Signs, Science and Surety
By : Abdur-Raheem Greene
The Qur’an is the last revelation, and a proof not only to the pagan Arabs one thousand four hundred years ago, but also to the scientists of today. Perhaps one of the most remarkable qualities of the Qur’an for those living in the twentieth, and what will soon be the twenty first century, is the complete consistency between the Qur’an and most of the discoveries of modern science, and in some cases pre-empting facts discovered within the last twenty years. One of the first Western scientists to make a serious study of this subject was Maurrice Bucaille, who wrote a book called The Bible, the Qur’an and Science. In this book, he compared the statements concerning natural and scientific data in the Bible and the Qur’an. He concluded: ”The Qur’an follows on from the two Revelations that preceded it and is not only free from contradictions in its narrations, the sign of the various human manipulations to found in the gospels, but provides a quality all of its own for those who examine it objectively and in the light of science, i.e. its complete agreement with modern scientific data. What is more, statements are to be found in it (as has been shown) that are connected with science: and yet it is unthinkable that a man of Muhammad’s time could have been the author of them. Modern scientific knowledge therefore allows us to understand certain verses of the Qur’an which, until now, it has been impossible to interpret. The comparison of several Biblical and Qur’anic narrations of the same subject shows the existence of fundamental differences between the statements in the former, which are scientifically unacceptable, and declarations in the latter which are in perfect agreement with modern data: this was the case of the Creation and the Flood, for example. An extremely important complement to the Bible was found in the text of he Qur’an on the subject of the history of the Exodus, where the two texts were very much in agreement with archaeological findings, in the dating of the time of Moses. Besides, there are major differences between the Qur’an and the Bible on the other subjects: they serve to disprove all that has been maintained-without a scrap of evidence-concerning the allegation that Muhammad is supposed to have copied the Bible to produce the text of the Qur’an. . . . In view of the level of knowledge in Muhammad’s day, it is inconceivable that many of the statements in the Qur’an which are connected with science could have been the work of a man. It is, moreover, perfectly legitimate, not only to regard the Qur’an as the expression of a Revelation, but also to award it a very special place, on the account of the guarantee of authenticity it provides and the presence in it of scientific statements which, when studied today, appears as a challenge to explanation in human terms.”
Some of the statements involving data confirmed by modern science are:
1. The Accurate Description of Embryonic and Fetal Development. At the time of Prophet Muhammad prevalent theories included those of Aristotle who thought that a child was formed by the congealing of menstrual blood catalyzed by the male blood, as rennet does to cheese. In the Eighteenth Century, Hartsoeker claimed to have seen within the sperm a pre-formed human being through the primitive microscopes. The Qur’an reflected none of these, describing the development of the embryonic human with detailed accuracy: “We created man from a quintessence of clay, We then placed him as a drop (Nutfa) in a place of rest firmly fixed, Then we made the drop into an Alaqah (leech-like) and then we changed the leech-like structure into a Mudghah (chewed-like) and then We made out of that chewed-like substance bones then We clothed the bones with flesh then We caused him to grow and come into being and attain the definitive form. Blessed be Allah the Perfect creator. After that, at length you will die. Again, on the Day of Judgment, you will be raised up.” (23:12-16) The Prophet further explained the meaning of Nutfa as meaning both the male sperm and female ovum. The word “alaqah” has three meanings in Arabic: 1) A thing that clings; 2) A blood clot; and 3) A leech like thing. All three accurately describe the first stage of the developing embryo. After the fertilisation of the egg, a blastocyst develops, which has on its exterior villocites which literally “cling” to the wall of the uterus. It then goes on to resemble a leech both in appearance and behaviour. (Both leech and embryo extract blood from host.) It also goes on to resembles a blood clot. The next stage, when it becomes “chewed-like”, is also accurate. It is also true that the bones precede the development of muscle and flesh. The Prophetic traditions state: “When forty -two nights have passed over the conceptus, Allah sends an Angel to it, who shapes it, makes its ears, eyes, skin, flesh and bones. Then he says O Lord! is it male or female? And your Lord decides what He wishes and then the angel records it.” This accurate information gives the correct time for the recognisable growth of the features described, and the sex of the fetus can not be definitely determined until just after forty-two days. This was not known until the invention of powerful microscopes only decades ago. I have mentioned this subject only briefly, and quoted a few of the verses and hadeeth concerning this topic. Keith Moore, Professor and Chairman, Department of Anatomy, University of Toronto, Canada, and author of The Developing Human, is considered one of the leading embryologists, said concerning these statements in the Qur’an and authenticated hadeeth: “Until the 19th Century, nothing was known about classifying the stages of human development. A system of staging human embryos was developed around the end of the 19th Century based on alphabetical symbols. During the 20th century, numerals were used to describe 23 stages of embryonic development. This system of numbering the stages is not easy to follow and a better system would be based on the morphological changes. In recent years, the study of the Qur’an has revealed another basis for the classification of the stages of the developing embryo which is based on easily understood actions and changes in shape. It utilizes terms which were sent from God to Muhammed the Prophet by the Angel Gabriel and recorded on the Qur’an . . . It is clear to me that these statements must have come to Muhammad from God because almost all of this knowledge was not discovered until many centuries later. This proves to me that Muhammed must have been a Messenger of God.” Marshall Jonson, Professor and Chairman, Department of Anatomy, Director of the Daniel Baugh Institute, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, U.S.A., said: “As a scientist I can only deal with things I can specifically see. I can understand embryology and developmental biology; I can understand the words that are translated to me from the Qur’an. If I were to transpose myself into that era , knowing what I do today and describing things, I could not describe the things that were described. I see no evidence to refute the concept that this individual Muhammed had to be developing this information from some place, so I see nothing in conflict with the concept that Divine Intervention was involved on what he was able to say.”
2. Cosmology. “Have not those who disbelieve known that the heavens and the earth were joined together as one united piece, then We parted them. And We have made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe.” (21:30) This verse clearly mentions the common origin of the universe, a fact that was not discovered until forty years ago with the advent of nuclear physics. The separation seems to refer to what the scientists call the “Big Bang”. Also, all living things are composed of protoplasm, which consists of 80-85% water. “Then He rose over towards the heaven when it was smoke, and said to it and to the earth: ‘Come willingly or unwillingly.’ They both said: ‘We come willingly.’” (41:11) The word smoke describes accurately the primeval state of the universe, which was composed of a hot gaseous mass, with particles moving vigorously, just as in smoke. From this the stars, planets and the earth were formed. “The heaven, We have built it with power, verily We are expanding it.’ (51:47) It is an accepted fact that we are living in an expanding universe. “Allah is the one who created the night and day, the sun and moon. Each one is traveling in an orbit with its own motion.” The Arabic word referring to a movement with self-propelled motion is the verb sahabah (yasbahuna in the text). It implies a motion that comes from the body in question. If it takes place in water, it is to swim; it is to move by the action of one’s own legs’ if it takes place on land. For movement that occurs in space it would mean “to rotate”. The sun is actually in orbit, not around the earth but around the centre of the galaxy, so there is no contradiction, since the Qur’an does not specify the Sun’s orbit. “Have you not seen how Allah merges the night into the day and the day into the night?” (31:29) “He coils the night upon the day and He coils the day upon the night.” (39:5) To coil or to wind is the translation of the Arabic verb kawwarra. The original meaning of the verb is to coil a turban around the head. The process of perpetual coiling, including the interpenetration of one sector by another is expressed in the Qur’an just as if the concept of the Earth’s roundness had already been conceived at the time, which is clearly not the case. “It is He who made the Sun a shining thing and the moon as a light, and measured out their stages . . . ” (10:5) The Qur’an describes the Sun as a “siraj” which means a torch, generating its own heat and light where as the Moon is described “an-nur” which is light originating from another source.
3. Geology. “Have We not made the earth an expanse; and the mountains stakes?” (78:6-7) “And Allah has cast into the ground mountains standing firm so that it does not shake with you.” (31:10) It has recently been discovered that mountains have roots that go into the earth’s crust which is composed of seven tectonic plates. Their movement is the cause of earthquakes. It is thought that the roots and weight of the mountains play a vital role in stabilizing the earth’s crust.
4. Animal and Plant life. The sixteenth chapter of the Qur’an mentions the bee that leaves its home to gather as feminine, although it has generally been believed that the bees are soldiers and they answer to a King. The Qur’an also mentions the sexes of plants and the winds as a means of their fertilization. “We sent forth the winds that fecundate.” (15:22) All recently discovered matters.
5. Atomism. The Greek philosopher Democritus (460-361 BC) advanced the theory that matter was composed of tiny, indivisible particles called Atoms. Modern science has discovered that there is the Atom, but that Atom is divisible. The Qur’an states: “He is aware of an atom’s weight in the heavens and on the earth, and even anything smaller than that . . .” (34:3)
6. Dermatology. “Does mankind think that We cannot assemble his bones? Nay, We are able to put together in perfect order the very tips of his fingers.” (75:3-4) No two finger prints are alike. This verse tells of both Allah’s knowledge and ability to resurrect us even to the most unique and individual part: “Those who reject Our signs We shall soon cast into the fire, As often as their skins are roasted through, We shall change them for fresh skins so that they may truly taste the Penalty, For Allah is exalted in power, wise.” (4:56) The nerve ends that feel pain are found in the skin. When the skin is severely burnt the nerve ends are destroyed and pain is not felt. In Hell, Allah will recreate the skin so that its inhabitants may permanently feel intense pain. “Verily, the tree of zaqqum will be the food of the sinners, like boiling oil it will boil in their bellies, like the boiling of scalding water, ‘ Taste you this! Verily you were pretending to be the mighty the generous! Verily this is that which you used to doubt!” (44:43-50) “. . . and drink boiling water which cuts their bowls to pieces.” (47:15) Thermal receptors are not present in the intestines. It is known that if the bowel is cut the contents go into the highly sensitive Peritonea Cavity, where intense pain is initiated. This is not common knowledge now, let alone in Muhammad’s time. The author of the Qur’an is, however, well acquainted with these facts!
7. The Water Cycle. The Qur’an correctly describes the water cycle, and the origin of underground springs as being from rain water. Obvious you may think, but the Greek philosophers did not get it right, suggesting that underground springs were produced by sea spray collecting in caves which fed a great underground sea through the ‘abyss’! In fact the water cycle was not accurately propounded until the 18th century. The Qur’an, however, states: “Hast though not seen that Allah sent water down from the sky and led it through sources into the ground?” (39:21).
For the sake of brevity, I have only mentioned a few of the statements and provided limited explanation of the statements contained in the Qur’an and traditions dealing with scientific subjects. T. V. N. Persud, Professor and Chairman, Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Manitoba, Canada commented: “Muhammed was a very ordinary man, he couldn’t read, didn’t know how to write, in fact he was an illiterate . . . we’re talking about 1400 years ago you have some illiterate person making profound pronouncements and statements that are accurate of a scientific nature. I personally can’t see how this could be a mere chance, there are too many accuracies . . . I have no difficulty in my mind reconciling that this is a divine inspiration or a revelation which led him to these statements.” Let us not forget the words of Dr, Bucaille that these facts “appear as a challenge to explanation in human terms.” And Professor Persud’s statement that it cannot be coincidence, there are too many accuracies! The probability against Muhammad taking wild guesses and getting each fact right are indeed phenomenal! These scientists, renowned experts in their fields, like the Arabs who had mastered their language in the time of the Prophet, recognize the clear proof and miraculous nature of the Qur’an.
“We will show them our signs on the furthest horizons and within themselves until they know that this is the truth.”
The Qur’an is consistent with external realities, and it is also consistent internally. It is the nature of the works of men, be they scientists, philosophers, sages or mystics to contain inconsistencies and contradictions. This cannot be so with the Divine Revelation as the Qur’an states: “Have they not carefully considered the Qur’an, had it been from other than Allah they would have found many indiscrepancies in it.”
This is the evidence, in part, that Islam is from Allah, The Divine Being, the All-Knowing Creator. The cognition of that fact has consequences: “If they answer you not, know then that the Revelation is sent down with the Knowledge of Allah and that none has the right to be worshipped but He! Will you not then be Muslims(of those who sincerely submit to Allah)?” (11:14) Science has produced theories based on empirical evidence that leads to statements about things which we can not see. An example of this is the existence of protons, neutrons and electrons. The existence of these is not disputed, even though they can not be seen, because their existence is believed in on the basis of what is visible and observable. The Qur’an explains the existence of unseen realities, and the fact of their being unseen does not make them any less real. The descriptions in the Qur’an of this unseen reality is one of the things that mark it for special attention. It is noteworthy that the Bible, for example, is greatly lacking in such descriptions. Both the Qur’an and the Hadith contain numerous detailed descriptions of the Afterlife, some of which was relayed to the Prophet as information, some of which he saw in visions and dreams, and some of which he actually witnessed in his physical ascension through the heavens on his Night Journey. The extent and depth of detail of these descriptions appear to be beyond the realm of a man’s mere imagination, and the convincing manner in which they were conveyed suggest a intimate familiarity with this reality. The Prophet’s companions once told him that if Allah were to bring the Hell-Fire and Paradise in front of them it would not increase their faith in its existence, so real was it to them! To the Muslim ‘fundamentalists’, the next life is as real as this one. The Qur’an and the Hadith constantly remind the reader of the temporary nature of the world and wealth, and that it is only a test, to see whether it is used to obey or disobey Allah; that the next life is longer, its pleasures lasting and its torment terrible; The believer may, indeed should, posses the lawful things of the world but should not allow the love of it to enter the heart. It is not a call to abandon the world, but a call to use it for righteous ends. There is not time or space to give a detailed description of the Afterlife. I shall include here one hadeeth concerning the life in the grave and only the main headings included in the index of Qur’an about death, the Day of Judgment, Hellfire and Paradise:
”Wheresoever you may be, death will overtake you even if you are in fortresses built up strong and high!” (4:78) It is reported that al Bara bin Azib said: “We went out with the Prophet in order to participate in the funeral rites of a man from the Ansar. We arrived at the grave, but the inner chamber had not been prepared yet; so Allah’s Messenger sat down facing the direction of the Qiblah, and we sat around him so attentively it was if the birds were sitting on our heads. He had a stick in his hand with which he sketched upon the ground. Then he began looking alternately to the heavens and to the earth, razing his gaze and then lowering it. Finally, he said two or three times: ‘Seek refuge in Allah from the torment of the grave.’ Then he said: ‘O Allah, verily I seek refuge in You from the torment of the grave.’ He repeated it three times, then he elaborated: ‘Verily, when the believing servant is leaving this world and entering the next, angels from the heavens descend to him-their faces white with brightness like the sun and carrying with them burial sheets and scents from Paradise. They sit before him at a distance as far as the eye can see. Then the Angel of Death comes to the person, sits at his head and say’s: ‘O good soul, come out to your Lord’s forgiveness and pleasure.’ Thereupon, the soul flows out of the body like water flowing from the mouth of a waterskin, and all of the angels between the sky and the earth supplicate for Allah’s blessing upon him. The doors of the heaven are opened for him, and the keepers of these doors all plead with Allah that this soul might pass in front of them as it is being carried upward. The Angel of Death barely receives the soul in his hands, whereupon the other angels take it from him and wrap it with fragrant winding sheets. This is what is meant by Allah’s saying: “Our messengers seize his soul, and they do not fall short of their duty.” Then the Prophet said: ‘There exudes from the soul a scent like the most beautiful fragrance of musk that one could find on the face of the earth. The angels ascend with the soul, never passing a host of angels without hearing them ask: ‘Who is this wonderful soul?’ They reply, ‘So and so, the son of so and so,’ addressing him with the best names he was known by during his earthly life. Upon reaching the first heaven, the angels request that it be opened for the soul - which is granted. The soul is then accompanied by the angels of each heaven until it reaches the one above it and finally arrives at the seventh heaven. Then Allah, the Mighty and Majestic says: ‘Place the record of My servant in Illyyun.” The person’s record is then placed in Illiyyun, whereupon a command is heard: ‘Return him to the earth, for verily I have promised mankind that having created them from the earth I will return them to it. And I will make them come out of it, yet another time. Then the soul is returned to the earth, back into its body. Verily the deceased hears the shuffling feet of his companions who attended his burial as they turn away and leave his grave. Thereupon, two angels, severe in interrogation, come to him, and sitting him up, they begin to ask him questions. They say, ‘Who is your Lord?’ He replies, ‘Allah is my Lord.’ They continue, ‘What is your religion?’ He answers, ‘Islam is my religion.’ They proceed with the questioning, saying, ‘Who is this man that has been sent to you?’ He responds, ‘He is the Messenger of Allah.’ Finally, they ask him about his deeds, to which he replies, ‘I read Allah’s Book and believed in it.’ A voice is then heard in the heavens, saying, ‘My servant has told the truth, so clothe him in the clothing of Paradise, spread for him the furnishings of Paradise, and open for him a window with a view of Paradise.’ Thereupon, he is engulfed by a breeze of fresh air and fragrance, while the expanse of his grave is extended before him as far as the eye can see. There appears before him a man with a wonderful face and beautiful clothing, emitting a splendid fragrance. He says to the soul, ‘Rejoice at the news which will gladden you. Rejoice at Allah’s pleasure and His Paradise, who’s joys and delights never end. This is the day which you were promised.’ The deceased says to him, ‘And who are you, for your face bears good tidings?’ The figure answers, ‘I am your good ; by Allah, I’ve always known you to be quick in obedience to Allah and slow to His disobedience. So may Allah award you with a good reward.’ Then a door to Paradise is opened, and a door to Hell, whereupon it is said to him regarding the Hellfire, ‘This would have been your final abode had you disobeyed Allah, however, it has been exchanged for this other abode.’ When the soul sees what is in Paradise, he cries, ‘My Lord, hasten the arrival of the Hour so that I might be joined with my family and wealth.’ Thereupon it is said to him, ‘Rest in tranquillity.’ Allah’s Messenger continued, ‘When the disbelieving , sinful servant is about to leave this world and enter the next, angels, powerful and severe, descend to him from the heavens - their faces black and carrying with them coarse strips of cloth from Hell. They sit before him at a distance as far as the eye can see. Then the Angel of Death arrives, and sitting at the head of the disbeliever, he says, ‘O you foul soul, come out to the anger and wrath of your Lord.’ The soul inside the disbelievers body is overcome by terrible fear, where upon the Angel of Death violently pulls it out like multi-pronged skewers being yanked out of wet wool - tearing with them the arteries and nerves. Upon this, the soul is cursed by every angel between the heavens and the earth and by those inside the heavens. Then the doors of the heavens are closed to him, and every single guard at these doors begs Allah that this soul not be carried up in front of him. The Angel of Death barely receives the soul in his hands, whereupon the other angels grasp it from him and wrap it up in coarse cloth. There emits from it the foulest odor that could be found on the face of the earth. They ascend with it, never passing a host of angels without being asked, ‘Who is this ugly soul?’ They reply, ‘So and so, the son of so and so,’ using the worst names by which he was known in this world. When they arrive at the lowest heaven, they request that it be opened for this soul, but the request is denied.’ And the Prophet recited the verse: ‘The gates of the heavens will not be opened for them, nor will they enter the Garden of Paradise until a camel goes through the eye of a needle.’ After that he continued, ‘Then Allah the Mighty and Majestic, says to the angels: ‘Place his record in Sijjeen-in the lowest heaven. Return my servant to the earth, for verily I have promised mankind that having created them from the earth, I will return them to it. And will make them come out of it, yet another time.’ Upon this command, the deceased soul is thrown down from the sky until it lands in its body.’ The Prophet then recited the verse: ‘And whoever ascribes partners with Allah, it is as though he had fallen from the sky, such that the birds snatch him up or the wind throws him to a remote place.’ Then he commented, ‘Verily the deceased hears the sound of his companions footsteps as they turn away from his grave.’ The Prophet resumed his explanation, ‘Then the two angels, severe in interrogation, come to him, and sitting him up, they begin to question him, ‘Who is your Lord?’ He answers, ‘Aah! Aah! I don’t know.’ They continue by asking him, ‘What is your religion?’ He answers, ‘Aah! Aah! I don’t know.’ So they ask, ‘Then what do you say about this man who was sent to you?’ The disbeliever does not appear to understand who they are referring to, so it is said, ‘Muhammed.’ Again he states, ‘Aah! Aah! I don’t know. I only heard the people talking about him.’ Then it is said, ‘You did not know, and you did not read!’ Thereupon a voice from the heavens is heard, ‘He has lied! So spread out for him a place from the Fire and open for him a window to the Fire.’ The searing hot winds of Hell engulf him while his grave closes in upon him, crushing him until his rib cage is broken by the force - causing the ribs of one side to intertwine with the ribs of the other. Then there appears to him a person with an ugly face and ugly clothing and exuding a foul odour, who says, ‘Tidings of evil to you, for this is the day which you were promised!’ The deceased says to him, ‘And you, too; may Allah give you evil tidings! Who are you, for yours is a face which portends evil.’ The person rejoins, ‘I represent your wicked deeds. By Allah, I have always known you to be slow in obedience to Allah and quick in disobedience to Him. May Allah reward you with evil!’ Then one who is deaf, dumb and blind and is carrying an iron rod is sent to the deceased. If he were to strike a mountain with it, the mountain would disintegrate into rubble. He strikes the deceased with a blow which turns him into dust. Allah returns the deceased to his original form, whereupon he is struck a second time. This causes him to shriek with such violence that it is heard by all the creation except mankind and jinn. Then a door to the Fire is opened, and beddings of the Fire are spread for him, whereupon he cries, ‘Lord, do not establish the Hour!’ (i.e. Day of Resurrection Day of Gathering, Day of Judgment, Day of Decision, Day of Sorting Out, Day of Grief and Regrets). Trumpet will be blown, a single shout, a single cry, a near torment, pregnant she camels shall be neglected, suckling mothers will forget their babes, every pregnant will drop her load, the heaven will shake with a dreadful shaking. Heaven will be split asunder and shall be rent asunder with clouds Heaven will be rolled up in His Right Hand, and all those in heaven and earth will swoon away. Heaven shall be opened, it will become as gates. The sky will be like boiling filthy oil. The stars shall fall and some stars will lose their light. The Sun will lose its light. Seas will become as blazing fire, and some seas will burst forth. The earthquake of the Hour - mountains will be shaken violently, the earth will be ground to powder, and earth will be changed into another earth and so will the heavens. The earth will be stretched forth as a leveled plain. The earth will throw out its burdens, graves will be turned upside down, and there will be a complete resurrection from the graves. Wild beasts shall be gathered together, raised up blind, and the souls will be joined together with their bodies. This is the True Day, and mankind will be like moths scattered about. All of mankind will proceed in scattered groups, as in a drunken state. Relatives shall be made to see one another - a man shall flee from his relatives - and no friend will ask after a friend. There will be no friend or intercessor. Everyone will be paid their wages in full - written pages of deeds shall be laid open, and every person will know what he she has brought. Every person will be confronted with all the good and evil he has done. A person will know what he has sent foreword and left behind. The will be no fear of injustice - the balances of justice and the scales of deeds - whosoever does good or evil equal to the weight of an atom shall see it. All the secrets will be examined. Some records will be given in the right hand, and some records will be given in the left hand. Some records will be given behind the back. A hard day for the disbelievers - a heavy day. They bear a heavy burden, and are not permitted to put forth any excuse. The wrong-doer will bite his hands. All wrong-doers will be assembled with their companions and idols. It will be a destruction with deep regrets, sorrows and despair. The female infants who were buried alive shall be questioned. The greatest terror - the caller will call to a terrible thing. (On the Day of Resurrection the life of this world will seem like) a stay no longer than ten days - a day or part of a day. No person shall have the power to do anything for another - they will have no power nor any helper. There will be no fear for believers, and all believers will be in the shade, and amongst springs and fruits. Angels will be sent down with a grand descending. The Shin shall be laid bear and Paradise shall be brought near. Hellfire shall be brought near and Hellfire shall be stripped off, kindled to a fierce ablaze. The unbelievers will wish to return and become believers. Hell fire, blazing fire, flaming fire, crushing Fire, burning flame, raging and roaring - the terrible drawing in of its breath. The shadow of black smoke, a narrow place, a place of ambush. This is the worst place to rest - worst indeed is that destination - the torment will not be lightened. An evil final return. The fire of Allah, kindled and filled with men and jinns all together, will say: ‘Are there any more?’. For those who took their religion for amusement and play, the promised place for them all. It spares not nor does it leave. Disbelievers will be driven to it in groups - criminals and transgressors known by their marks, they will be seized by their forelocks and their feet, seized and dragged into the midst of the blazing fire, bound together in fetters, chained together, wherein they will abide forever. Death will come from all angles, yet they will not die. Therein they will neither die or live. Every time they seek to get away, they will be driven back. They will find neither protector nor helper. They will be made to drink boiling festering water and boiling hot water - given from a boiling spring. It will melt away what is in their bellies. Boiling oil will boil what is in their bellies. Nothing cool shall they taste therein Water and provision will be forbidden to the disbelievers - only the food of poisonous thorny plant - from the tree of zaqqum. . Food for the sinners. Nor shall they have any drink, except a taste of boiling fluid and puss, filth from the washing of wounds, in fierce hot wind and boiling water. Boiling water poured down over their heads, burning their skins. Their skins will be burnt off then replaced with fresh skins. Their faces will be turned and rolled from all sides in the Fire. They will wear garments of pitch, and fire will cover their faces. Garments of fire will be cut for them, and on them will be hooked rods of iron. Their abode will be the Fire - the torment of the Fire that they used to deny. This is that whereof they used to doubt. Destruction with deep regrets and sorrow. (They will say:) ‘Had we but listened or used our common sense!’ They will dispute with their leaders in the Fire. Nineteen angels will be its guardians and keepers. And in Paradise . . . Gardens underneath which rivers flow. Everlasting gardens. Gardens of Eternity. Gardens of delight. Gardens with everlasting delights. Gardens and grapevines, fruits of two gardens, fruits of all kinds as desired in plenty. Fruits will be near at hand, fruit and meat, flesh of fowls, thornless lote trees and banana trees, a running spring - a spring called Salsabil, a spring called Kafur, a spring call Tasnim. A river in Paradise named Kauthar. Rivers of wine, milk and clear honey A cup mixed with Zanjabil water, trays of gold cups, vessels of silver and cups of crystal, green garments of fine and thick silk, adorned with bracelets of gold and pearls. Coaches lined with silk brocade, green cushions and rich beautiful mattresses set in rows. Thrones woven with gold and precious stones raised high. Rich carpets spread out, beautiful mansions, lofty rooms, one above another, abiding therein forever. An eternal home, facing one another on thrones. They will never taste death therein, nor will they be asked to leave it. All hatred, jealousy or sense of injury will be removed from their hearts. All grief will be removed and no sense of fatigue, toil or weariness will touch them. Neither will there be any hurt, abdominal pain, headache or intoxication. There will be no vain speaking nor sinful speech, neither harmful speech nor falsehood. They will be free from sin. There will be neither excessive heat nor bitter cold. There will be a known provision, in peace and security. The home of peace, with greetings therein, and whoever does righteous deeds will enter. Those who kept their duty to their Lord will be led in groups, and be made to inherit because of their deeds. Allah is pleased with them and they with Him. My Paradise, the greatest bliss, the great success and the supreme success. For the believers are Gardens as an entertainment. The dwellers of Paradise will be busy in joyful things that Day. They will be amidst gardens and water springs, and will see the angels surrounding the Throne, near the Omnipotent King. They will have all that they desire. Houries - chaste females with wide and beautiful eyes, as if preserved eggs. Pure wives - wives in a pleasant shade - reclining on thrones. Young full-breasted maidens of equal age, immortal boy-servants to serve them as scattered pearls.
Abu Hurayra reported that Allah’s Messenger said: “After the people of Paradise enter Paradise and the People of the Fire enter Hell, Death will be brought foreword in the form of a spotted ram. It will be on the wall which separates the people of Paradise from the people of the Fire. Then it will be said: ‘O people of Paradise!’ Thereupon they will raise their heads and stare apprehensively. Then it will be said: ‘O people of the Fire!’ Whereupon its inhabitants will raise their heads in hope of intercession. After this the people of Paradise and the inhabitants of the Fire will be addressed thus: ‘Do you know what this is?’ They will all reply: ‘We know it; it is Death, which assigned to us.’ Thereupon Death will be placed on its side and slaughtered on the wall. Finally it will be said: ‘O people of Paradise, only eternity and no more death. O people of the Fire, only eternity and more death.’”
‘Allah’ is in fact the proper name for God. It means ‘the one who alone deserves to be worshipped.’ It is identical to the Hebrew name for the Creator, ‘Elah’ and the Aramaic (the language of Jesus) ‘Eli’, both being sister languages of Arabic. Arab Christians always called God _Allah’, even before the Messengership of Muhammad.
‘Salawaat’ means Allah’s mentioning and praising someone to His gathered angels.
The word for ‘religion’ is a translation of the Arabic word ‘deen’ which is more restrictive than the Arabic. Other suggested translations might be ‘way of life’, or ‘life transaction.’
Shari’ah: literally means ‘watering hole’, but refers to the whole corpus of the Divine Law.
Jinn: The jinn are a different type of creation made from smokeless fire that inhabit the world, eat, drink, procreate, having different languages, tribes, nations and religions just like us. They often inhabit deserted buildings and dirty places. They also have the will to choose Islam or disbelieve, and will be judged on the Day of Resurrection, and punished or rewarded accordingly. They are not visible to us in their natural form, but are able to take the form of humans and some animals. They are also able to possess people, and have unique abilities and strength to carry objects at great distances over a short time. The Devil, or Shaitaan,(Satan) or Iblees is not a fallen Angel but a jinn. Everybody has an evil jinn companion that incites them to wrong. It is through communicating with your familiar jinn that some ‘fortune tellers’ are able to know details of your life, and some magicians perform incredible feats.
Not the purely materialistic, political, social or economic reasons as most ignorantly believe, which serves to illustrate just how blind are those, and helpless the task of those who seek solutions in other than that which Allah has revealed.
These are just some of the forms of worship that must be dedicated to Allah alone. Worship consists of everything that Allah loves, whether it be inward or outer, actions of the limbs, or beliefs of the heart. Allah must be worshipped with both love, fear and hope and not with one to the exclusion of others which is a path to error and disbelief. For to worship Allah with love and hope alone is to deny His wrath, and will inevitably cause one to fall into sins. To worship with fear alone is to deny His mercy, and will cause a fall to extremes. There are two conditions for any good deed to be accepted by Allah. First it must be done sincerely. That entails that you do the deed only because you wish to please Allah, and not to be admired by others etc... Secondly the action must be correct. That means it must be done the way Allah has taught us through the messenger Muhammad. An action that is sincere but not correct is not accepted, and if it is correct but not sincere it is also useless. In fact it is sin, and is a type of lesser shirk, because one is doing something that should be exclusively for Allah for someone other than Him.
Jihad actually means ‘to struggle to the utmost of ones ability’, and is not therefore limited to physical combat. This ‘jihad al nafs’, or jihad of the self has often been called ‘the greatest jihad.’ Although the muhadeetheen (scholars of the sciences of hadeeth) have declared the hadeeth on which this saying is based to be a fabrication, the meaning is correct in the sense that the purification of the self is the foundation upon which all the other forms of jihad depend. ‘The matter’ being Islam.
Al-Ainya. the selling of goods to a person for a certain price and then buying them back from him for a far less price. Also the selling of goods one does not own by using the buyers money to purchase those goods. It is a form of riba. This means that the people become content with agriculture and mere day to day living.. From a treaties on jihad by Sheik Abdullah bin Muhammed bin Humaid, translated into to English and can be found in the introduction to the English translation to the collection of Hadith Saheeh al Bukari, and the English Interpretation of the Qur’an by Dr. Muhammed Taqi-ud-deen Al Hilali and Dr Muhammed Muhsin Khan.
Answer: You don’t! For an excellent book that refutes the myth of Muslim hords forcing conversion at the piont of the sword read V.W. Arnolds ‘The Preaching of Islam.’
Sharia: The total body of Islamic law.
Ijtihaad: exertion or effort; a scholars opinion about a certain matter based on his effort to investigate the sources of sharia. This will be covered later, inshallah.
John B. Taylor, Director of Dialogue with people of Living Faiths and Ideologies of the World Council of Churches wrote in his book _Thinking about Islam’: ‘...Thus we can feel confident that the Qur’an which we have today is as far as is humanly possible the text which was established within a few years of the Prophet’s death.’ A brief comparison with the Biblical texts would be useful. The oldest complete Biblical text is the Codex Sianaticus, found in St. Catherine’s monastery by a German biblical scholar, Constantine Tishendorf, in 1844 and is now located in the British Museum. This oldest complete Biblical text was written three hundred and sixty years after Christ. It also contains notable textual differences from the modern standard bibles, including an extra gospel, the gospel according to the Shepherd Hermes, and also an Epistle of Barnabas, not found anywhere else. The oldest copies of any substantial portion of the gospels date to about 200 C.E. The Catholic Bible contains seventeen extra books considered apocrypha by the Protestants, and other variations exists between the numerous different Christian sects. The language of Jesus was Aramaic, and all the oldest Biblical fragments are in Latin and Greek. No original Aramaic text exists, and it is noteworthy that all three languages (four including ancient Hebrew) are dead. This, as any entomologist will tell you, leaves serious problems for the correct interpretation of texts. A phrase, that in its original form and context might have a completely inoculous meaning, translated literally into another language takes a completely different connotation. Indeed it is open to serious scholarly dispute as to how much of the sayings and happenings ascribed to Jesus actually took place. None of the evangelists were eye witnesses. Even the names of the Gospellers are questionable, as the Gospels were originally circulated anonymously. In fact it was not until the council of Nicea, three hundred and forty five years after Christ, that the beginnings of what is now called "the Bible" began to be canonised. In the council of Nicea, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were four gospels chosen out of over two thousand, and by whom, and by what criterion? All the gospels were put in the middle of a room, and the group of assembled Bishops were told to go away and pray all night. The four on top were to be chosen as canonical! The Gospels themselves contain numerous contradictions, as does the Old Testament. The Hindu vedas, and writings of the Buddhists and Zoroastrians are not more able to validate scriptural texts. The Qur’an suffers from none of these inadequacies.
The Islamic calendar starts from the emigration of the Prophet from Mecca to Medina, so is called Hijri, meaning _emigration’.
The nineteenth century saw an attempt by the likes of Noldeke and Goldiziher to discredit the hadeeth. Their arguments have been effectively refuted. Francesco Gabrielli comments in his book _Muhammad and the Conquests of Islam’:’This scepticism is opposed by some of Muhammad’s recent biographers who, while admitting that our knowledge, especially of his origins and early life, contains gaps, uncertainties and pious legends, consider tradition on the whole trustworthy and worth using, with critical discrimination, in its main out line and many details.’This position is exactly that which has always been held by the Muslim scholars of Hadith. John Bagot Glubb wrote in _The Life and Times of Muhammad’:’In consequence a new learned profession came into existence, that of the traditionalist, whose task it was to distinguish between the real saying of Muhammad and those false stories which had been forged.’
Uhaz is in Iraq.
The Kaaba is the cube like structure in the centre of the sacred Mosque in Mecca originally built by Abraham and Ismael for the worship of Allah. It was rebuilt when the Prophet was a youth, and had become the centre of idol worship throughout Arabia.
Al Bihar-Seas, so called because of the way the poem moves, according to its rhythmic patterns. At-Tawil, al-Bassit, al-Waafir, al-Kaamil, ar-Rajs, al-Khafeef, al-Hazaj, al Muttakarib, al-Munsarih, al-Muktatab, al-Muktadarak, al-Madeed, al-Mujtath, al-Ramel, al Khabab.
Quraish: The leading tribe of Mecca, indeed of Arabia. They were responsible for caring for the pilgrims during Hajj, the annual pilgrimage. Muhammad was from Beni Hashim, a sub-tribe of the Quraish.
Tawaaf: the ritual of circumbulating the Kaaba as part of the pilgrimage. See Appendix 1 Muhammed’s Prophethood. An analytical view.
Islam rejects belief in astrology. The stars do not determine anyone’s fate, nor influence their life. Ultimate control is with Allah, and _good’ and _bad luck’ are solely under the power of Allah. Belief in fortune tellers, or the stars, or the belief that some things, like rabbits feet, bring good fortune, or others bad luck, is to ascribe to those things power that only belongs to Allah, and thus commit shirk, or polytheism. Some knowledge, however, is picked up by the evil jinn who listen to the Angels issuing commands, and they carry this information to the fortuneteller, but mixes the truth with a hundred lies.
For a fascinating insight into the statements in the Bible, and the mentioning of the Prophet’s name, see Appendix ‘Muhammad in the Bible.' Deuteronomy 18:20-22S
Shaving, or cutting the hair is one of the rituals of the pilgrimage.
This was before the verses forbidding gambling were revealed.
The two authorative books of hadeeth are Saheeh al Bukari and Saheeh al Muslim.
We will deal with this in more detail in part 3, inshallah!For a more comprehensive examination see Appendix.’This is the Truth'