No God but God / A review (III)

A continuation

4.Impartiality of the author to a religion, cult or sect:
Unfortunately, Aslan failed in this area as well, his partiality to Mohammad, to his tradition (although he denied that) and to Islam, specifically to Shiite Sufism (Erfan) was obvious to the highest degree.
Idealizing Muhammad:
In his words:“It is a wonder, some would say a miracle – that the same man, who had been forced to sneak out of his bed out of home under cover of night to join the seventy or so followers anxiously awaiting for him in a foreign land hundred of miles away, would, in a few short years, return to his city of birth, but in full light of day, with ten thousand men trailing peacefully behind him; and the same people who once tried to murder him in his sleep would instead offer him both security and the keys to Ka’ba unconditionally and without a fight, like a consecrated sacrifice.”
The only wonder I see in this event is that Muhammad was a skilled tactician, and a witted military leader. He was a warlord. He did not leave any of his opponents in Medina, and he raised terror in the Arabian Peninsula. History portrays other warlords like Hitler. And although Hitler used religion to annihilate Jews when he justified his fight for the German people and against Jews by using Biblical reasoning (this was clear in one of his speeches where he said, “Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.”) Yet, Hitler did not claim to be a messenger of God, nor drew upon mysterious forces to be at his side in his battles, and that’s why his ideology did not withstand time, and people eventually knew his real motives. While Muhammad was much smarter, he became a model to follow by some orthodox Moslems of today. His effect is palpable especially on the Moslem Brotherhood Group, who followed his steps to the letter (Sayid Cotb, Alzawahiri, Ben Laden and Khumaini as well as Hasan Nasrulla are good examples). Aslant also idealized Mohammad’s tradition when he said,” to further his egalitarian ideals, Muhammad equalized the blood-worth of every member of his community, so that no longer could one life be considered more or less valuable than another.” This practice was not new in the pre-Islamic society of the Arab Peninsula. “An eye for an eye” or the law of retribution was practiced long before Muhammad, and it is true that there were some who broke this law, but they were minorities, and the fact that the social structure was divide into tribes that were not controlled by a single power contributed to this. So we can’t claim that this law came with Muhammad.
Aslan also paraded Muhammad’s intentions in outlawing usury, as if that was an honorary act. He mentioned that the reason for instituting that law was to eventually free the society from slavery. In the pre-Islamic society, people who did not have enough money to pay their debts, Aslan said, were forced into slavery until the full debt was paid. History tells us that this act did not stop slavery, nor people could stop usury. Banks of today cannot function without usury under the label “interest”. Even Moslems themselves had to waver this law, in the Islamic banks of today, by only changing the word “usury” to “Morabaha”, which in reality is just a deception. Mohammad had the power to abolished slavery instead of just regulating it later on if that was his origional intention, but he couldn’t have done that. Booties of his wars consisted of Sabaya (women prisoners) and slaves; they were a huge incentive (especially women) for his warriors, and abolishing slavery was not compatible with his dream of expansion. That dream which became official when Muhammad got the power in Yathrib. In Aslan’s words, “ the dramatic success of the Ummah in Yathrib had convinced Muhammad that God was calling him to be more than a warner to his “tribe and close kin”(12:221:107) and the messenger “to all of humanity”(12:104-81:27).”
On the other hand, Islam was never egalitarian when it came to women’s rights, as Aslan struggled to convey. About the law of inheritance Aslan said, “While the exact changes Muhammad made to this tradition (women’s inheritance) are far too complex to discuss here, it is sufficient to note that women in the Ummah were, for the first time, given the right to keep their dowries.”
How could Aslan make this claim when Khadeeja, the prophet’s wife inherited her first husband? If we don’t have enough information about the pre-Islamic society, that does not make Khadeeja’s case an exception. Nor it gives us the liability to assume that she was. Khadeeja inherited her husband and was free to practice her own business, and atop of that, hired Muhammad to conduct that business, and by no means she was an exception. And if there were women who still practiced business and had social activities at the time of Muhammad and Khulafa Alrashideen, it was because that was the remnant of the pre-Islamic social and economic affairs. With Islam’s system in role assignment to genders, that encouraged the dependency of women on men, businesswomen in the Islamic societies became the exception over time, and not the norm. (I will get back to this point in the conclusion).
As for polygamy, Islam prohibited it when it came to women only. Polygamy was permitted in the pre-Islamic society for both genders. And children usually took the mother’s name since “linage was passed primarily by women” and not by men. As for men, it only limited the number of wives to four per man, and did not limit owning concubines. And reinterpreting the words of Quran to prove that Muhammad prohibited polygamy for men, as Aslan did, remains to be only an individual’s interpretation that is not accepted unanimously by Ulam (Ijma).

To be continued

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. راعيها
    Nov 01, 2007 @ 19:01:01


    العار علينا ليس بسبب ما تقولين … ولكن بسبب عدم قدرة أمثالك على التعبير عن آرائهم بحريه في بلادهم

    قد لا أكون مقتنعا ببعض ما تقولين … ولكني أحترم محاولتك للتعبير عن آرائك

    وصدقيني يا أخت آيا … ليس هناك وضع مريح … سواء صدقنا آرائك أم لم نصدقها .. ولا داعي للشرح


  2. blah
    Nov 01, 2007 @ 22:01:42

    This blog should be named the Ultimate Fart


  3. silhouette
    Nov 06, 2007 @ 12:43:06

    آيا,, وحشتينا,,مامريتي مدونة بن من كم يوم
    عسى تكونين واليهال بخير


  4. AyyA
    Nov 08, 2007 @ 10:37:59

    Hi sweetie and thanks for asking, it’s been almost a week since I got back to the land of $#!^, tiered, jetlagged, disgusted and atop all that down with a bad flu. I haven’t been on the Net lately, but I will as soon as I regain some power. The family and the boys are all ok. Thanks again :*


  5. Trackback: No God but God/A review(IV) « The Ultimate

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