Surah Hud: Chapter 11 (line 40-50) Hud

40. Until, when Our command came, and the volcano erupted, We said, “Board into it a pair of every kind, and your family-except those against whom the sentence has already been passed-and those who have believed.” But those who believed with him were only a few.

41. He said, “Embark in it. In the name of God shall be its sailing and its anchorage. My Lord is indeed Forgiving and Merciful.”

42. And so it sailed with them amidst waves like hills. And Noah called to his son, who had kept away, “O my son! Embark with us, and do not be with the disbelievers.”

43. He said, “I will take refuge on a mountain-it will protect me from the water.” He said, “There is no protection from God’s decree today, except for him on whom He has mercy.” And the waves surged between them, and he was among the drowned.

44. And it was said, “O earth, swallow your waters,” and “O heaven, clear up.” And the waters receded, and the event was concluded, and it settled on Judi, and it was proclaimed: “Away with the wicked people.”

45. And Noah called to his Lord. He said, “O My Lord, my son is of my family, and Your promise is true, and You are the Wisest of the wise.”

46. He said, “O Noah, he is not of your family. It is an unrighteous deed. So do not ask Me about something you know nothing about. I admonish you, lest you be one of the ignorant.”

47. He said, “O My Lord, I seek refuge with You, from asking You about what I have no knowledge of. Unless You forgive me, and have mercy on me, I will be one of the losers.”

48. It was said, “O Noah, disembark with peace from Us; and with blessings upon you, and upon communities from those with you. And other communities We will grant prosperity, and then a painful torment from Us will befall them.”

49. These are some stories from the past that we reveal to you. Neither you, nor your people knew them before this. So be patient. The future belongs to the pious.

50. And to Aad, their brother Hud. He said, “O my people, worship God, you have no other god besides Him. You do nothing but invent lies.”

My interpretation: 

Gabriel is retelling of the account of the great flood where Noah built his Ark guided by God. After the underwater volcano erupted filling the land with water where Noah was living, he realized that his son was still out there. His son called to him and said he will take cover on a mountain. Noah knew that his son would not survive the event and that God’s promise to wipe that whole area away was made.

Eventually the water receded and the skies cleared up. The Ark is said to have settled on Mount Judi where it was proclaimed to be a new start for Noah and the people who believed. the wicked people have been washed away.

But Noah called out to God and asked for his son, but God told him that his son was one of the wicked and He knew something of Noah’s son’s soul that caused him to be part of the wicked people and not part of his bloodline in terms of being a righteous believer. So Noah realized that once again God had a Plan that he could not know, but must play an important role in and asked God for Mercy.

Line 48, it is hard to know, but I believe this line is actually saying that there were other people already living around Mount Judi that he could build a new community with. It is hard to believe at this time that Noah and a few people on the ark were the only ones left, but in this line it does not say. And really it is not important. What is important is to understand that while there was destruction, there was always a chance at a new beginning for mankind.

The communities that Noah helped foster through faith and good will, prospered spiritually. The communities that were fostered on worship of other gods or men, prospered physically, but eventually they were destroyed and did not live on.

Line 49 is where then Gabriel brings Muhammad back to the present time to explain that a place like Mecca that is living with its gold and luxury will be destroyed soon if they do not comply with living right. Child sacrifice and other immorality being done in worship and in not, will be punished eventually if they do not learn from these revelations. The future belongs to the pious. Just as the Bible brings forth that the meek shall inherit the earth, it means those who are humble and good will get what they deserve in the end because God is good.

Line 50, will bring Muhammad into the story of an ancient people called Aad, and their messenger of the nation called Hud.

Amazingly this photo is of Mount Judi and many scholars and archeologists today claim that this 515ft long crater is once where the ark laid after the waters receded. Sure looks like it to me.

noahs_ark_5

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Surah Hud: Chapter 11 (line 30-40) Hud

30. “O my people! Who will support me against God, if I dismiss them? Will you not give a thought?”

31. “I do not say to you that I possess the treasures of God, nor do I know the future, nor do I say that I am an angel. Nor do I say of those who are despicable in your eyes that God will never give them any good. God is Aware of what lies in their souls. If I did, I would be one of the wrongdoers.”

32. They said, “O Noah, you have argued with us, and argued a great deal. Now bring upon us what you threaten us with, if you are truthful.”

33. He said, “It is God who will bring it upon you, if He wills, and you will not be able to escape.”

34. “My advice will not benefit you, much as I may want to advise you, if God desires to confound you. He is your Lord, and to Him you will be returned.”

35. Or do they say, “He made it up?” Say, “If I made it up, upon me falls my crime, and I am innocent of the crimes you commit.”

36. And it was revealed to Noah: “None of your people will believe, except those who have already believed, so do not grieve over what they do.”

37. “And build the Ark, under Our eyes, and with Our inspiration, and do not address Me regarding those who did wrong; they are to be drowned.”

38. As he was building the ark, whenever some of his people passed by him, they ridiculed him. He said, “If you ridicule us, we will ridicule you, just as you ridicule.”

39. “You will surely know upon whom will come a torment that will abase him, and upon whom will fall a lasting torment.”

40. Until, when Our command came, and the volcano erupted, We said, “Board into it a pair of every kind, and your family-except those against whom the sentence has already been passed-and those who have believed.” But those who believed with him were only a few.

 

My interpretation:

As you can see the lines with the quotations are what Noah said and so Gabriel is retelling exactly what happened in history, word for word. Noah asks the people to believe in and him and support his messages. Line 31, is really important cause it shows an innocence that can not made up. Noah says to the people that he does not hold any secret power, prophecy or way to know exactly what God is thinking. He is not an angel, he is only a messenger giving a warning about something that is about to happen in the close present time.

Noah also goes on to say that he can not even judge other people’s souls and only God can do this. God knows what is in our souls and what we desire to do with our time on earth. And he further goes on to say that if he did all of a sudden make judgments about certain people then he would be in the wrong and could then be judged by God.

Finally in line 26, the people of his nation decided to listen to Noah and hear what he had to say. But Noah can not tell them exactly when or how it will happen, but SOMETHING will be brought upon these people who act out immorally and have neglected their services to God.

Sadly at this point, all Noah can say is that his advice will not help them and only God can come into their hearts and change the outcome of what must happen. But the people said that he made it up and did not want to face their actions or the consequences. Noah said that if he made it all up he would be glad to take the punishment of lying to them, but he was innocent of this crime.

So God soothed Noah’s heart by letting him know that even though he did his duty to give a fair warning, the people will not listen and have already grown cold and faithless. Only the people who already had faith will believe and resonate with Noah’s words.

So God inspired Noah to build and Ark and not worry about the others, they will be drowned and the matter has been decided. Noah is not to plead for their life, it is already part of the Plan of God and Noah is to keep to his duty of building the Ark.

Many people passed Noah and ridiculed him for building such a big boat, but he was comforted to know that whatever they put towards him would come back to them when they learned that he was always telling the truth.

Line 40 is when Gabriel speaks in real time to Muhammad changing the tense of the words by saying that God  commanded a volcano to erupt causing a change to the earth, but before this, Noah was to board every pair of animal and believer in his words he could find. But sadly there was only a few people who supported him and had faith.

Taken from the new film “Noah”, accurately shows how an underwater volcano could have started the flood.

noah-flood-clip-and-biblical-accuracy-featurette

Surah Hud: Chapter 11 (line 20-30) Hud

20. These will not escape on earth, and they have no protectors besides God. The punishment will be doubled for them. They have failed to hear, and they have failed to see.

21. Those are the ones who lost their souls, and what they had invented has strayed away from them.

22. Without a doubt, in the Hereafter, they will be the biggest losers.

23. As for those who believe and do good deeds, and humble themselves before their Lord-these are the inhabitants of Paradise, where they will abide forever.

24. The parable of the two groups is that of the blind and the deaf, and the seeing and the hearing. Are they equal in comparison? Will you not reflect?

25. We sent Noah to his people, “I am to you a clear warner.”

26. “That you shall worship none but God. I fear for you the agony of a painful Day.”

27. The notables who disbelieved among his people said, “We see in you nothing but a man like us, and we see that only the worst among us have followed you, those of immature judgment. And we see that you have no advantage over us. In fact, we think you are liars.”

28. He said, “O my people, Have you considered? If I stand on clear evidence from my Lord, and He has given me a mercy from Himself, but you were blind to it, can we compel you to accept it, even though you dislike it?”

29. “O my people! I ask of you no money for it. My reward lies only with God. And I am not about to dismiss those who believed; they will surely meet their Lord. And I see that you are ignorant people.”

30. “O my people! Who will support me against God, if I dismiss them? Will you not give a thought?”

My interpretation:

I had to go back to include line 19 to understand 20,  “Those who hinder others from the path of God, and seek to make it crooked; and regarding the Hereafter, they are in denial.”

These are the ones who will not escape the judgment of God and the truth of what they have done spiritually to people will experience the harsh truth of what they have done. They will become the loser of paradise because of this guilt they will carry when everything is shown to them.

The believers who do good in the world, have faith in something outside themselves and money, will be the rewarded of paradise. Possibly because they will have learned the lessons their souls need to and have detached from their egos enough to experience bliss.

While there is nothing wrong with someone who looses their sight or is born without sight, the parable is trying to show that someone who doesn’t believe is just like a deaf or blind person. They can not see or hear the Signs from the Lord and will remain in disadvantage of those who can, by their own choice.

Gabriel tells Muhammad that Noah as a messenger said to the people that he had messages to give and for people to heed the warnings. They thought he was just like him and did not take him to be specially appointed to anything, so they laughed at Noah and ridiculed him while blocking others from coming to him to listen to the words of God. They called Noah immature, and others ignorant for following him. But truly they were the ignorant ones.

Noah tried hard to get people to listen to him. He said that he only stands as clear evidence of guidance from the Lord and that he doesn’t want power or money, but only to warn the people. His rewards lies with God and he made sure to tell the people that no reward on earth was he after.

Here at the last line, Noah is asking for  the people to support him and to see that he would never dismiss a person in their curiosity to hear what he has to say. He has a duty to perform for God and fears for his soul to abandon it.

An artist’s depiction of Noah trying to get people to listen to him.

noah_building the ark

 

 

Surah Hud: Chapter 11 (line 10-20) Hud

10. And if We give him a taste of prosperity, after some adversity has afflicted him, he will say, “Troubles have gone away from me.” He becomes excited and proud.

11. Except those who are patient and do good deeds-these will have forgiveness and a great reward.

12. Perhaps you wish to disregard some of what is revealed to you, and you may be stressed because of it, since they say, “If only a treasure was sent down to him, or an angel came with him.” You are only a warner, and God is Responsible for all things.

13. Or do they say, “He invented it?” Say, “Then produce ten chapters like it, invented, and call upon whomever you can, besides God, if you are truthful.”

14. But if they fail to answer you, know that it was revealed with God’s knowledge, and that there is no god but He. Will you then submit?

15. Whoever desires the worldly life and its glitter-We will fully recompense them for their deeds therein, and therein they will not be defrauded.

16. These-they will have nothing but the Fire in the Hereafter. Their deeds are in vain therein, and their works are null.

17. Is he who possesses a clear proof from his Lord, recited by a witness from Him, and before it the Book of Moses, a guide and a mercy? These believe in it. But whoever defies it from among the various factions, the Fire is his promise. So have no doubt about it. It is the truth from your Lord, but most people do not believe.

18. Who does greater wrong than he who fabricates lies about God? These will be presented before their Lord, and the witnesses will say, “These are they who lied about their Lord.” Indeed, the curse of God is upon the wrongdoers.

19. Those who hinder others from the path of God, and seek to make it crooked; and regarding the Hereafter, they are in denial.

20. These will not escape on earth, and they have no protectors besides God. The punishment will be doubled for them. They have failed to hear, and they have failed to see.

My interpretation: 

Gabriel is telling Muhammad that those who are prideful and haughty are in a slow downward spiral towards the punishment of the afterlife. Those who are patient and kind to others while remembering God, are the ones who will experience rewards of the hereafter.

Line 12 is one of the definite lines where we can see Muhammad was being talked to by a higher being. He is told by Gabriel that God knows the burden the revelations have laid on Muhammad as it has other messengers. Gabriel revisits what some have said to Muhammad at this point. People of Medina and Mecca are doubting Muhammad because of the lack of physical evidence of these revelations. They wish there was some sort of celestial object or an angel to appear in front of them. Instead they get wisdom passed through the mouth of a middle aged man named Muhammad.

This is PROOF that some of the Hadiths that said the Angel Gabriel has been seen by others in the sky is not entirely accurate. Nobody else saw the angel except Muhammad and perhaps he didn’t even physically see this angel, he only heard the voice vibrate through his entire being.

But this is all a test for the people as well as Muhammad. Those with true faith listen to Muhammad with tears in their eyes to the revelations. They know it is the truth and the mercy they have been waiting for. Those with doubt already in their hearts will listen to Muhammad, but not truly be able to understand what he means or where he is coming from and ask to see proof.

Muhammad is commanded at this point to ask these people with doubt while listening to him to produce their own just and morally perfect 10 chapters like this book. They are also asked to call upon their own gods and goddesses and see if they will even be answered with revelations such as this. When they realize they can not, Muhammad is then to ask them the final question if they will submit to God of all things.

For so many who look for just success in this world may receive it, but it is always the more permanent state of our souls that is most important and so Muhammad is to teach the people that a life just chasing glitter and gold will bring emptiness in the hereafter.

There is an idea that the true book from Moses is the real words of God and those who have altered the teachings for their own intentions and purposes will experience a great punishment since it caused so much division and bloodshed, including the blood of many messengers of God.

Everyone is given a chance to not be ignorant about faith and God. I have seen it in my own life and I know there is always that one moment where the nature of God’s existence comes into question in people’s minds. Those that seek to block the path of God for other’s are in the highest place of denial and disbelief and they are the ones who suffer the most karmically to what they have done spiritually to others.

I don’t want to go too far into it on this post, but if you look very closely in our world today you will see several groups of people who just would like to watch the whole world burn and become more isolated from God in thought and spirituality. These are the groups that oppress spirituality and are gaining momentum today in America’s society. I am not sure about other parts of the world, but I can SEE it today. These are the devil’s minions and God will bring justice in the end with punishment doubling because of how many people they have harmed.

 

“If anyone thinks that Christians regard unchastity as the supreme vice, he is quite wrong. The sins of the flesh are bad, but they are the least bad of all sins. All the worst pleasures are purely spiritual: the pleasure of putting other people in the wrong, of bossing and patronising and spoiling sport, and backbiting; the pleasures of power, of hatred. For there are two things inside me, competing with the human self which I must try to become. They are the Animal self, and the Diabolical self. The Diabolical self is the worse of the two. That is why a cold, self-righteous prig who goes regularly to church may be far nearer to hell than a prostitute. But, of course, it is better to be neither.”

~C.S Lewis

 

 

16th century drawing of Muhammad in the cave with Gabriel. Notice how Muhammad is not looking at the being next to him? He can not see Gabriel he only feels his words…

16th-century manuscript drawing of Muhammad in the cave with Abu Bakr

 

Surah At-Tawbah: Chapter 9 (line 30-40) the Repentance

30. The Jews said, “Ezra is the son of God,” and the Christians said, “The Messiah is the son of God.” These are their statements, out of their mouths. They emulate the statements of those who blasphemed before. May God assail them! How deceived they are!

31. They have taken their rabbis and their priests as lords instead of God, as well as the Messiah son of Mary. Although they were commanded to worship none but The One God. There is no god except He. Glory be to Him; High above what they associate with Him.

32. They want to extinguish God’s light with their mouths, but God refuses except to complete His light, even though the disbelievers dislike it.

33. It is He who sent His Messenger with the guidance and the religion of truth, in order to make it prevail over all religions, even though the idolaters dislike it.

34. O you who believe! Many of the rabbis and priests consume people’s wealth illicitly, and hinder from God’s path. Those who hoard gold and silver, and do not spend them in God’s cause, inform them of a painful punishment.

35. On the Day when they will be heated in the Fire of Hell, then their foreheads, and their sides, and their backs will be branded with them: “This is what you hoarded for yourselves; so taste what you used to hoard.”

36. The number of months, according to God, is twelve months-in the decree of God-since the Day He created the heavens and the earth, of which four are sacred. This is the correct religion. So do not wrong yourselves during them. And fight the polytheists collectively, as they fight you collectively, and know that God is with the righteous.

37. Postponement is an increase in disbelief-by which those who disbelieve are led astray. They allow it one year, and forbid it another year, in order to conform to the number made sacred by God, thus permitting what God has forbidden. The evil of their deeds seems good to them. God does not guide the disbelieving people.

38. O you who believe! What is the matter with you, when it is said to you, “Mobilize in the cause of God,” you cling heavily to the earth? Do you prefer the present life to the Hereafter? The enjoyment of the present life, compared to the Hereafter, is only a little.

39. Unless you mobilize, He will punish you most painfully, and will replace you with another people, and you will not harm Him at all. God has power over all things.

40. If you do not help him, God has already helped him, when those who disbelieved expelled him, and he was the second of two in the cave. He said to his friend, “Do not worry, God is with us.” And God made His tranquility descend upon him, and supported him with forces you did not see, and made the word of those who disbelieved the lowest, while the Word of God is the Highest. God is Mighty and Wise.

My interpretation: 

Gabriel is telling Muhammad that 600 years after Jesus, religion has been corrupted. The priesthood has missed the point of having messengers and have taken them to worship instead of the one invisible creator that connects us all to each other. They didn’t really believe, they just wanted to use religion as a form of control and to gain wealth.

Line 34, this you can see the angel is passionate about and is telling Muhammad to talk to the believers to not follow the same footsteps as those priests and rabbis who altered the words of God with their mouths. It makes me tear up inside to see how the beautiful messages could be so distorted in order to make a profit and to hoard the wealth and power to themselves. It is not the people’s faults. It is the leaders who lead their people astray. God will judge each according to what they have contributed to the chaos and division in the world.

A powerful image is given to Muhammad where literally the gold and silver will be branded on the backs, sides, and foreheads of the men who used religion as a profit and desired material gain, as they burn in Hell. We get a clear indication of karmic debt where if you hoard money as a leader with responsibility to the people, you will taste the punishment with it. This can be taken in a literal sense, but as we know, the spiritual is far more than physical matter. Perhaps this is why it makes things so painful.

12 months were created by God, in order to establish balance and order of the seasons and things. Only 4 are sacred to observe and reflect on. The four sacred months are: Zul Qa`dah, Zul Hajj, Muharram and Rajab. These months were traditionally fixed for journeys towards the Kabbah for Hajj and Umrah. A month preceding the month of Hajj and a month succeeding it was specifically for the journey for Hajj, while during Rajab a complete ceasefire was observed for those intending to take up Umrah. You can use an Islamic calendar to see when the months fall in the certain year since they change according to celestial bodies. Muhammad is also reminded to fight those who fight the muslims under the law of self defense, but be observant of these peace treaties and months.

Line 37 is very strange indeed, but supposedly there has been a made up tradition that Gabriel is calling out here that allows the forbidden things from God to be allowed one year, then not the next, in a jockeying of spirituality and punishment postponed. That’s not how God works. As we learn, it is all or nothing with God. You can not keep doing something forbidden, that is not repentance, that is called “backsliding” on faith.

Line 38 is what Gabriel is telling Muhammad who will need to tell the people to rouse them to fight for their lives and freedom from oppressors, because this war against Mecca is not over yet. If they do not fight, then God will see these people as not fulfilling their duties as the next chosen people to help spread the message and will no longer choose them to do great humanitarian works through.

We get a glimpse of Muhammad’s history and what may have drove him into the cave in the first place. Not only was the cave a quiet place to contemplate life, but it was also his hiding place from the tyrannical Mecca leaders whose pagan traditions and rites he did not agree with.

There is a possibility that Gabriel showed himself to others or appeared to Muhammad while others were with him.

Line 40 is where we see Gabriel almost talking to the people around Muhammad to show that Muhammad has already been chosen, and if the people do not follow his lead or listen to him, they can not be helped as Muhammad has been. Gabriel is saying that Muhammad has been already filled with faith, when he was in the cave with another man who was his friend who was afraid for some reason, perhaps of being persecuted. Muhammad had faith that God was with them always, and this is possibly when the communication with Gabriel begun, leading him to become the great war general he became to help his people, with the help of the Angels.

 

Regardless what muslim leaders made Islam to be today based on their own choices, Islam was prescribed to stop THIS excessive wealth hoarded by religious leaders. 

cannot-afford-to-feed

 

 

 

Surah Al-Baqarah: Chapter 2 (line 230-240) The Cow

230. If he divorces her, she shall not be lawful for him again until she has married another husband. If the latter divorces her, then there is no blame on them for reuniting, provided they think they can maintain God’s limits. These are God’s limits; He makes them clear to people who know.

231. When you divorce women, and they have reached their term, either retain them amicably, or release them amicably. But do not retain them to hurt them and commit aggression. Whoever does that has wronged himself. And do not take God’s revelations for a joke. And remember God’s favor to you, and that He revealed to you the Scripture and Wisdom to teach you. And fear God, and know that God is aware of everything.

232. When you divorce women, and they have reached their term, do not prevent them from marrying their husbands, provided they agree on fair terms. Thereby is advised whoever among you believes in God and the Last Day. That is better and more decent for you. God knows, and you do not know.

233. Mothers may nurse their infants for two whole years, for those who desire to complete the nursing-period. It is the duty of the father to provide for them and clothe them in a proper manner. No soul shall be burdened beyond its capacity. No mother shall be harmed on account of her child, and no father shall be harmed on account of his child. The same duty rests upon the heir. If the couple desire weaning, by mutual consent and consultation, they commit no error by doing so. You commit no error by hiring nursing-mothers, as long as you pay them fairly. And be wary of God, and know that God is Seeing of what you do.

234. As for those among you who die and leave widows behind, their widows shall wait by themselves for four months and ten days. When they have reached their term, there is no blame on you regarding what they might honorably do with themselves. God is fully acquainted with what you do.

235. You commit no error by announcing your engagement to women, or by keeping it to yourselves. God knows that you will be thinking about them. But do not meet them secretly, unless you have something proper to say. And do not confirm the marriage tie until the writing is fulfilled. And know that God knows what is in your souls, so beware of Him. And know that God is Forgiving and Forbearing.

236. You commit no error by divorcing women before having touched them, or before having set the dowry for them. And compensate them-the wealthy according to his means, and the poor according to his means-with a fair compensation, a duty upon the doers of good.

237. If you divorce them before you have touched them, but after you had set the dowry for them, give them half of what you specified-unless they forego the right, or the one in whose hand is the marriage contract foregoes it. But to forego is nearer to piety. And do not forget generosity between one another. God is seeing of everything you do.

238. Guard your prayers, and the middle prayer, and stand before God in devotion.

239. But if you are in fear, then on foot, or riding. And when you are safe, remember God, as He taught you what you did not know.

240. Those of you who die and leave wives behind-a will shall provide their wives with support for a year, provided they do not leave. If they leave, you are not to blame for what they do with themselves, provided it is reasonable. God is Mighty and Wise.

My Interpretation:

Laws against the violence of women are established here for Muhammad. This is proof that this Quran could only come from a loving source to look out for the “underdogs” of society such as orphans and women back in those days. There is an idea that women were used sexually and for what they could offer in terms of children, and Gabriel is telling Muhammad how to treat women to stop this treatment of women. There is always a reminder to be kind to women and to not oppress them in any way that they have been in the past.

Parental guidance is given at this point to on the nursing of infants, that should stop at 2 years from birth. The men’s duty is to provide for the woman and the child, and the woman takes care of the children. In today’s world it is not like this, but you can see negative effects on children of having both a working mother and a father. The child needs bonding and nurturing at a young age or they grow up seeking it in other ways. Gabriel is advising Muhammad on how best to raise a family here.

A nurse maid to help with the nursing and caring for the child, like a midwife, is acceptable in Islam as long as the woman is compensated and it is mutual consent between the parents.

There is also laws to protect widows of men who die in battle or by other means. Widows are to be left property and money to help them support themselves for awhile, before they stand on their own two feet or remarry. They are allowed to marry after 4 months and ten days, which makes sense considering the time frame back then. Women generally did not provide for themselves so they needed to have a grieving period, but then remarry if they could. There are laws being shown to Muhammad that require once again for men to treat women with respect and not touch women except with good intentions to marry them.

Keep up with prayers throughout the day to keep the spiritual connection and do not worry if you can not get down on your knees to thank God while traveling. You may pray while in motion when there is inconvenience to sit down and reflect spiritually.

muslimwoman

Surah Al-Baqarah: Chapter 2 (line 190-200) The Cow

190. And fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not commit aggression; God does not love the aggressors.

191. And kill them wherever you overtake them, and expel them from where they had expelled you. Oppression is more serious than murder. But do not fight them at the Sacred Mosque, unless they fight you there. If they fight you, then kill them. Such is the retribution of the disbelievers.

192. But if they cease, then God is Forgiving and Merciful.

193. And fight them until there is no oppression, and worship becomes devoted to God alone. But if they cease, then let there be no hostility except against the oppressors.

194. The sacred month for the sacred month; and sacrilege calls for retaliation. Whoever commits aggression against you, retaliate against him in the same measure as he has committed against you. And be conscious of God, and know that God is with the righteous.

195. And spend in the cause of God, and do not throw yourselves with your own hands into ruin, and be charitable. God loves the charitable.

196. And carry out the Hajj and the Umrah (pilgrimage) for God. But if you are prevented, then whatever is feasible of offerings. And do not shave your heads until the offering has reached its destination. Whoever of you is sick, or has an injury of the head, then redemption of fasting, or charity, or worship. When you are secure: whoever continues the Umrah until the Hajj, then whatever is feasible of offering. But if he lacks the means, then fasting for three days during the Hajj and seven when you have returned, making ten in all. This is for he whose household is not present at the Sacred Mosque. And remain conscious of God, and know that God is stern in retribution.

197. The Hajj is during specific months. Whoever decides to perform the Hajj-there shall be no sexual relations, nor misconduct, nor quarreling during the Hajj. And whatever good you do, God knows it. And take provisions, but the best provision is righteousness. And be mindful of Me, O people of understanding.

198. You commit no error by seeking bounty from your Lord. When you disperse from Arafat, remember God at the Sacred Landmark. And remember Him as He has guided you. Although, before that, you were of those astray.

199. Then disperse from where the people disperse, and ask God for forgiveness. God is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.

200. When you have completed your rites, remember God as you remember your parents, or even more. Among the people is he who says, “Our Lord, give us in this world,” yet he has no share in the Hereafter

My Interpretation:

Carried on from the last post, we see that this was a terrible time of war 600 yrs after Jesus. Polytheists were still murdering innocent people and attacking villages. Muhammad is being prepared by Gabriel to let him know the allowances he is given by God. There is going to be attacks on Muhammad and his peaceful muslims, since the Mecca leaders do not want to loose their wealth and their status-given to them by their “gods”. How easy for a pagan leader to call themselves divine when there are no holy books written by these deities! This is why Muhammad must harden and strengthen himself against the “disbelievers” who are and will continue to try to murder Muhammad’s growing alliance of Muslims.

Many people today take these verses for being violent commands by Muhammad. But what they fail to do is to bring history into context of the meaning. They are not understanding the historical time when monotheism was greatly warred against by the pagans in charge. Monotheism was not as popular, nor as big as polytheist worship in many parts of the world. God is prescribing self defense of the righteous because by sheer logic, if the righteous believers never fought back, today Mecca would be pagan and who knows what darker path it could have lead mankind down. When I hear about the ancient civilizations claiming blood sacrifices suffice their nature gods…I shudder to think what we would experience today, if we never received guidance from above.

As you can see in these verses clearly, Muhammad is given clear orders to only be assertive, not aggressive towards these tribes. Muhammad must never kill out of anger or revenge off their land, but if the enemy comes towards them and fights them at their mosques and sacred spaces, then it is allowed to fight back and kill them back. If they pull back their armies, then Muhammad must pull back his. It is a big responsibility to be a representative of God’s Mercy and Forgiveness, and Muhammad is given the allowance to do so.

As I try to tell people who are afraid of Islam and misunderstand it, terrorism would be a tactic of the enemies of God and the angels-not a honorable way of  war.

Charity is always mentioned and we are reminded to be aware of the needs of others, even during war time. Going to Hajj and doing the pilgrimage is important for muslims of any generation. It brings you closer to understanding Islam and purifies you in a sense. This is why the head is shaved just as the  Buddhist and Christian monks did at one point for spiritual reasons, it purifies you and helps you lose attachments to superficial beauty and earthly matters. 

All muslims are called to do pilgrimage by God, BUT once again God understands your life and knows what you can do and can not do. God understands the intents and desires of a person, even if their bank account does not allow it. So here Archangel Gabriel is saying, muslims should find a way to go, but also to know that it is no sin on them if they can not. They can make up for their absence during it in other ways, such as donations, fasting for 10 days, and charities. Hajj is a time to remember what is important in life in service and worship to God.

The Hajj going by JUST the Quran states that 4 months are sacred and should be observed as so. Four months you may not fight, have sex, and be conscious of what you do. There seems to be a truce called between the polytheists and muslims at this time, and it is called for Muhammad to not fight anyone at this time of spiritual observance. My guess is that it gave each side time to think about the importance of the war and decide whether or not it is worth losing lives over.

Arafat is the mountain that people lived on and could then go down to the Kabbah to observe worship. Today it is where muslims move from to the Kabbah to sit together and pray during the pilgrimage. There is arguments about what four months are sacred. By going strictly with logic, I believe that they are the last 4 months from Ramadan, which changes every year depending on Lunar Calendar. 

The reason I see this is because after such a holy month when the Quran was said to first come down in the Night of Power, it seems that 4 months after that would be needed to observe and allow for this holy time to spread to others and permeate society. To me in this Quran, pilgrimage can be done at any time during these 4 months instead of squeezing millions of muslims into a few days as it is done today. I am not so sure God prescribed a holiday, as much as a time of great reflection to take up 4 months of your year, every year. By sheer logic-this could alter a person immensely, in a good way. It could make people more reflective in nature if they needed to stop their bickering and human endeavors for four months. That is a lot of time, to think about what to do with the other 8 months and to appreciate what has been given to you already.

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Surah Al-Baqarah: Chapter 2 (line 180-190) The Cow

180. It is decreed for you: when death approaches one of you, and he leaves wealth, to make a testament in favor of the parents and the relatives, fairly and correctly-a duty upon the righteous.

181. But whoever changes it after he has heard it, the guilt is upon those who change it. God is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.

182. Should someone suspect bias or injustice on the part of a testator, and then reconciles between them, he commits no sin. God is Forgiving and Merciful.

183. O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become righteous.

184. For a specified number of days. But whoever among you is sick, or on a journey, then a number of other days. For those who are able: a ransom of feeding a needy person. But whoever volunteers goodness, it is better for him. But to fast is best for you, if you only knew.

185. Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was revealed. Guidance for humanity, and clear portents of guidance, and the Criterion. Whoever of you witnesses the month, shall fast it. But whoever is sick, or on a journey, then a number of other days. God desires ease for you, and does not desire hardship for you, that you may complete the number, and celebrate God for having guided you, so that you may be thankful.

186. And when My servants ask you about Me, I Am near; I answer the call of the caller when he calls on Me. So let them answer Me, and have faith in Me, that they may be rightly guided.

187. Permitted for you is intercourse with your wives on the night of the fast. They are a garment for you, and you are a garment for them. God knows that you used to betray yourselves, but He turned to you and pardoned you. So approach them now, and seek what God has ordained for you, and eat and drink until the white streak of dawn can be distinguished from the black streak. Then complete the fast until nightfall. But do not approach them while you are in retreat at the mosques. These are the limits of God, so do not come near them. God thus clarifies His revelations to the people, that they may attain piety.

188. And do not consume one another’s wealth by unjust means, nor offer it as bribes to the officials in order to consume part of other people’s wealth illicitly, while you know.

189. They ask you about the crescents. Say, “They are timetables for people, and for the Hajj.” It is not virtuous that you approach homes from their backs, but virtue is to be pious. So approach homes from their doors, and observe God, that you may succeed.

190. And fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not commit aggression; God does not love the aggressors.

My Interpretation:

Here is a set of rules or guidelines Gabriel is giving Muhammad to help bring civilization back on track. We see in this a few things that have possibly been a problem in other societies, as in Mecca. The written will is something to be treated seriously and to not lie about. The image I get is that after people died, much like today, the leaders confiscated their land and wealth leaving nothing behind to the family. So the testified will was brought forwards for the arabs of Arabia so that wealth is passed down justly.

Fasting is prescribed to the people and possibly for a few reasons:

 1. Scientifically- medical science studies have shown the benefits to fast every once in a while to reboot your system and speed of metabolism. 

2. Spiritually- it can give meaning to the gift of food we are given from God, and a means to learn appreciation. 

3. Socially- to help feed a whole village and share in the food that is grown or farmed with each other or learn what fellow mankind who are starving experience and to build empathy. 

As someone who fasts, I can tell you that the benefits are real. Many other religions and spiritual teachers did it as well. Buddha was known to have fasted for 40 days under the Bodhi tree in order to reach his point of enlightenment and understanding of things. Fasting has been done by Jesus, Moses, and possibly all messengers of God to reach that state of elevated understanding.

Notice that fasting is not a rigid concept, but a healthy teaching to humans at this point. If you miss your fasting days during the Ramadan then it is required to give to charity so that some form of personal sacrifice is made and felt in the spirit of altruism. But NOTHING should be a hardship and know that God is Merciful, knowing your heart and your intentions to do good.

Sex is allowed by God now, ever since the “fall” from the Garden, but it is ordained to be pious about it. A woman and a man have their freedom to enjoy sexual relations anytime, except for during observations at the mosques, which is really using common sense. Be private and enjoy each other, but have balance will all things. You may have sex on fasting nights, and then continue the fasting the next day.

The time of fasting is different according to where you live in the world, but generally it is from dawn of the first light of day to first break of night. Refer to Islam fasting time calculators to see what the times are in your area of the world. I will say, it is not so important to be exactly on the dot with this, as remember God does not wish to give hardship. Muslims should refrain from stressing so much for this. Do what feels natural during this time, and with your best effort.

Once again Muhammad is reminded that taking any properties, belongings, of each other that do not belong to each other is something that God reflects upon.

The moon has been something that has been worshiped as a deity by pagan tradition, so this is where Gabriel tells Muhammad to let the people know the moon is for to keep time through its phases only, not to worship as a god. The idea of back doors is something I can imagine being a problem in the past. Possibly people would go through each other’s homes and steal things as they saw fit. So asking people to go through a front door is two things, 1. more polite and adds to neighborly consideration. 2. a safety feature to make sure your house can not be entered without you present.

There is an esoteric way I can see this warning as, the idea of worshiping moon or sun gods, is the “back door” of worshiping God. It is not going about it in the right or direct way. Showing appreciation to the moon is not showing appreciation for all things in life since the moon or sun can be responsible for the whole universe.

And lastly is the most misunderstood line of all-this is speaking about the self defense of their own homes and people. As it says God does not like aggression or aggressors, and anyone using their common sense can understand the difference between direct self defense and aggressive war or murder. 

I also tell people today that terrorism is NOT something that Islam prescribes ever and they would be called “transggressors” for coming onto U.S soil and attacking. I do not feel in my heart these men were muslims in the very definition of the word, along with millions of other muslims today who are constantly speaking out. 

Terrorism is not part of any faith and would be more following the path of Satan to spread chaos and destruction, rather than God’s Will to spread peace.

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Surah Al-Baqarah: Chapter 2 (line 160-170) The Cow

160. Except those who repent, and reform, and proclaim. Those-I will accept their repentance. I am the Acceptor of Repentance, the Merciful.

161. But as for those who reject faith, and die rejecting-those-upon them is the curse of God, and of the angels, and of all humanity.

162. They will remain under it forever, and the torment will not be lightened for them, and they will not be reprieved.

163. Your God is one God. There is no god but He, the Benevolent, the Compassionate.

164. In the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of night and day; in the ships that sail the oceans for the benefit of mankind; in the water that God sends down from the sky, and revives the earth with it after it had died, and scatters in it all kinds of creatures; in the changing of the winds, and the clouds disposed between the sky and the earth; are signs for people who understand.

165. Yet among the people are those who take other than God as equals to Him. They love them as the love of God. But those who believe have greater love for God. If only the wrongdoers would realize, when they see the torment; that all power is God’s, and that God is severe in punishment.

166. Those who were followed will then disown those who followed them, and they will see the retribution, and ties between them will be severed.

167. Those who followed will say, “If only we can have another chance, we will disown them, as they disowned us.” Thus God will show them their deeds, as regrets to them, and they will not come out of the Fire.

168. O people! Eat of what is lawful and good on earth, and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. He is to you an open enemy.

169. He commands you to do evil and vice, and to say about God what you do not know.

170. And when it is said to them, “Follow what God has revealed,” they say, “We will follow what we found our ancestors following.” Even if their ancestors understood nothing, and were not guided?

My Interpretation:

The inspiring speech that Muhammad must courageously say to the Mecca leaders is still being given to Muhammad. At this point he is being told to let the leaders know that it is never too late to repent and change ways. They can simply submit to the laws of God to monotheism and there will never need to be wars.

Gabriel gives Muhammad the aspects of nature of God to show that the nature deities they may worship, is already a part of “Allah”, which is the Arabic name for the “One God”. So when you pray to Allah, you are indeed praying to the Creator of everything and no need to divide Him into aspects of His Self.

In one way, I believe this is the biggest crime of Paganism- to divide the ego into more pieces away from the whole of God. In Hinduism, many Hindus can worship one God as they see aspects of this one God in deity in form. There is a difference to worshipping many little gods, to honoring and devoting time to ONE.

This is why Muhammad is considered a prophet and a messenger, he was given the messages by an angel to give to the people, but he was also given insight into the future that other messengers where perhaps not given. Here he starts to see Hell as a place of separation these leaders will experience if they deny God’s Will on earth for monotheism.

It is described once again as a painful torment for them, and this pain will be experienced on a spiritual level.

There is a warning to not indulge in earthly pleasures and eat of things given and made good for them. As you know, the God of Abraham does not prescribe pig of any sorts, and possibly because it is not made good for human consumption as we learn so often in news stories. They are scavengers that roll in their own feces and mud. They are found to eat their own kind, and even the occasional farmer fallen into a pig pen (see news stories), and they are extremely dirty animals. Far more dirtier than grass grazing cows, sheep, or goat. God forbids the consumption of scavengers and carrion eaters, which devour other animals for their food. Eating their meat can cause disease in humans.

There is also the idea of committing one of the seven sins by self indulgence in what the earth provides-Gluttony. For me this is not about oppression of God, but healthy suggestion to not over indulge in food and drink. It’s about healthy balance.

And there is a warning that many should heed today: Just because your parents or grandparent practice one thing, does not make it right. You must always seek for the truth yourself. Remember Abraham’s father almost had him stoned for claiming monotheism. So do not follow your parent’s pathway of spirituality…always find your own.

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Surah Al-Baqarah: Chapter 2 (line 140-150) The Cow

140. Or do you say that Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and the Patriarchs were Jews or Christians? Say, “Do you know better, or God?” And who does greater wrong than he who conceals a testimony he has from God? God is not unaware of what you do.

141. That was a community that has passed. To them is what they have earned, and to you is what you have earned. And you will not be questioned about what they used to do.

142. The ignorant among the people will say, “What has turned them away from the direction of prayer they once followed?” Say, “To God belong the East and the West. He guides whom He wills to a straight path.”

143. Thus We made you a moderate community, that you may be witnesses to humanity, and that the Messenger may be a witness to you. We only established the direction of prayer, which you once followed, that We may distinguish those who follow the Messenger from those who turn on their heels. It is indeed difficult, except for those whom God has guided. But God would never let your faith go to waste. God is Kind towards the people, Merciful.

144. We have seen your face turned towards the heaven. So We will turn you towards a direction that will satisfy you. So turn your face towards the Sacred Mosque. And wherever you may be, turn your faces towards it. Those who were given the Book know that it is the Truth from their Lord; and God is not unaware of what they do.

145. Even if you were to bring to those who were given the Book every proof, they would not follow your direction, nor are you to follow their direction, nor do they follow the direction of one another. And if you were to follow their desires, after the knowledge that has come to you, you would be in that case one of the wrongdoers.

146. Those to whom We have given the Book recognize it as they recognize their own children. But some of them conceal the truth while they know.

147. The truth is from your Lord, so do not be a skeptic.

148. To every community is a direction towards which it turns. Therefore, race towards goodness. Wherever you may be, God will bring you all together. God is capable of everything.

149. And wherever you come from, turn your face towards the Sacred Mosque. This is the truth from your Lord, and God is not heedless of what you do.

150. And wherever you come from, turn your face towards the Sacred Mosque. And wherever you may be, turn your faces towards it. So that the people may not have any argument against you-except those who do wrong among them. So do not fear them, but fear Me, that I may complete My blessings upon you, and that you may be guided.

My Interpretation:

Here is ultimate proof that Muhammad did not write this Quran. Because of the perspective it takes. Gabriel is telling Muhammad that only he is responsible for his self and his acts, and what the other prophets have done will not be part of his earnings. When people read this Quran they need to see that this is a glimpse into what Muhammad was told…it’s as if we are seeing a recoding of some sort. It shows moments in time and is written in a way that isn’t humanly possible. It is extremely hard to write in the perspective of telling yourself something that you will need to then tell to others.

Gabriel seems to be able to show Muhammad glimpses or visions of times in which certain individuals challenged the prophets of old. Perhaps at this point Gabriel is reading from the Book of Life where all thoughts and words are imprinted and can be referenced to again. Some spiritualists call this the “akashic  records” that is a sanskrit name that means “sky” that reference to another dimension where all records of time and events are held. Certain points in the Quran, I see this happening as if in the cave Muhammad is taken through time to show what has happened exactly in the past in order to prevent it in the future.

So here it is revealed to Muhammad that when the Gospel was written by chosen disciples of Jesus, like John, the Jewish elders or pharisees doubted it as the word of God. And there is a warning that as Muhammad turns his followers to pray towards the Kabbah under ONE God, then the pagans will ask what is going on as they see the pagan rituals rejected.

What I love about this is the idea that the angel then says, the West and the East, ALL directions belong to God. So it does not matter what land they lay claim on. God of Abraham is over all things. This is proof too, that the Quran was meant for all of mankind across every direction.

There is a great idea of community established here in these verses, one of all righteous people will be coming together, brought together by God through His Will for goodness to spread.

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