By Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam
18 December 2017
The commentaries (Tafsir) of the scholars (Mufassirin) on Surah 98 Al-Bayinnah, give a very good idea of how their collective bigotry, reduces the Quran to a Book of foolish nonsense.
Al-Bayinnah / The Clear Evidence
(1) Those Kafaru, among the People of the Book and among the Mushrikin (polytheists), were not going to depart (from their ways) until there should come to them Clear Evidence,-
(2) An 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) The Kafaru among the People of the Book and among the Mushrikin, 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.
Who are these Kafaru who are the worst of creatures? Irrespective of how they have translated the verses, every commentator has treated all of the People of the Book and all of the Mushrikin as Kafir and the worst of creatures. In their translations, some of them vary, and consider only some among the People of the Book among the Kafaru but almost all of them consider all the Mushrikin as among the Kafaru. The expression “The Kafaru among the People of the Book and among the Mushrikin” is interpreted by these Mufassirin as merely identifying the Kafaru from different faiths. By implication, for them all non-Muslims are Kafir and these verses merely exclude Kafir from other faiths such as the Buddhists, the Zoroastrians, etc. This is perhaps because only people from among the People of the Book and the Mushrikin were the direct addressees of the Prophet. Even then, not every Christian, Jew or Mushrikin in the world was among the direct addressee of the Prophet. Why do they not then consider only some among the People of the Book and some among the Mushrikin as the Kafaru who are the worst of creatures? By considering all of them as Kafir, they make the Book sound ridiculous, because it completely excludes people of other faiths, but none from among the People of the book and the Mushrikin! Isn’t that foolish nonsense?
Does the Surah then consider all the People of the Book and all the Mushrikin who were only the direct addressees of the Prophet as Kafir and the worst of creatures? This is an early Medinian Surah and much later in Surah Maaida which is among the very last Surahs, we have verses like:
(5:82) ….. nearest among them in love to the believers wilt thou find those who say, "We are Christians": because amongst these are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant.
(83) And when they listen to the revelation received by the Messenger, thou wilt see their eyes overflowing with tears, for they recognise the truth: they pray: "Our Lord! we believe; write us down among the witnesses.
(84) "What cause can we have not to believe in Allah and the truth which has come to us, seeing that we long for our Lord to admit us to the company of the righteous?"
(85) And for this their prayer hath Allah rewarded them with gardens, with rivers flowing underneath,- their eternal home. Such is the recompense of those who do good.
So clearly, the Quran does not even consider all the direct addressees of the Prophet among the people of the Book as Kafaru and the worst of creatures but only some of them.
Are All the Mushrikin Kafaru and Among the Worst of Creatures?
What about the Mushrikin who were the direct addressees of the Prophet? Are they all Kafaru and the worst of creatures? The worst of creatures is an extreme expression which means that there is no worse creature than them. Who can be worse than someone who will not believe covered by the following verse?
(7:146) Those who behave arrogantly on the earth in defiance of right - them will I turn away from My signs: Even if they see all the signs, they will not believe in them; and if they see the way of right conduct, they will not adopt it as the way; but if they see the way of error, that is the way they will adopt. For they have rejected our signs, and failed to take warning from them.
We know that most of the Mushrikin of the Prophet’s times accepted Islam and could not have been worse than the people covered under verse 7:146 above, who Allah will never guide to accept Islam. As a matter of fact, another verse considers them far from those who will not believe, but as people who may still seek pardon:
(8:33) But Allah was not going to send them a penalty whilst thou wast amongst them; nor was He going to send it whilst they could ask for pardon.
From 8:23 below, we understand that if Allah finds any good in the people, He makes them listen to His word and since most of the Mushrikin accepted Islam, all such Mushrikin had some good in them and were not among the Kafaru and the worst of creatures mentioned in the Surah.
(8:23) If Allah had found in them any good. He would indeed have made them listen: (As it is), if He had made them listen, they would but have turned back and declined (Faith).
The Mufassirin who consider all the Mushrikin as Kafir and among the worst of creatures, are unmindful of the contradictions such an interpretation causes, and render the Quran a Book of many contradictions or of foolish nonsense. There are no exceptions and every Mufassir is guilty of treating every Mushrikin as Kafir.
What about the Muslims That This Surah Considers Among the Best of Creatures?
The Mufassirin without exception also fail to identify the Muslims referred to as the best of creatures. For them apparently, all the Muslims are among the best of creatures. How about the several verses that talks about the hypocrites among the Muslims and certainty of Hell-fire for them in the Hereafter? Or about the Muslims who consume Usury or do not give charity as Kafir? To consider all the Muslims as among the best of creatures also causes contradictions with many other verses of the Quran that speak of the Muslims as Kafir, Fasiq, Zalim and Mujrim.
The Surah therefore is clearly referring to a small group of the People of the Book and a small group of the people among the Mushrikin as Kafaru and among the worst of creatures. The Surah also considers only a small group of Muslims among the best of creatures. By failing to identify who these people are, the Mufassirin collectively reduce the Quran to a book of foolish nonsense. Who are these people who are considered the worst and the best of creatures? The answer to this question is provided in my article:
The argument that the consensus of Ijma is the word of God is clearly a false one inspired by Satan and perhaps falsely attributed to the Prophet (pbuh). The Ijma was often wrong in the past which is why reformer prophets were sent but were rejected, called liar or killed “some ye called impostors, and others ye slay!” verse 2:87. The Jews were punished twice in the past because the Ijma of their scholars led them to wrong. No more reformer prophets are going to be sent because we have the miraculous Quran with us from which it is possible even for an Ummi to discover the truth and strike down the falsehood of the Ijma of the scholars. The common fate of every person who challenged the falsehood of the scholars has been to be called a liar and an impostor. It is the Ijma of all the scholars that is in error who reduce the Quran to a book of foolish nonsense. The voice of truth is distinct from the voice of falsehood and will prevail over the falsehood of the Ijma of scholars.
(21:18) Nay, We hurl the Truth against falsehood, and it knocks out its brain, and behold, falsehood doth perish! Ah! woe be to you for the (false) things ye ascribe (to Us).
There will those who will bring out the truth, those who will support it and those who will oppose it vehemently:
(39:32) Who, then, doth more wrong than one who utters a lie concerning Allah, and rejects the Truth when it comes to him; is there not in Hell an abode for blasphemers?
(33) And he who brings the Truth and he who confirms (and supports) it - such are the men who do right.
(34) They shall have all that they wish for, in the presence of their Lord: such is the reward of those who do good:
(35) So that Allah will turn off from them (even) the worst in their deeds and give them their reward according to the best of what they have done.
May Allah guide us and give us the strength to bring out the Truth and support it. May Allah also reward us as promised for our efforts and save us from blaspheming the word of Allah, by attributing to Allah, what is not said by Allah. Amin.
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 www.NewAgeIslam.com
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