Do not misquote the Quran!
I recently gave a sermon at Friday prayer during which I recounted the pivotal Battle of the Trench, in which the Muslims defeated an army 10,000 strong that tried to destroy Medina and wipe out the nascent Islamic community. A very important part of this story is the conduct of Bani Quraiza, a tribe living within the city limits of Medina at the time. The Prophet Muhammad signed a non-aggression/alliance pact with this tribe, and he sent a delegation to uphold this treaty once the army was at hand. Bani Quraiza confirmed to the Prophet that they will be faithful to the treaty and guard the rear of Medina from attack.
They later reneged on the treaty and calluded with the Pagans to attack from the rear. Thank God, the plan fell through, and the Muslims were saved from certain destruction. After the Pagan army withdrew in bitterness, the Prophet attacked Bani Quraiza--because they broke the non-aggression treaty--and 700 of their men were killed. Here comes the sensitive part: Bani Quraiza was a Jewish tribe. Every time I mentioned this during the sermon, I said immediately afterwards, "This is not an indictment against all Jews." I truly meant it, and I was not being "politically correct."
After the sermon, one congregant came up to me and told me that I should not be "politically correct." In his view the Jews were "cursed," in the Quran. His statement perplexed me, and I totally disagreed with him, although, any observer could have easily thought otherwise. I just did not want to argue with him, in the mosque, right then and there. Yet, the exchange was telling, indeed. It made me think long and hard about from where such a notion has crept into the minds of some Muslims.
The fact that only one congregant mentioned this to me says that this view is not widespread amongst Muslims, thankfully, despite what some pundits may say. The conflict in the Holy Land has placed a burdensome strain on Jewish-Muslim relations and such a tension is even palpable right here in the United States. I lament this tension deeply. Nevertheless, the conflict in the Middle East should never cause any Muslim to put words into God's mouth.
The Quran is an amazingly sophisticated document. When it comes to monotheism in the Quran, God does not say "I am One because I say so." The Quran continually challenges the reader to think, ponder, and understand why there can only be One God. Although God is well within His right to say, "Because I say so," He does not, and this makes the Quran even more powerful and convincing.
This same sophistication is evident in how the Quran treats Jews. The Jewish tribes of Yathrib, where the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) migrated after being expelled from Mecca, instantly rejected the Prophet's message. One would think that the Quran then would be full of verses attacking Jews and their faith. Some Muslims, and many non-Muslims, believe this to be true. It is not.
Some verses call on the People of the Book, as Jews and Christians are called, to believe in the message of Muhammad (2:41, 5:19). Quite a few verses recount many parts of Jewish sacred history (2:40-85, 3:33-60, 12:4-101). Many verses praise the Torah of Moses (3:3) and the Gospel of Jesus (5:46). A good number of the Hebrew Prophets are highly praised in the Quran (3:84, 6:84-87), and many of these Prophets are mentioned by name in the Quran many more times than Muhammad himself. Still other verses challenge the Jews and Christians to follow their own scriptures appropriately: "Say [O Muhammad]: 'O People of the Book! ye have no ground to stand upon unless ye stand fast by the Law, the Gospel, and all the revelation that has come to you from your Lord'..." (5:68). No statement in the Quran issues a blanket condemnation of all Jews or Christians. None. So when a Muslim, or non-Muslim, tells me otherwise, I simply scratch my head in confusion.
Now, if one wants to misquote, mistranslate, or quote verses of the Quran out of context, he will find ample "evidence" to support the fallacious claim that the Quran is anti-Jewish. But, anyone with sinister intentions can quote a verse of scripture out of context to seemingly prove a point. Take this passage from I Corinthians: "For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man." (I Corinthians 11:8-9) Can I conclude that Christianity is a sexist religion that seeks to oppress women? Absolutely not. Such tactics violate every rule of Scriptural Exegesis 101 and are disingenuous and do a tremendous disservice to Muslims and non-Muslims alike. The Quran is many things to many people, but one thing it is not is a book that attacks Jews and their faith. It does not take a scholar to know this to be true.
Hesham A. Hassaballa is a Chicago physician and columnist for the Independent Writers Syndicate. He is author of "Why I Love the Ten Commandments," published in the Book Taking Back Islam: American Muslims Reclaim Their Faith (Rodale).
For people who speak publicly or have positions of importance I think your article is very important. I writer from my community just wrote an article concerning Isreal. I wrote him back and expressed my concern over the way he used the term muslim. It is very important that we attempt to gain a more acurate picture of the world and this will not happen by making blanket statments many of which are false. I hope that it is only ignorance that keeps the family of man divided. By trying to reach a truthful and an curate understandings about each other, not just P.C. apologetics, G-d willing we will soon have peace.
Thank you for your time
But someone please explain the following verses then:
5:13 But because of their breach of their covenant, We cursed them, and made their hearts grow hard; they change the words from their (right) places and forget a good part of the message that was sent them, nor wilt thou cease to find them- barring a few - ever bent on (new) deceits: but forgive them, and overlook (their misdeeds): for Allah loveth those who are kind.
9:30 The Jews call 'Uzair a son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah's curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth!
My personal opinion is to take the good from each of these communities and to forbid the bad. Each community has a lot to offer to this world, our world. We have to find a way to live together and love our neighbors, regardless of their belief system. I am not saying trust each individual with your life. I can't say that just because someone is Muslim you should go on and do that also. There are good and bad people as we know in all communities. We have to make sure we do our personal jihad to say in the good category.
For those of us who might be emotionally motivated, I remind them the incident in which Omar bin Khattab did not kill his enemy during a hand to hand combat in which the kufar spat at his face. He stopped because he knew that if he had killed him at the time, he would do it because he was angry and not for Allah.
On that note, forgive me if I have offended anyone. Any good in these words is from Allah and any mistake is from me.
I agree Quran is not against anyone, It sets down instructions for us to follows. I suggest the readers to read Quran themselves. I believe the bigger problem is that we tend to rely more on word of mouth whereas we have a book of instructions with which we dont bother.
Thanks to the author. It's a true jihaad.
Your point is interesting but I would like to know what kind of background you have on Qur'anic interpretation, sunnah and Islamic jurisprudience becasue I cannot just take your word for it. We shouldn't be apologetic for the actions of any Muslim to Non-Muslims because it's almost associated with weakness of faith and betrayal of Allah (SWT)
I have read the Holy Qur'an and do not seek to interpret it by any means but I feel that there are some points I would like to make. It seems to me Allah(SWT) does condemn the Jews who have betayed Him and who know the scriptures and reject it and He has cursed those who hide evil plots and intentions in their heart. We need to be careful especailly today to not end up defending Zoinism for the atrocities they are committing against Muslims. The Holy Qur'an is the best judge of human intentions and history and It is obvious to me that Allah (SWT) is not happy with a group of people who have betrayed Him (to deny this is to rebel against Allah), so we have to differentiate between the political establishment and ordinary people. We should not hate our friends but we should condem their actions but being apoligetic is going over the line. Why do we have to show how much they are our friends and how close we are to them? The fact is they (Jews) are not liked very much because of the trickery and deception they used. We should not be complacent and compromise Allah's deen because we fear consequences instead of fearing Allah(SWT). Being apolegetic is a sign of complaceny and weakness. Instead of apoligizing for Muslims it is better to defend brothers first because no one is defending them (except Allah) and instead of siding with the kufr because of the better equipment and technology they have and for fear of the cosequences of non submission which is their ultimate goal. Hey, you make the argument about people using ayats of the Holy Qur'an to suit their sinister agenda butyou may also be doing the same
Clear and straight analysis 'Do not misquote the Quran' is highly appreciated.
good of you to show me the ayahs and back your point up.
This really opened my eyes, and may Allah reward you and
guide us all on the right path. Ameen.
I'm not interested in what hypocritical and ignorant trolls have to say, but dont expect racist screed thinly disguised as "debate" to go unanswered either. Its no surprise that self-professed liberals like you are taking such a pounding these days. Now its down to scavenging Muslim websites lecturing uppity brown folk for not falling in line with your stereotypes. How dare we "cyber-mujahedeen" have an opinion counter to your own ?!
Anyway, I guess we'll hear from you in about 5 days claiming no one answered your "challenge" in some other thread. The march of ignorance continues.....
Show some intellectual courage King, defend the doctrine of Islam, answer the challenge I put to you and your cohorts earlier. If you think that you can, and I doubt it very much.
thanks for the information.
Shahada and awwal kalema, "LA ILAHA ILLALA MUHAMMED RASOOLALLAH" suggestes that ISLAM is monothesm. There is no futher need to go through the entire Quran and ponder that ISLAM is montheism or not. If any body here is trying to suggest that ISLAM is non monothiesm, then May ALLAH guide him.
With all respect, I urge you to stick to medicine. But before you quit lecturing about Islam, please tell me the meaning of "wa latajidenna ashadda a'dawatal lillatheen AAmenol Yahud.."
The author should focus on those who misquote the Quran, primarily Christian fanatics, especially the evangelical ones whose sole purpose in life is to jumpstart Armageddon and exterminate humanity for the sake of their mythical "rapture."
body else, all human beings are created by God, the best of us is the one who fears God the most and submits to God Alone. On the other hand, I am troubled, you call the Messengers may peace be upon them all,Hebrew, they were all Muslims, all called to worship God Alone, and Islam is the only way of life that was preached by them. Those who worship God Alone without partner, no matter race are Muslim. Lets get that straight.
Further to this we must also remember that some of the rights, and freedom of actions, that were bestowed upon the Prophet(PBUH) were solely granted, by Allah(SWT), because he was a prophet of Allah(SWT) (eg. permission to marry zaid's wife, moon miracle etc.), and he was only given these rights as a means, and reward, of spreading the word of Islam. We are not prophet's of Allah(SWT). We must look at the Qur'an (and Hadith) carefully and see what is prohibited for us to do.
For all those so called 'fundamentalists' out there, the fundamentals of Islam are Peace (Salaam) and Justice (Adl) unto others. These can only be achieved if we look within ourselves, as individuals, for improvement.
Speaking from experience of working with communities, one can spend valuable time in helping one's community to change his/her community. Believe you me it takes that one individual to swallow up all that everyone else has worked hard for. I must admit, pardon my language that there are ignorant elders who cling on to power obscuring his/her faith also respected by the community because of their age. In Islam you must respect elders and a lot of elders exploit this. Also there are other individuals who live to exploit other's achievements. It does not take that long to point them out of the crowd. When working in voluntarily everything done is done in good faith. You can not apply any rules in black and white method. Trust has to be established and in good faith.
Some rules must be established and hammered down on the community. Setting timeline of achievements can be set with guidelines pointing out where progress is not being made with good sense of humour of course. Complacency must be monitored as it is poisonous tool that acts like a parasite on good actions.
It is good to empower the whole community rather than individual leaders so the community can protect their rights. Accountability must be established at every level. Setting up courses that reflect managing communities from Islamic perspective can be set up including public speaking.
Leaders of communities, mosques and so on can set up good examples and issue guidelines to follow so that others can benefit from it.
The Holy Qur'an on Cerebrum 'an area responsible for planning, motivating, and initiating good and sinful behaviour and is responsible for the telling of lies and the speaking of truth' for more please visit:
While you're at it watch a little less CNN.
I certainly donot agree with you. This is because The prophet(saw) Cursed the jews and the Christians.Hence, the Qur'an is not the only sacred source of our faith.Also in surah 5, verses 12 and 13 Allah(swt) makes clear the position we should take concerning the Jews.May the Merficul guide all to the straight path.
Please, ponder the following interpretation of God's saying, "Mankind! We created you from a male and female, and made you into peoples and tribes so that you might come to know each other. The noblest among you in Allah's sight is the one with the most piety (who best performs his duty to Allah). Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware." (Surat al-Hujurat: 13)
Those who pervert our religion and stand for hate should go and rot in Hell. It has been my personal experience with those who claim to be the righteous, I tend to find them to be the most vicious. Why can't we understand that Islam means PEACE and not hypocrisy? We all (Muslims, Jews, and Christians) can open a dialogue of debate with so much understanding and success if we pursue the means of peace. Forcing someone to be a Muslim is anti-Islam. How can we expect someone to practice the faith of Islam if that person is not doing it with a convinced heart but under coersion?
Comments for MAX.
Of all the things one can pretend to be in this day and age....a Muslim has to be the most unpopular.
There is a hadith that goes something like:
It's better to call 100 kafur's muslim than to call 1 muslim a Kafur.
Since you have the GOD-LIKE ability to see into a man's heart...hopefully you can wrap your mind around that hadith and gain some insight :)
I fully agree with the author. Islam is a religion of peace and harmony and not that of the self-appointed moronic minority who have waged war on the Christians, Jews, and other Muslims alike. I am a Muslim, and I am sick and tired of all those who have perverted our religion and have made a blasphemous mockery out of it. God has created the Jews and the Christians and all others for all of us to get to know each other and learn from each other. Not all Jews and Christians are good people, neither are the so called "Muslims." The Prophet Mohammed is the best example to follow. He dealt with the Jews and the Christians and made deals with them. He never advised that we have to kill them. Whoever advocates killing needs to be killed. It is time for the Taliban-kind to wake up and realize that their propaganda is fruitless and self-destructive. Without the West, we would have been living like the Taliban in caves and burrows. Islam is a religion of tolerance and setting good examples and not murder and destruction. Most Arab leaders have encouraged their people to hate so that they can stay in power. It is time to wake up from that century-old profound sleep.
Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance. Any issue that contradicts must be researched thoroughly before one can jump to conclusions. Muslims, Jews, Christians and people from other religions deserve our respect and tolerance. We have obligation to treat them with respect.
In the days of our prophet(SA) history was different in the sense that he was alive and could govern the people by the commands that were given to him by God. If you research enough you will know from a lot of hadiths that our prophet(SA) did not discriminate between muslims, Christians and Jews. On the opposite our prophet(SA) was kind and tolerant that a lot of people became muslims after the way our prophet(SA)treated them.
I think we can learn a lot from our prophet(SA) and try to preach in a way that brings harmony and integration.
One must not allow any form of hate towards religion or racism to creep into a nation as it is a form of ignorance. We are in the 21st century and surely we can not allow for what we and our previous generations be it muslims, or Christians, muslims or non muslims worked so hard for. We must learn from Mandela,Gandhi and so on to promote peace and racial harmony in connection with our religion.
There is no compulsion in religion so I think we should get on with our role as a nation that seeks goodness and brings harmony and peace. We are one nation, the nation of humanity.
I will include a url from Harun Yahya website which deals with these issues in more detail.
Islam denounces Antisemitisism:
[[[The criminals in the Mid-east export this view along with their "pious leaders" who go out and TELL US what's really in Qur'an and Hadith...since you have to speak Arabic to understand Islam....or at least that's the MYTH being exported from the "LEARNED SCHOLARS" in the mid east...or is that "EVIL THUGS" .. whatever!]]]
Correct me if I am wrong but the author of the article also seem to from the mid-east!!!
This is important in light of this article. The indictments against the Jews in the Qur'an are in some cases referring to specific Jews/Tribes and in other cases, general. But the point is not to slander or to cause hatred, but rather to point out where they went wrong (extreme tribalism, extreme legalism, rejecting the prophets, trying to find loopholes in the Law, etc) as a means of warning for us not to fall in to the same errors. So, I would agree with the article in the sense that many Muslims are becoming tribal, with their deen, adopting a Christian/Jewish approach, believing themselves to be "saved"/"chosen", rather than actively submitting (Islam), and forgetting that it is the state in which you die that is important.
I would disagree with the article, however, in that the Allah and His Messenger (pbuh) have clearly separated Islam from the aqeedah of the Jews. They received messenger after messenger after messenger - sometimes three (Musa, Haroon, & Yusha') at a time. Still, they rejected then, and continue to reject today, Zakariyya, Yahya, Eesa, and Muhammad (alayhum salaam). Likewise, Allah mentions the Christians and their strayings as a means of warning us. They elevated Christ (alayhi salaam), so we must not elevate Muhammad (alayhi salaam). They mixed pagan theology with their deen, so we must not do so and we must protect our deen from innovation.
The point is this - There is a middle way and that is to deal with them with justice and with kindness. It is possible to embrace the similarities without ignoring the differences. Yes, they are People of the Book. But, they are also kufaar, in that they reject Muhammad (pbuh). If they've heard the Message, no other relgion will be accepted of them.
Allah knows best.
I totally agree with with this article, may Allah be pleased with the author! I also strongly beleive that no human being may have the sole interpretation on the Qu'ran. I'm sick of Middle Eastern bigots coming over to the US to tell us that "true Islam" is about Muslim vs Kafirs, and that Kafir means non-muslim. I beleive a beleiver can be a Christian, a Jew, a Hindu, or a Buddhist. Many of you can riducule me or chastise me or call me stupid, but I'm not going to let you dictate what the Qu'ran means to me. I know plenty of Arab people who support my views on the Qu'ran. Take your brain washing somewhere else!
Let there be more tolerance in Islam!!!! Inshallah, and Allah knows best!
This is one of the BEST articles I've read on this issue! Thank you br. Hassaballa for authoring such an INSIGHTFUL article... we really do have a lot of anti-Jewish sentiment in our communities in North America, unfortunately
The sour relations between Muslims and Jews is the result of Zionist terrorism over the last century, otherwise relations were good. Unless this reality is addressed, the discussion is meaningless. Besides pick up a copy of the Talmud to see the root of the problem. If Muslims are willing to clarify, so should Jews.
Nice to see someone else noticing how screwed up this Ummah is becomming.
Today, it's common place to find MANY Muslims who honestly believe that hating a Jew is "Islamic" and in keeping with the faith.
There are web-sites, groups and parties dedicated to using aHadith and Al Qur'an to demonize the Jew and their ways bacause of the Isreali occupation.
More sadly, the Ummah has STUPIDLY bought into it because most Muslims CANNOT read Qur'an they can only call the words. Translations are looked down upon because "you loose to much brother" so we need someone to "EXPLAIN" things to us...perferably someone from the mid-east :)
The criminals in the Mid-east export this view along with their "pious leaders" who go out and TELL US what's really in Qur'an and Hadith...since you have to speak Arabic to understand Islam....or at least that's the MYTH being exported from the "LEARNED SCHOLARS" in the mid east...or is that "EVIL THUGS" .. whatever!
The answer to muslim problems are in muslim hands!
Falwell's sheep are just that, liars pretending to be people of faith.
alhamdulillah, wassalaatu was-salaamu 'alaa rasoolillah.
there is some ambiguity in the article and most responses that i went through. after the coming of rasoolullah Muhammad al-Mustafaa sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam; ALL NON-MUSLIMS WHO DO NOT ACCEPT ISLAAM ARE KUFFAAR- destined and doomed to hell forever. i.e. all christians , jews, etc. This is extremely basic. The aayaat referred to [in which pious jews and christians are favorably referred to] are of the people who were before the time of rasoolullah muhammad al-mustafa sallallahu'alayhiwasallam not after his "risaalah".
"inna ad-deena 'indallaah il islaam"
"wa man yabtaghi ghayral-islaami deenan fa lan yuqbala minhu wa huwa fil aakhirati min al khaasireen"
"inn al lazeena kafaroo min ahl il kitaabi wal mushrikeena fee naari jahannama khaalideena feehaa oolaaika hum sharr ul bariyyah"
hadeeth muslim, others [meaning]
rasoolullah swears upon allah that whoever doesn't accept him as allah's rasool will find his/her place in hell-fire.-saheeh plus many, many others.
one should beware of whom one takes his/her deen from. -
Verse 5:19 is not directed only to christians and jews but also to muslims. We are all people of the book.As far as the jews in the quoran,I think those are lessons for us to learn from so we don't fall in the same trap.If god cursed them we have no right to do as god did.We have no right to judge any body.All we are supposed to do is uplhold the quoran and use it as a road map.
5:41 O Messenger. let not those grieve thee, who race each other into unbelief: (whether it be) among those who say "We believe" with their lips but whose hearts have no faith; or it be among the Jews,- men who will listen to any lie,- will listen even to others who have never so much as come to thee. They change the words from their (right) times and places: they say, "If ye are given this, take it, but if not, beware!" If any one's trial is intended by Allah, thou hast no authority in the least for him against Allah. For such - it is not Allah's will to purify their hearts. For them there is disgrace in this world, and in the Hereafter a heavy punishment.
5:82 Strongest among men in enmity to the believers wilt thou find the Jews and Pagans; and nearest among them in love to the believers wilt thou find those who say, "We are Christians": because amongst these are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant.