Sunday, 4 July 2010

Israel Justified Within the Koran

We must strive for a genuine and lasting peace in the Middle East, but it seems as far away as ever, despite numerous peace initiatives over the years.

We will never achieve peace with the current approach, for the simple reason that the problem is not primarily a land dispute.  It is an ideological dispute.

If we can find the root cause, then we can stand some chance of achieving peace.  I believe that this is possible, and this book describes how and why this is so.

Surprisingly, the answer lies in an unexpected place:  It is within the pages of the Koran!

A study of the Koran reveals that it justifies the existence of the State of Israel, as a safe homeland for the Jewish peoples.  Any Muslim who wishes to destroy Israel and to drive the Jews into the sea is sadly misguided.  They would be acting against the express wishes of Allah.

This book is available via


  1. Yes, you are (partially) right. Here's a quote from the koran:

    17:104. And We said thereafter to the Children of Israel, "Dwell securely in the land (of promise)": but when the second of the warnings came to pass, We gathered you together in a mingled crowd.

    It seems allah is happy for 'israel' to remain a population of a 'mingled crowd'.

  2. Many thanks for the comment. It does seem strange that this justification for the State of Israel within the Koran is not more widely known about. Such a knowledge would, I feel, have a considerable beneficial effect on the prospect of a genuine peace in the Middle East, for the benefit of everybody there.

    Thank you for the Koran quote. That verse is within the context of Moses leading the Children of Israel out of Egypt. Although the Koran has numerous errors and anachronisms, nevertheless certain accounts of events are clearly recognisable from a reading of the Old Testament / Torah.

    Within the Old Testament, this event is described thus: Exodus 12:
    King James version:
    '37And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children.
    38And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle.
    39And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, for it was not leavened; because they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any victual.'

    Contemporary English Version:
    ' 37The Israelites walked from the city of Rameses to the city of Succoth. There were about six hundred thousand of them, not counting women and children. 38Many other people went with them as well, and there were also a lot of sheep, goats, and cattle. 39They left Egypt in such a hurry that they did not have time to prepare any food except the bread dough made without yeast. So they baked it and made thin bread.'

    So there were others in the group too. The 'mingled crowd' description in the Koran is consistent with the 'mixed multitude' i.e. 'many other people' described in the Bible.

    During the various trials and difficulties and years of wandering in the wilderness, this group
    of people found their shared purpose, before entering the promised land of Canaan. By that time they were formed into 12 tribes, and the land was then divided up according to the tribes.

    So the Koran is describing the same events that the Old Testament / Torah is describing. It is necessary to read the latter text, because the Koran gives a very much abridged description, making it not so easy to understand in isolation.

    Mohammed did advise his followers to seek information from Christians and Jews. He acknowledged that they had received the information first.

  3. Thank you for the reply.

    It is good to seek knowledge from numerous sources, however the 'second warning' in koranic verse 17:104 is explained in koranic verse 17:7

    17:7 ... So when the second of the warnings came to pass, (We permitted your enemies) to disfigure your faces, and to enter your Temple as they had entered it before, and to visit with destruction all that fell into their power.

    Therefore, it is incorrect to claim the 'second warning' in both 17:7 and 17:104 is in the context of moses leading out of egypt. The 'second warning' coming to pass is likely refering to events in jerusalem in year 70 CE, after which israel has indeed become a mingled crowd of jews and non-jews.

  4. This is a useful discussion.

    What we need to be established first and foremost, is whether the verses you have quoted are abrogated or not. (17.7 and 17.104)

    With your evident knowledge of the Koran, can you tell me whether or not these two verses have
    been abrogated?

    For the benefit of visitors to this blog, abrogation is a key concept when discussing the Koran. Some verses contradict others. The way that this is resolved is to state that the chronologically more recent verses abrogate, i.e. effectively cancel out the earlier verses, where such contradictions occur.

    It is therefore necessary to understand where a verse or chapter is positioned chronologically. The conventional order of chapters in the Koran is approzimately in size order, with larger chapters first.

    Chapter 17, quoted here, is chronologically in the earlier half of the Koran. It is quite probable therefore that it would contain at least some verses which are abrogated.

    The reverse chronological order of the chapters as far as can be judged, is as follows, with the most recent first:

    Medina phase:
    110, 9, 5, 48, 62, 61, 64, 66, 49, 58, 63, 22, 24, 59, 98, 65, 76, 55, 13, 47, 57, 99, 4, 60, 33, 3, 8, 2

    Late Mecca phase (620 - 622 AD):
    83, 29, 30, 84, 82, 79, 78, 70, 69, 67, 52, 32, 23, 21, 14, 71, 16, 18, 88, 51, 46, 45, 44, 43, 42, 41

    Middle Mecca phase (618 - 620 AD):
    40, 39, 34, 31, 37, 6, 15, 12, 11, 10, 17, 28, 27, 26, 56, 20, 19, 35, 25, 36, 72, 7, 38, 54, 86, 90, 50, 77, 104, 75

    Early Mecca phase:
    101. 106, 95. 85, 91, 97, 80, 53, 112, 114, 113, 105, 109, 107, 102, 108, 100, 103, 94, 93, 89, 92, 87, 81, 111, 1, 74, 73, 68, 96

  5. Thanks once again for the reply.

    My understanding is there is no consensus for which verses have been abrogated, and there are a multitude of commentators who dismiss abrogation altogether.

    I'm skeptical of the doctrine of abrogation, as I think it originates from the inability of some of the early commentators to reconcile one koranic passage with another. It is my view the doctrine is based on a misreading of a koranic verse which seems to suggest abrogation:

    2:106 None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten but We substitute something better or similar ...

    Also, I'm not aware of any reference to the 'traditions' suggesting abrogation of koranic verses.

    As you know, one of the difficulties for anyone reading the koran is that details in it are scattered like shrapnel. My preference is to rigourously study the text before concluding a contradiction exists.

    In the case of koran 17:7 and 17:104, I don't see any contradictions here, or reason to think that one would have abrogated another.

  6. 'My understanding is there is no consensus for which verses have been abrogated'

    That does seem to be the case. I have yet to find a detailed list of which verses abrogate which other verses. Nevertheless, there is the general arrangement of chapters. The chronology has been worked out by Islamic scholars, based upon the descriptions of events, and fitting them into the historical sequence of Mohammed's life, with supporting evidence from the Hadith.

    The process is by no ways perfect however, and it does seem that verses have been inserted into chapters at later times. And of course some verses have been removed, the 'Satanic Verses' being the well known example.

    The doctrine of abrogation is very widely followed by mainstream Islam. The Ahmadiyya Muslims do not believe it, and for that reason, and for other reasons relating to the Mahdi, are persecuted by mainstream Muslims.

    The whole abrogation principle seems like a nonsense to me anyway. If Allah really was all-knowing, then he should have given his instructions consistently, rather than changing them over time. It would have been less confusing for everybody.

    Nevertheless, abrogation exists, and is at the core of the mainstream Islamic understanding of the Koran. We have no choice but to work within its parameters.

    My question regarding 17.7 and 17.104 was not limited to whether one of them had abrogated the other, but whether one or both of them had been abrogated by verses in the chronologically more recent half of the Koran. Apologies if my wording was unclear.

  7. I'm afraid I don't know the answer to your question about 17:7 and 17:104 being abrogated by other verses.

    I don't dispute the practice of abrogation exists - it is the inconsistency of the practice that places a question mark on the doctrine for me. The number of verses claimed to be abrogated range from a handful to several hundred.

    My understanding is that the practice of abrogation is generally applied to religious rulings. Verses 17:7 and 17:104 are making references to history, so I'm highly doubtful that these verses have been abrogated by others in the text.

  8. Many thanks for your very helpful comment. I do agree with your statement that abrogation generally applies to religious rulings, and unlikely to be applied to descriptions of historical events.

    This is an important point which I have already made in this book. It is good to have it confirmed by someone knowledgeable as yourself.

  9. Anonymous (Mark II, not to be confused with previous 'Anonymous' poster):

    There are four verses regarding Abrogation in the Koran:

    When we cancel a message, or throw it into oblivion, we replace it with one better or one similar. Do you not know that God has power over all things? (2:106)

    When we replace a message with another, and God knows best what he reveals, they say: You have made it up. Yet, most of them do not know (16:101)

    God abrogates or confirms whatsoever he will, for he has with him the Book of the Books (13:39)

    If we pleased, we could take away what we have revealed to you. Then you will not find anyone to plead for it with us (17:86)

    Peace or Jihad? Abrogation in Islam

    Instead of treating this as theology, why not treat it as it should be understood: a political ideology which introduced different, contrasting or seemingly conflicting attitudes or approaches ('revelations') when circumstances so dictated? Even Mo's 6 year old 'bride' (Aisha) caustically noted how "Truly thy Lord makes haste to do thy bidding" when Mo had a 'revelation' from 'allah' ordering Mo to command his adopted son to divorce his beautiful wife so Mo could marry her.

    Perhaps if we treated Islam without kid gloves (especially its warlord creator, Mohammad) and took note of the realpolitik nature of these 'revelations', we wouldn't be so surprised at the Doctrine of Abrogation.