WHAT IS ISLAM?
1)EVALUATING RELIABILITY OF ISLAMIC SOURCES, THE QURAN AND THE HADITH
1)EVALUATING RELIABILITY OF ISLAMIC SOURCES, THE QURAN AND THE HADITH
Anyway, the first 86 suras that were allegedly revealed to Muhammad in Makkah in first thirteen years of his mission are as follows.
1=Revelation order and 96=compilation order.
The rest 28 of the suras were revealed after Muhammad moved to Madina in the final ten years of his life.
1 or 87) 2 Encourages violence eg see 2/216 etc
The question is, how many of these 28 suras talk of violence etc against nonmuslims by muslims? Why such violence was not encouraged against nonmuslims the while Muhammad was in Makkah? Does this not clearly show that jihad is not a defensive war but an offensive war because if jihad had been mere preaching the quran or fighting against evil within oneself and or defensive war then these suras too could have been revealed in Makkah, for that is what Muhammad ought to preach to help people become better persons by way of fighting against the evil within a person.
All such suras as contain verses with terms related to violence against nonmuslims, looting them, enslaving them or about expansion of islamic empire etc etc are found in last 28 suras. There has to be another reason for that than peace, nonviolence or defense.
Coming to the question regarding the sources of the quran. I think the quran borrows very much from the jewish and christian sources. In fact hadith and tafaseer books contain various stories regarding so called ISRAILIAATS ie hadith reports that are thought of as jewish forgeries or concoctions.
However the problem is that muslims accept that the quran does contain information like that of bible because the bible too was revealed by Allah but has been corrupted here and there. So where there is similarity between the two, there is no dispute but where there are differences, they are due to errors in the bible according to muslims instead of the other way round.
From my point of view, all allegedly divine books are manmade and the quran got at least some of its information from the jewish and christian sources eg idea of one god, satan, heaven, hell, stories of jewish prophets etc etc etc. I have this point of view because the existence of islamic or for that matter god of any allegedly heavenly appointed religion is impossible for its followers to prove. The need for proof on the other hand is absolute, for religion is not a theory nor an assumptuous philosophical concept but a heavenly revealed fact as for as the followers of the religion are concerned and that failure to believe and follow it is punishable by death in this world at the hands of muslims as well as punishable in hell in hereafter by god himself.
It is also important to note that not only there was no fixed recorded chronological order of the quran but that there was never any fixed compilation order either. Hence we find in islamic sources information showing a great deal of variations and conflicts.
In books like AL-itqaan by Suyooty, several centuries back we find evidences wherein they clearly tell us that people used to have qurans with different sura and verse orders eg ibn masood, abu moosa, ubaee bin ka'b etc etc etc.
So later most muslims accepted the compilation order that was given to the quran as imposed by Uthman bin Affaan the third caliph of islam after Muhammad. Uthman was also son in law of muhammad by virtue of marrying two of his daughters, one after the other. According to available evidences in sunni and shia books, he ordered destruction of all other variant copies of the quran in the then islamic kingdom or if you like islamic state. Though we still have some variations in the structure and the text of the quran that is explained by scholars in various way, none of which is sufficiently convincing. So now we have quranic copies with differences like different verse numberings etc ie some quranic copies divide the quran into 6666 verses the while other divide the same text to 6238 verses and yet others yet more differently. Not only that but the variation in actual texts are still around as recorded in the fundamental tafaseer books.
To further evidence my assumption here is the commentary of Mawlana Maududi on revelational order of the quran. Please read it for yourself to see how perfect information we have on revelation order of the quranic suras and verses. So that you could become aware of how baseless is the claim of muslims that so and so has misinterpreted the quran ie out of its context, for suras and verses have their definite order and reason for their revelation and muslims have their perfect record eg click on link no 13), 14) or 15) etc etc below to see what I mean. If muslims themselves are confused and in conflict about it then how can they accuse others for misinterpreting the quran?
Please note carefully, that allaama modudi is not making up things himself rather he is quoting from original sources of islam.
All this is to disprove the muslim claim that they have perfect record about the origin of islam. One can see that the quran is the most important thing as far as muslims are concerned yet most if not all vitally important information about the quran is either missing or is unclear and disputed between muslims themselves. No one really knows why, when, where or how a sura or a verse was revealed.
To continue what I was saying concerning the state of the quran, muslims also claim that they know the quran by heart by millions. One will find them saying, the quran has been preserved through being committed to memory right from the beginning of its revelation. We are told that the prophet himself got it copied through various scribes and kept it safe.
However, if we read what Mawlana modudi states in his tafseer as in the links provided, one cannot fail to realise that if the quran had been so preserved as muslims claim then such discrepancies as are clear to see would not be possible. The failure of preservation of order of revelation and the order of compilation clearly show neither memorising nor writing down of the quran has helped muslims preserve it perfectly or that such means were not employed at all at the time but may have been introduced much later. If people forgot and so got confused about the order of the suras and verses then who knows what we have today is original quran that muhammad left behind or was it the reconstruction by his earlier followers? If the prophet left the quran in tact with his followers then what was it that Abubakar did to the quran and if it was originally assembled by Abubakar the first caliph then what was it that uthman did to the quran? Moreover, why did uthman order the burning of all the rest of the quranic copies that differed with the ones that were prepared by his order?
This also shows that all hadith records are also unreliable to say the least. For example, one will find false hadith reports in al-bukhari as well as al-kafi etc- if this is how the best authors of these best hadith books have been collecting hadith reports then what chance is there that people before them took any better care whatsoever as regard preserving hadith reports or the quran? Thus all hadith collections by anyone are suspect or are of suspicious origin, so it would seem that islam has no real basis whatsoever and to claim such would only discredit muslims themselves.
Let say that my grandson says something about my great grandfather to a friend and demands to be believed and his friend asks him to prove it that what he is saying is true, how can he prove it to him beyond any reasonable doubt? If he says my father's grandfather was very reliable person so he said it, does that prove it? No, because the chain of narrators has to be reliable through and through not just a couple of links of it. Remember, a chain is as strong as its weakest link. So my grandfather was a reliable person according to my grandson means absolutely nothing till we are told who says that my grand father was really a reliable person. It does not stop there rather we need to know the reliability of this person also who says my grandfather was a reliable person. Now we also need to know who says that this person himself was reliable person who is talking about reliability of my grandfather. Can you see what I am getting at? This is what I mean ie we end up with unending chains of narrators of chains of narrators, of narators and so on. This is practically impossible situation for proving a claim. This is why there is no possibility of anyone ever being able to prove anything about islam or any other allegedly divine religion. It is because if you cannot prove the reliability of original sources of islam then you cannot trust anything that is attributed to these sources.
Another point to note is the so called miraculous nature of the quranic text. The disputes that arose during the collection of the quran clearly show that one could not know just from the text that it is the quranic text or not. This is why people could not distinguish what was the quran and what was not the quran. The burning of the variant qurans by uthman is proof of the fact that the quranic text is not miraculous because if it was such unique, such messing up would not and could not have occurred. If something is said to be unique then it would stand out automatically leaving no room for being mixed up. If we have a situation whereby a shining diamond is mixed up in the pebbles, we would have no problem in picking it out, would we?
Since the problems arose regarding the quranic text during its collection is a proof indeed that the quran is not the word of god. Moreover, if a muslim scholar does not know the quran by heart and we give him two verses, one from the quran and other reconstructed, he would not be able to tell the difference. This is why when a hafiz of the quran recites the quran from his memory during traweeh(=extra part of night prayer during the month of ramadhan) and gets stuck somewhere in his recitation and there is no other hafiz(=the person who has comitted the whole quran to his memory) around but only ulamaa(=muslim scholars) they cannot correct him. It is just muslim imagination that the quran is miraculous and it is not their own fault but so they are indoctrinated by their ulamaa and mushaaikh=religious teachers.
Thus my critical examination of islamic sources leads me to conclude that islam has no basis whatsoever as a religion appointed by an almighty God.
FOR MORE ARTICLES PLEASE CLICK HERE
2)ISLAM, WHAT IS IT?
2)ISLAM, WHAT IS IT?
The question is, is it at all possible to define Islam?
My answer is that Islam cannot be defined by Muslims or non-Muslims. Why not? Because fundamental Islamic sources are disputed between various Muslim sects. For example, the majority of the people in the two main Muslim sects believe in the Quran, the Hadith and The Fiqh. The Quran is believed by them as revelation from Allah (the quranic god) to Muhammad (the prophet of Islam). The Hadith is believed by them as words and deeds of the prophet as reported by his followers down their generations. The Fiqh is work of Muslim scholars on Islamic law as they understood from The Quran and The Hadith. The two main Muslim sects I have mentioned above are the Sunnis and the Shiites. Comparatively, Sunnis are in a much greater majority than Shiites. The Quran, The Hadith and The Fiqh are common sources between these two sects only in name, for they each reject others sources partially or completely. For example, Sunnis have their own Hadith collections like Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmizi, Nisaee, Abu Dawud and Ibn Maaja etc etc. These are rejected by Shiites as forgeries. Likewise Sunnis have their own Fiqh collections like Hanafi, Shafi, Maliki, Humbly etc. which are also rejected by Shiites. What we have today as the quran are the sunni versions of it the while the shia version of the quran remains with the hidden imam.
The Shiites also have their own Hadith collection known as Al-Kafi by imam Yaqub Kalayni. And likewise they have their own Fiqh by name of Fiqh Al-Jaferia. These are rejected by Sunnis completely as forgeries.
There are yet other sects beside these from within these sects. For example, the Wahabis reject the idea of fixed Fiqh, for they rather derive Islamic laws directly from The Quran and the Hadith themselves rather than following decisions of the Muslim scholars and Imams down the generations. Likewise there are sects of people amongst Muslims, who claim to be the Quran only Muslims. They reject all the Hadith collections as well as the Fiqh. Although many think that the Quran is the undisputed common source between all Muslims yet in actual fact that is not the case, for Muslims do disagree as regard the exact contents of the Quran. For example, there are people amongst Shiite that raise claim that the Quran the Sunnis hold authentic is incomplete, for it lacks some Suras, some verses of some suras and that some words in some verses have been altered. Some of these suras, verses or words have been published in some Shiite books by respected Shiite scholars. The claim of insertions is also raised by some of the Quran only Muslims as regard some verses of the Quran. By the way these are not the only differences between Muslims for which they are killing each other mercilessly but there are yet more eg the differences between them in respect of interpretations of the contents of the source materials. One will see that each of these main groups have sects within each of them based upon differences in their interpretations of the actual scriptural texts they allegedly believe in. This being the case, no wonder no one amongst Muslims really knows what the real or true Islam is. Now if Muslims themselves do not know what the real Islam is, do the non-Muslims know it any better? Especially those who write about Islam to re-enforce Muslim beliefs instead of helping Muslims realise the truth about Islam for themselves.
Coming to other fundamental Islamic sources and explaining them as to what purpose they serve. We have:
1) Tafaseer al-Quran= the interpretations of the Quran by Muslim scholars down the generations. The most authentic tafaseer are said to be only those which show how the prophet himself interpreted the Quran and what was the background to each of the revelations ie the asbaabunnuzool or circumstances and or situations at the time of revelations.
2) Ash-sharah Al Ahadith=interpretations of Hadith by Muslim scholars. These interpretation are about the chain of narrators=isnaad ie how perfect the chain of witnesses is between the prophet and the author of the book etc. Also how perfect is the actual reported text ie is there any confusion in there or any part of it lost etc. The idea is also about differentiating between true and false and complete and incomplete narrations as well as which of them may be earlier or latter than which etc etc. Finally the purpose is to determine what exactly the reported text means.
3) Siratunnabi=biography of the prophet. The most authentic of them all are by Ibn Is-haaq, Ibn Hishaam and Waaqadi etc.
4) Tareekhul Islam=Islamic history. Again the most authentic one is that by Imaam Ibn Jarir Tabri. Tabqaat by ibn Sa’d is also very informative when it comes to life story of the prophet as well as earlier history of Islam.
These books were written within first few centuries of the birth of Islam and therefore are the original source materials if one wishes to know what Islam is all about.
Here is how I think the Islamic sources developed or evolved with time. To begin with it is important to realise that Muslims claim that Islam is a comprehensive way of life for everyone and for all times and places from Allah the almighty. The implication of such a claim is that it has to have answers to all questions as regarding daily life of anyone and everyone, anywhere and everywhere for all times. The question is, does it or did it ever? My answer is no, it was never the case.
In fact such a claim is outrageous come to think of it, because the proof of the pudding is in the eating. If Allah was the true God and that he had guided Muslims with such comprehensive guidance as Muslims claim, they ought to be leaders of the world in all good things in life had they followed that guidance, would they not? The non-Muslims would have been left behind by Muslims in progress and prosperity by miles mystified by their success compared to nonmuslims’ human ignorance and failure being unaware of such a good teaching. That would have been the case because Muslims would have been educated by their Allah right from the day they were born with knowledge that was perfect from the perfect one himself. Just think about the gap between the rich and the poor and the advantage the knowledge gives to the ones who have it.
One must remember that Muslims teach their children Islam as soon as they are born eg one can see what happens to their newborns ie Allah is introduced to the newborn straightaway by means of Adhaan=the Muslim call for prayer in his/her ears. Then there is circumcision practice and the like and so dogmatic indoctrination begins. When a child is able to talk, the child is taught basic religion by parents and as one grows one is sent to local masjid=mosque and later to local madraasa= religious school or even daral aloom=house of knowledge=religious university. Thus a Muslim ends up a walking robot having no mind of its own.
Despite all this carry on, what does one witness the Muslim situation is in the world? Is it that Muslims are leading the world in progress or are they the obstacle in the way of progress and prosperity? The question is, what do Muslims learn and teach in their religious institutions? They learn the books I have mentioned above eg The Quran, The Hadith, The Fiqh, The Quranic tafaseer=interpretations, The Sirah, the Sharah of Hadith=interpretation of Hadith, The Tareekhul Islam=the Islamic history, kutub al aqaaid=the books that define Islamic creed. Together these subjects are known as dars al nizaami or the Islamic madrassa curriculum. Word madraasa simply means a place wherein people are taught lessons eg a school or place of learning. The fundamental Islamic literature is available online if anyone wishes to be as successful as Muslims are.
Islamic literature is by no means a state secret any more. Perhaps it was when Mullahs/Ulema=Muslim scholars of Islamic religious teachings were fully in-charge of things. Remember, Muslims only have the Quranic text that was authorized by the then Islamic establishment that was headed by the 3rd Caliph of Islam after Muhammad. His name was Uthman. I will be getting into all this nitty gritty in time but just now I wish to inform the reader in general as regard how Islam came to be as we see it and what Muslims claim Islam to be. The idea is to see if Muslim claims make any sense in the light of their religious texts.
Here I have raised the question as regard comprehensiveness of Islam as a God appointed perfect way of life. I am trying to help people become aware of the fact that such a claim by Muslims is absurd because it makes no sense whatsoever. Nonetheless to promote their this make belief, Muslims have been doing all they can and have been successful in gaining many converts even in Europe and America. They are very proud to present these people as mark of their success and as proof of truth of their faith, Islam. I on the other hand am trying to understand, what went wrong that these people converted to Islam the while people like myself have left Islam after realizing the truth about Islam. To answer the question I have raised above, one has to look at how Islam evolved. The idea is that if Islam was truly revealed by a perfect God, it ought to be perfect right from the day one needing no further improvements. Because Islam has been improved upon on daily basis right from the days of the prophet, gives evidence to the suspicion that Islam was never revealed by any God whatsoever but was created by people themselves. This is not just my claim, one has to examine the Islamic claims and the related source materials.
According to my understanding of the Islamic source material, it does not have anything comprehensive in it never mind everything for all and forever. As an ideology, Islam has been improved upon. As a political, social, cultural or economic system, structure or practice Islam has been improved upon, so when was Islam perfect, complete or comprehensive for all times to come? The very basic source of Islam is the Quran. The question is, is the Quran complete, perfect and comprehensive about anything even today? Please examine the Quran and see what you yourself find. The Quranic text we have today, is the one that was authorized by the then 3rd Caliph of Islam, who burned all the existing copies of the Quran that differed with his version of the Quranic text. Does that sound anything like perfect revelation preserved perfectly? By the way, this is not my claim but what is clearly stated in Islamic sources that were prepared by Muslims themselves. I am saying this just in case you think, well, enemies of Islam have to say such bad things about Islam, do they not? It took Allah 23 years to complete the revelation of the Quran to the prophet yet it had to be sorted out by Uthman, can you imagine the incompetence of Allah the almighty and competence of Uthman an ordinary human being?
The 2nd point is that if The Quran was sufficient as divine guidance, why there was developed the literature called Hadith? The development of Hadith literature is evidence of the fact that the Quran on its own was found insufficient as guidance by the muslims themselves. Regardless, Hadith is another most fundamental source of Islamic faith 2nd only to the Quran. The Hadith collections were written down more than a couple of centuries after the death of the prophet. Not only that but people who collected these reports rejected many folds more than they accepted. So much for the claim that Islam is a perfect religion. One can surely see that Islamic sources have a history and if they have a history that only shows their gradual development with time and not a sudden revelation by some God.
The question is, why these fundamental sources were developed this way if they were allegedly revealed word of God? This question becomes yet more forceful if looked at in context of another Muslim claim, which is that Allah created Adam and Eve and to Adam he revealed the very first message for guidance and that since then Allah never left people without his perfect guidance etc etc etc ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦ Imagine a people being taught perfect knowledge right from the day one and yet they do not learn, progress or prosper even as good as their enemies? Does that make any sense to anyone? Are we human really like that, that we never learn no matter how hard someone tries to teach us the good things about life? Are we so uninterested in knowing about the world in which we are born and die? Do we never raise questions as to where did all this come from? Are such religious claims then true?
The fact is, we spend billions of dollars on education, research and exploration and that we are very curious about our universe. So the religious claims about humans that they are totally ignorant and evil are not true, for we ourselves and our actions contradict them. We are always busy trying to find better and better ways of doing better and better things to minimize pain and suffering in our world and to get rid of death and destruction that animals inflict on each other, including humans as is obvious if we realize things about our food chain and warfare between ourselves. Had we been guided through perfect guidance, it would not have taken us so many generation to be where we are today in respect of our development and progress. The time we took to be where we are today shows that we never had any message from any God to guide us rather we have been learning by our own experimentation from our own mistakes and taking corrective measures if we realized that we were doing something wrong or in a wrong sort of way.
So in the light of facts such as I have mentioned here, Islam being the comprehensive way of life from Allah is a false claim by Muslims. Islam was not revealed by any God but was developed by people themselves as the evidence clearly suggests if we study Islamic sources which show gradual development of this religion by humans themselves.
In time of Muhammad, he being the chief himself and present amongst people, decided all matters as he went along and thought fit attributing them to his imaginary Allah as a messenger of this Allah. There was therefore no need for any other source than the alleged divine revelation to himself ie The Quran. However, after the death of Muhammad, when such problem arose which were not addressed by Muhammad as the Quran, due to later developments need arose for people to have another source besides the Quran to answer their questions to maintain the false claim to give the false impression that Islam is a comprehensive way of life and so has all the answers to all the questions for everyone for ever, therefore the idea of Hadith was developed. Just as the Quran could not be continued to develop due to death of the prophet and had to be finalised, there came a time when the Hadith text also became stable and finalised. Thus due to yet further developments when even the Hadith failed to address problems that arose due to changing nature of our world and the circumstances of Muslims therein, there arose need for yet another source, ie the Fiqh, just to continue the notion that Islam has the answer to everything for ever.
At each step because measures were taken by ordinary people after the prophet, they decided things differently and that resulted into permanent divides between Muslims in form of sectarianism that continues to date. Thus one can see how Islam turned out to be what we see today ie a gradually developed religion that was never comprehensive in any way even during the time of the prophet himself hence the theory of continuation of the revelation over 23 years and the story of collections of Ahadith over a few centuries.
In fact, let us look at our own setup as regard education. When it comes to educating our kids in our schools, we try to teach them all they need to know (provided we know it ourselves) but let them learn at their own pace. However, Islam never had comprehensive teaching nor people ever learned it at once. This is why Muslims always fought over what Islam exactly was and is and the fighting continues. Such comprehensive is Islam as a religion. Do I need say more?
Please note that my idea is to help people know what Islamic sources are, where to find them online and how to look at them to know what Islam really is and what Muslims really are. Once we are armed with such knowledge, we are then in a better position to examine Islam for ourselves as well as help our other (Muslim and non-Muslim) friends to know Islam for what it really is and so that they can then make up their own minds about it properly. Moreover it would help us discuss Islam methodically.
Islamic sources are of such importance to Muslims that many of those who claim to believe in them would not hesitate killing or dying for them. Islam is a very dangerous cult or a peaceful religion, would only become obvious once we look at it in a few different ways. The most important is the Muslim belief that the Quran is the perfect divine revelation that has been preserved perfectly and we have the task of proving otherwise despite the fact that Muslims have failed to prove what they claim about the Quran.
To continue this explanation I would raise another question ie what is Fiqh? The importance of understanding Fiqh will soon be obvious if one bears with me.
The word fiqh=comprehension or understanding but it is extensively used to represent understanding of islamic jurisprudence ie fiqh al shari al islamiah which means body of knowledge or understanding relating islamic laws or in short SHARIAH.
a) Islamic law is derived from the quran as the foundation source eg Allah tells people to believe or not to believe something, do or not to do something etc. However, the quran only contains a very limited number of direct commandments so the question is, where does the rest of islamic law come from?
b ) The next source of islamic law is Hadith ie the prophet tells people what to believe or do or for that matter what not to believe or do. The authority of doing this is given to the prophet by the quran because dozens of verses in the quran demand that prophet be obeyed and followed without question eg see 3/31, 4/65, 33/21, 36, 57. However, this source too is very limited and so does not cover all the rules and regulations that people need for living their daily lives in the changing world. Once again the question is, where does the rest of islamic law come from?
c) The next source is called QAYAAS=analogy. This is the first principle for forming Islamic laws on basis of the quran or hadith. The idea is to find similar situations that have been stated in the quran and the hadith and then use them to make more laws on that basis. For example, the quran forbids intoxication so alcohol or anything containing alcohol is accepted as unlawful because it leads to that effect. However, there is a limit to what laws can be derived from the quran and the hadith on the basis of analogy as regard things, situations, beliefs or actions etc etc. so where do the rest of the laws come from? One has to note here that even though this rule is foundation of Islamic shariah, it is not free of confusion, for many a time one will find more than one points of reference that oppose each other, proving the point that analogy is not as good a method as the clear cut direct commandment concerning an issue or a matter. This clearly proves the fact that islam is not and cannot be comprehensive guidance from god due to such clear-cut flaws.
d) The next source of islamic laws is the principle called IJTEHAAD=scholarly religious opinion arrived at by individuals regarding a matter concerning islam. When a situation arises for which Muslims need to know legal position from Islamic perspective but it is not covered by any of the above, they are free to form their own opinions about it provided they are well versed in Islamic scriptures or if you like sources. For example, there was no law as regard blood transfusion or body part transplant in time of the prophet or even much later so the Quran is silent and so is the Hadith and there never arose any similar situation so that Muslims could know whether such things are legal or illegal from islamic legality perspective. It was therefore up to muslim scholars of the time to decide whether such things should be legal or illegal, lawful or unlawful. The best decision is that which is unanimous by all Islamic scholars in the sense that even though they deliberate individually they end up with the very same answer to the problem. This is known as IJMA in Arabic ie unanimity of opinions. The next best decision is that in which at least the majority of scholars end up with the same answer to the problem and this is known as IJTIHAADAL JAMHOOR= majority opinion. Finally the individual scholars opinion is fine if agreement in opinions of scholars is not possible. These are the only sources whereof is derived islamic sharia=the Islamic law.
Here I must stress again that clear cut commandments are no substitute for analogy nor opinions, for in that case situations arise that could be similar to more than one situation. Hence door is open to differences and discords or divisions. Of course, Islamic history is full of incidences where muslims ended up fighting each other over who is right and who is wrong, such clear is Islamic sharia for which muslims die and kill other innocent people including muslims.
Moreover unless one understands this context of islam very clearly one cannot understand the islamic point of view as regard politics or muslim behaviour. It is by this understanding that we come to realise that islam is political and is enemy of democracy because it is a control system that opposes freedom and free speech. This is what clearly shows who invented islam and to what purpose ie the religious leaders to exploit masses.
Moreover it is by understanding of islam we come to know that a muslim is a muslim no matter how bad a muslim behaves. If a muslim drinks, he does not become a nonmuslim or moderate muslim rather such a person is a sinner in his deeds not in his beliefs. You see, islam comes in two parts a) set of beliefs and b ) set of practices. So long as one professes faith in perfection of islam one is a muslim and remains so unless one declares disbelief in Islamic creed. Other than that if one does not practice islam as islam dictates then one is a sinning muslim who is forgivable according to the quran, for Allah forgives all sins save disbelief in islam, which is only forgiven when one turns a muslim 4/48, 116 etc. So muslims who blow up themselves to kill others cannot be declared kaafir=infidel as far as Quranic islam is concerned. They can enjoy females, drink plenty alcohol do other forbidden things but they remain muslims and if they die for Allah, the sharia states that all their other sins are forgivable 2/254, 3/157,169, 9/111, 57/19 etc.
Another point which one must remember always is that, according to islam, the rule belongs to Allah ie only and only Allah has the right to rule over people. So people have no right to decide such things for themselves which have been already decided for them by Allah in the quran or by the prophet in the hadith or by ulema=muslim relgious scholars in the fiqh. The only decisions that rest with people today are those about which the decisions have not been already made because the problems did not arise for earlier muslim generations to decide. It is therefore clear that those muslims who claim people have right to or are free to form opinions are wrong and are speaking against the teachings of islam. In other words they are taking islam out of its context. Once the quran has forbidden that a muslim cannot eat pig meat, none has the right to form any opinion against it or one is acting out side islam. Allah has forbidden paying or receiving interest on capital and so none is allowed to form any opinion against it. Likewise Allah has forbidden democracy in the quran so none has the right to form opinion against it. Democracy is not about choosing leaders but about making appropriate laws as well. Since laws are almost totally fixed in islam for which democracy is needed so muslims can only choose leaders by voting and that is all what Islamic democracy is about. Any chosen leader must implement the very same islamic law as is found in the islamic sharia books, full-stop.
So labelling muslims as moderate and fundamentalists is wrong because either people are muslims or they are not as far as muslims and the sources of islam are concerned. Interpretations vary but you cannot turn black into white or vice versa. If the quran says, Allah is the only god then that is it, one cannot stretch the interpretation to include polytheism as Islamic belief. Likewise if the quran dictates muslims for holy war on infidels then that is what it says and no interpretation can mask that and turn muslims friendly with infidels. It is for this reason clash between civilisations is inevitable unless muslims could be helped through education to realise that the quran is not what they believe it to be. So they should not take it as comprehensive and seriously as they are taking it. They need to be taught how to look at the sources of their beliefs critically rather than following them blindly and taking them for granted and acting upon them to their own loss and destruction of humanity. So long as muslims assumedly believe the quran is perfect in sense of completion and comprehension as well as miraculous word of god without even any slightest mistake, they will keep on dying for the quran and keep on killing for it in the hope of salvation in hereafter.
Yet another point I would raise is that Islamic definitions of crimes here and there are absurd and their punishments are barbaric to say the least. For example, if one steals, one's hands and feet should be chopped off and if one persists then that person should be killed. Two consenting adults if they commit adultry they are to be stoned to death. If one gives up islamic faith like I did, such people are to be executed. If one persists in drinking one is to be killed. If one has sex with an animal, both the person and the animal are to be killed. All this is to be done in public so that others are taught a lesson not to do the same.
Please remember that here I have stated what islam is according to its own scriptural sources. What different muslims make of it is another matter, for they do not agree on what islam exactly is. Take example of muslims who live in muslim states and those who live in nonmuslim states. They both try to interpret islam as it suits their situations to futher their own interests. One can easily catch them out by comparing their ideas of islam to their scriptures. One reason is that the scripture itself is full of contradictory ideas and beliefs demanding such actions and practices and the other reason is that muslim interpretations make it even more confusing for themselves. I will be coming to all this in time when I start discussing the quran and the Hadith contents. Just now I am only outlining the context so that when we discuss islam in detail one can clearly see where I am coming from. It was necessary that first I stated the Islamic sources and then stated how they evolved and are supposed to work as well as to what end. The next step would be to debate whether a particular source is Islamic or not and whether what that source states is exactly what islam is or is it not or what different factions of muslims make of them?
As I said there have come about such muslim groups who reject islamic FIQH that has been part of islam for thousand of generations. They are known as the Wahabis. Likewise some also reject the Hadith as well and they are known as the quran only muslims. One has to ask, why did these people reject these sources of islam? Of course, these people are only a tiny minority compared to those who live by them. The reason some people reject fiqh is that according to them it contains so many wrong ideas about islam that it is better rejecting the whole thing than to waste time in trying to sort the thing out. The very same reason is given by those who reject the Hadith as well. Muslims have been disputing the Quranic text for generations but, is it time that muslims started rejecting the nasty parts of the quran that are impossible to justify under present circumstances?
Another question is, what is good if muslims reject Islamic FIQH? Nothing much changes even though it allows muslims to reinterpret the Quran and the Hadith in terms of Islamic laws without restrictions posed by past Islamic scholars. The bad laws that are due to the quran and the Hadith cannot be done away with. For example, an apostate of islam cannot escape the death sentence because the sentence is clearly dictated by the prophet in the Hadith collections. This is why the Wahabis despite rejecting Islamic fiqh remain a very strict muslim group. However, if people reject the Hadith then some changes for the better could results eg then there are no laws such as to kill muslim apostates or stoning to death of adulterers or killing of thieves or drunks etc etc. Moreover, one is then free from marrying a child in following the example of the prophet ie he married at 51 years of age Ayesha when she was only six. This is why when we discuss islam with such muslims as reject the Hadith and the fiqh, they are a bit relaxed. These people are only a very tiny minority that is suppressed by orthodox muslims and is persecuted. They are known as the quran only muslims. Of course, they too are divided as to what exactly the Quranic text means. For example, some interpret the quran as strictly and literally as the sunnis or shias in some respects like the parwezis but others move away from traditional interpretation of the quran eg the submitters or free minders etc. These people themselves would be killed if the sunnis or the shias get their hands on them, for distorting islam.
Some muslims look at islam as a religion that is purely spiritual eg sufies. They do not see islam as a political movement for politcal reasons. To these people religion is all about spiritual rituals and they believe in having nothing to do with materialism, which is another extreme that lands them into consumerism only without being producers themselves. These people however are a tiny minority.
Some Muslims see Islam as a purely political movement or struggle so if one does not struggle to establish Islam on the earth then one is not doing his duty. They justify this Islam as spiritual because they are doing what god told them to do and that is what spirituality is all about as for as they are concerned ie obeying god and doing whatever he says. The problem is that they cannot prove what they claim to be from their god. Not only that it can be traced to its human origin but are they prepared to give it a fair look? Anyway, these people too are a minority but not that tiny minority eg Wahabis.
Most Muslims believe Islam is both about spiritualism as well as materialism ie religion and state are all one as far as Islam is concerned according to them eg both orthodox sunnis and shias. This is the reason these people have Islamic law=shariah concept. If they did not believe in this concept why would they have laws about killing apostates, adulterers, drinkers, thieves, homosexuals etc etc that they wish to implement and enforce? This is why if you have Islam as a political system in a country, you cannot have democracy. And for this reason Sunni and Shia Islam is very dangerous and because most Muslim people are either Sunni or Shia so clash of civilisations is inevitable. Wahabis are just one of the sunni sects.
Many nonmuslims think that sunni and shia are alright only a tiny minority is trouble maker eg wahabies. That is not true, one needs to ask the muslims of all shades if they wish to see Islam rule the world or not? They are always dreaming about the glory days as they have been brought up to believe. The utopia islamic state never existed even in the time of the prophet as we can see when we start examining islamic sources. Also I must raise yet another question ie why muslims think that world is hating them for being muslims if anyone raises questions about islam? Is it because muslim want to escape scrutiny? Or is it because muslims are ignorant of the rules of the civilised world being turned into an ignorant and insensitive people by their religious scriptures and teachers?
Regardless of what kind of Islam or muslims we have, the problem remains that the Islamic world is not really a producer but consumer only world. All muslims ever did was to rob others and live on that. One can never expect any backward thinking people to lead the world into the future with confidence, for that by its very nature requires forward thinking that leads to originality of ideas and actions as well as products. Only if islam and muslims could about-turn that may be we can see some good coming from islam and muslims. Even about-turn is not possible unless mulsims move away from the actual Quranic teachings that are responsible for muslim backwardness and extremism and barbarity. In other words unless muslims wake up and reform islam and separate it from political power struggle, we are definitely heading for the crash.
2 ) Thinking helps think straight and become open minded due to increase in knowledge, which therefore is a blessing because it leads to progress and prosperity.