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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ignorant Comment Answered

One reader comment appended to a New York Times article about the Times Square bomber deserves a detailed reply. The article included a photograph of the bomber's copy of the Noble Qur'an. That translation is available on the web, it can be downloaded in pdf format. The chm version is more than 29mb, I don't know the size of the pdf version. If you don't want to clutter up your hard disk, you can read it on line at the King Fahd Complex. The Hilali & Khan translation does contain parenthetical expressions from tafsir to clarify ambiguous verses. It also includes the translator's commentary. The link to the on line version is to 2:190, which is about defensive jihad, but the translator's comment defines offensive jihad with extreme clarity and accuracy.

It is important to note that this book is not the Koran, but "The Noble Koran", which is a version of the Koran with commentary woven into the text. It is widely distributed by Wahabis and extremists in the U.S. Its intention is to distort the Koran and spread an extremist view of Islam. This book does not represent the beliefs of hundreds of millions of Muslims, and we should not make them the enemy.

Muslims consider all translations of the Qur'an to be non-canonical. They assert that it is impossible to translate it from Arabic to another language without sacrificing accuracy.

The true meaning of the Qur'an can only be discovered by observing how the man who revealed it followed its dictates. The experts who explain the Qur'an in tafsir compare parallel verses and hadith to determine their meaning.

The comment author asserts that the Noble Qur'an is intended to distort the Qur'an with an extreme slant. The assertion is offered without evidence to prove it.

The assertion can be tested by comparing multiple translations. http://www.quranbrowser.com/ displays a table of ten parallel translations. http://www.openburhan.net displays 17 translations including a literal translation and a word by word breakdown of the Arabic text linked to an Arabic/English dictionary.

The ayat most significant to the jihad issue are 2:216, 8:39, 8:60 & 9:29. When you compare the translations, you will discover that the main difference is that Hilali & Khan tried to modernize 8:60 by inserting a parenthetical list of modern weapons.

The titles of Ibn Kathir's explanations of 8:39 & 9:29 make their meanings extremely obvious:
The jihad imperatives are confirmed in this hadith: Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 8, Number 387. Allah said "fight them"; Moe said "I have been ordered to fight". The ultimate confirmation is found in Shari'ah. Reliance of the Traveller, Book O, Chapter 9 tells us what the caliph does as a normal course of action.
  • O9.8 The caliph (o25) makes war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians (N: provided he has first invited them to enter Islam in faith and practice,...
  • O9.9 The caliph fights all other peoples until they become Muslim...
The Qur'an may not represent the beliefs of hundreds of millions of Muslims, but it sets the standard of conduct for more than a billion Muslims. It commands them to wage war against us. Why did Muslims march from Mecca to conquer the Arabian peninsula, North Africa, Southern & Eastern Europe and nearly half of Asia?

The issue is not moderate : extremist, it is hypocrite : believer. The hypocrite's Islam "will not go beyond their throats". Believers are only those who "strive with their wealth and their lives for the Cause of Allâh". What does that mean? The answer is in 9:111.
  • 9:111. Verily, Allâh has purchased of the believers their lives and their properties; for the price that theirs shall be the Paradise. They fight in Allâh's Cause, so they kill (others) and are killed. It is a promise in truth which is binding on Him in the Taurât (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel) and the Qur'ân. And who is truer to his covenant than Allâh? Then rejoice in the bargain which you have concluded. That is the supreme success .
Got a clue yet? "They fight in Allâh's Cause, so they kill (others) and are killed." I have two more ayat for the terminally clueless.
  • 4:57. But those who believe (in the Oneness of Allâh - Islâmic Monotheism) and do deeds of righteousness, We shall admit them to Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise), abiding therein forever. ...
  • 9:120. It was not becoming of the people of Al-Madinah and the bedouins of the neighbourhood to remain behind Allâh's Messenger (Muhammad when fighting in Allâh's Cause) and (it was not becoming of them) to prefer their own lives to his life. That is because they suffer neither thirst nor fatigue, nor hunger in the Cause of Allâh, nor they take any step to raise the anger of disbelievers nor inflict any injury upon an enemy but is written to their credit as a deed of righteousness. ...
Angering and injuring disbelievers are deeds of righteousness. Re-read 9:120 , paying close attention to the clause I emphasized with bold face.

Islam is the enemy. Without Muslims who believe in it and attempt to implement it, Islam would be harmless words in musty old books. But so long as there are Muslims, the risk remains that some of them will believe in and attempt to implement Allah's jihad imperatives.