The Quran Doesn’t Support a Strictly Vegetarian Diet

The vegetarian diet involves abstaining from eating meat, fish and poultry. Some Muslims are vegetarian, though not necessarily because of religious belief. Interestingly, the Quran does not support a strictly vegetarian diet. Consider the following verses which all support eating meat.

Verse 2:57

Eat manna and quail.

وَظَلَّلْنَا عَلَيْكُمُ ٱلْغَمَامَ وَأَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكُمُ ٱلْمَنَّ وَٱلسَّلْوَىٰ ۖ كُلُوا۟ مِن طَيِّبَـٰتِ مَا رَزَقْنَـٰكُمْ ۖ وَمَا ظَلَمُونَا وَلَـٰكِن كَانُوٓا۟ أَنفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ
And We shaded you with clouds and sent down to you manna and quails, [saying], “Eat from the good things with which We have provided you.” And they wronged Us not – but they were [only] wronging themselves. (2:57)

Verse 7:160

Eat manna and quail.

وَقَطَّعْنَـٰهُمُ ٱثْنَتَىْ عَشْرَةَ أَسْبَاطًا أُمَمًا ۚ وَأَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَىٰ مُوسَىٰٓ إِذِ ٱسْتَسْقَىٰهُ قَوْمُهُۥٓ أَنِ ٱضْرِب بِّعَصَاكَ ٱلْحَجَرَ ۖ فَٱنۢبَجَسَتْ مِنْهُ ٱثْنَتَا عَشْرَةَ عَيْنًا ۖ قَدْ عَلِمَ كُلُّ أُنَاسٍ مَّشْرَبَهُمْ ۚ وَظَلَّلْنَا عَلَيْهِمُ ٱلْغَمَـٰمَ وَأَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمُ ٱلْمَنَّ وَٱلسَّلْوَىٰ ۖ كُلُوا۟ مِن طَيِّبَـٰتِ مَا رَزَقْنَـٰكُمْ ۚ وَمَا ظَلَمُونَا وَلَـٰكِن كَانُوٓا۟ أَنفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ
And We divided them into twelve descendant tribes1 [as distinct] nations. And We inspired to Moses when his people implored him for water, “Strike with your staff the stone,” and there gushed forth from it twelve springs. Every people [i.e., tribe] knew its watering place. And We shaded them with clouds and sent down upon them manna and quails, [saying], “Eat from the good things with which We have provided you.” And they wronged Us not, but they were [only] wronging themselves. (7:160)

Verse 5:3

Eat animals you slaughter.

حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْكُمُ ٱلْمَيْتَةُ وَٱلدَّمُ وَلَحْمُ ٱلْخِنزِيرِ وَمَآ أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ ٱللَّهِ بِهِۦ وَٱلْمُنْخَنِقَةُ وَٱلْمَوْقُوذَةُ وَٱلْمُتَرَدِّيَةُ وَٱلنَّطِيحَةُ وَمَآ أَكَلَ ٱلسَّبُعُ إِلَّا مَا ذَكَّيْتُمْ وَمَا ذُبِحَ عَلَى ٱلنُّصُبِ وَأَن تَسْتَقْسِمُوا۟ بِٱلْأَزْلَـٰمِ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمْ فِسْقٌ ۗ ٱلْيَوْمَ يَئِسَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ مِن دِينِكُمْ فَلَا تَخْشَوْهُمْ وَٱخْشَوْنِ ۚ ٱلْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِى وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ ٱلْإِسْلَـٰمَ دِينًا ۚ فَمَنِ ٱضْطُرَّ فِى مَخْمَصَةٍ غَيْرَ مُتَجَانِفٍ لِّإِثْمٍ ۙ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
Prohibited to you are dead animals,1 blood, the flesh of swine, and that which has been dedicated to other than Allah, and [those animals] killed by strangling or by a violent blow or by a head-long fall or by the goring of horns, and those from which a wild animal has eaten, except what you [are able to] slaughter [before its death], and those which are sacrificed on stone altars,2 and [prohibited is] that you seek decision through divining arrows. That is grave disobedience. This day those who disbelieve have despaired of [defeating] your religion; so fear them not, but fear Me. This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islām as religion. But whoever is forced by severe hunger with no inclination to sin – then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. (5:3)

Verse 5:4

Eat animals caught by trained hunting animals.

يَسْـَٔلُونَكَ مَاذَآ أُحِلَّ لَهُمْ ۖ قُلْ أُحِلَّ لَكُمُ ٱلطَّيِّبَـٰتُ ۙ وَمَا عَلَّمْتُم مِّنَ ٱلْجَوَارِحِ مُكَلِّبِينَ تُعَلِّمُونَهُنَّ مِمَّا عَلَّمَكُمُ ٱللَّهُ ۖ فَكُلُوا۟ مِمَّآ أَمْسَكْنَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَٱذْكُرُوا۟ ٱسْمَ ٱللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ ۖ وَٱتَّقُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ سَرِيعُ ٱلْحِسَابِ
They ask you, [O Muḥammad], what has been made lawful for them. Say, “Lawful for you are [all] good foods and [game caught by] what you have trained of hunting animals which you train as Allah has taught you. So eat of what they catch for you, and mention the name of Allah upon it, and fear Allah.” Indeed, Allah is swift in account. (5:4)

Verse 6:118

Eat meat.

فَكُلُوا۟ مِمَّا ذُكِرَ ٱسْمُ ٱللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ إِن كُنتُم بِـَٔايَـٰتِهِۦ مُؤْمِنِينَ
So eat of that [meat] upon which the name of Allah has been mentioned,1 if you are believers in His verses [i.e., revealed law]. (6:118)

Verse 6:142

Eat livestock.

وَمِنَ ٱلْأَنْعَـٰمِ حَمُولَةً وَفَرْشًا ۚ كُلُوا۟ مِمَّا رَزَقَكُمُ ٱللَّهُ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا۟ خُطُوَٰتِ ٱلشَّيْطَـٰنِ ۚ إِنَّهُۥ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ
And of the grazing livestock are carriers [of burdens] and those [too] small. Eat of what Allah has provided for you and do not follow the footsteps of Satan.1 Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy. (6:142)

Verse 16:5

Eat livestock.

وَٱلْأَنْعَـٰمَ خَلَقَهَا ۗ لَكُمْ فِيهَا دِفْءٌ وَمَنَـٰفِعُ وَمِنْهَا تَأْكُلُونَ
And the grazing livestock He has created for you; in them is warmth1 and [numerous] benefits, and from them you eat. (16:5)

Verse 16:14

Eat seafood.

وَهُوَ ٱلَّذِى سَخَّرَ ٱلْبَحْرَ لِتَأْكُلُوا۟ مِنْهُ لَحْمًا طَرِيًّا وَتَسْتَخْرِجُوا۟ مِنْهُ حِلْيَةً تَلْبَسُونَهَا وَتَرَى ٱلْفُلْكَ مَوَاخِرَ فِيهِ وَلِتَبْتَغُوا۟ مِن فَضْلِهِۦ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ
And it is He who subjected the sea for you to eat from it tender meat and to extract from it ornaments which you wear. And you see the ships plowing through it, and [He subjected it] that you may seek of His bounty; and perhaps you will be grateful. (16:14)

Verse 35:12

Eat seafood.

وَمَا يَسْتَوِى ٱلْبَحْرَانِ هَـٰذَا عَذْبٌ فُرَاتٌ سَآئِغٌ شَرَابُهُۥ وَهَـٰذَا مِلْحٌ أُجَاجٌ ۖ وَمِن كُلٍّ تَأْكُلُونَ لَحْمًا طَرِيًّا وَتَسْتَخْرِجُونَ حِلْيَةً تَلْبَسُونَهَا ۖ وَتَرَى ٱلْفُلْكَ فِيهِ مَوَاخِرَ لِتَبْتَغُوا۟ مِن فَضْلِهِۦ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ
And not alike are the two seas [i.e., bodies of water]. One is fresh and sweet, palatable for drinking, and one is salty and bitter. And from each you eat tender meat and extract ornaments which you wear, and you see the ships plowing through [them] that you might seek of His bounty; and perhaps you will be grateful. (35:12)

Verse 22:28

Eat animals.

لِّيَشْهَدُوا۟ مَنَـٰفِعَ لَهُمْ وَيَذْكُرُوا۟ ٱسْمَ ٱللَّهِ فِىٓ أَيَّامٍ مَّعْلُومَـٰتٍ عَلَىٰ مَا رَزَقَهُم مِّنۢ بَهِيمَةِ ٱلْأَنْعَـٰمِ ۖ فَكُلُوا۟ مِنْهَا وَأَطْعِمُوا۟ ٱلْبَآئِسَ ٱلْفَقِيرَ
That they may witness [i.e., attend] benefits for themselves and mention the name of Allah on known [i.e., specific] days over what He has provided for them of [sacrificial] animals.1 So eat of them and feed the miserable and poor. (22:28)

Verse 22:36

Eat camels and cattle.

وَٱلْبُدْنَ جَعَلْنَـٰهَا لَكُم مِّن شَعَـٰٓئِرِ ٱللَّهِ لَكُمْ فِيهَا خَيْرٌ ۖ فَٱذْكُرُوا۟ ٱسْمَ ٱللَّهِ عَلَيْهَا صَوَآفَّ ۖ فَإِذَا وَجَبَتْ جُنُوبُهَا فَكُلُوا۟ مِنْهَا وَأَطْعِمُوا۟ ٱلْقَانِعَ وَٱلْمُعْتَرَّ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ سَخَّرْنَـٰهَا لَكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ
And the camels and cattle We have appointed for you as among the symbols [i.e., rites] of Allah; for you therein is good. So mention the name of Allah upon them when lined up [for sacrifice]; and when they are [lifeless] on their sides, then eat from them and feed the needy [who does not seek aid] and the beggar. Thus have We subjected them to you that you may be grateful. (22:36)

Verse 23:21

Eat livestock and animal byproducts.

وَإِنَّ لَكُمْ فِى ٱلْأَنْعَـٰمِ لَعِبْرَةً ۖ نُّسْقِيكُم مِّمَّا فِى بُطُونِهَا وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا مَنَـٰفِعُ كَثِيرَةٌ وَمِنْهَا تَأْكُلُونَ
And indeed, for you in livestock is a lesson. We give you drink from that which is in their bellies, and for you in them are numerous benefits, and from them you eat. (23:21)

Verse 36:72

Eat some animals.

وَذَلَّلْنَـٰهَا لَهُمْ فَمِنْهَا رَكُوبُهُمْ وَمِنْهَا يَأْكُلُونَ
And We have tamed them for them, so some of them they ride, and some of them they eat. (36:72)

Verse 40:79

Eat some grazing animals.

ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِى جَعَلَ لَكُمُ ٱلْأَنْعَـٰمَ لِتَرْكَبُوا۟ مِنْهَا وَمِنْهَا تَأْكُلُونَ
It is Allah who made for you the grazing animals upon which you ride, and some of them you eat. (2:57)

Verse 51:24-27

Prophet Abraham offered calf meat to his guests.

هَلْ أَتَىٰكَ حَدِيثُ ضَيْفِ إِبْرَٰهِيمَ ٱلْمُكْرَمِينَ إِذْ دَخَلُوا۟ عَلَيْهِ فَقَالُوا۟ سَلَـٰمًا ۖ قَالَ سَلَـٰمٌ قَوْمٌ مُّنكَرُونَ فَرَاغَ إِلَىٰٓ أَهْلِهِۦ فَجَآءَ بِعِجْلٍ سَمِينٍ فَقَرَّبَهُۥٓ إِلَيْهِمْ قَالَ أَلَا تَأْكُلُونَ
Has there reached you the story of the honored guests of Abraham?1 – When they entered upon him and said, “[We greet you with] peace.” He answered, “[And upon you] peace; [you are] a people unknown.” Then he went to his family and came with a fat [roasted] calf. And placed it near them; he said, “Will you not eat?” (51:24-27)

Related articles

Muslims Are Performing the Hajj Wrong

Table of Contents

  • Is the Hajj only during 10 days or any time within 4 months?
    • The purpose of Hajj
    • The duration of Hajj
    • Known days
    • Counter-argument #1: Hajj versus believers
    • Counter-argument #2: Comparison to Ramadan
    • Zhu al-Hijjah
    • 4 “hurum” months
    • Consecutive “hurum” months
    • The beginning of the Hajj period
    • The Islamic calendar
    • The Hajj months
    • Solution to current problems
  • The correct rituals of Hajj
    • Perform the Hajj during any of the 4 hajj months
    • Perform the Hajj for at least 2 days
    • Commemorate God throughout the Hajj
    • Hunting
    • War and fighting
    • Sexual intercourse, misconduct and arguments
    • Abstaining from cutting the hair
    • Visit the Kaa’ba (Ancient House) and circumambulate it at least 1x (once)
    • Walking between Safa and Marwah are optional
    • Commemorate God at the Masjid al Haram
    • Animal offerings
    • Convenient offering
    • Optionally pray at the Station of Abraham
  • The man-made rituals of Hajj
    • The Hajj garments
    • Miqat Locations
    • The “Black Stone”
    • “Zamzam” water
    • The ritual of stoning Satan
    • Women not allowed to perform Hajj without a “muhrim”
    • Women during menstruation forbidden from completing Hajj
    • Visiting Prophet Muhammad’s tomb during the Hajj
    • Performing hajj for someone else

Is the Hajj only during 10 days or any time within 4 months?

The purpose of Hajj

We see in verses 6:162-163 that all worship practices must be dedicated to God alone.

قُلْ إِنَّ صَلَاتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ ۖ وَبِذَٰلِكَ أُمِرْتُ وَأَنَا أَوَّلُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ
Say, “Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the worlds. No partner has He. And this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims.” (6:162-163)

The same applies to the Hajj. There are many verses that indicate that the only purpose of the Hajj is to “commemorate God”.

And proclaim the Hajj to the people …… to commemorate God’s name during the known days. (22:27-28)
You shall commemorate God for a number of days. (2:203)
When you disperse from Arafat you shall commemorate God at the Mishaar Al-Haram. (2:198)
Then once you have completed your rituals, you shall commemorate God. (2:200)

The duration of Hajj

Many Muslims believe that there is only one 5 day period each year during which they can perform the hajj. However, the Quran makes it clear that the hajj can be done any time during the four months beginning from Dhul-Hijjah. The fact that the hajj period lasts for multiple months is proven in verse 2:197.

الْحَجُّ أَشْهُرٌ مَّعْلُومَاتٌ ۚ فَمَن فَرَضَ فِيهِنَّ الْحَجَّ فَلَا رَفَثَ وَلَا فُسُوقَ وَلَا جِدَالَ فِي الْحَجِّ
Hajj is [during] well-known (specified) months (Arabic: ashur), so whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself therein (in those months), there is [to be for him] no sexual relations and no disobedience and no disputing during Hajj. … (2:197)

Notice how the verse uses the Arabic word “ashur” which means “months” (plural). “Shahrun” is Arabic for one month. “Shahrain” is Arabic for two months. “Ashurun” is Arabic for three or more months.

Some may argue that the use of the plural “months” was used to describe a regularity that occurs every year. However, this argument is unsupportable as the verse clearly indicates that the months refer to certain months of a year.

Another argument is that the 5 days of Dhul-hijjah fall within the well-known months and therefore that is why the plural “months” is used in the verse. This argument is non-sensical since the verse states very clearly that hajj can be done during months (Arabic: ashurun) that are well-known (Arabic: ma’lumatun). In verse 2:197, notice the Arabic words “farada feehinna”.

  • “farada” means “he made obligatory”
  • “feehinna” is a conjunction of two words: “fee” which means “in” and “hinna” which means “them” in the feminine gender form.

Therefore, that section of the verse means “whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself therein (in those months)” proves that God is telling you that you can perform the Hajj at any time during those months.

Known days

Some people argue that the Hajj is restricted to the first 10 days of the 12th month by citing verses 22:28 and 2:203.

… mention the name of Allah on known days … (22:28)
You shall commemorate God for a number of days. … (2:203)

They claim that the words “known days” and “a number of days” indicate that the Hajj can only be performed during a 10 day period.

Counter-argument #1: Hajj versus believers

In verse 2:197, we see that God is addressing the “hajj’ itself when He describes the “specified months”. In other words, the hajj itself can be performed during the multiple months of Hajj. In contrast, in verses 22:28 and 2:203, God is addressing the “believers” when He speaks of the “number of days”. In other words, the believers who perform the Hajj go for a number of days and not for several months.

Counter-argument #2: Comparison to Ramadan

In verse 2:185, we see that God indicates that the month for fasting is the (single) month of Ramadan. In the same verse, we see a reference to “a number of days”. Obviously, this doesn’t mean that you must only fast for a few days in the month of Ramadan but rather that if you miss some days, you must make up for them later.

شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِّنَ الْهُدَىٰ وَالْفُرْقَانِ ۚ فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ ۖ وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِّنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ …
The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. … (2:185)

A month, or months, can be spoken of as days because a month is made up of days. Nevertheless, this doesn’t change the fact that they are still months. This is similar to someone describing the years of his childhood by saying “they were the best days of my life”.

Zhu al-Hijjah

The 12th month of the Islamic calendar is called Zhu al-Hijjah which means “that (month) of the Hajj”. It would make sense that this month would be one of the Hajj months and the beginning of those months.

4 “hurum” months

In verse 9:36, we see that there are 12 months in a year and that 4 of them are called “hurum”.

إِنَّ عِدَّةَ الشُّهُورِ عِندَ اللَّهِ اثْنَا عَشَرَ شَهْرًا فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ يَوْمَ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ مِنْهَا أَرْبَعَةٌ حُرُمٌ …
Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are “hurum”. . … (9:36)

The word ‘Hurum’ does not mean sacred as some have translated, for the word used in the Quran for sacred is ‘muqqaddas’, see 20:12, 79:16 and 5:21. The word ‘Hurum’ (adjective) is the plural of the word ‘Haram’ which is also associated with the months of Hajj. Both words come from the noun ‘Ihram’ which means abstention. Abstention is one of the requirements during Hajj, abstention from war, hunting and so on.

As a result, we know that the number of months that God designated for Hajj is four (2:197).

Consecutive “hurum” months

In verses 9:2-5 we see that 4 months are specifically granted to those with whom obligations were removed as they continuously broke treaties and invoked hostilities against the Muslims. Respite was then granted from the Day of Pilgrimage and extended 4 months in succession. The statement that respite was granted from the Day of Pilgrimage until the hurum months have passed indicates that the hurum months are in succession.

(Paraphrasing 9:2-5) So go about in the land for four months (9:2)… And an announcement from God and His Messenger, to the people (assembled) on the day of the Great Pilgrimage (9:3)… So when the hurum months (in succession) have passed … (9:5)

In verse 9:5, the word that indicates a consecutive set of months is “insalakha” which means “withdrawn in succession”. The word literally means “skinned”. When you skin something, e.g. an onion, you remove its layers consecutively one or more layers at a time. You can’t remove the outermost layer (skin) and then the 5th inner layer (skin) before removing the layers (skins) in between.

The same word “salakha” is used in verse 36:37 which denotes a gradual and successive transition. In this verse, the transition is from day to night (sunset).

The beginning of the Hajj period

Verse 2:189 gives us an indication as to the beginning of the Hajj period.

يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْأَهِلَّةِ ۖ قُلْ هِيَ مَوَاقِيتُ لِلنَّاسِ وَالْحَجِّ …
They ask you, [O Muhammad], about the new moons. Say, “They are measurements of time for the people and for Hajj.” …(2:189)

Since the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, the sighting of the first crescent signals the beginning of each month. Just as the sighting of the first crescent in the month of Ramadan signals the beginning of the fasting, the sighting of the first crescent in the month of Zhu Al-Hijjah, which means “that (month of Hajj) signals the beginning of the Hajj period.

The Islamic calendar

The Islamic lunar calendar in use today is

  1. Muḥarram محرّم (or Muḥarram al Ḥaram)
  2. Ṣafar صفر (or Ṣafar al Muzaffar)
  3. Rabīʿ al-Awwal (Rabīʿ I) ربيع الأوّل
  4. Rabīʿ al-Thānī (or Rabīʿ al-Ākhir) (Rabīʿ II) ربيع الآخر أو ربيع الثاني
  5. Jumādā al-Ūlā (Jumādā I) جمادى الأولى
  6. Jumādā al-Thānī (or Jumādā al-Ākhirah) (Jumādā II) جمادى الآخرة أو جمادى الثانية
  7. Rajab رجب (or Rajab al-Murājab)
  8. Shaʿbān شعبان (or Shaʿbān al-Muʿaẓẓam)
  9. Ramaḍān رمضان (or Ramaḍān al-Mubārak)
  10. Shawwāl شوّال (or Shawwāl al-Mukarram)
  11. Dhū al-Qaʿda ذو القعدة (or Dhū al-Qiʿda)
  12. Dhū al-Ḥijja ذو الحجة (or Dhū al-Ḥajja)

The Hajj months

From the verses above, we know that

  • there are 4 hurum months
  • the 4 hurum months begin with on Day of the Pilgrimage
  • the hurum months are in succession

If the beginning of Dhul-Hijjah is taken to be the beginning of the Day of the Pilgrimage, which would make sense, then the 4 hurum (and Hajj) months would be

  1. Dhul al-Hijja
  2. Muharram
  3. Safar
  4. Rabi al-Awwal

Solution to current problems

If these 4 hurum months are the months during which people can perform that hajj, as suggested in the Quran, then the following problems resulting from restricting the hajj to a mere 5 days of the year would be reduced if not eliminated.

  • Intense congestion from millions of people being packed in one place
  • Extreme congestion during tawaaf (circumambulation)
  • The difficulties of finding accommodation and resulting exorbitant costs
  • The long delays
  • Some women may not be able to perform or complete the hajj as their menstrual cycle may fall
  • within the 5 days
  • Deaths from human stampedes due to overcrowdedness
  • Being hit by flying stones during the Stoning ritual
  • Unsanitary (to say the least) washing and cleaning facilities
  • Concerns of being robbed by petty thieve or getting lost from your group
  • Inability to focus due to the issues stated above

For details on actual tragedies, mostly taking place during the Stoning ritual, see

The fact that the Hajj is limited to 5 days severely limits how many people can perform the Hajj each year. As such, there are visa quotas set for visitors from each country. The Quran says that the Hajj is the duty of every Muslim, provided he can afford it, not if he is lucky enough to get a visa!

The current situation of performing hajj clearly is inconvenient, expensive, and burdensome to many and even dangerous to some. Many pilgrims now believe that enduring hardships to perform the hajj would reap them higher rewards. Some travel agents conveniently take advantage of this by providing decrepit services while saying that pilgrims shouldn’t complain as it is better for them to endure.

Contrary to reality, God states in verse 22:78 that He imposes no difficulties in religion.

وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ مِنْ حَرَجٍ
… and has not placed upon you in the religion any difficulty … (22:78)

Based on the analysis above, it appears that people or so-called Islamic scholars are unnecessarily placing difficulty in religion by misinterpreting the Quran and restricting the number of days during which to perform hajj to a mere 5 each year.

The message of not being a burdensome religion is also mentioned elsewhere as follows:

  • 2:185 With regards fasting, God desires for you ease; He does not desire any difficulties or hardship for you.
  • 5:6 With regards Wudu (ablution) in which God wishes to place no difficulty
  • 73:2-3 God instructs the Prophet to abate a little and regulate his night long worship so that it imposes no hardship for him and the believers.

The correct rituals of Hajj

Perform the Hajj during any of the 4 hajj months

As stated above, the hajj months are Dhul al-Hijja, Muharram, Safar and Rabi al-Awwal.

Perform the Hajj for at least 2 days

And remember Allah during [specific] numbered days. Then whoever hastens [his departure] in two days – there is no sin upon him; and whoever delays [for more days] – there is no sin upon him – for him who fears Allah . (2:203)

Commemorate God throughout the Hajj

The primary purpose and goal of the Hajj is to commemorate God.

And proclaim the Hajj to the people …… to commemorate God’s name during the known days. (22:27-28)
You shall commemorate God for a number of days. (2:203)
Then once you have completed your rituals, you shall commemorate God. (2:200)


Hunting is prohibited during Hajj as per the following verses:

You shall not permit hunting while you are hurum. (5:1)
Once you are no longer in abstention you may hunt. (5:2)
O you who believe, do not kill any game while you are hurum. (5:95)

War and fighting

All warfare is prohibited during the Hurum Months of Hajj except in self defence:

They ask you about the Haram Month and fighting therein: say, “Fighting therein is a grave matter.” (2:217)

Sexual intercourse, misconduct and arguments

These abstentions are given in verse 2:197

Whoever executes the Hajj in them (the known months) shall refrain from sexual intercourse, wickedness and arguing during Hajj. (2:197)

Abstaining from cutting the hair

Note that some people claim that the hair must be cut or shortened at the end of Hajj. However, nowhere does the Quran say this. The Quran only states that you can’t shave or cut your hair during the Hajj.

You shall complete the Hajj and Umrah for God. If you are prevented, then make a convenient offering, and do not shave your heads until the offering reaches its destination. (2:196)

Visit the Kaa’ba (Ancient House) and circumambulate it at least 1x (once)

Then, they shall end their state of unkemptness, fulfill their vows and go around / circumambulate (yatawwaffa) the Ancient House. (22:29)

Note that there is no mention that you must circle the Kaa’ba seven times, as is commonly believed. Therefore, you are only required to do it once. Obviously, the purpose of performing the hajj and umrah is to remember and focus on God. Trying to keep track of how many times you’ve circled the Kaa’ba, especially when it’s overly crowded, would only deter your from the primary goal.

Walking between Safa and Marwah are optional

Indeed, as-Safa and al-Marwah are among the symbols of Allah. So whoever makes Hajj to the House or performs ‘umrah – there is no blame upon him for walking between them (yatawwaffa bihima). And whoever volunteers good – then indeed, Allah is appreciative and Knowing. (2:158)

Note that there is no mention that you must walk between Safa and Marwa seven times, as is commonly believed.

Commemorate God at the Masjid al Haram

The Mishaar Al-haram is the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca because it is the only House called “Haram” in the Quran.

When you disperse from Arafat you shall commemorate God at the Mishaar Al-Haram. (2:198)

Animal offerings

You must offer an animal

The animal offerings are among the rites decreed for you by God. In them there are benefits for you. So mention God’s name on them while they are lined up, then, once they collapse on their sides, you shall eat therefrom and feed the poor and the needy. It is thus that We have ordained them for you so that you may be thankful. (22:36)

This animal offering isn’t to be confused with the pagan concept of animal sacrifice for some gods. The animal offering is for human benefit, as indicated in 22:36, and not for God, as indicated in 22:37.

Their meat will not reach Allah, nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you. … (22:78)

Convenient offering

For people who progress from Umrah to Hajj, they shall make a convenient offering (to the poor and needy). If they can’t, then they can fast.

… whoever performs ‘umrah [during the Hajj months] followed by Hajj [offers] what can be obtained with ease of an offering (hadye). And whoever cannot find [or afford an offering] – then a fast of three days during Hajj and of seven when you have returned [home]. Those are ten complete [days]. This is for those whose family is not in the area of al-Masjid al-Haram. … (2:196)

Optionally pray at the Station of Abraham

Verse 2:125 indicates that one should pray at the Station of Abraham. However, this is in the context of what people did during the time of Abraham. To expect everyone nowadays to all pray at the Station of Abraham could be a logistical nightmare.

And [mention] when We made the House a place of return for the people and [a place of] security. And take, [O believers], from the standing place of Abraham a place of prayer. And We charged Abraham and Ishmael, [saying], “Purify My House for those who perform Tawaf and those who are staying [there] for worship and those who bow and prostrate [in prayer].” (2:125)

The man-made rituals of Hajj

The Hajj garments

Most Muslims believe that men must wear two seamless white clothes similar to beach towels. There is nothing in the Quran that mandates this dress code. Furthermore, having to wear nothing but two pieces of cloth could easily defocus your attention on commemorating God as you would likely be worried that your clothes would fall and everyone would see you naked, including making women.

In verse 7:31 we see that God instructs people to bring their “zinah” to every masjid (mosque). Zinah means adornments or any item that is worn to make oneself beautiful. The command is to dress nicely at “every” masjid. Since the Masjid Al-Haram is a mosque, then this verse instructs people to dress nicely in it.

يَا بَنِي آدَمَ خُذُوا زِينَتَكُمْ عِندَ كُلِّ مَسْجِدٍ وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا وَلَا تُسْرِفُوا ۚ إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُسْرِفِينَ
O children of Adam, take your adornment at every masjid, and eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He likes not those who commit excess. (7:31)

Many Muslims justify the wearing of the Hajj garments (two white pieces of cloth) to equalize everyone so the rich and poor look alike and the poor don’t feel uncomfortable and embarrassed. If that were the case, why is that belief not applied to the Friday congregational prayer? During the Friday prayers, no one poor appears embarrassed or uncomfortable to be there. Furthermore, a poor person would be better off going to the Hajj in whatever clothes they have rather than be burdened to spend extra money on special towels, sandals, belts, and what not.

Miqat Locations

The miqat is a location from where pilgrims are required to start wearing the “ihram” garments and enter into a state of “ihram”. The common understanding is that “ihram”garments are two unstitched white pieces of cloth for men and loose-fitting white clothes for women. There are 5 miqat locations:

  1. Dhul Hulaifah
  2. Al-Juhfah
  3. Qarn-ul manazil
  4. Yalamlam
  5. Dhatu `Irq

Pilgrims typically put on their “ihram” garments at one of these 5 locations and then proceed to Mecca to perform Umrah or Hajj. Needless to say, none are such rules in the Quran. The Quranic state of “ihram” is to abstain from war, hunting, sexual activity and bad language and begins when pilgrims enter the Masjid Al-Haram to commence their Hajj. Like the so-called “ihram” garments, the miqat locations are yet another man-made innovation.

The “Black Stone”

The Black Stone is a stone located at one of the corners of the Kaa’ba at the Masjid Al-Haram. Muslims tend to congregate and push themselves towards it in an effort to touch and kiss it with the hope of getting some sort of blessing. Clearly, this is an idolatrous behavior similar to what the statue worshippers during the time of Abraham did. As such, it should come as no surprise that there is no mention of this ritual anywhere in the Quran. This ritual originates from the hadith which claims that the stone descended from Heaven during the time of Abraham and that Prophet Muhammad used to kiss it. As we know from the Quran in verse 21:66, Abraham destroyed all of the stones and statues that people were worshipping and asked them if they worship something that cannot benefit nor harm them instead of God.

قَالَ أَفَتَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ مَا لَا يَنفَعُكُمْ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَضُرُّكُمْ
He (Abraham) said (to the idolaters), “Then do you worship instead of Allah that which does not benefit you at all or harm you? (21:66)

Similar verses are found at 5:76,10:18 and 25:55.

“Zamzam” water

Zamzam water is water that comes from a particular well. The water is available at the Masjid Al-Haram and is considered sacred by most Muslims. Many also believe that it can cure ailments. Muslim historians claim that the well of Zamzam was made to flow for Hagar and her infant Ishmael when the two of them ran in desperation between the hill tops of Safa and Marwah in search of water. This story is nowhere to be found in the Quran but rather comes from the Bible (Torah). Genesis 21:14-21 describes the story of Abraham’s slave wife Hagar when she was sent away to the desert with her child Ishmael. In desperation and fear of dying out of thirst, Hagar ran back and forth between two hill tops in search of water, at which point God mercifully produced for her a gushing well from which she and Ishmael drank. As this story is not in the Quran, it’s likely that hadith writers borrowed this story from the Bible and modified it such that the Zamzam well would be located at the Masjid Al-Haram. The Bible, however, indicates that the event took place at Beer Sheba which is located south of Jerusalem, between Gaza and the Dead Sea.

Regardless of this story, the Quran makes it clear that we should not idolize and hold sacred any object, whether it is the water of Zamzam or the Black Stone, thinking that it could “benefit” us. On the contrary, doing so would be a direct violation of 5:76,10:18 and 25:55. At the end of the day, Muslims must believe that all cures are ultimately from God.

The ritual of stoning Satan

Another commonly practiced Hajj ritual is the stoning of Satan. This ritual, according to the historian Al-Arazi, originates from Abraham’s journey to perform the Hajj. The story has it that when Abraham left Mina, Satan appeared to him. Then, Gabriel appeared and told Abraham to pelt Satan. Abraham threw 7 stones which made Satan disappear. Satan reappeared at the Middle Stone-Heap and the Little Stone-Heap and Abraham where Abraham threw more stones until Satan finally withdrew. These 3 locations are called the “Jamaraat” and are meant to represent the devil.

There is nothing in the Quran mentioning this Hajj ritual.

Some scholars quote verse 38:77 and 15:34 to justify the stoning of Satan practice.

قَالَ أَفَتَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ مَا لَا يَنفَعُكُمْ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَضُرُّكُمْ
He (God) said, ‘Then, get out of it, for you (Satan) are ‘rajeem’ (expelled). (38:77)

They use the word “rajeem”, which means “expelled” or “outcast”, to mean “stoned”.

As you can imagine, believers of this non-sensical and unauthorized ritual probably think that they are hurting Satan as they passionately throw stones at something they can’t even see. However, what is more likely to be happening is that Satan is sitting behind them laughing for having succeeded in deviating millions of Muslims from the sole purpose of Hajj, which is to praise and commemorate God (22:27-28, 2:203, 2:198, 2:200). By tricking clueless Muslims who don’t pay attention to the Quran and its clear instructions, Satan has succeeded in wasting 3 days of each pilgrims’ Hajj days in his name instead of for God.

Interestingly, most of the fatal tragedies during the Hajj occur during the Stoning ritual. Could it be that these tragedies are related to the fact that this ritual is completely counter to the purpose of the Hajj? Throughout the entire Quran, God never tells people to attack the devil. His command is only to stay away from and not follow the devil.

Women not allowed to perform Hajj without a “muhrim”

A “muhrim” is understood to be any male who is unlawful for marriage to the woman in question, e.g. a woman’s father, brother, son, grandfather, etc. As such, Muslim women believe that they can’t perform the Hajj unless one of their “muhrims” accompany them. This belief originates from hadith that says that no man shall be in the company of a woman alone and in seclusion. With millions of Hajj pilgrims visiting Mecca every year, being in a state of “seclusion” is quite the opposite of what actually occurs. This belief is common in male-dominated cultures such as in Saudi Arabia where the rule is clearly one-sided as the restriction does not apply to men. Needless to say, there is such law in the Quran which prohibits women from performing the Hajj without a “muhrim”.

Women during menstruation forbidden from completing Hajj

There is no restriction in the Quran that prevents a woman from completing the Hajj if they are menstruating. Likewise, women are not forbidden from fasting and praying while menstruating. Menstruation is a bodily cycle designed by God Himself. It’s non-sensical to believe that God would forbid His own creatures from praying and worshipping Him 7 days a month. The only restriction placed on women during menstruation is from having sexual intercourse with their husbands for the benefit of both of them (2:222). See chapter “Are Menstruating Women Required to Fast?” for details.

Visiting Prophet Muhammad’s tomb during the Hajj

Many Hajj pilgrims visit Prophet’s Muhammad’s tomb during the Hajj. The tomb is located in Medina at the Prophet’s Mosque (Masjid Al-Nabawi). The Quran only speaks of one “Haram Masjid”, which is the one in Mecca. Nevertheless, many Muslims consider there to be two Haram Masjids (Al-Haramayn), the second being the Prophet’s Mosque.

First of all, the practice of visiting Muhammad’s tomb is not an authorized Hajj ritual per the Quran as it is nowhere to be found in it. On the contrary, visiting Muhammad’s tomb would constitute a violation of Hajj requirements which has as its primary goal of praising and commemorating God alone (22:27-28, 2:203, 2:198, 2:200).

Secondly, many Muslims pray in front of Muhammad’s tomb which, if they are praying with Muhammad in mind, is an act of shirk (idol worship). And if they are there only to pray to God, then it would seem suspicious for choosing that particular mosque. As verse 72:18 states, all mosques are solely for God and calling on anyone else in them is strictly prohibited.

وَأَنَّ الْمَسَاجِدَ لِلَّهِ فَلَا تَدْعُوا مَعَ اللَّهِ أَحَدًا
And the masjids are for God, so do not invoke with God anyone. (72:18)

Thirdly, most of these Muslims who believe in and follow the hadith yet, unsurprisingly, since most people just blindly follow the masses, don’t realize that the hadith prohibits taking graves of the prophets as places of worship. Considering the following so-called “sahih” hadith.

Jundub reported: I heard from the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) five days before his death and he said: I stand acquitted before Allah that I took any one of you as a friend, for Allah has taken me as His friend, as he took Ibrahim as His friend. Had I taken any one of my Ummah as a friend, I would have taken Abu Bakr as a friend. Beware of those who preceded you and used to take the graves of their prophets and righteous men as places of worship, but you must not take graves as mosques; I forbid you to do that. Sahih Muslim 532In-book reference: Book 5, Hadith 28USC-MSA web (English) reference: Book 4, Hadith 1083

Lastly, many Muslims believe that by visiting the Prophet’s tomb, they are just following the religion the way Prophet Muhammad did. Funnily, this is purely non-sensical as Muhammad could not have visited his own grave when he was alive and performing the Hajj. Furthermore, the whole Hajj ritual began way before Muhammad was even born, originating with Prophet Abraham who, obviously, could not have visited Muhammad’s tomb when he was alive.

Performing hajj for someone else

Some Muslims believe that they can perform the hajj for someone else, e.g. a dead relative who never performed the hajj. However, Quran verses 53:39 and 6:164 make it clear that no one will be credited with or be responsible for the good or bad deeds of anyone else.

وَأَن لَّيْسَ لِلْإِنسَانِ إِلَّا مَا سَعَىٰ
And that there is not for man except that [good] for which he strives (53:39)
… وَلَا تَكْسِبُ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ إِلَّا عَلَيْهَا ۚ وَلَا تَزِرُ وَازِرَةٌ وِزْرَ أُخْرَىٰ …
… And every soul earns not [blame] except against itself, and no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. … (6:164 part)

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Muslims Are Wrong About Zakat

Zakat (tax) vs sadaqah (charity)

Most Muslims believe that zakat is only a required payment in the amount of 2.5% on their income primarily for people in need and that it is only required by Muslims. However, the Quran seems to suggest that zakat is more like a government tax required by all members of society, whether Muslim or not, and is not limited to 2.5%.

The word zakat

Zakat is an Arabic word that literally means “that which purifies”. Many Muslims agree that zakat is named as such because Muslims are obligated to pay zakat in order to remain spiritually pure.

Zakat (tax) and salat (prayer)

People familiar with Quranic verses will often note that zakat is almost always mentioned together with salat (prayer). For example, in verse 2:43 we read

… أَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ …
… and establish prayer and give zakat … (2:43 part)

This verse, and many others, make it clear that zakat is mandatory among Muslims.

Sadaqah and zakat are not the same thing

Even though sadaqah and zakat may have some similarities, verse 58:13 proves that sadaqah and zakat are two different things.

أَأَشْفَقْتُمْ أَن تُقَدِّمُوا بَيْنَ يَدَيْ نَجْوَاكُمْ صَدَقَاتٍ ۚ فَإِذْ لَمْ تَفْعَلُوا وَتَابَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكُمْ فَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۚ وَاللَّهُ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ
Do you fear that you will present charities (sadaqaat) before your consultation? Then when you do not (give charity) and God has forgiven you, then establish prayer and give zakah and obey God and His Messenger. And God is Acquainted with what you do. (58:13)

Do non-Muslims have to pay zakat?

Non-Muslims also had to pay Zakat

According to verse 41:6-7, disbelievers and polytheists must also pay zakat.

… وَوَيْلٌ لِّلْمُشْرِكِينَ الَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ وَهُم بِالْآخِرَةِ هُمْ كافِرُونَ
“…and woe to the polytheists (41:6) who give not the ‘Zakat’ and in the Hereafter they are disbelievers. (41:7)”

The verses above make it clear that the obligation to pay zakat was not necessarily a “religious” obligation but rather a societal obligation.

Jews also had to pay Zakat during the time of Prophet Muhammad

According to verses 2:43, the Jews were told to also pay zakat among doing other things. The commandment is mentioned in verse 2:40 which addresses the Children of Israel.

وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَارْكَعُوا مَعَ الرَّاكِعِينَ
And establish prayer and give zakah and bow with those who bow [in worship]. (2:43)

The fact that the Quran requires Jews to also pay zakat further supports the argument that paying zakat was required among everyone and not just Muslims.

People paid zakat long before Prophet Muhammad was even born

Many Muslims assume that the requirement to pay zakat began with Muhammad. However, the Quran proves that the payment of zakat began very long before Muhammad was even born. The following verses indicate who was expected or ordered to pay zakat.

19:31Prophet Jesus (Isa)
19:55Prophet Ishmael ordered his people to pay zakat.
2:83, 7:156, 5:12The Children of Israel (Jews)
21:73Prophet’s Abraham, Isaac and Jacob
4:162The Jews (referenced as “hadu” in 4:160)
98:5Zakat was a fundamental aspect of the true religion of God even to people of previous revelations and scriptures from prophets before Muhammad.

Is zakat based on income or savings?

Some Muslims believe that zakat is based on their savings. However, according to verse 6:141, we see evidence that zakat is based on income and that zakat is due as soon as you get paid. The verse uses the example of a farmer who harvests fruit. When the fruits are ready, they can be harvested. On that day, the farmer must pay his due (zakat) since that is the day the farmer can sell the fruit and get paid.

And He it is who causes gardens to grow, [both] trellised and untrellised, and palm trees and crops of different [kinds of] food and olives and pomegranates, similar and dissimilar. Eat of [each of] its fruit when it yields and give its due [zakah] on the day of its harvest. And be not excessive. Indeed, He does not like those who commit excess. (6:141)

Nowadays, most people don’t work as farmers. Nevertheless, the point of the verse above is that one has to pay his dues (zakat) when they receive an income, whether it is every 2 weeks, once a month, or yearly.

Who should manage zakat money?

Many Muslims today pay zakat by giving 2.5% of their income to a mosque for distribution or they manually distribute it themselves to whoever they think deserve it. However, according to verse 22:41, it seems to suggest that governments should establish a system of zakat.

الَّذِينَ إِن مَّكَّنَّاهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ أَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَوُا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَمَرُوا بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَنَهَوْا عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ ۗ وَلِلَّهِ عَاقِبَةُ الْأُمُورِ
[And they are] those who, if We establish them in the land, establish prayer and give zakah and enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong. And to God belongs the outcome of [all] matters. (22:41)

Notice how verse 22:41 mentions “if We (God) establish them (people) in the land”. Obviously, people who are established in a land are people who live in an organized society with a system managed by a government.

Pay zakat to people individually or to a central authority for distribution

Aside from the amount of zakat or tax distributed to those in need, it should be obvious that having a centralized system for collecting, spending and distributing this money would be far better than if people individually decided who to give some of their money to.

If people individually give zakat money to the needy, then

  • only certain individuals would receive zakat money and possibly, only Muslims
  • many people who qualify for zakat money may not receive any at all
  • benefits received by recipients would strictly be limited to money and no other form of help
  • zakat recipients would only receive cash which could be misused, e.g. for drugs and alcohol
  • the overall welfare of everyone would be severely limited as zakat money would strictly be used for distributing money to the poor and needy

If people give zakat money (or tax) to a central government, then

  • some of the money can be distributed to all needy people, not just some people
  • everyone, both Muslims and non-Muslims, can receive financial help fairly and equally
  • some of the money can be used for social programs as well as public services such as free or subsidized transportation, healthcare, education, and so on
  • recipients can’t abuse tax / zakat benefits because governments can issue food stamps, for example, which can’t be used for drugs and alcohol
  • the overall welfare of everyone would improve

Who can receive zakat money?

Most Muslims believe that zakat money is strictly for people who are poor or in need. Many Muslims also believe that zakat money is only for Muslim recipients. Many Muslim scholars quote verse 9:60 to determine 8 categories of people who can receive zakat money. Below is the correct English translation of verse 9:60

“Charities (Arabic: Sadaqaatu) are only for the poor (Arabic: Fuqara) and the needy (Arabic: Masakin), and those who collect them (Amalina Alayha), and those whose hearts are to be reconciled (Mu-alafati qulubuhum) and to free the captives (Arabic: Fil-riqabi) and the debtors (Arabic: Gharimina), and for the cause of God (Arabic: Fi-Sabili-llahi) and (for) the wayfarer (Arabic: Sabili);- a duty imposed by God. God is Knower, Wise” (9:60)

It is very clear from verse 9:60 above that it addresses charities (sadaqaat) and not zakat. And, as we have proven above in verse 58:13, and as most Muslims would agree, charity and zakat are two different things. While the Quran is absolutely clear as to who can receive charity (sadaqah) money, the Quran does not state who can receive zakat money. Therefore, it is incorrect to say that zakat money is strictly limited to the poor and the needy or just Muslim people.

As suggested by verse 22:41, if a government is to manage zakat money, then it would make sense that the Quran would not specifically state how zakat money should be used since different countries have different needs. For example, in the United States, according to Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the 2015 federal spending by category was

33.26%Social Security, Unemployment and Labor
27.42%Medicare and Health
5.97%Interest on Debt
4.19%Veteran’s Benefits
3.54%Food and Agriculture
1.6%Housing and Community

All of the categories above, except for “Military”, “Interest on Debt” and “Veteran’s Benefits”, support the poor and people in need by providing financial support for the elderly (social security) and the unemployed, providing medical assistance to the poor and people in need (Medicare and health), providing food for the poor and the needy, providing education to low-income students, providing subsidized or free public transportation for the poor and the needy, and providing housing assistance for the poor and the needy.

As you can see, even a non-Islamic government such as the government of the United States ends up spending much of its money on social programs that benefit the poor and the needy because it makes sense to do so.

Why should non-Muslims receive zakat money?

Some, if not many, Muslims believe that only Muslims are entitled to receive zakat money. There is no such restriction in the Quran. As a matter of fact, the Quran makes it clear that polytheists (41:6-7) and Jews (2:43) had to pay zakat during the time of Prophet Muhammad. Therefore, if those non-Muslims had to pay zakat, it would only be fair if the poor and needy among them could also receive zakat money. Unfortunately, many Muslims are quick to judge non-Muslims as predestined people who will surely go to Hell. However, it is not unreasonable for a non-Muslim to eventually convert to Islam. Obviously, not everyone is born into a Muslim family and not everyone has the same circumstances in life.

How much should zakat be?

Most Muslims believe that zakat is 2.5% on savings or income to be paid once a year. Muslims scholars have decided that the 2.5% comes from some relatively vague hadeeth. However, there is no mention of zakat being strictly limited to 2.5% in the Quran. As suggested by verse 22:41, if a government is to manage zakat money, then it should be a percentage that is necessary for the government to do its job and support the people. Obviously, every country has different circumstances and needs. Oil-rich Gulf countries with small populations such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia have plenty of valuable natural resources that they don’t need money from their residents in order to run the country and provide for the poor and the needy. Consequently, both the UAE and Saudi Arabia have a 0% tax on their people. On the other hand, the United States needs to charge an average 25-30% tax on its residents, with an exemption for low-income people, of course. Considering the different circumstances of different countries, it would make sense, then, that the Quran would not limit how much each country must charge for zakat (tax) so that each government can decide how much it needs to best help its people.

2.5% zakat versus government tax

It should be obvious that most governments use a portion of their tax revenue to support the poor and needy. As mentioned above, the United States government spent more than 50% of its 2015 tax revenues on social programs. Assuming a US taxpayer had an effective tax rate of 30%, then at least 15% of that taxpayer’s tax money would go towards the poor and needy in one way or another. That is already 6 times the 2.5% zakat that most Muslims pay for the same cause, and that’s only for federal tax – it doesn’t include state tax. Since most governments charge much more than 2.5% for income tax, then by paying your income tax to the government, you are already paying much more from your income for the same purpose as the 2.5% zakat most Muslims pay. Since most of a government’s tax revenues support the poor and needy, then it should be easy to see how your government income tax is really no different than zakat – it’s just not called “zakat” because “zakat” literally means “that which purifies” whereas the Arabic word for “tax” is “dareeba”.

Zakat and taxes in Muslim countries

Many Muslims living in Muslim countries complain about poverty, lack of government support, expensive healthcare, and low quality of life. These same people admire non-Islamic countries such as the United States, Australia, and Western European countries for offering much support to their citizens such as free healthcare, education, and financial support for the poor and needy. If we compare these two groups of countries, we quickly realize that a large percentage of the population in non-Islamic countries pay taxes whereas in Islamic countries, an extremely small percentage of the population pays taxes, even though many of them still hand out 2.5% of their income to the poor and needy. In the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the government tax rate is between 7.5% and 35% however, only 0.57% of the population pays taxes. Assuming everyone paid 2.5% of their income for zakat, it’s clear that, considering the quality of life in Pakistan, their 2.5% zakat money doesn’t appear to make much of a difference in the general welfare of the people.

Tax evasion

Some Muslims, whether living in a Muslim country or not, are extremely disciplined when it comes to paying 2.5% of their income for what they call “zakat”. These same people receive support from their government which obviously comes from taxpayer money. Ironically, however, when it comes time to pay their income tax to their government, they either complain or, worse yet, avoid paying it as much as possible. Furthermore, there are some Muslims who withdraw state benefits when they are clearly not eligible for them. While it may not seem like stealing, what these Muslims are doing is, in effect, stealing taxpayer money, regardless of how little, that could be meant to support people who are actually poor or in need.

How much is enough zakat (government tax)?

Low tax revenues means that a government can only fund basic services such as policing, the courts and the armed forces. In order to provide universal healthcare, education, and a social safety net for all of a country’s residents, higher tax revenues are required. According to the UN, this can be achieved if a country’s tax revenues are at least 20% of its GDP [1]. If achieved, this would result in an increase in a society’s quality of life. The Human Development Index (HDI) [2] is a ranking of a society’s quality of life by country. The index groups countries into 4 categories. Following is a 2016 listing of those categories with a sampling of countries. The listing also shows each country’s 2015 tax revenue-to-GDP ratio [3]. Each country’s estimated 2017 GDP per capita per the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is also listed to give an idea of the average individual’s annual income for that country [4]. In addition, I note whether a country is an Islamic country.

[1] Why developing countries need to toughen up on taxes

[2] List of countries by Human Development Index

[3] List of countries by tax revenue to GDP ratio

[4] List of countries by GDP (PPP) per capita

In the table below, CPI (Corruption Perception Index) is a measure of how corrupt people perceive a country to be. Of course, paying more taxes to a corrupt government is pointless.

Very High human development

Rank Country Islamic? HDI Tax Revenue-to-GDP Ratio GDP per capita CPI
10United States0.92026.0$59,49567
38Saudi ArabiaYes0.8475.3$55,26352

High human development

Rank Country Islamic? HDI Tax Revenue-to-GDP Ratio GDP per capita CPI

Medium human development

Rank Country Islamic? HDI Tax Revenue-to-GDP Ratio GDP per capita CPI

Low human development

Rank Country Islamic? HDI Tax Revenue-to-GDP Ratio GDP per capita CPI

One thing of note is that all Islamic countries in the “Very high human development” category are oil or natural gas-producing countries. These countries do not collect much, if any, tax from their residents because they don’t need to as they’ve been lucky enough to have a very valuable natural resource. These are mostly small countries with small populations and lots of oil and gas.

Based on the table above, most Islamic countries have a tax revenue as % of GDP value of less than 20%. And as you can see, the top 10 countries with the highest quality of life are the countries that collect the most tax from their residents. Not a single one of these top 10 countries is an Islamic country.

If we take the average tax revenue as a % of GDP for all countries in each category, we get the following table.

Country GroupAverage Tax Revenue as % of GDP
Top 10 Very High Human Development36.75
Very High Human Development31.92
High Human Development22.08
Medium Human Development17.09
Low Human Development15.08

Based on the two tables above, it appears that, in general, the more taxes a country collects (higher tax revenue as % of GDP), the higher the quality of life of its residents.

Quite ironically, the requirements of a society based on an inclusive tax system seem to be better understood in non-Islamic countries than in many Muslim countries that cannot often fulfill the basic demands and needs of their citizens.


It should be clear now that Islamic zakat is actually government taxation which is mandatory for everyone, not just Muslims, and for the benefit of everyone, not just Muslims. In Islamic countries, since many Muslims think that zakat is not government taxation, it may be helpful to change the term “income tax” to “zakat” since, as I have explained above, the two terms are synonymous.

Is charity or zakah only for Muslims?

Some Muslims refuse to give charity to non-Muslims as they consider all non-Muslims as infidels (kafir). First of all, the Quran never says you may only give charity to Muslims. Secondly, not all non-Muslims are kafir because to be a kafir, you have to intentionally reject God. If you were raised in a Hindu family and you worship statues, then you are an idolater (mushrik), but not necessarily an infidel (kafir). You are, however, wrong in thinking that a statue is God and, unless you use your brain to think about that to discover the truth, as required of you in verse 8:22, you may very well end up in Hell.

إِنَّ شَرَّ الدَّوَابِّ عِندَ اللَّهِ الصُّمُّ الْبُكْمُ الَّذِينَ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ
Indeed, the worst of living creatures in the sight of Allah are the deaf and dumb who do not use reason. (8:22)

As stated in verse 9:6, idolaters are people who simply don’t know that the statues they worship are not god(s).

وَإِنْ أَحَدٌ مِّنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ اسْتَجَارَكَ فَأَجِرْهُ حَتَّىٰ يَسْمَعَ كَلَامَ اللَّهِ ثُمَّ أَبْلِغْهُ مَأْمَنَهُ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ لَّا يَعْلَمُونَ
And if any one of the polytheists seeks your protection, then grant him protection so that he may hear the words of Allah. Then deliver him to his place of safety. That is because they are a people who do not know. (9:6)

If they do not reject God, then they can get guidance so as to see their mistakes and discover the real God. In the meantime, they deserve financial help just like anyone else. Not everyone is born into a Muslim family but everyone can convert to Islam at any time in their lives. To refuse to help someone based on their current belief is not only inhumane but counter to the spirit of Islam. Who knows? The person you refuse to give charity to based on their current belief may end up converting and becoming a more righteous Muslim than you.

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Lailat Al-Qadr Is Not What You Think It Is

Many Muslims believe that they will reap some huge reward or all of their sins will be washed away if they perform lots of worship during one unknown night near the end of the month of Ramadan. However, there is no statement in the Quran that tells people to try and find Lailat Al-Qadr.

According to verses 97:1-5, we know that God revealed something in the Night of Decree (Laylatul-qadr).

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِوَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ تَنَزَّلُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ وَالرُّوحُ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِم مِّن كُلِّ أَمْرٍ سَلَامٌ هِيَ حَتَّىٰ مَطْلَعِ الْفَجْرِ
Indeed, We sent it down (Arabic: Anzalnahu) during the Night of Decree. And what can make you know what is the Night of Decree? The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months. The angels and the Spirit descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter. Peace it is until the emergence of dawn. (97:1-5)

The Arabic word “anzalnahu” means “we sent it down”. This most like means that the Quran was sent down. If we look at verse 44:2-4, we find that the same word (anzalnahu) was used to describe the Quran being sent down.

وَالْكِتَابِ الْمُبِينِ إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةٍ مُّبَارَكَةٍ ۚ إِنَّا كُنَّا مُنذِرِينَ
By the clear Book (Quran), Indeed, We sent it down during (Arabic: Anzalnahu) a blessed night. Indeed, We were to warn [mankind]. (44:2-4)

According to verse 2:185, we find that the Quran was revealed in the month of Ramadan.

شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ الَّذِي أُنزِلَ فِيهِ الْقُرْآنُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَاتٍ مِّنَ الْهُدَىٰ وَالْفُرْ…
The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. … (2:185 part)

And according to verse 17:106, we find that the Quran was not revealed all at once or only during the month of Ramadan but rather a little at a time throughout prophet Muhammad’s ministry.

وَقُرْآنًا فَرَقْنَاهُ لِتَقْرَأَهُ عَلَى النَّاسِ عَلَىٰ مُكْثٍ وَنَزَّلْنَاهُ تَنزِيلًا
And [it is] a Qur’an which We have separated [by intervals] that you might recite it to the people over a prolonged period. And We have sent it down progressively. (17:106)

Based on the facts about Laylatul-Qadr described above, we see that the Quran never tells people to seek the Night of Decree (Laylatul Qadr). The revelation of the Quran began on the Night of Decree (Laylatul Qadr) and the rest of the Quran was revealed throughout the remainder of Muhammad’s life.

Lastly, the purpose of fasting in the month of Ramadhan is to guard against evil and learn self-restraint (Arabic: tattaqun) as described in verse 2:183.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may learn self-restraint / guard against evil – (2:183)

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Most Muslims Start & End Fasting At the Wrong Time

Do we begin fasting at the time of fajr or some time afterwards?

Many Muslims believe that fasting begins when it’s time for fajr prayer. However, careful analysis would prove that fasting begins some time after when fajr prayer begins.

The Quran in verse 2:187 indicates that fasting begins when “the white thread of dawn appears to you distinct from its black thread.”

وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ الْخَيْطُ الْأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الْخَيْطِ الْأَسْوَدِ مِنَ الْفَجْرِ
… And eat and drink until the white thread of dawn becomes distinct to you from its black thread. …(2:187)

In order to determine when fasting should begin, we need to understand a few concepts.

Fajr Prayer Period

Fajr is an Arabic word that means dawn. Therefore, the fajr prayer means the dawn prayer which means the fajr prayer time period is from the beginning of dawn until the end of dawn.

What is dawn?

By definition, dawn begins when the sun starts to lighten the sky and ends when the sunrise begins. Scientifically, there are 3 stages of dawn:

  1. Astronomical Dawn
    Astronomical Dawn is when the geometric center of the Sun’s disk is 18 degrees below the horizon. At this point, twilight is so faint that it is generally indistinguishable from night, especially in areas with light pollution.
  2. Nautical Dawn / First Light
    Nautical dawn is when the geometric center of the Sun’s disk reaches an angle of 12 degrees below the horizon. The sunlight reflected by the atmosphere is now generally sufficient to distinguish the sky from land or water in clear weather conditions. This is also called “first light” because it’s the first point of dawn when the sun’s light (not the sun itself) is noticeable to the human eye.
  3. Civil Dawn
    Civil dawn is when the geometric center of the Sun’s disc is 6° below the horizon.


Sunrise is when the geometric center of the Sun’s disk is at the horizon.

Beginning of fajr prayer time period

Muslims usually take astronomical dawn to be the beginning of the fajr prayer time period even though the sky is still dark to the human eye and light is only visible in certain conditions and possibly using scientific equipment.

Beginning of fasting

Since verse 2:187 indicates that fasting begins at the point when sunlight first becomes visible to the human eye, then based on the stages of dawn described above, the beginning of fasting would be at the beginning of the nautical dawn stage, aka “first light”.


Since Muslims consider the fajr prayer to begin at astronomical dawn and since we have just proven that the beginning of fasting begins at nautical dawn (first light), then fasting begins some time after the fajr prayer. In order to determine when nautical dawn or first light occurs in your area, you can visit

Do we end fasting at the time of maghrib (sunset) or night (layl)?

Many Muslims believe that the time to break their fast in Ramadan is at Maghrib (sunset). However, the Quran makes it very clear that you must fast till night time (layl) which is as soon as there is no more sunlight in the sky, not when the sun is setting and it’s still bright outside. This is proven in verse 2:187.

وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ الْخَيْطُ الْأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الْخَيْطِ الْأَسْوَدِ مِنَ الْفَجْرِ ۖ ثُمَّ أَتِمُّوا الصِّيَامَ إِلَى اللَّيْلِ
…and eat and drink, until the white thread of dawn appears to you distinct from its black thread. Then complete the fast till the night (Arabic: layl)… (2:187)

At no place in the Quran is ‘layl’ (night) the same thing as sunset.

What is sunset?

The description of “sunset” is clearly defined when we look at the following verse:

حَتَّىٰ إِذَا بَلَغَ مَغْرِبَ الشَّمْسِ
Until, when he reached the setting of the sun (Arabic: Maghriba-l-shams) … (18:86)

The word ‘maghriba’ comes from its root word ‘Ghurub’ (G-R-B) which means to retire, to depart, to be hidden from view or to be absent. Used along with ‘shams’ (sun) it refers to sunset, or the west which is clearly the setting place of the sun.

Verse 2:187 does not instruct people to fast until the ‘ghurub’ of the ‘shams’ (setting of the sun). Rather, it informs people to fast till ‘layl’ (night).

In verse 20:130 and 50:39, we see another reference to “ghurub” which clearly indicate the setting of the sun, aka “sunset”.

فَاصْبِرْ عَلَىٰ مَا يَقُولُونَ وَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ قَبْلَ طُلُوعِ الشَّمْسِ وَقَبْلَ غُرُوبِهَا
So be patient over what they say and exalt [ Allah ] with praise of your Lord before the rising of the sun and before its setting; … (20:130)
فَاصْبِرْ عَلَىٰ مَا يَقُولُونَ وَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ قَبْلَ طُلُوعِ الشَّمْسِ وَقَبْلَ الْغُرُوبِ
So be patient, [O Muhammad], over what they say and exalt [ Allah ] with praise of your Lord before the rising of the sun and before its setting, (50:39)

As you can see, the term “ghurub” which means “sunset” is well known in the Quran. If God wanted people to end their fast at sunset, He could have just used the word “ghurub” but He didn’t. Instead, God wanted people to end their fast at night which is why He used the word “layl”.

Following are some dictionary definitions of “ghurub”.

OMAR, A M, Dictionary of the Holy Quran, Arabic Words – English Meanings, Noor Foundation – International Inc, First Edition May 24, 2003, Reprint used February 26 2010, Page 400

LANE. E.W, Edward Lanes Lexicon, Williams and Norgate 1863; Librairie du Liban Beirut-Lebanon 1968, Volume 3, Page 971

What is “layl” (night)

Layl (night) is when there is no more noticeable sunlight in the sky. In other words, it is when twilight has ended and the sky is dark.

In verse 91:1-4, we see that “layl” or night is when both the sun and its light can no longer be seen.

وَالشَّمْسِ وَضُحَاهَا وَالْقَمَرِ إِذَا تَلَاهَاوَالنَّهَارِ إِذَا جَلَّاهَا وَاللَّيْلِ إِذَا يَغْشَاهَا
By the Sun and its brightness (splendour, brightness, brilliance – duha) and the moon when it follows it and the day (Arabic: nahar) when it displays it (sun’s glory) and the night (Arabic: layl) when it covers / conceals it. (18:86)

If the sun is below the horizon and hidden from view but sunlight is still seen in the sky, that’s still sunset (ghurub) and not layl (night).

In verse 10:067 we see proof that daytime (nahar) is contrasted with nighttime (layl) in that daytime is when you can see things / things are visible.

هُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ اللَّيْلَ لِتَسْكُنُوا فِيهِ وَالنَّهَارَ مُبْصِرًا
It is He who made for you the night to rest therein and the day, giving sight. (18:86)

Obviously, at sunset or maghrib time, you can still see things outside because there’s still plenty of sunlight in the sky. That’s because it isn’t nighttime (layl) yet.

Following are some verses that reference the word “layl” which clearly indicate it to mean nighttime and not sunset.

وَهُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ اللَّيْلَ لِبَاسًا وَالنَّوْمَ سُبَاتًا وَجَعَلَ النَّهَارَ نُشُورًا
And it is He who has made the night for you as clothing and sleep [a means for] rest and has made the day a resurrection. (25:47)
وَجَعَلْنَا بَيْنَهُمْ وَبَيْنَ الْقُرَى الَّتِي بَارَكْنَا فِيهَا قُرًى ظَاهِرَةً وَقَدَّرْنَا فِيهَا السَّيْرَ ۖ سِيرُوا فِيهَا لَيَالِيَ وَأَيَّامًا آمِنِينَ
And We made between them and the towns which We had blessed, towns easy to be seen, and We made stages of journey between them easy, (saying): Travel in them safely both by night (Arabic: layliya) and day. (34:18)
إِنَّ رَبَّكَ يَعْلَمُ أَنَّكَ تَقُومُ أَدْنَىٰ مِن ثُلُثَيِ اللَّيْلِ وَنِصْفَهُ وَثُلُثَهُ وَطَائِفَةٌ مِّنَ الَّذِينَ مَعَكَ
Indeed, your Lord knows, [O Muhammad], that you stand [in prayer] almost two-thirds of the night or half of it or a third of it, and [so do] a group of those with you. … (73/20)

It would be hard to believe that the reference to the word “layl” in the above verses means sunset.

In verse 79:29, we see one more reference to “layl” which indicates that it is when there is darkness as opposed to brightness.

وَأَغْطَشَ لَيْلَهَا وَأَخْرَجَ ضُحَاهَا
And He darkened its night and extracted its brightness. (79:29)

When does layl (night) begin?

The Quran refers to certain periods of nighttime as being totally dark. For example, ‘al-layli muzliman’ (10:27) or ‘ghasaq al-layl’ (17:78). The Quran in verse 12:16 also refers to “night” as “isha” to describe the night prayer (salaat al-isha). However, the Quran doesn’t use any of these terms to describe the time at which to end fasting. Therefore, it would be reasonable to understand the beginning of night to be the end of sunset when there is no more light in the sky.


The twilight phases in the morning are often called dawn, while the twilight phases in the evening are referred to as dusk. However, unlike the term twilight, which describes a time span, the terms dawn and dusk refer to moments during the transitions between day and night.

Civil dawn is the moment when the geometric center of the Sun is 6 degrees below the horizon in the morning. It is preceded by nautical twilight.

Similarly, civil dusk is the instant when the geometric center of the Sun is 6 degrees below the horizon in the evening. It marks the beginning of nautical twilight.

Following is an example of the different parts of a day (and night) for San Francisco on June 5, 2017.

Black is nighttime, light blue is daytime. The darker blue shadings represent the twilight phases during dawn (left) and dusk (right).

As you can see, sunset / dusk / ghurub begins at 8:28 PM. This is also the beginning of civil twilight and corresponds to the time when Muslims pray Maghrib. However, you’ll notice that when you step outside at Maghrib, there’s still plenty of sunlight in the sky. Obviously, this is not night (layl). Complete night (total darkness), in this example, begins at 10:21 PM. The beginning of night should, therefore, at least, be at the end of civil twilight which, in this example, is at 8:59 PM. According to Weather Underground (, last light is at 8:59 PM. If you step outside at this time, you’ll notice that the sky is dark. Therefore, it is reasonable to take the beginning of “layl” (night) to be at the end of civil twilight.

You can also use the Golden Hour app. The screenshot of Golden Hour below shows last light (beginning of night) in Hayward, CA, USA on Dec 27, 2021 to be at 5:26 PM.

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Islamic Misconceptions About the Call to Prayer (Adhaan)

Is the call to prayer (adhaan) correct?

Many Muslims hear the call to prayer (adhaan) and assume it is correct. However, the most widely used version of the call to prayer contains wording that not only seems irrelevant, but also possibly contradictory to the purpose of the call. According to Wikipedia, the Sunni call to prayer, for example, contains the wording “I acknowledge that Muhammad is the Messenger of God.”

A couple of questions worth asking are:

  • If the caller to prayer (muezzin) is calling or telling people to pray to God, why is he (it’s always a male) saying that he acknowledges that Muhammad is the messenger of God?
  • In verse 72:18, God makes it clear that mosques (places of worship) are for God and that we must not invoke anyone with God. Verse 20:14 makes it clear that prayer is to remember God. Based on these two verses, is it even necessary or allowed to mention that Muhammad is a messenger of God? God has many messengers including Abraham and, according to 2:285, they should all be treated equally. Exclusively stating that Muhammad is the messenger of God would therefore violate 2:285.
وَأَنَّ الْمَسَاجِدَ لِلَّهِ فَلَا تَدْعُوا مَعَ اللَّهِ أَحَدًا
And [He revealed] that the masjids are for God, so do not invoke with God anyone. (72:18)
إِنَّنِي أَنَا اللَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدْنِي وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِذِكْرِي
Indeed, I am God. There is no deity except Me, so worship Me and establish prayer for My remembrance. (20:14)
لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّن رُّسُلِهِ
We make no distinction between any of His messengers. (2:285)

Based on these issues, a more logical version of the call to prayer that also doesn’t violate the Quran would be as follows:

God is the greatest.God is the greatest.
I acknowledge that there is no god but God.There is no god but God.
I acknowledge that Muhammad is the Messenger of God.
Hasten to prayer (Salah).
Hasten to success.
God is the greatest.
There is no god but God.

I didn’t mention the number of times each statement should be said since that is irrelevant. It could be twice, four times, or however many times one sees fit.

I also excluded the “Hasten to prayer” and “Hasted to success” statements since people already know that they should pray as soon as it’s time and that praying is one of many requirements for long-term success. Everyone knows that when the call to prayer is done, it is time to pray and that they should pray. The purpose of prayer is to worship God alone and the two statements in the proposed call to prayer clearly focus on that aspect.

Must the call to prayer be done in Arabic?

Many Muslims in non-Muslim countries believe that the call to prayer must be done in Arabic. However, there is no requirement in the Quran that it be done in Arabic. It is clear that the purpose of the call to prayer is to remind people that it’s time to pray so that they go and pray. If people don’t speak or understand Arabic, then an Arabic call to prayer becomes less useful. Although most non-Arabic-speaking people know that when they hear the call to prayer in Arabic that it’s time to pray, not understanding the meaning of the words uttered during the call would render it effectively no different than if someone blew a horn or rang a bell.

Must the call to prayer be done live or can it be prerecorded?

Many Muslims think that the call to prayer must be done live and that playing a prerecorded version of the call is invalid. However, there are no requirements in the Quran that it be done live. It is commonly known that the first person to perform the call to prayer was a man by the name of Bilal. It is also commonly known that he was chosen for having a good voice. Unfortunately, many callers to prayer (muezzins) do not have a good voice and to make matters worse, they use modern-day technology (loudspeakers) to blast their unpleasant voices all over town and sometimes right next to people’s living rooms. It is clear that God has given some people gifts over others, such as a nice voice. There are many people who have a nice voice and can perform the call to prayer such that it is generally more pleasant to listen to. These calls can be recorded and played either manually or automatically. It is clear that doing so has many benefits including motivating people to actually pray rather than cover their ears. While some people may argue that using modern-day technology by playing a recording invalidates the call, that argument would also invalidate all current methods of the call to prayer since they use loudspeakers which did not exist during the time of Muhammad. Regardless, there are no specific requirements in the Quran with regards to the call to prayer. Therefore, God has given us the freedom to perform it however best we can. Playing a recording of a pleasant-sounding call to prayer would clearly result in a better, consistent and more motivating experience for the target audience.

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Most Muslims Are Wrong About Various Aspects of Prayer

Do we have to pray in Arabic?

Most Muslims believe that praying must be done in Arabic. However, the Quran does not require prayer to be done only in Arabic. As a matter of fact, the Quran requires that you understand what you are saying when you are praying. If you don’t speak Arabic, you would likely not understand what you are saying, in which case you should probably pray in a language that you understand. Sadly, many, if not most, Muslims today continue to pray in Arabic yet have only a vague idea as to the meaning of the Arabic sounds they make. Many Muslims who were raised Muslim were taught to memorize the Arabic words that they utter during prayer. By the time they are adults, or even before then, they could recite the Arabic words without even thinking much or at all. Arguably, if you don’t understand the meaning of the words you utter during prayer, you will likely lose focus and your mind will wander off to think about anything but God. Consequently, it would be understandable to see why some people would lose interest in praying or feel that it is futile as they don’t feel any connection with God or feel they are even communicating with God.

Variations in language and color

In verse 30:22, we see that God created man having different languages and colors.

وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ خَلْقُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافُ أَلْسِنَتِكُمْ وَأَلْوَانِكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّلْعَالِمِينَ
And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your languages and your colors. Indeed in that are signs for those of knowledge. (30:22)

And since God is fair and just, it wouldn’t make sense that God would make any particular group or groups of people at an advantage or disadvantage, whether due to native language or for any other reason.

Different Messengers, Different Languages

Verse 14:4 proves that the messengers of God all spoke the language of their respective communities.

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلَّا بِلِسَانِ قَوْمِهِ لِيُبَيِّنَ لَهُمْ ۖ فَيُضِلُّ اللَّهُ مَن يَشَاءُ وَيَهْدِي مَن يَشَاءُ ۚ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ
And We did not send any messenger except [speaking] in the language of his people to state clearly for them, and Allah sends astray [thereby] whom He wills and guides whom He wills. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise. (14:4)

There are many verses in the Quran that prove that many of the prophets before Muhammad prayed. That being the case, what language did prophets Moses and Jesus pray in knowing that they did not speak Arabic. What about all of the other prophets and messengers such as Saleh, Hud, Lot, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, David, Solomon? They most likely did not all speak Arabic.

In verse 42:7, we see the Quran was revealed in Arabic to Muhammad, an Arabic-speaking person, to warn the Arabic-speaking people in his community.

وَكَذَٰلِكَ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا لِّتُنذِرَ أُمَّ الْقُرَىٰ وَمَنْ حَوْلَهَا وَتُنذِرَ يَوْمَ الْجَمْعِ لَا رَيْبَ فِيهِ ۚ فَرِيقٌ فِي الْجَنَّةِ وَفَرِيقٌ فِي السَّعِيرِ
And thus We have revealed to you an Arabic Qur’an that you may warn the Mother of Cities [Makkah] and those around it and warn of the Day of Assembly, about which there is no doubt. A party will be in Paradise and a party in the Blaze. (42:7)

Though the Quran is meant for all of humanity, the Quran was revealed in Arabic so that the immediate community who spoke Arabic would understand it. Obviously, if the Quran was to be given to someone in Japan, it would need to be translated into Japanese.

The primordial testimony

In verse 7:172, we see that when God creates everyone (the Children of Adam), God asks each one of us if He is our Lord. In response, each one of us responds by saying, “Yes, we testify” that God is our Lord.

وَإِذْ أَخَذَ رَبُّكَ مِن بَنِي آدَمَ مِن ظُهُورِهِمْ ذُرِّيَّتَهُمْ وَأَشْهَدَهُمْ عَلَىٰ أَنفُسِهِمْ أَلَسْتُ بِرَبِّكُمْ ۖ قَالُوا بَلَىٰ ۛ شَهِدْنَا ۛ أَن تَقُولُوا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ إِنَّا كُنَّا عَنْ هَٰذَا غَافِلِينَ
And [mention] when your Lord took from the children of Adam – from their loins – their descendants and made them testify of themselves, [saying to them], “Am I not your Lord?” They said, “Yes, we have testified.” [This] – lest you should say on the Day of Resurrection, “Indeed, we were of this unaware.” (7:172)

Since we testified to God upon our creation, likely before we even had a chance to open our eyes, what language, then, did we speak to God in?

God understands all languages

Verse 17:44 indicates that everything in existence declares God’s glory and praises Him even though we humans don’t understand how other creatures do it. Nevertheless, the verse proves that God understands all languages.

تُسَبِّحُ لَهُ السَّمَاوَاتُ السَّبْعُ وَالْأَرْضُ وَمَن فِيهِنَّ ۚ وَإِن مِّن شَيْءٍ إِلَّا يُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدِهِ وَلَٰكِن لَّا تَفْقَهُونَ تَسْبِيحَهُمْ ۗ إِنَّهُ كَانَ حَلِيمًا غَفُورًا
The seven heavens and the earth and whatever is in them exalt Him. And there is not a thing except that it exalts [ God ] by His praise, but you do not understand their [way of] exalting. Indeed, He is ever Forbearing and Forgiving. (17:44)

In verse 21:79 we see that mountains, birds and prophet David praised God yet neither did prophet David nor do birds or mountains speak Arabic.

فَفَهَّمْنَاهَا سُلَيْمَانَ ۚ وَكُلًّا آتَيْنَا حُكْمًا وَعِلْمًا ۚ وَسَخَّرْنَا مَعَ دَاوُودَ الْجِبَالَ يُسَبِّحْنَ وَالطَّيْرَ ۚ وَكُنَّا فَاعِلِينَ
And We gave understanding of the case to Solomon, and to each [of them] We gave judgment and knowledge. And We subjected the mountains to exalt [Us], along with David and [also] the birds. And We were doing [that]. (21:79)

Don’t pray until / unless you understand what you are saying

In verse 4:43, God instructs us to not pray until we understand what we are saying during prayer.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَقْرَبُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَأَنتُمْ سُكَارَىٰ حَتَّىٰ تَعْلَمُوا مَا تَقُولُونَ
O you who have believed, do not approach prayer with a mind befogged (Arabic: sukara) until you know what you are saying … (4:43)

The Arabic word “sukara” in the verse above is usually translated as drunken intoxication as that is the popular meaning of the word. However, like many other words, “sukara” has other meanings, and in the context of this verse, it most likely means a state of mind devoid of clarity whether due to anger, distraction, or anything else. The specific word for “intoxication / drink” is “khamr” as used in verse 5:90. Since “khamr” is not the word used in verse 7:172 above, then the meaning of the phrase “until you know what you are saying” is not about getting over a hangover but rather about literally understanding the meaning of the words you say during prayer.

Based on the correct understanding of verse 7:172 just explained, it would appear that most Muslims are violating this verse since they simply don’t understand the meaning of the words they utter during prayer.

Are you supposed to pray quietly?

Most Muslims pray quietly. However, according to verse 17:110, you’re supposed to pray with a moderate volume.

قُلِ ادْعُوا اللَّهَ أَوِ ادْعُوا الرَّحْمَٰنَ ۖ أَيًّا مَّا تَدْعُوا فَلَهُ الْأَسْمَاءُ الْحُسْنَىٰ ۚ وَلَا تَجْهَرْ بِصَلَاتِكَ وَلَا تُخَافِتْ بِهَا وَابْتَغِ بَيْنَ ذَٰلِكَ سَبِيلًا
Say, “Call upon Allah or call upon the Most Merciful. Whichever [name] you call – to Him belong the best names.” And do not recite [too] loudly in your prayer or [too] quietly but seek between that an [intermediate] way. (17:110)

Can you shorten your prayer while on vacation?

Some Muslims believe that if they are traveling, e.g. on vacation, they can shorten their 4 rakaah prayers to 2 rakaahs. However, the Quran makes it clear that that option is only available if you are in danger, e.g. if an enemy can attack you.

In verse 4:101, if one reads the complete verse and not just the first part of it, we clearly see that the shortening of prayers is only allowed if you are in danger or fear on a journey.

وَإِذَا ضَرَبْتُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ فَلَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَن تَقْصُرُوا مِنَ الصَّلَاةِ إِنْ خِفْتُمْ أَن يَفْتِنَكُمُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا ۚ إِنَّ الْكَافِرِينَ كَانُوا لَكُمْ عَدُوًّا مُّبِينًا
And when you travel throughout the land, there is no blame upon you for shortening the prayer, if you fear that those who disbelieve may disrupt [or attack] you. Indeed, the disbelievers are ever to you a clear enemy. (4:101)

Can we mention Muhammad or anyone else during prayer?

Many Muslims recite the tashahhud and salawaat al-nabi during prayer. However, the Quran in verse 72:18 and 20:14 make it clear that

  1. Prayer is for God alone
  2. No one should be invoked with God during prayer
إِنَّنِي أَنَا اللَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدْنِي وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ لِذِكْرِي
Indeed, I am Allah. There is no deity except Me, so worship Me and establish prayer for My remembrance. (20:14)
وَأَنَّ الْمَسَاجِدَ لِلَّهِ فَلَا تَدْعُوا مَعَ اللَّهِ أَحَدًا
And [He revealed] that the masjids are for Allah, so do not invoke with Allah anyone. (72:18)

Therefore, prayer should not mention Muhammad, Abraham or anyone else since prayer is supposed to be exclusively for God.

According to verse 33:56, God asks believers to send blessings on Muhammad.

إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ ۚ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا
Indeed, God confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [ God to confer] blessing upon him and ask [ Allah to grant him] peace. (33:56)

However, it doesn’t say you must do it during prayer which, according to verse 20:14, is reserved for God. If one wants to ask God to bless Muhammad and Abraham or make a statement of testimony as to their belief that Muhammad is a messenger of God, they can do that after the prayer. To prevent violating the requirements of prayer as stated in the two verses above, one should only mention God and focus on worshipping Him and not mix the statements uttered with anything besides worshipping God. Furthermore, it is clear from the Quran that many people such as Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and many more, prayed before Muhammad’s time. Since Muhammad didn’t exist yet, they couldn’t have prayed and mentioned Muhammad’s name. Therefore, adding Muhammad’s name during prayer must have been an addition which, unfortunately, violates the Quran.

Can Muhammad or other people’s names be displayed in mosques?

Most mosques throughout the world have Arabic calligraphy written on their walls. They also often emphasize two names in particular: Allah (God) and Muhammad. Most people seem to think this is acceptable. However, verse 72:18 makes it very clear that mosques are for God and that we must not invoke anyone besides God in them.

وَأَنَّ الْمَسَاجِدَ لِلَّهِ فَلَا تَدْعُوا مَعَ اللَّهِ أَحَدًا
And [He revealed] that the masjids are for Allah, so do not invoke with Allah anyone. (72:18)

It is clear that Muhammad is not the only messenger of God. Furthermore, verse 2:285 forbids us from differentiating between the messengers of God.

… الرَّسُولُ … وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ … لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّن رُّسُلِهِ …
The Messenger … and the believers …, [saying], “We make no distinction between any of His (God’s) messengers.” … (2:285)

Therefore, we must treat all messengers as equal. To mention Muhammad’s name in mosques is somewhat a violation of verse 72:18 and to do so without mentioning the other messengers is a violation of 2:285. Therefore, any name besides God’s name should probably not be displayed in mosques.

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Kekeliruan Bahwa Keturunan Nabi Muhammad Lebih Unggul Dari Semua Orang Lain

Artikel ini adalah terjemahan dari versi asli bahasa Inggris.

Ada sekelompok orang yang percaya bahwa mereka adalah keturunan Nabi Muhammad. Istilah populer yang digunakan untuk orang-orang ini adalah “Sayyid” (tunggal) atau “Sadah” (jamak). Ini juga sering ditulis “Syed”. Keturunan Muhammad melalui ibu mereka tetapi bukan ayah disebut sebagai “Mirza”. Meskipun statistik yang dapat diandalkan tidak ada, perkiraan konservatif jumlah Sayyid mencapai puluhan juta. Sayyid dapat ditemukan di seluruh dunia termasuk negara2 yang berikut ini.

Keluarga Sayyid di Irak sangat banyak sehingga ada buku yang ditulis khusus untuk mendaftar keluarga2nya dan menghubungkan mereka.

Sayyid ditemukan dalam jumlah besar di Iran. Kepala “Organisasi Nasional untuk Pencatatan Sipil” Iran menyatakan bahwa lebih dari 6 juta orang Iran adalah Sayyid.

Di Oman, gelar Sayyid digunakan oleh anggota keluarga kerajaan penguasa Al Said. Anggota keluarga besar atau anggota karena perkawinan menyandang gelar Sayyid atau Sayyida untuk perempuan. Gelar semacam itu di Oman diwariskan melalui garis keturunan ayah atau dalam beberapa keadaan luar biasa, seperti gelar kehormatan yang diberikan oleh keputusan kerajaan.

Para Sayyid di Libya adalah Sunni, termasuk bekas keluarga kerajaan, yang aslinya adalah Zaidi-Maroko (juga dikenal sebagai keluarga Senussi).

Di Yaman, Sayyid lebih dikenal sebagai sadah; mereka juga disebut sebagai Hashemites (Bani Hashem). Praktik keagamaan mereka adalah Syiah, Sunni, dan Sufi. Keluarga Sayyid di Yaman termasuk Rassid, Qasimid, Mutawakkilites, Hamideddin, beberapa Al-Zaidi dari Ma’rib, Sana’a, dan Sa’dah, keluarga Ba ‘Alawi sada di Hadhramaut, Al-Wazir dari Sana’ a, Al-Shammam dari Sa’dah, Sufyan dari Juban, dan Al-Jaylani dari Juban.

Yamani Ba ‘Alawi
Istilah Ba’ Alawi (باعلوي) yang dalam dialek Yaman adalah kependekan dari Bani ‘Alawi, yang berarti “kaum atau keturunan ‘Alawi”.

Keluarga Ba ‘Alawi sada menelusuri garis keturunan mereka ke Sayyid al-Imam Ahmad al-Muhajir bin Isa ar-Rumi lahir pada tahun 873 (260H), yang beremigrasi dari Basra ke Hadhramaut pada tahun 931 (320H) untuk menghindari kekerasan sektarian, termasuk invasi pasukan Qaram ke dalam Kekhalifahan Abbasiyah. Cucu Imam al-Muhajir, Alawi, adalah Sayyid pertama yang lahir di Hadhramaut, dan satu-satunya keturunan Imam al-Muhajir yang menghasilkan garis lanjutan; garis keturunan cucu Imam al-Muhajir lainnya, Basri dan Jadid, terputus setelah beberapa generasi. Oleh karena itu, keturunan Imam Al-Muhajir di Hadhramaut memegang nama Bā ‘Alawi (“keturunan ‘Alawi”). Ba ‘Alawi Sadah sejak itu tinggal di Hadhramaut di Yaman Selatan, mempertahankan aliran Sunni di sekolah fiqh Syafi’i. Pada mulanya keturunan Imam Ahmad Muhajir yang menjadi ulama di bidang Islam disebut Imam, kemudian Syekh, namun kemudian dipanggil Habib (kekasih).

Asia Selatan
Pada tahun 1901 jumlah Sayyid (Syed) di India (dibawah penjajahan Inggris) dihitung 1.339.734. Perkiraan terbaru menunjukkan bahwa di India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, dan Nepal terdapat lebih dari 15 juta Sayyid: 8 juta di Pakistan, 7 juta di India, lebih dari 1 juta di Bangladesh, dan sekitar tujuh puluh ribu di Nepal.

Asia Tenggara
Sebagian besar Sayyid Alawi yang pindah ke Asia Tenggara adalah keturunan Ali ibn Husain Zayn al-Abidin, terutama Ba ‘Alawi sada, banyak di antaranya adalah keturunan pendatang dari Hadhramaut. Meskipun mereka diduga sebagai keturunan Husain, tidak biasa para Sayyid perempuan disebut Sayyidah; mereka lebih sering disebut Sharifah. Kebanyakan dari mereka tinggal di Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapura, Provinsi Moro di Filipina, Pattani dan Kamboja. Banyak keluarga kerajaan di wilayah ini seperti keluarga kerajaan Filipina sebelumnya (Kesultanan Sulu, Kesultanan Maguindanao, Konfederasi Kesultanan Ranao), Singapura (Kesultanan Singapura), Malaysia (Kesultanan Johor dan Perlis), Indonesia (Kesultanan Siak, Pontianak, Gowa, beberapa Kesultanan Jawa), dan keluarga kerajaan Brunei (Rumah Bolkiah) yang ada juga adalah Sayyid, terutama dari Ba’Alawi.

Beberapa nama keluarga dari Sayyid ini adalah al-Saqqaf, Shihab (atau Shahab), al-Aidaroos, al-Habsyi (atau al-Habshi), al-Kaff, al-Aththos, al-Haddad, al-Jufri (atau al- Jifri), al-Muhdhar, al-Shaikh Abubakar, al-Qadri, al-Munawwar.

Kekaisaran Ottoman
Di Kekaisaran Ottoman, keturunan Muhammad adalah semacam bangsawan dengan hak istimewa mengenakan turban hijau.

Apakah Sayyid Benar-benar Keturunan Nabi Muhammad?

Studi genetik Sayyid dari India

Penulis studi “Kromosom Y dari Syed di India” menunjukkan bahwa kromosom Y dari Syed yang diidentifikasi sendiri dari India dan Pakistan tidak beda beragamnya dari yang bukan Syed dari wilayah yang sama. Ini menunjukkan bahwa status Syed, daripada benar-benar turun melalui ayah, mungkin turun lewat rute lain. Di samping itu, tidak ada dasar biologis untuk mendukung keyakinan bahwa Syed yang di India dan Pakistan memiliki keturunan yg sama baru-baru ini.


Di Kekaisaran Ottoman, pengecualian pembayaran pajak untuk orang Sayyid mendorong banyak orang untuk membeli sertifikat keturunan atau memalsukan silsilah; Fenomena teseyyüd – yaitu secara bohong mengklaim seseorang sebagai keturunan bangsawan – menyebar melintasi batas etnis, kelas, dan agama. Pada abad ke-17, seorang birokrat Utsmaniyah memperkirakan ada 300.000 penipu. Di Anatolia abad ke-18, hampir semua orang di kota besar di kelas atas mengaku dirinya sebagai keturunan Muhammad.

Keturunan campuran

Meskipun banyak Sayyid mengklaim bangsawan dan keunggulan karena garis keturunan mereka dengan Nabi Muhammad, kebanyakan Sayyid hanya dapat mengklaim keturunan melalui ayah. Orang Sayyid sering menikah dengan orang Arab yang bukan Sayyid dan bahkan orang yang bukan Arab sama sekali sehingga mereka memiliki sangat sedikit jejak genetik Nabi Muhammad. Tidak mengherankan, sebagian besar Sayyid, seperti Ba’Alawi di Asia Tenggara, bertampang campuran Asia dan Arab atau sepenuhnya Asia. Berikut adalah beberapa Sayyid Ba’Alawi yang terkenal menurut yang bermuka Indonesia atau campuran Arab dan Indonesia.

Abdullah bin Alwi Alatas
Drs. Kyai Hajji Habib Ali Alwi bin Thohir Al Husainy 
Politisi Indonesia
Habib Bahar bin Smith 
Pengkhotbah Indonesia
Fadel Muhammad Alhaddar
Mantan menteri kelautan dan perikanan Indonesia
Husein Aidid
Penulis lagu Indonesia
Mahdi Fahri Albaar
Pemain Sepakbola Indonesia
Mahmud Badaruddin II
Sultan Kesultanan Palembang, Pahlawan Nasional Indonesia
Raden Saleh
Pelukis terkenal di Hindia Belanda
Radin Inten II
Pahlawan Nasional Indonesia
Syarif Kasim II of Siak
Sultan ke-12 Kesultanan Siak Sri Indrapura
Umay Shahab
Aktor Indonesia

Keunggulan Sayyid

Kebanyakan Muslim menganggap Nabi Muhammad lebih unggul dari semua nabi lainnya. Hal ini dibuktikan dengan fakta bahwa hampir setiap masjid di dunia memiliki dua nama yang diletakkan berdampingan di dindingnya, yaitu nama “Muhammad” dan “Allah” (bahasa Arab untuk “Tuhan”). Sangat jarang Anda akan melihat nama-nama nabi lain seperti Ibrahim, Musa dan Yesus. Yang menarik, nama Muhammad sering berukuran sama dan tingginya sama dengan nama Tuhan, seolah-olah menunjukkan bahwa Muhammad sederajat dengan Tuhan, walaupun itu jelas-jelas bertentangan dengan keyakinan dasar Islam, tapi itu masalah yang berbeda dari topik artikel ini.

Masjid Hagia Sofia di Istanbul, Turki menunjukkan nama “Muhammad” di kiri dan “Allah” (Tuhan) di kanan.

Dengan meyakini keunggulan Muhammad, sebagian keturunan Nabi Muhammad dan bahkan Muslim lainnya menganggap Sayyid sebagai orang yang mulia yang agak lebih unggul dari orang lain. Misalnya, di kekaisaran Ottoman, pengecualian pembayaran pajak diberikan kepada orang Sayyid. Di Indonesia, banyak pelajar Islam pribumi Indonesia akan sujud dan mencium tangan Sayyid bahkan jika orang Sayyid itu seorang Muslim yang tidak mempraktekkan ibadah Islam.

Bukti lebih lanjut bahwa Sayyid menganggap diri mereka sebagai kelompok yang lebih unggul berasal dari pilihan mereka dalam pasangan nikah (atau pilihan pasangan nikah oleh orang tua untuk anak-anak mereka).

Di India, keluarga Sayyid tradisional jarang menikah di luar komunitas mereka dan menekankan pernikahan dengan Najeeb Altarfain (keturunan Sayyid dari sisi ibu dan ayah). Namun, tekanan endogami (pernikahan dalam suatu kaum) ini mulai menurun di antara keluarga-keluarga yang di kota-kota besar, dengan peningkatan eksogami (pernikahan diluar suatu kaum) dengan kelompok lain seperti Syaikh dan Mughal.

Di Indonesia sendiri saya tahu bahwa banyak Sayyid Ba’Alawi yang ngotot menikahi Sayyid Ba’Alawi lainnya, apalagi kalau orang Sayyid itu perempuan karena garis keturunannya diambil dari ayah, bukan ibu. Ironisnya, Nabi Muhammad sendiri tidak memiliki anak laki-laki, hanya seorang anak perempuan, namun banyak Sayyid menggunakan garis keturunan patrilineal (dari ayah) dalam silsilah keluarga mereka yang menghubungkan mereka dengan nabi.


Untuk melanjutkan keturunan patrilineal mereka kepada nabi Muhammad dan rasa kebangsawanan dan keunggulan anak-anak mereka, orang Sayyid perempuan harus menikah dengan Sayyid lain. Sayangnya, menikahi seseorang berdasarkan nama keluarga dan bukan karena kecocokan cenderung berakhir dengan kekecewaan dan/atau perceraian. 

Perempuan Sayyid menikahi laki-laki Sayyid

Dalam satu contoh, seorang Sayyid Ba’alawi perempuan yang saya kenal menikah dengan laki-laki Sayyid Ba’alawi yang ternyata bersifat keras dan bahkan mengancam akan membunuhnya. Itu jelas bukan perilaku yang mulia atau perilaku Nabi Muhammad.

Dalam contoh lain, seorang perempuan Ba’alawi Sayyid menikah dengan laki-laki Ba’alawi Sayyid yang adalah sepupunya. Pria itu kemudian menikah dengan wanita lain keturunan Arab tapi bukan Ba’Alawi sehingga memiliki dua istri. Istri pertama menolak pernikahan kedua dan melarikan diri. Lama lama, istri kedua menceraikan suaminya. Istri pertama, yang tidak pernah bekerja, bergantung pada suaminya sehingga akhirnya dia kembali kepadanya. Sekarang, mereka tinggal bersama tetapi tidur di kamar terpisah dan tidak berbicara satu sama lain.

Dalam contoh lain, seorang perempuan Ba’alawi Sayyid yang saya kenal menikah dengan Sayyid Ba’alawi tanpa mereka pernah bertemu secara langsung sebelum hari pernikahan mereka. Bahkan ada dukungan dan tekanan untuk pernikahan ini dari kedua keluarga seolah-olah pernikahan antara dua Sayyid adalah jaminan kesuksesan dan kebahagiaan. Maka tidak mengherankan bahwa pernikahan ini berakhir dengan perceraian setelah 10 tahun. Perempuan itu sekarang berusia 40an, tidak punya anak meski ingin punya anak, dan merasa sulit untuk menikah lagi.

Seorang perempuan Arab non-Sayyid menikah dengan laki-laki Sayyid

Beberapa perempuan non-Sayyid mungkin merasa bangga menikah dengan pria Sayyid supaya anak mereka dapat menjadi Sayyid. Meskipun orang Sayyid mungkin menganggap diri mereka superior, mereka sebenarnya hanyalah orang biasa. Seperti orang lain, ada orang Sayyid yang baik dan ada yang buruk. Saya kenal sama seorang wanita non-Sayyid yang menikahi dua Sayyid Ba’alawi. Dia menceraikan suami pertama setelah satu minggu dan menceraikan suami kedua setelah dapat 6 anak. Dia tidak pernah menikah lagi. Meskipun dia mungkin merasa bangga bahwa anak-anaknya adalah Sayyid dari pihak ayah, dia mungkin lebih kecewa karena pernikahannya gagal.

Seorang perempuan Sayyid menikah dengan laki-laki non-Arab, non-Sayyid

Kadang-kadang, seorang perempuan Sayyid menikah dengan non-Arab non-Sayyid. Ini terjadi pada saudara perempuan teman Ba’alawi Sayyid saya. Dia ingin menikah dengan orang Indonesia pribumi. Karena pernikahan ini tidak dapat diterima oleh keluarganya perempuan, sayangnya hanya sedikit orang yang menghadiri pernikahan dari pihak Sayyid. Mayoritas tamu pernikahan itu dari pihak pengantin pria.

Laki-laki Sayyid menikahi perempuan non-Arab dan non-Sayyid

Ada juga kasus di mana orang tua Sayyid memaksa anak laki-laki mereka menikah dengan perempuan Sayyid tetapi anak laki-laki mereka tidak mau. Dalam satu kasus, tiga saudara laki-laki Ba’alawi Sayyid masing-masing menikah dengan non-Sayyid yang berasal dari Mongolia, Jepang dan Indonesia. Meskipun orang tua mereka merasa sedih atau malu, putra mereka tampaknya bahagia dalam perkawinannya.

Situs web perjodohan perkawinan

Beberapa situs web perjodohan perkawinan bahkan memiliki kategori bagi orang-orang untuk mencari pria dan wanita Sayyid (Syed) seperti yang ini di India.

Ada profil orang yang tertulis bahwa mereka hanya mau untuk menikahi Sayyid lain. Dalam beberapa contoh, orang tua dapat membuat profil untuk putra atau putri mereka yang menyatakan bahwa mereka adalah orang Sayyid dan secara ketat mencari pasangan Sayyid saja dengan kata-kata seperti “Non-Sayyid tidak usah menghubungi kita dan membuang waktu kita.”

Tidak mengherankan, setelah beberapa generasi pernikahan antar ras, Sayyid yang mengidentifikasi dirinya di situs web ini terlihat seperti orang India pribumi, bukan Arab atau campuran Arab dan India.

Screenshot profil Sayyid di situs web perkawinan India

Di situs perjodohan perkawinan India lain, orang dapat memilih salah satu dari banyak, banyak “kasta”, salah satu diantaranya adalah “Muslim – Syed”.

Yang menarik (dan menyedihkan) adalah banyaknya kelompok di bawah kategori Muslim. Di situs web ini, seseorang dapat mencari dari salah satu kelompok Muslim berikut. Rupanya beberapa orang – mungkin banyak – merasa bahwa pembagian kategori “Muslim” ini penting tanpa menyadari bahwa pembagian ini hanya akan semakin memecah belah umat Islam daripada mempersatukan mereka. Selain itu, membatasi pilihan seseorang ketika mencari pasangan itu sangat membatasi potensi seseorang untuk mendapat pernikahan yang bahagia.

  • Muslim
  • Muslim – Ansari
  • Muslim – Arain
  • Muslim – Awan
  • Muslim – Bohra
  • Muslim – Dekkani
  • Muslim – Dudekula
  • Muslim – Hanafi
  • Muslim – Jat
  • Muslim – Khoja
  • Muslim – Lebbai
  • Muslim – Malik
  • Muslim – Mapila
  • Muslim – Maraicar
  • Muslim – Memon
  • Muslim – Mughal
  • Muslim – Pathan
  • Muslim – Qureshi
  • Muslim – Rajput
  • Muslim – Rowther
  • Muslim – Shafi
  • Muslim – Sheikh
  • Muslim – Siddiqui
  • Muslim – Syed
  • Muslim – UnSpecified

Sebagai seorang Muslim Amerika, saya tidak tahu ada kelompok-kelompok Muslim ini dan hanya minggu lalu saya dapat tahu tentang kelompok “Syed”. Dengan kata lain, untuk orang luar, tidak ada kelompok yang penting kecuali yang semua orang tahu, yaitu “Muslim”.

Bagaimana dengan Keturunan Nabi Lain?

Semua nabi dan rasul Islam derajatnya sama

Semua Muslim percaya bahwa ada banyak nabi Islam selain Muhammad. Beberapa nabi lebih terkenal dari yang lain, misalnya Adam, Nuh, Ibrahim, Musa, dan Yesus. Sayangnya, Muslim, baik Sayyid maupun non-Sayyid, secara keliru percaya bahwa Muhammad lebih tinggi derajatnya dari semua nabi lainnya. Sebenarnya, tidak ada perbedaan yang boleh dibuat antara nabi dan rasul Tuhan. Ini terbukti dalam ayat-ayat berikut.

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَا التَّوْرَاةَ فِيهَا هُدًى وَنُورٌ ۚ يَحْكُمُ بِهَا النَّبِيُّونَ الَّذِينَ أَسْلَمُوا لِلَّذِينَ هَادُوا وَالرَّبَّانِيُّونَ وَالْأَحْبَارُ بِمَا اسْتُحْفِظُوا مِن كِتَابِ اللَّهِ وَكَانُوا عَلَيْهِ شُهَدَاءَ ۚ فَلَا تَخْشَوُا النَّاسَ وَاخْشَوْنِ وَلَا تَشْتَرُوا بِآيَاتِي ثَمَنًا قَلِيلًا ۚ وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْكَافِرُونَ
Katakanlah: Kami percaya pada Allah dan apa yang telah diwahyukan kepada kita, dan apa yang diwahyukan kepada Ibrahim dan Ismail dan Ishak dan Yakub dan suku-suku, dan apa yang diberikan kepada Musa dan Yesus, dan apa yang diberikan kepada para nabi dari Tuhan mereka, kami tidak membuat perbedaan apapun di antara mereka (nabi), dan kami adalah Muslim kepada-Nya. (2:136)
ءَامَنَ ٱلرَّسُولُ بِمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِن رَّبِّهِۦ وَٱلْمُؤْمِنُونَ ۚ كُلٌّ ءَامَنَ بِٱللَّهِ وَمَلَـٰٓئِكَتِهِۦ وَكُتُبِهِۦ وَرُسُلِهِۦ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍۢ مِّن رُّسُلِهِۦ ۚ وَقَالُوا۟ سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا ۖ غُفْرَانَكَ رَبَّنَا وَإِلَيْكَ ٱلْمَصِيرُ
Rasul (Muhammad) telah percaya pada apa yang diturunkan kepadanya dari Tuhannya, dan [begitu juga] orang mukmin (orang yang percaya / beriman). Mereka semua percaya pada Tuhan dan malaikat-Nya dan buku-buku-Nya dan para rasul-Nya, [dan berkata], “Kami tidak membedakan antara rasul-rasul-Nya.” Dan mereka berkata, “Kami mendengar dan kami taat. [Kami mencari] pengampunan-Mu, Tuhan kami, dan bagi-Mu adalah tujuan [akhir].” (2:285)
قُلْ ءَامَنَّا بِٱللَّهِ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ عَلَيْنَا وَمَآ أُنزِلَ عَلَىٰٓ إِبْرَٰهِيمَ وَإِسْمَـٰعِيلَ وَإِسْحَـٰقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَٱلْأَسْبَاطِ وَمَآ أُوتِىَ مُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ وَٱلنَّبِيُّونَ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍۢ مِّنْهُمْ وَنَحْنُ لَهُۥ مُسْلِمُونَ
Katakanlah, “Kami telah percaya pada Tuhan dan apa yang telah diturunkan kepada kami dan apa yang diturunkan kepada Ibrahim, Ismail, Ishak, Yakub, dan Keturunan [al-Asbat], dan dalam apa yang diberikan kepada Musa dan Yesus dan kepada para nabi dari Tuhan mereka. Kami tidak membuat perbedaan di antara mereka (nabi-nabi), dan kami adalah Muslim kepada-Nya. ” (3:84)

Ayat 4:152 menunjukkan bahwa Tuhan akan memberi hadiah kepada orang-orang mukmin yang tidak membeda-bedakan antara rasul siapapun. Ini berarti bahwa orang beriman, termasuk Sayyid, yang menganggap Nabi Muhammad lebih tinggi dari nabi dan rasul lainnya tidak akan diberi hadiah dari Tuhan.

وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ بِٱللَّهِ وَرُسُلِهِۦ وَلَمْ يُفَرِّقُوا۟ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍۢ مِّنْهُمْ أُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ سَوْفَ يُؤْتِيهِمْ أُجُورَهُمْ ۗ وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ غَفُورًۭا رَّحِيمًۭا
Dan mereka yang percaya pada Tuhan dan rasul-Nya dan tidak membeda-bedakan antara mereka (rasul-rasul) – bagi mereka Dia akan memberikan hadiah. Dan selalu Tuhan adalah Pengampun dan Penyayang. (4:152)

Sekarang telah terbukti bahwa

  • semua nabi dan rasul adalah sama (derajatnya sama)
  • Muslim tidak diperbolehkan untuk melihat nabi dan rasul memiliki derajat lain lain
  • Muhammad tidak lebih tinggi derajatnya dari nabi dan rasul lainnya

Mari kita lihat apa yang Alquran katakan tentang beberapa keturunan dari nabi lainnya.

Sebagian dari keturunan nabi Ibrahim adalah orang yang salah

Dalam ayat 2:124, kita melihat bukti bahwa tidak semua keturunan nabi Ibrahim benar. Tuhan mengakui bahwa sebagiannya salah meskipun mereka keturunan nabi Ibrahim.

وَإِذِ ابْتَلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ رَبُّهُ بِكَلِمَاتٍ فَأَتَمَّهُنَّ ۖ قَالَ إِنِّي جَاعِلُكَ لِلنَّاسِ إِمَامًا ۖ قَالَ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِي ۖ قَالَ لَا يَنَالُ عَهْدِي الظَّالِمِينَ
Dan [sebutkan, ya Muhammad], ketika Ibrahim diuji oleh Tuhan dengan perintah dan dia memenuhi perintah itu. [Tuhan] berkata, “Sungguh, Aku akan menjadikanmu seorang pemimpin bagi rakyat.” [Ibrahim] berkata, “Dan keturunan saya?” [Tuhan] berkata, “Perjanjian saya tidak mencakup orang-orang yang melakukan kesalahan.” (2:124)

Dalam ayat 37:112-113 kita melihat bahwa nabi Ibrahim diberkahi dengan putra bernama Ishak tetapi sebagian dari keturunan mereka adalah orang berdosa yang tidak benar.

وَبَشَّرْنَـٰهُ بِإِسْحَـٰقَ نَبِيًّۭا مِّنَ ٱلصَّـٰلِحِينَ وَبَـٰرَكْنَا عَلَيْهِ وَعَلَىٰٓ إِسْحَـٰقَ ۚ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِهِمَا مُحْسِنٌۭ وَظَالِمٌۭ لِّنَفْسِهِۦ مُبِينٌۭ
Dan Kami beri dia [Ibrahim] kabar baik (merupakan anak yang namanya) Ishak, seorang nabi dari orang-orang yang benar. Dan Kami memberkahi dia dan Ishak. Tapi di antara keturunan mereka ada orang-orang pelaku kebenaran dan orang-orang yang jelas merusak dirinya sendiri [yaitu, orang berdosa]. (37:112-113)

Dalam ayat 11:1-18, kita melihat bukti bahwa semua anak Nabi Yakub tidak benar kecuali satu. Mereka mencoba membunuh saudara mereka, Yusuf, dengan melemparkannya ke dalam sumur. Yusuf kemudian menjadi seorang nabi.

Dalam ayat 11:46 kita melihat bukti bahwa keturunan langsung nabi Nuh (salah satu putranya) tidak benar.

قَالَ يَـٰنُوحُ إِنَّهُۥ لَيْسَ مِنْ أَهْلِكَ ۖ إِنَّهُۥ عَمَلٌ غَيْرُ صَـٰلِحٍۢ ۖ فَلَا تَسْـَٔلْنِ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِۦ عِلْمٌ ۖ إِنِّىٓ أَعِظُكَ أَن تَكُونَ مِنَ ٱلْجَـٰهِلِينَ
Dia [Allah] berkata, “Wahai Nuh, memang dia (anak Anda) bukan dari keluarga Anda, (karena) memang ia adalah [orang yang] kelakuannya tidak benar / saleh, maka jangan berdoa kepada-Ku (untuknya) apa yang kamu tidak ketahui. Sesungguhnya, Aku menasihati kamu, jangan sampai kamu termasuk orang yang tidak peduli sama kenyataan.” (11:46)

Perhatikan bahwa dalam ayat di atas, Tuhan memberi tahu Nuh bahwa

  1. Salah satu putranya Nuh tidak benar / saleh
  2. Nuh tidak boleh menganggap putranya yang tidak benar itu sebagai anggota keluarganya
  3. Nuh seharusnya tidak meminta (berdoa kepada) Tuhan untuk membantu (mengampuni) putranya

Dalam ayat 57:26 kita melihat bukti jelas bahwa banyak (bukan “beberapa”, tapi “banyak”) dari keturunan nabi Nuh dan Ibrahim adalah pelaku kesalahan (“bersifat keras untuk tidak taat”). Kata “banyak” yang digunakan dalam ayat ini adalah “katheer” / كَثِيرٌۭ dalam bahasa Arab yang jelas berarti “banyak”.

وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا نُوحًۭا وَإِبْرَٰهِيمَ وَجَعَلْنَا فِى ذُرِّيَّتِهِمَا ٱلنُّبُوَّةَ وَٱلْكِتَـٰبَ ۖ فَمِنْهُم مُّهْتَدٍۢ ۖ وَكَثِيرٌۭ مِّنْهُمْ فَـٰسِقُونَ
Dan Kami telah mengutus Nuh dan Ibrahim dan menempatkan di keturunan mereka kenabian dan kitab suci; dan di antara mereka adalah dia yang dapat petunjuk (hidayah), tetapi banyak dari mereka yang tidak taat. (57:26)

Ada kemungkinan bahwa ayat ini bicara tentang orang-orang yang tinggal di masyarakatnya keturunan Nuh dan Ibrahim tetapi, menurut kata-kata dalam ayat-ayat di atas, kemungkinan besar ayat ini bermaksud bahwa yang banyak melakukan kesalahan adalah keturunan nabi Nuh dan Ibrahim.

Bagaimana dengan Keturunan Nabi Musa dan Yesus?

Menurut Alquran, Musa dan Yesus adalah nabi dalam Islam. Mereka adalah dua nabi yang sering disebutkan dalam Alquran. Alquran menyebut pengikut mereka Ahli Kitab (Arab: Ahl Al-Kitaab) karena mereka adalah pengikut kitab suci, Taurat Yahudi. Orang Yahudi dan Kristen menghormati Musa dan Yesus sama seperti pengikut Alquran menghormati Muhammad. Tetapi, Yahudi dan Kristen memiliki sikap yang berbeda terhadap keturunan nabi-nabi tersebut.

Keturunan Nabi Yesus

Dalam kasus Yesus, tidak ada masalah karena dia tidak memiliki keturunan.

Keturunan Nabi Musa

Dalam kasus Musa, dia memiliki dua putra, Gersom dan Eliezer. Tapi, ketika tiba waktunya untuk memilih pengganti Musa, orang bijak Yahudi berkata bahwa Musa meminta salah satu putranya diangkat. Tapi, Tuhan menjawab dengan, “Anak-anakmu duduk dan tidak menyibukkan diri dengan Taurat. Yosua, yang melayani Anda, cocok untuk melayani Israel. ” Jadi, Yosua, bukan putra Musa, menjadi pemimpin suku-suku Israel setelah kematian Musa (Deuteronomy 31:1–8; 34:9).

Musa memiliki seorang kakak laki-laki, Harun, yang memiliki empat putra. Meskipun putra-putra Musa tidak mengikuti tradisi Musa, putra-putra Harun memang membawa tradisi luhur ayah mereka. Tuhan menganggap keponakan Musa (anak-anak Harun) sebagai anak-anak Musa, karena Musa-lah yang mengajari mereka Taurat. Ini tercermin dalam ayat Numbers 3:1 yang dimulai dengan “Ini adalah keturunan Musa dan Harun…” tetapi hanya mencantumkan keempat putra Harun. Tuhan meyakinkan Musa bahwa bahkan Yosua pun perlu berunding dengan putra Harun, Imam Besar, untuk mengetahui kehendak Tuhan.

Meskipun Musa memiliki dua putra, mereka tidak istimewa dan orang Yahudi tidak menganggap keturunan Musa lebih istimewa dari siapa pun. Mungkin orang Muslim bisa mendapat pelajaran dari sikap benar ini dari orang-orang Yahudi.

Bagaimana dengan Istri Para Nabi?

Banyak Muslim percaya bahwa istri-istri Nabi Muhammad adalah wanita-wanita yang superior dan saleh. Karena telah dibuktikan di atas bahwa semua nabi dan rasul adalah sederajat, maka orang mungkin juga berpikir bahwa istri dari nabi dan rasul lainnya juga lebih tinggi dan saleh. Mari kita lihat apa yang Quran katakan tentang ini.

Dalam ayat 66:10 kita melihat bukti bahwa meskipun nabi Nuh dan Lut adalah hamba Tuhan yang benar / saleh, istri mereka adalah orang berdosa dan dikirim ke Neraka. Ayat ini juga membuktikan bahwa nabi yang saleh tidak memiliki kuasa untuk menyelamatkan istri mereka yang berdosa dari Neraka.

ضَرَبَ ٱللَّهُ مَثَلًۭا لِّلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ ٱمْرَأَتَ نُوحٍۢ وَٱمْرَأَتَ لُوطٍۢ ۖ كَانَتَا تَحْتَ عَبْدَيْنِ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا صَـٰلِحَيْنِ فَخَانَتَاهُمَا فَلَمْ يُغْنِيَا عَنْهُمَا مِنَ ٱللَّهِ شَيْـًۭٔا وَقِيلَ ٱدْخُلَا ٱلنَّارَ مَعَ ٱلدَّٰخِلِينَ
Allah memberi contoh orang-orang kafir: istri Nuh dan istri Lut. Mereka berada di bawah dua hamba Kami yang benar / saleh tetapi mengkhianati mereka, mereka [yaitu, para nabi itu] sama sekali tidak memanfaatkan (dapat menyelamatkan) (istri-istri) mereka dari Tuhan, dan dikatakan (kepada istri-istri mereka), “Masuki Api bersama mereka yang masuk.” (66:10)

Dalam ayat 33:30 kita membaca bahwa jika ada istri nabi Muhammad yang melakukan dosa, maka hukuman mereka akan menjadi dua kali lipat dari orang lain.

يَـٰنِسَآءَ ٱلنَّبِىِّ مَن يَأْتِ مِنكُنَّ بِفَـٰحِشَةٍۢ مُّبَيِّنَةٍۢ يُضَـٰعَفْ لَهَا ٱلْعَذَابُ ضِعْفَيْنِ ۚ وَكَانَ ذَٰلِكَ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ يَسِيرًۭا
Ya istri-istri Nabi, siapa pun dari Anda yang melakukan suatu perbuatan amoral – untuk dia hukumannya akan menjadi dua kali lipat, dan (hukuman) itu, buat Allah, mudah dilakukan. (33:30)

Menurut ayat di atas, menjadi jelas bahwa bersaudara dengan nabi Muhammad tidak mengecualikan mereka untuk melakukan kebenaran dan tidak menjamin mereka masuk surga.

Syafaat oleh Nabi Muhammad

Beberapa Sayyid percaya bahwa keturunan mereka kepada Nabi Muhammad akan membantu mereka mendapatkan akses ke surga dengan cara Nabi Muhammad menjadi perantara (syafaat) atas nama mereka di akhirat. Keyakinan ini sangat berbahaya karena memberi rasa aman yang palsu. Menurut ayat 2:123, tidak ada seorang pun, termasuk nabi Muhammad, yang memiliki kemampuan untuk menjadi perantara atas nama siapa pun pada hari itu.

وَٱتَّقُوا۟ يَوْمًۭا لَّا تَجْزِى نَفْسٌ عَن نَّفْسٍۢ شَيْـًۭٔا وَلَا يُقْبَلُ مِنْهَا عَدْلٌۭ وَلَا تَنفَعُهَا شَفَـٰعَةٌۭ وَلَا هُمْ يُنصَرُونَ
Dan takutlah pada suatu Hari (Hari Keadilan / Pembalasan) bila tidak ada jiwa dapat membantu jiwa lain sama sekali, dan tidak ada kompensasi yang akan diterima darinya, juga tidak akan ada perantaraan yang menguntungkannya, juga mereka tidak akan dibantu. (2:123)

Ayat di atas membuktikan bahwa dalam urusan agama, setiap orang bertanggung jawab atas dirinya sendiri, dan tidak ada leluhur, tidak peduli seberapa terkenal atau mulia mereka, baik mereka meninggal kemarin atau 1400 tahun yang lalu, dapat bermanfaat bagi siapa pun, termasuk keturunannya.

Membandingkan Sayyid dengan Kelompok Lain

Jelas, Sayyid bukanlah satu-satunya orang yang berpikir bahwa mereka lebih unggul dari orang lain. Berikut adalah beberapa contoh kelompok orang lain yang juga memiliki perasaan unggul karena keturunannya.


Sistem kasta Hindu membagi umat Hindu menjadi empat kategori utama – Brahmana, Ksatria, Waisya dan Sudra. Banyak yang percaya bahwa kelompok tersebut berasal dari Brahma, Dewa Pencipta Hindu. Di luar sistem kasta Hindu ini adalah orang-orang achhoots – Dalit atau Untouchables (orang yang tak tersentuh). Dalam sistem ini, semakin tinggi kasta Anda, semakin tinggi pula derajat Anda.

Hierarki kasta Hindu

Perhatikan bahwa, seperti untuk orang Sayyid, sistem kepercayaan Hindu ini didasarkan atas kelahiran – tidak ada yang dapat berpindah dari satu kelompok ke kelompok lain, baik naik derajat maupun turun. Dari sudut pandang seorang Hindu dari kasta tinggi, seorang Sayyid Muslim dapat dianggap lebih rendah dari mereka. Salah satu konsekuensi dari sistem kasta Hindu yang sangat tidak adil ini adalah konversi banyak Dalit ke Islam dengan harapan bisa lepas dari diskriminasi. Sayangnya, menurut artikel BBC Mengapa banyak Muslim India dipandang tak tersentuh?, bahkan Muslim dari kasta tinggi akan mendiskriminasi orang Dalit yang telah masuk Islam.

Orang-orang Dalit dianggap tidak murni oleh kasta Hindu dan banyak dari mereka bekerja di bidang sanitasi.

Seorang pekerja sanitasi Dalit

Meskipun konstitusi India melarang diskriminasi atas dasar kasta, diskriminasi berdasarkan kasta masih banyak terjadi.

Keunggulan orang putih (White Supremacy)

Kelompok “Keunggulan Orang Putih” percaya bahwa orang kulit putih merupakan ras yang unggul dan oleh karena itu harus mendominasi masyarakat, biasanya dengan mengesampingkan atau merugikan kelompok ras dan etnis lain, khususnya orang kulit hitam yang berasal dari Afrika atau Yahudi. Beberapa anggota kelompok ini berpendapat bahwa darah mereka “murni” atau bahwa mereka memiliki keturunan “murni” dari orang kulit putih Eropa. Tidak jarang seorang anggota kelompok ini berpikir bahwa mereka berketurunan orang Eropa murni tetapi setelah mereka mengambil tes genetik, ternyata mereka memiliki keturunan campuran dengan orang bukan Eropa.

Oops! That’s embarrassing.

Misalnya, banyak orang kulit putih mungkin terlihat seperti orang kaukasia tetapi sebenarnya memiliki keturunan campuran pribumi Amerika atau Meksiko. Kenyataan yang pasti mengejutkan ini membuat beberapa orang menolak begitu saja hasil tes genetik supaya mereka dapat melanjutkan perasaan superior mereka.

Walaupun hukum di Amerika Serikat melarang diskriminasi karena ras, warna kulit, agama, asal kebangsaan, jenis kelamin, umur, dan lain lain, masih banyak diskriminasi ditemukan di masyarakat.

Contoh-contoh lain

Jika dipikir-pikir, rasisme dan orang-orang yang memiliki sikap superioritas ada di semua lapisan masyarakat. Beberapa contoh adalah:

  • Orang yang tinggal di kota mungkin berpikir mereka lebih unggul daripada orang yang tinggal di daerah pedesaan
  • Orang kaya mungkin berpikir mereka lebih unggul dari orang miskin
  • Orang India atau Afrika berkulit putih mungkin berpikir mereka lebih unggul dari orang India atau Afrika berkulit gelap (produk pemutih kulit adalah bisnis besar di India dan Afrika)
  • Orang berpendidikan mungkin merasa lebih unggul dari orang yang tidak berpendidikan
  • Orang yang memiliki rumah mungkin merasa lebih unggul daripada orang yang menyewa rumah
  • Orang yang memiliki mobil mungkin merasa lebih unggul daripada orang yang harus naik angkutan umum
  • Seorang Amerika, yang lahir dan tinggal di negara terkaya dan terkuat di dunia, mungkin merasa lebih unggul dari semua orang yang bukan dari Amerika.

Kebanyakan Sayyid akan percaya bahwa sistem kasta Hindu, supremasi orang kulit putih, dan contoh-contoh lain di atas keterlaluan dan sama sekali tidak dapat diterima. Ironisnya, cara berpikir banyak orang Sayyid tidak berbeda dengan kelompok lain yang mengklaim keunggulan.

Oops! That’s embarrassing.


Dalam Quran, Surah al-Ahzab (33), Ayat 56 kita membaca bahwa Tuhan dan Malaikat-Nya mengirim salawaat (berkah) kepada Muhammad dan Tuhan memerintahkan orang-orang beriman untuk mengirim salawaat ke Muhammad juga.

إِنَّ ٱل‍لَّٰهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَىٰ ٱلنَّبِيِّ يَا أَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا۟ صَلُّوا۟ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا۟ تَسْلِيمًا
“Allah dan Malaikat-Nya memberi salawaat pada Nabi (Muhammad). Hai orang yang beriman! (Ucapkan) salawaat Anda pada dia, dan beri hormat kepadanya.”

Kata Salawaat adalah bentuk jamak dari kata salat yang berarti doa, berkah atau penghargaan. Beberapa Sayyid berpikir bahwa karena Tuhan dan Malaikat-Nya mengirimkan salawaat kepada nabi Muhammad, maka Muhammad harus lebih unggul dari semua nabi lainnya dan lebih jauh lagi, keturunan Muhammad ikut lebih unggul dari orang-orang lain. Mereka dapat dengan mudah dibuktikan salah dengan membaca beberapa ayat sebelum ayat di atas. Dalam Al-Qur’an Surah al-Ahzab (33), Ayat 41-43 kita menemukan bahwa Tuhan dan Malaikat-Nya mengirimkan salawaat kepada SEMUA orang yang beriman.

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ ٱذْكُرُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ ذِكْرًۭا كَثِيرًۭا وَسَبِّحُوهُ بُكْرَةًۭ وَأَصِيلًا هُوَ ٱلَّذِى يُصَلِّى عَلَيْكُمْ وَمَلَـٰٓئِكَتُهُۥ لِيُخْرِجَكُم مِّنَ ٱلظُّلُمَـٰتِ إِلَى ٱلنُّورِ ۚ وَكَانَ بِٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَحِيمًۭا
Hai orang-orang yang beriman, ingatlah Allah dengan banyak ingatan (zikir). Dan muliakan Dia pagi dan sore. Dialah yang memberi salawaat kepada Anda (orang-orang yang beriman), dan para malaikat-Nya [memberi salawaat juga] sehingga Dia dapat membawa Anda keluar dari kegelapan menuju keterangan. Dan selalu Dia, bagi orang yang beriman, Penyayang.

Ketika orang Muslim sembahyang, mereka membaca salawaat menjelang akhir shalat. Biasanya ucapannya sebagai berikut:

ٱللَّٰهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَىٰ مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَىٰ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ كَمَا صَلَّيْتَ عَلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَعَلَىٰ آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ ٱللَّٰهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَىٰ مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلَىٰ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ كَمَا بَارَكْتَ عَلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَعَلَىٰ آلِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ إِنَّكَ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ
Allah, kirimlah salawaat pada Muhammad dan keluarga Muhammad, sebagaimana Anda telah mengirimkan salawaat untuk Ibrahim dan keluarga Ibrahim. Sungguh, Engkau Terpuji dan Mulia. Allah, berkatilah Muhammad dan keluarga Muhammad, karena Anda telah memberkati Ibrahim dan keluarga Ibrahim. Sungguh, Engkau Terpuji dan Mulia.

Di sini, kita melihat bahwa salawaat dilakukan bukan hanya untuk Muhammad tetapi untuk keluarganya Muhammad juga. Tapi, tidak ada instruksi dalam Al Qur’an bagi orang-orang beriman untuk mengirim salawaat kepada keluarga Muhammad. Seharusnya tidak mengherankan bahwa Islam, seperti banyak agama lain, telah berubah banyak karena politik, tradisi lokal, perang, dll. Itu salah satu sebabnya Islam menjadi bercabang dengan banyak aliran. Oleh karena itu, orang-orang yang berpengaruh, misalnya beberapa Sayyid dahulu kala, mungkin telah memodifikasi ucapan salawaat untuk memasukkan keluarga Muhammad untuk keuntungan pribadi mereka sendiri.

Membagi Umat Muslim

Jika Sayyid percaya bahwa mereka lebih unggul dari orang lain, maka mereka membagi umat Muslim. Menurut ayat 6:159, pikiran ini bukan hanya tidak dapat diterima, tetapi Tuhan bahkan mengatakan kepada Muhammad bahwa Muhammad tidak ada hubungannya dengan mereka. 

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ فَرَّقُوا دِينَهُمْ وَكَانُوا شِيَعًا لَّسْتَ مِنْهُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ ۚ إِنَّمَا أَمْرُهُمْ إِلَى اللَّهِ ثُمَّ يُنَبِّئُهُم بِمَا كَانُوا يَفْعَلُونَ
Sesungguhnya, orang-orang yang telah membagi agama mereka dan menjadi sekte – Anda, [Ya Muhammad], tidak [terkait] dengan mereka dalam apapun. Urusan mereka untuk Tuhan; kemudian Dia akan memberi tahu mereka tentang (kesalahan) apa yang mereka lakukan. (6:159)

Ironisnya, orang-orang Sayyid menggunakan hubungannya dengan Muhammad untuk membenarkan rasa superioritas mereka yang membagi umat Islam sedangkan Tuhan mengatakan bahwa Muhammad tidak ada hubungannya dengan orang-orang Sayyid justru karena sebab itu. 

Oops! That’s embarrassing.

Setan (Bapak Kesombongan) dan Sayyid

Ironisnya, para Sayyid Muslim yang percaya bahwa mereka lebih unggul dari orang lain ternyata berperilaku seperti Setan sendiri. Menurut Alquran, Setan (jin) merasa lebih unggul dari Adam (manusia) karena Setan dibuat dari api tanpa asap sedangkan Adam terbuat dari tanah liat.

Api tanpa asap dan tanah liat

Jelas, perbedaan biologis Setan dengan Adam jauh lebih jelas daripada perbedaan genetik yang tidak terlihat antara Sayyid dan non-Sayyid. Kita semua (orang-orang Yahudi, Kristen dan Muslim) tahu bagaimana ceritanya berakhir. Kesombongan dan kompleks superioritas setan akan membawanya ke Neraka untuk selamanya.

Keturunan Adam – Nabi Pertama Islam

Kebanyakan orang lebih menghormati pendiri atau pemula sesuatu, misalnya pendiri atau pemula agama, negara, revolusi, suatu gerakan, perusahaan yang sangat sukses, dll, daripada pemimpin berikutnya. Inilah salah satu sebab mengapa kebanyakan Muslim sangat menghormati Nabi Muhammad – mereka berpikir bahwa Muhammad adalah Muslim pertama dan pendiri Islam. Yang memalukan bagi mereka, dapat dengan mudah dibuktikan dengan Al-Qur’an bahwa Muhammad bukanlah Muslim dan nabi Islam pertama dan bahwa dia adalah nabi terakhir dari rantai panjang nabi. Dalam ayat 16:123, Tuhan secara khusus menyuruh Muhammad untuk mengikuti agamanya Nabi Ibrahim.

ثُمَّ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ أَنِ اتَّبِعْ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا ۖ وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ
Kemudian Kami [Allah] mewahyukan kepada Anda, [ya Muhammad], untuk mengikuti agama (bahasa Arab: millat) Ibrahim, menuju kebenaran; dan dia (Ibrahim) bukan seperti mereka yang syirik. (16:123)

Daripada berfokus pada Muhammad, nabi terakhir Islam, bagaimana jika umat Islam berfokus pada Adam, nabi pertama Islam? Meskipun Quran tidak secara harfiah menyebutkan bahwa Adam adalah seorang nabi atau rasul Islam, kenabiannya jelas tersirat dalam ayat 3:33 di mana ia disebut sederajat dengan nabi Nuh, Ibrahim dan Imran.

إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ ٱصْطَفَىٰٓ ءَادَمَ وَنُوحًۭا وَءَالَ إِبْرَٰهِيمَ وَءَالَ عِمْرَٰنَ عَلَى ٱلْعَـٰلَمِينَ
Sesungguhnya, Tuhan memilih Adam dan Nuh dan keluarga Ibrahim dan keluarga Imran atas alam semesta – (3:33)

Nabi Adam bukan hanya pendiri dan nabi pertama Islam tetapi juga pendiri umat manusia (setiap orang adalah keturunan Adam). Tidak ada silsilah keluarga yang dibutuhkan untuk membuktikan keturunan seseorang dari Adam. Akibatnya, setiap orang setara dalam hal keturunan bangsawan dan tidak ada yang bisa mengklaim keunggulan berdasarkan garis keturunan yang, seperti dibuktikan di atas, adalah sifat Iblis! Mungkin keturunan Ba’Alawi lebih baik menyebut diri mereka keturunan Ba’Adam, yaitu Bani Adam (keturunan Adam), saja. 

Orang Paling Mulia

Jika kita benar-benar ingin memilih seseorang atau sekelompok orang yang dianggap mulia menurut Islam, maka kita dapat dengan mudah menemukan siapa mereka dari Alquran. Ayat 49:13 menjelaskan bahwa orang yang paling mulia adalah orang yang paling bertaqwa. Dan, jelas ketawqaan itu tidak didasarkan pada kelahiran tetapi tindakan seseorang.

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَـٰكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍۢ وَأُنثَىٰ وَجَعَلْنَـٰكُمْ شُعُوبًۭا وَقَبَآئِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوٓا۟ ۚ إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ أَتْقَىٰكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌۭ
Hai manusia, sesungguhnya Kami telah menciptakan kamu dari laki-laki dan perempuan dan membuat kalian bangsa dan suku yang mungkin kalian kenal satu sama lain. Sesungguhnya, yang paling mulia dari Anda di mata Allah adalah yang paling bertaqwa dari Anda. Sesungguhnya, Allah Maha Mengetahui dan Sadar. (49:13)


Beberapa Sayyid mungkin berpendapat bahwa ada hadits sahih yang mendukung argumen bahwa Nabi Muhammad dan keturunannya lebih unggul dari orang lain. Mereka dianjurkan membaca artikel saya yang membuktikan bahwa hadits bukanlah sumber yang sah dari hukum Islam dan bahwa menggunakan hadits sebagai hukum Islam merupakan bentuk dari kesyirikan dan menyebabkan orang menjadi kafir.

Versi pendek:

Bukti Hadits Tidak Valid Hukum Islam

Versi panjang (bahasa Inggris):


Bukti-bukti Alquran dan argumen logis di atas memperjelas bahwa keturunan Nabi Muhammad tidak lebih unggul sama sekali dibandingkan dengan umat manusia lainnya. Kesimpulan ini sangat jelas di negara-negara Barat non-Islam tetapi sayangnya, banyak orang di negara-negara Islam terlalu cuek dan menolak kesimpulan ini, mungkin karena mereka memiliki sikap bahwa tradisi harus benar meskipun bertentangan dengan logika. Mungkin mereka sebaiknya mundur selangkah dan merenungkan ayat berikut.

إِنَّ شَرَّ الدَّوَابِّ عِندَ اللَّهِ الصُّمُّ الْبُكْمُ الَّذِينَ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ
Sesungguhnya, makhluk hidup yang paling buruk di mata Allah adalah orang tuli dan bisu yang tidak menggunakan otaknya untuk berpikir. (8:22)


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Islamic Ablution (Wudhu) Is Simpler Than Many Muslims Think

Do you have to wash your feet in wudhu (ablution) or can you wipe it?

Many Muslims, especially Sunnis, believe that they must wash their feet when performing wudhu. However, the Quran makes it clear that the feet are to be wiped. Consider verse 5:6.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلَاةِ فَاغْسِلُوا وُجُوهَكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ وَامْسَحُوا بِرُءُوسِكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ إِلَى الْكَعْبَيْنِ
O you who have believed, when you rise to [perform] prayer, wash your faces and your hands to the elbows and wipe your heads and your feet to the ankles. (5:6)

As you can see, any reasonable person would understand the above verse to indicate that the feet are to be wiped and not necessarily washed. If it were so important for believers to wash their feet instead of wipe them, it would make sense for God to have grouped the feet part of the verse with the face and hand washing part instead of with the head-wiping part. Or, God could have added the word “wash” right before the word “feet” to make it clear that the feet must be washed.

How many steps are there in performing ablution (wudhu)?

Most Muslims think there are more than 4 steps to perform ablution (wudhu). However, the Quran makes it very clear in verse 5:6 that there are exactly 4 steps:

  1. Wash your face
  2. Wash each hand to the elbow
  3. Wipe your head
  4. Wipe each foot to the ankle
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلَاةِ فَاغْسِلُوا وُجُوهَكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ وَامْسَحُوا بِرُءُوسِكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ إِلَى الْكَعْبَيْنِ
O you who have believed, when you rise to [perform] prayer, wash your faces and your hands to the elbows and wipe your heads and your feet to the ankles. (5:6)

Some Muslims insist that you must do more such as wash the inside of your mouth, clear your nostrils, wipe your neck, etc. Though it’s probably okay to do these things, one must not say that these additional steps are required since nowhere in the Quran does it require them. Believing that these extra steps are required and telling others that these extra steps are required constitutes belief in an Islamic law that God never approved. Therefore, to be safe and correct, one should not add to the steps clearly specified in the Quran and just stick to the 4 steps. If one feels that they need to wash their mouths or clear their nostrils or wipe their necks, they can do that before performing ablution (wudhu). They can also take a bath or shower before performing ablution (wudhu) as well.

How many times must you perform each step in ablution (wudhu)?

Most Muslims think that they must perform each step of ablution (wudhu) three times as if doing it less or more than three times invalidates the ablution. However, the Quran never mentions a specific number of steps required to perform ablution. Therefore, you are free to perform each step as many times as you want. Also, you are forbidden from telling others that they are required to perform each step a specific number of times since God never required any specific number.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلَاةِ فَاغْسِلُوا وُجُوهَكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ وَامْسَحُوا بِرُءُوسِكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ إِلَى الْكَعْبَيْنِ
O you who have believed, when you rise to [perform] prayer, wash your faces and your hands to the elbows and wipe your heads and your feet to the ankles. (5:6)

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Muslims Don’t Need to Perform Ablution (Wudhu) Before Touching the Quran

Many Muslims believe that they must perform ablution (wudu) or be in a “purified” state, e.g. not be menstruating, in order to touch the Quran. However, the Quran never mentions this requirement. Muslims often cite verses 56:77-79 as proof of the requirement to be pure in order to touch the Quran.

إِنَّهُ لَقُرْآنٌ كَرِيمٌ فِي كِتَابٍ مَّكْنُونٍ لَّا يَمَسُّهُ إِلَّا الْمُطَهَّرُونَ
Indeed, it is a noble Qur’an, in a book well-protected; None touch it except the purified. (56:77-79)

Statement vs command

The first issue is that many Muslims think that the statement “none touch it except the purified” is a command. Everywhere else in the Quran God gives commands by telling people to either do this or don’t do that. As you can see, the statement “none touch it except the purified” is not a command but rather a statement of fact.

What book is well-protected?

Many people assume that the book that is well-protected mentioned in verse 56:78 above is the Quran. If that were true, then the subsequent verse (56:79) would be invalid since anyone who is impure, however one wants to define impure, could obviously touch a Quran while they are impure. Therefore, the book that is well-protected can’t be the Quran.

In order to determine what book is well-protected, we must examine all verses in the Quran which deal with this subject.

Umm Al-Kitaab (Mother of the Book)

In verses 13:39 and 43:2-4, we find the mention of a book called Umm Al-Kitaab (Mother of the Book).

يَمْحُو اللَّهُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَيُثْبِتُ ۖ وَعِندَهُ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ
Allah eliminates what He wills or confirms, and with Him is the Mother of the Book. (13:39)
وَالْكِتَابِ الْمُبِينِ إِنَّا جَعَلْنَاهُ قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ وَإِنَّهُ فِي أُمِّ الْكِتَابِ لَدَيْنَا لَعَلِيٌّ حَكِيمٌ
By the clear Book, Indeed, We have made it an Arabic Qur’an that you might understand. And indeed it is, in the Mother of the Book with Us, exalted and full of wisdom. (43:2-4)

From the above verses, we find proof that there is a master book called “The Mother of the Book” which is in the presence of God and that the Quran is in it.

Luh-e-Mahfuz / Guarded / Protected Tablet

In verses 85:21-22, we see mention of a protected tablet (Luh-e Mahfuuz).

بَلْ هُوَ قُرْآنٌ مَّجِيدٌ فِي لَوْحٍ مَّحْفُوظٍ
But this is an honored Qur’an. [Inscribed] in a guarded tablet. (85:21-22)

Based on these verses, it becomes clear that there is another book or tablet which serves as a master source that is with God and cannot be corrupted. All messages and scriptures have emanated from this master book.

Correct meaning of 56:77-79

Now that we know about the mother of the book and that the Quran came from it, if we revisit verses 56:77-79, we find that the book that is well-protected that only the “purified” can touch must mean the Mother of the Book that is with God Himself.

إِنَّهُ لَقُرْآنٌ كَرِيمٌ فِي كِتَابٍ مَّكْنُونٍ لَّا يَمَسُّهُ إِلَّا الْمُطَهَّرُونَ
Indeed, it is a noble Qur’an, in a book (a separate book called the Mother Book or Guarded Tablet) well-protected; None touch it except the purified. (56:77-79)

Isn’t the Quran also protected?

Using verse 15:9, many Muslims believe that the Quran is well-protected.

إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ
Indeed, it is We who sent down the reminder (Arabic: dhikr) and indeed, We will be its guardian (Arabic: haafizhun). (15:9)

Some Quran translations translated the word “dhikr” as “Quran” when it actually means “reminder.” ‘Dhikr’ in Arabic means to remember, to recollect, to remind, to preserve something in memory. Therefore, this verse states that the “remembrance” of the Quran will be protected. This is understandable as we know that the Quran has always been memorized in its oral transmission. Though there are slight differences between Hafs and Warsh transmissions of the Quran, the differences are insignificant with regard to the message of the Quran. The Quran was never revealed as a physical book but rather as an oral narration that was later written down. In verse 36:69, we see proof that the Quran was not only recited from memory at the time of the prophet as a reminder (dhikr) but its physical form as a written book also existed at the same time.

وَمَا عَلَّمْنَاهُ الشِّعْرَ وَمَا يَنبَغِي لَهُ ۚ إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا ذِكْرٌ وَقُرْآنٌ مُّبِينٌ
And We did not give Prophet Muhammad knowledge of poetry, nor is it befitting for him. It is not but a reminder (Arabic: dhikr) and a clear Qur’an. (36:69)


Based on the above analysis, we see proof that verses 56:77-79 do not mean that one must perform ablution or not be menstruating in order to touch the Quran. Likewise, there is no other verse in the Quran that requires purity in order to touch the Quran.

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