Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Qur'an 5:51 - A Humanistic Interpretation

By V.A. Mohamad Ashrof, New Age Islam 4 May 2022 Does The Verse 5:51 Really Forbid Contact And Alliance With Judeo-Christians Including The Common People In A Bid To Derive A Humanistic Interpretation ---- “O you who believe! Take not the Jews and Christians for friends/protectors (Awliya)” (Q.5:51). Islamophobes and Muslim extremists like Osama bin Laden, Ayman al - Zawahiri, and Abu Bakr al - Baghdadi often quote Q.5: 51. This small paper examines whether this verse really forbids contact and alliance with Judeo-Christians, including the common people in a bid to derive a humanistic interpretation. Muslim and Anti-Muslim extremists are abusing the Qur'anic reference to "do not make alliance with Judeo-Christians" in the sense of "not making friends" (Q. 5:51, 60: 1, 4: 139, 5:57, 3:28). The word “Awliya” really means guardian, responsible manager, master, keeper, and servant. The following verse of the Qur'an will help us to understand the more subtle meaning of the word “Awliya”: “As for the disbelievers, they are guardians of one another. And unless you ˹believers˺ act likewise, there will be great oppression and corruption in the land.” (8:73). The message of the verse is that the non-cooperation of the adherents of goodness will lead the world to disaster because the adherents of evil are in cooperation. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Also Read: According To Quran 5:51, Can Muslims Not Accept Non-Muslims As Friends? ------------------------------------------------------------------------ The verse Q.5:57 illuminates the verse Q.5:51 further: "O believers! Do not seek the guardianship of those given the Scripture before you and the disbelievers who have made your faith a mockery and amusement. And be mindful of Allah if you are ˹truly˺ believers." (Q.5:57) It is only those enemies who are mocking the believers for the sake of amusement should not be taken as allies. If one reads Q.5:51 and Q.5:57 together, she will get the following idea: do not take Jews and Christians who are bitterly hostile to you as stewards. The basic reason is that they are eager to ridicule and insult your faith. Jews and Christians are the authoritative bearers of the divine message: the command to "ask the people of the Book" is found throughout the Qur'an (Q. 10:94; 17: 101; 25:59; 16:43; 21: 7; 43:45, 2: 211). One verse in the Qur'an explains the other (Q. 4:82, 2:85). It is said in one place that God will lead astray whomever He wills (Q. 3:27); another verse clarifies that those who ignore the signs of God are thus led astray (Q. 6:39). The Qur'an forbids making enemies who protect each other their guardians (Q. 8:73; 45:19). It reminds the unbelievers that they are allies of one another and warns that oppression and corruption will take place on earth if they are led (Q. 8:73). Do not make allies even members of your own family if they are rivals (Q. 4: 139; 9:23). “Children of Adam” in Q.17:70 refer to all mankind and shows that human being is by her very creation deserves regard and respect as a natural birth right, regardless of which community he belongs to. Respect and justice for humankind is one of the fundamental teachings of the Qur'an (4:135, 5:8). It instructs Muslims to show goodness to those who do evil (41:34), to speak words of peace to those who are hostile (25:63), to call to the way of God with wisdom and beautiful preaching (16:125), to treat peaceful non-Muslims with the utmost kindness and justice (60:8), to be the best of people towards other people (3:110), and to respect freedom of consciousness and religion (2:256, 10:99). Muslims are commanded to protect churches and synagogues; they are holy places where God's name is being “commemorated in abundant measure" (Q. 22:40). The Qur'an also supports marital relations with the Judeo-Christians (Q. 5: 5). It also describes marriage as a warm example of emotional and loving relationships (Q. 2: 187, 2: 229-237; 4:19, 4:25, 9:71; 30:21). The underlying cause of forbiddance contained in Q.5:51 are further explained in verses Q.3:28 and 4: 139. As stated in Q. 60: 7-9, it is clear that the Qur'an does not oppose normal and friendly relations with human beings. The Qur'an predicts that Jews and Christians will be eternal enemies due to their theological disputes (Q. 5:64). However, they can also unite for evil and conspire against goodness: a clear example of this is the alliance between Christian and Jewish Zionists. Christian Zionists are fundamentally anti-Semitic; they join the Jewish Zionists for political purposes. The last days of Christian Zionists also foretold the Holocaust: two-thirds of the Jewish people in the land of Israel would perish. The remaining third will be reformed and await God's deliverance at the second coming of Christ. (Walvoord, p. 108) This is what Christian Zionism wants. The goal of the unholy relationship without ceasing to be anti-Semitic is a really a cause of rebellion on earth. The Qur'an commands people to help one another in good deeds (Q. 2: 148; 2: 177; 5: 2; 60: 8-9). According to the Qur'an, not all the people of the Book are of the same nature; some of them are pious (Q. 3: 113-14, 5: 82-83, 7: 159, 5:66, 3:75, 2: 121, 17: 107-108). The Qur'an is the only non-Jewish scripture in the world that honours the Jews (Q. 2:40, 2: 47-52, 2: 57-58, 5:20, 5:44, 10:47, 10: 90-93, 14: 6, 17: 2-3, 20: 47-52, 20: 77-80, 44: 30-32, 45:16). The Qur'an praises good Jews and promises salvation if they follow the true teachings of Moses (Q. 2: 62, 2: 121-122, 3: 113-115, 3: 199, 5:12, 5:65-66, 5:69, 29:46). Islam absolves the Jews from the allegation of the “killers of Jesus Christ” (Q.4:157-158). The Qur’an’s main criticisms of the Jews include: breaking the covenant, rejecting the clear evidence (Q. 4: 153-4), branding the Prophets as liars and killing them unjustly (Q. 5:70), and insulting the mother of the Jesus Christ (Q. 4: 153), behaving unjustly (Q. 4: 160-1) and taking interest and accepting bribes (Q. 5:62). Moreover, some Jews were cursed because of the claim that Ezra was the Son of God (Q. 9:30). The Judeo-Christian scriptures and history attest to these criticisms. Trinity is one of the most important criticisms of the Qur'an against Christians (Q. 2: 116; 5:73). Christians misunderstand Jesus' sonship (Q. 5:72; 9:30); Jesus is merely a human, Messiah and a prophet. Christians err also on the issue of Jesus' crucifixion (Q. 4: 157-158) and their understanding of the fall of mankind; therefore, they fail to understand the righteousness of God: "He who carries a load does not bear another's burden" (Q. 35:18, 53:38). The Qur’an teaches that Jesus was not God incarnate, he did not die on a cross, and he was not raised from the dead (Q.4:157; 5:116). This does not prevent the Quran from praising good Christians assuring them that they too have salvation if they follow Jesus' true teachings (Q. 2: 62, 2: 121-122, 3: 113-115, 3: 199, 5: 65-66; 5:69, 5:82, 29:46). Verse Q.5:82 refers to Christians as those who are close to the believers. The Qur'an is the only non-Christian book in the world that has great respect for Jesus and Mary (Q. 3: 42-55, 5: 44-46, 5: 110, 43:59). The Qur'an's harsh words are not aimed to any religious groups, but to wrong attitudes, wrong thinking, arrogance, and hostility to Islam. From the Qur'anic point of view, there is no permanent enemy: "Prevent evil with the best of good, so that he who is hostile to you will be like a close friend" (Q. 41:34). It bestows benevolent and constructive guidance to the people of the Book (e.g. Q 3:64, 3: 113–115, 3:199; 5.69; 16.43; 29.46). When a Christian delegation arrived from Najran, the Prophet allowed them to worship in his own mosque. (Guillaume, pp. 270-277) The Quran only objects the alliance of the evil forces for ulterior motivation and purpose and not the alliance with any ordinary Jews and Christians (Q. 4:89, 4: 144; 5:51, 5:57). It is clear that the ill-intentioned (Q.33: 32) Judeo-Christian Zionism and their ancestral forms are united in mutual aid for perverse and mysterious evil purposes. Hypocrisy, deceit, perversion and cruelty are the basic reasons; they use faith for their own political purposes (Q. 2: 8-11, 24: 47-50 33:12, 33:60, 47:20, 47:29, 74:31). The Qur'an itself has made it clear that among the Jews and Christians there are people who stand for justice (Q. 3: 113). Among them are good men who are financially faithful (Q. 3:75). The Q. 5:51 forbids the protection of Christian-Jewish Zionist activities. Not any of the good deeds of the Jews and Christians, which are on the basis of the belief in monotheism and Life Hereafter, would be wasted (Q. 5:69, 2:62, 22:17). "If you do deeds of charity openly, it is good; but if you bestow it upon the needy in secret, it will be even better for you, and it will atone for some of your bad deeds. And God is aware of all that you do" (Q.2: 271). Nowhere does the Qur’an distinguish between believers and unbelievers, and Qaradawi quotes some of the Prophet's disciples as aiding and abetting non - Muslim monks. (Qaradawi, p. 449) The Qur'an declares that the children of Adam have full respect (17:70), that human beings were created superior to the angels (Q.2:34, 32: 7-9), and therefore human life is most sacred (Q.5:32). Muslims are obliged to enlighten the worlds with the noble ideals of goodness and piety (Q. 2: 143, 2: 177, 2: 189, 2:44, 3:92, 58: 9). The Qur'an refers to the addresses of the prophets, mostly enemies, as "brothers": Brothers of Lot (Q. 50: 12-14), Noah (Q.26: 106), Hood (Q.26: 142, 7:65), Salih (Q.26: 142, 7:73) and Shuaib (Q.26: 176, 11:84). The true Islamic adherents can see human brotherhood in a generic sense, even though they are not their own blood-brothers. (Ali, p.422). References: Ali, Yusuf, The Holy Qur’an: English Translation Meanings & Commentary, Madina: King Fahd Holy Qur’an Printing Complex, 1411 H Guillaume, Alfred (tr), The Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Ibn Ishâq’s Sîrat Rasûl Allâh, Oxford: OUP, 1968 Qaradawi, Yusuful, Fiqh alZakat (Tr.Dr. Monzer Kahf), London: Dar alTaqwa, 1999 Walvoord, John F, Israel in Prophecy, Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1988 ---- V.A. Mohamad Ashrof is one among the Muslim scholars of Kerala who is regularly publishing articles and papers dealing with Islam and Contemporary Affairs. He has worked as the Executive Editor of Al-Harmony, a Quarterly Journal on Islam and Thought and Ethics, for 10 years. He is the joint secretary of Forum for Faith and Fraternity- a Muslim think tank based in Kochi. He is also the Secretary of International Interfaith Dialogue India, an interfaith movement based in Kerala. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

No comments:

Post a Comment