Sunday, 26 June 2016

Quran - Sun Revolving Around the Earth

Here is clear proof that the author of the Quran believed that the Sun revolved around the Earth. Okay, it is not explicitly written “sun revolves around the earth”. But it is very clear from the context. Listen to these Quranic verses translated by Pickthall (you can refer any other translation) which speak about the movement of the sun and the moon: http://www.islam101.com/quran/QTP/index.htm

36:37 - A token unto them is night. We strip it of the day, and lo! they are in darkness.
36:38 - And the sun runneth on unto a resting-place for him. That is the measuring of the Mighty, the Wise.
36:39 - And for the moon We have appointed mansions till she return like an old shrivelled palm-leaf.
36:40 - It is not for the sun to overtake the moon, nor doth the night outstrip the day. They float each in an orbit.

39:5 - He hath created the heavens and the earth with truth. He maketh night to succeed day, and He maketh day to succeed night, and He constraineth the sun and the moon to give service, each running on for an appointed term. Is not He the Mighty, the Forgiver?

21:33 - And He it is Who created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. They float, each in an orbit.

See verse 39:5 which talks about the movement of sun and moon in the context of day and night. See verses 21:33 and 36:40 which state “sun and the moon in an orbit are swimming (or floating)”, where the orbits are again talked about in the context of day and night. In verse 36:40, it is mentioned that it is not permissible for sun to overtake the moon. There is an Arabic word "yanbaghi" meaning "is permitted" used in the verse which Pickthall has omitted because the meaning is easily understood even otherwise (http://corpus.quran.com/wordbyword.jsp?chapter=36&verse=39). 

When does the question of sun overtaking the moon arise? When the sun and the moon are in parallel orbits around the earth! You can argue that the Quran is talking about the apparent revolution of the sun around the earth and not the actual revolution. But then the verse 36:38 talks about a resting place for the sun which is not only a scientific error (Main Article - Sun Stopping Movement During Night), but also further proves that the author believed that Sun actually revolves around the Earth. Some Muslims such as Zakir Naik claim that the verse is talking about the end of the life of sun. However, if we look at the previous verse, it is clear that 36:38 is talking about what happens after night falls. This is synonymous with the lack of knowledge of ancient people on what happens to the sun after it sets. Hadiths show us that Muhammad believed that sun takes rest and prostrates after setting.

[Sahih Muslim 1:297

http://sunnah.com/muslim/1/306
It is narrated on the authority of Abu Dharr that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) one day said:
Do you know where the sun goes? They replied: Allah and His Apostle know best. He (the Holy Prophet) observed: Verily it (the sun) glides till it reaches its resting place under the Throne. Then it falls prostrate and remains there until it is asked: Rise up and go to the place whence you came, and it goes back and continues emerging out from its rising place and then glides till it reaches its place of rest under the Throne and falls prostrate and remains in that state until it is asked: Rise up and return to the place whence you came, and it returns and emerges out from it rising place and the it glides (in such a normal way) that the people do not discern anything ( unusual in it) till it reaches its resting place under the Throne. Then it would be said to it: Rise up and emerge out from the place of your setting, and it will rise from the place of its setting. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said. Do you know when it would happen? It would happen at the time when faith will not benefit one who has not previously believed or has derived no good from the faith.]

A claim made by people such as Zakir Naik is that the movement of the sun and the moon mentioned here is the combined rotation and revolution of the sun around the milky way and of the moon around the earth. If that is so, then why is the movement always mentioned in the context of day and night? Is it one time? No. Atleast three times. All three times the movements are talked about, the phenomena of day and night is mentioned alongside. You wont see a single place in the Quran which talks about the movement of sun and moon without mentioning day and night alongside. The word "swimming" does not indicate rotation either (noone spins on his own axis while swimming). Also if the author of Quran knew that sun revolves around the milky way and moon revolves around the earth, why would he say "It is not permissible for the sun to overtake the moon"? This statement makes no sense at all if sun and moon orbitted different bodies! Also keep in mind that the rotation of the earth (actual cause of day and night) is not mentioned even once in the Quran.

Further, the Quran mentions the Earth as fixed and immobile.

Quran 27:61 - Is not He (best) Who made the earth a fixed abode, and placed rivers in the folds thereof, and placed firm hills therein, and hath set a barrier between the two seas? Is there any Allah beside Allah? Nay, but most of them know not!

There is a silly apologetic claim that the Quranic verse 27:88 (which tells that mountains will pass like the clouds) shows the rotation of the Earth. This is a silly claim because the passing of clouds happen relative to the earth, whereas mountains do not move with respect to the earth. If we look at the context by looking verses 27:87 - 27:89, we see that this event of mountains passing like clouds is said to happen on the judgement day, ie, it is an event predicted to happen in the future.

27:87 - And (remind them of) the Day when the Trumpet will be blown, and all who are in the heavens and the earth will start in fear, save him whom Allah willeth. And all come unto Him, humbled.
27:88 - And thou seest the hills thou deemest solid flying with the flight of clouds: the doing of Allah Who perfecteth all things. Lo! He is Informed of what ye do.
27:89 - Whoso bringeth a good deed will have better than its worth; and such are safe from fear that Day.


What do you infer from all these? The author of the Quran thought that the sun revolves around the earth!

MYTH: Muhammad Being Prophesized in Songs of Solomon

Here I will expose a Clear Lie of Zakir Naik. He claims that Songs of Solomon 5:16 of the Bible has a word "Muhammadim" in it, which is a prophesy of Muhammad.

Analysis: Let us read verses 5:8 to 5:16 of Songs of Solomon:
http://biblehub.com/songs/5-8.htm
....
http://biblehub.com/songs/5-16.htm

"Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you-- if you find my beloved, what will you tell him? Tell him I am faint with love."
"How is your beloved better than others, most beautiful of women? How is your beloved better than others, that you so charge us?"
"My beloved is radiant and ruddy, outstanding among ten thousand."
"His head is purest gold; his hair is wavy and black as a raven."
"His eyes are like doves by the water streams, washed in milk, mounted like jewels."
"His cheeks are like beds of spice yielding perfume. His lips are like lilies dripping with myrrh."
"His arms are rods of gold set with topaz. His body is like polished ivory decorated with lapis lazuli."
"His legs are pillars of marble set on bases of pure gold. His appearance is like Lebanon, choice as its cedars."
"His mouth is sweetness itself; he is altogether lovely (Machamaddim - מַחֲמַדִּ֑ים ). This is my beloved, this is my friend, daughters of Jerusalem."

My friends, it is very clear that these verses tell about a girl based in Jerusalem, describing her lover/husband.. The Hebrew word used is pronounced as  Machamaddim and written as מַחֲמַדִּ֑ים (See what i gave in brackets). Its meaning is "highly desirable" or "altogether lovely". This is not at all related to Muhammad...

So then why the confusion? The confusion is mainly because there are no vowels in Hebrew. Hence, the name "Muhammad" and the Hebrew word "Machamad" would be written in the same manner. Let us consider for the sake of discussion that the word was actually the name "Muhammad" with an "im" added for respect (as claimed by Zakir). The problem is that this verse or passage is not a prophesy at all! There is no future tense used... The poem is clearly set in the time of Solomon who is supposed to have lived in the 10th century BC. How is a girl who lived centuries before Muhammad was even born, calling him "My Beloved"? It makes no sense at all!

Then Zakir claims that the extension "im" is used in the Bible only after names (eg: Elohim) to show respect. However, that does not mean "im" cannot be used elsewhere. It is also used to stress something. For example - the word Machamad (מַחֲמַדִּ֑) means "desirable" and Machamaddim (מַחֲמַדִּ֑ים) means "highly desirable". Here is that word in an actual Hebrew sentence: http://www.morfix.co.il/מַחֲמַדִּ֑ים

And here is what it means in the context of Songs of Solomon: http://biblehub.com/hebrew/machamaddim_4261.htm

Conclusion: The verse 5:16 of Songs of Solomon is not a prophesy at all. It shows a girl based in Jerusalem describing her lover/husband as "Machamaddim" meaning "highly desirable".
 

MYTH: Quran Describing Moonlight as Reflected

According to Zakir Naik, the Quran describes moonlight as reflected light. He claims that the Arabic word "nur" used to describe moonlight in quran means "reflected light". Here is a part of his debate with William Campbell where he makes the claim: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3P_WDTeInA

Zakir quotes the verse 25:61 of the Quran: http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=25&verse=61

Yusuf Ali: "Blessed is He Who made constellations in the skies, and placed therein a Lamp and a Moon giving light"

Pickthall: "Blessed be He Who hath placed in the heaven mansions of the stars, and hath placed therein a great lamp and a moon giving light!"

The Quran uses the word "siraj" for describing sunlight and "munir" for describing moonlight. According to Zakir, siraj means "its own light" and munir is derived from the Arabic word "nur" which means "reflected light". If that was true, then the Quran describes moonlight as reflected light.

But wait... Zakir Naik lied when he said nur/munir means reflected light. Nur actually means "light", NOT reflected light. Munir actually means luminous/shining/giving light, not reflecting light. It is easy for him to fool an audience who do not know Arabic. But we do have dictionaries available to expose the truth!

Here is the proof from six different Arabic dictionaries and the word by word grammar of the quran:

1) Munir - Adjective ( منير )
http://www.arabdict.com/en/english-arabic/منير
http://mobile-dictionary.reverso.net/arabic-english/منير
http://dictionary.sensagent.com/منير/ar-en/
http://www.wordreference.com/aren/منير
https://glosbe.com/ar/en/منير
http://en.bab.la/dictionary/arabic-english/منير

http://corpus.quran.com/wordbyword.jsp?chapter=25&verse=61#(25:61:5)

2) Nur - Noun ( نور )
http://www.arabdict.com/en/english-arabic/نور
http://mobile-dictionary.reverso.net/arabic-english/نور
http://dictionary.sensagent.com/نور/ar-en/
http://www.wordreference.com/aren/نور
https://glosbe.com/ar/en/نور
http://en.bab.la/dictionary/arabic-english/نور

http://corpus.quran.com/wordbyword.jsp?chapter=24&verse=35#(24:35:35)

As you can see, none of these six Arabic-to-English dictionaries give the meaning reflected light for munir/nur. Similar wording is used for describing the moonlight in verses 10:5 and 71:16 too.

Since Zakir Naik has a decent knowledge of Arabic, it is most likely that he was lying and was not ignorant about the meanings. By inserting false meanings for arabic words, he can only fool people who take his words for granted and not bother to check if what he is telling is right. We cannot expect many Muslims to come up with the truth when the lies told by Zakir is helping Islam grow and make the Quran look like a miracle.

However, even those Muslims who acknowledge the true meanings of the words nur and munir have a point to make: Why does the author of the Quran mention moon as simply "a light" and sun as "a lamp (light source)"? They argue that this is because the author knew that the sun is actually the source of the light of the moon. Let us look at the meaning of the word "siraj" that is used to describe sunlight: http://www.arabdict.com/en/english-arabic/سِرَاجًا

The meaning of siraj is "dazzling lamp" or "great lamp". Besides, sunlight is mentioned in the Quran as wahaaj/diya meaning blazing torch/shining glory. If you look at this, it is clear that the author of the Quran is simply describing sunlight as a "greater light" and moonlight as simply "light". This is what anyone in the seventh century knew! That sunlight is far brighter than the moonlight.

In fact, the Greeks like Aristotle knew that moonlight was reflected, about a thousand years before Muhammad was even born. It is something that was understood over time in many countries such as India by observing the phases of the moon. By the middle ages, even Arabs got to know this by the same method. From then on, efforts were always underway to reinterpret the Quran in order to make it compatible with the new discoveries.

Stoning to Death/100 Lashes for Sex Outside Marriage

The punishment in Islam for adultery after marriage is stoning to death. This is beyond doubt, the most barbaric punishment that exists in the 21st century. Not only that most Muslim majority countries have this punishment, an estimate of 70% of all people who identify themselves as Muslims support this punishment even today! This is a very dangerous situation.

While it may not be ethical to commit adultery after marriage when most couples expect each other to not commit it, this is not something which deserves such a cruel punishment. Laws can be made in place so that if the spouse has a problem with his or her partner committing adultery, then a divorce can be granted along with a fine. This is all that is needed. It is a social misconception or dogma that adultery is a big crime - it is not that big. Adultery is sex by mutual consent. No matter how hard it is for people affected by this dogma to understand, the fact is that a husband/wife can still love his/her partner a lot even if he or she has a one-time affair. The matter can easily be sorted out between themselves.

Now, if a child is born, the parents have to take care of this, and they should be held responsible for this. However, this is why we have contraceptives such as condoms and pills to avoid unwanted pregnancy in the first place. And this is why we have sex education. A properly educated person knows very well that he or she has to avoid any unwanted pregnancy even if he or she goes for such an affair.

Here is a video of this barbaric stoning to death in practice, in Afghanistan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U96_b7of6qI

No kind human being can support this barbaric punishment, atleast after seeing this video.

Authentic hadiths have narrations upon which this barbaric punishment is based on:

1) Sahih al Bukhari 9:92:432

http://sunnah.com/bukhari/96/61
Narrated Ibn `Umar:
The Jews brought a man and a woman who had committed illegal sexual intercourse, to the Prophet (ﷺ) and the Prophet (ﷺ) ordered them to be stoned to death, and they were stoned to death near the mosque where the biers used to be placed.

2) Sahih al Bukhari 8:82:810

http://sunnah.com/bukhari/86/49
Narrated Jabir:
A man from the tribe of Aslam came to the Prophet (ﷺ) and confessed that he had committed an illegal sexual intercourse. The Prophet (ﷺ) turned his face away from him till the man bore witness against himself four times. The Prophet (ﷺ) said to him, "Are you mad?" He said "No." He said, "Are you married?" He said, "Yes." Then the Prophet (ﷺ) ordered that he be stoned to death, and he was stoned to death at the Musalla. When the stones troubled him, he fled, but he was caught and was stoned till he died. The Prophet (ﷺ) spoke well of him and offered his funeral prayer.

The punishment for adultery before marriage is one hundred lashes in public. This is another barbaric punishment. Sex before marriage between two consenting adults is not wrong at all! It is personal freedom and no one has the right to interfere in such an act. People with proper sex education will be aware that unwanted pregnancies can be avoided by using contraceptives. We know people who become struggling for life even after getting fifty lashes. This inhuman torture cannot be tolerated.

This punishment has a base in the Quran: http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=24&verse=2

Quran 24:2 - The adulterer and the adulteress, scourge ye each one of them (with) a hundred stripes. And let not pity for the twain withhold you from obedience to Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a party of believers witness their punishment.

This cruel punishment is an attack on human rights and freedom to do anything (without hurting others). There is nothing shameful about sex by consent between two unmarried adults and no one has the right to interfere in it.

Quranic claim of every living being having Pairs - Male and Female

The Quran claims that every living being has pairs. What does this mean? As the Quran itself explains, by pairs, it means male and female counterparts.

Quran 51:49 - http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=51&verse=49

Yusuf Ali: And of every thing We have created pairs: That ye may receive instruction.
Pickthall: And all things We have created by pairs, that haply ye may reflect.

Quran 53:45 - http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=53&verse=45

Yusuf Ali: That He did create in pairs,- male and female,
Pickthall: And that He createth the two spouses, the male and the female,

First of all let us address the argument that the Quran is not talking only about living beings here. The first problem with that logic is that non living things are clearly not always having pairs. Secondly, the Arabic word used here for pairs is "zawjayni" which means "spouses" as you can see here in the word by word grammar of the Quran: http://corpus.quran.com/wordbyword.jsp?chapter=51&verse=49#(51:49:1)

Meaning of zawjayni: http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=zwj#(51:49:5)

The same word is used in verse 53:45 as well. 

So it is clear that the Quran claims that every living being has a male and female counterpart. Bang! This is a clear scientific error. We know that there are organisms which does not have a gender - such as bacteria which reproduces asexually. There is no doubt that the author of the Quran did not know that bacteria even existed. This proves beyond all doubt that the author is not an all-knowing being, but rather a human.

Clear Mathematical Error in the Quran

The Quran has a clear mathematical error in the verses about the law of inheritance:

Quran 4:11 - 4:12 - http://quran.com/4/11-12
 
4:11 - Allah instructs you concerning your children: for the male, what is equal to the share of two females. But if there are [only] daughters, two or more, for them is two thirds of one's estate. And if there is only one, for her is half. And for one's parents, to each one of them is a sixth of his estate if he left children. But if he had no children and the parents [alone] inherit from him, then for his mother is one third. And if he had brothers [or sisters], for his mother is a sixth, after any bequest he [may have] made or debt. Your parents or your children - you know not which of them are nearest to you in benefit. [These shares are] an obligation [imposed] by Allah. Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and Wise.
 
4:12 - And for you is half of what your wives leave if they have no child. But if they have a child, for you is one fourth of what they leave, after any bequest they [may have] made or debt. And for the wives is one fourth if you leave no child. But if you leave a child, then for them is an eighth of what you leave, after any bequest you [may have] made or debt. And if a man or woman leaves neither ascendants nor descendants but has a brother or a sister, then for each one of them is a sixth. But if they are more than two, they share a third, after any bequest which was made or debt, as long as there is no detriment [caused]. [This is] an ordinance from Allah , and Allah is Knowing and Forbearing.
 
What is clear from these verses is that if a man dies after leaving three daughters, according to Quran:
 
1) The daughters together get 2/3 of inheritance. (16/24)
2) The father gets 1/6. (4/24)
3) The mother gets 1/6. (4/24)
4) His wife gets 1/8. (3/24)
16/24 + 4/24 + 4/24 + 3/24 = 27/24.
 
The big question is: Who taught Allah mathematics?
 
To the Muslim readers: Before you simply comfort yourselves with some explanation you find in a Muslim website, read the verse carefully. And think how is it even possible to have any money leftover after spending all of it for daughters + father + mother (sum = 24/24). How is it mathematically possible to have 1/8th left for the man's wife?
 
The simplest and the most reasonable explanation is that the Quran was the work of a human.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Destroying Happiness - Islamic Prohibition of Freemixing of Men and Women

According to the authentic hadiths, Islam prohibits men and women from being alone - the only exception is for married partners and close blood relatives.

Proof from hadiths:

1) Sahih al Bukhari 4:52:250

http://sunnah.com/bukhari/56/215
Narrated Ibn `Abbas:
That he heard the Prophet (ﷺ) saying, "It is not permissible for a man to be alone with a woman, and no lady should travel except with a Muhram (i.e. her husband or a person whom she cannot marry in any case for ever; e.g. her father, brother, etc.)." Then a man got up and said, "O Allah's Messenger (ﷺ)! I have enlisted in the army for such-and-such Ghazwa and my wife is proceeding for Hajj." Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "Go, and perform the Hajj with your wife."

2) Sahih Muslim 7:3112

http://sunnah.com/muslim/15/478
Ibn Juraij narrated this hadith with the same chain of transmitters, but he made no mention of it:
"No person (man) should be alone with a woman except when there is a Mahram with her."

This persuades the Muslims to prohibit their sons and daughters from even spending time alone with their friends of opposite sex. One of the most important things in life is getting to know your partner well enough before marriage. This teaching makes it very hard for people to do that. You cannot know your partner well enough by spending 30 minutes or 1 hour with him or her before marriage. To find the best partner, to find the most loving and matching companions, a person has to be let alone with people of the opposite sex. Again, apologist Muslims can act like there is no compulsion for this, but that is not how it works in the real world. In many Muslim majority areas, parents warn their daughters to never spend time alone with men. They are intimidated and most often have no courage to question this. Boys usually have more courage, but are still intimidated to a certain degree, and the Muslim girls do not accompany them due to fear. You have some Islamic countries like Saudi and Banda Aceh in Indonesia for example, where being alone with the opposite sex if proven will get you flogged publically. Sure, you have many Muslims who do not follow or implement these teachings, but most of them are in Muslim minority areas.

To say things like "Being alone with opposite sex leads to sex and unwanted pregnancies" etc is not a good reason to destroy the happiness and well-being of a society by prohibiting free-mixing of men and women. A good parent will educate his children and advise them, especially girls to not risk being alone with a total stranger. But, he should never prohibit her from being alone with a man whom she knows and trusts - eg: her classmate/colleague/neighbor. Total repression leads to sadness and frustration. A big hug, especially between the opposite sex helps to cures sadness and anxiety. This makes love flow between them. This is the sort of culture that we should be encouraging. And Islamic culture should be discouraged. To teach something like "you should not hug any woman other than your mother or sister" is too repressive. There is no need to limit ourselves like that. Besides, everyone cannot be with their mothers/sisters/father/brother when they need a hug the most.

The Quran does not prohibit this explicitly, but orders that women should not display their beauty to anyone other than close blood relatives/husbands.

http://www.islam101.com/quran/QTP/QTP024.htm
24:31 - And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husbands' fathers, or their sons or their husbands' sons, or their brothers or their brothers' sons or sisters' sons, or their women, or their slaves, or male attendants who lack vigour, or children who know naught of women's nakedness. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn unto Allah together, O believers, in order that ye may succeed.

This causes a lot of sexual repression in Muslim men and adds to the problems. It is no coincidence that refugees from Muslim majority nations are often unable to control their frustration when they see women dressed in modern ways.

We have these sort of problems in Hindu areas as well (to a lesser extent), but the Hindus are modernizing much faster than Muslims - Because there is no final messenger of Hinduism who gave these orders. Most educated Hindus have thrown away this culture too. However, a dangerously high percentage of Muslims still follow these teachings - after all they believe that this was the order of the final messenger of god.

Thus, I can say beyond doubt that Islam destroys the happiness of our society.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Quran and The Flat Earth


The Quran describes that the Earth is flat/spread out like a carpet. It is clear from it. Look at the Quranic verses described in this article. Seven different translations from Arabic scholars are provided for reference. The word by word grammar of the Quran and various Arabic dictionaries are provided as well which shows the meanings of the words used.

1) First, and foremost, I will show you that the common claim made by people such as Zakir Naik that the Quran describes earth as egg-shaped, is a clear lie. The base of his lie is that ‘dahaha’ can also mean "egg-shaped", which is wrong. 

2) Secondly, I will show you that Quran uses various words to describe the shape of the earth, all of which means spread out/flat/plane/stretched out etc. and none of them meaning egg-shaped or spherical.

1) Quran 79:30 describes the earth’s shape as dahaha. Dahaha is an Arabic word which means spread it out/stretched it out/flattened it.

Arabic transliteration: http://corpus.quran.com/wordbyword.jsp?chapter=79&verse=30#(79:30:1)

Waal-arda ba’Ada dhalika dahaha

Translation: http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=79&verse=30

Sahih International: And after that He spread the earth.

Pickthall: And after that He spread the earth,

Yusuf Ali: And the earth, moreover, hath He extended (to a wide expanse);

Shakir: And the earth, He expanded it after that.

Muhammad Sarwar: After this, He spread out the earth,

Mohsin Khan: And after that He spread the earth;

Arberry: and the earth-after that He spread it out,

As you can see, NONE of the translations show a meaning “egg-shaped” for dahaha. Let us look some arabic dictionaries and see if ANY of them show such a meaning for dahaha.


As you can see, there is no meaning egg-shaped or spherical for Dahaha. Almost every dictionary translates it as flat/stretched out. Only one dictionary (glosbe) translates it as "round", as one of the meanings, apart from spread out. Keep in mind that round does not mean spherical. The shape of a plate is also round. The same goes with most flat-earth models – they also describe the earth as a round and flat disc.

Zakir claims that Dahaha is derived from arabic word Duhiya which means “egg of an ostrich”. Lie! Duhiya means “the place in desert where an ostrich lays egg”, because the ostrich spreads its feet wide when laying eggs. Dahaha is derived from the word Daha which means "spread out" or "flattened". "ha" is a suffix meaning "it", which is a refer-back to the object being spread out. Here is the proof from Edward William Lane’s Arabic-English Lexicon:

Feel free to check it directly from Lane’s Lexicon if you know Arabic: http://www.tyndalearchive.com/tabs/lane/
2) Let us look at other verses of the Quran that describe the shape of the Earth:
A) Quran 15:19 -
Waal-arda madadnahawaalqayna feeha rawasiya waanbatnafeeha min kulli shay-in mawzoonin

Translation: http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=15&verse=19
Pickthall: And the earth have We spread out, and placed therein firm hills, and caused each seemly thing to grow therein.

Here, the Arabic word used to describe the shape of the earth is Madad. Let us look the meaning of madad in Arabic dictionaries:


As you can see, the meaning of Madad is expand/extend/elongate/stretch which means nothing but flatten.
B) Quran 20:53 –
Allathee ja’Aala lakumu al-ardamahdan wasalaka lakum feeha subulan waanzala mina alssama-imaan faakhrajna bihi azwajan min nabatinshatta
Translation: http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=20&verse=53
Pickthall: Who hath appointed the earth as a bed and hath threaded roads for you therein and hath sent down water from the sky and thereby We have brought forth divers kinds of vegetation,
Here, the Arabic word used to describe the earth is mahdan. Let us look the meaning of mahdan in Arabic dictionaries:

As you can see, Mahdan means bed/cradle when used as noun and quitened/calm when used as adjective.

C) Quran 78:6 –

Arabic transliteration - http://corpus.quran.com/wordbyword.jsp?chapter=78&verse=6
Alam naj’Aali al-arda mihadan.
Translation: http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=78&verse=6
Pickthall: Have We not made the earth an expanse,

Here, the Arabic word used is mihadan. Let us look the meaning of mihadan.
As you can see, Mihadan means flat land/bed.

Feel free the check out verses 71:19, 51:48, 50:7 and 43:10 as well, which describe the shape of the earth using various words, all of which mean what we saw – flatten, spread out, stretch out, like a bed, like a carpet etc.

Thus, it is clear that the Quran describes earth as flat, which was the common notion with Arabs in the seventh century. For those who claim that the Quran is describing only the land in these verses (instead of the earth as a whole), the land itself is considerable curved when you take the continent of Eurasia (Europe + Asia) of which Arabia is a part of. Some argue that the quran is only talking about landmass over a small area as flat/spread out, then they have to realize that there are many areas that are not level, such as hills and mountains. A clear scientific error, whichever way you look at it.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Death Penalty for Leaving Islam

Even in the 21st century, a dangerously high percentage of Muslims support death penalty for those who leave Islam (apostates). We have Saudi, Iran, Afghanistan, Sudan, Yemen, Qatar, Brunei, Mauritania and Somalia which have laws punishing apostasy with death (typically after giving time to "repent" and return to Islam). In many other countries, there are laws nullifying the inheritance, marriage and child custody rights of apostates. Here is a detailed article explaining the apostasy laws in various Muslim majority nations: http://www.loc.gov/law/help/apostasy/

It is important to note that the percentage of Muslims who support death for apostasy generally increases in nations with higher and higher percentages of Muslim population. According a poll conducted by the Pew Research Centre (an unbiased research institute), 78% of all Muslims in Afghanistan support death for apostasy. The percentage is 64 in Pakistan as well as Egypt, 59 in Palestine, 58 in Jordan, 53 in Malaysia, 36 in Bangladesh, 21 in Thailand, 13 in Indonesia. Read more: http://www.pewforum.org/2013/04/30/the-worlds-muslims-religion-politics-society-beliefs-about-sharia/

In Muslim majority countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh where there is no law punishing apostasy with death, people go around killing apostates and critics of Islam in broad daylight. Even in countries like India, there are many muslim majority areas such as parts of Hyderabad and Uttar Pradesh where leaving Islam puts the apostate at a big risk of death or expulsion from the community. Hell, even in many Muslim minority areas, apostates are at the risk of rift with their own families in case their disbelief gets public. Has this anything to do with Islam? Ofcourse yes. Death for apostasy is clearly prescribed in atleast 23 authentic (sahih) hadiths. Not one or two. Not four or five. Atleast twenty-three sahih hadiths! This is what a sensible person would call a mountain of proof.

Therefore, two things are clear - Firstly, there is a huge problem for apostates in the Muslim majority world. Secondly, this has got everything to do with the books of Islam. However, what normally happens when people point out this lack of freedom of religion in the Muslim world is that many Muslim apologetics jump in and show some verses of the quran such as "no compulsion in religion", "to you your religion and to me my religion" etc. ignoring that these verses actually came earlier than the later, violent verses that partially override the earlier verses. They evade and ignore the issue of lack of religious freedom in the Muslim world or try to make it seem that it is some power hungry folks in Saudi and Iran who are responsible for these laws. The real cause of the problem is thus hidden from many and it is made to appear that this has got nothing to do with Islam. The result? The very same books supporting these laws are preached widely, both online and offline and most Muslims do nothing against this.

To state it in very simple words - Death for apostasy is commanded MANY times in books that are regarded as authentic by a majority of Muslims. These books are very popular and is used widely for preaching by Muslim preachers. When an attempt is made to establish Islamic Law in Muslim majority nations, noone will even bother surveying the personal opinions of Muslims. Islam is essentially a religion that considers the words of Muhammad far above the social consensus.

As we look through this article, we will first see the authentic hadiths that outline death for apostasy. And next we will see the common arguments made by moderate Muslims to make it seem that there is no punishment for apostasy in Islam. What is a better way to increase the popularity of Islam in countries like USA where most sane people wont accept these laws? Many of them are waiting to change colours once the percentage of Muslims increase.


I) Death for Apostasy - Proof from Authentic Hadiths

1) Sahih al-Bukhari 9:84:57
Narrated `Ikrima:
Some Zanadiqa (atheists) were brought to `Ali and he burnt them. The news of this event, reached Ibn `Abbas who said, "If I had been in his place, I would not have burnt them, as Allah's Messenger () forbade it, saying, 'Do not punish anybody with Allah's punishment (fire).' I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah's Messenger (), 'Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.'"

2) Sahih al-Bukhari 9:83:17
http://sunnah.com/bukhari/87/17

Narrated `Abdullah:
Allah's Messenger (
) said, "The blood of a Muslim who confesses that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that I am His Apostle, cannot be shed except in three cases: In Qisas for murder, a married person who commits illegal sexual intercourse and the one who reverts from Islam (apostate) and leaves the Muslims."

3) Muwatta of Imam Malik 36:15
http://sunnah.com/urn/414650

Yahya related to me from Malik from Zayd ibn Aslam that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "If someone changes his deen - strike his neck!" 

The meaning of the statement of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, in our opinion and Allah knows best, is that "if someone changes his deen, strike his neck!" refers to those who leave Islam for other than it - like the heretics and their like, about whom it is known. They are killed without being called to tawba (repentence) because their tawba is not recognised. They were hiding their kufr and publishing their Islam, so I do not think that one calls such people to tawba, and one does not accept their word. As for the one who goes out of Islam to something else and divulges it, one calls him to tawba (repentance). If he does not turn in tawba, he is killed. If there are people in that situation, I think that one should call them to Islam and call them to tawba. If they turn in tawba, that is accepted from them. If they do not turn in tawba, they are killed. That does not refer as we see it, and Allah knows best, to those who come out of Judaism to Christianity or from Christianity to Judaism, nor to someone who changes his deen from the various forms of deen except for Islam. Whoever comes out of Islam to other than it and divulges that, that is the one who is referred to, and Allah knows best!

4) Sahih al Bukhari 4:52:260
Narrated `Ikrima:
`Ali burnt some people and this news reached Ibn `Abbas, who said, "Had I been in his place I would not have burnt them, as the Prophet () said, 'Don't punish (anybody) with Allah's Punishment.' No doubt, I would have killed them, for the Prophet () said, 'If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him.' "

5) Sahih Muslim 16:4152
'Abdullah (b. Mas'ud) reported Allah's Messenger () as saying:
It is not permissible to take the life of a Muslim who bears testimony (to the fact that there is no god but Allah, and I am the Messenger of Allah, but in one of the three cases: the married adulterer, a life for life, and the deserter of his Din (Islam), abandoning the community.


6) Sahih al-Bukhari 9:89:27
http://sunnah.com/bukhari/93/21

Narrated Abu Musa:
A man embraced Islam and then reverted back to Judaism. Mu`adh bin Jabal came and saw the man with Abu Musa. Mu`adh asked, "What is wrong with this (man)?" Abu Musa replied, "He embraced Islam and then reverted back to Judaism." Mu`adh said, "I will not sit down unless you kill him (as it is) the verdict of Allah and His Apostle.


7) Sahih Muslim 16:4154
Abdullah (b. Mas'ud) reported:
Allah's Messenger (
) stood up and said: By Him besides Whom there is no god but He, the blood of a Muslim who bears the testimony that there is no god but Allah, and I am His Messenger, may be lawfully shed only in case of three persons: the one who abandons Islam, and deserts the community [Ahmad, one of the narrators, is doubtful whether the Prophet () used the word li'l-jama'ah or al-jama'ah), and the married adulterer, and life for life.
8) Sunan Ibn Majah 3:20:2535
http://sunnah.com/urn/1268520

It was narrated from Ibn`Abbas that the Messenger of Allah () said:
“Whoever changes his religion, execute him.”

9) Sunan Ibn Majah 3:20:2534
http://sunnah.com/urn/1268510

It was narrated from 'Abdullah, who is Ibn Mas`ud, that the Messenger of Allah () said:
“It is not lawful to shed the blood of a Muslim who bears witness that none has the right to be worshiped but Allah (SWT), and that I am the Messenger of Allah (
), except in one of three cases: a soul for a soul; a married person who commits adultery, and one who leaves his religion and splits from the Jama`ah.”


10) Sunan Abu Dawud 39:4341
http://sunnah.com/abudawud/40/5

Narrated Mu'adh ibn Jabal:
AbuMusa said: Mu'adh came to me when I was in the Yemen. A man who was Jew embraced Islam and then retreated from Islam. When Mu'adh came, he said: I will not come down from my mount until he is killed. He was then killed. One of them said: He was asked to repent before that.

11) Sahih al Bukhari 5:59:630 
12) Sahih al-Bukhari 5:59:632
13) Sahih al-Bukhari 9:84:58
14) Sahih Muslim 20:4490
15) Sunan Abu Dawud 40:4487
16) Sunan an-Nasai 5:37:4069
17) Sunan an-Nasai 5:37:4070
18) Jami at-Tirmidhi 3:15:1458
19) Sunan an-Nasai 5:37:4065
20) Sunan an-Nasai 5:37:4024
21) Sunan Ibn Majah 3:20:2533

23) Jami at-Tirmidhi 3:14:1402
http://sunnah.com/tirmidhi/16/18

II) Common apologetic arguments


Here are some common arguments made by modern Muslim apologetics to make it seem that there is no penalty for apostasy in Islam, and thus whitewash its face.


1) That the Quran guarantees freedom of religion:

Answer: Only under certain conditions! All the verses (except verse 2:256) that grant religious freedom are from the Meccan period when Muhammad was weak and powerless. The verse 2:256 is from the early Medinan period when he was somewhat powerful. However, this was partially abrogated by verse 9:29 which imposes a religious tax and humiliation on all non Muslims unwilling to accept Islam. At this point, Muhammad probably considered the partially abrogated verse 2:256 no hindrance to kill apostates, instead of letting them pay a religious tax. For those who are unaware of the concept of abrogation in Quran, do read verses 16:101 and 2:106. Besides, verse 48:29 calls for harsh treatment of unbelievers and this is significant because it came after 2:256, and also after a peace treaty was signed between Muslims and non Muslims (The treaty of Hudaibiyyah).

Now, let us examine the verses that are commonly cited by modern Muslims to claim that Quran grants religious freedom.



Pickthall's translation: There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is henceforth distinct from error. And he who rejecteth false deities and believeth in Allah hath grasped a firm handhold which will never break. Allah is Hearer, Knower.

Analysis: In one look, it seems like the Quran guarantees from of religion. Well, then let us look at the verse 9:29 of the Quran - "Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture and believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the Religion of Truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low." 

So, if we take 2:256 as a general rule, then 9:29 is a general rule as well. This begs the question - Which verse came later? The answer is 9:29. That implies that there is compulsion in religion unless the non-Muslim is willing to pay a special religious tax (Jizya). Another problem is that when we look at the context of verse 2:256 as per the Islamic tradition, we see that the verse was given to stop forced conversion of a Jew to Islam. This was not on an occasion where anyone wanted to leave Islam.

Sunan Abu Dawud 14:2676
https://sunnah.com/abudawud/15/206

Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas:
When the children of a woman (in pre-Islamic days) did not survive, she took a vow on herself that if her child survives, she would convert it a Jew. When Banu an-Nadir were expelled (from Arabia), there were some children of the Ansar (Helpers) among them. They said: We shall not leave our children. So Allah the Exalted revealed; "Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from error."

b) Quran 109:1-6

Pickthall's translation: http://www.islam101.com/quran/QTP/QTP109.htm
Say: O disbelievers!
I worship not that which ye worship;
Nor worship ye that which I worship.
And I shall not worship that which ye worship.
Nor will ye worship that which I worship.
Unto you your religion, and unto me my religion.

c) Quran 10:99

Pickthall's translation: http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=10&verse=99
And if thy Lord willed, all who are in the earth would have believed together. Wouldst thou (Muhammad) compel men until they are believers?

These are both verses from Mecca, when Muhammad was rather weak, without much followers. You will see that Muhammad's teachings took a rather violent turn once he migrated to Medina and started picking strength.

d) Quran 4:137

Lo! those who believe, then disbelieve and then (again) believe, then disbelieve, and then increase in disbelief, Allah will never pardon them, nor will He guide them unto a way.

While this is infact a Medinan verse and Muhammad was powerful by this time, this verse in no way grants religious freedom. Apologists ask - "How is it possible for a person to believe and disbelieve and then again believe if the punishment for apostasy is death?" It should be noted that Muhammad probably did not issue his apostate-killing law yet by the time of issuing 4:137, but gave it after the verse 9:29 (ie, once the "no compulsion" was abrogated). Even ignoring that, this verse could merely be talking about disbelief in secret. Also be reminded that apostates are typically given a chance to return to Islam. Thus it is possible that death for apostasy is valid even in context of this verse.


2) That the hadiths about death for apostasy were specific to a time of war and only those who fought against Muhammad were killed:

You can scroll through the list of 23 sahih hadiths I wrote above, and you will see that these were all general punishments gave by Muhammad. There is no indication in any of these hadiths that death for apostasy is specific to times of war. You can also see that even atheists were killed for leaving Islam, as per the order of Muhammad. They did not even have an organized community in Arabia during Muhammad's time to put up any sort of revolt. Even the Jew who turned to Islam and back to Judaism had no other charge against him.

Conclusion: It wont help if we pretend that Islam guarantees freedom to leave it, when that is clearly not true according to the Islamic books. And worse, there is very less freedom to leave Islam in most Muslim-majority regions, both due to the Law and due to the threats/emotional responses by the community/family.