Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Qur'anic Morality: A Closer Look

Allah (swt) loves mutual kindness between all people:

“Allah does not forbid you respecting those who have not made war against you on account of (your) religion, and have not driven you forth from your homes, that you show them kindness and deal with them justly; surely Allah loves the doers of justice.”

Qur’an 60:8

Is it justified for Muslims to feel anything other than kindness to those who do not attack Islam?

Allah (swt) encourages us to reflect and to use our brains:

“Say: Travel in the earth and see how He makes the first creation, then Allah creates the latter creation; surely Allah has power over all things.”

Qur’an 29:20

Allah (swt) discourages blind belief:

“And they say: None shall enter the garden (or paradise) except he who is a Jew or a Christian. These are their vain desires. Say: Bring your proof if you are truthful (i.e. don't make such claims - see 4:94).”

Qur’an 2:111

“Or, have they taken gods besides Him? Say: Bring your proof; this is the reminder of those with me and the reminder of those before me. Nay! most of them do not know the truth, so they turn aside.”

Qur’an 21:24

Allah (swt) forbids unprovoked aggression:

“And fight in the way of Allah with those who fight with you, and do not exceed the limits, surely Allah does not love those who exceed the limits.”

Qur’an 2:190

“Except those who reach a people between whom and you there is an alliance, or who come to you, their hearts shrinking from fighting you or fighting their own people; and if Allah had pleased, He would have given them power over you, so that they should have certainly fought you; therefore if they withdraw from you and do not fight you and offer you peace, then Allah has not given you a way against them.”

Qur’an 4:90

“And if they incline to peace, then incline to it and trust in Allah; surely He is the Hearing, the Knowing.”

Qur’an 8:61

Allah (swt) encourages forgiveness and modesty:

“And if you invite them to guidance, they do not hear; and you see them looking towards you, yet they do not see. Take to forgiveness and enjoin good and turn aside from the ignorant.”

Qur’an 7:198-199

“And the servants of the Beneficent Allah are they who walk on the earth in humbleness, and when the ignorant address them, they say: Peace.”

Qur’an 25:63

“And they who when they spend, are neither extravagant nor parsimonious, and (keep) between these the just mean.”

Qur’an 25:67

“So that you may not grieve for what has escaped you, nor be exultant at what He has given you; and Allah does not love any arrogant boaster: Those who are niggardly and enjoin niggardliness on men; and whoever turns back, then surely Allah is He Who is the Selfsufficient, the Praised.”

Qur'an 57:23-24

Allah (swt) discourages profit-seeking and selfishness:

“Say: I do not ask you aught in return except that he who will, may take the way to his Lord.”

Qur’an 25:57

“Those who swallow down usury cannot arise except as one whom Shaitan has prostrated by (his) touch does rise. That is because they say, trading is only like usury; and Allah has allowed trading and forbidden usury. To whomsoever then the admonition has come from his Lord, then he desists, he shall have what has already passed, and his affair is in the hands of Allah; and whoever returns (to it)-- these are the inmates of the fire; they shall abide in it.”

Qur’ran 2:275

“And if (the debtor) is in straitness, then let there be postponement until (he is in) ease; and that you remit (it) as alms is better for you, if you knew.”

Qur’an 2:280

Allah (swt) forbids both murder and adultery:

“And they who do not call upon another god with Allah and do not slay the soul, which Allah has forbidden except in the requirements of justice, and (who) do not commit fornication and he who does this shall find a requital of sin;”

Qur’an 25:68

“For this reason did We prescribe to the children of Israel that whoever slays a soul, unless it be for manslaughter or for mischief in the land, it is as though he slew all men; and whoever keeps it alive, it is as though he kept alive all men; and certainly Our messengers came to them with clear arguments, but even after that many of them certainly act extravagantly in the land.”

Qur’an 5:32

Allah (swt) forgives those who repent:

“Except him who repents and believes and does a good deed; so these are they of whom Allah changes the evil deeds to good ones; and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.’

Qur’an 25:70

“(Punish the criminals) Except for those who repent before they fall into your power: in that case, know that Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.”

Allah (swt) forbids lying:

“And they who do not bear witness to what is false, and when they pass by what is vain, they pass by nobly.”

Qur’an 25:72

Allah (swt) encourages patience (in doing good):

“These shall be rewarded with high places because they were patient, and shall be met therein with greetings and salutations.”

Qur’an 25:75

Allah (swt) encourages good and forbids evil:

“Surely Allah is with those who guard (against evil) and those who do good.”

Qur’an 16:128

Allah (swt) says that consent for marriage is required from both parties:

“...do not prevent them from marrying their husbands when they agree among themselves in a lawful manner.”

Marriage is a “firm covenant”:

“And how can you take it (dowry) when one of you has already gone in to the other and they have made with you a firm covenant?”

Qur’an 4:21

Marriage is not to be taken lightly and divorce should be thought over for four months:

“Divorce may be (pronounced) twice, then keep (them) in good fellowship or let (them) go with kindness; and it is not lawful for you to take any part of what you have given them, unless both fear that they cannot keep within the limits of Allah; then if you fear that they cannot keep within the limits of Allah, there is no blame on them for what she gives up to become free thereby. These are the limits of Allah, so do not exceed them and whoever exceeds the limits of Allah these it is that are the unjust.”

Qur’an 2:229

“Those who swear that they will not go in to their wives should wait four months; so if they go back, then Allah is surely Forgiving, Merciful. And if they have resolved on a divorce, then Allah is surely Hearing, Knowing.

Qur’an 2:226-227

Allah (swt) gives women equal rights and expects husbands to respect them and treat them with kindness (and not to preconceive or jump to decisions):

“O you who believe! it is not lawful for you that you should take women as heritage against (their) will, and do not straiten them in order that you may take part of what you have given them, unless they are guilty of manifest indecency, and treat them kindly; then if you hate them, it may be that you dislike a thing while Allah has placed abundant good in it.”

Qur’an 4:19

“And they have rights similar (i.e. the like of) to those against them in a just manner...”

Qur’an 2:228

Women can divorce their husbands where and when cohabitation is difficult:

“...do not retain them for injury...”

Qur’an 2:231

“And if a woman fears ill usage or desertion on the part of her husband, there is no blame on them, if they effect a reconciliation between them, and reconciliation is better, and avarice has been made to be present in the (people's) minds; and if you do good (to others) and guard (against evil), then surely Allah is aware of what you do.”

Qur'an 4:128

Allah (swt) permits polygamy only under extreme circumstances:

“And if you fear that you cannot act equitably towards orphans, then marry such women as seem good to you, two and three and four; but if you fear that you will not do justice (between them), then (marry) only one or what your right hands possess; this is more proper, that you may not deviate from the right course.”

Qur’an 4:3

Allah (swt) promotes charity and equal distribution of wealth:

“They ask you as to what they should spend. Say: Whatever wealth you spend, it is for the parents and the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer, and whatever good you do, Allah surely knows it.”

Qur’an 2:215

“They ask you about intoxicants and games of chance. Say: In both of them there is a great sin and means of profit for men, and their sin is greater than their profit. And they ask you as to what they should spend. Say: What you can spare. Thus does Allah make clear to you the communications, that you may ponder.”

Qur’an 2:219

“Alms are only for the poor and the needy, and the officials (appointed) over them, and those whose hearts are made to incline (to truth) and the (ransoming of) captives and those in debts and in the way of Allah and the wayfarer; an ordinance from Allah; and Allah is knowing, Wise.”

Qur’an 9:60

“(As for) those who spend their property in the way of Allah, then do not follow up what they have spent with reproach or injury, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and they shall have no fear nor shall they grieve. Kind speech and forgiveness is better than charity followed by injury; and Allah is Self-sufficient, Forbearing.”

Qur’an 2:262-263

Allah (swt) states that there is no compulsion in religion (i.e. no-one can compel another to convert or restrict their rights because of religion):

‘There is no compulsion in religion; truly the right way has become clearly distinct from error; therefore, whoever disbelieves in the Shaitan and believes in Allah he indeed has laid hold on the firmest handle, which shall not break off, and Allah is Hearing, Knowing.”

Qur’an 2:256

“And say: The truth is from your Lord, so let him who please believe, and let him who please disbelieve; surely We have prepared for the iniquitous a fire...”

Qur’an 18:29

“And if your Lord had pleased, surely all those who are in the earth would have believed, all of them; will you then force men till they become believers?”

Qur’an 10:99

“Therefore do remind, for you are only a reminder. You are not a watcher over them.”

Qur’an 88:21-22

“Say: O unbelievers! I do not serve that which you serve, nor do you serve Him Whom I serve: nor am I going to serve that which you serve: nor are you going to serve Him Whom I serve: you shall have your religion and I shall have my religion.”

Qur’an 109:1-6

“Say: Every one acts according to his manner; but your Lord best knows who is best guided in the path.”

Qur’an 18:84

Allah (swt) knows what is in the heart and is not unjust:

“And guard yourselves against a day in which you shall be returned to Allah; then every soul shall be paid back in full what it has earned, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly.”

Qur’an 2:281

“On that day men shall come forth in sundry bodies that they may be shown their works. So, he who has done an atom's weight of good shall see it, and he who has done an atom's weight of evil shall see it.”

Qur’an 99:6-8

Allah (swt) allows Muslims to defend their society and their laws:

“And fight in the way of Allah with those who fight with you, and do not exceed the limits, surely Allah does not love those who exceed the limits.”

Qur’an 2:190

“And if they break their oaths after their agreement and (openly) revile your religion, then fight the leaders of unbelief-- surely their oaths are nothing-- so that they may desist. What! will you not fight a people who broke their oaths and aimed at the expulsion of the Messenger, and they attacked you first; do you fear them? But Allah is most deserving that you should fear Him, if you are believers.”

Qur’an 9:12-13

“Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission and they are in a state of subjection.”

Qur’an 9:29

“Jizya” refers to the reparation to be paid by the defeated/surrendering party as compensation for provocation leading to wartime expenses. Various derivatives of the word are used throughout the Qur'an to mean "reward" or "recompense".

The above ayah is consistent with 2:190:

“They have taken their doctors of law and their monks for lords besides Allah...”

Qur’an 9:31

‘They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths, and Allah will not consent save to perfect His light, though the unbelievers are averse.”

Qur’an 9:32

“O you who believe! indeed many of the doctors of law and the monks eat away the property of men falsely, and turn (them) from Allah's way; and (as for) those who hoard up gold and silver and do not spend it in Allah's way, announce to them a painful chastisement,”

Qur’an 9:34

“...and fight the polytheists (idolaters) all together as they fight you all together; and know that Allah is with those who guard (against evil).”

Qur’an 9:36

Allah (swt) does not allow the killing of innocent people:

“O you who believe! when you go to war in Allah's way, make investigation, and do not say to any one who offers you peace: You are not a believer. Do you seek goods of this world's life! But with Allah there are abundant gains; you too were such before, then Allah conferred a benefit on you; therefore make investigation; surely Allah is aware of what you do.”

Qur’an 4:94

Common complaints:


“Allah (swt) says that disbelievers are the worst of creatures”:

Study the context of :

“This is for what your own hands have sent on before, and because Allah is not in the least unjust to the servants. In the manner of the people of Firon and those before them, they disbelieved in Allah's communications, therefore Allah destroyed them on account of their faults; surely Allah is strong, severe in requiting (evil). This is because Allah has never changed a favour which He has conferred upon a people until they change their own condition; and because Allah is Hearing, Knowing. In the manner of the people of Firon and those before them; they rejected the communications of their Lord, therefore We destroyed them on account of their faults and We drowned Firon's people, and they were all unjust. Surely the vilest of animals in Allah's sight are those who disbelieve, then they would not believe. Those with whom you make an agreement, then they break their agreement every time and they do not guard (against punishment). Therefore if you overtake them in fighting, then scatter by (making an example of) them those who are in their rear, that they may be mindful. And if you fear treachery on the part of a people, then throw back to them on terms of equality; surely Allah does not love the treacherous.”

Qur’an 8:51-58


“Surely those who disbelieve from among the followers of the Book and the polytheists shall be in the fire of hell, abiding therein; they are the worst of creatures.”

Qur’an 98:6

This refers to the hypocrites like in -36:

“Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve.”

Qur'an 2:62

Study the context of 98:6

“Those who disbelieve among the People of the Scripture and the idolaters could not have left off (erring) till the clear proof came unto them, a messenger from Allah, reading purified pages containing correct scriptures. Nor were the People of the Scripture divided until after the clear proof came unto them. And they are ordered naught else than to serve Allah, keeping religion pure for Him, as men by nature upright, and to establish worship and to pay the poor-due. That is true religion. Lo! those who disbelieve, among the People of the Scripture and the idolaters, will abide in fire of hell. They are the worst of created beings. (And) lo! those who believe and do good works are the best of created beings.”

Qur’an 98:1-7


“You shall not find a people who believe in Allah and the latter day befriending those who act IN OPPOSITION to Allah and His Messenger.”

Qur’an 58:22


“The Qur’an does not allow friendships between Muslims and non-Muslims.”

Please read:



There is a claim that 65:4 allows pre-pubescent marriage:

“And (as for) those of your women who have despaired of menstruation, if you have a doubt, their prescribed time shall be three months, and of those too who have not had their courses; and (as for) the pregnant women, their prescribed time is that they lay down their burden; and whoever is careful of (his duty to) Allah He will make easy for him his affair.”

Qur’an 64:4

Nowhere does this mention pre-pubescence. The context concerns the waiting period for divorce. It simply refers to those women who have not yet had their courses since the waiting period began.

Here is the proof:

“And test the orphans until they attain the AGE OF MARRIAGE; then if you find in them MATURITY OF INTELLECT, make over to them their property, and do not consume it extravagantly and hastily, lest they attain to full age; and whoever is rich, let him abstain altogether, and whoever is poor, let him eat reasonably; then when you make over to them their property, call witnesses in their presence; and Allah is enough as a Reckoner.”

Qur’an 4:6

So the age of marriage is one in which it is expected that a person have sound judgement (in general and not just consent). Does the Qur’an ever mention marriage between man and girl etc? It is between men and women (i.e those who have attained puberty).


“Your wives are a tilth for you, so go into your tilth when you like, and do good beforehand for yourselves, and be careful (of your duty) to Allah, and know that you will meet Him, and give good news to the believers.”

Qur’an 2:223

Wisdom of “Tilth” -

Commentary by Yusuf Ali:

“Sex is not a thing to be ashamed of, or to be treated lightly, or to be indulged to the excess. It is as solemn a fact as any in life. It is compared to as husbandman’s tilth; it is a serious affair to him; he sows the seed in order to reap the harvest. But he chooses his own time and mode of cultivation. He does not sow out of season nor cultivate in a manner which will injure or exhaust the soil. He is wise and considerate and does not run riot. Coming from the simile to human beings, every kind of mutual consideration is required , but above all, we must remember that even in these matters there is a spiritual aspect. We must never forget our souls, and that we are responsible to Allah.”

Women are to be treated respectfully and equally with the husband:

“And if a woman fears ill usage or desertion on the part of her husband, there is no blame on them, if they effect a reconciliation between them, and reconciliation is better, and avarice has been made to be present in the (people's) minds; and if you do good (to others) and guard (against evil), then surely Allah is aware of what you do.”

Qur'an 4:128


“The Qur’an allows wife-beating.”

“Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others (in strength) and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.”

Qur’an 4:34

The Arabic word used in is “idribuhunna”, derived from “daraba” which conveys “beat”. Arabic words derived from the word “daraba” do not necessarily mean “hit”; the word “idribuhunna” could quite well mean to “leave” them. It is exactly like telling someone to “beat it” or “drop it” in English.

The word “daraba” is used :

“Have you not considered how Allah sets (daraba) forth a parable of a good word (being) like a good tree, whose root is firm and whose branches are in heaven…”

“Daraba” means here “give an example”. If I say in Arabic “daraba laka mathal”, it means “give you an example”.

The word “darabtum” (derived from “daraba”) is used in 4:94 to mean “go abroad”:

“O you who believe! when you go abroad (darabtum)in Allah's way, make investigation, and do not say to any one who offers you peace: You are not a believer. Do you seek goods of this world's life! But with Allah there are abundant gains; you too were such before, then Allah conferred a benefit on you; therefore make investigation; surely Allah is aware of what you do.”

Qur’an 4:94

Hence “daraba” literally means “beat”, “go abroad” or “give”, but not in the sense to give something by hand, but rather to give or provide an example.

Note how in chapter (Surah) 4 there is used “daraba” ( and “darabtum” (4:94), which are both derived from the same root. The words are in the same Surah, indicating that “daraba” in means to desert or leave since that is what its derived word conveys in 4:94.


“The Qur’an allows women half as much inheritance as men.”

This applies only if the deceased has left no will:

“Bequest is prescribed for you when death approaches one of you, if he leaves behind wealth for parents and near relatives, according to usage, a duty (incumbent) upon those who guard (against evil). Whoever then alters it after he has heard it, the sin of it then is only upon those who alter it; surely Allah is Hearing, Knowing. But he who fears an inclination to a wrong course or an act of disobedience on the part of the testator, and effects an agreement between the parties, there is no blame on him. Surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.”

Qur’an 2:180-182


“And (as for) the man who steals and the woman who steals, cut off their hands as a punishment for what they have earned, an exemplary punishment from Allah; and Allah is Mighty, Wise.”

Qur’an 5:38

The verb form translated as “cut off” comes from the root verb QaTa’a. It is employed often in the Qur’an and in the vast majority of cases it means to “sever a relationship” or to “end an act”. Only in two instances ( and ) is this verb used to describe a physical severing (although in 69:46 it may be interpreted this way). A related form of this verb (implying repetition or severity of action) occurs in the Qur’an seventeen times. This particular form is used to mean physically cutting off, as a metaphor for the severing of a relationship or to describe physically cutting or marking (but not cutting off).

Thus the Qur’an provides a range of penalties depending on the circumstances of the case. These include the marking of the person’s hand, cutting the person’s hand or “cutting off the means” of the person through imprisonment etc. Note, for instance, that a Muslim society cannot punish a hungry person for stealing food since letting a member of the society go hungry is a bigger crime than the act of stealing food. Such a society demonstrates the characteristics of a lack of appreciation (see 107:1-7; 89:17-20; and 90:6-20). Considering theft solely as an individual crime and advocating the severest possible interpretation of the Qur’an is neither fair nor consistent with the scripture.



It is clear that any people or society which does not provoke or prevent people from becoming Muslim is not to be seen as “fighting” Islam. In the end, Muslims have the right to assemble and to pursue the values making up their way of life.

Thankyou for taking the time to read this.

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