7. What the Qur’an says about…

Tag: Mona

What the Qur’an has to say about: Creation of the Universe – Jesus – Christianity, Judaism – New Messenger – Predestination -Tolerance, no racism in Islam – Human Rights – Death Penalty – Democracy – Justice – Courage, Patience – Forgiveness – Honesty – Inheritance – Modesty, Moderation – Women, Polygamy – Homosexuality – Equality of Man and Woman – Marriage to Non-Muslims – Adoption – Parents – Fasting – Food, Drink, Gambling – Zakah (Charity) – Social duties, Usury – Slavery – Prayer – Pilgrimage – Science, Education – War – Islamic Dress – Female Circumcision – Life After Death

Please note, that any translation of the Qur’an immediately ceases to be the literal word of God, and hence cannot be equated with the Qur’an in its original Arabic form. In fact, each translation is actually an interpretation, which has been translated. Many translations are also outdated and in the light of modern science they often can be translated or interpreted in different words. On many issues the Qur’an made concessions to prevailing social customs (slavery, polygamy, women, legal matters) but as it leaves room for interpretation the Message can adjust itself to changing times.
The opening verse of the Qur’an: “In the name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate. Praise be to God, Lord of Universe, the Merciful and Compassionate, Ruler on the Day of Judgement, You do we worship and call upon help , Guide us along the Straight Path, the road of those, whom You have favored, those whom You are not angry, who are not lost.” (Qur’an 1:1-7)

“And thus have we willed you to be a community of the middle way, so that, with your lives, you might bear witness to the truth before all mankind, and that the Apostle might bear witness to it before you.” (Qur’an 2:143)

“O mankind ! We created you from a single soul, male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, so that you may come to know one another. Truly, the most honored of you in God’s sight is the greatest of you in piety. God is All-Knowing, All-Aware.” (Qur’an 49:13)

“There is no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clearly from falsehood; whoever rejects evil and believes in God has grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold that never breaks and God is All-Hearing and All-Knowing.” (Qur’an 2:256)

“Say: ‘We believe in God, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) prophets from their Lord; We make no difference between one and another of them, And we submit to God.” (Qur’an 2:136)

The Creation of the Universe:
According to the Qur’an the universe was created in six “ayyam”. Ayyam can be translated as ‘days’ and also as ‘(long) periods’, Qur’an 7:52, 25:59, 32:4, 50:38. Verses about the sun, moon, 7 heavens: Qur’an 2:29, 6:96, 14:33, 13:2, 22:65, 23:86, 36:38, 45:13, 55:5, 67:3, 71:15, 78:12,10:5, 32:5, 21:33, 22:47.

The Bible describes the creation as having taken place in six days followed by a day of rest. In the Bible a ‘day’ is explicitly the interval between two successive sunrises or sunsets. There can be no question that this story is wrong. The very mechanism of the Earth rotating around its axis was not fixed in the earliest stages of creation described in the Bible. In contrast to this the Qur’an while also describing creation as taking place in 6 days never connects this word with a set period. In fact, in the Qur’an a day in the sight of Allah (in this instance judgement day) is described as 50,000 human years. The use of the word ‘yawm’ (day) in Arabic can equally well ‘mean period of time’ as it can mean ‘day’.(Q.70:4)

A new relativistic interpretation of four Qur’anic verses (Q.32:5, 22:47, 10:5, 21:33) gives for the velocity of light C in vacuum (speed of light) in an marvelous agreement with the accepted international value: C=299792.5 km/s. (National Bureau of Standards: C = 299792.4574 + 0.0011 km/ and British National Physical Laboratory: C = 299792.4590 + 0.0008 km/s) http://islamicity.org/science/960703A.HTM

“GOD rules the cosmic affair from the heavens to the earth. Then this affair travels, to Him (i.e. through the whole universe) in one day, where the measure is one thousand years of your reckoning”(Q.32:5)

“Verily a day in the sight of your Lord is like a thousand years of your reckoning.” (Q. 22: 47)

“GOD is the ONE who made the sun a shining glory and the moon a light and for her ordained mansions, so that you might know the number of years and the reckoning” (Q.10:5)

“GOD is the ONE who created the night, the day, the sun, and the moon. Each one is traveling in an orbit with its own motion” (Q.21:33).

“.. in a period of Time (’yaum’ = day, in this instance judgement day) whereof the measure is 50000 years.” (Qur’an 70:4)

“Do not the unbelievers see, that the heavens and the earth were joined together, then We clove them asunder and, We got every living thing out of water. Will they not then believe? ” In another translation of the same verse: “Are then, they who are bent on denying the truth not aware that the heavens and the earth were (once) one single entity, which We then parted asunder?” (Qur’an 21:30)

“Moreover (God) turned to the heaven, when it was smoke and said to it and to the earth…” (Qur’an 41:11)

“And it is We who have built the universe with (Our creative) power; and verily, it is We who are Expanding it.” (Qur’an 51:47)  The theory of the expansion of the universe was developed by Albert Einstein in his ‘Relativity theory’ and is widely accepted today.

Qur’an 4:1 “O people! be careful of (your duty to) your Lord, Who created you from a single being and created its mate of the same (kind) and spread from these two, many men and women; and be careful of (your duty to) God, by Whom you demand one of another (your rights), and (to) the ties of relationship; surely God ever watches over you.”

“He initiated you from one single being, and decided your path, as well as your final destiny. We thus clarify the revelations for people who understand.”( Q.6:98)

“He created you from one single being. Subsequently, He gives every man a mate to find tranquility with her. She then carries a light load that she can hardly notice. As the load gets heavier, they implore God their Lord: ‘If You give us a good baby, we will be appreciative.’” (Q.7:189)

The word “a single being” is a genderless word (like in  Q. 49:13).  Also, nowhere in the Qur’an it is mentioned that Eve would have been created from a rib of Adam like we read in the Bible. The Qur’an also never mentions that man is God’s image; all men and all women are His creatures. The Qur’an mentions several times that the fist human being was created from clay (dust) and from water (Q.25:54, Q.21:30).

“And God has created from water every living creature: so of them is that which walks upon its belly, and of them is that which walks upon two feet, and of them is that which walks upon four; God creates what He pleases; surely God has power over all things.” (Q.24:45)

“And He it is Who has created man of the water, then He has made for him blood relationship and marriage relationship, and your Lord is powerful.” (Q.25:54)

“What is the matter with you, that you fear not the greatness of God? And indeed He has created you in various grades (stages)” (Q.71:13-14

“There surely came over man a period of time when he was a thing not worth mentioning…” (Q.76:1.)

These verses (Qur’an 21:30, Q.41:11, Q.24:25, Q.51:47, Q.76:1, Q.4:1, Q.71:13, Q.25:54, Q.6:98, Q.7:189 and Q.49:13 ) provide strong evidence for the evolution theory!

Qur’an 6.125 ” Therefore (for) whomsoever God intends that He would guide him aright, He expands his breast for Islam, and (for) whomsoever He intends that He should cause him to err, He makes his breast strait and narrow as though he were ascending upwards..” (Meaning that the atmosphere becomes thinner while upscending upwards?)

These statements are remarkable and should be re-read a couple of times, because they are 100 % in accordance with the modern science, clear reference to the expanding universe and the “Big Bang” – the widely accepted theory of the origins of the universe, that material existence was once as one thing before itexploded apart, that at the very beginning everything was gaseous masses with fine particles – which is how the word “smoke” (Arabic dukan) is to be interpreted and that life and first living organism came out of water millions of years ago.

Qur’an 55:35-38 :”The flames of fire and smoke will be sent on you two, then you will not be able to defend yourselves, Which then of the bounties of your Lord you will deny , And when the heaven is rent asunder, and then becomes red like red hide, Which then of the bounties of your Lord you will deny ?…”

This verse, like many others (if not most of the them) we find translated in different ways. Correct in Arabic: ‘becomes a red flower like red hide”. Like so often, there is no exact equivalent to the Arabic expression.

For these astonishing verses about the end of the universe click on the Hubble space telescope image ‘Cat’s Eye Nebula”, an exploding star, NASA Oct.31st 1999 at:      http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap991031.html

Nebula

“O, assembly of the jinn (spirits) and the men! If you are able to pass through regions of the heavens and the earth, then pass through; You cannot pass through but with authority” (Q.55:32-37)

“And (We said): O Adam! Dwell you and your wife in the garden; so eat from where you desire, but do not go near this tree, for then you will be of the unjust. But the Shaitan (Devil) made an evil suggestion to them that he might make manifest to them what had been hidden from them of their evil inclinations, and he said: Your Lord has not forbidden you this tree except that you may not both become two angels or that you may (not) become of the immortals. And he swore to them both: Most surely I am a sincere adviser to you. Then he caused them to fall by deceit; so when they tasted of the tree, their evil inclinations became manifest to them, and they both began to cover themselves with the leaves of the garden; and their Lord called out to them: Did I not forbid you both from that tree and say to you that the Shaitan (Devil) is your open enemy? They said: Our Lord! We have been unjust to ourselves, and if Thou forgive us not, and have (not) mercy on us, we shall certainly be of the losers. He said: Get forth, some of you, the enemies of others, and there is for you in the earth an abode and a provision for a time. He (also) said: Therein shall you live, and therein shall you die, and from it shall you be raised.” (Q.7:19-25)

The Qur’an places equal blame on both Adam and Eve for their mistake!

“And We said: O Adam! Dwell you and your wife in the garden and eat from it a plenteous (food) wherever you wish and do not approach this tree, for then you will be of the unjust. But the Shaitan (Devil) made them both fall from it, and caused them to depart from that (state) in which they were; and We said: Get forth, some of you being the enemies of others, and there is for you in the earth an abode and a provision for a time.” (Q.2:35-36)

About the Judgement day:

“O people! guard against (the punishment from) your Lord; surely the violence of the hour is a grievous thing. On the day when you shall see it, every woman giving suck shall quit in confusion what she suckled, and every pregnant woman shall lay down her burden, and you shall see men intoxicated, and they shall not be intoxicated but the chastisement of God will be severe.” (Qur’an 22:1-2)

Jesus:
“Say: ‘We believe in God, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Ismael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given to (all) prophets from their Lord; We make no difference between one and another of them, And we submit to God.” (Qur’an 2:136)
Muslims believe that Jesus (p.b.u.h.) was a messenger of God whose birth to his mother Mary was miraculous and that he was able to do miraculous deeds, very much in accordance with the Bible.

“When the angels said: ‘God gives you good tidings of a Word from Him whose name is Messiah Jesus, son of Mary; high honoured shall he be in this world and the next. Near stationed to God. He shall speak to the men in the cradle, and of old age, and righteous he shall be.’ ‘Lord’, said Mary, ‘how shall I have a son seeing no mortal has touched me?’ ‘Even so’ he said, ‘God creates what He will.’ When He decrees a thing He does but say to it, ‘Be’, and it is.”
(Quran 3:45-7 and also Q.3:37, Q.19:22-23, Q.19:34-5, Q.3:59, Q.4:171-3, Q.5;116-19, Q.3:45-51, Q. 61:6)

“And God sets forth, As an example to those who believe, the wife of Pharaoh: Behold she said: ‘O my lord build for me, in nearness to you, a mansion in the Gardens, and save me from Pharaoh and his doings and save me from those who do wrong.’ And Mary the daughter of Imran who guarded her chastity and We breathed into her body Our spirit; and she testified to the truth of the words of her lord and of His revelations and was one of the devout” (Qur’an 66:11-13)

“The Christians say, ‘The Messiah is the Son of God’ ..God assail them ! How they are perverted !.. They were commanded to serve but One God; there is no God but He.” (Q.9:30-31)

“And for their unbelief, and their uttering against Mary a mighty calumny, and for their saying, ‘We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, the Messenger of God’, yet they did not slay him, neither crucified him, only a likeness of that was shown to them. Those who are at variance concerning him surely are in doubt regarding him, they have no knowledge of him, except the following of surmise; and they did not slay him of certainty, no indeed; God raised him up to him; God is Almighty, All-wise. There is not one of the people of the Book but will assuredly believe in him before his death, and on the Resurrection Day he will be a witness against them.” (Qur’an 4:156-9)

This teaching can also be found in the Christian-Gnostic Tradition, f.e. Johns Records 97, 99 , 101, 102; Basilides Simon of Kyrene was crucified in the place of Jesus. According to the Qur’an Jesus (p.b.u.h.) did not die on a cross.

Qur’an 22:40 “Those who have been expelled from their homes without a just cause except that they say: Our Lord is GOD. And had there not been God’s repelling some people by others, certainly there would have been pulled down cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques in which God’s name is much remembered; and surely God will help him who helps His cause; most surely God is Strong, Mighty.”

Christianity, Judaism:
“There is no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clearly from falsehood; whoever rejects evil and believes in God has grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold that never breaks and God is All-Hearing and All-Knowing.” (Qur’an 2:256)…

“God forbids you not, with regards to those who fight you not for (your) faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them; for God loves those who are just.” (Qur’an 60.8) … “Truth comes from your Lord. Let anyone who will, believe, and let anyone who wishes, disbelieve.” (Qur’an 18.29).

“And certainly We gave the Book and the wisdom and the prophecy to the children of Israel, and We gave them of the goodly things, and We made them excel the nations. And We gave them clear arguments in the affair, but they did not differ until after knowledge had come to them out of envy among themselves; surely your Lord will judge between them on the day of resurrection concerning that wherein they differed.” (Q.45:16-17)

“And most certainly We gave Musa (Moses) the Book and We sent apostles after him one after another; and We gave Issa (Jesus), the son of Mariam (Mary), clear arguments and strengthened him with the holy spirit, What! whenever then an apostle came to you with that which your souls did not desire, you were insolent so you called some liars and some you slew. And they say: Our hearts are covered. Nay, God has cursed them on account of their unbelief; so little it is that they believe.” (Q.2:87-88)

“O children of Israel! call to mind My favor which I bestowed on you and that I made you excel the nations. And be on your guard against a day when one soul shall not avail another in the least, neither shall intercession on its behalf be accepted, nor shall any compensation be taken from it, nor shall they be helped.” (Q.2:47-8)

“And they say: None shall enter the garden (or paradise) except he who is a Jew or a Christian. These are their vain desires. Say: Bring your proof if you are truthful. Yes! whoever submits himself entirely to God and he is the doer of good (to others) he has his reward from his Lord, and there is no fear for him nor shall he grieve. And the Jews say: The Christians do not follow anything (good) and the Christians say: The Jews do not follow anything (good) while they recite the (same) Book. Even thus say those who have no knowledge, like to what they say; so God shall judge between them on the day of resurrection in what they differ.” (Q.2:111-113)

“And they say: Be Jews or Christians, you will be on the right course. Say: Nay! (we follow) the religion of Ibrahim (Abraham), the Hanif (”true in faith”), and he was not one of the polytheists. Say: We believe in God and (in) that which had been revealed to us, and (in) that which was revealed to Ibrahim (Abraham) and Ismail and Ishaq and Yaqoub and the tribes, and (in) that which was given to Musa (Moses) and Issa (Jesus), and (in) that which was given to the prophets from their Lord, we do not make any distinction between any of them, and to Him do we submit. If then they believe as you believe in Him, they are indeed on the right course, and if they turn back, then they are only in great opposition, so God will suffice you against them, and He is the Hearing, the Knowing. (Receive) the baptism of God, and who is better than God in baptizing? and Him do we serve. Say: Do you dispute with us about God, and He is our Lord and your Lord, and we shall have our deeds and you shall have your deeds, and we are sincere to Him. Nay! do you say that Ibrahim and Ismail and Yaqoub and the tribes were Jews or Christians? Say: Are you better knowing or God? And who is more unjust than he who conceals a testimony that he has from God? And God is not at all heedless of what you do.” (Q.2:135-140)

“And thereafter We said to the Children of Israel: ‘Dwell securely in the Promised Land. And when the last warning will come to pass, we will gather you together in a mingled crowd,’” (Qur’an 17:104)

“And thus have We sent it down an Arabic Quran, and have distinctly set forth therein of threats that they may guard (against evil) or that it may produce a reminder for them. Supremely exalted is therefore God, the King, the Truth, and do not make haste with the Quran before its revelation is made complete to you and say: O my Lord ! increase me in knowledge. And certainly We gave a commandment to Adam before, but he forgot; and We did not find in him any determination. And when We said to the angels: Make obeisance to Adam, they made obeisance, but Iblis (did it not); he refused. So We said: O Adam! This is an enemy to you and to your wife; therefore let him not drive you both forth from the garden so that you should be unhappy; Surely it is (ordained) for you that you shall not be hungry therein nor bare of clothing; And that you shall not be thirsty therein nor shall you feel the heat of the sun. But the Shaitan (Devil) made an evil suggestion to him; he said: O Adam! Shall I guide you to the tree of immortality and a kingdom which decays not? Then they both ate of it, so their evil inclinations became manifest to them, and they both began to cover themselves with leaves of the garden, and Adam disobeyed his Lord, so his life became evil (to him). Then his Lord chose him, so He turned to him and guided (him). He said: Get forth you two therefrom, all (of you), one of you (is) enemy to another. So there will surely come to you guidance from Me, then whoever follows My guidance, he shall not go astray nor be unhappy; And whoever turns away from My reminder, his shall be a straitened life, and We will raise him on the day of resurrection, blind.” (Q.20:113-124)

“Ibrahim (Abraham) was not a Jew or a Christian; but he was true in faith, and bowed his will to God’s (= was a Muslim) and he joined not gods with God. Without doubt, among people, the nearest of kin to Abraham are those who follow him, as are also this apostle (Mohammad) and those who believe. And God is the protector of those who have faith.” (Qur’an 3:67-68)

“And who is your Lord, O Musa (Moses)? He said: Our Lord is He Who gave to everything its creation, then guided it (to its goal).” (Q.20:52)

“And certainly We sent Nuh (Noah) to his people: Surely I am a plain Warner for you: That you shall not serve any but God, surely I fear for you the punishment of a painful day. But the chiefs of those who disbelieved from among his people said: We do not consider you but a mortal like ourselves, and we do not see any have followed you but those who are the meanest of us at first thought and we do not see in you any excellence over us; nay, we deem you liars. He said: O my people! tell me if I have with me clear proof from my Lord, and He has granted me mercy from Himself and it has been made obscure to you; shall we constrain you to (accept) it while you are averse from it?” (Q.11:25-28)

“Say, we believe in God and that which has been revealed to us, and that which was revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes and that which was given to Moses and Jesus and to other prophets, from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we submit.” (Q.3:83)

“When Allah will say: O Issa (Jesus) son of Mariam (Mary)! Remember My favor on you and on your mother, when I strengthened you I with the holy Spirit, you spoke to the people in the cradle and I when of old age, and when I taught you the Book and the wisdom and the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Bible); and when you determined out of clay a thing like the form of a bird by My permission, then you breathed into it and it became a bird by My permission, and you healed the blind and the leprous by My permission; and when you brought forth the dead by My permission; and when I withheld the children of Israel from you when you came to them with clear arguments, but those who disbelieved among them said: This is nothing but clear enchantment.” (Q.5:110)

“People of the Book (= Jews and Christians), go not beyond the bounds in your religion, and say not as to God but the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only the Messenger of God, and His Word that He committed to Mary, and a Spirit from Him. So believe in God and His Messengers, and say not ‘Three’. Refrain; better is it for you. God is only one God. Glory be to Him – that He should have a son.” (Q.4:171)

“And before it the Book of Moses (Musa) was a guide and a mercy: and this is a Book verifying (it) in the Arabic language that it may warn those who are unjust and as good news for the doers of good. Surely those who say, Our Lord is Allah, then they continue on the right way, they shall have no fear nor shall they grieve. These are the dwellers of the garden, abiding therein: a reward for what they did.” (Q.46:12-14)

“Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in God and the Last day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve.” (Qur’an 2:62)

“Certainly you will find the most violent of people in enmity for those who believe (to be) the Jews and those who are polytheists, and you will certainly find the nearest in friendship to those who believe (to be) those who say: We are Christians; this is because there are priests and monks among them and because they do not behave proudly. And when they hear what has been revealed to the apostle you will see their eyes overflowing with tears on account of the truth that they recognize; they say: Our Lord! we believe, so write us down with the witnesses (of truth).”(Q.5:82-83)

“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 God’s permission; and He casts uncleanness on those who will not understand.” (Qur’an 10:99-100)

New Messenger:
“And when Jesus son of Mary said,’ children of Israel, I am indeed the Messenger to you, confirming the Torah that is before me, and giving good tidings of a messenger who shall come after me, whose name shall be the praised one.’ ” (Qur’an 61:6)

“Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered Prophet, whom they find mentioned in their own Scriptures, For he commands them what is just and forbids what is evil; he allows them as lawful what is good and prohibits them from is bad; He releases them from their heavy burdens and from the yokes that are upon them.” (Qur’an 7:157)

“Alif Laam Raa. A book which We have revealed to you (Mohammad) so that you may lead the people from out of the darknesses into the light by their Lord’s leave to the path of the All-Mighty, the Praiseworthy.” (Qur’an 14:1)

“And thus have We sent it down an Arabic Qur’an, and have distinctly set forth therein of threats that they may guard (against evil) or that it may produce a reminder for them.” (Qur’an 20:113)

Predestination:
Qur’an 3:26-67: “Say: Lord, Sovereign of all sovereignty, You bestow sovereignty on whom You will and and take it away from whom You please; You exalt whomever You will and abuse whomever you please. In Your hand lies all the good; You have power over all things; You cause the night to pass into day, and the day pass into the night; You bring forth the living from the death and the dead from the living. You give sustenance, beyond all reckoning to whom You will.”

Quoting Adil Salahi:“Muslims are often accused of being fatalists. Such phrases as Muslims commonly use in their conversation as, “God willing”, or “God will provide”, are taken as evidence supporting this accusation. Some of those who study Islam as outsiders can easily form such a misconception. Yet to repeat this accusation is to do Muslims great injustice.

Muslim certainly believe in fate and predestination. But their beliefs are greatly different from what is meant by fatalism. The basic principle in this connection is that God is the owner of the universe. It belongs to Him as His property in which no one else is a partner to Him. In other words, to God belongs sovereignty absolute… Predestination is mentioned several times in the Qur’an. Taken together these references indicate that predestination means the elaborate system God has set for the universe, and the natural laws and phenomena which He has set in operation so that cause and effect are dependent on the each other…

To believe in predestination is part of the Islamic faith. What it means is that God has created all natural laws, phenomena and system and set them in operation, and that every thing moves and acts within these laws… The Islamic concept of predestination includes no element of compulsion.

Many a Muslim scholar has pointed out that to think that predestination means that God compels His servants to behave or act in the way He has pre-determined for them is a misconception. Pre-determination is simply means that God has known all along everything that any servant of His would do at any particular time. In other words , predestination is synonymous with God’s prior knowledge…

What is important from the Islamic point of view is to realize that one fate is negated by another. Thus, we say that the fate of hunger is negated by the fate of eating… The same applies to illness and treatment, laziness and activity… To believe in predestination is in no way contrary to the belief that man has a free will and can exercise his free choice. If this was not the case, that is, if man was not free to choose the path he wants to follow or to determine his actions, then it would have been unjust of God to hold him responsible for what he does. But God is most just of judges…”

“No affliction comes about but by God’s permission; and whoever believes in God, He guides aright his heart; and God is Cognizant of all things.” (Q.64:11)

God is almighty and knows the past and the future and even the thoughts and intentions of the people. God gave us a free will and thus He expects us to make the right choices. We will be accountable for our deeds and intentions, meaning we have a choice. There are numerous suras in the Qur’an stating that.

Tolerance, no Racism in Islam:
A Muslim cannot afford to be indifferent, exclusive or arrogant. It is their duty to open their minds to all the realities of life and welcome all people whatever class, creed, race or nationality.

“O mankind ! We created you from a single soul, male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, so that you may come to know one another. Truly, the most honored of you in God’s sight is the greatest of you in piety. God is All-Knowing, All-Aware.” (Q.49:13)

“Among His wonders are the creation of the Heavens and the Earth, and the diversity of your tongues and colors. Indeed, there are in this signs for people who are possessed of knowledge.” (Q.30:22)

“And insult not those whom they (non-Muslims) worship besides God, lest they insult God wrongfully without knowledge. Thus We have made fair-seeming to each people its own doings; then to their Lord is their return and He shall then inform them of all that they used to do.”(Q.6:108)

“When you are offered a greeting, reply with a better one, or at least return it. “(Q.4:86)

“The true servants of The Merciful are they who walk gently on Earth, and who, when the foolish address them, reply with (words of) peace.” (Q.25:63)

“Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in God and the Last day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve.” (Q. 2:62)

“If one of the idol worshipers sought safe passage with you, you shall grant him safe passage, so that he can hear the word of GOD, then send him back to his place of security. That is because they are people who do not know.” (Q.9:6)

“Do not argue with the people of the scripture (Jews, Christians, and Muslims) except in the nicest possible manner- unless they transgress-and say, “We believe in what was revealed to us and in what was revealed to you, and our god and your god is one and the same; to Him we are submitters.” (Q.29:46)

“GOD does not enjoin you from befriending those who do not fight you because of religion, and do not evict you from your homes. You may befriend them and be equitable towards them. GOD loves the equitable.” (Q.60:8)

“You shall invite to the path of your Lord with wisdom and kind enlightenment, and debate with them in the best possible manner. Your Lord knows best who has strayed from His path, and He knows best who are the guided ones.” (Q.6:125)

“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 God’s permission; and He casts uncleanness on those who will not understand.” (Q. 10:99-100)

Freedom of thought:

“There is no compulsion in religion; truly the right way has become clearly distinct from error; therefore, whoever disbelieves in the Shaitan (Devil) and believes in God he indeed has laid hold on the firmest handle, which shall not break off, and God is Hearing, Knowing.”(Q.2.256)

Quoting Adil Salahi):  ”Our relations with non-Muslims should be friendly and courteous, as long as they do not adopt an attitude of open hostility to our faith or our community. We greet them on their special occasions, such as wishing them a happy new year, and we reply to their greetings with at least equivalent greeting as God has commanded.” #4

Human Rights:
“God forbids you not, with regards to those who fight you not for [your] faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them; for God loved those who are just.” (Quran, 60:8)

It is one function of Islamic Law to protect the status of minorities, and this is why non-Muslim places of worship have flourished all over the Islamic world. History provides many examples of Muslim tolerance towards other faiths: when the 2nd caliph Omar entered Jerusalem in the year 638 A.D. (6 years after the death of the Prophet, (p.b.u.h.), Islam granted freedom of worship to all religious communities in the city. They had to pay only taxes to the Islamic State.
Proclaiming to the inhabitants that their lives and property were safe, and that their places of worship would never be taken from them, he asked the Christian patriarch Sophronius to accompany him on a visit to all the holy places. The Patriarch invited him to pray in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, but he preferred to pray outside its gates, saying that if he accepted, later generations of Muslims might use his action as an excuse to turn it into a mosque.

“O believers, be you securers of justice, witness for God. Let not detestation for a people move you not to be equitable; be equitable – that is God-fearing.” (Qur’an 5:8)

“O you who believe! Do not enter houses other than your own houses until you have asked permission and saluted their inmates; this is better for you, that you may be mindful.” (Qur’an 24:27)

“Those who do not judge by what God has sent down are the disbelievers…” (Q.5:44)

“… no bearer of burdens shall be made to bear the burden of another…”(Qur’an 6:164)

“And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his punishment is hell; he shall abide in it, and God will send His wrath on him and curse him and prepare for him a painful chastisement. (Q.4:93)

“And their business is (conducted) through consultation among themselves.” (Q.42:38)

“.., we decreed for the Children of Israel that anyone who murders any person who had not committed murder or horrendous crimes, it shall be as if he murdered all the people. And anyone who spares a life, it shall be as if he spared the lives of all the people. ..” (Qur’an 5:32)

“And serve God and do not associate any thing with Him and be good to the parents and to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the neighbor of (your) kin and the alien neighbor, and the companion in a journey and the wayfarer and those whom your right hands possess; surely God does not love him who is proud, boastful” (Qur’an 4.36)

“O you who believe! when you go to war in God’s way, make investigation, and do not say to any one who offers you peace: You are not a believer. Do you seek goods of this world’s life! But with God there are abundant gains; you too were such before, then God conferred a benefit on you; therefore make investigation; surely God is aware of what you do.” (Qur’an 4.94)

“O you who believe! let not (one) people laugh at (another) people perchance they may be better than they, nor let women (laugh) at (other) women, perchance they may be better than they; and do not find fault with your own people nor call one another by nicknames; evil is a bad name after faith, and whoever does not turn, these it is that are the unjust. O you who believe! avoid most of suspicion, for surely suspicion in some cases is a sin, and do not spy nor let some of you backbite others. Does one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? But you abhor it; and be careful of (your duty to) God, surely God is Oftreturning (to mercy), Merciful.” (Q.49:11-12)

Qur’an gives also women a substantial role in choosing their own life partners:

“Do not prevent them from marrying their husbands when they agree between themselves in a lawful manner.” (Q.2:232)

Death Penalty:
“And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his punishment is hell; he shall abide in it, and God will send His wrath on him and curse him and prepare for him a painful chastisement. (Q.4:93)

“Say: Come I will recite what your Lord has forbidden to you (remember) that you do not associate anything with Him and show kindness to your parents, and do not slay your children for (fear of) poverty We provide for you and for them and do not draw nigh to indecencies, those of them which are apparent and those which are concealed, and do not kill the soul which God has forbidden except for the requirements of justice; this He has enjoined you with that you may understand.” (Q.6.151)

“And do not kill any You shall not kill any person – for God has made life sacred – except in the course of justice, and whoever is slain unjustly, We have indeed given to his heir authority, so let him not exceed the just limits in slaying; surely he is aided.” (Q.17:33)

“.. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them upon the conduct of affairs…” (Q.3:153 This verse refers to war prisoners after the battle of Badr)

“…, we decreed for the Children of Israel that anyone who murders any person who had not committed murder or horrendous crimes, it shall be as if he murdered all the people. And anyone who spares a life, it shall be as if he spared the lives of all the people. ….” (Q.5:32)

“…… You shall not kill – God has made life sacred – except in the course of justice. These are His commandments to you, that you may understand.” (Q.6:151)

Q. 6:126-7 “And if you punish, you shall inflict an equivalent punishment. But if you resort to patience (instead of revenge), it would be better for the patient ones. You shall resort to patience-and your patience is attainable only with God’s help. Do not grieve over them, and do not be annoyed by their schemes.”

Q.4:15 “And as for those who are guilty of an indecency from among your women, call to witnesses against them four (witnesses) from among you; then if they bear witness confine them to the houses until death comes close to them or God opens some way for them.”

According to the Qur’an, the accusation (of unchastity) must be proven by four eyewitnesses, a practical impossibility. Even then a death penalty is not ordered in the Qur’an. The occasional stoning to death as punishment for adultery is a cultural tradition in some societies (an ancient tradition also in the pre-Christian era, also mentioned in the Bible). An unjustified accusation of unchastity is a grave sin:

“Surely those who accuse chaste believing women, unaware (of the evil), are cursed in this world and hereafter, and they shall have a grievous chastisement.” (Qur’an 24:23)

“And those who speak evil things of the believing men and the believing women without their having earned (it), they are guilty indeed of a false accusation and a manifest sin.” (Q. 33:58)

For comparison passages in the Bible:   3.Mos.24:17, Deut.22:22, Lev.20:10, 3.Mos.21:9, 2.Mos.22:13-21, 2. Mos.21:20
(Please read also about “WAR”, at the bottom of this page.)

Democracy:
“O you who believe! obey Allah and obey the Apostle and those in authority from among you; then if you quarrel about anything, refer it to God and the Apostle, if you believe in God and the last day; this is better and very good in the end.” (Q. 4:59)

“And their business is (conducted) through consultation among themselves.” (Q.42:38)

“God does not love the public utterance of hurtful speech unless (it be) by one to whom injustice has been done; and God is Hearing, Knowing.” (Q.4:148)

Quoting Mawlana Abul A’la Mawdudi:  ”The Islamic system of government is based on consultation, freedom of expression, equality and serving the interests of the community. Islam does not lay down any model of government, leaving this to every community to determine within the guiding principles.

During the rein of Omar (2nd successor to the Prophet p.b.u.h.), women participated in law making. Omar made a proposal of a certain regulation concerning marriage. A woman in the mosque stood up and said, “Omar, you can’t do that.” Omar did not tell her, “Shut up, you are a woman, you have nothing to do with politics!” He asked, “Why?” She made her argument on the basis of Qur’an. In front of everybody, he stood up and said, “The woman is right and Omar is wrong,” and he withdrew his proposal. That was the spirit in the early days of Islam. In the collection of Hadith’s by Bukhari a section is devoted to the participation of women, not only in public affairs, but in the battlefield too. Women carried arms and when there was great danger to the Muslims, they volunteered to participate even in the battlefield.
According to this principle it is the right of every Muslim either to have a direct way in the affairs of the state or to have a representative chosen by him and other Muslims to participate in the running of the state.”

Justice:
“O you who believe stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even as against yourselves, or your parents or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor “(Q. 4:135).

“O you who believe! Be steadfast witnesses for God in equity, and let not hatred of any people for you seduce you that you deal not justly, that is nearer to your duty to God. Lo! God is informed of what you do”. (Q.5:8)

“Whenever you speak, speak justly, even if a near relative is concerned.” (Q. 6:152)

“God does not love the public utterance of hurtful speech unless (it be) by one to whom injustice has been done; and God is Hearing, Knowing.”(Q.4:148)

“The believers are but brethren, therefore make peace between your brethren and be careful of (your duty to) God that mercy may be had on you.” (Q.49.10)

“O you who believe! be maintainers of justice, bearers of witness of God’s sake, though it may be against your own selves or (your) parents or near relatives; if he be rich or poor, God is nearer to them both in compassion; therefore do not follow (your) low desires, lest you deviate; and if you swerve or turn aside, then surely God is aware of what you do.” (Q.[4.135)

Courage, Patience:
(Q.2.177) “It is not righteousness that you turn your faces towards the East and the West, but righteousness is this that one should believe in God and the last day and the angels and the Book and the prophets, and give away wealth out of love for Him to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and the beggars and for (the emancipation of) the captives, and keep up prayer and pay the poor rate; and the performers of their promise when they make a promise, and the patient in distress and affliction and in time of conflicts these are they who are true (to themselves) and these are they who guard (against evil).

“O you who believe ! Seek help in patience and prayer. Lo! God is with the patient.” (Q.2:153)

“And surely We shall try you with something of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth and lives and crops; but give glad tidings to the patient and the steadfast, who say when a misfortune striketh them: Lo! we are God’s and lo! unto Him we are returning.” (Q.3:173)

“Good and evil cannot be equal. Repel you evil with something that is better, and (you will see) him between whom and yourself was enmity (may then become) as though he had always been close to you, a true friend. Yet (to achieve) this is not given to any but those who are wont to be patient in adversity. It is not given to any but those endowed with greatest good fortune.” (Q.41:34-35)

“If anyone commits aggression against you, attack him just as he attacked you, and fear God, and be sure that God is with those who fear Him.” (Q.2:194)

“If you have to respond to an attack, retaliate only to the extent of the attack leveled against you, but to bear yourselves with patience is indeed far better for (you, since God is with) those who are patient in adversity.” (Q.16:126)

Forgiveness:
“And vie one with another for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a Paradise as wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for those who ward off evil; those who spend of that which God hath given them on others, in ease and adversity, those who control their wrath and are forgiving toward mankind; God loveth the doers of good to others.” (Q.3.134)

“Say to those who believe (that) they forgive those who do not fear the days of Allah that He may reward a people for what they earn. Whoever does good, it is for his own soul, and whoever does evil, it is against himself; then you shall be brought back to your Lord.” (Q.45:14-15)

“.. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them and consult them upon the conduct of affairs… (Q.3:153 This verse refers to war prisoners after the battle of Badr)

Honesty:
“And covet not the things in which God hath made some of you excel others. Unto men a fortune from that which they have earned, and unto women a fortune from that which they have earned” (Q.4:32)

“And eat not up your property among yourselves in vanity, nor seek by it to gain the hearing of the judges that you may knowingly devour a portion of the property of others wrongfully.” (Q.2:188)In

“And give full measure when you measure out, and weigh with a true balance; this is fair and better in the end. And follow not that of which you have not the knowledge; surely the hearing and the sight and the heart, all of these, shall be questioned about that.” (Q.17:35-36)

“Give full measure, and be not of those who give less than the due. And weigh with the true balance. Wrong not mankind in their goods, and do not evil, making mischief in the earth.” (Q.26:181-183)

“Those who are saved from their own greed are the ones that will be successful” (Q.59:9)

“It is not righteousness that you turn your faces to the East and to the West, but righteous is he who believes in God and the Last Day and the Angels and the Book and the Prophets; and gives his wealth for love of Him to kinsfolk and to orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and to those who ask, and to set slaves free; and observes proper worship and pays the zakah. And those who keep their treaty when they make one, and the patient in tribulation and adversity and in time of stress, such are those who are sincere, such are the God-fearing. (Q. 2:177)

Inheritance:
“From what is left by parents and those nearest related there is a share for men an a share for women, whether the property be small or large - a determinate share” (Qur’an 4:7).

The division of inheritance is a vast subject with a large amount of details (Qur’an 4:7,11,12,176). General rule is, if taken in isolation from other regulations, that the female’s share is half the male’s except the cases in which the mother receives equal share to that of the father.

“Those of you who die and leave widows should bequeath for their widows a year’s maintenance and residence. But if they (the widows) leave (the residence) there is no blame on you for what they justly do with themselves” (Qur’an 2:240).

“And draw not near to the property of the orphan except in a goodly way till he attains his maturity and fulfill the promise; surely (every) promise shall be questioned about. that.” (Q.17:34)

“Those who live off orphans’ property without having any right to do so will only suck up fire into their bellies, and they will roast in the fires (of hell).” (Qur’an 4.10)

Modesty, Moderation:
“Turn not your cheek in scorn and anger towards folk nor walk with pertness in the land. Lo! God loveth not each bragger boaster. Be modest in thy bearing and subdue thy voice. Lo! The harshest of all voices is the voice of the ass.” (Q.31:18-19)

“God loveth not the utterance of harsh speech save by one who has been wronged.” (Q.4.148)

“And render to the relatives their due rights, as (also) to those in need, and to the traveler; and do not squander your wealth in the manner of a spendthrift.” (Q.17:26)

Women, Polygamy:
In Islam the number of wives for the believers was reduced to four. This was a great progress for the rights of women after centuries of unlimited polygamy with no rights at all. A marriage contract with a marriage gift for the wife must be written.
The maintenance of the family is the responsibility of the husband alone. This is also the reason, why women’s share from an inheritance is only the half of the share of a male . She has the right to her own wealth and must not share it with her husband or use it for the maintenance of the family:

“And give the women (on marriage) their dower as a free gift; but if they, of their own good pleasure, remit any part of it to you, take it and enjoy it with right good cheer” (Qur’an 4:4 )

She has the right to divorce her husband in certain cases (like his absence etc.). In that case she has the right to keep the children, boys till the age 6 or 7, girls until puberty.
Each wife has her right to a separate home and no wife has the right to dominate another. No Muslim woman can be forced to accept a polygamous or even a monogamous marriage. Her parents can only suggest a suitable husband. It should be remembered that any woman who wants her marriage to remain monogamous can provide for this condition under Islamic law. A Muslim must also treat all his wives well and equally.

Islam does not encourage polygamy, in the contrary it is better to have only one wife, in fear you could not treat them equally. It permitted, not commanded polygamy in the Prophet’s time as a concession to prevailing social conditions. “… then marry such women as may seem good to you, two, three or four. If you feel that you will not act justly, then one.” (Qur’an 4:3) Also: “You will never manage to deal equitably with women no matter how hard you try” (Qur’an 4:129).

Since equal treatment according to these two verses is a practical impossibility, we understand that Islam prefers monogamy.

Qur’an gives women a substantial role in choosing their own life partners:
“Do not prevent them from marrying their husbands when they agree between themselves in a lawful manner.” (Q.2:232)

“Live with them (your wives) on a footing of kindness and equity. If you dislike them it may be that you dislike something in which God has places a great deal of good” (Qur’an).

“But if you decide to take one wife in place of another, even if you had given the latter a whole treasure for dower, take not the least bit of it back; Would you take it by slander and a manifest of wrong?” (Qur’an 4:20)

“It is not lawful for you (men) to take back any of your gifts except when both parties fear that they would be unable to keep the limits ordained by God. The is no blame on either of them if she give something for her freedom. These are the limits ordained by God so do not transgress them.” (Qur’an 2:229)

“If a wife fears cruelty or desertion on her husband’s part, there is no blame on them if they arrange an amicable settlement between themselves; and such settlement is best.” (Qur’an 4:128)

“When you divorce women and they fulfill their terms (three menstruation periods) either take them back on equitable terms or set them free on equitable terms; But do not take them back to injure them or take undue advantage, If anyone does that, he wrongs his own soul. Do not treat God’s signs as a jest.” (Qur’an 2:231)

“If any of you die and leave widows behind, they shall wait for four months and ten days. When they have fulfilled their term, there is no blame on you if they dispose of themselves in a just manner ‘( Qur’an 2:234)

“Those of you who die and leave widows should bequeath for their widows a year’s maintenance and residence. But if they (the widows) leave (the residence) there is no blame on you for what they justly do with themselves” (Qur’an 2:240).

A Hadith reported by Aisha (Prophet’s wife): “The messenger of God (p.b.u.h.) has never beaten a wife nor a servant, and has never hit anything with his hand except when fighting in the cause of God.”

Please read also the Topic on the right:  “Women, Marriage.. “

Homosexuality:

“What! do you indeed approach men lustfully rather than women? Nay, you are a people who act ignorantly. “(Qur’an 27:55)

“And as for the two who are guilty of indecency from among you (males), give them both a punishment; then if they repent andamend, turn aside from them; surely God is the Forgiving, theMerciful.” (Qur’an 4.16)

“And God has made for you your mates of your own nature, and made for you, out of them, sons and daughters and grandchildren, and provided for you sustenance of the best. (Qur’an 16:72)

“And go not nigh to fornication; surely it is an indecency and an evil way.” (Q.17.32)

Equality of Man and Woman:

The equality of man and woman starts in Islam with Adam and Eve.
The image of Eve as the temptress in the Bible has resulted in an extremely negative impact on women throughout the Judeo-Christian tradition:
onewoman acting alone caused the fall of humanity, God expelled both from paradise to earth, which had been cursed because of them, Eve was responsible for her own mistake, her husband’s sin, the ‘original sin’ of all humanity. Passages in the Bible:1. Cor.14:34-35, 1.Tim. 2:11-12, Efes.5:22-24, 5. Mos.25:11-12, 5.Mos.22:28-29, 2.Mos. 22:18, 5.Mos. 21:10-14, 3.Mos.27:2-7, 5.Mos.22:13-21, Tuom.21:21, Proverbs 11:22/9:13/31:3, Eccl.7:26, Eccl.25:19/25, Eccl.30:3, Eccl.22:3, Eccl.42:11, Eccl.26:10, 1-Tim.2:11, Genesis 18:9, Num.5:11-31

A woman’s role on earth is not limited only to childbirth, like in the Judeo-Christian tradition (see separate Article/Main page), but she is required to do as many good deeds as any other man is required to do. The Qur’an, also, never mentions that man is God’s image; all men and all women are His creatures.

Quote: “The first person created is designated in the Qur’an by a genderless word (Q.4:1, 6:98, 7:189).  The same holds true for the second person created. Though these people are generally assumed to be Adam and Eve, appearing in that order, there is no actual textual evidence in the Qur’an to indicate which of the two was created first. The story of Adam and Eve also illustrates some of the change that Islam went through between the writing of the Qur’an and the Hadiths. In the Qur’an, Adam and Eve sin together, then later repent and are forgiven by God. The blame is not placed solely on Eve, and there is no idea of women as inherently wicked.” (c. Dr. Laila Al-Marayati M.D., Lecture ‘Women and Sexuality in Islam’)

Islam places equal blame on both, Adam and Eve, for their mistake. Nowhere in the Qur’an can we find even the slightest hint that Eve tempted Adam to eat from the forbidden tree or even that she had eaten before him:

“And (We said): O Adam! Dwell you and your wife in the garden; so eat from where you desire, but do not go near this tree, for then you will be of the unjust. But the Shaitan (Devil) made an evil suggestion to them that he might make manifest to them what had been hidden from them of their evil inclinations, and he said: Your Lord has not forbidden you this tree except that you may not both become two angels or that you may (not) become of the immortals. And he swore to them both: Most surely I am a sincere adviser to you. Then he caused them to fall by deceit; so when they tasted of the tree, their evil inclinations became manifest to them, and they both began to cover themselves with the leaves of the garden; and their Lord called out to them: Did I not forbid you both from that tree and say to you that the Shaitan is your open enemy? They said: Our Lord! We have been unjust to ourselves, and if Thou forgive us not, and have (not) mercy on us, we shall certainly be of the losers. He said: Get forth, some of you, the enemies of others, and there is for you in the earth an abode and a provision for a time. He (also) said: Therein shall you live, and therein shall you die, and from it shall you be raised.” (Q.7:19-25)

“Whoever works evil will not be requited but by the like thereof, and whoever works a righteous deed - whether man or woman- and is a believer - such will enter the Garden of bliss” (Q.16:97)

“Whatever men earn, they have a share of that and whatever women earn, they have a share in that.” (Q. 4:31)

Q.48:5 “That He may cause the believing men and the believing women to enter gardens beneath which rivers flow to abide therein and remove from them their evil; and that is a grand achievement with God”

Q. 57:18 “Surely (as for) the charitable men and the charitable women and (those who) set apart for God a goodly portion, it shall be doubled for them and they shall have a noble reward.”

Q.9:67 “The hypocritical men and the hypocritical women are all alike; they enjoin evil and forbid good and withhold their hands; they have forsaken God, so He has forsaken them; surely the hypocrites are the transgressors.”

Q.9:68 “God has promised the hypocritical men and the hypocritical women and the unbelievers the fire of hell to abide therein; it is enough for them; and God has cursed them and they shall have lasting punishment.”

“Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has faith, verily to him/her we will give a new life that is good and pure, and we will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their actions” (Q. 16:97)

“… and their Lord answered them: Truly I will never cause to be lost the work of any of you, Be you male or female, you are members one of another” (Q.3:195)

Q.33:35 “Surely the men who submit and the women who submit, and the believing men and the believing women, and the obeying men and the obeying women, and the truthful men and the truthful women, and the patient men and the patient women and the humble men and the humble women, and the almsgiving men and the almsgiving women, and the fasting men and the fasting women, and the men who guard their private parts and the women who guard, and the men who remember God much and the women who remember– God has prepared for them forgiveness and a mighty reward.”

“To God belongs the domination of the heavens and the earth. He creates what He wills. He bestows female children to whomever He wills and bestows male children to whomever He wills.’ (Q.42:49)

“When news is brought to one of them of the birth of a female child, his face darkens and he is filled with inward grief. With shame does he hide himself from his people because of the bad news he has had ! Shall he retain her on contempt or bury her in the dust? Ah! What an evil they decide on?” (Q. 16:59).   It was a heinous practice in the pagan Arabia of female infanticide, which was later severely condemned in the Qur’an.

Please read more under Topic: “Women, Marriage” about Polygamy, Women’s Property, Divorce, Inheritance, Birth Control, Artificial Insemination, Female circumcision, ‘Honor Killings’, Islamic Dress, Bearing witness.

Marriage to Non-Muslims:
A Muslim male may marry a Jewish or Christian woman since they are from the “people of the book” (Bible, from the same religion) and she must not convert to Islam. A marriage to a woman from other faiths is not valid.

On the other hand a Muslim woman can marry only a Muslim man. I assume the reason for this is that as the head of the family (which he alone must support) his faith will be the one of the children too. Also women got far more rights by being married to a Muslim man than to a Christian or a Jew: in Christianity and under Jewish law, the woman’s family gave a dowry to the husband, and she normally shared her earnings and belongings with him - traditionally she actually did not own anything.

Adoption:
In Islam adoption is permitted but it is different from the practice in the West. The child retains its name and will not have the family name of the adoptive parents and is not seen as a child of the parents. Nevertheless great reward is promised for taking care of orphans.
But this warning:

“Those who live off orphans’ property without having any right to do so will only suck up fire into their bellies, and they will roast in the fires (of hell).” (Qur’an 4.10)

“Call them by after their fathers: that is more just in the sight of God….” (Q.33:5)
In the pre-Islamic Arab society one could adopt another person’s son, make him as own real son and say to him ”You are my son. I inherit you and you inherit me”. Rules of inheritance, divorce, marriage etc. were applied to the adopted sons.

Parents:
“Your Lord has commanded that you worship none but Him, and be kind to your parents. If either or both of them reach old age with you, do not say ‘uff’ to them or chide them, but speak to them in terms of honor and kindness. Treat them with humility, and say ‘My Lord! Have mercy on them, for they did care for me when I was little.’ ” (Q.17:23-24)

“My Lord! forgive me and my parents and him who enters my house believing, and the believing men and the believing women; and do not increase the unjust in aught but destruction!” (Q.71:28)

“Say: Come I will recite what your Lord has forbidden to you (remember) that you do not associate anything with Him and show kindness to your parents, and do not slay your children for (fear of) poverty We provide for you and for them and do not draw nigh to indecencies, those of them which are apparent and those which are concealed, and do not kill the soul which God has forbidden except for the requirements of justice; this He has enjoined you with that you may understand.” (Q.6.151)

“O you who believe! be maintainers of justice, bearers of witness of God’s sake, though it may be against your own selves or (your) parents or near relatives; if he be rich or poor, God is nearer to them both in compassion; therefore do not follow (your) low desires, lest you deviate; and if you swerve or turn aside, then surely God is aware of what you do.” (Q.[4.135)

Fasting:
“O you who believe! fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may guard (against evil). For a certain number of days; but whoever among you is sick or on a journey, then (he shall fast) a (like) number of other days; and those who are not able to do it may effect a redemption by feeding a poor man; so whoever does good spontaneously it is better for him; and that you fast is better for you if you know. The month of Ramadan is that in which the Qur’an was revealed, a guidance to men and clear proofs of the guidance and the distinction; therefore whoever of you is present in the month, he shall fast therein, and whoever is sick or upon a journey, then (he shall fast) a (like) number of other days; Allah desires ease for you, and He does not desire for you difficulty, and (He desires) that you should complete the number and that you should exalt the greatness of Allah for His having guided you and that you may give thanks” (Q.2:183-185)

All adult Muslims fast every year for one lunar month from first light in the morning (abstaining from food, drink, smoking and sexual relations ) and break their fast at sunset and pass through the same experience. Often children start fasting too (usually they are just practicing, a few hours a day), although it becomes a duty later in puberty. This shared experience of fasting reinforces the feeling of sociability among the believers. The fast is also to improve the health of the believers and to enhance their faith. Only the sick, people on a journey, nursing or pregnant women are permitted to brake the fast and make up an equal number of days later in the year. If they are unable to do so, they must feed a needy person for every day missed.

Food, Drink, Gambling:
Although much simpler than the dietary laws followed by Jews and early Christians, the code which Muslims observe forbids pig meat and any kind of intoxicating drink. The prophet said, that “your body has rights over you”.

“O ye who believe! Strong drink and games of chance and idols and divining arrows are only an infamy of Satan’s handiwork. Leave it aside in order that ye may succeed - Satan seekth only to cast among you eneminity and hatred by means of strong drink and games of chance, and to turn you from remembrance of God and from His worship. Will ye then have done ?” (Q. 5:90-91)

“They ask you about intoxicants and games of chance. Say: In both of them there is a great sin and means of profit for men, and their sin is greater than their profit.” (Q.2:219)

“This day (all) the good things are allowed to you; and the food of those who have been given the Book (Christians, Jews) is lawful for you and our food is lawful for them .. ” (Q.5:5)

“O you who believe! do not forbid (yourselves) the good things which God has made lawful for you and do not exceed the limits; surely God does not love those who exceed the limits. And eat of the lawful and good (things) that God has given you, and be careful of (your duty to) God, in Whom you believe.” (Q.5:87-88)

Zakah (Charity):
“It is not righteousness that you turn your faces towards the East and the West, but righteousness is this that one should believe in God and the last day and the angels and the Book and the prophets, and give away wealth out of love for Him to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and the beggars and for (the emancipation of) the captives, and keep up prayer and pay the poorrate; and the performers of their promise when they make a promise, and the patient in distress and affliction and in time of conflicts these are they who are true (to themselves) and these are they who guard (against evil).(Qur’an 2.177)

“Believe in God and His messenger and spend of that over which He made you trustees.” (Qur’an 57:7)

“Those who spend (in charity) their wealth by night and day; in secret and in public, have their reward with their Lord; there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve.” (Qur’an 2.274)

“If you give charity openly so it is good, but if you give it secretly to the needy, it is much better for you, and He will remove some of your ill-deeds. And God is well aware of what you do.” (Qur’an 2.171)

“They ask you what they should spend in charity: say, ‘Whatever you can spare’.” (Q.2:219)

“Taking what their Lord gives them; surely they were before that, the doers of good. They used to sleep but little in the night. And in the morning they asked forgiveness. And in their property was a portion due to him who begs and to him who is denied (good). (Q.51.16-19)

“The devil threatens you with poverty and bids you to lewd conduct. God promises you His forgiveness and bounties. And God is All-Embracing, All-Knowing.” (Qur’an 2.268)

“And whatever you spend (for good), He replaces it, and He is the Best of Providers.” (Qur’an 34.39)

“Surely (as for) the charitable men and the charitable women and (those who) set apart for Allah a goodly portion, it shall be doubled for them and they shall have a noble reward.” (Qur’an 57:18)

“And vie with one another to attain to your Sustainer’s forgiveness and to a Paradise as vast as the heavens and the earth, which awaits the God-conscious, who spend for charity in time of plenty and in time of hardship, and restrain their anger, and pardon their fellow men, for God loves those who do good.” (Q.3:133-134)

Especially towards the end of Ramadan every Muslim should give some money or send some food to the poor.
Abu Waqqas, a close companion of the Prophet, reporting:

” God’s messenger came to visit me when I was very ill at the time of his farewell pilgrimage. I said to him: ‘Messenger of God, you see how poorly I am and I have some property. I have no heirs other than my one daughter. May I leave two-thirds of my property for charity?’ The prophet said, ‘No.’ I said, ‘Then, what about one half?’ Again the Prophet said, ‘No.’ I asked again, ‘What about one-third?’ He said, ‘You may leave one-third, even though one-third is plenty (or too much). To leave your heirs well of is better than leaving them in poverty, asking people for help. You will certainly be rewarded for any amount you give away for god’s sake, even the bite you put in your wife’s mouth.’ “

Social duties, Usury:
Islam instructs the believers to visit the sick, the lonely, prisoners etc. and help the needy. Usury and the exploitation of the poor, widows, women, orphans (Q. 4:2, 4:12) and slaves is vividly condemned:

“Those who live off orphans’ property without having any right to do so will only suck up fire into their bellies, and they will roast in the fires (of hell).” (Qur’an 4.10)

“Then give to the near of kin his due, and to the needy and the wayfarer; this is best for those who desire God’s pleasure, and these it is who are successful. And whatever you lay out as usury, so that it may increase in the property of men, it shall not increase with God; and whatever you give in charity, desiring God’s pleasure it is these (persons) that shall get manifold.” (Q.30:38)

“O you who believe, you shall observe God and refrain from all kinds of usury, if you are believers. If you do not, then expect a war from God and His messenger. (Q.2:278)

All major religions have also prohibited interest. The Bible disapproves of interest severely and makes no distinction between usury and interest. *1) Those who took interest were branded as wicked *2) and could not, according to the Third Lateran Council (1179), be admitted to communion or receive Christian burial. *3)

Slavery:
Slavery was an ancient practice in the past (prophet Joseph was sold as a slave at one time) but is outlawed today in all countries of the world. Here -like in the case of polygamy- Islam did not forbid slavery but allowed it as a concession to prevailing social conditions at that time. Islam introduced a system, which ensured the best treatment of slaves and the gradual eradication of slavery. Freeing slaves in early Islam was highly regarded.

For comparison, slavery is mentioned and santioned in the Bible in several passages, like: 3.Mos.25:44-46, 5.Mos.15:17, 1.Mos.9:25, 2.Mos.21:2, 2.Mos.21:7, 2. Mos.21:20-21, 1.Piet.2:18-19, Joel 3:8, Luk.2:47

In Arabia before Islam the main source of slavery was war. Those who were taken captive were immediately sold as slaves. These belonged to all races, according to the fighting camps (it is a wrong to assume that all slaves were black).

In early Middle Ages in Europe slavery was still widely practiced. When a man could not repay his creditors, he and his wife and children and generations after him became slaves. As recently as during the WW-II in Germany war captives and political prisoners were forced into slavery on mass scale (Zwangsarbeit) and only these days some kind of compensation is carried out to the few still surviving prisoners.

One of the main reasons for slavery in Arabia before Islam besides war was usury. Poor people had to borrow money in order to feed their families. For instance a farmer would borrow money to buy seed-grain and after a bad harvest he would fall deeper in depth. After a few bad harvests he would end up as a slave for the money-lender (working without pay). This is the reason why in Islam usury is banned in strong words, it is one of the major sins. Freeing slaves is one of the most important duties of the believers, many Sura’s of the Qur’an re dedicated to this topic. Great reward is promised for freeing slaves. (see also above ‘honesty’, i.e.. Qur’an 2:177)

“And God has made some of you excel others in the means of subsistence, so those who are made to excel do not give away their sustenance to those whom their right hands possess so that they should be equal therein; is it then the favour of God which they deny?” (Q. 16:71)

Other verses concerning freeing of slaves: Q.4:92, 58:3, 90:13

Quoting Adil Salahi:

“Islam put strong emphasis on the system which allowed a slave to buy himself. When a slave wanted to buy his freedom, he would tell his master, who, under the Islamic system, could not refuse his request. The two would agree to certain working hours during which the slave would work for his master. In his spare time, the slave could work in order save money to buy his freedom. In the Islamic system, he would be helped with ‘Zakah’-money and charitable donations. When he has bought his freedom, he could not be enslaved again.”

An enlightening article (”African heritage extends across the Arab world”) about slavery in the middle of the ninth century in Arabia:

“…A glaring difference existed between Muslim slavery and slavery under the Europeans. In the United States, slavery often lasted a lifetime. Slavery under the Muslims was closer to indentured labor, and slaves could often purchase or earn their freedom… A 14-year uprising later in that century brought an end to slavery as it had been known in the Middle East. The rebellion had a major impact on the region.. As a result of the Zanj rebellion the Abbasids never again tried to establish the system of plantation slavery…” #5

religioustolerance.org : “The Bible has many references to slavery. Much of the conflict that led to the American civil war was fueled by differences in interpretation of Biblical passages on this topic. Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America, said that slavery “was established by decree of Almighty God…it is sanctioned in the Bible, in both Testaments, from Genesis to Revelation.” Various Christian leaders of the time made such statements as: “There is not one verse in the Bible inhibiting slavery, but many regulating it. It is not then, we conclude, immoral.” (Rev. Alexander Campbell), and “The right of holding slaves is clearly established in the Holy Scriptures, both by precept and example.” (Rev. R. Furman).” #6

Hadith’s (by Bukhari) concerning slaves: “A person who has a female slave in charge and takes steps to give her a sound education and trains her in arts and culture, and then frees her and marries her, he will be doubly rewarded.”(Bukhari)

Narrated by Abu Dhar: “I abused a man by calling his mother with bad names. The Prophet said to me: ‘O Abu Dhar! Did you abuse him by calling his mother with bad names? You still have some characteristics of ignorance. Your slaves are your brothers and God has put them under your command. So whoever has a brother under his command should feed him of that which he eats and dress him of that which he wears. Do not ask them (slaves) to do things beyond their capacity (power) and if you do so, then help them.”

Narrated Abu Dhar: “I asked the Prophet ‘What is the best deed?’ He replied, ‘To believe in God and to fight for His cause.’ I then asked, ‘What is the best kind of manumission (of slaves)?’ He replied, ‘ The manumission of the most expensive slave and most beloved by his master.’ I said, ‘If I cannot afford to do that?’ He said, ‘Help the weak or do good for a person who cannot work for himself.’ I said, ‘If I cannot do that?’ He said, ‘Refrain from harming others for this will be regarded as a charitable deed for your own good.’ “

Narrated (Qais) “When Abu Huraira accompanied by his slave set out intending to embrace Islam they lost each other on the way. The slave then came while Abu Huraira was sitting with the Prophet. The Prophet said, ‘O Abu Huraira! Your slave has come back.’ Abu Huraira said: ‘Indeed, I would like you to witness that I have manumitted him.’ “

Narrated by Abu Huraira: ” The Prophet said: ‘When your servant (slave) brings your meal to you then if you do net let him sit and share the meal, then he should at least be given a mouthful or two mouthfuls of that meal or meal or two meals, as he has prepared it.”

Narrated Abu Huraira: “The Prophet said: ‘Whoever frees a Muslim slave, God will save all the parts of his body from Fire as he has manumitted the body-parts of the slave.”

Narrated Hakim bin Hizam that “in the pre-Islamic period of ignorance, he manumitted one hundred slaves and slaughtered one hundred camels (and distributed them in charity). When he embraced Islam he again slaughtered one hundred camels and manumitted one hundred slaves. (Hakim said), I asked Allah’s Messenger: ‘O God’s Messenger! What do you think about some good deeds I used to practice in the pre-Islamic period of ignorance regarding them as deeds of righteousness?’ God’s Messenger said, ‘You have embraced Islam along with all those good deeds you did.’ “

Narrated Aisha (Wife of Prophet M.) that: “Barira came to seek her help in her writing of emancipation (for a certain sum) and at that time she had not paid anything for it. Aisha said to her, ‘Go back to your masters, and if they agree that I will pay the amount of your writing of emancipation and get your Wala’, I will do so.’ Barira informed her masters of that but they refused and said, ‘If she (i.e.Aisha) is seeking God’s reward, then she can do so, but your Wala’ will for us.’ Aisha mentioned that to God’s messenger who said to her: ‘Buy and manumit her, as the Wala’ is for the liberator.’ God’s Messenger then got up and said, ‘What about the people who stipulate conditions which are not present in God’s laws? Whoever imposes conditions which are not present in God’s laws, then those conditions will be invalid, even if he imposed these conditions a hundred times. God’s conditions (Laws) are the truth and are more solid.”

Prayer:
The purpose of the prayer is to remind the believers of their faith and that they are only passing by in this world and the real life is in the world to come. God is almighty, He does not need our prayers, it is we who benefit.

“O you who believe! when you rise up to prayer, wash your faces and your hands as far as the elbows, and wipe your heads and your feet to the ankles; and if you are under an obligation to perform a total ablution, then wash (yourselves) and if you are sick or on a journey, or one of you come from the privy, or you have touched the women, and you cannot find water, betake yourselves to pure earth and wipe your faces and your hands therewith, God does not desire to put on you any difficulty, but He wishes to purify you and that He may complete His favor on you, so that you may be grateful. (Q.5:6)

“O you who believe! do not go near prayer when you are intoxicated until you know (well) what you say, nor when you are under an obligation to perform a bath - unless (you are) traveling on the road- until you have washed yourselves; and if you are sick, or on a journey, or one of you come from the privy or you have touched the women, and you cannot find water, betake yourselves to pure earth, then wipe your faces and your hands; surely God is Pardoning, Forgiving.” (Q.4:43)

Later alcoholic drinks and intoxicating substances were forbidden.

“Recite that which has been revealed to you of the Book and keep up prayer; surely prayer keeps (one) away from indecency and evil, and certainly the remembrance of God is the greatest, and God knows what you do… “(Q.29:44)

“It is not righteousness that you turn your faces towards the East and the West, but righteousness is this that one should believe in God and the last day and the angels and the Book and the prophets, and give away wealth out of love for Him to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and the beggars and for (the emancipation of) the captives, and keep up prayer and pay the poorrate; and the performers of their promise when they make a promise, and the patient in distress and affliction and in time of conflicts these are they who are {rue (to themselves) and these are they who guard (against evil). (Q.2.177)

“The fools among the people will say: What has turned them from their qiblah (direction of prayer, from Jerusalem to Mecca) which they had? Say: The East and the West belong only to God; He guides whom He likes to the right path.” (Q.2:142)

“Whoever goes aright, for his own soul does he go aright; and whoever goes astray, to its detriment only does he go astray: nor can the bearer of a burden bear the burden of another, nor do We chastise until We raise an apostle.” (Q.17:15)

Pilgrimage:
The Pilgrimage has several purposes. It is the largest regular conference of piece known in the history of mankind (today over 2 million Pilgrims come together in the same week in Mecca), in peace with God, with one’s soul, with other people and every living thing . The pilgrim must avoid everything that disturbs this peace, like ill-talking or quarrels. Islam trains the Muslims to be sociable. This collective performance of pilgrimage in the same place, same time and manner, dressed in the same way is a real exercise of equality.

“The months of Hajj are well-known. In these months whoever intends to perform Hajj should not indulge in sexual act, wicked act, and fighting during the Hajj. Whatever righteous act you will perform will be known to God. Take with you provision for the journey (for Hajj), and the best provision is righteousness. So fear me, O people of understanding!” (Qur’an 2.197)

Common errors made by visitors to the Mosque of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) in Medina: Rubbing the walls and iron bars of the tomb of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.), and tying threads etc. to the windows in the hope of thus receiving some blessing (barakah). Going to caves in Jabal Uhud (Mount Uhud) and the caves of Hira and Thawr in Mecca, and tying rags there and reciting impermissible prayers. All this has no basis whatsoever in the Sunnah (tradition).

Science, Education:
” … the creation, astronomy, the explanation of certain matters concerning earth and the animal and vegetable kingdoms, human reproduction. Whereas monumental errors are to be found in the Bible, I could not find a single error in the Qur’an.” #7

Education and knowledge are highly emphasized in Islam. At the beginning of Islam it is reported that only 17 people in Mecca could read and write. Prophet Mohammad (p.b.u.h.) encouraged his followers to seek knowledge even in China (a distance place!). According to one Hadith “the ink of the student is better than the blood of a martyr…” And: ” When a man dies, his acts come to an end, with three exceptions: ’sadaqah’ (recurring charity), knowledge from which benefit continues to be heaped, and the prayers of a good child for him.” (a Hadith)

The duty, not the right, the duty of education, as the Prophet said, is a duty on every Muslim, male and female.

War:
“And fight in the way of God with those who fight with you, and do not exceed the limits, surely God does not love those who exceed the limits. And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers. But if they desist, then surely God is Forgiving, Merciful.” (Q.2:190-92)

“The Sacred month for the sacred month and all sacred things are (under the law of) retaliation; whoever then acts aggressively against you, inflict injury on him according to the injury he has inflicted on you and be careful (of your duty) to God and know that God is with those who guard (against evil).” (Q.2:194)

“O you who believe! when you go to war in God’s way, make investigation, and do not say to any one who offers you peace: You are not a believer. Do you seek goods of this world’s life! But with God there are abundant gains; you too were such before, then Allah conferred a benefit on you; therefore make investigation; surely Allah is aware of what you do.” (Q. 4.94)

“… and do not aggress; God dislikes the aggressors.” (Q.5:87)
“You shall not kill any person - for God has made life sacred - except in the course of justice, and whoever is slain unjustly, We have indeed given to his heir authority, so let him not exceed the just limits in slaying; surely he is aided.” (Q.17:33)

“If they seek peace. Then seek you peace. And trust in God for He is the One that hear and know all things.” (Q.8.61)

“.. Therefore, if they leave you alone, refrain from fighting you, and offer you peace, then God gives you no excuse to fight them.” (Q. 4:90)

“.., we decreed for the Children of Israel that anyone who murders any person who had not committed murder or horrendous crimes, it shall be as if he murdered all the people. And anyone who spares a life, it shall be as if he spared the lives of all the people.” (Qur’an 5:32)

” And if you take your turn, then retaliate with the like of that with which you were afflicted; but if you are patient, it will certainly be best for those who are patient.” (Q.16:126)

” That (shall be so); and he who retaliates with the like of that with which he has been afflicted and he has been oppressed, God will most certainly aid him; most surely. God is Pardoning, Forgiving.” (Q.22:60)

“…You shall resort to pardon, advocate tolerance, and disregard the ignorant.” (Q. 7:199)

“…… You shall not kill - God has made life sacred - except in the course of justice. These are His commandments to you, that you may understand.”(Q. 6:151)

“There is no compulsion in religion..” (Q. 2:256)

“Truth comes from your Lord. Let anyone who will, believe, and let anyone who wishes, disbelieve” (Q.18.29)

“God forbids you not, with regards to those who fight you not for (your) faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them; for God loves those who are just.” (Q. 60:8)

“So when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, then smite the necks until when you have overcome them, then make (them) prisoners, and afterwards either set them free as a favor or let them ransom (themselves) until the war terminates. That (shall be so); and if God had pleased He would certainly have exacted what is due from them, but that He may try some of you by means of others; and (as for) those who are slain in the way of God, He will by no means allow their deeds to perish. He will guide them and improve their condition. And cause them to enter the garden which He has made known to them. O you who believe ! if you help (the cause of) God, He will help you and make firm your feet.”(Q.47:4-7)

Like Christianity, Islam permits fighting in self-defense, in defense of religion. It lays down strict rules of combat, which include prohibitions against harming civilians and against destroying crops, trees and livestock. Needless to say that terrorist activity, where innocent lives are lost is totally against the spirit of Islam. From the above four Suras we can see, that the ‘holy war’ is permitted only in self-defense.

Jihad (struggle) is probably the most misunderstood religious word. It is often mentioned in the Western media during news about the Middle East, where it is implied to be a synonym of ‘holy war’, a call to fight against non-Muslims. Suicide is strongly forbidden in Islam.

The word ‘jihad’ has also another definition. It is seen as a personal, internal struggle with one’s self. The goal may be in a self-purification, the conquering of primitive instincts or the attainment of some other noble goal.

“The best jihad [struggle] is (by) the one who strives against his own self for Allah, The Mighty and Majestic,..” (Prophet Muhammad)

Hadith: Prophet Mohammed (p.b.u.h.) stood and asked his companions to stand up when a funeral procession passed by. When the companions said it was the funeral of a Jew, the prophet said: “Is he not a human being?”

Islamic Dress:
Both women and men are expected to dress in a way, which is modest and dignified. The traditions of female dress found in some Muslim countries are often expression of local customs.

“O you Children of Adam! We have bestowed on you raiment to cover your shame as well as to be an adornment to you. But the raiment of righteousness, that is the best. Such are among the Signs of God, that they may receive admonition.” (Qur’an 7:26).

“O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (’jilbab’) close round them (when they go abroad). That will be better, so that they may be recognized and not annoyed. God is ever Forgiving, Merciful.” (Qur’an 33:59).

The above verse was revealed as Muslims and Muslim women faced harassment in Medina and it is the main argument of the advocates of the veil.

For this verse we find many different translations: instead of ‘..draw your cloaks (’jilbab’) close around them’ we read ‘.. let down upon them their over-garments..’

or ‘O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad): that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not molested.’

or ‘ ..draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women so as not to be annoyed..)’

As you can see, the details of the translation have an enormous importance. Particularly, I don’t like the last translations because the personal opinion of the translator is placed in the middle of the verse; the word ‘free’ means ‘not slave’.

As we know scholars have different views about this theme. The Arabic word ‘jilbab’ means any dress or cover but it is often translated as veil….

This verse was revealed in Medina after one of the Prophets wives was recognized ‘while answering the call of nature’ according to a Hadith by Bukhari (narrated Aisha):

“When the wives of the Prophet used to go to Al-Manasi, a vast open place, to answer the call of nature at night. Omar used to say to the Prophet ‘Let your wives be veiled’, but Allah’s Messenger did not do so. One night Sawdah the wife of the Prophet went out at ‘Isha’ (evening) -time and she was a tall lady. Omar addressed her and said, ‘I have recognized you, O Sawdah.’ He said so, as he desired eagerly that the verses of Al-Hijab may be revealed. So Allah revealed the verses of Al-Hijab.”

In another Hadith by Aisha about the same theme: ” … She (Sawdah) was a fat huge lady, and everybody who knew her before could recognize her. So Omar bin Al-Khattab saw her and said, ‘O Sawdah! By Allah, you cannot hide yourself from us, so think of a way by which you should not be recognized on going out. Sawdah returned while Allah’s Messenger was in my house taking his supper and a bone covered with meat was in his hand. She entered and said: ‘O Allah”s messenger! I went out to answer the call of nature and Omar said to me so-and-so’. Then Allah inspired him (the Prophet) and when the state of inspiration was over and the bone was still in his hand as he had not put it down, he said (to Sawdah), ‘You (women) haven been allowed to go out for your needs.’ “

Qur’an 24:31  :“And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear thereof; that they should draw their garments over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, or their brothers’ sons or their sisters’ sons, or their women or the servants whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex, and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O you Believers, turn you all together towards God, that you may attain Bliss.”

Q. 24:60. And (as for) women advanced in years who do not hope for a marriage, it is no sin for them if they put off their clothes without displaying their ornaments; and if they restrain themselves it is better for them; and Allah is Hearing, Knowing.

These above four Sura’s (Q. 7:26, 33:59, 24:31, 24:60) from the Holy Qur’an are the only ones, that deal with the female dress. Covering of the hair (the word: ‘hair’) of a women is not mentioned in the Qur’an, but Muslim women started to do so, especially in Medina, as the hypocrites used to resort to different methods to harm and molest the Prophet, the believers and Muslim women generally and the Sura 33.59 was revealed (ca. 13 years after the first revelation).

The word “Hijab” appeared in the Quran 7 times, five of them as “Hijab” and two times as “Hijaban,”.( Qur’an 7:46, 33:53, 38:32, 41:5, 42:51, 17:45 and 19:17).

None of these “Hijab” words are used in the Qur’an in reference to what the traditional Muslims call today (Hijab) as a dress code for the Muslim woman. “Hijab” in the Quran has nothing to do with the Muslim Women dress code.
The word “Khimar” in the Qur’an: Khimar” is an Arabic word that can be found in the Quran in 24:31. “Khimar” is an Arabic word that means: cover,
any cover, a curtain, a dress is a Khimar, a table cloth that covers the top of a table is a Khimar, a blanket can be used as a Khimar. etc. The word “Khamra” used for intoxicant in Arabic has the same root with “Khimar”, because both covers, the Khimar covers a window, a body, a table etc. while Khamra covers the state of mind.

In verse Q. 24:31 God is asking the women to use their cover (khimar) ( being a dress, a coat, a shawl, a shirt, a blouse, a tie, a scarf . . . etc.) to cover their bosoms, not their heads or their hairs.

The strongest argument against women wearing a face-veil is found in the Sunnah (tradition of the Prophet, p.b.u.h.). During the pilgrimage (Omrah and Hajj) in the Holy Mosque in Mecca women are not allowed to cover their faces or wear cloves. This ritual is performed to the smallest detail in the way the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) with his companions used to do it. Male pilgrims remove their ordinary, sewn clothes, and don the clean, white, unsewn clothes which are prescribed for Ihraam. No specific clothing is prescribed for the female Muslim in Ihraam; she may wear her ordinary clothes, but should avoid gaudy materials.

“We fail to see any verse of the Qur’an pertaining to Hijab (veiling) in the entire Mecca’n revelation that was given to the Prophet, that’s almost 13 years. The injunctions about more detailed aspects relating to the righteous Muslim community were revealed during the Medinan period. Some in the middle, and later part of that period,” writes Jamal Badawi, a member of the North American Fiqh Council.

“Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty ; that will make for greater purity for them, and God is well aquatinted with all they do. “(Qur’an 24.30)

The Prophet (p.b.u.h.) always wore his turban even when he was praying. The male dress, a long loose shirt was worn in early Islam quite short, well above the ankles. Long luxurious clothes for men were considered improper. Silk clothing and gold ornaments were also not allowed for men. The beard was allowed to grow, trimmed, without a mustache.
When Muslims gather in Mecca for the annual pilgrimage ritual a special clothing is necessary for men. They dress in two white un-sewn cotton sheets, un-sewn sandals, wearing nothing on their heads. Women may dress in their usual way, but covering of her face or wearing cloves is not allowed.
There are several highly authentic Hadith’s proving, that the veiling of the face of the woman was not required.

Quoting A. Salahi : “Perhaps the clearest report which tells us how women used to go out in public at the time of the Prophet is the one related by “Muslim” ( which makes it highly authentic ) of an event that took place after the Prophet’s farewell pilgrimage. In other words, it gives a final verdict. This report runs as follows: ‘ Sabee’ah bint Al Harith (a companion of the Prophet) was pregnant when her husband died and she became a widow. A few days later she gave birth to her child. Soon afterward she made herself up in case a proposal of marriage would come her way. A man named Abu As-Sanabel came to visit her. Wondering at her condition, he said: How come that you are wearing make up? It seems as if you are keen to get married. By God, you are not allowed to marry before the lapse of four months and ten days.’ ‘ Sabee’ah reports: When he said that to me, I put on my clothes when the evening approached and went to see God’s Messanger (p.b.u.h.). I asked him about that and he told me that my waiting period was over when I gave birth to my child. He said that I could marry if I wanted.’ …. Here we find a woman wearing make up on her face and hands, and visited by Abu As-Sanabel, who was not closely related to her. He may have been a man of her clan, but certainly was not a brother or an uncle of hers. He objected her behavior, but she made certain by putting the matter to the Prophet who did not object to anything she did. The sum up of the views of the great scholars we have quoted and these reports and Hadith’s which we have mentioned is that the Islamic society is one which does not confine women in their homes in the way the advocates of the veil imagine. Indeed, it appears to us that it was a society where women went about their business freely , and they could meet men and talk to them, recognized by their faces which were not covered. ” (c. Adil Salahi)

Another opinion about this theme: Dress code for women according to Quran
Read more under the Topic on the right, “Islam and Women”

Female circumcision:
One of the great misunderstandings about Islam is the ‘female circumcision’. It is an ancient practice in some Northern African countries and has absolutely no basis in Islam, even if it may be given by ignorant people as the reason for it. In the countries of the Middle East this practice in unknown. We can only try to educate people to gather better knowledge about their faith.

Life After Death:
Muslims believe in Life after Death, the Resurrection, the Day of Judgement and Divine Court and the administration of reward (Paradise) and punishment (Hell). This world will come to an end, God will destroy the universe. The People stand equal before God, waiting for their final destiny. The deeds and intentions of the people will be judged and weighted against each other (good and bad ).

About the last day of Judgement – Qur’an sura 81: “When the sun is covered, And when the stars darken, And when the mountains are made to pass away, And when the camels are left untended, And when the wild animals are made to go forth, And when the seas are set on fire, And when souls are united, And when the female infant buried alive is asked For what sin she was killed, And when the books are spread, And when the heaven has its covering removed, And when the hell is kindled up, And when the garden is brought nigh, Every soul shall (then) know what it has prepared. But nay! I swear by the stars, That run their course (and) hide themselves, And the night when it departs, And the morning when it brightens, Most surely it is the Word of an honored messenger, The processor of strength, having an honorable place with the Lord of the Dominion, One (to be) obeyed, and faithful in trust. And your companion is not gone mad. And of a truth he saw himself on the clear horizon. Nor of the unseen is he a tenacious concealer. Nor is it the word of the cursed Shaitan, Whither then will you go? It is naught but a reminder for the nations, For him among you who pleases to go straight. And you do not please except that Allah please, the Lord of the worlds.”

“O people! guard against (the punishment from) your Lord; surely the violence of the hour is a grievous thing. On the day when you shall see it, every woman giving suck shall quit in confusion what she suckled, and every pregnant woman shall lay down her burden, and you shall see men intoxicated, and they shall not be intoxicated but the chastisement of God will be severe.” (Q.22:1-2)

“Who created death and life that He may try you which of you is best in deeds; and He is the Mighty, the Forgiving.” (Q.67:2)

“Say: The angel of death who is given charge of you shall cause you to die, then to your Lord you shall be brought back.” (Q.32:11)

“For every soul there is a guardian who watches over it.” (Qur’an 86:4)

“He (God) alone holds sway over His servants. And He sends forth guardians to watch over you until, when death approaches any of you, Our messengers cause him to die. They do not overlook anyone.” (Qur’an 6:61)

“Each has guardian angels before him and behind him, who watch him by God’s command.” (Qur’an 13:11)

“And for all people a term has been set; and when (the end of) their term approaches, they can neither delay it by a single moment, nor can they hasten it.: (Qur’an 7:34)

“God is the protector of the believers; He brings them forth from darkness to the light. And the unbelievers, their protectors are the idols, that bring them forth from the light into the shadows, those are the inhabitants of the fire, therein dwelling forever.” (Qur’an 2:257-59)

“And God created the heavens and the earth with truth and that every soul may be rewarded for what it has earned and they shall not be wronged. Have you then considered him who takes his low desire for his god, and God has made him err having knowledge and has set a seal upon his ear and his heart and put a covering upon his eye. Who can then guide him after God? Will you not then be mindful? They say, ‘there is nothing but our present life; we die, and we live, and nothing but Time destroys us.’ Of that they have no knowledge; they merely conjecture. And when our revelations are recited to hem, their only argument is that they say, ‘bring us our fathers, if you speak truly.’ “(Qur’an 45:22-25)

“God has promised to the believing men and the believing women gardens, beneath which rivers flow, to abide in them, and goodly dwellings in gardens of perpetual abode; and best of all is God’s goodly pleasure; that is the grand achievement.” (Qur’an 9:72)

“A parable of the garden which those guarding (against evil) are promised: Therein are rivers of water that does not alter, and rivers of milk the taste whereof does not change, and rivers of drink (wine) delicious to those who drink, and rivers of honey clarified and for them therein are all fruits and protection from their Lord. (Are these) like those who abide in the fire and who are made to drink boiling water so it rends their bowels asunder.” (Q.47:16)

“On the day when the hypocritical men and the hypocritical women will say to those who believe: Wait for us, that we may have light from your light; it shall be said: Turn back and seek a light. Then separation would be brought about between them, with a wall having a door in it; (as for) the inside of it, there shall be mercy in it, and (as for) the outside of it, before it there shall be punishment.” (Qur’an 57:13)

“On that day you will see the faithful men and the faithful women– their light running before them and on their right hand– good news for you today: gardens beneath which rivers flow, to abide therein, that is the grand achievement. On the day when the hypocritical men and the hypocritical women will say to those who believe: Wait for us, that we may have light from your light; it shall be said: Turn back and seek a light. Then separation would be brought about between them, with a wall having a door in it; (as for) the inside of it, there shall be mercy in it, and (as for) the outside of it, before it there shall be punishment.” (Q.57:12-13)

“Surely (as for) the charitable men and the charitable women and (those who) set apart for God a goodly portion (in charity), it shall be doubled for them and they shall have a noble reward.” (Qur’an 57:18)

“Those who believe, and do deeds of righteousness, theirs shall be forgiveness and generous provision. and those who strive against our signs to avoid them, they shall be inhabitants of Hell . (Qur’an 22:40-50) ….

” …Whoever does a righteous deed, whether man or woman, and has faith, we will give a good life; and we shall reward them according to the best of their actions.” (Qur’an 16.97)

“And be on your guard against a day when one soul shall not avail another in the least, neither shall intercession on its behalf be accepted, nor shall any compensation be taken from it, nor shall they be helped.” (Q.2:48)

“.. ‘And he has coined for us a similitude, and has forgotten the fact of his creation, saying; who will revive these bones when they have rotten away?’ Say: He will revive them who produced them at the first, for He is the knower of every creation. Who has appointed for you fire from the green tree, and behold! you kindle from it. Is not He who created the heavens and the earth, able to create the like of them? yes, and He is indeed the Supreme Creator, the All-Knowing. (Qur’an 36:78-81)

“Until, when death comes unto one of them, he says: ‘my Lord send me back, that I may do right in that which I have left behind!’ But nay! It is but a word that he speaks; and behind them is a barrier until the day when they are raised. And when the Trumpet is blown there will be no kinship among them that day, nor will they ask of one another. Then those whose scales are heavy, they are successful. And those whose scales are light are those who lose their souls, in hell abiding, the fire burns their faces and they are glum therein. (Qur’an 23:99-104)

“In these (gardens) will be (all) things most excellent and beautiful. Which, then, of your Lord’s powers can you disavow? In them there will be (for the best) companions pure and modest, in pavilions (splendid).” Q. 55:70-72

Adil Salahi: “The term ‘companions’ is understood, as it occur in Arabic, to be feminine… However, what we should understand in connection with what God grants to the believers whom He admits to heaven is that life there is pure and splendid. It is a life of complete and undeterred happiness. The purity is ensured by the fact that the desires which we have in this world will not be the same. For example, the often misinterpreted statements about white-eyed maidens, as in this instance, are not meant to satisfy the same sexual desire, as there will be no procreation in that life. All that is connected with the happiness and comforts in heaven are matters that we cannot understand fully, based on our earthly experience. “

“Actions are judged according to their intentions and every person will be dealt with (in the Hereafter) according to what he intends.” (Hadith by Bukhari)

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1) For the Babylonian, Jewish and Christian views on interest, see Johns, et.al. in Hastings, Vol.12, pp.548-58; and Noonan, 1957, p.20. For the Hindu view, se Bokare, 1993, p.168

2) See Bible – Ezekiel, 18:8; Leviticus, 25:36-38, Deuteronomy, 23:19 and Luke, 6:35

3) Bible, Johns, et.al, p.551

4) Muhammad, Man and Prophet, Adil Salahi 

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#7 ‘The Bible, The Qur’an and Science” by Maurice Bucaille

#8 Dress code for women according to Quran 

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