08 September, 2006

"Righteous" Believer vs. the "Wicked" Jew

Thanks to stupid actions of some muslims, many people have this impression that muslims are taught to hate non muslims just because of their faith. Unfortunately, we muslims also feel that we are special people of God "just" because we have muslim names or we were born in muslim families?

I would like to share with you guys a verse from the Quran which was revealed to Prophet Mohammed in defence of a Jew. Allah says in Chapter 4, Verse 105:

"Surely, We have sent down to you the Book in truth that you might judge between men by that which Allah has shown you (by Divine inspiration), so be not a pleader for the treacherous."
I first heard this story in one of the lectures of Dr. Omar Abdul Kafy. We definitely need more scholars like him to portray the true picture of Islam. Fortunately, I found the story on the net too, you can read the full article here.

The incident involved a Muslim of Madinah called Tu'mah or Bashir ibn Ubayriq of an Ansar tribe. This man stole another Ansari's coat of armour.

While the investigation was in progress, Tu'mah threw the coat into the house of a Jew. Its owner approached the Prophet Muhammad and expressed his suspicion about Tu'mah. But Tu'mah, his kinsmen and many of his tribesmen conspired to accuse the Jew of this robery.

When the Jew concerned was asked about the matter, he pleaded that he was not guilty. In the meantime, Tu'mah's supporters waged a vigorous propaganda campaign to save Tu'mah. To prove Tu'mah's "innocence", his supporters said,

"Do you slander a people whose Islam and uprightness is beyond suspicion?!"

They even argued that the 'wicked Jew', who had denied the Truth and disbelieved in God and the Prophet, was absolutely untrustworthy, and his statement ought to be rejected outright.

At this point that Allah intervened with this revelation, exposing the dishonesty of a Muslim: "Do not dispute on behalf of the dishonest and untrustworthy"!


May Allah guide all of us to His right path.

17 comments:

Keefieboy said...

I'm sure there's a very good point in here but I suspect it's lost in translation. 'Do not dispute...' is supposed to mean what exactly?

DG said...

Keefieboy, thanks for pointing that out. I have changed the translation. I hope the point is clear now :-)

Doubleletter said...

"Verily! Those who believe and those who are Jews and Christians, and Sabians, whoever believes in God and the Last Day and do righteous good deeds shall have their reward with their Lord, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve "

Another thought-provoking quote from the Quran.

Lirun said...

;)

bandicoot said...

DG - Three points:
First , translation; What is your source of translation? Even if this is your own, you should mention that. Quran translation is not a simple matter. The following quoted passage for example lists three well-known translators and their varying translations of the same verse you mentioned:

“004.105
YUSUFALI: We have sent down to thee the Book in truth, that thou mightest judge between men, as guided by Allah: so be not (used) as an advocate by those who betray their trust;
PICKTHAL: Lo! We reveal unto thee the Scripture with the truth, that thou mayst judge between mankind by that which Allah showeth thee. And be not thou a pleader for the treacherous;
SHAKIR: Surely We have revealed the Book to you with the truth that you may judge between people by means of that which Allah has taught you; and be not an advocate on behalf of the treacherous.”
Source is
here.

Two, Explanation (or exegesis; tafseer in Arabic); again this is a very complicated and often inconclusive matter. In the Tabari’s exegesis (one of the most authoritative) there is no clear consensus on the exact story behind the verse in question. In one online source Tabari presents different versions of what happened. Muhamamd bin Saa’d’s narrative (p. 4) makes it seem as if Tu’mah is the wrongly accused and there is no mention of any Jews. Another narrative, Muhammad bin Al-Husayn’s (p.5) says that that the armor was given by a Jewish man to Tu’mah for safekeeping and then eventually was thrown into the house of another Muslim man form Ansar who then became the subject of wrong accusation. And Tabari is only one of many exegetes whose explanations of this verse could have other differences.

Finally, as this wikipedia article points out, it’s interesting to note that the chapter from which this verse comes (Surat Al-Nisaa, or Chapter on Women) is among the most interesting (and controversial) of the Quran.

DG said...

Bandicoot, thank you brother for your comment.

I am not a religious scholar. I took this translation from here. The site also has translations by Yousuf Ali, Pickthal & Shakir.

As for your two other points, I am not a religious scholar, I will not comment on that so please excuse me.

I heard this story in one of the lectures of Dr. Omar Abdul kafy on Sharjah TV, just wanted to share it with fellow bloggers. And honestly, these stories appeal more to our hearts & minds.

I mean, why should I hate a Jew or a Christian just because of his religion? Islam spread in the world because of its message of peace & not hate. That was my point.

Thanks for your comment & effort writing this comment :-)

Tim Newman said...

So are we allowed to give our wives a sound thrashing or not?

DXB_Muslim said...

No you are not allowed.

Thanks for the post DG.

fellow atheist said...

tim,

I wish you would be more civilized for once in your obviously empty life.

Tim Newman said...

I'm a heathen farm boy from Wales, I'll never be civilised. A bit like those who consider the murder or Jews or beating of women as a legal matter dependent on a translation. What would be really civilised if this kind of stuff was no longer a subject for debate.

DG said...

Tim, wife beating is called cowardice. By the way, I think it is you who needs a sound thrashing from your wife for the type of "enlightened comments" you usually give :-)

DXB_Muslim, thanks for the comment :-)

Fellow athiest, I think Tim behaves like this everytime his wife gives him a "sound thrashing" :-)

Tim, now don't get offended please. I am just trying to have some fun, just like you normally do here :-)

Lirun said...

i must say the questions regarding the translations ring familiar to me..

i always have people translating the torah (what many refer to as the old testament) to me in english and asking me to defend interpretations that they subscribe to in the highly accurate and surgical language that english is..

given that it is written in hebrew - my take is that it is not necessarily designed to impart a single meaning but rather a cluster of concepts that are interlnked.. there for us to consider.. question.. query and ponder and for us to reach what we perceive to be as morally sound decisions when tested through time.. i think rigid interpretations of fluid languages (as the semitic ones are) is overly ambitious..

nevertheless i think the important element here is not to debate what the most acceptable interpretation is but rather the mere fact that the script offers scope for peace and cross cultural solidarity..

what is then made of it is a matter of personal choice..

just the view of an "evil" jew ;)

peace to you all..

lirun
telaviv
www.emspeace.blogspot.com

fellow atheist said...

Considering the fact that I obviously (at least my name should give that away) don't believe in divinity, I find your behavior to be rather childish and irresponsible.

The general feeling I have when I read this is, if I see anywhere in public, I will want to punch you straight in the face.

This is how I feel. Now, imagine how a believer would feel? You want to debate, fine. Stick to the issue and don't get other issues into a subject that has been beaten to death by this very blog's comment pages.

Quit being a stupid little child and grow up already. Being a 'heathen' doesn't mean you have to be inconsiderate and disrespectful.

Tim Newman said...

I find your behavior to be rather childish and irresponsible.

The general feeling I have when I read this is, if I see anywhere in public, I will want to punch you straight in the face.


Am I the only one to see the irony in those two sentences running concurrently?

Stick to the issue and don't get other issues into a subject that has been beaten to death by this very blog's comment pages.

And since when have you been the arbitrator of what gets discussed on this blog, Rocky? If you want the prestige of being a moderator, get your own blog.

Quit being a stupid little child and grow up already.

Ha! Says the chap who want to start punching people in public when they start to talk about issues which you don't want discussed!

Being a 'heathen' doesn't mean you have to be inconsiderate and disrespectful.

I will be as inconsiderate and disrespectful towards any belief system I choose, including religious ones. If you don't like it, tough.

fellow atheist said...

I will be as inconsiderate and disrespectful towards any belief system I choose, including religious ones. If you don't like it, tough.

Oh I don't have a problem with your views. I have a problem with the way you express them. Oh well, feels like beating a dead horse.

DG said...

Lirun, I think it is common thing in all the religions. People fight on minor things, while ignoring the real message that religion is trying to convey.

We muslims, unfortunately, respect the book (Quran) more than the content inside. Why? Because no one has time to read it or we have been brain washed by our leaders that only religious leaders understand & explain the "true" meaning.

The rest of us, we are just like the sheep who are supposed to follow the herder. No comments, no arguement, no questions. Full stop :-)

Quran asks me to look at things, to think, to ask questions, to find answers, to use my brain. May God guide all of us to His right path.

Kiwi Boy said...

Yes, well and good. But they don't teach us this in Islamic Studies class in school, which follows the textbook endorsed by the Ministry of Education. I'm discovering that more and more people here think of Jews has the people out to conquer the world or as wicked people when the majority of them are just regular people like you and me.

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