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.

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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.

    Religion is not from God

    The intention of the enemies of all the prophets throughout history has been to deceive the people and to retain power. It is very simple. This is the basis of all the ‘religions’ around the world today. Of course, not everybody in each of these religions is consciously doing this. Many are sincere. However, dupes make the best deceivers because they genuinely believe their own propaganda. At the top levels, the leadership understands the game plan. The Reading describes the existence of human devils and the jinn devil as being the common enemies who will invent and narrate lies to spread falsehood in order to divert people from God’s guidance.

    We have appointed for every prophet enemies from among the human devils and jinn devils who will invent and inspire each other fancy words in order to deceive the people. Had your Lord willed, they would not have done it. You shall disregard them and their invention. (6:112)

    If we look around the world today, this verse is particularly relevant to the Jews, the Christians, and the adherents of the Arab religion. Falsehood (based on ‘extra information’) abounds in these religions. It masquerades as the ‘extra’ enlightenment, a helping hand to further explain God’s message – as if God’s message were full of riddles containing hidden meanings. In reality, there is no such thing as the extra explanation or extra enlightenment to God’s Scriptures. If God had wanted to reveal it, it must be in both the Torah and the Reading. Conversely, if it is not mentioned in these Scriptures, it means someone has created a new tradition and added to the words of God.

    It is most unwise to heed the ungodly. As has been said before, for those who claim to hold to Islam and believe in God, the Qur’an is the default authority on earth.

    The Children of Israel conspired against Moses after God’s Scripture was revealed to him. They abandoned God’s consented decree to follow the religion of Judaism. Moses did not know anything about this Jewish religion. The Jews have written volumes of books for themselves instead of following the Torah alone. The Reading censures this in no uncertain terms:

    The example of those who were given the Torah and then failed to study it, is that of a donkey laden with books. Miserable indeed is the example of those who reject God’s revelation. God will not guide the wicked people. (62:5)1

    Out of His mercy, God sent Jesus to them to re-establish the original law. However, they could not accept him because doing so would have undermined the foundations of their own power since he was committed to demolishing the religion. In the end, they conspired against him and continued to promote Judaism for themselves while inventing Christianity as a new religion for those not blessed enough to have been born Jewish. Later, God revealed the Scripture to Muhammad. Again, his enemies abandoned God’s decrees to devise the Arab religion.

    Obviously, Muhammad did not know anything about Sunnism, Shia, Ahmadiah or Wahabism the religious sects that follow anything and everything under the sun except the Reading. Instead of following the Reading alone, those who claim to be following Muhammad have – like the Jews – written volumes of books and laden themselves down with them. It would seem that the only lesson people learn from history is that people never learn from history.

    Today, billions of people are devoting themselves to religions. All religions share common features. Whatever the details, the most important commandments are:

    1. Thou shalt worship.

    2. Thou shalt ritually pray according to thy priest’s teachings.

    3. Thou shalt pay the caretakers of thy religion.

    4. Thou shalt believe that we alone have the Truth.

    There will be a mass of further detail, but this takes care of the general landscape.

    The Lord of the Universe in His wisdom has warned us about religion and its caretakers. The objective of religion is to cheat people and to divert the innocent from the path of God. All religious teachers share one common aspiration: they espouse a false system and then collect financial tribute from their followers.

    O you who believe, the priests and the religious scholars cheat the people out of their money, and they divert everybody from the path of God. (9:34)

    As an example, it is very common these days for the funeral rites to cost as much as four or five thousand pounds (depending on the kind of religious experts you engage to perform the rituals). However, these priests and religious scholars cannot guarantee the dead man will get to Heaven (which is, inescapably, the stated objective of all religions). We also see that there is an array of religious rituals for new-born babies, yet our own eyes bear witness that many of these ‘religiously’ blessed babies grow up to become anything. No priest or scholar can guarantee a ‘religiously’ blessed marriage will not end in divorce. Those who follow religion will surely fall prey to the designs of their religious priests on their wealth sooner or later.

    People expect value for money. Unfortunately for them, when they follow a religion they are buying a one way ticket to Hell through their religious teachers. There is no such thing as a right religion as far as the Lord of the Universe is concerned. He is not interested in any religion. Rather, He has repeatedly insisted on an orderly way of life based around good deeds.

    The Reading gives a simple solution but a forceful message for mankind:

    Follow those who do not ask for any wage,2 they are guided. (36:21)

    Religion is big business, and people who manage it need not have any specialised skill except to find ways of how to invent lies in the name of God. The Reading says those who collect money in the name of religion are not guided. In many passages of the Reading we are told all bearers of good news who propagated the good values of life declared openly: ‘I do not ask you for any remuneration, my pay comes from the Lord of the Universe3’ (refer to annex). Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Jesus and the rest of the messengers said this to the people.

    By their actions, the religionists and their scholars do not believe the Reading when it quotes Muhammad correctly where he says:

    I have not asked you for any wage, my wage comes from God, He witnesses all things.” (34:47).

    Ironically, those in the elite club of the staunchest hypocrites and disbelievers impose the ‘good example of the Prophet’ on everyone themselves do the opposite. That is the reason why the Reading says the priests and religious scholars are cheating the people out of their money. If all people can sincerely consented to the Qur’anic injunction not to follow those who ask you for a wage, surely the shackle that is binding them will be removed instantly. The priests and religious scholars will disappear overnight.

    People should focus their full attention on doing good works. Their money and time could be put to better use attending to parents, neighbours, relatives, orphans and the poor, in being humble and speaking and treating people amicably – as the Reading directs. That is what life is about. This is Islam or peacefulness. Islam is not about religion. People are recognised by their deeds, not ‘religious faith’.


    1 The Qur’an states that the texts delivered to the Jews and the Christians – the torah and the injeel – are now themselves corrupted, ref, 2:59 and 15:12. God assured His reminder is protected only in its original language (ref 15:9) – not the translations.

    2 This is with regards to paying people who claim they can guide others to the path of God. In 42:13 the Qur’an says nobody could bring anyone towards God except God Himself. In 28:56 IT states the Prophet cannot guide those whom he loves including his wife and children.

    3 See annex of this chapter.

    Moses and Jesus did not worship God

    According to the Reading, all the revealed Scriptures stress one singular important message: that mankind is to serve no other than Him. The history of Moses is vividly described throughout the Reading. Jesus the son of Mary was sent to the same community to confirm what had been revealed to Moses.

    And We gave Moses the Scripture, and made it as guidance for the Children of Israel, saying, “You shall not take other than Me as your protector.” (17:2)

    The Reading tells us in various places that the Children of Israel violated their covenant (having pledged to uphold it) after they had distorted the words of God, and that many of them disregard parts of the Scripture. Moses left his people in anger after they refused to enter the Holy Land designated to them. Finally, the land was forbidden to them and they wandered in the wilderness for forty years without Moses. (5:25-26).

    They created the religion of Judaism and called themselves Jews. Anyone who reads the Bible will know that they built synagogues as the houses of worship and created the priesthood system. They introduced rituals, worship and offerings as their way of life and falsely claimed that God ordained it. The Reading says the Jews say Ezra1 was the son of God, but God did not give any power to him to promote His deen. As a mercy, God sent Jesus the son of Mary to demolish the religious system created by the Children of Israel; supported him with the Holy Spirit and demonstrated many miracles to prove that God sent him. He said:-

    I come to confirm what is with you from the Torah, and to permit for you what was prohibited you, and I come to you with signs from your Lord. Therefore observe God and obey me. Indeed, God is my Lord and your Lord, therefore serve Him. And this is the right path.” (3:50-51)

    They were not able to accept any messenger who came to them with commandments contrary to beliefs they had concocted for themselves. They were arrogant and rejected – and even killed – some of God’s messengers. This is the picture that emerges from their history in the Reading.

    In reality, neither Moses nor Jesus required their followers to worship the Lord God. Today, the people who disagree with the Jews’ rejection of Jesus are virtually worshipping the very man whose message was to observe and serve the One God. Although Jesus was supported by few of his contemporary, they invented a religion and started a new version of priesthood system; when all that is required of them is to uphold the commandments preached by Jesus:-

    Subsequent to them, we sent messengers, and then we sent Jesus the son of Mary. We gave him the Injeel, and we placed in the hearts of his followers kindness and mercy. As for the priesthood system that they invented, it was never been decreed for them. They were only required to uphold God’s commandments, but they did not uphold the commandments – as they should. Consequently, while we will grant the believers among them their due recompense, the majority of them are wicked. (57:27)

    God places kindness and mercy to those who follow the teachings of Jesus and He never decreed for them any priesthood system. It is human weakness that they need to worship something, whether it is the Christians deifying Jesus or the Jews deifying themselves and their own ‘chosen’ status. Both of these perversions of truth have their cousins in the religion created by the Arab religionists, the enemies who took and twisted what the Last Prophet was given to deliver to mankind.

    According to the Reading, the Jews conspired against God, Moses and Jesus because they wanted to remain in Judaism claiming that they are the chosen people. Naturally they cannot accept anyone into the Jewish fold unless they are born of a Jewish family or from the descendant of the Children of Israel. They knew Jesus was the son of Mary; the promised Messiah but they insisted to denounce him. To fulfil the need of non-Israelites – they created a fairy tale that Jesus was crucified on the cross and he was raised from the dead after three days and three nights. It was the religionists’ idea to promote Jesus had to die for the sins of others. Interestingly, the word Christians or Christianity is not found anywhere in the four books of the New Testament. Today, the people who subscribe to the religion of Christianity cannot say with certainty whether Jesus was the son of a man or the son of God or even God Himself. However, we know from the Reading the facts about this man:

    Because they said, “We killed the Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary the messenger of God.” Nay, they never killed him. They never crucified him. But they were led to believe that they had. Those who dispute in this matter are doubtful thereof. They have no real knowledge. They follow only conjecture. In truth, they never killed him. (4:157)

    The followers of the Christian religion were led to believe that Jesus was killed and crucified. Anyone who reads the last chapter of all the four Gospels will discover the event leading to Jesus death creates many doubts. He was missing from the tomb after the second night; this is against what Jesus have said about the signs of his death. When confronted, all that the Christian priests can say is: ‘you must have faith’. But faith based on inconsistencies, or against logic or through rhetorical propaganda does not prove anything. It is a side-show at best and a pernicious blight on humanity at worst.

    Jesus true mission was to abolish the priesthood system when he said he would destroy the temple. He was committed to carry out the mission and that was his service to God. He did not come to the world to show people how to worship God. Logically, those who claim they are the true followers of Jesus should be the ones who commit themselves to complete his job, at least detach themselves from priesthood system.

    When the Reading was revealed it did not teach people how to worship God – but it clearly says ‘serve God alone‘. It is, therefore, strange – not to mention downright blasphemous – to construe ‘abd2 (ta’budu) as worship accompanied by sets of physical movements: facing a certain direction (or a statue or a wall or a stone building or image) and walking around a stone structure, and so on. These are simply pagan worship rituals, created by people to simplify what they cannot comprehend.

    The ideal concept of Islam, an ‘abd is a servant who serves (na’budu) his Lord by fulfilling the prescribed covenants through his commitments. He does not fulfil his commitments by worshipping. His deeds (‘amal) are the service, or ibadah. The verb na’budu means ‘we serve’ and ibadah is noun signifying the service we render when we uphold our commitments consentingly.

    And strive3 in the cause of God with true striving. He is the one who selected you without imposing hardship upon you as the deen, the principle of your father Abraham. He is the one who named you Muslims (those at peace). Thus, the Messenger will be a witness to you and you will be witness to the people. Therefore, uphold the commitments and keep them pure (Sol-laa-ta-wa-atu-zakaa) and hold fast to God. He is your protector, the best protector and the best supporter. (22:78)

    This is the service that the servants of God must render to serve Him. Strive in His path with the true striving. Abraham is the common factor in all scriptures and people are expected to commit themselves they way he committed to God’s deen. In the New Testament the Jews pretended they were the seeds of Abraham but Jesus said they were lying because Abraham never worship His God. The act of fulfilling these prescribed covenants and striving to further His cause through their commitments and keeping them pure is Sol-laa-ta wa-atu-zakaa.

    Therefore ya’budu is not worshipping but serving.


    1 In the Old Testament Ezra was a Persian from Babylon whose main objective was to protect the interest of Artaxerxes, the king of kings of the Persian kingdom. He commissioned Ezra as the chief priest for Trans-Euphrates continent including Judah and Jerusalem. He was given full authority to create religious laws, taxes, rituals, and worships. His laws were sanctioned as sacred including death penalty for apostates, banishment, confiscation of property and imprisonment. In the New Testament Jesus condemned the teachers of the law of the Pharisees or Farsi and said, ‘unless the people denounce the Persian influence there will be no salvation for them.

    2 Arab religionists insist this word means worship. But some sincere translators do translates this word as ‘serve’.

    3 The religionists abuse the word Jihad (strive) Qur’an to instigate their followers to kill other people.