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Offline Star

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Understanding Quran 8:39
« on: November 21, 2015, 12:39:12 PM »
Salam everyone. What's the deal with this verse? It says, "and fight them until there is no more oppression and religion is ALL for Allah. And if they cease, then Allah is all-knowing of what they do."

I feel like this verse only advocates self-defense, but the words "and religion is all for Allah" make it seem like God wants world domination for muslims. This is contrary to the verse that says killing one person without reason is equivalent to killing the whole human race. I read the verses before and after 8:39, and they do seem to point to fighting against oppression, but what about religion being entirely for Allah? I thought "there is no compulsion in religion?"

I just want to clear a few things up. I understand the Quran does not advocate endless killing of everyone like ISIS does, but some verses are a little...world-domination sounding.

If Brother Joseph could answer, that would be nice.

Also, there was a hadith of Muhammad that there will be people  near the end times who create violence and have a corrupted Islamic clergy, with their own "state". This sounds like ISIS to me. Muhammad got some extra revelation from Allah, didn't he? Or else how would he have known all this? The Quran is the only thing we should follow, but it seems to me like Muhammad was given some other prophecies by God as well. Any thoughts?

Input is appreciated.

Offline Hamzeh

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Re: Understanding Quran 8:39
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2015, 03:55:10 PM »
Salam Mia

If you read verse 8:30 and on you notice the disbelievers plotted to imprison or kill the Prophet or drive him out of his home land. They were causing corruption and oppression, where people can not practice their faith. They were striving hard with their wealth to take men off the path of righteousness the path of Allah. 8:38. Allah will forgive them their pasts if they stop oppressing the people and leave them to practice their faith.

But the believers were told to fight the oppression and unjustness until the system/ways/religion was the ways Allah has prescribed. And from the Quran we understand there is no compulsion in religion (2:256). For you is your religion, and for me is my religion (109:6) . Those are part of the religion of Allah. However the disbelievers are not allowing this plus the corruption and forcing people out of the land and trying to kill the Prophet, thus the fighting.

Allah has no need for people to believe. However His mercy might extend to His servants by giving them security and owners of the land. His servants are the ones who deal justly and give people the opportunity to choose to believe in God or not. However at the same stroke His servants are not people to accept oppression and are asked to stand up. The end result could lead to victory. At times losses by way of trial.

And for your last comment, anyone can relate that hadith to any violence that happened in the past 1400 years and claimed it to be the end of times. And if the world lives on for another 5000 years which of violence and wars may happen. Which one of these people would it relate to? 

The prophet would not give a prophecy of something like this in which he can tell the future. When he believed that the hour(the day of judgement) can happen at any time.

examples

33.063
"The people ask you about the Hour. Say: The knowledge of it is only with God (alone). And what will make you know? It may be that the Hour is near."

79.042-45
"They ask you about the hour, when it will come? About what! (Why do they ask?) / In what are you to mention thereof? To your Lord belongs (knowledge) of its finality. To your Lord is the goal of it. You are only a warner for such as fear it."

7:187
They ask you about the Hour: when is its arrival? Say, "Its knowledge is only with my Lord. NO ONE can reveal its time except Him. It lies heavily upon the heavens and the earth. It will not come upon you except unexpectedly / suddenly (baghtatan)." They ask you as if you are familiar with it / informed about it. Say, "Its knowledge is only with God, but most of the people do not know."
31:034
"Indeed, God [alone] with him is the knowledge (ilm) of the Hour"

46:9 Say, "I am not different from the other messengers; and I do not know what will be done with me, or with you. I only follow what is inspired in me, and I am only a clear warner."

I know that brother Joseph is more comforting in his answers but until then I hope you may get some benefit from what I found to be from his articles which I agree a lot myself which I am privileged to share  :)

Peace

related topics

A MESSAGE OF PEACE OR TO LIVE BY THE SWORD?
http://quransmessage.com/articles/a%20message%20of%20peace%20or%20to%20live%20by%20the%20sword%20FM3.htm

THE UNWARRANTED INFATUATION WITH SEEKING KNOWLEDGE OF THE FINAL HOUR
https://www.facebook.com/joseph.a.islam/posts/494897590647373

IS THE QURAN SIMPLY A REVELATION TO BE UNDERSTOOD AND APPLIED ON A PERSONAL LEVEL?
https://www.facebook.com/joseph.a.islam/posts/538289746308157

ISLAM AS A COMMUNITY BASED RELIGION
https://www.facebook.com/joseph.a.islam/posts/498537746950024

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: Understanding Quran 8:39
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2015, 08:20:29 PM »
Thank you brother Hamzeh! May God bless you for all your efforts :)

As-salamu alaykum
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell

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Re: Understanding Quran 8:39
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2015, 09:41:11 AM »
Brother Hamzeh: I get what you're saying about the disbelievers having harmed the muslims first, but does Allah intend for Muslims to be the supreme group on earth, or does He want us to live peacefully with everyone?

Also, the verse very clearly says "until ALL religion is for Allah." Does this mean freedom of religion, or does it mean everyone has to convert to Islam? If ALL religion in an area is for Allah, then everyone in the area who isn't monotheistic would have to be killed, or else forcibly converted to islam/judaism/christianity. And this is contrary to "there is no compulsion in religion."

This is probably a flaw in my own understanding of the verse, because the Quran does not contain errors. For these particular disbelievers, is there compulsion in religion or not?

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Re: Understanding Quran 8:39
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2015, 10:02:53 AM »
Also, look at this link and read the first few answers:

https://www.quora.com/Where-in-the-Quran-does-it-say-that-non-believers-must-be-killed

The answers are from nonmuslims who seem to really hate islam, but I'm finding some truth in their claims, and it isn't nice.

The Quran seems to take any excuse to wage war against disbelievers. It says to fight those who actively oppose God and His Messenger, and the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists did just that, and Islamic extremists killed them. Is this justifiable by the Quran? I really hope it isn't. I don't want to follow a religion that orders us to kill disbelievers until religion is only for Allah.

But if God orders it, then what can we do...

I really hope God didn't order this.

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Re: Understanding Quran 8:39
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2015, 10:10:50 AM »
Unrelated, but in one of Joseph's articles about this topic, 3:90 says the repentance of people who disbelieved after believing is not accepted. I thought repentance for everything except shirk is accepted. Contradiction?

Offline Hassan A

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Re: Understanding Quran 8:39
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2015, 10:22:09 AM »
Salaam mia666,

You asked:

"the verse very clearly says "until ALL religion is for Allah." Does this mean freedom of religion"

To the best of my understanding it simply means 'until man is free to worship God.' A similar phrase is used in 2:193, as well. Therefore, once both verses have been exaimen it becomes obviouse that "until ALL religion is for Allah" simply means until God can be worshipped without fear of persecution, and none is compelled to bow down in awe before another human being. (See also 22:40.) The term 'din' is in this context more suitably translated as "worship" inasmuch as it comprises here both the doctrinal and the moral aspects of religion: that is to say, man's faith as well as the obligations arising from that faith.

You also asked:

"does He want us to live peacefully with everyone?"

I would argue He wants us to live peacefully with others, as eviden from the following verse (which is just one of many verses that advocate a similar lifestyle):

“Allah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion and did not drive you out of your homes. Verily, Allah loves those who deal with equity”

[al-Mumtahanah 60:8].

Offline Hassan A

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Re: Understanding Quran 8:39
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2015, 11:00:59 AM »
Salaam mia666,

You asked:

"The Quran seems to take any excuse to wage war against disbelievers. It says to fight those who actively oppose God and His Messenger, and the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists did just that, and Islamic extremists killed them. Is this justifiable by the Quran?"

I would disagree with you in saying that the Quran actively advocates for fighting against those who oppose God and His messenger. I believe if you examine the historical as well as textual context of those verses you find that fighting is made permissible only for those who have been (first) aggressed.

Now with regards to the Charlie Hebdo shooting I (as a Muslims) absolutely condemn it. No-where in the Quran does it justify killing those who make a mockery of the prophet. In fact, we as Muslims must follow the example of the prophet, when it comes to dealing with those who mock us (or the prophet). The Quran cites the mockery and abuse by the prophet faced (during his time).

He was called "a man possessed":

"And they say,"O you upon whom the message has been sent down, indeed you are mad." [Quran 15:6]

He was called:

"And when We substitute a verse in place of a verse - and Allah is most knowing of what He sends down - they say, "You, [O Muhammad], are but an inventor [of lies]." But most of them do not know." [Quran 16:101]

Yet despite all these verbal insults, never once was the prophet asked to retaliate in a similar manner. Rather he was asked to simply "bear patience over what they say". As evident by the following verses:


"Be patient over what they say and remember our servant David, the man of strength for he was repeatedly turning (to God)."
[Quran 38:17]

“Therefore be patient with what they say, and celebrate (constantly) the praises of thy Lord, before the rising of the sun and before its setting, yea, celebrate them for part of the hours of the night, and at the sides of the day: that you may have (spiritual) joy”
[Quran 20:130]


Therefore we, as Muslims, must also follow that example when it comes to dealing with those who insult the religion, Allah, the prophets, etc.

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Re: Understanding Quran 8:39
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2015, 02:54:03 AM »
Brother Hassan: Yes, I absolutely condemn the attacks as well. Killing is not the right retribution for making fun of someone. The Quran says "and for each wrong is rightful retribution, but if you forgive your reward lies with your Lord."

From my understanding, it seems like whenever a Quranic verse instructs people to kill disbelievers, it is a prerequisite that the disbelievers are breaking treaties and being hostile. And the believers are instructed not to transgress the limits of warfare, so that means they have to avoid killing women/children and incline to peace if the enemy also does so.

However, it seems like some verses can be very easily misinterpreted if taken in isolation. I think this topic is worth looking into further.

Mia

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Re: Understanding Quran 8:39
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2015, 09:04:04 AM »
Update: The word deen means not only religion, it can also mean system, government, or way of doing things. That clears a lot of things up. Verse 8:39 is not telling believers to make all religion for Allah, it is actually telling them to make the governing system the way Allah has decreed it. Allah's religion means being monotheistic. However, Allah's governing system means freedom of religion for everyone. That translation is more applicable in 8:39, and it erases any ideas of forced conversion.

Mia

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Re: Understanding Quran 8:39
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2015, 09:46:22 AM »
And since this verse is related in the context of war, could someone please explain verse 9:123? It says something like "and fight the disbelievers close to you..." some translators have translated "close to you" as "who attack you" or "who gird you about." The arabic word used here is ya'lunakum. What does it actually mean? I hope 9:123 is talking about specific disbelievers and not disbelievers in general. Who is it referring to?

Offline Hassan A

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Re: Understanding Quran 8:39
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2015, 11:48:59 AM »
Salaam mia666,

You said:

<< "From my understanding, it seems like whenever a Quranic verse instructs people to kill disbelievers, it is a prerequisite that the disbelievers are breaking treaties and being hostile. And the believers are instructed not to transgress the limits of warfare, so that means they have to avoid killing women/children and incline to peace if the enemy also does so" >>

Yes brother/sister your understanding is absolutely right.

You also said:

<< "However, it seems like some verses can be very easily misinterpreted if taken in isolation">>

I absolutely agree with you. It's unfortunate that there are those (Muslims and non-Muslims alike) who purposely misinterpret verses so as to further their devious agenda. But I truly believe, as alluded to earlier, that verse of the Quran must be looked at in their historical as well as textual context to get a better understanding of them.

You also said:

<<"The word deen means not only religion; it can also mean system, government, or way of doing things. That clears a lot of things up. Verse 8:39 is not telling believers to make all religion for Allah, it is actually telling them to make the governing system the way Allah has decreed it. Allah's religion means being monotheistic. However, Allah's governing system means freedom of religion for everyone. That translation is more applicable in 8:39, and it erases any ideas of forced conversion.">>

Again, you are absolutely right in your assessment, brother/sister. Here is an article by Brother Joseph Islam which shares that same sentiment (i.e. that the word 'deen' does not only mean religion, but also means system/government):

http://quransmessage.com/articles/what%20is%20the%20true%20defintion%20of%20deen%20FM3.htm


Finally, with respect to 9:123, I believe that if read we read 2:190-194, 22:39, 60:8-9, which lay down the general circumstances in which war is permitted, then it becomes apparent that the reference to "those deniers of the truth who are near you" refers only to those whom we are currently engaged in war with and who happen to be "near us"; the reason being that their proximity to ”us” would be dangerous in a physical sense.

Hope that (at least) clarifies.
Hassan.

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Re: Understanding Quran 8:39
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2015, 05:00:52 AM »
Yes I agree, the verses need to be looked at in context. Either way, killing random people is in no way justifiable if you read other Quranic verses.

I've heard ISIS is going to attack NYC soon. That will really start WWIII. The Paris attacks were bad enough. Apparently ISIS uses Quran 9:5 to justify their attacks on muslims and nonmuslims alike, but we've already clarified whom that verse is referring to. It's talking about a war that transpired 1400 years ago!!! Obviously, terrorists don't realize that.

I think reading Quran brings out the best and worst in people. If you're naturally a terrorist who hates everyone, you can cherry-pick verses and find some verses that seem to justify your hate. If you're a normal person like the rest of the world, you can use the verses for good things. If you're an "Islamic scholar" with a big beard and a small brain, you can use the verses to justify your preconceived ideas of misogyny and stupidity. It's basically your choice, which is why you have to read Quran with an open mind.

The main reason I'm using this forum so much lately is because I have a Quran teacher in Islamabad (we do lessons by computer) who teaches a very messed-up translation, probably by Mohsin Khan or some similar idiot. Once he showed me a verse that apparently said being friends with Christians is haram, and when I asked him why, he said it's because they're bad and we should stay away from them. He also said God likes men better than women and stuff like that. I've sorted out all those matters now, thank God.

People need to learn Quran for themselves.

On a side note, I'm a sister, my actual name is Mariyah.

Salam :)

Offline Hassan A

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Re: Understanding Quran 8:39
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2015, 01:43:42 PM »
Salaam sister Mariyah,

You said:

"Either way, killing random people is in no way justifiable if you read other Quranic verses."

I agree with you, sister.

You also said:

"I think reading Quran brings out the best and worst in people...It's basically your choice, which is why you have to read Quran with an open mind."

Indeed. As brother Joseph Islam expressed in one of his articles: "No matter how accurate a source, and indeed the source of the Quran remains 'perfect' (i.e. God), it is the fallible mind which interprets the source which causes the variance."

With respect to the Quran teacher you alluded to, I completely disagree with the claims he made when he said that taking Christians as friend is haram or that Allah likes men more than women. Such claims find absolutely NO support from the Quran.

As brother Joseph Islam alluded to in one of his articles: Any and all religious assertions or theological standpoints/practices must find unequivocal support from the Quran; any theological standpoint whatsoever in the name of God's religion, must provide clear, unambiguous, unequivocal proof and authority from the Quran for their position; as it is the Quran that is the primary and ultimate authority from God. That said, the burden of prove would be on the Quran teacher you mentioned to support his assertions (i.e. haram to be friend with Christians, or men being more liked than women) solely from a Quran perspective.

If we examine in particular those Quranic verses, which individuals (such as the Quran teacher you mentioned) usually cite as support for their assertions, it becomes obvious that those verses, in fact, does not support their claims.

So, with respect to that Quran teachers claim about men being favored more than women by Allah, there is absolutely NO verse in the Quran supporting it. The verse most misogynistic Muslims (and non-Muslim critics) cite to support this claim is the following verse:

"Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband's] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance - [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand." [Quran 4:34]


But Brother Joseph Islam explains that verse beautifully in another discussion (link below):
http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=436.0


And, with respect to the Quran teachers claim about having Christians as friends being haram, this too finds absolutely NO support in the Quran. The Quran is best understood when verses do not conflict with one another (or when a command in one verse does not conflict with or contradict the command of/in another verse). That said, it becomes obvious that that teachers claim (about Christian friends being haram) is in contradiction of the Quran. And here's why. Allah has told us in the Quran that we (Muslims) are free to marry from 'people of the book' (meaning Jews and Christians)(see:5:5); so how can being friends with Christians (or Jews) be haram when Allah has already said we can marry them? Therefore that teacher’s claim is false. Those who make the claim that being friends with Jews or Christians usually use the following verse to justify their claims:

"Let not the believers Take for friends or helpers Unbelievers rather than believers: if any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah: except by way of precaution, that ye may Guard yourselves from them. But Allah cautions you (To remember) Himself; for the final goal is to Allah." [Quran 3:28]

Brother Joseph Islam explains that verse beautify in another following discussion (link below):
http://quransmessage.com/forum/index.php?topic=260.0


Please also visit the following articles by Brother Joseph Islam, which touch on some of those issues:

http://quransmessage.com/articles/people%20of%20the%20book%20FM3.htm

http://quransmessage.com/articles/marriage%20with%20people%20of%20the%20book%20FM3.htm

http://quransmessage.com/articles/aggressive%20(mis)translations%20of%20the%20quran%20to%20enslave%20women%20FM3.htm

I hope this helped. Please feel free to continue asking questions on this forum and I and the other respected members on this forum will try our best to answer them for you, God willing.

Peace,
Hassan.

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Re: Understanding Quran 8:39
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2015, 01:24:51 AM »
You are absolutely correct. Regarding the men/women thing, men have a degree of authority over women in a husband-wife relationship, but this does not mean superiority, because Quran 49:13 clearly says that only good deeds make one person superior to another. Pharoah had all the authority over his wife Asiya, but he's the one who's going to hell, while Asiya gets eternity in Jannah. Authority is a responsibility and not a superiority.

Some people make the excuse that only men were prophets, but this was because nobody listened to women at that time. God did send messages to women, like Musa's mother and Mary, who was spoken to by angels. So it has nothing to do with gender preference.

About the whole "being friends with Christians is haram" thing, I read the article and it now makes sense. When I was younger, my friend Aisha informed me that her dad had forbidden her from making friends with Christians because he thought it was haram. Her dad also believes a great many other things are haram, such as music and art and cartoons and basically everything else. Is he just a confused believer or a disbeliever, do you think?

Salam and thank you for your time with this discussion :)