The Truth About ‘The Study Quran’ Part 2: Who Are the ‘Modernists’?

Another marvellous broadside from the increasingly outspoken Sheikh Atabek Shukurov. Could it be that Muslim scholars in the West are growing a conscience?!

Here he addresses some of the inevitable errors by ‘The Study Quran‘ team – but uses this as a platform to really shine a light into those aspects of Classical Islam which modern ‘practising’ and ‘Salafi’ schools find inconvenient and would rather just disappeared. And they are more than happy to help in getting rid of them…

Read the brilliant part one here: https://asharisassemble.com/2016/05/08/the-truth-about-the-study-quran-part-1-the-quransploitation-industry/

I just want to say: thank God for sequels. Unless it’s ‘Batman vs Superman’. 

Shaykh Atabek Shukurov 

It has become necessary to embark on this article and others like it because under ideological and financial pressure from Salafis and other fringe elements, most Muslim groups purporting to follow ‘Classical Islam’ have instead falsified and fabricated astonishing amounts in its name.

A prominent example is pretending that those hadiths, fatwas and narrations emphasised and accepted by puritanical groups such as Salafis and their fellow travellers (sadly very often Brelwis and Deobandis) are in fact accepted by everyone through Islamic history. This exercise in revisionism means that the unsuspecting layman is lead to believe that, for example, every narration of Bukhari or some controversial hadith were accepted ‘unanimously’ and that ‘no one disagreed’. The names of the famous scholars of Islam are frequently wheeled out for this purpose – their reputations merely a stepping stone and a sacrifice to fabricating evidence for an a prior fringe position.

Having undertaken the first ever English critical edition of Imam Maturidi’s Magnum Opus ‘Kitab ut Tawhid‘ (a task whose omission by many others despite calls for it even by Orientalists speaks volumes about the intentions of many of his ‘followers’. Please notice the surfeit of editions and translations of the works of latter day salafist favourites like Ibn Taymiyya and the latter day founders of other ‘sects’ from the Deobandis to the Ikhwaanis to ‘Hizb Ut Tahrir‘), I had been asked repeatedly about Imam Maturidi’s authoritative yet untranslated positions and fatwas. Add to this that Maturidi’s Arabic, of the Central Asian style, is uniquely complex and Muslims are subjected to deliberately poor translations and ‘commentary’ by puritans of even the Quran itself. My fear is that having tried their best to ignore Maturidi and not translate him at all, his ‘followers’ will now do their best to censor and mistranslate him.

Thus I have endeavoured to mention those excerpts of Maturidi’s which are most intellectually and practically relevant and helpful to Muslims (and others) today (as we did here:https://sulaimanahmed.com/2016/01/20/black-magic-and-the-perfection-of-the-prophet/). And make no mistake – relevant and stimulating they most certainly are, which is why they are so carefully kept from the Muslim laity today.

As the most widely followed doctor of Islamic creed, Maturidi’s scope, influence and authority is astonishing. It is my intention to show that this original and fearless thinker is relevant today – and is much more than the caricature that many who ‘follow’ his school claim him to be.

Here I just want to post an example for readers on hadith as we did previously on Black Magic. 

 

Prophet Moses Naked?

We all know of the Hadeeth which is narrated by Imam Bukhari and other authors of Hadeeth collections about Prophet Musa/Moses PBUH.

The general story they relate has variations but says that Moses was a very shy person – so he used to hide his body from peoples gaze. When he would bathe with his nation, they would do it communally but Moses would go far away from then and bathe in a different part of the river.

Some people from his nation allegedly used to use this to make up insults against him. They said; ‘He has cut off his genitals, that’s why he is ashamed to show himself to us naked‘ or; ‘He has big testicles, [or a scrotal hernia] that’s why he doesn’t take off his clothes‘.

And many other insults.

God wanted to prove them wrong. Prophet Moses was taking a ‘shower’ (unclothed) in the river far from the people, and he left his clothes on a rock. This rock suddenly came to life and took his clothes and ran towards the people who insulted him. Moses in turn took his staff and ran after the clothes. When rock stopped, he started beating the rock and cursing it. People who were sitting there saw that the naked body of Prophet Moses didn’t have any of what they used to insult him with.

This is the story which is narrated with some differences (we mentioned it here by meaning –  incidentally as most hadith are) in a number of collections and is repeated as an ‘explanation’ for Surah Al Azab verse 69 onwards by numerous classical commentators of the Quran and even by the recent ‘Study Quran‘ by Nasr et al: Here is the ayat in, perhaps appropriately, the translation of Muhammad Asad, himself a Jew who lost his parents in the Holocaust:

33:69 

O YOU who have attained to faith! Be not like those [children of Israel] who gave offence to
Moses, and [remember that] God showed him to be innocent of whatever they alleged [against
him or demanded of him]: for of great honour was he in the sight of God.

The ‘Study Quran‘ actually follows the methodology of most today and attributes the accusations against Moses in this part of the Quran to his alleged ‘physical defect’. Although the authors avoid relating the hadith and details of the story in full (they do not mention the animate rock or the naked running etc, perhaps out of embarrassment), they use the explanation of Quranic exegetes Ibn Kathir and Qurtubi, both beloved of Salafists for their alleged anthropomorphism.

Despite this towing of the ‘party line’ (so to speak), the authors of the ‘Study Quran’ were subjected to a sustained campaign of attack and anathematisation from a strange coalition of Salafi and other scholars and interests. (of relevance here, Asad, attributes the reason for the revelation of this part of the Quran to the issues in the beginning of Numbers 12 as opposed to the story related by ‘The Study Quran‘ and Co.)

Here is the actual text of Bukhari;

ds

(Bukhari narrated this hadeeth Number 3404 from Abu Huraira);

Prophet PBUH said; ‘Moses was a shy and reserved man. None of his skin would be seen due to his shyness. Some people from Sons of Israel insulted him and said; He doesn’t hide himself except for some defect in his skin, either vitiligo or scrotal hernia or some other defect. Then God wanted to defend Moses from this insult. Once Moses was alone and took off his clothes and put them on a rock. Then he went for a bath. Once he finished, he came to take his clothes, but rock started running with his clothes on it. Moses took his staff and went looking for the rock. He started calling; ”O rock, my clothes! O rock, my clothes!”

He kept on walking until he reached the place where group of Sons of Israel were sat. They saw his body as most perfect shape that God created. That is how God defended him from what they used to accuse him of. Then the rock stood, and Moses took his clothes and put them on. Then he beat the rock with his staff. I swear by God that rock has three or four or five scars on it from striking by the staff.

That what is the meaning of the verse; ”O believers! don’t be as those who have hurt Moses, then God freed him from their accusation. Indeed he [Moses] was very glorious in front of God”‘.

However, Abu Mansur Maturidi flatly rejected it in his Tafseer (Quranic exegesis)  Volume 4, Page 138:

Портрет Муртазы-Кули-хана

Abu Mansur gives the following reasons to reject this hadeeth;

  1. Prophet Moses used to order them to cover their private parts as a matter of religious observance (still followed by Jews today), that is why it is not possible that they will hope or try to bathe with him in the very first place.
  2. It is not possible that they would wish to look at his private parts
  3. It is not possible that a rock will be able to run away with the clothes of the Prophet Moses

Maturidi doesn’t even look at its chain and narrators, doesn’t even look at which collection is it narrated in, doesn’t consider that it is in the collection of Bukhari, neither does he try to show his excuses to Bukhari. But he does very frankly show only the above three rational reasons and comments on the narration using two very harsh names;

  1. ‘Outlandish interpretation’
  2. ‘Bizarre or strange statement’

Based on this we can see that Abu Mansur makes his analysis to reject this hadeeth based on intellect with the support of general accepted principles based on The Quran…

It also looks as if Abu Mansur holds the rank of Prophets in very high regard, and shows a lot of respect towards them.

No doubt that Abu Mansur Maturidi is the highest ranked Hanafi scholar, other than the eponymous founder of the school. And were we to respect his authority and reasoning, even if we were to disagree, then that would be that. However, this opinion and methodology employed by Maturidi, as with so many of the luminaries of Islamic scholarship, is an inconvenient truth for the partisans that the Muslim laity find themselves surrounded by today. They will not and cannot allow a scholar, regardless of his rank and authority, to disregard any of the hadith they wish to be accepted, in particular those of their canonical collections such as Bukhari etc.

The reason is not any insistence by Imam Bukhari himself (who never stated that he intended each and every one of his hadith to be accepted into faith nor acted upon, and often included hadith for documentary as opposed to theological or juristic reasons) but rather due to the self interested, partisan and inclusive criteria these groups and individuals have towards (certain) hadith narrations. If it becomes widely known that some narrations later canonised by these interests were in fact rejected by luminaries of the past, then the game is, as they say, up.

So the evasions, misdirections, fudges and outright lies begin. Since the easiest course of action, namely to disown and discredit Imam Maturidi himself, is inexpedient due to his authority and following for the past thousand years or so (although this does not stop Salafis openly denouncing him) and as well as this, Maturidi has a ‘built in fan base’, which it would be useful to retain and divert to these groups own, frankly, nefarious ends. Therefore the next line of concealing the truth (that Maturidi and others rejected narrations these groups are fond of) is:

  1. Mistranslating
  2. Fabricating an absurd ‘context’ for the rejection
  3. Claiming that said scholar was idiosyncratic or a lone wolf and naming others who disagreed with him to subtly discredit him – regardless of his or their relative authoritativeness
  4. Claiming that, well, he might have rejected it but that we have to follow ‘the majority’, by which they mean them or their group
  5. As above but with ‘ijma‘ (consensus) substituted for ‘majority’

Number three can be most confusing for the layman.

In the case of this hadith – and many others, we see a game by groups like Salafis and Deobandis of trying to play off the early group of scholars with a more recent cohort that agrees with their preferred, usually ‘gotta’ accept them all’ methodology. The classic example is to claim that well, maybe some early Hanafis believed that this hadith is false but later on other Hanafis fell into line with the hadith collectors. This is a kind of ‘modernism’ and a strangely secular idea that the latest version of the truth is the truth, an idea alien to Islam and for which these same groups anathematise others. The game usually consists of not telling the audience that the ‘later’ scholars were in fact following a methodology, be that in hadith or anything else, that these groups would like you to follow (usually more puritanical or more inclusive of certain hadith) and the earlier scholars were following a methodology (easier and more rationalist) that these groups would not want you to follow.

This is in no way as far as I know the methodology of the ‘Study Quran‘, they are merely repeating the claims of some past commentators, but even this did not save them from the ire of those they agreed with. it isn’t enough to agree with ideological extremists it seems unless you agree with them in everything.

So in the above case, the stance of Maturidi was supported by other Hanafi giants such as Isa Ibn Abban (in fact Imam Jassas also narrated this hadith from him), Imam Bazdawi, Imam Sarakhsi, Imam Qadhikhan – and big list of other Hanafi theologians supported the opinion of Isa bin Abban…but Kamal ibn Humam, Lakhnawi and group of other latest Hanafi scholars have rejected the opinion of Ibn Abban.

Thus layman and scholar alike will be unilaterally blackmailed by saying ‘how dare you go against the opinion of the latter (i.e more hadith oriented) group!’- without telling you that these scholars were in fact themselves going against the opinion of the earlier and more authoritative group. The poor Muslim layman is taught ‘earlier is better’ and the merits of the Salaf. But then these same people jettison the opinions of the early and authoritative scholars for their own favourites, later scholars and even scholars with deviant views such as Ibn Taymiyya when it suits them (a good example is the shocking adoption of Ibn Taymiyya by Shah Wali Allah, who is venerated by both of the puritanical and Salafi oriented faux Hanafi groups in the Indian Subcontinent, the Deobandis and their arch rivals the Brelwis).

What is really lamentable is that if anyone today rejects a hadith from ‘Sahih Bukhari‘,  a lynch mob composed of Salafists, Deobandis, Brelwis and even Sufis is rapidly assembled, but rejecting the teachings of senior Imams and theologians such as Imam Maturidi is considered of no consequence – even by his self proclaimed ‘followers’. What makes this even more egregious is that Imam Bukhari, as stated, seems to have never himself insisted that all his hadith be accepted. In fact, in an ironic twist, Imam Bukhari died alone and isolated,  hounded by Hanbali mob for being a ‘heretic’ and a ‘Mu’tazilite’ – he was persecuted by the ideological ancestors of the very people who today insist that not single one of his narrations be rejected. Perhaps it is their way of redeeming for what was done to him, but it nevertheless doesn’t change the fact that Bukhari himself neither insisted his collection was complete nor to be completely followed (for the record, there was friction between Bukhari and some of his local Hanafis too).

In this rush to rewrite Islamic intellectual history to agree with their partisan views, these groups destroy the diversity and heritage that is the right of believers of all faiths. In trying to make everything equally true, or rather the same, they in fact introduce weakness, incoherence and make everything equally false.

Unlike many of these groups, I believe that people are free to believe what they wish and that people can believe that Maturidi and the other Haanfi giants were wrong in their decision and that the hadith is reliable after all. I personally consider the glosses and explanations offered for this hadith by scholars past and present to be outlandish, but the academic tradition in Islam mandates that I hear them out and not shout them down with accusations of heresy, hadith rejection and modernism as these sectarians are wont to do.

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88 thoughts on “The Truth About ‘The Study Quran’ Part 2: Who Are the ‘Modernists’?

  1. Very cogent follow-up. I guess the thing that bugs me is where do fantasy stories like this one about Moses(as) and the rock come from if there’s not a grain of truth in there somewhere ? Was this an israiliyat story that was amended ? How did this become widely accepted enough to be narrated by enough reliable people so that it ends up with a sound, sahih chain? Before coming to this site, I think I really underestimated how much damage Salafi doctrine has done to Islam. I really struggle with the idea that Sahih ahadith could be rejected, and it’s even harder to have a discussion on this topic with modern Muslims. As soon as you suggest that Sahih Bukhari is not all “accepted hadith” you get this look as though you’ve trampled on Islam as they know it!

  2. Salam

    I heard they were in the process of translating Imam Maturdi’s book on ‘kitab al-tawheed’ if I am not mistaken. I have heard a lot of good things about him, can I just ask

    When is his book going to be published in English?

  3. Does this site have an article making a case that the Quran is the word of God from a purely rational view-point? Because as a Muslim I don’t think the divine origin of the Quran can be established through reason alone. I love this site but I find it sad that you have deviated from the path of classical fiqh, going against the consensus of the majority of scholars of the past and present, ( rejecting the punishment of stoning for adultery etc.),all in the name of reason and intellect.

    • So please show me first:

      1) Where is this ijma on adultery, with the chains?

      2) Is Imam Ahmad ‘deviant’ for not believing in Ijma AT ALL?

      3) So we should accept things that go against reason? OK – does this ‘principle’ come from Quran, and does it apply to Buddhists and God having a son or just to ‘classical fiqh’

      4) Or if you mean, as you are insinuating, that we are merely rejecting in THE NAME of reason, but it isn’t ACTUALLY reason, please show how stoning ‘reasonable’ is according to the REAL reason and intellect. I want to learn. Seriously.

      5) If Divine origin of Quran is not established by reason, alone there must be one of two possibilities:

      i) Something UNREASONABLE about it. Please tell me what this is.

      ii) Some UNREASONABLE proof for it. I never heard of anything that is both ‘unreasonable’ and a ‘proof’, it is like being pregnant/not pregnant at the same time, but if you explain it to me I will reconsider.

      So clarify what you said and then I will show you the proof of Quran being from God by reason. But since you are disagreeing on terms like ‘reason’ or ‘ijma‘ and stuff, there is no point until you clarify.

      Usually people who post this kind of stuff don’t clarify and just start saying you are rude, blah blah. Let’s see if you are different.

      In England (and Islam) none of this is rude. Asking questions isn’t rude. What IS rude is calling people ‘deviant’ and against the scholars (but you still LOVE us. HMMMM..). So now back it up.

      • Also, just to help you, remember about Ijma:

        – From which groups is the ijma, who is included and who decided this?
        – Can Hanbalis or Imam Ahmad ever be ‘in’ Ijma if he/they don’t believe in it?
        – Can ijma abrogate Quran?
        – When does Ijma have to occur. From Salaf? Anytime? Today?
        – How does Ijma have to be reported? Ahad? Muttawatir?
        – Where is it recorded and who records it?
        – Do you have ijma in Aqeeda?
        – Is it compulsory to follow it? In Fiqh or Aqeeda or both?

        Also, please remember that ‘ijma’ (= concensus) and ‘majority’ are separate and different things.

        One last question: Only Muslims have to follow ijma of their scholars or Jews and Christians too?

      • In this article Imam Maturidi is mentioned very often and presented as a big rebel against our classical Islam. This Atabek tries to make him look like him. He also tries to make a national connection to Maturidi because he is Uzbek. But just to get this straight: Abu Mansur al Maturidi was Persian/Tajik while Atabek is Turko-Mongolic. He should not think that he has some unique connection to 9th century territory of today’s Uzbekistan. The Turkic tribes came later and Uzbek identity was created after the big Mongol invasion.

        But this historical rambling aside, Maturidi was not like you. Are you aware that he did believe in stoning for adultery? It can be seen in his Tafsir.
        So there is Ijmaa on stoning. Nobody has ever denied it. I do not know anyone. Tell us someone if you know.

      • So we get: racism.
        And an ‘ethnic’ breakdown of Maturidi AND Shukurov with NO proof for either.
        And we never saw where Shukurov said Maturidi has an ethnic connection with him (though he does).
        BTW, it is Kazakhs not Uzbeks who are Turkish/Mongol. Uzbeks are Persianate. I know because I am both Kazakh and not racist.
        Also, I know about history and know that the ‘Uzbek’ identity is a tribe that came to leadership after Timur and the Barlas. But you are racist so no point discussing that with you.

        Also, Mongols invaded Arabia and Iraq too. Up to Egypt. So according to your logic, Arabs are a ‘new identity’ too.

        Maturidi believing in stoning makes it Ijma does it? Interesting. So ‘consensus’ in the language of racists means ‘one person’. That makes sense> also, can you read Tafsir of Maturidi? Translate the relevant passage for us so we can have confidence in your ‘reference’.

        Maybe you are a mentally weak person. Most people who make arguments like someone is wrong because of their race are mentally weak. But even stupid people know that an ‘argument’ such as show me who denied it (when we did many times on this site) is not proof of anything.

        So you show me where is this ijma, not this racist crap.

        But it is funny, you shamed yourself again.

      • Just remember Readers, Maturidi is actually ethically Arabian, since he is from Abu Bakr’s lineage, unless this Muppet thinks Abu Bakr is ‘Mongol’, which is possible.
        And Persians came later – ancestor of all Turkic tribes are Hungs. So…?

        Also, if he could actually read Maturidi’s tafsir, he would see it has Turkic grammar.

      • You are using Western arguments like racism and feminism. But I just wanted to say that Atabek has no right to claim he is the only follower of Maturidi and that that he is not even connected to him through heritage. I am not using racist or nationalist arguments. I just wanted to mention it but it has no actual significance for the problem.

        The problem is that Atabek is a modernist and he lies about Hanafi scholars like Maturidi. An example is stoning. Yesterday I just searched for the word ‘rajm’ and found the part immediately. You can look it up.

        And one question to you Borat, how did you come to Islam? I never saw Kazakhs having much to do with Islam although the majority is Muslim by name at least.

      • I LOVE this!

        You really are so stupid that when I accused you of being racist you:

        1) Became even MORE racist
        2) Said that racism is only bad in the West

        So, no references Hitler? You searched for rajm and found it immediately…but won’t tell us what it says (*because you can’t read it).

        I must say, I am really pleased with myself for letting you comment, I totally nailed it: you are full retard and just cussed out yourself!

        Enjoy sports fans!

    • Usually I delete links that people put up without explaining, but your link is SOOOOOOO dumb and your comment SOOOO stupid that I decided to leave it up so people can see your ‘intellectual’ level. It is far better proof than anything I could say against you.

      Just check this out as a sample:

      He is a RABID LIAR. When he doesn’t have any evidence to prove his hallucinations, he simply lies against [insert random big name Hanafi scholar] and presents his own filth as the opinion of a Hanafi giant of yore. He has done this on more than one occasion.
      I’m not going to bother with the proofs for my above statements

      LMAO. You literally insult and make takfir (*which for you means to kill) and openly announce that you are not going to giver proof for your statements. This is why people hate religion and don’t want sharia, because here’s you in court:

      ‘I’m not going to bother with proof for my accusation of adultery. Kill her’

      = ISIS.

      You LITERALLY are the caricature of religion that atheists present. What is so funny is that you ACTUALLY ADMIT IT.

      It also show excellent standard of the ‘Sufis’ nowadays – you really DID become grave worshippers like the Salafis say! Worshipping scholars whose books you haven’t even read. Funny.

      • Hahahah, this is too funny

        I think this guy is on crack, I don’t get it with Sufis. What the hell do they believe in?, I guess I’ll never know.

        This is the product of stupid shariah academies pumping out brainless freaks who only know how to bash Shias, debunk Christianity and tell people that u can never understand the deen like the salaf or the classical scholars did.

        This crap has been going on for too many years, it’s about time our way of teaching shariah should be changed. Rather than teaching them memorisation, teach them how to think, ponder and discuss issues.

        It’s all complex, our history is so misconstrued, ahadith fabricated like there is no tomorrow and the seerah has so many doubts in it. Our scholars added irrelevance to the religion, complicated things to the extent where Muslims can’t even understand anything about Islam anymore.

        So u end up with all sort of crazy people running around thinking they’ve got it right.

        I had respect for shaykh atabek previously because I have respect for the author of this site, but my hopes were let down when I saw one of the conversations between him and bassam zawadi on Facebook. I think he still hasn’t got the hang of it yet, although, much better than the rest of the ignorant mullahs out there.

      • He said that he does not want to bring the proofs and not that he could not. This Atabek is not worthy of debate but because of his liberal and elitist appearance many blind Muslims or people who think they are Muslims fall for his arguments.
        But there is nothing more than deception and arrogance in any of his contributions. I could talk about it of course.

        ” ‘I’m not going to bother with proof for my accusation of adultery. Kill her’ ”

        Why ‘her’ ? You show what you think about Muslims and Islam when you imply that Muslims are misogynist. There is no stoning for women like the filthy non-Muslims and you think. There is stoning for adultery which is for both men and women.

      • So he COULD bring proof but he DIDN’T but you ARE happy to make takfir without proof.

        Likewise you COULD talk about it (*but strangely you didn’t).

        What is ‘liberal and elitist appearance’? I think this is what happens when we have Brelwi type guys going to school isn’t it? Using words they don’t know the meaning of.

        So proof that you aren’t mental is that you are willing to kill BOTH men and women is it? In Saudi, Iran and anywhere else stoning has been practised, majority of victims have been women. Show me the gender breakdown of people who have been stoned to prove that you are applying it equally. I never said in Islam it is for women, I just said that morons like you apply it on women more.

        Non-Muslims take note: you are ‘filthy’ according to this ‘Sufi’. Just amazing spirituality!

        So you posted three times and so far not a single sentence of proof for anything. That is why I left your comments up, to show people how extreme you people are and how far you are willing to go with no proof. I mean seriously, you don’t even know the rules of ijma do you?

        So I could ban you but it is more fun to torture idiots and laugh at them. it is a ‘halal’ form of bullying.

      • Takfir is something you have prove very well. As for me I do not want to search for exact quotes from this person and then argue about it. If you really want me to do this I will.

        By ‘elitist’ I meant that he pretends to be something better than other Muslims. His school is named after the famous philosopher Avicienna. By talking much about philosophy and science they want to look better than Muslims.
        I saw the pictures of the school uniforms. They try to look like rich non-Muslims. If they are an Islamic school why don’t they have more Islamic uniforms? It does not have to be Pakistani or Arabian clothing. It just has to be different from the non-Muslims.

        “I just said that morons like you apply it on women more.”

        This is the feminist argument I talked about in the other comment. You are so full of hate for Muslims that you take the typical ignorant islamophobic arguments.
        Yes, maybe there are more women stoned than men statistically. But this might be because married women are more easier to get caught than married men. And anyway, for stoning there have to be many witnesses who saw the act. In many cases this is not given but the stoning is applied. This is wrong but we will never deny the existence of stoning for adultery.

        “Non-Muslims take note: you are ‘filthy’ according to this ‘Sufi’. Just amazing spirituality!”

        Hate for the disbelievers is the most spiritual thing existing. You should read more from the blog I posted and less from Atabek and Hossein Nasr. Indeed this was a very liberal and unislamic argument Borat.

      • So Ralph, I’m really interested in this new spirituality.

        Can you tell me how good it feels to send your curses on disbelievers.

        Who do you start from?

        The Kuffar that gave you asylum to live in the West?
        Or the Kuffar that made it easier for you to find out how filthy they are?

        Also, do you have a remembrance day for 9/11, how does it feel to connect with Osama bin laden?

        Can you tell me how you hate them physically too, do you tighten the road on them as they walk past just like the Ottomans did?

        when you swear at a kafir, does it bring you comfort?

        I’m so fascinated about this new spirituality man, I’ve long been waiting for this ‘the most spiritual thing existing’

      • Takfir needs a high level of proof so you are not willing to do the research..but you made takfir anyway?!

        Drugs.

        So once again, no references, no proofs and no Arabic (*which you can’t read – no stress, but then don’t pretend)

        We all saw how good your blog is dude. Literally, it is excremental.

        So we have had a good laugh at you crappy trolling and you have embarrassed yourself again. I have deleted your remaining posts since you refused to provide proof for anything and you aren’t even funny anymore.

      • Also, women are easier to catch for adultery than men!!!
        LMAO.
        Why, do the men just pull up their pants and run?!

      • And in case you thought you were clever: I know you are the same guy I banned before. Twice.
        It just makes me happy that you set up new email accounts each time…and then to embarrass you again.

    • um, I read it a while ago

      But Shaykh Atabek was accusing Ibn Taymiyah for his supposed love of killing people. It was around the issue of saying your intention out loud which is kufr to ibn taymiyah. There was one really annoying person though who was trying to shut down Bassam but anyway, I thought Bassam had the upper-hand and understood the issue better than Atabek did. The Salaf don’t use their brains, true, but that’s not the only problem in my opinion, I think things got pretty messed up way before that. Calling out Ibn Taymiyah as some sort of evil person who loves nothing but killing people is inaccurate. He influenced a lot of people, his call to the move away from the madahib and sufi practices wasn’t a bad idea for me.

      • Yeah, you don’t know what you are talking about.
        Go and read that thread and what Ibn Taymiyya actually said.

        Even if saying intention out loud is kufr for Ibn Taymiyya and THAT’S why he said to kill people for it, you think that’s cool?
        Did you see all the other reasons for killing people according to Ibn Taymiyya? Missing one prayer? Deliberately breaking your wudu in prayer? FARTING?!

        Maybe bediuzzamansaidnursi123 had a point when he said you will end up as a salafi.

        You are always going on about how Islam is ‘messed up’. I understand and agree. Here’s an idea though – maybe the reason is because people like YOU think that people who say that minor fiqh disagreements are Kufr and should be killed for are not be ‘called out’? So you say Salaf ‘didn’t use their brains’. Then they are like you isn’t it?

      • oh okay, so you want to attack again do you

        I’ll start with this, by defaming Ibn Taymiyyah, you are literally defaming the muslim ummah. He said a lot of extreme stuff, yes, salafi, all that, I agree for God’s sake.

        My point, picking out silly things, being sectarian with your buddies here, taking things irrelevant and making them seem so big, missing the whole point of the argument to do with Islam today is getting you no where and u should of realized that by know. The thing about anthropomorphism, the asharis never really denied that, this is very complicated but so what if they did, its that thing again with sectarianism. I don’t get this whole thing with you, you are among the most intellectual people I have read from, very eloquent in speech and very critical, but you seem to be so hating and sectarian, this is the very bull shit I try to break, and you here in 2016 is still mocking pointless and worthless things. U tell me to not be stupid, how about you do that for once, grow up for God’s sake and get out of this sectarian mentality that’s been destroying us for centuries on end.

        Answering your accusation against Ibn Taymiyah, how many times do I have to repeat that he is not the probleeeeeeem! just move on

        The fuqaha have agreed that whoever misses the essentials of the deen is a kafir (من ينكر معلوم من الدين بالضرورة كافر.) and they have agreed on that, Imam Ahmad and all of them, u name it. So the prayer is an essential, praying to the kiblah and making wudu is part of that, if you purposely miss wudu, ur a kafir and therefore should be killed. He’s not being extreme with that, that’s just how it is boy, whether you like it or not.

        If you say that the mutad shouldn’t be killed, then you are going against the Ummah as a whole. Like I said above, it was a thing known very early on. Ibn hazm for example, he said that the muratad should be killed instantly without the 3 days for the choice of repentance.

        Now as long as you don’t bring me reference on the niyat and what Ibn Taymiyah said, then you lose. I didn’t bring it up, Shaykh Atabek did.

        So yes, all those Islamophobes that call Islam a religion of hate and violence turn out to be right, and its about time we admit that.

        u said

        “You are always going on about how Islam is ‘messed up’. I understand and agree. Here’s an idea though – maybe the reason is because people like YOU think that people who say that minor fiqh disagreements are Kufr and should be killed for are not be ‘called out’?”

        I still don’t get who u are fighting mate, honestly, you should think things through a bit more. I said Bassam Zawadi had the upper hand of the argument. I didn’t say people should be killed for minor fiqh disagreement. Not everybody that disagrees with you is a salafi.

        But here you are again crying like a little baby about Salafi anthropomorphism.

        After all that, I still hold you in high respect but I do advice you to actually help Muslims out there, say things how they really are and stop driving the sectarian crap.

        please

      • What in the drugs are you talking about you complete marshmallow?

        Look kiddo – YOU are the one who posts here with your nihilistic rants about how ‘all is lost’ and the shit has hit the fans and so on. Just read your own comments or even just read THIS comment you just posted.

        You also play the ‘I love you, I respect you’ game (*I already told you, I don’t care, I don’t do this for fans or recognition, see me putting up my name or angling for bookings?) and then you make massive cock-ups and say silly things about ijma, murtads and other stuff which is clearly WAY above your pay grade. No one takes you up on it because we thought your intentions are good and you seem like a nice guy. But I suspected from the start that you are a twit that acts like he’s ‘looking for truth’ but in reality you think you know it all. Anyone can see that from your past/these comments. You make sweeping statements about the Ummah, fiqh, unity, eschatology and whatever. Basically, you are arrogant. I don’t really mind arrogant people, as long as they have the skills or knowledge to back it up. But kid, you really don’t. Not yet. Carry on like this, and you never will in all likelihood.

        I don’t mind that someone who doesn’t have any training or deep knowledge lecturing me. I don’t even mind if he’s an emotional windbag of a kid. Or a non-Muslim. Or a hater or Salafi or whatever – AS LONG AS I can learn something and he has some points or they make sense, even if they end up being wrong. Your points don’t make sense and yet you lecture us. So now I’m going to make you back them up or put an end to your waffling.

        You are emotional cry baby so you are going to hate me, but I think I’m doing you a favour: you are going to piss people off because of how you act. Annoying people is fine only if you are self sufficient.

        Here is why: Imam Ahamd said that anyone who leaves prayer intentionally should be killed. He was refuted by Imam Shafi, the scholar closest to him in methodology. Also, you are such a GALACTIC IDIOT that you don’t know the difference between ‘missing’ essentials of Deen and ‘Denying’ essentials of Deen. Not knowing is an excuse in religion, including for Hanbalis. So if you don’t know that Salat is fard or pork is haraam that is not a problem. As for ‘all of the scholars agreed’, SHOW US you twit. Shafi refuted Ahmad even on the issue of the person who misses prayer deliberately. Denying prayer is Kufr. You make it seem like all disagreements in fiqh and what is and is not fard result in takfir and killing. Please offer this argument to the Islamophobes, they will LOVE you.

        Now the funny thing we have with you, and take my word for it kiddo, you are going to end up as a Salafi, however much you deny it, is that you do the exact same thing as them: when you point out to Salafis that Ibn Taymiyya (* or whichever random scholar) IN PARTICULAR and the MUJASSIJM HANBALIS IN PARTICULAR have some messed up fatwas which go against the consensus of scholars – from FGM (Ibn Taymiyya is the first to say it should be the clitoris and not the labia minora – but don’t worry about the facts, just start being emotional kiddo: ‘UNITY!!! FREEDOM!!!) to Satanic Verses (where he claimed consensus when there isn’t any) etc, the first thing they do is sacrifice the whole of Islam to prove their position – so they start PRETENDING that EVERYONE has the opinion of FGM or Satanic Verses or killing for fiqh reasons. That’s exactly what your friend Bassam Zawadi does – just read his stuff. So IDIOTS (*yes, you) PIMP Islam for the sake of protecting their favourite scholars and ‘UNITY’.

        How banal can you get: so to avoid ‘sectarianism’ we must admit that EVERY stupid thing that Salafi or other scholars and their ancestors ever did IS acceptable in Islam. What an EXCELLENT STRATEGY! Like I said, there are ALL KINDS of Salafis: even apostates are mainly ‘salafis’ as they agree with the methodology being the ‘real’ Islam – we saw that on this site many times.

        So you ran your mouth like a baby learning to talk but coming out with gibberish – so now back it up or don’t bother to post here again you obnoxious BRAT:

        – You said ‘The fuqaha have agreed that whoever misses the essentials of the deen is a kafir’ and are dumb enough to claim ijma on that. You clown. Show me where the ‘fuqaha’ said that and the ‘ijma’.

        – ‘Asharis never denied anthropomorphism’: show me the famous Asharis – Al Gahzzali and Razi and Juwayni and Baqillani ‘accepting’ it. Or bring the statements of Ashari himself like your Salafi friends do.

        – You said there was no reference for the issue of Ibn Taymiyya claiming that people who insist that there should be a loud intention for prayer should be killed. It was in the very thread that you claim to have read you muppet. https://scontent-lhr3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/13118993_1070861469623595_3495934515001992860_n.jpg?oh=8429b1446d969a950453ef7118cabd44&oe=57E4BEF8
        It’s even on this site.

        – You said ‘defaming Ibn Taymiyyah is defaming the Muslim Ummah’.
        Prove it kiddo.
        I say Ibn taymiyya and his followers are the only people to demand the removal of the clitoris:https://asharisassemble.com/2014/01/24/the-truth-about-islam-and-female-circumcisionfgm/ How is this ‘defaming the Ummah’ or the other scholars who didn’t say that?

        – So we should not be sectarian to any sect. But then how do we include the sects that are sectarian like the Salafis? Please explain how this ‘Sesame Street’ version of Islam will work. When the salafis are intolerant or make takfir, we should just accept it should we?

        – We shouldn’t worry about anthropomorphism according to you. Fine. Please tell me you list of which aqeeda things we should worry about (reincarnation? Afterlife? Existence of God?). And don’t just say ‘tawheed‘ like a salafi you fraggle.

        – Like any good Salafi fanboy, you are obsessed with ‘murtads‘ and apostates. As usual you say its ‘ijma’. We saw a lot of people talking about ijma here recently and they couldn’t even show us the rules of ijma.

        First of all, just to show that you are stupid and don’t know the basics (*but like to run your mouth anyway), Imam Ahmad, who you were quoting as proof above says there is no such thing as ‘ijma’. So?

        Abu Hanifa is quoted in ‘Muheet al-Burhani’ a foundational text in the Hanafi school, that a solitary scholar may be the only correct opinion and likewise, proof is based on academic rigour and not majority or a ’head count’: Volume 6, page 14.
        So first prove that he is wrong and in Islam where there is ‘ijma’ on a subject so that is it, then specifically refute my proof for not killing apostates or show me the muttawatir proof that there is such an ijma. And the groups which held it. And which groups Sunnis include in Ijma. *hint, Ibn Hazm is not included in ijma nor are Zahiris you plonker.

        You said a lot of other crap in this and other posts but I can’t be bothered with all of it.

        Don’t get me wrong, many of your posts had excellent points and I value them (*not this, it’s complete crap). But you are a HABITUAL LINE STEPPER.

        Answer these or you are banned.

        You need to be educated that dumbness has consequences. I did a lot of dumb things in my life. I am still suffering for them now.

        Or just come back in a couple of decades when you grow up enough to dialogue with the people here. You really are an ungrateful twit. When I was eighteen, I had no idea about sects of Islam, no internet to look at. Life was hard. People like you who have access to information but then act like morons and drama queens really disgust me. I gave you a lot of leeway on this site, and so have others like Beduzzamin123 – but now unless you can show me your huge intellect and knowledge of fiqh, aqeeda, ijma and ‘unity’, I am going to gladly ban you.

        PS I am a grown up with an ACTUAL JOB whose evening you just wasted with your CRAP. This is why no one likes students. I was out there protesting student fees from 2004. Got dragged away by the police and everything, showing solidarity and all that. Then I became a lecturer in Uni and realised what a bunch of absolute entitled time wasters most of you guys are.

        Education really is wasted on the young.

        And you are lecturing me about how I should ‘actually help the Muslims out there’ (*as opposed to falsely help them as I am doing). I don’t consider that I do much for Muslims nor humanity. But Kid: you lowlife – how dare you judge me from your student halls. Wait till you have some hair on your testicles and have actually lived a little. You know nothing about me, how dare you judge my contribution. I’m willing to bet its a whole lot more than yours, holla back when you set up your first blog, fill out a tax return or go through puberty.

        Here you are, on our site, exposing me to a information free, reference free, logic free waffle rant of baseless emotional diarrhoea that we all know you cannot back up. And worst of all you did it on the basis of a ‘Facebook’ post you didn’t even read (there were 12 pages of Arabic references on it), you angst-ridden Robin Pattison acting teenage dirtbag. Love Ibn Taymiyya, love Salafis, make up aqeeda, I don’t care, we have all types here, even non-Muslims, I don’t have a problem, freedom of thought and belief – BUT DON’T EMOTIONALLY BLACKMAIL US TO FOLLOW YOUR JUVENILE NONSENSE UNLESS YOU CAN BACK IT UP.

        PPS I hate you.

      • @mmmclmru

        Sometimes I wonder why you bother replying to the drivel which you face on this site. I might be more inclined to just delete, ban, cuss the writer off, and move on with my day. After all, little is gained from refuting someone who both

        1. presents absolute clear-as-day nonsense; and
        2. holds no currency with anybody.

  4. And hey, don’t just block Ralph yet, I got a question for him

    Since you don’t believe in perennialism

    what do you think about this Quranic ayah

    إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَالَّذِينَ هَادُوا وَالصَّابِئُونَ وَالنَّصَارَى مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحاً فَلا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ

    This is repeated in different ways in the Quran, probably around 3 times that Allah said this in the Quran. I don’t need to translate it since you know Arabic. So how come Allah included the Christians and Jews for those that ‘no fear no remorse should ever inflict them’.

    Isn’t that normally used for the believers only? how come Allah included the Christians and the Jews this time

    Since you love cursing the disbelievers, here is another verse

    لا يَنْهَاكُمْ اللَّهُ عَنْ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ وَلَمْ يُخْرِجُوكُمْ مِنْ دِيَارِكُمْ أَنْ تَبَرُّوهُمْ وَتُقْسِطُوا إِلَيْهِمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُقْسِطِينَ

    Is Allah saying that we should be nice to the Kuffar or what?

    And since you believe that only muslims enter paradise, here is another ayah

    ومن يقتل مؤمنا متعمدا فجزاؤه جهنم خالدا فيها وغضب الله عليه ولعنه وأعد له عذابا عظيما

    Which says that whoever kills a believer should remain in hell for eternity; note that it doesn’t differentiate whether the killer is a believer or a disbeliever.

    So unless you can explain these, I will still believe that the ‘kuffar’ might end up in paradise.

  5. In light of recent comments being made and the rebuttals that mmmcluru has given in many cases, I do find it astonishing why modern Muslims cry about ‘adaab’ (not necessarily here but on other social platforms). They present absolute nonsense as ‘authentic’ Islam, you know, the one that has been confirmed by Ijma (whilst knowing nothing about the concept itself) or making it out as if its always been practicised or a certain scholar said it. Then they expect everyone to agree with it. This is clearly Salafi thinking and it’s made me think how far reaching its influence has become as a methodology. It is the internet that has provided the sudden growth and many young people, those disheartened by the current conditions of Muslims, are drawn to it like suckers. They believe that by slating the whole of Islamic traditions in the manner they feel like will all of a sudden lead to a paradigm shift in Muslim thinking intellectual hemisphere eventually once enough Muslims have become self aware about these traditions (and less not forget the concept of Ijma).

    Back to the point about adaab, it hardly exists nowadays. Therefore when mmmcluru refutes these retarded positions, it’s best to take it onboard rather than cry about it. Likewise on any other platforms. Anyone can act in a particular way to achieve goals. Sincerity on the other hand, is something that emits from the light of faith and for the greater good.

  6. I have also been drawn to the attention of Shaykh Atabek. Recently, he’s been getting a lot of stick by many people (Salafis, Brelvis and anyone else who doesn’t like him). Particularly on social media, they like to slate him on particular issues he discusses EVEN THOUGH he provides solid evidence that backs up his points. Bassam Zawadi is my prime example here. He just likes to engage in sophistry and present himself to his followers to make it look like he’s ‘engaging’ with other people wayyyyy above his pay grade. He’s a living definition of a troll.

    But Shaykh Atabek’s detractors are too obsessed with ‘refuting, him, labeling him as a ‘deviant’, make it out as if he’s going against Islamic traditions. As the Shaykh runs a small organisation and is self independently funded, he has no fear of spreading the truth which is what I greatly admire of him. Thus it’s no shock that he gets all these attacks – especially by fellow ‘scholars’

    It shows he’s doing something right….

  7. And finally, Albert Einstein has a formula for success to all those who love commenting here without a clue of what being said

    “If A is a success in life,
    then A equals X + Y + Z. Work is X; Y is play; and Z is KEEPING YOUR MOUTH SHUT.”

    (Especially when you have the urge to post idiotically)

  8. Look, I don’t have a problem with people being salafi, Brelwi, mystics, kaafir whatever. That’s how God wanted it, fine.
    I also know that ‘lookingfortruth1’ does not actually believe that Ibn Taymiyya or Salafis are right.

    My problem with him AND modernists/Islamophobes is they set up this ‘Salafi Islam is REAL, now we need reform/apostasy’ idea. IF this were true, they would be right, BUT THEY CAN’T PROVE IT anymore than Salafis can. That makes me angry.

    Since they can’t prove it, they deliberately (if they are Islamophobes or haters) or unconsciously (if they are Muslims) set up evidential standards that will result in the outcome they want. So ijmas and stuff literally start appearing out of their backside.

    Obviously, it favours all kinds of people if ‘Islam’ is messed up, from Islamophobes to people who see all of the problems we have and sincerely want to help. For both of these groups, it’s too much work and reading to go back into Islamic history and look at what really happened. If they did, they would see that the Salafi trend is thee from the start, but so is the Sufi and rationalist one. Why ignore the other two?

    Where I sympathise with their mistake is that there was more tendency to anathematise the rationalist trend outright and make excuses for the anthropomorphic trend (you can read about it in Kareem Douglas Crow’s ‘Fear Of Reason’ article for details). In very brief, our scholars were ‘easy’ on the Muhaditheen and harsh on the Mu’tazzila. So now, people don’t know that Shia, Sufis, Mutazzila were from the Salaf and what we call ‘Ahlus Sunah’ is after that. Also, the earliest groups were Khawarij and Murjis, and we don’t have their works. But if you show people a proof from Murjiah, for example, about not killing apostates, they won’t accept it as what they believe in is a much LATER ‘consensus’ on the subject. Fine, but then forget about ‘salaf’ and then also don’t pretend that you know what the earliest Muslims said. It is the same as these Jonathan Brown type muppets who say ‘yeah, people didn’t know all the hadith until so and so scholar sorted it, so their opinions were wrong. Once people found out the hadith about apostasy, they fixed their opinions’. So that means modernism, just taking place 1200 years ago so its ‘fine’. Also, no way of proving if they accepted these narrations or did not know them or even if these narrations existed in the earliest times. Also, God messed up by letting everyone NOT stone adulterers or kill apostates until Imam Bukhari came along and affirmed what everyone knew and had ijma on anyway. But then he didn’t affirm lots of other things like how to pray. Strange.

    Any opinion, no matter how early, becomes heretical or ‘not accepted’. So a later consensus is retrofitted. Even ‘good’ scholars such as Tim Winter do not tell their students the truth. The same people who collected the hadith are the same ones who wrote the books of rijal and biographies. People just don’t know that. I authenticated that you are reliable based on my biography of you. I am the reference for my own statements.

    So the reference for the opinion of not killing apostates has a very early chain. But it is from Al Nazaam – heretic according to nearly all of the people today. So the ‘earliness’ is abandoned and the ‘heresey-ness’ of Nazaam, reinforced much later is ‘accepted’. So people will get confused no doubt.

    People don’t admit the truth and thus cause confusion, and Salafis and Islamophbes love it. Recently, someone online showed that Imam Qurtubi was anthropomorphist. People lost their mind. There is no way that Qurtubi can be anthropmorphist. Why? Because he’s Qurtubi! But anyone who can read Arabic will know it sure looks like that and salafis were having a field day messing with people. But ‘Sunnis’ were just denying it on baseless grounds. Same with imam Ashari in his statements he is often fully anthropomorphist, Orientalists accuse him of this and Muslims have no good answer. The answer is that he is not the one to set up Ashari aqeeda anyway. He is Hanbali in hadith and aqeeda according to his own books (his students narrations claim otherwise though). But no one wants to give that answer because we will upset the people who decided the ‘authorised’ list of Imams.

    So really, the problem is caused by having an ‘authorised’ list of Imams which people refuse to admit made gross errors. They were also nearly all writing under fear of their life (including Al Ghazzali and Maturidi) and we don’t know how ‘honest’ they could afford to be. The list contains many people who were basically sometimes ‘Salafis’ and anti – Sufi, from Ibn Kathir to Shah Wali Allah, but groups today (including Sufis) pretend that is not the case, Or they are too dumb to know (all they study after all is hadith, nothing else, even fiqh is just hadith to them).

    If we just compared statements of these scholars to Quran, we would be protected. But no one wants to do that. Also, if we kept in mind our principles, as Abu Hanifa said, we would have no problem, so we would look at our principles and come to the conclusion that sometimes scholars made errors (I mean come on, is Imam Shafi right about marrying your daughter or killing non-Muslims?) and we keep applying and refining according to the Quranic principles.

    So take apostasy, you show them from Quran, they don’t care. You show them from scholars, they say; ‘those scholars are kaafir, no matter how early they are’. You show them from chains to Abu Hanifa, they say ‘those chains are wrong and inauthentic, according to the same scholars who authenticated the hadith about apostasy. They have monopoly on chains’. You show them from principles ‘Oh. you think you understand principles better than our scholars! IstigfirAllah!

    Then they bring you narrations supporting apostasy. Never mind that narrations oppose Quran etc – it will be ‘reconciled’ (*But if Christians do this for trinity, then prepare for Hell-fire!). Then you ask them, if these narrations are a proof, then how about similarly authentic narrations that say Prophet committed Shirk (Allah forgive us for saying this). Then they become ‘full Mu’tazzila’ and offering proofs from their own aql to ‘explain’ the hadith. Just go and read their ‘explanations’ for problematic hadith – fully rationalist and anti-textual methodology. But if you were ‘Mu’tazzila’ from the start on the apostasy thing, you are kaafir.

    That’s how it is nowadays.

    Shia brothers have seven or twelve infallible Imams. Sunnis have hundreds.

    So we DO have all of the humane opinions we need from the early people – on everything from apostasy to stoning to divorce – but Muslims are not willing to accept that because it clashes with their favourite hadith or scholar. Funny thing is, they were TOLD to like these scholars and narrations, they don’t know why.

    I think if we have one charismatic and brainy non-Muslim Islamophobe who is good in Arabic, he could destroy nearly all of our scholars and cause a big wave of apostasy. Luckily there is no such guy.

    • Out of curiosity, do you think there is hope for the ummah in the near future? I mean at least intellectually. Do you think we can produce another Averreos or Ghazali or any kind of mujjadid, or are are we entering a downward spiral into an age of apostasy were we become no different than modern day Christianity or Judaism?

      • For me, the fact that people think Al Ghazzali and Ibn Rushd were that good is kind of part of the problem.

        I used to think that too. He is amazing, but I don’t think we need another imam Al Ghazzali. Also, he was too over the top on some issues. I respect him a lot, but the truth is the truth.

        The reason is for A’sharis, he is the main guy. They have to market him aggressively because so many of the others are embarrassing. He himself said this too. Most of the others have no idea about Sufism or philosophy at all.
        Also, he is not really A’shari or Maturidi but something in between. Just see Richard Frank’s ‘Al Ghazzali and the A’sharis’.

        Just read Imam Al Ghazzali’s advice in ‘Deliverance From Error’. The philosophical stuff is amazing, but then just read his advice for people like you – basically, stay in the mosque all day and pray. I don’t think that will help.
        We also have the problem of Al Ghazzali not being able to express himself freely.

        So I would say we need people of the level of Maturidi, Abu Hanifa, Avicenna (and Al Biruni, Al Farabi in sciences). I think they are much above Al Ghazzali and more relevant today and don’t give you a guilt complex about stuff. But they are not translated, so Al Ghazzali is the best, or Razi (also not translated much).

        But just remember that al A’sharis are basically Shafi/Hanbali in hadith: they accept everything and then give it very strange and outlandish interpretations.

        If Salafism cannot be tackled or Muslims at least start to think for themselves or put Quran back in its primary place, a big wave of apostasy is inevitable, because the West can at least get you money and sex and relative ‘freedom’, Salafism has nothing to compete with that. As Gai Eaton said, it is spiritually AND materially empty. Most of the Muslims I know who realise how messed up ‘practising’ Muslims and scholars are, tend to just disengage with it, so that makes the brain drain even worse.

        Its like if I tell you what I was told as a student: full segregation from females, parents have to be at meetings with girls etc. Then you can’t get married (*what they don’t tell you is that it is dumb to marry someone you just met and that a lot of these ‘rules’ were made by people who would get married to please their family and culture…and then have slaves and concubines on the side). Years go by. You think ‘oh well, I’m trying to do the halal thing’. Then you find out Islam never said that and ‘dating’ is fine as long as you don’t have sex. But now its too late. You are going to be pissed. And for you to find that out in the first place, there are hardly any scholars who would tell you that. I mean, maybe two in the whole UK/US. So your odds of finding out ‘the truth’ are low (including from the ‘nice’ scholars like Winter and Hamza Yusuf – none of them would say you can go out for a ‘halal date’ – Winter didn’t have the guts to say that Music was halal for God’s sake – and Al Ghazzali, who Winter claims to represent, wrote a MASSIVE volume on that as did his brother). Let’s say you DID find out, what are the odds of you sticking around and helping the same community that screwed you over?

        So I started this blog with some others, but most people would be like ‘screw these Muslims, they messed up my life. I’m moving to LA to get laid’. Sad, but that’s life. It’s also why you should not lie to people about religion: they get angry and leave and then want revenge. Or they take the information they have and use it to benefit themselves and avoid the grief of dealing with Muslims and their dramas of ‘Brother, how can you say dating is halal?!? WHAT IF IT WAS YOUR SISTER/DAUGHTER?!?!?!!

        Look at someone like Shukurov or Khaled Abou El Fadl or even Nasr who try to tell the truth and help: all they get is insults, takfirs, death threats – all round grief.

        Even people who have weak knowledge and are not that honest and try to suck up to Salfis by quoting Ibn Taymiyya etc, like Hamza Yusuf and Shakir or whoever, still get that grief.

        So unless we can grow an intellect, take care of basic things like money and sex in our community and tackle Salafis, we are screwed. Because any smart person will avoid a community like that plus/minus apostasy. But that might not be all a bad thing after all, because Gai Eaton said that might have to happen, to show that what we call ‘Islam’ (Salafism – and all the famous groups are Salafis – ACTUAL Salafis, Deo-Brelwis, Ikhwaan, HT etc) is a failure and this is seen most clearly in the West where it is challenged. Then the real and robust form of Islam will have a space to appear and gain support.

        But who knows.

        If you want to learn, my advice is stick with Al Fadl, Shukurov, Nikita and a few others. The rest mainly all lie or tell you some but not all of the story. Or most scholars just don’t know (just take the Al Ghazzali versus Ibn Sina thing – Al Ghazzali was actually in the wrong, but most 99% of scholars are not able to grasp that). It took me a long time to work that out, about twenty years, so it might save you hassel!

      • Assalaamu `alaykum!

        Mmmclmru, if it’s not too much trouble, would you mind going over what it is that Ibn Sina got right and al-Ghazzali got wrong?

        I’ve been Muslim for 11 years, but I’m finally getting to the point where I’m clued in to all this stuff – from Salafi to Deobandi to just about a year ago following Shaykh Atabek’s lectures (proud owner of his book as well).

        Anyway, again if it’s not too much trouble, I’d appreciate the crash course!

      • So if you need details or refs just let me know, but in brief Al Ghazzali (and many others) made takfir on Avicenna for three things, none of which he actually did, because they didn’t understand the terminologies used by philosophers and scientists and insisted on applying a theological meaning to them (even though these terms and uses predates the Ashari meanings).

        So the three things were that Ibn Sina allegedly:

        1) Said the universe is eternal
        2) Denied God’s knowledge of particulars
        3) Denied the bodily resurrection

        It’s very sad that Avicenna got treated like that because he only got involved in these topics to defend Islam from atheists and stuff.

        So Avicenna said the universe IS eternal because time is a measure of change (for him) and change occurs in things other than God only. So for time to exist, matter must exist FIRST. So matter exists before time thus the universe is eternal but still created by God.

        He actually solved a lot of problems because Muslims assert that the universe has a beginning and have proofs for that (mainly stolen from Avicenna and Qur’an) but then ignore the more serious issue of whether time has a beginning.

        So Avicenna dealt with it all by saying that the universe has existed from before time and time has a beginning as soon as something changeable exists (i.e something that is not God).

        He was similarly misunderstood on other issues.

        Though in Al Ghazzalis defence, it seems he was under a lot of pressure to anathematise Ibn Sina.

        Imam Razi also refuted Al Ghazzali on this issue just a few years later and from within the Ashari school.

        The other issues are similar.

        McGinnis’ book on Avicenna is very good and from my reading I see that Shukurov is one of the few people who understands Avicenna within the Muslims.

      • I see, thank you! I just wonder how al-Ghazzali got it so wrong when little old me understood the issue – via your synopsis – more or less immediately. It kind of amazes me that the sticks of such issues (and things like wahdat al-wujood, just for instance) can be gotten the wrong end of so easily.

  9. Peter Adamson, in his book, Philosophy in the Islamic World, states that Al Ghazali passed sentence of Takfir on Ibn Sina from the perspective of being a legal scholar. And considering that Al Ghazali only considered 3 supposed positions of Ibn Sina as being heretical, it leaves the rest bring seen as acceptable. Nonetheless, Razi and Al Tusi defended Ibn Sina in their works or at least refined his arguments. Its sad to see Ibn Sina being misrepresented; especially after all his contributions to both the East & West.

    Also, the Ottoman scholar Khojazada (d.1488) was not entirely impressed with Al Ghazali’s arguments even though he sided with him against Ibn Sina.

    If anyone is interested, here is a short translation of his critique against Ghazali on a certain theological/philosophical view regarding the existence of the universe.

    https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/11667/1/Khojazada_on_Ghazali.pdf&ved=0ahUKEwjTuIKkz-TMAhUsL8AKHWATDMUQFggbMAA&usg=AFQjCNGKJPCpNem_WhzVgCZVg_YYXuVVPg

    • It is because A’shari scholars are close to Hanbalis and Muhaditheen in their methodology. Yet they are rationalist. So origin of Ashari school was to try and stop the fitna or conflict between Muhaditheen (mainly Mujassims) and Mu’tazzila by literally taking 50% from each. It causes problems, especially as they refuse to admit that they copied and incorporated the Mu’tazzila and that’s why they disappeared. Instead they pretend they ‘refuted’ them to death. This isn’t true though. Only Maturidis can refute Mu’tazzila. I’m not just saying that. It is not an easy thing. Mu’tazzila will bring proof from Quran or Muttawatir hadith or Arabic language only. You will hardly never see them use ahad hadith (same with some of the Shia scholars) You cannot catch them on that stuff. Normally you can only get them on their rational arguments. And Muslims are very weak in that, including most of the A’sharis.

      Also, Mu’tazzila are in many sects and same as Ahlus Sunnah – many groups and aqeedas. And many senior Hanafis, including son of Abu Hanifa are Mu’tazzila. Also something that people don’t know/won’t tell you, if you read books of early followers of Maturidi, they say that Mu’tazzila are better than A’sharis! Also, we have issue of Shia saying that family of Prophet (Imam Zayd, Jafar etc) are all Mu’tazzila. So early Hanafis are not as radicalised or dramatic against Mu’tazzila s the ones today. Main reason for Mu’tazzila getting bashed is 1) Maturidi and Asharis incorporated and refined all of their arguments, so what do you need them for? 2) They are the biggest ever hard time enemies of anthropmorphists and Muhaditheen (and like it or not, there is a big overlap between these groups – please just read aqeeda books by famous Muhadtitheen – you will get a shock) and these two groups are ascendant now 3) Shia, the second biggest hard time enemies of the Muhaditheen and Salafis are also Mu’tazzila in aqeeda, till now (they claim, but then they make up some random irrational stuff too).

      Thus, Mu’tazzila have some nonsense positions no doubt, but if you show any sympathy with them Muslims go completely crazy and think that they tried to kill Imam Ahmad (*they didn’t) you traitor etc etc but if you show sympathy wilth Anthropomorphists people are like ‘Ahhhhhhhhhhh, how cute! Unity!’

      So I don’t want you guys to be ‘radicalised’ against Al Ghazzali – he said some OTT things about Hanafis as well. That’s how Muslim scholars are. Just read the statements of Imam Shafi and Ahmad and you will be shocked. But it is not his fault – we have access to all of the terminologies and manuscripts and even many/most Orientalists didn’t understand Avicenna so we have to give him some leeway. Al Ghazzali is much more relaxed than most of the famous scholars, but yes, takfir was wrong.

      Said Nursi is also one of the scholars to defend Ibn Sina and Al Farabi too actually. But then people claim he is Shafi – I don’t believe that at all.his writing is very rational.

      • Sorry for the random questions.

        I’ve seen in several places now (you, Shaykh Atabek, and elsewhere) that Imam Maturidi’s Arabic was “distinctly Central Asian,” or sentiments to that effect. What exactly does that mean? I’m currently under the apparent misconception that fusha is fusha and should look like any other fusha (still just learning basic sarf and nahw, so please pardon what I’m sure is a simplistic conclusion).

        Also, would you mind providing me with a list of books on Hanafi fiqh and `aqeedah I can study independently (time and funds are currently restrictions as far as attending Avicenna Academy is concerned), as I find myself sort of starting over from scratch after having my Deobandi bubble popped by Shaykh Atabek.

      • What advice would you give to those of us who are still in college but still seek and Islamic education? Should we learn from the likes of Hamza Yusuf or Tim Winter, before we can move on to more hardcore scholars? Is learning the basics of the deen from Deobandis who are not as hardcore as the ones in the subcontinent okay? Does Avicenna academy have online options (I don’t live in the UK)?

      • Correct on so many levels, mmmcluru. We have many people today saying that anthromorphism is simply just “misguidance”, and not kufr at all. So exactly how can we criticise Christians who do engage in anthromorphism when some Muslims say and go all fanatical that Allah sits on a throne in the sky/heavens???

        There are far too many people who sympathise with the Athari/Salafi Creed. I think people just see it as the most ‘authentic’ Creed considering it predates the Asharis and Maturidis and does not engage in speculation. And lets not also forget that because Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal and later people like Ibn Taymiyya (who basically created his own Creed filled with blatant anthromorphism) who espoused this Creed means it’s all the more ‘authentic’ to follow. Because of this type of thinking, some Muslims allow anthromorphism to pass into their conscious. They do not base their Taqlid on proofs but rather, on popularity which is so dangerous.

        Nowadays, people are scared to criticise anthromorphism of previous scholars yet when it comes to the Mu’tazila (who hardly have any real followers left), they are quick to get out their boxing gloves and bash them. All in the name of “Unity” as you’d say, mmmcluru

        On a final note, Said Nursi was a Shafi‘i and by extension, an Ashari. He understood after having gone through traditional Islamic education system, it was badly outdated in many respects and that the separation between Islamic and worldly knowledge was causing much issues.
        However, he was certainly rational in his worldview because he realised ahead of his other contemporaries that humanity was entering a dominant phase of Logic and Science thus Islamic thought had to be reconstructed to prevent people from being mislead by science & philosophy into atheism. Hence the production of his magnum opus, the Risale-i-Nur (I posted the links to all of his translated English works on this site previously).

        Its not far fetched at all to say that he is the most influential scholar in Turkey and his works are now becoming globalised.

      • Great points.

        But I don’t accept that Athari Creed is the earliest: they can’t prove it. They just have hadith. Imam Ahmad and those guys insisting on taking the hadith into aqeeda are all late and not from the Salaf. Same with the Muhaditheen. All from 200 years or so after Prophet. Not Salaf at all.

        Earliest surviving book of aqeeda is by Hanafis. Unless the one by Imam Zayd is genuine. Anyway, all of them are anti-anthropomorphist groups. Also, Mu’tazzila are from before ‘Atharis’.

        So it is just a game: write down something after two hundred years and say THIS is from the Salaf. But the actual texts from the Salaf, they ignore it. Only Imam from the Salaf is Abu Hanifa. That’s just how it is.

        Also, remember about Muhaditheen and Hanbalis authenticating hadith – usually they write the books of biographies and then check their chains according to their own biographies. Ibn Hajar wrote about that and Shia create a big mess from that (because of Muhaditheen saying that Khawarij are ‘reliable’ and ‘just’).

        So THEY decide which narrators are ‘reliable’ and then authenticate hadith based on that. So according to most of Muhaditheen, including Bukhari, Abu Hanifa is not reliable, or even Muslim. So the process is problematic and ‘pasted over’ by modern day guys who want to ignore the issues for the purpose of making you overly indulgent in hadith. Also, just bear in mind, when Muhaditheen and Hanbalis talk about ‘Mut’azzila’ they actually mean ‘Hanafis’. Again, Hadithy-Hanfis or Shafi-Hanafis today find it expedient to ignore that fact.

        If you read Said Nursi between the lines, he is not Ashari nor Shafi. Obviously the Muslims in Turkey at that time (practising ones) were influenced heavily by Salafism too (same today) so he had to write carefully.

        Him supporting Al Farabi means he is close to Hanafi Mu’tazzila basically, or more likely his own ‘thing’ close to Avicenna. I know people will go mental and deny that, but he uses pure rational proofs, and no-one accepts that openly except hard core Maturidis or Mu’tazzila. Rejecting hadith for reason, even many Hanafis are ambiguous on it. In Risal I Noor you hardly find any narrations or opinions of scholars – but it is pure rational proofs. Also, he is insisting on Quran a lot like Mu’tazzila.

        Soon you will see an attempt to make Said Nursi into another one of those Mullahs and basically ‘Salafi’. They had a Said Nursi conference in Saudi recently I heard.

        Also, most of top institutions in Turkey are infiltrated by Salafis – look how many times they invite Taymiyyites like Akram Nadwi to teach in top madrassas. Under Ottomans, Ibn Taymiyya was literally banned.

        Also, just look at behaviour of Turkey in Syria and other issues and you will see what’s up. Lot of Turks fighting for ISIS too.

  10. From reading the comments here, it sounds like the damage done by Salafis is too great to overcome and rational Muslims who want to live pious lives will never be able to do so without being marginalized in the modern mainstream Muslim community. Maybe i’m just fatalistic, but when you wrote that an Islamophobe who knew what he was doing could destroy modern scholars makes me think that this is a losing battle and that we should all be hermits. I guess I’m more emotional than others because I just had a very close brush with death and I think about my soul in eternity all the time and trying to make it through this life and win a place in Jannah for the eternal life. I’m just at a loss as to how to move forward. I saw you recommend a few different books in a an older article, so that is maybe where I will start. I just want to stop worrying about it every night and the only thing that gives me hope is Sufi sheikhs. But even they can be confusing and contradictory.

  11. This isn’t really relevant to this article and I apologise but it’s something that bugs me and many other Muslims. I respect any feedback.

    What exactly is the relationship between Islam and politics? I mean, we have many Muslims wanting a Caliphate and will literally kill other Muslims to achieve it (ISIS and co). But their idea of a Caliphate is based around Western Ideologies mixed with a puritanical version of the faith (So it’s not really a Caliphate at all but an authoritarian regimes who kill at every opportunity). Our friends (sarcasm) Hizb ut Tahrir espouse their own crap of creating a Caliphate and they are do deluded to realise it won’t work at all. Then again, these are all Salafi ideas of a Caliphate. They simply want the repeat the feats of the Ummayad conquests and that means killing.

    So exactly what is an “Islamic State”? Nation States grew out of the West from the 17th century onwards. Nationalism doesn’t ring well with Islam. That and we have to deal with things like secularism, democracy, liberalism and all that. How do we approach these as Muslims? Our scholars certainly don’t inspire us with confidence and are quick to label people as “Modernists” if they agree with these ideals. Then comes the Takfiri trigger….

    I have looked at the political theories of Al Farabi, Ibn Khaldun and Al Marwardi and while they are good at what they write, it is firmly rooted in the Middle Ages. We can look at various models; the elections of the early caliphs, the monarchies of the Ummayads and Abbasids, the Ottoman Sultanate. The Ottomans even experimented with democracy toward the end of their time though it didn’t pan out well.

    Certainly, the West, Russia and China won’t allow for a Muslim Caliphate to reappear but then again, a Caliphate won’t appear anyways given the sectarianism, nationalism and all the economic strife in the Middle East. But that then raises the issue that should the Muslims allow themselves be allowed to decide their own destiny. The West only want them to become secular democracies. Is that fair if the Muslims are not totally at ease with it and it is forced upon them? Iraq and Libya are big examples and look at the mess they are today.

    Muslims living in the West often have difficulties if they are brainwashed with radical ideas. We are taught to respect the laws of the land but then there are idiots saying we shouldn’t participate in democracy as it’s man made law and all that. I fear the Salafi domination in regards to political theory as they aggressively promote their ideas on young, vulnerable Muslims.

    I apologies for the lengthy exposition but that’s the reality of how big a mess this situation is. Young Muslims today like myself are very confused about Islam and politics – especially as someone living in the West. I fully appreciate any response.

    So to sum up some contentious issues

    – is Islam and secularism, democracy etc compatible?
    – do we need a Caliphate and if so, what are the requirements for it?
    – how should Muslims behave in the political atmosphere here in the West?

  12. You are certainly correct about Salafism in Turkey. The Ottoman forefathers of the present day Turks would be turning in their graves. I have recently noticed that places like Saudi are starting to propagate Nursi with the help of Turkey. They will distort his image and make him out to be a “Salafi” . The irony is that his works reference so many Sufis such as Imam Rabbani and Ibn Arabi.

    http://www.mei.edu/content/map/salafism-infiltrates-turkish-religious-discourse

  13. @mmmclmru
    If it’s not too much trouble I would like to ask you a question concerning God in the Quran, but I don’t want to be seen as hijacking this thread.
    Lately sometimes I get the impression that God as described in the Quran focuses more on threats(hell) for worship/admiration, and whenever I do things like extra-prayer it is more like to do it not to make God angry rather than genuine admiration. This doesn’t make me want to be an atheist, as when I read the works of philosophers like Plato, Aristotle, and Plotinus in regards to their understanding of God, all the things I do(ex such as listening to music, study philosophy) make me want to do it for Him out of genuine admiration/love/desire for unity. What I’m trying to say is I feel like in the Quran sometimes God is described with too human-like characteristics, being seen more like a king, rather than say a First Principle which is the source of being/beauty/intelligibility that should be desired based on what He is. Since you are very knowledgeable of old-school Muslim schools of thought, have you ever felt this way, and if so how did you overcome it.

  14. @mmmclmru
    If it’s not too much trouble I would like to ask you a question concerning God in the Quran, but I don’t want to be seen as hijacking this thread.
    Lately sometimes I get the impression that God as described in the Quran focuses more on threats(hell) for worship/admiration, and whenever I do things like extra-prayer it is more like to do it not to make God angry rather than genuine admiration. This doesn’t make me want to be an atheist, as when I read the works of philosophers like Plato, Aristotle, and Plotinus in regards to their understanding of God, all the things I do(ex such as listening to music, study philosophy) make me want to do it for Him out of genuine admiration/love/desire for unity. What I’m trying to say is I feel like in the Quran sometimes God is described with too human-like characteristics, being seen more like a king, rather than say a First Principle which is the source of being/beauty/intelligibility that should be desired based on what He is. Since you are very knowledgeable of old-school Muslim schools of thought, have you ever felt this way, and if so how did you overcome it.

  15. This is one of the most important if not the most important question in current Muslim philosophy IMO. I think the lack of widespread satisfactory answers to this question is what stops non Muslim intellectuals and scientists from being won over by Islam. I’ll have a stab at this question when I get time but doubtless mmmclmru will be able to articulate an answer far better

  16. Dear Dantenerokg,

    I assume mmmclmru and Adil will have something to useful to say.

    I would just like to mention that God says in the Qur’an that He is “ghaniyul ‘alameen” free of all needs.

    Thus, God does not need our prayers or extra prayers, etc.

    He just wants what is good for us. Remember the whole start of his address to us is BismillahirRahmanniraheem…Rahman denotes an explosive bubbling out of mercy and Raheem denotes that it is ongoing….then it says that all praise is to God, the Nourisher of all beings, and then again says BismillahirRahmaniRaheem which indicates that he nourishes us BECAUSE HE cares for us…He is merciful to us.

    But, God is just since justice is good and since He cares for us, He wants to warn us that we will get severe punishment if we are evil and disobeying the cause of all existence is certainly very evil indeed.

    So, the threats are because God does not us to deserve us…He tells us to because He cares about us just like when we care for our children, we warn them that such and such can happen if they do go on the road…eg. an automobile will hit them (God forbid), etc.

    Does that help?

    • If Allah wanted good for us he would not have created us in this situation. The problem with the answers to such questions is that they pretend as if God did not create this mess by his will. It is as if he did not have the choice for creation and he is just trying to make the best out of it. No, he is behind everything and he is to blame for everything.

      • @Zany

        “If Allah wanted good for us he would not have created us in this situation.”

        How do you know that this situation is bad for you, is not a wonderful gift ? You feel no pride because of your human soul and body ?

        “The problem with the answers to such questions is that they pretend as if God did not create this mess by his will.”

        So man’s free will is “pretend” ?

        “No, he is behind everything and he is to blame for everything.”

        So God is something like your incompetent caretaker ?

      • I know that Catholics and rationalist Muslims believe in total free will. But this only solves the problem of responsibility for humans, not the problem of evil for God. God is still evil even though he did not will directly what the free human does. But he did make it possible, he knew that it will happen and he had the possibility to not let it happen.
        To solve the problem of evil you will have to deny that God chose to create and that he has not the power to intervene in the nature. Then the universe (or existence in general) is part of God somehow, eternally existing with him and running by eternal laws. That might be the theology of Ibn Arabi and that of religions like Hinduism. But this has nothing to do with monotheist theology, neither Catholic and especially not Islamic.

        Even though I would consider this theory to make sense I prefer to believe that this existence is a random accident and that humans are nothing more but animals.

  17. Dear mmmclmru,

    Did you read Fatahut al Fatahut where Ibn Rushd reportedly refutes Al Ghazali’s alleged refutation of Ibn Sina?

    May God bless all of these intellectual giants…of course what I love about Al Ghazali is his sufi and logical guidance.

    But Ibn Rushd and Ibn Sina knew philosophy more than Al Ghazali.

  18. I think the Qur’an has passages which can appeal to people of various dispositions; those motivated by love of God for its own sake, those motivated by the rewards promised to people who do good deeds, and those deterred by fear of retribution; which is certainly a recurrent theme.
    I think there are fairly good grounds to believe that avoidance of a penalty works better for many people then the promise of a reward as some forms of destructive behavior will yield an instant reward, which will override the ‘threat’ of just ‘missing out’ on another one in future, if there is no threat of actual hardship of suffering as a consequence.
    People might find appeal in a ‘reverse’ pascals wager, where you might as well do anything and everything to get temporary enjoyment now, because if there is no afterlife, you’ve enjoyed yourself as much as you can, and if there is an afterlife but with little or no possibility of reprisals within it, you likewise have enjoyed yourself as much as possible.
    Jeffrey Lang notes that the Qur’an seems more concerned about saving people rather than reassuring them, and hence there is an emphasis on retribution as much as reward. I think that by referring to hell as often as heaven, the Qu’ran is most in line with human nature; though there is no need to believe that this reflects the relative proportions of people in both destinations. I believe, and hope that it will have far less, and that even for those who are punished, some form of redemption may ultimately be possible (though that’s another story).
    I also generally favor interpretations which suggest that punishment in the afterlife represents a confrontation with one’s own misdemeanors, and a self-inflicted separation from God, rather than a simple case of God wantonly inflicting physical pain on people. Maybe some of that comes from my own biases and what I *want,*but at least I do admit that, whereas many wahhabis, reformers and apostates (many of whom, as mmmclmru points out are also basically wahhabis because they believe the same stuff about Islam as Salafists) claim their interpretations are utterly impartial products of their unbiased quest for truth, when they are anything but. However, I do also genuinely believe that my view is intellectually plausible, and faithful to the spirit of the texts. Mouhanad Khorchide explains some of these ideas quite nicely. https://en.qantara.de/content/interview-with-mouhanad-khorchide-god-is-not-a-dictator

  19. « Jeffrey Lang notes that the Qur’an seems more concerned about saving people rather than reassuring them »

    Really ?
    AFAIK the Qur’an nowhere speaks about God « saving » anyone but only about God rewarding or punishing people.
    Dawah carriers are being illogical and confusing when they speak about « salvation » in Islam while rejecting all the other Christian concepts related to salvation – such as original sin. From a Christian perspective, if there was no original sin then we would all be perfect as the first Adam before the Fall, we wouldn’t need the second Adam Jesus-Christ to come and save us.

  20. @Adil

    « I also generally favor interpretations which suggest that punishment in the afterlife represents a confrontation with one’s own misdemeanors (…) Maybe some of that comes from my own biases »

    Well, this hardly looks like a biased reading of, say, 29.55 :

    On the Day when the torment (Hell-fire) shall cover them from above them and from underneath their feet, and it will be said: “Taste what you used to do.”

    • Yes, this view of Adil has nothing to do with the Qur’an. Isn’t there any shame in you Adil? How can you make up stuff and declare it to be the theology of the 7th century man called Muhammad from Arabia?

  21. @Zany

    « To solve the problem of evil you will have to deny that God chose to create and that he has not the power to intervene in the nature. »

    Wrong. In Catholicism we say that all badness is relative and that God eventually turns every badness into a greater good. There is an absolute Goodness which is God (the “big picture”), but there is no equivalent for badness – that would contradict monotheism. And yes, God freely created the world.

    « I prefer to believe that this existence is a random accident and that humans are nothing more but animals. »

    So this is self-repression and self-censorship, isn’t it ?
    You feel a moral sense of right and wrong inside you (the « problem of evil » as you say) but prefer to ignore it.

    • ” Wrong. In Catholicism we say that all badness is relative and that God eventually turns every badness into a greater good. There is an absolute Goodness which is God (the “big picture”), but there is no equivalent for badness – that would contradict monotheism. And yes, God freely created the world.”

      The “God’s ways are mysterious”-argument might have some point but it is not convincing for most people.

      “So this is self-repression and self-censorship, isn’t it ?
      You feel a moral sense of right and wrong inside you (the « problem of evil » as you say) but prefer to ignore it.”

      I try to stay agnostic.
      And I do not feel a moral sense of right and wrong but I do feel pain and I understand what it means when others feel pain.

  22. “Yes, this view of Adil has nothing to do with the Qur’an. Isn’t there any shame in you Adil? How can you make up stuff and declare it to be the theology of the 7th century man called Muhammad from Arabia?”

    Do you have any reading comprehension, Zany? Catholic Commentator said Adil’s view DID seem to have support from the Quran. And you know what? That hell is a reflection of one’s own misdemeanors is not even a new thing; tons of scholars have made the same observation.

    I find it very intriguing that after Wahabbis, ex-Muslims (the bitter, pseudo-intellectual types) are the ones most likely to declare cryto-takfir on Muslims.

  23. In regards to the existence of evil, Sherman Jackson (an Ashari Maliki) says that Imam Maturidi saw evil as a proof of the existence of God.

    “…The Maturidite school, meanwhile, went even further. Not only did its founder accept that God could create evil, he actually turned evil’s existence into a proof of God’s existence! According to him, had the universe come into being on its own, it would have produced nothing that jeopardized its integrity or well-being. Thus, the very existence of evil implies autonomous choice on the part of something that stands outside the system — God. Yet, while God can, according to the Maturidites, create evil and human suffering, God cannot and does not create evil that does not ultimately serve a wise purpose.”

    For me, this is convincing enough to follow.

  24. I’d also like to say that after ex-muslims have left Islam, do they not have anything better to do than appear on Muslim run websites and sprout their crap? Is the emotional attachment still there? People like this only serve to reaffirm my belief in Islam as I do not want to end up like these people; meaningless, angry, full of hate. The people who administer this website strive to present Islam as it should be (amidst the modern ideologies of groups like Salafis) and the contributions made by people are left open to scrutiny which mmmcluru and others attempt to address by giving up their own valuable time. But we still have people who come here to moan about religion and God. Please go and do something productive: I am sure you would agree with religious people that time is short and this life will come to an end.

    I swear that the Salafis and Islamaphobes have subconsciously made a pact on agreeing that Salafism is the correct interpretation of Islam. A marriage made in hell I imagine.

    • You have not read my other posts. I clearly said that I do not have problem with you reforming Islam. I understand that many people need something higher to believe in and it is better to have a moderate religion then.
      But of course as a former Muslim I am getting upset when I see what I could have fallen into if I found such websites when I was a Muslim. Maybe I would then follow your way and from my perspective now this is very depressive.

      And I have not left Islam because I think Salafism is real Islam. I do think Salafism is nearer to Islam than you but of course they have made up things too.
      But anyway, I have left Islam because I cannot believe in a monotheistic God. I know your theology, I know Salafi theology and I know more or less Christian theology. I oppose monotheism and my problem are not violent or stupid Shariah laws that you are denying.

      @Lily

      “I find it very intriguing that after Wahabbis, ex-Muslims (the bitter, pseudo-intellectual types) are the ones most likely to declare cryto-takfir on Muslims.”

      This is a very stupid argument.

      • “I clearly said that I do not have problem with you reforming Islam.”

        Who said anything about reforming Islam? This website aims to present classical teachings, not the modernist/Salafi crap we see today. In the last 2 centuries, we have seen plenty of “reformers”. Not only have they failed, but they have ruined lives of successive generations.

        “I understand that many people need something higher to believe in and it is better to have a moderate religion then.”

        Belief is much more than believing in a higher authority. As Islamic teachings showcase, everyone has different levels of understandings of reality and faith.This is pure atheistic, materialistic tripe that is being propagated constantly. Reducing belief to a simple model is so stupid. You must realise how much it impacts metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, law, society etc. I personally find belief to be the highest expression of being a human. And if anything, belief moderates the believer.
        In every religion, we get religious nutjobs – it is inevitable. But they clearly do not represent the religion and what it stands for.

        We see people like Hitler and Stalin who ended up conducting some of the worst crimes ever in human history. Coincidentally, they did not have beliefs in a higher authority which is why they felt they could commit these atrocities without fear of divine retribution. Those World Wars also most certainly did not originate in religion. Look at how many died for selfish, materialistic gain.

        “But of course as a former Muslim I am getting upset when I see what I could have fallen into if I found such websites when I was a Muslim. Maybe I would then follow your way and from my perspective now this is very depressive.”

        You are free to believe what you want. Per my understanding, the Quran allows pluralism and freedom of belief (as opposed to the Salafis and their ilk, they’d try and kill you in their ideal ‘state’ unfortunately, 99% chance rate).

        “I know your theology, I know Salafi theology and I know more or less Christian theology.”

        Arrogance, much? Anyways, I still find it hilarious that people like yourself when you leave the faith yet maintain an obsession with it. Like when two people break up: one moves on, the other remains obsessive and continues the chase for whatever reason.

        “I oppose monotheism and my problem are not violent or stupid Shariah laws that you are denying.”

        I haven’t denied anything. You say you have no personal problem with Shariah Law but you tag on descriptions like those above. Clearly, it’s telling. Islamaphobes such as yourself develop a fetish around these “violent” Shariah Laws. This is nothing new. It just goes to show how

        A) You reduce everything to simple, superficial understandings. This is what feeds your arrogance
        B) That, in your eyes (akin to Salafis and other violent groups) Shariah Laws are all about handing out heavy punishments. Nothing else.
        C) You lack understanding of the Ethical/Spiritual dimensions of Shariah
        D) That Shariah Law is ‘barbaric’ and ‘outdated’ in our modern age. Funny how the era of when something originates determines it’s authenticity. Post modernist garbage as usual.
        E) You fall for the Salafi understanding of Shariah which you of course say is “closer to Islam”. Salafism limits itself and therefore limits itself in its understanding of the faith, causing all sorts of problems.

        This does not just apply to you. Many Muslims themselves have this understanding.

      • @bediuzzamansaidnursi123

        I simply do not believe that what you are presenting is real Islam. But I do not hate Islam. In the context of the 7th century and even much later Islam was in many aspects better than other systems.
        And note that I do not believe in any system. I am a nihilist and antinatalist. The solution would be no humans at all. I do not consider Muslims to be more stupid than other believers and followers of ideologies or simply people. My obsession is not with Islam but more with the rising right-winged reactionary and pro-natalist movement in the West. This is really disgusting since it does not come out of religious dogma but stupid ideology.

        @mmmclmru
        “Why is thinking that you might have followed our way making you depressed though?”

        Because I do not consider it to be accurately presenting Islam. And it does not solve the problem of evil for me anyway as we are discussing. I would then maybe live under the impression that all answers to the problems are there but from my viewpoint now this is fatally wrong.

  25. Zany – your comments may be summarised into:

    1) why did God create anything
    2) why not make something with free will that nonetheless does not suffer, God should be able to do that.

    On the first, please be honest and call it ‘the problem of existence’ instead of ‘the problem of evil’ and then give me your proof that non-existence is better than evil or suffering, even infinite evil or infinite suffering.

    On the second, it is not possible for God to do rationally impossible things like make something with free will that is nonetheless a puppet which never does anything bad. Most atheists have a Salafi God who can do ‘everything’. No one believes in that God, definitely not Muslims. God can’t become Satan and he can’t create something with free will that never hurts itself or others either. So his choice was to: make a puppet, in which case you would still blame him (if you could), make nothing or make something with free will. There is no fourth option. You choose.

    I find that many ex-Muslims, atheists, ‘free thinkers’, whoever, make a drama and then run away when you actually challenge them with philosophy. I hope you are not like that.

    If you can reply back to that, then I will answer what you will doubtless ask next: what about childhood diseases and death etc. Although I can hint you the answer to that now: the people who suffer the most childhood death and disease don’t actually ask this question, it is a ‘First World Problem’. I’ve watched kids die, slowly. I know all about this stuff from philosophy and personal experience. Lets see if you are really on the level to have a dialigue.

    • I agree to call it “problem of existence” to some extend. But not every kind of existence would be problematic. The problem is the existence of suffering which leads to the problem of evil.

      There are some different views about free will. The determinist view is denying the problem of evil by saying that everything that God does is not evil. It leads to an openly evil God. The view that you follow I guess says that human have full free will but are still dependent on God in the sense that they have no power by themselves. There might be a view that humans have independent power.
      These two other views solve the problem of evil on the surface. They shift the blame from God to human free will. One says “human wills and God does” and the others say “human wills and human does”.
      But they still believe that God knew what will happen and that he created humans by his free will. And I say the only way that could solve the problem of evil is to deny an all-knowing and freely creating God. Because it is God who makes evil possible. Without God’s will humans would not exist and could not do any evil. God wants the evil to happen since he could have prevented it by not creating at all or creating only good.

      “On the second, it is not possible for God to do rationally impossible things like make something with free will that is nonetheless a puppet which never does anything bad.”

      What free will exactly is, is not easy to know. There are many other factors that influence will so I am not fully agreeing that it would be rationally impossible. If we could say that there is full free will than it would be independent of God’s will. But the action done could be prevented by God unless you do not believe in an all-powerful God.

      • What on Earth are you talking about? See how you people waste my time?

        I say the only way that could solve the problem of evil is to deny an all-knowing and freely creating God. Because it is God who makes evil possible

        I already asked you and you failed to answer: all your argument comes down to is that God is guilty for creating something. If he is guilty then you have to prove that not existing at or oblivion is better than an existence with free will and suffering, regardless of how they are related. You failed to do that and resorted to absolutely lamentable psuedo-philosophy: I told you from the outset that your argument was that bad that all it amounted to was that God is guilty for creating anything. This is just misotheism. You claim he can choose to create only good. I said already he can’t create both only good and free will. So he can create ‘only good’ puppets but not ‘only good’ sentient beings. Most people who ask such questions would rather be brainless automatons but I had hoped for more from you.

        All your waffling about free will is just aimless. If you don’t know what free will is then you have problems and should go and find out before having dialogue. It shows how silly you are being since you say that people could have free will but then God should stop the results of that action and free will. WTH?!

        Free will from God is like power: all power belongs to God. But it is like money. He gives you money, you decide how to spend it. That’s how free will works in Islam. Bank gives you money as a loan. You spend it on PCP. Don’t blame the bank. Except you would, for not inventing money that could not be spent on drugs or bad things, and for inventing money in the first place.

        Don’t just say lame stuff like you don’t agree it is rational. SHOW ME how something with free will can never commit evil. Didn’t even try did you kid?

        Likewise God knowing what will happen in the future is irrelevant. If I get into a time machine and see that in the future you are gay or rich or Muslim or whatever, and then come back to the past, and hence have knowledge of your gayness, it doesn’t mean that I MADE you gay. Knowledge of something and causing it are two different things. You decided to be gay or rich or theist ore atheist, I just knew about it and God gave you the power to do what you wanted. The only way out of this for you is if you argue that the only thing that actually exists is God.

        So like I said, you aren’t on a level to have dialogue yet. I don’t need to go into kids with brain tumours.

      • I am willing to discuss the ‘problem of suffering’ (a cardinal obsession of people who don’t suffer much), but not until you address the ‘problems of existence’.

      • I wrote something longer but I have the feeling that it is baseless for this discussion especially because you are so rude. I mean my point is very simple. Even though humans might have free will, they could neither will nor act if God did not will by creating them initially and afterwards making their actions possible. It is clear to me what free will is according to you. I have clearly stated this in my comment. Therefore this issue is cleared.

        So it all comes down as you say to this “problem of existence”. The interesting question from you is this:

        “If he is guilty then you have to prove that not existing at or oblivion is better than an existence with free will and suffering, regardless of how they are related.”

        I did see this question before and you are right that I did not answer it explicitly. The reason is that I thought that my answer to this would be obvious. Not existing at all is better than the possibility of suffering. I do not see any rational reason why someone would say the opposite. Do you have a proof for the opposite or do you think that there is merely no real proof for my position and therefore my point is invalid?
        Do you think that the human existing in his sensitive and free form is such a big gift that it overrides all sufferings? I am curious to see your answer but if it is like this I fear it becomes a very subjective matter. Maybe depending on whether you’re “first world” or “third world”.

  26. I request anyone who has any question about the so-called problem of evil should see the following youtube where Jeffrey Lang gives one of the answers for this question.

    Enjoy…it is wonderful talk, mashallah.

  27. @Zany

    “The “God’s ways are mysterious”-argument might have some point but it is not convincing for most people.”

    Notice how I nowhere remotely used this argument. Having nothing to answer my points, you tried this random diversion.

    “I do not feel a moral sense of right and wrong”

    How can you speak about “the problem of evil” then ?

    ” I try to stay agnostic. And I do not feel a moral sense of right and wrong but I do feel pain and I understand what it means when others feel pain.”

    I suppose your agnosticism makes you restrain yourself from judging any suffering to be good or bad ?

    “What free will exactly is, is not easy to know. There are many other factors that influence will ”

    What factors ? Do tell us.

    “I oppose monotheism”

    Must be because of those mysterious “factors” again, I guess.

    “Lily, this is a very stupid argument”

    So, after Lily pointed out your reading disabilities for everyone to see, you somehow take revenge by claiming her argument is stupid (without substantiating that accusation at all)? You naughty boy.

  28. Zany –

    I wasn’t making an argument in the first place (do you have trouble understanding basic discourse as well?), I was just pointing out the facts.

    I have better things to do with my time than “argue” with you, because you put no thought in what you say and just regurgitate dumb ideas.

  29. @Zany

    “Even though humans might have free will (…) Therefore this issue is cleared.”

    It’s cleared for us I guess, but not for you. You insist on continuing to be in doubt about whether “humans might have free will”.
    We have no problem with human free will. You have, obviously.

    “Not existing at all is better than the possibility of suffering. I do not see any rational reason why someone would say the opposite. ”

    What do you mean by “the opposite” ? You seem to be deceived by a false dichotomy.

    BTW, Christianity does not deny that non-existence would have been better for some individuals, but in that case they are the ones to blame for this, not God.

    Mark 14.21 but woe to that man by whom the Son of man shall be betrayed. It were better for him, if that man had not been born.

    • “It’s cleared for us I guess, but not for you. You insist on continuing to be in doubt about whether “humans might have free will”.
      We have no problem with human free will. You have, obviously.”

      First note that I as an atheist cannot believe in free will. But I do understand your theological view about it. I only wanted to mention that there is also fatalism. Many theists are fatalists like most Sunni Muslim scholars or Martin Luther.
      I have no problems with the concept of free will itself. It just does not solve the problem of evil as it is supposed to.

      You say that only man is to blame and not God. I blame God for creating man and making it possible. You as a moral person would not create some creatures and let them harm each other. No good person would do it but God did it.

  30. @Zany

    ” I have no problems with the concept of free will itself.”

    Yes you have. In all that you wrote here there are dozens of quotes to that effect, for example what you wrote three lines above “I cannot believe in free will”

    ” I as an atheist cannot believe in free will ”

    You’re not an atheist in the sense of someone who believes that there is no God (as some Buddhists do for example).
    You’re just a miso-theist, someone who dislikes/hates God for some things that he did/created ; in that case, free will.
    Your problem is with free will and not at all with God. Boasting of being an “atheist” is just diversion.
    You are a fatalist indeed. But I laugh at your claim of being an “atheist”, as would my atheist friends.

    “You as a moral person would not create some creatures and let them harm each other. . ”

    ? Software engineers create programs that inevitably have bugs. Children or pupils are tested and allowed to experience/practice potentially harmful things so as to learn.

    “I blame God for creating man and making it possible. ”

    Did God create man with or without free will, smart boy ? We’ve been through this many times before already.
    The way you keep on writing about it here is by never answering this point, thus maintaining the confusion. If cornered, you even make a tactical retreat and contradict yourself, saying “I have no problem with free will …”
    Moments later, you are ready to start all over again.
    “Regurgitating” as Lily pointed out

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