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Ijtihad, Rethinking Islam (11 Oct 2016 NewAgeIslam.Com)

If Islam Means Peace, Why Is Much Of Its Theology Soaked In Hatred, Humiliation, Offensive War?

By Sultan Shahin, New Age Islam

October 10, 2016

Fifteen years after 9/11, the scourge of violent Islamist extremism has become even more complex and deadly. The alacrity with which 30,000 Muslims from around the world joined the so-called Islamic State’s war against humanity has puzzled many. How could a peaceful, pluralistic religion be subverted so easily to create inhuman monsters?

Among many factors, social, economic, political, psychological, the one common feature is a brainwashing of vulnerable people on the basis of a supremacist, xenophobic, intolerant, exclusivist and totalitarian Jihadi theology. This is a blatant misuse of Islam, a spiritual path to salvation, that 1.6 billion Muslims believe, teaches peace, pluralism, co-existence and good neighbourliness.

 But there has to be a reason why jihadi ideology has gained acceptance so quickly; why fatwas issued by reputed moderate scholars prove so ineffective? How are Jihadis able to create a 100 percent certainty in the minds of some Muslims that violence against innocent people, including Muslims, whom they consider infidel, will please God and lead them to heaven?


Image: thecommentator.com

 Clearly we Muslims need to rethink some basic features of our theology. Success of jihadism lies in the fact that, at its core, the jihadi theology is not very different from the consensus theology of all other schools of Islamic thought. For instance, jihadists are able to misuse the intolerant, xenophobic, war-time verses of the holy Quran, as Muslims believe that all verses, regardless of the context, are of universal applicability. Indeed, the Islamic theology of consensus, taught in all madrasas, says that Quran is uncreated, meaning that it is just an aspect of God; and so, divine like God Himself.


The corollary is that no verse of the Quran can be questioned in terms of its universality and applicability. Indeed, that any Muslim who tries to do so is committing blasphemy and deserves no less than death. Quran on earth is said to be just a copy of the one lying safe in a divine vault in Heaven called Lauh-e-Mahfooz.

This is completely irrational. Suppose Meccan elite had not responded to Islam’s message of equality with violence and persecution, leading to Prophet Mohammad fleeing to Madina. There would have been no battles in Prophet’s lifetime and no war-time verses would have been required. How can these verses then acquire universal applicability and eternal value?

Not only that. There is also a near-consensus in Islamic theology around the so-called Doctrine of Abrogation whereby all peaceful, pluralistic Meccan verses, at least 124, are considered abrogated by the later confrontational Medinan verses. This is most damaging for Islam and useful for jihadism.

How do Islamic theologians reconcile the uncreatedness of Quran, its total, unquestionable divinity, with the Doctrine of Abrogation is beyond a rational person’s understanding. This is a belief with hardly any basis in Quran. It evolved hundreds of years after the demise of the Prophet.

 The same is true of the divinity and universal applicability attached to Hadith, the so-called sayings of the Prophet, and Sharia laws. Narrations of Hadith were recorded decades and centuries after the Prophet passed away. Almost the last verse of the Quran (5:3) says that God has now completed the religion of Islam. How can we write books centuries after that and give them the status of revealed literature? Yet, all ulema are agreed that Hadith is akin to revelation. This is clearly the height of irrationality.

 Similarly Sharia was first codified 120 years after the demise of the Prophet, based on some verses of the Quran and Arab practices of that era. This has been changing from country to country and age to age.  How can we Muslims be told, as we are by a multitude of scholars, that it is a Muslim’s prime religious duty to see that this Sharia is established in the world?  

 Wherever a Muslim turns, from al-Ghazali, Ibn-e-Taimiyya, Abdul Wahhab, Sheikh Sarhindi, Shah Waliullah to Syed Qutb and Maulana Maududi, he or she gets the same Islam-supremacist message.

 Let us see what some of these learned ulema of yore, most revered by all schools of thought, tell us:

 Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (1058-1111): Considered the greatest of all Sufi theologians, and by many as next only to Prophet Mohammad in his understanding of Islam:

“… one must go on jihad at least once a year...one may use a catapult against them [non-Muslims] when they are in a fortress, even if among them are women and children. One may set fire to them and/or drown them… One must destroy their useless books. Jihadists may take as booty whatever they decide... Christians and Jews must pay... on offering up the jizya, the dhimmi must hang his head while the official takes hold of his beard and hits on the protuberant bone beneath his ear... they are not permitted to ostentatiously display their wine or church bells... their houses may not be higher than a Muslim’s, no matter how low that is. The dhimmi may not ride an elegant horse or mule; he may ride a donkey only if the saddle is of wood. He may not walk on the good part of the road. They have to wear an identifying patch [on their clothing], even women, and even in the baths ...  dhimmis must hold their tongue...” (Kitab Al-Wagiz FI Figh Madhad Al-Imam Al-Safi’i pp. 186, 190, 199-203)

 Imam Ibn Taymiyya (1263-1328): Most revered Hanbali jurist and scholar among Wahhabi-Salafi Muslims whose influence has recently grown immensely with the propagation of his creed by the Saudi monarchy:

“Since lawful warfare is essentially jihad and since its aim is that the religion is God's entirely and God's word is uppermost, therefore according to all Muslims, those who stand in the way of this aim must be fought... As for the People of the Book and the Zoroastrians, they are to be fought until they become Muslims or pay the tribute (jizya) out of hand and have been humbled. With regard to the others, the jurists differ as to the lawfulness of taking tribute from them. Most of them regard it as unlawful...”  (Excerpted from Rudolph Peters, Jihad in Classical and Modern Islam (Princeton, NJ: Markus Wiener, 1996), pp. 44-54).

 Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi (1564-1624): Indian Islamic scholar, Hanafi jurist, considered Mujaddid alf-e-Saani, the renewer of Islam of the second millennium:

“...Cow-sacrifice in India is the noblest of Islamic practices.”

“Kufr and Islam are opposed to each other. The progress of one is possible only at the expense of the other and co-existence between these two contradictory faiths is unthinkable.

"The honour of Islam lies in insulting kufr and kafirs. One, who respects kafirs, dishonours the Muslims.”

"The real purpose in levying jizya on them is to humiliate them to such an extent that, on account of fear of jizya, they may not be able to dress well and to live in grandeur. They should constantly remain terrified and trembling".

"Whenever a Jew is killed, it is for the benefit of Islam.”

(Excerpted from Saiyid Athar Abbas Rizvi, Muslim Revivalist Movements in Northern India in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (Agra, Lucknow: Agra University, Balkrishna Book Co., 1965), pp.247-50; and Yohanan Friedmann, Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindi: An Outline of His Thought and a Study of His Image in the Eyes of Posterity (Montreal, Quebec: McGill University, Institute of Islamic Studies, 1971), pp. 73-74.) 

Shah Waliullah Dehlavi (1703–1762): Highly revered Indian scholar, theologian, Muhaddis (Hadith expert) and jurist:

“It is the duty of the prophet to establish the domination of Islam over all other religions and not leave anybody outside its domination whether they accept it voluntarily or after humiliation. Thus the people will be divided into three categories. Lowly kafir (unbelievers), have to be tasked with lowly labour works like harvesting, threshing, carrying of loads, for which animals are used. The messenger of God also imposes a law of suppression and humiliation on the kafirs and imposes jizya on them in order to dominate and humiliate them…. He does not treat them equal to Muslims in the matters of Qisas (Retaliation), Diyat (blood money), marriage and government administration so that these restrictions should ultimately force them to embrace Islam.” (Hujjatullahu al-Balighah, volume – 1, Chapter- 69, Page No 289)

 Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab (1703–1792): Founder of Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi-Salafi creed:

“Even if the Muslims abstain from shirk (polytheism) and are muwahhid (believer in oneness of God), their faith cannot be perfect unless they have enmity and hatred in their action and speech against non-Muslims (which for him actually includes all non-Wahhabi or non-Salafi Muslims). (Majmua Al-Rasael Wal-Masael Al-Najdiah 4/291).

Abul A'la Maududi (1903–1979): Indian ideologue, founder of Jamaat-e-Islami:

 “Islam wishes to destroy all states and governments anywhere on the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and programme of Islam, regardless of the country or the nation which rules it. The purpose of Islam is to set up a state on the basis of its own ideology and programme, regardless of which nation assumes the role of the standard-bearer of Islam or the rule of which nation is undermined in the process of the establishment of an ideological Islamic State. …

"Islam requires the earth — not just a portion, but the whole planet.... because the entire mankind should benefit from the ideology and welfare programme [of Islam] ... Towards this end, Islam wishes to press into service all forces which can bring about a revolution and a composite term for the use of all these forces is ‘Jihad'. .... The objective of the Islamic ‘jihad’ is to eliminate the rule of an un-Islamic system and establish in its stead an Islamic system of state rule.” (Jihad fil Islam).

 Maulana Abdul Aleem Islahi, a Hyderabad-based scholar, justifies indiscriminate violence in his fatwa on the concept of power in Islam. Let me quote a few lines from the writings of this maulana who runs a girls’ madrasa in Hyderabad and is known to have been an inspiration behind Indian Mujahedin:

 “Let it be known that, according to Islamic jurisprudence, fighting the infidels (kuffar) in their countries is a duty (farz-e-kifayah) according to the consensus of ulema …

“… I can say with full conviction that qital (killing, violence, armed struggle) to uphold the kalimah (declaration of faith) has neither been called atrocity or transgression nor has it been prohibited. Rather, qital has not only been ordained for the purpose of upholding the kalimah but also stressed and encouraged in the Book (Quran) and the Sunnah (Hadith). Muslims have indeed been encouraged and motivated to engage in qital and they have been given good tidings of rewards for this.”

 “It is the duty (of Muslims) to struggle for the domination of Islam over false religions and subdue and subjugate ahl-e-kufr-o-shirk (infidels and polytheists) in the same way as it is the duty of the Muslims to proselytise and invite people to Islam. The responsibility to testify to the Truth and pronounce the Deen God has entrusted with the Muslims cannot be fulfilled merely by preaching and proselytising. If it were so there would be no need for the battles that were fought.

 “Jihad has been made obligatory to make the Deen (religion) dominate and to stop the centres of evil. Keeping in view the importance of this task, the significance of jihad in the name of God has been stressed in the Quran and Hadith. That’s why clear ordainments have been revealed to Muslims about fighting all the kuffar (infidels): “Unite and fight the polytheists (mushriks) just as they put up a united front against you” (Surah Tauba: 9:36)”.

 [Excerpted and translated from Maulana Abdul Aleem Islahi’s Urdu booklet "Taqat ka Istemal Quran ki Raoshni Main," ‘The use of violence, in the light of the Qur’an’]

 Maulana Wahiduddin Khan (Born 1925), otherwise a promoter of peace and pluralism, says the following:

 "Efforts on the part of prophets over a period of thousands of years had proved that any struggle which was confined to intellectual or missionary field was not sufficient to extricate man from the grip of this superstition (shirk, kufr). (So) it was God’s decree that he (Prophet Mohammad) be a da’i (missionary) as well as ma’hi (eradicator). He was entrusted by God with the mission of not only proclaiming to the world that superstitious beliefs (shirk, kufr) were based on falsehood, but also of resorting to military action, if the need arose, to eliminate that system for all time".

 [From Maulana Wahiduddin Khan’s book “Islam – Creator of the Modern World,” re- printed in 2003].

It is ironic that even an indefatigable promoter of peace and pluralism among Muslims has to concede on the basis of commonly accepted Islamic jurisprudence that the Prophet’s job was to eradicate unbelief from the world, even using military means. And if this is so, what would stop Bin Ladens and Baghdadis of this world claiming that they are simply carrying forward the Prophet’s unfinished mission?

The message from all these sermons is clear. Islam must dominate the world and it is the duty of every Muslim to help the process. Wherever a Muslim turns to he gets the same Islam-supremacist message. The latest among the most authoritative books on Islamic theology is a 45-volume comprehensive Encyclopaedia of Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence). It was prepared by scholars from all schools of thought, engaged by Ministry of Awqaf & Islamic Affairs, Kuwait, over a period of half a century. Its Urdu translation was released in Delhi by Vice-president Hamid Ansari on 23 October 2009.

This most influential book of Islamic jurisprudence has a 23,000-word chapter on jihad. We moderate Muslims and Sufis keep talking ad nauseum about struggle against one’s own nafs (lower self, negative ego) being the real and greater jihad and qital (warfare) being rather insignificant, lesser jihad. But except one sentence in the beginning, the entire chapter talks entirely about the issues related with combating and killing enemies, i.e.  infidels, polytheists or apostates, starting with the stark declaration: “Jihad means to fight against the enemy.” There is no mention of real or greater jihad.

Then Ibn-e-Taimiyya is quoted to say: “… So jihad is wajib (incumbent) as much as one’s capacity”. Then comes the final, definitive definition: “Terminologically, jihad means to fight against a non-zimmi unbeliever (kafir) after he rejects the call towards Islam, in order to establish or raise high the words of Allah.” (Translated from original Arabic)

It is not difficult for an intelligent, educated Muslim to discover our hypocrisy. Clearly what is censured by us moderates as radical Islamist theology is not substantially different from the current Islamic theology accepted through a consensus by ulema of all schools of thought.

Late Osama bin Laden or his ideological mentor Abdu’llāh Yūsuf ‘Azzām, now called father of global jihad, and his present-day successor Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi did not invent a new theology. Their use of consensual theology is what lies behind their great success in attracting thousands of Muslim youth in such a short while. They will continue to attract more and more youths until we mainstream Muslims realise our hypocrisy and change course.

What are the ingredients of this consensus theology that is leading to radicalisation of our educated youth? A few examples:

1. Following a literal reading of some allegorical verses in Quran, far too many Muslims now regard God as an implacable, anthropomorphic figure permanently at war with those who do not believe in His uniqueness. This is a negation of the Sufi or Vedantic concept of God as universal consciousness or universal intelligence radiating His grace from every atom in the universe. Unfortunately, Sufi madrasas themselves have abandoned, at least in the Indian sub-continent, the concept of wahdatul wajud (unity of being) for fear that this would be considered too close to the Vedantic and thus Hindu concept of God.

Instead they teach Sheikh Sirhindi’s wahdatul shuhood (Apparentism, unity of appearances) in the name of wahdatul wajud. Sheikh Sirhindi had invented this concept to counter the growing influence of Sufi masters like Mohiyiddin Ibn-e-Arabi and Mansour al-Hallaj during the reign of Emperor Akbar.




Most Sufi madrasas have thrown out from their curriculum mystical books like Kashful Mahjub by Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh Hijweri, Awarif-ul-Ma’arif by Shaykh Umar Shahabuddin Suhrawardi, Fawaidul Fu’aad by Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia, Masnawi of Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi, Gulistan and Bostan by Shaikh Sa’adi Shirazi, Si Asl by Mulla Sadra Shirazi, Fususul Hikam by Shaikh Ibn ul Arabi, Life and teachings of great Sufis like Ghareeb Nawaz Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti Ajmeri, Baba Fareed, Ameer Khusro etc.

  2. Radical ideologues quote militant, xenophobic verses of Quran to support offensive jihad. We moderates from Sufi stream of thought counter that by saying: look at the context. These verses came during war and had to inevitably order fighting, killings, offer rewards for martyrs and show intolerance towards the manifest enemy. It’s not unusual in wars to make binary arguments.

 Thus the Muslim-Kafir binary inevitably emerged during wars. After all, most of the war-time verses of Quran revealed in Medina, first permitting and then guiding Muslims in the course of various wars were a response to the evolving situation. But we do not take the argument of these war-time verses being contextual in nature to its logical conclusion, which is, that these verses have now become obsolete; they are no longer applicable to us today when that context does not exist.

 3. Not only that we do not call contextual verses of Quran obsolete, but we also agree with the radicals that Quran is an uncreated attribute of God, with all its verses, universally and eternally applicable to Muslims, without reference to context. Every madrasa teaches that Quran is uncreated, divine, direct speech of God, as if God were an anthropomorphic being. This totally defeats our earlier argument that when dealing with Quranic exhortations, we should look at the context. What context?

 If Quran is an uncreated attribute of God, immutable, eternal, merely a copy of the original Quran lying in the ‘Heavenly Vault’ (Lauh-e-Mahfouz), then where is the question of context? This makes it possible for militant ideologues to tell our youth that even the militant, xenophobic, intolerant exhortations of Quran that were revealed in the context of war, must be followed and implemented, as there is no controversy about their applicability today in any school of thought.

 4.  There is consensus in Islamic theology that Hadith, the so-called sayings of Prophet Mohammad, are akin to revelation. These were collected up to 300 years after the demise of the Prophet. Rational Muslims doubt their credibility and authenticity, but even ulema opposed to ISIS, cannot bring themselves to question the Hadith-based millenarian thesis that is the primary cause of ISIS’ great success in comparison to al-Qaeda which did not stress millenarianism.

 As a couple of allegorical verses of Quran and predictions attributed to the Prophet have been interpreted to mean that the world is about to end, and Islam is about to be victorious following the end-time war being waged by ISIS, then what is the point of working for corporates run by infidels? Why not join the battle and become a martyr or ghazi just before the world ends? So goes the argument.

 One of the permanent bestsellers in Delhi’s Urdu Bazaar is a booklet called “Qeyamat ki peshingoiyan” (End-time Predictions). I imagine a similar booklet selling on streets of Cairo, Baghdad, Damascus, Istanbul, wherever. Why should ISIS not make good use of this belief, when it has the unquestioning support of theologians of all schools of thought, including self-proclaimed moderates, who call Hadith akin to revelation?

 Ahadith are also used to justify the killing of innocent civilians in a war, although there are repeated and clear instructions in the Quran against that. But the moment you say Hadith is akin to revelation, you are nullifying the impact of your Quranically justified claim that in Islam killing of one innocent person amounts to killing of humanity.

 5.  Nearly all Muslims consider Sharia as divine and immutable, even though it was first codified on the basis of some Quranic verses and pre-Islamic Arab Bedouin customs 120 years after the demise of the Prophet and completion of the religion of Islam as declared by God in Quran (5:3).

 The result is that even Muslims living in non-Muslim majority multicultural Europe demand Sharia-compliant laws. No wonder that those who want to practice what they believe in would want to migrate to the so-called Islamic State, sometimes even with their families. Radicalised youth cannot be blamed for feeling that the moderate Muslims, in India, for instance, are hypocrites. They want to use their purported belief in the divinity of Sharia only for male-supremacist privileges like instant divorce and multiple marriages, whereas the radicals migrating to the so-called Islamic State are willing to accept all the rigours of Sharia’s criminal justice system, namely, cutting off hands for theft, lashes and stoning for adultery and murder, etc.

 6.  There is consensus in Islamic theology that helping establish and supporting a caliphate is the religious duty of Muslims, even though there is absolutely no such direction in the Quran. But those who believe in the Hadith being akin to revelation are unable to dispute ISIS’ claim to legitimacy on the basis of this Hadith: “Hazrat Huzaifa narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: “Prophethood will remain among you as long as Allah wills. Then Caliphate (Khilafah) on the lines of Prophethood shall commence, and remain as long as Allah wills. Then corrupt/erosive monarchy would take place, and it will remain as long as Allah wills. After that, despotic kingship would emerge, and it will remain as long as Allah wills. Then, the Caliphate (Khilafah) shall come once again based on the precept of Prophethood." (Musnad Ahmed inb Hanbali).

 7.  Hijrat (migration) to the land of Islamic Sharia from Darul Harb where Sharia is not enforced is a religious duty for Muslims. This may appear grotesque at a time when millions of Muslims are marching to the so-called European ‘Darul Harb’ almost barefoot in a desperate effort to escape from so-called Darul Islam of Khalifa al-Baghdadi. The ‘Darul Islam’ of Saudi Arabia has refused to give refuge to a single soul, while the European ‘Darul Harb’ is accommodating millions of Muslims. But the ulema will not allow any part of their theology to be questioned.

 8.  Theologians of all school believe that some early verses of Quran have been abrogated and replaced by better and more appropriate later verses. This consensual Doctrine of Abrogation is used by radical ideologues to claim all 124 foundational, constitutive, Meccan verses of peace, pluralism, co-existence with other religious communities, compassion, kindness to neighbours, etc. have been abrogated and replaced by later Medinan verses of war, xenophobia and intolerance. As long as Sufi theologians do not contest this Doctrine of Abrogation, their quoting verses from Meccan Quran has no meaning.

 9.  There is consensus among theologians of all schools of thought that there is no freedom of religion for Muslims in Islam. Apostasy (irtidad or riddah) has to be punished by death. The only dispute is whether the apostate should be given the opportunity to seek forgiveness and revert to his earlier position. With this core aspect of theology, how can Muslims confront terrorist ideologues who order death for vast numbers of Muslims on ground of their having turned apostate? In their eyes all those Muslims who are not with ISIS and other such groups are apostates, particularly all Shia, Ahmadis, Yezidis, etc. How can we prevent radicalisation of our youth unless we confront this theology?

 10. The problem is there is no consensus among Muslims as to who is a Muslim? Justice Munir of the Commission of enquiry set up in Pakistan following anti-Ahmadia riots in 1954 reported that no two ulema agreed on the definition of a Muslim. Ideally, Quran should be our guide, according to which even Hazrat Moosa or Moses, who surrendered to God, much before the advent of Prophet Mohammad, was also a Muslim (Quran 10.90).

 Allah informs us of Muslims who have converted but ‘faith has not yet entered their hearts’ (Quran 49:14). And yet, Allah does not prescribe any punishment for them, nor are they turned out of the fold of Islam. This means that anyone who claims to believe in or surrender to God is a Muslim. The least Muslims can do is to accept irja, the position of the murjias (postponers), who said let us postpone judgement in matters of faith for the Day of Judgement. Let us allow God to judge people on matters of faith. When we humans do not know what lies in someone’s heart, who are we to punish someone for what he believes in or not? A very rational position, but Muslims will need to embrace rationality or Quran first.

 11. The same is true of blasphemy. Consensual Islamic theology prescribes death for the blasphemer, even on the flimsiest of accusations. Many Muslim countries have anti-blasphemy laws, though the one that misuses them most is Pakistan. Unfortunately, Sufi-minded Muslims are in the forefront of those who advocate killing for blasphemy and some are even among the killers for blasphemy. How can we fight ISIS ideology, if our own ideology is the same?

 Clearly Islamic theology will have to be rethought, and not just to defeat jihadism, but also to deal with many other pressing issues including human rights of women, children, homosexuals, religious minorities, atheists, etc.

 (Sultan Shahin is founding editor of a progressive Islamic website NewAgeIslam.com. This article is based on his address to the UNHRC on September 26, 2016)

This article was first published on Sabrangindia.in

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/ijtihad,-rethinking-islam/sultan-shahin,-new-age-islam/if-islam-means-peace,-why-is-much-of-its-theology-soaked-in-hatred,-humiliation,-offensive-war?/d/108826

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  • @Ibrahim YM

    “I am not willing to sacrifice my being to a god that can’t keep it straight in a book”

    “If my god cannot keep it straight in his book, then that god is in doubt as well”

    I think I am also in your boat. “Why Allah, who is infallible, with all His power allowed the Books of Moosa, Dawood and Isa to be corrupted”? After all it was Allah who inspired these prophets to produce these books. If these books are corrupted how Jews and Christians who followed these ‘corrupted’ holy books and were able to produce more than 800 Nobel Prize winners out of 830 or so.? How they were able to invent electricity, nursing industry (Florence Nightingale) antibiotics, CT/MRI scan and so on and not to mention all the electronic items we use today? How by believing in corrupted books, 85% of good works of this world are being done by these people (millions of NGOs and 700,000 nuns), who obviously turned Allah’s world a better place to live in?


    “Quran is the direct speech of Allah to humankind”

    By saying that Quran is the verbatim or direct speech of Allah, or it is uncreated and its Xerox copy is in heaven, there is a real danger in such a claim. Forget that Quran is not in chronological order or even grouped together by related subject, if, repeat, if there is a single error in the Quran, then the whole Quran can be a fake one, for Allah cannot make a single error. Please don’t ask me to point out the glaring errors in the Quran. I am not a scholar.


    “The Ayats urge us to fight those who have fought us ….those who have driven us out”

    Have you forgotten the history? Did the Syrians, Persians, Egyptians, North Africans, Spanish and Subsequently Indians drive the Muslims out? It was the other way around. It was the Islamic forces who had driven them out. Every action has a reaction.  Consequently, the West came out of the Dark Ages and the 800 years of siege mentality, and colonised hundreds of countries as a counter measure of Islamic conquests.

    Anyhow I enjoyed the great article by Sultan and your comment. I enjoy the difference of opinions.

    When we realize the depth of Allah’s mercy, we too can readily show mercy to His creatures; mercy to gays, mercy to blasphemers, mercy to prostitutes, mercy to apostates, mercy to our fellow pilgrims Atheists, Sunnis, Shias, Sufis, Hindus, etc..

    We have travelled a long way. Many countries have stopped capital punishments, giving the culprits a chance to regret their sins. Allah says “Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? Rather am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?”

    We have change the wordings. We don’t say “under developed countries” but “developing countries” We don’t say “mentally retarded person” but “intellectually disabled person” so as not to hurt anyone feelings.



    “We cannot claim to love Allah and pray five times while we abuse and harm His creatures”

    By Royalj - 3/11/2017 10:08:47 PM

  • I am God.
    Dear muslims, who asked you to call me by name Allah?
    I am beyond your senses and imagination and yet you say I spoke to moses and many so called prophets and angels?
    Who said I created jannah, angels, jinn, adam and satan? it is your imagination!!
    I am beyond space and time and you say I am in jannah or I am sitting in a throne over jannah? You wrote in quran 67:16 to 67:17.
    Thus you define me in your own way but if non muslims calls me by different names, imagine forms of me and try to worship me in their ways you attack them!! who gave you the right to ridicule other religions and harm others?
    Lastly I don't condemn anyone for eternal damnation for their finite crimes they do. Do not threaten others with hell fire.
    By God - 2/28/2017 3:14:05 AM

  • For any moral person “ It is more about the right thing to do than the expedient thing to do”  It is so with any nation state.

    It is expedient for the US to handover Muhammad Fethullah Gulen to Turkey in order to have good relationship with Turkey (both members of NATO). But it is not the right thing to do. Hope US will not hand over Gulen, though Erdogan has become a fast friend with Putin..

    It is expedient for the US to leave the Kurdish people on the lurch and to join hands with Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. But it is not the right thing to do. Unlike Iraqi soldiers who lost billion dollars’ worth of US arms and ammunition to ISIS, Kurdish forces withstood the onslaught of ISIS and cleared swaths of lands held by the ISIS. Though the four Muslim countries couldn’t see the plight of 35 million fellow Kurdish Muslims, US would not let them down and do the right thing.

    US is said to be the custodian of democracies yet it supported Egyptian dictatorship and pays every year billions to Egypt and Israel in order to avoid 4th Arab Israeli war.. It is the moral courage to do the right thing. The fall of democratic government of Mohammad Morsi is unfortunate. Barack Obama, a sympathiser of Muslim Brotherhood, supported Morsi till the last moment, but the Middle East tradition of dictatorship overcame. Many Muslims still believe that world caliphate can be achieved only through dictatorships and not through democracies.

    The main reason for islamophobia is not the gruesome murders, terror attacks or suicide bombings, but the inability of Ulema or Islamic theology to do the right thing. For instance, in a Kafir country like India, Muslims are unable get rid of triple talaq, Halala and polygamy. How can they do it in a Muslim majority country? Even in the so called Moderate Muslim Indonesia, people started crying ‘Muslims should vote for a Muslim leader’

    Do the Muslims have the moral courage to implement the core values?

    Only a God of moral perfection is God.

    By Royalj - 2/11/2017 7:33:28 PM

  • Good comment by Ibrahim Sb. The ubiquitous disclaimer at the end "What I say here is from myself with my understanding of the Speech of Allah. If I misspeak here it is only because of my error and not that of Allah." is unnecessary. Instead, I would much prefer if it ends with a positive statement such as:

    " I witness, that the Quran is a Book that makes things clear, is without crookedness and without any discrepancy. (The witnessing attests that the author has read and understood the Quran to an extent where there isn't a single verse that is unclear to him and there is no verse as understood by him that contradicts the meaning of any another verse). What I have said is based on my holistic understanding of the Quran without treating any verse as abrogated and without contradicting the clear meaning of any verse. To the best of my knowledge and belief, what I have said is the true meaning of the verses discussed"

    The problem is that there are too many people who merely interpret and there are none who try to get the true meaning. Does the Quran say that humans cannot understand and they can merely interpret? On the contrary it says that it is a Book that makes everything clear, is consistent with itself and without discrepancy. If it makes everything clear and is consistent with itself and without discrepancy, what is the difficulty in understanding the correct meaning? We falsify the Quran with our false modesty and tentativeness which often hides shoddy scholarship. If we have doubts about our understanding, then we should ask questions and not provide answers. I would rather hear the person owning up responsibility for what he has said and giving assurance that he has said what he has said after carrying out due diligence.

    The same holds good for the misuse of "Inshallah". Unless there is another word which means "unless God prevents me from  doing what I am promising to do", we should stop using it. It has come to mean nothing at all and quite often, it is used to avoid saying an honest no.

    In the Quran, the Prophet (pbuh) is reproached for presuming that God would send the revelations to answer the questions asked by Jewish scholars by saying he would provide the answer tomorrow. In this case, the Prophet was taking God for granted on a matter that only God could reveal.

    However, when we make a promise to do something, we are to be excused only if prevented from doing so by an act of God. A Force Majeure cause is an excuse even under the law and need not be stated in ordinary conversations.

    People use Inshallah to pass on the blame to Allah for not doing what they are promising to do. However, from the tone and body language, people do correctly understand when Inshallah actually means tentativeness or no intention at all and when it means an honest yes but it is best avoided unless one actually means yes and foresees no difficulty.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 12/20/2016 1:27:36 AM

  • Brother;

     “For instance, jihadists are able to misuse the intolerant, xenophobic, war-time verses of the holy Quran, as Muslims believe that all verses, regardless of the context, are of universal applicability”

    This is the paragraph that most caught my attention in your article and caused my need to respond to you! What you said here is best described by the American colloquialism, “Throwing the Baby out with the bath water.”

    Remember that the Ayats you are referring to come from the Qur’an which is, if you are Muslim, the direct speech of Allah to humankind. As Muslims we see Allah(swt) as omnipotent, all seeing and all wise. In short Allah is infallible, thus his speech must be also be infallible.  To describe the speech of Allah as intolerant and xenophobic is to become like Al-Ghazali and others you describe that you refer to below.

    The Ayats you are describing are clear and to the point. They urge us to fight those who have fought us, to drive them out of the homes they have driven us out of; but if they offer us peace then leave them alone.  I do not see the intolerance or xenophobia you proscribe to these Ayats.  The Qur’an is the furqan, the basis of all justification. What I think you are missing here is the reality that the intolerance and xenophobia you mention is the result of men mixing the words of men with the words of Allah that causes Muslims to act out in ways that are unjustifiable.  What has happened, in my opinion, is that we, as Muslims, have done what the Yahudi and Nazara have done, we have displaced the Word of Allah with the words of men.  You, yourself, will acknowledge this fact below!

     “Indeed, the Islamic theology of consensus, taught in all madrasas, says that Quran is uncreated, meaning that it is just an aspect of God; and so, divine like God Himself “

    One of the most tragic and absolutely insane episodes among Muslims was the argument over whether the Qur’an was revealed or created.  What nonsense to spill blood over! The Qur’an was delivered to us through the Messenger and is the direct speech of Allah. In this Qur’an, in Surat Al Maida, Allah warns us not to question the matters of religion too deeply or we will run into the same complications and craziness the Yahudi did. Guess what we did, we created a body of works and scholarship that surpasses anything the Children of Isra’il did and it is destroying us!

     “This is completely irrational. Suppose Meccan elite had not responded to Islam’s message of equality with violence and persecution, leading to Prophet Mohammad fleeing to Madina. There would have been no battles in Prophet’s lifetime and no war-time verses would have been required. How can these verses then acquire universal applicability and eternal value? “

    Because we, as humankind, are universally the same people that we were then. Just as brutal, just as murderous and just as unjust as our ancestors. Nothing has changed except our technology, which by the way, has enabled us to murder, pillage and destroy our neighbors much more efficiently than before.  And while the Western Civilizations of Europe and America have in the last 150 years murdered more of humankind than in all previous history (some 10k years) we as Muslims appear to have gladly joined in with the orgy of mayhem and murder more so among ourselves than against those outside our ranks.    

     “Not only that. There is also a near-consensus in Islamic theology around the so-called Doctrine of Abrogation whereby all peaceful, pluralistic Meccan verses, at least 124, are considered abrogated by the later confrontational Medinan verses. This is most damaging for Islam and useful for jihadism”

    Now you are finally approaching rationality!! In the first paragraph that I quoted from you, you where providing the ammunition from which these scholars came up with this theory of Abrogation. Your classifying verses from the Qur’an as intolerant and xenophobic provide the intellectual fuel for fostering this “Doctrine of Abrogation” fire of ignorance. Think about it, the only way that abrogation could work is to establish the fallibility of Allah, thus the need to abrogate and correct our God. Are you getting this?  If Allah is fallible, then the whole book comes into question as does our religion.  I do not know about you, but I am not willing to sacrifice my being to a god that can’t keep it straight in a book that is supposed to be our “guidance without doubt”.  Do you realize what is wrong here? Allah said he perfected our religion in this book. If my god cannot keep it straight in his book, then that god is in doubt as well.  So as a Muslim who believes in Allah and his Messenger I cannot even dare to approach such a dichotomy of faith. Allah is infallible and so is his speech, the Qur’an.  If you disagree with that then just stop reading here because we no longer have a basis for discussion.  And may Allah give all of us guidance.

     “How do Islamic theologians reconcile the uncreatedness of Quran, its total, unquestionable divinity, with the Doctrine of Abrogation is beyond a rational person’s understanding. This is a belief with hardly any basis in Quran. It evolved hundreds of years after the demise of the Prophet”

    Yes, you are shining the light brother, Allahu Akbar!  This “Doctrine of Abrogation” is the work of those who would displace the words of Allah with their own words.

     “The same is true of the divinity and universal applicability attached to Hadith, the so-called sayings of the Prophet, and Sharia laws. Narrations of Hadith were recorded decades and centuries after the Prophet passed away. Almost the last verse of the Quran (5:3) says that God has now completed the religion of Islam. How can we write books centuries after that and give them the status of revealed literature? Yet, all ulema are agreed that Hadith is akin to revelation. This is clearly the height of irrationality”

    You are scaring me Brother, you are talking like you know what has happened to us. Allah is clear on this point as well, where he says “What? Do they need a book other than the word of Allah?) Allah points us to the people of the book and points out that they threw their book behand there back and acted like they didn’t know what Allah was talking about.  He then warns those destined for the punishment that the writing of their own book is the selling of their souls for a miserable price.

    Do you understand that neither of the people of the book have their book? They threw it away or had it taken from them.  In the case of Ban’ai Isra’il, they had their book taken away from them for worshiping false gods. Allah ordered Nebuchadnezzar to take their Arc of the Covenant containing their book away never to be seen again.  What is called the Torah today is the conglomeration of oral traditions put together by two opposing groups of scholars.  The Nazara were split between two opposing groups as well. The Trinitarians led by Athanasius and the Monotheists led by Arius. Constantine sided with Athanasius and the Trinitarians and the Monotheists Nazara where hunted down like dogs, crucified and otherwise murdered.  All of the books of the Monotheist Nazara where burned when found.  Both the Nazara and the Yahud rely on oral traditions provided by men and have gone through many revisions. Why do I ramble on about this you ask?  Because we have done the very same thing, we have thrown the Book of Allah behind our backs like we do not know what it is and instead follow our own set of Oral Tradtions. And in some circles those Oral Traditions overrule the speech of Allah. Do you wonder why we have this Jihadist philosophy?  It is because we place the words of ignorant men above the speech of Allah.

     “Similarly Sharia was first codified 120 years after the demise of the Prophet, based on some verses of the Quran and Arab practices of that era. This has been changing from country to country and age to age.  How can we Muslims be told, as we are by a multitude of scholars, that it is a Muslim’s prime religious duty to see that this Sharia is established in the world”

    Are you talking about ‘Imam al Shafi’i” or of the Mutazilites? Both represent a sad misleading of us off the path. But alas, we followed then and are responsible as well.

     “ Wherever a Muslim turns, from al-Ghazali, Ibn-e-Taimiyya, Abdul Wahhab, Sheikh Sarhindi, Shah Waliullah to Syed Qutb and Maulana Maududi, he or she gets the same Islam-supremacist message. “

    Islam is the supreme way of life for humankind. There is no getting around that if you believe what Allah, through his Messenger, has delivered to us the Qur’an. But being the correct and supreme way of life (religion) does not give us the right to impose our faith on anyone else.  Allah is clear on this point in many places. I suggest you read Fatiha, then read Al-Baqarah.  They are tightly tied to each other.  As the Muslims, we are supposed to be the light that illuminates the path to success.  We should hope and desire to lead the Nazara, Yahud, Hindi and all those others that are astray onto the correct path by our example.  If we attempt to force others onto the path we can only do so by leaving the path and becoming gatekeepers driving them away with our arrogance.

    What I say here is from myself with my understanding of the Speech of Allah. If I misspeak here it is only because of my error and not that of Allah.

    By Ibrahim YM - 12/19/2016 12:19:29 AM

  • @Kamal Uddin Ansari what are the questions ? bring them on.
    Generalization of things are a thought of weak minds.
    be specific.
    Amazing is a zing zing.
    be specific.

    By Mastan Shaik - 11/10/2016 11:18:24 AM

  •  It is the time for the muslim to think about questions raised by the nonmuslim, most of the Muslim countries are in chaos still they read God's word, amazing.
    By Kamal Uddin Ansari - 11/10/2016 11:01:54 AM

  • New Age Islam - People having difference in opinion in terms of Religious theologies is nothing new and it has nothing to do with Islam. The same is seen in hinduism and Christianity as well. They too kill each other in the name of religion. This is a human problem. Not a theology problem. And it starts right from our childhood. We tend to feel more attached to our school, country, clan, tribe, political party, etc..etc.. etc.. as we consider that our identity.. The easiest way to consider our identity better than the others is to bad mouth the other person's identity. Happens in schools, colleges, work place etc... etc.... and converts to it's worst when it reaches the point where religion is included in politics. This is what we are seeing around the world. Remove religion from politics, and nothing of that sort will happen.
    By Asim Afzal - 11/10/2016 10:57:58 AM

  • Aayina: “Justice delayed is justice denied” This statement is true in the case of Naseer, who was recently freed by court after 23 years. Do you remember his words after getting out of under-trial prison? He told that he was a living corpse. You can imagine his mental agony and torture he tolerated and his trust upon judiciary Indian police who had framed him to get accolades from RSS minded people. Anyway, my point was that the Bhopal jail under-trials even could not get that chance as they too might have come out of charges after 23 years, but they were killed brutally in an apparent fake encounter.

    You have asked, “Does this court delay is happening to Muslims only?”

    No, absolutely not! This delay is not caused to the Muslims only, but there is a large chunk of poor Indians who are the victims of delayed justice. However, who cares? Our previous CJI had wept in a judicial programme while discussing the matter of shortage of judges in Supreme Court, but who listens?

    You are right. The committed Muslims are trying to play a constructive role, but on the other hand, the uncommitted Muslims are busy in garnering financial, social support for their political gain by using the illiterate, innocent Muslims.

    These are the petty Muslim politician or the majority leaders who have made the Muslim population a vote bank, and they are playing victim-game or blame-game whatsoever suits to them. Even our PM projects himself as the great savior of Muslim women from the oppressive clutches of triple talaq under whose government, Muslim women were killed brutally, wombs torn apart and the undelivered human kids were hung upon the spears.

    You can imagine which way Indian society is heading under BJP rule, what good the police, court or bureaucrats can deliver to the Indian Muslim community.

    Your suggestion: “Write some good done by Hindus to Muslim rather than constantly focus on Muslim victim”. I whole-heartedly, appreciate and feel obliged to my Hindu brothers, sisters, teachers and students above all. What I am today, and there are Billions like me, is due to my Indian proud society and composite culture, which has attributed fully to our growth, no doubt.

    Whatsoever, I dislike and write against is purely because of selfish, corrupt, heartless and money-minded people only, I never mean those peaceful people who are very close to my heart even more than our community people are.

    Anyway, I support Sharia law in some cases and think that the instant capital punishment is a must for the rapist and killers in any country.

    By Raihan Nezami - 11/3/2016 11:13:54 AM

  • To Raihan Nezami.
    Brother as long you do not try to prove only Muslims are victim in India, I am in full agreement with you, in my India not only Muslims are poor or victim of everything, every weak humans are suffering, listen Tarekh Fathe, he says exactly that how our elite class is irresponsible and humiliate poor and weak.

    One more thing you are contradicting your own words in last comment, on one example  you giving example of how evidence are surfaced out and other side you saying that how Muslim innocent victim was freed from court.

    Does this court delay is happening to Muslims only?

    I always see Indian Muslim as second largest majority which can play vital role in leading country ahead, rather than busy in playing victim, victim role.

    Committed Indian Muslim had shown positve side.

    Their are many Indian Muslims, Hindus, Christians and Sikhs left India and take away their heart and turn their face away from India, but we have to live hear, we have no choice. Western world humanity and equal rights are fake, so think of India and hope in it.

    This website is design for international audience, but we have to focus on India, no western world is going to take our population or going to give us food or technology. The technology we get from west  is outdated or consumer base or pollution making.

    Pakistan or Bangladesh is also not going to take Indian  Muslim population, the Muhajir in Karchi still killed, this Muhajir had no choice like you to Balme Hindus for everything bad happening to them in Pakistan, so focus on India and write some good done by Hindus to Muslim rather than constantly focus on Muslim victim.

    In India you find heaps of example form poor community of all relgion helping each other.

    By Aayina - 11/3/2016 2:35:06 AM

  • Aayina: Thanks for giving the perfect examples of lawlessness, political vendetta prevailing in the country under RSS rule. My point is the judicial system that has some logic behind it. What is wrong if the affected family accepts the blood money? It will help them in future, if they don't agree, even a royal prince is killed for Islamic justice, it is Shariya Law.

     I gave example of fresh fake encounters that is happening in the greatest democracy. Is it justice? Have you asked a question any time to yourself?

    Why the Muslim under-trials only escape from the jail?

    Later on, they are killed and some weapons are planted, proofs are destroyed before the forensic team reaches.

    This type of law and order you appreciate where Babri Masjid detainee is released innocent after 23 years.

    The present government has ruined the Indian judicial system and they are using it to their political gain.

    That's my point whether you like it or not. Thanks!

    By Raihan Nezami - 11/2/2016 11:21:55 AM

  • Well any relgion people with money and power can get away in India that is agree with you Rihan Nezami, you should remember the case of Salma Khan. 

    So do not point out only Muslim victims, there are many Hindu and Cristian victims too. it's the country of powerful and careless people.

    As Indian politician and rich are above the law and behave lawless, but than India also had another benefit of this lawlessness, lot of politician and powerful criminal are murdered openly. Prime example was Indira Ghandhi was killed by Sikh to get their justice, Rajiv Ghandhi was killed by Tamilians and many more.

    what is full justice and in between justice!

    By Aayina - 11/2/2016 1:46:01 AM

  • Aayina: Nothing can please a person who has a negative perspective towards any person, ideology or any religion. Beauty or ugliness lies in the eyes of the beholders, the world seems to you as your glasses are through which you look at the world. In my country what would have been in that situation, the victim's family, would have been threatened, involved in fake case, if not agreed to withdraw the case, they would have been murdered. Before everything, the case would not have been registered against a royal person - resourse person. Blood money is a very reasonable option, anyway, the family member is lost, what benefits the survivors will get by having the murderer killed, but if that negotiation fails, the victim gets full justice, it is called Islamic law. In India, a criminal of genocide gets bail, and eight innocent SIMI activists are made to escape from jail and killer in fake encounter. It happens only in India! 
    By Raihan Nezami - 11/1/2016 12:28:29 AM

  • Saudi Prince beheaded?

    This is used more as propoganda?

    The justice system is funny in that regard, Muslims try to gloryfy again defeating their own relgion.

    I am very much aware of the blood money you can give to victim and get away, Saudi royals tried that and did not work out, so please Muslims( especially Indian Muslim) do not glorify Islam by using petty things.

     The intensions of Saudi royals were not to punish against the crime, but to use money power and get away with if they can but the opposite(victim) party were reluctant so take blood money.

    Let's put similar situation in Indian context, do our powerful politicians and business people will not give death threat along with money if victim is not ready to accept the money.

    I said Indian Muslims, because just use your brains more rather than weakening Saudis using the stunt, if they were not able to buy the victim, use it for glorifying Islam.

    How many of our Muslim hyderabadi monir girls are bought by this rich Saudi Arabs under the systmatic use of Islam.

    One more thing to add mostly all Indian Muslims dislike Modi and this Saudi give prestigious award to Modi, how is that! killer of Muslim was awarded, what fair and just system of Saudis to cheat, every as aspect of Muslim growth for more englitment and resonance. May be Modi had given blood money and get away.

    Thanks Brothers aand sisters, may be I have not offended and abused your relegion, just put the facts for my Indian Muslim.

    By Aayina - 10/31/2016 5:13:42 AM

  •  @Arvind Tiwari Its bhagwa brigade who complained about my previuos Fb id and got it blocked...
    By Md Shamim Siddiqui - 10/29/2016 2:34:45 AM

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