By Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam
09 April, 2015
The extremist ideology is not very much different from the current state of the defective Islamic theology of all sects. The extremists are only extreme in their actions and it is not without justification that the Islamophobes call them more Muslim than the “moderates”. It is therefore impossible for the moderates to defeat the extremists ideologically, without accepting and correcting their defective theology.
The extremists act on the following presumptions which find support in the defective Islamic theology of every sect.
1. All those who are not followers of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) are “Kafir”
2. The Prophet was fighting battles against the “Kafirin” to end “Kufr”
3. Apostates of Islam deserve the death penalty
The extremists cannot be defeated ideologically unless all the above three presumptions which have become the accepted doctrines of Islamic theology and taught in seminaries are rejected and the Islamic theology cleansed of this utter nonsense.
The correct position is:
1. Only the oppressors and persecutors are Kafir. In the temporal sphere, the term Kafir is faith neutral.
2. The Prophet fought battles only against the oppressors to end religious persecution. The Quran does not sanction waging war to end “disbelief” since there is no compulsion in religion.
3. There is no punishment prescribed in the Quran for apostasy or blasphemy.
Each issue is covered exhaustively in my articles with full evidence from the Quran.
Who Is A Kafir In The Quran? (Part 1): 'Kafir,' 'Mushrik' and 'Idolater' are not synonyms
Who Is A Kafir In The Quran? (Part 2): Muslim– Non-Muslim Relationship
Who Is A Kafir In The Quran? (Part 3): Why Kufr Is A Relative Concept While Shirk, Idol Worship Etc. Have Fixed Meanings
Who is a Kafir in the Quran? (Part 4) Defining Kufr
The Story of the Prophetic Mission of Muhammad (pbuh) in the Qur’an (Concluding Part) Summary
The action point is to build consensus on these points so that the extremists are truly isolated and defeated. Right now, everyone starting from Al Azhar is only paying lip service. We must demand that every important seminary come clean on their position on each of the three points. This will not be easy. There will be debate and discussion but let there be transparency in place of the hypocrisy of paying only lip service. I urge the Government of India to initiate this process. This is in the interest of every Muslim and every citizen of the country. The seminaries of India can lead the world in ending the scourge of extremism besides correcting the defective doctrines based on a very parochial interpretation that goes against the clear word and message of the Quran. Let us free the Quran from centuries of Kufr heaped on it by poor scholarship that values parochialism over the truth.
is a Muslim in the Quran?
On the Reconstruction of Religious Thought (Part 1)
On The Reconstruction Of Religious Thought (Part 2), The
Power Of Conceptual Frameworks
Muhammad Farooq Khan On Jihad VersusTerrorism - Part 1: The Four Principle Of
‘Jihad As War’
Muhammad Farooq Khan on Jihad versus Terrorism - Part 2: Refutation of the
Excuses or Justifications Offered By the Terrorist Groups
Muhammad Farooq Khan on Jihad versus Terrorism - Part 3: The Purpose of Jihad
Is A Woman’s Testimony Worth Half That of A Man?
What Does It Mean To Be A Literalist And A Fundamentalist?
Concept of Unity in the Quran While Celebrating Diversity
To: Respected Muslim Readers @ New Age Islam
This brief note is to inform all of you that a
response to Dr. Javed Jamil by Muhammad Yunus Saheb is posted on http://myfellowmuslims.com. The first
paragraph reads as follows:
The Issues Confronting Muslim Intellectuals
“I have read your presentation at the AMU
Conference on the ‘Intellectual Crisis of Muslim
Ummah’. I must admit that you have courage and clarity of thinking to,
loudly question: “What for they killed 2 million people in between the day
of the blast and the death of the mastermind?”
Another letter which might be of interest, is
the one addressed to Imam Akmal M. Muhammad, Co-founder/Chairman/CEO - The
Islamic Freedom Foundation, Inc. based in Silver Spring, Maryland by Mohammed
Rafiq Lodhia as follows:
My Two Cents Worth
“What is the point in launching a total
ideological onslaught upon the “New World Order”? Certainly, the so-called “Muslim
Intellectuals” do not expect the “Uneducated
Brutes,” in our midst to show us the right path!”
Note that after learning from the experience
of “Unknown Characters,” making comments on the New Age Islam forum, therefore,
it was decided that “No Comments,” will be the rule of the blog. It is
not that “Freedom of Expression,” is not appreciated. It is in fact, the
“Known Facts,” that many “Intellectual Bigots,” have nothing better to do in life than to disrupt any
healthy debate concerning the sensitive issues pertaining to the religion of
Very respectfully yours,
Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia
Dear Muhammad Yunus,
The following is from your article:
The Hindus are not ‘the Mushrikin’ Mentioned in the Qur’an
“The present day Islamophobia driven greenhorn scholarship draws on the Qur’anic verses with exhortations to kill the Mushriks (technically ‘mushrikin’, translated as unbelievers, disbelievers, idol worshippers) to project Islam as a violent religion that permits killing the ‘Mushriks’. Some radical groups in India fan communal hatred and violence by quoting these verses, applying the word ‘al-mushrikin’ to the Hindus.”
You are in agreement therefore as to what in our “greenhorn scholarship” is the cause of communalism and extremism. Your article incidentally makes no distinction and assumes mushrik, unbeliever, disbeliever, and idol worshipers to be synonyms.
I therefore find it surprising that my efforts to clear the air to remove the cause of hatred, communalism and extremism are not supported by you. This problem will remain even after you have wiped out the ISIS with your excellent solution. Moreover, what you choose to call greenhorn scholarship is part of our theology and taught in the seminaries. These are the fault lines in our theology that have been used systematically as part of a plan (Bernard Lewis) by the US and its associates to fan Muslim fundamentalism to achieve their political ends. The roots of religious extremism lie in our defective theology. Unless we uncover the truth and bring it out in the open and compel our seminaries to acknowledge the flaws in our theology and correct them, Muslims will become the pariahs of society.
Please read my article: The Story of the Prophetic Mission of Muhammad (pbuh) in the Qu’ran (Concluding Part) Summary in which I have shown that For 14 translators, it is desist from “Unbelief” in verse 8:38 or its equivalent which implies that the Prophet (pbuh) was fighting against the kafirin to end kufr and not against the Religious persecutors to end persecution. They are: Yusuf Ali (from Unbelief), Al'-Muntakhab (renounce infidelity, desist from evil purpose and turn to Allah), Ali Unal: (to disbelieve themselves and prevent others from entering the fold of Islam), Muhammad Taqi Usmani (from infidelity), Syed Vickar Ahamed (from disbelief),Farook Malik (from unbelief), Dr Munir Munshey (their skepticism), Dr. M Tahirul Qadri (from their blasphemous acts), Ali Quli Qarai [faithlessness], Dr Kamal Omar (from their blasphemous acts), Thanvi (kufr), Raza Ahmad Khan Barelvi (kufr se baaz aye aur islam laye). Al Jalalayan: desist from unbelief and from waging war against the Prophet, Ibn Kathir: (Say to those who have disbelieved, if they cease...) the disbelief, defiance and stubbornness they indulge in, and embrace Islam, obedience and repentance.
Naseer Ahmed Saheb wrote to Muhammad Yunus Saheb as follows:
“Verses 8:36 to 8:38 have been thoroughly analyzed in my article to which a link is provided. If you have any comment on it you should make it. You make no comment on it and bring in your own translation to show that you have correctly translated it. You do not even show the intention to read and understand what I have written and comment on it!”
Let’s collectively look at the following articles:
Who Is A Kafir In The Quran? (Part 1): 'Kafir,' 'Mushrik' And 'Idolater' Are Not Synonyms
No mention of Verses - 8:36 to 8:38
Yes, Verses 8:38 & 39 is mentioned in this article as follows:
“(8:38) Say to the kafaru (the people who fought the Muslims in the battle of Badr), if (now) they desist (from practicing oppression), their past would be forgiven them; but if they persist, the punishment of those before them is already (a matter of warning for them). (39) And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere; but if they cease, verily Allah doth see all that they do.”
No mention of Verses - 8:36 to 8:38
The Much discussed and debated Medinian Verses Relating to Fighting
Yes, just a reference is made about Verses - 8:36 to 8:39 as follows:
“All the verses relating to fighting are for fighting in the cause of Allah. What is the meaning of fighting in the cause of Allah? It means to end religious persecution and oppression consisting of turning people out of their homes or places of worship for no other reason except their faith or hindering them from practicing their faith or torturing them for their faith. See verses 22:39, 40, 2:191 to 193, 2:217, 2:246, 4:75, 8:36-39. It also means to fight to defend any oppressed people (4:74 and 4:75)”
Well then, how can Naseer Ahmed Saheb, so confidently declare that, “the Verses - 8:36 to 8:38 is thoroughly analyzed in my article.” It is possible that my vision is not that good at an age of 63, but I will surely appreciate if any Muslim reader will comb through the five articles as mentioned above.
My fellow Muslims, something is not right. For now, merely reflect upon a remark of Naseer Saheb as follows:
“I am trying to bring out the truth (???) covered under centuries of "Muslim Kufr" for changing attitudes of the Muslims without which the Muslim society is doomed. If you cannot lend a helping hand, stop obstructing and diverting peoples attention also.”
All in all, it is the task of Sultan Shahin, Editor of New Age Islam and his dedicated staff to look into this matter. Just to be in the business of circulating the same old debates over and over again, is now proven to be sheer insanity. Worst of all, boasting about the “Truth,” and then not realizing that it is a cover-up to deceive the readers is an unforgivable act, so to speak. The word to the wise is sufficient.
Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia
8:36 Verily, the kafaru spend their wealth to hinder (men) from the Path of Allah, and so will they continue to spend it; but in the end it will become an anguish for them. Then they will be overcome. And those who disbelieve will be gathered unto Hell.
8:38 Say to the Kafaru, if they cease/desist their past will be forgiven. But if they return (thereto), then the examples of those (punished) before them have already preceded (as a warning).
From8:36, the kafaru are those who spend their wealth and efforts to hinder men from the path of Allah
The Kufr is religious persecution or hindering men from the path of Allah.
These verses deal with the temporal dimension and therefore faith or lack of it is irrelevant.
What they should desist from is then obviously their Kufr and what will be forgiven of their past is their Kufr which is defined above.
8:38 Say to the disbelievers (Kafaru), if they cease/desist their past will be forgiven. But if they return (thereto), then the examples of those (punished) before them have already preceded (as a warning).
is misleading since then to desist could be mistaken to mean to desist from disbelief and return thereto could mean return to disbelief. Even if we remove some of this confusion by saying
8:38 Say to the disbelievers (Kafaru), if they cease/desist (from persecution) their past will be forgiven......
8:38 Say to the Religious Persecutors (Kafaru), if they cease/desist their past will be forgiven......
This is not only the correct meaning of the verse but by using faith neutral terminology the message gets universalized and applies equally to those who call themselves believer but practice religious persecution. Also there is no need to add in parenthesis what they should desist from.
The Hindus Are Not ‘The Mushrikin’ Mentioned In the Qur’an
is concerned, the Quran talks about shirk which is the same then and now. It also refers to the mushrikin of the Prophet's times but anything negative said is only about the kafaru among the mushrikin and never about the mushrikin.
The clear distinction between the Hindus of India and the mushrikin of Mecca, is that many of the mushrikin of Mecca were kafir in that they violently opposed and obstructed the Prophet and Islam and the battles were fought to end their religious persecution. The Hindus of India are not kafir and Muslims can follow their faith peacefully. India and every Secular and Democratic country can more legitimately be described as Dar al Islam than any Islamic countries where several sects of Islam are persecuted besides the persecution of the religious minorities. There are more Kafirin who call themselves Muslims in Islamic countries than in Secular Democracies which are almost totally free of the Kafirin.
Agreed that 'Kufr/ Kafir are faith neutral terms. This is how they are defined in the glossary of my joint publication - Essential Message of Islam, now under posting on this site:
Kufr: Wilful 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 cancelling or effacing something (29:7, 47:2), being thankless or ungrateful (17:27, 76:24).
As regards, our Hindu brethren, I have done an article, Oct. 2011 that clarifies the gross misconception of conflating them with the polytheists of the Prophet's era:
Since the word Kafir in today's vocabulary has acquired a demeaning and insulting connotation, the Muslim Ulema and Imams must tell their followers not to hurl the term on their Hindu brethren on the strength of the following Qur'anic proclamation:
“You who believe, let not any people (qawm) among you mock other people (qawm) who may be better than they are; nor should some women (ridicule) other women who may be better than they are; and do not find fault in each other, nor insult others with (insulting) nicknames. (Giving) an insulting name after embracing the faith is most wicked (fisq), and those who do not repent (after giving such nicknames to others) – it is they who are unjust” (49:11).
(39:32) Who, then, doth more wrong than one who utters a lie concerning Allah, and rejects the Truth when it comes to him; is there not in Hell an abode for blasphemers?
(33) And he who brings the Truth and he who confirms (and supports) it - such are the men who do right.
(34) They shall have all that they wish for, in the presence of their Lord: such is the reward of those who do good:
(35) So that Allah will turn off from them (even) the worst in their deeds and give them their reward according to the best of what they have done.
May Allah guide us and give us the strength to bring out the Truth and support it. May Allah also reward us as promised for our efforts and save us from blaspheming the word of Allah, by attributing to Allah, what is not said by Allah. Amin.
6. Philip K.
Hitti refers to the Kharijites (See 3 above for their evolution) as a brutally
fanatic sect, who readily killed their opponents and “caused rivers of blood to
flow in the first three centuries of Islam.” History of the Arabs, 1937, 10th edition; London 1993, p. 247.
on classical sources, Abdul Quader Jilani (d. 561/1166) has described the
Kharijites as a sect that disowned the community of Muslims, “raised swords
against the caliphs and made lawful their blood and their wealth.” He also
mentions about some of their sects justifying the killing of the children of
polytheists, their own parents, and all the non-Muslims of the world. - Ghunit
al-talebin, Urdu translation by Shahir Shams Barelwi, Arshad Brothers, New Delhi p.178-180
Qaramites. Founded by Hamdan Qarmat, a power hungry Iraqi peasant, around 860
(third century of Islam), the sect grew as a Bolshevik style revolutionary
movement “that developed into a most malignant growth into the body of
political Islam.” Qarmat’s successors “founded an independent state on the
western shore of the Persian Gulf (899), …
from where they conducted a series of terrible raids on neighboring lands,..
laid waste most of lower al-Iraq, became the terror of the caliphate … and kept
and al-Iraq drenched in blood.”
K. Hitt, History of the Arabs, 1937,
10th edition; London
1993, p. 445.
Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, a religio-educational organisation with a hold over the Deoband seminary, said on Monday that it was not in favour of Hindus being branded as kafirs in any Islamic discourse.
Morning Yunus Saheb,
the mutual exchanges of thoughts between you and Nasreen Ahmed Saheb, all I can
sincerely recommend to you, is to steer far away from such futile debates.
Saheb is not clear about the difference between Jihad and Terrorism.
In a heartbeat, he will charge, “they are parasites living off the Dargahs,”
but he will not even utter any such blunt words against the brutalities of
the same old debating points seems to be beneficial for New Age Islam forum. At
the same time, it gives Naseer Ahmed Saheb plenty to write about too. I reckon
the Muslim readers must be enjoying the content of his articles and rebuttals
highlighting about the three oft-repeated words which has been mastered by
Naseer Saheb, that is, “Kufr, Kafir and
Sometime, I often wonder if there is life
beyond these three words!
but not the least Naseer Saheb’s mind is permanently stuck in the early battle
days of Islamic history. It is obvious that no amount of bloodshed caused by
Terrorists,” will move his heart. What is more so sad is
that Sultan Shahin Saheb continues to believe that vigorous circulating of the
same old themes keeps the forum alive. What more can I say? I am afraid that
you are back in New Age Islam only to run into another round of disappointing episode.
Morning Dehlvi Saheb,
you for your kind response. I usually do not get entangled into the senseless
debate about “created,” or “uncreated,” and “from God” or “of
Azad’s translation of our Holy Qur’an is seldom read by our fellow Muslims. I
consider myself to be blessed, for being able to carefully study about Maulana
Azad’s emphasis on the profound importance of “Divine Providence, Divine
Benevolence and Divine Guidance,” in human lives.