I saw the awkward term “Quran-Alone-ism” used the other day, followed by “(for lack of a better term)”.
When I need to use the term “Quran Alone-ism” or “Quran Alone-ness”, I simply use the term Quranism. It is pretty much the same thing.
Quranism is the belief that the Quran is the sole divine source of islam. Quranists are muslims who follow Quranism.
I pondered though, due to my over-active mind, whether there is any difference between being a Quran Alone muslim and a Quranist muslim.
The term “Quran Alone” can be taken to varying degrees of pedantry.
Red Carpet example
If you interpret it to mean purely Quran Alone then what you will have is a belief system where ALL outside origins of guidance are abandoned and taken to be unfactual. For example if I tell you my carpet is red but you do not find it stated specifically in the Quran, then this could be turned down as bogus pursuant to the belief that the only genuine data comes directly from the Quran.
Now of course this is a unreasonable example of taking the meaning of words to their extreme and absolute limit.
The following are some of the different types of Quran Alone-ness (Quranism)
A. Some who claim to follow the Quran Alone for their set of beliefs tend to follow what is in reality “Translations of the Quran Alone”
This could be one certain translation by a favored translator or a more fair attitude where a variety of Quran translations are studied side by side.
B. Some who declare to follow the Quran alone don’t “label” themselves as “Quran Alone muslims” or “Quranist muslims”, choosing to point out that they are simply muslims. This may be either due to concerns that giving a descriptive term to their belief that the Quran has the sole authority might insinuate they had become part of a sect OR due to present day Sunni Islam (usually referred to by those Muslims as “Mainstream” Islam*) critical of the Quranist view, leading usually to excommunication of those who convert from the Mainstream view to the Quranist view. Some of these Quran Alone muslims do not assert to ignore all Hadiths, merely those that oppose the Quran. This can enable more integration into the “cultural” aspect of Islam, where some translations of Quranic verses can be employed to justify some of the cultural or traditional interpretations of Islam. For a convert to Islam who does not have any experience of the cultural/traditional associations of Islam it can be a challenging job to try to make these associations using the Quran alone.
* Quranists refer to Mainstream muslims as “Traditionalists” due to “Mainstream” being defined as such only due to majority numbers. If Quranism (the belief that the Quran is the sole source of islam) became the belief held by the majority of Muslims then the term “Mainstream” would become confusable.
C. Some Quran Alone muslims – typically self proclaimed Quranists, (the ones who do accept the usage of the term as a functional aid to communication) usually fixate on trying to discover the true meanings of the original Arabic with a view to understanding the Quran as a whole by not taking ayats out of context. Some operate a methodology of investigating the Quran into detail, considering the words used with the belief that “the Quran explains the Quran”. Their belief is that every single word of the original Arabic Quran is there to educate, give examples and parables and make the Quran clear; THE Divine Guidance. Usually for this way of thinking, a very open mind unhampered by all previous pre-conceptions or projections from the Traditionalist view is necessary. Context, Arabic vocabulary and grammar all have a huge role in attempting this kind of study which consequently results in “evolving beliefs” as the student takes on his individual journey of enlightenment with a deeply personal engagement with the text. This kind of investigation is done by some Quranists using literally the Quran alone or with the assistance of study tools such as Classical Arabic dictionaries, Quran Concordances and online Quran databases. It could be argued whether these so-called tools are classed as Non-Quranic Sources (NQS) or simply tools or study aids.
Usually, all “Quran Aloners”, “Quran Alone muslims”, “Quranic muslims” and “Quranists” are labelled indiscriminately as “Hadith Rejectors” (see Quranist’s response to this term) by the ones who dispute the concept that the Quran can be comprehended without the acceptance of the Sahih Hadith compilations. Rejection of Hadith can mean rejecting the Authority of the Hadith or the Authenticity of it. In Quranist terms, to reject the Authority of a hadith means to acknowledge that the Quran has not mentioned this piece of information. To reject the Authenticity of a hadith means a belief that the information is simply not true.
Read more / see the original article at http://www.quranists.net/2011/05/16/quran-alone-ism-and-quranism/
Quran Based Islam on Quranists.net