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The Suicide Bomber Prophet

This article is part 3 of LoonWatch’s Understanding Jihad Series. Please read my “disclaimer”, which explains my intentions behind writing this article: The Understanding Jihad Series: Is Islam More Likely Than Other Religions to Encourage Violence?

As we noted in an earlier article:

A recent Pew Research poll found that almost half of U.S. adults think that the Islamic religion is more likely to encourage violence than other religions, a figure that has almost doubled since 2002.  A clear majority of conservative Republicans (66%), white Evangelicals (60%), and Tea Baggers (67%) believe Islam is more violent than other religions, with a plurality of whites (44%) and older folks (42-46%) also thinking this.  (Of note is that blacks, Hispanics, and liberal Democrats are significantly less bigoted towards Islam.)  The idea that Islam is more violent than other religions–held most strongly by old white conservatives–is a key pillar to the edifice of Islamophobia.

Prof. Philip Jenkins writes:

In the minds of ordinary Christians – and Jews – the Koran teaches savagery and warfare, while the Bible offers a message of love, forgiveness, and charity.

Worse, the Quran is said to be a book of terrorism.  It was in this vein that Bill O’Reilly invoked an analogy between the Quran and terrorism and Mein Kampf and Nazism.  It must be the Quran that compels these Islamic radicals to engage in suicide bombing and terrorism.

Prof. Jenkins responds:

In fact, the Bible overflows with “texts of terror,” to borrow a phrase coined by the American theologian Phyllis Trible. The Bible contains far more verses praising or urging bloodshed than does the Koran, and biblical violence is often far more extreme, and marked by more indiscriminate savagery.

In part 1 of LoonWatch’s Understanding Jihad Series, we traced the violence of the Bible to the Jewish prophet Moses, who submitted heathen nations to what can only be described as genocide.  In part 2, we moved on to Moses’ divinely ordained successor, Joshua, who was arguably the most violent prophet in history.  But the holy killing did not stop there.

The Warrior Tribe

After the death of Joshua, the Israelites wondered who would carry on the God-sanctioned genocide and conquest of the promised land. They did not have to wait long for the answer. God passed down the sword of the faith to the tribe of Judah:

Judges 1:1 After the death of Joshua, the Israelites asked the LORD, “Who will be the first to go up and fight for us against the Canaanites?”

1:2 The LORD answered, “Judah, for I have given them victory over the land.”

Judah heeded this call and continued the holy genocide against the unbelievers, culminating in the brutal conquest of Jerusalem:

1:8 The men of Judah attacked Jerusalem also and took it. They put the city to the sword and set it on fire.

From there, the tribe of Judah vanquished the hill country, the Negev, the western foothills (1:9), Hebron, the Sheshai, Ahiman, Talmai (1:10), and Debir (1:11).  They destroyed Zephath:

1:17 [Judah] attacked the Canaanites living in Zephath, and they utterly destroyed the city. Therefore it was called Hormah [Hormah means Destruction.]

Gaza, Ashkelon, and Ekron (1:18) fell to the Israelite nation, for “the Lord was with the men of Judah.” (1:19)

Judge, Jury, and Executioner

After the massacre of most of the inhabitants of Canaan, the God of the Bible was concerned with ensuring that Israel remain warlike:

3:1 These are the nations the Lord left to test all those Israelites who had not experienced any of the wars in Canaan

3:2 It was only in order that the generations of the people of Israel might know war, to teach war to those who had not known it before.

The sword was then wielded by the judges of Israel, first with Othniel, then Ehud, then Shamgar, then Barak, then Gideon, then Jephthah, and then Samson. Each of these judges of God was involved in religiously motivated massacres. The Bible recounts the hundreds of thousands of people they collectively slaughtered. From the first Israelite judge:

3:10 The Spirit of the Lord came upon him, so that he became Israel’s judge and went to war.

To the last of them:

1 Samuel 7:11 The men of Israel chased the Philistines from Mizpah to a place below Beth-car, slaughtering them all along the way.

Samson the Suicide Bomber Glorified in the Bible

One of the Israelite judges is worthy of special mention: the Jewish prophet Samson.  According to the Bible, Samson was responsible for killing thousands of Philistines (the indigenous population of southern Canaan).  Eventually, the Philistines successfully used a ruse to capture Samson, who was then taken to a temple where he was to be given as a sacrifice to one of the Philistine gods.  Instead, Samson leaned against the pillars of the temple, and brought the temple down, killing himself along with 3,000 men and women:

Judges 16:26 Samson said to the young man who held him by the hand, “Let me feel the pillars on which the house rests, that I may lean against them.”

16:27 Now the house was full of men and women. All the lords of the Philistines were there, and on the roof there were about 3,000 men and women, who looked on while Samson entertained.

16:28 Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “O Sovereign Lord, remember me. O God, please strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.”

16:29 Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other,

16:30 Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.

Today, Samson is glorified as a hero by Israelis.  Far from being a dead letter, Samson’s deed has become part of Israel’s state policy.  The Samson Option is a doctrine adopted by the state of Israel, which states that should Israel’s existence ever be threatened, it will release a nuclear holocaust upon its enemies and other targets as well.  As Israeli military historian Prof. Martin van Creveld famously put it (as reproduced on p.119 of David Hirst’s The Gun and The Olive Branch):

We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them as targets in all directions…We have the capability to take the world down with us.  And I can assure you that that will happen, before Israel goes under.

Unfortunately, the temple Samson destroyed has now become entire countries or even the entire world.

David: Giant Slayer and Baby Killer

The militant sword of Israel was then passed from the judges to holy kings. The first king of the United Kingdom of Israel was Saul. His story is especially interesting, and one which we will return to. We will however focus now on David, who at that time was Saul’s appointed generalissimo. The Israelite ladies fawned over David, not only because he killed the Philistine Goliath but also because he massacred “tens of thousands”:

1 Samuel 18:6 When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs and with tambourines and lutes.

18:7 As they danced, they sang: “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.”

It should be noted that by the end of David’s death, he ended up killing not tens of thousands, but hundreds of thousands. In any case, King Saul became jealous over the fact that David was credited with more kills than he was:

18:8 Saul was very angry; this refrain galled him. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?”

18:9 And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David.

But then the king’s daughter fell in love with David. It seems that David was interested in this proposal but thought he was too poor to offer an adequate dowry:

18:23 David said, “Do you think it is a small matter to become the king’s son-in-law? I’m only a poor man and little known.”

King Saul reassured David that he accepted American Express penile foreskins:

18:25 Saul replied, “Say to David, ‘The king wants no other price for the bride than a hundred Philistine foreskins, to take revenge on his enemies.’”

David was unfazed by this interesting request and brought back double the number of requested foreskins:

18:27 David and his men went out and killed two hundred Philistines. He brought their foreskins and presented the full number to the king so that he might become the king’s son-in-law. Then Saul gave him his daughter Michal in marriage.

However, King Saul’s jealousy continued to grow and he unsuccessfully tried to kill his son-in-law. David found refuge in Ziklag (Philistine territory!) and raided other cities to stay financially afloat. Typical Biblical cruelty was added to these ghazwas raids:

27:8 Now David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites, the Girzites and the Amalekites…

27:9 Whenever David attacked an area, he did not leave a man or woman alive, but took sheep and cattle, donkeys and camels, and clothes. Then he returned to Achish.

27:10 When Achish asked, “Where did you go raiding today?” David would say, “Against the Negev of Judah” or “Against the Negev of Jerahmeel” or “Against the Negev of the Kenites.”

27:11 He did not leave a man or woman alive to be brought to Gath, for he thought, “They might inform on us and say, ‘This is what David did.’” And such was his practice as long as he lived in Philistine territory.

David massacred the Amalekites—men, women, and children:

30:17 David and his men rushed in among them and slaughtered them throughout that night and the entire next day until evening. None of the Amalekites escaped except 400 young men who fled on camels.

Eventually David became king of Israel and continued his string of conquests, subjugating heathens to Israelite rule:

2 Samuel 12:31 He also made slaves of the people of Rabbah and forced them to labor with saws, iron picks, and iron axes, and to work in the brick kilns. That is how he dealt with the people of all the Ammonite towns.

It should be noted that David’s slaughter of the Philistines was sanctioned by God:

1 Samuel 23:2 David inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I go and smite these Philistines?” And the LORD said unto David, “Go, and smite the Philistines…!”

God promised David:

23:4 “I am going to give the Philistines into your hand.”

As well as:

2 Samuel 5:19 So David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go and attack the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?” The Lord answered him, “Yes, go! For I will surely hand the Philistines over to you.”

And David did what God commanded him to do:

5:25 And David did so, as the Lord had commanded him, and smote the Philistines.

Although we will discuss the genocide of Amalekites in a later article, it is safe to say that virtually every Biblical authority agrees that this was God-ordained as well. In fact, God approved of everything David did—all of his many killings—except for “in the case of Uriah the Hittite”:

1 Kings 15:5 David had done what was right in the eyes of the Lord and had not failed to keep any of the Lord’s commands all the days of his life—except in the case of Uriah the Hittite.

Uriah was one of King David’s soldiers. David had an affair with Uriah’s wife and had Uriah killed, an act which earned God’s displeasure. God forgave David, but it was the one killing that God did not approve of.  The Geneva Study Bible commentary assures us that David “enterprised no war, but by God’s command.”

In fact, Jews and Christians today revere David’s “obedience to God” and even argue to become “more like David”.  Jewish and Christian children read about David in Sunday school.

Addendum I:

Muhammad’s wars will be discussed in a future part of this series.  But suffice to say, we have now set the groundwork to prove that several Jewish prophets–including Moses, Joshua, Samson, and David–were far more violent and warlike than Muhammad.

The major difference between Muhammad and the others was with regard to targeting and killing civilians.  Samson killed 3,000 men and women in his suicide bomb attack, and David “did not leave a man or woman alive.” (1 Samuel 18:11) This stands in marked contrast with Muhammad who repeatedly “forbade the killing of women and children.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol.4, Book 52, #258)

Regardless of issues surrounding historicity,what is quite clear is that the Bible glorifies genocide and the killing of civilians, whereas the Quran does not.  Unlike the Bible, no single verse in the Quran talks about killing women, children, and babies.

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  • Michael Elwood

    @JustBob

    “Could anyone be so kind as to tell me what the medieval commentators wrote of The Flood and Noah’s Ark?”

    Uh, what the hell does the flood and Noah’s Ark have to do with Danio’s article? When you couldn’t quibble with his article, you tried to change the subject to Lot’s daughters. When you couldn’t defend your interpretation of the Quran regarding Lot’s daughters, you try to change the subject to the flood and Noah’s Ark?

    “I seem to have read that Tabari believed the entire world was flooded based on what is said in the Koran, but Muslims today tend to interpret the Koran that the The Flood was a regional catastrophe.”

    “Clearly, if Jack is correct, medieval commentators will agree with modern ones regarding Noah and the flood.”

    Now I see what Muhammad was talking about. Critics of Islam seem to be following some type of script. One of them subjected me to the same “Noah and the flood” polemic in the past:

    http://www.amazon.com/tag/islam/forum/ref=cm_cd_search_res_rm?_encoding=UTF8&cdMsgNo=197&cdPage=8&cdSort=oldest&cdThread=Tx1I0QYWRM7ITLV&cdMsgID=Mx53FNWTP5W84B#Mx53FNWTP5W84B

  • JustBob

    Could anyone be so kind as to tell me what the medieval commentators wrote of The Flood and Noah’s Ark?

    I seem to have read that Tabari believed the entire world was flooded based on what is said in the Koran, but Muslims today tend to interpret the Koran that the The Flood was a regional catastrophe.

    Clearly, if Jack is correct, medieval commentators will agree with modern ones regarding Noah and the flood.

  • “Also, I’m used to debating Muslims (Ahmadi) who reject the traditionalist understanding of the Koran(that)Dawood and Cynic rely on and actually use it against Christians and Jews (the Koran is superior because Muslims do not need theologians/priests to interpret their holy book for them – the Koran is ‘clear’ and ‘complete’).”

    Ya Allah!! Surprise surprise, the Jahil is now misrepresenting the Ahmadiyya. Not only that, he extends his false understanding to make it seem that the Ahmadiyya reject use of Tafsir and Hadith as a method of interpreting Qur’an.

    I have 5 physical Qur’ans, besides the 20 or so on my computer(i gave one away to an Atheist classmate who said he loved the Qur’an). 3 translated by Abdullah Yusuf Ali(One in English translation only. Two with English translation, transliteration and Arabic text side by side, for recitation purposes). 1 translated by Maulana Wahiduddin Khan,an Indian Muslim, which is just English text. And lastly, my first Qur’an with English translation, Arabic text, and *tafsir* as footnotes by Maulana Muhammad Ali, an Ahmadi Muslim. He makes extensive use of Hadith, other mufassir, premodern and modern, and Islamic and Arabic Dictionaries, so this idea that Ahmadiyya disregard hadith and tafsir when seeking to understand Qur’an is false. And Maulani Muhammad Ali is not only respected by myself, but in the Ahmadi Muslim community as well. I highly doubt that jahilBob knows any Muslims in person, so these Ahmadiyya he refers to are probalbly just trolls projecting an Ahmadi identity.

    Allahu A’lam
    —————

    “This sacred knowledge shall be borne by reliable authorities from each generation, who will preserve it from the distortions of extremists, the plans of the corrupt and the false explanations of the ignorant.” (Narrated mursal by Al-Bayhaqi in Kitab al-Madkhal on the authority of Ibrahim bin ‘Abd al-Rahman al-’Udhri.)

  • “Jack, disagree with you that Ahmadi views are not normal. They sounded very normal to me.”

    Of course they did, 90% of their stuff is ‘normal’, however they go against most Muslims in that 10% in a huge way, number one being they demand that the Mehadi has already come. One of the tow Ahmadi sects also claims that Mohamed wasn’t the last Prophet and that their founder was a Prophet, this again is an issue.

    “How are you able to interpret the Koran if two scholars of similar credentials both disagree with each other?

    What if at one point there was a consensus on the meaning of a certain verse but the interpretation changed?”

    It doesn’t happen, all that Scholars disagree with is the way they get their ideas from, this is in effect the whole basis of the 4 Schools. As the Qu’ran states, it is easy to understand and that’s why they get to the same place with it.

    “Don’t you see the problem with believing the word of man more than what Allah clearly writes in the Koran?”

    I don’t believe what man says more becuase man simply agrees with what is written and explains it. You deliberately misunderstand the whole concept.

    “But at least we agree that a tafsir must make sense before that interpretation should be believed. Blindly accepting what someone thinks without critically evaluating the verse for yourself seems like a dangerous road to follow.”

    Correct, and that is what Muslims do, as I said you never take the word of a person just because they say it.

    None of what you state is really relevant, all you are doing is trying to make it seem as if your false view of a certain verse is correct. Clearly it is not, just accept that and we can move on.

  • Mosizzle

    “But at least we agree that a tafsir must make sense before that interpretation should be believed. Blindly accepting what someone thinks without critically evaluating the verse for yourself seems like a dangerous road to follow.”

    That’s what I did. But you mocked me. For you it’s easier to dismiss the word of God as a “mythical tale” but that to me seems less logical than actually interpreting the verse in question.

    “Jack, disagree with you that Ahmadi views are not normal. They sounded very normal to me.”

    No one was saying that their views are abnormal, just that they have rejected traditional/normal understanding of the Quran. And if that is where you’re getting your idea that Tafsir, Hadith are irrelevant when discussing the Quran then understand that I and most others here are not Ahmadi so there’s no point whining about that.

    As for your rant about contradictions etc, then please inform me of a Tafsir where the scholar believes that Lot handed his daughters over to be raped. There are Christian commentaries that say this though, as I mentioned above on this thread.

  • JustBob

    Jack, disagree with you that Ahmadi views are not normal. They sounded very normal to me.

    How are you able to interpret the Koran if two scholars of similar credentials both disagree with each other?

    What if at one point there was a consensus on the meaning of a certain verse but the interpretation changed?

    Don’t you see the problem with believing the word of man more than what Allah clearly writes in the Koran?

    But at least we agree that a tafsir must make sense before that interpretation should be believed. Blindly accepting what someone thinks without critically evaluating the verse for yourself seems like a dangerous road to follow.

  • *sigh* why am I doing this… I suspect my lack of effort and caring will show in my response but whatever, it’s 5:40AM and I’m not going to get to sleep so may as well. What I really should do is write a bit about interpreting the Qu’ran etc, expect a) you wouldn’t read it and b) someone already has. Thus no point. Anyway…

    “Jack, that pretty much summed my feelings of this verse up as well.”

    If you read it carefully, it’s actually not a good thing, in my opinion it is saying how foolish you are.

    “Muslims must explain what they do when scholars contradict each other on certain passages.”

    You judge the scholar based on their credentials. E.g. bob = no credentials, thus ignored.

    “Also, I’m used to debating Muslims (Ahmadi) who reject the traditionalist understanding of the Koran Dawood and Cynic rely on and actually use it against Christians and Jews (the Koran is superior because Muslims do not need theologians/priests to interpret their holy book for them – the Koran is ‘clear’ and ‘complete’).”

    I doubt you debate them but anyway… one of the reasons the view held by Ahmadi are classed as rejected is precisely that, they ignore normal teachings.

    “Strangely, I never heard anyone call the Muslim a ‘Christianophobe’ for this line of argumentation, yet anyone who interprets the Koran without scholarly guidance is an Islamophobe.”

    The phrase ‘Islamaphobe’ isn’t about that but you know that already. While interpreting the Qu’ran without ‘scholarly guidance’ normally doesn’t lead to someone being a prat but it can, then you get ‘Islamaphobia’. Put simply, very rarely does someone read the Qu’ran and end up with a reading like Bin Ladan. Such people that do are either doing it on purpose or somehow lacking.

    “The mind boggles!”

    Wonder why.

  • JustBob

    Jack, that pretty much summed my feelings of this verse up as well.

    Muslims must explain what they do when scholars contradict each other on certain passages.

    Also, I’m used to debating Muslims (Ahmadi) who reject the traditionalist understanding of the Koran Dawood and Cynic rely on and actually use it against Christians and Jews (the Koran is superior because Muslims do not need theologians/priests to interpret their holy book for them – the Koran is ‘clear’ and ‘complete’).

    Strangely, I never heard anyone call the Muslim a ‘Christianophobe’ for this line of argumentation, yet anyone who interprets the Koran without scholarly guidance is an Islamophobe.

    The mind boggles!

  • Ugur Mustafa

    As-salamu alaykum,

    Among the homosexual mob who attacked the Prophet Lot (peace be on him) there may have been unmarried young men and so Lot may have primarily meant that he will be happy to marry his several daughters to several yet unmarried men from the town. It is then inferred from this proposal that all of the homosexual townsmen must quit their wicked ways and try to satisfy themselves with women instead of men.

    Oh, if he offered his own daughters his offer was obviously that each of the daughters would marry one townsmen. So, as a natural consequence the other townsmen would have to follow suit and turn to women instead of men. To interpret his offer as an offer of a sexual treat, one needs either to be either a desperate, fantasizing Biblical scribe of bad morals who altered the Biblical text that he was writing or else to be an unfortunate follower of such a scribe. How sad for them.

  • Michael Elwood

    I agree with Jack (minus the atheist dogma that we touched on in a previous thread, of course). I think Lot is referring to his daughters in particular and not daughters in general. I think the reason contemporary Muslims prefer the traditional interpretation is for theological, not linguistic reasons. Sunni and Shia developed a belief over time that the prophets were sinless. Even though the Quran relates the foibles of the prophets (like Moses murdering the Egyptian, for example). Muhammad’s foibles are also sprinkled throughout the Quran. Muhammad and the previous prophets said concerning their humanity:

    41:6 Say, “I am no more than a human being like you. I am inspired that your god is One god, therefore you shall be upright towards Him and seek His forgiveness. Woe to those who set up partners.”

    18:110 Say, “I am but a human being like you, being inspired that your god is One god. So whoever looks forward to meeting his Lord, then let him do good works and not set up any partner in the service of his Lord.”

    14:11 Their messengers said, “We are but humans like you, but God will bestow His grace upon whom He pleases from His servants. It is not up to us to bring you an authorization except by God’s leave. In God those who acknowledge should place their trust”

    Ironically, the disbelievers tried to use their humanity and their foibles against them (by comparing the fallible prophets of history to the infallible beings of mythology like Jesus, Buddha, various secular “heroes”, etc):

    11:27 The leaders who rejected from amongst his people said, “We do not see you except as a human like us, and we see that only the lowest amongst our people with shallow opinion have followed you. We do not see anything that makes you better than us; in fact, we think you are liars.”

    23:24 But the leaders who rejected from among his people said, “What is this but a human like you? He wants to make himself better than you! If it was indeed God’s will, He would have sent down angels. We did not hear such a thing among our fathers of old.”

    23:33 The leaders from amongst his people who rejected and denied the meeting of the Hereafter; and We indulged them in this worldly life; said, “What is this but a human like you? He eats from what you eat and he drinks from what you drink.”

    Needless to say, the Jesus, Buddha and secular heroes of history don’t measure up to the Jesus, Buddha and secular heroes of mythology either.

    “So, you’re saying that when a drunk enters a bar and demands a glass of beer or whiskey, and the bartender says to him: ‘Sir, you’ve really had enough to drink. Can I offer you something else instead? A glass of tonic, perhaps? Fresh orange juice?’ And the drunk replies: ‘Surely, you know that I have no need of your fizzes and juices, and indeed you know damn well what I want!’, the bartender is insincere in his offer?”

    That’s a poor analogy, Jack. Lot’s offer was insincere, first, because both knew that they preferred men, second, because Lot’s daughters were engaged (making them off limits to them). Hence, their response:

    “you know that we have no right to your daughters/’alimta ma lana fi banatika min haqqin”.

    As I pointed out to Rambo in my post yesterday (which will remain in moderation for God knows how long), the word haqqin usually means right or justification (see 3:21).

    “I’would take ‘You know well what we want, namely X’ not to be an evaluative statement of Lot’s state of knowledge, but a prescriptive act, as in: ‘Don’t beat around the bush, old man. Just give us what we came for’, in other words, not just a decline of the offer, but a bid to stop the bartering.

    I think a more apt parallel would be the comedian Henny Youngman’s famous one-liner, “take my wife, please”! Nobody thought Henny was sincere.

  • Anti-atheist

    No. The analogy is not correct i would say. For the bartender was instead yet offering what the drunk person did NOT have.

    While in the case of Lot(as), the mob already had women and wives. They would least be bothered with Lot(as)’s. But Lot(as) by way of mentioning his daughters is directing them to go to the women which is pure for them and to fear God( for absolute morality requires God).

    All of this is concerned only if there is some rational logic that a line should be favourable from every possible interpretative angle. I dont think there is. Its a purely speculative polemic. And jihadbob swimming in it is because of the disease mentioned in Quran 3:7.

  • Jack

    By the way, I really ought to commend Dawood again for his elucidating and informative comments. You certainly know your stuff.

    I’d like to urge you to copy your responses to word files in a folder on your desktop, and format the material into a booklet on Islamic theology.

    In a few years from now, when coming across the same questions for the fifth time, you’d wished you’d saved everything.

  • Jack

    So, you’re saying that when a drunk enters a bar and demands a glass of beer or whiskey, and the bartender says to him: ‘Sir, you’ve really had enough to drink. Can I offer you something else instead? A glass of tonic, perhaps? Fresh orange juice?’ And the drunk replies: ‘Surely, you know that I have no need of your fizzes and juices, and indeed you know damn well what I want!’, the bartender is insincere in his offer?

    I’would take ‘You know well what we want, namely X’ not to be an evaluative statement of Lot’s state of knowledge, but a prescriptive act, as in: ‘Don’t beat around the bush, old man. Just give us what we came for’, in other words, not just a decline of the offer, but a bid to stop the bartering.

  • Anti-atheist

    The tafsirs help to know how the verse was interpreted/understood for 1400yrs by muslim scholarship.

    Now the verse could either mean his personal daughters or daughters of his nation. I dont think theres absolute proof for either opinion within the Quran itself. Islamic scholarship from Prophets(pbuh) companions onwards cite the latter opinion. Thats enough proof for muslims. But i dont see much of a case even if the other opinion is supposed.

    For the context shows it was about making them understand in his desperation & frustration; rather than just throwing away his daughter to a gay mob, as jihad bob unconsciously self projects himself.

    Quran 11:
    (77. And when Our messengers came to Lut, he was GRIEVED on account of them and was CONCERNED for them. He said: “This is a DISTRESSFUL day.”) (78. And his people came rushing towards him, and since aforetime they used to commit crimes, he said: “O my people! Here are my daughters, they are purer for you. So have Taqwa of Allah and disgrace me not with regard to my guests! IS THERE NOT AMONG YOU A SINGLE RIGHT-MINDED MAN”)

    The mob themselves are aware that Lot(as) very well knows that they don’t want his daughters.

    (79. They said: “Surely, you know that we have no need of your daughters, and indeed you know well what we want!”)

    Why would Lot(as) offer his daughter to a people who dont want his daughter in the first place ? If the gaymob themselves understood Lot(as), why is jihadbob concerned ?

  • Cynic

    @ Jack

    It’s isn’t really about what the Qur’an says in black and white; but rather how it is (and was) interpreted Muslims. That is what’s most relevant to the discussion (if you can call it that) brought to the table by Bob.

    See, for a Muslim thinking within the dogmatic framework of traditional Islam, the hadith and the tafsir may be the final word on what the Quran actually says. But for me, as a non-Muslim, neither the hadith or the tafsir hold any special authority in and out of itself.

    This is exactly my point Jack. Bob here is trying to interpret Islam for Muslims…when all other interpretations point to the opposite of his own little tafsir. Islamic tradition is fairly unanimous in its interpretation on this issue, and it is absurd to point out that Muslims believe X (based on a personal interpretation of a certain passage), when Muslims actually believe the opposite. I hope you can see the point I’m trying to make, and that Dawood made much more consisely before me.

  • Dawood

    The whole issue was brought up by Bob to show that the Qur’an is “just as bad” as the Bible regarding Lot, when he couldn’t admit that Biblical passages referred to above are far worse than anything the Qur’an contains, even at a surface level.

    This is, at least as I understand it, is the point Danios was trying to make. No doubt the interpretive traditions in each respected religion deal with such passages in specific ways, but if Christianity and Judaism are “allowed” to do this regarding the above, then why is it no one accepts Muslims doing the same from within their own religious tradition? The Lot issue is a case in point. If we read the Qur’an literally, it literally says “his daughters”, but when we look at exegesis, they take the term non-literally, for whatever reason they deem strongest compared to the literal meaning. Scripture is not always literal anyway, such is the nature of language, especially high-level language.

    The issue too, is that Muhammad did not speak on every single verse found in the text, at least as recorded in the hadith; but when Mujahid speaks on tafsir, it’s understood that he does so on the authority of his knowledge from Ibn ‘Abbas, a prominent companion and Muhammad’s cousin. As I mentioned, he is seen as the pre-eminent authority from the Sahaba in exegesis.

    Other authorities such as al-Baghawi (d. 1122) and al-Suyuti (d. 1505) relate this designation of “his daughters” as meaning “daughters of his nation” to a specific Qur’anic verse, 33:6. In it we find the statement “The Prophet is more protective towards the believers than they are themselves, while his wives are their mothers.” [النَّبِيُّ أَوْلَىٰ بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ مِنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ وَأَزْوَاجُهُ أُمَّهَاتُهُمْ]. Muhammad Asad gives a good explanation for this statement, noting that

    —-
    [T]his verse points to the highest manifestation of an elective, spiritual relationship: that of the God-inspired Prophet and the person who freely chooses to follow him. The Prophet himself is reported to have said: “None of you has real faith unless I am dearer unto him than his father, and his child, and all mankind” (Bukhari and Muslim, on the authority of Anas, with several almost identical versions in other compilations). The Companions invariably regarded the Prophet as the spiritual father of his community. Some of them – e.g., Ibn Mas’ud (as quoted by Zamakhshari) or Ubayy ibn Ka’b, Ibn Abbas and Mu’awiyah (as quoted by Ibn Kathir) – hardly ever recited the above verse without adding, by way of explanation, “seeing that he is [as] a father to them”; and many of the tabi’in — including Mujahid, Qatadah, lkrimah and Al-Hasan (cf. Tabari and Ibn Kathir) – did the same: hence my interpolation, between brackets, of this phrase.
    —-

  • Jack

    Dawood: “The problem is Jack, is that Bob was saying that “Islam” (by which he means the Islamic interpretive tradition, obviously) portrays the story as X, when it actually portrays it as Y.”

    Ah! Okay, that actually does clear the matter up.

    But in Bob’s defense, one might assume that in his mind the Quran and ‘Islam’ is probably the same. And, certainly if Bob has a protestant background, upon hearing claims that the Quran is the Word of God and the final authority, he’d assume that the Quran, like the protestant Bible, should take precedent over the interpretative authority that follows it.

    But the more I learn about Islam, the more I start thinking that Muslims are like traditional Roman Catholics when it comes to the interpretation of the bible. So when the gospels talk about Jesus’ brothers, they go out of their way to argue why that very well could mean his nephews or something along those lines, since they decided that May never slept with Joseph because the sex thing would somehow stain her with sinfulness.

  • Jack

    “Why the hell would a Muslim think that Jack?”

    Maybe… because you’re a thinking, rational human being, who uses their critical faculties?

    “I think you’re failing to understand that to a Muslim, the Hadith and tafsir are the final word on the issue. Any attempt to deny that would be tantamount to interpreting Muslims’ religion for them.”

    Or an attempt to get you to critically examine the dogmatic framework you inherited from your faith tradition.

    Secondly, at the very least, an attempt at staying true to myself. See, for a Muslim thinking within the dogmatic framework of traditional Islam, the hadith and the tafsir may be the final word on what the Quran actually says. But for me, as a non-Muslim, neither the hadith or the tafsir hold any special authority in and out of itself.

    So if you want to convince me that the Quran actually means not-X when it says X, you’re going to have to come up with some evidence which would be universally accepted, not ‘evidence’ that is solely faith-based.

    How does the fact that a commentary – or a bunch of commentaries drawing upon one another – says the verse should interpretet in a certain way settle the matter. How is that an argument? It’s not in any way with respect to content.

    I want to see a semantic argument which shows that ‘my sons’ or ‘my daughters’ actually means: ‘men in general’ or ‘women in general’ in Arabic and preferably in the parlance of the Quran. And if you come up with a hadith, then I’d like to see some pretty solid evidence that Muhammad himself said, when asked: You know, when I said that Lot said “My daughters”, I actually meant the “daughters of the land”. Although I’m not sure in what sense Muhammad’s opinion would weigh in on the matter, since everything he recited is supposed to come straight from God, so it’s not impossible the recitation revealed the prophet Lot did something Muhammad thought was too unbecoming of a prophet.

    But anyway, I have a hard time believing any of this, because we know Muhammad learnt the biblical stories from Jews and Christians, and we pretty much know what they are, because the bible tells us what they are (althoug the Quran contains some references to stories Christians regard as apocryphal, but even those can be traced). The bible clearly tells us Lot offered his own daughters. Sura 11:78 clearly echoes that when it says: “Here are my daughters: they are purer for you”, and it’s easy to understand how later generations thought it unbecoming for a prophet like Lot to offer his own daughters as sexual treats, so they invented hadiths which altered the meaning, and tafsir drew on them.

    This is a perfectly coherent, logical explanation of the verse. If you want to contest it, you’d better come up with some solid evidence that “my daughters” is often used to mean “any women walking around” in a sexual context. But I think it would make for a lot of awkward misunderstandings, when prospective father in laws tell suitors: “Sure, you’re free to ask for the hand of any of my daughters”, when in fact they mean “You’re free to ask for the hand of anybody else’s daughters, but not mine!”

  • Dawood

    The problem is Jack, is that Bob was saying that “Islam” (by which he means the Islamic interpretive tradition, obviously) portrays the story as X, when it actually portrays it as Y. The issue is not what individual Muslims may or may not believe, or even how the story found its way into the Qur’an etc. (that is an issue of academic interest, to be sure), but an issue of what mainstream Muslim scholarship says about the story of Lot. If you make a claim that “Islam” states X, then it is dealing with religious scholarship not the masses, so it is to the books we need to turn for clarification.

    One of the key methods of doing Qur’anic exegesis is known as “al-tafsir bi al-ma’thur”, which is exegesis from inter-textual understanding. Basically, this method (which is the main method used in Islamic scholarship) understands specific Qur’anic verses in reference to others on the same topic, or from other recorded sources such as Prophetic narrations (i.e. hadith), or narrations from Muhammad’s companions and other early luminaries. In this case, the same story is repeated in 11:78, so exegesis discusses the issue in both places. It’s not dissimilar to how the Jewish exegetical tradition understands their scripture with reference to the Talmud and the collective opinions of countless luminaries from their long-inherited intellectual tradition.

    Even the earliest authorities in Qur’anic exegesis, including the likes of al-Tabari (d. circa 930CE) who is known for collecting variant opinions on issues, makes clear that it refers to the “daughters of the nation” and not his physical daughters. He also supports this with a number of narrations from the earliest sources, which later authorities transmit and record on his authority.

    He cites a very interesting quote from Mujahid ibn Jabr (d. 722CE), who was considered the inheritor of Ibn ‘Abbas (d. 687CE) knowledge in Qur’anic exegesis (Ibn ‘Abbas being the cousin of Muhammad and considered by Muhammad’s companions to be the pre-eminent exponent of Qur’anic exegesis). He basically states that “It was not his actual daughters, although they are from his nation (umma); and every Prophet is the father of his nation (umma).” [قال: لـم يكن بناته، ولكن كن من أمته، وكلّ نبـيّ أبو أمته.] He also records another narration from Mujahid on the topic, noting that “His command was for them to marry women, not to offer them fornication.” [قال: أمرهم أن يتزوّجوا النساء، لـم يعرض علـيهم سفـاحاً]. Interestingly, the last word (سفـاحاً) also refers to bloodshed as well.

    In other early sources, we find similar sentiments. The tafsir of al-Hawari (d. circa 923CE), for example again quotes Mujahid as an authority, noting that he said “Every Prophet is the father of his nation; this means, rather, that ‘his daughters’ are the women of his nation” [كل نبي أبو أمته، وإنما عنى ببناته نساء أمته]

    From what I can see, this is where the twin-strands of exegesis on this issue appear most clearly, namely that 1) it was not Lot’s physical daughters meant here, and 2) he commanded them to marry and turn away from their debauchery.

    As I said, the issue of the Qur’ans reproduction of the story and its relationship to Biblical versions and so forth are definitely interesting, but entirely different from claiming that “Islam” says X, when its interpretive tradition clearly says Y, continuing to do so even today. Modern tafsirs such as that of al-Qattan (d. 1984), Ibn ‘Ashur (d. 1973), al-Sha’rawi (d. 1998) and others, for example, all state the same thing.

  • Cynic

    Has anyone considered the thought that the tafsir and the hadith may be wrong on this issue?

    Why the hell would a Muslim think that Jack? I think you’re failing to understand that to a Muslim, the Hadith and tafsir are the final word on the issue. Any attempt to deny that would be tantamount to interpreting Muslims’ religion for them. Which ironically, is the MO of most Islamophobes; including JustatrollBob.

  • Jack

    You know, despite the fact I don’t like Bob or his agenda, and the topic wasn’t about Lot and his daughters, I have to say I’m somewhat aghast at the way seemingly intelligent Muslims simply accept the explanations of the tafsir as the final word, without examining critically if what they say makes sense.

    So when Lot says in 11:78 “Oh my people! Here are my daughters: they are purer for you”, he means the daughters of the land? The tafsir quoted don’t actually seem to offer any arguments, let alone *valid* arguments why “my daughters” would refer to everybody else’s daughter. It makes no sense at all! If Lot was referring to other people’s daughters, then why is he saying “my” daughters?

    It seems to me that if you want to argue that the *Quran* doesn’t say Lot offered his own daughters to the men of Sodom, you’d have to at least come up with a good explanation to that question. Nobody has. People just say: well the tafsir say he didn’t mean his daughters, so that’s that. Or: well, the hadith say he didn’t mean his daughters, so that’s that.

    Has anyone considered the thought that the tafsir and the hadith may be wrong on this issue? What is wrong with you people? Do you put your critical faculties on hold, every time religious dogma gets in the way of reason? Isn’t is pretty obvious the tafsir make up this explanation for apologetic reasons, because they find it unbecoming for a prophet like Lot to offer his daughters to the men to be sexually abused?

    Furthermore, the biblical stories are about a thousand years prior to the Quran. Muhammad heard them from Jews. And don’t give me that ‘Yeah but they changed the stories and God told Muhammad the true version’ because first of all, that’s far to convenient (it puts you in the right every time, now doesn’t it), and second of all: there’s not a shred of evidence that’s true. There’s not a shred of evidence God told Muhammad anything, let alone the particulars of biblical stories, and there’s not a shred of evidence Jews changed their scriptures. For crying out loud: Christians accepted these scriptures, and they didn’t detect any changes.

    Do you know how Jews transmitted their scriptures? They’d copy the roll letter for letter, and if any mistake was found, they’d burn the roll and start all over again. They have checked the Biblica Stuttgartensia from the eleventh century against the Dead Sea Rolls: there were no discrepancies.

    It’s not hard to fathom why the story of Lot committing incest is not in the Quran.

    First of all, it’s not relevant to the point being made. It’s pretty obvious to anyone who is familiar with the biblical stories that the Quran takes these stories as given and expects the readers to know them beforehand, only to refer to certain events to draw out moral lessons.

    Secondly, Lot is considered a prophet in Islam, so it’s not all that convenient for the Quran to accuse him of incest.

    However, in the bible he is portrayed as an anti-hero to Abraham. In Genesis 13 Lot chooses to try and succeed by relying on the world he can see, by dwelling in the fertile lands around Sodom and Gomorrah, even though the people there are wicked, whereas Abraham is left with the arid parts of the land. Lot chooses the world, whereas Abraham has to rely on faith. The moral of the outcome of the story, with Lot being destitute and committing incest with his own daughters, and Abraham becoming the father of a multitude of progeny, is that in the end, even through hardship, trials and tribulation, faith lasts longer, whereas relying on ones own insight and efforts to succeed in the world, will end in destitution and ruin.

    Furthermore, the names of the sons of Lot, Ammon and Moab, are two historical enemies of Israel. Saying they were begotten by incest was taking a verbal jab at them. This is a recurring motif in the Old Testament. Notice how Esaw, who is rejected by God even though he is the first born and a great hunter, is portrayed both as a rube and the forefather of Edom, a people the Israelites had many altercations with.

  • Michael Elwood

    @Rob and Cynic

    Thanks! 🙂

    @rambo

    “i looked at the ayah in arabic and saw the word “haqqin””

    “if i were to grab a girl and try to do what i please with her, someone might say, “you have no HAQQ over her”
    meaning i have to haqq over her because i am not married to her.”

    I was using Yuksel’s translation, not my own. The word haqqin is sometimes translated/understood as right/justification (see 3:21). You could translate it as, “you know that we have no right to your daughters/’alimta ma lana fi banatika min haqqin”.

    “but i think there is also another way to interpret the ayah which will kill your apologetic. your claim “Lot’s offer is insincere, and his people knew it””

    “but it is possible that his offer was SINCERE because he became too desperate, but deep down in his heart he knew that the faggots PREFERED /DESIRED/ want batty , not woman. so it hasn’t got anything to do with insincerety ,but preference.”

    Ignoring your gratuitous use of the word faggot, I think he was insincere precisely because he knew that they preferred men. I think he was desperate and was trying to by some time.

    @JustBob

    “Offended? No. Never claimed to be personally offended by that particular passage in the Koran. There’s a lot of other passages which concern me far more than a mythical tale.”

    This is the second time that Bob has unwittingly referred to the Quran as a tale, like his predecessors:

    6:25 Among them are those who listen to you; and We have made covers over their hearts to prevent them from understanding it, and deafness in their ears; and if they see every sign they will not acknowledge; even when they come to you they argue, those who reject say, “This is nothing but the tales from the past!”

    Bob can’t seem to recognize a genuine tale when it’s right in front of him, like that one about Lot sleeping with his daughters. This tale serves no other function except to give an ignoble genealogy to Israel’s neighbors, the Ammonites and Moabites (who were said to have resulted from the incestuous relationship). This is why that tale isn’t in the Quran.

    “I guess if Lot were living today, he would have said ‘JK, JK’ immediately after offering the mob his daughters.”

    “Here, take my daughters. JK! JK!’’

    Yeah, if he were living today. Or, like the comedian Henny Youngman, he could have said “take my wife, please”!

    “I wonder if you realize the difference between murder and an act of God. Because the only difference from a hungry bear and annihilating entire peoples as recorded in the Koran is the order of magnitude of life that was lost.”

    Sure, I realize the difference. But the Biblical verse in question isn’t talking about an “act of God”. Suppose you continue to insult my intelligence with this spiel, and I said “may the curse of Allah be on you”. Then, that very moment, two bears came out and mauled you to death. That’s not an act of God, my friend. That’s me putting the root on ya! 🙂

    By the way, this is another one of those tales that Bob believes in that isn’t in the Quran.

    Also, unlike the Bible, there are no tales of annihilating entire peoples in the Quran. Stop trying to change the subject!

    “But in your attempt to compare the two events, the differences stick out.”

    They sure do! There’s a difference in “magnitude in the life that was lost” (1 and 42). There’s also a difference between the reasons they were killed (for committing criminal transgressions and for making fun of someone’s baldness).

    “I’ll leave your hair splitting for someone else.”

    We’ve just begun, and you’re already taking your marbles and going home?

  • NassirH

    This guy doesn’t know why he was banned? Not surprised, since he seems to be oblivious to a lot of things, including responses to his posts. Hence the reason he sounds like a broken record.

  • Mosizzle

    At the end of the day, we do get some, ahem, interesting discussions. But you have been posting here on-and-off for a few months now. I don’t think any of us have lasted that long on Jihadwatch before getting banned by Marisol.

    But of course, one does not justify the other. I guess Loonwatch moderators don’t need a war happening under every single article. Personally I don’t mind but it probably scares away other Loonwatch commenters.

  • JustBob

    That’s why I never understood why in the past my IP and e-mail have been blocked and my posts removed.

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