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Radical Islamism and Jihad (09 Mar 2017 NewAgeIslam.Com)

By 2050, Islam Might Be The World Largest Religion, But Will The Muslim History Remain Soaked In Violent Extremism As Always?

By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam

09 March 2017

Recently, two news reports related to Islam have emerged as the focus of the international media: (1)  Islam—the fastest-growing religion— is set to be the world’s most popular faith by 2050, as the new study by the Pew Research Centre shows. (www.rt.com/news/379193-islam-most-popular-religion/) (2) Finally, the self-imposed Islamic caliphate of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has come to an end in Syria, particularly in its two major strongholds—Mosul and Raqqa, as reported in Al-Arabiya and the Iraqi TV network Alsumaria.

Arguably, Islam may become the world’s largest faith tradition if the current demographic trends continue. But will this auger well for us Muslims? The question that we need to concern ourselves with is this: how long will our religious history be soaked in the ideological wars of violent extremism, fanaticism and radicalism? 

Regrettably enough,  the parallels between the present and the past history of Islam substantiate that the self-imposed Islamic State or Daeshites will continue to prevail just as the Kharijites, Takfirists, Ikhwanis, Qaramatians and the Hashashins (a group of Syrian assassins) ideologically flourished in every age under different grabs. An objective probe into the Islamic history buttresses the point. The fanatical religious cults thrived on the narratives underpinned by the political Islamist ideologues.

The Khawarij or Kharijites (seceders from Islam) were the foremost champions of the violent religious extremism. It was a group of the Islamist rebels who challenged the authority of the fourth Islamic caliph, Hazrat Ali and eventually killed him while he was offering the dawn prayer (Fajr). They originated in the earliest Arab history and gained momentum in the Ummayad dynasty. Though they were temporarily crushed down in the Abbasid period, however, their ideological prowess continued to inspire the hardcore Islamists even in the later periods. Today most Islamic intellectuals including Grand Mufti of the Arab world, Sheikh Abdul Aziz, declare the ISIS “an extension of the Kharijite movement”, as Ali Mamouri writes in his article http://www.newageislam.com/radical-islamism-and-jihad/wahhabism-to-isis--how-saudi-arabia-exported-the-main-source-of-global-terrorism/d/100272

The Khawarij propounded the theology of Takfirism based on the two jurisprudential principles: (1) Muslims who commit the grave sins (al-kabaair) or reject any principles of the Islamic faith, go beyond the pale of Islam and, thus, join the rank of apostates. Therefore, they deserve the capital punishment of flogging. (2) It was forbidden to peacefully coexist with those professing ‘un-Islamic ‘thoughts or opinions. The two most authoritative Islamic historians, Ibn Kathir and Imam Tabri wrote these points.

Throughout the Islamic history, the Kharijite ideology of Takfir (declaring others infidel), Hijrah (Islamic migration), Hakimiyah (establishing the divine regime)  and other exclusivist doctrines urged the Islamist movements to take up arms against their rulers. In this crazy war, they also fought the “unbelievers” and “deviants” among the Muslims—both combatants and non-combatants. Rejecting any kind of reconciliation with people of other faiths, they believed in the total elimination of other religions, doctrines, sects, regimes, education systems, cultures and traditions.

The same period witnessed a violent wave of the various extremist outfits like the Hashashins (the assassins) who emerged as a result of the political fights between the Sunni Abbasids based of Iraq and the Shia Fatimids of Egypt. They birthed the profound crisis in the Islamic societies—the Sunni-Shia sectarianism. 

Afterwards, there emerged another movement of violent ideological extremism among Muslims— the Qaramatians who founded a religious utopian republic in the year 899. They are known for their tragic revolt against the Abbasid dynasty. Based in Bahrain, they were small in number, but with a very acute grip on the misguided Muslim youths.

The Qramatians started wreaking the destruction of cultural Islamic heritage which is now led by the ISIS and its affiliates in the Muslim counties like Pakistan. They razed down numerous historical structures and went to the extent of attacking the holiest Islamic sites in Makkah and Madina. They massacred the Hajj pilgrims, sacked Makkah and Madina and carried off the Black Stone (Hijr al-Aswad) to Bahrain. According to the historical accounts of Imam Tabari, the Qaramatians introduced the dangerous terror tools which were not known earlier. A Qaramatian leader owned the slaves who would slaughter only ‘misguided’ Muslims (Mubtadi’een). While vandalising the Syrian and Iraqi culture heritage structures like in Hama, Maratun Noman, Baalbek and Salmiya, they cruelly annihilated the inhabitants of these cities.

The strongest extremist movement in the Islamic history was laid down in the Wahhabism-Salafism propounded by the Saudi scholar of the Najdi tribe, Ibn Abdul Wahhab. Based on the puritanical Islamism, it emerged in the 18th century Saudi Arabia and turned into the global jihadist movement inspiring the earlier extremists of the Ikhwan al-Najdiyyun and the present-day jihadists of the ISIS and the ilk. Karen Armstrong has candidly exposed this historical ideological correlation. She writes: “Although ISIS is certainly an Islamic movement, it is neither typical nor mired in the distant past, because its roots are in Wahhabism, a form of Islam practised in Saudi Arabia that developed only in the 18th century”.


Exactly like the ISIS, the theoretical source of Ikhwan Al-Najdiyyun emanated from the teachings of Ibn Abdul Wahhab. The key in his teachings was the doctrine of “loyalty and disavowal” (Al-Wala Wal Bara). It encouraged religious bigotry and peddled hatred against all those who did not follow the Wahhabi doctrines. The main postulates of this Islamist narrative were: (1) Exclude the non-Wahhabi Muslims from Islam (2) Migrate from the non-Muslim societies and change them through force (3) Kill the people of those countries if they do not covert.

A detailed historical account of all such exclusivist teachings of the Wahhabi-Salafi ideologues can be traced in the authoritative Arabic text books like Majmu’a al-Fatawa al-A’ama مجموع الفتاوى العامة)), a collection of Fatwas and theological decrees of Ibn Abdul Wahhab and Tafseer Kalimah Tauheed (التوحید کلمہ تفسیر), an exclusivist exegesis of the Qur’anic verses Tauheed (Islamic monotheism). Ibn Abdul Wahab issued a decree on this the fundamental Islamic belief:  "The polytheism of the people in the pre-Islamic era of ignorance (known as Jahiliyah) was less intense than that of today’s people, because of two reasons: First, the former polytheists used to invoke other deities including Allah when they were in comfort. But during the calamities, they used to call only Allah. Second, the polytheists of the era of ignorance used to call the sinless non-living things. But today’s people call even the transgressors and deviants as God.” This decree declared all Muslims (of that time) as polytheists and also considered their alleged ‘polytheism’ to be greater and more sinful than that of the pre-Islamic ‘pagans’ in the Arabian lands. Such hardcore religious teachings of the Najdi-Wahhabi Ulema like Ibn Abdul Wahhab were the drivers of the extremist Saudi-Wahhabi theocracy which propelled Muslims into the hardline Islamist militancy in the wider Islamic world. They waged war of Takfir declaring the various Arab tribes as infidels and idolaters, looted their properties and lands, captured and distributed their women were as "Maal e Ghaneemat" (war booty). The Arab historian Usman bin Bashar Najdi has noted all this in his book on the history of Wahhabism “Unwan al-Majd fi Tareekh al-Najd”.

When Ibn Abdul Wahab issued the fatwa calling Muslims to migrate from the so-called polytheist communities, a few Wahhabi followers couldn't reconcile with it. They were also brutally murdered as other Muslims who were declared ‘Kafir’ (disbelievers). The height of the folly of those religionists was that they declared non-Arab Muslims who didn't tie the turban as ‘anti-Islam’. The Wahhabi militants were recruited and trained by the Al-Ikhwan Al-Najdiyyun—a group of religious fanatics inspired by the rigid and desiccated teachings of Islamist thinkers like Ibn Taimiyah. The Saudi-backed Wahhabi militias were so cruel in their mass killings that their savagery was unmatched even in times of the Khawarij and the Qaramatians.

The Wahhabi movement received huge support not only from the A’al-e-Saud (the Saudi dynasty) but also from the British government. Substantial evidences prove this historical fact. Most notably, both the Saudi and the British governments were hostile towards the Ottoman Caliphate. Therefore, the western imperialists not only ignored all the violent events which were carried out by the Wahhabis throughout the Arabian Peninsula, but also helped them further their nefarious designs. After the defeat in the First World War, the Ottoman Empire lost its control and suffered a sudden decline. Inevitably, the Arab world came under the acute grip and influence of the nexus between the Saudi Wahhabism and the Western imperialism. In his book, “Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden”, Steven Coll, a noted writer and journalist, gives the inside story of the CIA's covert funding of the ‘jihad’ against the Soviet forces in Afghanistan. He also recounts as to how the die-hard Wahhabi adherents castigated the “decorous, arty, and drum pounding Egyptian and Ottoman nobility who travelled across Arabia to pray at Mecca.”

To better understand the pernicious ideology of ISIS and its unceasing growth and influence, one should take these historical accounts into serious consideration. Even though the extremist ideologies were physically defeated a number of times in different phases of the Islamic history, they thrived in various names and grabs—Kharijites, Qaramatians, Hashshashins, Najdis and Wahhabis. Clearly, the cult of Daesh or ISIS will continue to prevail in some or the other parts of the Muslim world. It is defeated only for the time being until some other Islamic names and Arabic titles are coined.

A www.newageislam.com  regular columnist Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, is a scholar of comparative religion, classical Arabic and Islamic sciences, cultural analyst and researcher in media and communication Studies.

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/radical-islamism-and-jihad/ghulam-rasool-dehlvi,-new-age-islam/by-2050,-islam-might-be-the-world-largest-religion,-but-will-the-muslim-history-remain-soaked-in-violent-extremism-as-always?/d/110344

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  • dearest mr mohammad yunus
    if only i could believe in a god that you believe in, i would have prayed to him to give me some of your equanimity. but me and my god seem to be forever quarreling. and there seems to be no end to these quibbles.
    but coming back to the issue, what exactly is a "pure heart"? how does one identify it or define it? or even acquire it?
    and again why include ambiguous verses in a clear book in which there are no doubts?
    what is the "best meaning"? how come only you are privy to it? and why could not ibn tamiyah get the best meaning? why is allah playing the fool?
    no text can be its own explanation. every text needs an external reference. the least it needs is a dictionary. and also a thesaurus if god could give it. otherwise, joyce's ulysseus is a better Qur'an.
    thank you from the bottom of my heart and the very best regards

    By hats off! - 3/16/2017 7:40:59 AM

  • What Hats Off calls debates are nothing but adolescent smart-aleck attempts to interrupt and disrupt conversations in a progressive Muslim site which permits such uncouth behavior!

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 3/15/2017 1:13:25 PM

  • is it not time for mr. ghulam mohiyuddin to stop his meaningless one-liners?

    if he is uncomfortable with debates, he should probably join ms. linda sarsour and don one of her vagina hats.

    it would suit him well. or he couls carry water for ms. rasmea odeh.

    or best yet stick to DSM manuals.

    By hats off! - 3/14/2017 11:39:42 PM

  • divine courts! god-written books! A ban on all honest criticism and evaluation of this godly work! Refusing to let outdated customs die out. Stubborn adherence to 14th century norms. haram-halal rules dictated by god! Jealous god who will brook no competion! Dividing the world into fidel and infidel! sanction of wars in the name of religion and making religious imperialism a goal of life for believers. Dehumanising the other, the homosexual, the polytheist, the idol worshipper, the women, especially infidel women.....Total confusion on what is Islamic and what is not Islamic. Refusal to take a stand against customs like triple talaq, burqa, gender biased inheritance laws. Refusal to accept apostasy, atheism, homosexuality, women's rights...

    No, you cannot have a different history. Because all the blood shed has happened for centuries and the same history is being made even now. When you increase in number, you are unfortunately not going to increase in intelligence, rationality and humaneness. There will just be more of religious chickens without heads running around with bombs and guns. We are all doomed along with you. Khud dooboge, hamein bhi doobaaoge. We will die because our values do not allow us to deal with radical Islam as its should be.

    By secularlogic - 3/14/2017 11:08:43 PM

  • Dear hats off!
    I must thank you for making an objective and rational comment. I couldn't agree with you more that there can be no proof of the existence of any divine court. But the only way I could convey my absolute certainty in the Qur'an's negation of hatred and promotion of love and kindness, as "an intellectually convinced believer" is to refer to the divine court.
    While sometimes your comments disturb, at others they inspire.
    Your problem and that of the vast majority of educated Muslims, Ulamas and Islamphobes is that you vicariously make the scholars of the past as divine intermediaries. Ibn Kathir said this. Ibn Ishaq wrote this. Al-tabari opined. The hanafi jurists approve of this. Ulema unanimously agree. So when you read a link like this below, you think all that you read has come from God.


    If you are a free thinker, you conclude that God promotes hatred and bigotry and blame the Qur'an for preaching hatred. 

    My premise is very simple. I do not take a single scholar, Sufi, Imam, jurist, and what have you post the revelation era as divine intermediary. The Qur'an says:"... On you rests (the responsibility of your souls." So I am directly responsible to comprehend and internalize my din as is indelibly preserved in the pages of the Qur'an and the spiritual heritage (Sunnah) of the Prophet.

    So, I form my opinions by repeated reading of the Qur'an in a manner it has asked humanity to approach it. This is spelled out in my jt. exegetic work and in nutshell is as follows that i must have told you many times over:

    "approach it with a pure heart (56:79), probe into its verses (38:29, 47:24), focusing on those that are clear and unambiguous (3:7), and seek the best meaning in it (39:18, 39:55). It also claims to be self-explanatory - whose statements corroborate, expound and refer to one another (39:23) and its own best interpretation /explanation (25:33).   

    So you see I have a very difficult job ahead. To fix a square peg in a round hole - to disconnect the word of God from the words and speculations of

    By muhammd yunus - 3/14/2017 8:23:31 PM

  • Is it not time Hats Off outgrew such adolescent arguments?

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 3/14/2017 1:46:03 PM

  • dear mr muhammad yunus

    there are no divine courts. period.

    there never were and there never are and there are never going to be. in fact there is nothing by the way of anything divine - except pet theories.

    if there are, they are on the day of qayyamat. which is a date in the far future. as they are in the future, they are completely undependable and totally unconfirmable for all of us who are living in this here and now present.

    in other words, you can never ever substantiate here and now what you "believe" in what happens at a future date. in other words, you simply have no case at all.

    there are human courts. and there are human lawyers. and there are human plaintiffs. and there are human defendants. and there are human judgments. they are in the here and now. whether they are going to be in future is hypothetical, but that they are here is incontrovertible.

    you are asserting things for which you have no proof or evidence whatsoever. that puts your assertions in the same class of unverifiable statements as those of imaginative prophets - like the prophets of abrahaimic religions - including islam. the Holy Qur'an is full of unverifiable and unfalsifiable statements that are inimical to reality. like splitting of moons and travels to heaven on a winged horse and sitting on the right hand side of god. if god has a right and a left hand he is most probably a fake made up and promoted by dishonest prophets.

    that you believe in them is is your prerogative just as that it is my prerogative to completely doubt them and in the process discard them as well.


    By hats off! - 3/14/2017 9:16:21 AM

  • Dear hats off!

    The Qur'an does not preach hating of others. Those who preach hatred in the name of Islam are the traitors of Islam - a claim I can make in the divine court. This is what the Qur'an teaches in a nutshell. [Extracted from Ch. 17.3 Essential Message of Islam]

    “Serve God; associate none with Him; be kind to parents, relatives (qurba), orphans, and the needy; to the neighbor close to you (qurba) and the neighbor who is a stranger, to the fellow (sahib)3 by your side and the traveler,2 and to those under your lawful trust. Surely God does not love the arrogant and the conceited” (4:36).

    The verse speaks about two categories of people described as qurba: a word that traditionally connotes relative, as rendered in its first appearance. However, the word literally means ‘the close ones.’ Therefore, in the second instance it understandably stands for people who are close enough, but not necessarily relatives.4 The subsequent reference to the neighbor who is a ‘stranger’ neither a relative, nor ‘close enough,’ must therefore include anyone, regardless of religion, nationality, or race. In other words, this verse explicitly calls for kindness to all people including strangers who may belong to other faiths, nationalities or races.
    For your further enlightenment you may consult my duly authenticated exeg publication at: 

    By muhammd yunus - 3/13/2017 7:56:47 PM

  • Defining God solely by the battle cries in ferocious battles is reflective of one's own bottomless  bitterness. There is a lot more in the Quran about how God loves Jews and Christians, and it says "there is no compulsion in religion", it says, "to you your religion and to me mine," and it says, "We have . . . made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another." Ignoring such verses is necessary for one to maintain one's unquenchable hatred.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 3/13/2017 12:11:15 PM

  • "universal brotherhood" is a little meaningless for a god or his scripture that hates the unbeliever (kaffir) and unbelief (kufr).
    By hats off! - 3/13/2017 7:54:22 AM

  • In Islam the
    seeds of renaissance lie in its vision of "a universal brotherhood of humanity that will allow people of diverse faith, culture, color and language to live together, to know and respect each other and assist each other, to make life easy and peaceful for all human beings" [Ch. 9.7 Essential Message of Islam] and on its inordinate emphasis on justice, fair-play, sharing of wealth, dignity and rights and potentials of man as individuals, use of reason, all aspects of human rights within a moral framework- among other universal tenets. So, let each of us do what we can at our end - and leave it for the Western intellectual elite/ leaders to probe the Qur'an and guide the Muslims to the path of renaissance as the German Chancellor is trying to guide the Muslims to cut their ideological ties with ISIS/takfiries, Trump is putting pressure on the Muslims to expunge Radicalism/takfirism and the American Muslim sympathizers overturned the Travel ban. These seemingly politically motivated remarks are supported by my following articles:

    Religious authorities of Islam must delimitate peaceful Islam from terrorism committed in the name of Islam – German Chancellor, Angela Merkel


    Radicalism under the banner of Islam is mutation of Islam into a Cult of Satan – so Muslims must create an anti-Radicalization narrative to defeat and disown it.  Part-1



    A call to American / Global Muslim Leaders to search their souls and lead their youth to become good global citizens with the turn of events in the wake of the recent Travel Ban


    By muhammd yunus - 3/11/2017 9:28:19 PM

  • Nobody can predict what form  Renaissance will take in Islam. It probably will not happen in our life times. All we can do is to articulate and re-articulate positions that endorse knowledge, science, rationality, compassion, human rights and the pursuit of what is good, what is right and what is beautiful. The more of us who do it, the better.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 3/11/2017 12:36:52 PM

  • doctrinally islam is more consistent, better argued and more cohesive than christianity.

    so any renaissance within islam will need more effort than was required to bring it about in christian europe.

    another factor that might make renaissance more difficult for islam is the racial diversity within islam.

    european christianity from which renaissance arose was probably also partly on account of its racial homogeneity.

    By hats off! - 3/10/2017 11:26:11 PM

  • Doomsayers are out in full force trying to turn off any rays of hope! They forget that Renaissance and Enlightenment arose form the darkness of the Middle Ages!

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 3/10/2017 11:19:48 AM

  • bloodbath is inevitable when believers pit themselves against free-thinkers. generally the believers win in such an encounter.

    india can expect to be partitioned again when india becomes a nation with the largest muslim population.

    bloodbath is secondary and is of worry only to those who value human lives. not to those who value the aakhirat over the dunya, prophets over conscience, and imaginary sky-gods over terrestrial nature.

    By hats off! - 3/10/2017 8:04:34 AM

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