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Islamic Ideology ( 19 Oct 2017, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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The Importance of Getting the Story Right on the Divine Plan Allah

By Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

20 October 2017

This article explains why a moderate scholar such as Javed Ghamidi can never be effective in combating extremism.

Javed Ghamidi gives the same reasons for extremism as I do but differently worded. According to Javed Ghamidi, the following are the reasons for extremism the belief that it is the rightful duty of all Muslims to mete out the punishment of death to all the Kafir – polytheists, disbelievers and the apostates.

The belief that no one except the Muslims have a right to rule the world and the Muslims are therefore religiously bound to wage war to bring all non-Muslim countries under their rule. There should be only one government in the entire world and that should be the Islamic caliphate. The modern states are an embodiment of Kufr (disbelief), and therefore can have no place in Islam.

The reasons according to me are in the following false ideology of the traditionalists and the extremists according to which: 

1.       Kafir means non-Muslim/disbeliever

2.      The Prophet was fighting battles against the disbelievers to end disbelief. It is our duty therefore to wage holy war until there is no more disbelief


The Solution according to me is to refute the above falsehood, and proclaim the true Islamic ideology to defeat the ideology of the extremists and the traditionalists which is:

  1. Kafir does not mean disbeliever in the Quran although there are some who are Kafir among the disbelievers.


2.      The Prophet was fighting battles against the religious persecutors and their allies and helpers to end religious persecution and establish the Deen of Allah in which there is no oppression but there is justice for all. The Prophet was not fighting against the disbelievers for their disbelief.


Javed Ghamidi’s views however reinforce the traditionalist/extremist ideology by saying that they are “Playing God” which means that God through His messenger Muhammad (pbuh) did fight against the disbelief of the disbelievers to end disbelief but argues that the extremists must not make the mistake of doing what the Prophet did as a Messenger of Allah and if they do so, they are playing God. He believes in a doctrine of exceptionalism which means that we must treat what the Prophet did in his capacity as a Messenger and as part of the Divine Plan, as “exceptional” and not to be imitated! This is easily dismissed by the traditionalists and the extremists as being hypocritical. Besides, the Quran explicitly assigns to the Muslims the religious duty of enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil to the people.(3:104) Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong: They are the ones to attain felicity. The responsibility of the Prophet is therefore seen to be transferred to his followers. Javed Ghamidi also believes that all the Mushrikin of the Prophet’s times were Kafir and deserving of the death punishment. He however believes that the Mushrikin of today cannot be treated as Kafir because it is not a prophet that they have rejected. The theory of exceptionalism is a weak theory without support in the Quran and even contrary to its explicit verses and therefore it is not surprising that Javed Ghamidi’s views cannot combat extremism. It is therefore essential to refute his views while establishing the correct position which is what follows.

I had an exchange of views with Shahzad Saleem who is a close associate of Javed Ghamidi on the book “Playing God” in which I rejected his theory of “The Divine Plan of Allah” in the book as false and not supported by facts. Since the exchange resulted in Shahzad Saleem running away from the discussion rather than responding to my critique of “Playing God”, I wrote an article in six parts on the Prophetic Mission of Muhammad, through which I brought out the true nature of “The Divine Plan of Allah” as expounded in the Quran.

The following was my exchange of views and critique of the book “Playing God”


5th March 2015


Dear Saleem Sb,

I was just glancing through the Book “Playing God” that you sent. It has the same gross errors of translation because which those who do not understand Arabic are misled. For example:


So when the forbidden months are over, slay the Idolaters wherever you find them…. (9:5)


The Arabic word is Mushrikin which translates as polytheist and not idolater! This error is repeated many times! If someone mixes up polytheist with idolater, it is not surprising that he also mixes up Mushrik with Kafir!


Also your understanding of Surah Al Kafirun:


" The last verse of the Surah, it must be appreciated, is not an expression of tolerance; it expresses renunciation on the part of the Prophet (sws) and a warning to the disbelievers that they must now get ready to face the consequences of their obdurate denial."


I think you have misunderstood. There is no war against the peaceful rejecters of "truth" and it is truly "to you be your way/religion and to me mine". These concealed warnings that the Ulema dream up bring disrepute to Islam as a religion of deception.


The Problem however was that not all the Kafirun were peaceful and some who persecuted the Muslims and others who hindered them. The war was only with them. Consider verse 8:38


(8:38) Say to the Kafaru (the people who fought the Muslims in the battle of Badr), if (now) they desist (from practicing oppression), their past would be forgiven them; but if they persist, the punishment of those before them is already (a matter of warning for them).(39) And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and the law of Allah altogether and everywhere; but if they cease, verily Allah doth see all that they do.


Verse 8:38 is proof, that the battle (Badr) was to end the Kufr of persecution and oppression of the Muslims and not for putting an end to the Kufr of disbelief by forcing the Meccans to accept Islam. If the Meccans had heeded and given up practicing oppression against those who were accepting Islam, there would have been no more fighting after this verse was revealed and peaceful preaching would have resumed in Mecca.


But this was not to be because there were the Chiefs of Unfaith who were resisting the faith without whom the rest would have accepted Islam. The Chiefs of Unfaith giving up the fight would have itself meant that all Meccans would eventually accept Islam. 


The following verses are further proof that the cause for fighting is not for the Kufr of faith or belief which is known only to Allah, but for the Kufr of violating oaths and covenants, for having plotted to expel the Messenger, and for being the first to assault the Muslims :


(9:12) But if they violate their oaths after their covenant, and taunt you for your Faith,- fight ye the chiefs of Unfaith ( a-Immat-al-Kufri) : for their oaths are nothing to them: that thus they may be restrained.(13) Will ye not fight people who violated their oaths, plotted to expel the Messenger, and took the aggressive by being the first (to assault) you? 


Where is the argument "will you not fight people who rejected the "Truth" or those who rejected “belief”?


I am afraid that if this how the Ulema understand the Quran, the difference between them and the extremists is only that one is fighting with his pen and the other with a sword. I am afraid that your book is justifying fighting against even peaceful people for their faith!


6th March 2015


Dear Shahzad Saleem Sb,


Yes, I intend doing a detailed critique of you Book in a couple of days.


In the meantime, I must say, that a person who freely mistranslates Mushrik as idolater, is attributing to Allah what Allah has not said.


This is not a trivial issue. People accuse the extremists of being literal or for being fundamentalists. The Problem is that the extremists are neither literalists nor fundamentalists. I am the one who is both a literalist (for all the Muhkamat verses) and a fundamentalist who will not ignore even a single relevant verse while trying to make sense of the message of the Quran.


You have talked about meanings and connotations implying that I am paying attention only to the meaning and not to the connotations. Does polytheist connote idolater?


Let us consider a Hindu. What is his belief? It ranges from polytheism at one end of the spectrum to monotheism at the other end with monism, pantheism, agnosticism, atheism in between. However most of them with a few exceptions are idolaters. A Hindu could also be a monotheist and not an idolater or a monotheist but an idolater. When Allah uses the word Mushrik and not idolater, changing it to idolater changes the meaning completely. Also, the revulsion of a believer is shifted from false beliefs to the object of worship or the idol. The result is that Muslim ghazis took great pride in smashing idols rather than changing the beliefs of people which requires trying to win their hearts and minds.


Islam today arouses nothing but disgust. The Taliban also destroyed the Bamiyan statues. The Muslims are behaving just as the Jews of the past and Islam is becoming the most hated religion just as Judaism was at one time. Allah will punish Muslims in the same manner He punished the Jews twice for their religious arrogance which today has become the mark of a Muslim.


The Jews also used the word gentile for the non-Jews which became a pejorative word. Kafir is in the same league. It is used by the Quran in a limited way and never applied to any group of people based on the beliefs they profess. It has become a pejorative word today to denote the future inhabitants of hell and applied to every non-follower of Muhammad (pbuh).


I will do a complete critique of your book. For you to accept the gross error in your understanding of the message of the Quran will require the same effort that a non-believer must make to accept belief. The choice between choosing what is right and what is wrong will not be an easy one to make.


Allah Hafiz and regards,


Naseer Ahmed 


6th March 2015


Thank you Naseer sb. I will wait for your critique. It is our duty to remain true seekers of the truth. Insha Allah I will fully contemplate your criticism and change my views if I find it convincing. May God bless you for your effort.




Salam Naseer sb


As you have yourself stated that you have glanced through the book and not read it deeply. I would suggest that if you want to critique it you need to go through the book carefully because it expresses an overall concept -- a law of God which specifically relate to His messengers and their foremost and immediate followers. The word Kuffar at all places in this context refers to people who have intentionally denied the messenger (i.e. even after being convinced of his message). These people are his foremost addressees and hence the word Kafir cannot be applied to non-Muslims of later times. The fact that they became militant or aggressive or plotted to kill the prophet or violated treaties is over and above their intentional rejection of the messenger and not the real causes of their punishment.




Dear Shehzad Saleem sb,




PFA my critique of "Playing God"


As far as the conclusions are concerned, we are on the same page on most points but the approach is different.


My approach is based on deriving meanings and principles from the Quran which remain unchanged throughout the Book. The explanations therefore do not require importing contextual detail from secondary sources. It is also independent of trying to relate any verse to the phase of the prophetic mission. No two verses of the Quran contradict each other, and no verse is treated as abrogated. It is also unnecessary to know which is a Meccan verse or Medinian verse.


Critique of the book “Playing God”

Excerpts from the book:

And for each community, there is a messenger. Then when their messenger comes, their fate is decided with justice and they are not wronged. (10:47)

(14:13) And the Unbelievers said to their messengers: "Be sure we shall drive you out of our land, or ye shall return to our religion." But their Lord inspired (this Message) to them: "Verily We shall cause the wrong-doers to perish!

(14) "And verily We shall cause you to abide in the land, and succeed them. This for such as fear the Time when they shall stand before My tribunal,- such as fear the punishment denounced."

(58:20) Those who resist (yuhadduna) Allah and His Messenger will be among those most humiliated.(21) Allah has decreed: "It is I and My messengers who must prevail": For Allah is One full of strength, able to enforce His Will.

Consequently, the Almighty grants dominance to these messengers, and punishes those who reject the message presented by these messengers

Comment of Naseer:

You have concluded that “Allah punishes those who reject the message”. Following the argument presented in the book, rejecting the message then means driving out the Prophet and his followers from the land ("Be sure we shall drive you out of our land, or ye shall return to our religion." 14:13) or actively resisting, opposing obstructing or hindering faith (And resist (yuhadduna) Allah and His Messenger 58:20). It does not mean “peacefully not accepting the faith”. This is an important difference and must be borne in mind.

Also punishing for merely not accepting the faith would not meet the assurance in (10:47) their fate is decided with justice and they are not wronged. Since (2:256) “there be no compulsion in religion” is an absolute right of freedom of conscience and religion under all circumstances.

Moreover, there is no verse in the Quran and even in Surah Taubah, where punishment is for not accepting belief? Translating Kafaru as rejecting the message is not incorrect provided it is understood that rejecting the message means active opposition and not the same as not accepting belief.

For example:

(9:12) But if they violate their oaths after their covenant, and taunt you for your Faith,- fight ye the chiefs of Unfaith ( a-Immat-al-Kufri) : for their oaths are nothing to them: that thus they may be restrained.(13) Will ye not fight people who violated their oaths, plotted to expel the Messenger, and took the aggressive by being the first (to assault) you?

There is no argument regarding not accepting the faith? Kafaru in these verses therefore does not mean non acceptance of belief but acts against man and God that are Kufr for all of mankind by common standards.  

Excerpts from the book:

The preaching mission of a messenger can be broadly categorized in the following three phases:

i. The Propagation Phase

In this phase (Propagation), the messengers of Allah never use force or retaliate against any oppression or persecution encountered.

ii. The Acquittal Phase

iii. The Judgement Phase

In this case, a messenger and his companions subdue their nation by force, and execute them if they do not accept faith.


Comment of Naseer:

Is this not blaspheming the Quran? Show me the evidence to prove that disbelievers who never opposed the messenger or drove believers out of their homes or fought against them are executed if they do not accept faith.


The Kafaru for their Kufr in the temporal dimension are either executed or spared if they accept faith as proof of change of heart and renouncing their Kufr in both the temporal and spiritual dimensions.


Excerpts from the book:


The punishment and humiliation of nations towards whom messengers were sent generally took place in two ways: Nations who subscribed to monotheism were spared if they accepted the supremacy of their respective messenger, while nations who subscribed to polytheism were destroyed. The latter fate is in accordance with the fact that polytheism is something that the Almighty never forgives:


Comment of Naseer:

Jesus (pbuh) was sent to the Jews. They rejected him and did not accept his supremacy. Were they destroyed?


Yusuf (pbuh) was sent to the Egyptians. Was polytheism and polytheists destroyed after his mission? Is there any verse which says that all the polytheist Egyptians followed the Pharaoh and got drowned in the sea - the women, the children, the sick, the old - every single polytheist? No, only those who tried to kill Moses and the Bani Israel by following Pharaoh got drowned. They were guilty of trying to unjustly kill Moses and Bani Israel. The rest may or may not have accepted faith but they were not guilty of Kufr in the temporal dimension by trying to unjustly kill the believers and were not destroyed.


In the case of Muhammad (pbuh), polytheism was destroyed, but not by executing people for the simple fault of not accepting belief. The Chiefs of unbelief ( a-Immat-al-Kufri) and his followers were the active opponents who hindered, persecuted and fought against the Prophet and his followers and were either killed in battle or executed. With the resistance overcome, the rest of the people believed. “if Allah finds any good in the people, he makes them listen to the message” (8:23).

Excerpts from the book:

Christians never admit to polytheism, though they are involved in certain polytheistic practices. A person becomes a polytheist when he openly admits that he is a polytheist. A person, who claims to be a monotheist in spite of being involved in polytheistic practices, cannot be regarded as a polytheist. The reason is that a person might be doing something wrong without realizing that what he is doing; all Christians whether of today or from the period of Jesus (sws) never admit to polytheism; trinity to them is in accordance with monotheism. Of course Muslims do not agree with them but unless they claim polytheism, it can only be said that in spite of claiming to be monotheists they are involved in polytheism. Their case is the case of a Muslim who goes to the grave of a saint to ask him to grant a wish; such a Muslim cannot be called a polytheist; he shall be told that what he is doing is something which is against monotheism to which he himself strongly claims adherence. Similarly, Christians cannot be called polytheists; however, they will be told that what they are doing is not in accordance with monotheism.

It is precisely for this reason that the Qur’an never called the People of the Book as polytheists though they subscribed to certain blatant forms of polytheism. The Qur’an only called the Ishmaelites as polytheists because they admittedly subscribed and testified to the creed of polytheism. They strongly advocated that polytheism was the very religion the Almighty had revealed and claimed that they were strong adherents to this religion. Because of this very reason, they were called the Mushrikun (the adherents to the creed of shirk) by the Qur’an.

Comment of Naseer:

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was the last of the Prophets sent to `a people to whom no warner was sent to their fathers who therefore remained heedless’. It can therefore be presumed that for the rest of the civilized world, messengers had already come and preached the monotheism of Islam after which the believers were saved and the disbelievers destroyed to enable the believers to build a society unhindered by disbelief and disbelievers. Over a period, just as the Jews, Christians and now the Muslims have corrupted their religion with the taint of polytheism, other religions such Zoroastrianism, Hinduism etc. also were pure monotheism at some stage and are today corrupted to a lesser or greater extent. Many of the Hindus today are openly polytheistic but many of them are not. They range from the monotheist to the monist to the pantheist to the agnostic to the atheist. Some are idolaters without being polytheists. To club all of them under the category of idolater smacks of extreme ignorance and prejudice especially when the Quran does not even refer to the Meccan pagans as an idolater even in a single verse. Why Muslims are so keen to mistranslate God’s word which is Mushrikin meaning polytheists as idolater? Are the Jews not severely reprimanded in the Quran for something similar?


Excerpts from the book:


Declare [O Prophet!]: “O you Disbelievers!

I shall worship not that which you worship.

Nor will you ever worship [alone] that which I worship.

Nor ever before this was I prepared to worship that which you worshipped.

Nor were you ever prepared to worship that which I have been worshipping.

[So, now] to you your religion and to me mine.” (109:1-6)


These words, it needs to be appreciated, are not meant to condemn or chide them; they actually convey their true behaviour. After thirteen long years of propagation and exhortation, the leaders of the Quraysh had refused the calls of sense and reason. Their denial was based on nothing but stubbornness in spite of the fact that the truth had been revealed to them in its purest form. The last verse of the Sûrah, it must be appreciated, is not an expression of tolerance; it expresses renunciation on the part of the Prophet (sws) and a warning to the disbelievers that they must now get ready to face the consequences of their obdurate denial.


Comment of Naseer:

You blaspheme the Quran. The last verse means exactly what it says. To the disbeliever who peacefully sticks to his way or religion, it is very simply “to you your religion and to me mine.” Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) never violated this verse or any verse of the Quran including “There is no compulsion in Religion”. The Prophet destroyed polytheism and idol worship without ever violating any verse of the Quran and the job was achieved with perfect justice. The adherence to all tenets of what is fair and just is of such a high order that even a secular person who is just will accept it as just. Please do not blaspheme the Prophet and the Quran. It is on account of such dubious scholarship that people talk of the Meccan and the Medinian Quran as if these are from different gods or as if god is not just a great planner but a great deceiver, or that the Medinian Quran abrogates the Meccan Quran!


Excerpts from the book:


(2) The Punishment


It should be remembered that as per the divine practice discussed in the previous pages, after intentionally denying the truth, the Idolaters and the People of the Book had become worthy of death. However, the Almighty selectively awarded death to them. While the active adversaries of both denominations were put to death, the People of the Book were spared if they lived in subjugation to the Muslims, and the Idolaters were not given this option: they had to accept Islam or face death.


Comment of Naseer:

I disagree. The People of the Book (any book) have always proved to be more resistant to accept any new faith. Jesus (pbuh) had a tough time with the Jews who never accepted him. The Jews according to the Quran had slayed many of their Prophets. So their rejection of the new Messenger was in line with their “Sunnat”. Sparing them was also in line with Allah’s Sunnat. The mission of reformer Prophets such as Jesus (pbuh), Isaac, Jacob etc never ended in the destruction of those who rejected them.


As for the Mushrikin of Mecca, they were an Ummi nation to whose forefathers no warner was sent and who therefore remained heedless. The new religion of Islam was a very great attraction for most of them once the leaders of Unbelief were killed or executed. The followers of the leaders of Unfaith who had deserved the death penalty for waging repeated war against the Muslims, for breaking their treaties etc had become deserving of death even by the common law and were spared if they accepted Islam and repented their past. The rest simply accepted the new faith gracefully. Not a single person was executed for disbelief alone. Verse 2:256 “There is no compulsion in Religion” was never violated


 I have covered half the book. I can cover the entire book point by point if you wish but I think that is not necessary.


As far as not befriending the Kafirin is concerned the verses are true for all time. The problem arises when you have a different meaning assigned to Kafir. If Kafir is understood as the open and declared enemy of the Muslims and Islam which meaning derives directly from the Quran, where is the problem?


Contrary to what you say, when I say that I have considered every verse containing the words and their grammatical variants, I am fully aware when the noun, verb or the adjective form is used. Neither do I say that a Muslim or a Jew or a Christian who commits acts of Kufr or shirk becomes a Kafir or a Mushrik.


Let me summarise what I have done in my paper:


I have precisely defined the critical term Kufr that is applicable to all mankind in the Quran.


I have shown that this definition is independent of belief.


A Kafir is an open enemy of any religion. In the context of the Quran although he is an enemy of the Muslims and of Islam, the Quran talks about Churches, Synagogues etc as places where the name of Allah is abundantly praised. The principle, of “there is no compulsion in religion” is absolute. Allah’s justice is also perfect. A Kafir is therefore an open enemy of any Religion or enemy of the followers of any religion for no other reason except their faith. It is high time the Muslims started accepting universal principles on a reciprocal basis because that is what the Quran teaches us. The rest of the World has moved in this direction but the people to whom the Quran is given on a platter have not! There was a time when Islam was the most tolerant, most inclusive and most egalitarian religion. The Jews were the first people to get equal status in the US and Europe followed by the black. The Jews achieved equal status simply by talking about the high and almost equal status they enjoyed under Islam. Islam taught the meaning of justice, tolerance, fair-play, chivalry in war, rights of women and slaves to the rest of the world and today it has become a religion of the barbarians.


The Quran envisages continuous Tabligh and inviting people to common terms. There is also no gainsaying the fact that every religion has been influenced by Islam in a very positive way. The concepts of trinity and divinity of Jesus have loosened quite a bit and there are many denominations of Christians who profess a faith similar to ours. Hinduism has also seen many reformist movements. Tabligh therefore does not necessarily mean converting the rest of the World. It means influencing others to move closer to Islamic Tauheed using the Quran as Furqan to stress those aspects in their Books that conform to the Quran and to deemphasize aspects that are abhorrent in Islam. This would have happened in natural course if we Muslims had not made Islam the most barbaric, the most self-centred, the most unjust, the most intolerant and the most narrow minded religion. We are the worst enemies of Allah our Prophet (pbuh) and of Islam.


The other important contribution that my paper makes is that it explains the principles behind punishment in the Quran. Apostasy, Blasphemy and unbelief are not punishable simply because these are Kufr in the spiritual dimension and against Allah only but not against man. 


Treason, causing mischief, inciting strife and enmity are Kufr in the temporal dimension and punishable. The criminal acts may or may not be accompanied by apostasy, blasphemy etc. which is irrelevant.


My paper makes the whole of the Quran understandable without talking about even context since it is based upon understanding the underlying principles which remain constant. There is no longer a Meccan and a Medinian Quran in conflict with each other. Nor is it necessary to consider even a single verse as abrogated.  The whole of the Quran makes good sense at all times.


The Ridda wars have unfortunately come to be known as wars to put down apostasy. When a people refuse to pay Zakat, it is rebellion against the state and no state will tolerate such rebellion. Can anyone in today’s world refuse to pay his taxes and expect to be spared? The interesting question to consider is what if they had agreed to pay Jiziya instead? The Christians and the Jews had to be fought until they agreed to willingly pay Jiziya because until such time they recognized no authority and paid no taxes in the tribal society that Hejaz was earlier. It had now become a centrally governed nation and the people had to be made its subjects by subduing them if necessary until they agreed to pay the taxes willingly as good citizens. Yes, the Quran also talks about imposing the tax as a punishment for their “unbelief”. However, since they did not pay Zakat nor were obliged to do military duty, it was “value” for money that they received and was not “unjust”.


Attributes of Quran that help in interpreting the Book

(27:1) These are verses of the Qur´an,-a book that makes (things) clear;

(18:28) (It is) a Qur´an in Arabic, without any crookedness (therein): in order that they may guard against Evil.

(4:82) Do they not consider the Qur´an (with care)? Had it been from other Than Allah, they would surely have found therein Much discrepancy.

The important points to note are:


a)       That the Quran is not a book of poetry. Poets use key words in such a fashion that the word can take all or several of its many meanings and yet the verse remains intelligible or the same word is used in a single verse with different meanings. This is a characteristic of poetry. The Quran makes it clear that it is not a book of poetry and therefore it uses words to make the meaning clear and not to confuse or allow different interpretations. The key takeaway here is that one should not interpret the Quran as one would interpret poetry and debate about the different meanings that its verse can take but should take the simple and straightforward meaning communicated by it and as consistent with the rest of the Book. This is especially so when it concerns the ‘Muhkamat’ verses that instruct a Muslim in the right practice or conduct. As it concerns the allegorical verses, these are capable of being taken either literally or allegorically without affecting the way a Muslim is required to conduct his affairs.

b)       The message is repeated taking manifold forms that assist a correct interpretation. Any mistake in understanding a verse therefore gets easily corrected.

c)       Any doubt regarding the interpretation of any verse of the Quran can be settled with reference to other verses of the Quran itself. The Quran is its best and most comprehensive commentary.

d)       The consistency, clarity and lack of discrepancy that the Quran shows is phenomenal. It is a book of over 6000 verses and yet one would be hard pressed to find any word that takes two or more meanings across these 6000+ verses. The consistency is therefore not within a verse or Sûrah alone but across the Book. With such consistency, only someone who is careless can go wrong or someone “in whose heart is a disease” can go astray.

Your interpretations, I am afraid, makes Quran a Book:

That is not clear

It is crooked

The meaning of words is what takes the fancy of the reader where Mushrik can become idolater

It is full of discrepancies and contradictions and makes sense only by considering several verses as abrogated or heavily dependent upon context.

7th March 2015

Dear Naseer sb



I am afraid that your critique is based on an inadequate understanding of the contents of my book. You have jumped to so many conclusions which are unfounded and perhaps based on hastiness. 


As I was attempting to write a detailed reply, I realized that it will take a lot of my time to put across the reasoning presented in the book, which at the moment I can ill-afford. You have grossly failed (sorry for the harsh words) to understand the divine practice explained through Qur'anic verses in this book.


I do not think that any further discussion will be useful between us. Please take it as an inability on my part.




7th March 2015

Sultan Shahin Sb,

Shahzad Saleem has found my criticism of his book “Playing God” too hot to handle. I hope it bothers him enough to think or discuss with Javed Ghamidi.

7th March 2015

Naseer Sb

Do please review the entire and rebut similar points in the entire book, then someone else too can bring it to his attention. A point by point rebuttal is very effective. 


Sultan Shahin


7th March 2015

Dear Shahzad Sb,




You can be sure that someone who attacks deeply entrenched notions has done his homework well. Twice you have failed to respond while I have given a detailed response to your book. That could be because you may be pressed for time. Anyway, I must thank you for your time and indulgence.


Also I would be failing in my duty if I did not point to a common pitfall that most scholars make.


The Signs of Allah are the same for all. Science progressed from a geocentric postulate of the Universe to a Heliocentric one because of the tradition in science of constant inquiry and research. Research means to make a fresh search rather than just build on the old. Yet in science also people fail to see obvious flaws in a theory and a poor theory lasts much longer than it should because of what Daniel Kahneman a psychologist (who has the unique distinction of winning a Nobel Prize in economics and not in his own subject Psychology) calls "theory-induced blindness": once you have accepted a theory and used it as a tool in your thinking, it is extraordinarily difficult to notice its flaws. If you come upon an observation that does not seem to fit the model, you assume that there must be a perfectly good explanation that you are somehow missing. You give the theory the benefit of the doubt, trusting the community of experts who have accepted it.  As the psychologist Daniel Gilbert observed, disbelieving is hard work, and the Reasoning mind is easily tired"


If this is so in the sciences, in Religion, with excessive deference for the old masters, where unquestioning reverent acceptance is the norm, it is even more difficult. On the face of it, the wrong starting point of Kufr as antonym of faith or Iman does not strike you as unreasonable or wrong. Once a wrong path is taken, all contradictions are treated the way the moderates argue citing arguments of context and try to explain everything while the extremists do what they do with equal conviction.


Whatever the divine practice that you talk of in your book “Playing God”, cannot make Allah (Nauzobillah) the Almighty a liar as it concerns the verse 2:256 There is no compulsion in Religion or 109:6 To you be your way and to me mine.




Naseer Ahmed


This was followed by my article in 6 parts covering the “The Divine Plan of Allah” as made clear in the Quran through the stories of the prophets and through the prophetic mission of Muhammad. This is in direct contrast to Javed Ghamidi’s understanding of the same subject which comes from his mentor Amin Ahsan Islahi.

The Story of the Prophetic mission of Muhammad (pbuh) from the Qu’ran (part 1): The early opposition

The Story of the Prophetic Mission of Muhammad (pbuh) From the Qu’ran (Part 2): The Clear Warning to the Meccan Pagans

The Story of the Prophetic Mission of Muhammad (Pbuh) In the Qu’ran (Part 3): Important Pointers from the Stories of the Prophets

The Story of the Prophetic Mission of Muhammad (Pbuh) In the Qu’ran (Part 4): The Medinian Period

The Story of the Prophetic Mission of Muhammad (pbuh) in the Qu’ran (Concluding Part) Summary

The Story of the Prophetic Mission of Muhammad (pbuh) From the Qu’ran (Part 6): The People of the Book and Jiziya

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


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