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Messages - Shahmatt

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Salaams Mr. Faruqui,

Thank you for clarifying. In the present case, the Quran outlines Zul Qarnayn's journey and you have provided a compelling solution for the who, what, where and how. This solution does not constitute religion, rather it is just observation. It contributes to our appreciation and understanding of the Quran. On this basis I accept your view of theological vs non-theological material.

I continue to look forward to the remaining chapters of your book.


I am referring to the material used to flesh out the detail.

You have clearly spent much time studying history and geography in determining Zul Qarnayn's background and culture, his travel route, and the identities of Gog and Magog, and you have arrived at compelling conclusions as a result.

But this study is not so easily accessible to the masses. Nor is the material contained within the Quran. And hence nor would the identities of Gog and Magog as you have concluded. Should not the identities of Gog and Magog be apparent to at least believers in order that they can witness a prophecy being fulfilled?

Unfortunately the Korean war has never, to my limited knowledge anyway, been referred to or been witnessed as, a 'surging of God and Magog'. Even though perhaps there is still time for this to happen as, as you have determined, that matter is not yet resolved.

By erring on the side of simplicity I mean that, by some means, the identities of God and Magog would become apparent when God decides it is time.

Regardless of all of the above, the Hour is described to be imminent during the prophet's lifetime, and it is still equally imminent now. The state of imminency has not changed, though by virtue of time having passed, the Hour is now closer. Therefore from a believer point of view does the identification of Gog and Magog even matter?

I have pondered over your article a bit more.

The Quran asserts that it is fully detailed.

Yet you have used considerable extra Quranic material for the detail.

Would it be possible to draw the same article conclusions without this material? I think no. Is this not a problem?

I must say that I feel increasingly more uncomfortable.

I think it is because your article grinds against my appreciation of a clear and straightforward Quran. It involves a fair amount of detective work and piecing together of a jigsaw puzzle. It is in short, too complex.

I am personally inclined to err on the side of simplicity and conservatism on such matters.

Salaams Mr. Faruqui,

I am afraid that, despite having read what you have published carefully, I did not fully comprehend what you meant by 'Literary Device'.

In retrospect perhaps I should have referred to a dictionary first before asking and wasting your time.

Your explanation of the story of Zul Qarnayn, as another commenter has pointed out, is logical and cold. The conclusions are inescapable. It is as it should be.

I thank you for taking the time to answer my question and for this priceless contribution. I look forward to the future chapters.


Thank you Mr. Farqui for the article and Joseph Islam for publishing it in these forums:

I have a query for Mr. Faruqui regarding the identities of Gog and Magog.

A translation of Quran 18:94 is as follows:
They said: "O Zul-qarnain! the Gog and Magog do great mischief on earth: shall we then render thee tribute in order that thou mightest erect a barrier between us and them?

In this verse it appears as though the oppressed community refer to the mischief makers as "Gog and Magog". Other translations seem to render the same, i.e. these words are what may have been literally spoken by the oppressed community.

In the article Mr. Faruqui suggests that Gog and Magog refer to the kingdom of Goguryeo who were united at the time of Zhul Qarnayn and later divided into present day North and South Korea.

This seems to conflict with the Quran wherein it seems to suggest, from the speech of those who were oppressed, that Gog and Magog were already a divided people at the time of oppression.

Can Mr. Faruqui please clarify? I am afraid i do not understand the Arabic and have to rely on the translations.

General Discussions / Re: On Fir'ouns body
« on: August 17, 2015, 10:41:06 AM »
Many thanks for the clarifying response!

General Discussions / Re: On Fir'ouns body
« on: August 17, 2015, 12:48:09 AM »
In the Wikipedia article the following is also given, and I quote:

"In 1974 Egyptologists visiting his tomb noticed that the mummy's condition was rapidly deteriorating and flew it to Paris for examination." and
"In Paris, fungus was found attacking Ramesses's mummy..."

It would seem that the body is prone to deteriorate.

This would seem inconsistent with 10:92 in which it is suggested that Pharoah's body would be preserved indefinitely.

Also the inset photo of Ramesses II suggests a body preserved in a fashion typical of what could be expected of a mummified king. I mean it does not seem any different to the preserved bodies of other Egyptian leaders or leaders of other nations where mummification was practiced. See for e.g. inset images in here:

I feel that the preservation indicated by the Quran would suggest an appearance that is distinct, in order that it compels as a sign.

On this basis it would seem to me that Ramesses II was not the Quran's Pharoah.

General Discussions / On Fir'ouns body
« on: July 22, 2015, 11:41:42 AM »
In Quran 10:92 it is revealed that Fir'oun will be preserved in body as a sign to those after him.

In popular culture Pharaoh seems to be associated with Ramesses II, whose mummified remains are well preserved, seemingly consistent with what the Quran describes.

However I get the feeling that Ramesses II may not have been Fir'oun.

Ramesses II is described to have died at aged 90, past his physical prime and arthritic. Whereas Fir'oun appeared to be active, physically pursuing Moses until his demise (though I suppose he could have been carried or driven by horses). It just seems to me that Fir'oun was younger.

Is there anything concrete to suggest that Ramesses II was indeed the Fir'oun described in the Quran?

If I may offer an opinion based on my personal very rustic understanding of Quranic general principles I would say the following:

For 1 (i) Acting as a guest: It would seem to me that the objective of being a guest is to celebrate the event taking place, and perhaps also act as a witness to the event taking place. Acting as a guest may also somehow lend credence to the event if viewed from a social perspective.

As you have also noted, the Quran implores that we enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong.

For these reasons I would agree with you that attending as a guest may not be what a good Muslim ought to do.

For 1 (ii) Acting as a service provider: Whilst it is true that a service provider may not know for certain to what end a service may be utilized for, if it is known that a service is to be utilized for some evil or frowned-upon purpose then I think it is better to avoid/refuse to provide that service. Again the Quranic verse on to enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong would seem to apply.

Consider a scenario where you are a manufacturer of weapons. If you know that the weapons you make are intended for use in the indiscriminate slaughter of women and children then would you still sell?

There may however be situations where there is uncertainty in understanding the ultimate ends of the client. For such situations perhaps it is better to pray to God and seek inspiration for the best way forward. Perhaps you may have a gut feeling for what to do. Remember that God provides all. Therefore what may be perceived as a lost business opportunity may not really be so as long as the heart and intentions are in the right place.

For 2:
Joseph Islam's recent article on Understanding Trials may be a useful guidance:

For 2 (i)
Genetic disorders like GID and Homosexuality I think are not sins on their own. However the fostering of these inclinations in the mind perhaps and the acting upon these inclinations is perhaps sinful. As JI has explained, based on the Quran, we all have our trials. We are asked to deal with them as best we can and do not transgress the limits set by God. We must be honest with ourselves that we are doing the best we can. We can however take assurance that with "hardship comes ease" (94:5-6) and that "On no soul does God place a burden greater than it can bear" (2:286)".

For 2(ii) and 2(iii)
The Quran asks us to pursue a moderate path and go not into extremes (I forget which verse). I personally would not class surgery to alter gender and eyesight correction in the same category. The former is a massive change to alter the  identity of an individual, the latter an oft utilized and mass produced solution to a well understood problem.

I would focus on the Quranic principles of patience and perseverance. Whilst the individual may struggle socially to manage gender identity or homosexual inclinations, some faith in God and an understanding of the true nature of the world (trials, on no soul is placed a burden too great and with hardship comes ease) is helpful in dealing with these issues I think.

Anyway, that's just my personal view. I hope it helps!

General Discussions / Re: Typo in "UNDERSTANDING OUR TRIALS - WHY ME?"
« on: September 23, 2014, 12:13:45 PM »
I am happy to be of help. Thank you for the update to the article.

General Discussions / Typo in "UNDERSTANDING OUR TRIALS - WHY ME?"
« on: September 22, 2014, 02:14:37 PM »
Thank you for the new article.

I don't mean to be an insufferable pedantic but a minor correction here:

In order to create a canvas of human life where human souls can be trialled, oppression, wretchedness, illness, and calamities will be become the fabric of human existence.

Dear JI,

Indeed the Quran is explicit and clear.

Thank you very much for your clear answer.


Islamic Duties / On the use of family name vs father's name as a surname
« on: August 04, 2014, 10:22:02 AM »

My wife and I are expecting our first baby soon and we are pondering on  surnames.

I understand that the Quran recommends strongly that a child be identified through use of his or her father's name.

However I would like to know if the use of a family name is allowable, i.e. a surname identifying the family of father. In our case the intent is to use and establish my father's name as a family name.

I see some advantages in doing this and also some cons. The cons mainly being that each new generation of kids will not carry a father's name but only a name identifying family.

Would this be in violation of Quranic principles? I would greatly appreciate any opinions on this matter.

Discussions / Re: On the Shabbir Ahmed translation
« on: July 11, 2014, 02:49:15 PM »
Thank you very much for the comprehensive rebuttal.

It seems that my comment on caution was more apt than I initially perceived. :-o

Discussions / On the Shabbir Ahmed translation
« on: July 10, 2014, 11:22:41 AM »
I've stumbled on the Shabbir Ahmed translation as one that's perhaps near to JI's views.

His translation is view-able on the website.

Also it is available in book form here:

Please do not take my word for this and exercise caution at all times.

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