Qur'anic Roots of the Shari'a, 1
THE ISLAMIC SHARI'A
The development of the Shari'a
out of the Qur'an
and its amendment by the conduct of Muhammad
All Rights reserved
027 - Version 19.6.2003
English Title: How did the Islamic Shari'a develop?
German Title: Wie ist das islamische Recht entstanden?
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What is the Aim of Islam?
When Jesus Christ was born a new age began. The Christian calendar begins with the arrival of Jesus in our world, because God became man in Him. With Jesus, the spiritual "new creation" came into being.
With the birth of Muhammad it is different. His father Abdullah and his mother Amina were well known. No new age began with the birth of their son, therefore the Islamic calendar does not start with the birth of Muhammad. He was a human being like others. Neither the hour of the so-called revelations of Muhammad, nor the development of the first Islamic cell-community or the death of Muslim martyrs was considered to be the beginning of Islam!
The Islamic calendar only starts with Muhammad's and his followers' exodus from Mecca to Medina (622 A.D.). Why? Islam in Medina became a city-state! All previous forms of this religion are considered only as a preparation for this epoch-making event. Islam has only fully developed when it has been established as a religious state.
Islam is more than a religion by European concepts. In Islam, politics and religion, faith and law, mind and power should demonstrate an inseparable unity. This is coherent with the Islamic law. The Shari'a can only fully function when it is executed by a governmental authority. It is the Islamic law that requires a religious state. Also no Islamic state can exist without a Shari'a according to the principles of the Qur'an.
Where can the Shari'a be Bought or Purchased?
If you visit an Islamic bookstore in order to buy all volumes of the Islamic law, you will see the surprised face of the assistant who will tell you that all volumes are at the moment out of stock. Ordering an edition in Arabic you get the answer that they are not available. Continuing to ask you might be offered numerous books about the Shari'a. Finally the buyer realizes that there is no Shari'a in Islam at all and never has been!
Recovering from this shock and asking for the secret of the Shari'a, you may discover that in the Qur'an there are about 500 verses with legal content. These verses have formed the basis for the Islamic Shari'a.
The Qur'an consists of 6230 verses that are divided into 114 Suras. About 12 percent of these verses constitute the spine of the Shari'a. The law of Islam has never been written systematically or organized by Muhammad. All commandments and prohibitions are spread throughout the Qur'an.
The Origin of the Qur'an
The Qur'an was produced during the years 610 to 632 A.D. by Muhammad. The Suras from the time in Mecca sound prophetic and are rousing whereas the Suras from the time in Medina are juristically boring. The Qur'an contains about three quarters as many words as the Arabic New Testament and only 18 percent as many as the Arabic Bible, i.e. it is much shorter than the Bible.
The Qur'an was developed in a culture of sedentary Bedouins in the area of Mecca and Medina, whereas the Bible had to give answers to questions from very different cultures around the Mediterranean.
Muhammad himself was not able to read or write at the beginning of his religious activity (Sura al-A'raf 7:157-158), which was the reason why different secretaries wrote down his inspirations in Medina later. Abdallah b. Mas'ud and Ubayy b. Ka'b, a Jew who had converted to Islam, were among them. About 60 percent of the Qur'an originates from reports and rules of the Torah and the history books in the Old Testament, likewise 8 percent of the Qur'anic material was taken from New Testament sources and from books of Christian sects. All texts were only handed to Muhammad orally, whereas the Old Testament stories and commandments by form and content date from the Mishna and the Talmud. At the time of Muhammad‘s death, different original Qur'ans were existing in Medina. In two successive editions they were being edited in 634 under Caliph Omar b. Khattab and in 650 under Caliph Uthman b. Affan. However, because of unbridgeable differences between the different Qur'ans, Uthman collected all original Qur'ans by force and had them burned! What exists today, is no longer the Qur'an of Muhammad, but the Qur'an edition of Uthman. The Shi’ites for a long time asserted that the present text of the Qur'an is fake.
The Hadith Completes the Qur'an
The law of Moses was developed by Torah Jurists over centuries from 500 verses in the Old Testament and from Jewish traditions; so also the Shari'a was not developed from the literally verses of the Qur'an only. It soon became apparent that most of the Qur'anic commandments and prohibitions had not been phrased precisely enough to derive religious and secular laws from them. Therefore, different schools made efforts to formulate Islamic laws with the help of the traditions of Muhammad. The traditions of Islam, called Hadith, are supposed expressions of Muhammad that had not been accepted into the Qur'an. Because Muhammad, according to Islamic comprehension, was the latest and final prophet, no succeeding Muslim can possess the gift of prophecy or experience guiding through the spirit from Allah. They do not have the right to interpret the Qur'an by themselves or to make Allah's revealed word understandable, because in this case their human mind would rise above Allah. Only Allah himself, through Muhammad, can give true guidance. This is particularly true for all valid law texts.
Based on this understanding, a rush and search for the statements (Hadith) of Muhammad began after his death. His wives, his daughter Fatima, his closest friends and his co-workers guaranteed, as informants, the validity of the statements. Because of political agendas and personal bias, people began to forge accounts and sayings of Muhammad to promote their own understanding of the Qur'an and certain laws. It did not take long until the study of the reliability of the informants and transmitters became as important as the study of the text of Muhammad's statements.
Finally, six collectors of traditions came up who had the reputation to have discerned between the true traditions of Muhammad and the faked ones. Their names are:
al-Bukhari died 870 A.D. (with 7008 traditions)
Muslim died 875 A.D. (with 5362 traditions)
Ibn Madja died 886 A.D. (with 4332 traditions)
Abu Dawud died 888 A.D. (with 4592 traditions)
al-Tirmidhi died 892 A.D. (with 3981 traditions)
al-Nasa'i died 915 A.D. (with 5662 traditions)
They each collected several thousand traditions of Muhammad which, besides the Qur'an, represent the second source of revelation for Muslims. These collections of traditions together, therefore, constitute a text significantly larger than that of the Qur'an. How difficult this task was for the men can be taken from a statement of Abu Dawud who said that he had checked 500,000 of the so-called Hadiths of Muhammad but only found true 4592. This means that less than one percent of all Hadiths are true.
The Sunna Makes the Shari'a Precise
By far not all of the legal regulations from the Qur'an could be made complete by the so-called traditions of Muhammad. For this reason the researchers of the traditions look to the life of Muhammad itself to check how he had acted in critical situations. Not only what he said and didn't say but also what he did and didn't do became a shining example and law.
His lifestyle became law in all fields of faith and life such as the worship of Allah, the fasting in Ramadan, the payment of religious tax and the pilgrimage to Mecca, as well as the fighting in the "Holy War" and the distribution of spoil.
Muhammad’s position towards women had a strong impact on the law when he, for example, married Zainab b. Jahsh, the wife of his adopted son Zaid, or took 'A'isha, his favorite wife, for himself when she was not even 8 years old.
Questions of heritage, business contracts, breaking of oaths, permitted and prohibited food as well as executing harsh punishments can all be referred back to Muhammad's ethics.
This means that all Muslims are asked to live like Muhammad. They should put on Muhammad and imitate him. This imitation is not voluntary but became law. All Muslims should be in Muhammad and he in them, otherwise they will go to hell!
The Five Schools of Law in Islam
Unquestionably, during the formation of the law for all areas of worship and life in Islam, many difficulties and controversies arose. Crucial questions worried and moved the minds of the Islamic jurists and theologians:
Which verses in the Qur'an were legally relevant and which ones not? Which Hadith was true and which one faked? Which action of Muhammad and which of his silent accord were directive?
Essential emphases brought teachers and students together, so that different schools emerged that nowadays are all considered orthodox and right.
Abu Hanifa (700 - 767 A.D.), a cloth trader in Kufa, was absorbed in the questions of law in the Qur'an and distinguished himself by his private analyses without referring to the traditions. His followers, the Hanafites, with their liberal interpretation executed the law of the Muslims in Turkey until 1923, and even today in Central Asia, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.
Malik ibn Anas (715 - 795 A.D.) lived in Medina and wrote the first comprehensive book about Islamic law (al-Muwatta'). He resolved questions of the law by using the traditional ethics in Muhammad's town and took a critical stand towards other traditions. His disciples, the Malikites, even today shape the law of Muslims in North, West and Central Africa.
al-Shafi'i (767 - 820 A.D.) was born in Gaza and lived in Mecca and Medina. He was a student of Malik b. Anas, learned his compendium "al-Muwatta’" by heart, moved to Baghdad, copied the books of the Hanafites and became a juristic scholar. He tried to mediate between the private opinions and traditional analyses concerning law. He finally settled in Cairo until his death and is acknowledged as the founder of the discipline of Islamic jurisprudence. His students, the Shafi’ites, spread their jurisdiction in Egypt, East Africa, Iran (only Sunnites) and Indonesia.
Ahmad ibn Hanbal (780 - 855 A.D.) wandered through Iraq, Syria, Hedjas and Yemen to study the piety of the Muslims in their original countries. He was a disciple of Shafi'i but opposed any rationalistic interpretation of the Qur'an. In his encyclopedia "Musnad Ibn Hanbal" he collected 26,363 traditions of Muhammad. The acceptance of the Hanbalites in Islamic centers was sporadic and found its resurrection on the Arabian Peninsula among the Wahabites in the 18th century and thus persists until today.
Ja'far ibn Muhammad (died 756) was the 6th Imam of the Shi’ites and a specialist in Muhammadan traditions. A later work on Islamic law does not originate from him but was attributed to him by way of veneration. The Shi’ites in Iraq and Iran therefore have their own form of Islamic law.
Studying the history and principles of the five law schools of Islam you can understand why there is no uniform Shari'a, nor will ever be! Each of the first four schools is today recognized as orthodox in all centers of Sunnite Islam, however all differ in details of the Islamic law. Because of this the Shari'a remains a mere ideal that does not exist in reality. Nonetheless it binds the Muslims together in one Islamic culture.
These remarks show Europeans that Islam is not a theologically based religion, but is a unity built by the Islamic law. Theologians in Islam understand themselves as jurists and have to judge all questions of devotion and life.
The Two Different Kinds of Law in the Muslim World
All founders of the four Islamic schools of law got into many legal conflicts with the ruling Caliphs. They were imprisoned, tortured and oppressed because the Islamic right constantly collided with the liberals of the so-called Islamic states. This historical fact shows that in reality two different Islamic laws coexisted: the religious law of the jurists who followed the Qur'an and the liberal law of the Muslim rulers. The existence of these two laws were a source for permanent tensions and revolutions in the Islamic world.
After this short introduction to Qur'an, Hadith, Sunna and Shari'a we would like to demonstrate in some concrete examples how the Qur'anic commandments have been developed into a valid law in Islam with the help of Muhammad's life.
Muslim Worship (al-Salat, al-Zakat)
The Qur'an contains 86 verses on the Islamic prayer ritual that were selected by the four Sunnite law schools as the basis for their judgments. There it is written: Muslims in their official prayer must stand, bow forward, kneel and prostrate before Allah in worship. The Qur'an mentions prayers in the morning and evening and also comments on noon time prayers. Exact specifications of time are missing. The Qur'an furthermore demands for everyone praying a detailed ritual purification before prayers (Sura al-Ma'ida 5:6) and the obligation to face towards Mecca (Sura al-Baqara 2:144).
The phrases repeated during ritual prayer concentrate on the praise of Allah and his magnification without mentioning repentance, forgiveness, intercession and thanks for a saving grace.
The observation of such ritual prayers assumes the submission of those worshipping under the six articles of the Muslim creed: Faith in Allah, his angels, his books, his messengers, his predestination and his day of judgment. This creed indirectly includes the denial of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit!
Worshipping Allah with "offerings and donations" (Zakat and Sadaqa) has a higher value than performing prayers only. According to the Qur'an, atonement for sins and forgiveness can be expected by anyone who worships Allah by including offerings.
The Shari'a jurists have compiled a peculiar prayer liturgy based on the Qur'anic verses and by drawing on the traditions and lifestyle of Muhammad. The schools of law differ in some details but on the whole agree with each other.
Muslims must not only pray two or three times a day, but five times, spending fifteen to twenty minutes for each prayer time. The first prayer begins in the morning before sunrise; the second when the sun has just passed the zenith; the third three hours later; the fourth just after sunset and the fifth two hours later. The prayer times of Muslims thus change every day according to sunset and sunrise. Community prayer is valued more highly than prayer alone.
The postures taken and the words pronounced in ritual prayer are organized in a liturgical cycle which is repeated 17 times a day during the five prayer times: two cycles in the morning, four at noon, four in the afternoon, three at sunset and again four at night time.
As a Muslim prostrates before Allah twice in each prayer cycle, his worship adds up to 34 prostrations a day. These prostrations represent Islam, for the word Islam means: "dedication, submission and surrender."
A Muslim is no longer a free person. He dedicates himself to Allah up to 34 times a day. He remains his slave and his property forever.
The praise of Muslims in their prayer rituals underlines their worship. Each day, during their 17 prayer cycles, they call out
102 times: "Praised be my Lord, the Highest!”;
51 times: ”Praised be my powerful Lord!”; and
68 times: ”Allah is greater!” (Allahu akbar).
This last exclamation, a comparative, makes all creatures in the perception of Islam very small. Even Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are smaller than Allah. They are understood as his slaves. The five daily worship services of the Muslims, which indirectly denies God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, are comprehensive anti-Christian demonstrations which around the world are hardening millions of worshippers against the crucified Son of God.
Holy War in Islam
In the Qur'an there are 108 commandments of Allah, calling every Muslim to the Holy War. They have been elaborated by Muslim jurists into a strategy for the Islamic world mission. There is a constant fight between religious leaders and liberal governments about who has the right to declare Holy War. In Islamic practice, there are contradicting views about this.
As a legally binding reason for the Holy War in the Qur'an, we can read that Allah is the sole owner of earth and heaven. To him belong East and West and everything in between. Everything created by Allah is regarded as a loan for Muslims. Allah especially loves those who fight with a weapon in their hands and who generously donate for a Holy War.
Attacks against all unjust people and non-believers are legal! Muslim minorities need to be liberated so that they can fully practice their Islam. Jews and Christians have to be subjected until they pay the minority tax (Sura al-Tawba 9:29-30). Every coward or traitor among Muslims must be punished. Whoever tries to tempt a Muslim to leave Islam and to convert to Christ, commits, according to Islam, a crime worse than murder (Sura al-Baqara 2:161, 217; see also: al-Ma'ida 5:51).
Muhammad calls upon his fighters: You are the elect of Allah, therefore pray, pay and fight! (Sura al-Hajj 22:77-78). Don’t hesitate to shed blood (Sura al-Baqara 2:216). Allah prepares you for fighting (Sura al-Anfal 8:12). Be obedient to Allah and his messengers! Do not love your enemies! (Suras Al 'Imran 3:32; al- Nisa' 4:89; al-Anfal 8:72-73; al-Mumtahina 60:1 et al.).
Whether victory or death, your action certainly will be rewarded. A believer fights! Invisible troops will help you (Suras Al ‘Imran 3:124-125, al-Tawba 9:40). Fight with your money and your life! Prepare an ambush for Allah’s enemies, surround them, hold them tightly and kill them (Suras al-Baqara 2:191; al-Nisa' 4:89, 91; al-Tawba 9:5, 41). Strike them on their necks! (Suras al-Anfal 8:12 and Muhammad 47:4). Be harsh towards them! (Suras al-Tawba 9:73, 123; al-Fath 48:29; al-Tahrim 66:9).
Individual Muslims are justified in spite of their bloody actions against their own relatives: Not you killed them. Allah killed them (Sura al-Anfal 8:17). Whoever is killed in Holy War as a Muslim is considered not to be dead, but living with Allah (Suras al-Baqara 2:154; Al 'Imran 3:169; al-Nisa' 4:74; Muhammad 47:4; al-Fath 48:16-17 et al.). Participation in Holy War is rewarded with forgiveness of sins (Suras Al 'Imran 3:157-158 and 169-171 and 193-195; al-Nisa' 4:100; al-Saff 61:9-12). Allah will pay back all donations for the Holy War manifold. Allah will finally grant them great triumph.
These and other verses from the Qur'an were systematized by Muslim jurists. The example of Muhammad, who took part in 29 raids or attacks, completed their rules.
The jurists divided the world into a "House of Islam" and a "House of War." The house of Islam consists of all countries governed by the Shari'a; there an "Islamic peace" and welfare should prevail. In the House of War non-Islamic or liberal-Islamic states should be attacked and subjected by Muslims, as soon as the economic, political and military conditions are suitable.
The theological justification for Holy War is the Islamic great commission: Fight them (with weapons in your hands) until there is no more temptation (to leave Islam) and the religion of Allah alone rules (the world) (Suras al-Baqara 2:193; al-Anfal 8:39; al-Fath 48:28; al-Saff 61:9).
Spoils of War and the Right to take Slaves
Whoever reads the Islamic biography of Muhammad by Ibn Hisham can understand that taking revenge and booty was a driving force for pushing forward Holy War from the Islamic city-state of Medina. The Qur'an contains at least nine verses about spoils of war and its distribution and 25 verses about the right to have slaves. We should think about these verses, because they are considered as a grace from Allah for Muslims who pray as well as sponsor and fight in a Holy War!
Spoil is a sign for Muslims that Allah guided them correctly. He himself promised them spoil and helped them win it. However, Muslims have not yet received all of the promised spoils. A big part still awaits them with Allah (Sura al-Fath 48:20-21). The Qur'an gives them the right to pillage non-Muslim towns and villages (Sura al-Hashr 59:7). Taking hostages is permitted and even commanded by Allah, so that hostages after payment of as high a ransom as possible, can be set free again (Suras al-Baqara 2:85; Muhammad 47:4).
The distribution of the spoil lay in the hands of Muhammad alone. He decided how it must be used. His decision was always correct and unimpeachable (Suras al-Anfal 8:10, 41; al-Tawba 9:60; al-Hudjurat 49:9; al-Hashr 59:5-6 et al.). Allah and his messenger always received one fifth of the booty (Sura al-Anfal 8:41; see also 8:1). Today this includes the exploitation of oil wells. Twenty percent of net-profits from oil-production in Islamic countries are the driving force of the renaissance of Islam in our days! From the one-fifth of all spoils and profits dedicated to Allah, needy clan members, orphans, poor people, travelers and especially fighters in a Holy War should be supported. Besides this, the hearts of non-Muslims should be helped "to get accustomed to Islam" from this religious treasury. This way, thousands of non-Muslims today are "bought" for Islam with cash (Sura al-Tawba 9:60).
The Qur'an only has nine verses on collecting and distributing spoils in general coming from a Holy War, but in 25 references this book of Islam speaks about how to make and use slaves after war is over. This makes it clear that the right to have slaves is an essential part of the Qur'anic spoil regulations.
The Qur'an speaks about slaves using six different words. Most frequently (16 times) we find the expression: "what your right hand possesses". This discriminating phrase does not describe slaves as persons but only as an object or possession of Muslims. They do not belong to themselves anymore. They are not free, but live under the control of their lord and master, who can do with them what he wants to.
The Qur'an speaks most often about marriage between Muslim Lords and their female slaves. Believing slaves are regarded as better than non-Muslim free women (Sura al-Baqara 2:221). Whoever, for financial reasons, is not able to marry a free Muslim woman, may take from his slave girls whomever he wants (Sura al-Nisa' 4:3, 25 et al.). For a Muslim it is prohibited to marry certain women from his own relatives, but not the single or divorced female slave that he possesses. This is a commandment of Allah (Sura al-Nisa' 4:24). A Muslim is regarded as "successful" if he prays, pays and is chaste towards women. The latter condition, however, does not apply to his (up to four) wives and slave concubines. If he frequents these he is not only taken to be "successful" but also "blameless" (Suras al-Mu'minun 23:1-6; al-Ma'aridj 70:29-30).
Muhammad was a shining example in the treatment of female slaves. Allah also allowed him to marry any free woman that offered herself to him, and that besides the female slaves that he got from his share in the booty from Holy War (Sura al-Ahzab 33:50-52). When Muhammad took Maryam, his Christian slave wife from Egypt, and slept with her in the room of his young wife Hafsa, who was absent, two of his teenage wives became angry with him, and persuaded him to swear, never to do this again! But Allah ordered Muhammad to break this oath! The Omniscient thus granted him and all Muslims unbreakable rights over their female slaves. However, his teenage wives did not give in and demanded from him chastity towards his female slaves. Muhammad then threatened to divorce both of them right away. His young wives thereupon drew their fathers Abu Bakr and Omar b. al-Khattab into the conflict, whom Muhammad then threatened with a hell in which tough guards burn the unrighteous like firewood. This uprising in his harem was aimed at changing the rights of Muhammad towards his slave girls. But he preserved these privileges for himself with the help of a "divine revelation" (Sura al-Tahrim 66:1-8).
Slaves in Islam are protected by the law of revenge: A free man for a free man, a slave for a slave and a woman for a woman (Sura al-Baqara 2:178). In the case of adultery a female slave gets only 50 lashes, half the punishment of a free woman.
In the Qur'an Allah proclaims that he prefers some over others. Slaves have no part in the possessions of the free and they must fear their owners (Suras al-Nahl 16:71; al-Rum 30:28 et al.). Slaves at times belong to the extended family as servants of the wives of their master (Sura al-Nur 24:31, 58).
Good male and female slaves should be married to each other by their owner in order to generate children. These children then belong to the owner as additional slaves (Sura al-Nur 24:32).
A slave girl should not be forced into prostitution for the sake of financial profit, if she is not willing to do it. However, if her owner nevertheless forces her into fornication, Allah promises to be merciful and to forgive him (Sura al-Nur 24:33).
Allah granted the houses, fields and wives of men from the people of the Book (Jews and Christians) to Muhammad and to his followers after they killed these men or had taken them captive. In this way many Jews became slaves. Muhammad himself owned several slave girls that Allah had given him to be like his "shadow" (Sura al-Ahzab 33:26-27 and 50a).
An essential part of the law of slavery in Islam is to buy the freedom of Muslim slaves. Whenever a Muslim is the slave of a non-Muslim, securing his release with money is counted as a good deed or even as a justifying atonement for sins of the donor (Suras al-Baqara 2:177; al-Nisa' 4:92; al-Ma'ida 5:89; al-Tawba 9:60; al-Balad 90:13).
If a non-Muslim slave in the ownership of a Muslim accepts the Islamic faith, has behaved well in the past and asks for a letter of release, the owner should issue it for him, signed by two witnesses and should in addition give him financial aid as a start in life (Sura al-Nur 24:33).
In the Qur'an Allah several times legalized the possession of slaves: he allowed Muhammad and therefore also all Muslims to own male and female slaves (Sura al-Ahzab 33:50, 52); he orders Muslims to marry them (Sura al-Nisa' 4:24); he commanded Muhammad to defend his rights over his slave girls (Sura al-Tahrim 66:1-8); and he granted slaves as booty and as a reward for the Muslims that fought for him. (Sura al-Ahzab 33:26-27 and 50).
The jurists of Islam combined these verses with the lifestyle of Muhammad and the customs of Medina as contained in the Qur'an to forge the law on slavery in Islam. In these rulings it is written: women and boys from non-believers taken captive by Muslims become slaves when captured. The ruling Imam (leader of the Islamic congregation) decides whether the captured men from the non-believers are to be killed, taken as slaves, or released for a ransom or in exchange for the release of some Muslim captives of non-believers. His decision depends on which option best serves the Muslims in the particular situation. A non-Muslim boy, being separated and taken away from his parents during capture, is immediately designated to become a Muslim. Only little is said about the treatment of enslaved women and girls because they are not regarded as persons but only property of their masters. All slaves, however, should receive "sufficient" food and clothing and should not be overburdened by labor.
The Law of Muhammad and the Law of Jesus Christ
The previous examples, worship services, Holy War and the right to slavery show how Islamic law was developed from verses in the Qur'an and from Muhammad’s lifestyle into the Muslim system of law. Actually, the Shari'a shapes the culture of Muslims more than the Qur'an itself.
Whoever compares the principles of the four Islamic schools of law with the law of Jesus Christ can see the contrast summarized in this command of Jesus:
I give you a new law to love one another as I loved you. (John 13:34)
Jesus does not ask from his disciples what he has not fulfilled himself. He says: Love, as I have loved you! With this commandment Jesus Christ presented himself as our rule and our law!
In Islam, Muhammad is the rule and law for all Muslims. A Muslim is a real Muslim only when he lives like Muhammad lived. A Christian, likewise, is a real Christian only if he loves like Jesus loves.
Comparing the two religions we see that not only two systems of law contradict each other but two persons: Jesus and Muhammad! The difference between the two men is equal to the difference between the faith and the culture of their two religions.
The followers of Jesus from all nations will summarize their praise before the throne of God in one simple exclamation: Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb! (Revelations 7:10). In this adoration they comprehend the jubilation of all the redeemed from all generations. Their holy war consisted in the struggle against their own sinful self, as it is stated in the epistle to the Hebrews: Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us and let us run with endurance the race (Jihad) that is set before us looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2).
The position of Christians concerning slaves can be understood from the words of Jesus: Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you (Matthew 5:44-45). Enemies, according to the Gospel, are never taken as slaves but blessed and supported (Romans 12:20-21).
Jesus did not only give us a new law but He also gave us justification and He granted us the power of the Holy Spirit to love as He loved. Paul writes on this:
Therefore, having been
justified by faith
we have peace with God
through our Lord Jesus Christ ...
because the love of God
has been poured out in our hearts
by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
(Romans 5:1, 5)
Q U I Z
If you have studied this booklet carefully, you can easily answer the following questions. Whoever answers 90 percent of all questions in the different booklets of this series correctly, can obtain a certificate from our center on
As an encouragement for his/her future services for Christ. It will be appreciated if you include the Qur'anic references in your answers.
1. Why does the calendar of Muslims neither start with the birth of Muhammad nor with the beginning of his religious activities?
2. Why does the Muslim calendar start with the year 622 A.D.? What can we learn from this fact about the development of Islam?
3. Why can we not buy the book containing the Shari'a of Islam? What percent of the 6,230 verses of Qur'an deal with legal commandments?
4. Which book is longer: the Bible or the Qur'an? How do they compare in percentage?
5. What are the main sources of the Qur'an? From where did Muhammad receive his knowledge?
6. Why were all Qur'ans burned during the caliphate of Uthman? What did he actually produce?
7. Why, according to Muslim opinion, can no commentator sufficiently explain the Qur'an? Why must the Hadith (tradition traced back to Muhammad) fill this gap?
8. What are the main problems of the Muslim traditions? Why is only one percent of the so-called Hadith valid and true? What does this mean for the validity of the Law of Islam?
9. Who were the six collectors of the Hadith collections that are considered to be reliable? When did they die?
10. Why do the commandments of the Qur'an need the complementation by Hadith and Sunna? What is the difference between Hadith and Sunna?
11. What is the meaning of the principle that every Muslim should live and behave as Muhammad lived and behaved?
12. Why did the five schools of law appear in Islam with all their similarities and differences? How are these schools evaluated today?
13. What is special about Abu Hanifa and his school of law? Where are his laws observed today?
14. On which principles did Malik ibn Anas base his book al-Muwatta'? What is special about it? In which countries are the Malikites in power today?
15. Why is al-Shafi'i considered to be the founder of Muslim jurisprudence? Which contradicting principles did he try to unite? Where can his followers be found today?
16. Ahmad ibn Hanbal wrote a unique book. What is the name of this compendium, and what is its aim and content? Where are the principles of the Hanbalites applied today?
17. What was the problem with Ja'far ibn Muhammad, who by the Shi’ites is considered as having compiled their special Shari'a?
18. Why is Islam a religion under the law and not a religion of grace? Why must Muslim theologians study the laws of the Shari'a more than the commentaries of the Qur'an?
19. Why did all of the founders of the Islamic schools of law get into legal conflicts with the political leaders of the Muslim states in which they lived? Why do secular laws exist besides religious laws in most Muslim countries today? How do they relate to one another?
20. How did the lifestyle of Muhammad complete the Qur'anic verses in view of the times for prayer in Islam?
21. What are the three phrases that Muslims must pray daily during their 17 prayer cycles? How often should they utter each of these acclamations each day? How does this affect their way of thinking?
22. How often does a Muslim prostrate before Allah every day if he observes all of the five times of prayer? What do these prostrations mean and what do they create in the sub-conscience of a Muslim?
23. How many verses in the Qur'an are legally relevant to Holy War and in how many attacks and raids did Muhammad personally participate?
24. Who are considered to be the enemies of Islam and why?
25. Which in your opinion are the most important commandments in the Qur'an regarding actual fighting in the battles of Muslims?
26. How did Muhammad comfort his fighters if during a Holy War they had killed some of their unbelieving relatives?
27. What do Muslims hope to gain from their participation in Holy War? What are the special promises for martyrs in Islam?
28. Why did theological jurists divide the world into a "House of Islam" and a "House of War"?
29. Write down the verses of the great commission to fight in Islam including the Qur'anic references and (if possible) compare these texts with the translation of the Qur'an that you use. What does this reveal?
30. How many references in the Qur'an speak about booty and how many about slaves? What do the spoils of war signify for a Muslim?
31. Why was the distribution of the spoils the climax in a Holy War? How did Muhammad solve this critical situation?
32. Why did many Muslims like the capture of female slaves more than other parts of the spoils of war? What are the most important regulations about the relationship of such slave girls to their masters?
33. How did Muhammad personally defend his rights over his slave girls? What impact did this struggle have on the text of the Qur'an?
34. Why are hostages in Islam considered as a gift from Allah and how did Muhammad exploit these captive enemies?
35. What are the main sections of the Muslim law?
36. What is the secret of the new law of Christ (John 13:34-35) and why is Christ himself our law?
37. Why do the laws of Islam and the laws of Christ in their final analysis lead us to two different persons: Muhammad and Christ? What does this mean?
38. What are the main differences between the law of Islam and the law of the Gospel?
39. Why did Jesus not only reveal a legally binding law but also offered His salvation to everybody and changed His followers into His likeness?
40. Why is the kingdom of Christ not of this world and why is it that Muslims know nothing about the real salvation of Jesus?
Every participant in this quiz is allowed to use any book at his disposition and to ask any trustworthy person known to him when answering these questions. We wait for your written answers including your full address on the papers or in your e-mail. We pray for you to Jesus, the living Lord, that He will call, send, guide, strengthen, protect and be with you every day of your life!
Yours in His service,
Servants of the Lord
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