Saturday, June 11, 2011

LESSON 13: “The punishment for theft”

LESSON 13: “The punishment for theft”


(Thanks to "Wakas")


“And (as for) the man who steals and the woman who steals, cut off their hands as a punishment for what they have earned, an exemplary punishment from Allah; and Allah is Mighty, Wise.”

Qur’an



The Arabic word translated as "cut" in
is "iqtaa", and it occurs fourteen other times in the same verb-form (QaTaA). With the exception of 59:5 and possibly 69:46, all other occurrences mean the non-physical or metaphorical action of "cutting off a relationship" or "ending" (, 3:127, , 7:72, 8:7, 9:121, , 15:66, , 27:32, 29:29, 56:33).

The derivatives that are read in the second verb-form (QaTTaA) occur seventeen times. This form, which expresses intensity or frequency of the action, is used to mean physically cutting-off (5:33, 7:124, 20:71, 26:49, 13:31), metaphorically cutting-off (2:166, 6:94, 7:160, 7:167, 9:110, 47:15, 47:22, 21:93, 22:19, 23:53) as well as physically cutting/marking (12:31, 12:50). It is interesting to note that even though uses the more intensive verb-form with both "cut" and "hands" together, it does not mean "cut off". The less intensive form is employed in .

Secondly, the Arabic word for "hands" (aydi) is often used in the Qur’an in a metaphorical/metonymical manner (examples are 2:195, 2:237, 3:3, 3:73, 5:64, 6:93, 8:70, 9:29, 23:88, 28:47, 30:36, 38:45, 48:10, 48:24, 111:1), and often it has a meaning of “power”/”means”. It should also be noted that this word is in the Arabic plural meaning three or more hands, whilst only two people are referenced: the male and the female thief. Some have commented that this plural usage causes problems for the common interpretation of “hand-cutting”.

Therefore it is possible to understand the punishment for thieves in three alternative ways: (1) cutting off their hands, (2) cutting or marking their hands or (3) cutting their means to steal (or cutting their hands from committing the crime). It is up to the society to choose one of these meanings or a combination of them depending upon the severity of the crime and their ability to enforce the penalty.

However, it should be said that the only working example given by the Qur’an of theft and its punishment is in the story of Joseph, in which option 3 is done by detaining the one guilty of theft (12:73-75).

Furthermore, 12:79 makes it clear that Joseph (described in 6:84 as one of the guided and a good-doer) was acting in accordance with God's law in detaining only the one guilty of theft.
Thus, one possible meaning of is to apply it in the manner provided by Joseph's example.

If lashings are given as punishment for proven adultery, the Qur’an states to not let pity/compassion prevent one from carrying them out (24:2). However, it says no such thing for the alleged hand-cutting verse though many would consider this punishment to be worse. This adds to the possibility that it should not be taken to mean “cutting”.

Lastly, whatever interpretation is chosen, it is important to keep in mind the recurring theme of equivalence in the Qur’an. Thus the punishment should be proportionate to the crime:


“And the recompense of evil is punishment like it, but whoever forgives and amends, he shall have his reward from Allah; surely He does not love the unjust.”

Qur’an 42:40


It is thus clear that to physically cut off the hand or hands of the thief is not the only possible understanding. Taking into account the law of equivalence, it would perhaps only be reserved for a significant theft which led to harming others (hence harming the perpetrator). If a Muslim in authority, like Joseph was, were to apply the punishment for theft, like Joseph did, then they would be following the example of one guided.

For instance, a Muslim society cannot punish a hungry person for stealing food since letting a member of the society go hungry is a bigger crime than the act of stealing food. Such a society demonstrates the characteristics of a lack of appreciation (107:1-7, 89:17-20 and 90:6-20). Considering theft solely as an individual crime and advocating the severest possible interpretation is neither fair nor consistent with the scripture. Moreover, the degree of repentance is a consideration when deciding penalties:


“But whoever repents after his iniquity and reforms (himself), then surely Allah will turn to him (mercifully); surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.”



(The turning of Allah (SWT) mercifully means that the punishment will not be inflicted because it is described as Allah’s (SWT) punishment in
).

The situation is conceptually similar to , where Muslims are instructed to keep women guilty of lesbianism in their homes “until death takes them” or “until Allah finds for them some other way”. Obviously this means “for however long it takes before they are forgiven or married etc.”. The severest interpretation is subject to so many considerations that it would be virtually impossible for it to be appropriate.

LESSON 12: “Inheritance-incompetence”

LESSON 12: “Inheritance-incompetence”



The following is a literal rendering of :


“Instructs you Allah concerning your children: for the male like portion two females. But if there are women more (than) two, then for them two-thirds what he left. And if is one, then for her half. And for his parents, for each one of them a sixth of what left, if is for him a child. But if not for him is a child and inherit him his parents then for his mother one-third. And if are for him brothers and sister, then for his mother the sixth from after any will made or any debt.”



Notice that the parents only receive 1/3 (between them) of “what is left”, not of “what he left”. That is to say, they receive a third of what remains following any other payments. An examination of the literal wording in 4:12 reveals that both children and spouses get equal priority in that they are all assigned fractions from “what the deceased left” (i.e. from the whole as opposed to the remainder).

So let us consider:

The Qur’an distinctly says that the male child will receive the share of two females and that if there are two or more females then the females receive 2/3 between them. In other words, if there are male children then the share of the children comes last since the “double share” of the male must be preserved. To demonstrate, if Harold leaves two daughters, a son and a wife, the daughters would receive 2/3 (1/3 each) and the male child would receive 2/3. That would mean 4/3 of the inheritance has been distributed before we even get to his wife! The portion of the male child is never stated and depends on what the daughters receive. Thus we add “and no males” into the translation of
when it refers to the daughters. Moreover, when it refers to the share of the mother with siblings we infer that it means a mother and no offspring, wife or father (since parents only receive a portion of what is left and there are no instructions for siblings). There are no children as 4:176 differentiates “kalala” from its use in by adding the clause “and he has no child”. There cannot be a wife and two parents because if this allowed him to be a “kalala” there would be instructions for the siblings in this verse. The absence of a wife, absence of a mother or absence of a father (or any combination) thus so far renders one a “kalala”. 4:176 clarifies this by stating that the portion which siblings receive will possibly be the entire inheritance (see the context) as long as males receive the share of two females. There could thus be no wife or father, and the deceased there is termed a “kalala”. There could likewise be no mother except for the fact that gives instructions where the mother receives a 1/6 of what is left (in the case of siblings).

To illustrate, if a “kalala” dies leaving three daughters, a mother and a brother and sister, the daughters receive 2/3 and his siblings 1/3 (
). His mother receives 1/6 of the remainder which is nothing. However, if a “kalala” dies leaving only a mother, a brother and a sister, the mother receives 1/6 whilst the remainder is apportioned according to 4:176. Siblings only receive a default inheritance if there is neither wife nor father, and parents only receive a portion of what is left.

Let us use the example which people use to “disprove Islam”:

Harold dies and leaves behind three daughters, two parents and his wife. The three daughters receive 2/3 between them, his wife receives 1/8 and the parents receive 1/3 of what is left. In this case there will be an excess which can be distributed to relatives or charity according to usage (4:8).

LESSON 11: “The qiblah is Mecca” (my thoughts)

LESSON 11: “The qiblah is Mecca



The Qur’an was written in Arabic, and Muhammad was an Arabian (41:44). “His people” were therefore Arabs.

He was an Arab and was turned to a qiblah (direction of salaat) that he would like (2:144). The Jews and Christians would NEVER agree with this qiblah (2:145).

We know the Arab Muslims settled near the Sacred Mosque (9:28). If the Sacred Mosque were in Jerusalem, there would be so many “idolaters” around that they could not be kept away from it (since it was their place!).

Also, the place where the Muslims settled was the place that they were expelled from (9:13). Their flight is in 9:100. Therefore the qiblah should be in Mecca.

The Kaaba is referred to as the “sacred House” in 5:2 and other places. The Quraish (an Arabian tribe) were to serve the Lord of THIS House (106:3).

LESSON 10: “Sample answer to the “Combat kit against the ‘Qur’an-Alone’ Muslims”

LESSON 10: “Sample answer to the “Combat kit against the ‘Qur’an-Alone’ Muslims”



1) How do you know how to pray using the Qur’an alone?


Please study “Islam for Kids: Lesson 3”.

Can you prove that when Muhammad (SAW) said “Pray as you have seen me praying” (assuming that this is authentic) he did not mean the Qur’anic prayer as juxtaposed to that of the idolaters? W
here is the hadith that says we have to pray with rakats? The context of the “pray as you have seen me praying” hadith was that he actually said this to non-Muslims who did not possess a Qur’an of their own. They had stayed with the Prophet for 20 or so days and they were leaving. It goes to show he had not already taught them. He told them to enjoin prayer on others and to do good deeds, too. i.e. follow the Qur’an and do not pray like idolaters. The prayer of the ahadith is stitch-work. Can you read the Qur’an and honestly deny that Allah (SWT) does not define the purpose of salaat (17:110-111, , 29:45), and that the instructions relating to it do not satisfy? Is it not true (from your sources) that Muhammad (SAW) would recite sometimes 60-100 ayat, and that sometimes during his tahajjud he would pray 11 rakat and stay prostrated for long enough to recite 50 ayat? Is this not merely example in the same way that his ablution was example (he never actually said that method was mandatory)? The Qur’an says that he would remain standing for much of the night, so can you prove that rakat are actually relevant? To do this, can you explain 12:111 where Allah (SWT) said that the Qur’an is a distinct explanation of all things (for our guidance (16:89))? If we can pray on horseback or on foot when in danger, does this not prove that salaat is actually about remembering Allah (SWT) by standing, bowing and prostrating whilst glorifying and remembering Him? Are rakat not merely “extenders” for those who have not memorised much of the Qur’an? Is it not logical to begin a new rakat only when we recite a different sura? Why cannot I perform seven rakat?

Is it not also true that Allah (SWT) taught Muslims how to pray (2:239), and since no warner had come to these people before (32:3) the fully-detailed Qur’an (12:111) must contain all details?

Having said that, it is of course better to agree on a method for congregational salaat and thus there will inevitably be a “standard” or pre-arranged method. Can you prove that rituals beyond the Qur’anic salaat are obligatory? State the Sura and ayah number, with an explanation of 12:111, 45:6,
(as a start).


2) How do you know how much Zakaah to pay using the Qur’an alone?


“They ask you about intoxicants and games of chance. Say: In both of them there is a great sin and means of profit for men, and their sin is greater than their profit. And they ask you as to what they should spend. Say: What you can spare. Thus does Allah make clear to you the communications, that you may ponder.”

Qur’an 2:219


Ideally, it would be a progressive tax system (2.5% previously having been agreed upon for the average-individual). However, the tax would probably serve as a state tax on income and so Muslims should give any surplus (after their personal living expenses) to charity. This fulfils the Qur’anic injunction.


3) Has not the Qur’an been passed to us from the same sources we received our authentic ahadith?


Does this make them equal?

Unlike the Qur’an, less than a dozen scattered reports out of several thousand can be classified as possessing the evidence of the Qur’anic standard. As per the rules of the “Science of Hadith”, each and every ayah of the Qu’ran would have to be classified as “mutawatir bil lafz” (verbatim) and sahih.

When we compare this to reports ascribed to the Prophet (SAW), we find that less than a dozen can be classified as such. That is to say, less than half a dozen will be mutawatir when we add bil lafz (verbatim) onto them.

The second flaw in the argument is that Allah (SWT) explicitly took it upon Himself to preserve the Qur’an and not any other source of our deen. If this does not satisfy you, then your iman comes from ahadith and not the Qur’an. That is not my concern.

The third flaw is that if both were to be considered equal on any terms, why is it that the Qur’an was passed on to us verbatim by the same group of people (group because it was not always the same players – important!) and yet the same group mysteriously had bouts of memory leaks whilst reporting the ahadith?

The fourth flaw is that there are no contradictions in the Qur’an and many in the hadith literature.

Fifthly, if one were to assume that the plan was to use the same people to preserve the Qur’an and ahadith, why did not the Prophet (SAW) use Abu Hurairah, Anas ibn Malik, Abdullah ibn Umar or Aisha to write down the Qur’an? More than half of Bukhari’s compilation consists of these four.

Sixthly, the Qur’an is a distinct explanation of all things for guidance (2:159, 12:111, 16:89). Can you provide a mutawatir hadith that contains something not in the Qur’an, and that I need for guidance?

Seventhly, why should we have to rely on reports written down 150-200 years after the Prophet (SAW) passed away? How do you know that Bukhari et.al. was trustworthy and then infallible? Does Allah (SWT) not state that whoever accepts a lie as religious truth is a hypocrite?


“And who is more unjust than one who forges a lie against Allah, or gives the lie to the truth when it has come to him? Will not in hell be the abode of the unbelievers?”

29:68


The Qur’an is the truth (
-42, 2:91, 2:119, 2:147, 2:176, , 16:102). Whoever follows something else as a source of religious law/guidance follows a lie (-33).

Not only this, but it is forbidden to accept sources of religious law besides the Qur’an (2:63, 2:91, 2:176, 6:19, 6:114-115, 6:157, 7:144-147, 7:169-171, 12:111, 17:9, 18:27, 20:123-124, 21:27, 21:45, 22:16, 22:54, 23:49, 23:73, 28:49, 28:56, 39:23, 45:6 etc.). Those who deny this must take up the challenge in
, , 17:88 and 28:49. After all, Muhammad (SAW) only followed what was revealed to him () and so all Revelation should be assessable by its comparison to the Qur’an.

How can you fear Allah (SWT) by putting more faith in the scholars than in Him (
)?


“And from among those who are round about you of the dwellers of the desert there are hypocrites, and from among the people of Medina (also); they are stubborn in hypocrisy; you do not know them; We know them; We will chastise them twice then shall they be turned back to a grievous chastisement”

Qur’an 9:101


4) Why would Allah preserve the Qur’an and not preserve the meaning?


Are you denying that the Qur’an is clear (3:7, 12:111, 15:1, 16:89, 2:159) and that the Messenger was but a warner (
, 35:23)?


5) How much is the Jizyah that the People of the Book have to pay?


As a follower of the Qur’an alone, I cannot agree that the jizya is anything more than a recompense. However, it has inevitably taken the form of a normal state tax which should be equal to/less than the state-tax “zakat” that the Muslims pay:


“O you who believe! Be upright for Allah, bearers of witness with justice, and let not hatred of a people incite you not to act equitably; act equitably, that is nearer to piety, and he careful of (your duty to) Allah; surely Allah is aware of what you do.”

5:8


“if they come to you, judge between them or turn aside from them, and if you turn aside from them, they shall not harm you in any way; and if you judge, judge between them with equity; surely Allah loves those who judge equitably.”


The “jizya” was actually a recompense to be paid by the People of the Book (paid for a certain amount of time as a tax) who fought against the Muslims. If it applied to everyone, the Qur’an would specify this. It applied only to those specific idolaters (of that time) and only to those who disregarded the entire concept of Allah and the Last Day (). Their identity was explained in -36.


6) Does the Qur’an say that cross-dressing is haram?


“Say: Every one acts according to his manner; but your Lord best knows who is best guided in the path.”

17:84


Firstly one must fulfil the basic dress-requirements of 24:30-31. Since the question would be very one-dimensional if you were referring to clothing (culture-relativity), I will assume that you mean: “Is it haram for a man to deliberately look like a woman, or vice-versa?”

A male is not like a female:


“So when she brought forth, she said: My Lord! Surely I have brought it forth a female-- and Allah knew best what she brought forth-- and the male is not like the female, and I have named it Marium, and I commend her and her offspring into Thy protection from the accursed Shaitan.”

3:36


Thus to deliberately intend to look like the opposite sex is illogical and against the logic of the Qur’an (which a Muslim would follow).


7) The Qur’an says that men can beat up their wives. But we know from ahadith that this is a spiritual beating and not a harmful physical one. What is to stop a man from misinterpreting the Qur’an and beating the hell out of his wife?”


Which ahadith are you reading? A spiritual beating hahahaha.

Please study “Islam for Kids: Lesson 8”.


8) Is it permissible for a man to look at a naked man?


“Say to the believing men that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts; that is purer for them; surely Allah is Aware of what they do.”

24:30


9) Can I pray Salaah naked?


“O children of Adam! We have indeed sent down to you clothing to cover your shame, and (clothing) for beauty and clothing that guards (against evil), that is the best. This is of the communications of Allah that they may be mindful.”



“O children of Adam! attend to your embellishments at every time of prayer, and eat and drink and be not extravagant; surely He does not love the extravagant.”



10) How do we know the order of the alcohol revelations? Maybe the first of the Qur’anic revelations said it was haram and then the later ones came saying that is was okay except during prayer times. How do you know the order of its revelations by using the Quran alone?


“They ask you about intoxicants and games of chance. Say: In both of them there is a great sin and means of profit for men, and their sin is greater than their profit. And they ask you as to what they should spend. Say: What you can spare. Thus does Allah make clear to you the communications, that you may ponder.”

2:219


The precepts of Islam are clarified by the Qur’an (it is the Criterion). Zakat is what we can afford. This ayah also shows that there is no abrogation concerning alcohol. Revealed before
and 5:90-91, it clearly states that consuming alcohol is a sin. merely mentions the conditions for prayer (state of mind, ablution etc.) whilst 5:90 declares that intoxicants are the work of Iblis. Why would Allah (SWT) wait until 5:93 to declare this? Did intoxicants only become the work of Iblis at that moment? No, 5:90-91 is a reminder for the inhabitants of Medina:

“O you who believe! intoxicants and games of chance and (sacrificing to) stones set up and (dividing by) arrows are only an uncleanness, the Shaitan’s work; shun it therefore that you may be successful. The Shaitan only desires to cause enmity and hatred to spring in your midst by means of intoxicants and games of chance, and to keep you off from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer. Will you then desist?”

5:90-91

The words “Will you then desist?” confirms that it is a reminder. To a new ayah, 16:67 should not be considered an allowance for the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Rather, it states that alcohol
AND goodly provision is obtained from the palm and grapes. One is that which is pure and wholesome food for us, and the other is that which turns into alcohol after it rots. It has been left to our choice to obtain pure, healthy food from this providence or to drink it as an intoxicating wine (exciting us and making us lose self-control). This also contains a hint as to the prohibition of wine.

Overall the order of the Revelations does not matter.


11) It says in the Qur’an to shorten the prayer when you travel. How long do you have to travel? How short to cut the prayer?


“And when you journey in the earth, there is no blame on you if you shorten the prayer, if you fear that those who disbelieve will cause you distress, surely the unbelievers are your open enemy.”

4:101


The shortening of salaat is only if you are in danger (or there is an emergency). You would shorten it according to the severity of the situation. I could ask the same question of hadithers – e.g. why only shorten it by rakats? Why not shorten it by reciting less? You could perform one rakat and recite enough to take the same time as seven rakats! The first question is ill-conceived whilst the answer to the second depends upon circumstances. You may ask the minimum time that should be spent on salaat from the Qur’an, but I would say that it is quality over quantity (why not seven minutes?). It is between the person and Allah (SWT) (not people and Sunnis), and obviously the longer that we spend (whilst it is appropriate) is better. Generally I would pray seven rakats (or the general length of) each time to symbolise the effort of ascending “seven heavens” and reaching Heaven.


12) In Surah 66:3, the Prophet told his wives that he knew because Allah had informed him about it. Show me a Qur’anic verse where Allah had informed the Prophet about it. You cannot. Does this not prove that there are revelations to Prophet Muhammad besides the Qur’an?

According to basic Muslim belief, everything happens by Allah’s (SWT) will. If something good happens we will thank Him. See 9:14:

“Fight them, Allah will punish them by your hands…”

9:14


As you see, 66:3 does not necessarily mean that Allah (SWT) literally spoke to Muhammad (SAW). Besides, it is an empty question for the reason that non-legislative “Revelation” was not always “the Qur’an” (10:87,
).


13) Surah 2:173 shows that Allah (swt) gave an order for the Muslims to change their Qibla from (Bayt Al Maqdis in
Jerusalem) to the Kabah in Mecca. However, there is no Quranic verse that shows the first order that Allah gave to make the Qibla towards Jerusalem. Does this not prove that there are revelations to Prophet Muhammad besides the Qur’an?


Firstly it is 2:143.


“The fools among the people will say: What has turned them from their qiblah which they had? Say: The East and the West belong only to Allah; He guides whom He likes to the right path.”

2:142


“And thus We have made you a medium (just) nation that you may be the bearers of witness to the people and (that) the Messenger may be a bearer of witness to you; and We did not make the qiblah that which you formerly observed but that We might distinguish him who follows the Messenger from him who turns back upon his heels, and this was surely hard except for those whom Allah has guided aright; and Allah will not make your faith to be fruitless; most surely Allah is Affectionate, Merciful to the people.”

2:143


“Indeed We see the turning of your face to heaven, so We shall surely turn you to a qiblah which you shall like; turn then your face towards the Sacred Mosque, and wherever you are, turn your face towards it, and those who have been given the Book most surely know that it is the truth from their Lord; and Allah is not at all heedless of what they do.”

2:144


It is important to note that the sequence from 2:135 to 2:145 refers to Jews and Christians. From this we see it is logical to assume that the “fools” in 2:142 either refer to the Jews and/or Christians (who see that Allah (SWT) has changed their qiblah) or to spectators who see that Allah (SWT) has changed the qiblah of Muhammad (SAW) and expects the People of the Book to follow. The phrase “will say” in 2:142 suggests that they will complain after the impending announcement of 2:144.

2:143 is likewise a prelude to 2:144 in that it is preparing the Muslims for the commandment. “We did not make the qiblah that which you formerly observed but that…” indicates that Allah (SWT) has designated a new qiblah but has still yet to confirm it. This is similar to 5:3 where Allah (SWT) says that He has “perfected the system” although there are still more rulings to come. According to 2:144 the qiblah which Muhammad (SAW) once observed was the Sacred Mosque, but it is evident that this was his choice (2:115). This explains why the Sacred Mosque is a qiblah which he would like (2:144). It should be noted that “Indeed We see the turning of your face to heaven…” further indicates the freedom of choice which Muhammad (SAW) enjoyed (although he had chosen another for strategic purposes).

“We did not make the qiblah…” in 2:143 could be read as “We have made the qiblah…” meaning that the new official qiblah (the Sacred Mosque) has been appointed as a test for believers. That is to say, Allah (SWT) has decided to appoint the qiblah so that He can expose the unbelievers. “…this was surely hard…” should be translated as “this is surely hard for the believers” as the Arabic word “kanat” is a perfect verb in present tense. Thus, the test is ongoing and has not been decided since it has yet to be implemented, but the test itself is difficult such that believers will find it so. Nevertheless, Allah (SWT) will not let faith go unrewarded.

2:144 begins with the word “indeed” (qad) confirming that this ayah is the “peak” of the build-up. The actual commandment to follow the Sacred Mosque as the official and permanent qiblah begins the great test.

It seems Muhammad (SAW) formerly sometimes or always observed the Sacred Mosque as his qiblah, but at some stage (perhaps after his disassociation with
Mecca) he integrated with the People of the Book and changed it to Jerusalem. Evidence for their qiblah can be found in the Bible (for instance I Kings 22-44, II Chronicles -21, II Chronicles , 20:9;18, Daniel -11 and Jonah 2:4;7;2). This would have been a wise strategic decision, although in 2:145 it is made clear that the People of the Book would have trouble accepting the new law.


14) The Qur’an is passed on to us by Mutawatir narrations. Mutawatir narrations are narrations by so many people that it is just impossible for all of them to get together and plot and lie. However, we have so many Mutawatir hadith (http://hadith.al-islam.com/bayan/Index.asp?Lang=ENG&Type=3) that teach things that are not in the Qur’an. How can you reject their authenticity with no objective evidence?


It is ironic but you should not ask this question until you can prove that the Qur’an is not complete or fully-detailed. If you can do that then the “Qur’an-alone” Muslim might not need to continue. I browsed the first fifty on that site and found not one new teaching. I did come across the “law” of stoning adulterers to death, and that would lead to hellfire. There were also many examples of Muhammad (SAW) describing the unseen, for which you must answer (please see “Islam for Kids: Lesson 7).

In short the mutawatir ahadith provide us with non-verbatim fluff which has only ruined your religion and the world. The Qur’an actually is clear, complete and fully-detailed, but it is of course not enough for those who are hungry for their own dressy identity. My challenge to you is simply to provide me with something from the mutawatir ahadith (or ahadith in general) which a Muslim requires for salvation. If you succeed, you might then prove why you did not disprove Islam.

I cannot responsibly reply to your question without providing these references (just as a start):


http://www.tolueislam.com/Parwez/mh/mh.htm

“Hadith: A Re-Evaluation” by Kassim Ahmed

“Introduction to Hadith” by John Burton

“Rethinking Tradition in Modern Islamic Thought” by Jonathan Brown

http://www.globalwebpost.com/farooqm/study_res/islam/fiqh/hallaq_hadith.html (focuses upon mutawatir ahadith)


The Qur’anic ayat you listed below have been addressed. Please download the “Qur’an-alone Commentary”:


YAHOO ID: quranalone89@yahoo.com
PASSWORD: roadgoeson89


Your remaining argument is the “prophecies” in the ahadith. “Islam for Kids: Lesson 7” provides ayat where Muhammad (SAW) clearly did not follow anything except the Qur’an, and neither did he have knowledge concerning WHEN the Hour would come (or OF the Hour itself). Let us not forget these:


“Say: I am not the first of the messengers, and I do not know what will be done with me or with you: I do not follow anything but that which is revealed to me, and I am nothing but a plain warner.”

46:9


(No future-telling there. This rules out any mutawatir ahadith describing “intercession” (and there is quite a number). Any hadith where the plight of Messengers or people is described should henceforth be discarded, especially those describing Muslim conquests.)


“They ask you about the hour, when will be its taking place? Say: The knowledge of it is only with my Lord; none but He shall manifest it at its time; it will be momentous in the heavens and the earth; it will not come on you but of a sudden. They ask you as if you were solicitous about it. Say: Its knowledge is only with Allah, but most people do not know.”

7:187


(The Day of Judgement is sudden, and therefore there can be no “warning signs”.)


The ahadith provide vague prophecies which either came from the Book of Revelations or are so general that anything can “prove” them. For example, competing to build higher buildings is quite predictable since most or every leader in history was a megalomaniac (see Pharaoh’s monuments). Moreover, the theme was already there (“
Tower of Babylon”), and even in the Qur’an it describes how Pharaoh wanted to build a tower to “witness God”.

The signs of the End Times had already happened:


“Do they then wait for aught but the hour that it should come to them all of a sudden? Now indeed the tokens of it have (already) come, but how shall they have their reminder when it comes on them?”

47:18


47:10 provides an idea of this:


“Have they not then journeyed in the land and seen how was the end of those before them: Allah brought down destruction upon them, and the unbelievers shall have the like of it.”

47:10


The first “prophecy” you provide is odd and has no references. It seems you are using hearsay to prove hearsay, so it needs no comment.

The second also has no references. We need more information than this, for instance who wrote the ahadith down and why Islam did not conquer all of these lands during Muhammad’s (SAW) lifetime (since the key was his).

The third is another fairytale. The invasion of
Egypt was a strategic action which Amr eventually persuaded Umar to take. The invasion lasted from 639-644, and Muhammad (SAW) died in 632. So long as the mutawatir ahadith can contradict the Qur’an, there is no need to accept this.

The fourth prophecy is yet another prophecy simply because someone wrote it after the event. You admit that it is a prophecy only of the conquest of
Persia and of the survival of Saraqa. Since we already had a “prophecy” about Persia, there is no reason why there should not be another one to “authenticate” it. It is an underhand tactic to say “This is a prophecy” without providing full scholarly details. You are using these to make some serious innovations to Islam, so you should reveal everything without hiding behind 1200 years of tradition. Also, I would not trust Shafi’i because he was the one who distorted the context of the Qur’anic verses to fit his preferences. Muslims have followed ever since.

For the fifth, you provide still more hearsay. I can give you another prophecy about
India:


The holy Prophet (pbuh) told Hazrat Abu Huraira (RA):

From the Umat there will be a rise of Battalions from Sindh (
Indus) and Hind (Sub-continent). If I got opportunity to be part of such a movement and if I martyred then it is good, if I returned alive I will be like free Abu Huraira who is freed from Hell by Allah.


Now according to this hadith there was no prophecy because of the “if” word. I do not have to provide references of course. It should be recalled that these ahadith provided by Bassam Zawadi contradict 46:9 of the Qur’an.

Another one:


The holy Prophet (pbuh) Told Hazrat Suban (RA):

Two groups in my Umma will be freed by Allah from hell fire, One which will conquer India and the other which will be with Hazrat Esa (AS).



Contradicting 46:9.


The prophecy about the “fire” was (of course) recorded after the event. You would have your readers believe that there was only an eruption over 600 years after the Prophet (SAW) died, but you are dishonest:


…the volcanic lava field of Harrat Rahat between Makkah and Al Madinah has experienced volcanism in historic times. The oldest lavas near Madinah are only about 2 million years old, and the youngest lavas (less than 6000 years old) resulted from 11 eruptions, with 2 historic eruptions in AD 641 and AD 1256. The 641 AD eruption resulted in a small line of cinder cones to the southwest of the city.

Taken from the “Saudi Geological Survey” site:

http://www.sgs.org.sa/English/NaturalHazards/Pages/Volcanoes.aspx


641 AD was nine years after the Prophet (SAW) supposedly died, and well before the hadithers emerged. Note that this is one of the two well-documented eruptions.

Your next weapon is the conquest of
Constantinople. Here are some prophecies about that:


“Book 37, Number 4281:

Narrated Mu’adh ibn Jabal:

The Prophet (pbuh) said: The flourishing state of Jerusalem will be when Yathrib is in ruins, the ruined state of Yathrib will be when the great war comes, the outbreak of the great war will be at the conquest of Constantinople and the conquest of Constantinople when the Dajjal (Antichrist) comes forth. He (the Prophet) struck his thigh or his shoulder with his hand and said: This is as true as you are here or as you are sitting (meaning Mu’adh ibn Jabal).


Book 37, Number 4282:

Narrated Mu’adh ibn Jabal:

The Prophet (pbuh) said: The greatest war, the conquest of
Constantinople and the coming forth of the Dajjal (Antichrist) will take place within a period of seven months.


Book 37, Number 4283:

Narrated Abdullah ibn Busr:

The Prophet (pbuh) said: The time between the great war and the conquest of the city (
Constantinople) will be six years, and the Dajjal (Antichrist) will come forth in the seventh.”

Constantinople was taken-over by Muslims in May 1453 AD. Yet the prophecy regarding Yathrib (Medina) being in ruins and Antichrist’s advent to take place seven months after the conquest of Constantinople did not materialize. Based on the preceding traditions, the Antichrist was to appear in November 1453.

The hadith-writers also believed in a young Earth and that the Day of Judgement would occur shortly after Muhammad (SAW) died:


“According to Ibn Humayd- Yahya b. Wadih- Yahya b. Ya’qub- Hammad- Sa’id b. Jubayr- Ibn Abbas: This world is one of the weeks of the other world - seven thousand years. Six thousand two hundred years have already passed. (The world) will surely experience hundreds of years, during which there will be no believer in the oneness of God there. Others said that the total extent of time is six thousand years.” (Tabari, pp. 172-173)


Let us look at Sahih Muslim:


Book 41, Number 7044:

This hadith has been reported by Sahl b. Sa’d that he heard Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: I and the Last Hour are (close to each other) like this (and he, in order to explain it) pointed (by joining his) forefinger, (one) next to the thumb and the middle finger (together).


Book 41, Number 7046:

Shu’ba reported: I heard Qatada and Abu Tayyab narrating that both of them heard Anas as narrating that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: I and the Last Hour have been sent like this, and Shu’ba drew his forefinger and middle finger near each other while narrating it.


Book 41, Number 7049:

Anas reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: I and the Last Hour have been sent like this and (he while doing it) joined the forefinger with the middle finger.



Now according to Tabari’s commentary, the world was less than 7000 years old. Moreover, there is a number of ahadith in Bukhari suggesting that the Hour was to occur just after Muhammad’s (SAW) demise:


Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 3, Number 116:

Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar:

Once the Prophet led us in the ‘Isha’ prayer during the last days of his life and after finishing it (the prayer) (with Taslim) he said: “Do you realize (the importance of) this night? Nobody present on the surface of the earth tonight will be living after the completion of one hundred years from this night.



There is a wealth of such material, and I am sure that the hadith-writers made many more wrong guesses than right ones. Unless Bassam Zawadi wants to go through every hadith in detail, he should put up his white flag. We contend that the “Science of Ahadith” is but smoke and mirrors, and the evidence supports our view.

Supposing that even one of these prophecies was actually made by Muhammad (SAW), it would not prove anything except that maybe Allah (SWT) revealed something extra during the “Night Journey”. However, if he did make such prophecies it is unfortunate since Islam would make zero sense with many false prophecies having been made. That is Sunni Islam.

LESSON 9: “Wife-beating in 4:34”

LESSON 9: “Wife-beating in



“Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.”



The problem comes from the word “idribuhunna” which has traditionally been translated as “beat them.” The root of this word is actually “DaRaBa”. If you look at any Arabic dictionary, you will find a long list of meanings ascribed to it. It can be said that “DaRaBa” is the “number-one” multi-meaning word in Arabic. It has so many different meanings that we can find numerous uses in the Qur’an:

To travel, to get out: 3:156; 4:101; 38:44; 73:20; 2:273

To strike: 2:60,73; 7:160; 8:12; 20:77; 24:31; 26:63; 37:93; 47:4

To beat: 8:50; 47:27

To set up: 43:58; 57:13

To give (examples): 14:24,45; 16:75,76,112; 18:32,45; 24:35; 30:28,58; 36:78; 39:27,29; 43:17; 59:21; 66:10,11

To take away, to ignore: 43:5

To condemn: 2:61

To seal, to draw over: 18:11

To cover: 24:31

To explain: 13:17

Ayah 4:34 verse cannot be ordering husbands to beat their wives for a simple reason. If a man fears ill-conduct from his wife, he is advised to do three things. Now if we take the instruction to “beat”, then a Muslim man must admonish his wife, leave her alone in her sleep-place and beat her all at once! Secondly, a husband’s wife will not be able to “obey” him (or rather “lay to rest his fears”) if he hospitalises her. If he does not “beat her” enough, then she will either laugh at him (enticing him to continue) or obviously go for a divorce. There is no threshold set.

The meanings of “going abroad from” or “set an example to” are compatible if we take these instructions with the others.


“…thus does Allah beat (yadribu) truth and falsehood…”



“…thus does Allah set forth truth and falsehood…”



Another example of the mistranslation of “DaRaBa” can be found in 38:44. Almost every translation injects a silly story to justify their rendering of the passage. Here is how Yusuf Ali translates the first portion of this ayah, which is about Job:

“And take in the hand a little grass, and strike therewith: and break not (the oath).”

38:44


Yusuf Ali in the footnote narrates the following traditional story: “He (Job) must have said in his haste to the woman that he would beat her: he is asked now to correct her with only a wisp of grass, to show that he was gentle and humble as well as patient and constant.”

However, without assuming the existence of this strange, male-viewpointed story (which has no other reference in the Qur’an), we can translate the ayah henceforth:


“Take in your hand a bunch and set forth with it, and do not break your oath; surely We found him patient; most excellent the servant! Surely he was frequent in returning (to Allah).”

38:44


(The “bunch” would most likely refer to servants as in “those whom your right hands possess” (4:3)).

One final example:


“O you who believe! when you go abroad (darabtum)in Allah’s way, make investigation, and do not say to any one who offers you peace: You are not a believer. Do you seek goods of this world’s life! But with Allah there are abundant gains; you too were such before, then Allah conferred a benefit on you; therefore make investigation; surely Allah is aware of what you do.”

Qur’an 4:94


Note how in Sura 4 there is used “daraba” (
and “darabtum” (4:94), which are derived from the same root. The words are in the same Sura, indicating that “daraba” in means to desert or leave since that is what its derived word conveys in 4:94.

In 2:128, Allah (SWT) gives women similar rights to men. These rights would hardly be similar if men were allowed to beat their wives for disobedience.

Additionally, the word “Nushuz” (often translated as “opposition” in
) has another meaning. If we study carefully we will find a clue that leads us to translate that word as embracing a range of related ideas (from “flirting” to “engaging in an extramarital affair”). Indeed, it could be any word that reflects the range of potential disloyalties in marriage. The clue is the phrase before “Nushuz” which reads: “…they honour them according to God’s commandments, even when alone in their privacy.” This phrase emphasizes the importance of loyalty in married life, and helps us to make better sense of what follows.

Interestingly, the same word “Nushuz” is used later in the same chapter (4:128). However it is used to describe the misbehaviour of husbands, and not wives. In one view, the traditional translation of “Nushuz”, that is, “opposition” will not fit in either context. The understanding of “Nushuz” as marital disloyalty, in a variety of forms, is clearly appropriate for both
and 4:128.


“And one of His signs is that He created mates for you from yourselves that you may find rest in them, and He put between you love and compassion; most surely there are signs in this for a people who reflect.”

30:21

LESSON 8: “The Messenger did not know the future”

LESSON 8: “The Messenger did not know the future”



Some people cling to the alleged role of the Prophet (SAW) as a foreteller of future events beyond the Qur’an. They do this to justify ahadith, but firstly it does not affect any argument about the Qur’an being enough, and secondly it represents a glaring contradiction to Islam:


“On the day when Allah will assemble the messengers, then say: What answer were you given? They shall say: We have no knowledge, surely Thou art the great Knower of the unseen things.”

5:109


(Essentially he did not know what people would do once he passed. We can rule out prophecies of conquests (for example).)


“Say: I do not say to you, I have with me the treasures of Allah, nor do I know the unseen, nor do I say to you that I am an angel; I do not follow aught save that which is revealed to me. Say: Are the blind and the seeing one alike? Do you not then reflect?”

6:50


(Revelation was only the Qur’an (2:23, 2:63, 2:91, 2:176, 6:19, 6:114-115, 6:157, 7:144-147, 7:169-171, 12:111, 17:9, 17:88, 18:27, 20:123-124, 21:27, 21:45, 22:16, 22:54, 23:73, 28:56, 39:23, 45:6 etc.).)


“They ask you about the hour, when will be its taking place? Say: The knowledge of it is only with my Lord; none but He shall manifest it at its time; it will be momentous in the heavens and the earth; it will not come on you but of a sudden. They ask you as if you were solicitous about it. Say: Its knowledge is only with Allah, but most people do not know. Say: I do not control any benefit or harm for my own soul except as Allah please; and had I known the unseen I would have had much of good and no evil would have touched me; I am nothing but a warner and the giver of good news to a people who believe.”

7:187-188


(The Day of Judgement is sudden, and therefore there can be no “warning signs”. Quite clearly he did not know the future, and he could not guide himself past following the Revelation. How then could we expect him to guide us?)


Say: I am only a mortal like you; it is revealed to me that your god is one Allah, therefore whoever hopes to meet his Lord, he should do good deeds, and not join any one in the service of his Lord.”

18:110


(If Prophet Muhammad is only a mortal like everyone else, then like everyone else he cannot tell the future.)


“Men ask you about the hour; say: The knowledge of it is only with Allah, and what will make you comprehend that the hour may be nigh.”

33:63


(i.e. Muhammad (SAW) did not actually know the signs of the End Times.)


“Say: I am not the first of the messengers, and I do not know what will be done with me or with you: I do not follow anything but that which is revealed to me, and I am nothing but a plain warner.”

46:9


(Muhammad (SAW) had no mission past delivering the Qur’an. He did not bring any other Revelation, and nor was he an explainer. This ayah rules out any ahadith describing “intercession” (and there is quite a number!). Any hadith where the plight of Messengers or people is described should henceforth be discarded, especially those describing Muslim conquests.)


“Do they then wait for aught but the hour that it should come to them all of a sudden? Now indeed the tokens of it have (already) come, but how shall they have their reminder when it comes on them?”

47:18


(The signs of the End Times had already occurred. 47:10 provides an idea of this:

“Have they not then journeyed in the land and seen how was the end of those before them: Allah brought down destruction upon them, and the unbelievers shall have the like of it.”

47:10.)


“The Knower of the unseen! so He does not reveal His secrets to any, except to him whom He chooses and who is a messenger. Then surely He makes a guard to march before him and after him, so that He may know that they have truly proclaimed the messages of their Lord, and He encompasses what is with them and He records the number of all things.”

72:26-28


(These ayat clarify that the only part of the unseen that is revealed is the Message.)


Let us look at the purpose of the “Night Journey”:


“And nothing could have hindered Us that We should send signs except that the ancients rejected them; and We gave to Samood the she-camel-- a manifest sign-- but on her account they did injustice, and We do not send signs but to make (men) fear. And when We said to you: Surely your Lord encompasses men; and We did not make the vision which We showed you but a trial for men and the cursed tree in the Quran as well; and We cause them to fear, but it only adds to their great inordinacy.”

17:59-60


“And He revealed to His servant what He revealed. The heart was not untrue in (making him see) what he saw. What! do you then dispute with him as to what he saw? And certainly he saw him (perhaps Gabriel) in another descent, at the farthest lote-tree; near which is the garden, the place to be resorted to. When that which covers covered the lote-tree; the eye did not turn aside, nor did it exceed the limit. Certainly he saw of the greatest signs of his Lord.”

53:10-18


Muhammad (SAW) received a major sign (additional but complimentary to the Message) just as previous Messengers did. He may have received more Qur’anic ayat (signs) whilst on this journey, but it is clear that the purpose here was to see Paradise (although barely visible). This is the trial for us: to see whether we care or believe.

To say he received knowledge of the future is contradictory to the prior ayat listed, and innovates on the purpose of these signs.

LESSON 7: “The Sunna of Allah”

LESSON 7: “The Sunna of Allah”


1)      Introduction:


The practical problem with sects is that they miss the point (by “sect” I imply a deliberate division).

The Sunni sect holds that those who do not uphold ahadith as obligatory are non-Muslims.

To justify, it brought verses taken out of context.

It attempted to prove that the “pillars” were incomprehensible without ahadith, but they were learnt in lessons 4 and 5.

As a last resort, it contends that those who do not follow ahadith are not making the right effort.

It therefore contradicts the reason for its existence.

If it does not label “Qur’an-Alone” as a diverted sect, ahadith are no longer mandatory.

If that is correct, there is no excuse as to why Islam is in its current state.

Sunnis justify themselves by believing in an invisible war on Islam, but the problem is their own.

They miss the point of Islam, so they cannot defend or fix it.

Sunnism (with Shi’ism) is an overweight institution which when it tries to move, trips on itself.

Let us see what it means to be Muslim:



2)      The Qur’an is a Book of principles () and examples (17:89).


The Qur’an instructs us to do good (16:128).

We should stand up for what is right and not allow injustice to triumph (2:190, 4:75).

We should exercise forgiveness (2:109, 2:263, 7:198-199, 15:85).

It tells us to enjoin patience and compassion (90:17). We can perform no action without this in mind.

(e.g. we consider all factors and possibilities when deciding punishment.)

We should treat war-captives well and release them when possible (2:177, 4:25, 4:36, 5:89, 16:71, 24:33, 47:4, 90:13). 

Allah loves mutual kindness between all people (60:8).

We should not judge people without knowledge (4:94, 49:11).

Insults are discouraged and should be justified (4:148, 6:108).

Allah enjoins hygiene and humility (2:222, 25:63, 33:35), so we apply this.

We should avoid indecency (6:151, , 29:45, 42:37).

We should be grateful to Allah (4:147) for all good things because they come from Him (4:79).

(If we remember this, we will be thankful for every day, every meal etc..)

We should eat only what is good (healthy), and what is supposed to be food (5:4).

Allah tells us to study the Qur’an ourselves (3:79) and to seek knowledge (, 20:114, 27:82-84, 29:20).

We are told not to follow anything without real knowledge (29:36).

(Therefore those who refer queries to others without also researching are falling short.)

As followers of Allah, people should bring absolute proof of any religious claim (2:111, ).

(“Isnad” is not absolute proof).

We must not be religiously immoderate (5:77).

No-one can compel another to follow a religion or restrict their rights because of religion (2:256).

We must not be selfish or deceptive (2:275, 25:67, 25:72, 57:23-24).

Wealth should not be hoarded or squandered on unnecessary things (2:215, 2:219).

Marriage should be consensual (2:232, ).

Marriage is about love, respect and commitment (2:187, 2:226-227, 2:228, 2:231, , , 4:128, 30:21). 

Laws and judgements should be equitable for all (5:8).

(Some exceptions should be made by special request (e.g. adultery by non-Muslims) ().)

We must never forget Allah (3:191).



3)      Conclusion:


 - If one practices these precepts and adheres to the Qur’an in its entirety, one will be a good Muslim (17:9).

 - The entire notion of “Muhammad’s Sunna” is redundant for those who can understand (3:79, 34:6).

- The point of Islam is to exercise these principles, not to fuss about rituals (3:177).

- It is no-one’s concern how others practice religion. Allah knows who best-guided (17:84).

LESSON 6: “Pillars”

LESSON 6: “Pillars”



1)      Shahada:


“There is no god but Allah, and I submit to the Lord of the Worlds.”

This is concluded from a cursory study of 2:131, , , 10:90, 39:54 and 40:66.

2:285 and 9:74 indicate that Muslims should make intention to obey Allah.

Sunni/Shia sects imitate the hypocrites of 63:1, asserting what Allah already knows and what is unrelated to submission.

In spite of “Muslim” meaning “Submitter”, they do not submit and thus go no further than Iblis.

They make intention to perform salaat, but this is not making intention to obey Allah.



2)      Zakat:


2:219 says that Muslims should spend what they can afford on charity.

2:215 says that charity is for parents, relatives, orphans, the needy and wayfarers.

Under traditional “Islamic” law, zakat has been reduced to a state tax equivalent to 2.5% of one’s income.

Tax is a function of society, so it is insufficient for Muslims to pay 2.5% to the government if they can afford to give more.

Muslims should perform their tax obligations and pay any surplus (after expenses) to charity.

People with low incomes should be given opportunity to pay what zakat they can.



3)      Fasting:


Fasting is fully-detailed in 2:183-187.



4)      Pilgrimage (Hajj):


Pilgrimage to the Sacred Mosque is incumbent for all who can afford it (3:96-97).

The period of Hajj starts with the first new moon of the appointed months (2:189).

The months of Hajj were well-known (2:197), like the sacred months ().

There are twelve months; four of them are sacred (9:2, ).

Dhul-Hijjah is the main month of Hajj so it is sacred.

Dhul-Qad’ah is taken from the word “qa’ada” which means “to sit”. Fighting was forbidden during the sacred months (2:217).

The sacredness of Dhul-Qad’ah allows people to prepare and make the pilgrimage in safety.

The sacredness of Muharram (“sacred”) allows people to journey homewards in safety.

Rajab conveys “respect”, so we consider this a sacred month.

The Hajj is performed in the “well-known months” (plural = three or more), and these months are sacred (2:197).

Therefore the Hajj itself can be accomplished in Dhul-Qad’ah, Dhul-Hijjah and Muharram.

However, the travelling to and from Mecca may be included so I would perform the actual rites in Dhul-Hijjah.

After all, some of the rites are preferably done en masse (2:198-199).

Since the rites are completed in this month, one may continue remembering Allah throughout Muharram (2:203) (hence performing the pilgrimage in all three months).

Umrah (2:158) can be performed in any month and may be combined with the Hajj (2:196).



5)      Prohibitions/measures of Hajj:


Hunting (5:1-2, 5:95)

Conflict (2:217)

Sexual intercourse, mischief and arguments (2:197)

If one cannot attend (2:196)



6)      Rites of Hajj:


Animal offerings for a food supply (5:97, ).

Circling the Kaaba whilst praising Him (2:125, , )

The Safa and Marwah (2:158)

Mount Arafat (2:198)



7)      Summary:


One should bring offerings when making the pilgrimage (2:196, 5:97).

Getting into a state of Ihram would be principally advisable (2:125, 2:222).

One will arrive at Mecca and circle the Kaaba as the people do (). This is performed seven times as there are seven heavens.

Seven cycles are not obligatory according to the Qur’an, but it may have been an acceptably-established custom.

Allah did not specify any number, but if it were established then He did not order it to be changed.

One can then traverse the distance between the Safa and Marwah (2:158). This does not need to be done seven times.

At a later stage, pilgrims will continue to the plain of Arafat (2:198).

Having left the previous place in the morning, Muslims might spend at least the rest of daylight here (“Arafat” conveys “recognition”, so one would remember Allah here).

(The time we spend at each stage is up to discretion, since Allah would have specified a minimum duration as he did in 2:203.)

Eventually one will depart (with the others when all agree) and arrive near “al-Mashar al-Haram”. 

This is perceived as the plain near Mecca, where people spend the night praying (2:198).

However, it is only a place “near” al-Mashar al-Haram thus it more likely that the “holy monument” is the Sacred Mosque (in its surroundings).

It is the only place described as “sacred” concerning Hajj.

The Qur’an only says that there is no blame on one for doing this step (2:198), but it is preferable.

2:199 instructs one to move on from wherever (and whenever) the people move on from (to the Sacred Mosque), and to continue lauding Allah during the specified days (Dhul-Hijjah and Muharram).

One must do this for a period of at least two days (2:199).

To see possible explanations of “the ten nights” in 89:2, see 7:142 and 20:103. In the context, it may be a reference to the “beginning and end” of a person’s sojourn on Earth (ten days are described as one in 20:103-104). 7:142 is also plausible (ten special nights granted at least to Prophet Musa). Please see and 27:84.



8)      Afterthoughts:


Nowhere is it stated that circling the Kaaba must come before visiting Arafat. In fact, it would make sense to complete the pilgrimage by arriving at the Sacred Mosque.

Arriving at Mecca first would simply make one’s “registration” and preparation easier (like a motel).

Since some rites are done en masse, there would ideally be a schedule arranged by organisers.

The point is a “pilgrimage to Mecca” which if performed in the sacred months (with full rites), will be complete.

Contrary to belief, Hajj is not about searching for stones, throwing stones or kissing stones.

Stoning is not recommended (11:91, , , 36:18). It is a misuse of time because remembrance is for Allah alone (6:162, ).

The stoning tradition derives from a story about Prophet Ibrahim being tempted by the Devil, so it has nothing to with actually serving Allah.

Hajj is about making a journey, and seeking Allah.