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Friday, June 20, 2008

Harris Ibrahim Barking Up The Wrong Tree, Again

Funny that Haris's main source is Maulana Muhammad Ali, an Ahmadiyya exponent. Clearly, Haris depends on sources from deviated sects like Ahmadiyya to make his case.

If we apply the 02:54 methodology of Haris Ibrahim, it would make Cane the innocent one because he didn’t actually kill his brother, but he wanted to “kill Abel’s soul”? Noticed how twisted the story becomes and how contradictions is introduced if we apply Haris’es method?<

Haris has provided a rebutal to my article entitled Haris Ibrahim Probably Will Have to Renounce Prophet Musa AS. His rebuttal is entitled Judge ye the tree by its fruit.
Basically Haris tries to justify the changing of the meaning “faqtulu anfusakum” in 02:54 of the Quran from “kill thyself” to “kill one’s soul”.

Funny that his main source of reference is Maulana Muhd Ali, which is an Ahmadiyya leader. But I will deal with that later.

Before I begin, allow me to clear up the meanings of “Nafs” and “Ruh” in the Quran. Haris is very careful not to highlight the fact that the Quran differentiates both meaning of the words.

Ibnu Katsir in his Tafseer has clearly outlined the difference between the two and how it is interelated as quoted from here. Ibnu Katsir says:“So in conclusion we may say: the Ruh is the origin and essence, and the Nafs consists of the Ruh and its connection to the body. So they are the same in one sense but not in another.”

In short, they are different, but they are interconnected. The Quran may use the word “Nafs” to refer to “Ruh” as in 89:27 or 12:53. However, when the Ruh is not part out of the body, then it will be referred to as Ruh or Arwah as stated in 32:09.

In verses 89:27 and 12:53, the word Nafs is used because the “Ruh” is already intwined into the man’s body and faculty. But, to make things clearer, Nafs is consists of Ruh and Body (jasd) but sometime Allah SWT will refer to “ruh” as “nafs”.

But, in the case of 02:54, the word used in “Anfus” or plural of “nafs” and the verb used is “killed” which is an active and real verb.

My question next is how does one kill one’s soul? One can clean it, can purify it, can even stain it but to kill it? That just doesn’t make sense. And how come it’s only in 02:54 that it becomes “kill one's soul” while the verb killed is used throughout the Quran to mean “real killing”?

Take for the example of Cane and Abel:

﴿لَئِن بَسَطتَ إِلَىَّ يَدَكَ لِتَقْتُلَنِى مَآ أَنَاْ بِبَاسِطٍ يَدِىَ إِلَيْكَ لاًّقْتُلَكَ إِنِّى أَخَافُ اللَّهَ رَبَّ الْعَـلَمِينَ ﴾

("If you do stretch your hand against me to kill me, I shall never stretch my hand against you to kill you, for I fear Allah; the Lord of all that exists.") (05:28)

If we apply the 02:54 methodology of Haris Ibrahim, it would make Abel the good guy because he didn’t actually kill his brother, but he wanted to “kill Cane’s soul”? Noticed how twisted the story becomes and how contradictions is introduced if we apply HAris’es method?


Suffice to say, the “tafseer” or interpretation Haris quoted is either weak or not sufficiently supported by facts. The best tafseer on this verse is the Tafseer Ibnu Katseer under the title “The Children of Israel worshipped the Calf”.

For one, Maulana Mohammad Ali’s explanation is clearly not value-free and tainted with the motivation to prove the Quran different from the Bible. This will be a problem especially when it comes to the issue of prohibition of pork since both Quran and Bible prohibits the same.

Maulana Muhammad Ali happens to be a Ahmadiyya. Ahmadiyya is a deviated sect from Islam. Taking Quran interpretation from a deviated sect is not very credible, actually Haris. Pity you didn't actually state this fact in your article. What can u expect from a sect that consider their founder to be a Prophet of Allah SWT after Saidina Muhammad SAW.

What can u expect from a sect that consider their founder to be a Prophet of Allah SWT after Saidina Muhammad SAW, eh Harris?

For one the Ahmadiyya was formed by the British to help weaken the Islamic resistance in India.

SInce joining Ahmadiyya is another form of "apostasy", naturally, Maulana (sic) Muhammad Ali will find excuses against it.

Also,no wonder the likes of you and Farish Nor are so uptight when Ahmadiyya is attacked. Ahmadiyya provides Haris and his gang a breathing space. Many of Ahmadiyya teachings are in tune with the Western secular values and beliefs, anyways.

I also noticed several mistakes made by Maulana Muhammad Ali as quoted by Haris. For instance:

a. Maulana Muhammad Ali (MMA) says “The context does not allow this interpretation. In the first place, the words are preceded by an order or to repent and it could not be followed by an order to kill.”
This is the very most fundemental mistake committed by MMA. Why? Because 02:54 contains 2 specific orders. The first “to repent”(fatubuilabariikum) and the second “to kill thyself”
MMA made a grave error by assuming that they contradict each other. The real explanation is that Moses issued 2 specific orders and MMA failed to prove otherwise.

b. MMA assumes that 4:153 indicates Bani Israel being absolved from the death penalty. But, in truth, 04:153 only says that the sins committed by the calf worshipper has been forgiven by God. This is with reference to the “repentence” made by the them before they kill themselves. 04:153 is definitely silent on whether the death penalty was revoked or not.

I could go on and on about MMA’s argument, but suffice to say, his entire mistake is assuming that there is only one order in 02:54 rather than 2. The fact remains that 02:54 contains 2 specific orders which I think MMA has not effectively denied.

As for Yusuf Ali’s footnote, he refers to it as a “spiritualized way” of understanding 02:54. But the entire footnote is vague on information or explanation. What’s weird is that despite such stand, Yusuf Ali still translates the verse as “kill thyself” instead of “mortify your soul”. This is a clear indication that such method is not very credible. Yusuf Ali probably, motivated by the need to diffrentiate Quran with Bible suggested such possibiltiy. But I doubt such opinion is credible, considering other translators of the Quran doesn’t share his opinion.

And it is a grave mistake to rely upon only one interpretation of the Quran anyways. Plus, if we can change the meaning of 02:54, what’s stopping us from changing the story of Cane and Abel, thus making Abel not a murderer, for example. This point alone negates Yusuf Ali’s suggestion of a “spiritualized way” of understanding 02:54.

As for Leopold Weiss (Muhammad Asad) source Haris quotes,
“‘Lit ., “kill yourselves “ or , according to some commentator, “kill one another” . This literal interpretation (probably based on the Biblical account in Exodus xxxii,26-28 ) is not, however, convincing in view of the immediately preceding call to repentance and the subsequent statement that this repentance was accepted by God”.

Suffice to say that Leopold is wrong for saying this because the verse afterwards 02:56-57 is not related to 02:54.

Why? Because in 04:153:
“The people of the Book ask thee to cause a book to descend to them from heaven: Indeed they asked Moses for an even greater (miracle), for they said: "Show us God in public," but they were dazed for their presumption, with thunder and lightnin g. Yet they worshipped the calf even after clear signs had come to them; even so we forgave them; and gave Moses manifest proofs of authority.”
It says clearly that the incident in 02:56-57 occured BEFORE 02:54. Or the very least, there is no timeline given. Therefore, Leopold’s argument does not hold water.


There are several conclusions that can be derived:

a. Certain Muslim scholars commit a mistake in interpreting 02:54 because they’re motivated to present the story as different from the Bible’s account. Although the motivation is noble, it is still not a good move and actually introduces many problem and inconsistency in understating the Quran

b. By changing the meaning of 02:54 we risk changing the meaning of other verses as well. For example, it could result in putting Cane in the right light. And it would deny that no murder had actually taken place. Instead, Cane actually tried to “clean the soul” of Abel.

c. Haris quoted several verses which he claims to be testimony that death penalty for apostates is not prescribed by God. I have written my answers and the answer can be read here under the title “Haris’es Verses Doesn’t Negate Death Penalty for Apostates”.

d. At any rate, changing the meaning of the Quran will result in the introduction of contradictions and inconsistencies in the Quran. It is always a better option not to change the meaning of the Quran since the Allah SWT is very clear on what He wants to say.

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  1. Quote: "It is always a better option not to change the meaning of the Quran since the Allah SWT is very clear on what He wants to say.
    " --- HI

    *** Cough ***, How do you know you understand what HE said? Are you god?

  2. What kind of god is this??? Say you love your wife very much so much that it hurts. Well, what do you know. One day she turns around and tells you "I do not love you anymore and I am running away with Joe". Or say, your kids rebels and say to you "Ayah, go fuck yourself". So, you are going to blow her or their brains out? If yes, what sort of love is this? My gawd, I would rather burn in hell than to believe in this sort of petty, jealous god.


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