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peace all,

The book and the wisdom (al kitab wa al hikma) argument: Traditionalist/Sunni Islam Vs Quran alone

The argument goes like this: The Quran tells us prophet Muhammad was given the book (al kitab) and the wisdom (al hikma) and they say “al kitab” is The Quran and “al hikma” is separated by “wa” (and) so must be something else, which they take to mean the prophet’s sunna. Thus using this as a Quranic justification for following the prophet’s sunna, which they claim is documented in traditions (e.g. hadith), thus making those traditions a valid source of law.

There are a number of assumptions in this argument:
1) “al kitab” means the book
2) the kitab/book refers to The Quran
3) the conjunction “wa” (and) means a separate and distinct thing
4) “al hikma” refers to prophet Muhammad’s sunna
5) this sunna is preserved/documented accurately
6) this documented sunna is authoritative i.e. must be obeyed

This article will address points 1-4.

Click on link for full article. Feedback welcome, especially corrections.

Discussions / Imam Abu Hanifa's views on hadith
« on: July 24, 2021, 04:10:33 PM »
The following was taken from the book called "Hanafi principles of testing hadith" by Shaykh Atabek Shukurov. It deals with classical hanafi principles, not modern hanafi version which is significantly influenced by Shafi principles.

You can see some of his interviews here:

The purpose of this post is just to show what was apparently done in the past. It seems pretty obvious from Traditional Islamic and historical sources that the elevated status of hadith took a while to establish itself and became dominant post-Shafi.


Imam Abu Hanifa apparently had a much stricter criteria for ahadith/traditions, and made much more limited/cautious use of them in his rulings. Especially in comparison to later scholars and Imams of other madhabs e.g. Malik, Shafi, Hanbal.

In fact he rejected so many hadith that he was apparently accused in his lifetime of being a "hadith rejecter". He apparently clarified by saying he does not reject hadith but rejects incorrectly attributed hadith.

As such there was somewhat of a rivalry between him and muhadithin (scholars of hadith). For example, Bukhari (who came much later) famously does not take hadith from Abu Hanifa, or only does so indirectly.

His criteria for testing hadith, in brief:
1) does it go against Quran
2) does it go against established sunnah (precedent of prophet and companions)
3) if it is only one person narrating the hadith AND it affects everybody (i.e. a hadith that affects everybody should be much more well known than having one common narrator)
4) was the hadith ignored by the companions or following generation
5) does it go against the intellect
6) does it go against the senses/experience (empirical evidence)
7) if it relates to matters of theology (e.g. God and His attributes)
8] does it go against agreed upon principles of Islam

This is after having checked each narrator in the chain/isnad passes their narrator criteria (righteous, maturity, intellect, memory, Muslim, not known for innovation, acts upon their own narration etc).

Thought some might find this interesting.

peace all,

Please see here for a much better formatted article (with helpful links embedded):

Please use above link but article cut and pasted below without formatting for reference:

It has recently come to my attention that many people misread these verses and erroneously conclude that the difficulty discussed in 2:143 was the change in "qiblah" (which is what Traditional explanations tend to focus on). In some ways it is understandable that a misreading occurs as we are likely clouded in thinking by the traditional discussions surrounding these verses. I will outline the multiple problems with this traditional understanding:

1) Please pay careful attention to the tense of the words highlighted (green is present/future/imperfect tense, red is past/perfect tense):

2:142 The foolish from the people will say* "What has turned them from the qiblah/focal-point which they were on it**?" Say: "To God is the east and the west, He guides whomever He wishes to a straight/establishing path."
2:143 And as such We have made you a balanced community so that you will be witnesses over the people, and the messenger will be a witness over you. And not We made the qiblah/focal-point which thou were on it** except that We make evident he who follows the messenger from he who will turn back on his heels. And indeed it was certainly a great/difficult (thing/test) except for those whom God guided; And not was God to let go waste your belief. Indeed, God is over the people Fully-Kind and Merciful.
2:144 Indeed, We see thy face/consideration moving in the sky/heaven; so surely We will turn thee (onto/to) a qiblah/focal-point that will please thee: so turn...
*i.e. they will say in the future, obviously AFTER the change in qiblah/focus occurs. This is also made clear by use of the prefixed future particle "sa" in the Arabic.
**compare these occurrences.

Hopefully it should now be clear that the great/big (thing/test) was being on the 1st qiblah (i.e. the one prior to the change). However, we can also verify this using what else The Quran says.

2) It is clear from 2:144 that the change in qiblah (or the 2nd qiblah) will please the messenger. Therefore if you think that the change in qiblah was the difficult thing (as is traditionally discussed) then this will conflict with the messenger being pleased about it. Is he pleased for him (and his community) to undergo a great difficulty? Yes/No.

3) If, for some reason, you answer "yes" to the above it is refuted by 2:144 when it says "Indeed, We see thy face/consideration moving in the sky/heaven; so surely We will turn thee (onto/to) a qiblah/focal-point that will please thee...". This is taken by everyone (that I have read) to mean the messenger was seeking guidance, he was somewhat unsettled/uncomfortable, and we may even say not as pleased (relatively speaking) on the 1st qiblah (prior to the change). To make it even clearer:

We see thy face/consideration moving in the sky/heaven (i.e. currently on the 1st qiblah, less pleasing)
surely We will turn thee (onto/to) a qiblah/focal-point that will please thee (i.e. on/to the 2nd qiblah, more pleasing)

This matches with 2:143 in which it is said the 1st/prior qiblah was difficult. It ties together perfectly.

4) Furthermore, this is confirmed in 2:150 when it gives us the reasons for the change (or what the change in qiblah will result in) e.g. "so that not will be for the people against you debate/argument". Obviously being in a situation of less argument/hostility would be more pleasing i.e. a positive, further solidifying that the 1st qiblah which they were on (probably involving more argument/hostility) was the difficult one.

All information confirms and reinforces each other, that being on the 1st qiblah was the difficulty spoken of in 2:143.

Note: I am simply using the terminology "1st qiblah" and "2nd qiblah" to make this article easier to follow. In the article on "al masjid al haram" it is highlighted that The Quran tells us there could be many qiblah, each person could have their own qiblah etc. This makes sense with the term qiblah being related to wijhatun (course, goal, motive, direction) in 2:148. To read further discussion please see the article.
After reading these articles you may wish to try slotting in whatever understanding you have of "qiblah" and "al masjid al haram" and what the 1st qiblah was etc to see if you can make sense of the verses. There is a high chance you will fail and/or be unable to explain the various issues brought up in these verses. If you come up with something that fits (different to my own understanding) please share it here.

It is ironic to think that some may read the above, ignore the problems and stick with their current view. Akin to turning back on their heels unable to face the truth. Maybe it's time to change direction?


This work reflects my personal understanding, as of 17th July 2020. Seeking knowledge is a continual process and I will try to improve my understanding of the signs within 'the reading' (al quran) and out with it, unless The God wills otherwise. All information is correct to the best of my knowledge only and thus should not be taken as a fact. One should always seek knowledge and verify for themselves when possible: 17:36, 20:114, 35:28, 49:6, 58:11.

More articles:

Islamic Duties / Quran and 2:184 - what is the correct translation?
« on: May 11, 2019, 03:59:00 AM »
New article:

Quran and 2:184 - what is the correct translation?

Feedback welcome, especially corrections.

Resources and Information Portal / Crediting Source within Articles
« on: August 22, 2016, 07:58:51 PM »
Dear Joseph, Admin,

I note that in your articles you utilise Project Root List regularly but do not credit the source, e.g. this article:

A link or reference should be incorporated into the articles if used:

Some of those who read your articles may not be aware of this resource, hence would find it useful once they are aware of it, as you have found.


General Discussions / Re: Wonderful scholarship! - Night Journey
« on: April 02, 2015, 03:41:14 AM »
peace reader comments  admin,

I read the linked article but I didn't see the implied "arriving at the Truth, solely with the Quran" as there was little to no analysis of The Quran, other than citing 17:1 and two possible supporting Quran excerpts. To be fair the article says its short and not exhaustive, thus I'm not sure where this reader comment comes from, unless they are referring to another post/article? If so, can you please share it, thanks.

Having said that, I do appreciate the article highlighting the flaws/weaknesses of the traditional story, albeit I'm not surprised.

Salamun alaykum Joseph!

Wonderful scholarship, indeed, at arriving at the Truth, solely with the Qur'an!

Of late I have taken the same approach, and I pray to Allah to cleanse me from all man-made additions to Islam.

His Nur remains

Other than my own study, I have personally never seen anyone explain 17:1 adequately using The Quran.

General Discussions / crimes, punishments, expiations in The Quran
« on: July 03, 2014, 05:09:51 AM »
If you know of other verses, let me know...

### source

Crime, punishment and expiation in The Quran

The following verses list specified punishments and expiations in this world. They are presented without analysis.

Please note there are many more verses discussing ethics, and negative consequences of certain actions, but no specified punishment/expiation given, hence not included below.

General principle of justice: equivalence or less

And those who, when gross injustice befalls them, they seek justice. The recompense for an evil/crime shall be its likeness, but whoever forgives and makes right, then his reward is upon God. He does not like the wrongdoers. [42:40]


And do not kill the soul, for God has made this forbidden except with truth/justice. And whoever is killed wrongfully, then We have given his heir authority, but not he should exceed in the killing, indeed he is helped/victorious. [17:33]

Say: "Come let me recite for you what your Lord has forbidden for you: that you should not set up anything with Him; and be kind to your parents; and do not kill your children for fear of poverty, We provide for you and for them; and do not come near lewdness, what is plain of it or subtle; and do not kill the soul which God has forbidden except with truth/justice. That is what He enjoined you that you may comprehend." [6:151]

And We have decreed for them in it that a life for a life, and an eye for an eye, and a nose for a nose, and an ear for an ear, and a tooth for a tooth, and for wounds is just-recompense so whoever gave charity with it then it is an expiation for him. And whoever does not judge with what God has sent down, then these are the wicked.  [5:45]

Also see: 18:74, 2:73, 4:85.


And it is not for a believer to kill another believer except by accident. And whoever kills a believer by accident, then he shall set free a believing slave, and give compensation to the family; except if they remit it. If he was from a people who are enemies to you, and he was a believer, then you shall set free a believing slave. And if he was from a people between whom you had a covenant, then a compensation to his family and set free a believing slave. Whoever does not find, then the fasting of two months sequentially as a repentance from God; God is Knowledgeable, Wise. [4:92]
And whoever kills a believer intentionally, then his reward shall be Hell, eternally abiding therein, and God will be angry with him, and curse him, and for him is prepared a great retribution. [4:93]

O you who believe, just-recompense has been decreed for you in the case of those who are slain; the free for the free, and the slave for the slave, and the female for the female. Whoever is forgiven anything by his fellow/brother, then it is to be followed with fairness and payment to him with kindness; that is an alleviation from your Lord, and a mercy. Whoever transgresses after that, he will have a painful retribution. [2:178]
And through just-recompense you will be protecting life, O people of understanding, that you may be righteous. [2:179]

Corruption in the land

It is because of this that We have decreed for the Children of Israel: "Anyone who kills a person who has not committed murder, or who has not committed corruption in the land; then it is as if he has killed all the people! And whoever spares a life, then it is as if he has given life to all the people." Our messengers had come to them with clarification, but many of them are, after this, still corrupting on the Earth. [5:32]
The recompense of those who fight God and His messenger, and seek to make corruption in the land, is that they will be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from alternate sides or that they be banished from the land; that is a disgrace for them in this world and in the Hereafter they will have a great retribution. [5:33]
Except for those who repent before you overpower them, then know that God is Forgiving, Merciful. [5:34]

Adultery, fornication, immorality

Those guilty of illicit sex (adultery/fornication), you shall lash each of them with one hundred lashes, and do not let any pity overtake you regarding God's system if you believe in God and the Last Day. And let a group of the believers witness their punishment.
The adulterer/fornicator will only marry an adulteress/fornicator or polytheist. And the adulteress/fornicator, will only marry her an adulterer/fornicator or a polytheist. And that has been forbidden for the believers.
And those who accuse the chaste women and they do not bring forth four witnesses, then you shall lash them eighty lashes and do not ever accept their testimony. Those indeed are the evildoers.
Except those who repent after this and do right, then God is Forgiving, Merciful.
Also see 24:6-9 for spousal allegation.

And whoever of you cannot afford to marry the believing protected women, then from those committed to you by oath of the believing young women. God is more aware of your faith, some of you to each other. You shall marry them with the permission of their parents and give them their dowries in kindness; to be protected, not for illicit sex or taking lovers. If they become protected, then any of them who comes with immorality/lewdness shall have half the punishment of what is for the protected women. This is for those who fear hardship from among you. But if you are patient it is better for you, and God is Forgiver, Merciful. [4:25]

And those of your women who commit immorality/lewdness, you shall bring four witnesses over them from amongst you; if they bear witness, then you shall restrict them in the homes until death terminates their lives, or God makes for them a way out.
The two who commit it from amongst you, then you shall harm/reprimand them. If they repent and amend, then leave them alone. God is Redeemer, Compassionate.
Repentance is only for those who commit sin out of ignorance and then repent soon after; these will be forgiven by God, God is Knowledgeable, Wise.

O you who believe, it is not lawful/allowed for you to inherit the women forcibly/unwillingly, and nor that you hinder them to take away some of what you gave them unless they commit a clear lewdness. And live/consort with them in kindness, so if you dislike them, then perhaps you may dislike something and God makes in it much good. [4:19]

Direct abuse/harrassment

And those who harm the believing men and the believing women, with no just reason, they have brought upon themselves a slander and a gross sin.
O prophet, tell your wives, your daughters, and the wives of the believers that they shall lengthen (or draw near) over themselves their outer-garments. That is more likely they be recognized so not harmed. God is Forgiver, Merciful.
If the hypocrites and those with disease in their hearts and those who spread lies in the city do not refrain, then We will let you overpower them, then they will not be able to remain as your neighbours except for a short while.
They are cursed wherever they are found, and they are taken and killed in numbers.


O you who believe, be aware of God and give up what is left from usury, if you are truly believers.
And if you will not do this, then take notice of a war from God and His messenger; but if you repent, then you will have back your principal money, you will not be wronged nor will you wrong.


The male thief, and the female thief, you shall mark, cut, or cut-off their hands/means as a recompense for what they earned, and to serve as a deterrent from God. God is Noble, Wise. Whoever repents after his wrongdoing and makes amends, then God will relent on him. Truly, God is Forgiving, Merciful. [5:38-39]

God will not hold you for your unintentional oaths, but He will hold you for what oaths you have made binding; its expiation shall be the feeding of ten poor from the average/equitable of what you feed your family, or that you clothe them, or that you free a slave; whoever cannot find shall fast for three days; that is an expiation for making your oaths when you swear. And be careful from making oaths. It is such that God clarifies for you His revelations that you may be thankful. [5:89]

O you who believe, do not kill any game while you are restricted; and whoever of you kills it deliberately, then recompense is value similar to what was killed of the livestock, judging by two equitable persons from you, an offering/gift reaching the base/projection or an expiation feeding needy people, or equivalent that fast/abstinence; that he may taste the consequence of his deed. God forgives what has passed, and whoever returns then God will take retribution from him. God is Severe, Owner of retribution. [5:95]

And fulfil the homage and the visit for God. So if you are prevented/restrained then what is easy of the offering and do not relieve/unburden your chiefs/representatives until the offering reaches its permitted place so whoever from among you was sick or with him harm from his chief/representative then ransom from abstinence/fast or charity or sacrifice/observance.
So when you are safe/secure then whoever enjoyed with the visit to the homage then what is easy of the offering, so whoever couldn't find then an abstinence/fast three days during the homage and seven when you returned, this is ten complete.
That is for one whose people are not present (at) the inviolable time of acknowledgement and be conscious of God and know that God is severe in punishment. [2:196]

Those who had estranged their wives in this manner, then they again repeat it, they shall free a slave before they have sexual contact between them. This is to enlighten you. God is well aware of everything you do.
If he cannot find any, then he shall fast two consecutive months before any sexual contact between them. If he cannot, then he shall feed sixty poor people. That is so you would believe in God and His messenger. And these are the limits set by God. The disbelievers have incurred a painful retribution.

A few number of days; however, if any of you is ill or traveling, then the same number from different days; and as for those who are able a ransom feeding the needy. And whoever does good voluntarily, then it is better for him. And fast/abstinence is better for you if you knew.


O you who believe, if you wish to hold a private meeting with the messenger, you shall offer a charity before you do so. This is better for you, and purer. If you cannot do so, then God is Forgiver, Merciful. [58:12]

And others who have confessed their sins, they have mixed good work with bad. Perhaps God will pardon them. God is Forgiving, Merciful. [9:102]
Take from their wealth a charity cleansing them and purifying/growing them by/with it, and bless/bond over them; for your blessing/bond is a tranquility for them; and God is Hearer, Knowledgeable.

Famous classical Arabic dictionaries, grammar works and lexicons :: a timeline


The following are approximate dates (CE = common era):

610-632 CE: revelation of Quran
760: kitab al ayn - khalil ibn ahmad (no extant copy from the time however)
790: al Kitab by Sibawayh (oldest extant Arabic grammar work?)
830: beginning of compilation of Hadith works
900: Kitab al Dajmharah
930: six most famous Traditional Hadith book collections complete
1003: Al Sihah
1004: Makayis al Lughah
1050: Muhkam by ibn Sidah
1290: Lisan al arab (most famous dictionary, based on earlier works) 650+ years after Quran
1400: al qamus al muhit
1780: Taj al arus
1850 Lane's Lexicon


Important points to note:

Most (perhaps all) of the above authors, especially the earliest, considered how The Quran used its words to be the most pure (i.e. correct) and often cited its examples of usage. Those who are Quran minded still aim to do this today.

Arabic is a living language, meaning it is used by people. All languages used by people evolve with time, e.g. certain words die out, new words introduced, word meanings are modified. Some authors, such as Toshihiko Izutsu, discuss how the usage of words became nuanced/modified even during the Quran's revelation. This is nothing unusual and even happens today with English.

All man-made sources are inherently imperfect, including dictionaries/lexicons/grammar works. They will inevitably contain errors, bias, contradict each other, be incomplete etc. They are still an excellent resource to use however, as long as one bears in mind The Quran's criterion.

Toshihiku Izutsu works
The Arabic Language: its role in history
Rethinking Tradition in Modern Islamic Thought

General Discussions / The meaning of sabih according to The Quran
« on: April 20, 2014, 08:13:09 PM »
The meaning of SaBiH from The Quran :: Part 1

The Arabic word 'sabih' (root: Siin-Ba-Ha) is commonly taken to mean 'glorify/extol/magnify'. In the following article, Quran occurrences are analysed in order to gain a better understanding. Sometimes significant points will be made, but also small observations which by themselves may not provide definitive insight, but taken together will hopefully provide a coherent view.

CAD = Classical Arabic Dictionaries
SBH = Siin-Ba-Ha

The root and its derivatives have the following meanings, taken from Project Root List:

Siin-Ba-Ha = to swim, roll onwards, perform a daily course, float, the act of swimming, occupy oneself in: the accomplishment of his needful affairs or seeking the means of subsistence, business/occupation, those who are floating, went/travel far, being quick/swift. To praise/glorify/hallow/magnify, sing/celebrate praise, holy, declaring God to be far removed or free for every imperfection/impurity

Some examples of words derived from verb form 1 "SaBaHa":

And He is the One who created the night and the daytime, and the sun and the moon, each/all in an orbit/rotation floating/swimming/rolling. [21:33]

Not proper for the sun that it overtakes the moon, and not the night can outstrip/forerun the daytime, all/each in an orbit/rotation floating/swimming/rolling. [36:40]

The noun "SuBHan" is reserved for God only and commonly occurs when something unbefitting of God is assigned to Him, or when the context discusses an attribute unique to God. This ties in with the meaning "declaring God to be far removed or free for every imperfection/impurity", for which "glory" is a reasonable translation. Some examples:

...glory be to Thee, guard us against the punishment... [3:191]
...they assign God daughters, glory be to Him... [16:57]
...God is only one God, glory be to Him... [4:171]
...glory be to our Lord, am I aught but a mortal... [17:93]
...glory be to God, Lord of the beings... [27:8]
...glory be to God, from what they associate... [59:23]

The noun "SaBHan": the daytime thou has occupation prolonged. [73:7]

Some examples of verb form 2 "SaBBaHa":

Only believe in Our signs/verses are those whom when they are reminded with them, they fall acknowledging/sujjad and glorify with praise of their Lord, and they are not arrogant. [32:15]

The phrase 'SBH bi HMD' (glorify with praise) does seem to suggest a type/subset of SBH that is communicated somehow (e.g. by thunder 13:13, controlling forces 39:75, 40:8, 42:5). Of course, since God knows what is in our hearts/minds it may not necessarily mean it has to be a verbal communication.

Whatever is in the heavens and the earth glorifies God... [see 57:1, 59:1, 59:24, 61:1, 62:1]
Also: ...every thing glorifies with His praise but you do not understand their glorification. [see 17:44]

When referring to things 'glorifying with praise' in 17:44, the phrase "you do not understand their SBH" is interesting, as I, and perhaps others, would like to think that whilst we may not understand it we could at least conceptualise about the possible type of SBH things were doing. It is possible it is referring to the audience of the time only.
It may be interesting to note that the examples given of 'SBH with praise' seem to be related with communication, e.g. sound. Sound is essentially vibrations (i.e. kinetic energy) that travel through a medium, e.g. air. All atoms in the universe vibrate. We could speculate that every thing is communicating their SBH in the form of energy somehow. Interestingly, a recent theory called 'superstring theory' is an attempt to explain all of the particles and fundamental forces of nature in one theory by modelling them as vibrations of tiny supersymmetric strings. Scientists are currently hunting for these strings.

Do you not see that whoever in the heavens and the earth glorifies God - and the birds with wings outspread? Each knows its salat/bond and its glorification. And God is fully aware of what they do. [24:41]

Note that it is possible to see glorificationy/SBH of God, but due to the question being asked the implication is that seeing this SBH may require some deeper thought. If "whoever" (i.e. everyone) glorifies God then clearly SBH is not only restricted to something verbal or voluntary, as commonly thought. To my knowledge the only other terms that apply to everyone in this manner are "aSLaMa (to give over)" [3:83] and "SuJuD (give acknowledgement/recognition)" [22:18, 55:6, 13:15]. What these three terms seem to have in common is that they contain an inherent subordinate relation. In other words: A doing SBH of B implies A is subordinate to B.
Birds with wings outspread is given as an example of SBH that can be seen. The obvious question to reflect upon is what makes this an example of SBH? It seems to me the bird is simply utilising how it is designed, in unison with the laws of nature, in order to function or acheive its desired result. This majestic expression of innate design harnessing the laws of nature could be regarded as SBH (as it glorifies The Creator of such design and laws). The same could apply to humans as mentioned in 24:41, thus explain the usage.

..And We subjected the mountains with David to glorify and the birds... [21:79]
One explanation of the above is that when David praised God by voice, the mountains and birds joined him, i.e with echo and chirping respectively (see 34:10 "...mountains repeat/echo with him and the birds..." and also 38:19).

With regard to birds, note that the above SBH suggests something different to SBH of birds with wings outspread (24:41), thus, the bird is an exemplar of multiple forms of SBH (verbal and non-verbal), and is a creature capable of communicating by sound, like us. This is an important point to reflect upon.

If a human was to SBH like the bird with wings outspread, then the equivalent would be walking, running etc but this is only expressing ourselves through the laws of nature. One may argue that the bird is simply doing what it does out of instinct (inbuilt programming) and whilst humans have an inbuilt program to some extent (see 30:30), we can also choose to express ourselves through God's revealed law, e.g. by carrying out a commandment from The Quran, such as giving to charity, abstinence, feeding a needy person etc. Doing so could be classed as a type of SBH/glorification, and such an association seems to be present in the following verses:

20:30 (Moses said) "Aaron, my brother."
20:31 "Reinforce with him my resolve."
20:32 “And share with him my task.”
20:33 “That we may glorify/SBH You plenty.”
20:34 “And remember You plenty.”

There is also a possible contrast being made in this verse:
And your Lord said to the controlling forces: "I am placing a successor on Earth." They said: "Would You place in it he who would corrupt in it and spill blood while we glorify with Your praise, and sanctify You?" He said: "I know what you do not know." [2:30]

One way to SBH God is with/by his name/attribute, see examples 39:4, 56:74, 56:96, 69:52, 87:1. Perhaps this is where the traditional practice of tasbih (a form of dhikr/remembrance that involves the repetitive utterances of short sentences glorifying God) comes from. This specific practice is not something that needs to be done, but is simply one possible form of SBH.

Part 2 to follow shortly, unless The God wills otherwise.

General Discussions / Feedback on Q&A: Who named us muslim
« on: January 06, 2014, 05:04:19 AM »
Dear brother Joseph,


In my view, the evidence suggests it is God who "named" us "muslimeen". Here is my reasoning/evidence:

1) in 22:78 the other "huwa" usage always refer to God
2) the verse continues throughout from the same perspective/subject-address. If "huwa" refers to God, then the verse flows without a switch in "huwa"
3) to my knowledge, "huwa" is never used as a reference for Abraham elsewhere in Quran

Islamic Duties / New Article: what is 'al hajj' according to The Quran?
« on: November 05, 2013, 01:04:46 AM »
peace/salaam all,

Summary of article below:

al HaJJ ~ the symposium/feast/homage/commemoration

occurs within the ashur(plural of shahr) well known i.e. the four inviolable/restricted months [2:197, 9:2-5]
the crescent/new moons are used as set times for it [2:189]

the principal requirement: the position of the shelter and of those hosting it is that nothing is associated with God i.e. monotheism [22:26, 22:31]
can take place at a shelter wherein this criteria is met [3:96, 22:26]
done for God [3:97, 2:196]
during this time there is an amnesty/truce in place if there are warring parties (self-defence is still allowed however) [9:2, 2:191]
this type of event will nurture a sense of brotherhood amongst monotheists/believers, provide opportunity to witness benefits, remember/mention/thank/magnify God, spend in the way of God and do good [2:195-198, 9:18-20, 22:25-28, 22:35]

it is open to all mankind (who are willing to abide by the laws of the land) - for whoever is able to make a way to it [3:97, 9:18, 22:27]
if you wish to go but are prevented then send whatever is easy of gift/offering (with a representative) - if unable to do this then one can redeem by way of abstinence/charity/sacrifice [2:196]

Undertaking HaJJ
for monotheists - those wishing to uphold the salat/bond and bring forth betterment [22:31, 22:35, 9:18, 9:28]
no sex/wrongdoing/quarreling - this may aid the positive atmosphere and one's spiritual experience [2:197]
bring provision [2:197]
one's state of mind should be piety/conscientiousness/forethoughtfulness/taqwa and sincere/straightforward [2:189, 2:197, 2:203, 22:32, 22:37]
can be done in 2 days but typically would be 3-10 days, and one's obligation is fulfilled after the act of animal slaughter and feeding those in need [2:200, 2:203, 22:29, 22:34]

if you enjoyed in the visit to the HaJJ then give whatever is easy of gift/offering - if unable then abstinence 3 days during + 7 when you return = 10 complete [2:196]

one may seek bounty (i.e. worldly benefit, e.g. trade), get to know one another, go about the place, remember/mention/thank/magnify God, if doing HaJJ slaughter an animal to eat and share with the needy [2:198, 2:200, 2:203, 22:28, 22:34, 22:36]

The HaJJ seems to be a vehicle through which commemoration of God, spending in the way of God, experiencing benefits for oneself/others and brotherhood are actualised. Such an undertaking/event would also serve as an excellent example for visitors, and thus perhaps help spread the message. Humans are by nature social beings and there is nothing more powerful than seeing the truth for oneself, and this effect could tie in with some of the other meanings of the root Ha-Jiim-Jiim: e.g. "overcome another by/in argument/evidences/testimonies".


All feedback welcome, especially corrections. Thanks.

Islamic Duties / feedback on Joseph Islam's article on hajj and umrah
« on: August 10, 2013, 05:10:22 AM »
salaam/peace all,


Dear brother Joseph,

Firstly, thank you for writing this article, and sharing your works in general. As a student of Quran it is appreciated. I read your above work and made the following notes:

You said:
"There is absolutely no linkage in the Quran of Prophet Abraham's (pbuh) personal 'test' and the need to perform Hajj, or to perform animal sacrifices during Hajj."
Perhaps the last bit should read "...or to perform animal sacrifices during Hajj that commemorate Abraham" as you later clearly discuss animal sacrifices during hajj.

You said: "The circumambulation of Safa and Marwa was clearly an existing pagan practice which was allowed to continue"
Are there any other clear pagan practices allowed to continue in Quran? Why do you think this one is allowed to continue?

I disagree with your translation of 2:158 due to:
perfect verb: hajj and umrah
there is not "ila/to" al bayt
tawaffa bihima / goes about by them (imperfect) not around them

In the "purpose and proclamation" section you do not highlight some of the reasons given for hajj, e.g. witness benefits, mention/remember the name of God over what God has provided for them of livestock and feed the poor. You mention them but not highlight them like you do with others - I was just wondering why?

The translation of 22:32 cited is inconsistent, i.e. yu'azzim / honours not magnifies, as 22:30 later in your article.

Translation of 3:97 "faith" is not there, but I assume this is your interpretation or just an oversight.

Translation of 2:189 - am I right in thinking hilal can also mean crescent (whether waxing or waning) not just "new moon"?

8 )
Re: 22:33
In your view, are the animals sacrificed at "the ancient house" (i.e. Kabah), as well as people circuiting it?

Re: shaving/cutting of the hair
I reject this understanding based on the issues highlighted here, see critical questions.

In your analysis you say that head shaving and (hair) shortening is an expiation for those who did not complete, but 48:27 does not give that impression at all. You say such an act is strongly suggested as marking the end of hajj, but in 48:27 people have done this and are entering the "Sacred Mosque" so I assume, in your understanding, after their hajj is technically done they shave head / cut hair, then they go back and enter the Sacred Mosque for some reason? Can you clarify.

You suggest:
prevented from completing ---> shave head, shorten (hair)
after completing ---> shave head, shorten (hair)

So it is shave head, cut hair either way? Why?

No Hunting
Can it not also be translated as "...while you are restricted" or "while you are under restriction" rather than in a state of ihram i.e. whilst on hajj?
If it is whilst on hajj and we know hajj can be done in 2 days [2:203], this means no hunting of wild game for 2 days for these people, in your view?
Why do you think there is such a restriction in place?

You said: "..If there is a sickness or an ailment of the head which has necessitated the cutting of the hair before the sacrifice reaches its destination, then a ransom..."
Where does Quran say this?

Under (4) expiations, you provide expiations for:
not doing hajj or umrah
being able to do hajj after umrah (where is AFTER umrah from?)

(Please note that the restriction of not shaving one's head until the sacrifice reaches its destination applies only if one cannot complete the Hajj or Umrah as mentioned in the above section).
Why in your view?

You said: Umrah is a visit to the Sacred Mosque to complete certain rites outside these sacred months. - evidence?
You said: The rites required for Umrah can be deduced from the Quran which require a pilgrim only to complete the circumambulation of the Kaaba and the 'tawaaf' of Safa and Marwah. - evidence?

You cite 22:29 but the prior verses are about hajj, in fact 22:28 says "days known" and 22:29 begins with "thumma" strongly implying a continuation from what was said before, thus making your above deduction highly unlikely.
You also cite 2:158 but it uses the perfect verb for having done hajj or 3mr, clearly implying safa/marwa are not necessary for either. Ergo, they are not compulsory for umrah.

In your opinion what does "whoever volunteers good/better" mean in 2:158?


Since I have asked quite a few questions, please feel free to take your time in answering. Thanks.


General Discussions / Re: Joseph Islam's article on 4:82
« on: July 06, 2013, 05:29:33 AM »
peace Brother Joseph,


I think there is an error:

Quote: No matter how accurate a source and indeed the source of the Quran remains 'perfect' (i.e. God), it is the infallible mind which interprets the source which causes the variance. Therefore, verse 4:82 remains more of a function of the 'interpreter' than the Quran itself.

I think you meant fallible.

Whilst I found the article interesting, I'm not sure if I agree with your interpretation. According to the word in question in 4:82 is "accusative masculine indefinite (form VIII) verbal noun" and in this specific form occurs 7 times

According to my notes verb form 8 is "generally reflexive and, occasionally, passive in meaning" whereas you seem to have taken it as causative, i.e. "‘a cause for disagreement".

1) Can you clarify why you took it as causative?

2) When I inserted your understanding of this word into it's other 6 occurrences it didn't seem to fit well.

3) I also have another issue: if it does mean what you say then I don't particularly see how it is a statement of strength or uniqueness or demonstrates the grandeur of God's Word etc and it is not reasonably falsifiable, i.e. distinguishing between some and many differences is subjective. Perhaps I have not grasped the point you are making.

Please clarify. Thanks.

General Discussions / Re: Q&A Blessings, Shaving the Head and Dhikr
« on: October 24, 2012, 03:48:52 AM »
salaam Joseph, all,

2) Haaj and shaving the head...
Again Joseph, I have read thru the article, what is the reason/wisdom behind the shaving (or shortening ) of the hair?

Response to Question 2:

No reason is given by the Quran. Like the Tawaaf of Safa and Marwa, Arafat and the Sacred Monument, the shaving or cutting of the hair was a pre-jahaliyya rite of worship allowed to continue in the name of the One God as part of Hajj. [3]

I agree that the above answer is perhaps the only answer one can give, as there is simply no reason given in Quran. But even if there is no reason, is it actually practical and logical? This we can ponder over...

Critical Question 1: if you (plural) are prevented from completing hajj/3umra, then how can you ensure the hady reaches its mahilla?
This simple question is commonly neglected by translators. There is variance amongst traditional commentators/jurists as to how to go about this, some say wherever you are sacrifice an animal and that is fine (which goes against the Arabic!) or some say send it but fail to explain how or with whom. If one translates it in such a way, however it gets there this should be explained by Quran itself, if so, the only words that could possibly explain this are: "do not HLQ your RAS". This in itself is strong evidence against the traditional translation of "do not shave your heads". Please note there is also variance when it comes to when to "shave your head" as the Arabic implies one can only do so when the HDY reaches its permitted place, but imagining a practical situation is difficult, i.e. the person sends HDY then waits then when someone (we dont know who) returns and tells them yes your HDY did reach where it was sent you may now shave your head they then do so on their say so.
Even if we were to accept these variant baseless explanations, translating it in the traditional way does not make any sense because having a adhan/hurt of head preventing head-shaving (e.g. cut, infection, surgery, sunburn, toupe, bald) does not actually prevent one giving a HDY/offering! It would be like Quran mentioning something irrelevant such as having a sore pinky finger thus instead of giving HDY do something else instead, when having a sore pinky finger is completely irrelevant to what is being discussed.
In addition, the traditional understanding also differentiates between those with and without hurt of the head for no obvious/practical reason, which is illogical. No commentary that I read explains this away. See here for brief explanation of this point. Critical Question 2.

Source for the above can be given upon request.

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