Tag Archives: Torah

Day Sixty (A Journey with Quran)

Surah Al Maidah: Ayats 41–50

Messenger! Don’t lose yourself in grief over those who race each other into rejection, (whether it be from) among those (Arab hypocrites) who say, ‘We believe’ with their lips, but whose hearts are devoid of faith, or it be among the Jews (of Medina), who will listen to any lie and accept (any slander) told to them by people who never even met you! They switch words from their proper sequence, and they say, “If (Muhammad) gives you (what you like to hear,) then take it, but if not, then beware.” If Allah wants to put someone into utter turmoil, you can do nothing for them against Allah (and His plan). (The ones to whom He does that) are those whose hearts Allah has no desire to purify. They’ll have nothing but disgrace in this world, and in the next life they’ll have a severe penalty to pay. [41]

The (Jews of Medina) listen to lies and devour anything that’s been prohibited to them. If they do happen to come to you and ask you to solve their internal disputes, you can either render a verdict or decline to hear the case altogether. If you decline (to get involved), they can’t do any harm to you at all (in their spite). If you choose to adjudicate, then judge fairly between them, for Allah loves fair judges. [42]

However, why are they coming to you for decisions at all when they have their own Torah right there with them? It already contains Allah’s commandments. Yet, they turn away from it even still, for they’re not really all that faithful. [43]

We revealed the Torah, and it contained both guidance and enlightenment (within its pages). The prophets (of old), who surrendered (themselves to Allah’s command), used it to judge among the Jews, and the rabbis and legal scholars (also used it to render their judgments, as well). (They were charged with safeguarding and living by) the portion of Allah’s Book that was entrusted to them, and they witnessed to their duty. Therefore, (you Jews of Medina), don’t be afraid of (disappointing mere) people. Rather, be afraid of (disappointing) Me, and don’t sell My (revealed) verses for a petty price. If anyone judges by any other standard than what Allah has revealed, then they’re truly covering over (the truth). [44]

We decreed for them in (the Torah): “A life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth, and a wound in exchange for a wound.” Now (this principle has been amended,) so if anyone chooses to refrain from retaliating, for (the sake of) charity, then it’s an act of atonement for himself. If anyone judges by any standard other than what Allah has revealed, then they’re truly wrongdoers. [45]

We sent Jesus, the son of Mary, following in their footsteps, to affirm the (truth of the) Torah that had come before him, and We gave him the Gospel, in which there was both guidance and enlightenment, as an affirmation of the Torah that had come before him. (The Gospel) was a source of guidance and also admonition for those who were mindful (of Allah). [46]

Therefore, let the people of the Gospel judge by what Allah revealed in it. If anyone judges by any standard other than what Allah has revealed, then they’re truly rebellious. [47]

Now We’ve sent the Book to you, (Muhammad), in all truthfulness, affirming the scriptures that came before you and safeguarding within it (the truth of the previous revelations), so judge between (the Jews and Christians) according to what Allah has revealed (to you). Don’t follow their petty whims and thus swerve away from the truth that’s come to you. We’ve given to each one of you (differing religious groups) a legal tradition and a clear method (for dealing with legal issues). If Allah had wanted, He could’ve made you all into one community, but He tests you in what He’s given you, so forge ahead as if you were racing towards everything virtuous. Your ultimate return is back to Allah, and He’s going to show you (the truth) of those things about which you argued. [48]

Therefore, judge between them according to what Allah has revealed, and don’t follow their petty whims. Be wary of them so they won’t seduce you away from what Allah has sent down to you. If they turn away (and ignore your rulings), then know that Allah wants to punish them for some of their sins. As it is, most people are disobedient! [49]

Are they looking for a (flawed) ruling (that’s similar to how people used to judge) in the ignorant (days before Islam?) For those who are convinced (of the truth in their hearts), who can be a better judge than Allah? [50]

Translation: Yahiya Emerick

Background to Ayat 41:

Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)could not read or write Arabic, and he certainly did not know how to read or understand Hebrew. When the rabbis of Medina would quote from the Torah in their discussions with Muhammad, some of them would purposely leave out some lines as they translated from Hebrew into Arabic in order to keep some information secret. Jewish converts to Islam would often point this out to the Prophet. (See 2:100-103.) A Jewish man of Khaybar committed adultery, and based upon his high status his fellow Jews were reluctant to apply any harsh punishment to him. They resolved to send him to Muhammad for judgment on the pretence that if he ruled in favor of the flogging that the Qur’an called for [24:2], then he would be a secular leader in their eyes, and they could follow him. However, if he ruled in favor of stoning, as the Torah prescribed, then he was an actual force to be reckoned with, and the Jews must be on their guard against him. They then went to the Prophet who was sitting with some companions in the mosque and asked what they should do about this adulterer. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) remained silent and either called for some rabbinical students to be brought to him or he himself accompanied them to one of their small yeshivas, or religious schools (the reports do not specify). The Prophet said to the Jewish scholars, “I appeal to you by God who revealed the Torah to Moses. What punishment does the Torah prescribe for an adulterer?” One of the rabbis answered, “They are rubbed with ash, defamed and whipped, and the defamation comes by placing both guilty parties back to back on a donkey that is led around the streets.” The others present affirmed their agreement, but the Prophet noticed that one man among them was keeping silent. The Prophet was told that his name was Ibn Surya, and then he appealed to him for his answer to the question, making him swear an oath to God to be truthful. When Ibn Surya replied that the actual punishment was death, the Prophet further questioned him, saying, “When is the first time in which you disobeyed the order of Almighty God?” Ibn Surya replied, “One of our ancient king’s relatives committed adultery, and the stoning was put off. Then a lesser noble also was found to have been adulterous, and the king wanted him stoned. However, his family objected, saying that they wouldn’t let their relative be stoned unless the king’s relative was stoned first. It was then that they compromised on the punishment among themselves (and lessened it).” The Prophet then asked a rabbi to read from the Torah about adultery, and the man began to read the appropriate section from a scroll, but he kept his finger over the verse calling for stoning and read the verses before and after it. The Jewish convert to Islam, ‘Abdullah ibn Salam, (also a former rabbi) informed the Prophet that the first rabbi had skipped a line, and he asked the man to remove his finger and read the verse. When he did, the Prophet then answered, “I judge by what is in the Torah.” Then he ruled that the adulterers were to be stoned. The adulterous couple was then taken out and stoned, but the Prophet did not take part in it. This verse was revealed concerning this and other similar affairs in which the Jews asked for the Prophet’s rulings on various issues. (Asbab ul-Nuzul)

Background to Ayat 48:

Four leading Jewish men of Medina, including K’ab ibn Asad and Shas ibn Qays, wanted to see if they could corrupt the Prophet away from being sincere in his religion. They went to him and told him that they were the leaders of the Jews, and if they converted then all the Jews would follow them. Their only requirement was that he render a biased judgment in favor of them in a dispute they had with some men of their community. This verse was revealed concerning this incident. (Asbab ul-Nuzul)

Fasting

As Muslims, we are getting much nearer to the end of our thirty days fasting period — the month which is known as Ramadan. When God decreed it centuries ago for believers, many didn’t know how beneficial it was to health, but now fasting has been proven through scientific knowledge, of utmost value to our health.

One thing I can vouch for is shinning white teeth. Normally I brush my teeth thrice a day minimally, but in Ramadan probably I do more. Once I’m in the bathroom, I reach for the toothpaste almost reflexively— forgetting I’ve not eaten anything since Sehr timings. The result is that teeth shine like pearls — Masha’Allah!

When my late husband was alive, and I lived in Pakistan, every Ramadan started with Dora Quran. It was held at a friend’s house where like minded ladies gathered every Thursday to read, and gain more insight into Quran, and Islam. With the beginning of Ramadan the meeting was held every day, and we women had Dora Quran which meant a quick reading of one Sipara (one part of the Quran– there are thirty parts) each day. It used to be quite comprehensive, as it entailed various aspects of our religion.

Then dear husband died, and I got permanently shifted to the US. It has been five years now, and I missed the valuable lessons about being a better human than I initially was, and doing charity work which I learnt through our weekly meetings.

This year I got lucky that my daughter visited me just before the beginning of Ramadan. Daughter was getting audio recordings daily from her neighbor in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Her neighbor held Dora Quran. My daughter asked that I should be included in getting the audio recordings daily. Jazak’Allah Khair to the lady for including me. It’s really inspiring.

It’s told that Angels are present when the Quran is read in the mornings. Normally I read two pages every morning after Fajr Prayers, and again when I’m having breakfast I read, and listen to it on my iPad.

It was a revelation to read Chapter 19, Surah Shuarah, Ayat 196 that Quran is the same book which earlier generations received from Torah to the Bible. Basically the teachings are the same except for the parts where they slung mud at the prophets, and distorted the fact that God is One only, and no other exists beside Him. Those books got muddled, and distorted through the hands of misguided zealots.

Religious fanatics against Islam are trying their best to do the same thing to Quran, but it’s almost impossible, as there are many Muslims who memorize each and every word. Even if distortions occur no one can put false interpretations in each, and every copy. A true version will be always be there till the end of time.