Islam Under Scrutiny by Ex-Muslims

The Bewilderment of Qur’an-Only Muslims

 

MR RAIHAN is an occasional writer at VM and MM. Recently; he has been posting regular, religion-based messages in these websites. Many of his essays are quite thoughtful and deserve to be attended to. Of late, he has confused the readers by his enigmatic stand, vis-à-vis Islam. I am quite confused on his position with Islam, that is: whether he is a Quran-Only Muslim, a newly converted Islamist, a critique of Ali Sina or a Bible Basher. I read with interest his message to SKM which was written in English. Although, Mr Raihan’s post was specifically addressed to SKM, I am taking the liberty of expressing my candid opinion/s on four issues which he had asked SKM to respond to. MM and VM are public forums for discussions on controversial issues, and every member has the freedom to express his/her opinion on any matter that is pertinent.

This is what Mr. Raihan to SKM:

[Mr. SKM,

Thanks for your feed back article. However, you have utterly failed to comprehend my points. It is maybe mainly because of your hurried answer! Yes, you did.

At the end of my article I have clearly written "I would be grateful if anyone point out my mistakes". Still you have accused me as a 'liar'. You didn't differentiate between 'mistake' and 'lie'. I hate it. You will not offer me some bucks for lying, right?

Anyway, I will try to write a rebuttle of your reply after having the following answers from you. Please cite the exact verses on the following points:

1. Temporal Death Penalty for the apostates.
2. Stonning to Death for the adulterer.
3. FIVE-times prayer and it's rules and regulations, the way people do.
4. Fasting from late-night-to-evening without eating.

I could write more points but this is enough for me. Before citing a verse please read it first. I am absolutely ready to accept the truth, also said the same in my article.

Thanks
-Raihan]

Here are my responses:

Item 1: Death penalty for apostasy.

I have written a precise answer to Mr Raihan’s puerile challenge. This message was posted at MM. Please read from the link, in case you have missed the message.

Item 2: Stoning to death for adulterers

Of course, for adultery, there is no clear cut, stand-alone verse of stoning in the Qur’an. This provision, which is frequently carried out in some Islamic Paradises, is instituted as Hudud (fixed) law, which no force on earth could change. The question is: why do all the Islamic scholars (except for the microscopic Qur’an-Only-Muslims or the submitters, Rashad Khalifa being their Prophet) are unanimous on stoning for adultery? The straight answer is that: there are a few ahadith which clearly prove that Muhammad had personally enforced stoning on a few occasions which involved the cases of adultery. The evidence is also there in the Sirah. In fact, there is a hadis in Ibn Majah (hadis number 1944) in which Aisha claimed that a goat came to Muhammad’s house during his death and it swallowed the paper (or leave) on which this stoning verse was written.

There are many Qur’anic verses which do mention of stoning for various offences/activities.

Here are some examples:

The city of Lot (Sodom) was destroyed with brimstones of baked clay (i.e. God destroyed Sodom with stoning) in layers...11:82

The disbelievers threatened Shuib with stoning but for his brothers and friends (family); they accused of being a weak person and rejected him outright…11:91

Abraham’s father threatened Abraham with stoning for forsaking idolatry, asked him to leave the parental home…19:46

The disbelievers threatened the three messengers with stoning…36:18 

One might legitimately say that those stoning were from historical events. But wait. Does not Qur’an confirm that what was done during those Prophets’ time is still valid? In fact, Allah, in Qur’an, says that he had sent Muhammad to restore those old traditions and practices—that is, the traditions of Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus…etc. Qur’an even asserts that they preached what Muhammad was fighting for—re-introducing Islam and Sharia, Those Prophets were, in essence, the early Muslims or Islamists, before Muhammad. During the days of those monotheistic Prophets, one of the methods of execution was by stoning and the Qur’an does confirm this provision, and evidently, the offence of adultery is included in Allah’s punishment. 

Please note that Allah’s (verse 11:82) preferred method of destruction is by stoning. He loves to stone unbelievers and transgressors (adultery included) to death! So, what more could one say? If Allah is in favour of stoning why should Muhammad be different?
 

Item 3: Five prayers:

Raihan’s rather blithe argument can be countered by the following:

Show us a verse in the Qur’an which prohibits the Muslims to pray five prayers a day in the manner they do.

Any erudite and cognizant reader will attest that this type of arguments and counter arguments are just dim-witted and serve no purpose. Any dispute on Qur’an which asks one to prove that which is not mentioned in the Qur’an is simply childish, to say the least. The only outcome of such a mess is entering into an endless loop. So, let us avoid this trap.

Any intelligent reader of the Qur’an will testify that the number of daily prayers in the Qur’an mentioned varies. Thus, it could be from two (or even single) prayers a day to five (or even more) number of prayers a day.

I shall quote just a few verses which are accepted by most of the Islamic scholars to be the stipulation for five prayers:

Five prayers are ordained for the believers; recite the Qur’an in the early dawn...17:78

17: 78. Perform As­Salât (Iqamât-as-Salât) from mid-day till the darkness of the night (i.e. the Zuhr, 'Asr, Maghrib, and 'Ishâ' prayers), and recite the Qur'ân in the early dawn (i.e. the morning prayer). Verily, the recitation of the Qur'ân in the early dawn is ever witnessed (attended by the angels in charge of mankind of the day and the night).

Be patient with the unbelievers and pray to God before sunrise, before sunset and parts of the night and during daytime (four or five prayers?)...20:130

20:130. So bear patiently (O Muhammad) what they say, and glorify the praises of your Lord before the rising of the sun, and before its setting, and during some of the hours of the night, and at the sides of the day (an indication for the five compulsory congregational prayers), that you may become pleased with the reward which Allâh shall give you.

Glorify God at sunset and in the morning, in the afternoon and in the midday (four or five daily prayers?)…30:17-18

30:17. So glorify Allâh [above all that (evil) they associate with Him (O believers)], when you come up to the evening [i.e. offer the (Maghrib) sunset and ('Ishâ') night prayers], and when you enter the morning [i.e offer the (Fajr) morning prayer].

30:18. And His is all the praises and thanks in the heavens and the earth, and (glorify Him) in the afternoon (i.e. offer 'Asr prayer) and when you come up to the time, when the day begins to decline (i.e offer Zuhr prayer). (Ibn 'Abbâs said: "These are the five compulsory congregational prayers mentioned in the Qur'ân)."

The details on how to do ablution (Wuduh) can be found in verse 5:6.

5:6 O you who believe! When you intend to offer As-Salât (the prayer), wash your faces and your hands (forearms) up to the elbows, rub (by passing wet hands over) your heads, and (wash) your feet up to ankles . If you are in a state of Janâba (i.e. had a sexual discharge), purify yourself (bathe your whole body). But if you are ill or on a journey or any of you comes from answering the call of nature, or you have been in contact with women (i.e. sexual intercourse) and you find no water, then perform Tayammum with clean earth and rub therewith your faces and hands. Allâh does not want to place you in difficulty, but He wants to purify you, and to complete His Favour on you that you may be thankful.

[The Noble Qur’an, Translated by Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali, Ph.D and Dr Muhammad Muhsin Khan, Islamic University, Al-Madinah]
 

Item 4. Fasting: late night to evening without eating

This issue can also be addressed by saying that nowhere does the Qur’an say a Muslim cannot fast the way he currently does, simply because nothing is precisely detailed in the Qur’an. If fact, one might correctly point out that the fasting here refers to refraining from talking to people during the waking hours, as nothing is mentioned about the partaking of food, since this was the method of fasting by the Jews. But, I think Muhammad did not mean the fasting as was practiced by the Jews. He, in reality, copied the ritual of fasting as was practiced by the Sabians (a religious sect living in the northern Iraq). Historical evidences suggest that they were used to 30-day fasting, not consuming any food from dawn to dusk. Interested readers might like to consult my essay, Who Authored the Qur’an which can be read at VM, MM or FFI website.

Here is a verse from the Qur’an which does mention about not to eat during the fasting period (from dawn to dusk):

2:187. It is made lawful for you to have sexual relations with your wives on the night of As-Saum (the fasts). They are Lîbas [i.e. body cover, or screen, or Sakan, (i.e. you enjoy the pleasure of living with her - as in Verse 7:189) Tafsir At-Tabarî], for you and you are the same for them. Allâh knows that you used to deceive yourselves, so He turned to you (accepted your repentance) and forgave you. So now have sexual relations with them and seek that which Allâh has ordained for you (offspring), and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night), then complete your Saum (fast) till the nightfall. And do not have sexual relations with them (your wives) while you are in I'tikâf (i.e. confining oneself in a mosque for prayers and invocations leaving the worldly activities) in the mosques. These are the limits (set) by Allâh, so approach them not. Thus does Allâh make clear His Ayât (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, revelations, verses, laws, legal and illegal things, Allâh's set limits, orders, etc.) to mankind that they may become Al-Muttaqûn (the pious - see V.2:2).

So, the bottom line is: while the Qur’an does not set forth minute details on many of the rituals practiced by the current Muslims world-wide, this does not mean that what they are engaged in are against the Qur’an.

That is why the entire Islamic community is dependent on Hadis, Sunnah and other sources of Islamic practices.

The reality is: if we thought Hadis is despicable, vicious and loathsome and the Qur’an is pristine, we might be shocked that the Qur’an could be more damaging to Islam than Hadis and Sunnah are. Qur’an will not save Islam’s shame. Time is on our side. We will render Qur’an as useless as Hadis and throw it in the dustbin of history. We have done this for Hadis, we will do the same to the Qur’an.


 

Abul Kasem writes from Sydney, Australia. His e-mail address is: nirribilli@gmail.com