Sunday, 30 August 2009

Alleged Contradiction in the Quran Refuted: Who was the First Muslim?

The Critics allege a contradiction against the Quran and ask; who was the first Muslim?

Secular critics such as the sceptics use this claim as well as Christians though I would imagine it was borne out of the Christian camp; it is used in evangelical Christian work such as GJO Moshay’s evangelism [1].

The critics point to two references from the Quran, 6:14 and 6:161-163, and claim these references show Muhammad as the first Muslim and then the critics turns their attention to another verse of the Quran (7;143) concerning Moses being the first of the believers. Just to further their agenda they may also highlight other Quranic references indicating there were Muslims before Muhammed (pbuh) and Moses namely the first man Adam (S. 2:30, 34-35, 37) and Abraham as well as other Prophets (S. 4:163, S. 6:84) as believers.

However they mainly use the Quranic verse about Moses (7:143) and try to put it along side the two concerning Muhammed (6:14 and 6:163) and they then allege contradiction/error

The Refutation
Quite simply, the Quran does not claim Muhammed nor Moses to be the first ever Muslim. The critic imposes a faulty understanding on the Quranic verses and alleges a contradiction when there is no contradiction/error. Despite this it is still thorough and beneficial to offer explanations in order to clear any confusion as well as help highlight the errors of the critics in the hope they realise their mistakes and abjure themselves and eventually become amongst the guided ones, Insha’Allah

I feel it is logical to begin this simple refutation with analysing the reference concerning Moses and then we shall build upon this in a methodical fashion so the reader can follow with ease. Did the Quran claim Moses to be the first ever believer?

7:143 sees Moses saying he is the first of the believers. However, we do see that this is true as he (Moses) was the first believer amongst his own people.

7:143. And when Mûsa (Moses) came at the time and place appointed by Us, and his Lord spoke to him, he said: "O my Lord! Show me (Yourself), that I may look upon You." Allâh said: "You cannot see Me, but look upon the mountain if it stands still in its place then you shall see Me." So when his Lord appeared to the mountain[], He made it collapse to dust, and Mûsa (Moses) fell down unconscious. Then when he recovered his senses he said: "Glory be to You, I turn to You in repentance and I am the first of the believers." [2]

Moses does not say he is the first believer ‘ever’. He merely claims he is the first of the believers and knowing the context one understands he is not claiming to be the first ever believer from humankind but the first amongst his people to believe, this is apparent as it is a relative term to the "believers" and situational-context tells us that the believers at the time of Moses were essentially the Children of Israel and thus we realise that Moses is referring to himself as the first to believe amongst the Children of Israel.

The critic fails to mention this and tries to present this verse as meaning Moses is the first ever to believe amongst humanity, this is unfair and misleading on the part of the critic especially considering the word "ever" is not in the verse.

There is further clarification of the Arabic phrase of the Quran ascribed to Moses ("awwalu almumineena"= "first of the believers") as there is another reference in the Quran (26:51) where this term comes up and thus explaining the meaning of Moses’ statement of being the "first of the believers ("awwalu almumineena"). So we use a basic principle of Tafsir (explaining the Quran) by explaining a verse of the Quran (the verse concerning Moses, 7143) by using another part of the Quran (26:51). So what do we learn about the statement of Moses in 7:143 by looking at 26:51?

26:51. "Verily! We really hope that our Lord will forgive us our sins, as we are the first of the believers [in Mûsa (Moses) and in the Monotheism which he has brought from Allâh]." [3]
The context of this verse is Moses going to Pharaoh and preaching the Message and with the intention of freeing the enslaved Children of Israel. The verse (26:51) is teaching us what the sorcerers of the pharaoh said when they realised that Moses and Aaron were truthful in their preaching. Thus they became the first to believe amongst the people of Pharaoh and even use the same expression as Moses "awwala almumineena".

It is clear that they are not claiming to be the first ever to believe as Aaron and Moses (two people who were believers before them) were in front of them delivering the Message to Pharaoh and his people and they became believers due to the preaching (miracles) of Moses by the Will of Allah. Therefore we realise the term "awwala almumineena" (first of the believers) in the Quran (7:143) does not mean he is the first ever believer but it is a relative term.

Thus we realise that both the sayings of Moses (7:143) and the sorcerers (26:51) are relative to their situations and they are clearly not referring to themselves as the first ever believers but it does mean they are the first believers amongst their own people. We also realise the critics build there argument upon faulty information as well as error.

So now we know that Moses was not referring to himself as the first ever believer through the information presented. However, for thoroughness we can use the same method of Tafsir (i.e. ‘explanation of the Quran by the Quran’ [6]) to realise that Moses was speaking relative to his own time and people. We need look no further than the Quranic references to Adam (2:30-37) and we deduct that Adam came before Moses and was a believer therefore believed before Moses so we realise that the Quran is not presenting Moses as the first ever believer but as the first believer relative to the time and place Moses was in (i.e. the first to believe amongst his people). This is basic Tafsir and logic which the critic avoids. The critics have no authority (Tafsir writers such as Ibn Kathir etc) to support their claims which are merely erroneous self-imposed understandings based on ignorance of context and Tafsir.

Now we realise that the Quran did not put forward Moses (or the sorcerers) as the first ever Muslim (s) we still have the question; did the Quran claim Muhammed as the first ever Muslim? Well let us focus on the references in question. It is not up for debate whether Muhammad (pbuh) was the first Muslim or not. Quite simply he was the first Muslim in the sense that Muhammad was the first Muslim (i.e. who has submitted to God) amongst his own people (the Quraish) at that particular phase in history. This is completely correct. Hence there is no contradiction as Adam was the first Muslim ever while Muhammad was the first Muslim amongst his own people. There are two Quranic references (6:14 and 6:162-163) the critics bring up, so it is appropriate to analyse the two references.

The first of the Quranic references the critics cite (6:14) shows that Allah instructs Muhammed to "say” (Qul): "Verily, I am commanded to be the first of those who submit themselves to Allâh (as Muslims).":

6:14. Say (O Muhammad SAW): "Shall I take as a Walî (helper, protector, etc.) any other than Allâh, the Creator of the heavens and the earth? And it is He Who feeds but is not fed." Say: "Verily, I am commanded to be the first of those who submit themselves to Allâh (as Muslims)." And be not you (O Muhammad SAW) of the Mushrikûn [polytheists, pagans, idolaters and disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh]. [4]

We also note the same applies to the second Quranic reference (6:162-163) in that it also begins with Qul (say) and Mohammed is instructed to say: “… I am the first of the Muslims”:
6:162. Say (O Muhammad SAW): "Verily, my Salât (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allâh, the Lord of the 'Alamîn (mankind, jinns and all that exists).
163. "He has no partner. And of this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims." [5]
So we see that Muhammed is being instructed to say these words and we can refer to Von Denffer concerning Quranic verses, such as the two cited by the critics (6:14 and 6:162-163), which begin with Qul (say): “More than 200 passages in the Quran open with the word ‘Qul’ (say:), which is an instruction to the Prophet Muhammad to address the words following this introduction to his audience in a particular situation…” [7]

So the natural question is who is Muhammed’s audience for him to say these words to? The audience were the tribe of Quraish. The Quraish were Muhammed’s people (tribe) [8].Thus they were his foremost audience. Indeed Muhammed was the first Muslim amongst the Quraish who were a Pagan tribe.

Also we realise his immediate audience resided in Mecca as these two Quranic references are form the Meccan period, this shows that Muhammed’s audience was the Pagan Arabs of Mecca and the foremost of these Pagans in Mecca was his own people, the Quraish tribe. Thus we realise that Muhammad was to teach the Pagan audience in Mecca that he was the first Muslim. This was the context and we realise it is relative to the Quraish and thus refers to him being the first Muslim from amongst the Pagans of Quraish. Note he was not instructed to say this to Adam or earlier Prophets nor was he instructed to say this to the whole of humanity but he was instructed to say it “to his audience” (pg78) who were primarily the Quraish. How the critic misses this context is not worth too much thought at this juncture, the fact of the matter is that the critics completely miss the context and thus fall into error and onto the thorny path of misleading others with their erroneous claims.

Even not knowing the context one can realise that Quran is not referring to Muhammed as the first ever Muslim as the Quran does not qualify it with the word ‘ever’! However there is further unscholarly work on the part of the critic as the context is again realised through the rest of the verse (6:14):
And be not you (O Muhammad SAW) of the Mushrikûn [polytheists, pagans, idolaters and disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh]. [4]

This shows that Muhammed was instructed by Allah through the Quran to speak relatively to his people who were idolaters/disbelievers (Quraish)

Interestingly enough 6:163 uses a similarly structured term as the verse concerning Moses (7:143, "awwala almumineena"), thus we can deduce that “Awwalul-muslimeen” is not a term used by the Quran referring to the first ever Muslim and thus the context needs to be applied. The context shows that Muhammed is the first Muslim relative to his own time and place i.e. the first Muslim amongst his immediate audience (the Quraish) who were the Mushrikun.

It is disheartening to see the critics would overlook scholarship of explaining the Quran in favour of their own shoddy, misleading methodology of imposing their own understanding on the Quranic verses they choose to use. If they had an ounce of scholarship they would realise that their own warped understanding should not be imposed upon the Quran as there is a clear methodology to explain (tafsir) the Quran.

To further pour humiliation and refutation on the critic’s claims we can refer to the two undisputed modes of explaining the Quran; “Naturally, the explanation of the Quran by the Quran and the explanation of the Quran by the Prophet are two highest sources for tafsir, which cannot be matched nor superseded by any other source”. [6]

So let us use the Quran to explain the Quran as “many of the questions which may arise out of a certain passage of the Quran have their explanation in other parts of the very same book, and often there is no need to turn to any sources other than the word of Allah, which in itself contains tafsir”. [6]

Strangely and worryingly enough we see the critics ignoring the use of the Quran and the Hadith (of the Prophet Muhammed) in favour of their own views. This is intellectual savagery and quite frankly a butchering of the science of tafsir. Now we know the two primary methods of explaining the Quran are the Quran and the Hadith (of the Prophet).

So if we use the Quran we realise that Mohammed is not being put forward as the first ever Muslim as the Quran (elsewhere) refers to earlier Prophets who are believers. Hence we realise that the Quranic references (6:163, 6:14) do not teach us that Muhammed is the first ever Muslim.

Now to use the other form of Tafsir we need not look further than these hadith (from the Prophet Muhammed (Sahih Bukhari: Volume 4, Book 52, Number 290, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 555 and Volume 1, Book 5, Number 277) to realise that the Muslims (including Muhammed) never believed Muhammed was the first Muslim ever as he mentions other prophets in the past tense and through the text we realise these prophets are indeed believers who came before Muhammed’s time, and these Prophets ( who were believers) existed before Muhammed on this earth and believed before Muhammed as Muhammed had not even been born at the time. So this highlights that the Quran is not teaching us that the Prophet Muhammed is the first ever Muslim contrary to the fanciful claims of the critics.

To further highlight the misleading vehicle which is the critic’s claim we can look to the authoritative Tafsir (explanations) of the relevant verses by the early Muslim scholars, strikingly enough; none of them hold the belief of the critics!

So, in essence, the critic abandons scholarship, reasoning and research in favour of their own clouded, ignorant and embarrassing methodology in order to level an accusation of contradiction/error at the Quran. This leads them to arguing a false point and attributing their own inexact, ignorant and distorted views on the Quran and claiming a non-existent contradiction.

The fact remains the Quran does not put either Muhammed or Moses forward as the first ever Muslim. Nor does the Quran put forward Abraham or anybody after the time of Adam as the first Muslim. The Quran does not explicitly tell us who the first ever Muslim was but we can deduce it was Adam.

Thus it becomes clear that there is no contradiction in the Quran and we realise that the critics essentially show themselves to be unscholarly in omitting the context or not knowing the context and thus rendering their work misleading, confusing and full of error.

It is thoroughness to mention the other references a critic may bring up despite these other references not impacting upon what has been mentioned above, however it is still beneficial to know what the critic may bring up such as 2:132, this Quranic reference does not mention anybody as a first Muslim/believer here but critics would bring this up to show Abraham and Jacob to be Muslims (i.e. Muslims before Muhammed). This still does not impact on anything said earlier as the critic argues a straw man and claim the Quran states something which it does not. I stress again; the Quran does mention Muhammed or Moses as being the first EVER Muslims. The context of the Quran is clear, they (Moses and Muhammad) are the first to believe amongst their people.

The critic also cites Quranic references about Adam (2:30-37). Despite these references not exactly saying Adam was the first Muslim we still know by the way of context and deduction that Adam was the first believer in God amongst mankind. This does not impact on the reference concerning Moses (7:143) who was the first of the believers amongst his own people and nor does it impact on the references about Muhammad (6:14 and 6: 161-163) who was commanded to be and indeed was the first to submit to Allah amongst his own Pagan people (Quraish)

The other citations (S. 4:163, S. 6:83-87) the critic may bring forth highlight to us that there were a number of guided people (Messengers) before Muhammed. This is the Muslim believe, all Muslims are aware of this so it should be realised by the critic that this is not knew information to the Muslim. It is also important to reiterate; none of this impacts on the fact that Muhammed and Moses were the first to believe amongst their own people and not the first to believe (ever) amongst human kind. Also the more astute critics may point to the religion of Hanif and followers of the Abrahamic traditions of the past, however the teachings of Abraham (and Ishmael) became diluted with the gradual introduction of innovations, superstitions and idol-worship. Eventually ‘idolatry spread all over Makkah’ and thus the people left the Abrahamic teachings [9]. This was many years prior to Muhammed’s time so this does not impact on what has been said earlier either. There are traditions of four friends who rejected the idol-worshipping of Mecca and went out in search of an alternative, this does not impact on the fact that Muhammed was the first Muslim amongst the Quraish either.

Finally, after showing the critics to be wrong, it is worthy of mention to bring up the concerted efforts of critics in the past in order to find a critical claim of contradiction/error to stick (concerning the Holy Quran) despite their past work and the work of their contemporaries we see that they have failed and not found anything which people can honestly call a contradiction in the Quran, all this despite their best efforts.

Of course Allah knows best and we ask Allah do guide and help us further. Ameen.


1. Anatomy of the Quran by G.J.O Moshay Chick Productions 2007 pg 116
2. 7:143 Translation and explanation of The Noble Quran In the English Language, A Summarized Version of At-Tabari, Al-Qurtubi and Ibn Kathir with comments from Sahih Al-Bukhari By Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali, Ph.D. and Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan
3. 26:51 Translation and explanation of The Noble Quran In the English Language, A Summarized Version of At-Tabari, Al-Qurtubi and Ibn Kathir with comments from Sahih Al-Bukhari By Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali, Ph.D. and Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan
4. 6:14 Translation and explanation of The Noble Quran In the English Language, A Summarized Version of At-Tabari, Al-Qurtubi and Ibn Kathir with comments from Sahih Al-Bukhari By Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali, Ph.D. and Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan
5. 6:162-163 Translation and explanation of The Noble Quran In the English Language, A Summarized Version of At-Tabari, Al-Qurtubi and Ibn Kathir with comments from Sahih Al-Bukhari by Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali, Ph.D. and Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan
6. Ulum al Quran, An Introduction to the Sciences of the Quran by Ahmad Von Denffer, The Islamic Foundation 2003 pg 124
7. Ulum al Quran, An Introduction to the Sciences of the Quran by Ahmad Von Denffer, The Islamic Foundation 2003 pg 78
8. Islam A Short History by Karen Armstrong, Phoenix Press, 2001, pg 3
9. Ar-Raheequl-Makhtum by Safi-ur-Rahman
Al-Mubarakpuri, Darussalam, 2002 pg 45

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Honor Killings

The Critics Accuse the Quran of promoting Honour Killings

Lately, honour killings have been brought to the fore in the media (UK),the victims of honour killings generally tend to be females who have deemed to have dishonoured their family by a sexual indiscretion (perceived or actual) or by dating. Interestingly enough, honour killings affect the West as well as the East. It is a world-wide problem where family members essentially murder their relatives by acting as judge, jury and executioner.

The unfortunate thing for Muslims is that this blight on society (honour killings) have been attributed to the Quran or Islam while other communities who also suffer from the problem of honour killings (ie Hindus, Sikhs etc) do not have the added problem of over-zealous critics pointing at their religion or religious book. The Muslims have to contend with these unfair critics.
The facts of the matter are that hononour killings are not Islamic as highlighted by Sheikh Ahmad Kutty:

“There is no such concept in Islam that is called “honor killing”. Islam holds every soul in high esteem and does not allow any transgression upon it. It does not allow people to take the law in their own hands and administer justice, because doing so will be leading to chaos and lawlessness. Therefore, based on this, Islam does not permit such killings.” (1)

Further reading:



Thursday, 20 August 2009

The Quran is not from Satan

Some Christians say the Quran is from Satan

A more base claim they make is that the Quran is from the Devil. Christians who tend to make this claim are the extremely lay but tend to be the very devout Christians. These Christians make such base claims out of their own lack of knowledge and the fact the their extreme devotion to their faith renders them with a very ‘black and white’ perspective; they generally view things that oppose their faith as evil and devil-inspired’.

The Christians who do make such a claim do expose their own ignorance of Islam and Christianity. This is because whenever a Muslim intends to read the Quran he/she will seek refuge from the Devil and if we look into the Quran we realise that the Quran in chapter 2 and verse 168 teaches us that the Devil is an enemy to mankind: 2:168. O ye people! Eat of what is on earth, Lawful and good; and do not follow the footsteps of the evil one, for he is to you an avowed enemy. (1)

So the obvious conclusion we draw from this knowledge is that the Quran is not from the Devil as the devil would not teach such teachings. The Christian may continue to make this claim despite this information, if this is the case then the humiliation and exposing of a lack of knowledge on the part of the Christian who makes this claim continues as the Muslim can easily point to the misery that alcohol causes mankind (including the misery that is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome). Christianity allows the drinking of alcohol while the Quran forbids the consummation of alcohol. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) occurs "when a woman drinks alcohol during pregnancy, she risks giving birth to a child who will pay the price — in mental and physical deficiencies — for his or her entire life" (2). Some of the symptoms of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome affecting the child are delayed development, organ dysfunction, failure to thrive, facial abnormalities and can lead to mental helath problems and troubles with the law in later life (2).

Why is all this relevant to the Quran? Well, the Christian claims that the Quran is from Satan yet the Quran has saved millions of children from this horrendous disease while the Bible has not. So this is further humiliation and refutation poured upon the mindless claim of the missionaries.
The question to ask them is; how did the Quran (which they say is from Satan) save millions of children from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (and from other alcohol related diseases) while the Bible (which they believe to be fully from God) allowed the drinking of alcohol and allowed Fetal Alcohol Syndrome to affect millions of children?

Surely God gives us wholesome teachings (ie forbidding alcohol) and Satan teaches us impure teachings (ie drinking alcohol). This would leave the Christian speechless and Insha’Allah (God Willing) the honest Christian will realise that this is a sign that the Quran is from God.

This argument (that Satan would not teach/promote teachings which are good or against Satan) is supported by the Bible in Mark 3:23 where the Christian is taught that Satan does not drive himself out (3). Thus the Christian would accept this Muslim response and recognise that the Quran is not from Satan.
It is also important to note that you wil always come across Christians who will not relent and will continue in their unscholarly ways despite all the logic and fine refutation you point them to.


1. Abdullah Yusuf Ali translation of the glorious Quran (2:168)
3. New International Version of the Bible, Mark 3:23

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Was Allah The Moon God of Ancient Arab Pagan? A response refuting and correcting a critic of Islam named Syed Kamran Mirza

Was Allah The Moon God of Ancient Arab Pagan? A response refuting and correcting a critic of Islam named Syed Kamran Mirza, by Yahya Snow

Having previously wrote about the falsehood that was the Robert Morey’s ‘moon-god claim’ I came to the realisation that others have incorporated Morey’s claims into their critique of Islam. This is alarming due to the much critiqued, maligned unscholarly propaganda piece produced by Morey. One such individual who has used Morey’s work (believing it to be reliable) is Syed Kamran Mirza who in summary of his article (Was Allah the Moon God of Ancient Arab Pagan?) claims Islam to be “reformed paganism” and even states that his claim “has been truthfully and logically proven with all available circumstantial evidences/rational”. (1)

Mirza’s article is poorly structured and lacks a fluent flow and appends a reference section to his work which does reveal his use of material by Christian missionaries (Moshay, Morey and Gilchrist) as well as Ibn Warraq’s Why I Am Not a Muslim. Mirza’s use of agenda-driven Christian missionary work is one thing but an all together more worrying aspect is his use of Morey’s work due to Morey’s tendency to fabricate evidence and make claims without any proof at all. The appendix section will contain links to articles which show the lack of truth in Morey’s ‘moon-god’ claim (appendix 1). I recently purchased a copy of Morey’s Islamic Invasion; through my initial skim-reading of the book I noticed he falsified a hadith (see appendix 2 which highlights a couple of examples of Morey’s tendency to make things up).

Syed Kamran Mirza’s work, Was Allah the Moon God of Ancient Arab Pagan, outlines numerous claims, points and events which he draws upon in order to come to the conclusion that Islam is “reformed paganism”. His belief that Islam is “reformed paganism” is not what concerns me in this article; it is the fact that Mirza uses half-baked facts, falsehoods and unsubstantiated claims to arrive at his belief about Islam. I shall go through his points and highlight the inaccuracies or add to the points as Mirza makes points without fully elaborating upon them (I imagine this is due to his lack of study concerning Islam).

Mirza starts his article with his general claims and then goes on to list a number of points in the form of answers to questions he posed. These points shall not be addressed as of yet as Mirza conflates his significant points later on in the article under different headings in order to construct his arguments and/or accumulate (as well as expand on) his points. I shall discus his points under relevant headings; I feel all his relevant points have been discussed in the course of this paper.

Who is (actually) Allah?

In this section Mirza claims that “the Quran never defines the word Allah as to who actually Allah was or what was the relation of Allah with pagans”. This is an erroneous and strange claim as the Quran through its most celebrated verse (named Ayat-ul-Kursi, 2:255) teaches us who is Allah and gives a further understanding of Allah; “Allah. There is no god but He,-the Living, the Self-subsisting, Eternal…” (2). So this is a significant oversight by Mirza especially considering the fact he claims to be an ex-Muslim, the question is, how did Mirza not know about the most celebrated verse of the Quran which is memorised by millions of Muslims and recited before going to sleep? This question becomes even more poignant due to his claim of being an ex-Muslim. Mirza also claims that the Quran fails to mention “the relation of Allah with pagans”. Again, this is an inaccurate claim as the Quran teaches us that Allah is the Creator of all things, thus he is the Creator of the Pagans; “He is Allah, the Creator, the Evolver, the Bestower of Forms (or Colours)…” (3)

Through these two parts of the Quran (2:255 and 59:24) we realise that Allah is (the only) God and He is the Creator. I hope this is sufficient for Mirza and I am glad that I had the opportunity to correct his misleading information. This howler(s) of Mirza’s highlights his lack of sound knowledge pertaining to Islam and thus renders him unreliable and unfit to be writing about Islam yet alone to be considered an authority.

However, Mirza moves on and suggests a cover-up and a “hypocrisy” on the part of the Islamic clergy with regards to them not telling Muslims that the name Allah pre-existed prior to Islam. He even plucks out an arbitrary figure of 99% as he states his belief concerning Muslims: “I believe 99% percent of Muslims do believe that Allah’s name was invented or started right from the time when Gabriel disclosed the truth (?) to Prophet Muhammad in the cave of Hira” (1) He seems to actually believe he has discovered a secret truth which he is exposing (which he believes the Muslim clergy are concealing): “I can bet on this fact that no mullahs ever told us the real truth, neither they believe this clean truth that �Allah� was in fact a pre-existing deity in pagan Arabia. What a hypocrisy?” (1)

Mirza, despite all his theatrics, is correct that the word Allah pre-existed prior to Muhammed (pbuh). He is incorrect to suggest the Muslim clergy are covering this up and concealing this information. It is common knowledge amongst learned Muslims that the word Allah pre- existed before Muhammed (pbuh) and the revelation of the Quran. Unlearned Muslims may not know this but this knowledge is widely accessible in Islamic books; proving that Scholars of Islam are not trying to conceal this information as this information is in clear view in their writings and available to all, ergo disproving Mirza’s theatrical suggestion of a cover-up. I understand talk is cheap so I will refer the reader to the most celebrated biography of the Prophet (Arraheeq-ul-Makhtoum by Safi-ur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri) which is considered as a ‘masterpiece’ and was awarded first prize by the Muslim World League in a worldwide competition for the best biography of the Prophet Muhammed in 1979.

As already mentioned Mirza was correct when asserting the name Allah was in use prior to the revelation of the Quran. He builds much of his ideas on this fact and even uses this fact as a basis to build his claims on. However, he builds his clams on faulty foundations due to his lack of knowledge concerning the history of Arabs of Mecca. Robert Morey made the same mistake in omitting the full story; Morey also pointed to the name Allah being in existence before the revelation of the Quran and built his claims on this fact without offering the relevant facts which explain how this came to pass. I shall draw upon a passage from an article which I wrote concerning Morey’s work and those who parrot him (4):

It is disappointing that we have people who lack sound historical and theological scholarship who write propaganda pieces in the form of booklets or internet articles about this issue. It just further illustrates truth in the adage; a little knowledge is dangerous.Yes, we (those who have studied Islam) know that the name Allah was in use before the time of Prophet Muhammed (pbuh). If we read Ar-Raheeq ul-Makhtum we realise that the early Arabs did believe in Allah as the Only God. This is dated all the way back to the time of Prophet Ishmael who resided in Makkah (Mecca) and learned Arabic as well as settling there(5). He preached the message of pure monotheism; “Most of the Arabs had complied with the call of Ishmael and professed the religion of his father Abraham. They worshipped Allah, professed His Oneness and followed His religion...” (6).

This shows that Allah was known as the Only God, just like the Muslims believe Him to be. Indeed Abraham and Ishmael are considered to be Muslims, i.e. those who had submitted to the Will of the Only God, Allah. The issue of paganism came into the equation as the Arabs forgot this pure monotheism which was taught by Ishmael and his followers. The idolatry was originated from the actions of a man named Amr bin Luhai, he was known as a devoted and righteous man, well respected by his peers. However, after a trip away from Mecca he saw idol-worship in Syria. Upon his return to the Meccans he introduced idol worship to the Meccans by bringing an idol named Hubal back from Syria and this resulted in the spread of a great many idols across Mecca. Indeed there were 360 different idols, belonging to the pagans of Mecca, around the Ka’bah when Prophet Muhammed took charge of Mecca. These idols were subsequently broken, removed and burned under the authority of Prophet Muhammed (7).

Despite the Meccan pagans’ acceptance of idols they still proclaimed belief in Allah in the sense that they saw Allah as the High God but used the idols as ‘lesser deities’ whom they believed “could intercede before Allah for the fulfilment of their wishes” (8).Quite simply they had a pantheon of ‘gods’ but believed that Allah was the High God of their pantheon (10) Effectively over the years they changed their belief in Allah, from the belief that Allah was the Only God (the Abrahamic teachings) to the belief that Allah was the High God of their many deities (pagan/polytheistic teachings). Another source that attests to the fact that the pre-Islamic Arabs used the name Allah and held a ‘belief’ in Him is the genealogy of Prophet Muhammed, his father’s name was actually Abdullah (meaning servant of Allah)(9). Interestingly enough, some of these pagan Arabs believed that Allah was the same God that the Jews and Christians worshipped (10).

I am aware that many readers may not be aware of the significance and the link between Abraham and Islam. Muslims believe Abraham to be a major previous prophet and Abraham is believed to be the ‘father of monotheism’ and Islam is considered to be an Abrahamic faith in that it follows the same beliefs as Abraham. Abraham is considered to be amongst those who submitted to the Will of Allah, i.e. Abraham is a Muslim. Ishmael, also a Muslim, is the son of Abraham and he followed and preached the teachings of Abraham.The point of the history lesson is to dispel confusion being aroused via ignorance of history. This also squashes the ignorance that the anti-Islamics play on when they try to claim that Allah was a ‘moon god’ due to His name being around during pre-Islamic times.

I hope this is sufficient to further educate Mirza and to act as a catalyst for a re-evaluation of his study and ideas pertaining to Islam. Having corrected Mirza on this issue we realise he is putting forward a theory that is backed by no evidence and worse still; it goes against the knowledge we have.

Mirza, in his last paragraph of this section, states; “History tells us two theories of Allah’s existence in and around the Kaba Sharif” (1). Mirza’s first theory which he puts forward has no facts to support it and it even contradicts the information that I have come across. Mirza’s theory:
“Pagans used to call the largest Statue amongst the 360 deities as ALLAH�whom they used to consider the chief/supreme deity (god)” (1)

Despite this being a small and even irrelevant issue I still feel it is important to address it as this theory of Mirza’s has no support as far as I am aware. Perhaps Mirza would like to supply us with some further information in order to allay concerns that he is simply making stuff up; what evidence does he have to support this claim? It is commonly believed that Hubal (the first idol brought by Amr bin Luhai, mentioned above) was the largest idol, however this is a claim I have yet to verify; therefore I will not support this claim. Karen Armstrong does suggest that the Kabah (at the time of the pagans) was officially dedicated to Hubal (11); therefore Mirza seems to be bringing forward a theory that contradicts the norm.

The second theory he puts forward is the one of Allah being considered as a High God, this theory has been backed by Ar-Raheequl-Maktoum, Karen Armstrong and W. M. Watt (12), therefore this view is sound; so Mirza was correct in mentioning this.

In his next section he puts forward “factors” which he believes “suggest Allah was a moon-god”. Let us view his “factors”.

Mirza presents three “factors” (A-C). His first “factor” is him mentioning Allah swears by the creation in the Quran, such as the sun, moon and night. He goes onto to state:
“Normally, we swear by the name of something much superior to us, such as we swear by God or by the name of our father (who is considered senior or superior to us). But we never swear by the name of something inferior to us. Here in the Quran swearing fashions of Allah (God) by moon or stars hinting us that Allah considered these things superior to himself. And this makes us to think (otherwise) as to who actually acted as Allah in Quran?”

Mirza forgets (or does not know) that Allah has already taught us that the creation (sun, moon, pen, night etc) is created by Allah (see Quran 59:24, (3)), thus proving that Allah is greater than the creation. All Mirza does here is takes the statements of swearing out of context and interpolates his own poor understanding. An understanding that no authority on Islam supports. In fact Tafsir ibn Kathir (concerning surah 53) teaches us:
Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ash-Sha`bi and others stated that the Creator swears by whatever He wills among His creation, but the created only vow by the Creator

So Allah can swear by what ever He Wills, He is the Creator. Mirza goes further and suggests that Allah swearing by the moon was due to the pagan moon-worship. Mirza further shows his ignorance and lack of clarity of thought. If he actually read the Quran he would know that Allah swears by other such things (i.e. the pen, the time, the Book, the fig, the olive). Does Mirza also think that Allah swears by the pen, the fig, and the olive because pagans were worshipping these? This is absurd logic! Mirza shows inconsistency and inadequate knowledge in this section (once again). The fact of the matter is, Allah swears by whatever He Wills, everything is inferior to Him and everything belongs to Him.

Mirza’s second “factor” in this section is thus:
“The pagan Arabs evidently looked upon the sun as a goddess and the moon as a God” (1)
If Mirza actually studied the Quran he would realise that Allah teaches mankind not to worship the sun or the moon:
41:37- Among His Signs are the Night and the Day, and the Sun and the Moon. Adore not the sun and the moon, but adore Allah, Who created them, if it is Him ye wish to serve. (13)
(Please note the word for “adore not” is la tasjudoo and a more literal meaning is ‘do not worship’ (the sun and the moon))

So Mirza’s second “factor” is squashed by the Quran. How in the world can Mirza claim that Allah is a ‘moon-god’ when Allah is teaching mankind through the Quran NOT to worship the moon? Mirza must have been unaware of this.

His third “factor” is the “influence of the moon in Islam”. He suggests the moon “is considered holiest astronomical object” due to the lunar calendar being used in Islam, the moon of Islamic countries’ flags and the moon on mosques. To correct Mirza; no astral object is considered to be holy yet alone the moon, Mirza. Also if Mirza read the Quran he would realise the Quran teaches us that the moon is subservient to humans, we realise through the Quran (16:12) that Humans are superior (better) than the moon.

He has made subject to you the Night and the Day; the sun and the moon; and the stars are in subjection by His Command: verily in this are Signs for men who are wise (16:12) (14)
Mirza should refrain from jumping to hasty conclusions and needs to stop making absurd claims which have no evidence to support them and which go against all the evidence available. Mirza cites the Muslim’s use of the lunar calendar to point at the significance of the moon, if Mirza had studied further he would have realized that many Eastern societies use(d) the moon for marking time, it is not only the Muslims, the Chinese, the Jews and Hindu communities have also used the moon for this purpose too. His idea about the moon being on mosques and on flags is correct but these things are not seen as Islamic (4):
Let it be said that the ‘moon’ symbol on some mosques and flags has nothing to do with Islam. There is no teaching within Islam that teaches the over-reverence of the moon or instructing Muslims to adopt it as a representative symbol. Early Muslims did not use the crescent (moon) for flags nor Mosques and did not have any symbol to represent them. This symbolism was introduced during the Ottoman Empire much later on and was adopted from a city they conquered; “It wasn’t until the Ottoman Empire that the crescent moon and star became affiliated with the Muslim world. When the Turks conquered Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1453, they adopted the city’s existing flag and symbol” (15).

It should also be added that this symbolism is not seen as Islamic and many Muslims do not agree with the use of a symbol for Islam as highlighted by a quote from A popular Muslim Scholar, Yusuf Estes; “The symbol of Islam IS NOT the crescent moon and the star, but it was used by the last Islamic Dynasty, the Ottoman’s. The Ottoman Empire deemed it appropriate to use the star and crescent as their symbols, but not the symbols of Islam. I repeat the star and the crescent moon are not a part of the religion of Islam. Because Islam is so strict on the concept of no other gods with Allah; and no images of any kind; it is a mistake to consider that Islam authorized the general use of such things. Additionally, Islam forbids the images (statues) of any kinds of humans, animals or any of Allah’s creations, so how about using a symbol for Islam?” (15).

I believe Mirza wanted to add another point to this section but due to poor editing he put his point (list of names of the moon-god) in another section which made it look incongruent and became a prominent reason why I rendered the article quite disorganised. In fairness, I will move on to discuss his statement in this section too.

In the first paragraph of the article Mirza makes the claim that Allah is the moon god yet supplies no evidence. However, strangely enough Mirza later states “The variable names (Sin, Hubul, llumquh, Al-ilah) of moon god were used by various tribes of pagan Arabs. Pagan god SIN was the name of Moon-god” (1). In his list of the names for the moon-gods he does not put the name “Allah” forward. He seems to have contradicted himself here. I have offered three links to articles which show that Allah is not a moon-god; please view these in appendix 1.

However, in order to be thorough with Mirza’s claim (which is drawn from Morey’s fallacious work) I believe that Mirza is confused with the inclusion of the name ‘al-ilah’. He mentioned that this (al-ilah) was one of the names of the moon god, I am not sure if this was the case as Mirza supplies no evidence for his claim but I will still help to clarify any confusion concerning this issue. ‘Ilah’ simply means ‘a god’, this was the word Arab pagans would use to describe their idols individually. So I would imagine when they made their idol the definite article (in a sentence) they would prefix the word ‘al’ and thus come to al-ilah (perhaps this is where the confusion arose from) This should not be confused with the word ‘Allah’. It is quite apparent, even to those who are unaware of Arabic, that ‘Allah’ is not the same as ‘al-ilah’, they are different words.

However the Arab pagans knew that Allah was separate from their idols (as shown earlier in the article) so even they did not call their idols by the name Allah, therefore they would not have called any moon-gods by the name Allah.However, just to add further depth and pour further refutation upon the claims let us ponder upon the names of the moon gods of the past. According to Professor Coon the names of this ‘moon god’ were: The state god of the Minaeans was Wadd, that of the Katabanians 'Amm, that of the Hadramis Sin, and of the Sabaeans Il Mukah. All were the moon. (Coon, p. 399).The names of the moon-god were Wadd, 'Amm, Sin, and Il Mukah. Allah was never the Moon-god, despite Morey's desperate pleading. (16)

As many Christians (Catholic) respect their Pope let us quote Pope Paul (the 6th), he declared in Ecclesian Saum, “We do well to admire these people [of the Muslim religion] for all that is good and true in their worship of God” (17). This Pope did not claim moon-worship but intimated Muslims worship God (Allah).

I would still like to add that Mirza got this ‘moon-god claim’ from Robert Morey who is a proven fabricator of evidence. He is not to be trusted and his claims have been refuted many times over yet over-zealous evangelical Christians and critics (such as Mirza) continue to use this claim despite the wide acknowledgement of the falsehood of Robert Morey’s work. Even Christians have denounced the claim as being false as further research leads us to a Christian (Rick Brown) denouncing the ‘moon god’ claim as a false claim:“and Allah was certainly not the moon god's name” (R. Brown, "Who Is "Allah"?", International Journal Of Frontier Missions, 2006, Volume 23, No. 2, p. 79. (sourced from reference 18)

So, again the message to Mirza, Morey and all the others who are mindlessly spreading this corruption is: If you make a claim in a scholarly field then you must bring evidence to back your claim up and not conjecture and your own faulty and biased interpretations that differ to all the authoritative interpretations and sources. The first rule of making a claim is:‘Bring your evidence if you are truthful’The missionary is making the claim, therefore the burden of proof is on him, just to remind him; your own interpretation, speculation and conjecture does not constitute as evidence and nor can it be substituted for evidence.

Due to the false nature of the, moon-god’ claim we come to realise that anybody propagating the ‘moon god’ claim cannot be trusted. Either that individual is ignorant or deliberately deceptive. Either way both categories cannot be trusted as the ignorant individual has no knowledge, therefore it would be unwise to receive religious instruction from an ignorant individual. Secondly, the individual who propagates the ‘moon-god’ despite knowing it to be a false claim cannot be trusted as he/she is a liar. So I ask anybody who finds a website/individual propagating the ‘moon-god’ claim to distrust and question that individual/website. Sadly, all too many Christian evangelical sites/materials preach the ‘moon-god’ claim; Mirza was influenced by such missionary propaganda.

Their claims may trick the occasional Muslim but most Muslims will question it and ask those who know and upon learning the truth about their claim the one who was tricked by the claim originally will realise he/she had been lied to by Christians about the ‘moon-god and will turn away from the falsehood and come back to the Truth of Islam (insha’allah). May Allah guide us all. Ameen

Did the Prophet compromise with the Pagans in order to establish Islam?

Mirza suggests Muhammad compromised in order to accommodate Islam amongst pagan Arabs. Mirza’s two major arguments in this section are the numerous (99) Names of Allah and pilgrimage rites (Hajj/Umrah) being performed by pagan Arabs before the revelation of the Quran (i.e. before the introduction of Islam).

Mirza makes the outlandish suggestion that the 99 Names of Allah were names of the major pagan gods. He has no proof for his suggestion but suggests it half-heartedly. Mirza shows his ignorance of the Names of Allah and I begin to doubt his claims of being an ex-Muslim. Surely if he had knowledge of Islam as a Muslim he would know that the Names of Allah are in fact His Attributes such as (Ar-Raheem- The Merciful, al-Khaliq- The Creator, al-Wadood- The Loving etc.) Mirza should have known that the major pagan-god names included Hubal (the name of the pagan’s most famous idol), Manat, Uzza etc and none of these are the Names of Allah. The Names of Allah are His attributes and these Names were not the names of any pagan-idols. In fact Mirza knew the names of the major idols (he mentions the “best deities known” in Mecca as “lat, uzza and manat”) yet he still tried to pull off this ludicrous suggestion. His knowing of the names of the best known deities/idols of the pagans left him in doubt of his own suggestion as he uses the word “perhaps” in parenthesis which indicates Mirza was in doubt too as he says:
the Prophet was able to convince (by force of course) the pagans to destroy all idols, and on return (he) agreed (perhaps) to keep the ‘Names’ of the goddess of most famous Pagan tribes as the alternative names of Allah hence Islam has 99 NAMES of Allah.(1)

Mirza, illogically, adds his own ignorant theory to the names of Allah without even knowing the Names of Allah and the meanings of these Names. He suggests that they are the names of the major pagan idols yet the major pagan idols/gods were named Hubal, Manat, Uzza, Lat etc. and none of these names (hubal, manat, uzza etc) are the Names of Allah. I have come across no other critic of Islam who has suggested such nonsense so Mirza has broke new ground here. Mirza only debases his work and discredits his reliability with this bankrupt suggestion. This is indicative of Mirza’s work, he illustrates a fact (i.e. Allah has 99 Names) and defaces the fact with ignorant speculation (i.e. his suggestion that the names were from the pagan gods). This illogical and deceptive methodology may be sufficient for an Islamophobe who is searching the internet for anything negative about Islam to espouse but for the people who are evidence based Mirza’s work is far from sufficient.

His other claim in this section just highlights Mirza’s ignorance of the history of Mecca. Mirza, essentially, makes the same mistake as he did concerning the pre-existence (i.e. before the introduction of Islam) of the word Allah. As we know the word Allah was in use in Arabia (Mecca) at the time of Ishmael and Abraham (as shown above in the section ‘Who is Actually Allah’).

Mirza claims that the pre-Islamic pagans performed many rituals which the Muslims perform. He argues that Muhammed compromised with the pagans (so the pagans would become Muslims) by adopting these ‘pagan’ practices into Islam in order to encourage the pagans to convert to Islam. Mirza uses the same erroneous methodology and displays the same incomplete knowledge about Islam as he has done throughout his article. Nothing has changed. However it is important to correct Mirza so he can (God Willing) rectify his mistakes.

Yes, Muslims (knowledgeable ones) know that the pagan Arabs used to hold the Kabah in high regard and used to observe a pilgrimage to the Kabah. (19). Again Mirza with holds/or is unaware of the crucial information. Therefore it is apt for us to educate Mirza with a history lesson concerning the Kabah and the pilgrimage by revealing this crucial information.
As we already know (mentioned above) Ishmael had preached to the Arabs in the locality of the Kabah and “most of the Arabs had complied with the call of Ishmael and professed the religion of his father Abraham. They worshipped Allah, professed His Oneness and followed His religion...” (6). But if we go back before this we realise that both Ishmael and his father Abraham (peace be on them) had built the Kabah; “father and son built Al-Kabah and raised its pillars” (20) and Abraham was the one who introduced the pilgrimage (not the pagans); “and Abraham in compliance with Allah’s Commandment, called unto people to perform pilgrimage to it” (20). So we realise that Abraham introduced the pilgrimage to the Kabah and it was built by Ishmael and Abraham, this information was not put forward by Mirza, either ignorantly or deceptively. I tend to believe that Mirza simply did not know this information rather than him deceptively hiding crucial information.

With all this said there may still be some confusion concerning the pagans and the pilgrimage and their devotion to the Kabah. Was Mirza correct in mentioning this? Yes, Mirza is correct, the pagans before Muhammed and even at the time of Muhammed, held the Kabah in high esteem and performed pilgrimages to it.

However, this was after many years of following the pure religion of Abraham, they forgot part of the teachings of Abraham and began to introduce new practices which eventually resulted in transforming their religion into idol-worship (paganism/polytheism) and superstition. These pre-Islamic pagan people still held onto some of the practices of Abraham despite becoming pagans, polytheists and holders of superstitions; “people of pre-Islamic period, whilst believing in superstition, still retained some of the Abrahamic traditions such as devotion to Al-Kabah, circumambulation, observance of pilgrimage, the stay at Arafat and offering sacrifices. All of these were observed despite some innovations that adulterated their sacredness” (21). Thus the original significance and purity of the Kabah and the pilgrimage had been lost, however Muhammed purified the Kabah and re-instated the pure teachings of Abraham and re-introduced the Commandment of Allah which was the pilgrimage. Muhammed did not compromise with the pagabs, no secret deal was struck contrary to Mirza’s fanciful claims. In fact Muhammed was so opposed to the pagan idolatry he broke their idols (all 360 of them) once he assumed control of Mecca. “He broke them down and had them removed and burned up” (7). This is far from Mirza’s claims of ‘compromise’!

To further highlight the incorrect nature of Mirza’s claims we can see that the pagans (Quraish) did attempt to negotiate and tempt Muhammed into compromising with them and their idol-worship but Muhammed rejected their offer and continued to preach the worship of the Only God (Allah):
“At-Tabari and others report that Ibn Abbas said that the Quraish said, ‘Worship our gods for one year, and we will worship your god for one year” so Allah revealed the Verse number 39:64,
“Say: Is it other than Allah that you order me to worship O you fools?”[English translation of 39:64] (22)

So Mirza’s claims are shattered due to his insufficient knowledge of the subject, it just goes to show how wise the old adage is; ‘a little knowledge is dangerous’ as Mirza produces a misleading, erroneous, fanciful and unscholarly article which has now been adopted by Islamophobes as propaganda against Islam. Is this the type of disgraceful legacy Mirza whished to leave?


Mirza finally moves onto the conclusion section and boldly and illogically concludes (based on partial knowledge and conjecture) : “In summary, it has been truthfully and logically proven with all possible available circumstantial evidences/rational that, Islam was not a new religion but it is a reformed paganism”.

Mirza came to his conclusion through faulty information, incomplete historical knowledge, conjecture/speculation and illogical methodology. Quite frankly all the facts and all the scholars of Islam (both Muslim and non-Muslim) would disagree with Mirza. In all honesty I believe Mirza’s claims unravelled and fell apart as soon as the historicity of the name Allah was shown to be linked to Abraham (and not to a pagan concept) as Mirza was unaware of this and built all his argument on his false belief that Allah was originated from the pagan moon-worship/idol-worship.

Mirza employed an unscholarly ploy of delivering partial knowledge and combining it with his own unproven speculation. This led to his work being more of a shoddy conspiracy theory rather than a reliable, scholarly authoritative article.

Mirza did not prove anything other than his own lack of knowledge regarding Islam and his illogical methodology. I would ask Mirza to look up the definition of the word “prove” as Mirza did not bring forth any evidence, in order to prove something you need to produce evidence, Mirza failed to produce evidence. So my message to Mirza is thus; if you make a claim in a scholarly field then you must bring evidence to back your claim up and not conjecture and your own faulty interpretations that differ to all the authoritative interpretations and sources. As he has no leg to stand on I would ask Mirza to correct himself and remove the misinformation which is his article.

Appendix 1

Links to articles disproving the ‘moon-god claim’:
An overview article by Yahya Snow:
The most comprehensive work refuting the ‘moon god’ claim is a real scholarly effort is:Reply To Robert Morey's Moon-God Allah Myth: A Look At The Archaeological Evidence by M S M Saifullah, Mohd Elfie Nieshaem Juferi & ‘Abdullah David: To Dr. Robert Morey's Moon-God Myth & Other Deceptive Attacks On Islam by Imam Shabir Ally:

Appendix 2

In his book (The Islamic Invasion pg193 ) Morey falsifies a number of hadith by claiming that Muhammad “reached up with his sword and cut the moon in half”,there is no such hadith which supports this claim yet Morey claims a number of hadith support his view! Clearly he was making things up or very very misinformed.

However it gets worse for Morey as he is shown to be ‘fabricating evidence’ (i.e. making things up, again!) Saifullah et al write:Equally ridiculous is another of Morey's claims that several smaller statues were also found "which were identified by their inscriptions as the "daughters" of the Moon-god." No such statues or inscriptions accompanying them were found in Hazor. Unfortunately for Morey he has been caught red-handed fabricating evidence. Put simply, he is making up stories here. (see


1. Was Allah the Moon God of Ancient Arab Pagan? By Syed Kamran Mirza
2. A. Yusuf Ali Translation of the Quran, 2:255
3. Ibid 59:24
4. Allah is Not a Moon god by Yahya Snow
5. Ar-Raheequl-Makhtum by Safi-ur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri, Darussalam, 2002 pg 26-28
6. Ibid pg 45
7. Ibid pg 45-46
8. Ibid 46
9. Ibid 63
10. Islam a Short History by Karen Armstrong, Phoenix Press, 2001, pg 3
11. Ibid pg10
12. What Is Islam by W.Montgomery Watt, Longman Group, Second Edition, 1979, pg 47
13. A. Yusuf Ali translation of the Quran 41:37
14. Ibid 16:12
16. Reply to Dr. Robert Morey's Moon-God Myth & Other Deceptive Attacks on Islam by Imam Shabir Ally
17. Arab and Muslim Stereotyping in American Popular Culture, by Jack G. Shaheen, Center or Muslim-Christian Understanding: History and International Affairs, 1997 pg78
18. Reply To Robert Morey's Moon-God Allah Myth: A Look at the Archaeological Evidence by M S M Saifullah, Mohd Elfie Nieshaem Juferi & ‘Abdullah David (link is included in appendix 1)
19. Ar-Raheeq ul-Makhtum by Safi-ur-Rahman Al-Mubarakpuri, Darussalam, 2002 pg 50
20. Ibid pg28
21. Ibid pg50
22. Ibid pg139

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Marital Rape is Not Allowed in Islam by Kevin Abdullah Karim

This article is not by me but from:

Marital rape is forbidden in Islam

written by Kevin Abdullah Karim
Assalamu-alaikum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatuhu. Does Islam allow marital rape ? In this paperwork we shall discuss the meaning of a hadith which is often used by polemics against Isam to argue that Islam allows marital rap [ or grants permission to husbands to force their wifes into sexual relationships ]. Is such a claim really suppored by Islamic law [ the qur'an and the authentic sunnah ] and the text of the hadith itself ? Let us take a close look at the hadith in question:
Sayyiduna Abu Huraira [ Allah be pleased with him ] narrates that the Messenger of Allah [ Allah bless him & give him peace ] said: If a man calls his wife to his bed [ i.e. to have sexual relations ] ; and she refuses and causes him to sleep the night in anger, the angels will curse her till morning 1
First off al the hadeeth only considers a wife's rejection which results in anger on behalf of the husband as sinful. What appears in this hadith [ narration ] is the case of a wife who deliberatly rejects her husband's request for intimicy [ without any valid reason ] in a rough and rude manner "which will anger him". The expression "and causes him to sleep the night in anger" confirms this meaning of the text. The hadith [ narration ] lays emphasize on the importance of fullfilling one's sexual needs in marriage. If a wife declines her husband's desire to make love with her, he may be psychologically affected and experience physical ailments related to this [ e.g. stimulation excitation, congestion and sexual suppression due to the lack of ejaculation ]. In the same vein, the wife may go through similar problems and experience the same sufferings if her man declined to meet her sexual needs. Therefore it is of the wisdom of the Shari`ah [ Islamic Law ] that it calls both parties to understand and respond to the natural need of each other. This also one of the main reasons why Allah Allmighty describes spouses as garments or clothing for each other [ Qu'ran 2:187 ] . If both husband and wife respond to each other, they will maintain each other's love, care and affection [ just like a garment or clothing brings comfort and dignity to the body ]. Clothing also conveys the meaning of covering and concealment. A husband and wife screen each other from falling into sin by fulfilling one another's needs in a lawful manner. Conversely, if they often or constantly refuse each other [ or refuse one's request for intimicy in a rude way ] , the relationship can deteriorate. This may also lead one of them to deviate from the right path and look for pleasure outside the marriage. This will eventually lead to the breakdown of the family and the disintegration of the society at large. For this reason the hadith in question considers it a serious sin for a woman to reject her husband's request for intimicy without any valid reason in a rough or rude manner which "will cause him to sleep the night in anger." The hadith therefor also indicates that a wife should respond positively to her husband's request. She should show no arrogance or hatred or denial when it comes to her appreciation and respect of her husband. Her denial to intimacy usually should give a hint to the husband that she is not physically or emotionally ready for that. The husband should be of good reason and understand her situation in the light of Allah's command to live just and fair with one's wife [ Qu'ran 4:19 ]. The husband moreover should realize that any form of injustice towards his wife is forbidden in Islam. Allah says in a Qudsi Hadith: "My servants, I have forbidden injustice and have made injustice forbidden to you. Do not be unjust to one another." [ Muslim 16 / 132 ]. If it is forbidden to be unjust to a person whom we do not know, it is far more strongly forbidden to be unjust to the closest relative, one's wife to whom the Prophet has urged us to be very kind. A husband therefor should be just and fair in all his relationships [ including sexual ] with his wife. For this reason a husband should not get angry at his wife when she offers him a valid or reasonable explenation for not being able [ or in the mood ] to have sexual relationships with him. If the husbands is unjust towards his wife and still gets angry at her despite her resufal with valid reason to his request , then there is no blame worhty on the women and the hadith in question does not refer or apply to her. However if the wife constantly deliberately [ without any valid reason ] refuses her husbands request for intimicay or responds negative to his request in a rude or arrogant way [ which will cause him to sleep the night anger ] , then she would be guitly of a serious sin. The hadith refers to these type of women. Ustadha Zaynab Ansari 2 in her online fatwa [ at ] moreover points out that the hadith in question refers to women who use sex as a weapon against their husbands:
It is in this light that we should interpret the hadith mentioned above. This hadith is an admonition to women who use sex as a weapon against their husbands. It is not a blanket condemnation of every woman who has ever refused her husband. In fact, Islamic law does give women the right to refuse sexual intercourse when engaging in sexual activity will be detrimental to their well-being. What women must exercise in this regard is compassion, patience, and tact. It is one thing to refuse one's husband every now and then because one is tired. However, it is another altogether to make it a habit. This is what women must guard against. Sex is one of the most fundamental ingredients of a happy marriage, and this is what the hadith was referring to.
Now, in terms of how often a couple should have sex, this is a decision that should be reached mutually. Having sex everyday can be exhausting and it is not unreasonable for you to ask your husband for a little respite. Ustadha Hedaya Hartford, in her work entitled Islamic Marriage: Starting Out on the Right Foot, advises couples to establish a golden mean in their sex life. While recognizing that each spouse has a different libido, couples can successfully negotiate what is an achievable goal for them in terms of sexual activity. If the husband's libido is very high, while the wife's is moderate to low, then that's just a further incentive for the couple to settle on a level of sexual intimacy that is mutually satisfactory. 3
Imam al-Nawawi states in his commentary on the Hadith of Abu Huraira stated above:

This Hadith indicates that it is unlawful for the wife to refuse her husband for sexual intimacy without a valid reason. 4

However, this does not in any way mean that the husband may force himself over her for sexual gratification. The hadith mentions that, "the husband spends the night in anger or being displeased," which clearly shows that he must restrain himself from forcing himself over her. Had this not been the case, the Messenger of Allah would have advised the husband to gain his right in a forceful manner. Moreover if the wife is ill, fears physical harm or she is emotionally drained, etc; she will not be obliged to comply with her husband's request for sexual intimacy. Rather, the husband would be required to show her consideration. Allah Most High says: "On no soul does Allah place a burden greater than it can bear" [ al-Baqarah, 286 ]. Many times it is observed that the husband demands from his wife to fulfil his sexual needs no matter what state she is in, and uses the hadith in question to impose himself over her. If the wife is not in a state to engage in sexual activities and has a genuine and valid reason, and the husband forces her, then he will be sinful. Muslim husbands should realize that their wives are also humans and not some type of machines that can be switched on whenever they desire ! In this context, the late Sheikh Ibn al-`Uthaymin, the well-known Saudi scholar, adds:

If she is psychologically ill and is not able to actively respond to his call or if she has a physical illness, then in such cases it is not allowed for the husband to call upon her. This is because the Prophet [ sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam ] said: "There is to be no harm done or reciprocation of harm" [ Ibn Maajah 2340 and classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Irwa' al-Ghaleel 896 ] He should either refrain or enjoy her company in such a way that does not harm her. 5
Marital rape is forbidden by divine law. A husband is in no case allowed to force himself over his wife. Sexual relationship between husbands and wives should be based on mutual love and respect. A husband is not allowed to harm his wife in any way [ see Ibn Majaah 2340 ]. The relations between the spouses should be based on tranquility, love and mercy. Allah says, "And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your hearts : verily in that are Signs for those who reflect." [ Qu'ran 30:21 ] Tranquility, love and mercy: these are very important concepts in Islam. These three summarize the ideals of Islamic marriage. It is the duty of the husband and wife to see that they are a source of comfort and tranquility for each other. They should do everything physically, emotionally and spiritually to make each other feel happy and comfortable. They must care for each other. They should not inflict any harm or injury, neither physically nor verbally, to each other. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad has also said:

Whoever wishes to be delivered from the fire and enter the garden should die with faith in Allah and the Last Day and should treat the people as he wishes to be treated by them 6

The importance of this is even greater in a marital relationship. In other words husbands who fear Allah Almighty should treat their wifes in the same as they want to be treated by them [ no one wants to be treated bad, rude or harsch ]. In another narration the Prophet said: "The servant does not reach the reality of faith until he loves for others what he loves for himself." Man's treatment of his wife is also a measure for the perfecttion of his faith as in the hadith were the Prophet said:

The most perfect of the believers in their belief are those with the best manners, and the best of you are those who are best with their wives 7

The hadith in question [ discussed in this paperwork ] should be understood in the context of these general rulings, for affirming one matter does not entail negating another. In the light of all these before mentioned facts, acts like marital rape or abuse have no support in Islam whatsoever. A husband must exercise intercourse within the Qur'anic paradigm of love and mercy [ Qu'ran 30:21]. He should pay heed to the commands [ instructions ] of the Messenger of Allah in this regard. Imam al-Daylami records a narration on the authority of Anas ibn Malik that the Messenger of Allah [ peace and blessings be upon him ] is reported to have said:

One of you should not fulfil one's [ sexual ] need from one's wife like an animal, rather there should be between them foreplay of kissing and words. 8
Imam Ibn al-Qayyim also reports in his famous "Tibb al-Nabawi" that the Messenger of Allah forbade from engaging in sexual intercourse before foreplay [ See: "al-Tibb al-Nabawi" , 183, from Jabir ibn Abd Allah ]. In other words the husband should sexually arouse his wife before having sex. It is indeed selfish on the husband's part that he fulfils his sexual needs and desires, whilst his wife remains unsatisfied and discontented. Failure in satisfying the wife can have terrible consequences on one's marriage. For this reason the Prophet forbade sexual intercouse without foreplay, to guarantee and to protect the sexual pleasures and rights of the wife in bed. Nothing near such respect for the feelings of one's wife near is found even at the peak of Judeo-Christian civilization. A wife's right for sexual pleasure from her husband is moreover confirmed in a hadith narrated by Ibn Hibban. In this hadith the wife of Uthman ibn Madh'oon complained to the Prophet that her husband was praying all night. And during the day she would approach him for pleasure and he would refuse and say I'm fasting. Ibn Hibban narrated:

the wife of 'Uthman ibn Madh'oon complained to the Messenger of Allah [ peace and blessings be upon him ] that her husband had no need for women. During the days he would fast and at night he would pray. The Prophet asked him: "Am I not the best example for you to follow?" He answered: "Certainly, may my father and mother be sacrificed for you." The Prophet then told him: "As for you, you pray during the night and you fast during the day. Certainly, your wife has a right upon you and your body has a right upon you so pray and sleep and fast and break your fast." 9

The expression "your wife has a right upon you" unanimously means cohabitation. The wife has a right on her husband's body and company. The hadith in question tells us that a husband should not exhaust himself in worship to the extent that he becomes too weak to fulfil her right of having intercourse with him. A wife's right to marital association is denied as the continuous fasting decreases the sexual desire [ -"whoever is not able to marry, should fast, as fasting diminishes his sexual power" - Bukhari, vol. 7, book 62, nr. 4 ]. Scholars unanimously agree that a wife has the same right for sexual pleasure as her husband. Shayk Ibn Taymiyya said:

It is obligatory for the husband to have intercourse with his wife as much as is needed to satisfy her, so long as this does not exhaust him physically or keep him away from earning a living 10

Ibn Qudaamah al-Hanbali said:

Intercourse is a duty on the man - i.e., the husband should have intercourse with his wife - so long as he has no excuse. This is also the opinion of Maalik. 11
Sharee'ah also requires that a wife be protected from immorality by means of her husband having intercourse with her, as much as is needed to satisfy her and to provide this protection. The hadith in question [ discussed in this paperwork ] should therefor also be read with keeping in mind that women have the same rights as men in regard to sexual intercourse and pleasure. And again it should be noted that the hadith in question only refers to women who use sex as a weapon against their husbands, or refuse their husband's request for intimacy [ without any valid reason ] in a rude manner [ which causes him to spend the night anger ]. In the same way a husband who rejects his wife's request for intimacy [ without any valid reason ] in a rough or rude way, or constantly refuses her request for sexual pleasure without any valid reason is as sinful as a wife who does the same. Both should try their best to satisfy their marriage partner. And Allah knows best.

References and Notes:


Sahih Bukhari [ Bad' al-khalq 7 ] ; Abu Dawud [ Nikah 41 ]


Biography of Ustadha Zaynab Ansari, see - -

Fatwa by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari, see - -


Imam Nawawi: "Sharh Sahih Muslim" , p. 1084


Sheikh Ibn al-`Uthaymin: "Fataawa az-Zawaaj wa 'Ishratun-Nisaa", p. 103


Sahih Muslim; Book 020, Number 4546


Imam Nawawi: "Riyad as-Salihin" , chapter 34, nr. 278


Imam al-Daylami: "Musnad al-Firdaws" , 2 / 55


Sahih ibn Hibban, vol.2 , p. 19 [ Mu'assasah al-Risalah edition ]


Shaykh Ibn Taymiyah: "Al-Ikhtiyaaraat al-Fiqhiyyah" , p. 246


Ibn Qudaamah al-Hanbali: "al-Mughni", 7 / 30