Can Prophets Sin?

Justice

People, admittedly mainly stupid people, often harangue me about the finer details of A’shari theology, assuming from the name of the site that this is some kind of ‘A’sharis only’ club.

To show that this is far from the truth, I thought I would post this fascinating article on an issue that brings many to grief, especially due to the somewhat ludicrous pronouncements of the self proclaimed Salafi movement and it’s numerous familiars, on this issue (their doyen Ibn Taymiyyah holds the ‘Satanic Verses’ incident to be genuine. Go figure).

And I don’t care that is he is critiquing the A’sharites – Fiat justitia ruat caelum: Let justice be done, though the heavens fall!

[You can read the original article here:http://sulaimanahmed.com/%5D

By Sheikh Sulaiman Ahmed

I was reluctant to write about this issue, as I find the question of Prophets being able to sin a ridiculous notion. Nonetheless there have been individuals who have insisted on a response. It is a real shame Muslims have now positioned themselves as people who lack academic fortitude to the extent where when the legitimate position of a School of thought is presented it leads to uncontrollable hysteria. Academia requires an individual to be able to present various positions on a specific issue thus giving the reader a breadth of diverse views and opinions.

In order to answer this question there are a couple of connecting issues that need to analysed, for the purposes of this short essay, they will be briefly explained: Can the Prophets commit major sins or minor sins? What is the difference between them? Is there a difference of opinion about Prophethood? Does the ability to commit major and minor sins differ from before or after Prophethood? Can Prophet’s make a mistake? And are they absolutely infallible?

Major sins are considered reprehensible acts within Islam. Once committed, according to the Maturidi Creed (theological position followed by most Hanafis) they require a person to repent from their actions (‘tawba’). Without this, a person is not forgiven. There is a disagreement in Islam as to the number of major sins. According to Imam Al Ghazali, there are seven and this is confirmed in a hadith narrated in the collection of ‘Sahih Muslim’. There are others who say there are a lot more, but we do know that there are seven major sins that are agreed upon by ‘Ahle Sunnah wal Jamaat’ (Maturidis and Ash’aris). I have endeavoured to discuss this in more detail in an upcoming book called ‘Hanafi Principles of Testing Hadith’.

The Maturidis strongly believe that the Prophet Muhammad was a Prophet even before Adam (u) and one of the reasons for this is the hadith “I was created before Adam (u) was between water and clay.” The Ash’aris disagree and state that the Prophet (r) became a prophet at the age of forty as this is when he received revelation (to be clear, Ash’aris are not denying the ability of the Prophet (saw) to receive the message but are referring to the practical reception of the revelation).

Maturidis reject any possibility that Prophets can commit either major or minor sins. The reason for their insisting on the infallibility of the Prophets is due to several reasons. We will explore only a few of them for the purposes of this piece.

The first issue is that it affects the authenticity of the revealed message: if Prophets are able to commit major sins, they could have lied (which is a major sin) and therefore the revelation may not be complete and could have been fabricated by that Prophet. The second problem is that the Prophets are an example to all of mankind both in terms of the message they portray and also their Sunnah (way of that prophet [this is the definition of ‘Sunnah’ according to the theologians]). The prophetic way is not that of the one who commits minor or major sin. Prophets committing sin also devalues the negativity of committing sin, leaving people with the notion that if Prophets are unable to refrain from them even after divine inspiration, how is a normal person to do so?

There are many other issues that connect with this problematic subject. What the Maturidis say is that prophets are able to make a mistake. Firstly, this does not include sin, but rather it means the slightly worse decision out of two possibilities. Again, the Maturdis believe that this cannot be in an issue related to the message, nor in the process of guiding the people. All Maturidis were in agreement about this issue, namely that no Prophet can commit sin. Here are some texts from the classical books of the Maturidis (I have added these as images below in the original Arabic texts):

The first text is from “Al-Fiqh al-Akbar” the book of Imam Abu Hanifa: 

“Prophets are protected from major and minor sins, but there is a possibility of mistake or error.”

The second text is from “Sharh al-Fiqh al-Akbar” from Imam Abu ‘l-Muntaha al-Maghnisawi;

“Prophets are protected from major and minor sins before and after the Prophethood…” he continues; “but there could be errors and mistakes…” 

Further he states;

”Imam Nasafi said “Samarkandi Scholars do not [even] allow the attribution of the word ‘‘zillah” (errors) to the prophets because it could imply some sort of sin. But [one should instead] say; Khilaf al-Awla….

Thus the Maturidis are very clear that it is impossible for the Prophets to commit any form of sin both before and after Prophethood. They differed profusely with both the Ash’aris and Mutazalites, both of whom to varying degrees state that Prophets can commit sin.

The pillars of contemporary Ash’arism are Imam al-Haramayn al-Juwayni, Qadhi Al-Eiji, Fakhr ad-Din ar-Razi, Sayf al-Din al-Amidi and Imam Abu Hamid Al Ghazali. If one wants an indication as to the position of the Ash’aris, their books are the first point of call – removing these scholars from Ash’arism will result in the end of Ashari theology.

Qadhi Al-Eiji in his famous book “Al-Mawaqif” states:

“As for minor sins it is permissible according to the vast majority except [Qadi] al-Jubbai (a senior Mu’tazzalite)”

Imam al-Haramayn al-Juwayni states the following in his book ‘Kitab Al-Irshad Ila Qawati Al-Adilla Fi Usul Ati Tiqad’;

“As for the minor sins…There is no rejection [of minor sin] based on logic, and I do not see any textual reason to deny it either…”

Sayf al-Din al-Amidi in ‘Abkar al-Afkar’ states;

“[Regarding] Prophets committing sin before Prophethood; Qadi Abu Bakr (Ashari) said; ‘it is not impossible, rationally nor textually, that prophets can commit minor or major sins…But after Prophethood they cannot lie deliberately. Abu Ishaq [as-Shirazi] said that they do not lie inadvertently either. Qadi Abu Bakr said that they can…”

Sayf al-Din al-Amidi continues;

“As for minor sins, if it is a humiliating minor sin than it is [considered] the same as major sin. But if it is not [a humiliating type of minor sin], such as looking, or silly words during an argument etc. the majority of Ash’aris and majority of Mu’tazilites confirmed that it is possible regardless if it is deliberate or inadvertent.”

Abu Abdillah Muhammad bin Yusuf al-Sanusi wrote in ‘Al-Sanusiyah al-Kubra’, the primer text in Ashari Aqeedah (creed) which is studied by most beginner students of knowledge;

“Can Prophets commit major sins before Prophethood? The majority of Ash’aris and a large number of the Mu’tazilites said that it is logically possible that they can commit major sin. But some of Ash’aris said; they cannot, and that is what Qadi Iyad said…..”

“But as for after the Prophethood: Can they lie inadvertently or forget in the issues pertaining to the Religion? A large number of Ash’aris said they cannot. But Qadi Iyad said they can.”

Abu Abdillah Muhammad bin Yusuf al-Sanusi continues;

“But as for the non-humiliating minor sins: the majority of Ash’aris said it is possible and this is regardless if it is deliberate or inadvertent, and it is the position of Abu Ja’far al-Tabari. But some of Fuqaha and Mutakallims said it is impossible whether it is deliberate or inadvertent.”

Now let’s explore the position of the Mu’tazalites.

Abu ‘Ali al-Jubbai states:

“Before Prophethood they cannot commit sin deliberately but can inadvertently do so and Prophets cannot commit sin after Prophethood” (Qadhi Al-Eiji narrates this in ‘al-Mawaqif’).

As explained above by the Ashari Scholars Qadhi Al-Eiji, Sayf al-Din al-Amidi and al-Sanusi, the majority of Mu’tazzalites state that Prophets can commit minor sins.

The Hashawis (anthropomorphists) as well as the Ahle Hadith go even further and shockingly state that all sins, both before and after Prophethood, are possible for the Prophets.

This information is readily available and accessible to all.

My advice to the “students of knowledge” is that they do indeed study properly before arguing about an issue. We do not see this type of behaviour in the secular field. It is the same as someone reading half of a medical book and then believing he is an expert surgeon able to perform complex medical procedures.

In summary, the Maturidis hold the strongest position on this issue; their evidence is both textual as well as rational. Logically it is impossible Prophets can commit any type of sin both before and after Prophethood, unless one views a Prophet as a brainless creature merely posting the message without any understanding of what is contained within it. Maturidis reject this notion. Prophethood necessitates a sinless person, one who can deliver not only the message but also the spirit of the message. They can teach, guide and train the people to achieve true guidance.

Anything attributed to a Prophet that can affect the authenticity of the message is rejected, whether that is a statement of an Ashari or Mutazalite Scholar, or the narration of an ahad hadith (which is rejected by Hanafis), whether that is in ‘Sahih Al Bukhari’ or any other collection. Even if the statement is from a Maturidi scholar, it matters not since everyone can make mistakes. But for Muslims the first priority is always God and the Prophets and any attribution of possible ‘sin’ to either is completely rejected.

al-irshad-of-imam-al-haramainal-mawaqif-al-eyjisulaiman 1

sanussiyah-qubra sanussiyah-qubra-2 sharh-fiqh-ul-akbar fiqh-ul-akbar

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47 thoughts on “Can Prophets Sin?

  1. The Hashawis (anthropomorphists) as well as the Ahle Hadith go even further and shockingly state that all sins, both before and after Prophethood, are possible for the Prophets.

    I knew that Ibn Taymiyya claimed that prophets were not protected from sin but I didn’t know this extended to other Ahl al-Hadeeth. Is there any further material you can point to that elaborates on this?

  2. AMB – your questions were very good ones, thanks for contributing!

    I’m going to answer them as best as I can soon!

  3. Salam Alaykum,

    I do not know what brother “mmmclmru” will say, but from side, one observation, tried and tested through history: In the long run, Jihaad works (here Jihaad being used as a generic term meaning the outward struggles of a nation to mold the world according to their view).

    Example: Why are we writing these articles and discussing various issues in English rather than in Arabic or any other language? Sure, most of us are not exactly Englishmen or Americans, but we were molded in some way due to different factors [including military ones in the course of history] to adopt this as a language, and it definitely does affect our way of thinking, eating, living and so forth.

    • Nazism ‘worked’ too. So do Satan’s tactics. What’s your point?

      Is ‘what works’ an usool in Islam?

      If so, prostitution, masturbation and child labour ‘work’ too. Everything works towards some end. The important thing is what is the end and how is it determined.

      If Muslims, and the case is that most Muslims secretly DO wish for this (i.e to force their view on others because they ‘know’ it is right for the ‘benefit’ of the people, but right now they lack the power to do so), consider it effective or worse ‘right’ to enforce a language, culture or religion on people then to be consistent you should also not have a problem with others doing it to us. Hypocrisy is not only ‘between Muslims’. Allah never said that. It exists between Muslims and other groups as well.

      Anyone who enforces an idea (also called ‘Fascism’, which is merely insistence on an idea), always thinks it is right. Fascism, injustice and totalitarianism are not determined by the ‘rightness’ of the idea (as the perpetrators invariably consider the idea to be right). They are determined by the coercive methods used to spread or enforce the idea.

      In fact, this is why the Muslims are weak: Allah knows that when put in charge in their current state, worse oppression will ensue: the Deobandis have shown this with the Taliban and Jamaati Ulema Y Islami, the Brelwis have shown it in their equally unhinged fatwas and the Salafis and Wahhabis are showing it lately with ISIS and in Yemen and formerly with AQ etc. To round it off nicely, the AK party in Turkey is showing that they are willing to support ISIS to score a few points against Communists and the Muslim Brotherhood via Hamas thinks it is a good idea to hide rockets in schools, just to prove that none of the ‘Islamic’ groups are worthy of ruling over humans. In Iran, the Shia are doing the same by promoting a version of ‘Shi’ism’ which is hardly any different from Wahhabism. If HT or any of the other intellectual cancers of modern ‘Islam’ came to power we can expect similar stupidity.

      So my theory is that Muslims are prevented from this this type of ‘Jihad’ nowadays by being kept weak by God to protect the wretched of the Earth from the Muslims’ evil.

      • Wa Salam,

        To be honest, the fact that “Jihad” as I had defined it generally [in terms of outward struggle, regardless of the ideology promoted] does work – in the case of Nazism versus English/American Imperialism, it is still true that the latter ‘struggle’ beat out the former one and established itself the basis of world-order. But without the competing ‘struggles’ we would not be where we are today; almost everything that we think or interact with or use is based on some ‘external struggle’ that one way or the other shaped our world. It did not necessarily have to be war, but it was something relentlessly pursued by some actors who wanted to mold the world in a certain way; calling it fascism or something else does not change the fact that this is how things get done and that this is how things change.

        Concerning the ‘Usool’ part, we have to be realistic: Allah revealed Islam at a certain time when the world followed certain conventions of warfare, and pacifism and defensive-only wars were simply not the basis of such a world… such conventions are not the basis of world relations even today if we consider it in practice, but since one world-order is dominant, it seems as if this is not the case, but that is misleading – the basis even today is that various nations/empires try to outmaneuver each other if they can, and this has more to do with human nature than with the presence of the Islamic religion.

  4. ^
    The discussion has gone very far away from the main topic unfortunately, maybe it can be moved to another place so that whoever wants to ask about the topic of this post can do so.

  5. You are just dancing around and showing a confused attitude to violence, exactly like mmmclmru said about the Muslims. Basically, you want more not less violence from Muslims, because you think that it ‘works’. Why don’t you just say this clearly, it’s not as if every intelligent reader doesn’t know what you are really saying as well as your ambivalence to fascism. You can’t bring any clear Islamic proofs [and if you will it will be the ‘selected’ ahad hadith about life or death matters which God ‘forgot’ to mention in the Quran and left to lone narrators to pass on] for this crypto-militarism so it is all about ‘the lessons of history’, ‘what works’ etc. If these are ‘principles’ in Islam then state them and stand by them as the other guy asked, if not then spare the readers. You are actually talking about Hegelian dialectics, the struggle of History, Darwinism and stuff. What has that got to do with Islam? If you want to discuss violence and how ideas get spread, what constitutes human nature (your seeming assertion that Islam and human nature are at odds is most strange, or more likely the explanation that your belief is actually that violence is very ‘useful’ would explain your true position), then go for it, but don’t confuse Muslim and non by making tenuous links with Islam with word games.

    Your aimless meandering with the issue of ‘usool’ is proof of your irresponsible comments: is ‘what works’ an usool [principle] IN ISLAM, yes or no? Is ‘history’ an usool IN ISLAM or a source of SHARIA, yes or no? Is ‘Human nature’ an usool IN ISLAM or a source of SHARIA, yes or no?

    In fact, is ‘consistency’ a thing for Muslims at all? It totally is not with ANY of the Muslim groups mmmclmru mentioned and you are proving that. Quran and Sunnah when it suits them, Military history when it doesn’t, human ‘nature’ (*which one BTW? Biological? Darwinian? Spiritual?) when it suits them, hadith when it doesn’t. Science when it ‘proves’ Islam but ‘hadith’ when it doesn’t and exactly the kind of justification used by Osama Bin Laden; when challenged that the ulema do not permit the killing of innocents he gets ‘creative’:http://edition.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/asiapcf/south/02/05/binladen.transcript/

    What you are very obviously saying, to the delight and expectation of Islamophobes is ‘I think Islam would be better spread through the sword, because that’s how most ideas got spread’. You just want to do unto the kufaar as they are doing unto the Muslims but don’t have the courage to say it. So that makes us the same as them and in any case, you always LOSE, like AQ, like the Taliban, like ISIS…so since you guys are not even good at using violence, maybe you need to think about other means.

    I find your implication that the Prophet used violence because it was ‘the way things were done’ to be offensive, but this is what we expect from so-called Sunnis who are happy to accept ahad ‘hadith’ of the Prophet ordering assassinations of widows and ‘punitive expeditions’ etc. If you accept all of that then accept the hadith from the EXACT SAME SOURCES that he tried to commit suicide, took meat offered to idols, committed kufr until Gabriel came and ‘reminded’ him not to make the idols of Quraysh as partners with God, that the Quran is not complete etc etc:https://asharisassemble.com/2014/05/27/have-you-been-blackmailed-by-bukhari-yet/

    The worst thing is, NO ONE even said that Islam is pacifist or that there should not be a ‘just war’ theory to stop oppression (as the Muslims did when conquering Spain) or that wars between states don’t occur or that Muslims should not have a strong army etc. so I don’t see what you are talking about anyway. That’s why everyone will see your comments as a defence of Fascism since no-one advocated pacifism or not having a just war theory IN THE FIRST PLACE. Instead of stating that Muslims need to form strong states and have modern means of manufacture and military technology (the main reason for not having which are the vile ‘Islamic’ groups mmmclmru mentioned), you start going into what can be summed up as ‘Hmmmmm….violence works…interesting…’

    Who doesn’t know that?

    Well guess what – RAPE WORKS TOO! When you are horny, rape ‘works’. But it is WRONG.

    Just as with most Muslims, if you say something sexual like ‘Dating works, you can meet a husband/wife’ they will rip your throat out. But if you start talking about VIOLENCE, every Muslim becomes a philosopher and is giving it the whole ‘hmmmmm, you may have a point I mean, just LOOK at the history of warfare and science! Hmmmmm…’

    Precisely re-enforcing the stereotype of the West that Muslims are keen to bend the rules and come up with elaborate justifications for violence but not sex or ‘free mixing’. SOOOOOOOOO predictable!

    Also, to sum it up, what your are describing with all this talk of ‘struggles’ is Hegelianism or Darwinism, not Islam. It shows Muslims will use anything when it suits them, just like Christians and other groups.

    As for Islam, Muhammad (PBUH) succeeded because he followed what the Quran teaches and used his brain and ethics, not his fists. Even the atheists mostly admit this, namely that Islam spread because it was a better IDEA [at least at the time they admit] but Muslims can’t because they would prefer to be Klingons.

  6. ^
    Salam Alaykum,

    I really do not want to argue needlessly: You may put forth what you consider to be the “full Muslim strategy” in this regard, according to authentic sources and methodology, and Insha Allah we can all learn from this.

    Anyways, thank you for the criticism and the responses.

    Wa Salam

  7. As said in my last comment you should just leave Islam. You hate muslims like the hardest islamophobic. This religion does not suit you so do not try to change it. Just let it be. It is what it is. If you like to call it Fascism then call it such. But Islam is fascist even though I personally do not like to use this word since it is often misused.

    I’m sorry if I sound offensive but I am really sad for your situation. This is depressive.

      • I am not a right-winged islamophobe. I’m a simple atheist and I don’t like any religion. But you my friend are in a big dilemma. You try to make the islamic religion something it has absolutely no base for. You can interprete other religions in whatever way you like but Islam is too well documented for this. The actions of early Muslims are transmitted by muslims sources themselves and non-Muslim sources likewise. As for Judaism and Christianity for example Abraham did not even exist. Moses maybe did exist but nothing reliable is known about him. Jesus did exist but the historical Jesus was not the same as the Jesus we know most probably. But Muhammad existed like any Roman or Persian Emperor. Everything is known about him and denying is just pathetic. You cannot change that Muhammad and his succeeders did this “fascist Jihad” “MuslimAnswers” is talking about. They did it period.

        You seem to be a great writer “SuedeNikita”. Don’t waste your time with religious apologetics.

      • So all 1 million hadith about Muhammad and everything Muslims believe about him (including his Prophethood and miracles) are/is ‘known’ and denying it is just ‘pathetic’?

        Interesting historical method and epistemology for an atheist!

      • Is this all you got? I mentioned the historic Jihad led by early Muslims you and your muslim friend are discussing about. I am aware of it that Muslims do not accept any hadith.

  8. It’s funny how people ‘don’t want to argue needlessly’ when they get punked, having previously tried their very best to ‘argue’.

    It’s also funny how lemons who try to use ‘what’ works’, ‘history’ as well as thinly disguised Darwinian and Hegelian arguments to try and justify their jihadist stance then ask for ‘authentic sources and methodologies’ to elucidate the Islamic position.

    Waffle-crap from you and then authentic sources from us? Why?

    Embarrassing. But if people like you were limited by embarrassment then Muslims probably would not be in this position today.

    But I will help you with sources: my source is the Quran. If you find ‘all’s fair in love and war’ or ‘survival of the fittest’ in there do let us (and your atheist friends) know.

    And ‘Wa Salam’? Shouldn’t that be ‘Sieg Heil’

  9. I already answered this question, and you did not really engage with that at all. SuedeNikita on the other hand engaged with it a bit too much and read a bit too much into the your comments or was harsh maybe.

    I will say this however: I am very offended by people asking for ‘authentic proof’ that fascism and the law of the jungle is not part of Islam. It seems we don’t need others to attack us, we are happy to do it ourselves.

    This is exactly what Islamophobes do, in England and the US they call us ‘Islamo-fascists’ and say we spread Islam by the sword and it seems Muslims are happy about this.

    I would also like to re-state what I already said: I do not in any way approve of violent coercion or fascism, whether it is by Muslims, American, Japan, whatever.

    • ^
      The question I think is a sensible one: We know how the world always operates in certain ways in terms of its military and geopolitical setup. So does Islam as revealed by Allah the Exalted have a view with regards to its place in the geopolitical world or not?

      Note that there are basically two options: It either ‘rents out’ its geopolitical place to the tides of whoever happens to be in control, or it delineates its own rules and acts upon them while keeping in mind what the reality of the world around it is.

      Every religion and ideology follows one of these two methods, and to say that to ask for proofs may be a sign of support of fascism and savagery by the questioner cannot bother me, since it is a reality that has to be addressed, just like economic and procreation issues are addressed in Islam.

      If the answer is only ‘read the Quran’, this seems to be not a very strong answer, since this is also the answer of the Islamophobes, and this is exactly why we have scholars who will tell us in detail what the sources of Islam lead us to in terms of practicality. If anyone thinks that the full conception of Islam’s military-geopolitical place has not been properly presented today, then we have a right to know at least what is the correct view according to such persons – it is not too much to ask for, given the issue at hand.

      Regarding the Islamophobes, there are more than a million reliable Fataawa from our ‘Ulamaa, I am sure they will find a sizeable proportion they disagree with in every generation, simply because we do not see eye to eye on the basics.

      • Summary/commentary/tafseer on the above for any beguiled readers:

        1) ‘I don’t want to argue and am leaving Salaams!’
        (but since I got made to look stupid I will try and save face now and start posting again).

        2) ‘I’m actually not answering anything Nikita or mmmclmru said but just waffling and not saying anything at all’.

        3) ‘I’m actually dumb and don’t understand what is being said by the other people in the discussion, and in fact I don’t really know what fascism and stuff is anyway so…’

        4) ‘I am however smart enough to not actually say what constitutes proof, usool or principle for me since that would actually get us somewhere but it would probably make me look even more stupid and jihadist than I already do so I am going to use cheap NLP I learnt from the internet to keep asking questions in different ways without ever actually saying anything’

        5) ‘The Quran and the word of God is not a good place to learn about what Islam or God says/wants. The reason is because Islamophobes tell us to read the Quran, so we shouldn’t. We should read the opinions of the scholars ABOUT the Quran as these are more infallible and reliable than God.’

        6) ‘We can’t actually understand the Quran, we have to follow what the scholars tell us. Doing this is fine, even though that is what the non-Muslims do with the Bible, Vedas and even science. We have to follow those who know more than us. But only in religion. And only if we are Muslim. I sound really dumb. I hope no one notices. Let me throw in some more questions’.

        7) ‘I’m just misunderstood! I just wanted to know what the Islamic position on war is (*but not from the Quran, as I might not like it). Even though I already said that violence is a great way of promoting religion. But then I changed it to a ‘question’ about Islam. I hope no-one notices the switcheroo!’

        8) ‘We need to follow what the scholars say about the Quran, but not the Quran itself (because God deliberately released an incomprehensible book and then said it was ‘Easy to understand’, but he meant only for the scholars. But he forgot to say that) . Also, we will choose which scholars are qualified, so actually we are following ourselves. It’s fine to do this if you are Muslim. But if you do this and you are non-Muslim, then prepare for eternal damnation’.

        9) ‘I’m going to keep spamming about secularists and Liberalism and how opposed they are to Islam, even though I can’t decide what Islam is or what it is based on (except probably violence) and no-one is talking about Liberalism or secularism anyway (or Jihad or anything else I am on about since the post was about whether Prophets can sin). I also don’t know how many non-Muslims even agree with secularism, I just want to show a common enemy, even though I don’t really have any clearly defined ideas for them to have enmity to. And I didn’t clarify whether I think it is even wrong for secularists to enforce their ideas since I was trying to argue (poorly) that ‘might is right’ and ideas should be promoted by ‘jihad’. But Liberals are bad. If I keep using this word, people will know that I am a defender of the faith. It doesn’t matter that lots of Neo-Cons and Atheists ALSO think Liberalism is bad.’

        9) ‘My last paragraph has nothing to do with anything. I just put it in there to make me look less nuts.’

      • Uh dude, who taught you how to ‘dialogue’, the Taliban (probably actually…)?

        No one said the answer is ‘read the Quran’. In fact, no one said that at all. You were asked to let people know if survival of the fittest or might is right (which you were trying to say were the effective) was in the Quran, thereby answering your own question. Since you failed big time, shut the hell up and go beat up schoolgirls for learning to read or whatever you guys do for fun.

  10. Your quite right each group is moulded into conforming to the view of the group that they have been brought up within. Deobandis will remain deobandi, Brelawi will remain Brelawi and salafist will remain salafist, Maturdis will remain maturidi and asharis will remain ashari and so on.

    But the question becomes if a group has an incorrect view within their belief system will they then incorporate this as part of their own belief. If so, then we know belief based on taqleed is kufr. That’s what is scary.

    Please read the article about captive minds.

  11. Skeptic: ‘Muhammad and his suceeders did ‘fascist jihad’ but I’m not an Islamophobe!

    Okay – I think atheists and their ‘founders’ are ‘fascists’ but I don’t hate atheists!

    ‘Muslim Answers’ (commas needed) – see, I told you atheists love guys like you! And he even agrees that you are fascist as well!

    • For me an islamophobe is someone whose life is strongly influenced by the fight and hate against Islam. I know most Muslims are not extremists and I am not paranoid. It is just that I think Islam is a false like every religion but it has a special potential for violence nowadays.

  12. What ‘historic jihad’ exactly? Are you like a textbook of or an authority on history or something?

    Is that all YOU’VE got?

  13. Also, if stuff people of a certain label (Muslim, Jacobian, American, Atheist whatever) do is a reliable and scientific way of judging their beliefs, as opposed to judging the idea itself, then please be sure to apply this to all atheists and atheist movements too.

    And when atheists were going around killing the shit out of people in China, Revolutionary France or wherever in the name of Godlessness or materialism or Communism or whatever, did they too have a ‘special potential for violence’?

    How about the Americans and the Western led coalitions that decimated Iraq and Afghanistan as well as facilitated the rise of ISIS (as they did with the Mujahadeen and Taliban in the 1980’s) from Libya to Yemen? Do they have a ‘special potential for violence’?

    How do you measure ‘potential’ for violence BTW? Is it by numbers killed? Cos you know, since WWII and the Iraq War, the ‘West’ is kind of ahead on that one. Unless your saying that 3000 dead Americans by a former American operative from an American allied country (Saudi, which according to you is the ‘real’ Islam) trumps a million dead Iraqis. Or 5 million dead Vietnamese/SE Asians. I mean, we need to stop Iran getting ‘the bomb’ but I know a country that actually used one – on a school day no less! You forgot to inform us of their ‘special’ potential for violence. Innocent omission I’m sure.

    Does NATO, the West, Christianity or post – Christian civilization, democracy, secularism and atheism ALSO give you a special potential for violence and cause you to freak out when someone attacks you and bomb the hell out of two countries where the attackers did NOT come from and see weapons of mass destruction that aren’t there? Do they also make you see women’s and gay rights and reproductive abuses in Iran but overlook them in China?

    Like I said, true sceptics are as rare as true faith. Rarer if you’re anything to go by.

    Clearly you losers haven’t read any of the other articles on this site or you would not be wasting peoples time with your weak jive. Please read them, preferably while holding each others members in mutual admiration.

    https://asharisassemble.com/2013/06/14/being-muslim-means-always-having-to-say-sorry/

    • I asked you guys if that is all you’ve got because I expect a little bit more from someone who claims to be representing a rationalist version of Islam. That means coming up with the standard polemics about George Bush or communist crimes ain’t enough. It is not enough!!!
      I would never criticize Islam because of the actions of Muslims. As already said it is all about the history of Muhammad and his followers. The founders of Christianity and Judaism did not have such an immediate impact on history. Muhammad and the Caliphs who are accepted by Sunni Muslims were big rulers who changed the world. They conquered and destroyed other ruling systems and Empires. What they did is very well known and there is no real space for interpretation.
      Of course I know that not every of these hadiths are accepted by Muslims depending on from which sect they come. But in the topic of your inter-muslim discussion there is no need for any hadiths. We just need to look at what the historical facts say. What you called fascist Jihad did happen and there is nothing that could change this fact.

      This methodology of yours where you just reject claims against Islam by denying they happened is fallacious. You say I believe in Islam and that Islam is good. If something against Islam is brought that does not fit into this “good” you say it is not part of Islam without trying to refute the claim with facts. “mmmclmru” said “I am very offended by people asking for ‘authentic proof’ that fascism and the law of the jungle is not part of Islam.” what shows this. This is I think the most distorting thing I have ever read from islamic apologists.
      I am convinced that Islam has all these weird things in it. I am saying this because of the facts at hand. Give me something interesting to read about Islam without rambling and this ‘if it’s evil it can’t be islamic’ circular reasoning. Otherwise you are just another kind of “Dawahmen”.

      • I never said I was a rationalist (though I am). But that is a funny criticism coming from someone whose opening ‘argument’ is as rational as:

        ”That means coming up with the standard polemics about George Bush or communist crimes ain’t enough. It is not enough!!!”

        But the fact is you brought nothing. At all.

        You just jiving kiddo. If you had some historical references to Muhammad committing massacres, God ordering them in the Quran whatever then cool, I would respond.

        You are just very obviously unhappy that we are not bending over backwards and playing your game and going off into a lengthy defence of Islam when you didn’t even bother to mount a decent attack.

        ‘This is I think the most distorting thing I have ever read from islamic apologists.’

        Who cares, you think that gets me going? We live in a universe with other observers. Everyone can see you are just waffling and talking about nothing specific.

        You see that AMB guy? He did much better and actually sincerely brought some questions worth answering, about wars of conquest by Ummayads and Abassids (who also KILLED the companions of the prophet, but you wouldn’t know that) all the way through to the Armenian genocide. So he actually had specific issues and questions.

        On the other hand this is you:

        ”I would never criticize Islam because of the actions of Muslims [BUT THEN YOU DO THAT IN LITERALLY THE NEXT SENTENCE]. As already said it is all about the history of Muhammad and his followers. The founders of Christianity and Judaism did not have such an immediate impact on history [READ THE OLD TESTAMENT. WHAT DID MOSES ALLEGEDLY DO TO THE CANAANITES? NO ‘IMPACT’?! AND WHO ORDERED HIM TO DO IT BTW?]. Muhammad and the Caliphs who are accepted by Sunni Muslims were big rulers who changed the world. They conquered and destroyed other ruling systems and Empires [LIKE WHICH EMPIRES? YOU DON’T KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE CALIPHS UP TO ALI AND THE UMAYYADS WHO FOLLOWED THEM. AND DESTROYING RULING SYSTEMS. SO WHAT? IS THAT LIKE A MORAL BAD NOW, THE SAME AS GENOCIDE OR SOMETHING? Y’ALL JUST DESTROYED SADDAMS DICTATORSHIP. SO?]. What they did is very well known and there is no real space for interpretation [EXCEPT BY THE 20% OR WHATEVER OF MUSLIMS WHO ARE SHIA WHO DON’T EVEN ACCEPT MOST OF THOSE CALIPHS LET ALONE THE ONES AFTER THEM. SO THERE ARE LIKE, HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE WHO ARE FINDING ‘ROOM’ FOR ‘INTERPRETATION’].”

        So you aren’t actually claiming anything. And no-one said Islam was pacifist or that wars didn’t occur so total straw man. In fact, you probably want to refer to the wars of Umar (RA) and his expansion of the Muslim domain. When you read a good history of this, say by Thomas Arnold, Watt or someone else (for example Rogerson or anyone you like), and find any issues of genocides or massacres etc by Abu Bakr, Uthmaan and Umar or Ali etc, do let us know.

        The problem is that these ‘Caliphs’ that you are talking about being ‘accepted’ by ‘everyone’ [except you don’t know their names or anything about them] even massacred the Companions of the Prophet and the women of the Prophets own family, like the followers of Yazid.

        It is the same game today with ISIS: most of the people they are killing are Muslims and the only people fighting back are ALSO Muslims too (unless you count fat American marines ‘piloting’ drones with a XBOX controller as ‘fighting’. Which you probably do) but that is an inconvenient truth so ISIS are still ‘orthodox’ Muslims and ‘Islamic’. Same game played with Muslim despots of the past. That’s why I punked you already – if they are the ‘real’ Muslims, then Stalin, Mao and Co are the real atheists. Enjoy!

        ”I am convinced that Islam has all these weird things in it. I am saying this because of the facts at hand. Give me something interesting to read about Islam without rambling and this”

        So you haven’t read anything and yet are still ‘convinced’? Due to the ‘facts’ at hand? Which facts? From where did you ‘learn’ about Islam and history exactly? The Web? Islamophobic Web? You never once told us these ‘facts’ anyway.

        So you admit to not having read anything about Islam it seems. Have you read any of the works in English recommended by academics? Muslims? Gai Eaton? El Fadl? Lang? Or academics like Rosenthal, Lawrence, Watt, Arnold, Izutzu, Murata, Goldziher?

        If not, why did you not remain ‘Skeptical’ (‘I am convinced…’ strange kind of sceptic that is ‘convinced’, yet hasn’t even researched the issue properly.

        Guess what, I’m convinced that Leprechauns exist, unless ‘you can give me something interesting to read which proves otherwise’. But I’m still a sceptic!’

        A good book for the genuinely interested reader (like AMB) on all of the issues around Islamic expansion and the claims that it was spread by he sword [which BTW, if Muslims had never done anything bad would be as absurd as the Islamophobes claims that they never did anything right] is the classic in the field, ‘The Preaching of Islam’ By T.W. Arnold

        http://www.amazon.co.uk/preaching-Islam-history-propagation-Muslim/dp/1293896772/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1430078284&sr=1-6&keywords=the+preaching+of+Islam

        (funny thing is that when you search for that book by title on Amazon, gobshite which has nothing to do with it comes up like ‘the Islamist’ by Ed Hussein. ‘Nuff said about the impartiality of the West. Nowadays you are about as likely to get reliable information about Islam as you were to get about Socialism during the Cold War (which basically explains people like ‘Skeptic’). And for the same reason: unlike Muslims, a lot of people DO believe alls fair in love and war).

  14. Nice illustration here of Muslim and secular extremists finding each other mutually beneficial.

    Anyone who has read the history of the 20th century (Nazis, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, ‘Murricah etc – hundreds of millions dead) and then thinks that it is Muslims (uhhhhh…9/11 and Killing a bunch of other Muslims) that are the most dangerous is a bigoted twat.

  15. ^

    If the guys commenting at asharisassemble (terribly misguiding site name by the way, it has become more like anti-Asharis) want to play the ‘no true Scotsman’ game regarding Jihad in Islam, then by all means go ahead and do it. Because all the arguments amount to: ‘The Quran is extremely clear about there being no outer struggle Jihad in Islam, only the ‘false Muslims’ which is almost every Muslim scholar who has ever lived before the modern era did not understand this issue, and Allah did not consider that the outer struggle to establish his religion and make it strong as a viable way to make His Word the highest’.

    I do not know even where this idea comes from, since your leader Shaykh Atabek himself mentioned that Jihad is ugly in itself but beautiful due to something outside of it through which its goodness becomes manifest. Why do you just not admit that Jihad, as the struggle to establish Islam as a system on Earth, is definitely something commanded by Allah, and that it has a benefit and usefulness. Nowhere did I say people would be forced to convert to Islam, but the establishment of an order works in order to promote the ideology behind it, and anything else is an insult to the wisdom of Allah (funny, is it not, that the ‘true Maturidis’ here apparently hold on to this principle, yet cannot see the obvious benefit in the outer struggle to set up the Islamic order in the land, and go on challenging people about the ‘lack of Usool’ in this regard- coincidentally just like the Salafis, who see no ‘Usool’ in denying anthropomorphism with regards to Allah the Exalted).

    • “Jihad, as the struggle to establish Islam as a system on Earth, is definitely something commanded by Allah, and that it has a benefit and usefulness”

      Islam is already on earth. You used the word Jihad which can mean many different things. Do you mean offensive war for the sake of spreading the sovereignty of God on earth?

    • Brother, check your tone and keep your anger to the people who attacked you and not myself or the site. I actually tried to chastise them on your behalf.

      I understand you feel humiliated by their attacking tone, but the way to deal with it is to stand up for yourself or report them to admin (me) for their rude comments. You however chose to lash out at random people and bring up a lot of irrelevant ranting about Sheikh Atabek being our leader (which he isn’t and in any case there is no ‘us’) or whatever.

      This is what I told you before you started embarrassing yourself with Nikita and the others: Muslims don’t have power because they use it in a low class way. You don’t even have power but instead of doing the right thing you start ‘carpet bombing’ me an innocent bystanders with rubbish instead of dealing with the situation.

      Furthermore, your DIY theology in the last paragraph is pointless.

      Very disappointing.

  16. Thanks again!

    I didn’t recommend a book about refuting the allegation that Islam was spread by the sword as the book she recommended, ‘The Preaching of Islam’, is the best as I am sure you realise.

    As for the Ummayads and the Abbasids, the idea that they were spreading ‘Islam’ by the sword is rather fake: the Abassids killed Abu Hanifa and persecuted Malikis and lots of other Muslims, and the Ummayids went so far as to kill Sahabah – recall the issue of Yazid whose army raped so many women of the Sahahbah that 700 illegitimate children were born. So when these guys went and conquered non-Muslims territory and acted whack, do you really think it was for ‘Islam’? They weren’t exactly treating the Muslims or Companions of the Prophet much better were they? Isn’t this the same thing we are seeing now with ISIS – the media makes a big fuss when they kill Yazidis or Christians but most of their victims are Muslims (as are the people fighting against them), but you never hear about that.

    It is not possible that Muslims never did anything bad in their whole history – of course they did massacres and bad things. The question is 1) To what extent was this ‘inspired’ by Islam and 2) How do they compare with pother religious and political movements. Arnold did an excellent job and so did other orientalists like W. Mongomery Watt addressing this. For the second point, you could try this short paper as well:http://www.scribd.com/doc/120931362/Body-count-A-quantitative-review-of-political-violence-across-world-civilizations#scribd

    You mentioned the Armenian genocide before. So in the first place, that incident took place during the ‘rule’ of the Young Turks nationalist movement and not Islamic government and secondly, there is a big movement in Europe (and Turkey with people like Orhan Pamuk and Elif Shafak, who in turn are actually based in France) to ‘credit’ Islam with something as bad or comparable to the Holocaust, that Europe is still rightly ashamed about. So it was definitely a tragedy but a lot of the material that comes out of French and European scholars is tinged with the need to offload a genocide onto Muslims. It may well have been a genocide, but some (Western) scholars say that over 250,000 Turks were killed by the Armenians before they retaliated by exiling the Armenians – and no-one is campaigning to have that nor the Gansu rebellion in China (where 12 million Muslims were killed:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gansu#cite_note-12) labelled a ‘genocide’. So if it is a genocide, then Muslims have to admit it, while noting the hypocrisy of French and other scholars in insisting on certain massacres and not others (i.e those of Muslims) being labelled Genocides. Likewise, there is no campaign, unlike for the Armenian genocide, to criminalise denial of the Gansu or Bosnian genocides.

    At the end of the day, Muslims are human and they mess up like humans do. It is a bit fresh though for others from a Christian or Hindu background to pretend that there is something ‘especially’ bad about Muslims: As the article ‘Bodycount’ shows, per capita, Muslims have been LESS violent.

    In terms of Muslims invading first, that is not even true as there were fights with the Byzantine Romans before that and in any case, the Crusades were led by countries that were not invaded by Muslims (i.e North Western Europe and Rome). And if that is their justification – namely that we invaded you because you invaded us (even though there was no united Europe to be an ‘us’) then why did they massacre all of the Jews, Muslims and Christians when they invaded Jerusalem? Did they ‘learn’ that from us or did we do that in Spain? Anyway, no academic accepts or takes these excuses for colonialism seriously. They also invaded China, SE Asia and North and South America in the colonial period. Did those guys ‘invade’ them first too?

    The Almohads were not from Spain but invaders from North Africa who replaced the Almoravids who were another puritanical movement invading. That’s a short period of invasion from outsiders in the 7-800 year history of Spain. Most of the time there was no forced conversiuon. Look over a long enough period in the history of any nation and you will find some fascist movements. The also probably killed and persecuted Muslims too.

    The book ‘Islam and the Abolition of Slavery’ By William Clarence Gervaise Smith is also good about issues of slavery and in terms of general books, the new one by Sheikh Atabek is indispensable as is ‘Losing My Religion’ By Jeffrey Lang and anything by Gai Eaton. There are not a whole lot of good books about aqeeda in English I think.

  17. There is nothing in ‘Islamic Slavery’ as flagrant as The triangular trade or the Middle Passage that I know of. The best treatment I have read is ‘Servants of Allah’ By Sylviane A Diouf.

    BTW; just because Islam mentions or regulates slavery does not mean it approves or even allows it. Furthermore, I know of no way to generate new slaves Quranically:https://asharisassemble.com/2013/03/17/islam-slavery-taqiuddin-an-nabhani/

    Many commentators – such as Ibn Abbas himself, deny that 'what your right hands poses' allows sex with your slaves. So he is denying sex with anyone, including your slaves, that you are not married to. Muhammad Asad references these arguments heavily in his translation, which is well worth picking up too.

  18. Having said that, there is no doubt that Muslims were heavily involved in the slave trade and a lot of evil would have taken place. There are also hadith which say no punishment for killing a slave etc. These hadith are fake and were rejected by Nakhai, Abu Hanifa etc but accepted by Muhaditheen. So that is a genuine messed up issue. It is mentioned in the Hanafi Mustalah book.

    Sheikh Atabek also did a lot of talks on slavery – you can find them on the Nazam44 Youtube channel.

    • Jazakallah! Thank you so much for responding, I appreciate your patience with my spam like ways, thanks for putting up with me! You guys are a god send!

  19. Skeptic – your comments have been spammed since you failed to respond to any points ever and never once provided any references despite making the most xenophobic and vile assertions on your own ‘authority’, yet you want to keep trolling at your leisure. It ain’t that kind of party kiddo!

    P.S You suck and are the most untalented Islamophobe on the internet. Seriously. You need to go to some proper Islamophobes and read up.

  20. @hbazzari.

    I’d recommend Martin Lings’ biography of Muhammad (pbuh) and Karen Armstrong’s. they are good 🙂 even for non-muslim readers.

    just stay away from Saudi published seerah. by God, I’m serious. lest you want to murtad fast!

  21. to a comment about slavery above.

    i heard from one Maliki talib ‘ilm that in Maliki when there is consensus that abolishes slavery, then muslims should not restore it back.

    moreover slaves can have a contract called mukatab with their masters where they buy themselves for freedom in an agreement. slaves in mukatab status are no different than free people, they can have business transactions, own properties, even literally become the head of state. so even if there is slavery in islam, it’s more like sponsorship thing. and it’s not that easy to take legit slaves except from legit jihad combatants and those who aid them. not all captured enemies are automatically slaves. in Maliki view, muslims take slaves only if enemy do the same, otherwise it’s not. so in slavery, islam has abolished the inhumane aspect of it. in the time of Caliph Umar RA he lashed a man 100 times for treating his female slave with cruelty, and forced him to free her.

    Allah knows best.

  22. what is the point knowing prophet can or cannot sin. we are not (but the masses do) into the character assisination or stuff like that. we want to know the word of god (quran) and how we can better our self. live harmony with ourself and society. to follow god’s word etc. anyways, first word of god, is “read” not “judged”

  23. I always knew that comment sections were full of arguments but this specific section is something else. Wow. Anyways I really wanted to add a point. Before the Turks became Muslim, they were a warlike people. After they became Muslim, they continued to be a warlike people. In fact the initial Turkish Muslims were mercenaries for Muslim empires. Also the first ruler of the Ottomans, Osman Gazi, didn’t even know how to read Arabic yet he waged violent campaigns against both the Byzantines and the other Turkish Beyliks of Anatolia. When Selim the grim invaded the Middle East and Egypt, he ordered multiple massacres of Sunni Muslim Mamelukes. These people were motivated more by power than anything religious.

    I can go on and on with examples but the important thing is that Muslim Empires went through similar wars, bloodshed, and turbulent times as other people did. Did anyone ever read about the Chinese? I am currently studying the dissolution of the Han Empire and let me tell you, it was very messy. Entire families were massacred due to the mistake of one member. Punitive wars were extremely common as rulers would raze entire cities to teach the populace a lesson.

    Humans are violent. But we don’t have to be.

    I would know. The village I am from in Turkey used to be an Armenian village a hundred years ago. The Armenians were all killed by a Turkish mob who lured them into a valley claiming that they were actually going to save them from another approaching mob. They killed them all. A lot of Turks moved in later including my family and my great aunt actually adopted the only two kids who were the surviving victims of the massacre (good people exist).Yes the secular Young Turks were the cause of the genocide but other massacres had also been committed by the previous “religious” Sultan Abdulhamid II. It is a painful story to have in my mind. I wish it never happened.

    War in our time is not a good idea. I don’t really know if war was permitted for the early Muslims, maybe it was (but even then the prophet (saw) or the first caliphs never committed any injustice). Of course everyone can make mistakes and even the sahaba experienced violence between them. But we must not accept that as a commandment of Islam, but rather an example of societal behavior. Many cultural aspects of the tribal Arab pagans must have stuck with certain sahaba no doubt.

    If people are confused they can check out the Mujaddid of the century, Bediuzzaman Said Nursi. He believed that the Jihad of our time must be the jihad of the pen. Even when a religious sheikh rose in rebellion against the secular government of Ataturk, Said Nursi refused to support him. He clearly saw that war would just dig Muslims into a further ditch and knew that the Muslims were technologically weak to even raise a finger against the West or their puppets. Did he advocate pacifism? No, he even fought in the Ottoman army against invading Russians. So much more can be said about him and if only more Muslims knew him. And only if we had more people like him.

    • Aslamu’Alaykum and very sorry for the late response, I’ve just read your comment today and just wow, amazing analysis.

      It is true in that history showcases that majority of men (sometimes women) in power , waged a war of aggression for their own agendas. I’m studying the Crusades at college and the early Muslim leaders (the specific time period I’m looking at is between 1119-1149) such Turks as Ilghazi and Zengi were often drunk and violated the rights of captives contrary to Islamic law and teachings. It appears they were more interested to gaining more territory e.g. Damascus for themselves rather than actively engaging in war with the Crusaders and freeing Jerusalem (until the rise of Nur Ad Din and Saladin (1147-1193).

      Saladin is what every Muslim should aspire to in times of war. He was a just ruler and there are numerous stories of his kindness to the Crusaders in times of peace and war. It is no wonder that he is honoured even in the West.

      My point is that I agree with your stance and that every Muslim who are struggling to cope in this Age should read the teachings and embrace the wisdom of Nursi.

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