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As-Salaamu-alaikoem brother Joseph

I have recently come across your website and found your articles both interesting and fascinating. Thank You for your efforts.

The one topic that intrigues me the most is your explanation of there being no such thing as punishment in the grave according to the Quran.

When reading your explanation and the evidence produced from the holy verses, it made alot of sense, and was also frightening at the same time.

I'm hoping I could ask you just 2 questions on this topic:

1. If there is no mention in the Quran of this, then how does over 1 billion Muslims believe it as absolute did that come about?
2. Scientifically, does this mean that a "time-jump" takes place between the point of your material death to the point in the future when the 1st horn will be blown, signalling the Last Day ?


There is a little confusion in my mind regarding the requirement of 4 witnesses to prove the act of zina committed by someone, according to Quran. Nowadays, with forensic analysis, we can easily find out about the certainty of this crime and criminal.

However, why the need of 'four'? I know those times were different and I can't judge the circumstances of that era through my 'modern' lens but wouldn't the involved persons be doing zina in 'secrecy'?

Aslamunelikum Br. J.A. Islam,

I have two questions, if you could please provide guidance:

Q1. Is there any indication that suggests pregnancy of Maryam and delivery of Esa was in short time rather than normal 9 months.
[It seems like verse 15-16 and following verses, suggest Maryam's family was unaware of this event. verse 21 and 22 sound like it happened immediately]

2. There are verses (sorry for not providing references) that clearly suggest that God had sent warners/ messengers to every nation.  However, Sura Ya-sin (Chap. 36), verse 5, says "In order that you may warn a people, whose fathers had received no admonition, and who therefore remain heedless" suggests that they (nation) did not receive guidance from God through messengers. I think, I am missing something that is why it sounds like contradiction.

Please let me know what is the right explanation.


"And when you proclaim the call for As-Salat [call for the prayer (adhan )], they take it (but) as a mockery and fun; that is because they are a people who understand not. ??As per the above Quranic verse the Muslims proclaims the call for Salat ? Can you tell me what were the words they used to proclaim before Salat?"

"I asked you several times about a particular verse of Quran where it's mentioned "[ And when you proclaim the call for As-Salat [call for the prayer (adhan )], they take it (but) as a mockery and fun; that is because they are a people who understand not] . Could you provide me the details of how the Muslims used to proclaim the call before As-Salat and what are those words ??"

"As salam alaykum brother u didn't reply back I'm waiting for ur response brother."

"Can anybody tell me people who reject hadiths how do they proclaim the call for As-Salat??"


Al-Baqarah 2:158

إِنَّ ٱلصَّفَا وَٱلْمَرْوَةَ مِن شَعَآئِرِ ٱللَّهِۖ فَمَنْ حَجَّ ٱلْبَيْتَ أَوِ ٱعْتَمَرَ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِ أَن يَطَّوَّفَ بِهِمَاۚ وَمَن تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ شَاكِرٌ عَلِيمٌ

Indeed, as-Safa and al-Marwah are among the symbols of Allah . So whoever makes Hajj to the House or performs 'umrah - there is no blame upon him for walking between them. And whoever volunteers good - then indeed, Allah is appreciative and Knowing.

I would like to know from people who reject hadiths why does Allah tells in Quran to walk between safa and marwa the 2 mountains ??

As-Salaamu alaykum akhi,

I enjoy reading your articles.

I hear people argue that the word in Arabic for non-Muslims is "kuffar." Thus we generally treat non-Muslims as kuffar, but don't necessarily say "X person is a kaffir" until clear evidence shows this to be true.

What are your thoughts on this?

Jazak Allah khayr.

Assalam alaykum Brother Joseph.

I have read some of your articles and I think you have done a great job. I too am a muslim who based my beliefs using the Quran.

Anyways I was wondering on your thoughts on the traditional shahadah and tashahud and darood in salat. For me I dont find reciting the shahadah to be shirk at all even in salat I dont find the tashahud bad either although I replaced " you, O prophet..." to " the prophet.." and Yes I do ask God to bless Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) since I recognized the difference between praying for someone than praying to someone and I recalled a verse which Allah stated that we should send blessings to the noble prophet.

Anyways I was just wondering on yiur thoughts on the shahadah, tashahud and darood in salah since I am quite confuse considering that I am a muslim who trys base their beliefs using solely the Quran.

To: Joseph Islam

Aslam o Alaikum!

I loved your articles and they were extremely helpful to me. I wanted to ask something which I couldn't find in your website: ( about Beards, Anal Sex, and multiple verses saying: "obey the messenger" when he is already deceased(may he rest in peace). Could you explain them?

One more thing: I plan to study Arabic as a subject(includes: Classical Standard Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic, Literature, Linguistics and other related etc...) in the near future, In Shaa Allah; should I study Arabic language from an Imam or directly from an institution in which the professors have no connection to Islam because there are many conservative and biased Muslims nowadays and I don't want to fall into the trap of accepting their opinions which is not my strong point.

Thanks. Keep it up!

Salam brother Joseph,

I hope this reaches you well in this blessed month of Ramadan. I wanted to ask clarification as to why you translate the word "iqta" as cut off instead of cut. You often rely on the Quranic verse to follow the best of meanings. But the word iqta can clearly mean cut OR cut off, with the latter being much harsher. I understand your argument that the punishment would be reserved for the worst of thieves (as a general and specific deterrent), but I want to understand why you landed on "cut off" being the best of meaning (esp. in light of Surah Yusuf which also references the women cutting their hands).



[Question for Brother Joseph]


I'm reading surah Al -Zukhraf and verse 45 puzzles me. How could the last prophet question the messengers before him if they weren't alive. Does it mean they were still alive to be questioned.

It seems to me that way.


Q&As with Joseph Islam - Information Only / Head Coverage During Prayer
« on: February 16, 2015, 11:31:22 PM »
To Joseph:

Question asked on Facebook thread below:

Many times I've faced one issue in traditional Muslim society - the head covering during the prayer, as it's not mentioned anywhere in the Quran. I pray without a head cover, which usually causes "finger pointing" on me by other muslim women and once even lead to a huge argument. In fact nobody of Muslimas say a word when they see non hijabi muslim, but they just get shocked to see a Muslim woman praying without a headscarf.

If the ritual of the prayer was transmitted by generations, does it mean we have to adopt things which are commonly practiced though there is no single word about it in the Quran? Or we can refer "garments" to a "head over"? then why for women only?

Salaam brother Joseph

Do Animals Have Any Sort of Accountability?

Q&As with Joseph Islam - Information Only / 'Good' Atheists?
« on: February 05, 2015, 11:24:24 PM »
Salam Again brother Joseph,

This question has been bothering me for some time and I would like to ask if an atheist does much good in their lives why will they still not be given paradise? Why does God not admit people into paradise for not believing in Him? Why does He care at all if He is All-Powerful?(May God forgive me for saying this). These questions are rely troubling me,

Your Brother in faith,

Q&As with Joseph Islam - Information Only / Adultery and Sex with Slaves
« on: February 05, 2015, 11:18:02 PM »
Asalamualaikum brother Joseph

Can you help me with this. If adultery is so forbidden in Islam, then how does this work?

"In Islamic law (Sharia), Ma malakat aymanukum is the term for slaves or captives of war. According to Muslim theologians, it is lawful for male masters to have sexual relations with female captives and slaves,[50][51] regardless of whether or not the slave woman gave her consent.[52] The purchase of female slaves for sex was lawful from the perspective of Islamic law, and this was the most common motive for the purchase of slaves throughout Islamic history...  Slave women were required mainly as concubines and menials. A Muslim slaveholder was entitled by law to the sexual enjoyment of his slave women."

"And (also forbidden are) all married women except those whom your right hands possess (this is) Allah's ordinance to you" - The Quran, chapter 4 (An-Nisa), verse 24

Dear brother Joseph Islam, 

Hope everything is well with you.

I would like to know one thing from you.  It is true hadiths has nothing to do with Islam as a source. However, what is your opinion about using them as historical records? The Quran instructs us to travel through the earth and to learn from other people who lived before. So understanding people and history is needed to appreciate all facts.  Can you tell me short notes on the historical records or writing we should rely.  As you know Abu Lahab is mentioned in the Quran and my question is which source we should rely if we want to know who is Abu Lahab.  I am aware, even understanding who is Abu Lahab is not material as such for guidance.  How do you view the whole issue. Do you have any writing on this or can you throw some light on this point.

Many thanks

Kind regards

Q&As with Joseph Islam - Information Only / Re: What are Prophets?
« on: December 02, 2014, 03:38:24 AM »
Joseph Islam's Response:
Original Post:

Dear brother IjazAhmad and the respected readers who have solicited my person opinion,

As-salamu alaykum

In the article that brother Ijaz referenced and shared as reference [1] below, I discussed the aspects of a prophetic ministry. However, please find below a brief elucidation.

(1) A Brief Theological Survey of the Term 'Prophet':

The Quran mentions many prophets by name, that were also known to the followers of the previous scriptures who spoke Arabic, and with whom the Quran also conversed with as part of Prophet Muhammad's ministry.

The Quran would arguably not have invented a new meaning of a word or ‘title’, but presented facts that would have been clearly discernible to that particular audience.

After all, prophets such as Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Moses, Aaron, David and Solomon would have been clearly recognisable to the Children of Israel.  In this regard, not only is the Hebrew 'Nabi' remarkably similar to the Arabic word 'Nabiy' (prophet), the Quran mentions these prophets with narratives which assumes complete familiarity, at least to the Arab speaking Jews and Christians.

For example, it refers to prophets that were slain (2:61;  2:91; 3:21; 3:112; 3:181; 3:183; 4:155; 5:70) which also finds support in the Bible (Matthew 23:37; Luke 11:47-49) and may also be known through their traditions and knowledge at the time. The Quran provides detailed narratives of many Hebrew prophets which equally find support in both the Old and New Testaments.

Therefore, the Arabic word 'Nabiy' and the meaning of such a title would not have been a new concept, but one that those of the previous scriptures readily related to as a reference to their noble patriarchs regardless of whether they agreed with the Quran's claims or not.

(2) As mentioned in the article, the Quran refers to prophets as those who:

  • Were given a Book (kitab - 6:89)
  • Were given judgment and authority (hukm 6:89; 3:79)
  • Were given / granted wisdom (hikma 3:81)

It is important to remember that a Book can consist of inspired writings, thoughts, judgments and wisdom. The Hebrew Tanakh is replete with such writings of the prophets. 

Therefore, these aspects of prophethood do not necessarily always need to be seen as distinct but its interrelationship bears considering, at least from a Quran's perspective. For example, Prophet Jesus was given / granted the 'Injeel' which can be argued as 'wisdom' [2] which was later taken down by the testimonies of other writers.  However, Prophet Jesus would also have been familiar with the Torah laws and could have quite reasonably been expected to offer his judgment based on these scriptures, which could also find its way into the Injeel as wisdom.

The fact that scriptures have been used by prophets to provide judgment is emphasised in the following verse:

002.213 (part)
"Mankind were one community, and God sent (to them) Prophets as bearers of good tidings and as warners, and revealed with them the Scripture (Arabic: Kitaba) in truth that it might judge between mankind concerning that wherein they differed..."

Therefore, a Book, Judgment and Wisdom can be interlinked and these characteristics should be viewed holistically when referring to prophets.  For example, Prophets David and Solomon gave judgement regarding the field (21:78-79). Prophets Moses and Aaron were sent to Pharaoh and the Children of Israel and in one narrative at least, Prophet Aaron was expected to show judgment and authority over his people (20:92-94).

(3) They have the ability to provide prophecy (as part of the wisdom bestowed on them):

The ability to provide prophecies by God's will (a prediction of what will happen in the future), is certainly alluded to by many passages of the Quran. For example, a prophet to the Children of Israel was able provide signs when the Ark would come to them (2:248). Prophet Joseph was able to interpret dreams as indicators of future events. Prophet Jacob similarly was aware of knowledge from God which was not available to others (12:86). Other prophets, including prophet Muhammad were able to provide knowledge of future events in the form of Divine inspirations whether dealing with eschatology or future events within a relatively short period of time (30:3-4). This certainly appears to broaden the remit of 'wisdom' (hikmah) that prophets were granted.

(4) They have divinely appointed authority over their followers and arguably, greater responsibility than messengers:

As intimated above, prophets are given clear authority and often (if not always) assume leadership roles over their communities. As shared in the article, this can be attested by numerous verses, not least the one below:

“It is not fitting for a prophet that he should have prisoners of war until he has thoroughly subdued the land. You look for the temporal goods of this world; but God looks to the Hereafter: And God is Exalted in might, Wise”

Such commanding authority can also be seen in many verses where the prophet is urged to fight and strive against wanton transgression (8:65-67), deal with matters of jurisprudence (65:1; 5:42), and even in his own marital relationships, when spoken with authority, Muhammad is referred to as a prophet (33:28). Prophet Muhammad was even given authority to pass judgment over the Children of Israel if he so desired (5:42).

Even God took a covenant 'through' the prophets (3:81) and with their respective people and communities who ratified the covenant. Therefore, each prophet took a covenant with his community, that if a messenger (or messengers) (the singular can be used to denote a generic 'messenger(s)') came to them confirming what was with them, then they would be expected to render him / them help. [3]

Such command and authority is unmistakable when understanding the ambit of a prophetic ministry.

(5) They are bearers of good news / warners:

"Mankind were one community, and God raised up (unto them) prophets as bearers of good tidings and as warners, and revealed with them the Book with the truth that it might judge between mankind concerning that in what they differed..."

The bearing of 'news' also finds support in the lexical meaning of the word 'Naba' which primarily means a tiding, news or a piece of information, intelligence or announcement  (naba) (3:44; 5:27; 6:34)

(6) Prophets are in the main, divinely trained for the office of Prophethood:

Albeit, some prophets were granted wisdom at a very young age (Prophets John -19:12 and Jesus - 19:30), others were trained under God's watchful eye to make them fit for the role of prophethood.

Prophet Moses was given shelter in the house of none other than Pharaoh and was fashioned / formed / reared / trained (Arabic: sana'a) under God's watchful eye (20:39). He endured much hardship and was taught in various ways so that he may grow to understand the Lord's guidance and ways. The teaching imparted by God's servant to Prophet Moses exquisitely captures this in the narratives of verses 18:60-18:82. Prophet Joseph endured much hardship and endured with patience even though he was incarcerated for a crime he did not commit (12:33). Prophet Jonah was tried and even though he fell short of what was required of him when he sought to flee from his people (37:141-143), he was nevertheless restored to another community which believed in him (37:147-148). Prophet David was given might and showed courage when he slew Goliath. God gave him the kingdom and taught him His ways (2:251). At times he was taught powerful lessons as was the case with the litigants that entered his royal chambers (38:21-25). Prophet Abraham pondered deeply over the heavens (6:75-79) and was taught by God to understand his signs (6:75). He endured hardship from his people which strengthened his resolve (21:68-69). Prophet Muhammad arguably, was similarly trained and only achieved prophethood in his later years (10:16).

Therefore, the office of prophethood seems to require God's chosen agents to be prepared for such a mighty task. As mentioned in section (4) above, prophets assume great responsibilities with the authority they are granted.

(7) Inherited scriptures, inspired writings, new scripture and law:

From a Quran's perspective, it can be argued that it is not always necessary that each 'prophet' be given a separate distinguishable / new scripture or that he brings a scripture with new law. This may appear as an unwarranted restriction on the interpretation of  'Being granted / given the Book' and such beliefs are often asserted, but not always demonstrated. At times scriptures can be inherited (waritha) or placed amongst the seed of a community (7:169-170; 5:20; 57:26) and furthermore, judgment, wisdom and authority can become the source of further inspired writings / scriptures.

For example, the Book (2:87) and command (28:44) were given to Prophet Moses on the mount (7:142-145) and not to Prophet Aaron (who remained amongst his people), but they are both considered as prophets by the Quran as Prophet Aaron would have also received the Scripture and Law by proxy from Prophet Moses. However, (more importantly) they both (collectively) exercised authority and judgment by Divine command. They also made use of the Book as a criterion (to judge) (21:48). Hence they are referred to as 'prophets'.

Prophet Zachariah and John would have also inherited the many scriptures that preceded them including the Torah given to Prophets Moses and Aaron. Prophets Ishmael and Isaac would have arguably inherited the scriptures (suhuf) from their father Abraham (87:18) and in Prophet Isaac's case, one would reasonably expect his father’s teachings / suhuf to have passed down to Prophet Jacob. However, even though Prophet Jacob would have been reasonably expected to pass wisdom and the teachings of the scripture to his sons, only Joseph is referred to as a prophet. Here once again, the element of authority and judgment is what possibly distinguishes Joseph from his other brothers and not simply him having received a separate scripture. Such 'inheritance' or passing down of scriptures (waritha) is not unknown to the Quran. This can be attested from verses such as 7:169-170 and 57:26. The Psalms of David as inspired writings (zabur) (4:163; 17:55) include hymns as songs of praise for God (34:10), lamentations both communal and personal, and matters dealing with specific incidents as a reminder (54:52). It would be inconceivable that Prophet David's Psalms would not have passed to Prophet Solomon, his son.

It is also not necessary that the prophets write Scripture with their own hands. Certainly from a Quran's perspective, human scribes fulfilled this noble task (80.13-16), but the inspiration was directly communicated by the prophet under his watchful eye. [4].

As noted above as in the case of Prophet Jesus, such inspired prophetic wisdom can also be taken down by later writers as in the case of the Gospels which is later read as Scriptures by its adherents. Certainly the Gospels that were being read by the Christian communities or the Torah being read by the Jewish communities at the time of Prophet Muhammad's ministry and with whom he came in contact, were not reading Books written by Prophet Jesus's own hands or Prophet Moses' (5:68).

However, it is the aspect of 'judgment' and 'authority' along with wisdom, which is often overlooked when understanding the term 'prophet' (Nabiy) from a Quran's perspective.

Finally, the Quran alludes to many prophets having been sent (e.g. 3:146; 4:163-164), but does not provide a particular number or names of all the prophets. This is not deemed as important from a Quranic perspective.

I hope this clarifies, God willing



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