Refuting death for apostasy.

“Say, “The truth is from your Lord”: Let him who will believe, and let him who will, reject (it)” (Holy Qura’n 18:29)

And if your Lord had pleased, surely all those who are in the earth would have believed, all of them; will you then force men till they become believers? And it is not for a soul to believe except by Allah’s permission; and He casts uncleanness on those who will not understand.” (Holy Qur’an 10: 99-100)

First will be the arguments from logic and internal consistency with what we is revealed about the Creator and the over all theme of the Holy Qur’an.

#1) Argument from hypocrisy.  

It should be clear to anyone who has even cursory knowledge of the Holy Qur’an that Allah (swt) has the most damning words for hypocrites.

“The hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of the Fire: no helper will you find for them” (Holy Qur’an 4:145)

“To the hypocrites give the glad tidings that there is for them (but) a grievous penalty;  (Holy Qur’an  4:138)

“O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and hypocrites, and be firm against them. Their abode is Hell,-an evil refuge indeed.” (Holy Qur’an 9:73)

And there are people who say, “We do believe in God and the Last Day,” the while they do not [really] believe. They would deceive Allah and those who have attained to faith-the while they deceive none but themselves, and perceive it not. And when they are told, “Do not spread corruption on earth,” they answer, “We are but improving things!” Oh, verily, it is they, they who are spreading corruption but they perceive it not?  And when they are told, “Believe as other people believe,” they answer, “Shall we believe as the weak-minded believe?” Oh, verily, it is they, they who are weak-minded -but they know it not! And when they meet those who have attained to faith, they assert, “We believe [as you believe]”; but when they find themselves alone with their- evil impulses, they say, “Verily, we are with you; we were only mocking!” (Holy Qur’an 2:2-16)

“Deaf, dumb, blind – and they cannot turn back.” (Holy Qur’an 2:18)

It becomes painfully obvious from the above verses that hypocrites are those who say what they do hot really believe.  Their hidden hypocrisy is the cause for spreading corruption in the earth, they assert they believe as others believe but when they are alone with their evil impulse that is what they hold to.

Lastly, Allah (swt) asserts that such people can never revert or turn back.  Never!

This enough can end the debate about forcing apostates back into Islam at the point of a scimitar.  If the point is that apostates can bring harm to the faith, than why should someone be punished for their honesty in either having a crisis of conscious or not believing something, where as a hypocrite remains in stealth weaving his or her destructive schemes with in the rank and file of the Muslims?

“The Hypocrites-they think they are over-reaching Allah, but He will over-reach them: When they stand up to prayer, they stand without earnest, to be seen of men, but little do they hold Allah in remembrance; (Holy Qur’an 4:142)

The question is why would Allah (swt) speak so strongly against hypocrisy and yet institute a law that would strongly encourage it?

If people are threatened with a scimitar and they truly do not believe and yet ‘come back into the fold’ for fear of loosing their life how will these people not be “those who stand up in prayer, they stand without earnest, to be seen of men?”

How will these people not be among those who say, “We do believe in God and the Last Day,” the while they do not [really] believe.?

How will such people not be those who  assert,We believe [as you believe]”; but when they find themselves alone with their- evil impulses, they say, “Verily, we are with you; we were only mocking.”?

In other words: “Hey everyone it’s cool now I’m a Muslim again. You can put your scimitar down now. We cool right?”

We have never been told by any of our scholars how the scimitar brings people back to faith?

For example when we read this beautiful passage in the Holy Qur’an.

“And when they hear what has been revealed to the Messenger, you see their eyes overflowing with tears because of what they have recognized of the truth. They say, “Our Lord, we have believed, so register us among the witnesses.”  (Holy Qur’an 5:83)

Does the scimitar produce this type of Islam?

“Allah has sent down the best statement: a consistent Book wherein is reiteration. The skins shiver therefrom of those who fear their Lord; then their skins and their hearts relax at the remembrance of Allah. That is the guidance of Allah by which He guides whom He wills. And one whom Allah leaves astray – for him there is no guide.” (Holy Qur’an 39:23)

Does the scimitar produce this type of Islam?

Or is there a very strong possibility that the scimitar invites the kinds of hypocrisy mentioned above that Allah (swt) so strongly spoke against!    Does the scimitar invite disgruntled and restless souls who being forced back to Islam a chance to plot and plan vengeance with in the community.

#2) The implications this has upon sects and sectarianism in Islam.


Abdullah bin Mas’ud (May Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (Sallallahu a’laihi wa sallam) said,

“It is impermissible to take the life of a Muslim who bears testimony that there is no god but Allah, and I am the Messenger of Allah, except in one of three cases: the adulterer, a life for a life, and the renegade Muslim (apostate), who abandons the Muslim community.”

Source:( Bukhari – Kitab Ad-Diyyat /Book on Blood Money/hadith #6878)

Now considering the name Mu’tazili’ ends up meaning ‘separate, withdraw and  Khariji means to walk out or go out from do you really think for a moment that these people called themselves Mu’tazaili and Kharijites?

The problem with the apostasy law is that it becomes a powerful tool to persecute other Muslims with different political and theological positions.


In fact some one could argue that had it not been for colonial domination of Muslim lands and the secularization of Muslim lands it would be much the same as we saw during the Omayyad, Abbasid, Ottoman, Fatimid, Almoravid & Almohad dynasty not to mention the ‘Mihna’ and so on.


If it is claimed that when someone becomes an apostate or ‘abandons the Muslim community‘ we now have a tool that only suggest to us that ‘might is right’.  Indeed throughout the centuries various Muslim factions have claimed that other Muslim factions have become apostate and left Islam.

This concept puts many Muslim scholars today in a hypocritical position of condemning groups like ISIS but not condemning doctrinal/textual evidence used to make licit the blood of fellow Muslims.

Which begs the question of ‘What is Islam’ ?   and ‘What all does it entail’ ?

When a person embraces Islam, what actually do they embrace?   Would it be more appropriate for someone to say “I have embraced what I feel is Islam.”  or “I have embraced the Islam I have learned thus far.”


#3) The self-refuting nature of apostasy laws.

The whole idea that is espoused by many is that if a person were to leave Islam they could corrupt the hearts and minds of other believers.

“Say: ´Allah´s is the conclusive argument. If He had willed He could have guided every one of you.´” (Holy Qur’an 6:149)

“You cannot give guidance to whomsoever you wish, but Allah gives guidance to whomsoever He wills, and He best knows the ones who are on the right path.” (Holy Qur’an 28:56)    So we know that guidance is the purview of Allah (swt)- alone.

“As for those who have faith and then return to unbelief, and then again have faith and then return to unbelief, and then increase in unbelief, Allah will not forgive them or guide them on any path.” (Holy Qur’an 4:137)

“O you who believe, fear Allah, as He should be feared, and let not yourself die save as Muslims.” (Holy Qur’an 3:102)

The two verses coupled together show two things.

a) We need to be upon the cycle of faith and not unbelief if we have hope of Allah forgiving us and being guided.

b) We should not die unless we are in a state of surrender to Allah (swt) i.e-Muslims.

All these verses show the self refuting nature of the apostasy laws.  They scimitar does not guarantee faith for anyone.  In fact in this day and age the apostasy law is the cause for apostasy!

It would be of utmost interest as a sociological experiment if someone were to take Salman Rushdie’s ‘The Satanic Verses’ and share them with Not-Yet-Muslims and ask them, ‘would this make you not want to be a Muslim?’  and than share with them the “traditionalist” view on apostasy and ask them, ‘would this make you not want to be a Muslim?” and let us see which one would drive people away from accepting faith.

I read Salman Rushdie’s ‘The Satanic Verses’ it was absolute rubbish.   How many Muslims left Islam because of this book as compared to how many actually leave Islam because of the apostasy law itself?

“O Prophet! Tell your wives and daughters and the women of the believers to draw their outer garments closely round themselves. This makes it more likely that they will be recognized and not be harmed. Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”  (Holy Qur’an 33:59)

Shakyh Abdullah bin Bayyah post 9-11 told Muslim women in the bay area (San Francisco) that they could remove the hijab.  Why? Because at that time the hijab became the reason that hey were recognized and harmed; and therefore defeated the hukm.

So the Apostasy law (especially in this day and age) does the very opposite of what it is intended to do.

Answering objections:

To compel or not to compel? 

“There is no compulsion where the deen is concerned. Right guidance has become clearly distinct from error. Anyone who rejects false gods and has iman in Allah has grasped the Firmest Handhold, which will never give way. Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.” (Holy Qur’an 2:256)

There are those among the “traditionalist” who say that you cannot compel people to accept Islam, however once they accept Islam you can compel them.  Than are those who say you can compel people to enter Islam.

#1) So let us deal with those who say that you can compel people to enter into Islam.  These are those who believe in a theory called ‘abrogation’.   It is a train wreck of a doctrine that is so bizarre and so incoherent that the only consensus that Sunni Muslims seem to have on it is that it exist.

So Sunni Muslims need to get this sorted out before they use any such theoretical concepts to say that Holy Qur’an 2:256 is null and void.

#2) Let us deal with those who say that you cannot compel people to enter into Islam.  Well, they are obviously refuted by those who say that you can in point #1 above.  We let them sort that out since it is their understanding and not ours.

So this doesn’t take Prima-Qur’an from the hot seat. What would be a Prima-Qur’an position on Holy Qur’an 2:256 than?

“You have your deen and I have my deen.” (Holy Qur’an 109:6)

So the Allah swt clearly tells us there is no compulsion in our deen.  However; once a person has chosen to embrace Islam as a deen (way or life) there become obligations upon him/her like paying the zakaat (purification tax).

Just like when you live in any country you pay taxes to that land.   They say there are two things we won’t be able to escape ‘death and taxes’.   So just as an immigrant who came to the United States would be his/her consent agree to abide by the terms and conditions of that state so to would anyone who enters into the ‘deen’ -way of life of Islam agree to abide by it’s terms and conditions.  If you leave Islam than the zakaat (purification tax) would of course no longer be applicable to you.

Verses misconstrued to justify apostasy with in the Holy Qur’an. 


“They ask you about the sacred month- about fighting therein. Say, ‘Fighting therein is a great [sin], but averting [people] from the way of Allah and desbelief in Him and [preventing access to ] al-Masjid-Al-Haram and the expulsion of its people therefrom are greater [evil] in the sight of Allah. And fitnah is greater than killing.” And they will continue to fight you until they turn you back from your religion if they are able. And whoever of you reverts from his religion [to disbelief] and dies while he is a disbeliever-for those, their deeds have become worthless in this world and in the Hereafter, and those are the companions of the Fire, they will abide therein eternally.”  (Holy Qur’an 2:217)

No one is killed for changing their religion. The warning is that if these people die while they are in a state of unbelief (either from fighting Muslims, tonsillitis, slipping on a banana peel, old age etc..) that it will all be for naught in the world to come.



“They swear by Allah that they said nothing, but they definitely spoke the word of unbelief and returned to unbelief after their Islam. They planned something which they did not achieve and they were vindictive for no other reason than that Allah and His Messenger had enriched them from His bounty. If they were to make repentance, it would be better for them. But if they turn away, Allah will punish them with a painful punishment in this world and the Next World, and they will not find any protector or helper on the earth.” (Holy Qur’an 9:73-74)

This verse is in reference to people who believed after their Islam and joined the ranks of enemies who were against the Muslim community. As you can see they were in that state for some time. This verse would have been a perfect time to implement a hudud law for leaving Islam.  None was implemented. If it were the proponents of apostasy would quote this all the live long day.  So Allah (swt) will punish them in this life and in the next life.  Allah (swt) is not instructing any death penalties here.


“Do not try to justify yourselves; you have gone from belief to disbelief.’ We may forgive some of you, but We will punish others: they are evildoers.” (Holy Qur’an 9:66)

This is actually a strong proof against any type of punishment for apostasy.  It clearly says that Allah (swt) will forgive some and punish others (which is clearly the prerogative of Allah (swt).  However, where is this punishment coming from?

The following verse explains:

“Did they not know that whoever is hostile towards Allah and His messenger, he will have the Fire of Hell to abide in. Such is the greatest humiliation.” (Holy Qur’an 9:63)

These people were doing what? They were mocking the Messenger of Allah (swt).

“And from them are those who harm the prophet, and they Say: “He only listens!” Say: “What he listens to is best for you. He believes in Allah, and he has trust for the believers, and he is a mercy to those who believe among you.” Those who harm the prophet, they will have a painful retribution. “(Holy Qur’an (9:61)

If only Muslims today could be patient and heed the advise of the Holy Qur’an. There is no need to burn down embassies when people insult our beloved Messenger (saw). That does not honour Him (saw).  Allah (swt) is the best to set forth our affairs.

“So remind them! You are only a reminder. ” (Holy Qur’an 88:21)


“They would love to see you deny the truth even as they have denied it, so that you should be like them. Do not, therefore, take them for your allies until they forsake the domain of evil for the sake of Allah; and if they revert to [open] enmity, seize them and slay them wherever you may find them. And do not take any of them for your ally or giver of succour,unless it be such [of them] as have ties with people to whom you yourselves are bound by a covenant, or such as come unto you because their hearts shrink from [the thought of] making war either on you or on their own folk – although, if Allah had willed to make them stronger than you, they would certainly have made war on you. Thus, if they let you be, and do not make war on you, and offer you peace, Allah does not allow you to harm them.” (Holy Qur’an 4:89-90)

Once again we are confronted with a context and situation of open war against Muslims by those whom were in a treaty with Muslims and broke it.   So Allah (swt) says if they are in open hostility find them and slay them.  (game on).    However, Allah (swt) says,  “if they let you be, and do not make war on you, and offer you peace, Allah does not allow you to harm them.”

No killing apostates in these verses.




The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom; save for such [of them] as repent before you become more powerful than they: for you must know that Allah is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace. (Holy Qur’an 5:33-34)

We can see that for making war upon Allah (swt) and His Messenger (saw) or for spreading corruption in the land that death be not necessarily mandated, as expulsion from the land is acceptable.  It would seem rather far fetched that death be mandated for one’s personal convictions when even making war upon Allah (swt), His Messenger (saw) or spreading mischief in the land can be dealt with by expulsion.

No killing for apostates in these verses.

In the following verses Allah (swt) could have at any moment mandated death for a one’s personal convictions and did not.  Yet, even Allah (swt) admonished the Blessed Messenger (saw) to be patient and not to be ignorant.


O you who have attained to faith! If you ever abandon your faith,” Allah will in time bring forth [in your stead] people whom He loves and who love Him – humble towards the believers, proud towards all who deny the truth: [people] who strive hard in Allah’s cause, and do not fear to be censured by anyone who might censure them: such is Allah’s favour, which He grants unto whom He wills. And Allah is infinite, all-knowing.” (Holy Qur’an 5:54)

“Surely, those who disbelieve after their believing, then increase in unbelief, their repentance shall not be accepted, and these are they that go astray.” (Holy Qur’an 3:90)

“If their turning away is hard on you, then go down a tunnel deep into the earth, if you can, or climb up a ladder into heaven, and bring them a Sign. If Allah had wanted to He would have gathered them all to guidance. So do not be among the ignorant.” (Holy Qur’an 6:35)

Say – For Allah’s is the final argument – Had He willed He could indeed have guided all of you. (Holy Qur’an 6:149)

“Say, “The truth is from your Lord”: Let him who will believe, and let him who will, reject (it)” (Holy Qura’n 18:29)

And if your Lord had pleased, surely all those who are in the earth would have believed, all of them; will you then force men till they become believers? And it is not for a soul to believe except by Allah’s permission; and He casts uncleanness on those who will not understand.” (Holy Qur’an 10: 99-100)





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My thoughts on Gibril Fouad Haddad Review of The Study Qur’an.

“You who have faith! people should not ridicule others who may be better than themselves; nor should any women ridicule other women who may be better than themselves. And do not find fault with one another or insult each other with derogatory nicknames. How evil it is to have a name for evil conduct after coming to faith! Those people who do not turn from it are wrongdoers.” (Holy Qur’an 49:11)

Bismillah ir rahman ir raheem,   Allahumma Salli Ala Muhammed

I have not had the chance to see the  Seyyed Hossein Nasr ‘s new work:  The Study Quran: A New Translation and Commentary

I did have a look at Shaykh Gibril Fouad Haddad’s Response here:


So these are my thoughts about his review of their project.

Well, Shaykh Gibril Fouad Haddad is feisty to the last!

It would most likely be beneficial to try and ponder the intention behind ‘Study Qur’an’ project, as well as the intention behind Shaykh Gibril’s response.

Let us take a look at something in the closing.  “This is the LGBT perspective that has nothing to do with scholarship of any kind, let alone exegesis.”  As Shaykh Gibril said unreferenced and “speculation” about “some”.  I do not know if that is the case as I do not have the work in my possession.

So what Shaykh Gibril Fouad Haddad is doing is defending what he believes is “traditional” Islam from yet another crafty attempt to undermine it.  He may see Seyyed Hossein Nasr attempt’s at opening the doors to liberalism and post-modern interpretations of the Holy Qur’an.

Whereas perhaps Seyyed Hossein Nasr is trying to leave a door way open for those in the LBGT community, perhaps not in a sinister sense, but rather not having the doors of Islam be shut to them.  Allah (swt) knows best.

Yet if they use terms like “speculation” and “some” it does more to buttress the suspicions of Shaykh Gibril for sure.

He really laid into them when they claimed to not be using ‘modernistic’ tafsir while excluding themselves from this category.


As Shaykh Gibril stated:

“Nasr protests that The Study Quran  is to be “excluding modernistic or fundamentalist interpretations that have appeared in parts of the Islamic world during the past two centuries”

“but how is one to explain the fact that the Perennialist ideology that pervades The Study Quran  is itself very much a modernistic interpretation that has appeared in parts of the Western world during the past century?”

Touche! This is an excellent point by Shaykh Gibril.

Likewise the argument of the Qur’an against “three distinct gods” -would be a vacuous giving the over all world view of Perennialism .  After all if Perennialist can harmonize polytheism with monotheism you would wonder why  the statement “those who exert the existence of three distinct gods” cannot be a simple matter of semantics.  So their understanding here seems bizarre.


In passing Shaykh Gibril made reference to gematria (numerology), which seemed like an odd comment in passing.

The last I checked Shaykh Gibril Fouad Haddad was in the Naqshbandi Haqqani….

So the statement of “gematria (numerology)’ was interesting.


In fact the whole attack against Perennialism is quite rich considering the epic clash between the Darqawi Sufi order in the Murabitun and the Naqshabandi Haqqani some time back.

Remember when Shaykh Umar Vadillo published “The Esoteric Deviation in Islam?”  and the subsequent attempted refutation by  Shaykh Gibril here:


An interesting comment with some bearing on this whole subject is there.


“My first encounter with Vadillo’s world was on the internet about ten years ago. Vadillo became frenzied when I mentioned that zakat on gold could be paid not necessarily in gold but in any local paper currency, an agreed-upon fatwa in the Muslim world borrowed from the Hanafi and Maliki Madhhabs. You see, in 1991, Vadillo and Dallas had produced a “Fatwa [!!] Concerning the Islamic Prohibition of Using Paper-Money as a Medium of Exchange.” Then, when I mentioned that I came to Islam partly through reading Martin Lings’ Life of Muhammad upon him blessings and peace, Vadillo crowed, ‘You should revise your Islam.’ I was probably an apostate, he felt, because I had entered Islam after reading a book written, in his well-considered view, by a rank Guenonian Masonic esotericist. It followed that everything Lings touched must turn to deviance, including the Shahada. It was a case of kufr not for denying, but because I said La ilaha illallah Muhammadun Rasulullah!”


Due note* that Shaykh Gibril Fouad Haddad did not refute the notion that Martin Lings was a “rank Geunonian Masonic esotericist”   He only dismissed the notion that truth couldn’t possibly come through such.

This has significant bearing on Shaykh Gibril’s critique of ‘The Study Qur’an project’

Maybe it is possible that this ‘Study Qur’an’ project leads people to end up embracing the Naqshabandi Haqqani down the road.  Wallahu ‘Alim!


Shaykh Gibril shows his bias in comments like the following:

“The earliest of the tafsīr sources used is Muqtil b. Sulaymn (d. 150/767), the next to latestMuammad usayn abab’ (d. 1401/1981). Thirty one of these sources are Sunni (74%),seven twelver -Shiʿi (17%), one (al -Shawkn) Zaydi, one (al -Zamakhshar) Muʿtazili, one (ʿAbd al –  Razzq al – Kshn) Batini and of course one (Nasr) Perennialist.”


Christopher Melchert soundly refutes Shaykh Gibril as well as any would be champion of the idea that they and they alone are ‘Ahl As Sunnah wa al Jammah’.

““The hadith folk emerged as a distinct group at about the end of the 8th century. They lost importance in the 10th century. Chroniclers usually refer to their 10th-century successors in Baghdad as the Hanabila or simply al-‘amma (the general), periodically rioting against the Shias. Meanwhile, their own name for themselves, ‘ahl al-sunna’, was claimed by virtually all parties except the Shi’is. Even Mu’tazila called themselves ahl al-sunna wa-al-jama’a, on the plea that if they were not actually the great majority, they ought to have been. (I have not compared the piety of the hadith folk with that of 9th-century Shi’is, rewarding though such a comparison would be. At least a wing of the Shi’ movement probably had something very close, which ought to show up in Shi’i hadith.)”



What caught my eye were Shaykh Gibril’s comments about Surah 24.

“Among these, (i) avoidance of any mention of the Consensus which was formed

over this issue since the first century of Islam; (ii) ignorance of the abrogated status…..”

First century consensus on adultery?  Really?   I didn’t see any quotes for that do you dear reader?  I wonder whom/what Shaky Gibril had in mind in this supposed consensus.

Than the so called “Ignorance of the abrogated status.” Which is an assumption postulated as fact.


I about fell out of my chair backwards laughing hysterically when I read:

“-along with the diehard, archaic “wont” for Sunna and (in footnotes) the Trollopian “People of the Verdana” for Ahl  al-Suffa.”


See that is why you have to know and love Shaykh Gibril Fouad Haddad.  He was having a bit of fun there.  “Trollopian” ha! ha! ha! bless him!


Some places he was just being facetious, like when he mentions “Except for the calligraphied basmala that precedes each of the translated suras and a photograph from the palimpset mushaf on p. 1619 there is of course not one jot of Qur’an in The Study Quran,…”


You have to picture him like a granny with her glasses at the tip of her nose and his hand balled up like a fist between his thigh and tummy wagging his finger at you (whilst smiling).


Some times Shaykh Gibril’s cleverness gets the best of him though as you can see here:


Where Shaykh Gibril thought he was slamming the door in the face of those whom he would deem anthropomorphism all the while leaving himself wide open to non traditional Sunni interpretations of  (Holy Qur’an 3:55)


I hope I myself get a chance to possess a copy of ‘The Study Qur’an: A New Translation and Commentary’ insh’Allah.


Al hamdulillah! Over all I think it was a very good review.


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Dr. Mohamed Ghilan on the issues of interpreting the Qur’an

“Allah disdains not to use the similitude of things, lowest as well as highest. Those who believe know that it is truth from their Lord; but those who reject Faith say: “What means Allah by this similitude?” By it He causes many to stray, and by it many He leads into the right path; but He causes not to stray, except those who forsake (the path),-” (Holy Qu’ran 2:26)


Many times on Facebook we will see streams that catch our eye and this was one such stream.  I watched it and immediately with in a few minutes of watching there was some things that did seem out of place.



Where I found the video and posted my questions.

I had a comment for the video as I am a person who seeks knowledge, and aims for consistency in methodology.  So I commented under the appropriate entry at Al-MADINA Institute (via Facebook) and my question /comment was removed.  Maybe this is a routine clean up I am not sure.

“Bismillah ir rahman ir raheem, As salamu ‘alikum wr wb. If there is a whole video lecture concerning this I would be greatly interested. I have some questions in regards to what respected Dr. Mohamed Ghilan has stated.

“When you try and interpret the Qur’an in light of science you have to recognize that your elevating science above the Qur’an.So now science becomes your ultimate source of authority and objective truth as opposed to the Qur’an and now the Qur’an is subject to validation by the scientific method and that’s a problem.”

Juxtaposed with “There’s two different modes of thought here. Two different modes of inquiry. Theological Qur’anic kind of acceptance based on faith it’s not blind faith you’ve used first principles from pure reason to come to the conclusion that this is the word of God…”

Question 1. If we accept the Holy Qur’an as a revelation based upon reason has reason becomes our ultimate source of authority and objective truth ? In other words is the Holy Qur’an now subject to reason so that reason becomes ultimate source of authority and objective truth.

Question 2. If we deem something to be unreasonable can we reject it?

Question 3. Who/What decided that we use ‘first principles’ as a criteria.

Question 4. Could we use pure reason to either or accept/reject other sources in Islam (ahadith, theological precepts, consensus, infallible imams, juristic decree)?

I am thankful this subject was touched upon. I would like to know if we have an objective basis for believing that the Holy Qur’an is divine. I have my reasons but I believe they are subjective. In other words it is what resonates with me. Also, the idea of the Holy Qur’an being a linguistic miracle seems subjective and accessible of course to those with recourse to a deep analysis of the Arabic language. I have often wondered at the challenge to ‘produce something like it.’

You can see my questions in regards to this here:

My thinking is that for example a Muslim judge apriori would never say that something is like the Holy Qur’an. His supposition that the Holy Qur’an is divine seems to be a supposition that rules out impartiality. After all if we said someone made something like the Holy Qur’an and met the criteria where would our faith be?

Likewise the Non-Muslim judge may also have his/her bias because if they felt that this was the crux on which an objective basis for determining the validity of the Holy Qur’an stood they could than say they met the challenge. I know there is allot to chew on here. It would be interesting if Al-Madina Institute could do a series on such questions that Muslims may have and than allow for an Ashari response and a Salafist-Athari response. So that we may weigh the merits of the positions. I can give my e-mail if need be. Jazak’Allahu khayran.


I do want to point out though that if this is the currently making the rounds in North America it seems that (with due respect) to our brother Dr. Mohamed Ghilan they maybe behind the times.  However, maybe it is possible that this is making the rounds again in certain Muslim intellectual circles. Allah (swt) knows best.

We did a series on this here:

And in this entry one of the regular readers brother Ammar had pointed out that our brother Hamza Tzortzis had revised/renounced this particular approach here:

Yet really, the person that comes to my mind that cautioned us about this particular approach was Shaykh Yasir Qadhi.  This was in his amazing work in English published back in 1999.

He says, “In reality, it seems that the authors of the these type of tafseers were so impressed and awed with the West and its sciences, that they felt that the only way of proving Islaam was to show that the Qur’aan had preceded the West in the knowledge of all these sciences.”  (An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur’aan page 334)

“Most of these interpretations even went to ludicrous extremes, claiming that the Qur’aan had ‘founded’ and laid down the sciences and principles of engineering, medicine, astronomy, meteorology, algebra, metallurgy, agriculture, carpentry, sowing, weaving, tanning, baking, precise measuring, and underwater diving!”  (An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur’aan page 333)

Anyway back to the comments of Dr. Ghilan. He says in the video:

“If you think about how did you come to believe in the Qur’an itself and how did you come to accept information from science and how did the laws that you derived from science umm get induced, there’s two different modes of thought here, there’s two different modes
of inquiry, theological Quranic kind of acceptance based on faith ,its not blind faith ,you’ve used first principles from pure reason, to come to the conclusion that this is the word of God; and what ever the Prophet (saw) comes and tells you this is his revelation to you as well through uh from Allah (Swt)”

As a person (like myself) who is persuaded by Mutazalite theology this seems like a complete capitulation. This is why in this web site I do not to censor anyone regardless of their school of creed, jurisprudence and so forth.  Now I have put this out there, but this seems as if our respected brother is saying that revelation is subject to reason.

Again when he says ‘first principles from pure reason’ from does he get this from? Or where do the people that he takes from get this position from?

Like wise I believe it is not necessarily an ancillary outcome that just because one has come to accept the Holy Qur’an as the words of Allah (swt) doesn’t mean that you will come to accept that the oral traditions are revelations.

I believe we have soundly refuted that here:

I mean diverting from the main topic let us think about that premise for a moment.

That the entire Sunnah (and by this it is assumed that Dr. Ghilan means the actions, words and deeds of the Prophet saw) is revelation.   Than let us couple this with the fact that there are many ahadith which have perished.  Which would lead to the conclusion that we don’t have the entirety of the revelation with us.

Also, when we look at the way in which the sunnah was transmitted and compiled into text and if we are to assume this is divine revelation, it makes our cases against our Christian brothers an uphill battle.

If one assumes that maybe we don’t have the entirety of the revelation (sunnah); but we have what we need.  This would seem to mimic the position of people like Dr. William Lane Craig who doesn’t defend Biblical inerrancy. For him it is a ‘non-issue’ as what is important is that the over all message of Christ Jesus (a.s) was preserved.  * see for example:

Not to mention it is very challenging to defend that proposition against Sola-Qur’an.

So going back to the central topic, on what consistent basis is Dr. Ghilan confident that his approach of ‘first principles based on pure reason’  is the mode of inquiry for the Holy Qur’an?

Could some examples be given?

To quote Dr. Sherman Jackson

“At bottom, al-Ghazalli’s argument against the theological extremist-among whom are both Traditionalist and Rationalist-is that they fail (or refuse) to recognize that their doctrines are grounded in interpretative presuppositions that are historically determined.”  (On the Boundaries of Theological Tolerance in Islam pg 6)






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The place of reason in the Holy Qur’an & Islam

“When your Lord told the angels, “I will place a steward on earth,” they said, “Will you put someone there who will corrupt it and shed blood, while we glorify, praise, and sanctify You?” He said, “I know things you do not know.” (Holy Qur’an 2:30)

“That is the Book, without any doubt. It contains guidance for those who have God-consciousness, those who have belief in the Unseen and establish prayer and spend from what We have provided for them….” (Holy Qur’an 2:2-3)

When you call to prayer they make a mockery and a game of it. That is because they are people who do not use their intellect. (Holy Qur’an 5:58)

“The worst animals before God are the deaf and dumb, those who do not use their reason.” (Holy Qur’an 8:22)

“Notwithstanding that no human being can ever attain to faith otherwise than by God’s leave, and it is He who lays the loathsome evil of disbelief upon those who will not use -their reason?” (Holy Qur’an 10:100)

“They will say, ´If only we had really listened and used our intellect, we would not have been Companions of the Blaze.´” (Holy Qur’an 67:10)

“In the creation of the heavens and earth, and the alternation of the night and day, and the ships which sail the seas to people´s benefit, and the water which Allah sends down from the sky — by which He brings the earth to life when it was dead and scatters about in it creatures of every kind — and the varying direction of the winds, and the clouds subservient between heaven and earth, there are Signs for people who use their intellect.” (Holy Qur’an 2:164)

“In the earth there are diverse regions side by side and gardens of grapes and cultivated fields, and palm-trees sharing one root and others with individual roots, all watered with the same water. And We make some things better to eat than others. There are Signs in that for people who use their intellect.” (Holy Qur’an 13:4)

“He has made night and day subservient to you, and the sun and moon and stars, all subject to His command. There are certainly Signs in that for people who use their intellect.” (Holy Qur’an 16:12)

As we can see Allah (swt) in the Holy Qur’an has asked us to use our Aql-which is translated as intellect, reason, using the rational faculty of the mind.

Yet when it comes to reason we rarely ask what is reason or what is reasonable? What is intelligence and how is it measured?     When he reflect upon this it comes to mind that in order for reason to be reasonable it must have limits.   In other words reason itself must have parameters.

It is reasonable for us to say that we do not know everything. It is reasonable for us to say that not all things are immediately perceptible to us.

We may also say that it is reasonable that there is a layer or level of reality that is supra natural in at least it being not natural for us and our level of perception.

There are those who would negate this possibility altogether; and there are those of us who accept this possibility.

Now reflect upon this verse in the Holy Qur’an.

When you call to prayer they make a mockery and a game of it. That is because they are people who do not use their intellect. (Holy Qur’an 5:58).

Note that Allah (swt) is calling people who mock prayer among people who do not use their reason.  Yet, in our day and age those whom are most often associated with reason would me in many cases the very people who would scorn prayer let alone compulsory prayers.

Yet Allah (swt) has used the same word AQL that He (swt) ask us to use when reflecting upon and investigating the perceptible; and used this to apply to those who mock prayer.

The opposite of reason in many English dictionaries is: insanity, idiocy, delirium, delusion, confusion, disbelief, ignorance, incoherence, misunderstanding. I found that to be interesting.

“That is the Book, without any doubt. It contains guidance for those who have God-consciousness those who have belief in the Unseen and establish prayer and spend from what We have provided for them….” (Holy Qur’an 2:2-3)

Note that Allah (swt) says that the Holy Qur’an is a book of guidance to those who have Taqwa-God-consciousness and who belief in the unseen.   Thus if you are one of those people who do not believe in the unseen or that it is reasonable to believe that there is something outside our five senses and immediate perception than the Holy Qur’an is speaking to you.

Consider this text of the Holy Qur’an as well.

“When your Lord told the angels, “I will place a steward on earth,” they said, “Will you put someone there who will corrupt it and shed blood, while we glorify, praise, and sanctify You?” He said, “I know things you do not know.” (Holy Qur’an 2:30)

Now we would say as Muslims that the angels are vibrating at a higher frequency than we are.  They are not beings vibrating at a lower frequency band such as we are or what we may also term as ‘matter’All the molecules in existence are energies that oscillates in the space time continuum.

So before I go off on a tangent concerning the nature of angels what is interesting to note is that the asked Allah (swt) very direct and pointed questions.   Looking at the blueprint of humanity you can see in a a potentially destructive force.   What is implied in the question is what possible purpose could this creation bring about that is not fulfilled by  us (the angels).   You can see this with their innocent remark on glorifying and praising the Creator.

To which Allah (swt) says I know things you do not know.   This concluded that particular interaction.  The angels know that Allah (swt) is All-Knowing.  That is Islam, but remember there can be no surrender where there is no struggle.

So the point here is a powerful point of consideration for both those who think that reason is the end all be all and those who wish to shut down genuine inquiry and investigation.

If pure beings of light such as the angels can question the intention or reasoning for the creation of man to Allah (swt) Himself, and Allah (swt) shows no indignation than why do so many of us, including our Imams, Preachers, Priest, Shyookh, Atheist, suffer indignation when we are questioned?

Likewise it seems that many of us as Muslims accept Aristotelian-Neoplataonic tradition without questioning it.  It could even be argued that we can be guilty of making Taqlid to reason.

It really blows my mind personally how many of you reading this who adore Sufi sheikhs and teachers and claim to be aspirants of the spiritual path and the mystical tradition of Islam will simply tear into with utter viciousness and ferocity those of our sisters and brothers who maybe struggling with issues that does not resonate with either their hearts of their minds.

Why will you allow Imam Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali (raheemullah) to have a crisis of faith and a  stage in his life where he broke away from his community to have a moment of reprieve and reflection and not allow this to say others in our community?   You can be immersed in an ocean of scholarship and feel all the loneliness and solitude of a man on an island.


Likewise, it really blows my mind when many of us assume that everything has to have a reason that WE can comprehend.   For example I do not have a good solid reason as to why we pray 5 times a day as opposed to say 2 times or 7 times a day.  I do not understand why the Holy Qur’an is 114 chapters instead of 120 or 73.  Skeptics would argue that this seems arbitrary.

I can only offer that just as a molecule of water is 2 hydrogen atoms and 1 oxygen atom and that there are those who understand why this molecular bond occurs in this number combination as opposed to another and it follows rules and principles that are perceptible; as a Muslim I believe in the Creator, and surrender to the Creator, trusting and believing that the Creator prescribes that for me which may not be immediately perceptible to me.

Likewise for those of us who give allot of credence to reason or at least have not questioned the Aristotelian-Neoplatonic tradition should give pause and listen to what brought Professor Jeffery Lang over the brink.  Note that this mathematician who has written many sensible books, “Struggling to Surrender“, “Losing My Religion” and ‘Even Angels Ask” was moved by something not beyond the bounds of reason.   Listen at 29:19 seconds.  If that does not sound like something a Sufi sister or brother may say than I give up.

Notice he ask: “How does it FEEL” to be a Muslim.  The advise that his blessed mother gave him, “If you believe something if you truly believe it in your HEART, you should pursue it.”

Allaaahu Akbar! La il laha il law lah Muhammed ar Rasulullah!




“Those who listen well to what is said and follow the best of it, they are the ones whom Allah has guided, they are the people of intelligence.” (Holy Qura’n 39:18)




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Book Review: Hanafi Principles of Testing Hadith

“O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even if it be against yourselves, your parents, and your relatives, or whether it is against the rich or the poor…” (Holy Quran 4:135)

Bismillah ir rahman ir raheem, Allahumma Salli Ala Muhammed.

As salamu ‘alikum warahmutallahi wabarkatuh dear respected readers!

I do not know where to begin in giving a book review of this phenomenal, scholarly, and timely book.

So I want to quote something from the conclusion of this book that I feel will resonate with many. I feel it will resonate with those upon the path of truth. I feel it will resonate with many Muslims who are having a crisis of consciousness. I feel it will resonate with Muslims who see the inconsistency in condemning ISIS on the one hand; and yet are told to embrace the same “classical” text that give ISIS validity.

So let me quote the conclusion of this book at the beginning of this review. The authors have said it best when they state:

“In the current political and intellectual climate there are many issues which are affecting Muslims and non-Muslims and leaving them perplexed. There are many hadith that can leave a person confused or make them feel that they are following a religion that does not make sense. This has sadly resulted in many people leaving Islam. Much as it pains us to say, there are issues that need to be tackled such as stoning adulterers, killing apostates, the age of Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) at marriage, and rising violent extremism. Resolutely taking a Salafist or ‘no retreat, no surrender’ line on these questions and tacitly assisting the minority views of the Salafi-Wahhabism to become ‘mainstream Islam’ by denouncing classical Islamic Scholarship as ‘modernism’ or even worse, heresy, may make people feel better and continue to receive speaking engagements for already well-funded groups and individuals, but it does nothing to answer the genuine concerns of Muslims and others.” (Hanafi Principles of Testing Hadith Page 248)

“Each person has their own idols, regardless of their religion, which restrict them from freeing their mind and searching for God. Whether that is following the belief of your family, your background, your teacher, your favourite scholar or the founder of your group. All of these are ‘idols’ that people have created before which they subjugate their belief. The time needs to come when we free ourselves from these idols and open our mind to truly connecting with God.”  (Hanafi Principles of Testing Hadith Page 249)

When reading the book one gets an impression that much has been hidden from the masses regarding the epic clash between Imam Abu Hanifa (raheemullah) his followers, and the people who became known as the Ahl Hadith (People of the Narrations).   We also follow along in this book and find that due to many factors many of the Hanafi succumbed to Shaf’i principles of testing the hadith.

This is unfortunate because for Sunni Muslims a very valuable treasure of the Islamic tradition had been lost for a very, very long time…. until recently.

This book is easily readable for the layman.  I really enjoy the choice of font as well as text size. It is easy upon the eyes even under dim light.  For me personally I tend to absorb more information reading under such circumstances.

Anyone who reads this web site knows that I am not a fan of calling myself ‘Ahl Sunnah Wal Jammah‘ however, if I was to ever make the return back to ‘Ahl Sunnah Wal Jammah‘ this would be one of the key books that made that happen.  Not only that but I would more than likely want to follow the Hanafi school of jurisprudence because of this work!  Bye bye Imam Malik (raheemullah) hello Imam Abu Hanifa (raheemullah).

There are to many books out there by “traditionalist” that take jabs at the Salafi movement which is all too easy.  Of course this book does that, but it does something that takes allot of courage to do and that is show the prejudice that existed with in the ‘Ahl Sunnah Wal Jammah‘ towards Imam Abu Hanifa (raheemullah).

What is most impressive with the candid style and presentation of both Shaykh Sulaiman Ahmed and Shaykh Atabek is that you walk away with a very strong impression that you have herein two individuals of immense character, who are prepared to fight on behalf of the Muslim community.

There are too many ‘traditionalist’ Muslims today who talk about hedonism, atheism, among other issues and do not tackle them head on. They do not share symposiums or have debates with the detractors of Islam.  Rather the Muslim community wants to admit it or not the Salafis have been the vanguard in these arenas (for better or for worse).

Yet, finally we see a glimmer of hope when Shaykh Atabek and Shaykh Sulaiman are willing to draw a line in the sand, with such a brilliant work, that seems to say “time for some house cleaning!”  About time!

If I had to offer critique of the book it would be this.  The section that deals with Apostasy was brought up as a case point for following the Hanafi methodology. It is my hope that in a future edition of the book that this would get a much deeper treatment.  Certainly the two authors are capable of doing this.   Secondly the section dealing with the Niqaab seems to be written by a person who has made the conclusion before the first paragraph was written.   In other words we all have to keep our suppositions and prejudices in mind, even when writing about the suppositions and prejudices of others.

If you want academic work that will make you feel good about the hadith and tell you what you want to hear than go and purchase Jonathan Brown’s material.  However, if you want an academic work that will not tell you what you want to hear, that ask the hard questions, and makes robust arguments for faith crushing issues, that keep the faithful up at night,than you absolutely need to purchase this book!

You may purchase the book here:

You may also be interested in this article here:


An Absolute Must Purchase


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Who ever says the Prophet was blacked is to be killed!

O men! Behold, We have created you all out of a male and a female, and have made you into nations and tribes, so that you might come to know one another.Verily, the noblest of you in the sight of God is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him. Behold, God is all-knowing, all-aware. (Holy Qur’an 49:13)

Ahmad ibn Sulayman, Sahnun’s companion, said “that whoever says that the Prophet was black is killed. The Prophet was not black.”

Source: Qadi Iyad

Recently I was having a discussion with someone named ‘Rider’ who had commented under the recent post titled “Are Arabs superior to Malays and everyone else? Imam Shafi’i and Ibn Taymiyyah think so!”

Rider seems to suggest that is quite fine to treat African American’s differently from Caucasians in the United States as long as ultimately we are all treated spiritually equal (from our creator).

So those Muslim converts rather they be they converts from the dalit in India, or our African American sisters and brothers coming to Islam expecting not to be treated in a prejudiced manner may need to reassess the reasons for which they came into Islam.

Now coming to this statement.

Ahmad ibn Sulayman, Sahnun’s companion, said “that whoever says that the Prophet was black is killed. The Prophet was not black.”


If I was an apologist for “classical scholarship” I would reply and say, this whole text was really aimed at those who falsely attributed something to the Blessed Messenger(saw) that is not true. Thus, the issue is not rather or not Blessed Messenger (saw) was ‘black’ or not but rather or not someone attributed a false ascription to him. That is what my defend “classical scholarship” at all cost response would be. However; my rationale I am no longer prepared to defend this kind of nonsense says, “That is all fine and well except that the person could have simply stated, ‘falsely ascribing anything to the Prophet (saw) is punishable by death’.” It seems that it must have been such an issue for this particular point (ascribing blackness) to be highlighted.

Seems like it may even have some merit in it and Allah (swt) knows best. Lastly, it still does not answer the point, why would death be issued against anyone who made false physical descriptions about the Blessed Messenger(saw)? Like if they said He (saw) was 5 9in instead of 5 8in? Or if they said that He (saw) had a broad forehead instead of a round one? Seems like correcting some one would be in order rather than a knee jerk emotional reaction like this. So this drives home the point that this statement seems embedded in some of the more racist elements in the Muslim ummah. Racism is a disease of the heart. So ironically even a classical text called “Al Shifa” didn’t seem to be free of this. Wallahu ‘Alim!

However, I know understand that Muslims like Rider may understand  “Verily, the noblest of you in the sight of God is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him.”

to mean that yes we are equal in the sight of Allah, however, the understanding of Islam that they have is that some people even among Muslims can be given preference and special treatment simply based upon their ethno-racial origins.

It is now a curiosity of mine on how they would interact with the Brahamn philosophical schools that give sound arguments to the caste system or maybe they wouldn’t try to approach from that angle seeing that Islam can from Rider’s perspective share some strong similarities with the Brahman caste system.

Or how appropriate these teachings maybe in a nation like Singapore that teaches meritocracy not based upon purported notions of racial superiority.  Should a nation like Singapore not only be on guard against certain aspects of the Salafi movement but equally should nations like Singapore and others engage more robustly with such concepts coming from ‘traditionalist’.

I was wondering how this bias may cause prejudice among our local Imams, Shyookh or even Professors when it came to their interaction with people of other races,even judging their term papers.  Assuming that this is true and that we have some elements in our Muslim community who hold this position on what consistent basis should they be allowed to hold teaching positions or positions of authority over other ethnic groups.

This is a very serious matter that any society that has a growing Muslim population needs to look at quite seriously and earnestly.  Allah (swt) knows best and Allah’s help is sought.

Interesting times we live in.




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Are Arabs superior to Malays and everyone else? Imam Shafi’i and Ibn Taymiyyah think so!

O men! Behold, We have created you all out of a male and a female, and have made you into nations and tribes, so that you might come to know one another. Verily, the noblest of you in the sight of …

Source: Are Arabs superior to Malays and everyone else? Imam Shafi’i and Ibn Taymiyyah think so!


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