Corbin begins with Surah 5, verse 51, which commands Muslims not to be friends with Christians or Jews. Corbin writes:
1. Qur’an 5:51—O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.Apparently, Corbin has never stopped blindly accepting what her Muslim instructors tell her to believe about Islam. (We saw this repeatedly in her CNN article.) When we actually examine this verse to see what it means, a few interesting things come to light.
In this verse, the words "Awliya"- plural- or "wali" - singular- has been (badly) translated as "friends" or "friend"; however, the more appropriate translation would be a "guardian, protector, or advocate". Muslims are to be advocates and protectors for each other. And friends with everyone.
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was kind to the pagans of Mecca and fought them only when they fought him. He made treaties with the Jews of Madinah and honored the treaties until they broke them. He received the Christians of Najran with kindness in Madinah. They argued with him about Islam, but he treated them with honor and respect.
First, for the sake of argument, suppose we go along with Corbin's translation. This verse, according to Corbin, commands Muslims not to take Christians or Jews as "guardians, protectors, or advocates." Interesting. So Muslims can't allow Christians or Jews to become police officers, government officials, doctors, lawyers, teachers, etc., in areas where Muslims are present, since doing so would violate the Qur'an. How moderate of our Muslim feminist!
Second, by saying that "awliya" and "wali" should not be translated as "friends" and "friend," respectively, Corbin just committed shirk. How so? Let's read another Qur'an verse in which the word "awliya" occurs:
Qur’an 10:62—Lo! verily the friends of Allah are (those) on whom fear (cometh) not, nor do they grieve!This verse refers to the "awliya Allahi," which is translated as "friends of Allah." Corbin, however, says that "awliya" shouldn't be translated as "friends." Instead, she prefers "protectors." So the verse, according to Corbin, should be translated as:
Qur’an 5:51—Lo! verily the GUARDIANS OF ALLAH are (those) on whom fear (cometh) not, nor do they grieve!So Corbin has just assured her readers that Allah has bodyguards! But surely these bodyguards must be more powerful than Allah if they're guarding Allah. This means that there are beings more powerful than Allah. Thus, Corbin has committed shirk.
Third, Corbin is correct that the word "awliya" can be translated as "guardians," "protectors," etc. Here are the possible translations according to Muhammad Mohar Ali's A Word for Word Meaning of the Qur'an:
Corbin seems to think that when a word has multiple meanings, you simply pick the one you like best and say that's the meaning. But that's not how Islam works. Allah claims that his commands are perfectly clear (see Qur'an 6:114, 11:1, 12:1, 16:89, 24:46, 27:1, 41:3, 57:9, etc.), so when he commands Muslims not to take Jews and Christians as "awliya," he's obviously aware of the fact that one of the most common meanings of the word is "friends." If he had meant something more specific, he could have clarified, but he didn't.
Thus, by claiming that she speaks more clearly than Allah speaks in his perfectly clear Word, Corbin is claiming to be a better communicator than Allah. This is yet another instance of shirk on her part.
Fourth, we know exactly how Muhammad's companions interpreted 5:51. Here's Ibn Kathir's commentary on the verse:
Tafsir Ibn Kathir on 5:51—Allah forbids His believing servants from having Jews and Christians as friends, because they are the enemies of Islam and its people, may Allah curse them. Allah then states that they are friends of each other and He gives a warning threat to those who do this (And if any among you befriends them, then surely he is one of them.)So we have Ibn Kathir, the most respected Qur'an commentator in history, saying that "Allah forbids His believing servants from having Jews and Christians as friends, because they are the enemies of Islam and its people, may Allah curse them." (I guess Ibn Kathir didn't get Corbin's memo that Muslims are to be "friends with everyone"!) Ibn Kathir then goes on to give an example of how this verse was interpreted by Umar (one of Muhammad's closest companions, the father of one of Muhammad's wives, and the second of the "rightly-guided" caliphs). When Umar heard that Abu Musa had a Christian scribe, he ordered Abu Musa to expel the Christian from Medina, and he quoted 5:51 to justify his command. This Christian wasn't a "guardian" or a "protector" of Abu Musa. He was simply close enough to work for Abu Musa, and this was unacceptable.
Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Umar ordered Abu Musa Al-Ash'ari to send him on one sheet of balance the count of what he took in and what he spent. Abu Musa then had a Christian scribe, and he was able to comply with Umar's demand. Umar liked what he saw and exclaimed, "This scribe is proficient. Would you read in the Masjid a letter that came to us from Ash-Sham?" Abu Musa said, "He cannot." Umar said, "Is he not pure?" Abu Musa said, "No, but he is Christian." Abu Musa said, "So Umar admonished me and poked my thigh (with his finger), saying, 'Drive him out (from Al-Madinah).' He then recited, (O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as friends...)"
Then he reported that Abdullah bin Utbah said, "Let one of you beware that he might be a Jew or a Christian, while unaware."
Hence, if we read the Qur'an, the Hadith, and the Tafsir, the meaning of 5:51 is perfectly clear. Muslims aren't allowed to be friends with Christians and Jews, because Christians and Jews are enemies.
Corbin, of course, will have none of this. Rather than read the Muslim sources and conclude, based on a careful investigation of the matter, what a verse commands her to do, she prefers to believe that the verse means whatever she wants it to mean. She then vilifies and demonizes anyone who attempts to correct her.
The only possible influence of feminism on Corbin is that she seems to be convinced (despite a complete lack of studying on her part) that she understands Islam better than Allah, Muhammad, Umar, Abu Musa, and Ibn Kathir.
Tomorrow, we'll take a look at Corbin's next "misinterpreted verse" of the Qur'an: Chapter 8, verse 12. Until then, I invite everyone to watch my "Three Stages of Jihad" video again, since it clears up some of the silliness in Corbin's defense of 5:51. Corbin points out that Muhammad had non-Muslim friends, as if this somehow proves that 5:51 can't mean that Muslims aren't allowed to have non-Muslim friends. She ignores the fact that jihad proceeds in stages, and that the rules when Muslims are not in control are quite different from the rules when Muslims are in control. (Corbin's teachers, who filter her information for her, didn't tell her that. But I will.)