By Brian Macker
I've been reading the Koran trying to figure out what Islam is all about, but it has been slow going. It is poorly structured and so doesn't make a good read. It is even more boring because it repetitively tells the reader he is no good if he isn't Muslim. Plus, it spends much verbiage retelling stories of the bible incorrectly, lying about other religions beliefs, and giving bad history (eg It claims Alexander the Great was a Muslim). So my motivation is low, and I often find better things to do.
I wanted to skip over all the passages in the Koran that repetitively tell us that unbelievers burn in hell, plus all the badly retold bible stories and get to some actual meat. To answer the question, “Where’s the beef”, I have used a site with a Koran annotated by a skeptic to get a quick overview of it's contents. He has pages that classifies the Suras of the Koran into categories such as good stuff, injustice, intolerance, absurdites, etc. I followed the links on those pages to the sections and read them. I have cross referenced this Koran with others and the translations are pretty much the same.
In reading these sections of the Koran it struck me that there didn't seem to be the concept of "The Golden Rule". Which is surprising since this concept has been in every religion I know of going back to Confucius. So I went on the web and did a search on "Golden Rule" Islam and the first link titled The Golden Rule was on a web site called FaithFreedom.org. I read the entire article, which was based on a debate between a Muslim, Yamin Zakaria, and an apostate, Ali Sina. Ali Sina was claiming that there is no Golden Rule in Islam, and was using the debate as evidence for that. In the debate Yamin Zukaria had responded to Ali Sinas claims about the Golden Rule by questioning the Golden Rule and not by saying "We Muslims believe in it too". So here we had a Muslim and a Muslim apostate both agreeing that Islam had no golden rule.
Ali Sina did point one Hadith that came close:
The closest that Islam comes to this principle is a hadith that says:I agree, one cannot restrict the Golden Rule to ones Muslim "brothers" and still have it retain it's universal message.
"None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself." [Number 13 of Imam "Al-Nawawi's Forty Hadiths."]
The same hadith is reported by Bukhari 1.2.12
"The Prophet said, "None of you will have faith till he wishes for his (Muslim) brother what he likes for himself."
Thee brotherhood in Islam, however does not extend to everyone. Verse 9:23 of the Quran states that the believers should not take as friends and protectors (awlia), even their own fathers and brothers, if they love Infidelity above Islam. In fact there are many verses in the Quran that tell the Muslims to be harsh to unbelievers. The unbelievers in Islam are treated in the same way that the “niggers” and Jews are treated by white-supremacists[sic].
I moved on to other sites, looking for an Islamic Golden Rule, and immediately found other people claiming that Islam did have a Golden Rule. This was the version:
Do to all men as you would wish to have done unto you; and reject for others what you would reject for yourselves.However, none seemed to have the location in the Quran or Hadith where it existed. It would be better if it was in the Quran since it is the final authority on issues Islamic, but I would be satisified if some Islamic text, any one, contained it.
I went through several pages of Google searches and could not find a reference (skip this paragraph if you are not interested in how I found it). So I decided to do a different search. I took the claimed passage and searched on that once with the word Quran and once with the word Hadith. I got no hits with Quran and three hits with Hadith. On the three pages there was the claim that the passage came from the Hadith but not which Hadith and where. I shorten the passage but still used Hadith on my next search and the third result listed was good, it included a reference to location.
Do to all men as you would wish to have done unto you; and reject for others what you would reject for yourselves. (Hadith) (2 p. 75)I finally found a reference, (Hadith) (2 p. 75).
Time to confront Ali Sina. I sent him the following email.
Ali Sina,Well Ali Sina replied saying it was not true.
You had a long article on your site www.faithfreedom.org claiming that Islam has no equivalent of the golden rule.
I did a quick Internet search and found this.
Do to all men as you would wish to have done unto you; and reject for others what you would reject for yourselves. (Hadith) (2 p. 75)
Please correct your site or reply with good reasons why not.
The debate you had with Yamin Zakaria is informative only if he is some kind of religious scholar. It is curious that he does not know of this Hadith. I am also wondering why you don't know about it.
There is no such hadith. Please try to find it. What does (hadith 2 page 75) mean? This is not a correct reference.Oops! I didn't know how these references were done and just assumed that it was correct. I haven't read the multi-volume Hadith. I went back to the article with the reference and actually read it. I hadn't read it because I was only interested in the reference. Well readint it I noticed a lot of the quotes from other religions had the (2 p. 75. I then realized he was referencing his own bibilography at the bottom of the page. The quote came from page 75 of the book "Everyone Is Right. A New Look at Comparative Religion and its Relation to Science". It was not a reference to the position in the Hadith. I'd hate to buy a book with a stupid title like that, after all how can everyone be right if they disagree, but I might have to do so to follow this chain.
There was more content to Ali Sinas reply. I am not going to include it all but he did point out:
I did some search on that. I saw the same statement is mentioned by a Bahai with no reference at all. I also saw the same is mentioned by a Muslim claiming it is from Sahih Muslim 138. This is not a proper reference.I checked Sina's claim about Sahih Muslim 138. I found many references to this in a web search but Sina is correct. According to introduction in the reference Sina gave.
In the following link this Muslim has quoted this along with lots of other good statements attributing them to Muhammad and even giving reference.
He is just lying. There are no such hadiths. Please try to find those references and see for yourself. Muslims think it is meritorious to lie. So not only they are not ashamed of fabricating things in order to make their religion look good, they actually think they will be rewarded for it.
Now let us suppose for the sake of argument that such hadith actually exists. Then we have another problem and that is it contradicts the Quran. Every Muslim would tell you that if a hadith contradicts the Quran that hadith is false.
the Sahih Muslim is divided into 42 books on different subjects, each book containing many ahadith. The numbering system used by Muslim is consecutive and uninterrupted for the entire collection.There are only two possible interpretations for h Muslim 138, one that it is the book number, or two part of the consecutive numbering system. Since there are only 42 books it cannot be the book number. So it must be from the consecutive numbering which results in this:
Book 001, Number 0138:Well that certainly doesn't sound like the Golden Rule. Sina is correct.
Al-Bara reported it from the Apostle (may peace and blessing be upon him) that he observed with regard to the Ansar, None but the believer loves them, none but the hypocrite hates them. He who loved them loved Allah and he who hated them hated Allah. I (the narrator) said: Did you hear this hadith from al-Bara'? He said: To me, he narrated it.
Ali Sina's email ended with:
Please also continue reading my site and try to find its error. I will promise to remove them. I never claimed infallibility. I am sure you will find some errors, so let me know.Well that's reasonable.
I ordered a used copy of the book, "Everyone Is Right. A New Look at Comparative Religion and its Relation to Science", and Isee where it claims the quote comes from. When I get the book I will write Ali Sina again to give my results, and will update this post.