By Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam
20 October 2017
article explains why a moderate scholar such as Javed Ghamidi can never be
effective in combating extremism.
Ghamidi gives the same reasons for extremism as I do but differently worded.
According to Javed Ghamidi, the following are the reasons for extremism the
belief that it is the rightful duty of all Muslims to mete out the punishment
of death to all the Kafir – polytheists, disbelievers and the apostates.
belief that no one except the Muslims have a right to rule the world and the
Muslims are therefore religiously bound to wage war to bring all non-Muslim
countries under their rule. There should be only one government in the entire
world and that should be the Islamic caliphate. The modern states are an
embodiment of Kufr (disbelief), and therefore can have no place in Islam.
reasons according to me are in the following false ideology of the
traditionalists and the extremists according to which:
1. Kafir means
2. The Prophet was
fighting battles against the disbelievers to end disbelief. It is our duty
therefore to wage holy war until there is no more disbelief
Solution according to me is to refute the above falsehood, and proclaim the
true Islamic ideology to defeat the ideology of the extremists and the
traditionalists which is:
Kafir does not mean disbeliever
in the Quran although there are some who are Kafir among the disbelievers.
2. The Prophet was
fighting battles against the religious persecutors and their allies and helpers
to end religious persecution and establish the Deen of Allah in which there is
no oppression but there is justice for all. The Prophet was not fighting
against the disbelievers for their disbelief.
Ghamidi’s views however reinforce the traditionalist/extremist ideology by
saying that they are “Playing God” which means that God through His messenger
Muhammad (pbuh) did fight against the disbelief of the disbelievers to end
disbelief but argues that the extremists must not make the mistake of doing
what the Prophet did as a Messenger of Allah and if they do so, they are
playing God. He believes in a doctrine of exceptionalism which means that we
must treat what the Prophet did in his capacity as a Messenger and as part of
the Divine Plan, as “exceptional” and not to be imitated! This is easily
dismissed by the traditionalists and the extremists as being hypocritical.
Besides, the Quran explicitly assigns to the Muslims the religious duty of
enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil to the people.(3:104) Let there arise out of you a band of
people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding
what is wrong: They are the ones to attain felicity. The responsibility of
the Prophet is therefore seen to be transferred to his followers. Javed Ghamidi
also believes that all the Mushrikin of the Prophet’s times were Kafir and
deserving of the death punishment. He however believes that the Mushrikin of
today cannot be treated as Kafir because it is not a prophet that they have
rejected. The theory of exceptionalism is a weak theory without support in the
Quran and even contrary to its explicit verses and therefore it is not
surprising that Javed Ghamidi’s views cannot combat extremism. It is therefore
essential to refute his views while establishing the correct position which is
had an exchange of views with Shahzad Saleem who is a close associate of Javed
Ghamidi on the book “Playing God” in which I rejected his theory of “The Divine
Plan of Allah” in the book as false and not supported by facts. Since the
exchange resulted in Shahzad Saleem running away from the discussion rather
than responding to my critique of “Playing God”, I wrote an article in six
parts on the Prophetic Mission of Muhammad, through which I brought out the
true nature of “The Divine Plan of Allah” as expounded in the Quran.
The following was my exchange of views and critique of the book “Playing
5th March 2015
Dear Saleem Sb,
I was just glancing through the Book “Playing God” that you sent. It has the
same gross errors of translation because which those who do not understand
Arabic are misled. For example:
So when the forbidden
months are over, slay the Idolaters wherever you find them…. (9:5)
The Arabic word is Mushrikin which translates as
polytheist and not idolater! This error is repeated many times! If someone
mixes up polytheist with idolater, it is not surprising that he also mixes up
Mushrik with Kafir!
Also your understanding of Surah Al Kafirun:
" The last verse of
the Surah, it must be appreciated, is not an expression of tolerance; it
expresses renunciation on the part of the Prophet (sws) and a warning to
the disbelievers that they must now get ready to face the consequences of
their obdurate denial."
I think you have misunderstood. There is no war
against the peaceful rejecters of "truth" and it is truly "to
you be your way/religion and to me mine". These concealed warnings that
the Ulema dream up bring disrepute to Islam as a religion of deception.
The Problem however was that not all the Kafirun
were peaceful and some who persecuted the Muslims and others who hindered them.
The war was only with them. Consider verse 8:38
(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 the law of Allah altogether and everywhere; but
if they cease, verily Allah doth see all that they do.
Verse 8:38 is proof, that the battle (Badr) was to
end the Kufr of persecution and oppression of the Muslims and not for putting
an end to the Kufr of disbelief by forcing the Meccans to accept Islam. If the
Meccans had heeded and given up practicing oppression against those who were
accepting Islam, there would have been no more fighting after this verse was
revealed and peaceful preaching would have resumed in Mecca.
But this was not to be because there were the
Chiefs of Unfaith who were resisting the faith without whom the rest would have
accepted Islam. The Chiefs of Unfaith giving up the fight would have itself
meant that all Meccans would eventually accept Islam.
The following verses are further proof that the
cause for fighting is not for the Kufr of faith or belief which is known only
to Allah, but for the Kufr of violating oaths and covenants, for having plotted
to expel the Messenger, and for being the first to assault the Muslims :
(9:12) But if they violate their oaths after their
covenant, and taunt you for your Faith,- fight ye the chiefs of Unfaith ( a-Immat-al-Kufri)
: for their oaths are nothing to them: that thus they may be restrained.(13)
Will ye not fight people who violated their oaths, plotted to expel the
Messenger, and took the aggressive by being the first (to assault) you?
Where is the argument "will you not fight
people who rejected the "Truth" or those who rejected “belief”?
I am afraid that if this how the Ulema understand
the Quran, the difference between them and the extremists is only that one is
fighting with his pen and the other with a sword. I am afraid that your
book is justifying fighting against even peaceful people for their faith!
6th March 2015
Dear Shahzad Saleem Sb,
Yes, I intend doing a detailed critique of you Book in a couple of days.
In the meantime, I must say, that a person who freely mistranslates
Mushrik as idolater, is attributing to Allah what Allah has not said.
This is not a trivial issue. People accuse the extremists of being
literal or for being fundamentalists. The Problem is that the extremists are
neither literalists nor fundamentalists. I am the one who is both a literalist
(for all the Muhkamat verses) and a fundamentalist who will not ignore even a
single relevant verse while trying to make sense of the message of the Quran.
You have talked about meanings and connotations implying that I am
paying attention only to the meaning and not to the connotations. Does
polytheist connote idolater?
Let us consider a Hindu. What is his belief? It ranges from polytheism
at one end of the spectrum to monotheism at the other end with monism,
pantheism, agnosticism, atheism in between. However most of them with a few
exceptions are idolaters. A Hindu could also be a monotheist and not an idolater
or a monotheist but an idolater. When Allah uses the word Mushrik and not
idolater, changing it to idolater changes the meaning completely. Also, the
revulsion of a believer is shifted from false beliefs to the object of worship
or the idol. The result is that Muslim ghazis took great pride in smashing
idols rather than changing the beliefs of people which requires trying to win
their hearts and minds.
Islam today arouses nothing but disgust. The Taliban also destroyed the
Bamiyan statues. The Muslims are behaving just as the Jews of the past and
Islam is becoming the most hated religion just as Judaism was at one time.
Allah will punish Muslims in the same manner He punished the Jews twice for
their religious arrogance which today has become the mark of a Muslim.
The Jews also used the word gentile for the non-Jews which became a pejorative
word. Kafir is in the same league. It is used by the Quran in a limited way and
never applied to any group of people based on the beliefs they profess. It has become
a pejorative word today to denote the future inhabitants of hell and applied to
every non-follower of Muhammad (pbuh).
I will do a complete critique of your book. For you to accept the gross
error in your understanding of the message of the Quran will require the same effort
that a non-believer must make to accept belief. The choice between choosing
what is right and what is wrong will not be an easy one to make.
Allah Hafiz and regards,
Thank you Naseer sb. I will wait for your critique. It is our duty to
remain true seekers of the truth. Insha Allah I will fully contemplate your
criticism and change my views if I find it convincing. May God bless you for
Salam Naseer sb
As you have yourself stated that you have glanced
through the book and not read it deeply. I would suggest that if you want to
critique it you need to go through the book carefully because it expresses an
overall concept -- a law of God which specifically relate to His messengers and
their foremost and immediate followers. The word Kuffar at all places in this
context refers to people who have intentionally denied the messenger (i.e. even
after being convinced of his message). These people are his foremost addressees
and hence the word Kafir cannot be applied to non-Muslims of later times. The
fact that they became militant or aggressive or plotted to kill the prophet or
violated treaties is over and above their intentional rejection of the
messenger and not the real causes of their punishment.
Dear Shehzad Saleem sb,
PFA my critique of "Playing God"
As far as the conclusions are concerned, we are on
the same page on most points but the approach is different.
My approach is based on deriving meanings and
principles from the Quran which remain unchanged throughout the Book. The explanations
therefore do not require importing contextual detail from secondary sources. It
is also independent of trying to relate any verse to the phase of the prophetic
mission. No two verses of the Quran contradict each other, and no verse is
treated as abrogated. It is also unnecessary to know which is a Meccan verse or
of the book “Playing God”
Excerpts from the book:
And for each community, there is a messenger.
Then when their messenger comes, their fate is decided with justice and they are not wronged. (10:47)
(14:13) And the Unbelievers said to their
messengers: "Be sure we shall drive you out of our land, or ye shall
return to our religion." But their Lord inspired (this Message) to
them: "Verily We shall cause the wrong-doers to perish!
(14) "And verily We shall cause you to
abide in the land, and succeed them. This for such as fear the Time when they
shall stand before My tribunal,- such as fear the punishment denounced."
(58:20) Those who resist (yuhadduna) Allah
and His Messenger will be among those most humiliated.(21) Allah has
decreed: "It is I and My messengers who must prevail": For Allah is One
full of strength, able to enforce His Will.
Consequently, the Almighty grants dominance
to these messengers, and punishes those who reject the message presented
by these messengers
Comment of Naseer:
You have concluded
that “Allah punishes those who reject the message”. Following the argument
presented in the book, rejecting the message then means driving out the Prophet
and his followers from the land ("Be sure we shall drive you out of our
land, or ye shall return to our religion." 14:13) or actively resisting,
opposing obstructing or hindering faith (And resist (yuhadduna) Allah and His
Messenger 58:20). It does not mean “peacefully not accepting the faith”. This
is an important difference and must be borne in mind.
Also punishing for
merely not accepting the faith would not meet the assurance in (10:47) their
fate is decided with justice and they are not wronged. Since (2:256) “there be no compulsion in religion” is an
absolute right of freedom of conscience and religion under all circumstances.
Moreover, there is
no verse in the Quran and even in Surah Taubah, where punishment is for not
accepting belief? Translating Kafaru as rejecting the message is not incorrect
provided it is understood that rejecting the message means active opposition
and not the same as not accepting belief.
(9:12) But if they violate
their oaths after their covenant, and taunt you for your Faith,- fight ye the
chiefs of Unfaith ( a-Immat-al-Kufri) : for their oaths are nothing to them:
that thus they may be restrained.(13) Will ye not fight people who violated
their oaths, plotted to expel the Messenger, and took the aggressive by being
the first (to assault) you?
is no argument regarding not accepting the faith? Kafaru in these verses
therefore does not mean non acceptance of belief but acts against man and God
that are Kufr for all of mankind by common standards.
The preaching mission of a messenger can be
broadly categorized in the following three phases:
i. The Propagation Phase
this phase (Propagation), the messengers of Allah never use force or retaliate
against any oppression or persecution encountered.
ii. The Acquittal Phase
iii. The Judgement Phase
In this case, a
messenger and his companions subdue their nation by force, and execute
them if they do not accept faith.
Is this not blaspheming the Quran? Show me the evidence to prove that
disbelievers who never opposed the messenger or drove believers out of their
homes or fought against them are executed if they do not accept faith.
The Kafaru for their Kufr in the temporal dimension are either executed
or spared if they accept faith as proof of change of heart and renouncing their
Kufr in both the temporal and spiritual dimensions.
from the book:
and humiliation of nations towards whom messengers were sent generally took
place in two ways: Nations who subscribed to monotheism were spared if they
accepted the supremacy of their respective messenger, while nations who
subscribed to polytheism were destroyed. The latter fate is in accordance with
the fact that polytheism is something that the Almighty never forgives:
Jesus (pbuh) was sent
to the Jews. They rejected him and did not accept his supremacy. Were they
Yusuf (pbuh) was sent
to the Egyptians. Was polytheism and polytheists destroyed after his mission?
Is there any verse which says that all the polytheist Egyptians followed the
Pharaoh and got drowned in the sea - the women, the children, the sick, the old
- every single polytheist? No, only those who tried to kill Moses and the Bani
Israel by following Pharaoh got drowned. They were guilty of trying to unjustly
kill Moses and Bani Israel. The rest may or may not have accepted faith but
they were not guilty of Kufr in the temporal dimension by trying to unjustly
kill the believers and were not destroyed.
In the case of Muhammad (pbuh), polytheism was
destroyed, but not by executing people for the simple fault of not accepting
belief. The Chiefs of unbelief ( a-Immat-al-Kufri) and his followers were the
active opponents who hindered, persecuted and fought against the Prophet and
his followers and were either killed in battle or executed. With the resistance
overcome, the rest of the people believed. “if Allah finds any good in the
people, he makes them listen to the message” (8:23).
never admit to polytheism, though they are involved in certain polytheistic
practices. A person becomes a polytheist when he openly admits that he is a
polytheist. A person, who claims to be a monotheist in spite of being involved
in polytheistic practices, cannot be regarded as a polytheist. The reason is
that a person might be doing something wrong without realizing that what he is
doing; all Christians whether of today or from the period of Jesus (sws) never
admit to polytheism; trinity to them is in accordance with monotheism. Of
course Muslims do not agree with them but unless they claim polytheism, it can
only be said that in spite of claiming to be monotheists they are involved in
polytheism. Their case is the case of a Muslim who goes to the grave of a saint
to ask him to grant a wish; such a Muslim cannot be called a polytheist; he
shall be told that what he is doing is something which is against monotheism to
which he himself strongly claims adherence. Similarly, Christians cannot be called
polytheists; however, they will be told that what they are doing is not in
accordance with monotheism.
precisely for this reason that the Qur’an never called the People of the Book
as polytheists though they subscribed to certain blatant forms of polytheism.
The Qur’an only called the Ishmaelites as polytheists because they admittedly
subscribed and testified to the creed of polytheism. They strongly advocated
that polytheism was the very religion the Almighty had revealed and claimed
that they were strong adherents to this religion. Because of this very reason,
they were called the Mushrikun (the adherents to the creed of shirk) by the
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
was the last of the Prophets sent to `a people to whom no warner was sent to
their fathers who therefore remained heedless’. It can therefore be presumed
that for the rest of the civilized world, messengers had already come and
preached the monotheism of Islam after which the believers were saved and the
disbelievers destroyed to enable the believers to build a society unhindered by
disbelief and disbelievers. Over a period, just as the Jews, Christians and now
the Muslims have corrupted their religion with the taint of polytheism, other
religions such Zoroastrianism, Hinduism etc. also were pure monotheism at some
stage and are today corrupted to a lesser or greater extent. Many of the Hindus
today are openly polytheistic but many of them are not. They range from the
monotheist to the monist to the pantheist to the agnostic to the atheist. Some
are idolaters without being polytheists. To club all of them under the category
of idolater smacks of extreme ignorance and prejudice especially when the Quran
does not even refer to the Meccan pagans as an idolater even in a single verse.
Why Muslims are so keen to mistranslate God’s word which is Mushrikin meaning
polytheists as idolater? Are the Jews not severely reprimanded in the Quran for
Declare [O Prophet!]: “O you Disbelievers!
I shall worship not that which you worship.
Nor will you ever worship [alone] that which I
Nor ever before this was I prepared to worship
that which you worshipped.
Nor were you ever prepared to worship that which I
have been worshipping.
[So, now] to you your religion and to me mine.”
These words, it needs to be appreciated, are not
meant to condemn or chide them; they actually convey their true behaviour.
After thirteen long years of propagation and exhortation, the leaders of the
Quraysh had refused the calls of sense and reason. Their denial was based on
nothing but stubbornness in spite of the fact that the truth had been revealed
to them in its purest form. The last verse of the Sûrah, it must be
appreciated, is not an expression of tolerance; it expresses renunciation on
the part of the Prophet (sws) and a warning to the disbelievers that they must
now get ready to face the consequences of their obdurate denial.
You blaspheme the
Quran. The last verse means exactly what it says. To the disbeliever who
peacefully sticks to his way or religion, it is very simply “to you your
religion and to me mine.” Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) never violated this verse or
any verse of the Quran including “There is no compulsion in Religion”. The
Prophet destroyed polytheism and idol worship without ever violating any verse
of the Quran and the job was achieved with perfect justice. The adherence to
all tenets of what is fair and just is of such a high order that even a secular
person who is just will accept it as just. Please do not blaspheme the Prophet
and the Quran. It is on account of such dubious scholarship that people talk of
the Meccan and the Medinian Quran as if these are from different gods or as if
god is not just a great planner but a great deceiver, or that the Medinian
Quran abrogates the Meccan Quran!
(2) The Punishment
It should be remembered that as per the divine
practice discussed in the previous pages, after intentionally denying the truth,
the Idolaters and the People of the Book had become worthy of death. However,
the Almighty selectively awarded death to them. While the active adversaries of
both denominations were put to death, the People of the Book were spared if
they lived in subjugation to the Muslims, and the Idolaters were not given this
option: they had to accept Islam or face death.
I disagree. The People
of the Book (any book) have always proved to be more resistant to accept any
new faith. Jesus (pbuh) had a tough time with the Jews who never accepted him.
The Jews according to the Quran had slayed many of their Prophets. So their rejection
of the new Messenger was in line with their “Sunnat”. Sparing them was also in
line with Allah’s Sunnat. The mission of reformer Prophets such as Jesus
(pbuh), Isaac, Jacob etc never ended in the destruction of those who rejected
As for the Mushrikin of
Mecca, they were an Ummi nation to whose forefathers no warner was sent and who
therefore remained heedless. The new religion of Islam was a very great
attraction for most of them once the leaders of Unbelief were killed or
executed. The followers of the leaders of Unfaith who had deserved the death
penalty for waging repeated war against the Muslims, for breaking their
treaties etc had become deserving of death even by the common law and were
spared if they accepted Islam and repented their past. The rest simply accepted
the new faith gracefully. Not a single person was executed for disbelief alone.
Verse 2:256 “There is no compulsion
in Religion” was never violated
I have covered half the book. I can cover the
entire book point by point if you wish but I think that is not necessary.
As far as not
befriending the Kafirin is concerned the verses are true for all time. The
problem arises when you have a different meaning assigned to Kafir. If Kafir is
understood as the open and declared enemy of the Muslims and Islam which
meaning derives directly from the Quran, where is the problem?
Contrary to what
you say, when I say that I have considered every verse containing the words and
their grammatical variants, I am fully aware when the noun, verb or the
adjective form is used. Neither do I say that a Muslim or a Jew or a Christian
who commits acts of Kufr or shirk becomes a Kafir or a Mushrik.
me summarise what I have done in my paper:
I have precisely
defined the critical term Kufr that is applicable to all mankind in the Quran.
I have shown that this
definition is independent of belief.
A Kafir is an
open enemy of any religion. In the context of the Quran although he is an enemy
of the Muslims and of Islam, the Quran talks about Churches, Synagogues etc as
places where the name of Allah is abundantly praised. The principle, of “there
is no compulsion in religion” is absolute. Allah’s justice is also perfect. A
Kafir is therefore an open enemy of any Religion or enemy of the followers of any
religion for no other reason except their faith. It is high time the Muslims
started accepting universal principles on a reciprocal basis because that is
what the Quran teaches us. The rest of the World has moved in this direction
but the people to whom the Quran is given on a platter have not! There was a
time when Islam was the most tolerant, most inclusive and most egalitarian
religion. The Jews were the first people to get equal status in the US and
Europe followed by the black. The Jews achieved equal status simply by talking
about the high and almost equal status they enjoyed under Islam. Islam taught
the meaning of justice, tolerance, fair-play, chivalry in war, rights of women
and slaves to the rest of the world and today it has become a religion of the
The Quran envisages
continuous Tabligh and inviting people to common terms. There is also no
gainsaying the fact that every religion has been influenced by Islam in a very
positive way. The concepts of trinity and divinity of Jesus have loosened quite
a bit and there are many denominations of Christians who profess a faith
similar to ours. Hinduism has also seen many reformist movements. Tabligh
therefore does not necessarily mean converting the rest of the World. It means
influencing others to move closer to Islamic Tauheed using the Quran as Furqan
to stress those aspects in their Books that conform to the Quran and to
deemphasize aspects that are abhorrent in Islam. This would have happened in
natural course if we Muslims had not made Islam the most barbaric, the most
self-centred, the most unjust, the most intolerant and the most narrow minded
religion. We are the worst enemies of Allah our Prophet (pbuh) and of Islam.
The other important
contribution that my paper makes is that it explains the principles behind
punishment in the Quran. Apostasy, Blasphemy and unbelief are not punishable
simply because these are Kufr in the spiritual dimension and against Allah only
but not against man.
mischief, inciting strife and enmity are Kufr in the temporal dimension and
punishable. The criminal acts may or may not be accompanied by apostasy,
blasphemy etc. which is irrelevant.
My paper makes the
whole of the Quran understandable without talking about even context since it
is based upon understanding the underlying principles which remain constant.
There is no longer a Meccan and a Medinian Quran in conflict with each other.
Nor is it necessary to consider even a single verse as abrogated. The whole of the Quran makes good sense at
The Ridda wars
have unfortunately come to be known as wars to put down apostasy. When a people
refuse to pay Zakat, it is rebellion against the state and no state will
tolerate such rebellion. Can anyone in today’s world refuse to pay his taxes
and expect to be spared? The interesting question to consider is what if they
had agreed to pay Jiziya instead? The Christians and the Jews had to be fought
until they agreed to willingly pay Jiziya because until such time they
recognized no authority and paid no taxes in the tribal society that Hejaz was
earlier. It had now become a centrally governed nation and the people had to be
made its subjects by subduing them if necessary until they agreed to pay the
taxes willingly as good citizens. Yes, the Quran also talks about imposing the
tax as a punishment for their “unbelief”. However, since they did not pay Zakat
nor were obliged to do military duty, it was “value” for money that they
received and was not “unjust”.
Attributes of Quran that help in
interpreting the Book
(27:1) These are
verses of the Qur´an,-a book that makes (things) clear;
(18:28) (It is) a
Qur´an in Arabic, without any crookedness (therein): in order that they may
guard against Evil.
(4:82) Do they not
consider the Qur´an (with care)? Had it been from other Than Allah, they would
surely have found therein Much discrepancy.
important points to note are:
That the Quran is not a book of poetry. Poets use key words in such a fashion
that the word can take all or several of its many meanings and yet the verse
remains intelligible or the same word is used in a single verse with different
meanings. This is a characteristic of poetry. The Quran makes it clear that it
is not a book of poetry and therefore it uses words to make the meaning clear
and not to confuse or allow different interpretations. The key takeaway here is
that one should not interpret the Quran as one would interpret poetry and
debate about the different meanings that its verse can take but should take the
simple and straightforward meaning communicated by it and as consistent with
the rest of the Book. This is especially so when it concerns the ‘Muhkamat’
verses that instruct a Muslim in the right practice or conduct. As it concerns
the allegorical verses, these are capable of being taken either literally or
allegorically without affecting the way a Muslim is required to conduct his
The message is repeated taking manifold forms that assist a correct
interpretation. Any mistake in understanding a verse therefore gets easily
Any doubt regarding the interpretation of any verse of the Quran can be settled
with reference to other verses of the Quran itself. The Quran is its best and
most comprehensive commentary.
The consistency, clarity and lack of discrepancy that the Quran shows is
phenomenal. It is a book of over 6000 verses and yet one would be hard pressed
to find any word that takes two or more meanings across these 6000+ verses. The
consistency is therefore not within a verse or Sûrah alone but across the Book.
With such consistency, only someone who is careless can go wrong or someone “in
whose heart is a disease” can go astray.
Your interpretations, I am afraid, makes Quran a
is not clear
meaning of words is what takes the fancy of the reader where Mushrik can become
is full of discrepancies and contradictions and makes sense only by considering
several verses as abrogated or heavily dependent upon context.
Dear Naseer sb
I am afraid that your critique is based on an
inadequate understanding of the contents of my book. You have jumped to so many
conclusions which are unfounded and perhaps based on hastiness.
As I was attempting to write a detailed reply, I
realized that it will take a lot of my time to put across the reasoning
presented in the book, which at the moment I can ill-afford. You have grossly
failed (sorry for the harsh words) to understand the divine practice explained
through Qur'anic verses in this book.
I do not think that any further discussion will be
useful between us. Please take it as an inability on my part.
Shahzad Saleem has found my
criticism of his book “Playing God” too hot to handle. I hope it bothers him
enough to think or discuss with Javed Ghamidi.
Do please review the entire and rebut similar points in the entire
book, then someone else too can bring it to his attention. A point by point rebuttal
is very effective.
Dear Shahzad Sb,
You can be sure that someone who attacks deeply
entrenched notions has done his homework well. Twice you have failed to respond
while I have given a detailed response to your book. That could be because you
may be pressed for time. Anyway, I must thank you for your time and indulgence.
Also I would be failing in my duty if I did not
point to a common pitfall that most scholars make.
The Signs of Allah are the same for all. Science
progressed from a geocentric postulate of the Universe to a Heliocentric one
because of the tradition in science of constant inquiry and research. Research
means to make a fresh search rather than just build on the old. Yet in science
also people fail to see obvious flaws in a theory and a poor theory lasts much
longer than it should because of what Daniel Kahneman a psychologist (who has
the unique distinction of winning a Nobel Prize in economics and not in his own
subject Psychology) calls "theory-induced blindness": once you have
accepted a theory and used it as a tool in your thinking, it is extraordinarily
difficult to notice its flaws. If you come upon an observation that does not
seem to fit the model, you assume that there must be a perfectly good
explanation that you are somehow missing. You give the theory the benefit of
the doubt, trusting the community of experts who have accepted it. As the
psychologist Daniel Gilbert observed, disbelieving is hard work, and the
Reasoning mind is easily tired"
If this is so in the sciences, in Religion, with
excessive deference for the old masters, where unquestioning reverent
acceptance is the norm, it is even more difficult. On the face of it, the wrong
starting point of Kufr as antonym of faith or Iman does not strike you as
unreasonable or wrong. Once a wrong path is taken, all contradictions are
treated the way the moderates argue citing arguments of context and try to
explain everything while the extremists do what they do with equal conviction.
Whatever the divine practice that you talk of in
your book “Playing God”, cannot make Allah (Nauzobillah) the Almighty a liar as
it concerns the verse 2:256 There is no compulsion in Religion or 109:6 To you
be your way and to me mine.
was followed by my article in 6 parts covering the “The Divine Plan of Allah”
as made clear in the Quran through the stories of the prophets and through the
prophetic mission of Muhammad. This is in direct contrast to Javed Ghamidi’s
understanding of the same subject which comes from his mentor Amin Ahsan
Story of the Prophetic mission of Muhammad (pbuh) from the Qu’ran (part 1): The
Story of the Prophetic Mission of Muhammad (pbuh) From the Qu’ran (Part 2): The
Clear Warning to the Meccan Pagans
Story of the Prophetic Mission of Muhammad (Pbuh) In the Qu’ran (Part 3):
Important Pointers from the Stories of the Prophets
Story of the Prophetic Mission of Muhammad (Pbuh) In the Qu’ran (Part 4): The
Story of the Prophetic Mission of Muhammad (pbuh) in the Qu’ran (Concluding
Story of the Prophetic Mission of Muhammad (pbuh) From the Qu’ran (Part 6): The
People of the Book and Jiziya
Ahmed is an Engineering graduate from IIT Kanpur and is an independent IT
consultant after having served in both the Public and Private sector in
responsible positions for over three decades. He is a frequent contributor to www.NewAgeIslam.com
New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism
It is an earth-shaking discovery. Why would GM sb otherwise fight
tooth and nail against it? And why would Shahin Sb
say the following?
Dear Naseer Saheb, I agree
that the understanding of the trerm “kafir” is of utmost importance and if there
is a possibility that it does not mean un-believer, it should be explored fully
and taken through rigorous examination so that Muslims could be convinced that
contrary to all the Muslim scholars from the time of Khulafa-e-Rashidin till
now no one has understood it and defined it properly. This would be a discovery
of momentous proportions and needs to be explored fully. This is why I am
surprised that none of the scholars like Ghulam Ghaus or Ghulam Rasool Saheban
are engaging with the debate. However, for me, this is a hypothesis of such
momentous importance that no matter how lengthy the debate, we should engage in
By Sultan Shahin - 11/3/2017 8:21:45
Why are we so inextricably stuck in the binary thinking of Muslim
vs Kafir? Why do we think that we are the best of creatures and all the others,
including those not from our sect, are the worst of creatures?
By Sultan Shahin -
11/8/2017 8:32:34 AM
The subject of discussion was the reason for the Prophet’s battles. Those who say that he was fighting to end disbelief lie against the Quran.
GM Sb says “Quran no where specifically says, "Kafir means oppressor"”
The Subject of discussion is what Kafir does not mean and not what it means.
GM Sb says: Naseer sab says, "He is lying when he says 99% when he has said all which means 100%."
Brilliant comment! But it doesn't deserve an answer.
GM Sb doesn’t have an answer. The reason he changed it furtively to 99% now, is because he later argued that what I was saying was not original and several ulema have been saying the same thing for four decades. That is why he had to alter it to 99% because he has been hauled up for contradicting himself by saying first that no ulema agree with me, to saying that it is not original. Now by changing it furtively to 99%, he can claim that there is no contradiction. GM sb is a deceitful liar and a hypocrite.
GM sb says: He asks, "Why is he asking Yunus sb to dissociate from what I have said in my article if he agrees with what I have said?"
You lie when you say I agreed with you.
I never said he agreed with me! As a matter of fact, I am saying that from what he said, GM Sb clearly means that he disagreed with me. The logical implication of his disagreement is that he thinks “Kafir means disbeliever in the Quran”. He however, vehemently denied this logical implication!
He has now confirmed that he disagreed with what I have said but continues to deny the logical implication of his disagreement. He neither agrees that “Kafir does not mean disbeliever in the Quran” nor does he say “Kafir means disbeliever”. He is simply sitting on the fence. That describes the behaviour of a hypocrite.
However, in the same thread, he conceded that the meaning of Kafir is different in the Quran. The logical implication of this is that Kafir does not mean disbeliever in the Quran.
In an earlier thread, he had also agreed that Kafir is a faith neutral term. The logical implication of this is also that Kafir does not mean disbeliever in the Quran.
So, what do we make of this man? What is he trying to say? And why does he argue ceaselessly when he has nothing to say? Is he not a troll trying to derail meaningful discussions on an important topic with insane circular meaningless arguments?
GM Sb says:
“Maulana Wahiduddin Khan and Javed Ghamidi have to stay within the
constraints of what the Quran, as translated by generations of scholars, says
but they have gone as far as they could to make the original meaning time-bound
and not applicable to us.”
That is a
lie. In no verse of the Quran, does the Quran say that the Prophet should fight
the disbelievers for their disbelief.
is: Fight those who fight you for no other reason except your faith.
they to make it time bound? Based on which verse of the Quran? Do they treat
the Quran as a joke? Take whatever meaning and make it time bound?
GM Sb says “You first ask me
whether I agree that "Kafir does not mean disbeliever in the Quran"
and then you claim that nobody is asking me to define 'kafir'! That is either
mental retardation or deception.”
You are a liar. The sequence is as
You derided my saying “Kafir does not
mean disbeliever in the Quran”. By implication therefore, your derision meant
that for you Kafir means disbeliever.
2. You however, did not accept the logical implication
of your derisive comment either
3. You then did a flip and said that while it means
disbeliever in the dictionary, in the Quran it has a different meaning.
4. You had also agreed on an earlier occasion, that
kafir is a faith neutral term.
5. According to 1, you would appear to believe that
Kafir means disbeliever, but according to 3 and 4 above, Kafir does not mean
disbeliever, and yet, you have still not said anything unequivocally and refuse
to do so.
question is therefore where do you stand? The behaviour described above, is
that of a hypocrite. Calling you a hypocrite is therefore not abuse, based as
it is on the facts of the case, and the meaning of hypocrite.
saying what a word does not mean, is not defining the word. Saying what it
means is defining the word. However, if you have difficulty appreciating the difference,
then it is a sure sign of mental retardation.
rest of your comment, is also of a mentally retarded person, since it only says
what I have said, that both Javed Ghamidi and Maulana Wahiduddin Khan invoke the
doctrine of exceptionalism for their false beliefs, which according to me, is
both spurious and immoral. I have quoted them on their false beliefs. I reject
their views of the events and their doctrine of exceptionalism. The extremists
only reject their doctrine of exceptionalism but not their false beliefs of
these events. My efforts are to make them reject the false beliefs also, which
you are trying to protect. These false beliefs are at the root of extremism. If
you are a retarded person, you may fail to understand this. I cannot help it. I
cannot understand it for you. If you are not retarded, then you would support me
in my efforts to demolish those false beliefs if you mean well, and oppose only
if you are a supporter of extremism. You are therefore either retarded or a
supporter of extremism.
correct position that you have been arguing against is:
Kafir does not mean disbeliever in the
Quran and there is no verse of the Quran that considered all the polytheists as
The Prophet’s battles were against the
religious persecutors and oppressors to end oppression and not against the
disbelievers to end disbelief.
The clear views of Javed Ghamidi and
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan on the above two points are:
the polytheists of the Prophet’s times were Kafir deserving of the death punishment
or being compelled to accept Islam or face death, and the Prophet’s battles
were primarily to end disbelief and punish the disbelievers.
extremists are carrying on the unfinished task of ending disbelief. The beliefs
of Javed Ghamidi etc. about the present day disbelievers as not being Kafir and
deserving the death punishment or being compelled to accept Islam, is based on
the doctrine of exceptionalism, which the extremists reject.
choice was to support what I said, but you opposed it tooth and nail. Failing
to succeed, you said that what I was saying is not original and that the
moderate ulema have been saying the same thing for four decades. It is only
then, that I reproduced a nearly three-year-old exchange with Shehzad Saleem,
to show how different others are in what they say, and why what they say will
have no effect. I had no intention of discussing the views of Javed Ghamidi etc
otherwise, else I would not have kept quiet about it for nearly three years. Whether
you are retarded, a hypocrite, or a supporter of extremism, or all three of
them, is for you to worry about. This is my last comment to you.
Question: All Muslims shall go to Heaven while all Non-Muslims shall go to Hell. Is this statement true?
Ghamidi: This statement is not true. According to the Qur'an only those people, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, shall go to Hell who knowingly deny a truth which reaches them and do not fulfil the requisites of their beliefs in the truths.
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan says, "A verse in the Quran says: 'When the forbidden months have passed, kill the polytheists [who are at war with you] wherever you find them. Take them captive, and besiege them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush.' (9:5) What is the correct meaning of this verse? In the verse itself there is an answer to this question. It commands Muslims to engage in war with those persons who are at war with them. At another place the Quran also says that the war should last only as long as the opponents have taken up swords, but the moment the opponents put away their swords, war too should cease. (47:4) In Islam the injunction for war does not have a general application. So the above verse of Chapter 9 is applicable only to a temporary situation, and that too with respect to those who have waged war on Muslims. This verse does not apply to present circumstances. Those who interpret the verse as commanding Muslims to permanently remain engaged in war against others are totally wrong."
For Naseer sab to say that Javed Ghamidi and Maulana Wahiduddin Khan "reinforce the traditionalist/extremist ideology" is ignorant as well as slanderous. How many extremists have they spawned? Will you say anything and defame anyone in order to advance your claims to fame?
GM sb says “but to even suggest that they (Javed Ghamidi and
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan) preach an extremist ideology is highly irresponsible
and thoroughly fallacious”
What he says above, confirms that he is a retarded person because
I have not said that either of them preach an extremist ideology. On the other
hand, I have said that they are very sincere moderates. What I said is “Javed
Ghamidi’s views however reinforce the traditionalist/extremist ideology by
saying that they are “Playing God”………”
Any person who is not mentally challenged, will accept that the
following views reinforce the traditionalist/extremist ideology:
“He (Muhammad) was the caller to the faith, but he had also to compel
people to answer his call” Maulana Wahiduddin
“ It should be remembered that as per the divine practice discussed in the
previous pages, after intentionally denying the truth, the
Idolaters and the People of the Book had become worthy of death. However, the
Almighty selectively awarded death to them. While the active adversaries of
both denominations were put to death, the People of the Book were spared if
they lived in subjugation to the Muslims, and the Idolaters were not given this
option: they had to accept Islam or face death.” Javed Ghamidi.
What is GM Sb’s agenda in defending views that fuel extremism,
even if these are of those who are otherwise peaceful moderates, and sincere
ones at that preaching peace, tolerance and moderation? Is he retarded to think
that the above views counteract extremism and not facilitate it? Is he not
helping to maintain and preserve the extremist ideology while I have been exposing
the same as false based on the Quran?