Continued from “Legacy of Prophecy”
In the wake of Muhammad’s refusal to their overtures, the Meccans decided to remove the Islamic thorn from their Bedouin flesh. However, Muhammad, on the mundane level, would have had his own informers to alert him about the conspiracy on his life or, for all that, his sixth sense, of a survivor, sensed the impending threat to his life, forcing his flight from Mecca. Yet, in the divine plane, Allah, the All Knowing, might have come to know about the brewing plot to assassinate His Messenger, and He, not the One to be outdone by Hubal’s men, could have helped Muhammad in his flight, along with Abu Bakr, to Medina, the then Yathrib.
While the Helpers of Medina welcomed Muhammad, the Jews of the neighborhood were scandalized by the ayats of the Quran. Indeed, they felt that the Prophet of Islam was plagiarizing their Torah in Hebrew as Quran in Arabic. Though the Jewish diatribes put Muhammad on the back foot, going by the hostility exhibited towards them in the Quran, clearly Jehovah was not amused. Thus, it seems the God’s alienation with His once Chosen People was complete, and that sealed the fate of the Jews who came to flourish in the oases of Arabia till then.
“The likeness of those who are entrusted with the Law of Moses, yet apply it not, is as the likeness of the ass carrying books. Wretched is the likeness of folk who deny the revelations of Allah. And Allah guideth not wrong doing folk.”
“Say (O Muhammad): O ye who are Jews! If ye claim that ye are favored of Allah apart from (all) mankind, then long for death if ye are truthful.”
“But they will never long for it because of all that their own hands have sent before, and Allah is Aware of evil-doers.”
“Say (unto them, O Muhammad): Lo! The death from which ye shrink will surely meet you, and afterward ye will be returned unto the Knower of the invisible and the visible, and He will tell you what ye used to do.”
However, unmindful of the Quranic warnings, which they dismissed as Muhammad’s ranting, the Jews continued in their tirade against Muhammad as an imposter. Besides, by making a common cause with the Quraysh of Mecca, and his enemies elsewhere, they had plotted for Muhammad’s downfall. It was then, ‘the God’ must have realized the dubious nature of man he created, and seemingly didn’t want to take any more chances with the flocks of Musalmans, His new favorites.
Thus, ‘the God’ lost no time in stressing that the Musalmans are but the servants of Allah, and made their surrender to Him the raison d’etre of Islam. Besides, ‘the God’ fashioned the Quran to psyche the Musalmans into Islamic paranoia with Muhammadanic paraphernalia. And still, as though not to leave any loose religious ends, and to eternally bind the believers in the Islamic fold, Allah sought to inculcate in the faithful, the habit of unquestioning obedience to Him. Besides, combining the fear of hell with the promise of paradise, ‘the God’ took care to dangle the carrot and stick before the believing Musalmans.
However, the God’s coup de grace appears to be in the psychological arena of the Islamic dogma. He sought to win over the compliance of the Musalmans by deriding the Jews and the Christians, the way a father harps on his hurt on account of his elder siblings to gain his youngest progeny’s sympathy. Like that father who wittingly or unwittingly imposes a psychic burden of obedience on his unfortunate son’s conscience, so ‘the God’ seems to have succeeded in inculcating a habit of mechanical supplication amongst the Musalmans to everything Islamic. Nonetheless, fearing that the prodigal Hebrews would tend to lead the new religious breed astray, ‘the God’ prohibited the Musalmans from having anything to do with them, and made a covenant to that effect with them in the Quran.
“This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favor unto you, and have chosen for you as religion Al-Islam. Whoso is forced by hunger, not by will, to sin (for him) lo, Allah is forgiving, Merciful.”
“All they who disbelieve and deny our revelations, such are rightful owners of hell.”
“Allah made a covenant of old with the Children of Israel and We raised among them twelve chieftains, and Allah said: Lo! I am with you, if ye establish worship and pay the poor due, and believe in My messengers and support them, and lend unto Allah a kindly loan, surely I shall remit your sins, and surely I shall bring you into gardens underneath which rivers flow. Whoso among you disbelieveth after this will go astray from a plain road.”
“We made a covenant of old with the Children of Israel and We sent unto them messengers. As often as a messenger came unto them with that which their souls desired not (they became rebellious). Some (of them) they denied and some they slew.”
“Lo! We did reveal The Torah, wherein is guidance and a light, by which the Prophets who surrendered (unto Allah) judged the Jews, and the rabbis and the priests (judged) by such of Allah’s Scripture as they were bidden to observe, and thereunto were they witnesses. So fear not mankind, but fear Me. And barter not My revelations for a little gain. Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed: such are disbelievers.”
“And We prescribed for them therein: The life for the life, and the eye for the eye, and the nose for the nose, and the ear for the ear, and the tooth for the tooth, and for wounds retaliation. But whoso forgoeth it (in the way of charity) it shall be expiation for him. Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed: such are wrong-doers.”
“And because of their breaking their covenant, We have cursed them and made hard their hearts. They change words from their context and forget a part of that whereof they were admonished. Thou wilt not cease to discover treachery from all save a few of them. But bear with them and pardon them. Lo! Allah loveth the kindly.”
“The Jews say! Allah’s hand is fettered. Their hands are fettered and they are accursed for saying so. Nay, but both His hands are spread out wide in bounty. He bestoweth as He will. That which hath been revealed unto thee from thy Lord is certain to increase the contumacy and disbelief of many of them, and We have cast among them enmity and hatred till the Day of Resurrection. As often as they light a fire for war, Allah extinguisheth it. Their effort is for corruption in the land, and Allah loveth not corrupters.”
“They thought no harm would come of it, so they were willfully blind and deaf. And afterward Allah turned (in mercy) toward them. Now (even after that) are many of them willfully blind and deaf. Allah is Seer of what they do.”
“And We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow in their footsteps, confirming that which was (revealed) before him, and We bestowed on him the Gospel wherein is guidance and a light, confirming that which was (revealed) before it in the Torah – a guidance and an admonition unto those who ward off (evil).”
“And with those who say: ‘Lo! we are Christians,’ We made a covenant, but they forgot a part of that whereof they were admonished. Therefor We have stirred up enmity and hatred among them till the Day of Resurrection, when Allah will inform them of their handiwork.”
“They indeed have disbelieved who say: Lo! Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary. Say: Who then can do aught against Allah, if He had willed to destroy the Messiah son of Mary, and his mother and everyone on earth? Allah’s is the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them. He createth what He will. And Allah is Able to do all things.”
“They surely disbelieve who say: Lo! Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary. The Messiah (himself) said: O Children of Israel worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. Lo! Whoso ascribeth partners unto Allah, for him Allah hath forbidden Paradise. His abode is the Fire. For evil-doers there will be no helpers.”
“They surely disbelieve who say: Lo! Allah is the third of three; when there is no God save the One God. If they desist not from so saying a painful doom will fall on those of them who disbelieve.”
“The Messiah, son of Mary, was no other than a messenger, messengers (the like of whom) had passed away before him. And his mother was a saintly woman. And they both used to eat (earthly) food. See how we make the revelations clear for them, and see how they are turned away!”
“When Allah saith: O Jesus, son of Mary! Didst thou say unto mankind: Take me and my mother for two gods beside Allah? He saith: Be glorified! It was not mine to utter that to which I had no right. If I used say it, then Thou knewest it. Thou knowest what is in my mind, and I know not what is in thy mind. Lo! Thou, only Thou art the Knower of Things Hidden.”
“I spake unto them only that which Thou commandedst me, (saying): Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. I was a witness of them while I dwelt among them, and when Thou tookest me Thou wast the Watcher over them. Thou art Witness over all things.”
“If Thou punish them, lo! they are Thy slaves, and if Thou forgive them (lo! they are Thy slaves.) Lo! Thou, only Thou art the Mighty, the Wise.”
“The Jews and Christians say: We are sons of Allah and His loved ones. Say: Why then doth he chastise you for your sins? Nay, ye are but mortals of His creating. He forgiveth whom He will, and chastiseth whom He will. Allah’s is the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, and unto Him is the journeying.”
“Who is better in religion that he who surrendereth his purpose to Allah while doing good (to men) and followeth the tradition of Abraham, the upright? Allah (Himself) chose Abraham for friend.”
“O people of the Scripture! Now hath Our messenger come unto you, expounding unto you much of that which ye used to hide in the Scripture, and forgiving much. Now hath come unto you light from Allah and a plain Scripture.”
“Say: O people of the Scripture! Stress not in your religion other than the truth, and follow not the vain desires of folk who erred of old and led many astray, and erred from a plain road.”
“Say: O, People of the Scripture! Do ye blame us for aught else than that we believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed aforetime, and because most of you are evil-livers?”
“Say: O People of the Scripture! Ye have naught (of guidance) till ye observe the Torah and the Gospel and that which was revealed unto you from your Lord. That which is revealed unto thee (Muhammad) from thy Lord is certain to increase the contumacy and disbelief of many of them. But grieve not for the disbelieving folk.”
“So judge between them by that which Allah hath revealed, and follow not their desires, but beware of them lest they seduce thee from some part of that which Allah hath revealed unto thee. And if they turn away, then know that Allah’s will is to smite them for some sin of theirs. Lo! many of mankind are evil-livers.”
“O ye who believe! Whoso of you becometh a renegade from his religion, (know that in his stead) Allah will bring a people whom he loveth and who love Him, humble toward believers, stern toward disbelievers, striving in the way of Allah, and fearing not the blame of any blamer. Such is the grace of Allah which He giveth unto whom He will. Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing.”
“Those who choose disbelievers for their friends instead of believers! Do they look for power at their hands? Lo! all power appertaineth to Allah.”
“Shall I tell thee of a worse (case) than theirs for retribution with Allah? Worse (is the case of him) whom Allah hath cursed, him on whom His wrath hath fallen! Worse is he of whose sort Allah hath turned some to apes and swine, and who serveth idols. Such are in worse plight and further astray from the plain road.”
“And when ye call to prayer they take it for a jest and sport. That is because they are a folk who understand not.”
“Your friend can be only Allah: and His messenger and those who believe, who establish worship and pay the poor due, and bow down (in prayer).”
“And whoso taketh Allah and His messenger and those who believe for friend (will know that), lo! The party of Allah, they are the victorious.”
“O ye who believe! Choose not for friends such of those who received the Scripture before you, and of the disbelievers, as make a jest and sport of your religion. But keep your duty to Allah if ye are true believers.”
“O ye who believe! Take not for intimates others than your own folk, who would spare no pains to ruin you; they love to hamper you. Hatred is revealed by (the utterance of) their mouths, but that which their breasts hide is greater. We have made plain for you the revelations if ye will understand.”
“O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and Christians for friends. They are friends one to another. He among you who taketh them for friends is (one) of them. Lo! Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk.”
“Let not the believers take disbelievers for their friends in preference to believers. Whoso doeth that hath no connection with Allah unless (it be) that ye but guard yourselves against them, taking (as it were) security. Allah biddeth you beware (only) of Himself. Unto Allah is the journeying.”
“They long that ye should disbelieve even as they disbelieve, that ye may be upon a level (with them). So choose not friends from them till they forsake their homes in the way of Allah; if they turn back (to enmity) then take them and kill them wherever ye find them, and choose no friend nor helper from among them.”
With these, and many such admonitions in the Quran, ‘the God’ seems to have succeeded in sustaining a large body of Musalmans to this day who strive to follow the ‘straight path’ laid down by Muhammad for them. What is more, should they ever feel wanting in their faith, they tend to suffer from a guilt complex, and that’s what tends to induce, as would be seen later, an inimical abnormality in the psyche of the Musalmans. But, in spite of the creed of intolerance and the streak of aggressiveness that their faith unmistakably inculcates amongst them, there is this hurt in the Musalmans that the rest of the world considers Islam as anathema to the peaceful coexistence of mankind!
Continued to "Czar of Medina"
Whereas in today's world there are those who do not believe in the existence of God, we have the Bible's word for it that the devil, evil personified, not only believes in God, but acknowledges God's supremacy as the Most High; notably, the devil believes in Christ, the Son of God, shouting this out through the host of possession - before being cast out - on numerous occasions in the gospels. It is a mark of the devil's pride to resist the will of God, as if proving a point about God; only proving, in this state, the withdrawal of God's grace.
Acknowledging the supremacy of God is thus distinct from doing the will of God. This is something, as sinners, we are familiar with. In prayer, I acknowledge God is the supreme Good, whom I love with all my heart and soul; yet, I am daily a sinner. The doctrine of free will is based on the culpability of man, for if we are driven only by irresistible compulsions, how can we be culpable? - therefore, we have free will. Therefore sin is avoidable. In fact, the doctrine of free will is essential for administration of human justice. However, free will is distinct from freedom of action which is always determined by circumstances; the conflation of the two freedoms as one is the basis of human justice.
The capacity to avoid sin, the believer to follow the will of Allah by his own will is what the Koran teaches. Christian teaching differs in stressing that only by the grace of God can a man avoid sin, the grace that has been merited by the death of Christ on the cross. I can only avoid sin if God's grace is active in me. My sinning proves a withdrawal of God's grace. In fact, we use the term 'disgraceful' for those acts that we would call sinful. I may have freedom of will to desire to do God's will - though this is itself by God's grace - but freedom of action is never mine. It is a continuation of all the limitations of my physical existence: I can only do that determined by circumstances. I cannot avoid sin through my own will alone; it has to be by the grace of God availing even in the nature of circumstances I am in. In the Our Father, taught by Christ, we pray, ‘lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’ Remove the inhibiting circumstances, even as a thought, differing for each man, and I find I am compelled to sin.
The Koran is in error to expect man to follow Allah on the basis of acknowledging God's supremacy – the devil does as much and disobeys God - without the action of the grace of God in his heart, for which he should continually pray acknowledging himself at all times a sinner. The Koran condemns sinners, thus dismissing the reality of any action of God’s grace in the sinner's heart that causes him to repent. St Paul says, ‘but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us’ Romans 5:8.