One Verse That Can Catapult Our Understanding of the Quran in Our Global Age

Epigraph:

We did not send you Muhammad, but as mercy for the whole mankind. (Al Quran 21:107/108)

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The Mosque of Medina, first built by the prophet Muhammad himself

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

Some 44 million Muslims live peacefully as law abiding citizens in Europe.  They have not been brought there as slaves but they, their parents or their grand parents came there out of their sweet will and volition for better economic or other opportunities.

Travel back to 1492, the same year that Christopher Columbus reached the American soil, the last city-state of Granada fell to the Christian rulers and every Muslim in Europe was either killed, banished or converted by force to Christianity.  There was then no one openly Muslim in the Christian Europe for a couple of centuries.

Today the Christians are their neighbors, colleagues and mentors.  Sometimes they are spouses and family members.

Obviously these are two polar opposite circumstances.  If the holy Quran is read as a rigid set of instructions about the Muslim-Christian interaction to create human societies, then it can obviously not handle both situations.

The way the Muslims of the fifteenth and the sixteenth century read the Christian-Muslim relationship in the Quran cannot be true for the twenty first century.

It is projected by the Pew Research Center that the Muslim population in Europe is growing; they project 10% of all Europeans will be Muslims by 2050.

Better paradigms for coexistence between the Muslims and the Christians are very much needed and for the Muslims it starts with their understanding of the Quran.

If my articles are boring to you, it may be that you need to read more of them, as was suggested by John Cage, an American composer, “If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all.”

Going back to the subject at hand: understanding the Quran:

A large majority of the Muslims read the Quran for blessings and delegate their understanding of the book to the scholar of their choice, who often defer it to the scholar of their choice of the past centuries.  This emphasis on the past scholarship leads to extreme conservatism and changes the Quran into a rigid document.

Omar Naseef writes in his article, God Is Living, So Why Does Religion Treat God As Dead?:

There’s a vigorous debate in the United States about the nature of our constitution. Liberals tend to argue that the constitution is a living document, while conservatives, like the late Justice Scalia, claim our constitution is “dead, dead, dead”.

If the authors of the constitution were alive today – having lived through 239+ years of U.S. history – do we really think they would ask their 1787 selves how to interpret the constitution?

In secular law, the debate is reasonable. Because the authors are dead and a “living” constitution risks judicial tyranny, we do need to find some way to reasonably restrain the interpretation, especially since we can amend the constitution if we aren’t happy with its meaning.

This same “living” versus dead argument often happens in religion. Those who argue for dead” are often conservatives, and they are hurting their own cause. It is proper for all of us to deliberate before breaking with long-held tradition. However, insisting that the understanding of sacred text is frozen puts the most fundamental belief of religion at risk.

When any religious person claims that a sacred text is “dead” – in that the understanding of its meaning is fixed forever – they are directly at odds with their own idea of a living, active God.

This relatively unknown author is not alone in his opinion. A polymath from the last century, Sir Zafrulla Khan who was the first Foreign Minister of Pakistan and President of United Nation General assembly for a term, among other accomplishments agrees:

It is this comprehensiveness of the Quran, the need to make provision for guidance in every respect for all peoples for all time, that made it necessary that the guidance should be conveyed in verbal revelation. The Quran is literally the Word of God and possesses the quality of being alive, as the universe is alive. It is not possible to set forth at any time the whole meaning and interpretation of the Quran or, indeed, of any portion of it with finality. It yields new truths and fresh guidance in every age and at every level. It is a standing and perpetual miracle (18:110).

The world is dynamic and so is the Quran. Indeed, so dynamic is the Quran that it has always been found to keep ahead of the world and never to lag behind it. However fast the pace at which the pattern of human life may change and progress, the Quran always yields, and will go on yielding, the needed guidance in advance. This has now been demonstrated through more than thirteen centuries, and that is a guarantee that it will continue to be demonstrated through the ages.

The Quran has proclaimed that falsehood will never overtake it. All research into the past and every discovery and invention in the future will affirm its truth (41:43). The Quran speaks at every level; it seeks to reach every type of understanding, through parables, similitudes, arguments, reasoning, the observation and study of the phenomena of nature, and the natural, moral, and spiritual laws (18:55; 39:28; 59:22).[1][2]

For the Quran to be dynamic it needs to be read in the context of the time.  The majority of the Spanish Christians may have been blood thirsty enemies in the 16th century but today in Europe they are neighbors, colleagues, teachers and mentors. They are benefactors of the Muslims in several capacities.  For some they are even spouses or blood relatives.  Unless we can read the Quranic principles according to the circumstances we are vulnerable to box ourselves into fixed paradigms to our and others’ detriment.

I believe that we need to grasp what is fundamental in the holy Quran and for that matter in any book or writing and not go after the allegorical. Let the fundamental define the allegorical and not vice versa. The Quran says:

He it is Who has sent down to you (Muhammad) the Book; in it there are verses that are fundamental or decisive in meaning — these are the corner stone of the Book — and there are others that are susceptible of different interpretations. But those in whose hearts is perversity pursue those that are susceptible of different interpretations, seeking discord and wrong interpretation of such ambiguous verses. And none knows their right interpretation except Allah and those who are firmly grounded in knowledge; they say, ‘We believe in it; the whole is from our Lord.’ — And none heed except those gifted with understanding. (3:7/8)

So, what is a fundamental teaching?

A fundamental teaching is what is substantiated not from one perspective but from multiple or all angles. It is something which does  not leave the slightest doubt in your heart and mind. It is something that you can easily defend,  no matter who the audience. It is something that you like to preach to your children and you don’t hide from anyone. It is something that is true whether you are on the receiving end or the opposite. It is true whether you are a leader or a follower. It is true whether you are among the ‘haves’ or the ‘have-nots.’ It is not what is preached by one scholar, one leader or one sect of Islam. It is true if it follows the Golden Rule.

It is a fundamental teaching if it fulfills all or a majority of the above conditions.

A fundamental Quranic teaching is one that is not mentioned once or twice in the scripture, rather dozens of times from different angles and perspectives.

Once you have a few fundamentals going for you, you will be able to understand more and more of the Quranic text. The Quran will be made easy for you. You will begin to resolve the apparent conflicts in the Quran. Because your understanding would be in keeping of the Divine understanding and rise above the vulnerability of human inconsistencies and contradictions.

I believe that the verses about compassion and justice in the holy Quran are fundamental. As there are, Two Hundred Verses about Compassionate Living in the Quran and scores of verses about justice in human affairs.

Let us read the whole of the Quran in light of the verse that has been mentioned as the epigraph and I promise you that you will not go wrong in your worldly or heavenly life:

We did not send you Muhammad, but as mercy for the whole mankind. (Al Quran 21:107/108)

This is the best pluralistic message, which as Muslims we can never forget or make it secondary to any other commandment or teaching.

May Allah grant us the courage and wisdom to read the scripture for ourselves and not through the limiting eyes of the scholar or the leader of our choice only.

Additional suggested reading: Scope, Style and Preservation of the Quran

Reference

  1. https://themuslimtimes.info/2019/02/01/sir-zafrullah-khan-introducing-the-holy-quran-to-the-world/
  2. This quote is from the chapter about the Quran. Read the whole book online: ISLAM – Its Meaning For Modern Man

Hollywood Actress Emilie Francois, Now a Muslim, Speaks of Social Justice in Islam

Collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

Two Hundred Verses about Compassionate Living in the Quran

Forty Hadiths or Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad about Compassionate Living

The Quran Applauded as a Landmark Contribution to ‘Words of Justice’ by Harvard

A British Convert to Islam: ‘I found Qur’an mother of all philosophies’

The Concept of Justice in Islam by Sir Zafrulla Khan

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Myriam Francois-Cerrah

From Wikipedia

Myriam Francois-Cerrah (born Emilie François; 1983) is a Franco-British writer,[1] broadcaster and academic on issues related to Islam, France and the Middle East. She writes a monthly column for the New Statesman online and is also a regular contributor to Middle East Eye.

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Contents

Career

Francois-Cerrah currently works as a freelance journalist, in both print and broadcast media. Her articles have been featured in The Guardian,[2] The Huffington Post,[3] New Statesman,[4] Your Middle East,[5] The London Paper, Jadaliyya,[6] ABC,[7] The Daily Telegraph,[8] Salon,[9] Index on Censorship,[10] the F-Word[11] and the magazine Emel.[12]

She is the presenter of a BBC documentary on the genocide at Srebrenica,[13] which aired on BBC 1 on Monday 6 July 2015.

She is a former correspondent for the Huffington Post (2014-2015), where she broke a headline story on an exclusive 36-page document written by alleged al-Qaeda kingpin Khalid Sheikh Mohammed,.[14]

She has worked as a programme researcher at the BBC, and currently works as a freelance programme producer on Al Jazeera’s Head to Head (2013-).

She is former assistant editor and features writer at Emel magazine (2008–2009).

She is a regular guest on BBC Big Questions (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011)[15] and Sunday Morning Live.

She has appeared on Newsnight (2009), 4thought.tv (2011),[16] BBC News (2010),[17] Crosstalk (2010), BBC Radio (2012), Sky News[18] and documentaries including Divine Women, presented by Bettany Hughes.[19] In 2012, she commented the French presidential elections for Sky News, as well as the French presidential inauguration and 2012 local elections and regularly comments on current affairs, in particular related to France or the Middle East. She has been a frequent guest on Tariq Ramadan’s television show Islam & Life broadcast by Iran’s PressTV.

Film

A former actress, her screen career began at age 12 in Ang Lee‘s Sense and Sensibility (1995) in which she played Margaret Dashwood alongside Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet.[20][21] She went on to star in Paws (1997) alongside Nathan Cavaleri and Heath Ledger, and New Year’s Day (2000), in which she played Heather.[citation needed]

Academia

She is currently a Research Associate at SOAS, in the Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East where her work focuses on issues related to British Muslims, integration and racism.

She previously worked as a Research Assistant at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS), Georgetown University (2005-2007) in Washington DC. While undertaking her doctorate, Francois also works as an academic tutor in the Oxford University Department for Politics and International Relations, where she teaches Middle East politics.

She has guest lectured at universities including Harvard University (2014), Birmingham, (2014), Luther College (2015) and an annual guest lecture at Kingston University, UK (2012-2014). She is due to deliver a lecture as part of the 2015-16 Ebor Series at York St John University.

Education

Francois-Cerrah is studying for a PhD at Oxford University in Oriental Studies focused on Islamic political movements in Morocco.[22]

She has an MA with honours in Middle East politics from Georgetown University, and a BA from Cambridge University in Social and Political science.[citation needed]

Personal Life

In 2003, at 21 years old, Francois-Cerrah became a Muslim after graduating from Cambridge. At the time, she was a skeptical Roman Catholic. She rejects the use of the words “convert” or “revert” as “exclusionary”, describing herself as “just Muslim”.[23]

References

External links

Interview with pioneering Islamic thinker Fehmi Jadaane What is the essence of Islam, and does it need reforming?

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Interview with pioneering Islamic thinker Fehmi Jadaane

What is the essence of Islam, and does it need reforming?

Renowned Jordanian Islamic scholar Fehmi Jadaane vehemently objects to the transformation of Islam into an ideology. The religion ends up mired in a political swamp, he says, its message nothing more than an instrument of governance. Interview by Alia Al-Rabeo

In recent years some authors and intellectuals have shown increased interest in the so-called “reformation” of Islam. Do you address this issue in your book “The Liberation of Islam”? Does the modern Arab world need this kind of reformation? And would it help in countering religious fundamentalism?

Fehmi Jadaane: Let me make it quite clear that I am not interested in a reformation of the faith in its essence, nor with questioning what the revelatory scripture contains, implies or aims at. Because that would imply that there is a defect in the structure of the text that needs to be repaired. Which is not at all my conviction. What I’m really getting at is this: the text of revelation, inscribed for all time on God’s “well-guarded tablet”, is confronted today with numerous contradictions in the reality that manifests itself to believers – that is to say to individual human beings. These contradictions stem from the fact that man is imperfect through and through, in all facets of his existence. For there is nothing more contradictory than a human being.

This has implications for how the text is understood, how it manifests itself and materialises in experienced and imagined reality. The obstacles and contradictions to which Islam has been and still is exposed are countless. If we want liberation, we must face up to this fact.

There is no doubt that the upheavals triggered by religious fundamentalism are currently the most prominent phenomenon in this scenario. But there are also other deep-seated contradictions that are wreaking massive damage on the global image of Islam. I dealt with some of them in my book “The Liberation of Islam”. We must resolutely censure, reject and remedy these contradictions – just as we must the notion of an Islam reduced to its ideological-political aspects.

You call for a dialogue between all groups across the social spectrum so that the Arab region can enter into modernity. Do you really believe it is possible for such dialogue to take place, given the massive polarisation and divisive tendencies that run through Arab society – sectarian, political and ideological?

Fehmi Jadaane: I would like to take this opportunity to throw in a quote: ‘where justice is manifest, divine law comes into its own’. The just state is thus quite capable of providing for the needs of the general public. Of course, fanatics won’t let themselves be dissuaded from their dogmatism and entrenched views just like that. Because they are ruled and controlled by “passions”, not by reason and pragmatism.

I therefore share your fears regarding the question of whether current generations in the Arab countries – at least the older ones among them, who have experienced politics as senseless conflict their entire lives – are ready for such new approaches to thinking and action.

I am pretty sure that this will only be possible for future generations – provided that an early start is made to inculcate in them paedagogical values based on what Jurgen Habermas called “communicative action”. In other words, the values of free debate, dialogue, exchange, openness and mutual respect.

Read further

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Dr. Zia H Shah, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

Suggested reading by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

We Will be Judged by Our Compassion and Deeds and Not Our Dogma

Book Review: Islam Without Extremes by Mustafa Akyol

A Nobel for Karen Armstrong will bring the Christians and the Muslims closer

Nobel Prize for a noble woman

Two Hundred Verses about Compassionate Living in the Quran

A Message of Compassion and Love from the Holy Bible

True Fasting: A Message of Compassion and Love from the Old Testament

Abou Ben Adhem, A Compassionate Man

‘Love Hormone,’ How it works in Hospitality?

‘Love Hormone’ Oxytocin May Enhance Feelings Of Spirituality

 

Dr. Jeffrey Lang About the Quran from an Atheist’s Perspective

Source: Quora and Youtube

Dr. Jeffrey Lang is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of Kansas, one of the biggest universities in the United States. He started his religious journey on Jan 30, 1954, when he was born in a Roman Catholic family in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

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Dr. Jeffery Lang.  The Muslim Times has the best collection of articles about the holy Quran

The first 18 years of his life were spent in Catholic schools, which left him with many unanswered questions about God and the Christian religion, Lang said, as he narrated his story of Islam. “Like most kids back in the late 60s and early 70s, I started questioning all the values that we had at those times, political, social and religious,” Lang said. “I rebelled against all the institutions that society held sacred, including the Catholic Church,” he said.

By the time he reached the age of 18, Lang had become a full-fledged atheist. “If there is a God, and He is all merciful and all loving, then why is there suffering on this earth? Why does not He just take us to heaven? Why create all these people to suffer?” Such were the questions that came up in his mind in those days.

As a young lecturer in mathematics at San Francisco University, Lang found his religion where God is finally a reality. That was shown to him by a few of the Muslim friends he had met at the university. “We talked about religion. I asked them my questions, and I was really surprised by how carefully they had thought out their answers,” Lang said.

Dr. Lang met Mahmoud Qandeel, a regal looking Saudi student who attracted the attention of the entire class the moment he walked in. When Lang asked a question about medical research, Qandeel answered the question in perfect English and with great self assurance. Everyone knew Qandeel – the mayor, the police chief and the common people. Together the professor and the student went to all the glittering places where “there was no joy or happiness, only laughter.” Yet at the end, Qandeel surprisingly gave him a copy of the Quran and some books on Islam. Lang read the Quran on his own, found his way to the student-run prayer hall at the university, and basically surrendered without much struggle. He was conquered by the Quran. The first two chapters are an account of that encounter and it is a fascinating one.

“Painters can make the eyes of a portrait appear to be following you from one place to another, but which author can write a scripture that anticipates your daily vicissitudes?… Each night I would formulate questions and objections and somehow discover the answer the next day. It seemed that the author was reading my ideas and writing in the appropriate lines in time for my next reading. I have met myself in its pages…”

Lang performs the daily five-time prayers regularly and finds much spiritual satisfaction. He finds the Fajr (pre-dawn) prayer as one of the most beautiful and moving rituals in Islam.

To the question how he finds it so captivating when the recitation of the Quran is in Arabic, which is totally foreign to him, he responds; “Why is a baby comforted by his mother’s voice?” He said reading the Quran gave him a great deal of comfort and strength in difficult times. From there on, faith was a matter of practice for Lang’s spiritual growth.

On the other hand, Lang pursued a career in mathematics. He received his master’s and doctoral degrees from Purdue University. Lang said that he had always been fascinated by mathematics. “Math is logical. It consists of using facts and figures to find concrete answers,” Lang said. “That is the way my mind works, and it is frustrating when I deal with things that do not have concrete answerers.” Having a mind that accepts ideas on their factual merit makes believing in a religion difficult because most religions require acceptance by faith, he said. Islam appeals to man’s reasoning, he said.

As faculty advisor for the Muslim Student Association, Lang said he viewed himself as the liaison between the students and their universities. He gets approval from university authorities to hold Islamic lectures. “The object of being their faculty advisor is to help them get their needs met as far as adjusting to the American culture and to procedures of the university. They appreciate the opportunity to have misconceptions corrected,” he said.

Lang married a Saudi Muslim woman, Raika, 12 years ago. Lang has written several Islamic books which are best sellers among the Muslim community in the US. One of his important books is “Even Angels ask; A Journey to Islam in America”. In this book, Dr. Lang shares with his readers the many insights that have unfolded for him through his self discovery and progress within the religion of Islam.

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The Bible, The Quran and Science: Is the Quran copied from the Bible?

the Quran and the Torah, the Bible and science

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

The Bible, The Quran and Science is a book by a French surgeon Dr. Maurice Bucaille and could be described as a commentary of the following verses of the Holy Quran:

The disbelievers say: This Quran is naught but a lie that Muhammad has fabricated, and other people have helped him with it. They have, thereby, perpetrated an injustice and an untruth. They also say: These are fables of the ancients which he has got someone to write down for him and they are recited to him morning and evening. Say to them: The Quran has been revealed by Him Who knows every secret that is in the heavens and the earth. Indeed, He is Most Forgiving, Ever Merciful. (Al Surah Al-Furqan 25:5-7)

He examined the Holy Quran in the light of modern science and found, ‘The Quran has been revealed by Allah Who knows every secret that is in the heavens and the earth.’
Many Christian writers and clergy claim that the Holy Quran is borrowed from the Bible. Allah refutes this allegation in the words, “The Quran has been revealed by Him Who knows every secret that is in the heavens and the earth.” The most effective proofs of this Quranic claim were to come after the scientific revolution. Dr. Maurice Bucaille’s book is indeed a landmark achievement in this regards. However, it needs to be understood that the Holy Quran is a book of ‘religion’ and not a ‘book of science’ and Bucaille’s book is a book of ‘metaphysics’ and not of science. Metaphysics is a term, which means literally ‘what comes after physics.’ So, it is a branch of philosophy that studies the ultimate structure and constitution of reality, correlating religion and science.

Aside: Here is a video by Garry Wills to promote religious tolerance and better understanding of the Quran and the Abrahamic faiths

The Christian apologists often accuse that the Holy Quran is borrowed from the Bible. How can they be disabused of this self indulgence? This post or thread is dedicated to this issue.

This book by a French Surgeon, Maurice Bucaille has gained general popularity in the Muslim world. Today when I searched this title of the book on Google, I came up with more than half a million possible links. I want to start this knol to compare and contrast the Holy Quran and the Holy Bible in light of science. Even today some Christian apologists have the audacity to suggest that the Holy Quran is copied from the Bible. Let this thread be a discussion and an international repository to disabuse them of such ideas.

Here I quote from the introduction section of Maurice Bucaille’s book:

Another fundamental difference in the Scriptures of Christianity and Islam is the fact that Christianity does not have a text which is both revealed and written down. Islam, however, has the Quran which fits this description.

The Quran is the expression of the Revelation made to Muhammad by the Archangel Gabriel, which was immediately taken down, and was memorized and recited by the faithful in their prayers, especially during the month of Ramadan. Muhammad himself arranged it into suras, and these were collected soon after the death of the Prophet, to form, under the rule of Caliph Uthman (12 to 24 years after the Prophet’s death), the text we know today.

In contrast to this, the Christian Revelation is based on numerous indirect human accounts. We do not in fact have an eyewitness account from the life of Jesus, contrary to what many Christians imagine. The question of the authenticity of the Christian and Islamic texts has thus now been formulated.

The confrontation between the texts of the Scriptures and scientific data has always provided man with food for thought.

It was at first held that corroboration between the scriptures and science was a necessary element to the authenticity of the sacred text. Saint Augustine, in letter No. 82, which we shall quote later on, formally established this principle. As science progressed however it became clear that there were discrepancies between Biblical Scripture and science. It was therefore decided that comparison would no longer be made. Thus a situation arose which today, we are forced to admit, puts Biblical exegetes and scientists in opposition to one another. We cannot, after all, accept a divine Revelation making statements which are totally inaccurate. There was only one way of logically reconciling the two; it lay in not considering a passage containing unacceptable scientific data to be genuine. This solution was not adopted. Instead, the integrity of the text was stubbornly maintained and experts were obliged to adopt a position on the truth of the Biblical Scriptures which, for the scientist, is hardly tenable.

Like Saint Augustine for the Bible, Islam has always assumed that the data contained in the Holy Scriptures were in agreement with scientific fact. A modern examination of the Islamic Revelation has not caused a change in this position. As we shall see later on, the Quran deals with many subjects of interest to science, far more in fact than the Bible. There is no comparison between the limited number of Biblical statements which lead to a confrontation With science, and the profusion of subjects mentioned in the Quran that are of a scientific nature. None of the latter can be contested from a scientific point of view. this is the basic fact that emerges from our study. We shall see at the end of this work that such is not the case for the Hadiths. These are collections of the Prophet’s sayings, set aside from the Quranic Revelation, certain of which are scientifically unacceptable. The Hadiths in question have been under study in accordance with the strict principles of the Quran which dictate that science and reason should always be referred to, if necessary to deprive them of any authenticity.

These reflections on the scientifically acceptable or unacceptable nature of a certain Scripture need some explanation. It must be stressed that when scientific data are discussed here, what is meant is data definitely established. This consideration rules out any explanatory theories, once useful in illuminating a phenomenon and easily dispensed with to make way for further explanations more in keeping with scientific progress. What I intend to consider here are incontrovertible facts and even if science can only provide incomplete data, they will nevertheless be sufficiently well established to be used Without fear of error.

Scientists do not, for example, have even an approximate date for man’s appearance on Earth. They have however discovered remains of human works which we can situate beyond a shadow of a doubt at before the tenth millenium B.C. Hence we cannot consider the Biblical reality on this subject to be compatible with science. In the Biblical text of Genesis, the dates and genealogies given would place man’s origins (i.e. the creation of Adam) at roughly thirty-seven centuries B.C. In the future, science may be able to provide us with data that are more precise than our present calculations, but we may rest assured that it will never tell us that man first appeared on Earth 6,786 years ago, as does the Hebraic calendar for 1976. The Biblical data concerning the antiquity of man are therefore inaccurate.

Whereas the scriptures are books of religion, what Bucaille is writing or the theme of his book is ‘metaphysics.’ A certain amount of humility is in order to comprehend the distinction between religion, science and metaphysics. In the words of Sir Charles Darwin, as he quoted Francis Bacon from his book Advancement of learning in the later editions of Origin of Species to establish the proper relationship between religion and natural science:

“To conclude, therefore, let no man out of weak conceit of sobriety, or an ill-applied moderation, think or maintain, that a man can search too far or be too well-studied in the book of God’s word, or in the book of God’s works; divinity or philosophy; but rather let men endeavor an endless progress or proficiency in both.”  Review of the scriptures in light of science and appropriate commentaries by the initiated will lead a casual but honest reader to truth.

Now let me offer a detailed excerpt from the writings of the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, as he defends the Holy Quran against the allegation of plagiarism:

The author of Yanabi-ul-Islam has tried to prove that the Holy Quran has been copied from certain accounts or books, but his effort is nothing compared to the effort made by a learned Jew to determine the authenticity of the Gospels. He has established, in his own estimation, that the moral teachings of the Gospels have been taken from the Jewish scripture Talmud and certain other books of the Israelites, and that this act of plagiary has been so blatant that whole paragraphs have been copied word for word. The scholar has proved that the Gospels are a collection of stolen material, and has gone so far as to prove that the ‘Sermon on the Mount’—in which Christians take such pride—has been copied verbatim from the Talmud. He has shown that the text has also been copied from various other books, and has thus astonished many people. European researchers are also taking a keen interest in this research. I recently came across a book written by a Hindu in which he, too, had tried to prove that the Gospels have been taken from the teachings of Buddha, and he cited Buddha’s moral teachings to establish this point. The story about the devil, who took Jesus (as) from place to place to tempt him, is also prevalent among the Buddhists. Everyone is, therefore, entitled to believe that the story has been copied in the Gospels with minor alterations. It is an established fact that Jesus (as) came to India and his grave is to be found in Srinagar, Kashmir, as I have proved with categorical evidence. And in this context, the detractors are further justified to believe that the existing Gospels are merely a sketch of Buddhism. The evidence in this regard is so overwhelming that it can no longer be concealed.

Another incredible fact is that the ancient book of Yuz Asaf (which most English scholars believe to have been published before the birth of Jesus (as)), and which has been translated in all European countries, is so similar to the Gospels that many of their passages are identical. The parables used by the Gospels are also found word for word in this book. Even if the person reading it were so ignorant as to be practically blind, he would still be convinced that the Gospels have been borrowed from the same book. Some people, including some English scholars, believe that this book belongs to Gautama Buddha, and that it was originally in Sanskrit and was later translated into other languages. If this is true, the Gospels would lose all their credibility and Jesus (as) would be considered a plagiarist in all his teachings—God forbid. The book is available for everyone to see. My own opinion, however, is that this book is Jesus’ own Gospel which was written during his journey to India. I have proved with many arguments that it is indeed the Gospel of Jesus (as), and is purer and holier than the other Gospels. The English scholars who consider this book to be that of Buddha, call Jesus (as) a plagiarist by implication, and thus they dig their own grave.

It should also be remembered that the clergy’s collection of scriptures is completely worthless and even embarrassing. They whimsically declare some books to be divine and others to be forged. They judge these four Gospels to be authentic and the rest—about fifty-six of them—forged. But this belief is based on mere guesswork and speculation, rather than on any concrete evidence. They have had to make these decisions by themselves, for there is a marked discrepancy between these and the other Gospels. Researchers, however, believe that it is not possible to determine which of them is actually forged and which is not. This is why, on the occasion of King Edward’s coronation, the Church fathers of London presented him with the books which they presume to be forged along with the four Gospels, all bound in one volume. I possess a copy of this Bible. Now, if these books had really been forged and were unholy, would it not be sinful to bind the holy and the unholy in a single volume? The fact is that these people are unable to say with any degree of conviction whether any of these books are authentic or forged, and everyone goes by their own opinion. Out of mere prejudice, they declare those Gospels to be fabricated which are in accord with the Holy Quran. Hence they have declared the Gospel of Barnabas to have been forged because it contains a clear prophecy about the Prophet of the Latter Days [the Holy Prophet]. Sale, in his commentary, has related the story of a Christian monk who was converted to Islam after reading this Gospel. Remember, these people declare a book to be false or fabricated for either of these two reasons:

1. If an account or a book contradicts the current Gospels.

2. If an account or a book has some similarity with the Holy Quran. Some mischievous and black-hearted people first try to establish the principle9 that these books are fabricated, and then claim that the Holy Quran contains stories taken out of them, and in this manner they try to deceive the ignorant.

The fact is that only Divine revelation has the authority to prove the truth or falsity of past scriptures. Any account confirmed by Divine revelation has to be true, even though some ignorant ones declare it otherwise. Similarly, the account which Divine revelation rejects, has to be false, even though some people declare it to be true.

To think that the Holy Quran is made up of such well known accounts, tales, books or gospels, is the height of ignorance and something to be ashamed of. Is there anything wrong with a book of God being in agreement with some past accounts? Many truths of the Vedas, which were not even known at the time, are to be found in the Holy Quran, but can we conclude from this that the Holy Prophet (saw) had studied the Vedas? The Gospels that have now become available—thanks to the printing press— were not known to anyone in Arabia, and the people of that land were simply unlettered. If there happened to be an odd Christian among them, he was not likely to know much about his own religion. It is therefore despicable to think that the Holy Prophet (saw) plagiarized from these books. The Holy Prophet (saw) was unlettered and could not even read Arabic, let alone Greek or Hebrew. It is now upon our opponents to produce any manuscript of that time from which these accounts are supposed to have been taken. If the Holy Quran contained material copied from other sources, the Christians of Arabia, who were bitter enemies of Islam, would at once have cried out that it has been taken from their own accounts.

Remember, the Holy Quran is the only scripture in the world that proclaims itself to be a miracle. It forcefully asserts that its prophecies and narratives are from the realm of the unseen, it contains prophecies about the future down to the Last Day, and that it is a miracle in respect of its eloquence and beauty of expression. It would have been easy for the Christians of that time to produce the books from which passages were supposedly copied in the Holy Quran, thus dealing a severe blow to Islam. But now they only cry over spilled milk. It is unthinkable that the Christians of Arabia would have kept quiet despite being in possession of books—whether genuine or forged—from which they suspected the Holy Quran of having copied certain material. Thus there can be no doubt that the Holy Quran is totally composed of the revealed word of God, and that this revelation was a great miracle, for, no one could produce anything like it.

Just consider, can a person dare to give such a challenge to the whole world, while being a plagiarist and having cooked the whole thing up on his own, and knowing full well that this knowledge has not come to him from the unseen, rather he has stolen it from such and such books, and to think that no one should be able to accept his challenge and expose him!

The fact is that the Christians are extremely annoyed with the Holy Quran, for it has destroyed the very basis of their religion. It has refuted the concept of deifying a human being, shattered the doctrine of the cross, and proven beyond all doubt that the teachings of the Gospels—which the Christians are so proud of—are extremely flawed and ineffective. It was, therefore, only natural for their egoistic passions to have been aroused, and their imputations [against the Holy Quran] are quite understandable. The example of a Muslim who wishes to convert to Christianity is like a person who, having been born from his mother’s womb and having attained maturity, wishes to return to her womb and become a sperm once more. I wonder what the Christians are so proud of! If they have a ‘God’, he is the one who died long ago and lies buried in Mohalla Khanyar, Srinagar, Kashmir. And if he has any miracles to his name, they are no greater than those of other Prophets, indeed Prophet Elijah showed greater miracles than he ever did.

This is from the book Fountain of Christianity. Please see the actual book for some of the references cited and the footnotes.

We have saved the above video in the Muslim Times as well:

William Tyndale: Burnt at the Stake for Translating the Bible

Epigraph:

“Surely, the Believers, and the Jews, and the Christians and the Sabians — whichever party from among these truly believes in Allah and the Last Day and does good deeds — shall have their reward with their Lord, and no fear shall come upon them, nor shall they grieve.” (Al Quran 2:62/63 )

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The Muslim Times has the best collection about the Bible, the Quran and free speech

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

Encyclopedia Britannica has the following to say about William Tyndale:

After church authorities in England prevented him from translating the Bible there, he went to Germany in 1524, receiving financial support from wealthy London merchants. His New Testament translation was completed in July 1525 and printed at Cologne and, when Catholic authorities suppressed it, at Worms. The first copies reached England in 1526. Tyndale then began work on an Old Testament translation but was captured in Antwerp before it was completed; he was executed at Vilvoorde in 1536.

At the time of his death, several thousand copies of his New Testament had been printed; however, only one intact copy remains today at London’s British Library. The first vernacular English text of any part of the Bible to be so published, Tyndale’s version became the basis for most subsequent English translations, beginning with the King James Version of 1611.

Statue of William Tyndale, Victoria Embankment Gardens Bronze statue unveiled on May 7th 1884. The sculptor was Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

William Tyndale (sometimes spelled Tynsdale, Tindall, Tindill, Tyndall; c. 1492–1536) was an English scholar who became a leading figure in Protestant reform in the years leading up to his execution. He is well known for his translation of the Bible into English. He was influenced by the work of Desiderius Erasmus, who made the Greek New Testament available in Europe, and by Martin Luther.[1] While a number of partial and incomplete translations had been made from the seventh century onward, the grass-roots spread of Wycliffe’s Bible resulted in a death sentence for any unlicensed possession of Scripture in English—even though all the major European languages had been translated and made available.[2][3] Tyndale’s translation was the first English Bible to draw directly from Hebrew and Greek texts, the first English one to take advantage of the printing press, and first of the new English Bibles of the Reformation. It was taken to be a direct challenge to the hegemony of both the Roman Catholic Church and English Laws to maintain church rulings. In 1530, Tyndale also wrote The Practyse of Prelates, opposing Henry VIII‘s divorce on the grounds that it contravened Scripture.

While Tyndale had to learn Hebrew in Germany due to England’s active Edict of Expulsion against the Jews, he worked in an age where Greek was available to the European scholarly community for the first time in centuries. Erasmus compiled and edited Greek Scriptures into the Textus Receptus—ironically, to improve upon the Latin Vulgate—following the Renaissance-fueling Fall of Constantinople in 1453 and the dispersion of Greek-speaking intellectuals and texts into a Europe which previously had access to none. Sharing Erasmus’ translation ideals, Tyndale took the ill-regarded, unpopular and awkward Middle-English “vulgar” tongue, improved upon it using Greek and Hebrew syntaxes and idioms, and formed an Early Modern English basis that Shakespeare and others would later follow and build upon as Tyndale-inspired vernacular forms took over.[2][4] When a copy of his paradigm shiftingThe Obedience of a Christian Man” fell into the hands of Henry VIII, the king found the rationale to break the Church in England from the Roman Catholic Church in 1534.[5][6]

In 1535, Tyndale was arrested and jailed in the castle of Filford outside Brussels for over a year. In 1536 he was convicted of heresy and executed by strangulation, after which his body was burnt at the stake. His dying request that the King of England’s eyes would be opened seemed to find its fulfillment just two years later with Henry’s authorization of The Great Bible for the Church of England—which was largely Tyndale’s own work. Hence, The Tyndale Bible, as it was known, continued to play a key role in spreading Reformation ideas across the English-speaking world and eventually, on the global British Empire. His version also worked prominently into the Geneva Bible which was taken to the New World to Jamestown in 1607, and on the Mayflower in 1620. Notably, in 1611, the 54 independent scholars who created the King James Version, drew significantly from Tyndale, as well as translations that descended from his. One estimate suggests the New Testament in the King James Version is 83% Tyndale’s, and the Old Testament 76%.[7]

Contents

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Biography

Tyndale was born at some time in the period 1484–1496, possibly in one of the villages near Dursley, Gloucestershire. The Tyndale family also went by the name Hychyns (Hitchins), and it was as William Hychyns that Tyndale was enrolled at Magdalen College School, Oxford. Tyndale’s family had migrated to Gloucestershire at some point in the fifteenth century – probably as a result of the Wars of the Roses. The family derived from Northumberland via East Anglia. Tyndale’s uncle, Edward, was receiver to the lands of Lord Berkeley. Edward Smith is recorded in two genealogies[8] as having been the brother of Sir William Tyndale, of Deane, Northumberland, and Hockwald, Norfolk, who was knighted at the marriage of Arthur, Prince of Wales to Katherine of Aragon. Tyndale’s family was therefore derived from Baron Adam de Tyndale, a tenant-in-chief of Henry I (see Tyndall). William Tyndale’s niece was Margaret Tyndale who married Rowland Taylor “The Martyr”.

At Oxford

Tyndale began a Bachelor of Arts degree at Magdalen Hall (later Hertford College) of Oxford University in 1506 and received his B.A. in 1512; the same year becoming a subdeacon. He was made Master of Arts in July 1515 and was held to be a man of virtuous disposition, leading an unblemished life.[9] The M.A. allowed him to start studying theology, but the official course did not include the systematic study of Scripture. As Tyndale later complained:

“They have ordained that no man shall look on the Scripture, until he be noselled in heathen learning eight or nine years and armed with false principles, with which he is clean shut out of the understanding of the Scripture.”

He was a gifted linguist, over the years becoming fluent in French, Greek, Hebrew, German, Italian, Latin, and Spanish, in addition to his native English.[10] Between 1517 and 1521, he went to the University of Cambridge. Erasmus had been the leading teacher of Greek there from August 1511 to January 1512, but not during Tyndale’s time at the university.[11] Tyndale may have met Thomas Bilney and John Frith whilst there.[12]

Sculpted Head Of William Tyndale from St Dunstan-in-the-West Church London

Tyndale became chaplain to the house of Sir John Walsh at Little Sodbury and tutor to his children in about 1521. His opinions proved controversial to fellow clergymen, and around 1522 he was called before John Bell, the Chancellor of the Diocese of Worcester, though no formal charges were laid.[13]

After the harsh meeting with Bell and other church leaders, and near the end of Tyndale’s time at Little Sodbury, John Foxe describes an argument with a “learned” but “blasphemous” clergyman, who had asserted to Tyndale that, “We had better be without God’s laws than the Pope’s.” Tyndale responded: “I defy the Pope, and all his laws; and if God spares my life, ere many years, I will cause the boy that driveth the plow to know more of the Scriptures than thou dost!”[14][15]

Tyndale left for London in 1523 to seek permission to translate the Bible into English. He requested help from Bishop Cuthbert Tunstall, a well-known classicist who had praised Erasmus after working together with him on a Greek New Testament. The bishop, however, declined to extend his patronage, telling Tyndale he had no room for him in his household.[16] Tyndale preached and studied “at his book” in London for some time, relying on the help of a cloth merchant, Humphrey Monmouth. During this time he lectured widely, including at St Dunstan-in-the-West.

In Europe

William Tyndale then left England and landed on the continent, perhaps at Hamburg, in the spring of the year 1524, possibly travelling on to Wittenberg. The entry of the name “Guillelmus Daltici ex Anglia“ in the matriculation registers of the University Wittenberg has been taken to be a Latinization of “William Tyndale from England”.[17] At this time, possibly in Wittenberg, he began translating the New Testament, completing it in 1525, with assistance from Observant friar William Roy.

The beginning of the Gospel of John, from Tyndale’s 1525 translation of the New Testament.

In 1525, publication of the work by Peter Quentell, in Cologne, was interrupted by the impact of anti-Lutheranism. It was not until 1526 that a full edition of the New Testament was produced by the printer Peter Schoeffer in Worms, a free imperial city then in the process of adopting Lutheranism.[18] More copies were soon printed in Antwerp. The book was smuggled into England and Scotland, and was condemned in October 1526 by Bishop Tunstall, who issued warnings to booksellers and had copies burned in public.[19] Marius notes that the “spectacle of the scriptures being put to the torch” “provoked controversy even amongst the faithful.”[19] Cardinal Wolsey condemned Tyndale as a heretic, his first mention in open court as a heretic being in January 1529.[20]

From an entry in George Spalatin‘s Diary, on 11 August 1526, it seems that Tyndale remained at Worms about a year. It is not clear exactly when he left Worms and moved to Antwerp. The colophon to Tyndale’s translation of Genesis and the title pages of several pamphlets from this time are purported to have been printed by Hans Luft at Marburg, but this is a false address. Hans Luft, the printer of Luther’s books, never had a printing press at Marburg.[citation needed]

William Tyndale, before being strangled and burned at the stake, cries out, “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes”. woodcut from Foxe’s Book of Martyrs (1563).

Around 1529, it is possible that Tyndale intended to move to Hamburg, carrying on his work. He revised his New Testament and began translating the Old Testament and writing various treatises.

Opposition to Henry VIII’s divorce

In 1530, he wrote The Practyse of Prelates, opposing Henry VIII‘s planned divorce from Catherine of Aragon, in favour of Anne Boleyn, on the grounds that it was unscriptural and was a plot by Cardinal Wolsey to get Henry entangled in the papal courts of Pope Clement VII.[21] The king’s wrath was aimed at Tyndale: Henry asked the Emperor Charles V to have the writer apprehended and returned to England under the terms of the Treaty of Cambrai, however, the Emperor responded that formal evidence was required before extradition.[22] Tyndale developed his case in An Answer unto Sir Thomas More’s Dialogue.

Betrayal and death

Eventually, Tyndale was betrayed by Henry Phillips to the imperial authorities,[23] seized in Antwerp in 1535 and held in the castle of Filford near Brussels.[24] He was tried on a charge of heresy in 1536 and condemned to death, despite Thomas Cromwell‘s intercession on his behalf. Tyndale “was strangled to death while tied at the stake, and then his dead body was burned”.[25] Tyndale’s final words, spoken “at the stake with a fervent zeal, and a loud voice”, were reported as “Lord! Open the King of England’s eyes.”[26] The traditional date of commemoration is 6 October, but records of Tyndale’s imprisonment suggest the actual date of his execution might have been some weeks earlier.[27] Foxe gives 6 October as the date of commemoration (left-hand date column), but gives no date of death (right-hand date column).[24]

Within four years, at the same king’s behest, four English translations of the Bible were published in England,[28] including Henry’s official Great Bible. All were based on Tyndale’s work.

Theological views

Tyndale denounced the practice of prayer to saints.[29] He taught justification by faith, believer’s baptism, the return of Christ, and mortality of the soul.[30]

Printed works

Most well known for his translation of the Bible, Tyndale was an active writer and translator. Not only did Tyndale’s works focus on the way in which religion should be carried out, but were also greatly keyed towards the political arena.

Year Printed Name of Work Place of Publication Publisher
1525 The New Testament Translation (incomplete) Cologne
1526* The New Testament Translation (first full printed edition in English) Worms
1526 A compendious introduccion, prologue or preface into the epistle of Paul to the Romans
1528 The parable of the wicked mammon Antwerp
1528 The Obedience of a Christen Man[31] (and how Christen rulers ought to govern…) Antwerp Merten de Keyser
1530* The five books of Moses [the Pentateuch] Translation (each book with individual title page) Antwerp Merten de Keyser
1530 The practyse of prelates Antwerp Merten de Keyser
1531 The exposition of the fyrste epistle of seynt Jhon with a prologge before it Antwerp Merten de Keyser
1531? The prophete Jonas Translation Antwerp Merten de Keyser
1531 An answere vnto sir Thomas Mores dialogue
1533? An exposicion vppon the. v. vi. vii. chapters of Mathew
1533 Erasmus: Enchiridion militis Christiani Translation
1534 The New Testament Translation (thoroughly revised, with a second foreword against George Joye‘s unauthorised changes in an edition of Tyndale’s New Testament published earlier in the same year) Antwerp Merten de Keyser
1535 The testament of master Wylliam Tracie esquier, expounded both by W. Tindall and J. Frith
1536? A path way into the holy scripture
1537 The bible, which is all the holy scripture Translation (only in part Tyndale’s)
1548? A briefe declaration of the sacraments
1573 The whole workes of W. Tyndall, John Frith, and Doct. Barnes, edited by John Foxe
1848* Doctrinal Treatises and Introductions to Different Portions of the Holy Scriptures Tindal, Frith, Barnes
1849* Expositions and Notes on Sundry Portions of the Holy Scriptures Together with the Practice of Prelates
1850* An Answer to Sir Thomas More’s Dialogue, The Supper of the Lord after the True Meaning of John VI. and I Cor. XI., and William Tracy’s Testament Expounded
1964* The Work of William Tyndale
1989** Tyndale’s New Testament
1992** Tyndale’s Old Testament
Forthcoming The Independent Works of William Tyndale
* These works were printed more than once, usually signifying a revision or reprint. However the 1525 edition was printed as an incomplete quarto and was then reprinted in 1526 as a complete octavo.
** These works were reprints of Tyndale’s earlier translations revised for modern spelling.

Legacy

Impact on the English language

In translating the Bible, Tyndale introduced new words into the English language, and many were subsequently used in the King James Bible:

Coinage of the word atonement (a concatenation of the words ‘At One’ to describe Christ’s work of restoring a good relationship—a reconciliation—between God and people)[32] is also sometimes ascribed to Tyndale.[33][34] However, the word was probably in use by at least 1513, before Tyndale’s translation.[35][36] Similarly, sometimes Tyndale is said to have coined the term mercy seat.[37] While it is true that Tyndale introduced the word into English, mercy seat is more accurately a translation of Martin Luther‘s German Gnadenstuhl.[38]

As well as individual words, Tyndale also coined such familiar phrases as:

  • lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil
  • knock and it shall be opened unto you
  • twinkling of an eye (another translation from Luther)[37]
  • a moment in time
  • fashion not yourselves to the world
  • seek and you shall find
  • ask and it shall be given you
  • judge not that you not be judged
  • the word of God which liveth and lasteth forever
  • let there be light (Luther translated Genesis 1,3 as: Es werde Licht, which would be word for word translated: It will be light)
  • the powers that be
  • my brother’s keeper
  • the salt of the earth
  • a law unto themselves
  • filthy lucre
  • it came to pass
  • gave up the ghost
  • the signs of the times
  • the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak (which is like Luther’s translation of Mathew 26,41: der Geist ist willig, aber das Fleisch ist schwach; Wyclif for example translated it with: for the spirit is ready, but the flesh is sick.)
  • live and move and have our being
  • fight the good fight

Controversy over new words and phrases

The hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church did not approve of some of the words and phrases introduced by Tyndale, such as “overseer”, where the it would have understood as “bishop,” “elder” for “priest,” and “love” rather than “charity.” Tyndale, citing Erasmus, contended that the Greek New Testament did not support the traditional Roman Catholic readings. More controversially, Tyndale translated the Greek “ekklesia,” (literally “called out ones”[39]) as “congregation” rather than “Church.”[40] It has been asserted this translation choice “was a direct threat to the Church’s ancient—but so Tyndale here made clear, non-scriptural—claim to be the body of Christ on earth. To change these words was to strip the Church hierarchy of its pretensions to be Christ’s terrestrial representative, and to award this honour to individual worshipers who made up each congregation.”[40]

Contention from Roman Catholics came not only from real or perceived errors in translation but also a fear of the erosion of their social power if Christians could read the Bible in their own language. “The Pope’s dogma is bloody,” Tyndale wrote in his Obedience of a Christian Man.[41] Thomas More (since 1925 in the Catholic church, Saint Thomas More) commented that searching for errors in the Tyndale Bible was similar to searching for water in the sea, and charged Tyndale’s translation of Obedience of a Christian Man with having about a thousand falsely translated errors. Bishop Tunstall of London declared that there were upwards of 2,000 errors in Tyndale’s Bible, having already in 1523 denied Tyndale the permission required under the Constitutions of Oxford (1409), which were still in force, to translate the Bible into English.

In response to allegations of inaccuracies in his translation in the New Testament, Tyndale in the Prologue to his 1525 translation wrote that he never intentionally altered or misrepresented any of the Bible in his translation, but that he had sought to “interpret the sense of the scripture and the meaning of the spirit.”[40]

While translating, Tyndale followed Erasmus‘ (1522) Greek edition of the New Testament. In his Preface to his 1534 New Testament (“WT unto the Reader”), he not only goes into some detail about the Greek tenses but also points out that there is often a Hebrew idiom underlying the Greek. The Tyndale Society adduces much further evidence to show that his translations were made directly from the original Hebrew and Greek sources he had at his disposal. For example, the Prolegomena in Mombert’s William Tyndale’s Five Books of Moses show that Tyndale’s Pentateuch is a translation of the Hebrew original. His translation also drew on Latin Vulgate and Luther’s 1521 September Testament.[40]

Of the first (1526) edition of Tyndale’s New Testament, only three copies survive. The only complete copy is part of the Bible Collection of Württembergische Landesbibliothek, Stuttgart. The copy of the British Library is almost complete, lacking only the title page and list of contents. Another rarity of Tyndale’s is the Pentateuch of which only nine remain.

Impact on the English Bible

The Bible in English

The translators of the Revised Standard Version in the 1940s noted that Tyndale’s translation inspired the great translations that followed, including the Great Bible of 1539, the Geneva Bible of 1560, the Bishops’ Bible of 1568, the Douay-Rheims Bible of 1582–1609, and the King James Version of 1611, of which the RSV translators noted: “It [the KJV] kept felicitous phrases and apt expressions, from whatever source, which had stood the test of public usage. It owed most, especially in the New Testament, to Tyndale”. Many scholars today believe that such is the case. Moynahan writes: “A complete analysis of the Authorised Version, known down the generations as “the AV” or “the King James” was made in 1998. It shows that Tyndale’s words account for 84% of the New Testament and for 75.8% of the Old Testament books that he translated.[42] Joan Bridgman makes the comment in the Contemporary Review that, “He [Tyndale] is the mainly unrecognised translator of the most influential book in the world. Although the Authorised King James Version is ostensibly the production of a learned committee of churchmen, it is mostly cribbed from Tyndale with some reworking of his translation.”[43]

Many of the great English versions since then have drawn inspiration from Tyndale, such as the Revised Standard Version, the New American Standard Bible, and the English Standard Version. Even the paraphrases like the Living Bible have been inspired by the same desire to make the Bible understandable to Tyndale’s proverbial ploughboy.[44][45]

George Steiner in his book on translation After Babel refers to “the influence of the genius of Tyndale, the greatest of English Bible translators…” [After Babel p. 366]. He has also appeared as a character in two plays dealing with the King James Bible, Howard Brenton’s Anne Boleyn (2010) and David Edgar’s Written on the Heart (2011).

Memorials

A memorial to Tyndale stands in Vilvoorde, where he was executed. It was erected in 1913 by Friends of the Trinitarian Bible Society of London and the Belgian Bible Society[46] There is also a small William Tyndale Museum in the town, attached to the Protestant church.[47]

A bronze statue by Sir Joseph Boehm commemorating the life and work of Tyndale was erected in Victoria Embankment Gardens on the Thames Embankment, London in 1884. It shows his right hand on an open Bible, which is itself resting on an early printing press.

The Tyndale Monument was built in 1866 on a hill above his supposed birthplace, North Nibley, Gloucestershire.

A number of colleges, schools and study centres have been named in his honour, including Tyndale House (Cambridge), Tyndale University College and Seminary (Toronto), the Tyndale-Carey Graduate School affiliated to the Bible College of New Zealand, William Tyndale College (Farmington Hills, Michigan), and Tyndale Theological Seminary (Shreveport, Louisiana, and Fort Worth, Texas), as well as the independent Tyndale Theological Seminary[48] in Badhoevedorp, near Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

An American Christian publishing house, also called Tyndale House, was named after Tyndale.

Liturgical commemoration

By tradition Tyndale’s death is commemorated on 6 October.[49] There are commemorations on this date in the church calendars of members of the Anglican Communion, initially as one of the “days of optional devotion” in the American Book of Common Prayer (1979),[50] and a “black-letter day” in the Church of England‘s Alternative Service Book.[51] The Common Worship that came into use in the Church of England in 2000 provides a collect proper to 6 October, beginning with the words:

“Lord, give your people grace to hear and keep your word that, after the example of your servant William Tyndale, we may not only profess your gospel but also be ready to suffer and die for it, to the honour of your name; …”

See the List of Anglican Church Calendars.

Tyndale is also honoured in the Calendar of Saints of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as a translator and martyr the same day.

Films about Tyndale

  • The first biographical film about Tyndale, titled William Tindale, was released in 1937.[52]
  • The second, titled God’s Outlaw: The Story of William Tyndale, was released in 1986.
  • A cartoon film about his life, titled Torchlighters: The William Tyndale Story, was released ca. 2005.[citation needed]
  • The film Stephen’s Test of Faith (1998) includes a long scene with Tyndale, how he translated the Bible and how he was put to death.[53]
  • The documentary film, William Tyndale: Man with a Mission, was released ca. 2005. The movie included an interview with David Daniell.[citation needed]
  • Another known documentary is the film William Tyndale: His Life, His Legacy.[54]
  • The 2-hour Channel 4 documentary, The Bible Revolution, presented by Rod Liddle, details the roles of historically significant English Reformers John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, and Thomas Cranmer.
  • The “Battle for the Bible” (2007) episode of the PBS Secrets of the Dead series, narrated by Liev Schreiber, features Tyndale’s story and legacy and includes historical context. This film is an abbreviated and revised version of the PBS/Channel 4 version, and replaces some British footage with that more relevant to American audiences.[citation needed]
  • In 2011, BYUtv produced a miniseries on the creation of the King James Bible that focused heavily on Tyndale’s life called Fires of Faith.[55][56]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ A.C. Partridge, English Biblical Translation (London: Andrè Deutsch Limited, 1973),38–39, 52–52.
  2. ^ a b *Daniell, David (interviewee) and O’Donnell, Paul (interviewer). http://www.beliefnet.com/Entertainment/Books/2003/09/The-Powerhouse-Of-Creative-Thought.aspx.
  3. ^ *Daniell, David and Boulter, Russell. William Tyndale: Man with a Mission. Videorecording. Christian History Institute, 2005 (full text: https://www.visionvideo.com/pdf/manwmission.pdf. Page 2).
  4. ^ Daniell, David (interviewee) and Noah, William H. (producer/researcher/host). “William Tyndale: his life, his legacy” Videorecording. Avalon Press; c.2004.
  5. ^ Daniell, David (interviewee) and Noah, William H. (producer/researcher/host). William Tyndale: his life, his legacy Videorecording. Avalon Press; c.2004.
  6. ^ *Daniell, David: William Tyndale: a biography. New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 1994.
  7. ^ Tadmor, Naomi (2010). The Social Universe of the English Bible: Scripture, Society, and Culture in Early Modern England. Cambridge UP. pp. 16. ISBN 978-0-521-76971-6. http://books.google.com/books?id=C21uSkCiVeAC&pg=PA16. Tadmor cites the work of John Nielson and Royal Skousen, “How Much of the King James Bible is William Tyndale’s? An Estimation Based on Sampling,” Reformation 3 (1998): 49–74.
  8. ^ John Nichol, Literary Anecdotes, Vol IX: Tindal genealogy; Burke’s Landed Gentry, 19th century editions, ‘Tyndale of Haling’
  9. ^ Brian Moynahan. William Tyndale: If God Spare my Life (London, 2003), p. 11.
  10. ^ David Daniell, William Tyndale: A Biography (New Haven & London, 1994), p. 18
  11. ^ Daniell, William Tyndale, pp. 49-50.
  12. ^ Moynahan, William Tyndale, p. 21.
  13. ^ Moynahan, William Tyndale, p. 28.
  14. ^ Lecture by Dom Henry Wansbrough OSB MA (Oxon) STL LSS
  15. ^ Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, Chap XII
  16. ^ Tyndale, preface to Five bokes of Moses (1530).
  17. ^ eg The Life of William Tyndale – Tyndale in Germany – by Dr. Herbert Samworth
  18. ^ Joannes Cochlaeus, Commentaria de Actis et Scriptis Martini Lutheri (St Victor, near Mainz: Franciscus Berthem, 1549), p. 134.
  19. ^ a b Peter Ackroyd, The Life of Thomas More (London, 1999), p. 270.
  20. ^ Moynahan, William Tyndale, p. 177.
  21. ^ Richard Marius Thomas More: A Biography (Cambridge, Mass., 1999) p. 388. “… English kings on one side and the wicked popes and English bishops on the other. Cardinal Wolsey embodies the culmination of centuries of conspiracy, and Tyndale’s hatred of Wolsey is so nearly boundless that it seems pathological.”
  22. ^ J.G. Bellamy, The Tudor Law of Treason: An Introduction (London, 1979) p. 89. “Henry claimed that Tyndale was spreading sedition, but the Emperor expressed his doubts and argued that he must examine the case and discover proof of the English King’s assertion before delivering the wanted man.”
  23. ^ http://www.bible-researcher.com/tyndale4.html
  24. ^ a b John Foxe, Actes and Monuments (1570), VIII.1228 (Foxe’s Book of Martyrs Variorum Edition Online).
  25. ^ Michael Farris, “From Tyndale to Madison”, 2007, p. 37.
  26. ^ John Foxe, Actes and Monuments (1570), VIII.1229 (Foxe’s Book of Martyrs Variorum Edition Online).
  27. ^ Arblaster, Paul (2002). “An Error of Dates?”. http://www.tyndale.org/TSJ/25/arblaster.html. Retrieved 7 October 2007.
  28. ^ Miles Coverdale‘s, Thomas Matthew‘s, Richard Taverner‘s, and the Great Bible
  29. ^ Goldrick 1979.
  30. ^ Bryan W. Ball, The Soul Sleepers: Christian Mortalism from Wycliffe to Priestley (2008), pp. 48ff.
  31. ^ The Obedience Of A Christian Man
  32. ^ Niels-erik A. Andreasen, ‘Atonement/Expiation in the Old Testament’ in W. E. Mills (ed.), Mercer dictionary of the Bible (Mercer University Press, 1990)
  33. ^ Alister E. McGrath, Christian literature: an anthology (Wiley-Blackwell, 2001), p. 357
  34. ^ Campbell Gillon, Words to Trust (Rowman & Littlefield, 1991), p. 42
  35. ^atonement‘ in OED: ‘1513 MORE Rich. III Wks. 41 Having more regarde to their olde variaunce then their newe attonement. […] 1513 MORE Edw. V Wks. 40 Of which . . none of vs hath any thing the lesse nede, for the late made attonemente.’
  36. ^ Douglas Harper, ‘atone‘ in Online Etymology Dictionary (accessed 15 January 2011).
  37. ^ a b Naseeb Shaheen, Biblical references in Shakespeare’s plays (University of Delaware Press, 1999), p. 18
  38. ^ Douglas J. Moo, The Epistle to the Romans (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1996), p. 232 n. 62
  39. ^ Believer’s Study Bible (electronic ed.). Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997. Rev 22:17, “the word…ekklesia….is a compound word coming from the word kaleo, meaning ‘to call,’ and ek, meaning ‘out of.’ Thus…’the called-out ones.’ Eph 5:23, “This is the same word used by the Greeks for their assembly of citizens who were ‘called out’ to transact the business of the city. The word…implies…’assembly.’
  40. ^ a b c d Brian Moynahan. William Tyndale. If God Spare my Life. Abacus, London ISBN 034911532 p72
  41. ^ Brian Moynahan. William Tyndale. If God Spare my Life. Abacus, London ISBN 034911532 p152.
  42. ^ Brian Moynahan. William Tyndale. If God Spare My Life. Abacus, London. 2003 pp1-2.
  43. ^ Bridgman, Joan. “Tyndale’s New Testament.” Contemporary Review 2000; 277 (1619): 342–346
  44. ^ The Bible in the Renaissance – William Tyndale
  45. ^ http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Book_of_Martyrs/Chapter_XII
  46. ^ Le Chrétien Belge, 18 October 1913; 15 November 1913.
  47. ^ museum.com
  48. ^ Tyndale Theological Seminary
  49. ^ David Daniell, “Tyndale, William (c.1492–1536),” in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, ed. H. C. G. Matthew and Brian Harrison (Oxford: OUP, 2004); online edition, ed. Lawrence Goldman, October 2007. Accessed 18 December 2007.
  50. ^ Marion J. Hatchett, Commentary on the American Prayer Book (New York: Seabury press, 1981), pp. 43, 76–77
  51. ^ Martin Draper, ed., The Cloud of Witnesses: A Companion to the Lesser Festivals and Holydays of the Alternative Service Book, 1980 (London: The Alcuin Club, 1982).
  52. ^ compare William Tindale (1937)
  53. ^ compare Stephen’s Test of Faith (1998)
  54. ^ “William Tyndale: His Life, His Legacy”. TBN.org. KTBN TV. ASIN ASIN=B000J3YOBO. Archived from the original on 30 September 2012. http://www.tbn.org/watch-us/our-programs/william-tyndale-his-life-his-legacy.
  55. ^ Toone, Trent (15 October 2011), “BYUtv tells story of the King James Bible in ‘Fires of Faith'”, Deseret News, http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705392524/BYUtv-tells-story-of-the-King-James-Bible-in-Fires-of-Faith.html
  56. ^ “Fires of Faith: The Coming Forth of the King James Bible”, byutv.org (BYU Television), http://byutv.org/show/123d4a82-3d47-488e-beda-2496a5a1ff2c

References

  • Adapted from J.I. Mombert, “Tyndale, William,” in Philip Schaff, Johann Jakob Herzog, et al., eds., The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1904, reprinted online by the Christian Classics Ethereal Library. Additional references are available there.
  • David Daniell, William Tyndale, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
  • David Daniell, William Tyndale: A Biography, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2001, ISBN 978-0-300-06880-1
  • William Tyndale, An Answer Unto Sir Thomas Mores Dialoge, edited by Anne M. O’Donnell, S.N.D. and Jared Wicks S.J., Washington D.C. Catholic University of America Press, 2000, ISBN 0-8132-0820-3
  • William Tyndale, The New Testament, (Worms, 1526; Reprinted in original spelling by The British Library, 2000 ISBN 0-7123-4664-3)
  • William Tyndale, The New Testament, (Antwerp, 1534; Reprinted in modern English spelling, complete with Prologues to the books and marginal notes, with the original Greek paragraphs, by Yale University Press, 1989 ISBN 0-300-04419-4)
  • This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Jackson, Samuel Macauley, ed. (1914). “article name needed“. New Schaff–Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge (third ed.). London and New York: Funk and Wagnalls.
  • Paul Arblaster, Gergely Juhász, Guido Latré (eds) Tyndale’s Testament hardback ISBN 2-503-51411-1 Brepols 2002
  • Day, John T. “Sixteenth-Century British Nondramatic Writers” Dictionary of Literary Biography 1.132 1993 :296–311
  • Foxe, Acts and Monuments
  • Cahill, Elizabeth Kirkl “A bible for the plowboy”, Commonweal 124.7: 1997
  • The Norton Anthology: English Literature. Ed. Julia Reidhead. New York: New York, Eighth Edition, 2006. 621.
  • Brian Moynahan, God’s Bestseller: William Tyndale, Thomas More, and the Writing of the English Bible—A Story of Martyrdom and Betrayal St. Martin’s Press, 2003
  • John Piper, Desiring God Ministries, “Why William Tyndale Lived and Died” [1]
  • William Tyndale: A hero for the information age,” The Economist, 2008 December 20, pp. 101–103. [2] The online version corrects the name of Tyndale’s Antwerp landlord as “Thomas Pointz” vice the “Henry Pointz” indicated in the print edition.
  • Ralph S. Werrell, “The Theology of William Tyndale.” ISBN 0-227-67985-7. With a Foreword by Dr. Rowan Williams. Published by James Clarke & Co.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: William Tyndale
Wikisourcehas original works written by or about:William Tyndale
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: William Tyndale

Every Thing You Wanted to Know about Compilation and Preservation of the Holy Quran

Epigraph:

Indeed, We (Allah) Ourself have sent down this Quran, and most surely We will be its Guardian. (Al Quran 15:9/10)

topakapi manuscript
Topkapi manuscript of the Holy Quran

New Light on the History of the Quranic Text?

Source: The Huffington Post By Joseph E. B. Lumbard; Assistant professor of classical Islam, Brandeis University. General Editor for The Study Quran (HarperOne, 2015) The recent discovery of an early manuscript of the Quran has received extensive media attention, appearing on BBC, CNN and even above the fold on the front […]

Samarkand Kufic Quran Manuscript

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The Samarkand manuscript, now kept inTashkent The Samarkand Kufic Quran (also known as the Uthman Quran, Samarkand codex, Samarkand manuscript and Tashkent Quran) is an…

Tests reveal Quran manuscript is among oldest in the world, says UK university

Epigraph: Indeed, We (Allah) Ourself have sent down this Quran, and most surely We will be its Guardian. (Al Quran 15:10) By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN London (CNN) For years, the two…

An Everlasting Miracle of the Holy Quran

By Anwer Mehmood Khan, USA One of the great characteristics of the Holy Quran is the fact that the reader’s heart is welled up with awe and reverence the very…

A Debate Challenge: the Holy Bible versus the Holy Quran?

Written by Zia H. Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times I read today with great concern, the news, Florida pastor Terry Jones burns copies of Koran outside church. …

The Holy Prophet Muhammad and the Holy Quran

“The life of the Holy Prophet, peace be on him, was a life of grand success. In his high moral qualities, his spiritual power, his high resolve, the excellence and…

Compilation of the Holy Quran into a text

This is a short article to introduce the subject to fellow Christians. The Holy Quran says about them: And thou shalt assuredly find those who say, ‘We are Christians,’ to…

Why the Oldest Qur’an Is so Important for Muslims

Source: The Huffington Post By Nafees Syed; Lawyer, Former Congressional staffer The most important miracle in Islam is located in Birmingham, United Kingdom. On Wednesday, the headline of the New York…

New Light on the History of the Quranic Text?

Source: The Huffington Post By Joseph E. B. Lumbard; Assistant professor of classical Islam, Brandeis University. General Editor for The Study Quran (HarperOne, 2015) The recent discovery of an early manuscript…

Discovery of ‘oldest’ Qur’an stirs new passions in UK city

Source: Arab News LONDON: For decades, an ancient relic from the Middle East was unknowingly tucked away in an unlikely place: A library in the British Midlands, thousands of miles…

Quran dating back to Akbar’s period recovered in Mysuru

Source: The Hindu The last page bears the year in which it had been written. “It was written in 1050 of the Hijri calendar, which works out to 1605 AD,…

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Follow us in Twitter to stay informed about current affairs, human rights, universal brotherhood, Separation of Mosque-Church and State, and much more

Book Review: The Bible, The Quran and Science

universe-and-man
The Muslim Times has the best collection for the theme of religion and science

Book by Dr. Maurice Bucaille

Book review by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

As I was growing up in Pakistan and studying in King Edward Medical College, Lahore, 1979-1985, enamored by the success of science and technology, I had come to have agnostic and atheistic tendencies.

Then I read the book by Dr. Maurice Bucaille, the Bible the Quran and Science, and every thing changed for me.

For centuries the Christian apologists have called the Holy Quran a forgery of the Bible and I had some reasons to think that the Bible itself is a forgery, and in a recent book a New Testament scholar, Prof. Bart Ehrman, presents evidence and claims that half of the New Testament is a forgery.  After reading Bucaille’s book I thought to myself, how could an alleged  forgery of a forgery, the Holy Quran, get its facts straight in the court of science, as Maurice Bucaille presented?   Over time I have come to admire the Holy Quran more and more!

In presenting the Islamic scriptures to the agnostics and atheists, now I also realize that as they mostly grew in Christian background, they  learn about the vulnerabilities of the Bible and without genuinely studying the case for the Holy Quran, attribute those vulnerabilities and some more, to the Quran also.

Additionally, when interpreting a given verse of the Quran, they invariably accept the most cynical interpretation of the Holy Quran without trying to determine which interpretation is more probable.  However, if they were to objectively and honestly study the Holy Quran they may relive the experience of the famous German philosopher, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:

As often as we approach the Quran, it always proves repulsive anew; gradually, however, it attracts, it astonishes, and, in the end forces admiration.

The Holy Quran states:

The disbelievers say: This Quran is naught but a lie that Muhammad has fabricated, and other people have helped him with it. They have, thereby, perpetrated an injustice and an untruth. They also say: These are fables of the ancients which he has got someone to write down for him and they are recited to him morning and evening. Say to them: The Quran has been revealed by Him Who knows every secret that is in the heavens and the earth. Indeed, He is Most Forgiving, Ever Merciful. (Al Surah Al-Furqan 25:5-7)

Many Christian writers and clergy claim that the Holy Quran is borrowed from the Bible. Allah refutes this allegation in the words, “The Quran has been revealed by Him Who knows every secret that is in the heavens and the earth.”

The most effective proofs of this Quranic claim were to come after the scientific revolution. Dr. Maurice Bucaille’s book is indeed a landmark achievement in this regards.  By showing that the Quran co-relates with modern science, whereas, the Bible often does not and is self contradictory, one can put to rest propaganda of the Christian apologists!

However, it needs to be understood that the Holy Quran is a book of ‘religion’ and not a ‘book of science’ and Bucaille’s book is a book of ‘metaphysics’ and not of science. Metaphysics is a term, which means literally ‘what comes after physics.’ So, it is a branch of philosophy that studies the ultimate structure and constitution of reality, correlating religion and science.

A certain amount of humility is in order to comprehend the distinction between religion, science and metaphysics.

In the words of Sir Charles Darwin, as he quoted Francis Bacon from his book Advancement of learning in the later editions of On the Origin of Species, to establish the proper relationship between religion and natural science:

To conclude, therefore, let no man out of weak conceit of sobriety, or an ill-applied moderation, think or maintain, that a man can search too far or be too well-studied in the book of God’s word, or in the book of God’s works; divinity or philosophy; but rather let men endeavor an endless progress or proficiency in both.

If we read the book of Dr. Maurice Bucaille with this humility there is much room for learning for both the Muslim and the non-Muslim audience.

To order the book please go to Amazon.com, the Kindle version is available for $2.99

Some Argue Islamism from the Quran and others Secularism and Many argue Both on the Same Day

Secularism
Secularism in our view implies religious tolerance, equal women rights and emphasis on human reasoning than orthodox understanding of scriptures. We have the best collection to promote secularism in every country of the world, which in turn is the best tool to overcome sectarianism among the Muslims as well

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

In 1989 I moved to USA. I had been raised as a Sunni Muslim and joined Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in 1984, but it had not been advertised in all circles.  I remember at a family dinner at my uncle’s house a very learned and well respected physician, who was considered an Imam and a religious scholar, who will go nameless, during the small talk started elaborating the merits of religious freedom.  He highlighted the history of Russia and communism and how it failed to suppress both Christianity and Islam. I was impressed by his eloquence.

shah_zia
Dr. Zia H Shah, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times and author of this article

A few minutes later discussion shifted to Pakistan and the same physician was full of praise for General Zia ul Haq, for his introduction of a dictatorial ordinance of 1984 to take away the religious freedoms of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

I was taken aback! Does the learned physician believe in religious freedom or not? Is the freedom only for his religion and sect and not for others?  In the last 30 years I have come to know that such myopia is common place and was not only his short coming but of most religious scholars, regardless of their creed, religion or sect.

Ahmet T. Kuru, who is professor of political science at San Diego State University and author of a few books on the theme of Islam and politics, wrote, “Islam is neither an instrument of identity politics, nor an ideology offering political solutions.”

For the first half of the title of my article, Some Argue Islamism from the Quran and others Secularism, let me suggest: Urdu Videos: Dr. Israr Ahmad Versus Ghamdi: Islamism Versus Secularism.

Moving on to the second half of my title, invariably all scholars of Islam regardless of the denomination realize and acknowledge that the Quranic teachings are to be read in our present day circumstances.  In other words they know that they have to read the Quran as an alive document and not as a dead one, which is written in stone and does not cater for changing needs.  But, they pick and choose and allow this flexibility only when they want to and withdraw it and present black and white, binary, choices on other issues of their liking.

There are several verses in the Quran that have discussed marriage without consent with the female slaves under certain circumstances.  However, no reputable scholar today would suggest that those verses are applicable to the present day circumstances.  Suggested reading: A Sexual Offender from ISIS: Is the Quran to Blame?

Polygamy is discussed in many places in the holy Quran and most scholars would think that it is permissible at least in some circumstances, but authors do make a case for monogamy from the holy scripture also: The sunnah of monogamy and Polygamy in Islam: What It Means?

Many understand that the cutting of hands of thieves is not to be taken literally in our contemporary times and can be implemented metaphorically with prison sentences: Benjamin Franklin: ‘Laws too gentle are seldom obeyed; too severe, seldom executed!’

All scholars agree that different waiting periods prescribed for remarriages of the divorced or widowed women is to settle the paternity issues: Video: What are cryptic pregnancies and why do they matter in Islam?  I know of no scholar of good repute who have opined on the use of pregnancy and other tests that are now becoming 100% accurate for these purposes, in place of the waiting periods when necessary.

The debate between Islamism and secularism shows no sign of abating after 1400 years is because many a scholars speak from the both sides of the mouth.  They are for human rights but at the same time they are also for Shariah Law, even when they are shown that some of their understanding of the Shariah Law is clearly violating human rights as we best understand them in this day and age.

It seems most scholars and religious leaders want to insist on conservative approach, as much as they can, perhaps for their personal zeal or not to test the loyalty of their followers.  May, I suggest for them, Do Muslims Prefer Camels Over Modern Cars? and Is God Alive or Dead: A Metaphor for the Scriptures from the US Constitution?

President Mohamed al-Khosht
The new president of Cairo University, Professor Mohamed Osman El Khosht

A verbal duel between al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayeb and Cairo University President Mohamed al-Khosht overshadowed discussions at a recent international conference on religious renewal.

Khosht, one of the few non-al-Azhar scholars invited to the conference, called for scrapping Islamic heritage and forming a new kind of religious thought. He said it was impossible to renew current religious discourse because it “was made to suit a different age.”

“Creating a new discourse cannot happen without creating a new religious thought,” Khosht said.

Khosht said Muslims are held hostage by the thoughts of people who lived a long time ago and that “renewal makes it necessary for us to change our way of thinking and the way we see the world.”

I want to conclude with highlighting that I by no means am minimizing the importance of the holy Quran.  To the contrary, I am constantly applauding and apologizing for the literal word of God: Two Hundred Verses about Compassionate Living in the Quran, The Quran Applauded as a Landmark Contribution to ‘Words of Justice’ by Harvard and The Holy Quran as the Miracle of the Holy Prophet.

But, I want to constantly emphasize the truth and not indulge in misplaced zeal.  For after all Islam and the Quran are the sum total of the most important theological and moral truths and goodness for the human family, nothing more and nothing less!

Suggested reading

In Defense of the Secular Narrative of the Holy Quran

BBC Big Questions – Are Religions Unfair To Women?

Reason or Orthodoxy: Which One Should Rule?

Ghamidi’s Urdu Interview: Rationality Versus Orthodoxy in Islam?

‘Islamic Law’: A Myopic Reading of the Quran

Islamism — the Political Islam: The Challenge for the 21st Century

Kripkean Dogmatism: The Best Metaphor to Understand Religious and Political Debates

A Book Release: Peace of Mind — Islam and Psychology

Book by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times, in 2000

PREFACE

The purpose of this book is to show that peace of mind can be acquired only through developing a moral personality, and developing relationship with God. This thesis is inferred from one of the verses of the Quran, “Those who believe, and whose heart find comfort in the remembrance of Allah (and putting this into their actions). Aye it is in remembrance of Allah that hearts can find comfort” (13:29).

The book is aimed at well informed western audience both Muslim and non-Muslim.

As the book is mostly based on the teachings of the Holy Quran, all references are to the Holy Quran, unless specified otherwise. There are 114 Suras or chapters in the Holy Quran. The first number of a reference is the number of the Sura and the second number the verse. In some writings of the Quran the first verse of each Sura which is common to all Suras is not counted. In such writings the verse number, therefore, will be one less than quoted in this book.

The first Appendix is devoted to introduce the Islamic Scripture, the Holy Quran. It describes how the Quran was compiled, and the immutability of its text. When quoting from the Holy Quran the Arabic word “Allah” is often used instead of “God.”

There are several books of collections of the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), of which, the two most renowned are “Bukhari” and “Muslim”. You will also find numerous references to these books in the text. Wherever I have borrowed ideas from other sources these have been freely acknowledged.

In some of the lengthy chapters the subject matter is divided into subheadings for easy reading. For the sake of simplicity the use of the masculine third person “he” and “his” will refer to both genders. The term “Believer,” used in the book, refers in general to the person with monotheistic belief, and occasionally it’s use is limited to Muslims only. It implies one’s acceptance of the existence of God, the complete or partial truth of some of the scriptures, and life after death.

To get maximal advantage from this book, readers attention is drawn to the advice given by Dale Carnegie in his book, “How to stop worrying and start living,” and I quote:

I once spent almost two years writing a book on public speaking; and yet I find I have to keep going back over it from time to time in order to remember what I wrote in my own book. The rapidity with which we forget is astonishing.

So, if you want to get a real, lasting benefit out of this book, don’t imagine that skimming through it once will suffice. …. Glance through it often. … Remember that the use of these principles can be made habitual and unconscious only by a constant and vigorous campaign of review and application. There is no other way.

… Bernard Shaw once remarked: ‘If you teach a man anything, he will never learn.’ Shaw was right. Learning is an active process. We learn by doing. So, if you desire to master the principles you are studying in this book, do something about them. Apply these rules at every opportunity. If you don’t, you will forget them quickly. Only knowledge that is used sticks in your mind.

So, as you read this book, remember that you are not merely trying to acquire information. You are attempting to form new habits. Ah yes, you are attempting a new way of life. That will require time and persistence and daily application.[i]

To put these principles into practice it may be useful to memorize some of the quotations described in this book, especially the short verses of the Holy Quran. By repeating and rehearsing these quotations when the situations demands one will be able to make them an integral part of one’s personality. In this regards it may be very practical for the Muslims to memorize short verses of the Holy Quran in Arabic.

At times the reader will note that there are certain repetitions in the book. These are intentional and meant to explain the view point from different angles for varied readers, and may help persuade them to put these principles in practice.

To reiterate, the purpose of this book is to show that peace of mind lies in development of “moral personality” (Al Quran 13:29), and then going onto develop a spiritual personality, and how it can be achieved.

Another purpose of this book is to bridge the gap that has developed in the secular understanding of Psychology and the teachings of true Islam.

An effort has been made to offer several different lines of proof on each topic. Whereever possible assertions are based on the authority of the Holy Quran and for the nonbelievers on the authority of expert witnesses, logic and scientific data.

Any corrections or suggestions for improvement are not only welcome, but are sought.

Zia H. Shah MD.

ziashah@hotmail.com

[i] Dale Carnegie. How to stop worrying and start living. Simon and Schuster. Page 18.

Read the book further in the Word file, I update the file often, sometimes on a daily basis, so please get the latest when you are ready to read: Peace of Mind – February 3, 2020