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Unbelievers in the Quranic Context Signifies a Description


Unbelievers in the Quranic Context Signifies a Description, Not an Accusation for Certain People, and for the Purpose of Reform and Correction Not Corruption

Was published in Arabic in October 18, 2015

Translated by Ahmed Fathy


Firstly: From our life events:

1- Once we were at the bus station in Cairo in the early 1990s. Our eyes caught an old man with white hair looking at us with sheer hatred. We wondered why he gazed at us in such a way although we did not know him at all. We tried hard to remember his face. Then suddenly, it dawned upon my memory; this man used to sit in the front row before ourselves while we used to deliver our sermons in a mosque in the (posh, upper class) Zamalek District in Cairo. He used to listen to me with a face full of hatred. He still remembered me after the passage of five years! That was very astonishing! We remembered then God's words to His Prophet Muhammad: "Those who disbelieve almost stab you with their glances when they hear the message, and say, "He is crazy!""(68:51). Prophet Muhammad enjoyed a good reputation among his people before becoming a prophet. Once he called them to believe in the Quran and recited its verses to them, hatred, enmity, antagonism, and hostility were formed inside them toward the Quran, not toward Muhammad. The same situation happened with this man whom I did not know. He hated me not as a person, for we never knew each other at all, and we never knew his name, but he hated the Quran I recited in order to destroy the holy cows he believed in. our quoting the Quranic verses to do so revealed the unbelief hidden in his heart. That was why he gazed at us with such hatred; he hated the one who recited the Quran that one of its names is the Criterion (the name of Chapter 25 in the Quran: Al-Furquan); i.e., the tool to distinguish between the right and the wrong: asserting the former and exposing the latter.

2- We used to occupy the post of the Secretary of the Islamic History Department in Al-Azhar University, Cairo, in the early 1980s.  We started then a new cultural project; holding forums inside the Department to which all professors of history, within the university and from other universities, were invited to deliver lectures to the audience, followed by a discussion. When our turn came, we tackled the topic of the unified religiosity of the Egyptians in the Pharaonic, Coptic, and Islamic eras. We tackled then the joint elements of the features/notions of being religious in such eras; chief among them are the deification of persons and the belief of these 'holy' persons' intercession in this life and the next before the Almighty for the sake and benefit of people. Every time we quoted a Quranic verse, we saw hatred, resentment, and animosity in the faces of the professors, who were mostly Azharites. We remembered then the following verse: "And when Our Clear Verses are recited to them, you will recognize disgust on the faces of those who disbelieve; they nearly assault those who recite to them Our Verses…"(22:72). Most of the Azharite professors were friends and colleagues, and there were no enmity between us and them. They hated the Quran we recited and quoted then when its verses destroyed their holy cows.

3- Once we were delivering a sermon in a mosque built by Quranists in (the middle-class) Agouza District, Cairo, and the name of this mosque was "Al-Furquan". Some Sunnites used to came to create riots and endless angry debates. Eventually, these Sunnites managed to drive us from the mosque with the aid of the Egyptian National Security members, shortly before we were imprisoned in Nov. 1987. During our sermon, suddenly a youth with a beard dyed in red screamed and pointed at us: "Allahu Akbar!" (i.e., Allah is the Greatest!). He incited other Sunnites to attack us. We took him with force by our arms and said loudly: ''What do you want?!" This youth was surrounded by some elder men who looked at me with sheer hatred and a desire for violence. Again, we remembered 22:72.

4- This misled youth and his screams reminded me with God's words to Satan after his being banished and expelled: "He said, "Be gone! Whoever of them follows you-Hell is your reward, an ample reward.""And entice whomever of them you can with your voice, and rally against them your cavalry and your infantry, and share with them in wealth and children, and make promises to them." But Satan promises them nothing but delusion."(17:63-64). This red-bearded youth was brainwashed long ago before he tried to incite others to attack us. His mind was programmed to see right as wrong and vice-versa. The likes of him believes staunchly that 'jihad' is killing people like us using the motto "Allah is the greatest!" and the same brainwash and programming applies now to ISIS terrorists in their atrocities of rape and killing. The same applies to the Salafi/Wahabi mob, in Cairo, who killed a Shiite Egyptian and dragged his corpse in the streets while screaming "Allah is the greatest!" and to another Salafi/Wahabi mob in Upper Egypt who chased and tear the clothes of an Orthodox Coptic woman in the street by force while screaming "Allah is the greatest!". Criminals during the act of committing their crimes of rape and killing never scream "Allah is the greatest!" in ordinary cases. As for Salafi/Wahabi terrorism, we face satanic or devilish obsession: the devil controls the soul/heart/mind of the Salafi Wahabi terrorist and drive him to commit atrocities while he thinks that he has performed jihad! That is why when Quranic verses are recited or quoted with the purpose of destroying his holy cows, his terrorist mind/soul controlled by the devil is incited and instigated to kill and/or be violent while screaming "Allah is the greatest!"

5- The first period of our being persecuted in Al-Azhar University was from 1977 to 1980. My Ph.D. thesis was rejected. It revolved around the impact of Sufism in Egypt in the Mameluke Era. Two thirds of the thesis had to be omitted. The usual accusation leveled against us at that time was (exceeding the limit of familiar theological knowledge of Al-Azhar Institution). In the second period of our being persecuted in Al-Azhar University lasted for two years (1985-1987). The cause: discussing the Sunnite tenets and notions. The same accusation of (exceeding the limit of familiar theological knowledge of Al-Azhar Institution) was leveled against us again. In sessions of investigation inside Al-Azhar University, similar to catholic inquisition, the head of the panel was Sheikh M. Sayed Tantawy (who later on became the Head of Al-Azhar Institution, till his death in 2010). We were accused of (exceeding the limit of familiar theological knowledge of Al-Azhar Institution). Two friends volunteered to defend us; we were having no supporters then at the university. These friends were cultured Muslims with tendency for reform: Dr. Abdul-Kader Sayed Ahmed (former Dean of Faculty of Pharmaceutical Studies, Cairo University) and Dr. M. Al-Beshir. Both met one of the enlightened minds in Al-Azhar University at the time: Dr. M. Ibrahim Al-Fayoumi, who obtained his Ph.D. from Germany. Both our friends told him that Dr. Ahmed Subhy Mansour quotes the Quran in all his books. Dr. Al-Fayoumi surprised both of them by saying: "Do not talk to me about the Quran! He has been appointed in the university to teach familiar theological thought of Al-Azhar curricula! He has to stick to it!" when we heard of what he said, we remembered the following verse: "And when it is said to them, "Follow what God has revealed," they say, "We will follow what we found our ancestors following." Even if their ancestors understood nothing, and were not guided?"(2:170). Accordingly, all those who opposed us followed the familiar theology of Al-Azhar, inherited from ancestors. When we used the Quran to judge, and alter on reject, Al-Azhar theology as it goes contrary to the Quran, they got angry with us. They exerted every possible effort to make us reject our views of opposing and refuting the Sunnite notions; they tried to promise us with wealth and positions; they tried to terrorize us with possible punishments to be exacted upon us. They did so not in order to defend the Sunnite creed, but rather to defend their positions, stature, and wealth. Of course, they were afraid of being exposed and mortified. They feared to appear wrong and ignorant before other people. That is why they held their inquisitions sessions with us for two years.                                

6- During this Azharite inquisition sessions/deliberations, a dean called Dr. Saad Dhallam told us: "Why are you the only one holding such views?!", and another professor told us: "This is entirely new notions, never uttered before by our imams and sheikhs!". We remembered at once what the Qorayish tribe used to say to Prophet Muhammad when he recited the Quran to them: "We never heard of this in the former faith. This is nothing but a fabrication.Was the message sent down to him, out of all of us?" In fact, they are doubtful of My message. In fact, they have not yet tasted My punishment."(38:7-8).

7- During this Azharite inquisition sessions/deliberations, a KSA –hired-by-money orientalist came to Al-Azhar University. He claimed that he converted to ''Islam'' and renamed himself ''Abdullah'' and expressed a wish to meet with us when he heard about us. He was told that we were a madman and that we might charm his mind with our evil magic! We remembered then that the same accusations were leveled at prophet Muhammad, as per the Quran.


Secondly: The Quranic context of describing unbelief, not unbelievers as persons:

 We have repeated here that this is not personal; the hatred, rejection, and animosity were directed to the Quran. This is simply unbelief in the Quran. The Quranic discourse is not concerned with persons by names, but with descriptions of cases not people. Briefly, this is the Quranic methodology of such ways of description:

1- The Quran does not mentions the names of sinners, disbelievers, rejecters, polytheists, unjust people…etc. see 68:51 and 22:72 again for some examples; whenever such rejecters hear the Quran recited to them, their behavior is the same.

2- Because the Quranic discourse focuses on description of cases and conditions, we perceive that unbelief is in most cases a symptom not a continuous state; a person might be an unbeliever and later on repent, and vice versa: a person might be a believer who later on becomes a non-believer. In some cases, a believer might later on become a non-believer with increased unbelief and doubt concerning the Quran; see "Those who believe, then disbelieve, then believe, then disbelieve, then increase in disbelief, God will not forgive them, nor will He guide them to a way. "(4:137). In this latter case, disbelief dominant over the mind and soul cannot be replaced by faith and guidance.

3- The Quran, the Criterion/Furquan, is the decisive element in such cases: if one seeks guidance and faith through it, both guidance and faith will increase by it. god says about the traits of real believer:  "The believers are those whose hearts tremble when God is mentioned, and when His revelations are recited to them, they strengthen them in faith…"(8:2). This is in contrast to those who insist on their unbelief; their unbelief and rejection increase when the Quran is recited to them: "…Certainly, what was revealed to your from your Lord will increase many of them in defiance, rebellion, and disbelief…"(5:64 and 5:68). Both types of people are compared to each other in the following verses: "Whenever a chapter is revealed, some of them say, "Which of you has this increased in faith?" As for those who believe: it increases them in faith, and they rejoice. But as for those in whose hearts is sickness: it adds disgrace to their disgrace, and they die as unbelievers." (9:124-125). At certain levels of the bottoms of unbelief, devils cover human mind so as not to receive Quranic Light/Truth; in such a case, a person will feel that the wrong is right and the right will seem wrong, seeing that he/she are guided well enough: "Whoever shuns the revelation of the Most Gracious, We assign for them devils, to be their companions They hinder them from the righteous path, though they think they are guided. "(43:36-37). Moreover, such unbelievers deem their wrongdoing as good deeds with more non-belief as a habitual state: "What of him whose evil deed was made attractive to him, and so he regards it as good? God leads astray whomever He wills, and He guides whomever He wills. Therefore, do not waste yourself sorrowing over them. God knows exactly what they do. "(35:8).

4- Because non-belief is sometimes an unstable or impermanent condition, it may be changed with repentance, urged in the Quran many times, in different ways: unbelief is a case, a situation, a demeanor, or a verbal stance. "And that He may know the hypocrites. And it was said to them, "Come, fight in the cause of God, or contribute." They said, "If we knew how to fight, we would have followed you." On that day, they were closer to infidelity than they were to faith…" (3:167). Hence, verbal utterances might lead to unbelief as a temporary station/case liable to change; one can repent willingly. That is why God says to unbelievers: "Say to those who disbelieve: if they desist, their past will be forgiven…" (8:38). That is to say, if they stop aggression and polytheistic notions, God will forgive them.

5- Non-belief is a temporary case that might occur to all human beings anytime anywhere until Doomsday. That is why similar cases, verbal stances, and actions of polytheists and unbelievers reoccur despite differences in time, locality, and tongues. This is mentioned in the Quran in several ways, chief among them are the following.

5/1: This applies in so many cases of human beings; all of them accuse callers for true faith of being charmers, magicians, or mad people, for instance: "Likewise, no messenger came to those before them, but they said, "A sorcerer or a madman."" (51:52) and "But they say, "We found our parents on a course, and we are guided in their footsteps." Likewise, We sent no warner before you to any town, but the wealthy among them said, "We found our forefathers on a course, and we are following in their footsteps."" (43:22-23). The corrupt wealth persons in a given society follow their 'good' forefathers (i.e., Salaf, in Arabic) and hate the Quranic Truth; they are Salafis.

5/2: the Quranic assertion of the similarity of the hearts/minds of non-believers and polytheists in asking for a tangible, palpable miracle before their eyes: "Those who do not know say, "If only God would speak to us, or a sign would come to us." thus said those who were before them. Their hearts are alike…" (2:118).

5/3: All that has been told by God to all prophets (i.e. the divine revelation) is the same as told by God to Prophet Muhammad in the Quran (the only divine revelation of Islam), including Muhammad's  being rejected as was the case with the previous prophets: "Nothing is said to you but was said to the Messengers before you: your Lord is Possessor of Forgiveness, and Possessor of Painful Repayment." (41:43).

5/4: Despite the differences of previous peoples of prophets in localities, eras, and tongues, God speaks of them in one style in the Quran; that prophets advised and preached to people and unbelievers said so and so…etc. for instance, see 14:9-13.

5/5: The same descriptions of cases, conditions, and actions apply in the Quranic text to both the Israelites who rejected the Quran and their ancestors regarding the Torah of Moses. These verses exemplify this: "And when it is said to them, "Believe in what God has revealed," they say, "We believe in what was revealed to us," and they reject anything beyond that, although it is the truth which confirms what they have. Say, "Why did you kill God's prophets before, if you were believers?" Moses came to you with clear proofs, yet you adopted the calf in his absence, and you were in the wrong. " (2:91-92). Let us be reminded that the Israelites at the time of Prophet Muhammad did not kill prophets and did not worship the calf. Yet, they followed the steps of their forefathers in terms of unbelief and rejecting the Truth. That is why God says to them in the Quran: "Those who said, "God has made a covenant with us, that we shall not believe in any messenger unless he brings us an offering to be consumed by fire." Say, "Messengers have come to you before me with proofs, and with what you asked for; so why did you assassinate them, if you are truthful?"" (3:183).

5/6: Eventually, all non-believers will be told in the Day of Resurrection: "And you inhabited the homes of those who wronged themselves, and it became clear to you how We dealt with them, and We cited for you the examples." (14:45). This verse shows precisely the exact similarity between acts, deeds, stances, utterances…etc. of the cases of non-believers in all times and eras.

5/7: God asserts that those lying to Him (by, e.g., fabrication of hadiths/sayings) as the most unjust among all human beings. These verses are evidence against the Muhammadans (Sunnites, Shiites, and Sufis): "Who does greater wrong than someone who fabricates lies against God, or denies His revelations? The wrongdoers will not succeed. " (6:21), "Who does greater wrong than someone who invents falsehood against God, or says, "It was revealed to me," when nothing was revealed to him, or says, "I will reveal the like of what God revealed"? If only you could see the wrongdoers in the floods of death, as the angels with arms outstretched: "Give up your souls. Today you are being repaid with the torment of shame for having said about God other than the truth, and for being too proud to accept His revelations."" (6:93), "…Who does greater wrong than he who invents lies and attributes them to God, in order to mislead people without knowledge? God does not guide the wicked people." (6:144),  "Who does greater wrong than those who invent lies and attribute them to God or deny His revelations? Their share of the decree will reach them. Until, when Our envoys come to them, to take their souls away, they will say, "Where are they whom you used to pray to besides God?" They will say, "They have abandoned us," and they will testify against themselves that they were faithless. "(7:37),  "Who does greater wrong than someone who fabricates lies about God, or denies His revelations? The guilty will never prosper." (10:17), "And who does greater wrong than he who fabricates lies and attributes them to God, or calls the truth a lie when it has come to him? Is there not in Hell a dwelling for the blasphemers? As for those who strive for Us-We will guide them in Our ways. God is with the doers of good. " (29:68-69), and "Who is more evil than he who lies about God, and denies the truth when it has come to him? Is there not in Hell room for the ungrateful? But he who promotes the truth, and testifies to it-these are the righteous. "(39:32-33).


Lastly: Such description of non-believers is a way to reform, rectify, and correct the living human beings:

1- the Muhammadans deserve the description in the following verse, among other verses, "Who does greater wrong than someone who fabricates lies about God, or denies His revelations? The guilty will never prosper." (10:17).

2- We, Quranists, do not deem historical characters such as Al-Bokhary, Ibn Hanbal, Al-Shafei, Malik, Ibn Taymiya, Al-Ghazaly, and Ibn Abdul-Wahab (who founded Wahabism) as unbelievers. We never met them personally and never knew them. We have nothing to do with them. For instance, we never know the truth about Al-Bokhary, whose first name is Ibn Berzaweih, descendants of the Mages in the city of Bohkhara, in the current Uzbekistan. We do not deal with such people. We deal with their books, volumes, and tomes attributed to these dead persons, as these books are deemed 'holy' by the Sunnite Muhammadans as part of their creed. Some of these books have more than one authorized copies! These books are sheer fabrications and lies attributed falsely to God. This is the worst type of injustice by Sunnite sinners.

3- The above-mentioned type of unbelief is in the heart, mind, and soul regarding faith tenets. The same Quranic way of description  applies to another type of unbelief regarding demeanor/behavior that goes contrary to the Quranic teachings: those Arabs who invaded and conquered counties around Arabia are criminals; they did such atrocities of stealing, rape, aggression, killing, enslavement, etc. in the name of Islam! Such Arabs are not named in the Quran; they are historical figures. The Quran describes some of Prophet Muhammad's contemporaries (the so-called companions) as non-believers and hypocrites. We know nothing about them in detail except in historical accounts. History is never part of faith and religion; not part of Islam. History is a branch of knowledge to be investigated and/or refuted by professors specializing in that branch of knowledge, like us Dr. Ahmed Subhy Mansour. The worst sin is making such military invasions/conquests as part of Islam or God's orders! Those participated in such sin (conquests) are the worst enemies of Islam; they distorted and tarnished its image. We write on this topic so far by Quranic evidence and historical evidence from sources available to all people to read.

4- We write on such a topic in an attempt to reform/rectify/correct the faith of people of our age who describe themselves as Muslims to guide them to what we see as true Islam without Sunnite/Shiite/Sufi falsehoods. Eventually, we write our views and do not impose them on anyone. We wait the Day of Judgment to see God's settling our differences (between Quranists and non-Quranists). We, Quranists, differ from Sunnites/Wahabis/Salafis who deem others who differ from them as non-believers/apostates/renegades, as a pretext for committing sins such as corruption, stealing, killing, etc. and not for religious reform.                                                

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