Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Aidid Safar: A reply

I am not an Islamist. I see myself as an ardent secularist. I am replying to Aidid Safar's twisting of the religion of Islam not because I love Islam so much, but I love truth. What Safar is doing is actually twisting the truth.

Aidid Safar is an author promoting the "Qur'an alone" ideology, meaning he is against the hadiths. But he is not just against the hadiths, he also has interpreted the religion according to his own whim and fancy, thus creating a new religion altogether. Even other "Quran alone" proponents have not twisted the religion as much as he did.

He has written a book "Arab conspiracies against Islam" which proposes the arguments that the Arabs have hijacked Islam and made it their own religion. Ritual worship is in fact, not a commandment from God. Meaning to say, the five daily prayers, the religious tithe (zakat), hajj and fasting, all are actually corruptions, inserted into the religion by the Arabs through the so called "hadiths of the Prophet", which shouldn't be believed in. This claim however is entirely false.

The book uses references from the Qur'an, but takes them entirely out of context and also changes their intended meanings. I am not saying this just for the purpose of arguing, I will show you shortly how he truly did this.

Most of the time, Safar thinks that a word has only one meaning and that's it, whereas in fact, a word may have several different meanings and this applies to all the languages of the world.

What are the arguments for following the Hadiths?
Qur'anic verses where God says the importance of obeying Him and the Messenger:

"O you who believe! Obey Allah and His Messenger and those of you who are in authority. If you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination." [4:59]

On that day those who disbelieved and disobeyed the Messenger will wish that they were level with the ground, and they can hide no fact from Allah [4:42]

Whoever obeys the Messenger, he thereby surely has obeyed Allah  [4:80]

But no, by your Lord, they will not [truly] believe until they make you, [O Muhammad], judge concerning that over which they dispute among themselves [4:65]

"It is not fitting for the believing man nor for the believing woman, that whenever Allah and His Messenger have decided any matter, that they should have any other opinion." [33:36]

And We revealed to you the message (Qur’an) that you may make clear to the people what was sent down to them and that they might give thought. [ 16:44]

The last verse says that the Prophet is also told by God to "explain" the verses, and not just convey. This refers to the sunnah.

Several cases where the hadiths explain the Quranic verses.
1) Cutting of hands of thieves in Surah Maidah:38. The Sunnah explains about the circumstances behind the hudud law, such as the amount stolen being more than a quarter of a dinar, the stolen good should be properly kept and so on. If we don't know this, we would be chopping people's hands all day for any petty crime.

2) In Surah 6:82, God said: Those who believe and do not mix their belief with injustice: those will have security, and they are [rightly] guided.

According to this verse, anyone who mixes injustice with their belief will not attain security nor are they rightly guided. This could pose a problem, since who has never done injustice to themselves, in other words who is perfect in this world?

The Prophet, according to the hadiths, explained that this "Zulm" actually refers to shirk, according to Surah 31:13. This hadith is recorded in Bukhari, and it shows the importance of the Sunnah to explain the Qur'an.

3) The hadiths also explain the Qur'anic verses with regards to whipping people for adultery. If there are no guidelines (the Qur'an doesn't provide any), then a lot of Muslims will flog people without mercy, just to carry out the Qur'anic injunctions. This includes whipping until someone dies, or whipping the weak elderly and pregnant women, which are not allowed according to the hadiths and etc.

Replies for some of Safar's arguments regarding hadiths:

1)God sent down the best Hadith/message a Scripture that is consistent (39:23)

The word hadith literally could either mean something new, as opposed to something old "qadeem", or it could mean "news" or "speech". The Qur'an uses the word "hadith" to mean refer to different circumstances.

And if you see those who meddle in Our verses, then turn away from them until they meddle in a different hadith; and if the devil lets you forget, then do not sit after remembering with the wicked people [6:68] And did the hadith of Moses come to you? [20:9]

There are many others. The technical definition that it has come to mean is the sayings, actions and also approval of the Prophet Muhammad, according to some ulamas. This then means that it has the same meaning as the word "sunnah".

Other ulamas define it differently, such as the sayings, actions and also approval of the Prophet, alongside the Companions and the Tabi'ins, and this is the definition of al-Tibi. This is the majority opinion.

The simple response is, the Qur'an is the primary source of legislation and the Sunnah is the second, it has always been this way and it will always be. The best hadith (or the best news or speech) IS the Qur'an.

2) Which Hadith/message beside this would you then believe in. (77:50)

The context of the verse is talking about the deniers of the Day of Judgement, from verse 77:45:
45. Woe that Day to the deniers! 46. Eat and enjoy yourselves for a little while. Verily, you are criminals. 47. Woe that Day to the deniers! 48. And when it is said to them: "Bow down yourself!'' They bow not down. 49. Woe that Day to the deniers! 50. Then in what statement after this will they believe.

In responding to the disbelievers, God said what divinely messages will they believe in if they wouldn't even take the Qur'an seriously? By extension they wouldn't also believe in the sayings of the Prophet.

3) They never come to you with any example, except We provide you the truth and the best interpretation. (25:33)

The verse, in context, is from the verse before the above, which is 25:32

32. And those who disbelieve say: "Why is not the Qur'an revealed to him all at once" Thus, that We may strengthen your heart thereby. And We have revealed it to you gradually, in stages. 33. And no example or parable do they bring, but We reveal to you the truth, and the better explanation thereof.

 The verse replies to the detractors of the Prophet. Whatever parables they give, the Qur'an is the better, and the best explanation. The famous commentator, Ibn Kathir, said in his tafsir, "They do not say anything in an attempt to oppose the truth, but We respond to them with the truth of that same matter, more clearly and more eloquently than anything they say."

 4) A Qur’an (reading) in Arabic, without ambiguity so that they may attain success. (39:28) 

 Actually, the word "'Iwajin", translated as ambiguity by Safar, properly translates as "crookedness". As in, a Qur'an without crookedness. The Qur'an itself says that it has clear and ambiguous verses.

He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are allegorical. (3:7)

These are in Arabic, the "muhkamat" and the "mutashabihaat" verses. Clearly the Qur'an has ambiguous verses, that's why we have so many interpretations for many of the verses of the Qur'an. That's why Islamic scholars differ among each other.

5)We have neglected nothing in the Book, then unto their Lord they (all) shall be gathered (6:38)

This should be understood to mean that the Qur'an is a book that outlines all the general information about how we should carry out our responsibilities as submitters to God. It is not in the sense that it is detailed to the max, for that would make the Qur'an to be volumes long. How are we going to establish our solat, zakat, fasting and haj without the Sunnah? The Qur'an never specifies this. Safar has a very interesting take on this matter, which is what makes the bulk of his book, upon which I will deal with in the future, God willing.

Also, if we are to understand the Qur'an to be "fully detailed" as in it is complete per se, then I want to know can we get details about Jesus' ministry? Can I know when exactly was Solomon's temple destroyed from the Qur'an?  What happened to Enoch and Elijah, were they transported to Heaven alive, or not? So many questions exist about the prophets, but the Qur'an is absolutely silent about many of them.

See more replies below:

Reply to Aidid Safar (Bayti means system)

Aidid Safar (the Solaa shuffle)

A Reply to Aidid Safar II

4 comments:

  1. salam,
    hope you could clear up the confusion soon.. thanx for your hard work.. matalie80

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  2. Chopping people's hand in any circumstances is barbaric. Please don't justify it.

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    1. In classical Arabic idiom, the "cutting off of one's hands and feet" is often synonymous with "destroying one's power", and it is possibly in this sense that the expression has been usedSo by cutting off a thief's hands it means cutting off a person's ability/need to steal - perhaps by providing for his needs (if he stole due to poverty), rehabilitating him etc.etc. It doesn't mean physically cutting off a person's hands - that is not social justice as per Quranic injunctions which states that punishment should equal the misdemeanor - also a person without a hand becomes an unnecessary liability on society. All this goes against the tenets of Islam.

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    2. Hello ILIYAS,check the verse again.there is no hand,as a word, mention in the verse.We can cut a portion of his income or money to repay what is stolen.Crucification is not the law from God.God does not mention how hard or with what to flog;thus He wants us to use common sense.The flogging is not to harm the one punished but to bring shame and therefore to deter.The main aspect of punishment is never to exceed the crime with regard to its intensity or harshness.

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