Archive for the ‘Blasphemy’ Category

Quoting the Quran out of context

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

Quoting any text out of context is obviously dishonest, so why do so many people do it? The reason is that it works! When someone has an agenda and they know that if they expose it, it will not be popular, they must find alternative ways. One such way is to use for evidence, backing their argument, text taken out of context and quoted by respectable sources. This impresses the gullible, thus helping the people making those arguments pursue their agendas.

This practice of quoting text out of context is a pseudo-reasoning technique, a misinformation. Many politicians use it to knock down the electability of their opponents or the favorability of their opponents programs.

Thus, it is no wonder that Islamophobes often quote translations of verses of the Holy Quran stripped from their context, so that their listeners or readers would get the wrong impression about what the verse it about and would not be interested in Islam. Few people actually bother to check out the Quran to verify what they heard or read. Those who do invariably conclude the opposite!

I’ve mentioned before many examples of questions and/or arguments made by Islamophobes to repulse people away from Islam and exposed the fraud in those questions and the flaws in their arguments. See posts in the categories Islamophobia and Misconceptions for more on that.

Today, I thought I’d turn this negativity into a fun quiz! The following are quizzes to test your knowledge of the Quran. See if you can solve them and use comments to enter your answers.

Each of the following is a translation of a part of a verse that sounds like a blasphemy! Where in the Quran do you find these verses? What is their context that was left out and that explains what they really mean?

1. “Blessed is the one in the fire”!

2. Satan “misguides and guides”!

3. “Woe unto those who pray”!

4. “My Lord does not pay attention to you”!

Gestures of respect

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Assalamu Alaikum WR WB
What is the correct ruling of Islam, with regards to observing silence?

In universities and many public places, when the administration / government asks us to observe the silence for few minutes as a tribute to the expired people, or any other past incidence such as natural disasters etc, as a Muslim, am I permitted to do undergo with this command? To stand up and keep quite for few minutes??

And, what is the correct ruling on standing up when the chief guest arrives for a meeting, or when we see elders, teachers, etc….

Some say that the companions of Prophet (PBUH) did never stand up, when they saw the Prophet, so we are not supposed to stand up for the chief guests to show the respect …

But on the other hand, I know of a Hadeeth, where Prophet (PBUH) stood up to show his respect to a Jewish funeral parade. Am I correct? (I am not sure about the authenticity of this Hadeeth)

I am quite confused with these two issues. Please do help me as usual Insha Allah

May Allah Azzawajal bless you always
Fee Amanillah

The related prohibition in the Quran is of participation in Zoor (falshood). The verse is (25:72), identifying “the worshipers of the Beneficent”: “And [they are] those who do not witness falsehood, and when they pass by frivolity, they pass dignified.”

Observing a moment of silence out of respect for a deceased person does not come under the criterion of Zoor. No words are uttered by definition, so there is no risk of being involved in blasphemy. It would be different if a clergyman was leading the audience and started to say words that are blasphemous.

As for standing up when some VIP enters the room, there is a hadeeth about it, narrated by Mu`aawiya ibn Abi-Sufyaan, and rated authentic by Al-Albaani, in which Mu`aawiya tells of when he came into a room where Abdullah ibn Az-Zubayr (RA) and Abdullah ibn `Aamir were sitting. Ibn Az-Zubayr stayed seated but Ibn Aamir stood up. Mu`aawiya told Ibn `Aamir to sit down because the Prophet (PBUH) said, ‘Whoever is pleased when people stand up for him, let him pick his seat in Hell!'”

You will notice that the prohibition in this hadeeth is against being pleased when people stand up to greet you. It does not prohibit people from doing it.

The hadeeth you mentioned is specific about funerals. It was reported by Abu-Daawood who did not rate it, and narrated by Jaabir ibn Abdillah, Abu-Hurayra and others and rated Hasan (Sound) by Al-Albaani. In it, the Prophet (PBUH) says, “When you see a funeral procession, stand up for it.”

Gestures of respect have been expressed by all communities throughout the ages. There is no harm in them unless they degrade the person or resemble acts reserved for worship. For instance, kneeling before the Queen to be knighted, or prostrating to people to apologize to them.

Can I participate in non-Muslim celebrations?

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

My mother was born and raised Catholic but converted to Islam when she married my father. Although she embraced Islam as her religion it didn’t affect her very close relationship with her family. So, whenever there are occasions like Christmas, All Saint’s Day, and birthdays we would usually go as a family. Even after my mother’s passing we still continue the tradition. Are we committing any sin?

Being kind and courteous to your family and relatives is something that Islam emphasizes a lot, even if the family is non-Muslim. What Islam warns against is participation in Zoor (lies and falsehood). God says in the holy Quran,

“And those (worshipers of the Beneficent) who do not witness falsehood, and when they pass by frivolity, they pass dignified” (25:72)

The reason for this warning is that participation in such activities, sooner or later, affects one’s beliefs and may taint his faith. Islam has made it clear that Muslims must express Walaa’ (allegiance) to the truth and Baraa’ (detachment) from falsehood.

It is because of Baraa’ that Asmaa’ bint Abi-Bakr, may God have been pleased with both, refused to receive her mother, Qateela bint Abdil-`Uzza, who was a polytheist, who traveled from Mecca to Medina to see her and brought her a gift. Asmaa’ would not let her in her house and would not take her gift! Just then, God revealed verses 60:8-9,

“God does not forbid you from those who did not fight you because of religion and did not expel you from your homes – from being cordial toward them and acting with equity toward them. Indeed, God loves the equitable.
God only forbids you from those who fought you because of religion and expelled you from your homes and aided in your expulsion – [forbids] that you ally with them. And whoever allies with them, then it is those who are the wrongdoers.” (60:8-9)

The Prophet (PBUH) promptly ordered Asmaa’ to receive her mother, accept her gift and be kind and hospitable to her. These verses correct the misunderstanding that some Muslims have about Walaa’ and Baraa’. These teachings do not imply hatred of non-Muslims; they teach that Baraa’ is the separation from hostile enemies of Islam and that Walaa’ is the allegiance with those who testify to the truth about God.

So, to answer your question, you are not committing a sin if the celebrations you attend are free from falsehood. If a celebration starts to take a religious inclination in which false theology is uttered or blasphemous acts are practiced, then you should immediately excuse yourself and leave, after wishing your relatives well.

Which group is at fault?

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

There has been tension recently in Egypt, between Salafis (strict followers of ancestors) and Sufis (transcendentals) Muslim groups regarding shrines of Awliyaa’ (saints). Some Salafis have demolished some of those shrines and that got the Sufis, who are naturally quite meek, animated and furious.

Peace makers have tried to mediate between the two groups, and I just read that the negotiations have failed. See this article:
http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/node/394404

What is the Islamic view on this issue? Whom do you think are at fault here?

According to the article, the sticking point was the insistence of the Sufi negotiator that the reconciliation document rule that destruction of shrines was forbidden in Islam. The Mufti (scholar authorized to give fatwas) of Egypt has given a fatwa (religious conclusion) that such act is contrary to Islam. So, the Sufis had a legitimate cause to ask for such a statement. I imagine they wanted a guarantee of sorts that this won’t happen again.

But Salafis are hung up on the established Sunna (teaching of the Prophet PBUH) that visiting the graves must not turn into excessive practices that are often seen at those shrines. Practices like people praying to the shrine, rubbing hands against the shrines for blessing, etc. Those are blasphemous acts. So, Salafis are right in their precaution, but certainly not right in demolishing shrines.

It seems to me that an agreement could have been reached, if both concerns were addressed! Sufis vow to monitor shrines in order to educate visitors about deviant practices, and Salafis vow to not cause harm to shrines or their visitors and prosecute those who do.

I know someone who describes herself as a Sufi Salafi! She would’ve been ideal as a go-between. The Mufti was right also when he said that this is but a Fitna (sedition) between the two groups that should be averted.

I converted. Should I change my name?

Monday, April 4th, 2011

I reverted in September and, while my first name is ok, I’ve been told different things about my middle name. My middle name means “bitter” in French. Some people told me it was OK, but others tell me that “bitter” makes it a haraam (forbidden) name.

Is it ok or should I change it just to be safe?

Even if your middle name means “bitter”, it is still OK to keep it. There is no prohibition in Islam against names except if the name is blasphemous. Many Muslims, during the life of the Prophet (PBUH) had hard names, and while the Prophet (PBUH) often changed names of people and towns to more cheerful names, he did not change nor order changed all the hard names. So, we cannot conclude that all hard names must be changed.

Examples of unflattering names the Prophet (PBUH) did not change are Hanzhala (colocynth), Al-`Aas (the disobedient one), Al-A`mash (the one who can hardly see), Al-Arqam (a snake), `Ukaasha (a spider) to name a few.

Don’t change your middle name unless you want to.

I converted and now my mom hates me

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

I’m a recent convert to Islam and my mom has a very hard time with that. Whenever I visit her, she never stops talking about how she hates Islam and wondering why I converted. She says some awful things about Islam that are published on some web sites.

I love my mom and love to visit her, but we are almost at war with each other now. I try to explain to her that she is wrong about Islam, but she just keeps repeating the lies of those web sites. What can I do?

Keep trying, but also tell her gently but firmly that you will leave if she attacks Islam but stay when she changes the subject. God says in the holy Quran,

“And He has sent down upon you in the Book that when you hear the verses of God blasphemed and mocked, that you do not sit with them until they delve into another discourse, otherwise you are like them.” (4:140).

At all times, remain polite and gracious toward her, as this is your Islamic duty toward your parents, even if they are disbelievers.

Joke or blasphemy?

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

My friend from the mosque had jokingly asked a hafiz (Quran memorizer) to intercede on his behalf if he were to require intercession, now he feels that he has committed bid’ah (novelty in religion) or shirk (blasphemy of associating others with God in worship) because only the prophets, the martyrs and scholars can intercede and your good deeds can intercede too. Now he was only joking when he asked and the hafiz joked back and said yea sure if you give me £10 every week you live. Now he is really scared and constantly calling me to see if I have found out if he has committed a sin

Clearly he meant it as a joke, and the haafiz took it to be a joke, so hopefully it will not count as a sin. But it is a bad joke. We are commanded to keep our tongues. A lot of what we say, without thinking, may be written in our book of deeds in the negative column

Tell your friend to ask God for forgiveness and to remember that God forgives all sins of those who ask Him for forgiveness. Also tell him that the shirk that is not forgiven is the shirk that a person keeps until death and does not repent from.

BTW, the Prophet (PBUH) and the martyrs do not intercede but mediate, or put in a good word, with God on the Day of Judgment. There is no intercession in Islam at all. Intercession is a wrong translation of Shafaa`a.

Also, who says that scholars can intercede? They cannot.

A sweet, but disbelieving mother

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

My mum is very innocent and she just adheres to the rituals and religion that she has been witnessing since her childhood. Undoubtedly she commits Shirk (associating others with God in worship) but out of her innocence. By Allah I have never found her uttering a single word against any individual except out of advise.

The message of true Deen (way of life) is being passed to her but its on to Allah to guide her. She never stopped me following Islam. Rather when I acquainted her of my reversion she advised me to stand firm in Islam.

Is not Shirk by my Mum out of innocence forgivable?.

Only God knows for sure. Remember also that “God does not do an atom’s weight of injustice” (4:40). And He also said in a Qudsi hadeeth, “My Grace trumps My anger”, narrated by Abu-Hurayra and reported by Al-Bukhaari and Muslim.

That said, your duty of da`wa (calling for God) to her, with wisdom and good preaching (16:125) remains. Your love and kindness to her, your good example, your gentle but earnest advice may just be the instrument for her guidance. Amen.

Spiritual healing

Sunday, December 26th, 2010

There is a man out here who claims he can heal people with somethings called Rohani Ilaj, Tawiz and Ruqya. Is there a basis for any of this in Islam? What do these words mean?

Rohani Ilaaj (spiritual therapy) is hocus pocus. Tawiz (protection), aka Hijab (shield) or `Amal (work), borders on blasphemy.

What is commonly referred to as Rohani Ilaaj is fraud and manipulation of folks who are in desperate need for a cure. Cure must first be sought in physical medicine. The Prophet, peace be upon him, “Seek medicine, for God sent down ailment and with it He sent down its cure.” Narrated by Anas ibn Maalik and reported by At-Tirmizhi, Abu-Daawood and Al-Haakim and rated authentic by them and by Al-Albaani.

But Ruqya (supplication for healing) is a Sunna. There is no mystery to it and it does not require a specialist, like many people believe. It is simply a supplication or recitation you read for the afflicted person. A good example is the hadeeth, narrated by Anas ibn Maalik (RA) where he offered Thaabit Al-Banaani to perform for him the Ruqya he learned from the Prophet (PBUH). He welcomed that. Anas said (translated): O God, Lord of people, ridder of hardship, heal. Only You are the Healer, a healing that leaves behind no ailment.” Reported by Al-Bukhaari.

Another example is narrated by Abu-Sa`eed Al-Khudri and reported by Al-Bukhaari and Muslim. Abu-Sa`eed performed Ruqya on a man bit by a scorpion. All he did was recite Al-Faatiha (Chapter 1) seven times. The man was healed and he paid him 30 sheep as wage. The Prophet (PBUH) approved it.

Opinions differ on asking others to perform Ruqya on oneself. One hadeeth suggests that it is makrooh (discouraged). It praises believers and identifies them as “those who do not ask for Ruqya, do not believe in evil omens and in their Lord they trust.” Reported by Al-Bukhaari and Muslim. But other hadeeths clearly allow it and the consensus is that it is allowed. My humble conclusion is that asking for Ruqya is allowed when necessary, but makrooh when unnecessary.

Why is Satan doomed?

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

There is a hadeeth that says that whoever has half a mustard seed of weight of faith will not enter the eternal hellfire.

Why is Satan still a kaafir (disbeliever) if he believes in Allaah’s existence? Why is he still going to the eternal fire?

Belief in God means more than belief in His existence. It means obeying God’s commands and staying away from His prohibitions. Satan disobeyed God’s order, was arrogant about it, and refused to repent. That is why God cursed him for eternity. An authentic hadeeth states that no one will enter Paradise who has in his heart the weight of an atom of arrogance. That’s Satan’s pitfall.

Compare that to Adam and Eve, who too disobeyed God’s order, but they regretted it, begged God in all humility to forgive them, so God accepted from them and pardoned them. Theirs was a sin, but Satan’s was a blasphemy which he would not apologize for.

BTW, Kaafir means ungrateful. It is used for disbeliever as a figure of speech. The opposite of it in Arabic is Shaakir (thankful).