Tuesday, January 06, 2009

"progressive" Muslims and "fundamentalist" Muslims

There is some debate going on about "progressive" Muslims and "fundamentalist" Muslims. Muslims will find nothing wrong in their texts. So they lay the blame on interpretation - "I find that the haters of Islam always take advantage of the literalist intepretation of our Holy Quran not recognizing that meaning is contextual and requires careful intepretation."

This writer points out that nothing the so-called 'radicals' believe about Islam is outside the Qur'an and Hadith:-

There is a serious problem we run into when we try to define "radical Islam." What is "radical Islam?"

First of all, nothing the radical Islamists say is outside the Kuran and Hadith. The Kuran and Hadith are the pillars of Islam, not only of radical Islam. That poses a serious problem. Because no muslim body has ever stated that parts of the Kuran and Hadith are now "outdated" or "irrelevant." The Hadith, for instance, gives numerous instances of rape of female captives captured after defeating infidels, in the presence of Mohammed. Since Mohammed is considered the perfect person and example for all to follow by ALL Of Islam, what does this mean? It means that ALL muslims must find this practise agreeable, at least in principle, and therein lies the problem.

People say "radical Islam" but what they mean is the radical verses in the Kuran and Hadith. Radical by whose standards? Not by the standards of Islam, since these verses have been accepted without any controversy within Islam for centuries. These verses are not radical for muslims, but they are radical by non-muslim modern civilization.

Take another example - the verse 4:34 in the Kuran that says that wives who are disobedient must be beaten. "Radical muslims" like the Taliban used to frequently quote this verse to justify their open violence against women. But this verse is in the Kuran! It is not in a separate book called "Kuran for radicals." It is in the one and only Kuran, and is equal to any other verse. So why is it radical? Because in today's modern society, we do not find this practise acceptable.

So it seems that the problem is that Islam is radical. It is not that there is a separate religion called "radical Islam", but that the religion of Islam has many components that are considered radical/unacceptable/violent by modern societies.

So what is the way out? My firm belief is that a reformation within Islam is needed. It won't happen though till we obfuscate plain facts. The plain facts are that numerous verses in the Kuran and Hadith say things which are simply unacceptable (and considered barbaric) by today's society. Let us say it as it is, instead of pretending that there is a separate ideology called "radical Islam." There isn't. Nothing that Bin Laden says is outside the Kuran and Hadith. As someone said - there are radical muslims and moderate muslims, but there is nothing called moderate Islam. Islam IS RADICAL. To make Islam moderate, we would have to expurgate many verses (and entire chapters, such as that on raping female captives without impregnating them, so that their slave price does not fall) from the Kuran and Hadith. Are we prepared to ask moderate muslims to do that?

The other obfuscation is that some people are "hijacking Islam." Who is? Bin Laden? Every single action he has done is justified by the Kuran and Hadith, and he has taken great pains to provide the verses that justify his actions. Not only that, for centuries, people like that were hailed as Ghazis (holy warriors) within Islam. It is not for nothing that in the muslim world, a majority of people hail him as a hero. It is only when you are trying to hide from the scrutiny of the west that you say he has "hijacked Islam." He is merely a person who follows Islam to the word. He is, in many ways, a true muslim. In numerous Hadith, Muhammed says that the best muslim is not one who fasts and prays, but who gets on his horse and fights against infidels (especially polytheists) for the spread of Islam. That is what Bin Laden is doing. What about the innocent women and children he kills? Guess what - the Hadith emphatically state that it is perfectly alright to kill the women and children of polytheists. Nothing Bin Laden does is outside the Kuran and Hadith. He is not a "radical" muslim, he is merely a practising muslim!

Let us be honest about this - the problem is not a chimera called "radical Islam." The problem IS ISLAM. Islam, as it exists in the Kuran and Hadith, is far too violent, intolerant, and yes, "radical", to co-exist with modern society. The moment a muslim starts following true Islam, he appears incredibly radical to us all, and we say "he is a radical muslim" when all he is doing is following his religion!


  1. Great site, keep up the good work!!

  2. Anonymous4:39 AM

    How do we tell?
    A "moderate" Muslim is a Muslim who keeps their mouths shut when "extremist" Muslims commit unspeakable acts against kuffirs.

    Take the Turkish couple who quickly announced that they were Muslims in the Mumbai Massacre. Three kuffir women in the same room were taken out and shoot. Did the Turkish couple do anything to try and save these kuffirs? NO. They played the Muslim "Get out of the Killing Zone Free" card and walked out with their miserable lives. When confronted with the jihad, that is the most a "moderate" Muslim will do.

    A "moderate" Muslim is a silent jihadi.

  3. abdullah6:52 AM

    Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azīz Ibn Bāz (1909-1999) the former Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia said:

    My advice to Al-Massari, Faqih, Bin Laden, and anyone following their way is to give up
    this destructive path they’ve taken, to fear Allāh and fear His retribution and anger. They
    must return to guidance and repent to Allāh for what they’ve done.

    Ibn Bāz (who died in 1999) said this many years
    ago, before 9/11 and before many other crimes these individuals have committed.

    The scholar of Yemen, Shaykh Muqbil Ibn Hādī al-Wādi’ī, said in an interview with the
    Kuwaiti newspaper, “al-Ra’yu al-’Ām” (no. 11503, 12/19/1998), “Here, before Allāh, I
    completely reject and declare myself free of Bin Laden, for he is an evil threat and
    tribulation to the (Islamic) nation, and his actions are heinous.”

    Here again the scholars of islams have rejected these individuals long time before you have known them. And scholars of today are rejecting this ideology tireleslly..
    read more at:

    ps: only for people with working brain cells.

  4. Anonymous7:03 AM

    just asking...plesae show me anti-hindu/anti-cristian/anti-buddhism blogs/websites?

  5. Indeed these people follow the Quran "to the letter".

    I doubt if it is the letter or word that moderates and extremists disagree upon. It is not. It is the spirit.

    The moderates believe they are following the spirit of Islam.. the literalists believe the same - and it helps them reach their ends.
    You seem to agree with the literalists too as it helps you make your point. Though you can hardly say that the tart majority of Muslims follow your interpretation of it!They don't.
    Having said that.. I'm all for reforms in Islam.

  6. Floyd the Barber10:54 AM

    "The Hadith, for instance, gives numerous instances of rape of female captives captured after defeating infidels, in the presence of Mohammed" really? RAPE? I am also a critical analyst of islam, especially Hadith, pls guide me to the mentioned Hadith, or is it just your interpretation of a Hadith..hmm if so maye u're a bit hardlined interpreter,...you are even left of thaliban ha?

  7. Anonymous1:53 PM

    hi, though i am not religious i do follow your blog like a religion, so far its very impressive, but i have got one complaint from my side, hope you don't mind. i am an atheist from a middle class family, we are the ones who are facing the wrath of the fundamentalists and the corrupted government. even after anni got elected as the president i still don't have any freedom at all. the lack of freedom is not due to Koran or bible. we just watch like idiots, the debate between wahaabees and the rich atheists who enjoy idle gossip coz both the parties enjoy life to the fullest. but what is the solution for the condition prevailing in Maldives. i cant blame Koran or bible for our lack of freedom. we lack freedom coz we are cowards who just watch the people in power have their fun. the only difference is that the guy who ruled our country for 30 years is fair skinned and kinda old and the new president is dark skinned and kinda loud. please give solutions to save our nation from becoming an eternal hell. give less importance to Koran coz its old news and its time that you also felt the same way.

  8. Dhivehi Christian6:30 PM

    Floyd the Barber, your wish is my command:

    Sunan Abu Dawud (Hadith 2150)
    "The Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) sent a military expedition to Awtas on the occasion of the battle of Hunain. They met their enemy and fought with them. They defeated them and took them captives. Some of the Companions of the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) were reluctant to have intercourse with the female captives in the presence of their husbands who were unbelievers. So Allah, the Exalted, sent down the Qur’anic verse: (Sura 4:24) 'And all married women (are forbidden) unto you save those (captives) whom your right hands possess.'"

    Not only does Mohamed grant permission for women to be captured and raped, but allows it to even be done in front of their husbands. When his companions hesitated, he even encouraged them in the rape with a brand new Koranic verse. You won't call this rape because it is permissible sexual intercourse in Islam. Civilised mankind will define it as rape.

  9. Abdullah,
    The Koran repeats more than thirty times that a Muslim is to obey Mohammed in word and deed, and more than forty times it condemns those who do not.
    "He demonstrated good examples in all aspects of life, Allah says: 'You have indeed in the Apostle of Allah a beautiful pattern of (conduct) for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day and who engages much in the praise of Allah.' (Qur'an, 33:21)."

    What kind of example was Mohammad? He was kind to his fellow Muslims, and he was often cruel to non-Muslims, especially if they criticized Islam or hindered its relentless expansion. And Mohammad ordered the torture of people, personally participated in beheading 600 people in one night, ordered and led raids on caravans, captured, owned and had sex with slaves, and spent the last ten years of his life conquering and subjugating people.
    Islam is a supremacist religion. The Hadith and Qur'an command every Muslim to strive until Islam dominates all other religions. The Qur'an says very clearly that the only legitimate form of government is Allah's. According to mainstream, well-established Islamic teachings, the goal of Islam is to make the whole world submit to the law of Allah (Shari'a).

    Some people will say Islam is a religion of peace. Others will say the teachings mandate continual warfare against anyone who resists the domination of Islam.
    You might think maybe they're both correct. Maybe the Qur'an is written in parables and vague, mystical language; maybe it it full of contradictions, and people can pick and choose passages to justify anything they want.
    Hve you read the Qur'an?
    It is written in clear and forceful language. There are contradictions in the Qur'an, but the Qur'an itself tells the reader how to deal with the contradictions (the peaceful, tolerant passages have been abrogated, that is, they've been canceled and replaced by intolerant, violent passages).
    Terrorists like Bin Laden are not interpreting verses wrongly.
    If you want reform, then you need to edit and change the Qur'an and Hadith and Sirath.

  10. abdullah9:51 AM

    See the deception in twisting the meaning of words. Companions of messenger of Allah were reluctant to have intercourse with the captives because of the PRESENCE of their husbands as captives.>

    Now does PRESENCE mean in front of. In your sick mind all of them were having an orgy right..
    It was the norm of war that you take captives as slaves those days. And Allah have made permissible war booty for this nation. And yes it is permissible for muslims to take captives as slaves.

  11. abdullah10:56 AM

    Is there any greater injustice transgression that you worship others or deny existence of the One Who created you and sustains you. you are in no place to talk about abrogated verses. you cant talk about something you don't know right. Leave that to the Islamic scholars. its not true that tolerant passages have been abrogated with intolerant violent verses. There are verses explaining actions at times of war and also about those who fight against Muslims.
    Yes Muslims are required to establish the religion of Islam with jihad. With jihad of the heart, with jihad of the tongue with jihad in battle filed. Its not jihad to blow yourselves up and kill people like the jihadi dogs of today.
    Muslims are required to call to worship of Allah. And muslims are required to fight those who fight against them. And muslims are required to establish the religion of islam with jihad on battle field if other means fail. and for this there are conditions.

  12. Abdullah,
    It is surprising that you are still taking part in the debate..maybe you have not read Quran. 5:101-102:-
    "O ye who believe! Ask not questions about things which if made plain to you, may cause you trouble... Some people before you did ask such questions, and on that account lost their faith."

    All I can say is... continue asking and exploring..one day you may find the truth..If you think you know the truth and stop asking and exploring, there is a big chance that you may miss the truth..so never stop questioning..
    best of luck my friend and lets continue with the debate..

  13. Dhivehi Christian1:07 PM

    Adullah admits that Mohodhey allowed his mob of desert Arabs to have a good screw of POW women in the presence of their husbands. How barbaric can you be? Aren't we talking of the the religion for all times? You are saying it was the religion for the stone age.

    Good. You have just accepted that Mohamed allowed rape. He also committed pedophile rape himself. Just because you commit a crime and stop calling it a crime that does not make it right.

    Well done Abdullah! Keep shooting own goals!

  14. Anonymous1:35 PM

    its funny how anti-muslims rely on muslim sources of history or writings, especially on hadith to show how bad mohamed was and such. even muslims differ regarding the accuracy of the way mohamed is portrayed by muslims/arabs of his community about 1400 years back, not to mention the numerous differences in interpreting them. and i believe that religious scriptures such as koran are to be taken as 'scriptures' but not purely as historical account/facts etc. pls refer to http://www.islamawareness.net/FAQ/warraq1a.html for a response to these kinds of errors commited by some hardlined atheists and anti-muslims.

  15. Relying on muslim sources of history or writings, especially on Koran and Hadith, Muslims are behaving very bad today and ever since Islam began.
    You may believe that religious scriptures such as koran are to be taken as 'scriptures' but not purely as historical account/facts etc.

    Could you please tell that to Abdul Majeed Abdul Bari, Minister of Islamic Affairs or the Grand Mufti at Al-Azhar or Mecca?
    Or Usama Bin Laden and Ayman Al-Zawahiri?

  16. abdullah9:28 PM

    Dhivehi Resistance said... "It is surprising that you are still taking part in the debate..maybe you have not read Quran. 5:101-102:-"
    May be you want to refer to a different verse here but isnt the verse clear its a warning for believer not to ask about things thats already made plain to them and warns about what have happened to those before them as jews who were ordered to slaughter a cow but they kept on asking for details making it more difficult for themselves. for tafsir of the ayah read
    And I am no friend of yours and I am posting for the sake of fellow muslims who read this.

  17. Anonymous6:49 PM

    very good Abdullah. We muslims must not be friends with Christians or any other infidel unbelievers.