Story of a new atheist from Arab world

(By: By DIAA HADID for Boston.Com) Rafat Awad fervently preached Islam at his university, encouraging his fellow students to read the Quran and pray. But throughout, the young Palestinian-born pharmacist had gnawing doubts. The more he tried to resolve them, the more they grew.

ADVANCE FOR USE SUNDAY, AUG. 4, 2013 AND THEREAFTER - Rafat Awad, a 23 year old Palestinian pharmacist, adjusts his glasses in while posing for a portrait at a shopping mall in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on Wednesday, July 31, 2013. Awad fervently preached Islam at his university, encouraging his fellow students to read the Quran and pray. But throughout, the young Palestinian pharmacist had gnawing doubts. They only grew the more he tried to resolve his questions about his religion. Finally, he told his parents, both devout Muslims, that he was an atheist. They brought home clerics to talk with him, trying in vain to bring him back to belief. Finally, they gave up. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

ADVANCE FOR USE SUNDAY, AUG. 4, 2013 AND THEREAFTER – Rafat Awad, a 23 year old Palestinian pharmacist, adjusts his glasses in while posing for a portrait at a shopping mall in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on Wednesday, July 31, 2013. Awad fervently preached Islam at his university, encouraging his fellow students to read the Quran and pray. But throughout, the young Palestinian pharmacist had gnawing doubts. They only grew the more he tried to resolve his questions about his religion. Finally, he told his parents, both devout Muslims, that he was an atheist. They brought home clerics to talk with him, trying in vain to bring him back to belief. Finally, they gave up. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

Finally he told his parents, both devout Muslims, that he was an atheist. They brought home clerics to talk with him, trying in vain to bring him back to the faith. Finally, they gave up.

‘‘It was the domino effect — you hit the first pin and it keeps on going and going,’’ Said Awad, 23, who grew up in the United Arab Emirates and lives there. ‘‘I thought: It doesn’t make sense anymore. I became a new person then.’’

An openly self-described atheist is an extreme rarity in the Arab world, where the Muslim majority is on the whole deeply conservative. It’s socially tolerated to not be actively religious, to decide not to pray or carry out other acts of faith, or to have secular attitudes. But to outright declare oneself an atheist can lead to ostracism by family and friends, and if too public can draw retaliation from Islamist hard-liners or even authorities.

Still, this tiny minority has taken small steps out of the shadows. Groups on social media networks began to emerge in the mid-2000s. Now, the Arab Spring that began in early 2011 has given a further push: The heady atmosphere of ‘‘revolution’’ with its ideas of greater freedoms of speech and questioning of long-held taboos has encouraged this opening.

One 40-year-old Egyptian engineer, born a Muslim, told The Associated Press he had long been an atheist but kept it a deep secret. The 2011 uprising in Egypt and its calls for radical change encouraged him to look online for others like himself.

‘‘Before the revolution, I was living a life in total solitude. I didn’t know anybody who believed like me,’’ he said. ‘‘Now we have more courage than we used to have.’’

His case illustrates the limits on how far an atheist can go. Like most others interviewed by The Associated Press, he spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, harassment or troubles with his family. His ‘‘going public’’ is strictly online.

Even the Internet is not entirely safe. In most Arab countries, being an atheist is not in itself illegal, but there are often laws against ‘‘insulting religion.’’

Last year, Egyptian Alber Saber, a Christian who identifies as an atheist, was arrested after neighbors complained he had posted an anti-Islam film on his Facebook page. Though he denied it, he was sentenced to three years in prison for blasphemy and contempt of religion. Released on bail during appeal in December, he moved to France.

Similarly, a Palestinian atheist, Waleed al-Husseini, was arrested in 2010 in the West Bank town of Qalqilya for allegedly mocking Islam on the Internet. He was held without charge for several months, and after his release also fled to France.

Still, the online space is flourishing. There are some 60 Arabic-language atheist Facebook groups — all but five of them formed since the Arab Spring. They range from ‘‘Atheists of Yemen’’ with only 25 followers, to ‘‘Sudanese Atheists’’ with 10,344 followers.

There are pages that appear dormant, but most maintain some activity. An ‘‘Arab Atheist Broadcasting’’ outfit produces pro-atheism YouTube clips. There are closed groups, like an atheist dating club in Egypt.

Some draw strong negative comment. One responder, calling himself Sam, maintained that ‘‘attacking Islam has become the cheapest flight ticket to Europe,’’ a reference to those who have fled their Muslim homelands. Writing on the website Elaph, Sam referred to Westerners who convert to Islam, saying ‘‘We Muslims take the best of them and they take the garbage from us.’’

It is impossible to know the number of atheists in the Arab world, given their secrecy. It is not clear whether the increasing online activity reflects that numbers have risen or simply that more are emerging from isolation. Over a dozen interviews with atheists suggest both. In any case, atheists remain a tiny minority. The Arab Spring uprisings fueled the debate in the region over the role of religion in society and politics, but even secular activists are quick to distinguish themselves from atheists.

Disillusion with the post-revolution rise of Islamists, who demand strict implementation of religious rules, has also prompted some to reassess their beliefs.

Watching the changes pushed Fadwa, an 18-year-old Tunisian woman, from detached agnostic to atheist.

‘‘Before the revolution, people didn’t see Islam as the problem, but after the revolution, they saw what political Islam was — and what Islam is,’’ she said.

She says she is now involved in online groups and talks to her friends at university about being an atheist. Because of her beliefs, rumors have been spread around campus that she’s promiscuous, she said. But she worries worse could happen, such as being targeted as an apostate — one who has renounced Islam.

Some Muslim theologians say that’s a capital offense, but no one is known to have died in recent times for being an atheist. Other sages say atheists should only be punished if they proselytize. Others yet say ex-Muslim atheists should be tolerated, citing the Quranic verse, ‘‘There is no compulsion in religion.’’

Most scholars ‘‘differentiate between somebody who has an opinion, and others who disturb the peace of society’’ by spreading their views, said Jerusalem-based Muslim theologian Mustafa Abu Sway.

Even harder is the social cost. Declaring oneself an atheist can mean breaking from family and friends and networks that determine a Muslim’s entire social life.

The online venues give those questioning their faith a space to go through what can be a traumatic process. Many describe years of depression and isolation. The atheists interviewed by AP said online access to like-minded people gave them courage. All said they were surprised to discover other ex-Muslims out there. They also said reading articles online by prominent Western atheists like Britain’s Richard Dawkins pushed them along the path.

Theologian Abu Sway said he sees no possibility atheism will spread among Muslim communities. What’s happening today is ‘‘a phase rather than a serious position,’’ he said. ‘‘It could be an expression of dissatisfaction with traditional institutions. We don’t have the Richard Dawkins type. We don’t have our own serious contender. It’s not something systematic.’’

Mohammed, a 26-year-old Egyptian, says his family still has no idea he considers himself an atheist, even though he has participated in some of the earliest Arab atheist forums online.

‘‘There are people who say we should be brave and speak out. That’s just talk,’’ said Mohammed. ‘‘I could fight to say what I think, but I won’t be able to stay with my family.’’

He said he was devout as a teenager but grew confused over questions about whether God allows free will — a debated topic in Islamic theology. That, along with science studies, unraveled his faith, he said.

‘‘I couldn’t control my thoughts anymore. I began to be divided into two: between my brain and my faith,’’ he said.

The Mideast was once a more tolerant place for questioning religion. In the 1960s and 1970s, secular leftists were politically dominant. It wasn’t shocking to express agnosticism. There were even a few vocal atheists, including Abdullah al-Qusseimi, a Saudi writer who died in the 1990s and is revered by Arabs who quit Islam.

But the region grew more conservative starting in the 1980s, Islamists became more influential, and militants lashed out against any sign of apostasy.

Perhaps the pendulum is swinging back, said al-Husseini, the Palestinian atheist now in France.

‘‘I think many people were afraid, but now they see there’s people like them. They find courage,’’ he said. ‘‘They exist on the internet — they might have fake names, but they are there.’’

20 thoughts on “Story of a new atheist from Arab world



    That there is no compulsion in Islam and that Islam is a religion of peace are common refrains among Muslim activists,[1] academics,[2] officials,[3] and journalists.[4] In an age of terrorism and violent jihad, nowhere, they argue, does the Qur’an allow Muslims to fight non-Muslims solely because they refuse to become Muslim.[5] Proponents of Islamic tolerance point to a number of Qur’anic verses which admonish violence and advocate peace, tolerance, and compromise.[6]
    But not all verses in the Qur’an have the same weight in assessment. Unlike the Old or New Testaments, the Qur’an is not organized by chronology but rather by size of chapters.[7] Even within chapters, chronology can be confused. In sura (chapter) 2, for example, God revealed verses 193, 216, and 217 to Muhammad shortly after he arrived in Medina. God only revealed verses 190, 191, and 192 six years later.[8] This complicates interpretation, all the more when some verses appear to contradict.
    Abrogation in the Qur’an
    The Qur’an is unique among sacred scriptures in accepting a doctrine of abrogation in which later pronouncements of the Prophet declare null and void his earlier pronouncements.[9] Four verses in the Qu’ran acknowledge or justify abrogation:
    • When we cancel a message, or throw it into oblivion, we replace it with one better or one similar. Do you not know that God has power over all things?[10]
    • When we replace a message with another, and God knows best what he reveals, they say: You have made it up. Yet, most of them do not know.[11]
    • God abrogates or confirms whatsoever he will, for he has with him the Book of the Books.[12]
    • If we pleased, we could take away what we have revealed to you. Then you will not find anyone to plead for it with us.[13]
    Rather than explain away inconsistencies in passages regulating the Muslim community, many jurists acknowledge the differences but accept that latter verses trump earlier verses.[14] Most scholars divide the Qur’an into verses revealed by Muhammad in Mecca when his community of followers was weak and more inclined to compromise, and those revealed in Medina, where Muhammad’s strength grew.
    Classical scholars argued that anyone who studied the Qur’an without having mastered the doctrine of abrogation would be “deficient.”[15] Those who do not accept abrogation fall outside the mainstream and, perhaps, even the religion itself. The Ahmadiyah sect, for example, today concentrated in Pakistan, consistently rejects abrogation because it undercuts the notion that the Qur’an is free from errors.[16] Many Muslims consider Ahmadis, who also see their founder as a prophet, to be apostates.
    Because the Qur’an is not organized chronologically, there has been a whole subset of theological study to determine which verses abrogate and which are abrogated. Muslim scholars base their understanding of theology not only upon the Qur’an but also upon hadiths, accounts of the Prophet Muhammad’s life. One hadith in particular addresses abrogation. It cites Abu al-A‘la bin al-Shikhkhir, considered by theologians to be a reliable source of knowledge about the Prophet’s life, as saying, that “the Messenger of God abrogated some of his commands by others, just as the Qur’an abrogates some part of it with the other.”[17] Muhammad accepted that God would invalidate previous revelation, often making ordinances stricter.[18]
    Abrogation occurs not only within the Qur’an, but also by the Qur’an toward earlier revelations, such as those passed on by Jesus or Moses. Sura 2:106 refers to commandments sent to prophets before Muhammad.[19] ‘Abdullah Yusuf ‘Ali, commentator and translator of the Qur’an, interpreted the verse to mean that God’s message is the same across time, but its form may differ according to the exigencies of time.[20] ‘Abd al-Majid Daryabadi, a Pakistani Qur’an commentator, suggested, however, that the laws might differ across time but that there should be no shame in the same lawgiver replacing temporary laws with permanent ones.[21]
    Also cause for discussion among scholars is the question of whether God withdrew revelations from the memory of Muhammad and his followers, causing such revelations to disappear like some of those mentioned in the Qur’an about which little is known today.[22]
    This leads to the classical theological dispute about whether such interpretations dilute the idea that the Qur’an is eternal.[23] Those who discount or downplay abrogation interpret the verses revealed by Muhammad in Mecca to address spirituality and see those revealed later in Medina not as abrogation but rather expanding context to understand the whole.[24]
    Abrogation in Classical Scholarship
    Muslim scholars in the classical period agreed about the principle of abrogation in the Qur’an. In the eleventh century, Abu Muhammad ‘Ali bin Ahmad bin Sa‘id Ibn Hazim (d. 1064), an Andalusian theologian, philosopher, historian, and jurist, examined the Qur’an chapter by chapter to show which verses supplanted other verses.[25]
    Classical scholars also examined the pattern in which Muhammad engaged in abrogation during revelation because Qur’anic laws were brief and insufficient for the needs of the huge Muslim community.[26] Muhammad changed his rules according to the circumstances. Within the hadith, there are a number of examples. Muhammad, for example, revealed verse 2:187 regulating sex during Ramadan after ‘Umar Ibn al-Khattab questioned him.[27] Likewise, Muhammad abrogated another verse encouraging all believers to fight militarily for God (4:95) after he was challenged by a blind man who could not.[28]
    Abu Ja‘far Muhammad bin Jarir al-Tabari (d. 923), a Sunni famous as a historian, argued that “abrogation can only be done with regard to commands and prohibitions.”[29] Debate continued over the following centuries, however, giving rise to the science of Asbab an-Nuzul (The reasons of revelations). The father of the field, Abu al-Hassan Ali bin Ahmad al-Wahidi an-Naisaburi (d. 1075), argued that understanding the reasons for revelations was crucial to resolve apparent inconsistencies.[30] Context underpins the field. Some revelations were, for a time, forgotten,[31] altered,[32] or eliminated by Satan’s influence.[33] Scholars argue about whether God first revealed chapters 74 or 96.[34]
    Abu al-Kasim Hibat-Allah bin Salama (d. 1019) argued that the starting point of any investigation of the Qur’an is the science of abrogating and abrogated verses.[35] He identified four categories of abrogation: 43 chapters unaffected by abrogation;[36] six chapters that augmented the concept of abrogation but were themselves not abrogated;[37] 40 chapters with abrogated wording but authority intact;[38] and 25 chapters with both their wording and authority abrogated.[39] (See Table 1: Abrogation in Practice, below)
    Table 1: Abrogation in Practice
    Verse Abrogating Verse Abrogated Issue
    2:185 2:184 Fasting
    2:234 2:240 Divorced women
    2:285 2:284 Revelations
    3:85-6; 9:73 2:62; 2:256; 5:69 Tolerance – Ahl al-Kitab
    4:11-12 2:180; 2:240 Bequest-Inheritance
    5:90 2:219; 4:43 Wine drinking
    8:66 8:65 Fighting abilities
    9:29 2:109; 60:8-9 People of the Book
    9:36 2:217; 45:14 Prohibition of fighting
    22:52 53:19-23 Satan and his daughters
    24:2 4:15-7 Adultery and fornication
    33:50 33:52 Muhammad’s wives
    58:13 58:12 Money for conferring
    64:16 3:102 Fear of God
    73:20 73:2-3 Night prayer
    Muhammad’s ability to add or delete verses according to questions or contemporary issues also demonstrates the flexibility of the Qur’an.[40] Classical theologians accepted that Medinan chapters supersede Meccan, not only for chronological reasons, but also because the Medinan verses represent Islam during a period of strength.
    Still, there are internal debates about various manners of abrogation. Among Sunni theologians, there are disputes about whether sunna (the rules for life as shown by Muhammad, as opposed to the hadith which are prescripts traced to Muhammad through his conversations with other people) can abrogate the Qur’an. The Maliki and Hanafi schools suggest that the sunna and the Qur’an can abrogate each other while Shafi’is do not.[41] Ahmad bin Muhammad an-Nahhas, an Egyptian Shafi’i exegete, (d. circa 1515) catalogues the opinions:
    • The Kufans agree that the Qur’an may abrogate both the Qur’an and the sunna;
    • The Shafi‘i say that the Qur’an can only abrogate other passages of the Qur’an but disagree that the sunna can abrogate the Qur’an;
    • Others, according to Nahhas, argue that the sunna can abrogate both the Qur’an and the sunna;
    • While still others say that the sunna abrogates the sunna but not the Qur’an;
    • And a last set prefer not to set such rules but rather judge on a case-by-case basis.[42]
    The Egyptian theologian Abu al-Fadl ‘Abd ar-Rahman Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti (d. 1505) related comments by Muhammad’s cousin Ibn ‘Abbas who explained, “Sometimes the revelation used to descend on the Prophet during the night, and then he forgot it during daytime. Thus God sent down this verse [2:106].” Suyuti continued to cite one verse whose end abrogated its beginning.[43] In another case, a hadith abrogates the Qur’an. While the Qur’an talks only about scourging and exiling the adulterer;[44] Muhammad stoned some adulterers to death, establishing it as the penalty.[45] Here, though, Suyuti focuses not only on the abrogation itself but also on determining the wisdom behind it.[46]
    Contemporary theologians and populists have reopened the debate about the legitimacy of abrogation. Ali Dashti (1894-1982), a traditionally-trained Iranian scholar who served sporadically in parliament during the first half of the twentieth century, accepted the explanation that revelation of the Qur’an was linked to Muhammad’s need to answer queries and his need to respond to random incidents.[47] He also suggested that abrogation implied human rather than divine provenance for the Qur’an.
    Ahmad von Denffer (1949-present), a convert to Islam who writes about religion, argues that understanding of abrogation is important to understand the correct application of God’s laws and is among the most important preconditions for interpretation of the Qur’an.[48]
    Other Muslim commentators, however, are more dismissive about abrogation, citing verses—all Meccan—to argue that God’s laws are immutable.[49] Many contemporary Islamic propagandists fear how abrogated verses might affect proselytizing. On one Islamist Internet site, one participant sought to refute the abrogation principle by attacking “corrupted interpretation” of two verses (2:106 and 16:101).[50] Muhammad Asad (1900-92), born Leopold Weiss—who converted from Judaism to Islam, after which he worked with the Pakistani theologian Muhammad Iqbal and later became Pakistan’s ambassador to the United Nations—argued that classical theologians misinterpreted passages relating to abrogation and cited another verse (10:64) to reinforce the idea of immutability. “In short,” he argued, “the ‘doctrine of abrogation’ has no basis in historical fact, and must be rejected.”[51]
    Abrogation and Jihad
    How does the theological debate over abrogation impact contemporary policy formulation? While not all terrorism is rooted in Islam, the religion is an enabler for many. It is wrong to assume that more extreme interpretations of religion are illegitimate. Statements that there is no compulsion in religion and that jihad is primarily about internal struggle and not about holy war may receive applause in university lecture halls and diplomatic board rooms, but they misunderstand the importance of abrogation in Islamic theology. It is important to acknowledge that what university scholars believe, and what most Muslims—or more extreme Muslims—believe are two different things. For many Islamists and radical Muslims, abrogation is real and what the West calls terror is, indeed, just.
    During the lifetime of Muhammad, the Islamic community passed through three stages. In the beginning from 610 until 622, God commanded restraint. As the Muslims relocated to Medina (623-26), God permitted Muslims only to fight in a defensive war. However, in the last six years of Muhammad’s life (626-32), God permitted Muslims to fight an aggressive war first against polytheists,[52] and later against monotheists like the Jews of Khaybar.[53] Once Muhammad was given permission to kill in the name of God, he instigated battle.
    Chapter 9 of the Qur’an, in English called “Ultimatum,” is the most important concerning the issues of abrogation and jihad against unbelievers. It is the only chapter that does not begin “in the name of God, most benevolent, ever-merciful.”[54] Commentators agree that Muhammad received this revelation in 631, the year before his death, when he had returned to Mecca and was at his strongest.[55] Muhammad bin Ismail al-Bukhari (810-70), compiler of one of the most authoritative collections of the hadith, said that “Ultimatum” was the last chapter revealed to Muhammad[56] although others suggest it might have been penultimate. Regardless, coming at or near the very end of Muhammad’s life, “Ultimatum” trumps earlier revelations.
    Because this chapter contains violent passages, it abrogates previous peaceful content. Muhsin Khan, the translator of Sahih al-Bukhari, says God revealed “Ultimatum” in order to discard restraint and to command Muslims to fight against all the pagans as well as against the People of the Book if they do not embrace Islam or until they pay religious taxes. So, at first aggressive fighting was forbidden; it later became permissible (2:190) and subsequently obligatory (9:5).[57] This “verse of the sword” abrogated, canceled, and replaced 124 verses that called for tolerance, compassion, and peace.[58]
    Suyuti said that everything in the Qur’an about forgiveness and peace is abrogated by verse 9:5, which orders Muslims to fight the unbelievers and to establish God’s kingdom on earth.
    Prior to receiving “Ultimatum,” Muhammad had reached agreements with various Arab tribes. But when God gave Muhammad a revelation (2:190-2), Muhammad felt justified in breaking his cease-fire. For Isma’il bin Kathir (1301-73), a student of Ibn Taymiyya and an influential Qur’an interpreter in his own right, it is clear: As jihad involves death and the killing of men, God draws attention to the fact that disbelief, polytheism, and avoidance of God’s path as shown by the Qur’an are worse than killing them.[59] This creates license for future generations of Muslims to kill non-Muslims solely on the basis of their refusal to accept Islam.
    According to Ibn Kathir in his commentary on Chapter 9:5, Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, the first caliph, used this and other verses to validate fighting anyone who either did not pay religious taxes to the Muslims or convert to Islam. Ibn ‘Umar Ibn al-Khattab, one of the hadith transmitters, quoted Muhammad as saying, “I have been commanded to fight the people until they testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except God and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God.” He testified that Ad-Dahhak bin Muzahim, an authentic transmitter of hadiths, said that the verse of the sword “abrogated every agreement of peace between the Prophet and any idolater, every treaty, and every term.” ‘Awfi cited Ibn ‘Abbas, who argued that “Ultimatum” obviated earlier peace treaties.[60] The Shafi‘i school took this as a justification for killing anyone who abandoned prayer and for fighting anyone who refused to pay increased religious minority taxes.[61]
    Such interpretations resonate. Muhammad Sa‘id Ramadan al-Buti, a contemporary Al-Azhar University scholar, wrote that “the verse (9:5) does not leave any room in the mind to conjecture about what is called defensive war. This verse asserts that holy war, which is demanded in Islamic law, is not a defensive war because it could legitimately be an offensive war. That is the apex and most honorable of all holy wars. Its goal is the exaltation of the word of God, the construction of Islamic society, and the establishment of God’s kingdom on earth regardless of the means. It is legal to carry on an offensive holy war.”[62]
    Defensive warfare in Islam is nothing but a phase of the Islamic mission that the Prophet practiced. After that, it was followed by another phase, that is, calling all people to embrace Islam. Even for People of the Book, there can be no role except conversion to Islam or subjugation to Muslim rule. Hence, Muhammad’s statement, “They would not invade you, but you invade them.”[63]
    Modern Revisionism of Jihad
    David Powers, a well-known researcher of classical Islam, agreed that 9:5 abrogates no less than 124 verses that command or imply anything less than a total offensive against the non-believers. However, he says the verse is itself considered to be abrogated by the conditional clause with which it concludes: “But if they repent and perform the prayer and pay the alms, then let them go their way.”[64] But such a condition is not magnanimous: When infidels repent and perform the Muslim prayer and pay alms, it means they have become Muslims. Once they are Muslims, there is no need to slay them. The clause thus becomes more coercive than conditional. It suggests than a non-Muslim must convert to Islam or be slain.
    Still, no verse is more frequently cited by contemporary Muslims preachers and analysts to depict Islam as peaceful and compassionate as 2:256, “Let there be no compulsion in religion.” For Sheikh Abdur Rahman, the chief justice of Pakistan, this verse is one of the most important, containing a charter of freedom of conscience unparalleled in the religious annals of mankind.[65]
    Muhammad offered this verse in his first year of residence in Medina when he needed the Jews’ support. Nahhas, with the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas, said: “Scholars differed concerning 2:256. Some said it has been abrogated by 9:73 for the Prophet compelled the Arabs to embrace Islam and fight those that had no alternative but to surrender to Islam. Other scholars said that 2:256 had not been abrogated concerning the People of the Book. It is only the infidels who are compelled to embrace Islam.”[66] Suyuti does not see 2:256 abrogated by 9:73 but rather interprets 9:73 as a case of postponing the fight until Muslims become strong. He argues that when Muslims were weak, God commanded them to be patient.[67]
    This is also the case of sura 9:29, which deals with Jews and Christians. Fighting them is mentioned after the clarification regarding fighting the idolaters (9:5). This verse (9:29) was revealed when Muhammad was commanded to fight the Byzantines and prepared the expedition to Tabuk. Ibn Kathir declared: The order is to fight the People of the Book until they pay the jizyah (protection tax) with willing submission and feel themselves subdued. Had they been true believers in their religions, that faith would have directed them to believe in Muhammad because all prophets commanded them to obey and follow him. Yet when he was sent, they disbelieved in him even though he is the “mightiest of all messengers because it suits their desires and lusts, and because they disbelieved in the master, the mightiest, the last and most perfect of all prophets.”
    Ibn Kathir continues: “This honorable verse was revealed with the order to fight the People of the Book. After the pagans were defeated, the people entered God’s religion in large numbers, and the Arabian Peninsula was secured under the Muslims’ control.”[68]
    The issue of abrogation in Islam is critical to understanding both jihad and da’wa, the propagation of Islam. Some Muslims may preach tolerance and argue that jihad refers only to an internal, peaceful struggle to better oneself. Western commentators can convince themselves that such teachings are correct. However, for learned Muslim scholars and populist leaders, such notions are or should be risible. They recognize that, in practice, there is compulsion in Islam. They take seriously the notion that the Qur’an teaches not just tolerance among religions, but tolerance among religions on the terms of Islam. To understand the challenge of the current Islamist revival, it is crucial for non-Muslims and moderate Muslims alike to recognize that interpretation of Islamic doctrine can have two faces, and that the Medinan face may very well continue to overshadow the Meccan face for a major portion, if not the majority, of contemporary Muslims.
    David Bukay is a lecturer in the school of political science at the University of Haifa.
    [1] Mustafa Akyol, “Terror’s Roots Not in Islam,” FrontPage Magazine, Oct. 20, 2004; “Islam: The Religion of Peace” and “Status of Human Beings in Islam,” Islam: Beginner’s Introduction, Bihar Anjuman Foundation, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Nov. 29, 2006.
    [2] John L. Esposito, What Everybody Needs to Know about Islam (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), pp. 61-4, 70-3, 117-27, 132-6; Natana Delong-Bas, “New Opinion of Ibn Abdel Wahhab,” Al-Ahram Weekly Online, Jan. 26 – Feb. 1, 2006; Noah Feldman, After Jihad: America and the Struggle for Islamic Democracy (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003), pp. 221-6.
    [3] George W. Bush, address to joint session of Congress, Sept. 20, 2001; idem, remarks, White House, Oct. 23, 2001; Tony Blair, British prime minister, statement to Parliament on the London bombings, July 11, 2005.
    [4] Karen Armstrong, “The True, Peaceful Face of Islam,” Time, Sept. 23, 2001.
    [5] Jamal Badawi, “Islam, World Peace and September 11,” video clips, accessed May 16, 2007; idem, “Jihad, A Call to Humanity,”, accessed May 16, 2007.
    [6] Qur. 2:256; 2:285; 3:64; 4:134; 5:5; 5:8; 5:48; 11:118; 29:46; 49:13; 60:8-9. All references are from Ahmed Ali, Al-Qur’an: A Contemporary Translation (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001).
    [7] For further discussion, see Richard Bell, Introduction to the Qur’an (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1953), pp. 57-61; A.T. Welch, The Encyclopedia of Islam, vol. 5 (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1960), s.v. “kur’an,” pp. 409-11.
    [8] For more concerning the construction of the Qur’an, see Bell, Introduction to the Qur’an, chaps. 6-8.
    [9] Bell, Introduction to the Qur’an, pp. 86-107; Arthur Jeffery, Islam: Muhammad and His Religion (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1958), p. 66.
    [10] Qur. 2:106.
    [11] Qur. 16:101.
    [12] Qur. 13:39.
    [13] Qur. 17:86.
    [14] John Burton, The Encyclopedia of Islam, vol. 7, s.v. “Naskh,” p. 1010.
    [15] Abu al-Kasim Hibat-Allah Ibn Salama, An-Nasikh wal-Mansukh (Cairo: Dar al-Ma’arif, 1966), pp. 4-5, 123. On pp. 142-3, he lists the abrogated verses. See also pp. 7, 11, 26-7, 37, 46.
    [16] Maulana Muhammad Ali, The Religion of Islam (Lahore: Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha’at Islam, 2005), p. 32; Ahmad bin Muhammad al-Nahhas, An-Nasikh Wal-Mansukh (Cairo: Maktabat ‘Alam al-Fikr, 1986), pp. 2-3.
    [17] Muhammad Abu al-Husain Muslim bin al-Hajjaj al-Nisapuri, Sahih Muslim (Riyadh: International Islamic Publishing House, 1971), book 003, no. 0675.
    [18] ‘Abdallah Ibn ‘Umar al-Baydawi, Anwar at-Tanzil wa-Asrar at-Ta’wil (Riyadh: Dar at-Tiba‘ah, 1997), pp. 116-7.
    [19] Abu al-A’la al-Mawdudi, The Meaning of the Qur’an, vol. I (Lahore: Islamic Publications, Ltd., 1967), p. 102, fn. 109; Ali, Al-Qur’an: A Contemporary Translation, p. 24.
    [20] Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Glorious Qur’an: Text, Translation, and Commentary (Leicester: The Islamic Foundation, 1978), pp. 46-7.
    [21] Abdul Majid al-Daryabadi, Tafsir al-Qur’an (Lahore: Idara Islamiyyat, 1985), p. 36; see also Mustansir Mir, Dictionary of Qur’anic Terms and Concepts (New York: Garland Publishing, 1987), pp. 5-6.
    [22] Badr al-din Muhammad bin ‘Abdullah al-Zarkasi, Al-Burhan fi ‘Ulum al-Qur’an, vol. 1 (Cairo: Matba’at al-Halabi, 1957), p. 235; Abu al-Fadl ‘Abd al-Rahman Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti, Al-Itqan fi ‘Ulum al-Qur’an (Beirut: Dar al-Kitab al-Arabi, 1973), part 1, p. 47.
    [23] Richard C. Martin, Mark R. Woodward, with Dwi S. Atmaja, Defenders of Reason in Islam: Mu‘tazilism from Medieval School to Modern Symbol (Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 1997), pp. 25-6, 47-8, 126-8, 210-7; Louis Gardet, The Encyclopedia of Islam, vol. 4, s.v. “Kalam,” pp. 468-71; Daniel Gimaret, The Encyclopedia of Islam, vol. 7, s.v. “Mu‘tazila,” pp. 788-9.
    [24] Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, At-Tafsir al-Kabir, vol. 1 (Cairo: Maktabat ‘Alam al-Fikr, 1956), p. 446.
    [25] Abu Muhammad ‘Ali bin Ahmad bin Sa’id Ibn Hazim, An-Nasikh w’al-Mansukh (Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyah, 1986).
    [26] Ali Dashti, 23 Years: A Study of the Prophetic Career of Mohammad (Costa Mesa, Calif.: Mazda, 1994), p. 54.
    [27] Muhammad Ibn Isma’il al-Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 6 (Lahore: Kazi, 1979), book 60, p. 31; Mahmud bin ‘Umar al-Zamakhshari, Al-Kashshaf ‘an Haqa’iq at-Tanzil wa-‘Uyun al-Aqawil fi Wujuh at-Ta’wil (Beirut: Dar al-Kitab al-Arabi, 1967), part I, pp. 337; Abu al-Fadl ‘Abd al-Rahman Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti, Lubab an-Nuqul fi Asbab an-Nuzul (Cairo: Maktabat ‘Alam al-Fikr, 1964), p. 31; Baydawi, Anwar at-Tanzil wa-Asrar at-Ta’wil, pp. 39.
    [28] Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 6, part 6, p. 227; Zamakhshari, Al-Kashshaf, part I, p. 555; Suyuti, Al-Itqan fi ‘Ulum al-Qur’an, p. 98.
    [29] Abu Ja’far Muhammad bin Jarir al-Tabari, Tafsir: The Commentary on the Qur’an, vol. 2 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987), pp. 471-2.
    [30] Abu al-Hassan Ali Ibn Ahmad al-Wahidi al-Naisaburi, Kitab Asbab nuzul al-Qur’an (Cairo : Dar al-Kitab al-Jadid, 1969), p. 4.
    [31] Qur. 87:6-7.
    [32] Qur. 2:106.
    [33] Qur. 22:52.
    [34] Bell, Introduction to the Qur’an, pp. 108-9; Welch, The Encyclopedia of Islam, vol. 5, s.v. “Kur’an,” pp. 414-9.
    [35] Salama, An-Nasikh wal-Mansukh, pp. 4-5, 8; Nahhas, An-Nasikh wal-Mansukh, pp. 4-12.
    [36] Qur. 1, 12, 36, 49, 55, 57, 61-2, 66-9, 71-2, 77-9, 82-5, 89-94, 97-102, 104-10, 112-4.
    [37] Qur. 48, 59, 63, 64, 65, 87.
    [38] Qur. 6-7, 10-1, 13, 15-8, 20, 23, 27-31, 34-5, 37-9, 43-7, 51, 53-4, 60, 68, 70, 74-7, 80, 86, 88, 109.
    [39] Qur. 2-3, 5, 8-9, 14, 18-9, 21-2, 24-6, 33-4, 40, 42, 51-2, 56, 58, 73, 103, 108.
    [40] Suyuti, Al-Itqan fi ‘Ulum al-Qur’an, part I, p. 82.
    [41] On the Shafi’i school, see Majid Khadduri, Islamic Jurisprudence. Shafi’i’s Risala (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1961), pp. 123-7, 195-205.
    [42] Nahhas, An-Nasikh W’al-Mansukh, pp. 5-6.
    [43] Qur. 9:5 (the sword verse).
    [44] Qur. 24:2.
    [45] Suyuti, Al-Itqan fi ‘Ulum al-Qur’an, part 3, pp. 59-60, 69-70, 74; Qur. 4:15-16.
    [46] Ibid., pp. 60, 69, 72. For further examples of Muhammad changing his mind, see Nisapuri, Sahih Muslim, 15:4044–62.
    [47] Dashti, 23 Years: A Study of the Prophetic Career of Mohammad, p. 54.
    [48] Ahmad Von Denffer, “Asbab al Nuzul” and “Al-Nasikh wal-Mansukh,” Ulum al-Qur’an: An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur’an (Leicester: The Islamic Foundation, 1989), chap. 5.
    [49] Yusuf Ali, The Glorious Qur’an, pp. 46, 47; Qur. 6:34, 115; 10:64; 18:27.
    [50] A. Muhammed, “The Lie of Abrogation: The Biggest Lie against the Qur’an,” accessed May 7, 2007.
    [51] Muhammad Asad, Message of the Qur’an (Gibraltar: Dar al-Andalus, 1993), pp. 22-3, fn. 87; see also Ernest Hahn, “Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan’s Controversy over Abrogation” The Muslim World, Apr. 1974, p. 126.
    [52] James Robson, trans., Mishkat al-Masabih, vol. 2 (Lahore: M. Ashraf, 1963-5), book XV, chap. 5, pp. 752-5, book XVIII, chap. 1, pp. 806-16; idem, Mishkat al-Masabih, vol. 3, book XVIII, chap. 5, pp. 836-9.
    [53] L. Veccia Vaglieri, The Encyclopedia of Islam, vol. 4, s.v. “Khaybar,” pp. 1137-43.
    [54] See explanations, Suyuti, Al-Itqan fi ‘Ulum al-Qur’an, part 1, pp. 60, 65, 164.
    [55] Alfred Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1955), pp. 617-9; Yusuf Ali, The Glorious Qur’an, p. 435; Tabari, The History of Al-Tabari, vol. 8, pp. 160-87.
    [56] Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 6, book 60, no. 129.
    [57] Muhsin Khan, “Introduction,” in ibid., pp. xxiv-xxv.
    [58] Ibn Hazm, An-Nasikh wal-Mansukh, pp. 19, 27; Muhi al-Din Ibn al-‘Arabi, Tafsir al-Qur’an al-Krim (Beirut: Dar al-Andalus, 1978), p. 69; Burton, The Encyclopedia of Islam, vol. 7, s.v. “Naskh,” p. 1010; Salama, An-Nasikh wal-Mansukh, p. 130, mentioned only 114.
    [59] Ibn Kathir, Tafsir of Ibn Kathir, vol. 4, pp. 375-7.
    [60] Ibid., pp. 375, 377.
    [61] Khadduri, Islamic Jurisprudence: Shafi’i Risala, pp. 333-52, notes, pp. 33-9.
    [62] Muhammad Sa’id Ramadan al-Buti, Jurisprudence in Muhammad’s Biography (Damascus: Dar al-Fikr, 2001), pp. 323-4.
    [63] Ibid., p. 242.
    [64] David S. Powers, “The Exegetical Genre nasikh al-Qur’an was mansukhuhu wa-mansukhuhu,” in Approaches to the History of the Interpretation of the Qur’an, Andrew Rippin, ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988), pp. 130-1.
    [65] Sheikh Abdur Rahman, Punishment of Apostasy in Islam (Lahore: Institute of Islamic Culture, 1972), pp. 16, 18-9.
    [66] Nahhas, An-Nasikh wal-Mansukh, p. 80; Ibn Hazm, An-Nasikh wal-Mansukh, pp. 12-9, 27, 42.
    [67] Suyuti, Itqan fi ‘Ulum al-Qur’an, pp. 25-6.
    [68] Ibn Kathir, Tafsir Ibn Kathir, pp. 404–9, 546-7; Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 4, book 53, no. 388; Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad, p. 620.

    • Lailabanu/Raj, The sense here is that only Allah has the power of abrogating if He Wills and no human can do it. -In the Quran, Allah has completed His message and no one can change anything in it (6:34, 6:115).

      75:17 Yusuf Ali:” It is for Us to collect it and to promulgate it”.

      -There is no doubt in this Book (2:2).
      -Allah has taken the responsibility to explain it (75:19). Sahih International: “Then upon Us is its clarification [to you]”.
      -Allah says He has revealed the Quran and He will protect it (15:9)

      5:48 Pickthall: “And unto thee have We revealed the Scripture with the truth, confirming whatever Scripture was before it, and a watcher over it. So judge between them by that which Allah hath revealed, and follow not their desires away from the truth which hath come unto thee. For each We have appointed a divine law and a traced-out way. Had Allah willed He could have made you one community. But that He may try you by that which He hath given you (He hath made you as ye are). So vie one with another in good works. Unto Allah ye will all return, and He will then inform you of that wherein ye differ”.

      16:64 Pickthall: “And We have revealed the Scripture unto thee only that thou mayst explain unto them that wherein they differ, and (as) a guidance and a mercy for a people who believe’.

      -The Quran itself is light (5:15). So, it is not dependent on another source of light.

      And repeat for abrogation, 75:17 Yusuf Ali:” It is for Us to collect it and to promulgate it”.

      You may try abrogating it too!!!!!






        “The Qur’an escapes from the hearts of men faster than a runaway camel.”
        The present text of the Koran, which all Muslims accept as the only non-falsified holy book, was collected 15-20 years after the death of Muhammad in the time of the Caliph Uthman who ordered all previous collections to be burned.
        But you don’t have to dig very deep to find the truth. Even a cursory reading of the Qur’an is sufficient to prove that it is a fraud. There is no way the creator of the universe wrote a book devoid of context, without chronology or intelligent transitions. Such a creative spirit wouldn’t need to plagiarize. He would know history and science and thus wouldn’t have made such a fool of himself. The God who created man wouldn’t deceive him or lead him to hell as Allah does.

        Nor would he order men to terrorize, mutilate, rob, enslave, and slaughter the followers of other Scriptures he claims he revealed, wiping them out to the last. One doesn’t need a scholastic review of the Qur’anic text to disprove its veracity. It destroys itself quite nicely.
        Tradition tells us that Muhammad had not foreseen his death, and so he had made no preparations for gathering his revelations. He left it up to his followers to sift through the conflicting versions.

        There is not a SINGLE idea in the Quran that has not been plagiarized, pirated, plundered or perverted from the belief of others! The only new items in the Quran are the enormous amounts of hate, war, torture & Hellish verses that permeate through its pages.
        Mohammedanism is the Cult of Mohammed & both Quran & Hadithss instruct his followers to slavishly emulate his deeds, thoughts, manner & ideas. This is Cultism.

        Islam provides only one prime source of information on Muhammad and the formation of Islam written within two centuries of the time he lived and it was conceived. Ishaq’s Sira, or Biography, stands alone—a singular and tenuous thread connecting us to a very troubled man and time.

        Over the next two hundred years, other Hadith Collections were compiled by the likes of Tabari, Bukhari, and Muslim.

        Their assemblages of oral reports, or Traditions, were said to have been inspired by Allah. They purport to convey Muhammad’s words and example. They also explain the Qur’an—a book so deficient in context and chronology, it can only be understood when seen through the eyes of the Sunnah writers. Their message is all that Muslims have. Together, the Sunnah and Qur’an are Islam.

        Bragging one day, Muhammad called his surahs a miracle:

        Bukhari:V6B61N504 “Muhammad said, ‘Every Prophet was given miracles because of which people believed. But what I have been given is Divine Inspiration which Allah has revealed to me. So I hope that my followers will outnumber the followers of the other Prophets.’”

        If the Qur’an was his only “miracle,” why would he leave it in such horrid condition? I believe the answer is clear.

        Muhammad knew his recitals had been nothing more than a figment of his less-than-admirable imagination, situational scriptures designed to satiate his cravings. Preserving these recitals would only serve to incriminate him, as this Hadith suggests.

        Muslim: C24B20N4609 “The Messenger said: ‘Do not take the Qur’an on a journey with you, for I am afraid lest it would fall into the hands of the enemy.’ Ayyub, one of the narrators in the chain of transmitters, said: ‘The enemy may seize it and may quarrel with you over it.’”
        A number of Bukhari Hadith suggest that Muhammad’s companions tried to remember what they could of what he had said, but there was a problem. Like today, those who knew the Qur’an were militants. So Abu Bakr feared that large portions would be forgotten. The best Muslims were dying on the battlefield subduing fellow Arabs. In one battle alone, most of the Qur’an’s most knowledgeable reciters were lost, and many Qur’anic passages along with them.

        Bukhari:V6B60N201 “Zaid bin Thabit, the Ansari said, ‘Abu Bakr sent for me after the (heavy) casualties among the warriors (of the battle) of Yamama (where a great number of Muhammad’s Companions were killed). Umar was present with Bakr. “The people have suffered heavy casualties at Yamama, and I am afraid that there will be more casualties among those who can recite the Qur’an on other battlefields. A large part of the Qur’an may be lost unless you collect it.” I replied to Umar, “How can I do something which Allah’s Apostle has not done?” Umar kept on pressing, trying to persuade me to accept his proposal.’ Zaid bin Thabit added, ‘Umar was sitting with Abu Bakr and was speaking (to) me. “You are a wise young man and we do not suspect you of telling lies or of forgetfulness. You used to write the Divine Inspiration for Allah’s Apostle. Therefore, look for the Qur’an and collect it (in one manuscript).” By Allah, if Abu Bakr had ordered me to shift one of the mountains (from its place) it would have been easier for me than the collection of the Qur’an. I said to both of them, “How dare you do a thing which the Prophet has not done?”
        Zaid declared that collecting the Qur’an’s surahs would be an impossible task. He said that it would be easier to move mountains than to turn Muhammad’s string of oral recitals into a book. The reason for this rather troubling statement is obvious: Zaid’s search for Qur’anic passages forced him to rely upon carvings on the leg or thigh bones of dead animals, as well as palm leaves, skins, mats, stones, and bark. But for the most part, he found nothing better than the fleeting memories of the prophet’s Companions, many of whom were dead or dying. In other words, the Qur’an, like the Hadith, is all hearsay.
        There were no Muslims who had memorized the entire Qur’an, otherwise the collection would have been a simple task. Had there been individuals who knew the Qur’an, Zaid would only have had to write down what they dictated. Instead, Zaid was overwhelmed by the assignment, and was forced to “search” for the passages from men who believed that they had memorized certain segments and then compare what he heard to the recollection of others. Therefore, even the official Islamic view of things, the one recorded in their scripture, is hardly reassuring.
        Worse still, the Muslim chosen for this impossible task was the one in the best position to plagiarize the Torah and Talmud. Moreover, it’s obvious he did. Remember:

        Tabari VII:167 “In this year, the Prophet commanded Zayd bin Thabit to study the Book of the Jews, saying, ‘I fear that they may change my Book.’”
        the worse it gets.

        Bukhari:V6B61N511 “Zaid bin Thabit said, ‘I started searching for the Qur’an till I found the last two Verses of Surat At-Tauba with Abi but I could not find them with anyone other than him. They were: ‘Verily there has come to you an Apostle from amongst yourselves.’” [9:128]

        This is incriminating. The 9th surah was the second to last revealed. If only one person could remember it, there is no chance those revealed twenty-five years earlier were retained. Furthermore, this Tradition contradicts the most highly touted Islamic mantra: Most Muslims contend Uthman, not Bakr, ordered the collection of the Qur’an a decade later. And who knows what version they finally committed to paper, if in fact they ever did?

        Bukhari:V6B61N513: “Allah’s Apostle said, ‘Gabriel [whom Muhammad said had 600 wings] recited the Qur’an to me in one way. Then I requested him and continued asking him to recite it in other ways, and he recited it in several ways till he ultimately recited it in seven different ways.’”

        So there were at least seven Qur’ans.
        • In Bukhari’s Hadith we find a sea of disturbing and contradictory claims regarding the compilation of Allah’s book. There were differing versions, even in Muhammad’s day:

        Then Abdallah came to him, and he learned what was altered and abrogated.” This is reasonably clear. The Hadith says that portions of the Qur’an were conflicting, changed, and cancelled.

        • Ibn Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Masahif—Many (of the passages) of the Qur’an that were sent down were known by those who died on the day of Yamama . . . but they were not known (by those who) survived them, nor were they written down, nor had Abu Bakr, Umar or Uthman (by that time) collected the Qur’an, nor were they found with even one (person) after them.

        Abu Bakr decided that it was time to gather what remained of the Qur’an in order to prevent more from being lost, and he appointed Zaid ibn Thabit to this task. After Zaid completed his codex around 634 AD, it remained in Abu Bakr’s possession until his death, when it was passed on to Caliph Umar. When Umar died, it was given to Hafsa, a widow of Muhammad. (For a fuller account see Sahih al-Bukhari 4986.)

        When Ibn Umar—son of the second Muslim caliph—heard people declaring that they knew the entire Qur’an, he said to them: “Let none of you say, ‘I have learned the whole of the Koran,’ for how does he know what the whole of it is, when much of it has disappeared? Let him rather say, ‘I have learned what is extant thereof’” (Abu Ubaid, Kitab Fada’il-al-Qur’an).

        During Caliph Uthman’s reign, approximately 19 years after the death of Muhammad, disputes arose concerning the correct recitation of the Qur’an. Uthman ordered that Hafsa’s copy of the Qur’an, along with all known textual materials, should be gathered together so that an official version might be compiled. Zaid ibn Thabit, Abdullah bin Az-Zubair, Sa’id bin Al-As, and Abdur-Rahman bin Harith worked diligently to construct a revised text of the Qur’an.

        Bukhari:V4B56N709 “Uthman called Zaid, Abdallah, Said, and Abd-Rahman. They wrote the manuscripts of the Qur’an in the form of a book in several copies. Uthman said to the three Quraishi persons, ‘If you differ with Zaid bin Thabit on any point of the Qur’an, then write it in the language of the Quraysh, as the Qur’an was revealed in their language.’ So they acted accordingly.”

        Because there was such confusion, Uthman ordered competing versions to be burned. But by destroying the evidence, he destroyed the Qur’an’s credibility. Now all Muslims have is wishful thinking.
        When it was finished, “Uthman sent to every Muslim province one copy of what they had copied, and ordered that all the other Qur’anic materials, whether written in fragmentary manuscripts or whole copies, be burnt” (Sahih al-Bukhari 4987). The Qur’an we have today is descended from the Uthmanic codex.

        Muhammad once told his followers to “Learn the recitation of the Qur’an from four: from Abdullah bin Masud—he started with him—Salim, the freed slave of Abu Hudhaifa, Mu’adh bin Jabal and Ubai bin Ka’b” (Sahih al-Bukhari 3808). Interestingly, Ibn Masud (first on Muhammad’s list) held that the Qur’an should only have 111 chapters (today’s version has 114 chapters), and that chapters 1, 113, and 114 shouldn’t have been included in the Qur’an.

        Due to these disputes among Muhammad’s hand-picked reciters, Muslims are faced with a dilemma. If Muslims say that the Qur’an we have today has been perfectly preserved, they must say that Muhammad was horrible at choosing scholars, since he selected men who disagreed with today’s text. If, on the other hand, Muslims say that their prophet would know whom to pick regarding Islam’s holiest book, they must conclude that the Qur’an we have today is flawed!

        One of Muhammad’s companions, Abu Musa, supported this claim when he said that the early Muslims forgot two surahs (chapters) due to laziness:
        Sahih Muslim 2286


        Aisha also tells us that individual verses of the Qur’an disappeared, sometimes in very interesting ways:
        Sunan ibn Majah 1944—It was narrated that Aishah said: “The Verse of stoning and of breastfeeding an adult ten times was revealed, and the paper was with me under my pillow. When the Messenger of Allah died, we were preoccupied with his death, and a tame sheep/goat came in and ate it.”
        The verses on stoning and breastfeeding an adult not in the Qur’an today.

        We know further that large sections of certain chapters came up missing. For instance, Muhammad’s wife Aisha said that roughly two-thirds of Surah 33 was lost:
        Abu Ubaid, Kitab Fada’il-al-Qur’an—A’isha . . . said, “Surat al-Ahzab (xxxiii) used to be recited in the time of the Prophet with two hundred verses, but when Uthman wrote out the codices he was unable to procure more of it than there is in it today [i.e. 73 verses].”

        • Sahih al-Bukhari 5005—Umar said, “Ubayy was the best of us in the recitation (of the Qur’an), yet we leave some of what he recites.” Ubayy says, “I have taken it from the mouth of Allah’s Messenger and will not leave it for anything whatever.”

        • But Ibn Masud wasn’t the only one of Muhammad’s trusted teachers who disagreed with Zaid’s Qur’an. Ubayy ibn Ka’b was Muhammad’s best reciter and one of the only Muslims to collect the materials of the Qur’an during Muhammad’s lifetime. Yet Ibn Ka’b believed that Zaid’s Qur’an was missing two chapters! Later Muslims were therefore forced to reject some of Ibn Ka’b’s recitation:

        • Ibn Masud advised Muslims to reject Zaid’s Qur’an and to keep their own versions—even to hide them so that they wouldn’t be confiscated by the government! He said:
        Jami at-Tirmidhi 3104—“O you Muslim people! Avoid copying the Mushaf and recitation of this man. By Allah! When I accepted Islam he was but in the loins of a disbelieving man”—meaning Zaid bin Thabit—and it was regarding this that Abdullah bin Mas’ud said: “O people of Al-Iraq! Keep the Musahif that are with you, and conceal them.”

        • Because of this (along with hundreds of other textual differences), Ibn Masud went so far as to call the final edition of the Qur’an a deception! He said, “The people have been guilty of deceit in the reading of the Qur’an. I like it better to read according to the recitation of him [i.e. Muhammad] whom I love more than that of Zayd Ibn Thabit” (Ibn Sa’d, Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir, Vol. 2, p. 444).


        And Allaah revealed other aayahs in a separate soorah, where He says:
        “Say (O Muhammad): “It has been revealed to me that a group (from three to ten in number) of jinn listened (to this Qur’aan). They said: ‘Verily, we have heard a wonderful Recitation (this Qur’aan)!” [al-Jinn 72:1]


        Even the Prophet had a shaytaan with him, his constant companion (qareen) from among the jinn, in the hadeeth which says that the Prophet said:
        “There is no one among you but he has with him a constant companion (qareen) from among the jinn and a constant companion from among the angels.” They said, “You too, O Messenger of Allaah?” He said, “Me too, but Allaah has helped me against him (the devil-companion) and he has become Muslim.”

        The Koran is a book of myths, fables and fairy tales.
        Do your research! The Qur’an is a revised counterfeit of 6th century polytheism, composed of previously existing pagan beliefs, practices and fairy tales.

        For example: The Koran says men were turned into apes because they broke the Sabbath. This was a popular legend in Muhammad’s day (Suras 2:65; 7:163-166).

        The Quran repeats fanciful Arabian fables as if they were true.
        “Arabic legends about the fabulous jinns fill its pages” (G.G. Pfander, Balance of Truth, pp. 283).

        “The story of the she-camel who leapt out of a rock and became a prophet was known long before Muhammad” (Suras 7:73-77,85; 91:14; 54:29).
        The story of an entire village of people who were turned into apes because they broke the sabbath by fishing was a popular legend in Muhammad’s day (Suras 2:65; 7:163-166).

        The gushing 12 springs story found in Sura 2:60 comes from pre-Islamic legends.

        In what is called the “Rip Van Winkle” story, seven men and their animals slept for 309 years in a cave and then woke up perfectly fine (Sura 18:9-26)! This legend is found in Greek and Christian fables as well as Arabian lore.

        The fable of the pieces of four dead, cut-up birds getting up and flying was well known in Muhammad’s time (Sura 2:260).

        It is also clear that Muhammad used such pre-Islamic literature as the Saba Moallaqat of Imra’ul Cays in his composition of Suras 21:96; 29:31,46; 37:59; 54:1, and 93:1.

        Many of the stories in the Quran come from the Jewish Talmud, the Midrash, and many apocryphal works.

        This was pointed out by Abraham Geiger in 1833, and further documented by another Jewish scholar, Dr. Abraham Katsh, of New York University, in 1954 (The Concise Dictionary of Islam, p. 229;

        Jomier, The Bible and the Quran — Henry Regency Co., Chicago, 1959, 59ff; Sell, Studies, pp. 163ff.; Guillaume, Islam, p. 13).

        The source of Sura 3:35-37 is the fanciful book called The Protevangelion’s James the Lesser.
        The source of Sura 87:19 is the Testament of Abraham.
        The source of Sura 27:17-44 is the Second Targum of Esther.

        The fantastic tale that God made a man “die for a hundred years” with no ill effects on his food, drink, or donkey was a Jewish fable (Sura 2:259ff.).

        The idea that Moses was resurrected and other material came from the Jewish Talmud (Sura 2:55, 56, 67).

        • The story in Sura 5:30,31 can also be found in pre-Islamic works from Pirke Rabbi Eleazer, the Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziah and the Targum of Jerusalem.

        The tale of Abraham being delivered from Nimrod’s fire came from the Midrash Rabbah (see Suras 21:51-71; 29:16, 17; 37:97,98). It must be also pointed out that Nimrod and Abraham did not live at the same time.

        Muhammad was always mixing people together in the Quran who did not live at the same time.

        The non-biblical details of the visit of the Queen of Sheba (Saba) in Sura 27:20-44 came from the Second Targum of the Book of Esther.

        The source of Sura 2:102 is no doubt the Midrash Yalkut (chapter 44).

        The story found in Sura 7:171 of God lifting up Mount Sinai and holding it over the heads of the Jews as a threat to squash them if they rejected the law came from the Jewish book Abodah Sarah.

        The making of the golden calf in the wilderness, in which the image jumped out of the fire fully formed and actually mooed (Suras 7:148; 20:88), came from Pirke Rabbi Eleazer.

        The seven heavens and hells described in the Quran came from the Zohar and the Hagigah.

        Muhammad utilized the Testament of Abraham to teach that a scale or balance will be used on the day of judgment to weigh good and bad deeds in order to determine whether one goes to heaven or hell (Suras 42:17; 101:6-9).

        • KAABA

        Kaabah construction DATE was after 4th century AD by “Abu Karb Asa’d” was the first to consecrate Kaabah which reveals that he was the builder of Kaabah.The two Rukuns or stones which were the main elements of worship in the temple were of Yemeni origin. The date on which the Black Stone first appeared in Mecca was at the time of Mohammed’s grandfather between 495 and 520 AD. Islamic tradition was aware of these facts, people invented “Unreliable Quran LIED stories!” to fill the historical gaps.

        Evidence from Sana’a manuscripts found in Yemen in 1972 are the oldest existent version of the Quran.The palimpsest ‘DAM 0 1-27.1’ has been proven to actually contain “4” different Qurans: A complete primary and secondary text, both showing later corrections. Therefore we are not just dealing with one Quran but 4 ‘bad copies’“4 different Qurans” within the “First” Islamic century.If the Uthmanic text had “NOT yet reach” in the mosque upon what correction texts were made for “4 different Qurans”?

        Islam retains much from pre-Islamic Arabia including Allah, the name for Pagan God. The concept of monotheism did exist in the jahiliyya – even the pagans conceived of a supreme God that ruled over all the others. There are hints that some idolatry would remain the Satanic verses. The Ka’ba was the masjid of many tribes as early as 60 BC, and the pagans first had the tradition of kissing the black stone. From Sabaa Mu’allaqat of Imra’ul Qays in Quran (S. 54:1, 29:31&46, 37:69, 21:96, 93:1).

        The Quran Was Not Preserved
        “We have sent down the Quran and surely We will protect” – The Quran 15:9
        Surat Al-Ĥijr (The Rocky Tract) – سورة الحجر

        Sahih International
        Indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur’an and indeed, We will be its guardian.
        Most Muslims are familiar with the above verse from the Quran, which they consider as the concrete proof that the Quran is perfectly preserved. The verse is clear; Allah pledges to protect his book from corruption, which provides Muslims with a much needed assurance that their holy book is reliable. Such assurance was necessary to Muslims whose confidence in the divine scriptures was shaken after the Quran’s repeated accusations to other nations of tampering with their own scriptures.
        Muslims are taught that preservation of the Quran is an accepted fact that distinguishes Islam from the rest. The claim aims to make the Quran stand out as the only true divine book in the procession of mankind today. The Muslims’ claim is a big lie that has proved to be a very successful selling point to converts who often refer to the Quran in that sense.
        It is not advisable to question the authenticity of the Quran with Muslims unless you are sure of their relative tolerance. The Muslims clouded minds quickly moves into circular logic such as: ”Of course, every word in the the Quran is preserved as Allah revealed it to his prophet, this is an absolute fact because Allah vowed to protect his book from any corruption” It would be a struggle to try to point out that a statement in the Quran can not be accepted as a proof of its authenticity.
        From a scientific point of view, the Quran and Islam wouldn’t stand a chance if subjected to proper historical scrutiny (1). Mohammed’s birth and life, the Quran and the beginning of Islam are all shrouded with a thick coat of vagueness and obscurity. But this article discredits the islamic claim on the basis of the accepted Islamic history.
        How the Quran was preserved
        As all Muslims know, the Quran was not Allah’s first book; a few others were revealed centuries before the Quran. None of those scriptures survived to our day because they were tampered with by the very people to whom they were revealed. Fourteen hundreds years ago, Allah decided conclusively to reveal a scripture, once and for all, which He called the Quran, and vowed to protect it from corruption.
        We do not know the reasons why people tampered with the earlier scriptures. Did they gain anything by deliberately making changes to Allah’s words? Why they did not fear Allah, especially with all the stories in those scriptures, about Allah’s punishments to those who dared to disobey Him. We also do not know why Allah allowed his books to be tampered with. Even human writers do not allow any changes to their works.
        As Allah pledges to protect the Quran, one would think that He would create the ideal conditions for His revelation along with man-proof measures to safeguard the Quran. Well, it doesn’t look to us that way. On the contrary, it looks as if Allah made every effort to make the Quran disappear, even before its revelation was completed.
        Let us examine the circumstances of the Quranic revelation:
        The Nation
        The Quran was revealed in the seventh century to the Arabs, one of the most illiterate nations of the time. It was the Arabs first ever book. Before the Quran the Arabs never authored a book and had no idea how books look like or how to handle them. Revealing the Quran to the Arabs sets the scene for mistakes of all kinds.
        The Timing
        The Quran was revealed before the Arabic script was fully developed. The Arabic script was not yet suitable for writing anything with significance because many letters shared the same appearance. The script problem was only solved, decades after Mohammed’s death, by adding dots to the script. It is only fair to wonder why Allah rushed the Quran before the Arabic script was well developed.
        It looks strange that the Arabs used the same script for multiple letters. But before the Quran, the Arabs only managed to write a few pieces of poetry. Reading the script served as a reminder for the reader of what they already knew by heart. As a matter of fact, the Arabic script still suffers of a similar problem in our time.
        There are many Arabic words (not letters) that share exactly the same appearance, even after adding the dots. It is usually left for the reader to work out, from the context, the proper pronunciation of a particular word. To distinguish those words from each other, printing has to include the diacritical marks ( like fat-ha, kasra, and damma ), which the Arabs started to use more than a century after Mohammed’s death. Although used in the Quran, the diacritical marks are rarely used in every day printing of ordinary books or newspapers because they make the words cluttered and printing more demanding.
        The Illiterate Receiver
        At the time of the Quranic revelations, there were some Arabs who were educated enough to be able to read and write. Out of all the Arabs, Allah appointed Mohammed, an illiterate person, to be in charge of the Quran. This is like appointing an illiterate person to be in charge of editing an important newspaper..
        The Scribes
        Mohammed had some scribes working for him in Medina. After a revelation, Mohammed would ask whoever was available of those scribes to write the revealed verse/verses. The scribe service was not available to Mohammed when he was still a weak person with only a handful of followers in Mecca. Therefore, it is fair to assume that the Meccan verses, over one third of the Quran, were not written immediately by scribes.
        Being an illiterate person, Mohammed had no means to check the work of the scribes for errors that could have been made accidentally or on purpose. Being trustworthy himself is meaningless if Mohammed had to leave the work to be completed by ordinary people without supervision.
        The story of Ibn Abu Al Sarh:
        This is a very important and very little known story about the Quran. Muslim scholars make every effort to tuck it away and keep it out of sight of ordinary Muslims.
        In short: Abdulla Ibn Abu Al Sarh was one of the scribes in Medina. Once Mohammed dictated to him a verse, that has one of the common endings like aleem khabeer or hakeem aleem. When Ibn Abu Al Sarh reached the end of the verse he double checked with Mohammed: “Oh prophet of Allah, is it hakeem aleem?” to which Mohammed said ‘yes, it is’. Ibn Abu Al Sarh became suspicious because he thought it was aleem khabeer. Ibn Abu Al Sarh decided to test Mohammed in future verses and noticed that Mohammed accepts his suggestions of aleem khabeer or hakeem aleem or other endings that do not distort the meaning.
        Ibn Abu Al Sarh concluded that Mohammed was not a prophet but an impostor. He denounced Islam and defected to Mecca and told the Quraysh of what happened. Mohammed became very angry and vowed to kill him once he conquers Mecca, which he was preparing for. When Mohammed conquered Mecca, Ibn Abu Al Sarh was arrested but was saved from the death sentence by Uthman, his brother in breast feeding. Ibn Abu Al Sarh survived and had a successful career under the Umayad dynasty, which speaks volumes of the faith of the Umayads!
        We do not know which verses were scribed by Ibn Abu Al Sarh, but we know that at least those verses were not accurate!
        The materials
        The technology necessary for writing was not well developed in Arabia. The scribes used primitive ink and perishable material to accomplish their work. Consequently, by the time Mohammed died, some verses were unreadable or completely missing from the Quran. According to Aysha, Mohammed’s wife, she used to keep the stoning verse under her bed, but it was eaten by a ‘dajen’ (chicken or domestic animal!)
        Until Mohammed’s death, nobody inspected the work of the scribes, which was left to gather dust until after Mohammed’s death. The moment of truth came about two decades later when Caliph Uthman appointed a committee to start the project of collecting the Quran. Only then the discrepancies in the various writings came to light. Uthman’s solution was to burn all existing copies and keep only the formal five copies which were produced by his committee. Many leading Muslims refused to recognize Uthman’s copies and refused to surrender their own to be destroyed because they believed theirs were the accurate ones. Ibn Massoud, a sahabi whose knowledge of the Quran was renowned and commended by Mohammed, was one of those Muslims who refused to recognize Uthman’s copies and refused to surrender his personal, presumably accurate, collection.
        Preserving the Quran in the Muslims’ chests
        Some Muslim scholars claim that all of the above is irrelevant because the Quran was preserved in the Muslims’ chests as well. (Yes, the Quran associates the heart with intelligence, not a word about the brain, and the Muslims believed it). This claim is coupled to a belief that the early Muslims were humans with extra ordinary intelligence. Of course this is completely unfounded and still doesn’t explain the discrepancies between the various collections of the Quran.
        Mohammed could and should have done more to safeguard the Quran, if he really believed it was Allah’ words and the most important document on earth. He had the resources and the authority, as a leader in Medina, to order a supervised writing and proper collection of the Quran. He should have stamped that authenticated copy (Mohammed had a stamp) and devised a system to take care of it after him. But he didn’t because he was busy fighting wars; over seventy of them in a space of ten years. Besides he didn’t really feel the Quran was that important. He probably found the chaotic situation useful, as it gave him the freedom to contradict the earlier verses without being noticed.
        Many Muslims believe that two of Uthman’s copies still exist today and they seem to be sure about it. They do so because they believe their scholars who propagate this lie with apparent confidence, which is not unusual for Muslim scholars.
        Caliph Uthman sent four of his copies to the governors of the newly conquered states and kept one with him in Medina. Those copies were supposed to have been well looked after but there is no trace of them. How can Muslims afford to lose such important divine documents? This is difficult to fathom considering the way today’s Muslims treat the Quran. Muslims are usually reluctant to dispose of their old copies of the Quran because it is not a straight forward matter; it should be burnt and not mixed with the general waste.
        Until the discovery of the Quran of Sanaa, the oldest two copies of the Quran were thought to be the ones in Tashkent and Istanbul. Both copies are partial, not the full Quran and both were dated to some two hundred years after Mohammed’s death. Therefore they are not Uthman’s copies.
        In the 1970s, manuscripts of the Quran were found in Sanaa, Yemen, and were dated to about hundred years after Mohammed’s death. They are believed to be the oldest copy of the Quran. The Yemini authorities stopped the German researchers from completing their work once they noticed the differences between the manuscripts and the existing Quran. It is also interesting to note that independent researchers have no access to do proper studies on the copies in Tahkent and Istanbul.
        Are they hiding something?

        • Lucky/Raj, I may answer all that you have so tediously noted on “The Origins Of The Quran”, by quoting a single verse from the Quran and that IS what the Islamic world believes in, period :

          “O you who believe! Believe in Allah, and His Apostle, and the scripture which He has sent to His Apostle and the scripture which He sent to those before (him}. Any who denies Allah, His angels, His Books, His Apostles, and the Day of Judgment, has gone far, far astray.”
          (Chapter 4; Verse 136)

          Kindly, underline the words, “O you who believe!”.

          And if you insist on a further answer to the WikiIslam and your perused notes to The Origins Of The Quran by the Observing Witness: No Comments!!!!!

          …as to follow Islam is by Choice and not Force, 2 : 256 Pickthall: “There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is henceforth distinct from error. And he who rejecteth false deities and believeth in Allah hath grasped a firm handhold which will never break. Allah is Hearer, Knower”.

          Also, 2 : 135 Pickthall: “And they say: Be Jews or Christians, then ye will be rightly guided. Say (unto them, O Muhammad): Nay, but (we follow) the religion of Abraham, the upright, and he was not of the idolaters”.

          And finally 109 : 6 (SI): “For you is your religion, and for me is my religion.”


          Mr Plum

  2. The Quran teaches SHIRK!

    It teaches DUALISM!

    Allah & Mohammed are PARTNERS!

    You must SUBMIT to BOTH to be a good Mohammedan!

    If a Mohammedan doesn’t SUBMIT to Mohammed, as he SUBMITS to Allah, he is an UNBELIEVER!

    Its the Greatest Joke in the World!

    Mohammedanism is NOT Monotheism, ITS Moonathiesm!

    Ha, ha, ha.

  3. Hi, Raj, there is no punishment mentioned in the Quran for atheists!!

    2 : 256 “There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is henceforth distinct from error. And he who rejecteth false deities and believeth in Allah hath grasped a firm handhold which will never break. Allah is Hearer, Knower.”

    Kindly, point out a few verses!



      • Yes Laila Banu/Raj,

        Islam does nothing to Apostates and leaves the meting out the Justice to God. But when you post your “daal bhajias” and stir the emotions of millions purposely then expect the wrath and the final outcome which never ends well!!

        Ramzan Mubarak


        • Plum,

          Your comments are always full of lies. Who are you? A Mufti of Islam to pass a ruling, which will be acceptable by whole Islamic community? I guess not. The scholars and sharia decides the punishment of Apostates not Plum or Rahul. I am not asking to believe me, why don’t you agree with what Greatest of Islamic scholar say:

          As per Sharia, the punishment for apostasy is as follows: All four imams (the founders of the four schools of Islamic law) — may Allah have mercy upon them — agree that the apostate whose fall from Islam is beyond doubt — may Allah forbid it — must be killed, and his blood must be spilled without reservation. The hypocrite and heretic (zindiq) who poses as a Muslim but has secretly remained an unbeliever must also be killed. (SOURCE)

          I hope now you will believe that punishment for apostasy in Islam is execution.This is too much for today, I will reply your rest comments tomorrow.


          • Dear Raj, Muslims are to follow the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet but not the Traditions, the “colourful” stories alleged to have been attributed as sayings by him. I’ve already commented on that and would wish not to dwell on that anymore!



    • Interpreting Quran 2:256

      While discussing the issue of apostasy in Islam, probably no verse is more frequently cited to decide the issue, especially by Muslims in the West who advocate freedom of religion, than Qur’an 2:256: “There is no compulsion in religion.”

      S. A. Rahman makes the distinct claim:

      This verse is one of the most important verses in the Qur’an, containing a charter of freedom of conscience unparalleled in the religious annals of mankind…. [1]

      While discussing the nature of jihad, Dr. Abdelwahib Boase, formerly professor at University of Fez and then a research associate at Westfield College, University of London, writes:

      … it must be emphasized that jihad in the military sense does not have as its object the propagation of religion. The fallacy that Islam imposes on the non-Muslim the choice between “conversion or the sword” is disproved by the Quranic injunction: “There is no coercion in matters of faith.”[2]

      In a personal letter, dated January 2O, 1986, Hasan Moola writes from Saskatchewan, Canada:

      Muslims have never compelled non-Muslims to become Muslims, and this myth has been propagated by Western Christian writers, like yourself. In fact it is quite clearly written in the Qur’an Surah 2 verse 256, “There is no compulsion in religion.”[3]

      A portion of a letter to the editor of a Toronto newspaper reads:

      … it was Islam that proclaimed, “there is no compulsion in religion” when the echo of the time was “onward Christian soldiers”…. After all, Muslims have been presented with the perfect belief system and they would like to share it peacefully with all those people with whom they share the Earth.[4]

      An important commentary of the Ahmadiyya Community comments on this verse:

      … The verse enjoins Muslims in the clearest and strongest of words not to resort to force for converling non-Muslims to Islam. In the face of this teaching … it is the height of injustice to accuse Islam of countenancing the use of force for the propagation of its teaching.[5]

      For S. A. Rahman discussion on the apostate and freedom of religion does not simply begin and end with the citation of Qur’an 2:256. True to his assertion that the verse “deserves detailed discussion”, he proceeds to discuss the matter, sadly noting also a variety of concerns and opinions on the matter which “whittle down” the verse’s “broad humanistic meaning”.[6] They are in summary form:

      Some Quranic exegetes state that Qur’an 2:256 has been abrogated by the following verses:

      O Prophet! Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites! Be harsh with them…. (9:73)

      O ye who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are near to you, and let them find harshness in you…. (9:123)

      Say unto those of the wondering Arabs who were left behind: Ye will be called against a folk of mighty prowess to fight them until they surrender…. (48:16)[7]

      Rahman also notes the various opinions of the Qur’anic commentators regarding the circumstances surrounding the revelation (shan-i nuzul) of Qur’an 2:256: a. the revelation blocked an Ansar woman from forcing her Jewish boy to convert to Islam; b. the revelation blocked an Ansar father from forcing his two Christian sons to convert to Islam; c. the revelation permitted a member of the People of the Book to retain his religion; d. the revelation referred to the People of the Book who agreed to pay jizyah. He also notes, however, that the esteemed Indian Muslim scholar, Shah Wali Ullah, does not confine the application of such a verse to the particular incident only. “On the contrary, the verse should be held to convey the commandment contained therein, generally.”[8]

      Nevertheless Rahman notes a variety of interpretations which Muslim scholars have given to this verse, not of least significance – and much to Rahman’s dismay! – that of the same Indian scholar Shah Wali Ullah who, after giving the normal meaning, adds:

      That is to say, the reasoned guidance of Islam has become manifest. Therefore, so to speak, there is no compulsion, although, in sum, there may be coercion.[9]

      Rahman concludes his remarks on Shah Wali Ullah’s gloss:

      Such an interpretation can perhaps be attributed to the unconscious pressure of orthodox tradition.[10]

      Rahman then presents the position of Nawab Siddiq Hasan Khan in Fath al-Bayan:

      … one should not say of a person convened to Islam under the shadow of the sword, that he was compelled to the Faith for “there is no compulsion in religion”. Another construction … confines the verse to the People of the Scriptures who submitted to the Muslims and agreed to pay jiizjah (poll-tax) but excludes the idolaters from its scope. In the case of the latter, only two alternatives are said to be open – Islam or the sword – on the authority of al-Shabi, al-Hasan, Qatadah and al-Dahhaq.[11

      Then Rahman cites Ibn al-Arabi’s work Ahkam al-Qur’an, adding thereafter his own objections to this interpretation:

      He (Ibn al-Arabi) declares dogmatically that to compel to the truth is part of the Faith, on the authority of a hadith: “I have been commanded to fight people till they recite the declaration of faith …”, which he considers to have been derived from the Qur’anic verse: “And fight them until persecution is no more and religion is for Allah alone.” (8:39; 2:193)[12]

      Recently a Pakistani Muslim friend, a doctoral candidate in South Asian Islamic studies at the University of Toronto, kindly shared his interpretation of Qur’an 2:256: Qur’an 2:256 obviously forbids compulsion in religion. The Hadith obviously state that the apostate from Islam should be executed. Since the Qur’an also states that Muslims are to obey the Prophet as well as the Book, Qur’an 2:256 can have application only for non-Muslims. Muslims must be compelled to remain Muslim.

      Part 2: Surah 2:256: la ikraha fi d-dini
      Tolerance or Resignation?

      by Rudi Paret (Tübingen)[13]

      The Qur’anic passage la ikraha fi d-dini (“there is no compulsion in religion”) is generally understood to mean that no one should use compulsion against another in matters of faith. There is much to commend this interpretation. As it is understood here, the statement represents a principle which has gained a recognition of international dimensions: the principle of religious tolerance. Historically also the alleged meaning of la ikraha fi d-dini appears to be warranted. “The People of the Book”, i.e., the members of the older revealed religions, particularly the Jews and the Christians, were in principle never compelled to accept Islam. They were obliged, while residing in territory under Islamic domination (dar al-Islam), only to recognize the supremacy of Muslims and, at the same time, as an external indication of this recognition, to pay a separate tax. In all other matters they could maintain their inherited beliefs and perform their practices as usual. They even were allowed to establish their own internal administration.

      To be sure, however, the situation was different for members of the pre-Islamic pagan Arab society. After the community which the Prophet had established had extended its power over the whole of Arabia, the pagan Arabs were forcefully compelled to accept Islam; stated more accurately, they had to choose either to accept Islam or death in battle against the superior power of the Muslims (cf. surahs 8:12; 47:4). This regulation was later sanctioned in Islamic law. All this stands in open contradiction to the alleged meaning of the Quranic statement, noted above: la ikraha fi d-dini. The idolaters (mushrikun) were clearly compelled to accept Islam – unless they preferred to let themselves be killed.

      In view of these circumstances it makes sense to consider another meaning. Perhaps originally the statement la ikraha fi d-dini did not mean that in matters of religion one ought not to use compulsion against another but that one could not use compulsion against another (through the simple proclamation of religious truth). This seems even more likely in the light of surah 10:100, 101:

      And if thy Lord willed, all who are in the earth would believe together. (Or “if thy Lord had willed, all who were on earth would have believed together”.) Wouldst thou (Muhammad) compel men until they are believers (a-fa-anta tukrihu n-nasa hatta yakunu mu’minina)?

      It is not for any soul to believe save by the permission of Allah. He has set uncleanness upon those who have no sense (and therefore remain hardened).

      Compare Surah 12:103:

      And though thou try much. most men will not believe.[14]

      Both of these passages demonstrate that the Prophet’s zeal to convert was doomed for the most part to be without success as a result of human recalcitrance. In agreement with this it is possible to understand la ikraha fi d-dini to mean that no one can be compelled to (right) belief. The statement of the Qur’an, then, would be not a proclamation of tolerance, but much more an expression of resignation. For a transition from la ikraha fi d-dini to the following portion of this verse (qad tabaiyana r-rushdu mina l-ghayi), something to this effect would have to be supplied if the meaning proposed here should agree: “(Since the individual cannot be compelled to truly believe by external influences, he must himself find a way to faith and that should not be difficult for him.) The correct way (of faith) has (through the proclamation of Islam) become clear (so that he can clearly be freed) from the error (of pagan unbelief).”

      Whoever holds the interpretation of 2:256 as it has been presented above need not therefore simply cast overboard the meaning of the statement la ikraha fi d-dini as it usually has been understood for a long time. In the contemporary world of Islam the acknowledgement of religious tolerance is well established. And how can it be formulated more precisely than by the pregnant Arabic statement: la ikraha fi d-dini! Still the fact must always be kept in mind that in many ways the circumstances governing early Islam differed from those of today and that the presuppositions for a general and complete religious tolerance were not given at that time.


      1. S. A. Rahman, Punishment of Apostasy in Islam, Institute of Islamic Culture, Lahore, 1972, p.16.
      2. Arabia, The Islamic World Review, July, 1986, p.79.
      3. Letter of Hasan Moolla from Saskatchewan, dated January 20, 1986 to FFM.
      4. Syed Nouman Ashraf, Public Relations Committee, Muslim Student Association, University of Toronto in The Globe and Mail, July 15, 1992.
      5. The Holy Qur’an with English Translation and Commentary, Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya, Qadian, 1947, vol. 1, in loco. 6. Rahman, op. cit., p. 16. His full discussion covers pp. 16- 25. Its openness and breadth differs from that of the Qur’an “expositor” whose mere citation of 2:256 precludes for him (and for all?) the need for further discussion. 7. A more recent publication states that Ibn Hazm accepted the abrogation of 2:256 in order to avoid a contradiction between this passage and the death penalty for apostasy. On the other hand, the author claims that 2:256 has not been abrogated (Mohamed S.El-Awa, Punishment in Islamic Law: A Comparative Study, American Trust Publications, Indianapolis, 1982, p. 51). For two general discussions on abrogation in Islam and some of its complexities, including differing opinions within the traditional Schools of Law about whether or not the Hadith can abrogate the Qur’an, compare Islamic Jurisprudence: Shafi’i’s Risala, translated with an Introduction, Notes and Appendices by Majid Khadduri, The Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore, 1961, esp. pp. 123-145 with M. H. Kamali, Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence, Pelanduk Publications, Malaysia, esp. pp. 189-210. The doctrine of abrogation is especially rooted in Qur’an 2:106, 16:101, 87:6,7.
      8. Rahman, op. cit., p. 18.
      9. ibid., pp. 18, 19.
      10. ibid., p. 19.
      11. ibid., p. 19.
      12. ibid., p.20. For further opinions see pp. 21-24, including a brief rebuttal of Mawdudi’s interpretation.
      13. A translation of “Sure 2, 256: la ikraha fi d-dini: Toleranz oder Resignation?” in Der Islam, Walter De Gruyter, Berlin, Vol. 45, 1967, pp. 299-300. Compare the same thesis as discussed by Adolf L. Wismar A Study in Tolerance, AMS Press Inc., New York, 1966, pp. 4-13. Apparently this work was originally published by Columbia University Press in 1927.
      14. Compare also 16:37 in Rudi Paret, Kommentar und Konkordanz, Zweite Auflage, Kohlhammer, Stuttgart, 1977, p.54: “Though thou art ever so eager to guide them, God guides not those whom He leads astray.” (English translation, A. J. Arberry, The Koran Interpreted, Oxford University Press, London, 1969, p. 262)

      • Dear Lailabanu/Raj, the complete verse 9:73 states as follows:”O Prophet! Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites! Be harsh with them. Their ultimate abode is hell, a hapless journey’s end”.

        Here you must note the words, “…Their ultimate abode is hell, a hapless journey’s end”. This verse does not command Muslims to kill but it is directed to the Prophet who is told to strive and not to relent to the disbelievers and hypocrites. What is wrong with that???
        9:123 says, “O ye who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are near to you, and let them find harshness in you, and know that Allah is with those who keep their duty (unto Him)”.
        This verse is directing the believers to be harsh with the disbelievers and “fight” them if need be so. Remember Islam had just begun and the pagans of Mecca wanted to uproot it!
        Yet even here the Quran does not direct the believers to kill them as it continues in the next verse 9:124, Sahih International: “And whenever a surah is revealed, there are among the hypocrites those who say, “Which of you has this increased faith?” As for those who believed, it has increased them in faith, while they are rejoicing”. Did you expect Allah to tell the believers to be soft on the unbelievers and the hypocrites???

        Verse 48:16, is self explanatory!! Sahih International: “Say to those who remained behind of the bedouins, “You will be called to [face] a people of great military might; you may fight them, or they will submit. So if you obey, Allah will give you a good reward; but if you turn away as you turned away before, He will punish you with a painful punishment.”. You may notice that the above verses were meant for those who had become believers then!

        Have a safe day!


        • Plum,

          Its useless to discuss anything with you, because once I produce concrete solid evidence against your argument, you start denying the authority. In explanation to 9:73, you wrote: This verse does not command Muslims to kill but it is directed to the Prophet who is told to strive and not to relent to the disbelievers and hypocrites. What is wrong with that???

          Well, I see something wrong in this. You are lying to cover up the violent verses in Quran. I would like to know, whose interpretation is above one? Or is it your personal explanation, because as per major scholars of Islam, the word strive implies to struggle with sword, i.e. killing and fighting disbelievers. I will quote two famous and reliable exegesis by Islamic scholars to support my claim, read this:

          O Prophet, struggle against the disbelievers, with the sword, and the hypocrites, with words and [definitive] arguments, and be harsh with them, through rebuke and aversion [towards them]; for their abode will be Hell, an evil journey’s end, [an evil] resort it is! (Al Jalalayan)

          (O Prophet! Strive against the disbelievers) with the sword (and the hypocrites) with words! (Be harsh) be tough (with them) with both parties with words and actions. (Their ultimate abode is hell) their destiny is hell, (a hapless journey’s end) they shall come to. (Ibn Abbas)

          So here you are exposed once, now lets see what you write about Quran 9:123, you wrote: This verse is directing the believers to be harsh with the disbelievers and “fight” them if need be so. Remember Islam had just begun and the pagans of Mecca wanted to uproot it!

          This is again a big fat lie, when 9:123 was revealed, Islam all most dominated major parts of Mecca and Medina, as it was revealed in last. In this issue Maududi in historical background to Sura Taubah writes: By that time, one-third of Arabia had come under the sway of Islam which had established itself as a powerful, well organized and civilized Islamic State.

          So you see you again caught lying, as you said Islam had just begun and Pagans wanted to uproot it, but in reality Islam dominated Arabia, and they wanted to uproot Pagan religion. This is not all, Ibn Kathir explains the verse much better, as he writes:

          Allah commands the believers to fight the disbelievers, the closest in area to the Islamic state, then the farthest. This is why the Messenger of Allah started fighting the idolators in the Arabian Peninsula. When he finished with them and Allah gave him control over Makkah, Al-Madinah, At-Ta’if, Yemen, Yamamah, Hajr, Khaybar, Hadramawt and other Arab provinces, and the various Arab tribes entered Islam in large crowds, he then started fighting the People of the Scriptures. He began preparations to fight the Romans who were the closest in area to the Arabian Peninsula, and as such, had the most right to be called to Islam, especially since they were from the People of the Scriptures.

          So, it is very clear that Islam allows to fight and kill those who are disbelievers, and they are considered enemies of Islam and Allah. Now I would request you to stick to this topic before jumping to other.


          • Dear Raj, Islam is a religion for those who believe in it. I do not lie just to prove my points and for that matter I go through all your articles and take note of how cleverly you twist the verses to suit your agenda of discrediting Islam. I make an effort of refuting your alleges and I would expect you to respect that rather than use words like “Yo Dumb” and so forth.

            I have requested you to strictly quote from the Quran and not from sources like Bukharis. In reply to my questions you have once more quoted some statements from such likes. Why don’t you prove the Quran wrong from the verses of the Quran itself??

            Next, from the quotes of Al Jalalayan and Ibn Abbas : Even then, you have failed to note that both of narrations start with the words, “O Prophet”. What does that mean?? Those verses were directed to the Prophet and not to the believers in general. And that is what I have intended to say all along. Kindly know with all the sincerity that no Muslim is allowed to kill his fellow human being. What happens in Iraq, India or elsewhere, for the atrocities the so called “Islamic terrorists” or the extremists commit are in violation the Quran! That much said, remember that such sadists, the rotten eggs, exist in every community and religion but the religious scriptures do not propagate them to do evil on the Earth, especially the Quran.

            4:75 “And what is wrong with you that you do not engage in combat for the sake of Allah, and for those weak, ill-treated and oppressed among men, women, and children, whose cry is: “Our Lord! Rescue us from this town whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from You one who will protect, and raise for us from You one who will help”.

            “And fight in the way of Allah with those who fight with you, and do not exceed the limits, surely Allah does not love those who exceed the limits 2:190

            “Therefore, the fighting ordained by God in the Qur’an is the fighting to establish justice and security in the land, and this is a duty upon all human beings. We will always hope for peace, but we must realize that without justice, freedom, rights and equity, peace will never be able to survive.”

            I still believe from the wars those that were going on in Arabia with the Pagans of Mecca and Medina, during the time of the Prophet, that Islam had just sprouted and was not that strong until nearing the passing away of the Prophet, that is when Mecca was conquered.

            In conclusion, none of what I have said is a lie as Muslims are not to kill anybody save for justice and security.

            Ramzan Mubarak


          • Plum,

            I agree with you that Islam is a religion for those who believe in it, but belief is not alone, people should have blind belief in Islam. People should not question their religion, and should never doubt in the revelation and teaching of Islam. You are accusing me of twisting the verses, but in reality I often rely on authentic, canonical sources of Islam, now its not my problem, that you belong to that community who is considered Kafir by the very dominant Islamic schools. I refer to earliest Tafsirs for interpretation, on other hand you give your own exegesis to Quranic verses, so it would be unfair for you to claim that I twist and misinterpret verses. I don’t remember when I have used word “Yo Dumb”. I think its not by me.

            If you are talking about me, I again refuse to accept that I quote Bukharis against you, although I should. Bukharis and other Hadith are good source of information about Muhammad and early Muslims, few people deny it, because through lenses of Bukhari, Muhammad and his religion looks demonic, so they prefer to reject it. Quran alone is nothing, it is hardly understandable, and you need to rely on some outer source to understand it, this is the problem with the book, which you want me to quote alone.

            Next, from the quotes of Al Jalalayan and Ibn Abbas you draw summary that as per the narrations the verses are directed to Prophet alone and not to believers. This made me laugh for hours. Now if I have to believe you, do you mean to say that the Prophet is commanded alone by Allah to fight to all the disbelievers and hypocrites. Allow me to quote the relevant part from Al Jalalayan, “O Prophet, struggle against the disbelievers, with the sword, and the hypocrites.” See how Al Jalalayan uses ‘disbelievers’ and ‘hypocrites’ in plural form, this obviously mean Muhammad was not commanded to fight alone, but to fight with rest of believers.

            See I know you have nothing much to say on this topic, I am tired of this rhetoric discussion, which has no ends. I have proven this time at least that Islam commands to fight those who are disbelievers. If you still have some personal reasons to deny the evidence you are free to.


    • Dear Plum,

      So you didn’t find any verse in Quran mentioning punishment for atheists? Ok I’ll help you, but before that let’s discuss the verse you pointed out (2:256) to prove that Islam does not force anyone to embrace Islam. Read the explanation of verse 2:256 from Islamic site:

      The scholars explained that these two verses [10:99 and 2:256], and other similar verses, have to do with those from whom the jizyah may be taken, such as Jews, Christians and Magians (Zoroastrians). They are not to be forced, rather they are to be given the choice between becoming Muslim or paying the jizyah.

      Other scholars said that this applied in the beginning, but was subsequently abrogated by Allaah’s command to fight and wage jihad. So whoever refuses to enter Islam should be fought when the Muslims are able to fight, until they either enter Islam or pay the jizyah if they are among the people who may pay jizyah. The kuffaar should be compelled to enter Islam if they are not people from whom the jizyah may be taken, because that will lead to their happiness and salvation in this world and in the Hereafter. Obliging a person to adhere to the truth in which is guidance and happiness is better for him than falsehood. Just as a person may be forced to do the duty that he owes to other people even if that is by means of imprisonment or beating, so forcing the kaafirs to believe in Allaah alone and enter into the religion of Islam is more important and more essential, because this will lead to their happiness in this world and in the Hereafter. This applies unless they are People of the Book, i.e., Jews and Christians, or Magians, because Islam says that these three groups may be given the choice: they may enter Islam or they may pay the jizyah and feel themselves subdued. ” [Source]

      So Plum, no compulsion means that the disbelievers are given choice to either accept Islam or paying Jizya, and later the verse was abrogated by the very famous verse 9:5. So unfortunately your verse didn’t helped you here.

      Now I’ll point out few verses which mentions punishment for those who are Non-Muslims including Atheists.

      Quran 3:85 says: And whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him, and in the hereafter he shall be one of the losers.

      Quran 66:9 says: O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and be hard against them; and their abode is hell; and evil is the resort.

      Quran 47: 3-4 says: This because those who reject Allah follow vanities, while those who believe follow the Truth from their Lord: Thus does Allah set forth for men their lessons by similitudes. Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: Until the war lays down its burdens. Thus (are ye commanded): but if it had been Allah’s Will, He could certainly have exacted retribution from them (Himself); but (He lets you fight) in order to test you, some with others. But those who are slain in the Way of Allah,- He will never let their deeds be lost.

      Quran 8:39 says: “And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism: i.e. worshipping others besides Allah) and the religion (worship) will all be for Allah Alone [in the whole of the world ]. But if they cease (worshipping others besides Allah), then certainly, Allah is All-Seer of what they do.”

      Quran 3:151 reads: “Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority”.

      What more you want plum, there are more such verses which mentions punishment for those who are unbelievers including atheists.. Also I would like to remind you that this blog has nothing to do with Hinduism, I see no body replying you. still you keep wasting my space. Why? Go and discuss these issues on some Hindu website..


      • Hi Raj, the verses you quoted from the Quran, viz., 3:85, 66:9 and 47: 3-4, they do not mention any punishment for Apostasy, renegades, here on the Earth. In fact, the Verse 8:39 is quoted completely out of context and to be able to understand what the verse refers to you must begin from the verses:

        8:30, which says,

        “And when those who disbelieve plot against thee (O Muhammad) to wound thee fatally, or to kill thee or to drive thee forth; they plot, but Allah (also) plotteth; and Allah is the best of plotters”. It means they were people who wanted to kill the Prophet!

        Then 8 : 33 says, “But Allah would not punish them while thou wast with them, nor will He punish them while they seek forgiveness”

        And 8 : 34, “What (plea) have they that Allah should not punish them, when they debar (His servants) from the Inviolable Place of Worship, though they are not its fitting guardians. Its fitting guardians are those only who keep their duty to Allah. But most of them know not.”
        Continues in 8:35, “.And their worship at the (holy) House is naught but whistling and hand-clapping. Therefore (it is said unto them): Taste of the doom because ye disbelieve”.
        Furthermore the verse 8 : 38 says, “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).”
        Then comes the verse that you quoted 8 : 39, “And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is all for Allah. But if they cease, then lo! Allah is Seer of what they do”.

        Now you tell us what Allah means when he says, “.And fight them until persecution is no more…..”, in verse 8:39??? Obviously, this is related to the status quo, that is the existing state of affairs, at that time of the Prophet when he was alive!!!

        Quran 3:151 It is verily incomplete. You have quoted only half of the verse and have purposely omitted the last part of that verse which states, “..Their habitation is the Fire, and hapless the abode of the wrong-doers.” Again when you complete the verse then you will see that Allah IS talking about the next abode and the punishment thereof which is the fire of hell!!

        From your answers I have noticed that you are very sympathetic to Sanatan Dharma of “Hinduism”, which happens to be a misnomer as well as to Christianity and so I stand by what I state as the “truth” through references and quotes! I do not forge ahead my ideas through intentional misquotes as you verily do!

        Kindly refrain from directing others on what to say otherwise we would be wasting time on your site too!!

        Ramzan Mubarak


    • Things NOT Contained In The Quran: List of Interpolations


      Below is a list (200 examples) of typical interpolations made to the Quran. These additions have been presented as part of the body of religious percepts. Some among them may have been useful and wholesome considerations although without any religious foundation. For instance, cleaning of teeth with miswak may be useful. But this must not be taken as if ordained by God.

      We may, of course, enumerate many principles related to the individual’s health, etc.; however, they should not be made into religious principles. Thus, persons may, at their discretion, put on long robes and avoid eating shrimp, but this has nothing to do with religion.

      All interpretations not based on the Quranic text and are qualified as sins, charitable acts, makruh, haram, sunna are additions. You may have a better idea of the extent of interpolations once you go over the following 200 examples.

      1. Saying that the Quran being is not self-sufficient and that there is need for additional speculations.
      2. Taking the hadiths as a source for Islam.
      3. Sectarian scholars pronouncing fatwas or ijtihads (canonical jurisprudence).
      4. Practices conforming to sectarian dictates.
      5. Equating sects with the religion.
      6. Reciting the Quran for the sake of its music without understanding the text.
      7. Using the Quran as a book of prayer recited for the souls of the departed.
      8. Contributing authority to the Prophet outside the scope of the Quran.
      9. The fact that God created everything for the sake of Muhammad.
      10. Competition between prophets. Supremacy of some prophets aover other prophets.
      11. Imitation of the ways and manners of the Prophet even before his prophethood.
      12. The belief that the Quran has missing points which can be found in other books.
      13. To announce certain select devotees to be Muslim saints and visit their tombs with all sorts of reverential rituals.
      14. To idolize the sheikhs of religious orders.
      15. Establishing a type of communication with the sheikhs by a special ritual called rabýta.
      16. To claim that only the Sunnites or the Shiites are to go to paradise.
      17. To declare the Jews and Christians as the future dwellers of hell.
      18. To adopt Arabic customs and traditions as religious practices.
      19. To come forth alleging to be reformist with a view to changing the Quranic religion.
      20. To formulate religious precepts ascribing them to the Prophet.
      21. To claim that the vote of the majority always prevails.
      22. To interpret the continuity of sects as evidence of their genuineness.
      23. The Hanafi sect.
      24. The Shafi sect.
      25. The Hanbali sect.
      26. The Maliki sect.
      27. The Jafari sect.
      28. All Sunni and Shii sects.
      29. Any sect like Maturidiya, Ashariya.
      30. A canon book called Majalla.
      31. To deny reason and favor apishness.
      32. Hostility against science.
      33. Hostility against the arts.
      34. To abide by the rules that the book entitled Sahihi Bukhari lays down.
      35. To abide by the rules of the hadith book entitled Muslim
      36. To abide by the rules of the hadith books Kutub-i Sitte or other such books.
      37. To venerate individuals to whom religiosity is ascribed other than the Prophet.
      38. The allegation that all of those who had the privilege to set eyes on the Prophet (sahaba) were on the right path.
      39. The wearing of the headscarf.
      40. The wearing of the veil.
      41. Segregation of men and women.
      42. The fact that a woman is not allowed to travel alone.
      43. The wrong and absurd belief that a woman can never repay the debts she owes to her husband even if she were to lick him from head to foot when he is in a deplorable state covered with pus.
      44. “If prostration was permitted to any entity other that God, the wife should prostrate herself before her husband” claimed the hadith.
      45. That a woman cannot become a head of state or an administrator.
      46. That women have no right to vote for the governing body of the government.
      47. That women’s voices must not be audible to men.
      48. That women are not allowed to perform the Friday salat.
      49. That women is not allowed to perform salat, fast, recite the Quranor enter a mosque during their period.
      50. Covering women with all sorts of outer garments.
      51. That it is forbidden for women to shake hands with men.
      52. That a man is not allowed to sit in a chair previously occupied by a woman whose warmth is still preserved.
      53. That a woman cannot stay in an enclosed space where there are men.
      54. That women are considered along with dogs and pigs to invalidate the salat of a praying man.
      55. That the majority of women are doomed to go to hell.
      56. That women are evil by nature.
      57. That women lack intelligence.
      58. That women must be keptindoors.
      59. That it is forbidden for women to wear perfume.
      60. That women are not allowed to use makeup.
      61. That a wife must obey her husband as a slave does.
      62. That a woman is required to have sexual relations whenever her husband calls her.
      63. That two female witnesses equal one male witness.
      64. That a woman must have her parents’ permission in order to get married.
      65. Stoning to death of the adulterer.
      66. That the papyrus on which the verse regarding adultery was on was eaten by a goat.
      67. Arguments about killing adulterers being practiced even among monkeys.
      68. Prohibition of a man’s wearing golden ornaments.
      69. Prohibition of men wearing silk.
      70. Prohibition of use of golden and silver utensils and plates.
      71. Prohibition of sculpture.
      72. Prohibition of drawing and painting.
      73. Prohibition of chess.
      74. Prohibition of musical instruments and music.
      75. Prohibition of consumption of seafood like mussels, shrimp, etc.
      76. Prohibition of eating the flesh of donkeys, horses or wild animals
      77. The fact that kidneys and ram’s testicles are abominable to eat.
      78. The fact that smoking is religiously unlawful.
      79. That there is a separate list containing things considered to be abominable (makruh).
      80. That the sexual act must take place under covers.
      81. The prohibition for the couple to look at each other’s sexual organs.
      82. Prohibition of masturbation.
      83. Prohibition for women to use birth control.
      84. That an individual should keep his/her sexual organs covered even when taking a bath lest the angels be offended.
      85. Circumcision of men.
      86. Circumcision of women.
      87. The sunna of letting beards grow.
      88. The prohibition of trimming a beard.
      89. The sunna according to which the hair had to be parted from the middle of the scalp.
      90. The sunna regarding the oiling of hair.
      91. The sunna of applying henna to hair and beard.
      92. The sunna of applying mascara to the eyes for men.
      93. That lying face down is a satanic act.
      94. To sleep on a mattress spread on the ground.
      95. To use one’s right foot going out of the house or getting up from the bed.
      96. To enter a soiled place like a WC with the left foot.
      97. Saying that canonical purification of the body can only be performed using water after defecating.
      98. The obligation for men to crouch when urinating.
      99. The relieve yourself in the direction of Mecca.
      100. The fact that eating with the left hand is a satanic act.
      101. To wind a turban.
      102. To use miswak to clean the teeth.
      103. To wear a robe with a long skirt reaching down to one’s feet.
      104. For men to wear a loose dress (antari). .
      105. To wear shalwar (a type of wide trousers) as sunna.
      106. To interpret as a meritorious act the wearing of white, green or black raiment.
      107. The prohibition to wear yellow or red.
      108. To consider eating dates or squash as meritorious acts.
      109. To eat seated on the ground.
      110. To eat from the same dish with others.
      111. To eat with three fingers.
      112. To drink water in three gulps.
      113. To drink water in a seated position.
      114. To lick one’s fingers after having eaten with them.
      115. Not to use perfumes containing alcohol.
      116. Not to use eau de cologne.
      117. To kill black dogs.
      118. Not to let dogs into the home.
      119. To cover the mirrors at night.
      120. To perform black magic with or without the use of the Quran.
      121. To write on and wear amulets.
      122. To use the Quran as a book of magic.
      123. To believe that whistling is a satanic act.
      124. To knock on wood or wear trinkets against the evil eye.
      125. To take fortunetellers and magicians for religious figures.
      126. Feasts celebrated at the end of the holy month of Ramadan and on the occasion of sacrifices.
      127. To avoid passing underneath a ladder and to consider black cats, black dogs as ominous signs and to melt lead against the evil eye.
      128. To believe that there are special days on which linen can be washed and sexual intercourse can be performed.
      129. To recite the Mevlit (poem written to celebrate the birth and the death of the Prophet) for the souls of the departed.
      130. To hold ceremonies for the soul of the dead on the 7th, 40th and 52nd days after death.
      131. Stories concocted about the suffering that the dead is to be subjected to after burial.
      132. Rumors about the bridge of Sýrat from this world to paradise, more slender than a hair and sharper than a sword and a person’s traversing it riding the animal he sacrificed in this world.
      133. The belief that a person who cannot avoid his urine from sprinkling on his clothes shall undergo excruciating torture in the grave.
      134. To fast in the place of a dead person.
      135. To go on Hajj in the place of a dead person.
      136. That tears shed after a death will cause his soul to suffer beyond endurance.
      137. To predict the hour of the Day of Judgment.
      138. The Muslim Messiah, Mahdi.
      139. The Antichrist.
      140. To say that Dabbe has the ears of an elephant, eyes of a hog and head of an ox.
      141. The Second Coming of Christ.
      142. The belief that Agog and Magog are Turks.
      143. Racism, superiority of the Arabic race.
      144. The belief that Agog and Magog are the homunculus.
      145. To set down prayer hours not indicated in the Quran.
      146. To proscribe a certain number of rakats as a binding duty.
      147. The requirement of performing the salat by reciting verses in the original Arabic language.
      148. Prohibition for women to conduct the congregational prayer.
      149. To have to repeat always the same thing during the kneeling and prostrating in the course of the performance of the salat.
      150. The obligation to recite the fatiha at every rakat.
      151. The obligation to sit and recite attahiyyat at the end of the salat.
      152. To make a long list of the particular requirements during the salat not mentioned in the Quran.
      153. To make a detailed description of the praying man with regard to his posture,such as how he will place his hands).
      154. That the compensation of a willfully broken fast is two months without interruption.
      155. Special salats like the taravih (the superfluous night service during the month of Ramadan performed immediately after the prescribed night service of worship, consisting of twenty genuflections with an interval for rest and breathing after each two or four acts), and the congregational prayers at the end of the month of fasting and at the festival of sacrifice.
      156. To put people in misery by restricting the period of Hajj to a short space of time.
      157. The stoning of Satan during the Hajj.
      158. To slaughter animals at the Festival of Sacrifice.
      159. To believe that certain restrictions start after the Hajj.
      160. Calling holy the water from the well zamzam, to pray over sugar or salt for luck.
      161. To give zakat (alms, charity) as 1/40 of one’s assets.
      162. To assign special rates for zakat for camels, sheep and agricultural products.
      163. The belief that one invalidates his ablution by certain acts other than nature’s call.
      164. The belief that total ablution (ghusl) is required not only after sexual intercourse but also by other causes.
      165. To make the order of acts during the performance of ablution strictly binding.
      166. To say that rinsing one’s mouth and blowing one’s nose during the major ablution is a binding duty.
      167. The requirement of washing one’s heels along with the feet.
      168. Details such as the obligation of pouring water three times each to the right and left of a person performing the total ablution.
      169. The requirement of total ablution before reciting the Quran.
      170. Saying that one sins when he/she goes about not having performed total ablution.
      171. The nullification of ablutions for a person who has a tooth filled.
      172. The nullification of ablutions for men/women having a tattoo.
      173. Martyrdom for those having died in an earthquake or a flood.
      174. Martyrdom of those having suffered stomach pains.
      175. That the earth is supported by an ox or a fish.
      176. The belief that earthquakes occur when the fish shakes its tail.
      177. The fact that the moon is unattainable.
      178. To define the setting of the sun as the loss of the sun as a guide for prostrating.
      179. The belief that the eclipses of the sun and the moon occur when they are drawn by carriages equipped with handles.
      180. Existence of angels in the form of bulls, lions and eagles.
      181. Accounts related to the 600 wings of Gabriel.
      182. God’s opening His calf in paradise.
      183. God’s touching the back of the Prophet.
      184. God’s coming down on earth on special days to shake the hands of His creatures.
      185. The bargaining between God and the Prophet for the reduction of the times of salat from 50 down to 5.
      186. Institution of the caliphate.
      187. The sultanate and the making the subjects into slaves of the political power.
      188. Classes of clergy.
      189. To sanctify the Arabic language and ascribe sanctity to the Arabic letters.
      190. To terrorize people with the countries outside the dominion of Islam (Dar-ul Harb).
      191. To loot and disregard the rights of people living outside the dominion of Islam.
      192. To beat or kill persons who refuse to perform salat.
      193. To compel people to fast and beat those who fail to do so.
      194. To beat women who have put on makeup and go around uncovered.
      195. To kill the renegades (of Islam to other religions).
      196. To flog the renegades (even those who convert from one sect to another).
      197. To make conquests merely for the sake of looting.
      198. To beat drunkards.
      199. To use force and compel people to abide by religious rules.
      200. To call Islam by the names of sects, etc.

      • Hi Lucky /Raj, save for the veil verse in the Quran, you are absolutely right that those of the listed items are not mentioned in the Quran. They come from the carefully sifted Hadiths- meaning stories or so and yet I remain mesmerised at those who follow them thus discrediting the Quran.



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