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Islam and Sectarianism ( 22 Aug 2018, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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The Treachery of Beliefs



By Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

23 August 2018

For the Believer, his belief is his most valuable possession since he is made to believe so. He is also asked to believe in the “Unseen”, which is explained/understood as believing without asking why or believing blindly without a reason. How is such belief different from what the believer describes as the false beliefs of others who do not believe in the same things? Belief is a very common and cheap commodity. People will readily believe in anything and it is only through proper education that a person learns to discriminate and reject beliefs that make little sense or beliefs that contradict the facts. The educated and the learned are also mostly immune to facts that belie their religious beliefs. False beliefs that are supported by a person’s religion are the toughest to dispel. People cleave to whatever religion they are born in or to the beliefs of their sub-sect. That an entire nation could be misleading through patent falsehood and lies by a charismatic leader was proved by the success of Nazism under Hitler. The people believed in him as their deliverer. So, there is nothing to commend as far as belief is concerned, and it is their beliefs alone, that will take people to Hell more often than the beliefs of the very few which will take them to Heaven. Belief is therefore more of a treacherous foe against which we must be on guard and less of a reliable friend.

Belief is based on imperfect knowledge and since knowledge is always imperfect, there is no escape from beliefs. The ideal state is however perfect knowledge and the perfect belief is therefore what supports the complete knowledge that we possess without contradicting any fact. Beliefs that are valuable are therefore those that are constantly refined based on the state of our knowledge of the world and not beliefs that are held more dearly when proved wrong. Religious beliefs are such beliefs, which are held more dearly once they are proved wrong. It is the same behaviour that makes us stick with stocks in our portfolio which are losing money. We are quick to book a profit but reluctant to book a loss and move on. The more that we have lost on a stock; the more reluctant we are to sell it in the unfounded hope that it must give us profit eventually. Our initial belief that it will give us a profit makes us blind to the fact that it was a wrong choice, and we hate to admit our mistake by selling it at a loss. Religions are therefore store-houses of false beliefs closely held.

Sects of Islam have been formed based on false beliefs, and indeed almost every Muslim believes in a false religion. A religion that is not explained/understood as a set of unchanging eternal moral principles is a false religion. The most basic moral principle that has civilized us, is the principle of reciprocity "That which you hate to be done to you, do not do to another." And what is it that is most hated in Islam for which war is ordained? It is injustice and oppression of any kind and especially religious oppression against which the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) fought all his battles. And yet, many Muslims believe unchallenged by other Muslims, that war is essential to spread the message of Islam. Many Muslims believe that their present woes are because Allah is angry with them for not waging war until Islam prevails over the entire world, and that they would become as successful as in the past, if they took up the “Jihad” to end all “disbelief”. What the whole world sees as the problem, the Muslims see the same as the solution! Such blindness is common to the religious.

Most of the Muslims believe that some verses of the Quran are abrogated without being certain of what these are and why have they been abrogated. Is Islam then a religion of convenience rather than based on eternal unchanging principles? With such beliefs, there is no certainty about the beliefs of the Muslims, and a religion which is uncertain about its tenets, is an immoral religion, and the very anti-thesis of what is expected of any good religion.

Many Muslims hold the following false beliefs that make their religion, the religion of the oppressor:

1.       Belief That Their Quran Contains Abrogated Verses

2.       Belief That War Is Ordained To Spread Islam

Early in the history of Islam, the community split into two sects.  One party that came to be known as the Shia, split contending that the Caliphate should have been dynastic and from the family of the Prophet only, and that the first Caliph should have been Hazrat Ali (RA), a cousin of the Prophet and his son-in-law. Ali became only the fourth Caliph, and after him, there was a blood bath for succession, in which his sons were killed.

This event became the defining event for the Shia. Their belief in dynastic succession and an imam from the family of the Prophet to guide them up to the end of times received a blow when the family of the Prophet through his daughter Fatima (RA), ran out of successors after the 11th Imam, the 12th successor having died in infancy. The fact that the Prophet had no surviving son to succeed him should have been enough proof against the idea of dynastic succession, but it wasn’t.

The ending of the line with the 11th Imam should have been convincing proof that dynastic succession was not in Allah’s plan and they should have abandoned such beliefs, but they didn’t.

 They invented the story that the 12th Imam did not die but went into occultation and was guiding them from behind a veil and would appear at the end of times. This is plain and simple rationalization of a belief proved false twice, and yet the belief survives, and divides the community into two major sects – the Shia and the Sunni. Why is it that the followers of Shiaism do not realize that the very foundation of their belief has long been washed away? Because, they have invested too much into their beliefs, and abandoning them will be disastrous to them as a separate community which they have built based on hatred of the other. It is hatred therefore that sustains them and not love and understanding.

The Qadiyani is another sect that split from the mainstream based on the belief that their imam, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, was the promised Messiah, and a prophet come to make Islam supreme. His followers were such great believers in the vision shown to them of the entire world flocking to their beliefs, that they threw all caution to the winds and declared all other Muslims who do not subscribe to the same view as “kafir”. The aggression was based on firm belief that they would be triumphant, and that Allah was with them.

The sad reality is that they have themselves become pariah in their own country and declared a non-Muslim minority. What of the vision and prophecies of their founder that are proven false? They must have rationalized these in some way. The plain fact is that their most ardent beliefs have been conclusively proved false, but this has not resulted in the dissolution of the sect. Bad ideas do not die. They simply become a new religion.

Let us clearly understand the dangerous beliefs that the Muslims believe and replace them with correct beliefs because such beliefs can only lead us to failure in this world and to Hell in the Hereafter.

Allah is not a partisan god of the Muslims only. He is the Sustainer of all mankind. Any belief to the contrary is a false belief.

Allah’s religion is based on eternal, clearly defined principles that apply equally to all people. Any belief to the contrary is a false belief.

What Allah hates most is injustice and oppression of any kind. Any belief to the contrary is a false belief.

“There is no compulsion in religion” is an eternal, unqualified and absolute principle. Any belief to the contrary is a false belief.

What is abrogated is not any verse of the Quran, but previous principles which are replaced by what is better. For example, the ‘Principle of Reciprocity’, is replaced by the ‘Principle of Ahsan’ which is returning with what is better or responding to a wrong with forbearance and forgiveness. Any belief to the contrary is a false belief.

Allah has Himself endorsed several religions as sects of Islam and the people who follow certain ways as Muslim in verses 2:62, 2:112, 2:177, 3:52, 5:69, 5:111, 15:10, 22:40, 22:78, 28:53 and 95:1 and also made clear that these different paths are ordained by Allah in verses 5:48, 49:13 and these will therefore remain separate and not merge into one and the differences and as to who was right will be made known by Allah to the people in the Hereafter (verses 6:159, 10:19, 22:17)

The belief in waging war for the spread of our version of Islam as a panacea for our ills or as a command of Allah, is therefore a false belief and is the very opposite of the Deen of Allah communicated to us in the Quran. Acting on such false beliefs will make us oppressors fighting against which would be fighting in the cause of Allah. Let us therefore discard beliefs that make us an enemy of Allah. Such false beliefs will bring us grief in this world and in the Hereafter. The fate of the Qadiyani in Pakistan will become the fate of the Muslims in the world if they do not abandon their dangerous false beliefs. In the fate of the Qadiyani is a lesson for all. How is it then that the Muslims do not learn from what they themselves did to a people who tried to foist their beliefs on them?

Naseer Ahmed is an Engineering graduate from IIT Kanpur and is an independent IT consultant after having served in both the Public and Private sector in responsible positions for over three decades. He is a frequent contributor to


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