The biggest lie that Feminists tell is that they are fighting for equality between Men and Women. Complete and utter lie, they do not want equality, they want identicality.
I once asked a question to a lawyer friend of mine. I asked him, if Titanic was to sink today, and two brothers were on board, and the crew of Titanic decided what they decided back in 1912, i.e. Women and Children first. Both brothers were denied to board life saving rescue boats as preference was given to women over men, one of the brothers survived while the one other one froze to death. Now the brother who survived sues the Titanic company for discrimination and the judges now have to decided whether it was correct to disallow men ‘Right to Life’ (the most fundamental of human rights) because they are men. How would they decide? Would judges decide, that grieving brother is correct and say Titanic management was wrong? This would open floodgates to more discrimination where all discrimination would be justified in terms of identicality, an example would be Indra Sawhney decision of Supreme Court of India, where court decided that ‘equality is among equals’, those in position of strength are not equal to those who are weak. Or, would the judges decide that crew of Titanic was correct and men and women are not identical, and women needed to be given a priority given men had a better chance of survival in those conditions than females. My friend’s answer was that it is a very difficult case and decision, and joked that he is happy not to be judge in this case.
The problem with the word equal is that most people who want equal rights for men and women do not understand what equality means or worse, they know what it means and are intentionally deceiving others because others are naive in understanding what equality means. What feminists are really asking for is identicality of rights, not equality of rights. Hence they never want to argue why women should compete with men in sports, because they know that men and women are not identical, the 10th fastest man in the world is faster than the fastest woman in the world. Men and women are not identical hence their rights should not be identical as well, because identical rights are assigned to those with identical resources. Resources that men have are different from women, not just physiological differences, nature (or character) of men and women are different. Men have more physical strength than women. Women on the other hand are more emotional and benevolent than men. Asking for identical rights for unidentical groups is simply and plainly wrong, and hence no one is able to find a single feminist who advocates that men and women should compete against each other in sport, because even the most ardent feminist knows that it is unfair for men and women to compete together in sports because they are not identical.
Islam recognises these differences and thus does not give men and women identical rights, in Islam men and women are equal an overall level, but not identical. There are places where women have an advantage, while there are other place men have an advantage. The problem with this situation of where should women have advantage and where should men have advantage, it is something that you can’t let men or women decide. If men were to decide, they would want to trample over what rights women must have, and if women were given the power they would want to trample over rights that men must have. Only God Almighty can justly decide who gets what, as He has created both of them and is unimaginably just., hence God Almighty is The Only One who can decide on this matter fairly. Obviously those who do not believe in God Almighty will find this problematic and that is ‘the problem’ with many societies. Most societies want to be their own masters, create their own rules which are convenient for them and ignore what was commanded by God Almighty, which also muddles the debate around equality of men and women, and their rights.
One of the favourites arguments of feminists against Islam is the share of inheritance between brother and sister, and I have written a whole blog about it. I have described in detail why a brother should and must be given a larger share because the responsibilities brothers have are far greater than responsibilities sisters have. Another claim of feminists is position of wife vis a vis her husband, but they a mother is three times more deserving of love and companionship than the father, so if women are in a distinct disadvantage in one place, men are in distinct disadvantage in another. In Islam there are lots of places where women have advantage over men. For example, after divorce mother’s have the right of custody of children under seven years of age, while their father will pay all expenses. Divorced mothers also have a right not to care for any of the children if they don’t want to, children are ultimately father’s responsibility. Another distinct advantage comes in case of mother’s death, the first right to raise the baby is not with the father but maternal aunt, preference of female over males. Similarly, in case of man slaughter, the right to forgive the accused rests with the mother of the victim not the father (if both are alive). One hadith says that heaven is under the feet of mothers, while another says that the one who raises daughters with love they will be his shield from hell fire, the same is not true for fathers or sons. The list of such examples is too extensive to discuss here.
As Muslim I have never bothered to ask why is heaven not under father’s feet or why wouldn’t sons be shield against hell fire? The reason is that I understand that men and women are equal, but not identical, which also means that I recognise that rights of men and women should be equal but not identical. There would be places where men have an advantage, and there would be places where women have advantage.
One last point is that many societies today are on a complete different footing than Islam, because they are individualistic societies, an individual is the most basic structure of these societies. Hence they believe that rights of individuals should be identical irrespective of the gender and the role a person plays in the society. In Islam and some other societies, not an individual but family is the basic unit. Although during the Day of Recompense individual is the most basic unit even in Islam, but here on Earth the basic unit of society is family. Hence everything in Islam, rights of children, parents, sisters, brothers, husbands, wives and everyone else is based on the family structure. And the family structure itself is based on 3 ‘R’s; Resources, Roles and Responsibilities, meaning whoever has whatever resources or abilities will get roles and responsibilities according to them. But there is an interdependency in three ‘R’s. One’s resources decides their roles and responsibilities in the family; or one’s role in the family decides what their resources and responsibilities they need to be provided and back to where we started whoever has whatever resources or abilities will get roles and responsibilities according to them.
Many ignorant people masquerading as experts criticise Islam saying that Islam gives only half a share to male than it gives to female, hence Islam is an inherently unjust, flawed and discriminatory religion. Of course, this is all non-sense and those who are speaking it are completely ignorant of Islam and culture that Islam develops among its followers and the reason for the shares of inheritance as they are. They are bringing a gender debate in where none exists. First of all inheritance in Islam is not based on gender but roles and responsibility each relationship plays. Inheritance is a family matter hence it is divided as per everyone’s role and responsibility in the family.
But before I start let me tell those who started giving females share of inheritance not even 100 years ago and that too came with restrictions. Such people should not debate with those who have been giving female share of inheritance for over 1400 years. Just by sheer experience we know 14 times more than you know about how to distribute inheritance.
Few years ago till I had my children, my sister was the highest recipient of my inheritance, followed by my mother, then father and then my wife. My mother would have inherited twice that my father would have inherited, so those who think Islam is discriminatory towards women should bring me answer to that, why is mother inheriting twice than father. Today after a boy and two girls my sister gets nothing, and my parents get an equal share. I will lay some ground rules here for inheritance in Islam, and then justify everything through my own example.
The first rule of inheritance is that the debts need to be settled before anything is distributed. The second rule is when a person is on his deathbed he ceases to be owner of his wealth, as soon as signs of death starts showing, the estate ceases to be his and passes to his heirs. Third rule is anything given to anyone before signs of death become visible, that is considered gift, inheritance rules apply only after sign of death are visible. The fourth rule is that only a living will inherit and dead will not inherit, ie, if I die while my father is alive, my children will not be my father’s heir. Fifth rule is only upto 1/3 of inheritance can be made into will and given to whomsoever the owner wants to give, the rest 2/3 HAS to go to those with fixed shares as prescribed in Islam. Sixth rule is that the 1/3 of inheritance that can be given to anyone, CAN NOT be given to anyone who is already receiving a fixed share in the 2/3 of inheritance. This 1/3 of the inheritance is for those who are not inheriting, it is this allocation that can be used for cases like grandchildren whose parents have died.
These two Ayahs from Quran are the foundations of how inheritance is to be distributed among various relation
So let us see how I get inheritance through a table, I am the youngest child in my family, hence when I was born, my parents had already had my sister. Let us suppose that my father leaves £100 in inheritance
My Father With a Son & Daughter
After My Grandmother died, ie today
If my Mother died before my Father
If my Father died Earlier
So let us start with the role my father has in the family, he is supposed to take care of all financial needs of my Granny who was alive when I was born, although my Grandpa was no more. My father has responsibility of my mother for 4 months and 10 days after his death (if the wife is pregnant, till the baby is born), and he had life long financial responsibility for my sister and my responsibility till I was an adult.
With my father’s death, everyone suffers a loss, but my Granny is among the hardest hit. She is old, frail and on medication, a son would have funded her through her old age, but he is now gone, hence a generous share is allocated to parents (if both of my father’s parents were alive they would have inherited (1/3 of my father’s estate, 1/6 each, but since only my grandma is alive, she gets 1/6). Now, my Grandma would have to wait till her grandson, ie I became old enough to take care of her, till that time it is hoped that her other children and surely this amount that she inherits from my father, helps her with her expenses. As stated previously, I not only inherit my father’s estate with most generous share, I also inherit his responsibilities, hence caring for my Granny is not just a duty but also an obligation and if I were to refuse to take care of my grandmother, she can take me to an Islamic court where I would be forced to fix a reasonable amount for her.
Next my mother, she has obviously lost her husband so it is a big deal, she has to stay back in her husband’s home for another 4 months and 10 days, thereafter she is free to marry anyone she wants to. I and my sister are not my mother’s responsibility but my father’s brother, who would take charge of his brother’s estate, till children grow up. Again for those who are saying why should mother be not in charge, because if she wants to marry someone else who does not want someone else’s children, she can leave her children with their paternal uncle, they are not her responsibility but my father’s brother’s. But no one can take children away from mother if she does not want to give, but if the mother wants the father’s family to take care of children, it is duty and responsibility father’s family to to raise children of their son or brother.
Lastly, it is my sister and I, as child our estate would remain in custody of my Paternal Uncle, who is supposed to take of me and my sister. He is allowed to take something reasonable as expenses he has made on us, even wages (if poor) but nothing else.
When I and my sister grow up, my uncle has to give us our inheritance. Thus he divides the inheritance, gives my sister her share of inheritance, and I get double of whatever my sister got, but I also get all the financial responsibility of my sister. I have to fund everything for her, while her money is her money that she can spend on anything. I have known brothers who kept their young widow sister, all through their lives in their homes, spending 100-1000 more than what they more in share of inheritance. And it does not just end with the sister, if she has children with no husband or source of income, the responsibility of the her children also comes on the brother. My mother’s uncle kept her young widowed sister in his house all throughout her life, while knowing fully well not to expect any compensation. When another of his young sister died and her widowed sister wanted to keep her orhpaned niece with her, he accepted the niece as well. My mother’s uncle paid for both of them all through his life, because both of them were his responsibilities, he loved and cherished them. Yes he did get twice the share than the sisters, but he must have spent 100 times more than the additional share he inherited.
Same thing applies to me, God Forbid if something goes wrong in my sister’s life, all her financial responsibilities are transferred to first my father and then to me and then to my son. And if I were to shy away from my responsibilities either towards my sister or my mother, they can take my court which will force to fulfill my obligations. Such laws are quite common in eastern societies, not just in Islam but modern India and China have laws that force children to take care of their parents in their old age, and they could even go to prison for not doing that. But, unlike modern China and India, where such caring laws are only for parents, Islam has extended to all close female relatives. Even if an aunt of mine has no one to take her, she becomes my responsibility because my father inherited more than she did, and this additional inheritance of my father might have trickled down to me. And of course, if I do not take care of such an aunt, she can take me to court and have it enforced on me.
Economically speaking, these ignorant people who masquerade as experts on Islam criticising its inheritance laws do not see the responsibility that it comes with. Having this additional inheritance is not a good news for males because it comes with an unacceptable economic risk attached, ie life long responsilibity. Any person who has ever worked in Risks would tell you to drop the additional inheritance because it comes with too many strings attached, it is not a beneficial deal.
Coming back to a very real scenario, my elder sister gets half of what I get, but think of this, most women outlive their husbands. So it is far more likely that she will become my responsibility or my son’s. The additional inheritance I get is never going to compensate for the money I will have to spend on my sister when she is my responsibility. If I was asked whether I would trade away this responsibility for giving up the double share I got? Economically it makes sense, the risk of having to take care of not just your sisters but nieces as well, this risk is just not worth the additional inheritance one gets. But as far as answer to the question is concerned, NO WE WILL NEVER trade our responsibilities toward our female relatives. We are raised to be loving and generous to our female relatives, we have been given their financial responsibility and it is not a burden for us. We are happy to take care of our sisters, mothers, aunts, grannies and our nieces. Allah has given us a bit of extra share to help but truly, should need arise it is never going to be substantial enough to compensate for the money we will have to spend on them.
The others I will inherit from would be my mother (whose distribution of will be exactly like my father’s), my wife and my sister (because she only has one daughter).
Next let us take the case of my inheritance from my wife, to keep the confusion to minimum we are only analysing the current scenario and not what would have happened if there was another scenario. My wife’s inheritance will be divided like this if she dies in the current scenario with £100
My Father in Law
My Mother in Law
I i.e. Her Husband
Her 1st Daughter
Her 2nd Daughter
According to Surah Nisa
Another interesting feat of my family inheritance is that I not only inherit from my parents (as above) and my wife (1/4), I will also inherit from my sister as she has only one daughter, so it allows us to explore another scenario. One third of my sister’s wealth would be inherited by my parents (ie 1/6 each) as they are among those with primary responsibility for my niece. Her husband ie my brother in law will inherit 1/4 of what she leaves, like I inherited from my wife. And the rest will be divided equally between me and my only niece. And I have this allocation because I am responsible for well being of my niece, she is my responsibility (after father, paternal side and my parents). So in simple terms if my sister dies under current circumstance with £100, this is how her inheritance would be divided if she left £100
According to Surah Nisa
Every scenario one after the other, the criteria for allotment of share is the role and responsibility a relationship plays in the family/household. Now let me show you how my inheritance has worked out in last few years. If I would have died at the time-points how my estate would have been divided. And keep your focus on how the allocation is fair and linked to each relationship is their share in terms of my responsibility towards them, and if I leave them with my responsibilities.
Married with no Children*
Married with 1 Daughter
Married with 2 Daughters
Married with 2 daughters and a son
According to Surah Nisa * There are different interpretations in this case, some say the siblings get nothing and mother gets 1/3, father gets 1/6 and the spouse gets everything else.
General principle says, in case of my death the first custodian of my estate would be my Son, if he was too young or not born, then it would be my father then mother then sister…. so on and so forth.
So if I had died when I was not married and had no hiers my mothers gets 1/3, and father gets 1/6. The rest would go to my brothers and sisters, since I only have a sister, all of it goes to my sister. I am dead and I haven’t left anyone behind to take care, hence my wealth is being divided among those who would have benefited from my life. My parents and siblings.
Next scenario is when I get married. Here my father receive his share of 1/6 each, and my mother gets double of my father, hence 1/3. The new entrant is my wife who gets 1/4 on my death, as I have no children, so her share is larger and the rest goes to my siblings, ie my sister. Again as I am not leaving anyone who would become someone’s responsibility, my inheritance is being divided among those who would have benefited from my life. Some others say that nothing would go sister, 50% would go to parents and the rest to spouse.
Now comes the more complicated scenario as I am leaving children behind. I am dead with my first daughter, someone has to take care of her, send her to school, buy her dresses, take her out and give a good childhood, whosoever does that must get some compensation as unlike a son for whom no one has lifelong financial responsibility, responsibility for my daughter comes with her entire life. Moving to what I leave in inheritance, my parents gets their usual £33.33 (ie 1/6 each), as they would be seen as primary caregiver and financier for my children. My wife’s share gets halved as I am leaving a child behind hence instead of getting 1/4 she is getting her 1/8th and whatever is left is to be divided among my daughter who gets half of whatever is left, and my siblings gets the rest of the half. Now, the money that is being given to my siblings is a kind of compensation for them as they hold primary responsibility (after my parents) of taking care of my daughter. While my parents may die in sooner, but most likely my daughter and sister would have lived much longer together. And hence she would have been responsible for my daughter for a much longer time, hence a much larger compensation. Another good reason for my sister’s share is that because I am no longer their to support her in case something goes wrong in her life, and I have not left a son behind who bears the financial responsibility.
Situation changes again when I had my second daughter. My parents and wive’s share remains the same, but the share of my children, my two girls remains linked with my siblings as they would become responsible for them during the lifetime of my parents and after it. But this time, the share allocated to two daughters is 2/3 and my sister is 1/3. Even if I would have had a third daughter, the three sister would have to split their 2/3 share into 3 parts, while my Sister would have got 1/3, ie in this scenario sister’s share would be greater than each of my daughters’ individual shares. Again as you can see, everyone is being give share according to the role they play in the family and the responsibilities that being pushed over to their shoulder. Since my sister is going to be funding my daughter, she must not get any lesser share as her responsibilities are getting bigger, hence my daughters are taking a cut.
And lastly, with the birth of my son, someone is born who will bear my financial responsibilities, hence my siblings will not inherit my financial responsibility, hence they will also not inherit any share from my inheritance. Even if something was to go wrong in my sister’s life, my son is there to take responsibilities of his father. So my sister should not inherit anything now, but my son inherits her responsibility as I got a share double her size. My parents and wife’s share remains the same as they are still the primary financiers of my children’s expenses till they grow up.
After reading all this I hope that you know that the reason it is okay for my son to inherit double the share than her sisters, is because my son is taking over my financial responsibilities towards my parents, sisters and daughters. My daughters do not inherit any of these responsibilities, hence their share is smaller than their brother’s. It is fair and just for the brother to inherit twice that of sisters, because it comes with additional responsibilities that can be enforced in any Islamic court and society. My son can not say that I am not going to take care of my paternal aunt or sisters, they are his responsibility and court will order him to pay them, the judge can go to the limits of seizing my son’s property and could even sell it to raise funding to fulfill my son’s obligations.
I do not know any other society that has such enforceable laws to take care of aunts, sisters and nieces. For this reason it would be great injustice to the son or brother to burden him with financial responsibilities of his father without giving him extra compensation. Hence it is just and fair for son to inherit more than daughters.
Most Atheists I have talked to have told me that they have read Islam and they never forget to add that they have very poor opinion of it. But when asked from which book did you learn Islam and its concept, can they name the scholar they read. Till today, no one has ever replied to me with a name of a scholar, their teachers are usually anti Islamic website and what they hear in media. They never read Islam as explained by Quran, Hadith and Islamic Scholars. Fact remains that most who claim they have read Islam has gone to Anti Islamic websites and gobbled up the garbage Anti Islamic websites spew, and of course then there is media polluting their mind. This anecdote was essential to begin this article because this states the state of mind where most approach Islam, with closed and bigoted mind. They have already made their decision when they approach Islam, hence they never buy Islamic books written by Islamic Scholars, they are not ready to change their mind, even if presented with every kind of argument. However, a select few answer me that they have read Quran’s Translation and then they start quoting the same verses that Anti Islamic websites quote that have been replied several times. Again same problem, Quran is difficult to understand without knowing the context of what was happening, you still need someone to explain you what you are reading. Again most of those who read Quran have their mind made up, and are not ready to change their opinions when they start reading Quran.
The issue is that Quran is a book whose appreciation can not be put into words, or atleast it is beyond my capabilities to praise it to extent it deserves to be praised. Quran starts with Surah Al Fatiha (The Opening). Fatiha is among the earliest revelation and the first Surah (chapter) that was revealed in full. It is made up of 7 small Ayahs, and the first 4 are dedicated to praising God Almighty, and in the next 3 verses comes a covenant between a faithful servant and his Master. The servant promises that he would not pray to anyone but Him nor would ask from anyone but Him. The servant asks Master to guide him so that he would be successful and would not be lost like other people and nations. And that is where the Surah ends. This Surah is so central to Islam that Muslims must recite it at least 17 times in a day. After this covenant, this oath, this promise, we move to longest chapter of Quran, Surah Baqarah, The Heifer. The reason I think that most Non Muslims who read Quran do not benefit from it, is because of the explantion given in the first 25 Ayahs of this Surah.
Surah Baqarah was revealed in Medina through several years and encompasses many issues that Muslims faced, hence it is laced with several laws like inheritance, historical incidences like story primarily directed at Jewish heritage. But since it is the beginning of the Quran, Quran starts in an extraordinary way. It starts with declaration of who is the book for and who is going to benefit from this book, and in the first 25 ayahs it talks to the three groups of people that would be its audience.
The first group of people it refers to are Muslims, the first five verses are dedicated to people who actually believe in the book. The books informs them that this books is for them and that this is their guidance that their Master promised in Surah Fatihah, and if they follow this book they would be successful. However, it is important to note that it does not include every kind of Muslim, it refers to Al Muttaqun (God fearing, pious and righteous) who love God Almighty, those who believe in unseen and perform ritual prayer and give compulsory charity, and believe in religion as it was sent down to Prophet and not those who have divided them into sects and come up with their own theologies different from Prophet’s teaching.
The next two verses are the verses because of which I think most Non Muslims who read Quran do not benefit from it, ie, they reject Quran. Think of it this way, the three groups of people who have been mentioned in these verses, this is the book’s potential largest audience, but it wraps them up in two verses, primarily because most of these have decided to oppose it without giving it an honest chance or out of sheer arrogance. The book is demanding that it must be read honestly, if you approach it with your bigoted mindset, Quran will not benefit you. A simlitude is of the a glass full of water, if you pour more water into it, it will spill over and not remain in the glass. Similarly when one approaches Quran with junk from Anti Islamic propaganda and individual acts of stupid, unintelligent and criminal Muslims as a reflection of Quran, Quran refuses to teach them anything. To benefit from Quran especially if you are a Non Muslim, you must come with an open mind or empty glass! Many who accept Islam after reading Quran are those who came to it with an open mind.
An explainer of the previous verse regarding the Allah has set a seal on their hearts and hearing does not mean that Allah has taken it from them, not at all. Allah has sealed their hearts and hearings from guidance after they became arrogant and closed their hearts to Islam so Allah has returned them their favour by setting seal on their hearts.
Next is the third group of people, the hypocrites. After Prophet migrated from Makkah to Medina, a group of people hated Islam, but the environment during those days was that you do what your people are doing. Hence these people accepted Islam, but in their hearts they were still polytheists who loved religion of their forefathers. They were always trying to belittle Muslims from Makkah (eg. once they said that those with honour will throw dishonorable out of Medina), they made excuses for not fighting alongside Muslims (ran away from Badr & Uhud), plotting against Muslims (in Khandaq) and worked towards damaging reputation of not just Prophet (during Khandaq they said that Muhammad showed dreams of Persia and Rome, but will have us and our family slaughtered in our backyard), but also family of Prophet (slander of Aisha, case of Zaid and marriage with Zainab). They gave him endless troubles, there were times Prophet was more concerned with activities of hypocrites and was delaying in obeying a command from Allah for which prophet was reprimanded in the Quran (31:36). The next several verses are for this group.
Lastly it goes back to believers and tells them what they should do and what awaits for them awaits them in hereafter. Culminating into a challenge if producing literature of standard of Quran in Arabic, and warning them of the punishment that awaits them.
To wrap up, anyone who reads Quran, must read it with an open mind. If an Atheist or Non Muslim approaches Quran, they must understand that it will not be beneficial to read it to find guidance if they have approached it with a bigoted approach, wherein you decided that Islam and Quran are lies, and your reading is to convince yourself that you are right.
A fact many do not understand is that, God Almighty does not need us, He gave us all this on earth so that we can benefit from it. There is nothing we can do to benefit Him. It is us who need Him and it is our benefit He is interested in. But to be able to benefit, we need not have any characteristics described in the Ayahs.
This is a reply to Genetically Modified Sceptics 4 Questions he has asked in his video, please watch the video and then go through the answers
Before I deal with the questions let me clarify who Allah/ God Almighty is, because the Genetically Modified Skeptic does not seem to have a good idea of Allah and who He is (for broader understanding of Allah and his rights, click here). It is my firm belief based on personal experience that those who claim that they gave Islam a shot, never actually went to a scholar to learn Islam or even to a local mosque. Their primary source of knowledge of Islam comes from Islamophobes or those who hate Islam or apostates or Muslims such as Baghdadi, and all these sources are the worst sources to learn Islam from. I would really like to know if these people have read scholars like Ibn Taimiyyah or Maududi or even jurists like Abu Hanifa. No, none of them have read anything by them, so their understanding of Islam and its concept are as flawed as the teachers they have chosen. Only one Ayah of Quran will shatter the idea of God that He seems to think Muslims believe in.
Quran is an extraordinary book, it starts with an introduction (the second chapter of Quran, Al Baqarah, Ayahs 1-29) with God Almighty proclaiming who this book is from and who is it going to benefit, and who is it not going to benefit. Here in Surah Baqarh, in Ayahs 6-7, “Verily, those who disbelieve, it is the same to them whether you (O Muhammad Peace be upon him ) warn them or do not warn them, they will not believe. Allah has set a seal on their hearts and on their hearings, (i.e. they are closed from accepting Allah’s Guidance), and on their eyes there is a covering. Theirs will be a great torment.” And further in Surah Ibrahim in Ayah 4 “And We sent not a Messenger except with the language of his people, in order that he might make (the Message) clear for them. Then Allah misleads whom He wills and guides whom He wills. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” and in Ayah 27 of same Surah Ibrahim, “Allah will keep firm those who believe, with the word that stands firm in this world (i.e. they will keep on worshiping Allah Alone and none else), and in the Hereafter. And Allah will cause to go astray those who are Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers, etc.), and Allah does what He wills.”
So God in Islam is not always Gracious and Benevolent, there is a limit. Also there is a difference between allowing things to happen and approving (in moral context) of those things to happen, understanding this difference is very important. When God Almighty allowed Satan to persuade humans to follow Satan and not God’s Messengers, He also allowed Satan all the tools that he wanted to use, except forcing someone. Hence He has allowed Satan to cause evil and distress, and then go to humans and whisper in their ears, “If God is Benevolent how come there is evil?” and “If God is Omniscience then did he not know that this is going to cause evil?” God Almighty does not want the evil to happen, but He has allowed it to happen, so that people can be tested. Lastly, it probably comes from your Christian heritage but in Islam we do not believe that there is only one Satan, namely Iblis or Azazil, but it is a large group which includes men and jinns.
Next, there is not a single place in Quran which says that Allah or God Almighty is Omnipotent, or has ability to do anything. What Quran says is that Allah has Power over all things, He does not have ability to do illogical things, like can He draw a square circle? By definition that is illogical like the question who created God?
Lastly, Omniscience, here we will agree with your definition that God is All Knowing aware of everything, indeed Quran says in Surah Sabah in Ayah 3, “Those who disbelieve say: “The Hour will not come to us.” Say: “Yes, by my Lord, it will come to you.” (Allah, He is) the All-Knower of the unseen, not even the weight of an atom (or a small ant) or less than that or greater, escapes from His Knowledge in the heavens or in the earth, but it is in a Clear Book (Al-Lauh Al-Mahfuz).”, and in Surah Al Anam in Ayah 59,”And with Him are the keys of the Ghaib (all that is hidden), none knows them but He. And He knows whatever there is in (or on) the earth and in the sea; not a leaf falls, but he knows it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry, but is written in a Clear Record (Al-Lauh Al-Mahfuz).” Everything, that has happened, that is happening and that will happen is written in Al-Lauh Al-Mahfuz, and everything will happen exactly as it is written in the Clear Book (Al-Lauh Al-Mahfuz).
Question 1: Why does God communicate through literature?
Answer: That is not what always happen, God chooses to which Prophet He gives literature and to who He does not give revelation in form of literature. There have been various examples when Prophets were replaced by another Prophet for generations and no new ‘literature’ came. An example is the Jewish period between Prophet Moses, David and Jesus (peace be upon them all). Throughout this period, there was always a prophet among the Jews to correctly interpret the scripture, and since there was only one prophet only one interpretation was available. But what happened, did Jews stick to the interpretation of the Prophets? No, they even killed Prophets, let alone sticking to their interpretations. This was the condition of God’s chosen people, let alone the rest of humanity. So, I don’t think the premise of your question is correct, ie having a scripture leads to various interpretations, because Jews always had a Prophet among them to correctly interpret the scripture, and still they did not stick to it. Fact is people do what they want to do, Free Will. And God Almighty allows them to do what they do, but He will take account of everything, Justice will be done.
What I gather from your discourse is that your specific problem is that different interpretations lead to suffering, but this again is not helped by the Jewish case who had one and correct interpretation coming from the Prophet and people still didn’t listen to him. But in general I would agree that different interpretations lead to suffering, when you interpret something new from traditional you interpret it based on your personal motivation (for eg a ruler wants to do something not allowed, so he goes to a religious scholar and extracts an interpretation). It could be based on ambition, (example is Majid Nawaz who does not represents Muslims or their scholarship and says whatever pleases the British Government). Interpretations are not always out of genuine belief and better evidence as I have just proven. Some are also motivated by miscreants like Baghdadi et al, while Anti Muslim interpret Quran as giving free licence to Muslims to go and kill all Non Muslims. Let us not forget that Satan is among both Jinn and Men (now please don’t start about misogyny in Muslims that I am excluding women from being contributory to evil… :-)). The suffering comes from Satan not God Almighty. Satan raises the differences and make people fight over them. You are blaming God for suffering, when the blame should lie on devils among men, who gave an interpretation that caused suffering. By the way this is classic Atheism, blame your deeds on God Almighty.
So after proving that even with one and correct interpretation people will do what they want to do. And that all interpretations do not come from good and scholarly intentions, my third point is that is text is also a test from God Almighty. Some people are guided by a text, and some will be misguided by the same text. An excellent example would be Atheists, often atheist claim that they gave a chance to Islam before they decided it was a bad idea like all others. But did he actually ever go to mosque or a scholar to learn Islam to learn verses of Quran and their meaning. God Forbid, No! He went to Islamophobic or Anti-Islamic websites and read the same verses that guides Muslims as those that will misguide him, for example one of the verses I quoted previously, proving that Allah is not bound to be Gracious and Benevolent all the time, ie there is a limit after which the guidance, graciousness and benevolence stops. Some will interpret it as a God who is practical and when fed up with someone, stops trying from His end. To others it would be an evil God who does not want to do good to everyone. While more ignorant will happily believe that Quran orders to murder all Non Muslims (and Quran does not say anything like it).
My fourth point is that there is no medium immune to misinterpretation, name me one medium which is immune to misinterpretation? Even person to person contact is not immune, I wrote to my sister earlier today while explaining myself, “You do not understand me” because she was interpreting my statement incorrectly. It happens all the time, in every medium, often everyday.
Your last lines on the question are there to insult God Almighty and score a few brownie points from your atheist supporters. Putting it in your word, “In whatever way you cut it” the premise of your question is flawed because even if one and correct interpretation was available people will still create their own and spread mischief, because people do what they want to do. Next in classic atheistic manner you have blamed ‘issues with humans’ on God Almighty. Thirdly, people are guided and misguided by the same texts, again primarily because the believe that what they want to believe. And fourthly there is no medium of communication which is not open to misinterpretation and misrepresentation.
One of the benefits of interpretation is that it allows us to understand it better, for example the dooms day will probably be due to a Gamma Ray Burst somewhere close by as the light and sound created by a Gamma Ray Burst is exactly the same as described in Quran (Surah Tariq), and we will not get any warning of it happening.
Finally, Quranic literature is a miracle, because Quran claims for itself, that it will be guarded against corruption, in Surah Hijr, Ayah 9, “Verily We: It is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e. the Qur’an) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption).”
Question 2: Shouldn’t you worship the cruelest God imaginable? (Pascal’s Wager)
Answer: Never argued in Quran. In fact Quran argues with everyone to see the signs that are provided by God to prove existence of God and not through any wager. These kind of questions designed by Atheists are meant to appeal to our logical side, but are basically designed to lead people astray from the real question, root of your ungratefulness to God. God Almighty who has provided for you a planet on which you can easily live, having gravity that is optimum to hold you and planets atmosphere (unlike Mars), having a weak crust not hard like Venus, nor gaseous one like Jupiter, giving earth strong magnetism to divert solar storms and radiation, an atmosphere with correct amount of oxygen and ozone, a star not too far away and not too close, water that was brought down to earth, a large moon’s gravitation keeps the planet’s spin axis and climate remained stable for long periods of time, or Jupiter that does not allow large comets and other objects to get inside the inner planets and take a hit for all of us. The whole list of the blessings that you have from God are countless and Quran asks this question over thirty times in Surah Rahman, “Then which of the Blessings of your Lord will you both (jinns and men) deny?” Do you have any answers?
Question 3: Why did God create animals with ability to feel pain?
Answer: This is really an illogical argument, because what you can say for animals can also be said for plants. Should we be really killing plants and eating them? Do plants not have a life. I would actually prefer to animals, because animals are better, they can run, show emotions, even attack, but plants are like murdering a disabled person. Who would you prefer to kill? Someone whose is disabled and can’t run or someone who has brain and can run away or show emotion, defend and even attack? The answer has to be killing animals, rather than plants. Because if we answer killing plants, that would automatically include killing animals, in the end we can’t eat plants or animals…
Next, what happens to animal kingdom? Surely animals that are being killed for human consumption feel the same pain when other animals kill them. So God should not have created carnivores because they feed on herbivores. Atheists should do an experiment and see the results, because wilder beasts feel the same pain as cows do when we eat them, let them kill all the lions in Savannah, and see the results. There can only be one result, that is wilder beasts will eat Savannah and nothing will remain. Same goes cows, if we do not eat cows, cows will eat us. Read here a live experiment of this is going on in India’s saffron belt where Muslims are being killed for even transporting cows, look at the damage that is being done by cows and what would happen if the damage continues? We need to keep killing animals and eating them to maintain the balance, just like lions do in Savannah. Food Chain…..
Coming to suffering of animals, do you think if the suffering was not there, there would be laws against cruelty to animals? In Islam we are forbidden to overload an animal. If they had no pain, why should they not be overloaded, what happens to the animal in a few years after excessive overloading? To come to treatment of animals, do you think there would be any laws if animals did not feel pain, why shouldn’t we mass produce animals, treat them in most inhumane manner only to kill them and make money of them. Animals don’t feel pain, so why should I not make a quid or two out of them. The whole question misses out on the intelligence of what would happen if the opposite were true. The fact that they feel pain, gives us compassion for them, as a kid I had a cricket bat and during idle time I would keep hitting the ground with it, because I knew neither the bat nor earth would feel the pain. If animals didn’t feel any pain, why should a kid not do that to an animal’s head, after all it is not like the animal is suffering? And the same inhumanity that we show to animals would transfer to us quickly. God Almighty is Most Wise in giving feelings and pain to animals, it helps humans remain within their limits, if animals did not have any pain like your proposal, there would be a small child in every street hitting a weak animal, like I used to hit earth with my cricket bat.
Finally coming to sacrifice, I do not know Christianity or Judaism, but in Islam, one has to give 2/3 of the sacrifice to poor, no one can keep more than 1/3 of the sacrifice for themselves. So tell me, do Atheists have a problem with charity? Should poor people who can’t afford meat, should not get any meat to eat? That was my answer, but Quran answers you as well, after describing charity that needs to be given, it says in Surah Hajj, Ayah 37, “It is neither their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah, but it is piety from you that reaches Him. Thus have We made them subject to you that you may magnify Allah for His Guidance to you. And give glad tidings (O Muhammad) to the Muhsinun (doers of good).” So nothing reaches God, whatever reaches, 1/3 of it reaches us and 2/3 reaches to poor.
Question 4: Why doesn’t God just create people in heaven and skip the trial period of earth?
Answer: Most of this question relies on Omni-Benevelance nature that Allah does not have. There is a limit to benevolence as stated right in the beginning. Arguing that only faithful should have been created, should mean that creation of all Atheists is meaningless, I can not disagree more, people such as Atheists should not have created. But that is my petty puny brain speaking. But, Allah knows better. If He were to make a creation of only faithfuls, let us not forget that Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) was not among the Atheists, he is a Prophet and among the faithfuls, however he and his wife did commit a mistake. Are you suggesting this should be disallowed as well? I mean where does it stop? When we have no free will? Then we would be like angels, no free will, and no extraordinary powers.
Next, those who are going to heaven will not have a problem, but those going to hell, they would say, “Hey we didn’t do it, why punish us for something we didn’t do. Give us a chance and we will prove to be better than those going to heaven.” This is where your questions falls apart.
I have dealt with this question from a Muslim’s perspective here, it is in English, but I have used a lot of Urdu in quotations, however these quotations do no make much of difference to your part of the question.
This is a reply to this video: See the video and read my reply. The reply is in active style because it was posted as an answer on his YouTube channel.
Before I begin, let me clarify my position. I have read all the arguments regarding age of Aisha, and I can have seen merits and shortcomings in all of them, and it has left me very confused to decide what the truth is. I find arguments of those who say that her age was 19 years old more convincing because her young age doesn’t fit with the rest of Prophet’s life, like her presence during Battle of Badr/Uhud at 11 years of age is impossible as boys of 15 years of age were not allowed to go to battlefield. At the same time those who say she was much younger have strong arguments as well, like the hadith of Aisha playing with toys with horses with wings. The arguments on both sides are convincing, however I tilt towards her 19 years of age argument because it fits with overall Prophet’s life perfectly but I cannot discount the arguments of much younger age. Next, age of Aisha is not a theological question for Muslims like me, so it does not matter to my faith what I believe her age of marriage was. Since it is not a matter of faith a lot of weak Hadith can be used and are used, this has led to difficulties in deciding what to believe and what not to believe. To conclude, I believe that age of Aisha could have been anything from 9 to 19, but I tend towards her much older age. Lastly she was married only after reaching puberty, and puberty is when I know I should stop considering someone as child.
Coming to your video, What is exactly your problem? Because, you have discussed the age gap between Prophet and Aisha as well. But it is not uncommon to hear 20 year old girls marrying 67 year old men. Hence I don’t think you should mix this issue as this is not be a problem in most of societies, there are thousands of people with that age gap. Tomorrow if my mother dies, how should I feel about my father (a septuagenarian) marrying a 20 years old? Can’t say about you, but I will feel jealous that his wife is younger than mine, nothing else. And why should I have a problem , the 20 year old married him out of her own free will, why should anyone have any objections? So let it be reinstated that you do not have problem with the age gap between them as you wouldn’t have if my father married a 20 year old. Next comes the question of age itself.
Before I begin my argument, I want to reinstate position and intelligence of Aisha, she is considered the wisest of women of her time, she was an intellectual, a scholar, a teacher, a jurist, many caliphs sought her advice on many things, she was far more accomplished in her society than I or you can ever be. Caliphs who were technically more powerful than any other King or Emperor sought her advice on extremely serious matters, let us be frank, I and you will never reach a position like that, because there is no one man who has so much control over so much humanity or territory. And you can’t say that she had that position because she was wife of Prophet, because there were other wives as well, so her position as an intellectual and a scholar was gained by her own study and intellect. If she is filled with all these qualities, it would be important to ask what did she think of her being married at 6 and her marriage being consummated at 9 feel? Or is it that you think that she has no say in the matter that primarily concerns her? You have thrown Aisha out of the question that is about her? Why have you never discussed how did Aisha feel, while she was herself so accomplished. If she can take an Army to gates of Caliph with her demands, it would stupefying not to include her opinion on the matter.
Now we come to the next question, a very important one that you just brushed aside. Who is a child? Your main point in this affair has been that this marriage is morally wrong because Prophet Muhammad married a child, but you are not willing to acknowledge who is a child. I firmly believe that a childhood is over when one reaches puberty. Aisha was married when she had reached puberty, hence I refuse to acknowledge her as a child. So your question is irrelevant to me, because I know Prophet did not consummated his marriage with a child but it was consummated with an adult. Even today, age of sexual consensus remains debated and every country has their own opinion. New York State says it is okay for an 11 year old to have sex, but that is limited by the age of partner, but essentially they do not see a problem with an 11 year old having sex, but that is not your argument, your argument is that no one should have any sex with a 11 year old. But New York State says it is okay for a 14 year old boy to have sex with an 11 year old girl, then leave her pregnant and abandoned. Why do you have no problem with it, and I am saying so because you made a video about Aisha and not about 11 year old girls in New York State whose boyfriends have abandoned them. If it is physically and medically wrong for an 11 year old to have sex, then it should be same for men of all ages, or your argument is based on penis size of 14 year old boy and an 18 year old adult man? Fact is that the matter of age of consent is very complicated. Italy allows 13 year old girls to have sex with upto 18 year old boys, how are such physical, mental and other such problems associated in this case. In Germany, 14 years old are allowed to have sex with upto age of 21. Japan has 13 with adults, Lesotho as 14 with adults. So my friend, you can not shy away from defining who a child is and what should be the age of consent, and you must give reasons why you think that age is the correct age.
As stated previously I believe that age of childhood ends at puberty. When that age is crossed whether male or female their body is ready to have sexual relationship. That is a natural age when a person leaves childhood. There are millions of articles written about how young adolescents (10-13 years old) have their bodies ready to have sex, their bodies have gone through all the changes biologically required to have sex. Next comes the social and mental well being, my kids and all their friends in UK and indeed when you were 10 year old, you were half as smart as the 10 year old kid in India who works in a Dhaba (local lower class restaurant) serving tea, clearing tables, etc. He is often abandoned child, lives on street, knows how the money works, is smarter and has been looking after himself since the time he can remember. There is no competition that children in UK will be at least 15-16 years old when they can survive alone in the world. These children in India become adults quickly, they mature quickly, they know how the world around them works, something which is alien to the kids going to school here. My argument is training. Life trains street kids in things from early on they can handle much more than we can think of, kids are very resilient, Slumdog Millionaire would serve as a good refresher of how smart street kids could be. Similarly, when they are growing in an environment when they know that they would be married when they reach puberty they are not psychologically scarred as some might want to argue, they take it as another stage of life, like children in UK take qualifying from Primary to Secondary School. Thus Aisha never showed any signs of scarring because of her marriage or consummation of her marriage, and she should remain the focus of argument, after all the argument is about her marriage.
To conclude, you need to define who a child is, and why do you think that your selected age is correct age and how does this marriage scar a child when one is trained for it, if one does get scarred why did Aisha not show any sign on it throughout her life. If marrying a child and consummating marriage with her is so detrimental for the child, why does Aisha show no effect of it? Fact is that you do not care about Aisha, your enemy is Prophet Muhammad and your objective is demonising him. If that was not the case, your video should have been how Prophet Muhammad destroyed the life of Aisha by consummating their marriage when she was 9 years old AS TOLD BY AISHA. Why is Aisha so absent from your argument, when the argument is about her?
Fact is marriage of Aisha and Prophet Muhammad was no exploitation of any kind, Aisha was not a child at the time of her marriage. She did not suffer any physiological or psychological damage of any kind or are you among those men who want to control opinions and choices women make, like the choice Aisha made of marrying Prophet Muhammad? Let alone Aisha, ask believing religious Muslim women of today if they would want to swap places with Aisha, and you would know the result. I know because I asked several of my cousins, doctors, engineers, lawyers and teachers overwhelming majority said that they would swap places with Aisha.
“History makes it clear that the legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping across the world forcing Islam at the point of the sword over conquered races is the most fantastic myth that historians have ever repeated.” De Lacy O’Leary, British Orientalist and Historian . Unfortunately the situation has not changed since Mr. O’Leary and the same fantasitc myth is being repeated, every day and every night. The accusation doesn’t die. For most people, because of their opposition of Islam, they are willing to digest every lie that is being told to them without applying any reason, logic or even simple checks of historic accuracy. And I have to write this down because I am fed up of it.
First of all, Quran itself prohibits people from forcing people to convert. This chapter of Quran (Surah Kafirun – Chapter 106), is learnt my most Muslims by heart at a very early age and one of the few chapters that almost every Muslim can recite, it is also regarded as quarter of Quran, this is the translation of the whole chapter, ” Say : O ye that reject Faith! I worship not that which ye worship, Nor will ye worship that which I worship. And I will not worship that which ye have been wont to worship, . Nor will ye worship that which I worship. To you be your Way, and to me mine. ” For centuries Muslims has interpreted that There is absolutely no way to force religion on anyone else, ‘To you is your Way, To me is Mine’. Another proof is Surah Ghashiya – Chapter 88, verses 21 & 22, ‘Therefore do thou give admonition, for thou art one to admonish. Thou art not one to manage (men’s) affairs.’ Muslims interpret this as we are only to advice, so we should advice and let them decide and manage their own affairs, forcing someone to change their religion would be ‘managing their affairs’ which is clearly prohibited. Muslims do not believe in forced conversions because it effects one of the foundations of Islam, ie ‘free will’. If God wanted He could have forced everyone to follow Islam, but He didn’t do so who the hell are we Muslims to force people to change religion. But those who hate Islam, keep repeating this lie.
Today, the religion that gathers maximum amount of converts from other religions is Islam. And it has been the same for several decades. Most of these people accept Islam because they see something good in it. In Europe, a Dutch MP recently converted to Islam, and he belonged to Anti Islam party of Geert Wilders, was he forced to convert to Islam? No. He became Muslim after researching on Islam and found he had far too many things he had in common with Islam. In India, A. R. Rehman became Muslim, who forced him to covert to Islam? No one, he found Sufi Music closer to his heart and his calling. And in Americas, Cassius Clay became Muhammad Ali, who can possibly imagine someone forcing him to do something he didn’t want to do. No one could force Muhammad Ali in doing something, he became Muslim because of Truth of Islam and his heritage.
There is absolutely no evidence of mass forced conversions. There was nothing like soldiers marching into villages and homes and asking people to convert to Islam or die. Even the enemies of Muslims of those times do not accuse Muslims of doing such. Of course, there could be an odd incidence here and there but saying that all Muslim population of today is descendended from those who were forcefully converted is not just preposterously illogical, it is also impossible, an absolute and utter lie.
I am no fan of Aurangzeb and hold very poor view of him, after all this was a man who killed his own brother and sent his brother’s severed head to his old and ailing father. Undoubtedly a bad man. But do we find these forced conversion in history, the history that Aurangzeb wrote. There are various other documents of Aurangzeb’s where he mentions his great deeds, like sending Shah Jehan (his father) decapitated head of Dara (Shah Jehan’s eldest son and Aurangzeb’s brother), breaking of temples, general slaughter, wars and how he treated and punished his enemies, about his bravery, brutality and savagery. Everything is mentioned by Aurangzeb himself in his Persian records.
But forced conversions is not mentioned. What could have possibly stopped Aurangzeb from mentioning forced conversions? Nothing, if he didn’t feel ashamed in mentioning that he sent decapitated head of his brother to his father, why would this matter of forcing someone to convert to another religion move his conscience? So No, Aurangzeb had no reason not to mention forced conversions in his Persian records, the only reason they are not mentioned is because they never happened.
It is a well established practice of all kings and tyrants that they record every deed that they did that they believed was the right thing to do, right from Pharoah proudly writing “I destroyed seed of Israel” to recent Nazis who were also killing everyone to make an “ideal German Race” free from disabled people, other races, people who were mentally challenged, etc. Aurangzeb too wrote that he used to give money to people to convert, he wrote that he used to forgive convicted criminals if they accepted Islam (including death sentences), etc. But there are absolutely no records of even Aurangzeb forcing people to become Muslims.
It is a myth that Muslims forced people to convert. Nay, it is not just a myth, it is a lie.
Divine Destiny is a topic that has been in conversation for as long as Islam has been. I have explained the Divine Destiny in this and have answered the question, “If it is already written what I am going to do, why should I be held responsible for it?” I have also tackled Iqbal’s, “Khudi ko kar buland itna….”
Although not very long, but formatting it correctly in a Blog Post came out as a challenge, hence I have put up a pdf copy, which is easy to read, download and distribute.
“Our current hypothesis about Mahomet, that he was a scheming Impostor, a Falsehood incarnate, that his religion is a mere mass of quackery and fatuity, begins really to be now untenable to any one. The lies, which well-meaning zeal has heaped round this man, are disgraceful to ourselves only.” Thomas Carlyl.
The objective of the series is to dispel myth about the Last Prophet. This post is about his interaction with Jews. Prophet is accused of being 1. Anti-Semite or Anti Jewish 2. Expelled Jews of Banu Qaynuqa and Banu Nadir because he hated Jews. 3. Executing all males of Banu Quraizah and enslavement of all women and children of Banu Quraizah.
For the rest we will need a bit of background on Medina, but the charge of Anti-Semite or Anti-Jewish can be dealt with straightaway. Anti-Semite – Quraysh (the tribe Prophet belonged to) traced their lineage to Abraham through Ishmael, and Jews trace their lineage to Abraham through Issac, since they are both Semite and sons of Abrahams. So the accusation of being Anti-Semite barely holds any weight. Anti-Jewish – Even after expulsion of the three Jewish tribes, several Jews continued to live in Medina, and this is confirmed even by his worst critiques who unashamedly lied about him. If he was Anti-Jewish why weren’t all Jews expelled from Medina? Aucontrair, Prophet Muhammad call Jews, “People of the book”, elevating their status over his own family and tribe who were called Polytheists.
Background to Jews of Medina : Medina, known as Yathrib during those days had principally five tribes, two Arabs and three Jewish. The two Arab tribes were Aws and Khazraj and had enmity between themselves for generations. An year before the Pledge of Aqabah a bloody battle was fought between these two tribes called Battle of Buath. Buath was a huge slaughter that killed almost every elder and the charge of tribes went to relatively young men. The Jewish tribes were relatively very small and had to be under protection of one of the Arab tribes to survive in lawless land of Arabia. However, Jews believed Arabs to be inferior to them, they boasted of their superiority over Arabs on several grounds, like education, language, culture, history, art, prophets, their “chosen people” status with God Almighty among others. And Arab tribes of Medina had completely bought Jewish superiority, they truly considered themselves to be inferior to the Jews, many had even left their religion and had become Jewish. But this social pecking order of was going to change with arrival of prophet Muhammad, and this loss of status contributed to a lot of Jewish angst.
While prophet was being persecuted in Makkah, he believed that Jews and Christians would be his natural allies against the Polytheists of Makkah. He thought that Jews will have goodwill for him against polytheists, because Jews believed in monotheism, prophets, last day and life after death, things Makkans did not believe. When Prophet arrived in Medina, he made a pact with Jewish tribes for joint defence of Medina against Quraysh and other polytheists. The terms of covenant were pretty simple (full covenant here), Jews would be equal citizen, free to practice their trade, laws and religion but if the dispute is between Muslims and Jews, Prophet would be the judge. Finally, the Jews will have to defend Medina from any attacks and they were prohibited to help Makkans in any Makkan endeavours.
However, things would not go the way Prophet (peace be upon him) thought, Saffiya the wife of Prophet who was from Jewish heritage narrated that when Prophet arrived in outskirts of Medina, her father and uncle went to meet him as they were among the chiefs of their Jewish tribe. When they came back from Quba in the evening, weary and tired, Saffiya heard her father and uncle confirm that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the Prophet they were waiting for, but instead of accepting him they had decided to become his enemies.
Soon, Abdullah bin Salam reverted to Islam. He was son of one of the Jewish leaders and priests and with his conversion Jews felt threatened to loosing their sons to Islam. Jews were not happy with Islam and Prophet as were loosing their status and influence among Arab tribes whom they considered inferior. Arabs tribes had followed various things of Jews, like their attitude to menstruating women but Islam was changing that, Arabs were abandoning the Jewish practices they used to do. The final nail in the coffin was changing of direction of prayer from Jerusalem (North from Medina) to Makkah (South from Medina). This was the thing that made them enemies of Muslims. Both Arabs and Jews knew that with changing of direction of prayer Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had declared that Makkah is now the centre the of religion and the symbolism of Jerusalem had come to an end.
Expulsion of Banu Qaynuqa : Filled with angst about loosing their high status among Arabs, it started with small incidences. For example, once a Jew called Shas bin Qais saw Aws and Khazraj chatting and laughing together. He became angry by seeing this unity, so he sent a boy to these men to recite songs of pride and courage they sang during battle of Buath. And the old rivalry was rekindled and led to a fight that reached Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and he had to reconcile the two groups. In everyday life, they started tightening ropes of financial dealings with Muslims. If they happened to owe a Muslim something, they would shirk their obligations on grounds that he had converted into a new religion and they would allege the basis of agreement was no longer valid. If it was the other way, they would never cease to harass him day and night to pay back the debt. All of this was a desperate attempt to decrease the influence of Islam on Arabs and regain their old position and status.
The victory of Badr had made Banu Qaynuqa jealous of Muslims, and they used to insult Muslims and boast about themselves that it was the inexperienced Quraysh that Muslims fought, had the battle been them (ie Banu Qaynuqa) and Muslims, they would have shown Muslims their superiority in war. They said this on back of 700 warriors and their expertise in metallurgy and weapon making. To settle constant bickering and complaining Prophet reached Banu Qaynuqa and tried to calm the matters and invited them to Islam. However, they insulted him with the same Badr insult saying that Quraysh were not warriors, had it been Jews they would have known war. This insult resulted in Prophet receiving a revelation of two verses (this and this) which basically warned Jews of their transgression ending with God’s statement that it is He who grants victory to whom He wills. The reply that came from Banu Qaynuqah tantamounted to declaration of war, but Prophet suppressed his anger and walked away with Muslims he came with.
In this environment one Jewish jeweller had a Muslim female customer and he pinned her clothes in such a way that when she got up, her genitals were visible. Seeing this a Muslim man killed the Jewish shopkeeper and the Jews killed the Muslim man. The family of the man came back to Muslims saying that covenant of Medina has been breached and Banu Qaynuqa must be punished. Prophet agreed and laid a siege on their forts with his uncle Hamza as incharge. After 15 days Banu Qaynuqa surrendered, their punishment was that they would surrender all their wealth and leave Arabian Peninsula.
To end, Prophet forgave their treachery first time. When he went to them for peace they used words that tantamounted to war. Next they murdered a Muslim and broke the covenant, and breaking Covenant meant that they had to face consequences for it.
Expulsion of Banu Nadir : The loss of Uhud had led to celebration in the camp of Banu Nadir. After this Banu Nadir were in continuous contact with hypocrites in Medina and Makkans trying to form an alliance against Muslims. This news had reached Prophet but since nothing concrete could be proven, they were given benefit of doubt. But it was clear that their ill will towards Muslims was reaching an unbearable level.
One day, Prophet and 3 other companions had to go to Banu Nadir for seeking help with raising finances for erroneous killings, this was in line with the pact. The Jews from Banu Nadir agreed to pay and asked Prophet and his companions to wait at a certain place while they arranged money. The Prophet and his companions agreed and went and sat down with their backs in support of a house of a Jew. Banu Nadir had no intention to pay, instead they decided to kill Prophet and his companions, Amr bin Jhash was supposed to throw and mill stone from the roof on to the head of Prophet. However Arch Angel Gabriel informed Prophet Muhmmad of the plot, upon which he left the area quickly.
Thereafter reaching Medinah, Prophet gave Banu Nadir ultimatum to leave Medinah within 10 days. However they decided to stay, saying that they will not move and it was upto Prophet to do whatever he could do. Prophet immediately ordered a siege, after sometime fate of Banu Qaynuqa started to bother them and they asked for a surrender. Prophet accepted the terms of surrender which included that apart from arms, they could take as much wealth as they could, and they did not leave anything behind, to the extent they even took pegs and beams fitted in the ceiling of their houses.
To end, Banu Nadir planned and plotted to kill their allies instead of protecting each other. Prophet was the uncrowned King of Medina, plotting his murder was treason, and treason can not be forgiven or excused. They had to pay for their crimes, and that is what Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) made them do.
Banu Quraizah Background : Medina was protected by desert, mountains, lava fields and date palms, there were only two places for someone to attack Medinah. One was open plain that everyone used to come and go from Medina, another was through strong fortifications of Banu Quraizah. Makkans had attacked Medina with Arabia’s largest army to finish of Muslims once and for all, they had declared that they will kill all Muslim men, women and children, putting this religion to end once and for all. On hearing, this some Muslims wanted to go out of Medina and fight, thinking that their deaths would suffice for the blood Makkans were after and then Makkans would spare women and children from slaughter. Among other suggestions, Salman Al Farsi’s advise was to stay in Medina and dig a trench since Arabs did not know anything about trench warfare, he was sure that they would not be able breach it. However, the trench had to have a heavy guard on it all the time. The Makkan attack was stopped by the trench, several attempts were made to cross the trench by Makkans, but they failed in all.
Banu Quraizah were supposed to protect Muslims during the time of invasion. However, like Banu Nadir before them, they were in conversation with Makkans on joining the alliance with Makkans. Soon, Banu Quraizah declared that their pact has ended and no pact or alliance exists between Muslims and Banu Quraizah. When this news reached people on the trench it ran a panic because every single fighting man was posted on Trench. All of them them had come forward leaving women and children behind in the city open for slaughter either by Makkans or by Banu Quraizah. This was very worrying for all Muslims to top this hypocrites started saying that Muhammad (peace be upon him) made us dream of conquering Persia and Rome only to be slaughtered in our own backyard. Anyone can imagine what this would have done to the morale of troops posted on the trench.
During this tumultuous time came conversion Naim bin Masud who was from a tribe Allied to Banu Quraizah. Naim hid his conversion from Banu Quraizah and sowed seeds of discord and doubts between Makkans and Banu Quraizah, delaying the planned attack on Medina and Muslims. And then one night came a desert storm which absolutely devastated the encamped Makkan Army, the next morning they all started to leave as they could not stay any longer without any provisions left.
Siege and Punishment of Banu Quraizah : After Makkans had left, Arch Angle Gabriel told Prophet not to rest till Banu Quraizah had been delt with. Banu Quraizah’s action were most trecherous of all. Their treason was not just to the Prophet himself but every single Mulsim man, woman and child. They had to be punished. After command from Gabriel, Prophet ordered a siege to be laid on the fortifications of Banu Quraizah. Trapped in their own fortification their leader Kab bin Asad offered them three options, 1. To embrace Islam, this would ensure their life and property. 2. To kill their women and children and then fight Muslims 3. To launch a surprise attack on Saturday as Muslims would be completely unprepared for Jews attacking on Saturday.
All three options were rejected, soon they were ready for surrender. When they were brought to their hands tied to their backs the Arab tribe allied to them the tribe of Al-Aws pleaded for mercy. On hearing their plea Prophet agreed that they be judged by Al-Aws themselves. Hence Jews and Aws together chose the chieftain of Al-Aws, Saad bin Muadh as judge.
Saad has had very close relations with Banu Quraizah and had fought with them against Khazraj during Battle of Buath. He was known for his friendship with Banu Quraizah and Banu Quraizah were among those who nominated his name as the judge. Saad was wounded in the battle and arrived sitting on a donkey. Prophet turned away as a mark of respect for Saad to be able to judge without being influenced by the Prophet. Saad had spent a long time with Jews, he was very well versed with Jewish laws, and the punishment that he gave was according the Jewish Law and described here in Deuteronomy 20:10-14. Hence all able-bodied males were put to sword, other men, women and children were taken as prisoners. All the wealth of Banu Qurayzah was also seized and distributed as per rules. Some people from Banu Qurayzah accepted Islam and they were restored with their life, properties and families.
To end, this accusation of genocide is also wrong because 1. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was not the the judge, Saad bin Muadh was. 2. Saad bin Muadh was nominated as a judge by the Jews themselves. 3. Saad judged them according to their own Jewish law mentioned in the Bible. 4. Those who apologised and accepted Islam not only lived but had their properties restored to them.
Among the heap of dumb things Hindutvavadis say and do, this is definitely among the dumbest thing. Most people ignore such people purely for sake of not hurting their feelings or insulting their religion.
Not only it is purely stupid and can easily backfire but also it is blatantly false. Why don’t they realise that they run the risk of someone insulting Indian religions, suppose if someone replies with this, “No my ancestors chose Islam because it was not false and repugnant like the religion they used to follow… after they understood truth of Islam they reverted and left the filth that their parents gave them as religion.” And this is putting it mildly, it could be much worse, they could say that “My ancestors were intelligent who recognised 2+2=4, but many of their companions and friends kept believing 2+2=22 and we have to deal with progeny of those who believed 2+2=22.”
What these people are saying is that Islam has nothing good in it, and whoever became Muslim became because he was enticed or forced into it. This is completely false, because as far as Muslims are concerned we think that our religion is full of goodness and those who do not die Muslims, their loss. The first Muslims were persecuted to death for being Muslims, Meccans were forcing them to renounce Islam and join the religion of their ancestors’, and to imagine that they did not see any goodness in Islam is stupid. For 1400 years the religion has its followers in millions and to claim it has no good in it is bordering insanity. The same argument stands true for Christianity.
Of the four Mongol Khanates, three of them became Muslims, where Kings adopted the religion of people they had conquered. Who forced the Mongol Kings to change their religion? Of course no one. Who is forcing people to change their religion today? I mean who forced A.R. Rehman, Michael Jackson or Cat Stevens to become a Muslim? Who could force Mohammed Ali or Mike Tyson to change their faith? Who forced Wayne Parnell, Frank Ribery and Sonny Bill to become Muslims? Just a few days ago Van Klaveren a leader of Europe’s most vitriolic Anti-Muslim, Anti-Islam party led by Geert Wilders party reverted to Islam. And he was not the first from Geert Wilders party to revert, another member Arnoud van Doorn had reverted to Islam few years ago. The fact is that people choose Islam out of their free will, nobody is forcing anyone.
Shahada (meaning Testimony) is the testimony that every Muslim has to make in order to be a Muslim, it is the first and most important of all pillars of Islam. Although there are several versions of Shahada, the most common one is also my favourite. And the reason it is my favourite is the reason it breaks down the person of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to his absolute deserving position
The first part deals with bearing witness that there is no Ilah, better translated as worship-able or worthy of worship except Allah the One Almighty God that everyone believes and worships. I had written an Article on this several years ago, but it still is as relevant today as it was when it was written. Reading this file will explain definition of Allah, His Rights and Misconceptions about Him, hence kind of explaining not worshipping any other Ilah and worhipping Allah alone. You can Download it here as well
The second part deals with the testimony of Prophethood of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). And the reason why this Shahada version is my favourite option is because it mentions Prophet’s status as a slave of Allah before being a messenger. And that I think this is core to Islam, that every person is a slave of Allah, before anything else. The testimony says “And, I bear witness that Muhammad is His Slave and Messenger”
Is His Slave: Truly Prophet is a slave of Allah (The Almighty God), and slave is a better word to use than Servant that many translations use. We Muslims should have no inhibitions in saying that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) like all of us was a slave of Allah. There is nothing shameful in saying that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was a slave of Allah. This is so central to Islam, the belief that Prophet is a slave to Allah also means that he can not be someone who could be taken for worship.
And Messenger: Of course He is Messenger of Allah, which basically makes him a prophet as well because of the general rule that all Messengers are Prophets but all Prophets are not messengers. The two basic differences between a Messenger and Prophet are: a Messenger comes with a Message which if ignored will be followed by a punishment on earth, a Prophet can be ignored without consequences on earth; Messenger is prohibited to be killed, while Prophets can be killed.