Al-Kitab and the Tri-Religious Myth


There was a deleted wiki article detailing the view that al-kitab was the same for all the prophet. Although I no longer believe ‘al-kitab’ refers to the same thing throughout the Quran, I do believe all Quranic personalities recieved the same teachings (as per 16/89 and 41/43).

Rizwan Sherazi made a very insightful statement in this thread about the deleted article. He said: Without exploding the Tri-Religous myth, and understanding the time old existence of Al Kitab (46:4) The truest meanings of Quran stay hidden and largely unaccesable

All I can say is HELL YES! I am currently doing a study of ahl al-kitab in my own blog and I have found that liberating this phrase from the Tri-Religious Myth has yielded its universal meaning. The Quran is actually now very universal for me. This is also true for concepts like ‘hadoo’, nasara and ‘yahood’ which sadly have been limited as Jews and Christians. Lets hope someone writes a tract to explode this myth soon. We need the Quran to speak for us, not just the Semitic religions.

 

On Hadith


These answers are from Free Minds. Thank you to everyone who took part in the study/survey and to Free Minds forum.

Do you primarily reject Hadith on the basis of authority or authenticity?

  • I am perhaps not a true Qur’anist because I tend to accept the Hadith that make sense or seem reliable. I do, however, realize that hearsay is inherently unreliable and especially regarding religion there is a lot of motivation for fabrication. Hence I accept those Hadith that do not conflict with the Qur’an and seem beneficial.
  • Too many of them to read, life is short, I just want to follow God and his Messenger. The Quran is the authoritive messenger and miraculously it continues to authenticate itself. God knows Muhammad knew this.
  • I reject the concept of “hadith” as Divine Revelation and as anything more than examples (true or false, good or bad). E.g. salaat is an example pieced together from lots of different pieces of paper, and then the only reason to follow that is to keep congregation-prayer organised. Salaat is in the Qur’an, but I think that Sunnis and Shia simply take the “pray as you see me praying” hadith out of context and think that every little thing (e.g. number of rakat) is important. Indeed, Qur’anic prayer is better than whistling and clapping hands. It is easy to see how changing the words of a hadith would change its meaning, and it is no surprise that people start worshipping it. To say that a “Qur’an-alone” Muslim just rejects a HADITH is inaccurate because he or she might be rejecting its rendering or interpretation (e.g. what was the context of the saying, if it is true)? Secondly, authority is irrelevant since it will be compared to the Qur’an. If consistent with the Qur’an, it is a good example (but not obligatory until someone can prove so from the Qur’an). Ahadith are not themselves little entities or “scraps of authority/authenticity”:
  • “And say: Surely I am the plain warner. Like as We sent down on the dividers, those who made the Quran into shreds.”
  • 15:89-91 They are words as real as those which I am writing here. They will be authoritative if you want them to be, or if you think that they are based on your interpretation of Qur’anic ayat, and just because you know that my exact words here are authentic (because this is what I wrote!), authenticity has nothing to do with my intention. If you report my words by word of mouth and give to them your interpretation/understanding, then maybe in two hundred years they can be passed on as philoophical law. This will obviously happen to someone who is in charge of a movement such as Islam in the 7th century, and unlike Muhammad (SAW) among his associates, I am not going to be seen as “important” by mine. Muhammad (SAW) had to make many decisions in his day because he was the leader, but where the decisions are judgements of conduct etc., it is to be remembered that he only judged by the Qur’an (5:48-49) and that his judgements are examples (see notes for 2:124, 3:31-32, 5:48-49, 8:1 and 24:54 of the commentary). Etc. etc. the arguments go on. Besides that, most ahadith were fabricated in their day (99% of Bukhari’s initial collection and 99% of Muslim’s initial collection apparently). Where they contradict the Qur’an, only a senseless person would accept them as obligatory or even as suggestible. Only someone who thinks they can prove two sources of Revelation from the Qur’an will think that we even need the ahadith to be Muslims. The Qur’an is partly contextual (e.g. sacred months), but just because it is not a history textbook nor a book that teaches us Arabic, it does not mean the Qur’an is not complete and fully-detailed for guidance in the Islamic manner of life.
  • Instead of reject, i prefer the act of ‘questioning’ hadith regardless of both
  • Sahih Ahadi is not good enough even for history and hadeeth can have no religious authority. Although I do not reject hadeeth as a source for linguistic evidence (barring explicit interpretations), I do not reject the historical accuracy of mutawaatir or mutawaatir al-ma’any if they are not self contradicting or in contradiction with the Quran, nor do I conflate hadeeth with linguistic works on Classical Arabic.
  • I’ve been at this for longer than I thought. I feel like all of this (including me) is getting so old. Although it is still a worthy cause, and hopefully it will come to fruition one day. I am pretty quiet about my being a Quranite in my personal life and don’t run towards contact with other sunni/shi’ite, whatever kind of Muslim, as I suffered from a lot of belligerent rejection when I understood and was ready to embrace Quranist Islam and try to rally others to it without all of the Islamic titles. A lot of the heated arguments here on free-minds also caused me a lot of disillusion about other Quranites and their agendas and willingness to cooperate, work with, treat well and commit to comprehend each other and achieve solutions. There’s a lot to forming a community and many ways to do it, Quranists still aren’t able to come to common ground in order to make a first step. Many of us are just modern westerners who like or wanna be just this. Many of us really do not want to form a community. I understand the fears and I think they are merited unfortunately. It’s been over 10 years for me and I don’t see that anything has changed. I remember being 18 and 19 writing on Quranist blogs. Wow.
  • It’s more about some hadiths being illogical and incompatible with my sense of spirituality/humanity.
  • I reject hadith generally on both bases (authority and authenticity); however, I do give consideration to some hadith having what seem to me to be worthwhile points for reflection, that also seem to me to be completely consonant with the teaching of the Quran.
  • I personally know some Sunnis who only follow ahadith because they are told to. They agree with my views.
  • I agree with you about accepting wisdom wherever it can be found, even in hadeeth. If I read a hadeeth and it has something interesting to say I will take the good from it still and leave the bad. But I don’t accept them as a religious authority.
  • Look, being honest – I only discovered this denomination yesterday but their basic ideology appealed to me (and I will dig deep in the coming days) so I shared it here with you to judge. And as expected, there are people who appreciate a tolerant approach (example – forbidding stoning) while others put their faith in orthodox Islam (Old is Gold?)
  • What do we know for sure? That the Holy Qu’ran is not corrupted. Everyone agree on that? We consider the Prophet as the perfect man, hence he was chosen to guide the people and what was his message and miracle – The Qu’ran, the word of God.
  • Most arguments hint that the holy Qu’ran is incomplete and we need additional sources to complete our faith.
  • But can we honestly say that the Hadith’s are accurate? Hadith is described as Islamic tradition. And tradition is known to be lost/altered or affected by external factors.
  • I am saying if there’s the possibility of inaccuracy – we must re-evaluate our stance.
  • Personally, I rather hear it from the horses mouth rather than a second or third party. Qu’ranites are still Monotheists who consider Prophet Mohammed as the messenger of God which I believe is basically your Shahada and calling them Kafir’s or the like is unjustified.
  • Reason/common sense isn’t such a bad thing after all =)
Please leave a comment below!

Quranists and Submitters – The Difference


Interesting question in Yahoo Answers:

What’s the difference between Submitters and Quranists? Don’t worry I’m not out to bash anyone. In fact my whole family are Quranists.I know about 19 (but not much), but who is this Rashid person who claims to be a messenger? And if he is a messenger, then what is his message?

Please keep an open mind people 🙂

Our very own RevolutionPsyche gave a very comprehensive reply below:
Your entire family are Quranists? I’m jealous!Alright, let’s see. I’m on facebook and on many Quran Alone and Submitter groups, so I can show you both types of differences, the on and off record: Technical difference:

Quranists was a term used by the Egyptians and Egyptian Gov’t who were against Ahl Al Quran, a group of Quran Aloners who mainly followed Ahmad Subhi Mansour, who denied hadith and got into jail for this. If you speak Arabic and/or don’t mind weird English, check out their site: http://ahl-alquran.com/arabic/main.php. It got great Quranist articles. 🙂

This is where the term originated in Arabic countries, usually pronounced quraniyoon/quranyeen or ahl al quran.

Of course, this does not mean it’s theirs exclusively, and their original name is Ahl Al Quran. A Quranist is anyone who considers the Quran to be the only source of law. Some Quranists may be submitters (although I PERSONALLY do not consider them to be Quranists), and some others may believe in Sunnah but not hadith (which I do not consider Quranists either, for personal reasons).

There are many other outside sources beside hadith that people should utterly deny and leave behind, and so I don’t think the term “Quranist” can be canned up as a “Denier of Hadith”.

The thing is that Submitters believe in “miracle 19” as a part of the Quran, which is their honest opinion and they are entitled to it, and thus could be Quranists. Rashad Khalifa was believed to be another Messenger from God. You can find more about him and his ideology on http://submission.org/. This site doesn’t contain any criticism to the code19 theory. 🙂

Many Quranists even deny the term and consider it a way of division and prefer “Muslim”.

More links for you: my friend launched a Quranist website and a Quranist blog and blog directory (where you can add yours too): http://www.quranists.net/, quranistvoices.wordpress.com/.

The first one contains many great articles on the ideology, study approach and movement of Quranism.

The latter is probably your place for “daily” Quranic news and musings a number of writers (including myself) share online for everyone to benefit.

Differences I noticed:

Okay, not the off-the-record stuff. I’m not friends with many believers in code 19 at will. Many of them have abused me in the name of their code as I am not convinced with it although many others are nice. They prefer to be called “Submitters” as a part of Rashad’s “authorized English translation of the Quran”. I also noticed that Rashad Khalifa provided many many quick-business answers for them regarding the Quran and Quranic verses. His English translation kind of “seals the deal” on Quranic interpretation, and that is why I see they are in no need to be “Quranists”. Most Quranists I know spend many hours daily analyzing and studying the Quran, while I see them posting 19-related articles all over a chosen group. It’s spammy, and then they tell me I am a bad person for getting annoyed to see “God’s word” posted everywhere when it’s actually “Rashad Khalifa’s thoughts on God’s word”.

As far as I know, there are more foreign Submitters than Arabic ones (I’m Arabic and I noticed many were drawn more toward Shahrour’s and Ahmad Subhi Mansour’s views on hadith, thus didn’t get to see much of Rashad). It’s actually quite rare to find an Arabic Submitter although I know quite many.

Long ago, we had a group on facebook called “Hadith of the Day!” which was mainly 19-orientated. Most admins were advertising Rashad Khalifa’s ideas, which drew many people into discovering new ways to serve God without the need of Hadith. Maybe Rashad should get credit for spreading the message of free-thinking… to some degree.

And his message is mainly explained on submission.org although I highly recommend you don’t rely on it, since the code he brought to surface (code 19) cannot function properly unless two verses of the Quran are removed (which is a big no-no to me and many others), and I never fail to find “errors” in his work.

Finally:

To me, a Quranist is a free thinker (since imho, the Quran encourages free thinking) who studies the Quran and honestly attempts to apply it.

If you have a facebook, feel free to swing by our group: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/home.php?sk=group_179495912090888&ap=1

Scary Attitudes of Emerging QF’ists…


An innocent post in an fb forum today turned some fanatics against a good friend of fine. My friend innocently posted a link to an archived website of Dr Kamal Omar and recieved a baptism of fire that would put the American Govt to shame!

The QF’ists who attacked him were repulsed by the notion that Dr Omar discovered a very quranic notion of al-kitab before their guru. Note that their guru himself didn’t say a word, only his minions did.

This is a very sad situation. These people are quranists but do not use the term. Yet, in their commitment to unity (apparently having a name makes them a sect), they are fanatical about the originality and authenticity of their pedigree. Should this be what quranism is about? Who cares who discovered a concept! We should care that a concept is discovered and we should work on refining it.

Unity….NOT uniformity. Association…NOT sect!

See also: An Analysis of Quranic Fundamentalism

How / Why did you come to Quranism?


These answers are from Free Minds. Thank you to everyone who took part in the study/survey and to Free Minds forum.

How / Why did you come to Quranism?

  • I learned about the official movement recently, but I’ve always doubted traditional Islam. I took my Shahadah at 17, but learned about the official movement when I was 24.
  • When I converted I only read the Quran. Then I found out about hadith so I read into them. I saw they clearly contradict the Quran, and that the Quran never speaks of them. So I researched abit on the internet to see if I was the only Muslim who felt this way, then I found this site and many others.
  • I converted to Islam when I was nearly 20, then followed Quran only about 3months after.
  • No I do not personally know any [quranists], most Muslims I know are Sunni or Shia. Some Muslims I tell say that I am not a Muslim. So this and a few other sites are really where I can express myself.
  • I’m sorry, but the words “Quranism/Quranists” are a pet-peeve of mine… Please do not use this word to classify people who believe in God alone. We are simply Muslims who follow only the Qur’an. We are not sunnists/shites/quranist or any other man made word which implies or has defined boundaries.
  • 6:159 Those who have divided their system and become sects, you are not with them in anything. Their matter will be with God, then He will inform them of what they had done.
  • While I was trying to understand all the traditionalism I was learning in Saudi Arabia, and I stumbled upon this site (free-minds). I was either 14 or 15. Do you know any other quranists? Well I have my family, but I do not know any one that follows Quran Alone.
  • “quranist” is a common, descriptive noun. It is not a title/sect/a proper noun (and neither is muslim, but I digress) . There is no defined quranist ideology. Sects have very specific guidelines, you’ll be hard pressed to find two ‘quranists’ who agree on the basic issues, and that’s the beauty of it. Individuality. Choice. Discussion.
  • These other sects you speak of refer to themselves as Muslim as well. Unity for unity’s sake is not logical. Does the Quran say its okay to align ourselves with people who are not in harmony? People who would declare you apostates? Suggesting ‘quranism’ is a sect is building a straw man argument. No quranist I know of refers to themselves as a part of some imaginary sect.
  • Also, I would like to make it a point that Dr. Khalifa is NOT affiliated with us. It is true that he urged a return to the Qur’an, as we do, but he also claimed himself to be a Messenger of God – a claim he directly invalidated when he admitted to molesting a minor. Those that follow Dr. Khalifa are in a different category all of their own. The herald him as a Messenger of God and get quite offended when people dare bring up the fact that he molested a minor. Following false Messengers is forbidden and thus why they are not of us.
  • Surfing the web and finding Free-Minds.org. (I just took Shahadah about a month ago).
  • When I started to study my religion on my own rather than just be a blind follower. My wife opened my eyes to alot of things.
  • Actually I was like everyone in my society at the beginning, had standard knowledge of Islam, for a while tried to be brainwashed by Gulen supporters, thank God, got rid of them, after then I became only Quran follower but still non practicising. By the way I do not like terms like Quranism and Quranist
  • I was attracted to Islam by the Message and the core, but I realised that Sunni and Shia (including their subsects) Islam in general was neither spiritual nor sensible. I actually accepted “obey the Messenger” as proof of the authority of ahadith, but it was the weird ahadith that kept me away. I noticed that some had the “Qur’anist” interpretation and that the traditional responses were always the same (obey the Messenger). In time I also noticed it was a dud argument passed on from one wishful person to another. Decided to convert at 21, and converted at 21.
  • My point is that your questions are not detailed enough to extract any useful/relevant information. They might tell you some trivial things about “Qur’an-alone” Muslims, but nothing about what they follow or why (the intial doctrinal arguments obviously came from Arabic-speakers, after all). You should research the merit of the arguments employed, and to do that you will have to talk to the most knowledgeable/prepared people. After all, Sunnis always complain that people (non-Muslims, non-Sunnis) have come to them instead of asking the Sunni scholars! It should also be noted that the majority of traditional Muslims would not be able to argue with the “Qur’an-alone” viewpoint when it is presented in a manner devoid of alteration of the meaning of words/number of prayers etc.. Traditional responses are merely complaints devoid of logical substance. Many traditional Muslims would also agree with the “Qur’an-alone” viewpoint so long as the “Qur’an-alone” Muslims did not have to alter the meaning of the Qur’an to survive without ahadith. The Message is simple and can be followed without considering a single hadith as law.
  • If the Qur’an really is not sufficient, then Islam does not make sense.
  • Discussion/debate (in person) made me put a thought on islam rather than blind following/idolizing
  • While researching whether Music was haram.
  • I was doing a ritual prayer with a shi’a woman who did it completely different to I did (I was a Sunni), then got confused as to why there was difference in ritual practices. A friend of mine told me that was because she was a Shi’a. Prior to the experience I had no idea that there were different sects in Islam. So I decided to do a bit more research and got to learn more and more.
  • I am blessed to have personally met 10 “Qur’anists” since I became one myself. And I know a lot more online .
  • Researching noncanonical scriptures online, where I came across The Quran, and pretty much accepted it as Gods word, and studied it for a long time, without knowing much about sunni/shia and the Quran Alone label.
  • Was living with a fellow Quran alone individual
  • I guess I’ve always kinda been one, till I finally started to do some research and stumbled upon this site. My Parents also reject most of the hadeeth that have the trait of Chinese whispers and do not jive with the Quran, so their influence had something to do with it.
  • After accepting Islam as Sunni began to question the Hadith and the Sunna and that contradicted the Koran. I searched online and found the true Muslims who worship GOD ALONE.
  • I was researching about hadiths shortly after converting to Islam and found submission.org and free-minds. I carried on researching and do not consider myself a follower of Rashad Khalifa. I believe followers of RK are called Submitters. I think the Quran references given on the submission site were useful for research and further study at the time (5 years ago), but I reject RK’s teachings about removing 2 verses from the Quran.  Quranists are just followers of the Quran. I now prefer to compare English translations to get a less biased view of the message of the Quran instead of relying on one translation and I investigate anomalies by using word-by-word Quran. I am a Quranist. I am still muslim, I don’t believe Quranism is a sect seeing as the Quran unites us all. At first I felt really isolated. It’s actually very liberating to know there is a term for what I am, and to know there are other like minded people!
How / why did you come to Quranism? Please feel welcome to add comments below!

Interesting Discussion on Al-Kitab and Al-Quran


My good friend and esteemed head of the International Quranic Insitute, Rizwan Sherazi, started a very interesting thread in the Mohamed Shiekh IIPC fb group last night.

Basically, the question is: did all the prophets recieve the Quran? This would mean that Nuh, Ibrahim, Musa, Isa etc etc recieved the Quran as we know it. My current position is ‘no they didn’t’. Here is my answer to that question:

That al-kitab muFaSSaL (as per 6/114) is the subject matter of the Quran (as per 10/37, ‘taFSeeL al-kitab’) . The process of tafseel is something which is done via language (see 41/44, if Quran was ‘ajami’, ppl would say why are its ayat not ‘fussilat’) . Yawm al-Fasl is a time people are sorted out, i.e. put in the right place. Therefore, to me, al-kitab is the subject matter (which is ahkaam, laws of human world) and al-quran is the elucidation of the subject. Think of it like subject of maths. It’s very systematic, ordered, written down in the universe (maktub) but a maths textbook is a mere formulation of that system. Al-kitab is subject of maths, al-quran is the best, perfect textbook. There are other inferior textbooks (the bible, hadith, philosophy, religion) all pertaining to the subject. Al-quran is also the current edition of the best textbook. Prior to it, there were other editions although not in existence now.

 

Submitter Wars IV : A New Miracle


A long time ago, in a country far far away…..(cue John William’s famous Star Wars score)

Rashad Khalifa founded the 19 miracle…
He rejected 2 verses from the Quran…
He declared himself the Messenger of the Covenant

back to the present day…saw a post on islamic-research.org on fb today. Apparently the Submitters prove the 5 times a day ritual and the 17 units by some code or other. I thought, now’s a good time to test something. And off I went:

The 5 times a day prayer is confirmed by the Quran. Why, because it has 17 units and 17 is 19-minus 2 and the 2 are the false verses. It’s another miracle!!!!

My objective was simple: I wanted to see how a Submitter would react to this miracle. After all, I didn’t make anything up. Furthermore, these guys are still adding to the total ‘miracles’ today. RK’s findings weren’t the end of it..

A Submitter replied:

Hahaha. @Farouk, bro is it so 🙂
Am not saying u r wrong neither right.
Its not my job to falsify any verse neither any human except the one who revealed it to us.
And HE does it through HIS messengers
Pls check www.masjidtucson.org for the details of the same.

What I’d like to know is, what makes my miracle any different? I picked and chose numbers randomly and arranged them to make a result. How is my move any different from RK’s? For that matter, any Submitter who keep discovering new patterns? Furthermore, isn’t the PROOF of messengership some arbitrary result (for the Submitters)? If so,  I just provided proof. How is my proof any different?

That is the falsification test 😉