My ego?

How am I (or anyone, for that matter) going to engage in a discussion to supposedly reach an actual conclusion when everyone who does not like what I say will tell me I am a blind follower of my desires?

Only because my understanding of the quran is not like yours [OR YOUR TRANSLATOR’S, for that matter], it does not mean I worship my ego.

The very notion that ANY Quranist (or Muslim, whatever) would tell a fellow Quranist (or Muslim) that they are making an idol of their ego is disgusting, disturbing and nauseating.

Here is a personal promise that I will immediately stop arguing with people who will face me with such accusation (there being one exception, of course – the person will remain unnamed). If I’m not going to learn or share ideas with other people in a discussion turned into an argument, I might as well spare myself the sick feeling of seeing “rational” people turn into complete bastards.

Ir-religious Tolerance

Today I learned you can access Yahoo! Answers using facebook. I logged in and asked the first question.

Why do *some* Muslims treat people of other beliefs harshly?

I’m a Quran Alone believer, and had a hard time explaining that to my “friends”. Some of them argued back but did not leave me, but others were enraged. Many people around me began giving me “hints” that I am somewhat disgusting, disturbed and off the “path”, when I have never mentioned to any of them or even slightly suggested THEY may be wrong – I wanted to be respected back.

Many abused me for this. Some people stopped saying “salamualaikum” to me. They disdained me for taking off my headcover. They started rumors about me. They told me I was “wrong”, and they were “right”. They insisted that I was NOT following the Quran. They claim I deny the Prophet Muhammed. Some of them even asked me whether I believe in him or not, which is rather rude.

This doesn’t seem like the religious tolerance the Quran teaches [from my perspective].

  • 19 minutes ago
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Additional Details

I am not of a whole different religion, but simply reject what they call a “second” source of Islamic law, called Al Hadith, which is were most wrong ideas about Islam come from. Hadith teaches pedophilia to some degree, it demeans women and puts a band on human rights. I couldn’t see how that was from God in any way, and there were never enough historical or logical evidence to suggest Hadith has to be part of my faith.

Muslims who seek to be exclusive in afterlife reward and seek to be superior in this life by their belief [which remains no better than other beliefs] are not so Muslims to me anymore. A Muslim to me would be someone seeking to reform and mend society. It simply became evident to me that preaching hatred is not the same as preaching God. They preach hatred.

A few minutes later, I got quite some answers. Kind of shocking for a first question. One of the questions was a deadly strike (against the intolerant Muslims, not against me):

You mean you are a Quranist? Your not disgusting and this is not a hint, there is only ONE Islam and if you follow the Quran alone what happened to where in the Quran its instructed to follow our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) ie the Sunnah and Hadiths?
Quran instructs you to cover your head, so if you are a Quranist why ignore that also? You do not think it rude however to reject Allah’s instruction in the Quran to follow the Prophet though correct?

Your perspective is not Islam, Islam does not change for people, people change for Islam. There is no altering Islam and there is no ”hint” intended I am telling you straight as your sister in Islam you are going down a wrong path sister, get back on the right one before its too late, for yourself, not for me or other Muslims but for you.

•Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and beware (of evil): if ye do turn back, know ye that it is Our Messenger’s duty to proclaim (the Message) in the clearest manner. (5: 92).

•O ye who believe! obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you. If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if ye do believe in Allah and the Last Day: that is best, and most suitable for final determination. (4: 59).

•Say: “Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger: but if ye turn away, he is only responsible for the duty placed on him and ye for that placed on you. If ye obey him, ye shall be on right guidance.(24: 54).

•And whoever obeys Allâh and His Messenger, Allâh shall admit him in the Gardens underneath which rivers flow. (4:13).

•And whoever obeys Allâh and His Messenger, he has won a great success. (33:71).

•And we sent no messenger, but that he should be obeyed by the leave of Allâh. (4:64)

So I decided that religious tolerance turns to utter bullsh*t  when you’re surrounded with people who claim to hold the one and ultimate key to truth.

The Concept of God in the Quran (intro)

People have endlessly questioned this. I do not mean atheists, historians, writers or philosophers, but people I knew. Friends, “family”, random debaters… and so on.

One of the most interesting beliefs I shared with few of them was that atheists (or those who deny the existence of a higher source or its need for our worship, in some way or the other) were more believers than religious or even spiritual individuals.

As they had no god or gods to follow, no laws to rule by (laws that do not always meet with logic), and no rituals beside personal ones, some of them decided to adopt a moral code. They spread less “mischief” than believers, and they commit less “sin” than any religious person. Why?

Well, religious individuals forbid all sorts of things – especially every-day requirements. There is no way to follow all these laws without a major heartbreaking sacrifice: the sacrifice of oneself. Everything becomes a sin. Small issues become major sins. The wars, the slavery, the patriarchy system. All these are things that can easily be justified in the name of God. People’s love for Allah can be used. It’s what my Mushu calls “Emotional Blackmail”.

True it is, love and devotion are powerful tools, especially if a person decides to make that sacrifice after all. Any religious leader can blackmail the human conscience and insist upon some malady or the other in service to the Heavens.

Most atheists I met or spoke to were ethical. They were clean, and I mean morally clean. They hold no grudge for what religious people may irrationally hate, such as homosexuality. They are willing to debate at any time. They are willing to make records and discoveries. I am quite certain a great number of them would still be “religious” if the world’s religions made sense and did not impose harsh expectations for each “religious” individual.

Even among fellow Quranists, I find quite a few biased rules. Perhaps they are biased in my point of view only, for they are godly ideas to others.

“Religio-logically” speaking, religion “is equal to” morals. Quite a dangerous formula! Many religious people would assume that once someone becomes godless, he loses all morals; the “who is godless is evil”. It’s difficult to observe this on real ground! All those godless people (for any person may be an atheist according to some religion or the other) live in development, although the believe in evolution, and live in happiness, although they may favour Jesus, Achamán, Shiva or nothing. It’s a fact that those who lived most happily or “moved on” where people least concerned about religion, but more concerned about practical life.

 This is why I am eager to write on the subject. I want to discover how my Maker describes Himself, and how He orders us to behold Him using the Quran. I wish to know if “dhikr” is to pay God lip-service, or whether it is to bring Him out into life (which would depend on the definition of god according to my view point of the Quran). In other words, it’s time to put Quran in the light of nourishing life instead of a theory residing in books. It’s important for me to know if my image of God will judge all people by how they believed, or who they believed in instead, or even when and where this judgment will take place.

I want to say “peace” instead of “goodbye” and actually mean it!

Quranists ask, always ask…

‘Dont ask too many questions, just accept what is taught to you’

That is a statement which I heard many many times over the course of being a Traditional Muslim. I was told that statement for a very simple reason:o  I asked too many questions! I didn’t ask to put the person on the spot though, I asked because I need to know. Obviously my questions were not answered and here I am.

As a Quranist, there are no limits to my questions. And there shouldn’t be. Quranist are not bound to any human authority. They may differ with each other and in fact, are expected to. So ask, always ask…

Arrogance and emotional blackmail

I recall a debate I had with a shi’i brother back when I was a sunni, regarding the coherence of our respective beliefs. His insistence that the majority of sahaba turned back on their heels and rejected the imamate of Ali led me to retort: “Well if that’s true, then it means there was nothing special about the Prophet, since he failed to transform his followers in the twenty-three years he stayed with them.” A response loaded with two specific fallacies, designed to back my opponent into a corner and yield.


That ‘specialness’ of the Prophet was important. It allowed everything to fall into place, even when they didn’t really fit, and allowed for an intelligent-lite cosmic view. The Prophet was special, hence Islam was special. Specialness meant I did not need to subject Islam to the same level of scrutiny as I would would with any other philosophy: it had its own rules.

What happened to previous religions couldn’t happen to Islam. What this arrogance does is it creates a wedge between the Muslim and the warnings given in quran regarding what happened to the previous people who were given guidance:

5/13 So for their breaking of the covenant We cursed them and made their hearts hard. They distort words from their usages and have forgotten a portion of that of which they were reminded. And you will still observe deceit among them, except a few of them. But pardon them and overlook. Indeed, Allah loves the doers of good.

5/14 And from those who say, “We are Nasaara” We took their covenant; but they forgot a portion of that of which they were reminded. So We caused among them animosity and hatred until the Day of Resurrection. And Allah is going to inform them about what they used to do.

Hard hearts, forgetting part of the message, deceitful, enmity and hatred between them… if this does not sum up the condition of the Muslims today, what does? But how many Muslims will admit that these verses are aimed at them? They will insist that Islam is special, and it will not and has not fallen foul of the same satanic tricks that fooled the ancient believers. “These verses refer to Jews and Christians, not Muslims!” Arrogance blinds such people from taking heed.

The truth is, Islam is not special. Neither was the Prophet.

42/13 He has decreed for you the same deen He ordained for Noah, and what We inspired to you, and what We ordained for Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: “You shall uphold this deen, and do not divide in it.” Intolerable for those who have set up partners is what you invite them towards. God chooses to Himself whomever He wills; He guides to Himself whoever repents.

3/144 Muhammad is but a messenger, like many messengers that have passed before him. If he dies or gets killed, will you turn back on your heels? Whoever turns back on his heels, he will not harm God in the least. God will reward the thankful.

Once one comes to the realization that islam was and is the original deen, sent to all the previous nations, and that the Prophet’s mission was no different to the mission of the Prophets he proceeded, the warnings in the quran become relevant. If the old ‘muslims’ went astray, what’s to say we won’t as well? Are we making the same mistakes as the previous nations?

The belief that the Bible was compiled 150 years after the Prophet Jesus is strikingly similar to the claim that the hadith collections were supposedly compiled 200 years after the Prophet Muhammad. Jewish tradition has a strong emphasis on hadith, and secondary sources to the Torah, particularly the Thalmud, which should make Muslims reflect upon their own corpus of secondary sources. Messianism, which still grips many Christians and Jews today, is not only the archetype of shi’ism but also sunni’ism, which proposes that Jesus and the Mahdi will come and save us despite a lack of evidence from quran. The idolisation of pious men e.g. Jesus, is similar to Muslims who believe the Prophet was made of light, and that he will intercede for the people on Judgement day. And so on.

It is only arrogance that prevents Muslims from connecting these dots. A blissful existence of denial has been fashioned by centuries of pretentious ‘scholarship’, maintained by ahadith speaking of a ‘saved sect’, leading to in-fighting and takfeerism amongst various groups.

But arrogance is not an innate characteristic in anyone. Despite the wider culture of arrogance, individuals are still akin to asking questions, and reflecting on the guiding principles they’ve inherited. With increasing affluence and education, many Muslims are scrutinising much of what is being dressed up as islamic. A bearded fellow knowing a few Arabic words may have scared off inquisitive Muslims of old, but that simply doesn’t cut it with this generation. The traditional keepers are being shook up by intelligent, concerned Muslims, who keep doing their own research. The status quo is being threatened.

How to stop those darn kids asking so many questions!?

Emotional blackmail

After nurturing a mass state of arrogance, the way to keep people from breaking free of such stupor is through emotional blackmail. One of the most common attacks of traditionalists is the infamous “do you think you know more about Islam than hundreds of years worth of scholars?”, “you know more about Islam than the sahaba?”, “are you saying that all the Muslims of the past got it wrong, and you’ve come and realized the truth?” Of course, these questions are loaded, and are thrown at you precisely to stop your line of enquiry. The questions are invalid, but many of us feel obliged to answer ‘no, of course not’ and retreat with our tails tucked between our legs.

For a long time, this blackmailing kept me from adopting progressive views. I convinced myself that I cannot possibly understand islam, because I was not educated enough. And yes, it can’t be that 1400 years of Muslims got it wrong. Yet, the quran warns us of such folly:

2/170 And when it is said to them, “Follow what Allah has revealed,” they say, “Rather, we will follow that which we found our fathers doing.” Even though their fathers understood nothing, nor were they guided?

7/28 When they commit evil acts, they say, “We found our fathers doing such, and God ordered us to it.” Say, “God does not order immorality! Do you say about God what you do not know?”

Following tradition is simply not an argument. Allah does not hold anyone to account in regards to how closely they followed their fathers, or ‘ijma’ as sunnis like to say. Appeal to emotion is a common informal fallacy and is usually pulled out the hat when the argument has been lost. The last throw of the dice, if you will, bar ad hominem!

Muslims need to humble themselves, and put their deen into perspective. It is a universal deen that was sent as guidance to all the previous Prophets. Their mistakes could be your mistakes, if you don’t pay attention. And those Muslims who are beginning to question that which they believe to be unislamic, need to stand strong against blackmailing tactics that have been used for so long to keep people in check.

May Allah make this easy for us.