Russel Brand and the Quran – A Comparison


I watched this Russell Brand video (which seems to be doing the rounds on facebook, gettijng http://www.realfarmacy.com/must-watch-russell-brand-destroys-everything-were-being-told/

 

seems like a lot of Quranic Themes:

 

Russell Brand talks about being humble

 

Qur’an says

31:19 “Be humble in how you walk and lower your voice. For the harshest of all voices is the donkey’s voice.”

 

Russell Brand talks about Materialism

 

Qur’an says:

28:60 Anything that is given to you is only the materials of this world, and its glitter. What is with God is far better, and everlasting. Do you not reason?

 

Qur’an says

29:64 What is the life of this world but amusement and play? But the Home of the Hereafter; that is life indeed, if they but knew.

Qur’an says

89:20 You love money, a love that is excessive.

 

Russel Brand talks about worshipping of celebrities or treating them like kings/queens/royalty/magical/special

 

Qur’an says

35:40 Say, “Have you seen your ‘partners’ whom you call upon besides God? Show me what they created of the earth! Or have they any share in the heavens? Or have We given them a scripture as evidence to prove their fallacies?” Nay, those who exploit the weak, support one another with delusions.

 

Russell Brand talks about exploitation, oppression, corruption

 

Qur’an says

56:45 Before this, they were sunk in luxury, exploiting the poor.

 

Qur’an says

28:77 “Seek with the provisions bestowed upon you by God the abode of the Hereafter, and do not forget your share in this world, and do good as God has done good to you. Do not seek corruption in the land. God does not like the corruptors.”

 

Russell Brand talks about Justice and Equality

 

Qur’an says

5:8 O you who acknowledge, stand for God as witnesses for justice, and let not the hatred towards a people make you avoid being just. Be just, for it is closer to awareness, and be aware of God. God is Expert over what you do.

 

33:35 Surely, for submitting men and submitting women, believing men and believing women, devoted men and devoted women, truthful men and truthful women, steadfast men and steadfast women, humble men and humble women, charitable men and charitable women, abstinent men and abstinent women (abstaining from all vices), chaste men and chaste women, men who remain mindful of God and women who remain mindful (of God), for them, God has readied forgiveness and an immense reward.

 

Qur’an says

11:85 “My people, give full measure and weight with justice, do not hold back from the people what is theirs, and do not roam the land corrupting.”

 

Qur’an says

16:90 God orders justice and goodness, and that you shall help your relatives, and He forbids from evil, vice, and transgression. He warns you that you may remember.

 

Russell Brand talks about respect for our Planet and its Resources

 

Qur’an says

31:18 “Do not turn your cheek arrogantly from people, nor shall you roam the earth insolently. For God does not like the arrogant show offs.”

 

20:81 Saying, “Partake and enjoy the decent provisions which We have bestowed upon you. But do not disregard equity and none shall be deprived of the natural resources. Transgress not in this respect lest My disapproval should descend on you. And those peoples on whom descends My disapproval, certainly perish.”

 

Russell Brand talks about Excess and greed

 

Qur’an says

5:87 O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Do not deprive yourselves of the good things of life that God has made lawful to you. But commit no excesses. God does not love those who exceed the limits. *

 

Qur’an says

74:6 Do not be greedy.

 

Russell Brand talks about focusing on what is important

 

Qur’an says

2:149 From wherever you start forth (whichever way you proceed, and whatever you are preoccupied with), keep yourself focused on the Masjid-il-Haraam (the Sacred Masjid, the Ultimate Center for the unity of all mankind.) This is the truth from your Lord. God is not unaware of what you do (with your life).

 

Qur’an says

17:36 You shall not accept any information, unless you verify it for yourself. I have given you the hearing, the eyesight, and the brain, and you are responsible for using them.

 

Russell Brand talks about real heroes

 

5:32 “…And whoever saves one life it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind…”

 

Qur’an says

53:32 Those who abstain from the greater transgressions that deplete the communal energy, and from shameful deeds and stinginess, even though they may sometimes waver, your Lord is of limitless forgiveness. He knows you best since He brings you into being from the earth, and when you were still hidden in the bellies of your mothers? Therefore, claim not piety for yourselves. He knows best as to who is righteous.

Russell Brand talks about Vanity

 

Qur’an says

2:264 O you who believe, do not nullify your charities with insult and harm; like the one who spends his money in vanity to show the people, and he does not believe in God and the Last Day. His example is like a stone on which there is dust, then it is subjected to heavy rain which leaves it bare. They cannot do anything with what they earned; and God does not guide the rejecting people.

Russell Brand talks about having a spiritual connection, improving, bettering, galvanizing, assisting, reforming

 

Qur’an says

98:5 And they were not commanded except to serve God and be loyal to His system, monotheists, and uphold the communion and contribute towards betterment. Such is the valuable system.

18:2 A Perfect Book, unerringly straight, meant to warn people of the destructive results of their wrongdoings. And to give good news to those who believe in the message and make reforms in their individual and collective lives, that theirs shall be a generous reward.

 

Qur’an says

2:195 Spend in the cause of God, but do not throw your resources to disaster. Do kindness, for God loves those who do kindness.

 

Russel Brand discusses Economy, Monopolies, consumerism, the elite, the politicians, the rulers

 

Qur’an says

59:7 Whatever God provided to His messenger from the people of the townships, then it shall be to God and His messenger; for the relatives, the orphans, the poor, and the wayfarer. Thus, it will not remain monopolized by the rich among you. You may take what the messenger gives you, but do not take what he withholds you from taking. Be aware of God, for God is mighty in retribution.

 

Qur’an says

4:161 For practicing usury/interest when they were told not to, and for consuming people’s money unjustly. We have prepared for the ingrates amongst them a painful retribution;*

 

Qur’an says

3:130 O you who acknowledge, do not consume usury multiplying over, and be aware of God that you may succeed.*

 

Russell Brand talks about superficiality, artificiality, nonsense, peace and harmony

 

Qur’an says

25:72 And [know that true servants of God are only] those who never bear witness to what is false,* and [who], whenever they pass by [people engaged in] frivolity, pass on with dignity;

 

Qur’an says

28:55 and, whenever they heard frivolous talk,* having turned away from it and said: “Unto us shall be accounted Our deeds, and unto you, your deeds. Peace be upon you – [but] we do not seek out such as are ignorant [of the meaning of right and wrong].”

Is It Important to Learn Arabic?


For the Quranist, studying Arabic for the purpose of understanding the Quran is a major one. Some Quranists feel that the Quran simply has been mistranslated in order to subvert its true purpose. Others feel that Arabic has far deeper meanings than any translation can convey. Whatever the case, the study of Arabic is never far from the Quranist mind.

Can we understand the Quran without knowing Arabic though? It is absurd to think we would not have some measure of understanding from translation. Have a read of any translation available. Does it say that there actually two gods and that we should divide our worship between these two? Of course not. The core of the message ( which is, I would argue, ‘God and Good’) remains the same. What may change with knowing Arabic are concepts related to this.

What can we get when we study Arabic? For a start, we would get to see the true links of the words. Take translations of Ar-Rahmaan and Ar-Raheem which usually ‘merciful’ and ‘merciable’ (whatever that means!). Does it occur to anyone that the meaning has a relation to the womb? Not off-hand surely but in Arabic, the link is obvious. The word for ‘womb’ is ‘rahm’ and is closely linked with Rahmaan and Raheem (say it aloud and you will see!) and even ‘rahmah’ (also translated as ‘mercy’). This shows a very tangible and practical understanding of these words. An understanding that would be missing without the aid of footnotes at the very least.

So lets study Arabic and accept everything about it! No no, its also not that simple. Arabic is a human language and like any human language, it contains a huge variety in the range of meanings in each word and various opinions on what constitutes correct grammar. Ask any literate Arab and you will see for yourself. It’s simply not good enough to learn Arabic and expect to understand the Quran. Traditional scholars have argued over meanings and grammatical correctness for centuries.

And what about politics and philosophy? Is any language divorced from political events? We only need to look in the last ten years with the War to uphold ‘democracy’ (and democracy being used to invade sovereign nations!). Language is an effective tool to justify one’s agenda. Firaun himself called musa a ‘kafir’! Philosophically speaking, we need to question if the lexicographer and grammarian of Arabic is aware of the philosophical implications of the meanings he inferred. If he is philosophically sterile, it might be possible that his inferences lack depth.

Where does that leave us then? If we can’t rely on Arabic, then can we never plumb the depths of the Quran? Of course we can! What we need to do is to use our own reason and intuition. Through interacting with chosen resources, we can effectively come to meanings which will prove useful. And that is the key point – usefulness. Are we practising what we know? If we’re not, Arabic or not, philosophy or not, there is simply no point to our study.

Notes on bayt and buyūt


… In houses which God permitted their raising, and therein His name is vivified…

(24/36)

A just society, one based on the guidance found in chapter 24, promotes good social organisation, interaction and laws.  In this pursuit the light mentioned in 24/35 – where God is the light of the heavens and the earth – is found in buyūt (houses) that bring to life [dhik’r] the attributes of God.  Raising these buyūt is essential to bring about the society envisioned by the Quran, as reflected in 2/189:

… it is not the righteousness that you bring the buyūt from their backs but the righteous is one who takes guard.  And bring forth the buyūt from their gates…

This bringing forth of God’s buyūt, (institutions and systems that vivify His names), is seen in the stories of several Prophets.  Musa rejected the nourishment of Firawn when he was young and was instead given wisdom and knowledge by the people of God’s bayt (28/12-14).  We then see him and his people, having escaped the Firawnic system later, focus [qib’lat] on their buyūt (10/87) in their efforts to create an islamic society.

There’s also an important contrast and relationship found in the stories of Lut and Ibrahim and their respective buyūt.  Lut’s society failed because there was uninhibited immorality and only a single bayt (51/36), and even then, it was weak (11/80).  Conversely, Ibrahim’s bayt was successful, where God’s bounty was to be witnessed (22/26-28).

There are several other verses we can draw on, but I think our ultimate goal is to raise our buyūt that vivify God’s names until our society as a whole becomes the bayt achieved by the people of Ibrahim.  A social system that is completely free from shirk, is rewarding and gives security to mankind.

Rise of the Sun (Not the Song!)


I love the song ‘House of the Rising Sun’ from end scene of the film Casino. It was about the destruction of what the Mob built in Vegas. Very dramatic.

Was reading about dhul qarnayn today and came to this aya:

Until, when he came to the rising of the sun, he found it rising on a people for
whom We had provided no covering protection against the sun (18/90)

The phrase for ‘rising of the sun’ is ‘mathla’il shams’ and this is a negative development for people who are unprotected by the sun. This is not talking about a day at the beach without sunblock! Rather, it’s talking about a source of power for certain people (like the people of saba who adored the sun besides Allah).

My focus was on the word ‘mathla’/rise though which also appear in 97/5 : peace it is until the rise of the dawn. 97/5 seems to say that after the coming of ‘the angels and spirit’ , there will be peace (salam) UNTIL the rise of the dawn. Could the dawn/fajr symbolise the breaking through of EVIL after the coming of peace?

 

 

My Foray into Quranic Language pt 1


Since 2010, after the founding of Quranology Discussions , people at Quranology discussions have been getting a lot of criticism by some people, who accuse us of being ‘language manipulators’. Those accusations bothered me a lot as I did NOT want to be one who interjects his voice into the Quran, rather than let the Q speak for me.

However, to find the right meaning isn’t easy. One must remember that the Q is a valuable asset. Whoever controls the meanings of the Q controls how 1.2 billion people think. So you can expect people to at least attempt to control its meanings…

more tomorrow…

 

The RnR – The Key to the Quran


For some time, I have been contemplating the role of the RnR (Ar-Rahmaan Ar-Raheem) combination in the Quran. I call it RnR for short but there is also the significance of RnR meaning ‘Rest and Recuperation’.

The RnR in the Quran opens every (and I do mean EVERY) chapter. It reminds us of the fundamental principle of reading – that each chapter reflects the Rahmaniyyah (protective womb-like aspect) and Raheemiyyah (evolutionising womb-like aspect) of Allah.

These two concepts by themselves appear lots of times but together only appear a few times outside the bismillahs (2/163, 27/30, 41/2 and 59/22).

I believe these two concepts also help explain the so-called ‘oaths’ in the Quran such as ‘by the sun and its splendour’ (91/1). If we consider the basmalah first, 91/1 wouldn’t need an oath, it would be an example of the RnR in action.

The RnR truly is the key to the Quran. Study it deeply.

 

Adultery in Islam from two different angles: Traditional Islam vs Quranism – Part I


In this article (defining our terms), Traditional Islam is Sunnism and Quranism is the belief that the Quran is the supposed sole authority of sharia in Islam.

I have recently been investigating details on the adultery penalty in Traditional Islam compared to Quranist Islam. I would like to share them with you if you are interested in truth, because a part of truth is to hear your “opponent”, although I don’t want to be one.

The subject is adultery in the Quran and sunnah. Lately, I’ve had the chance to read a book on the interpretation of chapter 24 (Tafseer Surat An-Noor by M. A Al-Hasan and A. F Abu Albah – dated 1983. Old, I know), where the first part exclusively dealt with the penalties and regulations of adultery in “Islam”. I found them to be awfully bigot and contradicting. I still don’t understand why any Muslim woman ever got into an Islam-ruled marriage.

Moving on, this book preaches that chapter 24 is dealing with the social relationship between men and women, highlighting the act of fahisha. The writer/s insisted that adultery is, indeed, an act of fahisha – thus saying that 24:2 is an abrogation of 4:15-16.

I wish to discuss the penalty of adultery in traditional Islam with you bit by bit, simply because it is a must. The first detail includes abrogation in the Quran.

Although the Quran mentions that a verse (ayah, actually) could have been abrogated (and only ONCE, being 2:106), there’s a big chance “abrogation/naskh” in the Quran means something else. Well, whether it means abrogation or not, who said you can “cancel” one verse using another? What logic would allow this? All based on a possible contradiction you found? What about the many verses that state the Quran is clear, comprehensive, and of no fault (39:28, 41:3, 10:37, etc)? So in what name dare you annul or abolish a certain law made by the deity you acknowledge as GOD by another law made by Him when you have previously learned that no contradictions exist?

In fact, 39:28 mentions the Quran is free of awaj, literally meaning something free of crookedness. The Quran is thus straight-forward, and so, there is no chance of sudden “turn-backs”. And yet, some scholars of traditional Islam recognizes such turn-backs under the name of abrogation.

4:15, roughly speaking, states that if “women” among you commit a fahisha, and four witnesses gave testimony against them, they should be sentenced to house-arrest for life or until “God helps them find a way out”. Then 4:16 states that, if “two of you” commit it, then you should hurt them; that, if they repent, you can stop. Traditionally, 4:15 is an exclusive call against “obscene” women while 4:16 can be general (considering the grammar rules of Classical Arabic) and yet is not (to them). To them the verses say that (as the writer himself explained) if a woman commits such an obscenity, she would be locked up in her own house for life or until God offers her a way out, and if a man commits the same level of crime (the crime at level fahisha) would only be rebuked and admonished.

You think this is bigot? Wait ’till we discuss more of this. This, after all, if you are a traditional Muslim, the religion you settled for, and are thus obliged to study and know it.

Anyway, the entire point is that 4:15-16 were abrogated by 24:2. But let us, for a moment, imagine a world where no “contradiction” such as this was ever found (no, reader, it is not a contradiction, but a technicality). We have two options: ONE, we either say that a fahisha can be something horrible, but non-sexual, or that, TWO, “adultery” in the Quran could be something horrible, but non-sexual. Either ways, those two verses will have to work together, in harmony. Only one can be about adultery (if you think it’s about adultery anyway – I don’t), and only one can be about fahisha, and yes, either “adultery” or fahisha is sexual, but not both. Adultery can not be fahisha neither be a part of it, and vice versa.

Now, was it so hard to find a way to fit both statements of LAW in one book without having to abrogate either of the two?