I was quite touched by the grievance of a close compatriot in the Quranist struggle yesterday who said:
Self-professed experts in certain groups have NO CLUE what the heck they are talking about. The more sure people are about what they think is right, the more off-mark their theories and self-imposed meanings on the Quran are
This is where I believe, language can help us understand the difference between our voices and the voice of the Quran.
Often we hear people (including me) saying ‘The Quran says bla bla bla’. This in reality is actually ‘I THINK/BELIEVE/OPINE that the Quran says bla bla bla’. I suppose this lapse may be forgiven if we have the best intention and act accordingly.
But we don’t. At least not a lot of the times.
I see quranists (whether or not they subscribe to the term) to have a tendency to assume ownership of the Quran! Meaning, we have no problem saying ‘ok see, the Quran says in which HADITH do you believe in after Allah and his ayat’ (45/6) Therefore you Sunnis who believe in hadith are disbelievers.
What if the Sunnis didn’t believe that the word ‘hadith’ in 45/6 refers to Hadith literature? Don’t they have a right to their opinion?
This is why I think we need the term ‘quranist’ and we need to make a separation between what is ‘quranIST’ and what is ‘quranIC’.
The quranist is subjective. He is interpreting the Quran according to the knowledge he has at that point. Later on, he may disagree with himself! I know this because I have gone through it myself (several times in fact!) . He can infer that the meaning of ‘salah’ is connection but it will always be his inference. The Quran NEVER says the meaning of salah is connection.
On other hand, ‘quranic’ denotes what is objective. I can say ‘Quranic personalities’ (like ibrahim, nuh, musa , isa) because they are objectively there in the Quran. I CAN’T say ‘the meaning of the story of nuh is about deliverance and survival’. This is purely my opinion and I appreciate people might disagree.
This is why it surprises me to see people say ‘The Quranic concept of riba’ for example and analyse 2-3 verses to claim ‘this is ‘quranic”. It’s not, it’s simply your limited attempt to understand the concept. If it works for you, great. Keep up the good work but don’t be so quick to put down other ‘quranic opinions’
The fact is, in the Quranist world (a little world in the World of Islam), we have a large degree of diversity and that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. We just need to respect the fact that we’re all on a journey. Dial down the trash talk. Be nice. If you can’t say, just say WATDIP (We Agree To Disagree In Peace) and move on 🙂