Muslim as a description


Over the past 6 months or so, I have seen countless threads discussing the use of the term Quranists and the misconception that we were named “muslimeen” in 22:78 therefore labelling / naming / calling ourselves/ referring to ourselves / referring to ourselves as Quranists is not allowed.

33:35 seems to show there are lots of descriptive words for muslimeen, unless these are separate groups / types of people.

The debate seems to centre around who has best claim to the term “muslim”

Some people say a “Muslim” is one who believes in Quran and Sunnah (where Sunnah means the Example of the Prophet) and the Sunnah is achieved by following Hadiths

Some people say a “Muslim” is one who believes in Quran and Sunnah (where Sunnah means the Example of the Prophet) and the Sunnah is achieved by following what has been preserved for generations (actions not hadiths)

Some people say a “Muslim” is one who believes in Quran and Sunnah (where Sunnah is the Sunnah of Allah as stated in the Quran) and the Examples of ALL the Prophets are believed to be contained in the Quran without the requirement for other sources of info.

So it seems that to define Muslim in today’s day and age, we also have to define the “Sunnah”  Even that is disagreed upon in traditional circles.

If I tell someone I’m muslim – they will automatically associate me with Mainstream Traditional Islam, which is not what I mean when I say I am muslim. When I say I’m muslim, I mean it to mean muslim the way the Quran means it to mean muslim!!

With there being so much confusion surrounding what it means to be muslim, it seems the term is ambiguous.

If I was around in the 1940’s / 1950’s I would quite happily announce “I’m Gay!” meaning it to mean “gay” in the sense that Enid Blyton meant it to mean “gay” as was understood how we understand it to mean “happy” THESE DAYS.

Both terms where the word in the book has come to have other associated uses and meanings ascribed to it :

“muslim” in Quran means something different than “muslim” as used in present day

“gay” in Enid Blyton’s books means something different than “gay” as used in present day.

So the only way to avoid ambiguity is by stating what you mean to clarify after you used an ambiguos term OR don’t use an ambiguous term in the first place.

I’m gay (in the Enid Blyton sense) I’m muslim (in the Quranic sense)

I could just say I’m happy and I’m a Quranist.

See also : I’m Gay (in an Enid Blyton way)

which is an attempt to “claim back” the original meaning of gay to mean happy. Some quranists (people who believe that the Quran is the sole divine source of islam but do not use the term Quranist) argue for the same action – “Claim back the term Muslim”.

Whilst in principle I can sympathise with this position, it seems that changing new meanings back to old meanings is only going to create more confusion. We have to keep up with computer technology and names of parts and jargon and terminology. Floppy discs for example!  I remember when floppy discs were not even floppy,  I’m not really old enough to have seen the original floppy discs (in use). Surely the name stuck and people got the jist from the context if you talked about “save it to a “floppy”, but I would imagine at “changeover time” (when the new type of floppy disc that was not floppy came into use)  if you specified a “3.5” as a defining term for what you are talking about (as opposed to the original 8 inch) then it just saved time and confusion. You still KNOW they are talking about a disc. It doesn’t mean that one is a disc and the other is NOT a disc. No,  they are all discs they just get referred to with different “terms” or “names” or identifiers purely so people know what you are talking about.

Inclusiveness: attack vs defense


I saw a page recently on FB which seems to want to spread the message of Quranism, albeit with a different style of approach than my own preferred way. I do try to be less “attack / confront”, rather I’ll defend my own beliefs and try to back up why I believe what I believe with verses / examples from the Quran. To spread the message of Quranism, do we need the “Attack” side or just a really strong “Defense”? I could be wrong, I’m willing to admit that, but anyway here is my post on the thread

“I like this article called “An analysis of Quranist Fundamentalism”  because it’s very balanced and inclusive.

I am a Quranist – I believe that the Quran is the sole divine source of islam. However I believe there are many paths to salvation and I don’t believe that Quranism is the only way to salvation. The reason I chose that article to share on here is that it seemed to me that people who do believe in other sources of islam (and possibly even consider them divine) are portrayed as idol worshippers. I personally believe that each individual has their own beliefs and performs their own actions and it only for Allah to judge whether they were idol worshippers or not. Even Quranists, people who claim to follow the Quran as their divine guidance and not give authority to other sources, could in theory still commit shirk like the one in the example of the garden (18:32 – 18:42) where the one who committed shirk should have said a phrase (18:39) and ends up regretting his behaviour / attitude and ends up saying he wished he had not made partners (18:42) So this (to me) shows that there are different ways to commit shirk and we must all be very careful. I also think we can’t call believers rejectors, if they say they believe (4:94).

I think it’s nice to spread the message of Quranism as I feel it is closest to the true teachings of islam seeing as Quranism is following the teachings of the Quran that Allah Himself teaches in the Quran.

I prefer a more inclusive approach when spreading the message rather than tarnishing sincere people who do believe in Allah and sincerely believe they are obeying Allah by following hadiths. I personally think there is a lot of work to do to bring a better understanding of Quranism to the masses and by attacking others’ beliefs could only serve to divide and cause resentment. A softly softly approach could be seen as friendly and accessible to the type of “inter-faith” dialogue I feel is required so that people can ask questions, learn more in a welcoming environment, free of attacks, insults, etc.

For beliefs to change, attitudes also have to change. “I am right and you are wrong” is not the way (in my own humble opinion) whereas “this is what I believe and why, what do you believe and why?” type dialogue can only be beneficial. I do sympathise though that this is not easy when the SOME of the ones who could benefit very much from this type of dialogue refuse to extend the same courtesy. It can be very exhausting and requires a lot of patience but I personally feel that this is a test, in itself – remember debating in the best way – 16:125

Here is another link for you about Multiple Paths to salvation which discusses the use of “Subulan” (Paths – plural) in the Quran. Hope that helps – no offense intended, just doing my bit to contribute to achieving what seems to be a common goal and a noble cause, which seems to rival the other FB Page that I saw recently called “Refuting Quranists and Modernists” 🙂 which I hope will be a good place to do some “dawah” type work.
Salaam Aleykum and peace 🙂
Asfora

Soap


If your bar of soap gets a bit dirty – do you need to get a different bar of soap to clean it? Or does it clean itself?
Same with the Tafsir of the Quran!
Soap’s function is to clean therefore it is self-cleaning. Quran is a book of explanation therefore it is self explaining.
Just thinking out loud

BBC Program – The Life of Muhammad


You can watch it here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/e​pisode/b012mkg5/The_Life_of_Mu​hammad_The_Seeker/

I hope to begin QNet Tv’s ‘Media Commentary’ program by commenting on this BBC program soon.

Freewill and Fatalism


was raised again as an issue in Quranology Discussions:

Aren’t these verses proves that we have no free will to choose right or wrong path?
1) Whoever among you wills to go straight. But ye shall not will Except as Allah wills (81:28,29)
2) If it had been Allah’s Plan they would not have taken false gods. (6:107)
3) No soul can believe except by the Will of Allah (10:100)

I highly recommend this book to answer all your questions: http://tolueislam.com/Parwez/kt/KT.htm