Reply to the QF’ist, Mr Jinn – Part 7

Jinn: The term “Quranist” to me closes more doors than it opens. The majority of Muslims already lump us into that very term and label us a cult. They even combine us with the Submitters and incorrectly attribute all of us to being followers of Dr. Khalifa. When I tell somebody I’m a Muslim, yet am skeptical of the hadith, they start to ask questions, which is exactly what a Muslim should do. It’s better than being immediately written off as a fanatical cultist, which is the current propaganda floating around

My Comment: I appreciate your experience but mine differs. By using the term Quranist, I create a semantic space in the mind of those whom I communicate with.  The semantic space is now being filled with positive perceptions. We already have Ahmed Subhy Mansour, another self-proclaimed Quranist whose work show people that Quranists are a whole other kind of Muslim. We are progressing but I appreciate your rejection of the term.

As for being mistaken for the followers of RK, I admit that goes on but as I am seeing, that perception is changing too. One of the top reasons for that is that RK’s people ALSO have an exclusivist definition of Islam and Muslims.

Reply to the QF’ist, Mr Jinn – Part 6

Jinn: I am not attempting to guard the word “Muslim,” to the contrary I am attempting to make the point that it is a perfectly acceptable definition and needs absolutely no supplement. If God wanted to supplement the term, He would have told us in the Qur’an, yet He specifically calls us Muslims in 22:78 among other places. To me, that honor is more than enough to define who I am and what I believe.

My Comment: To me, you are guarding the word muslim because you implicitly claim that some who use the term actually do not deserve it. Again, this is because you do not acknowledge the word as it used in the world.

Once again, 22/78 does not say ‘he calls you muslim’. It says ‘he named you al-muslimeen from before and in this that the messenger is a witness over you…’. If you take this ‘naming’ literally, please also take the ‘messenger being witness over you literally’  so please tell me, is Muhammad actually with you at the moment?  Reading half the verse literally and reading the other half metaphorically or ignoring it altogether is very disingenous.


Reply to the QF’ist, Mr Jinn – Part 5

Jinn: I will agree that to the layman, hadith-supported Islam is considered orthodox, but that does not validate the usage of the applied term. To understand what orthodox Islam truly is, we must turn to the Qur’an, which is my only argument against the misapplication of the word. As I stated above, “mainstream” is a more appropriate description. However, I do not agree that using the word “Muslim” is confusing to those who inquire about our faith. As I described above, the definition of “Muslim” is a very simple one. When personally asked about my beliefs, I do not linger on discussing hadith, because they are simply invalid; the valid hadith are ones that align perfectly with the Qur’an and therefore do not need to be discussed, since we can study them in a linear sense by reading the Qur’an. I don’t propose anything more than to recognize the dogma of the Qur’an as the true orthodoxy, regardless of what popular trends tend to dictate. Justin Bieber is incredibly popular. It doesn’t mean that he’s actually talented… do you understand what I’m getting at?

My comment: This very condescending language on your part by using the word ‘layman’ is disconcerting.  This person deserves to be respected for his understanding of Islam. When I communicate to this person, I acknowledge my shared heritage with him , which is Islam , the 1400 year civilisation which began with the descent of the Quran.  He and I approach Islam differently but I will not be so arrogant as to deprive him of the term. The Quran also does not authorise me to do so.

As for simple definitions, I have already demonstrated your lack of objectivity in the previous parts. ‘Simplicity’ is a word which people use to hide lack of depth. You projected an understanding of the Quranic word ‘muslim’ with no evidence. That makes you human, like the rest of us.

When tools fall into the wrong hands

A few days ago I found a great, easy to use program that lets you create animated videos simply and quickly. I used this software myself to make some Quranism Awareness type videos for helping to dispel the misconceptions about islam as described by the Quran, Quranism and Quranists. You can watch them here

Today I was very disappointed by what I saw in this FB group. It seems that the same program I used (“goanimate”) is being used by some Quranist Fundamentalists to monger hate and intolerance towards Traditionalists (they refer to them as “Hadithers”) and the links to their versions of the videos were posted in the said group.

It is hugely disappointing and bitterly ironic that the message of peace, tolerance and inclusiveness that the Quran teaches is found nowhere in these videos. This not only undermines the work that Quranists are doing to promote the vision of Quranism, but also creates a false first impression / perception of association or collaboration. Although Quranist Fundamentalists (QFists) are considered by Quranists to be within the description of what a quranist is (one who holds a belief that the Quran is the sole divine source of islam) this does not in any way mean that QFist views speak on behalf of Quranists or all quranists’ beliefs. To anyone who doesn’t know the terminology it might sound confusing but it is not. Basically the term Quranist Fundamentalist is a term which is described here. You can see a striking difference in the mentality and attitude of such an approach. This does not make QFists any less believers in God and the Quran and only God knows what is in the hearts. The approach of Quranists is simply not the not same as the approach of Quranist Fundamentalists. The fact that the same animation software has been used to create videos and that the Quran is being discussed in them can lead people to make false assumptions.

Basically I am saying, even though I, Asfora, made some cute animated videos which were intended to help to spread a positive and welcoming message for quranists, new muslims, reverts and converts, I do not want people to see the other videos which contain rudeness, insults and prejudice and think that I have anything to do with them or that they are videos that or QNet TV will ever promote.

I, as a Quranist, do not support this mentality of intolerance and hatred towards a generalized group of people. I do not support the use of vulgar and obscene language in videos which are supposed to be inviting to the path of God. I do not want to be associated with this at all. I personally find it tasteless, juvenile and disgraceful.  We are to invite to the path of God and debate in the best way. Rude, insulting, sarcastic videos only seek to repel. We need to remember to humble ourselves and purify our intentions, inshaaAllah.

It is very difficult for me to make this disassociation crystal clear if videos from the Quranist Network TV channel are being promoted on Quranist Fundamentalist sites and Youtube channels. Unfortunately there is no way to stop people adding YouTube uploads onto their channel as part of a favourites list or Playlist.  After all, people have the same right to use the software as anyone else.  I am sure there are other people using “goanimate” to make anti-islam vids too or anti-Quran vids, and if there are not yet, then there no doubt will be soon.
I trust that readers and viewers will be able to detect from the type of content contained in videos whether it is promoting a Quranist attitude or a Quranist Fundamentalist attitude, and will not conflate one with the other. And also to remember that a video on an individual’s personal Youtube Channel does not mean that the author of the video has the right to speak on behalf of the views of any group. Each person is an individual and is responsible for their own content.

I hope I have made my point clear, inshaaAllah. Any questions, comments on this, please ask in the comments below.

Special thanks also to Marisa who also made a wonderful animated video here : Telling your parents about your conversion to islam . It was a pleasure working together with you on this, maashaaAllah. And thanks also to Yasin who generously bought the upgraded version of the software for us to use.

We hope to be able to continue working together to bring more animated videos focussing on Quranism, and reverts and converts in the future, inshaaAllah. 🙂

Reply to the QF’ist, Mr Jinn – Part 4

Jinn: As to the reference to Christians and the papacy, I was clearly alluding to the definition of “orthodox” presented in the article I addressed, my main point being that if the author wishes to define “Sunni” Islam as orthodox, then I will then attribute Catholicism as the “orthodox” version of Christianity by drawing parallels between the popular crowds, thus creating a rather appropriate comparison. I will go out on a limb and assume you did not grow up as a Christian like I did. I apologize if this is not the case. Nobody ever describes themselves as a Protestant. They either tell you they’re Christian, or they’ll denote which sect they belong to (e.g. Methodist). In a normal query on faith, the blanket term of Christian precedes the sect classification. but I digress, I would rather see my central point refuted with appropriate supporting ayats rather than an offhand example as to why hadith should not be a central topic among new Muslims. When I embraced Islam, I was only given hadith AFTER my shahadah, not before. If we truly doubt the hadith, it should be a minimal issue at most, and a non-issue at the very least. I see no reason to discuss hadith unless somebody asks about it.

My comment: The word ‘orthodox’ means ‘right dogma/belief’. To the Catholics, they are orthodox. However, because Christianity has historically progressed beyond Islam (as religio-civilisations), for the Catholic to say ‘I am Christian’ with no qualification, he runs a good chance of being identified as a non-Catholic. That’s not the case in Islam. In Islam, if you say ‘I am Muslim’ with no qualification to that term, there is an overwhelmnig percentage people will think you’re a Sunni. Even to think you Shia is very unlikely.

If you feel you have no need to discuss hadith unless someone asks, then I think you are communicating with bad faith knowing full well what the perception of your conversation partner is most likely to be.

Reply to the QF’ist, Mr Jinn – Part 3

Jinn: I will disagree to the claim that I do not have an objective definition of a Muslim: The Qur’an defines what a Muslim believes many times over in various verses, a few of which I quoted. To paraphrase, a Muslim is a person who believes in God, His Revelations, His Messengers, makes no distinction between said Messengers, and believes in the Last Day. This is the core definition of a Muslim which is repeated over and over in the Qur’an.

My comment: Very sadly, this is the trademark of the Quranist Fundamentalist (QF’ists). You believe you have the objective truth yet in this case, on the very definition of ‘muslim’ in the Quran, you have failed. It’s repeated ‘over and over’…really? Where?

The Quran says: The a3raab  say, “We have believed.” Say, “You have not  believed; but say , ‘We have submitted,’ for faith has not yet entered your hearts.

A muslim in the Quranic sense is an attribute of one’s actions and expressions (see 3/20 – aslamtu WAJHIYA lillah) . It can even be faked (hence why we have the hypocrites).

So Mr Jinn, I implore you, get off your high horse. You don’t have an objective understanding. You even misread 5/48 claiming it has previous scriptures in it. I am in the same boat as you actually. I am subjective reader of the text. The difference is, I acknowledge my subjectivity while you think you own the text. You are no different from Traditionalist Fundamentalists, sorry to say.


Reply to the QF’ist, Mr Jinn – Part 2

Jinn: I do not disagree that language can and will evolve. Even I use the word “gay” to describe a male homosexual, yet the definitions of “orthodox” and “traditional” have not evolved to be attributed with the popular crowd. Their definitions still take root in the act of compliance with the original doctrine and thus in this case, the true orthodoxy is those who uphold the Qur’an as an unchallengeable authority over Islam. This is confirmed in 5:48 where the Qur’an takes precedence over all past Scripture. Therefore, to find out what orthodox Islam is, we turn to the Qur’an. It is in that regard that I profess that hadith supporting communities are not practicing orthodox/traditional Islam, but have deviated from any attribution of the definitions.

My response: It’s not about evolution of words at all. It is about location of words. The semantic networks in which the words operate. When I use the term orthodox, I am operating within in the domain of the complex cultural network called Islam. In this culture/civilisation/society which you disavow (and that is your right to do so), Sunnism IS Traditional and Orthodox. You can ignore this at your own peril.

I’m glad you quoted 5/48 (which does not have the word previous scriptures btw, that’s your interpretation at best). Continue reading 5/48 which tells us that Allah decreed for each of us ‘shir3ah’ and ‘manhaj’ (disclosures and methods). Each of us have our own ways of engaging with the truth. This is what Quranists do. The label is necessary because we operate within Islam. Islam has a multiplicity and we are one of those which make up that multiplicity.