New Koranic Taqiyya From Imam Feisal Rauf

Imam Feisal Rauf  makes the following comment that includes a quote from the Koran near the conclusion of his treacly 9/7/10 New York Times, Op-Ed :

The Koran declares in its 36th chapter, regarded by the Prophet Muhammad as the heart of the Koran, in a verse deemed the heart of this chapter, “Peace is a word spoken from a merciful Lord.”

Rauf is quoting, selectively sura 36, verse 58 (36:58; Arberry translation): “‘Peace!’ – such is the greeting, from a Lord All-compassionate.”

But the next verse, 36:59 states, “Now keep yourselves apart, you sinners, upon this day!”

The noble sounding verse 36:58 refers to the Muslims who are to be kept apart from the disbelievers, i.e., the non-Muslims, at Resurrection.

For example, the classical commentary of Ibn Kathir (d. 1373) calls v. 36:59, “The Isolation of the Disbelievers and Their Rebuke on the Day of Resurrection.” Suyuti (d. 1505), another seminal Koranic commentator, referring to v. 36:59 says simply, “Separate yourselves from the believers!” While the modern al-Hilali and Khan Koranic translation and  commentary states, “And O you the Mujrimun—criminals, polytheists, sinners, disbelievers in Islamic Monotheism, wicked evil ones—[Note: All lumped together!] Get you apart this Day (from the believers)”

Al-Tabari (d. 923), author of perhaps the earliest and most important authoritative Koranic commentary, explains Koranic verse 3:28, which sanctions “taqiyya,” Islamic religious dissimulation, as follows (translation by Raymond Ibrahim):

If you [Muslims] are under their [non-Muslims’] authority, fearing for yourselves, behave loyally to them with your tongue while harboring inner animosity for them … [know that] God has forbidden believers from being friendly or on intimate terms with the infidels rather than other believers—except when infidels are above them [in authority]. Should that be the case, let them act friendly towards them while preserving their religion.

One can only conclude that Imam Rauf’s selective citation of Koran 36: 58, without the requisite context of the accompanying verse 36:59, is a deliberate act of “taqiyya.”

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