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Islam,Terrorism and Jihad (09 Jan 2015 NewAgeIslam.Com)

Muslims Must Confront Islamist Terror Ideologically: An Islamic Reformation Required

By Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

9 Jan 2015

  We seem to be living in an era of Islamist terror. Massacre of journalists in Paris has followed the massacre of children in Peshawar. Thirteen years after 9/11, the world is facing a more complex, more diverse and a more dangerous threat.  While the world has focused on fighting the terrorists militarily, the challenge of their ideological narrative has gone essentially unchallenged.

 The Jihadis have worked out a complete theology of violence, a coherent narrative of hate and intolerance, totalitarian and  akin to fascism that is capable of attracting large numbers of gullible Muslim youth and desensitize them to human instincts of compassion and kindness. Normally, persuading someone to commit suicide should be the most difficult job in the world. But an army of suicide bombers emerge from Muslims societies, capable of untold cruelty, wherever and whenever some determined, resourceful group needs them. This is obviously the attraction and power of the Islamist ideology, vastly different from the understanding of Islam the overwhelming majority of Muslims have had for centuries.

Under mystical, Sufi influence, Muslims have prided themselves on having an inclusive, tolerant religion which came to reiterate and revalidate the truth of all previous religions. Muslims believe their religion is a blessing for mankind.

So when a supremacist, exclusivist, intolerant interpretation of Islam started being propagated with the establishment of Saudi-Wahhabi monarchy early in the last century, Muslims rejected it out of hand. But the phenomenal oil wealth and cold war imperatives helped the ideology spread rapidly. The international community did not hamper the process even after 9/11. Indeed it even created several new swamps for terrorists to prosper.

 However, despite rapid radicalisation, many Muslims still remain moderate, firmly anchored in the Sufi traditions, who consider Islam a spiritual path to salvation, an ethical, moral standard to follow. They believe in modernity, inclusiveness, pluralism, gender equality and democracy. Prophet Mohammad called his community ummatan wasata, the median community, centred and balanced. Extremists have existed among Muslims throughout Islamic history. But ultimately, the peaceful majority has always defeated them. Hopefully, we will defeat the powerful Petrodollar Islam and its  offshoot Jihadism too.

 But this is easier said than done. Moderate Muslims are facing an uphill task. The methods Sufi saints used to spread moderate, mystical Islam cannot work in the internet age. Sufis used to emphasise the positive teachings of Islam and simply ignore the rest. But the age of brushing things under the carpet is gone.

 Moderate Muslims have to think of new strategies. I believe that moderates must expose the radical ideology in all its perversity, and refute it, along with emphasising Islam's moral teachings.

 Jihadism's enormous success in capturing Muslim imagination lies in the following core beliefs, among others.

 a) For several centuries now Ulema have encouraged Muslims to develop an unquestioning belief in the Quran as an uncreated, divine book, almost like God.

 This is a dangerous proposition. If Quran is created, that is, if it  is a compilation of verses that came from time to time to guide the prophet as the need arose, the contexts of the verses become important and only verses that do not require a context to be understood assume universal applicability.

 But if it is uncreated, as all the madrasas teach, then each and every verse is of eternal applicability and has to be followed without reference to the context. The very distinction between essential, constitutive part of the revelation and the contextual, instructive part is lost, making it easier for extremist ideologues to misuse the contextual as essential, the instructive as constitutive.

 That is why all our madrasas that teach the uncreatedness of Quran are creating radical literalists who see no reason why they should apply their mind. So, If the Quran says somewhere, in whatever context, "kill the kafir," they can go out and kill the kafir, regardless of the fact that this exhortation was made in a certain historical context and was valid only for that time. No wonder all Jihadi ideologues quote a number of combative verses of Quran in their justification and use them for indoctrination of the gullible literalist.  Unsurprisingly , they have an army of killers available who are prepared to make even suicidal strikes for killing innocent men, women and children, believing that they will be in heaven soon.

 b)  Great reverence is attached to Hadees or so-called sayings of the Prophet. Jihadi literature makes full use of a large number of possibly fabricated ahadees to further their cause. Compiled up to 300 years after the demise of the Prophet, Ahadees simply cannot represent authentic sayings of the prophet, though it is possible that the prophet said something like what is narrated in some of the ahadees.

 No wonder, a number of apparently fabricated ahadees are used to justify indiscriminate killings of civilians as what is now called collateral damage (for instance, Bukhari Volume 004/Book 052, Hadees 256 or 019/4321), though there are also many more ahadees that prohibit such killings in any situation. Indeed another hadees (for instance, Bukhari, 021/010 (Mu’watta) prohibits not only killing "women or children or an aged, infirm person," but also asks not to "cut down fruit-bearing trees, destroy an inhabited place, slaughter sheep or camels except for food, burn bees and scatter them."

 When God perfected our religion (Qur'an 5:3) in the last days of the Prophet, who are we to create new scriptures like Hadees centuries later?

c)  Muslim scholars of all persuasions give Shariah divine status. In fact it is a man-made body of laws, codified by different ulema over a century after the Prophet's demise and has been changing since. There is no question of it's being divine.

 The malaise of Islam is clearly far deeper. The problems are basic, fundamental to Islam. But ulema, the supposed custodians of faith, continue to be in denial.

 What does the larger society do? I think the world needs to first inform itself of what is going on within the Muslim community. We should have credible surveys to find out the extent of radicalisation, monitor Friday sermons, study text books of different madrasas, and  confront the ulema with the fundamental questions raised here. If the ulema really want to save Islam from being considered synonymous with terrorism, they should at least make the following commonsensical declarations, which are also consistent with the faith:

 1. Quran is a created book of God, not divine as God Himself;

 2. contextual, particularly militant verses, in Quran are no longer applicable to Muslims;

 3. Hadees is not an Islamic scripture a la Quran.

 4. Shariah cannot be considered divine.

 What the ulema, intellectuals and politicians have done so far amounts to nothing more than a cosmetic endeavour; they have been hoping and perhaps praying that the issues will go away. But radicalism is deepening and intensifying. It is attracting more and more converts. 

 So clearly Muslim theologians will need to go beyond superficial statements, walk further in the direction of rationality, prepare a coherent theology of peace and moderation and propagate it among the masses of Muslims, if they want Islam to survive as a moderate religion, a moral standard, and a spiritual path to salvation rather than allow Islamic scriptures to degenerate into terrorist manuals.

 If the ulema do not agree to walk their peaceful talk, the larger society should encourage and support those few moderate, progressive Muslims who are willing to go out on a limb, perhaps  putting their heads on the chopping block in this process. This section should be able to go to the community directly, bypassing the ulema and campaign for sanity. 

 URL: https://www.newageislam.com/islam,terrorism-and-jihad/sultan-shahin,-editor,-new-age-islam/muslims-must-confront-islamist-terror-ideologically--an-islamic-reformation-required/d/100918

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  • Sharing this letter to Brother Yusuf Estes having the link of this article in order to educate him out of any support to agents of Saud engaged in killing Muslims pledged to Mowla Ali ,Imam Hussain and all aulias: Brother Yusuf, Save yourself from hellfire since this woman Gulshan Aalani is a criminal slave of those who do not accept the Luminous existence of prophet Muhammad PBUH and HP. She is pledged to terrorist Wahhabis engaged in killing Sufi Muslim Singer of prophet SUH and HP being NOOR e MUJASSAM which means LIGHT of Allah SwT embodied. I am pledged to SUFI chain here in India affirming the Fatimid Leader of aal e Ibraheem in aal e Ali Imraan Abu Talib decreed in verse 3:33,34 for global allegiance being the Hand of Allah, Rope of Allah SwT. ismailignosis.com/2014/10/02/who-succeeded-imam-jafar-al-sadiq-seven-proofs-for-the-imamat-of-imam-ismail-ibn-jafar/ is the proof for the presence of divinely chosen leader. We are confronting usurpers of the idenity of Khalifa of Allah SwT as momineen always following the Sunna of Momineen in this regard. You may find this article instructive


    since reformation of faith is not possible without pledging allegiance to Imam e Zamana for all not belonging to the community of Momineen pledged to Imam e Zamana. '

    By Mukhtar Alam - 8/17/2016 6:21:30 AM

  • We live in the age of 49th Imam Mahdi ,the MUSTAFA for the age, the Hand of Allah SwT for allegiance. Check this ismailignosis.com/2014/10/02/who-succeeded-imam-jafar-al-sadiq-seven-proofs-for-the-imamat-of-imam-ismail-ibn-jafar/ Your first line is wrong since ,there had been usurpers of the identity of Khalifa of Allah SwT. Islam is peace. Your use of world Islamist for criminal AB Baghdadi and his goons is wrong since ,you do not know the meaning of Islam decreed peace for humanity. I did not know this way as well. If you read verse 3:33,34 then you would know on how there are criminal terrorist usurpers of the identity of Khalifa of Allah SwT in all age contesting the divinely chosen leader.
    By Mukhtar Alam - 8/17/2016 5:50:41 AM

  • ismailignosis.com/2014/10/02/who-succeeded-imam-jafar-al-sadiq-seven-proofs-for-the-imamat-of-imam-ismail-ibn-jafar/'
    By Mukhtar Alam - 8/17/2016 5:36:45 AM

  • Yes, he can do that too. It will put Mr Bedi in a questionable position, though, in case the posting was really unintentional.

    In any case he seems to have made his address and our suggestions are now immaterial :)

    By secularlogic - 9/29/2015 12:01:30 AM

  • Why should Shahin Sb try to camouflage his own words? People can detect stealing of ideas. It will look worse. It is better to use his own words and maybe mention that these have subsequently been used by others in their own name without mentioning the source.
    By Naseer Ahmed - 9/28/2015 10:29:27 PM

  • I am sorry to have bothered you Bediji, but the reason I insisted was that if you write to them, it will be treated as inadvertent mistake, but if I write to them it will be considered a complaint and plagiarism, which might get you banned from these websites.

    As the entire article is word for word the major portion of my comment, minus my address to Observer Saheb, there should be no problem in either deleting it or changing the name of the author.

    I hope they both listen to your request and we close the chapter here. 

    By Sultan Shahin - 9/28/2015 5:27:20 AM

  • Dear Sultan Shahin Sahib, I have already requested them to delete the article in question from their sites.  I once again tender my apology.

    With kind regards

    By Satbir Singh Bedi - 9/28/2015 4:42:14 AM

  • Dear Mr Shahin,

    distressing as your situation is, to have to reclaim your own writing, I have a suggesstion. If Mr Bedi is unable to rectify the error, just rewrite the idea in completely new words, and move the order, add new ideas and use the material so that it is unrecognisable from your original writing. Considering that it is your own copyrighted material, there is no unethicality in doing so.

    By secularlogic - 9/28/2015 3:51:01 AM

  • Dear Satbir Singhji Bedi, Please do try to get it deleted from those sites, or tell them to change the name of the author. I am using these paras in my speech at UN. It will be very damaging for me to have it posted in some one else's name in as widely available sites as Yahoo to Merinews. Do please ask them to make amends. I cannot go with your apology to every one who reads this and forms a bad opinion about me. These are very visible items and come up first in any search. Regards and thanks for your kind words.
    By Sultan Shahin - 9/28/2015 2:46:14 AM

  • Dear Sultan Shahin Sahib, I have great regard for you.  You are  not only a bold person but much more intelligent and learned than me.  I do not know how I came to use your expression in these two articles written by me.  If it is so, then I sincerely express my regrets. I must have used it inadvertently.  A learned man like you can never steal anything from something written by a small fry like me. You can use this apology by me for any use you may like to make of it.
    With kind regards.
    Satbir Singh Bedi

    By Satbir Singh Bedi - 9/27/2015 9:16:16 PM

  • Dear Satbir Singhji Bedi, Somehow one of my comments on this page as an answer to Naseer Saheb Observer's one observation has got published as an article by you and is available on at least two widely available pages, one by Yahoo and another by Merinews.

    I am going to use this comment or part of it, in an edited version, in one of my speeches at the UN Human Rights Council.

    I would not like people to think that I have stolen these paragraphs from your write-up. I would be grateful if you get it removed by these sites or change the writer's name, although I didn't really want it to go as an article by me. At least people will think I have stolen from my own article, I am referring to the following comment I made in this article in response to a comment by Observer.

    I am referring to the following comment I made in this article in response to a comment by Observer:

    “A literal reading of verses like La ikraha fid Deen (There is no compulsion in religion or Lakum Deeanakum waleya Deen (For you your religion, for me mine) is a cornerstone of every moderate's philosophy. These are constitutive verses of the Quran and eternal in significance. They are valid for us for all time.

    The problem arises with contextual and allegorical verses when they are taken literally or even interpreted according to one's own understanding. The problem arises when so-called militant verses are taken literally, considered valid for all time as exhortations of God to all Muslims forever, and followed as they are today. ISIS leaders may have their own designs, but our children and youth, boys and girls who are running away from our well-appointed homes and private schools are doing so out of a literal reading of these so-called militant aggressive verses and considering them universal in nature. Being uncreated, all Qur’anic verses are considered and taught in madrasas as having eternal value as guidance for all time to come.

    One allegorical verse is being interpreted to mean that Malhama (Armageddon) is only two years away. Daesh (Islamic State) is said to be fighting the end-time battle Malhama. This is also one reason why our youth are running away to engage in the battles end-times, the Malhama.

    “I therefore, think, merely literal reading of all Qur’anic verses, without reference to the context of contextual verses, or even personal, contorted interpretations of allegorical verses will be a disaster, is already leading to disaster.

    We must treat Quran as a created work by God which contains constitutive, contextual and allegorical verses which have to be treated by us in different times and different contexts differently. Which means that we should observe Qur’anic advise that we use our rationality and think all the time before accepting anything blindly. A literal reading of all Qur’anic verses cannot be acceptable.

    By Sultan Shahin - 3/10/2015 5:48:17 AM


     This part of the comment appears as your article at least in the following links:




    By Sultan Shahin - 9/27/2015 10:39:41 AM

  • To: Respected Muslim Readers @ New Age Islam


    Slowly but surely, the real character of “Secular Logic,” will be known to all. At one given point in time, the person claimed to be a wife of “Hats Off – S. Jeelani.” Now, the reference is made towards “Gay.”


    Let’s look at the two words about Islam, that is, “powerful idea.” In fact, that is how the bigoted person looks at it. Isn’t it amazing for an educated person to come to such a conclusion?


    For sure, one can admire Hinduism without believing in God, but at the same time, one can never, I repeat never, have any good things to say about Islam, no matter what moderate reasoning is presented. Yet still, the whole idea behind reading the “Secular Logic,” comments, is that this very person opens the windows of the world for the Muslim readers.  


    Have patience, my fellow Muslims. More bigoted views will flow through. I will be keeping an eye on any “Twisted Logic,” that are posted on New Age Islam forum.  Take care.


    Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia





    By Mohammed Rafiq Lodhia - 4/7/2015 9:57:02 AM

  • Sure SL. Many of them  are among some of the best people.

    By Naseer Ahmed - 4/7/2015 12:37:17 AM

  • Mr Lodhia, I can only gather you seek and gain inspiration from the crazy and disjointed epistles addressed to you, and employ your thus honed skills with unmatched if clumsy enthusiasm upon me.

    BTW to clear a misconception in your mind: I can admire bungee jumping without bungee jumping myself; I can admire Hinduism without believing in God. I can like the ten commandments without getting baptised. I can like Buddhism without being a Buddhist. I can accept that Islam was a powerful idea without endorsing each word that is said in the Quran.

    But it is understandable that people like you don't get it. I can only pity you. 

    By secularlogic - 4/7/2015 12:36:02 AM

  • Mr Ahmed,

    Considering your singular and spectacular talent for interpreting words to mean what you want them to mean, it is entirely possible that I meant to declare myself the Queen of the entire world. :)

    Gay people are sensitive human beings, not inclined to violence even though they have been hounded by society through the ages. It is indeed an honour to be considered one of them.

    By secularlogic - 4/7/2015 12:28:12 AM

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