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The Sacred Chain: Ahl Haqq Wal Istiqamah (Ibadi school) traced to the Blessed Messenger (saw).

“And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger will be in the company of those blessed by Allah: the prophets, the people of truth, the martyrs, and the righteous—what honourable company!” (Qur’an 4:69)

May Allah (swt) continue to bless our brother Abu Azzan for his efforts in educating others the truth about Ahl Istiqamah.

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Saudi Dr. Saad Al-Humid Professor of Hadith Sciences in Medina flees from debate with Shaykh Saeed Al-Qanoubi on Creation of Qur’an

“Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is rightly guided.” (Qur’an 16:125)

Saudi Dr. Saad Al-Humid flees from debate with Shaykh Saeed Al-Qanoubi and his evasion of contact with Shaykh Dr.Khaled Abdali on the issue of the creation of the Qur’an.

Honorable Shaykh Saeed bin Mabrouk Al-Qanoubi is one of the contemporary Omani scholars specializing in the sciences of hadith. He is called by Omanis the Imam of the Sunnah and the Fundamentals, and they consider him their reference in the sciences of the Prophetic Sunnah.

Saad Al-Hamid is a professor of Hadith sciences at the Imam Muhammad bin Saud University in Medina (May Allah honor her). However, he appeared in a T.V episode with a stray Egyptian brother and hurled insult after insult and lied about Al-Ibadiyah.

Honorable Shaykh Saeed Al-Qanoubi stands upon what is the truth and the firm position. But those misguided people are not able to confront him. Just as Ibn Baz refused to debate our Shaykh, the honorable Ahmed bin Hamad Al-Khalili. So his followers follow him in escaping from the people of truth and straightness. You can see that here:

We are posting this video to show the Muslims the reality and the truth. May Allah (swt) protect us from being perverts.

Noble Sheikh Khalid Al Abdali has an excellent 10 part series in Arabic on the Qur’an being created. Huge thanks to brother Ahmad Abu Azzan for this!

With Allah (swt) is the victory and the help of Allah (swt) alone is sought.


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Do only Ibadis go to heaven?

“Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is guided” (Qur’an 16:125)

“Do they feel secure from Allah’s plan? None can feel secure from Allah’s plan except the people who are losers.” (Qur’an 7:99)

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Muslims and Merry Christmas

“Hence, peace was upon me on the day when I was born, and on the day of my death, and on the day when I shall be raised to life again!” [Qur’an 19:33]

There are many ways in which I guess a Muslim could approach the issue of wishing ‘Merry Christmas‘ to Christians during this time of the year.

As a Muslim, I understand a religious day of celebration as an ‘eid. I understand it to be a time of festivities, or religious devotion or time to share in jubilation among friends and families.

For Muslims, we have two such Eids -that is a given and not something that I need to delve into.

The one place in the Qur’an where the term is used is here:

“When the disciples said, “O Isa, son (of) Maryam! Is your Lord able to send down to us a table spread from heaven?” He said, “Consciously revere Allah if you are believers.”

“They said, “We wish that we eat from it and satisfy our hearts and we know that certainly you have spoken the and we be over it among the witnesses.”

“Said Isa, son (of) Maryam, “O Allah, our Lord, send down to us a table spread from the heaven to be for us a festival [idan] for first of us and last of us and a sign from You. And provide us, and You (are) best (of) the providers.” [Qur’an 5:112-114]

You are encouraged to read disparate translations of the Qur’an into English to see how the word has been translated:

You can see that the word idan has been translated as a festival, feast, and celebration.

The above verses in the Qur’an speak to what could be understood as the mass transmitted practice among Christians known as the Eucharist-or Thanksgiving.

As regards Christmas there is no mention of it either in the Qur’an or the Bible for that matter. The fact that there is no date on when Christ Jesus is said to be born is observed by the fact that Christians are not in agreement on when to celebrate the birth of Christ Jesus themselves.

For example, the Orthodox Russian church will celebrate Christmas this: Tuesday, 7 January Orthodox Christmas Day 2020 in Russia.

So for those people who insist that Muslims must either say or respond to ‘Merry Christmas‘ by saying ‘Merry Christmas‘ would have to make it known that it would apply to both occasions on celebrating it. Otherwise, it would make those scholars partisans to a sectarian Christian divide.

Now comes the actual meaning of Merry Christmas. We know that in the English language the word Merry means to be cheerful and lively.

But what about Christmas? Christ-

Christ comes from Christos, a Greek word that means “the anointed one,” or “the chosen one.”. The Hebrew word meaning the same thing is Mashiach, or as we know it—Messiah.

Now would Mehdi Hassan or Maajid Nawaz or Irshad Manji or any of these people really expect for our Jewish brothers and sisters to say ‘Merry Christmas’ or respond to the statement in kind with ‘Merry Christmas?

Will that now become a ‘purity test’ for them to be accepted as being non-fundamentalist, anti-extremist and multi-cultural?

To demand this of our Jewish brothers and sisters strikes at the core of their belief. They do not recognize that Jesus is the Christ or Messiah. They are still waiting for the Messiah.

Why would we force them to capitulate to some Christian understanding of the Messiah and totally disregard the Jewish position in this matter?

Again we as Muslims would become partisans in this Christian-Jewish debate.

What about the term ‘mas‘ in Merry Christmas?

Remember that Jesus is reported to have said,

“But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words, you shall be condemned.” [Matthew 12:36-37]

Uncovering the meaning of Mas in Christmas.

The word Christmas comes from “Cristes Maesse“, an early English phrase that means “Mass of Christ.” It is interesting to note that the word “Mass“, as used by the Roman Catholics, has always been rejected by the Protestants such as Lutherans, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterians, Pentecostals and so forth.

The word “Mass” is strictly a Catholic word and so is the word ‘Christ MASS‘. So as a side note all those Christian denominations that hate on the Catholic Church become Catholic for a day on December 25th! It’s the day when all the “wayward daughters” of the Roman church return home to Rome!

Source: []

Mass from the Latin ‘missa‘ simply means dismissal. So literally Merry Christ-mas would mean if literally translated as ‘Happy Christ dismissed‘ you know like when the teacher says ‘class dismissed‘. So do Christians really want to go around saying, “Jesus dismissed“?

Source: [ ]

Source: []

Dismissed means ‘removed‘. And is this not telling? There is nothing Christ-like about the whole celebration. A person who was born in a manger, who taught simplicity and humility and love for fellow man. Now what we have in place of Christ Jesus and his teachings is a tree, bright lights festive songs and possibly the biggest materialistic holiday on the Earth.

Now in a religious usage mass means a “death sacrifice.” The impact of this fact is horrifying and shocking; for when millions of people are saying , “Merry Christmas“, they are literally saying “Happy Be the End of Christ” or “Merry is the Death of Christ“.

For Muslims to say this is interesting considering that the majority view is that Christ Jesus is not dead. Thus when Muslims assert ‘Merry Christmas‘ they are asserting the view that Jesus is dead rather they realize it or not.

On page 537 of the Catholic Encyclopedia, it says, “In the Christian law, the supreme sacrifice is that of the Mass.” It goes on to say, “The supreme act of worship consists of essentially in an offering of a worthy victim to God, the offering made by a proper person, as a priest, the destruction of the victim.” The Latin word for victim is “Hostila” from which the word “host” is derived. The Mass, by definition of those who coined the word, is a sacrifice involving a victim. There is no other meaning for the word “Mass” or “Christ-Mass”.

Sources: [,sacrifice_of.html]

So for me as a Muslim, I am certainly not merry or happy over the death of Christ. I understand that Christians would be jubilant because through Christ death they obtain salvation. That is something I understand and completely respect their right to believe as such.

But those Muslims who simply say on a mere whim that we can say, “Merry Christmas” or respond by saying, “Merry Christmas” I can promise you, dear readers, that this opinion is not worth it’s weight in salt. They seemingly haven’t even bothered to research its meaning, its etymology, and history. May Allah (swt) guide them and us.

It has become a Public Relations stunt for them. Allah (swt) alone knows the truth of it.

Beyond mere lip service if we want to foster better relations with Christians we should join with them in the promotion of conservative values. We should join with Christians in feeding the hungry, and the homeless, building wells for those who do not have water. We can do this all the while having an understanding that we have deep theological differences. Yet, these differences do not need to come in-between our shared humanity.

So now let us look at some other facts:

“Said Isa, son (of) Maryam, “O Allah, our Lord, send down to us a table spread from the heaven to be for us a festival [idan] for first of us and last of us and a sign from You. And provide us, and You (are) best (of) the providers.” [Qur’an 5:112-114]

Even when the Qur’an, the Qur’an itself acknowledges a specific Christian ‘id we do not have an example of the Blessed Messenger [saw] greeting and wishing Christians well on that ‘id.

It is not to say that he [saw] did not, we simply don’t have an example that he did.

Next, I have even seen some Muslims circulate the following verses of the Qur’an as a suggestion that celebrating Christmas is acceptable.

“Hence, peace was upon me on the day when I was born, and on the day of my death, and on the day when I shall be raised to life again!” [Qur’an 19:33]

Stop! Please stop! This is embarrassing. This is a really horrible exegesis. So if you going to celebrate his birth you going to celebrate his death too? Do Muslims celebrate the death of the Blessed Prophet Muhammed? [saw]

The issue of bid’ah and bid’ah hassana [innovated practice and innovated practice that is praiseworthy].

Jarir ibn ‘Abdullah said: “The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: ‘Whoever starts a good thing and is followed by others, will have his own reward and a reward equal to that of those who follow him, without it detracting from their reward in any way. Whoever starts a bad thing and is followed by others, will bear the burden of his own sin and a burden equal to that of those who follow him, without it detracting from their burden in any way.'” (Source: Reported by al-Tirmidhi, no. 2675)

As well as:

The Prophet (saw) told us that: “Every innovation is going astray, and every going astray will be in the Fire.” (Source: Reported by Muslim (867) and an-Nasa’i 1578) 

So basically Muslims are divided on the issue of innovation or bid’ah. So let us look at it when it comes to this issue:

There are Muslims who consider other Muslims who call themselves as ‘Daawat salafiyyah‘ or who oppose wishing ‘Merry Christmas‘ as self-studied individuals. ‘Smartypants‘ who do not understand the religion of Islam.

Yet with all their clamoring and emotive rhetoric why didn’t those Muslims who wish to refute those Muslims who believe it to be a bid’ah refer to the past scholars and past precedent?


Syria where the population has went from 12% Christian to 6% Christan, nonetheless there has been a substantial Christian population in Syria, Lebanon (47%) and Jordan for ages. Egypt has a Christian population of around (20-25%).

Remember now because supposedly any Muslim who is a Salafi is a ‘bad guy‘ and those Muslims who self identify as Sufi or follow a traditional school of jurisprudence are the ‘good guys‘.

So in all the hundreds and hundreds of years in which Christians and Muslims lived side by side with each other which scholar from the Shafi’i, Hanbali, Hanafi, or Maliki school took the initiative to wish Christians, “Merry Christmas?” Which of those scholars in the past practiced this?

Is it possible to get a compiled list of those who did? Why is it only recently in the world of photo ops and lip service that this suddenly becomes popular?

Why aren’t those who are opposed to celebrating it refuted by reference to a precedent or past scholars? Why are they marginalized and made to feel they are against multiculturalism when they are no more against multiculturalism than our Jewish brothers and sisters who don’t want to acknowledge via ‘Merry Christmas‘ that Jesus is the Christ?

In fact, I’ll do you one better. Did you know that Christmas was initially banned by Christians in the United States and those who were caught practicing it was fined?

In the example of the United States:

Read the following short write up

““For preventing disorders arising in several places within this jurisdiction, by reason of some still observing such festivals as were superstitiously kept in other countries, to the great dishonor of God and offense of others, it is therefore ordered by this Court and the authority thereof, that whosoever shall be found observing any such day as Christmas or the like, either by forbearing of labor, feasting, or any other way, upon such accountants as aforesaid, every person so offending shall pay of every such offense five shillings, as a fine to the county.”

As well as

So anyway from the 1980s Christians in America started to do something that the very Muslims who want want to use ‘Merry Christmas‘ as a purity test should actually realize. People have different beliefs!

So the practice started of saying a more general, “happy holidays“, thus recognizing that Jews may be celebrating ‘Hanukkah‘ which often overlaps with Christmas. So instead of being totalitarian in one’s world view or dismissive of other people’s traditions, a more inclusive ‘happy holidays‘ was often heard.

Think about it would we force Christians to pass some purity test to wish us Muslims Ramadan Mubarak? Ramadan a month which the Holy Qur’an came down a book which contains the following passage:

“They have certainly disbelieved who say, “Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary” while the Messiah has said, “O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.” Indeed, he who associates others with Allah – Allah has forbidden him Paradise, and his refuge is the Fire. And there are not for the wrongdoers any helpers.” [Qur’an 5:72]

Why would an informed Christian celebrate that?

“Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us. But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also. [ 1 John 2:18–23 ]

I personally wouldn’t fault a Christian for not wanting to say, “Ramadan Mubarak” to me. It is a month in which the Qur’an came down and resolutely denied that Christ Jesus is the son of God as well as claiming those who believe it to be disbelievers.

The next point is where do we draw the line?

Would it be bizarre to celebrate with our Sikh friends the martyrdom of  Guru Arjan Dev Sahib? You know the Guru who was asked to convert to Islam or be killed?

Do we celebrate Vasant Panchami with our Hindu friends? The celebration of the goddess Saraswati? Or perhaps the Maha Shivratri?

Do we celebrate Samhain with our Wiccan friends?

Do we say ‘Merry Christmas‘ to Christians such as the Jehovah’s Witness who neither recognize or celebrate it, thus offending their religious sensibilities in the process?

In other words, do we take sides on this Intra-Christian conflict?

So what is one to do?

What I personally do is this. If someone wishes me Merry Christmas because, to be honest with you I have never my entire time while in multicultural Singapore have I witnessed a Hindu say to me, “Happy Divali” or anyone from any other tradition. That is the God’s honest truth.

Do not misunderstand me it is not a bad thing. It is a recognition in the rest of the world that they do not wish to impose their holidays upon others.

It only seems that in Western countries that Christians are in the habit of practicing this.

So when someone wishes me “Merry Christmas” I simply say to them “Happy holidays“, and my intention my [niyyah] in that is an understanding that we all have holidays. Days that we recognize as holi/holy. I honestly see it as no different than saying to someone have a blessed day.

I see a Christian proclaiming ‘Merry Christmas‘ as saying today is my day that I do this or that on. For me, it is akin to when I say during Ramadan when someone offers me food, “I am fasting.”

I personally do not say, ‘Merry Christmas‘ for similar reasons that the Puritan Christians didn’t say it. For similar reasons to Christians like our Jehovah’s Witness Christians friends who do not. Alas, I also saw opening a sort of pandora’s box as mentioned above. Where do you draw the lines on which holidays do you wish merriment in and which do you not?

Lastly, I would hope that Muslims who almost insist that other Muslims say ‘Merry Christmas‘ as a sort of purity test would stop and consider some of the thoughts put into this article. If you wish to do so that is up to you. However, if you feel you are being sensitive and respectful to our Christian brothers and sisters by saying it would be helpful if you could be equally sensitive and respectful of those Muslims who choose not to.

Surely I have never taken issue with the following verse from the Qur’an.

“To you be your worldview, and to me my worldview. (Qur’an 109:6)

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Overview of Ibadi Tafsir Literature.

And (think of) the day We shall send to every people a witness from among them (to testify) against them, and We shall bring you (O prophet) as witness against these. And We have revealed to you the Book, an exposition of everything, and guidance, and mercy, and glad tidings for the Muslims. (Qur’an 16:89)


An Overview of Ibadhis Tafsir

Essay submitted for the M.St. in Oriental Studies, June 2000

By Kahlan Al-Kharusi

… during the last few years, research workers have made some progress in investigating and representing some of the Ibadhis works in tafsir, but because of the constant tendency to treat the Ibadhiya simply as a facet of Khariji thought, the Ibadhis role has not been considered in a proper manner or even been looked at with reasoned thought…


Our knowledge about the Ibadhis[1]contribution to the field of tafsir is seriously defective. It is true to a considerable extent that there are objective reasons for this dereliction, as well as subjective reasons. From the first group comes the irresponsibility of Ibadhis, despite their positive and productive role for the service of the Quran and its sciences, to introduce their works to those who are eager for such material to be available. However, during the last few years, research workers have made some progress in investigating and representing some of the Ibadhis works in tafsir, but because of the constant tendency to treat the Ibadhiya simply as a facet of Khariji thought, the Ibadhis role has not been considered in a proper manner or even been looked at with reasoned thought. Dr Mohammad Hussayn al-Dhahabi[2], for example, did a huge study about tafsir and Mufassireen, but when he comes to Ibadhiyya he deals with them on that basis, thus he gives nothing but a distorted picture. I am not going to debate with his views here, as I am only illustrating an example of how such respected doctors, intentionally or inattentively, have failed to grasp the Ibadhis contribution in such a field. To try to remedy this, this paper will try, as much as possible, to take a step forward in introducing and addressing Ibadhis works right from the constructive period of the Ibadhis school of thought until the late thirteenth/ nineteenth century.

In these circumstances, it seemed useful to set out the basic information about Ibadhis tafsir according to the latest information available. There are still gaps, as some libraries are still failing to provide information about the manuscripts they contain and to give access to them. However, this essay is, I believe, a positive step forward in providing information that all those studying Ibadhiya need.

It would appear that the following texts form the primary list of Ibadi works in the field of Tafsir The list is in historical order, and detailed consideration will follow:

The Diwan of Jabir b. Zayd al-Azdi (d.93/711)

The Tafsir of ‘Abd al-Rahman b. Rustam (d.171/787)

The Tafsir of ‘Abdu l-Wahhab b. ‘Abd al-Rahman b. Rustam (d.208/823)

The Tafsir of Abu l-Munib Muhammad b. Yanis al-Nafusi ( d. in the first half of the third/ninth century )

The Tafsir of Houd b. Muhakkam al-Hawwari (d. in the second half of the third/ninth century )

Tafsir al-Khams-mi’at Aya by Abu l-™awari Muhammad b. al-™awari ( d. in the fourth/tenth century )

al-Tfsir al-Kabir of Abu Ya’qub Yusuf b. Ibrahim al-Warjlani ( d.570/1175)

A commentary on the tafsir of Houd b. Muhakkam al-Hawwari , by Muhammad b. ‘Umar b. Abi Sitta (d. 1087 or1088/1676 or 1677)

Annotation of the Tafsir al-Jalalayn by Yusuf b. Muhammad al-Mus’abi al-Maliki (d.1187/1773)

al-tafsir al-Muyassar by Sa’id b. Ahmad al-Kindi (d. at the beginning of the thirteenth /nineteenth century)

Partial Tafsir ( Suras 103-114 ) by Ibrahim b. Bahman ( d.1232/ 1817 )

The Tafsir of Yusuf b. ™addun ( 1236/1821)

(a) Maqalid al-Tanzil

(b) Tafsir Ayat Mutashabiha mina l-Quran both by Ja’id b. Khamis al-Kharusi (d.1237/1822)

14. al-Yumn wal-Baraka fi Tafsir al-Huda wa-l-Rahma by Muhammad b. Sulayman Adrisu .

15. (a) Himyan al-Zad ila Dar -al-Ma’ad

(b) Taysir al-tafsir

(c) Da’i l-’amal ila yawm al-ajal

All three are by Mohammad b. Yusuf Atfayish (d.1332/1914)

I shall now examine this list and try to reveal these ascribed works in details as possible.

Abu l-Sha’tha’ Jabir b. Zayd al-Azdi[3]was born in the small village of Farq near Nizwa in the interior of Oman. After receiving his early education in Oman he moved with his family to Basra and settled there. He studied in Basra and in the Hijaz and is thought to have studied with such leading companions of the Prophet as Ibn ‘Abbas, Abu Hurayra, Anas b. Malik , ‘Aisha bint Abi Bakr.. etc

Jabir is generally reckoned to be one of the greatest of the early Ibadhis. Due to his tact and organising ability, he effectively became the real founder of the Ibadhiya sect. He was particularly well-known for his learning and piety, winning the regard of such a notable as Anas b. Malik[4].

Jabir was probably the author of one of the earliest collection of hadith, tafsir, correspondence and legal opinions (Futya), known as the Diwan[5]. It is not clear whether this work was originally committed to writing or not – there are arguments on both sides – though it should be noted that Jabir flourished at a time when there was a great surge in the use of written Arabic during the Caliphate of ‘Abd al-Malik (with whom Jabir was on good terms, externally at least). But even if Jabir transmitted his knowledge verbally, his work was recognised as a discrete entity, and sooner or later it was committed to writing.

There appear to have been several copies, with one perhaps having gone to the Ibadhis in North Africa. However, by the third/ninth century the sole known copy was in the libraries of the ‘Abbasids in Baghdad, when al-Ma’mun is said to have set great store by the work. Some time later it was lost. The importance of the oral transmission of Jabir’s Diwan must be stressed. It should be remembered that his successor as imam, Abu ‘Ubaida Muslim b. Abi Karima al-Tamimi was his student, and students, especially at that time, learned aurally and not from books.

Unfortunately, it does not seem that any part of this work still exists, unless what Ennami[6] found in North Africa of Kitab al-Nikah and K. al-Salah by Jabir b. Zayd might be parts of his Diwan. This is just an assumption, and I cannot prove it yet. Beyond that we can look to the work of Pakoosh[7], who brought together more than forty examples of Jabir’s tafsir [Tafsir is of course subsumed in any major collection of ™adith]. The examples show him to be a disciple of Ibn ‘Abbas, but his crucial scholarly importance is in the transmission of this learning to the Ibadhis community.

2-’Abd al-Rahman b. Rustam and His Tafsir

‘Abd al-Raahman b. Rustam (date of birth is unknown) came from a Persian family that was stranded in Mecca when his father died on the Pilgrimage. Later his mother married a man from Qayrawan, and the family moved there. As a young man he traveled to Basra to study with Abu ‘Ubayda, the second Ibadhis imam.

‘Abd al-Rahman was elected Imam in Tiaret in 160/777. He died in 171/787[8], having composed numerous works on tafsir, Hadith and other Islamic sciences.

Most Ibadhi sources[9]agree that ‘Abd al-Rahman did write tafsir a, but there is disagreement about the time of its loss and the reason for it. One view is that it was lost when the ‘Umayyads sacked Tiaret in 296/909 and burnt the Ma’sooma Library there. A second view is that it survived but was sold on to someone who would not grant access to it. There is slightly more support for this view[10]. The end result, however, was the same: the work was lost.

As far as I can see from my reading, no trace of the work survived. It has been suggested that Shaykh Houd b. Muhakkam may have drawn on the tafsirs of both ‘Abd al-Rahman and his son ‘Abd al-Wahhab and that this may be indicated by the phrase “in the tafsirs of our sect …” This is an ingenious suggestion, but it is devoid of proof, and we most regretfully assume that this first complete tafsir by a renowned Ibadhis scholar, has been lost without trace. The loss is a particularly sad one, as we can tell from his correspondence[11]that he was an excellent scholar.

3- ‘Abd al-Wahhab b. ‘Abd al-Rahman b. Rustam

The son of ‘Abd al-Rahman (the end of the second century and the beginning of the third century) is said to have written a book of tafsir. The only possible indication of this comes from the redactor[12]of the tafsir of Houd b. Muhakkam al-Hawary but he provides insufficient evidence to show that the book existed. It must remain a claim only.

4- Shaikh Houd b. Muhakkam al-Hawary and his tafsir

                Houd b. Muhakkam was a Berber tribesman from what is now Algeria. He is a third century figure, who probably died at some time between 280-290/893-903.[13]

                There is no doubt that he put together a book known as Tafsir Kitab Allah al-’Aziz, as it has survived and has been printed[14]. However, there has been dispute about the extent of Shaykh Houd’s role in the book. It is clearly based in part on the tafsir of Yahya b. Sallam al-Basri (d. after 273/887). Close examination of the work shows that Shaykh Houd is far more than a summarizer. Crucially he adds Ibadhis views whenever they are needed and he recasts and explains difficult passages, and produces a tafsir that may be probably considered Ibadhis. It is, thus, the earliest extant Ibadhis tafsir and as such is extremely important.

                The published edition relies on one manuscript only, in which the first few pages are lost. As a result we are lacking Shaykh Houd’s Introduction and thus any remarks he might have made about his aims and methods. Nor is there any clarification in the marginal commentary by Shaykh Abu Sitta[15]. It seems to me to be important to search for other copies of the manuscript, which may well exist in private libraries.

5- Tafsir al-Khams-mi’at Aya

There is a difficult problem about the authorship. The work has been published three times, first in facsimile by Salim b. Hamad al-Harthi in 1974, then by Muhammad Zanati in 1991, and then by Dr. Walid ‘Awjan of the University of Mu’ta in 1994. All three editions give the name of the book as al-Diraya wa Kanz –ul-Ghinaya wa Muntaha al-Diraya fi Tafsir al-Khams-mi’at Aya and say that the author was the third century Omani scholar Abu l-Hawari Muhammad b. al- Hawari b. ‘Uthman, who studied at Nizwa under Muhammad b. Mahbub (d.250/864) and whose principal teacher was al-Salt b. Khamis al-Kharusi (d.278/891). He was certainly the author of numerous works.

However, the ascription to Abu l-Hawari is based on one sentence that occurs frequently throughout the work ‘Abu l-Hawari said’. What the sentence really indicates is that the opinions of Abu l-Hawari are frequently quoted. Sometimes authors do refer to themselves in this way, but it does not appear likely that this was so in this case[16]. Another suggestion is that the author was al-Salt b. Khamis al-Kharusi. This seems anachronistic and even less likely[17].

                Finally[18]there is a suggestion that this is simply the work of Muqatil b. Sulayman al-Azdi (d. 150/767) because he has a work in tafsir with exactly the same name ‘Tafsir al-Khams-mi’at Aya’. So in order to judge this opinion I compared precisely the texts of the two works. From the first few pages, I discovered the similarity between the two, or more accurately how much similar the tafsir ascribed to Abu al-Hawari was to that of Muqatil b. Sulayman. The only main difference was the additional Ibadhis juristic opinions in Abu al-Hawari’s work and, alternatively, the expurgation of the non-Ibadhis. This makes me confident that the basic author of this work is not the Omani scholar Abu al-Hawari but Muqatil b. Sulayman and the role of Abu al-Hawari is no more than a juristic refutation.

6- Abu Ya’qub Yusuf b. Ibrahim al-Warjlani

This Ibadhis scholar was born in the Algerian town of Warjalan at the beginning of the sixth century. After initial education in his home town, he studied for several years in al-Andalus. He died in 570/ 1175 after composing many significant works for the Ibadhis School. One of these was a tafsir, al-Tafsir al-Kabir as al-Salimi calls it[19]. Both al-Barredi[20] and al-Shammakhii[21]saw this work, but despite many diligent searches, no manuscript has been found.

Some idea of al-Warjlani’s method may be gleaned from al-Barradi’s description[22]and from passages found in other works by him, such as al-Dalil wa-l-Burhan and al-’Adl wal-Insaf. However, the information is fragmentary, and any views about it must remain tentative.

7- Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad b. ‘Umar b. Abi Sitta

This eleventh century Ibadhis writer (d.1087 or 1088/1676 or1677) earned the name al-Muhashshi for the large amount of marginal annotations that he wrote on important Ibadhis works. The most important of these was on the tafsir of Houd b. Muhakkam al-Hawari. It stops part way through Surat al-Baqara, and was probably interrupted by the author’s death.

Several copies of this work survive in a number of libraries in North Africa but there has been no access to any of them so far. Obtaining a copy of the manuscript is important, as it would throw light on the lost first few pages of the original work of Houd b. Muhakkam.

8- Abu Ya’qub Yusuf b. Muhammad al-Mus’abi al-Maliki (d.1187/1773)

This twelfth century Tunisian scholar is known as al-Muhashshi l-thani, because, like Abu Sitta, he wrote marginal annotations on various books. One of these, in two volumes, was on the Tafsir al-Jalalayn, a copy of which is extant in al-Baruniya Library in Libya[23].

9- Sa’id b. Ahmad al-Kindi

Al-Kindi is a member of a family of a famous scholars in Oman. Amongst his ancestors was Muhammad b. Ibrahim al-Kindi (d.507/1113), author of the Bayan al-Shar’ in 73 volumes, and Ahmad b. ‘Abdullah al-Kindi (d. 557/1162), who wrote a Kitab al-Musanaf in 42 volumes.

Sa’id b. Ahmad appears to have been born between 1130/ 1718 and 1139/1727 at Nizwa. He was a pupil of the outstanding scholar of the twelfth century in Oman, Sa’id b. Bashir al-Subhi (d.1150/1737). He wrote various works including a refutation of al-Ghazali’s Ihya’ ‘Ulum al-Din and a tafsir entitled al-Tafsir al-Muyassar lil-Quran al-Karim. The manuscript states that the work was completed on the second of Dhul-Hijja, 1181/ 1757[24]. It was published in Oman, in three volumes, as recently as 1998. It is fortunate that the manuscript has survived, as the work is not referred to either by his contemporaries or by later scholars.

Sa’id b. Ahmad sets out clearly in the introduction to his tafsir the main sources that he uses – and reading of the work corroborates this. They were:

1. Ma’alim al-Tanzil by al- Baydhawi (d.526/1132)

2. Anwar al-Tanzil by al-Baydhawi (d.682/1283), particularly important in vol.3.

3.Madarik al-Tanzil by al-Nasafi (d.707/1307).

4. Jawami’ al-Jami’ by al-Tabarsi al-Imami (548/1153)

5. al-Kashshaf by al-Zamakhshari al-Mu’tazili (d.538/1144 ), also important in vol.2 and 3.

In addition to these non-Ibadhis sources, he drew on most of the earlier Ibadhis sources, including Abu Sa’id al-Kudami (the fourth/tenth century) and Muhammad b. Mahbub b. al-Ruhayli (d.260/874) and Ibn Baraka (the fourth /tenth century). For lexicographical problems he drew on the Qamus of al-Fayruzabadi.

Sa’id b. Ahmad shows broad, eclectic views in his tafsir in drawing on the non-Ibadhis authorities quoted above and other as well as Ibadhis sources.

The work is not particularly systematic. Sometimes the writer refers to many authorities and summarizes them. Elsewhere he quotes a single text in extenso and without any change. Nor does he show clearly when he is paraphrasing and when he is quoting exactly. Nevertheless, Sa’id b. Ahmad produces a valuable work, which may properly be considered to be the first Mashriqi Ibadhis tafsir that we have.

10- Ja’id b. Khamis al-Kharusi

                This author was an outstanding Omani scholar at the end of the twelfth and beginning of the thirteenth century (b.1147/1734, d.1237/1821). His scholarly abilities were noted at an early age and soon attained a position of respect among his contemporaries. He wrote widely on many different subjects, but most of the surviving works have not yet seen the light of day[25].

                His son Nasir b. Ja’id reports that his father was always criticizing Omanis for their neglect in not writing a comprehensive Ibadhis tafsir and a complete reference work on Hadith[26].

Ja’id himself did not fill this gap, though he might have intended to do so. Two works on tafsir survive. The first is called Maqalid al-Tanzil, of which I possess the autograph manuscript. (There are many other copies in Omani libraries). As it stands, the work covers only the interpretation of surat al-Fatiha consisting of 17 pages with 18-30 lines of writing. Nevertheless, Ja’id states in his Introduction that it was his aim to write a complete Ibadhis tafsir[27]. As of now we can only assume that the most of the work is lost or that he died before he could move to the bulk of the work.

Study of the text shows that Ja’id was not content to produce the work of his predecessors, but brought a sharp critical and analytical mind to the subject. It would appear that among his sources, he referred to the Jami’ al-Bayan of al-Tabari and the Kashshaf of al-Zamakhshari.

There is a certain Sufi coloration to Ja’id’s language, most probably derived from the study of al-Ghazali’s Ihya’ ‘Ulum al-Din. This puts him just slightly outside normal Ibadhis tradition, though he is strongly critical of Sufi analyses and of non-Ibadhis works on tafsir. Even this fragment is an important work.

Ja’id’s other work on tafsir is a collection of about forty verses from al-Mutashabihat (where there is uncertainty on the meaning established by the verses) with a fully explanation[28]. He shows briefly the Ibadhis views on these verses and more importantly how they are to be linked with the Muhkams (clear or perfect) verses to reveal their dogmatic dimension. This collection is still in manuscript form, and, unlike the Maqalid al-Tanzil, it has not yet been seriously studied, though there are various manuscripts in Oman. A good part of it also appears in the printed Qamus al-Shari’a by Jumail b. Khamis al-Sa’di (fourteenth/twentieth century).

11- Ibrahim b. Bihman al-Thamini

                Not many are familiar with this scholar, as most of the sources that introduce him are unpublished yet. What I know about him is that he is an Algerian scholar from Mzab born in the second half of the twelfth century and studied with the famous Ibadi scholar, his uncle, Dhia’ al-Din Add al-’Aziz al-Thamini (1223/1808). After a scholarly life, he died in 1232/1817 leaving many works and a great library in Bani Yasjin in Mzab. One of his works on tafsir is al-Ma’an al-Masun ‘ala Surat al-Kanz al-Madfun which is all a tafsir of surat al-Fatiha.

He also wrote Asdaf al-Durar wa Akmam al-Zahr al-Mawdhu’a ‘ala Surat al-’Asr which is again a tafsir of one sura (al-’Asr). The third work is a marginal annotation on the tafsir of al-Baidhawi ‘ Anwar al-Tanzil ’. A copy of the manuscript of this work is kept in al-Istiqama Library in Mzab. Finally he has Tafsir Ayat al-Nnur min Surat al-Nnur which is a correspondence he wrote in 1225/1810[29].

12- Muhammad b. Yusuf Atfayyish.

                Muhammad b. Yusuf b. ‘Isa b. Salih Atfayyish, from the Mzab in Algeria, was born in 1237/1821 and died in 1332/1914 at the age of 96[30]. He is considered, with justification, to be one of the greatest and most productive of all Ibadhis scholars. He appears to have started teaching and writing at the age of sixteen and by the end of his long life he had written about three hundred works on a wide range of subjects: language, philosophy, dogma, jurisprudence, tafsir, hadith, etc.

                Also known as al-Qutb, Atfayyish wrote three works on tafsir. Two of them are complete, but one is not. The incomplete work, entitled Da’I l-’Amal li-Yawm al-Ajal, was his first attempt at tafsir. He intended to write it in thirty three volumes. However, he changed his mind and started a second tafsir, Himyan al-Zad ila Dar -al-Ma’ad; only four volumes of the Da’I l-’Amal were completed. They start with Surat al-Rahman, go on to the end of the Quran and then back to Surat Sad, with which the work stops.

His second tafsir, Himyan al-Zad was also written when he was quite young. The book shows his immaturity in various respects. In particular, he was not aware of some sources and reference works. Also he was including weak traditions and Isra’ilyat[31]. Nevertheless, the work has been published twice, first in Zanzibar, and then in Oman in 1986.

Towards the very end of his life, al-Qutb wrote his last tafsir, entitled Taysir al-tafsir. This is a great refinement of his earlier work, and deals with a much wider range of issues, problems and ideas. It is thus a good example of Ibadhis tafsir.

The Taysir al-tafsir has been published twice already, but without any redactory study. A critical edition is now being made in Algeria, and the first volumes have been published. In addition, there are various studies of al-Qutb and his works[32].

Al-Qutb’s works enrich the Ibadhiyya intellectually, and they have had a strong influence. Many of his pupils[33]have turned their hands to tafsir and similar works, but they do not stand out as anything but continuers of the Qutb school.

Doubtful Works

                During my investigation for Ibadhis works on tafsir, I have encountered some doubtful works; or more precisely I could not find sufficient details to make accurate judgments about them. Though some of them seem to be Ibadhis works and others are claimed to be so, I found it hard to accept them as such. These works can be presented by dividing them, according to availability of information, into three categories, even if each category consists of no more than one work.

The first category includes works that have been mentioned, in Ibadhis sources, merely by their names and no more than the names. The only work I found under this category has been referred to by Jumayyil b. Khamis al-Sa’di (the thirteenth/ nineteenth century) twice[34] in his book Qamus al-Shari’a. He gives the book the title of al-Jawhar al-Shaffaf al-Muntaza’ min Maghasat al-Kashshaf. From the way al-Sa’di presents his quotation from this book, as well as the contents of the quotations indicate, it seems reasonable to say that this work is an Ibadhis Tafsir. From the title of the book and by comparing it with other works of tafsir, one can deduce that it is an annotation on the Kashshaf of al-Zamakhshari. But all these remain uncertain possibilities as the work is not referred to except by Qamus al-Shari’a , here the information given is insufficient to draw a clear picture about the work and its author.

The second category consists of works indicated by their author’s names. The example I found to this category is Tafsir ‘Amr b. Qa’id, which is quoted by Ibn Ja’far (end of the third/ ninth century) in his Jami’ [35]. Although not so much can be read from what has been quoted there to reveal whether this ‘Amr b. Qa’id is an Ibadhi or not, there appear distinguishable similarities in his opinions and the views of Ibn Ja’far. But I discovered later in a recently published volume of the same source that Ibn Ja’far referred to him as a non Ibadhi author[36]. I then found al-Jahidh refers to him but with the name of Abu ‘Ali ‘Amr b. Fa’id al-Aswari[37], there is also a short biography of him in Ibn Hajar in which he quoted many authorities describing him as Mu’tazili and Qadarite lived in al-Basrah and died shortly after the year 200/ 815[38]. This obviously unveils the doubts and makes it clear that he is non-Ibadhis although quoted in Ibadhis sources and his name is ‘Amr b. Fa’id and not Qa’id.

On the other hand, some researchers[39]claim that Abu ‘Ubayda Ma’mar b. al-Muthanna al-Taymi (d.210/827) who wrote a tafsir called Majaz al-Quran, is an Ibadhis scholar. But there is no substantial evidence for such a claim and non of the Ibadiyya says this, nor does his work indicate that he adopts any very Ibadhis view. Similarly, Dr. Walid ‘Awjan claimed[40] that Muqatil b. Sulayman is an Ibadhi scholar or that Ibadiyya consider him to be so. But none of the Ibadiyya, as far as I know has agreed with him, even when I referred to the source[41] to which he drew on, I did not find any mention of Muqatil there.

Analysis and Comments

                Before ending this paper, I think it is essential to remember that although there are some more important points in the field of Ibadhis tafsir that need to be dealt with in details, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to do so without having an overview on the whole topic, which is precisely what I tried to give. However, from this basic, but fundamental, outline, some analytic views take one’s attention. Not least of all the richness in the Ibadhis Maghribi works compared to the Mashriqi (from our list, twelve works are Maghribi while five Mashriqi). This phenomenon requires some explanation. It appears that at least one of the Omani scholars[42] realized this fact and tried to fill the gap but with no avail, and even if he would have succeeded it was too late (the thirteenth century only). Some writers try to give answers such as the fear of entering this field, or the political events that lead to many attacks on the Ibadhis literature[43]. Personally, I am not convinced of these reasons and if I am to give a superficial answer I think it is the oral method followed more extensively by Mashriqis to transmit knowledge from one generation to another that lead to this phenomenon.

Another interesting observation is that a separation line could be drawn after the sixth/twelfth century down until the thirteenth/ nineteenth century on the quality of the works. One can see that the works before the seventh/ thirteenth century were creative works, while those after that are mostly in the form of marginal annotations or fragmentary works until the appearance of Ja’id b. Khamis in Oman and Ibrahim b. Bihman al-Thamini in Algeria.

Also related, in one way or another, to this issue, the influence of al-Zamakhshari on the Ibadhis works on tafsir. Due to the similarity in many dogmatic questions between Ibadiya and Mu’tazila and because of the intellectual aspects as well as his linguistic skillfulness, his influence is obvious but needs detailed study. This, subsequently, may lead to another important point, that is the general features of the Ibadhis tafsir compare to Sunni works bearing in mind that some Ibadhis works are based on Sunni’s – as shown earlier-. One can fairly say that the Ibadi Tafsir falls at the middle of the two extremes of Mu’tazila who over-used al-’aql (rationality, reasoning) in interpreting the Quran, a method which has been widely rejected or at least criticised by Sunnis and is thought to have led Mu’atazila to contradict many explicit texts of the Quran, and of many Sunnis who rely most on al-Naql (tradition or irrationality) which on the other hand leads to deactivating the intellect and limiting the text to certain superficial interpretations. This makes Ibadi tafsir distinctive when looking at the whole field of tafsir.

Those are really complex issues that I am not competent to deal with at this stage, but they open the door for more detailed studies to be carried on later.

[1]I tried my ut-most best in the transliteration of Arabic, but I could not get all for a good transliteration of the letters because of the system I am using. I am working to put this right, and I trust that the problem will be solved in my later written work.

2 Al-Dhahabi, M. ™. Al-Tafsir wa-l-Mufasirun, (1985) vol.2 pp.291-323

[3]See al-Shamm~khi, A. Kitab al-Siyar vol.1 pp.67-72, al-’Asqalani, Ibn Hajar Tahdhib al-Tahdhib vol.2 p.34

[4]al-Bukhari, al-T~rikh al-Kabir vol.1 part 2 p.204

[5]The Diwan has been ascribed to J~bir b. Zayd by many writers like: Abu Zakaryia Yahy~ b. Abu l-Khayr (d. shortly after 474/1082) in Siyar al-a’imma wa Akhb~ruhum pp.33-5, al-Darjini, A. œabaq~t al-mash~ykh. Vol.2/p.205, and as non Ibadi, ™~ji Khalifa also mentioned it, probably from nonIbadhis sources, in his book Kashf al-Ÿunun, vol.1 p.781.

[6]Studies in Ibadism, p.53

[7]Pakoosh, Y.M. Fiqh al-im~m J~bir b. Zayd, pp.79-91

[8]Ibn al-^aghir, Akhb~r al-’a’ima al-Rustumiyyin pp.28-41

[9]al-Darjini , œabaq~t al-Mash~ikh.vol.1p23, al-Barr~di,Ris~la fi Kutub al-Ib~diyya p.66, Abu Zakariy~, Siyar p.37. There is also a mention of this work in some non-Ibadhissources like al-Zarkali, al-’A’l~m vol.3 p.306

[10]The first view is adopted by contemporaries like Dabbuz,.Bu Tardin,Y. al-shaykh Atfaiyysh wa Madhabuhu fi al-tafsir (unpublished thesis) p.132 but he did not state his sources while the other view is adopted by early sources like al-Barr~di and al-Darjini.

[11]See his book al-Dalil wa-l-Burhan , Oman (1997) 2nd edition.

[12]Sharifi, B. in al-Hawwari, H. M. Tafsir Kitab Allah al-’Aziz. Vol.1 pp.15-25

[13]al-Shammakhi, A. Kitab al-Siyar vol.2 p.59.

14in 1410/1990 in 4 volumes redacted and studied by Sharifi, B.S. ( D~r al-Gharb al-Islami)

15 See p.7,8 of this paper.

[16]The first page of the ms. says ’this is the refutation of the outstanding scholar Abu l-™aw~ri..’ and if the author were Abu l-™aw~ri, he would not have described himself like this, see also the way he has been quoted in pp.144-47. Tafsir al-Khams-mi’at >ya(1994) ed. Dr. ‘Awj~n. W.

[17]This view is adopted by al-Barr~di , in his brief epistle about the Ibadhis works at the end of al-Qalh~ti, al-Jaw~hir al-Muntaq~t, but unlike other places, without mentioning that he saw the book or even it has been described for him. However, he did not mention it, at all, in his latest epistle Rissla fi Kutub al-’bidiyya . Also al-^alt b. Khamis is Abu l-™aw~ri’s teacher and it is unusual for the teacher to quote his student as would be the case here.

18 There is indeed another opinion by Ennami, A (1971) that the author is al-^alt b. M~lik al-Kharusi. But it seems to me a false impression occurred to Ennami due to the similarity between the two names, otherwise his source here was al-Barr~di who ascribed it to al-^alt b. Khamis not Malik.

[19]al-lam’a al-Mar‡iyya, p.23

[20]Risala fi Kutub al-Ibadiyya p.70

[21]Kitab al-Siyar vol.2 p.105.

[22]He saw the first volume of the book and described it as a comprehensive commentary that he has never seen such a detailed tafsir before.  

[23]Ibrahim, Abu al-YaqŒan (1393/1973) Fath Nawafidh al-Quran p68

[24]I did not see the ms. itself, but the last page of it is photocopied in the printed work p.21

[25]More details about the author and his works can be found in my graduating paper aboutMaq~lid al-Tanzil , submitted to the Institute of Jurisprudence, Oratory and Guidance (Oman) in 1996.

[26]al-Kharusi, N. J. al-™aq al-Mubin (ms)vol.3 p.3

[27]al-Kharusi, J.Kh. Maq~lid al-Tanzil (ms) p.2

[28]I possess a photocopy of this collection, and is in 19 folios each of 17 lines in a clear naskh hand writing.

[29]Bakalli, A. U in his introduction to Tafsir Surat al-Nnurby Bayyu‡ p.14

[30]Bu Tardin, Y. ^. al-shaykh Atfayyish wa Madhabuhu fi al-tafsir in published thesis)p.103

[31]The author realized this himself as he stated in theTaysir al-tafsirvol.1 p.7

[32]The most advanced study is of Bu Tardin, Yahy~ b. ^~lih. al-Shaykh Atfayyish wa Madhabuhu fi al-tafsir , which is a Master’s theses submitted to the University of ‘Ayn Shams in Egypt in 1989.

[33]Like ^~lih b. ‘Umar la’li (d.1347/1928) who wrote al-Qawl al-Wajiz fi Tafsir Kal~m Allahi –l-’Aziz (ms.), Ibr~him, Abu l-YaqŒ~n (1393/1973) who has many works on tafsir:Fath Naw~fidh alQur~n, Ashi’at al-Nnur min Al-Nnur and others.

[34]al-Sa’di, J. K. Q~mus al-Shari’a. vol.1 p.26, vol.4 p.50

[35]Ibn Ja’far, M. J. al-J~mi’ vol.1.p.91

[36] ibid. Vol.5 p.319

[37]al-JahiŒ, A. B. al-Bay~n wa-l-Tabyin V.1, Part1 pp. 368-9. al-Hayw~n, V.6p.191,V.7p.203

[38] al-’Asqalani, ibn ™ajar, Lis~n al-Miz~n. V.4,p372-3

[39]Sezgin, M. F Maj~z al-Qur~n of Abu ‘Ubaidah Ma’mar b. al-Muthann~ ( a critical study ) p.10

[40]al-Dir~ya wa Kanz –ul-Ghin~yawa Muntah~ al-Dir~ya fi Tafsir al-Khams-mi’at >ya ed.(1994) p.10

[41]al-Siyar wa-l-Jaw~b~t al-’Um~niya K~shif,S. (ed.) p.352

[42]See p.10 of this paper.

[43]Bu Tardin, Y. ^ (op. cit.) pp.104-5

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Excellent interview of Prof Valerie Hoffman by Terron Poole on the Ibadi school.

“Oh my Lord, increase me in knowledge.” (Qur’an 20:115)

A very excellent interview by brother Terron Poole and Professor Valerie Hoffman. Topics discussed are Professor Hoffman’s journey to Islamic and Arabic studies, her time spent among Ibadi communities in East Africa, North Africa and Oman. Key differences in theology between the Ibadi and the Sunni schools. Professor Hoffman’s admission that it may not be appropriate to consider Ibadi as an offshoot of the Kharijites. Discussion of the Al Hakamiyah. Revival of the Ibadi school. The growing Ibadi community in Ghana West Africa.

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Mohamed Hijab invitation to learn about the Ibadi school

Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is [rightly] guided.” (Qur’an 16:125)

Recently our brother Mohamed Hijab had a gentleman on his show from Algeria. This brother had identified as following the Ibadi school. The brother from Algeria mentioned many times that he was not a scholar or someone very learned concerning the school.

Brother, Mohamed Hijab professed not to know much about the Ibadi school yet, subsequent dialogue followed that he (Mohamed Hijab) had some cursory knowledge about some of the school’s theological perspectives.

The brother from Algeria mentioned time and again that his knowledge was so simple, yet, Mohamed Hijab proceeded to to delve into difficult questions.

So Shaykh Hatim Abdissalam extended a gracious offer for him to learn more about the school from our learned scholars if he was interested. It would go a long way in building bridges among Muslims.

By the way many of our brothers from the Sunni denomination have been invited to Oman and given a platform by people who are predominately of the Ibadi denomination. The exchange was always respectful and most courteous.

In fact respected Shaykh Mufti Menk spent some time with us in Oman. The very same Shaykh Hatim Abdissalam who extended the offer to Mohamed Hijab is seen in this beautiful and harmonious meeting with Shaykh Mufti Menk.

In fact many Muslims from diverse views among our brothers in the Sunni denomination have been invited to speak in Oman from, Shaykh Mufti Menk, to Shaykh Yusuf Estes, to Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, to Imam Khalid Yasin to Adnan Ibrahim.

Muslims from the Ibadi school have been very active in building schools and watering wells for our brothers and sisters all over East Africa and no one gives them literature saying, “You must be an Ibadi or you are astray.” No!

The Ibadi community in Ghana west Africa is quite large and they get on well there with our brothers from both the Sunni and Shi’a schools.

We should not try to intentionally misrepresent anyone else’s belief, be they Muslim or not Muslim because dishonesty is not honorable. Insh’Allah may Allah (swt) put more mercy, love, peace, respect and understanding between us all. Amin!

“And be not as those who divided and differed among themselves after the clear proofs had come to them” (Qur’an 3:105)

“Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is guided” (Qur’an 16:125)

And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favor of Allah upon you – when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favor, brothers. And you were on the edge of a pit of the Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses that you may be guided.” (Qur’an 3:103)

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Same Sex Marriages and LGBT+ in light of the Holy Qur’an.

All of human existence that is observable and known has come through the pairing of a male with a female. Every single person in existence today who claims to be a part of LBGT+ are the result of hetro-sexual reproduction. 

“O humanity, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing, Well Acquainted.” (Qur’an 49:13)

“And do not approach unlawful sexual intercourse, Indeed, it is ever an immorality and is evil as a way.” (Qur’an 17:32)

“So set thy face to the way of life that is upright and in harmony with nature, the pattern which He originated mankind. There is no changing Allah’s creation. That is the upright way of life; but most men know it not (Qur’an 30:29)

The exceptions to this have come through supra-natural means.  Adam being the first of the creation was created without a mother and a father.

Eve being created without a female.   Christ Jesus being created without a father.

This entry is to address rather or not the Qur’an (the foundation of Islam) allows for or makes room for same sex marriage.    I will also like wise be addressing the issue of LGBT in particular transsexuals and people who inject hormones and have physical operations to change their gender.

First I would like to share a personal story of a friend of mine (whom will remain anonymous). This friend of mine I would see attend the Friday prayer on a regular basis.  At that time we actually were not friends; however as Muslims we are brothers in faith.

He approached me and asked me about the work (giving guided tours to tourist) at the Masjid.  We became good friends and went out for lunch.  I think he understood that from his mannerism that I knew he was homosexual or “gay”.    So he confided in me and I told him that I knew that he had those inclinations.

So he asked me, “So what do you think where am I going when I die?”  I told him, “My brother and my friend, if you were to reach your hand in my pocket you will not find a ticket with my name on it that says seat number 7 aisle 10 guaranteed paradise.  If that is the case for myself who am I to say about you or anyone else.  You should know that to act upon your desire is sinful in the same way that if an unmarried man or woman acted upon their desire it is a sin.”

Al hamdulilah this brother goes to the masjid, I’ve never known him to intentionally miss prayers.  I’ve known that he does his best to support his mother and sister in Malaysia. He has compassion and love for others in his heart.  Allah (swt), the All-Wise, the Just, and the Compassionate is his judge not me.

So I think the first thing to do is look at the following verse of the Qur’an again.

So set thy face to the religion, that is upright and in harmony with nature, the pattern which He originated mankind. There is no changing Allah’s creation. That is the upright religion; but most men know it not (Qur’an 30:29)

As Islam is a world view and a way of life that is in harmony and balance with nature the first question should be.  Does Allah (swt) disallow or absolutely abhor the idea of any species changing its sex?

The answer to that would be an emphatic No!  The proof of that is that the majority of snails are hermaphrodites -that is they carry both sexual organs and only need one other snail to procreate their species.


The purpose of this in nature is to allow proliferation of their species.

*Note* Snails do not go under any physical operating procedures this is their fitra.

There are also species of fish that will change from male into female and female into male.  I myself used to keep a reef tank and learned quite a bit about corals, inverts and the various fish species that I desired to keep and learn about.

One such gorgeous species is the Anthias.

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“Harem groups usually consist of several females, their young (both male and female), and a single dominant male. Parrotfishes, wrasses, anemonefishes, and anthias form harem groups, but harems are not unique to reef fishes. Elephant seals, common pheasants, and several species of baboons also use this reproductive strategy. The single dominant male defends his group of females, and he may reproduce with one or several of his choosing. The advantages are for the females to reproduce with the strongest male and for the male to produce many offspring. The single largest disadvantage is that reproductive success
for the females may be seriously jeopardized in the absence of the male. It is such a disadvantage that most families of reef fishes that practice this form of social behavior have evolved an interesting solution to the lack of a reproductive partner; the largest female will turn into a male and assume harem control and reproductive responsibilities. This reproductive strategy, whereby an individual begins life as one sex and switches to the opposite sex at some point in their life, is called sequential hermaphroditism. In the case of females turning into males, it is called protandrous hermaphroditism, or protandry.” see link:

The purpose of this in nature is to allow proliferation of their species.

*Note* Anthias do not go under any physical operating procedures this is their fitra.

Another example is the Ocellaris ‘Clown Fish‘.  I witnessed this first hand.  I had two small male clown-fish and over time one of them became larger than the other and this one actually became a female.


“Clownfish are all born males and the dominant male of a group will turn female when the female of that group dies.”

“Clownfish, also known as anemonefish, are sequential hermaphrodites that first develop into males. In fact, they live in regimented schools made up of all males and just one female- the lone female being the dominant and generally the largest fish in a given group.  The second in command of the school is usually the largest, and most aggressive, male of the group. Due to his dominance of the other males, he’ll tend to ensure they stay small via taking the best food opportunities for himself and the like.  Besides the perks of more food, he’s also the only one that gets to breed with the female.”   see link:

The purpose of this in nature is to allow proliferation of their species.

*Note* Clownfish do not go under any physical operating procedures this is their fitra.

These three examples will suffice.  It should be noted in all these examples there are no physical operations or physical procedures being done to these species.  These are all built in mechanisms.  These are all done with the purpose and drive to proliferate their species.  All of this is permitted and allowed by Allah (swt).  Allah (swt) deemed it an appropriate mechanism for their proliferation and survival of their species.

However, Allah (swt) has not allow this for humans.  This is not the strategy that Allah (swt) has devised for human proliferation.

There has never been a recorded case in human history of a situation where a male or female human being has  undergone or experienced Sequential hermaphroditism . Even in all male prisons or all female prisons or in other cases where males /females have been more numerous than the other.

We should also be aware that just as there are genetic disorders in animals (a subject that is still vastly under researched) there are also genetic disorders among humans.  There is also a whole field of science called abnormal psychology, among them is Gender dysphoria:   This is a branch of science that ‘studies unusual patterns of behavior, emotion and thought, which may or may not be understood as precipitating a mental disorder.

In conclusion transgender marriage, or even changing one’s sexuality through outside physical operations is something that goes against the natural disorder and is against the firtra as prescribed by Allah (swt).

What about same sex marriage between gays and lesbians? 

Before I get into the Qur’an on this issue I would also like to take the time to post a video that highly recommend from Professor Richard Dawkins.  Professor Richard Dawkins is a well known evolutionary biologist who is no friend to religion.

Watch in the first video how Professor Richard Dawkins struggles to make the case for the ‘gay gene‘.

“The gay gene was passed on in the bodies of the children that were being protected by the gay uncles.” -Professor Richard Dawkins

It is highly astonishing that someone of Oxford education could even make a statement like this.
It begs the question where did the ‘gay uncle‘ come from? How was the ‘gay gene‘ passed on in the bodies of the children?
That could only come from ‘bi sexual’ uncles not from purely homosexual men.

He then proceeds to his “Sneaky Fu*&er Theory“.

Listen carefully to what he says:

“Which is the idea that uh the males who possess the gay gene many of them may not have been wholly homosexual, they maybe bisexual. In that case go back to our scenario of the dominant males going off hunting and leaving behind the women and children in the charge of other males uh and if there were other males who were known to be homosexual than the dominant uh than the dominant males would have trusted them uh not to mate with the females.” -Professor Richard Dawkins

“Being gay would have been a pretty good certificate that you can safely leave your women with me.” “If they were bisexual that would have been the first assumption we now have a way in which the gay gene would have been passed on.” -Professor Richard Dawkins

Once again this is not addressing the ‘gay gene‘ at all. He’s still on the topic of men who have sexual predilection towards females and males. There is no ‘gay gene’ being passed on. What we do have  here are opportunistic men sleeping with women and children when their fathers/husbands were away hunting.

Notice that the homosexual man  (whom Professor Dawkins was actually throwing him a life vest) actually discarded Professor Dawkins theory altogether! He said from experience:

HE says:

“I don’t know that but it seems to be that allot more women that are bisexual. I can’t think of really too many guys that they start out as bisexual and they usually come out as gay latter. Now there are men who are bisexual. I just think it’s a smaller percentage than people might think just from my experience having met in being in the gay community, running organizations or meeting thousands of people over the years I can’t think of too many people that hop back and forth.” -From the interview

Also notice the facial expression as the man begins to realize that Professor Dawkins hasn’t made a case for the ‘gay gene’ at all. At best he made a case for the ‘bisexual gene’.

I think that Professor Richard Dawkins with all his intelligence also like many of us don’t like being rebuffed.
You can see this in his third response and which he actually says “there really is no such thing as the gay gene.”

In the third attempt Professor Richard Dawkins gives his weakest example yet but suggesting that this ‘gay gene‘ manifest differently in different environments. He almost seemed to suggest that the homosexual in his scenario manifest in a world where we move away from breast feeding to bottle feeding.

The suggestion here is that at a very young age we moved away from the natural breast feeding to sucking on bottles-this carries heavy innuendo for those able to read between the lines.  Finally, Professor Richard Dawkins submits  “There really is no such thing as the gay gene.”  This may not go over very well with many in the LGBT+ community because what Professor Dawkins is saying is that it environmental conditions or triggers or learned behaviorism cause this to be expressed.

I think at this point the wise thing for Muslims who are trained in biology , Darwinian & Lamarkian evolution and so forth, is to be courageous enough to put forth the question:

“What is the Darwinian reason for possessing non beneficial traits for reproduction and survival ?”

For example why are people born with  Achondroplasia or ‘dwarfism’. What about people who are born with poor eye site?  What about people who are born with genes that cause Down Syndrome, Hemophilia, Muscular Dystrophy, Sickle Cell Anemia.

In what way does evolution favor such things?

“And we will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient, Who, when under any condition say, “Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return.”  (Qur’an 2:155-156)

In other words why can’t it be possible that being ‘gay’ or being ‘lesbian’ is a either a genetic or psychological disorder.   My understanding is that science is to be neutral and free of our societal pressure; as well as our own presuppositions.

Now what does the Qur’an say about same sex marriage? 

“And do not approach unlawful sexual intercourse, Indeed, it is ever an immorality and is evil as a way.” (Qur’an 17:32)

So two things to note here:

  1. We are obviously not to do unlawful sexual intercourse.
  2.  We are not to even approach unlawful sexual intercourse.

The first one is very obvious.  The second however has been governed by a whole set of ethos guided by the respective culture that one lives in.  So not only is the act of unlawful sexual intercourse forbidden but any and all acts that lead up to it as well.

This is something that doesn’t have to be spelled out in minutia.  Human beings are intelligent and that is why in Islam we are judged by the intentions behind every single action.

However, you can see guidance given by the Qur’an on this matter again:

“Tell the believing men to reduce some of their vision and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what they do. And tell the believing women to reduce some of their vision and guard their private parts.” (Qur’an 24:30-31)

This is a clear command not to look upon with lust those whom we are not married to, cannot marry or have no intention of marrying. What is interesting is that men are told to reduce some of their vision but it is not said exclusively in reference to women and women are told to reduce some of their vision and it is not said exclusively as a reference to men.

It is said as a general injunction and gives a strong indicator when the Almighty tells us ‘do not approach unlawful sexual intercourse‘.

I feel it is worth mentioning here the following statement attributed to Christ Jesus in the Gospel according to Matthew.

 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’  But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:27-28)

So what is unlawful sexual intercourse as defined by the Qur’an?

“And do not marry those women whom your fathers married, except what has already occurred. Indeed, it was an immorality and vile, indeed it was evil as a way. Prohibited to you for marriage are your mothers, your daughters, your sisters, your father’s sisters, your mother’s sisters, your brother’s daughters, your sister’s daughters, your milk mothers who nursed you, your sisters through nursing, your wives’ mothers and  your step-daughters under your guardianship of your wives, unto whom  you have gone in. But if you have not gone in unto them, there is no sin upon you. And also prohibited are the wives of your sons who are from  your own loins, and that you take in marriage two sisters simultaneously, except for what has already occurred. Indeed, Allah is ever Forgiving and Merciful.” (Holy Qur’an 4:22-23)

You cannot marry women your fathers married.

You cannot marry your mothers

You cannot marry your daughters

You cannot marry your sisters

You cannot marry your Aunts from either your mother or father’s side.

You cannot marry your nieces.

You cannot marry milk nurses who nursed you.

You cannot marry your maternal grandmother.

You cannot marry step-daughters that come under your ward from women who were previously married, widowed etc…

You cannot marry the wives of your sons.

You cannot marry sisters. You have to marry one or the other.

Comments:  One cannot fail to notice that the address is to men to what type of women that they cannot marry.   Although no mention in the Qur’an at all about who the women can marry in this text by inference or istidlal  one can deduce that the reverse applies to women as well.


You cannot marry brothers, (because women have only one husband).

You cannot marry the husband of your daughter.

You cannot marry step-sons that come under your ward from men who were previously married, widowed.

You cannot marry your nephews.

You cannot marry uncles from either your mother/father side.

You cannot marry your maternal grandfather.

You cannot marry your brothers.

You cannot marry your sons.

You cannot marry your fathers.

You cannot marry men your mothers married.

Comments: Likewise as the text did not explicitly mention not marrying one’s paternal grandmother or one’s paternal grandfather.  However, through istidlal or inference we can deduce that it is similarly forbidden.

The above text is also not explicitly forbidding the following types of marriage.

  1. The text above is not forbidding same sex marriage. I am not saying same sex marriage is not forbidden I am simply saying the above text does not address it.
  2. The above text does not address the issue of bestiality or humans who have a desire or inclination towards performing sexual acts towards animals.
  3. The above text does not address necrophilia-the desire or inclination to perform sexual acts with the dead or dead bodies.

“And We had sent Lot when he said to his people, ‘Do you approach such sexual immorality as no one has preceded you with from among the worlds? Indeed, you approach men with desire, along with and other than women. Rather, you are a transgressing people.” (Qur’an 7:80-81)

The Arabic word ‘duni’ means that they had desire for both men and women as well as simply just men. This means both bisexual and homosexual desire.

Also note ‘latatuna’ -approach.

Now notice what this text is and is not saying.  This text is addressing people who were ‘caught in the act‘. There is no mention of anyone penetrating anyone.   In fact it is much stronger than this. The text is giving strong condemnation of both bisexual and homosexual men who even approaching men with the desire and passion to be with them.

Even in classical Shafi’i books of jurisprudence it is disliked for a man to return or initiate a greeting of ‘as salamu ‘alikum’ to a boy youth who  was considered to have effeminate characteristics or voice. This was done to avoid any passions being stirred.

“And mention Lot, when he said to his people, ‘Do you approach sexual immorality while you are seeing? Do you indeed approach men with desire other than/along with that of women? Rather, you are a people behaving ignorantly.” (Qur’an 27:54-55)

Comments: Again notice the Arabic words: Do you approach (atatuna) and latatuna (approach). duni (instead of/along with) addressing bisexual men and homosexual men. It is very important to keep this in mind because if you are not allowed to approach men with sexual passion than it stands to reason you are not allowed to engage in sexual acts with other men and by that would mean to marry them.

Marriage in Islam serves three very basic objectives.

  1. To have sex legally in a way that is blessed by the Creator. 
  2. To procreate the species.
  3. To have a family unit that supports one another and shapes the next generation of human beings.

This does not mean that marriage cannot encompass companionship, and objectives other than sex and procreation or having a family. 

As two men cannot have sex that is recognized as sacred in Islamic law, nor has any two men in the history of humanity ever produced another human being they do not meet the basic objectives for a marriage.

What is also important as mentioned before is atatuna and latatuna to approach.

The reason this is important is often times critics will focus on the act of ‘penetration’ for men and the reason why that is, because there is no penetration where women are/is concerned there is no harm done. Yet, we can see that the two text above mention simply approaching men with the intention and desire of lust for them.

As mentioned above when giving the categorizes of women that men cannot marry it was also understood that similar categories were applied to men that women cannot marry.

Likewise as men are not to approach sexual immorality with men it is understood that women are not to approach sexual immorality with women. This is through the principle of istidlal.  Likewise in any case same sex marriage among women would not be able to meet both of the basic objectives of marriage.

  1. To have sex legally
  2. To procreate the species.
  3. To have a family unit that supports one another and shapes the next generation of human beings.

Punishment for Homosexuality in The Qur’an?  

As can be seen in the cases of the Prophet Lut (upon him peace), in both cases Allah (swt) is fully capable to meet out punishment.

The punishment for any type of sexual immorality is mentioned here:

“The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication,- flog each of them with a hundred stripes: Let not compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day: and let a party of the Believers witness their punishment.” (Qur’an 24:2)

There is no death penalty for homosexual acts in the Qur’an meted out by human beings.  If four witnesses are produced and a man was found with a man or a woman with a woman or a man and woman who are unmarried than the above prescribed punishment would be meted out.  

*Note* The Qur’an does not condemn men living together with men, or women living together with women.  What it does condemn is sexual immorality.  What people do in the privacy of their own homes is between them and their Rabb. 

Holding hands of the same sex.

It should be noted here that men who desire men and women who desire women are allowed to hold hands.  This is because the punitive measures of of Islam are only meted out on the apparent and the obvious. Where as men and women who desire/ or do not desire each other of the opposite sex are to avoid unnecessary physical contact altogether; unless they are mahram 

This is a cultural practice that you find common throughout India, the Arab lands, and European nations influenced by Latin culture.   Men and men holding hands is not something the Germanic and Nordic cultures in general embrace.

Other thoughts on the subject. 

Possible wisdom/hikma in all of this? 

Again keep in mind this is my (the author of Prima-Quran) personal thoughts. They are based upon reason -which often can be flawed.  It is possible that as a counter measure to over population Allah (swt) in his wisdom allowed people to be born with such inclinations as a counter measure to over population.  This is so the homosexual will not reproduce and thus prevent the species from being overpopulated.

It could be reasoned that without this trait heterosexuals alone could put an enormous strain on the ecosystem, leading to species wide extension.   Thus, species that are able to curb their reproduction to manageable levels are better able to survive.

What about the alleged injustice of this? 

A person with gay/lesbian inclinations may argue. It is not fair. Heterosexuals are allowed or given an outlet to express their sexuality and we are not.

First of all there are as mentioned above people who are born into this world with all of kinds of physical and psychological challenges.  There are mothers who die in childbirth and children who are born with leukemia.

There are heterosexual people who cannot get married because of their financial challenges, or other restrictions imposed on them by parents, culture and society.

There are heterosexual people who are divorcees or advanced in years -often society is not kind to them.

There are heterosexuals who get married and do not feel sexual gratification from their respective partners.

Likewise being homosexual doesn’t guarantee one a partner or sexual gratification either. There are very many people in the homosexual LGBT+ community, lonely, depressed.  Like heterosexuals they face the same stigma of being divorced, aged, and so forth.

As regards as to what is just and what is not just Allah (swt) reminds us in the revelation.

“He is not questioned about what He does, but they will be questioned.” (Holy Quran 21:23)

So ultimately it is about filling out lives with those things which are meaningful , fruitful and give us joy and bring joy to others with in the parameters of Allah’s guidance.

It should also be remembered that the following promise is also true of all believers (even those believers who have inclination towards the same sex).

So who ever you are where ever you are right now I would advise you to take solace in knowing that that beings of light, holy angels are praying for your protection and your salvation by Allah’s permission.

“Those who bear the power and those around Him celebrate the praise of their Lord and believe in Him and ask protection for those who believe: Our Lord!  You embrace all things in mercy and knowledge, therefore grant protection to those who turn (to You) and follow Your way, and save them from the punishment of the hell: (Qur’an 40:7)

What should be the attitude of Heterosexual Muslims towards Homosexuals (both Muslim and Non Muslim). 

First keep in mind the following verses:

If Allah were to punish men according to what they deserve, He would not leave on the back of the (earth) a single living creature: but He gives them respite for a stated Term: when their Term expires, verily Allah has in His sight all His Servants. ( Qur’an 35:45)

So this verse includes both heterosexual and homosexual.   When it rains outside it rains on all of us.  We should always have mercy and compassion towards all human beings.  We should call each other towards piety and patience. We should ourselves strive to be patient and upright.

As one shaykh said, “Do not look down upon people because their sins are different than yours.”  In other words we are all struggling.  The highest struggle of them all is jihad an nafs (struggling with the inner-self and one’s desires).

Perhaps we as Muslims also push people to sin because of our attitude towards them.  Perhaps if more people in our community were not stigmatized for having various psychological disorders like bipolar, depression, or even certain sexual inclinations (homosexuality). These people would likely be more fruitful productive members of the Muslim community, as well as living more wholesome lives in general if their wasn’t always condemnation waiting at the door.

People, human beings have a desire to belong and be a part of something bigger then themselves.

So I feel as Muslims and as a community we need to make it abundantly clear. We do not embrace same sex marriages. We do not embrace the LGBT + agenda.  Marriage in Islam was, is and always will be between a man and a woman.  Those in our communities who force this upon us should be debated and repudiated with the utmost of intellectual  vigor.

What about men and women with same sex inclination should they be forced or pressured to marry the opposite sex? 

The answer to that is absolutely not! This is part of the problem as mentioned above.  You have people in the Indo-Pak, Arab, Malay, Turkish and other Muslim communities who think the solution is to get their homosexual son or daughter married off! That is the worse possible thing they can do.

They are now forcing that person towards an inclination that they do not feel. Not only this but it is totally unfair to the man/woman they are being married off to.  Because believe you and me when I tell you you are dooming such marriages to  failure. You will have a partner who spiritually will be crushed and depressed and the other who will never feel sexual gratification because their partner is simply ‘not into it’.

First off as a parent you should actually say, ‘Al hamdulillah’. Why?  Al hamdulillah that you have done such an amazing job as a parent that your son /daughter have felt comforted and confident enough to confide in you their inclination and their immense struggle with opposite sex partnership.   Than you should encourage your son/daughter to be the best Muslim that they can be, enjoining the good and forbidding the wrong.  To be healthy, happy, productive members of both the Muslim community and the larger communities to which the may belong.

Allah (swt) knows best and the help of Allah (swt) is always sought.

“And we will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient, Who, when under any condition say, “Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return.” (Qur’an 2:155-156)


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Allah can do anything versus Allah has power over all things?

“To Allah is your return, and He has power over all things.’” (Qur’an 11:4)

“Verily, His Command, when He intends a thing (shayan), is only that He says to it, “Be!” and it is! So Glorified is He and Exalted above all that they associate with Him, and in Whose Hands is the dominion of all things (shayin), and to Him you shall be returned.” (Qur’an 36: 82-84)

“Say, Allah is the absolutely one. All is dependent upon Allah but Allah is independent of all. Allah is not generated from like-kind and like-kind is not generated from Allah. There is no equivalent to this absolute oneness.” (Qur’an 112:1-4)

There is a very important theological point that we as Muslims must understand. That theological point is the difference between saying that Allah (swt) can do anything and saying that Allah (swt) has power over all things.

There is no-thing and there is something. A no-thing is non-existent. It has no existence to begin with. It has no reality. Where as a ‘shay’ or thing has existence. It has a reality.

If you were to ask any Muslim does Allah (swt) have power over nothing? We will respond, of course not! Allah (swt) has power over everything.

So the three questions are thus:

  1. Allah has power over nothing.
  2. Allah has power over somethings.
  3. Allah has power over all things.

“To Allah is your return, and He has power over all things.’” (Qur’an 11:4)

One of the issues seems to be the question on what makes God, God.

Allah is all Powerful. Allah is all Knowledgeable. Allah is eternally self existent. Allah is The Truth and the Ever Living. These are not some attributes of Allah (swt) it is what Allah (swt) IS!

These only appear to be multiple attributes due to our own limited perception and understanding and usage of language.

There is nothing (shayon) like unto Him, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing.” (Qur’an 42:11)

So unfortunately, many Muslims in the field of Daw’ah will often get caught up in the trick question posed by Christian missionaries. “Can God become a man?” The answer to that is no God cannot become a man because it a no-thing. It is a non-shay.

You could ask Christians for example: “Can God Sin?” “Can God Lie?” “Can darkness dwell in God?”
“Can the Trinity exist without the Son?”

This reminds one of the atheists.

The Atheist who poses the following paradoxical question.

If Allah is Infinite and Unlimited in Power can He create a rock he cannot lift?

Which is a non-question. It is a non-shay, a no-thing.

It is like asking if Allah (swt) can make a squared circle. It is a no-thing. A non-shay.

Such a rock can’t exist not because Allah (swt) is not All-Powerful but because He is!

Allah (swt) has Unlimited, Infinite Powers. This theoretical rock would also have to have MORE than infinite and unlimited powers so that Allah (swt) could not move it.
There’s no such thing as beyond infinite and unlimited so the question is flawed.

Infinity +1.  There is no such thing, there is simply infinity.

Based on logic there are things that can not exist if another thing exists.

As Allah (swt) is Infinite and Unlimited in Power,  a thing he can not do cannot exist because it violates the very principle of being Infinite and Unlimited in Power. 

I have answered that in detail here:

Allah (swt) cannot act contrary to his being. Allah acts consistently within his own essence, his own being. 

Allah can do anything versus Allah has power over all things?

The reason people fall into this trap is because of very poor training in theology and/or philosophy. They do not have a very solid foundation concerning the divine being.

Please reflect on this dear reader. Do tafakkur (reflection).

After all, the people who ask if Allah (swt) can do anything obviously must accept power as a basis for Allah (swt) being God or they would not ask the questions to begin with. That is the whole point there are certain qualities that make Allah, God.

Allah cannot for example Not-Be Allah. Allah (swt) cannot be a sinner or be unholy. Allah (swt) cannot commit shirk. Allah (swt) cannot be ignorant. Allah (swt) cannot be dead or die. Allah (swt) cannot be contained by space/time.

All these examples are no things. They are non-shay.

All the aforementioned examples are contrary to the divine logic that is Allah (swt).

Allah doesn’t have power over nothing. Allah has power over all-things.

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Mohamed Hijab’s excellent argument against the Qur’an being uncreated.

“Indeed, We have made it an Arabic Qur’an that you might understand.” (Qur’an 43:3)

Mohamed Hijab who is a known U.K based Muslim has recently put forward some excellent arguments against the idea of the Qur’an being eternal and uncreated.

Now to be fair I want to say from the outset that Mohamed Hijab (as far as I know) believes that the Qur’an is eternal and uncreated.

However, it doesn’t seem that he has pondered the implications of his kalaam argument on the subject of the Qur’an being makhluq (created).

Listen carefully to the exchange between brother Marwan and brother Mohamed Hijab

The contingency argument.

@1:28:36 listen to brother Marwan’s question about pantheism and contingency argument.

@1:30:18 brother Mohamed Hijab gives his reply listen carefully.

“This is a book and it’s made out of parts and the parts are the pages of the book right. Correct? So these are the pages of the book. I dunno what book. ‘Jewish historical society of England’ …..This is a book right and this is the whole of the book correct? and it’s made out of parts correct? Now if I pick a part out. Now if I take all parts out of this book does it remain as a book? It the parts are taken out than the whole thing is taken out. If that’s conceivable that parts taken out the whole thing is taken out than there is no way that this thing that I’m talking about is necessary and independent. Because necessary and independent means it’s always there and it can never be any other way. It’s a simple as that. You said, well if it’s inter-dependent anything which is inter-dependent by definition is dependent because what does the word inter-dependent mean? Interdependent means things which rely upon each other. So, if in order for this book to exist, there’s an inter-dependence or each page relies upon the existence of other pages in this book in order to exist. Then what we’re saying is this thing is dependent because everything interdependent is by definition dependent. What is dependence? Something which relies upon something else for its existence. What is inter-dependence? Something which relies upon something else in order to exist. So in many ways what your saying is if we admit that its dependent than khalas (finished) it cannot be dependent and necessary at the same time.”

@1:33:16 “How do we describe the kul here. How do we describe the whole of this book? How do we describe the whole of this book? We describe it through it’s parts right? Now if I say I just dissembled all it’s parts and it’s maybe what 3-400 pages and I’ve scattered them around they still exist but they exist in a different form. Now what I’m saying is the fact that I can re-arrange them like this I can you see this hundred, I dunno let me see 208 pages of this book yeah. If I take the 232 pages and make page 1 and page 232 and make it like munaqis (opposite) so instead of 1,2,3,4,5 it’s 232, 231, etc., etc. I’ve re-arranged it. The fact that now I can rearrange this book means there is nothing necessary about the arrangement and the form of this book. There is nothing necessary about it at all.”

@1:34:27 “The book as it is the way in which the book is now from 1 to 232, the way in which the book is like that the form the sura the shaqil the hakel -what ever word you want to use, the form of the book as it is now can be re-arranged. Now let me give you an example because I feel, I feel like the issue here is we don’t know the difference between contingency in this necessity. Necessity: 2 +2=4. 2+2=4. Is there any way 2+2=4 can be arranged any other way. Can it re-arrange in any other way? Can 2+2=anything other than 4? Which means its necessary. So its impossible to re-arrange 2+2 to equal anything other than 4. It’s eternally that way, it’s necessarily that way and it will continue being that way. It cannot be any other way. Now this is not the same with the arrangement of the parts of this book. The arrangement of the parts of this book can be other ways. This book itself can be another way. Instead of this colour; which I will describe as beige I dunno maybe I’m colour blind. It could have been blue. I can actually paint it right now. I can make it blue. I can , you want me to do? It looks like a historic book I dun want to ruin it. But I can change this book. There is nothing necessary about this book. Now you might say well, if we define necessity as something susceptibility, destructibility and generation. Yeah? And then in the closed system of the universe energy cannot be destroyed. Cannot be destroyed and therefore the atoms will take another form. I’m saying. I am not defining. I’m not defining contingency in only that way. I’m defining contingency in three ways. Number 1. Something that can be any other way. Number one yeah? Number 2. Something susceptibility to destruction and generation destruction yeah? And number 3. Something which relies upon something else for its existence. Now even if you argued that well this cannot be really destroyed because it’s atoms will take other form. I’m saying its still not necessary because it can be arranged in another way. The parts of this whole can be arranged in a way which is currently not arranged. It can be a way which is currently not/is. So which means that it, it meets the criterion of contingency; because it can be another way.”

@1:37:24 “You are confusing eternality and necessity. O.K? It’s conceivable that something can be eternal and not necessary. It’s conceivable how so? Because something can be eternal but rely upon something necessary. And that’s why the ‘ulemah of Islam they differentiated between what is referred to as wajibun an nafsi and wajibun al ghayri which is necessary for its own sake and necessary or in and of itself and necessary because of something else. So for example if I were to say. You have a sun. Let’s say the sun is necessary. The sun yani. Shams yeah? And it’s rays are contingent based-dependent upon the sun. The fact that the rays exist and they are contingent on the sun doesn’t’ mean that just because they are both eternal. The fact that the rays exist and are contingent on the sun doesn’t’ mean that the rays are necessary just because their eternal because they are dependent upon something which is necessary in this case, the sun or the eternal. You get it?

@1:38:37 “Yeah that’s his Ibn Cena beliefs. Yeah well Islamic refutation of the universe being eternal is clearly against the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Al Ghazali had this kind of refutation if you wanna.”

Marwan ask about the attributes of Allah (swt).

@1:39:00 “We affirm all the attributes of God through these kind of argumentations. That is why, there is a point where you need like the Rahma of Allah. The fact that he is ghafu and afuw and raheem and all that stuff. That needs to be affirmed through revelation.”

Marwan ask are these attributes necessary or contingent?

@1:39:19 ‘Yeah all attributes of Allah are necessary.” @1:40:25 “We don’t use the word dependent it’s being controlled by the irada (intention) of Allah. By the will of God. So the verb all the attributes of God are controlled by the will of God. If Allah wants to speak yeah? If Allah wants to speak he wills that and he does that.”

Marwan so they are contingent upon his will?

Listen to how uncomfortable is the response of Mohamed Hijab. The sudden shift. Also notice that Mohamed Hijab does not affirm that Allah is speaking, or is speaking eternally. He attributes the speaking to his will! Al hamdulillah! Thank you!

@1:40:44 “We don’t need to use the word contingent. They are controlled by his will.

I believe at this point brother Marwan doesn’t really seem to buy it. A quick glance of the ideas upward and simply responds . ‘O.K’

The arguments brought by Mohamed Hijab absolutely decimate the idea that the Qur’an is uncreated.

It’s message is dependent upon asbaab an nuzul (occasion of revelation) which conceivably could have been different. According to our brothers from the Sunni denomination it has text that have been abrogated and that is dependent upon what abrogates and what is abrogated. It is composed of letters and words and sentences that are dependent upon structure to have coherent meaning. It’s conceivable that the Ahruf /Qir’aat of the Qur’an could be more or less than what they are. It is conceivable that the Qur’an could have been revealed in a language other than Arabic. It is conceivable that the Qur’an itself cannot be necessary because it is conceivable that Allah (swt) could have had the Torah or any other revelation completely intact and reach us until this very day.

In the words of Fakhr al-Din Al-Razi:

“The impossibility of a word which is composed of letters and sounds being eternal is self-evident to the mind for two reasons:

The first that a word cannot be a word unless its letters are sequential. The letter uttered before the last that is uttered is originated, and if something’s being originated is affirmed, its eternity is then impossible. So for the letter following the end of the first, there is no doubt that is originated.

The second is that, if those letters from which the word is composed occurred in one go, the word cannot be. A word composed of three letters can occur in any one of six combinations. If the letters occurred altogether, the words occurring in some of those combinations will not be better than it’s occurring in any of the rest. Alternatively if the letters occurred in succession then the word is originated.”  Source: (Al-Tafsir al-kabir (Tehran: Dar al-Kutub al-Illmiyyah, 2nd edition, 1:P20.)

Fakhr al-Din took fellow Sunni Muslims of the Hanbali school to task when he says,

“These people are so low as to not deserve mention among the group of the learned. It happened one day that I said to one of them: “If Allah spoke these, then either He spoke them in one go, or in succession. The first is void because the speaking of all these letters in one go will not convey orderly composition which is a combination in sequence. It necessarily follows that this composition combined with these successive letters cannot by themselves be Allah’s speech. The second is void, because if Allah spoke them in succession then it will be originated.’ When the man heard this statement |of mine|, he said: ‘It is obligatory for us to affirm and pass on’, i.e., we affirm that the Qur’an is eternal and pass by this statement that we have heard. At that point, I wonder greatly at the safety of this speaker. Source: (Al-Tafsir al-kabir (Tehran: Dar al-Kutub al-Illmiyyah, 2nd edition, 27, 187-88)

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