Allah and the Overstaying House Guests

  YHWH's ten commandments were given to the Israelites through Moses. They had been written on stone with the very hand of God (see Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5 for the full text of the commandments): 
I. Do not have other gods besides Me. 
II. Do not make idols for yourself. 
III. Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
IV. Keep the Sabbath day.  
V. Honor your father and your mother. 
VI. Do not murder. 
VII. Do not commit adultery. 
VIII. Do not steal.
VIIII. Do not give dishonest testimony against your neighbor. 
X. Do not covet.
  These commands were given 3,600 years ago and yet Jews of today can still obey them. This is because they are not time-bound. No matter what their personal circumstances might have been all throughout the centuries, nothing has ever hindered God's People from continuing to keep these commands just as they were recorded more than three millennia ago.

  Now we will take a look at a set of orders in the Quran which were issued to all Muslims. But before we do, we need to point out that Muslims believe the Quran to be the eternal word of Allah. By this they mean that they believe that the Quran was written in eternity past in Jannah (Islamic paradise) before it was sent down to Muhammad by Allah. Muslims believe that every word in the Quran is the eternal word of Allah and emanated only from him with no human intermediaries whatsoever.

  The problem is, for an eternal word written before time began, some of it certainly seems rather impermanent and personal. That is to say it refers to only one person for all of eternity, even though that person has died and can no longer enjoy any of these "perks." Here is one example:

  Surah 33:053 (Khan)  
"O you who believe! Enter not the Prophet's houses, except when leave is given to you for a meal, (and then) not (so early as) to wait for its preparation. But when you are invited, enter, and when you have taken your meal, disperse, without sitting for a talk. Verily, such (behaviour) annoys the Prophet, and he is shy of (asking) you (to go), but Allah is not shy of (telling you) the truth. And when you ask (his wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen, that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts. And it is not (right) for you that you should annoy Allah's Messenger, nor that you should ever marry his wives after him (his death). Verily! With Allah that shall be an enormity."
  While this ayah (verse) may have been perfectly fine and observable in Muhammad's day, how are today's Muslims supposed to obey this law? If the Quran is an eternal book with laws that are supposed to be universally applicable to all mankind as Muslims claim Islam it to be, then it should be applicable to men and women of all times and places.

  Note to whom the command is addressed: "O you who believe!" This means it is addressed to all Muslims. There is no time limit set or definition of which believers in this "eternal word." It is a general command which applies to all Muslims. And so we ask again: how does any Muslim who lived after Muhammad's death in 632AD observe these eternal Quranic commandments? 

  Unfortunately for Muslims beginning with the generation which followed Muhammad's death 1,400 years ago all the way into eternity, none of them have been able to keep nor will any of them ever be able to keep this eternal command from Allah. So we have to ask, why would the eternal word of Allah contain such a time-limited command that would become impossible to follow after the death of Muhammad? Did Allah not anticipate that Muhammad would die someday? This might not have been such a problem had it been included only in the hadith or other Islamic sources because Muslims do not consider these  to be anywhere near the level of the Quran, "the eternal word of Allah." But this verse is from the Quran.

  Secondly, as some might argue, if the intent was to teach Muslims proper social etiquette, then why confine the instruction to their behavior while in their prophet's homes? Homes which, by the way, would be in disarray not long after Muhammad's death due to an internal power struggle which ripped Islam apart and resulted in the deaths of Muhammad's family. But Allah did not generalize the instruction. Instead, he spoke "from eternity past" to deal with Muhammad's shyness and the fact that he did not enjoy having dinner guests. 

  Thirdly, it cannot be denied that a prophet's behavior always reflects on his master and his values. If Muhammad was shy and easily annoyed by company and his Allah hurried to defend him by legislating against any behavior which was irritating to his prophet, then we can only conclude that Allah believes such character traits to be appropriate in his idea of the perfect man. Allah does not personally instruct Muhammad to put his foot down in his own home. Neither does he miraculously heal Muhammad of his shyness. Instead, the objective reader will note that Allah (presumably) saw this time coming, but sought to relieve his prophet of any annoyances by commanding 
all Muslims to avoid doing anything that might irritate his prophet -- once again we note -- from eternity past.

  And finally, in the last portion of Surah 33:53 we read,

  "... And it is not (right) for you that you should annoy Allah's Messenger, nor that you should ever marry his wives after him (his death). Verily! With Allah that shall be an enormity." 

  Ibn Abbas, a Companion of Muhammad, brings us information pertaining to this eternal command:
  ... This verse was revealed about Talhah Ibn 'Ubaydullah who had in mind to marry 'A'ishah after the death of the Prophet (pbuh). (Lo! That) your open declaration and intention to marry the Prophet's wives after his death (in Allah's sight would be an enormity) it is an enormous sin which merits severe punishment." from the Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
  Again, we have to wonder... what would it matter in eternity to the "almighty Allah" whether Aisha remarried or not? Why would Allah consider this such a grievous sin? One can understand why it would matter to Muhammad, but why is Allah apparently unable to see that life would go on for all even after the death of Muhammad?

  And why would Allah be so concerned in his eternal word about issues as petty and temporal as Muhammad's discomfort at overstaying house guests? It would seem that Allah was more interested in Muhammad getting whatever he wanted -- wives, sex slaves, taking his adopted son's wife to be his own, as well as freedom from annoying social behavior -- rather than in the eternal impact these things would have on the soul of his prophet.

  Instead of acting like Muhammad's master, it appears that the roles were reversed, since Allah sought only to serve his prophet. The perceptive words of Muhammad's child bride, Aisha, immediately come to mind:

  "I feel that your Lord hastens in fulfilling your wishes and desires." -- Sahih Bukhari 6:60:311

  She was a sharp one, that Aisha. There was no pulling the wool over her eyes.

  But once again, this Quranic peculiarity stands in stark contrast with the God of the Bible and His true and holy prophets. In the Old Testament, there are a total of 613 commands and laws for the Israelites to keep.

  Not one of them refers to Moses alone, or discusses how one is to behave while at Moses' house for dinner.

  Not one of them protects Moses from discomfort or even assures him of pampering or coddling from the Lord.

Not one of them says, "Thou shalt not annoy Moses." Or any other of God's prophets, His own Son included.

  To the contrary, Jesus, the Perfect Son Who preceded Muhammad by 600 years and Who should have been the one and only example Muhammad should ever have followed, that Prophet Jesus said,

  "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life—a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 

  Our Lord Jesus is the polar opposite of Muhammad. 

  Jesus, Who is ever able to overlook our lack of social graces, or our most annoying of habits. 

  He Who, being our loving and forgiving God, will always be ready and willing to dine with us, so to speak, no matter how sinful we might be today. 

  It is this God Jesus Who says,
  "Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me." Revelation 3:20

 See also:

  Guess Who's Coming to Dinner... at Muhammad's House 

  David Wood: Five Reasons the Quran Is Not the Word of God


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