor Non Muslim by hiding it in his home. The Prophet Muhammad pbuh thought the Non Muslim to be guilty but just when he was going to pronounce the sentence against him, He received a revelation.11 VERSES OF THE QUR'AN WERE REVEALED TO PROVE THE INNOCENCE OF A DISBELIEVER! AMAZING…AMAZING BOOK AND YOU PEOPLE SAY IT IS INTOLLERANT?


SO, WE SEE THAT Prophet Muhammad pbuh and his followers did not do awful things to Disbelievers. Does that mean that they did not live up to their promise? Because we had supposed that they had said “WE SHALL burn them…”
This shows that WE could not refer to them. It refers to the eternal torture that God, according to the Qur'an would inflict on disbelievers.

If you still want to say that NO, WE REFERS TO MUHAMMAD OR MUSLIMS, THEN again one more problem arises. What is that? Read on…

If you analyze, the verse you quoted clearly says: “And as their skins roast WE shall provide them new skins so that they can feel the pain.”

A man 1400 years ago could have never produced this verse even if he were A DESERT BEDOUIN WITH THE WILDEST IMAGINATION!
Because the verse says “We shall give them new skins”. OK if you say that a man could say this, then how do you explain this-“so that they can feel the pain”?
Don’t get me?

Aren’t you forgetting some thing… Let me try and remind you, the verse says “ And as their skins roast We shall provide them new skins SO THAT THEY MAY FEEL THE PAIN.”

Why should the verse say “we shall give them new skins so that they shall feel the pain”. It could have said “we shall keep them alive so that they keep on feeling the pain.”

HOW ON EARTH DID THE AUTHOR KNOW 14 CENTURIES AGO THAT A PERSON NEEDED SKIN IN ORDER TO FEEL PAIN?
You and I read about the reflex action and the reflex arc and the PAIN RECEPTORS in the skin at School. BUT WHO TOLD THIS MAN? WELL…there is a slight possibility that they might have had Missionary schools in the desert at Muhammad’s time. Well perhaps…who knows?

Jokes apart…Seriously speaking You can see here that the Qur'an is far ahead of its time and a man could have never authored this verse.

In fact at a scientific conference at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, a Japanese doctor embraced Islam on account of this very verse. In his own words… “Amazing! A man could not produce such an UN AMBIGUOUS statement 1400 years ago, when we came to know this recently. This has to be the truth.”


As the Qur'an itself says:

IN CHAPTER 10 VERSE 37:

“AND THIS QUR'AN IS NOT SUCH THAT IT COULD EVER BE INVENTED EXCEPT BY ALLAH; IT IS BUT A CONFIRMATION OF THAT WHICH WAS REVEALED BEFORE IT AND AN EXPOSITION OF THAT WHICH IS DECREED FOR MANKIND BY THE LORD OF THE WORLDS-THEREIN IS NO DOUBT!”

The Qur'an says
“AND AS MAN DESCENDS FROM ORBIT TO ORBIT THE VEILS SHALL BE LIFTED UNTILL EACH OF OUR SIGNS SHALL BE PROVEN TRUE.”


Finally one thing is clear that WE could not have referred to Prophet Muhammad pbuh or his men and that the Qur'an makes everything quite clear. And that in these verses the Qur'an refers to the punishment of the Hereafter.

WHEN THE QUR'AN IS READ WITH UNDERSTANDING AND IN CONTEXT IT DOES NOT LEAVE ANY ROOM FOR DOUBT.
AS FAR AS JUSTICE EQUALITY AND UNITY OF MANKIND IS CONSIDERED THESE VERSES WILL GIVE YOU A CLEAR PICTURE OF THE QUR'AN’S VISION OF PEACE FOR MANKIND:

“ANY ONE WHI KILLS A SINGLE HUMAN BEING UNLESS IT BE FOR MURDER OR MISCHIEF, IT IS AS IF HE HAS KILLED THE WHOLE OF MANKIND. AND THE ONE WHO SAVES A SINGLE HUMAN BEING IS AS IF HE HAS SAVED THE WHOLE OF MANKIND!”


“OH MANKIND! WE CREATED YOU FROM A SINGLE PAIR OF MALE AND FEMALE, AND DIVIDED YOU INTO NATIONS AND TRIBES SO THAT YOU MAY UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER, NOT THAT YOU MAY DESPISE EACH OTHER!”

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Brother Merle you say that you would love to spread your opinion with the pen not the sword.

CONGRATULATIONS! You’ll be overjoyed to know that Prophet Muhammad pbuh shared the SAME views!
William Muir one of the most HOSTILE biographers of the Prophet Muhammad pbuh admits that “Muhammad was a reluctant warrior.”

Yes, he fought many battles. But statistics defy the very myth that th e sword ver helped in the spread of Islam. In this context I would love to share my artice “Was Islam spread by the sword?” if u r interested.

It is a fact that Prophet Muhammad pbuh was an UMMI i.e. an ILLITERATE but this never stopped him from conveying the message to humanity.
And how did he do it?
He would call scribes and would dictate Letters to them and after his trusted companions had checked them he would put his stamp on them (a ring inscribed with his name). And then he depute men to various kings of faraway lands.

And what did these letters contain?

These letters contained invitations to learn more about Islam and they would usually start with the Verses of the Qur'an “Say! O people of the Scripture! Let’s come on common terms on things that are similar between you and us…”

A number of these letters are still preserved like the letter to the King of Oman, the King of Yemen and his brother Jaffer.

So you see even 14 centuries ago he was well aware that truth can be spread by discussion not by the Sword.

He has in fact said “The ink of the Scholar is holier than the blood of the martyr!”

I hope you sre able to see his point of view. And indeed it is very true that:
THE SWORD RULES FOR A WHILE BUT THE SPIRIT RULES FOR EVER…

As Allah says in the Qur'an

“WHEN TRUTH IS HEARD OUT AGAINST FALSEHOOD, FALSEHOOD PERISHES FOR FALSEHOOD IS BY ITS NATURE- BOUND TO PERISH!”


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You ask that SHOULD A PERSON BE PUNISHED IF HE LOGICALLY REACHES THE CONCLUSION AND DISBELIEVES IN THE QURAN?

Just to remind you the Qur'an does not say that a person who uses reason and disproves the Qur'an is going to be punished. The Qur'an is too sure about itself, it believes that since it is the word of God, it has no errors and that it is rationally infallible.
So, according to the Qur'an there is no rational way to disprove the Qur'an .
So a man, who might reach the conclusion that Qur'an is not the word of God, is according to the Qur'an irrational.
And it believes that such a person should be punished for this irrationality. Not for using his power to reason, as you are putting it!

So it believes that a person who thinks that the Qur'an is not God’s word has used an irrational approach.

SO, IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THIS, YOU HAVE TO FIRST PROVE THAT SUCH AN APPROACH DOES EXIST AND THEN AFTER YOU RATIONALLY DISPROVE THE QUR'AN, SUCH CLAIMS OF THE QUR'AN WILL HAVE NO VALUE. BUT TILL TODAY NO ONE HAS RATIONALLY DISPROVED THE QUR'AN. SOME HAVE LOOKED AT IT WITH A PREJUDICED MIND AND SOME HAVE TWISTED ITS VERSES TO MAKE THEM APPEAR WRONG. But, no one has proved it wrong rationally.

I would be glad to see how you can prove the Qur'an rationally inconsistent only then can one move on to say that the Qur'an is too harsh on Disbelievers.

UNTILL NO ONE IS ABLE TO COME UP WITH A SINGLE MISTAKE, THE QUR'AN IS JUSTIFIED IN WHAT IT SAYS.

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You want to know how I say that there is nothing in this vast ocean of Knowledge that could prove the Qur'an wrong?
GOOD QUESTION.

POINT NO.1: Why I don’t doubt the Qur'an
POINT NO.2: The one way to prove the Qur'an as mere guess work

POINT NO.1: Why I don’t doubt the Qur'an
The reason that I have complete faith in the Qur'an is that I believe that it is the word of God and God can not make a mistake. AND according to my caliber I am completely convinced about the authenticity of the QUR'AN.

Does this mean that I do not value the vast universe of knowledge?
Actually, if God exists He has complete knowledge of whatever he has created. Right?
And it would be a great sin on my part to say that I know everything.
Since I believe that God has infinite wisdom and that the Qur'an is His word , it is thus that I believe that it is infallible.
The Qur'an says in Chapter 31 Verse 27

“EVEN IF YOU CUT ALL THE TREES OF THE WORLD INTO A PEN AND THE WATER OF THE SEVEN OCEANS INTO INK THE WATER OF SEVEN OCEANS WOULD EXHAUST BUT THE WISDOM OF YOUR LODR WOULD NOT!”

It is based on this that I base my complete trust, not that I have complete wisdom.

In fact I know that I am very ignorant, because I know nothing we all know nothing as compared to what the universe has in store for us.


POINT NO.2: The one way to prove the Qur'an as mere guess work
Now, IS there a way to disprove the Qur'an . YES, there is.
This calls for what we call FALSIFICATION TESTS.

There are people who claim that they know how the universe works but the Scientists are not even listening to them. Why? Because they aren’t able to show how they can be proven wrong!
This was a new concept that Einstein introduced. He said “I think the universe works like this and here are three ways to prove me wrong!” And in Five years time the Scientists worked on the three ways AND they proved that he was Right.
It is this kind of approach that the critical analysis of the Qur'an calls for.
The Qur'an says It is the word of God and tells you that “in it there are no errors”, it tells you “produce a single surah like it” and it askes you that “if this is not the word of God, what is it?” so it gives you chances to disprove it!
Among others, this angle is objective and its basis is mathematical. It is surprising how authentic the Qur'an becomes when one assembles what might be referred to as a list of good guesses. Mathematically, it can be explained using guessing and prediction examples. For instance, if a person has two choices (i.e., one is right, and one is wrong), and he closes his eyes and makes a choice, then half of the time (i.e., one time out of two) he will be right. Basically, he has a one in two chance, for he could pick the wrong choice, or he could pick the right choice. Now if the same person has two situations like that (i.e., he could be right or wrong about situation number one, and he could be right or wrong about situation number two), and he closes his eyes and guesses, then he will only be right one fourth of the time (i.e., one time out of four). He now has a one in four chance because now there are three ways for him to be wrong and only one way for him to be right. In simple terms, he could make the wrong choice in situation number one and then make the wrong choice in situation number two; OR he could make the wrong choice in situation number one and then make the right choice in situation number two; OR he could make the right choice in situation number one and then make the wrong choice in situation number two; OR he could make the right choice in situation number one and then make the right choice in situation number two. Of course, the(only instance in which he could be totally right is the last scenario where he could guess correctly in both situations. The odds of his guessing completely correctly have become greater because the number of situations for him to guess in have increased; and the mathematical equation representing such a scenario is 1/2 x 1/2 (i.e., one time out of two for the first situation multiplied by one time out of two for the second situation). Continuing on with the example, if the same person now has three situations in which to make blind guesses, then he will only be right one eighth of the time (i.e., one time out of eight or 1/2 X 1/2 X 1/2). Again, the odds of choosing the correct choice in all three situations have decreased his chances of being completely correct to only one time in eight. It must be understood that as the number of situations increase, the chances of being right decrease, for the two phenomena are inversely proportional. Now applying this example to the situations in the Qur'an, if one draws up a list of all of the subjects about which the Qur'an has made correct statements, it becomes very clear that it is highly unlikely that they were all just correct blind guesses. Indeed, the subjects discussed in the Qur'an are numerous, and thus the odds of someone just making lucky guesses about all of them become practically nil. If there are a million ways for the Qur'an to be wrong, yet each time it is right, then it is unlikely that someone was guessing. The following three examples of subjects about which the Qur'an has made correct statements collectively illustrate how the Qur'an continues to beat the odds.
In the 16th chapter the Qur'an mentions that the female bee leaves its home to gather food.l2 Now, a person might guess on that, saying, "The bee that you see flying around - it could be male, or it could be female. I think I will guess female." Certainly, he has a one in two chance of being right. So it happens that the Qur'an is right. But it also happens that was not what most people believed at the time when the Qur'an was revealed. Can you tell the difference between a male and a female bee? Well, it takes a specialist to do that, but it has been discovered that the male bee never leaves his home to gather food. However, in Shakespeare's play, Henry the Fourth, some of the characters discuss bees and mention that the bees are soldiers and have a king. That is what people thought in Shakespeare's time - that the bees that one sees flying around are male bees and that they go home and answer to a king. However, that is not true at all. The fact is that they are females, and they answer to a queen. Yet it took modern scientific investigations in the last 300 years to discover that this is the case. So, back to the list of good guesses, concerning the topic of bees, the Qur'an had a 50/50 chance of being right, and the odds were one in two. In addition to the subject of bees, the Qur'an also discusses the sun and the manner in which it travels through space. Again, a person can guess on that subject. When the sun moves through space, there are two options: it can travel just as a stone would travel if one threw it, or it can move of its own accord. The Qur'an states the latter - that it moves as a result of its own motion.'3 To do such, the Qur'an uses a form of the word sabaha to describe the sun's movement through space. In order to properly provide the reader with a comprehensive understanding of the implications of this Arabic verb, the following example is given. If a man is in water and the verb sabaha is applied in reference to his movement, it can be understood that he is swimming, moving of his own accord and not as a result of a direct force applied to him. Thus when this verb is used in reference to the sun's movement through space, it in no way implies that the sun is flying uncontrollably through space as a result of being hurled or the like. It simply means that the sun is turning and rotating as it travels. Now, this is what the Qur'an affirms, but was it an easy thing to discover? Can any common man tell that the sun is turning? Only in modern times was the equipment made available to project the image of the sun onto a tabletop so that one could look at it without being blinded. And through this process it was discovered that not only are there three spots on the sun but that these spots move once every 25 days. This movement is referred to as the rotation of the sun around its axis and conclusively proves that, as the Qur'an stated 1400 years ago, the sun does, indeed turn as it travels through space. And returning once again to the subject of good guess, the odds of guessing correctly about both subjects - the sex of bees and the movement of the sun - are one in four!
Seeing as back fourteen centuries ago people probably did not understand much about time zones, the Quran's statements about this subject are considerably surprising. The concept that one family is having breakfast as the sun comes up while another family is enjoying the brisk night air is truly something to be marveled at, even in modern time. Indeed, fourteen centuries ago, a man could not travel more than thirty miles in one day, and thus it took him literally months to travel from India to Morocco, for example. And probably , when he was having supper in Morocco, he thought to himself, "Back home in India they are having supper right now." This is because he did not realize that, in the process of traveling, he moved across a time zone. Yet, because it is the words of Allah, the All-Knowing, the Qur'an recognizes and acknowledges such a phenomenon. In an interesting verse it states that when history comes to an end and the Day of Judgment arrives, it will all occurring an instant; and this very instant will catch some people in the daytime and some people at night. This clearly illustrates Allah's divine wisdom and His previous knowledge of the existence of time zones, even though such a discovery was non-existent back fourteen centuries ago. Certainly, this phenomenon is not something which is obvious to one's eyes or a result of one's experience, and this fact, in itself, suffices as proof of the Qur'ans authenticity. Returning one final time to the subject of good guesses for the purpose of the present example, the odds that someone guessed correctly about all three of the aforementioned subjects - the sex of bees, the movement of the sun and the existence of time zones - are one in eight! Certainly, one could continue on and on with this example, drawing up longer and longer list of good guesses; and of course, the odds would become higher and higher with each increase of subjects about which one could guess. But what no one can deny is the following; the odds that Mohammed an illiterate, guessed correctly about thousands and thousands of subjects, never once making a mistake, are so high that any theory of his authorship of the Qur'an must be completely dismissed - even by the most hostile enemies of Islam!



NO MATTER WHAT YOU STILL BELIEVE, HERE I WOULD LIKE TO ASK YOU A QUESTION
IF AT A POINT OF TIME YOU GET ALL THAT IS NECESSARY TO PROVE THAT THE QUR'AN IS GOD’S WORD AND THAT ISLAM IS INFALLIBLE WILL YOU BE READY TO UNHESITATINGLY ACCEPT IT?