Chapter 10
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Click here to purchase a printed copy of this bookChapter 10: Other Teachings of the Qur’an

by Charles Welty

T

he teachings of the Qur’an span a broad spectrum of subjects, including the person and work of Mohammed, interpersonal relationships, divorce, criminal law, prayer, and diet.

The Qur’an on Mohammed

Mohammed is, in the words of the Qur’an, not just a man but a divinely inspired and appointed “Apostle of God,” the last of the apostles sent out directly by God to proclaim His message.

Say: “I am but a man like yourselves, (but) the inspiration has come to me, that your God is One God…”[1]

and

Mohammed is… the Apostle of God, and the Seal of the Prophets: and God has full knowledge of all things.[2]

Ali comments on these suras:

When a document is sealed, it is complete, and there can be no further addition. The holy Prophet Mohammed closed the long line of Apostles. God’s teaching is and will always be continuous, but there has been and there will be no Prophet after Mohammed. The later ages will want thinkers and reformers, not Prophets. This is not an arbitrary matter. It is a decree full of knowledge and wisdom: “for God has full knowledge of all things.”[3]

Mohammed’s mission was, in the words of the Qur’an:

as a witness, as a bringer of Glad Tidings, and as a Warner; in order that ye (O men) may believe in God and His Apostle.[4]

The Qur’an claims in Sura 61:6 that Jesus Himself predicted Mohammed’s coming:

And remember, Jesus, the son of Mary, said: “O Children of Israel! I am the apostle of God (sent) to you, confirming the Law (which came) before me, and giving Glad Tidings of an Apostle to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad.”

Muslim apologists claim that the term Ahmad is directly linked to the “one who would come” in the Gospel of John. Ali comments in his Note 5438 at Sura 61:6:

Ahma’d or “Mohammed,” the Praised One, is almost a translation of the Greek word Periclytos. In the present Gospel of John, xiv. 16,[5] xv. 26,[6] and xvi. 7,[7] the word “Comforter” in the English version is for the Greek word “Paracletos”, which means “Advocate”, one called to the help of another, a “kind friend”, rather than “Comforter.” Our doctors contend that Paracletos is a corrupt reading for Periclytos, and that in their original saying of Jesus there was a prophecy of our holy Prophet Ahmad by name. Even if we read Paraclete, it would apply to the holy Prophet, who is a “Mercy for all creatures” (xxi. 107) and “most kind and merciful to the Believers” (ix. 128).

The Muslim position, then, is that Mohammed is predicted by Jesus in John 14:16. (The Biblical picture on this issue is discussed under “The Bible on the Holy Spiritbelow.)

The Qur’an on the Resurrection of the Dead

The Qur’an emphatically teaches the resurrection of the dead.

The Unbelievers deny the resurrection of the dead.[8]

But the message here is that the dead are resurrected so they may understand that they had surrendered to falsehood. Judgment appears to be secondary.

They [the unbelievers] swear their strongest oaths by God, that God will not raise up those who die: Nay, but it is a promise (binding) on Him in truth: but most among mankind realize it not, (they must be raised up), in order that He may manifest to them the truth of that wherein they differ, and that the rejecters of Truth may realize that they had indeed (surrendered to) falsehood.[9]

The Qur’an on Hell

The Qur’an teaches that hell is a real place and that it is guarded by nineteen keepers.

Would that you knew what the fire of Hell is like! It leaves nothing, it spares no one; it burns the skins of men. It is guarded by nineteen keepers.[10]

Unlike the Bible, which teaches that hell was originally created “for the devil and his angels,”[11] the hell of the Qur’an is created for evil men as well as angels.

I will fill Hell with jinns [demons] and men all together.[12]

Evil appears to be a relative term. The Qur’an also teaches that hell is reserved for the hardened sinner.

I warn you, then, of the blazing fire, in which none shall burn save the hardened sinner, who denies the truth and gives no heed.[13]

It is a place where fire literally burns the skin off its victims. The “roasted” skin is renewed again and again, giving eternal torment to its victims.

Those who reject Our Signs, We shall soon cast into the Fire: As often as their skins are roasted through, We shall change them for fresh skins, that they may taste the Penalty: for God is Exalted in Power, Wise.[14]

The Qur’an on Marriage and Divorce

The Qur’an teaches a somewhat contradictory message on marriage and marital relations. On the one hand, the Qur’an teaches in one sura that Muslims are not to have sexual intercourse outside of their Islamic faith.

Do not have sex with unbelieving women (idolaters) until they believe: A slave woman who believes is better than an unbelieving woman, even though she allure you.[15]

The Qur’an also forbids the giving of a young woman in marriage to,  or for sexual relations with, a non-Muslim.

…Nor have sex with unbelievers until they believe: A man slave who believes is better than an unbeliever, even though he allure you.[16]

On the other hand, the Qur’an also teaches in another sura that marriage to or sexual relations with those outside the Islamic faith, such as to Jews, is permissible.

(Lawful unto you in marriage) are (not only) chaste women who are believers, but chaste women among the People of the Book…[17]

Ali comments:

A Muslim man may marry a woman from their [Jewish] ranks on the same terms as he would marry a Muslim woman; i.e., he must give her an economic and moral status, and must not be actuated merely by motives of lust or physical desire. A Muslim woman may not marry a non-Muslim man, because her Muslim status would be affected: the wife ordinarily takes the nationality and status given by her husband’s law. A non-Muslim woman marrying a Muslim husband would be expected to eventually accept Islam.[18]

A man is permitted under the Qur’an to marry up to four women, but only insofar as he is able to provide for them equitably in terms of finances and affection.

Marry [lit, have sex with] women of your choice, two, or three, or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one…[19]

In actual practice, however, monogamy was, and is, the norm. The Qur’an allows a woman only one husband. Dowries are regulated in the Qur’an. When a man marries, if the couple receives a dowry, it belongs to both the man and the wife. If he divorces his wife prior to consummation of the marriage, he must return his half of the dowry to his wife, thereby returning the entire dowry to her. He is not allowed to keep any part of the dowry.

And if ye divorce them before consummation, but after the fixation of a dower for them, then the half of the dower (is due to them) unless they remit it.[20]

In terms of actual practice, however, any divorce proceeding would most certainly come well after any consummation. The entire dowry could be kept by the husband in such cases.

The Qur’an regulates divorce, but as we shall see, the standards for men are different than for women. In the event of a divorce, the dispute is to be settled by two arbitrators; one is selected from the man’s side of the family, another is selected from the woman’s side of the family.

If ye fear a breach between them twain, appoint (two) arbiters, one from his family; and the other from hers…[21]

Divorces may be conditional; if a couple divorces and reconciles, they may be re-united. Reconciliations, however, are limited to two instances of divorce and reconciliation among the same couple.

A divorce is only permissible twice: after that, the parties should either hold together on equitable terms, or separate with kindness.[22]

Gifts given by the husband to the wife are not supposed to be reclaimed by the husband.

It is not lawful for you (men) to take back any of your gifts (from your wives), except when both parties fear that they would be unable to keep the limits ordained by God.[22]

Practically, however, the outworking of “keeping the limits ordained by God” means that a woman often has to purchase her freedom by giving up to her husband any financial gains acquired during the marriage.

There is no blame on either of them if she give something for her freedom. These are the limits ordained by God…[22]

A woman is required to wait for three months (that is to say, three monthly menstrual periods) after separation until the divorce is final.

Divorced women shall wait concerning themselves for three monthly periods. Nor it is lawful for them to hide what God hath created in their wombs…[23]

After widowhood, however, the widow must wait at least four months and ten days prior to remarriage.

If any of you die and leave widows behind, they shall wait concerning themselves four months and ten days. When they have fulfilled their term, there is no blame on you if they dispose of themselves in a just and reasonable manner.[24]

The purpose of the waiting period, Ali explains, is to account for the possibility that a child may have been conceived just prior to the separation or death.

Islam tries to maintain the married state as far as possible, especially where children are concerned, but it is against the restriction of the liberty of men and women in such vitally important matters as love and family life. It will check hasty action as far as possible and leave the door to reconciliation open at many stages. Even after divorce a suggestion of reconciliation is made, subject to certain precautions (mentioned in the following verses) against thoughtless action. A period of waiting (‘iddat) for three monthly courses is prescribed, in order to see if the marriage conditionally dissolved is likely to result in issue. But this is not necessary where the divorced woman is a virgin: Q. xxxiii 49.[25] It is definitely declared that women and men shall have similar rights against each other.[26]

Notwithstanding Ali’s statement that “women and men shall have similar rights against each other,” the definite fact of the matter is that men and women’s rights are far from “similar” in regards to divorce. It is interesting to note that the prohibition on a widow’s remarriage prior to four months and ten days is directed to men for instruction to their wives, and not to women directly (i.e., “If any of you die and leave widows behind, they shall wait…).

The Qur’an allows a man to re-marry a woman after she has been married to and divorced by another man after her initial marriage to him.

So if a husband divorces his wife, he cannot, after that, have sex with her until after she has had sex with another husband and he has divorced her. In that case, there is no blame on either of them if they re-unite, provided they feel that they can keep the limits ordained by God. Such are the limits ordained by God, which He makes plain to those who understand.[27]

This teaching is in direct contradiction to the Old Testament law which prohibits re-marriage to a partner who has subsequently been re-married and either divorced or widowed. The Qur’an goes out of its way to claim the practice is allowable and “within the limits ordained by God.” The Bible, on the other hand, clearly condemns the practice as “detestable.”

If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds some­thing indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, and if after she leaves his house she becomes the wife of another man, and her second hus­band dislikes her and writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, or if he dies, then her first husband, who divorced her, is not allowed to marry her again after she has been defiled. That would be detestable in the eyes of the Lord. Do not bring sin upon the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.[28]

In all fairness to the Qur’an and Islamic culture, the pre-Islamic marriage practices among Arabs were, in many cases, far more restrictive and unfair to women than were the comparatively liberal practices introduced in the Qur’an. Specifically, the Arab practice of Zihar, in which the husband virtually ostracized his wife, was quite common prior to Mohammed’s day. Zihar[29] is soundly condemned by the Qur’an. As a financial inducement for avoiding Zihar, the punishment for the practice included the freeing of a slave or, in the event the man was poor, a two month fast or the feeding of sixty indigent members of the local society.

But those who divorce their wives by Zihar, then wish to go back on the words they uttered, it is ordained that such a one should free a slave… And if any has not the wherewithal, he should fast for two months consecutively before they touch each other. But if any is unable to do so, he should feed sixty indigent ones. This, that ye may show your faith in God…[30]

Eternal, and not just temporal, consequences are also threatened in other passages in the Qur’an. In commenting on Zihar, Ali writes:

This was an evil Arab custom, by which the husband selfishly deprived his wife of her conjugal rights and yet kept her tied to himself like a slave without her being free to remarry. He pronounced words importing that she was like his mother. After that she could not demand conjugal rights but was not free from his control and could not contract another marriage. See also lviii, 1-5, where this is condemned in the strongest terms and punishment is provided for it.[31] A man sometimes said such words in a fit of anger: they did not affect him, but they degraded her position.[32]

The Qur’an prescribes a special provision for widows: a year’s maintenance and residence was their right.

Those of you who die and leave widows should be­queath for their widows a year’s maintenance and res­i­dence…[33]

It must be noted, however, that the Biblical pattern of laws and practices protected the rights of divorced women and widows even far more than did the Qur’an or the abolishment of the pre-Islamic Arab practice of Zihar by the Qur’an. Even in New Testament times, it was common practice for widows to be cared for by the church.

The Qur’an on the Creation of Man

The Qur’an paints a somewhat contradictory picture of the creation of man. In Sura 15:26 we are told that God says

We created man from sounding clay,[34] from mud moulded into shape.

Furthermore, the angels are recorded as having been told by God to fall down “in obeisance” to the newly created man.

Behold! thy Lord said to the angels: “I am about to create man from sounding clay, from mud moulded into shape. When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him.” [35]

In Sura 96:1, however, we are told:

Recite in the name of your Lord and Cherisher who created, created man from clots of blood.

From which was man created: clay or blood? And from whose blood? The answer is not given.

The Qur’an teaches that the Garden of Eden was not a literal garden and that Adam was kicked out of this figurative place to dwell on earth. In Sura 2 we read:

We said: “O Adam! dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden; and eat of the bountiful things therein as ye will; but approach not this tree, or ye run into harm and transgression.” Then did Satan make them slip from the (Garden) and get them out of the state in which they had been. We said: “Get ye down, all, with enmity between yourselves. On earth will be your dwelling-place and your means of livelihood for a time.”[36]

Ali comments on the fall of Adam from this allegorical Garden of Eden:

Was the Garden of Eden a place on this earth? Obviously not. For, in verse 36 below, it was after the Fall that the sentence was pronounced: “On earth will be your dwelling place.” Before the Fall, we must suppose Man to be on another plane altogether—of felicity, innocence, trust, a spiritual existence, with the negation of enmity, want of faith, and all evil. Perhaps Time and Space also did not exist, and the Garden is allegorical as well as the tree. The forbidden tree was not the tree of knowledge, for man was given in that perfect state fuller knowledge than he has now (ii. 31): it was the tree of Evil, which he was forbidden not only to eat of, but even to approach.[37]

The Islamic picture of man, then, is that of a being created from either clay or blood; who originally dwelt in an allegorical Garden of Eden which was not actually on earth; and who was banished from the Garden to dwell on the earth until he died.

The Qur’an on Dietary Restrictions

With only a few exceptions, the Qur’an describes all foods as good and clean. Those exceptions, however, are specific and are expected to be followed rigorously:

He [God] hath only forbidden you dead meat, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that on which any other name hath been invoked besides that of God.[38]

Strictly speaking, if a Christian were to bless a meal in the name of Jesus, a devout Muslim could, conceivably, refuse to partake of it. A provision for skirting this regulation is made in the event of necessity, however.

But if one is forced by ne­cess­ity, without willful disobedience, nor transgressing due limits, then he is guiltless. For God is Oft-for­giv­ing Most Merciful.[38]

Sura 5:3 adds to the list of forbidden foods:

That which hath been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by being gored to death; that which hath been (partly) eaten by a wild animal; unless ye are able to slaughter it (in due form); that which is sacrificed on stone (altars)…[39]

The Qur’an also forbids the consumption of meat which has been obtained as a result of gambling.

(Forbidden) also is the division (of meat) by raffling with arrows: that is impiety.[39]

The reference here is to the pre-Islamic Arab custom of shooting arrows at a carcass of meat to determine the owner by chance or skill. Exceptions are allowed for hunger:

But if any is forced by hunger, with no inclination to transgression, God is indeed Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.[39]

The exceptions make one wonder if the restrictions have any real meaning at all.

The Qur’an on Alcohol and Gambling

Alcohol, intoxicants of any kind, and gambling are strictly forbidden by the Qur’an.

O ye who believe! intoxicants and gambling,[40] (dedication of) stones,[41] and (divination by) arrows,[42] are an abomination. Of Satan’s handiwork, eschew such (abomination) that ye may prosper.[43]

The Muslim position on intoxicants is further illustrated by this Sura:

In them is great sin, and some profit, for men; but the sin is greater than the profit.[44]

Modern interpretation of these provisions of the Qur’an by predominantly Islamic countries make the use, possession, or sale of illegal drugs a serious religious, as well as criminal, matter.

The Qur’an on Prayer

When Westerners consider Islamic culture, the first picture that comes to their mind is the masses of Muslims that kneel together in prayer. The Qur’an enjoins Muslims to pray five times a day and in a posture which faces Mecca. One of the key verses of the Qur’an which enjoins multiple daily prayers is Sura 11:114:

And establish regular prayers at the two ends of the day and at the approaches of the night: for those things that are good remove those that are evil: be that the word of remembrance to those who remember (their Lord).

Ali comments on prayer at the “two ends of the day” and at the “approaches of the night”:

The morning prayer is the Fajr, after the light is up but before sunrise: we thus get up betimes and begin the day with the remembrance of God and of our duty to Him, just as an ambassador might start on his journey after saluting his king and receiving his blessing. The early afternoon prayer, Zuhr, is immediately after noon: we are in the midst of our daily life, and again we remember God.[45]

…it is reasonable to argue that at least three “approaches of the night” are meant. The late afternoon prayer, ‘Asr, can be one of these three, and the evening prayer, Maghrib, just after sunset, can be the second. The early night prayer, Isha, at suppertime when the glow of sunset is disappearing, would be the third of the “approaches of the night” when we commit ourselves to God before sleep. These are the five canonical prayers of Islam.[45]

Prayer is strictly enjoined by the Qur’an in other verses as well:

Guard strictly your (habit of) prayers, especially the Middle Prayer[46] and stand before God in a devout (frame of mind).[47]

The Qur’an also specifies the direction and posture of prayer. The direction is called Qibla and always points to Mecca.

We see the turning of thy face (for guidance) to the heavens: now shall we turn thee to a Qibla that shall please thee. Turn then thy face in the direction of the sacred Mosque: wherever ye are, turn your faces in that direction.[48]

In the early days of Islam, the direction was toward Jerusalem. Many Moslem commentators draw parallels between the Islamic Qibla and the Old Testament prophet Daniel, who is recorded as having knelt in prayer “as was his custom” three times a day toward Jerusalem.

Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. [49]

Although the times and posture of prayer is quite clear and proscribed strictly according to the verses cited above, the Qur’an does have practical exceptions in the event of trouble. For example, Sura 2:239 says:

If ye fear (an enemy), pray on foot, or riding (as may be convenient), but when ye are in security, celebrate God’s praises in the manner he has taught you, which ye knew not (before).

The Qur’an on Angels

The Qur’an teaches the existence of angels. Two of the principal angelic characters in the Bible, Gabriel and Michael, are key angelic characters in the Qur’an. In the Qur’an, however, Gabriel is recorded as dictating the recitations, or Suras, to Mohammed.

Say: Whoever is an enemy to Gabrielfor he brings down the (revelation) to thy heart by God’s will, a confirmation of what went before, and guidance and glad tidings for those who believe,… is an enemy to God…[50]

We are told in the Qur’an that angels are never dispatched except for just cause.

We send not the angels down except for just cause…[51]

Exactly what a “just cause” may be, we are not told specifically. The Qur’an also teaches that God sends down his angels to such of His servants as he pleases.

He doth send down His angels with inspiration of His Command, to such of His servants as He pleaseth…[52]

One of the missions of the angels, the Qur’an teaches, is to pray for the forgiveness for all on earth.

And the angels celebrate the Praises of their Lord, and pray for forgiveness for (all) beings on earth…[53]

Ali comments:

The angels are the noblest and purest beings of whom we can conceive.Believers and unbelievers alike are included in their solicitude and prayer. They thus proclaim in their own being and in their prayers the Greatness and unbounded Goodness of God.[54]

The Qur’an teaches that angels are given charge over the protection of the faithful.

But verily over you (are appointed angels) to protect you…[55]

The Qur’an teaches that each individual has two guardian angels which record all that is done and spoken.

Behold, two (guardian angels) appointed to learn, one sitting on the right and one on the left. Not a word does he [the individual] utter, but there is a sentinel by him, ready (to note it).[56]

Ali says the angels’ actions are figurative, but then comments in a somewhat contradictory note that the recordings are quite real:

This must of course be taken figuratively. Two angels are constantly by him to note his thoughts, words, and actions…. One sits on the right side and notes his good deeds and the other on the left, to note his bad deeds….[57] Then each “word” spoken is taken down by a “sentinel”… The Recorders mentioned… make a complete Record, in order to supply motives and springs of action, which will affect the degrees or status in the spiritual Heaven…[58]

The notion of fallen angels, or demons, is not supported by the Qur’an. A form of evil spirit called a Jinn, however, is supported by the Qur’an. Ali comments:

The theory of fallen angels is not usually accepted in Muslim theology. In xviii. 50, Iblis[59] is spoken of as a Jinn.[60]

Sura 18:50 reads:

Behold! We said to the angels, “Bow down to Adam.” They bowed down, except Iblis. He was one of the Jinns and he broke the Command of his Lord…

What, then, is a Jinn? The Qur’an teaches that the Jinn were created from “fire free of smoke.”

And He created Jinns from fire free of smoke. [61]

Beyond this description, Muslim commentators are in disagreement. Ali comments:

I do not wish to be dogmatic, but I think, from a collation and study of the Quranic passages, that the meaning is simply “a spirit,” or an invisible or hidden force. In folk-lore stories and romances like the Arabian Nights they become personified into fantastic forms, but with them we are not concerned here.[62]

The Qur’an teaches, then, that angels serve as messengers of God and recorders of men’s actions, whether for good or evil. Evil spirits, or Jinns, are not fallen angels.

The Qur’an on Friendship with Non-Muslims

The Qur’an teaches that Muslims ought not to form friendships with Jews and Christians.

O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: they are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily God guideth not a people unjust.[63]

The Qur’an also teaches the Muslim faithful that their personal relationships are to be found only among other faithful Muslims.

Your (real) friends are (no less than) God, His Apostle, and the (Fellowship of) Believers, and those who establish regular prayers and regular charity, and they bow down humbly (in worship).[64]

Those who mock Islam are to be avoided.

O ye who believe! Take not for friends and protectors those who take your religion for a mockery or a sport, whether among those who received the Scripture before you, or among those who reject Faith; But fear ye God, if ye have faith (indeed).[65]

Ali comments:

It is not right that we should be in intimate association with those to whom religion is either a subject of mockery or at best is nothing but a plaything. They may be amused, or they may have other motives for encouraging you. But your association with them will tap the earnestness of your Faith, and make you cynical and insincere.[66]

It must be noted, however, that most Muslims have various levels of friendships with people who are Jews and Christians.

The Qur’an on Theft

The Qur’an is quite harsh in its treatment of the crime of theft. Sura 5:38 reads:

As to the thief, male or female, cut off his or her hands: a punishment by way of example, from God, for their crime: and God is exalted in Power.

Ali notes:

The Canon Law jurists are not unanimous as to the value of the property stolen, which would involve the penalty of the cutting off of the hand. The majority hold that petty thefts are exempt from this punishment. The general opinion is that only one hand should be cut off for the first theft, on the principle that “if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee” (Matt. xviii. 8). Apparently in the age of Jesus[,] thieves were crucified (Matt. xxvii.38).[67]

The Qur’an on Jihad

Unlike Christianity, Islam was born from a sword. The term jihad refers to a war or battle in the name of Allah to spread the religion of Islam. It is always aggressive, fanatical, and without quarter for those against whom the jihad is waged.

Killing is prescribed upon you….[68]

Kill in the cause of Allah...[69]

Kill in the cause of Allah against who fight you… and kill them wherever you catch them… If they fight you, kill them. Such is the reward of those who suppress the Faith… And kill them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah.[70]

Let those who kill in the cause of Allah, who sell the life of this world for the Hereafter, to him who kills in the cause of Allah… Soon shall We give him a reward of great value.[71]

Another part of jihad is the killing of those who convert from Islam to Christianity.

…if they turn apostates, seize them and kill them wherever you find them….[72]

…seize them and kill them wherever you get them….[73]

The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and his apostle… they shall be slaughtered, or crucified, or their hands and feet shall be struck off alternately, or they shall be banished from the land.[74]

The Qur’an, then, sets forth many guidelines for Muslims as to marital and personal relations, civil law, and religious duties. It also claims its laws and regulations are in complete harmony with both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Our examination of the Biblical picture, however, will tell another story.


[1]Sura 18:110

[2]Sura 33:40

[3]Ali: Note 3731 at Sura 33:40.

[4]Sura 48:8

[5]I will ask the Father, an to give you another Helper, to be with you always. [Author’s footnote.]

[6]When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. [Author’s footnote.]

[7]However, I am telling you the truth. It is for your advantage that I am going away, for it I do not go away the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. [Author’s footnote.]

[8]Sura 64:7

[9]Sura 16:38-39

[10]Sura 74:28-30

[11]Then he will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” Matthew 25:41 (ISV)

[12]Sura 11:119

[13]Sura 92:14-16

[14]Sura 4:56

[15]Sura 2:221

[16]Sura 2:221

[17]Sura 5:5

[18]Ali: Note 700 at Sura 5:5.

[19]Sura 4:3

[20]Sura 2:237

[21]Sura 4:35

[22]Sura 2:229

[23]Sura 2:228

[24]Sura 2:234

[25]O ye who believe! When ye marry believing women, and then divorce them before ye have touched them, no period of ‘Iddat have ye to count in respect of them: so give them a present, and set them free in a handsome manner. [Author’s footnote]

[26]Ali: Note 254 at Sura 2:228.

[27]Sura 2:230

[28]Deuteronomy 24:1-4

[29]The actual words spoken by the husband were perhaps best translated as “You are to me as the back of my mother.” Under Zihar, the wife was not free to leave or re-marry and the husband had no obligation to support the children.

[30]Sura 58:3-4

[31]If any men among you divorce their wives by Zihar (calling them mothers), they cannot be their mothers: none can be their mothers except those who gave them birth. And in fact they use words (both) iniquitous and false… [Author’s footnote.]

[32]Ali: Note 3760 at Sura 33:5

[33]Sura 2:240

[34]A type of clay common to Arabia, which produces a sound like pottery when it dries.

[35]Sura 15:28

[36]Sura 2:35-36.

[37]Ali: Note 50 at Sura 2:35.

[38]Sura 2:173.

[39]Sura 5:3

[40]Muslim commentators have often held that gambling (Arabic: maisir) includes any method of earning a profit too quickly and without working for it. Lotteries, therefore, are strictly prohibited.

[41]The stones there referred to were stone altars or stone columns on which oil was poured for consecration, or slabs on which meat was sacrificed to altars. Any idolatrous or superstitious practices are here condemned. The ansab were objects of worship, and were common in Arabia before Islam. See Renan, “History of Israel”, Chapter iv. and Corpus Inscriptionum Semiticaium, Part I., p 154; illustrations Nos. 123 and 123 bis are Phœnician columns of that kind, found in Malta. [Quotation and cite from Note 794 at Sura 5:90.]

[42]Arrows were used for divination to determine a number of questions, including ownership of carcasses of meat, actions to take under questionable circumstances, etc.

[43]Sura 5:90.

[44]Sura 2:219.

[45]Ali: Note 1616 at Sura 11:114.

[46]i.e., the prayer to be performed in the middle of the afternoon. In his Note 271 to Sura 2:238, Ali states: “This is apt to be most neglected, and yet this is the most necessary, to remind us of God in the midst of our worldly affairs.”

[47]Sura 2:238.

[48]Sura 2:144

[49]Daniel 6:10.

[50]Sura 2:97-98

[51]Sura 15:8

[52]Sura 16:2

[53]Sura 42:5

[54]Ali: Note 4531 at Sura 42:5.

[55]Sura 82:10

[56]Sura 50:17-18

[57]Ali: Note 4953 at Sura 50:17.

[58]Ali: Note 4954 at Sura 50:18.

[59]The Qur’an’s name for Satan is usually rendered Iblis. [Author’s footnote.]

[60]Ali: Note 49 at Sura 2:34.

[61]Sura 55:15.

[62]Ali: Note 929 at Sura 6:100.

[63]Sura 5:51.

[64]Sura 5:55

[65]Sura 5:57

[66]Ali: Note 768 at Sura 5:57.

[67]Ali: Note 742 at Sura 5:38.

[68]Sarah 2:216

[69]Sarah 2:244

[70]Sarah 2:190-194

[71]Sarah 4:74

[72]Sarah 4:89

[73]Sarah 4:91

[74]Sarah 5:33


Introduction Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Appendix

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