Reinterpreting the Quran

Rumi’s effort to ascribe esoteric meanings to the asinine verses of the Quran hindered the Muslim world from progress and enlightenment. In the barren desert of Islam, he showed Muslim a mirage to chase ever after.

One Muslim wrote,  he prefers a figurative understanding of the Quran.  Well, we can make ourselves believe in anything if we try hard enough and interpret it figuratively.  In this way you can believe even in Santa Clause and in unicorn.

No book should be interpreted in any other way than its explicit meaning, especially if it purports to be a book of guidance.  A book of guidance must be clear and without equivocation leaving no room for interpretation. If it does, then it is no longer a clear book of guidance.

A divine book of guidance must be understandable by everyone. Let us say you are lost and you stop to ask someone for direction. Don’t you expect to receive a clear direction? Will you trust this person if he points to different directions? I am sure you’d think he is a kook.  So why should we rely on someone claiming to have come with a clear divine guidance whose guidance is confusing, contradictory and require interpretation?

It is not befitting for God to play such pranks with humans and mislead people. And yet that is exactly what Muhammad said Allah does. He misleads people. and he is the best deceiver . (Q.3:54;  8:30)

Muslims have made all sorts of attempts to interpret their holy text.  That book is simply unpalatable and illogical. As the result they strived to give esoteric meanings to asinine statements.  Take the example of Mi’raj. This is, as it has always been, a foolish claim. Many of the followers of Muhammad left him when he made that claim.  He said this was a test for them.  According to him only stupid people will pass the test if faith and can be Muslim.  Obviously no rational person can believe in that balderdash, more so now that we have a better understanding of the universe.

Now, Muslims were much more intelligent than their prophet. It was hard for them to swallow his nonsense. At the same time it was not possible for them to question his word. So they came up with this idea that the Quran has some hidden meaning.  The Shiites who are notorious for fabricating hadiths have invented a hadith in which they claim Muhammad said the Qur’an has an inner meaning, and that this inner meaning conceals a yet deeper inner meaning, and so on (up to seven levels of meaning).

This view is shared by the Sufis, and the Ismailia who also believe the Quran has a batin, Inner or esoteric meaning, and a zahir, apparent or exoteric meaning.

Their interpretation are improbable and quite arbitrary. For example, in ” Say: O unbelievers! I worship not that which you worship”(109/1-2) unbelievers is taken to mean individual self, or the celestial whores are interpreted as “divine visions.”

In his book Tamheedat, Ayn-al-Qudat Hamadani interprets “The fire kindled by Allah, which rises above the hearts” (104/6-7), as “passion of divine love.”

All one has to do to see the absurdity of this claim is to read this small sura. In this sura Muhammad is maligning one of his detractors (allegedly the chief Walid ibn Mughira) and says he “amasses wealth and considers it a provision (against mishap); He thinks that his wealth will make him immortal. Nay! he shall most certainly be hurled into the crushing disaster, And what will make you realize what the crushing disaster is? It is the fire kindled by Allah, Which rises above the hearts.”

How in the world Hamadani came to interpret this fire as “passion of divine love” is beyond me.  I

It is not difficult to see such interpretations are ridiculous. Muhammad gave a detailed description of the physical attributes of these virgin whores. From the Quran we learn the celestial whores have high bosoms, (firm breasts) black eyes, very white skin, so on and so forth.

No matter how one tries to interpret the Quran the interpretations don’t add up. Sometimes they become outright ridiculous.  I saw on Youtube a very high ranking cleric from Pakistan (I believe an Ahmadi/Qadiani) saying that the jinns mentioned in the Quran are bacteria.  His reasoning was that in one hadith Muhammad said don’t wipe your arses with bone because it is food for jinns. He then concluded that since bacteria eat the meat on the bone, ergo, jinns mentioned in the Quran are bacteria.  This illustrious cleric forgot that in other places Muhammad claimed that he visited the town of the jinns, spent a night with them and converted many of them into Islam.  Did Muhammad transform himself into bacteria to perform this miracle?

The best answer to show that the Quran must not be interpreted in any other way than its obvious meaning comes from the Quran itself.  The Quran repeatedly claims to be a “clear book” (5:15) “easy to understand” (44:58 , 54:22 , 54:32, 54:40) “explained in detail” (6:114), “conveyed clearly”, (5:16, 10:15) and with “no doubt” in it (2:1).  Are you going to interpret these verses too?

I know it is hard, but honesty requires that we reject Islam and give up on that fantasy once and for all. Reinterpreting the Quran and reinventing Islam are futile.  We have to stick to the truth.  Truth is not painful. It is the shattering of lies that is painful. But once those lies are shattered, they are shattered for good. You will be set free and only sky will by your limit.  It is truly a new birth to be able to think freely without the shackles of blind faith.

The very idea of interpreting a divine book of guidance is a logical fallacy.  Let us say a teacher is not very specific in explaining his subject and leaves it to the students who interpret it in their way.  Would you say he is a good teacher?  Let us say he has 73 students, all but one flunk.  Doesn’t that raise an eyebrow that maybe the teacher is at fault?

Now you are telling me that this all knowing all wise God is not very clear in his guidance and has left it to humans to interpret what he said.  According to his own prophet, his followers will be split in 73 sects and all but one will go to hell.  Is that how you understand God?

If we pay attention to what the Quran says and don’t try to gloss over it and interpret it to suit our own whims we can find the truth even in the Quran. That is how I found it – yes right from the Quran. Prior to it I refused to read any book of raddiah, refuting Islam.   So I commend the Muslims who read my articles, for obviously they are more open minded than yours truly.

Related article The illusion of reforming islam

 

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  1. ihateislam says:

    Ahmed,
    Still on the 'QURAN IS CLEAR FOR GUIDANCE: MAJOR HARAMS ARE CLEARLY DEFINED"
    In a situation where taqiyya or deceit is allowed, there are no absolutes on what is haram. Something which is forbidden should remain so in all circumstances. Not so in muhammadanism. The post keeps shifting depending on the situation. For instance, alcohol is said to be forbidden, but a muhammadan is allowed to drink it if it serves a purpose. Some of the 9/11 hijackers were reportedly seen drinking alcohol shortly before boarding the flights. That was to make them blend in with others and prevent attracting attention to themselves. Pork is equally forbidden but a muhammadan can eat it as a meal if nothing else is available.
    The Jews also forbid pork and it is unthinkable that they will eat it under any circumstance.
    Killing and stealing are also condemned. But they are permissible when the situation warrants. There is no wrong in killing to collect booty in allah's cause and if the victim is a non muhammadan.
    These few examples show that no haram is clearly defined.

  2. ihateislam says:

    Ahmed,
    You said "THE QURAN IS SO CLEAR FOR GUIDANCE: CONCEPT OF GOD CLEARLY DEFINED".
    Muhammadans regard "shirk" or associating partners with allah as the greatest sin. But allah him/itself is the greatest sinner on this. There are at least 1450 references in the quran when allah employs the plural pronouns such as 'we', 'us', 'our', 'ours', 'ourselves'. No polytheist literature could do better. Those references go back to the pagan origin of allah which was one of the idols in the kaaba. According to Salman Rushdie in his book of the same name, Muhammad chose the idol al-Lah which was the only one with no specific function and made it his supreme being. Muhammadans base their argument on the plurality of majesty where the monarch refers to him/herself using the plural pronoun. But that is not true because the Queen in her address at the opening of the British Parliament says "I or my govt will do this and that". Any refernce in plural is to more than one individual.

  3. Ali Sina says:

    Ahmed wrote,
    "The Question you are asking as to why the Quran misguides people too is simply answered because the Quran is not only a book of guidance but it is a book of testing. It is meant to simultaneously guide and misguide."

    Such a book can only be from Satan. God will never misguide people. Thanks for being so candid.

  4. cchuckc says:

    @Ahmed,
    //Unfortunately, the things you have quoted do not at all prove your points as I have demonstrated.//
    The example of Jesus is shown by Kathir himself. It isn't my invention. It underlines the other parts of the tafsir that I have quoted.

    //Having Alternate meanings but one meaning is true, DOES imply a hidden meaning. //
    Foolish proposition. If there are 10 known alternate meanings and only one known to be true then it only implies that the other 9 may not be a correct rendering. The existence of another hidden meaning is an interpolation. If the one true meaning is not yet known then it only means that you can't even say whether one such meaning (in this case hidden) exists since it can neither be verified nor falsified.

    //how the Quran says that only Allah knows this. The verse does not say that nobody can know it//
    Another ignorance of logic. If ONLY Allah knows it means there is nobody who knows it and in fact by extension there would be nobody who would ever know it. Hence it becomes unknowable. That logical dilemma is resolved by Ibn Kathir (and other tafsirists) by stressing that "As for the Mutashabihat Ayat, they include the abrogated Ayat, parables, oaths, and what should be believed in, but not implemented. ". The point he establishes is that there are alternate meanings possible and only one, known, meaning is true. Only Allah can say which one is correct though. Knowledgeable persons can guess. Off course there must have been scores of knowledgeable persons since eons, so even the correct meaning must now be already known for say last 'X' years. So there remains no point for you to say that there are some hitherto unknown meaning of certain verses.

    //A list of such Ayats: They would usually be those discussing scientific phenomena//
    Escapism. List them down. You must know which verses have till-date unknown meanings.

    //Why have them in the first place? Out of everything you have said so far this is the best! //
    Oh!! I can almost see a gleam in your eyes:-). Well went through the link. First point: Quran isn't the test paper, it is the reference manual. Life is the test so if the author had said that Life has ambiguous situations because these are complexities associated with a test, it would have been meaningful. But it is a poorly written reference book that has ambiguous theories in it. Second Point: Use of allegory that are poorly understood doesn't facilitate limited understanding, it hinders growth of that understanding. The author uses the example of wings and flying, the problem is that there are some birds that have wings but can't fly. So it is not that 'obvious' off course. Though he might be right that the use of wings for angels is only to show greater power and authority, but it is far more likely that angels had always been conceived of as beings with wings or some such organs. Third Point: It is a plain foolish proposition from the author. He is talking about, using one particular example, an allegory. This doesn't imply multiple meanings. Anyone reading that would know what is being talked about. There is no hidden meaning, or unknown meaning in that verse and there is no ambiguity in essence in that example verse. Fourth Point: more on this below.

    //I'm claming exactly what the Quran says. That there are verses in it that have alternate interpretations and alludes to hidden meanings of verses that humans generally don't understand.//
    Very cleverly you are trying to side step my question. I am asking why do you bring these references to existence of allegorical in Quran in refuting this article which mentions some Ayahs from Quran that revisionists have tried to explain away (according to this article)? Is it because these very Ayahs, mentioned in this article, are part of those allegedly allegorical verses alluded to in 3:7, that are destined to have alternate meanings? If yes, mention them, if no, then off course your refutation holds no water.

    //People with or who gained knowledge understand what this verse was truly saying. Imagine the Quran was meant to be clear without ambiguity, could it simultaneously support 7th century belief and modern belief at the same time? No, but since the Quran is for all times and places it is REQUIRED for it to have ambiguous verses so that both beliefs are supported.//
    Same as the fourth point in the linked article. What you are basically saying is that Quranic verses have to support the whims and beliefs of different peoples of different times. So these knowledge aren't absolute but depends on how people choose to fit their knowledge into it. Do you even understand how idiotic that sounds? This is a supreme example of how ludicrous a revisionist argument can get to. In fact what it implies is that Allah is helpless with how (s)he describes the scientific affairs of this universe. So what purpose will such a knowledge serve to the people have a wrong belief. Using your own example, how does the quoted verse improve upon the 7th century interpretation that the orbit this verse is referring to is how the sun moves around Earth? And if it can't help correcting that knowledge (but fits its interpretation in that basically wrong knowledge) then what good use does this verse serve?

  5. ihateislam says:

    Ahmed'
    "MORALS ARE DEFINED"
    Adultery and theft are moral issue but muhammadanism does not define whether they are illegal or not. Sura 17; 32 says that adultery is illegal. But other muhammadan provisions cast doubt on its illegality. Muhammad is said to have told his hearers that there is a minimum level of adultery that a man must of necessity commit (Muslim 33 : 6422).There is no number attached to 'minimum'. It remains vague and subject to the interpretation of the individual. He also claimed to have heard from 'Gabriel' that anyone who believes in allah will attain paradise even if he committed theft and illegal sexual intercourse (Bukhari 9:93:579). As only muhammadans believe in allah it means they are given a blank cheque on adultery. Then there is the issue of 'muta' which was approved for his fighting soldiers but later discarded. But some muhammadans, particularly the shiites, still hold it as 'halal'. According to Ali Riza Demicran in his book "Sexual Life According to Islam", neither the quran nor sunnah fixes any penalty for sexual offenses. Is adultery legal or illegal in muhammadanism? What about theft? There is no clear guidance.

  6. knowTheEnemy says:

    ["If the final meaning is known to Allah alone, that means that the verses have a meaning we do not know, a bigger meaning. An allegorical meaning. It's not that hard.  
    So if  "people who have wisdom and knowledge" cannot get the entire picture of a verse that means that that verse has some kind of hidden meaning. Is it really that hard?"]

    It seems you do not correctly understand what an allegory is. Allegories have hidden meaning but people of knowledge can indeed correctly figure out what that meaning is. If an allegory is so ambiguous that even after trying real hard for years people of knowledge cannot figure out its meaning, then that allegory is a bad allegory…. nothing more than worthless mumbo-jumbo.

    Allegories are supposed to make things easier to understand, not harder! From wikipedia– "…. a major reason for this is [allegory's] immense power to illustrate complex ideas and concepts in ways that are easily digestible and tangible to its viewers, readers, or listeners."

    If an allegory is very difficult to interpret, then it means that someone needs to come up with a better allegory.

  7. Ahmed says:

    Why don't you refer to other Islamic sources other than Ibn Kathir. Clearly you are inable to comprehend Ibn Kathir's tafsir. 

    Quote: "I said exactly what Ibn Kathir said more as a gist than anything. The definition of the two words more than enough summarizes the tafsir here. It doesn't help to copy paste the whole stuff here. As a matter of fact I quoted the example he uses to expand on this theme."

    Unfortunately, the things you have quoted do not at all prove your points as I have demonstrated. In fact, it further shows your desperation and ignorance. 

    Quote: "Having alternate meanings don't imply hidden meanings. And as far as meanings only known to Allah is concerned they are useless since only Allah knows and nobody can know it. By pressing this point you are accepting that some Ayahs in Quran are only known to Allah, not knowable to human beings. 1. Do you have a list of such Ayahs? 2. Why have them in the first place, if meanings are not just unknown, but in fact unknowable then they are rubbish "

    Having Alternate meanings but one meaning is true, DOES imply a hidden meaning. This idea is even further shown in how the Quran says that only Allah knows this. The verse does not say that nobody can know it is that is just ignorance in the Arabic on your part. 

    1.) A list of such Ayats: They would usually be those discussing scientific phenomena and things pretty much irrelevant with respect to following your commandments (the commandments are clear)

    2.) Why have them in the first place? Out of everything you have said so far this is the best! Great question, you should examine why. Here is an article detailing it:&nbsp ;http://www.quran-islam.org/articles/part_3/allegories_in_the_quran_(P1384).html

    Quote"This as a matter of fact is a foolish quote. 29:43 here is a only given its literal translation which is "no one understands them or ponders them except those who are possessed of deep knowledge". What follows next isn't an interpretation or expansion of this meaning but an anecdote. Even a great scholar like Ibn Kathir realizes that 29:43 is an aberration, it doesn't gel well with 29:44 and must remain in the context of 29:41-42 which are plain admonishments. So Kathir keeps it to its skeletal meanings and talks about a related anecdote"

    You consider it to be a foolish quote. It is obvious what the verse is saying and what the context is displaying. It is also important to note that the Quran is not like the bible in its word flow and context, like we have discussed before is a book of guidance, a book of testing, a book of mystery and a book containing verses that are ambiguous. So of course Quran 29:43 doesn't gel with the next verse taking about creation. What you have here is Quran 29:43 telling you that Allah gives examples onto people in the Quran that only people who have/gain knowledge can understand. And then the Quran points to natural phenomena to further allude to its point. LIke we said before, you don't read the Quran passively, you read it actively. It is supposed to be an intellectual challenge, it is not like a book we read. Next I love how you refer to the "ancedote", Ibn Kathir's skeletal meaning is the meaning that he uses with reference to the historical background of the verse, but he too understands that that is no the only meaning of tht verse. 

    Quote: "Are you claiming that the Ayahs quoted in the article above are such Ayahs which you think are in the 'unknowable' category? Or are you suggesting that alternate interpretations should be considered even if they are disjoint from the historical context of the 'revelations' of these Ayahs, including those that you claim are dichotomous?"

    I'm claming exactly what the Quran says. That there are verses in it that have alternate interpretations and alludes to hidden meanings of verses that humans generally don't understand. Further, the Quran is not meant for only one time, it holds many interpretations for many periods of time. 

    I will give an example:

     (And he is the one who created the night, daylight, sun and the moon, all swimming in an orbit). (Quran, The Prophets: 33).

    ^7th century interpretation is that the orbit this verse is referring to is how the sun moves around Earth
    ^but the correct interpretation is that the orbit this verse is referring to is just that the sun has an orbit. 

    People with or who gained knowledge understand what this verse was truly saying. Imagine the Quran was meant to be clear without ambiguity, could it simultaneously support 7th century belief and modern belief at the same time? No, but since the Quran is for all times and places it is REQUIRED for it to have ambiguous verses so that both beliefs are supported. 

    There is indeed a lot you don't know, that's what I have been trying to tell you. Knowledge is power and you need to pursue it with a passion. You need to look at Islamic sites as well. If you have a hard time interpreting one tafsir look at others, you have the internet in tips of your fingers. Do not manipulate Quranic verses as it does you no benefit. 

  8. Ahmed says:

    Okay, I am getting really tired of this deception of yours. You are desperately trying to manipulate this verse because you know this verse presents a problem to this article. Your ignorance in the Arabic language and your excuses are guided by a motive to keep this article standing. 

    Why don't you simply go to Islamic sources and see what they have to say about that verse. This verse cannot be any more clear but you manipulate it. 

    This verse is clearly telling you that there are Quranic verses that are clear and that there other verses that are unclear. End of story, no further analysis needed. This fact alone contradicts this article. But, you, you must complicate things further because you must have this verse translate it the way you want it rather than its clear linguistic nature. Read it word for word and you'll understand. 

    Further, Ibn Kathir directly tells us that " the wordings of the Mutashabihat encompass such a wide area of meanings. As for the Muhkam Ayat, they cannot be altered because they are clear and, thus, constitute unequivocal proof against the misguided people."

    So we have clear verses and unclear verses. The unclear verses' interpretation is only known by Allah. The Quran is so easy to understand you don't even need tafsirs, here is a word for word, I strong urge you reflect upon it:
    http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=3

    Think about it this way, if this verse wanted to say that All quranic verses are clear and only have one interpretation, would it have been worded this way? Rather, what if the Quran wanted to say that there are verses that have multi-layered meanings but their true meanings are only known to Allah and that those of wisdom and knowledge may grasp it? What would the Quran have said, exactly what it said in 3:7

    Further, "Men of wisdom" are those people who gain wisdom, in here you have the Quran also giving you advice that you should become a man of wisdom and study the Quran and the world around you. The problem with your third paragraph is that not only do you present emotional arguments, but you remain ignorant on the topic. Indeed those who willfully misinterpret the Quran or wish to remain willfully ignorant or those who have intellectual dishonesty will indeed suffer a punishment in hell. If you are well versed in the Quran you would know that sin from ignorance is not a crime. 

    The Question you are asking as to why the Quran misguides people too is simply answered because the Quran is not only a book of guidance but it is a book of testing. It is meant to simultaneously guide and misguide. 

    I will refer you to this article: Read it if you want (at least skim it), it is important for your understanding:
    http://www.quran-islam.org/articles/part_3/allego

    Can a real God put ordinary people in such complicated situations?

    Yes, yes he can especially if it is a requirement to keep their purpose in life intact. 

  9. ihateislam says:

    Whether some verses of the quran are certain or not has never been in contention. The issue is why allah should send the ambiguous verses when he/it knows or is supposed to know that human intelligence is limited. Why did he/it bother to tease man with something whose meaning and relevance are hidden from him(man)?
    Many disagree with your saying that the quran is clear for guidance. In sura 2:256 allah says there should be no compulsion in religion. Yet in sura 48:15 he/it says "YOU SHALL FIGHT THEM UNLESS THEY EMBRACE ISLAM-". Elsewhere the quran " allows" people to keep to their religion because neither can worship what the other does. But it counters this by saying that apostates should be seized and killed.There are many other verses where the indication is that the only way out for a non muhammadan is conversion.What is the clear guidance given here?Is embracing muhammadanism compulsory or not? This lack of certainty has prompted muhammadan 'scholars' to hold that sura 2:256 has been abrogated. This is just one aspect. As a book of guidance the quran is wanting.

  10. cchuckc says:

    @Ahmed,
    //Certainly not the verses on guidance and duties and right and wrong. Nope. Its the verses that discuss natural phenomena for example. //
    It is attitude like this that prompts Muslim to discover natural laws correctly explained in Quran. So we have somebody like Zakir Naik claim that Quran describes Big Bang. Easy since now the phenomenon is known (or at least accepted with a high degree of trust among scientific community) and some words can be attenuated to fit a particular description. Tomorrow if Big Bang is falsified and some other theory gains prominence another Naik would come and show how Quran fits the bill to the 'T'. The possibilities are immense!!

  11. cchuckc says:

    @Ahmed,
    //That is a manipulation and that is deception. //
    I said exactly what Ibn Kathir said more as a gist than anything. The definition of the two words more than enough summarizes the tafsir here. It doesn't help to copy paste the whole stuff here. As a matter of fact I quoted the example he uses to expand on this theme.

    //bn Kathir clearly understood that there are verses in the Quran with alternate meanings and meanings that only Allah knows and there are verses that are clear and are the foundation of the book.//
    Having alternate meanings don't imply hidden meanings. And as far as meanings only known to Allah is concerned they are useless since only Allah knows and nobody can know it. By pressing this point you are accepting that some Ayahs in Quran are only known to Allah, not knowable to human beings. 1. Do you have a list of such Ayahs? 2. Why have them in the first place, if meanings are not just unknown, but in fact unknowable then they are rubbish

    //With regards to Quran 29:41-43 , yes it was revealed for a purpose, but Ibn Kathir also realizes that it has a bigger meaning overall when he said//
    This as a matter of fact is a foolish quote. 29:43 here is a only given its literal translation which is "no one understands them or ponders them except those who are possessed of deep knowledge". What follows next isn't an interpretation or expansion of this meaning but an anecdote. Even a great scholar like Ibn Kathir realizes that 29:43 is an aberration, it doesn't gel well with 29:44 and must remain in the context of 29:41-42 which are plain admonishments. So Kathir keeps it to its skeletal meanings and talks about a related anecdote.

    //this article assumes that it is the Muslims that reinterpret the Quran when they shouldn't, when the Quran itself tells you that there are some verses here that are only known by Allah and that some people of knowledge may get an idea of them.//
    Are you claiming that the Ayahs quoted in the article above are such Ayahs which you think are in the 'unknowable' category? Or are you suggesting that alternate interpretations should be considered even if they are disjoint from the historical context of the 'revelations' of these Ayahs, including those that you claim are dichotomous?

  12. knowTheEnemy says:

    ["…. when the Quran itself tells you that there are some verses here that are only known by Allah and that some people of knowledge may get an idea of them. That was the whole point."]

    The Quran does NOT say that "some people of knowledge may get an idea of them". Ibn Kathir said that and you say that. Quran 3:7 on the other hand says that anyone trying to get ideas of what the hidden meaning might be, is "seeking discord" and has perversity in their hearts. It seems to be saying that verses should be followed exactly as they are even if they are unclear!

    But let's say that you are right and some "people of wisdom" (eg ibn kathir) are allowed to get an idea of what the Quran is really saying, then ordinary people face another major dilemma. How do they know which men are the "men of wisdom"?? Ordinary people are themselves confused and are looking for guidance but now thanks to Allah, they have figure out which scholars understand Quran correctly!!! They have to figure out which sect out of the 70+ sects, has men of wisdom, so that they can practice Islam correctly! And if they make error in choosing the right sect, they will end up in eternal hell!! Do you really not see the absurdity here? Can a real God put ordinary people in such complicated situations? 

  13. knowTheEnemy says:

    All you are doing is play mental gymnastics to somehow make sense out of Quran, but I am afraid you are failing repeatedly! According to you, no matter how hard the people of knowledge try, they will never know for sure what the allegorical verses are really saying. “Only Allah knows for sure”.Well here is the problem with such logic. There are plenty of verses in the Quran that are ambiguous. If only Allah knows for sure what they are really saying, then those verses stay ambiguous (to humans)! And that fact makes it conflict with other verses that claim that Quran is “conveyed clearly” and “easy to understand”. Except that a book sent by God cannot have such conflicts. If it has conflicts, then it cannot be a book from God! Once again, you are only trying to defend what cannot be defended!

  14. Ahmed says:

    The manipulation is only posting the part of the Ibn Kathir translation you liked, but you didn't post the other part the debunked what you are saying. That is a manipulation and that is deception. 

    Ibn Kathir was clear on what he meant. I even posted it. Ibn Kathir clearly understood that there are verses in the Quran with alternate meanings and meanings that only Allah knows and there are verses that are clear and are the foundation of the book. Every muslim scholar agrees that this verse is contrasting clear verses in the Quran and ambiguous verses of the Quran. This verse presents a defeat to this article here because this article assumes that it is the Muslims that reinterpret the Quran when they shouldn't, when the Quran itself tells you that there are some verses here that are only known by Allah and that some people of knowledge may get an idea of them. That was the whole point. 
    ——-

    With regards to Quran 29:41-43 , yes it was revealed for a purpose, but Ibn Kathir also realizes that it has a bigger meaning overall when he said:

    (And these are the examples We give for mankind; but none will understand them except those who have knowledge.) meaning, no one understands them or ponders them except those who are possessed of deep knowledge. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that `Amr bin Murrah said, "I never came across an Ayah of the Book of Allah that I did not know, but it grieved me, because I heard that Allah says: And these are the examples We give for mankind; but none will understand them except those who have knowledge. )''

    Thus this verse is very relevant to the topic. 

  15. Ahmed says:

    People of knowledge will not be able to get the entire picture of the verse, but only a strong idea of what it is trying to say. Even with that strong idea, they still do not know for sure. Only Allah knows for sure. That is what it is saying. I think you are just trying to find an excuse in a clear verse. I'm sorry, but you are going to have to look elsewhere, this verse cannot be more clear. 

    Everyone can understand what the Quran is really saying. You just are reluctant to see it because you'd rather make excuses. I think I have seen enough excuse making from you. 

    Here are the logical premises:

    Premise 1: Verses are completely specific are have a clear interpretation, and verses that are unspecific can have multiple interpretations

    Premise 2: The Quran contains verses that are unspecific

    Premise 3: Therefore the Quran has verses with multiple interpretations and those include metaphorical, multi-layered meanings etc. 

    I cannot believe I have to lay it out for you to this depth. 

    Not only that you assume that the Quran isn't clear when it comes to orders. Of course it is. Provide and example when the Quran isn't clear when it comes to commandments. Its entirely clear. The Quran provides unspecific verses but they do not have to do with commandments. 

    Don't adhere to ignorance and then attack Islam based on that ignorance. 

  16. Ahmed says:

    Okay, so you are better than the other other guy, you are a little more honest. I commend you for that. So its clear now that the Quran has verses who has some meanings that are only known to Allah.

    Secondly, I have explained it well but it seems like you haven't bothered to let it resonate. There are verses that are only known to Allah and could bring some info to those with knowledge because the Quran is not only a book of guidance, it is also a book of signs, a book of test,and it is universal–for the past and present. The Quran presents verses and words them precisely so that it doesnt contradict beliefs in the past and beliefs of the future. That is why there is an element of vagueness. This is a requirement for the Quran to have. 

    Because it's the book that founded the Islamic Empire and explained to it's early followers how to totally overcome all obstacles before them. 

    A book of guidance must only be clear to those select few it is intended for. Just like scientific papers mean nothing to the illiterate. To understand a book or handbook it must educate and develop it's reader. The Quran does that by commanding it's followers to learn not only the ways of people and the world but to learn about other cultures and types of knowledge. 

    It's why Islam was able to create the institution of science by removing the occultism and superstition in alchemy and the other sconces. This left only what was free of religion and quantifiable to study. 

    You're deluded to think you understand even the first thing about knowledge and human development let alone Quran and history. You've simply created a bunch of strawman arguments using illogical and baseless assertions. 

    But really you're being dishonest to the reader. You're airing your prejudice and being racist and bigoted towards Muslims while hiding behind the veneer of intellectual argument.

    The better analogy with the professor, is the professor who gives you a clear syllabus with exactly what you are supposed to do. But on the exam, he really tests you and tricks you so that he makes it easy for you to pick the right answer. 

    Now with the Quran what you see is:

    Quran is so clear for guidance:

    Worships are defined,
    Morals are defined,
    Concept of God clearly defined,
    Major harams are clearly defined,

    So, where is the problem?

    The syllabus is clearly defined, the test you are wiling to undertake is difficult and its questions are difficult.

    What are the verses that have hidden meanings that only Allah truly knows? Certainly not the verses on guidance and duties and right and wrong. Nope. Its the verses that discuss natural phenomena for example.  

  17. Ahmed says:

    Again you come with excuses and pervert the Quranic knowledge. You only need reason to understand this verse. I cannot believe you are struggling. There isn't a single Arabic speaker nor muslim who would agree with you on what the verse is saying. 

    If the final meaning is known to Allah alone, that means that the verses have a meaning we do not know, a bigger meaning. An allegorical meaning. It's not that hard. 

    So if  "people who have wisdom and knowledge" cannot get the entire picture of a verse that means that that verse has some kind of hidden meaning. Is it really that hard? 

    Think about it this way, if the Quran wanted to say that all verses in the Quran are to be interpreted literally because they are clear, would it have worded 3:7 this way? Of course not. Now if the Quran wanted to say that there are bigger and hidden meanings in a verse, it would perfectly word 3:7 that way. And that is what you see. 

    Unfortunately, Ali Sina has been debunked by one Quranic verse. I even presented tafsirs and commentaries, but I guess evidence doesn't convince the unwilling. 

  18. ihateislam says:

    Ahmed,
    Your post is a long and winding but unnecessary lecture which has failed to explain why the quran "sent as guidance" should contain portions whose meaning is only known to allah. It is like a professor who gives his students the syllabus but tells them not to bother about certain aspects of the work because they are known to him alone. Yet during the examination he sets compulsory questions on those same sections he had told the students not to be concerned with. Allah expects everyone to be guided by the quran and they will be judged on their compliance with the provisions including the very sections whose meanings they do not know or are not entirely clear.

  19. cchuckc says:

    @Ahmed,
    //Not only that, but you have manipulated the Ibn Kathir translation (I really do not like deception and I'm not very forgiving of it)//
    And what was this manipulation? I provided the gist suggested by Ibn kathir himself. From your own reproduction also this comes out: The Muhkamat are the Ayat that explain the abrogating rulings, the allowed, prohibited, laws, limits, obligations and rulings that should be believed in and implemented. As for the Mutashabihat Ayat, they include the abrogated Ayat, parables, oaths, and what should be believed in, but not implemented.
    I don't think there is any doubt what is being explained here. Ibn Kathir himself gives the example of Jesus: For instance, Christians might claim that ﴿`Isa is divine because﴾ the Qur'an states that he is Ruhullah and His Word, which He gave to Mary, all the while ignoring Allah's statements, (He ﴿`Isa﴾ was not more than a servant. We granted Our favor to him.) ﴿43:59﴾, and, (Verily, the likeness of `Isa before Allah is the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then (He) said to him: "Be!'' and he was.) ﴿3:59﴾.
    There are other Ayat that clearly assert that `Isa is but one of Allah's creatures and that he is the servant and Messenger of Allah, among other Messengers…. and so on.

    By the way, I don't hope you be very forgiving.

    //Quran 29:41-43 is giving you examples that no one will understand except those with knowledge//
    You however miss what Ibn Kathir says about 29:41-42: This is how Allah described the idolators in their reverence of gods besides Him, hoping that they would help them and provide for them, and turning to them in times of difficulties. In this regard, they were like the house of a spider, which is so weak and frail, because by clinging to these gods they were like a person who holds on to a spider's web, who does not gain any benefit from that. If they knew this, they would not take any protectors besides Allah. This is unlike the Muslim believer, whose heart is devoted to Allah, yet he still does righteous deeds and follows the Laws of Allah, for he has grasped the most trustworthy handle that will never break because it is so strong and firm. Then Allah warns those who worship others besides Him and associate others with Him that He knows what they do and the rivals they associate with Him. He will punish them for their attribution, for He is All-Wise and All-Knowing.
    29:44 is entirely something else. So in the context 29:43 is a continuation of 29:41-42.

  20. knowTheEnemy says:

    ["This verse completely indicates that there are hidden meanings to the verses of the Quran and those meanings can only be known by those who gained knowledge and Allah."]

    Ok now who is being perverse here! The verse does NOT say "those meanings can only be known by those who gained knowledge and Allah"! The verse says "no one except Allah". Please re-read what you yourself posted. Here is what you have posted-

    "…..but it refers to such profound matters that are beyond human language and though people of wisdom may get some light from it, no one should be dogmatic, as the final meaning is known to Allah alone."

    It says the most that "people of wisdom" can gain from allegorical verses is "some light from it". It does not say that they have gained full knowledge of meanings of Mutashabih verses.

    Once again Ali Sina has hit the nail on the head in this article! Please do not waste your time defending what is indefensible!

  21. knowTheEnemy says:

    ["There are meanings in the Quran that are only with Allah and that only those who gain knowledge can understand them."]

    Well, once those who gain knowledge come to understand what the Mutashabih verses are really saying, then it means that others besides Allah also come to know their hidden meanings. But the Quran says "no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah". If "people of knowledge" also come to know the hidden meanings then verse 3:7 is proven wrong, don't you think?

    ["It does not take a genius, only those who deceive perverse the Quran."]

    I think the blame goes less to people's "perversity" and more to the fact that Quran is unclear about what it is really saying! If only people with great knowledge (eg Amr bin Murrah) can truly know what the Quran is really saying, then all those claims in the Quran about it being "conveyed clearly" and "easy to understand" are proven wrong! Because when something is easy to understand then even simple ordinary people can easily understand it. For example, "Thou shalt not kill" is fairly easy to understand. "He who has not sinned, let him cast the first stone" too is quite easy to understand. All ordinary people can easily understand what these statements are really saying. Only the Quran is so difficult to understand that there are over 70 sects, each with a different understanding of what it is really saying!!

    Ali Sina's article therefore, is spot on!

  22. Ahmed says:

    And just so that we can be entirely sure there is no doubt, here is the Yusof Ali interpretation:

    C347. This passage gives us an important clue to the interpretation of the Holy Quran. Broadly speaking it may be divided into two portions, not given separately, but intermingled: viz.
    1.     the nucleus or foundation of the Book, literally "the mother of the Book".
    2.     the part which is not entirely clear.

    It is very fascinating to take up the latter, and exercise our ingenuity about its meaning, but it refers to such profound matters that are beyond human language and though people of wisdom may get some light from it, no one should be dogmatic, as the final meaning is known to Allah alone.

    The Commentators usually understand the verses "of established meaning" (muhkam) to refer to the categorical orders of the Shariah (or the Law), which are plain to everyone's understanding. But perhaps the meaning is wider:

    the "mother of the Book" must include the very foundation on which all Law rests, the essence of Allah's Message, as distinguished from the various illustrative parables, allegories, and ordinances. (R).

    This verse completely indicates that there are hidden meanings to the verses of the Quran and those meanings can only be known by those who gained knowledge and Allah. 

    Don't show your ignorance of the Quran and then attack Islam based on that Ignorance. It is malignant to those actually searching for truth. This article is far from truth, the ignorance it displays makes my stomach tremble. 

  23. Ahmed says:

    Unfortunately, your ignorance in Islam and reluctance to believe is hindering the true interpretation of those verses. 

    May I suggest a word-for-word translation of the verse? http://corpus.quran.com/wordbyword.jsp?chapter=3&…

    Not only that, but you have manipulated the Ibn Kathir translation (I really do not like deception and I'm not very forgiving of it):

    Let me quote what he said to further prove my point:

    "Allah states that in the Qur'an, there are Ayat that are Muhkamat, entirely clear and plain, and these are the foundations of the Book which are plain for everyone. And there are Ayat in the Qur'an that are Mutashabihat not entirely clear for many, or some people. So those who refer to the Muhkam Ayat to understand the Mutashabih Ayat, will have acquired the correct guidance, and vice versa. This is why Allah said

    (They are the foundations of the Book), meaning, they are the basis of the Qur'an, and should be referred to for clarification, when warranted,

    (And others not entirely clear) as they have several meanings, some that agree with the Muhkam and some that carry other literal indications, although these meaning might not be desired.

    The Muhkamat are the Ayat that explain the abrogating rulings, the allowed, prohibited, laws, limits, obligations and rulings that should be believed in and implemented. As for the Mutashabihat Ayat, they include the abrogated Ayat, parables, oaths, and what should be believed in, but not implemented.

    (they follow that which is not entirely clear thereof) meaning, they refer to the Mutashabih, because they are able to alter its meanings to conform with their false interpretation since the wordings of the Mutashabihat encompass such a wide area of meanings. As for the Muhkam Ayat, they cannot be altered because they are clear and, thus, constitute unequivocal proof against the misguided people. This is why Allah said"

    ^^Its obvious that Ibn Kathir understood that there are verses that are allegorical and hold many meanings and that those meanings are with Allah that those with KNOWLEDGE can truly understand! 

    All you really need to do is read the verse word for word. But rather you manipulate the Quran to suit your own desires. Like I said before, i am not forgiving of those who deceive. I am sure you knew what the Quran was alluding there. A child would understand what the Quran is alluding there. There are meanings in the Quran that are only with Allah and that only those who gain knowledge can understand them. It does not take a genius, only those who deceive perverse the Quran. 
    ——
    Quran 29:41-43 is giving you examples that no one will understand except those with knowledge. 

    Lets look at Ibn Kathir's saying"

    meaning, no one understands them or ponders them except those who are possessed of deep knowledge. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that `Amr bin Murrah said, "I never came across an Ayah of the Book of Allah that I did not know, but it grieved me, because I heard that Allah says:
    ﴿وَتِلْكَ الاٌّمْثَالُ نَضْرِبُهَا لِلنَّاسِ وَمَا يَعْقِلُهَآ إِلاَّ الْعَـلِمُونَ ﴾
    (And these are the examples We give for mankind; but none will understand them except those who have knowledge. )''

    There is absolutely no debate as to what the Quran is alluding here. The Author of this article did nothing but display his ignorance. 

  24. cchuckc says:

    @Ahmed,
    //The Quran clearly says that there are verses with hidden meanings and that only people with knowledge can really grasp those meanings. //
    What hidden meanings? Ibn Kathir in his tafsir on 3:7 doesn't talk about any hidden meanings.
    He says: Allah's statement that the knowledgeable people proclaim, (We believe in it) means, they believe in the Mutashabih. (all of it is from our Lord) meaning, both the Muhkam and the Mutashabih are true and authentic, and each one of them testifies to the truth of the other. This is because they both are from Allah and nothing that comes from Allah is ever met by contradiction or discrepancy.
    He defines these as:
    The Muhkamat are the Ayat that explain the abrogating rulings, the allowed, prohibited, laws, limits, obligations and rulings that should be believed in and implemented. As for the Mutashabihat Ayat, they include the abrogated Ayat, parables, oaths, and what should be believed in, but not implemented.

    As far as 29:43 is concerned it is a continuation of 29:41-42.
    41. The parable of those who seek protectors from other than Allah is that of a spider who builds a house; but indeed, the weakest of houses is the spider's house — if they but knew.) (42. Verily, Allah knows what things they invoke instead of Him. He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.) (43. And these are the examples We give for mankind; but none will understand them except those who have knowledge (of Allah).

    There is nothing to suggest that any hidden meanings in Quran is being alluded to here. This is much like how a mafiaso is shown in the films: You obey me else… followed by an evil, sinister sounding music suggesting that he has some unknown plans for the rebel in the group.

  25. Ahmed says:

    The Quran clearly says that there are verses with hidden meanings and that only people with knowledge can really grasp those meanings. What does that mean? That means that when people gain knowledge they will grasp the true meaning of the Quranic verses.

    Quran 3:7 He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are allegorical. But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: "We believe in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord:" and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding. 

    Quran 29:43 And these examples We present to the people, but none will understand them except those with knowledge! 

    ^Those verses make it clear that there are hidden meanings in the Quran and that only people who gain knowledge can understand.

  26. Ahmed says:

    I also just wanted to give a final say about this article:

    The problem with your answer is that you have given a definition for what a book of guidance should be like. A book of guidance is a book that has the capability to guide. Does the Quran have the capability to guide? Of course it does, so it is a book of guidance. 

    You say that if a book of guidance leaves no room for interpretation, it is no longer a book of guidance. On what basis do you make such an assertion? Something with alternate interpretations no longer makes it a book of guidance? 

    Are you suggesting that alternate interpretations invalidate the Quran as being a book of guidance? If you are, you need to present your logic as to why. I can give you a poem that has the capability to guide you somewhere, because it has alternate interpretations, it is no longer a guide? 

    The better question to ask is, why does the Quran allow metaphorical and alternate interpretations in its verses? To me that is a more reasonable question to ask. 

    The question of the day is:

    *****Why does the Quran vague enough to allow alternate interpretations in its verses*****?

    The first and most important thing to point out is that the Quran is clear in its commandments, your duties, your beliefs etc. A child could understand it without any problem. But the Quran is vague when it comes to natural phenomena. The question we are answering is why? There are 3 reasons!

    1.) The Quran is not only a book of guidance, but it is also a trial/test for people . You presented an analogy of getting direction to go somewhere. The problem with that analogy is that you assume the direction giver is just giving you direction so that you will always get to the place you want. What if the direction giver is like a teacher who is testing you and gives you vague directions so that he can see whether you will do it right or wrong? The Quran is clear that life is a test and that you were created to be tested. Further the Quran also allows room for interpretation in its verses to see how bad muslims can perverse the meaning of the Quran to make their own desires, in which case they failed the test. We saw an example of that with modern day suicide bombers. Allah wanted to test people through the Quran but at the same time allow the Quran to guide. That is exactly what you see. 

    Watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uj4DS_QQY…

    2.) The Quran must be vague enough to support 7th century belief and modern belief. The Quran is a book of guidance for all times and places. The Quran has verses for the past, and future (ex. Go to space when you can). Therefore, it must logically follow that the Quran must support 7th century belief and modern belief without contradicting either belief. You see this through out the Quran. The Quran is very precise in its language so that it achieves this goal of supporting both beliefs simultaneously. 

    Here is one example: 
    (Quran 21:33) And it is He who created the night and the day and the sun and the moon; all in an orbit are swimming. 
    ^Look at this verse and ANALYZE IT. Look at how it supports 7th century fantasy that the sun moves around the Earth and AT the same time supports our beliefs that the sun indeed does have an orbit! it was so precise in its langauge that it supports both beliefs at the same time without contradicting either belief. You see this throughout the Quran. So READ IT and QUESTION ISLAM.

    3.) Not only is the Quran a book of guidance and a test, but it is also a book of Signs (ayats)! It points you to signs so that you can find Allah and Islam. I hope you watched the video I posted earlier on this topic! Watch it, it should explain itself: The Quran must be clear so that it compels those whose hearts are open, but it must be sufficiently vague so it doesn't compel those whose hearts are closed (or unwilling to believe). If the Quran gives you proof of God through direct verses, then it would violate your purpose in life. It would be like the professor gives you answers to the exam. 
    Further, you say that it is Muslims who are interpreting the Quran and it is us that are saying it has some kind of hidden meaning. Indeed that is just a reflection of your ignorance! The Quran ITSELF tells you there are verses with hidden meanings that ONLY people who GAIN knowledge can understand it. That pretty much debunks your whole interpretation argument.

  27. Ahmed says:

    Everyone can understand the simple Quran. Again, i'm going to refer you to this verse. The Quran is CLEAR that there are allegorical verses with hidden meanings in them:

    Quran 3:7 He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are allegorical. But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: "We believe in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord:" and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding. 

    The Quran is clear and simple but at the same time it does contain ambiguity. You say that it presents a logical contradiction. I tell you that a book can be clear/simple but at the same time contain allegorical verses that are for those who gain knowledge. Imagine I write to you this sentence and I tell you that this sentence is clear but at the same time has a hidden meaning that only people with guidance can understand:

    "I created the Earth in 2 periods (41:9) and I created the Universe in 6 periods (10:3)". 

    Its clear that I created the Earth in 2 periods of time and I created the universe in 6 periods of time. Its clear! End of the story. 

    Now I tell you there is a hidden meaning in this verse! Does this hidden meaning make the verse somehow not clear? Of course not, this verse hints at natural phenomena, that's all you need to know! 

    What is the hidden meaning you say? Earth in 2 periods/universe in 6 periods. That means that Earth should be roughly 2/3rds the age of the universe. Science tells us the Earth is 4.54 billion years old and that the universe is 13.7 billion years old. 4.54/13.7=1/3rd. That is the hidden meaning of this verse. The Author of this article suggests that no verse can have a hidden meaning (that has clearly been debunked in the verses I have shown (3:7, 29:43)), no question about it. Your problem is that you say that a book cannot be clear and ambiguous at the same time. I say it is possible if you word it precisely. And you say exactly how that works. 

    Now you have also displayed your lack of reasoning once you said that if you take something figuratively, you are a poet. If you had an iota of conspicuousness, you wouldn't say something like that and your argument holds no water (oops did I just use figurative language, you interpreted that figuratively, huh?, you must be a poet). 

    What did Muhammad mean by creation from Clay. Surely Muhammad has seen blood, doesn't look like clay does it? You have to say it was allegorical. Clay being wet-earth. I think you are entirely discrediting Muhammad and making him appear dumb. No dumb person could be as successful as Muhammad. 

    The creation of birds from clay in the Quranic story of Jesus is nothing more than a miracle that Jesus has performed back then. It had nothing to do with creation of humans. Indeed that is your own perception 

    Further, the Quran makes it clear that we are made from an EXTRACT of clay. [23.12] And certainly We created man of an extract of clay,

    Further to show you that the Quran's creation from clay is allegorical, The clay represents the organic and inorganic matter which makes up living organisms. This interpretation is supported by the fact the Qur'an also says that man is made from 'dust' and from 'the essence of clay.' Since the Qur'an uses different objects to represent the same thing, the author of the Qur'an (which Muslims believe is God) either kept contradicted himself, or was speaking metaphorically.

    Not only that MANY verses in the Quran show that we were produced from the Earth:

    (Quran 71:17) And Allah has caused you to grow from the earth a [progressive] growth. 
    (Quran 11:61) It is He Who has produced you from the earth and settled you therein..

    No logical person can possibly say that the Quran clay account is literal in even the eyes of Muhammad. We were created from the Earth, both a scientific fact and a Quranic statement. 

    Further it is important to state that the Quran is a book of guidance for all times and all places. So it must logically follow that is must support 7th century belief and modern belief simultaneously without contradicting each belief and you see that exactly with the Quran. 

    I will bring an example: 

    (Quran 21:33) And it is He who created the night and the day and the sun and the moon; all in an orbit are swimming.

    ^Look at this verse and ANALYZE IT. Look at how it supports 7th century fantasy that the sun moves around the Earth and AT the same time supports our beliefs that the sun indeed does have an orbit! There is a reason it was worded so precisely! Signs are for those who think. 

    I sincerely URGE you to KEEP questioning Islam. Its best for you in the end..trust me! I recommend that you question that you study, but have an open heart, and do not have willful ignorance!

    [youtube uj4DS_QQYfo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uj4DS_QQYfo youtube]

  28. ihateislam says:

    It is the quran which stands discredited in the eyes of reasonable people but not the author of the article. Allah says that the quran is clear aand simple. This means that it is devoid of any ambiguity. However, it contradicts itself by claiming that certain verses require only the knowledge of experts. What happens if one does not have access to such experts? It means he/she cannot understand the "simple' quran. Why would an all knowing god complicate things for very simple folk by couching some parts of the quran in a language that requires special interpretation?
    By saying that Muhammad took some of the portions of the quran figuratively, you are contradicting allah who said that Muhammad was not a poet. Therefore, what he said had literal meaning. Muhammad meant what he said by the claim that man was made from clay. There is a similar creation of birds from clay by the quranic Jesus. None of these was metaphorical. When muhammadans find themselves in a bind, they bring in innovations which Muhammad himself condemned.
    That is what you are trying to do. But beware of the reaction from your muhammadan brothers.

  29. Ahmed says:

    The author or this article has really shown his ignorance in islam and is therefore discredited in the eyes of knowledgeable Muslims. 

    1.) It is obvious that the Quran is not a text like our modern texts. The Quran has been known to use figurative language. Indeed we are sure the prophet Muhammad himself took them figuratively as shown in Hadiths. For example: Creation from clay–its obvious Muhammad can see people bleed and its obvious they are not made of clay, but he took it metaphorically. There is no other way he could have took it. All it takes is a little reason

    2.) The Quran is not a book of answers. It is a book of guidance. It will guide you to your direction rather than directly tell you where to go. In that case, alternate interpretations are necessary so that not everyone follows the same direction. According to the Quran, life is a test. If Allah gives you the answers to the test, it would violate the puprose of the test. It would be like the professor decides to give you th eanswers to the exam–what is the piont of the exam? Instead the professor gives you the necessary information so that you  interpret, apply and analyze it to reach a conclusion on the multiple choice exam. The exam may have some misleading choices and it may misguide you as well. So by saying that it is not like God to mislead, is absolutely out of the question. 

    3.) The opinions of other Muslims do not hold true to what the clear book (Quran) says. The Quran clearly says that there are verses with hidden meanings and that only people with knowledge can really grasp those meanings. What does that mean? That means that when people gain knowledge they will grasp the true meaning of the Quranic verses. 

    Quran 3:7 He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are allegorical. But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: "We believe in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord:" and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding.

    Quran 29:43 And these examples We present to the people, but none will understand them except those of knowledge.

  30. admin says:

    Actually the description of al-Dajjal, the anti-Christ, fits perfectly on Islam itself. And why would Jesus be born to destroy this anti-Christ? Why not Mohammed?…. Basically it says Islam will be destroyed!

  31. Serpent says:

    Communism as a political concept should not be conflated with Atheism, afterall, atheism is not defined as "whatever atheists do."Majority of atheists aren't communists."

    Communism as well as fascism is an atheist invention,it didn't appear out of thin air.

    ===========
    Atheism, afterall, atheism is not defined as "whatever atheists do."

    Atheism is the lack of belief in god/s.The atrocities committed by the communists did not contradict their atheism,it's still very much intact.

    ==============
    Majority of atheists aren't communists."

    Not today but during the communist rule,the majority of atheists were communists.

    =============
    To use a broad brush painting atheism with communism with the same color is akin to blaming Christianity on the insanity of Islam"

    Islam is not a christian invention but communsim is an atheist invention

    ==============
    I shall remain dismayed at any individual that sees a divine retribution in the suffering of others."

    Couldn't agree more.So why not start exposing the atrocities committed by atheists in todays atheist majority North Korea.Expose the ever increasing rate of infanticide,these infants are strangled and stabbed to death.

  32. Knower says:

    The difference between Quran and Vedas
    is that while Quran is supposed to be narrated by Gabriel or Allah through two curtains made of pearls or jewels or whatever, Vedas were revealed in hearts of Rishis/Sages. Thus Vedas is intuitive knowledge. Since it is intuitive knowledge, it can have all the three persons (first, second and third) as per the context.

    Quran however was dictated. And the dictation started with "I start with name of Allah…" proving that the writer of Quran is someone else. Had it started in any person (first, second or third) but did not have "I START with name of Allah", it could be still accepted as Allah&#039s curious ways of giving message (refer the article on Allah – limited or shapeless for more curious ways of Allah). But here we have Allah dictating Muhammad that "I start with name of Allah..!"

    Sometimes the contradictory and confusing descriptions of Allah in Quran makes one feel that there are two different characters with name Allah. One Allah is the God or someone close to God. But other Allah is a different person having lots of weaknesses like anger, colluding with Satan etc.

  33. Saveworld says:

    ISLAM=Stupid, Lazy, Rubbish, Problem, Lie,  Barbarian, Dirty, Ugly, Noisy, Crazy, Oppress, Violent, Behead, Horror, War, Boom, Politic, Womanizing, Pedophilia, Polygamy, Fanatic, Evil, Terrorist

  34. John K says:

    Not so. The Quran says that its message is clear. And indeed it is. How much clearer can you get than to kill the unbelievers wherever you find them?

  35. John K says:

    Summary of Quran on being saved from hell: Obey Muhammad.

  36. zitouni says:

    Things that save you from hell in koran are easy to understand and need no interpretation or expert to help you understand them .

  37. Ousmane says:

    Since you are citing Ayn al Quzat Hamadani, i would like to also bring to your attention that he said in the same Tamhidat : "They are deaf, how could they hear the Koran, they are speechless, how could they recite it, they are blind, how could they see the beauty of the Koran ? Despite his perfect knowledge of the language, Abu Jahl has not heard one word of the Koran. In fact, you have to know yourself, to know your Lord" 8/236

  38. Ousmane says:

    The beetle hates the smell of the rose and will therefore never comprehend those who are attracted to its perfume… When a veiled lady exhaling a beautiful perfume passes by and does not respond to your advances, your worse way to save face is to assume she is probably not pretty under her veil…. Well, she will unveil herself only to the ones who deserve to see her beauty, the others will have to imagine, lie to themselves and die in ignorance. Those who have been blessed to see that beauty remain silent as you would about the intimate beauty of your companion (if you are a being blessed with decency). To those who are looking for a weft in the word of Allah, they are jailed in the world of discursive sciences and cannot elevate themselves to other ways of knowing. A Verse of the Koran is like an oasis in the desert and the desert has no road, no beginning and no end. Trying to encapsulate the Koran in rationality is doing the exactly the same mistake Judas did when he tried to contemplate the greatness of Christ… That little window in the jail is nowadays called a… judas. "This Koran is of Noble Origin, Jealously kept scriptures that will only be accessible to those who are purified" Koran, Sura56 Verses77-79.

  39. John K says:

    Hi Naeem,

    If you read the entire Quran you will realize that Allah is not God. Allah is Muhammad's invention to excuse his bad behavior. If you read Dr. Sina's book, you will find the key information faster than searching for it on your own.

  40. Ali Sina says:

    Dear Naeem,

    If you want to criticize evolution, please at lease do yourself a favor read it. Learn how it works and then write against it. Obviously you have no clue. A table without a maker cannot come to exist and far less it the chance of a watch to be created without a maker. But the universe is not a table nor is it a watch. It is an evolving mechanism. The reason it’s impossible to reason with you and people like you is because to educate yourself about the thing you reject. I don’t say you should believe in evolution, but at least learn what it is before talking about it.

    Another fallacy in your write up is that after making the claim that this universe could not have come to exist on its own you jump to the conclusion that Islam must be true. No, it is not. Existence of God and Muhammad are unrelated subjects. There are many people who believe in God but don’t believe in Muhammad.

  41. Naeem says:

    First of all. I would like to greet you all my brothers. Just a quick question to all humanity. What are the chances or likeliness for us being here? The sun? Moon? Clouds? Rain? Vitamins? The seasons. Warmth. The way ur body is structured the way it repairs itself? The way u eat and the way u release food? A brain??? To think. With the only certain thing is that u die. And now if the earth was any further or any closer to the sun we would not be here. What are the chances? Now once you come to the reality to see that u were created. Its just a matter of time to where youl discover that there is no other sincerity among the world then Allah. His book gives simple instructions. And at the same time we cnt comprehend the further extent of the extraordinary he might be able to communicate to the process of brain understanding. When u realise this youl see its not abt what we read. Bt we realise its a system that is there no matter what. A system designed that if any other way is chosen you will be lost. I hope this has shed some light on your questions.

  42. John K says:

    That's correct. The Quran also states itself that it is clear and easy to understand, so it fails in its own claims. Guidance is contradictory and driven by trivial desires in Muhammad's life, which is hardly suitable for a book which claims to be the eternal word of God. Why would an eternal word be keyed to mortal circumstances of one man's life? Guidance is also dualistic with norms for good behavior towards Muslims and norms for bad behavior towards non-Muslims, with further complications of bad behavior towards women even when they are Muslim.

  43. John K says:

    Hi h12,

    The point is that if you still think Islam is good, then you still don't know very much about Islam.

    You can start by reading the entire Quran, or you can take advantage of scholarship which has already been done by reading the articles on this site, or asking Dr. Sina to send you a free copy of his book, Understanding Muhammad.

  44. John K says:

    Excellent analyses, Sanada. Thanks for picking up the thread.

  45. John K says:

    Right. And many atheists call themselves spiritualists, so you can say that there is more spirituality in atheism than in Islam.

  46. Sanada_10 says:

    Conclusion: he can't produce one. How can someone produce an evidence of an empty glass? Too bad he didn't understand it.

  47. Sanada_10 says:

    Google "spiritual story" and you'll get plenty, not just religion.

  48. Sanada_10 says:

    Done, read the Joseph's story. Spiritual means the thought and mind of human itself interacting with its surrounding. It has nothing to do with divine so any book can have spiritual story including common biography of living people.

  49. Sanada_10 says:

    Comparing Quran-Bible with Old-New Testament is wrong. If you don’t agree then that’s just your ignorant opinion and belief. Do compare the ancient tales in Quran and Bible and know the difference.

    If you can find any spiritual content in those scriptures then why did you choose Islam? Have you done some comparison? Did some measurement like spiritual meter?

    I’ve got one more question: Is Islamic heaven spiritual?

    Man, you love hanging on a straw just for the sake of feeling. Your defense mechanism is way too strong here, even defies anything. Arguing is easy but proving is not and in a debate you have to bring reference.

  50. Sanada_10 says:

    After hot debate between Joseph and his other brothers, they decided to return to their father. This story missed the dramatic scene in Bible where Joseph cried and told his identity to the brothers. He showed no ill feeling towards his brothers and said in Gen 45:5, “And now be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither; for God did send me before you to preserve life”. That’s different from Quranic version, I mean the persona. The story would be better and touching for a person like you if Joseph did this. He even did this in Gen 45:

    14. And he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck.
    15. And he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them; and after that his brethren talked with him.

    Unlike copycat such as Muhammad who only cared about his own feeling, biblical author knew how to make a story. If I was a publisher I wouldn’t hire Muhammad, he was chaotic and selfish in presenting things.

    The brothers returned and told their father about the alleged thieving brother. Jacob was sad after hearing that and felt like a dying man noticed by his sons, but he denied with a silly answer. This is contrary to the biblical version that leads to a “happy ending” where Jacob knew Joseph was still alive and ruled Egypt. Suddenly out of nothing, Jacob said in verse 87, “"O my sons! go ye and enquire about Joseph and his brother”. The story didn’t click at all since all this time Jacob was grieving about Joseph until his appearance looked like a dying man (verse 85). If he knew the unknown then why did he even weep like that?

    Then the brothers went back to Egypt after being told to search Joseph and his brother. How did they know that Joseph was in Egypt? Why didn’t they search elsewhere first? This time Joseph told his identity and said in verse 90, “never will Allah suffer the reward to be lost, of those who do right”. This is so Muhammad, Joseph in Bible saw it as fate and blessing in disguise but here, he saw it as this. After the brothers admitted the superiority of him he forgave them. Sigh, Muhammad again. In Bible, Joseph didn’t do this and shed tears with all of his brothers.

    After Jacob received the news he said in verse "Did I not say to you, 'I know from Allah that which ye know not?'". Then why were you even distressed like that, old man?

    Cut short, Jacob and family went to Egypt and met Joseph. They then fell down to prostration in front of Joseph as fulfillment of his dream. Where is the Pharaoh? In Bible, Joseph introduced them to the real ruler. Don’t tell me Muhammad discarded him and replaced him with Joseph because he didn’t like this pagan king. He was still king you know. The story ends with Joseph proclaiming his thankfulness to Allah and wanted to die as muslim while in Bible the story still continued.

    Not quite good for a novel I must say since it has many holes and certainly many novels can best this including biblical version, so why don’t you follow bible instead of this? Oh wait, if you read one good novel full of spirituality, will you follow the author or take it as divinely inspired? I can say that you worship spirituality itself but not god in particular.

    So what is the context of Surah 12? It’s all about authenticity, how to make Muhammad as legitimate prophet both in the eyes of polytheists and people of the book. He wouldn’t use other spiritual story unrelated to Judaism would he? What’s the point anyway? The level of spirituality was not his interest, legitimacy was. That’s why he inserted some of his “own self” into this story. He didn’t create this story he just copied it so it was a copied “spiritual” content which doesn’t deserve any credit. If you love copied goods with lower quality and call it massive then that will be your own standard. I’ll take the real thing not this.

    Oh, what if someone make another new religion and copy/modify this story again? Will you read it?

  51. Sanada_10 says:

    Next, it’s jail time. 2 guys came and asking about pressing wine and carrying bread with bird. Then Joseph responded by stating the usual monotheistic remarks which of course had some selfish element in there but this verse disturb me. He said in verse 37, “I have [I assure you] abandoned the ways of a people that believe not in Allah and that [even] deny the Hereafter.” Did that mean Joseph was a polytheist before? In biblical version Joseph didn’t make this remark and answered those 2 men directly and it was consistent with his previous story. I feel like reading Muhammad not Joseph here.

    You know, this dream thingy was not different with parable used by ancient people. Joseph explained that the pressing wine was a sign of the guy serving his king wine and carrying bread was the sign of crucifixion with bird, maybe crow eating his head. When you look at biblical version, it has more detail like number 3 or head as decapitated head.

    Next, Pharaoh was dreaming about 7 fat cows and 7 ears of corn were overwhelmed by their skinny and withered counterparts. The pattern is the same, number represents time and the foods represent … foods too. This is the same with bible, Muhammad just copied this.

    Next, Pharaoh said to the ladies who cut their hands in verse 51, “you all should be playing parody scene”, oh wait, that’s wrong, this is what he said, “"What was your affair when ye did seek to seduce Joseph from his [true] self?". When did they do that anyway, they were just invited and played that hilarious scene, nothing more. Then they answered, "Allah preserve us! No evil know we against him!". Oh, they shout “Allah” again so enough with this parody group. Then out of nothing the wife of Aziz said, "Now is the truth manifest [to all]: it was I who sought to seduce him from his [true] self: He is indeed of those who are [ever] true [and virtuous]”. It’s so quick to surrender eh? Did the director tell her to do that? This is so cliché.

    After that Joseph was released and said in verse 55, "Set me over the store-houses of the land: I will indeed guard them, as one that knows [their importance]". Strange, in biblical version it was Pharaoh who asked this. Again, I feel like reading Muhammad persona on this one, also in verse 57. The story of Joseph’s family is also absent in Quran. In biblical version Joseph married daughter of Egyptian priest.

    Next, brother reunion, Joseph met his brothers and said in verse 59, “Bring unto me a brother ye have, of the same father as yourselves, [but a different mother]: see ye not that I pay out full measure, and that I do provide the best hospitality?”. Well, I don’t know that Joseph had a boastful attitude like this but I know that Muhammad had. In biblical version, the story is more complete involving his dream about his brother, spies, his personal vengeance, sadness, prison, and debates, without the self praised sentence of course.

    After the brother (with no name) came, Joseph told his brother about his identity with no emotion and assured him not to grieve. In biblical version Joseph wept after seeing his full brother and that’s more dramatic than Quranic version, oh, again and again I feel like reading Muhammad here. As an outsider he of course wouldn’t care about this feeling.

    Then Joseph tricked his other brothers by inserting a cup into his full brother’s bag. Hey, where is the dinner scene involving Egyptian tradition not to eat with Hebrews? This is one more minus point in Quran. After they found the cup the bothers said in verse 77, "If he steals, there was a brother of his who did steal before [him]". Joseph got angry but hide it in his heart (like Muhammad) and said, "Ye are the worse situated; and Allah knoweth best the truth of what ye assert!". Really, this is Muhammad’s persona not Joseph since this doesn’t exist in Bible. Character assassination was one of Muhammad’s trademarks to his enemies. Not only that, some white washing also occurred regarding this incident. Some scholars insisted that the cup was not part of the Joseph’s plan for false accusation but a reward instead and he did that without informing his servants and let some unknown “crier” caught the brothers. This is not logical. Verse 70 and 71 is also contradictory to each other.

  52. Sanada_10 says:

    You wrote, “The spiritual content is massive in some sections, but youd actually have to really try and read it without already thinking its bad. One story I particularly liked was the story of joseph, ( yusuf ).”

    It seems you have misunderstood this, we read first then we decide and we do that after knowing the whole context of Quran. If you want to know something you have to know its core first and the rest will be easier.

    Joseph’s story must be made in Meccan period no doubt about it and the nonbelievers at that time had already answered it (Tales of Ancient). I’ve read it and only see some plagiarized story from Judaism with some modification. In short, I am not impressed but disappointed in fact.

    Let’s put the “massive” to the test. Joseph had a dream that he would be a prophet just like his father then his father forbade him to tell since his brothers didn’t like him, typical family quarrel you’ll find everyday. His brothers plotted to dump him so that they could get their father’s attention or could be for his wealth. His father was sad after he was taken by his brother, again typical family affair (favorite and less favorite sons for various reasons).

    Some travelers got him and sold him to an Egyptian. Raised well in Egypt, he became a grown handsome man and seduced by his master’s wife but he refused (after he saw sign from Allah). Oh wait, so he initially wanted to do that but Allah stopped him. Was it because he was future prophet and if he wasn’t chosen Allah would let him did that? Something doesn’t quite right here, I mean in spiritual context.

    Let’s see his reason in verse 23, “… He said: "Allah forbid! truly [thy husband] is my lord! he made my sojourn agreeable! truly to no good come those who do wrong!". So if his master was bad man he could justify this act?

    Next, come the witnessing and the logical deduction ala Sherlock Holmes involving torn clothes. Too bad there is no Watson here. The position of torn clothes indicates the culprit, front for Joseph and back for the woman. Oh, what a simple and naïve mind the author had.

    The news spread in verse 30, “Ladies said in the City: "The wife of the [great] 'Aziz is seeking to seduce her slave from his [true] self: Truly hath he inspired her with violent love: we see she is evidently going astray". It was forbidden for women to have sex with her male slave but not for men to female slave in Islam. Some spiritual lesson, eh?

    Next in verse 31, the ladies were shocked when seeing Joseph and actually could understand the woman’s act and compared Joseph with angel as if they ever saw one, "Allah preserve us! no mortal is this! this is none other than a noble angel!". No wonder all prophets were males, if they were female they would be busy looking and fantasizing the angel’s face rather than hearing the revelation. Those ladies even cut their hands. Let’s say 10 out of 10 women cut their hands right after seeing him. That’s a comedy. Hmm, this story was in Egypt and at that time they had already worship Allah or believe in angel. It’s strange indeed unless some malicious intent existed.

    Then he went into prison. Oh wait, hadn’t his master already known his innocence? Why did he go there? In biblical version the clothes was left not torn and that made Potiphar angry and sent him to prison. The reason Muhammad gave didn’t make sense. Suddenly the entire household becomes mindless robots including the Holmes wannabe and sent him to prison. Beside that, I found some weaknesses:

    1. His father reaction to his dream. Since his father wasn’t good at dream interpretation he should scold his son for dreaming like that. That’s shirk you know.
    2. His first dream about binding sheaves was missing.
    3. Lack of details such as the brother’s name, the traveler, the Egyptians, etc
    4. The husband didn’t get angry or do anything to the woman. He just disappeared right after acknowledging Joseph’s innocence. What’s happened? Not good enough to be an actor? Husband who feared his wife? Even if he was like that a man would be angry if his wife loved another man. Wife appeasement comes from the fear of losing the wife and this story didn’t click at all.

  53. Sanada_10 says:

    You wrote, “You cant have it both ways. You cant say its all bad. then when shown some good ideas in it, you say well a fraud has to have both good and negative points, other wise you cant deceive people.”

    You didn’t read carefully. No one said about all bad verses in Islam and even if he did that he would fail in an instant. Who wants to listen to that anyway? Even liberals won’t listen if Quran has that. Muhammad was an orphan himself, so it’s predictable for him to do that. He was also poor before he married Khadija and after she’s dead. He got his wealth and power after raiding caravans and preemptively attacked various tribes. The questions are,

    1. Do his so called good deeds erase all his evil deeds?
    2. Does the balance exist if you accept both of it?
    3. If you compare both of them carefully, which side has more weight and use?
    4. Can you do the same to other religions (ex. Buddhism, Bahai, Taoism, Confucianism, etc)? If you can, then give me an example.
    5. Give me an example that frauds on this earth that give all bad doctrine. Give me an example of “cursed” pagan religions that had all bad teachings.
    6. I forgot this but I demand you to post reference about those alleged good deeds so that we can analyze this.

    In earlier of his career as prophet he learned from many religions especially Abrahamic religions which of course despise polytheism. First he preached normally, after he had very little success he became impatient, cursed the polytheist’s religion, and sometimes personally attacked individuals. The reaction of course was predictable. Polytheists didn’t like it and despised him. After so many times for almost long ten years of limited success, finally he had several armed converts from outsiders. The result was again predictable. The polytheists saw it as a threat and wanted to get rid of him (after several discussions between themselves). Muhammad then migrated to Medina after telling all his followers to migrate.

    In all his affairs and incidents at Mecca he had learnt one thing: Peaceful preaching with some hellish cursing was not effective so another way must be found. This also leads to some personal hates to several people who rejected and criticized him at Mecca, he wanted revenge. So the method was changed and he acted with militaristic view on his society and opponent.

    Quran was a history book of Muhammad in the form of situational revelation and it describes the event Muhammad had faced for all 23 years of his career such as his difficulty, his feeling, his mindset, his desire, his selfish ego, etc.

    You wrote, “He never ( according to what history says) never claimed a new doctrine, but apparently he came to revive the old ones. You might as well say christians plagiarised from jewish sources, and them from… and them from…. just because its similar, all the way back to similar stories in ancient Egypt.”

    Revive? The doctrine was not extinct you know. Sure he didn’t bring new doctrine but he wanted new religion with him, Arabia, and its culture as the center. That’s new and some smaller doctrines were also new such as cutting hand. If he didn’t bring or want anything new then why he didn’t follow monotheistic religion like Judaism? And even if some Jews were allegedly corrupted he should do it under Judaism not creating new story and blended it with Arab practice and religion.

    Christianity is not plagiarized from Judaism since it claimed to be as continuation of it. If 2 books have 2 similar stories under different authors at different time and each authors claimed authenticity it will become plagiarism for the second one. If one author wants to continue other’s work but acknowledges the previous author’s work then it won’t be plagiarism. On the contrary, Muhammad got his story from various Jewish and Christian sects who were not mainstream then he created new story from it and claimed its own authenticity. That’s plagiarism.

  54. Sanada_10 says:

    So you have no problem converting to other religions then? This you didn't answer.

  55. arya anand says:

    As Ali Sina says a book of guidance should be clear giving no room for interpretation and understandable to every one. Since Quran is a book of confusion with badly structured and incomplete verses it is not at all a book of guidance and it utterly fails in giving guidance to humans.

  56. John K says:

    We don't have enough common ground for discussion. You will have to do your own research.

  57. h12 says:

    are you ok? you said theres spiritual content in the bible, i said as well in koran, you said not in the koran. so give me an example of spiritual content? talk about being super technical

  58. John K says:

    What nonsense. How do you prove a negative? If you think there is a positive, you produce it.

  59. h12 says:

    it doesnt really matter to which tradition you follow, you could follow the good from any, be it islam, or christianity. there are many good deeds from islam, that im sorry by my understanding are incorruptable.

  60. h12 says:

    No, since you said there is nothing in it of spiritual content, especially in comparison to the bible. you made the statement, so back it up.

  61. John K says:

    Then give me a quote of something spiritually enlightening from the Quran. If you can find something, you have a low standard of spirituality.

  62. Sanada_10 says:

    Not all religions have that you know. You are just like liberals generalizing all religions.

  63. Sanada_10 says:

    What he meant is the corrupted milk by the fly, like Islam which is the “good” deeds are corrupted with Islamic view and morality. Mathematics is hardly compatible comparison since the “good” deeds is not new invention or shocking, extraordinary deeds anyway. If you want to use what works then why don’t you convert to other religions that have greater goodness? Or you take one from A, then one from B, then one from C, after that you make new “religion”.

  64. Sanada_10 says:

    1. Those metaphorical approach is forbidden in Quran. Read the above verse given by knowTheEnemy.

    2. Did you mean there was a Quranic editing? Let’s say, Muhammad was like Buddha, he lived saintly like a monk then after he was dead or maybe, killed, some greedy Arabs (who killed him) took advantage and changed it for their own gain, conquering others. Do list the added verses, maybe starting from Surah 9. What was god doing all this time anyway to let all of this happen?

    3. Good things that he had done are actually not too good anyway if you compare it with other spiritual and religious teachers, pretty much standard practice. Most of the “good” side appeared only before he proclaimed Islam or when he was in Mecca with no army.

    4. Visiting the sick, giving alms, or kindness shown is too cliché since many religions existed at that time. He just copied that into Islam. Beside, what is the context of these good things? Is it applicable to Muslim society only? Be careful when reading these stories though, many of them are fabrication. Wait, I also visit the sick be it friend or relative. Does that mean I am religious teacher or taught religiously to do that?

    If you want to practice it like that then suit yourself but Islam is a complete package and people who want to practice the full Islam are outnumbering you. How about this? Discard Allah as one god or Muhammad as the last but you can keep the “good” things in it. Can you? How about, no cutting hand, stoning, etc? How about heaven for us and closing hell?

    5. I suggest you make a new religion. Actually, Christianity, Tao and Buddhism have already had it so there is no need for new interpretation unlike Islam.

  65. h12 says:

    I didnt change anything. It has good and spiritual content, though for some reason, you cant see the spiritual content, so perhaps youd like to give an example of what you think is spiritual content?

    Again you read my sentence out of context. I said, … "you might as well …" meaning that I dont agree that islam was plagiarised because it has similar stories from bible, because its as silly as saying christianity is plagiarised from judaism. Do I really have to be extremely careful of how I word my sentences, is that really how you debate? Seriously, I used to make sure I dont leave holes like I did, but thats only for people who are looking for holes, and here I thought you are different.

    So again, enlighten me on the spiritual content. Seriously for me, I can find them in just about any text, be it the bible, the vedas, the koran,etc

  66. John K says:

    First of all, you don't know how to read very well. My first post said that Islam has no spiritual content. You changed that to says good things. So what if Muhammad said to give to orphans? He could be a Peace Corps director with that kind of bland do-gooderism. But obviously the body count of the Religion of Peace (TM) shows that Muhammad could never have even been a Peace Corps worker. His record is that of a mafia warlord. He invented Allah to justify his lifestyle of murder, robbery, and rape, and if you read the Quran in its historical context, the pattern of receiving revelations to back him up becomes glaringly obvious. Even his child-bride, Ashia, observed how quick Allah was to take care of Muhammad's desires.

    You really have a simplistic view of history. How can you say Christianity plagiarized Judaism when Christ was a Jew and a Rabbi who taught in the temple and the synagogues. Christianity is Judaism 2.0.

    Yes, I have read the Quran, and I can tell you that if you read its stories side by side with the original Bible stories, the stories in the Quran are a bare outline and lack the spiritual content. If you like the story of Joseph in the Quran, you will like it better in the Bible, that is if you are a person with Humanistic values and knows how to read belles lettres.

  67. h12 says:

    Thats again unfortunately somethin I disagree with. You cant have it both ways. You cant say its all bad. then when shown some good ideas in it, you say well a fraud has to have both good and negative points, other wise you cant deceive people.

    He never ( according to what history says) never claimed a new doctrine, but apparently he came to revive the old ones. You might as well say christians plagiarised from jewish sources, and them from… and them from…. just because its similar, all the way back to similar stories in ancient Egypt.

    The spiritual content is massive in some sections, but youd actually have to really try and read it without already thinking its bad. One story I particularly liked was the story of joseph, ( yusuf ).

  68. BustedDivinity. says:

    An addendum.

    I salute Sina for always saying it as it really is. In order not to confuse the potential apostate from Islam, it is better to explain the illogic of dogmatic faith, if not, some Muslims who are on the fence and reading this site might think it is just a front for other religious campaigns, there are such claims.

    Also, as I posited earlier, to believe in vindictive verses as found in both Christianity and Islam is something quite beyond my grasp, Quran 9:5 instills terror and cuts off figer tips while 1 sam 18:27 talks of David killing 200 men and bringing their foreskins, Num 25.4 of the old testament talks about taking people’s decapitated heads to the sun to appease the Lord.

    It is terrifying that Muslims use those violent verses in a prescriptive sense, contrastingly, the Christian violent parts are mostly descriptive of the past carnages, still, I personally see a certain level of double standard argument from anyone that recommends belief in one of the two, though I recognise the almost harmless nature of the present Christianity, why not just be good for goodness’ sake? Man is truly not completely a rational entity, if he was, all humanity will not have condoned the massacre of banu Quraiza, the drowning of the world by the flood or any tolerated injustice from the atheistic or religious megalomaniacs.

  69. BustedDivinity. says:

    Communism as a political concept should not be conflated with Atheism, afterall, atheism is not defined as “whatever atheists do.”Majority of atheists aren’t communists.

    To use a broad brush painting atheism with communism with the same color is akin to blaming Christianity on the insanity of Islam…it follows… atheism inspired communism..ergo..Christianity inspired Mohammed’s Islam.

    The fact that Communists did not extract murderous verses from the atheistic canonical texts, is somewhat different from the Islamic extraction of the old testament, surely stoning the adulterer and exterminating the unbelievers as founded in abundance in the old testament resonates with the Quran, but then, we were able to defang the older monotheistic religion, what should make us restless is the ominous advancement of Islam, still, the theological interpretation of natural disasters is callous at best and outright sadomasochistic at worst. Apart from Islam, I harbor no hostility towards any religion, but I shall remain dismayed at any individual that sees a divine retribution in the suffering of others.

    So many atheists abhorred Communism just as many christians did not take the saying “do not suffer a witch to live” seriously . This article is eloquently written as to live no doubt that: the only way to see by faith is to close the eye of reason. Peace to you all.

  70. John K says:

    This is a simplistic and unlearned generalization about religions in general and the Old Testament in particular. Go to thereligionofpeace.com and read the article on the Old Testament.

  71. John K says:

    First, Islam is a dualistic ethical system. Be good to the believers, be harsh to the unbelievers. That in itself is unethical. Secondly, no fraud can succeed if it says only negative things. You cannot deceive people if you only say bad things. Third, Muhammad taught no original doctrine. Everything was plagiarized from Christian, Jewish, Zoroastrian, and Arab pagan sources. Muhammad introduced two unique doctrines. First, in Mecca, that Muhammad is Allah's messenger. The second, in Medina, was that if you don't believe him, you are subject to being killed. Telling Muslims to do a few good things to each other is not spiritual content. If you compare the Bible stories Muhammad lifted, you will see that he gets the bare outline but does not include the spiritual content.

  72. John K says:

    As with all of Muhammad's writings, looking at the situation Muhammad was responding to reveals his motivation and meaning. This Sura is essentially damage control:
    http://www.answering-islam.org/Shamoun/sura3_7.ht

  73. John K says:

    Well, just to kill the analogies, the fact remains that the Quran has no positive spiritual content, but is full of encouragement to sociopathic and criminal behavior.

  74. knowTheEnemy says:

    If you are muslim you are not allowed to interpret any verses in the Quran. Sura 3 Ayat 7 says :

    YUSUFALI: He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are allegorical. But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: "We believe in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord:" and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding.
    PICKTHAL: He it is Who hath revealed unto thee (Muhammad) the Scripture wherein are clear revelations – they are the substance of the Book – and others (which are) allegorical. But those in whose hearts is doubt pursue, forsooth, that which is allegorical seeking (to cause) dissension by seeking to explain it. None knoweth its explanation save Allah. And those who are of sound instruction say: We believe therein; the whole is from our Lord; but only men of understanding really heed.
    SHAKIR: He it is Who has revealed the Book to you; some of its verses are decisive, they are the basis of the Book, and others are allegorical; then as for those in whose hearts there is perversity they follow the part of it which is allegorical, seeking to mislead and seeking to give it (their own) interpretation. but none knows its interpretation except Allah, and those who are firmly rooted in knowledge say: We believe in it, it is all from our Lord; and none do mind except those having understanding.

    What this verse is saying is that even though there are verses in the Quran that are allegories, it is only known to Allah which verses those are and what their real meanings are. A good muslim is not supposed to try to figure out which ones those are. A muslim must accept (and understand) each and every verse in the Quran AS IT IS WRITTEN. There is no room for interpretation.

    There is a reason why orthodox muslims attack and kill Ahmediyas and Sufis and call them heretics.

  75. John K says:

    I think you missed out on 1400 years of jihad.

  76. John K says:

    Would you drink a glass of milk if it had a fly in it? Would you go swimming in a lake with crocodiles in it?

  77. mazdoor says:

    <div id="idc-comment-msg-div-151345170" class="idc-message"><a class="idc-close" title="Click to Close Message" href="javascript: IDC.ui.close_message(151345170)"><span>Close Message</span> Comment posted. <p class="idc-nomargin"><a class="idc-share-facebook" target="_new" href="http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Falisina.org%2Freinterpreting-the-quran%2F%23idc-container#IDComment151345170&t=I%20just%20commented%20on%20Reinterpreting%20the%20Quran%20%7C%20Alisina.org&quot; style="text-decoration: none;"><span class="idc-share-inner"><span>Share on Facebook</span></span> or <a href="javascript: IDC.ui.close_message(151345170)">Close Message I think you can learn more from 'THE LIFE OF PI' by Yann Martel than from the Quran.That is how Islam was before it was hijacked by the fundamentalist Jehadis created by the USA in it's war against the Soviets.

  78. h12 says:

    Yes you right. I dont even like the word religion. religion was things made up by people, and in their effort to maintain it, they became rigid. thats why i said, i prefer more mystical or metaphorical approaches.

    yes id even agree with you. there is much in islam which if followed to the t might be bad. i could easily argue that those things could either be added in, or false to begin with. it would be a problem for someone who follows ' religion' as i explained above, because he has to accept everything, but is that actually what its supposed to be?

    Regardless of whether it is or not, there is many many good examples of good things which the prophet did, in the same books you use to show he did bad things.

    For example, visiting the sick, or giving alms, or kindness shown, im sure youve come across these stories as well, so would it be fine for anyone to disregard and not practice all the stuff you speak about as bad, and rather practice all this?

    surely i feel this is what the majority of all esoteric messages of any faith speaks about. because even esoteric christians, to kabbalists, to taoists, to bhuddist, to sufi muslims would all say love all?

    thats basically my point, that if a softer interpretation is given, and there are many, would this not be ok and has already shown to have benefit?

  79. Ali Sina says:

    “Our advances in comparative religion, psychology, neuroscience, can all attest to the much good which comes from religion,”
    Religion is a vague name. Saying much good can come from religion is like saying much good can come from politics. But we have many forms of political systems. Communism and Nazism are forms of politics and so is democracy. Can we group all of them together and pass the same verdict for all of them? Likewise it would be inaccurate to bundle all religions together and talk about them as if they belong to the same category.

    Each religion should be studied individually. Yes I agree that some good can come from some religions. I’d say Christianity, Buddhism and Jainism, have many positive points. You can trust a person who really follows Jesus or Buddha with your life. However, if you meet someone who follows Muhammad to the tee, you better run for your life.

    Some atheists just love to attack all religions. I think they are very much mistaken. They highlight all the negative things the followers of these religions do and say, look what religion does to them. I disagree. It is not religion that makes them do bad things, it is bigotry and fanaticism. There are also many atheists who do terrible things. Most atrocities of the past century were perpetrated by atheists. The atheist communists in the ex-Soviet Union, in China, in Cambodia and other places persecuted people for their belief in God, just as Muslim persecute people for their disbelief in God. So it is clear that atheism does not make people better. Hitler was an atheist, even though some atheists love to lie about it and say he was a Christian. Hitler was a nominal Catholic who despised Christianity because according to him it promoted meekness. He admired Islam because it makes people warriors.

    So you can’t say religion is good or bad. Some religions are okay and some are terribly bad. I am discussing only Islam. Islam is bad. There is nothing good in it. However, if you think religion is something positive, then go ahead and adopt one that best suits you. There are religions that have good teachings. I just want you to leave Islam because it is evil. Islam is bad for you and it is bad for me too even when I choose not to believe in it. Once you become a Muslim you lose your humanity and to the extent that you emulate Muhammad you are reduced into a vicious monster. That is not good for your soul and it is not good for me because at any time you can harm me.

    However, if Christianity, Buddhism or any faith brings you peace, who am I to say no? I know that as a Buddhist or as a Christian, or as a Zoroastrian, or as a Baha’i you will not pose any existential threat to my life and my freedom. But as a Muslim, you do and the more you become ardent in your Islamic faith the more dangerous you become.

    Yours truly means “I”. So I am saying Muslims like you who don’t shun sites like this are more open minded than me when I was a believer.

  80. husain says:

    I would have to disagree about interpreting a book only explicitily. My understanding, and this would have to take a very holistic view of history, is that it was necessary for the book to be understood in certain ways at certain time. For example, it would have made no sense to speak to people in the bible or qurans time, or any ancient people about nature, and the real ideas of it. Could those people really fathom the nature of lightning, starts, electrons?

    However as weve advanced, theres no doubt that these literal ideas have to be reinterpreted, lots of them. Our advances in comparitive religion, psychology, neuroscience, can all attest to the much good which comes from religion, and also show us what is not good in it. Those things probably worked at the time, but they definitely wont work today.

    Again as many people who have studied these things, joseph campbell, carl jung, many great philosopher, poet, author, rabbis, priests, have come to the conclusion that the real and true meaning of these books and stories was not the literal meaning.

    open minded than yours truly? whoever are you reffering to?

  81. John K says:

    It's about respect. No matter what you believe, if you are a civil and polite person, I will not do anything that offends your sensibilities as long as it does not infringe on my rights.

  82. John K says:

    I also just listened to this debate yesterday:
    http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2

    While listening, I was mindful of the differences between Jasser and Ali Sina who were both shielded by their parents from the negative side of Islam. When Ali Sina studied Islam's texts, he recognized it for what it was, but Jasser's reaction was that there must be some other explanation. I don't understand what is the compelling reason for clinging to Islam rather than just acknowledging it as bad apples and leaving it behind.

    I like Bill Warner's "An Abridged Koran" because it is historically reconstructed with Hadith and Sira. For all that is said about the Mecca Quran being more peaceful than in Medina, it is obvious from the very earliest Suras that Muhammad had a bad attitude towards his fellow man and a chip on his shoulder about being believed. It is also obvious that the Quran has no spiritual content, so when Jasser says that he prays with his family and reads from the Quran, I can't imagine what verses he is reading that he finds spiritually edifying.

  83. John K says:

    Analyzing any particular extract from a text requires a knowledge of the overall nature of the entire text. The way that you would read an instruction manual for your new television is considerably different than the way you would read a Greek tragedy.

    In reading the Quran, it is apparent that Muhammad writes on a very low level and an extremely literal level such that it is not possible to assign figurative interpretations to his work. Comments like the fire of Allah being a passion of divine love shows that Muslims have had some exposure to Western literary criticism, but don't know how to do it correctly. It's basically like the creation of Islam. Muhammad was jealous the Jews and Christians had religions, so he wanted one for the Arabs too.

    He was jealous they had a book, so he made one too. Muslims are jealous the West has traditions of literary criticism, so they want to play too. Unfortunately, their fantastical claims are put to rest by examination of the rest of the text, which in your example, was as easy as reading the rest of a very short Sura which revealed Muhammad's obvious intended meaning, which was punishment of one of his critics.

    According to Bill Warner, author of Statistical Islam, this pattern is called the Koranic Argument, in which Muhammad says the unbeliever is wrong, Muhammad is right, and violence will come to those who deny him. This pattern occupies about 65% of the Mecca Quran and 13% of the Medina Quran, just because in Medina the threat of violence was replaced by actual violence.

  84. Duratma_Gandhi says:

    I just read a few news articles about an Indian judiciary looking at hindu goddess (Lakshmi to be specific) photo on Lingerie / Swimsuit in an Australian Fashion show. And these are the same imbeciles & nincompoops that did nothing when M.F. Hussain had gone around painting Bharath Mata (Mother India) in the nude a few years ago. I wonder if Lakshmi or Saraswathi or Bharath Mata were actual divine beings, will they be offended to cover us human's arses – or will they shy away from being in the nude in front of us? Will Jesus or Baha'i god or Buddha bother about going around in the nude in front of us? Is it wrong to use a picture of Buddha or Ganesha or Jesus on my ass-wipe – in the sense will Buddha or Ganesha or Jesus be offended by my senseless action? If they are offended – are they truly divine beings? If they're not offended why these senseless humans (or sub-humans in the case of Islam, of course) make such a huge hulla-baloo about it?
    .
    MN

  85. Duratma_Gandhi says:

    Fantastic write-up, Dr. Sina.
    "I know it is hard, but honesty requires that we reject Islam and give up on that fantasy once and for all. Reinterpreting the Quran and reinventing Islam are futile. We have to stick to the truth. Truth is not painful. It is the shattering of lies that is painful. "
    That appeals to me in different levels. It's not just Islam – but any stupidity or irrational thoughts that we as humans tend to instill in ourselves (either through fear or desire or other such tools). I relate to this in my previous state in this process of evolution.
    .
    contd

  1. 12 May, 2011

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