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Topics - Bassam Zawadi

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General Discussions / Joseph Islam's Article "SEX WITH SLAVE GIRLS"
« on: May 11, 2013, 10:26:33 PM »
I was reading brother Joseph's article over here

Some thoughts I have:

- Where does 4:25 say that we must wed slave girls in order to have sex with them? The verse only says that if one cannot afford to marry free believing women, then he may marry slave women.

- Where do 4:3 and 24:32 say that marriage is compulsory in order to have sex with slave girls? It only talks about marrying them, which is permissible and encouraged.

- 70:30 makes a clear distinction between wives (i.e. Azwaaj) and what your right hands possess. It doesn't make the distinction between "free women" and slave girls. The word "wife" is neutral in it's meaning. It doesn't mean "free woman who is your wife". It simply means "wife" or "companion". So a slave girl could be your "wife" as well. Hence, in 70:30 Allah should have used the appropriate word for "free women" if He truly wanted to make that distinction. To simply argue that there are differences between "free women" and "slave girls" doesn't justify interpreting 70:30 as distinguishing between married free women and married slave girls. Rather, it makes the general distinction between married women (not specifying whether they are free or not) and slave girls. The "(wedlock)" in 70:30 as cited by Joseph in his article is a personal interpretation, for it's not there in the text. Joseph said in his article "These differences in choices based on free and non-free parties are clearly recognized. Hence the noted difference in answerability as well.", yes but such a distinction wouldn't be important in the context of 70:30 which is mainly discussing which women are lawful for the man. The usage of the words is general in nature.

Would like to hear your thoughts.



I was reading brother Joseph's article here

Some thoughts I had were:

- Why does 5:38 have to be understood in light of 5:33-34? 5:38 talks about cutting off a hand, while 5:33-34 talks about one of the alternatives being cutting off hands and feet from opposite sides. So this is a different punishment (as an alternative) meted out for a different crime. So where's the clear connection between these two verses?

- Why does 5:39 have to be understood as implying from forgiveness from corporal punishment? Just because someone endured the corporal punishment that doesn't necessarily imply that Allah has forgiven him his sin. There is still room for punishment in the afterlife. Hence, one could endure the corporal punishment, yet still require God's forgiveness in order to spare himself from the punishment in the after life. So... it's possible that 5:39 is talking about this forgiveness (i.e. from punishment in the afterlife) and not forgiveness from corporal punishment. Given this, the condition of "insistence" doesn't appear to be very clearly laid out now does it?

Also, I have seen Qur'an only Muslims explaining "cut" as only meaning "mark". How does one clearly refute them based on the Qur'an alone? If the Qur'an was so crystal clear on it's own, why did they fall into this exegetical error?



I was reading brother Joseph Islam's article over here

Some of my thoughts...

- 75:17-18 cannot be linguistically used to negate the possible revelation of Qur'an in different modes. The singular "recitation" is in reference to the "Qur'an". Even traditionalists affirm one Qur'an, not seven Qur'ans. Traditionalists believe that it's been revealed in seven modes however. Even Joseph Islam recognizes this logic and says "Therefore, a Muslim in Morocco or Algeria, will not be reading a different Quran with extra verses, missing verses, different religious edicts or directives. The Quran will essentially be the same." So Joseph recognizes that despite there being two different transmissions (Warsh and Hafs), that doesn't necessitate there being two different Qur'ans. Hence, looking back at 75:17-18 it doesn't necessitate one mode of transmission, rather it only implies one Qur'an and that is something the traditional Muslim agrees with.

- 19:97 doesn't say "vernacular". That's a personal interpretation. It could easily refer to the Arabic language. Again, that doesn't stand in contradiction to the notion of Seven Ahruf.

Now.... the problems I find with brother Joseph's article are....

- Joseph provides us with no historical or rational evidence as to why the Hafs transmission is the one to be followed. He simply says that 95% of Muslims follow it and that is all. But isn't this committing the ad populum fallacy?

- Is Joseph saying that the 5% who go for Warsh today are following a "not 100% purely preserved" Qur'an? So does that mean that the Qur'an just like the hadith (though not to the same extent) has suffered "infiltration"?

- Joseph fails to realize that Hafs wasn't always the most popular reading. In fact, many argue that Warsh used to be the most popular reading historically and some even argue that the Prophet himself used to recite Warsh. Some argue that Hafs became popular only by an "accident". Its beginnings are from what is known as the King Fu'ad edition, the Egyptian edition, printed originally in 1337/ 1918. Far more than any other editions, it has been adopted in the most important centres of publishing the Qur'an in the Middle East: Egypt, Saudi Arabia (especially the King Fahd Complex for printing the Qur'an in Madina, Beirut and Turkey. The King Fu'ad edition produced in 1337/1918 was not by an individual, but by a committee of four. In 1342/ 1923 it was adopted by a committee set up by King Fu'ad I under the supervision of the Azhar authority, and was printed at the official Bulaq Press. It became known as the amiri mushaf  and became the model to be followed in Egypt and outside. This edition adopted Hafs as the reading which went on to become standard for the Madinah mushaf, the most popular edition of our time. Historically speaking, however, Hafs has been almost absent from Qur'anic manuscripts. Check "The Qira'at Identified In The Qur'anic Manuscripts" at The reading of Abu `Amr, the Basran, was prominent in the past. After that comes readings from Warsh, Qalun and Hamza. The earliest reading that was most popular appears to be Ibn Amir. This is not surprising given the fact that Syria was first conquered and held by Muslims. Furthermore the reign of the Umayyads lasted for quite a long time which could have helped in popularizing the reading. Given the historical data, many would not argue that the Qur'an has been preserved in the reading of Hafs.

So I find the Qur'an only Muslim at this point to be in a jam.

On the one hand, his hadeeth rejectionism doesn't allow him to make sense of the reading and manuscript variances we find for the Qur'an. His literal sole reliance on the Qur'an alone doesn't indicate to him which is the exact transmission to follow.

At the same time... if the Qura'nist attempts to delve into history to try and make sense of this whole scenario then that means that the Qur'anist recognizes the validity of the historical method to a certain extent. But the problem would then arise for the Qur'anist to deal with the historical evidence refuting his Qur'an only stance.

I think the Qur'anist is in a jam here.

Note: When I say "Qur'anist", I simply mean someone who is following the Qur'an literally alone. Sometimes I say "hadeeth rejector" and other times "Qur'anite", etc. I'm not using it as an offensive term. I obviously cannot simply call you a "Muslim", as pinpointing the exact people I am talking about is necessary for the sake of clarity.



I was reading brother Joseph's article over here

- Brother Joseph asked "A question bears pondering. When a non Muslim individual sincerely accepts the Quran as the Word of God, does he or she really care 'how the Quran was preserved'? Do they really accept the Quran as God's word because the Ahadith attests that the Quran can be traced all the way back to a Prophet which they do not yet believe in?" to then which brother Joseph answered "The answer is of course, in the negative." I don't think brother Joseph could speak on behalf of everyone. We are living in a time and age where our faith is under attack, especially the Qur'an's preservation by orientalists. Such things could shake a person's faith, hence it becomes relevant to many Muslims to historically demonstrate the preservation of the Qur'an and not simply resort to blind faith. We need to demonstrate that the overall collection process was reliable to the extent where we shouldn't even be open to the question that 15:9 was a false insertion in order to not let others doubt and suspect the other alleged false insertions.

- Many of the claims raised by brother Joseph in his "IT IS ONLY THE AHADITH THAT RAISES DOUBTS TO THE QURAN'S PRESERVATION" section were already addressed by myself in my debate on the subject

- Many of the subjective concerns raised against the hadiths have already been addressed by traditional Muslims (some examples,,, etc. etc. etc . ). It would be good to see counter rebuttals and a justification for the objectivity of the methodology used to discard these ahaadith. Unfortunately, I feel that there is a double standard going on when it comes to the hadith literature, since I feel the same level and method of argumentation could be equally applied against the Qur'an.

- Joseph talks about "ahad hadiths", so does that mean that he accepts the Mutawaatir ahaadith? How about ahad hadith which have had mutawaatir acceptance?

- Joseph said "The requirement that necessitated the need for ‘isnads’ seems inevitably linked to the fact that the veracity of the statements they provided were most likely challenged by the earliest Islamic communities." Isnads were needed in order to ensure containment and elimination of fabrications and weak evidence based stories from floating around.

I'm afraid that I can't Joseph's method as being serious, since it requires too much blind faith in a personal and subjective interpretation of the Qur'an, while at the same time discards established historical facts by merely sweeping them under the rug.


I was reading brother Joseph's article over here Some observations of mine:

- No explicit evidence has been provided to justify that the adequate translation for in 25:32 "denotes the well constructed action of putting together of component parts into one integral whole endowing the complete scripture with an ‘airtight’ inner consistency devoid of errors."

- The claim "the Quran’s statement clearly denies the insinuations and admits to a well planned and arranged structure despite its piecemeal revelation." isn't clear, rather it appears that the reason that the Qur'an gives for the gradual revelation is " thus that We may strengthen thy heart there with".

- Surah 75:17 does not mention the form of collection. It doesn't say whether it's collected in textual form or in the form of memorization in the minds of the companions.

- Again, no explicit evidence has been provided to justify the translation of 73:4 presented by brother Joseph.

- Surah 5:3 does not necessitate that all revelation be collated in textual form. The "completion of the deen" could entail that no more revelation would be coming down and everything that God had to say has been said. Nothing on collection of the revelation in textual form could be objectively/explicitly inferred from this verse.

- 80:13-16 only says that the Qur'an was written down. It doesn't say that all these writings were collected into one comprehensive book. The same goes for 68:1, 96:1-5, 98:2-3 & 25:5.

- The claim "The suggestion that such a central sacred text of the new believing community would not be committed to protected written parchments during the life of the Prophet seems difficult to accept from a Quranic perspective. Equally difficult to accept is the insinuation that the Arabs were so primitive that they would not be able to commit such a holy text to certain scrolls or parchments during the life of the Prophet." seems to be a subjective one, for one would ask: 1) Where is the Qur'anic command to collect everything in textual form in one single comprehensive book? and 2) What was the urgent need for it during the Prophet's time?

- The accusation in 6:91 is not to do with merely keeping the scriptures in parchments, but rather the accusation issued forth is that they would "disclose some of it and you conceal much of it". This is clear in context, since the accusation against the kuffar was for not abiding by the entirety of God's Word.

- Surah 15:9 indeed shows that it was God's promise to guard the Qur'an, however God works through agents. So I don't see the relevance here.

- Adrian Brockett was cited, but the question is... does Adrian Brockett believe that history demonstrates that the Qur'an was compiled into a single book before the Prophet's death (which is the main topic of the article)?

I don't think we should discard established historical facts of the preservation of the Qur'an for subjective interpretations of the Qur'an.



General Discussions / Who Determines What is Absurd?
« on: May 07, 2013, 06:32:28 AM »
I come across many Quranists who claim that they reject many ahaadith because they appear to be "absurd" and "ridiculous" and "an insult to one's intelligence".

But whose subjection opinion is the correct one when it comes to determining what is absurd? There are many atheists who would claim that the following things from the Qur'an:

- Jesus made birds from clay
- One of the Jins claimed to bring the throne of the Queen of Sheba within the blink of an eye
- Moses parted the sea with his staff
- The staff turned into a snake
- The hoopoe bird spoke to Sulayman
- Ibrahim was shown split dead brids brought back to life
- Some men slept for 300 years.
- Sodom and Gomorah were destroyed
- A she camel came out of a mountain for the people of Saleh
- A floating mountain was brought on top of Banu Israel
- A stone gave water for the twelve tribes of Israel
- An ant spoke and Sulayman heard it talk
- The army of elephants was destroyed by little birds
- The Prophet was taken to masjid al Aqsa and then to the seventh heaven in one night
- etc. etc. etc.

Are ridiculous.

So who draws the line? How do we remain intellectually consistent?


I was reading brother Joseph's article over here and I was disappointed that brother Joseph didn't emphasize strong enough on the fact that orthodox Muslims don't accept the Sira and hadith literature whole sale and have thus argued against the stories of:

Abu Afak and bin Marwan:

Due to them not being proven to be authentic. And it's not for arbitrary reasons at all.

As for Ka'b ibn al-Ashraf. I don't see what the objection to this killing is. He was a war criminal. Deception in war is permitted. What Islam forbids however is treachery and there is a difference between deception and treachery.


I was reading brother Joseph's article "EXCLUSIVENESS OF PROPHET MUHAMMAD (pbuh)" over here

I tend to understand 2:285 as many exegetes do that it means that one should not make a distinction between the messengers in the sense where you recognize some of them as being messengers, while others are not. It is emphasizing acceptance of all them. I believe it's an extra emphasis, since believing in the Messenger would lead to believing in everything else by default (e.g. books, message, etc.).

As for 2:253, which brother Joseph cited at the end... I totally agree that it is God alone who could elevate certain prophets in ranks or not. However, I think brother Joseph forgot one thing........ that doesn't mean that we cannot RECOGNIZE God's elevation of certain Prophets and BASED ON THAT, distinguish between the Prophets in terms of rank. We aren't doing the distinction because of what we think, but rather because of how God distinguished between them. Hence, we are merely recognizing God's distinction Himself.

Your thoughts?

Brother Joseph Islam expressed some concerns regarding certain ahaadeeth in the orthodox Muslim hadith literature in his article over here 

However, I think it would be fair to see how orthodox Muslims have clarified the meaning of these ahaadith.

I gave a partial explanation here , while another brother dedicated an entire article to it here



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