In order that they might turn to us.

Get good education and live in the West peacefully.’ Osama bin Laden to his children.                       Chapter 3. Jews and Christians.   Robert Spencer, ruthless critic of Islam writes: ‘… the Koran’s overall message is that Infidels should be converted to Islam, subjugated as legal inferiors to Muslims, or killed. Consequently, for Infidels, the Koran is a dangerous book…we can only hope that … they (Western leaders) will open the Koran and begin to read.’[1] Our research revealed just two verses with negative content so far, even after looking at the most intimidating subject: jihad. The line 2-191 ‘Slay wherever you find them’ is about ‘those who reject faith’. We have found another doubtful verse 5-51 ‘O you who believe! Take not Jews and Christians for friends’, whatsounds contradictory to the Abrahamic idea, but it is not a verdict yet. I would attempt to grasp the whole picture. Let’s move down Surah 3, al-Imran and try to list all verses containing or implying the words Jews and Christians. In our first chapter we went through the whole text, but the current subject had not been taken separately. Nevertheless we missed nothing related to the two older convictions. In Suraht al-Bakara we have singled out verses from 2-40 to 2-96 holding the history of Jewish escape from Egypt lead by Moses. Verse 2-82: equivalence of moral values for Jews and Muslims. 2-246/251: recourse to Jewish history, Moses, Samuel, Aaron, Goliath. Now sampling in Suraht al-Imran, verse 19: 3-19 Truly, the religion with the God is Islam. Those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) did not differ, but their dissent was out of mutual jealousy, after knowledge had come to them …  (19) إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِندَ اللّهِ الإِسْلاَمُ وَمَا اخْتَلَفَ الَّذِينَ أُوْتُواْ الْكِتَابَ إِلاَّ مِن بَعْدِ مَا جَاءهُمُ الْعِلْمُ بَغْيًا بَيْنَهُمْ وَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِآيَاتِ اللّهِ فَإِنَّ اللّهِ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ(١٩)   It is a noteworthy line indeed: “…the religion with the God is Islam… and Jews and Christians did not differ…” Considering verses 2:136 – 2:140 coupled with just mentioned 3:19 – Islam was the initial belief given to the People of the Book. Later on it sprang up as a separate creed. 3-20 So if they dispute with you (Muhammad) say: "I have submitted myself to Allâh, and so have those who follow me." And say to those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) and to those who are illiterates (Arab pagans): "Do you submit yourselves to Allâh in Islâm?" If they do, they are rightly guided; but if they turn away, your duty is only to convey the Message; Allah is looking after his slaves. (20) فَإنْ حَآجُّوكَ فَقُلْ أَسْلَمْتُ وَجْهِيَ لِلّهِ وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِ وَقُل لِّلَّذِينَ أُوْتُواْ الْكِتَابَ وَالأُمِّيِّينَ أَأَسْلَمْتُمْ فَإِنْ أَسْلَمُواْ فَقَدِ اهْتَدَواْ وَّإِن تَوَلَّوْاْ فَإِنَّمَا عَلَيْكَ الْبَلاَغُ وَاللّهُ بَصِيرٌ بِالْعِبَادِ(٢٠)    A remarkable expression in aiyat 3-20 is submit yourself in Islam, what sounds in Arabic as aslama and has a meaning to embrace Islam in the Arabic thesaurus. My impression is that aslama has a wider meaning in the Koran: to embrace the unified faith of submission to one God, Islam, what is proved by the content of 3-20. The division into Jews and Christians happened “out of mutual jealousy” judging by 3-19, and Muslims appeared later and for a reason, as we will find later.     Moreover, verse 2 of Suraht al-Bakara starts with ‘Verily this Book is guidance for believers’, what sounds in Arabic as hudan lil-muttaqin. Hudan, i.e. guidance, sounds in Arabic very similar to hadu in 2-62 – those who embraced Judaism. To my mind hadu means those who received revelation and guidance before, though the Arabic thesaurus is not helpful in this regard, as both words have slightly different roots. It appears to be not the best dictionary, but it was the only option available here in America through Amazon. On we go, Suraht al-Imran, ancestry of Jesus Christ, son of Mary, messenger to Israelites:   3-52 When Jesus found unbelief on their part, he said: "Who will be my helpers to the work of Allah?" Said the Disciples: "We are Allah's helpers we believe in Allah and do you bear witness that we are Muslims. !!! (52) Translation by Yusuf Ali (٥١)فَلَمَّآ أَحَسَّ عِيسَىٰ مِنۡہُمُ ٱلۡكُفۡرَ قَالَ مَنۡ أَنصَارِىٓ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ‌ۖ قَالَ ٱلۡحَوَارِيُّونَ نَحۡنُ أَنصَارُ ٱللَّهِ ءَامَنَّا بِٱللَّهِ وَٱشۡهَدۡ بِأَنَّا مُسۡلِمُونَ (٥٢)   If aiyats 3-19 and 3-20 just foster some thoughts, verse 3-52 kills all doubts. The Koran delivers a notion of unified religion, Islam, the belief of submission to one God, the God or Allah in Arabic. Yet we have to clear the mess around contradictory 5-51 ‘O you who believe! Take not Jews and Christians for friends’. We have just tapped the subject of paramount importance: does the Koran erase differences between the main world religions, or does it establish just one religion, Islam, not very friendly to the other ones? To be 100% sure, we will return to the above verses in a separate chapter where a real delight is awaiting us: Explanation of the Superiority of Islaam byMuhammed bin ‘Abdul Wahhab –yes, the founder of the whole Wahhabi creed; with comments by ‘Abdul ‘Azeez ‘Abdullah bin Baz. Hope you remember this personality: the former top Saudi cleric, head of Saudi ‘scientific research’ and many more titles.         The following verse 3-64, as well as 3-20, is dedicated to erasing differences in terms of monotheism [2] between Muslims, Jews and Christians. Please take notice of the ending of 3-64: ‘if Jews and Christians turn away’, i.e. disagree on monotheism, ‘then pronounce (instruction to Prophet Mohammed): we are Muslims!’ I checked several translations verifying the verb tavalla (turn away); found that my knowledge of Arabic is far from being perfect and finally took for reference translation approved by sheikh Abdul ‘Azeez ‘Abdullah bin Baz.       3-64 Say: "O people of the Book! (Jews and Christians) Come to common terms as between us and you: that we worship none but Allah; that we associate no partners with Him; that we erect not from among ourselves Lords and patrons other than Allah." If then they turn away, say: "Bear witness that we are Muslims."  (64) قُلۡ يَـٰٓأَهۡلَ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبِ تَعَالَوۡاْ إِلَىٰ ڪَلِمَةٍ۬ سَوَآءِۭ بَيۡنَنَا وَبَيۡنَكُمۡ أَلَّا نَعۡبُدَ إِلَّا ٱللَّهَ وَلَا نُشۡرِكَ بِهِۦ شَيۡـًٔ۬ا وَلَا يَتَّخِذَ بَعۡضُنَا بَعۡضًا أَرۡبَابً۬ا مِّن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ‌ۚ فَإِن تَوَلَّوۡاْ فَقُولُواْ ٱشۡهَدُواْ بِأَنَّا مُسۡلِمُونَ (٦٤)   That was the crucial point for the newborn Muslim community: divergence from the oneness of God, if judge by the content of verse 3-64 [3], that was the principal delineation between the followers of Muhammad and People of the Book; and that caused the spin around of Muslim congregation from Jerusalem to Mecca, the concept of monotheism [4]. This is how the Muslims’ separation from the People of the Book happened. As you can notice, the major differences between the three confessions are expressed by verse 3-64, i.e. fit 3-4 lines. The next verse, 3-67, underlies the true value of Abraham’s belief – oneness of the God:  3-67 Abraham was not a Jew nor yet a Christian, but he was true in faith and bowed his will to Allah's (which is Islam) and he joined not gods with Allah. (3-67) Translation by Yusuf Ali (٦٦) مَا كَانَ إِبۡرَٲهِيمُ يَہُودِيًّ۬ا وَلَا نَصۡرَانِيًّ۬ا وَلَـٰكِن كَانَ حَنِيفً۬ا مُّسۡلِمً۬ا وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ ٱلۡمُشۡرِكِينَ (٦٧)   Further narrative is consistent with the subject of Abraham’s accord: 3-84  Say: "We believe in Allah, and in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Isma`il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and in (the Books) given to Moses, Jesus, and the Prophets, from their Lord; we make no distinction between one and another among them, and to Allah do we bow our will (in Islam)." (84) قُلۡ ءَامَنَّا بِٱللَّهِ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ عَلَيۡنَا وَمَآ أُنزِلَ عَلَىٰٓ إِبۡرَٲهِيمَ وَإِسۡمَـٰعِيلَ وَإِسۡحَـٰقَ وَيَعۡقُوبَ وَٱلۡأَسۡبَاطِ وَمَآ أُوتِىَ مُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ وَٱلنَّبِيُّونَ مِن رَّبِّهِمۡ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيۡنَ أَحَدٍ۬ مِّنۡهُمۡ وَنَحۡنُ لَهُ ۥ مُسۡلِمُونَ (٨٤)   And this kind of arguing on monotheism with People of the Book, Jews and Christians, continues up to verse 3-119. The pivotal axis established by verses 2-4/62/136 and defined in chapter 1 as the Abrahamic accord is unquestionably sustained. But there are negative verses containing charges against Jews and Christians. The accusations are as follows: 3-78 ‘There is among them a section who distort the Book with their tongues…’ (78). The next verse details the indictment: 3-80 Nor would he instruct you to take angels and prophets for Lords and Patrons... (80) وَلَا يَأۡمُرَكُمۡ أَن تَتَّخِذُواْ ٱلۡمَلَـٰٓٮِٕكَةَ وَٱلنَّبِيِّـۧنَ أَرۡبَابًا‌ۗ أَيَأۡمُرُكُم بِٱلۡكُفۡرِ بَعۡدَ إِذۡ أَنتُم مُّسۡلِمُونَ (٨٠)   3-80 contains very important detail: worshipping of angels and prophets (i.e. humans) by Jews and Christians. Verse 3-80 actually makes a foundation of the Wahhabi creed. There was a reference to Saudi (Wahhabi) author Salih al-Fawzan in the first chapter, now one more citation: ‘Islamic monotheism contradicts polytheistic doctrines of Jews, Christians, idolaters and atheists’.[5]  In fact we start analysis of the Wahhabi creed basics through the text of the Koran. The ending of Suraht al-Imran is more favorable for both Jews and Christians: 3-199   And there are, certainly, among the people of the Book, those who believe in Allah, in          the Revelation to you, and in the Revelation to them, bowing in humility to Allah: they          will not sell the signs of Allah for a miserable gain! The next chapter, an-Nisah, starts with description of man’s duties in the family, but the biggest part of narrative unfolds in the same setting: believers in one God and nonbelievers, their fate and warnings followed by illustrations from the Bible history. The Jewish thread is as noticeable as in Chapter 2, al-Bakara. 4-46 Of the Jews there are those who displace words from their right places …. but Allah has        cursed them for their unbelief; and but few of them will believe. Verse 4-47 orders Jews and Christians to accept the Koran as continuation of earlier revelations: 4-47 O you people of the Book! Believe in what We have now revealed, confirming what was already with you, before We change the face and fame of some of you beyond all recognition, and turn them hind wards, or curse them as We cursed the Sabbath-breakers: for the decision of Allah must be carried out. The following verses bring serious chargers, among them rejection of faith, but actually this is the old story of conversion of Moses followers and reluctance of ancient Jews to accept Jesus Christ as a prophet: 4-155/157 (154) They have incurred divine displeasure because they broke their Covenant: they rejected the Signs of Allah; they slew the Messengers in defiance of right… (155) That they rejected Faith: that they uttered against Mary a grave false charge. (156) That they said "We killed Jesus Christ the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah"― but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them … but they killed him not. (157) The Holy Muslim Script charges ancient Jews with denying and killing of Jesus Christ! Those willing to discuss gravity of the crime may write to Mel Gibson, those who follow the thread must remember the already sited 3-51: Jesus and his disciples were Muslims i.e. obedient believers in one God!  Needless to say the focus must stay on the notion of being Muslim in the Koran. We have tended to verses 2-136 and 2-140 in the first chapter of this book, laying down parity of all the prophets from Abraham to Jesus for Muslims. There are many books about Jesus as a prophet of Islam, and I am in trouble advocating the author; just ask for the subject matter in any Islamic bookstore. I have an Ahmadiya booklet on Jesus handy just to illustrate popularity of the theme. Furthermore I would recommend Life and Teaching of the Masters of the Far East by Baird T. Spalding, the book in full accord with the contents of the Koran and Ahmadiya teaching. The charges in the previous aiyats 153-157 are grave indeed, but not against all, believers among Jews may expect same rewards as all other believers. 4-158/161 - continuation of the passage stating sins of ancient Jews, nevertheless verse 4-162 brings another inference of unified destiny for all believers:   4-162  But those among them who are well-grounded in knowledge, and the Believers, believe in what hath been revealed to you; and what was revealed before you; and especially those who establish regular prayer and practice regular charity and believe in Allah and in the Last Day: to them shall We soon give a great reward. (162) The following verse has more to do with Christians, than with Jews, and it raises very important matter in terms of monotheism: Jesus Christ was just a mortal and it is wrong to assign to him any sort of godly standing: 4 -171 O people of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: nor say of Allah naught but truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was just a Messenger of Allah and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a Spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in Allah and His Messengers. Say not ‘Trinity’: desist: it will be better for you; He is above having a son. It is a part of Wahhabi belief [6], and in this respect they are in full conformity with both the Koran’s stipulations and Jewish doctrine: the God is one, and a true believer can not assign a tiniest portion of divinity to any human being. Chapter 5, Suraht al-Maida, prescribes what is lawful to eat in the starting lines, but the name of the chapter, Table, has nothing to do with kosher menu. It originates from the story of the Disciples who had demanded the table full of food as a proof of Jesus powers. It is one of the most important Surahs in pursuit to discover what is the Jewish and Christian fate according to the Koran in general; and what is behind verse 5-51 in particular.   5-12  Allah aforetime took a Covenant from the Children of Israel… 5-14 From those, too, who call themselves Christians, We did take a Covenant, but they forgot a good part of the Message that was sent them: so We estranged them, with enmity and hatred between the one and the other, to the Day of Judgment. 5-15 O People of the Book! There has come to you Our Messenger, revealing to you much that you used to hide in the Book, and passing over much: there has come to you from Allah new Light and a perspicuous Book. Mohammed (sallAllahu alehi wa sallam) is the Messenger to the people of the Book, i.e. to Jews and Christians too! There are many authors contributed to this subject however the biggest names, as to my mind: Karen Armstrong with two works Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet and Muhammad: A Prophet For Our Time; and William Montgomery Watt with several books, such as Muhammad: Prophet and Statesman and Muhammad: Seal of the Prophets. And again returns to mind the saying of the top Saudi cleric sheikh ‘Abdelaziz Bin ‘Abdella Bin Baz[7] : “… the people of the Book belong to a heavenly religion and claim to be the followers of Moses and Jesus, although this is a false claim. Allah has abrogated their religion and annulled by sending Muhammad to all the peoples.” What did sheikh mean: rejection of Christianity and Judaism or fusion of all three confessions? The next verse brings another proof for the Wahhabi monotheistic tenet: 5-17  In blasphemy indeed are those that say that Allah is Christ, the son of Mary… 5- 19/25: the biblical story of Moses and escape from Egypt again! A little more specific than it was in Suraht al-Bakara (2-40). The following verse 5-32 was sited during the already mentioned discussion on Bloomberg TV in October 2010 as a proof of peaceful character of Islam, but the reference to the sons of Israel had been omitted for some reason: 5-32 We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone slew a person, unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land, it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if anyone saved a life it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.   Peaceful 5-32 is followed by rigorous 5-33, which does not relate just to Jews or Christians; it is of universal character, though the time is clearly indicated. And we must not forget that Muhammad and his followers waged a real war in 622-625 AD against Mecca’s pagan Quraysh tribe and their allies on Muslim’s territory in Medina: three Jewish tribes of Qaynuqah, Nadir, and Qurayzah. The Qurayzah men were all slaughtered by Muslims [8].  Before the treaty of Hudaibiyah Muslims had been preoccupied with the struggle against Quraysh and were unable to spread their belief. This impediment was removed by the peace treaty of Hudaibiyah, providing the Muslim community with much needed break to convey their message to the surrounding territories. Prophet Muhammad addressed letters to the rulers of Iran, Egypt, the Roman Empire and the chiefs of Arabia inviting them to Islam. These were the circumstances when the Suraht al-Imran was revealed, including the most frightening 5-33: 5-33 The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion or the cutting off hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter.   The following is very interesting passage confirming the universal character of the Koran’s revelation (see 3-93): 5-43  But why do they come to you for decision when they have their own Torah before them?... 5-44 It was We who revealed the Torah to Moses; therein was guidance and light. By its standard have been judged the Jews, by the Prophet who bowed in Islam to Allah's will, by the Rabbis and the Doctors of Law: for to them was entrusted the protection of Allah's Book, and they were witnesses thereto: therefore fear not men, but fear Me, and sell not My Signs for a miserable price. If any fails to judge by what Allah has revealed, they are no better than Unbelievers. (44) The highlighted line was used in support of the charge against moderate Muslims in the verdict of Russian sharia court in chapter 2. On we go: 5-46  And in their footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear Allah. (5-46) Let the people of the Gospel Judge by what Allah has revealed therein… (5-47) To you We sent the Scripture in truth,confirming the scripturethat came before it... Referring to the sharia court verdict: it seems they did not reach 5-47 in their reading.   5-51  O you who believe! Take not Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: they are but friends and protectors to each other. And if anyone amongst you turns to them for friendship and support, he is one of them… This is it. But let’s read a little bit farther: 5-55   Verily, your friends and protectors (Wali) is Allah, His Messenger, and the Believers, those who establish regular prayers and pay charity, and they bow down humbly in worship. (5-55) Continuation of 5-51. Definition of believer one more time. We are close to the core of the quest: 5-57 …O you who believe! Take not for friends and protectors those who take your religion for a mockery or sport, ― whether among those who received the Scripture before you, or among those who reject Faith; but fear Allah if you have Faith indeed. (57) May be next verse is the clue? Do you remember why Iblis-Satan had been demoted to the rank of disbelievers in Suraht al-Bakara? Let’s read on. 5-59  Say: "O People of the Book! Do you disapprove of us for no other reason than that we believe in Allah, and the revelation that has come to us and that came before us, and perhaps that most of you are rebellious and disobedient?" (5-59)    5-66If only they had stood firm by the Law, the Gospel, and all the revelation that was sent to them from their Lord… (٦٥) وَلَوۡ أَنَّہُمۡ أَقَامُواْ ٱلتَّوۡرَٮٰةَ وَٱلۡإِنجِيلَ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيۡہِم مِّن رَّبِّہِمۡ لَأَڪَلُواْ مِن فَوۡقِهِمۡ وَمِن تَحۡتِ أَرۡجُلِهِم‌ۚ مِّنۡہُمۡ أُمَّةٌ۬ مُّقۡتَصِدَةٌ۬‌ۖ وَكَثِيرٌ۬ مِّنۡہُمۡ سَآءَ مَا يَعۡمَلُونَ (٦٦) And finally: the accusation in this part of the Koran against Jews and Christians is based on their nonconformity with the Gospel! One more point in favor of unified Abrahamic tradition endorsed by the Holy Muslim Script. Amazing things can happen if one tries to grasp the whole picture. And many things can be portrayed adversely by deliberately plucked phrases, as we witnessed in the previous chapter with 5-51. On we go: 5-69 Those who believe in the Koran and those who follow the Jewish Scriptures and the Sabians and    the Christians ― any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness - on them shall     be no fear, nor shall they grieve. Yet again the Koran states: there is a future for believers despite their adherence to different religions. Or is it more appropriate to say different religious traditions? If the God is one? 5-70 is the verse with biblical content replicating 5-12, 5-13, 5-15, 5-17 and many others: 5-70    We took the Covenant of the Children of Israel and sent them Messengers. Every time came to      them a Messenger with what they themselves desired not, ― some they called impostors, and      some they slew. (5-70) Perceptibly verse 5-51 is something from that rough time of war 622-625 AD, but even if perceived as a message and guidance for nowadays, the whole Surah 5, al-Maida, carries the same context of believers-nonbelievers who existed and exist nowadays among Jews, Christians and others. But on we go; Surah 5 is not over yet. There is strong monotheistic cue once again in the next verse. Monotheism in Arabic sounds as tawheed. In fact we are following the footsteps of Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab [9] when he was writing his Book of Tawheed, Three Principles and other works laying ground for nowadays Wahhabism. 5-72  They do blaspheme who say: "Allah is Christ the son of Mary." But said Christ: "O children of Israel! Worship Allah, my Lord, and your Lord." Whoever joins other gods with Allah ― Allah will forbid him the Garden and the Fire will be his abode. ... 5-73  They disbelieve who say: Allah is one of three in a Trinity: for there is no god except One     God. 5-82  Strongest in enmity to the Believers you will find Jews and Pagans; and nearest among    them in love to the Believers those who say: "We are Christians:" because amongst these    are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant.  (5-82) 5-82 is an interesting passage indeed. A little bit contradictory to 5-51, but I would not take it word for word now, even if it was true for the already mentioned Jewish tribes of Medina. And the last thing relevant to the subject in Suraht al-Maida is the words of Jesus Christ: 5-117   "Never did I say to them except what You (Allâh) did command me to say: 'Worship Allâh, my Lord and your Lord.'… 5-117 This line is a testimony to the fact, that even Jesus did not consider himself a god or something of divine character.  Next chapter 6 – Suraht al-An’am begins with the decree of monotheistic principle already revealed to Jews and Christians. There is not much on the subject, but the whole Surah 6 unquestionably delivers and stresses the idea of one God first articulated by patriarch Abraham. 6-89   These were the men to whom We gave the Book, and authority, and prophethood: if their descendants reject them, behold! We shall entrust their charge to a new People who reject them not. (89) It is a powerful warning and how seriously it should be taken? It is not about waiting till the Judgment day. We will return to this point in the upcoming chapters. The next chapter 7, Suraht al-A’raf, opens with monotheistic drive: 7-3  Follow the revelation given unto you from your Lord, and follow not other than Him.   Aiyats 7-103 up to 7-170 recap the story of Moses and Jewish exodus from Egypt as a proof of mighty interference by the God. The advent of Prophet Mohammed foretold in the Jewish Script. 7-137   The fair promise of your Lord was fulfilled for the Children of Israel, because they        had patience and constancy, and We leveled to the ground the great works and fine        buildings which Pharaoh and his people erected. (137) 7-166   When in their insolence they (some of the Jews led by Moses from Egypt) transgressed all prohibition, We said to them: "Be you apes, despised and rejected." 7-168   We broke them (Jews) up into sections on this earth. There are among them some righteous,       and some that are the opposite. We have tried them with both prosperity and adversity:

in order that they might turn to us.

           

Very interesting passage, I would say an esoteric one, similar to 3-140. Jews were tried with both riches and hardship in order to make them turn to God? To the God, to be more exact. Perhaps vagaries of chance in our life should be regarded from this perspective?

The next chapter 8, Suraht al-Anfal, the name means spoils of war, and it deals with the loot in the beginning, but on the second line switches to the same subject: obedience of believer: 

8-1    They ask you about spoils of war. Say: "Such spoils are at the disposal of Allah and the

Messenger: so fear Allah, … obey Allah and His Messenger, if you do believe." (1)

Surah 9, at-Toubah, Repentance.

9-5    But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the pagans wherever you

find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war; but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them… 9-5. 

Remember verse 2-191, al-Bakara? Obviously 9-5 is an instruction to Prophet Mohammad and his followers in their respective time, but with potential to be interpreted. The next verse establishes Jizyah, tax on non-Muslims in the Islamic countries, the undeniable vestige of medieval Islam:

9 -29   Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden by Allah

and His Messenger nor, acknowledge the Religion of Truth from among the People of

the Book, until they pay the Jizyah[10] with willing submission and feel themselves subdued.

9-30 brings serious charges against Jews and Christians, though Jewish scholars reject any divinity ever ascribed to Uzayr (Ezra).  But who can prove what exactly was going on in VII century AD in Jewish tribes scattered in Arabia?

9-30  The Jews call Uzayr[11] a son of Allah and the Christians call Christ the son of

    Allah. That is a saying from their mouths; in doing so they but imitate what the

   Unbelievers of old used to say. Allah's curse be on them: how they are deluded away from

   the Truth!

9-31 They take their priests and their monks to be their lords in derogation of Allah, and they

take Christ the son of Mary as their Lord; Yet they were commanded to worship only Allah:

there is no god but He…

The passage 9-30/31 is dedicated to monotheistic belief and its violations by Jews and Christians; in fact one of the core tenets of the Wahhabi creed, referring to Concise Commentary on the Book of Tawhid by Salih al-Fawzan.

Verse 9-33, as well as 61-9, probably inspired sheikh ‘Abdulaziz Bin ‘Abdulla Bin Baz (‘Abdul ‘Azeez ‘Abdullah bin Baz) to write the already sited “…Allah has abrogated their religion and annulled by sending Muhammad to all the peoples.” See later 48-28.

9-33 It is He who has sent His Messenger with Guidance and Religion of Truth to proclaim it over all faith, even though the polytheists may detest it. (33) هُوَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَرۡسَلَ رَسُولَهُ ۥ بِٱلۡهُدَىٰ وَدِينِ ٱلۡحَقِّ لِيُظۡهِرَهُ ۥ عَلَى ٱلدِّينِ ڪُلِّهِۦ وَلَوۡ ڪَرِهَ ٱلۡمُشۡرِكُونَ (٣٣)

 

Once again 9-33 highlights the key difference between Muslims and People of the Book: their perception of monotheism. Actually the only serious claim against Jews and Christians is deification of some prominent individuals like Jesus Christ. The solution seems to be unbelievably simple: to give up veneration of saints in the religious practice and to admit merits of everyone devoid of divine status. 

It makes the impression of being trouble-free under condition the giant bureaucratic machine of different religious institutions is forgotten.  It might appear sarcastic, but it is hard to neglect the way Henry VIII produced the Anglican Church or difference between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Old Belief Church. The first are making the cross with three fingers, the others only with two. And the first had been persecuting the second with utmost cruelty for several centuries! A kind of war over what end should be cracked first. Both collapsed after the Communists came to power in 1917. We will return to this outcome in a separate chapter dedicated to the fate of Christians from the Koran’s perspective.

9-33 has similar content with 48-28 and 61-9. The subject replicates as it was mentioned earlier.

On we go down this Chapter. A considerable part of Surah 9 is devoted to hypocrites among the Arabs, and their fate is not better than that of disbelievers among Jews and Christians:

9-96 The Arabs of the desert are the worst in unbelief and hypocrisy and most fitted to be in ignorance of the command which Allah has sent down to His Messenger…(97) Some of the desert Arabs Look upon their payments as a fine, and watch for disasters for you: on them be the disaster of Evil: for Allah is He who hears and knows everything.

 

Surah 10, Yunus, is all about monotheism, those who believe and those who did not heed to the obvious signs; the Story of Moses and Pharaoh is repeated again as a proof of divine interference into the fate of Jews.

Surah 11, Hud, its main message is guide to monotheism, there is only one God, people who believe in Him and who don’t. Fate of many peoples and their prophets including Moses is offered as a proof.

Surah 12, Yusuf. The Biblical story of Joseph (Yusuf), who followed the monotheistic path of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

12-37   "And I follow the ways of my fathers― Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; and never could we

attribute any partners whatever to Allah…” 

Monotheistic urge is a noticeable thread.

Surah 13, ar-Ra’d. Believers and nonbelievers, push to monotheistic perception.

Surah 14, Ibrahim, stories of Moses, Noah, ‘Ad, Thamud and Abraham, reiteration of monotheistic principle.

Surah 15, al-Hijr, recap of Biblical stories of Abraham and Lut, warning to polytheists.

15-94   Therefore expound openly what you commanded, and turn away from those who

join false gods with Allah.(94)

Surah 16, an-Nahl, its biggest part devoted to the oneness of God, contains some regulation on food.

16-116  Don’t utter falsehood by letting your tongues determine: "This is lawful, and this is

forbidden," thus attributing your inventions to the God. …

A remarkable line, though not exactly what we are looking for. It is a warning to all religious and non-religious authorities with regard to issuing rules, canons, edicts, etc.

Up to 16-123 halal – kosher sequence, food.

Surah 17, Bani Israil/al-Isra. This chapter is named Children of Israel. The Jewish story bears an explicit monotheistic cue:

17-22   Take not with Allah another object of worship... (22)

17-39   Take not with Allah another object of worship, lest you should be thrown into Hell…

17-111  Say: "Praise be to Allah Who begets no son, and has no partner in His dominion…”

Surah 18, al-Kahf. Believers and disbelievers, one more warning to Christians on Jesus Christ:

18-4    And to warn those who say: Allah has chosen a son…

18-60 up to 18-81 the story of Moses.

18-82 up to 18-97 is the story of Alexander the Great of Macedon, who is depicted as a believer.

Surah 19, Mariam. Ancestry of Jesus Christ, monotheistic cues and warnings to disbelievers.

19-88   They say: "Allah Most Gracious has begotten a son!" (88)

19-92    For it is not consonant with the majesty of Allah Most Gracious that He should beget a

son.

Surah 20, Ta-Ha. The God is one. The Story of Moses and Jewish escape. Adam, angels, Satan.

Surah 21, al-Anbiya, the Prophets. All the prophets delivered the monotheistic idea. 21-10 and 21-104 are in fact another menacing warning, not just slay them or wait till the Judgment Day, something more grave in terms of conventional thinking. We will return to this warning later in chapter 7.

21-25   Not a messenger did We send before you without this inspiration sent by Us to him: that

there is no god but I; therefore worship and serve Me. (25) And they say: "Allah Most Gracious has begotten offspring." Glory to Him! They are just servants raised to honor. (26)

The subject of the following verse 74 is gays. Those who interested may check verses 7-81; 11-78/79; 15-55/75; 26-65; 27-54; 29-28, and from 18-82 to 18-97, the story of Alexander the Great of Macedon.

21-74   And to Lut, too, we gave Judgment and Knowledge, and We saved him from the town

which practiced abominations: truly they were a people given to Evil, a rebellious people.

Surah 22, al-Haj. Bears the same message on monotheism and Abrahamic accord. Verse 22-78: jihad, or continuous effort on the path of God. 22-42: denial of Prophets and punishment for that. 22-67 is a prominent verse, let’s keep it in mind.

22-67   To every People we have appointed rites and ceremonies which they must

follow: let not dispute with them on the matter, but to invite them to the Lord... (67)

22-78 speaks for itself:

22-78   And strive in His cause as you ought to strive: He has chosen you and has imposed

no difficulties on you in religion; it is the cult of your father Abraham. It is He Who has named you Muslims, both before and in this Revelation

 

Surah 23, al-Mumenoon, the Believers. The detailed description of true believer, what I would discuss in a separate chapter, let’s call it Moral Values and Behavior. A concept of Resurrection. A long line of prophets: Noah, Moses, Jesus. Tenet of monotheism is ever-present.

23-44    Then sent We Our messengers in succession: every time there came to a people their

messenger, they accused him of falsehood: so We made them follow each other…

23-91    No son did Allah beget, nor is there any god along with Him…

Surah 24. an-Nur. All about moral and family values.

Surah 25. Al-Furqan, the Criterion. The main message: oneness of God, all the prophets carried that message.

Surah 26. Ash-Shu’ara, the Poets. The story of Moses and Pharaoh, the story of Noah, the story of Thamud people, Lut and his people, Shu’aib. All the prophets tried to deliver the message of one God, most of them were rejected by their own men.

Surah 27, an-Naml. Moses, David, Solomon, Queen of Saba, Salih, Lut. Resurrection. Oneness of the God.

27-76    Verily this Qur'an does explain to the Children of Israel most of the matters in which they

disagree. (76)

Surah 28, al-Qasas. The story of Moses. 28-5 is exceptional in terms of understanding the Jewish fate:

28-5 And We wished to be gracious to those who depressed in the land (Jews) and to make

them leaders in faith ... (5)

28-52 Those to whom We sent the Book before they believe in this Revelation (52) And when it

is recited to them, they say: "We believe therein for it is the Truth from our Lord: indeed we have been Muslims before this." (53)

28-53 is another passage proving the notion of being a Muslim as an obedient believer without recourse to traditional affiliation.

28-88 - monotheistic cue once again.

 

Surah 29, al-‘Ankaboot. The Messengers: Noah and the Ark is a sign for all peoples, Abraham, Lut, Shu'ayb, ‘Ad, Moses.

Surah 30, ar-Room. The same cue for monotheism. Division into sects clearly is not hailed.

30-31 Turn you back in repentance to Him, and fear Him: establish regular prayers and be not

among those who join gods with Allah. (31) Those split up their Religion, and become Sects - each party rejoicing in but what they hold for themselves! (32)

30-42 Say: "Travel through the earth and see what was the end of those before you: most of

      them worshipped others besides Allah." (42)

As you might notice 30-42 bears the same menacing warning as 21-10 and 21-104. We will return to it in chapter 7.

Surah 31, Luqman. Monotheism or tawheed in Arabic, believers and non-believers.

31-13 Behold, Luqman said to his son admonishing him: "O my son! Join not in worship others

        with Allah: for false worship is indeed the highest wrong-doing." (13)

Surah 32, as-Sajda. Oneness of God. The Script is given to Jews through Moses.

Surah 33, al-Ahzab. Unbelievers, hypocrites, their fate is Hell. Big part of this Surah is dedicated to the manners, behavior and dress code. Hijab for women is ordained in here. Unquestionably it had been ordered for women among the followers of Muhammad when they fled Mecca for their safety.  Actually this Surah is dedicated to the war with the pagans of Mecca and the Jewish tribes of Medina sided with them.

Surah 34, Saba. Believers, non-believers, the Judgment Day.

Surah 35, Fatyr. Strong monotheistic push.

Surah 36, Yaseen. Believers, the Judgment Day, creation of mankind. A man is an arrogant and disrespectful creature. 

 Surah 37, as-Saffat. The Judgment Day, Retribution, the prophets.

Surah 38, Sad. Punishment to those who had rejected the messengers, creation of mankind and the fallen angel. No doubt 38-75 is worthy to remember:

38-75 Allah said: "O Iblis! what prevents you from prostrating to one whom I have created with

My hands? Are you haughty? …" (75) Iblis said: "I am better than he…"

Surah 39, az-Zumar. The Creator, the Judgment Day, retribution.

Surah 40, Ghafir. The Lord of the worlds, creation, nonbelievers, retribution.

Surah 41, Fussilat. Creation, worshiping only one God, retribution for nonbelievers.

Surah 42, ash-Shura. A strong message on Abraham’s unity once again in verse 13. Division into sects in 42-13.

 42-13   

He has ordained for you that religion which He commended unto Noah, and that We inspire in you, Muhammad, and that We commended unto Abraham and Moses and Jesus, saying: establish the religion, and be not divided therein…(13) شَرَعَ لَكُم مِّنَ ٱلدِّينِ مَا وَصَّىٰ بِهِۦ نُوحً۬ا وَٱلَّذِىٓ أَوۡحَيۡنَآ إِلَيۡكَ وَمَا وَصَّيۡنَا بِهِۦۤ إِبۡرَٲهِيمَ وَمُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰٓ‌ۖ أَنۡ أَقِيمُواْ ٱلدِّينَ وَلَا تَتَفَرَّقُواْ فِيهِ‌(١٣)  


Surah 43, az-Zukhruf. Monotheism is the main thrust.

43-45 And ask those of Our messengers whom We sent before you: Did We ever appoint gods

to be worshipped beside the Beneficent? (45) And verily We sent Moses with Our revelations unto Pharaoh and his chiefs…

43-57 And when the son of Mary is quoted as an example, behold! The folk laugh out, (57) And

say: Are our gods better, or is he?

Surah 44, ad-Dukhan. Oneness of the God, the Judgment Day, Pharaoh and Moses, Hell for nonbelievers.

44-8 There is no God save Him…

44-30  And We delivered the Children of Israel from the shameful doom; (30) We delivered

them from Pharaoh. He was a tyrant of the wanton ones. (31) And We chose them, purposely, above all creatures. (32)

Surah 45, al-Jathia. The Creator, portents for believers, the Judgment Day, Hell for nonbelievers.

45-16 And verily we gave the Children of Israel the Scripture and the Command and the

Prophethood, and provided them with good things and favored them above all peoples; (16) And gave them plain commandments. And they differed not until after the knowledge came unto them, through rivalry among themselves.

45-26 - Resurrection.

Surah 46, al-Ahqaf. Fate of believers and nonbelievers, strong urge to monotheism. 46-12 speaks for itself:

46-12 And before this, was the Book of Moses as a Guide and a Mercy; and this Book

      confirms it in the Arabic tongue; to admonish the unjust, and as Glad Tidings to those

      who do right. (12)

Surah 47, Mohammad. Fate of believers and nonbelievers, recompense for believers in the Afterlife.

47-36  The life of this world is but play and amusement: and if you believe and guard against

Evil, He will grant you your recompense. (36)

47-38 If you turn back from the Path, He will replace you with another people! (38)

Surah 48, al-Fatah. Paradise for believers, Hell for hypocrites and polytheists.

48-28  It is He who has sent His Messenger with Guidance and the Religion of Truth, to proclaim

it over all religion: and enough is Allah for a Witness. (28)        Remember 9-33?

The following verse is outstanding in terms of unity, common roots of the three religions:

48-29 Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; and those who are with him, you will see them bow to Allah. ... This is their similitude in the Torah; and their similitude in the Gospel

Surah 49. al-Hujarat. Behavior of believers.

49-13 O mankind! We created you from a single male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know and respect each other.

Surah 50, Qaf. The Judgment Day.

Surah 51, az-Zariyat. Abraham, Moses and Pharaoh, `Ad, Thamud, Noah: review of the prophets to nonbelievers.

Surah 54, al-Qamar. Warnings and penalty to nonbelievers: the people of Noah, ‘Ad, Thamud, Lut, and the people of Pharaoh.

Surah 57, al-Hadeed. A short but very interesting chapter, particularly for Christians.

57-27 …We followed them up with Our messengers: We sent after them Jesus the son of Mary,

and bestowed on him the Gospel; and We ordained in the hearts of those who followed him Compassion and Mercy. But the Monasticism which they invented for themselves, We did not prescribe for them: We commanded only seeking for the Good pleasure of Allah; but that they did not foster as they should have done.

Compassion and mercy is a distinctive feature of Christians. Hope nobody is inclined to simplify, but it is worth to remember the Koran’s statement on true believers, nonbelievers and hypocrites in all confessions. And secondly, monasticism was invented by Christians, it was not ordained! Very interesting passage, we will return to it in chapter 7.

Surah 59, al-Hashr. Strong message on monotheism.

Surah 61, as-Saff. Story of Moses, Jesus foretells arrival of Prophet Mohammad.

61-9: one of the aiyats encouraged Mohammad bin Abdel-Wahhab to write his Explanation of Superiority of Islam:

61-9 It is He Who has sent His Messenger with Guidance and the Religion of Truth, that he may proclaim it over all religion, even though the Pagans may detest it. (9) هُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ رَسُولَهُ بِالْهُدَىٰ وَدِينِ الْحَقِّ لِيُظْهِرَهُ عَلَى الدِّينِ كُلِّهِ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْمُشْرِكُونَ(٩)

 

 

Surah 65, at-Talaq. All about divorce, punishment in the Hereafter.

Surah 69,  al-Haqqah. The sinners and the Judgment Day.

Surah 70, al-Ma’areej. Those who are entitled to enter the Paradise.

Surah 71, Nooh. The Biblical story of Noah.

Surah 87. al-A’la. Afterlife.

87-17  But the Hereafter is better and more enduring. (17) And this is in the Books of the

earliest Revelations― (18) the Books of Abraham and Moses. (19)

Surah 98, al-Bayyina. Warning to the People of the Book and polytheists.

98-6 Those who reject the Truth among the People of the Book and among the Polytheists,

will be in Hell-fire…

       To sum it up, what was found on the subject ‘Jews and Christians’ in the Koran: the weightiest thread is the Abrahamic monotheistic unity of all three religions, although some differences on the matter have been registered, they can be easily overcome, as to my mind again.

Many people who fear Islam as something alien and threatening their beliefs should bear in mind the unique source of the three major religions. Islam was not conceived as a separate creed, but happened to become per se unwillingly, under the rough circumstances of survival for the first Muslim community.

If somebody is still fixed on the lines: ‘And slay them wherever you find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for apostasy and defiance are worse than slaughter …’ and ‘don’t take Jews and Christians for friends…’, I would advise to reread this chapter or the Koran again. The Holy Muslim Script does not divide people on Jews, Christians and others; actually it separates them as nonbelievers and obedient believers, i.e. Muslims in any confession. And only these two factions are doomed to meet their Lord on the Day of Judgment, but to be treated differently: depending on their adherence to the above two factions.

Another serious thread detected is deification of Jesus Christ and other prominent religious characters. And for Muslims in traditional sense this point is clear, it is hard to discuss it in Christian confessions; in Judaism Jesus Christ is not considered to be a son of God. Actually one of the reasons to reveal the Koran was necessity to shed light on this issue: deification of mortals, what from the Koran’s view is nothing but polytheism or paganism.

The notion of Abraham’s unity is expounded more convincing than any separating thread. All charges against Jews and Christians boil down to their nonconformity with the tenets of Gospel in terms of monotheism, precisely the deification of humans. The ancient Jews are chastised because had not come to believe straight away and rejected several messengers.In fact the whole Jewish tale in the Koran is the story of conversion, the giant effort made in order to make them believe.

Major offense by Christians is deification of Jesus Christ and other saints. Desert Arabs had such sin as hypocrisy.  But in fact the true believers in all confessions have nothing to fear on the Judgment Day when meeting their Lord.  The definition of believer has been revised in chapter 1 dedicated to Suraht al-Bakara. Beside there are many things distinguishing a believer what we will try to explore in the upcoming chapters Women, Moral and Behavior, Food, Christians.

And the last: if we take a look at the dominant subjects in all Surahs (Koran chapters), we will be given a good reason for the name of major work by Mohammad bin Abdul-Wahhab: Kitab at-Tawheed or Book of Monotheism, what reflects the actual content of the Koran.

 

 

[1] The Complete Infidel’s Guide to the Koran, Robert Spencer, Regnery Publishing, Inc, 2009, p.232.

 

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monotheism

 

[3] This Surah is cited in Ahadith and refers therein to attempt by Prophet Muhammad to convert Christians of Byzantine Empire to Islam. Saheeh al-Bukhari. Book of Revelation, Hadith 7. Summarized Sahih Al-Bukhari, Darussalam Publishers and Distributors, Riyadh, 1996, page 53.

 

[4] Islam, A Short History, Karen Armstrong, A Modern Library Chronicles Books, New York, 2002, page 18.

[5] Concise Commentary on the Book of Tawhid. Dr. Salih Al-Fawzan, Al-Maiman Publishing House, Saudi Arabia, Second edition, 2009, page 23. Pages 167, 188, 190, 301 contain substantiation of charges against Jews and Christians as well.

 

[6] Three Fundamental Principles of Islam, Muhammed bin ‘Abdul-Wahhab. Commentary by Muhammed bin Salih al-Uthaimin, Darussalam, 2010, page 61.

 

[7] Establishing Proofs regarding The Rule on Those Who Seek Help in Other Than Allah, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdulla bin Baz, Maktaba Dar-us-Salam, 1995, 2d edition 2003, page 38.

 

[8] Islam, A Short History, Karen Armstrong, A Modern Library Chronicles Books, New York, 2002, page 21.

 

[9] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad_ibn_Abd_al-Wahhab

 

[10] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jizya

 

[11] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uzair ; this assertion is rejected by Jewish scholars.


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