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Messages - Joseph Islam

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Dear brother Hamzeh,

As-salamu alaykum

Thank you for your post which is well argued and really appreciated.  :)
As you also quite rightly point out:

  • "What needs to be made clear from this point is that, the Quran does not lack any details at all. It only lacks details from the relative point of whats been added or invented in the name of religion over the past 1400+ years or in others words from the lenses of a present day Islam which one needs to admit that over the span of time could of intentionally or unintentionally obscured its message with false prohibitions and legislations if not resorting to reassessing the source."

I think the prescription of 'ablution' in the Quran also makes this point quite cogently. Here we have a religious ritual that has details unequivocally furnished by the Quran (4:43, 5:6). However, one finds that extra rituals are performed by the traditionalists 'as religious decree' which finds no explicit mention in the Quran such as the rinsing of one’s mouth, the nose cleanse, repeating the washing of the arms thrice etc.

From a Quran-centric position of course, there is no harm in performing these extra rituals as long as they are not considered 'compulsory' as part of religious divine decree. However, the traditionalist must resolve the question that if the Quran does not provide these extra details which the traditionalists accept as compulsory, then how do they square this with the verses where the Quran describes itself as ‘explained in detail’ (11:1) and an ‘explanation / clarification of everything ‘ in matters of religious guidance?

This is a matter they must resolve, cogently.



Q&As with Joseph Islam - Information Only / Re: Meaning of the word 'Junub'
« on: November 02, 2018, 03:59:55 PM »

'Junub' in the context of verse 4:43 refers to a state that is caused by sexual intercourse and discharge of semen.

"He was, or became, in the state of one who is termed جُنُب; (S, IAth, Mgh, L, Msb, K;) i. e., under the obligation of performing a total ablution, by reason of sexual intercourse and discharge of the semen." [1]

I hope this helps, God willing



[1] LANE. E.W, Edward Lanes Lexicon, Williams and Norgate 1863; Librairie du Liban Beirut-Lebanon 1968, Volume 2, Page 465

What the Quran-centric approach is and what it is not for me.

Discussions / Quran-centrism
« on: October 23, 2018, 07:07:11 PM »

1. To uphold the Quran as the final divine testimony and authority for believers.

2. Rejects the 'authority' of any other source as a divinely ordained religious source for believers.

3. Continues to engage with any secondary source to better understand communities in antiquity, their thoughts, expressions and how they interpreted / practiced their religion. This is only with a view to extract wider wisdom if possible. This engagement does not imply validation of its 'religious authority'. These sources are always open to debate / discussion and critique.

4. Appreciates the efforts of the intellectuals and thinkers of the past and present. However, this does not imply that their views are to be followed as if they possess divine authority. Their thoughts are always open to scrutiny and critique.

5. Does not reject the 'Ahadith corpus' in toto on the basis of its inauthenticity. Whilst the corpus may have doubtful integrity, it is the 'religious authority' of the corpus which is denied.

6. The Biblical scriptures, the particular canons available during the Quran's revelation are appreciated with a view to engage with. They are to be utilised if a further enquiry to context is of interest. It is important to remember that the Prophet was also referred back to the knowledgeable folk from the People of the Book to verify claims if he was in doubt (16:43; 21:7-8).

7. Does not dismiss traditions outright. Only those traditions, practices and beliefs are dismissed that are deemed to be incongruent with the overarching message of the Quran. There is no intention to 'throw the baby out with the bathwater'.


[1] The Quran-centric Position

[2] Two Crucial Differences Between the 'Quranist' (ism) and 'Quran-Centric' Approach

[3] An example of a Quran-centric approach - Wash or Wipe in Ablution?

The traditionalist argument has become increasingly sophisticated as wider discourses with Quran-centric Muslims have become more prevalent through 1-1 engagement and the Internet. This is an expected development and can only serve to refine the arguments from both sides.  For the traditionalist, the key is to establish the need for the 'Sunna' (and all that it entails) as an authoritative part of religion.

Here are some techniques that are usually deployed by the traditionalist with some accompanying thoughts:

1. TECHNIQUE: Moving the discussion away from providing evidence that the Quran 'authorises' the secondary sources (as they have reached us today) as divinely ordained and hence, a compulsory part of religion.

COMMENTS: Firstly, establish the axioms for the debate firmly. What are the agreed sources? If the only agreeable source for admission between the parties is the Quran, the ‘criterion between right and wrong’ (which it should be), then remain resolute. Do not let the argument diverge from this source. Respectfully, yet firmly demand unequivocal proof that the Quran authorises the secondary sources as a necessary part of 'religion’. Do not allow the discussion to divert until a satisfactory answer is provided.

2. TECHNIQUE: Without using traditions, demanding to know how one can conclude the Quran is from the Prophet and therefore God.

COMMENTS: This is an irrelevant question with its roots in blind following. One does not submit to the Quran because traditions provide alleged evidence of its transmission to an Arabian Prophet. That is simply a claim. Even if the traditions were indisputably reliable in their transmission, it would only prove that an Arabian man uttered the words in antiquity. What provides evidence that the Arabian man was a Prophet and his utterances were indeed inspired by God are the 'arguments' the Quran presents. If the arguments of the Quran were found to be wanting / weak, then all it would prove was that an Arabian man was a false prophet and deluded. A serious analysis / enquiry of the Quran clearly indicates that this is not the case.

What must be posited as a question is how else could some non-Muslims or even atheists ever find the Quran to be credible? It is arguably not due to the claimed authenticity of transmission or because secondary sources claim that the Quran came from a Prophet that convinces them. These are wholly irrelevant claims for such non-believing enquirers. Undoubtedly, it is ultimately the arguments that the Quran presents which convinces them of its veracity, its prophetic provenance and its divine origins.

There is a reason why the Quran's lecture is considered so powerful that if it were possible, it would be able to cause the mountains to move, the earth to be torn asunder and the dead to speak (13:31). The power is in the narratives, not in its claimed preservation. Preservation only leads back to a human source. It does not make it of divine origin.

3. TECHNIQUE: Attempting to smuggle the need for secondary sources as a necessary part of religion through out of context verses and inferences to the prophet requiring him to explain the Quran to his people.

COMMENTS: Deliberate intensely on each inference and verse cited by scrutinising context and surrounding verses. Established themes will be found consistently throughout the Quran. For example, a commonly cited verse for support of the authority of the secondary sources is verse 59:7 which when cited, often completely dismisses the context which is a reference to war booty. Surrounding verses must be examined. Once again, do not admit attack on why you accept the Quran as the final authority. This should have already been established at the start of the discussion (The axioms and the sources admitted for the debate (i.e. the Quran)).

Please also see technique Number 3 and 4 below where it is alleged that 'wisdom' or the 'prophetic explanations' necessitate the authority of the secondary sources.

4. TECHNIQUE: Asking the question: What was the ‘wisdom’ that the prophet imparted?

COMMENTS: All prophets were granted ‘hikmah’ (wisdom). This question completely dismisses any acknowledgement that the Arabian prophet was part of a time slice of history, a product of his community, his environment and his circumstances. It is to be recognised that Quranic instructions can be applied in different ways if the circumstances change. The Quranic edict remains timeless, but the circumstances do not. Therefore, much of the Sunna that may have resulted from his wisdom would have been a combination of both the divinely inspired guidance and the context driven situations the prophet and his community were part of and had to deal with. To apply ancient context specific solutions to a different culture, period and circumstances could potentially result in catastrophic outcomes. To recognise this point is absolutely crucial to understand the true nature of the 'Sunna' and how it is to be understood in light of the Quran and its time specific circumstances. Furthermore, be acutely aware of the attempt to ‘conflate’ prophetic wisdom with the Hadith corpus that has been collected by fallible men allegedly centuries after the death of the Prophet. The two are not the same and must be kept separate.

5. TECHNIQUE: Asking the question: What was the ‘explanation’ that the prophet imparted?

COMMENTS: Notwithstanding that the Quran claims to be the 'best tafsir' (25:33) and further, claims to be an explanation of all that is necessary for timeless guidance (tibiana lekulli shayin - 16:89), this question also does not appear to appreciate that the Prophet had many roles, not only as a Spiritual guide. In these roles, explanations / Quranic application would become necessary.

The prophet was not only a spiritual guide, but also made judgements on specific situations by making use of the Quran's guidance (24:48). The prophet was an arbitrator and settled disputes (24:51; 8:46). He was a counsellor / consultant (58:12); He was a military leader and made use of the Quran's guidance to conduct his affairs during war (8:1; 8:7).He was a community leader (60:12) and consulted with his contemporaries to make best decisions for the community (3:159). He was the state leader of a chain of commands (4:59). He was the community's treasurer (8:41). He was a spiritual guide in his personal sphere (e.g. with his wives 33:33).

All these required the Quran's guidance and the specific circumstances that the Prophet encountered. It is arguable that if the prophet was to apply the same Quranic principles to a different community of a different time period, the explanation and guidance proffered would also be different.

6. TECHNIQUE: Attack independent use of logic or intellectual reasoning (aql) to the Quran to form a conclusion.

COMMENTS: This is a self-defeating argument not only because the Quran provides ample evidence to the contrary, but also as the hypocrisy of this question is evident in the traditionalist approach when the Quran is provided to non-Muslims for them to use their 'aql' in order to leave their established faith and convert based simply on a copy of the Quran. Logic or intellectual reasoning by definition should have strict principles of validity and it is how humans accept better arguments and achieve an enlightened conscience. To dismiss this is wholly unwarranted.

7. TECHNIQUE: Creating 'Straw Man' arguments and diversions. How do you pray? How do you bathe?

COMMENTS: This approach is designed to elicit finer details which are not mentioned in the Quran. This is once again a deliberate ploy to establish the need for secondary sources as a compulsory part of religion.

This question must be summarily dismissed as any religious action must provide some basis of proof from the Quran, not the other way around. It is for the traditionalist to provide evidence from the Quran why they adhere to a particular ritual no matter how detailed, not the other way around.

There is also a dangerous inference in the question that the Quran is not complete for necessary guidance. This is easily dismissed by the Quran’s own admission that it is ‘detailed’ (fussilat - 41:3; 11:1), a clear explanation of everything necessary for religion (tibiana lekulli shayin - 16:89), the criterion between right and wrong (furqan - 25:1; 2:53) and the perfect balance (mizaan - 42:17). It is also evidence absolutely clear (bayyina - 20:133; 6:157).

Be careful not to be drawn into attacking the ‘Hadith’ corpus. (e.g. Not one Hadith can be found to teach one how to pray either; the Hadith corpus cannot provide ‘chains of narrators’ for all the verses of the Quran etc). This will only serve to move you into the quagmire of the secondary sources and will often lead to circular arguments. The focus is the Quran as the agreed source.
[Side note: The Quran only instructs one to 'establish prayer'. Certain expectations of what forms the prayer are provided in different verses (bowing, standing, ablution, direction etc.). If those actions are completed by a congregation, then the prayer is arguably complete. Does the current prayer method that has reached us through en masse practice satisfy the Quran's requirements? Many Quran-centric folk would agree that it does and hence would be happy to assimilate.]

8. TECHNIQUE: Asking the question: How can you even understand the Arabic language of the Quran and what it says as you need the secondary sources to interpret it?

COMMENTS: This is the Achilles heel of some of the ‘Quranist’ claims that professes to dismiss all secondary sources in toto. The traditionalist inference is correct. The Quran is not a dictionary and cannot be interpreted without an independent source of language interpretation which by definition would be a secondary source. There are also words in the Quran that have only been used once in the entire Scripture (hapax legomenon) and thus, would necessitate the use of another source of interpretation.

However, the Quran-centric approach accepts engagement with sources to interpret the language of the Quran. The protection of the 'dhikr' (reminder) is assured by the Quran (15:9). This implies both the 'words' (kalimaat) 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 which is used to understand the classical Arabic language is implicitly ratified by the Quran (15:9). The Prophet was tasked with a responsibility to convey the message of the Quran in Arabic to his people. His people had a responsibility en masse to pass the message to mankind (22:78) both in Arabic and to convey its meaning to those who did not understand the language.

However, the maxim still stands. No secondary source is divinely ratified and therefore, the linguistic instruments used to extract best meanings can still be debated. This is also the expectation of the Quran (i.e. to extract best meaning - 39:18). 

Finally, beware of Ad Hominem. Attacks against you, your reasoning and your beliefs are not dealing with the argument. Do not engage in it and do not accept it in any form from another.

Wa alaikum assalam

As I trust you will kindly appreciate, my remit of interpretation would be primarily governed by the extent of the verse. Therefore, that particular statement [1] was made in context of verse 24:31 which governs ‘al-muminati’ (believing women).

With regards your second paragraph, I have admitted the sentiment ‘respect to prevailing customs’ in the same article [2] where I accept a balance needs to be struck whilst remaining intentionally non-committal to ‘what’ coverage would exactly entail. Therefore on a personal level, I would have no qualms in accepting your comment as fair and reasonable, particularly with focus on your comment which I’ve emphasised in bold.

“…or also accept different styles where some hair is exposed (but still looks completely decent) in some cultures such as Pakistan. I mean a "dupatta"

I hope that helps, God willing


[2] Ibid

As-salamu alaykum

As I have mentioned before in my writings, the Quran translates dialogues from other languages / speech into Arabic.

"Therefore it is the message which is important, not the language it is delivered in for the Quran itself is a translation from other tongues into Arabic.

For example, one notes of all the dialogue captured in the Quran, of Prophets Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus (pbut), different messengers, angels, Iblis (Satan), Pharaoh, even of an ant (27:18) and a Hoopoe bird (27:22). All this speech has been captured and translated by God Himself for an Arabic audience to grasp the message and its wisdom."

Even the name 'Musa' in Arabic is arguably not how Prophet Moses's people or his mother would have known him. It would have been arguably 'Moshe' [2]. Prophet 'Isa' would have arguably been known as 'Yeshua' (Hebrew) / 'Jeshua' (Aramaic). [3]

Therefore from a Quran's perspective, there is no reason to assume that the ants knew the name 'Solomon' as the Arabic 'Solomon', it is what they 'perceived' in their own communication method which the Quran is capturing. They saw an impending army approaching with a leader at its helm, whether it is from ground vibrations or else, they were informed to dissipate into their dwellings. This may have been a frequent route that the army personnel traversed hence the implied familiarity.

I hope this helps, God willing.



[3] Ibid

Wa alaikum assalam

The term admits shades of meaning depending on context. The term 'al-nas' can also describe broadly the entire human race. Please kindly see just two examples below:
11:103   "…that is a day mankind (al-nas) are to be gathered…"
010:24   "…the plants of the earth mingle with it where mankind (al-nas) and cattle eat…"
As I have mentioned in my writings, the Prophet was tasked with a responsibility to convey the message of the Quran in Arabic to his people as a witness to the truth. His people had a responsibility en masse to pass the message to mankind (22:78) as witnesses to the truth. This would imply a discourse both in Arabic and an ability to convey its meaning to those who did not understand the language.
"...The messenger is a witness over you and you may be a witness on mankind (al-nas)..." (22:78)
Please also kindly note above how the responsibilities are clearly delineated. There would be no point of his people passing the message separately on to wider mankind as witnesses to the truth if the intention was to reveal the Quran to a specific people exclusively. In that case, the Prophet would have sufficed as witness.
I hope that helps, God willing

General Discussions / Re: Ismaeel or Ishaaq (PBUT)
« on: September 09, 2018, 08:12:03 AM »
Dear All,

As-salamu alaykum

I trust that many will kindly appreciate that at times, my silence on a particular thread or question directed at me is deliberate. One of the reasons governs my humble desire to provide as much opportunity for diverse discourse to take place on a topic (collective wisdom to be imparted by others).

Thank you brothers Wakas, Ilker, Duster, Hamzeh and Athman for your responses and contributions to the thread.

Enjoyed reading them  :)

May God bless you all.


Discussions / Re: Eid Mubarak
« on: June 15, 2018, 10:04:21 AM »
Wa alaikum assalam Yahia,

Eid mubarak to you and everyone on this forum too. May God accept all our fasts, God willing.

Dear brother Niaz,

As-salamu alaykum

Thank you for a very well written and argued post, the contents of which I fundamentally concur with.


Dear brother Mubashir,

As-salamu alaykum

To address the contents of the writer, I have split my response dealing with two main categories:

1. POST QURANIC - Direct instructions given to believers after the Quran was revealed.
2. PRE-QURANIC - Inferences that can be drawn from narratives concerning personalities and incidents prior to the Quran's revelation

Firstly, there is no doubt in my mind that category (1) is of primary importance and should remain the bedrock of any interpretation that may be inferred from category (2). Ultimately, it is the clear instructions from the Quran that are applicable to believers.

1. POST QURANIC - Direct instructions given to believers after the Quran was revealed.

There are numerous verses that make it absolutely clear that fighting is primarily in defence, that believers should incline to peace and in one circumstance of note during the life of the prophet of God, treaty-breakers were provided an ultimatum (9:1). This was because of their wanton transgressions (9:10). The upholding of covenants / treaties was considered so important, that it even took priority over any religious or personal affiliations (8:72)

"Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress limits / begin hostilities; for God loves not transgressors…"  [2:190]

“…But if they cease, God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in God; but if they cease, let there be no hostility except to those who practise oppression" [2:192-193]

Permission (to fight) is given to those upon whom war is made because they are oppressed, and most surely God is well able to assist them; Those who have been expelled from their homes without a just cause except that they say: Our Lord is God….” [22:39-40]

God does not forbid you respecting those who have not made war against you on account of (your) religion, and have not driven you forth from your homes, that you show them kindness and deal with them justly; surely God loves the doers of justice” [60:8]

"And if they incline to peace, then you also incline to it and trust in God; surely He is the Hearing, the Knowing" [8:61]

In my humble view, there is no 'cherry-picking' when it comes to these verses. The verses are unequivocal in that they part clear instructions to believers post revelation.

2. PRE-QURANIC - Inferences that can be drawn from narratives concerning personalities and incidents prior to the Quran's revelation

God has indeed brought destruction on a people after the errors of their ways have been made manifest to them and they have rejected the truth continuing in their wanton ways of transgression. This has always been His way, His sunnah (Sunnata-llahi) [1]. I have also discussed this further in a dedicated article entitled 'Itmam ul-hujjah'. Please also kindly see [2] below.

However, it is also noteworthy that His way has only included His wrath whence the population also practice inequity and are wrongdoers.

“Nor was thy Lord the one to destroy a population until He had sent to its centre a messenger, rehearsing to them Our Signs; nor are We going to destroy a population except when its members practise iniquity (wrongdoers) [28:59]

There is arguably no supreme human agent of God to manifest this truth than an appointed prophet / messenger of God. Solomon was such a prophet (6:84; 6:89) and he arguably manifested the truth of God in a respectful, noble manner (27:29-30) making the message plain. This included a letter (27:28-31 - where we are not provided the full extent of the arguments or contents), and a physical manifestation of Sheba / Saba's throne (27:41-42). It is not clear what inequities, injustices or transgressions their society were steeped in. However, the report back from the Hoopoe bird does appear to suggest that it was not only a celestial object that had become the focus of their worship, but other deeds were being conducted that were inspired by Satan that kept them transgressing.

'wazayyana lahumu l-shaytanu a'malahum fasaddahum ani l-sabeel' [27:24]
(And Satan has made fair seeming to them their deeds and has averted them from the way)

The writer cites verse 9:12 "and if they (the disbelievers) defame your religion, then fight the leaders of disbelief, for indeed, there are no oaths [sacred] to them; [fight them that] they might cease (Surah 9: 12).". It has already been mentioned that there was an incident in the prophet's life (who have the ability to manifest truth clearly) where treaty breakers wreaked havoc with their transgressions. There is nothing fantastic or peculiar about this or the response meted out.

The writer then cites verse 4:89, but again seemingly fails to note the very next verse (4:90) which provides the context that this does not include those that have not broken any treaty / covenant and do not wish to wage offensive war. It is made clear that here too, the directive is to incline to peace.

The writer then mentions Dhul-Qurnayn. It is not confirmed in the Quran whether he was a Prophet / messenger of God, but he was certainly given authority by God (18:84-86). However here again, the focus was not just correct belief, but also correct conduct which implies curtailing injustice, transgressions or wanton behaviour (18:88).  Dhul-Qurnayn also assisted in defending a folk that were being dealt unjustly by Gog and Magog which underscores the fundamental approach of self-defence with a view to curtail / eliminate aggression.

The writer then cites other verses, which again do not unequivocally support his notion of 'offensive qital'.

In summary therefore:

  • Post Quranic directives for believers state that war is permitted in self-defence, where treaties are broken and transgressed. However, the focus remains to incline to peace.
  • Prophet / messengers have always had the authority to manifest the truth and communities were taken to task when they rejected the message and continued in their transgressions. This has always been the way of God to destroy such wanton nations after the truth was made absolutely clear to them and despite which, they rejected it and continued in their transgressions.
  • Post Quranic revelation, there is no longer any prophet in our midst (nor will be) that can manifest that level of proof and hence, the guidance expressly given to believers will remain of primary importance in how believers conduct themselves.

I hope this helps, God willing



Wa alaikum assalam

The instructions of the feeding of two consecutive months or sixty needy ones (58:4) is provided in a certain context (58:2). However the disgusting habit (fahisha) you have mentioned which can be argued as a serious spiritual illness, is no small matter. I have touched upon this in a Facebook post [1] below.

At minimum, you will need to provide a ransom (fidya) [2] and feed the poor / needy person in at least the value of what you eat a day (2:184). This is to ransom the fast that you have missed. However, I would strongly recommend to go beyond this if you can in a charitable nature because of the reason the fast is being broken (sinful act).

These fasts cannot be made up later as this is not a case of illness or travel. [3]

I would also suggest beseeching our Lord day and night, with every prayer for him to rid you of this disgusting habit. It appears that you are trying and may God assist you and others who are in a similar position, God willing.

I hope this helps, God willing.



[3] Ibid.

Wa alaikum assalam

Please kindly see my responses in black to your questions in brown italics below:

1. Does the meaning of Salaat actually mean what we have been led to believe by previous generations of muslims that have been corrupted by false hadiths? Is there in fact no actual ritualistic Salaat persae?

From a Quranic perspective, I have strongly and prolifically argued that ritual prayer is a fundamental tenet supported by the Scripture. Please see sections on Prayers below



2. Question 1 has led me to this scary question and some other findings, namely It seems as if Bhukari was decendant from Zoroastrian pagans and they had their ritualistic prayers which are the same number 5 times a day, with the exact same timings during the course of the day.

After my research I believe that he was part of a plan to dupe the muslims into false pagan worship while they thought they were actually following our prophet and his teachings and the Quran.

This has little to do with the Quranic perspective of prayer which I have already argued exhaustively.

Furthermore, please kindly see an article below which negates the commonly held notion in some Quranist circles that the ritual prayer was invented later.


In line with this and the thesis that Petra in Jordon is actually the true Bacca and not Mecca....... this also leads to the biggest and hardest thing to possibly consider.

"Is the Kaaba actually an Idol that we have been fooled into worshipping for the last 1000+ years?

From a Quranic perspective, there is no support for this view. Please see articles below including the ‘Related articles’ cited at the bottom of the article:


I have been looking for any information that corroborates the above, which I believe to be the truth after days of perpetual researching.

There are those that have spent lifetimes researching this. I would humbly share that intellectual endeavour is an ongoing pursuit, one which is not necessarily restricted to a few days of continuous research.

I hope you can help me with any information you may have to assist me in answering these questions.

Salaamun Alaikum brother and may God always bless you and your family and may we all meet in Jannah one day.


I hope this helps, God willing

Wa alaikum assalam

For those not conversant with Arabic, I would strongly advise reading multiple translations side by side along with word-word translations.

I have provided some useful links in the 'Useful Resource Sites' section of this website where you may find resources to assist. Please kindly see [1] below.

Furthermore, please note further links in [2] below where I have discussed similar queries relating to Quranic translations in more detail, particularly the links under the 'FORUM THREADS' section.

I hope this helps, God willing



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