Oct 022016
 

isis crucification

Explaining Chapter 5 verse 33 of the Holy Quran
The verse appears to call for extreme and cruel punishment for those who wage war against God and His messenger.
The verse goes as follows, according to Yusuf Ali’s translation:
5|33|The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter;
This verse should however be considered in the light of other verses in the Holy Book which attribute these forms of punishments to the greatest enemy of God, namely Pharaoh.  Look at the next three verses, where these cruel punishments are threatened to God’s Prophet and the believers:
7|124|”Be sure I will cut off your hands and your feet on apposite sides, and I will cause you all to die on the cross.”
20|71|(Pharaoh) said: “Believe ye in Him before I give you permission? Surely this must be your leader, who has taught you magic! be sure I will cut off your hands and feet on opposite sides, and I will have you crucified on trunks of palm-trees: so shall ye know for certain, which of us can give the more severe and the more lasting punishment”
26|49|”Said (Pharaoh): ‘Believe ye in Him before I give you permission? surely he is your leader, who has taught you sorcery! but soon shall ye know! Be sure I will cut off your hands and your feet on opposite sides, and I will cause you all to die on the cross!”

This creates a better context within which to reach a proper understanding of chapter 5 verse 33.  A more correct translation would then be:
5|33|If anyone deserved being massacred, crucified, having their hands and feet cut on opposite sides, or removed from the face of the earth, then it would be those who wage war against God and His messenger, frantically spreading corruption on earth. To them would such humiliation be fit, and for them would there be a severe punishment in the hereafter.

Now let’s apply a modern day context to increase our understanding  of this verse.
Israel has declared that its enemies are fair game for assassination.  The US has declared that its enemies are fair game for drone strikes.  Both of these countries are also known to summarily incarcerate their enemies for lengthy periods.  America and Israel have furthermore been exposed for subjecting their enemies to severe humiliation and torture.
If that verse was to be applied to this modern context, and the language slightly adapted to our times, it would render a meaning such as the following:
”If anyone deserved being blown up by missiles, tortured or locked up indefinitely, it would be those who wage war against God and His messenger whilst vigorously promoting corruption and evil on earth… “
As you can see, the Quran repeats the cruelty of Pharaoh’s unjust punishment on the righteous and projects it back on the perpetrator of such cruelty.
It is useful to note that the Arabic of verse 33 is written in the passive mood.  It nowhere calls for Believers to mete out such punishment, only that such punishment would have been fit for those who spread corruption and engage in aggressive war.  It in fact implies that the same may happen to those who practice such cruelty, in which case they would have brought it upon themselves.

Mar 042016
 

How many times have you seen praises heaped on ancient priests, crediting them with an enormous contribution to the development of Islam. There are thousands of books written over centuries that, according to the misguided, constitute the corpus of Islamic knowledge. Books on law, books on Prophetic sayings and books on Quranic exegesis are all claimed to be representing the essence of Islam, in addition to the Holy Quran. The Salafists in fact describe themselves as the followers of the pious predecessors.

The reality is that man did not develop Islam. Islam is the gift from God. Islam is the social and personal manifestation of virtue. Islam is the gift of the Creator to every child, at the very moment that they are born, before they ever meet any scholar or priest. The Holy Quran says, in the second chapter: “This is the book, in which there is no doubt; A guide to those that are pious / conscientious”. How do we explain that the Quran, as a precondition, assumes the presence of piety or conscientiousness in its reader? Does that not mean that our natural instincts, with which we are born, are already wholesome and pure? After all, it would be unjust for the Creator to promise guidance to every person evenly, if we do not accept the premise that we are all born with piety / conscientiousness (Taqwa). How can God hold people to account if they were not given this piety or good nature to begin with? Would it not then be a suitable defense on judgment day to claim that one was deprived of piety and conscientiousness?

The fact is that we are all born with a core set of positive and noble traits. Telling the truth, having compassion for one’s fellow human, respecting the other’s property and person are all traits that we are all born with. In our early living years, provided that we have not been mis-educated or corrupted by an evil parent, we do not need to be taught these. Even a child, who takes a toy away from his little sister does so, knowing innately that it’s wrong. That’s why they will rather do it while their mom looks away!

The problem is that, as we go through our lives, we find our good nature compromised by various factors. When we experience hardship materially, we start entertaining thoughts of unjustly taking what is not due to us. When we experience abundance, we start entertaining the idea not to be compassionate or sharing. When we face danger, we start entertaining the thought of telling a lie, or even disrespecting another person’s property or his person.

As we grow older and start the process of social conformity, we compromise further. We then adopt the erroneous practices of our society for the sake of fitting in. The idolatrous society will seek to cultivate and perpetuate idolatry. Similarly, the society that is based on plunder and theft will cultivate plunder and theft. It takes much courage and possible isolation to attempt to abandon the corrupt practices of your society.

We are all born pure, and then start the process of contamination almost immediately; contamination caused by our own weaknesses and failures as well as contamination caused by our society. The mission of the scholar is not a mission of building something new, but rather a mission of undoing contamination. Our mission as agents for Truth is not to convolute or to complicate it, but rather to UNcomplicate it and to extract it . We need to undo the mesh that covers the truth for our society. The process of knowledge construction is actually a process of revealing truth and exposing error. The true act of devotion to God is the act of exposing first and then abandoning falsehood.

Let me use the metaphor of gold mining. Gold is not produced. It is pre-existent. The job of the gold miner is to identify it, crystallize it, purify it and then polish it to make it as radiant as possible. That, my dear reader, is the role of the scholar. The true scholar is a Truth activist. Scholars have the mission of seeking the truth from where-ever it is buried from sight, and to uncover, purify and illuminate it. The true scholar also has the mission of debunking falsehood, and then to bravely raise caution against it.

Now, let us apply this to the tradition of scholarship presently and over the centuries. Before I can do so, I have to add a further important aspect on the process of truth seeking and knowledge generation.

There exists a category of human knowledge that deals with the unique and idiosyncratic aspects of specific individuals and communities. Let me illustrate this type of knowledge via a practical example. It is Truth (capital T) to refrain from consuming certain harmful categories of food. Food becomes lawful if it is not usurped, not filthy, not poisonous or not harmful in any other way. To state that “Food should be clean, lawfully earned, non-toxic and beneficial” is a statement of absolute Truth that is universally valid. That is the Truth we are referring to as the pre-existent axiomatic Truth. Axiomatic Truths are objectively valid across time and space. It represents a standard by which all people should subscribe, in their own best interest. What is relative, subjective knowledge then when it comes to food?

Food preparation represents a mundane category of knowledge that is subjective instead of objective. To say “We prefer spicy food” may be true in one context, but false in another. Producing rice may be the right way to proceed in a water-rich place, while it may be a wrong to try to cultivate in a water-poor environment. The entire realm of gastronomy and the culinary arts fall within the realm of subjective and relative knowledge. The flavour and type of food that is consumed is unique to a person or a people, based on their preferences, their environment and their physiological needs amongst other factors.

It is useful to note at this point that eternal objective Truths in the realm of voluntary decisions of humans are few, while subjective relativist “truths” or knowledge is wide-ranging and numerous.

Eternal Truths are the pegs and the poles that provide integrity to the grand structure of human society, while the visible everyday practices of human society are the canvas. We are free to choose the fabric, the colour and the shape of the canvas cover. We cannot however have a meaningful structure without set of firm pegs and supports. This essay is not denying the existence of a category of knowledge that is subjective, pluralistic, relative and socially situated. It is a very necessary category of knowledge. It may in fact represent what is sometimes the most exciting and interesting part of everyday life.

The scholars of Islam and of Modernity have sadly confused these two categories of knowledge completely.

Muslim scholars have incorporated vast categories of relativist, subjective knowledge and practices under the category of absolute subjective Truth. Let me take some examples. Muslim priests have written endless treatises in which they split hairs about the mode of institutional worship (Salaah). This even though the core Truth proclaimed in the Holy Quran around institutional worship is very simple. The Quran merely call for worship to become institutionalized daily, done with sincerity, done in a social fashion and done in a state of cleanliness. The exact details are left as subjective details to be operationalised as and how it matches our particular needs. When we try to universalize subjective practices, we end up in trouble. How, for example does a person implement prayer at sunset, when the sun will not set for several months, as is the case in some countries. That is why the Holy Quran calls for a prayer cycle relative to “the two ends of the day.” The “two ends of the day” is a concept that resonates at any place on earth. We all start a daily cycle and end it. Now we simply have to structure institutional worship around that cycle.

Another example: Breaking the fast with dates is a subjective truth, relevant to places where dates are the staple food. Calling for people to eat dates, as a universally sanctified truth, in a place where maze is the staple food is stupid. Dress code is another example. The Holy Quran calls for a dress code that promotes modesty and public decency. The colour, shape and texture of clothing could be highly flexible, as long as it complies with modesty and decency. Yet, even here we find the silly call by scholars to universalize the colour and the shape of people’s clothing, and claiming Divine sanction for their imposition.

This act of inventing an extended realm of Universal Truth represents the corruption of pure Islam. It represents the act of usurping the authority of God, and imposing a parallel human authority along His Divine authority, claiming that they all represent His divine will. You then get the case where a particular practice becomes divinely ordained by one group while its opposite is also divinely ordained by another group. There are countless examples of this, if you consult the books of laws invented by the scholars. Some say a woman’s face should be covered, while others say its not necessary. Some say shell fish is forbidden by God, others say God has sanctioned its consumption. I can list hundreds of these examples from their books.

The role of a true scholar of Islam should be to rediscover unadulterated core divine Truth, and to expose relativist, subjective truths that are paraded as the Divine will. These are the practices that are meant to be formulated by people as and how their circumstances demand.

Where has the West gone wrong on the other hand? Modern western sociology has taken the opposite extreme of declaring all knowledge as subjective and relative, thereby denying the existence of eternal universal Truths. Its impact on society has been devastating. Post-positivists (as they are known) reject any notion of an objective truth. The result is a fractured society which lacks a transcendent set of values and principles. The neo-liberal global economy is the Frankenstein monster of post-positivism and post-modernism. It abandons universal values such as respect for property, compassion and justice. The end result is a world left to its own mercy. A world where the strong thrive and the weak are abandoned to misery and neglect.

Feb 132016
 

When I say my religion is Islam, then Christians and Jews hate me. They say Islam promotes violence and intolerance. They say Islam is a false religion.

When I say my mazhab (sect) is Islam, Muslims hate me. They say I must choose between being Shiite or Sunni. Islam is not enough. They say I must also join a sect.

After carefully looking at all of their beliefs, I have discovered the answer, and decided… My religion, my Madhab and my code is ISLAM. Let them all go ahead and hate me for that.

How did I come to this decision? They all say that I must spend thousands of hours mastering each of their systems in order to know enough about it. Only then can I be in a position to reject it. I disagree. I do not need to spend thousands of hours studying Sunnism, Shiism, Christianity or Judaism to find them to be false.

There is another easier way. I am using that easier way here to establish my position that pure Islam (minus Sunni or Shi’i) is all that is needed, no matter what the haters and the dividers say. Before I upset the Christians and the Jews, let me add. Islam is the word I use to refer to the religion which Jesus, Abraham and Moses brought. Islam is the term the Quran uses to refer to the religion of the One God. A follower of these prophets is, according to the Quran a Muslim.

Look at this verse:
“Abraham was not a Jew nor a Christian but he was upright, a Muslim, and he was not one of the polytheists.” (3:67)

Now here follows my reasoning for rejecting the false labels.

In Mathematics, you don’t have to analyze an entire theorem to disprove it. You don’t even have to know much mathematics to disprove it. All you have to do is demonstrate a case where it fails to hold true; just ONE case and the theorem loses validity. Universal claims are presented in Mathematics as theorems. A mathematical theorem is a claim to a truth. The universal truth-claims of mathematics must hold under all circumstances, times and places. Where there are exceptions, these should be mentioned as part of the theorem. The other point about a truth-claim in mathematics is that any one theorem must be coherent with all other co-existing valid theorems and laws. If I am able to show just one case where a claim to truth breaches another proven truth, then one of them must be erroneous.

Let us take an example.

The theorem of Pythagoras is an accepted universal rule for any right angled triangle. For the three sides a, b and c in a right angled triangle, Pythagoras’ theorem says that

a^2+b^2=c^2

Where a and b are the length of the two sides that form the right angle of the triangle and c is the third side of the triangle. All triangles of this type must always follow this rule. Now let us suppose for a particular triangle that side a =1, side b=2 then the equation for the triangle will be 1^2+2^2=5= c^2. The third side, c, squared, must be 5. So the third side c cannot be 3 as 3 is not the square root of 5.

No let’s say that I go and measure the sides of a right angled triangle, and find them to be of lengths 1,2 and 3, then there is definitely a mistake somewhere. Either the triangle is not a right angled triangle or either my measurement was wrong or either, Pythagoras’ Theorem is wrong. Now if I can show that the triangle is a right angled one, and that I have measured absolutely correctly, then, unfortunately, the great Theorem of Pythagoras has been shown to be false.

What is my point? My point is that a claim of universal Truth must be internally coherent, and errors can be uncovered by almost anyone who can expose internal inconsistencies. In the above case, I show that the mighty Theorem of Pythagoras can be disproven or falsified by anyone. All that is needed is just a simple ruler. The fact is that in 2500 years, no one has been able to do so, and therefore Pythagoras’ truth claim remains intact.

For me, any other claim of universal truth must pass the same test. The true test of a genuine true religious/philosophical life code must be its consistency. There must be no loop-holes, inconsistencies or compromises across the various aspects of your life, across society as a whole and across centuries of time. By “aspects of your life”, I mean ALL the facets of the life of any human being. By “across society”, I mean your worldview must be compatible with others that share the world with you, even those with different worldviews. By “across centuries of time”, I mean that core principles that hold today cannot become obsolete tomorrow. The core beliefs must remain timeless.

Let me explain a bit more what I mean. In simple terms, if you cannot practice every single element of your life, without at some point finding it impossible to contradict your religious code, then its claim of being a universal truth is false. Having fun, loving, fighting, competing, building, breaking, nurturing, laughing, crying and risking are among the activities that a truly fulfilled life engages in. If you cannot do all of these, throughout your life without finding it impossible to breach your code at any point, then your code may well hold as true or valid.

Let us take an example. The Islamic code makes the eating of pork forbidden. However, the code is accommodates a situation when there is the risk of starvation. The code accommodates the eating of pork in a time when failing to do so will lead to death. If there is nothing else to eat, then pork becomes lawful. The code is therefore wide enough to be applied under all circumstances.

This verse from the Quran explains the code:

“And why should you not eat of that on which Allah’s Name has been pronounced, while He has explained to you in detail what is forbidden to you, except under compulsion of necessity?” (6:119)

My point is that, as with the above example, the code must be so broad, that it works under ALL circumstances, with no exception.

If I can therefore find a case where a religious or philosophical code does not work for its followers, then I have disproven that code.

Let me put this to the test with some religious and philosophical codes I have come across.

Before I do so, let me raise a relevant question. Is there a need for a code? I heard someone say that they do not need a code. If you do not need a code of life, then does that not also define your code? In that case “I do not have any personal boundaries or rules” would be the code. That makes no sense, because even when you have no rules, you still have to refrain from eating poisonous food, which means you DO have a code.

Let us deal however with those who claim that they have no code. Funny enough, that is a common social world view / code in society today. I will refer to it as Nihilism. Many people today seem to adhere to this code. It basically says that you should act with absolute freedom, in your own best interest.
Nihilism is defined by Google’s quick word definition as “the rejection of all religious and moral principles, often in the belief that life is meaningless.” Much of the youth regard this as the default position, given all the trouble caused by religion and believers in God. Nihilism is often coupled with Hedonism, defined by Google as “the pursuit of pleasure; sensual self-indulgence.” Those who adhere to this code believe that their satisfaction and pleasure come first in all matters. Most people who embrace this code are quite good members of society. The problem lies at the extreme. A person who takes this code to its logical extreme would pursue pleasure and satisfaction even at the cost of other human beings. When you try to get ahead in your career, do you then undermine your colleagues? When you try to become rich and successful, do you then harm others? Sadly, for many, harming others in pursuit of pleasure has become a norm.

To feed their own need for satisfaction and happiness, how far will some nihilistic and hedonistic people go? The hedonist may rightfully argue that taking drugs gives him pleasure and is therefore justifiable. How do you convince a hedonistic society that over-indulgence can be dangerous, if pleasure is all that life is about?

What about the hedonist that crosses the boundary into sadism (getting pleasure from others’ suffering)? The most extreme cases are the serial killer or the mass shooter. The serial killer or mass shooter is a person who kills for personal pleasure. If my pleasure is the only principle that counts, then the world becomes a scary place. Welcome to a world of sadism, torture, expropriation and murder. No person can be an extreme nihilist hedonist without at some point getting into trouble with other people, or even cause his own death or incarceration. Having no personal code is therefore clearly a path that has led us to the world we currently see; a world of mass shootings, serial killers, drug abuse, suicide and unfettered crime.

Let me consider another modern-day non-religious code.

Let me look at the Liberal Humanistic / Secular world view. This worldview places the overall well-being of humanity at the core of its belief system. The undeniable fact is that this worldview is a modern interpretation of Darwinism, which preaches the survival of the strongest amongst species. One of the great guru’s of this worldview, Richard Dawkins regards evolution as a process devoid of morality, compassion and transcendence. Where, in this worldview does one find legal justification for social compassion? Where in this worldview does one find the legal de-legitimization of the despot and tyrant, who acts clinically in the interest of the human species as a whole? Hitler, and Stalin are good examples of men who followed very clinical processes of strengthening the species, even when it meant abandoning millions of humans beings which led to their death. Another problem with this worldview is that it becomes clumsy and unstuck when trying to answer the most profound questions that face us. Questions like, how non-existence became transformed into existence? The simplest mind knows that non-existence is the primary state, and that existence is the secondary state. For non-existence to become existence, requires an independently existing creative agent. They waffle when it comes to this question, pushing natural existence further back to more complex origins, instead of explaining it through a credible theory.

Let’s move on to a religious claim to universal truth.

I posed the question whether Christianity preaches non-violence and pacifism. The answer was, “yes indeed”, Jesus preached that turning the other cheek is the suitable Christian response to a provocation. It took Thomas Aquinas somewhere around 800 years ago to introduce into the overall Christian philosophy the concept of a Just War. This preaching against violence and war poses an obvious problem to theologically pure Christians. It would appear that most of them however simply opted to ignore this element of their religious world view, and simply go on practicing the rest of Christianity as if all is okay. It’s also interesting to notice that the most religiously steadfast Christian region of the US, often referred to the Bible Belt, is also the most ardent supporter of the American military. Can you therefore really be a good Christian and an eternal pacifist? If the answer is “no”, then you have disproven the Christian code. If you answer “yes”, then the Christian code becomes contradictory with basic human nature, which is to defend yourself and your loved ones from a violent attack. I believe that there is no person or country in the world that can uphold the standard of “turning the other cheek”, without being destroyed at some point in time by a violent enemy.

Probably the most contradictory Christian core belief is the absolution of the individual from personal accountability for his actions. The Christian belief that God sacrificed of his only son, Jesus, to absolve all humanity of their sins, offers blanket immunity to all from sin. Even the believing murderer, who confesses that Jesus died for his sins, is forgiven. Christianity also releases its adherents from complying with the ancient Jewish covenant with God; a covenant that included many earthly laws that were meant to ensure the smooth functioning of society. In place of the earthly laws promulgated in the Old Testament, Christianity placed the Law of Caesar; or the Secular Law; thus creating an earthly sphere of governance, independent from the divine sphere. Christianity therefore calls for a retreat from the earthly sphere, and even go so far as to concede that earthly realm to Satan. Does this core belief then not render Christianity irrelevant to the mundane earthly existence of its adherents? Sounds to me like a complete surrender of all earthly existence to Satan. If you are a good Christian, you have to believe that the earth as fallen to Satan (at least until the second coming of Christ.) Does being a good Christian not then mean offering Satan victory on this earth? Seems like a code of despair and surrender to Satan to me.

Muslims have also invented codes to further define their understanding of Islam. Today, many Muslims feverishly defend their Sunni or Shi’I identity. Each one claims that his understanding of Islam is the authentic understanding. Let us look at these Islamic codes.

Sunni Muslims face a crisis today, because it has no religious conception of the qualities and principles of societal governance and leadership. Imam Nawawi, in the classic Sunni jurisprudential work, Umdatus Saalik, spells out the requirements to be a leader in a Sunni worldview. Those qualities are three: 1. being a man, 2. puberty and 3. sanity. These are the Sunni preconditions for someone to be fit for high office. Sunni religious law allows anyone that possesses these three qualifications to get into power. Sunni law also allows any means, I repeat, ANY MEANS to get to power, including usurpation. In terms of Sunni Law, power legitimates itself. “Might makes right” in other words.

Under what legal proviso does one remain a steadfast, practicing Sunni, while at the same time condemning Saddam Husayn, and every other corrupt leader that dominated Muslim governance for the past 14 centuries? That, in a nutshell lies at the very heart of Sunni Islam and its difficulty to co-exist with modern human rights and democratic systems today. A good Sunni has a religious obligation to respect the man in power.

A peculiar belief in Sunnism is the sanctification of both parties in a war. The bloody war between Ali (the fourth Caliph) and Muawiya is a case in point. The orthodox Sunni belief is that both these man are virtuous and above reproach. This belief they hold, even though thousands of men died in the war between these two men. This belief sets a precedent for all future times, and opens the door widely for bloody internecine strife and civil wars, which incidentally characterized much of Muslim society, then and now.

I spoke to a Twelver Shia Muslim friend the other day, who told me that she is comfortable that her religion is the ultimate system by which she is able to lead a fulfilling life. She explained to me the concept of accountability through an earthly representative of God, namely the Imam of the age. Under the Imam of the Age, there is a hierarchy of leaders going down to her local cleric, who provides her with guidance on every aspect of her life. My question to her was, is it possible to comply with the “one universal leader” Imam of the Age concept when you live on a remote, undiscovered pacific island? If not, then that means that the “one leader” for all humanity is only realistic in a time when universal communication is possible; making it unrealistic, say 1000 years ago. In that case, the concept of one universal leader is definitely not possible at all times and places, rendering it not universal and thus making the claim to universality false.

My other problem is the following with this claim to universal truth. Twelver Shi’ism is based on the core belief that God will not leave humanity without a divinely appointed leader even for one minute. It goes on to claim that the present person who occupies this lofty office is Imam Mahdi. The Imam is however not physically accessible, since he exists in a state of occultation. This occultic state is beyond the perception of ordinary human beings. Does a person that is inaccessible then not render that person beyond reach, and therefore irrelevant to the mundane earthly needs and demands of ordinary people?

Probably the saddest response of adherent of false codes is when they refer me to their spiritual leaders to answer and explain some of their core beliefs. If one cannot yourself justify and explain the most fundamental beliefs you hold, then that should be clear warning sign. Imagine asking a fruit vendor why he charges more for the apples than for the oranges, and he refers you to an accountant to explain his decision. Following anything blindly is an immediate disqualifier, as the blind believer clearly professes that she or he has no problem believing something that makes no sense.

The reason I have exposed the weaknesses in these religious-philosophical codes was not to declare whatever of contained in them as completely invalid. Rather, I am trying to say that their claim to being a universal truth is false. They may have many elements that are true on their own, but the global claim to truth is false.

Is there a philosophical / religious grand worldview or life code that can stand the test of consistency and completeness at a universal level? In the interest of brevity, I will name the one worldview that stands up to any test; a universal truth that can find no point of contradiction with reason, human fulfillment and overall social order; a code that is the very definition of social order, personal fulfillment, nature and reason. I will name it and challenge the reader to explore and test it further.

Quranic Rational Theism aka PURE UNADULERATED ISLAM is a worldview that shows no flaws of inconsistency, relevance or scope. By Quran is meant the scripture that can be traced back to a credible human testifier as a medium or channel of such scripture. By Rational is meant coherence and compliance with the innate human faculty of reason. Reason serves as corroboration of Scripture. No scriptural position is allowed to contradict Reason. Any such scriptural claim (contradicting Reason), is immediately exposed as false. By Theism is meant the recognition of the existence of a supra-cosmic creative agent; i.e. a Creator that exists independently of all created existence; the necessary existence, the supreme embodiment of all reason, benevolence, justice, truth and morality.

I am not presenting something new here, my dear reader! Every authentic biblical Prophet (Peace on all of them), came with this message! Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad all brought this simple message to us earthlings. ‘Recognize and revere your Creator, God! Recognize and comply with His natural laws! Recognize His messengers! Comply with reason! Establish kindness and compassion within society!”

Every other sincere rational seeker of truth in history arrived at a similar position. Men and women like Emmanuel Kant, Isaac Newton, Plato or Socrates. Their undeniable positions were: “Behind the origin of the universe is a single Creator. The Creator has created an internally rational and consistent system. Morality is innate to Man, and connected to Man’s recognition of God.”

A word on terms we use. Terminology often illicits negative sentiments. This is so because words often have a stigma because of the images they seem to be referring to. We may hate a thing, and the word that refers to that thing will evoke a negative sentiment. “War” and “killing” are two examples. A generation ago the word “gay” had a meaning much different to the current meaning. If you called someone “gay” in 1960, it was no problem, because it only meant “being happy or jovial”. In 30 years much changed for the world, and in 1990, if you called someone “gay” it could illicit a strong, even violent response. By that time, the word had acquired the new meaning of being a homosexual.

The same goes for Islam and Muslim. When I say the word “Muslim” today, it may evoke a negative feeling in some. It is therefore more useful to refer to a concept rather than a word.

The religious/philosophical worldview that I am presenting here is age-old, and has surfaced under different names throughout history. Let us look at the word “Islam”. Morphologically the word comes from the root “sa-la-ma”, which has these meanings: surrendering, complying, being peaceful or being wholesome. The word “Muslim” refers to one that surrenders, complies or upholds peace. In its religious context, compliance with human nature and the Divine Will is implied. Now take the word “Quran”, from the word “qa-ra-a”, meaning: reading, rendition, proclamation or announcement. At numerous places in the Quran, as a proclamation from God, the reader is challenged to consider various phenomena in nature to confirm the integral connection between God, Nature and Reason.

Look at the following verses:
Surah An-Nahl, Verse 12:
وَسَخَّرَ لَكُمُ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ وَالشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ وَالنُّجُومُ مُسَخَّرَاتٌ بِأَمْرِهِ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ

And He has made subservient for you the night and the day and the sun and the moon, and the stars are made subservient by His commandment; most surely there are signs in this for a people who ponder;
(English – Shakir)

Surah Sad, Verse 29:
كِتَابٌ أَنزَلْنَاهُ إِلَيْكَ مُبَارَكٌ لِّيَدَّبَّرُوا آيَاتِهِ وَلِيَتَذَكَّرَ أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ

)It is) a Book We have revealed to you abounding in good that they may ponder over its verses, and that those endowed with understanding may be mindful.
(English – Shakir)

Surah Al-Hadid, Verse 8:
وَمَا لَكُمْ لَا تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالرَّسُولُ يَدْعُوكُمْ لِتُؤْمِنُوا بِرَبِّكُمْ وَقَدْ أَخَذَ مِيثَاقَكُمْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ

And what reason have you that you should not believe in Allah? And the Apostle calls on you that you may believe in your Lord, and indeed He has made a covenant with you if you are believers.
(English – Shakir)

Surah Az-Zumar, Verse 28:
قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا غَيْرَ ذِي عِوَجٍ لَّعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ

An Arabic Quran without any crookedness [discrepancy], that they may guard (against evil).
(English – Shakir and my square bracketed insertion)

Before Sunni Islam and Shia Islam, there was just islam, more as a descriptive noun (small letter) than a proper noun. That means there was natural, peaceful compliance with nature under the will of the Creator of Nature. Before the Church and all its creeds, there were just People of the Covenant as Jews were referred to. The Covenant with God referred to compliance with the will of Yahwe, the Supreme Creator in return for a society blessed with harmony and prosperity. Before Rabbinical Judaism, the Talmud and countless man-made complicated mosaic laws, there was simply the Covenant: Worshipping the One God, who created the universe, and shaping all voluntary human activity in line with the gracious, nature that Man is naturally supposed to have.

I am not inviting to a new religion here; only pleading for a rededication to the original, unadulterated, uncomplicated call of the Creator, to our rational mind and to nature.

Almost every major religion started out as a means to achieve harmony with the universe under God. For a few centuries each of these were practices in its pure form, and then unfortunately underwent deviation under the influence of those in positions of power. For Christianity, the deviation to a religion preaching Trinity and other alien and unnatural ideas was brought about by the senior church fathers after about three centuries, and culminated in the Nicene Creed, which was adopted after about three centuries of the departure of the noble Messenger of God, Jesus Christ (peace be upon him.) For Judaism, this deviation took the form of attaching an infinite number of complex and infinitely difficult laws when the Rabbis developed the Talmud as a non-revealed additional “divine” source of law. For Islam, this deviation took place approximately two to three hundred years after the noble Messenger of God, Muhammad (peace be upon him.), when scholars incorporated a corpus of about a million reported sayings of the noble Prophet into the fabric of the religion. The “Hadith”, as a corpus of claimed sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (p), became a second holy source of Divine Law, even though it lacked all the powerful bases for authenticity that the Quran had.

Some Muslims refuse to see that Islam became deviated. They refuse to see Hadith as a problem. They even go to the point of raising Hadith to the level of sanctity of Quran. For the benefit of these Muslims, let me explain briefly the difference in authentication methodologies between Quran and Hadith.

Every verse from the Holy Quran is transmitted through multiple oral chains of narration from the Prophet himself, and was further corroborated by a written record, also recorded from the mouth of the Prophet, at his instruction. The Quran is universally accepted in its present form, and there exists no rival versions of the book. Before his death, the Prophet himself authenticated the complete copy, and there has never been a dispute amongst the leaders that followed the Prophet about the text of the Quran. This was the case even though there were several civil wars, which presented an ideal opportunity for rival claimants to the office of Caliphate to come up with spurious versions of the book. This never happened, which substantiates the point that the Quran is the authentic words from the mouth of the Prophet, by universal and consensus. The nonsensical claims of some critics that Uthman burnt some rival versions is bereft of any real substance. The other claim by a German scholar (Puin) that the ancient Sana’a manuscripts differ from the Quran in use, really amounts to nothing. If anything the Sana’ manuscripts reinforce the reality that the Quran is very authentically preserved.

But the best test for the Quran is the book’s own challenge to any reader to come up with any discrepancy, contradiction or flaw in the book. This challenge is easy enough. After all, even the great Shakespeare was found to have made grammatical errors in his works. The tougher challenges, which the Quran has stood up to is the challenge to find an internal contradiction in the text. This should be easy enough to find, since the book comprises 6236 verses, revealed over 23 years, which presents a strong opportunity for internal contradiction. None has been found to date. Detractors point to the contradiction of Quranic facts with Biblical facts, but this claim does not amount to a charge of internal contradiction. So the challenge remains. Then, finally, there is the challenge to expose any contradiction with a known fact of nature. This should be easy enough, since the book was written long, long before the time of great scientific discoveries. I have recently been confronted with several apparently “unscientific” assertions in the Quran. In the book download sections of this site (thecall.co.za), I gave a detailed response to these charges, which all turn out to be puny attempts at impugning the reputation of the Quran.

Why is the Quran so important? The Quran describes itself as a “criterion”. If we can establish, beyond every shred of doubt, the authenticity of at least one divine scripture, it becomes possible to authenticate every other scripture in its light. With a perfectly preserved Quran, the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Hadith and every other claim to divine communication can be verified. The Quran in fact becomes as a rescuer and a redeemer of every claimed sacred text. The Quran is the ultimate alignment tool, to regenerate the authentic, rational, naturally harmonious religious philosophical worldview that was brought by every great Prophet and every great truth seeker.

The power of a rational, Quranic society is displayed in all its glory when one reflects on the Golden Age of scientific and intellectual progress of Muslim society in its initial years (750-1258 CE), prior to the full sacralisation of Hadith as a belated grafting onto the sacred core of Islam. The next great era of human progress can be seen only around 1500, when the shackles of illogical Christian beliefs are loosened, thanks to an imbibing of fresh intellectual breaths from Islamic thinkers such as Averroes. Enlightened Christians, clearly under influence from their crusader adventures to Islamic lands led a new wave of intellectual and scientific progress, placing mankind on a new renewed progress trajectory.

Mankind was great when it professed a clean, simple, rational, theistic code of existence, freed from priesthood, senseless dogma and ignorance. That is the call of this essay. That is my own profession, whether the haters like it or not.

Feb 042016
 

stoning_adulterer

There is no Quranic basis for the stoning of an adulterer. The concept of stoning does occur in the Quran, but not in describing a punishment for women (or men.) Rather, it appears in the holy book in the context of infidel opponents threatening the stoning to the Prophets and the Faithful. In other words, the concept appears as an evil torment visited by the evil upon the good. The Qur’an exclusively presents torture as a sadistic practice of barbaric peoples. The following Quranic references illustrate this point:

Surah 11, Verse 91:
قَالُوا يَا شُعَيْبُ مَا نَفْقَهُ كَثِيرًا مِّمَّا تَقُولُ وَإِنَّا لَنَرَاكَ فِينَا ضَعِيفًا وَلَوْلَا رَهْطُكَ لَرَجَمْنَاكَ وَمَا أَنتَ عَلَيْنَا بِعَزِيزٍ
They said: O Shu’aib! we do not understand much of what you say and most surely we see you to be weak among us, and were it not for your family we would surely stone you, and you are not mighty against us.

Surah 19, Verse 46:
قَالَ أَرَاغِبٌ أَنتَ عَنْ آلِهَتِي يَا إِبْرَاهِيمُ لَئِن لَّمْ تَنتَهِ لَأَرْجُمَنَّكَ وَاهْجُرْنِي مَلِيًّا
He said: Do you dislike my gods, O Ibrahim? If you do not desist I will certainly stone you, and leave me for a time.

Surah 44, Verse 20:
وَإِنِّي عُذْتُ بِرَبِّي وَرَبِّكُمْ أَن تَرْجُمُونِ
And surely I take refuge with my Lord and your Lord that you should stone me to death:

Surah 36, Verse 18:
قَالُوا إِنَّا تَطَيَّرْنَا بِكُمْ لَئِن لَّمْ تَنتَهُوا لَنَرْجُمَنَّكُمْ وَلَيَمَسَّنَّكُم مِّنَّا عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
They said: Surely we augur evil from you; if you do not desist, we will certainly stone you, and there shall certainly afflict you a painful chastisement from us.

Surah 18, Verse 20:
إِنَّهُمْ إِن يَظْهَرُوا عَلَيْكُمْ يَرْجُمُوكُمْ أَوْ يُعِيدُوكُمْ فِي مِلَّتِهِمْ وَلَن تُفْلِحُوا إِذًا أَبَدًا
For surely if they prevail against you they would stone you to death or force you back to their religion, and then you will never succeed.

Surah 26, Verse 116:
قَالُوا لَئِن لَّمْ تَنتَهِ يَا نُوحُ لَتَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْمَرْجُومِينَThey said: If you desist not, O Nuh, you shall most certainly be of those stoned to death.
The concept of the stoning of the adulteress is present in another scripture, namely the Jewish Torah. It is from the Torah that this concept found its way into the corpus of Muslim Law. The subsuming of this cruel practice into Islam is a false and fraudulent act that has no justification. It will go down as one of the biggest crimes in history and all those in support of it will have to take responsibility for it in front of God Almighty.

Stoning women is a practice that was carried over from the Babylonian Talmudic Priests, to their new priestly counterparts within the nascent Islamic legal orthodoxy. In Islam, the practice is traced back to a false narration from the Prophet in the Muwatta, compiled by Imam Malik. The narration, in fact ascribes the abomination falsely to the Prophet, via the second Caliph, Omar. As is well known, the period of Omar’s rule coincides with the conquest by the Caliphate of Babylonia, which was at the time filled with Jewish Academies, highly productive in producing Jewish law. It was during the early centuries 650 CE onward, that much of the known Jewish innovations into the corpus of Islamic law took place. Islamic scholars concede to the phenomenon of “Isra-ee-leeyaat” as the taking up of Jewish practices into Islam during this period.

The Jewish Virtual Library (retrieved 3 Feb 2016) describes the world of Jewish scholarship in Iraq with the advent of Islam around 650 CE as follows:

The Academies of Babylon

At the beginning of the new era, the academies were in the final process of editing the Babylonian Talmud — a colossal work of discourses on almost every discipline, accumulated over the previous four centuries. From this point on, the Rabbis would relate to the Talmud as a closed text (even though, for the most part, it did not appear as a written book for some centuries). The headmasters of these yeshivot were called Geonim, and their eminence was such that the first half of the classic Muslim era is referred to as the Geonic period (mid-7th century to mid-11th century) in Jewish history, a period which spans the entire Abbasid dynasty.

It is no wonder that the incorporating of this vile and inhuman practice happened during this early period. The tool that was used to inject it into Islam was false hadith, of which millions were in circulation by that time. By their time, the famous Muslim Babylonian scholars Bukhari (810 CE – 870 CE) and his student Imam Muslim (815 CE – 875 CE) testified to the widespread practice of inventing sayings and attributing these to the Prophet Muhammad.

The Stoning of Women Clearly Violates the Quran

The Qur’an has stated in no unclear terms what the actual punishment is for adultery. Take a look at this verse from the Qur’an and try to see of there is anything unclear about it. (Emphasis is mine)

Surah An-Noor, Verses 1-2:

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful…

سُورَةٌ أَنزَلْنَاهَا وَفَرَضْنَاهَا وَأَنزَلْنَا فِيهَا آيَاتٍ بَيِّنَاتٍ لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ

(This is) a chapter which We have revealed and made obligatory and in which We have revealed clear communications that you may be mindful.

الزَّانِيَةُ وَالزَّانِي فَاجْلِدُوا كُلَّ وَاحِدٍ مِّنْهُمَا مِائَةَ جَلْدَةٍ وَلَا تَأْخُذْكُم بِهِمَا رَأْفَةٌ فِي دِينِ اللَّهِ إِن كُنتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ
وَلْيَشْهَدْ عَذَابَهُمَا طَائِفَةٌ مِّنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

(As for) the fornicatress and the fornicator, flog each of them, (giving) a hundred stripes, and let not pity for them detain you in the matter of obedience to Allah, if you believe in Allah and the last day, and let a party of believers witness their chastisement.
Where is the doubt in these verses that the punishment for Zinna (fornication/adultery) is lashing NOT stoning. I suddenly hear some voice shouting the words “But that is for the unmarried person. The Married adulterer must be stoned!” That is the voice of the brainwashed person arguing with God Almighty. Let me explain. The concept of Zinna (Fornication) as used in the Quran includes both categories, married or unmarried. The word Zinna in the Quran refers to BOTH fornication AND adultery. There is no verse anywhere in the Holy Book that prescribes stoning as a punishment for adultery in any way. If you want to go on believing in it, you need to invoke the Hadith. But keep in mind the words of God almighty in the above verse: “This is) a chapter which We have revealed and made obligatory and in which We have revealed clear communications.” Continuing to call for stoning of women means allowing weak narrations to override what Allah Almighty has clearly prescribed.

Why do Muslim Priests Refuse to Denounce this Practice?

The stoning of women is a practice that dates back many, many centuries to the age of the “Salaf us Saalih” or the “Fine Forerunners” of Islam. Indicting a practice so deeply engrained in the religion is akin to questioning the very foundations of the faith. Conceding that such a huge mistake could have been made would result in a major crack right across the legal foundations of Shariah Law. It could in fact lead to the very questioning of Hadith as a second major source of Shariah Law.

I believe that this is exactly what is needed. Beyond the indisputable word of Allah as contained in the Holy Quran, Muslims should be questioning every single man-made contribution to Islamic Law. That is the great purge that is needed.

Shaykh Ahmad Mansour further refutes the Law of Stoning in the Islam…

The Lie of Stoning in Narrations (Hadith):

1. Although the stoning punishment was invented in Abbasid era, it was never unanimously approved. The contemporary Sunnah scholars admit that Al-Mu’tazala and Rejectionist (Khawarej) rejected the stoning. (Sayyed Sabiq, Sunnah Scholarship, 2/347, the Encyclopedia of Scholarship based on the four dogmas, 5/69 written by Abdel-Rahman Al-Jazzeeri).

2. The oldest narrations about stoning were mentioned in Nowata of Malik in a narration by Mohammad Ibn Hassan Sheibani. The narration started as: (Malik told us that Yahya Ibn Saeed heard Saeed Ibn Mossayyab said: When Omar Ibn Al-Khattab came from Mina …etc). That means the original narrator of this anecdote was Saeed Ibn Mossayyab. He claimed that Omar delivered an oration claiming the existence of the stoning verse in Qur’an, but it was omitted. However, Ibn Mossayyab was two years old when Omar was assassinated. How can a crawling baby telling stories about Omar. So, it is impossible for Ibn Mossayyab to be the narrator. Also, it is impossible for Omar to say something like that. It means that Omar accused the Qur’an of being forged and this is blasphemy. God, Almighty, said: “We revealed this Qur’an, and we are protecting it.” Al-Hijr 9. So, as far as the subject, this narration is false. In this narration, they attribute a verse to stoning that says:” The senile man and women shall be stoned if they commit adultery”. It is very well known the concept of senile does not indicate the marital status. One can reach this stage and stays single. Mohammad Ibn Hassan Sheibani felt this shortcoming in the meaning and realized by commenting on another narration about the Jewish adulterers (Narration no. 694):( Any Moslem man committed adultery with a woman and was married to a free Moslem woman and copulated with her, and then he shall be stoned. This is the “married” man. If he did not copulate with her or she was A Jewish or Christian, then he is not married and no stoning. He shall be flogged with hundred lashes. This is the saying of Abu Haneefah and the majority of scholars). Sheibani (a student to Abu Haneefah and one of the two scholars in the Hanafis) put a specific definition and a correction to the narration of stoning related to Omar that included adulterous “senile” people. In his definition, “senile” was no longer the criterion for stoning the married adulterer, but also, the Moslem who married a free Moslem woman. However, the one who married a Jew or a Christian, his marriage is not complete and no punishment for his adultery.

3. There is another anecdote in Mowata no. 692. This anecdote is completely false under all measures. Malik narrated this anecdote from Ibn Shehab (Al-Zuhry) who narrated this by himself. Al-Zuhry lived towards the end of the Umayyad era and was one of the followers who never met the Prophet, peace be upon him, or lived his time. Even though we read the following in Mowata: (Malik told us that Ibn Shehab told us that a man admitted committing adultery during the reign of the Prophet. The man testified against himself and was ordered to be stoned. Ibn Shehab said: For this, one can incriminate himself by self-confession.

4. The narrations were iterated after Malik. Shafi’e, Bukhari and Moslem wrote them. Sometimes these narrations claim that certain verses in Qur’an did exist and omitted. Bukhari, died yr 256 A.H., narrated from Omar Ibn Khattab, who died 200 years before him, about verses that were omitted from Qur’an and Omar declared them late. Some of these narrations claim that the stoning rite was stemmed from the monkey’s society before Islam. Bukhari narrated in his anecdote no. 3560:” Naeem Ibn Hmmad told us about Hasheem about Amr Ibn Meimoun saying: I saw before Islam a bunch of monkeys stoning an adulterous monkey, and I did the same with them. It seems that the monkeys’ society before Islam was ahead in applying the stoning. Anybody asked about this monkey’s marital status? Did the narrator discuss this issue with the Clergy of the monkeys and how to prove the occurrence of adultery? Did the monkeys use four witnesses? All of these narrations contradicting themselves.

5. Contradiction in narrations:
Contradiction is the main characteristic of Narrations. Two kinds of contradictory characters appear in narrations: partial contradiction in the details of the same story, and major contradiction among different stories. As an example of the latter, Bukhari produced a narration about a man came to the Prophet and admitted committing adultery. The prophet avoided him. The prayer time came and the man witnessed the prayer with the Prophet. He reiterated his confession to the Prophet and demanded to be punished. The prophet said to him: did you not pray with us? The man said: yes. The Prophet said: God forgave your sin. This means that prayer forgives the sins and negates the stoning. This is a stark contradiction with other narrations that are damped with the stoned victims’ blood.

While Bukhari, Shafi’e and Malik narrations emphasized that the punishment for the married adulterer is only stoning, we found that Moslem narrated repeated stories emphasizing in them that the Prophet said: The punishment of the single is 100 lashes and one year exile. The married punishment is 100 lashes then stoning. The danger in these narrations that it made the punishment for the married adulterer was 100 lashes before being killed stoning. This is another contradiction with other narrations.

These stories and anecdotes were written in the books of narrations to become major source of legislation for Moslems. Especially, when the scholars and the storytellers celebrated them and everyone re-iterated these narrations as “real” and “rites”. This was emphasized by the application of these narrations that sent many men and women victims to death based on legislation God never authorized.
References

R. Y. (2016) Great Rabbis of the Muslim Empire | Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved February 03, 2016, from https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/muslim_rabbis.html

Mansour, A. (Retrieved 2016) The Stoning Myth. Retrieved February 04, 2016, from http://www.ahl-alquran.com/English/show_article.php?main_id=2687

Jan 172016
 

welath poverty

There are many religions practiced in the world today. There are also neo-religious philosophies such as Neo-Atheism and Scientism. I have found a surprisingly high level of commonality between the core assumptions and beliefs of all of their adherents. By saying this, I have to add that present-day religious followers may not even be aware of how similar their beliefs and assumptions about the world are. I hear some of you vehemently disagreeing with me. Keep in mind though that it is possible for people to be at war with each other and still adhere to the same core values. My point is that religious differences have actually reached a level of superficiality in the world today.

I hear you asking me what about religious fundamentalism from ISIS and their equivalents. My own position is that ISIS is a movement aimed at transferring power through using religious sentiments and a religious programme. Zionism, similarly was a movement aimed at securing power for Jewish power brokers, more than it was a religious movement. The religious element was contributory and supportive, and not core to the goal of achieving a power base.

So I repeat there are core assumptions commonly shared by the Muslim, the Jew and the rest. Here are some of these common assumptions:

Fatalism: Most people, from all major religions have resigned themselves completely to some or other fatalistic view of the world. Speak to a Muslim, a Jew or a Christian and you will sense a high level of acceptance of, even a resigning to our world and a fundamental acceptance that he or she is really powerless to change it. This “inevitability” of the way the world is, is subscribed to by almost all. People are happy to go along with the way the world is evolving or devolving. If you mention poverty, hardship, debt, inequality, crime, war, personal depression and disease, which are all at crisis levels, you find a sense of detachment from the problem by most. People display a clear attitude of powerlessness, whether Muslim, Christian, Atheist or Jew. This powerlessness, manifested in indifference, cannot be described other than being a form of fatalistic acceptance of the world.

Absence of reflectiveness and spirituality: Religions have become social formations rather than centers of wisdom, reflection and spirituality. I agree that there are plenty of religious practices that involve personal ecstasy and devotion to charismatic figures and events. The question is, to what extent does the singing in the church, the gospel industry, the Hajj industry, the Halaal industry or the attachment to charismatic priests reflect reflectiveness and spirituality? I am of course referring to the majority of adherents today, not all. To most, spirituality, deeper reflection and meditation over the world and our own role in it, is sadly non-existent.

Respect for and yielding to the powers that be: Whether that power is just or unjust. All religious adherents refrain from declaring as illegitimate rulers that uphold systems that are unjust. Some may be involved in futile and impotent processes of rotating rulers, but the basic ruling class almost always goes unchallenged. The attitude of people reflects an attitude of complacency with their rulers, and a childlike trust of the ruler or at least the ruling class.

Submission to popular norms, behavior and practices: Consumerism, personal propulsion, and individualism are every bit as part of Saudi society, as it is of Israeli, British or Chinese society. It may just be more pronounced in classical Western societies, but believe me; the Muslim is as keen to form part of these modern social phenomena as the Jew or the Hindu for that matter. We all willingly submit to the latest politically correct speech or practices. Our behavior is virtually shaped by those who speak to us every second of the day through popular art and the media. Arabic music, Hindu Muslic and Western music are a case in point. Music from all of these cultures generally reflects frivolousness at its best or debauchery at its worse.

personintrash

All of this makes me realize that the world has in fact in recent times morphed into a one-religion world. Deep within, almost all of us share the same core assumptions and values. We accept our sick global reality as the unalterable way of nature, our corrupt ruling classes as unchallengable, and our only real goal to be that of establishing ourselves firmly in positions of wealth and comfort. We revere the same things and we aspire to the same things. That makes us common adherents of the global establishment. Anyone who stands up and questions the king, the corporate controllers or the state is regarded as a heretic to the accepted order.

But that leads me to a further deduction, namely that we have embraced the unequal, corrupt and cruel world order we all experience. We accept the benevolence of the billionaire classes and the corporations, in their hold over our leaders (elected or not.) We (perhaps subconsciously) blame the poor for his poverty, the victim of war for the war, the debt slave for his debt or the refugee for the civil strife that turned him into a refugee. We have embraced indifference to the injustice that has befallen our world. Very few of us see our role as that of activists needing to overthrow the system. We may raise a polite objection but very rarely a radical programme to challenge the system.

What I witness has much in common with the Hindu caste system which makes it a religious principle to embrace social inequality and neglect. The Brahman at the top of the hierarchy decides what constitutes virtuous behavior for all people, and the poor despised Untouchable at the bottom has no other choice than to wallow in his misery as a life-long curse. The Brahman is innately virtuous and pure, receiving their guidance from God alone. The Untouchable is impure, superfluous and a burden on society.

According to Hinduism, in the middle, one finds the rulers, the merchants, the farmers and the labourers. All in service of the Brahman. The question is: Who are the Brahman in the new world order?

 Posted by on January 17, 2016 at 9:28 pm  Comments Off on One World Religion: The new global religious caste system?
Jan 112016
 

“Fields of Blood”

Armstrong, one of today’s leading historians of religion, and author of The Case for God, considers the roles violence has played in different faiths. Tracing the roots of Crusades, Jihads, and various non-violent practices, Armstrong looks back to humanity’s earliest societies and shows how notions of the sacred were accommodated to or supplanted the warrior ethos.

“The Theology of Revolution”

“The theology of revolution — for Western people, that sounds almost a contradiction in terms,” author Karen Armstrong said.

 Posted by on January 11, 2016 at 10:10 pm  Comments Off on Karen Armstrong Talks
Jan 062016
 

http://yournewswire.com/the-house-of-saud-is-a-western-plot-to-control-the-middle-east/

The House Of Saud Is A Western Plot To Control The Middle East

by Sean Adl-Tabatabaiyournewswire.com
January 6

The House of Saud isn’t exactly what it appears to be, as the Saudi Arabia royal family was actually born out of a zionist Western plot to exert control over the Middle East on behalf of the UK and U.S.

The west wished to dominate the Arabian Peninsula, with its vast oil reserves and geopolitical advantages offered by its highly sought after location, and they have done exactly that.

Stateofthenation2012.com reports:

The original conspiracy to dominate the Arabian Peninsula was hatched by a rogue Zionist clan that murdered and killed, pillaged and plundered, bribed and blackmailed its way to the top of the Arabian heap.  That’s not to say the various nomadic tribes that populated the land were in rife competition to rule the Arabian roost.  They were not, which is why the crypto-Zionist imposters were able to execute their scheme to take over the peninsula.

The plot was implemented over many years in the midst of unsuspecting Muslim nomadic tribes whose primary concern was the survival of their roving communities. Only with this historical knowledge can the barbaric ways of the Saudi Arabia of today be properly understood.

It’s as though the whole Middle East is being methodically set up to host the final battle of Armageddon.  Not a day goes by without some major event that can easily evolve into a full-blown World War III scenario.  The ongoing regional war actually began with the unlawful attack on Iraq by the USA and UK post 9/11.  Subsequently the AAA-engineered Arab Spring brought revolution and civil war to virtually every other nation with the purpose of so destabilizing the region that the Greater Israel project would proceed with unimpeded.  The NWO globalist cabal that is implementing the New World Order agenda has a specific schedule which must be adhered to if there is any prospect of success.  Given that the regular Shemitah events did not occur during September and October of 2015 , they are already seriously behind schedule.  (Source: http://themillenniumreport.com)

Sunni versus Shiite

The single most important element of this engineered multi-century global conflict is the never-ending family feud within Islam.  The split between the two largest Islamic denominations — Sunni and Shiite — forms the basis for so much internecine conflict which was then surreptitiously exploited by the West. The Anglo-American power structure recognized early on that Mideast oil would be the primary source of oil to run their economies.  Once that realization was made, both the USA and UK set about the process of securing those supplies by every means possible.

The establishment of the Modern State of Israel was integral to the Anglo-American strategy to exert total command and control over the entire Middle East.  Toward that end Saudi Arabia has been used as the “800 pound gorilla” that effectively controls OPEC, the largest oil cartel on Earth.  Being the recipient of decades of American military hardware and weaponry, the monarchy now possesses a formidable fighting machine as well.

The critical point here is that the present monarchy was set up as a rogue nation that profoundly oppresses it citizens as it represses elements of society that are out of sync with their extremist form of Wahhabism.  Consequently, the unelected government has been consistently empowered to operate as a totalitarian state in every way.  It tolerates no opposition to its autocratic manner of governance and arbitrarily dictates perhaps like no other tyranny on the planet.  In short Saudi Arabia is consistently the worst perpetrator of human, civil, and religious rights violations in the world community of nations.

King Salman: Madman of the House of Saud

Saudi Arabia has made several serious mistakes under the leadership of the year-old regime of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.  This particular monarch is already known for his madness, so many bizarre and crazy things have occurred on his watch.  Many wonder if it is really not his son, the Defense Minister and Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, who is really running the show with an iron fist.  In either case Saudi Arabia has left the reservation of civil society by their inhumane actions and reckless inactions over the past 12 months.

So many unacceptable events have occurred in just a year’s time which clearly indicate that Saudi Arabia has quite deliberately cast itself as an extremely violent and unpredictable nation.

This reputation for savagery has been quite meticulously cultivated in order that the populace will not organize a countrywide uprising.  It has also been fastidiously fashioned in order to create a ‘new’ no-nonsense image for the ‘benefit’ of the international community.  Especially by flexing its muscles in Yemen, Saudi Arabia has shown the world that the current regime will not hesitate to commit naked acts of military aggression against civilian populations of foreign countries.  The PR purposes associated with the outright annihilation of Houthi woman and children in Yemen have been particularly shocking and deliberate in this regard.

Fanatical Wahabbism and the Creation of ISIS

However, perhaps the best way to understand the true forces behind the Saudi Arabian dictatorship is to grasp the Wahhabi roots of ISIS terrorism and the extremist Islamic State (IS).  By and large the quasi Sunni branch of fundamentalist Islam known as the Wahhabi are nothing other than trained terrorists who staff the terrorist organizations and armies of ISIL.  As a matter of fact, they have nothing to do with real Islam and were created to bring disrepute to that religion.  The original Daesh are in fact Wahhabi educated and acculturated.  This multi-decade conspiracy to destroy Islam from within was designed in the same world capitals that fabricated and foisted the Modern State of Israel (MSI) on the world–the Vatican, London and Washington.

Wahhabism is the most militant and fraudulent form of fundamentalist Islam in the world today.  In reality, it is not Islam, but a highly distorted variant that was manufactured in the Vatican, London and Washington, D.C. as well as Tel Aviv after Israel was first acknowledged by the United Nations in 1948.  Because the USA and UK played such an integral part in the formation of Wahhabism their clandestine partnership with the Saudi Arabian monarchies has been carefully hidden.  Likewise, until very recently, Israel’s furtive relationship with Saudi Arabia has also been kept quite secret.  In this way the U.S. and U.K., Israel and Saudi Arabia (SA) have been perpetrating a massive and complex deception on the world-at-large.

The end result of this geopolitical stratagem is the creation and maintenance of ISIS terrorism, ISIL armies and the emerging caliphate of Islamic State.  It is only with the material and moral support provided by all four co-conspirators — US, UK, MSI, SA — that the Islamic State is able to exist to any degree of cohesion.  Likewise, only through the direct support of the CIA, MI6, MOSSAD and GID (aka the General Intelligence Directorate in Saudi Arabia*) has ISIS been able to systematically steal Syria’s and Iraq’s oil and then transport it uninhibited to both Turkey and Israel.

Of course, all of these Mideast ‘initiatives’ are only a part of a much greater scheme known as the Greater Israel project.  That project, however, has experienced a major interruption the form of Russia’s entry into the Syrian theater of war.  Not only has that covert conspiracy to significantly enlarge Israel’s borders been fully exposed by the Russian military, it has been effectively halted … for now.   Nevertheless, ISIS & Company continue to sow their seeds of chaos and mayhem throughout the Northern Levant, all to the advantage of Israel and their Anglo-Americn collaborators.

Unjustified and Barbarous Execution of Prominent Shiite Cleric

The previous background is essential in order to correctly understand the most recent inflammatory act of the Saudi Monarchy.  The regime has quite provocatively executed a very prominent Shiite cleric at a time when tensions throughout the Middle East are already extremely high.  Such an offensive state-sponsored assassination could only have been approved by their Anglo-American masters.  Hence, it is clear that this high-profile murder was designed to push the Mideast into a full-scale war scenario.

There was simply no other reason to kill the highly respected Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr except to provoke the Shiite people of Iran and other countries that have large Shiite populations.  Put another way, if there was one individual in Saudi Arabia who should have been protected at all costs, the good Sheikh is that person so revered is he throughout the Arabian peninsula and beyond.  Therefore, there can be no doubt that this was a carefully planned and staged execution carried out in order to inflame the tensions between all Shiites and Sunnis in the region.

Saudi Arabia was chosen to commit this atrocious deed because it is already inoculated to public opinion both within country and internationally.  This is why the regime is publicly castigated for it human rights record and many acts of barbarity.  Sharia law as it is carried out in Saudi Arabia is the most cruel form of any that is administered around the globe.  It is as though they aggressively promote such an image of brutality so that they can always get away with it.  The world has come to expect nothing more form them.

As for the execution of the Shiite Sheikh, that exceedingly provocative act has now succeeded in ramping up tensions between Shiite Iran and the many Sunni-dominated countries within Saudi Arabia’s orbit.  Nations are now, in rapid succession, proclaiming their allegiance to the Saudi cause against Iran, particularly in the wake of the destruction of the Saudi Arabian embassy.  In view of the Saudi invasion of Yemen those lesser states are quite easy to herd into the Wahhabi pen of unwarranted aggression toward Iran and her allies.

All of this provocation and anticipated reaction was quite calculated on the part the Anglo-American Axis(AAA).  Because the AAA has the full military strength of NATO behind it, there is no nation in the Middle East that will stand up to the Saudi aggression.  Both Turkey (a NATO nation) and Saudi Arabia have become key partners in the thorough destruction of Syria for the sake of their participation in the Greater Israel project.  After all, both nations have been led by governments whose key leaders have been hardcore but secret Zionists and well as Dönmeh cryto-Zionists.

2016 and Beyond

2016 will prove to be the greatest year of consequence in the Middle East and beyond.  Only if the BRICS-aligned nations can prevent full-scale war from breaking out will the global community of nations have overcome a major hurdle toward some type of world peace.  It is actually a cessation global conflict which may be achieved, not a true durable peace.  As long as the Anglo-American Axis[2]continues to dominate the world through military aggression and political coercion, false flag terrorism and gunboat diplomacy, financial terrorism and economic sabotage, there can never be a true peace.

Now that Turkey and Saudi Arabia have been exposed as agents of the AAA who are working in league with Israel, the political calculus of the Mideast geopolitical chessboard has been completely rearranged.  Fortunately the new board positions has Russia in the “King” position with Iran playing the “Queen”.  The USA has revealed itself to be a state sponsor of ISIS terrorism and aggression.  Great Britain has likewise shown itself to equally duplicitous and untrustworthy.  Former PM Tony Blair was especially transparent in his unlawful quest to wage an illegal war against Iraq.

The same AAA players followed the same basic subversion playbook and war plan in Iraq, Libya and Syria.  And they fully intend to complete the Mideast sweep by eventually going after Iran.  Their only problem is the BRICS Alliance.  Which is precisely why so many BRICS members have become the target of various endeavors to economically and financially, politically and socially destabilize their nations.  Brazil is that last to succumb to outside political and financial meddling pushing the country into a deep recession.

Conclusion

The best thing that can occur in 2016 is that the Western powers will experience an event so unforeseen and preoccupying that they will be forced to withdraw their troops from their hundreds of military bases around the world.  The endless interference by the Anglo-American Axis is so disruptive that only when it is finally terminated will the planet experience any meaningful order.

Conversely, the reign of the once Almighty Dollar must come to an end.  America’s global dominance has hinged on the petrodollar functioning as the world reserve currency.  As each nation leaves the Yankee slave plantation, which was painstakingly established using the IMF and World Bank to turn countries into indentured servants, the AAA loses the dollar-denominated financing necessary to fuel its war machine.

Now that Saudi Arabia (and Turkey) have been revealed as vassal states created to do the bidding the Zio-Anglo-American juggernaut, the world will no longer be deceived by their Mideast posturing.  Israel’s true intentions have also been laid bare for all to see.  This is why the Arab Spring was carried out so quickly and countries fell like flies.  All of them are to be either subsumed in the future Greater Israel or will be compelled to assist with its advancement.

From yournewswire.com

 Posted by on January 6, 2016 at 7:20 am  Comments Off on The House Of Saud Is A Western Plot To Control The Middle East
Oct 072015
 

It has been difficult for Quran commentators to fully explain this chapter.  If you read various English translations, you will find a fair degree of differing interpretations.  I have consulted prominent Arabic dictionaries (Lisaanul Arab, Al Asri, and the Al-Islam website to arrive at a completely literal and faithful translation of the Arabic.  The images conjured surprised me,..  I reproduce my literal translation without comment…

, بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ, In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

1, وَالْعَادِيَاتِ ضَبْحًا, By those who veer off, while making a blowing sound,

2, فَالْمُورِيَاتِ قَدْحًا, And by those who ignite with sparks,

3, فَالْمُغِيرَاتِ صُبْحًا, And by those who conducted the raid the morning,

4, فَأَثَرْنَ بِهِ نَقْعًا, by which they then caused a dust cloud,

5, فَوَسَطْنَ بِهِ جَمْعًا, and through it, penetrated the ranks.

6, إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لِرَبِّهِ لَكَنُودٌ, Truly Man is dismissive of his Lord,

7, وَإِنَّهُ عَلَىٰ ذَٰلِكَ لَشَهِيدٌ, and he himself attests to that.

8, وَإِنَّهُ لِحُبِّ الْخَيْرِ لَشَدِيدٌ, So extreme is he in his desire for wealth!

9, أَفَلَا يَعْلَمُ إِذَا بُعْثِرَ مَا فِي الْقُبُورِ, Does he then not realize that when the contents of the graves are exposed,

10, وَحُصِّلَ مَا فِي الصُّدُورِ, and the secret is revealed…

11, إِنَّ رَبَّهُم بِهِمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ لَّخَبِيرٌ, That their Lord was even on that day well aware of them?

 

 Posted by on October 7, 2015 at 10:48 pm  Comments Off on Translation of Chapter 100 of the Quran
Apr 302015
 

The major religions like Judaism, Christianity and Islam all have plenty of constructive elements. (I even think that the rational core of an Atheist as a response to irrational elements of religions is something constructive.) Religions, based around a sacred and transcendent core deity, each has something very special to offer mankind however. I wish to list what I see as the most powerful contribution of each of the religions that I have considered. What makes me capable of seemingly arrogantly coming here and declaring my views on various religions? Let me offer some credentials firstly then: I spent almost 9 of my most formative years in Christian schooling. With the exception of my final three years of primary school, which I spent in a Muslim class, the rest were all spent in Christian schools and predominantly 90% Christian classes. During these years I joined in with my Christian class [Read further…]

 Posted by on April 30, 2015 at 10:56 am  Comments Off on Every Religion I Know has Good to Offer
Apr 232015
 

All religions promise a good life on earth. Many of them also promise a good life after we die.   All religions preach very different ideas though. Who do you believe? I can imagine the answer coming from most of you: “I am happy with what my parents brought me up in.”   If you believe that, then I have one more question to ask you, after which you can happily stop reading. My question is, if each person’s parents taught them the best religion possible, and calls other parents’ religions false, then how do we know which one is telling the truth? Like for example, if my parents are Muslims and your parents are Christian, and both regard each others’ beliefs as being wrong, whose parents does a neutral person seeking an answer believe? If this question troubles you, keep reading. If not, thank you for your time. If I flip [Read further…]

 Posted by on April 23, 2015 at 1:10 pm  Comments Off on Which Religion??
Sep 072014
 

12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

 Posted by on September 7, 2014 at 12:25 pm  Comments Off on JOHN 16
Sep 042014
 

I have put up a comprehensive response to 25 questions (some very offensive) from a self-declared islamophobe. The Questions include stuff like: “Marrying a child in Islam” “Beating one’s wife” “Allah deceiving Christians” “The sun sets in a pool” Download the 1 Meg pdf Here

 Posted by on September 4, 2014 at 10:15 pm  Comments Off on Responses to 25 accusations of an islamophobe