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"…And do not hold on to ties with fanatic unbelieving women…" (Quran 60:10)


"…And do not hold on to ties with fanatic unbelieving women…" (Quran 60:10)

Was published in Arabic in June 2, 2015

Translated by Ahmed Fathy


 We have received this email message that we find very important. Here's the message followed by our reply.

The man in his message says the following: (… I hope you will read my message to the last word and then reply to my question, because you are part of my story although you do not know me personally… I am an American originated from Egypt, working as a university professor in an American city… I have not been religious in my life before…but I loved and got married to an American woman called Yvonne…she used to be a devout catholic, but I tried to make her convert to Islam. I made use of her rationalism and high culture to make her cast doubt on the alleged 'divine nature' of Christ as an erroneous notion that does not go with the rational mind; how come that a mortal human being that used to eat and drink, get ill, and die, to become a god? Later on, for her own sake only, I accompanied Yvonne to the local mosque in the city we live in. Eventually, I managed to convince her to give up her former catholic faith; she became convinced that Christ was a mortal prophet of God. She began to attend mosque sermons, in English, with me. Later on, she used to pose several questions about Islam but rarely become convinced and satisfied with my answers. The real problem started when a youth who used to frequent the mosque denied before the imam, during the mosque sermon, the notion of Prophet Muhammad's intercession in the Afterlife on behalf of the faithful and the notion that he is still alive in his tomb/shrine (!) The imam got furious and spoke in anger, in Arabic, abusing you as: the cursed Ahmed Subhy Mansour the denier of Sunna and intercession! Those present took the side of the angry imam, and their voices rose with vehement curses upon you. Yvonne heard it all and asked for my translation and explanation. I tried to summarize the whole matter within my point of view, but Yvonne kept wondering that people in the mosque heap curses and abuse a man who holds different views without even trying to refute his views. I explained to her the notion of the intercession, but she was never convinced. When I tried to translate hadiths (sayings) to her into English, she instantly mocked the method of narration of such hadiths (from so and so, from so and so, from so and so, from the Prophet that he said…etc.), saying to me that this notion of intercession implies sheer fanaticism to Muslims as if they were the only inheritors of the Kingdom of God. Yvonne asserted that the same error of judgment is found in Catholicism; as it Christians were the only inheritors of the Kingdom of God in the Afterlife. She told me in a mocking tone that she was not to forsake Catholicism for the sake of converting to a creed that is considered and offshoot of it; she had better remain a catholic! I got angry with her, and we quarreled over it. Eventually, we decided not to tackle such matters again for a long while. Later on, I decided to accompany Yvonne to the journey of pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina (i.e. the city of Yathreb), so that the atmosphere of faith would have its influence on her. This journey proved to be the mark of the end of our marriage and the end of my endeavors to make her convert actually and whole-heartedly to Islam! Yvonne feared the over-crowdedness of that mob quarrelling before the Kaaba and at the shrine of the Prophet. Upon reaching home, she told me she left Islam and insisted upon getting a divorce. I refused at first, but then, I had to relent and agree to her request upon her vehement insistence. She decided to waive all her rights after getting the divorce, so as not to leave anything that would link her to me and to Islam! After our divorce, she left the city to live in another state. All relations with me and Yvonne seemed now dissolved. I drew nearer to the imam of the same mosque I mentioned here, telling him about my grief. He suggested to me an Egyptian-American Muslim woman to whom I got married at last. I became the father of three children within four years. I forgot my failed marriage with Yvonne, my ex-wife, and decided to bear patiently with my Egyptian wife for the sake of my children. One day, I came across Yvonne who sat beside me in a plane seat, when I was traveling to NYC. What a coincidence!  She had a serene look upon her face! I used to remember her face that was filled with worry and her ready-to-fight attitude. We got to talk, and to my surprise, Yvonne told me she has converted to Quranist Islam! She has become a Quranist Muslim when she googled your name and found your website. She read all your articles that have been translated into English, in the English section of the website. She was convinced with Islam via your articles. She likes Quranism now. She never told anyone around her that she became a Quranist Muslim; I am the only person she told him about in in the plane. She keeps her faith as something between her and God alone. I asked her about what she liked on the Quranists' website; she told me that it differs a lot from discourse found in American mosques. She discovered that Sunnite creed is a totally different religion in compassion to Quranism. She felt happy to discover what she deems as true Islam. Filled with wonder, I asked her to exemplify the differences she found between Sunnite Islam and Quranist Islam. Yvonne told me that the Quran says that pilgrimage ''i.e. Hajj'' is four months; yet, today's Muslims have made it in just one week! The savage uncivilized scenes at the Kaaba made her feel frightened and began to question her faith in Islam at first. She hated Islam as presented by the Sunnite clergymen. She told me that pilgrimage rituals do not contain a visit to the city of Yathreb and the alleged tomb/shrine of the Prophet; yet, this visit is part and parcel in the Sunnite creed. Yvonne told me that Sunnites deify and worship Prophet Muhammad as a deity and a master of humanity and all previous prophets. She explained how the notion of intercession is a falsehood. All Sunnite notions are against the Quran, she said. She advised me to read your website articles and books. I listened to her attentively, feeling a great longing to her. In my mind, I compared my ex, Yvonne, to my current wife. My wife grows fatter than ever and lacks wit, culture, and intelligence. She is a mere housewife. I suddenly noticed a wedding ring in Yvonne's finger. To my greater surprise, she told me she enjoys a successful career and recently, she got married to a colleague from her workplace. She got married to a catholic! I asked her indignantly if she deems this marriage lawful in Islam. She told me that as long as a non-Muslim man is peaceful, a Muslim woman can marry him. I sneered at her by saying that she has learnt strange notions from Ahmed Subhy Mansour. She told me proudly that she learnt true Islam from you, the type of Islam she has been looking for. She left me to seek another seat in the plane. She closed her eyes and enjoyed music, feeling happy and serene. For the rest of the flight, I felt so furious and envious! Later on, of course, I logged into your website out of curiosity.  I spent about 30 weeks reading and rereading your articles carefully to grasp and absorb everything. Your endeavors and line of thought are commendable and deserve every possible type of praise. I understood why there are so many people who hate and envy you. Your fresh and new Islam makes me feel at peace and increased my faith in God. I cursed Wahabism, Sunnite, Shiite, and Sufi creeds! I cursed all historical characters (i.e. the so-called companions of the prophet) and all imams and clergymen of all ages and eras! I am now a 100% totally different Muslim. I am now a Quranist Muslim. I feel I deserve to get back Yvonne. But it is too late! The mother of my children grows fatter every day, with no culture, knowledge, wit, or even intelligence. She hates reading. Even her knowledge about 'Islam' is auditory! She thinks that the imam of the mosque knows better; she listens to him and consults him; her loyalty to him exceeds her belonging to me. She blindly follows all counsels and advice of the imam. Her passion for food knows no bounds. Becoming a Quranist, I stopped frequenting he mosque of the city. The imam of the mosque asked my wife about my absence. She spied on me and knew about the Quranists' website. She told the imam about my reading your articles. The cursed imam waged a war against me in the mosque and at home. My wife deserted me. She took our children to a separate lodging, as commanded by the imam! We are separated now. By the end of my story, I pose this question to you: what shall I do with my wife. I can no longer stand her. Her faults appear enormous when I compare her to my ex who is pretty, civilized, cultured, sensitive, and rational. I am more than ready to get a divorce as per American laws, however costly this decision might be. I am asking you, as I am now a Muslim Quranist, do the verses "…And do not hold on to ties with unbelieving women…" (60:10) and "Do not marry idolatresses, unless they have believed. A believing maid is better than an idolatress, even if you like her. And do not marry idolaters, unless they have believed. A believing servant is better than an idolater, even if you like him. These call to the Fire, but God calls to the Garden and to forgiveness, by His leave. He makes clear His communications to the people, that they may be mindful." (2:221) apply to my case? What shall I do? Please do not ignore my message. I thank you in advance; please do not feel sad about those who attack your thought; they are blind to the light of the Quran…)


This is our reply:

1- Thank you for the praise you have heaped upon us that we do not deserve it, but we had to omit some details of your message in this article, for the sake of clarity and brevity and due to the lack of space allocated here to a certain limit of characters, and we had to omit most names to generalize your personal case for readers. Your case is similar to so many Quranists in the West from Middle Eastern origin. Your suffering is not something novel or unique as far as Quranists are concerned regarding their face and animosity of Sunnites to Quranism.

2- As for 2:221, it is concerned with prohibiting Muslim men/women from marrying (or, more precisely, signing a marriage contract with) polytheist men/women who are aggressive toward Muslims until they end their aggression. Polytheistic unbelievers are subdivided into two types according to their behavior: leading sheikhs or clergymen who urge and incite others to kill and be aggressive and coerce others in religion; and the other type who execute such orders. For example: the Salafist sheikh Abdul-Ghaffar Aziz issued a fatwa (religious view or edict) in an article in a newspaper with a Salafist tendency, in Egypt, in May 1992 to kill (the Egyptian thinker, reformist, and writer) Farag Fouda and ourselves, Ahmed Subhy Mansour. Within a week, Farag Fouda was assassinated as per such an evil fatwa. Both his killers confessed that they never read any of the late thinker's books! Real culprits are those who issued the bloody fatwa; the so-called oulema or clergymen of theology. Both killers are both criminals and victims simultaneously. The killers and the Salafist sheikh Abdul-Ghaffar Aziz are condemned to Hell, as per the previous Quranic verse: "…These call to the Fire…" (2:221). This verse applies of course to those who preach the terrorist Sunnite creed and adhere to the notion of ''religious'' violence as part of their erroneous notion of jihad. Such killers follow and execute the bad views of their Wahabi/Salafist/Sunnite sheikhs blindly and kill innocent people and commit suicide attacks everywhere. I am sorry to say that the same verse applies to your current wife and her imam of the mosque. If you are a Muslim Quranist and are about to marry a fanatic Wahabi woman, you should have canceled this marriage. But now, this case does not apply to you; you got married to her before you have become a Quranist Muslim. But you are now keeping a polytheistic wife.

3- As for 60:10, let us consider the whole context: "O you who believe! When believing women come to you emigrating, test them. God is Aware of their faith. And if you find them to be faithful, do not send them back to the unbelievers. They are not lawful for them, nor are they lawful for them. But give them what they have spent. You are not at fault if you marry them, provided you give them their compensation. And do not hold on to ties with unbelieving women, but demand what you have spent, and let them demand what they have spent. This is the rule of God; He rules among you. God is Knowing and Wise. If any of your wives desert you to the unbelievers, and you decide to penalize them, give those whose wives have gone away the equivalent of what they had spent. And fear God, in whom you are believers." (60:10-11). Here, we find a description to a problem that occurred when believers in the time of the Prophet Muhammad emigrated to Yathreb from Mecca. In that case, believers and non-believers were two warring parties. Polytheists used to continue their aggression against weak believers in their new haven. Believers did not defend themselves until the Quranic revelation has allowed them to get into defensive wars. Within such conditions, some faithful women left and deserted their polytheistic husbands in Mecca and follow believers to Yathreb. Divorce was inevitable in such cases, asserted by the Quranic revelation. The context of such verses does not apply to your case.

 As for the part of the verse"…And do not hold on to ties with unbelieving women…" (Quran 60:10), we think it applies to you in the following context; if you try to convince your wife to remain loyal to you and her children and family while keeping her faith to herself without coercion on your part, provided that your children would be brought up with realm true notions of Islam and its higher values, and that she would accept living in peace with you in your household within a stable family life, then you can keep her as your wife. If she refused all this and decides to remain an enemy of your current faith based on complete religious freedom, you have to get a divorce.


 Please convey our best regards, if you possibly can, to your ex-wife, Mrs. Yvonne. Please tell her that we draw marriage contracts between Muslim women and non-Muslim peaceful men (Christian and Jewish) using our license where we live in Fairfax, Virginia.    

The views and opinions of authors whose articles and comments are posted on this site do not necessarily reflect the views of IQC.