Articles

Arguing with you concerning the truth

What is revealed to you from your Lord is the truth:

As a child, I have always been keen in knowing the right religion. Due to my mom’s keen in watching the religious programs at the time, I always asked her about that topic. I was born in Kuwait. As a society that receives expatriates from different countries, it contained different religions and cultures. I always pondered the adherence of the followers of each religion in declaring that theirs was the true religion. And I used to say to myself: The true religion ought to be one; What is this ‘religion’? Why is Islam the accurate religion? And with this question being asked a lot to my mother when I was in the elementary school level, she told me: Read, search and see for yourself that the true religion is the one that provides you with a direct relationship with your Creator.

Hence, I embarked on reading despite my young age, so that before I reached high school, I had had a crystal-clear picture about monotheism, and I felt an immense energy to tell the world about this great treasure, and I remembered the Noble Verse: What is revealed to you from your Lord is the truth.[1] And I was very pleased.

And argue with them in a way that is best:

In an interview that I conducted with three journalists of Indian nationality, who -according to my understanding- came with a missionary campaign for Christianity.

One of them said: The Messiah is God.

I told him: What is your evidence?

He said: Christ said in our books: ‘Before Abraham was, I am.

I told him: Is this how God introduces himself, by saying that I was before so and so?

Indeed, I am Allah; There is no deity except Me, so worship Me and establish prayer for My remembrance.[2]

I asked him: How did God introduce himself to Moses in your book? Did he not say, “O Moses, that I am God, and worship Me.”?

He faltered.

His colleague hastened to interject quoting: Christ said: “I and God are one?”

I replied: He also said, “I and the disciples are one.” and “God and Christ and the disciples are one.” Again, I repeat: Is this how God introduces himself?

You, for example, when you come to my home asking my help on something, and if I am not there, my son tells you: My mother and I are one, how can I help you?

He said: The proof of the Trinity that God is in eternity and before his creation of the universe, if there were only one, his attributes would be disrupted, so there must have been three, to be merciful, give sustenance, and interact through the three who are within him.

I interjected, because his comment angered me: I, for example, have the trait of being “a very good speaker”. Therefore, when I decide to be silent and not to speak now, does this trait break inside me?

Someone said: You are not only a good speaker, but also endowed with the ability of intuitive replying. He went on saying: Who is Muhammad?

I said: He is a descendant of Ismail.

He said: But Ismail is not a legitimate son of Abraham.

I asked: Who said so?

“So, after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife.” Genesis 16:3

This passage in the Old Testament indicates that Hagar was a legitimate wife of Abraham. And the word Ismail means “God hears”, for God responded to Abraham’s supplications to be blessed by a son. God chose this name for Ismail, nor was it ever mentioned in the Old Testament that Ismail was an illegitimate son.

“And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.” Genesis 16:11

And God has vowed to bless Ishmael and bring forth a great nation out of his descendants.

“And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.” Genesis 17:20

He said: Please give me references to verify for myself.

Then said afterwards: God in your book changes his mind, on one hand, he says: “There is no compulsion in religion,” on the other hand He says: “Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day,” do you deny the existence of Nasikh and Mansookh (abrogation) in your Book.

I was very impressed by the eloquence of his pronunciation of these two Arabic terms, even though our dialogue was in English.

I countered: There is no abrogation between these two verses. The first verse has completely different topic; as it establishes a great Islamic principle, which is to prevent coercion of religion. Whereas the second verse deals with a specific topic, concerning those who repel off of God’s pathway, or those who prevent others from accepting the calling of Islam; in fact, there is no contradiction between the two verses.

But in all cases, the evolution of the provisions of legislation, the discontinuing of a previous ruling, the replacement of another ruling with another, the reinstatement of a later decree, the constriction of the released, and the release of the restricted, are inured and familiar things in previous covenants ever since the era of Adam. Just as the marriage between brothers and sisters was judicious in the law of Adam, peace be upon him, then it became prohibited in all other covenants.

Likewise, permitting work on a Saturday was advantageous in the law of Abraham, peace be upon him, along with all other laws before him, only to become banned in the law of Moses, peace be upon him.

Likewise, God Almighty had ordered the Israelites to kill themselves after worshiping the calf, then this command was abrogated from them after that. And many other examples. Therefore, replacing one provision with another is commonplace in the same Shari’a or between different religions.

I added: The doctor who starts treating his patient with a particular drug and over the course of therapy either increases or decreases the doses of the drug in a gradual attempt of treatment, you consider him sage.

I continued: I am genuinely amazed by your question, for you have embraced the abrogation made by Saint Paul, which was not in only one commandment, instead he altered the whole creed. From Monotheism to the Trinity, and made you violate God’s eternal covenant with you to adhere to performing the right of circumcision as mentioned in your books.

He asked: You claim that God protected Christ from crucifixion and murder, so why did he not protect Muhammad from being killed when he died poisoned by a Jewish lady?

I answered: God protected His Messenger from the poison of the Jews when he was warned that the sheep was poisoned. And he did not die from that poison; he lived nearly four years after the incident, completing his message and great victories. And God has protected him until the moment of his death. So, if his death was due to the effect of poison later on or from another cause, that doesn’t make the Jews triumphant over him by murdering him in order to impede him from completing the mission he was sent for. Rather, the death of the Prophet, may God’s prayers and peace be upon him, was done by God’s ordinance after he had finished conveying his message. Accordingly, the story does not refute his infallibility.

Someone said: Although, the Qur’an is in a high degree of order and accuracy; nonetheless the disjointed and incomprehensible letters in it are evidence of deficiency and defect.

I retorted: You are like a person who sees a high building with a great degree of order and accuracy, then he sees a number of designs at an angle of the building that he sees as unnecessary and useless, and says: ‘I do not understand them, then that is a defect in the building. Is your level of understanding and perception of things a measure of their quality?

Rather, we would say that whoever constructed that building with all its grandeur, precision and sophisticated systems cannot ignore these elements. He must have put them there for a good reason, which my ignorance of, does not negate its existence. It is peculiar that no one at the time of the descent of the Qur’an objected to these letters; they always praised its miracle and its uniqueness even from its enemies.

He asked me: And why was the Qur’an revealed in Arabic?

I answered: In what language would you like it to descend? You have thousands of languages and dialects in India, so which language would you prefer? If it had been in one of these languages, you would have said why not the other.

I said further: God sends the Holy Books in the language of their people. And God Almighty chose His Messenger Muhammad to be the seal of all His messengers.

The language of the Qur’an was in the language of his people, and God safeguarded it from distortion until the Judgment Day. Similarly, He chose -for example- the Aramaic for the Book of the Messiah.

He countered: What is the story of the collection of the Qur’an during Abu Bakr’s era and its burning during the reign of Uthman?

I answered: The Messenger left the Qur’an documented and written in the hands of his Companions to recite it and teach others, and when Abu Bakr

may God be pleased with him became the caliphate, he ordered the collection of these scrolls to be in one place and for reference.

Whereas during the reign of Uthman may God be pleased with him he ordered the burning of the copies and scrolls that were with the Companions all over the township, and provided them with new copies identical to the original copy which was left by the Holy Prophet and collected by Abu Bakr.

He did that to ensure that all the regions will refer back to the same original and only copy that The Messenger has left. Thus, The Qur’an remained as it was without no change or alteration ever since it has been inherited to Muslims throughout the ages for them to contemplate among themselves and recite in their prayers.

He said: The Qur’an says:

Your Lord is God; He who created the heavens and the earth in six stages, then established Himself on the Throne. He makes the night overtake the day, as it pursues it persistently; and the sun, and the moon, and the stars are governed by His command. His is the creation, and His is the command. Blessed is God, Lord of all beings.[3]

Here, it says that God has created the heavens and the earth in six days, he said ‘in six days’ to teach His worshipers not to haste in getting things done, and this is comprehensible.

Yet in here he says:

Do you reject the One who created the earth in two stages? And you attribute equals to Him? That is the Lord of the Universe. He placed stabilizers over it, and He blessed it, and He assigned its foods in four stages—equally for the seekers. Then He turned towards the sky, and it was smoke, and He said to it and to the earth, “Come, willingly or unwillingly.” They said, “We come willingly.” Then He completed them seven universes, in two Days. And He assigned to each universe its law. And We decorated the lower universe with lamps, and for protection. That is the design of the Almighty, the All-Knowing.[4]

Here, God has created the earth in two days, placed the stabilizers over it, and estimated the sustenance in four days, so the sum becomes six. Then he created the Heavens in two days, thus the total is eight days. Is this not a contradiction in the Qur’an?

I responded: If I told you that I traveled from Paris to London in ten days, and to Chicago in fifteen days, then this means that I completed my journey in fifteen days, and this is what is meant in this verse.

He came back with: You Muslims live in largely scattered groups, because you do not have a religious leadership like the Vatican to govern you.

I said: How did the Vatican help Christianity? Was the Vatican able to unify the Christian sects. Actually, the rift is increasing.

His colleague said: We will leave now, but we have meetings to come.

Who argues in God without knowledge:

One day in Africa, I was attending a language class where I was the only Muslim among everyone. The language teacher asked me a surprising question: Do you pray five times a day? And you pray at five in the morning? Isn’t this weird?

I had a prior knowledge that this professor is employed on a part-time contract. Which means that if he gave the lesson, he takes a fee, and if he did not give the lesson, he does not get anything. I told him based on my prior knowledge of this information: If this lesson was at five in the morning, would you give it, or will you stay asleep?

He said: Of course, I will give it, because this is my livelihood and the livelihood of my children.

I said: Prayer is our livelihood, and for us it is greater than millions of dollars. Then followed: How many times does your wife talk to you on the phone a day?

He laughed: She almost never stops calling.

I inquired: Are you deprecating us for addressing our Lord five times a day?

He said: Why pray though?

I told him: I wake up for prayer at five in the morning every day, while my non-Muslim friends are doing morning exercises at exactly the same time. My prayers, for me, are nourishment for my body and soul, but exercising for them is only a physical sustenance. Look at how much we take care of our bodies although our souls are starving from hunger; the result is countless suicide cases for the wealthiest people in the world.

Worshipping abolishes the sensation found in the center of the brain; which is particularly responsible for self-awareness and of those around us. As a result, a person will feel a great sense of sublimation, and that is a feeling that you will not understand unless if you experienced it.

I went on: Worshipping stimulates the centers of feeling in the brain, and the faith transforms from theoretical information and rituals into subjective, emotional experiences. For example, let’s say that a father wants to greet his son after he returns from a trip. Would the father be satisfied if he only told his son “Welcome”? He will not feel happy until he hugs and kisses him.

The mind has an innate desire to embody our beliefs and thoughts in a physical form. Therefore, worship rituals were provided to satisfy this craving. Servanthood of God and obedience are manifested in prayer and fasting, and so on.

Dr. Andrew Newberg said: ‘Worship rituals play a major role in improving physical, mental and psychological health, and in achieving tranquility and spiritual transcendence. Likewise, turning to the Creator leads to more tranquility and transcendence.

The teacher said: You’re right, and we are unfortunately always depressed, gasping after our worldly pleasures.

During my dialogue with a Muslim who belittled the importance of prayer and supplication, he said: The concept of supplication contradicts the divine course and the laws of nature, and a deity must not be debased as to alter his words and amend his rulings.

I told him: The reality of the laws of nature is endorsed by religion and science. The fact that God exists is not sufficient alone nor it satisfies our need to communicate with him. The existence of these laws does not mean that the deity does not communicate with his creation, nor does it say that being connected with him and being segregated away from him are alike.

“Oliver Lodge”-one of the most acclaimed scientists in Physics-responded to those who claim that supplication contradict the of universal laws by saying: They consider prayer as if they are observing a natural phenomenon outside the boundaries of the universe. When in fact it is a cosmic phenomenon to be reckoned within the working of the universe, as it governs all other incidents that occur in our lives without prayer. Prayer is a psychological upbringing, so why do protesters think that this education is not a reason to achieve some incidents as caused by every other rearing method in which a person is being prepared for any other goal?

He said: There is no difference between a person’s praying for himself or for another or for his Lord.

I replied: One cannot give what one does not have. How can I ever ask someone for help when he is incapable of helping himself? Besides, appealing to God Almighty is glorifying while doing so with others is degrading. Is it reasonable to equalize the king with the general public in the request? Both reason and logic completely refute this concept.

He said: The request is either in conformity with the Divine Will, in this case it is fulfilled with no request, or it is contrary to the Divine Will, and in this case, there is no meaning to this request.

I countered: The will of God is represented in his creation of the nature of man, and that it is a human nature to seek aid when needed. But seeking this from someone other than God is in vain when believing in the existence of God Almighty.

He said: The universal laws were an ancient matter that have happened and done with.

I countered back: The whistle of the train blows before its arrival but it is not the reason for arrival, and the light of the missile is seen upon explosion before hearing its sound. There is no relationship between the reason for seeing or hearing.

We did not limit all the factors of the laws of the universe. What we achieve into might help us in estimating the consequences resulting from them in general but estimation is only valid through approximation.

Despite that God has allowed the scientists to study the universe which is not limited by laws, God Almighty remains The Doer of whatever He wills. For creation is a continuous process and not a mechanical one that The Divine Providence has left in negligence without alteration.

Indeed, there is no changing in the laws of God. Although we do not know from these laws except from what we are led to with our minds and the guidance of God.  The laws of God in the humans’ destiny might be dependent on a psychological breeding through praying. This psychological breeding might be a conditional reason for the Divine laws that the believer may not disable.

Praying for the Unitarians is a sign of human progress in understanding the facts of the universe, comprehending the Divine Attributes, and communicating with the source of all goodness.

It was not known to the polytheists in that way. They performed their prayers in a bargaining method, as they believed that their gods needed their offerings.

There is no substance for a religion without the belief in praying on the basis of request and supplication, with believing in its spiritual sport and its close relevance that links the world of the unseen and the testimony, and makes the existence of God a reality grander than the reality of the universal laws, or the reality of universal events that concern a person in the pursuing the demands of his livelihood, as well as in the compelling of his conscience.[5]

And Allows for Them All Good Things, And Prohibits for Them Wickedness:

I remember being very impressed by the story of a Filipino colleague of mine who converted to Islam. She told me that the reason behind her conversion to Islam was the swine.

I asked her in astonishment: How come?

She said: I knew very well that this animal is very filthy and that it inflicts the body with many diseases. I’ve hated this animal for my whole life. I used to think that Muslims worshipped it because they are prohibited to eat it, which caused me to hate them. Until later on, when I left the Philippines and lived in an Arabic country, I realized that pork is forbidden by Muslims because it is a filthy animal and its meat is harmful to health. I then appreciated the greatness of this religion, and from that time on I have been dedicated to reading and searching the content of this hidden gem.

I recall a conversation I’d had with a Brazilian man who was very interested in the doctrine of monotheism. The issue of consuming animal meat prevented him from converting to Islam because he is vegetarian and he mistakenly assumed that converting to Islam would force him to eat meat.

I explained: The fact that the consumption of red or white meat is permissible in Islam does not mean that you are obliged to eat it.

He said: Why was it allowed in the first place?

I said: Meat is an essential source of protein. Humans have incisors, molars and canines. These teeth are suitable and prepared to cut, chew and grind meat. God created human’s teeth for masticating both plants and meat and prepared our digestive systems to fully digest one and the other. That is the reason behind the sanctioning of their consumption.

He persisted: Isn’t the method of slaughter inhumane?

I corrected: The method of Islamic slaughter, which is severing the animal’s neck with a sharp blade, is more merciful than the stunting and strangulation, which the animal suffers from, because once the blood flow to the brain is interrupted the animal does not feel pain. The animal’s convulsions are not from pain, rather due to the blood gushing out of the veins. It facilitates the drainage of all the blood outward, unlike other methods that seal the blood within the animal’s tissue, which harms the health of those who devour that meat.

He criticized: Don’t these animals have spirits just like us?

I clarified: There is a difference. An animal’s soul is the driving force of the body. If it is separated from the body by death, the animals turn into lifeless bodies and that is a form of life. Plants and trees also have a type of life which is not called a soul. Rather, it is a life that passes through its particles with water. If they get separated, they whither and fall.

 And We made from water every living thing. Will they not believe?[6]

But the animal soul is not like a human spirit that has been attributed to God, for the purpose of honoring and dignifying. Its essence is known only to God and is pertaining only to the human beings.

As a matter of fact, the soul of a person is a divine issue that man is not required to understand its essence. It is basically merging the force of the body, combined with reasoning power (the mind), perception, knowledge and faith; and that is what distinguishes it from the spirit of animals.

A person has a visible external nature, which is the body, portraying all the characteristics of matter. It is capable of being weighted and measured. Then there is another nature completely contrary to the first, characterized by serenity, timelessness, and no place.

He said: This nature, according to my understanding, is supposed to belong to the body?

I replied: The body is the one belonging to it, because when we fast during Ramadan, for example, what motivates us to be patient and refrain from eating? That is due to a strong urge within ourselves that drives us to make this decision.

He said: Why don’t we feel it?

I explained: When we use the elevator, for example, we do not feel its movement because we’ve become part of it, and we can only feel it when it starts moving or when it stops.

He asked: What is the human soul (self)?

I answered: The human soul is the product of the encounter of the soul with the body, in which a person is defined by his spirit, conscience, his feelings and his perceptions. It is his self, which carries the forces of good and evil, and because of which a person commits sins or is keen to obey.

He said: What is a human?

I told him that a person is the human personality in its entirety, flesh, blood and character.

He challenged: What is the difference between the angel, the jinn and Satan?

I answered back: As for the angels: they are one of God’s creation also, but a glorious creation, they were created from light. They are compelled for goodness. Obedient to the orders of God, glory be to Him, they are ever glorifying, ever worshiping, they are tireless and weariless.

They praise night and day, without ever tiring.[7]

….They never disobey God in anything He commands them, and they carry out whatever they are commanded.[8]

Believing in angels is shared by Muslims, Jews, and Christians. Among them Gabriel, whom God has assigned to mediate between Him and his messengers; he used to descend with the revelation to them. Michael’s assignment is rain and vegetation. Israfil’s responsibility is to blow the Horn on the Day of Resurrection, and many others.

I went on: As for the jinn, it is of the realm of the prescience, they live with us on this Earth, and they are commanded to obey God, and forbidden to disobey Him, like mankind, but we do not see them. God mentioned stories that show the extent of the power and ability of the jinn, including their ability to influence through whisper or allusion without physical intervention, but they do not know the invisible nor are they able to harm the strong believer.

 The devils inspire their followers to argue with you… [9]

The Devil is any dispassionate rebellious, whether human or jinn.

He said: Aren’t the sins of man from Satan?

I said: There are two types of sins; sins that are self-incited and sins committed because of Satan’s whispers.

He exclaimed: Which is more dangerous for a person? How can we differentiate between them?

I clarified: The soul is much more dangerous if you do not persevere, just as a young child is weaned from breastfeeding by gradual taming.

The soul that commands evil is the soul that coax person and pushes him to commit sins. It persists on a specific sin, such as planning and plotting to kill a human being, and there is no rest for it or retreat until it achieves its desired goal.

Likewise, the soul adorns the vile act and shows it right, and it goes overboard in the path of sin and disobedience, until its natural instinct is buried, and then it loses the ability to distinguish the good from the bad. For it, the bad deeds look like good deeds, as happened with the brothers of the Prophet of God, Joseph, peace be upon him when they threw him into the bottom of the well, and they assumed that they were doing well.

He said, your souls enticed you to do something. But patience is beautiful, and God is my Help against what you describe. [10]

Those whose efforts in this world are misguided, while they assume that they are doing well.[11]

What of him whose evil deed was made attractive to him, and so he regards it as good? God leads astray whomever He wills, and He guides whomever He wills. Therefore, do not waste yourself sorrowing over them. God knows exactly what they do.[12]

As for Satan, God Almighty has told us that he is weak. God said:

Surely the strategy of the Devil is weak.[13]

So, Satan’s plotting is confined to the boundaries of the legislative and mandatory actions of man with whispering and displaying falsehood in the appearance of truth, but he has no authority over man.

When you read the Quran, seek refuge with Allah from Satan the outcast.

He has no authority over those who believe and trust in their Lord. His authority is only over those who follow him, and those who associate others with Him. [14]

The devil’s main concern is to make a person disobey God, no matter how. Therefore, Satan whispers to a person various sins, such as stealing, or committing adultery, lying, adulation, or disbelieving, and other sins. When a person closes the door of disobedience, Satan comes to him from another door, and the obsessive whispering of Satan for a person may be by acting the part of a loving advisor.

And he swore to them, I am a sincere advisor to you.[15]

Those who are righteous—when an impulse from Satan strikes them, they remind themselves, and immediately see clearly.[16]

Satan knows this and admits it, on the Day of Resurrection he will say to the guilty:

And Satan will say, when the issue is settled, “God has promised you the promise of truth, and I promised you, but I failed you. I had no authority over you, except that I called you, and you answered me. So do not blame me but blame yourselves. I cannot come to your aid, nor can you come to my aid. I reject your associating with me in the past. The wrongdoers will have a torment most painful. [17]

Imam Ibn al-Qayyim, may God have mercy on him, says: “The soul shorten the hearts from reaching the road of the Lord. It is a road only reached after its demise. People are divided into two parts, a group that their selves has triumphed over them only to annihilate them, and another group that has triumphed over their selves, so that they have yielded to their commands.”

Glory be to Him, described the human self in the Qur’an as having any one of three characteristics: Tranquil, evil-minded, and reproving.

The Tranquil Soul: Is the one that became serene through the remembrance of God and longed to meet Him; and is addressed upon death.

Return to your Lord, pleased and accepted.[18]

The soul then emerges from doubt to certainty, from ignorance to knowledge, from forgetfulness to remembrance, and from showing off to sincerity.

The soul that is evil-minded: Is the one that commands its owner of whatever it desires.  This is its nature except if God has guided it, steadied, and aided, so no one gets rid of the one’s evil self except with the Grace of God.

The Messenger, peace be upon him, sought refuge from the evil of the soul, saying: We seek refuge in Allah from the evils of ourselves.

The Reproving Soul: Is ever self-blaming, yet it turns a lot between remembering and forgetting, advancing and turning away, loving and hating, being content and discontent, being satisfied and angry, and of being good and envious.

Al-Hassan Al-Basri said: “The believer is always reprimanding himself, even on the Day of Resurrection. He always blames himself, whether he was virtuous or not. If he was virtuous, then he blames himself for his dereliction.”

He asked: What is the difference between elation and envy?

I answered: Elation is a person disliking the superiority of another person over him, and he wishes to be like him or better, so this is jealousy and it is known as “ghibta”.

…This is what competitors should compete for.[19]

I continued:  Envy is extremely disliking the blessings bestowed upon the envied. This is the type of jealousy that bears blame. So, when a person detests something, he feels hurt acknowledging what he hates. This becomes a sickness in his heart;  he enjoys it when the envied has their blessings taken away even if this does not result in any benefit to the envious except the single benefit of having the pain that was in his soul removed.

…But the evil plot does not encompass except its own people[20]

He asked: What is the difference between the evil that occurs from a man and the one that happen from God?

I countered: Evil never comes from God! Evil is not existential matters; existence is pure goodness.

 “How come?” He wanted to know.

I answered: If a person, for example, beat another person until he loses his ability to move, then he has acquired the attribute of injustice, and injustice is evil. But the presence of strength for someone who grabs a cane and uses it to hit someone else is not evil. The existence of the will that God has given to him is not evil as well.

His ability to move his hand is not evil.

The presence of the capacity of beating in the stick is not evil.

All of these existential materials are good, and the attribute of evil is not acquired unless it led to harm through its misuse, which is the paralysis in the previous example. Thus, based on that example, the presence of the scorpion and the snake is not evil if a person didn’t cross in front of it and was bitten by it. As such, God Almighty is not credited with evil in His actions for those are pure goodness, but rather in their effects that resulted from the misuse of this goodness by humans.

He said: What about people who were born disabled?

I answered: A fifty years old disabled person once told me: ‘I now realize the underlying blessing behind the severe accident that left me crippled. Before the accident, I intended to turn to atheism. I was too distant from God, and I was hell bent on immigrating so I can become an atheist. My injury prevented me from fulfilling my wish, and after thirty years of the accident, I thank God for it, and I see it as one of the greatest blessings that God has bestowed upon me, and that it brought me closer to Him. I am certain that my soul was wayward enough to make me not return back to God except with such an affliction. God knows the souls of His servants even before they are born.

I said to my inquisitor: Since evil is relative and not absolute, and life is a test and not a rewarding place, and the reward is as great as the amount of work. So, the trials are like someone who travels a long distance in the hope of reaching his goal and his beloved.

 “What is the evidence for the resurrection?” He wanted to know.

I explained: The evidence and phenomena of existence all indicate that there is a consistent rebuilding and creation in life all around us. The examples are abundant, such as reviving the Earth after its death by rain and other examples too.

He brings the living out of the dead, and He brings the dead out of the living, and He revives the land after it had died. Likewise, you will be resurrected.[21]

Did you think that We created you in vain, and that to Us you will not be returned?  So Exalted is God, the Ruler, the Real. There is no god except He, the Lord of the Noble Throne.[22] 

Another evidence for resurrection is the interlocked system of the universe that is balanced, even the infinitesimally small electron cannot travel from one orb to another in the atom unless it gives or takes an amount of energy equal to its movement. So how do you imagine in this system that the killer escapes or that the unjust flees without punishment from the Lord of the worlds. I uttered.

Do those who perpetrate the evil deeds assume that We will regard them as equal to those who believe and do righteous deeds, whether in their life or their death? Evil is their judgment! God created the heavens and the earth with justice, so that every soul will be repaid for what it has earned. And they will not be wronged.[23]

I went on: Do you not notice that in this life we lose a lot of our relatives and friends and know that we will die like them one day, but we feel deep in our hearts that we shall live forever. If the human body was a material object within the framework of a material life within the material laws, there would be no meaning to this innate sense of freedom; that the spirit transcends time and overcomes death.

He asked: How can the Creator resurrect them?

I argued: Just as He created them the first time.

O, people! If you are in doubt about the Resurrection: We created you from dust, then from a drop, then from a clinging clot, then from a lump—developed and undeveloped. To clarify things for you. And We settle in the wombs what We will, for a designated term, and then We bring you out as infants. Then you may reach your maturity. Some of you will pass away, and some of you will reach the vilest age, so that after having known he may not know. And you see the earth still, but when We send down water on it, it vibrates and swells, and grows every delightful pair.[24]

Does the human being not consider that We created him from a drop? Yet he becomes a fierce adversary. And he produces arguments against Us, and he forgets his own creation. He says, “Who will revive the bones when they have decayed?” Say, “He who initiated them in the first instance will revive them. And He knows every creation.[25] 

So observe the impact of Allah’s mercy: how He revives the earth after its death. That is the Reviver of the dead, and He is capable of all things.[26]

He challenged: And how does He hold them all accountable at the same time?

I rejoined: Just as He provides for them all at the same time.

Those who disbelieve argue with false arguments:

In dialogue that I’ve conducted with a large group of French women, who were working in an international organization, I had difficulty dealing with Muslim women of Arab descents who were among these French women. The non-Muslim French women were highly interactive and responded effectively, but on the other hand I was concerned about the Muslim women.

One of them angrily interrupted me while I was answering a non-Muslim woman who asked a question about the head covers’ ordinance in the Holy Qur’an: The head cover is not an obligation in Islam!

I challenged: Do you pray the prayers in their due time?

She answered: No, I do not pray.

I said: Then you are right. Praying for you in this case is a priority. Pray first, then come and discuss with me the subject of the head covers’ ordinance.

I could tell that she felt very embarrassed.

Another one had interjected: But when a woman is born, she is bare headed, hence the principle is to reveal her head.

I challenged: In that case, she must come out completely naked, because she is born without any clothes.

She persisted: The head cover is retardation and backwardness.

I challenged: Is there any backwardness beyond Adam’s time? Exposing the head itself is the backwardness. Go back to the photos of your grandmother on her way to school, and see what she was wearing. When the swimming suite appeared for the first time, demonstrations took place all over Europe and Australia against it because it violated instinct of traditions not for religious reasons. Therefore, the manufacturing companies embarked on making extensive advertisements using girls at the age of five wearing it at the beginning in order to encourage women to wear it. The first girl who walked out wearing it was too ashamed that she couldn’t continue with the show.

At that time, women and men used to swim in white and black swimwear covering their entire bodies.

She countered back: How did you know that?

I replied: I learned it through my university’s education. When I’ve decided to wear the head cover in high school, I had a strong desire to imitate faithful women throughout history who have taken from the veil a symbol of their righteousness, such as the blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of the Messiah and the wives of the Messenger.

At that time, I realized that there was no way for me to find something beautiful and elegant for veiled women in the market, so I decided to study fashion design for this purpose.

I elaborated, what is the difference between the veil of the Catholic nun and the veil of the Muslim woman? If you looked at both women from the back, you wouldn’t be able to differentiate between them; not until you see them from the front, only then you could tell the difference by noticing if they wear a cross or not. This is the main difference between the Muslim and Christian’s creed.

Another one cut in: But the nun is religious, she gave herself to God and renounces marriage.

I asked: So, in your opinion, should we choose between marriage and being religious? Isn’t this an injustice against ourselves and a great disparagement? Forcing our souls to struggle between their physical needs and their spiritual ones?

That is a slow annihilation of the soul and an eternal torment in this life and the hereafter.

She said: But the head cover is not a normal thing for us.

I smiled and said gently: I’ll tell you a symbolic story. There once was a ruler of a village who fell grievously ill, that his nose was amputate at the insistence of his personal doctor.

On the following day, the minister came in to check up on the king, but he was so startled by the sight of the nose-less king that he burst out in laughter.

The king was absolutely angry and ordered his doctor to cut out the minister’s nose. On the third day, the assistant ministers laughed at the sight of their minister without a nose. So, the minister got offended, and told the king what had happened. So, the king ordered his doctor to chop off the noses of all the ministers.

On the fourth day, the ruler went out with his minister and assistant ministers to solve some of the people’s problems, and the people laughed at them. Therefore, the king decreed that the doctor also cut out the noses of all the people and the noses of the any newly born children.

As a result, all the folks of the that village became without noses; and later on when a natural person -with a healthy nose- from another village came to visit their village, everyone pointed at him and jeered: This one has a nose. He is not a normal human being.

The group laughed out loudly at the tale, and someone said: Yes, your story has a lot of truth in it.

Another woman asked: Why does a man not cover his beard just as a woman covers her hair? Why is the dress code worn by a man different than a woman’s dress code -in Islam-? Why do they not cover their bodies in the same way?

I laughed at her question and stated: How peculiar! So why do you wear a two-piece bathing suite, and your husband swims in a one-piece trunk?

The whole group burst out laughing. I continued: A woman covers her hair to ward off sedition; have you heard of a woman raping a man ever in your life?

Women in your countries marsh out in protests demanding for their rights to a safe life without harassment or rape, and we have not heard of a similar demonstration done by men.

One of them had mocked: Why can’t a woman be sent as a prophet?

I dared her: Would you want to be sent as a prophet?

She uttered archly: Why not?

I floored her by saying: Since your faith is this strong, and you have high endurance, vigor, and determination, then ask God to make you a prophet.

The group laughed again.

Then another lady said: What is the difference between the face cover and head cover?

I clarified: Based on my prior knowledge of their strong reverence to the Virgin Mary: The ones who wear the head cover had emulated the pious women throughout history who took the veil as a symbol of their righteousness such as Virgin Mary, the mother of the Christ, and others.

While the women who put on the face cover are following suit with the wives of the Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him.

She said: Why does a man marry four women?

I answered: In France, how many women does a man marry?

She uttered: Only one!

I asked her: And how many mistresses does he keep?

The whole group cried out in one voice while laughing: Too many!

I continued: This situation that you are laughing at is the situation that prevailed before Islam, and Islam came to set it right; preserving the rights and dignity of women and transforming them from mistresses into wives who have integrity and rights.

She asked irritably: Who would accept to be a second wife? How can a French woman accept to be a second or third wife?

I replied quietly: Whoever accepts to become a mistress with no rights, will in fact prefer to become a wife with secured rights for herself and for her children.

A mistress lives a degrading life without rights for her and her children, and it is odd that you accept the concept of ​​relationships without marriage and responsibilities, and children without parents or homosexuality, etc.…

while you reject a legal marriage between a man and more than one woman.

She persisted: Why does a woman not have the right to marry four men at the same time, just as a man does?

I clarified: A woman can marry a single or a married man as long as he has less than four wives, and that is her right. Whereas this right is not applicable to a man; as he is only allowed to marry someone who is not married, so as to protect the rights of children in lineage and inheritance.

She said: It is possible for the children’s rights to be preserved by examining their DNA.

I asked her in surprise:  If you came into the world and found your mother introducing you to your father through this test, what would your psychological state be?

Regardless, how can a woman play the wife of four men with that temperamental moodiness that she has?  Not to mention the diseases caused by her relationship with more than one man at the same time.

Another woman said: Why are men the guardians of women in Islam?

I clarified to her: That is an esteem for women and an obligation for men on the bases of taking care of her affairs and fulfilling her needs.

A Muslim woman plays the role of a queen that every woman on earth desires.

She countered: But she is actually not a queen.

I replied: A smart woman chooses what she should be, either an honored queen, or a toiler on the side of the road.

She challenged: Have a look at how men misused that guardianship!

I told her gently: This is not a stigma to the guardianship system, but rather to those who misuse it.

She persisted: Look at the men in some Arab countries, how they oppress their wives at home, then go out to the nightclubs to drink wine and dally with women.

I retorted: How many are they? One thousand two thousand three? Do you know the number of Muslims in any of these countries?

She said sharply: Why did the Qur’an allow them to strike the woman?

I clarified: Who said so? Muhammad, may God bless him and grant him peace, never hit a woman in his life. As for the Qur’anic verse that spoke of the beating, it is meant to be a not severe beating in the case of rebellion, just like when you nudge your son’s shoulder when you wake him up from a deep sleep so that he does not miss his test.

I continued: Let’s say that you found your daughter standing at the edge of the window to fling herself off. Unintentionally, your hands will reach out to her to grab her and push her backwards so that she does not hurt herself.

That is what is intended here by beating a woman, to try to prevent her from destroying her home and destroying the future of her children. Of course, that is only after several stages as mentioned in the verse.

As for those from whom you fear disloyalty, admonish them, and abandon them in their beds, then strike them. But if they obey you, seek no way against them. God is Sublime, Great.[27]

She said: And why does the woman not hit her husband if he misbehaved?

I explained: If she can take her right on her own, then she can do so; but that may cause another harmful effect. But the woman is weak in general; Islam has given her the right to resort to the judiciary.

The basic principle in Islam is that the marital relationship should be based upon affection, serenity and mercy.

And of His signs is that He created for you mates from among yourselves, so that you may find tranquility in them; and He planted love and compassion between you. In this are signs for people who reflect.[28]

She uttered: My daughter is a homosexual, and I cannot interfere with her decision.

I dared her: If she wants to throw herself into fire, would you have interfered or not?

She answered: That is the difference between you and me. You find this behavior dangerous, but I find it natural. Didn’t you hear of the relativity theory? Just as there are various theories of human origin and theories of the concept of God, likewise morality is relative and there are objective moral values.

We, in France, find no problem in our daughters having relationships with their schoolmates outside of marriage, for example. I myself have paid my daughter’s costs for staying with her boyfriend in a nearby hotel to spare them meeting up, for example, in a nearby forest and exposing them to bandits.

I told her that having various theories and convictions does notmean that there isn’t a one true and correct theory. No matter how many concepts and theories you collectively have about the means of transportation that I’d use to get here daily, does not negate the fact that I own a black car, even if the whole world believes that my car is red, this belief doesn’t make it red, there is one truth and it is A Black Car.

It is illogical to decree the convictions of human beings based on their whims and preferences. If rape is evil for example, rather there is no doubt that rape is a breach to human rights, a violation of his values and freedom.

This indicates that rape is evil, so is homosexuality, which is a violation of the universal laws, and adultery.

The truth can’t be denied even if the whole world agreed to invalidate it. A misdeed is as clear as the sun, even if all human beings agreed to recognize it as valid.

And the theories of the origin of the existence do not negate the existence of one truth, which is that there is only one God the Creator the One and Only, who has neither image nor child.

If the entire world wanted to embrace that the Creator is embodied in the form of an animal or a person, that does not make it so, Exalted be Allah God Almighty from their claims and elevated to great heights.

Hence, your daughter’s homosexuality is a wrong and disgraceful act; even if the whole world concurred that it is right. The only and explicit truth is that morality is not relative and does not change with time or place.

One of them interjected: But we must respect the opinions and theories of others.

I declared: We do respect the will of choice that God have given to everyone, but we do not respect the disgraceful behavior itself.

Another had questioned: Why did Islam prohibit adoption?

I clarified: Have you heard the story of the Australian girl who accidently learned, thirty years later, that she was adopted and committed suicide? If they told her since childhood, they would have spared her and given her the opportunity to search for her family.

Islam urges the sponsorship of orphans, and urges the sponsor of an orphan to treat him as he treats his own children, but upholds the right of the orphan to get to know his true family, to preserve his right in his father’s inheritance, and to avoid mixing of lineages.

Another Muslim woman asked next: Why the savagery in the punishment for adultery, look at the French sophistication.

I countered back: Due to the French sophistication, how many millions do not know where they’ve come from? Is that sophistication or retardation?

She challenged: Why does a woman inherit half of what a man inherits?

I stated: A Muslim friend had told me one day that she strove so hard to understand this point up until the death of her father-in law. Her husband inherited twice the amount his sister did; but he had to buy some essentials that he lacked such as a house for his own family and a car.

His sister on the other hand, bought jewelry for the amount that she got and saved the rest of the money in the bank; as her husband was obligated to provide housing and other essentials. Only then my friend understood the wisdom behind this ruling, and she thanked God.

I explained: Before Islam, a woman was deprived of an inheritance. When Islam came, she was included in the inheritance, indeed she even gets more shares than the males in some cases. Whereas the males only obtain higher proportions according to the degree of kinship and descent.

She insisted: But in many societies, women work and toil to take care of their families. The rule of inheritance here is rotten.

I contradicted: Is the malfunction in your phone, which you caused by not following the operating instructions, an evidence of rottenness in the operating instructions?

And argued with false arguments to condemn the truth:

The French woman went on with her inquiries: Islam has detracted from the woman’s eligibility, by making her testimony half of the man’s testimony.

I elucidated: The testimony of a man was never accepted alone even in the most insignificant financial issues, and Muslim men did not object to that and considered it a violation of his integrity; except that the woman has the advantage in accepting her testimony alone without a man and in a more crucial subject than the testimony on small matters, and that is in the testimony to the childbirth and what it entails in inheritance and lineage.

And call to witness two men from among you. If two men are not available, then one man and two women whose testimony is acceptable to all—if one of them fails to remember, the other would remind her. [29]

The testimony upon which the judiciary system relies on to verify justice on the basis of evidence does not need masculinity or femininity as a criterion to determine its truthfulness or falsehood, in order to decide whether to accept or reject it.

Rather, its criterion fulfills the judge’s assurance of the truth of the testimony, regardless of the gender of the witness, male or female, and regardless of the number of witnesses.

In any case, we must know that testifying is a mandate and a responsibility, and when God relieves a woman of it, that is to honor her not the opposite.

She said: Why does Islam endorse slavery?

I answered: There is not a single verse in the Holy Qur’an that supports slavery! Slavery, which was established before Islam, was a standard system practiced by all populations, but it was without restrictions. Islam’s fight against slavery was aimed at changing the outlook and mindset of the entire society, so that slaves become after their liberation full and active members in society without the need to resort to demonstrations, strikes, civil disobedience, or even ethnic revolutions.

The goal of Islam was to get rid of this hateful system as quickly as possible and by peaceful measures.

She asked: How so?

I explained: Islam did not allow the ruler to enslave his people. Moreover, Islam has also granted both the ruler and his people rights and duties within the boundaries of freedom and justice guaranteed to all.

So, slaves were gradually set free through expiations, opening the door for alms, the hasting to do good and through the emancipation of the slaves to draw nearer to the God.

The woman who bears a child to her owner was not sold and was automatically granted her freedom upon his death. In contrary, to all previous traditions, Islam has decreed that the son of an enslaved woman will be conjoined with his father, therefore he is free.

What is more, it also decreed that the bondservant purchases himself from his master by paying an amount of money or working for a specified period.

If any of your servants wish to be freed, grant them their wish, if you recognize some good in them.[30]

In the battles that Muslims were forced to fight in defense of themselves, religion, and money, Prophet Muhammad, may God bless him and grant him peace, has instructed his companions to treat prisoners of war with kindness and charity.

In addition, the prisoners were able to buy their freedom by paying a ransom or teaching children how to read and write. Also, the enslavement system in Islam did not deprive a child from his mother or a brother from his brother.

Islam has commanded Muslims to show mercy to those fighters who’ve surrendered.

And if anyone of the polytheists asks you for protection, give him protection so that he may hear the Word of God; then escort him to his place of safety. That is because they are a people who do not know.[31]

Islam had also stipulated the possibility of helping slaves to free themselves by funding them from the money of Muslims or the state treasury. The Prophet, may God’s prayers and peace be upon him, had offered a ransom to free the slaves from the funds of the public treasury.

She questioned: Aren’t the pilgrimage rituals paganistic in the glorification of the Ka’aba and the other rituals?

I pointed out: Are we to interpret the regard of the citizens of any country for some monument in publishing its photos and stamping it on official papers and so on as a worshipping ritual to that monument?

There is a huge difference between pagan religions, and the aggrandizing of certain places and sacred landmarks, whether religious, ethnic or national.

She asked: Why do Muslims kiss the Black Stone?

I enlightened her: Would you scold someone for kissing an envelope that has a letter from his father?

She disregarded my question: What about throwing the stones?

I answered her: As for the throwing of stones, it is to show our opposition to Satan, and not following him. In this way, we are emulating the actions of our Messenger Ibrahim, peace be upon him, when Satan had intercepted him to prevent him from carrying out his Lord’s order and slaughtering his son. So, he casted some stones at him. [32]

Likewise, the pursuit between the two hills (Al-Safa and Al-Marwah) is following in the footsteps of Hajar (Ibrahim’s wife) when she sought to find water for her son Ismail.

All the rituals of pilgrimage are for establishing the remembrance of God and denoting obedience and yielding to the Lord of the Worlds. They are not intended to worship stones, places nor people.

Whereas, Islam calls for one God who is the Lord of the heavens and earth and what is between them; The Creator and Sovereign of everything.

I have directed my attention towards Him Who created the heavens and the earth—a monotheist—and I am not of the idolaters.[33]

She exclaimed: For me, these rituals are frightening. Many Muslims died because of the excessive crowding.

I informed her: Dozens may die in this annual event due to excessive crowding, yet millions of people die annually because of alcohol consumption. In addition, victims die in greater numbers in soccer field stadiums, carnivals in South America, etc. because of big crowds.

In all cases, death is inevitable. Meeting God is an ascertained reality. Therefore, dying while doing good deeds, is better than dying while sinning.

Malcolm X  said: “And for the first time after twenty-nine years that I’ve spent on this earth, I stood before the Creator of everything and felt that I am a complete human being. I have never witnessed in my life the sincerity of this brotherhood among people of all colors and genders. America needs to understand Islam because it is the only religion that has the solution to the problem of racism.”[34]

Evelyn Kobold said: “Islam is a word that means submission to God, and it also means peace. The Muslim is defined as the man who walks in his life according to the will of his Creator, and the orders of his Lord, and who lives in peace with God and His servants. Perhaps the most beautiful thing in Islam is the Divine Oneness, devoid of traditions and heretics, and its complete adherence to practical matters of life. Faith in the Qur’an is based on good deeds, and there is no faith in Islam without there being a good deed; ever! This is what one finds in the Qur’an more than once in all its chapters and verses. Islam ordained the pilgrimage on the Muslims who can make the journey, so the sick is excused; the poor, and the slaves as well. It is stipulated in the pilgrimage that the road to it be devoid of risks. There should not be disease nor injustice in it.

Speaking of the pilgrimage, no one can deny that its of great importance. It overwhelms the soul from soaring to the realm of supreme spiritualistic ideals, and helps it break free from the vanities of the world. It helps it turn to God with a sound heart along thousands of people of all kinds with their different nationalities, different languages and the multiplicity of their drinks and tastes. These people come from all over the world, enduring on their way all kinds of hardships, the disturbance of pathways, and the far away distances that cannot be estimated or envisioned. All of that is to only stand in one place before God, May He be exalted, approaching Him with pure hearts, eager cores, and tears a flowing.”[35]


[1] (Qur’an 34:6)

[2] (Qur’an 20:14)

[3] (Qur’an 7:54)

[4] (Qur’an 41:9-12)

[5] What is said about Islam? Abbas Mahmoud Al-Akkad.

[6] (Qur’an 21:30)

[7] (Qur’an 21:20)

[8] (Qur’an 66:6)

[9] (Qur’an 6:121)

[10] (Qur’an 12:18)

[11] (Qur’an 18:104)

[12] (Qur’an 35:8)

[13] (Qur’an 4:67)

[14] (Qur’an 16:98:100)

[15] (Qur’an 6:21)

[16] (Qur’an 6:201)

[17] (Qur’an 14:22)

[18] (Qur’an 89:28)

[19] (Qur’an 83: 26)

[20] (Qur’an 35 :43)

[21] (Qur’an 30:19)

[22] (Qur’an 23:115-116)

[23] (Qur’an 45:12-22)

[24] (Qur’an 22:5)

[25] (Qur’an 36:77-79)

[26] (Qur’an 30:50)

[27] (Qur’an 4:34)

[28] (Qur’an 30:21)

[29] (Qur’an 2:282)

[30] (Qur’an 24:33)

[31] (Qur’an 9:6)

[32] Imam Al-Hakim in Al-Mustadrak & Imam Ibn Khuzaymah in his Sahih on the authority of our master Ibn Abbas, may God be pleased with him.

[33] (Qur’an 6:79)

[34] An Islamic herald and an American human rights defender of African origin (African American), he corrected the march of the Islamic movement in America after it deviated strongly from the Islamic faith and called for the correct dogma.

[35] Lady Evelyn Zainab Kobold, wrote the book “The Pilgrimage to Macca” (London, 1934), a Scottish orientalist born in Edinburgh in an aristocratic family, converted to Islam and performed the Hajj pilgrimage in 1933.

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