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.

angel-of-war-wallpaper

Surah Al-Baqarah: Chapter 2 (line 170-180) The Cow

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?

171. The parable of those who disbelieve is that of someone who calls upon someone who hears nothing except screaming and yelling. Deaf, dumb, and blind-they do not understand.

172. O you who believe! Eat of the good things We have provided for you, and give thanks to God, if it is Him that you serve.

173. He has forbidden you carrion, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and what was dedicated to other than God. But if anyone is compelled, without desiring or exceeding, he commits no sin. God is Forgiving and Merciful.

174. Those who conceal what God revealed in the Book, and exchange it for a small price-those swallow nothing but fire into their bellies. And God will not speak to them on the Day of Resurrection, nor will He purify them, and they will have a painful punishment.

175. It is they who exchange guidance for error, and forgiveness for punishment. But why do they insist on the Fire?

176. That is because God has revealed the Book in truth; and those who differ about the Book are in deep discord.

177. Righteousness does not consist of turning your faces towards the East and the West. But righteous is he who believes in God, and the Last Day, and the angels, and the Scripture, and the prophets. Who gives money, though dear, to near relatives, and orphans, and the needy, and the homeless, and the beggars, and for the freeing of slaves; those who perform the prayers, and pay the obligatory charity, and fulfill their promise when they promise, and patiently persevere in the face of persecution, hardship, and in the time of conflict. These are the sincere; these are the pious.

178. O you who believe! Retaliation for the murdered is ordained upon you: the free for the free, the slave for the slave, the female for the female. But if he is forgiven by his kin, then grant any reasonable demand, and pay with good will. This is a concession from your Lord, and a mercy. But whoever commits aggression after that, a painful torment awaits him.

179. There is life for you in retaliation, O people of understanding, so that you may refrain.

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.

My Interpretation:

Here is Archangel saying that this has been said before and the leaders of Mecca say that they will continue to follow their ancestor’s traditions even though they were not the right way. Muhammad is told to warn the pagan leaders, and leaders of other religions that by lying about Islam or concealing what was revealed to them, from the masses, will cause them to suffer in the afterlife. Fire being swallowed in their bellies to me is not a physical fire, but instead a way to say that their guilt will burn them from inside one day when the truth comes out.

Muhammad also is to give them a list of things NOT to eat which is carrion, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and what was dedicated to other than God. This makes sense in many ways since they are harmful for the body, and the food that has been sacrificed for other gods, has bad energy attached to it. You never know about the unseen world of spirits and what people evoke through ritual. We must always be careful.

There is a suggestion that those who constantly fight over the Book (Gospel and Torah), are in deep discord and can not hear anything while they fill themselves with anger and become blind with hatred for each other. Once again, as I type this I only envision a few leaders of each religion in this position. The ones who have sat at the high seats of power and have controlled what ultimately is taught to an illiterate society who can not read the scrolls themselves.

Righteousness expressed here is very important. I show this to everyone I can, to show it is not one faith, or even a religion you need to belong to, it is how well you follow these ideas: charity, orphan and children care, homeless care, freeing of slaves (not prisoners-there is a big difference during these times of war), belief in the angels, Books, words from the messengers, prayer, and hard work to do goodness on earth. This to me, is how all good people can connect together.

Along with being righteous, you must also be brave and not allow evil or injustice to expand. So war is prescribed in order to prevent further bloodshed. This is the battle cry of Muhammad and God and the angels are behind the good people, as they defend their homes and their lives, from the extremely angry Mecca leaders.

However, it is KEY to see that God is Merciful and says that you should stop all revolutions or wars, if they cease and come to their senses. But if they do not, then God says that self defense and defense of land is always allowed.

Lastly, there is a testament to a “will” law that developed. Gabriel is telling Muhammad that the wealth that the people make, you can not take with you in death as the Egyptians once believed, and to give to those who are your family and close relatives. Today we have this law, and it is wonderful so that the state does not claim your home or property once you die. This is the way your bloodline can survive and live on, even after you are long gone.

Surah Al-Baqarah: Chapter 2 (line 150-160) The Cow

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.

151. Just as We sent to you a messenger from among you, who recites Our revelations to you, and purifies you, and teaches you the Book and wisdom, and teaches you what you did not know.

152. So remember Me, and I will remember you. And thank Me, and do not be ungrateful.

153. O you who believe! Seek help through patience and prayers. God is with the steadfast.

154. And do not say of those who are killed in the cause of God, “Dead.” Rather, they are alive, but you do not perceive.

155. We will certainly test you with some fear and hunger, and some loss of possessions and lives and crops. But give good news to the steadfast.

156. Those who, when a calamity afflicts them, say, “To God we belong, and to Him we will return.”

157. Upon these are blessings and mercy from their Lord. These are the guided ones.

158. Safa and Marwa are among the rites of God. Whoever makes the Pilgrimage to the House, or performs the Umrah, commits no error by circulating between them. Whoever volunteers good-God is Appreciative and Cognizant.

159. Those who suppress the proofs and the guidance We have revealed, after We have clarified them to humanity in the Scripture-those-God curses them, and the cursers curse them.

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

My Interpretation:

This is Gabriel saying to Muhammad these are the words he must speak for God to the people as the next chosen prophet in this historical time. He must remind the people that they are and will be slaughtered and oppressed by those in Mecca who hate to see their pagan religion system crumbling. But he gives them glad tidings, that there is no such thing as “death” for these brave souls who are killed by others. They are very much alive in the spiritual world that we can not see.

These lines read as an inspiring speech to start a revolution and to know that God is with them. The brave choices they make as righteous believers will not go unseen by God. All good acts are recorded and reflected upon.

There is also a curse put upon those who become the mortal enemies of God and the messengers, and their punishment for not listening to Muhammad, will not be light in the hereafter.

I see Hell as a state of being or conscious state you can end up in after death, if in life you denied Heaven and God. After all-we are the co-creators of our realities, and this extends to the afterlife as well.