Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Hadith

Who is dangerously wrong about ISIS and Islam?

Note: In all religions, there are factions that seek interpretations and those that want to adhere literally to the words. What if initially the language had no punctuation in the first place?

On Monday, The Atlantic unveiled a new feature piece by Graeme Wood entitled “What ISIS Really Wants,” which claims to expose the foundational theology of the terror group ISIS, also called the Islamic State, which has waged a horrific campaign of violence across Iraq, Syria, and Libya over the past year.

The article is researched, and makes observations about the core religious ideas driving ISIS — namely, a dark, bloodthirsty theology that revolves around an apocalyptic narrative in which ISIS’s black-clad soldiers believe they are playing a pivotal role.

Indeed, CNN’s Peter Bergen published a similar article the next day detailing ISIS’s obsession with the end times, and cited Wood as an “excellent” source, quoting a passage from his article with the kicker “Amen to that.”

Posted on February 18, 2015

Despite this, Wood’s article has encountered staunch criticism and derision from many Muslims and academics who study Islam.

After the article was posted online, Islamic studies Facebook pages and listserves were reportedly awash with comments from intellectuals blasting the article as, among other things, “quite shocking.”

The core issue, they say, is that Wood appears to have fallen prey to an inaccurate trope all too common in many Western circles: that ISIS is an inevitable product of Islam, mainly because the Qur’an and other Islamic texts contain passages that support its horrific acts.

In his article, Wood acknowledged that most Muslims don’t support ISIS, as the sheer number of Muslim groups who have disavowed the terrorist organization or declared it unIslamic is overwhelming.

Yet he repeatedly hints that non-literal Islamic arguments against the terrorist group are useless because justifications for violence are present in texts Muslims hold sacred.

“…simply denouncing the Islamic State as un-Islamic can be counterproductive, especially if those who hear the message have read the holy texts and seen the endorsement of many of the caliphate’s practices written plainly within them.”

Wood writes. “Muslims can say that slavery is not legitimate now, and that crucifixion is wrong at this historical juncture. Many say precisely this. But they cannot condemn slavery or crucifixion outright without contradicting the Koran and the example of the Prophet.”

Although Wood qualifies his claim by pointing briefly to the theological diversity within Islam, Islam scholars argue that he glosses over one of the most important components of any faith tradition: interpretation.

Jerusha Tanner Lamptey, Professor of Islam and Ministry at Union Theological Seminary in New York, told ThinkProgress that Wood’s argument perpetuates the false idea that Islam is a literalistic tradition where violent texts are taken at face value.

“That’s very problematic to anyone who spends any of their time dealing with the diversity of interpretations around texts,” Lamptey said.

“Texts have never been only interpreted literally. They have always been interpreted in multiple ways — and that’s not a chronological thing, that’s been the case from the get-go … [Wood’s comments] create the [impression] that Islam is literalistic, backward-minded, and kind of arcane or archaic, and we’ve moved past that narrative.”

Lamptey also said that Wood’s argument overlooks other Quranic verses that, if taken literally, would contradict ISIS’s actions because “they promote equality, tolerance.”

She pointed to surah 22:39-40 in the Qur’an, which connects the permission for war with the need to protect the houses of worship of other religions — something ISIS, which has destroyed several Christian churches, clearly ignores.

“ISIS exegetes these verses away I am sure, but that’s the point,” she said. “It’s not really about one perspective being literal, one being legitimate, one ignoring things…it’s about diverse interpretations.

But alternative ones tend to not gain any footing with this kind of black-and-white rhetoric. It completely delegitimizes them.”

Shakir Waheib, a senior member of the al-Qaida breakaway group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), left, next to a burning police vehicle in Iraq's Anbar Province

Shakir Waheib, a senior member of the al-Qaida breakaway group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), left, next to a burning police vehicle in Iraq’s Anbar Province

Wood, of course, didn’t accidentally invent the idea that violent passages in Islamic texts make the religion especially prone to violence, or that ISIS’s supposedly Islamic nature is evidence of deeper issues within the tradition.

These concepts have been around for some time, but are becoming increasingly popular among two groups that usually find themselves ideologically opposed — namely, right-wing conservatives and the so-called “New Atheists,” a subset of atheism in the West.

Leaders from both camps have pointed to violent passages in the Qur’an as evidence that Islam is a ticking time bomb. Rev. Franklin Graham, son of famous evangelist Billy Graham, has regularly attacked Islam using this logic, and recently responded to questions about the Qur’an on Fox News by saying that Islam “is not a religion of peace” but a “violent form of faith.”

Similarly, talk show host and outspoken atheist Bill Maher sparred with Charlie Rose last September over ISIS, saying that people who disavow the group as unIslamic ignore the supposed “connecting tissue” between ISIS and the rest of Islam, noting “The Qur’an absolutely has on every page stuff that’s horrible about how the infidels should be treated.”

It is perhaps for this reason that Fox News and several other conservative outlets fawned over Wood’s article after it was published, as did prominent “New Atheists” Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins.

But while these positions are widespread, Lamptey noted that they are also potentially dangerous because they play directly into ISIS’s plans. By suggesting that Islam is ultimately beholden to specific literal readings of texts, Lamptey said Wood and other pundits inadvertently validate ISIS’s voice.

“[Wood’s position] confirms exactly what people like ISIS want people to think about them, which is that they are the only legitimate voice,” she said. “It echoes that rhetoric 100%. Yes, that is what ISIS says about themselves, but it is a different step to say ‘Yes, that is true about the Islamic tradition and all Muslims.’”

Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, expressed a similar sentiment in an interview with Raw Story on Tuesday. He argued that in addition to Wood’s piece being “full of factual mistakes,” its de facto endorsement of literalistic Quranic interpretations amounts to an advertisement for ISIS’s horrific theology.

“Scholars who study Islam, authorities of Islamic jurisprudence, are telling ISIS that they are wrong, and Mr. Wood knows more than what they do, and he’s saying that ISIS is Islamic?” Awad said.

“I don’t think Mr. Wood has the background or the scholarship to make that dangerous statement, that historically inaccurate statement. In a way, I think, he is unintentionally promoting ISIS and doing public relations for ISIS.”

Awad also noted that Wood used “jihad” and “terrorism” interchangeably, which implicitly endorses ISIS’s argument that their savage practices (terrorism) are a spiritually justified religious duty (jihad).

In addition, there is a major issue with Wood’s offhand reference to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as “the first caliph in generations”: although a caliphate can be established by force, a caliph, by definition, implies the majority support of Muslims (which ISIS does not have) and caliphates are historically respectful of other religious traditions (which ISIS certainly is not).

Lamptey also noted that Wood’s position is demeaning, because it renders invisible the overwhelming majority of Muslims whose theologies rebuke violent atrocities.

Among other things, Wood’s piece extensively quotes Bernard Haykel, a Princeton scholar the journalist relies on heavily throughout the article, who says Muslim leaders who condemn ISIS as unIslamic are typically “embarrassed and politically correct, with a cotton-candy view of their own religion.”

This stands in stark contrast to the bold statements from respected Muslim scholars all over the globe challenging ISIS’s Islamic claims, and Lamptey says such comments can be read by many Muslims as having their peaceful devotion to their own religion second-guessed by people who believe they’re simply “overlooking things.”

“[Wood and others think moderate Muslims] they’re not ‘real’ Muslims, but ‘partial’ Muslims, or even apostate,” she said. “The majority of [Muslims] do not subscribe to [ISIS’s] view of their religion. But they do subscribe to the idea of emulating the Prophet Muhammad, upholding the text, and upholding the tradition, but come up with very different end points about what that looks like.”

“It’s not like these Muslims are ‘kind-of Muslims.’ They’re Muslims who are committed to the prophetic example in the texts and the Qur’an,” she added.

Other Islam scholars say this narrative breeds suspicion of Muslims as a whole. Mohammad Fadel, Associate Professor & Toronto Research Chair for the Law and Economics of Islamic Law at the University of Toronto, told ThinkProgress that these arguments entertain the notion that all Muslims are just one literal reading away from becoming terrorists.

“There already is the background … that stresses the idea that Muslims lie about what they believe,” Fadel told ThinkProgress. “That they really have these dark ambitions, but they just suppress them because of their own strategic purposes of conquest. They pretend to be nice. They pretend to be sympathetic to liberal values, but as soon as they get the chance, they’re going to enslave us all. The idea here is that they’re all potential followers of ISIS.”

“On first reading [Wood’s article] seemed to suggest that a committed Muslim should be sympathetic to ISIS, and protestations to the contrary either are the result of ignorance or the result of deception.” he said. “That’s not helpful, and potentially very dangerous.”

Granted, Fadel and Lamptey agreed that a discussion of ISIS’s apocalyptic theology is important, and were hesitant to single out Haykel. But they remained deeply concerned about the popularity of Wood’s framing, and challenged his assertion that ISIS is a “very Islamic” institution that is somehow representative of the global Muslim community.

“Yes, [ISIS is] Islamic in that they use Islamic sources to justify all their actions,” Fadel said. “But I think the question that bothers most Muslims is the idea that just because someone says they are Muslim or that their actions are representative of Islam doesn’t make it so. Just because a group can appropriate Islamic sources and Islamic symbols, and then go around doing all sorts of awful things, doesn’t mean that they get to be the ones who define for the world what Islam means.”

“Muslims who reject ISIS aren’t doing it because they’re bad Muslims. They just have a compelling version of Islam that they think is much better.”

Note 1: A thousand years before the schism between Catholics and Protestants, Islam had undergone extensive scholarly dialogue between interpretation and literal comprehension of the Koran, and this confrontation lasted for centuries and dozens of voluminous books were written and studied for centuries

Note 2: All these violent factions rely on the biased Hadith (what people said about what Mohammad said or did after his death) and Not in the Koran

Note 3: A few comments on FB:

  • Yuval Orr I didn’t read Wood’s article as suggesting that ISIS is “right.” I read it instead as an attempt to place the group within a framework of apocalyptic beliefs found in the particular strain of Islam to which it adheres.
    Andrew Bossone What does “strain of Islam” even mean? Do they follow a particular school of interpretation that developed over the last 1200 years? I can’t help but lump this guy into a group of people who aren’t scholars of a field doing some research and acting like one. Kareem Abdul Jabbar put it pretty well when he compared ISIS as a representative of Islam to the KKK is of Christianity.
    Here’s another article that explains what’s wrong with Wood’s writing: http://www.middleeasteye.net/…/isis-and-academic-veil

 

 

 

 

Jesus: the Muslim prophet?

Christians like to claim ownership of Christ. But the veneration of Jesus by Muslims began during the lifetime of the Prophet of Islam (and before, since there existed Christian sects in Mecca)

Perhaps most telling is the story in the classical biographies of Muhammad, who, entering the city of Mecca in triumph in 630AD, proceeded at once to the Kaaba to cleanse the holy shrine of its idols. As he walked around, ordering the destruction of the pictures and statues of the 360 or so pagan deities, he came across a fresco on the wall depicting the Virgin and Child.

He is said to have covered it reverently with his cloak and decreed that all other paintings be washed away except that one.

Mehdi Hasan Published December 10, 2009

Christianity is rooted in the belief that Jesus is the Son of God, so is Islam’s version of Christ a source of tension, or a way of building bridges between the world’s two largest faiths?

Jesus, or Isa (3issa), as he is known in Arabic, is deemed by Islam to be a Muslim prophet rather than the Son of God, or God incarnate. He is referred to by name in as many as 25 different verses of the Quran and six times with the title of “Messiah” (or “Christ”, depending on which Quranic translation is being used).

Jesus is also referred to as the “Messenger” and the “Prophet” but, perhaps above all else, as the “Word” and the “Spirit” of God.

No other prophet in the Quran, not even Muhammad, is given this particular honour. In fact, among the 124,000 prophets said to be recognised by Islam – a figure that includes all of the Jewish prophets of the Old Testament – Jesus is considered second only to Muhammad, and is believed to be the precursor to the Prophet of Islam. (A messenger for each language and each people)

In his fascinating book The Muslim Jesus, the former Cambridge professor of Arabic and Islamic studies Tarif Khalidi brings together, from a vast range of sources, 303 stories, sayings and traditions of Jesus that can be found in Muslim literature, from the earliest centuries of Islamic history.

These paint a picture of Christ not dissimilar to the Christ of the Gospels. The Muslim Jesus is the patron saint of asceticism, the lord of nature, a miracle worker, a healer, a moral, spiritual and social role model. (Many Christian sects were banned by Byzantium as Heretics based on how Jesus’s nature is believed)

“Jesus used to eat the leaves of the trees,” reads one saying, “dress in hairshirts, and sleep wherever night found him. He had no child who might die, no house which might fall into ruin; nor did he save his lunch for his dinner or his dinner for his lunch. He used to say, ‘Each day brings with it its own sustenance.‘”

According to Islamic theology, Christ did not bring a new revealed law, or reform an earlier law, but introduced a new path or way (tariqah) based on the love of God; it is perhaps for this reason that he has been adopted by the mystics, or Sufis, of Islam.

The Sufi philosopher al-Ghazali described Jesus as “the prophet of the soul” and the Sufi master Ibn Arabi called him “the seal of saints”. The Jesus of Islamic Sufism, as Khalidi notes, is a figure “not easily distinguished” from the Jesus of the Gospels.

What prompted Khalidi to write such a pro­vocative book? “We need to be reminded of a history that told a very different story: how one religion, Islam, co-opted Jesus into its own spirituality yet still maintained him as an independent hero of the struggle between the spirit and the letter of the law,” he told me. “It is in many ways a remarkable story of religious encounter, of one religion fortifying its own piety by adopting and cherishing the master spiritual narrative of another religion.”

Islam reveres both Jesus and his mother, Mary (Joseph appears nowhere in the Islamic narrative of Christ’s birth). “Unlike the canonical Gospels, the Quran tilts backward to his miraculous birth rather than forward to his Passion,” writes Khalidi. “This is why he is often referred to as ‘the son of Mary’ and why he and his mother frequently appear together.” (The Jews in Jerusalem called Jesus the son of Mary too)

In fact, the Virgin Mary, or Maryam, as she is known in the Quran, is considered by Muslims to hold the most exalted spiritual position among women. She is the only woman mentioned by name in Islam’s holy book and a chapter of the Quran is named after her. In one oft-cited tradition, the Prophet Muhammad described her as one of the four perfect women in human history.

But the real significance of Mary is that Islam considers her a virgin and endorses the Christian concept of the Virgin Birth. “She was the chosen woman, chosen to give birth to Jesus, without a husband,” says Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, an imam in Leicester and assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB). This is the orthodox Islamic position and, paradoxically, as Seyyed Hossein Nasr notes in The Heart of Islam, “respect for such teachings is so strong among Muslims that today, in interreligious dialogues with Christians . . . Muslims are often left defending traditional . . . Christian doctrines such as the miraculous birth of Christ before modernist interpreters would reduce them to metaphors.

With Christianity and Islam so intricately linked, it might make sense for Muslim communities across Europe, harassed, haran­gued and often under siege, to do more to stress this common religious heritage, and especially the shared love for Jesus and Mary.

There is a renowned historical precedent for this from the life of the Prophet.

In 616AD, six years into his mission in Mecca, Muhammad decided to find a safer refuge for those of his followers who had been exposed to the worst persecution from his opponents in the pagan tribes of the Quraysh. He asked the Negus, the Christian king of Abyssinia (modern-day Ethiopia), to take them in. He agreed and more than 80 Muslims left Mecca with their families.

The friendly reception that greeted them upon arrival in Abyssinia so alarmed the Quraysh that, worried about the prospects of Muhammad’s Muslims winning more allies abroad, they sent two delegates to the court of the Negus to persuade him to extradite them back to Mecca. The Muslim refugees, claimed the Quraysh, were blasphemers and fugitives.

The Negus invited Jafar, cousin of Muhammad and leader of the Muslim group, to answer the charges. Jafar explained that Muhammad was a prophet of the same God who had confirmed his revelation to Jesus, and recited aloud the Quranic account of the virginal conception of Christ in the womb of Mary:

And make mention of Mary in the Scripture, when she had withdrawn from her people to a chamber looking East,
And had chosen seclusion from them. Then We sent unto her Our Spirit and it assumed for her the likeness of a perfect man.
She said: Lo! I seek refuge in the Beneficent One from thee, if thou art God-fearing.
He said: I am only a messenger of thy Lord, that I may bestow on thee a faultless son.
She said: How can I have a son when no mortal hath touched me, neither have I been unchaste?
He said: So (it will be). Thy Lord saith: It is easy for Me. And (it will be) that We may make of him a revelation for mankind and a mercy from Us, and it is a thing ordained.
Quran, 19:16-21

Karen Armstrong writes, in her biography of Muhammad, that “when Jafar finished, the beauty of the Quran had done its work. The Negus was weeping so hard that his beard was wet, and the tears poured down the cheeks of his bishops and advisers so copiously that their scrolls were soaked.” The Muslims remained in Abyssinia, under the protection of the Negus, and were able to practise their religion freely.

However, for Muslims, the Virgin Birth is not evidence of Jesus’s divinity, only of his unique importance as a prophet and a messiah. The Trinity is rejected by Islam, as is Jesus’s Crucifixion and Resurrection.

The common theological ground seems to narrow at this point – as Jonathan Bartley, co-director of the Christian think tank Ekklesia, argues, the belief in the Resurrection is the “deal-breaker”. He adds: “There is a fundamental tension at the heart of interfaith dialogue that neither side wants to face up to, and that is that the orthodox Christian view of Jesus is blasphemous to Muslims and the orthodox Muslim view of Jesus is blasphemous to Christians.” He has a point.

The Quran singles out Christianity for formulating the concept of the Trinity:

Do not say, “Three” – Cease! That is better for you. God is one God. Glory be to Him, [high exalted is He] above having a son.
Quran 4:171

It castigates Christianity for the widespread practice among its sects of worshipping Jesus and Mary, and casts the criticism in the form of an interrogation of Jesus by God:

And when God will say: “O Jesus, son of Mary, did you say to the people, ‘Take me and my mother as gods besides God’?” he will
say, “Glory be to You, it was not for me to say what I had no right [to say]! If I had said it, You would have known it.
Quran 5:116

Jesus, as Khalidi points out, “is a controversial prophet. He is the only prophet in the Quran who is deliberately made to distance himself from the doctrines that his community is said to hold of him.” For example, Muslims believe that Jesus was not crucified but was raised bodily to heaven by God.

Yet many Muslim scholars have maintained that the Islamic conception of Jesus – shorn of divinity; outside the Trinity; a prophet – is in line with the beliefs and teachings of some of the earliest Jewish-Christian sects, such as the Ebionites and the Nazarenes, who believed Jesus to be the Messiah, but not divine.

Muslims claim the Muslim Jesus is the historical Jesus, stripped of a later, man-made “Christology”: “Jesus as he might have been without St Paul or St Augustine or the Council of Nicaea”, to quote the Cambridge academic John Casey.

Or, as A N Wilson wrote in the Daily Express a decade ago: “Islam is a moral and intellectual acknowledgement of the lordship of God without the encumbrance of Christian mythological baggage . . . That is why Christianity will decline in the next millennium, and the religious hunger of the human heart will be answered by the Crescent, not the Cross.” Despite the major doctrinal differences, there remain areas of significant overlap, such as on the second coming of Christ.

Both Muslims and Christians subscribe to the belief that before the world ends Jesus will return to defeat the Antichrist, whom Muslims refer to as Dajjal.

The idea of a Muslim Jesus, in whatever doctrinal form, may help fortify the resolve of those scholars who talk of the need to reformulate the exclusivist concept of a Judaeo-Christian civilisation and refer instead to a “Judaeo-Christian-Muslim civilisation”.

This might be anathema to evangelical Christians – especially in the US, where populist preachers such as Franklin Graham see Islam as a “very evil and wicked religion” – but, as Khalidi points out, “While the Jewish tradition by and large rejects Jesus, the Islamic tradition, especially Sufi or mystical Islam, constructs a place for him at the very centre of its devotions.”

Nonetheless, Jesus remains an esoteric part of Islamic faith and practice. Where, for example, is the Islamic equivalent of Christmas? Why do Muslims celebrate the birth of the Prophet Muhammad but not that of the Prophet Jesus? “We, too, in our own way should celebrate the birth of Jesus . . . [because] he is so special to us,” says Mogra. “But I think each religious community has distinct celebrations, so Muslims will celebrate their own and Christians their own.”

In recent years, the right-wing press in Britain has railed against alleged attempts by “politically correct” local authorities to downplay or even suppress Christmas. Birmingham’s attempt to name its seasonal celebrations “Winterval” and Luton’s Harry Potter-themed lights, or “Luminos”, are notorious examples.

There is often a sense that such decisions are driven by the fear that outward displays of Christian faith might offend British Muslim sensibilities, but, given the importance of Jesus in Islam, such fears seem misplaced. Mogra, who leads the MCB’s interfaith relations committee, concurs: “It’s a ridiculous suggestion to change the name of Christmas.” He adds: “Britain is great when it comes to celebrating diverse religious festivals of our various faith communities. They should remain named as they are, and we should celebrate them all.”

Mogra is brave to urge Muslims to engage in an outward and public celebration of Jesus, in particular his birth, in order to match the private reverence that Muslims say they have for him. Is there a danger, however, that Muslim attempts to re-establish the importance of Jesus within Islam and as an integral part of their faith and tradition might be misinterpreted?

Might they be misconstrued as part of a campaign by a supposedly resurgent and politicised Islam to try to take “ownership” of Jesus, in a western world in which organised Christianity is in seeming decline? Might it be counterproductive for interfaith relations? Church leaders, thankfully, seem to disagree.

“I have always enjoyed spending time with Muslim friends, with whom we as Christians have so much in common, along with Jewish people, as we all trace our faith back to Abraham,” the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, tells me. “When I visit a mosque, having been welcomed in the name of ‘Allah and His Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon Him’, I respond with greetings ‘in the name of Jesus Christ, whom you Muslims revere as a prophet, and whom I know as the Saviour of the World, the Prince of Peace’.”

Amid tensions between the Christian west and the Islamic east, a common focus on Jesus – and what Khalidi calls a “salutary” reminder of when Christianity and Islam were more open to each other and willing to rely on each other’s witness – could help close the growing divide between the world’s two largest faiths. Mogra agrees: “We don’t have to fight over Jesus. He is special for Christians and Muslims. He is bigger than life. We can share him.”

Reverend David Marshall, one of the Church of England’s specialists on Islam, cites the concluding comments from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, at a recent seminar for Christian and Muslim scholars. He said he had been encouraged by “the quality of our disagreement”. “Christians and Muslims disagree on many points and will continue to do so – but how we disagree is not predetermined,” says Marshall.

“Muslims are called by the Quran to ‘argue only in the best way with the People of the Book’ [Quran 29:46], and Christians are encouraged to give reasons for the hope that is within them, ‘with gentleness and reverence’ [1 Peter 3:15]. If we can do this, we have no reason to be afraid.”

“The Muslim Jesus” by Tarif Khalidi is published by Harvard University Press (£14.95)

Mehdi Hasan is the NS’s senior editor (politics)

Note 1: If based on the Quran, The two religions may reach a consensus. The whole problems in Islam is that they give more importance to the Hadith or stories told about the life and behaviour of Muhammad. The Moslems may memorize the Quran, but they like much better the side stories that have no relationship to the Quran fundamentals.

Note 2: Marie was called The Virgin because she served as a virgin girl in the Great Temple of Carmel with other girls from the elite families in the district of Tyr (Lebanon)

“Koran has nothing to do” with current waves of Islamic extremist terrorists

The northern African states of Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco had linked with France culture since 1830.

Egypt, Syria, Palestine and Lebanon had also linked with the French and British culture since the early 19th century.

Many were sent to Paris and London to learn and continue their education. The translation of “foreign manuscript was the rage.

The question is: “Have the Arab societies linked up with the modernity of the western civilization”?

The intelligentsia classes have linked a long time ago with the western culture and know more about these cultures than the western people themselves: At least, they can read and write in a couple of European languages.

Did the rural people in the Arab societies linked with other civilizations?

The more the rate of literacy increased the more complex the linkage and communication lines.

Forget that the Koran has anything to do with extremism and these waves of terrorist attacks.

The Koran is another praying Book, as all the other religious Books.

Moslems who can’t read Arabic or are illiterates memorize the Koran or large chunks of it.

Moslems pray in the Koran, but the Koran is not their preferred source for their behaviors, and barely comprehend the texts of the Koran.

The behaviors of most Moslems, the extremist types and the ignorant, are based on telling tales that are extracted from the Hadith.

The Hadith is constituted of thousands of stories related to the behaviors of the prophet, Muhammad what he said, what he did in different circumstances and context.

The Koran:

1. Retells the stories and myths of the Jewish and Christian praying Books such as the creation, how the Jews wandered in the desert…

2. Respect and veneer the prophets, in the Christian and Jewish praying books, such as Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mary…

3. The Koran details how to pray, the ablution process…

4. The Koran details the inheritance procedures. (Two decades after Aicha died, there were no learned recognized women to educate the women on their rights for inheritance and writing the wedding contracts.  

And the Moslem forgot all about sharing inheritance with the female genders: the illiterate women had no recourse to remind the clerics about their rights…)

5. Reminding the Moslems that the Christians and Jews are people of the faith and their religion is to be respected and the people to be protected and do not have to pay taxes.

Aisha, the most beloved wife of Muhammad, and the most learned among women and men in the Arabic peninsula, fought most of her life discrediting the fraudulent and false hadiths.

The problems stems from how the Moslem sects interpret the Hadith, what is meant by the Jihad on oneself for self-improvement and when Jihad against other people is valid…

All these atrocious behaviors in forced marriages, honor killing, violent fatwas, nikab, nikah, sharia, polygamy….are part of the hadith.

The interested groups, political leaders and business leaders, made it a habit to ask from someone who “lived” or accompanied the Prophet to relate a story that would match their interests.

For example, the tribal leaders of Mecca had vested interest to claim priority in acceding to the key political and governmental positions and to keep the social structure as practiced in Mecca, a system that was different from the tribes in Medina.

During the third caliph Othman, the Koran was tampered with, and Christian sects and Jewish sects were added as people deemed to pay taxes for protection.

The budget of the caliph was shrinking annually as more people were converting to Islam and the empire needed more money to finance the expansion of the empire.

Misogyny cannot be found in the Koran, but in the Hadith.  Women had to be excluded from any position of power and false stories were disseminated related to their incompetence, the volatile passions and lower level of intelligence .

The women in the first Islam city-state of Medina (Yathreb) did not wear the veil or any head cover. It was the women who migrated from Mecca who struggled to impose head cover.  The “noble”women of the tribes of Mecca wore the veil as a mark of distinction from the working women and to preserve the “White” completion, safe from the sun rays and the dusty climate.

Muhammad had suggested to his wives to cover their faces when they step outside in order not to be harassed at every corner with countless questions and queries.

The schism among the Sunni sects (supporters of the power to be) and the Shiaa sects is based on the inheritance of power (direct descendants of the Prophet) and the right and obligation to interpret the verses of the Koran.

Note 1: Muhammad refused to set any rules for his succession process, the power and political structure or to appoint Imams

Note 2: Islam one of the “heretic” Christian sects https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2010/02/24/islam-is-one-of-the-%E2%80%9Cheretic%E2%80%9D-christian-jewish-sects/

Only 2 religions in Lebanon

In fact, there are 18 officially recognized sects in Lebanon, and they are ruling the political and social structure in Lebanon, from birth to death, and own more than 50% of the land.

On closer scrutiny, only two religions cover the wide umbrella of diversity.

1. One religion is trained to stoop. The other one to kneel, at best.

2. One religion is trained to pray in a single direction. The other one doesn’t care about directions, as long as it is not in the direction of the other religion.

3. One religion supposedly read in one Book. The other one has the choice of two dozen Books. (The early Christian sects had their own book to read and pray. And there were many dozens of sects before Byzantium decided to label them “heretics“)

4. One religion single book is not their preferred book: they prefer to read the Hadith ( the behaviors and chatting of their prophet). The other religion are not fussy about the details in their Books, as long as the telling of  Jesus parables are close enough.

5. One religion is trained to wash in a certain manner before prayer. The other one “suggests” that you should “look it clean and decent”

6. One religion demands that you leave your “shoes” outside the entrance of the praying chamber. The other one prefers that you step in your “ceremonial shoes

7. One religion is trained to pray in open air. The other one feels ashamed if  not in an enclosed structure.

8. One religion pray facing bare walls. The other one needs at least an icon facing him to worship, a dozen is preferable. (See note 2)

9. One religion believes in Houris after death. The other one has mixed feelings about the “Virgin Mary” (See note 1)

10. One religion is ever ready to transfer a room allocated for praying into a mosque. The other one insists on the room to be “consecrated” by a Bishop

11. One religion fast from sun up to sun down (no water, no food) and gains weight for eating all kinds of sweets all night long. The other one may selectively fast on what he thinks is craving for recently. And he gains weight eating too much of everything else.

12. One religion is tight-assed in public while exhibiting the worst of rascals’ behaviors in the privacy of their homes. The other one tries to show off how libertine he can be in public, and be as a rascal in private.

13. One religion believes in One God. The other one also claims that he believes in a single God, but actually worship the Saint or icon of his choice.

It is bewildering how two religions can branch out to two dozen sects. Each sect as stupid as the next one. No badge of honor for levels of stupidity.

Note 1: The German emperor Guillaume II entered Jerusalem in 1908 and was allowed to rebuild a church dedicated to the Virgin. The church became a Lutheran Temple.

The protestants look down on the Virgin because she degraded Jesus to a mortal human, instead of being a God at a par with his father. As Guillaume landed in Beirut on his way to Damascus, the Lebanese were summoned to stay home and never welcome the emperor in the streets. At night, the people were asked to turn off all their lights so that the emperor ride in total darkness.

The emperor was hugely displeased from this silent treatment.  Possibly, there is a link between this treatment and the Turks forcing the Lebanese to starve to death during WWI, since Turkey was a vassal to Germany.

Maybe the Lebanese can be united around the Virgin against any potentates who dares to denigrates the status of Mary. Actually, the Annunciation Day that Mary will be pregnant with Christ is a national holiday.

Famine hecatomb in Lebanon https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2013/11/14/famine-hecatomb-in-lebanon-1915-18/

Note 2: Islam forbids images, pictures and statutes of the prophet and saint people. The Wahhabi sect in Saudi Arabia forbids also the pilgrimage to shrines of saint people: All shrines are burned and ruined when they occupy a country.

The Protestants in the US feel an affinity with the Wahhabi sect, maybe with the exclusion of the drastic and obscurantist punishments meted out according to Shari3a.

Islam first civil war: Battle of “The Camel”

“Where is my right to vote?” asked a Moslem from Basra

The Prophet Muhammad was buried humbly under Aicha’s bed, the youngest and most beloved of spouses. Muhammad was sick for 13 days but was conscious.

His only political symbol for his succession was to demand that Abu Bakr lead the prayer in the mosque when bed ridden.

Aicha realized that the Prophet wished her aging father Abu Bakr to succeed him; and Aicha knew that this task is too hazardous for her aging father and asked Omar ibn al Khattab to lead the prayer instead.

The Prophet was surprised to hear Omar leading the prayer and chastised Aicha. She explained that the voice of Omar is stronger and more virile. Abu Bakr resumed leading the prayers instead of Omar.

Abu Bakr died two years later and was also buried under Aicha’s bed by his friend Muhammad.

Ten years later, the second Caliph Omar was assassinated in the mosque while leading the prayer, and Aicha granted his wish to be buried under her bed.  Consequently, two caliphs were buried under Aicha’s bed, by their beloved Muhammad.

After Aicha’s death, the governor of Medina (during the Omayyad dynasty) destroyed all the apartments of the Prophet’s wives on the left side of the mosque on the pretence of expanding the mosque.  It was the period of vast victorious conquests, fast, and luxury and it was time to “modernize” Medina.

The third caliph of the Moslems, Othman Bin Affan, started his reign well and then discontent grew dramatically after he started to appoint most governors and high posts officials from his own clan of Umayyah, of the tribe of Quraich.

To make things worse, Othman built a lavish Palace in Medina (less than 25 years after the Prophet’s death in this city).

Aicha got wind that the political climate is deteriorating and opted to go on pilgrimage to Mecca. While in Mecca, angry mob coming from Basra (Iraq) entered the palace and assassinated Othman.

Aicha demanded from the newly designated Caliph Ali Bin Abi Taleb to put the assassins to trial, but Ali didn’t react in a manner that promised proper “revenge”.

Many Quraichi leaders in Mecca such as Talhat and Zubeir (from the tribes of Quraich) managed to incite Aicha to take the lead and to march against Ali.

It is hinted that Aicha kept a grudge against Ali during the collar problems and the rumors that Aicha might have cheated on the prophet with a younger man. (Read link in note #3).

For example, when Muhammad asked Ali for inputs, Ali’s response sounded to Aicha (as reported to her) that he was suspicious too, and was inclined to give credence to the veracity of the rumors, something to the effect that women are limited…. (Later, a verse was pronounced that proved the innocence of Aicha and rumor mongers were whipped 80 times…)

Aicha emulated the same tactics as the Prophet did before any military excursion: She negotiated with notables in Basra, explained the reasons of her dangerous move (it was to be the first civil war in Islam) and she opened free discussions for people to express their opinions in the mosque.

Mosques were the proper locations for open discussions under the protection of Allah.  A young man took the podium and talked. He said:

You the immigrants (converts to Islam who moved from Mecca to Medina); it is true that you were the first to embrace Islam.  But everyone later received the same privilege.  After the prophet death (632 AC) you have designated a man among you (first caliph Abu Bakr) to become the first successor; we, the common Moslems, were not consulted. Again, you the elite immigrants have met in council (Shawra) and designated the second Caliph (Omar bin al Khattab) and we were not asked our opinion.  You voted for the third Caliph (Othman Bin Affan) without our input.

You didn’t like Othman after 13 years of ruling us, and you assassinated him.  You again designated Ali for fourth caliph and the common Moslems were not invited to extend their opinions and preferences.  Now you don’t like Ali.  What are you reproaching him for? Why have you decided to fight him by the sword?  Has he done any reprehensible acts?  Is his election illegal, illicit or fraudulent? Tell us why you want us to start a civil war (fitna)? You have got to surely convince us to join the battle.  Tell us what it is all about? Why are you fighting?”

Unfortunately, this young man ended paying his life for expressing his bold opinion and position after the dust settled.

What would later generally be called “Sunni Moslems” were those who preferred peace and stability instead of deciding for civil wars to changing wrong doings.  The Chiaa Moslems were categorized as those who abided by the Hadith injunction: “The one who witness a reprehensible situation and injustice (al munkar) and does not try to prevent it and change the situation will encounter Divine punishment”

Paradoxically, in the battle of “The Camel”, the first civil war, the Sunnis backed Ali (reasonable position) and the Chiaa backed Aicha.

Caliphate Ali destroyed Aicha troops and 13, 000 Moslems in both camps perished in that battle.

It is said that negotiations were underway to avoiding the battle and a resolution was reached, but a few renegades (those that assassinated Othman killed many Ali’s soldiers during the night) in order to escape trials, thus fomented the next day war. This is a reasonable story, though Aicha had put to death the ones accused of murdering Othman as she entered Basra.

Ali spent many days in the battle field burying the dead from both sides.  Aicha was sent back to Medina where she kept her residence and focused her energy on gathering all of the Prophet’s sourats and verses and was the main pole for clarifications on legal issues and attacking the countless fraudulent Hadith (what the Prophet had said).

Othman was the Caliph who demanded from Aicha to deliver the Prophet’s verses and then discarded those that suited the new political climate after the victories on the Byzantium and Persian Empires.

This Koran is called the Medina Koran and the one currently in use.

Aicha was distraught to the many fraudulent editing of the verses.

For example, Othman invariably added Christians (nassara) every time Jews are mentioned in order to tax the Christian in his kingdom.  It is to be noted that the shortest verses that represent the faith in the first 13 years of proselytizing were relegated to the end of the Koran ,and thus annihilated the chronological appearances of the verses and obscuring the context.

It was after the defeat of Aicha that a certain Abu Bakra, a Moslem who was whipped by the second Caliph Omar for calumny, claimed hearing this Hadith “No prosperity for any society can come when a woman is in command”

Note 1: Fatema Mernissi in her book “The political Harem” re-examined the mostly fraudulent Hadith related to women and male misogyny. Bukhara catalogued the Hadith and kept only 7275 as potentially valid (sahih) out of 600, 000 Hadith recognized as plainly fraudulent.

Note 2:  It is reported that Aicha recounted that she was not jealous of Muhammad’s living wives.  Aicha was mostly jealous of the late first wife called Khadija:  Muhammad kept repeating the name of Khadija in conversations.

Once, the sister of Khadija visited Medina to see her son and paid a visit to Muhammad.  As Muhammad heard the voice he turned livid and started to shake violently.  Aicha guessed that the similarity of the voice to Khadija made Muhammad think that his beloved first wife came back from the dead to haunt him.  Muhammad admitted to Aicha that she guessed right.

Note 3: A turning point was reached when Aicha lost her favorite collar that her mother Em Rumana gave her for her wedding.  The story goes that Muhammad took Aicha on an expedition.  Aicha lost her collar as the troop were heading to the next water well and the caravan was very short on water for the ablution before prayer.  Aicha insisted on finding the collar and a verse was handed down that sand can be used for purification in dire moments.

On the way back from the expedition, Aicha stepped away from the troop for bodily relief.  As she reached the caravan, she realized that she dropped this loose collar again.  Aicha went back to search for the collar and the troop started without her.  Aicha would recount that she was so light that the attendants didn’t realize that she was not in the cabin that was raised over the camel.  Aicha lay down and was confident that the troops will retrace their path searching for her as they reached the camp.

Safwan, a young and handsome convert, a little behind the caravan, found Aicha and mounted her on his horse.

Later, rumors spread that, while the sixty years old prophet is resuming his mania of marrying far more than the four allowed by the Koran, his younger wives are cheating on him.

Aicha fell dangerously sick and was moved to her folks’ domicile and Mohammad didn’t pay her a visit for 28 days because he started to believe the rumors.

When Mohammad finally arrived to see Aicha, the Angel Gabriel showed up and revealed to the Prophet that Aicha was innocent. Um Roumana told Aicha to come foward and thank the Prophet.  Aicha retorted: “By God I will not!  I will praise but God who finally decided to declare me innocent”

Seventeen revelations were dedicated to these awful circumstances; calumny was revealed as a crime as dangerous as adultery and specific penalties prescribed.

Mistah, a cousin of Aicha, Hassan ibn Thabit, the poet of Islam, and Hannah bint Jahsh, the sister of one of the Prophet’s wives, were flogged 80 times for their crimes of calumny without exhibiting four witnesses for their accusations.  Aicha regained her position as the most favored “Um al Mu’mineen“.

Democracy in Islam: What kinds? (Mar. 23, 2010)

A little history to preparing the ground for understanding whether the appreciation of modern kinds of democracy is within Moslem traditions and customs.  The third caliph of the Moslems, Othman Bin Affan, started his reign well.  The pressures from Mecca oligarchic clans in his Quraich tribe encouraged Othman to appointing most governors and high posts officials from his own clan of Umayyad.  Thus,  discontent grew drastically; to make things worse, Othman built a lavish Palace in Medina (less than 25 years after the Prophet death in this city where he was buried).  Aicha (the youngest and most beloved of spouses) got wind that the political climate is deteriorating and opted not to intervene politically at this junction and gave the excuse of going on pilgrimage to Mecca:  People knew that she didn’t appreciate the fraudulent lies that this caliph introduced to the official Koran.

While in Mecca, angry mob coming from Basra (Iraq) entered the palace and assassinated Othman.  Aicha demanded from the newly designated Caliph Ali Bin Abi Taleb to put the assassins to trial but Ali didn’t react immediately.  While in Mecca, Aicha was approached by many Quraichi leaders such as Talhat and Zubeir (from the tribes of Othman); they managed to incite Aicha to take the lead and to march against Ali.

Aicha emulated the same tactics as the Prophet did before any military excursion: She drummed up support in the city of Bassora, negotiated with notables, explained the reasons of her dangerous move (it was to be the first civil war in Islam) and she opened free discussions for people to express their opinions in the mosque.  Mosques were the proper locations for open discussions under the protection of Allah.  A young man took the podium and talked. He said:

“You the immigrants (converts to Islam who moved from Mecca to Medina); it is true that you were the first to embrace Islam.  But everyone later received the same privilege.  After the prophet death (632 AC) you have designated a man among you (first caliph Abu Bakr) to become the first successor; we the common Moslems were not consulted. Again, you the elite have met in council (Shawra) and designated the second Caliph (Omar bin al Khattab) and we were not asked our opinion.  You voted for the third Caliph (Othman Bin Affan) without our input; you didn’t like Othman after 13 years of ruling us and you assassinated him.  You again designated Ali for fourth caliph and the common Moslems were not invited to extend their opinions and preferences.  Now you don’t like Ali.  What are you reproaching him for? Why have you decided to fight him by the sword?  Has he done any reprehensible acts?  Is his election illegal, illicit or fraudulent? Tell us why you want us to start a civil war (fitna)? You have got to surely convince us to join the battle.  Tell us what it is all about? Why are fighting?” Unfortunately, this young man ended paying his life for expressing his bold opinion and position

What would generally be called Sunni Moslems were those who preferred peace and stability instead of deciding for civil wars to changing wrong doings.  The Shiaa Moslems were categorized as those who abided by the Hadith injunction “The one who witness a reprehensible situation and injustice (al munkar) and does not try to prevent it and change the situation will encounter Divine punishment”

Paradoxically, in the battle of “The Camel”, the first Islam civil war, the Sunnis backed Ali (it was a reasonable position since Ali was just in his pronouncements ) and the Shiaa backed Aicha.  Caliphate Ali destroyed the unprofessional troops lead by Aicha:  13, 000 Moslems perished in that battle.  Ali spent many days in the battle field burying the dead from both sides.  Aicha was sent back to Medina where she kept her residence and focused her energy on gathering all of the Prophet’s sourats and verses and was the main pole for clarifications on legal issues and attacking the countless fraudulent Hadith (what the Prophet had said).

It was after the defeat of Aicha that Abu Bakra, a Moslem who was whipped by the second Caliph Omar for calumny, resumed his misogynist behavior and claimed hearing this Hadith from the Prophet Muhammad: “No prosperity for any society can come when a woman is in command.”  The next phase in Islam political structure was based on hereditary successions of the Caliphate with all the power that any monarch could dream of.

Note: Fatema Mernissi in her book “The political Harem” re-examined the mostly fraudulent Hadith related to women and male misogyny. Bukhara catalogued the Hadith and kept only 7275 as potentially valid (sahih) out of 600, 000 Hadith recognized as plainly fraudulent.

Sources of misogyny in Islam: not from the Prophet at all; (Mar 22, 2010)

Many misogynistic “disciples” to the Prophet Muhammad tried to calumny women in order to discard them from political and social leadership.

In a previous article we took care of the Hadith (a saying of the Prophet not included in the Koran) “No society will witness prosperity if commanded by a woman”.

This Hadith was said by Abu Bakra after the battle of “The camel” that was mainly lead by Aicha (The youngest and most beloved wife of Muhammad).  This battle represents the first instance of “civil war” among the Moslems, 25 years after the death of the Prophet in 633. It is interesting to state that Abu Bakra was sentenced to be whipped by the second caliph Omar bin Khattab for calumny that could have resulted in the lynching of an innocent man.

Another “disciple”, Abu Huraira, contributed to countless misogyny Hadith; he was a slave before submitting to Allah and just followed the Prophet and aided in cleaning the residences of Muhammad’s nine wives. The prophet’s nickname of Abu Huraira was because this new convert walked with his favorite female kitten. It is interesting to mention that the second Caliph Omar threatened Abu Huraira to be exiled back to Yemen if he resumed cranking Hadith so mindlessly.  Aicha discredited many of Abu Huraira Hadith and mocked him grandly, an attitude that exacerbated Abu Huraira’s misogyny.

Abu Huraira claimed hearing the Prophet saying “Dog, donkey, and women disturb prayer when they cross the praying visual field.”  Aicha said: “What, Abu Huraira considers women in the same category of dogs and donkeys? I used to be lying down in front of the Prophet when he said his prayers.  I didn’t move in order not to disturb his concentration while praying”

Abu Huraira also claimed that the Prophet said “Three things bring bad luck: the house, the wife, and the horse.” Aicha mocked Abu Huraira grandly and replied: “He has the tendency not to learn his lessons. Abu Huraitra entered as the Prophet was uttering the end part of his long sentence. The prophet was saying “May Allah fights the Jews: They claim that three things bring bad luck (the house, the wife, and the horse).”

Muhammad was fighting the Jewish tribes in Medina because they were complotting with the tribes of Mecca to discredit his message since Muhammad was winning more converts “at the expense of the Jewish prophets which were considered the sole properties of the Jewish sect”.

The Prophet could no longer comprehend the basic misogyny traditions of the Jewish sects in Medina; these Jewish teachings and attitudes toward women were giving arguments to the misogynistic Moslems in Medina who were not ready to abide by the new laws that reformed drastically pre-Islamic customs and traditions.

Abu Huraira cranked many Hadith related to what women in periods of menstruation should not do. For example, women should not fast the day they forget to wash their genitalia before morning prayers and things like that. One of the wives of the prophet Umm Maimouna had this to say: “Occasionally, the prophet recited his prayers his head on the knees of one of his wives who was in menstruation. We would spread the Praying Nat in the mosque for the Prophet while we had our periods. The prophet used to do his morning prayers before washing off after a night of intercourse.”

Indeed, for the first 6 years in Medina there were no dividing lines between the public and the private.  

The door of Aicha’s apartment opened to the mosque; Aicha used to wash Muhammad’s hair at the door while the prophet was in the mosque. The Moslems used to enter the Prophets residences without invitations and behaved as if they were close relatives and “faite comme chez vous” in the presence of his wives.

Finally, Muhammad had to put a stop to these inconsiderate behaviors and commanded that no one is to enter without invitations and instituted the dividing curtain; the curtain was to separate between men and him when in his residence. After the Prophet death, the misogynistic Moslems developed the custom of Muhammad’s wives wearing veils when stepping outside their residences and this tradition was extended to all women gradually.

Another misogynistic “disciple” is Ibn Omar (the son of the second caliph Omar) who was a recluse and ascetics:  most of his Hadith were retained as valid since he was the son of a caliph. For example, Ibn Omar said: “Women were to let down their hair before passing their wet hands over before purification.” Aicha corrected Ibn Omar saying: “How strange! Ibn Omar might as well order women to shave their head.  I used to pass 3 times my wet hands over my unloosened hair before praying with the Prophet. I even used to wash with the Prophet in the same bucket.”

This same Ibn Omar said: “The Prophet said: I had a look into paradise and the majority was of the poor communities. I had a look into hell and it was mostly crowded with women.”

There were so many misogyny pronouncements after the Prophet’s death that Moslems paid visits to Muhammad’s spouses for verifications and clarifications.

The Prophet knew that Moslems would visit his wives for questions that they would not dare ask him directly; Muhammad thus mostly behaved contrary to Jewish daily rituals and customs related to women so that Moslems would learn his behaviors and refrain from misogynistic attitudes.

Politics of interests closed the doors on women after the Prophet’s death, shamelessly and openly.

Note: This article is extracted from Fatima Mirnissi’s “The politics of Harem”

Islam is one of the “heretic” Christian-Jewish sects,(Feb. 23, 2010)

A challenge to all theologians and social scientists

Before Emperor Constantine, who established Constantinople as Capital for the Roman Empire in the Orient (called Byzantium Empire) around 315 AC, there were hundreds of Christian sects in the Middle East.  Each sect had its dogma and its Bible (there were hundreds of versions).

The belief systems of these Christian sects differed greatly in the divinity of Jesus, the resurrection, the Holy Spirit, the status of the Virgin Mary (many would not even mention her name since women were considered impure), the status of Judas Iscariot, the rites, the language, the daily rituals, the status of the Old Testament, the communion of the flesh, the age to baptizing new converts, and to which race to focus on.

Many sects obeyed the laws of the Old Testaments in their integrity and many refused to adopt the Old Testament as part of their belief systems.

The Council of Nicaea (on the shore of Turkey) in 325 made things even worse: Constantine wanted to unify all the Christian sects into a religion of the Empire.  The notion of three Gods into one (Father, son, and Holy Ghost) were forced upon the sects as well as the Sanctity of Mary and many abstract concepts wrapped into the Credo.

Any sect that refused the unified Orthodox dogma, of the Emperor in power  at the time, was labeled “heretic” and was persecuted.  It turned out that, for over 70 years, successive Emperors were in favor of one or another “heretic” belief system, and a few emperor reverted to paganism.

Around the year 400, another Emperor reverted to the Orthodox dogma and the persecutions resumed and even intensified.  The heretic sects fled to beyond the Euphrates River under the dominion of Persia Empire and spread to the Arabic Peninsula and reached India and China.

Prophet Mohammad was from a clan that believed in one of these Christian-Jewish heretic sects that were established in Mecca; the father of Mohammad was a convert and his uncle was the Patriarch of the Christian sect.

In the year 1000, another schism took place between the Bishop of Rome (Catholic) and the Bishop of Constantinople (Orthodox) and another wave of persecution of heretic sects got under way.

The various Protestant “heretic” sects in the 16th century are but the latest in the variety of Christian sects and offshoot of ancient heretic Christian sects.

All that Prophet Muhammad did was to drop the abstract notions in the Orthodox dogma and to adopt the common denominator belief system of the various heretic Christian-Jewish sects in the Arabic Peninsula, Syria, and Iraq.

Thus, Islam combined the Old Testament integrally and the version of New Testament read by the Jewish-Christians sect, the Ebionites, of Mohammad’s tribe in the Mecca: the Patriarch of this sect was one of Muhammad’s uncles.

The Ebionites sect was fundamentally a Jewish sect that attached the teachings of Jesus (another Prophet) to the Old Testament.  This sect considered St.Paul as a heretic because he opened the religion to the “gentiles”.

Historical facts prove that the early Christians, and particularly the illiterate disciples lead by Jack, the eldest brother of Jesus, who conglomerated in Jerusalem were very conservative Essenism Jews:  Jesus was their Rabbi and they tried to follow his message.

When Peter finally marched out of Jerusalem it was to follow on the trail of Paul in order to dismantling Paul’s Christian communities and converting them to the Jewish laws.  Paul had to tone down his discourse and adopt a few Jewish social laws in order to counter the vehement practical attacks of the “Jerusalem sect of Christians“.

Islam became the unified Christian-Jewish heretic sect opposing the Orthodox Christian Church in Constantinople.  It is no surprise that the heretic Christians in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, and Palestine rallied and supported Islamic troops  against Byzantium and Persia.

After Constantinople fell in around 1450 to the Ottoman Empire, many of the non-Moslem Christian sects united politically to the Catholic Church in Rome, even though their dogma did not mesh nicely with the Catholic Credo.

Islam means submission (to God, the one and only).  I submit a challenge to all theologians, religious researchers, and philosophers of all religious denominations (monolithic or not).

My hypothesis is: The religious message of the Prophet Muhammad, during the first 13 years of proselytizing in Mecca, is identical to one of the Christian-Jewish sects. Let me suggest the following procedure or protocol:

First, select all the religious Christian sects till the Council of Nicaea in 325; and then select the Christian sects after Nicaea until the year 400.

Continue the selection process of the sects after the split between Rome and Byzantium around the year 1000, then go over the Christian sects that were formed between 1000 to the Martin Luther schism, all the way to the modern Christian sects from Protestantism, Calvinism, Baptism, Methodism, Episcopalian, Armenians (Catholic and Orthodox), and all the sects in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and elsewhere.

Second, develop taxonomy of attributes in order to categorize all these Christian sects.

Third, allocate all the sects to one of six categories or more if need be.

Fourth, select the verses in Islam that correspond to the period of 13 years in Mecca, before the flight of the Prophet Muhammad to Medina (Yathreb) and the establishment of the first City-State of Islam

Five, assign each verse in that period to the taxonomy of step two.

Six, allocate the message of the prophet Muhammad in one of the categories chosen in step three.

The foundation to my hypothesis stems from reading a manuscript titled “Islam in its two messages: Christ and Muhammad.”

The author of the book is late Antoun Saadeh, a Lebanese of Christian Geek Orthodox denomination.  The book was written in 1942 and Saadeh proves that Islam is almost identical to the message of Christ when we analyze the verses of the Koran pronounced during Muhammad proselytizing of his message before the legislation period for the new community in Medina.

Since Christianity is an amalgam of many sects that split into schisms in the last two thousand years, I figured that, from a scientific perspective, it would be more appropriate to differentiate Christianity according to sects.

It would also be fitting to study Islam by analyzing the various Moslem sects; though the variations would be based more on the legislation (Chari3a) and Hadith (stories on Muhammad) than the fundamental spiritual content during the first 13 years of the message in Mecca.

I suggest to start with four broad categories: Catholic, Orthodox, Christian-Jews, and Jewish-Christians.  The basic differences are in the adoption of the Old Testament as act of faith and social regulations to follow.

There are Christians who do not adopt the Old Testament in their act of faith neither intrinsically or even using it in preaching and its myths in rhetoric; other use Old Testament as act of faith but do not adopt the Jewish laws for daily rituals; others adopt the Jewish laws either partially or entirely.

For example, Islam and Jehovah Witnesses may be allocated within the Jewish-Christian category because they abide by the nomadic Jewish laws for daily behaviors.

Note:  I find many resemblance between St.Paul and the prophet Muhammad.  Both avatars of God had apparitions and revelations and did what they had to do to spreading the message.  Their message was to be universal:

1. Paul disseminated monotheism to the Mediterranean Sea basin (Roman and Byzantium Empires) and Mohammad spread monotheism to all of Asia (India, China, and Indonesia).

2. Paul’s method took 300 years to grabbing 10% share of the population; Mohammad’s method was more efficient, and rallied millions in just two decades.

Islamophobia is anathema to rational thinking; (October 18, 2009)

 

            Islam is quickly becoming an integral religion in the Western world.  There is a growing sense of uneasiness for Islam devotees: they pray at least three times a day facing Mecca (the Kaaba) and take seriously the fasting month of Ramadan. The various Christian sects barely practice their religion; the “Christians” mostly use their religion as political platforms during voting seasons to discriminate among cultures for the “proper way of life”.  A recent scandal broke out in England: the government is wire taping the Moslems on ground of social study.  In France there was an attempt at disqualifying Arabs as carrier of any philosophical civilization that could have impressed on European Renaissance.  The Arabic media didn’t respond to “Aristotle on Mount St. Michelle” simply because the book talked of philosophical import and didn’t discuss the scientific aspects.

            The main confusion in Europe or in the Arab/Islamic world is about what Empires we are alluding to: Arabic Empires (culture) or Islamic Empires (civilization) and how to discriminate among the cultures of each one of the Empires.  The modern nationalistic models (brainchild of emerging Europe) could not correspond to ancient models of thinking and thus, the attempts to explaining past Empires with modern models of what constitute a nation is confusing research and biasing facts with awkward interpretations.

            In all periods, elites of Empires needed an ideology to assure the articulation of various heritages (Arab, Persian, Byzantium, Roman, Greek, and Aramaic).  The unstable structure of ancient Empires frequently pressed upon its elites to rethink the new culture of the emerging Empire and re-construct it via a mould where diverse elements were poured in (ethnicity, community, belief systems, and language).  Thus, social thinkers struggled to present a coherent understanding of the new Empire; the purpose was not an erudite analysis for posterity but to get the new Empire functioning properly.

            This post is meant to investigate the allegation that European civilization is fundamentally the heritage of ancient Greece civilization.  I have examined the contention that “Europe civilization is because of Christianism”, a proposal that I refuted in a previous post (read “The Barbaric Catholic Church of Rome”) where the centralized church prohibited the influx of “heretic” scientific manuscripts to Europe from the Near Eastern Byzantium Empire and later from the Islamic Empire till way the 16th century.

            The best route for this examination is to consider two civilizations that imbibed the Islamic Empires.  The first Umayyad Arabic Empire 650 to 800 AC had for Capital Damascus; the culture in the Near East in that period was principally Hellenistic in the sense that scholars and educated people wrote in two languages, the Greek and Syriac languages (Aramaic dialect developed in Edesse, current Turkey) ; the common people spoke the language of the land or Aramaic.  Aramaic is the root language for Hebrew and the various local languages, especially the two Arabic branches that were spoken in Mecca and in Yemen.  It is in this period that lasted 150 years that translation of Greek and Syriac manuscripts into Arabic received its impetus.  Translation of Greek works to Syriac continued way into the 9th century. The people easily assimilated the spoken Arabic of Mecca and gave Arabic its proper alphabet and grammar.

            The second period can be called the Islamic Empire when the Capital was re-located to the newly erected city of Baghdad (Baghdad was to become the largest metropolis in this Empire of over one million inhabitant); this Islamic civilization was marked by the Persian culture and language with high import from India: trade was cut off with Europe for many centuries first during the Mamluk Empires after kicking out the last remnant of the Crusaders and later the early Ottoman Empire as Constantinople fell in around 1450. 

            The Umayyad Dynasty exported to Islamic Persia the embryo of the current scientific works and the nascent Islamic philosophy (falsafa); the more developed scientific works were later mostly written in Persian language; the same scholars wrote the disciplines that were related to religion, philosophy, rhetoric, legal, mathematics, and algebra, in Arabic because they were needed for the proper function in the administration of the Empire.  Educated and cultured people who were familiar with Greek works met in “salons” (majalis) to discuss on various subjects, philosophical incursions into the possible, the intellect, the sensibility and the soul. 

            Schools of learning were erected and knowledge was no longer the prerogative of the initiation of master to disciple for rich people. By the first century of Islam (8th century), schools were exploding everywhere with targeted practical disciplines (algebra, geometry, arithmetic, trigonometry, jurisprudence, theology (kalam), science of tradition (hadith), history, linguistic, lexicography, math combinatorial analysis, cryptography, and grammar) mainly to support the functions of the Empire administration and train cadres for offices such as fiscal, heritage, religious calendar, and army logistics. The schools were inspired by different traditions such as Greek, Persian, Indian, and Syriac).  By the second century of Islam specialized schools in theoretical mathematics, medicine, physics, optics, and astronomy were booming.

            The first acknowledged Moslem philosopher Al Kindi (9th century) admitted that Aristotle was the most eminent Greek philosopher and wrote: “We have to thank the prior thinkers who shared with us what is right; they made it more accessible to us researching the truth and they provided the premises that leveled the way for what is true.  Offering reasons and demonstrations are part of the acquisition process in the sciences for veracity. Those strangers to scientific inquiries are trafficking in religion even though they have got no religion: indeed the one who sells one thing does no longer belong to him.”

            Personally, I tend to attribute the name of Islamic civilization for the import of scientific disciplines such as mathematics, astronomy, medicine, physics, optics, and chemistry.  Arabic civilization should be restricted to the Umayyad Dynasty period in matters of rhetoric, legal, practical mathematics, Kalam (reflection on the world according to the Koran paradigm), grammars, language, and the import of any outside scientific knowledge that the Old World reserved in Constantinople, Persia, India, and China.

            A follow up post will demonstrate that European Renaissance in the 16th century was fundamentally Islamic scientifically; the decentralization of the Christian power away from Rome was also inspired by the decentralization nature of Islam as a religion.  The title is “Europe’s Renaissance is Islamic”.  It is worthwhile for researchers not to confuse the recent period of Islamic radical decadence with early Islamic civilization that lasted from 650 to 1100 AC in the Orient and then re-surfaced in Andalusia (Spain) from 800 till 1400 AC.  After 1400 AC Christian Spanish monarchs chased out the Moslems and Jews from their kingdom; the Catholic Church in Rome instituted the Inquisition to harass the new converts to Christianity.

“Bad lovers end up warriors…” (September 8, 2009)

 

            The man was shot in the neck by a comrade for a stupid angry flare up.  The man was a commander in the front for many years, liberating Afghanistan from the Soviet enemy troops. The man is now in a coma; the mullah said that he will be out of coma within two weeks. The Hero, which means the absent one, is till in bed after 16 days; he lays eyes wide open; his wife is taking care of him. She washes her husband once a day, drops medicine in his eyes three times a day; and changes the serum; serum is not generally available so that she adds salt and sugar in water for serum.

            In a few cultures, people select a black stone to talk to; they pour out their complaints and miseries; the stone is supposed to absorb patiently all their worries, pains, and frustrations. Once the stone is saturated with the secret soul searching of the individual then it chatters and the person is relived and absolved.

            The wife has been reciting one of God’s names everyday; on day 16 she is reciting “Al Qahhar” (The Dominator); she has counted the many times she repeated the name, aided by her rosary of 99 beads;  she repeats the name at nausea until she goes to bed at night. The woman has counted the numbers of rosaries before the water boy knocks at the neighbor’s door; how many times she recited the rosary before the kid on a bicycle drive through chanting “Laiti, Laiti djan, djan, you broke my heart”.  Day 17 is the turn of the name “Al Wahhab” (The Donator).

            The woman has two small daughters; the kids are not to enter their father’s room: he is sleeping and resting. The kids are frequently crying of hunger and fright. The house is quickly becoming a red battle line among the belligerent factions after the Soviet troops retreated to Russia.  When fire and shells intensify this small family scrambles to the “basement” which floods during heavy rain. The father of the Hero was proud of his children while liberating the nation but now he hates them: they are struggling for power.

            The mother of the “Hero” in coma had visited the woman’s family to engage her Hero to the cadet girl; it was not the turn of the cadet to be wed; it was not a problem; the Hero’s mother agreed on the second eldest girl; anyway the man was not to be present during the engagement: he was on the front battling the enemies and he never showed up for three long years.  The eldest girl 12 of age was given to a man of forty when the father failed to win in the quail fight.  The father adored the quails that he raised for the fights and never cared for his family.

            The mother’s Hero decided that her son should be wed after a year of engagement: it was too dangerous to leave the girl free in her parent’s house.  The woman was wed without the presence of her husband; the dagger (khanjar) of the Hero replaced him.  The married girl moved to the husband family for three years until the Hero returned from the war. All the while, the wedded girl was to sleep in the same room with her mother-in-law to guard her chastity; the newly wedded girl never was to set foot outside the house or mingle with her previous girlfriends until she moves out with her husband.

            The wife saw her husband three years out of ten; she saw her man occasionally during these three years. “I am afraid of you” was saying the woman to the man in coma. “The first night I actually saw, heard, and touched you I had my period. My aunt told me not to divulge that fact. You were totally inexperienced in intercourse and you failed many times.  You were proud of my virginity and the blood that came out of me. It was supposed to be “dirty blood” but you had no idea then.  I recall one night, I was soundly asleep and you came in drunk and you violated me; I faked to be sleeping. When you retired from me you saw blood on your tail and you struck me savagely for having my cycle and not warning you!”

            “You never allowed me to touch you when not making love.  You never permitted me to kiss you on the lips as I saw in the Indian movies;” went on the wife. “Now you are all mine and I can speak to you and you have to be listening to me.  When I left last night and removed your water supply hoping that the demon Israel would come and finally fetch you I felt so relieved and sad simultaneously.  Today, I know that I am relieved to see you alive: I can now divulge to you my deepest secrets; you would have killed me if you were healthy and knew all that I did in order to keep you for me”

 

            “Your brothers are cowards.  They wished that you fall dead on the war front so that they marry me in good conscious according to customs.  When the battle raged in our neighborhood your brothers refrained to take me and your two daughters to safety as long as you were alive.” The wife was confiding to her husband in coma.

            “After my dad gave away my eldest sister of 12 to a man of forty after he lost his bet in quail fights I let his prized quail out of the cage while praying in the mosque on Friday morning before the quail fights. I let the cat eat the quail and watched the cat eat it all.  My father beat every member in the family, including my mother.  I told him that what happened to the quail was the proper punishment.  My father understood what I meant and that I was the culprit.  My mother and sisters had no idea of what I was saying and thought that my punishment was due to my effrontery for retorting to dad.  My father incarcerated me in a dark room in the basement for two days; he let a hungry cat inside to nibble at me; there were so many rats inside that the cat befriended with me.”

            “Your dad asked for me alone when he was dying. He said that he saw the angel Gabriel; that he finally realized that the magic stone of patience was the Kaaba in Mecca; once this black stone inside the Kaaba disintegrates from the millions of complaints and confessions of the pilgrims then it would be the Day of Judgment”

 

            “Three militia fighters entered my house.  The leader asked what I do. I said that I sell my body to survive. He got very angry and said “Don’t you feel ashamed saying it?” I replied “Do you mean whether I am ashamed of admitting it or practicing it?” The fighter said “They will lapidate you to death if you admit it; aren’t you afraid?” 

            The leading man recited a verse of the Koran and said “Allah, Al-Rahman! Al Mueen! In the name of Allah protect me from Satan”.  The fighters left this impure house.  “They would have raped me if I were a “correct and proper” girl.  I know these types of men.  Fucking a whore is no prize for them; it is merely a transaction.  Raping a virgin girl is like raping her honor and they go for defaming people’s honor. Yes, my husband, my stone of patience now, you may meditate what I am recounting you. Oh my syngue sabour, I had so many secrets to tell you to relieve my soul.  You never gave me an opportunity to talk to you.  You were scared of talking to me. Now you have no exit and you will listen to all that I have to say.”

            Two days later, the youngest of the fighters, the one who stutters, asked me “How much?”  I understood and his gun on my stomach convinced me to agree.  He had a terrible time removing my trousers.  I had to remove mine and his. He ejaculated prematurely on my thighs. I caressed his long hair and told him “This is not a grave matter. All men do the same the first time.” 

            I recalled our first year together.  You could not full it off.  At the time I had no experience. I thought it is in the nature of things that man enjoys and that we women are satisfied with men feeling happy satiated.  One night, I was enjoying myself and you woke up at my muffled screaming.  I told you that I have the fever and you believed me.  You told me to join my daughters in the next room.”

            I told my aunt the story of the young fighter and she said “Next time you have to initiate your adolescent boy properly; bad lovers ends up worriers.  Make sure that your stutterer kisses with his tongue and speak with his tail”

 

            “You forbade me to see my aunt. You are all in the wrong. You know nothing of my beautiful and loving aunt.  She was married at the age of 12 to a dirty old man.  My aunt could not give him offspring and she was sent as slave to her in-laws. Since she was sterile her father-in-law abused of her sexually, day and night, for years. One day she broke her father-in-law’s skull with an axe.  My aunt left a short letter that she committed suicide and disappeared.  I was 14 of age when I never saw her again.  I found her three years after my marriage; she is taking care of my two young daughters when all your coward brothers refused to aid me in my predicaments.”

            “You see, my adolescent boy of a lover is a quick learner. I am teaching him properly.  You never wanted to learn.  You considered me as mere flesh; you would say “Hide your flesh woman”.  If I had tried to initiate you to the proper love making you would have broken my face.  You were and still are so naïve and stupid on the matter of the flesh.  You would say “It is my soul that gives me honor; it is my honor that protects my soul”.  Well, your soul is now overhanging in that pocket of perfusion administering serum to your lousy body. Now it is your body judging your soul.”

            “You see, this eldest militia man who spit on my face because I lied to him when I said that I am a whore to avoid being raped, well he is a bastard.  My adolescent of a lover is being used as his sex slave; in the evening he shackles my lover’s feet with little bells to dance for him; this bastard is burning my lover’s body which is covered by bruises all over”

 

            The fighting ceased for two days.

            The dogs are howling: They are hungry.

            There are no cadavers on the streets

 

            My father-in-law told me a Hadith. He said “The Prophet Muhammad, before he started disseminating his message, was convinced that he is going mad. He told his first and rich wife Khadija that he was hearing voices coming out of stones and that a giant with head reaching to the sky was appearing to him. Khadija asked him to warn her when the giant re-appears. One night at home Muhammad screamed; the giant was standing in front of him.  Khadija approached Muhamad to her bosom and said “Is the giant still standing?” Muhammad said “yes”.  Khadija removed her shawl and let her long hair drop to her shoulders and said “Is the giant still around?”  Muhammad said “No, he left”.  Khadija then said “Don’t worry.  This is no demon. He is an angel.  If he were a demon (Shaitan) he would have not respected my nakedness.  My father-in-law resumed “It is Khadija that was the true prophet; she revealed to Muhammad the sense of his prophesy, cured his bewitching visions, and saved him from the satanic sham”

            “You were sterile my man; my aunt knew the Wiseman who arranged that I get pregnant twice so that I may keep you to me. The Wiseman used to be my aunt’s pimp and he selected an inexperienced young man to do the job; the man entered with a band over his eyes; he was not to see me; we made sex in a dark room and with our cloths on. I had to guide him to perform sex. Do you know my man what is the last name of Allah?  It is exactly The All Patient (Al Sabour).  You are the last of God’s names in you actual physical state and I am your prophet, revealing my secrets and sharing them with you, my syngue sabour.”

  

            “I have been hurling my deepest secrets on the magic stone, my husband in coma. My aunt forbade me to divulge my secrets to the spiritual Hakim (the Wiseman) or the mullah because I am pretty much normal; my talking is dictated to me from Above. The black stone of patience is disintegrating.  I am not possessed by a demon.  The voices that come out of me have been silenced for thousands of years.    I am another prophet who has been revealed many secrets and I am disseminating the message.  The All Powerful Al Jabbar, it is I.  The All Merciful Al Rahim, it is I.”

           

 

Note: I have already published four posts on the French manuscript “Stone of Patience” (Syngue sabour) by Atiq Rahimi.  I am regrouping the four book review articles in one post. The Iranian Rahimi published several books in French such as “Earth and ashes”, “The thousand houses of dream and of terror”, and “The imaginary return”.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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