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Quranic Terminology: Kurh

 

Quranic Terminology: Kurh

Was published in Arabic in December 25, 2015

Translated by Ahmed Fathy

 

 The Arabic term (kurh) has two meanings in Arabic and in the Quranic terminology: hatred or dislike and compulsion or coercion. In one verse, both semantic levels of meaning are there: "O you who believe! It is not permitted for you to inherit women against their will. And do not coerce them in order to take away some of what you had given them, unless they commit a proven adultery. And live with them in kindness. If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike something in which God has placed much good." (4:19). Here the meaning of coercion occurs first and then it is followed by the meaning of dislike. Details are given as follows.

Firstly: (kurh) meaning dislike or hatred:

Hatred of the Quranic Truth:

1- A true believer is faithful to God alone, by one's heart and mind, with no sanctity, reverence, or worship of anything or anyone else. Unbelieving polytheists hate and resist such sincere devotion and faithfulness to God in others. Hence, God orders us in the Quran directly in that manner: "So call upon God, with sincere devotion to Him, even though the disbelievers hate it." (40:14).

2- Unbelieving polytheists are the ones whose hearts are filled with worship, sanctification, and deification of mortals, dead and alive. Their hearts feel resentment and mental anguish to hear or read any religious discourses that lack the usual reverence and worship of mortal deities. "When God alone is mentioned, the hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter shrink with resentment. But when those other than Him are mentioned, they become filled with joy." (39:45). In Mecca, in the time of Prophet Muhammad, unbelieving polytheists used to hate the Quran and their faces used to show such animosity and the desire to attack or cause physical pain to those who recite the verses: "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). They used to look hatefully at Muhammad because of his reciting the Quran: "Those who disbelieve almost stab you with their glances when they hear the message…" (68:51). God says in the Quran that such hatred of the Quran annuls the good deeds of unbelievers: " But as for those who disbelieve, for them is perdition, and He will waste their deeds. That is because they hated what God revealed, so He nullified their deeds." (47:8-9). Hence, we deduct that even unbelievers have their own good deeds, but their hatred of the Quran and their polytheism (worship of things, localities, tombs, and mortals) waste their good deeds: "We will proceed to the works they did, and will turn them into scattered dust." (25:23). "…Thus God will show them their deeds, as regrets to them, and they will not come out of the Hell-Fire" (2:167). Hatred of the Quran filled the hearts and minds of hypocrites of the city of Yathreb in the time of Muhammad, and such animosity led them to unite with the unbelievers, who hated God's revelations (i.e. the Quran), against the believers. "Those who reverted after the guidance became clear to them - Satan has enticed them, and has given them latitude. That is because they said to those who hated what God has revealed, "We will obey you in certain matters." But God knows their secret thoughts. How about when the angels take them at death, beating their faces and their backs? That is because they pursued what displeases God, and they disliked His approval, so He nullified their works." (47:25-28). We advise the hypocritical Muhammadans of today to pay heed to such verses so as to avoid being among haters of the Quran whose good deeds will be annulled and nullified. Such animosity, repugnance, and hatred to the Quranic Truth go on as long as their polytheism and their being bent on misguiding others away from the path of the Quran continue. Yet, the Quranic Truth is ever-present despite their evil deeds and wrongdoing: "They want to extinguish God's Light with their mouths; but God will complete His Light, even though the disbelievers dislike it. It is He who sent His Messenger with the guidance and the true religion, to make it prevail over all religions, even though the polytheists dislike it." (61:8-9). "They want to extinguish God's light with their mouths, but God refuses except to complete His light, even though the disbelievers dislike it. It is He who sent His Messenger with the guidance and the religion of truth, in order to make it prevail over all religions, even though polytheists dislike it." (9:32-33). Thus, the unbelievers of the Qorayish tribe are now history and their existence is no longer felt, while the Quran is still ever-present and preserved by God until the Last Day.

3- Polytheists in the pre-Islamic era used to hate their female infants and used to bury baby-girls alive once they are born: "And when one of them is given news of a female infant, his face darkens, and he chokes with grief. He hides from the people because of the bad news given to him. Shall he keep it in humiliation, or bury it in the dust? Evil is the decision they make." (16:58-59). Yet, such men used to describe the angels of God as female infants of God! "And they attribute to God what they themselves dislike, while their tongues utter the lie that theirs is the goodness. Without a doubt, for them is the Fire, and they will be neglected." (16:62).

4- Moses' Pharaoh and his retinue challenged the miracles done by Moses, and Pharaoh gathered all the magicians to defy Moses: "And when the sorcerers came, Moses said to them, "Throw whatever you have to throw." And when they threw, Moses said, "What you produced is sorcery, and God will make it fail. God does not foster the efforts of the corrupt." "And God upholds the truth with His words, even though the sinners detest it."" (10:80-82). And the rest of this Quranic story proves that the divine Truth prevailed. In the battle of Badr, God promised the believers victory or the caravan; most of them wanted the latter as it was easier, but god wanted victory over the polytheists: "God has promised you one of the two groups-that it would be yours-but you wanted the unarmed group to be yours. God intends to prove the truth with His words, and to uproot the disbelievers. In order to confirm the truth and nullify falsehood, even though the guilty dislike it." (8:7-8).

Hatred of fighting for the sake of God:

 Most believers in Mecca at the time of Prophet Muhammad were among the peaceful and the weak. They are believers in the sense of security and safety and preferring peaceful life; they hated violence and war even though they were defensive wars to stop aggression. After their immigration to Yathreb, the Qorayish tribe men went on with their assaults and raids against the believers in Yathreb. God has ordered them to launch defensive attacks when they were ready for them; see 22:39-40. Peace-loving and war-hating believers asked for a postponement; see 4:77. That is why God has told them: "Fighting is ordained for you, even though you dislike it. But it may be that you dislike something while it is good for you, and it may be that you like something while it is bad for you. God knows, and you do not know." (2:216). In Yathreb, hypocrites hated fighting even to deter enemies of their homeland. They used to excuse themselves under various pretexts to avoid participating in battles against the enemy that was ready to attack the city. They used to urge others to avoid participation in military efforts to defend the city, because they hated to fight with money and souls for the sake of God. God says in the Quran: "Those who stayed behind rejoiced at their staying behind the Messenger of God. And they hated to strive with their wealth and their lives in God's way. And they said, "Do not venture out in the heat." Say, "The Fire of Hell is much hotter, if they only understood."" (9:81). God has given them punishment by preventing them of the honor of defensive jihad: "If God brings you back to a party of them, and they ask your permission to go out, say, "You will not go out with me, ever, nor will you ever fight an enemy with me. You were content to sit back the first time, so sit back with those who stay behind."" (9:83). God has hated their hate to fight for His sake: "Had they wanted to mobilize, they would have made preparations for it; but God disliked their participation, so he held them back, and it was said, "Stay behind with those who stay behind."" (9:46).

 

 Things hated or undesired in the Islamic sharia in the Quran:

1- Sharia laws in the Quran revolve around three degrees: 1) orders or commands, 2) prohibitions or the impermissible, and 3) what is lawful legal and permissible. The Quranic methodology defines points 1 and 2, and leaves point 3 open and sometimes regulated. Regulations can be done in point 3 by man-made laws and legislations within the frame of higher Quranic vales of justice, facilitation, and preserving rights of people. The very first right is the liberty of religion: one is free to believe or not to believe. Yet, the Sunnite creed men have fabricated new points, contrary to Islam, which are the hated or undesired but not illegal and the legal but not imposed or obligatory. Such erroneous views or additions caused countless meddling and human interpolations in the Quranic sharia. Ancient scholars and clericals added countless notions and terms contrary to the Quran. What is described as ''hated'' in the Quran is not in the Sunnite sense of the word; rather, it means absolute prohibition. Examples are as follows. "…and made disbelief, mischief, and rebellion hateful to you…" (49:7), this indicates that the three items here are completely prohibited and hated by God and ought to be hated by humankind. Another example to prohibit polytheism absolutely is the following verse: "Do not set up another deity with God, lest you become condemned and damned." (17:22). All major sins, such as fornication, adultery, murder, and confiscating an orphan's money to oneself, are prohibited and described as hated by God: "The evil of all these is disliked by your Lord." (17:38).

Hated backbiting:

"And do not spy on one another, nor backbite one another. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would detest it." (49:12). The verb 'detest' completes the image here to prohibit backbiting others absolutely.

Secondly: (kurh) meaning coercion:

 Let us follow this sense of the term in Quranic contexts:

1- We find in the Quran the contrast between coercion and willingness found as choices for human beings and as combined both in the creatures of God. One's body submits to the will of God; one's heart is beating by His command, but one's soul has the free will and choice to err or do the right deed. Other creatures of God do not have the same trait: "…when to Him has submitted everything in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly…" (3:83). The verb 'submit' here means to obey. Obedience among human beings is willingly done by believers whose faith in God never fails. Yet, some types of submission are unwillingly concerning one's biological body functions: they are functioning with no will of our own like the movements of celestial bodies and the inside of cells and atoms. Hence, our souls submit willingly or disobey willingly, while our body functions submit to the Will of God unwillingly. This type of submission is expressed in the Quran by prostration: "To God prostrates everyone in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly…" (13:15). Another expression is by praise and glorification of God by all creatures and created things: "Praising Him are the seven heavens, and the earth, and everyone in them. There is not a thing that does not glorify Him with praise, but you do not understand their praises. He is indeed Forbearing and Forgiving." (17:44). In fact, unlike human beings, all inanimate and animate creatures submit and they are not tested in life. Because humankind is being tested, all humans have free choice and free will. People will certainly lose such liberty in the Day of Resurrection and submit to the Will of God: "On that Day, they will follow the caller, without any deviation. Voices will be hushed before the Merciful, and you will hear nothing but murmur. On that Day, intercession will not avail, except for him permitted by the Merciful, and whose words He has approved. He knows what is before them and what is behind them, and they cannot comprehend Him in their knowledge. Faces will be humbled before the Living, the Eternal. Whoever carries injustice will despair." (20:108-111). "Lord of the heavens and the earth, and everything between them-The Most Merciful-none can argue with Him. On the Day when the Spirit and the angels stand in row. They will not speak, unless it be one permitted by the Most Merciful, and he will say what is right." (78:37-38). Even the heavens and the earth chose to submit willingly to God: "Then He turned to the sky, and it was smoke, and said to it and to the earth, "Come, willingly or unwillingly." They said, "We come willingly."" (41:11). Of course, our limited mind cannot completely understand such verse. God has given human beings the choice between willing obedience and disobedience. The Quran addresses the hypocrites as follows: "Say, "Whether you spend willingly or unwillingly, it will not be accepted from you. You are evil people."" (9:53). Hence, alms any charity paid unwillingly will not be accepted by God from hypocrites who do this hypocritically with no faith.

2- Coercion in religious matters: Islam's fundamental rule, ignored by the Muhammadans, is that there is no coercion whatsoever in religion, following or rejecting it, and in acts of worship, etc. "There shall be no compulsion in religion; the right way has become distinct from the wrong way. Whoever renounces evil and believes in God has grasped the most trustworthy handle; which does not break. God is Hearing and Knowing." (2:256). "Had your Lord willed, everyone on earth would have believed. Will you compel people to become believers?" (10:99). It is permissible to believers when coerced and threatened to utter words of disbelief as long as their hearts and minds are filled with true faith, to avoid persecution: "Whoever renounces faith in God after having believed-except for someone who is compelled, while his heart rests securely in faith-but whoever willingly opens up his heart to disbelief-upon them falls wrath from God, and for them is a tremendous torment." (16:106). "Believers are not to take disbelievers for friends instead of believers. Whoever does that has nothing to do with God, unless it is to protect your own selves against them. God warns you to beware of Him. To God is the destiny. Say, "Whether you conceal what is in your hearts, or disclose it, God knows it." He knows everything in the heavens and the earth. God is Powerful over everything." (3:28-29). Moses Pharaoh obliged and coerced the sorcerers; yet, they willingly believed in God with Moses when they saw the miracle: "He said, "Did you believe in him before I have given you permission? He must be your chief, who has taught you magic. I will cut off your hands and your feet on alternate sides, and I will crucify you on the trunks of the palm-trees. Then you will know which of us is more severe in punishment, and more lasting." They said, "We will not prefer you to the proofs that have come to us, and Him who created us. So issue whatever judgment you wish to issue. You can only rule in this lowly life. We have believed in our Lord, so that He may forgive us our sins, and the magic you have compelled us to practice. God is Better, and more Lasting."" (20:71-73).

Coercion in prostitution:

Coercion and compulsion are considered an excuse to eat unlawful foods prohibited in the Quran and it prevents punishment of the ones who got raped: "…and do not compel your girls to prostitution, seeking the materials of this life, if they desire to remain chaste. Should anyone compel them-after their compulsion, God is Forgiving and Merciful." (24:33).

Coercion in child-birth:

 A baby ought to get out of the womb. And its mother has to bear it inside her womb for nine months unwillingly. This is ordained by God, and He reminds us with it to remember it and take care of our parents: "We have enjoined upon man kindness to his parents. His mother carried him with difficulty, and delivered him with difficulty. " (46:15). 


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