There has been a lot of confusion around the prayer for peace event held at the Vatican last week. Gates of Vienna as well as this site posted a caution of an earlier article suggesting that the imam who gave the islamic prayer actually said something that is widely interpreted as praying for victory over the Christians and the Jews.
Here is the list of events as I understand them at this time: On June 11 2014, we posted this article written by Carpe Diem which linked to a video on the same topic at PI News. The article explains how the Imam delivered a certain line of a certain chapter and verse of koran that typically is not interpreted as being very peaceful. Specifically calling for victory over Christians and Jews.
A couple of days later, an email arrived from one of our Arabic translators who explained that in the video, the imam never said that line. That at worst was a wishy-washy other line that is often interpreted as hostile but wasn’t the line we wrote was in there. This prompted Gates of Vienna to write this article which cautioned readers that we may have been wrong on this. This site also linked to that GoV article as well in case we did get this one wrong.
Further analysis showed that the video our translator had seen, was not in fact the full prayer but was some 15 or 20 seconds shorter than the video that appeared on Al Arabiya TV and that version did indeed appear to have the offending line. (thank you M) the line which prompted our writer, Carpe Diem, to translate the video from the German translation at PI News and a line which it is now clear was not presented to the Vatican in advance, is from Koran, The Cow: 2:284, or 2:285 to 2-286
So what we know is, that the imam did indeed go ‘off script’ and speak a few lines, specifically Koran, 2:284, 2:285 and 2:286 which he did not submit to the Vatican in advance. The Vatican actually admits to this and attempts to mitigate the damage the imam tried to do by this piece of apologetics written by a Jesuit at a German language Vatican-Radio website. The sophistry is quite artistic in this. The Jesuit uses the clay-pot fallacy in a round about way here, saying that the imam didn’t really say that and if he did, its no different than when the last pope said something muslims didn’t like in 2006. So we should be ashamed that we even noticed it.
Andrew Bostom observed the following about two of the last 3 verses of the Koran’s second sura, or chapter cited by the Muslim imam (i.e., verses 2:284, 2:285, and 2:286), as interpreted by two very important, authoritative Koranic commentaries, one by Qurtubi (d. 1273), and the other by Shafi (d. 1976)
Qurtubi (d. 1273) was a Muslim scholar of the Maliki school of jurisprudence and an expert on hadith who was also well-known for his commentary on the Koran. Qurtubi’s glosses on 2:285 and 2:286, includes these remarks:
[From, Tafsir al-Qurtubi: Classical Commentary of the Holy Qur’an, Vol. 1, 2003, London, p. 762, regarding 2:285, “We hear and obey”]
He [Allah] praised them in this ayat and removed from them the hardship they experienced about thoughts which occur to them. This favor is the fruit of obedience and devotion to Allah. What happened to the tribe of Israel was the opposite of that. They were censured and made to endure the hardships of abasement, wretchedness and exile since they said “We hear and disobey” (see Koran 2:93 and 4:46). Such is the result of disobedience and recalcitrance to Allah.
[From, Tafsir al-Qurtubi: Classical Commentary of the Holy Qur’an, Vol. 1, 2003, London, p. 767, regarding 2:286, “Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us (Jews and Christians)”]
“They endured hard things”…refers to being turned into pigs and monkeys (i.e., the Jews, Koran 5:60)…it means wrong actions for which there is no repentance or expiation.
Mufti Muhammad Shafi (d. 1976) was the author of Maariful Qur’an, which is the best-known work of tafsir (Koranic commentary) in Urdu. He also wrote more than three hundred books. In addition to his literary works, Mufti Muhammad Shafi broadcasted tafsir of the Koran on Radio Pakistan for a number of years. Here are relevant extracts from the Maariful Qur’an glosses on Koran 2:285 and 2:286:
[on verse 2:285; from p. 722 of Maariful Qur’an, Vol. 1, Karachi, 2009]:
…it was clearly stressed that the believers of this ummah (Muslim community0 will do nothing that was done by past communities when they planted seeds of discord among messengers of Allah by accepting some as prophets and by denying the status of others. The Jews accepted Moses was a prophet, the Christians accepted that Jesus was a prophet, but that the last of the prophets, Mujammad was a prophet was not accepted by them.
[on verse 2:286; from p. 724 of Maariful Qur’an, Vol. 1, Karachi, 2009; After quoting from the verse, “Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us (Jews and Christians); our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear.]
…Indicated here are the sever restrictions placed on the Israelites [Jews]…Alternately it could mean that punishment should not visit us [Muslims] as it visited the Israelites following their evil deeds. In short, Allah Almighty bestowed His best when He promised the acceptance of all these prayers through his Messenger, the last among the, prophets.
I am not going to try and speculate as to exactly what this all meant. But I would be willing to bet odds that this was not remotely in the spirit of what the Pope had in mind when he organized this event.
Below, the entire prayer he intoned, as well as his own personal one:
Eeyore for Vlad