One of the common criticisms of the Quran is the claim that the lessons it cites are “tales from the past” that do not apply to today’s world. This criticism was made at the time of the Quran 1400 years ago, and is oftentimes still made today.

[16:24] When they are asked, “What do you think of these revelations from your Lord,” they say, “Tales from the past.”

وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ مَاذَا أَنْزَلَ رَبُّكُمْ قَالُوا أَسَاطِيرُ الْأَوَّلِينَ

[6:25] Some of them listen to you, but we place veils on their hearts to prevent them from understanding, and deafness in their ears. Thus, no matter what kind of proof they see, they cannot believe. Thus, when they come to argue with you, the disbelievers say, “These are tales from the past.”

 وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ يَسْتَمِعُ إِلَيْكَ وَجَعَلْنَا عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ أَكِنَّةً أَنْ يَفْقَهُوهُ وَفِي آذَانِهِمْ وَقْرًا وَإِنْ يَرَوْا كُلَّ آيَةٍ لَا يُؤْمِنُوا بِهَا حَتَّىٰ إِذَا جَاءُوكَ يُجَادِلُونَكَ يَقُولُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا إِنْ هَٰذَا إِلَّا أَسَاطِيرُ الْأَوَّلِينَ

What these individuals fail to understand is that the Quran and the lessons it provides are timeless. That despite the facade of day to day life changing throughout history, humans continue to make the same mistakes that have been made by the previous generations. They forget God, they chase the vanities of this world, they fall into idol worship, and they continue getting duped by the devil which causes them to lose their last chance to be redeemed back into God’s kingdom.

As an example here is a verse that on the surface may not seem to apply today.

[6:137] Thus were the idol worshipers duped by their idols, to the extent of killing their own children. In fact, their idols inflict great pain upon them, and confuse their religion for them. Had GOD willed, they would not have done it. You shall disregard them and their fabrications.

كَذَٰلِكَ زَيَّنَ لِكَثِيرٍ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ قَتْلَ أَوْلَادِهِمْ شُرَكَاؤُهُمْ لِيُرْدُوهُمْ وَلِيَلْبِسُوا عَلَيْهِمْ دِينَهُمْ وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ مَا فَعَلُوهُ فَذَرْهُمْ وَمَا يَفْتَرُونَ

Someone may read this verse and ask: which idols are duping their worshipers to kill their own children? They may also assume that this appears to be related to some pagan practice that no longer applies today and therefore wrongly conclude that the Quran is not applicable to today’s world. But such assumptions couldn’t be further from the truth.

Understanding Idol Worship

Typically when most individuals think of idols they think of statues or objects that people prostrate and worship in front of, but most the idols of today do not fall into this narrative. According to the Quran our idols are any entity that we follow instead of God. This is best depicted in the following verse regarding the commandment God informs us to mention God’s name before we eat:

[6:121] Do not eat from that upon which the name of GOD has not been mentioned, for it is an abomination. The devils inspire their allies to argue with you; if you obey them, you will be idol worshipers.

 وَلَا تَأْكُلُوا مِمَّا لَمْ يُذْكَرِ اسْمُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ وَإِنَّهُ لَفِسْقٌ وَإِنَّ الشَّيَاطِينَ لَيُوحُونَ إِلَىٰ أَوْلِيَائِهِمْ لِيُجَادِلُوكُمْ وَإِنْ أَطَعْتُمُوهُمْ إِنَّكُمْ لَمُشْرِكُونَ

So since God informs us in the Quran that we should not kill our children, then if we accept contrary information from another source that tells us we should then we would be by definition be setting that other source as an idol and thus committing idol worship.

[6:151] Say, “Come let me tell you what your Lord has really prohibited for you: You shall not set up idols besides Him. You shall honor your parents. You shall not kill your children from fear of poverty—we provide for you and for them. You shall not commit gross sins, obvious or hidden. You shall not kill—GOD has made life sacred—except in the course of justice. These are His commandments to you, that you may understand.”

[17:31] You shall not kill your children due to fear of poverty. We provide for them, as well as for you. Killing them is a gross offense.

Below are some of the idols of today that are convincing people that committing abortion is not only not a sin, but in some cases as a noble virtuous act to commit.

Scientist as Idols

Today many people have replaced God with science. While science can tell us a lot about how the material world works, it cannot tell us much about morality and ethics let alone our purpose in this universe. This leads a lot of people to attempt to “follow the science” in aspects of morality and negate the eternal wisdom that God bestowed upon us when it comes to moral decisions.

The fact is that science cannot determine what is the value of a life let alone that life is sacred. Sadly many scientist have used, and continue to use, the guise of scientism to argue the opposite. This has came through arguments of eugenics, euthanasia, as well as abortion. And when scientist do not value life properly the unfortunate consequence is that they advocate for decisions that lead to the destruction of innocent life.

In 2019, an Irish couple decided to abort their baby after a positive genetic test for a condition known as Edwards Syndrome, a serious condition that causes life-threatening organ defects, an abnormally shaped head, and—if the child survives—developmental delays. It is usually fatal within the first year of a child’s life, often within the first several days after birth.

The couple was told by medical professionals at the National Maternity Hospital that there was “no hope” for their baby. They were strongly encouraged to abort their baby. Based on this information the couple decided to terminate their child’s life only to find out afterwards that it was healthy and did not have this rare condition that they feared.

According to the Irish Times, the test is promoted as being “99% accurate,” and “in 0.15 per cent of cases (or 1/666 cases), a false positive can occur.” Edwards syndrome occurs in around 1 in 5,000 live births. This means that statistically the probability of a baby with this condition is 0.02 percent which is 7.5 times less likely than the probability of getting a false positive. This means that statistically even with a single positive genetic test for Edwards Syndrome there can be as high as a one in four chance for a woman who received a positive test for her child to actually be carrying a healthy baby.

This is not limited to the Edward Syndrome test but to other genetic tests as well. In one study, it estimated that:

“54.5 percent of women who were told their child likely had Down Syndrome delivered (or would have delivered) non-DS babies, and 60 percent who were told their child probably has Edward Syndrome delivered (or would have delivered) non-ES babies.”

Companies who create these tests and the medical staff that administer these test put all the emphasis on the efficacy of the test in identifying major abnormalities for parents undergoing screening rather than the possibility of aborting a perfectly healthy baby which in their eyes is inconsequential.

This was not a fact that the scientist did not understand the math, but just a sign of how little they valued human life. Because if you view a baby in a womb as no more valuable than just a lump of cells then the possibility of erroneously destroying a lump of cells seems less grievous than if you viewed the lump of cells as a human being.

Environmentalism as an Idol

These days environmentalism has replaced religion for many people. People who abide by this religion preach that humans are a cancer on this planet and if we do not take immediate action and convert to their religion then the world is going to end. One of the actions that these individuals preach is that humans should stop reproducing and one solution to this problem is through advocating for more abortions.

In 2019, CNN held a climate change town hall with Senator Bernie Sanders. During the discussion, a teacher asked Sanders if he would support making population control part of his climate-change agenda.

READYOFF: Good evening. Human population growth has more than doubled in the past 50 years. The planet cannot sustain this growth. I realize this is a poisonous topic for politicians, but it’s crucial to face. Empowering women and educating everyone on the need to curb population growth seems a reasonable campaign to enact. Would you be courageous enough to discuss this issue and make it a key feature of a plan to address climate catastrophe?

SANDERS: Well, Martha, the answer is yes. And the answer has everything to do with the fact that women in the United States of America, by the way, have a right to control their own bodies and make reproductive decisions. And the Mexico City agreement, which denies American aid to those organizations around the world that are — that allow women to have abortions or even get involved in birth control, to me is totally absurd. So I think, especially in poor countries around the world where women do not necessarily want to have large numbers of babies, and where they can have the opportunity through birth control to control the number of kids they have, it’s something I very, very strongly support.

God in the Quran informs us that disasters have spread throughout the land and sea because of what we committed.

[30:41] Disasters have spread throughout the land and sea, because of what the people have committed. He thus lets them taste the consequences of some of their works, that they may return (to the right works).

(٤١) ظَهَرَ الْفَسَادُ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِي النَّاسِ لِيُذِيقَهُمْ بَعْضَ الَّذِي عَمِلُوا لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ

But this does not justify killing our children. This in my opinion is the epitome of selfishness and hypocrisy. Why is it that every tyrants solution to a problem they caused is to the kill other people for their mess. If the humans who are living caused these problems then how is it justified to kill the humans who have yet to experience life on this planet. God in the Quran condemns suicide (4:29), but if someone genuinely believed this then they should be the first to nominate themselves for the wellbeing of the planet.

The reality is that God designed this planet and made it so that it can sustain every single human who will ever live on this planet until the Day of Resurrection. If we destroy this precious gift that God has given us then it is to our own detriment, but if we live responsibly and abide by God’s laws then we never have to worry that there is not enough resources for every single human to live sustainable, fruitful, amazing lives.

[25:48] He is the One who sends the winds with good omens of His mercy, and we send down from the sky pure water. [25:49] With it, we revive dead lands and provide drink for our creations—multitudes of animals and humans. [25:50] We have distributed it among them in exact measure, that they may take heed. But most people insist upon disbelieving.

[29:60] Many a creature that does not carry its provision, GOD provides for it, as well as for you. He is the Hearer, the Omniscient.

Additionally, if we lead a righteous life God will always provide even when it seems impossible. Take the example of Mary who was a child yet God miraculously provided for her.

[3:37] Her Lord accepted her a gracious acceptance, and brought her up a gracious upbringing, under the guardianship of Zachariah. Whenever Zachariah entered her sanctuary he found provisions with her. He would ask, “Mary, where did you get this from?” She would say, “It is from GOD. GOD provides for whomever He chooses, without limits.”

 فَتَقَبَّلَهَا رَبُّهَا بِقَبُولٍ حَسَنٍ وَأَنْبَتَهَا نَبَاتًا حَسَنًا وَكَفَّلَهَا زَكَرِيَّا كُلَّمَا دَخَلَ عَلَيْهَا زَكَرِيَّا الْمِحْرَابَ وَجَدَ عِنْدَهَا رِزْقًا قَالَ يَامَرْيَمُ أَنَّىٰ لَكِ هَٰذَا قَالَتْ هُوَ مِنْ عِنْدِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَرْزُقُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ

Economist as Idols

The effect of legalized abortion on crime (also the Donohue–Levitt hypothesis) is a controversial hypothesis about the reduction in crime in the decades following the legalization of abortion. Proponents argue that the availability of abortion resulted in fewer births of children at the highest risk of committing crime.

In 2001, Steven Levitt of the University of Chicago and John Donohue of Yale University made the case that children who are unwanted or whose parents cannot support them are likelier to become criminals. This idea was further popularized in the book Freakonomics, which Levitt co-authored.

From my understanding Donohue and Levitt are not advocating for abortion, but just showing the outcome of abortion on crime. But individuals have taken their findings to justify such a stance. So let’s evaluate such an argument not based on crime data, but based on morality.

If a society advocates the killing of people because they believe they will commit crime in the future is that ever justified? God informs us that the only time killing is allowed is in the course of justice. So preemptively killing someone to prevent crime is never justified. This can be related to the previous discussion regarding capital punishment and how many innocent people does the Quran allow to be killed in order to bring a guilty party to justice. As a reminder this number is zero.

Secondly, what happens to a society that believes there are no consequences to their killing of their own children? While crime data can more readily be measured how do we quantify the moral decay of a society?

The vast majority of abortions occur outside of wedlock. When individuals think that they can avoid the materialistic downside of the responsibly of brining a child into this world because of the easy access to abortion without societal consequences how likely are they to have extramarital relations? The fact is that the more sexual partners a person has prior to marriage the more likely it is that the marriage will end in divorce.

Based on the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) collected in 2002, 2006-2010, and 2011-2013. For women marrying since the start of the new millennium:

  • Women with 10 or more partners were the most likely to divorce
  • Women with 3-9 partners were less likely to divorce than women with 2 partners; and,
  • Women with 0-1 partners were the least likely to divorce.

So while it can be argued that abortions caused a reduction in societal crime, despite it being immoral, it can also be argued that abortion caused individuals to have more sexual partners which caused an increase in divorce rates leading to more single parent households.

A child growing up in a single parent households is one of the strongest indicators for criminal behavior. The 1987 “Survey of Youth in Custody” found that 70% did not grow up with both parents. Another 1994 study of Wisconsin juveniles was even more stark showing that 87% were from single parent households.

This alteration to God’s system has consequences and when people think they found a loophole it is only leading to backfire against themselves.

[35:43] They resorted to arrogance on earth, and evil scheming, and the evil schemes only backfire on those who scheme them. Should they then expect anything but the fate of those who did the same things in the past? You will find that GOD’s system is never changeable; you will find that GOD’s system is immutable.

Self as an Idol

The main idol that most people have to overcome is the ego as a god.

[45:23] Have you noted the one whose god is his ego? Consequently, GOD sends him astray, despite his knowledge, seals his hearing and his mind, and places a veil on his eyes. Who then can guide him, after such a decision by GOD? Would you not take heed?

 أَفَرَأَيْتَ مَنِ اتَّخَذَ إِلَٰهَهُ هَوَاهُ وَأَضَلَّهُ اللَّهُ عَلَىٰ عِلْمٍ وَخَتَمَ عَلَىٰ سَمْعِهِ وَقَلْبِهِ وَجَعَلَ عَلَىٰ بَصَرِهِ غِشَاوَةً فَمَنْ يَهْدِيهِ مِنْ بَعْدِ اللَّهِ أَفَلَا تَذَكَّرُونَ

In 2020, Michelle Williams was awarded the Golden Globes for Best Actress in a Limited Series. During her speech as she held this golden idol that she worked so hard to earn she used her time on stage to promote a cause that she attributed to her success. This cause was her right to kill her child in order that she could pursue her goal of winning this award.

“Thank you so much, first of all to my Fosse/Verdon family and to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. When you put this in someone’s hands, you’re acknowledging the choices that they make as an actor, moment by moment, scene by scene, day by day, but you’re also acknowledging the choices they make as a person, the education they pursued, the training they sought, the hours they put in.

“I’m grateful for the acknowledgment of the choices I’ve made, and I’m also grateful to have lived at a moment in our society where choice exists because as women and as girls, things can happen to our bodies that are not our choice. I’ve tried my very best to live a life of my own making and not just a series of events that happened to me, but one that I can stand back and look at and recognize my handwriting all over—sometimes messy and scrawling, sometimes careful and precise, but one that I carved with my own hand. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without employing a woman’s right to choose. To choose when to have my children and with whom. When I felt supported and able to balance our lives knowing as all mothers know that the scales must and will tip towards our children, now,

“I know my choices might look different than yours. But thank God, or whomever you pray to, that we live in a country founded on the principle that I am free to live by my faith and you are free to live by yours. Women, 18 to 118, when it is time to vote, please do so in your own self-interest. It’s what men have been doing for years. It’s what men have been doing for years, which is why the world looks so much like them. Don’t forget: We are the largest voting body in this country. Let’s make it look more like us. Tommy and Matilda, I can’t wait to come home to you.”

Michelle Williams Golden Globe Speech 2020

Bringing a child into this world and caring for that child is one of the most selfless things a person can do. It is because as long as that child is under that parent’s custody then their priorities are to be second to the needs of that child. That is because that child had no say to come into this world, but when someone engages in the responsibility of sexual relations they are doing so with full knowledge of the possible outcome. But what Michelle Williams was celebrating was extreme selfishness. That she was not willing to accept the responsibility of such actions, but instead willing to kill an innocent life to avoid the outcomes of her decision.

This is because the ego is an advocate of vice and selfishness. Take the example of the governor’s wife falsely accusing Joseph in order to send him to jail because he would not have sexual relations with her. When she carried out such an accusation she was not thinking about Joseph’s outcome, but only about herself and this became fully apparent when she was questioned about the incident after Joseph was consulted regarding interpreting the king’s dream.

[12:53] I do not claim innocence for myself. The self is an advocate of vice, except for those who have attained mercy from my Lord. My Lord is Forgiver, Most Merciful.

(٥٣) وَمَا أُبَرِّئُ نَفْسِي إِنَّ النَّفْسَ لَأَمَّارَةٌ بِالسُّوءِ إِلَّا مَا رَحِمَ رَبِّي إِنَّ رَبِّي غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ

In her speech, Michelle Willams, was arguing that putting herself and her desires first was the reason that she was able to achieve her Golden Globe. And she was thankful for the opportunity to live in a country where she could kill her own child which in certain regards she should be but not for the reasons she claims.

Force is a tactic that is used throughout the Quran by the disbelievers. God in the Quran advocates freedom to choose to believe or disbelieve. This allows each soul to have their true colors exposed in this world for their actual intentions. In a society where people could not have an abortion let alone have millions of people applauding you for such an act then how would it be determined what one’s true belief was in their heart? The purpose of this world is to expose our true convictions so that on the Day of Judgement there is no debate to how anyone chose to go astray and celebrated such a decision.

[6:44] When they thus disregard the message given to them, we open for them the gates of everything. Then, just as they rejoice in what was given to them, we punish them suddenly; they become utterly stunned.

(٤٤) فَلَمَّا نَسُوا مَا ذُكِّرُوا بِهِ فَتَحْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ أَبْوَابَ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا فَرِحُوا بِمَا أُوتُوا أَخَذْنَاهُمْ بَغْتَةً فَإِذَا هُمْ مُبْلِسُونَ

[46:20] The day will come when those who disbelieved will be introduced to the hellfire: “You have wasted the good chances given to you during your worldly life, and you rejoiced in them. Consequently, today you incur a shameful retribution as a requital for the arrogance you committed on earth without any basis, and for your evil works.”

 وَيَوْمَ يُعْرَضُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا عَلَى النَّارِ أَذْهَبْتُمْ طَيِّبَاتِكُمْ فِي حَيَاتِكُمُ الدُّنْيَا وَاسْتَمْتَعْتُمْ بِهَا فَالْيَوْمَ تُجْزَوْنَ عَذَابَ الْهُونِ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَسْتَكْبِرُونَ فِي الْأَرْضِ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ وَبِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَفْسُقُونَ

Fear The Devil’s Tool

If we reassess these idols that are tricking people to kill their own children there is a common theme that ties all these motivations together which is fear. Fear of a child being born with an ailment, fear of over population, fear of crime, fear of missing out on our goals and achievements. All this fear stems from the devil.

[3:175] It is the devil’s system to instill fear into his subjects. Do not fear them and fear Me instead, if you are believers.

(١٧٥) إِنَّمَا ذَٰلِكُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ يُخَوِّفُ أَوْلِيَاءَهُ فَلَا تَخَافُوهُمْ وَخَافُونِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ

There is a subtle difference between the two verses that discuss abortion in the Quran. In one verse, 6:151, God informs people not to fear because God provides for the parents and for the child, yet in the other verse, 17:31, the reverse is stated where it states that God provides for the children and the parents.

[6:151] Say, “Come let me tell you what your Lord has really prohibited for you: You shall not set up idols besides Him. You shall honor your parents. You shall not kill your children from fear of poverty—we provide for you and for them. You shall not commit gross sins, obvious or hidden. You shall not kill—GOD has made life sacred—except in the course of justice. These are His commandments to you, that you may understand.”

قُلْ تَعَالَوْا أَتْلُ مَا حَرَّمَ رَبُّكُمْ عَلَيْكُمْ أَلَّا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا أَوْلَادَكُمْ مِنْ إِمْلَاقٍ نَحْنُ نَرْزُقُكُمْ وَإِيَّاهُمْ وَلَا تَقْرَبُوا الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ وَلَا تَقْتُلُوا النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ ذَٰلِكُمْ وَصَّاكُمْ بِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ

[17:31] You shall not kill your children due to fear of poverty. We provide for them, as well as for you. Killing them is a gross offense.

Notice that the word fear in 6:151 is not present in the Arabic. Therefore, 6:151 is about parents who are already suffering from poverty who are concerned about their ability to provide for their children. In this scenerio, God informs that parents that it is God who provides for the parents and the child.

In the case of 17:31, the concern from the parents is that the child will cause them to fall into poverty, therefore in this case God is assuring the parents that he provides for the children and for the parents as well.

So if we are fearful because of an event that is already at play even before the child is born (e.g. poverty, environmental impacts) or concerned that the child will cause us to fall into such hardship (e.g. reaching our personal goals, or having a baby that has an abnormality) then God is assuring us all that it is not us who take care of these children or even ourselves, but God alone who provides for both.

[30:40] GOD is the One who created you. He is the One who provides for you. He is the One who puts you to death. He is the One who resurrects you. Can any of your idols do any of these things? Be He glorified. He is much too exalted to have any partners.

 اللَّهُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ ثُمَّ رَزَقَكُمْ ثُمَّ يُمِيتُكُمْ ثُمَّ يُحْيِيكُمْ هَلْ مِنْ شُرَكَائِكُمْ مَنْ يَفْعَلُ مِنْ ذَٰلِكُمْ مِنْ شَيْءٍ سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ

[27:64] Who is the One who initiates the creation, then repeats it? Who is the One who provides for you from the heaven and the earth? Is it another god with GOD? Say, “Show me your proof, if you are truthful.”

(٦٤) أَمَّنْ يَبْدَأُ الْخَلْقَ ثُمَّ يُعِيدُهُ وَمَنْ يَرْزُقُكُمْ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ أَإِلَٰهٌ مَعَ اللَّهِ قُلْ هَاتُوا بُرْهَانَكُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَادِقِينَ

[10:31] Say, “Who provides for you from the heaven and the earth? Who controls all the hearing and the eyesight? Who produces the living from the dead, and the dead from the living? Who is in control of all things?” They would say, “GOD.” Say, “Why then do you not observe the commandments?”

 قُلْ مَنْ يَرْزُقُكُمْ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ أَمَّنْ يَمْلِكُ السَّمْعَ وَالْأَبْصَارَ وَمَنْ يُخْرِجُ الْحَيَّ مِنَ الْمَيِّتِ وَيُخْرِجُ الْمَيِّتَ مِنَ الْحَيِّ وَمَنْ يُدَبِّرُ الْأَمْرَ فَسَيَقُولُونَ اللَّهُ فَقُلْ أَفَلَا تَتَّقُونَ

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