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 Quranists.net 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. 🙂

Marrying a Revert

Here is a question about Marrying a Revert on Yahoo Answers

This is the question:

I want to marry a ” reverted to islam ” girl ?

i am a muslim guy and i always had a dream of marrying a ” revert to islam ” girl from another culture for so many reasons , i believe that reverted are the most believer of islam , i envy them , sure iam grateful to God i was born as a muslim but i see that reverted had the chance to choose they leave there old life and pay a high cost and face alot of Obstacles in there way to become a muslim , i know its a very great feeling to choose islam and work for it , i wish i was reverted and choose islam by myself , but iam grateful to god for what iam anyway ,also as i can see from few friends its the best to have a Partner from another culture , the relationship is very very richso my question is : my dream is that i want to marry a reverted girl from different culture but it seem that it is diffcult to meet and know anyone in my country as i live already in a muslim country ” Egypt ” , i think it the time to marry now , so do i keep looking for what i want or i just stop looking and just marry a muslim girl from my country ?

also am i wronge and shallow in this thinking ? to put these rules in my searching ? or iam right to try to find what i dream of ,what i want and what i see it the best or me or what ?

what do u think ? also if u have any ideas about where i can meet reverted girl tell me ?

My reply:

Salaam Aleykum
There are thousands of Reverts and Converts to Islam. You just have to know where to look! One of the risky things though about Reverts / Converts is that they are undergoing an intense spiritual journey and learning about Quran and Islam. The danger of studying the Quran is that it highlights how much out of sync SOME OF the hadiths are with the Quran. This inevitably leads to the Revert being very wary of hadiths in general and wanting to verify their authenticity and authority. When they study the Quran, this leads to them having some insight about islam as described by the Quran itself which may appear to be VERY different from Islam taught in some Traditional circles which is often very much hadith based. So if you have your heart set on marrying a revert, you may wish to consider finding out more about the Quranist approach to islam which is one of the naturally preferred approaches for Reverts and Converts AFTER they have become disillusioned with contradictions and dogma within Traditional Islam. No offense intended. Just trying to give the best advice I can, inshaaAllah, speaking as a Quranist Revert myself. (I am already married btw) Also bear in mind possible language barriers and / or possible differences in culture, if the revert is from a different country. It may seem exotic at first but once the novelty wears off, you may find it difficult to bridge the gaps. If you meet someone, who fills the criteria of being a Revert Muslimah, be honest, sincere and realistic about your expectations of her as a future wife and find out hers about you as a future husband. Be very aware that Reverts (new ones especially) on a spiritual journey may not yet have settled into 1 closed set of defined beliefs and may still be seeking the truth and their beliefs can evolve with time. Changes of beliefs even though they still believe in the Quran and 1 God does not mean they will always conform to what YOUR personal interpretation / understanding / expectation of what Islam is. InshaaAllah you will have many very deep, philosophical and thought provoking discussions with your bride-to-be. I wish you all the best and much happiness inshaaAllah.

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…

Quranist reverts and the questions they might have..

To me, a Quranist revert (QR) is either:

1. A person from a Muslim background (Sunni or Shia) who have embraced Quranism as their methodology to Islam

2. A person from another background (Christian or Atheist for example)

Very few of us were born Quranists. I only know of two people.

What questions might a QR have? If I was new to Quranism, I would ask, what is the role of the Prophet in your method? Is that a fair question?

Invitation to Quranists Converts and Reverts Support Group

Salaam Aleykum!

I am Asfora, a Revert/Convert to islam since 2006.

What I have noticed is that a lot of converts to Islam have difficulty with the contradictions of the Hadith/Sunna/traditions. Sometimes upon investigation of what the Quran says about such things, they become “quranist”, seeing as the Quran is free of all contradiction and is the Truth, the Light and the True Guidance – alhamdulillah.

I am a Quranist muslim – (a Quranist muslim is a muslim who believes that the Quran is the sole source of divine guidance) The reason why I am Quranist muslim is here :

Since I started to identify myself as a Quranist muslim, it has been quite difficult for me to fit in to typical Traditional Muslim environments. It’s not that people are unfriendly as such, quite the opposite actually, most people I have met have been very welcoming – it’s more that they pity me or think I am misguided or that I have not learned enough about Islam yet, and keep trying to “save” me by telling me hadiths, usually the ones that contradict the Quran so it can be quite frustrating.

So I am trying to find other revert/convert muslims who have a similar mindset who would also like to have a support network, where we accept each other for who we are, appreciating the diversity of our beliefs and understandings of islam.

I have set up a FaceBook group called Quranists Reverts and Converts Support Network http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_132847503458321

Please do feel welcome to join, if you think this is something you might benefit from. And if you know a friend who you think might benefit too, please feel at liberty to invite them along too.

No offense whatsoever is intended by this message. Please do accept my apologies if this message is irrelevant.

Sending best wishes for peace and wishing you Salaam Aleykum

Asfora 🙂

One God – One Source are Muslims Deviating according to Allah?

Good question on Yahoo answers. My answer is as follows:

I think we need to separate between the dimension of IDEOLOGY and PRACTICE. Traditional Muslims have taken another source against the will of Allah as per the Quran. Have they DEVIATED? We can’t say that on the practical level although we believe so on the ideological level.

Traditional Muslims do good things as Roxie quoted 17/22-38. God will not let their efforts go to waste, inshaa Allah.

On the name ‘Quranism’: Darcus Answers:

Observed a fantastic discussion where Darcus Taseen deftly answered a Quranic Fundamentalist about the term ‘muslim’ and Quranist. I’m glad our concept is catching on and it wont be long before our space is marked out:

Quranic Fundamentalist (QF): People don’t get what, man made names, groups, sects looking and searching for something better than what the Qur’an says.

Darcus Taseen (DT):  Quranism is the opposite of a sect because of its inclusive nature as opposed to the exclusive nature of sects such as Sunnis. To be called a Quranist is to identify oneself with accepting the Quran alone – thats all – you can be a 19er an…d be a Quranist for example. This does not take anyone away from Islam in that is the deen which is for us all – the point here is about differentiating oneself so that it is clear about the ideology one follows. Otherwise you could say that every human is a sect all to themselves because their understanding is different. We are all created different so that we can recognise one another … we all accept things differently too. So the label of Muslim cannot simply be applied to all, just like the way that Barelvi Sunnis don’t believe that Deobandi Sunnis are muslims (and vice versa)… However those sects exclude people at the promotion of their superiority. Quranism does not seek to do that, but to include people of different opinion and understanding…none of us can say that we are truly right, but that we are on the path to learning and God willing one day we will learn the absolutes…

QF: Honestly, you sound like the Salafis when they used to say to us, about their special party (Hizb) that being Muslim isn’t enough today and so many other sects have done the same and again you Quranist sound no different from them other tha…n you say you calling to Qur’an. Allah’s Words cannot be corrupted just like Allah’s Deen. Islam is intact as long as the Qur’an is intact and from Islam we have Muslim. No one can corrupted these two uncorrupted words that we were given in the Qur’an. First your a Quranist then you’ll branch off and be other than that sooner or later when the disagreements set in. It’s all the same thing nothing new under the sun.

DT:  that may be. However I am not responsible for how others interpret things, I am only responsible for myself. I am only accountable for myself. If other people decide to abuse something just like the way that being Muslim is now synonymous with being stupid, 7th century, stuck in the past, shariah wanting lunatics.