Boreal

Getting to Know Allah

Tolerance Abrogated

Of all the incongruities that devotees of a religion steeped in inconsistencies have to accept, the concept of abrogation has to be the most outlandish. Abrogation is common in the real world as better information replaces information that is out of date. In the world of revealed truths, retractions should not even be the exception. It defies logic, and therein lies the incongruity, the weirdness.

Scholars and clerics from the Middle Ages (eight to eleventh century) initially identified more than two hundred abrogated revelations, apparently oblivious to the uncomfortable conclusion that can be derived from their endeavour.

The inherent absurdity of an omniscient deity not getting it right the first or even the second time around may explain attempts by contemporary diviners of the Word of God to refute the very concept of abrogation. One such academic, Muhammad Asad (1900-92), argued that verse 10:64 was evidence of the immutability of Allah's Words.

10:64 Theirs is the good news in the present life and the Hereafter. And there will be no alteration of the Words of Allah. That is the great triumph.

Not so, according to Ahmad von Denffer (1949-present). For this eminent scholar, understanding abrogation is central to the correct application of God's laws. Denffer quotes four revelations to Asad's one, where Allah admits to occasionally changing His mind.

2:106 Whichever verse We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring instead a better or similar one. Do you not know that Allah has the power over all things?

13:39 Allah blots out and confirms what He pleases; and with Him is the Mother of the Book.

16:101 And if We replace a verse by another – and Allah knows best what He reveals – they say: “You [Muhammad] are only a forger.” Surely, most of them do not know.

17:86 If We please, We certainly can blot out that which We have revealed to you (O Muhammad); then you would find no guardian to assist you against Us.

(See Let Me Rephrase That! Your Guide to Abrogations, Boreal Books, 2015.)

Two Once Extraordinary Verses About Tolerance

2:62 The believers (Muslims), the Jews, the Christians and the Sabians – whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and does what is good, shall receive their reward from their Lord. They shall have nothing to fear and they shall not grieve.

When you come across a verse like Revelation 2:62 you are taken aback because the message it appears to convey is so different from that of intolerance which infuses the Koran.

Like all of Allah’s seemingly universal declarations, there is a catch. Those who do not believe in an omnipotent monotheistic deity whose name is Allah, such as Indians (Hindus), Buddhists, Confucianists, Shintoists, animists, atheists, agnostics… can do all the good they can, and live an exemplary life, it won’t matter a whit. Allah may not even write their good deeds down. What would be the point!

20:112 And he who does the righteous deeds, while a believer, will fear neither injustice nor inequity.

21:94 Whoever does what is good, while a believer, his endeavour will not be denied, and We are indeed writing it down for him.

 ----

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.

In any event, it doesn’t matter, Revealed Truth 2:62 has been abrogated by another immutable fact communicated to a mortal by a deity: Revelation 3:85.

 3:85 Whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted from him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.

Then there is the often repeated canard: Revelation 109:6.

THE UNBELIEVERS

109 Al-Kâfirûn

In the Name of Allah,

the Compassionate, the Merciful

109:1 Say: “O unbelievers,

109:2 “I do not worship what you worship,

109:3 “Nor do you worship what I worship;

109:4 “Nor do I worship what you have worshipped,

109:5 “Nor do you worship what I worship

109:6 “You have your religion and I have mine.”

Revelation 109:6 is not directly abrogated by Revelation 3:85, but by the infamous Verse of the Sword.

9:5 Then, when the Sacred Months (these are the four months during which war was prohibited in pre-Islamic times) are over, kill the idolaters wherever you find them, take them [as captives], besiege them, and lie in wait for them at every point of observation. If they repent afterwards, perform the prayer and pay the alms (become Muslims), then release them. Allah is truly All-Forgiving, Merciful.

 ***

The Verse of the Sword has a companion verse, Revelation 9:111, the Salvific Covenant: do this for me and I will do this for you, save you, give you Paradise.

 9:111 Allah has bought from the believers their lives and their wealth in return for Paradise; they fight in the Way of Allah, kill and get killed. That is a true promise from Him in the Torah, the Gospel and the Qur’an; and who fulfills his promise better than Allah? Rejoice then at the bargain you have made with Him; for that is the great triumph.

The Verse of the Sword and the Salvific Covenant, taken together, are the Koran's equivalent of a Declaration of War on humanity, a universal jihad until all of humankind submits to the Will of Allah (see Jihad in the Koran: Announcing a Universal War, Boreal Books).

***

Revelation 9.5 nullifies more than 100 revealed truths that have even a passing reference to tolerance and peace (see Let Me Rephrase That!: Verse of the Sword, Boreal Books) such as Revelation 2:256 about there being ”no compulsion in religion.”

2:256 There is no compulsion in religion; true guidance has become distinct from error. Thus he who disbelieves in the Devil and believes in Allah grasps the firmest handle that will never break. Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.

Authors like Fouad Laroui ask us to forget all that other stuff, the nasty and pedantic stuff found in the Koran, what he calls, “window dressing”, and concentrate on the good things the Koran has to say about getting along and doing God’s work, such as:

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.”

If only that were possible! Consider a revelation containing an amenable near-universal prayer if you ignore the last line. Pity!

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.

The Clear Proof(s)

40:65 He is the Living One; there is no god but He. So call on Him professing sincerely the religion unto Him. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.

40:66 Say: “I have been forbidden to worship those you call upon, apart from Allah; since the clear proofs have come to me from my Lord and I have been commanded to submit to the Lord of the Worlds.”

As he became more powerful Muhammad discovered the persuasive power of the sword and Allah became a lot less tolerant, as is evident in what are known as the Medinan surahs, one of which contains the Verse of the Sword, and which were revealed following His spokesman’s flight to the oasis city. One of the 26 Medinan Surahs is The Clear Proof which damns the People of the Books to burn in Hell for an eternity.

THE CLEAR PROOF

98 Al-Bayyinah

In the Name of Allah,

the Compassionate, the Merciful

98:1 The unbelievers, among the People of the Book and the idolaters, would not desist till the clear proof comes to them;

98:2 A Messenger from Allah reciting purified scrolls,

98:3 Wherein are valuable books.

98:4 Those who were given the Book (the Bible) did not diverge except after the clear proof (the Qur’an) came to them.

If Islam is “the religion of truth” then all other religions spread nothing but lies.

 98:5 And they were only commanded to worship Allah, professing the religion sincerely to Him as upright believers, to perform the prayers and give the alms. That is the religion of truth.

The entire concept of the Koran is based on a simple premise: God was fed up with sending instructions on how we should live and how He should be worshipped via prophets who miscommunicated His message or were misunderstood by a less than receptive audience. God’s patience had run out. He would send one last messenger, his greatest spokesman, with his final instructions for mankind: the Koran. For their refusal to accept the Koran as the overriding book of revealed truths, Jews and Christians—the “worst of creatures”—will be joining the idolaters in Hell.

98:6 The unbelievers, among the People of the Book and the idolaters, shall be in the Fire of Hell, dwelling therein forever. Those are the worst of creatures.

98:7 Those who have believed and did the righteous deeds – those are the best of creatures.

98:8 Their reward with their Lord will be Gardens of Eden, beneath which rivers flow, dwelling therein forever. Allah is well-pleased with them and they are well-pleased with Him. That is the lot of whoever fears His Lord.

In the Medinan surah, The Family of ‘Imram , Allah is not as specific as who quarrelled over the proofs and for whom “a terrible punishment is in store”, (Revelation 3:105). Also, in 3:105 ‘the clear proof’ of 98.4 has morphed into ‘the clear proofs’.

3:101 How could you disbelieve, while God’s revelations are recited to you, and His Messenger is in your midst? He who holds fast to Allah has been guided to a straight path.

3:102 O believers, fear Allah as He should be feared, and do not die except as Muslims.

3:103 And hold fast to Allah’s Bond (his religion), all of you, and do not fall apart. And remember Allah’s grace upon you; how you were enemies, then He united your hearts (by becoming Muslims) so that you have become, by His Grace, brethren. You were on the brink of the pit of Fire, but He saved you from it. Thus Allah manifests to you His Revelations so that perchance you might be rightly guided!

3:104 And let there be among you a nation calling to goodness, bidding the right and forbidding the wrong. Those are the prosperous.

 3:105 And do not be like those who fell apart and quarrelled, after the clear proofs came to them. For those a terrible punishment is in store.