Re: Comments thread for: BMZ vs Skynightblaze on "Contradictions" in Qur'aan
Reply #57 - May 10, 2009, 10:23 AM
Skynightblaze's argument that there is a contradiction between verses 2.256 and 2.193 (and osmanthus' support of this position in his interjectory post) is fully based on the interpretation that the Godly command for Muslims to fight their oppressors until "there prevail justice and faith in Allah" means to fight them until they (the oppressors) accept faith in Allah, or Islam.
The skewed interpretation of verses in the Holy Quran and the pursuant deduction of false hypotheses (in this case the existence of contradiction) is a common theme among those who wish to find support for their subjective views. It is an intellectual sin committed by extremists like Al Qaeda and rejectionists like most of the folks in this Council.
Let's take a closer look at the quoted verse 2.193:
And fight them on until there is no more Tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah. but if they cease, Let there be no hostility except to those who practice oppression.
For starters, the verse is mistranslated. Skynightblaze conveniently quoted Yusuf Ali's mistranslation of the arabic word 'deen' to mean 'faith', while it actually means 'religion' (as known to those who speak both languages and as is correctly translated by the other common English translators Pickthal, Sarwar and Shakir among others). Faith is English for Eeman, which is not the word in the verse.
What the verse actually translates to, word for word is:
And fight them until there is no more Tumult or oppression, and the religion be for Allah. but if they cease, Let there be no hostility except to those who practice oppression.
If you wish, we can interpret the meaning of "and the religion be for Allah" to be "and Allah's religion prevail". So we have:
And fight them until there is no more Tumult or oppression, and Allah's religion prevail. but if they cease, Let there be no hostility except to those who practice oppression.
How is the word 'religion' different from 'faith'? While a person's Faith usually refers to a particular formal doctrine (Islam, Judaism, etc), the term religion particularly in the Arabic language, means Outlook, Paradigm, or Way, without necessarily implying any particular Faith. This distinction is demonstrated in verses 109:001-006 of the Holy Quran:
"Say: "O disbelievers!
I do not worship what you worship,
Nor do you worship what I worship. ...
Unto you your religion (way), and unto me my religion (way)." 109:001 - 006
So what is 'Allah's religion' or Way that we are ordered to fight the oppressors until it prevail? This Way is explained in the verses preceding 2.193 and in verse 2.256, which rather than being contradictory to verse 2.193 as Skynightblaze wrongly claims actually compliments and explains it:
Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.
The order is hence to fight the oppressors until Allah's Way of non-compulsion and Free Choice prevail and people may freely choose their faiths, whatever they may be. This is further confirmed by the second half of 2.193 which commands that hostility be used only against those who oppress others (by robbing them of their right to choose).
This is quite the opposite of the false claim that God orders the forcing of people to change their faiths! This claim not only contradicts the straightforward linguistic interpretation of the verses, it is also a flagrant denial of the true history of Islamic warfare. Throughout their history, Muslims never forcefully converted their adversaries, but rather spread the freedom of faith where previously it did not exist (e.g. in Egypt where the occupying Romans had persecuted the Egyptian Copts, and Muslims liberated them from this oppression). The thriving non-Muslim minorities all over the Muslim world are irrefutable evidence of Islam's sanctification of the right not only to choose, but to practice and to differ.
The animosity of Muslims to non-Muslims is reserved for those who oppress them:
"Allah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of your religion and did not drive you out of your homes. Verily, Allah loves those who deal with equity.
It is only as regards those who fought against you on account of your religion, and have driven you out of your homes, and helped to drive you out, that Allah forbids you to befriend them. And whosoever will befriend them, then such are the Zalimun (wrong-doers those who disobey Allah)." 060:008-9
An animosity that ceases to exist as soon as it's causes cease, as explained in 2.193. Any other claim is false and usually an attempt by its propagator to twist the meanings of verses and quote them out of context.
While the objective reader often stands in awe at how such straightforward and clear meanings can be so overlooked in order to support a flawed understanding, one can only reflect on the Almighty's accurate description of the scene:
"It is God who has revealed the Book to you in which some verses are clear statements (which accept no interpretation) and these are the fundamental ideas of the Book, while other verses may have several possibilities. Those whose hearts are perverse, follow the unclear statements in pursuit of their own mischievous goals by interpreting them in a way that will suit their own purpose. No one knows its true interpretations except God and those who have a firm grounding in knowledge. They say, "We believe in it. All its verses are from our Lord." No one can grasp this fact except the people of reason." 003:007
For the people of reason, observing how people that have been gifted with intelligence (like some of the participants in this forum) can skip reason in favor of a devious interpretation is evidence of the existence of a greater evil swaying their judgements. It reminds me of the film "The Exorcist" where a priest losing his faith in God regains it through observing firsthand the existence of evil. Maybe good will come out of it, and some objective observer of this panel will regain a shaken faith by seeing how weak the arguments presented against the Way of God are.
There are no contradictions in the Holy Quran, nor anything in Islam that clashes with the pure intellect or uncontaminated self.
"In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.
The Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
Master of the Day of Judgment,
You alone we worship; You alone we ask for help.
Guide us on the straight path,
the path of those whom You blessed; not of those who have deserved wrath, nor of the strayers."