Saturday, November 3, 2018

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Islam is an ideology - a set of ideas. The term Muslim is just an identity and Muslims are human beings who associate themselves with Islam in some way. The assumption that criticism of Islam is equal to an attack on Muslims is completely wrong. On the one extreme there are people who are bigoted against Muslims in general and on the other extreme there are people who view criticism of Islam as bigotry. Here is what both parties need to realize:

1). People have varying interpretations, knowledge and commitment with regards to the religious doctrine.
2). People give different amounts of emphasis to various aspects of religion.
3). People are made up of more than just religion.

With that said, after having studied Islam in-depth it is very clear to me that there are huge problems in the Islamic doctrine. Some of these are so problematic that makes it absolutely necessary to criticize Islam. I also include articles to refute the alleged scientific accuracy of Islam scripture which is a complete myth. Now let's move on to my analysis. Click on each topic to see my complete analysis using Islamic scripture.

I. Moral and Ethical Problems:

II. Scientific and Factual Errors:

Quran's Failed Challenges and Appeal to Ignorance
The Quran Falls in its Own Bible Trap
Biological Blunders in the Quran

Monday, July 30, 2018

Islam: Made for Muhammad by Muhammad

Most of the Quran contains general instructions for believers or people in general. However, there are certain verses in the Quran that are not just specifically addressed to Muhammad, but address his most trivial personal issues and insecurities. Take a look at some of those verses:

Quran 33:50 - O Prophet, indeed We have made lawful to you your wives to whom you have given their due compensation and those your right hand possesses from what Allah has returned to you [of captives] and the daughters of your paternal uncles and the daughters of your paternal aunts and the daughters of your maternal uncles and the daughters of your maternal aunts who emigrated with you and a believing woman if she gives herself to the Prophet [and] if the Prophet wishes to marry her, [this is] only for you, excluding the [other] believers. We certainly know what We have made obligatory upon them concerning their wives and those their right hands possess, [but this is for you] in order that there will be upon you no discomfort. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful. 

Quran 33:51 - You, [O Muhammad], may put aside whom you will of them or take to yourself whom you will. And any that you desire of those [wives] from whom you had [temporarily] separated - there is no blame upon you [in returning her]. That is more suitable that they should be content and not grieve and that they should be satisfied with what you have given them - all of them. And Allah knows what is in your hearts. And ever is Allah Knowing and Forbearing.

Quran 33:52 - Not lawful to you, [O Muhammad], are [any additional] women after [this], nor [is it] for you to exchange them for [other] wives, even if their beauty were to please you, except what your right hand possesses. And ever is Allah , over all things, an Observer.

The following verse addresses Muhammad's discomfort with people remaining in his house after having food and talking to his wives. They also forbid anyone from marrying his wives after his death.

Quran 33:53 - O you who have believed, do not enter the houses of the Prophet except when you are permitted for a meal, without awaiting its readiness. But when you are invited, then enter; and when you have eaten, disperse without seeking to remain for conversation. Indeed, that [behavior] was troubling the Prophet, and he is shy of [dismissing] you. But Allah is not shy of the truth. And when you ask [his wives] for something, ask them from behind a partition. That is purer for your hearts and their hearts. And it is not [conceivable or lawful] for you to harm the Messenger of Allah or to marry his wives after him, ever. Indeed, that would be in the sight of Allah an enormity. 

Below is a revelation specifically addressed to Muhammad to validate his marriage to his adopted son Zaid's wife Zainab.

Quran 33:37 - And [remember, O Muhammad], when you said to the one on whom Allah bestowed favor and you bestowed favor, "Keep your wife and fear Allah ," while you concealed within yourself that which Allah is to disclose. And you feared the people, while Allah has more right that you fear Him. So when Zayd had no longer any need for her, We married her to you in order that there not be upon the believers any discomfort concerning the wives of their adopted sons when they no longer have need of them. And ever is the command of Allah accomplished.

And then another verse for the sole purpose of implying that Muhammad is not Zaid's father, and therefore not marrying his son's wife.

Quran 33:39 - Muhammad is not the father of [any] one of your men, but [he is] the Messenger of Allah and last of the prophets. And ever is Allah , of all things, Knowing.

Let's take a look at another part of the Quran.

Quran 66:1 - O Prophet, why do you prohibit [yourself from] what Allah has made lawful for you, seeking the approval of your wives? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

Quran 66:2 - Allah has already ordained for you [Muslims] the dissolution of your oaths. And Allah is your protector, and He is the Knowing, the Wise.

Situation: Muhammad made a certain promise to one of his wives that he would not drink honey from the house of another woman because she didn't like it. Muhammad is later told through revelation that he need not keep the promise.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir (66:1) - Allah's Messenger used to stay for a period in the house of Zaynab bint Jahsh and drink honey in her house. (She said) "Hafsah and I decided that when the Prophet entered upon either of us, we would say, `I smell Maghafir on you. Have you eaten Maghafir' When he entered upon one of us, she said that to him. He replied (to her), No, but I drank honey in the house of Zaynab bint Jahsh, and I will never drink it again. Then the following was revealed; O Prophet! Why do you forbid that which Allah has allowed to you... (Quran 66:1)

Quran 66:3 - And [remember] when the Prophet confided to one of his wives a statement; and when she informed [another] of it and Allah showed it to him, he made known part of it and ignored a part. And when he informed her about it, she said, "Who told you this?" He said, "I was informed by the Knowing, the Acquainted."

Quran 66:4 - If you two [wives] repent to Allah , [it is best], for your hearts have deviated. But if you cooperate against him - then indeed Allah is his protector, and Gabriel and the righteous of the believers and the angels, moreover, are [his] assistants.

Quran 66:5 - Perhaps his Lord, if he divorced you [all], would substitute for him wives better than you - submitting [to Allah], believing, devoutly obedient, repentant, worshipping, and traveling - [ones] previously married and virgins.

As per the 66:3, one of the things Muhammad confided into one of his wives was shared by her to another of his wives. Then Muhammad came to know about the leakage of this secret. Conveniently, he gets a revelation sent down by Allah chastising the wives. As a bonus, the revelation also contained a thinly veiled threat that, perhaps Allah would get them divorced from Muhammad and give him better wives.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

The Myth of the Progressive Quran

Let's look at some Islamic apologist arguments about how the Quran promotes progressive values, reason and freedom of thought.

Myth #1: Quran encourages free thinking

The myth of Quran promoting free thought is busted by looking at some specific verses in the Quran.

Quran 4:59 to 4:64 - O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result. Have you not seen those who claim to have believed in what was revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what was revealed before you? They wish to refer legislation to Taghut, while they were commanded to reject it; and Satan wishes to lead them far astray. And when it is said to them, "Come to what Allah has revealed and to the Messenger," you see the hypocrites turning away from you in aversion. So how [will it be] when disaster strikes them because of what their hands have put forth and then they come to you swearing by Allah , "We intended nothing but good conduct and accommodation." Those are the ones of whom Allah knows what is in their hearts, so turn away from them but admonish them and speak to them a far-reaching word. And We did not send any messenger except to be obeyed by permission of Allah. And if, when they wronged themselves, they had come to you, [O Muhammad], and asked forgiveness of Allah and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah Accepting of repentance and Merciful. 

As you can see, the Quran repeatedly demands obedience to authority on the face of any disagreements without entertaining free thought. Let's read on further.

Quran 4:65 - But no, by your Lord, they will not [truly] believe until they make you, [O Muhammad], judge concerning that over which they dispute among themselves and then find within themselves no discomfort from what you have judged and submit in [full, willing] submission. 

Notice how the Quran makes it abundantly clear that believers won't be considered true believers unless the submit to the authority of Muhammad without the slightest discomfort or disagreement. But it gets worse.

Quran 4:66 to 4:69 - And if We had decreed upon them, "Kill yourselves" or "Leave your homes," they would not have done it, except for a few of them. But if they had done what they were instructed, it would have been better for them and a firmer position [for them in faith]. And then We would have given them from Us a great reward. And We would have guided them to a straight path. And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger - those will be with the ones upon whom Allah has bestowed favor of the prophets, the steadfast affirmers of truth, the martyrs and the righteous. And excellent are those as companions.

The Quran demands obedience even if the command given to believers were to "kill yourselves" or "leave your homes" as the Quran clearly puts it!

Quran 4:80 - He who obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah ; but those who turn away - We have not sent you over them as a guardian.

Let's look carefully at the above statement. It doesn't simply say obey Allah and Muhammad. It instead says that whoever obeys Muhammad is thereby obeying Allah. This simply reinforces the idea that Muhammad indeed is practically the authority in Islam.

Quran 33:21 - There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often.

The above verse makes it clear that Muhammad is a role model or an example to be imitated for the believers. Remember, not merely an inspiration but an example to be followed.

Now, let's check another part of the Quran to see its stance on doubtful questioning from believers.

Quran 5:101 to 5:102 - O you who have believed, do not ask about things which, if they are shown to you, will distress you. But if you ask about them while the Qur'an is being revealed, they will be shown to you. Allah has pardoned that which is past; and Allah is Forgiving and Forbearing. A people asked such [questions] before you; then they became thereby disbelievers.

The Quran discourages believers from asking questions about things which can potentially cause themselves distress. It mentions that some people who asked such questions became disbelievers because of that.

And what might be the purpose of life according to Islam?

Quran 51:56 - And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.

The reason why Allah has created us as per the Quran is nothing else than to worship him. Sounds like somebody creating robots to sing his praises.

Quran 49:14 to 49:15 - The bedouins say, "We have believed." Say, "You have not [yet] believed; but say [instead], 'We have submitted,' for faith has not yet entered your hearts. And if you obey Allah and His Messenger, He will not deprive you from your deeds of anything. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful." The believers are only the ones who have believed in Allah and His Messenger and then doubt not but strive with their properties and their lives in the cause of Allah. It is those who are the truthful.

Quran in the above verses encourages blind submission (islam) and obedience even in the absence of belief (iman). To become true believers, it is stated that there should be no doubt in Islam.

Myth #2: Kufr doesn't mean disbelief; disbelievers don't get hellfire

Quran 40:70 to 40:72 - Those who deny the Book and that with which We sent Our messengers - they are going to know, When the shackles are around their necks and the chains; they will be dragged In boiling water; then in the Fire they will be filled [with flame].

The above verses are clear that denying the Quran and its messages (with which the messengers were previously sent forth) is going to land people in hellfire.

Quran 48:13 - And whoever has not believed in Allah and His Messenger - then indeed, We have prepared for the disbelievers a Blaze.

In the above verse, the word kufr (which liberal Muslims often say doesn't refer to disbelief) is clearly associated with the action of not believing in Allah and Muhammad. And for such people, hellfire is clearly assigned by Allah.

Quran 5:72 - They have certainly disbelieved who say, "Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary" while the Messiah has said, "O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord." Indeed, he who associates others with Allah – Allah has forbidden him Paradise, and his refuge is the Fire. And there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers.

The above verse clearly states that those who associate others with Allah (i.e. don't accept Tawheed or strict monotheism) are going to hellfire.

Quran 3:151 - We will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve for what they have associated with Allah of which He had not sent down [any] authority. And their refuge will be the Fire, and wretched is the residence of the wrongdoers.

Again the Quran reiterates that people who associate others with Allah will be made to feel terror because of associating partners with Allah.

Quran 47:8 to 47:10 - But those who disbelieve - for them is misery, and He will waste their deeds. That is because they disliked what Allah revealed, so He rendered worthless their deeds. Have they not traveled through the land and seen how was the end of those before them? Allah destroyed [everything] over them, and for the disbelievers is something comparable. That is because Allah is the protector of those who have believed and because the disbelievers have no protector. Indeed, Allah will admit those who have believed and done righteous deeds to gardens beneath which rivers flow, but those who disbelieve enjoy themselves and eat as grazing livestock eat, and the Fire will be a residence for them.

Disliking Allah's revelations means Allah will cause such people misery, cause their good deeds to be wasted and put them into hellfire.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Quran Falls in its Own Bible Trap

This article examines how the Quran makes certain claims about the Bible and thereby lays a trap for itself proving itself wrong. Muslims often make the claim that the Torah (which belongs to the Old Testament of Bible) and the Gospel (which belongs to the New Testament of Bible) are corrupted. They make this claim because of two reasons:

1). The Quran confirms that the real Torah (referred to as Taurat in the Quran) and the real Gospel (referred to as Injeel in the Quran) are Allah's revelations.
2). Some of the things written in the Torah and the Gospel today are in conflict with the Quranic teachings.

Whether the Torah and the Gospel today are corrupted (ie; are different from their original versions) is difficult to know as it is hard to dig up their early history today. The point of this article is not to try and challenge this claim of corruption of the Torah or the Gospel. What we are going to see is how some of the claims the Quran makes about the Bible backfires against itself.

The Quran in the following verses very strongly insists that the Torah and the Gospel were not corrupted at the time of Muhammad. Allah even admonishes the Jews for coming to Muhammad asking for guidance, reasoning that the Jews already have the Torah in their hands (which was revealed by Allah as per the Quran).

Quran 5:43 to 5:48 - But how is it that they come to you for judgement while they have the Torah, in which is the judgement of Allah? Then they turn away, [even] after that; but those are not [in fact] believers. Indeed, We sent down the Torah, in which was guidance and light. The prophets who submitted [to Allah] judged by it for the Jews, as did the rabbis and scholars by that with which they were entrusted of the Scripture of Allah, and they were witnesses thereto. So do not fear the people but fear Me, and do not exchange My verses for a small price. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the disbelievers ... And We sent, following in their footsteps, Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming that which came before him in the Torah; and We gave him the Gospel, in which was guidance and light and confirming that which preceded it of the Torah as guidance and instruction for the righteous. And let the People of the Gospel judge by what Allah has revealed therein. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the defiantly disobedient. And We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth, confirming that which preceded it of the Scripture and as a criterion over it. So judge between them by what Allah has revealed and do not follow their inclinations away from what has come to you of the truth.

These verses sharply condemn people who won't judge by what Allah has revealed in both the Torah and the Gospel (as well as the Quran itself). If the Torah and the Gospel were corrupted at the time, why would Allah admonish Jews who come to Muhammad for guidance in such a clear language and expect Jews and Christians to refer to their corrupted books for guidance? We can therefore safely say that the Quran dismisses any notion of corruption of the Torah or the Gospel AT THE TIME.

People who don't realise the gravity of this claim might think - why can't the Torah and the Gospel be corrupted after the time of Muhammad? The problem lies in the fact that hundreds of thousands of copies of the Bible would be already circulating around the world during Muhammad's time. Perhaps even a million copies of the Bible would be around at this point of time (the world population was around 200 million or more estimated in the 7th century). How does one corrupt a book after a million copies of it are already spread around the world? The sheer impossibility of this claim will become clear as we think about it through an example:

While making a variety of different claims about the Bible, the Quran makes one specific claim which literally digs its own grave. It claims that Muhammad is mentioned in BOTH the Torah and the Gospel!

Quran 7:157 - Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered prophet, whom they find written in what they have of the Torah and the Gospel, who enjoins upon them what is right and forbids them what is wrong and makes lawful for them the good things and prohibits for them the evil and relieves them of their burden and the shackles which were upon them. So they who have believed in him, honored him, supported him and followed the light which was sent down with him - it is those who will be the successful.

This claim has troubled Muslim scholars so much since the Quran itself rubbishes the idea that either Torah or Gospel was corrupted at the time, they are forced to do the unimaginable: Find Muhammad's mention in the Torah and the Gospel. The trouble of course, is the simple fact that Muhammad is not mentioned in either the Torah or the Gospel by any means (even by description, let alone the name).

Muhsin Khan and Hilali (scholars and translators of the Quran) even make a futile attempt to mention the Bible verses referring to Muhammad:

The Hilali/Khan translation of verse 7:157 reads: "Those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write (i.e.Muhammad SAW) whom they find written with them in the Taurat (Torah) (Deut, xviii, 15) and the Injeel (Gospel) (John xiv, 16),..."

Deuteronomy 18:15 - "The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers — it is to him you shall listen"

Gospel of John 14:16 - "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever"

These are probably the best attempts to find Muhammad's mention in the Bible. However if we read the Bible in context these claims boomerang because Deuteronomy 18:15 is clearly talking about a prophet to be raised from among the Israelites/Jews. And if we keep reading Gospel of John 14:16 till 14:26 we find that the "helper" or "comforter" mentioned in 14:16 is very clearly the Holy Spirit (the same comforter is mentioned again in chapter 15 and 16 as well), and not Muhammad. Islamic preachers like Zakir Naik mention these and other passages to fool people who don't bother to research these claims. However, every single claim of Muhammad being mentioned in the Bible is easily debunked by simply reading the Bible properly.

In light of the above, let us think about what it really means to claim that the Torah and the Gospel (which were uncorrupted at the time as per Quran) were later corrupted. This would involve burning of pretty much all the (one million) Bibles that are in circulation during 7th century to make sure that every single mention of Muhammad in both the books are gone and then replacing them all with copies that don't have Muhammad's name (and do the same with every single contradiction between the Quran and the Torah/Gospel). Such an event would most certainly be well-documented in history. In short, absolutely impossible! Any corruption of a book which would eventually be widely circulated has to happen in its earliest stages of history, near to its inception.

Despite how the Quran strongly implies that these Bible books were uncorrupted, Muslims try to find counter evidence using other verses of the Quran (despite that at best it would only imply that the Quran contradicts itself). The best argument for corruption of the Bible is probably Quran 2:79 which condemns "those who write the scripture with their own hands and claim that it is from Allah". Muslims claim that this implies that Quran recognises the Bible to be corrupted or was being massively corrupted at the time. Once again, this claim is debunked - by reading this verse in context:

Quran 2:78 to 2:79 - And among them are unlettered ones who do not know the Scripture except in wishful thinking, but they are only assuming. So woe to those who write the "scripture" with their own hands, then say, "This is from Allah ," in order to exchange it for a small price. Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for what they earn.

Clearly we can see that it doesn't give any credence to the idea that the Bible was corrupted already. Neither does it suggest that the Bible was being corrupted on a large scale. It simply admonishes people who don't know what is in the scripture and then mislead people by writing/attributing wrong teachings to the scripture. Let's not forget the literal impossibility of completely corrupting the Bible (or any book with a wide circulation for that matter) from a point where it was not significantly corrupted.

CONCLUSION: Given all the above facts, the only reasonable conclusion one can make is that the Quran simply traps itself by implying that the Torah and the Gospel were uncorrupted at the time - and thereby today as well - and by how it still contradicts these books. A good example being the claim of Muhammad being mentioned in these books.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Biological Blunders in the Quran

In this article I'm going to focus on two clear mistakes the Quran makes when it tries to explain aspects of biology.

(I) Origin of semen in man:

86:5 to 86:7 - So let man see from what he is created! He is created from a water gushing forth, Proceeding from between the backbone and the ribs.

The Quran claims that the semen originates from between the backbone (sulb) and the ribs (tara'ib). While most translators of the Quran translate sulb as "backbone", some translators translate it as "loins". Whether the word actually means loins or backbone, both are inescapable errors.

Anatomically, loins (also known as lumbus) refers to areas on both sides of the backbone between the lower ribs and the thigh bone. If we view anatomically there is absolutely no way seminal vesicles (which is where semen actually originates) can come between the loins and the ribs. The only other way loins could make sense here is if it is considered to be the "sexual areas" of the man which is vague and has no precise location. Anyhow, even if we take loins to be the sexual areas of man, saying that semen originates between the loins and the ribs is inexplicable - what are ribs even doing here? They are completely out of the picture.

Islamic apologists desperately try to defend this clear error mainly in two different ways:

1). By drawing a line between the bottom of the tailbone (coccyx) through the seminal vesicles they use deceptive drawings of the human body to claim that this line catches the bottom of the ribs. As weird as this explanation looks, an accurate check of the anatomy of human body reveals that a line drawn between the bottom of the tailbone through the seminal vesicles will not even come close to catching the ribs - as the following depiction clearly shows:

Imagine a straight line from the bottom of the tailbone to the top of the seminal vesicles and extend it. The ribs are not even in the picture! And hence the argument of semen originating from between backbone and ribs fails even if we consider the bottom-most tip of the tailbone.

2). By claiming that not only is "sulb" male sexual areas but also claiming that "tara'ib" means female sexual areas. Virtually every decent translator of the Quran has translated tara'ib as ribs. And so does every single dictionary of classical arabic there is. The Islamic apolgists cleverly pick out a part of the sentence in Lane's Lexicon (a dictionary of classical arabic) to make this laughable claim.

Quoted from Lane's Lexicon (page 301): "... most of the authors on strange words affirm decidedly that it (tara’ib) is peculiar to women." Now despite the fact that the very same Lane's Lexicon clearly refers to tara'ib as ribs (whether it is peculiar to man or woman) the apologists hide this fact to pretend that this somehow means the "sexual areas of women" by taking out that one portion where it says this word is often used particular to women and hiding the rest.

The result? A complete fail. All of the futile attempts at explaining away and whitewashing this clear error are simply destroyed.

(2) Origin of milk in cattle:

16:66 - And verily! In the cattle, there is a lesson for you. We give you to drink of that which is in their bellies, from between excretions and blood, pure milk; palatable to the drinkers.

Milk is produced from mammary glands (which are part of the "udder" in cattle - the equivalent of the breasts in humans). Neither are milk in the cattle at any point of time situated in their bellies, nor are they coming from between excretions/intestines and blood. A clear and indefensible error.

Although there are more poor biological explanations and errors in the Quran, I have just focused on two of these errors as they are easily and clearly proven and hence indefensible.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Barbaric Inhumane Punishments and Torture

Islam contains absolutely cruel, and unthinkably inhumane punishments for several crimes and even non-crimes. These punishments and teachings in Islam show how fundamentally unfit it is for the modern world.

(I) Theft - Amputation of the hand:

5:38 - As for the thief, both male and female, cut off their hands. It is the reward of their own deeds, an exemplary punishment from Allah. Allah is Mighty, Wise.

Sahih al Bukhari 6799 - Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah 's Apostle said, "Allah curses the thief who steals an egg (or a helmet) for which his hand is to be cut off, or steals a rope, for which his hand is to be cut off."

Sahih al Bukhari 6790 - Narrated Aisha: The Prophet said, "The hand of a thief should be cut off for stealing a quarter of a Dinar."

(II) Fornication and adultery - Hundred lashes in public (plus stoning to death for adultery):

24:2 - The woman and the man guilty of illegal sexual intercourse, flog each of them with a hundred stripes. Let not pity withhold you in their case, in a punishment prescribed by Allah, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a party of the believers witness their punishment. 

Sahih al Bukhari 7332 - Narrated Ibn `Umar: The Jews brought a man and a woman who had committed illegal sexual intercourse, to the Prophet and the Prophet ordered them to be stoned to death, and they were stoned to death near the mosque where the biers used to be placed.

Sahih al Bukhari 2695 - Narrated Abu Huraira and Zaid bin Khalid Al-Juhani: A bedouin came and said, "O Allah's Messenger! Judge between us according to Allah's Laws." His opponent got up and said, "He is right. Judge between us according to Allah's Laws." The bedouin said, "My son was a laborer working for this man, and he committed illegal sexual intercourse with his wife. The people told me that my son should be stoned to death; so, in lieu of that, I paid a ransom of one hundred sheep and a slave girl to save my son. Then I asked the learned scholars who said, "Your son has to be lashed one-hundred lashes and has to be exiled for one year." The Prophet said, "No doubt I will judge between you according to Allah's Laws. The slave-girl and the sheep are to go back to you, and your son will get a hundred lashes and one year exile." He then addressed somebody, "O Unais! go to the wife of this (man) and stone her to death" So, Unais went and stoned her to death.

Sahih Muslim 4191 - 'Ubada b. as-Samit reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: "Receive (teaching) from me, receive (teaching) from me. Allah has ordained a way for those (women). When an unmarried male commits adultery with an unmarried female (they should receive) one hundred lashes and banishment for one year. And in case of married male committing adultery with a married female, they shall receive one hundred lashes and be stoned to death."

(III) Homosexuality - death; and transgenders - forcing them out of their homes:

Quran 7:80 to 7:84 - And (remember) Loot (Lot), when he said to his people: ‘Do you commit the worst sin such as none preceding you has committed in the ‘Aalameen (mankind and jinn)? Verily, you practise your lusts on men instead of women. Nay, but you are a people transgressing beyond bounds (by committing great sins).’ And the answer of his people was only that they said: ‘Drive them out of your town, these are indeed men who want to be pure (from sins)!’ Then We saved him and his family, except his wife; she was of those who remained behind (in the torment). And We rained down on them a rain (of stones). Then see what was the end of the Mujrimoon (criminals, polytheists and sinners)”

Sunan Abu-Dawud 4462 - Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas: The Prophet said: If you find anyone doing as Lot's people did, kill the one who does it, and the one to whom it is done.

Sahih al Bukhari 5886 - Narrated Ibn `Abbas: The Prophet cursed effeminate men (those men who are in the similitude (assume the manners of women) and those women who assume the manners of men, and he said, "Turn them out of your houses." 

(IV) House arrest for life for women committing "sexual immorality/lewdness":

4:15 - If any of your women are guilty of lewdness, Take the evidence of four (Reliable) witnesses from amongst you against them; and if they testify, confine them to houses until death do claim them, or Allah ordain for them some (other) way.

(V) Beating people who consumed alcohol:

Sahih al Bukhari 6777 - Narrated Abu Salama: Abu Huraira said, "A man who drank wine was brought to the Prophet. The Prophet said, 'Beat him!" Abu Huraira added, "So some of us beat him with our hands, and some with their shoes, and some with their garments (by twisting it) like a lash, and then when we finished, someone said to him, 'May Allah disgrace you!' On that the Prophet said, 'Do not say so, for you are helping Satan to overpower him.' "

(VI) Crucifixion, chopping off hands and feet and other forms of torture:

5:33 - The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom.

Sahih al Bukhari 3018 - Narrated Anas bin Malik: A group of eight men from the tribe of 'Ukil came to the Prophet and then they found the climate of Medina unsuitable for them. So, they said, "O Allah's Messenger! Provide us with some milk." Allah's Apostle said, "I recommend that you should join the herd of camels." So they went and drank the urine and the milk of the camels (as a medicine) till they became healthy and fat. Then they killed the shepherd and drove away the camels, and they became unbelievers after whey were Muslims. When the Prophet was informed by a shouter for help, he sent some men in their pursuit, and before the sun rose high, they were brought, and he had their hands and feet cut off. Then he ordered for nails which were heated and passed over their eyes, and whey were left in the Harra (i.e. rocky land in Medina). They asked for water, and nobody provided them with water till they died (Abu Qilaba, a sub-narrator said, "They committed murder and theft and fought against Allah and His Apostle, and spread evil in the land.")

CONCLUSION: We can all argue if some of these actions are moral or immoral, but the fact is that the level of punishment is disproportionate and inhumane. Chopping off hands for theft condemns the thief with a punishment that he or she can never recover from. Publicly humiliating people with 100 lashes or stoning to death are absolutely savage. If you ever watched a video of a person being stoned to death anyone with a heart would see how utterly devoid of humanity such a punishment is for any crime. The LGBT are clearly going to suffer, whether by being put to death or being rendered homeless. Apart from that, no civil society should recognize torture as a valid punishment for any crime. These aspects of Islam should make any believing Muslim rethink whether Islam is a great religion, to say the very least.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Blasphemy Killings and their Islamic Roots

Anyone who listens to the world news attentively knows how uniquely intolerant Islamic world is on the topic of blasphemy or a perceived insult of Islam. The conviction that a person has committed blasphemy can turn a mob dedicated with all their anger and might towards publicly murdering a person. Let us take a moment to examine the straightforward connection between blasphemy killings and the Islamic doctrine and scripture.

The Quran contains a lot of hate speech and threat of violence against people who abuse the prophet or mock Islam. Let's take a look at a few of these verses:

Quran 33:57 to 33:61 - Indeed, those who abuse Allah and His Messenger - Allah has cursed them in this world and the Hereafter and prepared for them a humiliating punishment. And those who harm believing men and believing women for [something] other than what they have earned have certainly born upon themselves a slander and manifest sin. O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful. If the hypocrites and those in whose hearts is disease and those who spread rumors in al-Madinah do not cease, We will surely incite you against them; then they will not remain your neighbors therein except for a little. Accursed wherever they are found, [being] seized and massacred completely.

The Tafsirs show that the context applies to anyone who persistently mocks Allah and Muhammad.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir (33:57-61) - (Verily, those who annoy Allah and His Messenger,) was revealed about those who slandered the Prophet over his marriage to Safiyyah bint Huyay bin Akhtab. The Ayah appears to be general in meaning and to apply to all those who annoy him in any way, because whoever annoys him annoys Allah, just as whoever obeys him obeys Allah. ... Then Allah issues a warning to the hypocrites, those who make an outward display of faith while concealing their disbelief.

Quran 9:61 to 9:66 - And among them are those who abuse the Prophet and say, "He is an ear." Say, "[It is] an ear of goodness for you that believes in Allah and believes the believers and [is] a mercy to those who believe among you." And those who abuse the Messenger of Allah - for them is a painful punishment. They swear by Allah to you [Muslims] to satisfy you. But Allah and His Messenger are more worthy for them to satisfy, if they should be believers. Do they not know that whoever opposes Allah and His Messenger - that for him is the fire of Hell, wherein he will abide eternally? That is the great disgrace. They hypocrites are apprehensive lest a surah be revealed about them, informing them of what is in their hearts. Say, "Mock [as you wish]; indeed, Allah will expose that which you fear." And if you ask them, they will surely say, "We were only conversing and playing." Say, "Is it Allah and His verses and His Messenger that you were mocking?" Make no excuse; you have disbelieved after your belief. If We pardon one faction of you - We will punish another faction because they were criminals.

From the Tafsirs it appears that the verses were revealed in context of punishing a man with stoning for mocking Islam.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir (9:65) - `Abdullah bin `Umar said, "During the battle of Tabuk, a man was sitting in a gathering and said, `I have never seen like these reciters of ours! They have the hungriest stomachs, the most lying tongues and are the most cowardice in battle.' A man in the Masjid said, `You lie. You are a hypocrite, and I will surely inform the Messenger of Allah. ' This statement was conveyed to the Messenger of Allah and also a part of the Qur'an was revealed about it.''' `Abdullah bin `Umar said, "I have seen that man afterwards holding onto the shoulders of the Messenger's camel while stones were falling on him, declaring, `O Allah's Messenger! We were only engaged in idle talk and jesting,' while the Messenger of Allah was reciting,

Let us see this concept in action from the hadiths. In the below story, a blind man stabs his wife to death for repeatedly slandering Muhammad. When Muhammad heard the news he ordered the man to turn himself in. When he did, Muhammad let him away with no punishment.

Sunan an-Nasai 4070 - Ibn 'Abbas narrated that: There was a blind man during the time of the Messenger of Allah [SAW] who had an Umm Walad by whom he had two sons. She used to slander and defame the Messenger of Allah [SAW] a great deal, and he would rebuke her, but she would not pay heed, and he would forbid her to do that, but she ignored him. (The blind man said) One night I mentioned the Prophet [SAW], and she slandered him. I could not bear it so I went and got a dagger which I thrust into her stomach and leaned upon it, and killed her. In the morning she was found slain. Mention of that was made to the Prophet [SAW] and he gathered the people and said: "I adjure by Allah; a man over whom I have the right, that he should obey me, and he did what he did, to stand up." The blind man started to tremble and said: "O Messenger of Allah [SAW], I am the one who killed her. She was my Umm Walad and she was kind and gentle toward me, and I have two sons like pearls from her, but she used to slander and defame you a great deal. I forbade her, but she did not stop, and I rebuked her, but she did not pay heed. Finally, I mentioned your name and she slandered you, so I went and got a dagger which I thrust into her stomach, and leaned on it until I killed her. The Messenger of Allah [SAW] said: "I bear witness that her blood is permissible."

While the above are more direct examples for blasphemy, there is a lot of hate speech in the Quran that is written against those who spread "corruption" in the land. If we examine within the Quran itself, we can see how easily it is possible to use the excuse of spreading corruption against blasphemers.

Quran 5:32 to 5:33 - Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely ... Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment.

Obviously Allah is invisible if he exists and Muhammad not alive today so any war that can be waged against Allah and his messenger today is a war of ideas. Besides, one big problem with this is that when the system itself is Islam, anything that challenges and tries to reform Islam can be classified as corruption. Quran in chapter 2 supports this notion.

Quran 2:8 to 2:12 - And of the people are some who say, "We believe in Allah and the Last Day," but they are not believers. They [think to] deceive Allah and those who believe, but they deceive not except themselves and perceive [it] not. In their hearts is disease, so Allah has increased their disease; and for them is a painful punishment because they [habitually] used to lie. And when it is said to them, "Do not cause corruption on the earth," they say, "We are but reformers." Unquestionably, it is they who are the corrupters, but they perceive [it] not.

Reforms and innovations are absolutely scorned upon in Islam. Before concluding, let's look at another hadith:

Sahih Muslim 1852 - It has been narrated on the authority of 'Arfaja who said: I have heard the Messenger of Allah say: Different evils will make their appearance in the near future. Anyone who tries to disrupt the affairs of this Umma while they are united you should strike him with the sword whoever he be.

CONCLUSION: Although what I did is a scriptural analysis on blasphemy within Islam, these don't present a complete picture of the existing problem. Lots and lots of Muslims who barely know the scripture in detail still support blasphemy punishments. Considering a medieval warlord as the perfect example for mankind by itself is extremely troublesome. When pointed out troublesome facts about Muhammad in the Islamic scripture, this can make people extremely defensive and angry as there is some truth in the accusations. Another part of the problem is in the belief that Quran is perfectly preserved, to the letter. This leads to people being extremely allergic to change and being intolerant of reform. The result of all this is that Islam creates a cult centred around the Quran as a book and Muhammad as a person, resisting even small amounts of criticism or reform, leading to an extreme intolerance to blasphemy.