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New Age Islam

  • Summary: 

    Misled?

    How could they have been misled in this way? Could it have been from Islamic texts including these?

    “And fight them until there is no fitnah and religion is all for Allah.” (Qur’an 8:39)

    “Fight those who do not believe in Allah or the Last Day, and do not forbidden what has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, and do not acknowledge the religion of Truth, even if they are of the People of the Book, until they pay the jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued” (Qur’an 9:29).

    A hadith depicts Muhammad saying: “Fight against those who disbelieve in Allah. Make a holy war…When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them…. If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them. (Sahih Muslim 4294)

    “‘Counter jihadism with pluralism,'” by Tamanna Yasmin, , December 28, 2019:

    Many Muslims are misled into believing they must help Islam dominate the world, Sultan Shahin, editor of an online magazine on Islam, said earlier this week….

  • Summary: 

    The question “Is Islamic reform possible?” pre-supposes that reform is necessary. Many Muslims would say it is not.

    Even many liberal and progressive Muslims insist Islam is perfect and it is only Muslims themselves that need to be reformed. It is Muslims who are misguided and hold erroneous interpretations - the Qur’an is the perfect word of God. It can never be wrong.

    They argue extremists like al-Qaeda and ISIS are not “true” Muslims and are only using Islam for their own power & political ends. They dismiss countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran or Afghanistan as not following Islam correctly & they go to great lengths to come up with all sorts of apologetics to distance Islam from real-life practices of Muslim countries and groups around the world.

    Yet it has to be asked if Islam is perfect and has absolutely nothing to do with the actions of extremists like ISIS or regimes like Saudi Arabia - then why is it that these Muslims have so grossly misunderstood their religion? When one points out actions such as execution of apostates and gays they tell us this is completely against Islam and Islam is very clear about it. But then why don’t these groups and regimes realise they are going completely against Islam. Don’t they realise the terrible mistake they are making when it is all so clear and obvious? The truth is that it is not as clear and obvious as they claim.

    If it is true that they have completely misunderstood Islam - what does that say about Islam & the Qur’an - the clear book Kitabun Mubeen - the final and complete revelation to man? If the message has been so badly misunderstood by so many Muslims what does that say about the message?

    My view is that the Qur’an is not perfect and I believe it’s time we Muslims admitted that the Quran and Sunna can indeed lend itself to very harsh and violent - yet perfectly valid interpretations. The solution is not to try and twist the texts to come up with a counter-interpretation but to simply accept the fact that the Quran is not perfect. It is not infallible. It can be wrong.

  • Summary: 

    While the world suffers from Jihadist violence, Muslims in particular suffer the most causalities in sectarian wars incited by the Islamist Jihadist ideology.

    And yet, even almost two decades after 9/11, Muslim nations continue to be in denial. Islamist ideology based on the Islamic theology of consensus is absolved of any responsibility for violent extremism.

    The result is that Muslim children continue to be taught in madrasas Islam supremacism and contempt for other religions. Even explicitly violent passages have not yet been weeded out from text books.

    The terrorism it generates takes many shapes. If Hindu, Sikh and Christian girls are abducted and forcibly converted to Islam in Pakistan, this too essentially comes from contempt for other religions taught in religious seminaries. In several countries including Pakistan, some Muslims do not wait for courts to pass judgements to punish those they consider guilty.

  • Summary: 

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

    Sharia Watch: This interpretation relies very much on the claim that Muhammad was the 'injured party' when he was expelled from Mecca as a troublemaker. Those claims are addressed here by The Religion of Peace site:-

  • Summary: 

    An interesting article with some positive suggestions.

    Now the question is, how do we go forward? If we really want to make a difference, we will have to start a substantive dialogue with the ulema and make sure that they agree to:

     1) open the gates of ijtihad, rethinking all tenets of Islam in the light of the situation prevailing today. As we have not done our homework for over a millennium, this will have to be pretty revolutionary.

     2) declare that only constitutive and essential, not the contextual and allegorical verses of Quran, are meant to guide us today.

     3) compile Qur'anic verses in the order in which they were revealed, thus restoring primacy to Meccan verses that mostly constitute the essential and universal teachings of Quran, as they can be understood without any need for knowing the context in which they were revealed.

     4) declare that Ahadees cannot be considered any form of revelation from God. Islamic State’s millenarian thesis is almost entirely based on ahadees, though they use some allegorical verses of Quran as well. The claim of al-Baghdadi leading an end-time war, al-Malhama, just before the final Armageddon, has been a big draw. Some Muslims have come to think life on earth has no meaning left in the times of al-Malhama and so are rushing to join the war.

     5) declare that Sharia (fiqh) is not divine. It was created over a century after the demise of the Prophet by ulema who tried to codify laws on the basis of Qur'anic postulates and Arab cultural practices.

     6) declare clearly that Islam believes in co-existence with other religions, not dominion over the world.

    7) re-define commonly used Islamic terms like Muslim, kafir, mushrik, ahl-e-kitab, jihad, qital, farz, sunnat, etc.

     In a word, we must evolve a truly Islamic and a coherent theology of peace and co-existence, moderation and modernity, to counter the very coherent theology of violence and xenophobia, intolerance and supremacism that Jihadi ulema have created over centuries. All ulema say Islam is a religion of peace and co-existence. It's time for them to walk their talk. But if they refuse to consider change, we will need to directly reach the Muslim masses.

    .Sharia Watch: this point on madrassa education particularly stood out for us!

    Madrasa education is a serious violation of the human rights of Muslim children. It destroys their lives and fills their minds with xenophobia and intolerance.

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