SOME OBJECTIONS TO ISLAM [from: "Islam as I understand" by Dr. Shabbir]
“Whenever a hadith (quotation) is presented to you in my name, verify it with the Quran. If it agrees with the Quran accept it and if it is in conflict, discard it.”
- Prophet Muhammad (S), Al-Tibiyan wat Tabayyen, vol II, p. 28)
Now we will address some objections and criticism that non-Muslims, and even some ignorant Muslims, often raise about Islam. Some of these objections might have been answered in the last four chapters. The Christian criticism of Islam, in my experience, is mostly based on:
- Wrong translations of the Quran
- Books of history and tradition that were written centuries after the exalted Prophet. Many narratives in those books are erroneous or blatant fabrications and, therefore, do not stand up to the Criterion i.e. Al-Quran. (Prophetic traditions that agree with the Quran, provide us with valuable insight into history).
- Cultural, un-Islamic practices of Muslims branded as Islam.
The Truth is lost in nonsense
This Nation is lost in tradition
- Sir Iqbal
Even non-Muslims have been lost in our fable and legend. Any historical narrative or reported prophetic tradition that contradicts the Criterion between the Right and Wrong (the Quran 3:4), could not have originated from the exalted Prophet since he could never have gone against the Book revealed to him. Not once could even his staunch enemies accuse the Prophet (S) of violating the Quran. The Book of Allah describes him as “best in conduct” and "the best role model” for humanity.
68:4 For, verily, you are of the noblest moral character!
33:21 Verily, in the Messenger of Allah you have a most excellent example, for everyone who looks unto Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much.
I will answer these objections in the Light of the Glorious Quran. Those who do not practically accept it as the only Authentic Source of Islam should feel free to honor me with their verdicts of infidelity.
1. Islam was spread by sword.
A. See Chapter III. Muslims today are weak all over the globe, yet Islam is spreading faster than any other religion. Can you think of a Muslim invasion in countries like Indonesia and Malaysia, the homes to the greatest number of Muslims today? "The legend of fanatical Muslims sweeping through the world and forcing Islam at the point of the sword is the most fantastically absurd myth that historians have ever repeated." (De Lacy O'Leary, Islam at the Cross-Roads, London, 1923)
2. Muslims are ‘Mohammadans’ and they worship Allah, a strange God.
A. Muhammad, the exalted, was not the founder of Islam. The founder of Islam is none but God Himself. Allah is the same God as that of Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus. Allah's Message has always been Islam (Peace and Submission to God).
3. Prophet Muhammad is resting in the earth while Jesus ascended to the heavens. So, who is superior?
A. The Quran does not say that Jesus was raised up in body. 4:157 describes that he was saved from the Cross. 3:55 points to his physical death, absolving him of all slander and honoring him. Raf’a here means raising him in honor, and not in body. 19:33 again tells of his physical death. Further 3:144 reads, "Muhammad is but a Messenger. Messengers before him have passed away." Most explicitly 21:34 states, "We have not granted immortality to any person before you." And if God is Omnipresent, ascension to Him becomes meaningless.
(The reader is referred to explanation of the Quran by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, Muhammad Asad, Ubaid Ullah Sindhi, and Abul Kalam Azad, Uswah Rasul Akram by Baqiyyah-tul-Salaf Murshad-ul-Ulama Makhdoom-us-Sulaha Sheikh-ul-Asr Aarif Billah Hazrat Muhammad Abdul Haii) for further details and confirmation on the subject)
4. Men will get the heavenly beauties “Houris" in Paradise. What will become of women?
A. "Hoor" in the Quran refers to intelligent and virtuous companions, male or female. Hoor is common gender plural. The male singular is AHWAR and the female singular is HAURA.
5. The Quran states that men will be seated with their wives in bountiful atmosphere. Why doesn't it say that women will be seated with their husbands?
A. This is an excellent example of wrong translation. Azwaaj does not mean wives. It stands for couples or companions.
4:57 Those who attain belief and translate their belief into action by helping people thus creating balance in the society, We shall soon admit them to the Gardens underneath which rivers flow. They will dwell therein forever. For them are virtuous companions, and We shall make them enter the pleasing shadows of Our Grace.
6. Things you call “the pillars of Islam” such as Faith, prayers, fasting, poor-due and pilgrimage are failing to improve the lot of Muslims world-wide. Why don't they stop and think?
A. You are right! Muslims should stop and think. Millions upon millions are steadfastly going through rituals of worship.
a. The Muslim is praying. He is not establishing Salat, which is closely tied up to establishing a society which guarantees the Quranic order, where no one sleeps hungry and socio-economic justice prevails in the society (107:1-7).
b. The Muslim is fasting i.e. ritualistically abstaining from food and drink in the month of Ramadhan. We forget it’s a mighty training program. The Muslim is not observing Saum which entails perseverance, self-control, character building and establishing the “Kingdom of God” on earth (2:185).
c. Poor-due is being given by many affluent people as 2.5% of their wealth per year. The Muslim is forgetting that Allah ordains us to keep open for the community all that is surplus (2:219).
d. Pilgrimage or Hajj has become a massive ritual instead of being a dynamic step toward the unity of all mankind. Please note that the Quran invites all mankind to consider the Ka’bah as the symbol of one God and a united humanity.
Thank you for bringing up a very important point!
7. What kind of a religion is Islam? The entrance to this building is open but there is no exit. If someone wants to get out of it, or if your Ulema disapprove of the beliefs of a person, he is declared a heretic and thereby declared worthy of execution.
A. The Quran invites people through reason (12:108). It clearly states "There is no compulsion in Deen/religion" (2:256). This rule has no exceptions. If you come across reports about the execution of certain "heretics", either those reports would be false or they would be a wrong non-Quranic act of someone corrupt in political or religious power.
Quaid-e-Azam M.A. Jinnah said, "Theocracy is the worst form of despotism.”
8. What is the position of mysticism in Islam?
A. According to the Quran mysticism, was invented by people. God did not ordain it (57:27). There is no Rahbaniah (monasticism or mysticism) in Islam, said the exalted Messenger. Sir Iqbal on the authority of the Quran reiterated, "Tasawwuf (Mysticism and Monasticism) is an alien plant in the soil of Islam."
9. Look at the glory of Jesus! Even for Muslims he will descend from the Heavens. Your prophet seems to depend on him.
A. It is amazing to notice that the followers of all religions keep waiting for the coming of a "promised one." Hindus are waiting for "Kalki Awtar", Jains for "Mahavira Tri Thankra", Buddhists for "Meeta", Zoroastrians for "Mithra". Jews are looking for the "true Messiah" and Christians for the second coming of Jesus!
According to the Quran, Deen (Religion) has been perfected (6:116). The last messenger Muhammad, the exalted, has been sent (33:40). The complete code of life has been preserved in the Final Word of God i.e. Al-Quran. The Book does not even mention the advent of another figure in any form be it Jesus or anyone else. And common sense tells us there is no need for anyone to come since the Guidance, Al-Quran, is present in its original perfect form among us (15:9).
The dogma of a "promised one" is the invention of defeated minds. People lacking in self-confidence and self-esteem try to find solace in the thought that someone will eventually come and raise them to glory!
If any historical narratives or traditions speak about the second advent of Jesus or a promised one, those narratives and traditions are non-Quranic. They must be considered fabrications foreign to Islam. (For details, please check my booklet, WHEN IS THE MESSIAH COMING?)
10. It is claimed that the Quran is unchanged since its origin but don't Muslims believe that some of its verses have been rescinded?
A. Not a single verse in the Book has been rescinded or revoked. This claim is one of the most shameful conspiracies against the Book. In 2:106, where it is stated that Allah brings new verses in place of others, the meaning is clear. All it indicates is that the former Divine books and commands have been updated in the Final Book, the Quran.
2:106 Any Message (of aforetime) that We revoke or cause to be lost to history, We replace it with a better or similar one suitable to the times. Do you not know that Allah is the Supreme Controller of all things and events in Time and Space?
11. Islam is the only religion that ordains four wives.
A. Nothing can be further from truth. There is only one verse in the Quran where the possible number of wives is described. It reads, "If you fear that you will not be able to do justice to the orphans, marry among permissible women two, three, four" (4:3).
It is very clear in this verse that emergent circumstances may leave too many orphans and widows in a society such as happens in times of wars, revolutions, and mutinies. Under those circumstances it will be the duty of the state to declare emergency and provide the security of home to these orphans and widows, an amicable solution to a massive social challenge. Some men will be encouraged to marry more than one wife. Such men will be carefully selected in terms of their ability to do justice to their wives and family. Muslims who marry more than one wife under ordinary circumstances violate the Quranic rule of monogamy.
Again, if some "pious" person confounds this clear ordinance of the Quran, it must be discarded for being contrary to the Quran.
It is noteworthy that the exalted Messenger and some of his companions married more than one wife in times of social and military turbulence. In addition to slain men, there were examples where a woman would embrace Islam and her husband would not. The Quran does not allow a Muslim woman to marry or remain in marital bond with a non-Muslim. That had created a large number of divorced women. So, it was a matter of providing shelter rather than sensual desire.
Interesting to note is the fact that when millions and millions of men were killed in World War II, innumerable European scholars and politicians strongly suggested that men of sound financial and emotional health be allowed to marry multiple wives to save the society from chaos!
12. "Fatawa Alamgiri" writes that only the wine made out of grapes and dates is forbidden.
A. The Quran forbids "Khamr" (5:90) which means all intoxicants. Please note that manmade books including those on jurisprudence (FIQH) are no authority. The only authority is the Word of God (Al-Quran).
13. The Gospel teaches that we should love our enemy. Can Islam match such nobility?
A. Loving one’s enemy is impractical, good only for a sermon. The Quran commands to do justice even with the enemy (5:8). This is a practical and workable principle.
14. Islam allows marrying 6 and 9 year old girls. Isn't that absurd?
A. More than absurd if Islam allowed that. The Quran ties up mental and physical maturity which is the first prerequisite for marriage, whether male or female (4:6). Verses 6:153 and 17:34 prohibit even touching the wealth and property of minors. The candidates to marriage must be mature enough to handle their own finances. The Quran terms marriage as "Meethaqan Ghaleeza" (a most solemn pledge 4:21). How can minors enter into a solemn pledge and covenant? How can minors give consent which is an absolute condition for marriage according to the Quran? (4:19)
The Divine Wisdom enshrined in the Quran makes things so sensible. It sets up three rational criteria: 1 - Sufficient maturity to grant consent. 2 - Ability to sign a legal contract. 3 - Competence to take care of one's own finances.
4:6 Train and educate the orphans well and test them. When they reach the age of marriage and attain sound judgment, release their property to them. The marriageable age shall mean attainment of physical and mental maturity when one can legally make a solemn contract 4:21).
4:19 O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! It is not lawful for you to force women into marrying or holding on to them in marriage against their will. --.
4:21 And how could you take the marital gift back from her after you have lived intimately with each other and after she has taken from you a very Solemn Pledge of the marital contract?
15. Didn't your prophet marry a 6 year old girl, Ayesha and consummated the marriage when she was 9 years old?
A. Believe it or not my Prophet is also your Prophet because he was sent for all mankind (34:28). No act of the exalted Messenger was ever contrary to the Quran. Allah attests that the Prophet (S) had sublime morals (68:4). And Hazrat Ayesha is reported to have said, "His character was the Quran."
Contrary to the Imamist propaganda, the exalted Prophet had no more than one wife at a time. And Hazrat Ayesha was a sister, not daughter, of Hazrat Abu Bakr. The Prophet (S) did not marry for three years after Hazrat Khadijah's demise in Makkah three years before Hijrah. Hazrat Ayesha was the widow of a martyr, Saleh bin Saleh Al-'Ataib. She was 48 years old at the time of marriage to the exalted Prophet. Sahaba Kiraam including Hazrat Abu Bakr strongly recommended that the Prophet (S) and she got into the solemn union of marriage. The blessed wedding took place in 622 CE when Muhammad (S) was 52 years old. Ref: Kitab-e-Dalail-e-Nabawwut Syedna Muhammad (S), by Abdul Jabbar Qaramati, written 150 years before Tabari (the first ever 'canonized' but Zoroastrian historian). Azwaaj-in-Nabi wal-Ashaab, by Sheikh Hammad bin Hakam. The rest is nothing but slanderous imagination of the Zoroastrian "Imam" Tabari and the Jewish biographer Ibn Ishaq and his Parsi follower Ibn Hisham.
Any reports contrary to the Quran should find their way into the trash can.