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"And you are on a great ( Kholk ) religion. “ (Quran 68:4)

 

"And you are on a great ( Kholk ) religion. “ (Quran 68:4)

Published in Arabic in January, 07, 2016

Translated by Ahmed Fathy

 

Introduction:

 We have received this email message from a cultured and respectable female university teacher. We publish this message here followed by our reply:

 (…having read your comparison between Moses and Muhammad in a recent article of yours, and having reviewed Quranic verses that rebukes Muhammad, I felt content that these verses assert that perfection for God alone and that all human beings, including prophets, can err. Yet, some other people assert that citing Muhammad's errors in the Quran contradicts other Quranic verses like "And you are of a great moral character." (68:4) and "We did not send you except as mercy to humankind." (21:107). Could you please explain this to me? Some Shiite clergymen and interpreters of the Quran claim that Chapter LXXX in the Quran does not rebuke Muhammad but rather one of his companions, namely Othman Ibn Affan. What do you think of that?)

Our reply:

 This message gives us a chance to elucidate further some important issues as follows.

Firstly: There can never be contractions in the Quran:

1- God asserts in the Quran that the Quranic text contains no defects or contradictions: "We have cited in this Quran for mankind every ideal, that they may take heed. An Arabic Quran, without any defect, so they may become righteous." (39:27-28).

2- Contemplating and deep reflection of the Quran asserts to learned ones the fact that the Quranic text contains no defects or contradictions, despite the existence of some reiterations, repetitions, and details. If the Quran were man-made or written by humans, contradictions would have been countless: "Do they not ponder the Quran? Had it been from any other than God, they would have found in it much discrepancy." (4:82).

3- We have written countless articles covering the subject of contemplating the Quran using its verses; i.e., contemplating the Quran from inside the text and the contexts of the verses; the Quran explains itself. Verses with details explain other general verses elsewhere. This is the theory of Quranism adopted by Quranists. "Whatever arguments they come to you with, We provide you with the truth, and a better exposition." (25:33). The explanation of general verses is done by several verses, and thus, the Quran is the best discourse: "God has sent down the best of narrations: a Scripture consistent and paired…" (39:23). Hence comes our theory that Quranic verses are explained in detail by other Quranic verses. The only thing we need to do is to peruse and reflect and contemplate deeply. We are not to hide the meanings that reach our minds about Quranic truths. The Quran is self-explanatory: "Those who suppress the proofs and the guidance We have revealed, after We have clarified them to humanity in the Scripture, those God curses them, and the cursers curse them. Except those who repent, reform, and proclaim. Those We will accept their repentance. We are the Acceptor of Repentance, the Merciful." (2:159-160). There should be no difficulty in reflecting on Quranic verses; contemplation entails being behind every verse so that it is in front of you always as your guide and imam. One is to research the Quranic text concerning any issue or subject without prior personal opinion or prejudice that one is bent on proving to oneself. One is to research the Quranic terminology with all its derivations as manifested in the text within and from the inside of the whole Quranic text alone in several contexts of the term. There are two main contexts: the local context of the term and its surrounding verses, and the larger context of the Quran as a whole complete unit. There are general verses and other similar ones with further details covering the issue you are contemplating. The first type dominates the latter type of verse. Eventually, you will form a Quranist opinion concerning the issue you are researching.

 

Secondly: enemies of the Quran endeavor, in vain, to spot what they assume to be contradictions and defects in the Quran.

1- The contemplation explained above is done by the learned ones who know for sure that the Quran is a divine message from God. Others; i.e. the haters of the Quran, follow another mythology to prove the Quran wrong. God says in the Quran: "It is He who revealed to you the Book. Some of its verses are definitive; they are the foundation of the Book, and others are unspecific. As for those in whose hearts is deviation, they follow the unspecific part, seeking dissent, and seeking to derive an interpretation. But none knows its interpretation except God and those firmly rooted in knowledge say, "We believe in it; all is from our Lord." But none recollects except those with understanding." (3:7). Deviations in the hearts of the haters of the Quran distort meanings of the verses and terminology to make them compatible with their whims, hadiths (sayings), false norms, and erroneous notions. They ignore and intentionally disregard other verses that contradict their whims and desires. Thus, they divide the Quran into obsolete verses and other applied verses and will be questioned in the Afterlife in a way described by God as follows: "Those who made the Quran obsolete. By your Lord, we will question them all. About what they used to do." (15:91-93).

2- Such enemies of the Quran deviate and misguide others away from the Quran under the false claim that it is contradictory! God describes such people as misguided and erring polytheists and warns them against unbearable torment in the Afterlife: "…And woe to the disbelievers from a severe torment. Those who prefer the present life to the Hereafter, and repel from the path of God, and seek to make it crooked-these are far astray." (14:2-3). In the Day of Judgment, witnesses who have followed solely the Quran, like Quranists, will witness against such astray people and their misguiding and misleading notions and hadiths as well as their denying the Quranic verses and stopping others from following the righteous path of the Quran using transient worldly power and authority, as if they were having supreme power on earth: "Who does greater wrong than he who fabricates lies about God? These will be presented before their Lord, and the witnesses will say, "These are they who lied about their Lord." Indeed, the curse of God is upon the wrongdoers. Those who hinder others from the path of God, and seek to make it crooked; and regarding the Hereafter, they are in denial. These will not escape on earth, and they have no protectors besides God. The punishment will be doubled for them. They have failed to hear, and they have failed to see. Those are the ones who lost their souls, and what they had invented has strayed away from them. Without a doubt, in the Hereafter, they will be the biggest losers." (11:18-22). Dwellers of Paradise and Dwellers of Hell will have the following discourse between each other: " And the inhabitants of the Garden will call out to the inmates of the Fire, "We found what our Lord promised us to be true; did you find what your Lord promised you to be true?" They will say, "Yes." Thereupon a caller will announce in their midst, "The curse of God is upon the wrongdoers." "Those who hinder from the path of God, and seek to distort it, and who deny the Hereafter."" (7:44-45). Reflecting the last verse here, we perceive that their worst crime is to misguide others and leading them astray, away from the path of the Quran, because they have preferred the transient life to the Hereafter. Do we need examples of such people at present? Countless preachers of earthly, man-made creeds that are being ascribed forcibly to Islam appear on TV screens and websites daily, and their mission is to lead others away from the Quran, the path to God. Behind such clergymen are tyrant rulers with huge amounts of wealth spent for that purpose. The Quran uses the present tense in describing this to assert its occurring in all times: "Those who disbelieve spend their wealth to repel from God's path. They will spend it, then it will become a source of sorrow for them, and then they will be defeated. Those who disbelieve will be herded into Hell." (8:36).

3- Such misleading people are warned by God in the Quran against Hell waiting for them if they do not repent: "But those who strive against Our revelations-these are the inmates of Hell." (22:51). This is repeated two times in one chapter: in the past tense: "As for those who strove against Our revelations, seeking to undermine them-for them is a punishment of a painful plague." (34:5) and in the present tense to assert the continuity of this crime in all times: "But those who work against Our revelations, seeking to undermine them-those will be summoned to the punishment." (34:38).

4- Among the endeavors of the enemies of the Quran, their claim or assumption that both verses 64:4 and 21:107 contradict reproaches directed to Muhammad in the Quran. Let us contemplate both verses deeply in a Quranist manner as follows.

Thirdly: "And you are of a great moral character." (68:4)

1- The Arabic term ''Kholok '' comes twice in the Quran; it means in both contexts one thing: religion. Religion is two sorts; divine religion of God expressed in the Quran, and the false religion based on the so-called ancient notions inherited from the forefathers.

2-This term occurs in the Quranic story of the Aad people and their prophet Hud as he called them to worship God piously: "When their brother Hud said to them, "Do you not fear? I am to you a faithful messenger. So fear God, and obey me." (26:124-126) and he went on further to preach them, but they responded to him as follows: "They said, "It is the same for us, whether you preach us, or do not preach.This is nothing but the religion ( Kholok ) of the ancients" (26:136-137); i.e., they stuck to the ancient notions of their forefathers' religion, deemed 'good' by them, which was of course a wrong notion.

3- Whereas in 68:4, the term 'moral character' is used to describe the Quran as the last divine message of Islam, the religion of truth. Let us quote the whole context: "Nuun. By the pen, and by what they inscribe. By the grace of your Lord, you are not insane. In fact, you will have a reward that will never end. And you are on a great (kholok ) religion  ." (68:1-4). The following verses in the same chapter tackle the divine order to Muhammad not to obey those who deny the Quran: "You will see, and they will see. Which of you is the afflicted.Your Lord knows best who has strayed from His path, and He knows best the well-guided. So do not obey the deniers." (68:5-8).

4- Hence, in 68:4, the term ( kholok ) does not signify morals and ethics; rather, the great religion or path i.e. the Quran. 68:2 shows this significance very clearly: the grace of the Lord to Muhammad is the Quran for sure.

5- Let us examine the term ''grace of the Lord'' in several Quranic contexts as follows.

5/1: We cannot count all divine graces (i.e., favors and blessings) bestowed on us by Our Lord: "And if you tried to enumerate the graces of God, you will not be able to count them. God is Forgiving and Merciful." (16:18). "And if you were to count God's graces, you would not be able to enumerate them. The human being is unfair and ungrateful." (14:34).

5/2: Among the graces of God are the divine books given to humanity and some of them given to the Israelites, who are warned in the Quran against distortions of such books: "Ask the Israelites how many clear verses We have given them. Whoever alters the graces of God after it has come to him, God is severe in retribution." (2:211). "Have you not seen those who exchanged the grace of God with blasphemy, and landed their people into the house of perdition? Hell-they will roast in it. What a miserable settlement. And they set up rivals to God, in order to lead away from His path. Say, "Enjoy yourselves; your destination is the Fire."" (14:28-30). The last verses here apply specifically in our opinion to the Muhammadans of today; their homelands are being destroyed now.

5/3: The Quran is described as the grace of the Lord in 68:2 "By the grace of your Lord, you are not insane." And in another verse that orders Muhammad to preach the Quran to all people: "But proclaim the grace of your Lord." (93:11). And in the verse deemed to be the last one revealed in the Quran: "…Today I have perfected your religion for you, and have completed My grace upon you, and have approved Islam as a religion for you. But whoever is compelled by hunger, with no intent of wrongdoing-God is Forgiving and Merciful." (5:3). Hence, in 68:4, the Quran as God's religion is intended, not ethics and morals in modern Arabic.

Fourthly: "We did not send you except as mercy to humankind." (21:107).

1- During his lifetime, Prophet Muhammad is described in the Quran as a mercy to the believers around him: "…He believes in God, and trusts the believers, and is mercy for those of you who believe.…" (9:61) and "There has come to you a messenger from among yourselves, concerned over your suffering, anxious over you. Towards the believers, he is compassionate and merciful." (9:128). Since Muhammad was a mortal, his lifetime came to an end in a local temporary frame; hence, the mercy that goes on after his death is the Quran itself until the end of this world. This is the meaning now of 21:107. That is to say, the Quran is the last preserved divine message given to us by God as a mercy for all people in all localities and times who believe in it after the death of Muhammad. If 21:107 applies to Muhammad, this would have required that he would remain immortal and present to all human beings and Jinns in all times! This would have made him an immortal deity alongside with God!

2-The Quran is a mercy given to us By God via Muhammad, and at the same time, the Quran is a warning to all people: "Blessed is He who sent down the Criterion upon His servant, to be a warning to humanity." (25:1). The Quran is available for all who seek guidance and mercy. Freedom is given to those who try to misguide others away from the path of God: the Quran. God warns them beforehand: "Those who despise Our revelations are not hidden from Us. Is he who is hurled into the Fire better? Or he who arrives safely on the Day of Resurrection? Do as you please; He is Seeing of everything you do." (41:40).

3- Mercy is a characteristic of all divine books before the Quran. Let us recall the case of Moses and the tablets: "When the anger abated in Moses, he took up the tablets. In their transcript is guidance and mercy for those in awe of their Lord." (7:154), "And before it was the Book of Moses, a model and a mercy…" (46:12), "We gave Moses the Scripture after We had annihilated the previous generations; as an illumination for mankind, and guidance, and mercy, so that they may remember." (28:43), and "Then We gave Moses the Scripture, perfect for the righteous, and explaining everything clearly, and a beacon, and mercy, that they may believe in the encounter with their Lord." (6:154).

4- The description of the Quran as a mercy to those seeking guidance and mercy of the Lord is repeated in the Quran: "We have revealed it on a Blessed Night-We have warned. In it is distinguished every wise command. A decree from Us. We have been sending messages. As mercy from your Lord. He is the Hearer, the Knower." (44:3-6). "This is an illumination for humankind, and guidance, and mercy for people who believe with certainty." (45:20). "O people! There has come to you advice from your Lord, and healing for what is in the hearts, and guidance and mercy for the believers." (10:57). "In their stories is a lesson for those who possess intelligence. This is not a fabricated tale, but a confirmation of what came before it, and a detailed explanation of all things, and guidance, and mercy for people who believe." (12:111). "We revealed to you the Scripture only to clarify for them what they differ about, and guidance and mercy for people who believe." (16:64). "…We have revealed to you the Book, as an explanation of all things, and guidance, and mercy and good news for those who submit." (16:89). "This Quran relates to the Children of Israel most of what they differ about. And it is guidance and mercy for the believers." (27:76-77). "These are the Verses of the Wise Book. A guide and a mercy for the righteous." (31:2-3). "We have given them a Scripture, which We detailed with knowledge-guidance and mercy for people who believe." (7:52).

5- Apart from being a mercy for believers, the Quran is the source of loss for unbelievers: "We send down in the Quran healing and mercy for the believers, but it increases the wrongdoers only in loss." (17:82). This loss is in this life as well as the Afterlife. In the countries of the Muhammadans, they have forsaken God's book, the Quran, and thus, they live in misery despite oil riches and wealth.

The Best Discourse:

"But whoever turns away from My Reminder, for him is a confined life. And We will raise him on the Day of Resurrection blind."  He will say, "My Lord, why did You raise me blind, though I was seeing?" He will say, "Just as Our revelations came to you, and you forgot them, today you will be forgotten." Thus We recompense him who transgresses and does not believe in the revelations of his Lord. The punishment of the Hereafter is more severe, and more lasting." (20:124-127). God says nothing but the Truth.    


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