Absolute Truth in earthly dimension doesn’t exist! There is no absolute or exclusive way prescribed in the ayat of Quran for humans! There is one Absolute Truth: The Variable Truth! And Quran is about the Variable Truth!
In the theatre drama the truth in the first act is different than in the third act. Even in life the best way of solution depends on the particular situation.
The prophet (PBUH) was born in 570 A.C. but the revelations started in 610 till the end of his life in 633. The period in Mecca was in 610-623 and Medina 623-633. Speaking in the language of numbers: Prophet got the ayas of Quran during 23 years. 13 years in Mecca and 10 years in Medina. Practically I have spent the matured part of my life with study of the Holy Quran. I have reviewed contemporary literatures, memorandums of followers, records of historians. The result: Ayas of Quran judge situations differently within the 23 years. And this is how it has to be!
In Mecca Muslims were a persecuted minority. In Medina they were founders of a state! The survival of Muslims in Mecca demanded huge spiritual struggle, steadfastness and tolerance of miseries. A sort of Jihad in this situation has quite different content than defending a state in Medina against external attacks.
The word Hypocrite has different meaning in Mecca and Medina. In Mecca Hypocrites were Muslims who concealed their beliefs. In Medina Hypocrites were citizens who pretended Islam in order to destroy the newly established state.
When followers of Prophet fled from Mecca to Medina the Ansars of Medina gave them abode and share them their livelihood. In these circumstances regulations of inheritance regarded the hosts and migrants as one community where property was considered common. After the state consolidated the order of divine legitimacy (shariya) was based on family, kinship. Therefore, we always have to follow the logic when we take family of other social unit as basement of our judgement.
If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, Marry women of your choice, Two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice. (Quran 4:3)
In the defensive wars of Medina, specially after the battle of Uhud a lot of men died. Majority of women became widows and the balance between males and females changed. Polygamy which was in practice even before Islam had to be settled in an organized way. So, Polygamy started even before! The logic of settlement followed the next requirements:
- The properties of widows and orphans should be involved into the institute of marriage and this way it will serve the interest of people on settled form.
- Changing the rate of sexes should not result sexual crisis in the society. Sex is a biological need. Repression of it can cause more harmful consequences than its satisfaction in organized way.
- Orphans need a solution how to join them to normal families. A society can easily consider them as non-required “bastards” if this issue is not treated in time!
- Number of wives is max four in case the husband can keep justice between them. In the preIslamic period number of wives was not decided.
Ye are never able to be fair and just as between women, even if it is your ardent desire: But turn not away (from a woman) altogether, so as to leave her (as it were) hanging (in the air). If ye come to a friendly understanding, and practise self- restraint, Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. (Quran 4:129)
And here you are the other side of Truth! Only a few pages later we can read this: “Ye are never able to be fair and just as between women, even if it is your ardent desire.” There is a small, but very important word in the Arabic text: lan which is a strong never! It is a very emphasized opinion. It means that polygamy is not allowed however tolerated in some cases. The situation after the battle of Uhud was the main reason. In normal circumstances Islam doesn’t allow polygamy. If the rate of sexes doesn’t change in the society, exceptional excuses are needed for another woman like infertility of wife or psychotic case etc
Pork is also forbidden but not categorically forbidden. If there is a strong need pork is tolerated as well. Everything depends on the given situation.
In which cases can we declare categorically anything? There are unseen issues what can be judged categorically however, man cannot declare it as he doesn’t see them. They can be seen only by Allah.
This is the intention. We can see intention in our own case categorically only. Intention is the only area where categorical yes or no exists. With bad intention (Fitna) even the good deed is evil and with good intention even the sin can be forgiven. It is impossible to spread slander about someone with good intention.
…for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter (Quran 2:191)
A Hadis Nawawy about intention:
It is narrated on the authority of Amir al-Mu'minin (Leader of the Believers), Abu Hafs 'Umar bin alKhattab (may Allah be pleased with him), who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), say:
"Actions are according to intentions, and everyone will get what was intended. Whoever migrates with an intention for Allah and His messenger, the migration will be for the sake of Allah and his Messenger. And whoever migrates for worldly gain or to marry a woman, then his migration will be for the sake of whatever he migrated for."
Concerning our earthly sense of justice, it often deceives us. Sometimes the reward doesn’t come at the time when we expect it. We are impatient and we scold the fate due to the events what has happened with us. However, we aren’t aware that in many cases the chagrin, misery, fatigue is the best way to reach success on long term.
Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not. (Quran 2:216)
Back to Medina and the regulations of the age.
We should not forget that the new Islamic State attracted masses to Medina who came from vast areas of Arabic peninsula. They imported different traditions, habits. It was similar as the migration to USA in the beginning of 20th century. People from Sweden, Poland, Ireland, England, Russia arrived massively while bringing their own culture. It was necessary to unite them under the force of one law. The same happened in Medina. This law was the Shariya what fulfilled its duty. The actual situation is different. Another Shariya is needed. We don’t need to change the words of Allah only we ourselves have to change. Our thinking has to be modernized in order to put the words of Allah over us as law in our days.
We can see that even Allah prescribed for us different regulations during 23 years according to situations. So, we cannot transfer everything literally.
When I see someone quoting one verse from the Quran as evidence and reference for supporting his judgement while his judgement doesn’t match with the situation and age it creeps me out. They are those who don’t apply the logic of Quran however, they rely on a particular age and they push their followers back to this age. So, what should we follow? Let’s take a decision! Or we follow the word of Allah what is timeless, or we follow the word of Allah what was valid 1400 years ago in the environment of Medina. If we follow the age than swords out and wage war with Quraish.However, if we want to be aware the surrounding world, the global climate changes, environmental crisis, the widening universe, scientific innovations, external control of our natural resources, world politics we have to reevaluate ourselves in this world. We have to review the role of man and woman and put under revision our limits between good and bad where our affiliation to a particular group of people should not influence our decision. Until we judge virtue and sin differently on the surface of globe, Satan casts division between us. The motive of Allah is different.