Lailatul Qadr: A Different Interpretation

Within traditional Islamic thought, it is believed that the Lailatul Qadr (The night of Power) was the night in which Prophet Mohammad first received divine revelation. Therefore, it is considered to be a “holy” night during which God forgives everyone, accepts all prayers, and is the night in which the destiny of people for the coming year is decided.

Revealingly, this interpretation has almost no basis in the Quran. The Quran only talks about Lailatul Qadr in Ch 97, calling it a night of peace, which is better than a thousand months. However, even if we take the traditional interpretation at its face value, we come across the following problems:

1) If God really accepts all prayers in this night, then why don’t our prayers get answered? For years, Muslims have been praying for Palestine! Why, then, does the situation only deteriorate?

2) Human beings are provided with freewill, and that’s the whole purpose of revelation! There is no point of a test if the outcome has already been decided by God. This is unjust, while God is just.

3) The Quran says that it is a night of peace. What sort of peace? External peace or spiritual peace? If it’s external, then is there such a night in which there is no disharmony whatsoever, with no bloodshed, and every human being fully clothed and well fed? There isn’t.

If it is referring to internal peace, then is there such a night in which every human being feels profound peace within themselves? Again, no such evidence proves this. In fact, that is exactly why the Ulema are unsure of its precise date.


Because of these inconsistencies, I don’t subscribe to this interpretation.

In my opinion, Lailatul Qadr is not a specific night in Ramadan. Rather, it signifies the general phenomenon of attaining revelation. Thus, the Night of Power occurs when you have that eureka moment; when you understand something from the Quran.

The reason why it’s called the “Night” of Power is because night is considered to be an idle time in Quranic parlance; a time of seclusion (73:6-7). Thus it is advised that the reader ponders over the Quran at night (73:4), and God, in turn, would bestow upon him a profound message (73:5). Attaining this profound message is what the night of Power signifies, and is thus better than a thousand months of ignorance (97:3)! Receiving this profound message then brings us Islam, or peace, which is the ultimate purpose of revelation (97:5).


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6 Convincing Reasons Debunking The Myth of Islam Promoting Hatred of Jews & Christians

Amidst the tragic situation in Palestine these days, a few Muslims seem to have found a way to express their anger and frustration. No, not by constructively doing anything about it, but by bashing Jews and hailing Hitler as a hero! Wrongly equating the actions of the Israeli government with Judaism, they continue generalizing approximately 15 million Jews, painting them all with the same brush!

A few days earlier, as I was browsing through my Facebook news feed, I came across this meme praising Hitler for killing Jews, with the hash tag #Hitlerwasright:


Exasperated as I was, I tried to maintain my composure and very calm-fully responded to this individual that there are many Jews who condemn the actions of the Israeli government, much like us Muslims who condemn the actions of Jihadist terrorist groups, and so it is naïve to generalize all Jews based on the situation in Palestine. Without taking a minute, he responded back to me quoting the Quranic verse that “asks Muslims not to be friends with Jews”, justifying his bigotry through the Quran!

Checkmate? Probably, if I hadn’t known better!

A common misconception about the Quran is that it promotes hatred of Jews and Christians, and asks Muslims to not be friends with them. Strangely, instead of voicing out against such a misrepresentation of 5:51 (which contains the commandment), some Muslims actually revel in quoting this verse as a means of feeling superior, perhaps. Who needs enemies, when you have such believers? But I guess, that’s the karma of blindly following religious figures.

Here’s the much quoted verse:

O You who have believed! Do not take the Jews and Christians as your allies (Auliya). They are allies of one another. He among you who takes them for allies is one of them. God does not guide the oppressive folks. Quran, 5:51


A plethora of lies are sold to the average Muslim to instigate enmity with other faiths, and so I will debunk these points step by step. Point 1 and 2 will explain how the verse above is misrepresented, and 3-6 would expand on further points.


1. Aulia is erroneously and inconsistently translated as friends by some translators. However, in Arabic, Aulia is more closely defined as a protector or an ally. It has been used in the Quran to mostly signify that God protects (Wali) the believers through revelation. This is not to be confused with Khaleel, which does mean friend, but is an honor given exclusively to Ibrahim (4:125).

Additionally, Muslims should sincerely ask themselves what they mean when they call their scholars “Maulana”. Are they trying to imply that these scholars are their friends who they hang out with? Hardly! Obviously, by calling these religious figures as Maulana, they mean to imply that these scholars are their protectors – from evil, perhaps.

Keeping the context in mind, it is clear that the verse refers to political allies, and is not about friendship.



2. The verse, quite specifically, asks Muslims not to take Al-Yahood & Al-Nasaraa as an ally. Now, “Al” in Arabic denotes an address to something or someone specific. If we are to assume that God asks us not to ally with any Jew or Christian, then on the same wavelength, we have to assume that all Arabs are the worst in hypocrisy and disbelief! Yes, it’s a verse in the Quran!

The Arabs (Al-Arab) are worst in disbelief and hypocrisy, and more likely to ignore the Limits that God has revealed to His messenger. God is Knower, Wise. Quran, 9:97

Except, here the “scholars” would be quick to contextualize things, or else their model of praising Arabs as the “chosen” people and equating Arabic culture with Islam would fall flat on its face! It is an inconsistency in approach, and consistency is the only criteria to judge truthfulness.

Taking a consistent view, both verses inform us that *some* Arabs (Al-Arab) are worst in hypocrisy and disbelief, and that Muslims should not ally with *some* Jews and Christians (Al-Yahood & Al-Nasaraa). Quite obviously, it is addressing the Jews and Christians at the time of the Prophet, who continuously broke their oaths, stoking the fires of war against Muslims (5:64) and were thus their worst enemies (5:82).

Common sense would suggest that allying with the enemy would be a sure way to lose the war.




3. The Quran constantly reminds Muslims not to generalize Jews, Christians, and others; but to judge them by their actions:

They are not all the same; among the People of the Scripture is a community standing [in obedience], reflecting and reciting the signs of God during periods of the night and they submit.

They believe in God and the Last Day; they enjoin what is right, and forbid what is wrong; and they hasten (in emulation) in (all) good works: These are the reformists! Quran 3:113-114


God does not forbid you from being kind, and fully equitable to those who do not fight you on account of Religion, and do not evict you from your homelands. God loves those who lead a just, balanced life.

But God does forbid you regarding those who fought you because of your system, and drove you out of your homes, and helped to drive you out. You shall not ally with them. Those who ally with them, then such are the transgressors. Quran, 60:8-9



4. Even traditional Islam allows Muslims to marry Jews and Christians. Is friendship a more sacred bond than marriage? Then how on earth can the Quran discourage us from befriending them?



5. Contrary to popular belief, Muslims do not have a monopoly on salvation. In fact, Jews and Christians, much like any other faith, are promised paradise should they “submit to God, do acts of reformation, and expect accountability” (2:62 & 5:69). The very act of claiming sole monopoly on truth and salvation is actually shunned by the Quran, of which, ironically, some Muslims are guilty:

And they claim, “None will enter Paradise unless he is a Jew or a Christian.” This is nothing but their wishful thinking. Say, “Bring your proof if you are truthful.”

Nay, whoever submits his whole being to God, and he is a doer of good to humanity, his reward is with his Lord. Then, no fear shall come upon them nor shall they grieve. Quran, 2:111-112



6. The idea of alienating a group of people because of their faith alone is in fact contrary to the Quran, which actually promotes peaceful co-existence among citizens of varying backgrounds:


O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes so that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the one who is deeply conscious of Him. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted. Quran, 49:13



If anything, Muslims should be the last to generalize people of other faiths. They are vocal on how every Muslim shouldn’t be stereotyped as a terrorist because of the actions of a few terrorist groups seeming to represent “Islam”, yet generalize and put all Jews in one box because of the actions of the Israeli government and the “super rich bankers that control the world.” I condemn fundamentalist Zionists, just how I condemn fundamentalist Islamists. However, I don’t buy the propaganda on both sides of badmouthing every Jew or Muslim because of the extremist actions of some.

Is it not an act of gross hypocrisy of claiming to be misrepresented, but misrepresenting others at the very same time? But perhaps, it is not hypocrisy. Perhaps, it is just a lack of introspection. A trait so many of us ignorantly possess.




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Back2Quran Ramadan Series: Short Summary of Chapter 8 (Anfaal)

What this project is: This Ramadan, rekindle your spirituality and relationship with God by reading the Quran in a language you understand! To facilitate those who find reading the Quran for the first time daunting, we, at Quranalyze It, will be posting short chapter summaries to get you acquainted with the basic theme and content of a particular chapter. It is important to note, however, that these summaries are no substitute to reading the Quran, and should be used as a bridge towards the Quran, or as an additional tool.

If you like the idea behind this project, and would like to read the summaries of the subsequent chapters in the coming days, then subscribe to our blog to receive an email whenever we publish a new summary. Please read, and share it far and wide!


This chapter is one of the most misunderstood chapters in the Quran. In popular opinion, this chapter is what fuels Jihadists to wage war against the “infidels”. But in my opinion, this chapter seeks to fight these very people who act as “agents of God” seeming to make His path crooked (8:47), and initiating great chaos in the land (8:73). A pivotal commandment of this chapter is to fight until there are no tribulations in the Deen of Islam (8:39): this is to fight the Jihadist groups who misrepresent Islam all over the world and fuel Muslimophobia!

Until verse 52 (75% of the chapter), the fighting seems to be verbal (debate) because of the context. For example, “they won’t reason for themselves”, “God will reveal to you a criterion to judge between right and wrong”, and the backlash from traditionalist folks that “their deen has deluded them” etc. If these dialogues fail, then the subsequent command is to fight a war against the people who create havoc in the land (V 52 onwards). However, if they incline to peace, then you incline to peace too!

Chapter Notes:

•Ch 8, like Ch2-5, is very practical and “hands on”.

•It has 6 calls to believers and 2 calls to the Nabi.

•Defines who Momineen are (8:2 and 8:74)

•Out of anything you acquire as a bonus (not restricted to war booty), 20% is to be spent in a charitable cause.

•The chapter theme is entirely about fighting in the cause of God, and spending resources in His way to eliminate chaos from the land.

•It repeatedly enjoins unity; for without unity, you cannot fight the aggressors who will always be in greater numbers.

•The chapter makes a very vital point: God does not change the condition of a nation until they change themselves. All the time spent in supplications should rather be utilized in initiating practical change.


Passage Breakdowns:

Passage 1 (V1-14) – Who are the Momineen and how God helps them.

  • Anfaal (surplus) is for God and the messenger (to ensure a stable society). This helps in attaining Taqwa, and improving relationships between one another.
  • Momineen are defined: 1) They are those whose skins shiver when they witness God’s signs. 2) When God’s signs are rehearsed to them, their faith increases. 3) They trust God (Have faith in His laws) 4) They establish a connection with God. 5) They spend in charity.
  • These folks receive protection from God and an honorable provision, as God takes them out from their “false systems”. Some of the “Momineen”, however, are reluctant to make such a big change. These people argue after the truth has been clearly conveyed to them, as if they were staring at death.
  • Do not be afraid of large groups of resistance. Truth prevails.
  • God helps the Momineen by descending thousands of Malaika (a multitude of positive reinforcing emotions). A sense of peace prevails in the hearts of Momineen and God sends down revelation (maa) that washes away the whisperings of Shaitan and firms your resolve.

Passage 2 (V15-30) – 5 call to believers

  • First call to believers: Turning your backs when you meet the aggressors in opposition is strongly condemned.
  • Second call to believers: Obey God and His messenger, and do not turn away while you know it is the truth. The worst creatures in the sign of God are those who do not reason.
  • Third call to believers: Respond to God and His messenger (by engaging with the message). This will give you life (spiritually) and your heart will attain peace.
  • No matter how few you are, if you fight for a just cause, God will strengthen you.
  • Fourth call to believers: Never betray God, His messenger and people who trust you.
  • Your wealth and family are, but trails (Never forget to look at the bigger picture).
  • Fifth call to believers: If you revere God, he will reveal to you a criterion to judge between right and wrong, and will protect you.

Passage 3 (V31-44) – Defines the people we are supposed to fight.

  • When you meet those in opposition, they say: We can fabricate a message like this, it is nothing but mythology of ancient people.
  • These people hinder you from Masjid al Haraam, although they are not its guardians. Its guardians can only be the Muttaqeen (Saud family, anyone?).
  • And their connection with the system of Islam is nothing but vanities and amusement.
  • These folks spend to hinder people from the path of God.
  • Say to these people: If you seek a ceasefire, your sins will be forgiven. Otherwise, you will be destroyed like the nations of old.
  • Fight these people until there are no tribulations in Deen (as these folks distort Deen – for ex. Jihadist groups)
  • Out of anything you receive (Anfaal), 20% is to be spent in charity, if you believe in God.
  • If you remain united, the opposition will appear fewer in number.

Passage 5 (V45-51) Sixth call to believers and the allegations by hypocrites

  • Sixth call to believers: Whenever you meet people in opposition, remain united and obey God (His verses) to emerge successful. Do not be like those who only seek to show off and hinder people from the path of God.
  • The hypocrites will say to the Momineen: Their Deen has deluded them.

Passage 6 (V52-63) – Guidelines on Fighting

  • Those who belie God’s Signs are equated with the nation of Firaun who conceal God’s signs for material gains. These are termed the worst of creatures who never honor their oaths and treaties.
  • God never changes the condition of a nation until they first change themselves (What you do is what you will get – Impartial divine law)
  • When you go to war with them, set an example for the proceeding generations to take lessons from.
  • Whatever resources you can muster to fight these oppressive folks, muster.
  • However, if they incline to peace, you incline to peace too!
  • If resorting to peace is their strategy to deceive you, then God will help you. What you need to do is always remain united.

Passage 7 (V64-69) – First call to Nabi

  • First call to the Nabi: God is sufficient for you and the believers.
  • Urge your followers to fight the oppressive people. Because of your unity, you will overcome armies much larger your size.
  • It is beyond the dignity of a Nabi to hold captives except in warfare. Don’t let material gains hinder you from doing right. Otherwise, you will face retribution.
  • On the contrary, consume what is good and lawful.

Passage 8 (V70-75) – Second call to Nabi

  • Second call to Nabi: Convey to the captives in your possession – If your intentions are pure, God will provide you something far better than what has been taken from you. However, if your intentions are treacherous, then you will receive no help from God.
  • Those who believe, migrate, strive with their wealth and their selves, and those who support this cause practically are protectors of one another. These people are the real Momineen.
  • And those who are ungrateful are protectors of one another. Unless you fight them, there will be great chaos in the land.


Back2Quran Ramadan Series: Summary of Chapter 7 (Aa’raaf)

What this project is: This Ramadan, rekindle your spirituality and relationship with God by reading the Quran in a language you understand! To facilitate those who find reading the Quran for the first time daunting, we, at Quranalyze It, will be posting short chapter summaries to get you acquainted with the basic theme and content of a particular chapter. It is important to note, however, that these summaries are no substitute to reading the Quran, and should be used as a bridge towards the Quran, or as an additional tool.

If you like the idea behind this project, and would like to read the summaries of the subsequent chapters in the coming days, then subscribe to our blog to receive an email whenever we publish a new summary. Please read, and share it far and wide!

“Adam”, because of his selfish desires, fell from the “heaven” that the earth once was. This chapter, quite uniquely, has 4 calls to Bani Adam (those who seek to attain that state once again) and by example of previous communities, shows how messengers brought a reformation program but the political and religious heads completely rejected them, again because of their own selfish desires.

Some additional notes:

  • The emphasis in this chapter is not on individuals, but communities (Ummahs).
  • Emphasis on reformation (Islah).
  • It repeatedly warns the reader not to take Shaitan as an ally.
  • Advocates reasoning in all matters. Those who blindly follow are deemed as cattle.
  • First chapter to have a lengthy discourse on Musa and his people.
  • First chapter to mention Nooh, Hood, Salih, Loot, Shoaib – each outlining a segment of the society that these messengers went to reform.
  • Second chapter to expound on Adam after Ch 2.
  • Seems to echo chapter 11 (same theme).

Here are some excellent thoughts on Chapter 5 from the book Introduction to the Quran: An Existential Reading by Farouk Peru:

1. Ch 7  focuses on the state of *adam* and uniquely has calls to bani *adam*. It uses the stories of the messengers as a means for us o understand how to attain this state. It then closes with the use of revelation to attain this knowledge.

2. Ch 7 is the only chapter with calls of ‘oh children of *adam*’. This call is for people who seek to achieve the status of *adam* before he fell , to be in the garden. Ch 7 has four calls to the children of *adam* (7/26, 7/27, 7/31 and 7/35) which should give a strong indication of its theme.

3. Ch 7 has a second phase of adam’s story from 7/172. Therefore adam’s story brackets almost the entire chapter. It would therefore be good to read these stories of quranic personalities from the perspective of adam.

4. Ch 7 Vs 199-206 ends with our daily struggle with shaitan or forces of alienation and our interaction with revelation. This shows the place to start this project is to engage with revelation. Vs 203-204 echo 6/105-107 which talk about attaining insight from the Lord.


Passage Breakdowns:

Passage 1 (1-10)

  • You must not harbor doubts about the book, for it needs conviction (attained by reasoning, nonetheless!) to implement it. Obey what is revealed to you, and don’t take others as protectors.
  • Immediately introduces the reader to the annihilation of previous communities because of their oppression. Those who do good attract good, and vice versa. This should set the tone for the chapter.
  • Outlines the ungratefulness of human beings: how God made us vicegerents of this earth, and how we pay back by initiating oppressive systems.

Passage 2 (11-26)

  • The narration of how Adam fell is introduced to outline how every problem on this earth stems from arrogance and selfishness (Shaitan).

Passage 3 (27-36)

  • First call to Bani Adam: God has revealed to you Libaas (usually translated as garments) that covers you from evil and as a source of elegance and protection. So, adopt the Libaas of Taqwa (taking guarding against evil). That is best for you (Libaas, of course, being a metaphor for your spiritual outlook.)
  • Second call to Bani Adam: Let not Shaitan tempt you as he tempted your Father, Adam. He stripped them off of their Libaas by creating false desires in him. So, be wary of Shaitan. (This is the most defining verse of the chapter which includes the overall theme of it!)
  • God never commands people to commit injustice/immoralities. On the contrary, he commands justice. In addition, he commands you to devote yourself at every institution that submits to God’s laws (Masjid) and that you remain dedicated to Him alone in Deen.
  • Third call to Bani Adam: You are allowed to take your Zeenat (means of comfortable living, perhaps?) from every Masjid. Just don’t be extravagant.
  • There are some who might forbid you from taking this Zeenat, however God allows it. What God forbids is that you commit injustices/immoralities, other evils, and that you associate authorities with God.
  • Fourth call to Bani Adam: There has come to you a messenger from yourselves, clarifying God’s signs to you. If you believe and reform yourself, you will live a life of bliss (attain that garden on Earth).

Passage 4 (37-53)

  • Details the result of the communities that failed to build paradise on Earth.

Passage 5 (54-58)

  • Call to your Lord being humble. He does not like the transgressors.
  • Do not spread corruption on the land after it has been reformed.
  • Communities can revive if they adhere to God’s laws.

Passage 6 (59-64)

  • Narrates the fall of the community of Nooh because of their transgression.

Passage 7 (65-72)

  • Narrates the fall of the community of Hood because of their transgression.

Passage 8 (73-79)

  • Narrates the fall of the community of Salih because of their transgression.

Passage 9 (80-84)

  • Narrates the fall of the community of Loot because of their transgression.

Passage 10 (85-102)

  • Narrates the fall of the community of Shoaib because of their transgression.

Passage 11 (103-171)

  • Narrates the fall of the community of Musa because of their transgression.

Passage 12 (172-206)

  • You will not be questioned what others used to do. Individual accountability.
  • Do not follow Shaitan.
  • Whoever chooses to guide himself is for his own benefit and vice versa.
  • Those who do not reason are like cattle, and even further astray!
  • Some communities who choose to guide themselves will uphold justice. The communities that belie our revelations will eventually destroy themselves in time.
  • The Prophet did not know what will happen in the future.
  • Do not set up authorities with God.
  • God is a protector to those who reform.
  • Pardon those who differ, and uphold justice.
  • Do not seek miracles, attain conviction by reasoning.
  • Be humble when you call upon God, and pay heed to the Quran in order to attain mercy.
  • Do not be proud to serve God. Instead, work in harmony with the universe and submit to His laws.

Back2Quran Ramadan Series: Summary of Chapter 6 (Anaam)

What this project is: This Ramadan, rekindle your spirituality and relationship with God by reading the Quran in a language you understand! To facilitate those who find reading the Quran for the first time daunting, we, at Quranalyze It, will be posting short chapter summaries to get you acquainted with the basic theme and content of a particular chapter. It is important to note, however, that these summaries are no substitute to reading the Quran, and should be used as a bridge towards the Quran, or as an additional tool.

If you like the idea behind this project, and would like to read the summaries of the subsequent chapters in the coming days, then subscribe to our blog to receive an email whenever we publish a new summary. Please read, and share it far and wide!

Ch 6 is an awe-inspiring chapter, and certainly one of my favorites. The chapter starts with Al hamdu lillah (a feeling of praise for God), and mentions sirat ul mustaqeem (The straight path) 5 times! This shows that it is complimentary to Chapter 1.

Unlike Chapters 2-5 (which were more informative), Chapter 6 adopts a persuasive style and is very spiritual in nature. A good part of the chapter is devoted to God and how he works in the universe, showing a divergence from earlier chapters which focused on ordinances. This is the first chapter to mention as many as 18 different messengers/prophets.

Furthermore, the chapter outlines the shortcomings of people in approaching God: They ask for supernatural miracles. To these people, the answer is that even if God were to perform these supernatural miracles, you would still not detest and continue arguing. Instead, attain conviction by reasoning.

Despite my best efforts, I really can’t do any justice to this chapter. It is a chapter that needs to be read and enjoyed. However, here are the more prominent interests of the chapter:

  • Monotheism: Come back to the source (God), and don’t set up authorities with Him. All spiritual practices should be for God, not earthly entities.
  • Chapter primarily concerned with atheists and hardline religionists.
  • Individual accountability, no intercession.
  • Freedom of belief. Do not insult the “gods” of others.
  • Every prophet had enemies who ascribed sayings to him he never uttered.
  • Book is fully detailed.
  • Only chapter to mention 18 personalities and linking them all to Alkitab (The book).
  • Do not obey the majority. Majority does not equate to truth.
  • Advocates reasoning in religious matters. “How can god have a son without a partner?” Not the “God can will whatever” mantra most religionists like to use.
  • Enlightenment and ignorance not equal. How can they deserve the same treatment?
  • Degrees according to deeds, not beliefs.
  • Ordinance on food.
  • Fatalism shunned.
  • Division discouraged.
  • Different understandings of the same truth given so that he could test you in your individual capacities. Therefore, Islam was never supposed to be a monolith.

Narrates the account of Ibrahim: His own spiritual journey, and how he challenged the prevalent religion of his times. (6:74-83)


Advocates one of the strongest arguments for Quranism (6:112-117):
Remember, We have appointed to every Prophet enemies. The rebellious among the urban and the rural populations rose in opposition, (since the Message struck at their personal interests.) They plotted and inspired each other with fancy words. If your Sustainer willed, they would not do that. Disregard them and whatever they fabricate.

Those who love quick gains and neglect the long-term benefits and the Hereafter, are parties to such fabrications. Let them delight in it and let them earn from it what they may.

Shall I seek for Judge and Ruler someone other than God? He is the One Who has revealed this Book, well expounded in detail for you? Those whom We have given the Book know that this is revealed in truth from your Sustainer. Be not among those who argue for the sake of argument.

Perfected is the Word of your Sustainer in truth and Justice. None can change His words and His laws. And He is the Profound Hearer, the Knower.

(People will confront you with what the majority is doing.) Now if you pay heed to, or get intimidated by majority of those who live on earth, they will lead you astray from God’s way. Most of the people follow nothing but conjecture and they only live by guesswork.

Only your Sustainer (shows the right path and) knows best those who stray and those who are rightly guided.

The Nine commandments of Islam, so to speak (6:151-152):

•You shall not set up idols besides Him.

•You shall honor your parents.

•You shall not kill your children from fear of poverty – we provide for you and for them.

•You shall not commit immoralities and injustices, obvious or hidden.

•You shall not kill – God has made life sacred – except in the course of justice.

•You shall not touch the orphans’ money except in the most righteous manner, until they reach maturity.

•You shall give full weight and full measure when you trade, equitably. We do not burden any soul beyond its means.

•You shall be absolutely just when you bear witness, even against your relatives.

•You shall fulfill your covenant with God.

Here are some very useful notes on Chapter 6 from Introduction to the Quran: An Existential Reading by Farouk Peru:

1. Ch 6 is like Ch 1 as it also starts with the feeling of joy and thankfulness (hamd) for Allah who created the heavens and the earth, darkness and light. However, those who reject or cover up this feeling will make others equal to Allah. This sets the tone for the chapter which is about attaining the direct connection with Allah.

2. Ch 6 has a long section talking about man’s relationship with Allah and how we can relate to him. This is from Vs 1-73. This is the first long metaphysical treatise in Quran and helps us to understand how we can build such a relationship with Allah.

3. Ch 6 mentions *ibrahim* and his reaction to the sun, moon and planets (7/74-83). This shows our contemplative route towards Allah where we see the source of power and light fade before turning to Allah himself. This process can be seen as an actual experience of 6/1-73.

4. Ch 6 mentions 18 personalities, linking them to ‘the book, governance and prophecies’ (6/83-89). These personalities should be understood as means for us to achieve the straight and establishing path. (siratin mustaqeem).

5. Ch 6 has the means of attaining the detailing of God’s judgment, 6/114. This is represented by the Quran and opposite to flowery sayings (6/112-113) which alienate us from the path (shaitaan). From this judgement of 6/114, we are to attain the fulfillment of the words of our lord in truth and justice (6/115).

6. Ch 6 has the detailing of the straight path (6/151-153) and immediately after that, Allah mentions *musa* and the book as well as the Quran (6/155)

7. Ch 6 ends with ibrahim who is the model of the perfect deen. Ibrahim’s philosophy of life is linked to his level of deen.



Back2Quran Ramadan Series: Summary of Chapter 5 (Maidah)

What this project is: This Ramadan, rekindle your spirituality and relationship with God by reading the Quran in a language you understand! To facilitate those who find reading the Quran for the first time daunting, we, at Quranalyze It, will be posting short chapter summaries to get you acquainted with the basic theme and content of a particular chapter. It is important to note, however, that these summaries are no substitute to reading the Quran, and should be used as a bridge towards the Quran, or as an additional tool.

If you like the idea behind this project, and would like to read the summaries of the subsequent chapters in the coming days, then subscribe to our blog to receive an email whenever we publish a new summary. Please read, and share it far and wide!

The chapter theme seems like an amalgamation of the themes expressed in Ch2-4. However, this time, with a focus on the messenger and his relationship with the believers and disbelievers. All in all, Ch 2-5 details the core of Islam, with pretty much identical themes and content within them. The call “Oh you believed” appears 43 times between Ch2-5, showing the practical overtones of these chapters.

Beginning with an appeal to believers to fulfill all obligations as sacred, it puts forward ordinances about food, cleanliness, impartial justice, and pluralism. Murdering an innocent soul, stealing, false oaths, intoxication, gambling, superstitions of all kinds, hunting within the forbidden months, and inventing lies about God are condemned.

Here are some excellent thoughts on Chapter 5 from the book Introduction to the Quran: An Existential Reading by Farouk Peru:

1. Ch 5 is the only chapter which mentions the perfection of the islamic system (deeni kamil) in 5/3. During this perfection of system, many negative things are sanctioned from us and those who seek to oppress will give up in doing so.

2. Ch 5 has two calls to the messenger (5/41 and 5/67). This is not present in any other chapter. This shows the centrality of the messenger in this chapter and his role in leading the system. After each of these calls to the messenger, there are successive calls to believers (in 5/51, 5/54, 5/57 followed by calls after the second call to the messenger in 5/87, 5/90, 5/94, 5/95, 5/101, 5/105, 5/106). These calls represent stages or aspects of action in order to realise the system of the messenger in two successive stages (those of 5/41 and 5/67).

3. Ch 5 ends with the story of *isa* and the ‘table’ (the word ‘maidah’ refers to a state in which capacities are peaked). This symbolizes the system of Allah which is perfected in 5/3. In this perfection, the needs for self-actualization of all human beings are met and he is on course for the right judgment from Allah.


Passage Breakdowns:

Passage 1 (1-5)

  • First call to believers: Fulfill your obligations.
  • Second call to believers: Ordinances on lawful and unlawful food, and marriage.

Passage 2 (6-7)

  • Third call to believers: Guidelines on ablution before Salat.

Passage 3 (8-10)

  • Fourth call to believers: Stand up for justice, and be not partial.

Passage 4 (11-14)

  • God made a covenant with “Bani Israel” and the “Nasara” but they breached it. This caused them to be arrogant, and misrepresent the Message.

Passage 5 (15-18)

  • First call to People who possess the book: There has come to you an illuminating book that guides to *paths* of peace (Islam). Paths being in plural signifies no approach towards the Quran has a monopoly on truth.
  • Further outlines the shortcomings of some “Hood” and “Nasara”.

Passage 6 (19-34)

  • Second call to People who possess the book: Messenger has come to you who clarifies matters, lest you say “no warner” came to us.
  • Narration about Musa and his people, his people signifying the lack of devotion to fight in the cause of God.
  • Narration about two sons of *Adam*, leading up to the commandment that murdering an innocent soul is like murdering the entire mankind, and saving a soul is like saving the whole mankind. This, so that people do not forget the pivotal commandment of only killing in self-defense.
  • The natural consequence of those who wage a war against “Allah and His Messenger” is that they are humiliated in one way or the other.

Passage 7 (35-40)

  • Fifth call to believers: Attain Taqwa of God, and journey towards Him, if you seek to be successful in the long run (This was a central theme in Ch 2 and 3). This is better than acquiring all the material possessions in the world.
  • Those who steal, cut off their capacities. However, if they sincerely repent, God will forgive them.

Passage 8 (41-50)

  • First call to the messenger: Beware of hypocrites.
  • Judge by Altaurat which contains guidance and light. Prophets, in plural, judged in accordance with it.
  • A vital lesson on pluralism: God could have made you one Ummah, but he gave you different understandings of the same truth. Instead of fighting over this, hasten to do good.


Passage 9 (51-53)

  • Sixth call to believers: Do not take protectors outside your ranks.
  • Seventh call to believers: Do not turn back on your heels, because of the difficulties you suffer. Your real friends are God, His messenger, and those who establish connection and contribute to purification and are humble.
  • Eighth call to believers: Do not take those who take your Deen as mockery and play as protectors. This, because these folks have no intentions of connecting with God.

Passage 10 (59-66)

  • Say to the people who possess the book: Why do you blame us, when all we’ve done is that we’ve believed in God and embrace the book holistically? This sort of behavior is termed as “very immature and unevolved.” Those who are guilty of the trait mentioned above are labeled hypocrites and their “scholars” questioned over why they don’t reprimand them.
  • Some Yahood say that “God’s hands are tied down” while they themselves are extremely stingy. God works through human beings, and since God repeatedly commands charity, is the hands of the people that are tied down that leads to poverty. *Very important distinction made here, a query most atheists put forward.*

Passage 11 (67-86)

  • Second call to messenger: Make known all that is revealed to you. God will protect you from the aggressors.
  • Criterion to heaven is not a specific religion, but some core beliefs: Belief in God, accountability, and reformation.
  • Do not set up authorities with God.
  • Both Eesa and his mother consumed food, and were like every other mortal. This is termed as a sign, for those who will give thought.
  • Say to people who possess the book: Don’t commit excess in your Deen, and don’t follow erroneous views.

Passage 12 (87-89)

  • Don’t forbid yourselves of the things God has made lawful for you.
  • Oaths without deliberate intentions are not accountable. Oaths with deliberate intentions accountable. Expiation of these oaths outlined.

Passage 13 (90-93)

  • Ninth call to believers: Intoxication, games of chance forbidden. Shaitan causes enmity and hatred between humans through these things.
  • Obey God and the messenger. The messenger’s duty is to deliver the message to you, whether you follow it or not, is up to you.

Passage 14 (94-100)

  • Ordinances on hunting during the forbidden months.

Passage 15 (101-109)

  • Tenth call to believers: Don’t ask about things you have no knowledge of. However, if you ask these things while the Quran is being revealed to you, you will get the answers eventually. The negation of this commandment has lead many towards disbelief.
  • When it is said to people to believe what God has revealed, they respond by saying that we will, on the contrary, follow what our forefathers followed.
  • Eleventh call to believers: Individual accountability.
  • Twelfth and last call to believers: Two people should witness the will you write before death.


Passage 16 (110-120)

  • The chapter ends with the narration about Eesa, with a central focus on the Maaidah – which I take it to mean abundance and a feast for those involved in the project of Ch2-5.


Back2Quran Ramadan Series: Summary of Chapter 4 (Nisaa)

What this project is: This Ramadan, rekindle your spirituality and relationship with God by reading the Quran in a language you understand! To facilitate those who find reading the Quran for the first time daunting, we, at Quranalyze It, will be posting short chapter summaries to get you acquainted with the basic theme and content of a particular chapter. It is important to note, however, that these summaries are no substitute to reading the Quran, and should be used as a bridge towards the Quran, or as an additional tool.

If you like the idea behind this project, and would like to read the summaries of the subsequent chapters in the coming days, then subscribe to our blog to receive an email whenever we publish a new summary. Please read, and share it far and wide!

The theme of Chapter 4 seems to be about socio-economics, with an emphasis on following the messenger to attain these goals. Establishing justice is also emphasized, and is another prevalent theme of the chapter.

To me, the first four passages (1-42) of chapter 4 seem to resemble Ch 2 as they contains numerous ordinances, this time geared towards socio-economics: rights of men, women, and orphans. The last ten passages (43-176) seem to resemble Ch 3 as they urge the reader to fight for the oppressed, constantly reminding the reader to not take protectors outside his ranks and to be wary of the threats proposed by the enemies.

Here are some interesting thoughts on Chapter 4 from the book Introduction to Quran: An Existential Reading by Farouk Peru:

1. Ch 4 is one of two chapters in Quran starting with ‘oh people’ (ya ayyuha an-naas). The other is Ch 22, Al-hajj. This may be due to the fact both chapters are giving humankind specific paths to achieve the utopian ideal.

2. Ch 4 has its first section (4/1-18) address mankind to establish a just and organic society in terms of dependency. This happens when we take care of those who are alone with no one to care for them (al-yateem).

3. Ch 4 then has 3 sections with calls to believers (4/19-28; 4/29-42 ; 4/43-57). These three sections give consequent answers to the first call to mankind. It gives specific instructions on formation of that society. There are 3 aspects with are social relations, trade and preparation of the self.

4. Ch 4 has a unique call which is to those given the book (alladhina ootu al-kitab in 4/47-58). These are the people given the system of God (idealised in 4/1) after following the steps mentioned above. This is not found anywhere else in Quran and could show us the overarching theme of Ch 4.

5. Ch 4 includes the story of *musa* and the people of his system (ahl al-kitab). The lesson of the sabt is that there are phases of growth and rest in the course of building society (4/153-154).

6. Ch 4 also mentions the oppression of those who prefer comfort, alladhina haadoo (4/160-161). These people were lenient about establishing the system of God and were content about riba, the fruits of oppressive economics. For that, Allah sanctioned them from the good things.

7. Ch 4 has a final call to mankind (4/174) mentions the word ‘burhaan’ which is translated as proof. This call is placed here because the proof of Islam’s system is self-evident – when Islam is established, it is proof for everyone to see. Not coincidentally, the purpose of hajj in Ch 22 (which starts with the call to mankind like this chapter, Ch 4), is for people to see the system for themselves (22/27-28).

Passage Breakdowns:

Passage 1 (1-18)

  • First call to mankind: Attain Taqwa of your Rab (be conscious of your Sustainer)
  • Don’t consume the resources of orphans unlawfully and be just with them. Release their property to them when they become mentally mature to handle it.
  • The infamous polygamy verse.
  • Provide marital gifts to your wives when you marry.
  • Inheritance laws: Both men and women get a share (These are detailed in the passage). Also encourages providing for the needy out of the inheritance.
  • Those who corrupt the ordinances laid above, four witnesses must be gathered and legal action taken.
  • Forgiveness only for those who commit evil in ignorance, and don’t repeat their mistakes.

Passage 2 (19-28)

  • First call to believers: Forced marriage forbidden and cordial relationships between man and woman encouraged.
  • In case of marrying for the second time, you must not take back the marital gift you had given to your former wife.
  • Ordinances on whom you can’t marry.
  • Passage ends by reminding the reader that God seeks ease for you.

Passage 3 (29-42)

  • Second call to believers: Do not consume one another’s wealth wrongfully. This will destroy your “nafs” (soul).
  • Avoid the grave sins, and your minor sins will be forgiven.
  • In financial matters, don’t be jealous of others. Both men and women have full rights over what they earn, the inheritance left behind by their parents, and the marital gifts received by the women.
  • Obey God and don’t set up authorities with Him. Be good to your parents, and be charitable with the needy.
  • Don’t be stingy, and don’t spend to “show-off”.

Passage 4 (43-46)

  • Third call to believers: Don’t approach Salat unless you know what you’re saying (Understand what you read or what is recited to you). Further ordinances on purity pre-Salat.
  • Seek to embrace the book holistically.

Passage 5 (47-58)

  • First and only call to those who have been “given” the book: Believe in what was revealed that confirms what you already possess and avoid setting authorities with God.
  • Don’t claim purity for yourself. In other words, don’t be pompous. Also, never invent ordinances in the name of God.
  • Embrace the book holistically and don’t follow false authorities.
  • Establish Justice.

Passage 6 (59-70)

  • Fourth call to believers: Obey God, the messenger, and those entrusted with authority. If you differ somewhere, refer to the book.
  • Again, avoid following false authorities.
  • Be dedicated to the cause you’re fighting for.

Passage 7 (71-93)

  • Fifth Call to believers: Remain attendant against threats.
  • Fight for those who are oppressed in the land.
  • The source of everything good is God, while evil comes because of your decisions.
  • Ponder over the Quran, if you find therein inconsistencies, it is not from God.
  • Verify rumors.
  • Whoever rallies to a good cause will have a share in it, and whoever rallies to a bad cause will have a share in it.
  • When greeted with a greeting, respond by an equal or better greeting.
  • Beware of hypocrites.
  • Ordinances on the recompense of killing a “believer.”

Passage 8 (94-134)

  • Sixth call to believers: Avoid Takfir (excommunication)
  • Those who fight for a noble cause are superior to those who don’t.
  • If you are oppressed, migrate if you can.
  • When travelling, you may shorten your salat.
  • Avoid secret meetings, unless for a noble cause.
  • Shaitan will mislead and entice you, and will order you to change the creation of God. But what shaitan promises to you is but delusion.
  • Best Deen is to surrender yourself to God, excel in goodness, and follow the example of Ibrahim.
  • Ordinances on wives and orphans repeated.

Passage 9 (135)

  • Seventh call to believers: Stand up firmly for justice, with no discrimination.

Passage 10 (136-143)

  • Eighth Call to believers: Believe in God, the messenger, and the book.
  • Don’t seek protectors outside your ranks.
  • If someone mocks the revelations of God, simply walk away.

Passage 11 (144-169)

  • Ninth Call to believers: Don’t seek protectors outside your ranks.
  • Hypocrites deemed the worst.
  • Impolite speech not allowed, unless by someone who was wronged.
  • Don’t cause distinction between messengers.
  • People will ask you to display “miracles.”
  • Jesus was not crucified.
  • None can be from the Ahl Kitab unless they believe in Alkitab.

Passage 12 (170)

  • Second call to mankind: Truth has come to you from your Lord. If you believe it, it is only better for you.

Passage 13 (171-173)

  • First call to people who possess the book: Do not commit excess in your deen, and don’t speak falsehood about God. Eesa served God and was a messenger. Don’t set up authorities with Him. God is one, not one of “three.”

Passage 14 (174-176)

  • Third, and last call to mankind: There has come to you Burhan (Convincing proof) from your Lord, as a beacon of light.
  • If you believe in God, He will guide you towards a straight path.
  • Ends with the summation of inheritance laws.