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Ezekiel Phillips
Ezekiel Phillips


O disbeliever, we debate with you in the words addressed by Allaah (the Arabic name of the One True God) to the People of the Book (Jews and Christians) and the disbelievers. He says (interpretation of the meaning):


The real father of Ebrahim was a believer as we read in Quran that Ebrahim prayed for his parents ( O My Lord, Forgive me and my parents on the Day of Judgement) (Sura Ebrahim, Verse 41). It is not allowed to pray for forgiveness of polytheist. (Sura Al-Tawbah, verse 114) which is clear that Ebrahim did not pray for his disbeliever uncle but did pray for his believer real father.

Some scholars said: This is a mere example that has not necessarily taken place in real life. But, the majority of scholars hold that it really took place and happened in this present life of ours. His Statement, And put forward to them the example, i.e. for the polytheists of Quraish as they wear pride and show arrogance to the weak and poor. This is like Allah's Statement that reads, And put forward to them a similitude: the (story of the) dwellers of the town, [it is said that the town was Antioch (Antakiya)], when there came Messengers to them. (Ya-Sin, 13) It is well-known that one of these two men was a believer, while the other was a disbeliever. It is also said that each one of them was very rich. The believer spent all his riches and wealth in the Cause of Allah. Conversely, the disbeliever, though granted gardens and orchards (of which are the two gardens mentioned in the Glorious Qur'an in full details), He diverted from Allah's Path. His two gardens contained grapes and date-palms surrounding his plants and grapes, along with overflowing rivers and water streams running everywhere along with his property. The fruits of his trees and plants were numerous and countless (only by Allah's Grace), and the sight of his gardens was very pleasant. However, the owner of the two gardens became proud and dealt arrogantly with the believing man saying: I am more than you in wealth and stronger in respect of men, i.e. I am better than you as you spent all your wealth in vain and you did not do as I did: buying gardens and orchards and investing the money therein to gain the profits later. You should have followed my very steps! And, {he went into his garden while in a state (of pride and disbelief), unjust to himself), i.e. in a state that is not pleasing to Allah the Almighty (with pride and arrogance). And he said: I think not that this will ever perish, that is because there is plenty of its plants and trees and if any of these were to perish, he would certainly (as he thought) get it replaced with a better and more fine one. For he thought he has everything: plentiful water, countless fruits, and varieties of plants.

Then, the disbeliever said: And I think not the Hour will ever come, as he put his perfect trust in the vain pleasures of this life of ours and belied the existence of the everlasting Hereafter. Then, he said: and if indeed I am brought back to my Lord, (on the Day of Resurrection), I surely shall find better than this when I return to Him, i.e. if there is indeed a Hereafter and a Last Day, he will find there better than what he has been given in the present life. As he was deceived by what he was given and thought that Allah the Almighty granted him all these blessings because He loves him and favors him to other people. The same was said by Al-'As Ibn Wa'il in His Saying: Have you seen him who disbelieved in Our Ayat (this Qur'an and Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and said: "I shall certainly be given wealth and children [if I will be alive (again)]." Has he known the Unseen or has he taken a covenant from the Most Gracious (Allah)? (Maryam, 77, 78).

And, Almighty Allah says pertaining to the one He granted with blessings, And truly, if We give him a taste of mercy from Us, after some adversity (severe poverty or disease, etc.) has touched him, he is sure to say: "This is due to my (merit); I think not that the Hour will be established. But if I am brought back to my Lord, surely, here will be for me the best (wealth) with Him " (Fussilat, 50) and, Then, We verily, will show to the disbelievers what they have done, and We shall make them taste a severe torment (Fussilate, 50), and Qarun (Korah) said, This has been given to me only because of the knowledge I possess. (Al-Qasas, 78) i.e. for Allah knows that I deserve it. But, Allah the Almighty says: Did he not know that Allah had destroyed before him generations, men who were stronger than him in might and greater in the amount (of riches) they had collected? But the Mujrimun (criminals, disbelievers, polytheists, sinners) will not be questioned of their sins (because Allah knows them well, so they will be punished without being called to account). (Al-Qasas, 78)

Then, the believer said to the disbeliever: If you see me less than you in wealth, and children. It may be that my Lord will give me something better than your garden, i.e. in the Hereafter. And will send on it Husban (torment, bolt) from the sky, i.e. torment or heavy rain that uproots its trees and plants, then it will be a slippery earth, i.e. soft dust that does not grow plants or anything. Or the water thereof (of the gardens) becomes deep-sunken (underground) that is opposite to the overflowing water, so that you will never be able to seek it, i.e. you will never be able to restore or regain it. Then, Allah the Almighty says: So his fruits were encircled (with ruin), i.e. all his fruits and plants were ruined and totally destroyed. And he remained clapping his hands (with sorrow) over what he had spent upon it, while it was all destroyed on its trellises, i.e. totally destroyed and perfectly ruined. That was really against his hopes and wishes as he previously said: I think not that this will ever perish. So, he regretted his previous acts and sayings that declared him as a disbeliever in Allah the Almighty and he could only say: Would that I had ascribed no partners to my Lord!. Then, Allah the Almighty says: And he had no group of men to help him against Allah, nor could he defend (or save) himself, i.e. he could neither be helped by others, or even help himself. This is as the Statement of Allah that reads: Then he will have no power, nor any helper, (At- Tariq, 10) and His Saying, There (on the Day of Resurrection), Al- Walayah (protection, power, authority and kingdom) will be for Allah (Alone), the True God, i.e. the irrefutable judgment and irresistible ruling on this and on all conditions will be for Allah the Almighty Alone. He (Allah) is the Best for reward and the Best for the final end, i.e. trading with Allah is better than anything else as He gives the best of all rewards and with Him rests the best of all ends and goals. Finally, this story denotes three things:

It seems that "unbeliever" can be used for a person "who does not believe" whereas "disbeliever" can be used for a person "who is presented and rejected". The prefix "dis" can be used for rejection (compared to the prefix "un" which can be used for "not" without rejection). So "disbelieve" seems to imply "making a conscious decision" to reject/dismiss something.

Kafir (Arabic: كافر kāfir; plural كَافِرُونَ kāfirūna, كفّار kuffār or كَفَرَة kafarah; feminine كافرة kāfirah; feminine plural كافرات kāfirāt or كوافر kawāfir) is an Arabic and Islamic term which, in the Islamic tradition, refers to a person who disbelieves in God as per Islam, or denies his authority, or rejects the tenets of Islam.[1][2][3][4] The term is often translated as "infidel",[5][6] "pagan", "rejector",[7] "denier", "disbeliever",[2] "unbeliever",[1][2] "nonbeliever",[1][2] and "non-Muslim".[8] The term is used in different ways in the Quran, with the most fundamental sense being "ungrateful" (toward God).[9][10] Kufr means "unbelief" or "non-belief",[1] "to be thankless", "to be faithless", or "ingratitude".[10] The opposite term of kufr is īmān (faith),[11] and the opposite of kāfir is muʾmin (believer).[12] A person who denies the existence of a creator might be called a dahri.[13][14]

Relations between Jews and Muslims in the Arab world and use of the word "kafir" were equally as complex, and over the last century, issues regarding "kafir" have arisen over the conflict in Israel and Palestine.[78] Calling the Jews of Israel, "the usurping kafir", Yasser Arafat turned on the Muslim resistance and "allegedly set a precedent for preventing Muslims from mobilizing against 'aggressor disbelievers' in other Muslim lands, and enabled 'the cowardly, alien kafir' to achieve new levels of intervention in Muslim affairs."[78]

Some of the earliest records of European usage of the word can be found in The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation (1589) by Richard Hakluyt.[86] In volume 4, Hakluyt writes: "calling them Cafars and Gawars, which is, infidels or disbelievers".[87] Volume 9 refers to the slaves (slaves called Cafari) and inhabitants of Ethiopia (and they use to go in small shippes, and trade with the Cafars) by two different but similar names. The word is also used in reference to the coast of Africa as land of Cafraria.[88] The 16th century explorer Leo Africanus described the Cafri as "negroes", and he also stated that they constituted one of five principal population groups in Africa. He identified their geographical heartland as being located in a remote region of southern Africa, an area which he designated as Cafraria.[89] 041b061a72


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