Let Me Rephrase That!
One Abrogating Many
Myth of the Month of Revelations
Both the Koran and the hadiths are clear on the concept; the revelations were communicated to the Prophet during a period of twenty-three years; some while he was awake, otherswhile he was sleeping.
In response to an unbeliever who would believe only if Allah would send down the Koran all at once, Allah explains why He sent it in stages, and that whoever asked that He deliver it all at once will probably be dragged faced down into Hell.
25:32 The unbelievers say: “If only this Qur’an had been sent down on him all at once.” That is how We wanted to strengthen your heart with it and We have revealed it in stages.
25:33 They never bring you any simile but We bring the truth and a better exposition.
25:34 Those who are mustered on their faces in Hell; those are in a worse position and are more wayward.
Yet, the idea persist that the entire Koran was delivered during the month of Ramadan which the abrogating revelation which follows does nothing to dispel.
Revelation 2:185 is not unlike other revealed truths where the idea seems to come to God to be more specific about one of His many requirements; in this instance about when to fast and for how long.
2:183 O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may be God-fearing;
2:184 For a fixed number of days. If any of you is sick or on a journey, then [an equal] number of other days. And those who find it extremely difficult (to fast) should, as a penance, feed a poor man. He who spontaneously does more good (increases the penance) it is for his own good. To fast is better for you, if only you knew.
2:185 The month of Ramadan is the month in which the Qur’an was revealed, providing guidance for mankind, with clear verses to guide and to distinguish right from wrong. He who witnesses that month should fast it. But if anyone is sick or on a journey, [he ought to fast] a number of other days. Allah desires ease and does not desire hardship for you, that you may complete the total number [of fasting days]; glorify Allah for His Guidance, and that you may be thankful.
Something for the Tax Collector
Revelation 9:60 abrogates revelation 2:215 and allocates part of "the bounty" to pay those who collect the tax, to buy off enemies of Islam, to pay unbelievers who will not help the believers otherwise, on war-making to subdue those who will not submit (the part about "spending in Allah's Path" etc.
2:215 They ask you (the question was put to the Messenger by a wealthy old man) what they should spend. Say: “Whatever bounty you give is for the parents, the near of kin, the orphans the needy and the wayfarer. And whatever good you do, Allah is fully cognizant of it.”
51:19 And of their possessions, the beggar and the destitute had as share.
9:60 The alms are for the poor, the needy, their collectors and those whose hearts are bound together ("‘those whose hearts are to be won over’ A portion of Zakat Funds may also be given to win over to Islam those who might be engaged in anti-Islamic activities or to those in the camp of the unbelievers who might be brought to help the Muslims …” Moududi), as well as for the freeing of slaves, [repaying] the debtors, spending in Allah’s Path, and for the wayfarer. Thus Allah commands. Allah is All-Knowing, Wise.
Abrogated revelation 51:19 is part of a series of revealed truths about another aspect of Judgement Day. Make of it what you will! In any event, it is no longer valid.
51:12 They ask: “When is the Day of Judgement coming?”
51:13 The Day they shall be exposed to the Fire.
51:14 “Taste your ordeal; this is what you were trying to hasten (the Meccan unbelievers made fun of the Prophet by asking him to hasten the punishment).”
51:15 The God-fearing shall be amidst gardens and springs;
51:16 Availing themselves of what their Lord has given them. Before that time, they were beneficent.
51:17 They used to sleep but a short watch of the night;
51:18 And at daybreak, they used to ask for forgiveness,
51:19 And of their possessions, the beggar and the destitute had as share.
More Brides For Believers
For most men, one of the more seductive features of Islam is the right to be married to four females simultaneously. Displeased with any of your marital choices, simply say I divorce you twice to the one you now despise, wait a few months to ensure your soon to be destitute former wife is not pregnant with your child and you're free to marry again and begin the cycle over …
With a ratio of approximately 101 pubescent boys to 100 pubescent girls, a ratio which would have been even higher in favour of males during the Prophet's time, where were the believers expected to find those extra wives without leaving other deserving believers without? This problem could be why Allah partially abrogated the verse about marrying only believing females and making the women of People of the Book, Christians and Jews halal i.e. permissible.
There was, of course, no quid pro quo.
2:221 Do not marry unbelieving women (polytheists) until they believe. A believing slave-girl is certainly better than an unbelieving woman, even if the latter pleases you. And do not give your women (believing women) in marriage to polytheists until they believe. A believing slave is certainly better than a polytheist even if the latter pleases you. Those (the polytheists) call to the Fire and Allah calls to Paradise and Forgiveness by His Leave; and He makes clear His Revelations to mankind so that they may be mindful.
6:121 And do not eat from that over which the Name of Allah has not been mentioned; it is indeed sinful. The devils shall insinuate to their followers to dispute with you; but if you obey them, then you will surely be polytheists.
5:5 This day the good things have been made lawful to you; the food of the People of the Book is lawful to you, and your food is lawful to them; and so are the believing women who are chaste, and the chaste women of those who were given the Book before you, provided you give them their dowries and take them in marriage, not in fornication or as mistresses. If any one denies the faith, his work shall be of no avail to him, and in the Hereafter he will rank with the losers.
Their women were okay for you, but your women were still too good for them.
Of all the gods I have studied, none is as strategic a long-term thinker as Allah. Not only did the four wives per believer bring men flocking to His Messenger's banner, but by making the wives of unbelievers eligible for matrimony, He increased the progeny of believers at the expense of that of the unbelievers.
In addition, a child born in a Muslim household is a Muslim for life, to even think of leaving the perfect religion is a death sentence. The first person God's Messenger had killed after entering Mecca as its conqueror was an apostate by the name of Khatal.
The late Muammar Gaddafi boasted that the Muslim birthrate (and death for those who would abandon Islam, I would add), will, without the need for swords or guns or military conquests, in a matter of a few decades overwhelm the European kuffars (pejorative term for non-Muslims). The fact that second and especially third-generation immigrants' birthrates are much closer to the national norm may moderate his prediction.
First, Kill All the Unbelievers
A Christian reading abrogating revelation 2:286 will be reminded of the Lord's Prayer; that is, until they get to the last sentence.
2:284 To Allah belongs whatever in the heavens and on earth. And whether you reveal or conceal what is in your hearts, Allah will call you to account for it. He will then forgive whom He wills, and punish whom He wills. He is Able to do everything.
2:285 The Messenger (Muhammad) believes in what has been revealed to him by his Lord, and so do the believers too. All believe in Allah, His Angels, His Books and His Messengers. We make no distinction between any of His Messengers. And they (the believers) say: “We hear and obey. Grant us Your Forgiveness, our Lord. And to you is our return.”
2:286 Allah does not charge any soul beyond its capacity. It gets [rewarded for] what [good] it has earned, and is called to account for what [evil] it has committed. Lord, forgive us if we have forgotten or erred. Lord, do not lay on us a burden like that You laid on those before us, and do not burden us with what we cannot bear. Pardon us, forgive us and have mercy on us. You are our Protector. Give us victory over the unbelieving people.
Like all of Allah’s seemingly universal declarations, there is a catch. Those who do not believe in the Koran can do all the good they can, and live an exemplary life, it won’t matter a whit.
22:50 Those who believe and do the righteous deeds will receive forgiveness and a bountiful provision,
22:51 But who strive against our Revelations defying Us – those are the people of Hell.
Hell Is for Those Who Love Life
There was a time when wanting to stay in the here-and-now for as long as possible was not a guarantee of spending an eternity in Hell.
3:145 It is not given to any soul to die, except with Allah’s Leave, at a fixed time. He who desires the reward of this world, We will give him [part] of it, and he who desires the reward of the life to come, We will give him [part] of it; and We shall reward the thankful.
42:20 He who wishes the tillage of the Hereafter, We will increase his tillage, and he who wishes the tillage of the present life, We will give him thereof; but in the Hereafter, he will have no share.
17:18 He who desires the transitory life, We hasten to him and to whomsoever We desire whatever We please. Later We consign him to Hell in which he will burn despised and rejected.
Allah will sometime send a verse to replace another to clear up a misunderstanding or for emphasis. In the verse abrogating revelation 42:20 there is no longer any mention of tillage – it may have been a metaphor for preferring a longer life in the here-and-now to an early departure for the Hereafter.
The Koran does mention houses and palaces will be made available depending on your rank in heaven but not necessarily cultivatable land, which the original revelation may have led some to believe.
In any event, as the abrogating verse makes clear, preferring the here-and-now and all it has to offer, including cultivatable land, to what Allah has to offer in the Hereafter, is a one-way ticket to Hell.
The Bedouins learn their lesson
Early on the Bedouins joined Allah's Cause strictly for the plunder. This made them unreliable allies. For example, after the successful defense of Medina, the Prophet decided to attempt a pilgrimage to Mecca with only lightly-armed volunteers, which the Meccans could have easily have annihilated, if they were so inclined.
With no promise of plunder, the Bedouins refused to accompany God's Messenger, making up transparent excuses which Allah saw right through.
48:11 The Bedouins who stayed behind will say to you (Muhammad): “Our possessions and our families preoccupied us; so ask forgiveness for us.” They say with their tongues what is not in their hearts. Say: “Who can avail you anything against Allah, if He wishes to harm you or He wishes to profit you? No, Allah is fully aware of what you do.
48:12 “Rather, you thought that the Messenger and the believers will never return to their families; and that was embellished in your hearts and you entertained evil thoughts and were a useless people.”
The Prophet and the men who went with him did not get to do the Pilgrimage but God's Messenger did return with a ten year non-aggression treaty with the Meccans, the Treaty of Hudaibiyah. With Medina secured from attacks from Mecca, the Prophet and his army of holy warriors could now move against the vulnerable and prosperous Jewish settlement of Khaybar.
This would be an easy victory with plenty for a holy warrior to plunder. Needless to say, the Bedouins were now more than eager to join the attack. God's Messenger would deny the Bedouins Khaybar, and all further plunder unless they demonstrated a genuine commitment to Allah's Cause by doing what was asked of them without hesitation.
The "desert Arabs", as Allah referred to them, had learned their lesson; and from that point on, showed a devotion to Islam and God's Messenger which prompted Allah to revise his assessment of their character.
9:97 The desert Arabs are more steeped in unbelief and hypocrisy and are more likely not to know the bounds of what Allah has revealed to His Messenger. Allah is All-Knowing, Wise.
9:98 And some of the desert Arabs regard what they spend as a fine, and await the turns of fortune to go against you. May the evil turn against them. Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.
9:99 And some of the desert Arabs believe in Allah and the Last Day and regard what they spend [in the way of Allah] as a means to get closer to Allah and to earn the prayers of the Messenger. Indeed, that will bring them closer [to Allah]. He will admit them into His Mercy. Allah is truly All-Forgiving, Merciful.
No More Mr. Nice Guy III
The business of civil wars tends to be a nasty business. In civil wars kin will kill or injure kin, and the Arab civil war was no different, except that a god, a vengeful pitiless god took a personal interest in the conflict.
This was to be expected, after all, the war was about Him. What was not expected, even by God's Messenger, was that the almighty God, for whom the Prophet spoke, would also be changed by the civil war he instigated and pursued on Allah's behalf.
Before the onset of the war between the so-called pagans of Mecca and the believers of Medina, Allah expected the believers to unconditionally honour their parents. With the onset of hostilities, Allah's intolerant nature exploded into a hatred of all generations who had not submitted to His Will. The revealed truth about honouring your parents unconditionally was replaced by another immutable truth which came with strings attached.
17:23 Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him and to be kind to your parents. If either of them or both reach old age with you, do not say to them “Fie”, nor tell them off, but say to them kind words.
17:24 And lower to them the wing of humility out of mercy and say: “Lord have mercy on them, as they took care of me when I was a child.”
9:113 It is not for the Prophet and those who believe to ask for forgiveness for the polytheists even if they are near relatives, after it becomes clear to [the believers] that they are the people of the Fire.
Allah would make an exception for His Messenger's parents. He would bring both Abdullah and Amina back to life temporarily so that they could become Muslim and enter Paradise, but that was it.
Mercy for Adulterers and Murderers
25:68 And those who do not call upon any other god than Allah, and do not kill the soul which Allah forbade, except justly; and they do not commit adultery He who does that shall meet with retribution.
25:69 Punishment shall be doubled for him on the Day of Resurrection (Judgement Day) and he will dwell forever in it down-trodden;
25:70 Except for him who repents, believes and does the righteous deed. Those Allah will change their evil deeds into good deeds. Allah is ever All-Forgiving, Merciful
Verse 25:68 is also abrogated by revelation 4:93 – and perhaps not, if Allah is simply making it clear that premeditated murder of a believer is not a justifiable homicide, although the murderer may still be entitled to clemency and Paradise if he repents. 4:93
As he who kills a believer intentionally will, as punishment, be thrown into Hell, dwelling in it forever; and Allah will be angry with him, curse him and prepare for him a dreadful punishment.
You will, of course, not find a single verse about believers killing unbelievers expecting to be punished as such murders are implicitly if not explicitly condoned unless the murdered is a Christian or a Jew who has humbly paid the right-to-live-tax i.e. the jizya.
Abrogating revelation 25:70 may allow an adulterer to repent, "Except for him who repents" and be welcomed in Paradise, but the adulteress is still out of luck.
From: Alice visits a Mosque to learn about Judgement Day - A play about what to expect, Boreal Books, 2012
Imam: Allah's Mercy is for unwavering believers who have committed offenses such as stealing, killing another without just cause and so on, repented and made amends and remained steadfast in their belief in Allah’s Mercy.
Alice: Am I to understand that a steadfast believer will be forgiven his transgressions if he believes he will be forgiven his transgressions?
Imam: Despairing of Allah's Mercy is not only the second greatest sin in Islam, but it is a sin against God, just like believing in other gods, and he who commits an unforgivable act, like women who commit adultery, will burn in Hell for an eternity.
Alice: Adultery is not a sin against Allah or His Messenger, so why is an adulteress not deserving of Allah’s Mercy?
Imam: Because there is no way for a woman to make amends for having had sex with someone other than her husband. How would you undo that? How could she undo the dishonour that she has brought on herself, her family and her husband? It is not enough that the adulteress will roast in Hell for eternity, but steps must be taken in the here-and-now to eradicate the reminder of this dishonour and to discourage such destructive behavior.
Alice: Such as stoning the adulteress to death...
Not All Poets Are Perverts
A thorn in the Prophet's side until his victory over the Meccans were the poets who mocked him in verse. In victory, God's Messenger exhibited the same unforgiving pitilessness as his Mentor; he had them all killed, as he did most of his critics when the opportunity presented itself.
With His vengeful Messenger having gotten rid of the troublesome wordsmiths it may have been time to turn the page, lest Allah's own attempt at poetry be accused of attracting the perverts.
26:224 And as to the poets, the perverse follow them.
26:225 Do you not see that they wander aimlessly in every glen?
26:226 And that they say what they do not do.
26:227 Except for those who believe and do the righteous deeds, mention Allah frequently, and are victorious after they were wronged. Surely, the wrongdoers shall know what outcome is ultimately theirs.
Wishing Won't Make It So II
80:12 Whoever wishes will remember it (the Qur'an);
81:28 To whoever of you who wishes to reform their ways.
81:29 But you will not wish unless Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, wishes.
Evidence of a Master Copy of the Koran in Paradise
85:21 Yet, it is a glorious Qur’an,
85:22 In a Well-Preserved Tablet.
43:4 And, indeed, it is in the Mother of the Book, with Us, lofty and wise.
Revelation 42:43 abrogates two revelations from the same period, the Meccan, which are almost, and for all intents and purposes identical. These transient reveal truths are only separated by one short verse, the one in italic, meaning that the angel Gabriel could have communicated them to God's Messenger in one breath.
This may be proof that there is indeed a tablet in Heaven which contains the master copy of the Koran and once anything is carved on that tablet it cannot be erased and must be communicated as is, with no alterations, if the copy on earth is to be an exact replica of the copy in Heaven.
42:39 And those who, if they are oppressed, will overcome.
42:40 The reward of evil is an evil like it, but he who pardons and makes amends, his wage is with Allah. Indeed, He does not like the wrongdoers.
42:41 He who overcomes after being wronged – upon those there is no reproach.
42:43 Be he who bears patiently and forgives – that is a sign of real resolve.
Revelation 42:43 is one of those sacred truths which are a tribute to revealed truths. If only there were more like it, and if only it was a sacred truth that was reveal later during the Prophet's Call, when sacred truths took on a brutal unforgiving persona.