Ate 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)

1

“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).

Are Some Things in the Quran Less Important than Others?

By thinking about the seemingly less important, seemingly negative, seeming strange things in the Quran, instead of skipping over them, we are then able to understand the seemingly unimportant, truly negative, truly strange things we see in society.

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

The “Drak” Side of the Hip Hop Industry, 26:221-226

Quran 24:221-226

“Shall I tell you on whom it is that the devils descend? 221

They descend on every unethical, immoral deceiver, 222

They repeat what they hear, though most of them deny it. 223

And poets are followed around by them bewildered. 224

Do you not see that they roam in every lowland, 225

And that they say what they do not do?” 226

If you too are concerned that your children might be negatively influenced by some of the hip-hop music, perhaps talking to them about the lives of the rappers themselves will help.  Some rappers to start with is Drake and all those who associate with him. If I didn’t know better, I would like Drake. Aubrey “Drake” Graham is a trained method actor playing a hip hop artist. Drake will be the first to tell you that he is one on whom the “devil” has descended (Q.24:221) (he actually has a video where his guru/dupe, Lil’ Wayne, is actually wearing a computer generated devil costume).

Continue reading The “Drak” Side of the Hip Hop Industry, 26:221-226

Many Cancers are a Blessing (4:79)

“Whatever naturally harms you comes to you from God. However, whatever unnaturally harms you is from yourselves…” (4:79)

As found in a Johns Hopkins research paper featured in this weeks Journal Science, we now know that 2/3 of our cancers are due to random errors (designed by God to fail) that occur when our cells duplicate (not to be confused with cancers caused by inherited genetics).

Because of this research, we now know that it is likely that the loved ones we lost to cancer did nothing to contributed to their death, nor did any other human being. Instead, it is more likely that God took them as a reward for the best of their deeds (24:38).

Still, we should consider donating to or doing cancer research in order to give those of us who are still here, and those of us who have yet to come, more time to do more good.

submitted by Bilal

“God rewards them according to the best of their deeds, and add even more for them out of His grace. For God provides for those whom He wills, without measure. (24:38)

Quran and Law Enforcement

When eating this morning before beginning to fast (fell sick during Ramadan), I found myself momentarily avoiding the sky for fear that I might see the light and have to do something about it. Encouraging us to take responsibility is perhaps one reason God revealed that we are to look to His sky to know when to start fasting (Quran 2:187). And perhaps it is also to remind us that we must follow some authorities (Quran 4:59), but we should not follow them blindly or unnecessarily. It is not necessary for everyone to follow certain authorities, like the sunrise and sunset authorities, but it is harmless if we all do. Following other authorities, like law enforcement officers, is necessary for everyone to follow, are potentially lethal if we do not. 

Continue reading Quran and Law Enforcement

Why Isn’t the Quran Entirely Peaceful?

“It is God Who grants laughter and tears,” (Quran 53:43)

Why does God reveal verses in all Scripture, including the Quran, that creates conflict and not peace? Much of the Quran is obviously peaceful. But If God does not present conflict then we could never fully know peace. Without conflict we could not appreciate peace because we would not have nothing to compare peace to. Also, God is the best writer and director. And like our best artists and engineers copy God’s landscapes and biological machinery, our best novelists, playwrights, screenwriters, and directors copy God’s writings and directing.

We all know that the best literature, plays, and movies not only make us feel joy and love, but they also ignite in us feelings of anger and fear. These feelings of anger and fear are a result of our feelings of peace and love being threatened. Our best writers and directors do this so that we can experience these emotions, reflect on their meaning, and act on the best of their meaning.

Reflecting and acting on the meaning of these emotions bring meaning to our lives. And having meaning, is the meaning of life. So perhaps we should come to expect and appreciate joy, love, fear, and conflict from not only our best writers and directors, but also from He who they are copying; the best writer and director, God, the Script-er of scripture and life. submitted by Bilal

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Quran, Adhere to the Best of It, 39:55

Below is a fictional conversation between a bad Muslim and a good Muslim.

Bad Muslim: Allah says clearly commands in the Holy Quran, “Fight those who do not believe in God and the Last Day, and those who do not hold forbidden that which has been forbidden by God and His messenger, and who do not acknowledge the way of truth, even if they are of the people of the Book, until they pay the jizyah with willingness, even though they are of modest means. (9:29) So that is precisely what I am going to do! I am going to join ISIS/K.

Good Muslim: Allah also says, “Those who listen to the word, and adhere to the best of it, they are the ones who God has guided, and those are the ones endued with understanding (39:18)”. And God also says, “And adhere to the best of what is revealed to you from your Lord, before the penalty comes on you all of a sudden, while you perceive it not (Quran 39:55).” And can also says,We send down in the Quran, that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe. To the unjust, it causes nothing but loss (18:82).” 

We should be aware of all the verses of the Quran, but only the best of them are designed to actually be adhered to (see 39:18). Deciding which verses are best and thus should be adhered to develops our thinking and our connection with God (see 39:18). Failure to choose wisely will result in great harm (18:55, 18:82).

submitted by Bilal

ISIS’ (et al.) Actions are Like Satan’s Actions, 14:22

“And Satan will say when the matter is decided, ‘It was God Who gave you a promise of truth. I too promised, but I failed in my promise to you. I had no authority over you except to call you, but you listened to me. So do not blame me, but blame your own selves. I cannot listen to your cries, nor can you listen to mine. I reject your previous act of associating me with God, for wrongdoers there must be a terrible penalty.’ ” (Quran 14:22)

When I read about Satan in the Quran, ISIS’ (et al.) actions come to mind. When I witness ISIS’ actions, I cannot help but think of Satan’s actions. ISIS’ actions and Satan remind me of one another because they both use the well-intentioned to carry out their mission (15:39). They both seek to harm others in return for perceived injury (15:39). And both ISIS’ actions and Satan place an extremely low value on human life while having an exaggerated sense of their own importance (38:76). Current events can be interpreted as God’s literature much like Scripture can. So perhaps ISIS personifies Satan in the book of world events, and Satan is a metaphor for people who behave and believe like Satan (e.g. ISIS). Below is a fictitious conversation between an at-risk ISIS sympathizer and a good Muslim written to further illustrate this connection between Satan and the ISIS-like thinking and behavior we witness in the world.

Continue reading ISIS’ (et al.) Actions are Like Satan’s Actions, 14:22

Return from Turkey

Last week, I returned from an 11-day journey through Turkey with 29 other Muslims, Christians, Jews, and a Buddhist. Many of our friends and relatives worried about our safety while traveling in that part of the world, in fact one potential pilgrim cancelled out of family fears. We experienced no threats or security issues whatsoever.

We travelled across central Turkey, from Kayseri to Cappadocia, Konya, Ephesus, and Izmir via motor coach, and then flew into Istanbul for the last  four days. We toured Rumi’s sanctuaries, the first century Roman ruins, the secret underground churches and homes of early Christians, the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sofia Museum, the Blue Mosque, the Suleymaan Mosque, Neve Shalom Synagogue, and we cruised the Bosphorus Sea between Asia and Europe. We visited six different Turkish homes for dinners and conversations. It was a wonderful journey with extraordinary sights and hospitality. Yet, that was not our primary purpose or objective.

Continue reading Return from Turkey