QF’ism – What it REALLY boils down to

In the last few months, I have been up to my neck in it, battling the Quranic Fundamentalists (QF’ists) who have failed to understand the concept of Quranism and misconstrue it as a ‘sect’. QF’ism however is an internet phenomenon largely for the fact that calling oneself ‘Muslim’ in the world with no qualifier somewhat invites a mistaken perception…from 1.2 billion people!  Even Toluislam and IIPC know this (hence named themselves Toluislam and IIPC) but sadly, not the QF’ist.

I had the good fortune of debating a particularly hateful QF’ist two days ago who sneaked back into Quranology Discussions after being banned. This person’s hatred for homosexuality is such he compares it to rape and paedophilia, as if heterosexuals never perpetrate either! Anyway, on to his argument:

(his words are bold, mine are italicised)

In Surah 30:31-32 “Turn unto Him alone then, and be mindful of Him, and establish As-Salat and be not of theMUSHRIKEEN; those who split up their DEEN, and become sects – each sect delighting in whatever beliefs they have.”

He accused Quranists of being guilty of this. Quranists according to him have ‘split the deen’. My response:

What does it mean to FARRAQOO your DEEN?
Why is it farraqoo your deen and not farraqoo your ummah?
What does one do in order to tafreeq ad-deen?
When you ‘farraqoo deen’, who exactly are you separating FROM?

After much wriggling and insults (calling me hypocrite and firaun then screaming for Quranic ettiquete later), he finally came up with an answer:

False authorities like yourself it’s simple

A response begging for a deconstruction (I’m a fan of Derrida, what can I say). So I asked the guy:

Who are Quranists seceding FROM? What is this true authority? Who represents this true authority?

He tried then to dodge the question (I’ve edited the other dodges out otherwise dear reader, you’d be here all night!) by saying:

Farouk, who are the Sunnis, Shites seceding from? What gives these people authority

Interesting response, so his circle does NOT include Sunnis and Shiites. It seems everyone is a sectarian but him! This is a QF’ist trait! I pressed him again for the answer by repeating my question:

Who are Quranists seceding FROM? What is this true authority? Who represents this true authority?

Finally, he responded by saying:

Farouk, again (again?! it was his first answer, lol) you separating from the actual Qura’n itself, being Hizb, separating from the Jama’a unification of what Allah calls us in Qur’an. Quranist is no where to be found. Why do you have authority to be a Quranist’ who gives you authority?

In other words, being separate means calling yourself something else. Amazing reasoning indeed which I will respond to at the end of this post below. I ignored the opposition to the name bit and  continued:

Excellent. Thank you. How am I separating from the Quran?

He must have known where this conversation was going because he wriggled a bit before finally giving the REAL problem:

Homosexuality and women marrying more than one man is a Quranist view and don’t have anything to do with Qur’an at all, that’s corruption.

And folks, THIS is the real issue at hand. This QF’ist refuses to acknowledge that OTHER people may have an interpretation which differs from him! His hate of homosexuality precludes him from going into any kind of analysis. He considers Sunnism a sect but uncritically accepts their exegetical assumptions. So I continued:

So this is actually disagreeing with YOU. Not the Quran. You cant even defend your case. (I was referring to a prior argument when this person was completely outclassed by people presenting evidence that there is no element of homosexuality in the story of Lut. His best response was ‘are you kidding me?’)

His response was:

There is nothing to defend Farouk, it’s a Quranist view

In other words, he’s saying ‘my view is the last word on the matter, even though I cannot provide counter evidence, what I say about the Quran goes’. Sounds familiar, right? Wahabism anyone? I responded:

So why are we not allowed to disagree with YOU? Are you the final authority on the Quran? (A man who doesn’t know the difference between tasmiya and du’a)

He responded with a final tirade, after being banned (for coarse language, not for differing with our views):

It’s a shame we can’t all just be Muslims and respect each other on what we all share in common why do we have to continue to divide ourselves into parts. 

This person’s deficient reading of the Quran has led him to believe that Allah CALLS us Muslims when in fact, the word is ‘samma’ or to essentialise something.  Quran 3/45 shows that the angels essentialised (same word) Isa as ‘al-masih’. Is this his name (did they call him this in school? Al-masih? Present!) or is this his essence and description? If this person knew Arabic at all , he would know that proper names are NEVER with an ism ma’rifa (or  ‘al’). Have you ever seen ‘al-musa’ or ‘al-muhammad’? It’s a pity that with toothpicks they wish to dig the grand canyon!  But this is the QF’ist for you. Superficial analysis to feed confirmation bias. Another QF’ist thought that ‘popular translations’ is like reading the Quran itself! You can find more counter arguments here.

To sum up the exchange above, it’s clear what this issue really boils down to. The authority of interpretation. What worries the QF’ist is the fact Quranism has seceded from HIS views.  His accusation that 30/31-32 (quoted above) refers to Quranists, can, with interrogation (and lots of patience), be shown to be quite hollow.

The fact is, no one owns Quranic discourse. Not even Quranists. Quranism is a space which ensures that all interpretations are heard. We do not discriminate against we views we personally hate. This is what makes us different from the Quranic Fundamentalist (QF’ist). The QF’ist believes that his reading is THE reading. There is no interpretation involved. Such views truly begs disbelief….


About Farouk A. Peru
I am a human being in the world, blogging my existence. My thought systems may be found in my website: www.farouk.name

One Response to QF’ism – What it REALLY boils down to

  1. Pingback: Definition of a Sect « Quranist Voices – Musings on Being Quranist

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