State of Mankind

How God sees us, how we see ourselves:
Introduction into Qur’anic Universalism
Arnold Yasin Mol
2
For my wife Assya, my friends Amina, Edip, Aisha, Tariq and for a better world.
2010 © DRC Deen Research Center
www.deenresearchcenter.com
3
1400 years ago a message was delivered to mankind. The message claimed to come from a
divine source, and by its simple, social, liberating and justice creative potential, it soon spread
all over the world in a speed unprecedented in the history of the human race, that cannot be
simply explained away as conquests through force
1
. Jerusalem was taken without any force,
nor were the rights of Christians and Jews decreased but even increased, Christians from other
sects and Jews were allowed in the holy city for the first time since the second century when
the Romans had banned them from the city
2
. The first rulers of this world community were
chosen democratically based on their honesty, humility and moral character, and the decisions
were decided democratically (42:38, 3:159, 4:58). These rulers tried to treat everybody under
their protection as equals. Khalif Ali ibn Talib, the fourth ruler, told his governors to be
righteous towards their brothers in faith and morality (Din), but he asked them to be more
even more righteous for their equals in creation (Khulq), meaning every human being,
whatever their faith or race
3
. This behaviour clearly represented the Qur’anic view of
democratic pluralistic social politics (49:13, 3:110-115, 5:48, 60:8, 42:38-43). Sadly, soon
after new rulers came to power who took away the democratic elements, and based ruler ship
on heritage (absolutist monarchy) which influenced the theological and judicial development
of Islam
4
. Also the Judeo-Christian, Persian and pagan doctrines were dominant among the
people under Islamic rule for the first three centuries of Islam. Only in the 10
th
century did
Sunni Islam became the dominant religion in the Islamic empire
5
, after it had taken up the
dogma’s and doctrines of the other religions and traditions
6
.
And so today we have ended up in a new age, one were we can decide to renew our approach
and understanding of the Qur’an, without our mind being constraint by dogma or doctrine. In
this modern globalized age we have access to almost all accumulated knowledge of the
human race, and have a more realistic look at the universe and its Initiator. The universe has
slowly constructed itself up to a point so life could emerge and evolve to the highly intelligent
beings we are, and so also has our thinking evolved to higher levels where we can look
beyond traditions, myths, races and see that all of mankind have been developing towards our
new age of interconnectedness. All civilizations on earth, past and present, created ideas about
the divine, and have traditions of interacting with it. Civilizations in the past created dogma’s
around their concept of the divine, making it thus not possible to interact with other
civilizations except in hostile ways. Today through the studies of comparative religion and
anthropology we know that almost all human ideas of the divine are based on wrong
understandings of the construct of the universe, but at the same time having concepts of an
absolute divinity
7
. Now we are understanding nature, and now we are moving beyond
simplistic understandings of the Divine. To understand the Qur’an being a communication
from the divine Absolute, it must adhere to certain requirements, certain standards. It must
also confirm to a realistic outlook on nature, and also promote rationality to truly understand
1
Page 33, Oosterse Dagen, Arabische Nachten (Eastern Days, Arabic Nights) by M.Heirman (2004).
2
Volume 6, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon (1862).
3
Famous quote of Alï ibn Abï Tälib to his governor Malik Al-Ashtar: “Infuse your heart with mercy, love and
kindness for your subjects. Be not in face of them a voracious animal, counting them as easy prey, for they are of
two kinds:either they are your brothers in religion or your equals in creation.”
4
Page 218, Vol 1, The Venture of Islam by Marshall Hodgson (1974): “The Caliphal state stood now as a more
mundane imperial power, no longer directly based on Islam.”
5
Page 67, Defenders of Reason in Islam by R.Martin & M.Woodward (2003).
6
Page 289, The Heritage of Persia by prof. Richard N. Frye (2004): “In a sense Islam had to change before the
Persians accepted it, but one might also say that just as Greek civilisation served as a vehicle for Christianity, so
did Iranian civilisation for Islam." Page 277-279, Ibid: “The list of Sasanian influences on all phases of Islamic
culture and civilisation would be too long to include here.”
7
Page 31-33, Man and his Gods-Encyclopedia of the world’s religions (1971). History of God by K.Armstrong
(1993). An Interpration of Religion by John Hick (2004).
4
nature
8
, as mankind is diverse, their understanding of the divine Being is diverse and so the
Qur’an must be universal in accepting and respecting these different developments
9
.
And now we are exchanging global human thought and finally learning to really listen to each
other, we must also see if we are truly listening to the Divine. The Qur’an explains:
41:53
.´ '= ª-' =-·- -´- »'·' ·='' ª-' »+' .---- -= »+---' ·· ·'·'-.' · '---'- »+-·--
--+- --
We will show them Our signs/messages (‘ayatinaa) in the horizons (al’afaaqi), and within
themselves/beings/lives (anfasikum), until it becomes clear (yatabayyana) to them that this
is the truth/the right thing (al-Haqqu). Is it not enough that your Developer is witness
over all things?
10
This verse alone suffices to show that the Qur’an demands we as mankind must constantly
reflect and in a sense rediscover the Qur’an time after time. This verse uses the plural noun
·'·'-.' al-Afaq, from the root afaqa meaning a horizon, land beyond eyesight, borders, utmost
level or degree, to excel or go beyond, an extremity, farthest parts, the wide or whole world
11
. It is also used in verses 53:7 and 81:23 were it clearly is used for the utmost border of
reality and human experience
12
. In 41:53, the horizons clearly stands for the borders and
regions of the world, experiences and knowledge of mankind, to remind us that the Qur’an is
still manifesting itself, the best understandings and applications are slowly being discovered
over time and that every age, every generation, every people being a horizon, which is doing
the act of .---- yatabayyana. This is the imperfect verb of bayana, to make something clear,
manifest, obvious or distinguished
13
. Imperfect means it is an act that is not completed yet,
and so it is clear the Qur’an is still manifesting itself. As in the words of scholar Muhammad
Shahrur ‘The form is permanent, but the content moves’
14
, the Arabic text is fixed but the
reader, and the world of the reader, is always different.
And so the --'-ayat, signs or messages, will be a manifestation that the Qur’an is ·=''al-
Haqq, which literally means A door that fits perfectly in its frame so the door can turn round
properly
15
, and thus gives us a visual definition of the word that means something that fits the
situation, is proper, just, true, suitable, correct, valid, necessary, sound, binding
16
. It is
something that is suitable for its purpose, the best possible way something can be done. And
this is how the Qur’an presents itself, but it explains we must also not accept it on face value,
but research its contents (4:82). The Qur’an must be examined so it can truly manifest itself.
We, as Muslims, have failed to comply to this demand, as although we have 1400 years of
exegesis in multiple forms, they are mostly repetitions of old horizons. We have failed to use
8
And it does: 17:36, 3:190-191, 45:3, 16:12-18, 29:20, 21:30 etc.
9
And it is: 49:13, 2:62, 5:69, 2:256, 11:115-117 etc.
10
All the translations in this essay made by the author.
11
Page 105-106, Volume 1, Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003). Page 24, Dictionary of the Holy Qur’an by
A.M.Omar (2006). Page 25, A Concise Dictionary of Koranic Arabic by A.Ambros (2004) mentions that in
41:53 “It probably refers to the whole world”.
12
53:7 While he (Muhammad) was at the highest horizon. 81:23 He (Muhammad) saw it at the clear horizon.
13
Page 322-326, Volume 1, Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003).
14
-·-'·- --'··: .'·-''· -'-´''(al-Kitab w’al-Qur’an:qira’t maasir) by Muhammad Shahrour (1991).
15
Page 243, Volume 2, Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003). Page132 -- ·= ¸· -'-·--'' .'·-'' (Al-Mufradat fi
Gharib al-Quran) by al-Raghib al-Isfahani (1110) says: ª-'··-' ¸· -'-'' .=· ª--'=-´ ª-·'·-'' · ª--'=-'' The best fitting
and the best adapted socket for the door in having a right rotation. Translation by AY Mol.
16
Page132-133 '-·--'' .'·-'' -- ·= ¸· - (Al-Mufradat fi Gharib al-Quran) by al-Raghib al-Isfahani (1110). Page
241-246, Volume 2, Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003).
5
our current horizons in the manifestation of the Qur’an, and thus making the Qur’an '··=+-
mahjooran (25:30). The Arabic lexicon writer Raghib says it literally means:
ª- -·--- ¸' ··=+- .=· · »'-·'' · .'-·'' -'-- '= .·= · .-`' ª-'·=+' '--- ·---· .=-'' ª- --- .-= ·'=+''
‘al-Hijaar is a hablun/rope tightened on a male camel so it becomes a reason to
hijraanihi/leave it behind/abandon al-Ibila/the tied up one. And [it also means] make
upon it al-Aqal/a cord used for hobbling the feet of camels, and ([t also means] al-
Zamaami/bridle/tie up a camel. And a male camel is mahjooran/a left behind thing after
being tied up.’
17
To put it simple, a mahjooran is a thing that is tied up/made immobile so it can be left behind
or controlled. We Muslims have made the Qur’an fixed in meaning and potential, so it can’t
move together with the development of mankind. This will be the biggest accusation and
complaint of the Prophet Muhammad against mankind (25:30)
18
, and this is also the only
occurrence of an accusation against Muslims by the Prophet himself in the future tense.
We live in a time in a time of an unprecedented horizon, a time of globalization and
technology that has dragged evil to new heights, but also the goodness and potential of
mankind. A global awakening is occurring where self-determination, freedom, sharing of
resources and knowledge is bearing beautiful fruits. And when we can overcome the evils, a
paradise is awaiting us. For as long as writing has existed, war has been its main subject. And
for the last 200 years, archaeology and anthropology has confirmed this as an always present
part of humanity. Man is a war-loving creature. The Qur’an mentions this in the story of
creation (2:30) whereby the ª´-'-'' al-Mala’ikat, the universal forces, label us as a blood
spilling creature. But God replied to their accusation: .·-'·- ` '- »'=' -' “Verily, I have
knowledge of what you do not have knowledge of”. Thus saying that God knows the true
potential of mankind that is not obvious to everyone.
In 2008 I had the pleasure of meeting Douglas Fry, professor of Anthropology in Denmark,
and we spend 2 days discussing his theories
19
. Anthropology is the study of human cultures,
and many studies on ancient human cultures have confirmed the concept of humans being
aggressive. But prof.Fry re-examined the previous studies, and concluded that their
conclusions were based on wrong statistics and reductionary conclusions. The research
already presumed man to be violent and thus made the conclusions fit the preconceived
notion. His own anthropological experience with tribes and global human culture created a
completely different conclusion. He explains:
“Although war and other types of violence may be very noticeable, a close examination of cross-
cultural data reveals that people usually deal with conflict without violence. Humans have a solid
capacity for getting along with each other peacefully, preventing physical aggression, limiting the
scope and spread of violence, and restoring peace following aggression. […] The suggestion that
peacefulness and the nonviolent handling of conflict predominate in human affairs might seem to be
contradicted by daily observations, especially to people who have become accustomed to Hollywood
films and daily newscasts stuffed with images of murders, rapes, riots, and wars. […] In other words,
violence-saturated programming can contribute to a false, unrealistic violent picture of the world. In
17
Page 514 .'·-'' -- ·= ¸· -'-·--'' (Al-Mufradat fi Gharib al-Quran) by al-Raghib al-Isfahani (1110), translation
made by AY Mol. See also .···'' -'-(Taj al-Arus) by Husaini al-Zubaidi (1780).
18
25:30 And the messenger will say, "O My Sustainer! These are my people, the ones who had disabled this
Qur'an making it immobile in potential and thus of no account, making them to leave it behind."
19
At the ‘Understanding Conflicts’ conference at Arhus university. I was their on invitation by prof.Amina
Wadud.
6
actuality, the vast majority of people on the planet awake on a typical morning and live through a
violence-free day. The overwhelming majority of humanity spends an average day without inflicting
any physical aggression, and, in all likelihood, without even witnessing any physical aggression with
their own eyes among the hundreds of thousands of people they encounter. […] In actuality, one can
travel from continent to continent and personally observe hundreds of thousands of humans interacting
non-violently. […] Peace is the norm, violence the shocking exception.”
20
Just as the daily news only show the exceptions of global daily life, historical records also
only mention war so frequently as these were the turning points in their society. And these
turning points did not happen often or were exaggerated over time. We know the ancient
cultures and their wars as the Greeks, Egyptians and Romans, but we never hear about for
example the ancient Anasazi, who lived in large groups and territories with other culturally
and ethnically different groups peacefully for more than a thousand years
21
. And this is a
more common norm in human history, not an exception.
Humans from their very early beginning have lived in peace for hundreds of thousands of
years. “Archaeologically, there is negligible evidence for any kind of warfare anywhere in the
world before about 10.000 years ago.”
22
The only old evidences of war are Jebel (10.000BC)
and Jericho (8.000BC), and these are still unclear if these finds really represent a war-like
scenario.
“Similarly, the belief that ‘there always has been war’ does not correspond with the archaeological
facts of the matter. The earliest unambiguous evidence of warfare dates from less than 10.000 years
ago, and war becomes more common with the rise of the state several millennia later. […] that ‘during
the hunter-gatherer stage of cultural evolution, which dominated 99 percent of human existence on the
planet…lack of archaeological evidence for warfare suggests that it was rare or absent for most of
human prehistory. “
23
His ideas (which are shared by several other scientists), resonate with God’s words, and so I
started to reflect on this possible new horizon. According to Fry’s conclusion, war is
unnatural to mankind, and thus an evil we impose on ourselves. The Qur’an vividly confirms
this:
10:19
'·-'-='· --=· ª-' `' .'-'' .'´ '-·
All Mankind (al-Naas) were but one community (al-Ummat wahidat); then they differed.
The verb .'´ kana is the perfect form of ‘to be’, and its perfect tense doesn’t only refer to the
past, but can also refer to an always present state of the subject.
24
A good example of this is
for example in the verse:
110:3
'-'·- .'´ ª-'
He is ever an acceptor of acknowledging wrong behaviour that incites corrective
behaviour (tauabaa).
Here .'´ kana refers to always present state of God’s attribute of allowing people to return to
the right behaviour ('-'·- Tauabaa). Thus verse 10:19 and similar verses as 2:213 & 11:118
20
Page 21-23, Beyond War: The Human Potential for Peace by Douglas P. Fry (2007). Emphasis mine.
21
Page 58, Ibid.
22
Page 60, Ibid.
23
Page 63, Ibid. Emphasis mine
24
Page 365, Volume 13, -··'' .'-'(Lisan al-Arab) by Ibn Manzur (1311).
7
show that mankind are united in their being humans, and that this indeed made them treat
each other as direct family
25
in the past. But with the grow of the human population and its
spread over the different continents, our worldviews started to differ and these differences
even created the idea that one group is better then the other. This development is described
metaphorically in the story of Adam:
2:35
.--'='' .- '-·´-· -·=-'' --» '-·-- `· '---- --= '-=· '+-- `´· ª-='' ==··· --' .´-' »-'- '-'··
And We told early mankind (Adam)
26
, and its pairing (Azawja)
27
[i.e. male and female], Reside in this existence where you can find everything for
your nourishment and development (al-Jannah)
28
and partake the fruit [results] thereof
as you please. But do
not go near the dispute of who is of better origins (Al-Shajara)
29
. Or, you will become
those that displace your goals and equality
from its rightful place being of the oppressors (alameen)
30
.
This verse combines several very important terms, and through this explains them. In the
Biblical story, Adam and Eve are told not to eat from the tree of knowledge, but are seduced
by the snake, i.e. the devil
31
. In the Qur’an, the story is told very differently as it doesn’t
approach Adam as a single individual, but as an archetype, a symbol of early mankind. In
2:36 the dual (both of you. Verb ending Huma) changes to the plural (all of you. Verb ending
25
The word ª-' ummah comes from the root umm, meaning origins, mother, to treat each other as a mother takes
care of her children., group of living things having certain characteristics or circumstances in common. Page
125-129, Volume 1, Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003).
26
Page 15-17, Dictionary of the Holy Qur’an by Abdul Mannar Omar (2006): Human skin, Human being,
Intelligent Person, Brown Man, Human Race, mankind, Civilized, Person in possession of different powers. It
clearly represents early mankind as Adam is identified as being Khalif, successor to earlier species (2:30).
27
Page 237, Dictionary of the Holy Qur’an by Abdul Mannar Omar (2006):That in which individuals are united,
makes them mingle, mate, companion, individual when consorting with one another, kind or species, class of sex,
pair, couple. It can stand for everything mankind creates through their mingling, culture and language, or it
represents the duality of male and female within mankind. The Qur’an purposely never mentions ‘Eve’, and thus
the Adam story in the Qur’an can never be linked to the Biblical account.
28
According to Raghib is Jannah : A garden with such extensive growth, the ground is hidden by the foliage.
Page105-106 .'·-'' -- ·= ¸· -'-·--'' (Al-Mufradat fi Gharib al-Quran) by al-Raghib al-Isfahani (1110). Thus
representing abundance and growth.
29
Page 284, Dictionary of the Holy Qur’an by Abdul Mannar Omar (2006): Matter of controversy, to fight,
dispute, stock or origin of a person, tree, plant having a trunk. It represents the origins of a tribe or family as for
example they say: Huwa min shajartin tayyibatun/He is of a good origin/tribe. But because people always fight
over who is of better origins, Shajara is the symbol of quarrel, in 4:65 it is used for differences: »+--- ·=- '--· In
their differences between them. Page 532, Arabic-English dictionary by Hans Wehr (1994): To develop unrest, to
quarrel. Shajara probably became to represent a tree or plant, as the roots and branches represent a family tree,
all of mankind coming from one origins then branching out into different groups, or representing the different
opinions people have.
30
Page 205-208, Volume 5, Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003). Its authentic meaning is to misplace
something. Raghib explains it as not to keep something in its proper place either by increasing or decreasing it
or removing it from its proper place or time. Page 318-319 .'·-'' -- ·= ¸· -'-·--'' (Al-Mufradat fi Gharib al-
Quran) by al-Raghib al-Isfahani (1110). This is why several Arabic lexicon writers say that alama refers to
taking away other people’s rights (you misplace them) and by doing so, you put yourself above them (misplace
yourself), and thus become an oppressor. See also .···'' -'-(Taj al-Arus) by Husaini al-Zubaidi (1780) and
=-=-'' (al-Muhit) by Butras Al Bustani (1883).
31
The Bible, chapter Genesis 2:15-3:6. Ibn Khaldun (d.1406) mentions that the early Muslims had no books or
scholarship and desert attitude and illiteracy prevailed among them. When they wanted to learn something [..]
they consulted earlier people of the book (former religions). Muqadimmah; an introduction to history by
F.Rosenthal (1967).
8
Kum) shows Adam and his pairing (Azawjuka) represent mankind and its duality of male and
female. The term Jannah means an overgrown garden and thus representing abundance and
growth, and exponential potential (32:17)
32
as verse 13:35
33
clearly says it is a allegory, and
not a literal place. It represents a state of existence wherein humans can develop and grow
24
.
The term Shajara is normally directly linked to the tree of the Biblical story, but in Arabic it
has a different original meaning of to differ. It was also used for the origins of a person. A
tree represents both terms as the branches represent the different opinions and beliefs within
mankind, and a tree represents the family tree of a tribe or family, and so this is how Shajara
was also used for a tree or a plant with a long stem
29
. Scholar G.A.Parwez shows how these
two terms (Jannah and Shajara) explain each other:
“Man prior to his civilized life used to exist on a few needs only and the food supply was abundant:
therefore there was no differences between them; later when man began civilized life then it led to
clash of interest between individuals and tribes and this led to differences among them. As verse 10:19
explains, mankind was one group earlier but later they began to
differ among themselves this is the connotation in verse 2:35 i.e. they were all told that their reality
(beginning) was the same, therefore, do not develop mutual differences: but self interests which
teaches every individual to protect his own interests (and is a devilish intellect) led them to selfish
interests and thus they became each other’s enemy (see 2:36) as such at this point ‘Shajar’ would
mean those mutual differences among human beings which arouse because of pursuing selfish
interest.”
34
Because mankind could not share the resources equally, and even created the idea that certain
ethnicities were better then the other, we approached this conflict (-·=-'' --» '-·-- taqrabaa
hadihi al-Shajarati) and have become oppressors of another, as we misplaced our share of the
resources (took more then we needed) and placed our needs above those from other humans
(we misplaced ourselves), and thus became .--'='' al-alameen
30
. This is further expressed by
the story of the ‘two sons of mankind (Adam)’, whereby the one killed the other because his
sacrifice i.e. actions that brings one closer to other humans and God, -·· qaraba
35
, were not
accepted. Many anthropologists and philosophers of history see this story, which is also
mentioned in the Bible
36
, as the struggle between the hunting and gathering nomadic peoples
and the agricultural herder settlers during the Stone Age, called the Neolithic revolution
37
,
which started around 10.000 years ago. The original natural way of life of hunting and
gathering which humanoids have done for millions of years, was slowly changed into an
unnatural way of life of agriculture, where much stress is put on the available resources in one
area.
“In the Near East, between 12.000 and 10.000 BP [years ago. Ed.] hunting-and-gathering subsistence
patterns gave way to a new economy based on plant and animal domestication. The archaeological
record shows no evidence of war at 12.000 BP and then evidence for sparse war by about 9500 BP,
followed by evidence of spreading and intensifying warfare in more recent times.”
38
32
32:17 And no human being can imagine what blissful delights are kept hidden for them as a reward for what
they used to do.”
33
13:35 The allegory of paradise that the righteous have been promised is that rivers flow beneath it, and its
provisions are continuous as is its shade. Such is the abode of those who were righteous, while the abode of the
ingrates is the fire.”
34
Page 933-934, Lughaat Al-Qur’an by G.A.Parwez (1960), unpublished English translation.
35
Page 32-37, Volume 7, Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003).
36
Genesis 4, the Bible.
37
The Food Crisis in Prehistory: Overpopulation and the Origins of Agriculture by M.N. Cohen (1977). Page 98-
99, On the Sociology of Islam by Ali Shari’ati (1979).
38
Page 56-57, Beyond War: The Human Potential for Peace by Douglas P. Fry (2007).
9
Since then, we as mankind have been in conflict with each other on too many occasions. We
are now slowly rediscovering each other through globalization and diplomacy, and slowly
becoming one again. This shows also the reason for why God started to communicate with
certain individuals (sending Revelation wahy, to messengers and prophets), as He wanted to
help mankind and guide them through this important and unnatural transition. As the main
consequence of this transition was war and oppression, then this must be the main focus of
God’s guidance. Maintaining peace, welfare and equality for all humans, this must be the
subject and goal of divine communication, i.e. revelation.
17:70
`---- '--'= .-- ·-`´ '= »+-'-·· ---='' .- »+-···· ·=-''· ·-'' · »+-'-=· »-'- -- '--·´ --'·
And certainly, We have conferred dignity/honoured (karramna) on the descendants of
the human species (bani adam) and carried them over land and sea, and provided for
them sustenance out of the good things of life (al-Tayibati), and favoured them far above
most of Our creation.
As all humans are honoured, then the diversity of mankind is accepted by God:
49:13
-·· '-··- »´-'·=· `-'· ·´- .- »´--'= '-' .'-'' '+-'- ·--= »-'= - .' »´---' - --= »´-·´' .' '···'·-' .-'
O Mankind (al-Naas)
39
, We created you from a male and female, and We made you into
nations (sh3uba)
40
and tribes (qabali)
33
, that you may understand and know each other
(taarafu)
41
. Surely, the most honorable among you in the sight of God is the most
righteous (atqa)
42
. God is Knowledgeable, Ever-aware.
And because we have free will:
39
Page 120-121, Volume 8, Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003). The authentic meaning of anusa is to halt in
a place. As the majority of the Semitic people were nomadic, not staying in one place or nation, their word for
people who dwelt in one place because of agriculture or trade and created cities, were called al-Nass, those that
stay in one place. A.M.Omar says the original root is unclear as several scholars say it comes from anasa, which
means to be familiar and have a connection, from anusa, to halt in a place, or nasiya, to forget. Page 35-36 and
583, Dictionary of the Holy Qur’an by Abdul Mannar Omar (2006). But as Arabic belongs to the Semitic
languages, a nomadic worldview as origin (anusa, to halt in a place) is the most likely theory.
40
Page 279-282, Volume 4, Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003): to gather or assemble or unite. Page 237-
238, Volume 8, Ibid: to accept or meet anyone, to show favour or be near someone. Thus it became a word for
tribe. Muhammad Shahrur mentions that Sh3ub and Qabal is indicating a level of social organisation that is
superior to the institutions of family, clan and tribe. The nation is defined as a body of people who share the
same form of social system but who may differ in their ethnic and tribal origins. Page 477, The Qur’an, Morality
and Critical Reason; The Essential Muhammad Shahrur by Andreas Christmann and Muhammad Shahrur
(2009).
41
Page 382, The Qur’an, Morality and Critical Reason; The Essential Muhammad Shahrur by Andreas
Christmann and Muhammad Shahrur (2009): “ta ‘aruf means mutual understanding, acquaintance, and peaceful
co-existence, both between individuals and between groups, states, and nations. It constitutes the purpose of
Allah’s creation.”
42
Page 313, Volume 8, Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003). Page 618-619, Dictionary of the Holy Qur’an by
Abdul Mannar Omar (2006): to protect, save, preserve, ward off, guard against evil and calamity, be secure,
take as a shield, regard the duty. A muttaqii is one who guards against evil and against that which harms and
injures and is regardful of his duty towards human beings and God. You are righteous as a people when you
protect your own and other people (you are a shield to them), and you make sure the people of your own nation
do not harm others. So you stand on guard to the world and take this as a duty, this is the essence of having
taqwa. See also page 235-239, God and Man in the Koran by T.Izutsu (1963).
10
11:118-119
»+-'= ='-'· =-· »=· .- `' .--'-=- .·''·- `· --=· ª-' .'-'' .·=' =-· -'- ·'·
And had your Developer so willed, He could surely have made all mankind (al-Naas) one
single community (ummat wahidat): but [mankind has free will] they do not cease in their
difference. Except whom your Developer has provided means to evolve (rahima)
43
upon;
and for that He has created them in stages (khalaqahum)
44
.
The root »=· rahima refers to providing to the needs so such persons can grow and evolve.
Mufsarin at-Tabataba'i says it means 'giving and bestowing to fulfill other's need'. A womb is
called rahim, as it bestows everything the foetus needs to develop and grow
36
. Thus
development is one of our purposes of existence
45
. We are created with free will as God did
not want to control our thoughts (11:118), but having different views doesn’t have to stop us
from being united in our humanity. God allowed us to evolve in our own way, from hunter-
gatherers to farmers to walking on the moon. The people who understand this are the ones
evolving as human beings into something greater. We evolve as a species by unifying our
different ideas and creativity, and through this benefit each other. Thus verse 10:19 shows us
our natural nature and our unnatural behaviour, we are one, but in denial. As the Qur’an calls
itself .'-'' .-» huddan lil-nass, a guide for mankind
46
, the unnatural behaviour of war and
extreme conflict must be one of its main subjects. And here is an horizon that always has been
expressed in traditional Islamic thought, but could not truly reveal itself through the religious
and political influences and environments that lacked universal ideals. Now it has true
potential and can become clear for us.
The Qur’an states that .--'' al-Din, the behaviour/custom, is our -·=· fitrat
47
, true nature, and
that the Din is »'-`' al-Islam
48
. Normally this is understood as meaning ‘submission’ is the
only religion, whereby submission represents an exclusive dogmatic religion with detailed
beliefs and rituals. Thus using the human concept of revelatory purpose, we believe we as
humans already know the purpose of the Qur’anic revelation, and how to approach it. But as
the universe and the Qur’an are from the same ·-`' al-Amr, command
49
, they must reveal the
43
Page 221-223, Volume 3, Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003). Page 22, tafsir Al-Mizan by Allamah as-
Sayyid Muhammad Husayn at-Tabataba'i, English translation (2006). Page 384, Arabic-English dictionary by
Hans Wehr (1994).
44
Page 163-164, Dictionary of the Holy Qur’an by Abdul Mannar Omar (2006): To measure or proportion a
thing, to form or make according to proper measure. To measure and form out the thing out of pre-existing
matter. Page 41-42, Volume 1, Exposition of the Holy Qur’an by G.A.Parwez (1990): Khalaqal adeema means
he measured the leather before cutting in order to make some article. [..] Khalaqa therefore means to
examine/assess something then remove/take away its excessiveness and make it or shape it according to a design
and measurement so that it comes out in perfect balance or ratio/proportion and also becomes smooth and
levelled.[..] it means that every time it needs some addition or alteration. That is why 35:1 says “He, according
to His Will, keeps on adding something to His creations.”
45
84:19 You (Mankind) shall surely embark from stage to stage.”
46
2:185 The month of Ramadan, in which the Quran was sent down as a guide to the people and a clarification
of the guidance and the criterion. Therefore, those of you who witness the month shall fast therein. Whoever is
ill or traveling, then the same number from different days. God wants to bring you ease and not to bring you
hardship; and so that you may complete the count, and glorify God because He has guided you, that you may be
thankful.”
47
30:30 Therefore, devote yourself to the /way of life behaviour turning away from all that is false. Such is the
natural aim of God's creation of humans. And God's law of creation never changes. This is the perfect behaviour
but most people do not know.
48
3:19 Remember that the Din approved by God is al-Islam.”
49
65:5 This is Allah's Amr which He has revealed unto you.” 7:54 Your Lord is God who created the heavens
and earth in six periods, and then He established the authority. The night covers the day, which seeks it
11
same framework of reality. For example, we know today the earth is ellipsoidal in shape, and
if the Qur’an discusses the shape of the earth, then it must confirm this:
79:30
'+-=- ='- -·- .·`'·
And after that He made the earth egg-shaped (dahaha).
The verb '+-=- dahaha comes fromdahy which means egg, and according to classic Arabic
lexicons was used for an ostrich egg, which resembles the earth very closely
50
. And we see
this truth with the hundreds of verses that discusses the workings and realities of the universe
and nature
51
. Thus how the Qur’an sees mankind, must also confirm with reality. We are the
horizons, and through us the Qur’an can manifest itself as the truth. The Qur’an approaches us
as a species which evolved on a planet in the universe, and the universe itself is in constant
evolution
52
. We see this concept expressed in the first verses of the first and last Surah,
chapters
53
, of the Qur’an:
.--'·'' -· (Rabbi al-3lameen)
.'-'' -· (Rabbi al-Naass)
The word -· Rabb has the connation of nourishing and developing something until it reaches
maturity and perfection
54
. The person responsible in the house to nourish and provide for the
people in the house is called rabb al-dar (for females rabbat al-dar)
55
. The word .--'·'' al-
3lameen comes from the root »'= i3lm and refers to anything knowable or distinguishable
56
,
and by the means it is knowable, whereby it thus refers to the creation which is knowable
because of its Creator. The two verses which are the beginning and the end of the Qur’an
shows God is concerned with the development of the whole existence and our existence, and
shows we are part of the Cosmic evolution. The Qur’an doesn’t present a religion, a mostly
historical and cultural-bounded framework, but is a guide how mankind can be part of the
cosmic development. It sees us as one species, and although addressing different groups
within our species, it only does so with the purpose of showing the mistakes of beliefs or
behaviour within these groups that stop them from being part of a united mankind.
continually; and the sun and the moon and the stars are all subjected to His law (bi Amrihi); to Him is the
creation (al-Khalqu) and the law (al-Amr). Glory be to God, the Lord of the worlds.”
50
Page 23, Volume 3, Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003): the throwing of a pebble, to expand something and
make it egg-shaped as an Ostrich-egg. Volume 2, A Word for Word meaning of the Qur'an by Muhammad
Mohar Ali (2003), M.M.Ali, a professor of the Medina university, confirms this. In North-African Arabic
dialects, the verb is still used for egg, but the rest of Arabic speaking nations have lost this meaning. I have
confirmed this myself with Moroccan and Tunisian people. The first contact with Sahaba, direct followers of
Muhammad, introduced Arabic to North-Africa, and as it never came under Abbasid and Ottoman control, it
preserved many original classical Arabic words which were lost in the rest of the Muslim world due to Persian
and Aramaic influence.
51
See The Bible, Quran and Science by M.Bucaille, Phenomena of Nature and the Quran by S.A.Wadud.
52
See verses 24:45, 21:30, 23:12, 22:5, 84:19, 87:1-3, 29:20, 82:6-7, 6:133, 2:117, 51:47, 50:38, 41:10, 41:11,
27:88, 21:33, 36:40, 10:24, 7:69, 15:28-29, 32:7-9, 71:14-17, 21:104, 14:48 etc.
53
1:1(2), not all scholars agree if the Bismilleh of al-Fatiha is to be counted as the first verse. 114:1.
54
Page190-191 .'·-'' -- ·= ¸· -'-·--'' (Al-Mufradat fi Gharib al-Quran) by al-Raghib al-Isfahani (1110): Foster
a thing in such a manner as to make it attain one condition after another until it reaches its goal of completion.
Correctly rendered by M.Ali, The Holy Qur’an, page 4, note 1a.
Page 168-173, Volume 3, Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003): Caretaker, provider, sustainer, perfecter,
maintainer, reposer of properties, developer, the bringing a thing to a state of completion by degrees.
55
Page 5, The Message of the Qur’an by Muhammad Asad (2003).
56
Page 423-427, Volume 5, Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003).
12
It calls divisions in mankind the behaviour of .-´·--'' al-Mushrikeen, those that perform =·-
Shirk
57
. The word means to mix things up, to share, to hold on or to remain stuck.
Traditionally it is always understood as simply idolatry, to associate things sharing divine
power with God. But the word is more complex as it was also used for ropes/cords (ª''-=
hibaalat) used for the ensnaring of birds and animals called =·- sharak, a hunter using snares
was called ª´·- Sharakat, and the strap/thong of a sandal was called ='·- shiraakun, as it
keeps the toes stuck in the sandal
58
.
This visual definition explains why the word was also used for idolatry, as these people try to
ensnare, trap, the divine into a statue or other created objects. But it also refers to the position
of these people themselves, as their irrational beliefs and behaviours have trapped themselves,
they are stuck in tradition and custom and do not evolve as a people. This is why the most
common excuse of al-Mushrikeen is that they believe and act as their forefathers
59
.
When we look back at verses 30:31-21, we are told not to become al-Mushrikeen by splitting
up in groups that are only pleased with themselves, meaning, to disunite mankind is a form of
idolatry (as you believe your group is better then the other), and you will stop the progress of
mankind, you are ensnaring mankind. This is why this behaviour will be the only one where
God will not protect you against its consequences
60
.
This is why the Qur’an rejects exclusivist religious thought, the idea that only one religion
with its specific dogmatism and labels will gain you salvation. The Qur’an shows
development is based on a few very rational and universal concepts:
2:111-112
.-·-- »--´ .' »´-»·- '·-'» .· »+--'-' ='- .·-- ·' '-·» .'´ .- `' ª-='' .=-- .' '·''·· ·»· - ª+=· »'-' .- '-
.·-·=- »» `· »+-'= -·= `· ª-· --= -·=' ª'· .-=-
And they claim, "None will enter Paradise unless he is a Jew or a Christian." This is
nothing but their wishful thinking. Say, "Bring your proof if you are truthful." No,
whosoever inclines to peace with his whole being for God (aslama wajhahu lillahi), while
being a person who improves the state of mankind (muhsinun); he will have his reward
with his Developer. There will be no fear over them, nor will they grieve.
The verb »'-' aslama has many applications. In pre-Islamic Arabic usage, it referred to giving
over
61
or to incline to something that makes something safe or pure, or to act peacefully or
safely with yourself, a product, or someone else. It meant to being something or give over
something precious to you or to someone else, and you or that person, will keep it safe as
salama refers to safety, wholeness and health
62
. The root word goes as far back as 4000 years
ago, where it was used in the Proto-Semitic Akkadian language for to be unharmed, peace,
well-being and welfare
63
. It is for example used in the Armana letters, correspondence
57
30:31-32 Turn to Him, be aware of Him, hold the Salat, and do not be of al-Mushrikeen. Or like those who
split up their Din, and they became sects; each group happy with what it had.
58
Page 265-267, Volume 4, Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003).
59
7:70 They said, "Have you come to us to serve God alone and abandon what our fathers had served? Bring us
what you promise if you are of the truthful ones!" See also verses 2:170, 5:104, 6:148, 7:28, 10:78 etc.
60
4:116 God will not protect against the consequences (yaghfiru) of holding on to traditions (yashraka).” The
term ghafara means to protect, as a maghfir is a helmet. It mostly mistranslated as to forgive. Page 57-59,
Volume 6, Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003).
61
Page 199, God and Man in the Koran by T.Izutsu (1963).
62
Page 136-141, Volume 4, Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003). Page 894-897, Lughaat Al-Qur’an by
G.A.Parwez (1960), unpublished English translation.
63
A Grammar of Akkadian by Huehnergard (2005).
13
between the Ancient Egyptian administration and the surrounding nations
64
. The word ª+=·
wajhahu comes from wajooh, face, which represents a person’s whole being. Thus aslama
wajhahu lillahi means to give over your whole being in the struggle for peace for God (you do
not endanger or waste God’s creation), and you keep yourself and your surroundings safe and
healthy. As God is beyond need (112:2), and God’s Will is peace (10:25) then giving over to
God’s Will is giving over to peace. In verse 3:83 we read that all creatures are working to
sustain the wholeness of the creation in the service of God, and they do this out of free will
(humans and other intelligent creatures), or by force (meaning their instinct controls them)
65
.
Next to this first requirement, we are asked to be a muhsinun, a person who does hassan,
and refers to something or someone possessing and excels in the qualities of being good, well
balanced, properly ordered and being beneficial and pleasing to others
66
.
In verse 2:62, 5:69
67
and 41:33 we see similar basic requirements, which makes people be part
of the Divine plan, which renders them acceptable for further evolution even after this life:
2:62
`· »+-· --= »»·=' »+'· '='- .-=· ·='-.' »·-''· -'- .-'- .- .---''· .·--''· '·-'» .--''· '·--'- .--'' .'
-·= .·-·=- »» `· »+-'=
Surely those who maintain peace and trust [the Qur’an as being Divine] (alatheen
‘amanua)
68
, and those who are Jewish, and the Nazarenes, and those who follow other
religions (al-Sabeen)
69
, any one of them who acknowledge God (‘amanu billah) and the
future period (al-Yaum al-‘akhiri)
70
, and perform deeds that create justice and peace
64
Page 43, The Amarana letters by William Moran. The clay tablets were written over a period of 30 years
around 1400BCE. In the letters it was used for describing the gifts sent to each other to maintain the peace, and
for wishing each other health and well-being.
65
3:83 Is it other than God's system that they desire, when those in the heavens and the earth have peacefully
surrendered to Him (walahu aslama) voluntarily or by force? To Him they will be returned.”
66
Page 124, Dictionary of the Holy Qur’an by Abdul Mannar Omar (2006). Page 252-253, The Qur'an: an
encyclopedia by Oliver Leaman (Ed.) (2008). Page 206-208, Volume 3, Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003).
67
Which is almost word for word the same as 2:62.
68
Alatheen (those) that do ‘amanua. From the root amina, meaning to trust, protect, create safety. Page 29, A
Concise Dictionary of Koranic Arabic by Professor Arne Ambros (2004): Amina/ ya'manu: To be or feel safe, to
be safe and secure, not to fear. Mumin: one giving security, rendering safe. Whereas most derivatives of the root
'-m-n are genuinely Arabic (to be and create safety), the technical religious meaning of 'believing' appears to
have developed under the influence of Aramaic and/or Ethiopic. See also Page 102-103, Volume 1, Lane's
Arabic-English Lexicon (2003). Those that trust and maintain Peace (alatheen amanua), are people who believe
in the divine source of the Qur’an. Thus they are one step further above al-Muslimun, peaceful persons who
accept the universal ethics of 2:62 and 6:151-153.
69
Page 364, Volume 4, Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003): He departed from his religion to another religion
like a star changes its position. And thus means to change one's religion. It refers to every person who didn’t fall
into the Christian, Jewish or your family’s religion. In Hadith literature, the Meccan people who rejected
Muhammad, called him as a person to be of the sab’een, those that changed his original religion. There have
been many speculations by Qur’anic commentators who they were, but they couldn’t pinpoint a specific group.
When looking at the word, it is clear why, as it represents any religious group on earth that falls outside the
Abrahamic religions.
70
The word yaum refers to a day or any time period. Thus era or period is better rendition. The word akhir
means the last in line (like the last link on a chain) or something that comes later, al-Akhirun (the later
generations) is the opposite of al-Awwalun (the previous generations), and thus also refers to future generations
and the future in general of this life and the next. Page 318, Volume 8 and pages 68-69 & 162-165, Volume 1,
Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003). Page 21, A Concise Dictionary of Koranic Arabic by Professor Arne
Ambros (2004).
14
(3malu salihan)
71
, they will have their reward with their Developer, with no fear over
them, nor will they grieve.
41:33
- .-=· - '' '=- .-- `·· .-=' .-· .--'--'' .- --' .'·· '='
Who is better in saying than one who invites to God, and perform deeds that create
justice and peace (3milu saliha), and says: "I am one of those who gives over to peace (al-
Muslimin)
54
."
These verses give the basis for universal shared ideas. To believe in a purpose for existence,
to believe that we determine our own future, and then act on those beliefs by creating the
peace and balance to create a positive future for all. It doesn’t matter if the person is a
Christian, Jew, or has any other belief system, if it entails the above minimum requirements,
then the person is described as muslimun, a person working with his whole being towards
peace and wholeness of God’s creation. The word -'- salaha means to put things right,
correct things that are wrong or out of balance. Thus al-Saliheen are people who reform the
world by creating peace. To be muslimun always goes together with performing salaha
72
. This
universal ethical belief and peace system has always been the same one given to mankind
since divine communication began around the agricultural revolution:
42:13
'···--- `· .--'' '·--·' .' --=· -·-· »-»·-' ª- '---· '-· =-'' '--=·' .-''· '=·- ª- -· '- .--'' .- »´' -·-
·--'' '= ·-´ ª-· ---- .- ª-'' .-+-· -'-- .- ª-'' --=- - ª-'' »»·=-- '- .-´
He has decreed for you the same behaviour/way of life (al-Din) He ordained for Noah,
and what We inspired to you, and what We ordained for Abraham, Moses, and Jesus:
"You shall uphold this custom/way of life (al-Din), and do not divide in it." Intolerable
for those stuck in their traditions (al-Mushrikeen) is what you invite them towards. God
chooses to Himself whoever He wills; He guides to Himself whoever turns [into the right
direction].
And as mentioned earlier, it is called a natural behaviour. The word -·=· fitrat means the
original and natural disposition in which mankind was created in
73
. And so God teaches us
our natural state in which humanoids lived for millions of years, in peace and well-being, in
al-Salam.
30:30
'' - -·=· '---= .--'' =+=· »·'· .·-'·- ` .'-'' ·`´' .´'· »--'' .--'' ='- - ·'=' .---- ` '+-'= .'-'' ·=· -
Therefore, devote yourself to the right behaviour/way of life (al-Dinu hanifan). Such is
the natural aim (fitrat) of God's creation of humans. And God's law of creation never
changes. This is the true way of life (al-Dinu al-Qayyimu) but most people do not know.
71
The letter - Ayn has been rendered by me as the number 3, the letter is a throat sound which has no equal in
English. Page 755-756, Arabic-English dictionary by Hans Wehr (1994): 3mala refers to acting, performing,
doing something or working. Page 438-439, Volume 4, Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003): To make whole
sound, set things right, amendment, reformation, reformer, one who is upright, righteous, a person of integrity,
peacemaker, suitable.
72
See for example verse 12:101 where prophet Yousouf (Joseph) says: Cause me to die as a Muslim and join me
with the reformers (al-Saliheen).”
73
Page 114-115, Volume 6, Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003).
15
The word .--'' al-Din has several meanings depending on the context. In pre-Islamic Arabic it
was used mostly for custom, habit, debt, obligation, requital and obedience
74
. It was used for
a habitual state that kept returning, so that it could become a custom, and thus became an
authority which was obeyed. It probably had several original Semitic sources, as Persians
used it for systematic religion, Jews for requital, and Arabs for custom
75
. The Arabs used it
for example for rain that always fell at a particular place
76
. The word --= hanif means one
who turns away, incline to or have a right state or tendency
77
. The combination of al-Dinu
hanifan can thus be best understood as the right behaviour and thought system, the right way
of life where people turn away from harmful behaviour. The word al-Qayyimu comes from
qama, which means to stand firm, maintain something, to uphold, erect or make something
straight
78
. The combination of al-Dinu al-Qayyimu can be best understood as the upright way
of life or the way of life that upholds the truth or just things. Thus showing that al-Islam is not
an exclusive religion, but an inclusive universal value system that unites the majority of
mankind.
To show the universality of the Qur’anic message, the term hanif is used against exclusive
dogmatic beliefs:
2:135
.-´·--'' .- .'´ '-· '---= »»·-' ª'- .- .· '·--+- .·-- ·' '-·» '·-·´ '·''··
And they say; "Be Jews or Christians to be [rightly] guided." Say: "No, rather the
disposition (millat)
79
of Abraham, who turned away from all that is false (haneefa), and
was not of those who remained stuck in traditions (al-Mushrikeena)."
In the Qur’an, to proclaim superiority over other humans because they are different, is an act
of .=--'' al-Shaytan, the symbol of everything that is far removed from our true human
nature
80
:
38:76
·-= '-' .'·
He said, "I am better than he.
3:64
- .·- .- '-'-·' '-·- '--·- -=-- `· '-- ª- =·-- `· - `' --·- `' »´---· '---- -'·- ª-'´ '' '·''·- --´'' .»'- .·
.·-'-- '-'- '·-+-' '·'·-· '·'·- .'·
Say, "O People of the Book [those of previous revelations], let us come to a common
statement (kalimatin sawain) between us and between you; that we do not serve except
God, and do not set up anything at all with Him, and that none of us takes each other as
lords (arbaban) beside God." If they turn away, then say, "Bear witness that we [at least]
have given over to peace and wholeness (muslimun)."
74
Page 221, God and Man in the Koran by T.Izutsu (1963).
75
Page 220, God and Man in the Koran by T.Izutsu (1963).
76
-··'' .'-' (Lisan al-Arab) by Ibn Manzur (1311).
77
Page 294, Volume 2, Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003).
78
Page 471, Dictionary of the Holy Qur’an by Abdul Mannar Omar (2006). In verse 9:7 it is used to uphold a
treaty: »+' '·-----'· »´' '·----' '- istaqamulakum fa istagimu lahum they uphold [the treaty], then you uphold it too.
79
Page 257-258, Volume 7 and pages 276-277, Volume 8, Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003): People united
by race or language, creed, religion, disposition.
80
Page 275-276, Volume 4, Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003): Become distant, far or remote. One
excessively proud and corrupt. It was used for a deep well (the water far removed) and a long rope (indicating
distance).
16
This important verse shows that the Qur’an sees people as al-Muslimun if they accept
common terms with each other as stated above; that all are seen as equal in the Divine
framework (do not set our religion above others) as we all serve God, and none sees one
another as arbaban, masters or lords that stand above the other, and thus portrays an equality
in ethical and metaphysical values. This verse thus shows a universal pluralistic worldview,
where we all can work together for peace and welfare equally, whatever the person’s religious
background.
Shahrur comments correctly on the meaning of this verse:
“The verse says ‘O People of the Book!’ because Jews and Christians were addressed like this during
the time of the Prophet! It also contains the ‘common terms’ shared by them and Muhammad’s
followers: worship none but God, no shirk and no idolatry, that is, they all rejected rububiyya among
themselves. It ends with the admission that if they are not happy about this, they ‘at least’ should bear
witness that he (i.e. Muhammad) is a prophet and that they (i.e. his followers) are (still) al-Muslimun.
But why did Muhammad want to testify that he and his followers are al-Muslimun? Because he
believed that Jews and Christians were themselves Muslims and he saw himself as one of them, even
though later on he wanted them to join al-Iman, while he allowed them to keep their faith in Allah’s
tauhid (unicity).”
81
The Qur’an makes this clear by referring to Abraham’s descendants and Jesus’s followers as
al-Muslimun:
2:130-132
.-='-'' .-' -·='-.' · ª-'· '---'' · ª---=-' --'· ª--- ª-- .- `' »»·-' ª'- .= -=·- .-·
.--'·'' -·' --'-' .'· »'-' ª-· ª' .'· -'
.·-'-- »--'· `' .-·-- `· .--'' »´' -=-' - .' --- -·-·-· ª--- »»·-' '+- -··
Who would abandon the disposition (millat) of Abraham except one who fools himself?
We have selected him in this world, and in the Hereafter (al-‘akhirat), he is of the people
who reformed the world to peace (al-Saliheen). When his Developer said to him, "Be in
non-conflict/at peace [with Me and the world] (aslama)" he said, "I accept/am at peace
(aslamtu) to/with the Developer of all Existence (al-Rabbi al-3almeen)" And Abraham
enjoined [this] to his children, and so did Jacob, saying, "O My children! Indeed, God
has chosen for you the way of life (al-Din). Therefore, let not death overtake you except
that you are those inclining to peace and welfare (muslimun)."
3:52
.·-'-- '-'- -+-'· -'- '--'- - ·'--' .=- .·-·'·='' .'· - '' .·'--' .- .'· ·-´'' »+-- --= .=' '-'·
So when Jesus felt their rejection/opposition (al-Kufr), he said, "Who are my supporters
(ansaari) towards God?" The disciples said, "We are God's supporters, we trust God
(amanna bi Allahi) and we bear witness (ishhad) that we are those who work for peace
and welfare, accepting [God’s Will] (muslimun)."
To work towards peace, welfare and well-being in the world has always been the message
God communicated to the messengers. Now we can better understand this most important
verse:
81
Page 358, The Qur’an, Morality and Critical Reason; The Essential Muhammad Shahrur by Andreas
Christmann and Muhammad Shahrur (2009). Shahrur uses ‘Muslim-assenters’ for al-Muslimun, to show the
inclusiveness of the term.
17
3:19
»'-`' - --= .--'' .'
The way of life/obligation (al-Din) with God, is the acceptance of Peace (al-Islam).
Normally this is understood as the only ‘religion’ accepted by God is ‘Islam’, understanding
‘Islam’ as a label for an exclusive religion, but now we can understand that »'-`' al-Islam
refers to an obligation and natural behaviour and thought system, something that is universal
for the majority on earth, as it refers to accepting and creating peace and wholeness with your
whole being. Al-Islam is a verbal noun in the Arabic form of If3l (form IV) which refers to the
performing of the root meaning described in a noun. An example is »'·- yulim informs, is the
verb form IV and the verbal noun in form IV is: »`=' i3lam information
82
. As the root verb
salama means peace and well-being, then al-Islam is the performing/having of peace and
well-being
83
. Raghib explains al-Islam as:
»'-'' ¸· .·=-''
The engagement/entering (al-Dukhulu) into (fi) the Peace (al-Silm).
84
And so any person accepting the terms of 2:62 and 5:69, and the universal ethics discussed
below, is engaging into Peace and thus part of al-Islam. And the above verse makes peace and
welfare an obligation for all of mankind.
To be considered righteous (atqa) as mentioned in 49:13, the Qur’an gives it own
commandments, which Shahrur considers as the Universal Ethics of Al-Islam
85
, global norms
and values shared by almost all beliefsystems:
6:151-153
`· »»'-'· »´···- .=- ·'-' .- »´-'·' '·'--- `· '--=' .--'·''-· '-- ª- '·´·-- `' »´-'= »´-· »·= '- .-' '·''·- .·
»·= -'' .--'' '·'--- `· .=- '-· '+-- ·+= '- .=·-'' '·-·-- .·'-·- »´'·' ª- »´--· »´'- ·=''- `' -
.-=' » -''- `' »---'' .'- '·-·-- `· »-'· '-'· '+·-· `' '--- -'´- ` =--''- .'·--''· .-´'' '···'· ---' ·'-- -=
.··´-- »´'·' ª- »´--· »´'- '···' - -+·-· -·· '- .'´ ·'· '·'-='·
.·--- »´'·' ª- »´--· »´'- ª'--- .= »´- ··--· .--'' '··--- `· -··--'· '------ =·- '-» .'·
Say, "Come, let me convey to you what your Developer has made inviolable upon you:
1. Associate nothing with Him(tushrikoo bihi shayan).
2. Honor your parents, do good to them, fulfil their needs (bi-l-Walidayni ihsanan).
3. Neither kill your children for fear of poverty nor deprive them of proper training
and education (la taqlutu awladakum min im’laqin). We provide for you and for
them.
4. Do not go near immodesty or lewdness (la taqrabu al-Fawahisha) whether openly
or in secret.
82
Page 88, Arabic Verbs and Essentials of Grammar by J.Wightwick and M.Gaafar (2008).
83
“The words salam and islam have a relation that is a fairly common one in Arabic. It is found in the forms
Fa'3L and If'3L. Some examples of those same forms include najah - injah: Success - making successful. [..],
thus similarly, salam means peace and islam means peacemaking.” Page 166, article ‘Introduction to
Peacemaking’ by Dr.Ayman Abdullah, Critical Thinkers for Islamic Reform by E.Yuksel, F.Peru, A.Mol
(Ed.)(2009). So verse 3:85 is understood as: If anyone desires a thought and behaviour system (al-Din) other
then the acceptance of Peace (al-Islam), it will never be accepted from him.” This same understanding comes
forth in 5:3.
84
Page 246, ' -- ·= ¸· -'-·--'' .'·-' (Al-Mufradat fi Gharib al-Quran) by al-Raghib al-Isfahani (1110).
85
Page 37-42, The Qur’an, Morality and Critical Reason; The Essential Muhammad Shahrur by Andreas
Christmann and Muhammad Shahrur (2009).
18
5. Do not slay a life, life that God has made inviolable (la taqtulu al-nafsa allati
harrama Allahu) - except in the course of justice (ila bi-l-Haqqi). This He has
commanded you so that you may use your intelligence and reason (taqiluna). God
commands you further:
6. Do not approach the wealth (mala) of the orphan (al-Yatimi) except to improve it
(ahsanu) until they come of age with full maturity of body and mind (yablugha
ashuddahu).
7. Give full weight and full measure (awfu al-Kayla) in all your dealings. Uphold the
balance (al-Mizan) with Justice (bi-l-Qisti). We do not assign any 'self'
responsibility beyond its means.
8. And when you voice an opinion, be just (3dilu), even if it is against a relative.
9. Fulfil your covenant (3hdi) with God.
10. This He commands for you to bear in mind. This is my straight path (sirati
mustaqiman), Follow it, then, and follow not other ways that take you away from
His path. This He has ordained for you so that you live upright (tattaquna).
The first commandment is the only religious creed of the list, and refers to the duty of
understanding that Allah is above and beyond existence. We can philosophize and discuss this
subject with other people, as many people have an irrational and childish view on God which
does not confirm with the framework of the universe, and are thus stuck in unrealistic ideas,
but nobody may ever be forced into accepting a view
86
. We can only truly understand
ourselves correctly, when we try to understand the universe and its Creator, as this framework
will explain to us His Manifestation
87
. Many people reject religion and faith in a God, because
of the irrational ideas perpetrated by many traditional theologies, as they contradict reality (al-
Haqq).
The second to ninth commands are all ethical values which are shared by all human beings,
taking care and protection of the weaker persons among us, to not kill other people, to be
honest in all dealings and moments of life, from simple things as paying for your chewing
gum to serious matters as testifying in courts, to equal sharing of all resources, foods etc., to
hold to our oaths and agreements. This the way we must follow, and these ethics do not
contradict our natural disposition (fitrat), as this the path which keeps mankind erect (sirati
mustaqim) and righteous (tattaquna), and these are the most honourable with God (49:13),
and certainly also with all the rest of mankind. The world would be a lot safer and more
prosperous if the majority of the people were to uphold these universal ethics and the
obligation (al-Din) of peacemaking (al-Islam), which unites mankind in their humanity and
positive behaviour.
10:25
»----- =·- '' -'-- .- .-+-· »'-'' ·'- '' '·=-- -·
God calls to the Abode/State of Peace (Dar al-Salam), and leads whomever to the straight
path (sirat mustaqeem).
16:89-90
86
See verses 6:104 (Is beyond human perception), 112:1-4 (Is the Absolute, Unique in Being) etc. 2:256 (No
compulsion in religion/beliefs/habit), 6:109, 10:99, 29:46 etc.
87
Asad translation: 55:29 On Him depends all creatures in the heavens and on earth; [and] every day He
manifests Himself in yet another [wondrous] way.” A good example of good theology and cosmology is the
works by scientists as P.Davies, Ervin Laszlo and process theologians as Cobb, Griffith, Kung, Heschel,
Whitehead, Shahrur, Parwez, Iqbal, Mashriqi, Wadud etc.
19
--+- ª-' .´ · -·-- »·-· .-»· -- .´' '---- --´'' =-'= '-'·-· -`·» '= '--+- =- '--=· »+---' .- »+-'= '
.--'--'' .·--· ª-=··
.··´-- »´'·' »´=·- ·-''· ·´--''· -'-=-'' .= +--· -·-'' .- .'--'· .-=`'· .-·''- ·-'- - .'
For, a period, We shall raise from every community a leading witness (shaheedan)
against them from among themselves. And We shall call you (O Prophet!) to testify
regarding those whom your message has reached. The Book [revelation] We have
revealed to you explains everything (tibyanan likulli shayin); a Guide (wahudan) and
means of development (rahmatan) and the glad tiding for all those who have given over
to peace and wholeness (al-Muslimeen). God commands justice (al-3dl), creating
goodness in the society (ihsani), and giving to relatives. And He forbids all indecent
deeds (al-Fahshai), and immorality (al-Munkar) and oppression (al-Baghyi). He instructs
you (again) so that you may take it to heart.
Verses 3:110 and 3:114 show that we must work together with all people in forming ethical
values of universal rational morality (maruf) and immorality (munkar):
Al-Muminoon are told to:
3:110
·´--'' .= .·+--· -···-''- .··-'-
You shall enjoin recognized norms (tamuruna bi-l-Maruf) and discourage the immoral
wrongs (tanhawna ani al-Munkar).
And the Ahli al-Kitab, people of other religions, are also doing the same:
3:114
.·+--· -···-''- .··-'-· -·-='' · .·=·--· ·´--'' .=
And they promote recognized norms (yamuruna bi-l-Maruf) and deter from immoral
wrongs (yanhawna ani al-Munkar). And they hasten in goodness (al-Khariyat).
Thus al-Islam symbolizes the cooperation between all people on earth, who adhere to the
above mentioned principles, in creating an ethical just society (al-Maruf and al-3dl) and peace
and welfare (al-Salam).
As prof. Abdulaziz Sachedina beautifully explains:
“In other words, the unity of the path is at the level of universal guidance, that which is imprinted
upon human beings by God, by virtue of which they are all one nation. At the same time, diversity
exists at the level of the specific guidance proclaimed by the prophets.”
88
“In other words, the claim to be the best community ‘ever brought forth to human beings’ could be
sustained only if Islamic revelation could provide an inclusive religious doctrine that would
institutionalize the divinely ordained diversity of faiths. To create a just society in which peoples of
different religions would coexist in peace and harmony was the responsibility of the best
community.”
89
“The importance given to the moral duty to command good and forbid evil in verse K3:110 indicates
the way the Koran conceived of ethics as the basis for interreligious cooperation.”
90
88
Page 94, The Islamic Roots of Democratic Pluralism by Abdulaziz Sachedina (2001).
89
Page 136, Ibid.
90
Page 137, Ibid.
20
Allama Mashriqi, one of the greatest Islamic scholars, also explained this in a 1954 lecture:
“The law of the Quran in the capacity of Divine Message to Mankind is perfectly universal and
applicable to all nations. It knows no racial, geographical or religious bounds as it applies to the whole
of Human species. How do Human nations rise to power and through what delinquency in their efforts
they fall and are wiped out of the face of the earth–this as a matter of fact is the essence of a part of the
whole teaching of the Quran. “Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian rather he was a downright
acceptor of commands: (hanifan Musliman) (3:67) Shows that the Quran does not accept the theory of
Prophets having come down on earth for the purpose of instituting ‘religions’ or sects, nor did they
come to divide man. “Human beings are one people” and “for this very purpose, God created them.”
(wa li zalika khalaqahum) (11:119) Show that the intention of nature is to make Man develop as One
Nation, in fact develop in exactly the same way as millions of other species of lower beings have
evolved into higher beings.”
91
If al-Islam is the title of the universal ethical way of life that is shared by people who do not
have to believe in the Qur’an being from God, but do agree on its presented values and goals,
and thus are not direct rejecters of its mission (i.e. al-Kafirun), then how are the people who
do believe in the Qur’an called? Although traditional Islamic thought have acknowledged a
difference between the two terms al-Islam and al-Iman, these were still understood in an
exclusive dogmatic religious framework. But as shown, the Qur’an approach the first of these
two as inclusive and universal (pluralistic universalism), whereby people can hold on to their
own religious background and accept the universal ethics of al-Islam, while not accepting
other religions; and I will show how the second is also inclusive, but on a higher universal
level as it involves accepting the truthful origins of all religions, the universal ethics of al-
Islam, and the specified ethics of al-Iman
92
.
In verse 33:35
93
there is a difference made between al-Muslimun and al-Muminoon, in 49:14
94
we see how al-Islam (aslamna) precedes al-Iman (right after the universalistic verse 49:13),
showing Al-Iman is a higher stage of al-Islam, but not a separate field or framework. As
explained earlier in fn 59, .-`' al-Iman comes from the root amina, meaning to trust, to
create security, to be or feel safe from harm and fear
95
. Scholar Amin A. Islahi says it means
to accept as it is the opposite of Kufr, to reject and deny
96
. Depending on the context it refers
to trust or to be convinced about something (i.e. God, the future etc.), but most verses
containing a variant of the root used for the interaction between humans refer to creating
peace and safety between the people, which is closer to the original root meaning:
14:35
91
Page 227, Man’s Destiny by Allama Mashriqi
92
See for detailed explanations: Chapter 1, The Qur’an, Morality and Critical Reason; The Essential Muhammad
Shahrur by Andreas Christmann and Muhammad Shahrur (2009) and pages 442-443, Quran: a Reformist
translation by dr.Edip Yuksel (2008). The Islamic Roots of Democratic Pluralism by Abdulaziz Sachedina
(2001).
93
33:35 Surely, the peacefully men (al-Muslimun), and the peacefully women (al-Muslimati), the peacekeeping
men (al-Muminoon), and the peacekeeping women (al-Muminati)..”
94
49:14 The Arab nomads said, "We are convinced trustworthy peacekeepers (amanna)." Say, "You have no
conviction (lam tuminoo); what you should say is, `We have accepted peace (aslamna),' until the conviction (al-
Iman) is established in your hearts." If you obey God and His messenger, He will not put any of your works to
waste. God is Protecting (Ghafoor), Providing further development (Rahim).”
95
Page 29, A Concise Dictionary of Koranic Arabic by Professor Arne Ambros (2004): To be or feel safe, to be
safe and secure, not to fear, to trust, to entrust.
96
Page 109, Volume 1, Tadabbur-e-Qur’an by Amin Ahsan Islahi (2008).
21
»'--`' --·- .' --· ---='· '--'- -'-'' '-» .·=' -· »-»·-' .'· -'·
Recall that Abraham said, "My Lord! Make this a peaceful/safe land/place (aminan) and
protect me and my children from worshiping idols in any form."
28:31
--'-.' .- =-' -=- `· .-·' -·-- .-
"O Moses! Draw near, and fear not, you are of the people who are secure from harm (al-
Amineena)."
34:18
.---'- '-'-'· ''-' '+-· '··--
"Travel in them by night and day in complete security (amineena)."
6:81-82
-´·-' »´-' .··'=- `· »-´·-' '- -'=' --´· .·-'·- »--´ .' .-`'- ·=' .---·-'' .'· '-='- »´-'= ª- .·-- »' '- -'- »
.·--+- »»· .-`' »+' =-'·' »'=- »+---' '·--'- »'· '·--'- .--''
"How can I possibly fear (akhafu) what you hold on too (ashraktum); yet you do not fear
that you have associated other things (ashraktum) with God, for which He has not sent
down to you any authority. So which of our two groups has more right (ahaqqu) of
security/peace (bil-Amni) if you know?" Those who are entrusted with maintaining peace
and have trust [in God] (allathee amanu) and and have not obscured their trust
(imanahum) with enervating behaviour (ithm), for them is inner peace and security (al-
Amnu). They are rightly guided (muhtadoona).
Normally is verb form IV of the root amanu understood as to believe, but as prof.Ambros
points out, this religious understanding of the word is a development from outside the Arabic
language
97
. Just as al-Islam, is al-Iman a verbal noun in form IV, and thus refers to the
performing of the root represented in a noun. Al-Iman can be understood as the giving of
security and safety, or The trust of creating security for others. We see a good example in the
below verse where form IV of the root clearly means to protect or make secure as the context
doesn’t allow any other option:
106:4
-·= .- »+--'-· -·= .- »+-·=' .-''
The One who fed them from hunger (ju3an), and protected them (amanahum) from fear
(khauf).
In verse 59:23, God describes Himself as .-·-'' al-Mumin, which is also form IV of the root
amanu. As God cannot be called ‘the believer’, several translations correctly render it as ‘the
Granter of security’, ‘the Giver of peace’ or ‘the Giver of security’
98
. Prof.Ambros
understands it as one giving security or someone rendering something safe
99
. It is also
97
Page 29, A Concise Dictionary of Koranic Arabic by Professor Arne Ambros (2004): Whereas most
derivatives of the root '-m-n are genuinely Arabic (to be and create safety), the technical religious meaning of
'believing' appears to have developed under the influence of Aramaic and/or Ethiopic.
98
Tafsir Jalalayn (1500) gives: ‘The Securer’, trans. Feras Hamza, Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic
Thought. Tafsir Ibn Abbas (850) gives: ‘His created being are safe from increase of His punishment for that
which is decreed upon them due to their own deeds, His created brings are safe from His transgression; it is also
said that this means: His friends are safe from His torment; it is also said that this means: He is Trustworthy
regarding the deeds of slaves and Trustworthy regarding what He can do to His created beings.‘ trans. Mokrane
Guezzou, Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought.
99
Page 29, A Concise Dictionary of Koranic Arabic by Professor Arne Ambros (2004).
22
interesting that the attribute preceding it is »'-'' al-Salamu, the Source of Peace, and the one
coming after it is .--+-'' al-Muhayminu, the Guardian over all.
Parwez explains God is called al-Mumin ‘as He is responsible for the safety, security of the entire
universe. And therefore, Mumin is also a person who ensures peace and security in the world by acting
and enforcing the laws given by God. [..] is one who accepts the truth and acts in such a way that it
ensures his own peace and helps him to safeguard the peace and security of the rest of mankind.’
100
59:23
.·´·-- '-= - .=-- ·-´--'' ·'-='' ·-··'' .--+-'' .-·-'' »'-'' .·--'' ='-'' ·» `' ª'' ` .-'' - ·»
He is God; there is no god besides Him. The True Controller (al-Malik), the Impeccable
(al-Qadus), the Source of all peace (al-Salamu), the Giver of security (al-Mumin), the
Watcher over all things (al-Muhayminu), the Exalted (al-Aziz), the Compeller over his
creation (al-Jabaar), the Supreme (al-Mutkabir). Glorious is God, far above what they
ascribe to Him.
Al-Zubaidi mentions in his famous Arabic lexicon that: ‘A Mumin is one who stands guarantee
for peace, upon whom one can depend, rely and then rest at peace. One who guarantees international
peace.’
101
In the Qur'an, the term ·-´ kafara became the opposite of .-' amina. Izutsu in his famous
semantic works, discusses how the termkafara, to be ungrateful, was the opposite of shakara,
to be grateful, but in the Qur'an it was given a new meaning by becoming the opposite of
amina. While he retains the traditional meanings in his semantic discussion, his observation is
very significant as it shows the intention the Qur'an tries to explain to mankind
102
. Amina, as
said above, means to be secure and give security to other people. This means life is important
as it deserves protection. Kafara means to be ungrateful and to cover/conceal or bury
something, and when put opposite of amina, it means to be ungrateful of life and thus wanting
to destroy it. This is why people opposing the Qur’anic values are called .-·-´'' al-Kafirun as
they deny its divine origins and its intended mission of creating peace and welfare among all
of mankind. They want to bury the welfare of others, which is why .--'='' al-alameen, those
that displace and decrease the rights of others, is a common description of al-Kafirun. People
who are not convinced of the Qur’an’s divine origins, but do agree with its intended mission
of peace, truth and progress do not belong to al-Kafirun, only those that are aggressive and
seek constant conflict
103
. They are the direct opposite of al-Muslimun and al-Muminoon,
peace acceptors and peace maintainers. We can see that al-Mushrikeen is not directly on the
level of al-Kafirun, they only become so when using violence, as the Qur’an commands us to
protect them when they ask for asylum. Which shows we must help every person who also
wants peace and safety:
9:6
.·-'·- ` »·· »+-'- ='- ª--'- ª·'-' »` - »'´ ·--- -= -·='· =·'=--' .-´·--'' .- -=' .'·
If any of those who are stuck in their traditions (al-Mushrikeen) seeks your protection
(istajaraka), then you may protect him (ajir’hu) so that he may hear the words of God,
100
Page 26-27, Volume 1, , Exposition of the Holy Qur’an by G.A.Parwez (1990).
101
.···'' -'-(Taj al-Arus) by Husaini al-Zubaidi (1780). Page 25, Volume 1, , Exposition of the Holy Qur’an by
G.A.Parwez (1990).
102
Page 30-33, God and Man in the Koran by T.Izutsu (1963). The structure of Ethical terms in the Quran by
T.Izutsu (1960).
103
See verses 8:15-16, 47:4 etc.
23
and then send him to a place where he feels safe and secure (mamanahu). This is because
they are a people who do not understand [reality] (ya3lamuna).
This verse also directly shows that the concept of a ‘total’ war on the world is absurd, as some
people have understood to be the message of verse 9:5
104
, but as the majority on earth wants
to feel safe and live in peace and are not aggressors, no all-out conflict must ever be sought.
Verse 9:1 clearly shows that these particular al-Mushrikeen had made a peace treaty with
Prophet Muhammad, but violated it, thus becoming al-Kafirun. The other mushrikeen who
hold on to their peace treaty are to be respected:
9:4
.----'' -=- - .' »+--- '' »»-+= »+-'' '·--'· '-=' »´-'= '··+=- »'· '-- »´·---- »' »` .-´·--'' .- »--+= .--'' `'
Except those stuck in their beliefs (al-Mushrikeen) with whom you made a peace treaty
(3hadtum), then they have not failed you in anything and have not supported any one
against you, so fulfil to them their treaty to their term; surely Allah loves those who are
careful of their duty/righteous (al-Mutiqeen).
This is what it means to be muminun, protectors and maintainers of peace and security. The
al-Muminoon are also told to immediately accept a peace offer by al-Kafirun when they give
it, as the objective is to always strive for peace
105
:
8:61
»-'·'' ·---'' ·» ª-' - '= .´·-· '+' --='· »'-'' '·=-= .'·
When they incline to Peace (al-Salm), you shall incline to it, and trust in God. He is the
Hearer, the Knower.
Chapter 109 is directly addressed to al-Kafiroon, where they are told that they serve (3bidun)
different interests and that they have their own obligations and morality (din) and al-
Muslimun and al-Kafirun must leave each other alone. Chapter 109 can be then understood as
a declaration of a peace treaty. Historical records say it could have been revealed in the
Meccan or Medinan period, the first is the prosecution period in Mecca, and the second the
resistance period in Medina
106
.
The understanding of .---·-''al-Muminoon, as the people entrusted with maintaining peace,
comes forth beautifully in this verse:
49:9-10
- ·-' '' --- -= ·-- -'' '·'--· .·=`' '= '-+--=' -·- .'· '-+--- '·='-'· '·'--·' .---·-'' .- .'---'= .'·
- '-+--- '·='-'· --'· .'· .-=---'' -=- - .' '·=-·'· .-·''
.·-=·- »´'·' - '·--'· »´-·=' .-- '·='-'· -·=' .·--·-'' '--'
If two parties of those entrusted with maintaining peace (al-Muminoon) battle with each
other, you shall make peace (aslihu)
62
between them; but if one of them aggresses against
the other, then you shall fight the one aggressing until it complies with God's command.
Once it complies, then you shall make peace (aslihu) between the two groups with justice
(3dl), and be equitable (aqsitu); for God loves those who are equitable. Those who
104
9:5 So when the restricted months have passed, then you may kill al-Mushrikeen wherever you find them,
take them, surround them, and stand against them at every point. If they repent, establish al-Salat, and contribute
towards betterment (al-Zakat), then you shall leave them alone. God is Protector, Provider of development.”
105
See also verse 4:90-94.
106
Page 581-585, Volume 12, Towards Understanding the Qur'an by Maudoodi (2002).
24
entrusted with maintaining peace (al-Muminoona) are but brothers (ikhwatun); so make
peace (aslihu) between your brothers, and be aware of God, that you may receive
development (turhamuna).
The Muminun have several extra duties and requirements, next to those mentioned already
under al-Islam.
2:208
.--- ·-= »´' ª-' .=--'' -·== '··--- `· ª·'´ »'-'' · '·'=-' '·--'- .--'' '+-'-
O you who are convinced and entrusted with maintaining peace (alatheen amanu), enter
in the Peace (al-Silm) completely (kaffatan), and do not follow the footsteps of the devil.
He is to you a clear enemy.
3:102
.·-'-- »--'· `' .-·-- `· ª-'-- ·= - '·--' '·--'- .--'' '+-'-
O you who are convinced and are entrusted with maintaining peace (alatheen amanu), be
aware of God as He deserves awareness, and do not die except as ones who have given to
peace (muslimun).
2:177
-'-· .---''· --´''· ª´-'-''· ·='-.' »·-''· -'- .-'- .- ·-'' .´'· -··-''· ··--'' .-· »´»·=· '·'·- .' ·-'' .-'
''· -·-'' .·- ª-= '= .'-'' .···-''· -·´·'' -'-· -·'-'' »'·'· -'··'' ·· .-'-'-''· .---'' .-'· .-´--''· ---
.·---'' »» =-'·'· '··-- .--'' =-'·' .'-'' .-=· -'·-''· -'-'-'' · .-·--''· '·-+= '-' »»-+·-
It is not Righteousness (al-Birr) to turn your faces towards the east and the west, but
Righteousness (al-Birr) is:
One who is convinced of God (amana bi-lahi) and the Future period, and the
universal forces (al-Malaikat), and the Book [all revelations], and the Prophets.
And he gives money out of love to the near relatives, and the orphans, and the
needy and the wayfarer, and those who ask, and to free the necks [slaves, people
in debt] (al-Riqabi).
And he who establishes the Contact/Forward movement (al-Salat), and
contributes towards betterment (al-Zakat);
And those who keep their pledges when they make a pledge,
And those who persevere in the face of good and bad and during persecution.
These are the ones who have been truthful, and they are the righteous (al-
Mutaquna).
The above list show that the extra values upheld by al-Muminoon, we see first that
righteousness must be given to all people, you cannot have a preference for a certain people
(east or west). Then the only two (metaphysical) convictions of al-Islam, to be convinced and
have trust in God and the future in this life and the Hereafter. Then there are new values
added; to have trust in the universal forces that control the cosmic framework, ª´-'-'' al-
Mala’ikat. The word can come from two roots, malaka, to control or posses, or alaka, to
deliver a message
107
. And so these forces convey God’s Will (al-Yasha) and Command (al-
Amr) in the universe, and control existence, thus they can be best understood as natural laws
and directive forces. To be convinced that previous revelations have been sent to people all
over earth throughout the ages through Prophets. This value makes al-Mumin to be the
acceptor of the truthful origins of all religions, and makes it our duty to research them all. Al-
107
.···'' -'-(Taj al-Arus) by Husaini al-Zubaidi (1780). Page 43, Volume 1, , Exposition of the Holy Qur’an by
G.A.Parwez (1990).
25
Muslimun accept shared ethical values, but do not necessarily accept other people’s religious
traditions as having an authentic source, thus making them part of an inclusive pluralistic
value system (al-Islam) while they themselves are not directly inclusive.
al-Mumin respect all religious traditions, as they believe that God has sent messengers to all
nations
108
, and that only a few are mentioned in the Qur’an
109
, so we cannot simply accept one
and reject the other. The Qur’an is appointed as a guardian over all traditions, and so we must
research all religious traditions and discuss with its adherents in the best possible way to
research and disclose the truth:
5:48
=-'= '-= »»-'·»' ·--- `· - .·-' '-- »+--- »´='· ª-'= '---+-· --´'' .- ª--- .-- '-' '·--- ·=''- --´'' =-'' '-'·-'·
· --=· ª-' »´'·=' - -'- ·'· '='+--· ª=·- »´-- '-'·= .´' ·='' .- - '' -·-='' '·----'· »´--'- '- · »´·'--' .´'
.·-'-=- ª-· »--´ '-- »´----· '·--= »´·=·-
And We have sent down to you the Scripture with truth (bi-l-Haqqi), authenticating
(musaddiqan) what is present of the Scripture and superseding it (muhayminan). So judge
between them by what God has sent down, and do not follow their desires from what has
come to you of the truth. For each of you We have made laws (shira’tan), and a structure
(minhajan); and had God willed, He would have made you all one nation (ummatan
wahidatan), but He tests you with what He has given you; so strive to do good (istabiqu
al-Khayrati). To God you will return all of you, and He will inform you regarding that in
which you dispute.
29:46
-=· »´+''· '-+''· »´-'' .·-'· '--'' .·-' .-''- '--'- '·'··· »+-- '·-'= .--'' `' .-=' » -''- `' --´'' .»' '·'-=- `·
.·-'-- ª' .=-·
Do not argue with the People of the scripture [people of other religions] (Ahl al-Kitab)
except in a most kind and best manner. But tell those that misplace [the Truth and thus
the right of other people] (al-alameen), "We are convinced in what has been bestowed
upon us, as well as [the truth in] what has been bestowed upon you. For, our God and
your God is One, and to Him we incline to wholeness (muslimuna)."
Verse 2:177 further discloses the responsibility of al-Mumin to take care of every person in
need, and to free people from slavery, hard labour, extreme debt etc. And then to establish the
two requirements of -·'-'' al-Salat and -·´·'' al-Zakat. The word al-Salat comes from the root
sali, and means -¸- ¸'' .-·' iqbal ila shay, to turn or move towards something
110
, thus
representing a goal which is pursued. Raghib explains Musalli as ‘In a horse race when the
second horse follows the first one (sabiq) so closely that its head always overlaps the first horse’s
body that horse is called Al-Musalli (i.e. the one who follows closely / remains attached)’.
111
108
2:213 The people used to be one nation, then God sent the prophets as bearers of good news and as warners,
and He sent down with them the book with the facts so that they may judge between the people in what they
were disputing. But after receiving the proof, the people disputed in it due to animosity between them. God
guided those who acknowledged with His permission regarding what they disputed in of the truth. God guides
whoever/whomever (He) wishes to a straight path.” See also verses 10:47, 16:36, 16:84 and 35:24.
109
4:164 Messengers of whom We have narrated to you from before, and messengers We have not narrated to
you; and God spoke to Moses directly.”
110
Page 308 and 396, Volume 1, Tadabbur-e-Qur’an by Amin Ahsan Islahi (2008).
111
Page 72-79, Volume 1, Exposition of the Holy Qur’an by G.A. Parwez (1990): “Mosalli is the horse which
comes at second place in a race, and is so close to the first-placed that its ears are touching the other's back
portion. (The first one is called S'abiq.) It, therefore, means to follow the first one very closely. There is a saying
of Ali the fourth caliph, "Sabaqa Rasool-Allah, wa salla Abu-Bakr wa sallasa Omar wa khabatatna fitnatun."
Rasool-Allah went away first, followed by Abu-Bakr and then Omar and thereafter chaos overtook us
(Taj).According to Taj, Salea Wastala means attachment, to remain stuck. From this reference Raghib says that
26
The word has been used differently throughout the Qur’an where it stands for making contact
with God (i.e. prayer, meditation or reflection), for making contact between people, and to
move towards achieving the goals of the Qur’an as creating peace and welfare. A good
example of this is chapter 107 wherein verse 4 mentions al-Musulina stands for people ritual
praying and following their own ego, whereby they do not truly understand the purpose of al-
Salat, as verse 5 says these people have corrupted (sahuna) their Salat. So what should they
have pursued? This is explained in verse 2 and 3, the feeding of the poor and helping the
weak
112
. Thus Salat is explained as pursuing the eradication of poverty and helping people
who live in hard situations as widows and orphans. In verse 4:101-104 it refers to following
the directions of the commander and to subdue the enemy and in 4:43, 5:6, 42:38 and 62:9-10
it can be understood as referring to timed gatherings where the construction and contact
dealings of society is discussed. It is essentially clear that as al-Muminoon we are moving
towards Peace, as this is what the Qur’an guides too.
5:16
»----- =·- '' »+--+-· ª--'- ··-'' '' --'='' .- »+=·=-· »'-'' .-- ª-·-· ·--' .- - ª- .-+-
God guides with it whoever follows His acceptance, to the ways of peace (subula al-
Salam); and He brings them out of the darkness and into the light by His leave; and He
guides them to a Straight Path (siratin mustaqimeen).
Al-Zakat comes from the root zaka, which means it increased/augmented, it throve, grew well,
produced fruit, it was/became pure
113
. Thus referring to increase the welfare in society, this is
done through giving money to the poor, but also by any act that produces fruitful results for
society. Verse 2:177 then orders to hold our oaths and to persevere in all situations, and not
loose our goals of peace and justice, whatever the situation.
As al-Muminoon we must liberate the oppressed:
4:75
»''='' ª-·-'' --» .- '-=·=' '--· .·'·-- .--'' .-'·''· -'--''· .'=·'' .- .--·----''· - .--- · .·'--- ` »´' '-·
'·--- =--' .- '-' .·='· '-'· =--' .- '-' .·='· '+'»'
Why do you not fight in the cause of God, when the oppressed (al-Mustadafina) amongst
the men and women and children say, "Our Developer, bring us out of this town whose
people are oppressors, and grant us from Yourself a supporter, and grant us from
Yourself a victor!"
2:218
-''· '·--'- .--'' .' »-=· ··-= -· - --=· .·=·- =-'·' - .--- · '·-+=· '··='» .-
Those who maintain peace (alatheen amanu), and those who have emigrated and strived
in the cause of God; these are seeking God's means of development (rahmat Allah), and
God is Protecting (ghafour), Providing of further development (raheem).
verse (74/43), "We were not Musalleen," means that they did not follow the Rusul. Accordingly Qurtabi also
writes that Sal'at would mean to remain within the bounds of the Laws of Allah, and Tasleah means to walk
behind a person so closely that there remains no
distance; not to surpass him but remain closely behind.”
112
Ahmed Ali correctly renders al-Salat correctly in this chapter as: ‘It is he who pushes the orphan away, and
does not induce others to feed the needy. Woe to those who pray, but are oblivious of their moral duties.’ Page
554, Al-Qur’an: a contemporary translation by Ahmed Ali (1988).
113
Page 406-407, Volume 3, Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003).
27
This is why al-Islam is considered a natural disposition, while al-Iman will demand things
which goes against natural human disposition, as it demands taking risks and a lot of effort.
There are many different values and works that fall under al-Islam and al-Iman, but I have
only mentioned the most important goals and values to show the universal and peace creating
message of the Qur’an.
The Qur’an thus presents a universal worldview, with the focus on resolving conflicts and
contributing to human welfare. The two main issues that obstruct human progress. Our natural
disposition is also to be peaceful, we rather avoid conflict. One of the main conclusions of
prof.Fry’s study, but we are deluding ourselves today to believe we are a war-loving creature.
This is a dangerous illusion we must remove from human thought. But war is always possible,
so it is important we have conflict managing methods. Next to learning to understand each
other
114
, must we also discuss our issues together and work together. Modern organisations as
the European Union and the United Nations are important efforts in the right direction. The
Qur’an gives this example of coming together and resolving issues in the form of -='' al-Hajj.
The word comes fromhajja, which means to aim at something, to intend a certain target, to
overcome another through argumentation or testimonies
115
. Its main use in the Qur’an is
argumentation
116
. In classic Arabia, these gatherings were used for solving conflicts and
enhancing relationships next to traditional rituals. This is also why fighting is forbidden
during the months of gathering
117
. As al-Hajj is a duty for all of mankind, as we then take the
stand (actions) (maqamu Ibrihima) as Abraham which will create safety (aminan) for all of
us:
3:97
.= -= - .'· ·-´ .-· `--- ª-'' -'=--' .- ---'' -= .'-'' '= -· '--'- .'´ ª'=- .-· »-»·-' »'-- ---- --'- ª-·
.--'·''
Therein are clear messages how Abraham once took his stand (maqamu Ibrihima)
[against all injustice]. Those who enter it [the Gathering, al-Hajj, or the pursuit of Peace,
al-Islam] will have Peace and Security (aminan). So, for God, it is a duty upon all of
mankind (al-Naasi) to join the Convention at this Meeting Point (hijjual al-Bayti) who
have a way (sabilan) to undertake the visit. One who denies (kafara) [the pursuit of
peace] certainly, God is independent and free of need (ghaniyyun) of the creation (al-
3lamina).
It is a duty for mankind to gather, and discuss our conflicts and problems so we can find a
solution. One of the usages of hajja is -·==- mahjuj which means a cure or treatment of a
wound
118
. Thus al-Hajj is a Qur’anic method of conflict management, it being a gathering of
all mankind to probe their issues and discuss how they can solve them
119
.
114
Verse 49:13.
115
Page 113-114, Dictionary of the Holy Qur’an by Abdul Mannar Omar (2006). Page 149-151, Volume 2,
Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003).
116
see: 2:76, 139, 258; 3:20, 65-66
117
Verses 2:219, 9:5 and 9:36.
118
Page 151, Volume 2, Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003).
119
For universal non-dogmatic understandings of verses concerned with al-Hajj, I recommend QXP: The Quran
as It Explains Itself by Dr.Shabbir Ahmed (2006).
28
As prof.Baljon mentions: “An advantage Ahmad Al-Din wants to ascribe to it (al-Hajj), is that such
an annual international conference ought to be of avail for prevention of wars.”
120
Parwez expresses the same view: ‘The invitation to the House of Allah is extended to all men. By
participating in this universal gathering, men become aware of their common interests, aims and
ideals. It is not a "religious gathering." People who go there are expected to deliberate on all the
problems that confront mankind and seek solution in such a way that the path of progress is opened to
man. It is incumbent on all who participate in this gathering of men interest and dedicated to the
service of man, to put away all narrow interests and think only of the good of humanity.’
121
The Qur’anic worldview is one where we can all work together on a democratic, universal
pluralistic, and ethical world society
122
, whereby we promote and manage peace, take care of
the people in need through a welfare system, promote universal values, understand each
others traditions and discuss metaphysical and scientific issues in quest for the truth.
As said before, verses 3:110 and 3:114 show that we must work together with all people in
forming ethical values of universal rational morality (maruf) and immorality (munkar). And
42:38-43 and 4:58 demands we as mankind must use a democratic system to handle our
affairs on all levels and hand the responsibility of protecting our rights over to people who are
worth it (4:58). The potential of the Qur’an as a universal guide towards peace and progress
can thus manifest itself more clearly. It unites mankind in purpose and direction, while
respecting their differences.
Through this, we can truly become a united mankind again, respecting and honouring our
differences, standing up against injustice and working for welfare and peace for all humans..
And thankfully, I can see the beginnings of this horizon appearing on earth. We are called to
the Abode of Peace (Dar al-Salam), it is time to listen.
10:25
»----- =·- '' -'-- .- .-+-· »'-'' ·'- '' '·=-- -·
God calls to the Abode/State of Peace (Dar al-Salam), and leads whomever to the straight
path (sirat mustaqeem).
3:110
-'- ·'· -'- .·--·-· ·´--'' .= .·+--· -···-''- .··-'- .'-'' -=·=' ª-' ·-= »--´ »+-- »+' '·-= .'´' --´'' .»' .
.·---'' »»·`´'· .·--·-''
You are the best of the people (khayra ummatin) that has been raised up for the good of
mankind (al-Naasi). You shall enjoin recognized norms (tamuruna bi-l-Maruf) and
discourage the immoral wrongs (tanhawna ani al-Munkar), since you have conviction in
God. Now if the People of the scripture had attained this kind of trust, it would have
been for their own good. Among them are people truthful people (al-Muminoona), while
most of them continue to drift away (al-Fasiquna).
3:113-115
.·-=-- »»· .-'' -'-'- - --'- .·'-- ª--'· ª-' --´'' .»' .- -'·- '·--'
.-='-'' .- =-'·'· -·-='' · .·=·--· ·´--'' .= .·+--· -···-''- .··-'-· ·='-.' »·-''· -'- .·--·-
.----''- »-'= -· -··-´- .'· ·-= .- '·'·-- '-·
120
Page 80, Modern Muslim Koran Interpretation by Professor J.M.S. Baljon (1968), quoting Khwadja
Ahmad Al-Din in his Bayan li-l Nas, page 326 (1936).
121
Page 270, Islam: A Challenge to Religion by G.A. Parwez (1996).
122
As also promoted by the Global Ethics foundation of Hans Kung: www.weltethos.org
29
They are not all alike. Among the People of the Book [previous religions] are those who
take a firm stand for the right cause (qaimatun), reflect on the revelations of God all
night long and obey it. They acknowledge God and the Future period (yawmi al-Akhira),
promote recognized norms (yamuruna bi-l-Maruf) and deter from immoral wrongs
(yanhawna ani al-Munkar), and they hasten in goodness (al-Khariyat); these are of the
promoters of peace and justice (al-Saliheena). Any good they do will not go unrewarded.
God is fully aware of the righteous.
16:89-90
.-»· -- .´' '---- --´'' =-'= '-'·-· -`·» '= '--+- =- '--=· »+---' .- »+-'= '--+- ª-' .´ · -·-- »·-·
.--'--'' .·--· ª-=··
.··´-- »´'·' »´=·- ·-''· ·´--''· -'-=-'' .= +--· -·-'' .- .'--'· .-=`'· .-·''- ·-'- - .'
For, a period, We shall raise from every community a leading witness (shaheedan)
against them from among themselves. And We shall call you (O Prophet!) to testify
regarding those whom your message has reached. The Book [revelation] We have
revealed to you explains everything (tibyanan likulli shayin); a Guide (wahudan) and
means of development (rahmatan) and the glad tiding for all those who have given over
to peace and wholeness (al-Muslimeen). God commands justice (al-3dl), creating
goodness in the society (ihsani), and giving to relatives. And He forbids all indecent
deeds (al-Fahshai), and immorality (al-Munkar) and oppression (al-Baghyi). He instructs
you (again) so that you may take it to heart.
5:15-16
'·-·-· --´'' .- .·-=- »--´ '-- '·-`´ »´' .--- '-'·-· »´-'= -· --´'' .»'- .--- --´· ··- - .- »´-'= -· ·-`´ .=
»----- =·- '' »+--+-· ª--'- ··-'' '' --'='' .- »+=·=-· »'-'' .-- ª-·-· ·--' .- - ª- .-+-
People of the book [those from previous religions], Our messenger has come to you to
proclaim for you much of what you were hiding from the book, and to ignore over
much. A light has come to you from God and a clarifying book. God guides with it
whoever follows His acceptance, to the ways of peace (subula al-Salam); and He brings
them out of the darkness and into the light by His leave; and He guides them to a
Straight Path (siratin mustaqimeen).
18:30
`-= .-=' .- ·=' ·--- ` '-' -'=''-'' '·'-=· '·--' .--'' .'
Indeed, those who are entrusted with maintaining peace (amanu) and who's actions keep
and restore the balance [of justice, wellfare, progress and environment] (al-Salihati), We
shall not let go in vain the due reward of the one who's actions improves the state of
others (ahsana).
2:148
·--· -- .´ '= - .' '·--= - »´- -'- '·-·´- '- .-' -·-='' '·----'· '+-'·- ·» ª+=· .´'·
And for everyone there is a direction to which he turns. Then strive together toward all
that is good for all (al-Khirat). Whatever stand you take, God will bring you all together.
Indeed, God is the infinite Potential. (2:148)
84:19
·-= .= '--= .-´·-'
You (Mankind) shall surely embark from stage to stage (tabiqan an tabaqin).
54:17, 22, 32 and 40
30
·´-- .- .+· ·´-'' .'-·-'' '-·-- --'·
And indeed We have made easy (yassarna) the Qur'an for understanding and keeping in
mind (al-Dhikr). So is there anyone who bears this in their mind?
23:61
- '+' »»· -·-='' · .·=·-- =-'·' .·--
It is those who race with one another to improve the quality of life for humanity (al-
Khirat), and it is those who are the forerunners [of mankind].
5:48
='' '·----'· »´--'- '- · »´·'--' .´'· --=· ª-' »´'·=' - -'- ·'· '='+--· ª=·- »´-- '-'·= .´' »´·=·- - '' -·-
.·-'-=- ª-· »--´ '-- »´----· '·--=
For each [community] among you have We have appointed a way of providence [in
conduct.]( Shir'ah) and way of life (minhaj). And if God had so willed, He could surely
have made you all one single community: but [He willed it otherwise] in order to test you
by means of what He has vouchsafed unto, you. So, outdo one another in doing good to
the society. To God you will all return, and He will then make you understand wherein
you differed.
42:38-43
''· .··---- »» ·-'' »+-'-' '-' .--''· .·---- »+-··· '--· »+--- .··- »»·-'· -·'-'' '·-'·'· »+-·' '·-'=--' .--
.- »+-'= '- =-'·'· ª-'= -·- ·---' .-'· .--'='' -=- ` ª-' - '= -·='· -'-'· '-= .-· '+'`- ª--- ª--- '··=·
'' .·-'=- .--'' '= .---'' '--' .--- ='- .' ·-=· ·-- .-'· »-'' -'-= »+' =-'·' ·='' ·-·- .·`' · .··--· .'-
··-`' »·= .-'
They respond to their Maintainer of Evolution (Rabb) by establishing the movement
towards [Peace] (al-Salat), and conduct their affairs by mutual consultation
[Democracy] (Shura), and they keep open for the welfare of others what We have given
them. And whenever gross injustice is inflicted upon them, they defend themselves and
stand up for their rights (yantasiruna). But requiting evil may become an evil in itself!
(sayyi) So, whoever pardons and makes peace (aslaha), his reward rests with God.
Surely, He does not love the violators of human rights (al-Zalimeen). Certainly, those
who stand up for their rights, when injustice befalls them, are not committing any error.
The blame is on those who oppress people and cause disorder on the earth resorting to
aggression, unprovoked. They are the ones for whom there is an painful retribution.
And for he who is patient, perseveres (sabara) and forgives and protects (ghafara) then
that is an indication of strength.
39:18
--'`' '·'·' »» =-'·'· - »+--» .--'' =-'·' ª--=' .··---· .·-'' .··---- .--''
Those who listen to the spoken words [i.e. what is said] (al-Qaul), and follow the best of
its application (ahsanahu), such are the ones whom God has guided, and they are the
ones endowed with insight (ulul-l-Babi).
17:70
»-'- -- '--·´ --'·
Surely, We have conferred dignity (karramna) on the descendants of the human species
(bani adam) [as a birth right, regardless of where the child is born].
2:256
31
--- -· .--'' · -'·´' ` -· '+' »'---' ` -`·'' -···''- =----' --· -'- .-·-· -··=''- ·-´- .-· ·'' .- --·'' .
»-'= ·---
There is no compulsion in the belief and thought system (la ikraha fi al-Din); the proper
way has been made clear from the wrong way. Whoever rejects the transgressors and
unjust rulers (al-Taghut), and trusts on God, has grasped the firm branch that will never
break. God is Hearer, Knower.
4:58
.'´ - .' ª- »´=·- '-·- - .' .-·''- '·-´=- .' .'-'' .-- »--´= '-'· '+'»' '' ---`' '·-·- .' »´·-'- - .' '·---
'·---
God commands you to entrust your matters of Peace and Security (al-Amanat) to those
who are capable, competent and sincere. They shall rule and judge equitably (al-3dl).
Give your trusts to whom they belong. The Enlightenment from God is a blessing for
you. He is Hearer, Seer of all that transpires.
3:159
'-'· ·-`' · »»··'-· »+' ·-·--'· »+-= -='· ='·= .- '·---` -'-'' =-'= '=· --´ ·'· »+' --' - .- ª-=· '--·
.-'´·--'' -=- - .' - '= .´·-· --·=
It is God's mercy that you (O Messenger!) are lenient and compassionate with people.
For, if you were harsh and stern of heart, they would have broken away from you. So,
pardon them, arrange for their security, and consult with them (shawirhum) in matters
of public interest [i.e. use democratic means for ruling]. Then, once you have taken a
decision, put your trust in God. Surely, God loves those who do their best and then trust
in God.
13:11
»·-- - -'·' '-'· »+---'- '- '··-·- -= »·-- '- ·-·- ` - .' - ·-' .- ª-·=-=- ª-'= .-· ª--- .-- .- ---·- ª'
.'· .- ª-·- .- »+' '-· ª' -·- `· '-·-
Each person has [forces] in rotation surrounding him. They guard the person and
record his actions according to the command of God. Most certainly, God does not
change (yughayyiru) the condition of a people until they first change themselves. And
when God intends a people to suffer calamity [as a consequence of their misdeeds], there
is none who can repel it. For, they have no protector besides Him.
32
13:17
.·`' · -´--· .'-'' ·--- '- '-'·
...While what is of benefit (yanfau) to mankind, abides on earth.
41:53
.´ '= ª-' =-·- -´- »'·' ·='' ª-' »+' .---- -= »+---' ·· ·'·'-.' · '---'- »+-·--
--+- --
We will show them Our signs/messages (‘ayatinaa) in the horizons
(al-’afaaqi), and within themselves/beings/lives (anfasikum), until it
becomes clear (yatabayyana) to them that this is the truth/the right
thing (al-Haqqu). Is it not enough that your Developer is witness
over all things?
www.deenresearchcenter.com
33
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=-=-'' (al-Muhit) by Butras Al Bustani (1883).
Muqadimmah; an introduction to history by F.Rosenthal (1967).
The Holy Qur’an with commentary by Muhammad Ali, (1956).
Arabic-English dictionary by Hans Wehr (1994).
,Lughaat Al-Qur’an by G.A.Parwez (1960).
The Qur’an, Morality and Critical Reason; The Essential Muhammad Shahrur by Andreas Christmann
and Muhammad Shahrur (2009).
God and Man in the Koran by T.Izutsu (1963).
Tafsir Al-Mizan by Allamah as-Sayyid Muhammad Husayn at-Tabataba'i, English translation (2006).
Exposition of the Holy Qur’an by G.A.Parwez (1990).
A Word for Word meaning of the Qur'an by Muhammad Mohar Ali (2003).
The Bible, Quran and Science by M.Bucaille (1989).
Phenomena of Nature and the Quran by S.A.Wadud (1971).
Critical Thinkers for Islamic Reform by E.Yuksel, F.Peru, A.Mol (Ed.)(2009).
Quran: a Reformist translation by dr.Edip Yuksel (2008).
The Islamic Roots of Democratic Pluralism by Abdulaziz Sachedina (2001).
Tadabbur-e-Qur’an by Amin Ahsan Islahi (2008).
The structure of Ethical terms in the Quran by T.Izutsu (1960).
Al-Qur’an: a contemporary translation by Ahmed Ali (1988).
QXP: The Quran as It Explains Itself by Dr.Shabbir Ahmed (2006).
Modern Muslim Koran Interpretation by Professor J.M.S. Baljon (1968).
Islam: A Challenge to Religion by G.A. Parwez (1996).
Qur’anic Cosmology: a short introduction by AY Mol (2008).
A Grammar of Akkadian.by Huehnergard (2005).
The Amarana letters by William Moran.
The Quranic Arabic Corpus: http://corpus.quran.com/
The Root List project: http://www.studyquran.co.uk/PRLonline.htm
Quranix: http://www.quranix.net/
Tafsir: www.altafsir.com
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For my wife Assya, my friends Amina, Edip, Aisha, Tariq and for a better world.

2010 © DRC Deen Research Center

www.deenresearchcenter.com

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1400 years ago a message was delivered to mankind. The message claimed to come from a divine source, and by its simple, social, liberating and justice creative potential, it soon spread all over the world in a speed unprecedented in the history of the human race, that cannot be simply explained away as conquests through force1. Jerusalem was taken without any force, nor were the rights of Christians and Jews decreased but even increased, Christians from other sects and Jews were allowed in the holy city for the first time since the second century when the Romans had banned them from the city 2. The first rulers of this world community were chosen democratically based on their honesty, humility and moral character, and the decisions were decided democratically (42:38, 3:159, 4:58). These rulers tried to treat everybody under their protection as equals. Khalif Ali ibn Talib, the fourth ruler, told his governors to be righteous towards their brothers in faith and morality (Din), but he asked them to be more even more righteous for their equals in creation (Khulq), meaning every human being, whatever their faith or race3. This behaviour clearly represented the Qur’anic view of democratic pluralistic social politics (49:13, 3:110-115, 5:48, 60:8, 42:38-43). Sadly, soon after new rulers came to power who took away the democratic elements, and based ruler ship on heritage (absolutist monarchy) which influenced the theological and judicial development of Islam4. Also the Judeo-Christian, Persian and pagan doctrines were dominant among the people under Islamic rule for the first three centuries of Islam. Only in the 10th century did Sunni Islam became the dominant religion in the Islamic empire 5, after it had taken up the dogma’s and doctrines of the other religions and traditions6. And so today we have ended up in a new age, one were we can decide to renew our approach and understanding of the Qur’an, without our mind being constraint by dogma or doctrine. In this modern globalized age we have access to almost all accumulated knowledge of the human race, and have a more realistic look at the universe and its Initiator. The universe has slowly constructed itself up to a point so life could emerge and evolve to the highly intelligent beings we are, and so also has our thinking evolved to higher levels where we can look beyond traditions, myths, races and see that all of mankind have been developing towards our new age of interconnectedness. All civilizations on earth, past and present, created ideas about the divine, and have traditions of interacting with it. Civilizations in the past created dogma’s around their concept of the divine, making it thus not possible to interact with other civilizations except in hostile ways. Today through the studies of comparative religion and anthropology we know that almost all human ideas of the divine are based on wrong understandings of the construct of the universe, but at the same time having concepts of an absolute divinity7. Now we are understanding nature, and now we are moving beyond simplistic understandings of the Divine. To understand the Qur’an being a communication from the divine Absolute, it must adhere to certain requirements, certain standards. It must also confirm to a realistic outlook on nature, and also promote rationality to truly understand
Page 33, Oosterse Dagen, Arabische Nachten (Eastern Days, Arabic Nights) by M.Heirman (2004). Volume 6, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon (1862). 3 Famous quote of Al ibn Ab lib to his governor Malik Al-Ashtar: “Infuse your heart with mercy, love and kindness for your subjects. Be not in face of them a voracious animal, counting them as easy prey, for they are of two kinds:either they are your brothers in religion or your equals in creation.” 4 Page 218, Vol 1, The Venture of Islam by Marshall Hodgson (1974): “The Caliphal state stood now as a more mundane imperial power, no longer directly based on Islam.” 5 Page 67, Defenders of Reason in Islam by R.Martin & M.Woodward (2003). 6 Page 289, The Heritage of Persia by prof. Richard N. Frye (2004): “In a sense Islam had to change before the Persians accepted it, but one might also say that just as Greek civilisation served as a vehicle for Christianity, so did Iranian civilisation for Islam." Page 277-279, Ibid: “The list of Sasanian influences on all phases of Islamic culture and civilisation would be too long to include here.” 7 Page 31-33, Man and his Gods-Encyclopedia of the world’s religions (1971). History of God by K.Armstrong (1993). An Interpration of Religion by John Hick (2004).
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as mankind is diverse. 21:30 etc. 29:20. Dictionary of the Holy Qur’an by A. and so it is clear the Qur’an is still manifesting itself. as Muslims. which is doing the act of yatabayyana. until it becomes clear (yatabayyana) to them that this is the truth/the right thing (al-Haqqu). Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003). valid. Volume 2. 3:190-191. they are mostly repetitions of old horizons. Page 25. 2:62. The Qur’an must be examined so it can truly manifest itself. 11 Page 105-106. Page 241-246. 2:256. 81:23 He (Muhammad) saw it at the clear horizon. suitable. We. correct. And now we are exchanging global human thought and finally learning to really listen to each other. 10 All the translations in this essay made by the author. land beyond eyesight. Is it not enough that your Developer is witness over all things?10 This verse alone suffices to show that the Qur’an demands we as mankind must constantly reflect and in a sense rediscover the Qur’an time after time.M. 13 Page 322-326. 16 Page132-133 (Al-Mufradat fi Gharib al-Quran) by al-Raghib al-Isfahani (1110). is proper. but research its contents (4:82). 15 Page 243. 5:69. manifest. Translation by AY Mol. This verse uses the plural noun al-Afaq. obvious or distinguished13. 14 : (al-Kitab w’al-Qur’an:qira’t maasir) by Muhammad Shahrour (1991).Ambros (2004) mentions that in 41:53 “It probably refers to the whole world”. borders. signs or messages. sound. the horizons clearly stands for the borders and regions of the world. experiences and knowledge of mankind. And this is how the Qur’an presents itself. Volume 2. We have failed to use And it does: 17:36. Page 24. true. Imperfect means it is an act that is not completed yet. the best understandings and applications are slowly being discovered over time and that every age. and within themselves/beings/lives (anfasikum). It is something that is suitable for its purpose. The Qur’an explains: 41:53 We will show them Our signs/messages (‘ayatinaa) in the horizons (al’afaaqi). necessary. A Concise Dictionary of Koranic Arabic by A. farthest parts. to excel or go beyond. to remind us that the Qur’an is still manifesting itself. It is also used in verses 53:7 and 81:23 were it clearly is used for the utmost border of reality and human experience 12. 16:12-18. from the root afaqa meaning a horizon. every generation. And so the ayat. Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003). we must also see if we are truly listening to the Divine. This is the imperfect verb of bayana. 45:3. As in the words of scholar Muhammad Shahrur ‘The form is permanent. as although we have 1400 years of exegesis in multiple forms. to make something clear. Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003). the wide or whole world 11 . the best possible way something can be done. an extremity. 12 53:7 While he (Muhammad) was at the highest horizon. which literally means A door that fits perfectly in its frame so the door can turn round properly15. have failed to comply to this demand. but the content moves’ 14. binding16. Volume 1. every people being a horizon. and thus gives us a visual definition of the word that means something that fits the situation. their understanding of the divine Being is diverse and so the Qur’an must be universal in accepting and respecting these different developments9. but it explains we must also not accept it on face value. the Arabic text is fixed but the reader. In 41:53. is always different. Volume 1. 9 8 4 . And it is: 49:13. and the world of the reader. will be a manifestation that the Qur’an is alHaqq. utmost level or degree. Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003). just.nature8. 11:115-117 etc.Omar (2006). Page132 (Al-Mufradat fi Gharib al-Quran) by al-Raghib al-Isfahani (1110) says: The best fitting and the best adapted socket for the door in having a right rotation.

preventing physical aggression. We Muslims have made the Qur’an fixed in meaning and potential. and concluded that their conclusions were based on wrong statistics and reductionary conclusions. a paradise is awaiting us. label us as a blood spilling creature. The research already presumed man to be violent and thus made the conclusions fit the preconceived notion. We live in a time in a time of an unprecedented horizon. And for the last 200 years. and this is also the only occurrence of an accusation against Muslims by the Prophet himself in the future tense. In Page 514 (Al-Mufradat fi Gharib al-Quran) by al-Raghib al-Isfahani (1110). "O My Sustainer! These are my people. and ([t also means] alZamaami/bridle/tie up a camel. For as long as writing has existed. Man is a war-loving creature. Anthropology is the study of human cultures. making them to leave it behind. the ones who had disabled this Qur'an making it immobile in potential and thus of no account. He explains: “Although war and other types of violence may be very noticeable. a close examination of crosscultural data reveals that people usually deal with conflict without violence. And [it also means] make upon it al-Aqal/a cord used for hobbling the feet of camels. the universal forces. But prof. 17 5 . war has been its main subject. riots. Thus saying that God knows the true potential of mankind that is not obvious to everyone. 18 25:30 And the messenger will say. especially to people who have become accustomed to Hollywood films and daily newscasts stuffed with images of murders. and thus making the Qur’an mahjooran (25:30). professor of Anthropology in Denmark.Amina Wadud. His own anthropological experience with tribes and global human culture created a completely different conclusion. […] The suggestion that peacefulness and the nonviolent handling of conflict predominate in human affairs might seem to be contradicted by daily observations. […] In other words.our current horizons in the manifestation of the Qur’an. sharing of resources and knowledge is bearing beautiful fruits.’17 To put it simple. See also (Taj al-Arus) by Husaini al-Zubaidi (1780). Humans have a solid capacity for getting along with each other peacefully. a time of globalization and technology that has dragged evil to new heights. and restoring peace following aggression. This will be the biggest accusation and complaint of the Prophet Muhammad against mankind (25:30)18. so it can’t move together with the development of mankind. And when we can overcome the evils.Fry re-examined the previous studies. archaeology and anthropology has confirmed this as an always present part of humanity. I was their on invitation by prof. and many studies on ancient human cultures have confirmed the concept of humans being aggressive. and we spend 2 days discussing his theories19. translation made by AY Mol. unrealistic violent picture of the world." 19 At the ‘Understanding Conflicts’ conference at Arhus university. The Arabic lexicon writer Raghib says it literally means: ‘al-Hijaar is a hablun/rope tightened on a male camel so it becomes a reason to hijraanihi/leave it behind/abandon al-Ibila/the tied up one. The Qur’an mentions this in the story of creation (2:30) whereby the al-Mala’ikat. violence-saturated programming can contribute to a false. A global awakening is occurring where self-determination. I have knowledge of what you do not have knowledge of”. limiting the scope and spread of violence. but also the goodness and potential of mankind. In 2008 I had the pleasure of meeting Douglas Fry. a mahjooran is a thing that is tied up/made immobile so it can be left behind or controlled. rapes. But God replied to their accusation: “Verily. freedom. And a male camel is mahjooran/a left behind thing after being tied up. and wars.

The Qur’an vividly confirms this: 10:19 All Mankind (al-Naas) were but one community (al-Ummat wahidat). Volume 13. Emphasis mine 24 Page 365. historical records also only mention war so frequently as these were the turning points in their society.”20 Just as the daily news only show the exceptions of global daily life. there is negligible evidence for any kind of warfare anywhere in the world before about 10. resonate with God’s words. the belief that ‘there always has been war’ does not correspond with the archaeological facts of the matter. violence the shocking exception. then they differed. Page 58. […] that ‘during the hunter-gatherer stage of cultural evolution. and so I started to reflect on this possible new horizon. […] In actuality. without even witnessing any physical aggression with their own eyes among the hundreds of thousands of people they encounter. but can also refer to an always present state of the subject. “23 His ideas (which are shared by several other scientists). Ibid. 23 Page 63. The verb kana is the perfect form of ‘to be’. The overwhelming majority of humanity spends an average day without inflicting any physical aggression.000 years ago.000BC) and Jericho (8. According to Fry’s conclusion. And these turning points did not happen often or were exaggerated over time. Humans from their very early beginning have lived in peace for hundreds of thousands of years. and these are still unclear if these finds really represent a war-like scenario. who lived in large groups and territories with other culturally and ethnically different groups peacefully for more than a thousand years 21. and war becomes more common with the rise of the state several millennia later. one can travel from continent to continent and personally observe hundreds of thousands of humans interacting non-violently. and its perfect tense doesn’t only refer to the past. Here kana refers to always present state of God’s attribute of allowing people to return to the right behaviour ( Tauabaa). […] Peace is the norm. and thus an evil we impose on ourselves. war is unnatural to mankind. Ibid. “Similarly. but we never hear about for example the ancient Anasazi. Emphasis mine.actuality. “Archaeologically. the vast majority of people on the planet awake on a typical morning and live through a violence-free day. 22 Page 60.24 A good example of this is for example in the verse: 110:3 He is ever an acceptor of acknowledging wrong behaviour that incites corrective behaviour (tauabaa).000BC). 6 . in all likelihood. not an exception. Fry (2007). and. And this is a more common norm in human history. We know the ancient cultures and their wars as the Greeks. The earliest unambiguous evidence of warfare dates from less than 10. Ibid.000 years ago. Beyond War: The Human Potential for Peace by Douglas P. Egyptians and Romans. which dominated 99 percent of human existence on the planet…lack of archaeological evidence for warfare suggests that it was rare or absent for most of human prehistory.”22 The only old evidences of war are Jebel (10. (Lisan al-Arab) by Ibn Manzur (1311). Thus verse 10:19 and similar verses as 2:213 & 11:118 20 21 Page 21-23.

Civilized. It represents the origins of a tribe or family as for example they say: Huwa min shajartin tayyibatun/He is of a good origin/tribe.] they consulted earlier people of the book (former religions). Adam and Eve are told not to eat from the tree of knowledge. or representing the different opinions people have. male and female]. an introduction to history by F. See also (Taj al-Arus) by Husaini al-Zubaidi (1780) and (al-Muhit) by Butras Al Bustani (1883). dispute. Raghib explains it as not to keep something in its proper place either by increasing or decreasing it or removing it from its proper place or time. Verb ending Huma) changes to the plural (all of you. 30 Page 205-208. a symbol of early mankind. culture and language. the devil31. Shajara probably became to represent a tree or plant. Ibn Khaldun (d.. Intelligent Person. Muqadimmah. Or. the ground is hidden by the foliage. When they wanted to learn something [. Dictionary of the Holy Qur’an by Abdul Mannar Omar (2006): Matter of controversy.Rosenthal (1967). Page 318-319 (Al-Mufradat fi Gharib alQuran) by al-Raghib al-Isfahani (1110). couple. you will become those that displace your goals and equality from its rightful place being of the oppressors ( alameen)30. plant having a trunk. This is why several Arabic lexicon writers say that alama refers to taking away other people’s rights (you misplace them) and by doing so. companion. 27 Page 237. i. individual when consorting with one another. pair. Reside in this existence where you can find everything for your nourishment and development (al-Jannah) 28 and partake the fruit [results] thereof as you please. and its pairing (Azawja)27 [i. group of living things having certain characteristics or circumstances in common. to treat each other as a mother takes care of her children. Brown Man. 29 Page 284. stock or origin of a person. 26 Page 15-17.1406) mentions that the early Muslims had no books or scholarship and desert attitude and illiteracy prevailed among them. but as an archetype. Shajara is the symbol of quarrel. 28 According to Raghib is Jannah : A garden with such extensive growth. and through this explains them. Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003). successor to earlier species (2:30). It can stand for everything mankind creates through their mingling. and thus the Adam story in the Qur’an can never be linked to the Biblical account. mankind. tree.e. But with the grow of the human population and its spread over the different continents.e. and thus become an oppressor. Page 125-129. It clearly represents early mankind as Adam is identified as being Khalif. Its authentic meaning is to misplace something. you put yourself above them (misplace yourself). Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003). or it represents the duality of male and female within mankind. to fight.. 31 The Bible. 7 . Dictionary of the Holy Qur’an by Abdul Mannar Omar (2006):That in which individuals are united. Arabic-English dictionary by Hans Wehr (1994): To develop unrest. This verse combines several very important terms. the story is told very differently as it doesn’t approach Adam as a single individual. Volume 1. to quarrel. Dictionary of the Holy Qur’an by Abdul Mannar Omar (2006): Human skin. our worldviews started to differ and these differences even created the idea that one group is better then the other. but are seduced by the snake. meaning origins. as the roots and branches represent a family tree. But because people always fight over who is of better origins. Thus representing abundance and growth. mother. class of sex. Verb ending 25 The word ummah comes from the root umm. In the Biblical story. This development is described metaphorically in the story of Adam: 2:35 And We told early mankind (Adam )26. Human Race. The Qur’an purposely never mentions ‘Eve’. all of mankind coming from one origins then branching out into different groups.show that mankind are united in their being humans. Person in possession of different powers. makes them mingle. in 4:65 it is used for differences: In their differences between them. Page105-106 (Al-Mufradat fi Gharib al-Quran) by al-Raghib al-Isfahani (1110). and that this indeed made them treat each other as direct family25 in the past. mate. Human being. kind or species. In 2:36 the dual (both of you. chapter Genesis 2:15-3:6. Volume 5. Page 532. But do not go near the dispute of who is of better origins (Al-Shajara)29. In the Qur’an.

was slowly changed into an unnatural way of life of agriculture.” 34 Page 933-934.” 38 32 32:17 And no human being can imagine what blissful delights are kept hidden for them as a reward for what they used to do. and even created the idea that certain ethnicities were better then the other.000 and 10. The archaeological record shows no evidence of war at 12. The term Shajara is normally directly linked to the tree of the Biblical story. the Bible. Such is the abode of those who were righteous.alameen30. Ed. but in Arabic it has a different original meaning of to differ.” 34 Because mankind could not share the resources equally.] hunting-and-gathering subsistence patterns gave way to a new economy based on plant and animal domestication. as we misplaced our share of the resources (took more then we needed) and placed our needs above those from other humans (we misplaced ourselves). whereby the one killed the other because his sacrifice i. It was also used for the origins of a person.000 BP [years ago. and a tree represents the family tree of a tribe or family. Many anthropologists and philosophers of history see this story. mankind was one group earlier but later they began to differ among themselves this is the connotation in verse 2:35 i. 8 . followed by evidence of spreading and intensifying warfare in more recent times. and not a literal place. 36 Genesis 4. qaraba35. where much stress is put on the available resources in one area. unpublished English translation.000 BP and then evidence for sparse war by about 9500 BP. which is also mentioned in the Bible36.” 33 13:35 The allegory of paradise that the righteous have been promised is that rivers flow beneath it. On the Sociology of Islam by Ali Shari’ati (1979). were not accepted. they were all told that their reality (beginning) was the same. therefore. and so this is how Shajara was also used for a tree or a plant with a long stem29. As verse 10:19 explains. which started around 10.A. The term Jannah means an overgrown garden and thus representing abundance and growth. called the Neolithic revolution37. later when man began civilized life then it led to clash of interest between individuals and tribes and this led to differences among them. “In the Near East. Volume 7. Fry (2007).N. actions that brings one closer to other humans and God. Beyond War: The Human Potential for Peace by Douglas P. while the abode of the ingrates is the fire. Page 9899. and exponential potential (32:17) 32 as verse 13:3533 clearly says it is a allegory. Scholar G.Parwez (1960). as the struggle between the hunting and gathering nomadic peoples and the agricultural herder settlers during the Stone Age. 38 Page 56-57.A. This is further expressed by the story of the ‘two sons of mankind (Adam)’. Lughaat Al-Qur’an by G. It represents a state of existence wherein humans can develop and grow24. Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003). The original natural way of life of hunting and gathering which humanoids have done for millions of years. 35 Page 32-37. between 12. do not develop mutual differences: but self interests which teaches every individual to protect his own interests (and is a devilish intellect) led them to selfish interests and thus they became each other’s enemy (see 2:36) as such at this point ‘Shajar’ would mean those mutual differences among human beings which arouse because of pursuing selfish interest.Parwez shows how these two terms (Jannah and Shajara) explain each other: “Man prior to his civilized life used to exist on a few needs only and the food supply was abundant: therefore there was no differences between them. and thus became al. 37 The Food Crisis in Prehistory: Overpopulation and the Origins of Agriculture by M.000 years ago. A tree represents both terms as the branches represent the different opinions and beliefs within mankind.e. and its provisions are continuous as is its shade. we approached this conflict ( taqrabaa hadihi al-Shajarati) and have become oppressors of another.Kum) shows Adam and his pairing (Azawjuka) represent mankind and its duality of male and female. Cohen (1977).e.

that you may understand and know each other (taarafu)41. and We made you into nations (sh3uba)40 and tribes (qabali)33.M. as He wanted to help mankind and guide them through this important and unnatural transition. This shows also the reason for why God started to communicate with certain individuals (sending Revelation wahy. Volume 4. See also page 235-239.Omar says the original root is unclear as several scholars say it comes from anasa.Izutsu (1963). God and Man in the Koran by T. Page 477. or nasiya. As the majority of the Semitic people were nomadic. Page 237238. Page 618-619. their word for people who dwelt in one place because of agriculture or trade and created cities.” 42 Page 313. Page 35-36 and 583. The nation is defined as a body of people who share the same form of social system but who may differ in their ethnic and tribal origins. i. to show favour or be near someone. clan and tribe. Muhammad Shahrur mentions that Sh3ub and Qabal is indicating a level of social organisation that is superior to the institutions of family. Dictionary of the Holy Qur’an by Abdul Mannar Omar (2006). The authentic meaning of anusa is to halt in a place. You are righteous as a people when you protect your own and other people (you are a shield to them). 17:70 And certainly. and favoured them far above most of Our creation. Volume 8. Morality and Critical Reason. to halt in a place. Maintaining peace. And because we have free will: Page 120-121. 40 Page 279-282. from anusa. states. both between individuals and between groups. Surely. Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003): to gather or assemble or unite. save. But as Arabic belongs to the Semitic languages. Thus it became a word for tribe. Ever-aware. which means to be familiar and have a connection. then the diversity of mankind is accepted by God: 49:13 O Mankind (al-Naas)39. It constitutes the purpose of Allah’s creation. We have conferred dignity/honoured (karramna) on the descendants of the human species (bani adam) and carried them over land and sea. As the main consequence of this transition was war and oppression. We are now slowly rediscovering each other through globalization and diplomacy. and peaceful co-existence.Since then. to halt in a place) is the most likely theory. 41 Page 382. Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003). not staying in one place or nation. So you stand on guard to the world and take this as a duty. Volume 8. regard the duty. to forget. preserve. Volume 8. Morality and Critical Reason. We created you from a male and female. acquaintance. Dictionary of the Holy Qur’an by Abdul Mannar Omar (2006): to protect. we as mankind have been in conflict with each other on too many occasions. take as a shield. this must be the subject and goal of divine communication. this is the essence of having taqwa. The Essential Muhammad Shahrur by Andreas Christmann and Muhammad Shahrur (2009). welfare and equality for all humans. The Qur’an. a nomadic worldview as origin (anusa. Ibid: to accept or meet anyone. As all humans are honoured. and you make sure the people of your own nation do not harm others. then this must be the main focus of God’s guidance. the most honorable among you in the sight of God is the most righteous (atqa)42.e. God is Knowledgeable. were called al-Nass. and nations. The Qur’an. A muttaqii is one who guards against evil and against that which harms and injures and is regardful of his duty towards human beings and God. Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003). and slowly becoming one again. be secure. to messengers and prophets). 39 9 . A. The Essential Muhammad Shahrur by Andreas Christmann and Muhammad Shahrur (2009): “ta ‘aruf means mutual understanding. and provided for them sustenance out of the good things of life (al-Tayibati). those that stay in one place. revelation. ward off. guard against evil and calamity.

we believe we as humans already know the purpose of the Qur’anic revelation. the behaviour/custom. And God's law of creation never changes.Parwez (1990): Khalaqal adeema means he measured the leather before cutting in order to make some article. Whoever is ill or traveling. then the same number from different days. Arabic-English dictionary by Hans Wehr (1994). they must reveal the Page 221-223. command49. tafsir Al-Mizan by Allamah asSayyid Muhammad Husayn at-Tabataba'i.” 47 30:30 Therefore. Volume 3. God allowed us to evolve in our own way. true nature. Except whom your Developer has provided means to evolve (rahima)43 upon.11:118-119 And had your Developer so willed. Therefore. Thus using the human concept of revelatory purpose. That is why 35:1 says “He. To measure and form out the thing out of pre-existing matter. This is the perfect behaviour but most people do not know. Thus development is one of our purposes of existence45. and 48 that the Din is al-Islam . The night covers the day.. but having different views doesn’t have to stop us from being united in our humanity.. whereby submission represents an exclusive dogmatic religion with detailed beliefs and rituals. in which the Quran was sent down as a guide to the people and a clarification of the guidance and the criterion. and for that He has created them in stages (khalaqahum)44. and how to approach it. The Qur’an states that al-Din. from huntergatherers to farmers to walking on the moon. We are created with free will as God did not want to control our thoughts (11:118). Page 22. to form or make according to proper measure. devote yourself to the /way of life behaviour turning away from all that is false. but could not truly reveal itself through the religious and political influences and environments that lacked universal ideals. and through this benefit each other. and then He established the authority. but in denial. And here is an horizon that always has been expressed in traditional Islamic thought. is our fitrat47. and so that you may complete the count. Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003). We evolve as a species by unifying our different ideas and creativity. that you may be thankful. Such is the natural aim of God's creation of humans. and glorify God because He has guided you.” 49 65:5 This is Allah's Amr which He has revealed unto you. Mufsarin at-Tabataba'i says it means 'giving and bestowing to fulfill other's need'. English translation (2006). a guide for mankind46. [. the unnatural behaviour of war and extreme conflict must be one of its main subjects.] it means that every time it needs some addition or alteration. The people who understand this are the ones evolving as human beings into something greater. 44 Page 163-164. we are one. As the Qur’an calls itself huddan lil-nass. Now it has true potential and can become clear for us. Page 384. Normally this is understood as meaning ‘submission’ is the only religion. as it bestows everything the foetus needs to develop and grow36. Dictionary of the Holy Qur’an by Abdul Mannar Omar (2006): To measure or proportion a thing.[. Volume 1. those of you who witness the month shall fast therein. But as the universe and the Qur’an are from the same al-Amr.] Khalaqa therefore means to examine/assess something then remove/take away its excessiveness and make it or shape it according to a design and measurement so that it comes out in perfect balance or ratio/proportion and also becomes smooth and levelled. Exposition of the Holy Qur’an by G. 48 3:19 Remember that the Din approved by God is al-Islam. The root rahima refers to providing to the needs so such persons can grow and evolve. Page 41-42. which seeks it 43 10 . Thus verse 10:19 shows us our natural nature and our unnatural behaviour.” 45 84:19 You (Mankind) shall surely embark from stage to stage. keeps on adding something to His creations.A. A womb is called rahim. according to His Will.” 7:54 Your Lord is God who created the heavens and earth in six periods. He could surely have made all mankind (al-Naas) one single community (ummat wahidat): but [mankind has free will] they do not cease in their difference.” 46 2:185 The month of Ramadan. God wants to bring you ease and not to bring you hardship.

and if the Qur’an discusses the shape of the earth. The two verses which are the beginning and the end of the Qur’an shows God is concerned with the development of the whole existence and our existence. whereby it thus refers to the creation which is knowable because of its Creator. Quran and Science by M. and according to classic Arabic lexicons was used for an ostrich egg. Correctly rendered by M.Ali. which resembles the earth very closely50. a professor of the Medina university. 21:104. we know today the earth is ellipsoidal in shape. 6:133. 51:47. 21:33. provider. direct followers of Muhammad. 114:1. introduced Arabic to North-Africa. The Holy Qur’an. Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003): the throwing of a pebble. M. not all scholars agree if the Bismilleh of al-Fatiha is to be counted as the first verse. The person responsible in the house to nourish and provide for the people in the house is called rabb al-dar (for females rabbat al-dar)55. and as it never came under Abbasid and Ottoman control.M. Volume 5. but is a guide how mankind can be part of the cosmic development. In North-African Arabic dialects. 21:30. continually. The verb dahaha comes from dahy which means egg. 87:1-3. Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003): Caretaker. 52 See verses 24:45. 41:11. reposer of properties. The first contact with Sahaba. and shows we are part of the Cosmic evolution. Volume 2. 10:24. 32:7-9. Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003). 2:117. it preserved many original classical Arabic words which were lost in the rest of the Muslim world due to Persian and Aramaic influence. and although addressing different groups within our species. 15:28-29.Ali. 7:69. confirms this. The Qur’an doesn’t present a religion. sustainer. Volume 3. it only does so with the purpose of showing the mistakes of beliefs or behaviour within these groups that stop them from being part of a united mankind. Thus how the Qur’an sees mankind. 50:38. We are the horizons. perfecter. the bringing a thing to a state of completion by degrees. and the universe itself is in constant evolution52. I have confirmed this myself with Moroccan and Tunisian people. Volume 3. 84:19. 29:20. Phenomena of Nature and the Quran by S. must also confirm with reality. 36:40. the verb is still used for egg. 11 . and by the means it is knowable. We see this concept expressed in the first verses of the first and last Surah.Wadud. to Him is the creation (al-Khalqu) and the law (al-Amr). 56 Page 423-427. 51 See The Bible.Bucaille.” 50 Page 23. but the rest of Arabic speaking nations have lost this meaning. 82:6-7. The word al3lameen comes from the root i3lm and refers to anything knowable or distinguishable56. Page 168-173. A Word for Word meaning of the Qur'an by Muhammad Mohar Ali (2003). 27:88. The Qur’an approaches us as a species which evolved on a planet in the universe. then it must confirm this: 79:30 And after that He made the earth egg-shaped (dahaha). 54 Page190-191 (Al-Mufradat fi Gharib al-Quran) by al-Raghib al-Isfahani (1110): Foster a thing in such a manner as to make it attain one condition after another until it reaches its goal of completion. chapters53.A. a mostly historical and cultural-bounded framework. It sees us as one species. 71:14-17. maintainer. For example. And we see this truth with the hundreds of verses that discusses the workings and realities of the universe and nature51. to expand something and make it egg-shaped as an Ostrich-egg.same framework of reality. and the sun and the moon and the stars are all subjected to His law (bi Amrihi). 14:48 etc. page 4. developer. 53 1:1(2). and through us the Qur’an can manifest itself as the truth. The Message of the Qur’an by Muhammad Asad (2003). 41:10. the Lord of the worlds. 23:12. 55 Page 5. note 1a. Glory be to God. 22:5. of the Qur’an: (Rabbi al-3lameen) (Rabbi al-Naass) The word Rabb has the connation of nourishing and developing something until it reaches maturity and perfection54.

This is why the Qur’an rejects exclusivist religious thought. Volume 4. 59 7:70 They said. Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003). a hunter using snares was called Sharakat. peace. to associate things sharing divine power with God. will keep it safe as salama refers to safety. The word means to mix things up. Or like those who split up their Din. each group happy with what it had. you are ensnaring mankind. "Have you come to us to serve God alone and abandon what our fathers had served? Bring us what you promise if you are of the truthful ones!" See also verses 2:170. they are stuck in tradition and custom and do not evolve as a people. It meant to being something or give over something precious to you or to someone else. those that perform 57 Shirk .Izutsu (1963). 61 Page 199.It calls divisions in mankind the behaviour of al-Mushrikeen. 63 A Grammar of Akkadian by Huehnergard (2005). 5:104. But the word is more complex as it was also used for ropes/cords ( hibaalat) used for the ensnaring of birds and animals called sharak. a product. 7:28. There will be no fear over them. 60 4:116 God will not protect against the consequences (yaghfiru) of holding on to traditions (yashraka).” The term ghafara means to protect. correspondence 30:31-32 Turn to Him. the divine into a statue or other created objects. well-being and welfare63. Say. to share. whosoever inclines to peace with his whole being for God (aslama wajhahu lillahi). meaning. It is for example used in the Armana letters. God and Man in the Koran by T. The verb aslama has many applications. Lughaat Al-Qur’an by G. to hold on or to remain stuck.A." This is nothing but their wishful thinking. Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003). to disunite mankind is a form of idolatry (as you believe your group is better then the other). unpublished English translation. Page 57-59. 62 Page 136-141. as it keeps the toes stuck in the sandal58. In pre-Islamic Arabic usage. the idea that only one religion with its specific dogmatism and labels will gain you salvation. as their irrational beliefs and behaviours have trapped themselves. hold the Salat. wholeness and health62. or someone else. 58 Page 265-267. while being a person who improves the state of mankind (muhsinun). Traditionally it is always understood as simply idolatry. Volume 6. This is why this behaviour will be the only one where God will not protect you against its consequences60. The Qur’an shows development is based on a few very rational and universal concepts: 2:111-112 And they claim. This is why the most common excuse of al-Mushrikeen is that they believe and act as their forefathers 59. When we look back at verses 30:31-21. The root word goes as far back as 4000 years ago. It mostly mistranslated as to forgive. and you or that person. be aware of Him. 57 12 . it referred to giving 61 over or to incline to something that makes something safe or pure. Volume 4. and the strap/thong of a sandal was called shiraakun. and you will stop the progress of mankind. nor will they grieve. "Bring your proof if you are truthful. where it was used in the Proto-Semitic Akkadian language for to be unharmed. 10:78 etc. and they became sects. "None will enter Paradise unless he is a Jew or a Christian. and do not be of al-Mushrikeen. This visual definition explains why the word was also used for idolatry.Parwez (1960). But it also refers to the position of these people themselves. Page 894-897. or to act peacefully or safely with yourself." No. trap. as these people try to ensnare. we are told not to become al-Mushrikeen by splitting up in groups that are only pleased with themselves. Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003). 6:148. as a maghfir is a helmet. he will have his reward with his Developer.

There have been many speculations by Qur’anic commentators who they were. As God is beyond need (112:2). and those who follow other religions (al-Sabeen)69. and refers to something or someone possessing and excels in the qualities of being good. Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003). Mumin: one giving security. well balanced. It refers to every person who didn’t fall into the Christian. Volume 3. Page 29. as it represents any religious group on earth that falls outside the Abrahamic religions. Whereas most derivatives of the root '-m-n are genuinely Arabic (to be and create safety). but they couldn’t pinpoint a specific group. we are asked to be a muhsinun. the technical religious meaning of 'believing' appears to have developed under the influence of Aramaic and/or Ethiopic. when those in the heavens and the earth have peacefully surrendered to Him (walahu aslama) voluntarily or by force? To Him they will be returned. Page 318. In verse 2:62. And thus means to change one's religion. The Amarana letters by William Moran. Page 21. Volume 8 and pages 68-69 & 162-165. the Meccan people who rejected Muhammad. Thus aslama wajhahu lillahi means to give over your whole being in the struggle for peace for God (you do not endanger or waste God’s creation). peaceful persons who accept the universal ethics of 2:62 and 6:151-153. Thus they are one step further above al-Muslimun. which renders them acceptable for further evolution even after this life: 2:62 Surely those who maintain peace and trust [the Qur’an as being Divine] (alatheen ‘amanua)68. Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003): He departed from his religion to another religion like a star changes its position. Those that trust and maintain Peace (alatheen amanua). and you keep yourself and your surroundings safe and healthy. 68 Alatheen (those) that do ‘amanua. protect. Volume 4. See also Page 102-103. Page 206-208. which represents a person’s whole being. create safety.between the Ancient Egyptian administration and the surrounding nations 64. Page 252-253. and for wishing each other health and well-being. not to fear. 70 The word yaum refers to a day or any time period.) (2008). 69 Page 364. face. and those who are Jewish. The Qur'an: an encyclopedia by Oliver Leaman (Ed. and they do this out of free will (humans and other intelligent creatures). Jewish or your family’s religion. a person who does hassan. al-Akhirun (the later generations) is the opposite of al-Awwalun (the previous generations). it is clear why. A Concise Dictionary of Koranic Arabic by Professor Arne Ambros (2004). Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003). Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003). those that changed his original religion. and the Nazarenes. and perform deeds that create justice and peace Page 43. 5:6967 and 41:33 we see similar basic requirements. The word akhir means the last in line (like the last link on a chain) or something that comes later. In the letters it was used for describing the gifts sent to each other to maintain the peace. are people who believe in the divine source of the Qur’an. 64 13 . 65 3:83 Is it other than God's system that they desire. and thus also refers to future generations and the future in general of this life and the next. properly ordered and being beneficial and pleasing to others66. From the root amina. The clay tablets were written over a period of 30 years around 1400BCE. The word wajhahu comes from wajooh. 67 Which is almost word for word the same as 2:62. or by force (meaning their instinct controls them) 65. rendering safe. Volume 1. Thus era or period is better rendition. to be safe and secure. In Hadith literature. and God’s Will is peace (10:25) then giving over to God’s Will is giving over to peace. Next to this first requirement. Dictionary of the Holy Qur’an by Abdul Mannar Omar (2006). which makes people be part of the Divine plan. meaning to trust. A Concise Dictionary of Koranic Arabic by Professor Arne Ambros (2004): Amina/ ya'manu: To be or feel safe. When looking at the word. any one of them who acknowledge God (‘amanu billah) and the future period (al-Yaum al-‘akhiri)70. Volume 1. In verse 3:83 we read that all creatures are working to sustain the wholeness of the creation in the service of God. called him as a person to be of the sab’een.” 66 Page 124.

one who is upright. And as mentioned earlier. suitable. a person working with his whole being towards peace and wholeness of God’s creation. To believe in a purpose for existence.” 73 Page 114-115. amendment. and what We inspired to you. 41:33 Who is better in saying than one who invites to God. it is called a natural behaviour. peacemaker. and Jesus: "You shall uphold this custom/way of life (al-Din). He guides to Himself whoever turns [into the right direction]. to believe that we determine our own future. The word fitrat means the 73 original and natural disposition in which mankind was created in . in al-Salam." These verses give the basis for universal shared ideas. And God's law of creation never changes. God chooses to Himself whoever He wills. This universal ethical belief and peace system has always been the same one given to mankind since divine communication began around the agricultural revolution: 42:13 He has decreed for you the same behaviour/way of life (al-Din) He ordained for Noah. a person of integrity. Volume 4. reformation. doing something or working. 72 See for example verse 12:101 where prophet Yousouf (Joseph) says: Cause me to die as a Muslim and join me with the reformers (al-Saliheen). and what We ordained for Abraham. if it entails the above minimum requirements. nor will they grieve. Moses. Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003). To be muslimun always goes together with performing salaha72. in peace and well-being. It doesn’t matter if the person is a Christian. Volume 6. then the person is described as muslimun. The letter Ayn has been rendered by me as the number 3. reformer. and perform deeds that create justice and peace (3milu saliha). and do not divide in it. and then act on those beliefs by creating the peace and balance to create a positive future for all. the letter is a throat sound which has no equal in English. The word salaha means to put things right. and says: "I am one of those who gives over to peace (alMuslimin)54. devote yourself to the right behaviour/way of life (al-Dinu hanifan). with no fear over them. Page 438-439. set things right. And so God teaches us our natural state in which humanoids lived for millions of years. 30:30 Therefore. performing. Jew.(3malu salihan)71. or has any other belief system. Such is the natural aim (fitrat) of God's creation of humans. This is the true way of life (al-Dinu al-Qayyimu) but most people do not know." Intolerable for those stuck in their traditions (al-Mushrikeen) is what you invite them towards. Page 755-756. Arabic-English dictionary by Hans Wehr (1994): 3mala refers to acting. Thus al-Saliheen are people who reform the world by creating peace. 71 14 . righteous. Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003): To make whole sound. they will have their reward with their Developer. correct things that are wrong or out of balance.

but an inclusive universal value system that unites the majority of mankind. To show the universality of the Qur’anic message. is an act of al-Shaytan. then say. 78 Page 471. the right way of life where people turn away from harmful behaviour. "O People of the Book [those of previous revelations]. The combination of al-Dinu hanifan can thus be best understood as the right behaviour and thought system. 79 Page 257-258. 77 Page 294." Say: "No. Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003): Become distant. 80 Page 275-276. The Arabs used it for example for rain that always fell at a particular place76. obligation. debt. Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003): People united by race or language. 75 74 15 .Izutsu (1963). One excessively proud and corrupt. to uphold. The combination of al-Dinu al-Qayyimu can be best understood as the upright way of life or the way of life that upholds the truth or just things. Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003). and was not of those who remained stuck in traditions (al-Mushrikeena). It was used for a habitual state that kept returning. 76 (Lisan al-Arab) by Ibn Manzur (1311). erect or make something straight78. that we do not serve except God. the term hanif is used against exclusive dogmatic beliefs: 2:135 And they say." Page 221. It probably had several original Semitic sources. disposition. incline to or have a right state or tendency . so that it could become a custom. Thus showing that al-Islam is not an exclusive religion. It was used for a deep well (the water far removed) and a long rope (indicating distance). The word al-Qayyimu comes from qama. which means to stand firm. far or remote. "I am better than he. In pre-Islamic Arabic it was used mostly for custom. habit. The word hanif means one 77 who turns away. to proclaim superiority over other humans because they are different. the symbol of everything that is far removed from our true human 80 nature : 38:76 He said. God and Man in the Koran by T. and do not set up anything at all with Him.Izutsu (1963). and thus became an authority which was obeyed. 3:64 Say. religion. creed. Volume 4. Volume 7 and pages 276-277. and that none of us takes each other as lords (arbaban) beside God. Page 220. God and Man in the Koran by T. In verse 9:7 it is used to uphold a treaty: istaqamulakum fa istagimu lahum they uphold [the treaty]." In the Qur’an. "Bear witness that we [at least] have given over to peace and wholeness (muslimun). maintain something." If they turn away. and Arabs for custom75. Volume 8. let us come to a common statement (kalimatin sawain) between us and between you. requital and obedience74. Volume 2. who turned away from all that is false (haneefa). Jews for requital. then you uphold it too. Dictionary of the Holy Qur’an by Abdul Mannar Omar (2006).The word al-Din has several meanings depending on the context. as Persians used it for systematic religion. "Be Jews or Christians to be [rightly] guided. rather the disposition (millat)79 of Abraham.

”81 The Qur’an makes this clear by referring to Abraham’s descendants and Jesus’s followers as al-Muslimun: 2:130-132 Who would abandon the disposition (millat) of Abraham except one who fools himself? We have selected him in this world." 3:52 So when Jesus felt their rejection/opposition (al-Kufr). even though later on he wanted them to join al-Iman. The Qur’an. masters or lords that stand above the other. "We are God's supporters. his followers) are (still) al-Muslimun. accepting [God’s Will] (muslimun). that all are seen as equal in the Divine framework (do not set our religion above others) as we all serve God. he said. no shirk and no idolatry. "Be in non-conflict/at peace [with Me and the world] (aslama)" he said. The Essential Muhammad Shahrur by Andreas Christmann and Muhammad Shahrur (2009). they all rejected rububiyya among themselves. Shahrur comments correctly on the meaning of this verse: “The verse says ‘O People of the Book!’ because Jews and Christians were addressed like this during the time of the Prophet! It also contains the ‘common terms’ shared by them and Muhammad’s followers: worship none but God. "O My children! Indeed. This verse thus shows a universal pluralistic worldview. Morality and Critical Reason. Muhammad) is a prophet and that they (i. welfare and well-being in the world has always been the message God communicated to the messengers. and thus portrays an equality in ethical and metaphysical values. while he allowed them to keep their faith in Allah’s tauhid (unicity).This important verse shows that the Qur’an sees people as al-Muslimun if they accept common terms with each other as stated above. "Who are my supporters (ansaari) towards God?" The disciples said. and in the Hereafter (al-‘akhirat). saying. to show the inclusiveness of the term. where we all can work together for peace and welfare equally. and none sees one another as arbaban.e. It ends with the admission that if they are not happy about this. 81 16 ." To work towards peace. But why did Muhammad want to testify that he and his followers are al-Muslimun? Because he believed that Jews and Christians were themselves Muslims and he saw himself as one of them. he is of the people who reformed the world to peace (al-Saliheen). whatever the person’s religious background.e. Therefore. "I accept/am at peace (aslamtu) to/with the Developer of all Existence (al-Rabbi al-3almeen)" And Abraham enjoined [this] to his children. Shahrur uses ‘Muslim-assenters’ for al-Muslimun. that is. and so did Jacob. they ‘at least’ should bear witness that he (i. let not death overtake you except that you are those inclining to peace and welfare (muslimun). Now we can better understand this most important verse: Page 358. we trust God (amanna bi Allahi) and we bear witness (ishhad) that we are those who work for peace and welfare. When his Developer said to him. God has chosen for you the way of life (al-Din).

4. 85 Page 37-42.]. Raghib explains al-Islam as: The engagement/entering (al-Dukhulu) into (fi) the Peace (al-Silm). Critical Thinkers for Islamic Reform by E.making successful.84 And so any person accepting the terms of 2:62 and 5:69.Ayman Abdullah. Neither kill your children for fear of poverty nor deprive them of proper training and education (la taqlutu awladakum min im’laqin). is the acceptance of Peace (al-Islam).Mol (Ed. An example is yulim informs.Gaafar (2008). Do not go near immodesty or lewdness (la taqrabu al-Fawahisha) whether openly or in secret.3:19 The way of life/obligation (al-Din) with God. salam means peace and islam means peacemaking. let me convey to you what your Developer has made inviolable upon you: 1. is the 82 verb form IV and the verbal noun in form IV is: i3lam information . but now we can understand that al-Islam refers to an obligation and natural behaviour and thought system. Normally this is understood as the only ‘religion’ accepted by God is ‘Islam’.injah: Success . "Come. Page 88. do good to them. Arabic Verbs and Essentials of Grammar by J. thus similarly. (Al-Mufradat fi Gharib al-Quran) by al-Raghib al-Isfahani (1110).Peru. And the above verse makes peace and welfare an obligation for all of mankind. Associate nothing with Him (tushrikoo bihi shayan). Honor your parents. [. then al-Islam is the performing/having of peace and well-being83. Al-Islam is a verbal noun in the Arabic form of If3l (form IV) which refers to the performing of the root meaning described in a noun. The Qur’an. article ‘Introduction to Peacemaking’ by Dr. and the universal ethics discussed below.” Page 166. the Qur’an gives it own commandments. global norms and values shared by almost all beliefsystems: 6:151-153 Say. To be considered righteous (atqa) as mentioned in 49:13. F. So verse 3:85 is understood as: If anyone desires a thought and behaviour system (al-Din) other then the acceptance of Peace (al-Islam). 84 Page 246.Yuksel. is engaging into Peace and thus part of al-Islam.” This same understanding comes forth in 5:3. As the root verb salama means peace and well-being. 83 82 17 . something that is universal for the majority on earth.)(2009). Some examples of those same forms include najah . We provide for you and for them. understanding ‘Islam’ as a label for an exclusive religion. “The words salam and islam have a relation that is a fairly common one in Arabic. A. it will never be accepted from him.. It is found in the forms Fa'3L and If'3L. 2. which Shahrur considers as the Universal Ethics of Al-Islam85. 3. Morality and Critical Reason. fulfil their needs (bi-l-Walidayni ihsanan).Wightwick and M. The Essential Muhammad Shahrur by Andreas Christmann and Muhammad Shahrur (2009). as it refers to accepting and creating peace and wholeness with your whole being.

9. life that God has made inviolable (la taqtulu al-nafsa allati harrama Allahu) . Ervin Laszlo and process theologians as Cobb. 7. and refers to the duty of understanding that Allah is above and beyond existence. Do not approach the wealth (mala) of the orphan (al-Yatimi) except to improve it (ahsanu) until they come of age with full maturity of body and mind (yablugha ashuddahu). but nobody may ever be forced into accepting a view86. Whitehead. and follow not other ways that take you away from His path. The first commandment is the only religious creed of the list. because of the irrational ideas perpetrated by many traditional theologies.except in the course of justice (ila bi-l-Haqqi). Fulfil your covenant (3hdi) with God. to hold to our oaths and agreements. This He commands for you to bear in mind. 6:109.Davies.” A good example of good theology and cosmology is the works by scientists as P. 29:46 etc. The world would be a lot safer and more prosperous if the majority of the people were to uphold these universal ethics and the obligation (al-Din) of peacemaking (al-Islam). And when you voice an opinion. as this the path which keeps mankind erect (sirati mustaqim) and righteous (tattaquna). foods etc. Follow it. God commands you further: 6. 16:89-90 86 See verses 6:104 (Is beyond human perception). as they contradict reality (alHaqq). 2:256 (No compulsion in religion/beliefs/habit). 18 . Mashriqi. and certainly also with all the rest of mankind. We do not assign any 'self' responsibility beyond its means. 8. Wadud etc. This the way we must follow. The second to ninth commands are all ethical values which are shared by all human beings. when we try to understand the universe and its Creator. to be honest in all dealings and moments of life. This He has ordained for you so that you live upright (tattaquna). taking care and protection of the weaker persons among us. Parwez.. Uphold the balance (al-Mizan) with Justice (bi-l-Qisti). We can only truly understand ourselves correctly. Unique in Being) etc. Many people reject religion and faith in a God. which unites mankind in their humanity and positive behaviour. and these are the most honourable with God (49:13). 10. This is my straight path (sirati mustaqiman). to not kill other people. and leads whomever to the straight path (sirat mustaqeem). be just (3dilu). Iqbal. as this framework will explain to us His Manifestation87. 10:99. from simple things as paying for your chewing gum to serious matters as testifying in courts. Heschel.5. [and] every day He manifests Himself in yet another [wondrous] way. Griffith. Give full weight and full measure (awfu al-Kayla) in all your dealings. then. Do not slay a life. to equal sharing of all resources. 87 Asad translation: 55:29 On Him depends all creatures in the heavens and on earth. 112:1-4 (Is the Absolute. We can philosophize and discuss this subject with other people. 10:25 God calls to the Abode/State of Peace (Dar al-Salam). This He has commanded you so that you may use your intelligence and reason (taqiluna). even if it is against a relative. Shahrur. as many people have an irrational and childish view on God which does not confirm with the framework of the universe. Kung. and are thus stuck in unrealistic ideas. and these ethics do not contradict our natural disposition (fitrat).

diversity exists at the level of the specific guidance proclaimed by the prophets. a Guide (wahudan) and means of development (rahmatan) and the glad tiding for all those who have given over to peace and wholeness (al-Muslimeen). And We shall call you (O Prophet!) to testify regarding those whom your message has reached. At the same time. 19 . who adhere to the above mentioned principles. The Islamic Roots of Democratic Pluralism by Abdulaziz Sachedina (2001).”88 “In other words. the unity of the path is at the level of universal guidance.For. And He forbids all indecent deeds (al-Fahshai). the claim to be the best community ‘ever brought forth to human beings’ could be sustained only if Islamic revelation could provide an inclusive religious doctrine that would institutionalize the divinely ordained diversity of faiths. He instructs you (again) so that you may take it to heart.” 90 88 89 Page 94. As prof. Page 136. And they hasten in goodness (al-Khariyat). God commands justice (al-3dl). that which is imprinted upon human beings by God. Ibid. and immorality (al-Munkar) and oppression (al-Baghyi). people of other religions.”89 “The importance given to the moral duty to command good and forbid evil in verse K3:110 indicates the way the Koran conceived of ethics as the basis for interreligious cooperation. are also doing the same: 3:114 And they promote recognized norms (yamuruna bi-l-Maruf) and deter from immoral wrongs (yanhawna ani al-Munkar). To create a just society in which peoples of different religions would coexist in peace and harmony was the responsibility of the best community. and giving to relatives. Thus al-Islam symbolizes the cooperation between all people on earth. And the Ahli al-Kitab. creating goodness in the society (ihsani). The Book [revelation] We have revealed to you explains everything (tibyanan likulli shayin). by virtue of which they are all one nation. a period. 90 Page 137. Abdulaziz Sachedina beautifully explains: “In other words. Verses 3:110 and 3:114 show that we must work together with all people in forming ethical values of universal rational morality (maruf) and immorality (munkar): Al-Muminoon are told to: 3:110 You shall enjoin recognized norms (tamuruna bi-l-Maruf) and discourage the immoral wrongs (tanhawna ani al-Munkar). We shall raise from every community a leading witness (shaheedan) against them from among themselves. Ibid. in creating an ethical just society (al-Maruf and al-3dl) and peace and welfare (al-Salam).

How do Human nations rise to power and through what delinquency in their efforts they fall and are wiped out of the face of the earth–this as a matter of fact is the essence of a part of the whole teaching of the Quran. not to fear. Scholar Amin A. God. 96 Page 109. As explained earlier in fn 59. then how are the people who do believe in the Qur’an called? Although traditional Islamic thought have acknowledged a difference between the two terms al-Islam and al-Iman. It knows no racial. and the peacefully women (al-Muslimati). “Human beings are one people” and “for this very purpose. "We are convinced trustworthy peacekeepers (amanna).). the peacekeeping men (al-Muminoon).”91 If al-Islam is the title of the universal ethical way of life that is shared by people who do not have to believe in the Qur’an being from God. meaning to trust.' until the conviction (alIman) is established in your hearts. 92 91 20 . Islahi says it means to accept as it is the opposite of Kufr. nor did they come to divide man. in fact develop in exactly the same way as millions of other species of lower beings have evolved into higher beings. al-Iman comes from the root amina. `We have accepted peace (aslamna). Quran: a Reformist translation by dr. In verse 33:3593 there is a difference made between al-Muslimun and al-Muminoon.” (wa li zalika khalaqahum) (11:119) Show that the intention of nature is to make Man develop as One Nation. in 49:1494 we see how al-Islam (aslamna) precedes al-Iman (right after the universalistic verse 49:13). which is closer to the original root meaning: 14:35 Page 227. and thus are not direct rejecters of its mission (i. Providing further development (Rahim). Depending on the context it refers to trust or to be convinced about something (i. whereby people can hold on to their own religious background and accept the universal ethics of al-Islam. the future etc. one of the greatest Islamic scholars. The Qur’an. “Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian rather he was a downright acceptor of commands: (hanifan Musliman) (3:67) Shows that the Quran does not accept the theory of Prophets having come down on earth for the purpose of instituting ‘religions’ or sects. but most verses containing a variant of the root used for the interaction between humans refer to creating peace and safety between the people. 93 33:35 Surely. but on a higher universal level as it involves accepting the truthful origins of all religions. The Essential Muhammad Shahrur by Andreas Christmann and Muhammad Shahrur (2009) and pages 442-443. the universal ethics of alIslam. these were still understood in an exclusive dogmatic religious framework. But as shown. A Concise Dictionary of Koranic Arabic by Professor Arne Ambros (2004): To be or feel safe.e. "You have no conviction (lam tuminoo). also explained this in a 1954 lecture: “The law of the Quran in the capacity of Divine Message to Mankind is perfectly universal and applicable to all nations." If you obey God and His messenger. Volume 1. Man’s Destiny by Allama Mashriqi See for detailed explanations: Chapter 1. geographical or religious bounds as it applies to the whole of Human species. but do agree on its presented values and goals. to create security.." Say.” 94 49:14 The Arab nomads said.” 95 Page 29. to trust. to be or feel safe from harm and fear95.Edip Yuksel (2008). to be safe and secure. and the peacekeeping women (al-Muminati).Allama Mashriqi. the Qur’an approach the first of these two as inclusive and universal (pluralistic universalism). the peacefully men (al-Muslimun). God is Protecting (Ghafoor).e. and I will show how the second is also inclusive. The Islamic Roots of Democratic Pluralism by Abdulaziz Sachedina (2001). showing Al-Iman is a higher stage of al-Islam. what you should say is. God created them. to reject and deny96. to entrust. al-Kafirun). while not accepting other religions. Morality and Critical Reason. and the specified ethics of al-Iman92. but not a separate field or framework. He will not put any of your works to waste. Tadabbur-e-Qur’an by Amin Ahsan Islahi (2008).

" 6:81-82 "How can I possibly fear (akhafu) what you hold on too (ashraktum). but as prof. for them is inner peace and security (alAmnu). 98 Tafsir Jalalayn (1500) gives: ‘The Securer’. or The trust of creating security for others. As God cannot be called ‘the believer’. So which of our two groups has more right (ahaqqu) of security/peace (bil-Amni) if you know?" Those who are entrusted with maintaining peace and have trust [in God] (allathee amanu) and and have not obscured their trust (imanahum) with enervating behaviour (ithm). trans. it is also said that this means: His friends are safe from His torment. His created brings are safe from His transgression. ‘the Giver of peace’ or ‘the Giver of security’98. We see a good example in the below verse where form IV of the root clearly means to protect or make secure as the context doesn’t allow any other option: 106:4 The One who fed them from hunger (ju3an).Ambros understands it as one giving security or someone rendering something safe99. Normally is verb form IV of the root amanu understood as to believe. In verse 59:23. the technical religious meaning of 'believing' appears to have developed under the influence of Aramaic and/or Ethiopic. Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought." 28:31 "O Moses! Draw near. and protected them (amanahum) from fear (khauf). Feras Hamza. and fear not. A Concise Dictionary of Koranic Arabic by Professor Arne Ambros (2004): Whereas most derivatives of the root '-m-n are genuinely Arabic (to be and create safety). It is also Page 29. Al-Iman can be understood as the giving of security and safety. They are rightly guided (muhtadoona)." 34:18 "Travel in them by night and day in complete security (amineena). and thus refers to the performing of the root represented in a noun. for which He has not sent down to you any authority. A Concise Dictionary of Koranic Arabic by Professor Arne Ambros (2004). which is also form IV of the root amanu. you are of the people who are secure from harm (alAmineena). Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought. 97 21 .Ambros points out.‘ trans. yet you do not fear that you have associated other things (ashraktum) with God. Mokrane Guezzou. is al-Iman a verbal noun in form IV. it is also said that this means: He is Trustworthy regarding the deeds of slaves and Trustworthy regarding what He can do to His created beings. God describes Himself as al-Mumin. Prof. several translations correctly render it as ‘the Granter of security’. 99 Page 29. Tafsir Ibn Abbas (850) gives: ‘His created being are safe from increase of His punishment for that which is decreed upon them due to their own deeds. this religious understanding of the word is a development from outside the Arabic language97. "My Lord! Make this a peaceful/safe land/place (aminan) and protect me and my children from worshiping idols in any form. Just as al-Islam.Recall that Abraham said.

One who guarantees international peace. upon whom one can depend. as said above. They want to bury the welfare of others. The True Controller (al-Malik). Exposition of the Holy Qur’an by G. the term kafara became the opposite of amina. 102 Page 30-33. peace acceptors and peace maintainers. rely and then rest at peace.’101 In the Qur'an. and when put opposite of amina.] is one who accepts the truth and acts in such a way that it ensures his own peace and helps him to safeguard the peace and security of the rest of mankind. his observation is very significant as it shows the intention the Qur'an tries to explain to mankind 102. Al-Zubaidi mentions in his famous Arabic lexicon that: ‘A Mumin is one who stands guarantee for peace. the Exalted (al-Aziz). the Guardian over all. then you may protect him (ajir’hu) so that he may hear the words of God.. Mumin is also a person who ensures peace and security in the world by acting and enforcing the laws given by God. it means to be ungrateful of life and thus wanting to destroy it.A. . the Compeller over his creation (al-Jabaar). the Source of all peace (al-Salamu). as the Qur’an commands us to protect them when they ask for asylum. to be grateful.’100 59:23 He is God. was the opposite of shakara. but do agree with its intended mission of peace. discusses how the term kafara. Amina.Izutsu (1963). And therefore. Page 26-27. [. there is no god besides Him. means to be secure and give security to other people. The structure of Ethical terms in the Quran by T. Glorious is God. only those that are aggressive and seek constant conflict103. Volume 1.A. they only become so when using violence.alameen. which is why al. 101 100 22 . 103 See verses 8:15-16. the Source of Peace. While he retains the traditional meanings in his semantic discussion. but in the Qur'an it was given a new meaning by becoming the opposite of amina.interesting that the attribute preceding it is al-Salamu. the Impeccable (al-Qadus). People who are not convinced of the Qur’an’s divine origins. This is why people opposing the Qur’anic values are called al-Kafirun as they deny its divine origins and its intended mission of creating peace and welfare among all of mankind.Parwez (1990). God and Man in the Koran by T. This means life is important as it deserves protection.Parwez (1990). truth and progress do not belong to al-Kafirun.Izutsu (1960). and the one coming after it is al-Muhayminu. those that displace and decrease the rights of others. They are the direct opposite of al-Muslimun and al-Muminoon. Izutsu in his famous semantic works. Exposition of the Holy Qur’an by G. is a common description of al-Kafirun. 47:4 etc. . Which shows we must help every person who also wants peace and safety: 9:6 If any of those who are stuck in their traditions (al-Mushrikeen) seeks your protection (istajaraka). the Watcher over all things (al-Muhayminu). Page 25. Kafara means to be ungrateful and to cover/conceal or bury something. Volume 1. to be ungrateful. security of the entire universe. the Giver of security (al-Mumin). We can see that al-Mushrikeen is not directly on the level of al-Kafirun. far above what they ascribe to Him. (Taj al-Arus) by Husaini al-Zubaidi (1780). Parwez explains God is called al-Mumin ‘as He is responsible for the safety. the Supreme (al-Mutkabir).

The al-Muminoon are also told to immediately accept a peace offer by al-Kafirun when they give it. Chapter 109 can be then understood as a declaration of a peace treaty. the first is the prosecution period in Mecca. Those who 104 9:5 So when the restricted months have passed. you shall make peace (aslihu)62 between them. He is the Hearer. This verse also directly shows that the concept of a ‘total’ war on the world is absurd. Volume 12. This is what it means to be muminun. then you shall leave them alone. then you shall make peace (aslihu) between the two groups with justice (3dl). then you may kill al-Mushrikeen wherever you find them. where they are told that they serve (3bidun) different interests and that they have their own obligations and morality (din) and alMuslimun and al-Kafirun must leave each other alone. The other mushrikeen who hold on to their peace treaty are to be respected: 9:4 Except those stuck in their beliefs (al-Mushrikeen) with whom you made a peace treaty (3hadtum). no all-out conflict must ever be sought. as some people have understood to be the message of verse 9:5104. but as the majority on earth wants to feel safe and live in peace and are not aggressors.and then send him to a place where he feels safe and secure (mamanahu). as the objective is to always strive for peace105: 8:61 When they incline to Peace (al-Salm). 106 Page 581-585. Historical records say it could have been revealed in the Meccan or Medinan period. take them. This is because they are a people who do not understand [reality] (ya3lamuna). Towards Understanding the Qur'an by Maudoodi (2002). thus becoming al-Kafirun. comes forth beautifully in this verse: 49:9-10 If two parties of those entrusted with maintaining peace (al-Muminoon) battle with each other. and contribute towards betterment (al-Zakat). the Knower. Provider of development. so fulfil to them their treaty to their term. and be equitable (aqsitu). then you shall fight the one aggressing until it complies with God's command. Once it complies.” 105 See also verse 4:90-94. 23 . you shall incline to it. but if one of them aggresses against the other. for God loves those who are equitable. but violated it. God is Protector. surely Allah loves those who are careful of their duty/righteous (al-Mutiqeen). then they have not failed you in anything and have not supported any one against you. surround them. If they repent. and the second the resistance period in Medina106. Chapter 109 is directly addressed to al-Kafiroon. and trust in God. protectors and maintainers of peace and security. as the people entrusted with maintaining peace. and stand against them at every point. The understanding of al-Muminoon. Verse 9:1 clearly shows that these particular al-Mushrikeen had made a peace treaty with Prophet Muhammad. establish al-Salat.

to have trust in the universal forces that control the cosmic framework. malaka. and the Book [all revelations]. and do not follow the footsteps of the devil. 3:102 O you who are convinced and are entrusted with maintaining peace (alatheen amanu). and they are the righteous (alMutaquna). . and control existence. be aware of God as He deserves awareness. And so these forces convey God’s Will (al-Yasha) and Command (alAmr) in the universe. These are the ones who have been truthful. The above list show that the extra values upheld by al-Muminoon. thus they can be best understood as natural laws and directive forces. Page 43. to be convinced and have trust in God and the future in this life and the Hereafter.A. The word can come from two roots. and the orphans. and those who ask. Al(Taj al-Arus) by Husaini al-Zubaidi (1780). To be convinced that previous revelations have been sent to people all over earth throughout the ages through Prophets. And those who keep their pledges when they make a pledge. to control or posses. He is to you a clear enemy. and the universal forces (al-Malaikat). that you may receive development (turhamuna). so make peace (aslihu) between your brothers. and the Prophets. Then the only two (metaphysical) convictions of al-Islam. people in debt] (al-Riqabi). 2:177 It is not Righteousness (al-Birr) to turn your faces towards the east and the west. and the needy and the wayfarer. 2:208 O you who are convinced and entrusted with maintaining peace (alatheen amanu). And he who establishes the Contact/Forward movement (al-Salat). This value makes al-Mumin to be the acceptor of the truthful origins of all religions. but Righteousness (al-Birr) is: One who is convinced of God (amana bi-lahi) and the Future period. 107 24 . and do not die except as ones who have given to peace (muslimun). to deliver a message107. and contributes towards betterment (al-Zakat). And he gives money out of love to the near relatives. The Muminun have several extra duties and requirements. Then there are new values added. or alaka. enter in the Peace (al-Silm) completely (kaffatan). Exposition of the Holy Qur’an by G. and makes it our duty to research them all. and be aware of God.entrusted with maintaining peace (al-Muminoona) are but brothers (ikhwatun). And those who persevere in the face of good and bad and during persecution. Volume 1. next to those mentioned already under al-Islam.Parwez (1990). and to free the necks [slaves. you cannot have a preference for a certain people (east or west). alMala’ikat. we see first that righteousness must be given to all people.

and to Him we incline to wholeness (muslimuna). But tell those that misplace [the Truth and thus the right of other people] (al. authenticating (musaddiqan) what is present of the Scripture and superseding it (muhayminan). al-Mumin respect all religious traditions. and means iqbal ila shay. From this reference Raghib says that 108 25 . Parwez (1990): “Mosalli is the horse which comes at second place in a race. There is a saying of Ali the fourth caliph. as they believe that God has sent messengers to all nations108. Raghib explains Musalli as ‘In a horse race when the second horse follows the first one (sabiq) so closely that its head always overlaps the first horse’s body that horse is called Al-Musalli (i. To God you will return all of you. And then to establish the two requirements of al-Salat and al-Zakat. So judge between them by what God has sent down.” See also verses 10:47. For. 16:36.alameen). Salea Wastala means attachment. Exposition of the Holy Qur’an by G. so we cannot simply accept one and reject the other. and He will inform you regarding that in which you dispute. God guided those who acknowledged with His permission regarding what they disputed in of the truth. followed by Abu-Bakr and then Omar and thereafter chaos overtook us (Taj). God guides whoever/whomever (He) wishes to a straight path. 16:84 and 35:24. and that only a few are mentioned in the Qur’an109. thus making them part of an inclusive pluralistic value system (al-Islam) while they themselves are not directly inclusive. wa salla Abu-Bakr wa sallasa Omar wa khabatatna fitnatun.Muslimun accept shared ethical values. therefore. and to free people from slavery. 109 4:164 Messengers of whom We have narrated to you from before. means to follow the first one very closely. and so we must research all religious traditions and discuss with its adherents in the best possible way to research and disclose the truth: 5:48 And We have sent down to you the Scripture with truth (bi-l-Haqqi). but He tests you with what He has given you. the people disputed in it due to animosity between them. For each of you We have made laws (shira’tan). hard labour. The word al-Salat comes from the root sali. as well as [the truth in] what has been bestowed upon you. the one who follows closely / remains attached)’." Verse 2:177 further discloses the responsibility of al-Mumin to take care of every person in need. Volume 1.A. extreme debt etc.e. Volume 1. and messengers We have not narrated to you. and is so close to the first-placed that its ears are touching the other's back portion. so strive to do good (istabiqu al-Khayrati). 29:46 Do not argue with the People of the scripture [people of other religions] (Ahl al-Kitab) except in a most kind and best manner. (The first one is called S'abiq. thus representing a goal which is pursued. and a structure (minhajan). to turn or move towards something110. our God and your God is One. 111 Page 72-79. to remain stuck. He would have made you all one nation (ummatan wahidatan). then God sent the prophets as bearers of good news and as warners.) It." Rasool-Allah went away first. and He sent down with them the book with the facts so that they may judge between the people in what they were disputing. "Sabaqa Rasool-Allah. Tadabbur-e-Qur’an by Amin Ahsan Islahi (2008). and do not follow their desires from what has come to you of the truth.111 2:213 The people used to be one nation.” 110 Page 308 and 396. and had God willed. but do not necessarily accept other people’s religious traditions as having an authentic source. and God spoke to Moses directly. "We are convinced in what has been bestowed upon us. But after receiving the proof.According to Taj. The Qur’an is appointed as a guardian over all traditions.

and He guides them to a Straight Path (siratin mustaqimeen). Volume 3. Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003). 42:38 and 62:9-10 it can be understood as referring to timed gatherings where the construction and contact dealings of society is discussed. whatever the situation. and not loose our goals of peace and justice. but also by any act that produces fruitful results for society. as verse 5 says these people have corrupted (sahuna) their Salat. and those who have emigrated and strived in the cause of God. prayer." means that they did not follow the Rusul.e. and to move towards achieving the goals of the Qur’an as creating peace and welfare. As al-Muminoon we must liberate the oppressed: 4:75 Why do you not fight in the cause of God. when the oppressed (al-Mustadafina) amongst the men and women and children say. Al-Zakat comes from the root zaka. and does not induce others to feed the needy. Verse 2:177 then orders to hold our oaths and to persevere in all situations. In verse 4:101-104 it refers to following the directions of the commander and to subdue the enemy and in 4:43.The word has been used differently throughout the Qur’an where it stands for making contact with God (i. these are seeking God's means of development (rahmat Allah). meditation or reflection). bring us out of this town whose people are oppressors. 5:6. for making contact between people. Accordingly Qurtabi also writes that Sal'at would mean to remain within the bounds of the Laws of Allah. Thus Salat is explained as pursuing the eradication of poverty and helping people who live in hard situations as widows and orphans. and God is Protecting (ghafour). grew well.’ Page 554. and He brings them out of the darkness and into the light by His leave. "We were not Musalleen. produced fruit. and grant us from Yourself a victor!" 2:218 Those who maintain peace (alatheen amanu). verse (74/43).” 112 Ahmed Ali correctly renders al-Salat correctly in this chapter as: ‘It is he who pushes the orphan away. Woe to those who pray. and Tasleah means to walk behind a person so closely that there remains no distance. 5:16 God guides with it whoever follows His acceptance. Al-Qur’an: a contemporary translation by Ahmed Ali (1988). not to surpass him but remain closely behind. Thus referring to increase the welfare in society. 113 Page 406-407. and grant us from Yourself a supporter. this is done through giving money to the poor. it throve. 26 . the feeding of the poor and helping the weak112. but are oblivious of their moral duties. A good example of this is chapter 107 wherein verse 4 mentions al-Musulina stands for people ritual praying and following their own ego. So what should they have pursued? This is explained in verse 2 and 3. whereby they do not truly understand the purpose of alSalat. to the ways of peace (subula alSalam). as this is what the Qur’an guides too. which means it increased/augmented. "Our Developer. It is essentially clear that as al-Muminoon we are moving towards Peace. it was/became pure113. Providing of further development (raheem).

The Qur’an thus presents a universal worldview. as it demands taking risks and a lot of effort. Volume 2. This is a dangerous illusion we must remove from human thought. to overcome another through argumentation or testimonies115. It is a duty for mankind to gather. these gatherings were used for solving conflicts and enhancing relationships next to traditional rituals. The two main issues that obstruct human progress. 116 see: 2:76. The Qur’an gives this example of coming together and resolving issues in the form of al-Hajj. while al-Iman will demand things which goes against natural human disposition.This is why al-Islam is considered a natural disposition. or the pursuit of Peace. Modern organisations as the European Union and the United Nations are important efforts in the right direction. 114 Verse 49:13. As al-Hajj is a duty for all of mankind. Our natural disposition is also to be peaceful. But war is always possible. we rather avoid conflict. 119 For universal non-dogmatic understandings of verses concerned with al-Hajj. as we then take the stand (actions) (maqamu Ibrihima) as Abraham which will create safety (aminan) for all of us: 3:97 Therein are clear messages how Abraham once took his stand (maqamu Ibrihima) [against all injustice]. God is independent and free of need (ghaniyyun) of the creation (al3lamina).Shabbir Ahmed (2006). One who denies (kafara) [the pursuit of peace] certainly. In classic Arabia. Its main use in the Qur’an is argumentation116. Page 149-151. Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003). Volume 2. al-Islam] will have Peace and Security (aminan). but I have only mentioned the most important goals and values to show the universal and peace creating message of the Qur’an. al-Hajj. So. The word comes from hajja. 118 Page 151. and discuss our conflicts and problems so we can find a solution. 258. Page 113-114. One of the usages of hajja is mahjuj which means a cure or treatment of a 118 wound . One of the main conclusions of prof. 9:5 and 9:36. must we also discuss our issues together and work together. There are many different values and works that fall under al-Islam and al-Iman. Lane's Arabic-English Lexicon (2003). for God. 139. Next to learning to understand each other114. This is also why fighting is forbidden during the months of gathering117. 115 27 . it being a gathering of all mankind to probe their issues and discuss how they can solve them119. Thus al-Hajj is a Qur’anic method of conflict management. it is a duty upon all of mankind (al-Naasi) to join the Convention at this Meeting Point (hijjual al-Bayti) who have a way (sabilan) to undertake the visit. to intend a certain target. Dictionary of the Holy Qur’an by Abdul Mannar Omar (2006). Those who enter it [the Gathering. with the focus on resolving conflicts and contributing to human welfare.Fry’s study. but we are deluding ourselves today to believe we are a war-loving creature. so it is important we have conflict managing methods. I recommend QXP: The Quran as It Explains Itself by Dr. which means to aim at something. 3:20. 65-66 117 Verses 2:219.

and leads whomever to the straight path (sirat mustaqeem). universal pluralistic.As prof. take care of the people in need through a welfare system. respecting and honouring our differences. it is time to listen. page 326 (1936). It is incumbent on all who participate in this gathering of men interest and dedicated to the service of man." People who go there are expected to deliberate on all the problems that confront mankind and seek solution in such a way that the path of progress is opened to man. As said before. promote universal values. It is not a "religious gathering. Among them are people truthful people (al-Muminoona).weltethos.’ 121 The Qur’anic worldview is one where we can all work together on a democratic. while respecting their differences. The potential of the Qur’an as a universal guide towards peace and progress can thus manifest itself more clearly.A. Through this. since you have conviction in God. verses 3:110 and 3:114 show that we must work together with all people in forming ethical values of universal rational morality (maruf) and immorality (munkar). we can truly become a united mankind again. 10:25 God calls to the Abode/State of Peace (Dar al-Salam). men become aware of their common interests.org 120 28 ..”120 Parwez expresses the same view: ‘The invitation to the House of Allah is extended to all men. whereby we promote and manage peace. while most of them continue to drift away (al-Fasiquna). 3:113-115 Page 80.S. And 42:38-43 and 4:58 demands we as mankind must use a democratic system to handle our affairs on all levels and hand the responsibility of protecting our rights over to people who are worth it (4:58). 3:110 You are the best of the people (khayra ummatin) that has been raised up for the good of mankind (al-Naasi). By participating in this universal gathering. aims and ideals. Now if the People of the scripture had attained this kind of trust. We are called to the Abode of Peace (Dar al-Salam). to put away all narrow interests and think only of the good of humanity. it would have been for their own good. Baljon (1968). standing up against injustice and working for welfare and peace for all humans. understand each others traditions and discuss metaphysical and scientific issues in quest for the truth. It unites mankind in purpose and direction. is that such an annual international conference ought to be of avail for prevention of wars. You shall enjoin recognized norms (tamuruna bi-l-Maruf) and discourage the immoral wrongs (tanhawna ani al-Munkar). 122 As also promoted by the Global Ethics foundation of Hans Kung: www. quoting Khwadja Ahmad Al-Din in his Bayan li-l Nas. I can see the beginnings of this horizon appearing on earth.M. and ethical world society122.Baljon mentions: “An advantage Ahmad Al-Din wants to ascribe to it (al-Hajj). Islam: A Challenge to Religion by G. And thankfully. Modern Muslim Koran Interpretation by Professor J. Parwez (1996). 121 Page 270.

and to ignore over much.They are not all alike. creating goodness in the society (ihsani). Indeed. We shall raise from every community a leading witness (shaheedan) against them from among themselves. And We shall call you (O Prophet!) to testify regarding those whom your message has reached. God guides with it whoever follows His acceptance. these are of the promoters of peace and justice (al-Saliheena). and He guides them to a Straight Path (siratin mustaqimeen). 16:89-90 For. Our messenger has come to you to proclaim for you much of what you were hiding from the book. and immorality (al-Munkar) and oppression (al-Baghyi). A light has come to you from God and a clarifying book. Any good they do will not go unrewarded. wellfare. those who are entrusted with maintaining peace (amanu) and who's actions keep and restore the balance [of justice. Whatever stand you take. 54:17. 18:30 Indeed. a Guide (wahudan) and means of development (rahmatan) and the glad tiding for all those who have given over to peace and wholeness (al-Muslimeen). God will bring you all together. and He brings them out of the darkness and into the light by His leave. The Book [revelation] We have revealed to you explains everything (tibyanan likulli shayin). progress and environment] (al-Salihati). to the ways of peace (subula al-Salam). God commands justice (al-3dl). And He forbids all indecent deeds (al-Fahshai). promote recognized norms (yamuruna bi-l-Maruf) and deter from immoral wrongs (yanhawna ani al-Munkar). a period. God is the infinite Potential. 5:15-16 People of the book [those from previous religions]. Then strive together toward all that is good for all (al-Khirat). 22. and they hasten in goodness (al-Khariyat). God is fully aware of the righteous. We shall not let go in vain the due reward of the one who's actions improves the state of others (ahsana). (2:148) 84:19 You (Mankind) shall surely embark from stage to stage (tabiqan an tabaqin). 2:148 And for everyone there is a direction to which he turns. reflect on the revelations of God all night long and obey it. and giving to relatives. 32 and 40 29 . Among the People of the Book [previous religions] are those who take a firm stand for the right cause (qaimatun). He instructs you (again) so that you may take it to heart. They acknowledge God and the Future period (yawmi al-Akhira).

5:48 For each [community] among you have We have appointed a way of providence [in conduct. Certainly. and they keep open for the welfare of others what We have given them. when injustice befalls them.And indeed We have made easy (yassarna) the Qur'an for understanding and keeping in mind (al-Dhikr). The blame is on those who oppress people and cause disorder on the earth resorting to aggression. But requiting evil may become an evil in itself! (sayyi) So. 42:38-43 They respond to their Maintainer of Evolution (Rabb) by establishing the movement towards [Peace] (al-Salat). He could surely have made you all one single community: but [He willed it otherwise] in order to test you by means of what He has vouchsafed unto. They are the ones for whom there is an painful retribution. And whenever gross injustice is inflicted upon them. 2:256 30 . outdo one another in doing good to the society. those who stand up for their rights. they defend themselves and stand up for their rights (yantasiruna).]( Shir'ah) and way of life (minhaj). and they are the ones endowed with insight (ulul-l-Babi). and conduct their affairs by mutual consultation [Democracy] (Shura). perseveres (sabara) and forgives and protects (ghafara) then that is an indication of strength. you. such are the ones whom God has guided. 17:70 Surely. and follow the best of its application (ahsanahu). are not committing any error. He does not love the violators of human rights (al-Zalimeen). And for he who is patient. So is there anyone who bears this in their mind? 23:61 It is those who race with one another to improve the quality of life for humanity (alKhirat). whoever pardons and makes peace (aslaha). and it is those who are the forerunners [of mankind]. and He will then make you understand wherein you differed. And if God had so willed. what is said] (al-Qaul). his reward rests with God.e. We have conferred dignity (karramna) on the descendants of the human species (bani adam) [as a birth right. unprovoked. 39:18 Those who listen to the spoken words [i. Surely. So. regardless of where the child is born]. To God you will all return.

competent and sincere. arrange for their security. For. pardon them. Seer of all that transpires. there is none who can repel it. Surely. Most certainly. 31 . Knower. Give your trusts to whom they belong. they would have broken away from you. 4:58 God commands you to entrust your matters of Peace and Security (al-Amanat) to those who are capable. 13:11 Each person has [forces] in rotation surrounding him. And when God intends a people to suffer calamity [as a consequence of their misdeeds]. They guard the person and record his actions according to the command of God.e. use democratic means for ruling]. Whoever rejects the transgressors and unjust rulers (al-Taghut). The Enlightenment from God is a blessing for you. and consult with them (shawirhum) in matters of public interest [i. once you have taken a decision. They shall rule and judge equitably (al-3dl). the proper way has been made clear from the wrong way. 3:159 It is God's mercy that you (O Messenger!) are lenient and compassionate with people. So. He is Hearer. and trusts on God. God loves those who do their best and then trust in God. For. Then. God does not change (yughayyiru) the condition of a people until they first change themselves. if you were harsh and stern of heart. has grasped the firm branch that will never break. they have no protector besides Him. God is Hearer. put your trust in God.There is no compulsion in the belief and thought system (la ikraha fi al-Din).

. and within themselves/beings/lives (anfasikum).com 32 ..13:17 .While what is of benefit (yanfau) to mankind. 41:53 We will show them Our signs/messages (‘ayatinaa) in the horizons (al-’afaaqi). Is it not enough that your Developer is witness over all things? www. until it becomes clear (yatabayyana) to them that this is the truth/the right thing (al-Haqqu). abides on earth.deenresearchcenter.

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34 .