What the Koran Really says about non-Muslims #3

Jon MC

Jon MC is a retired Chemist, Physicist and teacher (not necessarily in that order) who still has professional commitments. His interest in Islam was kindled when he met some "radical Muslims up close and personal" and he has studied the foundational texts of Islam ever since. He writes under a nomme de plume in order to keep his professional life and views separate.

16 Responses

  1. Martin says:

    Jon MC wrote:

    Martin: I have questions for you too:
    Why do you not read such luminaries for yourself?
    Why depend on tertiary sources?

    MC, what Rahman wrote is something different… A reasonable enlightenment. I have not become a Muslim but I see this is very actual because it talks about ourselves. For a long time we have heard words of wisdom “follow what your conscience says” but we do not know who said and what standards we should follow the conscience. I see what Rahman wrote when you read all the content of his blog, not just reading one article but everything, leads us that Islam teaches “to follow the conscience”. The person who does not follow the conscience is the person who is KAFIR because they follow their lust…….

    I don’t know what ur view………

  2. Jon MC says:

    @Martin aka Anshar:
    I stated that if you refused to engage in debate we would be done.
    You haven’t. All you’ve done is state that you are “misunderstood”.
    My sole response to that is to say that if you cannot discriminate between a “Kitab” (book), a “nafs” (soul / self) and an “ayah” (verse / sign / etc.) in your writing you have only yourself to blame for any “misunderstandings”.
    Here is a tip: try writing what you mean.

    We are done.

  3. Martin says:

    @Jon MC,

    Sorry to say that you really looks didn’t get the essence of what Anshar trying to say. He is saying that yourself (your soul) is the real ayah, the real verse of the Quran that sent by the God to the earth surface while the writing in the book of al-Quran is just an explanation of the real verse (only explanation by writing regarding yourself). There is nothing to do with hafiz Quran. (Martin).

  4. Jon MC says:

    @ Anshar,
    Let me say, Anshar, that I am sure you are intelligent and clear in your own mind about your beliefs and what you wish to articulate. I will not insult you by suggesting otherwise.
    I am aware that your mother-tongue is Indonesian and that (as you say in your blog) “my English is not so good”.
    Sadly, I have to say that I don’t really understand what you are saying in your reply (below), what you have written is ambiguous, and at times confused, and thus I cannot really reply to you without risking putting words in your mouth, something I am loathe to do since this would amount to “straw-manning” you.

    I will also note that you have entirely side-stepped my arguments, simply saying I am “confused” and that my response “looks stupid”, something you have signally failed to demonstrate having offered nothing by way of rebuttal.

    All of that said, I will make one response. I start with a paraphrase of one of your statements as I understand it:

    ““Ummul kitab” [is] “the mother of the book”. [It] is inside of Allah (‘ilmu al indallah) [&] is different from the “kitab” (book) [which] is inward [of] the believer or inside the human chest (‘ilmu fi shudhur). This book is “the verse of Quran” while the mother of the book is “Quran”. ”

    I THINK you are saying that the Quran, aka “the mother of the book” is with Allah whereas the “kitab” (i.e. book) aka “verses of the Koran” is inside the believers.
    Given that many Muslims are “hafiz Quran” (or should I say “Hafiz book”?) – that is they know the entire recitation of the “book” as written in the recension of Uthman – then if this is the “book” of Sura 2:2, it is implicit that this “book” is incomplete since it is, according to you, NOT the Quran (aka “mother of the book”) which resides with Allah.
    It further follows that the Islamic ‘revelation’ is incomplete. Something which the Koran denies since it claims Islam is the final and perfect – and thus complete – revelation.
    Thus it would seem that you, in your desire to differentiate between the “mother of the book”(aka Quran) and the “book” (aka verses of the Quran) have (unintentionally) falsified the Koran.
    (Let me add that I may have entirely misconstrued your intent here, but that was the best I could parse your English.)

    The other response I have to make is to assure you that I do know what “Lawú al-Maúf´th” or “lauhul mahfudz” “the preserved slate” is. It is claimed to be:
    1. inscribed with the original of every scripture revealed by Allah OR
    2. inscribed with the original of the Quran (note that #1 and #2 may be harmonised), OR
    3. the Book (kitab) in which is written the predestination of Allah’s Creation before he created them OR
    4. the Book which accompanies all human beings, containing the information about whether they will be happy or wretched in the Next World, their lifespan and their provision (#3 may be harmonised with #4 of course).
    Note that #3 & #4 have nothing to do with the Koran.
    Thus Muslims don’t actually *know* what it is – another example of the confused and confusing nature of the “revelation” of the Koran.

    (Let me finish by saying that I don’t do three-way debates, nor a “debate” in which my protagonist simply refuses to engage with my points, so I hope you will not be offended if I do not reply to you if you fail to do so again.)
    – – – – –
    @Martin: In my first response to you I wrote:

    “you really should compare the blogger’s interpretation of the Koran with, for example, ibn Kathir’s. If you do so you will find that ibn Kathir – Sunni Islam’s greatest expositor of the Koran – generally supports Ali Sina’s views not those of the Anshar Rahman.”

    Have you done so for Sura 2:2? If not, I save you the bother (in part):
    “This is the Book, wherein there is no doubt. The Book is the Qur’an, … The meaning of this is that; the Book, the Qur’an, is without a doubt revealed from Allah.”
    Thus ibn Kathir says that “the book” mentioned in K.2:2 is the Quran. In fact he states this multiple times in his exegesis of the verse. Compare also the Tafseers of ibn Abbas and Al-Jalalayn.
    If you fear these may just be a “medieval” understanding, compare Qutb (“In the shade of the Koran”), Maududi (“Tafhim al-Quran”) and Shafi (“Maariful Quran”).
    All the above are available as pdf’s online for free.
    The nearest I can get to support for Rahman’s view is in the Tafseer of Qurtubi where he writes as ONE explanation amongst several:
    “”That is the Book” refers to the Book which accompanies all human beings, containing the information about
    whether they will be happy or wretched in the Next World, their lifespan and their provision…”

    I will grant that this might be understood as being “inside” the person, but note that this “book” is nothing to do with “verses of the Koran” (except, perhaps, some relating to the individual’s final fate).
    You will note that this matches what Rahman writes:
    “Now he [me] can read his “self book” which notes all of his activities. Besides being named a book he also named a record.”
    Thus it would seem that Rahman is either confused as to what the “book” that is inside a person is, or else he is postulating that Muslims all have TWO books inside themselves.
    I would love to see his scriptural warrant for that!
    – – – – –
    The other question I have is this: does Anshar Rahman consider himself a greater theologian than such orthodox Sunni luminaries as Ibn Kathir, Ibn Abbas, al-Jalalayn, Qurtubi, Qutb, Maududi and/or Shafi?
    I hope that he will not be offended if I say that I will take their pretty much unanimous opinions over his.
    – – – – –
    Martin: I have questions for you too:
    Why do you not read such luminaries for yourself?
    Why depend on tertiary sources?

  5. Martin says:

    @Jon MC

    This is his email to me respond on your question:

    Jon MC is not denying what I say but actually he asking, he looks get confused. He has not been able to capture the essence of my writing on the blog. If he read it carefully then he should not question what is in Muhammad’s chest or in his companions or he would not question sura 13:39. It is “Ummul kitab” (the mother of the book). He is in the side of Allah (‘ilmu al indallah) is different from the “kitab” (book). He is inward as the believer or inside the human chest (‘ilmu fi shudhur). This book is “the verse of Quran” while the mother of the book is “Quran”. Please differentiate between Quran and its verse. Jon mentions “lauhul mahfudz” but he don’t understand what it is. We can discuss about this later on.

    Al-Quran 29:45 commandment of reading books and orders to establish prayers. The book that is in the human chest is also termed a revelation when he get inspiration. This verse commands the mukmins (unbelievers) to read a book and establish a prayer, two interrelated things. I can not explain here about establishing shalat (not ritual of prayer). If Jon wish to study, he may let me know if he wants to be a true Muslim. I have finalized 402 pages of a book denied Alisina’s book “Understanding Muhammad and Muslims”. I have sent it to Alisina but he is the true liar and the real deceiver. Later when the book is ready to circulate, Jon can have it for him to learn. Now he can read his “self book” which notes all of his activities. Besides being named a book he also named a record. Jon could read very clearly all his book. For example, he can remember (if) he had once stolen his mother’s money, how many times did he lie to his wife or how many times did he cheat others. He can also read back that he’s been helping someone who is starving or even what he has said or what he thinks he can read or he can play back. Most importantly he must be good at reading what his heart (his book) is saying right now. For example, this moment his heart says very clearly though without a voice and without letters (la harfin wa la sautin): “Jon, try to see and understand first what Anshar said … do not be answered first with a response that looks stupid”. When Jon reads or listens to what his heart is saying, Al-Qur’an asks Jon to follow what his heart is saying and not shielding or denying him by changing his heart’s decision. There are many verses that say this. I do not need to explain it here.

    Verse 46 it is about “ahlul kitab” the people of the book or the expert of the scriptures. There have been many the people of the book in the past before the advent of Islam and there are many today even claiming to be Muslims, where the grip is to hard copy (mushaf) or scripture. They look like experts about the book but they do not find the essence of the actual book. The existence of verses 46 and 47 is to affirm that the true book is not written by hand or pen (verse 48) but the actual book is the book that is inward, inside of the chest (verse 49).

    Jon reads scriptures a lot. Possibly he includes to “the people of the book”. Like what Jon MC write that Martin sent to me, discussing about “kafirs”. He looks like an expert on kafirs. He looks expert but is not as one of the characteristics of “the expert of the scripture” but unfortunately he does not find the essence of the kafirs. Ask Jon to read well all my explanation on the blog to understand the essence of the kafirs.

  6. Jon MC says:

    Firstly I did “look first what the Quran says about this” which is why I cited Sura 13:39.

    If you look at Sura 29 you will realise that the passage from which v.49 comes starts at v.45 with a command to Mohammed to “Recite what has been revealed to you OF the Book” (emphasis mine.)
    Thus what is in the “breast” of Mohammed or any of the Sahaba AT THIS TIME is not “the book” in toto but only those parts which have been recited FROM “the book”.
    (v.46 concerns “the people of the book” and is not really relevant here. I will let you come back with v.47 and see what you make of it.)
    We then come onto v48-49: “Not before this didst thou recite any Book, or inscribe it with thy right hand, for then those who follow falsehood would have doubted.Nay; rather it clear signs [or:verses] in the breasts of those who have been given knowledge; and none denies Our signs but the evildoers.”
    The first “take-away” here is that “the Book” is not written at this time on earth. Thus as a physical thing in toto it does not exist on earth. “The Book” as an entity must exist elsewhere, as v.45 says.
    Second: I would suggest that neither “verses” nor the more elliptical “signs” (both being translations of “ayatun”) is equal to “the book”.
    I may be able to recite The Lord’s Prayer which amounts to but a few verses from the Gospels of Matthew (6 verses) and Luke (2 verses) as a “sign” of Christianity, but I do not know the whole Gospel, much less the entire Bible.
    I also refer you to my earlier argument about the continuation of ‘revelation’ after the recitation of these verses.

    Thus “the book”, insofar as this refers to the Koran, cannot exist in toto in the breast(s) of Mohammed or his sahaba for the very simple reason that the recitation OF the book is incomplete, as v.45 states clearly.
    On the other hand K.13:39 says: “Allah eliminates what He wills or confirms, and with Him is the Mother of the Book.” (Sahih int’l). Which adds this footnote: The Preserved Slate (al-Lawú al-Maúf´th), in which is inscribed the original of every scripture revealed by Allah.”
    Thus the “original Koran” is with Allah in paradise (or wherever) and it is to that that Mohammed is referring in Sura 2:2.

  7. Martin says:

    @Jon MC,
    According to him, you should look first what the Quran says about this before you go to Hadith or Sirat. Please see the Quran 29:49,

    By Yusuf Ali:

    “Nay, here are Signs self-evident in the hearts of those endowed with knowledge: and none but the unjust reject Our Signs.”

    By Sahih International:

    “Rather, the Qur’an is distinct verses [preserved] within the breasts of those who have been given knowledge. And none reject Our verses except the wrongdoers.”

  8. Jon MC says:

    you really should compare the blogger’s interpretation of the Koran with, for example, ibn Kathir’s.
    If you do so you will find that ibn Kathir – Sunni Islam’s greatest expositor of the Koran – generally supports Ali Sina’s views not those of the Anshar Rahman.
    Islam, like all religions, has its orthodox and heterodox believers.
    Sina’s challenge is to the orthodox and it stands.

    That this or that strand of heterodox Islam (of which Indonesia’s “Islam nusantara” – I’ve probably mispelt that is, or was, one) finds interpretations that slide around the evident problems with the canonical text and orthodox understandings is neither here nor there.

    To give one example, actually the first “disputed verse”:
    Sura 2:2 says “That is a book; no doubt in it; a guidance for the righteous,…”.
    As Sina points out this is wrong. If the verse refers to the Koran it should say “This is the book …” (a change that many translators make, thus abusing the text in line with orthodox interpretation).
    Even then there remains the problem that the written Koran was not compiled until years after Mohammed died; so as Rahman says, Mohammed could not have been holding the Koran when he recited the verse.
    The orthodox understanding is that this verse is an allusion to the “eternal Koran” which is mentioned in the Koran, Sura 13:39 “And with Allah is the Mother of the Book [the Quran]”. In other words, the “original” Koran is with Allah.
    As ibn Kathir states: “‘the book’ is the Quran…” which was flawlessly passed down to Mohammed by Gabriel.
    As I am sure you realise, this interpretation has the backing of the Koran.
    Rahman, on the other hand tells us that: “Muhammad appointed a male chest of somebody who sitting in front of him and said “That is a book, with no doubt in it; a guidance for the righteous”….. ” and he does so with no Koranic warrant whatsoever.

    If you know of any instance in the Sirat or Hadith that supports Rahman’s view I should be pleased to hear of it, otherwise, and to put it bluntly, whilst Rahman’s eisegesis absolves Mohammed of illiteracy it only does so at the expense of fabricating an explanation.

  9. Martin says:

    Apparently Ali Sina has been defeated by someone but he hid it. He is the real liar. I know this after reading the blog below:






    Ali Sina should pay the reward he promised and drop all his charges otherwise he becomes a deceiver and the enemy of all gentlemen in the world.

  10. Nikki says:

    De-humanizing the enemy is a classic war tactic. By doing so you can more easily advance the mission without obstacle. That’s why in World War II American soldiers were scolded by the higher ups for engaging with German soldiers over Christmas (or so the story goes).

    Islam uses this tool seamlessly through language, that it reflects in the actions of muslims. For example, notice in every terror attack against non-muslims, that they’re overwhelmingly silent. Practically unsympathetic. Instead they always divert attention to themselves:

    “One of the victims was muslim” they say; or, “It’s just a reaction for what your soldiers do to us”; or “Your people have been killing us muslims” and let us not forget the classic, “We muslims are the real victims of terror!” This is turn turns into a dawah opportunity where muslims promote islam on TV while portraying themselves as perpetual victims of western aggression. Setting this emotional platform then gives muslims an opening for pushing islamic double standards, such as legally banning criticism of islam at, with ease.

    So they end up behaving as Sun Tzu describes, “At first, then, exhibit the coyness of a maiden, until the enemy gives you an opening; afterwards emulate the rapidity of a running hare, and it will be too late for the enemy to oppose you.”

    It’s really deceitful behavior on muslims’ part. Speaking of deceit, deceit is too a war tactic. “War is deceit.” It’s a line Sun Tzu said in his classic work Art of War, long before Mohammad did. True enough islam sanctions deceit against non-muslims if it would help advance islam.

    Another example: Joining enemy lines is treason. Islam does the same through apostasy. Islamic scholars even admit that converting out of islam is a form of treason. Islam even bans them from being friends with us for this very reason. See Koran 3:28, 5:51, etc. Friendly, yes. But never a true friend.

    I would even go far in saying that islamic teachings have far more in common with Sun Tzu’s Art of War than any religious text out there. I would love if someone did a comparison of islamic texts to the “Art of War.”

  11. Anshar says:

    Jon MC, you looks like very whiz in understanding word Kafir but actually you are a big zero….

  12. Jon MC says:

    @Passive observer.
    I agree with your quote and the scholar is right to say that “Who is rejecting and what is being rejected is not part of the meaning” of the word itself.

    As for “what I say about the word Kafir”, I refer you to the first of this series of articles where I explain its usage in the context of the articles in quite a lot of detail, thus – to be frank – I am a little surprised at your question.

    However, I will add this: it would be very disingenuous of anyone use that fact that the word “kafir” does not in and of itself mean “non-Muslim” to suggest that in everyday usage and in the majority of “kfr” verses in the Korean kafir does not mean a non-Muslim in the sense of “one who rejects Islam” given that when Muslims themselves speak of “al-kafiroon” they mean non-Muslims and if they call someone a Kafir they are claiming that the person is a “rejector” of Islam (which itself has two meanings of course).

  13. Passive observer says:

    What do you say Jon MC about the word Kafir . One Muslim scholar defines it as follows;
    The meaning of the root word kfr is rejection, repudiating, hiding, covering up, obliterating, wiping off, blotting out. Who is rejecting and what is being rejected is not part of the meaning. Allah is a Kafir for blotting out our sins, tiller is a Kafir for covering the seeds with soil, a believer is a Kafir for rejecting false gods, a disbeliever is a Kafir for rejecting the God, Satan is a Kafir for repudiating Allah’s right for being obeyed, Moses is a Kafir for repudiating the rights of his foster father the Pharaoh for being obeyed. These are the ways in which the word has been used in the Quran. Every use of the word Kafir is consistent with the meaning of the root word kfr.

  14. Passive observer says:

    Thanks for the diagram which explains clearly the interrelationship between various words used to describe non-Muslims. This gives us the in-depth knowledge why Islamic societies won’t progress. Just as Taqqiya, though meant for No-Muslims, affects the Muslims’ daily dealings, Koran’s negativity towards non-Muslims through these words affects the Muslims themselves. They will never form an inclusive society. A cordial relationship with others is vital for progress. They hate not only the non-Muslims but the other Muslim sects as well.

  15. Jon MC says:

    Link given at the start of the article! 😉

  16. Pierre Alexes says:

    Mr. Jon – I seem to be missing Part II in my collection.