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.

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.

 

Reply to the QF’ist, Mr Jinn – Part 1


For the next few days, I will be responding to a rather lengthy reply by Jinn, who called my article ‘stupid and uneducated’. Here’s the first part of my response:

I do indeed use a different definition of “Orthodox” and “Traditional” because, when pertaining to Islam, the Qur’an defines what is “Orthodox” and “Traditional” many times over. It is the claim of all our circles that upholders of hadith are deviants and we prove it over an over with conflicting hadiths and incongruities between the Qur’an and said books of hadith. By very definition, hadith supporting communities are not orthodox, since they follow distinct interpolations, the first of which was “authorized” around 200 years after Prophet Muhammad’s death. I believe this is a very important point to make and I apologize if I did not make it apparent enough. Furthermore, my only issue with attribution of those terms to the Sunnis is that “mainstream” would be a more appropriate definition.

My comment: Here lies the first problem in our misunderstanding. While Jinn is operating within the realm of islam (the ideology of the Quran) , I am not. I am operating within the realm of Islam the society/culture/civilisation (note the capital ‘I’ which denotes it is a name, not an attribute).

In Islam, this phenomenon in the world, Sunnism is Traditional Islam. They are Traditional because they follow Tradition. Traditions are narratives. The traditions of the Prophet are narratives claiming to represent him.

The Quran does NOT :
1. Define Traditional and Orthodox many times over. I challenge Jinn to bring forward the verses.

2. Does not claim upholders of hadith are deviants. Again I challenge the Jinn to bring forward the verses.