Saturday, May 28, 2016

SO-CALLED HUDUD PUNISHMENTS

HUDUD LAW, AGAIN!

By: Kassim Ahmad
17 March, 2015

            Some Muslims pride themselves for upholding what is called the hudud punishments. Do they really know what they are talking about? They think it is God-ordained law. Are they right? They should remember the lessons of history. Did the Jewish Prophet Moses bring the religion of  what is now known as Judaism? The answer is: No. Did Prophet Jesus, also a Jew,  bring the religion of what is now known as Christianity? Again the answer is: No. Did Prophet Muhammad, an Arab, bring the religion of Sunnism and Shi’ism? Again the answer is: No.
            Human history is littered with errors that came to be accepted later as "facts". We are not talking of small errors. We are talking of big ones. That explains the rise and fall of nations. One author has described this historical evolution as "recurring, multilinear, yet ascending." That means on the whole, we are progressing, but the line of progress is not ascending linear, but multilinear, sometimes ascending, sometimes descending.  
            Let me cite just one authority, Prof. Mohammad Hashim Kamali. This paragraph is taken from his book, Punishment in Islamic Law: An Inquiry into the Hudud Bill in Kelantan (Kuala Lumpur: 2000) is very telling: “When we compare the Quranic usage of hadd (in the sense of limit) with the use of this term in fiqh, we notice that a basic development has taken place, which is that the term hadd has been reserved to signify a fixed and unchallengeable punishment that is laid down in the Quran or Sunnah. The concept of the ‘separating or preventing limit’ of the Quran is thereby replaced by the idea of fixed punishment.” (p. 46)
            There you have another example of a major error made by great scholars. That is precisely why the Quran warns us of idolizing leaders or scholars. We could be kind if we choose to pardon them by saying that it was their understanding, or their ijtihad, which must be reviewed by the next generation.
            The term hududu’l-Lah (God’s boundaries) occurs in the Quran 14 times, none of which refer to fixed punishments, as understood by some Muslim jurists. One scholar opioned that, “The unchangeability of the hadd punishement is supported by the interpretation of the Quranic verse: ‘These are the limits of Allah. Do not transgress them.’” (2: 229) The verse does not  mean what he says it means.
            Let us take some of the so-called hudud punishments. Cutting of the head for apostasy, when the Quran advocates complete freedom of belief, some 1,400 years ahead of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; stoning for adultery, cutting of the hand for theft are three of the six or seven of the so-called fixed punishments propounded by Muslim jurists.  Take note these run counter to the fundamental teachings of the Quran.
            Take note also that the divine order to our courts is to judge among people with justice. (See Quran, 4: 58) Surely God Who decrees upon Himself mercy (Quran, 6: 12) cannot enact such archaic and barbarous laws.
            The term ‘hudud’ul-Lah’, meaning the boundaries of God, simply means in every action there is a boundary that one should not overpass. Take the case of eating: one must eat to survive, but he must not overeat. In between there is a boundary set by God that he should not cross. As in the case of eating, so in all cases of human activities. It is sometime called ‘The Golden Mean’, the middle path.
            See how even great scholars have made mistakes! That is precisely the reason why God warns us of idolizing leaders. It is incumbent upon succeeding generations to re-evaluate the legacies they inherit from the older generations.  
            It is to be remembered that Muslim jurists of the four schools differ much in their views. We need not go into them. We should take note that these punishments are taken from the Torah.  They crept into the so-called sunnah/hadith, or Prophetic traditions, i.e. traditions ascribed to Prophet Muhammad. Muhammad’s name is so great among Muslims that anything said to originate from him is sacrosanct.
We should also note that the Quran has two dimensions, the historically-bound, and the universal. The historically-bound will be surpassed when the historical context no longer  prevails. They will pass over into the universal. The two universal principles are: equal punishment, and merciful punishment. The first means punishment equalling the crime, and the second means lightening the punishment, up to and including pardon. We can see that the two universal principles have been imbibed into all modern civilized societies. 
Take not that Brunei has last year declared that it would implement Hudud punishments, with the exception, according to reports, that Brunei royalty is exempt from them. 
            The final and unchallengeable proof that there is no such thing as the hudud fixed punishments is that they are nowhere mentioned in the Medina Charter promulgated by Prophet Muhammad himself when he migrated to Medina.
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KASSIM AHMAD is a Malaysian freelance writer. His website is www.kassimahmad.blogspot.com




Thursday, May 12, 2016

WHOM SHOULD WE FOLLOW IN STATECRAFT?



WHOM SHOULD MALAYSIANS FOLLOW IN STATECRAFT?
By: Kassim Ahmad
10th May, 2016

            The great victory in recent Sarawak state polls raises the question of the 2018 14th General Election. We have followed the Westminster parliamentary type of democracy since independence. We have survived many crises, but still many are the weaknesses in our system. One of them is the clause in our Constitution stating “Islam is the religion of the Federation.”
            Now a country or state obviously has no religion. Its citizens have; ours consisting of the religions of Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and even animism. Although freedom of religion is guaranteed in our Constitution, the clause on Islam forever poses a danger of narrow and rigid interpretation of Islam  by officialdom. It has happened several times in Malaysia. This is a potential  threat to peace and harmony in our multi-national and  multi-religious country.
I remember Prophet Muhammad’s famous  Medinah Constitution which stipulates religion to be autonomously administered by its adherence. This is the right way to solve the matter.
            Taking cue from there, we might as well go the whole way. Why do not we re-examine our Federal Constitution and amend it to conform to the Prophet’s Charter. After all, Prophet Muhammad and Prophet Abraham have been mentioned in the Quran as our examples. Prophet Abraham was a progenitor of all humankind; he was a strict monotheist and he set the example of complete freedom for all mankind by destroying all false powers, even against his own father’s polytheism.
            Now Prophet Muhammad’s  Medinah Constitution was the first written constitution in the world. [1]  It gives its plural citizenry security, freedom and justice.  Dato’ Din has kindly published this constitution with my detailed comments in his blog. This important constitutional document can be excessed in my blog (www.kassimahmad.blogspot.com)
            Although our Constitution was promulgated by great jurists, including two  Muslim ones from India and Pakistan, they seemed unaware of the Medinah Charter. It is time we bring it up, as it is a seminal legal-political document of early Islam at the time of its republican-democratic period of the Prophet and the four  rightly-guided caliphates of Abu Bakr, Omar Ibni Khattab, Uthman Ibn Affan and Ali Abi Talib.   
            Of course, many will object because we are a constitutional monarchy and the Medinah Charter is medieval, medieval by European time-scale. Europeans consider the Treaty of Westphalia (1648) as the beginning of the modern world.
            According to Pakistani philosopher, Muhammad  Iqbal, Prophet Muhammad’s  advent ( prophethood 622-632) begins the true modern world.[2]  I agree with him. Muhammad was the only prophet who was not given any miracles by God. All previous prophets had their miracles to convince the peoples of their times of the authenticity of their prophethood. Muhammad’s miracle is the Quran. [3]
            The Arab armies of liberation took only sixty years to conquer the then two superpowers, most of the hegemonic Byzantine Empire and the Persian Empire, to become the Number One power in the world of the 8th through to the 15th centuries. It created a brilliant scientific civilization and culture never before seen in the world. This is attested by several objective Western writers, such as Robert Briffault  [4]and G. Satron. [5]
 Islam had its Golden Age when its Dar’ul-Hikmah (Academy of Science) took over and transmitted, with their own incomparable contributions, to the then world’s  knowledge and wisdom to. Without this important intervening Islamic  centuries, European Renaissance would not have occurred and the modern world would not have emerged.
Such is the magnitude of the contribution of  Islam to the modern world. Unfortunately, most Western historians have conspired to erase this phase of world history. It is rightly condemned by Briffault and G. Sarton.

KASSIM AHMAD is a Malaysian author. His website is www.kassimahmad.blogspot.com     

 



[1] M. Hamidullah, The Fist Written Constitution in the World (Mohammad Ashraf: Lahore: 1975).
[2] The first revelation to Muhammad was,”Read, in the name or your Lord, who created. … Read, and your Lord, Most Exalted, eaches by means of the pen. He teaches man what he never knew.” These five verses caused a revolution in man’s thinking. It started the modern scientific age. (Quran, 96: 1-5) See Muhammad Iqbal, The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam (Lahore: 1958); h. 126-127.    
[3] See Quran, 29: 50-51.
[4]  See his book, The Making of Humanity (Lahore: 1919)
[5] See his Introduction to the History of Science Vol I-III (1927-48: Baltimoe: Willims & Wilkins). 

Thursday, May 05, 2016

THINKING IS hARD


THINKING IS HARD
By: Kassim Ahmad
5th May, 2016
 

            A teacher in my college in Alor Setar, when he posed a problem, used to say, “Come on boys, put on your thinking caps!”, as if thinking was outside the mind.
            Now thinking is a function of the brain that God placed at the top of you and covered it with a hard protective cover. Surely, the brain must be special, and special it is. It is a tool given olny to Man, the Homo sapiens, and not to other created orders, neither to the mineral, nor to the vegetable, nor to the members of the animal kingdoms. Only to man, the vicegerent of God, tasked to rule and change the world. What a wonderous being a man is!
            Yet how many people use their brains? Most would follow their ancestors, even if doing this would lead them to certain doom. That is why many civilizations have come and gone. Britisah historian, Arnorld  J. Toynbee, in his 12- volume A Study of History  counted 19 major civilizations that have come and gone.
            Why is thinking hard?  I presume because you have to stand outside yourself and think. Nowadays we say: thinking outside the box, the box meaning following the crowd, i.e. your ancestors. That is easy, and most people do that.
            Remember, Man’s God-given task is to rule and change the world to his liking. Remember, the angles protested against the creation of Man, saying that he is a corruptor and shedder of blood. Of this destructive side of him we have seen enough. The two World Wars stand as witness. But there is another side of him that the angels did not know. That was why, to their protestations, God answered simply: “I know what you do not know.” (Quran, 2: 30)      
            It was as if God had gambled. What if Man misbehaves and acts as the corruptor and shedder of blood, as the angels have predicted? Where will God put His face? Who will worship Him after this? As the Inquisitor in Dostoyevsky’s psychological-realist novel Brothers Karamazov  stated, “If there is no god, everything is permissible.” That includes murder! What a horrible place the world would be then!
            In another location in the Quran, when the whole created order refused the task of God’s vicegerency and only Man excepted it, God’s response was to lightly rebuke him and said he was unjust and ignorant. (Quran, 33: 72). Here we can see that God knows his bad side but at the same time acknowledges his capability. This capability is to create civilizations and thereby improve his life. This improvement needed courage and sacrife, courage to go against the status quo and sacrifice to challenge current orthodocxy. The history of man tells the story of courageous individuals, the like of Socrates of ancient Athens down to the present day.  Fortunately in moden Europe and America, such brave individuals, working good for the sake good, are no longer killed, but honoured.
            Thus thinking in the best part of our world is now rewarded. Not yet in Malaysa where orthodoxy reigns supreme. Sadly Muslim nations are at the bottom of the ladder. Are our leaders thinking? Why should we be at the bottom when our divinely-protected scripture, the Quran, defines us as the best nation ever produced (Quran, 3: 110) and that our religion the one approved by God (3: 19)? That means our leaders and our scholars are not thinking. How sad!      
             Being sad, though natural enough, is not sufficient. We have to get out of the rut.  The wonder is that the book of guidance has been with us for more than fourteen centuries. Although it has catapulted us into the Number One community for eight centuries, since our fall in the 13th century, we have  remained a fallen community up to now.
            What should we do to regain our rightful place in the world? We possess the best book of guidance. Surely, our scholars and leaders read this book. What is their answer?  Think!  Although thinking is hard, our great ancestors have done it before.  We can do it again now.

KASSIM AHMAD   is a Malaysian author. His website is www.kassimahmad.com.my



Sunday, April 24, 2016

WHY I WRITE

WHY I WRITE
By; Kassim Ahmad
24th April, 2016

            I developed a penchant for writing  when I was in secondary school. It was to create a world of my own, a world beyond and above reality, a utopia, so to speak, withing the bounds of reason. It means a world that can be realized, a just world, in other words.
            I write to please no man, although many men and women are in fact enthralled by my writings, and ask me to go on writing. I write to uphold the truth. I make no apologies for being a monotheist, in the footsteps of the true great masters, prophet-messengers of our One Creator, -- a religion of submission, to wit, a mukmin, a believer in the existence of one lawful God. 
            I also make no apologies for believing in the divinely-protected Quran, a scripture given in Arabic to an Arab Prophet Muhammad. I say protected, because I know it is protected by a mathematically-awesome-imposible-to-imitate structure based on 19. (See Quran, 74: 30). It is what has come to be known as Code 19.
            All prophet-messengers are without exception are submitters to God, monotheists and believers. The great names include Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. Jesus was one of the great monotheists of his time. When I stated that Jesus was not a Christian, but a  monotheist, a submitter and a believer, most Christians were up in arms against me. Let me repeat, I write to please no man; I write to the uphold the truth, although the truth is bitter. The doctrine of Trinity was promulgated by the Christian Church in the Council of Nicaea in 315 A.D., long after Jesus was dead.
One Christian reader asked why Jesus had no father; he must be the son of God, he argued. Another claimed that Christians felt the Trinity in the marrow of their bones. The current Pope Francis, a “peoples’ pope”, who when he visited the United States recently never talked about doctrine, but talked about the down-trodden and about inter-religious dialogue. The Pope knows better.
It is a truism that one should not discuss religion. “It is sensitive.” Again I say I write to please no man. I write to uphold the truth, although most people do not like the truth.
What the is the truth? asked Pilate, the Roman governor charged with judging Jesus, whom he found not guilty of rebellion.
This is what I call “the Mother of All Questions”. Does the truth exist objectively? To Jesus it does, for he said, “The truth will set you free.” To answer this question is to answer all questions. Why did God create this world? One answer among many goes, “God created the heavens and the other with truth.” (Quran, 22: 44) What does that mean? It means all orders of creations submit to the law of truth. It means God is the truth.
Some clever people might asks, “Can God contravene His own law of truth?” The answer is of course He can, but God  will not  act against Himself. That would mean two gods who would fight for dominion. That is impossible. As to the atheist, who says religion is the opium of the masses, challenge him to create one that will last beyond his lifetime.

KASSIM AHMAD is a freelance writer. His website is www.kassimahmad.blogspot.com     
 


Thursday, April 07, 2016

THE MISTAKES THAT MAN MAKES



THE MISTAKES THAT MAN MAKES, BUT HE IS FREE
TO RETURN TO THE RIGHT PATH
By: Kassim Ahmad
4th April, 2016
Revised and expanded on 6th April, 2016 

            At times I wonder whether man is a tragedy or not. Considering the mistakes, big and small,  that he makes against all odds, one loses faith in the human being. No wonder when God informed the angels that He was going to create man, the angels protested. They averred that he was going to cause destruction and shed blood. Except that God replied to the protestation of the angels that He knew better. God, being All-Knowing, knew the good side of man. (See Quran, 2: 30)  
One million years of man’s history on earth has vindicated God’s optimism of man. He was not only a warlike and a warring creature; he was also a builder of civilizations. This side of man happens to be the stronger side of him.
I shall now enumerate the mistakes, the big ones first. God informs us in the Quran that most people do not believe in Him; even those who believe in Him do not do so without associating Him with His creatures. Even most Muslims do not believe that God alone is sufficient for them. They need Prophet Muhammad to be a god besides God! Hence the two syahadahs! How they can ignore the clear injuction against the second syahadah in Surah 63: verse 1 is beyond me!
This is a most glaring mistake that essentially has led to their downfall.  Note also that this is the one sin not forgiven by God.
The wonder is: “Where are their teachers of religion?”  Those that have graduated from universities in the Muslim and non-Muslim worlds. Note also that the Al-Azhar University in Cairo is the oldest university in the world, prior to other famous centres of learning, including Oxford and Cambridge.
All prophet-messengers of God, from Adam to Muhammad, including Abraham, Moses and Jesus, taught the essential Divine message of the acknowledgement  of the One true God for all mankind, otherwise called the religion of submission or Islam. Note that Quran names twenty-five of them. Many others, hundreds of them, are not named. We know that there are many others because God informs us that He sent messengers to all human communities.
That being so, we can now see that what has come to be the religion of Judaism is not the religion taught by Moses, and  the religion of Christianity not the religion taught by Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ was not a Christian; he was a Muslim. [1]  It was Paul, a Christian-persecuting Jew who later turned Christian, who made Christ into a Son of God. [2]
For that matter, the completed and perfected religion of Islam brought by the last of the prophets, Prophet Muhammad, with its protected scripture, the Quran, did not escape this corruption.  Three hundred years after him, Islam broke into sects, Sunnism being the majority sect. The master-architect was none other than Shafi’e (767-820), who introduced the doctrine two principal sources, the Quran and the Sunnah/Hadith.
When Prophet Muhammad migrated to Medina, he granted to the community a constitution called the Medina Charter, the first written constitution in the world. It is unfortunate that our present teachers of religion almost never mention this great legal document of Islam (Dato’ Din has kindly published this along with my comments in this blog.) when they endlessly quote the so-called hadiths.
The so-called Hudud law (fixed punishments) is another great mistake. It is nowhere mentioned in the Medina Charter. It is a misinterpretation of some frases in the Quran. The current fashion of headscarf (the tudung) for Muslim women is another. Thirty five years ago Muslim women in Malaysia wear the selendang, a partial headscarf. The simple proof  that a woman’s hair is not ‘aurat (nakedness) is that when she takes ablution she has to wipe her head.
When the Quran is recited or even quoted in a speech, most speakers tend to sing, in a manner not dissimilar to any singer, even if he or she does not understand the language of the song. This is in contradiction with the clear statement in the Quran that it is not a book of songs and that Muhammad was not singer. What is more, the practice has grown into an art of the highest excellence. In Malaysia, we have been holding international Quran-reading competitions since a long time!
Then there is a mantra repeated by most Muslims whenever they metion the name of Prophet Muhammad. The mantra is: salla’al-Lahu alaihi wasallam, meanging ‘the blessing of God and peace be on him’. This phrase occurs twice in Sural Al-Ahzan (33), firstly in verse 43, referring to believers, and secondly in verse 56, referring Prophet Muhammad. Notice how most Muslims happily ignore the blessings God bestows on believers! The Arabic word ‘salla’ means ‘to bless’.
Less I do not just mention doctrinal matters, let me turn my mind to more mundane matters, the bread-and-butter issues. My friend, Dr. Hassan Hanafi, a professor of philosophy at Cairo University, criticized me for ignoring politico-social and economic matters. This is the reason why I have expanded this essay.
It is not that I do not consider these matters important. I do. But these matters have to be the logical outcome of a world outlook, a philosophy. The European social system is the result of a European secular humanist world outlook that came with the Europeans Renaissance of the 14th right through to the 16th centuries.
Europe has two wings, the Western  liberal-capitalist wing, and the Eastern Marxist-communist wing.  The latter has collapsed before our eyes at the end of the 20th century; the latter will collapse too in the not-too-distant future.
Unfortunately most European historians conspired to erase the fundamental role of Arab-Islamic phase in world history. A few objective Western historians, including Robert Briffault, bear witness to this fact.
Has any civilization completely erased poverty, waste and corruption? The island city-state of Singapore under Lee Kuan Yew came very near it. What a Lee Kuan Yew has done other Lee Kuan Yews can do. In short, all human beings are endowed by their Maker the ability to rule and change the world, indeed the Universe, to their liking . Therefore, it can be logically deduced that the Good Society with zero corruption, zero poverty, zero ignorance and so on and so forth can come into being, nationally and internationally. Enough number of men and women must decide to do it.        
Why all these deviations, when the Quran and the examples of the early republican-democratic caliphates are with us? It is man’s tendency to revert back after the teacher is gone. In our souls, there are two opposite tendencies: one pushing us up, and the other pulling us down.  It is up to us, free spirits that we are, to choose which way to go.  
  
KASSIM AHMAD is a Malaysian freelance writer. His website is www.kassimahmad.blogspot.com     




[1] This is not a claim by Muslims. It is a factual information given to us by God Himself when He named Jesus, a Jew, as one of His prophets.
[2] It was the Council of Nicaea in 325 that established Christian theology for the first time into what is known as the “Nicene Creed”. The creed was re-written in 362. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

THE CAUSES OF "ISLAMIC STATE " VIOLENCE




THE CAUSES OF “ISLAMIC STATE” VIOLENCE
THE RESOLUTION OF WHICH LEADS TO A NEW WORLD ORDER
By: Kassim Ahmad
27th March, 2016

            I looked up all references and listened to all expert commentators on the subject, yet I failed to get a satisfactory answer. In this essay, I shall try to probe the matter.
There are some telling clues. Firstly, the perpetrators claim to represent Islam. Secondly, the targets are all Western countries whose populations are mostly Christians (United States, France and Brussels ), Thirdly, the latest targets were the Christian minority community in Pakistan.
Fourthly, look at present-day Iraq. It is chaos-in-chief, consequent upon three American-led coalition of 33 countries’ invasions of that country, thanks to the inducement by British Empire-created Irael (in  the midst of Arab countries) and imperial Iran. Remember Iraq was the home of the first human civilization, dating from Prophet Abraham in Ur of 5000 years ago.
Iraq and Syria, two ancient civilizations, is said to be the home of “Islamic State”, carrying the banner of Allah and Muhammad, a clearly mistaken banner.  The true banner of Islam is that of One True God, the God of all the peoples, Jews, Christians, Muslims  and others -- all believers in monotheism, openly declared or kept secret.
All these clues point to a long conflict extending from 15th Century up to the present between Muslims and Christians.
Further, do not forget the Western crusades against Islam. There were nine crusades altogether, extending from 1095 of the first crusade, to 1271 of the ninth crusade. The crusades were ordered by the various popes who were then also kings sitting on the thrones of Medieval Europe.
The crusaders’ purpose was to retake the holy city of Jerusalem, which the Muslims conquered from the Byzantine Empire.  Jerusalem is known as Baitul-Maqdis to the Muslims, also one of their holy cities.
All these acts of Muslim violence against the Christian West, starting from the 9/11 attack on the New York World Trade Centre, through Paris, Brussels and the Christian community in Pakistan, must be looked upon as a whole as Muslim revolt against the Christians. As can be seen, it has a long history, from 16th Century colonization of the Malay World, including the Philippines, most of which it has christianised, up to the 18th Century.  In the 18th Century European colonialism awakened Asian nationalism, resulting in new independent nation-states. But nation-states cannot unite the world that has become interconnected into a Global Village.
We need a philosophy, a new world-view for our interconnected world. As Islam is a “revolutionary, life-affirming and death-defying” world-view, as I have defined it in another location, that must have been the basis and reason for the rise of the “Islamic State” movement.  
That being so, what solution can we offer to resolve this deep psychological-cum-physical conflict? Let us ask ourselves what type of world we want to see emerge for our and for future generations. Surely a peaceful, secure and just world.
What type of world do we have now?
Firstly, it a non-Muslim dominated world. It is ruled by two non-Muslim blocs led by two self-appointed superpowers, the United States of America and the Russian Federation. Be it noted that they are both Christian. It is neither peaceful, nor secure, nor just. The Sword of Democles hangs over us. It is imperative the justice-loving peoples of the world must change it before we commit ourselves to a mutually-assured self-destruction!
The West for all its physical and apparent mental might – can it face this this challenge of “insane’ violence? Certainly it cannot. But the West is too proud to admit defeat, although defeated it will be. “Islamic State” violence in increasing by the day, as all can see. But even Muslims cannot tolerate this violence commited in the name of Islam. It is not Islam’s solution. (When I speak of Islam I means the Islam of all prophet-messengers from Adam to Muhammad, including Abraham, Moses and Jesus.
Thus both the Christian West and the Muslims must come to an amicable agreement in order to bring about a peaceful, secure and just world.  Firstly, the Christian West must openly apologize for their colonization of the world and pay token compensation. (Who has evaluated the costs in lives and property of colonialism and imperialism?) Secondly, all countries, Muslim and non-Muslim, which have been the victims of colonialism must openly forgive their colonisers and agree to live in peace with the countries that had colonized them. Thirdly, the non-Muslim superpower blocs, including and especially the so-called U.N. self-appointed Security Council must be democratized. Fourthly,  all countries must renounce and destroy all weapons of mass destruction. Fifthly, the “Islamic State” violence  and terror must cease immediately. Sixthly, all countries, big and small, must undertake to live in peace with one another, solve all their differences and conflicts peacefully, and cooperate and help one another to progress in all fields of human endeavour.
All these must be in the United Nations Charter, among others that are universal human rights.
Then a peaceful, secure and just world will come into being, and a new chapter in human life in this Universe will begin.

KASSIM AHMAD is a Malaysian author. His website is www.kassimahmad.blogspot.com   



  

Saturday, March 19, 2016

THE RISE AND FALL OF ISLAM



THE RISE AND FALL OF ISLAM
By: Kassim Ahmad
17th  January, 2016
Revised and expanded on 19th March, 2016

            The Quran in Surah Ali-‘Imran (3) states that “The only religion approved by God is Islam.” The Arabic word ‘deen’ essentially mean ‘way of life’ rather that the restricted ritualistic meaning of the word ‘religion’.
This religion of strict monotheism is taught by all prophet-messengers from Adam to its completion and perfection by Muhammad, the last of all prophet-messegers. But, as it is wont with human beings, corruption and deterioration set in and complete their work in after about 300 years (10 generations) to change the original teachings. Thus, the monotheism of Prophet Moses became polytheism in Judaism, of Prophet Jesus polytheism in Christianity, and of Muhammad polytheism in Sunnism. Sunnism is polytheistic in that it has elevated Muhammad to a second god, against his will. [1]
Sunnism is sectarian “Islam”, worshipin two gods. [2] Two gods is one too many. It is polititeism.
Fortunately for mankind, the last of God’s scripture, the Quran, is divinely  protected so that all mankind can always refer to it as its guide. This divine protection lies internally in the scripture in a mathematically awesome and impossible to imitate structure called Code 19. This Code is stated in the Quran in Surah Al-Muddaththir  (74), verses 30-31. The verses go, “Over it is nineteen. We appointed angels to be guardians of Hell, and we assign their number (19) (1) to disturb the disbelievers, (2) to convince the Christians and the Jews (that this is a divine scripture), (3) to strengthen the faith of the faithful, (4) to remove all traces of doubt from the hearts of Christians, Jews, as well as believers, and (5) to expose those who harbor doubt in their hearts. The disbelievers will say, ‘What does God mean by this allegory?’ God thus sends astray whomever He wills, and guides whomever He wills. None knows the soldiers of your Lord except He. This is a reminder for the people.”
The rise of Islam, beginning with the reign of Prophet Muhammad in the Arabian Peninsular in early Seventh Century, within a short time of only sixty years shot up to be the Number One power in the then world, beating the two superpowers, the Byzantian Empire and the Persian Empire.
Historian Philip K. Hitti, in his book, History of the Arabs (1970), states, “If someone in the first third of the seventh Christian century had had the audacity to prophesy that within a decade some unheralded, unforeseen power from hitherto barbarous and little-known land of Arabia was to make its appearance, hurl itself against the only two world powers of the age, fall heir to the one -- the Sasanid – and strip the other – the Byzantine -- of its fairest provinces, he would have undoubtedly have been declared a lunatic. Yet that was exactly what happened. After the death of the Prophet sterile Arabia seems to have been converted as if by magic into a nursery of heroes the like of whom both in number and quality is hard to find anywhere. The military campaigns of Khalid ibn-al-Walid and ‘Amar ibn-al-‘As which ensued in al-Iraq, Persia, Syria and Egypt remain among the most brilliantly executed in the history of warfare and bear favourable comparison with those of Napoleon, Hannibal or Alexander.” (p. 142).         
A Western philosophical historian, Robert Briffault, in his epoch-making book, The Making of Humanity (1919), after denouncing a conspiracy of silence by most Western historians on the contributions of Muslim science to modern Europe,  surmarised the contribution of Muslim science to civilization, thus: “The debt of our science to that of the Arabs does not consist in startling discoveries or revolutionary theories. Science owes a great deal more to  Arab culture , it owes its existence. The ancient world was, as we saw, pre-scientific. The astronomy and mathematics of the Greeks were a foreign importation never thoroughly acclamatised in Greek culture. The Greeks systematized, generalized and  theorized, but he patient ways of investigation, the accumulation of positive knowledge, the minute methods of science, detailed and prolonged observation, experimental inquiry, were altogether alien to the Greek temperament. … What we called science arose in Europe as result of a new spirit of inquiry, of new methods of investigation, of the method of experiment, observation, measurement, of the development of mathematics in a form unknown to the Greeks. That spirit and those methods were introduced into the European world by the Arabs.” (p. 191)    
Muslim civilization lasted eight centuries. In that time, Baghdad became the capital of the world and Europe became students at the feet of Baghdad. When the rot set in, Europe took over the banner of civilization and what is known as the European Renaissance began. Will Western leadership last for ever? Only time can  tell. But basing ourselves on its truncated epistemology, we can say that it cannot last forever, at most another two or three decades.
One of two thing will happen. Either Europe and the United States will adopt the true revolutionary doctrine of Islam, which  I characterize as “revolutionary, life-affirming, and death-defying”, or the Muslims themselves will be reborn with that true spirit of the Quran and borne in the life Prophet Muhammad and the early republican-democratic Caliphates.
In the meanwhile, Muslim leaders must answer the question why the Muslim way of life, guaranteed by God, has collapsed, and how they can rebuild it. To answer this all-important question, they must re-study the Quran with a scientific methodology. I can suggest a few signposts.
Firstly, at a certain point in time, Muslim science froze and deteriorated, due to wrong teaching of certain so-called masters. These were made into masters by a new priesthood class adopted in imitation of medieval Hinduism and Christianity. In Islam there is no priesthood class.
Secondly, at a certain point in time, a certain attitude of fatalism developed in Islam due a new theology preached in accordance to hadith teachings. Hadiths are essentially fabrications falsely ascribed to the great name of Prophet  Muhammad.
Thirdly, that new theology also preached salvation in the Afterlife, in a nondescript Theologians’ Nirvana in imitation of Bhuddism. This led to Muslim apathy in a life waiting for death. At this point, roughly from the Fourteenth Century onwards, this false Islam died, with the false Muslims.
Fourthly and lastly, to rebuild, the Muslims must re-study the Quran (which is their and mankind’s book of guidance) and the examples of their great leaders in the republican democratic period we have alluded to, to find correct answers to their current plight. I have surmarised the teachings of the Quran as “revolutionary, life-affirming and death-defying”.  We must seek salvation in this life by raising our souls to a higher level. It is this raising of our souls to a higher level that is necessary for the coming Second Muslim Civilization, which must come.

KASSIM AHMAD is a freelance Malaysian author. His website is www.kassimahmad.blogspot.com



[1] See Quran (16: 51) which states: “Do not worship two gods. There is only one God.” Further Surah 63, verse I, invalidates the second syahadah which is uttered by hypocrites.
[2] God has proclaimed: “Do not worship two gods; there is only on god. Therefore you shall reverence Me.” (Quran, 16: 51).