Archive for the ‘War’ Category

Does Islam prophesy an Anti-Christ?

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

What do you know and what do you believe about this person whom some people claimed that Prophet Muhammad prophesied as Mahdi and this event called Dajjal Fitnah. I’m not sure but I think these are unfounded claims as far as the Qur’an is concerned. I don’t know but some people relate these things to what is happening in Syria.

There are several authentic hadeeths, reported in Al-Bukhaari and Muslim’s compilations and narrated by Al-Khudri, Ibn Umar and others, which mention Al-Maseeh Ad-Dajjaal (the luring messiah). In these hadeeths, the Prophet (PBUH) forewarns Muslims of the coming of the Anti-Christ, a man who will possess great powers, even power to resurrect people from the dead, and succeed in luring most people away from true faith to follow him instead. He will claim to be God. The Prophet (PBUH) said that the Dajjaal Fitna (test of faith) is the greatest and that every prophet had forewarned his people against it.

While the Quran does not mention Ad-Dajjaal, there is no reason to doubt the story. It would be a different matter if the Quran has contradicted the story. One authentic hadeeth I know of is reported by Al-Bukhaari and narrated by `Aa’isha, may God have been pleased with her, in which she relates that the Prophet (PBUH) used to say in his supplication during prayer, “O God, I seek refuge in You from the trying times of the Luring Messiah.”

Several authentic hadeeths also mention the coming of the Anti-Christ as one of several grand signs of the approach of the Hour (the Day of Judgment). Most of the signs mentioned in those hadeeths are also mentioned in the Quran, such as the second coming of Jesus Christ, the release of Gog and Magog, and the animal which will preach to people. Thus, there is no cause to deny the story about the Anti-Christ while the other, equally spectacular stories are confirmed by the Quran.

There is no evidence that the war in Syria has anything to do with the Anti-Christ.

As for Al-Mahdi (the guided one), the hadeeths about him are far less authentic. Neither Al-Bukhaari nor Muslim have reported any hadeeth about him, to the best of my knowledge. Whether he will exist has no bearing on your or my faith, since we already have all we need to be true believers: the holy Quran and the authentic Sunna.

Are we at fault for all bad things?

Saturday, September 14th, 2013

I would like to know why do we tell “Everything good is from Allah SWT and everything bad is from us.”

If you have already answered this question in your older posts, please provide me the link.

You are referring to verse 4:79, but you should also take verse 4:78, which establishes the context, in order to understand it:

“{4:78} Wherever you may be, death will catch up with you, even if you should be within towers of lofty construction. And if good comes to them, they say, “This is [coming] from God”; and if a bad [thing] hits them, they say, “This is [coming] from you.” Say, “All [things come] from God.” So what is [the matter] with those people that they can hardly understand a statement?

{4:79} What comes to you of good is [caused] by God, but what comes to you of bad is [caused] by yourself. And We have sent you, [O Muhammad,] to the people as a messenger, and sufficient is God as Witness.”

Most translations I read of these two verses fail to distinguish between the two different prepositions that God used here, namely من and من عند, which would lead the English reader to view these two verses as contradictory to each other! 4:78 says that God is the source of all things, good and bad, while 4:79 says that only good things are caused by God while bad ones are caused by us. The distinction specified in the Arabic is lost in the translation and leads to a wrong conclusion! Rather, من عند means “comes from the reservoir of” while من means “is caused by.” Thus, to be faithful to the Arabic, and in doing so dispel confusion, I suggest the above translation.

It is particularly interesting to me that in 4:78, God chastises people for not understanding plain talk. That means that this distinction I explained above was clear enough, yet people did not get it. Indeed, the source of all things is God. Who else is or can be a source? But the cause of something is creature action. If we don’t do the wrong things, nothing wrong will happen! The Sunna (way) of God is that everything is in order, working as planned, in harmony, in precise measure and timing, well designed for maximum benefit. That is why God says that the cause of good is He. God does not do anything to ruin His plan or design. But we often do.

Why are there wars, famine, scarcity, disease, poverty, ignorance, etc., in the world? It is all caused by human action. We are all capable of choosing right, but some of us willingly and knowingly choose the wrong. The result is suffering. That is the cosmic law of cause and effect that God created and set forth.

Related post: Why is there suffering, death, evil and injustice in the world?

Is euthenasia allowed in Islam?

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

When my mother was in the hospital she was declared brain dead and was only being supported by the oxygen machine. When the doctor told us there was nothing they can do my father decided to remove the life support and let her go. The rest of us however refused to do so. A day after she died naturally. Is removing the life support considered euthanasia and if its allowed in Islam?

May God have mercy on your mother.

Since removing life support escalates removal of life and keeping it slows that down, it is euthanasia. Euthanasia is a euphemism for “mercy” killing. That means it’s a killing. So, the question is “is killing a brain dead person allowed in Islam?”

To answer that question, one needs to understand when Islam allows killing. God says in the holy Quran, “And do not kill the soul which God has made sacrosanct except in truth.” (6:151). What does “in truth” mean? The Quran answers that. There are only three situations that the Quran has allowed killing: (i) self defense, which includes war, (ii) as punishment for first degree murder and (iii) as punishment for terrorism. Clearly euthanasia does not qualify.

Even calling it mercy killing is a euphemism, because in many situations the act is not done out of compassion for the sick, who may be in a coma, but in order to spare his loved ones the pain of watching him die slowly. It’s understandable why they are in pain, but that is no excuse for killing. Otherwise, suicide would be acceptable but of course it is totally forbidden.

There is a difference between deadening and killing. Deadening is when the soul departs the body naturally and that can only be done by the angel of death authorized by God. Killing is when the soul is forced out of the body. It preempts deadening and therefore it’s an infringement on God’s authority.

Questions about two hadeeths

Saturday, May 14th, 2011

In Bukhari’s Hadeeth compilation, there is this hadeeth:

Allah’s Apostle said, “I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.’ And if they say so, pray like our prayers, face our Qibla and slaughter as we slaughter, then their blood and property will be sacred to us and we will not interfere with them except legally and their reckoning will be with Allah.”

How should the beginning of this hadith be interpreted? As fighting in a war?

And the second hadith is this:

“The best Jihad is the word of Justice in front of the oppressive Sultan.” (Abu-Dawud, Tirmidhi, ibn Majah)

In what volume/section of Dawud can I find this hadith? I’ve search everywhere but can’t find. Tell me the exact number of it please.

Unlike the Quran, the Hadeeth is mostly reported without context. That is, the narrator would say, “We were sitting with the Prophet, peace be upon him, when he said …” Sometimes, but rarely, some context is given. This often leads to misinterpretation, as taking any quote out of context usually does.

The hadeeth is talking about when to end a war with non-Muslims. Muslims must end fighting when the person they are fighting accepts Islam.

Islamophobes and extremists alike quote this hadeeth as evidence that Islam mandates forced conversions. It does not, as I just explained. How do we know that? Because Islam is not one hadeeth. It is the entirety of the Quran and the authentic Hadeeth taken together, not in isolated pieces. The Quran makes it abundantly clear that choice of religion is free and must never be coerced. For instance,

“Had God so willed, all in the earth would have believed altogether. Would you [, O Muhammad] then coerce them to be believers?” (10:99)

No authentic hadeeth can possibly contradict the Quran.

As for the second hadeeth you mentioned, it’s been narrated by Abu-Sa`eed Al-Khudri (RA) and reported by Abu-Daawood (4344) and rated authentic by Al-Albaani. Also reported by At-Tirmizhi (2174) who rated it “strange but sound”. It was also narrated by Taariq ibn Shihaab Al-Ahmusi and reported by An-Nawawi who rated it authentic. Also reported by Ibn Katheer who rated it “Thaabit” (established).

Explain the first five verses of Chapter 9

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

It would be great help for me if you explain how to present these verses (9:1-5) to non-Muslims. I was talking with some non-muslim friends and based on tafsir (exegesis) of Quran I could not explain it well.

Muslims had non-aggression treaties with the polytheists of Mecca. Verses 9:1-15 were revealed to declare that after the expiration of the terms of the current treaties with the polytheist that those treaties will never again be renewed. The polytheist will have to live peacefully with Muslims. If they choose to fight, as they have done repeatedly before, then Muslims will fight them back and there will not be any more treaties.

Verse 9:4 makes it clear that the terms of the current treaties that have not yet expired have to be honored,

“Except those you have covenanted of the polytheists and they have not shorted you of anything nor supported anyone against you; so complete for them their treaty until the end of their term. Indeed, God loves the watchful [of Him].” (9:4)

Verse 9:5, called in the classic literature “the sword verse”, and often quoted by Islamophobes, is the most misunderstood verse in the Quran, even by Muslims. It simply says that after the expiration of the terms of the current treaties, aggression of the polytheists will not be tolerated. This is made clear by the next verse, 9:6, which makes it clear that aggression is only directed at the aggressors,

“And if any one of the polytheists seeks your protection, then grant him protection so that he may hear the words of God. Then deliver him to his place of safety. That is because they are a people who do not know.” (9:6)

The next verses explain the theme further and tell why God does not want Muslims to have more treaties with the polytheists by reminding Muslims of the past hostility and atrocities they committed against Muslims. Verse 9:7, however, makes it clear that peaceful co-existence can happen between Muslims and polytheists,

“How can there be for the polytheists a covenant with God and with His Messenger, except for those you covenanted at the Sacrosanct Mosque? So as long as they have been straight with you, be straight with them. Indeed, God loves the watchful [of Him].” (9:7)

Finally, verse 9:12, emphasizes again that betrayal and aggression from the polytheists must be met with a fight back. Verse 9:13 urges Muslims not to fear the polytheists and reminds them of the long history of injustice done by the polytheists to Muslims.

Define Jihad, Jihadi and Jihadist please

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

I hear those words often in the news, and always associated with terrorism. I’ve seen enough media distortion of your religion to distrust what they say. Can you once and for all define Jihad, Jihadi and Jihadist and how they relate to terrorism?

Jihaad is an Arabic word that means “exerting an effort that meets with resistance.” Thus, any endeavor you embark on that is not a smooth sailing is a Jihaad. Have you tried to lose weight, quit smoking, or petition City Hall? Then you did Jihaad!

The struggle of Jihaad can therefore be against external forces, or against oneself. Resistance can be your own negative thoughts, whispers of Satan, mind talk, false memes that you hold on to, a tendency to procrastinate, fear of failure, fear of success, and countless excuses that stop us from achieving the goals we set for ourselves.

It can also become a war, if the resistance uses force. Muslims are required to defend themselves against militant enemies, but never start a war. God says in the holy Quran,

“And fight in the way of God those who fight you, but do not transgress. God does not like transgressors.” (2:190)

Armed Jihaad may be declared by a duly elected Muslim leader and only in response to an act of war by an enemy. Not anyone is authorized to do so, and certainly not the terrorists!

Terrorism has absolutely nothing to do with Jihaad. The word for terrorism in Islamic law is ترويع الآمنين (frightening the secure). It is punished in Sharia with the capital punishment! Tell that to Islamophobes.

Jihaadi is an adjective for the struggle act, e.g., pushing a bill through Congress is a Jihaadi act, LOL. A person is never called a Jihaadi; the adjective for the person is Mujaahid, plural Mujaahideen.

Finally, a Jihaadist is a person who believes in Jihaad. That is, if you believe that establishing truth and justice requires struggle, then you’re a Jihaadist.

Why did Muslims lose their glory?

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

I’m curious about how the Islamic areas lost their power. I know it was powerful and had its golden age for awhile..but what destroyed middle-east and made it so weak as it is today?

In a few words: abandonment of principle.

It wasn’t military. For example, the Mongol invasion had a mightier military. It invaded and gobbled up the Middle East in a few years. But it was a crisis that brought out the best in Muslims. Saif-ud-Deen Qutuz of Egypt confronted the Mongols and defeated them. And, get this, the Mongols eventually accepted Islam.

The decline of Muslims began, IMHO, with the Ottoman Empire. During that time, religious knowledge declined because Ijtihaad (analysis) was suspended. The Ottomans had a mighty army, but instead of using it to protect Muslims and Islam, as God teaches, they used it to invade neighboring countries in Europe and collect taxes from their citizens. That is how resentment of Islam was born in Europe and it is why Europeans fear Islam today and believe it’s violent and a threat to them.

What sealed the decline and signaled its end is the genocide of Armenians at the hands of the Young Turks brief rule. It is no coincidence that the Ottoman Empire collapsed only eight years after that massacre. God’s retribution is not biased.

Is Islam violent?

Friday, July 27th, 2007

Is Islam violent? Does the Quran encourage violence? I have seen some of the Quran extracts which talks about Muslims not being allowed to befriend Christians and that the West are all infidels, etc. For example,
“O ye who believe, take not the Jews and the Christians for friends. They are friends one to another. He among you who taketh them for friends is (one) of them. Lo! Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk.” (5:51)

Two common fallacies. God tells Muslims in the Quran not to be allies in war with the people of the Book (Christians and Jews). Nothing to do with friendship. The word God uses in the Quran is “Awliyaa'”, plural of “Waliyy”, which means close ally and the context you quote is a context of war as you can see from the very next verse, 5:52. Thus, the quoted translation is misleading.

When there is no war, the instructions from God are, “God does not forbid you to be cordial and just with those who do not fight you in religion or expel you from your homes. God loves the just” (60:8) The next verse emphasizes the different circumstances of wartime, “What God forbids you is to be allies with those who fight you in religion, expel you from your homes or ally themselves with those who do. Those of you who ally themselves with them are the wrongdoers” (60:9)

Even when there is war, God’s instructions are to honor all treaties until the other side breaks them, “Except those polytheists with whom you have treaties and they did not break them nor ally with your enemies: Complete the term of the treaties. God loves those who fear Him.” (9:4) (more…)