Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Cutting Through the Fog

Will The Real Islamic Believer Please Stand Up

Islam has a problem with violence and warfare.  The "problem" lies here: warfare, violence, and oppression are found at the heart of the religion.

Before going further, we need to take stock of some strenuous efforts on the part of some who strive for an Islamic "Reformation" which, whilst acknowledging Islam's roots and past, would move to a modernised, pacific set of beliefs.  We might call it neo-Islam, or liberal Islam, or enlightened Islam.  People such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali have been so committed to this cause that she has lived her life in virtual hiding, under endless fatwa and death threats.  The threateners confirm the need of what Ali espouses--namely, that modern and moderate Islam must break away from the Islam's historical legacy of violence and bloodshed.

Terms like "reformation" can be deceptive; hence, the quotation marks.  The Protestant Reformation was an attempt to uncover and recover the original purity, the founding doctrines and praxis of the Christian faith.  The "reformation of Islam" means something entirely the opposite.  In this case, "reformation" means modern Islam breaking away from the doctrines and practice of the founders of Islam--namely, Muhammad and the four "rightly guided Caliphs".  In other words, the kind of reformation Ayaan Hirsi Ali wants to see is a modern Islam which has rejected all primitive, violent, and extreme doctrines and practices.

When Muhammad was driven out of Mecca, he became a refugee in Medina.  Survival required cultivating as many allies as possible--including Jews and Christians.  Muhammad began to have visions and revelations of matters which superficially made Islamic praxis somewhat like the beliefs and practices of Judaism and Christianity.

But that changed as soon as Muhammad consolidated his power at Medina.  As former Muslim, Nabeel Qureshi puts it:
. . . no one can honestly deny the presence of violent in both the Quran and the life of the prophet of Islam.  From the time Muhammad first obtained a following that could successfully fight, he launched raids and battles every year until he died.  According to David Cook in Understanding Jihad, he commissioned or personally participated in eighty-six battled during that time, which is more than nine battles a year.  [Nabeel Qureshi, Answering Jihad: A Better Way Forward (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2015),  p.31f.]
Not only that, the revelations Muhammad claims to have received during these times become much more minatory, more hawkish.  He openly and repeatedly calls for war against any who oppose.  And so his followers, after his death continued in this ignoble tradition.

Surah 9 of the Quran is regarded as the final revelation of Allah to Muhammad--received and proclaimed just before the death of the prophet.  All his local rivals were crushed.  He had returned to Mecca.  This chapter is called the "Disavowal" or "Repentance".  It makes all other instructions and revelations null and void, or subject to this final revelation.  All former treaties and concordes with unbelievers were to  be nullified, although a four month window would be offered to give time for the non-Islamic amongst them to take stock and consider their ways.

Once that had passed, the Muslims were commanded:
. . . slay the idolaters wherever you find them.  Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them. [Koran, "Repentance" or "Disavowal", Surah 9:5]
In particular, this chapter singles out Jews and Christian for special attention.  The followers of the now-deceased prophet are to subdue them utterly by the sword.  [Surah 9:29]   The present hatred of Islamic people throughout the Middle East for Jewish folk stems from such authoritative and holy Islamic writ.

If the Islamic believers fail to fight, they themselves would be disavowed by Allah, and he would raise up more faithful servants to take their place.  [Surah 9:39]

Who really walks in the faith, the teachings, and the ancient traditions of the Prophet?  Is it the "reformers"?  Or is it the mujaheddin, the holy warrior, the exterminator of the idolaters and unbelievers?  Who is actually following Muhammad?  Who is being obedient?  Who is the genuine disciple of Allah and Muhammad?

These are the vital questions which must be put to and pressed down upon all who claim to follow Allah.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Exactly. Islam claims that the words of the Koran are from Allah, are perfect and Mohammed is the perfect man and so on. To shift position on any of that means the divine component falls away and it just becomes a man's rantings while seeking political power. It simply cannot be allowed to happen. It will eventually have to square off against other religions - particularly Christianity which has a significant following world wide but also atheism which would not be allowed to co-exist if Islam became dominant.