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Offline Zack

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Is there such a thing as "A Convert" in the Qur'an?
« on: November 03, 2016, 05:10:19 PM »
Hello all,

I want to ask if there is a Quran basis for the concept of a "convert." This relates to the following studies of Br. Joseph....

Based on the above articles, it would seem the whole concept of "conversion to Islam" is a tradition that does not have any basis. The true "islam" is a way of life, with the religious label irrelevant. With this, the Qur'an never promotes "conversion," but challenging beliefs.

I was reminded of this with the comment below on another thread....

There are many instances that sometimes people change their religion. They convert. According the discussions going on it is understandable that this conversion is needless. But is there any problem if anyone wants to convert from one religion to another? Is it permissible? If a christian or jew converts to Islam, then can a muslim convert to those religion. Are we free to choose within these monotheist religions?



Offline Student

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Re: Is there such a thing as "A Convert" in the Qur'an?
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2016, 05:10:56 PM »

We said: Go down, all of you, from hence; but verily there cometh unto you from Me a guidance; and whoso followeth My guidance, there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve.
But they who disbelieve, and deny Our revelations, such are rightful Peoples of the Fire. They will abide therein. (2:38-39)

This is arguably the very first command given to and through the Man before it became Mankind, from any nation and any tribe

  • Is Quran not a Book of Guidance?
  • Is Quran not a Sign of God?
  • If yes, then is 2:38 not commanding anyone who come in contact with every new revelation to follow it fully and completely?
  • 2:38-39 instantly followed by appeal to Bani Israel 2:40 isn't linking the context and more than suggested to embrace Quran?
  • Are people of the book and Sabians still exempt from this all inclusive and explicit command?
  • Are 2:62 and 5:69 clearly connected with 2:38 as a qualifier or not?

I humbly feel and think conversion is necessary with every new revelation upon contact (resulting in denial or heedlessness) OR in absence of contacting any revelation, remain on the "Qalu Bala" testimony (7:172) unblemished and return to One God. Please correct me where I've faltered.
~ Student

Offline Nura

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Re: Is there such a thing as "A Convert" in the Qur'an?
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2016, 05:33:15 PM »

I asked similar questions to Brother Joseph and his answers I am posting below:

Wa alaikum assalam Nura,

Please see my responses to your questions in red

You also said that the Quran asks the people of the book to consider it and accept it as truth. From your reply to my question, I understood that we are to believe that aspects of truth is present in the Bible but we are not to use it for extracting and formulating religious law. You also said that the Bible was revealed as a source of law for the children of Israel.

1. But is the Bible (only) supposed to remain the source of law for the children of Israel till the day of reckoning even after the Quran is revealed?

At no place does the Quran assert ‘as a condition of faith’ that the Children of Israel / People of the Book should abandon their laws that have been revealed to them. [1]

Rather, the Quran asserts:

"Say: "O People of the Book! you have no ground to stand upon unless you firmly stand by (Arabic: Tuqimu) the Torah, the Gospel, and all the revelation that has come to you from your Lord." (5:68)

"But why do they come to you for decision, when they have (their own) Torah before them?  therein is the (plain) command of God; yet even after that, they would turn away. For they are not People of Faith." (5.43)

The Jews are being told to judge from what has been revealed to them (Torah) and if they don't, they are 'Kaffirs' (Disbelievers)
"It was We who revealed the Torah (to Moses): therein (Arabic: Fi-ha) was guidance and light. By its standard have been judged the Jews, by the prophets who bowed (as in Islam) to God's will, by the rabbis and the scholars (Arabic: Ahbaru) : for to them was entrusted the protection of God's book, and they were witnesses to it: therefore do not fear mankind, but fear Me, and sell not my verses (Arabic: Ayati) for a miserable price. If any fails to judge by (the light of) what God has revealed, they are Unbelievers (Arabic: Kaffiruna)" (5:44)

The Quran also acknowledges that different laws were revealed for different communities which they must submit to in truth.

"...To each among you have We prescribed a law (Arabic: Shir-atan) and an open way (Arabic: waminhajan). If God had so willed, He would have made you a single people, but (His plan is) to test you in what He has given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to God; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute”  - 5.48 (part)

Not only is their food permissible to be eaten, the Quran also sanctions marriage with the People of the Book.


We must be clear what the Quran defines as 'righteous' People of the Book. This is arguably not a reference to those of the People of the Book that have transgressed boundaries into idolatry by assigning partners with God and commit unrighteous deeds. This is a reference to religiously 'righteous' people of the Book.

Please see article [2] below which will elaborate this point, God willing.

Like many Muslims today, there are many from the People of the Book that arguably do not follow their scriptures in earnest but have rather taken other sources for religious guidance.

If the Quran is followed along with its laws then that is done out of choice not because the Quran explicitly states the People of the Book to abandon their scriptures.

2. The Quran is revealed as a message for all of Alaameen, doesn't that include people of the book?

Please note the meaning of 'Alameen' from a Quran's perspective which is dependant on context. Please see related article [3] below.

There are those from the People of the Book that accept the 'truth' of the Quran as a revelation from God. If they followed the guidance of the Quran, they would be referred back to their own scriptures with discernment. The Quran would also provide them a tool to challenge those notions that have crept into their beliefs and practices which have no warrant.  Following the Quran does not necessarily equate with abandoning the laws of say the Torah.

It is only the believers that are required to follows the laws of the Quran alone.

3. if not, then how is the Quran a guidance for all of Alameen?

Please see response above.

4. If a person( christian or jew) from the people of the book accepts the Quran as truth, can he/she then still follow only the laws present in the Bible? or in this case should he/she follow both the laws in the Quran and the Bible ( Bible + Quran)?

Please see my response to your question 2 above. The Quran presents a tool for 'discernment' and for the people of the Book it commands them to what is right and forbids them from what is wrong in their beliefs and practices. Please see the verse below:

"Those who follow the messenger (Arabic: Tabiuna RasulAllah), the gentile prophet (Arabic: Nabiya Ummiya), whom they find mentioned in their own (scriptures) in the Torah and the Gospel;- for he commands them to what is right and forbids from what is wrong (Arabic: munkar); he allows them as lawful what is good (and pure) and prohibits them from what is bad (and impure) (Arabic: Khabaitha); He relieves from them their burdens and from the fetters which were upon them. So it is those who believe in him, honour him, help him, and follow the light which is sent down with him,- it is they who will prosper."

5. is it enough for them to just believe in the veracity of the message of the Quran and follow only the Bible just like we are asked to recognize truth in the Bible but follow the laws in the Quran?

There are aspects of the Bible that the Quran confirms. It also challenges theology which has become 'read into' the Bible without warrant. If they followed the Quran as Divine guidance, they would be able to find a tool to discern their beliefs and follow their own scriptures more closely as they were intended to be followed.
Not all those who wander are lost - J.R.R. Tolkien

Offline Nura

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Re: Is there such a thing as "A Convert" in the Qur'an?
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2016, 05:47:42 PM »
continuation of the same topic in a different Q/A session:

salam brother,

taking the risk of sounding repititive, I would like to ask,

1. is the practice of 'conversion' of jews and christians' to 'new muslims' and their subsequent abandoning of the OT and NT not right?

People of the OT and NT (People of the Book) are asked to accept the truth of the Quran’s message. Even at the time of the Prophet, there were People of the Book that believed in the truth of the Quran.

If they did, they would be able to discern from the faulty beliefs and practices that have infiltrated their religion.

I mean the so-called scholars of islam encourage thousands of people from other religions including the people of the book to abandon the laws of their scripture and embrace the laws of the Quran.

We are talking about People of the Book (i.e. the Jews and Christians), not people from other religions such as Hindu's Buddhists, Sikhs etc. Please do not conflate the issues.

it is said in the Quran that a messenger is sent to all nations, so maybe today's hindus, budhists, shikhs etc also were people who received guidance from Allah but just like how idolatory in the form of Jesus being the son of God crept into or is being read into the Bible, maybe currently similar idolatrous concepts are being read into Hindu, Budhist or shikh scriptures.

You are respectfully confusing people of other religions, with those of the Abrahamic faith such as the People of the Book which the Quran specifically addresses.

2. if it is not right for jews and christians to abondon the laws of the Bible then is it right for people of other faiths to abondon their scriptures?

Again, you are mixing two different issues. With a risk of consistently reiterating myself, the Quran asks for the People to the Book to accept the veracity of the Quran. However it does not ask them to abandon their laws. I have already cited relevant verses for this.

People from other religions are invited to accept the ways of Prophet Abraham and follow the truth of the Quran and its laws and guidance. The people of 'other religions' are not the people of the Book that the Quran addresses.

3. what do you have to say about the current conversion practice that goes around?

There is nothing wrong with sharing the message of the Quran with all humanity. This should be encouraged.

4. if it is ok for the jews and christians to just say that they believe that the Quran is a revelation from god and only follow the Bible then why shouldnt hindus or others do the same. i.e believe in the veracity of the Quran but follow the laws of  the vedas that are not idolatrous or do not contradict the verses of the glorious Quran?

Once again, because the religions you are mentioning are not the ‘People of the Book’ that the Quran refers to. They are neither 'Muslims' or 'Believers' in the Quranic sense.

5. is the ' conversion to islam' practice unjustified from the quranic perspective?

No, it is not unjustified.

you said, if a jew or a christian believes the Quran as revelation, and reads it, he/she would be said to go back to the Bible and follow the laws therin. i.e according to you they are supposed to follow the laws in the Bible and we (the beleivers) are to follow only the Quran.

6.but can't a jew or christian become a 'believer' and follow the quran only?

As I have already stated.

"If the Quran is followed along with its laws then that is done out of choice not because the Quran explicitly states the People of the Book to abandon their scriptures."

Yes, they can follow the Quran alone if they wish. However, they are not required to as an article of belief. Please also remember that the concept and guidance of the scriptures of the Abrahamic religion is in essence from the same monotheistic root. Comparing the Old Testament and the Quran with the Vedas is not an appropriate comparison.

7.what should a Hindu, Budhist, or people from other faiths do? Should they not follow the Quran only?

Yes, that is what the Quran expects them to do. It is an invitation to the truth. However, no one should be 'forced'

8. who then are exactly believers if jews and cristians can continue to follow their laws? werent there jews and christians during the prophets minstry who abondoned the Bible and excepted the Quran? as in jews and cristians who beacame followers of the Quran alone i.e became a believer?

If the People of the Book accept the Quran as the truth, then they are believers. Even people of the Book who believed in the truth of the Quran were referred to as ‘believers’. However this does not mean they abandoned their laws.

"And when they listen to the revelation received by the Messenger, you will see their eyes overflowing with tears, for they recognise the truth: they pray: "Our Lord! we have believed (Arabic: amanna); write us down among the witnesses (Arabic: Shahadin)"
"And there are, certainly, among the People of the Book, those who believe in God, in the revelation to you, and in the revelation to them, bowing in humility to God: They will not sell the Signs of God for a miserable gain! For them is a reward with their Lord, and God is swift in account"
People who believed in the previous scriptures were already Muslims as can be seen in the following verse:
"Those to whom We sent the Book before this, they believe in it. And when it is recited to them, they say "We believe in it, surely it is the truth from our Lord, surely before this (min-qablihi) we were muslims (Arabic: Muslimina)"

Please also see the following article which may be of assistance, God willing.

the practice of conversion is something that is really confusing me please shed some light onto it from a qurans perspective.

Dear Nura, I have shared my responses. Please can I respectfully urge you to consider them carefully.

With utmost respect,

For more details read this thread:
Not all those who wander are lost - J.R.R. Tolkien