January 30, 2014 Leave a comment
Salaamun Alaikum Folks! Peace Be Upon You!
Welcome to the new year’s edition of our newsletter. Already this year the Conservative Traditionalists have restarted their campaign to dogmatise Islam. We are now seeing issues such as the issue of the use of the word ‘Allah’ by non-Muslims in Malaysia. In Saudi Arabia, the religious police seem to be going after women on swings, adding it to the haram list! How can we help this situation?
Firstly, lets continue to engage with our Traditionalist brothers and sisters and show them that the Quran simply does not contain any of these things. The Quran uses the word ‘Allah’ to convey the concept of one true God. If we do not allow people of other faiths to use the word, how can we talk about the same thing? Indeed, the Quran itself mentions those who believe God has taken a son in 5/72. In this verse, those people use the word ‘Allah’. They say ‘inna Allah huwa al-masih ibn maryam’ (verily Allah is the masih son of maryam). Therefore Allah himself acknowledges the rights of non-Muslims to use his ‘name’. Why do we then prevent others from doing so?
Secondly, lets try to spread the message of Quranist Islam as much as we can. Remember that the message of Quranist Islam is NOT ‘lets reject hadith’. Rather, its message is this – THINK for yourself. Don’t let anyone (even fellow quranists) from letting you determine what is best for you. Of course we find hadiths deeply problematic but if a hadith allowed me to interpret the Quran in a better way to yield deeper knowledge, why would I accept it? It hasn’t happened yet but I’m always open to it.
Thirdly, lets together remove the diseases of Quranist Fundamentalism (QF). The QF mentality is one held by people who fail to realise that the Quran does not have exclusive mouthpieces. There are people who say ‘this is the Quranic viewpoint’ but what they really mean is, ‘this is my viewpoint based on my understanding of the Quran’. Such dishonesty leads to arrogance and vilification of others. Lets weed out the QFs as much as we can.
Fourthly, lets celebrate the diversity of thinking within the Quranist space. We have over TWENTY different approaches to the Quran. We obviously don’t agree with many or even most of them but celebrate that individuals are actually engaging with the Quran and trying to mend their lives. That is the main thing and we will be judged for our deeds, not for the depth or correctness of interpretation.
Lets make 2014 our year for growth, folks. Lets set some targets for Quranist Islam and carry the message of the Quran as best we can to the world….peace be upon you!