Blogging the Qur’an: Sura 4, “Women,” verses 104-176

posted at 9:00 am on September 9, 2007 by Robert Spencer

V. 104 of Sura 4 continues the martial theme of the previous section, telling Muslims not to weaken in pursuit of the enemy. Bulandshahri explains: “While the disbelievers (kuffar) will be subjected to the unending torment and distress in the abysses of Hell, the Muslims shall be rejoicing in the bliss and comforts of Heaven (Jannah), without the slightest worries and concerns. The disbelievers (kuffar) cannot aspire for these stages as these are promised exclusively to the Muslims. For this reason the Muslims have a much stronger incentive to fight and should do so with greater zest and zeal.”

Verses 105-116 direct Muslims to judge by the Qur’an (v. 105); excoriate hypocrites and warn against sin (vv. 107-112); and remind Muhammad of Allah’s protection, telling Muslims to obey him (vv. 113-116). In warning Muslims not to follow any path “other than the believer’s way,” v. 115 is a principal foundation for the Islamic legal concept of ijma, consensus. This is the idea that once the Islamic community has agreed on a matter, it can be sure that Allah has guided it to the truth. Ibn Kathir explains: “the Ummah [community] of Muhammad is immune from error when they all agree on something, a miracle that serves to increase their honor, due to the greatness of their Prophet.” Unfortunately, this idea can impede Islamic reform: when the community reaches consensus on an issue, the understanding of it becomes generally fixed. This is true, although few Islamic spokesmen in the U.S. will admit it, of the ideology of Islamic supremacism that mandates warfare against and the subjugation of unbelievers: because this is something that all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence agree on, it will be very hard to dislodge.

Verses 117-122 assail polytheists who “call but upon female deities” and Satan instead of Allah (v. 117). In another affirmation of Allah’s absolute control over everything, v. 119 has him leading astray these unbelievers: “I will mislead them, and I will create in them false desires; I will order them to slit the ears of cattle, and to deface the (fair) nature created by Allah.” The last clause, according to Al-Hasan bin Abi Al-Hasan Al-Basri, refers to tattooing. Said Muhammad, “Allah has cursed the lady who practices tattooing and that who gets it done for herself, and also the lady who lengthens hair artificially and that who gets her hair lengthened artificially.”

Verses 123-126 then promise Paradise to the true believers, both male and female (v. 124). (Paradise, filled with the virginal houris for men – cf. 44:54, etc. – is not described for women.) The statement “Not your desires, nor those of the People of the Book (can prevail)” was revealed, says the Tafsir al-Jalalayn, “when the Muslims and the People of the Scripture began to pride themselves [upon God’s promise].” Allah, of course, says Ibn Kathir, “then supported the argument of the Muslims against their opponents of the other religions.”

Verses 127-130 return to women. V. 128 speaks of agreements between a husband and a wife. Ibn Abbas recounted that one of Muhammad’s wives, Sawdah, “feared that the Messenger of Allah might divorce her.” So she said: “O Messenger of Allah! Do not divorce me; give my day to Aisha” – that is, take the night you are scheduled to spend in my bed and spend it instead with one of your other wives. V. 129 says that Muslims will not be able to treat all their wives equally, but Aisha asserts that Muhammad was an exception; he “used to treat his wives equally.”

Verses 131-151 emphasize Allah’s sovereignty, enjoin justice, criticize the unbelievers (who should not be taken as friends, say verses 139 and 144), and hypocrites, and warn that Allah will not forgive those who leave Islam twice (v. 137). Muhammad’s own statement is sharper: “If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him.” Then Allah criticizes the hypocrites for ridiculing Islam (v. 140) and pretending to support the Muslims while actually opposing them (v. 141). Believers are not to befriend unbelievers (v. 144).

Verses 152-176 return to the enormities of the Jews and the Christians. Those who make no distinction between the prophets of Allah will be rewarded (v. 152). Says Ibn Kathir: “Allah threatens those who disbelieve in Him and in His Messengers, such as the Jews and Christians, who differentiate between Allah and His Messengers regarding faith….The Jews, may Allah curse them, believe in the Prophets, except ‘Isa [Jesus] and Muhammad, peace be upon them. The Christians believe in the Prophets but reject their Final and Seal, and the most honored among the prophets, Muhammad, peace be upon him….Therefore, whoever rejects only one of Allah’s Prophets, he will have disbelieved in all of them, because it is required from mankind to believe in every prophet whom Allah sent to the people of the earth.” After the Jews disobeyed Allah repeatedly, Allah “set the seal on their hearts for their blasphemy” (v. 155). The Jews who are “well-grounded in knowledge” believe in Muhammad and Islam (v. 162).

The Jews boast that they killed Jesus, but “they slew him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so unto them” (v. 157). Ibn Kathir explains: “When Allah sent ‘Isa [Jesus] with proofs and guidance, the Jews, may Allah’s curses, anger, torment and punishment be upon them, envied him because of his prophethood and obvious miracles…” They stirred up “the king of Damascus at that time, a Greek polytheist who worshipped the stars” to order his deputy in Jerusalem to arrest Jesus. Jesus, perceiving this, asked those with him, “Who volunteers to be made to look like me, for which he will be my companion in Paradise?” A young man volunteered, whereupon “Allah made the young man look exactly like ‘Isa, while a hole opened in the roof of the house, and ‘Isa was made to sleep and ascended to heaven while asleep.” Then “those surrounding the house saw the man who looked like ‘Isa, they thought that he was ‘Isa. So they took him at night, crucified him and placed a crown of thorns on his head. The Jews then boasted that they killed ‘Isa and some Christians accepted their false claim, due to their ignorance and lack of reason.” Other sources offer other theories: Wahb bin Munabbah, Qatadah, and Mujahid say that Jesus was with seventy of his disciples when the guards came to arrest him, and all seventy were made to look just like Jesus; one stepped forward and was crucified. The Ruhul Ma’ani identifies the one who was made to look like Jesus and crucified as the one who betrayed him for thirty dirhams — Judas. Allama Baghawi says it was a sentry who was guarding Jesus after his arrest.

The assertion that “there is none of the People of the Book but must believe in him before his death” has been taken to mean that Jesus will return to earth – and when he does, according to Muhammad, he will “break the Cross and kill the pig and abolish the Jizya (a tax taken from the non-Muslims, who are in the protection, of the Muslim government).” That is, he will abolish the subservient dhimmi status of the non-Muslims, and Islamize the world: “During his time, Allah will destroy all religions except Islam and Allah will destroy Al-Masih Ad-Dajjal (the False Messiah).”

Allah warns Christians to remember that Jesus was a created being and not to say “Three” (v. 171) – that is, not to say God is a Trinity. Ibn Kathir echoes the Qur’an itself (5:116) in saying that the Christians elevated Jesus “and his mother to be gods with Allah”; the actual Christian Trinity of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is not envisioned in the Qur’an.

Next week: Sura 5, “The Table”, including President Bush’s favorite Qur’an verse, in context.

(Here you can find links to all the earlier “Blogging the Qur’an” segments. Here is a good Arabic/English Qur’an, here are two popular Muslim translations, those of Abdullah Yusuf Ali and Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall, along with a third by M. H. Shakir. Here is another popular translation, that of Muhammad Asad. And here is an omnibus of ten Qur’an translations.)


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What exactly is the point of these “Blogging the Qur’an” things?

SoulGlo on September 9, 2007 at 9:47 AM

SoulGlo….The Point?
Education, perhaps?

bridgetown on September 9, 2007 at 10:02 AM

What exactly is the point of these “Blogging the Qur’an” things?

SoulGlo on September 9, 2007 at 9:47 AM

Yeah, I know it’s tough slogging through this crap. But there are many avenues in which to attack the Jihadists. One is to undermine their religious underpinnings. Most Muslims don’t even read/understand Arabic. The recite the Koran by rote. They don’t know what it says, aside from what the local buy says it says. Know thy enemy, and be able to challenge the CAIR types theologically.

JiangxiDad on September 9, 2007 at 10:07 AM

that’s local guy (imam, mullah, whatever)

JiangxiDad on September 9, 2007 at 10:08 AM

“Allah will destroy all religions except Islam”

“Destroy” in this context clearly means “to propogate internally through quiet self-reflection and through good deeds.”

/multiculturalist

saint kansas on September 9, 2007 at 10:14 AM

The point of this is to KNOW the enemy of both secular & Sacred. It is to rip the mask off of them who want to destroy all the world, & that which challenges GOD,Creator of Heaven & Earth, for supreme authority. Two different battles,two different groups of warriors,same enemy.

lobosan5 on September 9, 2007 at 10:21 AM

Robert, to whom does v114 refer to, and what is meant by ‘secrecy’? I am having trouble putting this in any kind of context:

In most of their secret talks there is no good: But if one exhorts to a deed of charity or justice or conciliation between men, (Secrecy is permissible)…

HeIsSailing on September 9, 2007 at 11:27 AM

What exactly is the point of these “Blogging the Qur’an” things?

SoulGlo on September 9, 2007 at 9:47 AM

You are aware, aren’t you, that these blogging-the-Koran “things” were announced before the fact, comprise a regular series, and that not everyone is obligated or expected to follow along?

And that they’re targeted primarily at those who’ve made the effort to locate a copy of the Koran and genuinely want to hear what a bona fide scholar has to say about it?

Perhaps not. Anyhow: if you’re not into these sorts of thingys, you’re allowed to skip class. See ya after recess.

RD on September 9, 2007 at 11:29 AM

The point of this is to KNOW the enemy of both secular & Sacred.

Exactly. These posts by Robert gives one an insight into the mind of those who wish nothing less than the destruction of everything not islamic.

darwin on September 9, 2007 at 11:30 AM

To me, it shows the uncompromising submission that islam mandates and how that submission is used to subjugate muslims and anyone else not wise or strong enough to fight back.

darwin on September 9, 2007 at 11:32 AM

Satan does not have power. These Nazi Islamists need to read the Bible and realize who they are worshiping.

When they reject Jesus, they are doomed to an eternal death sentence falling in torment with their worm. Read the Bible.

Their “god” will be in torment with them.

saved on September 9, 2007 at 11:34 AM

SoulGlo said ” why bother to know what motivates the enemy, surely we can win through ignorance”.

You are not alone SoulGlo, thats the biggest part of the problem…ignorance of islam.

Before I choked down the koran, I thought islam was a rash. After I read it, I’ve discovered that it is a cancer.

BL@KBIRD on September 9, 2007 at 11:47 AM

… targeted primarily at those who’ve made the effort to locate a copy of the Koran …

Though the online Qur’an given in the post above is more than enough to get started, should you decide to take an interest.

RD on September 9, 2007 at 11:51 AM

“In warning Muslims not to follow any path “other than the believer’s way,” v. 115 is a principal foundation for the Islamic legal concept of ijma, consensus. This is the idea that once the Islamic community has agreed on a matter, it can be sure that Allah has guided it to the truth.”

And Lord knows that these muslims never war against each other.
“….First of all what form of Islam are you inviting America to endorse? If it’s Sunni Islam then do you reccomend the Hanafi, Shafi’i or Salafi doctrine? And if it’s Shi Islam, which hierarchy would you recommend? The Iranianone of Khamenai, the Iraqi with its four great Ayatollahs, or the Lebanese represented by Hussein Fadhlallah? Or maybe sheik Bin Laden is going to graciously leave America to choose its new faith freely!?”

A great commentary from Mohammed over at Iraq The Model.

locomotivebreath1901 on September 9, 2007 at 12:07 PM

It’s important to realize that in Islamic theology and eschathology that the Muslim Jesus will return to earth and he will be a subordinate of the coming Imam Mahdi.

According to Islam, this is what the Muslim Jesus will do:

http://answering-islam.org/Authors/JR/Future/ch06_the_muslim_jesus.htm

1. Jesus is said to return to the earth in the last-days near a mosque in Damascus.

2. He will arrive at a time when the Mahdi and his army will be preparing to pray.

3. He will be offered to lead the prayer by the Mahdi, but will decline in direct deference to the Mahdi who Jesus declares to be the leader of the Muslims.

4. He will then pray behind the Mahdi as a subordinate.

5. He will be a faithful Muslim

6. He will make pilgrimage to Mecca.

7. He will visit Muhammad’s grave, and salute Muhammad, whereby Muhammad will return the salute from the grave.

8. He will destroy Christianity.

9. He will repeal the jizyah tax thus causing the only option for Jews and Christians to convert to Islam or die.

10. He will establish Islamic Shari’ah (Law) throughout the entire earth.

11. He will kill the Antichrist and his followers made up largely of Jews and women.

12. He will remain on the earth for roughly forty years, during which time he will marry, have children and then die.

This mission is almost identical to the mission of the False Prophet in Revelation. The False Prophet is depicted as a wolf in sheep’s clothing and that he forces the world to worship the anti-christ and the devil.

http://answering-islam.org/Authors/JR/Future/ch07_comparing_the_false_prophet.htm

The Muslim Jesus As The Mahdi’s Chief Enforcer

The False Muslim Jesus according to Islam will likewise be the greatest evangelist that the world has ever seen. He fulfills the description of the False Prophet in this regard to a tee! We see that the false Muslim Jesus, like the False Prophet comes to convert the Christian world to a new religion. In the case of the Muslim Jesus, the religion is, of course, Islam:

When Jesus returns he will personally correct the misrepresentations and misinterpretations about himself. He will affirm the true message that he brought in his time as a prophet, and that he never claimed to be the Son of God. Furthermore, he will reaffirm in his second coming what he prophesied in his first coming bearing witness to the seal of the Messengers, Prophet Muhammad. In his second coming many non-Muslims will accept Jesus as a servant of Allah Almighty, as a Muslim and a member of the Community of Muhammad. 4

Though based merely on this description, Jesus’ power to convert seems based more on the simple fact of the persuasiveness of his words, presence and actions than any specific mention of miracles. Just like the False Prophet however, the Muslim Jesus refuses to take no for an answer. As seen above, Jesus, along with the Mahdi, institutes the Islamic Law all over the earth and in so doing, abolishes the Jizyah Tax which non-Muslims historically have had the option of paying as “protection” money not much unlike the “protection” money that mafia bosses extort from businesses in their area. After the time that the Jizyah tax is abolished, “all people will be required to embrace Islam and there will be no other alternative.” 5 But what if some still refuse to convert? Then, as we have already seen, the leaders of the so-called “religion of peace,” the Mahdi and the Muslim Jesus will have them executed.

The False Prophet As Executioner

From the Bible’s description of the False Prophet we learn that one of the primary motives behind his plan in creating this “image in honor of the beast” is so that those who refuse to worship it are killed:

He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. Revelation 13:14,15

Later there is a specific reference to the exact form in which these people will be killed:

And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. Revelation 20:4

The Bible tells us that those who refuse to participate in the system established by the False Prophet, who refuse to worship the Antichrist or his image will be killed. The specific method that the Bible highlights is beheading. We will discuss this fact in more detail in a later chapter. The False Prophet will be the greatest executioner that the world has ever known.

The Muslim Jesus As Executioner

And how different is the Muslim Jesus? We have already examined the Islamic traditions that establish that Jesus will abolish the Jizyah tax thus leaving only two options for Christians and Jews worldwide: convert to Islam or die.

Jesus, the son of Mary will soon descend among the Muslims as a just judge… Jesus will, therefore, judge according to the law of Islam… all people will be required to embrace Islam and there will be no other alternative. 6

The time and the place for [the poll tax] is before the final descent of Jesus. After his final coming, nothing but Islam will be accepted from them, for taking the poll tax is only effective until Jesus’ descent 7

We have also seen the Islamic traditions that picture Jesus as being the leader of an army that slaughters tens of thousands of Jews who are all said to be followers of the Dajjal (Antichrist).

The Yahudis (Jews)… will be his main followers. 8

Isa (Jesus) kills the Dajjal at the Gate of Hudd, near an Israeli airport, in the valley of “Ifiq.” The final war between the Yahudi’s will ensue, and the Muslims will be victorious. 9

In the Last Hour Muslims will fight with Jews. Since the Jews are an integral part of the army of the Dajjal, and Muslims are the soldiers of the Prophet Jesus, they will fight each other and the Muslims will become triumphant until even a stone or a tree would say: Come here, Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me; kill him. 10

The biblical False Prophet and the Muslim Jesus are both described as establishing a system of Law that will enforce the mass execution of anyone who refuses to convert to the new global religion.

A Dragon In Sheep’s Clothing

We have all heard the expression “a wolf in sheep’s clothing.” Most people don’t know that Jesus is the originator of this saying. Interestingly, when Jesus coined this expression, he was referring specifically to false prophets. The exact phrase was, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” (Matthew 7:15). Likewise, The False Prophet to whom all other false prophets are merely a foreshadowing is described by the Apostle John as one who, “had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon” (Revelation 13:11). This is to say that the False Prophet will appear to be mild and gentle – a “lamb-like” person, but inwardly he is a man who is literally possessed by Satan himself. He will be filled with deception, murder, rage and hatred. His purpose will be to deceive as many people as he can into worshipping the Dragon.

The appearance of the False Prophet as “a lamb” may also quite possibly be a reference to notion that the False Prophet will claim to literally be The Lamb, Jesus Christ (John 1:36; Revelation 5:6,13). This would make sense if we look a bit more closely at Jesus’ warnings to His disciples in Matthew chapter 24. Repeatedly, Jesus warns his disciples of the many false prophets who will come in the last-days, but in the very first warning that Jesus gives His disciples when they ask him about the nature of the Final Hour before His return, Jesus says, “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.” (Matthew 24:4-5) While I do not believe that every false prophet that will emerge in the last-days will literally claim to be Christ himself, it is clear from this passage that some will. And if The False Prophet of Revelation 13 is the archetype and very model for all other false prophets, then it also stands to reason that the False Prophet may very well claim to be Jesus Christ himself. This of course is a perfectly brilliant (though infinitely evil) plan. Who else better could you imagine to have as your back-up man and your primary minister of propaganda than someone whom much of the world believes to be Jesus Christ himself? It appears that this is what Satan has planned for the Antichrist/Mahdi.

VinceP1974 on September 9, 2007 at 12:20 PM

This is from a letter I wrote to an Islamic center after it had appeared in the news:

http://home.comcast.net/~vincep312/church.html

According to Surah 2:177, A Muslim must accept all these things:

It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces to the East and the West; but righteous is he who believeth in Allah and the Last Day and the angels and the Scripture and the prophets

The Last Day is the most important thing after belief in Allah.

The Last Day consists of the coming of the Imam Mahdi along with the appearance of the Muslim Jesus. For the Last Day to come, the Muslims must go to war and slaughter the Jews

The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.

But the Muslims don’t stop there.. once that’s accomplished:

al-Mahdi will receive a pledge of allegiance as a caliph for Muslims. He will lead Muslims in many battles of jihad. His reign will be a caliphate that follows the guidance of the Prophet. Many battles will ensue between Muslims and the disbelievers during the Mahdi’s reign…

Harun Yahya, a moderate and very popular Muslim author refers to the Mahdi’s invasion of numerous non-Muslim lands:

The Mahdi will invade all the places between East and West.

In today’s world.. non-Muslims are not killed or forced to convert if they pay the Jizya in Muslim lands and agree to live as dhimmis. Well apparently even that wonderful option will be eliminated during the Muslim Last Day. I’m assuming the pigs in this quote means Jews.

Volume 3, Book 43, Number 656: Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah’s Apostle said, “The Hour will not be established until the son of Mary (i.e. Jesus) descends amongst you as a just ruler, he will break the cross, kill the pigs, and abolish the Jizya tax. Money will be in abundance so that nobody will accept it (as charitable gifts).

Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri (d. 1368) from The Reliance of the Traveller, the classic Shafi manual of Islamic jurisprudence states:

“… the time and the place for [the poll tax] is before the final descent of Jesus (upon whom be peace). After his final coming, nothing but Islam will be accepted from them, for taking the poll tax is only effective until Jesus’ descent (upon him and our Prophet be peace) …”

Ayatollah Ibrahim Amini clearly articulates this vision:

The Mahdi will offer the religion of Islam to the Jews and Christians; if they accept it they will be spared, otherwise they will be killed.

Sheikh Kabbani, Chairman of the Islamic Supreme Council of America clearly articulates the Islamic perspective regarding Jesus’ evangelistic role when He returns.

Like all prophets, Prophet Jesus came with the divine message of surrender to God Almighty, which is Islam. This verse shows that when Jesus returns he will personally correct the misrepresentations and misinterpretations about himself. He will affirm the true message that he brought in his time as a prophet, and that he never claimed to be the Son of God. Furthermore, he will reaffirm in his second coming what he prophesied in his first coming bearing witness to the seal of the Messengers, Prophet Muhammad. In his second coming many non-Muslims will accept Jesus as a servant of Allah Almighty, as a Muslim and a member of the Community of Muhammad.

Al-Sadr and Mutahhari, likewise articulate this same expectation:

Jesus will descend from heaven and espouse the cause of the Mahdi. The Christians and the Jews will see him and recognize his true status. The Christians will abandon their faith in his godhead (sic).

VinceP1974 on September 9, 2007 at 12:25 PM

I am reading through v104-176 and placing random comments and questions as I go.

***********************

The Ummah of Muhammad is immune from error when they all agree on something, a miracle that serves to increase their honor, due to the greatness of their Prophet. …

Mr Spencer, Does this also explain one reason why there is such hostility between shiite and sunni, with regards to prophetic inheritance after Muhammed’s death?

*********************

Finally! The Islamic plan of salvation! V124:

If any do deeds of righteousness,- be they male or female – and have faith, they will enter Heaven, and not the least injustice will be done to them.

********************

v137:

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

Robert Spencer:

Allah will not forgive those who leave Islam twice

Really? Jesus once told Peter to forgive wrongdoers seventy times seven times. But that is usually not taken as a literal number, but as a way of saying ‘forgive continually’. Is leaving the faith twice taken literally here? It seems to me more a way of saying, “If you waffle in and out of the faith, wavering in your commitment to Allah, well, forget it, Allah will not honor that.” How is this passage usually interpreted?

**************************

So far our Quran readings seem to be preoccupied with the punishment of the unbeliever. In this part of the Quran especially, every other verse seems to contain the threat of Hell or Fire or Punishment. I just find that doctrine the bane of our monotheistic religions – the doctrine of Hell and eternal punishment is just barbaric and cruel. I have to wonder if the Muslim takes these threats seriously and uses the fear of Hell to stay faithful and committed to Islam.

*************************

v163:

We have sent thee inspiration, as We sent it to Noah and the Messengers after him: we sent inspiration to Abraham, Isma’il, Isaac, Jacob and the Tribes, to Jesus, Job, Jonah, Aaron, and solomon, and to David We gave the Psalms.

Mr Spencer, are all these biblical characters considered ‘prophets’ in Islam? If Jesus was revered as a prophet, what does Islam teach about him specifically? So far, all we have learned is that he somehow escaped crucifiction. What else does Islam teach about Jesus and his teachings? For instance, would Islam revere Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount?

*********************

Mr Spencer, One more question. V171 is powerful. It in no uncertain terms says that Jesus is in no way the Son of Allah, and that Allah is one God. But, it also says that Jesus is Messiah. You also stated in your essay that Muhammed declared that Jesus will return to Earth someday to Islamicise the world. Does Islam currently teach that Jesus, while not God’s son, was still a Messiah figure of some kind who will return again to Earth in judgement?

Thanks again for your effort.

HeIsSailing on September 9, 2007 at 12:33 PM

VinceP1974 on September 9, 2007 at 12:20 PM

Vince, thanks for your fascinating comment. You answered a lot of my questions.

HeIsSailing on September 9, 2007 at 12:36 PM

Ditto that, Vince. Good work-I’ve heard some of the same explanations from Walid Shoebat-who makes note that the enemy countries mentioned by name in Scripture who wage war against God and His special possession Israel are now all Muslim countries.
Good work.

Doug on September 9, 2007 at 2:14 PM

Geez, I find this section of Hot Air to be incredibly useful. The Koran and its meaning: The Concise Course. I look forward to each Sunday.

Aardvark on September 9, 2007 at 2:34 PM

This map

http://www.mysteriousworld.com/Content/Images/Journal/2003/Autumn/Giants/TableOfNationsMap.jpg

shows the location of most of attackers in the Ezekiel 38 Gog war against Israel.

A Prophecy Against Gog

38:1 The word of the Lord came to me: 38:2 “Son of man, turn toward1 Gog,2 of the land of Magog [Turkey],3 the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal[Turkey].4 Prophesy against him 38:3 and say: ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: Look,5 I am against you, Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. 38:4 I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and bring you out with all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them fully armed, a great company with shields of different types,6 all of them armed with swords. 38:5 Persia[Iran],7 Ethiopia[Horn of Africa], and Put8 [Libya] are with them, all of them with shields and helmets. 38:6 They are joined by9 Gomer [Northeast Turkey/Caucauses] with all its troops, and by Beth Togarmah [Syria] from the remote parts of the north with all its troops – many peoples are with you.10

VinceP1974 on September 9, 2007 at 3:43 PM

What exactly is the point of these “Blogging the Qur’an” things?

I’d say it’s about grasping the depth of the hatred and intolerance that must constitute the mental state of any Muslim who interprets this stuff literally.

RedWinged Blackbird on September 9, 2007 at 3:52 PM

What exactly is the point of these “Blogging the Qur’an” things?

I think Sun Tzu bears repeating here.

It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.

Islam is not only the enemy of the Jew and the Christian, but of civilization and progress as well. We do well to understand them.

Mojave Mark on September 9, 2007 at 5:31 PM

VinceP1974 on September 9, 2007 at 3:43 PM

I liked your first comment but.. well… you kinda lost me with this one.

HeIsSailing on September 9, 2007 at 6:38 PM

VinceP1974 on September 9, 2007 at 3:43 PM

Wasn’t Russia supposed to be on that map?

HeIsSailing on September 9, 2007 at 6:38 PM

Google Gog and Magog.

JiangxiDad on September 9, 2007 at 7:30 PM

I don’t get this — You write: “Verses 131-151 . . . warn that Allah will not forgive those who leave Islam twice (v. 137). Muhammad’s own statement is sharper . . .” Did Muhammad have “his own” statements? I thought everything he said was believed to be the straight poop, ex cathedra, etc.

quiggs on September 9, 2007 at 7:32 PM

JiangxiDad:

Google Gog and Magog.

No, I understand Gog,Magog, Ezek 38-39, etc as referenced by VinceP. I just don’t understand what it has to do with anything being discussed here. A little non-sequitor.

HeIsSailing on September 9, 2007 at 7:47 PM

JiangxiDad:

Wasn’t Russia supposed to be on that map?

Yeah, that map does not jive with what I remember from my old Hal Lindsay books. But since Meshech and Tubal can no longer be the Soviet Union, I guess they have been moved to.. Turkey?? And Meshech was supposed to be Moscow (false cognates if there ever was any). But then again, from what I remember, Lindsay also thought Gomer was Germany and Merchants of Tarshish was Great Britan, and her young Lions was the United States. And didn’t he also think that those who dwell securely on the coastlands was the United States? Man, it has been forever since I read that stuff, so I am really stretching my memory.

Well, I guess in the post-Cold War era, the table of nations had to get redefined, and the apocalyptic map got updated.

HeIsSailing on September 9, 2007 at 7:55 PM

I was responding to this:

Ditto that, Vince. Good work-I’ve heard some of the same explanations from Walid Shoebat-who makes note that the enemy countries mentioned by name in Scripture who wage war against God and His special possession Israel are now all Muslim countries.
Good work.

Doug on September 9, 2007 at 2:14 PM

The enemy countries mentioned by name are in Ezekial 38

VinceP1974 on September 9, 2007 at 9:15 PM

Meshech and Tubal are mentioned elsewhere in the Bible..

Ezekial 27:13 Javan, Tubal, and Meshech were your clients; they exchanged slaves and bronze items for your merchandise.

Is anyone seriously suggesting that people in the Levant were trading with Moscow in the ancient past?

Here is some interesting rethinking about the prevailing ideas about M & T.

http://answering-islam.org/Authors/JR/Future/ch10_the_revived_islamic_empire.htm

(By the way, Robert Spencer gave this comment about the book I got this from: “A fascinating and provocative work. A must read for priests and pastors, students and lay-readers everywhere”

Here is an image of the book’s cover with Mr. Spencer’s quote:

http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/I/51H216ANRPL._SS500_.jpg
)
Meshek and Tubal

Regarding Meshek and Tubal, here again, we find some prophecy teachers once again giving them a Russian identification. Many very well-known prophecy teachers base their opinions primarily on the fact that the Scofield Study Bible identifies these two “nations” as correlating to the modern Russian cities of Moscow and Tobolsk. The problem again, is that the basis of this interpretation comes primarily from the similar sound of the words: Meshek – Moscow, and Tubal – Tobolsk. While this may be convincing to some, the weakness of this reasoning has already been discussed above. Again, unless one can legitimately trace the roots of a particular word back to its Hebrew origin, then the argument is based on very weak evidence. It is a forcing of the puzzle piece where it doesn’t naturally fit.

Mark Hitchcock, a well-known Bible teacher accurately points out that Meschek and Tubal are mentioned in Ezekiel 27:13 as trading partners with ancient Tyre. Tyre was in what is today Lebanon. “It is highly doubtful” says Hitchcock, “that ancient Tyre was trading with people as far north as Moscow and Tobolsk.” In fact, it is questionable whether or not these areas were even very well populated in Ezekiel’s day. Hitchcock concludes that:

A closer study of these names reveals that Meschech and Tubal are the ancient Moschi/Mushki and Tubalu/Tibareni peoples who dwelled in the area around, primarily south of, the Black and Caspian Seas in Ezekiel’s day. These nations today are in the modern country of Turkey, possibly parts of southern Russia and northern Iran. 2

Meschek was located near what was known as Phrygia, in central and western Asia Minor, while Tubal was located in eastern Asia Minor. So with Meshek and Tubal, we are dealing with portions of modern Turkey. Today this region is predominantly Islamic. While modern Turkey has undergone a drastic secularization in the last century, within even just the past few years there have also been some quiet, though very strong trends toward a return to a stronger Islamic identification. 3

VinceP1974 on September 9, 2007 at 9:25 PM

Islam- a late gnostic heresy gone real bad.

profitsbeard on September 9, 2007 at 10:36 PM

I’m kind of dumbfounded every time I hear a news story about converts, especially women converts, to Islam. I find it hard to believe these converts have a clear understanding of what they’re becoming a part of.

On an unrelated note Robert, in one of our cultural awareness classes the instructor mentioned he thought it was a bad idea to use the term jihadi since, as all Muslims are required to perform inner and outer jihad, it could actually give legitimacy to the claims made by radicals. What are your thoughts on that?

BadgerHawk on September 9, 2007 at 10:36 PM

What are your thoughts on that?

BadgerHawk on September 9, 2007 at 10:36 PM

http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/004575.php

NPR: “Rethinking the Word ‘Jihad’”

All Things Considered, January 7, 2005 · “Jihad” is one of the few Arabic words used in English. It means “spiritual struggle,” but many Muslims have pointed out that “jihad” is almost always used in English in the context of terrorism, even though the actual meaning is broader. Commentator Anisa Mehdi would like to propose a word that could be used instead of “jihad.”

Sure. The actual meaning is broader. Nevertheless, jihad is the word used by those who are taking up arms against non-Muslims all over the world. But by trying to get Westerners to use a different word, Anisa Mehdi is only deflecting attention from the real source of the problem: the Islamic doctrine of jihad warfare, which enables terrorist groups to recruit members among Muslims everywhere.

You tell me, Anisa Mehdi: are these men talking about a spiritual struggle?

“Do not await anything from us but Jihad, resistance and revenge.” — Osama bin Laden, November 24, 2002.

“We ask Allah to make us mujahideen (holy warriors). We ask Allah to make us shaheed. Our immediate duty now is to correct our own homeland. So let us open our eyes, let us not go for jihad which is far away from our countries.” — Abu Hamza al-Masri.

“In Islam the only meaning of jihad was killing, and those who projected the concepts of Jihad Akbar and Jihad Asghar were against Islam,” — Maulana Masood Azhar.

“Jihad is actually considered a Rahma (mercy) in Islam. If there is an oppressor and there is Jihad to stop his oppression, it is a mercy on him (the oppressor).” — Hamza Yousef, November 3, 2004.

There are many more like these. Just search the archives here.

Posted by Robert at January 8, 2005 8:26 AM

VinceP1974 on September 9, 2007 at 10:57 PM

Commentator Anisa Mehdi would like to propose a word that could be used instead of “jihad.”

I would like to propose a location where NPR can stick their multicultural BS.

saint kansas on September 10, 2007 at 9:10 AM

HeIsSailing:

Robert, to whom does v114 refer to, and what is meant by ’secrecy’? I am having trouble putting this in any kind of context:

In most of their secret talks there is no good: But if one exhorts to a deed of charity or justice or conciliation between men, (Secrecy is permissible)…

Generally it is understood as referring to lying. This means that if it is done for a good purpose, it is allowed. Muhammad allowed for lying in war, in reconciling people, and between a husband and a wife.

Robert Spencer on September 10, 2007 at 10:34 AM

HeIsSailing:

The Ummah of Muhammad is immune from error when they all agree on something, a miracle that serves to increase their honor, due to the greatness of their Prophet. …

Mr Spencer, Does this also explain one reason why there is such hostility between shiite and sunni, with regards to prophetic inheritance after Muhammed’s death?

To some degree, insofar as the opposing group is seen as holdouts to consensus. Although if the opposing group is classified as heretical, as it often is, one can establish consensus anyway.

Allah will not forgive those who leave Islam twice

Really? Jesus once told Peter to forgive wrongdoers seventy times seven times. But that is usually not taken as a literal number, but as a way of saying ‘forgive continually’. Is leaving the faith twice taken literally here? It seems to me more a way of saying, “If you waffle in and out of the faith, wavering in your commitment to Allah, well, forget it, Allah will not honor that.” How is this passage usually interpreted?

Says Ibn Kathir: “Allah states that whoever embraces the faith, reverts from it, embraces it again, reverts from it and remains on disbelief and increases in it until death, then he will never have a chance to gain accepted repentance after death. Nor will Allah forgive him, or deliver him from his plight to the path of correct guidance.”

v163:

We have sent thee inspiration, as We sent it to Noah and the Messengers after him: we sent inspiration to Abraham, Isma’il, Isaac, Jacob and the Tribes, to Jesus, Job, Jonah, Aaron, and solomon, and to David We gave the Psalms.

Mr Spencer, are all these biblical characters considered ‘prophets’ in Islam? If Jesus was revered as a prophet, what does Islam teach about him specifically? So far, all we have learned is that he somehow escaped crucifiction. What else does Islam teach about Jesus and his teachings? For instance, would Islam revere Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount?

Yes, these are Islamic prophets. The views of Jesus’ teachings vary widely. Many Islamic spokesmen have quoted the New Testament, referencing sayings of Jesus, without getting into questions of the corruption of the Scriptures etc. Then there are many sayings of Jesus in Islamic tradition. You may be interested in checking out The Muslim Jesus: Sayings and Stories in Islamic Literature by Tarif Khalidi.

Mr Spencer, One more question. V171 is powerful. It in no uncertain terms says that Jesus is in no way the Son of Allah, and that Allah is one God. But, it also says that Jesus is Messiah. You also stated in your essay that Muhammed declared that Jesus will return to Earth someday to Islamicise the world. Does Islam currently teach that Jesus, while not God’s son, was still a Messiah figure of some kind who will return again to Earth in judgement?

There are varying explanations of Al-Masih (Messiah) in Islamic tradition. They usually have to do with the giving of Jesus some appellation or designation that is distinctive but doesn’t amount to how Christians see the Messiah. Islam’s current teachings are in line with Muhammad’s statements.

Thanks again for your effort.

HeIsSailing on September 9, 2007 at 12:33 PM

Robert Spencer on September 10, 2007 at 11:43 AM

“Allah will destroy all religions except Islam”

.
Well, great. Since allah (pissbeuponhim) does NOT exist, we can focus on the crazed moooslims now, because a made up moon god can’t do squat.

shooter on September 10, 2007 at 2:20 PM

Hey Robert Spencer, great job in this series you have undertaken.

Is it just my imagination, or does the Qur’an actually just ramble in and out of different subjects? There doesn’t seem to be much continuity with it.

BKennedy on September 10, 2007 at 5:10 PM

Robert>>>I really feel like this part of HOTAIR is a GREAT CLASS I forgot to take in college.

I read Qur’an in the early 90′s before it was fashionable, when my multi-lingual FIL had a copy on his vast library shelves. The Oxford educated Doctor explained as much as he could to me, finishing the job a Jesuit priest had started when the Marine Barracks was bombed and I was confused back in college. Having the dots connected here, in this forum, is a useful and frightening education that is too narrowly appreciated, I am afraid.

THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU for doing this, Robert.

AND PRAISE BE TO ALLAH (literally)for allowing you too. ;)

SMOOCHES and HUGS OXOXOXXO!

seejanemom on September 10, 2007 at 6:34 PM