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The ritual use, teachings and interpretation of the Qur’an, some Western criticsm.

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1 The ritual use, teachings and interpretation of the Qur’an, some Western criticsm

2 What is the Qur’an?  Actual words of God, in Arabic, brought to Muhammad by the Angel Gabriel,  Not influenced by Muhammad's personality "Say: It is not for me to change it. I follow only what is revealed." (Qur’an 10:15)  Quoting the Qur’an, Muslims commonly say: "God Almighty has said.. "  We say: "The Qur'an says... " but not “Muhammad said...”  Revealed in sections, usually in response to various situations;  The present order is not the order in which they were revealed:

3 What is the Qur’an? ctd  Divided into suras (chapters) and ayas (āyāt) (verses)  Āya is also used for God's activity in creation, e.g. lightning and rain, and in human events; includes "miracles" (e.g. Zechariah's inability to speak, 19:10)  The Qur'an is only the Qur'an in Arabic:  Translations are interpretations  e.g. Pickthall, The Meaning of the Glorious Qur'an

4 Preservation of the Qur’an  God’s promise "It is We who have revealed the Reminder and We are its guardian." (15:9)

5 Compilation of Qur’an: The most common traditional view  At the end of Muhammad’s life it was scattered on “pieces of papyrus, flat stones, palm-leaves, shoulder-blades and ribs of animals, pieces of leather and wooden boards, as well as [in] the hearts of men”  Abu Bakr had a compilation made because many Qur’an reciters had died in battle; eventually passed into the hands of Hafsa, a widow of Muhammad and daughter of ‘Umar  Official version compiled under ‘Uthman, taking into account Hafsa’s, because variations had arise in different places  Copies were made and sent to the main centres, such as Kufa, Basra, Damascus.  Eventually seven variations (“readings”) came to be accepted though only one is now widely used.

6 The following passage of the Qur’an is commonly taken as a description of the first revelation: “By the star when it plunges, Your comrade is not astray nor misled, Nor does he speak out of caprice. This is no less than a revelation revealed, Taught to him by one terrible in power, Mighty, poised on the highest horizon. Then he drew near and descended, Two bows’ length away or nearer, And revealed to his servant what he revealed. His heart does not lie about what he saw. Will you then dispute with him about what he saw?” (53:1-12)

7 Content of the first revelation, according to Muslim tradition “Recite: In the Name of your Lord who created, Created humans from blood clotted, Recite! Your Lord is the most generous, Who taught by the Pen, Taught humans what they did not know.” (96:1-5)

8 On the modality of revelation “God speaks to no human Except by wa ḥ y (inspiration, revelation) Or from behind a veil Or by sending a messenger who reveals what God wills by His permission. He is the most High, the Most Wise.” (42:51- 52)

9 Muhammad is the seal of the prophets: “Muhammad is not the father of any one of your men, but the Messenger of God, and the Seal of the Prophets; God has knowledge of everything.” (33:40)

10 The Power of the Qur’an  Uncreated speech of God  "The Qur'an is the Uncreated Speech of God; it is written in our volumes, preserved in our hearts, recited by our tongues, heard by our ears, but is not located in them." (Creed of Nasafi)  Thus in a sense the divine is present in worldly form; cf. Christ for Christians  Baraka: e.g. use for amulets, healing  Purity: “a hidden book which none may touch except the purified” (56:78-80)  Literary miracle (i‘jāz):  “The Qur'an which is the most beautiful of all works in the Arabic language, a book whose eloquence is itself the greatest miracle in Islam.” (S. H. Nasr)  There is a considerable literature about the Qur’an as i‘jāz.

11 The Recitation of the Qur’an  Qur’an means “recitation”  Muhammad was illiterate  Many memorize and recite the Qur’an who cannot read Arabic  Recitation as performance: great reciters are renowned  The power of recitation: “Suddenly the power of the phrase seizes the scattered sensibility of the crowd, focusing it, and carrying it forward like a great wave, setting the listeners down gently after one phrase and lifting them up in the rising of the next. The recitation proceeds, the intensity grows.” (Kristina Nelson, xiii)

12 The Fāti ḥ a (Opening sūra of the Qur’ān) ArabicArberryA. Yusuf Ali Bi-smi-llāhi-r- ra ḥ māni-r-ra ḥ īm In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful Al- ḥ amdu li-llāhi rabbi-l-‘ālamīn Praise belongs to God, the Lord of all Being Praise be to God, The Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds Ar-ra ḥ māni-r- ra ḥ īm The All-merciful, the All- compassionate Most Gracious, Most Merciful Māliki-yawmi- ddīn Master of the Day of Doom Master of the Day of Judgment

13 The Fāti ḥ a ctd ArabicArberryA. Yusuf Ali Iyyāka na‘buduThee only we serve; Thee do we worship Wa-iyyāka nasta‘īn To Thee alone we pray for succour And Thine aid we seek. Ihdinā- ṣ - ṣ irā ṭ i-l- mustaqīm Guide us in the straight path Show us the straight way, Ṣ irā ṭ -alladhīna an‘amta ‘alayhim The path of those whom Thou hast blest The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, Ghayri-l- magh ḍ ūbi ‘alayhim Not of those against whom thou art wrathful Those whose portion is not wrath, Wa-la ḍ āllīn Nor of those who are astray. And who go not astray.

14 Calligraphy of the Fatihah

15 Taw ḥ īd Literally to make or consider something to be one;  In this case: recognizing and asserting that God is one; monotheism.  The most important of all Qur’anic and Islamic doctrines Sura 112 “The Chapter of Tawhid” or “The Chapter of Sincerity”: “In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate, Say: He is God, One, God the Everlasting Refuge, Who has not begotten, and has not been begotten, And none is equal to Him.”

16 God is Creator and Sustainer. Evident in signs (āyāt) throughout the physical universe and in human life. ( The verses of the Qur'an are also āyāt of God). “Surely in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alteration of night and day and the ships that run in the sea with profit to men, and the water God sends down from the heaven, thus reviving the earth after it is dead and His scattering abroad in it all kinds of beasts, and the turning about of the winds and the clouds they drive between heaven and earth-- surely there are signs (āyāt) for a people can understand.” (2: 164)

17 Names of God God has an infinite number of names but it is common to list (and recite) ninety nine of them, drawn from the Quran. Here are a few of them: Al-Ra ḥ mān Merciful Al-Ra ḥ īmThe Compassionate Al-MalikThe King Al-QuddūsThe Holy Al-SalāmPeace Al-Jabbār Compeller Al-RazzāqThe Provider Al-KhāfidThe Humbler Al-Rāfi‘The Exalter Al-‘AdlThe Just Al-GhafūrThe Forgiving Al- Ḥ aqqThe Truth (Reality) Al-Mu ḥ yīThe Life Giver Al-MumītThe Death Giver Al-Wā ḥ idThe One

18 Prophets and Apostles The Qur’an names about 24 before Muhammad (Scriptures in brackets) AdamAyyūb (Job) IdrīsDhū al-Kifl Nū ḥ (Noah)Mūsā (Moses) [Tawrāt] HūdHārūn (Aaron) Ṣ āli ḥ Dāūd (David) [Zubūr] Ibrāhīm (Abraham) [“Leaves”]Sulaymān (Solomon) Ismā‘īl (Ishmael)Ilyās (Elijah) Lū ṭ (Lot)Ilyasa‘ (Elisha?) Is ḥ aq (Isaac)Yūnus (Jonah) Ya‘qūb (Jacob)Zakariyya (Zechariah) Yūsuf (Joseph)Yahyā (John the Baptist) Shu‘ayb (Jethro?)‘Īsā (Jesus) [Injīl]

19 Prophets and Apostles ctd According to the Qur’an or later tradition, these prophets  All preached taw ḥ īd  All preached messages relevant to their times and places  The messages of some were distorted by their later followers  The Qur’an completes their messages and corrects the distortions, and is for all times.

20 The Qur’an on ‘Īsā (also referred to as al-Masī ḥ )  A prophet to the people of Israel’  Born of Maryam (Mary), a virgin  Performed miracles, including healing the sick, raising the dead, speaking from his crib as a baby  Made some things lawful that had been forbidden  Did not claim to be Son of God or the third person of the Trinity  God saved him from being crucified  Foretold Muhammad

21 Some passages relating to Jesus: Then we sent Our Messengers, following in their [Noah’s and Abraham’s] footsteps, And we sent Jesus the son of Mary And gave him the Gospel. And we set in the hearts of those who followed him Tenderness and mercy. (57:27)

22 Some passages relating to Jesus, ctd Truly, Jesus in God’s sight is like Adam, He created him of dust and said to him, “Be!”, and he was. (3:59) They are unbelievers who say, “God is the Third of Three.” No God is there but one God. If they do not refrain from what they say, those who disbelieve will suffer a painful punishment. (5:72)

23 Some passages relating to Jesus, ctd Jesus was not crucified: [ So...] for their unbelief, and their uttering against Mary a mighty calumny, and for their saying, “We killed the Messiah, Jesus the Son of Mary, the Messenger of God” Yet they did not kill him, They did not crucify him, It was only made to appear so to them. Those who differ concerning him surely are in doubt; They have no knowledge of him but follow what they only guess at. It is certain that they did not kill him - No, God raised him up to Himself; God is All-Mighty and All-Wise. There is not one of the People of the Book but will believe in him before his death, and on the day of Resurrection he will be a witness against them. (4:157-9, emphasis supplied)

24 The Last Day: Heaven and Hell When the sun shall be darkened When the stars shall be thrown down, When the mountains shall be set moving, When the pregnant camels shall be neglected, When the savage beasts shall be mustered, When the seas shall be set boiling, When the souls shall be coupled, When the buried infant shall be asked for what sin she was slain, When the scrolls shall be unrolled, When the sky shall be stripped away, When Hell shall be set blazing, When Paradise shall be brought near, Then shall a soul know what it has produced. (81:1-14)

25 The proper response: Serve God and associate nothing with Him. Be kind to parents and kinfolk, And to orphans and the needy, Neighbours who are near and neighbours who are strangers, Companions beside you and travellers, And your slaves. God does not love the proud and boastful... (4:36)

26 The wrong response: Shirk and Kufr. Shirk means 'to associate', viz. with God Kufr is the attitude underlying shirk; usually translated “unbelief” but also connoting ingratitude. “When they embark on ships they all upon God directing their devotion exclusively to Him, but when he brings them safe to shore, then they associate (shirk) others with Him, disdaining ungratefully (kufr) what We have given them, taking their enjoyment. They will find out! Have they not seen that We have appointed a sanctuary secure, While all about them people are being snatched away? What, do they believe in vanity, and reject (kufr) Allah's blessing?” (29: 65-67)

27 The following is the passage connected with the infamous “Satanic verses”. The lines in brackets and italics are the ones Satan is supposed to have inspired. Have you considered al-Lāt and al-'Uzza, and that other, Manāt, the third? [They are the exalted swans whose intercession is to be desired] Are you to have sons, and He only daughters? That would be a most unfair division! They are naught but names you have named, you and your fathers. Allah has sent no warrant for them. They follow only their own ideas and desires, Even though sound guidance has come to them from their Lord. (53: 19-23)

28 The Qur’an on alcohol: And of the fruits of the date palm and the vine You derive strong drink (sakar) and good nourishment, Surely in that is a sign (āya) for people who reflect. (16:67) They ask you about wine (khamr) and gambling. Say: There is sin in both and some benefit for people, but the sin is greater than the benefit. (2:219)

29 The Qur’an on alcohol ctd O you who believe, do not draw near to prayer when you are drunk, Until you know what you are saying.... (4:43) O you who believe, wine (khamr) and gambling, idols and divining arrows are an abomination, some of Satan’s work, so avoid them, so that you may prosper. Satan only wants to cause enmity and hatred among you by khamr and gambling, and deter from thinking of God and from prayer. Will you not abstain? (5:90-1)

30 Some passages relating to Gender But for him who fears the standing before his Lord, for them are two gardens. O which of your Lord's bounties will you deny?... Therein are maidens restraining their glances, untouched before them by man or jinn. O which of your Lord's bounties will you deny? Lovely as rubies, beautiful as coral. O which of your Lord's bounties will you deny? Shall the recompense of goodness be other than goodness? O which of your Lord's bounties will you deny? [55: 46-47, 56-61]

31 Gender ctd Men and women who have submitted (muslimūn wa-muslimāt ), Believing men and believing women, obedient men and obedient women, truthful men and truthful women, persevering men and persevering women, humble men and humble women, men and women who give in charity, men who fast and women who fast, men and women who guard their private parts, men and women who remember God often - for them God has prepared forgiveness and a mighty wage. (33:35)

32 Gender ctd Men are managers of the affairs (qawwāmūn) of women In that God has given one more strength (fa ḍḍ ala) than the other, and since they have expended of their property. Righteous women are therefore obedient, guarding what God has made private. And admonish those you fear may be rebellious; Banish them to separate beds, and beat them. If they then obey you, do not look for any way against them; God is All-High, All-Great. And if you fear a breach between the two, bring an arbiter from his people and one from her people, if they desire to set things right. God will compose their differences; Surely God is All-knowing, All-aware. (4:34-35)

33 Gender ctd Tell the believing men, to cast down their eyes and guard their private parts; that is purer for them. God is aware of what they do. And tell the believing women, to cast down their eyes and guard their private parts, and reveal not their adornment save such as appears; and let them cast their veils over their bosoms, and not reveal their adornments except to their husbands, or their fathers, or... [other relatives, etc.] nor let them stamp their feet so that their hidden ornaments may be known. And turn all together to God, O you believers; so that you may prosper. (24:30-31)

34 Gender ctd If you fear that you will not act justly towards the orphans, marry such women as seem good to you, two, three, four; but if you fear you will not be equitable, then only one, or what your right hands own; so it is likelier you will not be partial. [4:3] You will not be able to be equitable between your wives, be you ever so eager; yet do not be altogether partial so that you leave her as it were suspended. If you set things right and are God-fearing, surely God is All-Forgiving, All- compassionate. [4:129]

35 On force and violence And therein [the Torah] We prescribed for them: 'A life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth, and for wounds retaliation'; but whosoever forgoes it as a freewill offering, that shall be for him an expiation. Whoso judges not according to what God has sent down they are the evildoers. (5:45) Fighting is prescribed for you, though you hate it. You may hate something, though it is better for you, And you may hate something, though it is worse for you. God knows; you do not know. (2:216)

36 On force and violence ctd Leave is given to those who fight because they were wronged -surely God is able to help them- Who were unjustly expelled from their homes, Only because they say 'Our Lord is God.' Had God not driven back people, some by the means of others, cloisters and churches, oratories and mosques, in which God's Name is regularly mentioned, would have been destroyed. Assuredly God will help him who helps His cause. God is indeed All-strong, All-mighty. (22: 39-40)

37 On force and violence ctd Then, when the sacred months are finished, slay the idolaters wherever you find them, take them, and confine them, and lie in wait for them everywhere. But if they repent, and perform the prayer and pay the alms, then let them be. God is All-forgiving, All-compassionate, And if any of the idolaters seeks your protection, grant him protection till he hears the Word of God; then take him to a place of security For they are a people who do not know. How should the idolaters have a treaty with God and His Messenger?- - except those with whom you made a treaty at the Holy Mosque - So long as they deal truly with you, deal truly with them. God indeed loves the godfearing. (9: 4-7)

38 Tolerance of other religious groups No compulsion is there in religion. Right guidance has become clear from error. So whoever rejects idols and puts faith in God, has grasped the firmest handle, one that will not break; God is All-hearing, All-knowing (2: 256) Surely those who believe, and the Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabeans, whoever believes in God and the Last Day, and does righteous deeds, their wage awaits them with their Lord, and no fear shall be on them, neither shall they sorrow. (2:62; cf. 5:69)

39 Tolerance of other religious groups, ctd. Fight those who do not believe in God and the Last Day, And do not forbid what God and His Messenger have forbidden, And do not follow the religion of Truth, Such as are of the people who have received the Scripture, Until they pay the jizya out of hand, And are humbled. (9:29)

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