Refuting Quranists and Modernists

A page was created a few days ago to ‘refute quranists and modernists’. Sadly, the arguments have thus far been quite lacking. Perhaps you guys can discuss with these lovely folks on their page.

A priest, a rabbi and a quranist…

and so the joke goes. Last night however was no joke. I attended an event promoting scripture and reasoning between the three ‘Abrahamic Faiths’ . I sat a table with a rabbi and a priest (very lovely people). When it came to my turn to introduce myself, I did and lo and behold! ….I was rudely interrupted by a Traditionalist. He was like ‘what about the letters of the prophet bla bla bla’. So I replied, since he just spoke about ‘no compulsion in deen’, why was he accepting hadith from the same source which says ‘whoever changes his religion, kill him’ ? He actually said ‘this isnt true, there’s so such hadith’ !!!!!. This is when the ironic happened, the priest actually said he’s seen this debate before and that there was such a hadith. That shut up our Traditionalist friend…for the rest of the dinner.

Moral of the lesson: Dont try to hide your beliefs for fear of embarassment. Be honest and brave. Research your beliefs thoroughly. Because people know…oh they KNOW.

One thing good though, some good honest discussion came from that little tiff…

Shafiee’s Flawed Logic

Renae quoted Shafiee saying: Shafii…taking it beyond just Qur’aan…and Hadith. “Then I said to him: It is not for me, or for any knowledgeable person,
to hold that something is allowed or prohibited, nor to take something
from someone, or grant something to him, unless he has found a proof
text for that in the Book of God, or a Sunna, or consensus, or a legally
binding report.”

Here’s a problem , Shafiee. The ‘sunna’ here is according to your definition. So what you’re doing is setting a criteria then making information conform to your defintion. So where does Allah come in, if at all?

Meaning vs Metaphor

As Quranists, many of us were often accused of taking the Quran to an excessive, over-metaphorical level. You would think this accusation came from anti-Quranic (and NOT Sunni, Shitte of other) parties, yet instead it came from fellow Quranists who first refused the name at the time Farouk was launching the website and forum (!

I can hardly say I’m religious in the terms of organized religion. My belief in God is still natural rather than based on a sacred text, which is safe for now. I figured that before reading the Quran again, I had to establish a mechanism, a way, a more appropriate language than the currently dealt-with Arabic, and a new (yes! brand new) mentality… and probably more age since I doubt my brain is developed enough for all this.

Many things in organized religion never appealed to me. The constant call for rituals that I did not understand (although I don’t deny the beauty of rituals), the unnecessary-seeming Quranic details (for example, why it was so important to say that Abraham offered his Angelic guests roasted beef, or why Moses was traveling with a Whale, he lost for some reason etc), and the constant call for fundamentalism – all these seemed of no value whatsoever.

So, many Quranists began to question these details. They were NOT questioning Allah SWT, and NOT questioning the validity of the Quran, but they were questioning the Quranist-Traditional (which Farouk might like to call QFists) understanding of Quranic verse.

Based on many Quranists challenging the current “silly” (oh, yes it is silly!) understanding of many well-known Quranic verses, other fellow Quranists accused them of exaggerating in extracting a metaphorical, symbolic, “wider” meaning, and by that “drifting away” from God, trying to “make our life easier by eliminating rituals”.

What is worse that all this is that these Quranists deny the title and study approach “Quranist”, prefer to be called on Muslims AND call any those who have tried to think harder, dig deeper and find another way “Quranists”, and by that refusing us, dividing the ummah on a mini-scale on the internet. I have absolutely no issue with people calling themselves “Muslims”. That is simply beautiful and up to them, but to entirely separate themselves from those who seek a wider Quranic meaning (which doesn’t include all Quranists) in the name of God? Why, any 17-year-old can spot the intolerance there!

In response, many Quranists stood up to say, “Yes, we do take the Quran metaphorically and we believe many verses were meant to be understood metaphorically!”

Here is where I highly disagree. There is no “metaphorical” meaning, but the words are deeper and have more angles than we assume. We’re not trying to find a metaphorical meaning in the Quran, but we’re trying to find the actual meaning!

Once you reach the point of realizing Salaat cannot be a ritual, you start wondering what ablution is for. Then you follow a trace, and you discover that “ablution” has much greater angles. Later on, you discover that the “whale/hoot” means something “unstable” and that this instability would visit The People of the Sabbath on the Day of “Sabbath” – the Day of “Rest” when they are under-equipped and unprepared for trouble.

I doubt the Quran is a life schedule, but it’s a grand philosophy by which Allah teaches those who seek guidance the means to patience, balance, “prayer” and life.

Traditional Islam created a whole new language called “al-mustalahat ash-sharia”, where (ironically) every Arabic word connected or found in the Quran has a “sharia” meaning and an “actual” meaning. For example, “safira” is a word Islamists use to describe an “exposed” hijabless woman, but they don’t tell you how it’s from the same root as the word “safar” which is found in the Quran,  roughly translated as “traveling”. Now, everything has a twisted sharia meaning to fit into a religion that aims to drown you in sunnah details of eating with your right hand and entering the bathroom with your left foot.

I highly disrespect those who say Quranists joggle with root words (as if it’s a sin to brush up on our Arabic!). They would tell me the Quran is easy to understand which to them means that words have a limited range of meanings as long as the majority of translators agree to deliver to us, (good enough for any mediocre thinking style), EVEN if these words were based on hadith, historical sources and other things they themselves consider to be “dogmas”. Due to this faulty understanding of the Quran, they themselves end up relying on outside sources to complete their religion, such as using a calendar to know when Ramadaan is, although we made that calendar with our own hands.

God’s word is clear. Sure, but do your eyes know clarity? Are you not looking through the eyes of traditional, intolerant, “ban-thinking” people?
– Take the word “nisa'” for example, which, root-wise, has nothing to do with women! Can you find anyone who ever translated “nisa'” as anything beside “women”?

– Take the word “rajeem” (a word used in the Quran to describe the Devil) that everyone flipped from “the oft-banishing” to “the banished one”.

– Take how “fatayat” and “banat” are both translated as “daughters”, or how both “zawj” and “imra’a” are both translated as “wife”.

– Take how Satan is The Devil although the two concepts are different and featured separately in the story of Adam.

– Take how “jald” could mean many other things beside flogging and whipping.

– Take how Sujjud (prostrating) does not fit as “physical prostration” in many verses and means “submission” at the same time. Do you see how many people are afraid to give up the meaning stuck in their head (that sujjud is about kneeling and lowering your forehead to the ground) although it doesn’t always fit?

Understanding God’s word cannot and will not happen overnight. It’s a life-long journey of giving and taking.

Reply to A Big Pain in the Rear

Sometimes you don’t know whether a guy is kidding or what. We had a guy in Quranology Discussions FB who actually told us to take down our sites, delete our groups because it ‘ran contrary to Islam’. Amazing. Well, one of our main guys, Ifti, decided to reply to this Big Pain. Here’s his fantastic reply:

I  have identified a person who is trying to play “GOD” for a long time and here I am here to reply to him and all associated with him. Please read this note very carefully and use your own logic and brain. I am sure you would be able to definitely understand, as all of this is in english.

First things first.

What is Quranology?

A group where we TRY to understand the Quran by collecting various opinions, ideas, point of views, studies etc. The group is open for whose who are tolerant, polite, peaceful and have logic. You always have to keep in mind that you have to agree to disagree and should not curse other people as some try to. And also should never try to play God.

You do not have to agree with the person’s views all what is required is to be polite and peaceful which definitely lacks in Mr. Mahtab Hossain.

Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation, and argue with them in the best way possible. Your Lord surely knows best who has gone astray from His way, and He knows best who are the rightly guided (Quran 16:125)

We in our group may have various opinions about what is what and what could be. We however, do not stop anyone from offering 5 times salaat. There are people who offer 5 times, 3 times, 20 times etc. I would ask Mahtab Hossain now, would he stop the person praying 30 times salaat and will he say that he/she is not a muslim? who gave him the right to decide? is he God? of course he is just a human being who is trying very hard to prove something out here. In our group if you pray 5 times or 50 times it does not really matter. Yes we do pray but we do not have the liability to tell a human how and when we pray coz our prayer are not to show off to people they are for God. Isnt Allah the one to decide who is Muslim who is not? 

Mahtab said in his note:-

“They do not give any Importance to our Prophet Muhammad (SAS). They just think that he was like any other Muslims like us. But they never realize that he was never like us nor was he a Super Man.”

Can he prove what he is saying? We never said that we do not give any importance to Prophet Muhammad. We acknowledge that the Quran is revealed to Prophet Muhammad and also we remember the verse quoted below:-

The Messenger believeth in what hath been revealed to him from his Lord, as do the men of faith. Each one (of them) believeth in Allah, His angels, His books, and His messengers. “We make no distinction (they say) between one and another of His messengers.” And they say: “We hear, and we obey: (We seek) Thy forgiveness, our Lord, and to Thee is the end of all journeys.” (Quran 2:285)

I know you are intelligent people and after this verse I do not have to emphasise on anything else.

We do not preach anything as I have explained earlier the motive of the group is to collect various opinions and analyze them without any hatered to people. So even if you are a christian or hindu or anything and if you have something valuable to share you are most welcome to understand and to share.

Furthermore, Mr. Mahtab has connected us with some shia regime which I do not know what it is but he has to definitely prove it. Or else he is a liar and he must accept that.

Mr. Mahtab is also trying to disturb the peace by calling war on us innocent people for just trying to understand the Quran. He wants to kill us which is a death threat and is definitely calling attention.

He Quotes few verses which you should check yourselves and it does not say anything about praying 5 times. Again its upon us individual to answer Allah not to Mahtab.

Please read this verse carefully:-

And Allah most certainly knows those who believe, and as certainly those who are Hypocrites (Quran 29:11)

Mr. Mahtab did not hesitate a single bit in calling us Munafiqs or asking us if we are Muslims or not well the Quran is clearly saying its only Allah who knows it and it did not mention “Mahtab” its written Allah there. Now I ask you people whoever he is corrupting agaisnt us. Will you be agreeing with what he is saying when he is clearly taking the authority what Allah and only Allah has? Are you really going to support him for this? well its upon you what you choose and we are all answerable to Allah definitely.

There is nothing like a true muslim (Muslimo Sadiqun) or something like that in the holy Quran if you really read the Quran you will never find the word true Muslim. I dont know how many of you would like to go with him on something which is illogical. If Muslim means submitter to God there cannot be a true or false. Go figure.

Dear people please note that it is God who will decide who is on the right path and who is not . Not some retired guy who does not have anything to do except threatening people and  including our names in his false accusations. 

And say: “Truth has  arrived, and Falsehood perished: for Falsehood is bound to perish.”

Thank you

– Iftikhar Uddin

80 things to understand one verse ?!

Part of my research thesis is to understand how Traditionalist Muslims approach the Quran. Of course Sunni Islam has a very sophisticated method. They call this method ‘3ulum al-quran’ (sciences of the Quran). They amount to 80 sub fields of study! So to understand one verse you need to knw 80 things! Of course these things are instrinsically unknowable (one of them is the Prophet’s MOOD for god’s sake) . This is how they block people from studying the Quran.

Saheeh International or Dhaif International?!

It’s really shameless sometimes how translations play with the meaning of the Quran. Seriously! Check this out from Saheeh International:

Sahih International
And We did certainly give Moses the Torah and followed up after him with messengers. And We gave Jesus, the son of Mary, clear proofs and supported him with the Pure Spirit. But is it [not] that every time a messenger came to you, [O Children of Israel], with what your souls did not desire, you were arrogant? And a party [of messengers] you denied and another party you killed.
Not only is the word ‘Torah’ missing from the aya, they didn’t even have the courtest to put the word ‘torah’ in brackets! The word is ‘al-kitab’, correctly translated as ‘the book’ or ‘the writ’.
These guys prefer to call themselves ‘SAHEEH International’ (correct or accurate). I think they are ‘dhaif’ (weak or inaccurate).