Thank Allah It’s “Jum’ah Friday” (TAIJF) at The National Cathedral—A Guide For Perplexed Non-Muslims

November 11, 1914, the Ottoman Sheikh ul-Islam (supreme Muslim religious authority) issued fatwas (religious edicts) declaring a jihad against non-Muslim state enemies of the last Muslim “Caliphate.” Subsequent fatwas (see here; here) disseminated during the World War I era would target Christian minorities, under Sharia-based Ottoman Muslim rule, for genocidal jihadism against these hapless non-Muslim victims.

Notwithstanding the recent horrific spate of atrocities committed against the Christian communities of northern Iraq by the Islamic State (IS/IL) jihadists, the Ottoman jihad ravages were equally barbaric, depraved, and far more extensive. Occurring, primarily between 1915-16 (although continuing through at least 1918), some one million Armenian, and 250,000 Assyro-Chaldean and Syrian Orthodox Christians were brutally slaughtered, or starved to death during forced deportations through desert wastelands. The identical gruesome means used by IS/IL to humiliate and massacre its hapless Christian victims, were employed on a scale that was an order of magnitude greater by the Ottoman Muslim Turks, often abetted by local Muslim collaborators (the latter being another phenomenon which also happened during the IS/IL jihad campaign against Iraq’s Christians).

At best, willfully oblivious to this grim centennial remembrance—worse still, perhaps even callously disregarding it—Muslim spokespersons are trumpeting their forthcoming midday Islamic service, to be held Friday, November 14, 2014, in the National Cathedral, one of the most iconic Christian houses of worship in the U.S.

Rizwan Jaka, speaking on behalf of the ADAMS mosque in Sterling, Va., a co-sponsor of Friday’s service, crowed:

We want the world to see the Christian community is partnering with us and is supporting our religious freedom in the same way we are calling for religious freedom for all minorities in Muslim countries. Let this be a lesson to the world.

Another event sponsor, Ebrahim Rasool, the Muslim South African ambassador to the U.S., proclaimed:

This is a dramatic moment in the world and in Muslim-Christian relations. This needs to be a world in which all are free to believe and practice and in which we avoid bigotry, Islamaphobia, racism, anti-Semitism, and anti-Christianity and to embrace our humanity and to embrace faith.

But Christians, overwhelmingly, and indeed all non-Muslims (here; here) in religiously bigoted, Sharia-supremacist Islamic societies across the globe, are being murdered and maimed by Muslims, not vice-versa. Moreover, “Islamophobia” is an utterly manufactured insignificance, while “sacralized” Islamic Jew-hatred is of epidemic proportions in Muslim societies, and within virtually all Muslim immigrant communities outside Islamdom.

In light of the impending National Cathedral Islamic service this Friday (11/14/14) it is also of critical importance for non-Muslims to understand what Koranic prayers Muslims recite during daily, and/or Friday “Jum’ah” prayer sessions, and how these specific verses from the Koran are to be interpreted. Prayers routinely uttered at daily, or specifically Friday/Jum’ah services, include, prominently, Koran suras 1, 87, and 88.

Sura 1, verse 7, is repeated up to 17-times per day by pious Muslims during the 5 prayer sessions, and subunits of prayer. “The Qur’an: An Encyclopedia” is a modern authoritative compendium of analyses written by 43 Muslim and non-Muslim mainstream academic experts, edited by Oliver Leaman, and published by Routledge, New York, 2006. These extracts from p. 614 serve as an irrefragable “final summary verdict”—consistent with over a millennium of authoritative Muslim exegeses on this verse—about how Muslims and non-Muslims alike are to understand Koran 1:7, the Fatiha’s (sura 1’s) last verse:

…[T]he phrase in the daily prescribed prayers” Guide us to the straight path, to the path of those you have blessed, not of those who incurred [Your] wrath, nor of the misguided (al-Fatiha, 1:5-7.)…mention two groups of people but do not say who they are. The Prophet [Muhammad] interpreted those who incurred God’s wrath as the Jews and the misguided as the Christians.

The Jews, we are told [i.e., in both the Koran, and hadith] killed many of their prophets, and through their character and materialistic tendencies have contributed much to moral corruption, social upheaval and sedition in the world…[T]hey were readily misled and incurred both God’s wrath and ignominy. As for the Christians…over time they succumbed to the influence of those who had already deviated from the chosen path. By the time Christianity came to be accepted as the official religion of the Roman Empire, many Christians had long gone astray and had been deprived of their original scripture…By interpreting the phrase “not of those who incurred [Your] wrath, nor of the misguided” the Prophet identified them and clarified in what way and by what beliefs and deeds a man incurs God’s wrath. This is a warning for the Muslims not to follow in the footsteps of the Jews and Christians.

According to a canonical tradition, Islam’s prophet Muhammad was inclined to recite Koranic chapters 87 and 88 during Friday Jum’ah prayers:

(Sahih Muslim Book 004, Number 1907): Nu’man b. Bashir reported that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) used to recite on two Eids and in Friday prayer: “Glorify The name of Thy Lord, the Most High” (Sura 87), and: “Has there come to thee the news of the overwhelming event” (Sura 88). And when the Eid and Jumu’a [Jum’ah] combined on a day he recited these two (surah) in both the prayers.

The authoritative glosses on Sura 88 (esp. Verses 2 and 3: Some faces, that Day, will be humiliated (in the Hell-fire, i.e. the faces of all disbelievers, Jews and Christians, etc.).; Labouring (hard in the worldly life by worshipping others besides Allah), weary (in the Hereafter with humility and disgrace), per the canonical hadith, and Ibn Kathir’s classical Koranic commentary (v.10, p. 456), are presented, below:

[386] 240 – (153) It was narrated from Abü Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah said:

“By the One in Whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad, no one among this nation, Jew or Christian, hears of me then dies, not believing in that with which I was sent, but he will be one of the people of the Fire.”[ Sahih Muslim, The Book Of Faith (p. 243; with reference to Koran 88:2)]

 Narrated ‘Abdullah: The Prophet said one statement and I said another. The Prophet said “Whoever dies while still invoking anything other than Allah as a rival to Allah, will enter Hell (Fire).” And I said, “Whoever dies without invoking anything as a rival to Allah, will enter Paradise.” [Sahih Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 24 (with reference to Koran 88:3)]

[From Ibn Kathir’s tafsir (V. 10, p. 456), on “Laboring weary” (verse 88:3)]…meaning, they, “The Christians” did many deeds and became weary in their performance, yet they will be cast into a blazing Fire on the Day of Judgment

Finally, Maulana Muhammad Shafi (1898-1976), a former grand mufti of India (prior to the August, 1947 partition), was the author of Maariful Qur’an, which remains the best-known Koranic commentary in Urdu. He also wrote more than three hundred books, and in addition to these literary works, broadcasted his Koranic commentary on Radio Pakistan for a number of years. Mufti Shafi’s modern gloss on Koran 88, specifically verse 2, notes (vol. 8, pp. 773-74),

…many unbelievers exert themselves in their false rituals and work hard in their presumed acts of worship in the world, as for instance the Hindu Yogis and many Christian monks do. They endure many difficulties in the devotional acts of worship sincerely in order to seek the good pleasure of Allah, but being on wrong and idolatrous ways, they are not acceptable to, or rewarded by Allah. Their faces show signs of exhaustion in this world; and in the Hereafter they will show signs of disgrace and humiliation.

Non-Muslims must understand the traditionalist, mainstream Islamic understandings of these routine “sacralized” utterances just as Muslims are taught to interpret them, shorn of apologetics, or aggressive Islamic dissimulation.   Genocidal jihadism is the ugly living legacy of this bigoted Islamic doctrine, not “ecumenism.”

Andrew G. Bostom is the author of The Legacy of Jihad (Prometheus, 2005) and The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism " (Prometheus, November, 2008) You can contact Dr. Bostom at

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