The Islam Awareness week organized by the Muslim Students’ Association (MSA) at the University of Guelph, Ontario is taking place this week from January 23-26, 2017 at the University Centre.
The MSA presents its objectives and methods of operation as follows: “Our purpose is to bring the message of Islam to our community of Guelph to all those who want to learn and listen. The MSA runs services and events throughout the year such as dinners, dawah (public teaching), speaker nights, social hangouts (in the halal way), and Islamic Awareness Week. Weekly Jumu’ahs (friday prayer), prayer space on campus … AND MUCH MORE.”
The MSA’s team includes Hamna Syed – President, Munaj Syed – Brothers Vice President, Huda Mohammed – Sisters Vice President, Sohail Mohammed – Treasurer, Sidra Sarfaraz – Marketing, Samira Bulushi – Secretary, Talha Dar – Brothers Islamic Development Director, Maaz Haq – Brothers Social Development Director, Neena Raj – Outreach Director, Wafa Qazi – Sisters Social Development Director, Rehma Khan – Social Media Director, Esra Mohamed – Islamic Awareness Week Director, Hamid Dwyer – Volunteer Director, Amreen Kadwa – O-week and College Royale Director, Roa’a Hamed – Sisters Islamic Development Director, Abdul Basit – Online Communication Director (AKA Webmaster).
On January 25, 2017, students with the MSA handed out at the University Centre at the University of Guelph Islamic literature that included:
- “The Quran – Saheeh International” (Qira’aat Publishing and Distribution House, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 2012)
- The Quran – translated by Wahiduddin Khan, Farida Khanam, Goodward Books, New Delhi, India, 2009.
- Meaning of The Quran – Guidance for Mankind – Abduallah Yusuf Ali, Millat Book Centre, New Delhi, India, 2011.
- Islam – Balancing life and beyond by Suhail Kapoor ( A project of Islamic Propagation Center, Mississauga, Ontario, 2016)
Excerpts from the books
The Quran – Saheeh International
The following are Quranic verses followed by modern interpretation from the book “The Quran – Saheeh International” (Note: The version of the book has been also handed out in Toronto at Dundas Square, St. Lawrence Market and by activists of the Muslim Students’ Association – MSA at York University (November 2016).
Surah (chapter) Al-Baqarah
So woe 32 to those who write the “scripture” with their own hands, then say, “This is from Allah,” in order to exchange it for a small price. Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for what they earn.
i.e., death and destruction.
When his Lord said to him, “Submit,” he said, “I have submitted [in Islam] 45 to the Lord of the worlds.”
The meaning of the word “Islam” is “submission to the will of Allah.” This is the way of life ordained by Allah and taught by all of the prophets from Adam to Muhammad (PBUH). A Muslim is one who submits himself to Allah.
And kill them wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, and fitnah 69 is worse than killing. And do not fight them at al-Masjid al-Haram until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.
Among the meanings of fitnah are disbelief and its imposition on others, discord, dissension, civil strife, persecution, oppression, injustice, seduction, trial and torment.
Surah (chapter) Al Imran
Let not believers take disbelievers as allies [i.e., supporters or protectors] rather than believers. And whoever [of you] does that has nothing [i.e., no association] with Allah, except when taking precaution against them in prudence. 122 And Allah warns you of Himself, and to Allah is the [final] destination.
When fearing harm from an enemy, the believer may pretend as long as his heart and intention are not affected.
And among the People of the Scripture is he who, if you entrust him with a great amount [of wealth], he will return it to you. And among them is he who, if you entrust him with a [single] silver coin, he will not return it to you unless you are constantly standing over him [demanding it]. That is because they say, “There is no blame upon us concerning the unlearned.” 133 And they speak untruth about Allah while they know [it].
The Jews do not consider it a sin to cheat or lie to a gentile or a pagan.
They have been put under humiliation [by Allah] wherever they are overtaken, except for a rope [i.e., covenant] from Allah and a rope [i.e., treaty] from the people [i.e., the Muslims]. 144 And they have drawn upon themselves anger from Allah and have been put under destitution. That is because they disbelieved in [i.e., rejected] the verses of Allah and killed the prophets without right. That is because they disobeyed and [habitually] transgressed.
Once they have surrendered, the People of the Scripture retain their rights and honor (in spite of their refusal of Islam) through payment of the jizyah tax in place of zakah and military service due from Muslims. They are then under the protection of the Islamic state.
Then if they deny you, [O Muhammad] – so were messengers denied before you, who brought clear proofs and written ordinances and the enlightening Scripture. 151
The unaltered, original Torah and Gospel, which were revealed by Allah.
Surah (chapter) an-Nisa
Those who commit immorality [i.e., unlawful sexual intercourse] of your women – bring against them four [witnesses] from among you. And if they testify, 169 confine them [i.e., the guilty women] to houses until death takes them or Allah ordains for them [another] way. 170
The witnesses must swear to actually having seen the act taking place
The “other way” (i.e., penalty) was later revealed in 24:2, canceling the ruling in this verse. [24:2 reads the following “The [unmarried] woman or [unmarried] man found guilty of sexual intercourse – lash each one of them with a hundred lashes, and do not be taken by pity for them in the religion [i.e., law] of Allah,906 if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a group of the believers witness their punishment.]
And the two 171 who commit it [i.e., unlawful sexual intercourse] among you – punish [i.e., dishonor] them both. But if they repent and correct themselves, leave them alone. Indeed, Allah is ever Accepting of repentance and Merciful.
Scholars differ over whether “the two” refers to two of the same sex (i.e., homosexuals) or those of opposite sexes. In either case, later rulings outlined in the sunnah have replaced this one.
And [also prohibited to you are all] married women except those your right hands possess. 177 [This is] the decree of Allah upon you. And lawful to you are [all others] beyond these, [provided] that you seek them [in marriage] with [gifts from] your property, desiring chastity, not unlawful sexual intercourse. So for whatever you enjoy [of marriage] from them, give them their due compensation 178 as an obligation. And there is no blame upon you for what you mutually agree to beyond the obligation. Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and Wise.
i.e., slaves or war captives who had polytheist husbands
The mahr, a specified gift to the bride required of the man upon marriage.
“Men are in charge of women 182 by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband’s] absence what Allah would have them guard. 183 But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance. 184 – [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them [lightly]. 185 But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand.”
This applies primarily to the husband-wife relationship.
i.e., their husbands’ property and their own chastity.
i.e., major rebellion or refusal of basic religious obligations.
This final disciplinary measure is more psychological than psychical. It may be resorted to only after failure of the first two measures and when it is expected to amend the situation and prevent family breakup; otherwise, it is not acceptable. The Prophet PBUH (who never struck a woman or a servant) additionally stipulated that it must not be severe or damaging and that the face be avoided.”
Surah (chapter) Al-Maidah
Indeed, the penalty 262 for those who wage war 263 against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment,
i.e., commit acts of violence and terrorism against individuals or treason and aggression against the Islamic state.
Say, “Shall I inform you of [what is] worse than that 271 as penalty from Allah? [It is that of] those whom Allah has cursed and with whom He became angry and made of them apes and pigs and slaves of Taghut. 272 Those are worse in position and further astray from the sound way.”
Referring to the punishment the People of the Scripture (in their censure of the Muslims) claimed was deserved by them.
See footnote to 2:256 [False objects of worship, such as idols, heavenly bodies, spirits, human
Surah (chapter) Al- Anfal
So if you, [O Muhammad], gain dominance over them in war, disperse by [means of] them those behind them that perhaps they will be reminded. 454
i.e., kill them and make an example of them to discourage those who follow them.
Surah (chapter) Al-Tawbah
Fight against those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth [i.e., Islam] from those who were given the Scripture – [fight] until they give the jizyah 466 willingly while they are humbled.
A tax required of non-Muslims exempting them from military service and entitling them to the protection of the Islamic state. Concurrently, Zakah is not taken from them, being an obligation only upon Muslims.
Surah (chapter) Hud
And his people came hastening to him, and before [this] they had been doing evil deeds. 569 He said, “O my people, these are my daughters; 570 they are purer for you. So fear Allah and do not disgrace me concerning my guests. Is there not among you a man of reason?”
Referring to their practice of sodomy and homosexual rape of males.
i.e., the women of his community who were available for marriage.
Surah (chapter) An-Nahl
Whoever disbelieves in [i.e., denies] Allah after his belief… 717 except for one who is forced [to renounce his religion] while his heart is secure in faith. But those who [willingly] open their breasts to disbelief, upon them is wrath from Allah, and for them is a great punishment;
Based upon the conclusion of this verse, the omitted phrase concerning the apostate is understood to be “…has earned the wrath of Allah…”
Surah (chapter) An-Nur
The [unmarried] woman or [unmarried] man found guilty of sexual intercourse 973 – lash each one of them with a hundred lashes, 974 and do not be taken by pity for them in the religion [i.e., law] of Allah, 975 if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a group of the believers witness their punishment.
Either by voluntary confession of the offender or the testimony of four male witnesses to having actually seen the act take place. Otherwise, there can be no conviction.
The ruling in this verse is applicable to unmarried fornicators. Execution by stoning is confirmed in the sunnah for convicted adulterers.
i.e., Do not let sympathy for a guilty person move you to alter anything ordained by Allah, for in His law is protection of society as a whole.
Surah (chapter) Ar-Rum
So direct your face [i.e., self] toward the religion, inclining to truth. [Adhere to] the fitrah 1146 of Allah upon which He has created [all] people. No change should there be in the creation of Allah. 1147 That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know.
The natural inborn inclination of man to worship his Creator prior to the corruption of his nature by external influences. Thus, Islamic monotheism is described as the religion of fitrah – that of the inherent nature of mankind
i.e., let people remain true to their fitrah within the religion of Islam.
Surah (chapter) al-Jathiya
Tell [O Muhammad], to those who have believed to forgive those who expect not the days of Allah [i.e., of His retribution] so that He may recompense a people 1471 for what they used to earn.
In the Hereafter, where those who forgive will be rewarded and those who earned evil will be punished. This was at the outset of dawah (invitation to Allah) before permission for jihad.
Meaning of The Quran – Guidance for Mankind
Surah 4 The Women, verse 34 + modern interpretation in brackets (p. 49-50):
“Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband’s) absence what Allah would have them guard. As of those women on whose part you fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (next) refuse to share their beds, (and last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High’ Great (above you all).”
The Quran – translated by Wahiduddin Khan, Farida Khanam
Surah 4 The Women, verse 34 + modern interpretation in brackets (p. 60-61):
“Men are protectors of women, because God has made some of them excel others and because they spend their wealth on them. So virtuous women are obedient, and guard in the husband’s absence what God would have them guard. As for those from whom you apprehend infidelity, admonish them, then refuse to share their beds, and finally hit them [lightly]. Then if they obey you, take no further action against them. For God is High, Great.”
Islam – Balancing life and beyond
“Mixed gatherings offer opportunities where base desires are unleashed, and once allowed free reign, have the potential to even destroy families. Are the results of promiscuity not in front of us? The illegitimate and abandoned children, broken homes, adultery, abortions, divorces and sexual diseases and more. Relationship out of wedlock is known as ‘fornication’, punishable by Islamic Law in an Islamic state. It is in the larger interest of our society that Islamic high moral standards are advocated and enforced.”
“…because of the apparent restriction on Muslim women to remain away from the public realm, many Westerners see the Muslim hijab as a symbol of female oppression. However, on the contrary as per those women, especially Westerners who embraced Islam, the hijab is instead a symbol of ‘liberation’. The Islamic tradition of hijab frees women from being perceived primarily as sexual objects.”
“Human beings are conditioned by the society in which they live. Naturally when you see a woman scantily dressed and revealing her physical features, versus when you see a woman modestly dressed, covering her head, not revealing any of her physical features, impressions that will come to mind do not need mentioning. Needless to say, dress represents her modesty, and through it she commands the respect in the society. Whereas when a woman chooses to show her body in one form or another, the message is only one: she wants attention and possibly much more.”
“Islam puts an upper limit of four wives and gives a man permission to marry two, three or four women, only on the condition that he deals justly with them, which, if not impossible, is certainly extremely difficult. Knowing well of our shortcomings, Allah in His infinite wisdom says later in the same chapter: “You will not be able to do justice between your wives however much you wish (to do so).” (Qur’an 4:128-130) This verse serves as a deterrent of fear of Allah and as such, less than 2% men in the Muslim world exercise this option. Therefore polygamy is not a rule but an exception. Many people labour under the misconception that it is an open-ended verdict for a Muslim man to have more than one wife. This is absolutely not true.”
“The system of polygamy according to Islamic Law is a moral and human one. It is moral because it does not allow man to have intercourse with any woman he wishes, at any time he likes. He is not allowed to have intercourse with more than three women in addition to his (first) wife, and he cannot do that secretly, but must proceed with a contract and announce it, even if among a limited audience. To attain full legitimacy it must be registered with the law.”