One may ask why the concept of challenge is relevant to the Reading. The fact is that men and women are expected to face many challenges in their life, including the pursuit of knowledge. Unless they sincerely strive to find the right path, they became blind followers and are subjected to mental bondage. God endows both sexes the same freedom. Both were expected to think by themselves for their own good and well being. Nobody has the right to take away that freedom – in the name of God or whatsoever. Both men and women are given the equality to think critically, weigh and consider everything and verify everything. They should think about consequences before they make their decision.
God assists them in the way they themselves wanted to go. If a man or woman decides to reject God’s revelation, they will not harm the Supreme God. In fact, God will encourage them to do so.
As for those who reject our revelations, We will lead them on without their ever realising it. In fact, I will encourage them. Indeed My scheming is formidable. (7:182-183)
The same applies in all of life. If we choose not to subdue our eyes and keep chaste, God will lead us on without even realising that we are committing what we are not supposed to commit. Whatever good happens to us is from God, and whatever bad happens to us is from our own wrong doings.
When someone instructs us to travel to Mecca to perform a pilgrimage for the sake of God, we have the right to ask why. After all, humans are expected to use the power of reason.
After looking at the Qur’anic texts, I cannot find any straightforward indication of a pilgrimage. 3:97 however does give an ambiguous hint of a possible journey. This verse when read in isolation raises more questions than it answers. To understand the message we need only to read the two preceding verses to realise that the verses are not describing what the religionists want us to think they are describing. The essence of these verses is that God’s system was established for those with strong conviction. The verse actually gives us very important clue – ‘In the system there are profound signs of Abraham‘. It is the duty of those with conviction to take the challenge to search for such a system as well.
Lin-nas for mankind
Lal-lazi of those
This passage was discussed under the sub heading of ‘What is in the Bayta‘ in Part Eight.
After having corrupted the word ‘umra to become visit, the religionists twisted the meaning of Haj to become the annual pilgrimage.
The root of Haj is H-j. The key concept connected with this root is challenge or confront.
The inconsistency becomes apparent in the variety of applications. While traditional Islam teaches that Haj means pilgrimage, it applies the derivatives of this word for example ta-hajaa and yu-hajuu to mean argue. This is their confusion and contradiction. For them, the same words mean wholly different things in different verses of the Reading.
The Reading categorically uses the word jadal1 to mean argue and it is used many times. In 11:32, the people of Noah accused Noah of ‘arguing’ too much with them. They say ‘you argue’ with ‘too many arguments’.
Qolu ya-Nuhu qod jadal-tana fak-sharta jadala-na fa’tinabiha ta’eduna ainkonta minal sodiqeen. (11:32)
They say, “O Noah, you argue with too many arguments. Bring us the doom you are threatening, if you are truthful.” (11:32)
Clearly the word jadal mentioned in this verse refers to the ‘arguments’ between Noah and his people.
During the time of the Last Prophet there was a woman who successfully ‘argued’ with him:
Qod sami’ allah qaula lati tu-jadil-ka fi-zaujiha wa-tastaki il-lal-lah. Wal-lah yasma’hu taha-wurokuma. In-nal-lah sami’un basir (58:1)
God heard the woman who argues with you about her husband and complained to God. And God heard the discussions. God is Hearer and Seer. (58:1)
The woman did not complain to the Prophet about her husband. She argued with the Prophet and then complained to God. From these two verses we see ‘argue’ cannot be classified under the same category of challenge. Furthermore it has a root word by itself.
Let me take a slight diversion from the subject. In the Arab religion the mullahs say women are second-class citizens – men are superior to women in everything. They discourage girls to go to school or women hold jobs of authority or responsibility, or to leave home without being in the company of a blood male relative or husband, or to permit any part of their body to be seen in public – requiring them to be covered from head to toe. Thus, many of them become sex tools and they are expected to be subservient to their husbands in all matters of domestic decisions. Muslims who follow the teachings of these mullahs on the other hand – are told not to argue, or question or speak against them. While the Reading says people can argue with the prophet including the woman who exercised her right to argue her case with him – why do the mullahs say it is a big sin to question and argue with them?
Let us go back to the subject proper. In 42:16, two derivatives from the root Haj or H-j are used. The first word is Hajuu and the second word is Hujaa which are more appropriately translated as challenge and confrontation.
Let us examine the verse:
wallazi and those who
fillah about God
ba'dimaa after what
tuhiiba they received
lahu with it
Hujaatuhum their confrontation
dahidhothan are nullified
a'inda according to
robbihim their Lord
wa'alaihim and upon them
ghadhabun the wrath
walahum and for them
The words Hajuu and Hujaa come from the same root word: Haj.
The verb form is derived from the H-j root and is third person imperfect signifying future. In the Hereafter, the followers will confront their priests or religious scholars asking them if they can spare them the hell-fire. In 40:47 it says:
Wa-izza- ya-ta-haa-ju fin-nar (40:47)
And when they dispute in the fire (40:47)
In 40:48 the religious priest and the scholars will say to their followers, ‘We are in this together, God has judged the people’. When the followers speak to their religious scholars in the Hereafter it shows that they do not argue or quarrel with their leaders. The word yata-Hajuu in 40:47 means dispute.
1 The religionists expect everyone to believe that the word Jadal and Haj are two different words sharing one meaning.