Islam as Percieved by an Arab Intellectual

I happened to pass across a very interesting Article written by Dr, Wafa Sultan (click here). I translated it here in reply to the commentators of my last two posts, especially the Moslems who accused me of not knowing Islam as it is. To those I have to say that I spent most of my life in that faith. And the worst thing that ever happened to me was to find out how foolish I was all those years. It would make me happy and give me security to know that I have a million dollar in my bank account. But it would be shocking to know that I’m in dept when I check my bank account. Fantasy is something and reality is something else.
Another reason why I went through the trouble of translation is to expose the real face of Islam to the new converts who have been deceived by apologists who tricked them into believing that Islam is the religion of peace as its name conveys, and who were led to believe that terrorism is the work of individuals who misinterpret the scripture, and that it has nothing to do with Islam. No Abrahamic religion could be dubbed as a religion of peace; Judaism had its peak of violence in antiquity, followed by Christianity of the mideaval ages and ended with Islam today. But if humanity could afford wars on those times, with the advancement of technology and the nuclear weapons, it cannot afford to do that today. If we do not destroy religion, then it will destroy us all soon, and there would be no one, not a living organism on earth to pick up the pieces. May be then the cockroaches would evolve into a different kind of being, and I hope that they would be smarter than our species.
Many advised me against writing posts about religion (especially Islamic issues) since it would only create hate against me personally, they say that the believer would not change his/her mind, and all what I’m doing is a waste of time. This reminds me of some years back when I first graduated and worked for KAC, my boss expected me to read newspapers all day, and all he cared about was my punctuality. Yet, I had ambitions, my work was to do research, and I insisted on doing my job. And when one of the companies that KAC had contracts with sent me a thank you letter for a research I submitted, my boss said: what are you trying to do, free Kuwaiti girls? I still don’t understand what is the connection between what I did and his line, but I realized that when you expose the truth, people hate you because truth always hurts; yet, any effort, no matter how small, has an echo that would resonate with time. It is not enough to watch TV and feel sorry for the innocent souls that are butchered by the dozen every day in Iraq, Algeria, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Palestine, we all have a duty to contribute in peace, we have a duty to stop the nonsense by pinpointing the problem so that the public won’t be blindly led by politicians. May be I have an ambition to make a difference, and may be someday when everyone else tries to do the same, humanity can be saved.
But why Islam you say?
Simple, I do not see Buddhists, Christians or Jews blowing themselves up at the orders of their God, and I don’t see any of their families celebrating their deaths, but I see Moslem families do that. Another thing is that I am a Moslem by birth and it is natural for me to know about my religion more than any other religion.
But if you think that I’m biased, you are very far from the truth. I’m against all organized religions that call for the annihilation of humanity. If I were to rewrite the article that Dr. Wafa wrote, I would replace the first line by “religion is a cyst”, and off course I mean here the judo-Christian-Islamic religions. For if it weren’t for the loads of myths involved in Hinduism and Buddhism, I would have sworn that their scripts were the words of God.
I have to note that the translation is not as good as the original article; Dr. Wafa has an amazing command of the Arabic language. I tried to stick to the original text as much as I could; at times it was not easy, therefore the translation is not word-by-word. And I have to warn you beforehand that the article is disturbing, but nevertheless, it exposes the truth of which many of us are in too much denial to admit.

Here is the translation:

When Will That Cyst Burst?
Islam is like a cyst; the world would not be cured unless it’s burst.
Jessica is a psychiatric patient who spent many years of her life in a mental hospital. Among other disorders, Jessica was suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The symptoms of this disorder could take many forms of obsessive persistence of ideas or behavioral patterns that the patient can’t get rid of. A patient might have an obsession to draw a knife and cut his/her hand, or to wash his/her hands whenever he/she touches anything, or he may show persistence to always leave the room with his/her back to the door. Or open the door of his/her car and close it successively in a systematic process, and so forth.
I will not elaborate more in such disorder, but I would like to point out that Jessica’s obsession was in gathering towels and constantly folding them in a certain order. Her action tired the laborers of that mental hospital; she used to steal all the towels from the ward and rearrange them is a special pattern in her room.
Her doctor tried all the conventional medical remedies, but to no avail. So he decided to “cure her with her own disease” as the Arabic proverb goes.
He started by sending her many towels everyday with each meal. In addition, he ordered that many other towels be left at her door once in a while. And when the number of the towels in her room exceeded 600, the nurse who took her breakfast one morning was in for a surprise. As soon as the nurse entered her room, Jessica pushed her outside screaming, “Get out of my face and take your towels with you.”
The American existence in Iraq did not spark the fire of terrorism; it merely blew the ashes off the already burning ember. Terrorism is not new in this region, but it was only delayed for centuries. In fact, the dictatorial leaders of the Islamic world had suppressed violence with the use of violence, but they did not find a solution for it. And the best who diagnosed this situation is the Arabic poet Nazar Alqabani in his poem “a Letter to an Arab Leader”:
I kill you so you won’t kill me
On a span of 14 centuries Moslems are obsessed with terrorism until it became engraved on their genes. And it became very hard, if not impossible to deter their tendencies to violence in healthy and righteous ways.
It might not sound very humanistic to say that explosion is the only answer, but unfortunately, this is the bitter reality. No other solution I could foresee except civil wars that would demolish land as well as a lot of souls including the innocent ones.
Moslems’ rooms are not yet filled with towels, and there is no cure but the disease itself.
Someday they would eventually end up screaming at each other: enough, enough, we are so sick of killings and wars; we want to live in peace. But when will they reach this limit? No doubt that the road would have to pass through seas of blood!
It was not a surprise for me to get supporting mail from Algeria and Iraq, the rooms in those two countries are filled with towels, people in the aforementioned countries do not want more blood to be spelt. News from Algeria announces that tens of thousands are leaving Islam from time to time. And that’s no surprise! Ten years of accumulating towels cramped the space for any decent living, people are shouting “ take your Islam and leave us, we are sick of torture and killing”.
The Islamic dictionary is full of violent words and the call for violence. Islamic rituals demand that the Moslems should repeat this language over and over in a monotonous fashion, demolishing the role of their minds and depriving their souls of spirituality.
In all the languages of the world and the religions of earth, praying is considered a sacred moment of liaison between man and his creator, man talks and God listens, and the chosen language of man gives those moments their aesthetic and spiritual bliss.
But in Islam the matter is different. Moslem’s prayer consists of repetitive rites, preprogrammed to prohibit him from using his own language. This programmed liaison becomes automatic over time to the point that humans lose their sense of spirituality.
How would a person feel his spirituality when he repeats in his prayer, sitting or standing a language (of Quran) like these:
-Those whose (potion) is not Wrath, And Who go not astray.
-From the mischief of the Whisperer, who withdraws, who whispers into the hearts of Mankind.
-Therefore to thy Lord turn in Prayer and Sacrifice. For he who hateth thee, He will be cut off.
-From the mischief of created things.
-His wife shall carry the wood as fuel. A twisted rope of palm leaf fiber round her neck.
-Verily Man is in loss.
-And what will explain to thee that which Breaks to Pieces? the Fire of God kindled.
-And He sent against them Flights of Birds, Striking them with stones of baked clay.
And so forth of the horrifying dry desert language that deprives the soul from any spirituality, and the mind from any creativity.
I was a new settler in the United States when I first received an invitation to the farewell party from my daughter’s kindergarten after her graduation. In that party, the governor of that city finished his speech by saying: allow me to start this occasion by a prayer.
A prayer?
I did not feel comfortable and thought that he was going to impose his own religion and rituals on the attendees. Prayer in my understanding is a set of programmed rituals that no one has the right to change, but I was surprised when he said:
We thank you Lord for those innocent faces that you sent to us. We thank you Lord for this beautiful place. We thank you Lord for facilitating for the families of our children to come despite of their busy schedules. We thank you Lord for that pizza that we’ll share together. God bless those children, and take their hands, for these are the makers of the future. Then he finished his prayer by thanking us all.
And from that day, my understanding of prayer changed from that which I inherited from my own father.
Spirituality and not religion is the essence of the Buddhist faith. This faith that strives to bring the soul beyond any religion and soar with it to spiritual heights until it unites with the absolute universe and becomes a part of it.
There are three traits that a person should possess to reach that height of spirituality:
Truthfulness
Compassion
Tolerance
Where are those traits when it comes to Islam and Moslems?
The main thing that deprived a Moslem from his spirituality is his perception of others. A man can’t unite with his creator as long as he carries a speckle of hate in his heart towards his fellow brother. When man lives through constant fights with others he loses his spirituality. Imagine a man in his most sacred moment, while he unites with his creator, begging him to: “give us victory over the infidels”?!!
What kind of victory is he seeking?!!
The most honorary battle a man can pursue is the evil in his own soul, and not in those of the others. If a man can better himself and seek the brotherhood of the other, humanity would be saved.
One of the sad events that were engraved in my memory since I was a little child was our neighbor Majid who had a wife and a bunch of children. Majid was an evil being and loved to cause pain to others. His presence in the neighborhood was a source of terror in the hearts of all the neighbors. My mom once planted a small tree in front of our house, her love to that tree increased with every leaf it bloomed. More than once I heard her talking to that tree and it’s blooming flowers: good morning love, God bless, he who flawlessly created you!
One morning I heard my mother exasperatingly screaming while she was checking her tree from the window. She then ran outside and embraced the remains of the tree and continued screaming: God may kill that who killed you. The branches bowed after loosing any chance to live. And the flowers withered after leaving behind the spring of life. My mother then swooped a handful of soil to her nostrils and continued screaming: he spilt gasoline on her to quench his hate. Women in the neighborhood gathered to give condolences and to assure her speculations. They have seen him killing that tree and no one dared to stop him. I have no doubts that Majid was a devout person who prayed in private and in public ”God assure us victory over the infidels”, and God granted his wish over a helpless tree. I wished he prayed to his God to grant him victory over his selfishness and tyranny, and I wished that God quenched the fire of hate in his soul.
When a man finds a wallet on the floor that contains some money and the identification card of its owner, his reaction varies according to his ability to conquer evil in his heart. He chooses to return it when his evil in under control, and he may chose to keep it when he is under his evil’s control. But he’d hesitate between the two when his evil remains undecided.
We wouldn’t have been cursed by the dictatorial leaders (who swallowed the chicken and the egg, as well as, the camel and its trace) if Moslems prayed to their God to grant them victory over their own evils and not over the infidels.
Louise L. Fay, the renowned American writer said” What I gave out in the form of words would return to me as experience”. Our language shapes our experiences, and the language that provoked us to “kill the infidels” for fourteen centuries had killed us through that span of time.
To evaluate any society we need to use a microscope. Otherwise, it is not possible to see its positive and negative elements through the naked eye. When Moslems live in societies other than theirs, you’d think that they are heaven-sent angels, and that they are the descendants of Plato and his immortal Republic, while their societies are cursed with cancer to the bone.
One of my readers from Dubai wrote me saying: it is very easy to hitch a prostitute in any of Dubai’s streets in the front of an audience, but they have blocked your site, and all my trials to get to your site had failed, do you have a solution?
This does not surprise me a bit, their holy book allowed them to f$%k whoever they like of women, but it forbade them to open their minds on issues such as “it would hurt you to see (Quranic verse)”. What could hurt more than the writings that expose their dirty laundry? What society believes in a verse as its constitution such as:
-But force not your maids to prostitution when they desire chastity, in order that ye may make a gain in goods of this life. But if anyone compels them, yet, after such compulsion, if God Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Is this the way to forbid prostitution? “Force not”? What if they liked prostitution? And why God did not say “forbid” instead of “force not”? “When they desire chastity”, what if they didn’t? “If God Oft Forgiving”, who would God forgive? The man who enforced the woman into prostitution or the woman who was enforced to abide? Is this the language of prohibition? Where is the clearness in a book that claims to be infallible and “clear”?
Some accused me of not reading the Quran in its context and historical events, and that I only pick sentences and phrases, what historical events? Isn’t every phrase born in the moment it is said? Where is the fallacy in picking sentences and phrases? Studies have assured that semantics are not less important than phrases. Is there any difference in saying: I’m not sick today” and: I feel well today?
Off course not. But the difference is that each sentence leaves a different impact on its beholder. When you say: I’m not sick today, your subconscious mind hears those words and believes them, and the result is a weak immune system that leads to sickness (This relationship between the subconscious mind, the nervous system and the immune system is called “neuropsychoimmunology”), but when your subconscious mind hears: I feel well today, it also believes it and the result is a stronger immune system, and ergo, better health. Therefore, as much as we care to know the meaning of the phrase, we also care to know its impact on our subconscious mind.
At the entrance of JetBlue airlines in one of the United States airports I saw a big poster that bewitched me, the poster read: don’t say goodbye, say see you later. Both phrases meant separation, but the difference between the impacts of each on us is tremendous. When you say “goodbye” you feel melancholic, but saying, “see you later” brings happiness to your heart although the meaning of both phrases is almost the same.
Let’s see what a poet said in describing his beloved while she was crying:
She rained pearls of Narcissus and watered
The flowers, and bit on the jujube in the cold
She was crying, but the poet made you feel happy with his description of her action when she was crying.
Another poet describes his beloved’s eyes while she was crying:
Your eyes are a sea when I wander on their shores
Screaming oh lashes, save me from drowning
Screaming…save me…are expressions that make you feel sad despite the aesthetic presentation.
A sick barren language that created in them a sick mind and a barren thought victimized Moslems. The word “killing and its derivatives” are repeated more than twenty times in Sura Albaqara, one of the verses says:
-And say not of those who are slain in the way of God: they are dead nay, they are living, though ye perceive not.
Why shouldn’t man live in the way of God instead of being killed in the way of God? Wouldn’t it have been better if the verse blessed the right to live? Something like:
And say to those who live in the way of God, blessed be your life, you are of the immortals.
If the verse came in the latter form instead of the one given in the scripture, would there be any chance to see a Palestinian mother shrilling cries of joy when her son, the suicide bomber explodes the dynamite around his waist and shatters his body to pieces? Would there have been any chance to hear her say: I have two other sons and I wish the same fate for them? Would anyone explode himself in a village in northern Iraq killing more than five hundred Kurdish citizens without any respect for their right to live? Definitely not.
Moslem’s mind is programmed to kill; it’s not programmed to love life. A language that blesses killing in “the way of God” does not give birth to innovative minds equipped to produce novelty in life. Planting is creativity, construction is creativity, painting is creativity, singing is creativity, debating is creativity, writing is creativity and education is creativity. Every aspect in life is novelty and creativity. Rather life itself is creativity. And there is no creativity in a language that professionalizes killing.
That’s why we never skilled in planting, construction, painting, singing, debating, writing or education. Nor we skilled in any aspect of life because our subconscious mind was programmed to kill life.
Mind consists of two parts; the conscious and the subconscious part. The conscious is the reality through which we see what’s going on around us. But the subconscious is the steering wheel behind the stage that works in an impalpable or unseen fashion.
The conscious mind receives information from the environment through sensory cells; it then transmits it to the subconscious part where it goes through studies and analysis. And through this process the mind reaches important conclusions, on which a person builds his decisions in life.
When we experience a difficult situation, for example, the conscious mind feels this experience and sends it to the subconscious mind. Then the subconscious analyses the situation and reaches a conclusion. Then it sends the analyzed version back to the conscious mind, so it would make the decision toward that situation. In the process, the subconscious mind stores the pain and the conclusions in memory. When a person undergoes a similar situation in the future, analysis need not be repeated again, the subconscious always sends the old conclusions automatically to the conscious mind. And hence, the first years of human life remain to be the most important, for most programming is done through that stage, then the subconscious mind becomes a station that transmits all the previously analyzed information, that were stored, automatically without the need for much more analysis.
A child of four was asked by a Saudi TV broadcaster on an interview if she liked the Jews, her answer was; no. When the reported asked her the reason, she replied: because they are apes and pigs.
The subconscious mind of that child was programmed to connect between the Jews on one hand, and apes and pigs on the other. And this subconscious mind is equipped with a certain pain through this linkage. And through that pain the subconscious mind has reached to a certain conclusion. This kid won’t be able to take any decision in her subsequent years outside of the boundaries of this equation. And based on this argument, I see that connecting Palestinian case with Moslems’ position towards the Jews, especially those Moslems living in the Western countries is a lie that would not lead them anywhere. The crises with the Jews is a crises that was created with Quran, and was programmed in the minds of its readers on a span of fourteen centuries.
When the subconscious is programmed, an unseen barrier is formed to separate between the subconscious mind and the conscious mind. This barrier pushes any other thought that is not in harmony with the subconscious mind and deters it from entering the conscious mind. The person whose mind was programmed to link between Jews and apes/pigs would not accept any idea that contradicts this link, even if his personal experiences lead him to see the contrary. In the States a lot of Moslems tell me their stories and personal experiences with the Jews. And they always assure me that Jews are loyal in their jobs and honest. They don’t deceive nor steal. This is their personal experiences with the Jews. But the barrier that was formed between their conscious and subconscious minds controls their decisions and positions towards the Jews. And I do not think that the programming towards the Christens or other ethnic groups differs much, but the Palestinian case always brings the Jews to the surface of the conscious mind.
When the Pakistani terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was captured he said: I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew, Daniel Pearl.

Did he behead him because of a dispute over the Palestinian case? Or did he do that because his conscious and subconscious minds were programmed around the link between the Jews and the apes/pigs tale? Didn’t his Quran say:
-And well ye know those amongst you shall transgressed in the matter of Sabbath: we said to them: be ye apes, despised and rejected.
This is what the book of Moslems says, while the Jewish Einstein says: God does not play dice. i.e. God precisely organized this universe according to equations and laws. Creates beauty because He loves beauty. It is impossible for Him to disfigure his creation in the form of an ape. The equation of creating a man is different than the equation of creating an ape.
This is what the Moslem Khalid Sheikh Mohammed said, and this is what the Jewish Einstein said. What kind of God disfigures Einstein and leaves Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to humanity?
I have noticed lately a new phenomenon. My mail has been full with Moslems’ letters that condemned my attack on Islam, but in a very civilized fashion that I have never experienced before. And the strange thing is that most of the letters denied Sunna and traditions, and claimed that Islam is only Quran.
Off course this phenomena brings a glimpse of hope. And the hope is not in fixing Islam, but in destroying it. It’s the first step along a thorny road. Or rather, it’s the easiest step. The respectful language that dominated those letters conveyed to me that they have started to wake up. Their denials of Sunna and tradition conveyed to me that they have started to understand. It’s a stage that a person has to go through before screaming that the piercing in his garment became larger than the laceration. So, till when will those Moslems stickle that Sunna and tradition is a bunch of lies, and how would they prove that Quran is a garment without tear.
Quran says:
-Nor does he say (the prophet) of Desire, it is no less than inspiration sent down to him.
Then why didn’t God not save his “the not saying of desire” prophet from forgery and fabrication?
An Australian intellectual historian once told me:
I read Mohammad’s life. Oh my God, it’s traumatizing
If he read the Quran, would he wake up from his trauma?
Islam is a very ragged garment, it’s demolition starts with deleting the sunna and tradition. But its end is when those Quranists discover that the laceration they have in their hands is not enough to med the piercing in their book

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21 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Blue Dress
    Sep 13, 2007 @ 10:00:20

    Just by you writing this, you will never be able to do change
    Or be some ones savior or what ever you have in mind.
    It’s all in the heart.

    And the world is full of people …. If everyone is going to use their brains when it comes to religion only , regardless what that religion is, they will fail to achieve any sort of fulfillment but to truly experience that you need to follow your heart and I’m not going to say to what religion… but the one that makes most sense…

    As for Dr. wafaa she needs a reality check.
    Speaking in politics itself is war, politics is war.

    I mean if you’re only concentrating on the physical war and disregarding the cause of that physical war which is politics war of the minds that is filling brains with unnecessary information… aaah that’s just too much!

    Peace.

    Reply

  2. harmonie22
    Sep 13, 2007 @ 11:12:06

    It is a rare day to find Muslims who can free their minds from the manacles of religion. There is something powerful in the act of speaking itself and when you speak up on issues that threaten the comfortable reality cocoon around the egos of others your going to have these egos start squawking in protest. Isn’t it ugly, what we’ve cooked up over the years and called it religion?

    A part of me wants to believe that this is not how Islam was intended to be only what it has become. I don’t know; they are flashes of beauty and spirituality I see in Islam side-by-side with statements that conflict with the concept of a loving God or a just God. I am also inclined to believe that since the Koran was memorized and recited orally for 40 years before ever being written down, well, who knows what the truth is anymore. If any part of a religion contradicts what it means to be good, that should raise a red flag.

    The sad thing is, people don’t want to listen. They are happy to continue in a violent oblivion believing that they are superior. Dialogue is perceived as an attack. Muslims are instilled with the belief that they are infallible and the ‘chosen’ who can do no wrong..I think it is Muslim societies that need a reality check because something has got to give and I firmly believe that that means the separation of mosque and state.

    Keep on keeping on-
    and never-you-mind the hate male you get, however so eloquently phrased. There will be some who will stop and reflect on what you have to say. Thanks for translating and sharing, an excellent read. I’m definitely coming back to read the comments on this one.

    Oh and Ramadan Mubarak (or shall I say Ramadan Karim 🙂

    Reply

  3. harmonie22
    Sep 13, 2007 @ 11:13:41

    Typo: ‘hate male’ should read ‘hate mail.’

    Reply

  4. harmonie22
    Sep 13, 2007 @ 11:35:44

    Apologies for bombarding your comment box but just to prove a point in support of Dr. Wafa:

    Dr. Wafa said this:
    “What society believes in a verse as its constitution such as:
    -But force not your maids to prostitution when they desire chastity, in order that ye may make a gain in goods of this life. But if anyone compels them, yet, after such compulsion, if God Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful. Is this the way to forbid prostitution? “Force not”? What if they liked prostitution? And why God did not say “forbid” instead of “force not”?”

    Well in modern day Muslim societies this translates to crimes and atrocities such as this mini article I found on Arab Times ‘Kuwait Crime News’- I don’t think I need to connect the dots:

    Sponsor allows Egyptian drunkard to rape maid :

    Police have arrested a 49-year-old Egyptian man for raping an Indonesian maid, reports Al-Wasat daily.
    The rapist was initially arrested by a police patrol because he was under the influence of alcohol. However, when the police saw the maid in the passenger seat she told them the man had raped her.
    She also told police it is her sponsor who allowed the man to rape her inside his apartment.
    The sponsor will be summoned for interrogation.

    here’s the link:

    http://version2.arabtimesonline.com/client/pagesdetails.asp?nid=5321&ccid=22

    Reply

  5. Sabah
    Sep 13, 2007 @ 12:49:54

    I just wanted to tell you that you’re not blocked in neither Dubai nor Sharjah.
    I have a friend who converted from buddism into islam. She knows the buddist religion from inside out the way you know islam. It is not better. I’ve studied religions for a long time and I know one thing – there’ s no one better than the other therefore if you want a destruction of this system you need to destroy all religions not just islam. But then, human being seems to need a religion – the number of people coming from not religious or atheist families adhering to weirdest sects prove this. I guess we need another solution than “destroing islam”.

    Reply

  6. saeed
    Sep 14, 2007 @ 00:02:21

    Dr. Wafa’s comments are, to be honest, those of someone who likes to hear herself speak and not one of someone who is speaking with sober thought or fact.

    Lines like: “On a span of 14 centuries Moslems are obsessed with terrorism until it became engraved on their genes. ” are not only patently false, but stereotypical and fundamentally ridiculous. This is only a sample of her rantings.

    If she were at all intellectually honest, she’d talk about Islam in a balanced way, and separate Islam and it’s teachings from the actions of Muslims.

    If she were at all intellectually honest, she’d look throughout history at how Muslims protected people, including the Jews who were persecuted for over 1000 years at the hands of Christians.

    If she were at all intellectually honest, she’d realize that if terrorism were in the “genes” of Muslims, then at this moment, 1,000,000,000+ Muslims would be at war in all parts of the world, instead of beginning the month of Ramadan with their families.

    If she were intellectually honest, she’d be ranting about Christianity, and the massacres of others throughout history, including those in the last hundred years, including the Jews of WWII, the genocides of Bosnia and Rwanda, which were all perpetuated by Christians.

    No offence, but Dr. Wafa is no different from David Duke or Ernst Zundel, but since she’s attacking Islam and Muslims, her ranting is held up as somehow (perversely) correct, unlike Duke and Zundel who are made pariahs and shunned, if not jailed.

    Reply

  7. saeed
    Sep 14, 2007 @ 00:09:52

    BTW, to Harmonie… you wrote:

    “I am also inclined to believe that since the Koran was memorized and recited orally for 40 years before ever being written down, well, who knows what the truth is anymore.”

    This is not correct. The revelations of the Quran were both memorized by dozens, if not hundreds of people as soon as they were revealed, as well as written down and checked for accuracy at the same time. The culture of the Arabs at the time was an oral culture so the fact that it was written down immediately was somewhat novel to them. The Quranic verses were assembled into a single volume (from the written and memorized texts) a few years after the death of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and a short time after that, several copies were made and checked for accuracy and then sent out to various parts of the Muslim world.

    2 of those copies still exist today. One is in Istanbul and the other, I believe is in Samarkand. This fact can be checked, as I’m not 100% sure of the second location.

    Reply

  8. Harmonie22
    Sep 14, 2007 @ 07:02:23

    Saeed,

    I stand corrected. Thank you.
    But if we forgot about the past and just took a snapshot of the present, Dr. Wafa, whether or not she is expressing in palatable terms, has a valid undeniable point.

    Just my opinion.

    Reply

  9. saeed
    Sep 14, 2007 @ 07:23:23

    Harmonie,

    What is the undeniable point?

    Reply

  10. morish
    Sep 14, 2007 @ 08:49:35

    Reply

  11. Harmonie22
    Sep 14, 2007 @ 11:42:35

    My undeniable point is that I’m better off banging my head against the wall than to continue.

    Last comment from me. Thanks Ayya, as always, for allowing me to share…

    Reply

  12. dishevelled
    Sep 16, 2007 @ 13:58:35

    I can see the connection between Islam and violence – it’s undeniable. But I keep on asking myself: Is it the script? Or the people who are interpreting it? Is it both? Dr.Wafa made a good point about the violence wording though.

    Thanks for translating it, made it much easier for me to read =)

    Reply

  13. saeed
    Sep 16, 2007 @ 20:08:15

    The undeniable connection to violence is to people, not to Islam or Christianity or religion in general.

    People, particularly, but not exclusively men, whether they have faith or not, are prone to violence given the opportunity. Communism was a great peaceful movement that respected all human rights wasn’t it?

    I always ask those who make this assertion, whether world peace and good will towards all others would suddenly appear were religion to disappear tomorrow.

    The answer is obviously not. Violence is about personal power, ignorance and greed. None of which have to do with religion.

    Reply

  14. dishevelled
    Sep 17, 2007 @ 02:08:10

    Saeed – Connection to violence to Muslims, who follow Islam, hence Islam itself. I mean the religion preaches a lot of violence. The wording of the Quran is sort of violence, and one thing I don’t like the way Islam uses fear as a means to get people to follow it. All I remember from my study of it is the punishment a follower would get if they did a certain act, or the punishment people who don’t even follow the religion would get. If I’m not mistaken, there are numerous mentions and methods of punishment mentioned and yet only heaven to good deed.

    Reply

  15. saeed
    Sep 18, 2007 @ 04:04:57

    I’m not sure where you studied Islam, but what you describe is certainly not a correct description of Islam.

    Unfortunately, it is very easy for people, many Muslims included, to read the Quran (for example), or more commonly, fragments of it, taken out of context and without a clear understanding of meaning and history, and assume that the meanings are the absolute literal meanings of what is written.

    The Quran and Islam covers many things, beyond what typically people consider to be the area of “religion” in the Western sense of the word. WRT “violence”, there certainly are some passages (amongst the over 6000 verses) which describe aspects of oppression and warfare. Unfortunately oppression and warfare are a reality in this world, have been throughout history and have no specific affiliation to any particular people, culture, religion or nation. Individuals oppress. Individuals are violent. Collectively, at times, nations or groups resort to violence. The Quran and Islam acknowledge this and in various contexts instruct Muslims on how to REACT to aggression. This is very important. In no shape or form are Muslims allowed to be the aggressors.

    Chapter 2, verse 190: Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loves not transgressors.

    “those who fight you”….i.e. those who aggress against you…but the response must be measured — “do not transgress limits”.

    A good introductory article on this topic can be found here…

    http://www.beliefnet.com/story/87/story_8753_1.html

    Reply

  16. AyyA
    Sep 18, 2007 @ 10:47:36

    Saeed
    It seems to me that your studies of Islam fall short; The problem with the Islamic educators is that they do not teach the verses and Hadeeth, nor the writings of the ones who where closer to that epoch in their context and chronological order. Check this for example from Ibn Ishaq (645-643), in the words of the prophet himself:
    “I have been commanded to fight against people, till they testify to the fact that there is no God but Allah, and believe in me (that) I am the messenger (from the Lord) and in all that I have brought. And when they do it, their blood and riches are guaranteed protection on my behalf except where it is justified by law, and their affairs rest with Allah”
    No doubt that Islam was a military system that was spread by the sword. And Bin Ladin and his likes are the ones who understand Islam as it was.

    Reply

  17. saeed
    Sep 19, 2007 @ 04:38:05

    Ayya, let me paraphrase part of my previous response to you.

    “Unfortunately, it is very easy for people, many Muslims included, to read the Quran OR HADITH (for example), or more commonly, fragments of it, taken out of context and without a clear understanding of meaning and history, and assume that the meanings are the absolute literal meanings of what is written.”

    You’ve done exactly that with the hadith you cite. Given that you quote from Ibn Ishaq, I’ll also assume you can look for the full context of what you have quoted and understand it in that context and not present it as an absolute that is imperative on all Muslims in all times.

    One thing I’m sure you also know, is that while the Quran and Sunnah (teachings and sayings of the Prophet) form the basis of Muslim belief and practice, nothing in the Sunnah (primarily but not exclusively transmitted in books of hadith) can supercede what is in the Quran. i.e. the Quran makes it clear that aggression is not permitted and that one can only respond to violence and not initiate it.

    Thus, the hadith you quote, when viewed in the full context, will show it was spoken as part of a response to aggression from other parties. It also does not mean that because the Prophet said this , that it automatically becomes incumbent on all Muslims to do exactly the same.

    Now I’m sure you have other verses or hadith you can list to prove your point, and the same criteria apply. What is the context? What is the true meaning? What was the situation when the verse was revealed or the hadith spoken? For the hadith, is it Sahi (sound)? Is it singly or multiply transmitted? What are the majority scholarly opinions on those?

    As for you last line — that somehow 1,000,000,000+ Muslims are ignorant of the fundamentals of their faith, but some lone individual, hiding out in the mountains has the true insight into the faith indicates a certain lack of rationality in your argument.

    I’ll leave you with these passages from the Quran.

    6:82 But if they turn away from you, (O Prophet remember that) your only duty is a clear delivery of the Message (entrusted to you).

    64:12 Obey God then and obey the Messenger, but if you turn away (no blame shall attach to our Messenger), for the duty of Our Messenger is just to deliver the message.

    39:41 Assuredly, We have sent down the Book to you in right form for the good of man. Whoso guided himself by it does so to his own advantage, and whoso turns away from it does so at his own loss. You certainly are not their keeper.

    6:107 If it had been Allah’s plan, they would not have taken false gods: but We made thee not one to watch over their doings, nor art thou set over them to dispose of their affairs.

    Also see http://www.themodernreligion.com/terror/terrorism_verses1.htm

    Reply

  18. AyyA
    Sep 19, 2007 @ 07:32:25

    Saeed
    I will not list the Quran verses or the Hadeaths to prove a point, which are plenty btw. I will talk about history. The prophet received revelation on 610 ad, and migrated to Medina on 622 ad, a period of 10 years spent in calling for Islam in peace and good deeds. But as soon as he migrated to Medina, and until his death, which was on 632 ad, a period of 22 years, Islam became a tool for expansionism, and the prophet became a warlord. This statement can be verified with the Meccan and Medinien verses of the Quran, as well as the tradition, check them out, and see for yourself the difference in the verses. I will not talk about the period after the prophet now. If you compare the two periods you would come to the conclusion I drew in my last comment. Besides; regardless of the historical events, Mohammad portrays a role model for Moslems to emulate, and Islam is supposed to be valid for all times until resurrection day. In that case, the time spent in spreading a belief by force, which is two third of revelation time can’t be ignored. And the effect of that on Moslem communities can’t be overlooked. We can’t just dub those Mojahideen in the mountains by saying that they are ignorant; we have to be honest with ourselves and courageous enough to pinpoint the problem. You may say that they are the fundamentalists, while they see themselves as obeying the words of God, as were directed by Quran, and who would blame them?
    Even if the majorities do not take the teachings and the dogmas literally, and are not applying Shareea as it was meant to be applied, we can’t call the ones who abide to them as fundamentalists, and their dangers on the whole community can’t be ignored . A similar example is cutting the hands of thieves as penalty. This is not applied in most Islamic states, but that is not an Islamic dogma, nor it is an emulation to the prophet’s actions or Islamic orders. So when an Islamic state applies such penalty we can’t wrong them.
    I hope I made my point clear.

    Reply

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  20. Afzal Cader
    Aug 28, 2009 @ 11:51:04

    One is considered MORE educated than another depending on how many grades they have successfully completed and in higher studies the Professor is considered more educated than the Doctor.

    In INTELLECT too, one is considered more intelligent if he can put his education to better use.

    The Problems that have been mentioned in these articles are not necessarily the FAULT of ISLAM but the interpretation of ISLAM by groups of people who lack the education and the understanding.

    Given below are what the Western World has deemed equitable in the past 100 years whereas ISLAM made it mandatory from its inception over 1400 years ago.

    THE FIRST CHARTER OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE FIRST CONSTITUTION EVER:-

    01. It guaranteed every citizen Freedom, Security, and Justice.
    02. Security of Faith, Mind, Life, Honor and Property.
    03. Freedom of Speech and Assembly.
    04. Freedom of Worship for Muslims as well as non-Muslims.
    05. Rule of Law. All people in the State were equal and had equal rights.
    06. The Right to Trial. Everyone considered innocent unless proven guilty.
    07. Protection against external threat or attack.
    08. Economic Justice and Equity.
    09. All slaves were emancipated since the only Master is Allah.
    10. Very shortly, the following seven basic needs were guaranteed by the
    State to all citizens: Food – Shelter – Clothing – Employment – Tools –
    Transportation to and back from work – Free Medical Care.
    A brief resume of human rights given in the Qur’an will now be given. These points also reflect the Moral Code of Islam.
    a. Equal human dignity by birth (17:70, 95:4)
    b. Gender equity (4:32, 33:35)
    c. Superiority by character only (49:13, 46:19)
    d. Rule of law, not of individuals (3:79)
    e. Full compensation of work (53:39, 53:41, 39:70, 37:39)
    f. Provision of basic needs (20:118-119)
    g. Security of faith, life, mind, honor, and property (6:109, 6:152, 2:269, 17:36, 24:2, 22:40, 6:152, 5:90, 2:195, 5:32, 17:32, 17:35, 17:29, 83:1)
    h. Choice of spouse (4:3, 4:19)
    i. Freedom of religion (22:40, 6:109, 2:256)
    j. Freedom of expression (2:42, 3:71)
    k. Redress of grievances (4:148)
    l. Privacy (33:53, 24:27)
    m. Care of handicap (4:36, 70:24)
    n. Presumption of innocence (49:6)
    o. Sanctity of name and lineage (49:11, 33:4)
    p. Right to residence (4:100, 2:85, 6:41)
    q. Aesthetic choice (18:31, 76:13-15)
    r. Protection of chastity (17:32, 24:2)
    s. Race, color, gender, lineage, wealth are no criteria of superiority.
    t. Degrees of people according to their deeds (2:212, 3:163, 6:132)

    EMANCIPATION OF WOMEN
    THE ROLE OF WOMEN:
    Nothing that was allowed for men was forbidden for women. However, they did have an extraordinary advantage. Working a job or doing business was entirely their choice. The bread-winners for the family had to be men.

    Q – 4:34 Men are the protectors and maintainers of women. They shall take full care of women with what they spend of their wealth. Allah has made men to excel in some areas and women to excel in some areas. Men must see to it that women are provided for, and that they are able to stand on their feet in the society.
    9. Womens’ Rights: In the times when the woman was considered the property of the man and was treated worse than slaves; when “Eve” and “evil” were thought to be synonymous and woman was a “shameful load of sin”, when she spent her life in bondage first to her father, then to her brothers and eventually to her husband; when Christian conferences were discussing questions such as
    – Does the woman have a soul?
    – Is she human?
    – Will she be resurrected?
    The Qur’an thundered that Allah has created people males and females.
    “Women have rights unto you as you have rights unto them.” (2:187)
    “Every person will be rewarded according to one’s actions; male or female.” (4:32)
    And the “Mercy for the Worlds” Muhammad, the exalted taught:
    “Paradise lies at the feet of your mothers.”
    “The best among you is the one who is best to his wife.”
    “O Men! You will be questioned about your treatment of women.”
    On the other hand, Michael Hart notes that the New Testament still teaches: “Let the woman learn in silence . . . She is to keep silent . . . Adam was not deceived but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet woman will be saved through bearing children (Timothy 2:11-15). “The head of every man is Christ, the head of a woman is her husband . . . for if a woman will not veil herself then she should have her head shaved . . . woman [was created] for man” (Corinthians 11:3-10).
    Now, look back with an open mind. Which way has the mankind moved in the last 1400 years? Surely, Islam is on the march! It may also be of interest to note here that in the USA women gained the right to vote in 1920. When did Muslim women attain it? In the 7th century!
    SOME LEADING CHARACTERS:
    Let us now look at the facts. Unfortunately, whatever dogmas we are raised up with since childhood, become a part of our inner self. Indeed, they intertwine with our emotional fabric. That is why people in general tend to block their minds to new information and even get upset. A Mullah would conveniently dispense the verdict of infidelity. Alas, hundreds of thousands of things to be said remained unsaid for fear of mass commotion
    However, according to Qur’an, concealing the truth is a great offense (2:140). To begin with, here are the years of death of some notables:
    YEARS OF BIRTH AND DEMISE:
    All the dates given below can only be approximate and liable to error because of contradictions in different histories. A brief though rough chronology is, however, important for us to go back in time. Name Year of Death
    AH (Al-Hijrah) Lifetime
    CE (The Common Era)
    The exalted Prophet Muhammad 11 570-632
    Hazrat Abu-Bakr Siddiq 13 573- 634
    Hazrat Umar Farooq 23 583-644
    Hazrat Uthman 35 583-656
    Hazrat Ali ibn Abi-Talib 40 600-661
    Hazrat Muawiya 60 604-680 (First Banu Ummayad Ruler)
    Yazeed bin Muawiya 64 645-683

    Prophet Muhammad (S) 52 before Hijrah to10 AH 570-632 CE
    Hazrat Abu-Bakr Siddiq 49 before Hijrah to12 AH 573-634 CE
    Hazrat Umar Farooq 39 before Hijrah to 23 583-644 CE

    Now let us have a look at the chronology of the historians who initially committed our history to writing, including the Karbala episode. Although the historians are a different commodity from the Muhaddthin (writers of Hadith) yet, both groups trespass each other’s boundaries whenever they wish. Therefore, we find history mixed up with Hadith and vice versa. These massive volumes are loaded with endless amount of contradictions within themselves and against each other since all these books were based on word of mouth. “He heard from him who heard from her, and she heard from so and so who in turn heard it from this and that.” Then there is the description and analyses of the character and credibility of the persons in the ‘chains of narration’. The funny thing is that one narrator who is trustworthy before ten “scholars” is a fabricating liar before another ten.
    86
    WARNING! The Prophet (S) commanded, La taktabu ‘anni ghair-al-Qur’an; wa mun kataba ‘anni ghair-al-Qur’an falyamhah. (Write from me nothing but the Qur’an and if anyone has written, it must be obliterated.) Saheeh Muslim, vol 1 pg 211 Hadith number 594, Printer Maktaba Adnan, Beirut 1967
    MOST PROMINENT HISTORIANS & MUHADHITHIN
    AUTHOR WITH YEAR OF DEATH
    Imam Ibn Jareer Tabari 310 (923 CE) – The first exponent of the Qur’an and the first ever historian)

    IMAMS OF SUNNI HADITH:
    Imam Muhammad Ismail Bukhari 256 AH (870 CE)
    Imam Muslim Bin Hajjaj Al-Qasheeri 261 AH (875 CE)
    Abu Abdullah Ibn Yazeed Ibn Majah 273 AH (886 CE)
    Suleman Abu Dawood 275 AH (888 CE)
    Imam Abu Musa Tirmizi 279 AH (883 CE)
    Imam Abdur Rahman Nisai 303 AH (915 CE)

    IMAMS OF FIQH (JURISTS – AH YEAR OF DEATH):
    Imam Malik Bin Anas 179
    Imam Abu Hanifa 150
    Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal 241
    Imam Shafi’i 204

    The revered Mullah Jalaluddin Rumi wrote correctly about the Imams of Fiqh:
    They sculpted four sects out of the True Religion
    And created a rift in the Deen of the exalted Prophet
    87
    But, contradicting the Qur’an, the same Rumi says:
    The Companions so loved of this world that
    They abandoned Mustafa (the Prophet) coffinless

    The “Science” of Asma-ur-Rijaal
    These were the names of the gurus of our history and tradition. Here it is noteworthy that first history of Muslims was written by Tabari, about 270 years after the exalted Prophet and 230 years after the supposed incident of Karbala. And he had nothing in his hands to refer to. In fact, he admits in the very beginning of his “Mother of all Histories” that he was writing only that which others were narrating. The narrators, therefore, should be held responsible for any and all errors.
    From the Shiite standpoint, history was first recorded by Imam Kaleeni later than Tabari, at the start of the fourth century AH or about 250 years after the supposed Karbala. Tabari and Kaleeni both built their fancies on hearsay. “He heard from so and so who heard from so and so, and so on.”
    Besides being gullible, we Muslims have a strange characteristic. Being a ‘Bizarro Ummah’, we take pride in what we should be ashamed of! The scandal that should put us to shame is the so-called “Science” of Men’s Names (Asma-ur-Rijaal). The Mullah thumps his breast claiming that Muslims have preserved the names of their 500,000 self-proclaimed narrators/scholars. Dr. James Gibbs of Great Britain has correctly assailed Muslims over this spectacle, “The Muslims possess a living Book but, sitting in their mosques, madrasahs and monasteries, they continue playing with obsolete accounts of history. These five hundred thousand phantom players are responsible for sectarianism amongst the Muslims.”
    SOME MORE INFO ABOUT OUR HISTORIANS
    It is significant that our ‘recognized’ historians, numbering in hundreds, belong to the post-Tabari/Kaleeni era. None before them! What happened to the record of the golden period of the Muslim history? In 165 AH, when Abbassid Khalifa Haroon Rasheed asked Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal for evidence supporting one of his theories, he could not produce a scrap of paper! Imam Hanbal reportedly endured flogging by Mamoon Rashid over the pointless debate whether the Qur’an was a creation or not. But none of these “Imams” pronounced monarchy being un-Islamic. So, despotism continued to gain strength with time.
    Two Tabaris? Just as Imam Abu Yusuf, a disciple of Imam Abu Hanifa had become the royal court jurist (Faqeeh) of Umayyad Dynasty similarly Tabari
    88
    dug heels in the court of Khalifa Mo’tamid in 270 AH. Imam Ibn Jareer bin Yazeed Tabari, (the name adopted by him) graciously submitted to the whims of Khalifa Al-Muqtadar Billah. In many accounts the “Imam’s” real name is given as Ibn Jareer bin Rustam Ibn Tabari disclosing him being a Parsi. (For example, Kitabul Istaqama, P.137) Today there are confusing reports about him whether he was a Shi’a or a Sunni, Khariji or Rafizi or Zoroastrian (Yaqoot Hamdi’s Muajjamil Adaba 302 AH). Legend also has it that Imam Tabari bin Yazeed and Imam Tabari bin Rustam were two different persons, although both were born on the same day, both were historians, lived in the same town, and died on the same day. Both of them looked the same and dressed the same. [Impossible for a co-incidence]

    Reply

  21. AyyA
    Aug 28, 2009 @ 19:37:30

    Afzal Cader
    “Given below are what the Western World has deemed equitable in the past 100 years whereas ISLAM made it mandatory from its inception over 1400 years ago.”
    Talk is easy; but proof is in the application. For over 1400 years Muslims were unable to provide justice for women, let alone other ethnic groups.
    And the first Islamic historian was Ibn Ishaq, not Altabari
    Your comment is too long and it distracts attention (typical), if you care for a healthy debate you should break it down, we are not in a war zone.
    Thanks

    Reply

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