Why people get inspired by Zakir Naik?
Having started it, let us complete the discussion on
(50:38) We created the
heavens and the earth and all between them in Six Days, nor did any sense of
weariness touch Us.
The above verse negates the belief that God rested on the 7th
Day. God only commands “Be, and it is”. We have seen that in one context, a day
is like our thousand years and in another, it is like fifty thousand years. What
is a day like in this context? It is not specified. The largest unit of number
used in the Quran is thousand. Using thousand as the highest unit, it would be
very awkward to indicate a very large number. A million would be a thousand
thousands and a billion would be a thousand, thousand thousands! Quite awkward
and difficult to understand by simple folks. Moreover, what if 6 days means 6
phases (which it certainly does) and the phases are of unequal duration? I
repeat, the Quran not being a book of Science, says as much as it can, as
accurately as possible, in as few words as it is appropriate to communicate the
Majesty of Allah and His creation. Now let us look at the interesting part it
has communicated by saying 6 days by examining the following verses:
(41:9) Say: Is it that
ye deny Him Who created the earth in two Days? And do ye join equals with Him?
He is the Lord of (all) the Worlds.
(10) He set on the
(earth), mountains standing firm, high above it, and bestowed blessings on the
earth, and measure therein all things to give them nourishment in due
proportion, in four Days, in accordance with (the needs of) those who seek
What we understand from the above, is that mere creation of the
earth and the heavens took only 2 days, but to make the earth habitable, took
another 4 days. Gives an idea of how rich and unique the earth is vis-à-vis the
rest of the universe.
(11) Moreover He
comprehended in His design the sky, and it had been (as) smoke: He said to it
and to the earth: "Come ye together, willingly or unwillingly." They
said: "We do come (together), in willing obedience."
(12) So He completed
them as seven firmaments in two Days, and He assigned to each heaven its duty
and command. And We adorned the lower heaven with lights, and (provided it)
with guard. Such is the Decree of (Him) the Exalted in Might, Full of
The Quran also takes care to avoid unnecessary controversy
when man’s knowledge is defective. Take
for example the story of the people of The Cave in Suarh Al-Kahaf:
(18:22) (Some) say
they were three, the dog being the fourth among them; (others) say they were
five, the dog being the sixth,- doubtfully guessing at the unknown; (yet
others) say they were seven, the dog being the eighth. Say thou: "My Lord
knoweth best their number; It is but few that know their (real case)."
Enter not, therefore, into controversies concerning them, except on a matter
that is clear, nor consult any of them about (the affair of) the Sleepers.
When there is a controversy about the correct number, even if
the Quran gave the correct number, how can it be confirmed? Those who believe a
different number as correct, will continue to believe so, raising unnecessary
controversy. The correct number in the story is in any case of no consequence.
Similarly, what if the Quran had mentioned an exact number of
years (which is quite unnecessary to communicate God’s majesty), and Science
came up with a wrong number which does not get corrected with the correct
number for a thousand years? During these thousand years, people would have unnecessarily
argued over the issue of what the Quran says vs what Science says without being
sure of either number.
God in His infinite wisdom, chooses the exact words to
communicate. Man, in his arrogance, tries to teach God what to say, how to say
it, what not to say and define His limits (nauzobillah)!
To believe in Allah is to have faith in faith. There is no need of evidence to prove the
existence of Allah in order to believe.
Just like, do you see Allah in existence? You do not see Allah in existence and yet you
believe. That is so called, believe.
The NASA boss, Thomas O Pine who handled
20,000 firms and 40,000 engineers once quipped “We can reach 250,000 mile
distant moon, but cannot reach the heart of another man. It is true husbands wives
live together and sleep together for years, yet they do not understand each
other. What we need to know the other side. We need critical views. Why a
congress man reads BJP party paper, or the vice versa? We should learn lessons
from our past life. There is a big question stuck in the throats of non-Muslims
“Why ISIS, al Qaeda, Boko haram, Taliban & al Shabab etc have not learn
lessons from the past. Perhaps they have not asked the pertinent questions. Why
the great Caliph ‘Uthman who formulated the Holy Quran was brutally
assassinated by his own people? Why great Caliph Umar was assassinated? Why
Ali, son-in-law of our holiest prophet Mohammad was assassinated? If there was
a golden age of Islam, how it was lost? Can the glowing enlightenment of a
group of people be doused? Why there is reactionary response to the political,
religious and intellectual challenges faced by the Muslim world in the modern
The philosopher George Santayana said “Those
who forget the past are condemned to relive it.” Supremacism is a dangerous disease. Those swollen headed people deny others view. The
terrorists are doing a great damage to Islam. Imams are issuing bizarre fatwas.
We cannot keep on writing rosy things about Islam. Animosity and personal
attacks among intellectuals in this thread speak volumes of intolerance and
supremacism. Criticism is vital for the progress of an individual, society,
religion and a nation. Ugly kafirs’ criticisms in NAI are essential to have a
balanced thinking so as to keep reminding the follies. Rasoolalah Khomenei, Ayatollah
Khamenei and Caliph al Buckdadi are great theologians and pray five times. I do
not know what they pray.
Oh Allah make me an instrument of
your peace. Where there is hatred let me sow love. Where there is injury
pardon. Where there is doubt, faith. Where there is despair hope. Where there
is darkness light. Where there is sadness joy.
Haque Sb, What is clear is that a day referred to is not a 24 hour day. It means a
period or an eon.
(22:47) Yet they ask thee to hasten on
the Punishment! But Allah will not fail in His Promise. Verily a Day in the
sight of thy Lord is like a thousand years of your reckoning.
(70:4) The angels and the spirit ascend
unto him in a Day the measure whereof is (as) fifty thousand years.
Zuma asks "Does faith need evidence?" The answer is "yes
it does". If it were not so, Ibrahim (AS) may not have asked for it and
the Quran would not have repeatedly stressed on the indisputable "signs of
God" as well as the challenge to mankind to falsify its claims of:
1. being inimitable
2. Lacking discrepancy.
The kind of evidence people of earlier times relied upon, were “miracles”
that the Prophets performed, and prophesies that came true viz utter
destruction of the people who rejected belief. The examples are the people of
Noah, Hud, Saleh, Lut Musa and Ibrahim.
The Quran narrates these stories to tell us that the Word of God always comes
true and to describe the mission of His messengers.
A similar proof is available regarding the prophetic mission of
Muhammad. A very early and precise warning of the fate of those who oppose
Islam and unfolding of events which made the prophesy come true against all
odds. Read my series on the subject.
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
The era of Muhammad may be described as the beginning of the era of
reason. He did not resort to any “miracles”. His achievements although miraculous,
are not what can be described as miracles..
The proofs that we can seek in the truth of the Quran, are based on its explicit
claims as listed above, one of which is covered in my article:
Science and Religion
As regarding the second matter of discrepancy, it can also be understood
as contradiction. My following article touches upon this aspect:
Is the Quran a Book of Contradictions?
In the comments section, Rational Muhammad Yunus tried to prove contradictions
in the Quran without success.
If faith did not require evidence, then what is wrong with other beliefs?
What was wrong with the faith of the Arabs before Muhammad? What is wrong with
The Quran asks for belief in the Unseen God but that is not the same as
blind belief. We believe in the unseen atom and all its sub particles not
because we have seen them, but because of observed behaviour in controlled
experiments and a theory that explains the model well. We also realise
that it is only a model of reality and not reality itself. It is possible that
a different model may explain the behaviour better.
What is God is different for you and different for me based on our
knowledge of the universe. The Quran also describes a model of reality and not
the reality itself to the Arabs of the 7th century using the limited vocabulary
of those times. Vocabulary is limited by knowledge. As knowledge grows, new
words are coined to mean things which may otherwise have required a thousand
words to describe. The Quran uses extreme economy of words and cannot therefore
be a book of science at all. Get that idea out of your mind. However, whatever
it says in those few words, is remarkably accurate. Nothing it says flies in
the face of science. When discussing science, one must keep the distinction
between theory and fact and between mere theory and theory validated by an experiment
which establishes the truth of that theory.
The composition of the Moon or Mars or any other heavenly body cannot be
predicted based on theory alone. That is why man sends space missions to
collect data and samples. So, what may be the sky is mere speculation even in
science. What is seen by the human eye may be described as the “celestial dome”
or canopy which appears blue in the daytime. Since the Quran does not even
refer to the blue sky of the daytime, what it means by sky in its verses, where
it uses one of the three Arabic words, can only be speculated. It can also be something
beyond what the human eye can see. What the sky means, often depends upon how
the word is used, which is so even as far as the Quran is concerned. When the
word sky is used in the Quran without describing it, it may refer to any region
distant from the earth. It therefore rains from the skies. The birds fly in the
sky. The heavenly bodies are part of the sky or part of the region distant from
Most of the Muslims make a virtue of blind belief and a virtue of blind
imitation of their respective imams. As a matter of fact, they have made it a
cardinal principle of their faith. If this position is acceptable in the eyes
of God, then what is wrong in people of every faith following the same?
However, the Quran categorically rejects such a position.
(2:170) When it is said to them:
"Follow what Allah hath revealed:" They say: "Nay! we shall
follow the ways of our fathers." What! even though their fathers Were void
of wisdom and guidance?
Blind faith is superstition and not faith. Faith requires evidence, validation
and proof. We have faith in people based on past record of their behaviour and
performance and based on legal contracts with them and efficacy of the country’s
judicial system to enforce the contract etc. or based on common laws that can
be invoked to ensure proper behaviour.
Please give up blind faith even though what I say goes against the
dominant theology of every sect. If Muslims continue to believe blindly, they
will remain backward and weak in their faith also.
As Quran is not initially meant for scientific research, I am afraid the person who assisted Muhammad to write the Quran might not be so cautious to the words used, whether it be literally or not, at the time when he received the revelation from Allah.
To be cautious in the interpretation of Quran, it is best not to be used for scientific research in case if Muslims might have twisted the meaning of the words in which Allah did not intend that to be or it was not so in the beginning of the creation of this universe.
Preferably to be conservatism rather than to go extreme to turn up to have different view that the world originally to be.
The entire Quran should base on the faith in Allah to what it is written.
Does faith need evidence, i.e. scientific proof, in order that one should believe in Allah? If one has to rely on evidence, i.e. scientific proof, in order to believe in Allah, should this be considered to have faith in Allah. Better is one to have faith in Allah without relying on evidence.
describes the Scientific Method.
scientific method is based on statistical analysis of observed data, my
research finding is that 100% of the data supports the thesis of the theists
and not even one counter example is found in the observed data that goes
against the thesis. Statistically speaking, there cannot be stronger proof than
this. Hats Off takes out his frustrations on not being able to produce a
counter example to disprove the thesis.
without such detailed analysis of available data, we know that religion has
given us rule based ethics or Deontological ethics which man has converted into
practical ethics based on pragmatism and reason. This was possible, only when
sufficient data was available of the good to the individual and the society,
from following the rule based ethics from religion. These were and are still
followed by the religious as a duty to God, even though the benefit is not
immediately clear, and often it goes against immediate self-interest.
from rule based ethics from religion to reason based practical ethics is
obvious. If we had reason based ethics to start with, there would have been no
need for religion.
has given us something so valuable, that without it, there would have been no progress
from living like savages, which we would have continued to do till today.
his arrogance however, rejects God, because now he thinks he has become
self-sufficient and assumes that he was always self-sufficient.
as a Civilizing Influence
Wasn't the above one of the two "brilliant" articles against
which Hats Off said he found it difficult to counter?
The second was:
There A Rational Basis For The Atheists To Oppose Religion?
The third which is written 3 years later and is part
of the same series is:
It completes the argument in the first article
based on extensive research carried out to try to prove/disprove the hypothesis
that was formed in the first article.
Thanks to Hats Off for periodically calling attention to three very
significant articles. He has made sure that people do not forget these and that
new readers of NAI also read them.
If hats off is a Muslim, he might be a typical Muslim extremist.
Muslim extremists usually take a verse or a sentence to conclude what it means without reading the entire paragraphs or even analyzing historical background or whatever.
“It was not until the
Western nations broke away from their religious law that they became more
tolerant; and it was only when the Muslims fell away from their religious law
that they declined in tolerance and other evidences of the highest culture.”
“There is no doubt but
that, in the eyes of history, religious toleration is the highest evidence of
culture in a people. Let no Muslim, when looking on the ruin of the Muslim
realm which was compassed through the agency of those very peoples whom the Muslims
had tolerated and protected through the centuries when Western Europe thought
it a religious duty to exterminate or forcibly convert all peoples of another
faith than theirs - let no Muslim, seeing this, imagine that toleration is a
weakness in Islam. It is the greatest strength of Islam because it is the
attitude of truth.” Pickthall
Dear hats off!
While my mind has slowed down in this
last quarter of Ramadan, it received great stimulation from your comment below
in this thread beginning with the statement:
“Islamic history stands out not for its imagined tolerance but its
relentless conquests, blood baths, destruction of temples, whole sale plunder
and mass slave taking. read any Islamic historian who rode with the marauders.”
You put me in catch 22 position on this day of Ramadan by making a
statement which is totally out of historical context and relativism and singles
out Islamic civilization as an intolerant and brutal. If I remain silent I will
be accepting your preposterous proposition. So I respond as below:
No civilization of the world is judged by the tyranny, chaos, bloodshed,
and harrowing accounts of war. These accounts must be judged on historical
relativism and on the bitter truth that mercy, compassion and justice have no
place in battlefield that operates only one on principle – you kill your
adversary or you are killed. You enslave or you are enslaved. I can assure you
that you will find no internationally recognized historian of the world
agreeing with your comment. I am quoting below some of the iconic figures of
history to bring home to you that what you wrote is whimsical, dictated by your
hatred of Islam, or provoked by a first-hand of account of a battle left by an
eye-witness that does not represent the mores of any civilization:
“Alphonse de LaMartaine (1790-1869) while recounting the remarkable rise
of Arabs declares: “As regards all the standards by which human greatness may
be measured, we may well ask IS THE RE ANY MAN GREATER THAN HE (Mohammed)?”
Robert Briffault (1867-1948) states: “Science is the most
momentous contribution of Arab [Muslim] civilization to the modern world; but
its fruits were slow in ripening. Not until long after Moorish Islamic] culture
had sunk back into darkness did the giant to which it had given birth, rise to
its might” [Making of Humanity, p. 202, Extracted from Muhammad Iqbal’s Reconstruction
of Islamic thoughts, 6th reprint, New Delhi 1998, p. 130].
Jonathan Bloom and Sheila Blair (the husband wife team, jointly
appointed to the Norma Jean Calderwood University Professorship in Islamic and
Asian Art), declare: “Islam, which is only half a dozen centuries younger than
Christianity, created a long and brilliant civilization, which is responsible
for much of the way we are today. … When a few medieval monks were desperately
trying to preserve what little they knew of Greco-Roman civilization, academies
and universities flourished in the splendid cities of the Muslim lands”
[Jonathan Bloom and Sheila Blair, Islam, Empire of Faith, BBC Series, UK 2001, p. 11.].
Count Leon Ostrorog declares: “The Eastern thinkers of the ninth century
laid down on the basis of their theology, the principle of the Rights of Man,
....of which the humane and chivalrous prescriptions would have put to blush
certain belligerents in the Great War; expounded a doctrine of toleration of
non-Muslim creeds so liberal that our West had to wait a thousand years before
seeing equivalent principles adopted.” [Asaf A.A. Fyzee, Outlines of Mohammedan Law, 5th Edition, New Delhi 2005, p.
“….the Muslim faith enjoins toleration and freedom
of religious life for all those followers of other faiths who pay tribute in
return for protection …, The very existence of so many Christian sects and
communities in countries that have been for centuries under Mohammadan rule is
an abiding testimony to the toleration they have enjoyed, and shows that the
persecutions, they have from time to time been called upon to endure at the
hands of bigots and fanatics, have been excited by some special and local
circumstances, rather than inspired by a settled principal of intolerance."[Thomas W. Arnold, Preaching of Islam, 2nd revised
edition, 1913, reprinted Delhi 1990, p. 419/420.]
The pre-eminence of the quoted scholars and the diversity of their
backgrounds and regions sufficiently demonstrate the positively remarkable,
rather, benevolently revolutionary role of Islam on world history.
I see you very active in posting incendiary comments against Islam and
the Qur’an. I normally let it go but from time to time, try to bring you out of
your closed circuit Islam/ Qur’an-bashing scholarship. Ghulam Mohiuddin Sahab
takes you seriously and regularly responds to your sweeping comments which only
reminds me of my following remark appearing in my article referenced below
against unlicensed freedom of speech or expression at this forum:
“..if used to malign other’s faith or mock a rival group of people, it
can open a floodgate of unhealthy discussions that will conduce to ill will
among people, spawn evil and render this website into a vicious gossip forum.”
Tell me honestly, do you want this forum to turn into a “vicious gossip
And believe me, your homologous comments seem really tailored more to
create or add to confusion than to add any value.
Use and Misuse of
Freedom of Expression on This Islamic Website (New Age Islam) and Need for a
Summarised for the benefit of serious readers.
The correlation between religiosity in an individual and his
achievements in science is negative in all cultures and among the followers of
all religions. The reason for that is not far to see. Right from the heydays of
Greek Philosophy and Science, modern education has had a marked anti-God slant
meaning a deliberate rejection of God. This is not to deny the extraordinary exceptions
and many who were not considered to be religious by the standards of ordinary
people but were highly “spiritual” or their beliefs were far more refined than
that of the ordinary people.
This marked negative correlation is responsible for the
anti-modern education stance among the religious which is not without reason
since the Hereafter is given primacy in all religions. What was required of the
religious was to neutralize by rebutting rationally, the anti-God slant of modern
education. This was not an easy task
without a complete view of the history of religions and of philosophy and
neither was such comprehensive information available till recently. For
example, the universality of the Golden Principle in all religions was a
discovery of the 17th century. This rule is widely recognized as
contributing to our transition from the state of savage to civilization. In
economics, Richard Swift, referring to ideas from David Graeber, suggests that
"without some kind of reciprocity society would no longer be able to
My articles Science and Religion and Is
There A Rational Basis For The Atheists To Oppose Religion? rebut the anti-God slant of the philosophers and modern
So what did contribute to the great achievements of Islamic
society in their Golden era? This is answered comprehensively in my article:
For The Rise And Fall Of The Muslims
The causes for the rise was the early innocence of Islamic society
and the extraordinary freedoms all sections of society enjoyed based on
injunctions in the Quran. Islamic
society turned reactionary in later years on account of the “ill-effects” of
philosophy and science on religious beliefs.
Through my articles I have comprehensively covered the
subject and provided an answer to the following questions:
Causes for the great achievements of Muslims
during their golden period. Cause for subsequent decline. What needs to be done
to regain past glory.
Reasons for the anti-modern education stance
among the Muslims. How this can be removed by rebutting the anti-God stance of
Now for the false charge of being dogmatic:
A person is dogmatic when he is unwilling to discuss
rationally any issue. Who was being dogmatic?
Ikram: Do you think the faith in Allah would become secondary if
hypothetically Quran is proved unscientific.
Naseer: Most certainly, if any verse of the Quran is proved to be
false, faith in religion, God and the Quran will collapse. I am most certainly
not a blind believer.
Ikram:Then you rebutted my rhetorical question , “Does faith
require scientific validity?”
You said that Quran does not demand blind belief but invites a
person to belief based on the undeniable signs of God.
Naseer: I repeat, faith does require scientific validity of all
that can be scientifically validated. And if what can be scientifically
invalidated is invalidated, there is no reason then to accept the Book as the
word of God.
Ikram: “religion is not always open to the idea of falsification”,
Naseer: The Quran openly challenges
man to falsify the Quran! This is discussed in my article: Science and Religion
Ikram: The problem is you are replacing one dogma with another. No
matter how fascinating your dogma is , it still remains a dogma.
which dogma is being replaced by what dogma???
A completely RATIONAL approach to faith is labeled
“By a lie, a man ….annihilates his dignity as a man”
false charge of “cut and paste” is based on his low self-esteem and extreme
mediocrity. He cannot imagine another person with originality. His refusal to
respond to cut and paste was simply inability to respond
charge of “terrorist” is a measure of his desperation. It flies in the face of
everything that I have written.
And how easily his charade of geniality has been ripped apart!
“A man who
himself does not believe what he tells another ... has even less worth than if
he were a mere thing. ... makes himself a mere deceptive appearance of man, not
man himself.” – Imanuel Kant
without any dignity and with less worth than a mere thing having knowingly and
repeatedly lied. What such a person says, is worthless and must be ignored. And he is also a proven Islamophobe to boot - the ultimate vermin!
To all readers of New Age,
12.30 night. But if don’t write, I will miss the threads heavily. I understand the game plan here, which to my
mind, is to demoralize the Muslims in their ideological mooring. Initially some
buggers like Lee Jay Walker used to abuse Muslims and Islam outright, in the ‘andh-bhakt’
traditions of India. Now I find some people are attacking Islam by donning the
cloak of atheism. Don’t have to name them, you can smell them here. I have told you my friends; there are no
genuine atheists amongst Hindus. There cannot be, because of their philosophy,
which has made them the greatest survivors on the earth even, if through
go-mutra and cow-dung. When they have to
attack Islam they pretend to be atheists.
Now I want
to make it clear that the purpose of my writing here is constructive, because I
believe, that the Truth should correspond to constructiveness. However, I shall
be necessarily brief in my submissions. Sometimes, I may be deliberately vague,
if it amounts to raking up unnecessary issue by my clarity. If I think, that my
language has spelled out the matter clearly, then I shall not explain my
contents further. Please learn to get things, as they come, else don’t. And If
you can do it decently, it is better. I
see many posts which are so badly drafted in language or common sense that it
is impossible to understand, but I ignore. So please learn to ignore if you have
not understood my comments. I am here not to satisfy my ego. I shall terminate
a discussion at my will. You should take it as ‘my defeat’ to bolster your ego
and stew in your juice. I have already made it clear that I have a folder of My
Islam and if anybody else also has, I respect his/her ‘My Islam’ folder. Thus I
am not going to be dictated even in the name of Islam. To you, your religion,
to me mine. If after one round of interaction
one a subject, you pester, then I would assume that you are abusive and you are
abusing me, and therefore you deserve no response. I have said my thing, and I
have heard your thing, if we support each other’s arguments and complement each
other, we carry on. If we are at cross-purpose, then this is the end-point of
discussion. I, hereby, issue all of you a pre-printed certificate of honor, for
having won over me in debate, which you can utilize at will. However, if you
have anything new and interesting and above all constructive, to say, I am all
ears. But for God’s sake, please don’t
be verbose or overloaded. Please understand time constraint of others. Also please
honor other person’s intelligence by being mild in argument. At least with me, please
don’t quote any literature which is less than current, because I don’t follow persons,
less educated than I am. The only written words that I do not consider
literature is the holy Quran, which is the word of God. Anything that supports
Quran is obviously welcome. And if you want to criticize Quran, then you are
doing it from outside, as somebody was
mentioning, so for him I don’t have to
quote Quran or supporting Quranic literature. That’s fine with me. For him I
have my secular arguments and I am not shying away. Since the holy Quran is well organized you
just have to refer to the verse No. and tell in your own language, what you
want to say. I fully believe that none of you, Hindu, Muslim, Christian or a
religious person, would misquote Quran, but if I do develop doubt about the
correctness of the quote, may be due to inadequacy of language used, I would
refer to the verse myself.
Sometimes, but rarely, I may have to name a
commentator to identify a post, but take it as an impersonal communication and
not a direct communication to you. You can also send your views by naming me,
in an impersonal fashion, which I may like to ignore, if same is not to my taste
To my mind
Siratul Mustaqim, for which we constantly pray,
lies down the middle, neither to
left extreme nor to right extreme.
believer in Allah and Islam, I don’t know Allah’s mind fully. If an atheist is
speaking the mind of Allah, we know what he is.
discussed a lot of ground breaking ideas on the pages of New Age but those have
been obfuscated by pedantry, whereas those needed to be supported by persons
who consider themselves wise.
I have suggested that talaq-system can
be brought back to rails, by criminalizing ‘halala’, which should not be
difficult. About the procedure of talaq I have read erudite articles on this
website, but my question on IRF website and another Islamic website is pending,
where I have asked simply, if after the husband has gone thru conciliation,
witnessing etc and then he has still pronounced talaq there times, whether you
will count same as one – they have had no courage to answer my query. Recently
one Zubaida, asked a funnily intelligent question, and I gave her an answer
that I thought she or her sponsors deserved. These are the occasions, we should
unite in action. What’s the point in showing scholarship if you can’t act in
time? Or you are too egotistic to come in support of someone, who is using his
voice to carry your message?
century we cannot afford to talk too much of apostasy. I think Mr Naseer Ahmad
has pointed out, what I am repeating, in my words, but which I have been talking on Facebook, where lots of
comments were lost, because I don’t keep a record. This one – Khashqa khaincha,
dair mein baitha, kab ka tark Islam kiya? Was Meer pulled out of his house for
this? Hamko maaloom hai jannat ki haqeeqat lekin, dil ke bahlaane ko… and
..peeta hoon roze abre shabe mahtaab
mein, or daaman nichor dein to farsihte wazoo karen etc. Those who are trying
to revive the offence of apostasy are not from us. Otherwise right of
excommunication of an individual is constitutionally available to every ethnic
group in India (and elsewhere) , which
balances the individual freedom and community rights.
that I wrote to Naseer sahib, because he had specifically raised a question, quoting
my verse about co-existence of science and religion. I have very large-scale views
on the subject, but I compressed the ideas in a short write-up which was only partly
understood by Ikram sahib, though he was not on my mind when I wrote. The style
of my language is symbolic, and I use models, so no need to take things
literally. In fact best and most noble
ideas are expressed through mystic language. If you revisit that piece of
write-up, you will find that it did politely and intellectually attack the
spurious atheists of India, like -----, but not persons like Ikram sb who has
not attained faith in Allah (or lost in due course) , though he is not hostile
to Allah and certainly not hostile to Muslims ( A case of Rushdie in point. He did
try to reclaim his place, through Mahfouz of Egypt but our howling, threw him
out of the orbit). It is not easy to have faith in Allah, if your curiosity is
of a high order. But that process belongs to quite a different genre and I have
no time to elaborate. Towards the end of
my write-up, I have made one point which may be considered out of the box. Just
please discern. Thanks.
Is Ikram completely
ignorant of Islamic history? Islamic society has been very tolerant of what he
may choose to call the heretics. Caliph
Harun Al-Rashid and Mamun were not exceptions. Tolerance was the rule
and not the exception. The Mullahs may have cried hoarse at times but the Qazi (judges)
and the rulers were very tolerant. Thankfully, it has not been the practice
among Muslims to probe the religious beliefs of people too closely and declare
those who did not conform as heretics. Witch hunting for heresy has been more
of a Christian occupation in the medieval ages and not in the Islamic society
of the past.
entered its dark ages only recently and Ikram is quite right when he says “But
who knows if they were born in this age, with the Salafi wahabi puritanical
interpretation spreading around the Muslim world like a wild fire. They could
be marginalized, persecuted. Probably charged for blasphemy or apostasy. Let’s
be honest here , according to PEW research there is an overwhelming majority of
Muslims who believe that apostates should be put to death.”
question simply is ‘why is he applying the present day standards of the most
extremist among the salafi groups and not the tolerant norms of the major part
of Islam’s 1400 year history?’
Now in his comment he says something about Al-Razi and asks
a question whether he is a heretic or not. First of all, he does not quote his
sources. Most likely he has picked up the “information” from an Islamophobic
site. Otherwise, Wikipedia says “A number
of contradictory works and statements about religion have been ascribed to Razi.”
So why should I judge Al-Razi today on the basis of several contradictory secondary
sources when none of his original books survive? In any case what is the
objective of this ridiculous exercise?
It takes extraordinary mediocrity to write an article
copying from Islamophobic websites their common approach of belittling the
achievements of Muslims by saying that their luminaries were heretics and Ikram
is such a mediocre.
If it is not the Quran that perfectly describes who is a
Muslim then what does? It takes colossal stupidity to argue against a Quran
centric definition of a Muslim. Ikram has displayed such colossal stupidity.
He takes my sentence “Blind
believers are worse than non-believers. They are emotional fools who can be
easily manipulated. For too long, the religious have kept a distance from the
sciences to the detriment of religion as well as to their society.”
misunderstands it. It takes colossal stupidity to understand the above sentence
as saying just the opposite of what it says! He has apparently understood it as
: non- believers are worse than blind believers and are emotional fools! What colossal
stupidity all over again!
What does the
buffoon think of his Islamophobia if it is not rank hatred? What does the month
of Ramzan mean to this apostate except eating Haleem?
Naseer Ahmed : Again misquoted
“Why would Ikram otherwise judge Muslim scientists by the standards
of the most extremist among the salafis today and not go by whether these were
judged apostate by the ruler of their times? “
This is what you inferred and your
inferences are always wrong . I’m not judging them by any standards , but they
were hostile critics of Islam who could face blasphemy charges if there were
other rulers or Judges . They could find safe heaven only because of the
benevolence of the rulers . Hence, I mentioned in my article – “Thankfully,
there was Khalifa Mamun and no Baghdadi who to an extent tolerated deviant
How is that judging Muslim scientist by
the standards of extremist ?
Al Razi was an 8th century physician born in Ravy
lived in Baghdad.
These are his ideas about theology:
1) He did not believe in revelation
2) He does not feel any need of
3) He criticizes all religions for
imitation, tradition power of clergy and external manifestation of religions.
4) He severely criticizes revealed
5) He denies the miraculousness of the
6) He considers that Prophets are
harmful to the people.
If the above ideas of Al- Razi are not
heretical then what is heretical ?
Naseer Ahmed I repeat you are entitled
to your interpretation , It’s a great idea to counter salafi Islam narrative.
My question is what are the standards
by which we should judge Muslim scientist ?
Dear Naseer saab ,
Unfortunately you never learn . Once again personal attack
when all I did was to attempt a decent conversation . You are a paradox . The
attempt was to establish good-will and you started with personal attacks ,because my views doesn’t match with your’s .
You are full of hatred , but there is no point in returning hatred with
hatred . At least that’s not what a Humanist
should do. By the way Atheism is my conclusion and humanism is my identity. I
don’t generalize Muslims as you generalize apostates and other non-believers . There
is one problem with you and that is generalizing, also, you inconspicuously make
personal remarks , maybe it’s in your nature.
To begin with there was no counter-argument or any
substantiation from you, all I could find was disagreements which is perfectly
fine,but that doesn’t answer my question. It doesn’t matter who believes that
Quran is a word of God or which Muslim believes in it . But every argument
cannot be based on that premise . That was my objection . Hence, your pattern
of argument is similar to Zakir Naik but not identical to him . He is more
radical than you . You are not soo bad. So out of the scale of 10 he gets 10/10
. I won’t give you marks at this moment. Your Quran centric arguments will not work all
There is a deep rooted problem in your statement when you
say that there is one right way in reading and interpreting Quran . Naseer bhai
I honestly respect books . I don’t attack them , even if I may not agree with
it. One should respect books , and Quran is a book that should be read and
understood . I may not consider it divine or
I may not believe in its content . But I will not disrespect it . However,
what is wrong if I interpret Quran . What if I have a different narrative of
Quran . I’m sorry but your one right way attitude tantamount to a very
talibanic stance. They have a one right interpretation that you consider wrong
, and you have a one right interpretation that they consider blasphemous. I repeat
Scriptures don’t speak for itself . People read and interpret it. When Quran
was revealed for the benefit of the entire Humanity . I’m sure the message
might have taken the diversity into consideration. Humanity is diverse.
Therefore, how can there be one single interpretation of the scripture. You
have your own way , and the illiterate has its own way. I may or may not agree
with your narrative , but I will not stop you from it. You may have your own
way of finding meaning , but you can’t
stop others . Parvez Hoodbhoy has his
own interpretation. He’s not a lesser Muslim than you.
I’m happy that you refused to answer about Christianity
after your vitriol against Christianity in one of the posts. Otherwise you had
no counter-argument here.
You said “I repeat, faith does require scientific validity
of all that can be scientifically validated. And if what can be scientifically
invalidated is invalidated, there is no reason then to accept the Book as the
word of God. Unfortunately, the meaning of Siddiq is poorly understood. A
Siddiq is a highly knowledgeable believer and there is nothing wishy washy
about his beliefs. A Muslim is asked to seek knowledge wherever he can find it
because it is knowledge of the outside world that helps him to understand the Quran
correctly. I gave examples of verses that were misunderstood until we gained
correct knowledge from science. “
You are becoming repetitive , and you are again indulging in
the same ‘Quran centric’ debate.Premise
of any argument is not set by you alone. You have no monopoly over it. On the contrary it was through science that
your belief centric rationalism received some legitimacy. There is another huge problem with
faith based scientific validity . The person will start with a preconceived
notion , they would initially form a belief system and then the inquiry will
begin . This often hampers scientific inquiry. This methodology is similar to
the medieval Al-Chemy . Where the aim was to transmute base metals into Gold. They
were simply chasing a mirage . They ended up discovering new elements .This
chemical discovery helped in the advancement of science. The tragic part in your argument is that you
are trying to validate Al-Chemy with Chemistry. It might be helpful if your narrative
is based on Principle , that in Principle Quran encourages inquiry and seeking
knowledge . But it keeps a safe distance from science. This might be a
synthesis of our anti-thesis.
You said –“You now call me a moderate now but you called me
a terrorist etc a number of times which apparently you do not even believe to
be true. You have employed deliberate falsehood in your personal attack and
vilification campaign. Also, the highly laughable charge of cut and paste
although you could not substantiate the same.”
Look at the hatred and grudge that you hold for people who
differ with you. Hatred is not good in this holy month . Have some haleem or
Biryani , that is what we eat in Hyderabad. Ramzan Haleem is awesome in
Hyderabad , and also there is no Beef ban . You get awesome beef haleem here. Naseer
saab hikmat bhi koi cheez hoti hai . Chor ko chor thodi bola jata. The
intention was to establish good-will and it’s up to you to either continue it
or destroy . I hope you stop this personal attack, because you started it first, and
two matured people can put an end to it.
You said “Blind believers are worse than non-believers. They
are emotional fools who can be easily manipulated. For too long, the religious
have kept a distance from the sciences to the detriment of religion as well as
to their society. “
More vituperation and hatred .
Why so much hatredtowards non-believers ?
I mean on any given day you are alive in this country
because of the secular left forces . The non believers like Jawaharlal Nehru’s legacy is the reason why minorities
are still safe . Unfortunately, that legacy is being trampled . I hope we concur
on this issue at least . By the way Bhagat Singh was an Atheist . He was an
emotional fool . Had these secular
leaders not been around people like you and me would be second class citizen .
The RSS would have taken over India.
Here is a list of some emotional fools who are not soo bad
than blind believers :
1) 1) Bertand Russell (Philosopher and Mathematician)
2) 2) Isaac Asimov (Author Professor of Bio Chemistry)
3) 3) Stephen Hawking
4) 4) Alan Turing : He's been called the founder of
computer science, and the founder of artificial intelligence. It’s because of
him that you’re ableto spread the Al-Chemy. What an emotional fool her was.
5) 5) Neil deGrasse Tyson : He’s an agnostic , but
certainly not an emotional fool .
6) 6) Thomas Edison : This emotional fool invented
Ikram Ahmed says “To become a Muslim
one should believe in the final revelation and also Mohammed as a final
But that is not how the Quran
describes a Muslim. A Muslim is one whose religion is Islam and Islam is the
religion of those who submit to God. Tell me one religion which is not about
submitting to God but submitting to Satan? Every religion that is about
submission to God is the religion of Islam.
The Quran is quite clear on this point.
(3:85) If anyone desires a religion other than Islam
(submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter
He will be in the ranks of those who have lost (All spiritual good).
Islam and Muslim however
have a broader meaning and cover the righteous of every faith.
(2:62) Those who believe (in the Qur´an), and those who
follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who
believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their
reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.
Anyone who believes in God
and the last Day or The Day of Judgment and works righteousness is a Muslim.
The previous sentence can be reworded as follows:
A belief in God as pure intelligence
that ensures through unchanging laws that govern us, unerring order, perfect causality,
and in justice that finds ultimate perfection.
A belief in the Day of
judgment or in the law of karma, is nothing but a belief in justice that finds
ultimate perfection which lead to righteous behaviour. A belief in perfect
causality is what helps us discover the laws of nature and of human behavior and
live in harmony with these or use them for our benefit.
(22:34) To every people did We appoint rites (of
sacrifice), that they might celebrate the name of Allah over the sustenance He
gave them from animals (fit for food). But your god is One God: submit then
your wills to Him (in Islam): and give thou the good news to those who humble
The verse above refers to
people of other faiths. Since there is only one God and all of them follow the
rites appointed to them in submission to Allah (by whatever name), their faith
(27:44) She was asked to
enter the lofty Palace: but when she saw it, she thought it was a lake of
water, and she (tucked up her skirts), uncovering her legs. He said: "This
is but a palace paved smooth with slabs of glass." She said: "O my
Lord! I have indeed wronged my soul: I do (now) submit (in Islam), with
Solomon, to the Lord of the Worlds."
The above verse is about
Prophet and King Solomon and Queen Sheba who preceded Jesus and their religion
(2:132) And this was the
legacy that Abraham left to his sons, and so did Jacob; "Oh my sons! Allah
hath chosen the Faith for you; then die not except in the Faith of Islam."
(2:136) Say ye: "We
believe in Allah, and the revelation given to us, and to Abraham, Isma´il,
Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses and Jesus, and that given
to (all) prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and
another of them: And we bow to Allah (in Islam)."
Islam is the religion of
every prophet and of every person who believes in God (by whatever name), and
in the consequences of his deeds beyond this life, and works righteousness.
House of God
synagogues, and mosques, in which the name of Allah is commemorated in abundant
As far as flying away from a belief in God is concerned, it
can happen with ordinary people as well as the geniuses. What is common between
them is arrogance. The arrogant will not believe. What is common among the
believers is humility in the face of the awe inspiring wonder that he is
surrounded with which makes him feel insignificant and realize the power behind
the magnificent order. The belief of the geniuses is at a different level from
that of the ordinary people. God is in any case unfathomable. Ordinary people may
visualize an anthropomorphic God. The geniuses
may recognize God as pure intelligence, unerring order and causality, and in
justice that ultimately finds perfection. If we scratch the surface to
understand the essence of every religion, a person who believes in justice that
ultimately finds perfection satisfies the definition of a believer by every religion.
That is as good a definition of belief as any other and yet sounds very
different. Scientists such as Einstein were such believers. He may not have
cared much for traditional Jewish beliefs, rituals and traditions, but was a believer nevertheless. Richard Dawkins on the other hand is a disbelieving
It is only a person who believes in justice that ultimately
finds perfection who can be a moral person. All others are ethical to the
extent it serves their purpose and are otherwise amoral.
Manzurul Haque saab,
There is no
discomfort for Atheist . On the contrary there is enough discomfort for religious
fanatics these days . I personally liked your post , and I’m an Atheist fortunately alive among Muslims, and facing plenty of discrimination and threats .
I’m not here to defend Atheist , because I don’t defend Joseph Stalin , Pol
Pot , Mao Zedong and Veer Savarkar. They were Atheist , but they were also scoundrels
. But their acts were not inspired by
Atheism . It was Communism . Not ever Atheist is a communist and not every
communist is an Atheist . In-fact there are religious people who are communist .
Communism is a soci-economic theory , and it may or may not influence Atheists.
Atheism is a conclusion and what you follow after that becomes your identity.
You will find Atheist who are capitalist and Communist . Nationalist and
Anti-National. In a similar way every
monotheism may not be a Muslim . To become a Muslim one should believe in the final revelation and also
Mohammed as a final messenger.
It’s quite ironic but being an Atheist myself , I find more
issues with Atheist . I could make friends with very few Atheist , most of my friends
believe in God. Maybe my conclusions are
similar to the believers in God. I would
beg to differ with you but I never shouted that ‘YOU KNOW NOTHING’, on the
contrary I was shouted down by religious people that , ‘ I KNOW NOTHING’. The
fact is my journey towards skepticism started from ‘I KNOW NOTHING’, and I
still believe that I know nothing . There is soo much to know that even one
life is insufficient .
I found this point form you , rather weird :
"I think Muslim community can afford to let some
electrons (humans) fly away while exploring the world. Allah will take care of
The question is whether this will necessarily happen this
way. My answer is not necessarily. Science can have two components - A, acceptor of God, B, denier of God.
Similarly religion can have two components, A, pursuer of science and B fearer
of science. If both A components combine in one head, then science and religion
both can flourish in the same man mufti-scientist. Now my personal hunch is,
that such a man/ woman can do wonders, because my experience is that when human
being with faith, strives, that 'Unseen Power' nudges him slightly, in a very unseen way."
Are you taking about some mystic Guru . There is some kind
of New Age conclusion to what you are saying.
What difference would
it make if (A,A) come together?
What is wrong with B-(denier of God) and A (pursuer of
Dear Ikram sb,
Unfortunately, you inadvertently endorsed Zakir Naik, who
quotes verses from the Quran and create a premise where ‘Quran is
The Quran being the word of God is infallible. Muhammad Yunus Sb and every believing Muslim would agree on this.
Then the entire argument revolves around it. The good thing is that
you are not soo dogmatic like him. This ploy unfortunately does not work all
the time. Not every one believes that Quran is sacrosanct, and everyone may not
agree with your interpretation of Quran. Nevertheless, you have all the right
to interpret Quran for yourself . I have read Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s translation
of Quran , and my interpretation was completely different. We have all
the right to interpret it. In that case we should rather speak about principles
, because a Salifist has the right to interpret . But the outcome is a
I wonder if there is any one right way to interpret Quran?
is no way knowing in how many ways one may interpret the Quran. However, the Quran
has a way of making its meaning crystal clear and it has only one meaning. I
have demonstrated the art and science of getting to the meaning of any verse a
number of times.
Do you think the faith in Allah would become secondary if
hypothetically Quran is proved unscientific.
certainly, if any verse of the Quran is proved to be false, faith in religion,
God and the Quran will collapse because the claim of God would be proved to be
false. Who would like to believe in a false book, a false prophet or a false
god? I am most certainly not a blind believer.
Then you rebutted my rhetorical question , “Does faith require
You said that Quran does not demand blind belief but invites a
person to belief based on the undeniable signs of God.
repeat, faith does require scientific validity of all that can be
scientifically validated. And if what can be scientifically invalidated is
invalidated, there is no reason then to accept the Book as the word of God.
Unfortunately, the meaning of Siddiq is poorly understood. A Siddiq is a highly
knowledgeable believer and there is nothing wishy washy about his beliefs. A
Muslim is asked to seek knowledge wherever he can find it because it is
knowledge of the outside world that helps him to understand the Quran
correctly. I gave examples of verses that were misunderstood until we gained
correct knowledge from science.
Naseer Ahmed saab not everyone believe in God , there are people
around who are outright rationalist and Atheists and probably have a different
take on the creation of Universe and other scientific theories. Their theories
are scientifically sound . They don’t require Quran for any scientific validity
or to find meaning in life. They are moral people who don’t lie, cheat and kill
, and like every religion or sect there are bad apples among them.
have no problem with atheists. I have never said science should be validated by
the Quran. Do read my article:
Do think a Christian require scientific validity to believe that
Jesus died for the sins for humanity , and if that Christian happens to be a
Medical Doctor, how will that make any difference to his medical practice. He
won’t take his Bible to the operation theater.
do not wish to comment on Christianity unless the question is raised by a
Then your rebuttal turned personal, and you became judgmental .
That’s when you drifted from the topic and started making personal remark
which was not required. The most unrealistic part came when you
asked who stops me from falsifying religion. This shouldn’t surprise you , but
9 bloggers were killed in Bangladesh for questioning religion . There will be
instant death threats from Muslims. Followed by Fatwas. The fanatics stop
me from falsifying religion . I was threatened many times for questioning
religion . I come from the land of Owaisi. Now , maybe according to your
interpretation of Quran I have all the right to falsify and question religion.
But when there is a Fanatic at my door-step who’s about to shoot me then should
I simple quote verses from the Quran or maybe explain him that a moderate
elderly Muslim Mr Naseer Ahmed told me that I can falsify and criticize
religion. Don’t you think that you are being unrealistic . Naseer Ahmed Sahab
I’m all ears with your interpretation of Quran , but I cannot close my eyes to
the dominant Salafi narrative. Hence, I mentioned in my article, “impending
possibility of blasphemy or heresy.”
anyone of my articles. Each one goes against the prevailing theology common to
every sect. I am in the eyes of every sect a heretic. I have even described the
so call saheeh ahadith of Bukhari, Muslim etc as Satanic. So I repeat my
question to you - what prevents you from
falsifying any verse of the Quran if you are in a position to do so? Forget
what I say. The Quran expects you to do so if you can, when it claims that
there is no discrepancy. When it says that there is no discrepancy, it expects
you to look for one if you can find it. India is not Bangla Desh or Pakistan
and no one has been killed for his views. The threat is more to my life than
yours because I have a very consistent and holistic view of what true Islam is
which is very much different from the prevailing theology of every sect.
Forgive my saying so, but it is only the apostate and the hypocrite who is a
coward and fears for his life.
now call me a moderate now but you called me a terrorist etc a number of times
which apparently you do not even believe to be true. You have employed deliberate
falsehood in your personal attack and vilification campaign. Also, the highly
laughable charge of cut and paste although you could not substantiate the same.
Then you rebutted on “fragile barrier”. Unfortunately you take
things quite literally without understanding the gist of it . I mentioned that
they are separate, but never argued that they are impenetrable. They could be
juxtaposed. Please don’t put words in my mouth.
without reason is what leads to obscurantism. What we need are Siddiq or firm
believers based on sound knowledge. Blind believers are worse than non-believers.
They are emotional fools who can be easily manipulated. For too long, the
religious have kept a distance from the sciences to the detriment of religion
as well as to their society.
Dear Naseer Ahmed ,
Time is precious and I’m surprised that you have all the
time in the world to vilify others in this holy month of Ramzan. The intention
was not to get into the nitty gritty of Quran . Scriptures do not speak for
itself people read and interpret it. Unfortunately,
you inadvertently endorsed Zakir Naik, who quotes verses from the Quran and
create a premise where ‘Quran is infallible’
. Then the entire argument revolves around it. The good thing is that you are
not soo dogmatic like him. This ploy unfortunately does not work all the time. Not
every one believes that Quran is sacrosanct, and everyone may not agree with
your interpretation of Quran. Nevertheless, you have all the right to interpret
Quran for yourself . I have read Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s translation of Quran ,
and my interpretation was completely different. We have all the right to interpret it. In that
case we should rather speak about principles , because a Salifist has the right
to interpret . But the outcome is a disaster.
I wonder if there is any one right way to interpret Quran?
That could be an argument. Unfortunately, I cannot take your
interpretation as a dominant narrative . Your interpretation is perfectly fine
and could be palatable to scientific inquiry , but how does that matter . You cannot say that the other party has no right to interpret it. The
fact is we are not contesting the scientific validity of Quran . Do you think the
faith in Allah would become secondary if hypothetically Quran is proved unscientific.
Then you rebutted my rhetorical question , “Does faith
require scientific validity?”
You said that Quran does not demand blind belief but invites
a person to belief based on the undeniable signs of God. Naseer Ahmed saab not everyone believe in God
, there are people around who are outright rationalist and Atheists and
probably have a different take on the creation of Universe and other scientific
theories. Their theories are scientifically sound . They don’t require Quran
for any scientific validity or to find meaning in life. They are moral people
who don’t lie, cheat and kill , and like every religion or sect there are bad
apples among them. Do think a Christian require scientific validity to believe that
Jesus died for the sins for humanity , and if that Christian happens to be a Medical
Doctor, how will that make any difference to his medical practice. He won’t take
his Bible to the operation theater.
Then your rebuttal turned personal, and you became
judgmental . That’s when you drifted from the topic and started making personal remark which was not required. The
most unrealistic part came when you asked who stops me from falsifying
religion. This shouldn’t surprise you , but 9 bloggers were killed in Bangladesh
for questioning religion . There will be instant death threats from Muslims. Followed
by Fatwas. The fanatics stop me from falsifying
religion . I was threatened many times for questioning religion . I come from
the land of Owaisi. Now , maybe
according to your interpretation of Quran I have all the right to falsify and
question religion. But when there is a Fanatic at my door-step who’s about to
shoot me then should I simple quote verses from the Quran or maybe explain him
that a moderate elderly Muslim Mr Naseer Ahmed told me that I can falsify and
criticize religion. Don’t you think that you are being unrealistic . Naseer
Ahmed Sahab I’m all ears with your interpretation of Quran , but I cannot close
my eyes to the dominant Salafi narrative. Hence, I mentioned in my article, “impending
possibility of blasphemy or heresy.”
Then you rebutted on “fragile barrier”. Unfortunately you
take things quite literally without understanding the gist of it . I mentioned
that they are separate , but never argued that they are impenetrable. They
could be juxtaposed. Please don’t put
words in my mouth.
Sultan Shahin saab,
Here is a list of personal attacks by Mohammed Naseer :
“Only the other day, Ikram was laughing hysterically. He is
now reduced to frothing at the mouth fit of apoplexy. This is what happens to
every lying apostate!”
“Kafir does not mean non-Muslim in the Quran. Not all
polytheists are referred to as Kafir even in a single verse of the Quran. The
Quran refers to even the kafir among the Muslims. There you have with logical
reasoning that kafir does not mean non-Muslim. But logic is a weak point with
“A person dumb enough not to recognize an Islamophobic site
when all the articles on its website are anti-Islam has the gall to argue.”
"Ikram Ahmed asks "Is this faith freedom some
freethinker organization?" Is he deaf, dumb and blind that he cannot see
that it is an Islamophobic site run by either hostile apostates like him or
Islamophobes pretending to be Muslim? It is his article which is very
unoriginal since every Islamophobic site carries the stuff that he writes
trying to prove that every celebrated Muslim was not really a Muslim.!"
“The ad hominem is in the title of the article itself and
Ikram Ahmed has the gall to talk about personal attack and ad hominem.”
“Royalj, Why can't you use your brains to see what the
subject of the discussion in the thread is? There are enough articles on the
subject of your interest where you disgorge your anti-Islam and
pro-Christianity spiel. And what do you think of Donald Trump's recent trip to
Saudi Arabia and selling of $350 billions worth of "beautiful weapons"?
How Christian is that?”
Direct attack on Christians :
"Supremacism is a gift of the Christians to the world.
It is such supremacism that resulted in the persecution of the Jews for
centuries, culminating in the holocaust,
in the enslavementof blacks and other people, in the systematic genocide of
indigenous populations, in apartheid, in white supremacism and racial
supremacism and in the ridiculous belief that redemption is possible only
Making some Bizarreconclusions without knowing me
Ikram Ahmed talks about a “fragile
barrier” between science and religion that must not be broken. He seems to be
unsure and therefore said “fragile” barrier but argues as if it is an
impenetrable barrier. The fact is that the barrier exists only in his mind and
a result of his being both poor in matters of science and of faith.
I started attacking him because he was
relentless in personal attack . There was no choice but to intervene.
shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31)
The truth is that it
was the Father of all Democratic countries that “tested” the weapon of mass
destruction first, not once but twice on a country and that too three days
apart when the result of the first one was well and truly established—you would
say that was ‘just war’ and 'proportionate' according to the Bible.
Sorry for the delay.
“But,Oh,Oh,Oh! You have let so much
blood to flow. Wish I had a say, To let science and religion - independently
Poetically put across Haque Sb. The question
however is, can we have scientists who are also religious and muftis who are
well versed in the sciences? Historically, from the early days of Islam, and
also of Christianity and Judaism, we find that those who pursued Science and
Philosophy veered away from religion which is what made the religious shun
philosophy and the sciences. These two have been at logger heads ever since.
The simple reason why Muslims are more
backward in the sciences than other communities is because they are more
religious! Is Islam of the Quran anti science? Far from it, it encourages the
pursuit of all knowledge but the Muslims are anti-modern education because of
its effects on those who pursue it.
Both science and religion have become
irrational in not allowing the other its legitimate place. Philosophy carries
on the charade that it can do without religion when all of Moral Philosophy rests
entirely on the moral principles from religion. Without these moral principles,
there would have been no science since civilizationally, we would have remained
at the stage of ‘savage”. Exposing the falsehood of philosophy in denying God
and arrogating to itself the moral principles from religion without acknowledging
their source, insulates those who pursue the sciences from falling prey to the
deceit of philosophy in making you believe that religion is unnecessary.
Both can co-exist. Importantly, my interest in this subject is to break the
resistance of the religious to modern education without which the Muslims will
The great period of Islam’s achievements in the sciences was
also Islam’s period of innocence. They lost their innocence when they
discovered that their scientists were becoming atheists. Islam turned
reactionary ever since like other religions. However, since religion has a
greater hold on the Muslims than on the Christians for example, this attitude
has done them more harm.
Anybody can see that my diagnosis of the problem is 100% original which is mainly the reason why it is opposed so vehemently. The mediocre feel that if what I say is true, then why have no one else said the same thing before.
It is not difficult to disprove what I say if it is false, but far from being false, the evidence of its truth is overwhelming. Right upto the modern day, Kant, while formulating philosophy's most celebrated moral philosophy in the "the supreme principle of morality", ended up only restating the Golden principle from religion!
@Septicals, I love young Muslims take part
in the discussion. You should know that Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Egypt are
totalitarian states like North Korea. Turkey is slowly becoming totalitarian.
They are more prone to use atomic bombs than the democratic governments. If
they make monumental mistake their ruling parties will not come to power for
generations. Many believed, during Iran-Iraq eight year war, Ayatollah/
Rasolallah Khomenei or Saddam would have used atomic bomb if they had. The war
was so ferocious that they both started bombing civilian targets. When you grow
up you will know atomic bombs know no borders. For instance if Iran use an
atomic bomb in Israel not only West bank Muslims, but Gaza Muslims also will die.
“You shall know the truth, and the
truth will set you free” (John 8:31)
Good on ya.
“…without knowing, as a consequence, Saudi Arabia,
Egypt and Turkey will also subsequently build atomic bombs, …”
USA, UK, France, Russia, China, Israel, …………………………………………….India,
Pakistan, North Korea!
They all know the consequences, no?
Mohammad (Mr.Yunus) I have gone through your articles but they are not tackling the core issues such as “Where do these hundreds of world-wide Jihadi groups got the ideas of terrorism”. If you had a genuine search, you would have thanked me for identifying at least two core issues; Islamic supremacism and world caliphate.
After seeing the glorious days of Caliph Abu bucker al Baghdadi I have imagined how America would look like after the glad tidings. Many Jihadists believe world caliphate means heaven on earth. We need to prove to the Jihadists that it will be hell on earth. I always emphasize self-criticism. I think Sultan is attempting to tackle some core issues when he wrote “If Islam Means Peace, Why Is Much Of Its theology Soaked In Hatred, Humiliation, And Offensive War?” Many Muslim intellectuals hardly address the core issues but always ready to criticize the West. Who is to blame if Donald Trump committed to give 100 billion dollar worth arms to Saudi Arabia? If my son goes to a prostitute should I go and hammer the prostitute? The onus rests with holy Saudis, who never allow other religious books, pictures, symbols etc. into their country, nor allow the infidels inside Mecca and Medina. .
So the holy Saudis should decide whether to buy sophisticated arms and attack fellow Muslims in Yemen and other Muslims. The important reason they buy arms in order to protect their country from another holy person perhaps second to prophet Mohammad, His Holiness Ayatollah Khamenei, who is hell bent on producing atomic bomb, without knowing, as a consequence, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey will also subsequently build atomic bombs, making Middle East a dangerous place.
Mohammad, have you or Naseer ever asked why a Japanese (famous for Harakiri) suicide bomber did not blast an American restaurant for the sins of nuking two cities? Or Why a Jewish suicide bomber did not do the same to Germany for gassing six million Jews? If you have asked such questions you would have seen the panoramic view of Islamic world vis a vis the rest of the world.
Then you would have known the foolishness of America trying to establish democracy in Afghanistan and in the Middle East.After the World war it has successfully help established democracy in Germany, Japan, South Korea and ultimately Russia.
Hope you will write about the core issues that Islam faces today rather than ‘countering terrorism’ ‘warning radicalization’ Allah warns those who are lukewarm. Who are these lukewarm people? Edmund Burk who has taken cue from Scripture, said “Evil triumphs because good people do nothing”
“ I know your deeds. So because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth” (Revelations 3:16)
Allah is not omnipotent as we inclined to
believe. He cannot make 2+2=5. The fact is He governs by laws. We have
identified some of His laws are as scientific laws, mathematical laws etc. Scriptures
ask around 4000 years ago “Do you know how the clouds hang poised?” (Job 37:16).
We now know that condensed moisture descending by gravity, meets warmer
temperatures rising from the land. Then that moisture then changes into vapour
and ascends back into the air. That is a natural explanation for the
But natural phenomenon are not final
answers. Clouds float because God in his wisdom has ordered the natural laws in
such a way they reveal the “wonders of Him who has perfect knowledge” He does
so to call us to wonder and adoration.
Why does zakir Naik requires scientific
evidence to prove Koran is a word of God? It is nothing but his supremacism
Why he wants to prove Koran was not fabricated
or altered for centuries? Because he wants to prove that Allah has shown no
concern to protect the holy books of Moses, Davis and Jesus from corruption,
but He has taken great concern to protect Koran.
also the article:
For The Rise And Fall Of The Muslims
article which was written four years back, does not credit religious beliefs or
religiosity for the great achievements, but for the environment of individual
freedoms, of academic independence and tolerance of other views and faiths
established under Muslim rule.
A person dumb enough not to recognize an Islamophobic site when all the articles
on its website are anti-Islam has the gall to argue! From trying to prove that
every Muslim scientist was a heretic, he is now engaged in proving how many
Christian scientists are believing and practicing Christians! He is completely
What has the quality of science education in Pakistan got to do with
what I said? Did I say that the Quran should be treated as a book of science?
What I said was the reverse - every ayat that has to do with this world or a
subject of science is amenable for validation or invalidation by science. I
didn't say Science should be validated by Quranic verses. Also, what I said was
that it is science that has helped us understand several of the verses of the
Quran which were misunderstood earlier giving specific examples. I didn’t say that the Quran helped in
scientific breakthroughs. The difference however escapes the blockhead that
As far as Dr Naik’s response to the question is concerned, it can be
easily shown to be false, without cutting off one’s nose to spite the face as
the blockhead Ikram has done, copying what every Islamophobic site has done, which
is to discredit every Muslim scientist as a “heretic”.
The world over, and among the followers of all religions, the
correlation between advancement in science and religiosity has been negative,
and more so among the Muslims. The reason why the Muslims are more backward in
science than other communities, is because they are far more religious.
Therefore, Naik exhorting Muslims to get closer to religion will make the
Muslims more backward in science and not the other way around. This, however,
need not be so, and was not so in the past, when Islam was in its ascendancy
and at its peak. That was a period of tremendous dynamism in every field and
great achievements by the Islamic society in all the sciences. Those were the
days when Greek Philosophy and the sciences were taught in the madrassas. However,
the anti-God slant in Greek Philosophy soon showed its effect and those who
pursued Greek Philosophy and the sciences began showing a tendency to reject
God. It was Imam Ghazali, who made the Muslims turn reactionary and banned the
study of Greek Philosophy and the sciences in the madrassas. The marked bias
against modern education continues to this day in our madrassas.
What I have shown, is that the main objective of the scriptures has been
to lay down the law and the rules for a moral way of living and in this sphere,
it remains supreme having contributed 100% of the moral principles. The
philosophers have not contributed a single moral principle in the entire recorded
history of philosophy starting around 600 BC. Even Kant’s most celebrated “supreme
principle of morality” only rephrased the Golden principle from religion. The
contribution of the philosophers in the field of ethics has however been to
make us understand the utilitarian value of every moral principle. When every
moral principle is seen to be rational in hind sight, the philosophers assume that
these have been be rationally derived and are not divine revelations. Religion
and God are assumed by them to be a human construct. If only Philosophy had
succeeded in giving us one moral principle, this stance would have been tenable
but not when every moral principle has come to us from religion only. There is
a distinct sphere in which the scriptures are inimitable and incomparable and
that is in giving us the deen or the moral way of living. Man has built only on
these principles, and all their laws are based on the moral principles from
religion. Once the utilitarian value of a moral principle becomes clear, man is
then capable of building on it and framing necessary laws to maximize on the
utilitarian value which changes from time to time. The laws should and do
change from time to time but the principles behind them are eternal.
Man has proved to be excellent in every utilitarian discipline but quite
at sea in the moral sphere. Religion laid down the rules and laws of proper
conduct and behaviour for humans to follow. These were initially followed as a
religious duty but as the utilitarian value became obvious, these were followed
for their own sake and made part of our laws.
We have therefore, a perfectly rational basis to believe in God, who
gave us the moral way of living, without which we would have remained savages
to this day. None of our achievements would have been possible, if we had not
learnt to trust others and cooperate with each other. This trust is based on
shared values which were first given to us by religion. Else, there was only
distrust and killing of each other. Today, it is based on the laws and systems
of governance but beyond the laws and its arms to implement the same, voluntary
moral behaviour continues to be important. God has given us the intelligence to
recognize and accept our shortcoming in this sphere, and to appreciate the role
that God has played in our lives, helping us to become what we have become. The
rational basis for belief in the existence of God is therefore undeniable. God
has also equipped us to excel in all utilitarian disciplines using our
intellect and this is the domain of science. There is no reason why we should
not use the God given gift and excel in science and as shown, it is science
that helps us understand our scriptures better. With such an understanding, the
anti-God slant in modern education can be completely neutralised, and Muslims
can take to the sciences without the fear that doing so may turn them into
These topics have been covered in detail in my articles:
Deen-e-Islam or the Moral Way of Living in Islam
The Quran and the Golden Rule: ‘Do unto Others as You
Would Have Them Do unto You’
An Exposition of the Verse of Light (Ayat al-Nur)
Ikram Ahmed asks
"Is this faith freedom some
freethinker organization?" Is he deaf, dumb and blind that he cannot see that it
is an Islamophobic site run by either hostile apostates like him or
Islamophobes pretending to be Muslim? It is his article which is very
unoriginal since every Islamophobic site carries the stuff that he writes
trying to prove that every celebrated Muslim was not really a Muslim.
I have pointed out the heavy anti-God slant in Greek
Philosophy as well as modern education and there is nothing surprising about
scientists veering towards atheism. This is true of all scientists whether they
are born as a Jew, Christian, Hindu or Muslim. Nobody however tries to
discredit the Jews or the Christians of their achievements in science because
their scientists turned atheist. That is
because phobia against other religions is not as rampant. While, I can
understand Islamophobia among the Christians and other people, and I can understand
apostasy among Muslims, it takes a particularly vile and hostile apostate to
indulge in Islamophobia.
Ikram Ahmed is a liar. He has not backed up his charge of
cut and paste with evidence. Neither can he back up a patently false charge.
Such is the stuff the disgusting Islamophobes and hostile apostates are made
This is what I said “As discussed in my article cited above, the
Quran itself invites man to undertake the falsification test of its claims and
if he cannot do that, then be warned about the consequences if he continues to
rebel and fail to submit to God and His Deen."
Ikram Ahmed’s response is:
“I wonder why he's worried about me , and warning me of some weird
consequences, instead of that he should be worrying about his amal and stop
preaching others. Why is he forcing me to submit to God and His Deen." is
he a Jihadi or some fanatic?”
From what I said, it is clear that it is the Quran that is warning
and I have paraphrased a verse from the Quran from my memory. The exact verse
(2:23) And if ye are in doubt as to what We have revealed
from time to time to Our servant, then produce a Sura like thereunto; and call
your witnesses or helpers (If there are any) besides Allah, if your (doubts)
are true. (24) But if ye cannot- and of a surety ye cannot- then fear the Fire
whose fuel is men and stones,- which is prepared for those who reject Faith.
Ikram Ahmed apparently has no knowledge of the Quran to know what was being said.
However, if he had only read my cited article: Science and Religion, he would have known what was being said where the relevant
verses are cited and the Quran’s
challenge of the falsifiability test discussed in detail. While the Ikram Ahmed says that “religion is not always open to the idea of falsification”, the
Quran openly challenges man to falsify the Quran!
Also, it should be obvious to all, that every single verse of the Quran that touches a subject of science, is amenable for validation or invalidation. There are verses in the Quran that touch many subjects. In one of my comments below, I have discussed verses on procreation and genetics. These verses were misunderstood and explained poorly because they touched upon knowledge, which was discovered by man 12 centuries later.
Ikram Ahmed makes the empty and laughable charge of cut and paste. There is plenty of stuff available on the www covering the subject of "Quran and Science". Let him point out anything that I have discussed in my comments and articles that he can find on the www. The problem people have with what I say is not that somebody has said the same thing before, but the fact that nobody has said it before.
COMPREHENSIVE AND CONCLUSIVE REFUTATION OF “AZAN: A CALL TO JIHAD - ON THE ROAD
TO KHILAFAH” DATED MARCH 2013
For International Fatwas To Declare The Terrorists Who Advocate Wanton Killing
Of Innocent People In The Name Of Islam As ‘Terrorist Apostates’, Like The
Kharijites Of Early Islam
The ISIS As The Kharijites (Those Who Seceded From Islam) As This Article
Demonstrates And Declares: Global SOS To The Ulama, Muftis, Intellectuals And
Scholars Of Islam
ISIS And Its Likes – The Muslim Violent Extremists Of This Era Must Be Outlawed
On Historical Precedent To Save The Middle East From A Tsunami Of Bloodshed And
The World From A Clash Of Civilizations
Violent Terrorism – Muslim Community Leaders Must Warn Youngsters against the
Dangers of Radicalization
Violent Extremism – Muslim Ulama And Custodians Of Faith Must Avert A Potential
Heinous Crimes That ISIS Is Perpetrating Totally Opposed To Islam And Those
Killed Fighting For ISIS May Earn Divine Wrath Instead Of Paradise And ‘Hurs’ –
An SOS To All Mosque Imams
1. 8. 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
To conclude, belief can
be as rational as you can get in Physics for example, and rejection of belief
has been shown to be irrational, since it means turning a blind eye and paying
a deaf ear to the easily demonstrable truth of the inimitability of the scriptures
on the most important aspect of our lives which is the foundation of our
Science does not depend
on blind belief in the non-existence of God either. That is an irrational and
unscientific position to take. A religion based on scriptures, is amenable to
scientific scrutiny of every verse that deals with this world, and therefore
for validation or invalidation of its truth claims.
The marked anti-God
slant in the manner in which the Sciences are taught, is responsible for many
who pursue the sciences turning against religion. This was true of those who pursued
Greek Philosophy in the past and true of those who pursue modern education
today. This in turn, has created a marked anti-modern education slant among the
followers of a religion.
Neither the anti-God
stance of modern education, nor the anti-modern education stance of the
followers of a religion is justified in these times. Historically speaking, the
stance was justified because scientists were persecuted by bigoted priests of organized
religion especially Christianity and many of those who took up the sciences,
turned against religion. Thanks to science, faith in a religion can today be as
rational as belief in any theory of science and both can co-exist without
compromising on the objective and universal standards of rationality. To keep Science
and religion apart, would be to let faith remain in the clutches of the bigots,
the superstitious, and the frauds, and to allow obscurantism and extremism to thrive.
The Quran, specifically challenges its truth claims to be tested and to explore
and seek knowledge. As shown in my comments, many of its verses were
misunderstood, and could be understood correctly only when we gained accurate knowledge
of our world from the pursuit of knowledge, which the Quran very much exhorts. As
a matter of fact, those who do not pursue the study of science, ignore an
important tenet of Islam.
Thanks Naseer for your comments. I don’t intend to
hurt anyone here or to find cheap thrills. I cannot help if truth hurts. I
readily concede the fact that Christians are sinners and persecuted the Jews.
They rightly or wrongly thought that Jews killed their spiritual leader on the
cross. However Pope John Paul made a visit to Jerusalem and sought forgiveness
for the sins, including holocaust. I think American government cannot take
responsibility for the killings of indigenous population from 1492 to 1776,
since there was no government. Europeans migrated to America not with the
intention of killing the indigenous people. They attacked with bow and arrow,
these people retaliated with guns. From time immemorial assimilation of races
takes place. In this case we have 500 year records. Anyhow it should be
appreciated within 200 years from 1776 the white supremacists have put a black
man in the White House.
Naseer since you are knowledgeable, I always think
you are an ideal person to convince the Jihadi youth about the foolishness of
world caliphate. Let us imagine for a while of glad tidings and the capture of
USA by the ISIS/Taliban/Boko Haram. What will be USA like? Half of the
population (150 million) will lose all type of jobs and will be bundled up with
black clothes, and become children producing machines. Men in the cinema
industry (Hollywood), in music industry, in the dog food industry, all type of
liquor/wine industry, all the artists in TV programmes, will lose jobs. All churches
will be converted mosques. All those Atheists, Christians, Buddhists, humanists,
Shias, Ahmadis, Sufis who refused to accept their version of Islam will have to
pay jizya or be beheaded. In short America will become like what we see in
If you agree with the above scenario please write
an article. Thanks.
Search me O
Allah, and know my heart, and see if there is any wicked way in me and lead me
in the everlasting” (psalm 139:23-24).
Will the 17 rakats of prayer make the
devotees humble before Allah and peaceful before the people? Who will understand the spiritual truths of
Koran? Of course the meek and the humble.
To my little understanding, Islamic
supremacism is the main enemy of Islam.
It is Islamic supremacism that makes the
existential threat to Islam from its ardent followers.
It is Islamic supremacism that the Iran
Parliamentarians chant “Death to America”. Although IS claimed responsibility
for the attack, and the whole world believe such a terrorist attack can be
executed only by them, why Iran could not accept the fact? Because it is a
disgrace that they could not prevent it. It is infra-dig. In order to save face they shout ‘Death to
America’ unnecessarily infuriating 90 million Iranians.
It is Islamic supremacism that Qatar shows
defiance and challenging all the neighboring Arab and other Muslim countries.
It is Islamic supremacism that Pakistan, instead
of thanking Allah for relieving it from the clutches of ‘cruel Hindu hegemony’,
and showcasing the world of a superior Islamic republic, it continues for the
last 70 years in offensive wars and terrorism thus making Pakistan a beggar
It is Islamic supremacism that people of
Kashmir, Palestine, Mindanao, Myanmar, are unable to live under a regional set
up, and demand sovereign states.
It is Islamic supremacism that 90% of Muslims could not appreciate the
benefits of Democracy, even after seeing what Saddam, Gaddafi, Assad, Mubarak
have done to them, even after seeing that Trump, the mighty President, could
not execute the evil ‘Muslim Ban’ in a democratic set up. How many Muslims have
appreciated such democratic values? Almost no one.
It is Islamic Supremacism that deny sober
judgement of an issue; the excessive demands of Muslim refugees made
multi-culturism a failure in the West. It is really sad.
Allah says “Everyone among you not to
think of himself more highly than he ought to think” (Romans 12.3)
“Where there is no vision people perish”
“Allah opposes the proud and give grace to
the humble” (James 4:6)
Dear Yunus Sb,
You say “the truth is the Qur'anic
diction had stunned its immediate audience and many turned away from it like a
frightened donkey fleeing a lion and some put their fingers into their ears to
block its recitation entering it.”
Can diction alone achieve such an
effect? Or is it the import of those words? It is certainly the import of those
words using powerful imagery and eloquence and not just the beauty of the
Take away the clearly demonstrable and
provable inimitability of the Quran as proof of the divinity of the source and
what have you left? Very little that cannot be explained by the rationalists.
Take prayer for example. The obligatory
prayers are five times a day and if we take only the farz prayers, there are 17
rakats and in each of these rakats, we recite Surah Fateha, in which we pray:
(1:5) Thee alone do we worship, and it is Thine aid alone that we
(6) Show us the straight way,
(7) The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, those
whose (portion) is not wrath, and who go not astray.
The very fact that we repeat this prayer
at least 17 times a day or upto 50 times if we count the sunnat and nawafil
also, clearly means that the prayer is designed to work through
auto-suggestion. For auto-suggestion to work best, prayer must be performed in
a devout frame of mind, bringing to mind that we are in the presence of God
etc. The power of auto-suggestion is beyond doubt. So much so that even the
Quran says so. Consider the following ayat:
(3:124) Remember thou saidst to the Faithful: "Is it not
enough for you that Allah should help you with three thousand angels
(Specially) sent down?
(125) "Yea, - if ye remain firm, and act aright, even if the
enemy should rush here on you in hot haste, your Lord would help you with five
thousand angels Making a terrific onslaught.
(126) Allah made it but a message of hope for you, and an
assurance to your hearts: (in any case) there is no help except from Allah. The
Exalted, the Wise:
So was it real help with angels or only
a message of hope and an assurance to their hearts that victory was theirs no
matter what the strength of the enemy? The fact is that this message worked as
a charm as if the help was real. The heavily outnumbered Muslims attacked
believing victory to be theirs and defeated their enemy on the field of battle
in battle after battle. It continued to work its charm for the next hundred
years and helped the believing Muslims to build an empire larger than the Roman
empire at its peak which took them a thousand years to build. Historians are
still unable to fathom how this was achieved with such small a force.
Again, consider the following verses:
(8:65) O Prophet! rouse the Believers to the fight. If there are
twenty amongst you, patient and persevering, they will vanquish two hundred: if
a hundred, they will vanquish a thousand of the Unbelievers: for these are a
people without understanding.
(66) For the present, Allah hath lightened your (task), for He
knoweth that there is a weak spot in you: But (even so), if there are a hundred
of you, patient and persevering, they will vanquish two hundred, and if a
thousand, they will vanquish two thousand, with the leave of Allah: for Allah
is with those who patiently persevere.
So, it is not the number of Angels that God sends that
determines the outcome but the strength of conviction in one’s ability to
vanquish the enemy. There were subsequent battles in which the Muslims overcame
an enemy force that was larger than ten times and in one battle it was 33:1. The
earlier successes in the times of the Prophet were smaller in comparison and
what was at work was growing confidence built on past successes starting with a
ratio of 2:1 and not the number of angels God sent to help.
I find the Quran to be the best Book on practical psychology
and why not? God has created man and knows best what works best.
So, one can be rational in the extreme and yet if one has
the humility to realise and acknowledge the demonstrable and provable inimitability
of the scriptures and accept that as proof of Divinity as its source, one can
be a very rational believer in the existence of God and of God as the entity
that revealed the scriptures to guide mankind.
However, since the scriptures can be understood by man using
his reason (if this was not so, the scriptures would have been useless), man in
his arrogance can and does think that all of it could be and therefore is a
construct of the human mind. This is where Greek philosophy and western
education display a marked slant against religion since they start with the
axiom that God is non-existent and merely a construct of the human mind. That
is the reason why those who pursued it in the past and in the present easily turn
“heretic”. Logic and reasoning could be highly intoxicating and make us believe
that we are god (nauzobillah).
First of all the debate
about whether the Quran is created or uncreated has more to do with competing
claims about other books of scriptures. Notably the Vedas are claimed to be
uncreated. So, why would the Muslims not make similar claims and be left
behind? They too make the most ridiculous claim that the Quran is uncreated
when the Quran itself says that it is produced by Allah.
(10:37) This Qur´an is not such as can be produced (yuftara)
by other than Allah; on the contrary it is a confirmation of (revelations) that
went before it, and a fuller explanation of the Book - wherein there is no
doubt - from the Lord of the worlds.
The nature of the Book as described above is that it is
progressive revelation. Many of the verses are answers to questions asked by
Muslims as well as non-Muslims. An entire Surah Kahaf is an answer to three
questions asked by Christians. There is another verse that says that any
question asked will be answered while cautioning against asking vain questions.
The contents of the Book also have a context which is the times of the Prophet
from 610 to 632 CE. So is the context, the questions asked and the answers
uncreated? That is taking determinism to such an extreme that we cease to be accountable
for anything since everything was determined before we were born!
So what is preserved in Loh-e-Mahfooz? It is the unchanging
laws of Allah - those that govern the physical world and the laws that govern
human behavior and provide the criterion for judging mankind on the Day of
Nobody would contest that the physical laws are a creation
of God. Nobody would also contest that man is God’s creation. Nobody can
contest that without man, there would have been no need for moral principles to
live by. So what is in Loh-e-Mahfooz is also a creation of God. There would
have been no need for Allah to produce the Quran if He had not created mankind.
So not only is the Quran created but it is a creation of an order lower than
the creation of man. Now, if imam Ghazali says otherwise, then I don’t know
what to say!
The very first revelation gave the first moral principle to
shape human behavior for his good and for the good of society and to provide
the criterion for judging his deeds for the degree of conformity with the moral
principle. All subsequent revelations are progressive detailing and fuller explanation
of that basic moral principle which we know as the Golden rule – “do unto
others as you wish to be done by”. Immanuel Kant did no better than restate the
same rule differently as “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at
the same time, will that it should become a universal law.”
Even when it comes to detailing, the contribution of the
philosophers is zilch and the complete deen has come only from religion. The
philosophers have only succeeded in rephrasing and discovering the utilitarian
value of the moral principles given to us by religion. However, since even
religion is deemed to be a construct of the human mind by these philosophers,
they carry on the charade as if they are the authors of the moral principles
given to us exclusively by religion.
God has gifted us with intellect which has made us see the
utilitarian value of these moral principles in hindsight. Man is excellent in
all the utilitarian disciplines but completely at sea in the moral field except
that he can appreciate a good moral principle from hind sight and see its
utilitarian value and adopt the same and make laws based on them. However,
since religion itself is projected by these philosophers as a construct of the
human mind, they dismiss God altogether. The question that I have asked repeatedly,
is, if religion is simply a construct of the human mind, then why has
Philosophy failed to produce even one durable moral principle in its entire
recorded history from 600 BC? Why is it that every moral principle has come
from religion only? Man in his arrogance however, dismisses God only because he
can now see good practical reason behind every moral principle which makes him
think that all the moral principles could have been or have been produced
through reason alone failing to acknowledge that while Religion succeeded,
philosophy failed to produce even one moral principle.
That is where I see the inimitability and irreproducibility of
a Book of scriptures by man or jinn and the challenge of the Quran to produce a
Surah similar to a Surah from the Quran. It is not a challenge to match the linguistic
eloquence of the Quran as such a mundane challenge from God on a very
subjective criteria would be most ridiculous. Quran is distinct from other
Books of scriptures in that the detailing takes the most refined form being the
last in a series of progressive revelations. The substantive content of the
Quran is the detailing of the complete Deen or the moral way of living and it
is this aspect which is inimitable by man and jinn and the ultimate proof of
God’s word in the books of scripture. The books of scriptures simply do not
contain what man could have produced on his own but everything that it contains
can be understood by man using his reason.
Dear Naseer Sahab,
I fully agree with yur comments:
We have got both rationalism and faith from the Qur’an. The para which I quoted
to you last is preceded by the following para that takes care of your point:
“Historically, barring exceptions, Muslims have
remained divided in two diagonally opposite camps: one, the majority, seek the
easiest path and regard salah as the ‘key to the paradise.’ The other, a
small section, knowingly or unknowingly pursue the ‘steep path,’ use reason and
rationalism, and focus on the universal dimensions of the Qur’anic message,
notably good deeds and social, moral and ethical responsibilities. Both the
groups have to maintain a balance, and bear in mind the risks of tottering on
I may share with you the following very short introduction to
Mutazilizm that I included in my jt. publication to summarily appraise the Muslim
readers – how few may ever read it - that
the early Muslim scholars got their foundation in rationalism from the Qur’an:
The rise and fall of Mu‘tazila school and
emergence of orthodox Sunni Islam [3rd –6th centuries].
“The Mu‘tazila School (1.3 above) enjoyed the
patronage of the Caliphs and intellectual elite during the third and fourth
centuries of Islam. Although its rationalism was rooted in the belief in God
and the revelation, it was condemned and bitterly opposed by the
traditionalists as it challenged many of their notions and doctrines. However,
soon the Mu‘tazilites grew arrogant and fanatic. Thus in 217/833, the Caliph
[al-Mamun] decreed that no judge (qadi)
could hold his office or be appointed to one unless he subscribed to the
Mu‘tazili view that the Qur’an was created. Later he instituted summary trials
(minha) and convicted the opponents
of his dogma - Ahmed Ibn Hanbal, of whom we have heard earlier (1.4 above)
being among his victims. His two successors continued the persecution of ‘ulama, until 233/848, when al-Mutawakkil
abrogated it and restored the dogma of the Qur’an being uncreated, preserved in
the ‘Guarded Tablet’ (Note 22/Ch. 1). However, Mu‘tazila school remained
dominant through to the end of the century until al-‘Ashari (d. 323/936)
refuted their theories in favor of traditional Islam. The succeeding
generations saw a gradual waning of Mu‘tazili influence and increasing
popularity of orthodox Islam and finally al-Ghazzali (d. 504/1111), a supremely
gifted religious scholar, regarded as the master of dialectical theology,8 exploded Mu‘tazila
theories, and fully established the orthodox views. The major schools of Sunni
Islam were canonized, and Mu‘tazilasm was declared unlawful. The mainstream
Sunni Islam was thus set on an orthodox course: the doctrine of taqlid (1.6 above) was espoused as the
most popular way of learning, independent intellectual probe (ijtihad) was discouraged, and
rationalism was forbidden.”
While touching on juristic development in early Islam, the book defines usul al-fiqha as the principle
of rational logic and reasoning – though I am fully aware that in classical
Islamic jurisprudence, this term is used to denote the domain of Islamic law in
its entirety. I have defined it based on
the Qur’anic usage of the term fiqha.
So it is obvious that rational thought is as
intrinsic to the Qur’anic message as its spiritual calls.
You say: “Pure rationalism or
dynamism (that underlined the Islam's successes) can open the door successively
to gnosticism, agnosticism, through to atheism, while singular emphasis on
prayer can grout the Muslims to the seventh century Arabia and lead to intellectual
stagnation and social and cultural mortification."
The fact however is that both prayer
and pure rationalism are part of Islam and the Quran. We do not depend upon the
philosophers or the mystics to tell us how to pray or how to remember Allah.
This is taught to us directly by the Quran. What is it that the “mystics” and the
philosophers have given us except myths that lead us to false beliefs? The myth
of Alam-e-Arwah from Sufi cosmology for example, which surprisingly is followed
unquestioningly by both Dr Israr Ahmed and Dr. Tahir-ul- Quadri because the explanation
of verse 7:172 otherwise escapes them!
and remembrance (zikr) of Allah
(13:28) "Those who believe, and whose hearts
find satisfaction/contentment in the remembrance of Allah (bizikrillah): for
without doubt in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find satisfaction/contentment.
8:45) O ye who believe! When ye meet a force, be
firm, and call Allah in remembrance much (and often); that ye may prosper:
24:36 and 37 paraphrased: Allah’s light is lit in
His houses of worship where His name is celebrated and He is glorified
excessively all through the day and night by men whom neither traffic nor
merchandise can divert from the Remembrance of Allah
do thou (O reader!) Bring thy Lord to remembrance in your innermost being, with
humility and in reverence, without loudness in words, in the mornings and
evenings; and be not thou of those who are unheedful.
(29:45) Recite what is sent of the Book by inspiration
to thee, and establish regular Prayer: for Prayer restrains from shameful and
unjust deeds; and remembrance of Allah is the greatest (thing in life) without
doubt. And Allah knows the (deeds) that ye do.
(57:16) Has not the Time arrived for the Believers
that their hearts in all humility should engage in the remembrance of Allah and
of the Truth which has been revealed (to them), and that they should not become
like those to whom was given Revelation aforetime, but long ages passed over
them and their hearts grew hard? For many among them are rebellious
(73:6) Truly the rising by night is most potent for
governing (the soul), and most suitable for (framing) the Word (of Prayer and
keep in remembrance the name of thy Lord and devote thyself to Him
(39:9) Is one
who worships devoutly during the hour of the night prostrating himself or
standing (in adoration), who takes heed of the Hereafter, and who places his
hope in the Mercy of his Lord - (like one who does not)? Say: "Are those
equal, those who know and those who do not know? It is those who are endued
with understanding that receive admonition.
(2:238) Guard strictly your (habit of) prayers,
especially the Middle Prayer; and stand before Allah in a devout (frame of
(63:9) O ye who believe! Let not your riches or your
children divert you from the remembrance of Allah. If any act thus, the loss is
(62:9) O ye who believe! When the call is proclaimed
to prayer on Friday (the Day of Assembly), hasten earnestly to the Remembrance
of Allah, and leave off business (and traffic): That is best for you if ye but
of failing to remember Allah
(43:36) If anyone withdraws himself
from remembrance of (Allah) Most Gracious, We appoint for him an evil one, to
be an intimate companion to him.
(58:19) The Evil One has got the better
of them: so he has made them lose the remembrance of Allah. They are the Party
of the Evil One. Truly, it is the Party of the Evil One that will perish!
(72:17) But if any turns away from the
remembrance of his Lord, He will cause him to undergo a severe Penalty.
(4:142) The Hypocrites - they think they are over-reaching
Allah, but He will over-reach them: When they stand up to prayer, they stand
without earnestness, to be seen of men, but little do they hold Allah in
“How does religion contribute to the
development of science?”
What shall we say about Christianity and
Judaism? The followers of these religions have produced more than 800 Nobel
laureates out of 830 or so. Most of the scientific inventions and discoveries
are made by them. I agree, nowadays,
most scientists are agnostics or atheists.Though the Pope put Galileo into
house arrest, the whole worldview of Christianity was what counted. They
believed, as per their scriptures, that man was created in the image of God and
he was appointed as the steward of the resources of the earth. So they have
concerns about the extinction of pandas by the Chinese or the whales by the
Japanese or the elephants by the Africans. They believe that Jesus Christ has died
on the cross for every one of us as no other gods have demonstrated such a love
for humanity. Hence the Christian civilisation originates from the fact that
LIFE IS VERY PRECIOUS for which their son of God had shed blood. And for this
fact millions of Christian oriented NGOs and 700,000 nuns are working round the
clock. In fact world’s 85% of good works are done by them.
In short, when we begin to love fellow
human beings as children of God, and when the human dignity is promoted, automatically,
advances in science, technology, medicine literature, philosophy, economics,
democracy, governance, law and order, sports etc. occur.
Allah says “A new command I give you. Love one another. By this
everyone will know that you are my disciple”. (John 13:34-35)
Dear Ikram Ahmed!
I have read all his five volumes of Ahya ul ulum [urdu] back to back and realized that he is too great a scholar for me to fathom and that all that he wrote - with due respect, were his personal views - commensurate to his era which are different from mine 1000 years down the history. So i did not pursue him. i am sure you can get it in Delhi.
List of works from wiki:
Abdel Rahman Badawi, an Egyptian scholar, prepared a comprehensive list of al-Ghazali's works under 457 titles:
from 1 to 72: works definitely written by al-Ghazali
from 73 to 95: works of doubtful attribution
96 - 127: works which are not those of al-Ghazali with most certainty
128 - 224: are the names of the Chapters or Sections of al-Ghazali's books that are mistakenly thought books of his
225 - 273: books written by other authors regarding al-Ghazali's works
274 - 389: books of other unknown scholars/writers regarding al-Ghazali's life and personality
389 - 457: the name of the manuscripts of al-Ghazali's works in different libraries of the world.
I must however warn you that any attempt for a person of this era to fathom his philosophical insights and prodigious scholarship will be no less challenging than the preparation for participating in a marathon race for a man weak in legs.
I would like to comment on your very interesting
comment about Al-Ghazali.
"Al-Ghazali revolutionized early Islamic philosophy by helping
develop Neoplatonism, which is often described as the “mystical” or “religious”
interpretation of Greek philosophy.
That truly is the reverse of what the Greek philosophers were trying to do.
They were engaged in trying to show that Moral Principles from religion could
be arrived at through reasoning alone, and that religion was unnecessary. However,
as I have pointed out earlier, in the entire history of philosophy beginning somewhere
from 600 BC, the philosophers have not produced a single durable moral
principle on their own. They however did make a great contribution in making us
understand the utilitarian value of those moral principles, and helping to make
these the rational basis for the man-made laws covering individual freedoms and
human rights. What religion handed down to us as the Divine Law, was turned
into a systematic study or a science to make these understandable through
reason by these philosophers.
Just because the moral principles from religion were found to be logical
and rational from a utilitarian perspective from hind-sight, they assumed that
these were or should be equally available from foresight from human reasoning alone. However, the fact
that they could not come up with even one good durable moral principle on their
own, gives the lie to their assumption. The Greek Philosophers however played
down the role of religion and its contribution to their thinking, and carried
on the facade that their moral philosophy was based on human reason alone, since
they could now explain it rationally. We see in this, the all too familiar
arrogance of man, in their rejection of God. Greek Philosophy shows an unmistakable
slant against religion which has carried forward in the western education. This
is also the reason why many of the Muslim scholars who studied Greek Philosophy
turned into “heretics” as Ikram Ahmed says.
Daniel Kahneman, makes a very insightful observation about human nature:
“We’re not aware of changing our minds even when we do change
our minds. And most people, after they change their minds, reconstruct their
— they believe they always thought that.”
It is a very common experience for me to find that people repeat to me
what I said to them on an earlier occasion as if what they are saying is their
own thought. If people find something
appealing, they immediately make it part of their own thinking, forgetting its
source, and believing that they always thought that.
Even when religion or God is the source, they easily forget that, and
pretend that it is their own thought.
Now if Ghazali was trying to give a mystical” or
“religious” interpretation of Greek moral philosophy, which itself is based on
religion although unacknowledged, he was taking the process a full circle! Was
he trying to prove that God copied the Greek Philosophers?
He adopted the
techniques of Aristotelian logic and the Neoplatonic ways to diminish the
negative influences of excessive Islamic rationalism." –
Now what is excessive Islamic
rationalism? What could be more rational than science or philosophy? Now if
Islam was more rational than Greek philosophy, was he trying to soften it? Al-Ghazali
was certainly an “Islamic Philosopher” which is an oxymoron since Physics and
revealed religion killed philosophy. Traditionally, philosophy attempted to
answers questions such as “How can we understand the world in which we find
ourselves? How does the universe behave? What is the nature of reality? Where
did all this come from? Did the universe need a creator?” These questions are
now fully answered by Physics and revealed religion. A revealed religion does
not need a philosopher and an Islamic philosopher is therefore a fraud.
Let us look at the most
celebrated work of Al-Ghazali where his philosophy and “mysticism” are at their
eloquent best. In his famous treatise
Mishkatal-Anwar (The Niche of Lights) Ghazali explains the following verse:
(24:35) Allah is the Light of the heavens and the
earth. The Parable of His Light is as if there were a Niche and within it a
Lamp: the Lamp enclosed in Glass: the glass as it were a brilliant star: Lit
from a blessed Tree, an Olive, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil
is well-nigh luminous, though fire scarce touched it: Light upon Light! Allah
doth guide whom He will to His Light: Allah doth set forth Parables for men:
and Allah doth know all things.
He likens the niche to the rib cage and the glass
to the human heart and the light to spiritual knowledge from Allah. This
explanation is problematic in several ways.
The beginning of the verse, the ending of the verse
and every simile/metaphor in between refer to only things that are perfect or
divine and not to what is imperfect or to man at all. Words of perfection are
never used to describe a human being. A human heart is not perfect transparent
glass or the best protection of divine knowledge. There is no human being who
is perfect and without human frailties. This analogy has not been used by the
Quran even when speaking about the heart of any of the prophets let alone using
it for lesser mortals. The Prophet (pbuh) himself hid in his heart what Allah
made manifest (33:37). The analogy of the perfect glass for the human heart
that hides nothing fails right here.
In the Quran, the heart is made stronger by
reading the Quran and not cleaner. It hides secrets which is the opposite of
revealing everything. A person may bring a sound heart (Qalb in Saleem) or may
have a disease (Marz) in his heart. Prophet David is advised not follow the
lusts of his heart (38:26). Hearts are soft or hard like rocks but never like
glass let alone perfectly clean and transparent glass.
Moreover, Ghazali’s explanation falls
flat on its face when we read the very next verse:
is such a Light) in houses, which Allah hath permitted to be raised to honour;
for the celebration, in them, of His name: In them is He glorified in the
mornings and in the evenings, (again and again).
You may also read my article “An
Exposition of the Verse of Light (Ayat al-Nur), in which I have explained the verse according to my
insights and understanding.
The fact that Imam Ghazali’s famous
treatise Mishkatal-Anwar (The Niche of Lights) is in error should have been
obvious even to a kid. While the correct interpretation was not possible for
any scholar of his times, the incorrectness of his explanation is obvious and
is falsified by the very next verse from which it is apparent that the Light is
external to man. What made Ghazali give an erroneous explanation without
acknowledging the flaw or shortcoming? He is also the scholar who is
responsible for advocating the end of Ijtehad in Islam when his inability to
come to grips with a single verse or Ayat was proof that man was far from
discovering every truth. Verse 41:53 is a verse which makes it clear that more
truths are going to be made manifest in the future. It is appropriate that such
a scholar should fall from his pedestal paving the way for the end of Taqleed
(blind imitation) of all such scholars and opening the doors of Ijtehad. No
scholar of the past or even the present has shown the intellectual honesty to
throw doubt on Imam Ghazali’s interpretation and they have all followed it.
Nobody has been critical of it. No wonder with such poor scholarship and blind
imitation of the same, both bigotry and extremism thrive. Hopefully, this
realization will pave the way for sweeping clean all the muck from the past.
With more people realizing the reality of the stagnant cesspool that Islam has
become, we may be able to build a brave new world free from bigotry and all
forms of extremism. This needs to be based on an understanding of the Quran
free from the polluting influence of every other source of “Islamic” literature
but based on our authentic understanding of the world from Science.
"Al-Ghazali revolutionized early Islamic
philosophy by helping develop Neoplatonism, which is often described as the
“mystical” or “religious” interpretation of Greek philosophy.
The question that remains is how does religion contribute to the
development of science if at all it does contribute. The answer simply is that
Science has nothing to do with the religious belief of the scientist. Science flourishes
in an environment of free inquiry, where academic freedom is unlimited and
tolerance of varying views is absolute. Islam, when it was in ascendance
between the 7th and the 10th century, provided precisely such an environment.
In such an environment, anyone gifted for science will contribute whether he is
Muslim, Jew, Christian, Polytheist, Atheist or whatever.
This is covered in my article:
Causes For The Rise And Fall Of The Muslims
To get an idea of those times of absolute academic
independence and of individual freedoms for all sections of the society, here
are a few facts:
1. Scholarship among women was high and three of
Ibn Taymiyya's teachers/mentors were women scholars.
2. Even the slaves enjoyed the independence to
pursue any career for which they were gifted. They rose to high positions in
administration and the military and even became rulers.
3. Although the ahadith are today followed as if
these are gospel truth, it required an environment of academic
independence for the compilers to compile this body of knowledge although these
often contradict the Quran.
4. The very fact that people today point out to a few
of the prominent Muslim scientists of those days as heretics, is proof of the
environment of tolerance of those times, in which they were not branded as
heretics and even those who openly forsake religion, were not punished/persecuted,
as indeed in Islam, there is no punishment for a simple act of apostasy.
Ahmed says: “I was personally disappointed with the
response from Naseer Ahmed who was hostile and personal.”
Ikram Ahmd fails to appreciate that my
question whether he is “a blind believer or an apostate” logically follows from
the position he has taken on religion which according to him is entirely faith
based and has no connection with Science. Logically therefore, if he is a
believer, then he is a blind believer, and if he is not a believer, then he is
Perfectly logical conclusions cannot
be described as “ad hominem” or personal attacks. There is nothing personal
about logical conclusions.
If his article is about Zakir Naik,
then it does not even deserve a comment.
His attempt to prove certain luminaries
of the past as heretics is laughable when he himself admits that they were not
judged so by the rulers of those times. Is it Ikram Ahmed who is then judging them as
heretics? He is, and he is applying the present day Salafist standards to do so. Is he
a Salafist then? He cannot be both a Salafist and an apostate. For some strange
reason, he appears to hold the present day Salafists to be more right than the past
rulers under whom those luminaries prospered. Why does he not take the liberal
environment of the past as a true reflection of the spirit of Islam rather than
the present day extremism of the most extreme Muslims? Is he also trying to say that
Science and Religion are at loggerheads and a Scientist is always a disbeliever?
Religion is definitely a facilitator or an inhibitor but never the sole reason for Science to flourish. To know what it takes, one may read:
Dear Ikram Ahmed,
Thank you very much for explaining your points in a very elaborate manner and
also being so kind to me and taking my criticism in a positive manner. Some of
the points you noted have have indeed added to my knowledge like
the detail on doctrinal aberration of some of the icons figures of Islamic civilization, though I still
call them Muslim because free thinkers like you and me go through different
doctrinal phases in life but retain their Muslim identity. I on my part had
been skeptical of God for a long time completely failing to reconcile divine
mercy with gross injustices against helpless humanity – from a tiger tearing
apart a child before its mother’s eyes in ancient times to tyranny of war,
pogroms, communal riots, horrendous petty crimes and institutionalized tyranny in the name of religion that the All Kind and All Merciful God’
has been witnessing without saving the helpless victims since ancient times till this very day. This is apart form the biological tragedies and natural calamities. But this is my freedom of thought. In my
understanding of the Qur’anic message, radical or heretical doctrinal views do
not necessarily expunge a person from the pale of Islam – though I may be in
error – God is the best judge in matters of faith. Besides, the historical fact
is the names you quoted have remembered in the history as iconic figures of
Islam. As for their faith, the wiki says this:
Edward Granville Browne considers him as
"probably the greatest and most original of all the Muslim physicians, and
one of the most prolific as an author".
"Rhazes was the greatest physician of Islam and the Medieval
Ages."– George Sarton
Ibn al-Rawandi: he was an early skeptic of Islam and a critic
of religion in general. In his early days, he was a Mu'tazilite
scholar, but after rejecting the Mu'tazilite doctrine, he adhered to Shia Islam
for a brief period before becoming a freethinker
who repudiated Islam and revealed religion.[2
So anyone who says that he was a Muslim is obviously not well read. And
if he is well read, he is a denier of a historical fact if not a false
propagandist of Islam as a faith.
Ibn Sina – [Avicenna] was a devout Muslim and
sought to reconcile rational philosophy with Islamic theology. His aim was to
prove the existence of God and His creation of the world scientifically and
Avicenna's views on Islamic theology (and philosophy) were enormously
influential, forming part of the core of the curriculum at Islamic religious
schools until the 19th century.
Your point is fully appreciated. Anyone who claims all the scientific
and technical advancement of Islam’s Golden Age [as it is referred to in the annals
of history] were achieved Muslim scientist is simply telling a lie if he is a
well read person like Zakir Naik and if he telling so to masses he is simply
Of late I have read the following recently published Western publications
by non-Muslim authors of great repute. I recommend you get NAI to procure them,
read them and post summary:
Lost History – The Enduring Legacy of Muslims by
Michael Hamilton Morgan, Washington, June 2008
What Islam did for us – Tim Wallace Murphy, New
Technological breakthroughs can happen
anywhere but for the scientific discoveries and inventions we need a group of
people who are not only intelligent and educated but also humble and committed
people; who can honestly transfer ideas back and forth without any discrimination
or personal agenda. ‘During the dark ages of Europe’ under the leadership of
St. Benedict, who was called ‘Father of Europe’ Benedictine monks were able to
build in their monasteries, watermill, windmill, crankshaft, wheel burrow,
flywheel, lanteen sail etc. However it took 500 years to turn their monasteries
into universities and laid the foundation for scientific discoveries. They
established Bologna University in 1088, Paris University in 1150, Oxford in
1196, Cambridge in 1209. Protestant missionaries established Princeton
University in 1636 and Harvard in 1746. A Benedictine monk ‘Elmer of Malmesburry’ who
first tried to fly through a glider in 1010 and broken his legs.
Flawless exchange of ideas, establishing
scientific laws based upon on previous laws are prerequisites for scientific
inventions. Inventors’ names should be honoured as we studied in our class
‘Ohms law’, ‘Boyle law’, Newton law, Kips apparatus’ without any discrimination.
Although antisemitism was high among Christians in those days, Jews were given
their due credit.
To the girl’s question “Why is the Muslim
world backward in science?” Zakir Naik should have given the honest answer. “We
as Muslim have not given priority to education. Moguls during their 800 years
in India built Taj Mahal but no university. Because of our sectarian divide we
cannot freely exchange our scientific data. We discard out Muslim intellectuals
and scientists as heretics. What happened to our Noble laureate Abdul Kalam? We
discarded him because he belonged to Ahmadis sect. What happened to Malala?
This teenage girl given speeches in many high places including Canadian
parliament. But she cannot come back home. What happened to Shirin Ebadi another
Nobel laureate? She is in USA, unable to return to Iran. Her husband is in
jail. The writer Ikram Ahmed is correct. “These Muslim intellectuals would have
taken the first flight to any Western country”.
Allah says in Koran 5:82 “YOU
WILL FIND THE NEAREST OF THEM IN AFFECTION TO THE BELIEVERS THOSE WHO SAY ‘WE
ARE CHRISTIANS’ THAT IS BECAUSE AMONG THEM ARE LEARNED PRIESTS AND MONKS AND
BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT AROGANT”
Dear Muhammd Yunus,
I’m delighted that you gave your valuable
time to read and respond to my article. Every piece of writing should be
critically evaluated and nothing should be spared. Even though you were
critical , but civility was maintained . There was no ad hominem and insults. I
was personally disappointed with the response from Naseer Ahmed who was hostile
I’m glad that we
concur when it comes to Zakir Naik. The disagreements can be discussed. I think
you misconstrued when I mentioned ‘heretic’ in my article. The word was used in
the context of the youtube video by Zakir Naik where is blatantly lie that
Muslims were scientifically advanced because they were closer to Islam. This statement
was false, because the fact is there were intellectuals in the Muslim world whose
personal believes were heretical. Maybe, they were not persecuted in those days
because of the benevolence of Khalifas ; perhaps they were in good books of the
rulers. Hence, there is a possibility that there names might not go down as
heretic. But who knows if they were born in this age, with the Salafi wahabi
puritanical interpretation spreading around the Muslim world like a wild fire. They
could be marginalized, persecuted. Probably charged for blasphemy or apostasy. Let’s
be honest here , according to PEW research there is an overwhelming majority of
Muslims who believe that apostates should be put to death. This website is
fighting the narrative of Wahabism . So I’m not generalizing here. When I’m
saying overwhelming majority. It does not include you and many other Muslims.
I’ve given the names
of the intellectuals in my article, and I’ll discuss three of them in detail.
I’m taking reference
from the book, ‘Muslim Philosophy and Philosophers’ by Mohammed Sharif Khan
& Mohammed Anwar Saleem.
Al Razi : He was an 8th
century physician born in Ravy lived in Baghdad.
These are his ideas
1) He did not believe
in revelation and prophecy.
2) He does not feel
any need of Prophet.
3) He criticizes all religions
for imitation, tradition power of clergy and external manifestation of
4) He severely criticizes
5) He denies the
miraculousness of the Quran.
6) He considers that
Prophets are harmful to the people.
If the above ideas of
Al- Razi are not heretical then what is heretical ?
Ibn Al Sina : He was
a 9th century physician and philosopher. His father was a partisan
of a deviant Shia Ismaili sect, and the enormous influence of the Ismaili
theology can be found in his philosophy. This sect believes in reincarnation. Although
there is no specific evidence, that Ibn Sina believed in reincarnation. But his
philosophy is overwhelmingly deviant. Although he was influenced by Aristotle ,
but there is enough influence of ‘Ikhwan
Al safah’ Epistles of the Brethen of Purity’ . He believed in God as the first
unmoved first mover. God created the First intelligence, by a creative activity
of thought. This should ring the bell if you are aware of Hindu philosophy
where there is a similar concept of Brahman creates the world according to its
own thought. The first Intelligence creates the second intelligence which
subsequently creates the third, fourth, fifth and ends with the creation of
tenth intelligence. He believed that
this world was created by the tenth intelligence. Interestingly, this idea
poses a huge problem to the Islamic views on monotheism. There is enough
ambiguity in this ideology, which gives an indication of dualism.
Ibn al-Rawandi was a
Persian skeptic, critic of Islam and religion in general who lived between 827 and 911 CE. He abandoned Islam for atheism
and used his knowledge of Islam to refute the Koran. He rejected the authority
of any scriptural or revealed religion. He described the Muslim traditions as
"lies endorsed by conspiracies".
certain Muslim traditions. For example, the tradition that angels rallied round
to help Muhammad is not believable because if they were willing to help him at
Badr why were they absent at Uhud when they were so badly needed?
In the Book of the
Emerald he criticizes prayer, ritual purity and the ceremonies of the hajj;
throwing stones, circumambulating a house that cannot respond to prayers, and
running between stones that can neither help nor harm.
I’ll provide another
two skeptics in my next post . There is a lot to be discussed , and it’s always
good to have an open minded discussion.
Ikram Ahmed asks “Does faith require
Yes, it does. The Quran does not
demand blind belief but invites a person to belief based on the undeniable
signs of God. Among these signs of God are the unchanging laws governing the
Universe, physical phenomena and the laws governing human behavior many of
which were undiscovered and unknown at the time of revelation. The Quran does
contain verses that touch almost every subject. How are we to discuss and
understand these except by way of validation available through science?
The Quran also throws an open
challenge to invalidate its claim of unmatched irreproducibility by any human
or by all of the people together. This claim is amenable to scientific scrutiny
and is discussed in detail in my article:
Science and Religion
And the following articles are related to
the above cited article:
The Quran and the Golden Rule: ‘Do unto Others as You
Would Have Them Do unto You’
He further says “It is a bizarre idea
to use scientific principle to justify religion.”
That is a bizarre statement to make!
What is Ikram Ahmed - a blind believer or an apostate? He appears to be an
apostate who is extremely uncomfortable when the Quran is shown to be a divinely
inspired message, without a flaw and amenable to scientific scrutiny of any and
all of its verses touching almost every subject known to man.
He further says “religion is not
always open to the idea of falsification”
That is a nonsensical statement to
make. What prevents Ikram Ahmed from falsifying religion if he can do it? As
discussed in my article cited above, the Quran itself invites man to undertake the
falsification test of its claims and if he cannot do that, then be
warned about the consequences if he continues to rebel and fail to submit to
God and His Deen.
Ikram Ahmed talks about a “fragile barrier” between science
and religion that must not be broken. He seems to be unsure and therefore said “fragile”
barrier but argues as if it is an impenetrable barrier. The fact is that the
barrier exists only in his mind and a result of his being both poor in matters
of science and of faith.
Dear hats off!
have punched far beyond your weight in the opening statement of
your last comment: ‘this justification of the Holy Qur'an should be left to the
aside (words are subject to diverse perception), the Qur’an defends itself as this
ex-IITian has expounded in his joit
exegetic work that he is cut-pating below [Ch. 1.3] to avoid taxing himself on
this day of fsting:
“The revelation came like ad hoc passages, without any
continuity of theme or rhythm. Moreover, no attempt was made by the scribes to
record the revealed passages in a chronological order: the Prophet directed
their exact location in the Qur'an. This led the Prophet’s Meccan enemies to
question his claim to being God's messenger. At
an early stage of the the revelation, the Qur’an responded by challenging its
audience to produce a discourse like it:
“Do they say, ‘He made it all up? No! they simply don’t believe
(52:33). Let them produce a discourse (hadith) like this, if they are truthful”
As the Arabs failed to meet the challenge, the Qur’an softened
its challenge to forging ten or producing a single chapter like it (11:13, 2:23)17 and warned them that they
can never do it (2:24):
“Or do they say that he has forged it? Say (to them), ‘Bring ten forged
chapters like it, and call (for help) on whomever you can besides God, if you
are truthful.” (Quran 11:13).
“If you (O people,) are in doubt concerning what We have revealed
to Our Servant, then produce a chapter like it; and call on your witnesses
besides God – if indeed you are truthful (2:23). But if you do not do
(it) - and you can never do (it), then heed hellfire, whose fuel is human
beings and stones - prepared for the disbelievers” (2:24).
The Qur’an also claims that no one can even forge it (10:38)18, and asserts that it is
of such a literary grandeur that only God Almighty could be its Author:
“This Qur'an could not possibly have been devised by (anyone)
other than God – rather, (it) is a confirmation of what was (revealed) before
it; and a fuller explanation of the Book in which there is nothing doubtful,
from the Lord of the worlds (10:37). Do they say, he [Muhammad] forged it?’ Say
(to them): ‘Then bring a chapter like this, and call upon anyone besides God
you can - if indeed you are truthful’”(10:38).
At the height of literary eloquence, the Arabs had great
poets and poetry was big part of their lives, but they recognized in the
Qur’an, the most eloquent language they had ever heard. The Qur’an virtually cast
a spell on the listeners, so much so that the Quraysh kept away from it, deterred
others from it and asked people to chat and make noise during Qur’anic
recitation, understandably, to foil its magical effect.19
The Qur’an also challenged the priests and the learned among
its audience to probe into it and find any contradiction in it and asserted
that its self-consistency is yet another illustration of its divine character
“Don’t they ponder over the Qur’an? Had it been from (someone) other than God,
they would have surely found much contradiction in it” (4:82).
“Praise be to God who has revealed to His devotee the Book, and
did not put any distortion in it” (18:1).
As the revelation progressed, the seemingly unrelated
passages fell in place and created an immensely intricate and inexplicably
harmonious pattern of the Qur’anic text. This fully convinced the Arabs, who
had opposed Muhammad for almost two decades, of the divinity of the Qur’an, and
they came to the Prophet in large numbers from all over Arabia to embrace the
It is for you to say whatever you want to say but for heaven
sake, do not appoint me as a helper of God in defending the extraordinary character
of his words.
Ahmed, This follows up on my last comment: while you hit right at the head of
the nail in your concluding remark:
reality is that if the Muslim world wants to make progress in science, then it
needs to unshackle science from faith and respect them as separate lines of
thought” there is nothing to be ashamed to claim that the Muslim world during
its hey days had made tremendous advancement in scientific and other fields of
knowledge. You cannot take the non-Muslims living and working in the Muslim
world [as it is historically called] as aliens as much as you as a Muslim
living in India - a predominantly Hindu country ate not an alien there.
emergence of nation states in the post war era, the world demography was based
on religious lines. So the term 'Muslim Land' simply means the land that were
under the governance of Muslim rulers, or so to say Islamic caliphate. Just to
check what the Western world say about the Scientific contribution of the
Islamic civilization I Google searched “contribution of Islam to scientific
advancement” to avoid taxing myself on this day of Ramadan, I got the
A report appearing in the Guardian
per following link: theguardian.com/science/2010/feb/01/islamic-science Title:
The greatest scientific advances from the Muslim world Relevant Contents: There
is no such thing as Islamic science – for science is the most universal of
human activities. But the means to facilitating scientific advances have always
been dictated by culture, political will and economic wealth. What is only now
becoming clear (to many in the west) is that during the dark ages of medieval
Europe, incredible scientific advances were made in the Muslim world....
Inventions exhibition at London's Science Museum tells some of the stories of
this forgotten age. Here are my top six exhibits:
1 The elephant clock (below) This centrepiece
of the exhibition is a three-metre high replica of an early 13th-century water
clock and one of the engineering marvels of the medieval world. It was built by
al-Jazari, and gives physical form to the concept of multiculturalism. It
features an Indian elephant, Chinese dragons, a Greek water mechanism, an
Egyptian phoenix, and wooden robots in traditional Arabian attire. The timing
mechanism is based on a water-filled bucket hidden inside the elephant.
camera obscura The greatest scientist of the medieval world was a 10th century
Arab by the name of Ibn al-Haytham. Among his many contributions to optics was
the first correct explanation of how vision works. He used the Chinese
invention of the camera obscura (or pinhole camera) to show how light travels
in straight lines from the object to form an inverted image on the retina.
Al-Idrisi's world map This three-metre reproduction of the famous 12th-century
map by the Andalusian cartographer, Al-Idrisi (1100-1166), was produced in
Sicily and is regarded as the most elaborate and complete description of the
world made in medieval times. It was used extensively by travellers for several
centuries and contained detailed descriptions of the Christian north as well as
the Islamic world, Africa and the Far East.
4 The Banu
Musa brothers' "ingenious devices" These three brothers were
celebrated mathematicians and engineers in ninth-century Baghdad. Their Book of
Ingenious Devices, published in 850, was a large illustrated work on mechanical
devices that included automata, puzzles and magic tricks as well as what we
would today refer to as "executive toys".
5 Al-Zahrawi's surgical instruments This array
of weird and wonderful devices shows the sort of instruments being used by the
10th-century surgeon al-Zahrawi, who practised in Cordoba. His work was hugely
influential in Europe and many of his instruments are still in use today. Among
his best-known inventions were the syringe, the forceps, the surgical hook and
needle, the bone saw and the lithotomy scalpel.
Firnas' flying contraption (above) Abbas Ibn Firnas was a legendary
ninth-century inventor and the Da Vinci of the Islamic world. He is honoured on
Arabic postage stamps and has a crater on the moon named after him. He made his
famous attempt at controlled flight when, aged 65, he built a rudimentary hang
glider and launched himself from the side of a mountain. Some accounts claim he
remained airborne for several minutes before landing badly and hurting his
Jim Al-Khalili is an author and broadcaster.
He is professor of physics and of the public engagement in science at the
University of Surrey.
Caption: Overcoming Historical Amnesia: Muslim Contributions to Civilization by
By Craig Considine
Contents: Muslims have actually made enormous
contributions to civilization, perhaps due to the heavy emphasis that Islam
places on knowledge. People who forget or blatantly ignore major trends or
events in world history can be said to suffer from “historical amnesia.” Though
this mindset cannot be cured in one short blog post, I hope to dispel some of
the stereotypes and misperceptions exacerbated by Harris and other anti-Islam
activists by highlighting the contributions that Muslims have made to
civilization over the years. Contributions to philosophy One of the greatest
Muslim contributions to civilization began in the 8th century when Muslim scholars
inherited volumes of Greek philosophy.
The wisdom in ancient Greece texts, which had
been lost to Europeans, was translated from Latin to Arabic by Muslim scholars,
thus creating one of the greatest transmissions of knowledge in world history.
Muslims scholars would eventually bring the ideas of great ancient Greek minds
such as Socrates, Aristotle and Plato into Europe, where their philosophy was
translated into other European languages.
This is why Muslims are the main threshold
behind the European Renaissance and the Enlightenment, two movements that
resurrected Greek philosophy and gave new life into a European continent that
was bogged down with religious dogma and bloody internal conflicts. Many Muslim
scholars made acquiring knowledge their life goal. Perhaps the most notable of
these scholars is Al-Ghazali, a Sufi Muslim who in the 11th and 12th centuries
revolutionized early Islamic philosophy by helping develop Neoplatonism, which
is often described as the “mystical” or “religious” interpretation of Greek
philosophy. At the time of Al-Ghazali’s writing, Muslim philosophers had read
about the ideas of ancient Greece, but these ideas were generally perceived to
be in conflict with Islamic teachings.
Al-Ghazali helped synthesize these elements by
adopting the techniques of Aristotelian logic and the Neoplatonic ways to
diminish the negative influences of excessive Islamic rationalism. Ibn Khaldun
is another one of the most important Muslim thinkers in history. Recognized as
one of the greatest historians ever and the founder of sociological sciences in
the 14th and 15th centuries, Khaldun created one of the earliest nonreligious
philosophies in history in his work, the Muqaddimah.
paved the way for our expectations of modern-day Presidents and Prime Ministers
by creating a framework for evaluating “good rulers,” stating “the sovereign
exists for the good of the people... The necessity of a Ruler arises from the
fact that human beings have to live together and unless there is someone to maintain
order, society would break to pieces.” Contributions to health care Medicine is
another crucial contribution to civilization made by Muslims in addition to
education and the university system.
In 872 in Cairo, Egypt, the Ahmad ibn Tulun
hospital was created and equipped with an elaborate institution and a range of
functions. Like other Islamic hospitals that soon followed, Tulun was a secular
institution open to men and women, adults and children, the rich and poor, as
well as Muslims and non-Muslims. Tulun is also the earliest hospital to give
care to the mentally ill. One hundred years after the founding of Tulun, a
surgeon named Al-Zahrawi, often called the “father of surgery,” wrote an
illustrated encyclopedia that would ultimately be used as a guide to European
surgeons for the next five hundred years. Al-Zarawhi’s surgical instruments,
such as scalpels, bone saws, and forceps are still used by modern surgeons.
Al-Zahrawi is also reportedly the first surgeon to perform a caesarean
operation. Another significant Muslim discovery came in the 13th century, when
the Muslim medic Ibn Nafis described the pulmonary circulation almost three
hundred years before William Harvey, the English physician who is believed by
many Westerners to have “discovered” it.
The technique of inoculation, or the
introduction of an antigenic substance or vaccine into the body to induce
immunity to a disease, is also said to have been designed by Muslims in Turkey
and brought to Europe by the wife of England’s Turkish ambassador in 1724.
Protecting and cleansing the body has always been a priority for Muslims.
Perhaps then it is no surprised that Muslim scientists combined vegetable oils
with sodium hydroxide and aromatics such as thyme oil to create a recipe for
soap, which is still used today. Shampoo was also introduced to England on the
Brighton seafront in 1759 at Mahomed’s Indian Vapour Baths.
Contributions to science There is also little
doubt that the development of astronomy owes a great deal to the work of Muslim
astronomers. As far back as the early 9th century, the Caliph Al-Ma’mum founded
an astronomical observatory in Shammasiya in Baghdad and Qasiyun in Damascus.
Five hundred years later, in 1420, Prince Ulugh Bey built a massive observatory
in Samarqand, which was then followed in 1577 by another observatory built by
Sultan Murad III in Istanbul. The Ottomans had particularly well-organized
astronomical institutions such as the post of chief-astronomer and time-keeping
Taqi al-Din, a 16th century Ottoman astronomer,
created astronomical tables and observational instruments that helped measure
the coordinates of stars and the distances between them. Muslims have also made
contributions in the field of chemistry by inventing many of the basic
processes and apparatuses used by modern-day chemists. Working in the 8th and
9th centuries in Andalucía, Jabir Ibn Hayyan, the founder of modern chemistry,
transformed alchemy into chemistry through distillation, or separating liquids
through differences in their boiling points.
addition to developing the processes of crystallization, evaporation, and
filtration, he also discovered sulphuric and nitric acid. The historian Erick
John Holmyard stated that Hayyan’s work is as important, if not more, than that
of Robert Boyle and Antoine Lavoisier, two European chemists who are frequently
attributed to creating modern chemistry. Indeed our very modern and globalized
world today would not be able to move so quickly if it were not for the genius
of Ibn Firnas, a Muslim engineer of Andalucía who in the 9th century
constructed a flying machine, thus becoming the world’s first aviator. In 852
he jumped from the minaret of the Grand Mosque in Cordoba, Spain, using a loose
cloak stiffened with wooden struts.
Although he hoped to glide like an eagle, Ibn
Firnas did not, though he is credited for creating the first parachute. Muslims
have also influenced the study of physics, a closely linked field to flying and
aviation. Mohammad Abdus Salam, a Pakistani theoretical physicist, shared a 1979
Nobel Prize for his contribution to the field of theoretical physics,
specifically in unifying electromagnetic and weak forces. I have only scratched
the surface of the contributions made by Muslims to the development of
civilization. Children around the world should be taught about these
contributions to dispel the misperception that Muslims are backward and
Muslims worldwide must also invest more in
education, medicine, and other sciences in order to continue their tradition of
being pioneers for knowledge’
Dear Ikram Ahmed,
I agree wiith you 100%: "in the first place, why does Zakir Naik
require scientific evidence to prove that Quran is a book of God or that it was
never fabricated or altered for centuries? Does faith require scientific
However, reading through your article I came across this statement:
"Many Muslim scientist and
philosophers were heretics.” Can you substantiate this by giving at least five
names of such people who have gone down the history as ‘heretic.’
agree with you that that ‘Muslim, Jews, Christian’ studied humanities,
sciences, mathematics…. individually and collectively’, though I must add the
Hindus, Budhists and people of different faiths who gravitated to the world of
Islam as it is so called historically - both
for the patronage they received and the financial rewards. However when you
say, “Individual brilliance should not remain in the shadows of culture and
religious identity” I must say, whoever claims that the Muslims made all the
advances is fooling others because people of diverse religion contributed to
the scientific advancement of the era. But whoever sets aside the non-Muslims
who lived and worked in the Islamic world as alien to it culturally is no wiser, for that will make an Indian Muslims an alien in his country. Islamic
world was an amalgam of different cultures – it was not a monolithic all Muslim