Rulings of Reason
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
It is not the least bit uncommon for Muslim websites to feature a section of rulings or fataawat – often in the form of question and answers. The Taliyah al-Mahdi also has rulings – that is, questions asked and answers given in response regarding what the correct religious interpretation on a matter is. The key difference between the Taliyah and other Muslim organizations is what our source of dalil is. That is, evidence to support our fataawat is not simply a matter of citing chapter and verse, as it were. Instead of merely employing source criticism, our rulings are based upon the principles of REASON and thus the methodologies of Higher Criticism or Historical Criticism.
It is common for people in the Muslim world to ask “which Hawza” did one study at to receive a diploma or ijazah, authorizing them to issue fatawat… such ijazaat are simply not a requirement by any of the prophets, nor their families, nor their closest companions, for issuing such a fatwah statement.
The methodologies of Historical Criticism are simply not taught in the Hawza system. In fact, you may have attended Hawza and are reading this now and have no idea what these methodologies or terms even reference. In a proverbial “nutshell,” they refer to principles of deduction, utilizing reason to determine probable historicity of any given religious tradition or narration (hadith).
The fataawat below are just a few of those which we see fit to present for your edification. While we are calling them fatawat in the literal sense of the word, the following are simply a collection of various positions the TALIYAH AL-MAHDI holds on important matters. While there is great flexibility on matters pertaining to individual interpretation, these are general guidelines regarding the borders of our ideology and MOVEMENT.
Rulings of Reason (فتاوات العقل)
What is the Taliyah position on America?
The Islamicate Regime of Iran famously termed the United States of America the “Great Satan.” That is fine, but it is ironic. The man who spoke these words was wantonly allowing people to imply he was the Imam al-Qa’im; he openly pushed for and gained police state enforcement of religion, which the Qur’an told us there is to be “no compulsions in.” He repeatedly published a fatwah not only permitting child-molestation of toddlers, but even practically describing his suggested method for such molestation.
In the Injil, it is said that `Isa warned “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
As such, the Islamicate world would do well to remove the board from its own eye before attempting to remove dust from the eyes of any other nation – or other boards for that matter! The United States, to be sure, has much more than a speck of dust in its eyes, but that does not make the job of removing it much easier for a regime which has a board in its own eye as well. First remove the board from the Muslim world’s eye, lest we be counted as munafiqun in the Eyes of Allah.
Is this giving the United States a pass? Not by a long shot. The United States is filled with coast-to-coast racism and oppression. It was founded upon racism, slavery and genocide. Those evils can and must be confronted daily in the United States and that is exactly what the Taliyah al-Mahdi has been doing from our inception.
We should remember, however, that Germany too was home of the Third Reich and the Nazi Holocaust, and yet today that is one of the most unwelcome places for such fascist ideas. Why? Because the grandchildren of those oppressors have woken up and are mortified with their ancestors. With the help of the universal Din al-Islam, it is possible that the United States can become the home of such mass movements of spiritual rebirth and enlightenment, and on such a day the hadith foretelling that the “Sun will rise from the West” may be understood in a rationalist, scientific and metaphorical manner. Wa-Allahu `alim.
What we must understand is that the United States was born and will disappear in the blinking of an eye. There is not one prophetic hadith that makes reference to them.
Why is that?
If we believe that the prophets and A’immah were informed of events in the future, then we must ask themselves why they did not concern themselves with America. Furthermore, we must ask ourselves why – if they did not concern themselves with it – we should spend so much time focused on them?
The answer seems clear that American oppression, decadence and materialism will result in its own downfall, if they do not change for the better. We must never be like Jonah and wish for the destruction of Nineveh even after repentance. At the same time, repentance has not occurred, so we must work and pray for that repentance. If it does not come, then without a doubt, America will be destroyed, but it will not be by our hands, it will be by their own.
What is the Taliyah position on Iran?
In 1979, shortly after the dictatorship of the Shah had been toppled, Khomeini emerged, promising free electricity, water supplies and transportation services to all Iranians, to be paid for by oil revenues under a “just” Islamic economic system. Yet this promise – repeated by several Iranian presidents after him to make the poor feel the benefits of Iran’s oil wealth – was never delivered.
Many Iranians are still facing day-to-day problems with feeding their families and paying their rent and bills. In today’s Iran, at least 15 million citizens live below the poverty line, reports have suggested, although some analysts expect the real figure to be higher.
Reports also estimate that out of Iran’s 77 million population, 10 million are jobless. While thousands are homeless, living in the streets.
Majid Rafizadeh, an Iranian-American political scientist and scholar, said there are several reasons behind “Iran’s economic malaise.”
“The most fundamental reasons are the widespread corruption, misallocations of funds, dysfunctional banking and tax system, miscalculated subsidies, and state-led, state-controlled and state-owned of major economic sectors,” Rafizadeh said in an interview with Al Arabiya News.
“The banking system is also inefficient,” he added. “For example, banks mainly lend money to firms and individuals connected to the government.”
“Khomeini promised Iranian people they would live a better economic situation compared to the one under the Shah,” expert on Iranian affairs Hassan Hashemian told Al Arabiya News.
“Khomeini not only did not deliver his promises to the Iranian people, but created more fundamental problems that go back to the way the Iranian state is being administrated.”
Hashemian said the Iranian economy is dominated by concealed business networks of business and what he termed “mafias” loyal to the ruling `ulema that are accused by many in the state’s affairs.
To distract from this, Khomeini began immediately engaging in saber-rattling with Western powers. They knew full well that they would never engage the West, nor Israel, but by focusing on these external enemies, as well as Khomeini’s fixation of Salman Rushdie as “low-hanging fruit,” he could keep the masses angry at others, and not at him for his unfulfilled promises, and the stripping away of citizen rights under the new regime.
Though Iran has previously tried to buy our silence, offering us in 2004 six-figures annually to just focus on the unaccounted khums collected by Sistani, and to leave the issues of Khomeini and his pedophilic fatwah alone, we rejected this mammon, and instead chose to stand for what is true and just, rather than what will finance a perceived “easy life” for our leadership.
What is the Taliyah position on Salman Rushdie?
I don’t know of anyone in the Taliyah who has read any work of Salman Rushdie in full. Perhaps there are some, but it has never come up in conversation. That is because from the sound of it, it doesn’t sound like literature we would particularly enjoy. But perhaps this isn’t the case.
One is free to read his fiction if they wish to, but if they find his ideas upsetting it would be advised that they simply do not read them. There is no need for any ridiculous fatwah or fake bounty for millions of dollars like that which the Iranian regime will never pay.
As it turns out, Khomeini’s son Ahmed revealed to New Yorker journalist Robin Wright, in Tehran, that his father had never even read one page of the controversial Satanic Verses book. It’s strange then they he should pass a fatwah on a matter which he never investigated. Had he investigated it, he might have realized that the plot never in fact maintained that Muhammad was a false prophet. Instead, in one of the dreams of a mentally-disturbed character, he saw a replaying of events narrated in Ibn Ishaq’s popular Sirah biography of Muhammad, penned a century and a half after Muhammad. If we reject Rushdie’s fictional novel, perhaps we should also reject Ibn Ishaq’s fictional Sirah of Muhammad.
Khomeini’s fatwah was a political stunts. In America this is often termed “politricks.” We have no time for politricks. If you do not like a work of art, music or literature, do not view, listen or read it. It is that simple. In other words, it’s time for the Ummah to grow up.
What do you think about the current revolt in Iran (2022) following the death of Mahsa Amini?
Mahsa Amini, the Iranian Kurdish woman who was recently arrested by and beaten to death by the so-called “moral police” in Iran, was not merely killed, she was murdered. The so-called “moral police” have no spiritual authority whatsoever. In fact, calling them the police of morality is oxymoronic, since their very existence is immoral.
The Qur’an tells us that “there is to be no compulsion in religion: truth is manifest from falsehood!” (2:256). The government of Iran rejects this Qur’anic revelation, and choses to follow their own Islam, and Islam to the Government, not to the Creator.
Right now there are thousands of people flooding the streets in Iran, who are protesting Amini’s senseless death. They are risking their lives and their freedoms to take a stand against the brutal oppression of the so-called Velayat-e faqih regime. They are true Mujahidin. Their struggle against injustice and oppression against women and all subjugated to the imposition of Iranian governmental idolatry (rejecting the Qur’an in favor of the idol of the State and its man-made laws), is true Jihad. It is not only permissible to engage in this Jihad, but it is wajib (obligatory) upon the Mu’minin (Believers), as evidenced in the infamous, and multiply-attested hadith related to the jihad of the tongue – speaking out against oppression.
What is the Taliyah position on the invasion of Iraq?
The invasion of Iraq was completely illegitimate and resulted in the mass murder of literally millions of Iraqi civilians. There is no justification for this whatsoever. This is a clear-cut issue of right and wrong. Moreover, the invasion of Iraq and pillaging of its non-renewable resources created a power vacuum, which the so-called “Islamic State” or Da`esh was all too eager to fill. How can anyone support this? There is very little to say about this matter, because it is that clear-cut. Politicians in the United States lied to us about Iraqi nuclear bombs and involvement in the 9/11 terror plot. There were no nuclear weapons and no connection to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. But the U.S. ally, the THIEVES OF THE KA`BAH – the Sa`udi regime – definitely have weapons of mass destruction and there are clear links to the Sa`udi criminal government and all named suspects in the terrorist acts. Yet strangely the U.S. has no interest in invading and liberating the people of the Kingdom.
What is the Taliyah position on the State of Israel?
The State of Israel is a corrupt, largely right-wing-dominated regime. It has elements of democracy, as well as apartheid policies – particularly between the occupied territory of the West Bank and the State of Israel. It is economically reliant upon the shaky pillars of the Israeli Military Industrial Complex. Like America, it would do good to repent of its historical and current crimes against the Palestinian people and even against the tens-of-thousands of leftist revolutionary activists which take to the streets of Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem to protest such injustices, only to be met by police state brutality from the hands of uniformed officers.
As well, against its own Jewish citizens – regardless of political orientation – the State of Israel has committed a number of injustices. It is no coincidence that the first international chapter of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense was formed by Mizrachi Jews in the State of Israel. We support such resistance movements and activists within the state, just as the well-known Palestinian Human Rights Activist Omar Barghouti – researcher and co-founder of the BDS (Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions) movement for Palestinian rights – says the Palestinian people need these “accomplices” (not “allies,” mind you), in order to break through into the consciousness and conscience of open-minded Israelis and Jews abroad.
Barghouti discussed and highlighted the importance of Israeli and global Jewish allies in his article “Opting for Justice: The Critical Role of Anti-Colonial Israelis in the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement.” These are Jews and Israelis who “opt for justice.” Barghouti called these “principled Israeli anti-colonialists” who are “committed to full Palestinians rights.”
We no more denounce such accomplices in the struggle for Palestinian liberation than we do American ones. The United States was built upon the literal genocide of hundreds of thousands of Indigenous Americans, as well as the human trafficking and enslavement of hundreds of thousands more Africans, taken to the shores of “Turtle Island.” If we accept American revolutionaries, born and raised on stolen Native land, then why would we not accept Israeli revolutionary activists who take a stand against their oppressive regime? We simply make no distinction between one oppressive state and another. All oppression must be stood against and fought. There are no exceptions.
What is the Taliyah position on those who say “Death to Israel”
If you are Shi`i and saying “Death to Israel” then you are in fact cursing MUHAMMAD, who said that ISRAEL was one of HIS OWN NAMES!
“I am Abdullah, my name is Ahmad and I am Abdullah, my name is Israel. What He ordered him He has ordered me and what concerned him has concerned me.” (Tafsir-ul-Ayyashi, v. 1, p. 44)
انا عبد الله اسمى أحمد وأنا عبد الله اسمى إسرائيل فما أمره فقد أمرني وما عناه فقد عناني
Here we see Muhammad relating directly to the historical prophet Jacob, who was called Israel, and the historical son of Yehudah Ha’Galili – who Muhammad called the living embodiment of the primordial Spirit of God (Ruh Allah) – and his son (also said to be that embodiment), Menachem ben Yehudah, who in the Arabic language was called Ahmed, and in Greek was called Paracletus, which translates into Arabic as Nasir, the “helper” of his father and their Movement.
What about Zionism?
The word Zionist (ציוני) means “of Zion.” So what is “Zion” (ציון)? Specifically, Zion is the hill of Jerusalem on which the city of David was built. Thus, Zion refers to Jerusalem. A Tziyoni literally means a “Jersalemite” or “one of Jerusalem.” We have to start calling things by what their real names are. If we oppose ISRAELI ETHNO-NATIONALISM then we should SAY just that. Cursing “Israel” is a literal curse upon oneself, as this is a holy name in the Bible and Qur’an alike. Cursing someone for being of or from the City of Jerusalem is no better.
The reality is most people saying “we hate Zionists not Jews” don’t even know what the word Zionist means, nor could they correctly define the political meaning of “Zionism” as a historical movement. When these become buzz words that people don’t know the meaning of they become dogwhistles for antisemitism, not actual calls for social justice.
If you wish to curse the GOVERNMENT of the STATE of Israel, then you should be precise with your words. If you, instead say “Zionist” then know that this means nothing more than “Jerusalemite” and thus curses all residents and loves of the city of Al-Quds.
Words have meaning. Words matter. Words have power and create ripple effects in the physical world of the Dunya, of `Asiyah. You have prayed to Allah for the liberation of the Palestinian people for all of these generations now and are confused why relief, faraj has not come, yet your tongues are full of literal curses on the names of Prophets and Israel collectively as the historical name for the Children of Israel.
A person who is careless in their speech is doomed. If you wish to create change through acts of spiritual intention and “prayer” then you must be mindful of your words and intention in the first place. If you are not, don’t be surprised when the answer to your prayers is: “No.”
What is the Taliyah position on Taqlid?
If by taqlid one means the unquestioning acceptance of positions stated by a marja`, then we oppose that for intellectuals. But for those who are not interested in in-depth research and contemplation, taqlid is a far better approach than just following the whims of the ego. Regardless, the caliber of individual destined for the Taliyah al-Mahdi is such that research, contemplation, introspection, education, discussion, debate, and meditation are all key components. As such, taqlid is irrelevant to us, but we do not decry it for those who it works well for.
What is the Taliyah position on women?
Women are the foundation of human life. Paradise, as Muhammad tells us, lies at the feet of our mother. Women must be respected to the furthest degree. This must not merely be lip-service either. It is one thing to say “Islam liberates women” and to command them to chant this social da`wah mantra. It is another thing altogether to make women central in our REVOLUTION and to FIGHT any and all who would attempt to subjugate them to male rule and authority, holding them to standards that men are not held to. Our REVOLUTION is one of WOMEN’S LIBERATION. If those in the West chose to call that “feminism” then so be it. If others dislike that term, that is also up to the individual. The terms employed to describe our actions of LIBERATION matter far less than than the WORKS of LIBERATION themselves!
What is the Taliyah position on Christianity?
There is no question that Christianity inspires the faith of many people throughout the world. There are many positive things about the religion. With that said, there are also some uniquely negative things about it:
- It teaches all other paths are wrong and will lead to damnation in the Hellfire.
- It attempts to pay lip-service to Divine Unity, while simultaneously dividing Allah into three persons.
- It teaches one does not have to make spiritual or Earthly restitution for their violations of others rights. Their founder, Paul of Tarsus, was said by his own disciple Luke to have been the man who gave the orders to literally execute followers of the `Isa Movement (Acts 8:1).
- The Epistles, or “letters” of its founder are filled with woman-hating rhetoric, suggesting women may not braid their hair or even hold positions as teachers. Paul would make the Taliban proud. How interesting that the group’s founder bears the same physical description as the man from Tarsus.
- It promotes a view that humankind is meant to dominate and subjugate the natural world.
- It advances a view that one day “Jesus” will come and take Christians up into the sky, much like the myth penned by the Christian Gospel narrators said of him, after the crucifixion and resurrection narratives were later invented. As such, it promotes a disregard for fixing the world and abandons this otherwise Jewish notion of tiqqun ha`olam (repairing the world), because they believe they are going to be taken from the world before it gets too bad and is unsalvageable. As such, it betrays future generations.
- It calls us to deny our faculties of reason, whether when speaking of the “unfathomable” and “incomprehensible” nature of the Trinity, or the overt contradictions between canonized Gospel narratives.
With all of that said, it is essential to note that the Qur’an never once mentions Christianity, which was known in Late Antiquity by the transliteration Kristiyan. The work People of the Book: What the Religions Named in the Qur’an Can Tell Us About the Earliest Understanding of “Islam” explains that the Nasara of the Qur’an were routinely differentiated and distinguished in Late Antiquity sources and inscriptions, as a separate sect from the Kristiyan. As such, it is clear that the Qur’an is speaking only to specific sects and not to the religion of Christianity.
For more information on Christian origins and the Taliyah message about the real history behind the `Isa Gospel story and movement, consult the work The Greatest Story NEVER Told: The Truth About the “Jesus” Myth and the Historical Figures Behind It.
What is the Taliyah position on Judaism?
Rabbi Ben Abrahamson, of the new Sanhedrin being formed in the State of Israel, recently said: “Islam and Judaism are the same religion with only one difference: Islam believes the covenants of God are replaced over time. Judaism believes they last forever. But even so, Muslims and Jews are co-religionists. They must recognize, encourage and support each other.”
This is a welcome statement, but we have a slightly – barely – different take. That is, we clarify that Islam and Judaism are not the same religion but two aspects of the same religion. That is, the Bani Isra’il are instructed to follow the 613 Commandments of the Torah and told that this will never be abrogated. In the Injil as well, `Isa said that “Heaven and Earth will pass away before one yud [the tiniest of letters: י]” is abrogated from the Torah and Hebrew Bible. Indeed, we now know from the Dead Sea Scrolls, which have preserved every book of the Hebrew Bible besides the Megillat Esther, that there are no difference in the accounts of the Essenic Bible and the Masoretic text of Rabbinic Judaism. So the argument of tahrif has been dismantled by archeological discovery.
As such, we know that the Jewish people are not wrong to continue to abide by the full Commandments of the Torah. These are wajib for the Bani Isra’il for all time. This includes the Sabbath (Shabbat in Hebrew, or Sabt in Arabic), which the Qur’an says Jews who violate, are as base non-human animals – swine and apes (2:65; 5:60; 7:166). This does not mean that Jews were turned into swines and apes, it means that those who forsook the Torah’s commandment to keep the Sabbath holy, and instead used it as a day to get an edge up on the competition, were transformed by their own misdeeds. They were no longer the “Upright” (Yosher) of Yisra-El. They were now just basic animals.
For the nations, however, the Sabbath has never been prescribed. As such, the Qur’an – while commanding the Sabbath for the Jewish people – also says that the nations apart from them should leave the matter for those whom it was commanded.
With that said, the one point of that might seem to be a divergence with our brother Rabbi Ben Abrahamson, is that we do not believe the Qur’an or true Islam ever taught the abrogation of previous revelations for the people to whom they were delivered (e.g. 5:43; 5:47; 5:71; 10:94). Then again, the Rabbi never said that, he simply described what the normative Muslim views on abrogation are, and in that, he is correct as well. The distinction the Taliyah al-Mahdi makes is that the Islam of man and the Islam of the Qur’an are often two very different things. We are only interested in the Islam of the Qur’an, not in what popular beliefs are.
Do Jews Need To Follow The Qur’an or Can They Follow the Torah?
The Qur’an calls the Jewish people to obedience to the Bible, and instructs Jews to follow Judaism, that is, Yahadut – the “Praising of God” through the Covenant of the Commandments. The Torah, however, is not for all nations, but for the Bani Isra’il, it was an is an ever-lasting covenant ACCORDING TO THE QUR’AN. Those who deny this are denying the clear words of the Qur’an itself, not any unique interpretation of the Taliyah al-Mahdi.
Throughout the centuries, the Muslim world has argued that the Qur’an is to be read as sola scriptura, with supplementation only from fairly late hadith accounts, but never from the Bible. This is determined through the late hadith literature where the literary character of Muhammad is claimed to have forbidden Umar from reading the Bible.
In contrast to this, Shi`ah accounts, from Muhammad’s direct descendants through `Ali and Fatimah, claim that these descendants – spiritual a’immah – were extremely well versed in the Bible. Similarly, such accounts contend that the Bible would be a primary source of judgment for a future “mahdi”, who would also pray in the Hebrew language. While such accounts are replete throughout the Shi`ah hadith literature – itself being writing as late as the Sunni accounts – normative Ithna `Ashari beliefs today are much closer to mainstream Sunni views, and than they are to the actual hadith narrations attributed to the Ahl al-Bayt, Muhammad’s family, with regard to such matters.
As for the Qur’an itself, it is even more clear; mincing no words whatsoever, and having no awareness of any later notion that it should supersede, or abrogate the Bible. We read, for instance, that if something is already in the Bible, the follower of Muhammad has no business asking him for a decision on such a matter; which is already plainly commanded by God in the Bible.
And why do they come to you for a decision, when they have the Torah before them? Therein is the Command of God; yet even after that, they would turn away. Such are not Believers (Mu’minin/Ma’minim). (5.43)
وَكَيْفَ يُحَكِّمُونَكَ وَعِنْدَهُمُ التَّوْرَاةُ فِيهَا حُكْمُ اللَّهِ ثُمَّ يَتَوَلَّوْنَ مِنْ بَعْدِ ذَٰلِكَ ۚ وَمَا أُولَٰئِكَ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ
If you are in doubt as what We have revealed to you, ask those who have been reading the Bible before you. Verily, the truth from your Lord has come to you, so be not of those who waiver [in belief]. (10.94)
فَإِنْ كُنْتَ فِي شَكٍّ مِمَّا أَنْزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ فَاسْأَلِ الَّذِينَ يَقْرَءُونَ الْكِتَابَ مِنْ قَبْلِكَ ۚ لَقَدْ جَاءَكَ الْحَقُّ مِنْ رَبِّكَ فَلَا تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْمُمْتَرِينَ
Criticizing those who don’t adhere to the Torah and Gospel, only hypocrites are criticized, and not Jews and Nazarenes across the board. This tells us that the Qur’an viewed the Torah and the singular Gospel used by the Nazarenes, according to historical sources, a singular Hebrew Gospel which the Ebionites and Nazarenes alike utilized, as being valid, and does not criticize it as being textually invalid or corrupted.
If only they had stood fast by the Torah, the Gospel, and all the revelation that was sent to them from their Lord, they would have enjoyed happiness from every side. There is from among them a party on the right course: but many of them follow a course that is evil. (5:66)
وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ أَقَامُوا التَّوْرَاةَ وَالْإِنْجِيلَ وَمَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْهِمْ مِنْ رَبِّهِمْ لَأَكَلُوا مِنْ فَوْقِهِمْ وَمِنْ تَحْتِ أَرْجُلِهِمْ ۚ مِنْهُمْ أُمَّةٌ مُقْتَصِدَةٌ ۖ وَكَثِيرٌ مِنْهُمْ سَاءَ مَا يَعْمَلُونَ
This clearly says that if those who turned away from the Torah and the Hebrew Ebionite Gospel would have kept to those texts, then they would have enjoyed happiness. This thus precludes the possibility that those scriptures were viewed as corrupt or abrogated by the Qur’an. Furthermore, the Qur’an commands Jews to continue to follow the Brit of the Torah and Commandments (Mitzvot):
O Children of Israel! call to mind My Favor which I bestowed upon you, and keep up your Covenant with Me as I fulfill My Covenant with you, and fear no one but Me. (2:40)
يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ اذْكُرُوا نِعْمَتِيَ الَّتِي أَنْعَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَأَوْفُوا بِعَهْدِي أُوفِ بِعَهْدِكُمْ وَإِيَّايَ فَارْهَبُونِ
That is, the Qur’an instructs Jews to continue to practice Yahadut, the praising of Yah through the Covenant of the Mitzvot in the Torah. This is the clearly articulated Covenant to which the Qur’an refers, and which any reader of the Bible is familiar.
The Qur’an in fact says that when those who follow the Bible already hear what Muhammad recited, they recognized it as Biblical and Midrashic stories and instructions ALREADY received.
Those unto whom We gave the Bible before it, they believe in it (28:52)
الَّذِينَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِ هُمْ بِهِ يُؤْمِنُونَ
And when it is recited to them they say: We believe in it surely it is the truth from our Lord; surely we were submitting ones (muslimin) before this. (28:53)
وَإِذَا يُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِمْ قَالُوا آمَنَّا بِهِ إِنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِنْ رَبِّنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا مِنْ قَبْلِهِ مُسْلِمِينَ
Clearly then, a “muslim” is here defined as one who believes in the Bible and follows it. This was a new message to polytheists in the Arab world, but it was nothing at all new to Jews and Nazarenes. Thus, the Qur’an says, to its polytheist audience, that the Jews and Nazarenes in their midst already know this and are the first to say “we were submitting ones before this”; indicating clearly that “muslim” was not a term for a separate religion, defined by the Qur’an (but instead was a universal practice of obeying God by honoring the instructions in the Bible or the instructions given by Muhammad to the Arabs who had not previously been exposed to the Bible and Midrash. Thus the Qur’an tells us to “And believe in what I have revealed, verifying that which is with you, and be not the first to deny it, neither sell My communications for a small price; and Me, Me alone should you fear” (2:41).
وَآمِنُوا بِمَا أَنْزَلْتُ مُصَدِّقًا لِمَا مَعَكُمْ وَلَا تَكُونُوا أَوَّلَ كَافِرٍ بِهِ ۖ وَلَا تَشْتَرُوا بِآيَاتِي ثَمَنًا قَلِيلًا وَإِيَّايَ فَاتَّقُونِ
Thus, the Bible which the Qur’an is “verifying” is “with you” currently, in Muhammad’s day and ever since. ‘Ayah 89 also repeats that the Qur’an is “verifying” the Bible, and that the curse of Allah is on the “kafirin“, the “koferim” in Hebrew; meaning those who apostate from Judaism by breaking the Covenant. The Bible is not seen as corrupted, nor filled with deformed and distorted accounts that the listener to the Qur’an is to disregard. When Muslims reject the Bible, they are literally rejecting and disobeying the Qur’an.
What does the Taliyah say about the Jizyah tax for Ahl al-Kitab?
According toe Shibli Nu’mani, the word Jizyah is the Arabicized version of the word Kizyat, meaning a Persian levy for administering affairs of war. It was a tax that was paid in times of war to maintain an army to protect a nation. Nothing more, nothing less.
Member of the nation who did not follow Muhammad directly as a religious leader, but who were keeping the existing covenants given before him – specifically to the Bani Isra’il – were being told that they still had to pay normal social taxes for national defense even though they were paying religious taxes within their own religious framework. This is why we do not see the Jizyah spoken of until the Battle of Tabuk, in the 8th year of the Hijrah. This is not mentioned outside of the context of war and is not noted as a normative social tax or “poll tax” as it is wrongly presumed to be, in any early source including the Constitution of Medinah.
What is the Taliyah position on Zoroastrianism?
Like any religion, there are many interpretations and sectarian divisions within Zoroastrianism. It is the view of Dr. Micah Naziri that the historical Zoroaster or Zarathustra was none other than Abraham himself – bearing in mind that “Abraham” was merely a Hebrew title given to the prophet, much like Moses was, as well. The tribal story-telling format of the Torah was such that these sorts of names and “puns” were common features of the myth-relaying by elders.
We know that Cyrus the Great, known as Zhul-Qarnayn in the Qur’an, was a Zoroaster, and we know that his interpretation of it was purely monotheistic and in line with the teachings of the Hebrew Bible. As such, the Prophet Isaiah even called him Allah’s “Messiah” (Isaiah 45:1). This would be a very strange thing to say about a mushrik. We do not thus need to speculate, we can defer to literal prophets on this matter.
More importantly, however, what this tells us is that the prophets of old did not distinguish between one prophet and another – just as the Qur’an tells us of itself (2:136; 2:285; 3:84; 4:152; 21:92; 23:51-53; 33:40). That is, Isaiah did not look at Cyrus and think of him as a “Zoroastrian” in contradistinction to Jewish prophets. The Path was One and the same, just as the Creator is One and the same.
What is the Taliyah position on Indigenous Spiritualities?
Indigenous Spiritualities most often represent the purest form of Fitrah. They are literally the untarnished, untainted form of “Natural Islam” that the prophets sought to lead us to. The formal structures, hierarchies and shariy`ah of religion is all to lead us to this point of “Natural Islam” which Indigenous societies already had, long before colonialism and forced indoctrination in Christian schools, and the chemical warfare of alcohol and methamphetamines being spread through the reservation systems in the United States.
Indigenous societies, of course, are global, and we find identical approaches all throughout the world in Indigenous spiritualities – amongst peoples who had little or no contact between one another, and who were often divided by insurmountable geographical barriers. As such, these similarities are evidence of the truth of their experiences – as it is beyond reason to imagine that each culture would describe their own isolated, false experiences the same way. It would instead be expected that if their experiences were false, they should be rather diverse and strange in their differences from culture to culture. That this is not the case speaks volumes. The human family would do well to learn at the feet of Indigenous elders.
What is the Taliyah position on animal products and Veganism?
Unlike other species on this planet, mankind eats flesh foods while we have flat front teeth, such as those possessed by a horse, cow, rabbit and the like. No natural omnivore or carnivore has flat front teeth. Likewise, no omnivore or carnivore has even close to as long a digestive tract as a human being. That is because herbivores take longer to breakdown and process the plant matter which they consume, while flesh eating animals must quickly expel the putrid flesh matter from their digestive tract. Accordingly, the consequences of this slow human digestion of flesh foods is one of the greatest causes of disease, sickness and premature death of human beings.
Unlike animals which Allah designed to be omnivores and carnivores, human beings can not run and catch their prey, nor do we salivate upon sight of the living animals which we consume. We associate only the cooked or processed form of their flesh as “food” while we associate the living animal beings as “animals.” Likewise, we sweat, as do all herbivores, while omnivores and carnivores always pant. Clearly these are signs for those who reflect.
Even if mankind could run and catch the animals they seek to kill and eat, we have no sharp claws, nor elongated sharp teeth with which to tear into the flesh of the animal. Again, this is not the case for any animal which Allah designed to eat flesh foods. Truly Allah is the best of Planners, the best of Creators, whose design is without flaw. In the same manner, we do not see other species of Allah’s creation drinking milk from lactating animals that was designed to nourish their young.
The Prophet Muhammad was asked: “Oh Prophet, are we rewarded for kindness to animals?” Muhammad replied: “There is a reward for kindness to every living thing.”
While many Prophets were vegetarian, the one that Muslims should most closely be aware of is `Isa al-Masih, who Christians call “Jesus”. For unlike the other Prophets, it is he who is said to Return with Imam Al-Mahdi. Ahadith bear witness that `Isa will prostrate in Salat behind “the Imam” al-Mahdi. So without delving into what literally dozens of Christian and pre-Christian Gospel accounts of `Isa say about him abstaining from flesh consumption, allow us to view several of the Islamic Ahadith (Recorded Oral Traditions) that record the dietary habits of `Isa – the one who will Return (whether you believe this literally or metaphorically) and slay Masih ad-Dajjal (“Imposter System”), according to the beliefs of all Muslims across the globe.
“`Isa used to tell his followers, ‘Take masajid (mosques) to be your homes, house to be stopping places. Eat from the plants of the wilderness and escape from this world in Peace.’ Sharik said, ‘I mentioned this to Sulayman, who added, ‘and drink pure water.’”
“`Isa used to say, ‘Truly i say to you, to eat wheat bread, to drink pure water, and to sleep upon dunghills with the dogs more than suffices him who wishes to inherit paradise.”
“`Isa was a constant traveler in the land, never abiding in a house or a village. His clothing consisted of a cloak made of coarse hair or camel stub and two hairless shirts… In his hand he carried a club. Whenever night fell, his lamp was the moonlight, his shade the blackness of night, his bed the earth, his pillow a stone, his food the plants of the fields. At times, he spent whole days and nights without food. In times of distress he was happy, and in times of ease he was sad.”
“If you want to fast as `Isa did, he would fast all the time and lived on nothing but barley. He always wore [garments of] coarse hair, and wherever he would be at nightfall he would plant his feet and keep praying until he saw the break of dawn. He would never leave a particular place before praying two raka`atayn. If, however, you want to fast as his mother, the Virgin did, she used to fast for two days at a time then eat for two days.”
“Masih (the Messiah) said, ‘Flesh eating flesh? How offensive an act!’”
“If you wish, you may repeat what the Possessor of the Word and the Ruh (Spirit), `Isa Ibn Maryam (Jesus the son of Mary), used to say: ‘Hunger is my seasoning, fear [of Allah] is my garment, wool is my clothing, the light of the dawn is my heat in winter, the moon is my lantern, my legs are my beast of burden, and the produce of the earth is my food and fruit. I retire for the night with nothing to my name and awake in the morning with nothing to my name. And there is no one on earth richer than me.”
Particular attention must be paid to the last Hadith, where it is stressed “If you wish, you may repeat what the Possessor of the Word and the Ruh, `Isa Ibn Maryam, used to say… the produce of the earth is my food and fruit…” Thus it is Islamically impossible for any Muslim to say that one “may not” say “the produce of the earth is my food and fruit” when here permission is granted.
What is the Taliyah view on dogs as pets?
This question has a number of things to unpack. First, the language of “pet.” In English, this term derives from the Scottish Gaelic peata and the Old Irish petta, meaning a “tame” animal. From this, we get the idea of “petting” a domesticated animal. So first we must ask ourselves a question about domestication. The fact that non-human animals have been domesticated for many thousands of years is indisputable. A domesticated dog or cat no longer has a natural habitat to be returned to. It is generally unkind to take a wild animal from its natural habitat, and keep it for our amusement or whimsical fancies. Domesticated species are generally overpopulated and in need of adoption.
Muhammad is reported in numerous narrations to have said that there is blessing and forgiveness of sins even for a prostitute who descended into a well to obtain water for a dog. It is reasonable to imagine that the earliest form of this tradition simply said that the woman went to the well and descended the bucket to procure water – as there is no reason to imagine that such a well would have been devoid of any way to lower and raise a bucket. Even if a pulley mechanism were broken in this hypothetical well, one could simply tie a bucket to a rope and lower it down.
Therefore, as astonishing as the hadith in question is in its current form, the original version of the saying probably was even more profound. Imagine that: Muhammad saying that a prostitute was forgiven for the sin of zinah due to going and fetching a thirsty dog water… it is easy to tell why later religious authorities would have tried to make the scenario of the hadith sounds more difficult. But even then, descending into a well to obtain water would be a strange literal requisite to imagine one must fulfill before obtaining forgiveness.
Furthermore, Muhammad was asked: “Oh Prophet, are we rewarded for kindness to animals?” to which he replied: “There is a reward for kindness to every living thing.”
Would this not then mean that adopting a member of an over-populated species is an act of kindness for which there is spiritual reward? It would seem reasonable that this is the case.
Were this not evident enough – and to be sure, so many in the Muslim Ummah seem very confused on this matter – the Ahl al-Kahf (the People of the Cave), in the Surah by the same name, were said in the Qur’an to have had a dog amongst them (Surat Al-Kahf, 18:9–26). If the literal interpretation of this passage were to be embraced (as it generally is in the normative Muslim world), then this would mean that for many years this dog was present amongst the Ahl al-Kahf. Still, the Qur’an calls them Mu’minin – Believers – without launching into any criticism against their companionship with a dog.
If we are to imagine that Muhammad, his closest companions and his family historically believed it was haraam to have a dog live with a Muslim, then we should find at least one hadith narration explaining why it was okay for the Ahl al-Kahf to do so, but not for any other Mu’minin to do so.
What is the Taliyah position on abortion?
The Taliyah al-Mahdi is a MOVEMENT about LIFE, and as such with all of us at one time living within the womb of our mother, we have a natural affinity with and obligation to those yet unborn.
On the issue of abortion specifically, human societies have for millennia engaged in methods of early term abortion that we might regard as more “natural” (without resorting to the philosophical fallacy of Appeal to Nature). These methods helped maintain not only the balance of those individual communities one was a part of, but also of the individual themselves. That the methods were widely known and employed, however, does not mean abortion itself is good or bad across the board. This issue, like many, is more nuanced than that.
While we reject State control over abortion — as the answer for us is never to be found in human governments — as a MOVEMENT we reject the notion of abortion as merely a meaningless method of birth control which has no impact on the physical or psychological health of women. For us, abortion should be the absolute last resort — with personal responsibility and mastery of sexual and reproductive health at the forefront of how we walk the “Tao of Yin and Yang” in our personal lives.
While we reluctantly accept the validity, or even necessity, of abortion when a mother’s life is jeopardized, what if her overall health was in jeopardy? What if her mental health was? What if, forced to carry a baby to term, a mentally ill mother murdered her infant after giving birth? Is it really better to force a situation where a sentient infant or toddler is murdered rather than have a woman terminate a pregnancy early term before there is empirically demonstrable sentience? Is forcing her to be a mother and try to raise that child or to responsibly make the decision of whether to put the child up for adoption really something we should assume she is in a psychological position to do, when she has indicated to her community and her doctor or midwives that she is clearly not?
Similarly, in cases of rape and incest, carrying a fetus to term would not only psychologically harm the mother, but it could also physically harm her and perhaps perpetuate birth defects and congenital defects that would harm the child well into adulthood.
There are simply too many variables, too many factors for one to decide from the sidelines what is best for the woman simply because she has a fertilized ovum. To go one step beyond that and claim that the government should be involved in this complicated and very subjective PERSONAL decision-making process is nothing short of proposing that the violence of the State itself be used to enforce a philosophical position that must be grappled with and determined on a case-by-case basis and by the individual carrying the gestating child.
The Tao Te Ching tell us that “When the great Tao is forgotten, ‘goodness’ and ‘religious piety’ appear.” That is to say that nuance is lost and issues that have more moral grey area than not become characterized in terms of blanket statements of good and evil, right and wrong. This is not the Way we follow.
What is the Taliyah position on homosexuality?
Imam `Ali not only emulated and embodied the Ruh Allah that we see expressed in `Isa, but he also said that the Minhaj al-Awwal of `Isa may be followed by his own followers – that is, his Shi`ah. As such, we should look to the Minhaj of `Isa. How many times did he talk about homosexuality, even in the occupied territories of Roman Palestine? Rome was notoriously culturally bisexual. If `Isa had something to say about the matter, we should suspect he would have. As such, in following his Minhaj , we are to remain silent about this personal orientation.
One person my hate butterscotch-flavored ice cream. The thought of it may make them sick. But their own disdain for it should not effect their realization that anyone has the right to eat butterscotch-flavored ice cream if they find it tasteful.
As such, Dr. Micah Naziri has already debunked common lies and mistranslations promoted by the clearly-repressed homosexuals in religious hierarchies – beginning with Paul of Tarsus, who was fixated on the topic of homosexuality, because he himself was an unmarried man, known to travel alone with other peoples’ children on “ministry” trips. The article on this subject debunks both Biblical and Qur’anic references to homosexuality as actually being denunciations of rape and incest. Homosexuality is simply none of our business, and any regime who executes citizens for actions between consenting adults is an oppressor and should be fought against… whether or not we like butterscotch ice cream.
If you don’t approve of homosexuality, then don’t engage in it. Muhammad is said in numerous ahadith to not only have allowed mukhannathun homosexuals in his presence but also in the presence of his wives, without hijab on. It was only in one instance when he learned one of their mukhannath friends was a fairly libidinous bisexual that he advised them to wear hijab around him. If this was Muhammad’s Sunnah and if `Isa’s Sunnah was to say nothing at all about the rampant homosexuality in the Roman world, then why would we follow the Sunnah of repressed homosexual religious leaders who seem to think that by sounding extreme they will deflect attention from their own hidden desires.
In other words, if you cannot seem to stop thinking and talking about homosexuality, then maybe you should ask yourself why that is? Paul of Tarsus couldn’t seem to stop talking about it, and we never saw him with a woman, nor did he marry or have children.
More than a few scholars have theorized that the “thorn in his side” (2 Corinthians 12:7) that he wrote about was his repressed homosexuality. If you are fixated on the topic of homosexuality then you have that in common with homosexuals. Heterosexuals who think and talk so much about homosexuality do not seem particularly heterosexual. Repressed inner-conflict aside, if an individual, terrorist organization or regime attempts to oppress consenting adult homosexuals because they do not approve of their sexual orientation, then they are fascists like any other and will be stopped.
What is the Taliyah view on Law Enforcement?
There has always been the need for investigative powers. Societies have maintained what we might call “detectives” for many generations before we see the rise of Sir Robert Peel’s “Community Policing” model. Interestingly, the Black Panther Party for Self Defense had, as one of their “Ten Points,” the principle that police should come from the communities they serve. This was a requirement for community policing under Peel’s principles as well. Being uniformed went hand-in-hand with that. For Peel, the idea was the community police was so potentially dangerous, in that this power to arrest for misdemeanors granted to police could corrupt, that there needed to be community accountability. People needed to be able to say “I’m gonna let your brother hear about this,” or “what would your mother say?” The officers needed to know that this manner of the community holding them directly accountable to their families and peer groups was a very real thing.
Peels principles were only adopted in the U.K. near the third decade of the 19th century. It wasn’t fully adopted in the United States until after the abolition of slavery. Suddenly, a slew of new benign actions were criminalized and selectively enforced in the case of Black “perpetrators.” Around this time we see laws prohibiting firearms carrying, unless by “Prudent Persons.” When asked what a “Prudent Person” was, the local Sheriff would answer “whoever we deem to be prudent.” That is, more times than not, the prudent persons were Caucasian, and the imprudent person was Black.
The Taliyah goes one step beyond what the Panthers said. Ideally, we do not see society as requiring community policing. Anyone in impoverished areas already knows that there are never police around when you need them. They show up after the fact, and then rarely investigate crimes with any diligence. Self-defense, and home-defense are requirements of the individual. The police are not coming to save you.
Now add to that the fact that those of us taking a stand against any number of injustices are targets for rogue law enforcement, government powers, Neo-Nazis, fascists and crypto-fascists of all varieties, to say nothing of Nasibi terrorists, and we realize that training and being armed for self and community defense is a must. We simply cannot rely on the police to save us.
How does the Taliyah define “Terrorism”?
Terrorism, according to the Taliyah al-Mahdi, is the intentional targeting of non-combatants for the purpose of creating public fear, to shift public policy, or election outcomes. Terrorism is outright forbidden by true Islam and terrorists are the enemies of Islam and of Allah. As such, we take them as our enemies.
What does the Taliyah think of “Suicide Bombing”?
In theory, there is nothing inherently wrong about carrying out a kamikaze mission against the wicked, so long as no innocents were harmed in the process. Writing off their deaths and “collateral damage” is the ways of the governments of this world, not of Islam. We reject such dismissive attitudes.
If, however, one knew that all of Da`esh terrorists were under one roof and the only way they could be killed in total was by detonating a bomb under that roof and forfeiting your own life, that would not be an act of suicide, it would be an act of bravery done to save the lives of those who would otherwise undoubtedly be murdered by this Dajjalic “Caliphate.”
What is the Taliyah view of 9/11?
There is no question that four planes flew into the World Trade Center towers, and that there were Sa`udi Wahhabi terrorists involved. Beyond that, there are many unanswered questions about these attacks, and whether there is more to the story. Naturally, if there was collusion by rogue elements within the United States government, or even security at the towers, then this would be the sort of thing kept from the public to reduce panic, and make people feel safe.
We have no official position on such details, but investigating and even conjecture on possible scenarios – with these established facts borne in mind – is certainly within the realm of acceptable behaviors for members of the Taliyah.
What is the Taliyah view of the Nazi Holocaust?
The Nazis were the epitome of evil in their day, just as Da`esh are today. They murdered many millions of innocent people, the majority of them being Jews. They were not content to carry out such genocide in Europe, but also instigated and funded pogroms from Morocco to Iraq, during the Third Reich.
People who deny the reality of the Nazi Holocaust are either doing so to conceal the truth and to make excuses for the oppressors, or because they are ignorant and unmotivated to educate themselves, even in this age with sound historical primary sources at our fingertips.
What is the Taliyah view on the dispute with Abu Bakr and Fatimah?
Whether we are talking about this dispute, or any other claimed to have existed within the early community of Muhammad’s movement, it is not clear how much of those stories are actually historical and how much they represent inter-party disputes that were posthumously ascribed and assigned to – imposed upon – those grand figures beloved by each sect. My “gut,” as it were, and my training as a historian, tell me it is the latter more so than the former. So while these stories might be rooted in historical incidences of disputes and fitnah between sahabah – some sahabah – and the Ahl al-Bayt, I suspect the historical incidences were much more minor and were largely resolved (in most cases), long before the passing of said individuals. The evidence seems to point to the fact that these early disputes were fictionalized centuries later by partisans on both sides of the divide.
This is not only the case with these sahabah and Ahl al-Bayt. We see it too in the `Isawiyah Jewish revolt against the Abbasid Caliphate, which the dajjal min dajajilah, Ibn Ishaq fictionalized as a battle between the Banu Qurayzhah (a tribe which had entirely absorbed into Muhammad’s community), and Muhammad and his forces.
We see it as well with the fictional character of `Abdullah ibn Saba, who merely represents the roots of the Muslim Ummah in what was then called Sabianism. We know from dozens of ahadith (deemed highly-probable by the Criterion of Embarrassment or Double Dissimilitude), that Muhammad was often called a Sabian. The Qur’an offers no critique of the Sabians. This was a term used by historians of the day for the Diaspora Essene community, to which Waraqa and Khadijah belongs, and into which Muhammad seems to have married and converted. There is no shame in this, though the Ummah today seems to believe there is because of latent `asabiyyah. Instead, Muhammad coming into the fold of the Essene lineage was a holy occasion, much like the fictional initiation of `Isa by Yahya in the Christian Anajil accounts.
With `Abdullah ibn Saba we see these historical roots of the Ummah demonized and personified into a single diabolical (and very much fictional) figure. The Nawasib, because they refuse to employ the faculties of REASON and Historical Criticism, accept these late-narrative stories as literal histories. As it is written, they have no true knowledge, the follow only conjecture (wa ma lahum bidhalik min `ilm in hum ‘illa yazunnun).
Renowned historian and linguist, Israel Friedlander, published a magisterial three part article, published from 1910-1912, on the `Isawiyah (Diaspora Essene) community, “Shiitic Elements in Jewish Sectarianism” published in the Jewish Quarterly Review, documents no less than fifteen clear overlaps between the `Isawiyah “Sabians” and the Imamiyyah of the Ahl al-Bayt, before divisions of “Akhbari” and “Usuli” (or of Ithna `Ashari, Isma`ili or Zaydi for that matter). It is clear to the bulk of secular historians (that is, those who are operating upon principles of historiography, not tainted by a theological agenda), that the figure of `Abdullah ibn Saba was fictional, and a personification of the Ummah’s hatred of these historical roots.
A saying is attributed to Muhammad, which it is said he was relaying to Imam `Ali, that: “people will be saved from the state of trouble and the Fitnah by our Mahdi, in the same way that people were saved by us from shirk.” (Bihar-al-Anwar vol.51, p. 93)
It is important to remember this.
Our job as the TALIYAH AL-MAHDI, is to DESTROY these DIVISIONS. We do that by showing that the true Shi`ah are the the true Ahl as-Sunnah and the true Sunnis are thus the true Shi`ah. The Qur’an says that the Mu’minin are of the Shi`ah of Nuh, Ibrahim (37:83) and Musa (28:15) – and thus, it is implied, of ALL prophets and certainly in the case of Muhammad and others, their family as well. We win by destroying the divisions (that is, when one Shi`ah is divided into plural shi`yan, Qur’an 6:159) and offering a BALANCED path for the future (and current) generations to walk.
What is the Qur’an referring to when it says “Unlettered Prophet” can be found in the Torah and Injil?
The Qur’an simply never says “unlettered” prophet, and if it did, it would be proven false by the fact that no such reference exists in the Torah or in the Injil (nor in any later, plural Anajil (Gospels) accounts. How do we know? Well for starters, Muhammad’s audience would have interrupted and said “what are you talking about? Where does it say this in the Torah?” But there is no record of any such interjection.
How do we know that there was not such a passage and it was removed from an earlier Torah? Quite simply, because we have the Dead Sea Scrolls in hand today. As a well-preserved archeological find, we now know that for at least two thousand years, or more, there was no major difference in the Torah preserved therein, and the one available in Late Antiquity with Muhammad (the Masoretic text which we still have today). This is remarkable since we know that not only did Waraqah, the in-law of Muhammad, have a Sefer Torah scroll that he could fluently read in Hebrew (making reference to this prophecy, in fact), but that Muhammad himself took a Sefer Torah scroll and laid it upon a cushion, then spoke directly to it, saying “I believe in you and in Allah who sent you.”
Could you imagine a leader in the Muslim world doing something like this today?
So what was in the Hebrew Injil (the original “Hebrew Matthew” quoted by Church historians and utilized by the `Isawiyah Jews), owned by Waraqah? What was in the Torah that could have been what the Qur’an is referencing?
Before answering that, let us look at what the ayah in question actually says. It does not say “unlettered,” but “Ummi.” As anyone knows, “Ummi” means “mother.” It also today has the meaning of “illiterate.” Isn’t that awful? It isn’t difficult to see the connection. Until recently, many women were prevented from pursuing education. As such, many women were illiterate or “uneducated.”
The typical explanation is that Muhammad was simply “uneducated,” by many also claim that this meant he was “illiterate.” The irony is that almost everyone was illiterate in the Arabic language before the codification of the Qur’an. We have a total of 196 words of pre-Qur’anic Arabic documented in archeological finds. Most of those words are written in Nabataean Aramaic script. We have literally no Arabic manuscript older than the Qur’an itself.
Furthermore, Aramaic was the lingua franca of the educated and literate at the time. Isn’t it curious that the Kufic script without dots, attested to in numerous ahadith about the earliest manuscripts of the Qur’an (and the Qur’an of Imam `Ali ibn Abi Talib), is described in a way that looks extremely similar to Syriac Aramaic?
Of course, in the dubious accounts of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirah biography, we have mention of Muhammad in Syria on business with his uncle (and adopted father) Abu Talib. Is this true? That is a discussion unto itself. It certainly would be interesting, given the Qur’anic references to the Levantine word Bakkah (rather than Mecca), as well as the Syriac look of the first Kufic Arabic Qur’an without dots.
The passage referenced by the Qur’an would have been a well-known one by Muhammad’s audience. As there is no such reference to an “illiterate” prophet in such Biblical passages, this is probably a reference to Deuteronomy 18:15-19. This passage says that the Creator will raised up “a prophet like unto Moses” from the “brethren” of the Children of Israel. Some Muslim exegetes (mufassirun) have suggested that this means from amongst the Ishmaelites.
An account attributed to Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, writing during the period of the Arab liberation of Jerusalem (from the anti-Jewish Byzantium Christians), describes `Umar as “a lover of Israel who repaired their breaches,” going on to insist that “The Holy One is only bringing the Kingdom of Ishmael in order to save you from this wickedness [of Christian oppression]”, and as an “act of God’s Mercy”. This would certainly seem to corroborate the idea that the “brethren from amongst the Children of Ishmael” were interpreted by some (perhaps the Sabian `Isawiyah Jews), as the “prophet like unto Moses,” raised from “amongst your brethren” in the Torah’s prophecy.
Now in Jeremiah 1:5 we read that the author was sent as a “prophet to the nations” (נביא לגוים). Isn’t it interesting then that the word for Nations (Umam, أمم) and its singular Ummah (أمة), are from the Arabic word for “Mother” – the same word used in this passage that is rendered “illiterate” (الاُمى) more often than not, by Qur’anic translators. Wouldn’t it seem more reasonable that the Qur’an was making reference to the idea of a prophet like unto Moses being raised from amongst the brethren of the Children of Israel – the Children of Ishmael?
First, it must be explained that the Hebrew term “Elohim” refers to the plural Divine Powers of Ha’Eloah. Ha is the definite article in Hebrew like Al is in Arabic. Eloah in Hebrew is Elah or Alah in Aramaic dialects. The Hijazi dialect of Aramaic that become known as Arabic (one could think of it as Arameao-Arabic) pronounced Elah as Ilah. Al-Ilah and Ha’Elah are the same word but when said together all the time, one would pronounce it as Allah. The “dagger alif” often over “Allah” in Arabic is a grammatical indicator of absolute Soleness. But that of course was never in the original Kufic Quranic text, which without dots was virtually identical with forms of Syriac Aramaic script.
It is essential to remember that these are later rules of Arabic grammar. The Qur’an, in many – most – ways, CODIFIED what it means for words and grammar to be Arabic. There are a TREMENDOUS number of Qur’anic words which are of ambiguous origins to Arabic speakers today, even while the Qur’an claims it is UNambiguous Mubin Arabic.
While you cannot today say Ya in front of a word in such a way, we do not know that this was the case with “Allah” as a formulation of Absolute “Ilah-ness”. As well, the Ya before it may have ORIGINALLY been a reference to the Divine Hebrew Prefix YAH. As this was a DIALECT not a written language for the most part until the Qur’an (we have found no more than 196 pre-Qur’anic words in Arabic, archeologically, and almost all of them are in Nabatean script), it may well have been like a Hebrew formulation – such as how we see the prophet Isaiah speaking of the Yah suffix – YAH Ha’ELOAH.
The fact of the matter is the “`ulema” today do not even ask these questions let alone study cognates and sister languages. They do not know, care, nor study the fact that those “ambiguous” Arabic words are very much identifiable and “mubin” in Aramaic, if only they knew. In deed, if only they know, perhaps they would gain much more insight into the meaning of these words, instead of assuming cultural meanings much later affixed to them – centuries AFTER the oration of the Qur’an – are in fact what they meant when the words flowed from Muhammad’s tongue.
 Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak )d. 181/797), al-Zuhd, p. 198 (no. 563). Cf. Ibn Abd Rabbihi, al-`Iqd, 3:143; Ibn Asakir, Sirat, p. 138, no. 128 (Asin, p. 541, no. 111; Mansur, no 9; Robson, p. 73).
 Ahmad ibn Hanbal (d. 241/855), al-Zuhd, p. 98 (no. 326). Ibn Qutbayba, Uyun al-Akhbar, 2:363; Ibn Abi al-Dunya, Kitab Dhamm al- Dunya, in Mawsu’at Rasa’il, 2:275, excerpt no. 138: Ikhwan al-Safa’, Rasa’il Ikhwan al-Safa’, 3:34; and al-Ghazali, Ihya’, 4:180 (Asin, p. 400, no. 70; Mansur, no. 152; Robson, p. 70).
 Abu Rifa’a al-Fasawi (d. 289/902), Kitab Bad’ al-Khalq, p. 333. Cf. Ibn `Asakir, Sirat, p. 133, no. 120.
 Abu al-Layth al-Samarqandi (d. 373/983), Tanbih al-Ghafilin, p. 125 (Asin, p. 557, no. 139; Mansur, no. 39; Robson, pp. 74-75).
 Al-Raghib al-Isfahani (early fifth/early eleventh century), Mahadarat al-Udaba’, 1:610.
 Abu Nu`aym al-Isbahani (d. 430/1038), Hilyat al-Awliya’, 6:314 (Asin, pp. 374-375, no. 44; Mansur, no. 80; Robson, pp. 67-68.
 A very accessible, English translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirah, by Alfred Guillaume, should be readily available. Refer to pp. 79–81 for the story. The story of this visit is not restricted to the aforementioned dubious author. It is also found in Jami al-Tirmidhi, hadith #3620. Coupled with the Criterion of Embarrassment or the Criterion of Double Dissimilitude, there is a high probability that this account refers to some historical incident.
 Salo Wittmayer Baron. A Social and Religious History of the Jews. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1952) 93
 Shelomo Dov Goitein. Jews and Arabs: Their Contact Through the Ages. (2005: Dover Publications, 1955). p 63
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