Islam

The Controversy of Nouman Ali Khan

nak

Nouman Ali Khan (NAK) is a popular Islamic Scholar in the West. His main subject of interest is Qur’an. He has been in the field of teaching Qur’an for nearly two decades. Recently he came into the news because of a post from another Islamic Scholar–though not as popular–Omar M Mozaffar accusing NAK of predatory behavior against his students. On the same day, another Scholar–Navaid Aziz–posted on the same topic confirming the allegations stating that accusations against him have been verified by multiple people.

One common theme which ran in both the posts was the purpose. It was said that it was being done for the sake of protecting our sisters and communities. And this is where the problem lies. These posts sent the entire American Muslim Community in a sort of panic turmoil. It divided them into two halves. One-half was defending NAK–blindly–the other half started questioning his knowledge of Islam and if he ever had the required qualification to represent it. So the purpose for which this news came out–to protect the community–wasn’t even met but rather, it served a catalyst for the opposite, harm the community.

This begs the question as to what was the actual purpose of these posts. Here, Noam Chomsky’s insight may be helpful.

..professing benign intentions is the norm for those who carry out atrocities and crimes, perhaps sincerely..

This is something which we should consider very seriously. It’s very easy to profess a puritanical intention. Remember, When Jesus was crucified it was done in the same name, to protect the community. Hence one should never rely on the statement but study it, analyze it, critique it, question it and then derive a conclusion in cases like this.

We live in the era of Social Media and Tabloid World. News spread like wildfire. Character Assassination has got a whole new meaning in this era. It’s very easy to make up stories out of thin air and start cyber lynching people irrespective of their crime. This is exactly what happened with NAK. The first two posts and the posts which followed kept his alleged crime vague, but used words like Victims, Abuse, Predator and talked how it was being done to “protect” the community and this enabled people to go with their wild imaginations. Even though these scholars later posted that none of such stories are true and their original posts were blown out of proportion and they had no idea this will happen, I genuinely doubt if they are speaking the truth. These are Facebook, Instagram Scholars from the West, not someone from the suburbs of the subcontinent who isn’t aware of the power and dangers of Social Media. They used the Media to become famous, they used the Media to earn money, and they are very well aware of what happens in this dark side of the World.

Another thing which was very interesting to notice was the Muslim reaction. It’s but rare that such a large set of people become so desperately naive. As soon as they read the post, there was no questioning, no thinking, just blind acceptance and the rumor mill started running. Remember, these are not just normal Muslims, they are the ones who follow these Scholars, like their Facebook page, watch their videos, attend their conference. These are the pious practicing Muslims, very conscious of their “Deen”. And their reaction was no different from that of teenage girls fighting, gossiping when they learn about their latest celebrity American Idol star.

Lastly and most importantly the question remains as to what if these allegations are true. what are some lessons we can learn from this Saga? In my opinion, there are three

  1. Having a very good understanding of Religion or Religious book doesn’t necessarily mean you will have good ethics. The book doesn’t claim so. On the contrary, it claims the opposite. The book says that every human being is tilted to do evil things, it claims that–forget a scholar–even the prophet once would have fallen for Lust if it wasn’t for God’s intervention. So an accurate religious Understanding may help in our path of improving our ethics but it doesn’t make us bulletproof from any sinful thing.
  2. Since time immemorial and more so now there are two things which have caused men to fall and in the future, these two will continue. Lust and Arrogance. Both these are very powerful things. If there is one thing we can take from Abrahamic religion it’s to be conscious of these two things in our life. To remember that no matter how conscious we are we will fall to one or another it may come in the form of sexual attraction to someone who isn’t one’s spouse, or as a power pursuit in a false justification of a better good.
  3. We are no Saints. No one is. No one should act like one. When God himself has said that every human’s natural inclination is to do Evil, who are we to prove otherwise. Who are we to think otherwise. So if we are no Saints, we have no right to point fingers at others. When we see cases where people’s sins come out we should take this to be grateful to God who has kept our sins hidden. It should serve as a reminder for us to reflect within and start healing within and correcting ourselves.

I have seen people calling NAK a hypocrite. I was genuinely very hurt by this. I came across this quote by Gai Eton–an Islamic Scholar–which I feel is worth reflecting

For a man to try to cover and inhibit those elements within himself which he would like to overcome and to bring forward those which he would like to see triumphant is not ‘hypocrisy’. If he would like to be better than he is, then he deserves to be encouraged in this aim, and there is something very peculiar about the contemporary tendency to regard a person’s worst qualities as representing his ‘true’ self, although it goes hand in hand with the common belief that ugliness is in some strange way more ‘real’ than beauty and that to discover a shameful secret is to discover the truth

Every human is different and every human commits different Sins. As soon as we judge others for their sins we are either being delusional or arrogant. For example, the only reason why you never had a sexual chat with a girl could just be because you are ugly as fuck. To think that everyone who is doing this is more sinful than you are just delusional. Second, you can be doing other things which are 1000 times more bad but you could be ignoring that completely and then pointing the finger to another person who is doing just this, thinking how godly you are to not be committing that one sin, that my friend, is pure arrogance. There were many scholars who posted about how one should rely on God and not scholars, imploring Muslims to not lose faith in God, trying to disassociate NAK and religion. Posting popular Hadith about Abu Bakr

Whoever from you worships Muhammad, then know that surely Muhammad has died. And whoever from you worships God then know that He is the Eternal and does not die.

Though, there is fundamentally nothing wrong with it, but it’s sign of same arrogance just presented in a humble pill.

Advertisements
Religion

The Second Crucifixion of Jesus

A 4158

In Islamic Creed, there is a concept of second coming of Jesus. As per this, the Judgment day will not occur till Jesus will descend from the sky, dressed in skilled robes, east of Damascus. He will descend In the midst of an ongoing war between Muslims and Dajjal. He will end the war by killing Dajjal, rule as a King of the world for 40 years. These 40 years will be like heaven on earth. Everyone will leave a peaceful life, there will be no injustice, no suffering, there will be an ambiance of money and perpetual happiness.  Muslims will be finally free from years and years of persecution and will get to rule the world with Jesus as their leader.

Many scholars have argued that belief in this is a mandatory belief in Islam, failing to do will lead for a person to commit Kufr. Any scholar who has argued against this has faced persecution by the Muslim, who either attacked him physically or verbally. Some examples can be found here and here.

If you analyze the crux of this belief there are two major problems with it

  1. Utopian Concept.
  2. Conflict with the First Coming

The problem with Utopia is that like a perfect circle it cannot exist in a material world. For example, my understanding of a perfect world may be drastically different from someone else’s understanding of a perfect world. A utopian society is seen as a concept and we as citizens of that society try to reach that perfect state by putting in our energy, by long discipline and perseverance, with a solid focus on the universal good. Without actually achieving it. There is a popular couplet by Hali which goes

Hai Justuju ke khoob se hai Khoob-tar kahan
ab dekhiye jaakar teherti hai nazar kahaan
( A long pursuit to find something better than the best, let’s see now where our eyes rest!)

Our eyes aren’t supposed to rest, and that’s the very point of envisioning a Utopian state. The problem with proposing a Utopian state as a reality is that it makes every other solution look imperfect. This, in the field of logic, is called Nirvana Fallacy.

Comparing a realistic solution with an idealized one, and dismissing or even discounting the realistic solution as a result of comparing to a “perfect world” or impossible standard.  Ignoring the fact that improvements are often good enough reason.

We have seen that this has created issues in the Muslim world. Instead of working on a society which would promote peace and Justice and equality for all, instead of working on gathering knowledge and contributing to the society, Muslims have gone on an intellectual celibacy to wait for this peaceful time to come which will be brought by someone else.

The other problem with this is that this is Jesus’s second coming. This means that he has already had his first coming. Since Jesus is going to come and free Muslims up from their long years of persecution, logic dictates he must have done something similar in his first coming too.

Before Jesus came, a community, just like Muslims were waiting for his arrival. They too believed that he will establish peace in the world and lead them as a King. They were getting persecuted by a Westen power just like the Muslims are getting persecuted by a Western power. Not just that, even though you may find ample scholars disagreeing with the second coming of Jesus, this community didn’t have a single scholar who disagreed with his first coming.

The community I’m talking about is the Jewish Community and the western power they were under was the Roman Empire. The Jewish Community came under severe Roman persecution and was desperately waiting for their savior. A King whose forthcoming was prophesized by King David himself.

Even though the Jews are still waiting for their rightful King but since both Christians and Muslims believe that this King was Jesus we can derive few lessons from the past. Firstly, When Jesus came instead of arranging an army to defeat the Romans, as Jews were expecting, instead of helping them in the great Revolt which was occurring at the time of Jesus, he decided to focus his teaching and energy on correcting Jews themselves. Try to wrap your head around this for a second. Muslims are waiting for Jesus, the war with the Dajjal has started, Jesus ascends from the heaven, takes the mimbar and gets ready to deliver his

Try to wrap your head around this for a second. Muslims are waiting for Jesus, the war with the Dajjal has started, Jesus ascends from the heaven, takes the mimbar and gets ready to deliver his first sermon. Muslims are expecting a motivation war speech, Jesus is going to talk about Kuffar, how they have persecuted the Muslims, the beloved nation of God, instead Jesus says,

You Pharisees and teachers (read Mullahs) of the Law of Moses (read Qur’an) are in for trouble! You’re nothing but show-offs. You travel over land and sea to win one follower. And when you have done so, you make that person twice as fit for hell as you are. They pile heavy burdens on people’s shoulders and won’t lift a finger to help. Everything they do is just to show off in front of others. They even make a big show of wearing Scripture verses on their foreheads and arms, and they wear big tassels for everyone to see. They love the best seats at banquets and the front seats in the meeting places. And when they are in the market, they like to have people greet them as their teachers.You are in for trouble! You are supposed to lead others, but you are blind. You teach that it doesn’t matter if a person swears by the temple(read person kills an innocent soul). But you say that it does matter if someone swears by the gold in the temple(read Kufr). You blind fools! Which is greater, the gold or the temple that makes the gold sacred?

Imagine the state of all these people and these Scholars. What do you think they will do. When Jesus is going to tell them that this Utopia is going to be reached by first they clean themselves. We don’t know what Muslims are going to do, but I think it won’t be much different from what Jews did.

Jews declared Jesus a false Messiah. They then went on to create their own Jesus by following those people who promised to lead them against the Roman empire and bring in the promised Utopia. Some of them were Philo of Alexandria, Judas the Galilean, John of Giscala, Lukas and Shimon Bar Kokhba. All these great figures who filled Jewish eyes with dreams and aspirations were executed by Roman Authorities.

The tragedy was such that this dream continued till it eventually was destroyed at its core by the final destruction of the second temple by the Roman forces (read destruction of Kaaba) and then Israel was wiped off from the map completely.

The point is, this Utopian dream never became reality. Those false Prophets who claimed to make it a reality, who gave false dreams to the Jewish People, all died, horribly. Same thing happened in our time to people like Osama Bin Laden, Mullah Umar and it isn’t far fetch to predict the same fate for people like Baghdadi.

Many scholars claim that the narrations attributed to the Prophet about the second coming of Jesus aren’t true, plus the lack of support from Qur’an makes it really hard to say with surety that there is any coming back. Though, one thing is very clear, if Jesus does return for a second coming, he will be preaching the same thing which he preached in his first coming. Muslims who have derived the same expectations with him like Jews did, will meet with the same disappointment which Jews did. When Jesus is going to stand and declare that it’s not a persecution they are facing but rather, a punishment of God from the servants of God, in this case, the West. As God did in Qur’an Chapter 17

So when the [time of] promise came for the first of them, We sent against you servants of Ours – those of great military might, and they probed [even] into the homes, and it was a promise fulfilled…Then when the final promise came, [We sent your enemies] to sadden your faces and to enter the temple in Jerusalem, as they entered it the first time, and to destroy what they had taken over with [total] destruction.

What then do you think Muslims will do? What do you think Muslims do now when any scholar who claims that the problem is not in the west but within Muslims. That scholar gets persecuted, or gets scandalized, or gets isolated. When so far the Muslims have imitated Jews point by point it’s not far-fetched to assume that Jesus will meet the same fate in the hands of Muslims, which he did in the hands of Jews. That is, Crucifixion.

Short Stories

Umar & The Good Bi’dah: A Short Story

Abdul Rahman ibn Awf took his slippers out of his old closet. “It’s impossible to walk in this cold weather without slippers” he murmured. And impossible, it was. The sand as the night falls becomes so cold because of the crispy wind that one can’t go over a mile without risking a frost bite. His wives and kids were sleeping, so he started his lantern as softly as the lantern permitted him and stepped out of the house. He felt a sweetness in the air, it was the month of Ramadan, a month where the Muslim community–a community yet in its infancy–fasts from dawn to dusk. Ibn Awf loved to fast, he felt a spiritual connection with God, which he never felt–to such an extent–in any other type of religious ritual. There was a constant reminder that one day you have to be accountable to God for your each and every conduct. Ibn Awf was a foodie and it was hard for him to stay away from Food. It was in this hardness that he managed to find a soothing appeasement. Every single time he felt a force from his desire to give in and eat that tasty Madeira–a dish of fresh meat of goat and sheep cooked in milk serum–or trying the sweet Hayes–made from dates and Milk. And every single time he fought that force of desire, not because someone was watching, not out of a peer pressure, but only and purely because he made a pact with God that he will not eat from dawn to dusk. He always felt that doing this for 30 consecutive days improved his connection with God, and no other ritual achieved the same feat, this way. The month of Ramadan had the power to purge all the spiritual impurities and make you ready to live life at its spiritual best for the rest of the year. Whispering while feeling the verse of Qur’an “O You who believed, decreed upon you is fasting…so that you become conscious of God” he walked enjoying the cold weather to a house, reaching which, he knocked at the door.

As he reached the door, he placed his lantern aside, combed his hair and fixed his clothes, dusting off the desert sand from his silky robe. This was his favorite robe which he got as a gift from his friend and the first Caliph Abu Bakr. The Prophet had given him special permission to wear silk. “You are not one of those who makes it a symbol of status, Ya Abdul Rahman ibn Awf, you are not the man of arrogance but a man of Paradise.” He knocked the door twice, softly and waited patiently. After not hearing anything for a minute, he thought of knocking again. Right as he was about to, he felt someone opening the door. The bolt was undone and the door was opened. He saw a dawning figure of a tall old man, Ibn Awf looked up to him, raised his hand to his forehead and said in the most respectable manner as possible, “As salaamu Alaikum ya Umar Ibn Al-Khattab”

He saw Umar’s dense eyes, staring at him, like death. Umar replied, “Wa Alaikum as Salaam, Ibn Awf.” in his deep heavy voice, “Are you ready for our daily round?” continued the new Caliph. Ibn Awf always would get intimated by Umar, but then, so did everyone else. This was what people feared when he was appointed as the Caliph, that he will be too strict on his subjects. It was Abu Bakr who had assured that Umar’s high temper was only there to compensate Abu Bakr’s soft nature and in Abu Bakr’s absence it won’t be as such. Till now, confirming to what was said, he practiced restraining his temper very well. Ibn Awf always hoped that such restraint will never end. “Yes, I am Ya Umar Ibn Al-Khattab” he mumbled but loud enough that Umar could hear.

They started their long walk. Umar had the habit of going on such daily rounds across the city. He was very particular that in his new status as the Caliph of the now emerging Islamic Empire he doesn’t lose touch with reality. He hated relying on the reports and advice of others when it came down to understanding the problems of his people. Ibn Awf understood this very well and never tried to speak or explain any situation till he was asked to do so. While walking, he wondered what could be going in Umar’s mind. “Is he thinking about the the latest victory of Khalid Ibn Al-Walid?” he thought. Khalid had defeated the powerful Roman empire, Damascus had fallen and that ended the era of the mighty Byzantine-Roman empire. “An achievement, which was unthought of a few years back, he has to be thinking about this, he has to be happy about this, is he happy?” his mind was raging with such thoughts when they were silenced by Umar as he asked him. “Ibn Awf, do you know of this old woman carrying the bag of rice by herself in this cold weather?” Ibn Awf saw the old woman, whose back was slightly bent because of old Age and was slowly walking towards the stairs carrying her bag. He replied to Umar, “This is Safiya bint Mamiya, wife of Prophet’s cousin Fald Ibn Abbas.” As soon as he said that he saw Umar in tears. Ibn Awf remembered very well that Umar was quite close with Fadl till plague took him away, only Ibn Awf was aware of Umar’s pain when he heard the rumors that Fadl refused to give allegiance to Abu Bakr, the first Caliph. It made him sad and angry, he feared this small rumor could be given a different twist in the coming time. He wanted to get hold of every soul who was responsible for spreading such rumors and persecute them, but then, there were more important things to worry for now, for the current Caliph.

Umar approached Safiya and said in a voice so low that it won’t scare her but loud enough for her to hear, “Assalamu Alaikum Ya Safiya bint Mamiya” without stopping for a reply he continued, “Why is it that I see you carrying a bag of rice all by yourself, where are your kids, shouldn’t they be the one to carry it for you or at least help you.” “Wa Alaikum as Salaam, they are not here,” Safiya replied. “Where are your kids, and how come they leave you all by yourself to carry out the chores, how come they fail at the most important law of God, to do the best conduct with one’s parents, especially the mother, WHERE ARE THEY?” Umar echoed, with the voice wearing back the garb of the voice of the Second Caliph, the Emir of the Believers. “What your eyes see need not always be true, ya Umar bin Khattab.” Safiya continued, “My kids are very good with me, they are the coolness of my eyes in this old age, and I’m always thankful to God for that. Right now, it’s the month of Ramadan, and they are in the Masjid praying, I wanted to make some food for them so that they can have something before they sleep, hence I’m carrying this bag of rice by myself to surprise them with a good meal, else they never let me do any chore.” Umar understood the situation and then helped her with the bag. Ibn Awf wanted to help her but got stopped by Umar telling him, “It’s the Job of the Caliph to take care of his people, don’t dare stop me from doing things which I’ll be accountable for.” Ibn Awf froze.

Umar got back after helping the lady with the bag and asked Ibn Awf, “What are they still doing in the Masjid praying after Isha?” Ibn Awf had expected that he would ask him this. He said, “They are praying Taraweeh Ya Emir.” “Taraweeh? What is that?” Umar questioned with a look of an investigation covering his entire face. Ibn Awf replied, “it’s the night prayer which people pray after Isha if they are not able to get up on time for Tahajjud.” Ibn Awf noticed that Umar was still confused, he then added, “The prophet allowed it.” Umar turned around in the direction of Masjid and said, “Let’s go to the Masjid of the same Prophet and see what this Taraweeh is all about.

“Allahu Akbar…..Bismillah…Inallazina aamanu…….tabbat yadaa…Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah………Allahu Akbar…Aameen” The Masjid was filled with random not so musical sound, people were praying in congregation, some by themselves, there were multiple congregations each trying their level best not to disturb each other and failing, the few praying by themselves, trying to compete as to see whose voice will manage to echo the most, then some praying at such a fast pace that it wasn’t clear for Ibn Awf if they were praying or doing a warm up before a fight. Ibn Awf noticed that Umar got enraged after seeing all this. He walked straight to the mimbar and sat there. Ibn Awf sat in front of him. After a while, his presence was duly noticed, everyone finished their prayer, it was understood that there was some sort of emergency or something else that Umar has taken the Mimbar and he is about to declare something. Everyone finished their prayer and joined Ibn Awf and got ready to hear Umar.

“O My People,” Umar started, “You are the companions of the Prophet, you are the community selected by God, to serve as an evidence of His existence in this world. What is it that you are doing praying Night prayer at this time?” Ibn Awf gave a secret glance in the prayer hall, there was silence like death, no one can just start arguing with the Caliph, and especially if the Caliph is the Emir Umar bin Khattab. But, as Umar said, these were the companions of the Prophet and in these companions was Abu Dhar Al-Ghifari. Ibn Awf always thought very highly of him, and why will he not, Abu Dhar was a serious man with a tremendous knowledge of the religion and prophetic sayings. His temper was very close to that of the Caliph himself and he was known for his harsh critique of anyone and everyone. Ibn Awf still remembers the prophet’s saying about Abu Dhar very clearly. “May Allah have mercy upon Abu Dharr! Lonely will he live, lonely will he die and lonely will he be resurrected.” The lonely life–especially after the death of his sons–was quite evident.

The fearless Abu Dharr then spoke. ” Ya Emir of the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad, the Successor of the great Caliph Abu Bakr, the one who was given the title of Al-Farooq by the Prophet, are you trying to stop something which the Prophet allowed? God Forbid, did my ears hear right?” Ibn Awf was well aware of Abu Dharr’s speaking style, he knew that the time is set for a good debate between Abu Dharr and Umar, everyone were all ears, everyone wanted to hear Umar’s reply. Umar looked at Abu Dharr, gave a soft smile and said, “My brother Abu Dharr, who am I to stop what Prophet allowed. But Tell me, my brother,” Umar continued, “Isn’t the night prayer where one gets the time to be free with all his worldly duties and talk with Allah, ask forgiveness from Allah, ask him for Strength and Patience in the difficult task he faces in this world?” Abu Dharr still had a confused look on his face, So Umar used another argument, “Isn’t Prophet the best of men?” The entire gathering said in one loud voice, “Aye!” “Isn’t he the best example for us?” Said Umar, the gathering again said, “Aye!” “Don’t we all know that he never prayed the Night prayer at this time?” Just before one could hear another holler Abu Dharr Spoke, “That’s beside the point Ya Umar. You, I and everyone here know that Prophet allowed us to pray the Night Prayer right after Isha.” He continued, “Why then you stop us?” Umar was wise enough to understand that no one can beat Abu Dharr in a theological debate, one could notice a sense of anger emerging out of Umar’s forehead. Ibn Awf understood the situation and to relax things down he asked Abu Dharr to sit. Umar then continued, “My people, if you want to pray the prayer at this time, then it’s fine. I will not stop you, Abu Dharr is right, when Prophet has allowed, I can’t stop. Let me make this one recommendation and I leave it to you if you want to accept it or not” Umar pointed to Ubai bin Kaab to get up. Once he did, Umar said, “Ubai has a beautiful voice and God be my witness, his recitation of Qur’an soothes my ears and my heart. Let Ubai lead you all in this prayer, let’s appoint one time for it and pray in congregation because God be my witness Praying in Congregation is more rewarding than praying alone.” Abu Dharr was convinced and so was everyone else, the conclusion was reached that from the next day this prayer will be prayed in congregation and Ubai will be leading it. Umar got up, said his Salaam and walked out of the mosque with Ibn Awf. While on their way back home, Ibn Awf asked, “Ya Umar bin Khattab, isn’t it Bidah to start a prayer in the congregation which the Prophet himself didn’t start?” Ibn Awf wasn’t theologically gifted as others and it was clear that this thing has got him confused. Umar smiled at him and said, “I shall explain this to you tomorrow and on another subject, do you know how are we doing at the Byzantine front.” “What do you expect ya Emir, Abu Bakr had sent Khalid bin Walid after Al-Jarrah’s request and they are meeting the same fate which was met by Sassanid empire.” Ibn Awf continued with a sense of excitement verily visible in his eyes, “There is a reason why Khalid was called the Sword of Allah by our beloved Prophet, it’s because he is undefeatable and I believe and so does the armies that follow him, that the sword can never fall and till Khalid is with us no army can stop us.” Ibn Awf’s voice had reached an unusual higher pitch of enthusiasm in praise of Khalid and Umar was noticing it. After Ibn Awf cooled down, Umar asked him, “Can you gather the report from Al Jarrah on what’s happening and let me know by tomorrow?” “I shall ya Umar bin Khattab, Salaamu Alaikum,” said Ibn Awf and left Umar at his door to go back to his home and prepare for what was ordered, still at the same time, confused with the question.

Knock! Knock! It was another day and it was Ibn Awf again at the door of Umar. Umar came out and gave his Salaam. Ibn Awf, with an unusual smirky smile, asked, “Do we start our walk with the Masjid today?” Umar looked at him, wrapped his shawl around and said, “Yes, Let’s go to the Masjid.” When they entered the Masjid they saw a different look compared to yesterday. Everyone was still praying but there was a beauty in the ambiance. A system is always better than chaos, even in religion. This reality left Ibn Awf in awe. The confusion which he had seems to have cleared, the melodious voice of Ubai, the echo of Aamen at the end of Fatiha by the entire Jamath in coherence left him in tears, he was able to observe tears in the eyes of Abu Dharr as well. It was clear that this change by Umar was definitely a good one. Umar then looked at Ibn Awf and said, “Ya Ibn Awf tell me, isn’t this a good Bidah?” Ibn Awf couldn’t bear to speak a word and break the trance like ambiance which was created, he just nodded in confirmation. As both walked their way out of the Masjid, Umar had a rather grim look on his face, Ibn Awf observed this and asked him what was the matter. To this, Umar replied, shaking his head, “I understand how people are running to Masjid to pray this Taraweeh prayer, and I see that this is also affecting them spiritually, but I tell you ya Ibn Awf, the real prayer is the Tahajjud it’s the time of whispers and supplications, it’s the time where Heaven and earth, the sun and the moon and the stars, every single thing is at peace, where everyone is sleeping, even Iblis himself, the only thing awake is your Lord and yourself, and when you stand in the silvery shadow of the stars you can feel as if Allah has opened the doors of the heavens for you. It’s because of this serene and sedate nature of the time that I feel this is best of the prayer and that’s why Allah has specifically fixed this time as the prayer of the righteous and this which they are missing is far far better than what they are choosing to pray.

Ibn Awf was moved with what Umar just said, he was still complicating when his thought was disturbed by Umar again. “I read the report you gave me about Khalid, at Fajr. Let’s go to my room and write a letter addressed to our army at Byzantine.” Ibn Awf asked, “Indeed I will, what will be the subject of this letter Ya Umar bin Khattab.” What Ibn Awf heard back shocked him to his core, he couldn’t believe his ears, and even though he was sure that what he heard was correct, he reconfirmed with Umar, “Fire Khalid bin Walid as the commander?” Umar looked at him unmoved, and said, “Yes!”

 

 

 

 

Religion

The Homophobia of Muslims

Merriam-Webster defines homophobia as an irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals. Though I agree, a much accurate version is given by Urban-Dictionary which states it as a severe condition..leading one to inaccurately use bible quoting for the justification of killing homosexuals. The injustice being served to homosexuals in our time is immense. One can not start to fathom the daily struggles a homosexual has to face. The constant fear of being hated, the need to hide oneself under a garb as the revelation of one’s sexual inclination may be misused to paint his entire identity adversely. I can dedicate an entire blog just talking about the issues faced by homosexuals on a daily basis and it will shock people to their core. These are elementary ethical problems. One would expect that with the progress of our society no community will have to face such problems, but it appears, it’s not the case.

Even though many people come up with various reasons to participate in Homophobia, ranging from “If I don’t hate them people may think I’m Gay” to “They are so weird” majority of them use religion. They hate because God said so. Abrahamic religion is the front runner in this case. Jews, Christians, and Muslims, though may always be ready to get into a theological and political debate and cut open each other throats, when it comes to this subject show a surprise unity in their hatred of homosexuals.

Before going further, let me make very clear my religious view of Homosexuality. I am of the opinion that God has kept it very vague making it very hard to come up with a conclusive understanding whether homosexuality is okay or not, and there is a huge wisdom behind this. This gives everyone an opportunity to create their own view based on their temperament and more importantly, it lets them be tolerant enough of other views. My reason for coming up with such an understanding can be divided into three parts

1- It’s generally understood that people of Lot were faced by the wrath of God because they were homosexuals. This is simply incorrect. They faced punishment because of the same reason which people of Noah, Moses, Shuaib, Thamud and Prophet Muhammad faced punishment. For rejecting their Prophet. To think that they were punished because of being Gay would be an incoherent observation.

2- In Chapter 29, verse 29, Qur’an narrates three sins of the people of the Lot. Remember, based on above it’s not for these sins that they faced punishment.

“Do you approach men and obstruct the road and commit evil in your gatherings. And the answer of his people was not but they said, “Bring us the punishment of God , if you should be of the truthful.” (29:29)

It’s not elaborated as to what God means by approaching men, blocking roads and committing evils in the gathering. One understanding would be that they would block roads, kidnap traveling men, take them to their gatherings and rape them. I don’t think anyone will have a problem calling such an act wrong.

In Chapter 7, verse 40 another generic term is used, stating that they were committing immorality. As to what this immorality is and how it was being done, it’s not elaborated.

“And [We had sent] Lot when he said to his people, “Do you commit such immorality as no one has preceded you with from among the worlds?” (7:40)

3- Now imagine this for a second, we have a community–the people of Lot–who were sinful. They are about to face God’s wrath. Now, in this scenario look at the approach of Prophet Abraham, the founding father of all the three religions. He boldly comes to their defense and starts arguing/pleading with the angels–sent by God to destroy–for the safety of the people of Lot. We see this in chapter 11, verse 74

Then when the fear had gone away from (the mind of) Abraham, and the glad tidings had reached him, he began to plead with Us (Our Messengers) for the people of Lot.

What is more interesting, is the next verse, God comments on this behavior. A man speaking for the protection of “homosexual people”, guess what God says, he doesn’t rebuke him nor admonish him nor calls him immoral for trying to speak for immoral people, but God praises Abraham for his conduct

Abraham was certainly a forbearing, compassionate, and tender-hearted person

It’s because of the above three points that I feel that far from speaking against homosexuality one should support them right now because of the persecution they are facing, one can have a theological disagreement at the same time speak for their rights. This is a quality of someone who has a clear and clean morality.

But, unfortunately, if we see the behavior of religious people, all around the world, and especially in the West, it’s not the case. Forget about coming forward and supporting them, they have been the front runner in persecuting and subjugating them, and unfortunately, all this is done in the name of God.

For example, Muslims in Indonesia recently asked people to boycott Starbucks for its stand on Gay rights. Just before that, we had a group of Muslims parents from Berlin campaigning that a gay teacher is removed from Nursery. Muslims have called people to protest against the gay marriage bill passed in France early this year, and their call was answered in thousands. A similar thing was done a couple of years back when David Cameron planned for passing gay marriage bill which saw 500 Imaams coming together to protest against it. In 2012, a Muslim group in Malaysia protested Elton John concert over the same gay marriage issue calling it an anti-Islamic thing and something which will corrupt the minds of young people in Malaysia.

So, the question is even though the position of Abraham is so clear and the actual verdict on homosexuality is so unclear why do we have Muslims and other religious groups getting so charged up about this. Why do we not see a similar outburst against other things, especially where the ruling of Qur’an is clearer?

In my opinion, this has nothing to do with religion. This is simply an outburst of emotions because of insecurity. The insecurity that their religion needs a defense and if they fail to protect it, the religion will be wiped out from the face of this earth. The other will take over. As I have demonstrated above, Qur’an itself doesn’t promote such thinking so one can’t and shouldn’t put it on religion. The other thing, which I came across just recently, and I thought was very interesting is that this homophobic nature,

The other thing, which I came across just recently, and I thought was very interesting is that this homophobic nature, especially among Muslims, is a recent development. When we look at the Muslim History–as explained by Mufti Abu Layth–we see that not only they were very accepting of homosexuals and bisexuals but also gave them important status in their world. A Judge (Qazi) can be a homosexual but no one will question his judgment. Let me narrate few examples here.

1- Al Walid Ibn Abd Al Malik or Al Walid I who was amongst the first Caliphs of the Ummayad Caliphate was a known homosexual. The key word here is known. Al Dhahabi writes it clearly in his popular work of Tarikh Al Islam Al Kabir ( Major History of Islam ) where he says Al Walid was a known homosexual. To such an extent that when he was succeeded by his brother Sulayman Ibn Abd Al Malik he says that Al Walid “tried it” on him. Try to imagine this, will Muslims be ready to accept a Caliph who will rule the so called “Global Caliphate” to be homosexual? I bet they won’t, but the Muslim ancestors–who many Muslims look up to, didn’t really have major problems

2- Going forward we move to the Abbasid Caliphate. And it’s known that homosexuality and pederasty was a wide spread phenomenon. Al Amin the son of the popular Caliph Harun Ar Rashid, and later a Caliph himself, was a known homosexual. So much that he didn’t show much interest in his slave girls either. His brother Al Mamun, the other son of Harun was a known bisexual.

3- That were the Caliphs. But it was not just limited there. We have one of the teachers of Bukhari, a famous scholar himself Qadi Yahya bin Aksam who justified homosexuality stating that Qur’an supported it. He quoted Chapter 3 Verse 14 as his justification.

Beautified for people is the love of that which they desire – of women and sons (boys)..

Obviously not many agree with this view, but you get an idea. He was an appointed Judge and was known for his homosexuality. One interesting thing to note here was that Al Mamun (Homosexual himself) sacked Qazi Yahya and that was not because of his homosexuality. It was because they had a theological difference between whether Qur’an was created or it was eternal. Al Mamun belief it was former and Qazi Yahya believed it was latter.

4- When Qazi Yahya got sacked he was replaced by Muhammad bin Dawud, who was not just homosexual but also wrote a book called Kitab Al-Zahra where he states in the foreword that it is dedicated to his male lover. Kitab Al Zahra is still rated as one of the best books written on love in Arab.

Yes, of course, these people were criticized for their views and their conduct, but there was no homophobia around them. They were duly appreciated for their work which had nothing to do with their sexual orientation.

5- One of the classical Arabic poet, Abu Nuwas, a contemporary of Qazi Yahya was a known homosexual. Most of his poetry is about homosexuality. He was not just a poet but also an Islamic Scholar. There is a popular story about him which goes that when he was praised and someone said that may he be rewarded with the Hours in Jannah, he countered saying, “No, I would rather have the boys like pearls, mentioned in Qur’an”. This guy is rated as one of the best Islamic Poets.

The above is just a small example of the presence of homosexuals in our history. The question we need to ask ourselves is how did we come from there to a position where we have developed such phobia where we are keen to call homosexuals as Kafirs, as someone who is out of Islam. This is wrong on so many different levels, firstly, we can’t just call anyone kafir just like that, secondly, how about some empathy? If you don’t like homosexuality, then don’t be homosexual, why is it worrying you what someone else is doing.

What is interesting is that this attitude is only in the western countries. If you look at the Muslim Countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, acts of homosexuality are rampant.

Dr. Jonathan Brown explains in his article explains that it was never homosexuality in itself but particular acts which were deemed as sinful in Shari’a.

 

In the end, I’ll like to reiterate the point which I’m trying to make with all these examples and explanations. Just because you think that your religion speaks against homosexuality doesn’t mean that you get to suppress them, in fact, I’ve quoted enough examples on why one should, in fact, support them as they are a community getting suppressed right now. This is the way of Islam shown by many scholars from our past and also shown by our founding father, Abraham.

Uncategorized

Monopoly in Salvation?

One Major problem with people subscribing to Abrahamic religion is that they tend to condemn the people from other religion to Hell. Sometimes such condemnation happens from within religion for people belonging to different sects, and in some rare cases, people may get condemned even for sharing different views.

In Islam, you have an entire science of Takfeer, where a “legitimate” scholar can declare another scholar or a layman an Apostate because his views are so different that he can no longer be called a Muslim.

There is a joke about this concept which actually is a rip off of a  Christian Joke, the joke is as follows

Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, “Don’t do it!” He said, “Nobody loves me.” I said, “God loves you. Do you believe in God?”

He said, “Yes.” I said, “Are you a Muslim or a non-Muslim?” He said, “A Muslim.” I said, “Me, too! Sunni or Shia?” He said, “Sunni.” I said, “Me, too! Deobandi or Barelvi?” He said, “Barelvi.” I said, “Me, too! Tanzeehi or Takfeeri?” He said, “Tanzeehi” I said, “Me, too! Tanzeehi Azmati or Tanzeehi Farhati?”

He said, “Tanzeehi Farhati.” I said, “Me, too! Tanzeehi Farhati Jamia ul Uloom Ajmer or Tanzeehi Farhati Jamia ul Noor Mewat?” He said, “Tanzeehi Farhati Jamia ul Noor Mewat.” I said, “Die, Kafir!” And I pushed him over.

I just find it amazing how one can simply replace the words like Sunni and Shia with Protestant and Catholic and Kafir with Heretic and the joke fits all the Abrahamic religion across.

This highlights a deeply ingrained mentality very common among the subscribers of Organized Religion. In Qur’anic language this can be called as sect worshipping, where one has such high inclination to the sect he comes from that he arrogantly thinks that only he is right, and everyone else is doomed. Most of the time, this thinking is simply based on prejudice and not on any extended intellectual speculation.

If you question Muslim Scholars they will come up with various excuses to defend this view. Such as

This is only a theological tenant and doesn’t have any impact in practical life. I think this isn’t necessarily true. A person who thinks that people who don’t belong to his sect or religion are doomed to hell will have a very arrogant outlook towards humanity, not just that he will develop an intellectual wall thinking that others are beneath him, and hence isolate himself from listening to alternate understanding. Quoting Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Those who distinguish civil from theological intolerance are, to my mind, mistaken. The two forms are inseparable. It is impossible to live at peace with those we regard as damned; to love them would be to hate God who punishes them: we positively must either reclaim or torment them. Wherever theological intolerance is admitted, it must inevitably have some civil effect.

Then there is a popular verse which is quoted to support such monopoly saying that the only religion acceptable to God is Islam, Chapter 3 Verse 19

Indeed, the religion in the sight of Allah is Islam…

What is interesting about this verse is the understanding of Islam. Almost all the scholars–including those who are committed to this view–will agree that Muhammad was the BEST teacher of Islam. His basic job was to communicate the message of God. There is no way that he left any stone unturned in performing his basic responsibility. Extending this, they will also agree that we are not like Muhammad, as in we can’t communicate the message the same way, at the same level, with the same impact, he did. Not even close. Now with this in mind, think about our concept of plurality. Plurality is mandated by the society when there is no way to reach the absolute truth with 100% certainty. This is the very reason why our society won’t accept nor would need any plurality in basics of mathematics or physics or biology or any science. This is because we have a method of reaching absolute truth. Now, if someone comes up and say 2+2=5, we can’t accept it in the name of plurality. That will be insane.

The basic idea behind sending a messenger is the same. To prove the absolute truth with 100% certainty. Now, you may agree or disagree with the possibility of it, but that’s beside the point. The verse is simply stating the implication of this event. That is the message is proved, the job of the messenger is done, now, no other religion is acceptable. You will either accept the truth or if you have any doubts get it cleared and then accept it.

This luxury ends with the end of the messenger. Because as soon as He is gone, we have the same uncertainty. And, no one disagrees with this too, as Islam understood during the time of Muhammad, was drastically different than how it’s understood now. Sects like Shia, Sunni, Debonad, Salfi, Barelvi, Sufi didn’t exist then, and no one knew anything about it. Things which pass as Islam now so easily, many scholars will argue, didn’t even exist then.

So, to quote the above verse as free from the constraints of time and space would not just be nonsensical but also would be a complete downplay of a very critical verse of Qur’an, which declares the end of Prophecy with Muhammad, hence implying the emergence of Plurality, in Chapter 33 Verse 40

Muhammad is not the father of [any] one of your men, but [he is] the Messenger of Allah and last of the prophets. And ever is Allah , of all things, Knowing.

Apart from this, there is an understanding that Islam criticizes other religion’s beliefs and practices–mainly Judaism, Christianity, and Polytheism–hence implying that it supports Monopoly in Salvation. The words used by Qur’an to describe people of these religions is Kafir–meaning disbeliever–and hence they all are doomed to hell. Example, in Chapter 4 Verse 89

They wish you would disbelieve as they disbelieved so you would be alike. So do not take from among them allies

This again is an improper understanding of the verse, which emerges because of a lack of in-depth study of Qur’an. If you see things which are being criticized in Qur’an in other religion they can be categorized into two

  1. Polytheism which has a negative impact on the society. The main thesis of Qur’an is that people use the garb of Polytheism to run away from being accountable for their bad deeds. That is, someone may cheat at his business but then offer 1 gallon of Milk to a mini-God of Business and hope that this mini-God will come to his aid on the Day of Judgement and will help him in Salvation. It’s this type of Polytheism which Qur’an is critiquing and calling unacceptable. This is also the reason why it insists so heavily on Tawheed–monotheism–implying the same point that there won’t be any aid on the Day of Accountability and everyone will be Judged purely on their merit.
  2. The next form of Criticism is against Organized Religion. This was because of the same reason which Muslim are falling into now. That they claimed a monopoly in Salvation. There are Multiple Verses where God is clearly stating that a particular association to religion is not going to guarantee salvation but true humility and empathy, example, Chapter 2 Verse 62. The two main Organized Religions during the time of Muhammad were Judaism and Christianity, hence Qur’an targets both.

Once we understand the above two points and give the required weight to the presence of a messenger then it’s very clear that the Kafir used for people from other religions is very very specific and doesn’t have a generalized time eternal stand.

Finally, there is this understanding that this is applicable to only those who truly understand Islam and knowingly reject it. This is by far the most idiotic point. What do people mean by True Islam? For some it’s bombarding people mercilessly, is that True Islam? Of course Not! and Who decides what True Islam is? The majority of Muslims don’t even speak the language of Qur’an, so they rely upon the interpretation of other Muslims, so how come one can be sure that his understanding is Ture? Let’s say we somehow figured what True Islam is, how are we even going to conclude that someone rejected it KNOWINGLY. Like how is it even possible? There is no way to convincingly find this out.

So, going back to our main question, is there a Monopoly in Salvation. ABSOLUTELY NOT. If a God exists, and He is Just, then this simply can’t be the case. How on earth can one call a God Just and then talk about a theory where God is basically sitting on a Throne, checking everyone’s passport to see their religion and then deciding if one ends up in Heaven of Hell. This is simply illogical, insane and unIslamic. The Salvation has to be decided based on one’s conduct and one’s honesty to his belief. This is very intuitive and also parallel with the teaching of Islam. As adequately summarized in the following verse, Chapter 2 Verse 62

Indeed, those who believed [now] and [before them] those who were Jews or Christians or Sabeans – those [among them] who [truly] believed in Allah and the Last Day[honesty to his belief] and did righteousness [conduct] – will have their reward with their Lord..

Going back to our understanding of the Purpose of Religion. It’s very important to remember that if Religion is not helping us enhance our character and keep our intellecutual integrity pure then it’s being worthless. This entire perspective of deciding others eternal fate is a way of Playing God, something which we aren’t capable of and there is simply no point of trying. We have to understand that we live in the time that the only way forward is a plurality. One can disagree with the other view, one can voice their disagreement as well, but one shouldn’t make judgments. This is the golden rule we have to live with.

 

Religion

The purpose of Religion

BQcDAAAAAwoDanBnAAAABC5vdXQKFnVONFlBT25VNEJHNElJZm02dmJMMlEAAAACaWQKAXgAAAAEc2l6ZQ

Medicine, Engineering, Law, Dental, Art, and much more. When we think of these fields, we quickly are able to relate to the purpose they are serving. Medicine serve the purpose of human health, Engineering makes human’s life easier, Law provides a sense of order to our chaotic society, Dental helps us smile and keep smiling and Art helps us satisfy our aesthetic urges. Then apart from all these fields, we have the field of Religion. What purpose comes to mind when we think of Religion.

If you ask people randomly on the street, they may give you various answers. For some, it can be

To achieve the goals of salvation, or Moksha, to reconnect with God

For others, it can be

to make humans suffer and live a miserable life and have an overall bad impact on the society

as Steven Weinberg, popularly quoted

Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.

To understand why we have such a spectrum of opinions we can divide the understanding of religion into three main categories.

  1. Dharmic Understanding

    MwcDNgM
    If we go by the written records, this is by far the oldest religion which we can prove historically. The oldest–Rig–Veda is from 1200BC, compared that to oldest known Hebrew Bible which is 600BC. Plus you have Sumerian text which dates back to 2600BC. Though the Dharmic religion is way more diverse compared to Abrahamic religion–Judaism, Christianity, and Islam–but if you want to summarize the main understanding of the purpose it will be as follows

    The purpose of Religion as per Dharmic Understanding would be to enable a human being to dive within and dig out one’s soul, to go through various phases of reincarnation, self-realization, enlightenment and in the end, Moksha, where the soul unites with its Origin, God, a timeless, spaceless, entity. This is achieved by freeing oneself from the worldly animal desires, by living an ascetic life, free from the disease of passion and urges. The first stage of this process is called Dharma, where one learns to be at his ethical best, by fulfilling all his obligations as a human living in a society. One may argue, that being good with one’s ethics is the pre-requisite to reach moksha

  2. Scientific Understanding

    636013039050653046943016611_a
    As per this understanding, one would insist on accepting things based on empirical evidence only. At the lack of empirical evidence, one should stay away from making any drastic conclusions, as the possibility of error is very large.

    A person with such an understanding will view religion as worthless and something which should be eradicated completely. The reason being the empirical evidence of all the violence which has been caused for years in the name of religion. For such a person, the purpose of religion is simply to cause pain and suffering to human life. The reason why people still stick with religion is simply that they are not thinking properly and nothing more. We have to understand that the main cause of the critique is caused by the lack of ethics found in humans claiming to be religious or claiming that their bad acts were carried out because God said so. Hence, the main purpose they are trying to achieve by eradicating religion is to improve human ethics and improve humans intellect, his reasoning, his ability to question.

  3. Abrahamic Understanding

    Abrahamic-Faiths
    There is one God who has created human beings, which is just one single species out of the almost infinite species which He has created. They are gifted with an opportunity to be God-like–that is, to become eternal beings, have free will, be able to do whatever they want etc etc. To bring this into action humans are put in a small test and this gift can be achieved if they manage to remain good in this test.

    The purpose of Abrahamic religion then is to enable Humans in winning this gift. By putting certain rituals, certain laws, certain guidance which will help them reach there.

If you notice, in all the above understanding, one thing is common. The human ethics. You can’t reach moksha if you don’t fulfill the phase one of the journey, which is Dharma, that is to be a good human being. The entire argument of the scientific community is that religion is not enabling ethics, hence stressing on the same point, the importance of human ethics. The Abrahamic religion is saying the same thing, in lay man’s terms.

We have to understand, whether we are a religious conservative, a liberal, a progressive, modernist, a mystic, agnostic or an atheist. If our religion or lack of it, is not improving our ethics, if it’s not making us good humans, if it’s not enhancing our concept of empathy and humility every day, if we are getting stagnant to such an extent that our character is getting decayed and our reasoning, our ability to comprehend, deduce and our intellect is getting corroded. Then, it’s time for a change, it’s time to start questioning and to get our questions answered, it’s time to wake up. If we ponder, and after deep intellectual speculation and survey realize that it’s not the case, that all the beliefs we have are based on genuine beliefs backed with rationality and not emotions and fancies, then it doesn’t matter on which path we are, it doesn’t matter which religion we practice, till our heart is convinced, till our intellect is quenched, we are good.

In an interview with Bernard Russell, he was asked, what if He is wrong in his belief of atheism, what if there is a God, what will the answer to that God be, on the Day of Judgment. To this, he answered.

I would say, ‘Not enough evidence, God! Not enough evidence!’

and that my friend is how it will be. If there is God and you are convinced–after intellectual investigation within your capacity–that he isn’t, and you kept your ethics intact, then a Just God has to let you be and if there isn’t a God, and you are convinced that there isn’t, then congratulations 2 on 2. Thirdly, if there isn’t a God and you believe that there is, then you lived a peaceful life free from the fear of existentialism, so congratulation anyway.

Either way, it helps us if we meditate on this more and remember not to get insecure about our beliefs. Human Ethics and our intellect. Keep that pure, and we are on the path of salvation, irrespective of the final reality. That is the purpose of religion or lack of it, alike.

Islam · Religion

The Five Pillars of Islam V2.0

5pillars

The five pillars of Islam are not specifically mentioned in Qur’an. They were derived by the scholars of Islam after studying Qur’an, Sunnah and the Hadith. The three original sources of Islam. The five pillars are

  1. Declaration of Faith
  2. Prayer
  3. Charity
  4. Fasting
  5. Pilgrimage

With time, Muslims have evolved, their thinking has changed, and the way they practice Islam has changed drastically. If a Non-Muslim who is analyzing Muslims, without being in touch with the original sources, will he be able to come up with the same five pillars? or will they differ?

The hypothesis I’m presenting is that the principles will differ. That too drastically. I am very well aware that there is a debate among the academic circle about the need to reconstruct the religion, there are many scholars who are for it, and they are many who speak against it. My thesis is that the religion has been reconstructed already.

So, without further adieu, let me present to you, the New five pillars of Islam, as understood by our current Muslim community. The five pillars of Islam, version 2.0

1- Halaal Food

halal_2905205b

Muslims–especially from Indo-Pak subcontinent–are out and out obsessed with this. Is it Halaal, is it Zabiha Halaal, and a new one going around, is it Javed Zabiha halal. Is it a Muslim guy reciting takbeer Halaal or is it a takbeer on Radio Halal. The obsession is to such an extent that it won’t be wrong that Muslims consider that the following teaching of Qur’an Chapter 49 Verse 12 has been abrogated.

Believers, avoid being excessively suspicious, for some suspicion is a sin. Do not spy, nor backbite one another.

Muslim probably now think that as per the teaching of Qur’an one shouldn’t speculate about someone but there is a condition applied to this ruling and that is until and unless that person starts a slaughter house or a restaurant. To put it in simple words, every Muslims is considered truthful by default, till he opens a restaurant, from that point, he is a liar by default, till proven otherwise.

2- Hijaab

67f30bd3b68297c9cb16c51a9cc34748--black-hijab-fashion-muslimah

This is the other obsession with Muslim women. Be it Hijaab or Burqa or Niqab. It doesn’t matter that there is hardly any reputed who scholar agrees that Naqab is a part of Islam, nor does it matter that Naqaab defeats the entire purpose of Naqaab if worn in the West, as it attracts more attention than deviates, but still, The delusion of grandeur continues.

Muslims Demonstrate Against Ministers Comments On Veiling

One very interesting thing is that the verse usually quoted as mandating Hijaab–chapter 24 verse 31–doesn’t mandate Hijaab in clear terms. It’s derived from it.

..and must wrap their bosoms with their shawls…

I’ve consciously taken the translation of shawl for the word Khimaar instead of the now popularized veil, to point out that there is no such universal agreement that Khimaar means Viel. Secondly, even if it did, for a book, which makes it very clear, repeatedly, that it lays out everything in clear terms, it’s a bit of a stretch to start inferring such heavy rulings from Qur’an verses, assuming words to mean certain things without the presence of strong proof that it means that particular thing. Furthermore, what I find very interesting is that the same very verse lists down all the relatives in front of who there won’t be need for such a covering

..and must not expose their adornment, except to their husbands or their fathers or the fathers of their husbands, or to their sons or the sons of their husbands, or to their brothers or the sons of their brothers or the sons of their sisters, or to their women, or to those owned by their right hands, or male attendants having no (sexual) urge, or to the children who are not yet conscious of the shames of women.

Over here, as you can see, instead of just saying close relatives, Qur’an goes in details–some may argue, even more than necessary–and that’s how the book claims it is. Mentioning this clearly, with no confusion.

I understand why women like wearing Hijab, it’s considered modest, and I see their point, it’s a good modest thing, no doubt. But, that is not enough to start passing it out as religiously mandatory, that will be playing God, and Qur’an strictly–without inference–forbids us from doing that.

lollipops

One Idea which I simply loathe is this comparison of Hijab with a lollipop cover. Implying that woman is some sort of lollipop. Just as in uncovered lollipop thrown in the dust, covered with flies and insects is a disgusting sight and no one would want to do anything with it, similarly a woman who is not covered will be inflicted with flies and insects–which I guess are men. Such teachings are extremely misogynist, coming from men who are very insecure and should be unacceptable when done in the name of Islam.

3- Iftaar

Fast is obligated on Muslims as per Qur’an chapter 2 verse 183

O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become pious

Whether a Muslim at an Individual level becomes pious or not is impossible to comment. But we can look at the state of Muslims as a community and derive that the reason why their fast is only so that they have a Grand Iftaari, where there is a big get together, friends and family unite, chit chat, talk and have a gala time.

Various dishes are introduced, no more fasting with just dates, there is samosa, there is haleem, there is dahi vada, there is fruit salad, there is chaat, and there are various drinks ranging from Mango Lassi to Soft drinks to Chai and Coffee. It will be very surprising if Muslims community ends up becoming pious because of fasting.

4- Signs of Judgement Day

Another great grand obsession among Muslims is to figure out the date of coming of Qiyamah, the Judgement Day. When I was growing up it was said Y2k will be the end of the world, many even claimed that there is a Hadith pointing out, very clearly, that too. I’m still to come across such a Hadith.

Almost, every Muslim WhatsApp group will have one member who has forwarded something related to coming of Qiyamah. You have major signs, minor signs, mahdi signs, 77 minor signs, 48 signs, signs on one page.

The most popular Hadith regarding this is the hadith of Gabriel, which lists only two signs that are awfully clear, first, the slavery will end, and second, the Bedouins of the Arab land will start building tall buildings. Source.

But, Muslims love Drama and they don’t mind spicing things up with extra signs borrowed from other religions to nanny bedtime stories.

5- Global Caliphate

ee174333c5f91aaa40328b76495b5526

Global Caliphate has been a Muslim rage for some time now. This was discussed by Ibn Tahmiyya, Mawdudi, Qutub and many other great scholars of Islam. Calling a Classical Scholar wrong, and accepting that even he is capable of a mistake is something which Muslims never do, no matter the cost. And this did cost the Muslim society dearly.

The very basic message of religion which was of humility and empathy, in no time changed to establishing the rule of God across the Globe. The religion of no compulsion became the religion of giving takfir ( declaring people as Apostates ) to anyone who disagrees with the majority.

Jihad, a war against self, and a war against opression to save the oppressed became the holy war to establish a caliphate on each and every non-muslim country.

Will these concepts every be corrected in the Muslim community? I honestly doubt that. Rather, what will happen, is what has happened before, a new community will be raised, who will carry out the ACTUAL message of Islam. This happened when Turks accepted Islam and the message spread through them, this happened when Romans accepted Christianity and the message spread through them.

But, if someone is interested in understanding the error in this concept and correcting his perspective then he can do this here, the article by Javed Ahmed Ghamidi on Counter Narrative for Global Caliphate does a good Job in pointing out the mistakes and the correct teachings of Islam.