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The Quran => General Discussions => : Mubashir May 17, 2014, 03:23:06 PM

: Quran followers put on notice!
: Mubashir May 17, 2014, 03:23:06 PM
Following questions to followers of Quran alone have been raised by those who follow Hadith and Sunnah:

1. 9:36 BEHOLD, the number of months, in the sight of God, is twelve months, [laid down] in God's decree on the day when He created the heavens and the earth; [and] out of these, four are sacred: this is the ever-true law [of God]. Do not, then, sin against yourselves with regard to these [months]. And fight against those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God, all together-just as they fight against you, [O believers,] all together -and know that God is with those who are conscious of Him.

In the next verse, it is stated that intercalation is refusal to acknowledge the truth:

2. 9:37 The intercalation [of months] is but one more instance of [their] refusal to acknowledge the truth- [a means] by which those who are bent on denying the truth are led astray. They declare this [intercalation] to be permissible in one year and forbidden in [another] year, in order to conform [outwardly] to the number of months which God has hallowed: and thus they make allowable what God has forbidden. Goodly seems unto them the evil of their own doings, since God does not grace with His guidance people who refuse to acknowledge the truth.

Questions to those who reject Hadith:

- Where does the Quran gives the names of all the months in the proper order?
- What are the names of these months in the Quran?
- Which four are sacred months, so that their sanctity should be observed?
- How can we tell that till today, nobody has changed the order of these months and it is the correct one?

3. 59:05 Whatever [of their] palm trees you may have cut down, [O believers,] or left standing on their roots, was [done] by God’s leave, and in order that He might confound the iniquitous.

 - What is this incident? Which Palm trees are being discussed and why, give us the details
 - Some were cut down some not? Where can we find more details about them?

4. 5:03 Today have I perfected your religious law for you, and have bestowed upon you the full measure of My blessings, and willed that self-surrender unto Me shall be your religion. As for him, however, who is driven [to what is forbidden] by dire necessity and not by an inclination to sinning -behold, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.

- What day was this? Was it the birthday of the Messenger of Allah? Was this when he died? Or was it some other day?
 - Those who died before this Day, were they following complete Islam or an incomplete Islam?
 - What other Deens was Islam preferred over? Because it is stated that it has been preferred/approve/chosen but it has not been declared that Islam is the only Deen. Give details from the Quran.

5. 48:15 As soon as you [O believers] are about to set forth on a war that promises booty, those who stayed behind [aforetime] will surely say, “Allow us to go with you” - [thus showing that] they would like to alter the Word of God. Say: “By no means shall you go with us: God has declared aforetime [to whom all spoils shall belong].” Thereupon they will [surely] answer, “Nay, but you begrudge us [our share of booty]!” Nay, they can grasp but so little of the truth!

- Which Word of Allah gets altered by those seeking permission to go with the believers?
- What is the reason this verse was revealed? What kind of lesson in Deen is in it for us?

The questioner puts all those who follow Quran alone by saying:

 "...If you cannot give us the details, then admit you need to refer to hadith to find them. If you cannot reply to them then Let these question be an “Itmam e Hujjat” for you on the Day of Judgement
: Re: Quran followers put on notice!
: Deliverance May 17, 2014, 05:42:17 PM
Dear Mubashir,
The Quran is the fulfillment of the previous scripture if you dont find an answer in the Quran check the other Books because Jesus said that he had not come to change the Law of Moses (Matthew 5:17).
If you don't find an answer in these Books than it is not part of the Religion.
: Re: Quran followers put on notice!
: Joseph Islam May 17, 2014, 10:44:39 PM
Dear Mubashir,

As-salam alaykum

Please see my responses to the questions asked in blue italics.

However, before I share my humble response, I would like to share 2 fundamental principles which are established from the Quran, the primary source of Islamic guidance.

These will form the premise of the response to the questions asked which as will be shown, have absolutely no basis from a Quran's perspective.


PRINCIPLE 1: DO NOT SEEK TO SOLICIT FINER DETAILS WHICH THE QURAN HAS NOT DEEMED NECESSARY TO IMPART

The Quran is neither incomplete guidance nor does God run out of words to say.

031:027
"And if every tree that is in the earth (made into) pens and the sea (to supply it with ink), with seven more seas to increase it, the words of God would not come to an end; surely God is Mighty, Wise"
 
If details not found in the Quran were crucial for mankind's guidance, they would have arguably been mentioned in the Quran which calls itself 'mufassalan' (explained in detail) 6:114, tafsila (detailed explanation) 12:111 and 'tibiana lekulli shaye' (clarification / explanation of all things) 16:89.

Therefore, the Quran's focus arguably remains confined to drive the reader to ponder over its narrative and argumentations with a view to extract the wisdom that it intends to impart. The essence or purport of the message remains key, and it often exercises silence and subtlety when it deems appropriate. This point is often not appreciated by many who misconstrue this fine balance as an excuse to enter into the tomes of literature that attempts to furnish all manner of details. The Quran has absolutely no intention to furnish the reader with superfluous details and it deems unnecessary to impart. [1]

For example:

The story of the sleepers in the cave is a Quranic narrative captured between verses 18:9-26 that many Muslims are readily able to identify with. The story focuses on a group of righteous believers who took refuge in a cave after fleeing and slept a great number of years unbeknown to them. When they awoke, it was if they had lost all concept of time and had slept a mere part of the day where in fact, they had tarried for many centuries.

WHAT IS NOT IMPORTANT
 

To note another example, some asked the prophet about the Spirit to furnish themselves with further 'details' (17:85). God's respond was that they were only granted limited information. (17:85). They asked the prophet about the hour (7:187). Again, the response was limited.

The insatiable desire for many to seek finer details to general guidance is an old wayward illness. It has undoubtedly given rise to much spurious tomes of narratives by fallible human beings centuries after the death of the prophet which have absolutely no warrant from the Quran.

This is an illness that is clearly demonstrated in Surah Baqarah where a simple command was given to sacrifice a cow. Nothing is more striking than the desire of the people in question to elicit finer and finer details of a general religious commandment to the point that it became nearly impossible for them to perform. What kind of cow, what colour, what type etc. [2]

Furthermore, the Quran makes it absolutely clear not to ask superfluous questions (5:101) and not to repeat the wayward desire of those that came before them (5:102).

Alas however, people seldom learn.
 
018:022 (Part)
"Enter not, therefore, into controversies concerning them, except on a matter that is clear (Arabic: Illa miraan zahiran)..."

[1] UNKNOWN TOWNS AND NAMES - WHY FILL IN THE GAPS?
http://quransmessage.com/articles/unknown%20towns%20and%20names%20FM3.htm
[2] DO NOT COMPLICATE RELIGION - WISDOM FROM SURAH BAQARAH
http://quransmessage.com/articles/wisdom%20-%20baqarah%20FM3.htm
[3] ELICITING FINER DETAILS
https://www.facebook.com/joseph.a.islam/posts/297080927095708


PRINCIPLE 2: THE QURAN IS NOT A DICTIONARY OR LEXICON. IT IMPLIES AN EXTANT UNDERSTANDING OF LANGUAGE SUFFICIENT TO DECIPHER ITS GENERAL MESSAGE

The Quran was revealed within a cradle of an existing language spoken by the primary audience. It did not intend to reveal or invent a new language but simply parted the message in the vernacular of the audience with a view to make the message clear to them. This is no different from the Divine revelations before, which were parted in the language of the messengers of yore and their people. [4]

014.004
“And We did not send any messenger but with the language of his people, so that he might explain to them clearly; then God lets go astray whom He wills and guides whom He wills and He is the Mighty, the Wise”

041.044
“Had We sent this as a Quran (in a language) other than Arabic, they would have said: "Why are not its verses explained in detail? What! (a Book) not in Arabic and (a Messenger) an Arab?" Say: "It is a Guide and a Healing to those who believe; and for those who believe not, there is a deafness in their ears, and it is blindness in their (eyes): They are (as it were) being called from a place far distant!"”

On my website, under the section entitled Islamic Secondary Sources [5], I respectfully share:


[4] WHY WAS THE QURAN REVEALED IN ARABIC?
http://quransmessage.com/articles/why%20in%20Arabic%20FM3.htm
[5] ISLAMIC SECONDARY SOURCES
http://quransmessage.com/articles/hadith%20FM2.htm

9:36 BEHOLD, the number of months, in the sight of God, is twelve months, [laid down] in God's decree on the day when He created the heavens and the earth; [and] out of these, four are sacred: this is the ever-true law [of God]. Do not, then, sin against yourselves with regard to these [months]. And fight against those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God, all together-just as they fight against you, [O believers,] all together -and know that God is with those who are conscious of Him.

In the next verse, it is stated that intercalation is refusal to acknowledge the truth:

2. 9:37 The intercalation [of months] is but one more instance of [their] refusal to acknowledge the truth- [a means] by which those who are bent on denying the truth are led astray. They declare this [intercalation] to be permissible in one year and forbidden in [another] year, in order to conform [outwardly] to the number of months which God has hallowed: and thus they make allowable what God has forbidden. Goodly seems unto them the evil of their own doings, since God does not grace with His guidance people who refuse to acknowledge the truth.

Questions to those who reject Hadith:


I do not accept the charge of ‘rejection’ of the Ahadith corpus in toto. My position is Quran-centric which holds the Quran as a 'criterion' to judge and maintains that there is no absolute authority in religion for believers other than the Quran. My position is elucidated in the following threads:

[6] The Quran-centric Position
https://www.facebook.com/joseph.a.islam/posts/330796700390797
[7] IS HEARSAY UNQURANIC
https://www.facebook.com/joseph.a.islam/posts/363674833769650
[8] FOLLOWING TRADITIONS
https://www.facebook.com/joseph.a.islam/posts/309845362485931

- Where does the Quran gives the names of all the months in the proper order?

Please see established PRINCIPLE 2 from the Quran above which is flouted by this question.

- What are the names of these months in the Quran?

Please see article below:

[9] THE 'LOST' MONTHS OF HAJJ
http://quransmessage.com/articles/the%20lost%20months%20of%20hajj%20FM3.htm

- Which four are sacred months, so that their sanctity should be observed?

Please see article [9] shared above.

- How can we tell that till today, nobody has changed the order of these months and it is the correct one?

The criterion will remain the Quran. Please see arguments shared based on the Quran’s verses in the article [9] shared above.

3. 59:05 Whatever [of their] palm trees you may have cut down, [O believers,] or left standing on their roots, was [done] by God’s leave, and in order that He might confound the iniquitous.

 - What is this incident? Which Palm trees are being discussed and why, give us the details


It is the evident insatiable desire to seek superfluous details which the Quran has provided no warrant which remains the Achilles Heel in the very premise of the question. Please see established PRINCIPLE 1 from the Quran above which is flouted by this question.

- Some were cut down some not? Where can we find more details about them?

Please see established PRINCIPLE 1 from the Quran above which is flouted by this question.

4. 5:03 Today have I perfected your religious law for you, and have bestowed upon you the full measure of My blessings, and willed that self-surrender unto Me shall be your religion. As for him, however, who is driven [to what is forbidden] by dire necessity and not by an inclination to sinning -behold, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.

- What day was this? Was it the birthday of the Messenger of Allah? Was this when he died? Or was it some other day?


Please see established PRINCIPLE 1 from the Quran above which is flouted by this question.

- Those who died before this Day, were they following complete Islam or an incomplete Islam?

Please see established PRINCIPLE 1 from the Quran above which is flouted by this question.

- What other Deens was Islam preferred over? Because it is stated that it has been preferred/approve/chosen but it has not been declared that Islam is the only Deen. Give details from the Quran.

Please see response below from article [10] shared below:


[10] WHAT IS THE TRUE DEFINITION OF 'DEEN' FROM A QURAN'S PERSPECTIVE?
http://quransmessage.com/articles/what%20is%20the%20true%20defintion%20of%20deen%20FM3.htm
[11] Islam Will Conquer Over All Religions
http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=1192.0


5. 48:15 As soon as you [O believers] are about to set forth on a war that promises booty, those who stayed behind [aforetime] will surely say, “Allow us to go with you” - [thus showing that] they would like to alter the Word of God. Say: “By no means shall you go with us: God has declared aforetime [to whom all spoils shall belong].” Thereupon they will [surely] answer, “Nay, but you begrudge us [our share of booty]!” Nay, they can grasp but so little of the truth!

- Which Word of Allah gets altered by those seeking permission to go with the believers?


God has clearly stated that all spoils of war belong to God and his messenger (8:1) and by implication are not for individuals to seek out such accessory rewards from warfare. A decree was set, some clearly may have had ulterior motives.

- What is the reason this verse was revealed?

As to why the verse was revealed, it clearly intended to provide guidance first to the immediate audience and secondarily wider guidance to the faithful that ponder (tadabbur) over the Quran’s message. The Quran provides narratives for the guidance of believers.

What kind of lesson in Deen is in it for us?

This is respectfully a surprising question in that it implies that the reader cannot find a lesson from such a narrative directly from the Quran warranting a need to ask.

Out of the many points of wisdom that can be extracted by one keen to ponder over the Quran’s revelations, one is that at the time of the prophetic ministry and during warfare, it was not for any individual warrior to lay claim to the spoils. Another point of wisdom is that the prophet also acted akin to a treasurer responsible for distributing wealth which provides evidence of the many facets of this messengership. Please see post [12] below:

[12] Was the Prophet of God Akin to a Postman Who Simply Delivers a Message?
https://www.facebook.com/joseph.a.islam/posts/247680292035772

Furthermore if verses 8:1 and 8:41 are kept in mind where a ‘fifth share’ is mentioned, there seems to be an implication of the level of zakat that may have been prevalent at the time of the prophet’s ministry.

Please see article [13] below on Zakat

[13] WHAT IS THE CONCEPT OF ZAKAT FROM THE QURAN?
http://quransmessage.com/articles/zakah%20FM3.htm

With a view to retain some brevity, my response will be limited to the above whilst remaining fully appreciative of the fact that there is much more that can be deduced from the verse.

The questioner puts all those who follow Quran alone by saying:

 "...If you cannot give us the details, then admit you need to refer to hadith to find them. If you cannot reply to them then Let these question be an “Itmam e Hujjat” for you on the Day of Judgement


I trust that out of sheer honesty and sincerity, that the questioner will be gracious enough to concede that premises were established and argued directly from the Quran, that responses were given within the context of these established principles and responses were shared with a view to provide unequivocal direct responses.

In the same spirit as of the questioner, if the responses are found to be persuasive, then let this be ‘Itmam e Hujjat’ for the questioner on the Day of Judgement, God willing. [14]

[14] ITMAM AL-HUJJAH - COMPLETION OF PROOF
http://quransmessage.com/articles/itmam%20FM3.htm

Regards,
Joseph
: Re: Quran followers put on notice!
: Mubashir May 17, 2014, 11:29:40 PM
Salam Dear Brother.

Thanks for a proper response. I have been inundated with emails (which are copied to me) for many months. This seems to be a never ending discussion between Quran Centrics and Hadith/Sunnah followers.

In the beginning it were the usual questions on "Where do we find details of Salat and Hajj" if we reject Hadith. Lately, the discussion has been raised a notch above, over the possibility of Quran comprehension without hadith/Sunnah/tareekh.

I have tried to respond to the best of my ability but I felt it needed a much better scholarly response. Therefore, I translated the often acrimonious debates from Urdu to English and started inviting responses from my Quran Centric friends.

I did this too because I found no one was taking on the Hadith/Sunnah crowd and replying directly to their questions but responding by either raising new questions or by evasive replies with the result that they end up by being challenged repeatedly and accused of knowing the obvious (that the Quran is need of hadith to be explained) but too proud to admit thereby inviting "Allahs wrath".

If you don't mind, can I share your response, without your email address?

Thanks and Jazak Allah.

: Re: Quran followers put on notice!
: Joseph Islam May 17, 2014, 11:47:27 PM
Dear Mubashir,

Wa alaikum assalam

In my humble view, it is imperative that those who argue from a Quran's perspective seek to address their own 'possible' fluidity of thought foremost and establish solid principles from the Quran to argue from. Otherwise, their arguments will be exposed so much that it affects the entire credibility of their thought. The need for a solid base and powerful principles are even more critical when arguing against the normative, established position of the traditionalists. One cannot afford 'weaknesses' or 'gaps' in thoughts.

Sadly, when vociferous arguments between 'Quran-only' folk on basic Islamic practices such as 'salah' are carried out brazenly in public forums and social platforms, the only thing that suffers is the integrity of the 'Quran-centric' approach. This is very disappointing indeed as I am sure you will appreciate.

Under the circumstances you have kindly shared, please feel free to share my response with those that you feel may benefit.

I hope that helps, God willing
Joseph

 
: Re: Quran followers put on notice!
: ahmad May 19, 2014, 10:32:54 PM
Salam brother Joseph and Mubashir,

The need for a solid base and powerful principles are even more critical when arguing against the normative, established position of the traditionalists. One cannot afford 'weaknesses' or 'gaps' in thoughts.

Building upon what brother Joseph said. Why can't we establish such principles/arguments. I think we could dedicate a page or a website to gather them in it all the arguments that support the Quran-centric approach. And the responses to counter arguments of traditionalists. It might also contain principles that are derived from the Quran like the ones brother joseph shared.

This page might later on gain popularity and become a reference. There will be always room to refine the arguments based on criticism. And hopefully there will be no weaknesses in the arguments.

Some might say that we already know the arguments why would we need to dedicate a page for it ?

It might be true that some people may not have any weaknesses in their arguments but other less experienced individuals might have some. So a page like this will be a good place for these people to learn. 

Furthermore, A page (or a separate website) like that will make it easier to respond to counter arguments.  Because all what will be needed to be done is to point to "principle 4" or Argument 2. on the page/website. In addition, we might even start naming arguments so that it becomes easier to refer to them. For example "Argument from authenticity".


It will also be a good opportunity for collaboration because this idea will not be the property of one person. It will be the product of the collaboration and "shura" of different people who have different perspectives.


This is just a thought I had. Do you think that such an idea is applicable or of use ?

: Re: Quran followers put on notice!
: Zack May 20, 2014, 02:11:32 AM
Hello all,

I am interested as an outsider looking in with some of the dynamics happening within the Islamic community, and the  Quran-centric approach. I know there are similar sensitivities with Christology reform within Christianity.

My questions are:
- Roughly what % of Muslims would embrace somewhat of a Quran-centric approach? 1% , 2% etc? (I know like Christology reform, there are all sorts of levels of reform)
- Is the Quran-centric approach mostly outside of the Middle East?
- Would the Quran-centric approach as on this website be something that can be discussed openly offline? To what extent: is this paradigm limited to open-minded Muslims: or could it be promoted in a public Islamic event?

Wasalam
Zack
: Re: Quran followers put on notice!
: Wakas May 20, 2014, 05:32:54 PM
peace Mubashir,

With regard to the so-called Islamic calendar I recommend the opening paragraphs of this article (http://www.free-minds.org/Old/articles/science/timing.htm). It highlights some of the problems regarding the Traditional calendar.

The people whom you are discussing with should bear in mind that the Traditional Hadith themselves do not contain information on various issues. For example some verses and chapters have no Traditional Hadith "explaining" them. Thus their own argument can be used against them (not that I consider it a valid argument, I'm just saying).

: Re: Quran followers put on notice!
: Wakas May 20, 2014, 05:50:19 PM
peace Joseph,

I think you have used the wrong word and/or wording.

Emphasis mine:

PRESERVATION OF THE LANGUAGE

The protection of the 'dhikr' (reminder) is assured by the Quran (15:9). This implies both the 'words' of the Quran and an appropriate ability to discern its 'meanings'. Otherwise, the 'dhikr' would be meaningless.
 
Therefore any source, including classical lexicons, works of grammarians, dictionaries or indeed, any Islamic secondary source as defined above which is used to understand the classical Arabic language is implicitly ratified by the Quran (15:9).

The meaning of the word "ratified" is as follows (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/ratified):

ratify:
To approve and give formal sanction to; confirm

ratified:
formally approved and invested with legal authority



To my knowledge, The Quran NEVER approves / formally sanctions / confirms / gives authority to any man-made source.

Perhaps you simply meant any such source can be used to understand The Quran, as long as we bear in mind its criterion/principles/etc. All man-made sources are inherently imperfect.
: Re: Quran followers put on notice!
: Joseph Islam May 20, 2014, 11:18:40 PM
Dear Wakas,

As-salam alaykum

The Quran was revealed in a language of a people with all their nuances, grammar, morphology and semantics. This is no different from previous Divine messages that were revealed in the language of previous messengers.

Neither did the Quran invent a new language, nor was it intended to be a lexicon or dictionary. The Quran cannot be properly understood without relying on a vehicle to understand the language whether these are classical lexicons, spoken Arabic or else. Otherwise the Quran would be whittled down to something akin to Egyptian Hieroglyphics with no granodiorite stele such as the Rosetta Stone, or any other source to assist.

Therefore, the Quran simply cannot be understood based on the book itself. It would become meaningless. It would be like giving an Arabic Quran to a community of Chinese speaking folk who know nothing of Arabic or its script and to ask them to translate the Book and use it as guidance. It would arguably be a preposterous suggestion.

Therefore, I do believe that any 'source' that assists the understanding of the Quranic classical Arabic is implicitly ratified by the Quran (15:9) which assures the protection of the 'dhikr' which for me implies both the 'words' (kalam) and an appropriate ability to discern its meanings.

However, this does not mean that the Quran ratifies any particular 'man-made' source. With respect, that is not what I meant. It ratifies (as I said implicitly) the need to discern its meanings using any source necessary. The 'Quran-alone' in this context is an absolute misnomer as I strongly believe that the Quran cannot be understood without a separate understanding of its language.

This is also why I often disagree strongly with some of those that call themselves ‘Quranists’.

I hope that clarifies my position, God willing,
Joseph
: Re: Quran followers put on notice!
: Sardar Miyan May 20, 2014, 11:39:21 PM
Bro JAI Can you please tell me as to who are "Quranist"? Believers only in Quran ? We can call ourselves as Quranists as we don't believe in Hadith narrations.
: Re: Quran followers put on notice!
: Joseph Islam May 21, 2014, 12:01:12 AM
Brother Sardar,

As-salam alaykum

Terms such as 'Quranist' means different things to different people. For traditionalists, it can be used as a derogatory term for those that do not uphold Ahadith as religiously binding. To others, it may simply be a term that describes folk that seek to focus on the Quran for their interpretation.

My reference to Quranists in the context I shared with brother Wakas was a reference to an approach by some people that attempt to delegitimise the authority of well established meanings of Arabic words of the Quran on the basis of the unreliability of the secondary Islamic corpus. In other words, they intimate that if the secondary corpus such as the Ahadith cannot be trusted, then how can one trust the meanings that has reached us of the Quran? They often assert the most unusual meanings of words which were arguably never understood by Arabs in that context.

As I shared in a post:

"The question of the authenticity of the Ahadith corpus IS NOT founded on the unreliability of the CLASSICAL ARABIC LANGUAGE in which it is transmitted. Rather, it is founded on questionable content (matn) and transmission. The mere fact that the veracity of a particular hadith can be ‘questioned’ is PROOF that the ancient Arabic language in which the Ahadith is transmitted is accepted as RELIABLE.

One cannot reject a particular hadith if the language that underpins it, remains questionable.

Therefore, the rejection of a particular hadith only LEGITIMISES the general knowledge of the classical Arabic language in which the Hadith was transmitted.
Subsequently, the reliability of the Ahadith corpus and lexicons as a source to understand classical Arabic language has never been in doubt.

Lexicographers may advance different shades of meanings and discuss words but to INVENT NEW MEANINGS for Arabic words which were never understood by ANYONE remotely familiar with Arabic is a baseless assertion and surpasses the thresholds of incredulity."


I prefer to understand my humble approach as 'Quran-centric'. [1]

I hope this clarifies, God willing
Joseph


REFERENCE:

[1] Quran-centric - a powerful position indeed!
https://www.facebook.com/joseph.a.islam/posts/330796700390797
: Re: Quran followers put on notice!
: Wakas May 21, 2014, 06:11:26 PM
w/salaam Joseph,

Thanks for the reply. I can agree with this part:

It ratifies (as I said implicitly) the need to discern its meanings using any source necessary.


 
: Re: Quran followers put on notice!
: Wakas May 21, 2014, 06:22:17 PM
peace Ahmad,

Why can't we establish such principles/arguments. I think we could dedicate a page or a website to gather them in it all the arguments that support the Quran-centric approach. And the responses to counter arguments of traditionalists. It might also contain principles that are derived from the Quran like the ones brother joseph shared.

If you meant principles from Quran, you may find this list useful:

What does The Quran say?

The following is a brief list taken directly from The Quran on how to process information, read, study and understand it:

16:98 - seek God's spiritual aid, away from the forces of satan/opposition (e.g. emotional instability, personal desire, self-delusion, arrogance, prejudice, deviation).
3:7 - ground oneself in solid principles, maintain sincerity.
6:56, 13:37, 30:29, 42:14-15 - be wary of following desires as opposed to following God's revelation.
3:195, 4:135, 5:8, 8:61, 28:54, 42:40 - remain true to its principles of justice, equivalence, fairness, compassion, opting for the good/better response etc.
6:114, 12:111, 15:90-91, 17:89, 16:89, 18:54, 39:27 - try to utilise and appreciate its complete system of concepts.
4:82 - anything from God will not have contradiction/inconsistency/variance. This also applies to our understanding as well. If we formulate a correct interpretation of The Quran, we will find that everything falls into place. This is one of the most crucial criteria.
5:101, 20:114, 25:32, 73:20, 75:17 - do not rush our learning, read what is easy of it, gradually build knowledge and acceptance to strengthen one's heart, and ask God to increase our knowledge.
73:4-5 - in order to receive a weighty or profound word or saying, we need to arrange the likenesses in The Quran, e.g. cross-reference concepts/words/topics.
21:10, 30:30, 41:53, 51:20-21  - its information and teachings should map to our reality (within our psyche, experience and to the furthest horizons). All signs, internal and external can point to the truth of it and act as a verification mechanism.
29:20, 3:137, 3:190-191, 45:3-4 - knowledge of archaeology/biology/physics/history/sciences/philosophy etc will all help to better understand it.
6:75-79, 21:57-67, 36:78-79, 21:22, 23:91, 2:258, 12:26-27, 22:5-6, 2:260 - promotes logical thinking.
2:269, 8:22 - strong affinity towards use of wisdom and reason.
49:6, 45:24, 6:116, 53:28, 2:111, 21:24 - disapproves of conjecture/guesswork and promotes examination of evidence.
34:46, 6:50, 2:219, 3:191, 10:24, 16:44, 30:21 - shows the importance of reflection, to deeply consider/think.
47:24, 23:68 - "tadabbur" means to ponder over something giving careful consideration to its consequences.
41:44 - language is not a barrier, belief/acceptance of it will help understanding.
25:33, 17:41 - it contains the best response/explanation.
39:18, 42:38 - listen and consider other views and follow what is best of them.
6:116, 12:106 - majority opinion can be baseless.
2:2, 3:138, 10:37 - a guide for the god-conscious/forethoughtful, there is no doubt in it, thus understandings which raise doubt about it must be carefully reviewed.
17:45-46 - to not believe in the hereafter can act as a barrier to its understanding.
12:3, 18:54, 17:89, 7:176, 12:111 - look to its internal examples, stories within it give us lessons, it is a clarification for all things.
2:170, 7:28, 6:112, 7:70, 26:74, 43:23 - advised not to blindly follow the teachings of our ancestors.
17:36, 39:9 - seek knowledge, verify, use your God-given senses.
25:1, 2:185, 6:114-115 - it is the criterion with which to determine/judge.
7:204, 9:122, 6:104-105 - give it full attention, focus, spend time studying it.
19:76 - it increases guidance for the guided, i.e. those who continuously turn towards, seek it and follow it.
22:46, 7:179 - open your heart and mind.
13:17 - any interpretation must always be understood in a way that is focused on benefiting mankind and our development.
15:1, 17:82, 36:2, 2:97, 45:20, 10:57, 56:77, 85:21 - any understanding should reflect its attributes, such as: wisdom, mercy, healing, noble, glad tidings, blessing, clear etc.
17:9 - guides to what is straight/upright/establishing.
20:2 - it has not been sent to make us suffer unnecessarily, thus any interpretation should bear this in mind.
22:54, 34:37 - those closest are those who believe and do good works, implying god-consciousness/righteousness and understanding could go hand in hand.
56:79 - purity of mind/heart will grasp it. Work on this aspect of oneself as you seek guidance.
3:79, 75:18 - apply what you learn/know.
39:27-29 - variance rejected, no crookedness, one consistent source is the preference.
4:87, 31:6 39:23, 77:50 - stick with a solid/proven source, not a baseless narration/hadith. The Quran is the best, most truthful and only obligatory hadith.

The above criterion can be used as a filter when evaluating information from secondary sources, e.g. dictionaries, lexicons, traditional hadith etc etc.
: Re: Quran followers put on notice!
: ahmad May 21, 2014, 11:00:57 PM
Dear brother Wakas,

Thank you for sharing.
: Re: Quran followers put on notice!
: Mubashir May 23, 2014, 12:17:44 AM
Thanks friends, for your input. I appreciate it.

Brother Wakas, I am going to share your "What does the Quran say" tips on my Facebook page (mentioning your kind self as the author), if you don't mind. Also, I would like to put the text before verse references though, for example:

- Seek God's spiritual aid, away from the forces of satan/opposition (e.g. emotional instability, personal desire, self-delusion, arrogance, prejudice, deviation) [16:98]

- Ground oneself in solid principles, maintain sincerity (3:7)

Brother Ahmed, Brother Joseph's quransmessage website, I believe aims to achieve some of the goals, which you have suggested.

Brother Joseph says:

"Lexicographers may advance different shades of meanings and discuss words but to INVENT NEW MEANINGS for Arabic words which were never understood by ANYONE remotely familiar with Arabic is a baseless assertion and surpasses the thresholds of incredulity..."

To see an example of what he means, is Dr. Qamuruzaman's aastana website. Check it out. According to them, Malaika are the elite, Zina does not mean adultery, Nisa means weak, etc. etc.
: Re: Quran followers put on notice!
: Wakas May 24, 2014, 11:35:59 PM
peace Mubashir,

You can link to the source for the list here (http://www.quran434.com/study-method.html).
: Re: Quran followers put on notice!
: Anwar June 17, 2014, 04:48:44 PM
Joseph,

I found your following statement excellent and the epitome of logic and sound rational capacity:

"The question of the authenticity of the Ahadith corpus IS NOT founded on the unreliability of the CLASSICAL ARABIC LANGUAGE in which it is transmitted. Rather, it is founded on questionable content (matn) and transmission. The mere fact that the veracity of a particular hadith can be ‘questioned’ is PROOF that the ancient Arabic language in which the Ahadith is transmitted is accepted as RELIABLE.

One cannot reject a particular hadith if the language that underpins it, remains questionable.

Therefore, the rejection of a particular hadith only LEGITIMISES the general knowledge of the classical Arabic language in which the Hadith was transmitted.
Subsequently, the reliability of the Ahadith corpus and lexicons as a source to understand classical Arabic language has never been in doubt.

Lexicographers may advance different shades of meanings and discuss words but to INVENT NEW MEANINGS for Arabic words which were never understood by ANYONE remotely familiar with Arabic is a baseless assertion and surpasses the thresholds of incredulity."

There is one circumstance where meanings are invented and that is in the theological sphere, and it is quite common. However, the lexicons are VERY good at identifying them as belonging to certain limited groups or being associated with certain Imams' statements and citing those statements, where the twisting becomes evident. For instance, zakaah as charity, taqwaa as righteousness, jizyah as a tax on Christians and Jews and even Islam as submission to God are all post-Quranic theological meanings associated with certain Imams or groups who gave them these meanings as derivatives of their original meanings. A good example of this is how most Christians understand the term 'rapture' to mean the return of Jesus (saas) despite its original meaning of 'joy' and the context of the verses where it is mentioned actually being about the rapture or joy associated with the return of the Messiah (saas).

Zakaah originally means goodness, purity and growth; the idea behind the new meaning is that charity (saduqah) purifies. This idea is found within the Quran.  Taqwaa originally means protection or prudence; the idea behind the new meaning is that righteous deeds protect one from God's wrath.  Jizyah originally means a sort of compensation; the original idea in the Quran was paying damages for the wars Christians and Jews launched and caused against the Muslims. Later on, the new meaning came to encompass compensation for living under the protection of Muslims. The Arab Muslims considered charging the non-Arab Muslims living under their rule the jizyah for living under Arab protection.

Islam originally means making peace, submission in general and becoming safe or saved in general. Its new meaning of submission to God's will is a Shafi'i interpretation based on its meaning of submission and the contextual implications to be found often in the Quran associated with the idea of 'submission.' Islam as a nickname for all who have allegiance to the Quran as God's message and Muhammad as God's messenger (saas) may have its origins in 'becoming safe/saved' with implications of having believed in God's messenger and being safe from Hell, just as many Christians use it today.  I have not seen evidence of this however. It could just be based on the followers of the religion misinterpreting Al-Islam as a name for their new religion when the Quran says that he chose for us Al-Islam, instead of understanding its innate Classical Arabic meanings within the context of that phrase. The original sense would be peace-making or making things sound and whole being the way God has chosen for us, or submission (the context implying to God) being the religion that God has chosen for us. Most Muslims still misunderstand the Qur'an's usage of the terms Islam and Muslim. It seems that either the followers of Muhammad (saas) were anxious to give themselves a new proper title or their opponents and by-standers were anxious to give them a title. Islam and Muslim took, in complete disregard to its original linguistic usage. Nevertheless the explanations trying to connect it to its original usage with flowery and imaginative embellishments have been abundant.

This is idea of theological definitions based on theological interpretations is the only exception that I make concerning the soundness of Classical Arabic linguistic sources as valid secondary sources to be used in our understanding of the Quran, in addition to meanings only associated with other post-Quranic events. A good example of this is the Al-Aqsaa Mosque being built after the death of the prophet Muhammad (saas) and not being the Most distant pace of worship (Al-Masjidul-Aqsaa) mentioned in the Quran.

It is actually ironic that when some Quranists fabricate meanings based on their selective validation of the established meanings of Classical Arabic words to be found in the Quran (they don't challenge the meanings basic prepositions, conjunctions or words whose meanings they find of no importance to their theological agendas) they are in essence guilty of what they accuse earlier Muslims of. That is, distorting the language in order to inhibit a proper understanding of the Quran.

I oppose all theological interpretations being accepted as valid definitions of words and believe that the Quran needs to be read with the established meanings of its words that the pre-islamic Arabs who were alive and well just prior to Muhammad's messengership could have understood. Nothing more and nothing less.

I hope that was clear. Forgive any spelling or grammatical errors.

Salam