Who Should Be the next President of the United States of America?

“And there is the type of person who gives their life to earn the pleasure of God, and God is full of kindness to His servants.” 2:207

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Why should Rajiv Shah be the next president? Simply put. None of the Republicans will do. Joe Biden makes too many gaffes. And Hillary Clinton misspeaks. Rajiv Shah is qualified, electable, and would make an exceptional president. Like our Rajiv Shah for President Facebook page to let him know that we think he should be the next president of the United States of America.

Visit the Rajiv Shah for President website

So How Do You Know the Quran is from God? 4:82

“Do they not consider the Quran? Had it been from other than God, they would surely have found in it much discrepancy and contradiction.” 4:82

Some claim to have found many discrepancies and contradictions in the Quran, so they think that it must not be from God. Others claim to have found none, thus it must be from God. And still others see seemingly contradicting statements as literary paradox (see explanation below).

But no matter which opinion you have, if you can find beneficial interpretations and applications then it does not really matter if it turns out not to be from God. And if you cannot find beneficial interpretations and applications, then it does not matter if it in fact is from God.


In literature, the paradox is an anomalous juxtaposition of incongruous ideas for the sake of striking exposition or unexpected insight. It functions as a method of literary composition – and analysis – which involves examining apparently contradictory statements and drawing conclusions either to reconcile them or to explain their presence. (read more about paradox in literature)

Continue reading So How Do You Know the Quran is from God? 4:82

Why Would there be Just One, Easy to Follow Book for Creatures with Free Will? (9:111)

“Perhaps you may want to give up a part of what is revealed to you…” (11:12)

God gave humanity free will (2:30). But what good is free will without choices (38:26). And what good are choices if they are too easy?

Therefore God gave humanity more than one book to choose from (9:111). He may penalize us for hypocrisy, but not for the book we choose (2:62, 5:44, 30:62). And I think that anyone who has studied the books would have to admit that deciding how (or if) to follow and believe in all the verses, in any one of the books, is not an easy choice to make (11:12).

“Those who listen to the word, and adhere to the best of it. Those are the ones who God has guided, and those are the ones endowed with understanding.” 39:18

And adhere to the best of what is revealed to you from your Guardian Evolver, before the penalty comes on you all of a sudden, while you perceive it not. 39:55

Referenced Verses

Continue reading Why Would there be Just One, Easy to Follow Book for Creatures with Free Will? (9:111)

Does Allah Forgive All Sins or Not? (Quran 4:48 and 39:53)

“God does not forgive that partners be established with Him, but He forgives anything else, to whom He pleases. But to establish partners with God is to commit a sin most heinous indeed.” 4:48

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قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ

“Say, ‘O my servants who have transgressed against their souls, do not despair of the mercy of God, for God forgives all sins, for He is Oft-Forgiving, Mercifully Redeeming.'” 39:53

What good is free will if we do not have choices? So for the question, “Does God forgive all sins or not?”, the Quran gives us options…

Option A: If you do not want to believe that God will forgive those who have a very imperfect, but sincere concept of God, then go with 4:48.

Option B: If you do want to believe that God will forgive His sincere servants for all of their sins, then verse 39:53 is for you.

Wondering if 39:53 indeed says all sins? Look at a word for word Quran and read other people’s translation of 39:53.

“Those who listen to the word, and adhere to the best of it. Those are the ones who God has guided, and those are the ones endowed with understanding.” 39:18

“And adhere to the best of what is revealed to you from your Guardian Evolver, before the penalty comes on you all of a sudden, while you perceive it not.” 39:55

Continue reading Does Allah Forgive All Sins or Not? (Quran 4:48 and 39:53)

Why Is the Quran So Easy to Misinterpret and Misuse? (Quran 11:7)

“He is the One who created the heavens and the earth in six days, and His throne was over the waters, so that He would make clear which of you is best in conduct…” 11:7

I do not think that the Quran is especially easy to misinterpreted and misuse. I think the Quran, like everything else, was created to be used exactly the way we want to use it. 

Could the person who wants to be chaste and a person who does not, both use the Quran to help them be what they want? 

70:29. Those who guard their chastity, 

70:30. Except with their spouses and those who their right hands possess, for them there is no blamed.

24:30. Say to the believers that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty. That will make for greater refinement for them, and God is well acquainted with all that they do. 

Can the person who wants world peace and another who wants violence both find an interpretation in the Quran to support what they want? 

2:191. And slay them wherever you catch them. And drive them out from where they have driven you out, for oppression is worse than slaughter. But do not fight them at the Sacred Masjid, unless they attack you there, and if they attack you, slay them. Such is the punishment of those who suppress faith.

2:224. And do not make God an excuse in your promises against doing good, or acting right, or making peace between people. For God is the One who hears and knows all things. 

Can the person who wants to get drunk and the person who does not both use the Quran to get what they want? 

4:43. O you who believe, do not approach prayer with a confused mind, until you can understand all that you say…

2:219. They ask you about intoxicants and gambling. Say, “In both of them is great harm and benefit for humanity, but the harm outweighs the benefit.” They ask you how much they are to give. Say, “That which is beyond your needs.” Indeed God makes clear to you His signs in order that you may contemplate.

God created everything to test which of us will use our free will the best (so that we can earn paradise again). Why should the Quran be an exception?

“Adhere to the best of what is revealed to you from your Guardian Evolver, before the penalty comes on you all of a sudden, while you perceive it not.” (39:55)

Continue reading Why Is the Quran So Easy to Misinterpret and Misuse? (Quran 11:7)

ISIL (Islamic Satire of Iraq and the Levant)

“Adhere to the best of what is revealed to you from your Guardian Evolver, before the penalty comes on you all of a sudden, while you perceive it not.” (39:55)

I think that satire (the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues) is found throughout the Quran (e.g. 4:15-4:16, 18:56-82, 24:33) because becoming aware of our stupidity and vices can be the first step to acquiring moral/ethical knowledge.

Those who cannot understand this (e.g. ISIL, Boko Haram, their supporters and sympathizers) become this satire; personified. But hopefully these expressions of satire in the news are helping the other Muslims see our stupidity and vices concerning how some of us view non-muslims, democracy, kingdoms, women and girls, etc. 

“Then must we not first know the nature of virtue? For how can we advise any one about the best mode of attaining something of which we are wholly ignorant?”

-Socrates (Laches)

Continue reading ISIL (Islamic Satire of Iraq and the Levant)

Why Isn’t the Origin of the Universe Story Scientifically Accurate? (Quran 25:59 and Genesis 31)

“He Who created the heavens and the earth, and all that is between, in six days, and is firmly established on the Throne of Authority, God the Merciful Benefactor. Then ask about Him, those who are acquainted with such things.” (Quran 25:59) 

“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.” (Genesis 31)

God could have given us a scientific account of the creation of the universe. But by giving us a non-scientific account, God effectively answers the oldest, most stressful question of “Who” created the universe, while leaving the fun part of discovering “what” is the universe, to us.

(thoughts inspired by this Ashbury Bible Commentary)

Continue reading Why Isn’t the Origin of the Universe Story Scientifically Accurate? (Quran 25:59 and Genesis 31)

Should Muslims Criticize the Jewish or Christian Bible among and within Themselves? 2:174-176

“Those who conceal God’s revelation in the Book, and purchase them for a miserable profit, they swallow into themselves nothing but fire. God will not address them on the Day of Resurrection, nor redeem them, and terrible will be their penalty. 2:174

“They are the ones who buy error instead of guidance, and torment in place of forgiveness. What boldness they show for the fire. 2:175

“This is because God sent down the Book in truth. But those who seek causes of dispute in the Book are in disharmony.” 2:176

What book do you think 2:174 is referring to? According to 2:176, the book we believe 2:174 is referring to is the same book that we are not to criticize. Not among the believers of that book, not among other Muslims, not even within ourselves. Lest we neither be a people of peace, nor a person at peace (2:176). Instead, we should apply 16:125 by finding and sharing the wisest, most beautiful interpretations of the verses that we are most uncomfortable with.

See other people’s translations of 2:176.

“Invite all to the way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful teaching, and converse with them in ways that are best and most gracious, for your Lord knows best who have strayed from His path, and who have received guidance.” 16:125

 

How Do You Know Allah Exist?

“Do the unbelievers fail to see that the heavens and the earth were joined together, before we split them apart? We made every living thing from water. Will they not then believe?” (21:30)

“With power and skill did We construct the firmament, for it is We Who create the vastness of space.” (51:47)

 The Kalām Cosmological Argument (for the Existence of God, read entire article)

  1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause;
  2. The universe began to exist;
    Therefore:
  3. The universe has a cause.
  4. If the universe has a cause, then an uncaused, personal Creator of the universe exists, who sans the universe is beginningless, changeless, immaterial, timeless, spaceless and enormously powerful;
  5. An uncaused, personal Creator of the universe exists, whosans the universe, is beginningless, changeless, immaterial, timeless, spaceless and enormously powerful.
    Therefore:
This, is what we are calling ‘God’
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Are Those Disturbing Your Nation’s and the World’s Peace are Part of God’s Plan? (33:48 and 52:42)

“And do not follow the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and ignore their annoyances, and put your trust in God, for enough is God as a manager of affairs.” (33:48)

“Or do they plot and scheme? But those who defy God are themselves the subject of a plan.” (52:42)

We can find unbelievers and hypocrites, as well as people of faith and integrity, in all religions, including Islam. But wherever you find people doing harm to themselves and others, “ignore their annoyances”, meaning, do not let them disturb your inner peace. But rather, focus on understanding how they are being used for God’s plan. This will help us focus on managing them and the problems they create.

Should Muslims and Their Children Believe in Modern Bibles? 29:46

“And do not dispute with the people of the Book, except with what is best, unless it is with those of them who inflict wrong. Instead say, “We believe in the revelation which has come down to us, and in that which came down to you. Our God and your God is one, and it is to Him we bow.” 29:46

“Those who listen to the word, and adhere to the best of it. Those are the ones who God has guided, and those are the ones endowed with understanding.” 39:18 

According to verse 29:46, Muslims believe in the books revealed to Jews and Christians, or at the very least, the books of those Jews and Christians who were living during the time of Muhammad the Prophet. Today, much if not most, of the Hebrew and Christian Bible is the same as it was when verse 29:46 was revealed.

Verse 39:18 is saying that we should read the the Bible and Quran religiously, but that we should only adhere to the best of it. So should Muslims teach our children:

We should NOT read the Hebrew and Christian Bibles religiously because we do not know which verses are from God.

Or

We should read the Hebrew and Christian Bibles religiously because we do not know which verses are from God.

Finally, it is hard to find verses in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles that are more beautiful and insightful, or more uncomfortable and controversial than verses in the Quran. So if we are teaching our children to believe in the Quran and adhere to the best of it, then why should we not also teach them to believe in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles and adhere the best of it?

“And adhere to the best of what is revealed to you from your Guardian Evolver, before the penalty comes on you all of a sudden, while you perceive it not.” 39:55 

These are the Verses of the Bible and the Quran, Part II (15:1)

“Alif,Laam,Raa. These are the verses of the Bible and the Quran that makes things clear.” 15:1

“God excludes and keeps what He pleases. With Him is the Mother of the Bible.” 13:39

Imagine God released a Bible app around the time of Adam or Abraham and occasionally released updates. And around the time of Christ Jesus, God released a major update to the app. Then again around the time of Muhammed the Prophet, God released another major update. Perhaps that is sort of the way God updates the Bible.

I hear someone asking, “Why did God not simply create a perfect Bible that needs no updates?” Perhaps for the same reason God did not simply create a perfect world or perfect people. Or maybe God did create the Bible(s) perfect, and just like world, humans and/or Satan continue to mess it up.  

Either way, (back to the app analogy) God allows us to decline the Bible updates if we wish. And just as importantly, God has left the previous Bible apps in the app store. And I think Muslims should remember that there is nothing in this updated Bible that should lead us to believe that the latest update given to Muhammed the Prophet is the last update (the word “khaatam” or “seal” of the prophets in verses 33:40 could be interpreted latest, but not last, unless you mean last as in latest).

“God excludes and keeps what He pleases. With Him is the Mother of the Bible.” 13:39

 

These are Verses of the Bible and the Quran? 15:1

“Alif,Laam,Raa. These are verses of the Book and the Quran that makes things clear.” 15:1

These are verses of the Book and the Quran? What other book? The Bible?  

“God excludes and keeps what He pleases. With Him is the Mother of the Book.” 13:39

What book, in addition to the Quran, are these the verses of? Here is what I have noticed. The first title describing that which was revealed to Muhammad the Prophet is found in the message’s first sentence (al-Fatiha is not considered the first sentence because of 15:87).  That first title this message gives itself is “al-Kitab”. Al-Kitab is typically translated “the Book”. But for following reasons I think al-Kitab should be translated “Bible” (at least sometimes), which would mean that 15:1 can be translated “these are verses of the Bible and the Quran…”. Or in other words, these are Bible verses and Quran verses. Or perhaps an easier interpretation to digest is, “these are Biblical and Quranic verses”.

“God excludes and keeps what He pleases. With Him is the Mother of the Bible.” 13:39

1) The English word Bible is from the Latin biblia, from the same word in Medieval Latin and Late Latin and ultimately from Koine Greek τὰ βιβλία ta biblia “the book(s)” (singular βιβλίον biblion). 

2) A definition of the word “bible” is “the scriptures of any religion”.

3) Since the Hebrew and Christian Bible(s) is described when God uses the word al-Kitab, it should be translated “Bible” instead of “Book”; for example:

Continue reading These are Verses of the Bible and the Quran? 15:1

Dr. King and Quran (Repost)

When reflecting on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the following interpretations/translations of the Quran come to mind…

“And why should you not civilly disobey or become politically engaged in the cause of God and for those who lack governing power and are discriminated against or are underrepresented? Men, women, and children whose chant is, ‘Our Lord, cause us to emerge from this place whose people are obstructionist, and raise for us, from You, one who will represent, and raise for us, from You, one who will make progress.’ ” 4:75

“…In devotion alongside those believers will you find those who say, ‘We are Christians,’ because among these are scholars, and those who live the gospel, and who show restraint.” 5:82

“O you who believe, if any among you turn back from his faith, soon will God produce a people who He will love, as they will love Him. A people gentle with the faithful, firm against the opposition, striving in the way of God, and never fearing the bigot’s criticism. That is the grace of God which He will bestow on whom He pleases, God encompasses all, and He knows all things.” 5:54

“Say, ‘I have no power over any harm or profit even to myself, except as God wills. For every people is a term appointed. When their term is reached, not an hour can they delay it or advance it.’ ” 10:49

 

Are the Quran and Bible Infallible?

“Alif,Laam,Raa. These are the verses of the Book and Quran that makes things clear.” 15:1

“We have, without doubt, sent down the message, and We will certainly protect it.”15:9 

Infallible: 1) Incapable of making mistakes or being wrong. 2) Never failing, always effective.

If someone asked me if I think the Bible is not infallible because it has been changed, or if the fact that verse 24:20 (below) is seemingly cut off means that the Quran is also not infallible, I would answer that I believe the Quran and the Bible are both infallible. Even if things were taken out or added to the Bible and Quran I still think the word of God is infallible (Although possible, I am not aware of any reason to believe that anything has been added or removed from the Quran). The reason I include the infallibility of the Bible is that God reveals in Quran 15:1/15:9 that He will protect the Quran and the Bible. After-all, if the term “the Book” mentioned beside the term “the Quran” in verse 15:1 is not “the Bible” then what is it? 

Continue reading Are the Quran and Bible Infallible?

Dear Suicide Bombers

“And remember Moses said to his people: ‘O my people! You have indeed wronged yourselves by your worship of the calf: So turn to your Maker, and slay yourselves; that will be better for you in the sight of your Maker.’ Then He turned towards you. For He is Oft- Returning, Most Merciful.” (2:54)

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“Dear suicide bombers, if you’re sincerely trying to follow verse 2:54, then keep doing what you’re doing. Only next time, quietly try it when no one’s around.”

                                Yours truly,

                                             Bilal Muhammad

Quran, Satire, and Murder, Part 2 (18:56-82)

“Say, ‘Come, I will rehearse what God has made forbidden… do not take life that God has made sacred, except by way of law… ‘ ” 6:151

In the wake of the senseless violence that occurred in France (and Nigeria) against satirists, I decided to repost another article dealing with satire and murder in the Quran. Again, one reason Charlie Hebdo’s satire was not good is that is was ineffective. But to kill ineffective satirists is incomparably worse because murder is the worst of sins (6:151).

Moses and the “Wise Man”

Posted by Bilal in 2011

Continue reading Quran, Satire, and Murder, Part 2 (18:56-82)

Satire, Murder, and the Quran Part 1 (4:15-16)

“Say, ‘Come, I will rehearse what God has made forbidden… do not take life that God has made sacred, except by way of law… ‘ ” 6:151

In the wake of the senseless violence that recently occurred in France (and Nigeria) against satirists, I decided to repost this article that relates to satire and murder in the Quran. One reason Charlie Hebdo’s satire was not good is that it was ineffective. But to kill ineffective satirists is incomparably worse because murder is the worst of sins (Quran 6:151).