Cost of Disbelief (5:36 – 5:37)

The Cost of Disbelief

[5:36] Certainly, those who disbelieved, if they possessed everything on earth, even twice as much, and offered it as ransom to spare them the retribution on the Day of Resurrection, it would not be accepted from them; they have incurred a painful retribution.
[5:37] They will want to exit Hell, but alas, they can never exit therefrom; their retribution is eternal.

Capital Punishment: When is it Justified? (5:33 – 5:35)

Capital Punishment: When is it Justified?

[5:33] The just retribution for those who fight GOD and His messenger, and commit horrendous crimes, is to be killed, or crucified, or to have their hands and feet cut off on alternate sides, or to be banished from the land. This is to humiliate them in this life, then they suffer a far worse retribution in the Hereafter.
[5:34] Exempted are those who repent before you overcome them. You should know that GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
[5:35] O you who believe, you shall reverence GOD and seek the ways and means to Him, and strive in His cause, that you may succeed. 

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Death Penalty (BAD LANGUAGE @ 7:31, 9:26 & 11:53min)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kye2oX-b39E

10 Countries And Their Shocking Death Penalty Laws
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LluEqHF7HVA

What if The Death Penalty Disappeared in America?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4OmTdeFUok

From verse 34 it seems like the only time that capital punishment is justified is when someone is in the act of committing horrendous crimes, and not if they repent before you overcome them.

The Quran creates scenarios where it brings out our true convictions. If someone wants to be cruel they can find justification for it in the Quran, and if they want to be merciful they will also find justification for it in the Quran. The purpose of this life is to bring out our true convictions.

[3:178] Let not the disbelievers think that we lead them on for their own good. We only lead them on to confirm their sinfulness. They have incurred a humiliating retribution.

[3:154] …GOD thus puts you to the test to bring out your true convictions, and to test what is in your hearts. GOD is fully aware of the innermost thoughts. 

Numerically Structured Books

[83:7] Indeed, the book of the wicked is in Sijjeen.
[83:8] Do you know what Sijjeen is?
[83:9] A numerically structured book.

[83:18] Indeed, the book of the righteous will be in `Elleyyeen.
[83:19] Do you know what `Elleyyeen is?
[83:20] A numerically structured book.

How to Spread God’s Message

[16:125] You shall invite to the path of your Lord with wisdom and kind enlightenment, and debate with them in the best possible manner. Your Lord knows best who has strayed from His path, and He knows best who are the guided ones.
[16:126] And if you punish, you shall inflict an equivalent punishment. But if you resort to patience (instead of revenge), it would be better for the patient ones.
[16:127] You shall resort to patience – and your patience is attainable only with GOD’s help. Do not grieve over them, and do not be annoyed by their schemes.
[16:128] GOD is with those who lead a righteous life, and those who are charitable.

Rules of War*

[2:190] You may fight in the cause of GOD against those who attack you, but do not aggress. GOD does not love the aggressors.
[2:191] You may kill those who wage war against you, and you may evict them whence they evicted you. Oppression is worse than murder. Do not fight them at the Sacred Masjid, unless they attack you therein. If they attack you, you may kill them. This is the just retribution for those disbelievers. [2:192] If they refrain, then GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
[2:193] You may also fight them to eliminate oppression, and to worship GOD freely. If they refrain, you shall not aggress; aggression is permitted only against the aggressors.

Basic Law Regulating Relations With Unbelievers

[60:8] GOD does not enjoin you from befriending those who do not fight you because of religion, and do not evict you from your homes. You may befriend them and be equitable towards them. GOD loves the equitable.
[60:9] GOD enjoins you only from befriending those who fight you because of religion, evict you from your homes, and band together with others to banish you. You shall not befriend them. Those who befriend them are the transgressors.

An Unforgivable Offense

[4:93] Anyone who kills a believer on purpose, his retribution is Hell, wherein he abides forever, GOD is angry with him, and condemns him, and has prepared for him a terrible retribution.

Grossness of Murder (5:32)

Grossness of Murder

[5:32] Because of this, we decreed for the Children of Israel that anyone who murders any person who had not committed murder or horrendous crimes, it shall be as if he murdered all the people. And anyone who spares a life, it shall be as if he spared the lives of all the people. Our messengers went to them with clear proofs and revelations, but most of them, after all this, are still transgressing.

How Mass Shootings Are Contagious
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUSw3TCJ2Nc

60 Minutes: Sir Nicholas Winton “Saving the Children”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0aoifNziKQ

Discouraging Capital Punishment*

[2:178] O you who believe, equivalence is the law decreed for you when dealing with murder – the free for the free, the slave for the slave, the female for the female. If one is pardoned by the victim’s kin, an appreciative response is in order, and an equitable compensation shall be paid. This is an alleviation from your Lord and mercy. Anyone who transgresses beyond this incurs a painful retribution.

*2:178 The Quran clearly discourages capital punishment. Every kind of excuse is provided to spare lives, including the life of the murderer. The victim’s kin may find it better, under certain circumstances, to spare the life of the murderer in exchange for an equitable compensation. Also capital punishment is not applicable if, for example, a woman kills a man, or vice versa.

[2:179] Equivalence is a life saving law for you, O you who possess intelligence, that you may be righteous. 

The First Murder (5:27 – 5-31)

The First Murder*

[5:27] Recite for them the true history of Adam’s two sons. They made an offering, and it was accepted from one of them, but not from the other. He said, “I will surely kill you.” He said, “GOD accepts only from the righteous.
*5:27-31 The names of the two sons involved in this first murder are not relevant. But they are given in the Bible as Abel and Cain (Genesis 4:2-9).

[5:28] “If you extend your hand to kill me, I am not extending my hand to kill you. For I reverence GOD, Lord of the universe.
[5:29] “I want you, not me, to bear my sin and your sin, then you end up with the dwellers of Hell. Such is the requital for the transgressors.”
[5:30] His ego provoked him into killing his brother. He killed him, and ended up with the losers.
[5:31] GOD then sent a raven to scratch the soil, to teach him how to bury his brother’s corpse. He said, “Woe to me; I failed to be as intelligent as this raven, and bury my brother’s corpse.” He became ridden with remorse.

Genesis 4:
Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.” 2 Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4 And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. 6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” 8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Why was Abel’s offering accepted and not Cain’s offering?
We are not specifically informed, but one reason may be that when we do righteous work we should do our best. See example of Abraham or the Children of Israel with the heifer:

Abraham and Lot

[11:69] When our messengers went to Abraham with good news, they said, “Peace.” He said, “Peace,” and soon brought a roasted calf.

[45:21] Do those who work evil expect that we will treat them in the same manner as those who believe and lead a righteous life? Can their life and their death be the same? Wrong indeed is their judgment.

Perhaps, Abel’s offering was accepted as he chose from the best of his harvest to offer to God while Cain did not.

Homer Simpson on Jealousy and Envy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tmx1jpqv3RA

Murder comes from ego.
“What Mass Killers Want—And How to Stop Them Rampage shooters crave the spotlight, and we should do everything possible to deprive them of it.”
http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303309504579181702252120052

“Contrary to the common assumption, writes author Michael D. Kelleher in his 1997 book “Flash Point,” mass killers are “rarely insane, in either the legal or ethical senses of the term,” and they don’t typically have the “debilitating delusions and insidious psychotic fantasies of the paranoid schizophrenic.” Dr. Knoll affirms that “the literature does not reflect a strong link with serious mental illness.

Instead, massacre killers are typically marked by what are considered personality disorders: grandiosity, resentment, self-righteousness, a sense of entitlement. They become, says Dr. Knoll, ” ‘collectors of injustice’ who nurture their wounded narcissism.” To preserve their egos, they exaggerate past humiliations and externalize their anger, blaming others for their frustrations. They develop violent fantasies of heroic revenge against an uncaring world.”

What does it mean when Abel says “bear my sin and your sin”?
The dialog sounds like Abel was provoking Cain. Or perhaps it is that he is taking the defeated side.

[39:7] If you disbelieve, GOD does not need anyone. But He dislikes to see His servants make the wrong decision. If you decide to be appreciative, He is pleased for you. No soul bears the sins of any other soul. Ultimately, to your Lord is your return, then He will inform you of everything you had done. He is fully aware of the innermost thoughts.

[53:8] No soul bears the sins of another soul.

[16:25] They will be held responsible for their sins on the Day of Resurrection, all of them, in addition to sins of all those whom they misled by their ignorance. What a miserable load!

[4:85] Whoever mediates a good deed receives a share of the credit thereof, and whoever mediates an evil work, incurs a share thereof. GOD controls all things.

This sounds like it is talking about the original sin as the verse does not say “my sins”

Since this was the first murder – how did Cain come up with the idea of murder?
It was his ego.

[4:93] Anyone who kills a believer on purpose, his retribution is Hell, wherein he abides forever, GOD is angry with him, and condemns him, and has prepared for him a terrible retribution.
[4:94] O you who believe, if you strike in the cause of GOD, you shall be absolutely sure. Do not say to one who offers you peace, “You are not a believer,” seeking the spoils of this world. For GOD possesses infinite spoils. Remember that you used to be like them, and GOD blessed you. Therefore, you shall be absolutely sure (before you strike). GOD is fully Cognizant of everything you do.

Why didn’t Abel defend himself?

Traits of the Believers

[42:37] They avoid gross sins and vice, and when angered they forgive.
[42:38] They respond to their Lord by observing the Contact Prayers (Salat). Their affairs are decided after due consultation among themselves, and from our provisions to them they give (to charity).
[42:39] When gross injustice befalls them, they stand up for their rights.
[42:40] Although the just requital for an injustice is an equivalent retribution, those who pardon and maintain righteousness are rewarded by GOD. He does not love the unjust.
[42:41] Certainly, those who stand up for their rights, when injustice befalls them, are not committing any error.
[42:42] The wrong ones are those who treat the people unjustly, and resort to aggression without provocation. These have incurred a painful retribution.
[42:43] Resorting to patience and forgiveness reflects a true strength of character.

Abel’s assertion to Cain that he would let him (Cain) bear his sins and would not extend his hand to kill him, may be a demonstration of God’s law that threatening to kill, alone, is not an excuse to fight back and initiate violence. One has to see aggressive physical act of violence in order to resort to defense.

A Victim Treats His Mugger Right
http://www.npr.org/2008/03/28/89164759/a-victim-treats-his-mugger-right

Fighting Crime With Compassion
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXjnD0GSE8Y

Why do we cremate if the verse describes the burial process?
It is not a commandment that we bury a body after death, and there is nothing saying that it is prohibited to cremate. We shouldn’t prohibit what God did not prohibit.

[16:116] You shall not utter lies with your own tongues stating: “This is lawful, and this is unlawful,” to fabricate lies and attribute them to GOD. Surely, those who fabricate lies and attribute them to GOD will never succeed.

Trust in God (5:24 – 5:26)

Despite All the Miracles They Saw

[5:24] They said, “O Moses, we will never enter it, so long as they are in it. Therefore, go – you and your Lord – and fight. We are sitting right here.”
[5:25] He said, “My Lord, I can only control myself and my brother. So, allow us to part company with the wicked people.”
[5:26] He said, “Henceforth, it is forbidden them for forty years, during which they will roam the earth aimlessly. Do not grieve over such wicked people.”

It is easy to say we trust in God when we see the miracles that God has done for us. The real test is to see if we trust in God before we see the miracle.

The Story of Blondin
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9H-yrfmqmGc

Niagara Falls Daredevils – Walking the Wire
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wATDb8KJWQ

http://www.crosswalk.com/blogs/dr-ray-pritchard/the-great-blondin-and-true-saving-faith.html

These people are so arrogant and rude to say to Moses for him and “his Lord” to go. These people did not trust in God or even know God. They are still belittling God.

Why does Moses say that he has control over his brother?
Shows the level of commitment that Moses and Aaron have where they are like bricks in one wall.

[61:4] GOD loves those who fight in His cause united in one column, like the bricks in one wall.

5:22-24 indicates that Children of Israel were under the impression that entering Jerusalem requires fighting & war. But 2:58 clearly indicates that they were assured that the inhabitants of Jerusalem would share their land if they (Children of Israel) only behaved humbly & treated people right upon entering. Children of Israel did not believe that God could convince the people in Jerusalem to accept them in amicably. They did not trust Moses’ words & denied themselves witnessing God’s miracle of having their promised homeland.

Numbers 13
27 This is what they reported to Moses: “We went to the land where you sent us. It really is a land flowing with milk and honey. Here’s some of its fruit. 28 But the people who live there are strong, and the cities have walls and are very large. We even saw the descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites live in the Negev. The Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the mountain region. And the Canaanites live along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and all along the Jordan River.” 30 Caleb told the people to be quiet and listen to Moses. Caleb said, “Let’s go now and take possession of the land. We should be more than able to conquer it.” 31 But the men who had gone with him said, “We can’t attack those people! They’re too strong for us!” 32 So they began to spread lies among the Israelites about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored is one that devours those who live there. All the people we saw there are very tall. 33 We saw Nephilim there. (The descendants of Anak are Nephilim.) We felt as small as grasshoppers, and that’s how we must have looked to them.” 

Numbers 14
1 Then all the people in the Israelite community raised their voices and cried out loud all that night. 2 They complained to Moses and Aaron, “If only we had died in Egypt or this desert! 3 Why is the Lord bringing us to this land—just to have us die in battle? Our wives and children will be taken as prisoners of war! Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” 4 They said to each other, “Let’s choose a leader and go back to Egypt.” 5 Immediately, Moses and Aaron bowed with their faces touching the ground in front of the whole community of Israel assembled there. 6 At the same time, two of those who had explored the land, Joshua (son of Nun) and Caleb (son of Jephunneh), tore their clothes in despair. 7 They said to the whole community of Israel, “The land we explored is very good. 8 If the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us. This is a land flowing with milk and honey! 9 Don’t rebel against the Lord, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. We will devour them like bread. They have no protection, and the Lord is with us. So don’t be afraid of them.” 10 But when the whole community of Israel talked about stoning Moses and Aaron to death, they all saw the glory of the Lord shining at the tent of meeting. 11 The Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to trust me in spite of all the miraculous signs I have done among them? 12 I’ll strike them with a plague, I’ll destroy them,[a] and I’ll make you into a nation larger and stronger than they are.”

What happened to the women and children? Did they enter?