“And whoever Allah guides, none can lead astray. Is Allah not Almighty, capable of punishment?” (Qur’an 39:37)
Rashad Khalafa self-proclaimed prophet who is best known for rejecting 2 verses of the Qur’an that did not fit into his number 19 theory.
“It is He Who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are Verses that are entirely clear; they are the foundation of the Book: others are not entirely clear. But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is not entirely clear, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: “We believe in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord:” and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding.” (Qur’an 3:7)
It is my humble opinion that the verse above in the Qur’an is a very wise and beautiful criterion for establishing when someone or some group is trying to create dissension among the ranks of the Muslims. Namely when they are trying to create sectarianism.
It has been my experience time and again that every time I run into some group of Muslims that want me to join their particular theological, juristic or spiritual understanding of Islam, they will more often than not quote those verses that are not entirely clear. They will attempt to give fixed meanings to verses that are not entirely clear. Rather what they should do is fear Allah and be humble.
These people should say rather, ‘This is what it could mean.’ ‘This is a possible meaning or an interpretation of the verse.’
One such group is the ‘submitters’. As they have also split into several groups over the years, or there has arisen dissension in their ranks I will give you links to their web sites so that you can read from their perspectives and form your own conclusion.
Ultimately Allah alone is the source of guidance.
I have included two additional web sites that are ‘spin-off‘ from the submitters -splinter groups. Those that over the course of time ended up having some differences among each other.
These to my limited knowledge are the more prominent websites that espouse the view of the Quranist.
Now this group the ‘submitters‘ and their leader, Rashad Khilafa was really made popular through the acknowledgment of Saudi financed international Muslim debater Shaykh Ahmed Deedat (May Allah have mercy on him).
Shaykh Deedat says,
“I am personally indebted to Dr. Khalifa for opening my eyes on this subject. May Allah grant him long life to selflessly serve the Cause of Islam.”
With such a ringing endorsement by a well-known personality in the Muslim world, the trojan horse was welcomed.
Rashad Khalifa claimed that he was a prophet of Allah.
Submission Perspective” of September 1989:
“THROUGH GABRIEL, I WAS COMMANDED TO MAKE THIS ANNOUNCEMENT: after I die millions of believers will know that I REPRESENT THE MESSIAH THE JEWS HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR, THE CHRIST CHRISTIANS HAVE BEEN EXPECTING, THE MEHDI THE MUSLIMS HAVE BEEN PRAYING FOR. I am God’s Messenger of the Covenant.”
The source of that is here: https://submission.org/x/SP_Sep_89.pdf
The idea that there is any prophet after the Blessed Prophet Muhammed [saw] is absolutely crushed by the following verse:
“Muhammed is not the father of any man among you, but he is the messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets, and Allah is ever Aware of all things.” (Qur’an 33:40)
“But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is not entirely clear, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings…”(Qur’an 3:7)
The submission.org people also make an issue of the letters that will often appear at the beginning of many chapters of the Qur’an.
Alif Laam Meem Raa (Qur’an 13:1)
Alif Laam Meen (Qur’an 3:1)
Alif Laam Meem (Qur’an 2:1)
These letters standing alone at the beginning of chapters have puzzled many Muslim scholars. However, submission.org attempts to give fixed meaning to that which is not entirely clear.
Rashad Khalifa (chief architect) of submission.org also completely ignored what Allah said by taking two verses out of the Qur’an!
You can read all about his claims here:
Note some of his claims with no references: Ironically he uses oral traditions to support his claims.
“As a matter of fact, 19 years after the death of Muhammed, the scribes wanted to honor the prophet by adding two fake verses at the end of Sura 9. Ali was outraged and vehemently maintained that the word of God, written down by the hand of His final prophet, must never be altered. When he was installed as the fourth Khalifa, a 50-year war erupted between the new Khalifa and his supporters on one side, and the distorters of the Quran on the other side. The distorters of the Quran finally won the war, and the “official” history that came to us represented the victors’ point of view.” – Where is the source for this claim?
“The first peacetime ruler after this lengthy and disastrous war was Marwan Ibn Al Hakam (died 65 AH/684 AD). One of the first duties he performed was to destroy the original Quran, the one that was so scrupulously written by the Prophet’s own hand, “fearing it might become the cause of new disputes”.
My comment: Where is the source for this claim?
Indeed Rashad Khalifa’s double standard in regards to Qur’an 33:21 is telling. He accepts this because it fits into his presupposition in regards to the number 19 being a mathematical code.
“The story about the verse in Sura 33 (al-Ahzab) is the only case in al-Bukhari that accords a special status to Khuzaima’s testimony. But this is odd because Zaid himself says he heard the verse from Muhammed, making him a second witness.“
What is bizarre about Rashad’s claim here is he seems ignorant of the process behind the collection of the Qur’an. Anyone could have said that they heard a verse from the Blessed Messenger [saw]. However, what was needed was the testimony of two people to corroborate what was written down. They wanted written and oral testimony. This oral testimony was to be of 2 people who were alive and could be questioned.
Based upon Rashad’s claim about Marwan Ibn Al Hakam how can he or any of his followers know for certain that there are not perhaps more verses left out that actually fit into his presupposition of the 19 interlocking mathematical code?
Even more interesting and something Rashad obviously didn’t think about how does he not know that these reports are not made with a more insidious concept in mind: The concept of abrogation?
WHAT WAS RASHAD’S MOTIVE?
So what is the real motivation for finding a mathematical code for determining what is and what is not the Qur’an?
It is the same motivation that Quranist has when trying to say that the Blessed Messenger [saw] wrote the Qur’an. This is said to deny the authority of the oral transmission of the Qur’an.
So Rashad Khilafa’s code of 19 the intention, the motivation behind it is because Quranist until this very day are absolutely clueless about what constitutes the Qur’an.
How do they know it is 114 chapters?
How dot hey know it is 6,236 verses?
How are they able to know rather than ‘bismillah‘ is part of the Qur’an before every surah or not?
They have absolutely no recourse internally to solve these dilemmas. Hence the number 19 mathematical code gives them a plausible system to use.
In spite of the many sectarian differences among Muslims, all Muslims have been in agreement upon the text of the Qur’an. The only internal issue has been on the status of the ‘bismillah‘
He took them out because the letters in the verses did not tally with his number nineteen interlocking mathematical code.
“We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it.” (Qur’an 15:9)
So for 1400 years, the Qur’an had these ‘two extra verses‘ and no one noticed that until Rashad Khalifa came with his interlocking mathematical code based upon the number nineteen?
The number 19 interlocking mathematical code has not been shown to work with other ahruf/qira’at*of the Qur’an.
*Note. ahruf/qira’at refer to different transmissions of the Qur’an and different ways of recitation. Allah willing primaquran will have some entries about this in the future as well.
To me, these facts alone make the claims of Rashad Khilafa very dubious.
Here is a glaring inconsistency for anyone to investigate for themselves.
If you go to the following links:
You will see them give their take on the prayer. Now notice something very interesting when it comes to the call to prayer (azaan)
This is what they have written:
“Azaan is not a part of the Contact Prayers, nor is it required. But it has become a tradition in the Muslim communities to summon the people to prayer through a loud announcement. The original Azaan used to conform with the Quran’s teachings and became corrupted with time.
Originally, the call to prayer consisted of:
(1) Allahu Akbar (God is Great), 4 times.
(2) Laa Elaaha Ellah Allah (There is no other god beside God), once.
Many years later, some people added Muhammad’s name to the Azaan. This violates God’s commandments in 2:136, 2:285, 3:84, 4:150, and 72:18. Later, other groups of Muslims added the names of Ali and his family.”
“Today, the Azaan is severely corrupted throughout the Muslim world, and constitutes idol worship, not Submission to God ALONE.”
#1 Notice that there is no problem with the call to prayer being accepted as a handed-down tradition or practice in the Muslim community?
#2. “The original Azaan used to conform with the Quran’s teachings, and became corrupted with time.” Notice that they do not even furnish any evidence or proof for this.
#3. “Originally, the call to prayer consisted of.” Again noticed that no proof is furnished of how the call to prayer was ‘originally’.
#4. When Muslims say in the call to prayer that Muhammed is the Messenger of God, submission takes things to far by declaring it idol worship.
Now if you continue reading the links above on the ‘Contact Prayers‘ it gets worse…
Under the section:
What Nullifies Ablution
“Digestive excretions through the intestines, including gas, solids, or urine nullify ablution. Sleeping also nullifies ablution, since one becomes unaware. Thus one may observe a number of Contact Prayers with one ablution, provided he or she does not go to the bathroom, pass gas, or fall asleep.” Notice absolutely no reference from the Qur’an.
2. The Intention
“In your own language, secretly or audibly, state your intention that you are about to observe the Contact Prayer. Remember to state the time (Dawn, Noon, Afternoon, Sunset, or Night).”
Notice absolutely no reference from the Qur’an. Why would I have to say my intention? Isn’t God aware of what I am about to do?
3. “Raise your hands to the sides of your face“…
“Your thumbs touch your ears, and the palms of your hands face forward.” Notice absolutely no reference from the Qur’an.
5. The Standing Position:
“You are now standing with your arms resting naturally at your side. Some people place the left hand on the stomach, and the right hand on top of the left hand. Either position is correct – you may place your hands on your stomach while standing, or you may let your arms hang down by your sides.”
Notice absolutely no reference from the Qur’an. How does he know that ‘either position is correct’. The Qur’an does not say anything on the matter!
The Contact Prayers and The Quran’s Mathematical Code
Rashad Khilafa continues to make things up.
“As noted above, the Dawn, Noon, Afternoon, Sunset, and the Night Prayers consist of 2, 4, 4, 3, & 4 units, respectively. When we put these 5 numbers next to each other we get 24434, and this number is a multiple of 19 (24434 = 19 x 1286). The common denominator of the Quran’s code is 19. This phenomenon confirms that the number of units for each Contact Prayer has been preserved intact, but the sequence 2, 4, 4, 3, and 4 is also confirmed.”
Now notice how contrived this is! He claims that the sequence of 2, 4, 4, 3, and 4 is confirmed. Where is it confirmed? Well, accordingly you can place 24434 divide by 19 and get 1286! Hmm well, o.k! So what is so special about 1286? Also notice I could shift the number of units around. For example, I could say the night prayer is 2 units, the dawn prayer is 3 units, the sunset prayer is 4 units, the afternoon prayer is 4 units, the noon prayer is 4 units and I would get 23444. In fact, you could shift it around a number of ways.
This is completely contrived! If you don’t believe that just read on and see what he says concerning the Friday Prayer.
The Friday Prayer
“The Friday Congregational Prayer (Salat Al-Jum`ah) is so important, a whole sura is entitled “Friday” and a commandment is decreed in Verse 62:9 to observe this prayer. Every Submitter – man, woman, and child – is commanded by God to observe the Friday Congregational Prayer.”
“The Friday Prayer replaces the Noon Prayer every Friday. Instead of 4 units, the Friday Prayer consists of listening to two sermons delivered by the Imam, and two units of prayer.”
Where does he get this from? The Qur’an does not say that. Let us see if we use his formula of 19. 22434/19 =1180.7368. Hmm well o.k What is so special about 1180.7368?
Also, where does he get that ‘every man, woman, and child is commanded by God to observe Friday Congregational Prayer?‘
I have given the links above to their web sites. There is no censorship. As far as I am concerned this whole idea of the Qur’an being based upon the number 19 is more arbitrary than anything else.
However, not all of the Qur’aniyoon groups direct their anti-tradition stance simply based upon the number 19. Many of the adherents of the Qur’an Only Religion have broken off from Rashad Khilafa. They do not buy into the number 19 claim. As mentioned before they are a broad federation of sects that usually coalesce around one personality. It is then this personality that becomes their source for their hermeneutic.
This itself is ironic because they will also claim tongue in cheek that the Qur’an is ‘clear‘ or ‘detailed‘ and yet, will rely upon such personalities to explain things away for them. Subhan’Allah.
“Shall I then seek a Judge other than Allah? When it is He Who has revealed to you the Book fully detailed?” (Qur’an 6:114)
Certainly, an interlocking mathematical code based upon 19 is a huge detail that people have been missing for 1300 plus years!
Rashad Khalifa and all those who follow him believe that the true Qur’an is only known through this code.
This is a conversation that took place between Ahmed Mateen and Arnold Yasin Mol on a Quranist forum.
“Rashad also found two verses as false based on his code!”-Ahmed Mateen
“This was his interpretation based on the Hafs count, interpretation of Hadith and History. Many other studies have shown the 2 verses do belong there. And Rashad never believed other verses were corrupted, in all of his personal research, only two did not fit his counts.”-Arnold Yasin Mol
“So statistically, this is a very good result. But he made many mistakes in many counts, so the research must be ongoing.”-Arnold Yasin Mol
“And also how could we know, using the code, if some chapters or verses have not been removed from the Quran already?”-Ahmed Mateen.
“Inner structure and other results as for example the many times Rahman, Raheem, Allah, and so on is used. If there were any removed, then this count would have been corrupted immediately.”-Arnold Yasin Mol.
Arnold’s response is dismissive. The fact that according to Rashad he already found 2 verses that did not fit his pattern and that according to Arnold that the research is ongoing and Rashad made many mistakes on many counts one cannot outright dismiss what Ahmed Mateen is asking.
Lastly, I wanted to bring up the issue of Rashad’s character. I saved this segment for last because I would rather deal with Rashad’s inconsistencies first.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rashad_Khalifa You can read under the section “criminal charges.”
That is the molestation of a 16-year-old girl in which Rashad instead of waiting for Allah to exonerate him as he does his prophets, he pleaded ‘no contest‘. In legal terms in the U.S, it is a tacit way to admit to being guilty of something and throwing yourself at the mercy of the courts. The hope is that since you did not tax the court system through multiple legal proceedings that they would go easy on you.
Interestingly enough Rashad Khalifa was a very well connected person.
The fact that the criminal database records of Arizona have him on record as still being alive certainly raises an eyebrow.
“Should We treat the ones who have surrendered the same as those who are criminals? What is wrong with you, how do you judge? Or do you have another book which you study? In it, you find whatever you wish to find?” (Qur’an 68:36-38)