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Can a person be a good Muslim if he/she rejects some verse of the Quran, as he/she found them illogical or outdated?

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  • Of course one could still be a Muslim, but which texts might be vital and either way, which sects would agree is another thing altogether. – Robbie Goodwin Mar 7 at 22:40
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Anyone who rejects even a single word of the Quran becomes a Kafir by consensus. A Kafir is the opposite of a Muslim.

وما يجحد بآياتنا إلا الكافرون

And none reject Our verses except the disbelievers.

Quran 29:47

Condemnation of similar stances can be found in other verses such as:

أفتؤمنون ببعض الكتاب وتكفرون ببعض فما جزاء من يفعل ذلك منكم إلا خزي في الحياة الدنيا ويوم القيامة يردون إلى أشد العذاب

So do you believe in part of the Scripture and disbelieve in part? Then what is the recompense for those who do that among you except disgrace in worldly life; and on the Day of Resurrection they will be sent back to the severest of punishment.

Quran 2:85

ويقولون نؤمن ببعض ونكفر ببعض ويريدون أن يتخذوا بين ذلك سبيلا أولئك هم الكافرون حقا

They say, "We believe in some and disbelieve in others," and wish to adopt a way in between - Those are the disbelievers, truly.

Quran 4:150-151

Jurists have recorded rejection of any part of the Quran among the nullifiers of Islam, and have narrated consensus on it.

ويكفر من جحد القرآن كله أو بعضه ، ولو كلمة. وقال البعض: بل يحصل الكفر بجحد حرف واحد

And he is a disbeliever who rejects the Quran in whole or in part, even a word. And some have said: disbelief is attained by rejecting even one letter.

الموسوعة الفقهية


The explanation below is tangential to this question, but I am covering it since all the other answers seem to be so much focused on it:

These are times when the ruling derived from a verse is not applicable as there is another text which overrides it. Among such cases are:

  • Naskh (abrogation) is when one verse is abrogated by another.

    The gradual prohibition of wine has already been covered in another answer. Another example of abrogation are the verses regarding war. It is well known that it was initially forbidden, and the Muslims were commanded to forgive:

    قل للذين آمنوا يغفروا للذين لا يرجون أيام الله

    Say to those who have believed that they [should] forgive those who expect not the days of Allah

    Quran 45:14

    But later permission was given to fight back:

    أذن للذين يقاتلون بأنهم ظلموا

    Permission [to fight] has been given to those who are being fought, because they were wronged.

    Quran 22:39

    قيل لهم كفوا أيديكم وأقيموا الصلاة وآتوا الزكاة فلما كتب عليهم القتال

    Those who were told, "Restrain your hands [from fighting] and establish prayer and give zakah"? But then when fighting was ordained for them ...

    Quran 4:77

  • Takhsis (specification) is when one verse makes a specific exception to the general command of another.

    For example the Quran says that the waiting period after divorce is three menstrual cycles:

    والمطلقات يتربصن بأنفسهن ثلاثة قروء

    Divorced women remain in waiting for three periods

    Quran 2:228

    But in another place there is mention of a special case, for a pregnant women the waiting period is equal to the length of the pregnancy:

    وأولات الأحمال أجلهن أن يضعن حملهن

    for those who are pregnant, their term is until they give birth.

    Quran 65:4

Here:

Firstly there is no rejection of the verse rather only the derivation of law from it is affected.

Secondly it is dependent on the existence of firm evidence from revelation and based on principles. One can not discard a verse based on personal whims or because they dislike it - that IMO is what the question is asking about.

قال الذين لا يرجون لقاءنا ائت بقرآن غير هذا أو بدله قل ما يكون لي أن أبدله من تلقاء نفسي إن أتبع إلا ما يوحى إلي

They say, "Bring us a Quran other than this or change it." Say, "It is not for me to change it on my own accord. I only follow what is revealed to me ..."

Quran 10:15

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I fully go along with the prior answers of UmH and Wassem Khan, but I would like to add an aspect:

In fact, you have mentioned two criteria: «illogical» and «outdated»

For sure, we cannot reject the Word of God because we find it illogical. We can try to understand it or give up and live with not understanding it.

The term «outdated» implies that some verses may not apply to our time. This aspect is not completely lacking a point because some verses in the Holy Quran are not a general advice but linked to the situation. A well-known example is At-Tawba 9:5

When the Sacred Months have passed, kill the polytheists wherever you find them. And capture them, and besiege them, and lie in wait for them at every ambush. But if they repent, and perform the prayers, and pay the alms, then let them go their way. God is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.

If you take this verse out of its context and take it as a genral rule, you are for sure misguided. Because this verse refers to the specific context when the Prophet ﷺ and the Umma was in war with the polytheists. Reading the whole Quran, we read a verse that refers to the same historical context but has a more general importance about war and peace; Al-Baqarah 2:190-193

And fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not commit aggression; God does not love the aggressors. And kill them wherever you overtake them, and expel them from where they had expelled you. Oppression is more serious than murder. But do not fight them at the Sacred Mosque, unless they fight you there. If they fight you, then kill them. Such is the retribution of the disbelievers. But if they cease, then God is Forgiving and Merciful. And fight them until there is no oppression, and worship becomes devoted to God alone. But if they cease, then let there be no hostility except against the oppressors.

This shows at the same time the importance to accept the entire Quran and not only a part of it, and that some verses are not valid in our situation. I wished that mankind would come into a state where the verses I cited before were really outdated but I this will probably not be until the Last Day.

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    I am from the a different faith and I dont mean to offend anybody. But, I see this everywhere(in the christian community too), people cherrypicking the things that they like or those points that align with whatever they want to believe. Maybe god really meant those things, to kill the disbelievers, how do you know for sure? Maybe it was meant literally. [Just one of the many reasons I find it hard to take any holy texts seriously] – lordvcs Mar 5 at 14:34
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    @wizzwizz4 I beg to differ, I havent read the quran but I have read the bible(Please dont tell me I dont get a say in this just because I havent read the quran, those are the things which I hear people say when they dont have any valid points to defend their arguments) and there are verses that are similar to these in the bible and its funny how different people infer different meanings from the exact same text(its almost comical tbh). To make it simple, there are people who believe in allah who take those texts literally and there are people who dont, both have read the exact same texts. – lordvcs Mar 6 at 15:13
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    @lordvcs In the Bible you have even different prophets, authors, times and the question while reading is always what this means to our lives. And our lives are different, too. It is natural that the answer can be different from one person to another. There's nothing wrong with it. – Jeschu Mar 6 at 16:49
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    @Jeschu So you are saying the people who take the texts literally are right too(meaing, in the above context kill people who dont believe in allah)?. Which in turn means I can infer it to mean whatever I what it to mean too? Again I don't mean to offend anyone, but to me it looks like these religious texts were written by delusional humans no different from you and me, just trying to make sense of the world and put some meaning into their existence. – lordvcs Mar 6 at 17:19
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    @AhmedTawfik , Thanks for your insights, but you guys are missing my point, my whole point is: there are people who read the exact same book and infer completly different meanings from them, each believes their interpretation is right and strongly believe every other interpretation is wrong, just like you guys are doing(believing this text is only relevant for when muslims were under persecution). And I am not suggesting there might be people who take these texts literally, I am telling you there are people who take this literally, today, right now. – lordvcs Mar 7 at 10:25
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The classic manual of Islamic law Umdat al-Salik by al Misri, translated into English by Keller lists in section o8.7 "Acts that entail leaving Islam" including "(7) to deny any verse of the Koran or anything that by scholarly consensus (def: b7) belongs to it, or to add a verse that does not belong to it." However, this version of "denying" is talking about whether a verse is or is not part of the Koran. This is not the same as "denying" that a verse is obligatory, or moral, or that it should be interpreted in a particular way.

Islamic law is extremely complex. Some verses of the Koran are 'abrogated' (naskh) by others that were revealed later. Some describe practices that are conditional, that apply only in certain (unstated) circumstances, and that depend for their interpretation on the customs of the time. As circumstances have arisen in modern times that simply did not apply under the customs and culture of the time, some practices have to be reinterpreted through ijtihad, scholarly reasoning from principles and generalisations abstracted from precedent. It is dangerous for a non-scholar to pick out individual verses of the Koran and apply their own interpretation to them, in isolation from the context of the rest of the Koran and law.

For example, consider Q4.43 (Pickthall):

"O ye who believe! Draw not near unto prayer when ye are drunken, till ye know that which ye utter, nor when ye are polluted, save when journeying upon the road, till ye have bathed. And if ye be ill, or on a journey, or one of you cometh from the closet, or ye have touched women, and ye find not water, then go to high clean soil and rub your faces and your hands (therewith). Lo! Allah is Benign, Forgiving."

Does this verse imply that drunkenness is permitted?! It is unbelief to deny that this is a genuine verse in the Koran. It is not unbelief to deny that this implies getting drunk is permitted except during prayer.

As a rule, you should always find out what the consensus of mujtahid (if there is one) says the proper interpretation of a verse is, and if you still doubt it, become a qualified scholar and check their proofs for yourself.

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  • 4:43 is an example of a verse counted among the «abrogated» verses. This does not mean that it is not valid or false. However, the first message 2:219, saying «sinfulness outweighs benefit» of drinking, then 4:43 saying at least not for prayer, finally 5:90 forbidding it. It reminds me to my own education mwthods as a father (in general, I'm not referring to drinking here) to discuss and explain, to say, «at least not in my house», finally to forbid. – Jeschu Mar 7 at 14:22
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So I come from a Christian background, so please feel free to take what I say with a grain of salt.

When we have a holy/elevated/sacred scripture they often come with a "My way or the highway" verse. That is well and good. But we still need to interpret that and other verses. Every thing we read we have to interpret through the lens of our own knowledge understanding and wisdom (which we can only build up over time).

For example: We all know that 2 + 2 = 4 right? How do we know that? There is nothing inherent in the symbol + which means addition. It could equally mean multiplication and that statement would still be true! Now you could write more math equations to prove or define the meaning of + ( and 2 and 4 and = and the word and and the word word etc. etc.) However you may be able to see that no matter how hard you try to define something it is either unproveable/undefinable or is ambiguous (Ironical this has been mathematically proven).

Ok back to 'scripture'. Now like I said I came from a Christian background, but it is my understanding that the Quran has a verse similar to "Do on to other as you would have them do on to you" and it also elsewhere says "...kill the polytheists...". These two verses are logically inconsistent! Or are they? This is where interpretation comes in. I am not going to make that interpretation! 1. That is not OP's question. 2. I do not have the knowledge understanding or wisdom of the Quran to be able to do that. 3. It would start a flame war. (Although please read Jeschu's answer for an illustration of this).

So what now? Well we need to be wary of taking verses out of context (again see Jeschu's answer). We also need to be cogniscient of, whether we are projecting our own strong feelings/fears/desires/neurosis ( or those of others) on to our interpretation*; therefor clouding our interpretation of them. We also need to take a look at 'illogical' verses and 'in good faith' try and interpret them. Sometimes this will take more than one pass! You may need to gain more knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. Putting a verse aside, to have time to give it a second pass, is not the same as rejecting it. (Well that is my interpretation of things at least haha, again take it with a grain of salt).

If we cannot do this, then if we find even the smallest logical inconsistency or contradiction then we would be forced to reject the whole < Whatever Holy scripture, you follow > Other wise that would mean almost everyone is either a ignorant fool or living a lie. (Which I do not believe to be so).

That is my understanding of life the universe and everything, I hope it helps, even though I do not have much authority on this topic.


* Yes this is somewhat contradictory. It takes time, wisdom, and a lot of self reflection to achieve this well.

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If anyone denies/reject any verse, He will be Kafir & It's more than Kafir

Allah said about that who reject his (Allah) verses, Allah called the enemies of Allah who are reject verse

That is the recompense of the enemies of Allah - the Fire. For them therein is the home of eternity as recompense for what they, of Our verses, were rejecting. If anyone claim that, he/she is a believer, Fussilat 41 : 28

If anyone claim that, he/she is a believer,

He/She needs to believe all, His angels, His Books (Quran, Injil, tawrat...all), and His messengers (Mohammd,Musa,Yoursuf,Isha [sw]...all).....

Quran Verse

The Messenger ˹firmly˺ believes in what has been revealed to him from his Lord, and so do the believers. They ˹all˺ believe in Allah, His angels, His Books, and His messengers. ˹They proclaim,˺ “We make no distinction between any of His messengers.” And they say, “We hear and obey. ˹We seek˺ Your forgiveness, our Lord! And to You ˹alone˺ is the final return.” Surah Al-Baqara Verse 285

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It's taken that some verses abrogate earlier verses, this has been stated in the Qu'ran. For example:

Whatever verse do we abrogate or cause to be forgotten, we bring a better one or similar to it. Know you not that Allah is able to do all things?

Al-Baqarah, 2:106-107

It's not a question of rejecting the verses of the Qu'ran but understanding what they mean, then and now. This is the science of tafseer, or Qu'ranic interpretation.