Wildlife conservation sabotaged

It is not surprising to find a chapter about wildlife conservation in a book such as this. Again, a sensible and nurturing injunction in the Reading has been twisted out of all recognition in order to fit the requirements of a pagan cult. This will be of particular interest to those who have undertaken the ritual known as Haj or ‘pilgrimage’.

I stumbled upon this important subject while compiling verses about food. After reading 5:1 several times over in conjunction with the subsequent verses, I was confronted with a serious problem when I tried to understand how the word ‘restricted’ could be rendered as ‘religious dress’. All the twelve translations in my possession, the lexicons and the concordance say that Hurumun is either the pilgrimage garb, or the state of sanctity during the pilgrimage (ihram).

The non-Arab Muslims depend on the religionists to explain the religious rituals and other aspects of ‘worship’. For many years I had been aware that there was not a single Arabic ritual that came from the Reading, and that the source for of all these rituals was the so-called Hadith – a vast collation of hearsay and old wives tales falsely attributed to the Prophet. Whilst re-marketing their Arab religion, it seems that the religionists determined to maintain the characteristic of the Arabs’ previous pilgrimage, and they distorted the sense of two verses in the fifth surah of the Reading to support their claims.

Before looking at the verses in question, we should remind ourselves that – according to the Reading – no other sources are needed in order to understand the important points that it wants to make. No tafsiir, no Hadith1 are necessary. In 39:23, God proclaims the Reading the best Hadith and a consistent Scripture. The Book also states that it is self-explanatory. This, of course, is directly contradicted by the entire Arab religion community of whatever flavor. If we are to take the Reading at its word, we can investigate further.

God revealed the best narration (Hadith), a Scripture that is consistent. (39:23)

They never come to you with any example, except We provide you with the truth and the best interpretation (aHsana tafsir). (25:33)

Hurumun appears in the Reading four times. This word was twisted to mean the silly habit of wearing two pieces of seamless white cloth (for males) as the mandatory garb of pilgrims that the religionists say is the ihram. The two pieces of white cloth are actually remnants of a pagan heritage from the times preceding Rome and Greece when priests and nobles wore pieces of white cloth to signify ‘holiness’ or their station in society (such as the Roman toga).

The subject in verses 5:1-5 is food. There is absolutely nothing about pilgrimage here.

The translators do justice to the first part of 5:1. This is generally the case when their personal beliefs are not at stake:

Ya-aiyu-hal lazi na-amanu aufu-bil ‘uqadi

O you who believe, you shall fulfil your covenant

Uhil-lat lakum bahi-matul an-aam

Permitted for you is the meat of all livestock

il-laa ma-utla alai-kum

Except those recited to you

This is the first part of 5:1 and the subject is about God’s covenant, and the covenant is about food. The rest of the verse says:

Ghoi-ro mu-hil-lis soii-di

Do not permit the hunting of game

Wa-antum-Hurumun

(usually translated) While you are in pilgrim garb / ihram.

Herein lays the corruption. Such flagrant misreading of this verse requires an abrupt change of topic within a short space. Such anomalies do not happen anywhere in the Reading.

The first part of the verse gives us total freedom to consume the meat of all livestock, except those recited to us. The second part specifies consumption of the meats of wildlife under a specific condition: wa-antum Hurumun.

The words wa-antum mean ‘and when you’ or ‘and that which you’ or ‘while you are’.

Wa-antum-hurumun means ‘and when you are restricted’.

Hurumun is a derivative of the root H-r-m or Harama. All derivatives generated from this root word can have different shades, but the essence of the meaning of the word is the same.

They can mean forbidden, restricted, sanctioned, limited, controlled or constrained but each time different and distinct derivatives are used for them such as Haram, Hurum, Hurumat, Harrama, yuHarrimu, Hurima and muHarram.

We can discover the meaning of these derivatives by making comparative reference to the contexts in which they appear. This is a simple yet important procedure and we don’t need any long commentaries outside the Qur’anic injunction to understand or provide long commentaries or tafsir2 the meaning of certain words.

For example, in 3:93 all food was permitted (Halal) to the Children of Israel except what they forbade or constrained (Harrama) themselves before the Torah was revealed.

Kulluu tha-ami kaana hillan li bani israiila

All food was permitted for the Israelites

Illa maa Harrama israa iilu alaa nafsihi

except what Israel forbade for itself

min qabli an tunazzila tauraatu

from before the Torah was revealed

The Children of Israel forbade/constrained (Harrama) certain foods before the Torah was revealed.

Therefore, in 5:1 the phrase wa antum Hurumun means while you are restricted.

In other words, in 5:1 it is we, who must restrict ourselves from hunting. In 5:94 it is said Game hunting is a test for us (the verse will be quoted later). The subject of wild life conservation is now sanctioned by God within the passages of His decrees on matters of food.

The Reading does not say how long we ought to make the hunting of wild game restricted, but the Reading says it is part of God’s decrees. Therefore it is up to us to decide. If the mountain goats in Afghanistan need five months to breed, then we must refrain from hunting the goats for those five months.

If the great leatherback turtles carry their eggs for two months and then lay their eggs on one particular night of the full moon in a year in Nicaragua, we must restrict the hunting for, say, three months before that particular full moon. If the deer is almost extinct and needs years to increase its population, then we must not hunt ghoi-ro-soi-di the deer for that number of years. ‘Wa antum Hurumun’ means ‘and that which you are restricted’.

5:1 stresses strongly not to allow hunting:

ghoi-ro     do not
mu-hil-li   make permissible
soi-di      game hunting

The prohibitions of hunting should be enshrined in state law to protect different species of animal. The law of the land must impose the restrictions on hunting at the right time.

To grasp the meaning of this message, we should pay a visit to the wildlife department in any country to find out why they impose different types of restrictions on hunting various animals during specific months. The deer-hunting season in India may differ from the goat-hunting season in Yemen. There are seasons for different animals. It is we who must decide when to restrict hunting, and we must respect these laws if we fear God.

This is the true meaning of the message in 5:1. It has nothing to do with wearing a two-piece white cloth dress known as ihram and walking in circles around a cube-shaped stone idol in the centre of a mosque crying out for God to hear us.

We do not make any of the wildlife meat forbidden (or Haram), but we are not allowed to hunt them during a specific periods.

If we wish to observe the will of the Lord of the Universe, we are not to violate His decrees on the hunting of wildlife during the restricted months:

Do not violate God’s decrees (sha’iral-lah), or the restricted months (on hunting), and the guidance (about hunting), or the indicators (of hunting) or the harmony that is sanctioned in the system (aminal-bai-tal-Harama) when seeking the grace and pleasure of God. But when you are permitted (Halal-tum) (after the ban is lifted), you may hunt. Do not be provoked by the enmity of those who prevent you in observing the sanctions of the consented decree (anil-mas-jidil-Harami) that you may transgress. And co-operate with each other in righteous deeds and piety, and do not co-operate with those committing sins and aggression. (5:2)

We are to co-operate with the lawmakers to protect the wildlife and by doing so we demonstrate our observation to the sanctions prescribed by God in His system. We must not co-operate with illegal hunters. However, if we kill wildlife during the restricted months (shahrul-Harrama) on purpose, the food is still permitted for us to eat, but we pay a fine.

O you who believe, do not kill wildlife when you are restricted (Hurumun). If anyone kills on purpose, he shall expatiate with an equivalent livestock to be judged by two equitable persons from among you to point out the maturity of the ‘ankles’ (ka’bati). Or expiation by feeding the poor or impose a self-discipline3 (siyaman) so that he regrets the consequences of his actions. God has pardoned his previous offences. Whoever reverts to his offence, God will avenge it from him. God is Almighty, Avenger. (5:95).

The right meaning of the word Hurumun can be verified from other verses of the Reading. For example, in 9:36 it is impossible to change the meaning of this word to none other than restricted.

Surely the count of months according to God is twelve months in God’s reckoning (fil-kitaabi-llaah) since they day He created the heavens and the earth. Of these, four are restricted (ar ba’atun Hurumun). That is the upright way of life (deen-nul qayyimu). (9:36)

The word arba’atum Hurumun means that there are restrictions on four of the months.

The four restricted months refer to the cooling-off period after a declaration is announced to the idol-worshippers that God and His messenger disown them for their idol-worshipping practices. The day the announcement is made is known as the day of the Big Challenge or Haji akbar. In 9:1-4, the idol-worshippers and the non-believers are given four months to ‘roam the earth’ to decide their position on the deen.

Today, more than a billion people on earth believe they must make themselves ‘holy’ for a few days. Each year, several million of them don indecent two-piece suits which they have named ihram and walk in circles around a cubical stone idol. And this when all God wanted them to do was to observe the sanctions in the system of not hunting the wildlife during restricted periods.

Just a slight twist to one simple word like this can cause disaster to a person’s life in this world and the Hereafter.

The majority of ‘Muslims’ could not care less about observing the sanctions protecting wildlife, however. The religionists have generally succeeded in deflecting them from beneficial actions related to wildlife conservation and misled them towards jumping up and down in front of an empty stone box. Somebody, somewhere, must be having a really good laugh.

God created all living creatures on earth, and mankind is expected to co-exist with them in perfect harmony:

Wa-mamin dab-batin fil-ardi wala-thor ‘iri yathi-ru bijana-haihi il-laa um-matin amshalakum (6:38)

Any creature on earth including the birds that fly with their wings are nations like you. (6:38)

Humans are not allowed to kill at random. Killing is allowed only when justified:

Wala-taq-tulu nafsal-lati Haramal-lah il-la-bil-haq (17:33)

You shall not kill the life, it is forbidden by God except in truth. (17:33)

The presence of other living creatures is part of God’s creation. Humans cannot simply go around killing and destroying anything they like.

God has created livestock as a provision for mankind. Killing livestock for food is justified according to need. God also allows mankind to enjoy the meat of wildlife. Therefore killing animals is justified subject to certain conditions.

There are two kinds of wildlife: that in water and that on land. We do not have to impose any restrictions to protect the water game but we must impose some restrictions to protect the wildlife on land. For as long as we observe the restrictions that, for us, is the state of Hurumun. 5:96 says:

uhil-laa lakum soi-dul bah-ri

Permitted for you (uhil-la-lakum) is the hunting of water game (soi-dul bah-ri)

wathor-‘amuhu mata-‘al-lakum walis-syai-roti

Eat from them as provision, for you and those who are travelling

Wa-hur-rima alaikum soi-dul bar-ri ma’dumtum huruman

And prohibited (Hurrima) upon you is the hunting of game on land for as long as (mu’dumtum) you restrict them (Huruman).

wat-taqul-lah hal-lazi ilaihi taq-syarun.

You shall observe God, to Whom you will be gathered.

In 5:96, we are permitted to eat game from the sea (baHri) but as for the game from the land (baRri) hunting is forbidden for as long as (mu’dumtum) we make their hunting restricted (Huruman).

We can see that the corruption by the innovators of the Arab religion is exposed again. Here, both the words Hurrima and Hurumun are found. Both come from the same root H-r-m or Haram.

They say that Hurrima in the first part of the sentence means prohibited but Hurumun in the latter part of the same sentence means a state of sacredness. They claim it means the ihram – the two piece white cloth worn during the act of walking around a cubical stone idol at the centre of their mosque. As we have seen, these verses have nothing to do with a pilgrimage of any kind.

The killing of wildlife is done everywhere. Such activity is called game-hunting. The Reading calls upon hunters to exercise self discipline by not killing wildlife out of season:

Ya-aiyuhal-lazi na-amanu la-yub-luwa-nakumul-lah bi-shai’ain minal-soi-di tana-luhu ai-diyakum wa-rimahukum li-yak-lamal-lah man-yu-ghor-fuhu bil-ghaib. Fa-manikh-tada ba’da zalika falahu azaban alim (5:94)

O you who believe, God may test you through game-hunting within the reach of your hands and means. God wants to ensure those among you who fear Him (while He is) unseen. Anyone who transgresses after this has deserved painful retribution. (5:94)

The majority of civilised governments impose laws to protect wildlife. They do not know they are preserving the harmony of the sanctions in God’s system (or the baytil-Harama). For them, it is simply a matter of good sense. They have studied the environment and life patterns in the animal kingdom and have realised that it is their obligation to protect living creatures – if only out of self-interest. As far as the Reading is concerned, such a perception is an act of righteousness.

Without doubt, wa-antum Hurumun does not mean during pilgrimage, neither does it signify the two piece pilgrim’s clothes which they call the ihram4. Moreover, the word ihram is nowhere found in the Reading.

We must realise the beauty of the composition of the Reading. In most cases, a subject is detailed in sequential verses and then it is mentioned elsewhere. The prohibitions on food detailed in the Reading are part of the sanctions in the system (baytal-Harami) to be observed by those who consented themselves to what was sanctioned.

The details of the prohibition are expanded in 5:1-5. In 5:3 in the midst of detailing the food God says:

Today, I have perfected the deen for you, and completed My favour upon you. And decreed Islam as the deen. (5:3)

God’s prescribed way of life is perfected by the revelation pertaining to details of the restriction on food. A true person who is at peace must not consent themselves to any restrictions beyond the limits set by God. The verse, however, ends with an exception:

However, if one is forced to eat any of these without malice, then God is Forgiver, Merciful.

The same topic continues in the next two verses before a new subject is dealt with. The subject of food is repeated in eight straight verses (6:141-150) to corroborate the restrictions mentioned in the earlier chapters. The final part is mentioned again in eight straight verses (16:112-119).

As a matter of interest, the composition of the Reading is such that any isolated subject is always revealed in a verse of its own. Never are two unrelated subjects touched upon in the same verse.


1 Hadith: are tales about the Prophet from various unverifiable sources.

2 Tafsir is long commentaries to explain the Qur’an based on tradition and tales found in the various hadith books written by so-called learned people. It is equivalent to the Jewish Tosefta a compilation of traditions and sayings closely related to the Misnah, deriving from many authorities represented in it.

3 The Arabic word Siyaman is traditionally translated as fasting. There is no mention about the duration period for the fast. Hence, it is logical to say the meaning is to discipline oneself from hunting until the animals are matured. It is not about fasting from eating or drinking.

4 A man’s pilgrimage is nullified if he wears anything under the ihram clothing. Imagine the heat and I have to struggle applying creams in between my thighs.


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2:142-152 – the wider context

Let us recap:

  • (2:142): The fools among them ask: ‘What makes them change their focus?’ Tell them: ‘To God belongs the East and the West. He directs whoever He will to the right path’.

The people who received the previous Scripture who thought God’s scripture is only revealed to certain chosen people asked what had made the Arabs change their focus of belief from paganism to God’s deen.

  • (2:143): God says: ‘We changed the direction as a test to distinguish those who would follow the Messenger from those who turned back. It is a difficult test, but not for those who are guided by God’.

The revelation was now given to the Arabs as opposed to the recipients of the previous Scriptures (e.g. the Children of Israel).

  • (2:144): God says: ‘We have seen your face turning about the sky. Now we appoint for you a direction that pleases you. From now on, you shall focus yourself to the consented sanctions wherever you may be. You shall focus your direction to it. Those who received the previous Scripture recognize this is the truth from their Lord’.

Those who received the previous Scripture recognized these consented decrees as the truth from their Lord. A mosque cannot be a ‘truth’ of any kind.

  • (2:145): God told the Last Prophet: ‘Even if you show the followers of the previous Scripture any kind of sign they will not follow your direction. And you must not follow their direction. In fact, they do not follow each other’s direction (qiblah)’.
  • (2:146): The people who were given the Book recognised it just as they recognise their own children. Many of them conceal the truth.

    That is, they recognised the sanctions just as they recognised their own children. Why? Because they had consented to similar sanctions. The fact that they largely chose to ignore its contents is a different matter.

    • (2:147): ‘The truth is from your Lord. Do not harbour any doubt’.

    God assures us that the sanctions in the consented decree are the truth. There was no such thing as Sacred or Profane mosque at the time when the Reading was revealed.

    • (2:148): ‘To each is their own focus Therefore, you shall race towards doing good deeds. Wherever you are God will bring all of you together’.
    • (2:149): ‘Wherever you may go, you shall focus towards the sanctions in the consented decree (mas-jidil-Harami). This is the truth from your Lord’.
    • (2:150): ‘Therefore, wherever you go, you shall focus towards the sanctions in the consented decree. Wherever you may be, you shall focus on it. The people will have no argument with you except the wicked among them. Do not fear them, but fear Me instead so that I may complete My blessing upon you, that you may be guided’.

    2:142-150 describes the changing recipients of the revelation from the people who received the previous Scripture (the Children of Israel) to the people of the Arab prophet. The masjidil-Harami is nothing but a recitation.

    Such blessing as the sending of a messenger from among you to recite from our revelations, and to cleanse you, to teach you the Scripture and wisdom, and to teach you what you never knew. Therefore, you shall remember Me so that I may remember you, and be thankful to Me. And be appreciative. (2:151-152)

    The Children of Israel received God’s Scripture with the details of the sanctions of God’s consented decree. This became the focus of their commitment to the One God. When the same is revealed as a recitation to the Arab prophet they knew the essence of the message is similar to what was revealed to them previously – “just the way they recognize their own children”. The statement in Chapter 2 Verse 146 is further explained in 6:19-20:

    “Whose testimony is greater? Say, “God is the witness between me and you. This Quran ( Reading) has been revealed to me in order to preach to you therewith, and whomever it reaches”…………..”Those who were given the previous scripture recognize this as they recognize their own children. Those who lost their soul are the ones who will disbelieve.”

    Despite God’s blessing and mercy they distorted the Scripture. They were the first to conspire against God and His messengers. They perverted God’s way to create a religion and gave themselves a new name: the Jews. Moses knew nothing about the Jewish religion.

    In the Old Testament when Jesus went to the Israelites – he had a big problem with the Jews, some of whom tried to stone him. Later, the Talmudic rabbis and the Pharisees of the synagogue feared the truth he brought could end the religion of Judaism. To prevent this, they stirred up the people and falsely accused the man of blasphemy. In spite of reminding the Jews that in their own law a righteous man is called God they decided to send him to the Governor for using the term son of God. The governor found him innocent but the Jews imposed their barbaric religious law to assume that the man was punished. Later they invented a chronicle that Jesus was crucified and billions of people were led to believe the story. The Jews had successfully made people worship a mortal man.

    However the Arabs outstripped even the Jews. They were able to reintroduce their primitive Arab religion under the guise of the religion of Islam and found a way to perpetuate their forefathers’ religion of nurturing the black stone. People around the world are now elevating the Arabs’ forefathers’ deity in the centre of their invented ‘Sacred Mosque’. They have replaced God’s decrees about an orderly way of life with a physical building and abused the word masjidil-Harami so that people accept it as meaning a sanctuary or station for their stone idol.

    We concede that perhaps it may not be the direct intention of all translators to give the wrong meaning when interpreting the Reading. Many are simply duped by a culture and literature which they assume has a better knowledge of the Book than themselves. However, this does not remove the obligation of any scholar to verify interpretations for himself in a way which is in keeping with common sense and logic.

    A key point for those sincere people who are looking for the grace and the pleasure of their Lord is to remember is that God in His glory cannot be associated with any human or anything tangible like mosque or stone outcropping or stone pillars. That includes (one almost wants to say especially) when they have been declared ‘sacred’ by humans.

Sanctions during pre-Qur’anic period

In surah 17, we find many historical facts about the Children of Israel including a list of the Ten Commandments. The first seven verses describe the fundamental tenets given to the Children of Israel. It should come as no surprise that the message here, too, was twisted by the religionists.

Those without preconceived ideas will be able to grasp the meaning and the intended purpose of 17:1-2:

Glory be to the One who captivated His servant during one night from the consented sanctions towards the fringes of consented decree which are blessed, in order to manifest to him from Our signs. Indeed He is Hearer and Seer. And We gave Moses the Scripture and We set it as the Guidance for the Children of Israel. You shall not take other than Me as an advocate.

Briefly, the story in 17:1 talks about Moses being captivated by God to make him go to a certain location to witness God’s signs. It must be read together with the subsequent verse 17:2 that starts with a diphthong wa which means and to indicate the continuity from the previous verse 17:1: And We gave Moses the Scripture and We set it as the guidance. When the two verses are read together we see that there were two events. First the manifestation of the signs, the second was the revelation of the Scripture. The words masjidil-Harami and masjidil-aqsa at hand were used at the time of Moses. What are they?

From the consented sanctions (minal-masjidil-Harami) towards the fringes of the consented decree. (ilaa-masjidil-aqsa) is not from one physical mosque to another physical mosque located far away. This is the Arab corruption. We need to realize that the word aqsa does not mean far but the nearby fringes as will be explained shortly.

17:1 says the event happened at night. According to the Reading, Moses was the only man to have an audience with God. No other messenger was given such a privilege. Moses had two audiences during his tenure and both took place at night.

If we read 17:1 together with the subsequent verses we see that it is telling us about the history of the Children of Israel at the time Moses witnessed God’s signs before the revelation proper was revealed to him at a different location. Contrary to the fairy tales invented by the so-called experts (who manipulated this verse to say that the Last Prophet flew up to the seven heavens on a half-human horse that they called buraq) the Reading does not indicate nor advocate such absurdity.

Significant events such as witnessing God’s signs are normally corroborated and expanded upon in other verses spread throughout the Book. As for the fairy tales concerning the ‘heavenly journey’, there is not a single verse in the Reading to substantiate the story. The source of miracles is a pagan remnant that lingered on within the vehicle of the Arab religion. They did this by manipulating the word ‘Asra’ in 17:1 to make it to mean ‘night journey’. This word in found in many places in the Reading to refer to captive when it is used as Usara. Asra simply means captivated.

On the other hand, the history of Moses’ witnessing God’s signs during the night is clearly written in the Book. Therefore, the event in this verse cannot be attributed to any other prophet than Moses.

The first audience:

Has the history of Moses1 come to you? When he saw the fire he said to his family, “Wait here, I saw a fire, maybe I can bring some of it or find some guidance at the fire.” When he came he was called, “O Moses, I am your Lord, so take off your shoes. You are in the sacred valley of Tuwa. And I have chosen you, so listen to what is revealed. I am the One God, there is no god but Me. You shall serve Me and uphold your undertaking to remember Me. The hour is sure to come, I keep it almost hidden, to repay each soul for whatever it did. Therefore, do not be distracted by those who disbelieve therein and follow their opinions, lest you perish.” (20:9-16)

  • In 20:17-21, God refers Moses to the stick in his hands and turned it into a serpent – the first ‘sign‘ demonstrated to Moses.
  • In 20:22 Moses hands are brightened and God says another ‘Great sign‘ (ayaa-tin-kubror).
  • In 20:23 God says He demonstrated from His Great Sign (or min-ayaa-tina-kubror). (The same word from ‘his Lord’s Great sign‘ (min-ayaa-ti-rob-bi-kubror) is mentioned again in 53:18).
  • In 20 24-25 God tells Moses to go to Pharaoh.
  • In 20:26-37 the conversation continues, but strictly about his assignments.
  • In 20:38-40 God tells Moses about his personal history and in the last part of .verse 40 and the following verse God says, ‘You have lived in Midyan for many years and now you have come according to the plan. Moses, I have made you just for Me’. (The big assignment was for him to meet Pharaoh as seen in 20:24.)

If we link up 20:21-23 with 17:1 we see clearly that the event was for the purpose of ‘manifesting to him from Our Signs’ (li-nuriyahu min ayatina). The crux of the message is to ‘manifest the signs‘. It appears that God has only manifested His signs to Moses by turning a stick into a serpent and miraculously brightening his hand. This is the only evidence from the Reading about the manifestation of God’s signs at night. The intention was obvious: the man who saw the sign was to undertake an assignment. Moses’ first encounter with the Supreme God indicates the beginning of his office as a messenger to free the Children of Israel from the oppressive Pharaoh. During the first audience, only the signs were manifested accompanied by some instructions. That is all. The Scripture was not revealed to him.

Therefore 17:1 refers to the history of Moses and it is consistent with the passages in 20:9-48. But the religionists created a long story about Muhammad’s journey from a non-existent mosque in Mecca to another non-existent mosque in Jerusalem, and then expanded it by saying Muhammad was taken up to the ‘seventh heaven’ to negotiate with God about the ‘ritual prayers’.

There is no evidence in the Reading that the Last Prophet witnessed any sign from God during the day or night other than receiving the Reading and recited it to the people (29:51)

The masjidil-Harami and the masjidil-aqsa (which are associated with God’s decrees) existed as part of God’s system long before the time of the Last Prophet. When the Reading was revealed, the story of the manifestation of God’s signs was obvious to him in that it referred to a previous event of someone who saw them during the night.

There is nothing mysterious about Moses being captivated to witness God’s signs during the night once we check with other verses in the Reading to identify the persons who actually saw them. Moreover, at the time when the Reading was revealed there was no such thing as a sacred mosque anywhere – either in Jerusalem or in Mecca.

Let us examine the verse and read it in conjunction with the transliterated rendition:

minal masjidil-Harami   from the consented sanctions
ilaa Masjidil-aqsa      toward the fringes of the consented decree
al-lazi barak-na        which We have blessed
haw-lahu around         it
linuri-yahu             to manifest to him
min-ayaa-tina           from Our signs

The verse unambiguously talks about a premeditated event with no intention other than to witness a manifestation of God’s Signs which is only part of God’s consented decrees intented for Moses. We must read the complete verse to realize the objective of the event before examining the circumstances surrounding it. Here we see that the event was not meant for praying or worship, but to witness God’s signs. We see that Moses was the only person who was made to see what he was supposed to see so that it strengthens his heart to do a job. During the audience, God told him, “O Moses, I have made you just for me” 20:41. He could have decided at that time whether to accept or not to accept to believe in God after witnessing the signs. Whatever he was about to do were only the fringes of God’s consented decrees and the Reading uses the word masjidil-aqsa. It was only a small part of his duty within the whole framework of God’s consented decrees that he had to commit. The word masjidil-Harami is used in the Reading to refer to the sanctions encompassing the whole concept of God’s consented decrees.

When Moses saw the fire, he was attracted to it and decided to leave his wife on the roadside not far from the valley of Tuwa. The distance was short and the meeting was very brief. The religionists did not try to relate the concurrence of Moses experience of this event in 20:9-47 with 17:1. Instead, they manipulate the passage to propagate the famous Isra’ and Mi’raj fairy tales to dupe people into performing the five daily ritual prayers.

Before explaining the misunderstanding about the meaning of the word aqsa’, let us not overlook the history of the previous people. During the time of Moses – or even after his office – there was no such thing as the physical ‘sacred mosque‘ or the physical ‘faraway mosque‘ or any physical mosque at all.

Traditionally, aqsa has been understood to mean far or faraway. If we look at other passages in the Reading we see that it means around the same area. Let us see how the Reading is written when the word far is applied in some verses. Each time the word far is mentioned it uses the word ba’id from the verb ba’uda to denote a distance, for example:

lau-kana a’rothon qoriban wa-safaran khor-sidon la-taba’uka walakin ba’udat alaihim shu-qortu wa-sayah-lif (9:42)

If there is a quick gain, or a short journey, surely they will follow you. And if it is far upon them the distance they will swear. (9:42)

In 9:42 the word ba’uda is used to describe a far distance. For other similar meanings of far the Reading uses the word ba’id to describe something very far.

fa-in tawal-lau fa-qul aa-zantukum a’la-sawa-e wa-ain-adri aqor-ribun am-ba’idan ma-tu’adun (21:109)

If they turn away, then say, “I have announced to you the same. And I have no idea whether it is near or far that which you are threatened.” (21:109)

The word aqsa is derived from the root word qasa to mean nearby or the fringes of a certain location. This word is also used for imperatives or ‘mood’.

Let us see how this word is applied to other subjects:

Iz-antum bil-u’dwan donya wahum bil-u’dwan qus-wa war-rokbu asfala min kum (8:42)

When you were at the valley area and they were at the valley’s fringe, and the base was down from you. (8:42)

8:42 describes the presence of two groups of people in the same area. Bil u’dwan means in the valley and the word qus-wa (a derivative generated from the same root word qasa) means around the same area. Hence the verse implies that the enemies were in the nearby area and they were not far.

Let us take another example:

wajaa-a rojulon min-aqsal madinatu yash’a, qorla ya-musaa in-nal mala-aa ya-tamiru na-bika liyak-tuluka (28:20)

And a man came from the fringe of the city rushing, he said, “O Moses! Surely the rulers are planning to prosecute you.” (28:20)

The word aqsal madinah is not ‘a city that is far‘. The man who came rushing to warn Moses did not come from another city. He came running around the same area. According to the history from the Reading, Moses had killed a man and he was wanted by the authorities to face trial. The news became known to a man who came rushing from within the nearby area within the city to tell Moses that the authorities were planning to prosecute him.

Therefore, the word masjidil-aqsa does not refer to a physical building located somewhere very far. The term masjid used in the Reading is not a new word to refer to a physical building but it is always used to refer to the the consented decree from God; besides, from Abraham onwards there had been no such thing as a house of worship called a mosque. Moses did not call his people to build any houses of worship. It was the later Jews who put up synagogues. They did not call them mosques. Jesus, the son of Mary, went to Jerusalem to demolish the religious system practised in the synagogues. The high priest ordered his crucifixion. Then his followers put up churches. Moses did not know anything about synagogues. Jesus did not know anything about churches. Similarly, Muhammad did not know anything about mosques. Masjidil-aqsa simply means the ‘fringes of God’s consented decree‘ intended for Moses in consenting his responsibilities to God’s decrees.

The second audience:

Wa-iz wa’adna Musaa Arba’eina lai-latan (2:51)

And when We appointed Moses forty nights. (2:51)

Wa-wa’adna Musaa salasina lai-lata waatmum-naha bi-a’sri fatama miqorta rob-bihi ar-ba’ina lai-lata (7:142)

And We summoned Moses for thirty nights and We fulfilled it with ten. Therefore, the appointment of his Lord is forty nights. (7:142)

The history of Moses occupies a prominent place in the Reading. Besides witnessing the signs during the first audience, his second meeting with God is repeated in two verses and then it is again mentioned in 53:1-18 to confirm that what he saw was from the Great signs of his Lord (min-ayaa-ti-rob-bi-kubror the same wording in 20:23). Many people have mistaken 53:1-18 for an event pertaining to the Last Prophet. He did not have any sign manifested to him throughout his life other than the Reading.

Anyone reading the Reading for the first time is confronted with a statement that will surprise him. Given to the religionists, in the Arab tongue, it is surprising now that the Reading gives such eminence to the people of another race – the Jews. Muhammad was a gentile, and in all probability wondered why so much of the book was addressed to another race. Early on we read:

Ya Bani-Israel, laz-kuru ni’amatal-lati an-amtu alaikum wa-u-qu bi-‘ahdi ufi-bi’adikum-wa-iya-ya-farhabun (2:40)

O Children of Israel, remember the blessing I have bestowed upon you. And fulfil the covenant to Me. I will fulfil My covenant to you. And be apprehensive towards Me. (2:40)

Wa-aminu bima anzalta musod-dikhon lima ma’akum wala takunu aw-wala kafiri bihi wala tash-taru bi-ayaati samanan qorlilan wa-iya-ya fat-taqun. (2:41)

And believe what I have revealed confirming with what you have, and do not be the first to reject it, and do not trade My revelations for a small price and prepare for your meeting with Me. Do not confound the truth with falsehood nor shall you conceal the truth knowingly. And observe your commitment and maintain it pure and humble yourselves with those who are humble. (2:41-43)

This is amazing: the Children of Israel do not belong to the Arab race, yet they are addressed as the intended recipients of this Scripture.

According to the Reading, the Last Prophet and those around him belonged to a gentile race, which means they had no knowledge of God’s Scripture. The religionists, however, came up with a ridiculous interpretation of the word ummyin. It is used to describe the Prophet and the Arabs. They said that it meant that he and they were illiterate. The Reading clearly says that the Prophet was able to write since in 25:5, the pagans accused him of writing tales of the past which they said were dictated to him day and night. In 25:6, he was commanded to declare to the non-believing Arabs that whatever he wrote was revealed by the One who knows the secrets of the heavens and earth. The religionists have conveniently ignored this simple fact.

Huwal-lazi ba’a-sha fil-ummi-yin rosulan min-hum yatlu alaihim ayaatihi wayuzak-kihim wayu’alimuhumul kitaba walhikmata wa-inkaanu minqoblu lafithola-lin mubin (62:2)

He, who sent in the midst of the gentiles (ummyin), a messenger from among themselves to recite to them the revelations and to purify them and to teach them the Scripture and wisdom. And, indeed, from before there were in total loss. (62:2)

The above verse confirms that the revelation was given to a gentile prophet. As far as the Jews and the Christians around the same area were concerned this was something out of the ordinary.

It is not inconceivable that at the time when the Prophet tried to talk to them, their immediate reaction was to question the relevance of the Reading being given to the Arab race.

The people of the previous Scripture (the Jews and the Christians) raised their objection about God’s revelation being revealed to an Arab. They asserted that to be guided by God one had to be a Jew or a Christian.

They say, “You have to be Jewish or Nazarene to be guided.” (1st part of 2:135)

The Reading retorts:

Tell them, “We follow the principle of Abraham the sincere, he never was an idol-worshipper.” (2nd part of 2:135)

True servants of God only follow the example of Abraham. From this reply we can positively say the Jews and the Christians are amongst the idol-worshippers until and unless they follow the principle of Abraham the monotheist. The fundamental belief of God’s servant will testify the following statement to their faith:

Tell them, “We believe in God and what was revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the patriarchs, and what was revealed to Moses and Jesus and what was given to the prophets from their Lord. We do not make any distinction between any of them. To Him we are at peace (Muslims).” (2:136)

This is the perfect concept of a person who is at peace as far as the teaching of the Reading is concerned. He must believe in God, His revelations, and what was revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, the patriarchs, and what was revealed to Moses and Jesus and what was given to the prophets from their Lord. Nobody should make any distinction between any of them. Therefore, anyone who truly believes the above is considered a Muslim or those who are peace with God.

Unfortunately, all the ‘monotheistic’ religions today pick one prophet and disregard the rest. The Jews concentrate on Moses. The Christians can relate to Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Jacob, Moses and the other prophets only insofar as they have a bearing on Jesus. And the religionists, it has been demonstrated, have formulated their own religion around a tribally-biased illusory historical depiction of Muhammad, and it is this invention which is the source of the fanaticism, terrorism, extremism and ignorance in the Arab religion.

According to the Reading, the true rejecters are those who make a distinction between the messengers of God – and that is exactly what we find in all religions:

Those who disbelieve in God and His messengers, and make a distinction among God and His messengers, and say, “We believe in some, and reject some,” and try to follow an in-between path. These are the true disbelievers, and We have prepared for the disbelievers a humiliating retribution. (4:150-151)

As for those who believe in God and His messengers, they make no distinction among any of them. God will recompense them. God is Forgiver and Merciful. (4:152)

The people of the previous Scriptures were told that the Reading was revealed in Arabic as a test for them to distinguish between those who would sincerely follow God’s Messenger from those who would turn on their heels. Here we see God’s Scripture does not necessarily need to be revealed to a specific community. The racial origin of God’s prophet is not important; the message is. When mankind refuses to consent to God’s message it is not the prophets or the messengers that they reject, but rather God’s revelations.

We realise that you are saddened by what they say. However, it is not you that they reject, but it is God’s revelations that the wicked disregard. The messengers before you have been similarly rejected, but they steadfastly persevered in the face of their rejection, and they were persecuted until our victory came to them. And this will always be the case; God’s tradition is unchangeable. (6:33-34)


1 The history of Moses occupies a prominent place in the Quran. He was set as a good example for those who wish to take a challenge in the cause of God. He did not promote extremism, but persevered with his trust in the unseen God.

God’s consented decrees pre-Qur’anic period

Verse 9:107 describes the masjid (or the consented decree) which was corrupted during the time of the previous messengers. By corrupting it, the people were directly abusing God’s consented decrees, which the Quran calls masa-jidil-lah.

  • When the Torah was revealed to Moses, his people were enjoined to uphold the same deen revealed to Noah and Abraham. But the religionists corrupted the fundamental commandments consented by God to create a new religion. They introduced Judaism, an entity unknown to Moses.
  • Jesus, the son of Mary, was sent to the Children of Israel to confirm what was given to Moses. His own followers plotted against him and ignored the original decree which Jesus wanted them to restore. Instead they created a new religion in his name. Jesus did not call any of his followers Christians, Catholic or Protestants.
  • Similarly, when the Quran was revealed confirming the decrees given to Moses the Arabs corrupted the words in it – cunningly replaced it with the Arab religion. They have prevented others from God’s consented decree or masa-jidil-lah.

    This is how the consented decree was abused. Their common intention was to destroy God’s consented decrees (masa-jidil-lah) as stated in 2:114.

    One can hardly overlook the historical references to the Children of Israel, which are found throughout the Reading. For example, when they first received the Scripture they were warned that they would transgress on earth twice. When the first instance took place, God punished them through His servants who possessed great strength to invade their homeland. When the tide was turned in their favour, it was accompanied by another warning which said that if they worked righteousness, it would be for their own good, but if they worked evil they would suffer the consequences.

    When the second transgression takes place, their opponents will neutralize them and they will enter the masjid the way they entered it the first time. Here we see the word masjid is attributed to the Children of Israel and it clearly does not refer to a physical building called a mosque. It simply means that long before the time of Muhammad, the Children of Israel consented themselves to the masjid (or consented decree). Thus, we can positively say that the Children of Israel were not inside any physical mosque.

    The Children of Israel transgressed God’s laws. They distorted the Scripture and rebelled. Out of His Mercy, God sent Jesus to confirm what was revealed to Moses:

    We gave Moses the Scripture, and subsequent to him We sent messengers, and We gave Jesus the son of Mary profound signs and supported him with the Holy Spirit1 (ruHul qudus). Whenever a messenger came to you with commandments contrary to your wishes you became arrogant, you rejected some, and you killed some. (2:87)

    They rejected Jesus the son of Mary and transgressed. God says if they worked righteousness it would be for their own good, but if they worked evil they would suffer.

    Many years later, God revealed Scripture to a man who was not from among them. Nevertheless, the message of the Reading is the same as that given to Moses. The Reading gives special attention to the Children of Israel in the early part of the Reading (from 2:40 through to 2:123) telling them they should not be the first to reject the Book. They are assured that the Book confirms what was given to them. If the Children of Israel would read the Reading they would discover the truth – even about their own race.

    The first portion of the second surah of the Reading is can be summarised thus:

    1. 2:1-5 People who accept God’s Scripture
    2. 2:6-7 Those who disbelieve
    3. 2:8-20 The hypocrites
    4. 2:21-29 The message is addressed to the whole human race
    5. 2:30-39 The history of a man who lived by God’s guidance
    6. 2:40-123 The message to the Children of Israel
    7. 2:124-134 The history of a monotheist
    8. 2:135-141 Resistance by the old guard
    9. 2:142 Q: Why the Reading is sent to the non-Israelite?
    10. 2:143 A: As a test for those who want to follow His messenger
    11. 2:144-147 They knew it was the truth; they recognised it
    12. 2:148-152 Focus on the sanctions consented by God or masjidil-Harami revealed to the Prophet. Everyone should focus their attention on it.

    Although the Reading was revealed to a non-Israelite, the message in the first major surah is predominantly addressed to them. It may shock the readers that – the truth is: The message of the Reading was meant for the Children of Israel – not for the Arabs. Nowhere in the Reading has any verse addressed to the Arabs except to admonish them in the strong terms with the exception of some verses addressed to the messenger as a prophet. That is the reason why God says, the Children of Israel recognized what was sanctioned in the Reading like their own children. 2:124-131 reminds them about the history of Abraham who was committed to God’s system, and the manner in which he and Ishmael established their commitments from God’s system. The choice was given to them either to accept or to reject the revelation. It was revealed to a gentile prophet as a test for them in order to distinguish those among them who would follow the messenger without being prejudicial of racial origin – from those who would turn back on their heels. God emphasizes in 2:143: “It is a difficult test indeed – but not for those guided by Him – and He will not put your faith to waste“.

    Many people were oblivious to the essence of the message about the Children of Israel in the Reading. The details of the sanctions of God’s consented decree were prescribed in the Torah, but the Israelites had distorted and abused them. They had already entered into agreement with God or consented to uphold the tenets of the Torah the first time around, but they abused it. History does not record any Israelites entering any mosques.

    If we read 17:7 with care we see that:

    in-naa ahsan-tum   if you do good
    ahsan-tum          it is good for you
    li-anfusikum       for yourselves
    wa-ain asa'tum     and if you work evil
    falaha             it is bad for you
    faiza              therefore, when
    ja'a wa'dul        the promise comes
    akhirah            finally
    li-yasuu'u         they will disgrace
    wuju-hakum         your faces
    wali-yad-khulu     and they will enter/ inherit
    masjida            the consented decrees
    mama               the same way
    da-qolu            you entered
    au-wala mar-rotin  the first time
    wali-yutab-biru    and they control
    ma                 what
    a'lu tat-bi-ror    they will get a full control of

    They are reminded that they had entered the masjid earlier. This was when they received the Torah. Da-qolu auwala mar-rotin means which you entered the first time. It implies that they consented to God’s decree after making a covenant with Him. That is the period when they entered their agreement or gave their consent to God’s instructions. Obviously, the Children of Israel did not built any mosque.


    1 In spite of the unique quality in Jesus it didn’t work wih the Children of Israel. Later, people who believed Jesus started to think he was God. They cannot imagine it is God’s will he was created with God’s words and the Holy Spirit.

    Serve God through commitments

    Again, this is a frightening simple concept. We are encouraged to remind ourselves from the teachings of the Reading:

    My commitments, my sacrifices, my life and my death are for God, Lord of the Universe. He has no partner. These are the commandments given to me and I am among the first of those at peace. (6:162-163)

    We commit ourselves to everything with sincerity in our personal life including to our job, parents, spouse, children, and associates to enjoy the love, peace and harmony within ourselves for our own good and also for God. It needs self-sacrifice. The Reading teaches a way of life that espouses self-sacrifice for the benefit of all those around us. People are repulsive in committing themselves to the fundamental values prescribed by God in His deen. They are not willing to sacrifice ego, greed and arrogance by observing their obligations to do good deeds.

    The Reading teaches these good values, but religionists insist the opposite. When we are confronted with those who dispute this simple concept, we are encouraged to tell them:

    Shall I seek other than God as a Lord when He is the Lord of everything in existence? Whatever anyone earns is for his own account. No burdened soul will bear the burden of another. To your Lord is your ultimate return and then He will tell you of everything you disputed. (6:164)

    The Lord of the Universe did not reveal His Scriptures in vain. The revelations are His signs, His good news, and His guide to mankind. The Scripture is non-negotiable and cannot be manipulated.

    These are the signs of the Reading, a profound Scripture, a guide and good news for those who believe. They uphold the commitments and keep them pure. And they are certain about the Hereafter. (27:2-3)

    Those who recite God’s Scripture and uphold the commitments and give to charity from our provisions, publicly or secretly, they seek a transaction that never loses. (35:29)

    Charity, donations, amicable treatment of people, equitable trade, moral discipline and the fulfilment of promises are just some of the guidelines encompassed in God’s way. It is, ultimately, the perfect recipe for mankind. However, we have not embraced these prescribed values. The history from the Reading tells us that from the beginning of time, upon receiving God’s Scripture people have insisted on following religion rather than a way of uprightness which promotes good deeds and good works among themselves. They do not promote civility, sincerity, honesty, humbleness, compassion, love or the treatment of each other in the most amicable manner as a way of life. They insist on worship at specific times with the hope that they may be pardoned by their Creator of whatever wrongdoings they have committed. The majority of them prefer to idolise their children, property, imams, priests, religious scholars, prophets and tangible idols. They reject a simple concept of a way of uprightness or deen-al-hunafa. All that is enjoined upon them is to uphold God’s commandments, be sincere in committing themselves to the prescribed deen by doing the good deeds and good works. It is a plain and simple way of life. There is no hardship imposed by God. Of the idol-worshippers the Reading says:

    Those who disbelieve among the followers of the previous Scriptures and the idol-worshippers will never believe even after proof comes to them. (98:1)1

    All that is enjoined upon them is to believe in God by devoting themselves to serve God’s in sincerity in the way of life (deen), and to uphold the commitments and keep them pure. That is the way of uprightness (deen-al-hunafa). (98:5)

    The way of uprightness is measured by personal commitment to the deeds as detailed in His Scripture. We know this from 98:5. One recommended way of upholding the commitment is to observe the following:

    Your Lord has decreed that you shall not serve other than Him, and honour your parents for as long as they live, one of them or both of them. You shall not speak harshly to them, nor mistreat them; you shall speak to them amicably, and lower for them the wings of humility and kindness and say, “My Lord, have mercy on them, for they have brought me up from infancy.” (17:23-24)

    If we serve God and keep this one simple rule, try to imagine the global impact of such a movement. This is the world that Islam envisions. We are required to consent to what He has prescribed: uphold these commitments and keep them pure. This decree is not a new revelation to the Last Prophet. The same decree was given to Moses for the Children of Israel:

    We made a covenant with the Children of Israel, “You shall not serve other than God. You shall regard parents, the relatives, the orphans, and the poor. You shall speak to them amicably. You shall uphold your commitments and keep them pure. But you turned away, except a few of you, and you became averse.” (2:83)

    2:83 says the majority of the Children of Israel became averse and aborted their covenant with God. They did not fulfil their obligations.

    Similarly, we are expected to uphold our commitments by observing the requirements of the following commandment:

    O mankind! You shall observe your Lord, who created you from one person, then created from her, her mate, then from the two of them He spread many men and women. You shall observe God whom you swear by, and regard your relatives. God is watching you. You shall give the orphans their due properties and not substitute the bad for the good, nor shall you consume their money by mixing their properties with yours. This would be a gross injustice. (4:1-2)

    Whatever decree had been revealed by God to the children of Israel was again revealed to the Last Prophet, and those who consented themselves are reminded to uphold their commitments and to keep them pure. He repeats many times throughout the Reading that those who believe in Him should serve Him and observe His will through fulfilling their commitments, and that they should keep these commitments pure. God’s covenants are those matters He prescribes in the Scripture. He constantly reminds us about His servants’ obligation to fulfill the covenants:

    You shall not touch the orphan’s money, except for their own good until they grow up. You shall fulfil your covenants. You are responsible for your covenants. You shall give full measure when you trade, and weigh with an equitable balance. This is better and more righteous. Surely your hearing, eyesight and your heart will be questioned about them. (17:34-36)

    In other words, everything that we do in our life like caring the orphans or even our trading activities will be taken into account. In the hereafter we simply cannot deny what we have done to ourselves in this world because our ears, eyes and heart will testify against us. For example, if we accept anything blindly without using common sense our hearings, eyes and hearts will testify against us.

    A Muslim’s claim of consenting to God can therefore be put to the litmus test by observing his commitment to his covenants. Islam is, by the Creator’s design, a way of life characterised by deeds and merit. And by a person’s deeds shall you know them.

    The religionists (who insist that their followers recite God’s Scripture in Arabic) would have people parrot the verses of the Reading without ever fulfilling their commitments or gaining any merit. Praying ritually is not part of the deen revealed by God. His prescribed way demands service by deeds. Anyone can perform ritual prayers.

    The champions of the Arab religion insist a good Muslim must pray ritually2 five times a day facing Mecca. This is the most important commitment and the first pillar of their religion. There is no basis for this assertion since the Reading does not state a need to fulfil commitments by ritual prayer. Indeed this is a fact and there is no getting away from it.

    Thus, they have corrupted one of the most important words in the Reading (and subsequently one of the most important concepts in the deen) by twisting the word Sol-laa (which means commitments) to mean ritual prayer. And they prevent people from upholding their commitments according to the covenants prescribed by God in the Scripture.

    Before exploring the misrepresentation of the word Sol-laa, we would do well to explore the Reading and its instruction regarding worship. This is important because the word Sol-laa was mischievously distorted to become ritual prayer. Ritual prayer as we know is an act of worship3.


    1 The people of the previous scriptures who follow a religion under a brand name and those who receive the Qur’an but follow a religion are termed as idol worshipers. There is only one way in life for mankind to observe i.e. God’s way

    2 This is the most important pillar of faith in the Arab religion. A person’s character is judged by his compliance in performing the ritual prayers including the criminals. In some countries, it is a serious crime for not praying.

    3 The word ‘abdi in the Qur’an means servant, na’budu we are serving, laa-ta’budu means ‘do not serve’. Ninety percent of the translations use the word worship instead of ‘serve’.