Leaving Islam




The biggest lie about Koran ever told:  

Today’s Islamic scholars have a pleasure in showing the "NO COMPULSION IN RELIGION VERSE" (Koran 2:256). But these Islamic scholars who accuse the critics of using koranic verses out of context must check out the context of this verse. This is exactly what we will do:  

But before we go into this we have to see when and why a verse was said by Muhammad (1) and does he contradict his earlier verses in that process (2)? In that case what happens (3)?  

To know why and when Muhammad said some thing as a revelation (1) we need to make use of the chronology of the koranic verses obtained from the Hadiths and Siras, and the tafsir will also help us in this issue. Though there is no standard and accepted chronology of the Koran  

 The Egyptian standard edition gives the following chronological order of the Suras, with the verses said to date from a different period given in parentheses:  

XCVI, LXVIII (17-33, 48-50 Med.), LXXIII (10 f., 20 Med.), LXXIV, I, CXI, LXXXI, LXXXVII, XCII, LXXXIX, XCIII, XCIV, CIII, C, CVIII, CII, CVII, CIX, CV, CXIII, CXIV, CXII, LIII, LXXX, XCVII, XCI, LXXXV, CVI, CI, LXXV, XCV, CIV, LXXVII (48 Med.), L (38 Med.), XC, LXXXVI, LIV (54-6 Med.), XXXVIII, VII (163-70 Med.), LXXII, XXXVI (45 Med.), XXV (68-70 Med.), XXXV, XIX (58, 71 Med.), XX

(130 f. Med.), LVI (71 f. Med.), XXVI (197, 224-7 Med.),XXVII, XXVIII (52-5 Med., 85 during Hijrah), XVII (26, 32 f., 57, 73-80 Med.), X (40, 94-6 Med.), XI (12, 17, 114 Med.), XII (1-3, 7 Med.), XV, VI (20, 23, 91,114, 141, 151-3 Med.), XXXVII, XXXI (27-9 Med.), XXXIV (6 Med.), XXXIX (52-4 Med.), XL (56 f. Med.), XLI, XLII (23-5, 27 Med.), XLIII (54 Med.), XLIV, XLV (14 Med.), XLVI (10, 15, 35 Med.), LI, LXXXVIII,XVIII (28, 83-101 Med.), XVI (126-8 Med.), LXXI, XIV (28 f. Med.), XXI, XXIII, XXXII (16-20 Med.), LII, LXVII, LXIX, LXX, LXXVIII, LXXIX, LXXXII, LXXXIV, XXX (17 Med.), XXIX (1-11 Med.), LXXXIII Hijrah, II (281 later), VIII (30-6 Mec.), III, XXXIII, LX, IV, XCIX, LVII, XLVII (13 during Hijrah), XIII, LV, LXXVI, LXV, XCVIII, LIX, XXIV, XXII, LXIII, LVIII, XLIX, LXVI, LXIV, LXI, LXII, XLVIII, V, IX (128 f. Mec.), CX. 

The Encyclopedia of Islam, op cit, also details three Western Islamic scholars chronology of the Qur’an. (Noldeke was one of the greatest Qur’anic scholars from the West). This is the chronological order of the last Medinan Suras listed in their work:  

Weil: 2, 98, 62, 65, 22, 4, 8, 47, 57, 3, 59, 24, 63, 33, 48, 110, 61, 60, 58, 49, 66, 9, 5.  

Noldeke and Blachere: 2, 98, 64, 62, 8, 47, 3, 61, 57, 4, 65, 59, 33, 63, 24, 58, 22, 48, 66, 60, 110, 49, 9, 5.  

[NOTE: Traditional Western dating breaks the chronological order of the Qur’an up into 3 or 4 groups. The last group (sometimes called "late Medinan") is presented above. There are earlier suras in both lists above, however, for space’s sake, and editing time, only the last sura grouping is presented. Note that sura 9 is the second to last in all these three scholar’s groupings.]  

Canon Sell in "The Historical Development of the Qur’an", page 204, details that Jalalu-d-Din as-Syuti (a great Muslim Qur’anic scholar) lists chapter 9 second to last, and Sir William Muir (a great Western Islamic scholar) lists chapter 9 as last. All of the above-mentioned references also list chapter 5 near the chronological end, if not at the very end. The Hadith of Sahih Bukhari, volume 6, book 60, # 129 (or 5.59.650), Hadith states: "The last Sura that was revealed was Bara’a…" So Sura 9 was considered by him to be one of the last, if not the last revealed chapters of the Qur’an. Therefore, the works of six top scholars, (3 Muslim, 3 Western), all agree that chapter 9 is either the last or second to last chapter to be spoken or revealed by Muhammad. Consequently, since this chapter  

So, here we see that sura 2 has been revealed at an earlier period of Muhammad’s life time when he didn’t have adequate power to be aggressive, but in contrast, sura 9 has been revealed at a time close to his death when he was powerful enough to be aggressive.    

Do Muhammad’s later revelations contradict the earlier ones? (2) The answer is yes.  

His earlier verses which were much more tolerant were replaced by his later verses which were aggressive and intolerant. And the irony is that the Koranic verse Q 4:82 rules out this discrepancy. Now the question is do the muslims accept this? Yes, they do.  

In "Islam: Muhammad and His Religion", page 66, the great Islamic scholar Arthur Jeffery wrote: "The Qur’an is unique among sacred scriptures in teaching a doctrine of abrogation according to which later pronouncements of the Prophet abrogate, i.e.: declare null and void, his earlier pronouncements. The importance of knowing which verses abrogate others has given rise to the Qur’anic science known as "Nasikh wa Mansukh", i.e.: "the Abrogators and the Abrogated".  

The revered work "al-Nasikh wal-Mansukh" (The Abrogator and the Abrogated) deals in great detail with many subject matters addressed in the Qur’an wherein there appears to be some conflict or contradiction. The book goes through every sura (chapter), pointing out in full detail every verse which has been canceled, and the verse(s) which replace it. The author notes that out of 114 suras, there are only 43 which were not affected by this concept. If there no contradiction why was such a branch of science ever needed?  

So, it is clear that a lot of the earlier verses have been abrogated by the later ones and verse 2:256 we are analyzing is one among them.  

Now on to our third query, what happens in that case?  

Ibn Warraq summarizes the Muslim concept of abrogation as follows:  

"Contradictions do abound in the Koran, and the early Muslims were perfectly well aware of them; indeed they devised the science of abrogation to deal with them. It is a very convenient doctrine that, as one Christian unkindly put it, ‘fell in with that law of expediency which appears to be the salient feature in Muhammad’s prophetic career’. According to this doctrine, certain passages of the Koran are abrogated by verses revealed afterward, with a different or contrary meaning. This was supposedly taught by Muhammad himself, at Sura 2, verse 105: 'Whatever verses we cancel or cause you to forget, we bring a better or its like.' …Now we can see how useful and convenient the doctrine of abrogation is in bailing scholars out of difficulties- though, of course,

it does pose problems for apologists of Islam, since all the passages preaching tolerance are found in Meccan (i.e., early suras), and all the passages recommending killing, decapitating and maiming, the so-called Sword Verses are Medinan (i.e., later); ‘tolerance’ has been abrogated by ‘intolerance’. For, the famous Sword verse,

Sura 9, verse 5, 'Slay the idolaters wherever you find them,' is claimed to have canceled 124 verses that promote tolerance and patience."  

Now as our three most important questions regarding the context of passages have been answered we will go into the historical context of the verse 2:256  

An analysis of verse 2:256:  

Here is the verse  

Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.”- Koran 2:256  

This is the verse that is often shown to us, when we say Islam is not a religion of peace.

Now look at the verses that have been highlighted in bold. It says there is no compulsion in religion because Truth stands out clear from Error.  That is, Islam is true and other religions are false. Then onto the line that follows this one, whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold.  i.e. those who reject other religions and embrace Islam. Many apologists may argue that what Allah is talking about (as error and evil) need not necessarily be about other religions, in that case, those who say this must also accept that other religions are also true and they are not evil. If they do accept that how can they justify Allah when he says “Allah is the only true god”? And why does he need to send a prophet to guide people who are already in the course of truth?  

So we can clearly see even when revealing this sura, which the islamists show to prove the tolerance of Islam. Muhammad and his god didn’t stop their torment against the other religions. Hence, Muhammad’s tolerance towards other religions in any time in his entire life may well be a myth. That’s because some body who says to be a prophet of god had no urge to be tolerant to what he believes to be falsehood and evil, in fact the job of a prophet is to eradicate these from the world.  

We haven’t still dealt with the context of this verse. So, let’s get on with that aspect of it.  

The reason why this verse was revealed is clear from this line Hadith (Abu Dawud, Book 14, Number 2676):  

Book 14, Number 2676:

Narrated Abdullah ibn Abbas:

When the children of a woman (in pre-Islamic days) did not survive, she took a vow on herself that if her child survives, she would convert it a Jew. When Banu an-Nadir were expelled (from Arabia ), there were some children of the Ansar (Helpers) among them. They said: We shall not leave our children. So Allah the Exalted revealed; "Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from error."  

So, the reason for this revelation is that when the Banu an-Nadir Jews were expelled from Arabia , they didn’t want to leave their children behind and didn’t want convert to Islam for which the prophet reveals that “Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from error  

Now let us hear tafsir Ibn Kathir on this (pages 37, 38):  

Allah says: "There is no compulsion in religion", meaning: do not force anyone to embrace Islam because it is clear, and its proofs and evidences are manifest. Whoever Allah guides and opens his heart to Islam has indeed embraced it with clear evidence. Whoever Allah misguides, blinds his heart and has set a seal on his hearing and a covering on his eyes cannot embrace Islam by force.


back     next  > 





Articles Op-ed Authors Debates Leaving Islam FAQ
Comments Library Gallery Video Clips Books Sina's Challenge

  ©  copyright You may translate and publish the articles in this site only if you provide a link to the original page.