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Islamic Ideology

25 - COMMENTS

  • Naseersaab,
    Thanks for your explanation.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 8/13/2017 12:20:08 PM



  • GM Sb, Are you not mixing up things?  My articles are about the misuse of concepts of kufr and of fighting based on misunderstanding and deliberate distortion of their meaning to prevent Islam becoming a dark and harsh religion.
    Read once again:
    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/13/2017 12:11:35 AM



  • Excessive preoccupation with punishments, kufr, jehad etc depicts Islam as a dark and harsh religion. Islam came to us as a "mercy" to teach us about God who is "ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim". Have we forgotten that?

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 8/12/2017 12:25:36 PM



  • Dear Naseer Sahab,
    I think there is some misunderstanding. My following definition of kufr is consistent with yours and i have never confused between the meanings of mushrikin and kafirin in my book published (jointly) some eight years ago:

    kufr: Willful rejection or denial of any self-evident or irrefutable proposition. The Qur’an refers to its recalcitrant audience by the plural noun forms kafirun, kafirin, which, for want of any appropriate English counterpart have been rendered as disbelievers or deniers as appropriate. The Qur’an also connotes kufr with canceling or effacing something (29:7, 47:2), being thankless or ungrateful (17:27, 76:24).

    I do not claim any perfection of my (jt) work as no work of man can be perfect, but I have not spotted any error in my work nor altered my views on any aspect of it.

    By muhammd yunus - 8/12/2017 3:50:58 AM



  • That what is kufr for the non-believer is also kufr for the believer should be self-evident but unfortunately it is not so. I had therefore covered it in my article:

    Who is a Muslim in the Quran?

    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/12/2017 2:34:47 AM



  • I wonder if GM sb thinks that what is kufr for non-Muslims isn't kufr for the Muslims for him to contest my saying so. The Quran holds only those Meccans who practiced religious persecution as kafir. Can Muslims practice religious persecution and not be considered kafir by God? The extremists think so but is GM Sb supporting such a view?

    The meaning of kafir has engaged the theologians more than any other subject . They were not satisfied with declaring all non-Muslims as kafir (although the Quran does not do so) but agonized on who among the Muslims could be called kafir and ex-communicated. The people and the government of Pakistan have declared the Ahmadi sect as non-Muslim. Dr Israr Ahmed is on record in a video where he says that the government did not go far enough and give them the choice to recant or be given the death sentence. As far as theology is concerned, the definition of kufr/kafir is the elephant in the room. And yet some people think that the elephant will go away if we stop talking about it!

    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/12/2017 2:02:44 AM



  • Naseersaab says, "what is kufr for the non-believer is also kufr for the believer."

    Let God decide that. Let us talk about the good deeds that can uplift both believers and nonbelievers.

    He adds, " the words used in the Quran remain."

    Fine, but we don't have to use them if they are widely misused. We can use less controversial descriptive synonyms.

    My last post in this thread.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 8/11/2017 11:59:26 PM



  • GM Sb,
    Do you understand what you read? Do you understand that what is kufr for the non-believer is also kufr for the believer but in addition, there are several commands and injunctions addressed specifically to the believer and a believer's disobedience on these is clearly described as kufr in the Quran which means that the standard by which a believer shall be judged is far more stringent? Isn't something so obvious and fully explained not clear to you?

    And what ails you that you fail to understand repeatedly as you say, that as long as the Quran remains, which means till doomsday, the words used in the Quran remain? Kufr, Kafir, Kafirin are used more than three hundred times. What do you intend doing with that? 

    And what ails you that you are reluctant to accept with proof that Kafir/Kufr applies equally to the Muslims and does not mean non-Muslim and that fighting is permitted only against oppression which removes all the confusion and misuse but want to edit the Quran instead? Why are so bent upon editing the Quran? 
    (39:45) When Allah, the One and Only, is mentioned, the hearts of those who believe not in the Hereafter are filled with disgust and horror; but when (gods) other than He are mentioned, behold, they are filled with joy!
    The same sentiment is found:
    When taking the meaning of the Quran is mentioned, the hearts of those who believe not in the Hereafter are filled with disgust and horror; but when editing, reinterpretation are mentioned, behold, they are filled with joy!
    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/11/2017 10:04:42 PM



  • "The standards by which a believer will be judged are therefore far more stringent than for a disbeliever."

    The only one who can say something like that is God himself. Let us not pretend to be more knowledgeable than  we really are.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 8/11/2017 12:18:07 PM



  • As I have said several times before, words like 'kafir' and 'jehad' must be made obsolete. We do not need them. They have caused us more grief than they are worth.
     
    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 8/11/2017 12:12:07 PM



  • The standards by which a believer will be judged are therefore far more stringent than for a disbeliever. 

    The disbeliever (in good faith) will be not be judged at all on matters such as giving charity, devouring usury etc. while a believer may be judged as a kafir and may go to hell on account of such transgressions. 

    A disbeliever (in good faith) is a disbeliever as he/she lacks the knowledge or lacks conviction and not someone who knows the truth and yet chooses to reject belief.

    Believers or Disbelievers will be punished only for their kufr and what is kufr for the disbelievers is also kufr for the believers but not vice versa. It is the kafirin who will be punished whether believer or disbeliever.

    So the Muslims who are worse than the non-Muslims in their behaviour, conduct and morality will definitely be at the bottom of the heap.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/10/2017 11:14:00 PM



  • It is our theology that has distorted the meaning of "kafir" to mean "disbeliever" which has therefore become the "dictionary" meaning and used by every translator. So knowing Arabic and dictionary meanings can still mislead you and every translator is/was a scholar of Arabic before translating the Quran and yet went wrong. The surprising fact is that not even one of these Arabic scholars is an exception and did a correct translation of the Book!

    Theology and dictionary meanings cannot stand up to the meaning logically derived from the Quran. The Quran is most certainly Kitabum Mubeen and well guarded against corruption in its meaning. What is required is that one should seek the meaning as a Muslim bowing to Allah in Islam and not for any other purpose such as trying to meet the aims and objectives of the "Progressive Muslims". The Quran being the word of God is progressive and every good description applies to it.

    Every Muhkamat verse has only one meaning which can be logically derived beyond a shadow of doubt.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/10/2017 9:57:13 PM



  • A Disbeliever Is Not Necessarily A Kafir in the Quran

    A Believer Can Be A Kafir

    Logically, Therefore, Kafir Cannot Mean Disbeliever

    The Quran uses the expression “la yuminun” to mean a Disbeliever

                              Every verse in which kafir is translated as disbeliever is a mistranslation

    The Evidence

                              يَا بَنِي آدَمَ لاَ يَفْتِنَنَّكُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ كَمَا أَخْرَجَ أَبَوَيْكُم مِّنَ الْجَنَّةِ يَنزِعُ عَنْهُمَا لِبَاسَهُمَا لِيُرِيَهُمَا سَوْءَاتِهِمَا إِنَّهُ يَرَاكُمْ هُوَ وَقَبِيلُهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لاَ تَرَوْنَهُمْ إِنَّا جَعَلْنَا الشَّيَاطِينَ أَوْلِيَاء لِلَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ

    (7:27) O ye Children of Adam! Let not Satan seduce you, in the same manner as He got your parents out of the Garden, stripping them of their raiment, to expose their shame: for he and his tribe watch you from a position where ye cannot see them: We made the evil ones friends (only) to the disbelivers (la yuminun).

    The believers are able to guard against Satan, the disbelievers are vulnerable. The Quran uses “la yuminun” when it intends “disbeliever”

    َمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَى عَلَى اللّهِ كَذِبًا أَوْ كَذَّبَ بِآيَاتِهِ أُوْلَـئِكَ يَنَالُهُمْ نَصِيبُهُم مِّنَ الْكِتَابِ حَتَّى إِذَا جَاءتْهُمْ رُسُلُنَا يَتَوَفَّوْنَهُمْ قَالُواْ أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُمْ تَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ قَالُواْ ضَلُّواْ عَنَّا وَشَهِدُواْ عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ أَنَّهُمْ كَانُواْ كَافِرِينَ

    (7:37) Who is more unjust than one who invents a lie against Allah or rejects His Signs? For such, their portion appointed must reach them from the Book (of decrees): until, when our messengers (of death) arrive to take them in death, they say: "Where are the things that ye used to invoke besides Allah?" They will reply, "They have left us in the lurch," And they will bear witness against themselves, that they were kafirin.

    What made them kafirin?  Being unjust, inventing a lie against Allah, and denying His signs/verses, invoking those besides Allah. These are acts of rebellion and not disbelief. A disbeliever simply disbelieves. Unless a disbeliever is also a kafir, he does not invent lies, is unjust, knowingly denies any truth or, knowingly invokes those besides Allah etc.  

     1.               كَدَأْبِ آلِ فِرْعَوْنَ وَالَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ كَذَّبُواْ بآيَاتِ رَبِّهِمْ فَأَهْلَكْنَاهُم بِذُنُوبِهِمْ وَأَغْرَقْنَا آلَ فِرْعَونَ وَكُلٌّ كَانُواْ ظَالِمِينَ

    إِنَّ شَرَّ الدَّوَابِّ عِندَ اللّهِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ فَهُمْ لاَ يُؤْمِنُون

     (8:54) (Deeds) after the manner of the people of Pharaoh and those before them": They treated as false the Signs of their Lord: so We destroyed them for their crimes, and We drowned the people of Pharaoh: for they were all oppressors and wrong-doers.(55) For the worst of craetures in the sight of Allah are those who  kafaru: They will not believe

    Who are the kafaru in this verse? People who treated as false the Signs of God in the conceited manner of the Pharaoh, the oppressors and the wrong doers, they are the kafaru. Such kafaru will not believe. This is very different from saying ‘those who do not believe are kafaru’.  Those who do not believe are vulnerable to Satan and may become kafaru but a disbeliever is not necessarily a kafir.

    1.               قَاتِلُواْ الَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ وَلاَ بِالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ وَلاَ يُحَرِّمُونَ مَا حَرَّمَ اللّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَلاَ يَدِينُونَ دِينَ الْحَقِّ مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَابَ حَتَّى يُعْطُواْ الْجِزْيَةَ عَن يَدٍ وَهُمْ صَاغِرُونَ

     (9:29) Fight those who believe not (la yuminun) in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

    The subject of this verse is the “disbelievers” and not the kafirin. They are to be made jiziya paying subjects or else fought against until they agree. These include the Mushrikin of Mecca who never fought with the Muslims or broke their treaty. The Kafirin were those who fought, broke their treaty etc for whom the judgment is in 9:5 and their kufr described in 9:12.

     The believers who are kafir

     (2:254) O ye who believe! Spend out of (the bounties) We have provided for you, before the Day comes when no bargaining (Will avail), nor friendship nor intercession. And the kafirun, they are the zalimun.

     Who are the kafirun and the zalimunin in this verse? Those who do not spend out of the bounties provided by Allah. The kafirun and zalimun refers to the believers who show their ingratitude to Allah for the bounties provided to them by not spending. They are ingrate rebels. They are not some other unrelated “disbelievers” in Timbuctoo or wherever.

     (2:264) O ye who believe! cancel not your charity by reminders of your generosity or by injury,- like those who spend their substance to be seen of men, but believe neither in Allah nor in the Last Day. They are in parable like a hard, barren rock, on which is a little soil: on it falls heavy rain, which leaves it (Just) a bare stone. They will be able to do nothing with aught they have earned. And Allah guideth not the kafirin.

     The kafirin in this verse are otherwise believers, but those who spend their substance to be seen of men. Such men will not be guided

     (3:102) O ye who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except as a Muslim.

     Here it is put across positively instead of saying die not as a kafir.

     (3:130) O ye who believe! Devour not usury, doubled and multiplied; but fear Allah; that ye may (really) prosper.(131) Fear the Fire, which is prepared for the kafirin:

    It is the believers who devour usury who are asked to fear the fire and such believers are the kafirin.

     In all of the verses above, Yusuf Ali translates kafirin as “those who reject faith” which is incorrect because the addressee is the believer and he cannot be a both a believer and one who rejects faith! Others translate kafirin as disbeliever which is also incorrect for the same reason. While Allah is speaking of the gravity of devouring Usury etc as constituting kufr or ingratitude and rebellion against God, the translators are deflecting the severity of the kufr of Usury etc by making us believe that here Allah is not talking about the believers but the disbelievers!

     The fact of the matter is that, since the addressee of the verse is the believer, Usury etc is kufr for him but not for the disbeliever. Else the addressee would have been all of mankind or “the Children of Adam”.

    Who Is A Kafir In The Quran? (Part 3): Why Kufr Is A Relative Concept While Shirk, Idol Worship Etc. Have Fixed Meanings

     (9:90) And there were, among the desert Arabs (also), men who made excuses and came to claim exemption; and those who were false to Allah and His Messenger (merely) sat inactive. Soon will a grievous penalty seize the Kafaru among them.

     (The Kafaru referred to here are Muslim)

     Yunus Sb, I follow very strict rules of logic and base what I say on strong evidence. Your sentence “It is perhaps ingrained human nature to defend one's views and more so if it is arrived after long research” does not apply to me. It may apply to your defense of what you have written in your book and reluctance to go beyond it.

    I must acknowledge however, that you have accepted that the Quran does not treat all the Mushrikin of the Prophet’s times as kafir even in Surah Taubah, although, you had earlier held the opposite view.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/10/2017 9:12:11 PM



  • Yunus Sb,
    I am glad that you agree that the Quran did not consider all the Mushrikin to be kafir even in Surah Taubah which is among the very last of the Surahs. 

    You have not responded to the following:

    If fighting is permitted only against the oppressor, then which verse can still be misunderstood and which verse does not apply today? Unless of course you believe that fighting was permitted against "disbelief" in which case please cite the relevant verse to prove that. 
    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/9/2017 6:21:28 AM



  • Dear Naseer Sahab,

    I am, since the jt. publication of my book, fully dedicated to communicate to others the essentials of the Qur’nic message as evolved in it in a focused, inclusive, gender neutral, non-political, non-Sectarian manner. This I believe commands far greater priority than my indulging into further research.

    I believe my jt publication as it stands should be taught as a core religious book in all major Islamic institutions – and with the full support of Sultan Shahin Sb and interaction with all other commentators, regardless of their background and agenda, I am trying to create a positive impression among the readers so that if not in my life time, at a later date, my following Umbrella article is included in the curriculum of AMU and other prestigious secular Islamic institutions:

    Breaking The Ice For An All-Round Reform Of Islamic Societies To Avoid The Recurring Call For Reform From Turning Into A Mere Slogan Without Ever Achieving Any Reform At All

    http://www.newageislam.com/ijtihad,-rethinking-islam/muhammad-yunus,-new-age-islam/breaking-the-ice-for-an-all-round-reform-of-islamic-societies-to-avoid-the-recurring-call-for-reform-from-turning-into-a-mere-slogan-without-ever-achieving-any-reform-at-all/d/105118


    I do appreciate your sincere efforts in defending Islam against those who pick the worst bits from the underbelly of its secondary sources and project its offal and refuse for its true message somewhat like Irshad Manji presenting the forged Pact of Umar for the original.

    By muhammd yunus - 8/8/2017 9:34:57 PM



  • Dear Naseer Sb,
    .
    It is perhaps ingrained human nature to defend one's views and more so if it is arrived after long research.

    My independent active research into the Qur'an between 1995 and 2000 led me to evolve the following definition of the word kufr and its other roots as presented in my jt. publication (2009) p.xxxv:

    "Willful rejection or denial of any self-evident or irrefutable proposition. The Qur’an refers to its recalcitrant audience by the plural noun forms kafirun, kafirin, which, for want of any appropriate English counterpart have been rendered as disbelievers or deniers as appropriate. The Qur’an also connotes kufr with canceling or effacing something (29:7, 47:2), being thankless or ungrateful (17:27, 76:24)."
     
    I agree with you that the Qur'an does not treat all muhsrikin as kafirin. (9:4). But the Qur'an also regarded the mushrikin as najas and disqualified them from maintaining the Sacred House on account of their kufr (9:7).

    The fact is my focus has been all the muhkamat verses with relegation of Islamic secondary sources as its historical legacy, specific to space and time and not any intrinsic part of faith - except for their preservation of the Prophet's spiritual and moral legacy and those of his close companions.  
    By muhammd yunus - 8/8/2017 9:01:11 PM



  • Yunus Sb,

    I have gone through your articles. We follow the same approach. What I notice however, is that you are for some reason not willing to go beyond what you have already written in your book for fear perhaps of upsetting your co-author or those who endorsed it. Your book was a big leap forward but now you should not hesitate to go beyond, following your own trusted methodologies.  

    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/8/2017 10:37:38 AM



  • Yunus Sb,

    If fighting is permitted only against the oppressor, then which verse can still be misunderstood and which verse does not apply today? 

    As far as taking the best meaning is concerned, it is for the confused reader who is not clear. It is not for you and me. We have no choice but to take "the meaning" after doing our due diligence. "The meaning" is the  meaning which can be established without a shadow of doubt.
    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/8/2017 10:06:00 AM



  • Logically Islamic ethics can be constructed in order of ranking. However, our theology has done very little in this regard.

    There are a few things that Allah dislikes the most:

    1.       1. Oppression and persecution. This is disliked so much, that opposing and fighting against it is fighting in the cause of Allah.

    2.       2. Not spending your wealth for the orphan and the needy, or spending but with arrogance and insulting behavior. Consuming usury. Allah dislikes this so much that those who are guilty will find themselves among the ranks of the kafirin, more so, if they were among those who professed faith. The others have a chance of being treated more leniently because they may have been people without knowledge.

      What Allah likes the most:

    1.       1. The opposite of oppression is justice. There is nothing Allah likes more than a just person

    2.       2. Allah loves those who spend out of their wealth to help the orphan and the needy with grace and kindness.


    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/8/2017 9:58:47 AM



  • Yunus Sb,

    You should go through my articles on the derivation of the meaning of kafir in the Quran with an open mind. I do not interpret at all. I derive the meaning following rules of logic.

    The first kafir was Satan. He wasn't a disbeliever. He was an ingrate rebel who rebelled against the command of God knowing who God was and asked for reprieve knowing without God's permission he could do no harm to anyone.

    Moses is referred to as Kafir by Pharaoh. He was also an ingrate rebel as far as his relationship with Pharaoh was concerned who had brought him up as a son.

    Kafir is therefore a knowledgeable and willful rebel and a knowledgeable person is more likely to commit kufr than one who is not knowledgeable or a believer is more likely to commit kufr.

    There isn't any verse in the Quran that considers all the Mushrikin as Kafir - not even in Surah Taubah. The Mushrikin who are referred to as Kafir are:

    1. Those who violently opposed the Prophet and the Muslims

    2. Those that drove Muslims out of the sacred mosque and their homes.

    3. Those that fought battles against the Muslims for no reason other than their faith.

    4. A few of those knowledgeable people among Jews, Christians and Mushrikin who expected the coming of the Prophet and had said that they would follow him if he came, but when the expected Prophet came, they rejected him. 

    5. Those that helped the enemies of the Prophet and the Muslims.

    The Mushrikin who never fought with the Muslims, nor persecuted them, or although they fought the Muslims but honoured their treaties, are not treated as kafir in the Quran. Verse 9:29 is applicable to such Mushrikin as well and they could have retained their religion and paid jiziya. The fact however is that all accepted Islam and there were no jiziya paying Mushrikin. This historical fact cannot be interpreted as they did not have a choice.  

     

    9:29 Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission.

    Who are the people who do not believe in Allah and the last day? Are they the Jews and Christians? Certainly not! The only people the Quran accuses of not believing in Allah and the last day are the “Mushrikin” or the polytheists. There are numerous verses that speak of the Jews and the Christians but not even one verse accuses them of not believing in Allah or the last day. There are also numerous verses that speak of the “Mushrikin” which accuse them of not believing in the last day and associating partners with Allah or disbelieving both in Allah and the Last Day (44:35, 50:3, 56:47). How do the scholars then connect this part of the verse with the Jews and Christians and not with the “Mushrikin” or the polytheists? 

     

    The Jews and the Christians are accused of not holding that forbidden which has been forbidden by Allah and his messenger (4:161, 5:42, 5:62,63) and not acknowledging the religion of Truth. The subject of the latter part of the verse is therefore the Jews and the Christians. The verse therefore covers the Polytheists, the Jews and the Christiana and all of them are given a choice to willingly pay Jiziya or face war.

    (2:254) O ye who believe! Spend out of (the bounties) We have provided for you, before the Day comes when no bargaining (Will avail), nor friendship nor intercession. And the kafirun, they are the zalimun.

    Who are the kafirun and the zalimunin in this verse? Those who do not spend out of the bounties provided by Allah. The kafirun and zalimun refers to the believers who show their ingratitude to Allah for the bounties provided to them by not spending. They are ingrate rebels. They are not some other unrelated “disbelievers” in Timbuctoo or wherever.

     (2:264) O ye who believe! cancel not your charity by reminders of your generosity or by injury,- like those who spend their substance to be seen of men, but believe neither in Allah nor in the Last Day. They are in parable like a hard, barren rock, on which is a little soil: on it falls heavy rain, which leaves it (Just) a bare stone. They will be able to do nothing with aught they have earned. And Allah guideth not the kafirin.

    The kafirin in this verse are otherwise believers, but those who spend their substance to be seen of men. Such men will not be guided

    (3:102) O ye who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except as a Muslim.

    Here it is put across positively instead of saying die not as a kafir.

    (3:130) O ye who believe! Devour not usury, doubled and multiplied; but fear Allah; that ye may (really) prosper.(131) Fear the Fire, which is prepared for the kafirin:

    It is the believers who devour usury who are asked to fear the fire and such believers are the kafirin.

    (9:90) And there were, among the desert Arabs (also), men who made excuses and came to claim exemption; and those who were false to Allah and His Messenger (merely) sat inactive. Soon will a grievous penalty seize the Kafaru among them. (The Kafaru referred to here are Muslim)

    The kafirin are never passive “disbelievers”. They are far more likely to be believers since they have the Book, and the knowledge and yet if they do wrong, it shows ingratitude to God or rebellion.

    The non-Muslims who are kafir are mostly the oppressors and the persecutors and those who knowingly and willfully do wrong.

    Fighting in the cause of Allah

    Examine every verse regarding fighting. The only cause for which permission to fight is granted is against persecution/oppression. There is absolutely no permission granted to fight against “disbelief”.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 8/8/2017 8:35:57 AM



  • m.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/atheists-in-malaysia-should-be-hunted-down-minister-says?utm By hats off! - 8/8/2017 8:09:36 AM



  • without beating about the bush, mr. muhammad yunus should outright tell us if he agrees with mr. naseer ahmed's "interpretation" of the word kuffar.

    but then its his privilege to keep his opinions to himself.
    By hats off! - 8/8/2017 6:21:46 AM



  • Dear Naseer Sahab,
    This is my umbrella article on reform in Islamic societies.

    Breaking The Ice For An All-Round Reform Of Islamic Societies To Avoid The Recurring Call For Reform From Turning Into A Mere Slogan Without Ever Achieving Any Reform At All

    http://www.newageislam.com/ijtihad,-rethinking-islam/muhammad-yunus,-new-age-islam/breaking-the-ice-for-an-all-round-reform-of-islamic-societies-to-avoid-the-recurring-call-for-reform-from-turning-into-a-mere-slogan-without-ever-achieving-any-reform-at-all/d/105118

    You know there are Muslims holding highest positions in the academy highly skeptical of the divinity of the Qur'an and no less critical of its message. Then there are the ualams, terrorists, ex-Muslims, liberals and free lance Muslim intellectuals who want to read the Qur'an in light of the secondary sources, picking their own favorites. So there is a colossal task before people like you and me to sell any fresh reading of Qur'anic message to fellow Muslims.
    By muhammd yunus - 8/8/2017 5:44:57 AM



  • Dear Naseer Sahab,
    The fact that you have come up with a very non-traditional and unique interpretation of the word kufr and its other derives, strongly disagreed with me on a few issues/ aspects of the Qur'anic message and your articles have your unique signature demonstrates that you  have produced an original work based on your own research.  Given he enormous diversity and contradiction in Qur'anic interpretation, it is simply not possible for you and me to come up with almost identical interpretation of the Qur'anic message unless both of us were on the track. This is a good news for both you and me as the outcome of any solo research, let alone that of the Qur'an is reinforced if corroborated by another researcher. Quite reassuring.

    May I request you to take a glance at my following umbrella article with an open mind focused towards creating a progressive reading of the Qur'an:
     
    To corroborate the above, I am quoting below some extracts from the opening and closing pages - relating to the methodology of my interpretation and my stripping of any divinity from the secondary sources.

    Extract from p. 19/20 under The Objective of this work:

    "This book attempts to interpret the various facets of the Qur’anic message by drawing explanations primarily from its (the Qur’an’s) own text. Thus, the meanings of the critical words, idioms, figures of speech, and phrases of the Qur’an have been derived from their usage across its text. Likewise, the essence of its guidance and its criteria of right and wrong, permissible and forbidden have been derived primarily from its own illustrations to provide the reader with a broad moral trajectory of the Qur’an. 

    The work is thus designed to eliminate the influence of the personal, educational, doctrinal backgrounds of its authors, their choice of source materials This is consistent with the Qur’an’s claim of representing the best interpretation (39:18, 39:55). Accordingly, many Qur’anic scholars have advocated it since the early centuries of Islam. However, it never gained popularity, first because the orthodoxy was fully satisfied with the traditional exegetic discipline, and secondly because this approach is inherently more difficult and challenging than the classical exegesis. The long-outstanding need for a clear understanding of the essential message of Islam, independent of personal exegetic influences, and the scope of using computer database for comprehensive and accurate scrutiny of the Qur’anic text as adopted in this work, provide the impetus and background for the compilation of this volume."

    Extract from p.362 under 'Final Note of Appeal for Muslims:'

    "It has been long overdue for Muslims to make an objective and honest assessment of their secondary theological literature, notably the Hadith sciences. There can be no doubt that they are essential to understanding how the Prophet and early Muslims complied with various Islamic rites and rituals, including Salat, Zakat and hajj. But the truth remains, their evolution is purely a construct of history, and accordingly they are conditioned and corrupted by a wide array of factors impacting across some two to three hundred years as analyzed earlier (Enc.4). Considering the canonized Hadith as we have in our hands today, on their face value as truths supplementing and complementing the Qur’an as many orthodox scholars advocate, or indirect inspiration as the classical theory of Islamic law suggests,  may lead to the following, to the great detriment of the Muslim community:

    ·         The vast majority of Muslims, lay or educated, will have neither time, nor the necessary books, nor the scholarship to explore their expansive domains.

    ·         Different individuals, agencies, groups and states, will be able to pick conveniently from their theological sources to legitimize their views and deeds in the whole range of matters concerning their societies. Such matters could be of social, political or theological nature, or pertain to statecraft, educational curriculum and women’s status, for example. Likewise, they will be able to enter into polemics, and have their clerics pass fatwas against conflicting views on all such matters.

    ·         They will be questioning the completeness of the Qur’an as a font of guidance and divine criteria of right and wrong, despite its claim to be a book of wisdom that makes things clear with all kinds of illustrations and elaboration (Notes 7-10/Preface).

    ·         Their theologians will continue to nurture and perpetuate the thought process, scholastic disposition, and paradigms that were normative in the early centuries of Islam and characterize the Hadith literature, that is revered and taught by them, and thus keep those Muslims under their direct influence, intellectually rooted in that era, with grave consequences.

    ·         The modern Kharijites and Qaramites of Islam – the violent extremists, active in many countries of the world, will reduce Islam, in the eyes of the non-Muslims exposed to a patently biased media, to a cult of terrorism and suicide bombing, creating enormous difficulties for the common peace loving and law abiding Muslims settled in predominantly secular and non-Muslim societies.     

    Therefore, as suggested by some of the eminent Muslim scholars, Muslims must endeavor to take guidance directly from the Qur’an. The best way to accomplish this, as the Qur’an advocates, is to probe into it,10 and seek the best meaning,11 as attempted in this work.

    By muhammd yunus - 8/8/2017 4:52:27 AM



  • Deriving forward ideas from the Quran such social and political liberation, an assertive human rights agenda, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, a government of the people, by the people and for the people, gender equality etc. is exactly what is needed to make Islam a relevant and cutting edge religion.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 8/8/2017 1:39:09 AM