A Clear Refutation of Claims of Prophetic Intercession

Peace be upon whoever follows the guidance.

 

Preface

Dear reader, my intention with this writing is to do service to Allah, The Holy, who has the right of my service.

Allah is The Most Merciful, and The Most Gracious, and He doesn’t punish those who make errors through ignorance, as long as they correct their ways. Praise be to God, the Acceptor of Repentance, The Oft-Forgiving, The Most Merciful, The Most Gracious.

I fear saying things about God that are not true. Allah has prohibited us from saying something about Him that we do not know (Q 7:33). In fact, I’ve resisted writing about religion due to this fear.

I believe that reading the Qur’an is better. Allah has called us to read, not write, but He hasn’t prohibited us from writing. I think the best writing is writing that helps us to understand Islam, supplementing or explaining what Allah has given us in the Qur’an..

It seems that the what has been written about intercession is not comprehensive enough, and that it’s such an important topic that it must be addressed. That’s why I’m writing this essay.

I pray that Allah forgive me for any wrongdoing I may commit with this effort, and increase the good of it, and accept from me the good of it. May truth and Allah’s mercy be carried by this essay.

I believe that many people who believe are committing grave errors in this mater, and this is very concerning to me. The error and it’s importance are roughly the following:

 

THE ERROR

Many people claim that Muhammad will intercede for the faithful on The Day of Judgement,

and that Allah has called us to believe so. I believe that’s wrong. I believe that there is no

intercession on The Day of Judgement, and that Allah calls us to accept this.

THE IMPORTANCE

I believe that this issue is of the greatest importance.

The most important thing for any person is his or her relationship to Allah. Then, since intercession claims are found in the domain of this relationship, then this issue is among the most important things anyone can contemplate and seek to understand;

Rewording it:

To correctly identify and understand our Creator and Sustainer, and to relate to our Creator and Sustainer in a sound way, is the most important thing anyone can do.

Indeed, the security of monotheism will be compromised if intercession is significantly misunderstood, and that is polytheism, and polytheism earns eternal punishment.

Proof for importance:

Intercession has been mentioned in the Qur’an more than 20 times, and mentioned in previous revelations as well, which means that it’s clearly important.

Also, in the Noble Qur’an, a warning is given about intercession, which demonstrates it’s importance. Allah wouldn’t give a warning unless there was a danger.

 

The essay contains 2 parts:

 

Part 1: What the Qur’an says on intercession:

  • general power and permission for intercession
  • ability to intercede
  • specific Judgement Day intercession

 

Part 2: Why many people aren’t accepting what the Qur’an says about it.

  1. delusion regarding intercession;
  2. failure in receiving admonition (tadzakkur)
  3. distortion in receiving the explanation (bayan) of the Quran

 

The main points of discussion covered by the above include discussion of the mechanics of intercession and discussion of the authoity to intercede.

Amongst societies, opinions aren’t always understood. What I mean is that people make a lot of decisions without understanding the matters they’re deciding. A lot of decisions are made on the basis of Satan’s whispers: on the basis of pride, misinformation, short-term benefit, a false promise of future reward, mistaken attributions, and so forth.

In fact, understanding is not always a criterion for acceptance or rejection of an opinion. While it may be the case that it is accepted or rejected on the basis of understanding, i.e, knowledge of the matter itself, that’s not always a criterion. Peer pressure, lack of research, impatience, etc., affect a lot decisions.

Within our great universe, many acts are committed based on authority, not understanding. Many of those acts are legitimate, in the sense that the actor accepts a command from a legitimate authority and commits the act. For example, children often do what they are told. They’re internally programmed to do so. In a lot of cases, they rely on authority, not understanding.

Many of these acts occur within the globe of human action. Some are good acts, and others are not good. I’m referring to acts based on authority, not understanding. In those cases, analysing the legitimacy of authority may be a more beneficial discussion than understanding the act itself.

Not only in broader human life, but specifically within religion, we can observe many examples of people acting without having to fully understand why. Some of these are good actions that an authority has required of a subordinate, such as Allah requiring that we accept his mandate for the creation of mankind, even though we can’t fully understand it (surah Al Baqarah).

 

Introduction

Allah created us with an innate desire to know and confirm truth. He calls us to value the truth, to discover it, and to share it amongst one another. In order to know the truth we have to have a source of it. For us, the source of religious truth is revelation. The Qur’an is a revelation and the Qur’an is the truth.

I remind myself and the believers: Allah has appointed selected individuals to receive information from Him and convey it to mankind. They are prophets and messengers. Brothers and sisters in faith, Allah has also appointed specific books for this purpose and they are revelations. Out religion comes from revelations.

 

What the Qur’an says on intercession

Theme 1: general power and permission for intercession

The Qur’an says that all intercession belongs to Allah (Qur’an 39:43-44).

Say: “All intercession is with Allah. To Him belongs the dominion of the Heavens and the Earth. Then to Him you will be returned”.

Those who claim that Muhammad will intercede on Judgement Day may say that this verse doesn’t contradict their claim. This is true. The verse itself doesn’t state that Muhammad couldn’t be given such power.

In fact, this verse, if it could be taken alone and completely disconnected from the Qur’an, could be used to support the claim that Muhammad will intercede for us, or that Jesus will intercede for us, as long as we didn’t say that the intercession belonged to someone or something other than Allah.

It would easy to say that all intercession belongs to Allah and Allah has delegated it to Muhammad. However, this verse is not alone. It’s part of the Qur’an, so we can’t just say that.

 

The Qur’an says no-one can intercede without Allah’s permission (Qur’an 2:255).

Allah – There is no deity except Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer. Neither drowsiness overtakes Him nor sleep. To Him belongs whatever is in the Heavens and whatever is on the Earth. Who can intercede with Him without his permission? He knows what is before them and what is behind them, and they do not encompass a thing of his knowledge except for what He wills. His Throne extends over the Heavens and the Earth, and He is never weary of preserving them.He is The Most High, The Supreme.

We need to understand what this verse is about. While Allah knows best, and I don’t want to claim to perfectly know the meaning of Allah’s speech, yet we can also take an opinion.

My opinion is that this verse is about Allah. How many parts of it are about Allah? Almost all of it’s parts. Several parts. Look:

  1. his name (Allah)
  2. his oneness (There is no deity except Him)
  3. his attributes (the Ever-Living, the Sustainer)
  4. his sovereignty (To Him belongs whatever is in the Heavens and whatever is on the Earth)
  5. the subordination of intercession (Who can intercede with Him without his permission?)
  6. his knowledge (He knows what is before them and what is behind them)
  7. his power over knowledge (hey do not encompass a thing of his knowledge except for what He wills)
  8. his throne (His Throne extends over the Heavens and the Earth)
  9. his endurance (He is never weary of preserving them)
  10. two more of his attributes (He is The Most High, The Supreme)

It’s pretty much all about Allah. The verse isn’t about what’s halal and haram to eat, nor about the way to do salat, it’s about Allah.

Then if one of us wants to look at what this verse says about intercession, it’s necessary to see the mention of intercession in the context. The context is that we are learning about Allah. It would be unwise to look at a part of the verse without noting that.

And here’s how that relates to the discussion. This is key because a lot of people these days are quoting this verse to support their idea that the prophet will intercede for them at the time of Judgment.

For example, someone says “Muhammad will intercede for me on Judgement Day”, and then another says “What’s your proof for that?”, and then the first person replies “man dzallazhi yashfa’u ‘indahu illa bi idznihi (Who can intercede with Him without his permission?)”. This is happening a lot.

Yet it would be unwise because the verse doesn’t state what the claim states. This verse doesn’t state that Muhammad will intercede on Judgement Day. Actually, this verse is silent on whether or not Muhammad will intercede for anyone on Judgement Day.

Like the previous point, which noted that “All intercession is with Allah”, the noble verse of the Throne neither confirms nor denies intercession by anyone. It doesn’t mention any specific case of intercession. It’s not about that.

The verse is about Allah’s attributes.

So, if this verse is taken as proof that Muhammad will intercede for his people on Judgement Day, it’s insufficient as proof. The verse simply states that intercession requires Allah’s permission.

In fact, this verse is a significant part of the rejection of unauthorised intercession claims. In other parts of the Qur’an, Allah mentions that there is no intercession at Judgement. This verse supports the rejection as follows:

If it were not for this verse, one might say: “I have another channel to intercession, it’s not Allah, but it’s a permit that will be given to my prophet by such-and-such”. However, because of Qur’an 2:255, it is clear that you can’t get an intercession permit from anyone else, only Allah.

 

The Qur’an says seeking intercession from other than Allah goes into idolatry.

And they serve before Allah what can neither harm them nor profit them, and they say: ‘These are our intrcessors with Allah.’ Say: ‘Do you inform Allah of what He knows not in the heavens and the earteh?’ Exalted is He, and He is high above what they join with Him (Jonah 10:18)

In this verse there is proof that seeking intercession may lead to polytheism. The link between intercession and polytheism is “what they join with Him / ‘amma yushrikuun”).

The Qur’an says

  • intercession is not possible without power and cognition

 

What! Do they take for intercessors others besides Allah? Say: “Even if they have no power whatever and no intelligence?”.

 

This verse is a strong rejection and refutation against those who think that anyone will intercede for them in their affairs.

1. The rejection. Taking intercessors besides Allah is put down.

The style of the language puts it right down: “What! Do they… “, and, as shown in the following discussion, this very same language is also used elsewhere in the Qur’an to put down several other erroneous courses of action. Although it’s a question, the question is in a tone of disgust or surprise which shows that it’s bringing out the blameworthiness of the act.

Whatever you call it, disgust, surprise, jest, or something else, it’s to show rejection. Tremendous support for this is that the same phrasology is used in other parts of the Qur’an to reject similar matters. That it’s rejection is obvious from the verse itself, but to add further support, I’ll mention some other cases of the same phrasology in the Qur’an.

The Qur’an says, for example, “What! Have they taken gods from the earth who can raise the dead?”. The very same words are used in this statement as the words used in verse 43 of Az Zumar, the verse under discussion: Those words are “Am attakhadzu…” which means “Or have they taken…”, or in another translation “Or have they set up…”. The word “Or” isn’t really a good translation, since the use of it in Arabic isn’t the same as the use of “or” in English. Another translation is “What! Have they taken…”.

In the last example the Quranic language used in verse 21 of chapter 21 to reject the taking of false gods is the same as the language used in surah az Zumar to reject the taking of intercessors besides Allah.

The same phrasology appears again in chapter 42 of the Qur’an verse 9: “Or have they taken guardians besides Him? But Allah is the Guardian, and He gives life to the dead, and He has power over all things”. That’s enough to prove that the phrase used in Zumar verse 43 is a rejection, although there are also further cases in the Qur’an that employ the same phrase.

 

2. The refutation. The mechanics of the claim are shown to be deficient. Two dynamics are discussed: power and cognition.

The Qur’an says “Say: I have no power over any harm or profit to myself except what Allah may will. For every community there is a term appointed; when their term is reached, neither can they delay it nor can they advance it an hour”, and Muhammad was certainly commanded to say these words.

That is already sufficient to cover this subsection of the discussion, i.e, the power to intercede, however, I hope it will be helpful if the point is elaborated further.

If I may say so, the mechanics of how intercession works is a topic that is often lacking in debates about intercession. Most debates are focused on authority, because authority is key, but a genuine debate should not neglect the role of understanding if it is available.

In this article, the discussion is intercession and since the Qur’an gives us a glimpse of how intercession works, the debate will be more well-informed if it takes advantage of what Allah has given us of the understanding of intercession. So the discussion needn’t be limited to authority. Some discussion of understanding is also available, and all praise be to Allah.

This verse isn’t about the authority to intercede, but about how intercession works, and there are two things mentioned: power and cognition. Here, Allah has given us some understanding. Praise be to Allah!

So how does it work? Here’s a simple example: Even though a person be employed on a farm and picking some lovely figs from it, yet they can’t necessarily intercede for people who ask them for free figs. They don’t have the power to do that, as they don’t own the figs.

You might say that they can intercede, because they can take you to the owner, but while that’s true, it’s not the answer to the original problem, which is whether or not you get the figs. They don’t have the power to determine what you get.

Another way to study this is to think of a mayor. He can decide what happens in his city, but not what happens across the whole country. The ‘power’ to do something gives the mayor the ‘power’ to intercede in the affairs of his city. His intercession is limited to his domain, and this is what the verse is indicating when it says “Say: Even if they don’t have the power…”.

These examples show that the ability to intercede in something requires your having the power to intercede in it. Anyone who is going to intercede in getting a visa for someone will have to have the power to do so. And whoever wants to intercede in the spiritual transformation of a human being will have to have the power to do that or have knowledge of the spirits of human beings.

As for interceding in the creative process, or in the actual physical and metaphysical spiritual transformation, such as making you into a flawless being and seating you in a pavilion in Paradise, or actually walking up and taking you by the hand on Judgement Day, and ushering you over and putting you in the line for Paradise, prophets don’t have such power, so they can’t intercede in that way. Yet, that’s not the claim I’m refuting right now. That’s closer to making prophets deities and it’s not what the people are saying. What people are saying is that Muhammad will pray for us, not that he’s going to do divine works.

Let me note that there are also such claims out there. That is, claims that Muhammad will actually go into Hell and drag people out. Although these claims also say that his doing that would be based on Allah giving him the power and the permission to do so, it means that he would need a more miraculous ability than what prophets have. Prophets pray, so claiming that he will pray is not out the range, but prophets don’t go in and out of hell on errands, so it would be another discussion in itself.

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Rather, most of this discussion is about the claim that Muhammad will pray for us on Judgement Day, which is also a form of intercession, and which is a more reasonable claim than saying that He will go into Hell and drag people out.

Admittedly prophets can intercede in the matters of their communities in several ways, and prayer is one of them. While alive, a prophet can give people advice, give out food, and so on and they can pray for their people. This last one, prayer, is the form of intercession that is the main subject of this discussion.

Intercessory prayer is found in the stories of the prophets and reported in the Holy Books. According to the books of Allah, Noah, Abraham, Jesus, and Muhammad all prayed for their people, and other prophets did too. However, all of that took place while they were alive.

In the case of intercession by prayer, and this is because prayer itself is a supplication, not an act of it’s own commission, then the problem of having enough power to intercede may appear to be transferred to the thing you’re asking from. But the problem isn’t transferred. The problem of whether or not Muhammad can intercede is still there, whether he goes to Allah or not. The question is ‘Does he have the power to intercede?’.

While Allah can intercede in the affairs of the person who is being prayed for, that’s Allah’s attribute, not the prophet’s, and so it’s not the focus of the verse. In verses 43 and 44 of az Zumar, the roles are given. The claimed intercessors can’t intercede because they don’t the sovereignty to do so, while Allah owns all intercession because he has sovereignty over the entire Heavens and Earth.

The arabic verb ‘yamliku’ which means to own or possess or to have dominion is used twice. One for the claimed intercessors (‘laa yamlikuna shay’ / they don’t have sovereignty over anything) nd oce for Allah (‘lahu l mulku samaawaati wal ardh’ / for Him is the sovereignty of the Heavens and the Earth). It’s clear that the sovereignty and the power to intercede go hand in hand.

So the verse “Say: Even if they have not the power …” is to be applied to the intercessor itself, not another thing which he is interacting with. Even if I have the money, I can’t intercede to get you a plane ticket if the ticket office is already closed and the plane is taking off. You had to get a ticket before that.

This is the mechanics of intercession.

Two important dynamics are mentioned in the verse: power and cognisance, and the first of them, power, is still under discussion.

The power problem can be phrased like this: “Does the prophet have the power to offer his intercession, even if only in the form of a prophet’s prayer, not working directly on the souls in the works of deities”?

No, according to the Qur’an, he doesn’t have the power to intercede on Judgement Day, because he doesn’t have the power to do so.

If a questioner asked me: “What do you mean, Abdullah? He doesn’t have the power to do what? To change souls like a deity can?”.

Then I would say: At the time of Judgement, he has neither the power to change souls nor the power to intercede for them with prayer.

Allah is the Malik of the Day which means the power-holder, the king. He is the King of the Day of Recompense (Qur’an surah al Fatiha). In Arabic, the one who has ‘mulk’ (sovereignty) is a ‘malik’ (sovereign / king). If an intercessor had a certain power, he would be a malik of that power.

As for the second dynamic mentioned in the verse, it is cognition or intellect (‘aql).

For what I know, may Allah have mercy on me, the prophet’s cognition is also not sufficient for Judgement Day intercession on behalf of souls, whether acting like a deity or simply a prophet coming as an advocate.

Why should I say so? In the first case, that is the case of a prophet-god, then the prophet would have knowledge that only Allah has. So that can’t be. There are no prophet-gods. There are no gods but Allah.

Then in the second case, that is where the prophet prays for people on Judgeemnt Day, it is also not going to happen, because prayer, if it be an act of intercession in the court of judgement, will still leave the prophet with a cognisance failure: you can’t pray for something that you don’t know about. Unless Muhammad knows the judgements of souls, he’s not fit to pray for them in the court of judgment. He can’t be a jury member, giving his recommendation to the judge, unless he has full information of their cases.

Noah couldn’t pray for his son whom Allah condemned. Noah said: “My Lord, I seek refuge in You from asking that of which I have no knowledge” (Qur’an surah Hud).

So the problem of cognition. If the prophet could physically intercede for people, like going into Hell and dragging people out, he’d need to have cognisance of who was worthy of Heaven and who was worthy Hell. Since he can’t cognise that, it means he can’t intercede.

And likewise, even if we don’t consider physical superhuman physical intercession, but we simply discuss intercessory prayer, the prophet would still need to have knowledge of, or cognisance of, who was worthy of his prayer and who not, but this knowledge is not in the hands of the prophets, and they are not permitted to pray for whom Allah is condemning.

So, can a prophet be given the power and the cognisance to pray for us on Judgement Day? That is the discussion of the permission to intercede. This part was about the mechanics of intercession, not so much the permission.

Permission to intercede was discussed before this section in a mention of the general: being the supreme or overriding power of Allah in all cases of intercession and after this section in a mention of the specific: being the revelations about judgment time itself and the rejection of intercession therein.

 

The Qur’an says

  • we have no intercessors besides Allah

 

It is Allah who created the heavens and the earth and whatever is between them in six days; then He established Himself above the Throne. You have not besides Him any protector or any intercessor; so will you not be reminded?

 

The above verse is in surah as Sajdah. The chapter is about the Greatness of Allah. This is not a misinterpretation. It’s easy. There is no intercessor for us but Allah. That’s what He has revealed to us.

 

The Qur’an says

  • we are warned about it

 

And warn by the Qur’an those who fear that they will be gathered before their Lord – for them besides Him will be no protector and no intercessor – that they might become righteous (Qur’an 6:51).

 

6:51 starts with “Wa anzhir” which means and warn. Allah would not give us a warning about something unless there was a danger. Subhaanallah!

Furthermore, the fact that we, along with our messenger, have to give a warning about this, means that it is a fundamental part of our mission. Subhaanallah!

It’s a great tragedy that many believers are unaware of this and that many are in fact calling people to the opposite of what this verse commands us: many are calling people to take Muhammad as an intercessor! Allah is the Acceptor of Repentance. Allah is the Most Merciful.

 

The Qur’an says

  • there is no intercession at the time of Judgement, and intercession will not be accepted at that time, and intercession will not be of benefit at that time, which are more or less three different ways of stating the same thing

 

And fear a Day when no soul will suffice for another soul at all, nor will intercession be accepted from it, nor will compensation be taken from it, nor will they be aided (Qur’an 2:48).

 

And fear a Day when no soul will suffice for another soul at all, and no compensation will be accepted from it, nor will any intercession benefit it, nor will they be aided (Qur’an 2:123).

 

O you who have believed, spend from that which We have provided for you before there comes a Day in which there is no exchange and no friendship and no intercession. And the disbelievers – they are the wrongdoers.

In the world, we intercede for each other, and Allah has permitted that. It’s mentioned in surah An-Nisa. Yet on Judgement Day, we can’t speak unless Allah permits, and we can’t intercede for each other any more, as Allah has told us in surah Al Baqarah.

 

We know from verses of the Qur’an that intercession will not be accepted on Judgement Day, will not benefit, and will not happen. Allah is The Master of the Day of Judgement and the Master has told the servants about that event.

 

Why many people aren’t accepting what the Qur’an says about intercession

 

Fruitless hope in false Intercessors is a mistake that mankind has been destined to commit

Qur’an 6:94

You have come to Us each on his own, just as We created you the first time, and you have left behind what We had provided for you. We do not see with you your intercessors whom you claimed were associates with you. All ties between you have been cut off and that which you were claiming has deserted you.

 

Tadzakkur failure.

Tadzakkur is the making of effort to achieve dzikr, or rememberance. People are not making sufficient effort to receive Allah’s revealed rememberance, held back by:

  • desires,
  • lack of persistence,
  • lack of precision,
  • seeking money,
  • seeking to agree with people,
  • and other factors.

 

The Qur’an says in chapter 32, verse 4, teaching us of Allah’s greatness:

It is Allah Who has created the heavens and the earth, and all between them, in six Days, and is firmly established on the Throne: you have none, besides Him, to protect or intercede for you: will you not then receive admonition.

Although this verse states clearly that there is no intercessor besides Allah himself, there is a key to accepting this: you have to be willing to take the admonition: ‘Will you not take the admonition?’ / ‘A fa laa tatadzakkaruun?’.

 

The phrase ‘a fa laa tatadzakkaruun?’ means ‘Won’t you heed the reminder?’. The same phrase as appears in the above verse (32:4) was used by Abraham when his people were rejecting his call!

 

The Qur’an says in surah 6, verse 80, reporting the discussion between Abraham and his people, who were polytheists:

His people disputed with him. He said: “Do you dispute with me about Allah, when He has guided me? I don’t fear what you associate with Allah: [Nothing can happen] unless my Lord wills. My Lord comprehends in His knowledge all things. Will you not be admonished?

 

Bayan distortions

The distorted understanding of what Allah really meant with ‘bayan’ (explanation) by a large section of scholars. Following some of the errors of the People of The Book, it means over-reliance on man-made techniques in interpretation of the meaning of the Holy Book.

The Qur’an in verse 184 of surah al Baqarah says that it is guidance and also evidence for the guidance and for the criterion (bayyinaat). Many scholars have strayed in their evidential criteria and methods, so that they take the religion from a mix of revelation and scientific work, not just from revelation.

While I don’t carry an outright objection to science and logic, they can never be put on the same platform as revelation. They must be subjugated to the guidance of Allah, the revealed guidance that the prophets received. The techniques of logic, meditation, and the like must not overrun the mind or the heart.

The messengers weren’t as much scholars of interpretation as conveyors of Allah’s explanations and such information as He chose to give them (bayan). While the scholars are wont to use scholarship and it does us both good and terrible harm.

Applying Islam with the Qur’an

Praise be to Allah. The Qur’an is the one and only holy book that Muhammad was commanded to read and to convey to us, peace be upon him.

What’s the difference between applying Islam by reading and understanding the Qur’an and applying Islam through other media, such as the hadiths or through watching Islamic films? It’s such a big difference that it can’t be measured.

Reading the Qur’an is the right approach to Islam

The Qur’an is a book of light. The Qur’an is 100% error-free. The Qur’an was arranged by Allah himself. The Qur’an is the truth and it touches your soul like a key in a lock. It brings peace and submission to the chest of a human being. Reading it returns us to our good nature.

The Qur’an is consistent. The Qur’an was made easy. The Qur’an is protected. The Qur’an was sent as a mercy. The Qur’an is the reminder. The Qur’an is a criterion. The Qur’an is a revelation from God.

Not Muhammad, nor any other messenger of Allah, has described the hadith collections with these terms. Not as revelation, not as the truth, not as a mercy, not as the reminder or the criterion. Some of the hadiths may carry these aspects in some quantities, but not in an absolute sense.

The hadiths or ahadith (‘ahadith’ is the arabic plural of ‘hadith’) contain a percentage of truth, and some portion of light, but not the pure light or the pure truth.

The Qur’an calls us to the Qur’an, not to the sunnah

I have a version of the Qur’an which has an index. This copy is a hardback version distributed by the Saudi government. It has both Arabic and English text. In the index of that Qur’an, there is a list of headwords indicating various topics found within the Qur’an, and next to each headword, is a series of references indicating where the Qur’an mentions that topic – in which surah and in which ayat or ayaat.

For example, the entry for ‘Noah’ lists all the references in the Qur’an to Noah or his story. Under the headword ‘Noah’, there are 36 references, occurring across 29 chapters of the Qur’an.

The index entry for ‘Qur’an’ takes up almost a whole page of the index. More than the entry for Noah. This shows us that the Qur’an talks a lot about the Qur’an. As for ‘sunnah’, there’s no entry in the index for it. The Qur’an has never mentioned the sunnah of the messenger using the term ‘sunnaturasul’ (‘sunnaturasul’ means ‘the sunnah of the messenger’). That’s right. There’s no entry for ‘sunnah’ in the index of the Saudi government English language manuscript of the Qur’an.

Although significant aspects of the life of the messenger have been shown in the holy Qur’an, and they are indeed part of the messenger’s sunnah, nevertheless this material is not presented in the Qur’an as ‘the sunnah’ or ‘the messenger’s sunnah’. It’s just not quranic phrasology.

And that’s signifcant because Allah calls us to read the Qur’an in order to learn about the universe, the social world, and the messengers. The Qur’an is the sourcebook for learning about Muhammad, peace be upon him, yet it doesn’t have a chapter called ‘the sunnah’ and it doesn’t introduce this phrase at all, anywhere, ever.

The closest the Qur’an comes to the sunnah phrasology is to say “you have indeed, in the messenger of Allah, a good example…”. Even then, the verse is contextual (Q 33:21), referring to faith and commitment in religion, and doesn’t call for the detailed life description that has taken place.

I’m not trying to attack the sunnah. I’m simply noting that describing and analysing the life of Muhammad in as much detail as possible and making the study of it a cornerstone of the religion, is not an act that the Qur’an has explicitly called for, although the Qur’an does say “and as for the blessings of your Lord, then tell stories about them” (Surah 93), which seems to me to permit it.

The benefits of the description of the life of Muhammad are no doubt great, but the errors that have come from it are also great. The point of this article to correctly understand what the sunnah is and what it’s role is.

I believe that a wise Muslim will accept the good things that come from learning the messenger’s sunnah, but will yet focus on learning Islam through studying and reciting the book of God, the Qur’an.

Reading the Qur’an will lead you to understand the messenger’s life and it will give you the most important parts. Of course, the Qur’an teaches a Muslim about everything.

The fact that the sunnah paradigm is not part of the Qur’an shows us that ‘Muhammad’s sunnah’ should not be the primary paradigm for understanding or practicing Islam.

The case of someone who can’t read the Qur’an

If a simple-minded Muslim couldn’t understand the Qur’an and wanted to view Islam through the example of a Muhammad, the great exponent of Islam, then learning from the sunnah might appear to be another option. However, did Allah command this person to take such a path? Does Allah command anyone to read the sunnah instead of the Qur’an? No. So it doesn’t seem like a wise option after all. Allah is wise and if Allah doesn’t call us to do it, then it’s not wise thing to do.

If the sunnah was taken as a Muslim’s primary paradigm, it would open the door to speculation and error, as it’s a source that was not codified in revelation. Rather, it was documented by regular humans with regular pens, and it thus contains human error. I believe we should love the sunnah of the messenger, and that is not a primary source of the religion. I don’t call it a primary source of Islam. Allah knows best.

 

Thank you for reading this article. Allah is the Most Gracious.

Abdullah

O Mankind! Worship your Lord Who Created You.

This article is based on the revelation of God, the Qur’an. It is taken from what is found in lines 20-25 of chapter 2 of the Qur’an, which has been called The Chapter of the Cow (Surah Al Baqarah).

God has communicated clearly in it. He calls all mankind to worship Him. Muhammad, being the prophet to all people who haven’t yet had a prophet as well the prophet to those who have, has to address all mankind. He has called out to us: “O people! Worship your Lord!”.

While in the mission of Jesus the call was to The Children of Israel, Muhammad’s call is not specifically for one tribe. In Arabic, it’s “Yaa ayyuha an-nas”, which I have translated as “O people”, or “O mankind”.

All mankind is called to worship God. Why should we worship God? He created us and He created all the good things we have.

In the advice of the Qur’an, we’ve been reminded to worship God who set out the earth for us and set the sky over us and who sends down the rains and brings out our provision with the rains. You eat the provision, don’t you? You like your favourite fruit, don’t you? You appreciate the sunshine that shines down upon the fruit trees, don’t you?

If you love nature’s delights, it’s natural to feel gratitude towards the provider of them. And this feeling of gratitude is inside people, it’s in our nature. Worship is a more directed or more developed expression of this gratitude.

By worshipping God, we will get piety. If we truly believe and do good works, we will keep the good things we have and enjoy more good things. So worship is a step that leads to spiritual happiness.

How do we know there is a connection between worshipping and attaining piety? The end of the sentence in the holy book (Qur’an 2:20) says “that you attain piety”. Worship God so that you become pious. Piety is good to attain because piety causes a person to receive all kinds of other blessings from God, including more understanding of everything.

So, the message to us all is: worship your Creator who provided you with your favourite delights. Thus, you will know God better, and logically you will have spiritual development. Just like you can develop in other domains like science, how to love, how to earn, and so on, you can also develop spiritually.

Praise be to God who has provided for me and all mankind again and again.

Israel is in The Family of Abraham

Peace be upon you. I certainly hope that reading this article brings you closer to God. In case this article is read by anyone at war with Muslims, then whether or not you get peace is up to God and I agree with his decision for you, and whether or not you get closer to Him or further away, that is up to Him and I agree with his decision for you.

I believe in God, and in what was revealed to us, and what was revealed to Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the Tribes, And in what was given to Moses and Jesus and the prophets from their Lord. I do not make distinctions among them, and to Him I am submitted.

Jews are my brothers and sisters in the family of our father Abraham. My grandfather and grandmother on my mothers side were Jews. During WW2, they left Europe to avoid being killed by Nazis. If they had died there, I wouldn’t have come into the world. Now I’m alive and worshipping God. Praise be to Allah.

This article is about the Abrahamic covenant and the roles of The Children of Israel and those who follow Muhammad. We who follow Muhammad still have the current khilafah, even though it doesn’t have an official administrative head like in the days of ‘The Caliphate’. There are two senses of the word caliphate: 1) the political entity and 2) God’s representatives on earth. I favour number 2 as it is the spiritual and it is the essential and yet I long for number 1 because it is an ideal.

The time I live in is, in the sense of the political entity, post caliphate, even though the essential Islamic caliphate, the Ummah, has never been stronger. We are expanding every decade. We are expanding every day. People give shahada and Muslims set up houses of worship all the time. We go to Mecca every year and worship the Almighty. The adzan sounds. Alhamdulillah.

Yet in the politics, we have been packaged into these territories called nations. All the while, Mecca is the spiritual capital of the Islamic community. In history, the political head of the nation was in Madinah, then Baghdad, then Istanbul, and then for the last 100 years we haven’t had a universal Islamic political leadership.

At the end of WW1, we were categorised into these delineated territories, now called nations and operating as nations in the worldly sense. Some of these nations have implemented revelation-based governance to a greater or lesser extent, yet the great thing is that Allah sees us when we unite globally, like every Ramadhan. He said: Verily, this nation of yours is one nation. Thus, and his word being the truth, we are indeed one nation. There is no need to say otherwise.

While in the worldly domain, leaders were appointed from those territories. In some cases, like Syria, they were appointed according to the will of the Imperial powers, not the will of the Muslims. In fact, these leaders were often people who had not been able to rise under an Islamic regime, yet were willing to deals with disbelievers to gain power.

 

THE CONSEQUENCES

I believe that Syria and what we are suffering today is a result of that allegiance to the will of the Imperialists and the non-Muslim will for nation states. The people who are in power, the Assads, let’s say, have been there for decades, or from when the caliphate came down and the nations were formed. Syria was a province of the Uthmani Caliphate before that.

While a province of an Islamic Caliphate, Syria had deviated groups, just like any place often has them – Syria had the Alawites. They were not given power by the caliph because he knew they were not capable. Now they’re in power and oppressing people with their power.

Under an Islamic regime, they were known to be deviated. The caliphate was over them, and the Muslims were under the caliph, not under the deviants.

The leadership, that is the Islamic caliphate, would send them preachers and teachers to call them to leave their deviations and adopt right beliefs and practices.

They would just listen politely, not willing to accept remedial teachings. They retained their deviated ideas which had not come from Islam at all, but were from their forefathers pre-Islam.

Wherever it reaches, the call of Islam is heeded by some and not heeded by others. Old beliefs and practices are, due to human ignorance, mixed into the prophetic religion. So, instead of entering Islam fully, accepting it, and adopting it as a way of life, there may be a synthesis, and it’s an awful problem. Yet Allah calls us to enter fully into submission. He is our full service God. Full submission is obvious.

I believe is that wherever deviated ideas and practices are permitted to exist under the sharia, they must not exist as claims on Islamic teachings. Wherever the sharia permits them to exist, they must be labelled for whatever they are, such as Christian, Jewish, idolatrous, or whatever, and then they may be permitted to be practiced according to whatever Allah and the messenger permit.

 

IMPURE RELIGION LEADS TO OPPRESSION OR PUNISHMENT

So societies and communities often follow their whims or their material desires rather than their intellect. This happens even when they believe in a prophet, as we know from what Moses’s people did. Then, because of the weak relationship to God which results, these communities inevitably end up oppressing themselves or somebody else, or being punished by God directly.

I believe that that is what is happening in Syria and in a lot of other places. The actual people’s Muslim community there have wanted the deviants out for a long time. As far as I know, they have put up with them, or tried to remove them from power, for decades.

 

ISLAM INCLUDES A COMPREHENSIVE SYSTEM OF GOVERNANCE

We have our system of government. Islam carries a political and economic system. Muhammad was authorised to establish God’s khilafah on earth. Jesus was a part of God’s khalifah, but he was not commissioned to establish a political kingdom on earth. In my opinion, he was part of a nation, Israel, although Israel had already been decommissioned.

He was sent to a nation who had already had a kingdom and had lost it. He was sent to Ancient Israel. His tribe was the Tribe of Israel. The Tribe of Israel came from Isaac, the son of Abraham.

Today, the Tribe of Israel is not squarely the nation of Israel that is situated around Jerusalem. The Tribe of Israel is partly still scattered in diaspora and partly gathered to the Holy Land by God for his purposes. As for the government of Israel that is sitting in the Holy Land.

I believe that the Israelites and Jews should be living as a protected minority under Muhammadian sharia, with rights to judge their cases by the Torah. Muhammad was their brother. He descended from the son of Abraham, Ishmael. Jews have always held prophecies that he would come. They are to know about Muhammad, but who among them really studies or really asks God if Muhammad is their brother from the sons of Abraham?

I believe that Christians should be thinking like that, too. They should think that they are Israelites who have received the reforms to Israel that Jesus brought, as Jesus was an Israelite.

From a religious point of view, ancient Israel was a great nation for some time. Ancient Israel then went bad through poor governance, a destiny predestined by God for his purposes. The wisdom of that rotting is now becoming clearer. Why did they rot their own nation? It was a lesson for us. Mankind has benefited from it. Mankind can better appreciate the consequences of disobedience to God. It teaches us to fear God.

 

MODERN ISRAEL

Modern Israel is an attempt to re-establish something that God already dismembered a long time ago (governance by Israel). He removed them from power a long time ago.

However, ingathering and governing are not the same. Jews and other Israelites are gathered, or being gathered, and that part is God’s promise. As for nation-building, I believe that it has been prohibited to them and permitted to their brothers in the family of Abraham, the followers of Muhammad.

Why? The answer is with God. He is The Most Wise. Which one of us doesn’t read the story of Joseph? Didn’t his family feud precede this one? Is not Allah the Wise? Did he not forgive his brothers who plotted against him? Did he not forgive them even though he was in power? Glory be to Allah, the Lord of Jacob and his son Joseph. Jacob was wise, was he not? Didn’t he have faith in God’s plan? He did.

There are many family feuds. The Jews and the Muslims are all in one family: the family of Abraham. Yet, the Jews had a blowout and God asked the Ishmaelites, that is Muhammad and his followers, to set up the help center. So that’s the reason they need to set up a political system. Without it, it’s not as easy to establish justice and show magnanimity.

Israelites are inheritors of the blowout in ancient Israel. They have resorted to financial forms of control and lobbying other governments for centuries, but have never returned to glory. With the diaspora, they were, or are, able to cool off, look back, and move on.

They had to cool off – that was the diaspora and for many of them it still is. U had to repent and be good to the host nation. Service always help us clean our hearts. They have to look back. Jesus was a teacher. His miracles were to convince them he was from God.

His criticisms were made so that they would reflect, and he carried merciful words and teachings that their hearts might change. The Most Merciful sent Jesus. The Most Gracious sent Jesus. The Most Exalted sent him.

They had to move on – that’s Muhammad and the last form of the sharia. That’s movement. You have to face Mecca now. It’s called a change in the Kiblah.

It is explained online as follows (http://www.al-islam.org/message/30.htm):

During the thirteen years of his prophetic mission in Mecca, Muhammad used to offer his prayers with his face towards ‘Baytul Maqdis’ (Jerusalem) and even after his migration to Madina, the Divine order was that ‘Baytul Maqdis’ would continue to be the ‘qiblah’. It was that while offering their prayers, the Muslims should turn their faces to the same direction of prayer to which the Jews turned theirs. This was in itself a sort of collaboration and a means of bringing the two groups – one old and the other new – nearer to each other.

But the Jews became panicky on account of the advancement of the Muslims, because their ever-increasing successes went to show that very soon the religion of Islam would spread to the entire Peninsula and the strength and influence of the Jews would come to an end. They, therefore, began indulging in obstructionist activities and hurt the Muslims and their dignified leader in many ways. They put forward the question of offering prayers facing ‘Baytul Maqdis’ and said: “Muhammad claims that his is an independent religion and his law supersedes all previous laws, but he does not yet have an independent ‘qiblah’ and offers his prayers facing the ‘qiblah’ of the Jews (‘qiblah’ meaning prayer direction)”.

This news disturbed the Prophet. He came out of his house at midnight and looked at the sky. He was awaiting revelation. An order was revealed to him as contained in the following verse:

Many a time We have seen you turn your face towards heaven. We will make you turn towards a ‘qiblah’ that will please you. (Surah al-Baqarah, 2:144)

There was a clear reason for it. The matter possessed an aspect of test. The intention was that the true believers and those who were not sincere in their faith should be identified and the Prophet should fully recognize such persons, because the second order, in obedience to which he turned his face towards Masjidul Haram (The Sacred Mosque), while performing prayers, was the sign of faith in the new religion and disobedience and delay was a sign of double-mindedness and hypocrisy. The Qur’an itself mentions this fact clearly in the following verse:

We decreed your former qiblah only in order that We might know the Prophet’s true adherents and those who were to disown him. It was indeed a hard test, but not for those whom Allah guided. (Surah al-Baqarah, 2:143).

To the Followers of Abraham: facing Mecca is a sign of being God’s people. You face the house of God set up by the father Abraham. It shows that one is still following Abraham.

Why? Why would God do this? He is wise. The Israelites took the calf, didn’t they? They already had one God, and they had his help, and then they went and did that. He then punished them and forgave them, and why did He do that? So they would know who their Lord was, and so they would be grateful to their Lord, and so they might become obedient to their Lord.

And then why this sovereignty shifting, from Israel to the Diaspora, to Muhammad? Why did they fail and then get kicked out, disgraced, split up and posted to the corners of the earth, and then given the chance to come back?

God teaches us. You transgress, and you are punished with the small punishment. It is the punishment in this world, and then you come back more obedient when you repent and the Lord forgives you.

Or else… You don’t repent. You remain disobedient, and you pay for that in the next world. You go to Hell. Glory be to God. Forgive me if there are any errors.

To the Israelites, and the followers of Jesus, and to all people: Enter Islam. God will forgive you your sins and reward you with Paradise.

Abdullah Reed

The Qur’an on Intercession

The Quranic statements on intercession are generally warnings against, rather than encouragements towards, an intercessorial eschatology.

 

NO INTERCESSION ON THE DAY OF RECOMPENSE

Qur’an 2:254

Believers, give away some of what We have provided for you before a Day arrives on which there is no trading, no close friendship and no intercession. It is the disbelievers who are the wrongdoers.

The above verse states that there is no intercession on some day which is coming. I assume it means the Day of Recompense (Yaum id-Deen).

Many believers believe that Muhammad will act as an intercessor on that day, based on reports of the prophets statements which say that he claimed that he would be interceding on the Day of Recompense.

It is difficult for me to believe that these reports are accurate because they appear to contradict the above verse in the Qur’an, and other verses. At this point in time, I do not believe those hadith to be true, and Allah knows best if they are or not.

The following verse from the Qur’an gives me support for my view, and yet Allah knows best what the truth of the matter is. The following verse is not about the belief in judgement day intercession as such, but rather a warning that the prophet had to give the believers.

Qur’an 6:51

Give the warning to those who fear that they will be brought before their Lord: Except for Him, they will have no protector nor intercessor. Thus they may fear God.

I believe that in the above verse, the Master of The Day of Recompense has prepared the attendees of the day by revealing a great tip to us. The tip is:

If you want to be pious, hear that there is no intercession.

Qura’an 82:17-19

And what will make you know what The Day of Recompense is? Again, what will make you know what The Day or Recompense is? It is a day when no soul will avail another, and the command, that day, will be with Allah.

After these statements from the Master of the Day of Recompense, I cannot understand why people are ready to believe that Muhammad will intercede on their behalf on the Day of Recompense. It may be that I’m blind. Perhaps I’m misinterpreting the verses. If so, please correct me with polite and detailed explanations, so that I may be guided.

 

AUTHORITY TO EXPLAIN THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT

These are not statements from unauthorised parties. The Master of The Day of Recompense has given us a certain amount of information regarding the program of events on the Day of Gathering. We can read this information in advance so we know how to prepare.

Where is the intercession by a prophet? I don’t know how I could agree to it after reading the above verses. Did Muhammad contradict himself? It’s not possible. One of the points of view must be wrong.

I want to be kind, not harsh, to the scholars of my brotherhood. My brothers in faith who have collected hadith, reported hadith, and analysed hadith are not my enemies. If they fight me over interpretation, they may end up as enemies, but there is no fight.

Discussions of the meanings of the Qur’an are are a source of difference among people of a faith – the believers. However, I don’t think we can fight over them. I think Allah would be displeased with us if we did.

 

CONCLUSION

My intellect cannot accept the hadith about Muhammad’s alleged intercession on the Day of Recompense. It appears to me to contradict the Book of God. If I’m wrong, I hope Allah will forgive me and guide me to a better understanding.

 

Abdullah Reed

Sketching Islamic Linguistics

Sketching Islamic Linguistics

 

Bismillahirahmaaniraheem

 

Dear reader, please read with your mind alert. If you’re Muslim, please pray to Allah for his help.


What is Islamic linguistics?

When you see “Bismillahirahmaaniraheem” in the front section of a book or on a wedding invitation, its an islamic use of language, so in my opinion its an example of applied Islamic linguistics.

Many people would call it something that Muslims do. Yes, we do. From a regular perspective, its just something that Muslims do. For a student of language usage, its an Islamic linguistic act.

When a believer says “Assalaamu alaykum” its Islamic and at the same time, its a linguistic prescription. Therefore, I believe its an Islamic linguistic prescription.

 

The Limits of the Sketch

The limits of Islamic linguistics are probably beyond what you can imagine. Try to visualise the mountains singing the praises of Allah along with David, and try to imagine the beauty of his voice.

Imagine a bird chatting with Solomon. The limits of the Islamic study of language are known only to the Almighty. He created languages and He knows best about them.

Noble reader, let us praise and thank Allah for blessing us with the stories of these two great men and their miraculous relationships with the natural world. Glory be to Allah, the Exalted, the Holy.

Let us remember that they were grateful to Allah for these favours, not proud. They knew that the relationship to nature is only a way of relating to Allah, and that it is not, in itself, either an original cause or a final result.

Imagine Jesus giving advice to his mother, the noble Mary. The Qur’an is a book of truth, and so with certainty in its truth, we can imagine or visualise the stories in the Qur’an. Let us praise Allah again!

What about the Day of Judgement: nobody will speak except for whom Allah permits. Glory be to Allah, Master of The Day of Judgement.

This gives us another limit. It is a limit of human speech, that we cannot speak except with Allah’s permission.

Within The Limits

If the above are some of the limits of the sketch, then what is within the limits? The centre of the sketch would seem to be our own daily lives and the language that we use in them, because I find that Islam is for the believing human being and Islam is not difficult or occult or highly theoretical; it is quite practical and the user is the believer.

This area of the sketch, the area within the limits, may be divided into further subdivisions. I choose to categorise them as: acquiring language, using language, and I suppose we should recognise losing language, although it seems that its not as interesting as a subject of study, compared to acquisition.

Knowledge of Language

Allah has blessed us with language and the evidence for this is in the Qur’an. The verses of the Qur’an show that we know language from an innate process. The fact that Jesus spoke as a baby also confirms that Allah is the creator of language and that it is innate.

The believer will have a certain amount of natural speech ability, and then he or she must work to improve upon that. Moses is a good example for us. A man of great faith, he called on his Lord for help when he felt insecure about his own linguistic skills (20:25-28).

I see the Qur’an that Allah may improve us through inspiration ot through teaching. Perhaps there are other ways as well. There probably are. Allah knows best. I don’t know much.

I want to make it clear again, that this essay is a short note, not a complete thesis. I think the qur’an has more about language than what I’ve mentioned so please don’t take this work as any kind of compendium.

Uses of Language

I think this area requires research and discussion, so that we can observe and describe our our speech, as believers who are targetting Allah’s pleasure. There are many books already about speaking to win the pleasure of Allah. I don’t know the names of their titles. I recommend the reader to find them and read them, though. I think they usually mention speaking with honesty, sincerity, clarity, beauty, and in a way that benefits people.

Then we have speaking to Allah through prayer, repentance, and seeking refuge. This is clearly different from the speech that we direct at other human beings.

Humility and submission would appear to be at the heart of this kind speech. Again, Allah knows best. I suggest the Qur’an as the reference; I don’t claim full knowledge of the subject.

As for the speech which we direct at other human beings, I’ve found many practical linguistic commands in the Qur’an. The following list is just what I remember at the moment.

I don’t know if a systematic description of all relevant verses, listed with extensive detail of theory and technique would be ideal for perfecting your speech or understanding languages.

That may be too technical. I find that experience is a good teacher, together with a complement of prayer before speaking, some rehearsal, some repentance, and getting feedback from those who hear you speak.

I think that short books are often more useful than long ones, and in this matter, a huge directory may do more harm than good because speech is not an isolated matter – it is always connected to and coloured by the message that is to be communicated, the audience, your natural abilities, the social environment you are in, and so forth.

Part of the beauty of the Qur’an is its simplicity and another part is the applicability. I think that if we take a too librarianistic approach to language, we may end up with a worse result than a diligent student who reads the Qur’an regularly, leads a right life, and acts as he is commanded to act. Allah knows best.

Examples of speech injunctions are: the command to say that which is good (17:53), the command to say what conforms with your behaviour (61:1-2), and many direct commands to speak, which are found throughout the Qur’an and begin with the Arabic word “Qul”.

The example of a good word, found in Surah 14, is a linguistic precept. The example of a good word is that of a good tree: it gives its fruit again and again.

Noble reader, please assist. Allah is the One who rewards. He will know it if your tongue moves to announce a single word with the intention of pleasing Him, or a whole sentence, or more than that or less. Praise and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.

Please forgive me if there are any errors. All goodness is from Allah.

Islam and Philosophy of Language

Peace be upon the reader, God willing

This is only a brief booklet. I hope it will help linguists, language teachers, and language users to know what language is for and to be grateful to God for language.

I’ve uploaded this document: Islam and Philosophy of Language.

Abdullah Reed

Institutionalised Ideologies

Peace be with the servants of God.


HOPING IT WILL BRING YOU PEACE..

I INVITE YOU TO READ ABOUT ISLAM


SOURCES OF ERROR AND PAIN AND THE LIKE


We see terrorism, honour killings, corrupt rule, and so forth coming out of societies of Muslims, so how do some Muslims deviate from the divine religion which is perfect? In this reading I mention the difference between human error and ideological error and how they affect us.

Human Error

Turning to human error first: some of the pain of this world is not caused by errors in people’s relationships to God, but simply failures to execute. I.e. a person understands correctly, but fails in action. Call it human error. In this situation, there is no ideological problem, as such.

If an action is sanctioned by Islam, then turmoil that springs from human error occurring in the execution of it could not be harmful to society at large. If human errors committed while acting upon Islamic commands caused society at large to suffer, then Islam would be harmful to the world.

Is that possible? No. Did Allah ask Muslims to be perfect? No. Would Allah make make us suffer just because of that? No. Allah said that He would grant peace to society run by Islam. Islam brings peace.

Ideological  Error

Ideological error causes suffering. That is because it is not from God. Allah doesn’t order us to write ideologies. He wrote ideology for us. He knows we err a little, but He would never direct us to an ideological error that caused millions to suffer. We do that. We misguide ourselves.

In fact, this is a point that we must note. The sign of an ungodly ideology is that it causes suffering. Let me make my point now that I want to get across, and the point of this article:

The sign of an ungodly ideology is that it causes suffering. If it was from God then it could not.

Allah reveals to human beings sufficient religion for a happy life, and societies who fail to accept the religion, or they change it, or they disabuse it in some way, they fail to reap the benefits of divine revelations and they misguide themselves in some way.

Making Error Into Ideological Error

Institutionalising an ideology will magnify the error. Looking at the behaviour of the people, we can see whether an idea has become an institution. Once a group of followers begin manifesting a particular behaviour or belief regularly, in significant number, then there is institutional regulation of some kind behind it. Usually it can also be observed written into creeds and laws.

Examples of Institutionalised Religion

Sunni Islam and Shia Islam are man-made forms of institutionalised religion. They are not found in revelation. The words ‘sunnah’ and ‘shi’a’ are found in the Qur’an, but never mentioned as religions, nor placed together with the word ‘Islam’. Each of these terms (Sunni and Shi’a) has a literal meaning.

The literal meaning is not the point here. Any idea could become an institution if linked to the word ‘Islam’, especially if people are enticed to believe in it. You could have Mango Islam or Macadamia Islam, even both, if you sanctified them enough.

This may sound crazy, but its actually not too far from reality. There are sects that sanctify their own ancestors and claim it is the real Islam, and others who sanctify leaders, particular days, particular scholars, particular verses of the Qur’an, and so on. Usually, each group claims that their ‘Islam’ is the right one.

All of that is idol worship. We know this from the Qur’an itself, which dismissed sectarianism as idolatrous and forbade us from institutionalising man-made ideologies.


Language Acquisition By Jesus

Peace be with you.

INTRODUCTION

I testify that God is real and is worthy of worship. I testify to the Qur’an as the word of God and Muhammad as one of his messengers.

The miracles of Jesus were carried out according to the Will of God. It is not an obligation on God to repeat them.

God does guarantee, however, that anyone who is genuinely seeking evidence for his existence will be granted clear proofs. That is an aspect of divine justice.

The Qur’an is a ‘Book of Signs’. If you are sincere, it will provide you all the evidence you need in order to know that God is true and Jesus spoke in the cradle.

LANGUAGE ACQUISITION IS IN GOD’S HANDS

God has explained to us his teaching Adam the names of objects. God Almighty is responsible for language acquisition:

002.029 It is He Who hath created for you all things that are on earth; Then He turned to the heaven and made them into seven firmaments; and of all things He hath perfect knowledge.

002.030 Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: “I will create a vicegerent on earth.” They said: “Wilt Thou place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood?- whilst we do celebrate Thy praises and glorify Thee?” He said: “I know what ye know not.”

002.031 And He taught Adam the names of all things; then He placed them before the angels, and said: “Tell me the names of these if ye are right.”

002.032 They said: “Glory to Thee, of knowledge we have none, save what Thou Hast taught us: In truth it is Thou Who art perfect in knowledge and wisdom.”

002.033 He said: “O Adam! Tell them their names.” When he had told them their names, God said: “Did I not tell you that I know the secrets of heaven and earth, and I know what ye reveal and what ye conceal?”

The above selection from chapter 2 of the Qur’an is evidence that God is the one who gave us recognition of objects.

Boundaries

The revelations of God have come for our benefit. They are the truth and they are a clear explanation.

The Noble Qur’an relates the story of language acquisition of a purified man, Jesus Christ. God taught him to speak from the instant of his birth.

16. Relate in the Book the story of Mary, when she withdrew from her family to a place in the East.
17. She placed a screen to screen herself from them: then We sent to her Our angel, and he appeared before her as a man in all respects.
18. She said: “I seek refuge from thee to The Most Gracious: come not near if you do fear God.”
19. He said: “Nay, I am only a messenger from thy Lord to announce to thee the gift of a holy son.”
20. She said: “How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?”
21. He said: “So! Your Lord says `That is easy for Me: and We wish to appoint him as a Sign unto men and a Mercy from Us’: it is a matter decreed.”
22. So she conceived him, and she retired with him to a remote place.
23. And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm-tree: she cried in her anguish: “Ah! would that I had died before this! Would that I had been a thing forgotten and out of sight!”
24. But a voice cried to her from beneath: “Grieve not! for thy Lord hath provided a rivulet beneath thee;
25. “And shake towards thyself the trunk of the palm-tree: it will let fall fresh ripe dates upon thee.
26. “So eat and drink and cool your eye. And if you do see any man say `I have vowed a fast to (Allah) Most Gracious, and this day will I enter into no talk with any human being.’ “
27. At length she brought the babe to her people, carrying him. They said: “O Mary! truly an amazing thing you have brought!
28. “O sister of Aaron! Your father was not a man of evil, nor your mother a woman unchaste!”
29. But she pointed to the babe. They said: “How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?”
30. He said: “I am indeed a servant of God: He has given me revelation and made me a prophet;
31. “And He has made me Blessed wheresoever I be, and has enjoined on me Prayer and Charity as long as I live;
32. “He has made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable;
33. “So Peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die and the day that I shall be raised up to life again!”
34. Such was Jesus the son of Mary: it is a statement of truth, about which they dispute.

Let’s celebrate this information. If you don’t believe in the Qur’an, then I ask you to bring forward your evidence to refute it if you can.

We know that language acquisition is organised by the Creator of the Universe. It follows that we must organise our linguistic theories and our language pedagogy in alignment with divine will.

Abdullah Reed

Bogor, Indonesia, 1432 H

Relate in the Book (the story of) Mary, when she withdrew from her family to a place in the East.
17. She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them: then We sent to her Our angel, and he appeared before her as a man in all respects.
18. She said: “I seek refuge from thee to (Allah) Most Gracious: (come not near) if thou dost fear Allah.”
19. He said: “Nay, I am only a messenger from thy Lord (to announce) to thee the gift of a holy son.”
20. She said: “How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?”
21. He said: “So (it will be): thy Lord saith `That is easy for Me: and (We wish) to appoint him as a Sign unto men and a Mercy from Us’: it is a matter (so) decreed.”
22. So she conceived him, and she retired with him to a remote place.
23. And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm-tree: she cried (in her anguish): “Ah! would that I had died before this! Would that I had been a thing forgotten and out of sight!”
24. But (a voice) cried to her from beneath the (palm-free): “Grieve not! for thy Lord hath provided a rivulet beneath thee;
25. “And shake towards thyself the trunk of the palm-tree: it will let fall fresh ripe dates upon thee.
26. “So eat and drink and cool (thine) eye. And if thou dost see any man say `I have vowed a fast to (Allah) Most Gracious, and this day will I enter into no talk with any human being.’ “
27. At length she brought the (babe) to her people, carrying him (in her arms). they said: “O Mary! truly an amazing thing hast thou brought!
28. “O sister of Aaron! thy father was not a man of evil, nor thy mother a woman unchaste!”
29. But she pointed to the babe. They said: “How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?”
30. He said: “I am indeed a servant of Allah: He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet;
31. “And He hath made me Blessed wheresoever I be, and hath enjoined on me Prayer and Charity as long as I live;
32. “(He) hath made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable;
33. “So Peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)”!
34. Such (was) Jesus the son of Mary: (it is) a statement of truth, about which they (vainly) dispute.

Why I Believe The Qur’an

At university, I studied the Western hegemony: some arts, some science, some economics. I studied philosophy of the soul, and I managed to cope with the diagrams of it (the soul) that philosophers have come up with, although it was a strain.

Then I learned, from studying philosophy of science, that my references, my pillars, and the pillars of my society, psychology, empiricism, economics, free trade, and so forth, were themselves really just more diagrams, mainly offshoots of mathematics and philosophy.

Eventually, I realised that philosophy itself was another Greek legacy. Firstly I wondered if I was really alive, and really existing and so forth, but it seemed illogical to contemplate whether or not I was contemplating. Didn’t someone say “I think, therefore I am”?

I took that as being reasonable. How can you deny writing while you’re writing? How can you deny breathing while you’re breathing? I asked Buddhists about this and they said “In this form, you’re breathing, you’re writing, but if you are transformed to another life, with another form, then you may not be”. That seemed logical.

Anyway, after getting a bird’s eye view of my own society, I wondered about the produce of other empires. So I learned from the Hindus, investigated Aborigines, asked about Christianity and what were its roots, and so on. I wondered about all mankind.

I remember looking at a magazine in the uni library about Asian primitive cultures and seeing men with long poles hitting each other on the head, with villagers standing around to watch, to decide who was right in an argument about a woman. It seemed not far different from what went on in Sydney on Saturday night.

Even anthropology seemed interesting. I wondered where culture and civilisation themselves came from. How did we get here? Why was I using a washing machine not a stone and a river?

I studied the development of civilisation. I looked at Greek temples and wondered what they did in them. I began studying religions and trying them out as well. I went to temples, churches, the synagogues of Sydney, and pagan parties. I read and read.

Having weighed it all up, it is easy for me to know now that the revelations are from God. It wasn’t instant. I was sceptical and it took a long time. I made a lot of mistakes along the way and I still learn, but there is no doubt any more. Evidence is overwhelming.

Each prophet brought a sign to prove his credentials. Moses brought a magic stick that became a snake. It was because the people of his society revered good magicians, so God overwhelmed them with evidence in that domain. Jesus’ miracles were in the fields of healing and food. I’m sure there was a reason.

Muhammad’s miracle was in writing: the Qur’an. If you compare it to Homer, Dante, Bob Dylan, or anyone, the Qur’an is simply better quality without question. It is so far ahead you can’t measure the difference. It literally makes me cry over and again and reminds me of reading the Bible. Yet, unlike the Bible, it is a literary arrangement from God as well as a soul guide.

The Qur’an made the same claim: “Produce ten chapters like it if you can, but you never will”. It said: if you can produce something equal or better, then you’ll know its not from God.

Yet, since the time of the Qur’an entering human life, 1,400 years ago, there has never been a book to have the same effect. It has not been altered and has not been bettered. You can see a 1,000 year old copy of it in a Museum, and read it, and you can see for yourself that its still the same.

Millions have responded to the Qur’an, and every claim it made has been found true. I’m one of them. Until this day, I’ve been unable to prove that the Qur’an’s claim of divine origin is a false claim. Rather, it appears to me to be true. For all that I have, and all that I know, I can’t see how it could be other than from God.

Abdullah Reed