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Debating Islam (28 Apr 2015 NewAgeIslam.Com)



Who Are The Worst Of Creatures In The Quran?

 

By Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

28 April, 2015

Many similar questions are asked and the impression among people is that the Quran uses strong words for non-Muslims whether they are Jews, Christians or Polytheists but not for the Muslims. The Quran uses strong language even for those who are evil among the Muslims except that it does not get noticed because they are called the Munafiqin or the hypocrites.  The Quran does not use strong language against people of any faith but only against those who were guilty of specific acts or misdeeds. Let us examine one such verse which is one of the oft quoted ones.

(98:6) Those Kafaru among the People of the Book and among the Polytheists, will be in Hell-Fire, to dwell therein (for aye). They are the worst of creatures.

This verse is misunderstood to mean that the Quran has called all Jews, Christians and Polytheists, the worst of creatures who will be in hell in the hereafter! The verse is clearly not calling all the People of the Book or all the Polytheists the worst of creatures who will dwell in hell in the hereafter but only the Kafaru among them. Who are these Kafaru and for what Kufr of theirs are they so condemned?

Let us look at the entire Surah 98 in which the verse appears:

(1) Those Kafaru among the People of the Book and among the Polytheists, were not going to depart (from their ways) until there should come to them Clear Evidence,-

(2)  A messenger from Allah, rehearsing scriptures kept pure and holy:

(3) Wherein are laws (or decrees) right and straight.

(4) Nor did the People of the Book make schisms, until after there came to them Clear Evidence.

(5) And they have been commanded no more than this: To worship Allah, offering Him sincere devotion, being true (in faith); to establish regular prayer; and to practise regular charity; and that is the Religion Right and Straight.

(6) Those Kafaru among the People of the Book and among the Polytheists will be in Hell-Fire, to dwell therein (for aye). They are the worst of creatures.

(7) Those who have faith and do righteous deeds,- they are the best of creatures.

(8) Their reward is with Allah: Gardens of Eternity, beneath which rivers flow; they will dwell therein for ever; Allah well pleased with them, and they with Him: all this for such as fear their Lord and Cherisher.

The Kafaru among the Polytheists who are referred to can be identified from the following verses of Surah 37:

(159) Glory to Allah! (He is free) from the things they (the polytheists) ascribe (to Him)

(167) And there were those who said,

(168) "If only we had had before us a Message from those of old,

(169) "We should certainly have been Servants of Allah, sincere (and devoted)!"

(170) But (now that the Qur´an has come), they reject it: But soon will they know!

“And there were those who said” clearly implies not all but some among the polytheists. The Kafaru among the People of the Scriptures were those who were awaiting the coming of a Prophet from amongst the Arabs based on predictions in their own Scriptures.

The much awaited and eagerly expected Prophet came rehearsing scriptures containing laws right and straight. The People of the Scriptures however made schisms only after the clear evidence had come to them and although they were commanded no more than this: To worship Allah, offering Him sincere devotion, being true (in faith); to establish regular prayer; and to practise regular charity; and that is the Religion Right and Straight.

These are the people who are the worst of creatures because when the Messenger for whom they had awaited eagerly came with clear evidence, they rejected him. And these people will be in hell fire forever. Please notice the wordings. This is not a warning to these people about their fate in the hereafter but the sentence has been pronounced which means that these people will die as disbelievers. This confirms that it covers only a specific set of people and not all Polytheists, Jews and Christians because most of the Polytheists believed after this and many of the Jews and Christians as well. The Surah is an early Medinian Surah revealed before the permission to fight was given. After the first battle of Badr, the fortunes appeared to be changing for the better for the Muslims which then attracted the opportunist freeloaders called the Munafiqin or the hypocrites.  Until such time, the Muslims were only among those Meccans who had sacrificed everything for Islam and even left their homes and migrated to Medina and the Ansars or the Medinians who had provided support and shelter. They are therefore called the best of creatures and the contrast is perfect. The best of people never had any expectations of a Prophet coming but when he did come, they believed and suffered torture and persecution in Mecca for 13 years and were finally compelled to migrate leaving behind their homes and businesses. The Medinians made huge sacrifices and provided support and shelter to the immigrants. These were true believers and supporters of the Prophet and Allah and clearly selfless, sincere and devoted and beyond doubt among the best of creatures.

In contrast, there were the knowledgeable ones who had eagerly awaited for the coming of the Prophet thinking that he would confer some great worldly benefit on them but when they saw that there were sacrifices to be made and no prospect of any gains in the immediate future, and from all indications’ very uncertain and bleak future, they rejected him. They were self-seekers who were only interested in what was in it for them and had no real love for either God or the “Truth” or for any noble cause. The contrast is perfect and they are called the worst creatures.

It should now be clear that both “the best of creatures” and “the worst of creatures” refers to specific people of the Prophet’s times and not to people of this age. The believers or Muslims have no basis to consider themselves as the best of creatures or to consider others as the worst by citing this verse which only speaks of a specific group of people of the Prophet’s times who displayed the behaviour discussed.

Naseer Ahmed is an Engineering graduate from IIT Kanpur and is an independent IT consultant after having served in both the Public and Private sector in responsible positions for over three decades. He is a frequent contributor to NewAgeIslam.com.

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/debating-islam/naseer-ahmed,-new-age-islam/who-are-the-worst-of-creatures-in-the-quran?/d/102701

 




TOTAL COMMENTS:-   109


  • Rational,

    Regarding the discussion on Science and Miracles, after I have said that a believer has no need for miracles to believe and a non-believer will not believe despite miracles, there is nothing more to be said. The miracles were only to leave the non-believer without any argument that no "sign" came to them because the disbelievers sought such signs as I have already covered in my previous comments. Whether a disbeliever disbelieves because of the miracles or inspite of them is hardly material. They will always blame something or the other for their disbelief. If you want to consider the stories in the Quran regarding the period before Muhammad (pbuh) as mythology because of the miracles, what do you say of the 22 years of Muhammad's (pbuh) period which are devoid of "miracles" and yet of very significant events and achievements beyond what the previous prophets achieved during their lifetime? 

     

    Also a believer will believe whether or not there were miracles. As I have already said the believers are those who seek God and follow the Messenger even though he says:

    (7:188) Say: "I have no power over any good or harm to myself except as Allah willeth. If I had knowledge of the unseen, I should have multiplied all good, and no evil should have touched me: I am but a warner, and a bringer of glad tidings to those who have faith."

    (11:31) "I tell you not that with me are the treasures of Allah, nor do I know what is hidden, nor claim I to be an angel. Nor yet do I say, of those whom your eyes do despise that Allah will not grant them (all) that is good: Allah knoweth best what is in their souls: I should, if I did, indeed be a wrong-doer."

    (6:50) Say: "I tell you not that with me are the treasures of Allah, nor do I know what is hidden, nor do I tell you I am an angel. I but follow what is revealed to me." Say: "can the blind be held equal to the seeing?" Will ye then consider not? 



    By Naseer Ahmed - 5/3/2015 2:05:11 AM



  • Rational,

    First of all don't attribute anything falsely to me. Make it a habit to quote my exact words.

    I am repeating what I have already said.

    A born Mushrik is not necessarily a self-seeker. The Quran therefore refrains from calling them kafir. A self-seeker is one who seeks immediate gratification, believes that the ends justify the means, cares little for what is right and will turn to anything that promises immediate gratification. Such a person is a Mushrik by disposition. There may be many Muslims who are self-seekers just as there were many in the Prophet’s times also and these are called the Munafiqin. They pretend that they believe but in all their actions they are only self-seekers. They have little faith or patience and easily lose heart in periods of trial and tribulation.
    (33:12) And behold! The Hypocrites and those in whose hearts is a disease (even) say: "Allah and His Messenger promised us nothing but delusion!" They will not make any sacrifices nor strive patiently.

    The prayer of the self seeker

    (2:200)There are men who say: "Our Lord! Give us (Thy bounties) in this world!" but they will have no portion in the Hereafter.

    The prayer of the Muslim

    (201) And there are men who say: "Our Lord! Give us what is good for us in this world and what is good for us in the Hereafter, and defend us from the torment of the Fire!"

    What is good in this world is what is right, just, halal and without depriving others of what is theirs and without harm to anyone else.

    The Muslims
    101(59:9) But the Ansars who 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.

    (59:10) And those who came after them say: "Our Lord! Forgive us, and our brethren who came before us into the Faith, and leave not, in our hearts, rancour (or sense of injury) against those who have believed. Our Lord! Thou art indeed Full of Kindness, Most Merciful."

    The Munafiqin

    (59:11) Hast thou not observed the Hypocrites say to their misbelieving brethren among the People of the Book? - "If ye are expelled, we too will go out with you, and we will never hearken to any one in your affair; and if ye are attacked (in fight) we will help you". But Allah is witness that they are indeed liars. (12) If they are expelled, never will they go out with them; and if they are attacked (in fight), they will never help them; and if they do help them, they will turn their backs; so they will receive no help.

     

    (63:1) When the Hypocrites come to you, they say, "We bear witness that you are indeed the Messenger of Allah." Yea, Allah knows that you are indeed His Messenger, and Allah bears witness that the Hypocrites are indeed liars. (2) They have made their oaths a screen (for their misdeeds): thus they obstruct (men) from the Path of Allah: truly evil are their deeds. (3) That is because they believed, then they rejected Faith: So a seal was set on their hearts: therefore they understand not. (4) When you look at them, their exteriors please you; and when they speak, you listen to their words. They are as (worthless as hollow) pieces of timber propped up, (unable to stand on their own). They think that every cry is against them. They are the enemies; so beware of them. The curse of Allah be on them! How are they deluded (away from the Truth)! (5) And when it is said to them, "Come, the Messenger of Allah will pray for your forgiveness", they turn aside their heads, and you would see them turning away their faces in arrogance.

     

     (4:142) The Hypocrites - they think they are over-reaching Allah, but He will over-reach them: When they stand up to prayer, they stand without earnestness, to be seen of men, but little do they hold Allah in remembrance;

     (9:67) The Hypocrites, men and women, (have an understanding) with each other: They enjoin evil, and forbid what is just, and are close with their hands. They have forgotten Allah; so He hath forgotten them. Verily the Hypocrites are rebellious and perverse.(68) Allah hath promised the Hypocrites men and women, and the rejecters, of Faith, the fire of Hell: Therein shall they dwell: Sufficient is it for them: for them is the curse of Allah, and an enduring punishment,-

    (57:13) One Day will the Hypocrites- men and women - say to the Believers: "Wait for us! Let us borrow (a Light) from your Light!" It will be said: "Turn ye back to your rear! then seek a Light (where ye can)!" So a wall will be put up betwixt them, with a gate therein. Within it will be Mercy throughout, and without it, all alongside, will be (Wrath and) Punishment! (14) (Those without) will call out, "Were we not with you?" (The others) will reply, "True! but ye led yourselves into temptation; ye looked forward (to our ruin); ye doubted (Allah´s Promise); and (your false) desires deceived you; until there issued the Command of Allah. And the Deceiver deceived you in respect of Allah.


    By Naseer Ahmed - 5/3/2015 1:39:28 AM



  • Naseer saheb
    True, science is the study of natures laws. Discussing what happen after death is out of domain of science. Science never claimed. Science in this sense is truer than religion. It knows its scope and limitation.
    But limitation in one stage is not a limitation in other stage.
    Before invention of micro scope science faced limitation. But it ended after some time. Scientists couldn't not study galaxy because optical telescope was not there. Optical telescope then radio telescope ended that limitation too.
    So limitation is also finite which can be overcome. Science acknowledges it without ifs and buts.
    Religions which seem to give answers about which is not in the scope of aql and observation in fact give contradictory answers. Truth of one religion is not truth of others religion. 
    Science and religion both are products of human mind. One is based on aql and observation another based on speculation.
    Since religion doesn't study it depends on speculation.
    What will happen after death? It is death that gives base to religion. Death is sure but answers are not because world after death is beyond . observation. What is left then except speculation exploited by some people.
    Every religion is based on this speculation. 
    Islam rejects reincarnation though incarnation also provides a base for good and evil.
    Now it is possible there is nothing after death. There may be a judgement day, hell or heavens etc. May not be. There may be coming and going of souls if souls are reality.
    Who knows for certainty?
    Out of religious convictions which is demanded by God or heads of religions they insist their truth is truth rest is false.
    It give birth to religious intolerance which is the major cause of conflict in human beings beside other causes.
    So your beliefs are just speculations not well established truths.

    If it is irrational to believe that a fish can be impregnated by man it is equally irrational to believe virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus.
    You swallow this irrationality because it is in the Quran.
    Deviations from normal occurrences give religious mind to justify miracles. Are these deviations miracles? 
    If natural laws are set by God and heavenly bodies obey them there should not be deviation. The Quran call sun and moon Muslims because they obey God's commands. If that is deviations must not be there.
    Science explains these phenominas in better way while religions depending on speculation colour these events in miracles or warnings or tidings.
    So aql and observation in physical domain may lead to truths but aql in domain of spiritually lead to speculative truths.
    Physical and spiritual domain both are products of human mind because it is only man who is capable of thinking and can observe and conclude. 

    By rational mohammed yunus - 5/2/2015 9:38:49 PM



  • Naseer ahmed saheb
    Science is not my God. I know it belongs to human quest. It has limits. Scientists know the limitations. Who can understand limits better than  scientists?
    The questions is what is truth? God may be may not be. Day of judgement may be or may not be. Avtarwad may be may not be.
    Calling one truth is truth false. It rejects possibility of other truth.
    Muslims insist that the Quran is only truth. This is bigotry. Any one who thinks he holds truth others not is a bigot. 

    I am comparing two beliefs. 


    By rational mohammed yunus - 5/2/2015 8:45:40 PM



  • Naseer saheb
    I believe in nothing. What we are discussing? We are discussing beliefs of people.
     I mention day of judgement day as belief of Muslims. I mention reincarnation as belief of Hindus. Birth of Jesus as beliefs of Christians and Muslims.
    It is not that I believe. For me they may be true may not be true.
    Then what is the bone of contention. It is my belief is true yours not.
    Avtarvad is false but prophet hood is true.
    Man by nature is self seeker. Why does he pray? For what?
    Your calling mushriks self seekers is questionable. 
    I see Muslims are biggest self seekers.
    Allah instructs Muslims to pray for everything. Even prophet was chided for not saying inshallah.
    Asking everything is self seeking. What people ask? If we take this definition  of self seekers every man by nature is self seeker.
    Prayer is self seeking.


    By rational mohammed yunus - 5/2/2015 8:26:53 PM



  • Rational,

    Allah is satisfying everyone and making sure that no one is left with any excuse for disbelieving. In the past, whatever the prophet asked for, God said ok you can have it, and now what? Moses (pbuh) wanted to see God, Abraham wanted to see how the dead are raised again, Jesus disciples wanted food to descend from heaven etc etc.

    Those who disbelieve will disbelieve irrespective of whether Jesus birth was miraculous or not. 

    Those who believe will believe irrespective of whether Jesus birth was miraculous or not.

    Why people believe or disbelieve can be understood by the difference between the best of creatures and the worst of creatures in the article. They don't believe or disbelieve based on miracles. Those who are attracted by miracles are the self-seekers or those who are only interested in self gratification without a care for any higher principles.

    Science can only explain phenomena that repeat based on laws of cause and effect. These phenomena are not less wondrous because they obey the laws of cause and effect, can be understood and predicted. Just because they are common place and we have figured out the laws of cause and effect does not mean that the Creator cannot show phenomena that are unique and one off. How will you also believe that there is hereafter and that we will be raised up again?  This is something in the future and science can neither predict this nor confirm it or disprove it. This will also be a one of phenomenon and even after it has taken place, science will not be able to explain it. 

    So you will not believe even after you are raised in the hereafter that you can be raised in the hereafter since the limitation of science is that it is incapable of explaining any one off phenomenon but only repetitive phenomena. 

    The concept of limits and limitation is a very useful one. Without it, you will not be able to see a world beyond the obvious or what science can explain and predict.

    To think that a Creator who can set in motion unchanging laws that make for repetitive phenomena cannot cause a one off phenomenon is what unbelief is all about. So what is surprising?

    I only speak for the Quran and there is no need for me to comment on anything outside it. When I discount the Ahadith, why would I not equally discount other works that suffer from the same limitations as the Ahadith? All these works are based on oral transmission for several centuries before they were reduced to writing. 


    By Naseer Ahmed - 5/2/2015 2:10:29 PM



  •  Naseer saheb
    If Mary could give birth to a baby without without man out of wedlock, why that fish could not be impregnate by semen which fell in into her mouth.
    Are not hindu mythological stories more miraculous than of Muslims and Christians.
    And cross breeding is sin in Bible the word of god but not sin in Vedas which is also said to be God's word.
    How can god be so different! You are telling now that after the Quran all other God's words are irrelevant because this is last truth.

    By rational mohammed yunus - 5/2/2015 12:40:38 PM



  • Naseer saheb
    If Allah is aleem wal khabeer, he must have known that miracles were useless.
    See those who demanded miracles didn't become believers.
    To them truth that was not truth. Calling truth was clear to them is one sided story.
    They were not convinced with what was truth for prophets.
    There was no convincing truth. That is truth for believers not for unbelivsrs. Man can believe in anything and can refuse to believe in anything.


    By rational mohammed yunus - 5/2/2015 12:29:51 PM



  • Rational,      (28:48) But (now), when the Truth has come to them from Ourselves, they say, "Why are not (Signs) sent to him, like those which were sent to Moses?" Do they not then reject (the Signs) which were formerly sent to Moses? They say: "Two kinds of sorcery, each assisting the other!" And they say: "For us, we reject all (such things)!"

    Those who disbelieve will disbelieve either way. On the one hand, there were people who wouldn't believe unless there was an obvious sign of God that could amaze them. There are others who will doubt just because of these amazing things that were sent as the Signs of God.

    Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was taunted because he did not come with such signs as the prophets before. 

     (17:90) They say: "We shall not believe in thee, until thou cause a spring to gush forth for us from the earth,

    (91) "Or (until) thou have a garden of date trees and vines, and cause rivers to gush forth in their midst, carrying abundant water;

    (92) "Or thou cause the sky to fall in pieces, as thou sayest (will happen), against us; or thou bring Allah and the angels before (us) face to face:

    (93) "Or thou have a house adorned with gold, or thou mount a ladder right into the skies. No, we shall not even believe in thy mounting until thou send down to us a book that we could read." Say: "Glory to my Lord! Am I aught but a man,- a messenger?"

    (94) What kept men back from belief when Guidance came to them, was nothing but this: they said, "Has Allah sent a man (like us) to be (His) Messenger?"

    (95) Say, "If there were settled, on earth, angels walking about in peace and quiet, We should certainly have sent them down from the heavens an angel for a messenger."

    (96) Say: "Enough is Allah for a witness between me and you: for He is well acquainted with His servants, and He sees (all things).

    (97) It is he whom Allah guides, that is on true Guidance; but he whom He leaves astray - for such wilt thou find no protector besides Him. On the Day of Judgment We shall gather, them together, prone on their faces, blind, dumb, and deaf: their abode will be Hell: every time it shows abatement, We shall increase from them the fierceness of the Fire.

    The kind of people who believe:

    (16:30) To the righteous (when) it is said, "What is it that your Lord has revealed?" they say, "All that is good." To those who do good, there is good in this world, and the Home of the Hereafter is even better and excellent indeed is the Home of the righteous,-

    They will believe even though the Messenger said:

     (7:188) Say: "I have no power over any good or harm to myself except as Allah willeth. If I had knowledge of the unseen, I should have multiplied all good, and no evil should have touched me: I am but a warner, and a bringer of glad tidings to those who have faith."

    (11:31) "I tell you not that with me are the treasures of Allah, nor do I know what is hidden, nor claim I to be an angel. Nor yet do I say, of those whom your eyes do despise that Allah will not grant them (all) that is good: Allah knoweth best what is in their souls: I should, if I did, indeed be a wrong-doer."

    (6:50) Say: "I tell you not that with me are the treasures of Allah, nor do I know what is hidden, nor do I tell you I am an angel. I but follow what is revealed to me." Say: "can the blind be held equal to the seeing?" Will ye then consider not?

    The disbelievers will disbelieve because of the kind of signs Moses, Jesus (pbut) brought because to them these are lies or inspite of it or because Muhammad (pbuh) did not perform miracles like the earlier prophets or inspite of the fact that there are no such unbelievable stories associated with him.


    By Naseer Ahmed - 5/2/2015 8:13:57 AM



  • Naseer saheb
    Please read the story in this link:
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satyavati

    By rational mohammed yunus - 5/2/2015 3:03:49 AM



  • Naseer saheb
    If Mary as virgin can give birth to jesus,  a fish can be made pregnant by man.
    If miracle this story of Jesus is true, this story of fish in hindu mythology  also true.
    I will quote this story from Hindu mythology.


    By rational mohammed yunus - 5/2/2015 2:43:55 AM



  • Rational,  Genetic compatibility is important. Inter species crossing does not work. What is your story? 
    By Naseer Ahmed - 5/1/2015 11:55:54 PM



  • Naseer saheb. I will tell story but tell me can human semen impregnate a fish. Is there any possibility. 
    By rational mohammed yunus - 5/1/2015 8:36:33 PM



  • Naseer saheb
    If you don't want to quote better against worst, it is your choice.
    If there was no problem with it, t would have not called pornographic or moderates would have not called it derogatory to Islam.
    If I quote bad you must quote better. Otherwise leave it.

    By rational mohammed yunus - 5/1/2015 8:33:30 PM



  • Incidentally, we have also established through this discussion that:

    1.      The Quran does not consider all members of any religious group as Kafir. The Kafir are simply  the deniers, rejecters and hinderers of the truth, the oppressors, and the evil doers

    2.      Only the Kafaru will be punished. These are

    a).     Those who reject “the truth” after “the truth” becomes plain to them and die rejecting. The context of "the truth" in the Quran is mostly belief in God without associating partners, belief in the hereafter, belief in all the Scriptures and Messengers of God. This is the most important truth. However, bringing out, accepting and supporting any truth is held highly virtuous and its rejection worthy of punishment.

    b)       The evil doers.

    Those who are true to what they know and believe to be the truth and do good works and are righteous will be successful. 


    By Naseer Ahmed - 5/1/2015 10:59:34 AM



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