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Discussions / Hadith and Sunnah - a comment
« on: May 09, 2013, 08:10:17 AM »
Hadith and Sunnah - a comment

Posted by Felicity at Thursday, January 31, 2013
http://religionofthought.blogspot.co.uk/


I wrote this in response to a question posed to me in the comment section of a Facebook post by a friend. The post was of a video of Dr. Israr condemning the celebration of Eid Milad un Nabi as  an unlawful bid3at based on the fact that the Prophet (sw) never enjoined it's celebration. While I respect Dr. Israr, I found his view disagreeable, as well as his projection of the jihad from the heart against such acts of bid3at as hatred. My response elicited the question of what I see to be the role of the Hadith and the Sihah Sitta in deen.

When my response began to look like a book report, I chose to post it here...

My perspective on the Hadith and Sihaah Sitta is that these should be used as references if and when a subject in the Quran requires elaboration, but when the text is self-explanatory, the Quran should suffice.

The Hadith are believed to be a record of the sayings and Sunnah of the Prophet. What they really are is in fact a record of memories of people and their anecdotes regarding the Prophet and other events and persons from times past his lifetime. Most of these records were not documented in writing until almost a century after the Prophet's death, except for the narrations of Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al Aas, who, it is claimed, wrote his recordings with the permission of the Prophet himself during his lifetime. Setting aside concerns regarding the accuracy of the process of collection and compilation, it must be noted that there is, unfortunately, no evidence or suggestion that while the Prophet gave his permission, that he ever reviewed what was recorded by Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al Aas. This does not mean that we discount his recordings or any of the others simply because they are memories or because they have not been verified by the Prophet. They may well be true. However, from what I have been able to gather from what I have read in the Quran so far, any testimony regarding the Prophet, for that's what the Hadith are, must be subject to the same treatment as testimony regarding any other person, especially when considering their use to determine what is or isn't religiously lawful. This would mean that for a testimony to render legal use, it would require the witness(es) to take an oath (5:106, 24:6-9 and 3:61, which refers to testimony regarding what is truly the word of God). Such an oath would be required of each witness in the relay-chain of a Hadith, and unfortunately there is no evidence or suggestion that any of those who relayed the Hadith or were witness to them took such an oath. Thus, while the testimonies may be true, without an oath they cannot be deemed sufficient for the purpose of lawmaking or passing judgment.

The methodology employed to prove the authenticity or trustworthiness of a Hadith for the purposes of lawmaking involves placing blind faith in the character and trustworthiness of the narrators - this assignment of trustworthiness appear to be fairly arbitrary and varies between the Shia and Sunni sects - and then corroborating the account with verses from the Quran; in essence, using the Quran as a witness to the testimony - using the Word of God to bear witness to the trustworthiness of a testimony relayed years after the Quran was revealed. Regardless of ones faith in this process or the witnesses, it stands that the testimonies were relayed without oaths, which, if I understand the Quran right, I believe renders them unusable as the premise for religious law.

Moreover, the Hadith, while covering a variety of subjects, are not comprehensively all inclusive. A recording of the Prophet's words or his demonstration of an injunction of Allah could be just an example, one instance, of several possible answers or ways to accomplish the same thing... We don't know how many instances were forgotten, were never recorded or never passed down. So we cannot definitively say that because a certain action was never recorded it is not allowed, or if a certain action was recorded then that is the only way.

The Hadith of Allah however is comprehensive and complete, or so we believe. We believe the Quran was relayed to us by the Rasool exactly as he received it. We believe this because the Quran claims it to be so, saying that the Prophet was under oath to convey the message in it's true form. Now some might say, if I doubt the process of collection and the memories of people than I must doubt the Quran for it was compiled in a very similar manner to the Hadith collection, following the Prophet's death from the memories of men. To that I would say that I believe that this is an argument invented to coerce and blackmail people into blindly placing their faith on the Hadith, for the source of this information - that the Quran was compiled after the death of the Prophet - is the Hadith and those Hadith offer varying accounts and discrepancies regarding when this actually occurred. There are verses in the Quran that convince me that the Quran existed as a written compilation even as it continued to be revealed (52:2-3 and 80:11-16). I also find it difficult to believe that when God refers to the Quran as a "book" and in that Book He prescribes the writing of a Will to ensure that even in death a person is not devoid of his responsibilities (2:180), that He would allow the Prophet to leave without ensuring that the complete Message was compiled so it could be transmitted in its entirety accurately from generation to generation and to other parts of the world, given that the Message was not intended for a people of a particular time or locality, but for all of humanity - as if it were sufficient for people to only know or remember parts of the Quran and they could refer to each other for the parts they did not know, expecting that they would be around forever.

The Quran was the primary message delivered by the Messenger of Allah and hence should be the primary source source for determining what is and isn't lawful.  While I don't think many would dispute that, I think there is a prevailing assumption that the Quran requires further explanation and support from supplementary sources to be completely understood. I believe that the Quran (in verses 7:52 and11:1, 27:1, 38:29, 39:23 and 41:3) makes clear that it explains everything in detail and those who wish to understand it will find their guidance therein. To rely on another source before or alongside the Quran might be akin to suggesting that contrary to the Quran's claim (19:97, 44:58, 54:17, 54:22, 54:32), the message of Allah is in fact not easy to understand. To this end I have heard the argument that the Classical Arabic of the Quran is too difficult to be understood today as the language has evolved tremendously in 1400 years, and this adds to the difficulties faced by non-native Arabic speakers who must then rely on outside sources to understand a book that may indeed have been easy to understand for the Arabic speakers of that time. But then, the Arabic of the Hadith would technically need to be of the same era and just as difficult to understand. However, there doesn't appear to be as much resistance or hesitation regarding them.

In truth, and and as a manifestation of Allah's Power and Infinite Wisdom on ensuring that it is never too difficult to comprehend His Message, it turns out that Arabic is evolutionarily a very conservative language. James A Bellamy writes that the language of a pre-Islamic 5th century inscription (no. 8 from the slideshow menu) is closer to modern Arabic than the language of Shakespeare is to modern English (from Islamic-awareness.com)

The conservative evolution of Arabic over 1400 years and more means that the message is better preserved and remains accessible to todays population. With the growing number of resources available on the ever-accessible and faster Internet that can translate and explain the Arabic language and it's grammar for free and without the need to visit special libraries for resources, it is becoming increasingly more convenient and less difficult to decipher the language of the Quran.

What is perhaps most frustrating is that most claims about the difficulty of understanding the Quran's language are usually made without an honest attempt at reading the Book in a language that one may understand, likely because of the traditional discouragement towards making such personal attempts, which it is feared may result in a misunderstanding of the message... although one is encouraged to "recite" in the language they do not understand all they want. One cannot expect to understand a book or its subject matter simply by reading all the reviews, opinions and book reports on it and skimming over some excerpts. It could be that it is the various commentaries that produce the confusion and difficulties in comprehending the book and its message. Hence, the main source should be studied first or at least it should be the primary focal point, and everything else should be treated as supplemental. The Hadith in my opinion, would be supplemental to the study of the Quran and the determination of Islamic law.


Now I understand that the Quran, for instance, while ordaining Salah does not explain how to perform it step by step as it does the Wudhu. However it does set the following parameters about what Salat entails:

1. Remembrance 20:14 - (54:17, 22, 32, 40 show that Quran is for remembrance) 29:45, also reiterates that reciting Quran = establishing prayer = rememberance of Allah
2. Glorification 24:36, 33:42
3. For Allah 6:162
4. Seeking forgiveness for sin and exalting God 40:55
5. Standing 3:39, 4:102, 52:48, 26:219, 73:2, 20 (although this standing for prayer may be an expression and not literal)
6. Bowing 2:125, 9:122, 48.29
7. Prostration 4:102, 7:206, 15:98, 26:219, 50:40, 76:26
8. Specified times 4;103, 20:130 before sunrise (fajr) before sunset (asr) hours of the night (isha) ends/extremities of the day (at its zenith - zuhr, and when it is ending with the sun just below the horizon - Maghreb), 30:17-18
9. Orientation/ facing a particular direction 2:144, 2:149-150, 7:29

Because of the manner in which this information is relayed, it is not obvious that all of these are requisite for prayer and must be included in the salat, except where it is stated that the salat is meant for remembrance and where prostration is indicated as being part of the Salah. The Hadith would demonstrate how to pray within these parameters, although from what I understand, there are no hadith that specifically describe the prayer process even if there are references to certain postures held during Salah. Even so, had there been one or more recorded testimonies describing in detail the Prophet praying from beginning to end, it would only serve as an example of how these parameters can be met while praying; and while one may prefer to pray in the manner of that example because he desires to be like the Prophet, the example cannot be used to establish rules regarding prayer, simply because the Hadith is not verified by an oath, even if it is believed to be true and the chain of transmittance is trusted. Moreover, if a Hadith claims that the Prophet engaged in a ritual during prayer that challenges or goes against any of these parameters, then that testimony would need to be investigated and challenged, much like a law or a bill would be challenged if it went against the constitution.

The Wudhu is different (the term Wudhu does not exist in the Quran but that is of little significance) in that the steps, and in fact, the areas to be cleansed and how they are to be cleansed are explained. The text is self-explanatory and thus does not require supplemental material. However if a Hadith claims that the Prophet engaged in additional steps during Wudhu, so long as they do not counter or exclude the step laid out in the Quran, the Hadith may be followed. However, those additional steps may not be turned into requisites and added to the requisites laid out in the Quran.


My contention was chiefly that often times even when an explanation isn't necessary, the Hadith are primordially resorted to by scholars and clerics instead of what should be their principal source, the Quran. Using the Hadith as the primordial source tends to create rules where there are none. Is it that we feel that God did not establish sufficient rules for us? The parameters established by God in the Quran are sufficient. As long as a ritual does not transgress those parameters, there is no harm in it. But to outlaw something that the Quran did not outlaw, or to make compulsory something the Quran never enjoined, would be to transgress those parameters.

I would like to clarify, in case my writing created a different impression, that I am not at all dismissive of the Hadith. I do believe that some or most of the transmissions may in fact be true. However, they are not all-encompassing of everything the Prophet said or did during his lifetime as the Messenger of Allah and because there may be so much that is not documented, they cannot be use to conclusively establish or promulgate religious law; plus they were not transmitted under oath. Therefore, I believe they can only be used as supplemental reference but cannot employed in determining religious law or for the purposes of passing judgment on people or their actions.


And follow that which is revealed to you from your lord. Indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, acquainted. (33:2)

And rely upon Allah; and sufficient is Allah as Disposer of affairs. (33:3)

2
Discussions / Layla Mandi – Spirit of a Pioneer
« on: March 30, 2013, 05:46:57 AM »
Message from G. Waleed Kavalec
5:43pm Mar 29

Salaam and Jummah Mubarak

I have been posting this to many groups and pages, and I would ask your help in doing the same.

My wife Habiba has confirmed the facts and has spoken with sister Mandi and to those friends who are trying to help her.

Please share this as best you are able
JZAK

-------------------------


I would like to introduce you to the Canadian Muslim Convert who:

discovered and first disclosed the inclusion of pork by-products in conventional personal care and cosmetics products;
ascertained the lack of readily available suitable products for Muslim women;
developed a halal-based beauty brand to provide Muslim women with an alternative product; and
dedicated herself toward the development of a full-fledged global halal beauty industry.

Meet Sister Layla Mandi, a woman who also has lost all of her family and friends because of her conversion to Islam, and is now paralyzed and in urgent need of help to walk again.

http://www.facebook.com/l/-AQFA7_F8AQHWpDLVQXVIiGIStNG8Dw0CTBOIJ3ZJu_wPWg/www.muslimahcompass.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=507&Itemid=8
 
Layla Mandi – Spirit of a Pioneer
www.muslimahcompass.org

Muslimah Compass - dedicated to empowering the Muslimah

3
Resources and Information Portal / A Text Version of Edward Lanes
« on: February 27, 2013, 12:02:58 AM »
An Arabic English Lexicon converted into text.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License (Details can be found here: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/)

[Converted to text file by NAVEED UL-ISLAM & ZUNERA NAVEED. Please report errors and your suggestions to naveedulislam@hotmail.com]

Quransmessage.com and Joseph Islam accept no responsibility for the contents or any problems that may result as a consequence of following the actions below.

These instructions have only been shared in good faith and are intended to be used solely at the reader's discretion.

(1) Please RIGHT CLICK on the link below and save the text file to your hard drive. (Save link as...)

http://www.quransmessage.com/files/lane-text/lane-an-arabic-english-lexicon-v0.1.txt

(2) Please download and run the recommended free text editing software BabelPad below or an appropriate text editing software.

http://www.babelstone.co.uk/Software/BabelPad.html

(3) Please open the text file with the editor.

May God reward all those that strive in His way. Ameen.

4
General Discussions / Muqattat Letters - Study from Turkey
« on: November 23, 2012, 12:24:59 PM »

An external study submitted. Posted on the forum for perusal by wider audience.

Joseph Islam does not accept any responsibility for the contents that appear below or any reliance that may be placed on them.

http://quransmessage.com/forum/posts/m-letters.htm


5
Discussions / Why are Muslims So Boring?
« on: October 17, 2012, 11:47:20 PM »
By: Ziauddin Sardar
http://www.islaminteractive.info/content/why-are-muslims-so-boring


For the last 25 years, my wife has been doing semi-voluntary work at a special school near where we live. It is a small school for pupils with physical disability or delicate health needs who need a structured and particularly supportive learning environment.

Every year, the school holds a special assembly to celebrate the beginning of Ramadan. And every year, without fail, there is a common question: why are Muslims so boring?

The displays at the Ramadan assembly are copies of the Qur’an, a couple of prayer mats, and an odd poster. There is the standard, solemn recitation of the Qur’an. In contrast, the Dewali assembly is a riot of colour, costume, dance and music. Ditto for Chinese New Year. Not surprisingly, the pupils enjoy themselves thoroughly and, unlike the Ramadan event, look forward to them eagerly.

I sympathise with the children. We Muslims are not very good at expressing joy. We have reduced our religion to a set of rituals which we enact like robots at every occasion. When Muslims want to celebrate something, they go and offer some extra prayers! Indeed, there are some amongst us who have even outlawed all sources of pleasure and delight. Every time some unfortunate sods in the Muslim world are lumbered with an ‘Islamic government’, music is declared to be haram, cinemas are closed, dance and theatre are banned, and art and imagination are outlawed. No wonder, the rest of the world finds Muslims somewhat lacking in humanity.

No society, whatever it holds to be true, can survive without culture in all its multiple manifestations. Prayer and rituals may make us pious and righteous, but it is cultural expression that really manifests our full humanity. To say that all we need is prayer and rituals is to diminish ourselves as human beings. As human beings, we have an innate need for cultural nourishment, an innate desire to express our most sublime thoughts, emotions and feelings. Moreover, we also need to be entertained, to feel good about ourselves, to be jolted about our shortcomings, and to communicate joy and contentment. But how we do this when we look down on all forms of cultural expression?

Consider, for example, the absurd suggestion that music is haram. If this were true, than God has ordained that we should ignore and suppress something that He, in His Wisdom, choose to give us in the first place: the beauty of sound. In other words, we are being asked to overlook one of our five vital senses, one-fifth of what makes us human. The suggestion also belies Islamic history whose tributaries and valleys were alive with the sound of music. Indeed, one of the most common musical instruments, the guitar, was invented in Muslim Spain. Not to mention the role played by music in Sufism, one of the major strands of Islamic thought, where music is used routinely for mystical elevation, for getting close to God.

Equally absurd is the suggestion that Islam outlaws images. Hence, cinema and television, painting and sculpture, and other forms of art that rely on images should be banned from Islamic societies. Islam shuns idolatry. But to suggest Muslims are so stupid that they will start worshipping cinematic or sculpted images is genuinely dumbfounding. Those who insist that Muslims can exist without images in a world awash with images -  where images are the dominant and most effective way of communicating messages, portraying people and societies, and displaying power and privilege - are inviting us to commit suicide.

We need to realise that culture is power. Indeed, culture is the most prominent source of power in the contemporary world. Look at the impact of Bollywood, not just in Britain, but all over the world. Note how Hollywood maintains the domination of American culture throughout the world; and note also how Hong Kong action films and Chinese art cinema are transforming Hollywood. Consider the impact of serious and popular European fiction on the globe. Think how art has been used in so many societies to highlight their shortcoming and express dissent. Notice how music and dance bring people together everywhere.

Culture is also a source of resistance. We can only resist the proliferation of the globalised mass culture of McDonald and Coca Cola variety with our own cultural products. But if we don’t produce anything ourselves, if we shun all forms of art and architecture, film and fiction, dance and theatre, then we have nothing that could offer resistance. Except perhaps our victimhood in which we already wallow at every opportunity.

Finally, cultural expression can be a way of thanking God. When I listen to Quawwali or sitar, or watch the latest masterpiece of the Iranian cinema, or look at particularly uplifting work of art, or read an insightful novel, I cannot but exclaim: ‘Alhumdulilllah’. God, in His Infinite Mercy, has endowed us with so many wonderful ways to enlighten and enrich ourselves. And so many diverse ways to ‘see’ His signs and feel His presence.

The suppression of cultural expression is a form of ungratefulness. It is the denial of God’s grace and cultural bounty. This is why the most obnoxious Muslims you will meet are so diminished, so lacking in appreciation of culture, so constipated with their disgust and disdain of cultural expression.

At the end, we are so boring because we insist on being truncated human beings. And because we are so ungrateful to God.

6
Discussions / Why are Jews so powerful and Muslims so powerless?
« on: October 09, 2012, 11:22:19 PM »
External Content


Why are Jews so powerful and Muslims so powerless?
Blitz Comprehensive Tabloid Weekly
by. Dr. Farrukh Saleem
January 8 2010

URL: http://www.weeklyblitz.net/394/why-are-jews-so-powerful-and-muslims-so-powerless


There are only 14 million Jews in the world; seven million in the Americas, five million in Asia, two million in Europe and 100,000 in Africa. For every single Jew in the world there are 100 Muslims. Yet, Jews are more than a hundred times more powerful than all the Muslims put together. Ever wondered why?

Jesus of Nazareth was Jewish. Albert Einstein, the most influential scientist of all time and TIME magazine's 'Person of the Century', was a Jew. Sigmund Freud - ego, superego - the father of psychoanalysis was a Jew. So were Karl Marx, Paul Samuelson and Milton Friedman.

Here are a few other Jews whose intellectual output has enriched the whole of humanity: Benjamin Rubin gave humanity the vaccinating needle. Jonas Salk developed the first polio vaccine. Alert Sabin developed the improved live polio vaccine. Gertrude Elion gave us a leukemia-fighting drug. Baruch Blumberg developed the vaccination for Hepatitis B. Paul Ehrlich discovered a treatment for syphilis (a sexually transmitted disease). Elie Metchnikoff won a Nobel Prize in infectious diseases.

Bernard Katz won a Nobel Prize in neuromuscular transmission. Andrew Schally won a Nobel in endocrinology (disorders of the endocrine system; diabetes, hyperthyroidism). Aaron Beck founded Cognitive Therapy (psychotherapy to treat mental disorders, depression and phobias). Gregory Pincus developed the first oral contraceptive pill. George Wald won a Nobel for furthering our understanding of the human eye. Stanley Cohen won a Nobel in embryology (study of embryos and their development). Willem Kolff came up with the kidney dialysis machine.

Over the past 105 years, 14 million Jews have won 180 Nobel Prizes while only 3 Nobel Prizes have been won by 1.4 billion Muslims (other than Peace Prizes).

Why are Jews so powerful? Stanley Mezor invented the first micro-processing chip. Leo Szilard developed the first nuclear chain reactor; Peter Schultz, the optical fibre cable; Charles Adler - traffic lights; Benno Strauss - stainless steel; Isador Kisee - sound movies; Emile Berliner - the telephone microphone and Charles Ginsburg - the videotape recorder.

Famous financiers in the business world who belong to the Jewish faith include Ralph Lauren (Polo), Levis Strauss (Levi's Jeans), Howard Schultz (Starbuck's) , Sergey Brin (Google), Michael Dell (Dell Computers), Larry Ellison (Oracle), Donna Karan (DKNY), Irv Robbins (Baskins & Robbins) and Bill Rosenberg (Dunkin Donuts).

Richard Levin, President of Yale University, is a Jew. So are Henry Kissinger (American secretary of state), Alan Greenspan (Federal Chairman of Banking under Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush, Jr.), Joseph Lieberman, Senator, Madeleine Albright (former Secretary of State), Maxim Litvinov (USSR Foreign Minister), David Marshal (Singapore's first Chief Minister), Issac Isaacs (Governor-General of Australia), Benjamin Disraeli (British statesman and author), Yevgeny Primakov (Russian Prime Minister), Jorge Sampaio (President of Portugal), Herb Gray (Canadian Deputy Prime Minister), Pierre Mendes (French Prime Minister), Michael Howard (British Home Secretary), Bruno Kreisky (Chancellor of Austria) and Robert Rubin (former Secretary of the Treasury).

In the media, famous Jews include Wolf Blitzer (CNN), Barbara Walters (ABC News), Eugene Meyer (Washington Post), Henry Grunwald (Editor-in-Chief of Time Magazine), Katherine Graham (publisher of The Washington Post), Joseph Lelyyeld (Executive Editor, The New York Times), and Max Frankel (New York Times).

Can you name the most beneficent philanthropist in the history of the world? The name is George Soros, a Jew, who has so far donated a colossal $4 billion; most of which has gone as aid to scientists and universities around the world. Second to George Soros is Walter Annenberg, another Jew, who has built a hundred libraries by donating an estimated $2 billion.

At the Olympics, Mark Spitz set a record of sorts by wining seven gold medals. Lenny Krayzelburg is a three-time Olympic gold medalist. Spitz, Krayzelburg and Boris Becker (Tennis) are all Jewish.

Did you know that Harrison Ford, George Burns, Tony Curtis, Charles Bronson, Sandra Bullock, Barbra Streisand, Billy Crystal, Woody Allen, Paul Newman, Peter Sellers, Dustin Hoffman, Michael Douglas, Ben Kingsley, Kirk Douglas, William Shatner, Jerry Lewis and Peter Falk are all Jewish?

As a matter of fact, Hollywood itself was founded by a Jew. Among directors and producers, Steven Spielberg, Mel Brooks, Oliver Stone, Aaron Spelling (Beverly Hills 90210), Neil Simon (The Odd Couple), Andrew Vaina (Rambo's 1, 2 and 3), Michael Mann (Starsky and Hutch), Milos Forman (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest), Douglas Fairbanks (The Thief of Baghdad) and Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters) are all Jewish.

To be certain, Washington is the capital that matters and in Washington the lobby that matters is The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC. Washington knows that if PM Ehud Olmert were to discover that the earth is flat, AIPAC will make the 109th Congress pass a resolution congratulating Olmert on his discovery.

William James Sidis, with an IQ of 250-300, is the brightest human who ever existed. Guess what faith did he belong to?

So, why are Jews so powerful?

Answer: Education!

Why are Muslims so powerless?

There are an estimated 1,476,233,470 Muslims on the face of the planet: one billion in Asia, 400 million in Africa, 44 million in Europe and six million in the Americas. Every fifth human being is a Muslim. For every single Hindu there are two Muslims, for every Buddhist there are two Muslims and for every Jew there are one hundred Muslims. Ever wondered why Muslims are so powerless?

Here is why: There are 57 member-countries of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), and all of them put together have around 500 universities; one university for every three million Muslims. The United States has 5,758 universities (1 for every 57,000 Americans) and India has 8,407. In 2004, Shanghai Jiao Tong University compiled an 'Academic Ranking of World Universities', and intriguingly, not one university from Muslim-majority states was in the top 500.

As per data collected by the UNDP, literacy in the Christian world stands at nearly 90 per cent and 15 Christian-majority states have a literacy rate of 100 per cent. A Muslim-majority state, as a sharp contrast, has an average literacy rate of around 40 per cent and there is no Muslim-majority state with a literacy rate of 100 per cent. Some 98 per cent of the 'literates' in the Christian world had completed primary school, while less than 50 per cent of the 'literates' in the Muslim world did the same. Around 40 per cent of the 'literates' in the Christian world attended university while no more than two per cent of the 'literates' in the Muslim world did the same.

Muslim-majority countries have 230 scientists per one million Muslims. The U.S. has 4,000 scientists per million and Japan has 5,000 per million. In the entire Arab world, the total number of full-time researchers is 35,000 and there are only 50 technicians per one million Arabs (in the Christian world there are up to 1,000 technicians per one million). Furthermore, the Muslim world spends 0.2 per cent of its GDP on research and development, while the Christian world spends around five per cent of its GDP.

Conclusion: The Muslim world lacks the capacity to produce knowledge.

Daily newspapers per 1,000 people and number of book titles per million are two indicators of whether knowledge is being diffused in a society. In Pakistan, there are 23 daily newspapers per 1,000 Pakistanis while the same ratio in Singapore is 360. In the UK, the number of book titles per million stands at 2,000 while the same in Egypt is 20.

Conclusion: The Muslim world is failing to diffuse knowledge.

Exports of high technology products as a percentage of total exports are an important indicator of knowledge application. Pakistan's exports of high technology products as a percentage of total exports stands at one per cent. The same for Saudi Arabia, Kuwait , Morocco , and Algeria (are all at 0.3 per cent) while Singapore is at 58 per cent.

Conclusion: The Muslim world is failing to apply knowledge.

Why are Muslims powerless?

Because we aren't producing knowledge.

Why are Muslims powerless?
Because we aren't diffusing knowledge.

Why are Muslims powerless?
Because we aren't applying knowledge.

And, the future belongs to knowledge-based societies.

Interestingly, the combined annual GDP of 57 OIC-countries is under $2 trillion. America, just by herself, produces goods and services worth $12 trillion; China - $8 trillion, Japan - $3.8 trillion and Germany - $2.4 trillion (purchasing power parity basis).

Oil rich Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Qatar collectively produce goods and services (mostly oil) worth $500 billion; Spain alone produces goods and services worth over $1 trillion; Catholic Poland - $489 billion and Buddhist Thailand - $545 billion. Muslim GDP, as a percentage of worlds GDP, is fast declining.

So, why are Muslims so powerless?

Answer: Lack of education!

All we do is shouting to Allah the whole day and blame everyone else for our multiple failures.

Opinion expressed in this article is solely of the author.

7
Discussions / Critique of a 'Quranist' Blog
« on: August 31, 2012, 02:34:09 AM »
Quranology Blog
By: Farouk A. Peru

Shared on: http://quranology.wordpress.com/2012/04/20/ch-2-vs-196-the-completion-of-the-challenge/

Ch 2 Vs 196 (The Completion of the Challenge)
Posted on April 20, 2012
2:196



وَأَتِمُّوا الْحَجَّ وَالْعُمْرَةَ لِلَّهِ فَإِنْ أُحْصِرْتُمْ فَمَا اسْتَيْسَرَ مِنَ الْهَدْيِ وَلا تَحْلِقُوا رُءُوسَكُمْ حَتَّى يَبْلُغَ الْهَدْيُ مَحِلَّهُ فَمَنْ كَانَ مِنْكُمْ مَرِيضًا أَوْ بِهِ أَذًى مِنْ رَأْسِهِ فَفِدْيَةٌ مِنْ صِيَامٍ أَوْ صَدَقَةٍ أَوْ نُسُكٍ فَإِذَا أَمِنْتُمْ فَمَنْ تَمَتَّعَ بِالْعُمْرَةِ إِلَى الْحَجِّ فَمَا اسْتَيْسَرَ مِنَ الْهَدْيِ فَمَنْ لَمْ يَجِدْ فَصِيَامُ ثَلاثَةِ أَيَّامٍ فِي الْحَجِّ وَسَبْعَةٍ إِذَا رَجَعْتُمْ تِلْكَ عَشَرَةٌ كَامِلَةٌ ذَلِكَ لِمَنْ لَمْ يَكُنْ أَهْلُهُ حَاضِرِي الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ
 
This follows from the process of 195, to spend in the way of Allah (due to the ‘wa’ which denotes simultaniety). We are to complete the challenge and fertilisation for Allah, which is to establish and grow His system in the world. Whoever is prevented should send forth progressions and not let go of this thought until it reaches its place of effectiveness. Those who are ill or with psychological issues should fast or give charity or keep up their life activities. Once they are secure, they are continue with fertilisation towards the challenge (that is to keep growing Gods system till it challenges oppression) by keep contributing hadya/progressions.  If he is unable to make progress during the period of challenge (see 2/189, the period of challenge and the period for the people), he is to fast for ‘three’ periods during the challenge and a number of periods during the times for people. That would be make the formula for perfect social living (3asharah kaamilah). These are for the people whose ahl/kith and kin are not present in God’s sanctified system.

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Discussions / Critique of Aidid Safar by Edip Yuksel
« on: August 03, 2012, 07:22:28 AM »
Link shared by reader:

http://www.yuksel.org/e/religion/arab.htm


n Aidid’s Wonderland, place of worships (masaajid) vanishes to submissions (yes, plural!); timely prayers transform to timely commitments; “worshiping God” is rejected and replaced by “serving God”; the Sacred House Ka’ba mutates into “the ‘ankles’ the sanctioned in the system” (the ankles are literally the ankles of deer and goats!); verbs and adverbs are ignored  whenever they do not conspire with Aidid against Arab Conspiracies; nouns and verbs act like transsexuals in a “fundamental” way where the meanings are freshly assigned by Aidid to justify his bizarre theories.
 
Conspiracy Against Conspiracies
or
Words in the Wonderland
 
Edip Yuksel
© yuksel.org
 
The author, Aidid Safar, in The Arab Conspiracies Against Islam, expresses his position with an eloquent and powerful argument. I agree with some of his arguments and disagree with the most. I find some of his arguments being inconsequential word choice, such as the meaning of DYN being way of life rather than religion, which I think, ultimately means the same thing. However, his argument aiming to eliminate Salaat and Hajj rituals are radical, yet fragile and unsupported. His arguments against rituals occasionally appear strong when they are compared to the traditional corrupt interpretation of some verses. In other words, the strength of his position mostly relies on the weakness of mushrik Sunni and Shiite (mis)translation of Quranic verses.
 
Currently, I do not have time nor desire to evaluate all of his arguments, since it might take a similar book to demonstrate the numerous errors, speculations, and unjustified inferences. But, I would like to briefly note the following:
 
Aidid asserts that SaLLY means not prayer, but commitment. There is some truth in this statement. The word SaLLY, when it is not used together with the verb IQaMa, usually means support and encouragement. For instance, I translated the verse 74:43 in my Turkish translation, Mesaj:  “They will say: ‘We did not support’”. Similarly I translated the verse 75:31 in Mesaj: “He neither accepted the truth, nor he supported.” I also translated the word Salla to mean support in verses 2:157; 9:99,103; and 33:43,56. Furthermore, I agree with Aidid that in verse 5:106 the word Salla may not mean the salaat ritual. However, when the word Salat is used with verb IQaMa it refers to a timely ritual preceded by ablution. His arguments on those verses are not convincing.
 
In page 19 he provides a list of words claiming that their meanings have been distorted. Though I agree with him partially, for instance that the meaning of SaLLY has been distorted in verses I listed above, and the meaning of the word MaQaM (in re Abraham) is mistranslated as footprint; however he goes extreme in his fight against the conspiracy theory and reaches to bizarre conclusions.
 
For instance, Aidid want us stop “worshiping God” and start “serving God” on the basis that God does not need our worship. But, he ignores the validity of the same question for serving God. Surely, God does not need our service either. When a wrong question is asked you can be sure that the answer will also be wrong. We worship God not because God needs our worship, but because we need it.
 
Aidid asserts that the word al-BaYT (singular form) which has been traditionally translated as THE HOUSE, usually referring to the public building raised by Abraham and his children in Mecca, should be translated as SYSTEM. He claims that HaJJ, the annual PILGRIM to the House in Mecca, should be understood as CHALLENGE OR DISCOURSE. He is suggesting new meanings to old words. I would welcome such a radical move if he had provided a substantial Quranic and logical reason to do so. The traditional meanings of the word BaYT and HaJJ explain all the verses where they occur without forcing our imagination, but the so-called "fundamental meanings" suggested by Aidid are usually beyond my imagination. Let me explain:
 
2:127 is about raising the foundation of the House. Like Aidid, I can imagine this to be about laying the foundation of a new system.
 
2:158 is about visiting the House. I cannot imagine this to be about “challenging or discourse to God’s system” (al-BaYT in the context of Hajj does not carry a negative connotation, but is associated to Abraham and God in the Quran.)
 
5:95 asks us making sure that offerings reach the KA’Ba. I cannot imagine  it to be about “to determine the ‘ankles’” or “guides maturity the ankle” meaning  “they must determine the maturity of the deer on its ankles” as suggested by the author. I do not even understand what the author means by these words.
 
5:97 tells us that God has consecrated the Ka’bah, the sacred House as a safety for people. But, Aidid wants us to understand it as “God has set the ‘ankles’ (ka’bata) the sanctioned in the system (baytil-harami) to be upheld for mankind”. If the word “ridiculous” or “nonsense” has a reference in human language and in real life, then Aidid’s translation of this phrase is one of them.
 
8:35 tells us that the prayer of the mushriks by the House was merely hypocrisy (muka) and repulsion from truth (tasdiya). But Aidid Safar wants us to understand it as “their commitment to the system,” The author does not care about INDA (nearby) or other propositions. He ignores or distorts their meaning to fit his theory.
 
17:93 informs us about the demands of disbelievers from Muhammad, including his having a luxurious/adorned house (mansion). Though Aidid does not translate this verse, according to his “fundamental meaning” we should understand that mushriks expected Muhammad have a luxurious (zukhruf) system! Perhaps, Aidid will change the meaning of ZUKHRUF too, since he does not need much justification as long as it serves his pre-conceived conclusions.
 
28:12 tells the story of Moses being returned to his home/family and quotes his sister saying “May I show you a people of a HOUSE (family/home) that can raise him and take care of him for you?” According to Aidid this is an Arab conspiracy. The “fundamental meaning” suggested by Aidid, Moses’ sister is talking about a people of a SYSTEM. In Aidid’s imagination, all the individual BaYTs (house/building) are destroyed to build a SYSTEM with no rituals. BuYuT (Houses), on the other hand, are spared. They are houses!
 
In Aidid’s fundamentally non-Arabic semantic world, Pharaoh’s wife prayed not for a place in paradise/garden (jannah) but a system in paradise (66:11). I suppose, Aidid has all the skills to change the meaning of every word in the Quran, including the word Jannah. The house of the lady transforms to the lady’s system dwelled by Joseph (12:23), and God’s system needs to be cleaned by people (2:125; 22:26). Again, according to Aidid’s dictionary, God caused the Prophet get out of his system with the Truth (8:5)! Whatever it may mean? If you do not understand Aidid, it is because you are brainwashed by Arab conspiracies.
 
In short, in Aidid’s Wonderland, place of worships (masaajid) vanishes to submissions (yes, plural!); timely prayers transform to timely commitments; “worshiping God” is rejected and replaced by “serving God”; the Sacred House Ka’ba mutates into “the ‘ankles’ the sanctioned in the system” (the ankles are literally the ankles of deer and goats!); verbs and adverbs are ignored  whenever they do not conspire with Aidid against Arab Conspiracies; nouns and verbs act like transsexuals in a “fundamental” way where the meanings are freshly assigned by Aidid to justify his bizarre theories.
 
This is another abuse and exploitation of the Quran Alone message. Aidid is not the first nor will be the last brave warrior who will use the powerful message of the Quran Alone against tradition to justify esoteric and absurd claims. In an overpopulated world any conspiracy theory and any absurd idea will find some followers. We should let the Arab conspirators and non-Arab counter-conspirators deal with each other. As long as there are wind mills there will be Don Quixotes and their admirers. Peace for all of them!  Thank God, I do not own any wind mills;-)

10
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zg0RdSurLXI

If any English translations of this video are available, please feel free to share.

Salam

QM Team

11
Discussions / Ghulam Parwez Critiqued - Literature
« on: July 04, 2012, 06:30:28 AM »

For Urdu speaking readers

Ghulam Ahmed Pervez - Shakhsiyat Aur Kirdar (www.tauheed-sunnat.com)

http://www.tauheed-sunnat.com/book/296/Ghulam-Ahmed-Pervez--Shakhsiyat-Aur-Kirdar/

If anyone has an English translation for the readership of this forum, please feel free to share.

Salam

QM Team

12
Discussions / Why I No Longer Envy Born Believers
« on: March 23, 2012, 10:47:06 PM »
By Yoginder Sikand for New Age Islam

For many years, I harboured a deep-rooted envy for people who unquestioningly believed in whatever religion they happened to be born into. Their seemingly unshakable belief gave them, or so I thought, remarkable confidence, which I sorely lacked and desperately craved for. How I wished I could have the same uncritical faith! How I agonized about why my parents had never insisted that I follow any religious tradition, including their own! Surely, with the sort of commitment that the ‘born believers’ I knew displayed, weathering the storms that I had to confront in my life—and there were many—would have been infinitely less painful. How much suffering I would have been spared—or so I used to think.
Although I tried to experiment with various religions over the years—not very seriously, I must admit—I could never arrive at the same state of belief (or what critics would call ‘blind faith’) as that of ardent ‘born believers’. Lack of sincerity and commitment was certainly one factor. That it was solace or an end to my inner suffering, rather than truth, that I was searching for was another. But, equally, the fact that I simply could not bring myself to believe in and assent to the absurd, unacceptable and immoral claims, beliefs and tenets of some of the religions that I sought to engage with ruled out the sort of faith that I so desperately craved for.

Today, after years of studying different religions and religious communities, I no longer feel the way I used to about people with seemingly unshakable belief in the religions they were born and socialized by their parents into. Indeed, I am now profoundly thankful to have been spared the ideological brainwashing that billions of ‘born believers’ throughout history have been—and continue to be—subjected to.

True religion, as I understand it, ought to provide ultimate truths concerning existence, life, death and beyond and the divine realms. Surely, accessing or realising these truths should be a matter of ultimate importance for those who claim to be religious. Nothing else, I presume, would be of greater importance to a sincere seeker. But, as I have painfully discovered, this is something that the vast majority of ‘born believers’ are simply not interested in or concerned about at all. For them, unflinching loyalty to the diktats of the religion they happened to be born into—even if what their religions teach on a range of issues may be patently absurd, unscientific or morally reprehensible —is of fundamental importance. Loyal adherence to the faith that they have inherited from their parents, rather than the desire to realize the truth as it is, underlies their religious life.

Since it is unquestioning adherence to the faith of one’s parents, rather than an honest search for truth, that drives the ‘born believer’, one can be sure that had he or she been born into a different religion instead he or she would have believed in it with equal passion. Consider the case of a born Christian, who insists that Christ is the only way to salvation and regards Mohammad as an imposter. Had the same person been born a Muslim instead, it is almost certain that he would insist that Islam was the only true religion and that Mohammad was the greatest prophet. He would also fervently believe that Christians would perish in hell for what he would consider as their disbelief. Likewise, a born Muslim might very likely believe that Hinduism is polytheistic nonsense. However, had she been born into an orthodox Brahmin household instead, she might well have regarded Islam as wholly false and considered Hinduism as the epitome of truth. Similarly, a born Muslim might regard the Sikh form of worship completely unacceptable in the eyes of God and the Sikh custom of leaving one’s hair unshorn absurd, but it is very possible that had he been born into a Sikh family instead he would have considered the Muslims’ five compulsory daily prayers as a tiresome burden and a meaningless ritual and the Islamic practice of male circumcision as barbaric.

As these hypothetical examples illustrate, most blind believers are not guided by the quest for truth at all. Indeed, they are inimically opposed to that very quest. Most such believers follow their particular inherited religion and claim it to be the best simply because they were born into it and feel compelled to defend its teachings (no matter how absurd they may be) at any cost. They have been socialized into believing that the religion of their parents is the only valid repository of ultimate or divine truth, or, at least, the most superior one. At the same time, they are also trained to believe that all other religions are perversely wrong, wicked and immoral or, at the very least, definitely inferior to their own. That is why the blind believer can never generously admit the merits and truths of other religions. If he reluctantly does so, you can be sure that he still feels compelled to insist (to himself, if not to others) that his own religion remains the best. Blind belief of this sort is at the very basis of bloody conflicts in the name of religion the world over.

Blind believers are psychologically compelled to regard that every word of their scriptures, prophets, avatars and gurus as absolute divine truths. This belief is not based on any objective examination of their religions or of the lives of the key figures of their religious traditions, but simply on unquestioning belief. For even a shadow of doubt or skepticism to emerge in the minds of such believers about their religious texts or the personalities of their founding figures is regarded as the most heinous crime possible—which, they are forced into believing, will provoke the wrath of the divine. Instigating and instilling fear of divine punishment for daring to doubt or question is how most religions manage to maintain their stranglehold on the minds of blind believers.

Many widely-revered religious scriptures abound with absurd and unscientific claims, but blind believers do not dare question them. Some such texts depict a violent, hate-driven and vengeful God, who drives his followers to declare war on those who do not accept what they claim is the sole true religion. Others are replete with stories of deities who engage in adulterous affairs or are habitual drunkards and rapists. The narratives of the founders and key-figures of several religious traditions indicate that some of them suffered terrible moral flaws and were hardly the models of virtue that their followers imagine them to have been. Some are recorded as having engaged in looting, adultery and rape, others in incest, murder and widespread slaughter—crimes that would surely have landed them into jail or into mental asylums had they been around today.
In the face of all of this, blind believers are often compelled to engage in painful struggles to retain their faith in their religious traditions. This explains the frantic efforts they are forced to make to defend, cover-up, explain away or excuse the absurd claims and immoralities which some of their religious texts themselves record and even uphold as normative. Had their religiosity been based on the quest for truth, rather than unquestioning loyalty to the religion they have been born into and blindly accept, they would have been spared this painful torment of struggling to defend the indefensible.

True seekers are the polar opposite of blind believers. A true seeker refuses to be bound by or unquestioningly accept the religion that his forefathers have cherished, for he recognizes that this can be a major fetter in his search for truth. Indeed, he is open to the possibility that most or even every religious tradition, including the one he was born into, maybe flawed, while at the same time he recognizes that truth may well be found outside the boundaries of conventional religion.

Unlike the born or blind believer, the true seeker refuses to seek truth only in what are conventionally regarded as ‘holy’ scriptures or to be bound and confined by them. For such a seeker, the whole of the cosmos, including, and most importantly, his own self, is the arena for discovering and experiencing truth. What drives the true seeker on is the quest for the truth about the fundamental questions about the divine and about life and death, and in this search he refuses to blindly accept anything in any religion—including the one he happened to be born into—that does not conform to his experience, personal realization, the confirmed findings of science and the demands of basic morality.

True seekers are few—and have always been so. The harsh reality is that the vast majority of people who consider themselves religious are blind believers, almost all believers in whatever religion they happened to be born into and reared by their families to believe in. Why this has been so is not difficult to understand. Parents would like nothing more than their children to believe as they do, and so insist that they blindly accept their religious beliefs and practices. This continues over the generations in such a way as to completely rob children of their right to believe as they want or to seek truth for themselves. By the time they have grown up, most people have been firmly brainwashed into an uncritical, robotic acceptance of the religious beliefs of their ancestors. Even if some of them harbor doubts about these beliefs, few would dare to voice them for fear of being scorned by their families and peers, ostracized from their communities, or, in some cases, even killed for their dissenting views.

Believing what one’s family insists is true is thus the infinitely easier option for most folks. It spares them the agony of searching for truth, which is a quest that inevitably entails painful struggle, including against the absurdities and prejudices that one has been reared on since childhood in the name of religion. How much more convenient it seems is it to simply acquiesce in the prejudices of one’s family and unquestioningly accept the religious beliefs that they have clung to for generations—even if this means being shackled by absurd and unacceptable beliefs and rituals! For people too petrified of the hurdles that must be crossed in the search for truth or too lazy to even think of setting out on that path, blindly accepting the religion one is born into seems a tantalizing option, and one that is too tempting to be resisted.

But succumbing to this temptation comes at a very heavy cost—at the cost of truth itself. Remaining shackled by ignorance, prejudice and burdensome beliefs and rituals is the heavy price one inevitably has to pay for choosing to be a blind believer, passively accepting what one has been socialised into believing since infancy and simply too frightened to contemplate of thinking beyond it or critically analysing it. Clinging to a belief system simply because one is born into it clearly indicates, as nothing else can, that such religiosity is in no way impelled by a quest for discovering the truth—or, to use the language of God-centric religions, of knowing or realizing God. Inevitably, then, such belief, I suspect, can never lead one to the truth—or, if you prefer the term, God.

Having realized the futility of blind belief, no longer do I now envy ‘born believers’ for their seemingly unshakable faith. I now realize that it is not truth that they seek or know, but, rather, simply the prejudices they have inherited from their families in the name of religion which they spend their entire lives worshipping and defending. How much better, then, the freedom of the path of the seeker—despite the heavy odds on the way—than the shackles of blind faith, which I once so desperately craved to be imprisoned by!

http://www.newageislam.com/spiritual-meditations/yoginder-sikand-for-new-age-islam/why-i-no-longer-envy-born-believers/d/6889

Yoginder Sikand works with the Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion at the National Law School, Bangalore

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EXTERNAL CONTENT

Evolution of Hadith Sciences and Need for Major Paradigm Shift in Role of Hadith Corpus and Scope of Madrasa Education


http://urdutahzeeb.net/articles/blog1.php?p=14925&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1

By Muhammad Yunus, NewAgeIslam.com
Co-author (Jointly with Ashfaque Ullah Syed), Essential Message of Islam, Amana Publications, USA, 2009

This is a historic critical investigation (Ijtihad) based on a comprehensive review and historiography of Islamic theology appearing in a recently published exegetic work [1] that has the approval of al-Azhar al-Sharif (2002) and authentication by a renowned jurist and scholar of Islam, Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl (2009).

Follow up:

Beginning with i) the warnings by the early Imams, it covers, ii) the Glory and Ramifications of the Hadith sciences, iii) the generic concept of sunna (tech. Sunnah), iv) the generic concept of Hadith (tech. Hadith), v) the specific Concept of the Sunnah/Hadith of the Prophet. vi) Compilation of Hadith corpus, vii) Effect of time on the screening process of the Hadith literature, viii) the anachronism (historical disconnection) factors and fallouts, ix) Qur’anic instruction to obey and follow the Prophet, leading on to x) the need for a major paradigm shift on the role of the Hadith sciences and the scope of madrasa education. As the multiple features of the subject may be taxing for a reader to grasp in a single reading session, the work is divided into two interconnected parts, each of which, however, can stand on its own as a coherent and self explanatory write up.

Muhammad Yunus, co-author (Jointly with Ashfaque Ullah Syed), Essential Message of Islam, Amana Publications, USA, 2009

PART-I

1. The Early Imam’s warnings.

“Why do people impose conditions which are not in Allah’s book (Kitab il lah)? Whoever imposes such conditions as are not in Allah’s Laws (Kitab il lah), then that condition is invalid even if he imposes one hundred such conditions, for Allah’s conditions (as stated in the Qur’an) are truth and more valid” - Imam al-Bukhari [2].

"If we discuss about all those accounts which are held authentic (Sahih) before the learned, and suspect by a critical scholar (who demands a proof of personal meeting between the narrators and transmitters of Hadith in each generation), - we would simply be tired (because they are so large in number)." …‘This argument is novel in its approach, and it is wrong that early scholars did not believe in this. Neither is its denial by those who came later, any ground for its repudiation... and God is there to help repudiate what is wrong in the religion of the learned and I trust in Him” – Imam Muslim [3].

These quotations from the two foremost pioneers of Hadith compilation may be shocking to those who regard the Hadith as a form of divine revelation side by side with or complementary to the Qur’an. But truth must be told as the Western world cites weak and forged Hadiths (technically Ahadith) selectively to demonize Islam, while many educated Muslims, ignorant of the historicity of the Hadith sciences, cite weak Hadiths selectively despite the compilers’ warning against them [2,3].

2. The Glory and Ramifications of the Hadith sciences.

When the common people in Europe were sleeping in communal halls on haystacks in pitch darkness and had no more than a pair of clothes or leather jerkins to wear, and spent their whole winter indoors living on potato and porridge cooked over the left over in the same pot, year after year, and had no schools, colleges or centers of learning, the Muslims lived in great luxury and sophistication and popularized and advanced all forms of art, craft and knowledge at grass roots level that was beyond the imagination of their European counterparts. While their cultural superiority owed to their newfound Qur’anic wisdom, military successes, adoption of the cultural paradigms of the major civilizations they subsumed (the Romans, Egyptians, Persians, Indian for example) and an unremitting passion to acquire knowledge, the inner fabric of the society was immensely benefited by the ancestral wisdom, passed from generation to generation in the form of narrations or Hadith. The Hadith sciences covered practically all the activities of the community and fields of knowledge and provided a common set of paradigms that filled the gap in practical knowledge in the early centuries of Islam. Thus, Imam Bukhari’s compilation [2] is spread over 9 volumes, divided into a total of 93 sections (or books) and 3981 chapters. Broadly speaking, it covers the following areas of life:

• Agricultural activities: Sowing and planting of seeds, keeping a watchdog at the farm, use of oxen for ploughing, share cropping, distribution of water, use of wells, irrigation and dams, documentation, etc.

• Financial dealings: Bartering, advance booking of goods, sale and purchase of cattle-heads and property, collection of debt, lost and found, mortgaging, evaluation of joint property, dividing of houses, sharing of land, gold, silver, food, and slaves; bankruptcy, renting, transfer of debts, freezing of property, representation of authority etc.

• Legal matters: Litigation for executing the will of the deceased; fraud and cheating; status and handling of slave girls; law of inheritance, al-hudud (limits of punishment), blood money, coercion, sexual assault etc.

• Interpretation of selective Qur’anic verses: Beginning of creation, accounts of Adam's fall from the Paradise, blessings and healing powers of Qur'anic verses, description of the rewards and punishment in the Day of Judgement etc.

• There is a full chapter Book (XVI/Vol.3) on freeing of slaves and its superiority’. ‘Whoever frees a Muslim slave, God will save all the parts of his body from the (Hell) Fire (693). To free the most expensive and the most beloved slave (694), to free slaves at the time of solar eclipse (695) lunar eclipse (696), to educate and treat slave girls nicely then free them, and take them in wedlock (Acc.720, 723/Vol.3). Since some slaves were under joint ownership in those days, the Prophet is reported to have urged the rich partner to free such slaves completely (not partially) (697, 698, 699, 700, 701, 702) or alternatively the price of the slave is to be estimated, and the slave is to be helped to work without hardship till he pays the rest of his price (672, 704).

• Simple daily chores: Rising from sleep, cleaning of teeth, washing, bathing, ablution, dressing up, eating, keeping a pet, clipping of nail, cutting of hair, going for a walk, attending to natural call etc.

• Invocation to cover practically each of the daily rituals, including getting up in the morning, going to toilet, while ascending a high place, going down a valley, against and in favour of pagans, during and after prayer, while dusting the bed sheet before going to bed, while going to bed, sleeping on the right side, waking up at midnight, putting the right hand under right cheek etc.

• Marriage: Its divine blessing, marrying a virgin, a matron, several women, one's own slave girl; who all are prohibited in marriage, presenting one's daughter or sister to a man, marrying off one's young children, beating the tambourine during the nikah, consummating marriage on journey, during the day, and with a nine year old girl; perfume for the bridegroom, etc.

• Different aspects of a divorce, including among others: giving the divorce during a woman’s monthly period, in a state of anger, using gestures to express divorce, divorcing thrice at a time, stoning a woman accused of adultery, remarriage after divorce etc.

• Emotions, wishes, afflictions, judgements, patients, medicines, interpretation of dreams, meals, aqiqa, slaughtering of animal, festivals, religious rites; personal virtues and manners; social norms etc.

• Armed conflicts, jihad, war-booty; the virtues of ansars, Medina, and the Prophet's companions, treatment of non-Muslims at peace and wartime etc.

For its era, the knowledge contained in the Hadith enabled the growing Muslim community to lead a peaceful, harmonious and progressive life and contributed to the phenomenal rise of Islam. However, we must remember that human civilization has advanced by more than a millennium and the customs, methods and exigencies of life and the scope of knowledge has seen waves upon waves of changes and therefore we cannot lock ourselves to the glorious era of Hadith domination. With this we embark upon our evaluation of the Hadith sciences beginning with the concept of Sunna that forms the heart of a Hadith account.

3. The generic concept of sunna (tech. sunnah, pl. sunnat)

In the pre-Islamic Arabia, the term sunna was used as a generic concept for established principles, norms, and practices of the ancestors. In the absence of any books, written materials, or any other forum or institution of learning, the sunna served as the sole repository of ancient or ancestral wisdom. Accordingly, different Arab tribes had their own sunnas handed down to them from their ancestors. The Qur’an also uses this word, and its other roots, in their generic concept such as ‘the ideal or righteous way of life’ (4:26), ‘example set by a people’ (8:38), ‘natural and moral laws as prescribed by God’, or a practice approved by Him (33:38).

The term sunna remained in currency in its generic sense during the time of the Prophet, through to the closing decades of the second century hijra: The example of any prominent person – the Prophet, his companions, companions’ companions, in a given generation became his sunna for his people of the next generation and thus entered the ever expanding domain of hadith.

4. The generic notion of hadith (tech. hadith, pl. ahadith).

hadith broadly means a narration, a story or an account. Accordingly the verb haththathna and its other roots (including hadith) appear frequently in the Qur’an with a broad shade of meaning such as an ancient story (12:6, 23:44), an account (4:42), a truthful account or speech (4:78, 4:87), a topic of conversation or theme of discussion (4:140, 6:68), social conversation (33:53) etc. As the Arabs excelled in telling stories and expressive skills, they orally transmitted the sunnas of their ancestors by giving it the body of a narration or hadith. The people who took part in the transmission of the hadiths down the generations were collectively called the isnad.

In the initial years after the Prophet’s death, the hadiths were few in number, and were rarely cited by the Prophet’s companions, while the common man was discouraged from quoting them. Imam Bukhari and Shibli Noumani record:

• Caliph Umar is reported to have led the Iraq expedition, not only to add prestige to his force, but also to ensure that his officers did not misguide fellow Muslims with ahadith. He is reported to have remarked [4]: fanan shaqaluhum jar’rethul Qur’ana (Do not mix things with the Qur’an), and wa qil’lur rawa’ayata un rasul’illahe” (Quote sparingly from the Prophet).

• Imam Sha‘bi is reported to have stayed for one year with Abdullah bin Umar (Caliph Umar’s son), who was renowned for authenticity of his Prophetic narration, and heard only one hadith from him during this period [5]. There is another version of this account that puts the period at two, or one year and a half, and the number of hadith at one [4].

• Thabit bin Qutba reported that Abdullah bin Umar used to narrate only two to three hadiths a month” [5].

The second generation Muslims entertained a far greater number of hadiths representing the sunnas of the Prophet as well those of his companions, and the jurists and scholars of the first generation. This process continued down the generations resulting in an exponential growth in the number of hadiths with the passing of successive generations.

This, after a few generations, created serious complications for the community. There were simply too many hadiths in oral circulation representing the changing historical realities and views of the scholars of each of the preceding generations of the expanding and intellectually effervescent Islamic world, and no one knew for sure which hadith to follow and which one to discard. This created a chaotic situation in theological domain and warranted an urgent solution.

5. Evolution of the specific concept of the Sunna/Hadith of the Prophet.

Muhammad al-Shafi‘i (d. 205/821), a great jurist of the era, and one of the greatest in Islamic history, saved the situation by setting aside all those hadiths which originated from any individual other than the Prophet, and accepted only those Hadiths which could be traced back to the Prophet through a chain of reliable narrators (isnad). This literally meant redefining the generic sunna and hadith to specifically the Prophetic Sunna and Prophetic Hadith - the terms are capitalized for distinction. In other words, the term Sunnah [Sunna] became specific to only those accounts (Hadiths), which purportedly encapsulated the Prophet’s traditions - normative behavior and practices, or Sunnat al-Rasul Allah. This happened around six to seven generations from the Prophet’s era. The expression, Sunnat al-Rasul Allah however, does not appear in the Qur’an, which enjoins the emulation of the Prophet’s exemplary moral conduct and behavior (33:21).

6. Compilation of the current Hadith literature.

It was simply impossible for al-Shafi‘i – and remains so irrevocably for any human being or Intelligence/ Knowledge Resource ever, to address all the local, personal, historical and obsolescence factors that influenced the genesis of the hadiths, originating from countless sources across the expanding Islamic world over some six to seven generations that separated al-Shafi‘i from the Prophet’s era. Thus his exercise – however colossal and significant – was purely of an academic nature. Moreover, al-Shafi‘i’s redefinition of sunna (hadith) to Prophetic Sunna (Hadith), did not prevent the introduction of new accounts (Hadith) in the subsequent generations for the obvious reason that Islamic civilization had not stopped dead at al-Shafi‘i’s era and changes in civilizational paradigms were constantly occurring with the progress of civilization and expansion of Islam into new cultural settings. Thus, with time, there was a growing need for a thorough scrutiny and containment of the Hadith that were attributed to the Prophet. This was addressed from early third century hijra onward by Muslim compilers notably, al-Bukhari (d. 256/870), Muslim (d. 251/865), Abu Daud (d. 265/879), al-Tirmidhi (d. 282/895) and Ibn Maja (d. 276/890) in the mainstream Sunni Islam.

Each of these compilers screened a few hundred thousands of accounts (Hadiths) in oral circulation, by traveling long distances and contacting and verifying with the contemporaneous narrators. The first two of the compilations (by al-Bukhari and Muslim) are regarded as the most authentic and therefore called sahih (meaning, true or correct). Their compilations cover about 7000-10,000 accounts, in the form of sayings or tradition of the Prophet, or narratives attributed to him through a chain of narrators (isnad). Their works and those of their successors have been passed down to the posterity and constitute the present day Hadith literature in Sunni Islam. The Twelver Shi‘as regard these compilations to be contrived and false (mukhtalaq) and claim the authenticity of the compilation, Suitable for the Science of Religion by Kulyani (d. 939) and Ibn Babuyi (d. 991) and Tusi (d. 1067) [6]

PART-II

7. Irrevocably adverse effects of historically stretched time on Hadith screening process.

Since the first compilation of the Hadith literature (by al-Bukhari) was undertaken at least two centuries, or eight to nine generations after the Prophet’s death, they confronted the same inexorable challenge as al-Shafi‘i (6 above): It was humanly impossible for them to address all the local, personal, historical and obsolescence factors that had interacted during preceding eight to nine generations. The compilers could only verify the integrity of the narrators in the transmission chain (isnad) through the preceding generations stretching back to the Prophet’s era. This is the best they could do, as the state of knowledge of the era was not conducive to verifying:

• Whether the narrators and transmitters of the Prophetic traditions (Hadiths) in each successive generation ever met in their lifetime or came to know of the Hadith in currency through intermediaries of questionable integrity.

• Whether the substance of a given Hadith was revoked by a subsequent Qur'anic revelation - which had continued until a few months before the Prophet’s death, or had become obsolete with time.

• Whether some vested interest had introduced some Hadith to serve their interest by forging an isnad.

• the integrity of people whose example (sunna) was adopted by the next generation followers.

As a result of these limitations, a large number of forged, spurious unsavory and fabricated accounts skipped the screening process and found their way into the authentic (Sahih) corpus, simply because they had gained popularity among the masses and had entered the Hadith chain. Many learned people of the era were aware of this, including the great Imams (al-Bukhari and Muslim) who compiled the hadith (opening quotations) but religious passion was so intense that even the most learned and pious were afraid to question the truth of an apparently ‘questionable’ account, if it furnished a chain of reliable transmitters. Moreover, some Hadith that might have been authentic in isolation were context specific and lend themselves to contradictory propositions, [7] while some were specific to the era and suffered obsolescence with time as earlier mentioned [8].

Last but not least, the later rulers of Islam, notably the Tatars, actively popularized many weak Hadiths which in the words of Muhammad Abduh (1849-1905), who is regarded as one of the most learned Islamic scholars and one time Grand Mufti of al-Azhar al-Sharif, were no more than “lethal superstitions and fables”:

“(The Tatars) found many spurious and fabricated traditions which they were quick to exploit for their own purpose, interpreting them only in order to indoctrinate the people with their fictions and delusions… They misinterpreted the Islamic doctrine of divine decree so as to frustrate human will and to choke every striving for action. The people’s ignorance of the religion, their inclination to the path of least resistance, and their desire to satisfy their passions persuaded the Muslims to accept those lethal superstitions and fables.” [9]

In consideration of the foregoing factors, it will be simplistic and in many cases a grievous error to take the Hadith literature left by the early compilers and in currency to this day, on their face value, as the true representation the Prophet’s Sunna. The claim becomes all the more weak and porous if we remember that a rival School of Law (the Twelver Shi‘i) regard all Sunni collections as false and fabricated ((mukhtalaq), though the case of the Sunni Hadith as divinely revealed corpus remains immensely weak on its own – given the plethora of arguments tabled above and the grave doubts of the pioneering compilers noted under the caption above. To quote Muhammad Abduh again: [10]:

“Most of what goes today under the name of Islam is not Islam at all. It may only have preserved the outer shell of the Islamic ritual of prayer, fasting and pilgrimage, as well as some sayings, which have been however perverted by allegorical interpretations. All these sinister accretions and superstitions that found their way into Islam brought about the stagnation that now passes under the name of religion.”

14
Prophets and Messengers / Messengers are Forever!
« on: December 12, 2011, 08:19:57 AM »
By Abdul H. Fauq, Ph.D

We all know that God Almighty does not mince words.  He has used two distinct words in His Final Testament—nabi (commonly translated as “prophet”) and rasool (commonly translated as “messenger or apostle”).  There is no dispute, whatsoever, concerning the “Finality of the Prophethood (nabuwwah)” of Muhammad (sws).  This belief is based on the Qur’anic verse 33:40 that declares Prophet Muhammad as the “Seal of the Prophets (khatam-un-nabiyyun) and reflects a general agreement among Muslims of the past and the present. However, it is commonly believed that Muhammad was also the “Last messenger (khatam-ur-rusul or khatam-ul-mursaleen).

In other words, this belief asserts that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) held both offices, i.e., he was a "nabi” as well as a “rasool".  While the latter statement is true and qur’anically verifiable, we do not find the phrase “khatam-ur-rusul or khatam-ul-mursaleen” anywhere in the Qur’an. The word “nabi” means an individual who BRINGS the “nabuwwah’-- the news from on high (the news is revealed to him) and then CONVEYS it to the people.  In other words, the nabi refers to a human being to whom Allah's message is revealed for onward transmission to mankind.  A nabi’s function refers to receiving the Message while a rasool’s function refers to transmission of the Message.  Thus, all the “nabiyyoon (prophets)” were “rusul/mursaloon (messengers/apostles)” by default, but all the “rusul/mursaloon (messengers/apostles)” are not necessarily “nabiyyoon (prophets)” .

It is also worth noting that the Qur’an does not command the believers to follow or obey  a man named “Muhammad” per se. This injunction would have required the believers of all times to follow a 'mortal human being by the name of "Muhammad" who, like all the other mortal human beings, had a limited life span on this planet.  The Qur'an was not revealed to one particular human being for one particular nation existent at one particular time but it was revealed to the heart of a mortal human being as a 'vehicle for Allah's revelation/message' that was to last for all mankind till the end of times.  Thus, it is the "nabi's office" that is important and not the person that has a finite life time to convey the Message.  The ‘messenger’ will be gone but the 'Message' will live on forever.

Now let’s take a look at some of the verses of the Qur’an in support of this author’s assertion that while the “nabuwwa” (prophethood) has ended with the Last Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), the risalat (messengership) continues after his passing away:

We know that at the time of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) there was only ONE prophet—Muhammad himself an that no prophet came after him. That’s why we find several verses in the Qur’an that address him directly by calling out “Ya ayyuha-an-nabiyyu (O’ Prophet!)” (66:9, 8:65, 8:70) but that address is never found in the plural form as in “Ya ayyuha an-Nabiyyoon (O’ prophets!).  We now ask: Was there only ONE messenger, at that time? Even though we see verses where Allah addresses the Rasoolallah individually (such as 5:41, 5:67), we also see at least one verse where the addresses is made to more than two messengers (Ya ayyha ar-rusul). Thus, the verse 23:51 says:

23:51:"O ye messengers! Eat of the good things, and do right. Lo! I am Aware of what ye do".

Now here you will find that there are two commands issued to the “messengers”—Allah, the Most High, calls the messengers saying “O’ the Messengers!” and then goes on to issue the directive “Eat of the good things and Do right!”.  It seems that this command is applicable to all the messengers—at least those present at the time of the prophet (sws), if not those that keep coming after him.  I could not find a verse addressing the prophets by “Ya ayyha an-nabiyyoon (O’ the prophets!)” because there was only one prophet at the time of revelation.  On the other hand, we see “Ya ayyuha an-nabiyyu—O’ Prophet” at many places in the Qur’an (66:9, 8:65, 8:70 etc) as well “Ya ayyha ar-Rasoolu—O’ the Messenger (5:41, 67)” where the Prophet has also been called a rasool.

Let’s take a look at anther verse:

7:35: "O ye Children of Adam! whenever there come to you apostles from amongst you (Rusulun minkum), rehearsing My signs unto you,- those who are righteous and mend (their lives),- on them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve".

Here Allah is addressing all mankind (Ya bani aadama!) and tells us that there will be “messengers AMONG US” who will be rehearsing Allah’s verse (ayaat) to us, and that those who follow the messengers’ message will have no fear.  Apparently, this is a directive to “all mankind” as long as there are “messengers among them”.  That means there still are, always have been, and always will be—messengers that will rehears Allah’s signs to people in the language of their own people because the address of this verse is to all mankind. 

This is further supported by the verse 14:4: “We sent not an apostle except (to teach) in the language of his (own) people, in order to make (things) clear to them”, as well as in 10:47: “To every people (was sent) an apostle: when their apostle comes (before them), the matter will be judged between them with justice, and they will not be wronged”.

Here we see that ALL people (not only of the past but also of the present as well as of the future) need to have a messenger so the message (the Book, the Qur’an) be taught to them.
In another verse (17:15), it is made clear to people that unless there is a living messenger to teach the Book, there is no punishment for them.

17:15: "We are not punishers until we have sent a messenger"

I wonder why the words “rusul (messengers) and “nabiyyoon” (prophets) have not been interchangeably in the Qur’an.  The compelling conclusion is that the messengers have to be LIVING teachers of the Qur’an.  The Final Message is sealed in the Arabic language and is perfectly Divinely preserved as per -

(15:9): "We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption)"

However, Allah sends messengers to teach His Message to ALL nations and communities to make it clear to them in their own language.

It is to be noted that invoking the concept of a “messenger” who is not a prophet does not mitigate the messenger status of the Muhammad (sws) in any conceivable way because it was ONLY he whom Allah gave the awesome title of the “Final Prophet” that no one can claim after him.  Additionally, the term “ Rasool (messenger)”, as used in the Qur’an at many places,  should not be confused with the Qur’anic term “Rasoolallah (messenger/apostle of Allah”, a title which is reserved for Prophet Muhammad himself or other prophet-messengers mentioned in the Qur’an.

An additional point to note is that the words “rasool” and one of its plural forms “mursaloon” have also been used in the Qur’an in very ordinary sense of “message-bearer/s” (12:50, 15:61) but one will not see such trivial use of the word “nabi” or “nabiyyoon” anywhere in the Qur’an. A nabi seems to be ‘special’

Now to make one final point: It is commonly believed---and I have heard it during Friday Khutbas around the area I live--that there are only “five mighty messengers” or that there are very limited number of messengers while there are many more prophets (124,00 according to a “Prophetic tradition” (hadith)—whatever that means).  Yet, there are comments from many classical commentators claiming that there were many thousands of prophets after Prophet Moses (sws).  The verse clearly tells us that those Post-Moses prophets were messengers as well:

2:87: "We gave Moses the Book and followed him up with a succession of messengers;

That does not sound to be ‘few’ or “some” or even limited to me”.

In sum, the esssence of this write-up is that the primary recipient of the Message is always a “nabi (prophet)” who is also the “rasool (messenger)” by default.  The rasool, on the other hand', does not have to be a “nabi”. ANYONE who would receive the Message, imbibe it into his heart, and then pass it on, is a “messenger”.  That is the reason we almost ALWAYS find "Obey the rasool" as a general command in the Qur’an and not “Obey the nabi” when Muhammad (sws) is not specifically mentioned by name or implied.

By saying what I have said in this article, I am not, in any way, trying to carve out a path of “messegership” for myself or anyone else.  Of course, no one is obligated or even asked or urged to think the way I think because this belief---or the more common belief of 124, 000 prophets has little bearing on how we can be good and upright Muslims.  All said and done, my belief should be considered as “one opinion or one understanding” of these two terms. 

Also, I do not wish to divert attention of the readers to vainglorious pursuits that threaten to shake people’s faith, or waste their time and, finally, leave them in the middle of nowhere.  The fact is that I just don’t want to say or claim something that Allah did not say or claim—I consider that a serious transgression.  I only thought I share my views with the audience of this forum because this forum seems to be the right place to discuss some of the ‘thorny’ topics without repressive consequences. If I have hurt readers’ feelings by this writing of mine, I ask for their forgiveness.

15
Discussions / Quran Vs Shia !
« on: November 24, 2011, 06:15:44 PM »
http://www.allaahuakbar.net/shiites/quran_vs_shia.htm


INTRODUCTION:

1. Whether we can assume that all the fundamentals of Islam has to be in Quran in an explicit and strong way:

Actually I am sorry that when it comes to referring to Quran, few Shia friends prefer to even sacrifice Quran for their own belief. They prefer to put the authority of Quran under question rather than their own opinions. Truly the most serious complain of the holy Prophet on his Ummah in the day of judgement (that has been mentioned in Quran) is about people who have put this book away.
"... and the messenger saith: O my lord lo mine own folk make this Quran of no account" (Furqan, 30, trans. Pikthall)

(by the way, according to Shia, the biggest misguidance of Muslims after the death of prophet was that they left Ahlalbayt. I wonder why then the complain of the holy prophet is about leaving Quran, not Ahlalbayt, let me guess, because leaving Quran resulted in leaving Ahlalbayt, how complicated. But this is another issue!!!)

Now here I am trying to some how prove to my Shia brothers/sisters that we need to look for explicit evidences of our belief in Quran.

Dear brothers, unlike what some of you are saying, I haven't put any assumption from my own. I think the fact that our fundamental belief needs to be directly and strongly backed by Quran is part of Badihiat (crystal clear facts), I still try to prove it to you via 4 ways:

a. By verses of Quran:

Quran itself says that it is the book of guidance.
Quran itself says that it is including every thing (which in the context of Quran it means every thing for our guidance)
Quran itself says that it is a clear and easy book (except the Moteshabeh verses).
Quran itself says that it is directing to guidance, cure, Rahmat, straight way, and Haqq.
Quran asks isn't revealing Quran enough for you (Ankaboot, 51)
Quran introduces itself as Allah's guidance (Anam 88)
Then it also tells us that the real guidance is from Allah (Baqarah 120), and that even the holy prophet cannot guide any one he wish (Baqarah 272, Qesas 56), and that even the prophet himself is being guided by Quran (Saba 50).
Quran challenges people if they can bring ANYTHING that could be better source of guidance than Quran (Qesas 49)

I cannot see how Quran can satisfy all the above characteristics and yet it does not include enough explicit and strong verses on the fundamental beliefs of Islam. How can we say that Allah is implicit about some of the fundamentals and explicit about some others after reading the above verses.

b. By looking at contents of Quran:

If Quran was only giving us stories of prophets or Fiqh or only advise to follow the prophet maybe the case was different, but Quran clearly gives us explicit criteria for our salvation (what at the end of the day every one of us is looking for):

Quran itself talks about the criteria for salvation in the day of judgement:
According to Quran the criteria is Iman and Amale Saleh (good deeds). In Quran itself we can see the definition for Momen (e.g. first verses of Sura Momenoon).
When I read in numerous places in Quran that believe in Allah and his prophet and doing good deeds are the criteria for being saved in the day of judgement, that's the only criteria for me to look for (note that every fundamental issue, commanded by the prophet is also supported by Allah, in other words even the prophet learns from Quran).
If believing in anything else was necessary, Allah would have added it in those numerous verses, and if you say why, you are questioning the guidance function of Quran.
Look at the cases where Allah tells us the criteria for salvation. Can you find even one verse where believing and following Imam (in Shia definition) has been mentioned as one of the criteria?

Now Shia says that all these criteria are nonsense if you don't believe in Imamah. And when you ask for explicit evidences they say why you think there should be explicit evidences in Quran.
Excuse me but do you believe the Quran to be the book of guidance or the book of misguidance?! (God forbidden).


c. Shia sources of Hadith:

If you refer to your own Ahadith you can see that Quran had been introduced as the main source of guidance.

Hadithe Seqelayn (which Shia is very found of) introduces Quran as the Seqle Akbar (the bigger Seql). Shia seems to just stick to their own specific interpretation of the second part of hadith (and even there only the versions that suits them) on the smaller Seql (Ahlebayt) with no notice to the first part.

Also from Shia sources:

Imam Ali says in Nahjul Balagha.:
Quran is Hujjat of Allah for his servants (No. 183, or one before or after depending on the edition)
... it is the basis of Islam ... and the guidance for anyone who follow it and justification for any one who take it as his approach and the evidence for any one who take it as his supporter in his discussions and winner for any one who use it for making his arguments (No. 198)
(how can Quran be hojjat, while it is not consisting strong explicit references to the main beliefs of Islam?)

Ahadith fi Quran, Bab Fazle Quran (a Shia book):
Holy prophet says (my translation): when fetnah comes to you like the darkness, stick to Quran ... it directs you to heaven if you follow it and it's your guide to the best way ...

Mizanol-Hekmah, Babe Quran:
The holy prophet was informed about the Fetnah of his people in future, People asked him how can we be safe from it and he replied: By Quran ... any one who look for knowledge in any were other than Quran Allah will misguide him.

Same source form the holy prophet:
Allah has not advise people in any way like when he advises them by Quran.

Imam Sadiq (same source):
Any one who comes to recognise the truth from any sources other than Quran will not be prevented from Fetnah.

Also:
Same source from Imam Ali:
It's the book of Allah by which you hear, see and talk ...

Same source from holy prophet:
Put Quran as your main leader and director

Same source, Imam Ali:
Best statements, clearest advises and best stories are in Quran.

Same source Imam Ali:
The superiority of Quran to others is like superiority of Allah to others.

All the above are Shia sources.
Again I cannot see how Quran can fulfil all the above and still it can be without explicit evidences of some of the most important parts of Islamic belief which is necessary for your guidance.


d. by rational thinking:

Quran is the textbook and guidebook of Muslims.
When a teacher gives a text book to his students, he choose a book that reflects the main subjects that the teacher wants students to learn. If in the exam students find that the questions with most significant marks are those that the text book has not refer to them or has very briefly and indirectly talked about them, they can put the justice of the teacher under question.
Allah is the best teacher and the absolute Just and he says in Quran that he never punish people unless he has given them the reasons and proof. Allah is giving certain credits to some issues in Quran by his emphasis on it, thus Muslims try to be good at those issues. He is far greater than asking people about something that he has not given it the same credit in Quran.

Why is that only when talking about Imamat, we start arguing about the degree of guidance in Quran?!
Why only when talking about Imamah, we need to prove that we need Tafsir and hadith as well?!


My question was a simple and rational one.
It's up to Shia to justify why Quran is not referring to Imamah in the same way (emphasis, strength, being explicit, command) that it refers to other things (things that to Shia are less important than Imamah?)

Note that I am not a Quranist and I do not reject the importance of Ahadith, however the main point is that if Quran (as the main source of guidance) had talked about Imamah in the same way that it talks about Oneness of God, Nabovvat, Salat, etc, then Muslims were encouraged to seek hadith and tafsir to know more about imamat.

I advise myself and all fellow Muslims to accept Quran as their Imam and not to put themselves Imams of Quran. Please do not put the complete authority of Quran under question to prove your points.

Let us not be among those who the holy prophet will complain of in the day of judgement. Those who have ignored Quran.


2. Is it accurate to say Quran has commanded obedience of the holy prophet and therefore we can refer to Hadith in order to prove Imamah?

It's true that we are commanded to follow the holy prophet.

However it's very very strange that as for less important issues (according to Shia) like Nabovvat and Ma'ad and Salat and Zakat, Allah has not left us only with the holy prophet. He has given us lots of verses in Quran to command us about these issues. However when it comes to Imamat, we are being referred to the holy prophet. Are you suggesting inconsistency in Quran?

The holy prophet IS NOT the volume II of the book of guidance. He is a messenger who delivers and teaches us the guidance that Allah has given us in Quran. . The prophet himself was learning Islam through Quran.

Besides, I would argue that even in the (authentic) words of the holy prophet there are no evidence for the doctrine of Imamah (and not in the words of Imam Ali, and Hassan and Hussain and Ali-ebnel-Hussain, up to Imam Baqir -RA,HM)

3. Some Shia brothers say: Prove that Aboobakr (RA) should be the khalif after the holy prophet from Quran:

This only shows the misunderstanding of some brothers about the belief of Sunnies. Believing in Kholafaye Rashedin is not a fundamental element of Islam. According to Sunnies, there are only 6 Articles of Faith and 5 pillars of Islam and believing in khelafat of Aboobakr is not part of either of them.

Any groups of people tend to elect some one as their leader. And the rational and most reasonable way to do so is by election. Certainly no system of public election was established at that time and the election of Aboobkar was done through negotiation of present people. You might think that it was not a good choice or that not all qualified people were presented at the time, that's your opinion and you might be able to prove it to be true. But it has nothing to do with looking for evidences on Quran about it. It's just a routine social practice that was and is and will be done in any society and no logical mind would expect a divine evidence for that.

Having said that, once the Sahabeh of the holy prophet agree on a great Sahabi like Aboobakr (RA) to become the Khalifah, then it is the duty of all Muslims to obey him for the sake of Islam and unity.

If you ask me what is your proof about this, I will give you a source that Shia holds as a very strong proof:

Nahjolbalaqah, letter No. 6 of Imam Ali to Mo'aviah (note that in some versions of Nahjul balagha. This letter is few numbers before or after):

"People who did Beyat to Aboobakr and Omar, did beyat with me in the same way. So the one who is present cannot select any one else for Kahlifah and the one who is absent cannot disobey people in their selection. Shora belongs to Mohajer and Ansar, so if they gather around a person and appoint him as their Imam this is to the satisfaction of Allah. If any one disapprove them on this or innovate something about it he should be taken back to the people who he has left (by accepting the appointed Khalifah), and if he refused to do so people has to fight with him as he is going to a path other than of Muslims."

Now it's up to you brothers whether you want to attribute Taqyah or lie or politics or what ever to your Imam and whether you like to justify his comment in the same way that you justify verses of Quran.

(also please beer in your mind that we have an explicit verse in Quran that says "va amrohom shoora baynahom", (and their affairs are done by consultancy between them). Surely the question of leadership is one of the affairs of Muslims. However I won't use this verse to prove anything about Khelafat in Islam. Unlike you Shia brothers and sisters, I am quite cautious about playing Lego with the verses of Quran)

Please note:
All the idea of this message is that the credit that we give to things needs to be the same level of credit that Quran gives to them, if we are to follow Quran.


4. whether the way Quran talks about fundamentals are enough for us to understand all their details:

I have said this before and repeat it again here:
As Quran said, it's the book of guidance. Quran teaches us all the main things that we need to know for salvation and by putting emphasis on the issues it also encourages us to know more about them by referring to the holy prophet and by thinking. Only after finding the emphasis of Allah on Salat in Quran (98 explicit and strong verses) a Muslim will get an idea to refer to Sunnah for more details.
It's not like Quran only talks very implicitly about an issue and when you refer to the holy prophet you find that the issue is the most important issue in Islam after Tohid!. If it was like that Allah would never asked us to read Quran and to think about it. Then it wasn't really a book of guidance and the prophet would not advise us to refer to it in the state of confusion.

5. Why not obeying the Shia Imams, they were very pious and knowledgeable, why first looking for evidences from Quran:

I don't think any reasonable sunni has any problem with obeying Shia Imams. If you have found your Imams to be the most knowledgeable and pious people of their time then of course you like to follow them and this has nothing to do with Shia Sunni debate. There are some groups of Sunnies in an Arab country (can't remember where) who follow Imam Sadiq in Feqhe.
However the problem starts when Shia begins accusing others of being misguided and looking at their Imams as people with a rank higher than most of the prophets and start cursing and hating any one that they think some how disagreed Imams. The problem begins when they define the obedience of their Imams as a fundamental of Islam thus believing that all others are misguided.


6. The Verses that Shia refers to:

Finally and after all these arguments we reach to the verses that Shia brothers refere to in their arguments. Let us see the verses and realise how strong they are in proving Imamah.

Before this, let me discuss about few introductory concepts:

a. Let us first review the concept of Imamah in Shia:

According to 12er Shia (and not all Shia):

-Imam is the only Khalifah of Allah in the earth.
-Imam is the tool for obeying Allah, any acts of obedience without accepting the real Imam is useless.
-The world will be destroyed without Imam (Imam is the balance of the world).
-There were always Imams in the history.
-Imams have a rank that is higher than of prophets (unless prophet himself is an Imam, e.g. our holy prophet or Sayyedana Ebrahim).
-Imams are certain people that are appointed by God.
-Imams are infallible.
-Imams have access to a knowledge that normal people do not have an access to.
-After the holy prophet there are only 12 Imams with the above conditions.
-Only these 12 know all the things about true Islam and true interpretation of Quran.
-The existence of Imam is that important that it can happen that an Imam exists but is hidden for more than 1200 years (like Imam Mahdi).
-Concluding remark: The pre-requirement of any act of worship and any belief in Islam is believing in these 12 Imams. Muslims are not considered Momen (true believer) unless they are 12er Shia. Also any understanding of Islam that is not in agreement with the understanding of these 12 Imams is wrong.



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