Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Omar bin al Khattab

“Why I was not asked to vote?”

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 bin Abi Taleb 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?”

These are not current statements of a Moslem, Sunni or Shia or of another Islam sect. They were pronounced by a simple Moslem 1,400 years ago, during the first Islam civil war called the Battle of the Camel.

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.

Since time immemorial, the most common form of electing leaders is the peer council forum, (or Shawra in Islam) in political and professional voting systems.

It took the American revolution over 6 decades before attempting a modified form of universal voting system during President Andrew Jackson.

Pragmatically, the peer format is still practiced in the most democratic and developed States. It is the peer council that select the candidate, finance and organize political campaigns.

Even today, most political parties put forth the ideology that peer systems are the most viable systems in order to select experienced and reliable candidates who proved to be consistent and have conforming attitudes to the status quo.

Most political leaders who managed to succeed in their revolutions were convinced that no power can rely on the common people to snatch, sustain and consolidate institutions.

Peasants were historically catalogue as the most conservative and retrograde of citizens. The core members, and professional intelligentsia were considered to be the backbone for any renewal.

The leaders relied on a circle of experienced and professional activist and manipulators to organize, lead and control the movement of the masses.

The rhetoric and speeches of the political leaders fool the crowd into believing that they are the real power and that what is being done in their name is what’s best for them and for the nation.

May be peer councils is the case pragmatically, but universal voting systems, supported by a fair election law, have this major benefit of short-cutting the advent of virulent, violent and bloody insurgency movements.

Societies need a large span of peaceful continuity and stability in the laws in order to consolidate legitimacy and strengthen the institutions and to insure steady development.

The fact is that the developed superpower colonial States have devised a couple of Default political systems for the developing countries to emulate. For example, Democracy is in and Liberty is out. Free trades is in and self sufficiency is out… Otherwise, all hell of State supported media will come down on these retrograde political systems

Date Zero: Prior period to Islam is untouchable to investigation; (April 1, 2010)

Islam calendar starts in 622 AC, the date the Prophet Muhammad fled to Medina (Yathreb) from Mecca.

The past or before date zero, or the culture and tradition of pre-Islam Arabic Peninsula, has been practically untouched by researchers and Islamic investigators.

The period prior to 622 or year one of “Hegire” is lumped as the period of ignorance (Jahiliyya) by Moslems.

The Arab World still teaches pre-Islamic poetry and poets; it is mostly through these poems that the Arabs are acquainted with the very rich parts of pre-Islamic culture, traditions, and customs.

Fact is, you cannot understand Islam without the contexts that pressured the prophet Muhammad to compromise with the multitude of tribes allied to Byzantium and Persia empires.

We can claim that a curtain (hijab) has descended on pre-Islamic period simultaneously with the veil that descended on women after the Prophet’s death.

Thus, women were banished from political power and dealing with political affairs in public two decades after Muhammad’s death.

This is no coincidence that Islam after Muhammad’s death had made the connection between pulling a curtain on the Jahiliyya period and the veiling of women in society; removing women from the public political landscape.

During Jahiliyya, each Arabic tribe worshiped idols made of wood or stone; there were many Jewish and “heretic” Christian-Jew sects (as labeled by Christian Orthodox Byzantium Empire) in Arabia and in Mecca.

The 3 most potent and powerful idols were female idols such as Al Uzza, Manat, and Al Lat.  Although the tribes made their yearly pilgrimage to Mecca where the Kaaba contained over 360 idols, this pilgrimage was mainly for doing commerce and enjoying the weeklong festivities and debauchery.  The main pilgrimage (hajj) for the powerful tribes was to their preferred idols in other locations and towns.

The pragmatic nomads in the Arabic Peninsula and the neighboring deserts have created idols commensurate to their individualistic needs to vent their frustrations with periodic sacrifices, including babies of both genders.

During Muhammad’s time, baby girls were mostly the sacrificial human kind by poor families, especially in periods of great food distress.

Since violence, revenge, and frequent wars “razzias” against other clans were the norm for looting of animals, camels, and slave girls…  powerful female goddesses were purchased and erected for pilgrimage as scapegoats to the tribes’ violent activities.

Thus, female goddesses represented violence, symbol that violence and revenge are the mark of female behavior and dark spirit.

For example, goddess Manat (death) was the oldest idol and was worshiped by the tribes of Aws and Kazradj that inhabited the region of Yathreb, later called Medina (the first Islam City-State).  The original meaning of Manat is taken from a Semitic root meaning “counting of the days of life” that connote death (manyya).

The temple of Manat was a natural rock (sakhra) on the coast between Mecca and Yathreb; the two tribes considered that the pilgrimage was not complete until they stopped at the temple of Manat where they shaved their head and offered sacrifices. Manat was a powerful goddess dictator (taghia) and swords were deposited in her temple.

The Prophet gave his nephew Ali bin Abi Taleb the two swords in the temple after it was demolished; one of the sword was called Zul Faqar. Representatives of the tribes of Aws and Khazradj had extended permission to Muhammad, after three years of negotiation, to settle in Yathreb with his converts after the tribes of Mecca decided to chase them out.

The other female goddess was Al Lat and was worshiped in Taif, a region on the eastern shores facing Persia.  The main tribe of Taif, the Banu Taqif, erected square walls around the rock of Al Lat.  Most desert tribes, all the way to Palmyra in northern Syria, worshiped this goddess.

Al Lat had all the attributes of goddess Athena wearing battle helmet, breastplate, armor, and holding a lance.  Banu Thaqif was one of the latest tribes to submit to Allah because Muhammad failed at several expeditions to enter Taif. Actually, it was Taif that was the preferred destination to Muhammad when he decided to flee Mecca but he was chased out of Taif after his failed negotiation to settle there.

The third most powerful “taghia” goddess was Al Uzza (dignity, physical force and power); the most powerful tribe of Quraich in Mecca consecrated her.  Al Uzza was the most violent divine warrior and was represented in the form of a tree or three acacias trees and located way up north in Nakhla as Shamiya on the way to Iraq’s caravans.

The temple of Al Uzza was equipped with a slaughtering alter (manhar) called “ghabghab”.  General Khaled bin Al Waleed was ordered to destroy the temple of Al Uzza in 630 after Muhammad entered Mecca peacefully as the victor.

General Al Waleed was the Quraich leader who defeated Muhammad’s troops in the battle of Uhud; this failed campaign of the Prophet generated 3 years of civil unrest in the City-State of Medina and most of the verses that abridged female equal rights that were previously gained in the first four years.

Note: About ten years after Muhammad’s death, the Arabic Islamic Empire had extended vastly.

The governor Abu Mussa al Ach3ari wrote to the second caliph Omar bin Al Khattab: “You sent me several letters that were not dated.” Omar assembled a council to set up a calendar.

A few opted to using the Byzantium calendar, others the Persian calendar, but the majority recognized that a calendar means power and wanted an Arabic/Islamic calendar.

The discussions led to adopting the date of the Prophet’s immigration to Medina in 622 AC as Date Zero. Omar had said: “this is the year that divided truth from falsehood.”

Islam lunar calendar is of 354 days and started with the month of “Muharram”; the pre-Islamic particular month that prohibited wars and revenge among clans.

In pre-Islam, the tribes used to add one month on the third year for calibration with their commercial dealings. Muhammad forbid to add this month; thus, the Islamic calendar is one year ahead for every 33 Christian years since the year 622.

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.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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