No God but God/A review(IV)

A continuation
Aslan mentioned that Muhammad, “granted women the right of divorce”, while he failed to address the severity of this conditional divorce by only shyly referring to the verse “if they (women) feared cruelty or ill-treatment (from their husbands)” (4:128). Divorce in Islamic Shareea is a man’s right by default, it’s not even mentioned in the marriage contract. A woman can add a clause to the contract if she demands it according to Shareea, although many Islamic courts like the Kuwaiti ones do not accept it. And adding this clause is also considered a taboo when it comes to Islamic societies; 99.99999 women do not make this demand at the time of marriage. But the aforementioned Quranic verse refers to something called “Khule”, where a woman can file for divorce. And although this process is relatively easier in Sunni courts than Shiite’s, it still remains to be a complicated issue that may take several years with no guarantees. According to that verse, a woman has to prove that her marital life inflicts dangers on her life or her beliefs, which means that she should get a document from the police station showing the injuries that the husband inflicted on her, or a proof that the husband is asking her to denounce her religion, which is almost impossible. In any case, a woman has to pay a certain amount to her husband to buy her freedom. In Sunni courts the judge decides on that amount. But in Shiite courts even with that amount, the husband has the upper hand, if he doesn’t accept it, the wife automatically looses the case. But the situation differs when the husband files for divorce, usually he can get an official paper from the Shiite court without even his wife’s knowledge. This document is then sent by court to the wife to inform her that the marriage is terminated. Sunni divorces are even easier where the husband has only to utter an oath of divorce “you are divorced” to his wife, for the marriage to be terminated.
Now Aslan may believe that this practice is not Islamic since Shareea was written by humans centuries after the death of Muhammad, but he is forgetting that these laws were stemmed from Muhammad’s traditions and Quran, which are fixed and can’t be altered.
Aslant also provided some weird interpretations of some verses of the Quran in his effort to Idealize Muhammad’s ways. In the Quranic verse “and for those (women) that you fear might rebel, admonish them and abandon them in their beds and beat them (adribuhona)”, Aslan’s interpretation for the word “beating” was, “turn away from them,” “go along with them,” and, remarkably, even “have consensual intercourse with them”. Well, that may be so in Irani language, which, by the way, I know is not, but as someone whose mother tongue is Arabic, I have never heard of such meaning before. And if this interpretation is true, then can I say “I humped eggs for breakfast”?
It is obvious that Aslan did not have a case to promote his idea of egalitarianism of Islam, but I think with his last attempt he really lost his credibility. Beating is smacking, causing injury to another, there is no need to twist and turn the words when the verse is so direct.
Aslan’s partiality to pick verses of the Quran and read them within the historical context, especially those concerning jihad is obvious. But he fails to explain the wisdom, or the purpose behind not documenting Quran chronologically by the people who were closer to the prophet’s epoch. The logic is taken from Quran itself when it said that Quran is ageless, it’s applicable to all times and everywhere. In Aslan’s words, “yet the doctrine of Jihad, like so many doctrine in Islam, was not fully developed as an ideology expression until long after Muhammad’s death.” How is that? When in the ten years of prophecy after Hijra, Muhammad went into at least ten battles; an average of a battle per year. And the verse “Jihad is written on you,” makes Jihad mandatory for all Muslims. Even the peaceful individual who does not believe in wars has the responsibility of spreading the word of God and defending it, which is the meekest type of Jihad, as Quran instructed.
The word Jihad in the Arabic dictionary Almowrid means: holy war (by Moslems); struggle, strife, fight(ing), battle. I don’t know what language Aslan is using to define those words. Taken from the traditions, Jihad means to give up something dear for the sake of God. Giving money to support war is Jihad, refuting all claims against Islam, either verbally or literally, is Jihad. But the noblest type of Jihad is to give one’s life for the sake of Allah, which is called in Arabic Jihad annafs. This is Jihad in my perception and not the Jihad that Aslan selectively choses from the verses of Quran, “but perhaps the most innovation in the doctrine of Jihad was its outright prohibition of all but strictly defensive wars.” I wonder why Aslan took this specific verse out of its historical context! And why is he ignoring the tradition of Muhammad that specifically summarized the purpose of Islam in one sentence “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 and in all that I have brought.” Muslim:C9B1N31. Even Aslan himself used part of that tradition as a title for his book. And how can he dare say, ”nevertheless, these verses have long been used by Muslims and non-Muslims alike to suggest that Islam advocates fighting unbelievers until they convert. But this is not the view that either Quran or Muhammad endorsed.” And btw, this is not the only verse that Aslan takes out of context, he also said, “ Quran also asks rhetorically, “can you compel people to believe against their will?”(10:100).Obviously not; the Quran therefore commands believers to say to those who do not believe, “to you your religion; to me mine.”(109:6). And if I remember correctly, this verse was directed to Quraysh when they did not believe him, and when Muhammad was still at the beginning of his mission and was too weak to fight. If one verse is pulled out of it’s context, all verses should be treated the same.
Aslan also said,” Despite the common perception in the West, the Muslim conquerors did not force conversion upon the conquered people; indeed, they did not even encourage it.” This perception came from the events in history and the way Islam dealt with the conquered people, Aslan denies the fact that there are many traditions that institutes how Muslims are supposed to deal with those people. First, there was Jizya (protection fee) that was imposed on Thimmis (Jews and Christians), whoever could pay, is free to stay. And whoever could not, was forced either to leave or to convert, “Fight those who do not believe until they all surrender, paying the protective tax in submission.” Qur’an:9:29. And the tradition that explains that verse, “Our Prophet, the Messenger of our Lord, ordered us to fight you till you worship Allah alone or pay us the Jizyah tribute tax in submission. Our Prophet has informed us that our Lord says: ‘Whoever amongst us is killed as a martyr shall go to Paradise to lead such a luxurious life as he has never seen, and whoever survives shall become your master.” Bukhari:V4B53N386. And don’t forget the exact wording of the Quran when it said, “pay Aljiza with humiliation (an yadin wa hom saqiroon)”, this verse is meant to degrade the Thimmis, and designate to them a lower caste in the society. Another tradition instructed not to let those Thimmis renovate their churches and synagogues, even when those sacred places got eroded with time. Not to mention the instruction to stick to a different dress code than Muslims and walk closer to a wall when encountered by a Muslim in the road. Or the fact that it is forbidden for a Muslim to Greet the Thimmi with the Islamic Greeting of “Asalam alaikom”. All these are mentioned in the traditions which are considered saheeh (reliable). The aim at the end was to make life miserable for the Thimmis and force them into conversion. As for the non-Thimmis, they did not even have a chance to survive.

To be continued


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. GoGo
    Nov 11, 2007 @ 00:36:33

    if any of the Salaf read your post.
    elmaba7eth ynamon 3nd beitkom ;p
    are you a liberal?


  2. Trackback: No God but God/A review(V) « The Ultimate

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