Thursday, September 9, 2010

Know the fact, and then criticize: K K Alikoya

Know the fact, and then criticize: K K Alikoya

 (This was written as a response to the article titled 'Islam's cult of Allah and Muhammad's terror' published in

Dear brothers, peace be upon you all.

Islam is peace, because the Quran teaches peace. At the same time Islam is the most misunderstood religion, as well as the Quran is the most misunderstood Holy Book.

I am sorry to note, that some grave mistakes taken place in this article, titled: 'Islam's cult of Allah and Muhammad's terror'. And even the title also a product of misunderstanding about Islam. Dear writer, I am not accusing you, but I like to clear things for you and readers.

You wrote: "Does the Quran promote violence or peace? The short answer - the Quran appears to promote both, but really promotes violence."

The Quran does not promote violence at all. In the above said article the writer presents things overturned in some areas, distorted in some areas and misplaced in some areas.

E.g. for overturned:

You wrote: "When Muhammad was at Mecca:
Deal kindly with those unbelievers who do not torment the Muslims.
60:8 Allah forbiddeth you not those who warred not against you on account of religion and drove you not out from your homes, that ye should show them kindness and deal justly with them. Lo! Allah loveth the just dealers. [91, Medina ]

After Muhammad went to Medina:
Fight the unbelievers vigorously without any exception.
25:52 So obey not the disbelievers, but strive against them herewith with a great endeavour. [42,Mecca]" 

The quoted Quranic verse under the title of 'When Muhammad was at Mecca' is really to be placed under the title of  ' After Muhammad went to Medina', because it was revealed in Madinah. And the Quranic verse under the title of  ' After Muhammad went to Medina', is really to be placed under the title of  ' After Muhammad went to Medina', because it was revealed in Makkah. I request the author to edit the entry and to correct it.

But, please note one thing, when you correct it, all the theories presented by you will collapse, because, Muhammad was advised by Allah to strive against unbelievers in Makkah, (Quran 25:52) and to show unbelievers kindness and deal justly with them in Madinah. (Quran 60:8) Yes, dear writer you have proved that Muhammad was advised to be kind to unbelievers in Madinah too. That is Islam, so Islam is peace.

And the meaning of Jihad also made clear in the verse 25:52. You and all are sure that Muhammad did not go to war while he is in Makkah, although he had got an order to perform Jihad against unbelievers in Makkah. (Quran 25:52). At the same time Muhammad did not disobey Allah in performing Jihad in Makkah. He performed Jihad in Makkah, Jihad with the Quran, which described in the Quran the great Jihad.  So we can understand that Jihad is not identical to war, despite the fact that war is a SMALL element of Jihad, the after-everything-else branch of Jihad, the inevitable evil part of Jihad.  

            E.g. for distorted:
You wrote: " When Muhammad was at Mecca:
Do not insult the infidels lest they insult Allah.
6:108 Revile not those unto whom they pray beside Allah lest they wrongfully revile Allah through ignorance. Thus unto every nation have We made their deed seem fair. Then unto their Lord is their return, and He will tell them what they used to do.[55, Mecca ]

After Muhammad went to Medina:
Punish the unbelievers with garments of fire, hooked iron rods, boiling water; melt their skin and bellies.
22:19 These twain (the believers and the disbelievers) are two opponents who contend concerning their Lord. But as for those who disbelieve, garments of fire will be cut out for them; boiling fluid will be poured down on their heads [103, Medina ]
22:20 Whereby that which is in their bellies, and their skins too, will be melted; [103, Medina ]
22:21 And for them are hooked rods of iron. [103, Medina ]
22:22 Whenever, in their anguish, they would go forth from thence they are driven back therein and (it is said unto them): Taste the doom of burning. [103, Medina ]"
While reading the subtitle under the title of 'When Muhammad was at Mecca' i.e. "Punish the unbelievers with garments of fire, hooked iron rods, boiling water; melt their skin and bellies" one may think this instructs the Muslims to 'punish' the unbelievers in the said manner. Really it is a narration about the punishments would be in the hell, and these types of narrations are frequent in the Quran regardless of whether the verse was revealed in Makkah or Madinah. So you have to correct the subtitle into "(The hell) Punish(ments for) the unbelievers, with garments of fire, hooked iron rods, boiling water; melt their skin and bellies"
Please note: when you correct this subtitle, the quoted verses cannot be used for the purpose you have used it here.
E.g. for misplaced:
Many verses quoted under the title of  ' After Muhammad went to Medina', such as 2:191, 9:123, 9:5, 9:29, 9:73, 66:9, 47:4, 8:65, 3:28, 8:12 and 8:20, all are related to war situations, many of them are instructing the Muslim soldiers what they have to do in a battle field. These are not to be followed in a normal condition, if it is said correctly these verses SHOULD NOT BE followed in normal state of affairs.
To understand this, please read the 8th and 9th chapter of the Quran along with the interpretations given by the great Islamic scholar Sayed Abul A'la maudoodi. : 
            Another e.g. for misplaced:
"When Muhammad was at Mecca:
One is free to practice whatever religion one belongs to.
109:6 Unto you your religion, and unto me my religion. [18, Mecca]
After Muhammad went to Medina:
Any religion other than Islam is not acceptable.
3:85 And whoso seeketh as religion other than the Surrender (to Allah) it will not be accepted from him, and he will be a loser in the Hereafter. [89, Medina ]"
The verse 3:85, quoted under the title of  ' After Muhammad went to Medina' is not related to warfare or anything like that, in contrast, it is related to the hereafter. So you have no use of it in this discussion.

And one more verse quoted by you in the preface is also an example for misplacement. i.e. 2:256. You wrote:  "…….. Muhammad and his followers were in a relatively weak position while in Mecca. Thus, the Meccan verses of the Quran show humility and are relatively peaceful (e.g., 2:256) "there is no compulsion in religion")."

Dear writer, this verse was not revealed in Makkah, but in Madinah. And Moudoodi interpreted this as follows: "285. Din (religion) here signifies the belief about God embodied in the above 'Verse of the Throne' (2:255) and the entire system of life which rests upon it. The verse means that the system of Islam, embracing belief, morals and practical conduct cannot be imposed by compulsion. These are not things to which people can be yoked forcibly."  So, this is not supporting your argument that Muhammad was peaceful while in Makkah alone while he was weak, and he became violent in Madinah.

But really the Muslims are forbidden by Allah to force anyone to accept Islam in Makkah as well as in Madinah i.e. in all circumstances.

You wrote about the principle of abrogation of Quranic verses: "The principle of abrogation -- al-naskh wa al-mansukh (the abrogating and the abrogated) -- directs that verses revealed later in Muhammad's career "abrogate" -- i.e., cancel and replace -- earlier ones whose instructions they may contradict. Thus, passages revealed later in Muhammad's career, in Medina, overrule passages revealed earlier, in Mecca."

The theory of abrogation is not the same. What told by you is a partial truth. One more point is to be added, it should be studied the reveling context of the Quranic verses, especially the verses associated to social aspects, and to be compared it with the contemporary situations. While one lives in Makkah-like situation he has to follow the Makkan instructions and while in Madinah-like situation the Madani instructions. And while one lives in a peaceful circumstance he has to follow the instruction about peaceful circumstances and in warfare the instructions about warfare. 

This is an old saying: An honest man alters his ideas to fit the truth, despite the fact that a dishonest man alters the truth to fit his ideas. 

K K Alikoya

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