Those wanting to impose their own personal opinions have exploited God and religion in order to be able to seize the political power. Despite the fact that women also can rise to power and become president within the framework of the Quran, the traditionalist Islam introduced something that did not exist in the Quran and deprived women of this right. Another lie concocted was the fact that the Quraysh tribe was to be the sole place where leaders would come from. Later, the Ottoman caliphs had sheikhulislams (religious leaders) issue fatwas suiting their ends and exploited the sects they belonged to so as to consolidate their position on the throne. An example of the corruption under the Ottomans is the qualification of the sultans as being “God’s Shadow, Caliph, our Lord”. This was more than a mere embellishment!
Imams who conduct services in mosques, muftis, and sectarian sheikhs do not figure in the Quran. Yet, the majority of the public at large has always identified these figures with religion and has seen them as representatives of the established religion. Under the circumstances there remain but two alternatives: 1 – Those who acknowledge the Quran as the unique authority, the true believers; and 2 – Those whose paths are those determined by sects. There are no religious institutions in Islam. So that you must regain your self-confidence in God’s presence, doing away with all intermediaries and intercessors.
Unlike the Islam of the sectarians, the Islam as propounded in the Quran has many common traits with democracy (see Chapter 30). The people who have turned away from the practice of Islam in the face of sectarian dissensions and practices, some of whom abandon religion altogether and become atheists outright, will re-embrace their fate once the Islam of the Quran prevails and resumes its domination.
Unless the champions of Islam propounded in the Quran spend efforts to this end, the hodjas, the religion mongers and the trickster sheikhs will continue to exploit the naive lay public.
34 – There are indeed many among the rabbis and priests, who in falsehood devour the substance of people and hinder them from the way of God.
9 Repentence, 34
Men enjoying some authority in religious matters are liable to turn into merchants exploiting their congregations. People often forget that Muhammad was the only sacred figure. Yet, the number of sacred figures other than the Prophet proclaimed to be paradise-dwellers is not inconsiderable. No one is allowed to utter such trivial and groundless platitudes as the spiritual supremacy of figures like Imam Rabbani, Imam Ghazzali, Abdulkadir Geylani, Imam Humayni, etc. Only God knows who is favored by Him. The undiscerning followers of sects came to believe in the stories concocted about the founder of the Hanafi sect, Abu Hanafi, who was said to have seen God in his dreams more that one hundred times. Islam must be saved at all costs from the monopoly of these religion mongers, these impostors who consider themselves spokesmen of God.
There are persons to whom we preach the Islam of the Quran who react to the wide divergence between it and the Islam of the sectarians by saying: “You are simplifying the religion. How can religion be so easy to practice?” and accuse those who defend the Islam of the Quran by subjectivism, attempting to suit it to their own ends. However, all that they do is but to display their ignorance of the verses of the Quran. According to the Quran, there is nothing complex about Islam. If you are advocating a ‘difficult and complex’ religion, it is not the Islam of the Quran;.for it is as simple as the religion of Abraham.
78 – He has chosen you, and has imposed no difficulties on you in religion.
22 The Pilgrimage, 78
Let us go over our basic principles related to the manner in which a subject must be conceived and interpreted according to the Quran:
• The Quran is the only source of Islam. One should never forget that the Quran is God’s Word and was revealed to man in order that he may have understanding.
• Every single point must be conceived within the entire context of the Quran. To properly understand something mentioned in a given verse, all related verses must also be examined (partial acknowledgement of the Quran is tantamount to its flat denial). We must take for granted the fact that there are no contradictions or paradoxes in the Quran.
• Anything not included in the Quran has no religious connotation. Once we follow this precept, we shall have got rid of 90% of the interpolations. Anything that is not banned in the Quran is lawful.
• If you come across points that seem unclear to you, you must find a way to consult someone who firmly believes that the Quran is the only source of Islam and is familiar with the Arabic language and to look for it in the Quran. In doing this, you must make sure to examine the different contexts in which a particular word was used.
• In trying to understand the Quran, we must not forget that our major aids are our intelligence and conscience, and that the greatest obstacles are traditions, customs, adoption by the greater mass of the public and public censure.
Once we have seen the basic principles, we are now going to take up 10 examples that will facilitate how we are supposed to understand a problem pointed to in the Quran:
The primitiveness, the ugliness and the contradictions displayed in the name of Islam make it indispensable to clarify where we stand and what should be done to redirect people who have been diverted from the true path described in the Quran. Muhammad Ikbal, ill at ease at the sight of this state of affairs, had made the following remark in the 1920s: “If we are resolved to describe Islam as a system of superior values, we are obliged, first of all, to acknowledge that we are not the true representatives of Islam.” Muhammad Abduh had, before him, expressed the same truth in the following words: “If the word ‘Islam’ associates in the mind problems, dilemmas and contradictions, this is due not to Islam itself, but to the Muslims. So long as the books taught at Al Azhar and similar publications exert authority, I see no future for this community. The spirit needed to awaken the public is inherent in the Quran. Everything remaining outside the sphere of the Quran is but an obstacle preventing the Quran from being understood and experienced.” The famous Turkish poet Mehmet Akif Ersoy had the following to say to describe the plight of Islam that the interpreters had corrupted in total disregard of the clear indications of the Quran: “If it is the Quran that is understood by the word ‘Islam’, we must be in a position to acknowledge that there is no such thing as Islam, since the Quran has been raised back to the heights and the Islam on the earth today has lost all contact with it.” An American professor of Arabic origin, Ýsmail Faruki, interprets the situation as follows: “Islam is not represented by the lifestyle and behavior of Muslims, nor is it represented by any one period of history of Islam, nor by any book written on Islam. Islam is the Quran.”
Before proceeding any further, we must draw the attention of the reader to the fact that the word ‘religion’ as used in this book refers mainly to Islam, although it may now and then assume its general meaning in the course of our narrative.
Religious arguments are on the everyday agenda of the media and form an object of heated debate among the public in general. How are we to arbitrate between such controversial questions? What makes such divergences? How is it that every one of these arguments claims to be the truth by their defenders? How are we to differentiate between truths and untruths?
The aim of the present book is to provide answers to these questions and dispel all ambiguities. The essential topic of discussion may be initiated by the question ‘What is the origin of Islam?’ The answer to this crucial question would be conducive to the clarification of problematic issues. We shall witness, in the coming pages, the fact that the divergent opinions originate from different answers given to this basic question. To start a discussion without attempting first to answer this question and without assessing every one of the issues within their respective frames, would lead us inevitably to endless controversies and dilemmas.
Our answer to the said question will clarify the steps we shall be taking. Those who start an argument without having dealt first with it proceed in a haphazard fashion. Their arguments are based on a variety of sources: some have their origin in the Quran, some in a hadith, some in their own lore, some in a religious sect of Islam, and some in an order of Islam. People who tackle the subject without any method try to impose their own ideas, wishes and obsessions in the name of Islam. Their claims, devoid of sound logic and method, seem puzzling to us, as we are at a loss to understand their reasoning. To provide an answer to the question: “What is the source of the Islamic religion?” is of utmost importance and rewarding insight into it.
Islam is a system devised by God. To know God’s expectations from His creatures, His commandments and injunctions would guide us to the answer we are after. Is the Quran the only source of Islam? Can hadiths (words attributed to Muhammad) contribute to the interpretation of the Quran? What is the authority of madhabs (religious sects) in Islam? How are we to conceive religious orders and the sheikhs, their chiefs, in terms of the established religion? You will find answers to all these questions. You will see how the answers traditionally given to these questions have played a role in misleading the masses.
After having read the present book, we would advise you to ask those who speak authoritatively in the name of Islam what the origin of their overall conceptions is, and to check the answers to be given to see whether there are discrepancies in them. If we can do this, we can easily see their paradoxes.
We must beware of people who speak about religion haphazardly, and whose lifestyles are at odds with the views they advocate. Observers of the ways of these people may be at a loss to understand the ground upon which their religious creeds are based. These people who profess to be the advocates of Islam should, in principle, lead a life like the way of life advocated by the Talibans; but they are far from willing to do so. There is a deep chasm between the lifestyle of these people and the ideas they champion. These people form not a minority, but a majority of the Islamic population. What must be done should not be directed at opening still wider the rift between their systems (theories/methods) and their actual lifestyles in the hope to better themselves. What must be done is to lay the foundation to which we refer, by such expressions as method or theory and to reduce to a minimum the clashes between faith and lifestyle. Only by developing an overall concept of Islam through a well-founded and coherent system that does not sever a person’s lifestyle from this concept can one attain a rational, logical and correct conclusion. The path leading to this achievement would be the correct answer. “What is the source of the Islamic religion?” On this conclusion shall be based a Muslim’s lifestyle and practice. This is the only way to guard against unwarranted interferences of arbitrary deductions and malicious interpretations. Our method aims at separating the true source of the Islamic religion emanating from God from the false arguments of humans. It is our fervent belief that the meticulousness in our approach will put an end to all misconceptions regarding the true source of Islamic religion.
PAGE 2: THE HISTORY OF RELIGIONS IS AN ACCOUNT OF THE CONTROVERSY BETWEEN REASON AND TRADITION
PAGE 3: THE QURAN IS CONSISTENT WITH REASON
PAGE 4: THE BOOK’S AIM
PAGE 5: LET’S BREAK THE SHACKLES OF TABOOS ON MINDS