The Rules for Discussing Themes and Verses from the Quran in Public
By Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam
25 April, 2015
There is a very simple rule to follow of what themes to discuss and what verses of the Quran to use in any public forum. These are the themes covered by verses that are addressed to all of mankind.
The themes covered are: Modesty, righteousness, justice, orienting to the creator in exclusive worship.
What may be enjoyed: Enjoy the clean and pure good things of life provided as a gift from God – do not forbid these to yourself.
What should be avoided: Avoid shameful deeds, whether open or secret; sins and trespasses against truth or reason; assigning of partners to Allah, for which He has given no authority; and saying things about Allah of which you have no knowledge.
Guidance: Allah provides guidance and those who go astray do so by their choice. Messengers are sent with signs from God to make those who heed mend their lives. But those who reject the signs of God and treat them with arrogance,-they are companions of the Fire. They are unjust who invent a lie against Allah or rejects His Signs. But those who believe and work righteousness, they will be Companions of the Garden, therein to dwell
However, on account of people posing questions by citing other verses, discussion on these cannot be avoided. When such questions become repetitive, it becomes necessary to cover other themes by way of articles. The articles written by persons who have a good understanding of the holistic message of the Quran, discuss these verses with proper context and explanation that make these understood.
While it is understandable that those whose objective is to defame Islam, merely cite isolated verses or just part of a verse to omit the context contained in the verse or omit to cite previous or succeeding verses which contain the context or qualifiers, Muslims who have respect for Islam and the Quran should avoid doing the same. They should avoid doing anything that result in shocking people, horrifying them or causing feelings of disgust and revulsion. The excuse cannot be that they are merely citing the Quran and that God should be blamed for any feelings of disgust and revulsion that result! That is the excuse of the Islamophobes. Muslims are expected not to imitate them.
We know that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) encountered violent opposition from the likes of Abu Lahab, Abu Jahal, Walid ibn Mughayrah etc. The Prophet was stoned, ridiculed, mocked, stalked, garbage was thrown at him, he was slandered, his path was strewn with thorns, his followers were physically tortured etc. The response very poor because the people feared what may happen to them if they accepted Islam. Under these circumstances, any person can lose heart. The Prophet was on the one hand warned not to abandon his mission like Yunus (AS) and on the other hand assured of success. The balm for the daily abuses and torments that he received were the revelations that explained the nature and motivation of such people and what lay in store for them in this life and the hereafter. The Quran is the best practical guidebook on psychology if it is properly understood. Even if these verses were recited in public then by the Prophet, people understood exactly what and who was the subject of these verses and how true the description was. These verses today, are of relevance to those engaged in similar work and who may encounter similar situations to make them persevere with patience. The verses also help those who can understand what these mean, to appreciate in how many ways, the mission of Muhammad (pbuh) was truly a mercy to all mankind and the suffering (physical and mental) that he underwent with utmost patience remaining steadfast and unwavering. These verses are not meant to be used by all and sundry to characterize non-Muslims. If the purpose of these verses was to fling them around in a casual manner, the verses through which Allah addresses all mankind, would have contained those epithets used for the most violent and wicked among those who resisted the faith with all their might. Just make a note of how Allah chooses to address all of mankind and learn the rules of public behaviour.
The Verses Addressing All Of Mankind (In Chronological Order) Are Listed Below:
(7:26) O ye Children of Adam! We have bestowed raiment upon you to cover your shame, as well as to be an adornment to you. But the raiment of righteousness,- that is the best. Such are among the Signs of Allah, that they may receive admonition!(27) O ye Children of Adam! Let not Satan seduce you, in the same manner as He got your parents out of the Garden, stripping them of their raiment, to expose their shame: for he and his tribe watch you from a position where ye cannot see them: We made the evil ones friends (only) to those without faith.(28) When they do aught that is shameful, they say: "We found our fathers doing so"; and "Allah commanded us thus": Say: "Nay, Allah never commands what is shameful: do ye say of Allah what ye know not?"(29) Say: "My Lord hath commanded justice; and that ye set your whole selves (to Him) at every time and place of prayer, and call upon Him, making your devotion sincere as in His sight: such as He created you in the beginning, so shall ye return."(30) Some He hath guided: Others have (by their choice) deserved the loss of their way; in that they took the evil ones, in preference to Allah, for their friends and protectors, and think that they receive guidance.(31) O Children of Adam! wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer: eat and drink: But waste not by excess, for Allah loveth not the wasters.(32) Say: Who hath forbidden the beautiful (gifts) of Allah, which He hath produced for His servants, and the things, clean and pure, (which He hath provided) for sustenance? Say: They are, in the life of this world, for those who believe, (and) purely for them on the Day of Judgment. Thus do We explain the signs in detail for those who understand.(33) Say: the things that my Lord hath indeed forbidden are: shameful deeds, whether open or secret; sins and trespasses against truth or reason; assigning of partners to Allah, for which He hath given no authority; and saying things about Allah of which ye have no knowledge.(34) To every people is a term appointed: when their term is reached, not an hour can they cause delay, nor (an hour) can they advance (it in anticipation).(35) O ye Children of Adam! whenever there come to you messengers from amongst you, rehearsing My signs unto you,- those who are righteous and mend (their lives),- on them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve.(36) But those who reject Our signs and treat them with arrogance,- they are companions of the Fire, to dwell therein (for ever).(37) Who is more unjust than one who invents a lie against Allah or rejects His Signs? For such, their portion appointed must reach them from the Book (of decrees): until, when our messengers (of death) arrive and take their souls, they say: "Where are the things that ye used to invoke besides Allah?" They will reply, "They have left us in the lurch," And they will bear witness against themselves, that they had rejected Allah. (38) He will say: "Enter ye in the company of the peoples who passed away before you - men and Jinns, - into the Fire." Every time a new people enters, it curses its sister-people (that went before), until they follow each other, all into the Fire. Saith the last about the first: "Our Lord! it is these that misled us: so give them a double penalty in the Fire." He will say: "Doubled for all”: but this ye do not understand.(39) Then the first will say to the last: "See then! No advantage have ye over us; so taste ye of the penalty for all that ye did !"(40) To those who reject Our signs and treat them with arrogance, no opening will there be of the gates of heaven, nor will they enter the garden, until the camel can pass through the eye of the needle: Such is Our reward for those in sin.(41) For them there is Hell, as a couch (below) and folds and folds of covering above: such is Our requital of those who do wrong.(42) But those who believe and work righteousness,- no burden do We place on any soul, but that which it can bear,- they will be Companions of the Garden, therein to dwell (for ever).(43) And We shall remove from their hearts any lurking sense of injury;- beneath them will be rivers flowing;- and they shall say: "Praise be to Allah, who hath guided us to this (felicity): never could we have found guidance, had it not been for the guidance of Allah: indeed it was the truth, that the messengers of our Lord brought unto us." And they shall hear the cry: "Behold! the garden before you! Ye have been made its inheritors, for your deeds (of righteousness)."
(7:158) Say: "O men! I am sent unto you all, as the Messenger of Allah, to Whom belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth: there is no god but He: it is He That giveth both life and death. So believe in Allah and His Messenger, the Unlettered Prophet, who believeth in Allah and His words: follow him that (so) ye may be guided."
(36:60) "Did I not enjoin on you, O ye Children of Adam, that ye should not worship Satan; for that he was to you an enemy avowed?-(61) "And that ye should worship Me, (for that) this was the Straight Way?(62) "But he did lead astray a great multitude of you. Did ye not, then, understand?(63) "This is the Hell of which ye were (repeatedly) warned!(64) "Embrace ye the (fire) this Day, for that ye (persistently) rejected (Truth)."(65) That Day shall We set a seal on their mouths. But their hands will speak to us, and their feet bear witness, to all that they did.(66) If it had been our Will, We could surely have blotted out their eyes; then should they have run about groping for the Path, but how could they have seen?(67) And if it had been Our Will, We could have transformed them (to remain) in their places; then should they have been unable to move about, nor could they have returned (after error).(68) If We grant long life to any, We cause him to be reversed in nature: Will they not then understand?(69) We have not instructed the (Prophet) in Poetry, nor is it meet for him: this is no less than a Message and a Qur´an making things clear:(70) That it may give admonition to any (who are) alive, and that the charge may be proved against those who reject (Truth).(71) See they not that it is We Who have created for them - among the things which Our hands have fashioned - cattle, which are under their dominion?-(72) And that We have subjected them to their (use)? of them some do carry them and some they eat:(73) And they have (other) profits from them (besides), and they get (milk) to drink. Will they not then be grateful? (74) Yet they take (for worship) gods other than Allah, (hoping) that they might be helped! (75) They have not the power to help them: but they will be brought up (before Our Judgment-seat) as a troop (to be condemned).(76) Let not their speech, then, grieve thee. Verily We know what they hide as well as what they disclose.(77) Doth not man see that it is We Who created him from sperm? yet behold! he (stands forth) as an open adversary!(78) And he makes comparisons for Us, and forgets his own (origin and) Creation: He says, "Who can give life to (dry) bones and decomposed ones (at that)?"(79) Say, "He will give them life Who created them for the first time! for He is Well-versed in every kind of creation!-(80) "The same Who produces for you fire out of the green tree, when behold! ye kindle therewith (your own fires)!(81) "Is not He Who created the heavens and the earth able to create the like thereof?" - Yea, indeed! for He is the Creator Supreme, of skill and knowledge (infinite)!(82) Verily, when He intends a thing, His Command is, "be", and it is!(83) So glory to Him in Whose hands is the dominion of all things: and to Him will ye be all brought back.
(35:3) O men! Call to mind the grace of Allah unto you! is there a creator, other than Allah, to give you sustenance from heaven or earth? There is no god but He: how then are ye deluded away from the Truth? (4) And if they reject thee, so were messengers rejected before thee: to Allah back for decision all affairs.(5) O men! Certainly the promise of Allah is true. Let not then this present life deceive you, nor let the Chief Deceiver deceive you about Allah. (6) Verily Satan is an enemy to you: so treat him as an enemy. He only invites his adherents that they may become Companions of the Blazing Fire. (7) For those who reject Allah, is a terrible Penalty: but for those who believe and work righteous deeds, is Forgiveness, and a magnificent Reward.(8) Is he, then, to whom the evil of his conduct is made alluring, so that he looks upon it as good, (equal to one who is rightly guided)? For Allah leaves to stray whom He wills, and guides whom He wills. So let not thy soul go out in (vainly) sighing after them: for Allah knows well all that they do!(9) It is Allah Who sends forth the Winds, so that they raise up the Clouds, and We drive them to a land that is dead, and revive the earth therewith after its death: even so (will be) the Resurrection!(10) If any do seek for glory and power,- to Allah belong all glory and power. To Him mount up (all) Words of Purity: It is He Who exalts each Deed of Righteousness. Those that lay Plots of Evil,- for them is a Penalty terrible; and the plotting of such will be void (of result).(11) And Allah did create you from dust; then from a sperm-drop; then He made you in pairs. And no female conceives, or lays down (her load), but with His knowledge. Nor is a man long-lived granted length of days, nor is a part cut off from his life, but is in a Decree (ordained). All this is easy to Allah.(12) Nor are the two bodies of flowing water alike,- the one palatable, sweet, and pleasant to drink, and the other, salt and bitter. Yet from each (kind of water) do ye eat flesh fresh and tender, and ye extract ornaments to wear; and thou seest the ships therein that plough the waves, that ye may seek (thus) of the Bounty of Allah that ye may be grateful.(13) He merges Night into Day, and he merges Day into Night, and he has subjected the sun and the moon (to his Law): each one runs its course for a term appointed. Such is Allah your Lord: to Him belongs all Dominion. And those whom ye invoke besides Him have not the least power.(14) If ye invoke them, they will not listen to your call, and if they were to listen, they cannot answer your (prayer). On the Day of Judgment they will reject your "Partnership". and none, (O man!) can tell thee (the Truth) like the One Who is acquainted with all things.(15) O ye men! It is ye that have need of Allah: but Allah is the One Free of all wants, worthy of all praise.(16) If He so pleased, He could blot you out and bring in a New Creation.(17) Nor is that (at all) difficult for Allah.(18) Nor can a bearer of burdens bear another´s burdens if one heavily laden should call another to (bear) his load. Not the least portion of it can be carried (by the other). Even though he be nearly related. Thou canst but admonish such as fear their Lord unseen and establish regular Prayer. And whoever purifies himself does so for the benefit of his own soul; and the destination (of all) is to Allah.(19) The blind and the seeing are not alike;(20) Nor are the depths of Darkness and the Light;(21) Nor are the (chilly) shade and the (genial) heat of the sun:(22) Nor are alike those that are living and those that are dead. Allah can make any that He wills to hear; but thou canst not make those to hear who are (buried) in graves.
(10:57) O mankind! there hath come to you a direction from your Lord and a healing for the (diseases) in your hearts,- and for those who believe, a guidance and a Mercy.
(10:104) Say: "O ye men! If ye are in doubt as to my religion, (behold!) I worship not what ye worship, other than Allah! But I worship Allah - Who will take your souls (at death): I am commanded to be (in the ranks) of the Believers,
(10:108) Say: "O ye men! Now Truth hath reached you from your Lord! those who receive guidance, do so for the good of their own souls; those who stray, do so to their own loss: and I am not (set) over you to arrange your affairs."
(31:33) O mankind! do your duty to your Lord, and fear (the coming of) a Day when no father can avail aught for his son, nor a son avail aught for his father. Verily, the promise of Allah is true: let not then this present life deceive you, nor let the chief Deceiver deceive you about Allah.(34) Verily the knowledge of the Hour is with Allah (alone). It is He Who sends down rain, and He Who knows what is in the wombs. Nor does anyone know what it is that he will earn on the morrow: Nor does anyone know in what land he is to die. Verily with Allah is full knowledge and He is acquainted (with all things).
(45:13) O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).
(2:21) O ye people! Adore your Guardian-Lord, who created you and those who came before you, that ye may have the chance to learn righteousness;(22) Who has made the earth your resting place, and the sky your canopy; and sent down rain from the sky; and brought forth therewith Fruits for your sustenance; then set not up rivals unto Allah when ye know (the truth).(23) And if ye are in doubt as to what We have revealed from time to time to Our servant, then produce a Sura like thereunto; and call your witnesses or helpers (If there are any) besides Allah, if your (doubts) are true.(24) But if ye cannot- and of a surety ye cannot- then fear the Fire whose fuel is men and stones,- which is prepared for those who reject Faith.(25) But give glad tidings to those who believe and work righteousness, that their portion is Gardens, beneath which rivers flow. Every time they are fed with fruits there from, they say: "Why, this is what we were fed with before," for they are given things in similitude; and they have therein companions pure (and holy); and they abide therein (for ever).(26) Allah disdains not to use the similitude of things, lowest as well as highest. Those who believe know that it is truth from their Lord; but those who reject Faith say: "What means Allah by this similitude?" By it He causes many to stray, and many He leads into the right path; but He causes not to stray, except those who forsake (the path),-(27) Those who break Allah´s Covenant after it is ratified, and who sunder what Allah Has ordered to be joined, and do mischief on earth: These cause loss (only) to themselves.(28) How can ye reject the faith in Allah?- seeing that ye were without life, and He gave you life; then will He cause you to die, and will again bring you to life; and again to Him will ye return.(29) It is He Who hath created for you all things that are on earth; Moreover His design comprehended the heavens, for He gave order and perfection to the seven firmaments; and of all things He hath perfect knowledge.
(2:168) O ye people! Eat of what is on earth, Lawful and good; and do not follow the footsteps of the evil one, for he is to you an avowed enemy.(169) For he commands you what is evil and shameful, and that ye should say of Allah that of which ye have no knowledge.
(4:1) O mankind! Reverence your Guardian-Lord, who created you from a single person, created, of like nature, His mate, and from them twain scattered (like seeds) countless men and women;- reverence Allah, through whom ye demand your mutual (rights), and (reverence) the wombs (That bore you): for Allah ever watches over you.
(4:170) O Mankind! The Messenger hath come to you in truth from Allah: believe in him: It is best for you. But if ye reject Faith, to Allah belong all things in the heavens and on earth: And Allah is All-knowing, All-wise.
(4:174) O mankind! verily there hath come to you a convincing proof from your Lord: For We have sent unto you a light (that is) manifest.(175) Then those who believe in Allah, and hold fast to Him,- soon will He admit them to mercy and grace from Himself, and guide them to Himself by a straight way.
(22:1) O mankind! fear your Lord! for the convulsion of the Hour (of Judgment) will be a thing terrible!(2) The Day ye shall see it, every mother giving suck shall forget her suckling-babe, and every pregnant female shall drop her load (unformed): thou shalt see mankind as in a drunken riot, yet not drunk: but dreadful will be the Wrath of Allah.(3) And yet among men there are such as dispute about Allah, without knowledge, and follow every evil one obstinate in rebellion!(4) About the (Evil One) it is decreed that whoever turns to him for friendship, him will he lead astray, and he will guide him to the Penalty of the Fire.(5) O mankind! if ye have a doubt about the Resurrection, (consider) that We created you out of dust, then out of sperm, then out of a leech-like clot, then out of a morsel of flesh, partly formed and partly unformed, in order that We may manifest (our power) to you; and We cause whom We will to rest in the wombs for an appointed term, then do We bring you out as babes, then (foster you) that ye may reach your age of full strength; and some of you are called to die, and some are sent back to the feeblest old age, so that they know nothing after having known (much), and (further), thou seest the earth barren and lifeless, but when We pour down rain on it, it is stirred (to life), it swells, and it puts forth every kind of beautiful growth (in pairs).(6) This is so, because Allah is the Reality: it is He Who gives life to the dead, and it is He Who has power over all things.(7) And verily the Hour will come: there can be no doubt about it, or about (the fact) that Allah will raise up all who are in the graves.(8) Yet there is among men such a one as disputes about Allah, without Knowledge, without Guidance, and without a Book of Enlightenment,-(9) (Disdainfully) bending his side, in order to lead (men) astray from the Path of Allah: for him there is disgrace in this life, and on the Day of Judgment We shall make him taste the Penalty of burning (Fire).(10) (It will be said): "This is because of the deeds which thy hands sent forth, for verily Allah is not unjust to His servants.(11) There are among men some who serve Allah, as it were, on the verge: if good befalls them, they are, therewith, well content; but if a trial comes to them, they turn on their faces: they lose both this world and the Hereafter: that is loss for all to see!(12) They call on such deities, besides Allah, as can neither hurt nor profit them: that is straying far indeed (from the Way)!(13) (Perhaps) they call on one whose hurt is nearer than his profit: evil, indeed, is the patron, and evil the companion (or help)!(14) Verily Allah will admit those who believe and work righteous deeds, to Gardens, beneath which rivers flow: for Allah carries out all that He plans.
(22:49) Say: "O men! I am (sent) to you only to give a Clear Warning :( 50) "Those who believe and work righteousness, for them is forgiveness and a sustenance most generous. (51) "But those who strive against Our Signs, to frustrate them,- they will be Companions of the Fire."
(22:73) O men! Here is a parable set forth! Listen to it! Those on whom, besides Allah, ye call, cannot create (even) a fly, if they all met together for the purpose! And if the fly should snatch away anything from them, they would have no power to release it from the fly. Feeble are those who petition and those whom they petition!
Naseer Ahmed is an Engineering graduate from IIT Kanpur and is an independent IT consultant after having served in both the Public and Private sector in responsible positions for over three decades. He is a frequent contributor to NewAgeIslam.com.