Holy Quran

Do Quranic verses on slavery apply today?


Since the Quran is timeless, how do we reconcile the verses on slavery for the modern day? Do we take every verse literally, or are there certain verses we should take with a lesser measure of zeal?

In other words, are these verses specific to the time of 600CE wartime-Hijaz only? Or are they also applicable in modern times during peace and/or hypothetical war scenarios?


Islam essentially does not agree with the practice of slavery; this is very clear from the directives given in the Quran regarding freeing slaves and even paying them from the zakat money if they strive to buy back their freedom. However, it was not possible to abolish the institution because of its social and international ramifications.

From the social point of view, it was not feasible to imprison the war captives because the society could not financially afford such a luxury. Hence, the PoWs should have either been killed or absorbed into the society as second-class citizens. This concept of slavery was totally alien from the practice of slavery we witnessed in the colonial era where the people were rounded up and captured in their hometown thousands of miles away without waging any war or committing any offence.

Internationally, it was not possible to abolish slavery unilaterally, since it was a matter of retaliation and part of arrangements for prisoners of war. However, as I mentioned, Islam sets certain rules for freedom of slaves after they were absorbed in the society. And since they were part of social tapestry, it was natural that the Quran would talk about their rights and duties.

Since the directives of the Quran point to the freedom of all slaves, and now that slavery is abolished internationally, there is no need to reinstate it. It is actually against the spirit of the Quranic code.The Quran has been revealed to educate people and efface the evil practices from the human race. One cannot say that after these evils are removed then the Quran loses its eternal nature. The Quran speaks immensely against idolatry; does that mean that if everyone believes in the Quran and idolatry is vanished, then the Quran loses its universality?

Answered by: Sheikh Mohammad Saeed Bahmanpour

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Is there any mention of Imams in the Holy Quran?


Is there any mention of the concept of “Imamah” (Divine Leadership) in the Holy Qur’an?


The Imams are definitely mentioned in the Holy Qur’an.

It is firstly interesting to note that the word ‘Imam’ is used 12 times in the Holy Qur’an, with different meanings.

The following ayat of the Holy Qur’an deal with the issue of Imamah:
“And (remember) when the Lord of Ibrahim tried him with (certain) Commands, which he fulfilled. He (Allah) said (to him), “Verily, I am going to make you an Imam”. [Ibrahim) said, “And of my offspring (to make Imams?” (Allah) said, “My Covenant (of Imamat) includes not the Zalimun (wrongdoers)”

This ayah succinctly proves the following points:
• The status of Imamah is higher than the status of Prophethood because Prophet Ibrahim was already a Prophet but he then became an Imam.
• An Imam is appointed by God, not by people.
• A person who is Dhalim (one who has a wrong belief or is a wrongdoer), cannot be appointed as an Imam.

“And We made them Imams, guiding by Our Command, and We revealed to them the doing of good deeds, performing Salat and the giving of Zakat and of Us they were worshippers.”

This ayah shows that:
• The Imams are appointed by God
• All their actions are done under the Command of God and with knowledge of the Reality of (Amr of God)
• All their actions are done in consonance with the Revelation from God, i.e. they do not act independently and all their actions are guided by revelation and inspiration

“And the disbelievers say: “Why is not a sign sent down to him from his Lord?” You are only a warner, and to every people there is a guide.”

The ‘Guide’ mentioned in this ayah is Imam Ali (as). All the other possibilities that have been suggested for ‘Guide’ in this ayah do not make sense. The following narration from a major Sunni source confirms this:

“The Messenger of Allah (P) called for a purifier (water) and Ali Bin Abi Talib was with him. After he performed his Wudu, he took the hand of Ali and put it on his chest saying: “You are only a warner” meaning himself. He then put his hand on Ali’s chest saying to him: “and for every group of people there is a guide”. O Ali! You are the beacon of people…” [al-Mostadrak 3:129]

There are many other ayat which talk about the concept of Imam, as there are many other ayat in relation to Imam Ali (as). Although these ayat do not mention Imam Ali (as) by name, they are clearly indicating him.

Answered by: Dr Ali Alsamail

Certified by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

Why do the prayers of the Prophets in the Qurán start with “Rabbana”


Why do the prayers of the Prophets in the Holy Qurán start with “Rabbana” ربنا ?
For example :  ربنا هب لنا , ربنا اتنا في الدنيا حسنه


The divine attribute of “Ar-Rabb” (الربّ) literally means to gradually nurture something or someone towards their perfection. Thus, parental responsibility is التربیۀ -to nurture their children. و قل رب ارحمهما کما ربیانی صغیرا.

Therefore, Ar-Rabb means the cherisher and the nurturer, and ‘lord’ is not an accurate translation. This attribute of nurturing and cherishing, when used alone, it should be used only for Allah (SWT). Some scholars believe that Ar-Rabb is the Great Name (الاسم الاعظم) of God, because any blessing for our perfection will be given to us by pleading to Ar-Rabb. i.e. the blessing of knowledge: ربّ زدنی علما, or any other blessing رب انی لما انزلت الیّ من خیر فقیر. It is for this reason that most supplications begin with ‘Ya Rabb’

The Almighty Allah (SWT) has promised to grant a supplication when the supplicant beseeches to Ar-Rabb: ادعوا ربکم فاستجاب لهم ربهم.

Considering the nurturing nature of Ar-Rabb, it is narrated that “whoever mentions Ya Rabb much, Allah (SWT) will protect him with regards to his  children.” (al-Kaf’ami)

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

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Why is ‘Ibrahim’ spelt differently in the Holy Qur’an?


Why is the word ‘Ibrahim‘ in chapter 2 of the Holy Qur’an (Surat Al-Baqarah) spelt differently than it is in every other chapter?


There is an expression in the science of calligraphy of the Qur’an (علم رسم الخط) called ‘فرش الحروف’ which means that there are certain words (الحروف here means الکلمات) which have no set rules for writing them; the scribes had instead relied fully on the way the Prophet (P) had pronounced those words. For example, the word ایِها is usually with الف at the end of it, but in three different parts of the Holy Qur’an it is written without it, like in Surat al-Rahman (Chapter 55) سنفرغ لکم ایهّ الثقلان. This is because the Holy Prophet (P) had recited it like that. The word ‘Ibrahim’ is also another such example.

In fact, this is another miracle and proof that the present Qur’an is exactly as it was revealed to the Holy Prophet (P) and the scribes of the revelation did not make any changes in it, rather they wrote it down exactly as they had heard from the holy lips of the Prophet (P).

For further infromation about the science of فرش الحروف, you may refer to the detailed books on علم التجوید and in particular ‘the Sciences of Quran’ by al-Zarqani vol.2 pp.362-366.

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

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How important is knowledge in the Holy Quran?


Can you please list the references to Ayat in the Holy Quran which highlight the status and importance of gaining knowledge in Islam?


The Holy Quran & Knowledge (40 Points):


1. Necessity of learning. (“E’lamoo” 27 times)
2. Repeated blame on forsakers of knowledge. (e.g.6:50, 2:219, 7:176)
3. Emphasis on education. (e.g. 9:122 )
4. Knowledge, the goal of creation. (65:12)
5. Education, the goal of all the prophets’ missions. (2:151)
6. Reflection, the goal of the descending of the Quran. (e.g.38:29)
7. Insight, the goal of the Prophet’s ascension. (e.g.17:1)
8. ‘Read’, the first word of Allah in Islam. (96:1-5)
9. Knowledge is light & brightness. (13:16)
10. ‘The Learned’ only know the secret of the universe. (e.g. 30:22)
11. ‘Allah’, the first teacher. (2:31)
12. Knowledge, human’s privilege. (2:33)
13. The more you know the closer to God. (58:11)
14. ‘Prophets’ were seeking more knowledge. (e.g.20:114)
15. ‘Knowledge’ is man’s salvation key. (e.g.34:46)
16. Knowledge is a pride. (27:15-16)
17. Knowledge, the main condition of leadership. (eg.12:55)
18. Knowledge, the spring of faith. (e.g.34:6)
19. Knowledge, the spring of piety. (e.g.35:28)
20. Knowledge, the spring of Zohd (type of self-control). (28:80)
21. Knowledge, the spring of technological achievement. (28:78)
22. Knowledge is might. (27:40)
23. Knowledge is the spring of purification. (e.g.2:129)
24. Knowledge is the spring of patience. (e.g.18:68)
25. Knowledge, an abundant benefit. (2:269)

26. The hellish are the ignorant. (7:179)
27. Ignorance is the source of declination. (8:22)
28. Ignorance is blindness. (13:19)
29. Living with ignorance is the lowest level of life. (22:5)
30. Ignorance is the source of blasphemy (Kofr). (e.g.7:138)
31. Ignorance is the main reason of failure. (8:65)
32. Ignorance is the source of publicizing corruption. (e.g.27:55)
33. Ignorance is the source of prejudice & stubbornness. (48:26)
34. Ignorance is the source of seeking excuses. (e.g.2:118)
35. Ignorance is the main reason of blindly mimicking.(21:52-54)
36. Ignorance is the main reason for disunity and conflicts. (59:14)
37. Ignorance is the main reason for pessimism. (3:154)
38. Ignorance is the source of rudeness. (49:4)
39. Ignorance is the main reason for social disasters & regret. (49:6)
40. Ignorance changes true evaluation. (2:216)

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

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What are some of the proofs for the truth and authenticity of the Holy Quran?


What are some of the proofs for the truth and authenticity of the Holy Quran?


Proofs for the Truth and Authenticity of the Holy Quran:

1) The Quran was already introduced and its appearance was predicted by the previous scriptures. (26:192-197). Despite the disastrous human interference in the holy writings of the Torah and the Gospel, the scriptures still contain a goodly portion which can lead those who truly believe in the Bible to Islam, as the two Christian tribes of Ous and Khazrage converted to Islam during the appearance of Islam, due to signs they found in their scriptures for Mohammed (s). As an example, just compare Deuteronomy 18:15, 17-19; John 12:49; 16:12-14; with the Holy Quran 73:15.

2) Lack of Contradiction:

Do they not consider the Quran (with care)? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much discrepancy. ” (4:82).

Lack of contradiction or discrepancy as Quran states from a Book, which is compiled throughout 23 years, by an illiterate man, is a living sign of being the true word of God. Whereas, the present copies of the previous Scriptures contradict themselves in many instances.

3) Confirming the previous Scriptures in general:

This is a Book which we have sent down, bringing blessings, and confirming (the revelations) which came before it .” (6:92)

Of the proofs for the truth of the Quran as the word of God is that it stands alongside the previous Scriptures acknowledging them in general, and correcting their altered stories which distinguish it from man made books such as Veda and Tripitaka.

4) Such abundant knowledge from an illiterate man?!

“And you were not able to recite a book before this, nor are you able to transcribe it with your right hand. In that case, indeed, would the talkers of vanities have doubted.” (29:48)

Historically, there is no dispute that Prophet Mohammad (saww) never had a teacher and hence he was not able to read or write. In fact, the number of literate people in the Arabian Peninsula at that time was so few that they were well known to everybody and Mohammad was not among them. Therefore, one should ask himself, how can an illiterate person utter such a variety of abundant knowledge?

5: Thinkers acknowledge the truth of the Quran:

Nay, here are Signs self-evident in the hearts of those who are endowed with knowledge, and none but the unjust rejects our Signs.” (29:49)

As the study of cosmos, being a natural sign, leads man to acknowledge the reality of the world and that there is a creator behind this astonishing system. The study of the Divine Signs of the Quran is the best proof for those who carefully and with no pre-assumption study it.

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

What is the meaning of the word ‘Quran’?


Can you explain why the holy book of Islam is called ‘Quran’? What does it actually mean?


Among all the different names given to this Holy Scripture, `the Quran` (al-Quran) is the most common and famous of them all. This is a name that the Almighty Allah has given to the Book. From the first years of the revelation to Prophet Muhammad (s), it was called `the Quran` by the revelation itself. The term is repeated 68 times in the Quran, and except on two occasions (17:78), it means the Holy Quran or part of it.

In English it is written `the Koran` or `the Quran`.

About the meaning of the term `Quran`, there are two famous opinions:

1) it is driven from al-Qar` meaning `to collect`.
2) It is driven from `Qara` (to recite).

Thus, it is called `the Quran` for it is a Book to be recited (73:4), or because the revelation began by `Read` (96:1). The second opinion (driven from the root ‘to recite’) seems more accurate.

Note: For further information on the Holy Quran please see here.

Answered by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

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Doesn’t Ayah 9 of Surah 62 make Friday prayers obligatory to offer?


When one looks at Ayat no.9 in Surat Jum’a (Friday), it seems that it was revealed particularly to inform the believers of their obligation towards Salaatul jum’ah (Friday prayers). I have heard that that contrary to the above, this Ayah was revealed to order the cease of transactions at the time of Salaatul Jum’a.

How does the Ayat prove the later and NOT the more obvious previous explanation?


Becasue the Ayah doesn’t say ‘perform the Friday prayer’ (اقيموا صلاة الجمعه), to say its imperative and hence we must offer it.

What it says is: اذا نودي للصلاه

That means that when and only when, and if it was called for Friday prayer, then cease your transaction. Thus, calling for Friday prayer (based on the Ayah itself) is not Wajib (obligatory), what is Wajib according to the Ayah is ceasing the transaction at the time of Friday. prayer.

It is like I say: “if (or when) you go to the mosque, you should take off your shoes”. This doens’t mean its Wajib to go to the mosque, what is Wajib is taking off shoes when at the mosque.

Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

Various questions on what the Holy Quran says about the Bible.


Peace be upon you! I was wondering whether you would be so kind to answer the following question:

‘Say: O People of the Book! Ye have no ground to stand upon unless ye stand fast by the Law, the Gospel and all the revelation that has come to you from your Lord….’ (Surah 5, Al Ma’idah, verse 68)  

Based on the above verse and numerous other ones, why do Muslims say the Bible has been corrupted? A comparison between these books as they were available in the sixth century with the ones from today clearly show that there are no changes in the main Christian doctrines.

As a practicing follower of Jesus I do not believe that the Quran is revealed by God. I do not mean to offend you by saying that but if I would believe the Quran to be divine revelation I would cease to be a Christian. However, I do believe that the Quran contains truth like many other books do too. All truth, of course, is God’s truth. Hence I am not unreasonable if I quote what is true from the Quran. I noticed that most Muslims deal with the Bible in the same way.

The following evidence proves that the terms ‘law’ and ‘Gospel’ have been used to refer to the whole Old and New Testament as well, as to the specific books of the ‘law’ and the ‘Gospel’ mentioned therein: 

Zabur revealed to Jewish prophet Hazrat Dawud (Al Nisa, 4 verse 163) not mentioned in Ali’Imran, verses 3 and 65; indicates inclusion in Tawrat.

Conclusion supported by hadith, Mishkat Al-Masabih, vol. 2, p. 1237: Ka’b is reported as quoting Tawrat with sayings that find parallels in book of Isaiah. Jesus and his followers used the words, “law” and “prophets” interchangeably to refer to the whole Old Testament.

Compare John 10:34 with Psalm 82:6, 1 Corinthians 14:21 with Isaiah 28:11-12, etc. Various historical documents clearly show that the early church used “Gospel” as title for all or part of New Testament before Islam arrived: Harrison, Introduction to the New Testament, pg. 99,  Schaff, A Select Library of Nicene and Post- Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church: First Series. vol. 8, pg. 7;  Ignatius (A.D. 115) in  “ad Philad.” 5; “ad Smyrn.” 7. B.B. Warfield , The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible, p. 413.


Dear friend,

Many thanks for your question which includes inquiries about what the Holy Quran says about the Bible.

Allow me to begin with the same verse you had opened your email, though I’d rather quote the whole verse for a better understanding:

“Say (O Muhammad): O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! You have nothing till you act according to the Torah and the Gospel, and what has (now) been sent down to you from your Lord (i.e. the Quran). Verily, that which has been sent down to you ( Muhammad) from your Lord increases in most of them (their) obstinate rebellion and mischief. So be not sorrowful over the people who disbelieve.” (5:68)

The above verse has the following messages:

It is a response to those Jews and Christians (or even Muslims) who assume that just by merely having a Scripture they can embrace salvation.  In reality what matters is practicing our Scripture. Now, there are numbers of issues here:

a.  Where is the Gospel of Jesus? The Quran clearly confirms that:

“We sent Jesus son of Mary afterwards, and We gave him the Gospel (Injeel) (57:27). 

The term ‘Gospel’ is used in the words quoted from Jesus in the Bible a couple of times.  Luke clearly narrates that Jesus used to preach the Gospel, but Christian theologians interpret it in a literal sense (good news). According to the Quran, Gospel was the name of the Scripture revealed to Jesus, similar to Torah, Psalms, Quran etc. It seems the Gospel according to Jesus which is a Godly revelation was destroyed in early years after the ascension of Jesus to heaven. Thus, many authors (according to Luke) put their hands in writing what they could remember from Jesus, and hence many gospels were written. I’m sure you are aware that the present four gospels are not the only written gospels. So for today’s Christians there is no Gospel (of Jesus) to practice it.

b. Do Christians today practice the Torah? The term Torah refers (by the Rabbis and majority of Christian theologians) to the first Five Books of the Old Testament, although there are other scholarly discussions about it. We all know that Christians believe that all the Law is abolished by Jesus, hence there is no Law or Torah for them in a practicing sense. Thus, they consume the flesh of swine freely to mention an example.

It also invites the Jews and Christians to believe and practice the Quran as another revelation sent down to another Messenger of God.

The end of the verse shows that unfortunately many of the people of the Scripture at the time of the revelation of the Quran not only did not believe in the Quran, but they also increased their animosity against it.
– Can a practicing Christian who is following Jesus believe that the Quran is the Word of God?

Why not? Where and when did Jesus Christ say that you should not believe in any more coming Prophet or Messenger of God? Would it be possible that a Messenger of God denies other Messengers of God? According to your logic then the Jews also have a sound argument to deny Jesus as they do. Historically, there has been an ongoing debate between Jews and Christians as each claim that they are the only ones who receive the Grace and will be in Paradise. Let me quote to you what the Quran says on this issue.

“Verily, those who believe, and those are Jews and Christians, and Sabians; whoever believes in God (the Unique God) and the Last Day and does righteous good deeds shall have their reward with their Lord, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.” You can find this verse in at least two places in the Quran, one is just in the next verse you quoted and another in (Chapter 2, Verse 62).

My friend, don’t you see the mercy of God in the above verse? If it were the words of Muhammad as an ordinary human, he too would call but to himself.

I assume you sort of accept the Quran otherwise you wouldn’t bother to quote from it. Then, this is the Quran quoting from Jesus that he was foretelling about the coming of Ahmad (the second famous name for Prophet Muhammad). Please see Chapter 61, Verse 6.

The Quran while confirming the previous Scriptures (in their original form) contains all their Laws besides extra messages that don’t exist in them.

“And We have sent down to you (O Muhammad) the Book (this Quran) in truth, confirming the Scripture that came before it and encompassing over it (the Scripture). So judge among them by what God has revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging away from the truth that has come to you…” (5:48).

Thus, believing in the Quran in comparison to the previous Scriptures is like having number 100 that contains all the previous numbers in it.
– You mentioned that the Quran like other books contains some truth!

My simple question is if the whole truth stays only with God and we have no access to it, then who and how are we going to decide which part of the Quran, the Bible or any other book is true or false?! Your assumption seems nothing less than the fallacy of ‘religious pluralism’. The mercy of God necessitates that there must be a ‘scale’ left for mankind by which they can distinguish the truth from falsehood, or else, the followers of any ‘ism’ can claim (as they do) that they are the only one who tells the truth. Then any quotation that suits their doctrine will also be accepted as part of (their) truth, for it is confirming their so-called truth. This dogma is very misleading for a researcher of truth and if God confirms it, it means He is misleading us. Glory to Him.

– Was Gospel a term for part or all of the New Testament?

Obviously this contradicts what Luke quotes, that Jesus was preaching the Gospel, simply because in his time the New Testament was not compiled. Authors of present Gospels, letters of Paul, etc. were written after Jesus. Besides, as mentioned earlier the Quran explicitly mentions that ‘Gospel’ was the name of the Scripture that God had revealed to Jesus. Obviously, no one claims that the present New Testament  is God’s revelation to Jesus.

That’s all I could share with you in this short time and if you are interested to know the Quran’s point of view about Holy Jesus and his virgin Mary, please see my article ‘The True Story of Jesus’ on our website: http://www.ihic.org.au/book.php?id=6&idt=2

May God bless you,

Sheikh Mansour Leghaei

Can you please suggest good Tafseer (interpretation) books for beginners?


Can you please suggest good Tafseer books for beginners?


– Tafseer Nemoneh or its concise version. Written by Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi

– Tafseer Noor written by Sh. Qarati

– Tafseer al-Mizan by Allama Tabatabaei is of course very good but quite difficult for a beginner.

Sheikh Mansour Leghaei