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Aymenn: Reading Q9:28 and al-Tabari and al-Qurtubi and the Art of al-Tabrir or التبرير

Reader comment on item: Open Mecca to the World
in response to reader comment: If only Qur'an 9:28 were so clear cut and simple

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Sep 15, 2022 at 18:04

Aymenn wrote:

>Much like the debates over Qur'anic verses such as 'No compulsion in religion...', things are more complicated

Surat al-Baqara: 256 and "La Ikrah fi al-Deen" is "not complicated" as you claim.

The early Mufasereen had no clue what this verse means and why would the author of the Qur'an say: "La Ikrah fi al-Deen" and he also says "Iqtoloo al-Mushrikeen" in Ayat al-Sayf. And why would the author of the Qur'an says that the Jews, the Christians and al-Sabi'uun (this is a Mesopotamian and Aramaic sect that worships stars) will go to Allah's heaven and why would the author of the Qur'an tells the Jews and Christians "wa Ilahina wa ilahikum wahid" then he changes his mind and accuses them of being polytheists.

So the ways out of this strange verse?

1. al-Qurtubi tells us: إنه نسخ: " لا إكراه في الدين " فأمر بقتال أهل الكتاب في" سورة براءة "

Or Quran Surat al-Baqara:256 has been abrogated and (He) ordered fighting the people of the book according to Surat al-Bara'a (also known as Surat al-Tawba) or Quran Chapter 9.

I'm not the one who is saying that. It is your revered mufasereen

2. And as usual al-Tabari had to come up with some story (because it did not make any sense to this very smart Persian man) about children converting or declining to convert to Islam from Judaism and Christianity and this tradition, as usual, comes in different recensions, and here is an example:

أن المرأة من الأنصار كانت تنذر إن عاش ولدها لتجعلنه في أهل الكتاب، فلما جاء الإسلام قالت الأنصار: يا رسول الله ألا نكره أولادنا الذين هم في يهود على الإسلام، فإنا إنما جعلناهم فيها ونحن نرى أن اليهودية أفضل الأديان؟ فلما إذ جاء الله بالإسلام، (75) .
أفلا نكرههم على الإسلام؟ فأنـزل الله تعالى ذكره: " لا إكراه في الدين قد تبين الرشد من الغي"

This is not a complicated verse. It is a confusing verse composed by a poor theologian. What we have here is "Tabrir" by al-Tabari and no more

>than simply saying that 9:28 bans 'polytheists' from the Sacred Mosque in the conventional way many Westerners would understand 'polytheists' to be those professing religions that openly claim worship of more than one deity (e.g, Greco-Roman paganism and Arabian paganism).

Greco-Roman paganism in the 7th century? Are you serious? And why would Allah care about Greco-Roman paganism but not let us say Hinduism and Buddhism and Jainism? Any guesses? You need to read some good history book or books about religions in the Middle East in the early 7th century and remember that the Western Roman Empire ended in 476 AD and was it was already Christianized. The Hellenes were all gone by the late 5th century. As for the so called "Arab pagans" they are really a mystery in the early 7th century because the Arab tribes in both Mesopotamia and the Levant were already Christianized. Mu'awiyya was a Christian who established his capital not in Mecca but in Damascus because Mecca was a later invention by the Abbasids. The Islamic narrative is full of serious holes.

And there is zero extant evidence for the existence of Jews and Christians in al-Hijaz in the early 7th century or even for a town called Mecca or may be Becca in the early 7th century.

>The word 'mushrik' in the basic sense means associating a partner with God in worship, and many less ecumenical interpretations of Islam would place Jews and Christians in the 'mushrik' category as well rather than categorising them as fellow 'real monotheists', so to speak.

Here is Q9:28:

يا أيها الذين آمنوا إنما المشركون نجس فلا يقربوا المسجد الحرام بعد عامهم هذا وإن خفتم عيلة فسوف يغنيكم الله من فضله

O You who believed, truly the polytheists are Najis (I left this word untranslated because al-Tabari is not sure of the meaning of the word it could be "filthy, unclean") so they should not approach al-Haram Mosque after their year, and truly if you are afraid of poverty Allah will make you rich from his bounty

It seems that according to al-Tabari the early Muslims were worried about the very smart and business savvy Jews and Christians, albeit Najis, will not be allowed to trade in al-Masjid al-Haram, what ever that is, and they (the early Muslims) become poor.

Notice that the verse does not mention Mecca or Becca and why is that Aymenn? And it does not mention al-Madina aka Yathrib.

Here is a link to al-Tabari in Arabic


>The mushrik categorisation for Jews and Christians arises partly on the basis of the broader context of Qur'an 9:28, especially Qur'an 9:30-31 where it is said the Jews claim Ezra is the son of God and Christians Jesus, and that they took rabbis, monks and the Messiah as lords besides God, when they were only commanded to worship God. In this reading then, the Jews and Christians have associated partners with God in worship, and thus are guilty of being mushriks ('mushrikun').

Here is a link to Q9:28 the reader can click each word and this would provide him/her with a translation of each word from Arabic to English

The Jews and Christians as well as the rest of humanity care less to be called Najis or Mushrikeen


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