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Islamic Personalities (28 Mar 2015 NewAgeIslam.Com)

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


By Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

28 March, 2015

The General Principles

Let us begin with a discussion on the unqualified rules of conduct that may be taken as general principles applicable at all times and irrespective of context, which not only Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) adhered to all through his Prophetic mission, but every Messenger of God that preceded him and indeed God Himself.

Surah Al-Kafirun / The Disbelievers is the 18th Surah in chronological order and is one of the earliest MeccanSurahs.

(109:1) Say : O ye that reject Faith (Al-Kafirun)!

(2) I worship not that which ye worship,

(3) Nor will ye worship that which I worship.

(4) And I will not worship that which ye have been wont to worship,

(5) Nor will ye worship that which I worship.

(6) To you be your Way, and to me mine.

The Surah is a unilateral declaration of peace and a clear intention to leave alone the peaceful Kafirun (rejecters of faith) to their way if they left the Muslims to their way. The public preaching of the message commenced in 613 CE. From part 1 of this article, we know that active and even violent opposition to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) had started right from the beginning of the prophetic mission. It is to these Kafirun that the Surah is addressed and not to the Mushrikin or the polytheists. This is another proof that Mushrik and Kafir are not synonyms. Otherwise, after saying “To you be your Way, and to me mine” very early during the Prophetic mission, there was nothing more left to do if the Kafirun meant the Mushrikin (polytheists). .

It is here that the Stories of Prophet Yusuf and Yunus (pbut) become relevant. Prophet Yusuf spent a lifetime in Egypt and preceded Moses (pbuh). Apparently, when Moses was sent to the Pharaoh, there were not many believers in Egypt except the “Children of Israel” who were enslaved and brought to Egypt. It can therefore be surmised that not many Egyptians believed after the mission of Yusuf (pbuh) but none opposed him either. The rejecters were peaceful rejecters and therefore there was no punishment from Allah.

In the case of Prophet Yunus (pbuh), there was stiff opposition to begin with and Prophet Yunus left in anger without the permission from Allah for which he was punished. He returned to his people and everyone (some hundred thousand) believed. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is also cautioned to not become impatient like Yunus but to persist with patience.

In the case of both these Prophets, there was no punishment from Allah on their people. The people of Mecca could therefore choose to be like the people of Yusuf and peacefully reject or like the people of Yunus and believe or like the people of Noah, Hud, Salih, Shoaib, Lut and Moses and violently oppose and suffer the inevitable consequences.

The following verses are from the Medinian period when Muhammad (pbuh) had become a political leader and in a position to wage war and yet there is an unqualified declaration that there cannot be compulsion in religion.

Surah Al- Baqara, Medinian Chronological order 87

(2:256) Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.

2:272. It is not required of thee (O Messenger), to set them on the right path, but Allah sets on the right path whom He pleaseth.

Al-Mumtahina, Medinian Chronological order 91

(60:8) Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly (taburruhum) and justly (tuqsitu) with them: for Allah loveth those who are just. (9) Allah only forbids you, with regard to those who fight you for (your) Faith, and drive you out of your homes, and support (others) in driving you out, from turning to them (for friendship and protection). It is such as turn to them (in these circumstances), that do wrong.

Al-Maeda, Medinian Chronological order 112

(5:2)…. let not the hatred of some people in (once) shutting you out of the Sacred Mosque lead you to transgression (and hostility on your part). Help ye one another in righteousness and piety, but help ye not one another in sin and rancour: fear Allah: for Allah is strict in punishment.

(5:8) O ye who believe! stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.

The underlying principles of secular justice and freedom of conscience and religion, in the verses cited above, are the eternal principles of Islam. And as the Quran says, Islam was the religion of all the prophets.

In my 4 part article “Who is a Kafir in the Quran?” I have brought out that the Quran deals with:

1. The secular, the worldly or the temporal dimension and

2. The Spiritual dimension

What is purely the Spiritual Dimension is outside the pail of both punishment in this world and coercive interference. The Quran prescribes no punishment for the “Rejecters of Faith” as long as they are peaceful. No punishment in this world is prescribed in the Quran for blasphemy unless accompanied by inciting violence, enmity, strife or causing public disorder. The punishment then is not for blasphemy but for the crimes in the temporal dimension. Apostasy is also not punishable in this world unless accompanied by treason. It is treason that is punishable and not apostasy. This rule has however been perverted to equate apostasy with treason where apostasy itself implies treason. This is a clear perversion of the message of the Quran.

Persecution of the Muslims

Part 1 of the article covered active opposition to Muhammad’s mission which started right at the beginning. Among the Muslims were those like the Prophet himself, Abu Bakr, Ali, and Umar with powerful tribal connections who could not be harmed with impunity without attracting tribal revenge. There were many other poor and weak Muslims without such connections who became the target of physical torture and persecution and at least one person was killed by tearing apart the body by tying each leg to a camel and driving them in different directions. It was in these circumstances that the following verse was revealed in Meccan Surah An-Nahl:

16:106 Anyone who, after accepting faith in Allah, utters Unbelief, - except under compulsion, his heart remaining firm in Faith - but such as open their breast to Unbelief, on them is Wrath from Allah, and theirs will be a dreadful Penalty.

Persecution of Muslims by the Quaraish in Mecca intensified and in 615 CE a group of Muslims left for Abyssinia (modern Ethiopia) and sought asylum on the advice of the Prophet. A second group comprising a little over a hundred people emigrated in 616 CE 

In the year 617, the Quraysh under the leadership of Abu Jahl, banished the Muslims and their supporters to a dry valley and refused to trade with them. Muhammad’s uncle, Abu Talib, lost his business and the Muslims nearly starved. Abu Bakr, once a wealthy trader, lost everything. In 619, Muhammad’s wife Khadijah died, and then Muhammad also lost his protector and uncle , Abu Talib in 620.

In 621 CE about 75 persons from Medina took the two Pledges of al-Aqaba, accepting Islam and pledging to protect Muhammad from all danger.

Migration to Medina

The Muslims were offered asylum in a city north of Makkah called Yathrib (later, Madinah). The migration of the Muslims to Yathrib, in 622, is called the Hijrah. Hearing of a joint plot by all the tribes of Mecca to kill Muhammad, he and Abu Bakr escaped to Madinah together in the night, and received a joyful reception by the leaders of that town who willingly adopted Islam. The migration is referred to in an early Medinian Surah Al-Anfal verse 8:30, and also a late Medinian Surah Taubah verse 9:40 below:

(8:30) Remember how the Unbelievers plotted against thee, to keep thee in bonds, or slay thee, or get thee out (of thy home). They plot and plan, and Allah too plans; but the best of planners is Allah.

(9:40) If ye help not (your leader), (it is no matter): for Allah did indeed help him, when the Unbelievers drove him out: he had no more than one companion; they two were in the cave, and he said to his companion, "Have no fear, for Allah is with us": then Allah sent down His peace upon him, and strengthened him with forces which ye saw not, and humbled to the depths the word of the Unbelievers. But the word of Allah is exalted to the heights: for Allah is Exalted in might, Wise.

Muhammad established a mutual defense and cooperation pact among the tribes of Madinah, with himself as the leader of the city. This document was called the "Constitution of Madinah." Muhammad paired immigrants from Makkah with the Muslims from Madinah in a relationship of brotherhood.

Unfolding Of Allah’s Judgment Repeatedly Warned

The permission to fight was given in the Medinian Surah Al-Hajj verse 39 and the justification for it in verse 40. That the nature of this fighting was to assume the punishment meted out to the people of Noah, Hud (Ad), Salih (Thamud), Lut, Shoaib (Madyan), Abraham and Moses of which the Meccans were repeatedly warned in 32 of the MeccanSurahs is clearly indicated. Even then, verse 60 puts a limit on retaliation for the wrongs of the Meccans “to no greater extent than the injury he received”. 

(39) To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to fight), because they are wronged;- and verily, Allah is most powerful for their aid;-

(40) (They are) those who have been expelled from their homes in defiance of right,- (for no cause) except that they say, "our Lord is Allah". Did not Allah check one set of people by means of another, there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, in which the name of Allah is commemorated in abundant measure. Allah will certainly aid those who aid his (cause);- for verily Allah is full of Strength, Exalted in Might, (able to enforce His Will).

(41) (They are) those who, if We establish them in the land, establish regular prayer and give regular charity, enjoin the right and forbid wrong: with Allah rests the end (and decision) of (all) affairs.

(42) If they treat thy (mission) as false, so did the peoples before them (with their prophets),- the People of Noah, and ´Ad and Thamud;

(43) Those of Abraham and Lut;

(44) And the Companions of the Madyan People; and Moses was rejected (in the same way). But I granted respite to the Unbelievers, and (only) after that did I punish them: but how (terrible) was my rejection (of them)!

(45) How many populations have We destroyed, which were given to wrong-doing? They tumbled down on their roofs. And how many wells are lying idle and neglected, and castles lofty and well-built?

(46) Do they not travel through the land, so that their hearts (and minds) may thus learn wisdom and their ears may thus learn to hear? Truly it is not their eyes that are blind, but their hearts which are in their breasts.

(47) Yet they ask thee to hasten on the Punishment! But Allah will not fail in His Promise. Verily a Day in the sight of thy Lord is like a thousand years of your reckoning.

(48) And to how many populations did I give respite, which were given to wrong-doing? in the end I punished them. To me is the destination (of all).

(49) Say: "O men! I am (sent) to you only to give a Clear Warning:

(50) "Those who believe and work righteousness, for them is forgiveness and a sustenance most generous.

(51) "But those who strive against Our Signs, to frustrate them,- they will be Companions of the Fire."…….

(58) Those who leave their homes in the cause of Allah, and are then slain or die,- On them will Allah bestow verily a goodly Provision: Truly Allah is He Who bestows the best provision.

(59) Verily He will admit them to a place with which they shall be well pleased: for Allah is All-Knowing, Most Forbearing.

(60) That (is so). And if one has retaliated to no greater extent than the injury he received, and is again set upon inordinately, Allah will help him: for Allah is One that blots out (sins) and forgives (again and again).

It is important to note that only a leader with a territory in his control can protect his people and it is only such a leader who can wage war and defend his people. Muhammad (pbuh) was not given the permission to fight in Mecca simply because he was not such a leader in Mecca. All the verses to fight apply only to the Muslims who were with the Prophet in Medina and not to those who stayed behind in Mecca since the Prophet could not protect them.

Battle of Badr

The first battle between the Muslims from Madinah and the Quraysh from Makkah took place at Badr in 624 C.E. The Muslim army of about 300 routed the Makkan army of more than a thousand fighters and took many of them prisoners, according to historical accounts. Several of the leaders of the Unfaith were killed in battle including Abu Jahl, Walidibn al-Mughirah  and Abu Lahab the three chief tormentors of the Muslims mentioned directly or indirectly in the earliest MeccanSurahs covered in part 1. Abu Lahab did not take part in the battle but died a week later from a wound inflicted by a woman in a dispute about the battle! UmayyahibnKhalafibnSafwan who had owned the slave  Bilal and tortured him for converting to Islam, Uqbaibn Abu Mu'ayt one of the principal adversaries of Islam, UtbahibnRabi'ah one of the prominent Leaders of Quraish, and WalidibnUtbah  were also killed. The number of Meccans killed were 70 and another 70 were taken prisoner but ransomed, number of Muslims killed were 14 and none of those killed were among the commanders.

The following are verses from Surah Al-Anfaal

(32) Remember how they said: "O Allah if this is indeed the Truth from Thee, rain down on us a shower of stones form the sky, or send us a grievous penalty."

(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.

(34) But what plea have they that Allah should not punish them, when they keep out (men) from the sacred Mosque - and they are not its guardians? No men can be its guardians except the righteous; but most of them do not understand.

(35) Their prayer at the House (of Allah) is nothing but whistling and clapping of hands: (Its only answer can be), "Taste ye the penalty because ye blasphemed."

(36) The Unbelievers spend their wealth to hinder (man) from the path of Allah, and so will they continue to spend; but in the end they will have (only) regrets and sighs; at length they will be overcome: and the Unbelievers will be gathered together to Hell;-

(37) In order that Allah may separate the impure from the pure, put the impure, one on another, heap them together, and cast them into Hell. They will be the ones to have lost.

(38) Say to the Unbelievers (kafaru), if (now) they desist (from hindering man from the path of Allah) 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 faith in Allah altogether and everywhere; but if they cease, verily Allah doth see all that they do.

(40) If they refuse, be sure that Allah is your Protector - the best to protect and the best to help.

Verse 33 says that the penalty could come to the Unbelievers only after the Believers had left the place (Mecca) and not while they were in their midst. The penalty in the form of a shower of stones from the sky was not sent even after the Believers had migrated because the door to pardon was still open to them. However, they were without a plea to save themselves from punishment for they kept men out from the Sacred Mosque. However, if they desisted from hindering men from the path of Allah, the past would be forgiven them.

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 belief by forcing the Meccans to accept Islam. If the Meccans had heeded and given up practicing oppression against those who were accepting Islam, and allowing the Muslims to worship in the sacred mosque, there would have been no more fighting after this verse was revealed and peaceful propagation of Islam would have recommenced.

Battle of Uhud

A year after the Battle of Badr, the Makkans sent an army to take revenge for their defeat which would have once again resulted in the rout of the Meccans but for the Muslim archers leaving their post for the spoils of war thinking that the war was won. This battle was called the battle of Uhud. With many losses on both sides, the two sides withdrew in a stalemate with the Muslims suffering casualties of about 70 including Hamza a commander and uncle of the Prophet. The Meccans lost only about 40 people. The reverse suffered taught the Muslims many important lessons. There may not have been this battle if the Muslims had more thoroughly routed their enemy in the first battle of Badr. The losing army continues fighting well after the result of the battle becomes apparent. The Muslim army, keen to take prisoners for ransom rather than focus on annihilating the enemy, took it easy and preferred taking a prisoner for ransom rather than killing him while the battle was still on. It is here that the verse that says that the enemy in battle must be struck to kill or incapacitate him makes sense. A thorough rout in the battle of Badr could have demoralized the Meccans to such an extent, that they may then have preferred to make peace, end hostilities, allow the Muslims to return to Mecca and peacefully propagate Islam and worship in the sacred Mosque without hindrance. This would have avoided further loss of lives. While many of the “Chiefs of Unfaith” were killed in the battle of Badr, Abu Sufiyan survived and lived to lead them in the war of Uhud and the battle of the Trench.

Battle of the Trench

The third major battle between the Quraysh and the Muslims was the Battle of the Trench in 628 CE, in which the Quraysh and their allies besieged Madinah. The BaniQurayzah, a Jewish tribe in Madinah, sided with Quraysh and broke their treaty with the Muslims. When the Makkans finally left amid storms and the desertion of their allies, the Muslims turned to attack the BaniQurayzah for siding with the attack against Madinah.

The very fact that the Muslims, 6 years after migrating to Medina, could be besieged in their own city, speaks about their numerical inferiority versus the Meccan pagans. In the face of such numerical inferiority, and the high probability of their defeat, the hypocrites among the Muslims were ready to desert and the allies among the Jews ready to switch sides. For a besieged party to come out on top must be an extremely rare event in the history of warfare.

The Battle is described in the Quran in Surah Al-Ahzaab / The Clans, Medinian, Chronological order 90

(33:9) O ye who believe! Remember the Grace of Allah, (bestowed) on you, when there came down on you hosts (to overwhelm you): But We sent against them a hurricane and forces that ye saw not: but Allah sees (clearly) all that ye do.

(10) Behold! they came on you from above you and from below you, and behold, the eyes became dim and the hearts gaped up to the throats, and ye imagined various (vain) thoughts about Allah!

(11) In that situation were the Believers tried: they were shaken as by a tremendous shaking.

(12) And behold! The Hypocrites and those in whose hearts is a disease (even) say: "Allah and His Messenger promised us nothing but delusion!"

(13) Behold! A party among them said: "Ye men of Yathrib! ye cannot stand (the attack)! therefore go back!" And a band of them ask for leave of the Prophet, saying, "Truly our houses are bare and exposed," though they were not exposed they intended nothing but to run away.

(14) And if an entry had been effected to them from the sides of the (city), and they had been incited to sedition, they would certainly have brought it to pass, with none but a brief delay!

(15) And yet they had already covenanted with Allah not to turn their backs, and a covenant with Allah must (surely) be answered for.

(16) Say: "Running away will not profit you if ye are running away from death or slaughter; and even if (ye do escape), no more than a brief (respite) will ye be allowed to enjoy!"

(17) Say: "Who is it that can screen you from Allah if it be His wish to give you punishment or to give you Mercy?" Nor will they find for themselves, besides Allah, any protector or helper.

(18) Verily Allah knows those among you who keep back (men) and those who say to their brethren, "Come along to us", but come not to the fight except for just a little while.

(19) Covetous over you. Then when fear comes, thou wilt see them looking to thee, their eyes revolving, like (those of) one over whom hovers death: but when the fear is past, they will smite you with sharp tongues, covetous of goods. Such men have no faith, and so Allah has made their deeds of none effect: and that is easy for Allah.

(20) They think that the Confederates have not withdrawn; and if the Confederates should come (again), they would wish they were in the deserts (wandering) among the Bedouins, and seeking news about you (from a safe distance); and if they were in your midst, they would fight but little.

(21) Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for any one whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the Praise of Allah.

(22) When the Believers saw the Confederate forces, they said: "This is what Allah and his Messenger had promised us, and Allah and His Messenger told us what was true." And it only added to their faith and their zeal in obedience.

(23) Among the Believers are men who have been true to their covenant with Allah: of them some have completed their vow (to the extreme), and some (still) wait: but they have never changed (their determination) in the least:

(24) That Allah may reward the men of Truth for their Truth, and punish the Hypocrites if that be His Will, or turn to them in Mercy: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

(25) And Allah turned back the Unbelievers for (all) their fury: no advantage did they gain; and enough is Allah for the believers in their fight. And Allah is full of Strength, able to enforce His Will.

(26) And those of the People of the Book who aided them - Allah did take them down from their strongholds and cast terror into their hearts. (So that) some ye slew, and some ye made prisoners.

(27) And He made you heirs of their lands, their houses, and their goods, and of a land which ye had not frequented (before). And Allah has power over all things.

The leader of the Meccan army was Abu Sufiyan who withdrew after a siege of 27 days in which they suffered heavy losses and achieved little and natures unseasonal fury caused his army of over 10,000 great distress. This was a turning point and many tribes which had aligned with the Meccans changed their loyalties.

Treaty of Hudaybiyyah

After the Battle of the Trench, in 628, Muhammad (pbuh) decided to lead a pilgrimage to Makkah for the first time in 6 years after migration to Madina. The Muslims camped at Hudaybiyyah, just outside Makkah, where they were halted by Quraysh. The Makkans didn’t want to let the Muslims make the pilgrimage but entered into a peace treaty with Muhammad. The treaty at Hudaybiyyah called for ten years of peace between the Muslims and the Makkans, and allowed the Muslims to make their pilgrimage the following year. A peace treaty within a year of having been besieged is a telling account of the change in fortunes. The peace treaty by the Meccans was only because they knew that the Muslims were in a position to force their way into Mecca if they wished. Muhammad (pbuh) however only wanted to perform the pilgrimage in peace and agreed for the peace treaty and returned to Madina.

He performed Haj the following year.Muhammad asked Bilal ibnRabah, a former slave and among the earliest Muslims, to give the call to prayer from the top of the Ka’bah. This angered the Makkans, who were camped in the hills outside Makkah until the Muslims completed their pilgrimage. They couldn’t believe that a former slave stood on top of their sacred house.

The Makkans broke their treaty with the Muslims by attacking a tribe allied with the Muslims. Muhammad immediately marched on Makkah and took the city peacefully in 630 C.E.

The Final Judgment

This was the time for Allah to pronounce His judgment that was repeatedly warned in the MeccanSurahs. Here the rules of war do not apply but the Judgment of Allah at the end of the Prophetic mission. Allah had spared the Meccans destruction by an act of God when Muhammad (pbuh) was driven out of Mecca. A few of the remaining chiefs of Unfaith were executed after the conquest of Mecca.

Surah Taubah the second last Surah in chronological order was revealed after the conquest of Mecca. The war was mostly with the Meccans and their allies and the Meccans were all mushrikin. Notice when mushrik is used and when kafir is used in these verses.

Verses 9:1 and 9:2 declare amnesty of four months to all mushrikin but with a warning that the kafirun among them will be covered with shame at the end of the period.

9:3 and 9:4 announces dissolution of all treaties with the mushrikin except with those who never broke their treaty and warns the kafirun (not mushrikin) of a grievous penalty.

Verse 9:5 is a command to kill all mushrikin at the end of the four month period with the exception of:

1.         Those who never broke their treaty or never fought the Muslims

2.         Those who accept Islam offer prayers and pay zakat

3.         Those who seek asylum

If the command was to kill only the kafir, then the problem would have been how to identify them since there was no longer an enemy standing in battle. The verse identifies the non kafir among the mushrikin through the exceptions listed above. The rest of the verses are by way of justification and evidence of the kufr practiced by those who are to be killed which covers all the mushrikin except those who never broke their treaty with the Muslims or never fought against them or those who seek asylum. Asylum seekers are not defiant and therefore not kafir.

The following verses are 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?

There is no command to kill for simple unbelief. The fact however is that once the Chiefs of Unfaith were removed from the scene, the rest of the people either accepted Islam or sought asylum and over a period accepted Islam as evidenced by the last Surah in chronological order viz, Surah An-Nasr / Divine Support

(110:1) When comes the Help of Allah, and Victory,

(2) And thou dost see the people enter Allah´s Religion in crowds,

(3) Celebrate the praises of thy Lord, and pray for His Forgiveness: For He is Oft-Returning (in Grace and Mercy).

Those “kafaru” who had actively opposed Islam, fought wars, broke their treaties and remained defiant even after the four month amnesty period were put to the sword. Their family consisting of wife and children also perished unless they had sought asylum and dissociated from their “kafir” husband/father.  Many of the women sought asylum even before the conquest of Mecca and were given asylum. This has always been the judgment of Allah that those who are saved are those who at least seek refuge and not follow the “kafaru”.  It is the Kafaru and those who follow them who perish whether it was Prophet Lut’s wife or Pharaoh, his chiefs and followers who pursued Moses and his people, or the people who disdained from embarking Noah’s ark and remained with the “kafaru” or those among the people of Thamud who did not dissociate from the people who killed the she-camel and go with Salih during the 3 days of respite provided. It may also be noted that many of the women of Mecca like the wife of Abu Lahab were active enemies of the Muslims and many of them accompanied their men to the battle of Uhud to encourage them and many of them who also left their “kafir” husbands and sought refuge with the Prophet even before the fall of Mecca.

Not a single person was killed for simple unbelief and the principle of “Let there be no compulsion in religion” and “To (peaceful rejecter of faith ) be his way and to me mine” was never violated.

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. The author initially used a pseudonym "Observer" for this article.

URL of Part 1: http://newageislam.com/islamic-personalities/observer-for-new-age-islam/the-story-of-the-prophetic-mission-of-muhammad-(pbuh)-from-the-qu’ran-(part-1)-the-early-opposition/d/102107

URL of Part 2: http://newageislam.com/islamic-personalities/observer-for-new-age-islam/the-story-of-the-prophetic-mission-of-muhammad-(pbuh)-from-the-qu’ran-(part-2)--the-clear-warning-to-the-meccan-pagans/d/102121

URL of Part 3: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-personalities/the-story-of-the-prophetic-mission-of-muhammad-(pbuh)-in-the-qu’ran-(part-3)--important-pointers-from-the-stories-of-the-prophets/d/102138

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-personalities/the-story-of-the-prophetic-mission-of-muhammad-(pbuh)-in-the-qu’ran-(part-4)--the-medinian-period/d/102155



  • To: Respected Muslim Readers @ New Age Islam




    As-Salaam Alay-Kum


    From the two words “Kill” to “Slay” used by the Islamic scholars with reference to Surah: Al-Tawbah – Verse: 9:5, except for:


    Maulana Abul Kalam Azad used “put down,” and avoided using kill and slay.


    T. B. Irving used the word “Associators,” and not Polytheists, Idolators, Pagans and Mushrikun.


    Reading the translation of Qur’anic Verse: 9:5, all of you will find the translations of these two Islamic scholars to be far more balanced and sensible.


    Here’s how T. B. Irving translated the following Verse 9:6:


    “If one of the associators should ask for you for protection, then grant him aslyum until he has heard God’s word. Later on escort him to where he can find safety. That’s because they are folk who do not know anything.”


    Associators,” are those people who associates other deities and do not worship “One God” alone. Well then, there are many who remain gravely concerned over the use of the words, Polytheists, Idolators, Pagans and Mushrikun.


    Finally, I will personally opt for both Maulana Abul Kalam Azad’s and T. B. Irving’s translations which do not consists of the two words, “Kill” and “Slay.”


    Thanks again for reading, I remain


    Very truly yours,


    Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia







    Sūrah: Al-Tawbah (The Repentance) Chapter: 9 – Verse: 5


    Sahih International: And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, let them [go] on their way. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.


    Pickthall: Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.


    Yusuf Ali: But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, an seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.


    Shakir: So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.


    Muhammad Sarwar: When the sacred months are over, slay the pagans wherever you find them. Capture, besiege, and ambush them. If they repent, perform prayers and pay the religious tax, set them free. God is All-forgiving and All-merciful.


    Mohsin Khan: Then when the Sacred Months (the Ist, 7th, 11th, and 12th months of the Islamic calendar) have passed, then kill the Mushrikun (see V.2:105) wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and prepare for them each and every ambush. But if they repent and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and give Zakat, then leave their way free. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.


    Arberry: Then, when the sacred months are drawn away, slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them, and confine them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they repent, and perform the prayer, and pay the alms, then let them go their way; God is All-forgiving, All-compassionate.


    Maulana Abul Kalam Azad – But when the sacred months are passed, (the state of war is resumed) (in this state) put down the polytheists (who are against you) wherever you find them, and capture them and beleager them and lie in wait for them at every ambush. But if they turn to God and observe prayer and pay the obligatory poor dues, then do not pursue them any longer for God will forgive them (their past) and admit them to His mercy.


    T. B. Irving: When hallowed months have slipped away, then fight associators wherever you may find them; take them and beseige them, and waylay them at every outpost. If they should repent, keep up prayer and pay the welfare tax, then let them go their way. God is Forgiving, Merciful.


    Maulana Wahiddudin Khan: When the forbidden months have passed, kill the polytheists (who are at war with you) whenever  you find them. Take them captive, and beseige them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they repent, and take to prayer regularly and pay the alms, then let them go their way. God is forgiving and merciful.


    cid:image001.jpg@01D051C4.AC28A890  mohammedrafiqlodhia



    By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia - 3/31/2015 6:20:14 PM

  • To: Respected Muslim Readers @ New Age Islam


    Talking about “Flip-Flop, here are some of the quotes which will help enlighten all of my fellow Muslims about a mysterious personality named “Secular Logic”:


    My being an atheist has nothing to do with whether I find your answer satisfactory or ridiculous, because though I don't personally believe in God, I empathise with people's need for belief in God. Some of the people I love most dearly are believers. Hindu, of course.


    By secularlogic - 3/31/2015 10:18:47 AM


    I do perform the rituals associated with idol worship. At that time, I strive to have nothing but the purest thoughts in my mind and pray for peace, tolerance and brotherhood of all mankind and say, if you exist, God, make the earth worthy of being called your creation.


    By secularlogic - 3/30/2015 12:35:50 AM


    I shall certainly worship all the idols that exist in the world, whether you like it or not.


    By secularlogic - 3/28/2015 12:13:02 AM


    I do not think it is a sin to worship idols or several gods. One may worship, one, many, or none so long as it brings him peace of mind and does not trouble others.


    By secularlogic - 3/27/2015 7:04:12 AM


    Respect, sir, has to be earned. I cannot force myself to respect anything. I do not place any religion to be exempt from critical examination. Most religions, after a point, require you to suspend disbelief, and believe in something because some Prophet, some book tells you it is so. This does not appeal to me.


    By secularlogic - 3/26/2015 11:48:00 PM


    Well, I do love stone metal wood idols, because they are a part of my culture, many of them are beautiful, and it is belief which endows them with godliness. Those who don't believe that God pervades every atom in the universe will see the idols as mere stones. Which is OK with me. The point is, if there is a religion that has idol worship as a part of its belief system, secularism demands that you respect it. Islam doesn't.


    By secularlogic  - 3/26/2015 11:22:58 PM


    Guess what! Talking about “Insanity, here is a classic example of how “Secular Logic,” twist and turn using his “Unclean Heart. That’s exactly where the problem lies. Forget spirituality. Focus on insincerity on his/her part. Then he/she confirms that, “some of the people I love most dearly are believers. Hindu, of course.” Why not? Nothing wrong with having immense love for your own people. Though, I did not read any comment on this particular forum that forced “Secular Logic,” not to worship idols or to change his religion, or for the lack of better word, “Secularism.” Hence, why is this person carrying nothing but a personal vendetta against Islam and Qur’an?  


    What’s so remarkable is that he/she is relentless to compel Muslims to abandon Holy Qur’an. Ask yourself, why would a person who boast about, “I strive to have nothing but the purest thoughts in my mind and pray for peace, tolerance and brotherhood of all mankind,” smear the religion of Islam and continue to make insulting remarks about Muslims? After all, “What does all these quotes tells us about ‘Secular Logic’ own moral character?” Your guess is as good as mine, ladies and gentlemen.


    Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia


    cid:image001.jpg@01D051C4.AC28A890  mohammedrafiqlodhia



    By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia - 3/31/2015 11:45:17 AM

  • This article was written to counter the Sunni narrative according to which the Meccan pagans had no alternative but to accept Islam or be executed irrespective of whether they had fought against the Muslims or not although such a narrative runs counter to what the Quran says on the subject.


    Apart from words falsely attributed to the Prophet, these people falsely attribute to the Quran what the Quran does not say:


    Take for example the verse quoted by Secular Logic which is 8:38 translated by Mohsin Khan and highlighted with bold italics:


    Verse 8:36

    Mohsin Khan           Verily, those who disbelieve spend their wealth to hinder (men) from the Path of Allah, and so will they continue to spend it; but in the end it will become an anguish for them. Then they will be overcomed. And those who disbelieve will be gathered unto Hell.

    Maulana                   Surely those who disbelieve spend their wealth to hinder (people) from the way of Allah. So they will go on spending it, then it will be to them a regret, then they will be overcome. And those who disbelieve will be gathered together to hell,

    Pickthal                    Lo! those who disbelieve spend their wealth in order that they may debar (men) from the way of Allah. They will spend it, then it will become an anguish for them, then they will be conquered. And those who disbelieve will be gathered unto hell,


    Mohsin Khan           In order that Allah may distinguish the wicked (disbelievers, polytheists and doers of evil deeds) from the good (believers of Islamic Monotheism and doers of righteous deeds), and put the wicked (disbelievers, polytheists and doers of evil deeds) one on another, heap them together and cast them into Hell. Those! it is they who are the losers.

    Maulana                   That Allah may separate the wicked from the good, and put the wicked one upon another, then heap them together, then cast them into hell. These indeed are the losers.

    008:038 Khan        Say to those who have disbelieved, if they cease (from disbelief) their past will be forgiven. But if they return (thereto), then the examples of those (punished) before them have already preceded (as a warning).

    008:038 Maulana     Say to those who disbelieve, if they desist, that which is past will be forgiven them; and if they return, then the example of those of old has already gone.

    008:038 Pickthal      Tell those who disbelieve that if they cease (from persecution of believers) that which is past will be forgiven them; but if they return (thereto) then the example of the men of old hath already gone (before them, for a warning).

     Maulana is literal and he does not add anything to say what the kafaru who had fought with the Muslims in the battle of Badr should “desist” from.

     Mohsin Khan adds on his own that they should desist from disbelief

    Pickthal says that they should desist from persecution of believers. Pickthal is closer to the truth but for a literalist the answer is in 8:36. They  should desist from hindering men from the path of Allah.


    Mohsin Khan is not an exception. Even Yusuf Ali has got it wrong. Rashad, Sarwar and Sherali has translated like Maulana and Sarwar has translated as desist from evil deeds.


    A literalist when asked the question desist from what, would pick up the answer from 8:36 as I have done, “desist from hindering men from the path of Allah. You can see how different this is from “desist from disbelief”


    Take verse 2:193


    Mohsin Khan           And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah) and (all and every kind of) worship is for Allah (Alone). But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)

    Maulana                   And fight them until there is no persecution, and religion is only for Allah. But if they desist, then there should be no hostility except against the oppressors.

    Pickthal                    And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah. But if they desist, then let there be no hostility except against wrong-doers.


    Verse 2:191 describes what Fitnah is being referred to in verse 2:193 and taking Mohsin Khan’s own rendering of 2:191


    Khan                        And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah is worse than killing. And fight not with them at Al-Masjid-al-Haram (the sanctuary at Makkah), unless they (first) fight you there. But if they attack you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers


    Fitna is “turning people out of their homes” or persecution. Specifically in this case, since it was driving people out of their homes for their faith, it is religious persecution. However Khan in 2:193 turns this into “disbelief and worshipping others along with Allah”.


    So if Khan and his ilk are to be believed, the wars were not to fight against oppression and religious persecution but to end disbelief. Unfortunately, this is what goes for most Muslims and even the moderate ones since this is woven into Sunni theology. I could quote from the books of acclaimed moderates to provide further proof.


    I am not surprised therefore, that only Muhammad Yunus and Siraj have appreciated this article.


    The implications are obvious. If the Prophet was fighting to end disbelief and not to end oppression and injustice, then the extremists are carrying on that tradition and Political Islam is true Islam! The difference between the moderate and the extremist is not in the ideology then but in their commitment to that ideology. The Islamophobes are not off the mark when they describe the extremists as better or more committed Muslims when the underlying ideology is:


    a)     All non-Muslims are Kafir

    b)     The wars of Islam were to end disbelief and not to end oppression and injustice.


    It is high time the Ulema come out clean on the above two points and until such time, the extremist ideology cannot be defeated. There is no point in Al Azhar making merely noises without attacking the roots of the defective theology based on falsifying the Quran and perhaps also by concocting a few ahadith.

    By Observer - 3/31/2015 2:19:38 AM



    We cannot afford in this heart-breaking time of crisis, to indulge in mutual recrimination; but let us appeal to all God-fearing Mohammedans for the sake of their own great religion and culture and for the sake of bleeding humanity, to join hands with us in dealing with evil which may grow into a permanent source of futility bringing upon our unfortunate country the disgust and derision of the whole world.


    Rabindranath Tagore

    Calcutta Statesman

    September 5, 1931   


    cid:image001.jpg@01D051C4.AC28A890  mohammedrafiqlodhia



    By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia - 3/30/2015 10:00:41 PM

  • Secular Logic,
    I am aware of what Tagore, Sri Aurobondo etc have said and I have great regard for these people and aware of the fact that they are not speaking as Islamophobes but as those who could be friends of the Muslims only if .......
    I am also not saying that what I write is mainstream theology. On the contrary it is a fact that there are very few takers among the Muslims for what I write. All that I am saying is that what I write is literally and fundamentally the true message of the Quran and trying to make the Muslims accept it. Thanks for supporting me in that task.

    By Observer - 3/30/2015 4:15:50 AM

  • Dear Muhammad Yunus,

    The revelations were exactly what were needed for the moment. They could not have appeared as disjointed to its audience. On the contrary, to get the real sense of the revelations one must put oneself in the shoes of the Quran's immediate audience. That is what I have attempted to do which brings alive the story in a light in which others do not appear to have seen it. 

    The Meccans could not have missed the significance of the stories of the Prophets Noah, Hud, Salih, Shoaib, Lut and Moses especially since 32 of the Meccan Surahs in which these appear have only one purpose, and that is to warn its immediate audience which were the Meccans. As the Quran says, the Meccans dismissed the stories as “Mere Tales of the Ancients” even though the generation following Noah viz the people of Hud also dismissed the story of Noah likewise and the people of Salih similarly dismissed the stories of Noah and Hud and so on. The Quran even points out to the sites where these events took place and especially the site of the people of Lut which is covered with brimstones when the neighboring sites have no traces of such stones. And yet, the haughty Meccans chose to dismiss the stories as the ranting of a madman or a man possessed.

    The implications of 109:6 “To you (peaceful rejecter of the faith) be your way and to me mine” also could not have been lost on the people and the significance of the stories of the prophets Yusuf and Yunus (pbut) but the mighty Meccans were not willing to show any accommodation except if the Prophet agreed to dilute his message with polytheism.

    Dire warnings of a punishment which will come from directions that the people cannot even conceive is given in Surah 2 in chronological order. This makes clear very early in the prophetic mission that the form in which the punishment would come will be different from what came to the people of Noah, Hud, Salih, Shoaib, Lut and Moses.  

    When the Prophet migrates to Medina and the people are not destroyed by a shower of stones like the people of some of the earlier generations, the Meccans exult! They are pushed deeper into their way of thinking.

    Surah Al Hajj an early Meccan Surah, gives permission to fight and makes clear that the warnings delivered through the stories of the Prophets was about to come true. This, at a time when the Muslim numbers may have been less than 10% of the non-Muslim populations and the Muslims had to be ‘tricked’ into fighting the battle of Badr against heavy odds. At the end of the battle, there is an offer of peace “if you desist from hindering people from the path of Allah, the past will be forgiven”. The Meccans however return for the battle of Uhud in which they gain the upper hand although the battle finally ends in a stalemate. Encouraged, they form alliances and come with a 10,000 strong army to annihilate the Muslims and besiege their city. As the Quran describes:

    (33:10) Behold! they came on you from above you and from below you, and behold, the eyes became dim and the hearts gaped up to the throats, and ye imagined various (vain) thoughts about Allah!

    (11) In that situation were the Believers tried: they were shaken as by a tremendous shaking.

    (12) And behold! The Hypocrites and those in whose hearts is a disease (even) say: "Allah and His Messenger promised us nothing but delusion!"

     The people, imagined the worst and yet were saved by a most unseasonal hurricane that raged as long as the Meccan army lay siege and forced them to withdraw.

    (33:25) And Allah turned back the Unbelievers for (all) their fury: no advantage did they gain; and enough is Allah for the believers in their fight. And Allah is full of Strength, able to enforce His Will.

    This battle made the allies of the Meccans to desert them and join the Muslims making them strong enough to attempt performing the Haj for the first time after migration. They are stopped but they realize that the Muslims are in a position to push through their way through and enter into a treaty. The situation is described in the Quran thus:

    (48:26) While the Unbelievers got up in their hearts heat and cant - the heat and cant of ignorance,- Allah sent down His Tranquillity to his Messenger and to the Believers, and made them stick close to the command of self-restraint; and well were they entitled to it and worthy of it. And Allah has full knowledge of all things.

    On paper it was a one-sided treaty heavily favouring the Meccans. In its outcome, it was a victory for the Muslims although they had to return without performing pilgrimage, but they could return the following year. This in itself was a mighty blow to the prestige of the mighty Meccans. People sensed which way the wind was blowing and started entering Islam in hordes. Women deserted their husbands and crossed over and sought asylum with the Prophet.

    When the Prophet performed haj the following year and the Meccans had to clear out of Kaba to allow him to do so and when Bilal a former slave performed the call to prayer atop the Kaba, the sense of humiliation was complete.

    The treaty was for 10 years signed in 628. The Prophet died in 632. The treaty was meant to outlast the Prophet. But this was not to be. The Meccans could not control their rage at the turn of events and attacked a tribe in alliance with the Prophet and killed several people. The Prophet marched with his people into Mecca and the Meccans dared not oppose him. The Meccans had their chances to go the way of the People of Yusuf or Yunus (pbut) but in their arrogance they chose to violently oppose. They had their chance after the battle of Badr but they were still very powerful. They had their chance after the treaty of Hudaybiah to avert the ultimate humiliation but like anyone who has lost so much, they preferred losing everything rather than salvaging what could be salvaged. In the end, the following verse from Surah Al-Anfal (early Medinian) came true.

    (8:36) The Unbelievers spend their wealth to hinder (man) from the path of Allah, and so will they continue to spend; but in the end they will have (only) regrets and sighs; at length they will be overcome: and the Unbelievers will be gathered together to Hell;-

    The annihilation of polytheism in the Arabian Peninsula was achieved without violating the General Principles mentioned in the article and in complete justice by secular standards.

    Nothing could be more coherent than this!

    As regards the switching of the topic or covering the same topic over widely separated Surahs is concerned, this is not to impress upon the grandeur of the Quran. The Quran is not a flat text but a Book of great subtlety and deals with truths that are multi- dimensional. Muliti-dimensional truths can never be delivered through a flat text. If you have some idea of multi-dimensional databases (MDB), you can get an inkling of what I am trying to say. The subtlety will be lost if anyone tries to convert it into a flat text which of course every scholar does when he focuses on a single subject which is fine for that limited purpose. Because the Quran is a Book of great subtlety, it retains its power to fascinate even though I cover the entire Quran 6 times a year. My reading is not a simple reading of the text but very thorough and it takes two hours for me to complete 1/30 of the Quran. If you have actually used an MDB, you will realize how fascinating it is to explore the myriad forms in which the same data speaks to you and see the similarity with the Quran. For every question however, the MDB has only one answer but the number of questions for which it has answers are limited only by the imagination of the one asking the question and the data covered by the database and how detailed or granular the data is. The more granular the data, the more flexible the MDB is to answer more questions but the greater the complexity of the MDB and its size which grows exponentially. Technology can handle complexity and large sizes (but only now and not in the recent past) but the Quran is meant to be understood by humans. I achieve what would have taken others a lifetime with effort of a few days only because I am an expert in the technologies that I have just mentioned. That is not entirely true because my study of the Quran also spans a lifetime.

    I will cover some of these aspects by way of finding answers to specific questions just as many of my articles do that. My methodology is to bring all the relevant verses in the Quran to bear on any subject and then write on that subject ignoring nothing. That is exactly how an MDB functions. Depending on the question the answer varies but for every question there can be only one answer (unless you ignore some of the data). For example, for a Muslim “shirk” is an unpardonable sin. A Mushrik is however a kafir only if he rejects the sole Creator and sustainer of the Universe and dies a rejecting Him. However, if a Mushrik has never rejected for lack of knowledge or ability to comprehend or whatever, he is not a kafir. There is no direct answer to this question but the answer can be proved with a great deal of certainty. Then there are those in between positions of Christians etc. How can these questions be dealt with in any flat text without appearing to grant a loose rope to polytheism defeating the very purpose of revelation of the Quran?

    Deep contemplation of the Quran while guiding you to the straight path makes you a liberal as far as other people are concerned. Those who turn narrow minded fanatics are far, far away from the message of the Quran and to answer Secular logic, these are some of the people who have gone astray.    


    By Observer - 3/30/2015 3:48:57 AM

  • Maybe I am not alone in my misgivings. This is the FB post of Francois Gautier, a journalist.

    Francois Gautier shares Historic Quotes on Islam:

    Every world leader is looking for a Moderate Islam so as to be able to dialogue democratically with Muslims. Its it possible?

    Read some of these below quotes by eminent thinkers, many of whom cannot be accused to be 'Hindu fundamentalists'.

    Rabindranath Tagore:

    A very important factor which is making it almost impossible for Hindu-Muslim unity to become an accomplished fact is that the Muslims cannot confine their patriotism to any one country. I had frankly asked many Muslims whether, in the event of any Mohammedan power invading India, they would stand side by side with their Hindu neighbours to defend their common motherland, I was not satisfied with the reply I got from them.

    Rabindranath Tagore:

    We want to draw a veil over our past to appease the Muslims…. We have done it for a long time. It is time we lift the veil from our eyes.

    Lala Lajpat Rai:

    I have devoted most of my time during the last six months to the study of Muslim History and Muslim Law and I am inclined to think that Hindu-Muslim unity is neither possible not practicable… I do honestly and sincerely believe in the necessity and desirability of Hindi-Muslim unity. I am also fully prepared to trust the Muslim leaders, but what about the injunctions of the Koran and Hadis. The leaders cannot override them.

    Sarat Chandra Chatterji:

    If we go by the lessons of history we have to accept that the goal of the Hindu-Muslim unity is a mirage. When Muslims first entered India, they looted the country, destroyed the temples, broke the idols, raped the women and heaped innumerable indignities on the people of this country. Today it appears that such noxious behavior has entered the bone marrow of Muslims. Unity can be achieved among equals…. I am of the view that Hindu-Muslim unity, which could not be achieved during the last thousand years, will not materialize during the ensuing thousand years.

    Annie Besant (The founder of the Congress Party):

    The inner Muslim feeling of hatred against ‘unbelievers’ has spring up naked and unashamed…. We have seen, revived, as guide in practical politics, the old Muslim religion of the sword…. In thinking of an independent India, the menace of Mohammedan rule has to be considered.

    Sri Aurobindo:

    I am sorry they are making a fetish of this Hindu-Muslim unity. It is no use ignoring facts; some day the Hindus may have to fight the Muslims and they must prepare for it. Hindu–Muslim unity should not mean the subjection of the Hindus. Every time the mildness of the Hindu has given way to barbarism of Islam. The best solution would be to allow the Hindus to organize themselves and the Hindu-Muslim unity would take care of itself, it would automatically solve the problem.

    Sri Aurobindo:

    You can live amicably with a religion whose principle is toleration. But how is it possible to live with a religion whose principle is ‘I will not tolerate’? You cannot build unity on such basis. Perhaps the only way of making the Mohammedans harmless is to make them lose their faith in their religion.

    Dr. B.R. Ambedkar:

    To talk about Hindu-Muslim unity from a thousand platforms or to give it blazoning headlines is to perpetrate an illusion whose cloudily structure dissolves itself at the exchange of brickbats and desecration of tombs and temples….Nothing I could say can so well show the futility of Hindu-Muslim unity. Hindu-Muslim unity up to now was at least in sight although it was like a mirage. Today it is out of sight and also out of mind.

    Dr.B.R. Ambedkar:

    The brotherhood of Islam is not the universal brotherhood of man. It is brotherhood of Muslims for Muslims only. There is a fraternity but its benefit is confined to those within that corporation. For those who are outside the corporation, there is nothing but contempt, slavery and enmity.

    Ram Swarup:

    Religious harmony is a desirable thing. But it takes two to play the game. Unfortunately such a sentiment holds no position in Islamic theology.

    Shiv Prasad Roy:

    Pakistan and Bangladesh are their fixed deposits. Those are Islamic states. No one else can lay claim on them. India is a joint account. Plunder it as much as you please.

    Francois Gautier:

    This is a profession of faith of a Muslim: ‘I certify that there is no God other than Allah, of whom Mohammed is the only prophet’, which means in effect: After and before Mohammed, there is nobody else…’Thus the whole religion of Islam is based on negation: nobody but us, no other religion but ours’. And if you disagree, you shall die. This puts a serious limitation to tolerance and from this strong belief sprang all the horrors of the Muslim invasion of India.

    Francois Gautier

    Let it be said right away: the massacres perpetrated by Muslims in India are unparalleled in history, bigger than the holocaust of the Jews by the Nazis; or the massacre of the Armenians by the Turks; more extensive even than the slaughter of the South American native populations by the invading Spanish and Portuguese in early days of America.

    Will Durant

    The Mohammedan conquest of India was probably the bloodiest story in history.

    Alain Danielou

    From the time Muslims started arriving, around 632 AD, the history of India becomes a long, monotonous series of murders, massacres, spoliations, and destructions.

    Rizwan Salim

    Their minds filled with venom against the idol-worshippers of Hindustan, the Muslims destroyed a large number of ancient Hindu temples. This is a historical fact, mentioned by Muslim chronicles and others of the time.

    Rizwan Salim

    Savages at a very low level of civilization and no culture worth the name, from Arabia and west Asia, began entering India from the early century onwards. Islamic invaders demolished countless Hindu temples, shattered uncountable sculpture and idols, plundered innumerable palaces and forts of Hindu kings, killed vast numbers of Hindu men and carried off Hindu women..….. But many Indians still do not seem to recognize that the alien Muslim marauders destroyed the historical evolution of the earth’s most mentally advanced civilization, the most richly imaginative culture, and the most vigorously creative society.

    Irfan Husain

    The Muslim heroes who figure larger than life in our history books committed many dreadful crimes. Mahmud of Ghazni, Qutb-ud-Din Aibak, Balban, Mohammed bin Qasim, and Sultan Mohammad Tughlak, all have blood-stained hands that the passage of years has not cleansed. Indeed, the presence of Muslim historians on their various campaigns has ensured that the memory of their deeds will live long after they were buried…..Seen through Hindu eyes, the Muslim invasion of their homeland was an unmitigated disaster.

    Dr. Younis Shaikh

    ….eighty million were slaughtered and millions of women were raped…..it was standard practice for Islamic warlords like Ghori and Ghazni to unleash the mass rape and enslavement of hundreds of thousands of women after the slaughter of all males. 
    An extremely large percentage of Muslims in South Asia today are the progeny of forcible conversions and systematic rape campaigns by marauding Muslim invaders.

    Koenraad Elst

    ..the number of victims of the persecutions of Hindus by Muslims is easily of the same order of magnitude as that of the Nazi extermination policy, though no one has yet made the effort of tabulating the reported massacres and proposing a reasonable estimate of how many millions exactly must have died in the course of the Islamic campaign against Hinduism (such research is taboo). On top of these there is a similar number of abductions and deportations to harems and slave-markets, as well as centuries of political oppression and cultural destruction……

    Dr K D Prithipal

    Muslims will only live as an oppressive majority and a turbulent minority.

    Sardar Ballavbhai Patel 
    A nationalist Muslim is only a contradiction in terms.

    By secularlogic - 3/30/2015 1:55:15 AM

  • Mr Observer, you must not feel slighted by disagreement. 

    I have read the Quran. I have read how some verses jeer at polytheists and idolators. I have read about the horrific scenes awaiting them in the purgatory. I felt ill after reading that women are tilth, they should be beaten lightly to discipline them, female slaves were legal sexual objects, that polytheists should be slaughtered in the day or night after holy months had passed.... I felt ill for a day after that, and wondered what kind of God could put such things in a holy book. 

    I have also read your articles justifying/denying/rationalising most of it. I am frustrated about my lack of scholarship to have a proper debate with you about your conclusions. But I am acknowledging that if your understanding of the Quran is correct and if it becomes mainstream, it will go a long way towards creating a more harmonious atmosphere when people of different faiths live together. 

    why this should offend you I dont understand.

    By secularlogic - 3/30/2015 1:44:49 AM

  • Secular Logic,

    You insist on being churlish even though in your own words, you cannot prove what you are saying!

    Wait till I cover every single word in the Quran. What will you be left with to say then?

    By Observer - 3/30/2015 1:34:09 AM

  • Mr Observer, I am sorry that my quoting of your words sounds churlish to you. But it seems to me that the shoe fits, even if you refuse to wear it.

    Even if that is what I think, I wish your efforts success. The truth sometimes becomes less important than the objectives, and your objectives are desirable. 

    By secularlogic - 3/30/2015 1:28:02 AM

  • Secular Logic,

    You quote my own words in the most churlish manner which describe what others do  when I ask you and Rational to hold me by my word in my article that I ignore nothing and take a very literalist and fundamentalist view.  I accept that you are not in a position to do that but there are others who can and are silent. 

    Khalid Suhail is a scholar of Arabic who has read all great works in Islamic literature in Arabic whereas my reading is confined mostly to the Quran only and that too only in translation. Rational also has a far better foundational base having studied in a madrassa. You have two persons you can depend upon to ensure that what I may have ignored to cut short the story is not material.

    Yes there is a part that I have ignored and perhaps will cover some other time as the story otherwise would have become too long. It is the story of how the Prophet through the support of the word of God made a small number of his followers stand up to the might of the Meccans and come out victorious. It is a fascinating story that needs to be told. It is a story of how someone who derives strength from orienting towards God and moulding all his behaviour in accordance with what is right and just can achieve results that are unimaginable.

    By Observer - 3/30/2015 1:13:08 AM

  • Mr Observer, thank you for directing my attention to this article. 

    It sounds to me like a historical account of the simultaneous geo-political and theological evolution of Islam. 

    I will not offer my opinion on the same for reasons quoted earlier. Quote: "It is a truism that you can prove anything by ignoring half the data. Therefore, by choosing the verses you wish to ignore, you can distort the message and try to prove your view point." Unquote.  However, I do wish you success in your endeavors in the interests of the greater common good. 

    Best regards

    By secularlogic - 3/30/2015 12:47:14 AM

  • Dear Observer,

    Point taken!

    You may read my comments to Siraj that has our explanation on why people entered Islam in hordes and even delegations came from far and wide to pay allegiance to the new faith.

    By muhammad yunus - 3/29/2015 10:24:24 PM

  • Dear Siraj Sb, I have complemented Observer for his approach. I fully agree with him that they were relevant for the Meccan period as the Meccan audience had remained consistently opposed to the Prophet over a long period of time. So the divine voice had to warn them repeatedly. 
    My jt. publication under posting explains the repetition as well as the apparent disjointed, incoherent and sketchy diction of the Qur'an as raised by Thomas Carly as a deliberate design to prove the divinity of the Qur'an as follows:

     Genesis, Literary Grandeur and Consistency

    The revelation came like ad hoc passages, without any continuity of theme or rhythm. Moreover, no attempt was made by the scribes to record the revealed passages in a chronological order: the Prophet directed their exact location in the Qur'an. This led the Prophet’s Meccan enemies to question his claim to be God's messenger. The revelation responded by challenging its audience to produce a chapter like it (2:23/24):17

    “If you (O people,) are in doubt concerning what We have revealed to Our Servant, then produce a chapter like it; and call on your witnesses besides God – if indeed you are truthful (2:23). But if you do not do (it) - and you can never do (it), then heed hellfire, whose fuel is human beings and stones - prepared for the disbelievers” (2:24).

    The Qur’an also claims that no one can even forge it (10:38),18 and asserts that it is of such a literary grandeur that only God Almighty could be its Author (10:37):

    “This Qur'an could not possibly have been devised by (anyone) other than God – rather, (it) is a confirmation of what was (revealed) before it; and a fuller explanation of the Book in which there is nothing doubtful, from the Lord of the worlds (10:37). Do they say, he [Muhammad] forged it?’ Say (to them): ‘Then bring a chapter like this, and call upon anyone besides God you can - if indeed you are truthful’” (10:38).

    At the height of literary eloquence, the Arabs had great poets and poetry was big part of their lives, but they recognized in the Qur’an, the most eloquent language they had ever heard. The Qur’an virtually cast a spell on the listeners, so much so that the Quraysh asked people to chat and make noise during Qur’anic recitation, understandably, to foil its magical effect.19  

    The Qur’an also challenged the priests and the learned among its audience to probe into it and find any contradiction in it (4:82) and asserted that its self-consistency is yet another illustration of its divine character (18:1):20

    “Don’t they ponder over the Qur’an?  Had it been from (someone) other than God, they would have surely found much contradiction in it” (4:82).

    “Praise be to God who has revealed to His devotee the Book, and did not put any distortion in it” (18:1).

    As the revelation progressed, the seemingly unrelated passages fell in place and created an immensely intricate and inexplicably harmonious pattern of the Qur’anic text. This fully convinced the Arabs, who had opposed Muhammad for almost two decades, of the divinity of the Qur’an, and they came to the Prophet in large numbers from all over Arabia to embrace the new faith. 

    By muhammad yunus - 3/29/2015 10:18:59 PM

  • Siraj,

    I am not speculating when I say that the stories of the prophets Yusuf and Yunus (pbut) are found in the Meccan Surahs and what the relevance of these stories was to the people of Mecca. Clearly their stories are more relevant to the Meccans than to the Medinians as they were first time prophets to their people or prophets sent to a nation comprising of primarily the "unbelievers".

    This is what Allah says repeatedly in the Quran:

    (17:77) (This was Our) way with the messengers We sent before thee: thou wilt find no change in Our ways.

    (33:62) (Such was) the practice (approved) of Allah among those who lived aforetime: No change wilt thou find in the practice (approved) of Allah.

    (35:43)....But no change wilt thou find in Allah´s way (of dealing): no turning off wilt thou find in Allah´s way (of dealing).

    (48:23) (Such has been) the practice (approved) of Allah already in the past: no change wilt thou find in the practice (approved) of Allah.

    In view of the verses quoted above which says that "Allah does not change His ways or Sunnat", can there any doubt that the fate of the Meccans would have been the same as that of the people of Yusuf or Yunus had the people acted in the manner of the people of Yusuf or Yunus?

    Or for that matter, like that of the people of Noah, Hud, Salih, Shoaib, Lut or Moses if they had actively opposed Muhammad (pbuh)? 

    By Observer - 3/29/2015 12:17:30 PM

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