Thursday, July 9, 2009


Da'wah Training Programme


Does not your Qur’an mention that Jesus is Kalimatullah –"The Word of Allah (swt)", as well as Ruhullah – "The Spirit of Allah", indicating his Divinity?


The Qur’an mentions in Surah Ali ‘Imran Chapter 3 verse 45

"Behold! The angels said: O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus. The son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those Nearest to Allah.
[Al-Qur’an 3:45]

Jesus (pbuh) is referred in the Qur’an as a word from Allah and not as ‘the word of Allah’.

"A word" of Allah means a message of Allah. If a person is referred to as "a word" from Allah, it means that he is a Messenger or a Prophet of Allah.


Different titles are given to different prophets (pbut). Whenever a title is given to a prophet (pbuh), it does not necessarily mean that the other prophets do not have the same characteristic or quality. For e.g. Prophet Abraham (pbuh) is referred to in the Qur’an as Khaleelullah, a friend of Allah. This does not indicate that all the other Prophets (pbuh) were not the friends of Allah. Prophet Moses (pbuh) is referred to in the Qur’an as Kaleemullah, indicating that God spoke to him. This does not mean that God did not speak to others. Similarly when Jesus (pbuh) is referred to in the Qur’an as Kalimatullah, "a word from Allah", it does not mean that the other Prophets were not "the word," of Allah.


Yahya (pbuh) i.e. John the Baptist (pbuh) is also referred to in the Qur’an as Kalimatullah i.e. a word of Allah in Surah Ali ‘Imran, Chapter 3, verses 38-39

"There did Zakariya Pray to his Lord, saying: "O my Lord! Grant unto me from Thee a progeny that is pure: for Thou art He that heareth prayer!

While he was standing in prayer in the chamber, the angels called unto him: "Allah doth give thee glad tidings of Yahya, witnessing the truth of a Word from Allah, and (be besides) noble, chaste, and a Prophet – of the (goodly) company of the righteous."
[Al-Qur’an 3:39]


Jesus (pbuh) also never referred to as Ruhullah "a spirit of Allah" but as a spirit from Allah in Surah Nisa Chapter 4 verse 171

"O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: nor say of Allah aught but the truth. Jesus Christ the son of Mary was (no more than) a Messenger of Allah, And His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a Spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His Messengers. Say not ‘Trinity’: desist: it will be better for you: for Allah is One God: glory be to Him: (Far Exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs."
[Al-Qur’an 4:171]


A spirit from Allah does not indicate that Jesus (pbuh) is God. The Qur’an mentions in several places that Allah breathed into the human beings "His Spirit" in Surah Al-Hijr, chapter 15 verse 29 in Surah Sajdah, chapter 32 verse 9

Surah Al Hijr Chapter 15 verse 29

"When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him."
[Al-Qur’an 15:29]

Surah Sajdah Chapter 32 verse 9

"But He fashioned him in due proportion, and breathed into him something of His spirit. And He gave you (the faculties of) hearing and sight and feeling (and understanding): little thanks do ye give!"
[Al-Qur’an 32:9]


Da'wah Training Programme


Is it not true that your Qur’an mentions in Surah Maryam, Chapter 19 verse 33 that Jesus (pbuh) died and was resurrected?



It is mentioned in Surah Maryam, Chapter 19 verse 33

"So Peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die and the Day that I shall be raised up to life (again)".
[Al-Qur’an 19:33]

The Qur’an mentions that Jesus (pbuh) said "Peace is on me the Day I was born, the day that I die". It is not stated "the day that I died". It is in the future tense and not in the past tense.


The Qur’an further says in Surah Nisa, Chapter 4 verse 157-158:

"That they said (in boast), ‘We killed Jesus Christ the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah’ – But they killed him not, Nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not –

Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is exalted in Power, Wise."
[Al-Qur’an 4:157-158]

Monday, June 1, 2009



It is mentioned in your Qur’an that Mary was the sister of Aaron (pbuh). Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) who wrote the Qur’an did not know the difference between Miriam the sister of Aaron (pbuh) and Mary the Mother of Jesus (pbuh), the time span between both of them was about a thousand years.



The Qur’an mentions in Surah Maryam, Chapter 19 verses 27-28

"At length she brought the (babe) to her people, carrying him (in her arms). They said: ‘O Mary! Truly an amazing thing hast thou brought!

O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a man of evil, nor thy mother a woman unchaste!’"[Al-Qur’an 19:27-28]

Christian missionaries say that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) did not know the difference between Mary the mother of Jesus (pbuh) and Miriam the sister of Aaron (pbuh). The time span between both was more than a thousand years.

In the Arabic construction of the sentence, sister is also considered as a descendant. Thus, when the people said to Mary, Ukhta Haroon i.e. ‘sister of Aaron’ it actually means descendant of Aaron (pbuh).


It is mentioned in the Gospel of Mathew, Chapter 1 verse 1

"Jesus Christ, the son of David,....".[Mathew 1:1]
Gospel of Luke Chapter 3, verse 23
"And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, ....."[Luke 3:23]


What do you call a person who has two fathers? The explanation of the phrase that Jesus (pbuh) was the son of David (pbuh), is that Jesus (pbuh) was a descendant of David (pbuh). ‘Son’, here means a descendant.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Theory Of Abrogation


Muslims believe in the theory of abrogation, i.e. they believe that certain earlier verses of the Qur’an were abrogated by verses revealed later. Does this imply that God made a mistake and later on corrected it?


1. Two different interpretations

The Glorious Qur’an says in the following verse:

"None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar: knowest thou not that Allah hath power over all things?"
[Al-Qur’an 2:106]

A reference to this is also made in chapter 16 verse 101 of Surah Nahl. The Arabic word mentioned is ayat which means ‘signs’ or ‘verses’ and which can also mean ‘revelations’. This verse of the Qur’an can be interpreted in two different ways:

a. The revelations that are abrogated are those revelations that were revealed before the Qur’an, for example the Torah, the Zaboor and the Injeel.
Here Allah (swt) says that He does not cause the previous revelations to be forgotten but He substitutes them with something better or similar, indicating that the Torah, the Zaboor and the Injeel were substituted by the Qur’an.

b. If we consider that the Arabic word ayat in the above verse refers to the verses of the Qur’an, and not previous revelations, then it indicates that none of the verses of the Qur’an are abrogated by Allah but substituted with something better or similar. This means that certain verses of the Qur’an, that were revealed earlier were substituted by verses that were revealed later. I agree with both the interpretations.

Many Muslims and non-Muslims misunderstand the second interpretation to mean that some of the earlier verses of the Qur’an were abrogated and no longer hold true for us today, as they have been replaced by the later verses of the Qur’an or the abrogating verses. This group of people even wrongly believe that these verses contradict each other.

Let us analyze a few such examples.

2. Produce a recital like the Qur’an / 10 Surahs / 1 Surah:

Some pagan Arabs alleged that the Qur’an was forged by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Allah (swt) challenges these Arabs in the following verse of Surah Al-Isra:

"Say: If the whole of Mankind and Jinns were together to produce the like of this Qur’an they could not produce the like thereof, even if they backed up each other with help and support."[Al-Qur’an 17:88]

Later the challenge was made easy in the following verse of Surah Al-Hud:

"Or they may say, "He forged it." Say, "Bring ye then ten Surahs forged, like unto it, and call (to your aid) whomsover ye can, other than Allah, if ye speak the truth!’."[Al-Qur’an 11:13]

It was made easier in the following verse of Surah Yunus:

"Or do they say, "He forged it"? Say: "Bring then a Surah like unto it, and call (to your aid) anyone you can, besides Allah, if it be ye speak the truth!’."
[Al-Qur’an 10:38]

Finally in Surah Al-Baqarah, Allah (swt) further simplified the challenge:

And if ye are in doubt as to what We have revealed from time to time to Our servant, then produce a Surah like thereunto; and call your witnesses or helpers (if there are any) besides Allah if your (doubts) are true.

But if ye cannot – and of a surety ye cannot – then fear the Fire whose fuel is Men and Stones – which is prepared for those who reject faith".[Al-Qur’an 2:23-24]

Thus Allah (swt) made the challenges progressively easier. The progressively revealed verses of the Qur’an first challenged the pagans to produce a book like the Qur’an, then challenged them to produce ten Surahs (chapters) like those in the Qur’an, then one Surah and finally it challenges them to produce one Surah somewhat similar (mim mislihi) to the Qur’anic Surahs. This does not mean that the later verses that were revealed i.e. of Surah Baqarah chapter 2 verses 23 and 24 contradict the earlier three verses. Contradiction implies mentioning two things that cannot be possible simultaneously, or cannot take place simultaneously.

The earlier verses of the Qur’an i.e. the abrogated verses are still the word of God and the information contained in it is true to this day. For instance the challenge to produce a recital like the Qur’an stands to this day. Similarly the challenge to produce ten Surahs and one Surah exactly like the Qur’an also holds true and the last challenge of producing one surah somewhat similar to the Qur’an also holds true. It does not contradict the earlier challenges, but this is the easiest of all the challenges posed by the Qur’an. If the last challenge cannot be fulfilled, the question of anyone fulfilling the other three more difficult challenges does not arise.

Suppose I speak about a person that he is so dumb, that he would not be able to pass the 10th standard in school. Later I say that he would not be able to pass the 5th standard, and further say that he would not be able to pass even the 1st standard. Finally I say that he is so dull that he would not even be able to pass K.G. i.e. kindergarten. One has to pass kindergarten before one can be admitted to school. What I am stating is that the person is so dull as to be unable to pass even kindergarten. My four statements do not contradict each other, but my last statement i.e. the person would not be able to pass the kindergarten is sufficient to indicate the intelligence of that person. If a person cannot even pass kindergarten, the question of him passing the first standard or 5th or 10th, does not arise.

3. Gradual prohibition of intoxicants

Another example of such verses is that related to gradual prohibition of intoxicants. The first revelation of the Qur’an to deal with intoxicants was the following verse from Surah Baqarah:

"They ask thee concerning wine and gambling say: ‘In them is great sin, and some profit, for men; but the sin is greater than the profit’."[Al-Qur’an 2:219]

The next verse to be revealed regarding intoxicants is the following verse from Surah Nisa:

"O ye who believe! approach not prayers with a mind befogged, until ye can understand all that ye say" [Al-Qur’an 4:43]

The last verse to be revealed regarding intoxicants was the following verse from Surah Al-Maidah:

"O ye who believe! intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones, and (divination by) arrows, are an abomination of Satan’s handiwork; eschew such (abomination), that ye may prosper."[Al-Qur’an 5:90]

The Qur’an was revealed over a period of 22½ years. Many reforms that were brought about in the society were gradual. This was to facilitate the adoption of new laws by the people. An abrupt change in society always leads to rebellion and anarchy.

The prohibition of intoxicants was revealed in three stages. The first revelation only mentioned that in the intoxicants there is great sin and some profit but the sin is greater than the profit. The next revelation prohibited praying in an intoxicated state, indicating that one should not consume intoxicants during the day, since a Muslim has to pray five times a day. This verse does state that when one is not praying at night one is allowed to consume intoxicants. It means one may have or one may not have. The Qur’an does not comment on it. If this verse had mentioned that one is allowed to have intoxicants while not praying then there would have been a contradiction. Allah (swt) chose words appropriately. Finally the total prohibition of intoxicants at all times was revealed in Surah Maidah chapter 5 verse 90.

This clearly indicates that the three verses do not contradict each other. Had they been contradicting, it would not have been possible to follow all the three verses simultaneously. Since a Muslim is expected to follow each and every verse of the Qur’an, only by following the last verse i.e. of Surah Maidah (5:90), he simultaneously agrees and follows the previous two verses.

Suppose I say that I do not live in Los Angeles. Later I say that I do not live in California. Finally I say, I do not live in the United States of America. This does not imply that these three statements contradict each other. Each statement gives more information than the previous statement. The third statement includes the information contained in the first two statements. Thus, only by saying that I do not live in the United States of America, it is obvious, that I also do not live in California nor New York. Similarly since consuming alcohol is totally prohibited, it is obvious that praying in an intoxicated state is also prohibited and the information that in intoxicants is "great sin and some profit for men; but the sin is greater than profit" also holds true.

4. Qur’an does not contain any contradictions

The theory of abrogation does not imply that there is a contradiction in the Qur’an, since it is possible to follow all the verses of the Qur’an at the same time.

If there is a contradiction in the Qur’an, then it cannot be the word of Allah (swt).

"Do they not consider the Qur’an (with care)? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much discrepancy (contradictions)."

[Al-Qur’an 4:82]

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Why Aren't Islamic Missionaries as Active as Christian Missionaries ?

Q) I am a revert to Islam from a very orthodox Christian family. However my hunger to delve deep into Islam and other religions never ceased. The sad part of the story is that I never found anyone able to give at least most of the answers for the questions I ask. But your newsletter seems to be doing a good job. Here are a few questions I wish you could answer.

a. Why aren’t Islamic missionaries active the way Christian missionaries are? Won’t Islam grow much faster and misunderstandings removed if there are good scholars to preach the faith? Why is there such a slack among Muslims?

b. Is it permissible in Islam to sponsor an orphan? Not adoption. Something like sponsoring his education, etc.?

c. Are the views of the so-called ‘terrorists’ like bin Laden really wrong or justifiable? I mean should a Muslim support his activities? Can children and innocent people be killed in wars when the prophet had declared not to do so?
Joshua Koshy

A) a. It’s true that Muslims today are not as active as Christians in propagating their religion, though the Muslims are expected by Islam to be the best of missionaries. Islam is a religion that should have the maximum number of missionaries because Da'wah (propagation of one’s faith) is obligatory / compulsory in Islam. The Glorious Qur'an says:

“Invite (all) to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious.” (Al-Qur'an 16:125)

But unfortunately we Muslims are not doing our job. Moreover, there is virulent propaganda about Islam and Muslims by the international media. Today the number of misconceptions about Islam has reached an endemic and epidemic level. It is the duty of Muslims to clarify these misconceptions and to present the pure Islamic teachings, based on the Qur'an and the authentic traditions of the prophet (pbuh).

But irrespective whether the Muslims do the job or not, Allah has promised to make his Deen (Al-Islam) prevail over all other ways of life and all other ‘isms’. Allah says in the Qur'an:

“It is He who has sent His Messenger with Guidance and the Religion of Truth to proclaim it over all religion: and enough is Allah for a Witness.”(Al-Qur'an 48:28)

A similar message is mentioned in Al-Qur'an 9:33 & 61:9.

It should be borne in mind that Allah is not in need of us Muslims in order to make his Deen prevail. He, however, has given us an opportunity to do a prophet’s job and to earn a prophet’s reward.

The slack among the Muslims is due to their inability to perceive the benefits of reading the Qur'an with understanding. It is through reading the Qur'an with understanding and meaning will we know what our Lord and Creator expects from us in order that we prosper in this life as well as in the Hereafter. Allah says in the Qur'an:

‘Who is better in speech than one who calls (men) to Allah, works righteousness and says, "I am of those who bow in Islam"?’

b. With regards to sponsoring an orphan, Islam encourages such acts of charity as is mentioned in various places in the Qur'an. The Qur'an says:

“Worship none but Allah; treat with kindness your parents and kindred and orphans and those in need; speak fair to the people; be steadfast in prayer; and practice regular charity.” (Al-Qur'an 2:83)

The Prophet (pbuh) is also reported to have said: "I, and the one who looks after an orphan, will be like this in Paradise," showing his middle and index fingers and separating them. (Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 7, Hadith No. 224)

Thus the act of sponsoring an orphan is highly recommended in Islam and Allah will surely reward you for that.

c. Regarding your question on terrorists, I say every Muslim should be a ‘terrorist for the anti-social elements of society’. A terrorist is a person who causes terror. The moment a robber sees a policeman he is terrified. A policeman is a terrorist for the robber. Similarly every Muslim should be a terrorist for the anti-social elements of society, be they thieves, pick-pockets, black-marketers or rapists. Whenever an anti-social element sees a Muslim, he should be terrified. It is true that the word ‘terrorist’ is generally used for a person who causes terror among innocent people. But a true Muslim should only be a terrorist to anti-social elements and not to innocent people. Infact a Muslim should be a source of peace and solace for innocent and righteous people.

Before India achieved independence from British rule, some freedom fighters of India who did not subscribe to non-violence were labeled as terrorists by the British government. These very individuals have been lauded by us Indians for the same activities and hailed as ‘patriots’. Thus two different labels have been given to the same people for the same set of actions. One called them terrorists while the other called them patriots. Those who believed that Britain had a right to rule over India called these freedom fighters terrorists, while those who were of the view that Britain had no right to rule India called them patriots and freedom fighters.

It is therefore important that before a person is judged, he is given a fair hearing. Both sides of the argument should be heard, the situation should be objectively and fairly analyzed and the reason and the intention of the person should be taken into account, and then the person can be judged accordingly. While there can be no justifiable reason for killing innocents, it is also patently unfair to accuse any of killing innocents without a fair trial and process of justice.

Regarding Osama bin Laden, one does not know whether he is good or bad. I have not met him personally nor do I know him. I cannot give my opinion based on the reports of BBC or the CNN. Most of the news on the international media is tailor-made to suit ulterior motives and suited to project the image what they want.

The Qur'an says:

“O you who believe! If a wicked person comes to you with any news ascertain the truth lest you harm people unwittingly and afterwards become full of repentance for what you have done.” (Al-Qur'an 49:6)

With regards to the last part of your question, Islam forbids killing of innocent people. The Qur'an says:

“ … If anyone slew a person unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land it would be as if he slew the whole humanity: and if anyone saved a life it would be as if he saved the life of the whole humanity.” (Al-Qur'an 5:32)

Killing any innocent human being, whether Muslim or non-Muslim is not allowed in Islam. Even in the circumstances of war, this aspect is not to be ignored. The first caliph of Islam, Abu Bakr

As-Siddique (R) is reported to have commanded Usama ibne Zaid (R):

“I command you to do ten things: you must not kill a woman or a child, or an elderly person; do not cut down trees, or vandalize homes, or wound a sheep or camel except if you must eat it; do not drown a palm tree, or burn it, do not be treacherous; do not be cowardly; and you will pass by people who have devoted themselves to monastery life: leave them alone with their devotions.” (Tarikh At-Tabari, V.3, p.210)

Thus killing children or innocent people are not allowed in Islam. And Allah knows the best.