Proof That Arabic is Not a Holy or Superior Language

Many Muslims believe that because the Quran is in Arabic, then Arabic must be a holy or superior language. However, the Quran makes it clear that this is not the case.

No distinction between languages

In verse 30:22, we see that God makes no distinction between any language.

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)

Obviously, Arabic is important if you want to study the Quran since it’s in Arabic but that doesn’t mean that Arabic is better than any other language. Similarly, if one wanted to study the Torah or Injil, then other languages such as Hebrew or Latin would be important for understanding those scriptures.

Different messengers, different languages, but same message

The Quran was revealed in Arabic for no reason other than so that the designated primary audience at the time (Arabs) could understand it. The same reason applied to all previous messengers. Previous messengers were Muslim yet they did not speak nor pray in Arabic. They were sent with the language of their people so they could communicate clearly to their people. This is proven in verse 14:4.

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)

Arabic for an Arabic-speaking community

Even though the Quran is meant for all of mankind, verse 42:7 proves that the Quran was sent down in Arabic so that the prophet could warn his own mother town and the immediate towns around him.

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)

The term “hawlaha” means “around it” and refers to towns immediately around the mother city. It does not mean all towns all around the world. Thus definition can be verified by seeing other uses of the term “hawlaha” in the Quran. Therefore, if the Quran needed to be explained to someone in China, it would need to be translated into Chinese.

God translated historical stories into Arabic

Note verses 26:162-163 as follows:

إِنِّي لَكُمْ رَسُولٌ أَمِينٌ فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُونِ
Indeed, I am to you a trustworthy messenger. So fear Allah and obey me. (26:162-163)

The same Arabic sentence has been used for Prophets Noah (26:106-107), Hud (26:125-126); Saleh (26:143-144); Lut (26:162-163) and Shuaib (pbut) (26:178-179) one after the other. Not one of these messengers ever delivered this sentence in Arabic but rather in their own languages to their own people. Therefore, it is the message which is important, not the language it is delivered in. The Quran itself is a translation from other languages into Arabic.

There are many historical dialogues and stories mentioned in the Quran of Prophets Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus (pbut), different messengers, angels, Iblis (Satan), Pharaoh, and even of an ant (27:18) and a Hoopoe bird (27:22). All this speech has been captured and translated by God Himself for an Arabic audience to grasp the message and its wisdom. If God can translate the speech of others throughout history to make the message clear to an Arab audience, then why can’t non-Arabic speakers focus their endeavors to understand the message in their own languages?

This explanation is proven a few verses later in 26:195-196.

بِلِسَانٍ عَرَبِيٍّ مُّبِينٍ وَإِنَّهُ لَفِي زُبُرِ الْأَوَّلِينَ
In a clear Arabic language. And indeed, it is [mentioned] in the scriptures of former peoples. (26:162-163)

Same Message, Different Language

The message that was revealed before the Quran is the same as what was revealed in the Quran. This is proven in verse 41:43.

مَّا يُقَالُ لَكَ إِلَّا مَا قَدْ قِيلَ لِلرُّسُلِ مِن قَبْلِكَ ۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَذُو مَغْفِرَةٍ وَذُو عِقَابٍ أَلِيمٍ
Nothing is said to you, [O Muhammad], except what was already said to the messengers before you. Indeed, your Lord is a possessor of forgiveness and a possessor of painful penalty. (41:43)

According to verse 41:44, God chose Arabic for the Quran because no one would have believed Muhammad if the Quran was in a foreign language to the Arabs.

… وَلَوْ جَعَلْنَاهُ قُرْآنًا أَعْجَمِيًّا لَّقَالُوا لَوْلَا فُصِّلَتْ آيَاتُهُ ۖ أَأَعْجَمِيٌّ وَعَرَبِيٌّ ۗ قُلْ هُوَ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا هُدًى وَشِفَاءٌ
And if We had made it a non-Arabic Qur’an, they would have said, “Why are its verses not explained in detail [in our language]? Is it a foreign [recitation] and an Arab [messenger]?” … (41:44)

Therefore, to conclude, Arabic is not a special and holy language.

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Proof That Prophet Muhammad Is Not Exclusive or Superior to Other Prophets

Many Muslims believe that prophet Muhammad is more special than the other prophets

However, the Quran makes it clear that all prophets are equal and that Muhammad is no more special than the other prophets. This is proven in verse 2:285.

آمَنَ الرَّسُولُ بِمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِن رَّبِّهِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ ۚ كُلٌّ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَمَلَائِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّن رُّسُلِهِ ۚ وَقَالُوا سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا …
“The messenger believes in that which has been revealed to him from his Lord and (so do) believers. Each one believes in God and His angels and His scriptures and His messengers – We make no distinction between any of His messengers – and they say: We hear, and we obey. …. ” (2:285)

Some Muslims assume that because the Quran was revealed to prophet Muhammad that he must be superior to other prophets and messengers. However, other prophets also have exclusive characteristics that, in some cases, may make them seem superior.

Prophet Moses’ Exclusivity

  • Only once has God used the Arabic term ‘mahabbata(n)-minni’ (love from me) with respect to a child and this is with regards Prophet Moses (pbuh) (20:39)
  • Prophet Moses (pbuh) is the only Messenger of God mentioned by name that was spoken to directly by God. Others, including Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) only received inspiration (4:163-164)
  • Prophet Moses (pbuh) was chosen over ‘mankind’ (Arabic: is’tafaytuka ala l-nasi) by virtue of his mission and because God spoke to him directly (7:144)
  • Prophet Moses (pbuh) is the most mentioned Messenger of God in the Quran whilst Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is only mentioned four times directly by name (3:144, 33:40, 47:2, 48:29).

Prophet Jesus’ Exclusivity

  • He was the only Prophet strengthened with the Holy Spirit since birth (5:110)
  • He was born with wisdom and spoke with wisdom as a young child (19:29; 3:46, 5:110) unlike other Prophets who did not receive Divine guidance until later in life (e.g. Prophets Abraham, Moses and Muhammad (pbut))
  • He was conceived from an immaculate conception (3:47; 19:20)
  • He was granted the power to heal the sick, the blind and to bring the dead to life (5:110).

Prophet Solomon’s Exclusivity

  • No messenger of God was given a kingdom such as that of Prophet Solomon (pbuh) after him (38:35)
  • He understood the speech of birds (along with Prophet David) (pbuh) (27:16) and the ants (27:19)
  • He had control over the winds (38:36; 21:81)
  • He had control over the Jinn that worked for him (38:37)

Prophet Abraham’s Exclusivity

  • Prophet Abraham (pbuh) is referred to as the father of faith (22:78)
  • Prophet Abraham (pbuh) is referred to as a ‘khalil’ (friend) of God (4:125)
  • Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and all believers are asked to follow the footsteps / religious ways of Prophet Abraham (pbuh) (16:123)

Prophet Noah’s Exclusivity

  • He was the only prophet or messenger of God mentioned as being granted such an extended life span of 950 years (29:14)

Prophet Jonah’s Exclusivity

  • Prophet Jonah (pbuh) is the only messenger of God whose subsequent Prophetic ministerial success is expressed in numbers of over 100,000 believers (37:147-148).

Prophet Joseph’s Exclusivity

  • His charm / beauty was greatly admired (akbara), awed at (hasha-lillah – God save us) and even likened to that of a noble angel (malakun karim) (12:31)
  • He has been mentioned as being granted the wisdom to interpret dreams / events (12:6; 21; 36; 46; 100-101)

Though God has preferred and ranked some messengers over others, believers are not allowed to rank or differentiate between the messengers.

تِلْكَ الرُّسُلُ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ ۘ مِّنْهُم مَّن كَلَّمَ اللَّهُ ۖ وَرَفَعَ بَعْضَهُمْ دَرَجَاتٍ ۚ وَآتَيْنَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ الْبَيِّنَاتِ وَأَيَّدْنَاهُ بِرُوحِ الْقُدُسِ …
We have made some of these messengers to excel the others among them are they to whom God spoke, and some of them He exalted by rank / degrees; and We gave clear miracles to Jesus son of Mary, and strengthened him with the Holy Spirit. … (2:253)
وَرَبُّكَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۗ وَلَقَدْ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَ النَّبِيِّينَ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ ۖ وَآتَيْنَا دَاوُودَ زَبُورًا
And We have made some of the prophets exceed others [in various ways], and to David We gave the book [of Psalms]. (17:55)

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Muslims (Submitters) and Mu’mins (Believers) Are Not the Same Thing

Many Muslims believe that the term “Muslim” and “Mu’min” are interchangeable and have the same meaning. However, according to the Quran, many people are Muslims (including some Jews and Christians) but not all Muslims are Mu’mins.

A “Muslim” (Submitter) by definition is anyone who submits or surrenders their will to the one true God. This is irrespective of whether or not they believe in the Quran or prophet Muhammad.

A “Mu’min” (Believer), in the context of the Quran, is one who believes in

  1. The one true God
  2. All of God’s angels
  3. All of God’s scriptures including the Torah, Injeel, and Quran
  4. All of God’s messengers including Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad

One may be a Muslim (Submitter) but not yet be a Mu’min (believer) as true faith has not yet entered their hearts. This is proven in verse 49:14.

قَالَتِ الْأَعْرَابُ آمَنَّا ۖ قُل لَّمْ تُؤْمِنُوا وَلَٰكِن قُولُوا أَسْلَمْنَا وَلَمَّا يَدْخُلِ الْإِيمَانُ فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ ۖ وَإِن تُطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ لَا يَلِتْكُم مِّنْ أَعْمَالِكُمْ شَيْئًا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
The desert Arabs say, “We believe!” Say, “Do not say you believe; but only say, ‘We have submitted our wills to God (as Submitters / Muslims),’ as belief has not yet entered your hearts. But if you obey God and His Messenger, He will not deprive you anything of your deeds: for God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (49:14)

Therefore, being a Muslim (Submitter) first is a pre-requisite for acquiring belief to become a Mu’min (believer). Verse 7:143 shows the example of prophet Moses when he became a Mu’min (believer). Verse 2:260 shows the example of prophet Abraham who asked to have his heart strengthened so that he could become a Mu’min (believer).

There are many proofs in the Quran of people who lived before prophet Muhammad and were Muslim.

  • Prophet Noah (10:72)
  • Prophet Solomon (27:31, 27:42)
  • Prophet Lot (51:36)
  • Prophet Abraham (3:67)
  • Disciples of Prophet Jesus (3:52)
  • Prophet Joseph (12:101)
  • Prophet Jacob’s children (2:133)
  • Pharaoh’s magicians (7:126)

None of these people could have known of the Quran or the coming of prophet Muhammad, yet they are described as Muslims (Submitters). Therefore, being a Muslim (Submitter), according to the Quran, does not require belief in the Quran or prophet Muhammad. It just requires submitting one’s will to the one true God.

As a matter of fact, during the time of prophet Muhammad some people amongst the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) did believe in Muhammad and they, therefore, were Mu’mins (believers) even though they were still Jews and Christians.

وَإِذَا سَمِعُوا مَا أُنزِلَ إِلَى الرَّسُولِ تَرَىٰ أَعْيُنَهُمْ تَفِيضُ مِنَ الدَّمْعِ مِمَّا عَرَفُوا مِنَ الْحَقِّ ۖ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا آمَنَّا فَاكْتُبْنَا مَعَ الشَّاهِدِينَ
And when they hear what has been revealed to the Messenger, you see their eyes overflowing with tears because of what they have recognized of the truth. They say, “Our Lord, we have believed, so register us among the witnesses. (5:83)
وَإِنَّ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ لَمَن يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكُمْ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِمْ خَاشِعِينَ …
And there are, certainly, among the People of the Book, those who believe in God, in the revelation to you (Muhammad), and in the revelation to them (Torah, Injil), bowing in humility to God …. (3:199)

People who believed in the previous scriptures, including Jews and Christians, were already Muslims.

الَّذِينَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ مِن قَبْلِهِ هُم بِهِ يُؤْمِنُونَ وَإِذَا يُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِمْ قَالُوا آمَنَّا بِهِ إِنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا مِن قَبْلِهِ مُسْلِمِينَ
Those to whom We gave the Scripture before it – they are believers in it. And when it is recited to them, they say, “We have believed in it; indeed, it is the truth from our Lord. Indeed we were, [even] before it, Submitters (Muslims).” (28:52-53)
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Most Jews, Christians, and Polytheists Are Not Infidels (Kafir)

Many Muslims believe that all non-Muslims, including Jews and Christians, are disbelievers (kafir). However, the Quran indicates that some Jews and Christians are actually righteous. The Jews and Christians that follow their faith are referred to by the Quran as ‘Ahl-e-Kitab’ i.e. People of the Book, not ‘Kuffars’ (Disbelievers). From the Quran’s perspective, even the Mushrikeen (idolaters) are not necessarily Kuffar. One is not responsible for what one does not know. To claim otherwise is neither just nor true. We see in verse 9:6 proof that idolaters (mushrikeen) were not automatically branded as “kuffar” (disbelievers) as they were simply ignorant (did not know).

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)

Therefore, if idolaters (mushrikeen) are not automatically disbelievers (kuffar), then obviously Jews and Christians are not automatically disbelievers (kuffar).

People only become disbelievers (kuffar) if the following conditions are met

  1. The truth has been made clear to them
  2. They have no reason left to deny it
  3. They still choose to deny the truth

In addition, only God has the right to brand someone as a disbeliever (kafir).

The message of truth is made clear to different societies by God’s messengers. That is the one and only job of the messengers, as indicated in 24:54.

قُلْ أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ ۖ فَإِن تَوَلَّوْا فَإِنَّمَا عَلَيْهِ مَا حُمِّلَ وَعَلَيْكُم مَّا حُمِّلْتُمْ ۖ وَإِن تُطِيعُوهُ تَهْتَدُوا ۚ وَمَا عَلَى الرَّسُولِ إِلَّا الْبَلَاغُ الْمُبِينُ
Say, “Obey Allah and obey the Messenger; but if you turn away – then upon him is only that [duty] with which he has been charged, and upon you is that with which you have been charged. And if you obey him, you will be [rightly] guided. And there is not upon the Messenger except the [responsibility for] clear notification.” (24:54)

Verse 3:113-114 proves that some Jews and Christians are righteous.

لَيْسُوا سَوَاءً ۗ مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ أُمَّةٌ قَائِمَةٌ يَتْلُونَ آيَاتِ اللَّهِ آنَاءَ اللَّيْلِ وَهُمْ يَسْجُدُونَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَيُسَارِعُونَ فِي الْخَيْرَاتِ وَأُولَٰئِكَ مِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ
They are not [all] the same; among the People of the Scripture is a community standing [in obedience], reciting the verses of Allah during periods of the night and prostrating [in prayer]. They believe in Allah and the Last Day, and they enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and hasten to good deeds. And those are among the righteous. (3:113-114)

Verse 5:82-83 proves that some Christians are righteous.

لَتَجِدَنَّ أَشَدَّ النَّاسِ عَدَاوَةً لِّلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا الْيَهُودَ وَالَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُوا ۖ وَلَتَجِدَنَّ أَقْرَبَهُم مَّوَدَّةً لِّلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا الَّذِينَ قَالُوا إِنَّا نَصَارَىٰ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّ مِنْهُمْ قِسِّيسِينَ وَرُهْبَانًا وَأَنَّهُمْ لَا يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ وَإِذَا سَمِعُوا مَا أُنزِلَ إِلَى الرَّسُولِ تَرَىٰ أَعْيُنَهُمْ تَفِيضُ مِنَ الدَّمْعِ مِمَّا عَرَفُوا مِنَ الْحَقِّ ۖ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا آمَنَّا فَاكْتُبْنَا مَعَ الشَّاهِدِينَ
You will surely find the most intense of the people in animosity toward the believers [to be] the Jews and those who associate others with Allah; and you will find the nearest of them in affection to the believers those who say, “We are Christians.” That is because among them are priests and monks and because they are not arrogant. And when they hear what has been revealed to the Messenger, you see their eyes overflowing with tears because of what they have recognized of the truth. They say, “Our Lord, we have believed, so register us among the witnesses. (5:82-83)

Verse 7:159 proves that not all Jews are bad or unjust.

وَمِن قَوْمِ مُوسَىٰ أُمَّةٌ يَهْدُونَ بِالْحَقِّ وَبِهِ يَعْدِلُونَ
And among the people of Moses is a community which guides by truth and by it establishes justice. (7:159)

Verse 5:66 indicates that, at the time of Prophet Muhammad, some Jews and Christians were on the right course but most were not.

وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ أَقَامُوا التَّوْرَاةَ وَالْإِنجِيلَ وَمَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِم مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ لَأَكَلُوا مِن فَوْقِهِمْ وَمِن تَحْتِ أَرْجُلِهِم ۚ مِّنْهُمْ أُمَّةٌ مُّقْتَصِدَةٌ ۖ وَكَثِيرٌ مِّنْهُمْ سَاءَ مَا يَعْمَلُونَ
And if only they upheld [the law of] the Torah, the Gospel, and what has been revealed to them from their Lord, they would have consumed [provision] from above them and from beneath their feet. Among them are a moderate community (on the right course), but many of them – evil is that which they do. (5:66)

One must remember that the same religion was inspired in all of the prophets, including prophets Moses and Jesus. This is proven in 42:13.

شَرَعَ لَكُم مِّنَ الدِّينِ مَا وَصَّىٰ بِهِ نُوحًا وَالَّذِي أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ وَمَا وَصَّيْنَا بِهِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ ۖ أَنْ أَقِيمُوا الدِّينَ وَلَا تَتَفَرَّقُوا فِيهِ ۚ كَبُرَ عَلَى الْمُشْرِكِينَ مَا تَدْعُوهُمْ إِلَيْهِ ۚ اللَّهُ يَجْتَبِي إِلَيْهِ مَن يَشَاءُ وَيَهْدِي إِلَيْهِ مَن يُنِيبُ
He has ordained for you of religion (Arabic: Deen) what He enjoined upon Noah and that which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what We enjoined upon Abraham and Moses and Jesus – to establish the religion and not be divided therein. Difficult for those who associate others with Allah is that to which you invite them. Allah chooses for Himself whom He wills and guides to Himself whoever turns back [to Him]. (42:13)

Many Muslims use verse 2:120 to infer that the Jews and Christians follow a different religion.

وَلَن تَرْضَىٰ عَنكَ الْيَهُودُ وَلَا النَّصَارَىٰ حَتَّىٰ تَتَّبِعَ مِلَّتَهُمْ ۗ قُلْ إِنَّ هُدَى اللَّهِ هُوَ الْهُدَىٰ ۗ وَلَئِنِ اتَّبَعْتَ أَهْوَاءَهُم بَعْدَ الَّذِي جَاءَكَ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ ۙ مَا لَكَ مِنَ اللَّهِ مِن وَلِيٍّ وَلَا نَصِيرٍ
And never will the Jews or the Christians approve of you until you follow their form of religion (Arabic: Millatahum). Say, “Indeed, the guidance of Allah is the [only] guidance.” If you were to follow their desires after what has come to you of knowledge, you would have against Allah no protector or helper. (2:120)

However, you will see a difference between verses 42:13 and 2:120 in that 42:13 uses the word “deen” whereas verse 42:13 uses the word “millatahum”.

The word “deen” means religion whereas the word “millat”, in the context of verse 2:120, means “way of belief or form of religion.” According to the Edward Lanes Lexicon, we see this definition as follows:

image alt text

The word “millat” is also in verse 16:123 where prophet Muhammad was told to follow Abrahams “form of religion” (millat).

ثُمَّ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ أَنِ اتَّبِعْ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا ۖ وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ
Then We revealed to you, [O Muhammad], to follow the form of religion (Arabic: millat) of Abraham, inclining toward truth; and he was not of those who associate with Allah. (16:123)

In other words, people can be part of the same “deen” (religion” but their way / form “millat” may be different. The correct way, according to verse 16:123, is the way of Prophet Abraham. This “way”, according to this verse, is to not join anything with God including partnerships, idols, and intercessors. This “way” applies to Muslims, Christians and Jews.

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There Is No Quranic Proof That Zamzam Water Is Blessed Holy Water

Many Muslims believe that Zam Zam water is blessed water. However, there is no mention in the Quran of Zam Zam water. The Quran does talk about rainwater and honey, however. The story of Zam Zam is linked with the story of prophet Abraham’s wife, Hagar, his son, prophet Ishmael, Safa and Marwa. However, there is absolutely no mention of Hagar or the Hagar-Ishmael story in the entire Quran. As a matter of fact, there is not even a single mention of the word “Zamzam” in the Quran. Safa and Marwa are not even described as “mountains” in the Quran but rather as “symbols”. Pagan Arabs used to circumambulate (tawaaf) around Safa and Marwa before Islam was revealed to them. The Quran merely allowed this practice of “tawaaf” around Safa and Marwa to continue as optional.

إِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَةَ مِن شَعَائِرِ اللَّهِ ۖ فَمَنْ حَجَّ الْبَيْتَ أَوِ اعْتَمَرَ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِ أَن يَطَّوَّفَ بِهِمَا
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. … (2:158)

The statement “there is no blame / sin upon him for walking between them (Safa and Marwa)” clearly indicates that newly converted Muslims (ex Pagans) were allowed to continue the practice of walking between Safa and Marwa as they used to when they were pagans. The Quran does not require this practice.

The Healing Power of Honey

According to verses 16:68-69, honey has the power to heal.

وَأَوْحَىٰ رَبُّكَ إِلَى النَّحْلِ أَنِ اتَّخِذِي مِنَ الْجِبَالِ بُيُوتًا وَمِنَ الشَّجَرِ وَمِمَّا يَعْرِشُونَ ثُمَّ كُلِي مِن كُلِّ الثَّمَرَاتِ فَاسْلُكِي سُبُلَ رَبِّكِ ذُلُلًا ۚ يَخْرُجُ مِن بُطُونِهَا شَرَابٌ مُّخْتَلِفٌ أَلْوَانُهُ فِيهِ شِفَاءٌ لِّلنَّاسِ ۗ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
And your Lord inspired to the bee, “Take for yourself among the mountains, houses, and among the trees and [in] that which they construct. Then eat from all the fruits and follow the ways of your Lord laid down [for you].” There emerges from their bellies a drink, varying in colors, in which there is healing for people. Indeed in that is a sign for a people who give thought. (16:68-69)

The Reviving Properties of Rainwater

According to verse 50:9, rainwater is referred to as “blessed” water” and has revitalizing properties.

وَنَزَّلْنَا مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً مُّبَارَكًا فَأَنبَتْنَا بِهِ جَنَّاتٍ وَحَبَّ الْحَصِيدِ
And We have sent down blessed rain from the sky and made grow thereby gardens and grain from the harvest. (50:9)

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Muslims Are Not Allowed To Force Others To Practice Islam. So Why Do Muslims & Islamic Governments Keep Doing It?

Some Muslim individuals and governments force others or their citizens and/or visitors to follow certain Islamic practices. However, the Quran makes it clear that it is forbidden to force religion or any aspect of religion on anyone.

God could have made everyone a believer but instead, He gave people a brain to think for themselves and the option to choose their beliefs. God told Muhammad not to force people to follow Muhammad’s belief (Islam).

قُلْ فَلِلَّهِ الْحُجَّةُ الْبَالِغَةُ ۖ فَلَوْ شَاءَ لَهَدَاكُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ
Say, “With Allah is the far-reaching argument. If He had willed, He would have guided you all.” (6:149)
وَلَوْ شَاءَ رَبُّكَ لَآمَنَ مَن فِي الْأَرْضِ كُلُّهُمْ جَمِيعًا ۚ أَفَأَنتَ تُكْرِهُ النَّاسَ حَتَّىٰ يَكُونُوا مُؤْمِنِينَ
And had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed – all of them entirely. Then, [O Muhammad], would you compel the people in order that they become believers? (10:99)

Verse 2:256 should make it absolutely clear that one may not force Islam on anyone.

لَا إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ
There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion. … (2:256 part)

People are expected to use “reason” to choose their religion. Choosing a religion based on tradition or inheritance does not constitute a choice that is based on sound “reason”.

وَمَا كَانَ لِنَفْسٍ أَن تُؤْمِنَ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ ۚ وَيَجْعَلُ الرِّجْسَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ
And it is not for a soul to believe except by permission of Allah, and He will place defilement upon those who will not use reason. (10:100)

Prophet Muhammad was told not to grieve / feel sorry for the disbelievers.

وَمَا كَانَ لِنَفْسٍ أَن تُؤْمِنَ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ ۚ وَيَجْعَلُ الرِّجْسَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ
And if their aversion is grievous to you, then if you are able to seek a tunnel into the earth or a stairway into the sky to bring them a sign, [then do so]. But if Allah had willed, He would have united them upon guidance. So never be of the ignorant. (6:35)

Whoever chooses to disbelieve is free to disbelieve.

وَقُلِ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكُمْ ۖ فَمَن شَاءَ فَلْيُؤْمِن وَمَن شَاءَ فَلْيَكْفُرْ ۚ إِنَّا أَعْتَدْنَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ نَارًا أَحَاطَ بِهِمْ سُرَادِقُهَا ۚ وَإِن يَسْتَغِيثُوا يُغَاثُوا بِمَاءٍ كَالْمُهْلِ يَشْوِي الْوُجُوهَ ۚ بِئْسَ الشَّرَابُ وَسَاءَتْ مُرْتَفَقًا
And say, “The truth is from your Lord, so whoever wills – let him believe; and whoever wills – let him disbelieve.” Indeed, We have prepared for the wrongdoers a fire whose walls will surround them. And if they call for relief, they will be relieved with water like murky oil, which scalds [their] faces. Wretched is the drink, and evil is the resting place. (18:29)

Belief and disbelief can be a cyclical experience and occur repeatedly.

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ثُمَّ كَفَرُوا ثُمَّ آمَنُوا ثُمَّ كَفَرُوا ثُمَّ ازْدَادُوا كُفْرًا لَّمْ يَكُنِ اللَّهُ لِيَغْفِرَ لَهُمْ وَلَا لِيَهْدِيَهُمْ سَبِيلًا
Indeed, those who have believed then disbelieved, then believed, then disbelieved, and then increased in disbelief – never will Allah forgive them, nor will He guide them to a way. (4:137)

However, God will not guide people who disbelieve after believing.

كَيْفَ يَهْدِي اللَّهُ قَوْمًا كَفَرُوا بَعْدَ إِيمَانِهِمْ وَشَهِدُوا أَنَّ الرَّسُولَ حَقٌّ وَجَاءَهُمُ الْبَيِّنَاتُ ۚ وَاللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ
How shall Allah guide a people who disbelieved after their belief and had witnessed that the Messenger is true and clear signs had come to them? And Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people. (3:86-87)

Repentance will not be accepted if one rejects faith after having accepted it.

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بَعْدَ إِيمَانِهِمْ ثُمَّ ازْدَادُوا كُفْرًا لَّن تُقْبَلَ تَوْبَتُهُمْ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الضَّالُّونَ
Indeed, those who reject the message after their belief and then increase in disbelief – never will their [claimed] repentance be accepted, and they are the ones astray. (3:90)

Surah Kafirun (Chapter of the Disbelievers) (109) should also make it clear that people are free to keep their own religion.

قُلْ يَا أَيُّهَا الْكَافِرُونَ لَا أَعْبُدُ مَا تَعْبُدُونَ وَلَا أَنتُمْ عَابِدُونَ مَا أَعْبُدُ وَلَا أَنَا عَابِدٌ مَّا عَبَدتُّمْ وَلَا أَنتُمْ عَابِدُونَ مَا أَعْبُدُ لَكُمْ دِينُكُمْ وَلِيَ دِينِ
Say, “O disbelievers, I do not worship what you worship. Nor are you worshippers of what I worship. Nor will I be a worshipper of what you worship. Nor will you be worshippers of what I worship. For you is your religion, and for me is my religion.” (109)

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If You Are a Sunni or Shia Muslim, Then You’ve Violated Islamic Law

Many Muslims choose to be either Sunni or Shia or be part of some other group. However, the Quran makes it clear that dividing into or joining a sect is forbidden. Some of the names of these divisions and subdivisions are

  • Sunni (e.g. Hanafi, Hanbali, Maliki, Shafi, Barelvi, Wahabi, Deobandi)
  • Shia (e.g. Twelver, Ismaili, Jafri, Zaidiyya, Khwarij)
  • Sufi (e.g. Chishti, Naqshbandi, Mawlawi, Qariyyah)
  • Alawi
  • Druze
  • Salafi
  • Etc

According to verse 6:159, dividing into or joining religious sects is forbidden.

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ فَرَّقُوا دِينَهُمْ وَكَانُوا شِيَعًا لَّسْتَ مِنْهُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ ۚ إِنَّمَا أَمْرُهُمْ إِلَى اللَّهِ ثُمَّ يُنَبِّئُهُم بِمَا كَانُوا يَفْعَلُونَ
Indeed, those who have divided their religion and become sects – you, [O Muhammad], are not [associated] with them in anything. Their affair is only [left] to Allah; then He will inform them about what they used to do. (6:159)

According to verse 3:103, God instructs Muslims to not be divided.

وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا…
And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. … (3:103)

According to verse 41:133, the only acceptable label is “I am of those who submit to the one God, i.e. Muslim”)

وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ قَوْلًا مِّمَّن دَعَا إِلَى اللَّهِ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا وَقَالَ إِنَّنِي مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ
And who is better in speech than one who invites to Allah and does righteousness and says, “Indeed, I am of the Muslims.” (41:133)

The word “Muslim” is not only used to describe followers of prophet Muhammad. In the Quran, it is used to describe everyone who submits and surrenders to the will of the one God, e.g.

  • Pharaoh’s magicians submit to God after witnessing Prophet Moses’s (pbuh) sign from his Lord and are ready to die as those who submit to God (Muslimeen) [7:126]
  • Prophet Noah (pbuh) asks for no reward from his people. He only submits to God (Muslimeen) [10:72]
  • Prophet Moses (pbuh) speaks to his people to put their trust in God if they submit to Him (Muslimeen) [10:84]
  • Prophet Solomon’s (pbuh) letter to Sheba (Saba) requesting her in the name of the Lord to abandon her blasphemy and to surrender herself to God (Muslimeen) [27:31]
  • Prophet Solomon (pbuh) acknowledges his own surrender to his Lord (Muslimeen) [27:42]
  • Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is instructed to say that he has been commanded to be of those that submit to God (Muslimeen) [27:91]
  • Those who have persevered with the truth from the People of the Book and when it is recited to them, acknowledge that they have already been from those that have submitted to God (Muslimeen) [28:53]
  • All but one house belonging to Lot (pbuh) (from his community) had submitted to God (Muslimeen) [51:36]
  • Disciples of Prophet Jesus (pbuh) confirm that they submit to God (Muslimoon) [3:52]
  • Prophet Abraham (pbuh) was one who submitted to His Lord (Musliman) [3:67]
  • Prophet Joseph (pbuh) prays to his Lord to die as one who submits to his Lord (Musliman) [12:101]
  • Prophet Jacob’s (pbuh) children at the point of their father’s death profess that they submit to God (Muslimoon) [2:133]

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Contrary to Extremist Belief, Muslims Are Allowed To Sing and Listen to Music

Many Muslims believe that they are not allowed to listen to music and sing. However,

  1. there is no such law in the Quran
  2. this belief originates from the hadith which is not God’s law
  3. God forbids judging by anything other than the Quran (6:114, 45:6, 68:36-38)
  4. God forbids inventing false laws in the name of God (5:87, 16:116)
  5. Whoever judges by other than the Quran is a disbeliever (kafir) (5:44)

Prophet David was given the Psalms (Zabur) which consists of 150 hymns or songs including lamentations, songs of thanksgiving, hymns of praise, wisdom psalms, royal psalms, and others of mixed composition.

إِنَّا أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ كَمَا أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَىٰ نُوحٍ وَالنَّبِيِّينَ مِن بَعْدِهِ ۚ وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَالْأَسْبَاطِ وَعِيسَىٰ وَأَيُّوبَ وَيُونُسَ وَهَارُونَ وَسُلَيْمَانَ ۚ وَآتَيْنَا دَاوُودَ زَبُورًا
Indeed, We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], as We revealed to Noah and the prophets after him. And we revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, the Descendants, Jesus, Job, Jonah, Aaron, and Solomon, and to David We gave the Zabur (book of Psalms). (4:163)

It is well attested within Jewish tradition, that the psalms were sung in front of the Tabernacle and subsequently in the reign of Prophet Solomon (pbuh), they were sung from the steps of the Temple when it was completed.

According to verse 34:10, the mountain and birds sang in an echoed manner (Arabic: awwibi).

وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا دَاوُودَ مِنَّا فَضْلًا ۖ يَا جِبَالُ أَوِّبِي مَعَهُ وَالطَّيْرَ ۖ وَأَلَنَّا لَهُ الْحَدِيدَ
And We certainly gave David from Us bounty. [We said], “O mountains, repeat / echo [Our] praises with him, and the birds [as well].” And We made pliable for him iron, (34:10)

According to verse 21:79, the mountains and birds praised God in a raised voice (Arabic: yusabbihna) along with David.

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 celebrate Our praise, along with David and [also] the birds. And We were doing [that]. (21:79)

Although the chanting of the Psalms of prophet David was sung to glorify God, this still doesn’t imply any prohibition on any other type of music or singing. Of course, keeping with the spirit of the Quran, one would understandably agree that listening or singing music that is indecent should be considered inappropriate and unacceptable. However, this does not equate to prohibiting all music or singing.

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Muslims Are Allowed To Have Statues and Photos of People in Their Homes

Many Muslims believe that having statues or images of living creatures is forbidden. However, there is no such law in the Quran as long as you don’t worship them.

Worshipping statues is forbidden

In verses 21:51-52, we see proof that specifically worshipping statues is forbidden.

وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا إِبْرَاهِيمَ رُشْدَهُ مِن قَبْلُ وَكُنَّا بِهِ عَالِمِينَ
And We had certainly given Abraham his sound judgement before, and We were of him well-Knowing. (21:51)
إِذْ قَالَ لِأَبِيهِ وَقَوْمِهِ مَا هَٰذِهِ التَّمَاثِيلُ الَّتِي أَنتُمْ لَهَا عَاكِفُونَ
When he said to his father and his people, “What are these statues to which you are devoted?” (21:52)

God allowed prophet Solomon to make statues

The word for statues used in the verse above is “tamatheel” (singular: timthaal). This word is also used in 34:13 which describes prophet Soloman instructing his jinn to make statues, among other things.

يَعْمَلُونَ لَهُ مَا يَشَاءُ مِن مَّحَارِيبَ وَتَمَاثِيلَ وَجِفَانٍ كَالْجَوَابِ وَقُدُورٍ رَّاسِيَاتٍ ۚ اعْمَلُوا آلَ دَاوُودَ شُكْرًا ۚ وَقَلِيلٌ مِّنْ عِبَادِيَ الشَّكُورُ
They made for him what he willed of elevated chambers, statues, bowls like reservoirs, and stationary kettles. [We said], “Work, O family of David, in gratitude.” And few of My servants are grateful. (21:51)

If making or having statues was forbidden, why would a prophet of God (Solomon) allow it as described in the Quran? Since the Quran is from God, then God must allow the making and having of statues.

It should be clear from the two examples above that it isn’t the making or keeping of statues that is forbidden but rather what the statues are used for.

Same religion, different prophets

Some Muslims may argue that having statues was allowed during the time of some prophets but not allowed in others such as the time of prophet Muhammad. This argument is unsupportable since, again, there is no mention in the Quran that statues are forbidden. Furthermore, we know from verse 42:13 that the same religion was inspired in all the prophets.

شَرَعَ لَكُم مِّنَ الدِّينِ مَا وَصَّىٰ بِهِ نُوحًا وَالَّذِي أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ وَمَا وَصَّيْنَا بِهِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ
He has ordained for you of religion what He enjoined upon Noah and that which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what We enjoined upon Abraham and Moses and Jesus … (42:13)

We also know from verse 41:43 that nothing was said to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) that was not said to the Prophets before him.

مَّا يُقَالُ لَكَ إِلَّا مَا قَدْ قِيلَ لِلرُّسُلِ مِن قَبْلِكَ ۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَذُو مَغْفِرَةٍ وَذُو عِقَابٍ أَلِيمٍ
Nothing is said to you, [O Muhammad], except what was already said to the messengers before you. Indeed, your Lord is a possessor of forgiveness and a possessor of painful penalty. (41:43)

Don’t prohibit what is lawful

Additionally, in verse 5:87 we are prohibited from making unlawful something which God has made lawful.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تُحَرِّمُوا طَيِّبَاتِ مَا أَحَلَّ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ وَلَا تَعْتَدُوا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ
O you who have believed, do not prohibit the good things which Allah has made lawful to you and do not transgress. Indeed, Allah does not like transgressors. (5:87)

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Dogs Aren’t Impure. Muslims Are Allowed to Have Pet Dogs.

Many Muslims believe that dogs are impure and cannot be taken as pets. However, there is no such law in the Quran. On the contrary, there is actually much evidence to indicate that dogs can be had.

The cave sleepers and the dog

In chapter 18 (surah kahf) of the Quran, there is a story of the cave sleepers who had a dog with them. They were not out hunting but rather fleeing religious persecution (18:20). They all slept for hundreds of years. Not only did God keep the sleepers safe, He also kept the dog safe allowing it to stretch its paws over that long period of time (18:18). These sleepers were righteous and guided people (18:13). If dogs were forbidden and impure, why did God tell this story of righteous people who had a dog sleep with them?

Hunting dog

In verse 5:4, God says that we can eat what our hunting dogs catch.

يَسْأَلُونَكَ مَاذَا أُحِلَّ لَهُمْ ۖ قُلْ أُحِلَّ لَكُمُ الطَّيِّبَاتُ ۙ وَمَا عَلَّمْتُم مِّنَ الْجَوَارِحِ مُكَلِّبِينَ تُعَلِّمُونَهُنَّ مِمَّا عَلَّمَكُمُ اللَّهُ ۖ فَكُلُوا مِمَّا أَمْسَكْنَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَاذْكُرُوا اسْمَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ ۖ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ
They ask you, [O Muhammad], 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 dogs 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)

The word “hunting dog” in Arabic is “mukallibiin”. Unfortunately, many translators of the Quran translate this word as one of hunting animals, beasts, birds of prey, hunting creatures, falcons, and predatory animals. The word “mukallibiin” clearly comes from the word “kalb” which Arabic speakers all know to mean “dog”. According to the Edward Lanes Lexicon, the word “mukallibiin” means “a dog trained and accustomed to hunting”.

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