Abraham, Christian, Christianity, Interfaith, Islam, Islamic, Islamophobia, Judaism, Misquotes, Muslim, Philosophy, Quran, Religion

The word ‘Allah’. 

I was reading through the blogs with Islam used as a tag, and as usual I saw a couple of them that raised a flag in my head. Let`s take the usage of the name ‘Allah’: 

In a blog a Christian friend wrote about muslims I noticed they made a special emphasis to use the word ‘Allah’, to refer to God of muslims. Incidentally, the word ‘Allah’ is the only arabic word they used in their article, which is otherwise written in English. Most often no one thinks there might be seeds of a misunderstanding or misuse here. However, there is: the temptation to use the word ‘Allah’ when referring to ‘God of Islam‘ is the result of a very common misconception that assumes `Islamic God is not God, it is Allah`. This is entirely wrong. 

In arabic, Allah simply means God. The God of Jesus, Moses and Abraham and of others. I really mean The God! So, why write the arabic translation of the word’God’ when writing an article in the English language? 

 In case this is hard to digest here is a fact

If you go to any arabic country and visit a church of Christianity and listen in, you will hear two things that is worth mentioning here: 1) They speak in arabic to pray and lead the worship. 2) They use the word ‘Allah’ to refer to God. Why? Because arabic is their native language, and they continue using arabic when referring to God. This is because God means Allah in arabic, for anyone. 

The two conclusions from this are, 1) arabic is not the holy language of Islam; 2)’Allah’ is the arabic translation of the word ‘God’ and vice versa. 

Should christian arabs have made an exception here and refer to God in English, just to be on the same page with English speakers? No. English speakers should not make that exception either. 

Commentary, Contemporary, Interfaith, Islam, Islamic, Islamophobia, Misquotes, News, Philosophy, Quran, Religion

“9:5 Kill the disbelievers wherever you find them.” … Wrong!

I am seeing several posts on misquoted representations from the Quran, and even though I am replying with clarifications, the moderators have not yet approved any of my comments. Therefore, I decided to give an example of how Islamophobics use mis-quotations. In addition, I am adding below a very useful link that answers to most of these misrepresentations. 

The actual translation of 9:5 and 9:6:

9:5-6 But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, an seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. If one amongst the Pagans ask thee for asylum, grant it to him, so that he may hear the word of Allah. and then escort him to where he can be secure. That is because they are men without knowledge.

Dr. Zakir Naik explains as follows:

“This verse is quoted during a battle. …We know that America was once at war with Vietnam. Suppose the President of America or the General of the American Army told the American soldiers during the war: “Wherever you find the Vietnamese, kill them”. Today if I say that the American President said, “Wherever you find Vietnamese, kill them” without giving the context, I will make him sound like a butcher. But if I quote him in context, that he said it during a war, it will sound very logical, as he was trying to boost the morale of the American soldiers during the war. …Similarly in Surah Taubah chapter 9 verse 5 the Qur’an says, “Kill the Mushriqs (pagans) where ever you find them”, during a battle to boost the morale of the Muslim soldiers. What the Qur’an is telling Muslim soldiers is, don’t be afraid during battle; wherever you find the enemies kill them. Surah Taubah chapter 9 verse 6 gives the answer to the allegation that Islam promotes violence, brutality and bloodshed. It says:

“If one amongst the Pagans ask thee for asylum, grant it to him, so that he may hear the word of Allah; and then escort him to where he can be secure that is because they are men without knowledge.” [Al-Qur’an 9:6]

The Qur’an not only says that a Mushriq seeking asylum during the battle should be granted refuge, but also that he should be escorted to a secure place. In the present international scenario, even a kind, peace-loving army General, during a battle, may let the enemy soldiers go free, if they want peace. But which army General will ever tell his soldiers, that if the enemy soldiers want peace during a battle, don’t just let them go free, but also escort them to a place of security? This is exactly what Allah (swt) says in the Glorious Qur’an to promote peace in the world.”

The source of this explanation, and explanations to many other similarly misquoted or misrepresented Quran verses is here:

Answering Misquotes and Misrepresentations