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Keith Williams: The Koran is not outdated only if you live by it

Reader comment on item: Counting Islamists
in response to reader comment: Al-Qur'an Al-Kareem Guidance for sure

Submitted by Plato (India), Nov 11, 2008 at 22:18

Hello Keith, you wrote:

>>Al-Qur'an Al-Kareem, The Holy Qur'an, is not an outdated book my friend. The book of divine guidance and direction for mankind, and the original Arabic text is considered to be the final revelation of God. God's word is never outdated.<<

You claim your holy Book is not outdated ( = Old; no longer valid or fashionable). Let us take a peek into the Koran and see if this is true or not.

You know the verse where Mulims are allowed to take booty (8:69, 8:41). Is this allowance still valid for Muslims when they go to war. Remember war booty according to Koran also included men, women and children taken as slaves. If your answer is yes then the Koran is not outdated.

Muslims are allowed to have four wives and as many concubines from the slave-girls they hold. If this allowance is still valid, then the Koran is not outdated.

Muslims have to treat women's evidence as equal to half that of a man's. If this law still holds then the Koran is not outdated (2:282).

Muslim women whose behaviour is considered lewd are to be shut away till they die. If Muslim men still practice this injunction of Allah then the Koran is not outdated (4:15)

Wives can be thrashed if the husband fears rebellion by them (4:34). If Muslim men still practice this allowance of Allah, then the Koran is not outdated.

If Muslims can forgive a relative's murderer after receiving money as compensation then the Koran is not outdated.

Need I go on ? Just ask.

>> This is the book and there is guidance in it for sure for our salvation. There are many proverbs and sayings in the book to make it easy for us to understand. These proverbs that are based on Arabic idioms are not easy of course if you don't know Arabic and so to show the meaning of in English and in today's context takes a scholar.<<

Keith, why don't you just admit the Koran is a difficult book not just for non-Arabs but even for Arabs as they have to search for lost idiomatic expressions and have to be content with scholars who put their own spin to them? You begin by saying it is easy to understand and outdated Arabic idioms are not easy for non-arabic speakers who will need to search for a consultant who specializes in Islamic theology. Easy or not easy, which is it??

>>So yes, it is easy to read and understand after we have it properly translated for us.<<

You must be congratulated for coming to that conclusion. Just name two translators who have made it easy for us to understand and whose translations are in agreement.

I love putting Koranic verses under the scanner. I will make an attempt on the verses you have quoted:

>>Alif Lam Mim. (2:1) <<

What are these letters doing in book which is supposed to be clear and easy to understand?

>>This is the Book; in it is guidance sure, without doubt, to those who fear Allah.(2:2)<<

Not only is guidance sure but also misguidance as Allah informs us in:

006.125
YUSUFALI: Those whom Allah (in His plan) willeth to guide,- He openeth their breast to Islam; those whom He willeth to leave straying,- He maketh their breast close and constricted, as if they had to climb up to the skies: thus doth Allah (heap) the penalty on those who refuse to believe.

006.126 This is the way of thy Lord, leading straight: We have detailed the signs for those who receive admonition.

010.099
YUSUFALI: If it had been thy Lord's will, they would all have believed,- all who are on earth! wilt thou then compel mankind, against their will, to believe!

32:13 If We had so willed, We could certainly have brought every soul its true guidance

What kind of guidance is this, Keith? What is silly is that after claiming to both guide and misguide Allah claims His way is a straight way. Even someone with a puny brain like mine can see that this is deception on a grand scale. Is Allah trying to prove that He indeed is a Great Deceiver?

>>(2:3) Who believe in the Unseen, are steadfast in prayer, and spend out of what We have provided for them.<<

I believe there is a pixie living in my hedge, does that count for belief in the unseen? I do not pray, that is for sure.

What about the destitute who have nothing to spend on even themselves? Has Allah created them so that faithful Muslims can practice charity on them and gain higher grades in paradise?

>>(2:4) And who believe in the Revelation sent to thee, and sent before thy time, and (in their hearts) have the assurance of the Hereafter.<<

The revelations Allah had sent before have been mangled or hidden according to the Koran. How can anyone believe in them or even this final one when Allah's words can be so easily twisted by humans? Tafsirs it seems to me is one of twisting Allah's words.

>> (2:5) They are on (true guidance), from their Lord and it is these who will prosper. <<

I showed you the kind of true guidance that your Lord gives. Misguidance is mixed up with guidance and no one has clue to who the victims are.

>>(2:6) As to those who reject Faith, it is the same to them whether thou warn them or do not warn them; they will not believe.<<

I can appreciate this thought of Allah. He is telling the prophet that since He has misguided these people it is just no use preaching to them.

>>What is the basis for deciding what is the true interpretation and who has it? With so many interpretations floating around defying 54:40, how does one choose?

This is a very good question and that is a part of the internal and external struggle going on in not only Islam but in every facet of society in the world thru the ages. Everything will work out to the good in the end. Keep the faith, remain steadfast, and preserve my friend.<<

You mean you have no answer. What has internal and external struggle got to do with my question? If everything is going to work out good in the end why do Muslims complain about Israel, the West and other infidels? Why persevere?

>>….my favourite verse out of my favourite surah and try to apply to our times: 009.111 YUSUFALI: Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth, through the Law, the Gospel, and the Qur'an: and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded: that is the achievement supreme.

Tafsir is one of the earliest academic activities of Muslims…….Other early exegetes included a few Companions of Muhammad, like Ali ibn Abi Talib, ……... If the verse was about a historical event, then sometimes a few traditions (hadith) of Muhammad were narrated to make its meaning clear. Because the Qur'an is spoken in classical Arabic, many of the later converts to Islam (mostly non-Arabs) did not always understand the Qur'anic Arabic, they did not catch allusions that were clear to early Muslims fluent in Arabic and they were concerned with reconciling apparent conflict of themes in the Qur'an. Commentators erudite in Arabic explained the allusions, and perhaps most importantly, explained which Qur'anic verses had been revealed early in Muhammad's prophetic career, as being appropriate to the very earliest Muslim community, and which had been revealed later, canceling out or "abrogating" (nāsikh) the earlier text (mansukh). ….<<

Again since you have no answer you have launched into an explanation of what tafsirs are. Basically you are telling us that since the Koran is incomprehensible, especially to the non-Arabs and the later generation of Arabs, Muslims have to depend on whatever the spin the scholars gave to the Koran.

You should have given us an example of an abrogating verse. Let me help. 9:29 abrogates all the verses asking Muslims to tolerate and be friendly with the people of the book as it was revealed afte all the tolerant ones.

>>The infidels are killing Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and practically any country a Muslim cares to name. Why are you not out there fulfilling your contract the terms of which hang down your neck?

This is rubbish and is untrue. We are not infidels and we are not killing innocents anywhere. We are in a war against terror.<<

I forgot, Bush and his friends are not infidels, they are people of the book. 9:29 tells you to fight them until they are humiliated abrogating all other verses feigning friendship with Bush and his army. So this verse has effectively made them into infidels. Are the women and children dying in Iraq, Afghanistan terrorists? Does a war on terror justify your going out and claiming collateral damage when innocents die in their thousands?

>> I am fulfilling my contract. Are you fulfilling yours? Also, don't forget: Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors. (2:190)<<

If Allah does not love those who transgress limits why does He Himself transgress the limits of tolerance when He says: 061.009 YUSUFALI: It is He Who has sent His Messenger with Guidance and the Religion of Truth, that he may proclaim it over all religion, even though the Pagans may detest (it).

And in 8:55 Allah says: for the worst of beasts in the sight of Allah are those who reject faith.

The next step is eliminate the beasts, so you have guidance from Allah how to do it: 008.060 YUSUFALI: Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of Allah and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom Allah doth know. Whatever ye shall spend in the cause of Allah, shall be repaid unto you, and ye shall not be treated unjustly.

Keith, you have a contract to eliminate us non-believers from the almighty. We have no such contract.

>>I am not aware of any place in the Koran where it says to love Him. What I have read mostly tell Muslims to dread Him so much that their skin begins to creep with fear:

Here are some for you in Yusef Ali:

Yet there are men who take (for worship) others besides Allah, as equal (with Allah); they love them as they should love Allah. But those of faith are overflowing in their love for Allah. If only the unrighteous could see, behold, they would see the Punishment: that to Allah belongs all power, and Allah will strongly enforce the Punishment. (2:165)<<

This is Allah complaining that unbelievers love their idols instead of Allah. And there is the threat of punishment for loving their idols. Not a very loving verse.

>>Say: "If ye do love Allah, follow me: Allah will love you and forgive you your sins; for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (3:31)<<

Notice the incentive Allah (i.e. Muhammad) gives for following the Prophet? YOUR SINS ARE FORGIVEN! All that unbelievers have to do to wash away their sins is become Muslims. Was that an important incentive for you to convert Keith?

This is about Allah's love for those who switch sides and follow Muhammad and has nothing to do with people falling in love with Allah. Where understanding the the Koran is concerned it is context, context and context.

>>O ye who believe! if any from among you turn back from his Faith, soon will Allah produce a people whom He will love as they will love Him,― lowly with the Believers, mighty against the rejecters, fighting in the Way of Allah, and never afraid of the reproaches of such as find fault. That is the Grace of Allah, which He will bestow on whom He pleaseth: and Allah encompasseth all and He knoweth all things. (5:54)<<

The petulant Allah threatening people who apostatize. How ungrateful are some people, even washing away their sins does not make them grateful to Allah!

Allah will give his conditional love to people whom He has produced to love Him. No big trick for the Mighty Allah. What value can you place on such love i.e. Allah producing people who will love Him? Why did He not produce all people to love Him so that He can love them in return? Absolutely weird.

>>On those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, will (Allah) Most Gracious bestow Love. (19:96)<<

Again this is Allah's conditional love for people. This is not about people loving Allah. I wouldn't if such conditions are necessary for my love

>>And let not those among you who are blessed with graces and wealth swear not to give (any sort of help) to their kinsmen, Al-Masâkîn (the poor), and those who left their homes for Allâh's Cause. Let them pardon and forgive. Do you not love that Allâh should forgive you? And Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (24:22)<<

This again is not asking people to love Allah. This is about His forgiveness towards people who pardon and forgive people who left their homes for Allah's selfish cause i.e. belief in Him.

>>And know that among you is Allah's Messenger: were he, in many matters, to follow your (wishes), ye would certainly suffer: but Allah has endeared the Faith to you, and has made it beautiful in your hearts and He has made hateful to you unbelief, wickedness and rebellion: such indeed are those who walk in righteousness― (49:7)<<

This verse is telling people to shut up and follow the Messenger instead of grumbling about whatever it was that was bothering them. Then there is a small pep talk about their faith

>>And those who before them, had homes (in Medina) and had adopted the Faith― show their affection to such as came to them for refuge, and entertain no desire in their hearts for things given to the (latter), but give them preference over themselves even though poverty was their (own lot). And those saved from the covetousness of their own souls, they are the ones that achieve prosperity. (59:9)<<

When the Ansar had a grouse against the prophet for showing favouratism towards the Meccans who emigrated to Madina with him Muhammad had Allah reveal this ayat. Allah is telling the hosts to accommodate the guests even to the extent of sacrificing their needs for the Meccans. Typically for this Allah promises them the pie in His sky. I don't see Allah asking the Ansars to love Him.

>>It may be that Allah will grant love (and friendship) between you and those whom ye (now) hold as enemies: for Allah has power (over all things); and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (60:7)<<

Here Allah says He may grant love between old enemies. Allah decides whether people love each other? Is this not another of Allah's weird characteristics.

>>He will forgive you your sins, and admit you to Gardens beneath which rivers flow, and to beautiful Mansions in Gardens of Eternity: that is indeed the supreme Achievement. (61:12) And another (favour will He bestow) which ye do love― help from Allah and a speedy victory: so give the Glad Tidings to the Believers. (61:13)<<

You should have given the readers of the blog a little background (i.e. the infamous context) for them to understand these verses. 61:13 is promising the Muslims quick victory. Some commentators think this is to boost the morale of the Muslims after their defeat at Uhud. Read the preceding two verses:

061.010 - 011
YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! Shall I lead you to a bargain that will save you from a grievous Penalty?-
That ye believe in Allah and His Messenger, and that ye strive (your utmost) in the Cause of Allah, with your property and your persons: That will be best for you, if ye but knew!

It is telling Muslims that Allah (i.e. Muhammad) will lead them to a bargain if they spend their money and endanger themselves in his (Muhammad's) cause. 61:12-13 is the pie in the sky that awaits them when they die if they are foolish enough to follow this advice.

But just in case his followers were a bit vary of Muhammad's promise of this pie in the sky they are promised a speedy victory with all that comes with it, BOOTY in the form of wealth, men, women, and children as slaves. The shahaba, Muhammad knew, just loved taking booty: ‘And another (favour will He bestow) which ye do love―'

>>The pornographic statistics show that Allah is not on the side of Muslims. The Muslims are so weak that even Allah finds it difficult to help them and He has failed them. It is time for Allah to amend Islam with another prophet to strengthen (by reducing their sex drive) the Muslim world.<<

And remember Moses said to his people: "O my people! Ye have indeed wronged yourselves by your worship of the calf so turn (in repentance) to your Maker and slay yourselves (the wrong-doers); that will be better for you in the sight of your Maker." Then He turned toward you (in forgiveness); for He is Oft-returning Most Merciful. (2:54)<<

What was the point of quoting this verse? Are you saying that true Muslims should turn on the pornography aficionados and slay them as Moses wanted to do with the calf-worshippers? Hindus worship the cow so this also could be an order from Allah to Muslims to kill them. And Muslims did indeed kill Hindus in the tens of millions.

>>It is true that some Muslims as well as other people of other faiths are struggling with sins. However, it is not God's fault my friend. We bring that on our own selves<<

Oh yes, we know all about how we are responsible for our sins despite being misguided by Allah. For Allah says: 004.079 YUSUFALI: Whatever good, (O man!) happens to thee, is from Allah; but whatever evil happens to thee, is from thy (own) soul. and We have sent thee as a messenger to (instruct) mankind. And enough is Allah for a witness.

>>"This is because of the (unrighteous deeds) which your hands sent on before ye: for Allah never do injustice to those who serve Him." (3:182).<<

The Taliban served Allah and see what it got them. The unbelieving Bush had them crushed under his boots.

Regards

Pluto

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