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In Response To The West Description Of Islamic Paradise by map96(m): 7:54am On Dec 14, 2014
Quranic Description Of The Paradise: under various heads: Virgins, young boys, water, wine, fruits, and wealth. Many references given therein are inaccurate, misleading, and imprecise.a.The reference 56:7-40 under the caption water is totally incorrect. None of the referred verses signifies what has been quoted therein.b.Fifteen references are horribly misleading. Below are given the references of the article along with their accurate ones, which are being put in brackets.Virgines: 37:40-48 (37:48-49); 44:51-55 (44:54); 52:17-20 (52:20); 56:7-40 (56:35-38).Wine: 56:7-40 (56:16-18)Fruits: 37:40-48 (37:40-43); 43:68-73 (43:72-73); 44:51-55 (44:55); 76:13-21(76:13-14); 56:7-40(56:15-21)Wealth: 43:68-73 (43:70-71); 55:70-77 (55:70-71); 44:51-55 (44:51-53); 56:7-40 (56:15); 76:13-21(76:21).Comparison between the number of the Quranic verses referred to and the actual number deary showsthe mean and stingy cleverness on the part of the writer of the said article. It seems his objective was toforce the reader to feel horrified with such a big number of Quranic passages purportedly devoted to certain things referred above.As for Hadith references, the first one Al-Hadis vol.4, P. 172, No.34 is a totally incorrect reference, as there is no Hadith work entitled 'Al-Hadis'.It demonstrates how superficial is the information Mr. Georgie has accumulated for the purpose. If he wants others to take his views seriously he has to be precise and accurate in his quotation and references. Dishonesty is intolerable in any field of the life including academic matter.2.Question Of Translation Of The Quran:The true meaning and precise import of a Quranic word or phrase can in no way be determined by only looking at its translated version in another language. Translation only serves to bring the mind closer to the message inherent in the original word. The Quran has been translated into almost all the major languages of the world. But none of these translations can replace the Arabic text of the Quran. Most of the English versions particularly those by Non-Muslim Europeans such as Mercier, de Ryer, Sale , Bell, Noldeke, Rodwell etc. are too defective to convey the message. As for the translations by Pickthall, 'Abdullah Yusuf Ali 'Abdul Majid Daryabadi, and Muhsin Khan, they are reliable but short of perfection. Certain places still deserve to be rechecked and retranslated. Muhammad Asad's and T.B. Irwing's translations are better than others. One, therefore, has to be careful while deriving a message of the Quran through its translations.Under the head "Virgine" in the said article the entire theme rests on three phrases:Hur 'In, Qasirat al-Tarf, Kawa 'ib Atrab,which havebeen translated as dark eyed Houris (beautiful virgins); bashful,dark-eyed virgins; high-bosomed virgins for companions.Although these translation are in agreement with those by Bell, Pickthall, and N.J. Dawood, they need reconsideration. The meaning of the above three wordscould be appreciated only in the light of the classical Arabic used by the Arabs of the time of the Quran's revelation.Hur ^In:This is a combination of two words Hur and'In.The former is the plural of both Ahwar(Masculine) and Hawra (Feminine)which literally means persons distinguished by Hawar signifying"intense whiteness of the eyeballs and lustrous black of the pupils." (vide: Qamus), hence the purity (vide:Tafsir al'Tabari,andTafsir al-Raziin 3:52). And as for the word'In it is the plural of both A yan (Masculine) and'Ainao (Feminine) (vide:Al-Raghib.Al-Mufradat,Beirut, l998,Kitab 'Ain,P.358)It was basically used to refer to the beautiful eyes of the wild-cow whose eyes are blond. In later usage, this word was applied to any 'most beautiful eye' irrespective of the person's gender.Thus, the most appropriate English endering of the compound word Hur In will be:"Companions pure, most beautiful of eye."(vide: Muhammad Asad,Message of the Quran in 56:22); and it is applicable to both male and female companions.Qasirat al-Tarf:It means modest, bashful, and chaste women who restrain their glances, and do not look towards others with any desire. Muhammad Asad, a world-renowned European Muslim, translates this phrase as "mates of modest gaze." (vide: Asad's translation in 37:48)Kawa'ib Atrab:Kawa'ibis plural ofka'ibwhich is derived from the root wordKa'bsignifying prominence, eminence, and glory (vide:Lisan al-'Arab) Muhammad Asad says: "We realize that in the above context the termkawa 'ibcan have no other meaning than"glorious and splendid beings" without any definition of sex". (see Muhammad Asad, Message of theQuran, P.924.). The wordAtrabis the singular form oftirbwhich primarily means persons of equalage, or well-matched. 'Abdullah Yusuf 'Ali translates this compound term "companions of equal age". (see his translation in 78:33), and Muhammad Asad's translation is "splendid companions, well matched". HereMuhammad Asad explains: It alludes to the relations of the blest with one another, and stresses the absolute mutual compatibility and equal dignity of all of them. (Vide: Muhammad Asad, Message of the Quran, P.924).3.Nature Of The Blessings In The Paradise:According to the Quran itself, its verses are of two categories:Muhakam (clear and precise), andMutashabih (allegorical) (vide: TheQuran 3:7). Islamic scholars are unanimous over the fact that the verses dealing with the unseen world and its objects are allMutashabihat,as the things that are beyond man's Ken and perception can not be precisely described in human language which can depict only what the man thinks, observes, and experiences. The other worldly things are to be described allegorically referring to what man knows and understands. The paradise and its blessings can notexactly be stated in human terms.That is why Allah has used illustrative approach with a view to bringing at least the feeling of the paradise closer to human mind.Hur, water, fruits, pearls, eggs, corals, gems etc. are all allegorical and illustrative terms for the good life of the paradise.It is, therefore, not proper for anyone to sketch a picture of the paradise like that of any worldly comfort and luxury. 'Abdullah B. 'Abbas, who is known in the Islamic world as the spokesman of the Quran (Tarjuman al-Qurain) says that the only thing commonbetween the paradise and the worldly luxuries is names of the things, (vide:Al-Tabari, Tafsir,in 2:25). The Prophet (s.a.w.) himselfhas clarified the nature of the blessings in the paradise: "Allah says: I have readied for my righteous servants such provisionwhich the eye has never seen, the ear has never heard of, the human mind has never imagined of" (vide: Muslim,Sahih,Hadith No. 7065).Merely on the basis of abstract references to the good life available in the Paradise as mentioned in the Quran none can ever form an exact image and comprehensive picture of the paradise.4.The First Hadith Quoted In The Article Is Ingenuine.TheHadith regarding a sex market in the paradise is one of those traditions which the'Ulamahave identified as fabricated and ingenuine.Hadithscholars such as Abdul Rahman B. 'Ali generally known as Ibn al-Jauzi (d.597A.H.), Jalaluddin al-Suyuti(d.911A.H.), and Abual Hasan 'Ali B. Muhammad B. 'Arraq aJ-Kanani (d.963 A.H.) have all declared this report ingenuine and incorrect, (vis: Ibn al-Jauzi,Kitab al-Maudu'at,Beirut, 1995, vol.II, PP. 427-coolIt should be born in mind that every statement recorded as Hadith can not necessarily be genuine one. Islamic scholars have done great job in identifying what is original, true and genuine,and what is spurious, fabricated and ingenuine. Before anyHadithis quoted by anyone today, its authenticity is to be checked first. So, what is wrong can not be attributed to Islam.5.Paradise: The Reward For The Righteous:It is a known fact that the Quran isnot a Book in the modem and general sense of the word. It consists of revelations received bythe Prophet (s.a.w.) over a period of more than two decades. All these revelations descended in relevance to various situations involving the Prophet (s.a.w.) himself, his followers, his open enemies, hypocrites, and the vacillating souls. The heavenly inspired chapters, passages, and verses were not put down in chronological order. The arrangement of the Quranic revelations was made on a different pattern dictated by Allah,the source of the Quran.The Quran, therefore, is full of repetitions. Many an item is discussed at one place very brieflyand abstractly but is elaborately detailed at some other place. Likewise, all the messages given in the Book form one integral whole. In order to appreciate the definition, scope, and practical relevance of one Quranic precept,one has to see other places of the Quran where the same matter hasbeen referred to, on the one hand, and has to check it in the light of the basic tenets of life the Quran propounds, on the other. The paradise is one subject-matter from among so many others. To do justice with the meaning, implication, and application of the Quranic message regarding the paradise, one has to adopt the same methodology. Only the picking up of certain verses on paradise can not help one grasp the real, true, and original message on the subject. In other words the entire Quran and all of its messages will have to be taken into consideration for developing a genuine idea about the objective, definition, implication and role of the paradise.The Quran invites the man, in his individual and collective capacity, to establish a full-fledged human civilization based on intellectual freedom, (68:10) loyalty and accountability to the Master of theentire universe (4:36), moral upliftment (17:23-37), development of knowledge and scientific methods of research and analysis (2:164; 3:190-91), application of reason (47:24), participation of both male and female in the growth of the humanity at intellectual, moral, and social level (16:97), elimination of evil and promotion of the good (3:l 14). On the other hand, the Divine-writ also identifies the anti-human attitude and acts such as superstitions (6:100), disbelief (3:97), intellectual blindness (2:171), mental slavery (2:170), insincerity (33:60), immoral practices (2:268),knowledge bashing approach (5:50), blind obedience to traditions and the leaders(38:6), supression of female's participation in the social development (4:75), religious bigotry (2:88) etc; so as to get them stamped out.To develop such a civilization is the true service to the humanity which always stands in need of peace, and justice, the most missing items in all the non-Islamic scheme of life. And it is not an easy task. It requires sincere and concerted effort of a people whom the Quran rightly calls Muslimun (submitted to Allah),Muminun (genuinely faithfuls),Qamfiin (obedients),Sadiqun (steadfast),Khashi'un (devouts),Mutasaddiqun (philanthropists),Muttaqun, (God-conscious),Muhsinun (excellent in social interaction),Muqsitun(upholders of justice),Muhtadun(rightly guided), etc.Such are the people irrespective of their tribal racial, regional, linguistic, national and ethnic background who deserve to be rewarded in the most befitting manner. Paradise characterised by comfort, ease, enjoyment, peace, and tranquility is the most appropriate reward Allah (a.w.j.) has readied for those who strive hard to bring peace and justice in individual and social life. The Quran reiterates:"Those who humble themselves in their prayer, and turn away from all that is frivolous, who are intent on inner purity, who are mindful of their chastity, ........who are faithful to their trusts and pledges, and who guard their prayers, it is they, who will be the heirs who shall inherit paradise tolive therein for ever." (23:1-11)Mr. Georgie maintains in his article that the paradise is meant for those who commit acts like rape, loot, plunder, murder etc. This view is self-constructed. It has no basis in the Quran. Had hesincerely surveyed the Holy Scripture of Islam, he would certainly have found therein that the people with a program of rape, murder, loot, plunder, and other immoral acts have been condemned, as, among others,Mujrimun(criminals),Mufsidun(miscreants), andZalimun(wrong doers) etc. Who have been warned time and again of grave consequences in the form of hell-fire. For example:"Anyone who comes to his Lord as criminal will have hell; he will neither die in it nor yet will live(a decent life)." (The Quran 20:74)"As for those who abandon themselves to wrongdoing, They are indeed but fuel for the hell." (The Quran 72:15)This discrimination among the evil-doers and the good doers is anatural demand of justice which isa main characteristics of Islam.The Quran makes it crystal clear that the two are opposed to each other, hence the difference in treatment and outcome."There is no comparison betweenthe bad things and the good things.......... " (5:100)The blind and the seeking are not equal; nor are the depths of darkness and the light; nor the shade and the scorching heat; andneither are equal the living and the dead." (35:19-22)"The inmates of the Fire are not equal to the inhabitants of the Paradise."(59:20)6.The Comfort And Joy Of The Paradise Are For Both Male And Female:In the said article it has also been claimed that the joy of Islamic paradise is meant only for males. It is an erroneous hypothesis. TheQuran is very categorical on the matter that the Islamic scheme of life is for both men and women, and both of them are destined to receive the reward in the form of the paradise characterised by ease, comfort, happiness, and rapturous life. Few verses may suffice to reveal the truth."... ...I shall not lose sight of labour of any of you who labours (in MY Way),be it man or woman............ .and shall most certainly bring them into thegardens......."(3:195)"Anyone, be it man or woman, who performs honourable deeds, and is a believer, they will enter the paradise and not be harmed aspeck."(4:126)"We shall let anyone -who acts honorably and is a believer, whether it is a man or a woman, live a happy life and reward them with their earnings for the finest deeds they have been doing." (16:97)"........ While someone who does righteous deeds and is a believer, whether it is a man or woman willenter the paradise." (40:40)7.The Concept Of Young Boys And Pure Drinks:From among other things available in the paradise two are young boys and pure drinks. Georgie has unsuccessfully tried to read a joy of homosexuality from the Quranic description of youths and that of wine from the pure drinks. The relevant Quranic words and sentences from no angle can help one extricate what Georgie claims.Young Boys:The Quran uses two terms for youths in the paradiseWildan Mukhalladun(eg. 56:17; 76:19), andGhilman(eg. 52:24). Both the terms signify immortal youths. This meaning by itself refers to the non-human nature of the young beings. And wherever the reference to these immortal youths has been made in the Quran, their duties, their functions, and their relationship with the inmates of the paradise have been explained. Their only duty and function is to serve the people, both male and female, by waiting on them drinks and other blessings of the paradise. This assignment of the young men clearly demonstrates that the relationship between them and others is that of guests and attendants. The Quran does not refer to any other relationship between the inmates of the paradise and the immortal youths. It is quite illogical and unscientific to see only carnal lovewherever there is the togetherness of the people and youths. Parents love and enjoy to see their young and handsome children, army commanders feel elated and satisfied with the presence of their young and able bodied youths, community leaders take pride in the young, talented, and smart boys of the community, those at the helm of anation praise and admire their youngsters whom they consider the basis of the bright future of the nation, the guests at every level are quite often served by handsomely clad boys, and the airpassengers are waited on by young air hosts and hostesses.If someone thinks that at all these places only a relationship of carnal love exists, he will certainlybe deemed as an insane or a person with perverted nature, who is unable to see between two humans pure, unstained, honorable and natural relationship.Moreover, since the inmates of the paradise will have lived a pureand pious life in the pre death world, their approach and behaviour in the paradise will be of the same nature. Carnal attraction towards the same sex isunnatural. Inmates of the paradise will not even imagine about what is unnatural and inhuman.Pure Drinks:In the said article four passages on wine have been quoted. Two ofthem do not at all talk about wine.Correct translation of these verses are given here below."A cup will be passed round among them from unsullied springs."(37:45)"With goblets, and ewers, and cups filled with water from unsullied springs." (56:18)In these two verses the reference is to a drink from some pure springs. How does one read from them a message related to wine? This is a striking example of a flagrant academic dishonesty which Georgie has calculatedly committed.For other drinks available in the paradise the Quran has used a termKhamr(47:15), a proper name for wine, andRahiq(83:25) an attributive word for the same.As for the wordRahiqit was used by the 'Arabs of the Quran's revelation period for a beverage totally different from the general alcoholic drinks which could have its negative impact on the drinker's mind. The Quran also qulifies this drink by the wordMakhttim(sealied). It means that this beverage will be pure, fragrant, and delicious. It will certainly be different from the worldly alcoholic liquor.Khamrhas also been qualified as delightful for those who drink it (47:23). The Quran while petering to the nature of all the drinks in the paradise explains:"There will be no hangover from it, nor -will they feel exhausted by it." (37:47)The heavenlyKhamr(pure and delicious drink) can not be imagined as the worldly intoxicants and spirits. Both are diametrically different from each other in terms of source, method of preparation, taste, effect and impact. The latter causes headiness and mental aberration, whereas the former is entirely safe from such negative effects.It is, in deed, not the name that matters, but the merits and demerits of the thing which count and should therefore be taken into consideration while making any objective judgement. Islam has prohibited the wine not because of its name but owing to its harmful characteristics (2:219;5:90-91).That is why, if the Quran declares that the heavenly drinks are free from adverse properties, they do not fall under the category of forbidden beverages

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