Salih Al – Wardani
Other Opinion & The Holy Quran
holy Qruan opens the door wide for the other opinion and never
suppresses such opinions. Suppression stemmed from narrations and
sayings of rulers and theologians. In the following article the Quranic
stance regarding opinion is displayed round two pivots:
of opinion (expression – belief…)
we confirm that the holy Quran preceded all man-made legislations
regarding human rights. The essence of religion does not oppose human
freedom and human right of expression or belief. Those who oppose such
freedom are Muslim individuals rather than Islam religion. If we
contemplate Muslim history we see these texts have no role on the
ground, they have been hidden because regimes could not co-exist with
texts were neglected, men’s sayings dominated, leading to
totalitarianism. Hence the other opinion suffered suppression and
hardships. Such practice at last was reflected on Islam future image. It
also is reflected on the modern ruling power and its stance
Freedom of opinion
first Quranic verses surprise us with the Quranic flexibility and range
of freedom enjoyed by the other side. The holy Quran states:
when your Lord said to the angles, ‘Iam placing an overlord on earth,
‘they said, “Will you place someone there who will corrupt it and
shed blood, while we hymn Your praise and sanctify You?” He said, I
know something you do not know.» (the cow: 30).
above dialogue is between the Almighty and the angels who displayed
their opposing opinion to His decision, while they have no such a right
as they are created to obey Him and submit to Him.
this dialogue the Almighty tolerates their opinions and does not punish
or rebuke them, but answered their inquires with His compassion to His
creature. While today we see the rulers consider their decisions as if
holy texts never
to be opposed or rejected. When the Almighty created Adam (the
father of mankind) He ordered the angles to bow and they did while Satan
holy Quran conveys to us this dialogue:
They bowed down on their knees except for Satan; he was not of the
bowing ones. Said He, ‘What prevents you from bowing down when I did
command you to?’ Said he (Satan), ‘Iam better than he is, You
created me of fire and created him (Adam) of clay’…
he, ‘Let me wait until the day when they are raised up again.’
‘Said He, ‘You are one of those allowed to wait, till a day in known
time.’ Said he, ‘Through You influence, I will seduce them all,
except for those among them who are Your sincere worshippers.’ Said
He, ‘Such is the Truth, the Truth do I speak: I shall fill Hell with
you and of them who follows you.’» (sad: 71 – 85).
is a frank dialogue that took place between the Creator and one of His
creatures . The dialogue exposes the wide range of the right to argue
and have different opinion.
opposing stance mentioned in Quranic context shows the acceptance of the Creator to listen to
other’s opinion and His readiness for conversation. However it is the
duty of the creature to obey his Creator without the need to ask why. In
the dialogue we perceive that man has the right to choose and act
accordingly. Satan is allowed to seduce mankind but he cannot seduce
them all. The believers in the Almighty will never follow or choose evil
the Almighty offered mankind freedom to choose between right and wrong,
He will not punish them for following Satanic behaviors in this world.
The Almighty as well does not offer Satan power to force people on
following him. Adam as well is not offered power to force people to
refrain from devilish acts. It is a rule that all prophets had applied.
The Almighty says, “This is a Reminder , so let any one who so wishes
adopt away unto his Lord.” (The Bundled up: 19).
remind, you need only to remind. You are no task master set up over
them.” (Al – Ghashia) The Pall: 21 – 22.
Truth comes from your Lord. Let any one who wishes to, believe and let
any one who wishes to disbelieve”. (The Cow: 29).
as this approach was adopted by messengers and prophets it should be the
theologians and religious activists’ approach. If this is the actual
stance of the
holy Quran vis - avis the others, why is this oppression and cruel
dealing regarding the opposing opinions? The answer is presented in the
deviation of men away from the Quranic contexts and their adherence to
sayings and words of men. These
saying and narrations have planted seeds of divisions amid the Muslims and justified oppression against opposition thus distorted the
image of Islam.
holy Quran states:
Ibrahim said: ‘My Lord show me how You revive the dead? Said He,
“Why, do you not believe? “Said he, ‘of course (I do), but just to
set my heart at rest.’ Said He, ‘Take four (kinds) of birds and
train them to (follow) you, then place a part of them on every mountain.
Then call them; they will come to you at once. Know that God is
Powerful, Wise.» (The Cow: 260).
kind of Quranic
contexts exposes new dimensions in dialogue and the opposing opinion.
Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.) is dear to Allah the Almighty. He is an apostle,
a prophet; a great believer in the Power of God and His Omnipotence. The
prophet’s demand reveals doubt or suspicion in the Almighty’s Power.
Yet the Almighty carried on the
dialogue with him and answered his demand through an actual experience
of physical return to life.
aim behind this context is not to prove an event related to prophet
Ibrahim, rather to teach people an actual process indicated in dialogue
and broad mind discussion. Ibrahim, (Peace on him) is a prophet and all
prophets believe in the Creator without the least doubt.
contexts show us the ideological and cultural crises suffered by
Muslims, reflected on their activities and visions hence they suffered
rigidity, fanatism and narrow – mindedness. All is because narrations
and sayings of men replaced Quranic contexts. Today we can not find,
among Muslim figures and leaders of groups who raise high the banner or
Islam, one who tolerates this question: Can you prove the amount of your
knowledge regarding affairs of religion?
question is based on recognition of these symbols of religious science;
the question is to show in manner rather than in ability as in the case
of Prophet Ibrahim. We are sure that such a question will be a big
provocation to these symbols who consider it a challenge or doubt of
their ability, hence they refuse answering.
is just an example to show the big gap between the Muslims and the holy
Quran and the extend of their isolation as they stick to narrations and
sayings of men
depicted as people of truth or the sect spared hell, or the group
that enjoys Allah’s bounties throughout passage of ages.
are not here to say which is the saved group among different confronting
Muslim sects. We want to say that visions justified oppression against
Almighty admonishes Adam who tasted the unlawful fruit, «.. Their Lord called out to them: ‘Did I not
forbid you that tree and tell you both that Satan is an open enemy of
yours? ‘They said, ‘Our Lord we have harmed ourselves! If You do not
forgive us and grant us mercy, we’ll be losers.’ Said He, ‘Clear
out! You will become one another’s enemy, Yet you may have a residence
on earth and enjoyment for a while..» (The Heights: 22 – 24).
caused Adam to disobey the Creator when he made him eat from the
forbidden tree. Yet the Almighty Allah listened to Adam and accepted his
repentance , Allah did not punish Adam nor did He punish Satan. This
means that Allah created Adam for good and created Satan for evil. Both
were free in choice. Satan practiced freedom leading Adam to temptation.
Adam practiced his freedom and accepted the temptation and disobeyed
Allah. The difference between Adam and Satan is that Adam had the will
to seek pardon and repent while Satan swore to go on the way of
Adam and Satan were free. The Almighty recognized that freedom.
Allah has offered Adam and Satan the right to disagree is not
it more proper for Muslims to offer others the right to disagree?
the Almighty has identified evil presented in Satan and his followers
and good presented in Adam and his follows, is it not more proper for
Muslims to recognize the others in any sect or belief?
question here: Who is more guilty, the one who disobeys Allah or the one
who disobeys the Muslims?
answer will be the one who disobeys Allah…
Allah does not punish those who disobey Him, or the infidels in this
life. They are postponed until the other day (day of judgement). Is not
it more proper for Muslims to leave the dissidents go their own way and
Allah will call them to account?
and theologians have no right to produce Islamic verdicts sentencing the
intellectual and the other’s opinion, for criminal acts. Through such
verdicts they transgress Allah authority and contradict His Book giving
mankind the freedom of belief.
holy Quran presents first hand evidence of that which confirms freedom
of belief. Such contexts speak about those who opposed the Almighty
Allah and His messengers. They are all left alone in this world, they
are not judged in their life on this earth. Throughout their life they
enjoy freedom of belief. They can believe or disbelieve in Him.
Quranic verses in this regard are quite clear:
God were to take mankind to task for their wrong doing, He would not
leave even an animal around, but He puts them off till an appointed
deadline. Once their deadline comes, they will not postpone it an hour
nor may they advance it.”
(The Bees: 61)
My mercy embraces every thing…” (The Heights: 156).
view of these two contexts no room is left for extremities theories and
hostile policies towards dissidents and opposing opinion. Moderation and
mercy are the foundations in facing the others, rather than oppression,
weapon and confiscation.
Jews openly opposed the Almighty Allah and accused Him often. The holy
Jews said, ‘God’s hand is shackled,’ May their own hands be
shackled and themselves cursed because of what they have said! Rather
both His hands are outstretched...»
(The Taha: 64).
has heard the statement of those who say: ‘God is poor and we are
rich’… (Al- Imran: 181).
They asked Moses for something even greater than that, and said: show us
God openly.” (Women: 153).
the Christian said lot of things about Allah.
who say that God is Christ the son of Mary have disbelieved…”
who say: ‘God is the third of three,’ have disbelieved.
is no deity except God Alone…» (Table: 73).
have adopted their Rabbis and monks as lords in stead of Allah, plus
Christ the son of Mary…» (Repentance: 31).
Jews say, ‘Ezra is son of God,’ while the Christian say, ‘Christ
is the son of God.’..» (Table: 30).
say, ‘The Mercy - giver has got a son.’ You have brought up
something monostrus. The heavens almost burst a part from it, while the
earth splits open and the mountains fall down with a crash.» (Maryam:
88 – 90).
of all this infidelity the only way was to refute their claims and
eliminate their lies. This is the decision made to face them.
wishes the Muslims could have such a stance vis avis the opposing trends
throughout their history.
the holy Quran has such a stance visavis the Jews and the Christian, how
can the Muslims have such a most severe and oppressive stance, visavis
other Muslims of different opinions?
holy Quran refers to the hypocrites who make a show of belief but
secretly oppose Allah, His messenger and His religion. The Quranic
stance is quite moderate and tolerant. The Almighty says:
the hypocrites and those in whose hearts (there lurks) malice say:
‘Their religion has lured these people on.’ Any one who relies on
God will find that God is Powerful, Wise”
you question them, they will say, ‘We have only been toying (with
words) and playing around.’ Say: Have you been joking about God and
His signs and His messenger?» (Repentance: 65).
it is said to them, ‘Believe just as other people believe,’ they
say: ‘Are we to believe just as simpletons believe?’ Surely they are
the foals though they do not realize it.» (The Cow: 13).
swear by God that they said nothing while they did pronounce the word of
disbelieve; they disbelieved after their commitment to (live in)
peace…» (Repentance: 74).
hypocrites demonstrated an ideological stance. They rejected religion
and the messenger though they pretended to be believers hence they were
more dangerous than those who opposed religion openly. Yet the holy
Quran does not suggest punishing them or eliminating them from society.
The prophet is ordered to argue with them and be careful of their plots.
the holy Quran tolerates the hypocrites with their anti – Islam stance
and confirms dialogue and reasoning in order to guide them along the
right road, what is the Muslim’s stance regarding their dissidents? No
doubt the Quranic stance is more flexible and tolerant. The contexts
approve reasoning and thinking. Similarly the prophet (pbuh) had the
same stance and refused to kill the hypocrites when some of his
companions suggested that. He (pbuh) said, ‘I do not want people say
that I kill my companions.’ Such a stance embodies a basic rule in
facing the opposing opinions. This means that punishment is linked with
the actual offence rather than with the opinions or ideas.
a stance confirms freedom of opinion and the right to choose. Such a
right is granted to Adam and all mankind by Allah the Almighty. Neither
the prophet (Pbuh) nor others can confiscate this right.
the infidels are mentioned in the holy Quran, they are treated
same as the hypocrites. The holy Quran says, “Whenever they perform
any obscene act they say: ‘We found our forefathers perform it and God
has ordered us to do so’. Say: God does not order any (sexual)
misconduct. Do you say something you do not know about God?» (Heights:
said: Councilmen, I have not known any god for you except my self. Light
(a kiln) for me, Haman for some clay and build me a tower so I may climb
up to Moses’s god. Still I think he is a liar.» (Stories: 38).
the Quranic verses (Hight: 28) the Almighty refutes the infidels’
claim regarding performance of indecency.
Almighty does not order people to perform indecency but orders people to
play fair and avoid misconduct.
the other verse Pharaoh is the authority with soldiers while prophet
Moses has nothing except his stuff and a proof to his prophethood. Such
a situation motivates Pharaoh to illusory thus he degrades Moses and
imposes himself as a deity without facing any opposition by the people
who worshipped him.
aim was not to destroy Pharaoh rather to save and liberate the Israelis.
The holy Quran says:
to Pharaoh; he has been very arrogant,…» (Taha: 24).
Haroun helped Moses in this mission, they were ordered to address
Pharaoh softly and remind him. The holy Quran says, “Speak a soft word
to him so that he may be reminded or even feel afraid. They said: ‘Our
Lord we fear lest he crack down on us or that he should act arrogant.
He; ‘Don not fear; I am with you both, I hear and see.» (Taha: 44 –
way, Pharaoh exceeded his hostility towards God and His messengers. He
strived to kill the believers and defame Moses’s mission, eventually
the Almighty interfered and saved Moses and his followers by a miracle.
Almighty Allah did not fight Pharaoh for his infidelity but for his
excessive revenge against the believers; it was because of his crime
rather than his infidelity.
who opposed the prophets and the messengers of Allah are mentioned in
many verses. The holy Quran says:
they are told: ‘Bow down on your knees before the Mercy-giver,’ they
say: ‘What is the Mercy-giver? Are we to bow down on our knees because
you order us?’ It merely increases their disdain.» (Al – Furqan:
no messenger ever came to those who preceded them but they said: (He is)
a magician or a madmam.” (Al – Dhariat: 52).
people of prophet Hud said to him:
we only say: Some of our gods have stricken you with evil.”
people of prophet Noah said to him:
chiefs of his folk who disbelieved said, ‘This is only a human being
like yourselves; he wants to attain some superiority over you. Had God
wished, He would have sent down angels (instead). We never heard about
this from our early forefathers.’» (The Believers: 24).
people of Salih Said:
said: Salih you have been a source of expectation among us until now. Do
you prohibit us from serving what our fathers worshipped? We feel
suspicious doubt about what you are appealing for us to do.” (Hud:
people of Shuayb Said:
said: Shuayb, we do not understand most of what you say. We do see you
are weak compared to us, and were it not for your immediate family
we’d expel you. You are not so dear to us.” (Hud: 91).
people of Lot said
people’s answer was a mere saying: Run Lot’s family out of your
town, they are people who try to keep clean.” (The Ants: 56).
people of prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) said
disbelievers said: This is only some swindle he has invented, other
folks have helped him at it…”
say: These are legends of primitive men, written down..” (Al –
Furqan: 4 – 5).
disbelievers said: This is some lying magician!
he made (all) the gods into One God? This is such an amazing thing!»
(Sad: 4 – 5).
we have died and became dust and bones, will we be raised up again?
Along with our forefathers?” (Al – Saffat: 16 – 17).
Almighty addresses prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) in this Quranic verse:
well know how anything they say saddens you.
they are not rejecting merely you, but the wrong doers even repudiate
God’s signs”. (Al – Anaam: 33)
there are many other verses in the holy Quran. It is a clear evidence
that there should be dialogue, argument and freedom of opposition.
the other hand, these verses show us that those people who opposed and
oppressed their prophets were not oppressed because of their disbelieve
but they suffered the wrath of God because they initiated physical
assaults against the missions of the messengers.
Opinion in the Holy Quran
as the holy Quran demonstrates in these verses the right to disagree and
freedom of opinion even against the Almighty and His messenger the holy
Quran exposes the infidels’ right to oppose the Divine words. The
say: It is rather a jumble of dreams! In fact he has made it all up.
Indeed he is a poet! Let him bring us a sign such as the first men were
sent with.» (The Prophets: 5).
the Book, He has revealed to you that whenever you hear God’s signs
disbelieved in and ridiculed you should not sit with them until they
change to some other topic; you would be just like them (if you sat)…»
does not forbid you to act considerately towards those who have never
fought you over religion, nor evicted you from your homes, nor (forbids
you) to act fairly towards them. God loves the fair-minded. God only
forbids you to be friendly with the ones who have fought you over (your)
religion and evicted you from your homes, and have abetted others in
your eviction. Those who befriends them are wrong doers.» (Al –
Mummtahina: 8 – 9).
devils did not descend with it; it does not suit them to, nor can they
manage it; they are too withdrawn to even hear it.” (The Poets: 210
holy Quran explicitly indicates the right of any individual to decide
his (her) choice of belief, hence the Muslims should adopt the Quranic
attitude vis –avis the opposing side. It is the attitude of moderation
and tolerance based on freedom granted to mankind by the Almighty Allah.
Such Quranic attitude necessitates Muslims’ commitment to
Islamic morals and ethics in dealing with their dissidents as long as
they do not fight them or demonstrate hostility towards them.
regard to the Quranic verses, light should be focused on the issue of
abrogated verses and the the abrogating ones, since the single –
related narrations are the weapons of the Sunni preceding theologians as
well as this era’s theologians in regard of these contexts.
theologians raise up the weapon of abrogation to repeal these contexts
and prevent their effect on behalf of the dominating trend in general.
The concept of the abrogated verses and the abrogating ones is quite
different and contradicts the holy Quran as well as the intellect of
could be linked to the era of revelation during the prophets’ life.
adopt this concept while the holy Quran is already complete and religion
is perfect, may lead to negligence of numerous Quranic verses,
eventually leading to abuse of freedom of opinion, thus to the
domination of fanatism and hostility. The previously mentioned verses
might be considered invalid on pretext of being abrogated, just to give
room to the sword (weapon) to have a role.
supporters of abrogation have gone beyond the limits when they accepted
abrogation of Quranic verses through single – related narrations, thus
they have firmly closed the door in the face of the other side and
deprived him (her) of the right to choose, either to suffer or retreat.
holy Quran gives us evidence to this wrong concept that it should not be
applied in matters of opinion.
holy Quran states:
are mortal and they are mortal; still on Resurrection Day you (all) will
argue it out before your Lord.” (Al – Zumir: 30 – 31).
Quranic verse gives us an absolute evidence that the dispute about
religion will continue between those who believe and those who
disbelieve or those who are hostile to Allah, the messenger and
religion. The verse tells us that the matter will be settled in presence
of Allah the Almighty on the Day of Judgement. In other word, it means
the continuation of dispute in this life entails no punishment or it
should not be rejected. Thus the issue of legalizing dialogue and
argument with the opponents of religions is still valid rather than
the Almighty has granted man the right to choose and the right of will
in this worldly life, it is unfair and an act of injustice to deprive
him of such rights.
are many Quranic verses that expose opinions of Jews, Christians,
hypocrites and infidels though such opinions degrade the Almighty, His
messenger and the holy Quran. Those people have been granted the freedom
to say what they think of believe in.
On the other hand, there are many Quranic verses that refute their claims. These verses give Muslims good lessons to learn to deal with the opposing others.
book: The Word & the Sword,
by the Arab Civilization
center – Cairo
the Name of Allah The Compassionate the Merciful