The expression that Rashad Khalifa translated as “OUR MINDS ARE MADE UP” occurs only twice in the Quran in 2:88 and 4:155 and both times in the context of the covenant God made with the Children of Israel.
The Arabic for the expression “Our minds are made up” is:
The word غُلفٌ has the trilateral root غ ل ف and its only occurrence in the Quran is in these two verses (2:88 and 4:155). The meaning of this word/root is: “to furnish with a covering; covered, wrapped, and UNCIRCUMCISED” It is interesting that this word that also means uncircumcised is used in both occurrences in context to the people who broke their covenant with God.
[2:83] WE MADE A COVENANT WITH THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL: “You shall not worship except GOD. You shall honor your parents and regard the relatives, the orphans, and the poor. You shall treat the people amicably. You shall observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and give the obligatory charity (Zakat).” But you turned away, except a few of you, and you became averse. [2:84] WE MADE A COVENANT WITH YOU, that you shall not shed your blood, nor shall you evict each other from your homes. You agreed and bore witness. [2:85] Yet, here you are killing each other, and evicting some of you from their homes, banding against them sinfully and maliciously. Even when they surrendered, you demanded ransom from them. Evicting them was prohibited for you in the first place. DO YOU BELIEVE IN PART OF THE SCRIPTURE AND DISBELIEVE IN PART? What should be the retribution for those among you who do this, except humiliation in this life, and a far worse retribution on the Day of Resurrection? GOD is never unaware of anything you do. [2:86] It is they who bought this lowly life at the expense of the Hereafter. Consequently, the retribution is never commuted for them, nor can they be helped.
[2:87] We gave Moses the scripture, and subsequent to him we sent other messengers, and we gave Jesus, son of Mary, profound miracles and supported him with the Holy Spirit. Is it not a fact that every time a messenger went to you with anything you disliked, your ego caused you to be arrogant? Some of them you rejected, and some of them you killed.
[2:88] Some would say, “OUR MINDS ARE MADE UP!” Instead, it is a curse from GOD, as a consequence of their disbelief, that keeps them from believing, except for a few of them.
[4:155] (They incurred condemnation) FOR VIOLATING THEIR COVENANT, REJECTING GOD’S REVELATIONS, killing the prophets unjustly, and for saying, “OUR MINDS ARE MADE UP!” In fact, GOD is the One who sealed their minds, due to their disbelief, and this is why they fail to believe, except rarely.
The literal translation of these two words from 4:155 and 2:88 would be the following:
It is worth noting that the Arabic word قُلوبُنا can be translated as both “our hearts” or “our minds” (e.g. 2:74 & 3:8)
[2:74] Despite this, your HEARTS hardened like rocks, or even harder…
[3:8] “Our Lord, let not our HEARTS waver, now that You have guided us. Shower us with Your mercy; You are the Grantor.
This expression of an “uncircumcised heart” is also a common expression in the Bible to people who are not upholding God’s covenant despite bearing the physical mark of the covenant of circumcision.
[Jeremiah 9:25 – 26] “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will punish all who are CIRCUMCISED ONLY IN THE FLESH—Egypt, Judah, Edom, the sons of Ammon, Moab, and all who dwell in the desert who cut the corners of their hair, for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel ARE UNCIRCUMCISED IN HEART.”
[Deuteronomy 10:16] CIRCUMCISE YOUR HEARTS, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer.
[Deuteronomy 30:6] The Lord your God will CIRCUMCISE YOUR HEARTS AND THE HEARTS OF YOUR DESCENDANTS, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live.
[Leviticus 26:41] which made me hostile toward them so that I sent them into the land of their enemies—then when THEIR UNCIRCUMCISED HEARTS are humbled and they pay for their sin,
[Jeremiah 4:4] Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, CIRCUMCISE YOUR HEARTS, you people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, or my wrath will flare up and burn like fire because of the evil you have done— burn with no one to quench it.
God could of utilized any number of alternative words to articulate someone whose mind is made up, but in these two instances He selected this word. The significance of this to me is that this shows that the Children of Israel who are called out in these two verses, that despite them being physically circumcised as part of their covenant with God, their hearts were not fulfilling their part of the agreement and therefore it is as if they are spiritually uncircumcised when they proclaim that their minds are made up.
Additionally the covenant from Genesis 17 that God made with Abraham sounds very similar to what God discusses in 2:124 of the Quran.
[2:124] Recall that ABRAHAM WAS PUT TO THE TEST BY HIS LORD, AND HE FULFILLED THEM. (God) said, “I am appointing you an imam for the people.” He said, “And also my descendants?” He said, “My covenant does not include the transgressors.” [2:125] We have rendered the shrine (the Ka’aba) a focal point for the people, and a safe sanctuary. You may use Abraham’s shrine as a prayer house. We commissioned Abraham and Ismail: “You shall purify My house for those who visit, those who live there, and those who bow and prostrate.” [2:126] Abraham prayed: “My Lord, make this a peaceful land, and provide its people with fruits. Provide for those who believe in GOD and the Last Day.” (God) said, “I will also provide for those who disbelieve. I will let them enjoy, temporarily, then commit them to the retribution of Hell, and a miserable destiny.”
We can deduce that this “test” was not the dream as that was not instituted by God. The only time that God tests us directly is with His commandments. When God gives us an order it is a test to see if we fulfill it or not. For instance, God commanded Muhammad to marry Zeid’s divorced wife (33:36 – 39). God commanded the believers to fight (9:86 & 47:20). Therefore, it makes sense that 2:124 was in regards to a direct commandment given to Abraham by God by which Abraham fulfilled that commandment and because of that God appointed him an imam for the people. The similarities between this and Genesis 17 are very striking as the circumcision covenant was a major part of the history of Abraham in the Old Testament.
Also, in regards to Genesis 17, my understanding is that the commandment was only for the males of that generation and for any new born male baby for generations after. Therefore, I do not think it applies to future generations of adults who come to God’s religion if they were not circumcised at birth.
Genesis 17: 10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 YOU ARE TO UNDERGO CIRCUMCISION, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 FOR THE GENERATIONS TO COME every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised,
The Quran addresses the Children of Israel more than any other group. If the purpose of the Quran is to confirm and supersede what they have then it would make sense that if circumcision was a satanic practice that God would have corrected this. We are talking about a religious practice that has been around for thousands of years and universally accepted by all of the abrahamic religions. This is not some fringe practice that people are not aware of or wishy washy about – until recently.
Rashad informed us that the vast majority of the Bible is divine truth. He informed us that the contradictions and unacceptable information are easily identifiable.
As an example, in the March 1985 issue of the Muslim Perspective, Rashad proved that someone altered the name of Abraham’s son in Genesis 22:2 from Ishmael to Isaac. It is interesting that in this article Rashad cites Genesis 16, 21, and 22 and even the birth of Isaac and says nothing about Genesis 17 and the circumcision covenant with Abraham let alone any of the numerous occurrences of circumcision in these verses. Yet, Rashad calls this single name change as:
“ONE OF THE MOST FLAGRANT INTERFERENCES IN THE WORD OF GOD”
If we are to believe that circumcision is a satanic practice that was never authorized by God, then this seems like something widely more serious than a name change. If that was the case, then certainly God would have sent a messenger to correct such a supposed fabrication. Or is it more plausible that the practice did originate form God and was a commandment to Abraham as stated in the Bible?
Historically, the only people who have been calling for the abolishment of circumcision have been from the ardent atheist community, but now we have submitters joining the band wagon calling it a satanic practice. They are basing this new understanding on atheist propaganda. They fail to provide any proof from God’s scripture that this specific practice was never authorized by God.
Yet we do not have a single instance of any of God’s messengers ever correcting or altering this ritual in any sort. On the contrary, circumcision is discussed in the Old Testament in over 50 instances and in 12 separate books (Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy, Leviticus, Judges, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah; Joshua).
It is worth understanding why circumcision has culturally become a significant topic (beyond the submitter community). The recent push against circumcision originated from the atheist community. This has been part of their agenda for a number of years as their business is to oppose anything having to do with God and religion. It has been heavily propagated by the most vile and vocal atheist as part of their narrative against God and religion e.g. Hitchens, PZ Meyers, Dawkins etc. For those who are unaware of these individuals just spend two minutes to look up the title of their books as I don’t wish to repeat their blasphemies. They even attempted to pass legislation to prohibit the practice which they are still working on.
[39:18] They are the ones who examine all words, then follow the best. These are the ones whom GOD has guided; these are the ones who possess intelligence.
In the past I wondered why Rashad included the header “Follow the word of God”. Clearly God’s word is the best, but couldn’t the best be applicable to any information that is true and righteous?
Today I noticed the following verse that seems unrelated, but on further inspection found something interesting.
[92:6] And upholds the scripture. [92:7] We will direct him towards happiness. [92:8] But he who is stingy, though he is rich. [92:9] And disbelieves in the scripture.
The Arabic for this verse is the following:
Notice that the arabic indicates the word ” الْحُسْنَىٰ ” which literally translates to “the best”, yet Rashad translated this as “the scripture”. This is because God’s word is the best and the disbelievers, they reject God’s words and are therefore forbidden from seeing the truth.
The Quran Consummates All Scriptures [2:89] When this scripture came to them from GOD, and even though it agrees with, and confirms what they have, and even though they used to prophesy its advent when they talked with the disbelievers, when their own prophecy came to pass, they disbelieved therein. GOD’s condemnation thus afflicts the disbelievers. [2:90] Miserable indeed is what they sold their souls for—rejecting these revelations of GOD out of sheer resentment that GOD should bestow His grace upon whomever He chooses from among His servants. Consequently, they incurred wrath upon wrath. The disbelievers have incurred a humiliating retribution.
What is interesting is that 39:18 is mistranslated by many into the opposite of what it actually means. Below are several translations including Rashad’s.
The word ” الْقَوْلَ ” can either be translated as “The Word” as in the word of God, or as “all words”. If one was to translate this as “The Word” this it makes it appear that we should be selective which words of God we should follow. As many traditional Muslims believe that some of the verses of the Quran have been abrogated by Hadith. This style of translation suits their understanding.
[16:37] No matter how hard you try to guide them, GOD does not guide the ones He had committed to straying. Thus, no one can help them.
By God’s leave we have been blessed with a translation that is authorized, and communicates to us God’s word to guide us out of darkness into the light.
[65:11] a messenger who recites to you GOD’s revelations, clearly, to lead those who believe and work righteousness out of the darkness into the light. Anyone who believes in GOD and leads a righteous life, He will admit him into gardens with flowing streams; they abide therein forever. GOD will generously reward him.
The root for the word ” خ ن س ” means to recede, withdraw, retreat. In 81:15 the word ” بِالْخُنَّسِ ” God is specifically swearing “by the heavenly bodies that retreat.”
The significance of understanding this word is in understanding that this word can’t simply just mean the planets and heavenly bodies that one sees in the sky as the Earth spins on its axis orbiting the sun. This word has a more profound meaning. This can be understood by looking at the word retreat. The word retreat has a specific meaning that they are moving away from the observer.
We take for granted that earth is the only planet in the entire solar system that is positioned to witness a perfect solar eclipse. This can be appreciated by new footage showing a solar eclipse from the perspective of a viewer on Mars.
Additionally, it also happens that this is the only time in Earth’s history where the proportions between the sun, moon and Earth are perfectly matched to form such an ideal solar eclipse where the moon perfectly blocks out the sun leaving only its chromosphere. Millions of years ago the earth was not only closer to the moon, but the rotation of the earth was also much faster which would have destroyed the ability to witness the perfect proportions necessary to witness such an event.
This compounded with the fact that this is the only time in Earth’s 3.8 billion years that there is the intelligent life necessary to appreciate and benefit from such an event is truly a blessing from God for those who reflect.
Because of a perfect solar eclipse, we were able to confirm the composition of the sun and stars by analyzing the chromosphere of the sun through spectroscopy. We were also able determine Einstein’s theory of general relativity by measuring the position of stars behind the sun during a solar eclipse.
Using this crucial information, it allowed us to determine that galaxies are all retreating away from Earth and from one another (e.g. that the universe is expanding).
We constructed the sky with our hands, and we will continue to expand it.
This finding ultimately allowed us to conclude that the universe started from one solid mass that exploded into existence under the Big Bang.
Do the unbelievers not realize that the heaven and the earth used to be one solid mass that we exploded into existence? And from water we made all living things. Would they believe?
All this because we are living in the exact moment in the cosmic history on the perfect planet that can witness a perfect solar eclipse.
This discovery of concluding that the galaxies are all retreating from us shows that this word ” بِالْخُنَّسِ ” is best translated as galaxies and not in reference to the planets or stars that one simply sees as the Earth spins on its axis while orbiting the sun. God be glorified.
Substantial evidence has been provided that Muhammad was not only literate, but also wrote the original Quran with his own hand. A detailed argument can be found here.
It was Muhammad’s sole duty to deliver God’s final scripture to mankind. If he outsourced the critical task of physically writing the revelations he received from God during the 23 years he received Quranic revelations, then he would have been neglecting his very function as prophet.
[42:48] If they turn away, we did not send you as their guardian. Your sole mission is delivering the message.
[64:12] You shall obey GOD and you shall obey the messenger. If you turn away, then the sole mission of our messenger is to deliver the message.
An additional confirmation that Muhammad wrote the Quran with his own hand can be found in 69:45 of the Quran.
[69:44] Had he uttered any other teachings. [69:45] We would have punished him [by the right hand]. [69:46] We would have stopped the revelations to him. [69:47] None of you could have helped him.
وَلَو تَقَوَّلَ عَلَينا بَعضَ الأَقاويلِ
لَأَخَذنا مِنهُ بِاليَمينِ
ثُمَّ لَقَطَعنا مِنهُ الوَتينَ
فَما مِنكُم مِن أَحَدٍ عَنهُ حاجِزينَ
Here is a word for word breakdown of 69:45
The word ” بِالْيَمِينِ ” means: by the right hand. It comes from the root ” ي م ن “. The meaning of this root is the following:
to meet on the right side; bless; lead to the right; be a cause of blessing; right hand; oaths; blessed; peoples of the right hands that are blessed
Why would God indicate that had Muhammad taught any other teachings other than the Quran that He would have seized him, Muhammad, “by the right hand”?
The context of 64:44 – 47 are in reference to God’s revelations of the Quran, that was given to Muhammad to deliver. To provide assurances that God’s verses were not altered by the messenger, God is telling us that if Muhammad was to write any other teachings He would have seized his right hand, thus refraining him from being able to write any more of God’s revelations.
In 17:73 – 75, God gives us further assurances that the Quran, that Muhammad wrote with his own hand, was exactly as intended by God without alteration by any intermediary.
[17:73] They almost diverted you from the revelations we have given you. They wanted you to fabricate something else, in order to consider you a friend. [17:74] If it were not that we strengthened you, you almost leaned towards them just a little bit. [17:75] Had you done that, we would have doubled the retribution for you in this life, and after death, and you would have found no one to help you against us.
We learn from 3:81 that a messenger “رَسولٌ” confirms existing scripture while a prophet “نَبِيٍّ” is given a new scripture.
[3:81] GOD took a covenant from the prophets, saying, “I will give you the scripture and wisdom. Afterwards, a messenger will come to confirm all existing scriptures. You shall believe in him and support him.” He said, “Do you agree with this, and pledge to fulfill this covenant?” They said, “We agree.” He said, “You have thus borne witness, and I bear witness along with you.”
[57:27] Subsequent to them, we sent our messengers. We sent Jesus the son of Mary, and we gave him the Injeel (Gospel), and we placed in the hearts of his followers kindness and mercy. But they invented hermitism which we never decreed for them. All we asked them to do was to uphold the commandments approved by GOD. But they did not uphold the message as they should have. Consequently, we gave those who believed among them their recompense, while many of them were wicked.