Eye opening shirk studies for QG

For some reason, I never attempted a study on the very central concept of shirk before now. It has been an eye opener for me and I now see ‘shuraka’, at least in some contexts , as the partners we take which detract us from the face to face engagement with Allah. I am up to Ch 29 now and hope to finish this study in the coming week. You might wanna read my study here:


Coping with being “condemned to hell”

from QRAC (Quranists Reverts and Converts Support Network on Facebook)

Let the accusations roll

It’s certainly toughened me up, since “coming out” as a Quranist ! 🙂 I’ve been accused of all sorts and been called all sorts! Kafir, munafiq, arrogant, misguided, ignorant, sectarian, satanic, cultist, and even polytheist! Before, I was always very keen to want to be liked and loved by all and I did like to think I would be able to make lots of friends and get along with people – I used to be quite the social butterfly you know, before by conversion to Islam (well getting married and having kids can take its toll and factor in of course!) – but after my conversion to Islam is when I started becoming more self-conscious and worried about offending other people and THEIR beliefs and feeling odd about not fitting in with cultural stuff or making social faux pas etc, and I lost my sense of humour for quite a while too. 😦

When I say toughened up – I don’t think I mean that I’ve become harder in my heart or hold any grudges or have any hatred for anybody, nothing like that – I’m still soft as brush and just as daft! 🙂

What I mean is that the insults or nasty comments seem to roll a lot easier off me like water off a duck’s back now seeing as day in day out listening to the same kind of thing it is easier to tune it out and just smile and say Peace be upon you, or WATDIP! (Someone once said “you gotta get through the NO’s to get to the YES’s !!” ) LOL but tbh that was for a pyramid scheme so I don’t know if that will work in this case. 😛

Shirk from a different angle

In all seriousness though the Trust and Faith in Allah as our protector and Sustainer made me so much stronger and more patient alhamdulillah! I think one of the most insulting suggestions to a Traditionalist or any muslim for that matter, quranists included, is to accuse them of Shirk. It is normal to feel a duty to remind people so that they don’t commit shirk, and I used to act upon that. More recently I have come to believe that there are so many situations / conditions / factors involved in the “act of Shirk” that I cannot in all confidence try to make someone else feel as though they might be commiting shirk (for whatever reason – asking for blessings on the Prophet in Salat or by going to ask a scholar for advice etc which is a common attack/accusation about Tradtionalists from Quranist Fundamentalists ) when quite equally, I myself might be committing shirk by letting my own ego take over from humbleness, and not saying maashaaAllah in situations like 18:32-18:42.

Common ground

I would say the key is to remember that the Quran unites us all and we all believe in 1 God . Maybe try to find common ground wherever possible. We all believe in doing good deeds and charity and helping others and acts of worship and living good, honest lives caring for families and parents etc etc I am sure you can think of many more things. I know it is natural, for new converts/reverts to Quranism, with your enthusiasm and the excitement and the emotions of this spiritual roller coaster ride to want to engage in dialogue with people and I think that’s wonderful!

Turn every negative into a positive

If I have learned anything it is that sometimes I would be a little “full on” and not give people room to breathe or chance to think or digest. I am probably doing that now and apologies if I am! But what I mean is, don’t be afraid to keep things simple and maybe just “sow the seeds”. Keep studying Quran and ponder and reflect and refer to it at every appropriate opportunity in discussions – not to attack people with verses to show they are wrong of course, I know you wouldn’t do that, rather to suggest / brainstorm WITH them how they can apply the verse. Turn every negative into a positive, wherever possible inshaaAllah!

Don’t force, lead the horse

And you may like to simply accept that they have their approach to islam and are entitled to it, just as YOU have your approach to islam and are entitled to it. Not everyone has to have the same approach and not everyone has to agree with you and you don’t have to agree with them! They already have the Quran so the onus is on them to read and apply it. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink! They probably think that about you! 🙂 But that’s fine! Just smile and never give up – Trust in Allah 🙂 And when they use 59:7 on you just send them the link to the QNet TV episode “responses to Critics- refuting Sheikh Faiz !

See also Multiple Paths to Salvation

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more notes

Pharaoh calls Musa a liar in 28:38; 40:24; and 40:37; and he calls him bewitched in 17:101 Noah was threatened with being stoned in 26:116 . 49:11 says we should not be ridiculing others or calling names. in 40:26 Pharaoh accuses Musa of spreading evil/corruption in the land 40:29 Pharaoh claims he is the one guiding to the right path

Is Following the Quran Shirk?

My man Charles always asked the most thought provoking questions on Quranology. Today he asked the question in the title in Quranology.

Inclusiveness: attack vs defense

I saw a page recently on FB which seems to want to spread the message of Quranism, albeit with a different style of approach than my own preferred way. I do try to be less “attack / confront”, rather I’ll defend my own beliefs and try to back up why I believe what I believe with verses / examples from the Quran. To spread the message of Quranism, do we need the “Attack” side or just a really strong “Defense”? I could be wrong, I’m willing to admit that, but anyway here is my post on the thread

“I like this article called “An analysis of Quranist Fundamentalism”  because it’s very balanced and inclusive.

I am a Quranist – I believe that the Quran is the sole divine source of islam. However I believe there are many paths to salvation and I don’t believe that Quranism is the only way to salvation. The reason I chose that article to share on here is that it seemed to me that people who do believe in other sources of islam (and possibly even consider them divine) are portrayed as idol worshippers. I personally believe that each individual has their own beliefs and performs their own actions and it only for Allah to judge whether they were idol worshippers or not. Even Quranists, people who claim to follow the Quran as their divine guidance and not give authority to other sources, could in theory still commit shirk like the one in the example of the garden (18:32 – 18:42) where the one who committed shirk should have said a phrase (18:39) and ends up regretting his behaviour / attitude and ends up saying he wished he had not made partners (18:42) So this (to me) shows that there are different ways to commit shirk and we must all be very careful. I also think we can’t call believers rejectors, if they say they believe (4:94).

I think it’s nice to spread the message of Quranism as I feel it is closest to the true teachings of islam seeing as Quranism is following the teachings of the Quran that Allah Himself teaches in the Quran.

I prefer a more inclusive approach when spreading the message rather than tarnishing sincere people who do believe in Allah and sincerely believe they are obeying Allah by following hadiths. I personally think there is a lot of work to do to bring a better understanding of Quranism to the masses and by attacking others’ beliefs could only serve to divide and cause resentment. A softly softly approach could be seen as friendly and accessible to the type of “inter-faith” dialogue I feel is required so that people can ask questions, learn more in a welcoming environment, free of attacks, insults, etc.

For beliefs to change, attitudes also have to change. “I am right and you are wrong” is not the way (in my own humble opinion) whereas “this is what I believe and why, what do you believe and why?” type dialogue can only be beneficial. I do sympathise though that this is not easy when the SOME of the ones who could benefit very much from this type of dialogue refuse to extend the same courtesy. It can be very exhausting and requires a lot of patience but I personally feel that this is a test, in itself – remember debating in the best way – 16:125

Here is another link for you about Multiple Paths to salvation which discusses the use of “Subulan” (Paths – plural) in the Quran. Hope that helps – no offense intended, just doing my bit to contribute to achieving what seems to be a common goal and a noble cause, which seems to rival the other FB Page that I saw recently called “Refuting Quranists and Modernists” 🙂 which I hope will be a good place to do some “dawah” type work.
Salaam Aleykum and peace 🙂

Why I over-analyse everything

I remember going to a Qur’an study circle (within a few days of reverting/converting) where there was no Qur’an present because (I was told) “it is too holy and we mere mortals cannot attempt to try to understand it” So that is why we have the Ahadith, so I was told. So the Scripture that had initially brought me to Islam (The Sublime Qur’an) was something I shouldn’t have been reading in the first place?! Something didn’t add up. And then my investigation started!

I think that the ahadith have a purpose, (which I will not go into here), and certainly for people who don’t know which hadiths are from the Qur’an and which ones are not, it must be terribly confusing. I heard a lot of weak/false/fabricated ahadith when I was first converted, and some of the more knowledgeable sisters at University were keen to point out that Ahadith could be either weak, strong, authentic etc, so I guess I learned early on to check what is in the Qur’an and what isn’t. I have heard some woppers of hadiths in my time, honestly, some of the most strange and most bizarre superstitions that people actively make place for in our beautiful deen, and (in my own opinion carelessly / heedlessly / disrespectfully) abrogating God’s final message to mankind. Alhamdulillah, having not been born into the religion with no dogma/pre-conceptions/falsehood already ingrained, it was fairly simple to “sort the wheat from the chaff” to use a very English expression, if I may!

So I guess I got into the habit (early on) of cross referencing or checking against the Master. So much so, that I found many many interesting topics. I remember reading about Hypocrites and Shirk and then suddenly I was seeing a lot of questionable practises everywhere, at university in the prayer rooms, and in islamic lectures; especially what I perceived to be “Shirk” – ascribing partners to God or outright worship of the Prophet, or discussing scholars as if the scholars were their “gods”. I carried on reading the Qur’an and the more I read, the more I believed that I was being warned. Not just about evil and the Shaytan, but also the ones who went astray when they didn’t obey the Message they were sent and corrupted it by adding / concealing /abrogating /twisting / disregarding / disobeying. It particularly struck me as odd when a lot of the lectures aimed at showing Christians that the Bible’s own words were telling people that Jesus never claimed to be God, but then when it comes to the Qur’an and what the Qur’an’s own words say, people are happy to do what they claim the Christians did and follow the hearsay / tradition / superstition and disregard the Scripture.

Nearly all the Muslims I’ve met in real life say the Sunnah+Ahadith is the 2nd divine source of guidance, the 1st being the Qur’an. But the Qur’an never mentions a second divine source.  “Sunnah”  is mentioned in the Qur’an (Sunnat’Allah). Ahadith are mentioned in the Qur’an. (The links show the verses that those words appear in). The Ahadith collection of Bukhari is not mentioned at all. It became apparent to me that God has given us instructions about the BEST hadith (see 39:23) to follow, which is the Qur’an, and asks us “which hadith other than THIS will you follow?” I fear the Day when I will be asked about all my actions and why I did them (or did not). From what I have learned, it is not going to look good if I say “because Scholar A said this and Sheikh B said that” in case it is seen that I am taking OTHER than God as my Lord. The Qur’an warns us not to take religious scholars/sheikhs/imams/priests/rabbis as our Lords. The Qur’an says Obey God and Obey the Messenger. The Messenger’s sole duty is to clearly deliver the message. So by obeying the Qur’an, I am obeying the Messenger, insha’Allah.

I fear God and I do my best to avoid the unforgiveable sin of commiting Shirk, insha’Allah.  I just want to worship Allah alone as instructed in the Qur’an (and previous Scripture) and obey the instructions. (Here is a good article on Reading and interpretation).

I have found there is a misperception that if you do not “accept” Bukhari’s Ahadith collection, then this is rejecting the Prophet/Messenger so it means we are not obeying the Messenger so we are not obeying God.

I am not “unwilling to accept” ahadith which correspond exactly with the Qur’an. Nor do I have a problem with “good advice” in general. I do however have a problem with ahadith / hearsay / gossip that are falsely attributed to the Messenger and labelled as divine guidance, as this does not respect him as the Servant, Messenger and Prophet like he ought to be respected, in my opinion. And I will not knowingly attribute anything falsely to God or lie about God, insha’Allah.  I like to think that, by not deviating from the Message the Prophet brought, that God protected/guarded, this is the best way to support and obey him, which is to obey God. The Qur’an tells us what to ignore, and also tells us to verify before we accept. The Qur’an is a book in which there is NO doubt, unlike the ahadith which are claimed to be weak, strong, authentic, fabricated, baseless etc which makes it surplus to requirements. Even the “strong” and “authentic” ones are questionable when you look into the “Science of Hadith” (see Wikipedia’s article on Criticism of Hadith) and what criteria/conjecture are used for determining/speculating about the authenticity. Even if the authenticity was not highly questionable, it still remains that there is no authority given in the Qur’an for judging by anything other than the Qur’an itself and the Qur’an warns us about fabricated/baseless ahadith and conjecture.

It is my belief that there are many ways in which we are tested. I am trying to pass the Test, insha’Allah. We know from what the Qur’an says about the Shaytan, who will come and try to make people stray from the right path, making their doings seem goodly to them. I guess this is why I tend to (over)analyse everything to make sure it is “bona-fide” and not Shaytan’s trickery. Insha’Allah.

If the Qur’an (the divine guidance) was from any other than God then it would be full of contradiction. And there is NO contradiction in the Qur’an. It is only in the “reported” sayings and actions of Rasulallah that there are contradictions, so therefore how can this be divine guidance from God? (don’t forget the reports are just that, and look at the newsreaders today and what they report – is it always accurate? no of course not – often propaganda, conjecture and bias with a socio-political agenda) I am not saying I believe ALL ahadith are conjecture / misreports. But I am saying that I believe that if they are NOT conjecture then they WILL be found in the Qur’an, and the Qur’an clarifies. So that’s what I try to establish, insha’Allah. The “sects” or schools of thought in Islam have one thing in common: the Sublime Guarded Qur’an. So how better to make sure I am NOT in a sect than by following the one common denominator? And of course because God commanded us to and to NOT follow conjecture.

see also
Why Quranism is not a sect – Justifying the Quranist / Quranism labels

Quranists and the term ‘Quranists’

Quranic Fundamentalism

Prophetic “Sunnah” in the Quran