Category Archives: Quran

Hajj in the Bible

Biblical prophets and the bible commands piligrims to Makkah
Let us look at the word al-Hajj itself:
ﺍﻟﺤﺞّ (al-Hajj)

Typically, the entire Arabic vocabulary, like its sisters in the Semitic linguistic group, consists of words structured from triliteral triconsonantal roots. In this case the root is Hajaj (ﺣﺠﺞ).

According to the classical Arabic lexicon Lisān al-`Arab it is defined:

ﺍﻟﻘﺼﺪ . ﺣﺞ ﺇﻟﻴﻨﺎ ﻓﻼﻥ ﺃﻱ ﻗﺪﻡ

“Purpose. As in, ‘So-and-so did Hajj unto us,’ which means he presented himself before us.”

So the general lexical meaning of the word is “intended purpose”. In the context of the Hajj, the Ka`bah within the Meccan Sanctuary is the intended destination and purpose. To list usages of this word in an Islamic context would be, for most Muslims, an appeal to the very obvious as stories of its wonder and splendor that have been related to them since childhood. However, if we peer beyond the context of Islamic rites and deep into the past, do we find this word used in the previous traditions of the Old Testament?

The answer is in the affirmative. The book of Exodus contains the following verse in reference to a Hajj in the time of Moses:

והיה היום הזה לכם לזכרון וחגתם אתו חג ליהוה לדרתיכם חקת עולם תחגהו

wa-haya ha-yōm haza lakhem li-zikrōn wa-Khagōtem otō Khag li-Yehōwa li-dorotaychem khuqat `olam taKhaguhū

“And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.” (Exodus 12:14)

In this verse the King James translators rendered the uninflected noun Khag ( חג) as “feast”. This word Khag is wholly cognate to the Arabic Hajj ( ﺣﺞ). Elsewhere in the verse the word Khag is inflected as Khagotem and taKhaguhū. One must pay attention to the fact that the Hebrew phonetic “kh” (ח) is the pharyngeal fricative “h” (ﺡ ) in Arabic. Also, one must note that the phonetic “g” ( ג) is cognate to the Arabic “j” ( ﺝ). So for analytical purposes in this context the verse would be rendered:
“And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a Hajj to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a Hajj by an ordinance forever.”

Another verse using this root is the following:

ואחר באו משה ואהרן ויאמרו אל – פרעה כה – אמר יהוה אלהי ישראל שלח את – עמי ויחגו לי במדבר

wa-ākhar bā’u Mōshe wa-Aharōn wa-yomru el-Par`o koh-amar Yahweh Elohay Yishrael shalach et-`ami wa-yakhugū li ba-midbār

“And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go , that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness.” (Exodus 5:1)

The inflected word that the King James translators rendered “feast” is yakhuggū (יחגו ) which is cognate to the Arabic “yuhajjū” ( ﻳُﺤَﺠّﻮﺍ) so for analytical purposes the verse would be rendered in this context as:

“And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a Hajj unto me in the wilderness.”

This is not to suggest that Moses and Aaron went to Mecca and performed Hajj as Muslims know it today. It is merely to exemplify that a consecrated journey and pilgrimage unto God at His Temple did, indeed, precede the rise of Islam in the 7th Century CE.

An additional and astonishing dimension to this that makes the concept of lexical borrowing between the Old Testament and the Quran improbable, if not outright impossible, is found in an alternate form of the root in Hebrew, Khug ( חוג). Friedrich Wilhelm Gesenius (1846) defines this word:

“ חוג To describe a circle, to draw a circle, as with compasses. Job 26:10…m. a circle, sphere, used of the arch or vault of the sky, Pro. 8:27; Job 22:14; of the world, Isa. 40:22.”[2]

Let us look at the verses he has cited above:

“When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass ( חוג) upon the face of the depth.” (Proverbs 8:27)

“Thick clouds are a covering to him, that he seeth not; and he walketh in the circuit of heaven ( וחוג שמים ).” (Job 22:14)

“It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth ( חוג הארץ ), and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in.” (Isaiah 40:22)

Thus, this word not only means sacred pilgrimage and feast unto God in the Bible, it also means to encircle. To any Muslim this will be a striking discovery.
Semitic languages have been, since time immemorial, broad and deep systems of expression where one word’s many variant, but supplementary, meanings all coalesce to a greater understanding of that lexeme. So in this case we have a root which has a form meaning a feast, also meaning a pilgrimage, and in one form meaning to encircle! The Hajj pilgrimage, which is at its core an encircling of the Ka`bah called Tawāf, is concluded with none other than the Feast of the Sacrifice, Eid al-Adha, to commemorate Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son at God’s command. Borrowing all these meanings buried in lexica that did not even exist until hundreds of years after the life of the Prophet Muhammad would require no short of a Semitic linguist and Biblical scholar. It should be noted that the Bible itself would not be available until 200-300 years after the passing of the Prophet Muhammad[3]. Such lexical depth and lucidity is consistently found throughout the Quran as God has stated therein:

“And this Quran is not such as could ever be produced by other than Allah (Lord of the heavens and the earth), but it is a confirmation of (the revelation) which was before it [i.e. the Torah, and the Gospel, etc.], and a full explanation of the Book (i.e. laws and orders, etc, decreed for humankind) – wherein there is no doubt from the the Lord of the Worlds” (Quran 10:37)

Psalm 84 1-6
How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young— a place near your altar,
O Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you. Selah
Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
who have set their hearts on “pilgrimage.”
As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
Let See What we have here.
Place is a Valley, in this Valley there is a blessed Well
To this Valley pilgrims make their journey and there is a Sacred House of Worship in this Valley of Baka, this Place of worship where the sacred house is at there are COURT YARDS, There are alters
and Sparows and Swallows Lodge at this location and bare their young.

There is no place in Palestine that fits this description the only place that fits this description is BACA which all the Muslims know

“The most important shrine established for the people is the one in Baca; a blessed beacon for all the people. In it are clear signs: the station of Abraham. Anyone who enters it shall be granted safe passage. The people owe it to GOD that they shall observe Hajj (Pilgrimage) to this shrine, when they can afford it. As for those who disbelieve, GOD does not need anyone.” [3:96-97]

What Is Baca?

Baca (in Psalms) and Baca (in Quran) is another name for Mecca (Makkah, Saudi Arabia) where the first house of worship on earth which was built by Abraham and his first son Ishmael and it was appointed by God for human beings. This house is the Holy Kabah to which all Muslims face while praying and go for Hajj (pilgrimage).

Hajj (Pilgrimage):

Hajj!! There is no hajj in the Bible. someone might say. Let’s see what were the Biblical prophets were doing?

[Exodus 10:9] Moses is telling Pharaoh where he is taking the sons of Isreal :
Moses answered, “Everyone! We’ll be taking our young and old, our sons and daughters, our flocks and herds with us. For us it’s “a pilgrimage festival” in the LORD’s honor.”

According to BDB Theological Dictionary the most fundamental meaning of hagag which the name Haggai is derived from is to make a pilgrimage or keep a pilgrimage feast.

The Arabic equivalent means “to betake oneself to or towards an object of reverence,” and this verb returns in the prescribed pilgrimage to Makkah: the Hadj.
[www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Haggai.html ]

Marwah mountain:

Genesis 22:2 “He said, Take now your son, your only son, whome you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah (Marwah), and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will tell you.”

Marwah and Safa are two elevated places in Mecca where Hajar was going forth and back looking for water as the water they had finished and she was worried about the baby Ishmael from Dying due to lack of water. During and after few trips looking for water or people, Angel Gabriel hit a rock and a sprig of water flowed and then she was able to drink and to water her baby.

“Indeed, as-Safa and al-Marwah are among the symbols of Allah . So whoever makes Hajj to the House or performs ‘umrah – there is no blame upon him for walking between them. And whoever volunteers good – then indeed, Allah is appreciative and Knowing.” Quran 2:158

The bible scholar are not sure where is this mountain located in the holy land and they are making assumptions. [ http://
bibleatlas.org/mount_moriah.htm ] sometimes they say it is in Jerusalem while there was not even Jerusalem at all this time sometimes they say it is in the south and so on.

The Maqam (Place) of Abraham:
Genesis 22:9
“When they arrived at the place (lit. Maqam) where God had told him to go, Abraham built an altar ….”

Now where is that Altar in Jerusalem ?? why they did not keep it as a Holy place??? this place exist only in Makkah

“In it (Baca) are clear signs [such as] the (Maqam) standing place of Abraham. And whoever enters it shall be safe. And [due] to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House “ (Quran 3:97)

Pilgrimage to Mecca in Isaiah 60:1-7
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
“Lift up your eyes and look about you: All assemble and come to you; your sons come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the hip.
Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come.
Herds of camels will cover your land, young camels of Midian and Ephah. And all from Sheba will come, bearing gold and incense and proclaiming the praise of the Lord.
All Kedar’s flocks will be gathered to you, the rams of Nebaioth will serve you; they will be accepted as offerings on my altar, and I will adorn my glorious temple.

In [Isaiah 60:1] A prophecy about a Holy man (prophet) bringing the light of God to the world. This holy man would appear in a time of darkness filling the world and covering the earth, He would appear to eliminate the darkness and spread the light of God and his praises.

In [Isaiah 60:3] we read “And the Nations shall come to thy light “ and that means this Holy Prophet would arise among the nations and his Light would fill his place where the nations would come and visit.

In [Isaiah 60:4] we find the people would come from far, the sons and daughters, all would come together for the Light.
[Isaiah 60:5-6] it keeps telling us about the coming of the people from all over the world to the Light.
[Isaiah 60:7] is the clear meaning, it’s Kedar, Where its flocks and tribes would be gathered together under the light of God, “they would come up with acceptance on mine altar”. Muslims during the Hajj “pilgrimage” they slaughter the sacrifices as one of the ceremonies and Muslims all over the world share that from their places which is Eid Al Adha.

“And I Will glorify the house of my glory” and it refers to the Ka’ba in Makkah, the Sacred House for God’s glory.

And proclaim among men the Pilgrimage: they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel, coming from every remote path” [Quran 22:27]

The Way of Holiness [Isaiah 35:8]

“And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it.”

“O you who have believed, indeed the polytheists are unclean, so let them not approach al-Masjid al-Haram (the Sacred House) after this, their [final] year. And if you fear privation, Allah will enrich you from His bounty if He wills. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Wise.” (Quran 9:28)

The Azan (call of prayer):
Isaiah 40:3 and Mark 1:3

“A voice of one calling: “In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.”

The Arabian Peninsula was a deserted place. The “voice calling in the desert” here is clearly refering to the Azan.
Why Azan?

The whole verse reads “Make a path a highway for God”

The Azan (call of prayers) for Muslims is a call which tells Muslim that God is calling him. It is heard all around the world and five times a day. Moreover, hadith refer Azan as a way to Allah and to a submission to God.

 

The Quranist Fallacy: How Quranism Ultimately Undermines the Quran’s Authenticity

[By Brother Abdullah Feras]

In the 20th century, a fundamentalist doctrine, known as Quranism, began to emerge which called for the sole reliance upon the Quran as a source of Islamic law and guidance. Proponents of this new doctrine thus rejected the authority of traditions ascribed to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, known as hadiths. The basis upon which these calls were made varied in nature: some stemmed from skepticism in the authenticity of hadith collections, while others stemmed from a more fundamentalist outlook that dismissed the Prophet’s role as a source of legislation. Regardless of their leanings, Quranists are all united under the proposition that the Quran is the only viable source of Islamic legislation and guidance.

In this article, I am not interested in delving into traditional Muslim-Quranist polemics. Rather, I am primarily interested in exploring the Quranist paradigm and taking it to its logical conclusion.Though the Quranist doctrine fundamentally revolves around the utilization of the Quran as the sole source of Islamic legislation/guidance, it ironically ends up undermining the entire basis and authenticity of the Quran for two (related) reasons:

  1. Its inability to demonstrate the authenticity of the Quran itself.
  2. Its inability to explain the presence of textual variations in the Quran today.

The Quran’s Authenticity

Since the Quranist polemic is mostly directed at other Muslims who already take the Quran’s authenticity for granted, its logical conclusions are often overlooked. The rejection of primary historical sources that have documented the history of the Quran results in absolute ignorance in the history of the Quran’s compilation and its authenticity.

  • When was the Quran compiled?
  • Who compiled it into its current arrangement/form?
  • Who outlined its script?
  • Who outlined the diacritical marks in its script?
  • How can one ensure the authenticity of our current recension of the Quran?

All of these questions are questions one simply cannot answer if he/she were to entirely dismiss the hadith canon, which provides necessary historical context behind the compilation of the Quran.

Some may claim that the Quran is mutawātir (mass-transmitted), and, thus, definitively authentic. Asides from blindly following later authorities on the Quran who had claimed that the Quran was mutawātir, the Quranist polemicist simply cannot substantiate this claim. Blindly following those authorities is self-defeating, since they all considered hadith collections to be viable sources of Islamic legislation.

Some may cite 15:9 (and similar verses) to argue for the Quran’s authenticity; however, such appeals are circular, since they already presume the authenticity of the Quran. The Quranist narrative simply cannot demonstrate the authenticity of the Quran independently of the Quran. It is merely grounded in several assumptions upon which the entire doctrine is based.

The Ten Qirā’āt: Errors or Recitations?

As known, various parts of the Muslim world recite the Quran in different modes/recitations, known as qirā’āt. The textual variation in these different recitations varies in nature and spans differences in pronunciation, spelling and meaning. The geographical distribution of the qirā’āt has constantly changed throughout history, and the most prominent recitation in the Muslim world today is the recitation of Ḥafṣ b. Sulaymān al-Kūfī (d. 180), which he reportedly inherited from his stepfather, ‘Āsim b. Abī al-Nujūd (d. 127). The recitation is commonly referred to as Ḥafṣ ‘an Āsim. 

The predominant recitation in North and West Africa is the recitation of ‘Uthmān b. Sa’īd al-Miṣrī (d. 197), who was known as Warsh. Warsh partially inherited his recitation from his teacher, Nāfi’ b. ‘Abdurrahmān al-Madanī (d. 169). The recitation of another student of Nāfi, ‘Isā b. Mīna al-Madanī (d. 160), who was known as Qālūn, is prominent in Libya and Tunisia today.

The geographic distribution of the recitations across the Muslim world, however, has varied throughout history due to many factors. Ibn al-Jazarī (d. 855), for example, noted that the predominant recitation in Al-Shām, Hejaz, Egypt and Yemen during his time was that of Abū ‘Amr al-Baṣrī (d. 154) (Ibn al-Jazarī 292). This would quickly change, however, as the Ottomans institutionalized and enforced the recitation of Ḥafṣ, which, as a result, became the predominant recitation in the Muslim world till this day.

Nevertheless, the presence of textual variants in the different qirā’āt of the Quran does not necessarily pose a problem to traditional Muslim scholarship, since it is authentically established, as reported by al-Bukhārī, Muslim, Abū Dawūd, al-Tirmiḍī, al-Nasā’ī and many others, that the Prophet recited the Quran in different modes of recitation (aḥruf). These variants in recitation can thus be contextualized and explained by the Prophet’s recitation of the Quran in different modes. Even traditional scholars who held the position that some errors may exist in some of the qirā’āt were able to navigate their way through these different recitations, since they believed that the Prophet himself was a source of textual variations in the Quran.

Since Quranists reject the authenticity and authority of Prophetic traditions, they have no basis for the concept of qirā’āt and Quranic modes of recitation. Rather, the implication of the Quranist polemic is that all of the discrepancies in the qirā’āt simply are errors and accretions that have gradually accumulated in the Quran as it was disseminated across the centuris. They have no way to differentiate the “erroneous” from the “correct” in the Quran today.

Most Quranists simply opt to recite the Quran according to the recitation of Ḥafṣ, for no reason other than the fact that it is recited by the majority of Muslims today.

Conclusion

The purpose of this article is not to appeal to the necessity of the hadith canon out of desperation, for we have, on several occasions, outlined the objective reasons behind our belief in the integrity of the hadith canon. Rather, the purpose of this article is to demonstrate how the Quranist paradigm, which calls for the sole reliance upon the Quran for guidance and legislation, ultimately undermines the authenticity of the Quran itself. This ironic reality is often overlooked due to the fact that the Quranist polemic is mostly directed at Muslims who already believe in the authenticity of the Quran. By taking the Quranist doctrine to its logical conclusion, we can observe its flaws, defects and contradictions. Similarly, we are able observe the double standard of this paradigm, which prides itself in its intense historical skepticism with Prophetic traditions yet laxly presumes the historical authenticity of the entire Quran for no objective reason(s).

Works Cited

Ibn al-Jazarī, Muḥammad. Ghāyat al-Nihāyah fī ṭabaqāt al-Qurrā’. Edited by Gotthelf Bergsträßer vol. 1, DKI, 2006.

INIMITABILITY OF THE QUR’ÂN

Inimitability of the Qur’ân and Some Evidences of It Being From Allah (Subhaanahu Wa ta`aalaa) Excerpted from an article written by scholars from al-Azhar

Follow us we’ll show you a straight path and show you some matters which will prove that the Qur’ân is God’s word:

FIRST – Because it is the pinnacle of linguistic perfection. The Arabs [of Jahiliyyah] were not accustomed to its form. Their linguistic abilities were hindered by the fact that its expression was worded in the shortest of forms without loss of clear meaning [bayaan].

SECOND – Its wonderful structure was unique when it comes to the beginning of verses, their termination, and the places where one stops [when rehearsing it].  This is added to a refined way of presenting truth and the true knowledge of God [`irfan].  Its beautiful word and kind insinuation, easiness of construct and correctness of ordering made the minds of the purest of desert dwellers [al-Arba’] amazed and the understanding of the masters of the tongue struck. The wisdom behind this intended differentiation in which the Qur’ân was revealed was to leave no doubt for those with wit [Fitnah] or give them reason to steal [by producing something like it].

THIRD – Because the Qur’ân has a record of things to come. They came to pass in accordance with the way God has intended. Allah said, “you shall most certainly enter the Sacred Mosque [Mecca], if Allah pleases, in security, (some) having their heads shaved and (others) having their hair cut, you shall not fear.” (Surah “The Victory”, 48.27) 

FOURTH – What it told about previous generations and the people of yore and it was known [to the people of Quraish] that [Mohammed] was but an illiterate who neither read nor wrote.  He did not sit with teachers in schools, nor mixed with the learned. He was raised within a people who knew no book. They were naked [`arin] when it came to scientific inquiry [al-ulum al-`aqliyyah]. Allah said, “Surely this Qur’ân declares to the children of Israel most of what they differ in.”  (Surah “The Ant”, 27.76).

FIFTH – What it revealed of the secrets of those who opposed it and what they used to plot. Their deceit was revealed to the messenger of God.

SIXTH – That it included knowledge from the smallest of particles to cosmic facts the Arabs did not know in general and neither did Mohammed (peace be upon him); most important, what it included about the science of Sharee’ah and how to deduce laws, the ways to logical argumentation [al-hujaj al-`aqliyyah], the wisdom one derives from the stories of yore, the matters of the hereafter and the best of manners and behavior.

SEVENTH – It is free of contradiction despite the fact that it is a large book which includes many facts and various arts. “If it were from any other than Allah, they would have found in it many a discrepancy.” (Surah “The Women”, 4.82)

EIGHTH – It is a living miracle for it is read everywhere in uniformity, and God has promised to protect it. It is an established argument that, in contrast to other prophets whose miracles disappeared with them, the Qur’ân is Mohammed’s eternal miracle.

NINTH – Those who read it are not tired of it. Those who hear it are not bothered by it. And those who rehearse it fall in love with it.

TENTH – It includes both proof and proven. Those who understand the meaning know how to derive proof and how to find religious dictum at the same time when they consider both the way it is read and the way it is understood.  It is conciseness of words [balaghah] which proves its miraculous character. It is with meaning that one finds God’s order and His warning. Learning it by heart [hifdh] has been made easy. The fear that comes to the heart when hearing it and the humbleness that surrounds those reading it are beyond description.

THE “RAMDHAANI HUFFAAZ” ADVICE

By Mujlisul Ulama

THE DEPLORABLE STATE OF THE “RAMDHAANI HUFFAAZ” ADVICE AND WARNING

Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“The Bearer of the Qur’aan is the Standard Bearer of Islam.”

There are two kinds of Qur’aan Bearers—The Ulama and the Huffaaz. The Amaanat (Trust) of the Qur’aanic Text has been assigned to the Huffaaz. It is their obligation to zealously guard this Divine Text. But, today most of the huffaaz are treacherous abusers of this Amaanat. Besides the extreme deficiency of their Hifz, their moral condition is absolutely putrid and deplorable. Their character displays nothing of the Qur’aan.

When a Haafiz would visit Hadhrat Masihullah (Rahmatullah alayh), Hadhrat would ask: “Are you a Ramdhaani haafiz or a Haafizul Qur’aan?” Most of the huffaaz who lead Taraaweeh Salaat in the various Musaajid are Ramdhaani Huffaaz. They are not Haafizul Qur’aan.

Ramdhaani hafiz is a chap who is advertised as a Haafiz whilst in reality he is nowhere near to a Haafizul Qur’aan. He became a haafiz at the Madrasah, but after leaving the Madrasah, the greater part of the Qur’aan Majeed vanished from his memory. Since the Qur’aan Majeed was never loaded into his heart, his memory fails to be a valid repository for Allah’s Kalaam. His moral condition is rotten. Many cut and shave their beards. They indulge in all the immoral filth in which the masses are sinking. Every immoral filth of the social media has become their hobby. Their dress is evil and haraam kuffaar fashions. They are utterly shameless and unconcerned of the Qur’aan Majeed which they had committed to memory.

Just before Ramadhaan, some of these louts begin preparations for leading the Taraaeeh Salaat. All day long they have to struggle to prepare a quarter Juz to perform just four raka’ts. Despite toiling to memorise what they have forgotten, even the quarter juz they recite is potted with errors. In addition, their recitation is putrid. It is haraam to appoint these kinds of Ramadhaani huffaaz to lead the Taraaweeh Salaat.

The Qur’aan Majeed invokes Allah’s La’nat (Curse)on these vagabond fake ‘huffaaz’. Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mubaarak (Rahmatullah alayh) said:

“Many people become bearers of the Qur’aan majeed, but the Qur’aan from within them curses them. When the haafiz disobeys Allah Ta’ala, then the Qur’aan Majeed from within him proclaims: ‘By Allah! What has happened to you? Why have you borne me. Have you no shame for your Rabb?”

Whenever Hadhrat Yusuf Bin Asbaat (Rahmatullah alayh) would make khatam of the Qur’aan Majeed, he would recite Istighfaar 700 times. Then he would supplicate 70 times: “O Allah! I have  recited without practising (the teachings of the Qur’aan). Save me from Your Wrath.”

Hadhrat Fudhail Bin Iyaadh (Rahmatullah alayh) said:

“How can it ever be possible for a Haafiz to be disobedient to Allah Ta’ala when every word in the Qur’aan loudly proclaims: You have made hifz of me. For the sake of Allah Ta’ala do not be disobedient to Him.”

Allaamah Abdul Wahhaab Sha’raani (Rahmatullah alayh), giving naseehat to the Huffaaz, said:

“It is highly improper for the Haafiz of the Qur’aan to mingle with people of sport and futility. He should not join people who are uncaring (of the Deen).”

Nowadays even the Talaba who are becoming Ulama, are aided and encouraged by the Madaaris to indulge in haraam sport and futility. Some Darul Ulooms have even established kuffaar sportsfields for the Students who are supposed to be engrossed in the pursuit of the Knowledge of the Qur’aan and Hadith. The Darul Ulooms, the Asaatizah and the Talaba have become mercenaries. The Deen is furthest from their minds. Their objective is the dunya and gratification of the nafs.

Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (Radhiyallahu anhu), a very senior Sahaabi, said: “When the people (enjoy) eating, the Haafiz should abstain (i.e. from functions). When they engage in futile talk, the Haafiz should remain silent. When they are proud of their garments and worldly possessions, the Haafiz should adopt humility.”

Hadhrat Sufyaan Thauri (Rahmatullah alayh) said:

“Every word of the Qur’aan which the Haafiz bears (in his heart) disinclines him from the dunya.”

Hadhrat Saalih Al-Maree said:

“In a dream I recited the Qur’aan Majeed in the presence of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). When I made khatam of it, Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: ‘This is the Qur’aan Majeed (i.e. its recitation). Where is the fear and humility?”

Hadhrat Ali (Rahmatullah alayh) – the son of Hadhrat Fudhail – said:

“I am surprised by the one who expresses happiness on making khatam of the Qur’aan Majeed while he does not apprehend his nafs with anything from the advices and warnings of the Qur’aan Majeed.”

Hadhrat Anas Bin Maalik (Radhiyallahu anhu) said:

“There are many reciters of the Qur’aan whom the Qur’aan Majeed curse.”

Hadhrat Fudhail Bin Iyaadh (Rahmatullah alayh) said:

“On the Day of Qiyaamah the Huffaaz of the Qur’aan will be questioned regarding the same issue about which the Ambiya will be questioned. They will be asked if they had perfectly implemented the teachings of the Qur’aan Majeed. It is mentioned in the Hadith: “Most of the munaafiqeen of this Ummah are its qaaris.”

The Ummah today, including the Huffaaz and the Ulama have taken the Qur’aan Majeed as if it is a toy to be buffeted about. The Qur’aan Majeed which has been revealed for our hidaayat and moral reformation is being made an object of play and idle sport by the qaaris and molvis. The Qur’aan Majeed is subjected to Haraam competitions, Haraam prizes, riya and takabbur. It is precisely for this reason that Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that most of the munaafiqeen are the qaaris. On the Day of Qiyaamah Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) will say to Allah Ta’ala:

“O my Rabb! Verily, my people have made this Qur’aan an object to buffet.”

The so-called huffaaz whose lifestyle the year round is in total conflict with the teachings and spirit of the Qur’aan Majeed, should not be allowed to lead the Taraaweeh. If a decent Haafiz is not available, the short Surahs should be recited. The huffaaz should reflect and meditate on the La’nat of Allah Ta’ala which settles on them for their gross abuse of this Amaanat of Hifz. They are ruined in this life and in the Aakhirah.  The Qur’aan Majeed says in this regard:

“They are losers in the dunya and in the Aakhirah. Indeed it is a great loss.”

The Qur’aan curses the huffaaz who abuse this Amaanat with their moral corruption and neglect. Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has mentioned that the Qur’aan Majeed as a whole, and also individual Surahs will be comforters in the Qabr as well as shield to prevent punishment from the inmate of the grave. But how can the Qur’aan ever be a comforter and defender in the Grave for these fake ‘huffaaz’ and munaafiq qaaris who convert the Qur’aan Majeed into a football and a toy for mock and for the acquisition of worldly and nafsaani objectives? Their recital in Taraaweeh is a mockery. They should not be permitted to lead the Taraaweeh. The trustees of a Musjid who allow these fussaaq fake ‘huffaaz’ to lead Taraaweeh are guilty of a kabeerah sin. Heed the warnings of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the Auliya!!!

Questions for Jehovah’s Witnesses

Many Muslims receive regular visits from Jehovah’s Witnesses. The two religious groups are in constant doorstep dialogues. This booklet is an aid to the act of dialogue. 101 Questions to Ask Jehovah’s Witnesses Jehovah’s Witnesses are trained to deal with Muslims. In their handbook entitled Reasoning from the Scriptures they are taught what they should say to Muslims (see especially pages 23 and 24; 1989 edition). On page 24, for example, Jehovah’s Witnesses are instructed to use the following strategy: When the Muslim says what Islam teaches, ask him to show you the point in the Qur’an. (Wait while he searches for it). When he cannot find it, he may be more willing to let you speak. This and other tactful strategies gives Jehovah’s Witnesses an unfair advantage in dealing with some Muslims who are not equipped to explain their faith. The purpose of this booklet is to correct the imbalance. I feel that just as the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society has taken the pains to teach Jehovah’s Witnesses on how to overcome Muslims in discussion, the scholars should likewise equip Muslims so that they should be at least equal to the task. Then we pray that God will let the discussions bear fruit. Through such discussions the truth, we pray, will become evident. Another point. Jehovah’s Witnesses come fully equipped with reading materials to give Muslims. And Muslims often accept such materials. As a result, long after the Witnesses are gone, their influence and teachings remain in the homes of Muslims. To be fair, Muslims ought to likewise present some reading materials to their visitors. Perhaps this booklet would serve as a beginning. I doubt, however, that Jehovah’s Witnesses would accept this booklet. My experience has taught me that Jehovah’s Witnesses would not accept anyone else’s literature. This I find rather unfortunate. How does one learn anything new with a closed mind? Our visitors may feel that they already have the truth and therefore need to search no more. But I think a closed attitude is a wrong one. Nevertheless, I hope that some of the Jehovah’s Witnesses will prove me wrong by accepting this booklet. I hope they will also go one step further in composing a reply to the points I make here. I appreciate feedback. So I expect, then, that this booklet will help Muslims feel more confident that they too have something to offer anyone who is prepared to examine things. Some of Jehovah’s Witnesses may still be prepared to study a different view, because they read in their Bible the following passage: Make sure of all things; hold fast to what is fine (1 Thessalonians 5:21). They are instructed in that verse to check things out and then to hold on to what proves good. Notice that it cannot work the other way. You cannot hold on to what is good unless you first test it out for yourself.

B


Why this Sort of Booklet?

There are many booklets that explain Islam. Some of these are really excellent materials. However, the Muslim who is involved in a dialogue at his doorstep finds himself confronted with questions those booklets are not meant to answer. This booklet will teach Muslims how to ask the right questions instead of struggling to find answers. It is a matter of reverse psychology. Respond to a question by asking another one. If Muslims can learn this technique they will be in a better position to explain themselves when they are faced with persistent questions from their visitors. Let us make it clear that the purpose of this booklet is not to attack or belittle the faith of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. It is only a response to writings already published by Jehovah’s Witnesses and given to lots of Muslims. One such writing is a booklet entitled The Time for True Submission to God, published 1982, in which they urge Muslims to become Jehovah’s Witnesses. Another such piece is a book entitled Mankind’s Search for God, containing a section on Islam. In that chapter the true nature of Islam is distorted, but I don’t intend to deal with that in this booklet. It is enough to note here that this book too has been left in many Muslim homes. Here I only intend to help readers to deal with such situations. Yet another example is a colourful brochure written specifically for Muslim readership. It even takes on a Muslim appearance with a picture of a mihrab (an architectural design favoured by Muslims). In short, Jehovah’s Witnesses have gone to great lengths to convey their religion to Muslims. The time is now ripe for Muslims to repay that kindness by offering them the chance to understand the religion of God. The series of questions in here are designed to help the Witnesses to think more deeply about some of the matters they may have taken for granted. The idea is to ask the right questions to help them reach the right conclusions. This booklet does not encourage a hostile attitude in dealing with people. The idea is not to bombard them with hard facts or dazzle them with puzzling questions, but rather to lead them gently to the truth. Most of the questions in this booklet may be asked of any Bible teacher, not just Jehovah’s Witnesses. However, this booklet is designed specifically for use with Jehovah’s Witnesses. Although most of the points relating to the Bible apply to almost any Bible, the points are being made specifically for the benefit of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and all the Bible quotations are taken from the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ own Bible. The reason I make this distinction is that the Jehovah’s Witnesses have their own distinctive set of beliefs and this requires a different approach in dealing with them. Other Christians, for example do not need to hear from Muslims that the Bible contains mistakes. They may already know that for themselves. Now, if you go out of your way to show people what they already know they may take offence to it. With other Christians, therefore, the general approach should be to emphasize common beliefs and to explore differences in an extremely gentle fashion. Better still, you would leave aside differences and show a person the true teachings from God right in the Qur’an, God’s final revealed Book. However, such an approach does not work with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. They are too overly confident that their belief is the only correct one. Any attempt to lead them to something else fails unless you can first get their attention and help them to rethink their present position. Jehovah’s Witnesses feel that their belief system is rock solid because of two reasons. Firstly, because it is based on the Bible which is the inerrant Word of Jehovah. Secondly, because Jehovah guides them to the correct interpretation of that book. So, we may as well start by discussing that book if we hope to get anywhere with them.

C


How to Begin an Exciting Series of Dialogues with Jehovah’s Witnesses

If you’re like me, you see Jehovah’s Witnesses all the time busy in their door-to-door preaching work. On the other hand, if you’re not like me perhaps they knock on your door too. I have been denied such visiting rights. I have no grudge against them. I love the Jehovah’s Witnesses as fellow human beings. We are one family, all descendants of our ancestor Adam. I feel they are, despite their hard work, heading in the wrong direction. I would like the opportunity to share with them my understanding of the truth, but I am deprived of this opportunity. Some of them have in the past suggested that if I wish to teach them anything I should go to their place just as they go around teaching other people. I took this as an encouragement, but when I asked for their address they wouldn’t give any. They said I must find it as they go out and look for the homes of the people. I admire the Jehovah’s Witnesses for their sincerity and hard work for the sake of their beliefs. I also feel the same sort of compassion for them which the Caliph Umar felt for a Christian monk. He came across a monk in his cell showing all the signs of hardship that go with his monastic way of life. Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhu) shed tears when he saw this. When he was asked why he wept, Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhu) explained that according to the Qur’an some people will come on the Day of Judgement laden with good works and yet meet a dreadful end because they were on the wrong path. Compassion for this man made Umar (Radhiyallahu Anhu) weep. I feel the same compassion, and the same need to help Jehovah’s Witnesses learn the truth. Since they do not visit me anymore, I can only hope that if I share my information with you then you will be able to pass it on to where it is intended. For starters, if you hope to make proper use of this booklet, you need to develop the kind of compassion I described above. Even if you don’t have it, just assume that you have it and it will come naturally. That’s the power of positive reinforcement. Assume a virtue and you will acquire it. Now, with that correct attitude, begin to ask these questions of Jehovah’s Witnesses and give them a chance to convince themselves that Islam is the truth.

D


How to Lead a Conversation in the Right Direction

Jehovah’s Witnesses receive some of the best possible training on the use of psychological techniques in dealing with their prospects. They will come to you trained and prepared to succeed in every meeting. But you, with the help of this booklet, can change all that. The secret is to take control of the conversation. Let me show you how. Jehovah’s Witnesses will start by saying that they are speaking to people about the possibility of world peace, or some such matter of general interest. Then they will ask your opinion about the matter. But don’t be fooled. Your visitors are not conducting an opinion survey. They are leading you in conversation the way they are trained. If you are to get anywhere with them you have to be willing to seize control of the conversation. What you must do is reply with a question. That’s right! A question. That will certainly break the conversation out of the mould which the Jehovah’s Witnesses expect it to fit into, and help you to proceed on the track you are now being trained to follow. When they ask for your opinion and give you time to speak they are preparing you to listen to them. Psychologically, once you have spoken you will feel that just as they listened to you with patience you must now return the courtesy. You will then have to listen to them telling you what the Word of God says about the matter. By this time, your position appears weak. You gave your opinion and they reply with God’s teachings. Let’s see how we can reverse this situation. The first step is for you to realise that you don’t have to give your opinion when they ask for it. So say something like this: I am glad you asked. But I think the answer should come from God. Do you know where we can find God’s answer to our problems? There! That’s how you do it. With only a few words you’ve turned the situation around. Instead of giving your opinion you have established that their attempt to seek your opinion was a misguided one. Furthermore, you’ve put a question to them. They must now tell you where God’s answer is to be found. If they say, “The Holy Bible,” or whatever else they choose to call their Bible, you are ready to ask a whole series of questions about the Bible. Now you can really teach them something. If, on the other hand, they turn the question back to you, you have an option. Let me assure you at this point that you have nothing to lose no matter which option you choose. For example, if you decide to not answer the question you can turn the question back to them by saying something like this: Well, I was hoping you would be able to come up with an answer, especially since you specialize in speaking to people on this subject. If that doesn’t get them to speak, don’t forget that you can always ask them politely to leave you alone. You may say something like this: Since you don’t seem to have an answer for me, I would like to thank you for coming. Please come again when you have the answer. Bye for now. At this point you may begin closing the door to show your firm resolve to end the conversation. As I have said, you lose nothing with this option. You gain! You maintained control and felt confident. You felt no anger, no frustration. Privately, you were having fun putting these proven techniques to work. On the other hand, they lose. They lost time to visit you and accomplish nothing. They also lost some of the confidence they were charged up with when they left their kingdom hall. And you haven’t run out of options yet. When they ask you where you think God’s answer can be found you may reply, “The Glorious Qur’an,” if you feel confident that you can explain yourself further. Bear in mind that you can always learn more or obtain more written materials from your if necessary. Read, for example, Common Questions People Ask About Islam, or Science in the Qur’an. These will help equip you for the challenge. Now, go ahead. Do your job of spreading Allah’s message, and drop me a line to let me know how much success you are having.

E


Keep Your Cool

If you are going to really do this job right you have to stay cool. Keeping your cool is an attitude that can be developed. It starts with realising that you cannot guide the people you are trying to convince. That remains for Allah to do. Your job is only to convey the message. You may often find this task frustrating. But stick with it. Sometimes you will find it hard to understand why your visitors cannot understand your message. But persevere. Read below what Allah says: See how We make the revelations clear to them, and see how they are turned away! (Qur’an 5:75) You see? Even the Words of Allah, plain as they are, will not convince everyone. Much less the humble attempts we make. If you keep this in mind you will save yourself a lot of frustration and be in a better position to apply the techniques described in this booklet. Now, the questions given here are to be used in a particular way for maximum success. Don’t use them as sledgehammers to clobber your opponents. Use them as fly-swats to sting them a little and wake them up. In other words, use them gently. Give your visitors time to adjust to the new information you are offering them. You will open up new horizons in their thinking with the questions you ask them. Be patient with them while they take time to overcome information-shock. At first they will resist any information coming from you as being from the devil. After all, how could you know anything more about the Bible than they and their Bible teachers? So rather than give them the information in the form of statements of your own, ask them a question to stimulate their thoughts. For example, instead of saying “A is true,” say, “Suppose someone says that A is true. How would you react to that?” This shifts the focus away from you and allows your visitors to think only about the question. As they struggle to come up with an answer they will convince themselves of what you wanted them to learn. Your disposition toward them is very important. You must show them that you have compassion for them, and you really want to help them. You must avoid every chance to ridicule them or their faith. So, do not take on the attitude of a prosecutor obviously trying to tie them up in verbal knots or to prove them guilty. Take the attitude of a sympathetic news reporter who is sincerely trying to understand the case for fair reporting. Here is how this works. They say, “A is true.” They are accustomed to hearing their opponents saying, “No, A cannot be true.” But you are not their average prospect. You must rise above the situation by saying something like this, “If you say A is true, that leads me to conclude that B is also true since A implies B. Do you also believe B?” Now, if they are unable say, “Yes!” quickly, know that they are struggling to make sense of their own contradictions. There are many examples of A and B in the questions that follow. Here is another pattern. Say, for example, “Previously you told me C and I understood you. Now that you are saying D, I would also like to understand, but since C and D are opposites I cannot believe them both. How do you explain this?” Let them deal with the contradictions in their own mind. What you are doing here is helping them to save face by allowing them to think for themselves. Don’t tell them they are wrong. Show them how to believe in their own minds that they are wrong. They may agree with you and yet not admit it. Don’t worry about that. Remember that they always come in pairs. If one of them shows inclination to agree with you, the other one will report him back at their kingdom hall as one who is now wavering in his faith. Even if they both agree with you neither of them dares to make the first move to reveal it for fear of what the other may think. So both will appear to maintain their position, but you ought to be satisfied that you did your best in presenting the truth. Rest assured that Allah has imbued these persons each with a conscience. When they lie in bed at night they may remember your words and secretly affirm true faith before they fall asleep. Again, keep your discussions cool. When you ask the following questions ask them politely. The tone of your voice should reflect courtesy. Let me explain it this way. Imagine for a mo ment that you are a police officer. You have just arrested a dangerous criminal. Now, in your inner voice hear yourself saying to him, “Drop your weapon.” Do you hear the force of your voice? That’s a condescending voice — the voice of a powerful individual speaking to a powerless person. Now for an exercise involving the right use of voice for your situation. Imagine yourself at the airport. You are ready to board your flight. But you don’t know which way to find your gate number 39. So you approach a clerk and ask her politely, “Can you please tell me where I can find gate number 39?” Do you hear the sound of that question? That’s the tone you should try to maintain when asking the questions in this booklet. Practice that tone of voice with this question: “What if I show you a verse in the Bible which claims to be not inspired?” Do the same with all the other questions. May Allah help you and me, and all those who call to His way.

101 Questions

to Ask Visiting

Jehovah’s Witnesses


Five Questions to Get You Started

1 Is 100% of the Bible inspired by God?

Their Answer:

They will say, “Yes! All scripture is inspired of God.” They will also quote from the Bible where it says exactly that in Paul’s 2nd Letter to Timothy, chapter 3, verse 16 . They may then smile happily because they showed you the answer straight from the Bible.

The Truth:

The verse they show you is quoted without regard for its real meaning. Few people really ever think before they quote. If they find something that seems close to what they believe there is no stopping them from quoting it. Let us see now what the passage really means. To really understand the passage we have to know who wrote it, what he meant by it, and what he expected his first readers to understand by it. Who wrote it? Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Paul wrote that passage in a letter to his student Timothy. What did Paul mean by `all scripture’? Did he mean `the whole Bible’? Many people assume so. But Paul did not say that. He did not say, “the entire Bible is inspired.” He said “All scripture is inspired.” So, back to our question. What did Paul mean by “all scripture”? Some people may say, “But `all scripture’ means `all scripture,’ don’t you understand?” Say, “Should I understand that the Hindu Scripture, the Buddhist Scripture, the Muslim Scripture, the Christian Scripture and all other scripture is inspired by God?” They will say, “No, because Paul would not have meant all that.” But that makes us ask again, “What exactly did Paul mean?” If at this point they say, “The whole Bible,” this takes us back to the beginning of this discussion. Just say, “I feel that we are going around in a circle here. I have already shown that Paul never said, “The whole Bible.” Now you may need to help them understand that the verse they showed you was read out of context. By taking the verse in isolation, they give it a different meaning than what the author had intended. To see the proper context, let us read the verse again, this time starting with the verse that comes before it. Here are verses 15 and 16: 15 . . . from infancy you have known the holy writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through the faith in connection with Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching . . . (2 Timothy 3:15-16) Except where noted, all Bible quotations in this study are from the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures; this is the Bible used by Jehovah’s Witnesses. Explain to them that if they look at the previous verse (i.e. 2 Timothy 3:15) they will realise that Paul was speaking to his student Timothy about the scriptures which Timothy knew from his infancy. It was definitely not the whole Bible. The whole Bible was not yet complete. The Bible is made up of basically two sections. The first is called the Old Testament, and the second is called the New Testament. Many books of the New Testament section were written after Paul’s death. Paul was not telling Timothy that Timothy knew from infancy about books which are not yet written, was he? To show how many books Paul was not referring to here, ask your visitors to look at the Table of Books of the Bible which is shown in their Bible to wards the back. In their usual pocket edition published 1984, this appears on pages 1546 to 1547. Now look with them at page 1547 which displays a list of the Christian Greek Scriptures. In that chart the approximate dates when these books were written are shown in the 4th column. The approximate date given for the writing of 2 Timothy is the year 65 C.E. (i.e. A.D. but contemporary users prefer C.E. instead of A.D.). Now we can see that many books were written much later than that. Consider this list of Books of the New Testament together with their approximate year of authorship as given on the same chart: Revelation 96 C.E. (A.D.) John 98 C.E. (A.D.) 1 John 98 C.E. (A.D.) 2 John 98 C.E. (A.D.) 3 John 98 C.E. (A.D.) Obviously, Paul was not telling Timothy to hold on to the above books which did not exist at the time. Furthermore many other books were written too close to the year 65 C.E. for Timothy to have been familiar with them since his infancy. I leave this for you to explore with your visitors. That scripture Paul was telling Timothy about was the Old Testament, which Jehovah’s Witnesses call the Hebrew-Aramaic Scriptures. These ancient scriptures in the oldest form in which they exist today are written in the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Chaldee languages. A problem, however, is that Timothy was familiar with that book not in its original languages, but in its Greek language translation (the translation of the Old Testament into the Greek language is called the Septuagint Version). That Greek translation was prepared about three hundred years before Christ to enable those who could not read Hebrew to still benefit from the scriptures. This is the version which the early Christians like Timothy were reading. And Paul was telling him to hold on to that book. But is that a problem? Yes! A double problem. First, the translation disagrees with the original in many points. Which should we take as the inspired book — the original or the translation? This presents a dilemma. If the Hebrew original is inspired then the Greek translation is wrong. But if the Greek is wrong then Paul is wrong to call it inspired — unless Paul thinks that a book is still inspired even if it contains mistakes. A second problem is that the Septuagint Greek version contains seven more books than the Hebrew version. These seven books are included in the Catholic Bible but not in the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Bible. But they were included in the Scriptures which Timothy knew from childhood. And Paul said all of it is inspired. If Paul is right here, then Jehovah’s Witnesses are wrong. But if Jehovah’s Witnesses are right, then Paul’s words are wrong even though they are found in the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Bible. The truth is that neither the Old Testament nor the New Testament is 100% from God. But if you believe Paul, then you have to understand that Paul was saying only that the Greek Septuagint Old Testament is inspired. Paul did not say more than this, and it would be wrong to say you believe in the man and then put words into his mouth. Many of Jehovah’s Witnesses unknowingly do exactly that. They believe so much in Watchtower teachings that they assume those teachings must be found in the Bible. Unfortunately, the Bible often disagrees with Watchtower teachings. What we are discussing here is one example of this. Although the Watchtower teaches that the Bible is 100% inspired, the Bible says only that its Old Testament is inspired. The Bible does not say that its entire New Testament section is inspired. If Jehovah’s Witnesses chose to believe what they believe, they must realise that it is a man-made teaching. The Bible does not teach that the entire New Testament is inspired. And that is a very significant part of the Bible. Nor does the Bible teach that the Hebrew text of the Old Testament is inspired. Paul’s statement quoted above only proves that the Greek Version is inspired. But Jehovah’s Witnesses do not follow the Greek Version because they realise it would make no sense to disregard the original and follow a translation. So they rightly choose the Hebrew text. But this choice disagrees with what Paul says in their Bible! Help them out of this confusion. Tell them about Islam with love. The Qur’an says that the entire Qur’an is from Allah (see surah 3:7).

2 What if I show you a verse in the Bible that claims to be not inspired?

Their answer:

There is no such verse.

The Truth:

There are many such verses. Here is an example which will become clear after you read the following two statements found in the Bible in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians: “To the married people I give instructions, yet not I but the Lord . . .” (1 Corinthians 7:10). “But to the others I say, yes, I, not the Lord . . .” (1 Corinthians 7:12). Notice that in the first statement Paul claims that the Lord is speaking. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe Paul was telling the truth. But how about the second statement? Here Paul is saying that the statement is his very own, and that the Lord does not say it. Would Jehovah’s Witnesses please believe Paul in this statement too? So that would mean that at least one verse of the Bible is not inspired. Then the Bible cannot be 100% inspired by God. Perhaps 99%, or 99.9% but not 100%. Agreed? There are many other examples. Some books of the Old Testament claim only to be the words of a man, while others claim to contain words of God also. Many New Testament passages claim to be the opinion of men. Check these out: Luke said: “I resolved also . . . to write . . .” (The Gospel According to Luke 1:1-4). Paul said: “Now concerning virgins I have no command from the Lord, but I give my opinion . . .” (Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians 7:25). Paul said: “Therefore I think . . .” (1 Corinthians 7:26). Paul said: “. . . according to my opinion” (1 Corinthians 7:40). Paul said: “I certainly think . . .” (1 Corinthians 7:40). Paul said: “See! I, Paul, am telling you . . .” (Paul’s Letter to the Galatians 5:2). But some people do not want to see. Here lies the problem. To save space, and to focus on the point we are making, I have not quoted the above verses in full. But the references are given so that you and your visitors can read them one at a time from the Bible. The same result will emerge. Many verses of the Bible claim to be from man but not from God. Do Jehovah’s Witnesses believe these verses? If so, then how can they say that the Bible is 100% from God when the Bible itself says it is not? They may say that the fact that the writers gave their opinion does not make a difference, because their teachings agree with the rest of the Bible. This is not a good argument, for that would mean that anything that agrees with the Bible is also inspired. There fore if a Hindu writes a brief poem about the importance of charity that should be taken as inspired Word of God. Do Jehovah’s Witnesses accept this? Our point here is not that the opinions of men are good or bad. Paul and Luke quoted above may have been teaching even things which Muslims believe in. That does not make a difference. Many Muslim authors write about teachings which Muslims believe in. We do not call such writings inspired Word of God, do we? Instead, we must stress with our visitors that if they believe Paul they must also believe him when Paul said that he was writing his own opinion; they must also believe Luke when he said that he was writing as a result of his own resolution. Luke did not claim to be inspired to write. Look again at what he said (quoted above). The point we do make here is that human writings, no matter how good and how accurate, must not be attrib uted to God. Let us keep the Words of God separate and distinct from the words of Man. Ask your visitors to read the following verses in their Bible: “For the thoughts of you people are not my thoughts, not are my ways your ways,” is the utterance of Jehovah. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9). Please, let us not confuse the thoughts of men for the Words of God. Notice also that the letters which Paul wrote to various churches and individuals are part of the Bible. Help your visitors to realize that the letters which the prophet Muhammad (on whom be peace, and blessings of Allah) dictated to various kings and leaders do not appear in the Qur’an. The Qur’an is the Word of God. It does not contain any human writings, not even the inspired teachings of Muhammad (pbuh) himself. The inspired teachings of Muhammad (pbuh) are found in separate books called hadith.

3 Was Paul inspired when he said that all scripture is inspired?

Their answer:

Of course!

The truth:

But how do they know? If you ask how they know that the Bible is inspired they say, “Because Paul said so.” Now if you ask how can we trust Paul on this they say “Because Paul’s words are in the inspired Bible and therefore Paul’s words are inspired too.” This is circular reasoning. It is like a witness who defends his countryman by saying, “All men from my country are honest.” Then, when you ask why you should believe the witness, the witness replies, “Because I am a man from my country.” Obviously, this circular reasoning will not convince a thinking individual. On the contrary, we have already seen in the previous question that Paul said many things as his own opinion. When he said that all scriptures are inspired (2 Timothy 3:16) he may have been right. But how can you say so for sure?

4 Did Paul know that his letters are part of the Word of God?

Their answer:

Well, y-yes (actually, not sure).

The truth:

Most people have not considered this question. The letters of Paul were collected and later made part of the Bible without consulting Paul (Paul was, of course long dead by this time). But Paul himself was quite conscious that he often wrote his own opinions (see question 2). In one case, Paul was even aware that he made an error in one of his letters which is now part of the Bible. Read the following passage: I am thankful I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one may say that you were baptized in my name. Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas. As for the rest, I do not know whether I baptized anybody else (1 Corinthians 1:14:16). It should be clear in the above passage that Paul made a mistake and then a correction. But the mistake and the correction both remain in the Bible, Obviously, we do not object to the correction, but what about the mistake? Is that the Word of God too? If you look at the passage again, you will notice that Paul made the following three statements: (a) I baptized no one else but Crispus and Gaius. (b) Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas. (c) I do not know whether I baptized anybody else. The mistake Paul made is his first statement that he baptized no one else except two persons named Crispus and Gaius. Then he recalled that he had also baptized the household of Stephanas, so he made this slight correction in his next statement. But the mistaken statement is still there. Is this inspired? Paul’s third statement shows that he is not sure of the facts: I do not know whether I baptized anyone else (1 Corinthians 1:16). You see, Paul is not sure who else he baptized. He cannot remember. He knows he needs to correct his statement further by adding more names, but he cannot remember who to mention. So the first statement was a mistake. The second statement is a slight correction to the first. The third state ment is an admission that the correction is not complete. All three remain in the Bible. Are these Words of God? Show them the Qur’an: Have they not considered the Qur’an with care? Had it been from other than Allah they would surely have found therein much discrepancy (surah 4:82).

5 What happened to Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians?

Their answer:

What do you mean? We have it right here in the Bible. Look!

The truth:

They don’t have it. What they show you is not the first letter Paul wrote to the Corinthians. In this very letter, Paul reminds the Corinthians that he had already written to them a letter before this one. Read verses 9 and 11 in the folowing passage from Paul’s so-called first letter to the Corinthians, chapter 5: 9. In my letter I wrote you to quit mixing in company with fornicators . . . . 11. But now I am writing you to quit mixing in company with anyone called a brother that is a fornicator . . . . Obviously, in verse 9 above, Paul is referring to what he had written in a previous letter. In verse 11, Paul is making a change to his previous instruction. Compare below the following two instructions from Paul’s previous letter and his so-called first letter:

COMPARE BELOW:

Paul’s previous instruction on this side

Pauls new instruction on this side

In my letter I wrote you to quit mixing in company with fornicators . . . . But now I am writing you to quit mixing in company with anyone called a brother that is a fornicator . . . .

What we are discussing here is not the change in instruction issued by Paul. I have spelled out the matter in detail only to equip you to deal with anyone who tries to say that even in verse 9 Paul is referring to his current letter. Some people will try to convince you that there was no previous letter. But now you know how to demonstrate this truth to such a person. So, now, where is that previous letter? Obviously, it is lost. Now, if someone believes that Paul’s letters are the words of God, he or she has to also believe that some of the Words of God are lost forever. But will Jehovah’s Witnesses believe this? Ask them to read this Bible verse. The green grass has dried up, the blossom has withered; but as for the Word of our God, it will last to time indefinite (Isaiah 40:8). How does this reconcile with the fact that one letter of Paul has disappeared? Muslims understand that God can reveal a message and then allow it to be forgotten. But a Jehovah’s Witness does not accept that belief. They think once revealed, always preserved. So they have to deal with this question. The loss of Paul’s letter is a good indication that the recipients of Paul’s letter did not take it as the Word of God. If they did, wouldn’t they try to preserve it? Why did they let the Word of God disappear like that? Now someone may say that the rest of Paul’s letter were preserved, and this proves that the people who preserved them regarded them as the Word of God. Let us not stretch things so far. Firstly, no one knows how many other letters of Paul are really lost, and we still have no satisfactory answer for that problem. We have just stumbled upon evidence of one letter being lost. What other evidence will yet turn up? Secondly, people keep letters and other writings for all kinds of reasons. Perhaps people thought the letters of Paul contain important things. Others may have kept such letters with a view to refute the teachings they contain. We have not enough details to settle this mater, but we can safely conclude that just because someone kept some letters of Paul does not mean they took the letters as coming from God. They knew the letters were from Paul.

Show them the Qur’an: Surely We have revealed the scripture (the Qur’an) and surely We are its guardian (surah 15:9).

Gently explain to them that God protects the Qur’an so that none of it will ever be lost.

The Pagan-Christian Origins of “Valentine’s Day”

What is it and Where did it come from?

Consider Valentine’s Day, a day that after dying out a well deserved death in most of Europe (but surviving in Britain and United States) has suddenly started to emerge across a good swath of Muslim countries. Who was Valentine? Why is this day observed? Legends abound, as they do in all such cases, but this much is clear: Valentine’s Day began as a pagan ritual started by Romans in the 4th century BCE to honor the god Lupercus. The main attraction of this ritual was a lottery held to distribute young women to young men for “entertainment and pleasure”– until the next year’s lottery. Among other equally despicable practices associated with this day was the lashing of young women by two young men, clad only in a bit of goatskin and wielding goatskin thongs, who had been smeared with blood of sacrificial goats and dogs. A lash of the “sacred” thongs by these “holy men” was believed to make them better able to bear children.

As usual, Christianity tried, without success, to stop the evil celebration of Lupercalia. It first replaced the lottery of the names of women with a lottery of the names of the saints. The idea was that during the following year the young men would emulate the life of the saint whose name they had drawn. (The idea that you can preserve the appearance of a popular evil and yet somehow turn it to serve the purpose of virtue, has survived. Look at all those people who are still trying, helplessly, to use the formats of popular television entertainments to promote good. They might learn something from this bit of history. It failed miserably) Christianity ended up doing in Rome, and elsewhere, as the Romans did. The only success it had was in changing the name from Lupercalia to St. Valentine’s Day. It was done in CE 496 by Pope Gelasius, in honor of some Saint Valentine. There are as many as 50 different Valentines in Christian legends. Two of them are more famous, although their lives and characters are also shrouded in mystery. According to one legend, and the one more in line with the true nature of this celebration, St. Valentine was a “lovers’” saint, who had himself fallen in love with his jailer’s daughter.

Due to serious troubles that accompanied such lottery, French government banned the practice in 1776. In Italy, Austria, Hungary, and Germany also the ritual vanished over the years. Earlier, it had been banned in England during the 17th century when the Puritans were strong.

However in 1660 Charles II revived it. From there it also reached the New World, where enterprising Yankees spotted a good means of making money. Esther A. Howland, who produced one of the first commercial American Valentine’s Day cards called — what else — valentines, in the 1840s, sold $5,000 worth – when $5,000 was a lot of money – the first year. The valentine industry has been booming ever since.

The history of Valentine’s Day serves as a powerful lesson for Muslims. St.Valentine became a Saint trying to resist free sex. Even though there was an attempt to Christianize it, today St.Valentine’s day is gone back to its roots. No one even knows that the Church even tried to ban the St. Valentine’s Day. Rather, most people think of romance, cupid and his arrow, which are vestiges of pagan Rome.

Pagan Origins of Valentine’s Day

The first information about this day is found in pre-Christian Rome, when pagans would celebrate the “Feast of the Wolf” on February 15, also known as the Feast of Lupercalius in honour of Februata Juno, the Roman goddess of women and marriage, and Pan, Roman god of nature.

On this day, young women would place their names in an urn, from which boys would randomly draw to discover their sexual companion for the day, the year, and sometimes the rest of their lives. These partners exchanged gifts as a sign of affection, and often married.

Christian Influence on Valentine’s Day

When Christianity came onto the scene in Rome, it wanted to replace this feast with something more in line with its ethics and morality. A number of Christians decided to use February 14 for this purpose. This was when the Italian Bishop Valentine was executed by the Roman Emperor Claudius II for conducting secret marriages of military men in the year 270.

Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, so he outlawed marriage for young, single men, who made up his military. Valentine defied Claudius and performed marriages for young couples in secret. When his actions were revealed, Claudius put him to death. Another version of the story says that Valentine was a holy priest in Rome, who helped Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were often beaten and tortured.

Valentine was arrested and sent to the prefect of Rome for this. He found that his attempts to make Valentine renounce his faith were useless, and so recommended he be beaten with clubs, and later beheaded. This took place on February 14, 270.

According to the Catholic Encyclopaedia, there are at least three different Saint Valentines, all of whom are Christian martyrs of February 14. One of them is described as a priest from Rome (as mentioned above), another as bishop of Interamna (modern Terni), and the third from Africa.

It was in the year 496 that Pope Gelasius officially changed the February 15 Lupercalia festival to the February 14 St. Valentine’s Day to give Christian meaning to a pagan festival. The holiday become popular in the United States in the 1800’s during the Civil War.

As well, Pope Gelasius ordered a slight change in the lottery for young women that would take place during the pagan festival. Instead of the names of young women, the box would have the names of saints. Men and women were allowed to draw from the box, and the purpose of this was to copy the ways of the saint they had selected for the rest of the year.

Pagan Customs of Valentine’s Day 

A number of the customs connected to Valentine’s Day originate in the belief in England and France during the middle Ages, that on February 14, birds began to pair.

Fourteenth and 15th centuries’ French and English literatures make indirect references to the practice. Those who chose each other as husband and wife on Valentine’s Day apparently called each other their Valentines.

In terms of the Valentine’s greeting “Your Valentine” which today you find on a number of Valentine’s Day cards, the above-mentioned Roman priest Valentine actually sent the first ‘valentine’ greeting himself.

While he was in prison awaiting execution, he apparently fell in love with a young girl who would visit him. Before he died, he allegedly wrote her a letter, signed ‘From your Valentine,’ In terms of the virtually naked, arrow-shooting cupid character, which shoots people with its arrows to make them fall in love, this character is a vestige of Roman pagan times. Cupid was described as the son of Venus, the Roman god of love and beauty. You usually find Cupid’s picture on Valentine cards and other paraphernalia.

Islamic Perspective on Valentine’s Day

We should avoid anything associated with pagan immoral practices – We do not need to honour or celebrate the death of a Christian “saint” – Islam does not encourage flirting or suggestions of romantic relationships before marriage – Love between families, friends and married people does not need to be celebrated on a day with such un-Islamic origins.

Question: In recent times, celebration of the Valentine Day has spread, particularly among female students. It is a Christian celebration, and it is (manifested) with fully red costumes, clothing and shoes, and exchange of red roses. What is the ruling on celebrating this holiday?

Answer: Celebrating the Valentine Day is not permissible because:

Firstly, it is an innovated holiday that has no basis in the Shari’ah.

Secondly, it calls to love and passion.

Thirdly, it calls to keeping one’s heart busy with nonsense matters which contradict the guidance of the righteous predecessors, may Allah be pleased with them.

So it is not permissible that anything from the signs of that holiday takes place on that day, whether it relates to eating, drinking, clothing, giving gifts, or other than that. It is incumbent upon the Muslim to be proud of his/her religion and that he/she does not blindly follow every crier. May Allah the Exalted protect Muslims from every trial, apparent and hidden, and that He give them protection and guidance. Ameen.

Question

Some people celebrate Yawm al-Hubb (Valentine’s Day) on February 14 [the second month of the Christian Gregorian calendar] every year by exchanging red roses as gifts. They also dress up in red clothing, and congratulate one another (on this occasion). Some sweet shops produce special sweets – red in colour – and draw hearts upon them. Some shops advertise their goods which are specially related to this day. What is the Islaamic view [concerning the following]: Celebrating this day? Buying from these shops on this day? Selling – by shop-owners who are not celebrating – the things which are used as gifts, to those who are celebrating?

Response: The clear evidence from the Qur’aan and Sunnah – and this is agreed upon by consensus (Ijmaa) of the early generations of the Muslim Ummah – indicates that there are only two ‘Eeds in Islaam (days of celebration): ‘Eed al-Fitr (after the fast of Ramadhan) and ‘Eed al-Adha (after the standing at ‘Arafah for pilgrimage).

Every other ‘Eed – whether it is to do with a person, group, incident or any other occasion – is an innovated ‘Eed. It is not permissible for the Muslim people to participate in it, approve of it, make any show of happiness on its occasion, or assist in it in any way – since this will be transgressing the bounds of Allah: “…and whoever transgresses the bounds of Allah, he has wronged his own self,” [Surah at-Talaaq, Aayah 1]

If we add to this fabricated ‘Eed the fact that it is one of the ‘Eeds of the disbelievers, it is sin upon sin. This is because it is Tashabbuh (imitation) of the disbelievers, and a type of Muwaalaat (loyalty) to them. And Allah has prohibited the believers from imitation of them and having love or loyalty for them in His Mighty Book (Qur’aan). It is also confirmed from the Prophet (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhe wa sallam) that he said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.”

‘Eed al-Hubb (the celebration of Valentine’s Day) comes under the category of what has been mentioned here, since it is one of the pagan Christian holidays. Hence it is not permissible for any Muslim, who believes in Allah and the Last Day, to participate in it, approve of it, or congratulate (anyone on that occasion). On the contrary, it is obligatory to abandon it and stay far away from it – in response to Allah and His Messenger, and to distance oneself from the anger of Allah and His punishment.

Additionally, it is forbidden for a Muslim to assist or help in this Valentine’s Day, or any other of the forbidden/illegal celebrations in any way whatsoever – whether by food or drink, selling or buying, production, gift-giving, correspondence, announcements, etc. All of these things are considered as co-operating in sin and transgression and disobedience of Allah and His Messenger. Allaah, the Glorious and Most High, says:

“… and co-operate with one another in righteousness and piety, and do not co-operate in sin and transgression. And fear Allaah! Verily Allaah is severe in punishment,” [Surah al-Ma’idah, Aayah 2]

Likewise, it is obligatory for every Muslim to adhere strictly to the Qur’aan and Sunnah in every situation – especially in times of temptations and corruption. It is incumbent that he/she understand, be aware and be cautioned from falling into the deviations of those whom Allaah is angry with and those who are astray and the immoral people who have no fear of punishment – nor hope of reward – from Allaah, and who give no attention at all to Islaam.

It is necessary for the Muslim to flee to Allaah, the Most High, seeking His Hidaayah (Guidance) and Thabaat (Firmness) upon the Path. Verily, there is no Guide except Allaah, and no One Who can Grant Firmness except Him.

Differences Between Hadiths and Gospels

Some Christian apologists when trying to describe the Gospels to the Muslims, claim that the Gospels are much like the Hadiths, in that the Gospels were written-collected by men, and are based on the sayings-teachings of Jesus just as the Hadiths are with the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon them both).
But in reality there are vast differences between Hadiths & the Gospels.
The main difference between the Hadiths and the Gospels is that in regards to the Hadiths, we know who actually collected the Hadiths, and we know who passed them on, and we know who actually made the original statement that was passed on. So for example person A said something, then person B heard it and he decided to pass it on and tell other persons C-D-E, and then they passed it on to others and so forth. Basically throughout the chain of transmission of the hadith, we know who is who, we know who is passing the story, and we know from where the original story came from, there is a complete line of transmission.
This is very crucial, because it means the reports are not anonymous, the reports are coming from people we know, names and persons we can identity, we know where they lived, when they were born, when they died and so forth. Again this is very important because if you know the person, you also know if they’re reliable or unreliable, for example someone who is reporting the Hadith, a person in the chain, could have been known as a liar, as someone unreliable, someone who would make things up, and therefore we know if he is passing or narrating a Hadith that we can question the authenticity. Vice versa the person narrating the Hadith can also be known as a truthful person, someone reliable etc, and therefore we know the Hadith he passing is reliant, or it’s highly likely that it is reliant.
In the case of the Gospels, we have none of this, we literally don’t know who was passing the stories, they’re all anonymous. Even the supposed collectors Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John, were not Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John! The Gospel accounts are all anonymous accounts written-collected by persons-authors we don’t actually know, and they are narrating stories-incidents from people we don’t know either, the entire chain of transmission in the Gospels is unknown and anonymous.
Basically in the Gospel account we have the source Jesus, and then we have person A-B-C-D-E passing on the stories-teachings of Jesus, but we have no idea who these sources A-B-C-D-E are, whether they’re reliable people and so forth, we literally know nothing about them. The only person who we can say with some confidence who we know about was Paul, and yet he barely wrote anything about the life-sayings-teachings of Jesus, and oddly enough in his own writings we can see that he was at odds with the actual disciples of Jesus.
So when it comes to the Gospel of Mark, and we read all these stories and sayings of Jesus (pbuh), we are reading accounts that have been passed by people we don’t know, and they were collected in a book called Mark by an author we don’t know either, though there is much speculation about who the exact author is. On the other hand when it comes to the Hadiths, when we read a story about the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), we know exactly who passed on the story and who narrated it, we have a complete line of transmission of the people who heard the saying, and who passed the saying, and who it got passed to, and we know whether these people are sound people or not.
All of this is obviously crucial, let us give an example, let’s say you heard a news story, and it’s a very big news story but there is no source, you’re not likely going to believe it are you? Especially in this day and age when there are all kind of sources-websites on the internet that sometimes report some very crazy stories, which you then find out are false, but most times you yourself know to doubt and not believe certain news stories coming from certain organizations-websites because you know they’re not reliable. And you’re also aware of organizations-websites-persons that are reliable, and so you can trust what they’re saying because you know who they are etc. So it’s very important to know your source, if you don’t know your source then as you can see you have some big issues.
Now take the same simple logic and apply it to the Gospels and Hadiths (for some strange reason people often don’t like to use this simple logic, acting like we’re dealing with some other realm), it’s important to know our sources, who we’re dealing with, who’s passing on the story, whether the person passing is it is a reliable person, or an unreliable person.
In conclusion, the Hadiths are a far more reliable and trustworthy collection of sayings-teachings than the Gospels, to put simple, in news terms, nobody would ever accept the Gospel as a source of information because it has no sources, all of its sources comes from anonymous sources, basically people we don’t know, and that my friends is not a proper source of information you can get anything from, let alone the actual teachings of God.