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Allah and His Messenger [9:1]

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Topic: Allah and His Messenger [9:1]
Posted By: Non Believer
Subject: Allah and His Messenger [9:1]
Date Posted: 24 June 2017 at 2:35pm
The entire Quran is spoken by Muhammad, right? So in Surah 9 we see many, many times where he is speaking of himself in the phrase "Allah and His Messenger". We don't see this phrase in every Surah in the Quran.

As I understand it, this is one of the last Surahs to be revealed. Is it the case that this phrase does not appear in early Surahs but only in later Surahs? If so, when does this phrase (or similar) first appear?

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Men do you harm either because they fear you or because they hate you.



Replies:
Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date Posted: 25 June 2017 at 9:48am
Muslims believe that the Qur'an are God's words, revealed to Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.

It is not Prophet Muhammad's words.




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Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

http://cortoby.blogspot.com/ - My Blog
http://www.muslimheritage.com/ - Muslim Heritage



Posted By: Non Believer
Date Posted: 25 June 2017 at 10:58am
My question is about the use of this particular phrase. Does it appear only in later Surah. This is hard for me to figure out since the Surahs are not in chronological order. I see the phrase in 2:279, but that verse might be from a later time. It appears throughout Surah 8 and 3:132. Was the phrase used prior to the Hijra? Prior to the Battle of Badr?

It appears to me that in the verses earlier than these, Muhammad is spoken of as one of a line of messengers. However, it seems that at some point in the chronology he becomes spoken of as "His/The Messenger".

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Men do you harm either because they fear you or because they hate you.


Posted By: Al-Cordoby
Date Posted: 25 June 2017 at 2:25pm
Yes, it was also used in the Makkan period

I found a statistical program on words in the Qur'an (in Arabic), and it gives a total of 58 results in 54 verses.

They are as follows:

- Chapter 2: 1 result (the verse you mentioned, 279)

- Chapter 4: 4 results

- Chapter 5: 3 results

- Chapter 7: 1 result (this chapter is Makkan)

- Chapter 8: 4 results

- Chapter 9: 13 results

- Chapter 24: 4 results

- Chapter 33: 7 results

- Chapter 48: 3 results

- Chapter 49: 3 results

- Chapter 57: 1 result

- Chapter 58: 5 results

- Chapter 59: 2 results

- Chapter 61: 1 result

- Chapter 64: 1 result

- Chapter 72: 1 result (this chapter is Makkan)




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Think Win-Win for a better world for all...

http://cortoby.blogspot.com/ - My Blog
http://www.muslimheritage.com/ - Muslim Heritage



Posted By: ishammad
Date Posted: 25 June 2017 at 5:24pm
Some more stats, according to some search engine:

"Allah and His messengers" appears 7 times in 6 verses

"His ِِAngels" appears 5 times in 5 verses.
"His ِِBooks" appears 3 times in 3 verses.
"His Messengers" appears 5 times in 5 verses.

"Allah, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers" appears 2 times in 2 verses.

The Messenger has believed in what was revealed to him from his Lord, and [so have] the believers. All of them have believed in Allah and His angels and His books and His messengers, [saying], "We make no distinction between any of His messengers." And they say, "We hear and we obey. [We seek] Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the [final] destination." (Qur'an 2:285)

O you who have believed, believe in Allah and His Messenger and the Book that He sent down upon His Messenger and the Scripture which He sent down before. And whoever disbelieves in Allah, His angels, His books, His messengers, and the Last Day has certainly gone far astray. (Qur'an 4:136)



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Exalted is your Lord, the Lord of might, above what they describe. And peace upon the messengers. And praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds. 37:180-182


Posted By: Non Believer
Date Posted: 26 June 2017 at 7:10pm
Thank you for the list, Al-Cordoby.

The usage I've been thinking about is "whoever obeys/disobeys Allah and His Messenger...." This seemed to me to be a significant shift in how The Messenger is viewed, that it, now the followers are expected to obey Muhammad. We don't see this commandment in the earlier verses where Muhammad is seen as one in a continuing line of messengers. My conjecture is that the tone has shifted now that Muhammad has real power.

I can't be the first person to notice this shift in language?

The only early verse with this usage is 72:23, and perhaps this verse is from a later time. According to Ishammad's link http://tanzil.net/docs/revelation_order, generally, there are individual verse which are thought to be from a later period. Perhaps this is one, too?

[72:23] But [I have for you] only notification from Allah, and His messages." And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger - then indeed, for him is the fire of Hell; they will abide therein forever.


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Men do you harm either because they fear you or because they hate you.


Posted By: ishammad
Date Posted: 26 June 2017 at 7:30pm
Just a comment
"During the first 13 years of Islam, the main task of the Prophet (saws) was to call people to Islam based on the Qur'anic revelations that focused on the Oneness of Allah and righteous conduct."

The above paragraph isquoted from the same link "Revelation Order of the Qur'an".

In an early stage the prophet's audience was mainly polytheists, and to some extent, not familiar with the concept of prophets.



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Exalted is your Lord, the Lord of might, above what they describe. And peace upon the messengers. And praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds. 37:180-182


Posted By: Non Believer
Date Posted: 28 June 2017 at 4:40pm
Ishammad, it's the later stage that I'm curious about.

My view is that once Muhammad has achieved political and military power, he begins to demand personal loyalty.

In the verses which use the phrase "whoever obeys/disobeys Allah and His Messenger" how would the meaning be changed if it simply said "whoever obeys/disobeys Allah". This latter form I could read without discomfort. We all should obey natural laws. This is a universal concept in both theistic and atheistic communities.

However, the addition of requiring everyone to obey "the Messenger" adds a totalitarianism that I'm not at all comfortable with.

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Men do you harm either because they fear you or because they hate you.


Posted By: ishammad
Date Posted: 28 June 2017 at 5:08pm
You want to take "obey Allah" to mean obey natural laws and you want to forget about "and obey the Messenger" ?

I think obey Allah means to obey what Allah commands in His Book, and to obey His Messenger means to follow his Sunnah (prophetic way) "... And whatever the Messenger has given you - take; and what he has forbidden you - refrain from ... (59:7)"

This command is addressing the believers, and the Qur'an itself says obey the messenger as well.

What do you mean by we should obey natural laws?... accept or submit that if we move our hands up and down we will not fly?... (just joking here)

Now seriously, God wants us to accept more than that.



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Exalted is your Lord, the Lord of might, above what they describe. And peace upon the messengers. And praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds. 37:180-182


Posted By: Non Believer
Date Posted: 28 June 2017 at 5:52pm
Perhaps you aren't familiar with the Western concept of Natural Law. It has a long history first written down by the Greeks (Socrates, Plato and Aristotle). Their writing had a major influence on Christianity (and Islam, I'd assert). There are Christians who have directly advanced the theory (Thomas Aquinas, William of Ockham, and others) Natural Law is the foundation of secular constitutions; you only need to read the first couple of paragraphs of the US Declaration of Independence.

The wikipedia article also mentions Islamic scholars like Al-Ghazali and Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya. I don't know anything more about these men.

It is the learning of these people we're interested in, not the egos of the teachers.

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Men do you harm either because they fear you or because they hate you.


Posted By: Magister
Date Posted: 28 June 2017 at 8:36pm
Originally posted by Non Believer

Ishammad, it's the later stage that I'm curious about.

My view is that once Muhammad has achieved political and military power, he begins to demand personal loyalty.

In the verses which use the phrase "whoever obeys/disobeys Allah and His Messenger" how would the meaning be changed if it simply said "whoever obeys/disobeys Allah". This latter form I could read without discomfort. We all should obey natural laws. This is a universal concept in both theistic and atheistic communities.

However, the addition of requiring everyone to obey "the Messenger" adds a totalitarianism that I'm not at all comfortable with.


I think there is a more logical, and common sense way to look at it:

In order to fear Allah, you must embrace and obey what the Messenger says. You can't believe and obey Muhammad's God if you dismiss Muhammad (saws).

There's also something else which I find to be miraculous about the Quran - that Allah (swt) Himself described in the Quran the behaviors of the hypocrites. The very same ones perhaps that renounced their Islam and dissolved all treaties they had with the Muslims. This relates to what you're asking because Allah in His infinite wisdom saw that Arabs happened to convert to Islam for the sake of having a treaty with an up and coming military power - not because they believed in Islam. So now they're being told not only to obey Allah (whom they perhaps didn't even believe in), but were also told to obey the Messenger - something they would have done in order to preserve the peace.

Ish also brings up good points about the type of audience being addressed.


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Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven


Posted By: ishammad
Date Posted: 28 June 2017 at 9:18pm
Okay, thanks for clarifying about Natural Law.

Well, not really totalitarianism, the prophet practiced consultation with the companions in number of occasions.

And those who have responded to their lord and established prayer and whose affair is [determined by] consultation among themselves... [Al-Qur'an 42:38]

But there is a distinction between a matter concerning which a revelation came, and a situation of consultation and hearing informed opinions and recommendations.

In addition to what I said above, It is also said that it means: obey Allah regarding what He makes forbidden for you and obey the Messenger regarding what he conveys to you. It is said that it means to obey Allah by testifying that He is the Lord and to obey the Prophet by testifying to his prophethood.


O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result. [Al-Qur'an 4:59]

And We did not send any messenger except to be obeyed by permission of Allah . And if, when they wronged themselves, they had come to you, [O Muhammad], and asked forgiveness of Allah and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah Accepting of repentance and Merciful. [Al-Qur'an 4:64]

... And if you obey him, you will be [rightly] guided. And there is not upon the Messenger except the [responsibility for] clear notification. [Al-Qur'an 24:54]

He who obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah ; but those who turn away - We have not sent you over them as a guardian. [Al-Qur'an 4:79]



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Exalted is your Lord, the Lord of might, above what they describe. And peace upon the messengers. And praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds. 37:180-182


Posted By: Non Believer
Date Posted: 29 June 2017 at 12:56am
I think you guys are pretty much supporting my view.

Surah 42 is from before Muhammad's military victory. In addition to the verse you quote, there's 42:51 "And it is not for any human being that Allah should speak to him except by revelation or from behind a partition or that He sends a messenger to reveal, by His permission, what He wills. "

Showing full deference to Allah.

4:42 "That Day, those who disbelieved and disobeyed the Messenger will wish they could be covered by the earth. And they will not conceal from Allah a [single] statement."

Muhammad now has authority in his own right.

Also, note that in 4:59 Muhammad has assumed final authority to judge matters. He's now the sole maker of laws and the final judge. That's the foundation of a totalitarian state. Where I live, we have a separation of the lawmakers and the judges.

There's a big difference between heeding the words of a prophet and being subservient to him. This difference can be seen easily by reading Surahs that were revealed early on compared to those revealed after the Battle of Badr.

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Men do you harm either because they fear you or because they hate you.


Posted By: Aviatrix
Date Posted: 29 June 2017 at 4:38am
One wonders if it would be possible to be obedient to God's law while disobedient to His Messenger?

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http://ibnatalhidayah.blogspot.com - - Amy's Blog


Posted By: Non Believer
Date Posted: 29 June 2017 at 9:24am
Originally posted by Aviatrix

One wonders if it would be possible to be obedient to God's law while disobedient to His Messenger?
That's not the point.

At some point, the Messenger became the message and started insisting that his follower obey him. He never did this while he didn't have the power to enforce obedience.

How can you not see it as significant when this man starts making statements like "Whoever disobeys me..."? Up until that time it was always "Whoever disobeys Allah ..." It's a big change. It doesn't bother you because of your confidence of this man's perfection. However, history is full of absolute leaders like this. Take a look around.

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Men do you harm either because they fear you or because they hate you.


Posted By: ishammad
Date Posted: 29 June 2017 at 11:41am
NB, 42:51 is referring to an angel messenger. http://quran.ksu.edu.sa/tafseer/tafheem/sura42-aya51.html - 4:51 .. "or that a messenger (an angel) be sent to him"

4:42 This is the case because Muhammad happened to be the messenger whom God appointed and chose to sent to the people to call them to believe in God, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Last Day, and to convey to them God's message and guidance that they need to obey and follow to the best of their abilities... with the glad tidings and warnings.
And this is also the case with every people with their messenger before prophet Muhammad was sent.

Muhammad judges matters by what Allah revealed to him, God taught him the Book and wisdom. and if he decided after consultation about a matter concerning which no revelation came yet, that is a different story and it will not be concerning the lawful and the unlawful.

"Our Lord, and send among them a messenger from themselves who will recite to them Your verses and teach them the Book and wisdom and purify them. Indeed, You are the Exalted in Might, the Wise." [Al-Qur'an 2:129]

The above verse is part of Abraham's supplication, peace be upon him.



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Exalted is your Lord, the Lord of might, above what they describe. And peace upon the messengers. And praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds. 37:180-182


Posted By: ishammad
Date Posted: 29 June 2017 at 4:55pm
The Makkan Phase
The Makkan phase of the revelation lasted about 13 years, from the first revelation up to the Hijrah.

This phase is determined by the prime task of the Prophet to call people to Islam. The main themes of this call, based on the Qur’anic revelation are:

* Allah and His unity (tawheed)
* The coming resurrection and judgment
* Righteous conduct

The role of the Prophet in this phase is in particular that of an announcer and warner.

The Madinan Phase
The Madinan phase lasted about 10 years, from the Hijrah to the death of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). While the basic themes of the Makkan phase remain, the factor of the Muslims’ growing together into a community and the formation of the Ummah, now makes its presence clearly felt.

In Madinah, there are four groups of people to be met:

* The Muhajirun (immigrants), who migrated from Makkah to Madinah
* The Ansar (helpers), who originated from Madinah and helped the Muhajirun
* The munafiqun (hypocrites), who are from Madinah and pretended to support the Muslims
* The Ahl Al-Kitab (People of the Book), that is, Jews and Christians, with their respective scriptures

In addition to these the Qur’an also continued to address an-nas (mankind), that is, all people, and referred to the disbelievers and ignorant ones.
.
.
Often there is internal evidence as to which part of the revelation is Makkan or Madinan. There are a number of guiding criteria that help to distinguish between them:

The theme: Does it belong to the Makkan or Madinan period? Among the Makkan themes are tawheed, shirk, Day of Resurrection, moral corruption, stories of the prophets. These topics are also found in Madinan surahs, but usually only touched upon briefly. Madinan themes that are not found in Makkan revelations are of social and legal implications, concerning marriage, divorce, inheritance, punishment, and so on.
...

- Makkan and Madinan Revelations - By Ahmad Von Denffer

Ahmad Von Denffer was born in Germany in 1949. He is working with the Islamic Center, Munich, Germany. He has written various publications in different languages



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Exalted is your Lord, the Lord of might, above what they describe. And peace upon the messengers. And praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds. 37:180-182


Posted By: Aviatrix
Date Posted: 29 June 2017 at 6:09pm
Originally posted by Non Believer

Originally posted by Aviatrix

One wonders if it would be possible to be obedient to God's law while disobedient to His Messenger?
That's not the point.

At some point, the Messenger became the message and started insisting that his follower obey him. He never did this while he didn't have the power to enforce obedience.

How can you not see it as significant when this man starts making statements like "Whoever disobeys me..."? Up until that time it was always "Whoever disobeys Allah ..." It's a big change. It doesn't bother you because of your confidence of this man's perfection. However, history is full of absolute leaders like this. Take a look around.


Does it bother you that the leadership role changes, and that laws come down later instead of earlier? Or just issues of faith and law both come from the same person?

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http://ibnatalhidayah.blogspot.com - - Amy's Blog


Posted By: The_Rock
Date Posted: 30 June 2017 at 3:32pm
Originally posted by Aviatrix

One wonders if it would be possible to be obedient to God's law while disobedient to His Messenger?


Yes its possible. This is probably the single biggest problem with the prophetic model of islam.

In my estimation, depending on the lens, the sunnah of the prophet is useless at best or actually harmful to muslims.

Take the marriage of aisha at a young age to a man half a century older than her.

Without delving into the veracity of the tradition.

Its a common practice in the ME.

Is the sunnah good for us here?

Its actually so bad, that western muslims are constantly attempting to explain it away.

And this is the peaceful stuff.

The rape of POWs is far worse.


Posted By: Non Believer
Date Posted: 30 June 2017 at 5:51pm
My point is that in order to understand the context of Surahs, we must understand what Muhammad's position in society was and what his goals were at the time of the Surah's revelation. This is entirely normal when looking at the life of an individual. I don't have nearly the same perspective today that I had 40 years ago. I wish that the Quran was ordered in the sequence that the verses were revealed. It would be so much easier to understand the context and meaning of the text.

My view is that during the Makkan period, Muhammad's political position was weak and his goal was the development of a new religion that was in opposition to the superstitions of the polytheists. In other words, his goals were religious and spiritual. His new religion eliminated much of the ritualistic aspects of the prevailing religion though it still retained superstitious elements like the concept of a Hereafter where souls are absolutely condemned or absolutely rewarded.

Once in Madinah, his political position was initially still quite weak. As I understand it, Surah 2 Al-Baqarah was the first Surah in this period. Much of this Surah was directed towards the Children of Israel, showing how Islam is a natural continuation for them and how the coming battle is like the battle between David and Goliath. The question I ask myself is "how would this sermon have been received by the Children of Isreal?" It seems purely political and with a clear message to these people.

After that, there comes the Battle of Badr. Now his political position has been consolidated. He was no longer appealing to the Children of Israel but now his primary concern was keeping a tight grip on the territory under his control and on expanding his control. Again, these are political, not spiritual, goals.

Further to what The_Rock points out in his post, I believe that trying to find spiritual guidance from this later (political) period might actually be harmful, especially for western Muslims.

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Men do you harm either because they fear you or because they hate you.


Posted By: ishammad
Date Posted: 30 June 2017 at 6:58pm
NB, There is a Quranic science known as Context/Causes of Revelation.

Here is the link I shared with you earlier. Many verses are covered here but not all.

Causes of Revelation: http://www.altafsir.com/AsbabAlnuzol.asp?SoraName=1&Ayah=0&search=yes&img=A&LanguageID=2

and here is a pdf copy http://www.altafsir.com/Books/Asbab%20Al-Nuzul%20by%20Al-Wahidi.pdf - Causes of Revelation - pdf copy

I hope it would be of some help.








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Exalted is your Lord, the Lord of might, above what they describe. And peace upon the messengers. And praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds. 37:180-182


Posted By: Aviatrix
Date Posted: 02 July 2017 at 5:38pm
Originally posted by The_Rock

Originally posted by Aviatrix

One wonders if it would be possible to be obedient to God's law while disobedient to His Messenger?


Yes its possible. This is probably the single biggest problem with the prophetic model of islam.

In my estimation, depending on the lens, the sunnah of the prophet is useless at best or actually harmful to muslims.

Take the marriage of aisha at a young age to a man half a century older than her.

Without delving into the veracity of the tradition.

Its a common practice in the ME.

Is the sunnah good for us here?

Its actually so bad, that western muslims are constantly attempting to explain it away.

And this is the peaceful stuff.

The rape of POWs is far worse.


Are you suggesting Muslim men are compelled to marry girls 50 years younger than them, and if they do not do so, they are disobeying the Messenger?

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http://ibnatalhidayah.blogspot.com - - Amy's Blog


Posted By: The_Rock
Date Posted: 02 July 2017 at 6:13pm
I'm saying that the Sunnah is that this practice is acceptable.

Are you going to tell a man in the ME that it's abhorrent, despite the consensus on the matter as a Sunnat of the Rasul?

This Sunnat should be outlawed, so which Muslim is going to be able to do that?

If you can explain to me how this practice is beneficial to humanity I'd be interested to hear it.


Posted By: Aviatrix
Date Posted: 04 July 2017 at 3:30am
Actually, my question was whether it was conceivable to obey God while disobeying the Messenger.

Is choosing a marital arrangement which is different than that of the Prophet's (saws) to Aisha (ra) even disobeying the Messenger?

Obviously it's not. So it really has nothing to do with my question, regardless of your opinion about it.

For clarification, "obedience" means that if the Messenger (saws) said Muslims must do something, then doing it is "obedience" while not doing it is "disobedience" in the broadest terms. Also, if he (saws) said Muslims must not do a thing, then doing it would be "disobedience" and abstaining would be "obedience."

Variation in cultural norms is irrelevant, unless there is some commandment over a particular, specific subject.


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http://ibnatalhidayah.blogspot.com - - Amy's Blog


Posted By: The_Rock
Date Posted: 04 July 2017 at 7:33am
I understand what you are saying.

My point is that Sunnah is massively problematic for the reasons I gave, and questionable as being divinely inspired.

So disobeying the messenger would be to disregard his actions as having authority where such actions are morally uncertain.

And for those reasons I also think Muslims ought to reconsider the role of the Sunnah as a source of the deen.

In essence, obeying the messenger (following his sunnah) is not obeying God.

In fact, in the cases I referenced, it is exactly the opposite, it would be disobeying God.

To my mind this is not even vaguely problematic for muslims because men are fallible, all men are equally fallible, including the prophet.

It is because muslims revere the prophet so much(attributing infallibility to him and all the others as well), that they find this idea reprehensible.

However, it is possible to be a strict islamic monotheist and not follow the sunnah.

Many muslims have made this argument in the past, its one that is worthy of more consideration.


Posted By: The_Rock
Date Posted: 04 July 2017 at 9:58am
I mean lets be plain here.

I have no objection to the teaching "worship only God"

Given that the messenger shows some morally unacceptable behavior, my contention is that the messenger need not be obeyed.

I can accept that message, regardless of who it is that tells me this.

The state of the messenger does not in any way change the value of the message.

However, you seem to be conflating the message with the messenger i.e. one cannot obey the message (from God) unless one obeys the messenger, and the message would not be self evident truth if the messenger were not the same.

So you would have to explain to me how, if the quran were revealed to a different person, it would be less valuable as the utterance of God because the person to whom it was revealed was different.

To my mind the message stands on its own.

The messenger is irrelevant, its as plain and simple as that.


Posted By: Non Believer
Date Posted: 04 July 2017 at 11:45am
In addition to what The_Rock is saying, there's also the question of whether everything that Muhammad said is "from Allah". Obeying His Messenger is quite different from obeying Allah.

I've also raised the question of the distinction between revealed messages and Muhammad's own thoughts in this thread which didn't receive much attention:

http://forum.whyislam.org/forum_posts.asp?TID=32120

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Men do you harm either because they fear you or because they hate you.


Posted By: Shenango
Date Posted: 04 July 2017 at 8:33pm
Originally posted by Non Believer

In addition to what The_Rock is saying, there's also the question of whether everything that Muhammad said is "from Allah"


Nobody ever said the Prophet (PBUH) never had an independent thought or action not inspired by God. All the prophets were men with their personal opinions, thoughts and actions.

Muslims only believe that the Prophet (PBUH) was inspired in his thoughts and actions having morality or an ethic. There is a concept in Islam called 'isma, or the infallibity of the prophets, whereby they were protected from immorality by God.

As Al-Cordoby noted with his list, Muslims were commanded to follow the Prophet (PBUH) from the earliest days. The difference with the move to Medina and the establishment of the first Muslim community was merely maturity.

It is easy to see things as purely about political power, but the Meccans had offered to make the Prophet (PBUH) their king if he would just stop preaching Islam. Naturally, he refused with his famous reply (do look it up if you have the time).

In the early days the Muslims were dependent on the Prophet (PBUH) for everything, not just because the faith was new but because of Meccan persecution. He was the end-all-be-all for any believer. In Medina the Muslims had room to be themselves and to interact more naturally with one another without the burden of persecution, secrecy and duress. Unity meant survival in those days.

This is where you see the communal verses start for the most part, and reminders to the Muslims of the centrality of the messenger as head of the community. Achieving unity here would take a little more effort because the former pressures were eased. And yes, the Muslims had to be reminded that accepting the Prophet's political leadership was part of accepting his spiritual leadership. There is nothing wrong with that.

You misunderstand it as an active concentration of secular power, whereas I see it more as the growing pains and maturing of the community and coming into its own.

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"I mean, brothers and sisters, the appointed time has grown short; from now on, let even those who have wives be as though they had none"--Paul c. 55 CE



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