Pamphlet What Does Quran Say Vol1

 





Pamphlet
What Does The
Holy Qur'an Say
Volume I
September 2015
Zahir Ebrahim





Copyright © 2011, 2013, 2015 by Zahir Ebrahim
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Words: 26426 | Pages: 78 | Pamphlet 8.5x11 | Friday, September 18, 2015 02:00 am
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This Pamphlet is based on the author's Book: Hijacking The Holy Qur'an And Its Religion Islam - Muslims and Imperial Mobilization, 1st Edition, August 2013, and 2nd Edition, September 2015
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The
Zahir Ebrahim
Holy Qur'an
Reader
Volume I





About This Pamphlet
This short compilation of analytical articles on the Holy Qur'an is intended to tear-down, or at least challenge, some precepts that have crept into the religion of Islam which are not supported by its singular scripture, the Holy Qur'an. This presentation is not a work of piety or spiritualism. It is a work of intellectual labor. The analysis is presented to hold up in a fair court of law if such a case is brought before it for clear adjudication of what the Good Book itself avers in its foundational and categorical verses by its own yardstick.
Non-Muslims and atheists are invited to join in as tourists in another peoples' scripture. This will be an educational ride for those so called secular humanists interested in understanding social engineering and how consent is engineered in the name of God by the superman using the socialized idiocy of the popes and plebes alike. One does not have to believe in the Holy Qur'an in order to understand its Message – like when reading Shakespeare, who cares who is the real author behind that nom de plume when one studies or performs The Merchant of Venice and MacBeth? – and that is the hook for non-Muslims fed-up with learning about Islam from the Machiavellian pens of Western propagandists like Bernard Lewis, and from the antediluvian nibs (old fashioned writing instrument) of the pious parrots of Islam.
Turbans of Islam are encouraged to issue fatwas on the author's work. Learned scholars of the Holy Qur'an and Muslim Jurists are invited to critique and offer additional insights to move this baby-step forward. The giant stride to Reformation so fashioned from the contributions of individual learned minds unwilling to accept socialization as religion surely ought to be greater than the sum of their individual baby-steps for the benefit of all mankind.





About The Author
Zahir Ebrahim, an electrical engineer and computer architect, temporarily gave up his high-tech career in Silicon Valley, California, in the late 1990s to spend time raising his kids. Zahir originally studied EECS at UET (Lahore, Pakistan), MIT, and Stanford University (via SITN). He was an ordinary engineer and worked in several corporations in the San Francisco Bay Area pursuing his own “American Dream” like most ordinary people (see engineering patents at http://tinyurl.com/Zahir-Patents). Zahir switched directions immediately after 9/11 and turned towards justice activism with the same zest with which he had previously endeared himself to his profession. Zahir's 2003 maiden book of protest against the criminal military invasion of Iraq, titled Prisoners of the Cave, was rejected by numerous publishers and can be read on the web at http://PrisonersoftheCave.org. Zahir writes exclusively for Project Humanbeingsfirst.org which he founded as The Plebeian Antidote to Hectoring Hegemons. Zahir may be reached at http://Humanbeingsfirst.org. Bio at http://ZahirEbrahim.org. Full Copyright Notice at http://humanbeingsfirst.org/#Copyright.





I
1
II
20
III
33
IV
62





Abstract
The Sunni and Shia have needlessly argued for centuries over matters that are at times wholly Indeterminate in the Holy Qur'an. Sometimes through ignorance of the Qur'anic text, and at other times by going to the partisan scribes of history based on their respective socialization biases. This report speaks to the former, ignorance of the Qur'anic text due to its careless reading, especially in translation, which needlessly creates an unbridgeable chasm in the understanding of the Qur'anic message between the two major sects of Islam. Verse 33:33 is among the most contentious verses in the Holy Qur'an between the Shia and Sunni; they each argue their own socialization biases without paying careful attention to what the Holy Qur'an itself states in that verse, and does not state. This report highlights that absurdity.
The Qur'anic phrase: أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ , Ahlul Bayt, is a proper noun. In the Qur'anic semantics, it specifically means the household of the family of the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (PBUH). In Arabic vernacular of course, أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ is a common noun. It generally means members of the household of any person. Linguistically, it can be used to refer to anyone's household. It is customary to capitalize the phrase in English as Ahlul Bayt when the family of the Messenger of Islam is the explicit context.
Who precisely comprise the Ahlul Bayt is not made unambiguously clear in the Holy Qur'an. It remains a point of contention among the two main protagonist sects of Islam which virtually comprise nearly 99 percent of Muslims in the world today, the Sunni and the Shia. The contention is sometimes needlessly heated, and often based on outright ignorance and/or the socialized dogma that one grows up in. This article takes a look at what the Holy Qur'an itself says, and does not say, when it uses the phrase Ahlul Bayt, as in the famously contentious verse 33:33. Sometimes referred to as the verse of purification, it is among the most commonly misperceived verses of the Holy Qur'an, especially when read in translation. Both Shia and the Sunni have argued for over 14 centuries about the scope of its composition, namely, who is being referred to in this verse:
And stay quietly in your houses, and make not a dazzling display, like that of the former Times of Ignorance; and establish regular Prayer, and give regular Charity; and obey Allah and His Messenger.
And Allah only wishes to remove all abomination from you, ye members of the Family, and to make you pure and spotless.” (Surah Al-Ahzaab, 33:33)
وَقَرْنَ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ وَلَا تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ الْأُولَىٰ ۖ وَأَقِمْنَ الصَّلَاةَ وَآتِينَ الزَّكَاةَ وَأَطِعْنَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۚ


إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا
Caption Verse 33:33 Surah Al-Ahzaab – incredible verse that hides a wellspring of semantics by employing the gender sensitivity of Arabic grammar in its second person pronoun to describe the composition of Ahlul Bayt. Another reason for misunderstanding the Holy Qur'an – its sophistication of using the Classical Arabic language constructs to hide a wellspring of secrets that none among the ordinary people seeking guidance from it shall fathom except those who are capable of understanding أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ (see verse 3:7) and having command of its unsurpassed natural language of exposition بِلِسَانِ قَوْمِهِۦ (see verse 14:4)! Verse 33:33 is a categorical example of why the Holy Qur'an is simply untranslatable, even syntactically, let alone semantically! Even the “Orientalism” jaundiced West is reluctantly forced to admit this characteristic of the Holy Qur'an: “The miraculous rhetorical quality that the Qur’an has for the reader is lost in translation, ... mistranslation usually occurs when translators retain Arabic terms or force a single meaning upon Arabic words.” (tinyurl.com/Quran-Untranslatable-Harvard).
The following table captures the complete context of the topic under discussion in Surah Al-Ahzaab, verses 33:28-34, using Yusuf Ali's translation.
O Prophet! Say to thy Consorts: "If it be that ye desire the life of this World, and its glitter,- then come! I will provide for your enjoyment and set you free in a handsome manner. (28)
يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّبِىُّ قُل لِّأَزْوَٰجِكَ إِن كُنتُنَّ تُرِدْنَ ٱلْحَيَوٰةَ ٱلدُّنْيَا وَزِينَتَهَا فَتَعَالَيْنَ أُمَتِّعْكُنَّ وَأُسَرِّحْكُنَّ سَرَاحًا جَمِيلًا
But if ye seek Allah and His Messenger, and the Home of the Hereafter, verily Allah has prepared for the well-doers amongst you a great reward, (29)
وَإِن كُنتُنَّ تُرِدْنَ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُۥ وَٱلدَّارَ ٱلْءَاخِرَةَ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ أَعَدَّ لِلْمُحْسِنَٰتِ مِنكُنَّ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا
O Consorts of the Prophet! If any of you were guilty of evident unseemly conduct, the Punishment would be doubled to her, and that is easy for Allah. (30)
يَٰنِسَآءَ ٱلنَّبِىِّ مَن يَأْتِ مِنكُنَّ بِفَٰحِشَةٍ مُّبَيِّنَةٍ يُضَٰعَفْ لَهَا ٱلْعَذَابُ ضِعْفَيْنِ ۚ وَكَانَ ذَٰلِكَ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ يَسِيرًا
But any of you that is devout in the service of Allah and His Messenger, and works righteousness,- to her shall We grant her reward twice: and We have prepared for her a generous Sustenance. (31)
وَمَن يَقْنُتْ مِنكُنَّ لِلَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِۦ وَتَعْمَلْ صَٰلِحًا نُّؤْتِهَآ أَجْرَهَا مَرَّتَيْنِ وَأَعْتَدْنَا لَهَا رِزْقًا كَرِيمًا
O Consorts of the Prophet! Ye are not like any of the (other) women: if ye do fear (Allah), be not too complacent of speech, lest one in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire: but speak ye a speech (that is) just. (32)
يَٰنِسَآءَ ٱلنَّبِىِّ لَسْتُنَّ كَأَحَدٍ مِّنَ ٱلنِّسَآءِ ۚ إِنِ ٱتَّقَيْتُنَّ فَلَا تَخْضَعْنَ بِٱلْقَوْلِ فَيَطْمَعَ ٱلَّذِى فِى قَلْبِهِۦ مَرَضٌ وَقُلْنَ قَوْلًا مَّعْرُوفًا
And stay quietly in your houses, and make not a dazzling display, like that of the former Times of Ignorance; and establish regular Prayer, and give regular Charity; and obey Allah and His Messenger.
And Allah only wishes to remove all abomination from you, ye members of the Family, and to make you pure and spotless. (33:33)
وَقَرْنَ فِى بُيُوتِكُنَّ وَلَا تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ ٱلْجَٰهِلِيَّةِ ٱلْأُولَىٰ ۖ وَأَقِمْنَ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَءَاتِينَ ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ وَأَطِعْنَ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُۥٓ ۚ


إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ ٱللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنكُمُ ٱلرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ ٱلْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا
And recite what is rehearsed to you in your homes, of the Signs of Allah and His Wisdom: for Allah understands the finest mysteries and is well-acquainted (with them). (Surah Al-Ahzaab, 33:34) (Tr. Abdullah Yusuf Ali)
وَٱذْكُرْنَ مَا يُتْلَىٰ فِى بُيُوتِكُنَّ مِنْ ءَايَٰتِ ٱللَّهِ وَٱلْحِكْمَةِ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ لَطِيفًا خَبِيرًا
Caption Surah Al-Ahzaab, verses 33:28-34 – An illustrative case of how a translation fails to capture the semantics of the Qur'anic Arabic grammar accurately due to language limitations of English which does not have gender-specific second person pronouns and possessive pronouns. In this instance, it leads to the misperception that the interspersed verse fragment purifying the Ahlul Bayt in 33:33 is referring to the Messenger's wives just because the wives are being addressed by the Author earlier in that verse, and also in the preceding verses, and in the succeeding verse! This switch in topic for the verse of purification cannot be captured in a translated language which does not have gender-specific 2nd person pronoun with the same semantics as the Classical Qur'anic Arabic does, without explicit elaboration.
The following table completely decomposes verses 33:33 and 33:34 word by word. Please take a few minutes to study the switch in pronoun from 2nd person feminine plural possessive pronoun when referring to the houses of the wives, to 2nd person masculine plural object pronoun when referring to the Ahlul Bayt, and back to 2nd person feminine plural possessive pronoun when referring again to the houses of the wives in 33:34:
  • 2nd person feminine plural possessive pronoun
  • (33:33:3) بُيُوتِكُنَّ buyūtikunna your houses
  • 2nd person masculine plural object pronoun
  • (33:33:20) عَنكُمُ ankumu from you,
  • (33:33:24) وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ wayuṭahhirakum And to purify you
  • 2nd person feminine plural possessive pronoun
  • (33:34:5) بُيُوتِكُنَّ buyūtikunna your houses
The significance of this switch in pronouns is striking. But what is even more striking is how little attention is paid to this switch by those who argue needlessly about the semantics without due diligence to the Arabic language syntax that is expressing the semantics. The 2nd person masculine pronoun كُمُ “kum”, and 2nd person feminine pronoun كُنَّ “kunna”, unambiguously represent the following semantics in order to be grammatically correct in their usage:
  • kum” when used with a plural object or possessive case represents a composition that must contain at least one or more males, and may contain zero or more females
    (it is equivalent of 2nd person pronoun “you”, “
    تم ” and “vous” in gender neutral English, Urdu, and French respectively) ;
  • kunna” represents an all female composition
    (it has no equivalent in English, Urdu, French, et. al.; consequently, the same 2nd person pronoun “you”, “
    تم ” and “vous” are respectively re-used causing a loss in semantics in translation).


Word by Word Decomposition of Surah Al-Ahzaab 33:33-34
Translation
Arabic word
Syntax and morphology
(33:33:1)waqarna
And stay
CONJ – prefixed conjunction wa (and)
V – 2nd person feminine plural imperative verb
PRON – subject pronoun
الواو عاطفة
فعل أمر والتاء ضمير متصل في محل رفع فاعل
(33:33:2)

in
P – preposition
حرف جر
(33:33:3)buyūtikunna
your houses
N – genitive masculine plural noun
PRON – 2nd person feminine plural possessive pronoun
اسم مجرور والكاف ضمير متصل في محل جر بالاضافة
(33:33:4)
walā
and (do) not
CONJ – prefixed conjunction wa (and)
PRO – prohibition particle
الواو عاطفة
حرف نهي
(33:33:5)tabarrajna
display yourselves
V – 2nd person feminine plural (form V) imperfect verb, jussive mood
PRON – subject pronoun
فعل مضارع مجزوم والتاء ضمير متصل في محل رفع فاعل
(33:33:6)tabarruja
(as was the) display
N – accusative masculine (form V) verbal noun
اسم منصوب
(33:33:7)l-jāhiliyati
(of the times of) ignorance
PN – genitive feminine proper noun → Al-Jahiliyah
اسم علم مجرور
(33:33:8)l-ūlā
the former.
N – nominative feminine noun
اسم مرفوع
(33:33:9)wa-aqim'na
And establish
CONJ – prefixed conjunction wa (and)
V – 2nd person feminine plural (form IV) imperative verb
PRON – subject pronoun
الواو عاطفة
فعل أمر والتاء ضمير متصل في محل رفع فاعل
(33:33:10)l-ṣalata
the prayer
N – accusative feminine noun
اسم منصوب
(33:33:11)waātīna
and give
CONJ – prefixed conjunction wa (and)
V – 2nd person feminine plural (form IV) imperative verb
PRON – subject pronoun
الواو عاطفة
فعل أمر والتاء ضمير متصل في محل رفع فاعل
(33:33:12)l-zakata
zakah
N – accusative feminine noun
اسم منصوب
(33:33:13)wa-aṭiʿ'na
and obey
CONJ – prefixed conjunction wa (and)
V – 2nd person feminine plural (form IV) imperative verb
PRON – subject pronoun
الواو عاطفة
فعل أمر والتاء ضمير متصل في محل رفع فاعل
(33:33:14)l-laha
Allah
PN – accusative proper noun → Allah
لفظ الجلالة منصوب
(33:33:15)warasūlahu
and His Messenger.
CONJ – prefixed conjunction wa (and)
N – accusative masculine noun
PRON – 3rd person masculine singular possessive pronoun
الواو عاطفة
اسم منصوب والهاء ضمير متصل في محل جر بالاضافة
(33:33:16)
innamā
Only
ACC – accusative particle
PREV – preventive particle
كافة ومكفوفة
(33:33:17)yurīdu
Allah wishes
V – 3rd person masculine singular (form IV) imperfect verb
فعل مضارع
(33:33:18)l-lahu
Allah wishes
PN – nominative proper noun → Allah
لفظ الجلالة مرفوع
(33:33:19)liyudh'hiba
to remove
PRP – prefixed particle of purpose lām
V – 3rd person masculine singular (form IV) imperfect verb, subjunctive mood
اللام لام التعليل
فعل مضارع منصوب
(33:33:20)
ʿankumu
from you
P – preposition
PRON – 2nd person masculine plural object pronoun
جار ومجرور
(33:33:21)l-rij'sa
the impurity,
N – accusative masculine noun
اسم منصوب
(33:33:22)ahla
(O) People
N – accusative masculine noun
اسم منصوب
(33:33:23)l-bayti
(of) the House!
N – genitive masculine noun
اسم مجرور
(33:33:24)wayuṭahhirakum
And to purify you
CONJ – prefixed conjunction wa (and)
V – 3rd person masculine singular (form II) imperfect verb, subjunctive mood
PRON – 2nd person masculine plural object pronoun
الواو عاطفة
فعل مضارع منصوب والكاف ضمير متصل في محل نصب مفعول به
(33:33:25)taṭhīran
(with thorough) purification.
N – accusative masculine indefinite (form II) verbal noun
اسم منصوب
(33:34:1)wa-udh'kur'na
And remember
CONJ – prefixed conjunction wa (and)
V – 2nd person feminine plural imperative verb
PRON – subject pronoun
الواو عاطفة
فعل أمر والتاء ضمير متصل في محل رفع فاعل
(33:34:2)

what
REL – relative pronoun
اسم موصول
(33:34:3)yut'lā
is recited
V – 3rd person masculine singular passive imperfect verb, subjunctive mood
فعل مضارع مبني للمجهول منصوب
(33:34:4)

in
P – preposition
حرف جر
(33:34:5)buyūtikunna
your houses
N – genitive masculine plural noun
PRON – 2nd person feminine plural possessive pronoun
اسم مجرور والكاف ضمير متصل في محل جر بالاضافة
(33:34:6)
min
of
P – preposition
حرف جر
(33:34:7)āyāti
(the) Verses
N – genitive feminine plural noun
اسم مجرور
(33:34:8)l-lahi
(of) Allah
PN – genitive proper noun → Allah
لفظ الجلالة مجرور
(33:34:9)wal-ḥik'mati
and the wisdom.
CONJ – prefixed conjunction wa (and)
N – genitive feminine noun
الواو عاطفة
اسم مجرور
(33:34:10)
inna
Indeed,
ACC – accusative particle
حرف نصب
(33:34:11)l-laha
Allah
PN – accusative proper noun → Allah
لفظ الجلالة منصوب
(33:34:12)kāna
is
V – 3rd person masculine singular perfect verb
فعل ماض
(33:34:13)laṭīfan
All-Subtle,
N – accusative masculine singular indefinite noun
اسم منصوب
(33:34:14)khabīran
All-Aware.
ADJ – accusative masculine singular indefinite adjective
صفة منصوبة
Caption Surah Al-Ahzaab, verse 33:33-34 Word by Word syntactical decomposition. (Arabic syntax and grammar courtesy of corpus.quran.com/documentation/grammar.jsp ; corpus.quran.com/wordbyword.jsp?chapter=33&verse=33 )
The following table captures some prominent English and Urdu translations of verse 33:33. It can be seen that all of them, without exception, spectacularly fail to capture the gender switch of the 2nd person pronoun from feminine to masculine form of the original verse in Arabic when referring to the Ahlul Bayt. Whether or not this translated language limitation is footnoted in the original printed editions by their respective translators to draw attention to the significance of this switch in pronouns, is not known.
And stay in your houses and do not display your finery like the displaying of the ignorance of yore; and keep up prayer, and pay the poor-rate, and obey Allah and His Apostle. Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House! and to purify you a (thorough) purifying. (Muhammad Ali Habib Shakir, House of Habib, Pakistan)
And stay in your houses and do not display your finery like the displaying of the ignorance of yore; and keep up prayer, and pay the poorrate, and obey Allah and His Apostle; Allah only desires to take away the uncleanness from you, O people of the household! and to purify you a (thorough) purifying. (Maulana Muhammad Ali MMA 1917 PDF)
And stay in your houses. Bedizen not yourselves with the bedizenment of the Time of Ignorance. Be regular in prayer, and pay the poor-due, and obey Allah and His messenger. Allah's wish is but to remove uncleanness far from you, O Folk of the Household, and cleanse you with a thorough cleansing. (Marmaduke Pickthall)
Remain in your houses; and display not your finery, as did the pagans of old. And perform the prayer, and pay the alms, and obey God and His Messenger. People of the House, God only desires to put away from you abomination and to cleanse you. (Arthur John Arberry)
Stay at home, and do not deck yourselves with ostentation as in the days of paganism; fulfil your devotional obligations, pay the zakat, and obey God and His Apostle. God desires to remove impurities from you, O inmates of this house, and to cleanse and bring out the best in you. (Ahmed Ali)
And stay in Your houses. and display not yourselves! with the display of the times of former Paganism; and establish the prayer and give the poor-rate and obey Allah and His apostle. Allah only desireth to take away uncleanness from you, people of the house-hold, and to purify you with a thorough purification. (Abdul Majid Daryabadi)
And abide quietly in your homes, and do not flaunt your charms as they used to flaunt them in the old days of pagan ignorance; and be constant in prayer, and render the purifying dues, and pay heed unto God and His Apostle: for God only wants to remove from you all that might be loathsome, O you members of the [Prophet’s] household, and to purify you to utmost purity. (Muhammad Asad)
And stay in your homes and do not go about displaying your allurements as in the former Time of Ignorance. Establish Prayer, give Zakah, and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah only wishes to remove uncleanness from you, O members of the (Prophet's) household, and to purify you completely. (Abul Ala Maududi)
Stay in your houses and do not display your finery with the display of the former [days of ] ignorance. Maintain the prayer and pay the zakat and obey Allah and His Apostle. Indeed Allah desires to repel all impurity from you, O People of the Household, and purify you with a thorough purification. (Ali Quli Qara'i)
اپنے گھروں میں ٹِک کر رہو اور سابق دور جاہلیت کی سی سج دھج نہ دکھاتی پھرو نماز قائم کرو، زکوٰۃ دو اور اللہ اور اُس کے رسولؐ کی اطاعت کرو اللہ تو یہ چاہتا ہے کہ اہلِ بیتِ نبیؐ سے گندگی کو دور کرے اور تمہیں پوری طرح پاک کر دے
(Abul Ala Maududi)
اور اپنے گھروں میں بیٹھی رہو اور گزشتہ زمانہ جاہلیت کی طرح بناؤ سنگھار دکھاتی نہ پھرو اور نماز پڑھو اور زکواة دو اور الله اور اس کے رسول کی فرمانبرداری کرو الله یہی چاہتا ہے کہ اے اس گھر والو تم سے ناپاکی دور کرے اور تمہیں خوب پاک کرے
(Ahmed Ali)
اور اپنے گھر میں بیٹھی رہو اور پہلی جاہلیت جیسا بناؤ سنگھار نہ کرو اور نماز قائم کرو اور زکوِٰادا کرو اوراللہ اور اس کے رسول کی اطاعت کرو - بس اللہ کا ارادہ یہ ہے اے اہلبیت علیھ السّلام کہ تم سے ہر برائی کو دور رکھے اور اس طرح پاک و پاکیزہ رکھے جو پاک و پاکیزہ رکھنے کا حق ہے
(Syed Zeeshan Haider Jawadi)
اور اپنے گھروں میں قرار سے رہو اور سابقہ زمانۂ جاہلیت کی طرح اپنی آرائش کی نمائش نہ کرتی پھرو (باہر نہ نکلا کرو) اور نماز قائم کرو اور زکوٰۃ ادا کرو اور اللہ اور اس کے رسول کی اطاعت کیا کرو۔ اے اہل بیت! اللہ تو بس یہی چاہتا ہے کہ تم سے ہر قسم کے رجس (آلودگی) کو دور رکھے اور تمہیں اس طرح پاک و پاکیزہ رکھے جس طرح پاک رکھنے کا حق ہے۔
(Ayatollah Muhammad Hussain Najafi)
Caption various translations of Surah Al-Ahzaab verse 33:33 into English and Urdu, the non-gender sensitive languages, all spectacularly failing to capture the semantics created due to the gender change from feminine to masculine form of the 2nd person pronoun when referring to the Ahlul Bayt. (Translations are from the electronic versions at tanzil.net/trans/ ; MMA 1917 PDF courtesy of aaiil.org ; Ali Quli Qara'i courtesy of islamawakened.com/Quran/33/33/default.htm )
In French, which is more gender sensitive than either English or Urdu but less so than Classical Arabic, the translation of verse 33:33 is given below. The 2nd person pronoun “vous” in French, like its Urdu and English 2nd person pronoun counterpart “ تم ” and “you” respectively, including the possessive case variations thereof, are unfortunately gender neutral and unable to distinguish between singular and plural object, leading to the same loss in semantics.
Restez dans vos foyers; et ne vous exhibez pas à la manière des femmes d'avant l'Islam (Jâhiliyah). Accomplissez la Salât, acquittez la Zakât et obéissez à Allah et à Son messager. Allah ne veut que vous débarrasser de toute souillure, ô gens de la maison [du prophète], et veut vous purifier pleinement. (verse 33:33 Tr. Muhammad Hamidullah)
Caption Translation of verse 33:33 into French. The second person pronoun vous is gender neutral just like in Urdu and English, despite French being more gender sensitive than either English or Urdu, therefore leading to the same loss in semantics.
In Spanish however, the matter is salvaged. Spanish enables expressing gender sensitivity of the object by addition of either “os” or “as” to the verb. Therefore, a correct semantic translation of verse 33:33 from Arabic into Spanish is possible by reflecting the 2nd person plural gender sensitivity of the pronoun in Arabic, to the correct conjugated form of the verb expressing the gender and plurality of the object. So, if “gente de la casa” (Ahlul Bayt) was referring to only the wives of the Messenger, the grammatically correct verb conjugation of the root verbs 'librar' and 'purificar' in Spanish would have been “libraras” and “purificaras” instead of “libraros” and “purificaros”.
¡Quedaos en vuestras casas! ¡No os acicaléis como se acicalaban las natiguas paganas! ¡Haced la azalá! ¡Dad el azaque! ¡Obedeced a Alá y a Su Enviado! Alá sólo quiere libraros de la mancha, gente de la casa, y purificaros por completo. (verse 33:33 Tr. Julio Cortes)
Caption Translation of verse 33:33 into Spanish. The loss of semantics in translation is prevented by reflecting the 2nd person plural masculine pronoun of Arabic on the correct selection of masculine or feminine verb conjugation, since both choices are available in Spanish to indicate object composition and its plurality.
That language limitation conundrum disclosed above is an obvious source of misunderstanding the Holy Qur'an – when studying it in translation! The Holy Qur'an is simply untranslatable, in almost any language. Which is why the famous translator Arthur J. Arberry, in deep humility, called his excellent rendition into English: “The Koran Interpreted”. Even the “Orientalism” jaundiced West is reluctantly forced to admit this characteristic of the Holy Qur'an: “The miraculous rhetorical quality that the Qur’an has for the reader is lost in translation, ... mistranslation usually occurs when translators retain Arabic terms or force a single meaning upon Arabic words.” (see tinyurl.com/Quran-Untranslatable-Harvard).
Furthermore, a translation also lends itself easily to both Machiavellian as well as inadvertent perception management of the public mind (see tinyurl.com/Making-the-public-mind ). We can see this pernicious cognitive infiltration in the contemporary English translation of the Holy Qur'an titled: The Sublime Quran (see tinyurl.com/Critique-Laleh-Bakhtiar-Zahir ).
To this day, countless generations of Muslims growing up in non Arabic speaking Muslim countries do not perceive what has so straightforwardly been demonstrated above, as the sophistication of the classical Arabic language to mask its secrets from the unwary by something so elegant as simply a gender change in its 2nd person pronoun. The syntactic as well as semantic limitations of any translation language in comparison to the intrinsic richness and succinctness of Qur'anic Arabic requires much reframing for the target language in order to preserve both literal as well as semantic accuracy, which, as in the case of verse 33:33, simply cannot be maintained without additional footnotes and parenthetical annotations. (See a detailed examination of the translation issue in: Critique: Laleh Bakhtiar and The Sublime Quran, Ibid.)
These language limitations naturally create additional motivation to seek sources of explanation and exegeses outside of the pages of the Holy Qur'an, called “tafsir”, especially for those who do not speak Arabic, which is approximately 90 percent of the 1.6 to 2 billion Muslim public spread throughout the world in many different cultures and civilizations. That fact automatically leads to the paradox: fallible hands, fallible minds, and fallible hearts, some clean and some unclean, some competent and some incompetent, none of them categorically known to be among the “Ar-Rasikhoon-fil-ilm” ( الرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ ) of verse 3:7 of the Holy Qur'an, expositing the pristine text of the Holy Qur'an according to their own perception and socialization bias – rather than the Word of its own Author explain itself.
At least with respect to this verse fragment 33:33, the native Arabic speaker has a leg-up on the non Arabic speaker. The former knows that Ahlul Bayt is being referred to with a masculine pronoun and therefore its composition, by definition, comprises one or more males, and cannot comprise only females, and therefore the verse fragment 33:33 is not necessarily referring to the wives, or even just the wives alone. If that verse fragment was indeed referring to only the wives, an all female group, then the feminine form of the pronoun would have been used to refer to the Ahlul Bayt as is done when referring to the houses of the wives before and after that verse of purification.
But that's also where the native Arabic speaker's advantage over the non-speaker ends. Neither knows the actual composition of the Ahlul Bayt beyond that prima facie information contained in that sequence of verses 33:28-34 reproduced above, that it is a Household of the Prophet, and comprises one or more males, and zero or more females, and it may or may not contain the wives of the Prophet, irrespective of the fact that the verse fragment is interspersed in between where the Author of the Holy Qur'an is commanding the wives of the Prophet of Islam what they are supposed to do. Whereas, in the purification fragment of verse 33:33, the Author declares what He Himself intends to do to the Ahlul Bayt. That change of “actor” from the wives to the Author and back to the wives is most conspicuous in the verse. In that interspersed switch, the Author pledged some abstract “perfect purification” to the Ahlul Bayt. What that “perfect purification” means remains as foreign to the native speaker of Arabic as to the non-speaker. It requires for both to indulge in much due diligence to uncover.
There are numerous other places in the Holy Qur'an where the family of the Prophet of Islam is referenced, but with different indirection nouns, which though not explicit, from the context of the verse itself clearly only mean the Messenger's family, his progeny, or his kin, as the case may be.
For instance, the phrase فِى ٱلْقُرْبَىٰ , fil-qur-ba, as in verse 42:43, which obviously means those near of kin to the Messenger:
'Say: “No reward do I ask of you for this except the love of those near of kin.”' (Surah Ash-Shura 42:23)
قُل لَّآ أَسْـَٔلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ أَجْرًا إِلَّا ٱلْمَوَدَّةَ فِى ٱلْقُرْبَىٰ ۗ
Or the word ٱلْكَوْثَر , Kausar, in verse 108:1, which the full context of Surah Al-Kausar and the verse following it, 108:3, make amply clear means the Messenger's posterity, the Prophet of Islam's progeny from his only seed, his daughter Fatima (as):
Surely We have given you Kausar, (108:1)
Therefore pray to your Lord and make a sacrifice. (108:2)
Surely your enemy is the one who shall be without posterity, (Surah Al-Kausar 108:3)
إِنَّآ أَعْطَيْنَٰكَ ٱلْكَوْثَر
فَصَلِّ لِرَبِّكَ وَٱنْحَرْ
إِنَّ شَانِئَكَ هُوَ ٱلْأَبْتَرُ
Caption Surah Al-Kausar, translation by Shakir
This is an amazing Surah of the Holy Qur'an. Because, to the enemies of Islam, its prophecy provides an easy touchstone upon which to falsify the Holy Qur'an and consequently the Divine claims for the religion of Islam. But we see today, nearly fifteen centuries later, that the Prophet of Islam's progeny is ubiquitous, known as the “Syeds” and “Syedas”, whom all Muslims revere. The most famous among them is the famous Aga Khan, the Hazir Imam of the Ismaili Muslim sect whose followers revere him as per his claim of being the direct descendant of the only seed of the Prophet of Islam. But no trace is known of the Prophet's enemies' progeny as vouchsafed by the Holy Qur'an. Syeds and Syedas today are found among both the Sunni and the Shia sects and their subsects wherever Muslims live on earth. And they are treated with general reverence by the Muslim public across the board. Where did they spring from? Only from the singular source: the marriage union of the daughter of the Prophet of Islam, Hazrat Fatima (as), from his first wife Hazrat Khadija (as), with Hazrat Ali (as).
As we can see in Surah Al-Kausar, the Holy Qur'an once again does not directly mention the offspring of that first Prophetic seed by name who is to be the only source of fulfillment of the prophecy of verse 108:3. But it is also self-evident. And the offspring directly comprises the Messenger's Ahlul Bayt, by definition. Therefore, without any controversy or conjecture, the prima facie fulfillment of the prophecy of verse 108:3 is a direct reference to the Messenger's household, his Ahlul Bayt, the only source from whence that prophecy can ever be fulfilled. Subsequently, by logical inference, the word “Kausar” in verse 108:1, in the context of verse 108:3, refers to the endless abundance of the Messenger's progeny being granted by Allah. Only when we venture into documented history do the names of the Messenger's offspring become known when we discover that the Messenger's only seed was his daughter Hazrat Fatima (as), from his first wife Hazrat Khadija (as). Arguably therefore, the word “Kausar”, in context of verse 108:3, inter alia refers to Fatima (as), the singular member of the Messenger's Ahlul Bayt through whom his seed was “not cut off”, ٱلْأَبْتَرُ , to make the prophecy of Surah Al-Kausar perpetually true.
Since one person is not sufficient to continue the line of progeny, it takes two, a husband and a wife, Hazrat Ali (as) comes into the picture as being half the source of the abundance promised to the Prophet of Islam. It is historically self-evident, and without any doubt, that it was Hazrat Ali's marriage union with Hazrat Fatima (as) that became the wassilah (means) for the fulfillment of this Divine prophecy in Surah Al-Kausar! Hazrat Ali (as) is the genetic grandfather of the millions of genuine Syeds and Syeddas in existence today, and Hazrat Fatima (as) the genetic grandmother – the never ending abundance, ٱلْكَوْثَر , promised by Allah to the Prophet of Islam. Without these two souls, the Holy Qur'an Surah Al-Kausar would have been falsified!
Just contemplating the remarkable fulfillment of this prophecy of the pithy Surah Al-Kausar – especially for those who are aware of Muslims' early history and the extraordinary calamities that had befallen the family of the Prophet of Islam whereby every effort was made by the Muslim rulers for over 200 years to wipe them out – is sufficient to fill a Muslim mind and heart with enormous awe and spiritual wonderment! No follower of any of the other great religions of the world has such a unique heritage. The very existence of their prophets is at times argued as mythical by their antagonists. No such charge can be laid at the doorsteps of the Messenger of Islam – the empirical evidence still continuing, fifteen centuries and some 50 or so generations later. But the effort to wipe out the progeny of the Messenger also continues to this very day. Surah Al-Kausar is the divine guarantee as a continuing prophecy that such effort will never succeed. And not only will it never succeed, but that no trace shall be left of those who persist in such enmity. It is a perpetual testament to the veracity of the Holy Qur'an. If anyone wishes to falsify it – there is the open challenge by the Author of the Holy Qur'an!
These are some of the more explicit and obvious places in the Holy Qur'an where the Messenger's family is mentioned. If one ventures to sources outside the pages of the Holy Qur'an, as for instance to the exegeses of the Holy Qur'an, or to narratives of history, a few more verses from the Holy Qur'an are identified by the scribes of history as being about specific members of the Prophet's Household, his wives, his companions, or the specific events involving these personages. These specifics are not deducible or inferable directly from the Holy Qur'an as the local context for the verses is not contained within the pages of the Holy Qur'an. Since this article is only about what the Holy Qur'an itself clarifies, or does not clarify, we refrain from exiting the pages of the Holy Qur'an. And as far as this scribe in his grossly abbreviated and wholly inadequate study has been able to ascertain, the exact identity of the composition of the Ahlul Bayt is Indeterminate in the Holy Qur'an. One has to venture to the pages of history to fill in those Indeterminates. While some facts are empirical and remain historically incontrovertible, such as whether or not the Prophet of Islam existed, who his daughter was, who she married, who their children were, whom did the Messenger marry, what battles he fought, and so on so forth, each sect nevertheless fills the many Indeterminates of the Holy Qur'an according to their own sect's sacred books, dogmas, interpretations, and base misconceptions.
Often times, both ignorance and careless reading of the Qur'anic text itself are the primary cause for basic misconceptions. The latter, careless reading, has been amply demonstrated in this article. The former, ignorance of how to study the Holy Qur'an, subsequently adds to the reinforcement of incorrect parsing. If one were to categorize this class of misconceptions by way of nomenclature, it would rightly be classed under Aliasing error, meaning, proper nouns of the Holy Qur'an aliased as common nouns; their meanings looked up in the Arabic language dictionary instead of in the Holy Qur'an itself. We can now clearly perceive that indeed this is what has happened in this specific instance of incorrectly parsing the proper noun Ahlul Bayt which has led some Muslim scholars to insist that it refers to the wives of the Messenger.
Another example of this basic class of Aliasing error can be found in this scribe's critique of the much hyped English translation of the Holy Qur'an by the American woman Laleh Bakhtiar, who, brazenly enough, has even proclaimed that she endeavors to “bring reform to Islam” (Ibid.)




Credits
Arabic Qur'an recitation by Shaykh Mahmoud Khalil al-Husary, audio courtesy of Verse By Verse Quran, acquired 8/13/2011 from http://www.versebyversequran.com
Arabic verses courtesy of the open source Qur'an Tanzil Project, acquired 8/13/2011 from http://tanzil.net/download/
Most (not all) English translation of Qur'an verses are by Yusuf Ali, Shakir, and Pickthall, acquired 8/13/2011 from http://tanzil.net/trans/ (archived Yusufali, Shakir, Pickthall).


First Published March 21, 2013 12:00 pm 5816





Was the Prophet of Islam infallible as the Messenger of God, or did he make mistakes as any ordinary mortal?
Abstract
The Sunni and Shia Muslims have needlessly argued since the very inception of Islam over matters that are at times wholly Determinate in the Holy Qur'an. Sometimes through ignorance of the Qur'anic text, and at other times by going to the partisan scribes of history based on their respective socialization biases, the Muslims have managed to misapprehend the religion of Islam despite its manifest clarity on its fundamental precepts. Whether or not the Prophet of Islam was inerrant, or did he make mistakes, is the most fundamental question concerning Islam for those who believe in it as a revealed religion of Divine origin. The entire edifice of the religion of Islam rests on the status and stature of the Prophet of Islam. Without the Prophet, there is no Islam, there is no Holy Qur'an, and therefore no religion. Likewise, without belief in the Messenger as inerrant, how can one believe that the Message claimed by the Prophet to be a Revelation from God is error free? As on the question previously examined in this series, What does the Holy Qur'an say about Ahlul Bayt, on this issue too, the Muslims have split exactly along partisan and sectarian lines. This report examines what the Holy Qur'an itself states with utmost clarity on this subject. At least on this pivotal question, the Muslims, those who believe in Islam as a revealed religion, should be self-consistent and acquire a common understanding based on their singular scripture that is claimed by both the major sects to be error-free; but idiotically enough, they are not. This report highlights that absurdity and shows the degree of influence of socialization bias on the spiritual mind.
This scribe shall dare to be different compared to all others. Instead of offering his own high-falutin learned discourse, he shall permit the Holy Qur'an to speak in its own exposition to establish a self-consistent criterion for addressing the question posed in the title of this article. After all, this blessed month of Ramadan is the birthday of the Holy Qur'an:
Ramadhan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur'an, as a guide to mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (Between right and wrong). (Surah Al-Baqara verse fragment 2:185)
شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أُنزِلَ فِيهِ ٱلْقُرْءَانُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَٰتٍ مِّنَ ٱلْهُدَىٰ وَٱلْفُرْقَانِ ۚ
Caption Ramadan, Birthday of the Holy Qur'an. What birthday gift can be given to it by man?
And as is customary on birthdays for the living, the Good Book too deserves a birthday present: its believers rising beyond the mindless recitation enjoyed in this holy month of fasting in expectation of lofty rewards after death, attempting to rationally comprehend its Message for reaping useful rewards right here in this life. Perhaps this one blessed Ramadan, as its birthday gift, the Book for the dead can become the Book for the living in the public mind.
The Holy Qur'an establishes the Principle of Inerrancy for its own Messenger very clearly and most emphatically in at least two Surahs:
I swear by the star when it goes down. (53:1)
وَٱلنَّجْمِ إِذَا هَوَىٰ
Your companion does not err, nor does he go astray; (53:2)
مَا ضَلَّ صَاحِبُكُمْ وَمَا غَوَىٰ
Nor does he speak out of desire. (53:3)
وَمَا يَنطِقُ عَنِ ٱلْهَوَىٰٓ
It is naught but revelation that is revealed, (53:4)
إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْىٌ يُوحَىٰ
The Lord of Mighty Power has taught him, (Holy Qur'an, Surah An-Najm 53:5)
عَلَّمَهُۥ شَدِيدُ ٱلْقُوَىٰ
Verily this is the word of a most honourable Messenger, (81:19)
إِنَّهُۥ لَقَوْلُ رَسُولٍ كَرِيمٍ
Endued with Power, with rank before the Lord of the Throne, (81:20)
ذِى قُوَّةٍ عِندَ ذِى ٱلْعَرْشِ مَكِينٍ
With authority there, (and) faithful to his trust. (81:21)
مُّطَاعٍ ثَمَّ أَمِينٍ
And (O people!) your companion is not one possessed; (81:22)
وَمَا صَاحِبُكُم بِمَجْنُونٍ
And without doubt he saw him in the clear horizon. (81:23)
وَلَقَدْ رَءَاهُ بِٱلْأُفُقِ ٱلْمُبِينِ
Neither doth he withhold grudgingly a knowledge of the Unseen. (81:24)
وَمَا هُوَ عَلَى ٱلْغَيْبِ بِضَنِينٍ
Nor is it the word of an evil spirit accursed. (81:25)
وَمَا هُوَ بِقَوْلِ شَيْطَٰنٍ رَّجِيمٍ
When whither go ye? (81:26)
فَأَيْنَ تَذْهَبُونَ
Verily this is no less than a Message to (all) the Worlds: (81:27)
إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا ذِكْرٌ لِّلْعَٰلَمِينَ
(With profit) to whoever among you wills to go straight: (81:28)
لِمَن شَآءَ مِنكُمْ أَن يَسْتَقِيمَ
But ye shall not will except as Allah wills,- the Cherisher of the Worlds. (Holy Qur'an Surah At-Takwir (81:29)
وَمَا تَشَآءُونَ إِلَّآ أَن يَشَآءَ ٱللَّهُ رَبُّ ٱلْعَٰلَمِينَ
Caption The Holy Qur'an establishes the Principle of Inerrancy very clearly and most categorically for the Prophet of Islam in at least two notable places in two Surahs. Surah An-Najm verses 53:1-5 unequivocally declaring the Prophet of Islam inerrant, infallible, and whose speech is naught but revelation that is revealed! And Surah At-Takwir verses 81:19-29 which similarly corrects the misconception among the companions of the Prophet about the utterances of the Messenger of Islam, unequivocally declaring that the Prophet is invested with special power and rank by Allah, that his speech are the words of a most honorable Messenger, and that his words are a Message to (all) the Worlds, to benefit from if they so choose to do so. Click on verse number to hear its Arabic recitation in the incomparable voice of the well-known qaari Shaykh Mahmoud Khalil al-Husary.
The concept of inerrancy is most clearly, most emphatically, and most unambiguously, asserted in Surah An-Najm verses 53:1-5, and Surah At-Takwir verses 81:19-29 (both quoted above). These are very clearly Determinate verses of the Holy Qur'an. These are self-sufficient, clear, and without indirections, allegories, metaphors, and hidden meanings. From the Qur'anic terminology specified in verse 3:7 of Surah Aal-'Imran, these are the آيَاتٌ مُحْكَمَاتٌ , the foundational and categorical verses, the heart of the Holy Qur'an, the أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ , and not the مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ , the allegorical and metaphorical verses with hidden meanings. See this scribe's book, pg. 120, for the definition of the nomenclature Determinate and Indeterminate for categorizing the semantics of the verses of the Holy Qur'an.
Surah An-Najm verses 53:1-5 clearly preempt the questions: How is the Messenger communicating the Author's Word unerringly to the people; How is the Messenger being an unerring Exemplar of the Holy Qur'an; How can the Messenger's companions know when to believe and obey the Messenger and when to follow their own opinion on any matter?
Firstly, verse 33:36 of Surah Al-Ahzaab has already made it explicitly clear that the Messenger's decisions have to be abided by at all times. That his words are not subject to discussion, debate, argumentation, or questioning, specifically for those who are believers in the religion of Islam. That if any believer disobeys the Messenger, they are “on a clearly wrong Path”:
It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path.” (Surah Al-Ahzaab, 33:36 )
وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى ٱللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُۥٓ أَمْرًا أَن يَكُونَ لَهُمُ ٱلْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ ۗ وَمَن يَعْصِ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُۥ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَٰلًا مُّبِينًا
Caption Verse 33:36 Surah Al-Ahzaab, the most shocking admonition to the companions, believing man and woman, of the Messenger! Why is this admonition even present in the Holy Qur'an – unless there was a need for it in some circumstance?
That explicit admonition in verse 33:36 to the companions of the Messenger (quoted above), and its blanket authority for obedience explicitly vested in the Messenger by the Author of the Holy Qur'an, is remarkable. The Author, directly addressing the believing Muslim contemporaries of the Messenger in that verse, and not the unbelievers or the hypocrites, unequivocally and explicitly calls those Believing man and Believing woman who dispute and disobey the decisions of the Messenger on any matter, as being “on a clearly wrong Path”! It leaves no room for discretion and individual opinion or decision-making on any matter upon which the Prophet of Islam has spoken!
Secondly, verses 53:1-5 categorically put to bed the capricious speculation that the Messenger is only inerrant in some speech (and acts) and not in others, and therefore people may follow their own opinions and discretion in the latter case. The statement is succinctly categorical: “Your companion does not err, nor does he go astray; Nor does he speak out of desire. It is naught but revelation that is revealed,”.
If that absurd proposition were true, it would create a logical conundrum: How could the Messenger's companions ever know when is the Messenger errant and when is he inerrant? They'd obviously have to rely on the Messenger's own word to even know that in the first place – since there is no third party to adjudicate! But if the Messenger is capable of making an error, he is also capable of making an error in that determination as well.
If the Messenger is not inerrant in every single matter, every single act, every single speech, every single thought, then even one errancy is sufficient to put his entire Messengership in doubt – due to transmission error for instance. If not infallible, the Messenger could have made an error in a hundred thousand different ways that would remain undetectable by the people and they would be misled by the Messenger masquerading his own fallible opinion for the Author's infallible Word. The Messenger's own word differentiating what is the Author's Words vs. his own word could itself be in error if the Messenger is ever capable of even a single error. It opens the Pandora's box: Is the Holy Qur'an error-free from transmission errors of the Author's Message? For a Muslim who believes in the Holy Qur'an as the word of God delivered by the Messenger, how can he ever be sure that the medium, the Messenger, did not make an error delivering the Message and explaining it to the people?
One must not forget that it is the Messenger who is ab initio introducing the Holy Qur'an, and not vice versa. It is the belief of the peoples in the Messenger's truthfulness upon which the Holy Qur'an itself is predicated. Unless the Messenger of the Holy Qur'an is infallible, it puts the words uttered by the Prophet, who alone designated that the specified words belonged to the Author of the Holy Qur'an and not to himself, into jeopardy.
If there is no belief in the Prophet, there is no belief in the Holy Qur'an! Once that belief is established, only then the Holy Qur'an has any meaning. And only at that point does the Author of the Holy Qur'an avers, putting no caveat to His Declaration of the Prophet's infallibility, and making His Proclamation blanket, unequivocal, universal, affirming not just the Prophet's Messengership of having accurately delivered the Author's Message (Surah Al-Maeda 5:3), but also the Prophet's Exemplarship of having accurately explained the Message to his companions by way of a living example and for which complete obedience to him was mandated so that the Author's Message would not get distorted or questioned (verse 33:36 quoted above). Surah Al-Maeda 5:3 asserted that the Prophet did his job to “perfection”, without error:
This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” (Surah Al-Maeda verse fragment 5:3)
الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الْإِسْلَامَ دِينًا ۚ
Caption Surah Al-Maeda verse fragment 5:3 asserting that the Prophet of Islam “completed” his mission as Messenger and Exemplar to “perfection” as assigned to him by the Author of the Holy Qur'an!
And on that basis of inerrancy alone is full obedience delegated to the Prophet of Islam at the same precedence level as the Author demanded for Himself:
O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you.
If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if ye do believe in Allah and the Last Day: That is best, and most suitable for final determination.” (Surah an-Nisaa' 4:59)
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ ۖ
فَإِنْ تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَحْسَنُ تَأْوِيلًا
Caption Verse 4:59 of Surah an-Nisaa', Verse of Obedience, demanding obedience to the Prophet of Islam at the same precedence level as the Author of the Holy Qur'an!
The logic implicit in the Verse of Obedience, verse 4:59, is elegantly simple. Its “AND” conjunction, وَ , to join the three entities to whom obedience is demanded, is at best a sixth grade grammar composition question. The verse is that straightforward in its syntactical parsing. All three in that Verse of Obedience must always agree in order for the verse to not be falsified! The logic itself is straightforward. If the Prophet can make an error, then his will can differ from the Will of the Author of the Holy Qur'an. The Verse of Obedience asserts that that outcome is impossible, by making obedience to the Prophet of Islam akin, at the same precedence level, to obedience to the Author of the Holy Qur'an. The two cannot disagree or there will be a conflict as both must be obeyed; and if they ever disagree then there is no divine religion as God and His Messenger can't even agree on the Message! The same logical reasoning extends to the third entity in verse 4:59, the “ulul-amar”, who derive its authority from the authority of the Messenger due to the way the verse is grammatically structured. The command “obey” is not repeated again for the “ulul-amar”, but the clause is concatenated with the previous “obey” of the Messenger with the “AND” conjunction. If the will of “ulul-amar” ever differs from that of the Messenger, there is again a conflict as both are commanded to be obeyed. As per the semantics of the verse 4:59 implied from its straightforward syntax, the latter two cannot disagree with the Will of the Author of the Holy Qur'an and therefore the Messenger and the “ulul-amar” must also always agree.
Thus it follows that if the Author of the Holy Qur'an is Error-Free, there is no “Oops!” for Him, then so must His Messenger and “ulul-amar” be just as free from their own “oops”; they must not be touched by any “rijis” and always reflect the Will of the Author of the Holy Qur'an in both letter and spirit throughout their respective mission!
That semantic property of the Messenger having his own will exactly reflect the Will of the Author of the Holy Qur'an implicit in the syntactical composition of verse 4:59, is explicitly confirmed in Surah An-Najm verses 53:1-5, and Surah At-Takwir verses 81:19-29, by the Author of the Holy Qur'an! This is complete closure. If the reader is still unable to grammatically parse an “AND” conjunctive clause in a sentence in any language correctly, he or she better return to sixth grade – for that is the level of reading skills necessary to parse the syntax of the Verse of Obedience.
It is only after the trust in the Messenger's veracity and truthfulness is established among his contemporaries, that the people are invited to come to the Holy Qur'an. It is only at that point, after the Messenger has already established his veracity among the peoples, that the Holy Qur'an subsequently confirms, through the speech of the Messenger itself and not via some other independent source, that the Messenger does not even err, always exactly reflecting the Will of the Author of the Holy Qur'an. To not err in his role as the Messenger to mankind means that the Messenger is infallible! The Author of the Holy Qur'an, speaking through the mouth of the Messenger, explicitly confirms and extends the people's earlier adjudication of Muhammad's integrity, by first swearing some unexplainable oath: “I swear by the star when it goes down.” ( وَٱلنَّجْمِ إِذَا هَوَىٰ ), and then categorically confirming to the Messenger's contemporaries: “Your companion does not err, nor does he go astray; Nor does he speak out of desire. It is naught but revelation that is revealed”!
Despite that most clear precept of Islam concerning its noble Messenger explained in the wholly Determinate verses of the Holy Qur'an, the early scribes of history imputed errancy to the Prophet of Islam. They used the verse of the Holy Qur'an which referred to the Prophet of Islam as “man”, out of context to dignify their villainy. They employed the logic that if the Prophet was merely a “man”, he was just like other men – willfully ignoring explicit statements in the same Good Book as reproduced above which lend an accurate picture of the status of this most special man who was categorically affirmed to not be “god”. But one who is unlike any other man: “Endued with Power, with rank before the Lord of the Throne,”, whose speech is no ordinary speech: “Verily this is no less than a Message to (all) the Worlds.”, and to whom obedience: أَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ , is as compulsory for believers in Islam as obedience to God: أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ . While it is understandable for non-believers in Islam to not buy into that immaculate precept of Islam for its Messenger, nor into what the non-believers see as circular reasoning of the Prophet and the Holy Qur'an incestuously vouching for each other though the same “mouth”. But it is unpardonable that this travesty has been parroted by other Muslim scholars and believers down the ages without reflection. And it is among the most idiotic of differences between the two major sects of Islam, the majority Sunni who subscribe to it, and the minority Shia who vehemently argue precisely the opposite.
The presentation in this article cleanly separates the chaff from the wheat and it can surely stand in any fair court of law if such an argument is presented before it for adjudication. Since this presentation goes against the ingrained ethos of the Sunnis, they will surely oppose it. And since it favors the Shia understanding, suddenly this plebeian will be anointed their “scholar”. But not for long, as should become obvious to anyone scrutinizing this scribe's aforementioned book where the asininity in the socialized ethos of both these fraternal twins has been unmasked with equal candor. The precision of a surgeon's scalpel is used not for cutting the jugular, but to increase blood flow to the left-half brain of the nearly comatose patients living in pious denial. Unfortunately, this battle for self-consistent understanding is virtually against human nature. Especially when one is invested spiritually in dogmas from birth which become instinctual and almost second nature. Socialization fosters a tendency in the public mind for both quick rejection and quick acceptance of evidence. A psychological fact which is aptly captured by atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell in these incisive words:
What a man believes upon grossly insufficient evidence is an index to his desires – desires of which he himself is often unconscious.
If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts [or worldview], he will scrutinize it closely, and unless [and at times even when] the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it.
If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance with his instincts [or worldview], he will accept it even on the slenderest evidence.” --- Bertrand Russell, Proposed Roads to Freedom, 1919, pg 147
Caption Bertrand Russell on the feebleness and susceptibility of the public mind. Are you exempt?
The most shocking example of this sorry fact of imputing errancy to the Prophet of Islam by believers in Islam in brazen contradiction to the most categorical statements in the Holy Qur'an, is demonstrated by some translators and exegeses writers of verses 80:1-12 of Surah Abasa, including the most respectable modern English translator of the Holy Qur'an, Abdullah Yusuf Ali.
While no explicit reference to the Prophet of Islam is made in these verses of Surah Abasa quoted below, and indeed in the entire Surah, some Sunni translators drawing upon the earliest existent tafsirs (exegeses) dating back to the Abbasside dynastic empire, have added the word (Prophet) in parenthesis to indicate their opinion that it is the Prophet of Islam who is being chastised by Allah for the mistake of turning away from the blind man. Other translators have wisely avoided this gratuitous pitfall, including Pickthall and Shakir, who accurately use the masculine pronoun “He” as specified in the verse:
(The Prophet) frowned and turned away, 80:1
عَبَسَ وَتَوَلَّىٰ
Because there came to him the blind man (interrupting). 80:2
أَنْ جَاءَهُ الْأَعْمَىٰ
But what could tell thee but that perchance he might grow (in spiritual understanding)?- 80:3
وَمَا يُدْرِيكَ لَعَلَّهُ يَزَّكَّىٰ
Or that he might receive admonition, and the teaching might profit him? 80:4
أَوْ يَذَّكَّرُ فَتَنْفَعَهُ الذِّكْرَىٰ
As to one who regards Himself as self-sufficient, 80:5
أَمَّا مَنِ اسْتَغْنَىٰ
To him dost thou attend; 80:6
فَأَنْتَ لَهُ تَصَدَّىٰ
Though it is no blame to thee if he grow not (in spiritual understanding). 80:7
وَمَا عَلَيْكَ أَلَّا يَزَّكَّىٰ
But as to him who came to thee striving earnestly, 80:8
وَأَمَّا مَنْ جَاءَكَ يَسْعَىٰ
And with fear (in his heart), 80:9
وَهُوَ يَخْشَىٰ
Of him wast thou unmindful. 80:10
فَأَنْتَ عَنْهُ تَلَهَّىٰ
By no means (should it be so)! For it is indeed a Message of instruction: 80:11
كَلَّا إِنَّهَا تَذْكِرَةٌ
Therefore let whoso will, keep it in remembrance. 80:12
(Surah Abasa 80:1-12, translation by Yusufali)
فَمَنْ شَاءَ ذَكَرَهُ
Caption Verses 80:1-12 of Surah Abasa, Yusuf Ali's translation. The verses in Arabic make no explicit reference to the Prophet of Islam. Verse 80:1 uses a pronoun, and the subsequent verses rapidly switch pronouns so that without its local context, it is impossible to know which persons are being referenced! These are Indeterminate verses – ripe for cognitive infiltration by the vulgar scribes of history either shilling for empire, or socialized into their own narrow dogmas, but in either case, wittingly or unwittingly, misleading generations of Muslims downstream! Source: http://tanzil.net/download/
The un-stated motivation of the early scribes and exegeses writers being to argue that the Prophet made mistakes and therefore was not inerrant, and therefore anyone could succeed the Prophet of Islam as the temporal ruler of the nascent but rapidly expanding Muslim empire after the Prophet's demise. That wicked legacy has been blindly mimicked by subsequent scholars without reflection upon what the Holy Qur'an is itself stating most plainly on that subject of inerrancy! This is shocking mistreatment of the Prophet of Islam by Muslim scribes shilling for the ruling interests who had become caliphs and rulers by making recourse to the “ulul-amar” clause of verse 4:59 despite the most clear exposition of the Principle of Inerrancy being the co-requisite for succeeding the Prophet of Islam. This is examined in great depth in this scribe's book. To patronize the Muslim rulers, the House Nigger Muslim pulpit evidently had no compunction even belittling their own noble Prophet!
How much more explicit should the verses of the Holy Qur'an be on this wholly Determinate question?
But no – the socialized mobs, the reverent Muslims throughout the past fourteen and half centuries of Islam, both laity and gentry, pope and sheep, rather go by what is written by the hand of man in their socialized cultural memory than by the Author of the Holy Qur'an whom they proclaim and believe to be their Inerrant Creator! The Creator is falsified, His Messenger maligned, but not the socialized dogma in which the spiritual mind is anchored from birth.
This unpardonable mistreatment concerning the stature of the Prophet of Islam has now become the permanent ethos of the majority Sunni sect and remains a point of major contention with the minority Shia sect. Each pulpit casts aspersions about the asininity of the other, seeking out every crack and lacuna it can harvest to marginalize its fraternal twin. While it makes little difference to the daily grind of the laity's existence on earth today whether or not their Prophet of Islam was inerrant, the fact that the question enables harvesting of cracks and fault-lines among Muslims to build empires and police-states makes it an important question to put to bed once and for all!
Tyranny is easily inflicted upon Muslims by making recourse to theological arguments such as the one falsely extracted from the Verse of Obedience, verse 4:59: “O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you.” Anyone who can acquire political power claims to be the “ulul-amar” of verse 4:59, “those charged with authority among you”, with a pious face and demands obedience! It is not just the sins of antiquity. Look in modernity today – we have from the Royal Saud family ruling the birthplace of Islam with Jewish jackboots, to the police-state in the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan, to the vilayat-i faqih in Iran who also piously stretch the Indeterminates of the Holy Qur'an combining their interpretation with Plato's “philosopher-king” most imaginatively; in every case installed by the good graces of Western powers, some to play friends, others to play perpetual “enemy”. We also have various modern exponents of “return to caliphate” relishing in the prospect of enjoying absolute obedience from the Muslim masses, principal among them being the new House Nigger of empire who has been artfully groomed for that special purpose of seeding “revolutionary times” among Muslims, the Barelvi Sunni Muslim pope du jour, Tahir ul Qadri. See Zahir Ebrahim's open challenge to this Western anointed pope: Response to the Fatwa on Terrorism in the Service of Empire (http://tinyurl.com/Tahir-ul-Qadri-Fatwa-Terrorism).
The same abstract arguments which are of little concern to the common man easily become the primemover for extracting servitude from him. Overturning this significant force majeure for subversion is the raison d'être of this article and the scribe's book upon which it is based. Opposition to it is expected from all quarters of power, and from socialized fools and useful idiots occupying the pulpit. Suicide bombers surely can't be that far behind.
When Determinates of the Holy Qur'an are so easy to subvert, by idiocy or by narrow self-interests, what of the Indeterminates of the Holy Qur'an which deliberately leave the door wide open for both socialized interpretation and narrow self-interests!
Speak of Western hectoring hegemons hijacking Islam for imperial mobilization! Pious Muslims beat that subversion to the punch by a long shot.
Happy Birthday Holy Qur'an.




Credits
Arabic Qur'an recitation by Shaykh Mahmoud Khalil al-Husary, audio courtesy of Verse By Verse Quran, acquired 8/13/2011 from http://www.versebyversequran.com
Arabic verses courtesy of the open source Qur'an Tanzil Project, acquired 8/13/2011 from http://tanzil.net/download/
Most (not all) English translation of Qur'an verses are by Yusuf Ali, Shakir, and Pickthall, acquired 8/13/2011 from http://tanzil.net/trans/ (archived Yusufali, Shakir, Pickthall).


First Published Thursday, August 1, 2013 12:00 am, 22nd Ramadan in Pakistan, Muslim year 1434, 4781





Does the religion of Islam condone Interpreter of Faith?
Islamabad, Pakistan
Thursday, August 08, 2013, 29th of Ramadan, Muslim year 1434 A.H.
Abstract
The protocol for the Guidance System of Islam as specified in its singular scripture the Holy Qur'an requires obeying and following the inerrant Messenger and “ulul-amar” appointed by the Author of the Holy Qur'an as the divinely ordained Interpreter of Faith for those who choose Islam as their religion, as per its categorical declaration in verse 4:59. But does the Holy Qur'an also advocate following others, including scholars, doctors, lawyers, jurists, sufis, saints, imams, pirs, malangs, sadhus, mullahs, muftis, sheikhs, ayatollahs, caliphs, princes, kings, presidents, and any other pretender to the position of Interpreter of Faith in the religion of Islam? Non-Muslims and atheists are invited to join in as tourists in another peoples' scripture. This will be an educational ride for those so called secular humanists interested in understanding social engineering and how consent is engineered in the name of God by the superman using the socialized idiocy of the popes and plebes alike. One does not have to believe in the Holy Qur'an in order to understand its Message – like when reading Shakespeare, who cares who is the real author behind that nom de plume when one studies or performs The Merchant of Venice and Macbeth? – and that is the hook for non-Muslims fed-up with learning about Islam from the Machiavellian pens of Western propagandists like Bernard Lewis, and from the antediluvian nibs (old fashioned writing instrument) of the pious parrots of Islam.
On this last night of the month of Ramadan in the Muslim calendar year 1434 A.H., it is only befitting to conclude this auspicious birthday month of the Holy Qur'an:
Ramadhan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur'an, as a guide to mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (Between right and wrong). (Surah Al-Baqara verse fragment 2:185)
شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أُنزِلَ فِيهِ ٱلْقُرْءَانُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَٰتٍ مِّنَ ٱلْهُدَىٰ وَٱلْفُرْقَانِ ۚ
Caption Ramadan, birthday month of the Holy Qur'an. What birthday gift can be given to it by man?
by continuing with the presentation of a weighty birthday gift to the Holy Qur'an that was initiated in the previous episode of 22nd Ramadan, 1434 A.H., What does the Holy Qur'an say about Inerrancy of Prophet Muhammad? (http://tinyurl.com/what-quran-say-about-inerrancy).
Meaning, instead of the mindless recitations of the Holy Qur'an enjoyed in this holy month of fasting by the two billion Muslims worldwide in expectations of lofty personal gains after death, endeavoring to rationally comprehend the Divine Message for reaping useful rewards right here for the living.
Indeed, instead of the selfish preoccupation with personal prayers and ritual piety seeking to only spiritually benefit our own selves individually in anticipation of the lovely maidens and fragrant gardens of Heaven, to learn the necessary Guidance from the Book of Guidance in order to extricate ourselves collectively from the regressive and repressive societies that have come to be built up in the pious name of Islam.
Perhaps this one blessed Ramadan, as its birthday gift, the Book which for fourteen hundred years has mainly been used by the laity for benefiting the dead, and by the popes and patricians alike to build world empires, can become the Book for benefiting the living – to live a life which is not at a loss as per its own Teaching in Surah Al-Asr (see this scribe's article: The Noble Path: Denying to Caesar what is not Caesar’s). Even if only a handful among the two billions pious Muslims on earth would feel this way – and endeavor to make this one life in which they do exist a heaven right here on earth instead of the majority's preoccupation with Islam's promised future Heaven and Hell of the Afterlife – it would surely be a sufficient primemover for global transformation to a life less hellish for all the world's peoples.
Like the inducement role played by the sweet lollipop and the ferocious cat in a mother's goading of her small children into respectively drinking their milk and not playing outside after dark, naturally diminishes as the child grows up into a college student and chooses his days and nights without the fear of the fabricated cat eating him and the lure of the sweet tooth enticing him, the abodes of Afterlife too hold little inducement for the adult mind that finally grows up. For the empathetic mind that is under the firm control of the heart, one like Solon's (considered by Plutarch to be among the ten greatest law givers of the Classical Hellenic civilization), to pursue truth and justice is its own merit, and to not create hell on earth for others is its own virtue. Personal piety to the Deity is not an end in itself, but the means to an end in a religion which specifically chose to call itself “Deen ul Haq” – the religion of Truth and Justice.
What has unfortunately transpired instead, and this is plainly visible in the month of Ramadan with the Mussalman's obsession with Heaven while hell on earth engulfs mankind all around, the lofty Divine Guidance System has been transformed into the opiate of the people. The Avenue mainly of self-catharsis – to make oneself ready for another eleven months of heady living.
Thus, continuing with the presentation of a weighty birthday gift to the Holy Qur'an in this most auspicious of months for Muslims, the singular scripture of the religion of Islam is permitted to speak once again in its own exposition to disabuse the obfuscation surrounding the question posed in the byline of this article.
After all, instead of using the pious tongues and virtuous pen of all the learned men and women in creation, when a sacred scripture which alone among all the existent sacred scriptures of world religions so boldly proclaimed itself the Criterion, Al-Furqaan, هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَٰتٍ مِّنَ ٱلْهُدَىٰ وَٱلْفُرْقَانِ , “a guide to mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (Between right and wrong)” (Surah Al-Baqara 2:185 quoted above), why not permit that Criterion from the Creator of all creation to explain and adjudicate matters pertinent to its own Guidance System? And we sensibly do just that.
Revealingly, even when we attempt to understand and accurately extract lessons directly from the Holy Qur'an without relying on “cliff notes” and the pious opinions of man and therefore endeavor to be among the “ulul-albab”, أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ , mentioned in the Good Book (see for instance Surah Aal-'Imran 3:7, and Surah Az-Zumar 39:9) – the men and women of understanding who rise beyond being misled by the fertile imagination and pious pen of man – the lazy and indoctrinated mind living off of the same pen of man in socialized books of pious narratives, does not cease in its nonsensical intransigence: “you are bringing lessons from the Qur'an, anyone can extract anything they want from the Holy Qur'an, the Ahle-Quran (a Muslim sect that focusses mainly on the Holy Qur'an) do that you know”!
This article is intended to tear-down, or at least challenge, some precepts which have crept into the religion of Islam and which are not supported at their very root, even by a stretch, in the Holy Qur'an, the singular scripture of the religion of Islam. The aforementioned statement will surely be the first response of those whose pulpits get shaken; noted here only in anticipation of course. One never knows when the hounds of persecution will be let loose by who, and set upon whom; mere intellectual discourse is only for a civilized people who have developed an enduring culture of deep learning and intellectual interlocution. Something that has been most diabolically removed from virtually all Muslim societies on earth today. This presentation is not a work of piety or spiritualism. It is a work of intellectual labor. The analysis in this article is presented to hold up in a fair court of law if such a case is brought before it for clear adjudication of what the Good Book itself avers in its foundational and categorical verses by its own yardstick.
The gauntlet is boldly thrown to the Muslim pulpits, not by this scribe, but by the Holy Qur'an itself.
What this scribe adds is what Socrates might have stated in his own defence in his trial for “corrupting” the people of Athens with all his truth-telling (employing the words of the littérateur Edith Hamilton):
Agree with me if I seem to you to speak the truth; or, if not, withstand me might and main that I may not deceive you as well as myself in my desire, and like the bee leave my sting in you before I die. And now let us proceed.’
In order to deeply scrutinize the question posed in the byline, one must first comprehend how divine instruction, divine guidance, is imparted in the Guidance System of the Holy Qur'an which Muslims believe to be of Divine origin. Non-Muslims and atheists who do not subscribe to this view are invited to join in as tourists in another peoples' scripture. This will be an educational ride for those interested in understanding social engineering and how consent is engineered in the name of God. One does not have to believe in the Holy Qur'an in order to understand its Message – like when reading Shakespeare, who cares who is the real author behind that nom de plume when one studies or performs The Merchant of Venice and Macbeth? – and that is the hook for non-Muslims fed-up with learning about Islam from the pens of Western propagandists like Bernard Lewis, and from the antediluvian nibs (old fashioned writing instrument) of the pious parrots of Islam.
The rest of the presentation is structured in two parts. Part-I explains the Overarching Architecture of the Guidance System System of Islam as succinctly as possible without compromising completeness. Part-II takes on the main topic of this article.
Part-I
The Divine Guidance System is Built on Following the Wasilah
The most commonly recited Surah of the Holy Qur'an is Surah al-Fatiha. It is recited in the daily ritual prayers several times, on births and deaths, for expressing gratitude, and generally to bless both happy and solemn occasions. It is an all purpose “dua”, prayer, taught by the Creator to man – in the Divine Guidance System of the religion of Islam. Surah al-Fatiha opens the dialog of Islam for those who seek Divine Guidance from the Creator, on how to seek it, and principally offers this guidance:
Show us the straight path,” (1:6)
ٱهْدِنَا ٱلصِّرَٰطَ ٱلْمُسْتَقِيمَ
The path of those whom Thou hast favoured;”
صِرَٰطَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ
Not the (path) of those who earn Thine anger”
غَيْرِ ٱلْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ
nor of those who go astray.” (Holy Qur’an Surah Al-Fatiha 1:7)
وَلَا ٱلضَّآلِّينَ
Caption Surah Al-Fatiha, 1:6-7, Verses Defining the Overarching Architecture of the Divine Guidance System of Islam. Translation by Pickthall.
According to the prima facie prescription of the religion of Islam in its most oft recited Surah without which no ritual prayer is complete, the journey on the “straight path” of the Divine Guidance System can only be undertaken by seeking out the path of some unnamed persons whom God has favored; and avoiding the paths of some other unnamed persons who are clearly on the wrong path.
This journey to discover the “straight path” by first discovering the unnamed persons whom God has favored, is further underscored as the only means of finding the “straight path”:
O ye who believe! Do your duty to Allah, seek the means of approach unto Him,” Holy Qur’an, Surah Al-Maeda 5:35
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَابْتَغُوا إِلَيْهِ الْوَسِيلَةَ
Caption Holy Qur’an, Surah Al-Maeda 5:35, Verse of Wasilah, unequivocally putting to bed for all times any uncertainty concerning the journey of the straight-path; it can only be achieved by seeking the “means of approach unto him”, and not directly.
That “means of approach unto him” is further fleshed out:
This is Allah's guidance, He guides thereby whom He pleases of His servants; and if they had set up others (with Him), certainly what they did would have become ineffectual for them. (6:88)
ذَٰلِكَ هُدَى ٱللَّهِ يَهْدِى بِهِۦ مَن يَشَآءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِۦ ۚ وَلَوْ أَشْرَكُوا۟ لَحَبِطَ عَنْهُم مَّا كَانُوا۟ يَعْمَلُونَ
These are they to whom We gave the book and the wisdom and the prophecy; therefore if these disbelieve in it We have already entrusted with it a people who are not disbelievers in it. (6:89)
أُو۟لَٰٓئِكَ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَاتَيْنَٰهُمُ ٱلْكِتَٰبَ وَٱلْحُكْمَ وَٱلنُّبُوَّةَ ۚ فَإِن يَكْفُرْ بِهَا هَٰٓؤُلَآءِ فَقَدْ وَكَّلْنَا بِهَا قَوْمًا لَّيْسُوا۟ بِهَا بِكَٰفِرِينَ
These are they whom Allah guided, therefore follow their guidance. Say: I do not ask you for any reward for it; it is nothing but a reminder to the nations. (Surah Al An'aam 6:90)
أُو۟لَٰٓئِكَ ٱلَّذِينَ هَدَى ٱللَّهُ ۖ فَبِهُدَىٰهُمُ ٱقْتَدِهْ ۗ قُل لَّآ أَسْـَٔلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ أَجْرًا ۖ إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا ذِكْرَىٰ لِلْعَٰلَمِينَ
Caption Surah Al An'aam verses 6:88-90, Verse of Following, qualitatively asserting who is to be followed: “We have already entrusted with it a people who are not disbelievers in it. These are they whom Allah guided, therefore follow their guidance.”
Ergo, and most straightforwardly in fact, derived exclusively from the logic of the Holy Qur'an and not the pen of man, only “the path of those whom Thou hast favoured” as proclaimed in Surah Al-Fatiha 1:7, and subsequently clarified as “seek the means of approach unto Him,” the “Wasilah” ( الْوَسِيلَةَ ) in Surah Al-Maeda 5:35, can exemplify, interpret, and explain the journey of the “straight path” ( الصِّرَاطَ الۡمُسۡتَقِيۡمَۙ ) as “These are they whom Allah guided, therefore follow their guidance.”!
Verse 1:7 teaches the supplicant to beseech the Creator to show the path of His Favored ones. And verse 5:35 commands the supplicant to first seek the means of approach unto Him as his duty to the Creator, in order to even approach the “straight path”!
In simpler words for the language and logic challenged, by the proclamation of the Holy Qur'an itself, the supplicant seeking guidance cannot approach the Creator directly, but only through the designated means of seeking the “Wasilah”. For emphasis, it is even couched as a “duty” of the “believers” to first seek the “Wasilah”! It is further emphasized that only the Author's own favored ones can delineate the “straight path” unto Him for the rest of mankind. These favored ones are the Wasilah, “the means of approach unto Him.”
The Holy Qur'an straightforwardly informs us that the “straight path” is specifically a guided journey, a journey shown by the path tread by the Divinely Favored ones, the Al-Wasilah, and not a solo journey by one's own interpretation, discretion, and intellect. According to the Holy Qur'an, it is a Revelation أُنزِلَ فِيهِ ٱلْقُرْءَانُ , from the Lord of the Worlds, رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ , and not a path that man could have uncovered by his and her own intellect. It further clarifies a superlative characteristic of those “whom Allah guided, therefore follow their guidance”:
Is one who worships devoutly during the hours of the night prostrating himself or standing (in adoration), who takes heed of the Hereafter, and who places his hope in the Mercy of his Lord― (like one who does not)? Say: 'Are those equal, those who know and those who do not know?' It is those who are endued with understanding that receive admonition.” (Surah Az-Zumar 39:9)
أَمَّنْ هُوَ قَانِتٌ آنَاءَ اللَّيْلِ سَاجِدًا وَقَائِمًا يَحْذَرُ الْآخِرَةَ وَيَرْجُو رَحْمَةَ رَبِّهِ ۗ قُلْ هَلْ يَسْتَوِي الَّذِينَ يَعْلَمُونَ وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ ۗ إِنَّمَا يَتَذَكَّرُ أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ
Caption Surah Az-Zuman verse 39:9, Verse of Egalitarianism, Say: 'Are those equal, those who know and those who do not know?'
This is a most profound criteria articulated in the Holy Qur'an to delineate those whom Allah has Guided versus all others, Say: 'Are those equal, those who know and those who do not know?'
Meaning, these “Wasilah” (5:35), the show-ers of the “straight path” upon whom God has bestowed favors (1:7), must also be the ones highest in learning and inerrant in their understanding of the Divinely ordained “straight path”. Because, verse 39:9 gives the criteria that draws an explicit merit line of momentous proportion between those who know and those who don't, those who are divinely guided versus those who uncover-discover matters from their own intellect or by following others, as manifestly unequal!
This is, even logically, a necessary condition to be a Divinely appointed teacher of man. Otherwise, how can one proclaiming to be a guide sent by God guide others more knowledgeable than themselves, or if their own understanding concerning this “straight path” is error prone, incomplete, distorted, misapprehended, and based merely on their own conjectures, opinions and theories? As is evidenced in practice, no two reasonable people can ever agree on intellectual matters unless beholden to a higher authority which all obey. And if it is especially an obscure esoteric path which Allah ordained that no man may otherwise know of his and her own accord, except through those who were Divinely favored, how can two people agree on what it is, let alone entire peoples and nations? Which, of course, logically also implies that the teacher of these divinely favored ones can be none among those whom they have been divinely chosen and ordained to guide! The Holy Qur'an precisely confirms this logical conclusion, that their teacher is only Allah, in verse 6:90 of Surah Al An'aam: “These are they whom Allah guided, therefore follow their guidance”! Which is why, the Author of the Holy Qur'an Says of His Messengers that 'We make no distinction (they say) between one and another of His messengers.' –– because they have the same common Teacher:
Say (O Muslims): 'We believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which the prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered.'” Holy Qur'an, Surah Al-Baqara 2:136
قُولُوٓا۟ ءَامَنَّا بِٱللَّهِ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَىٰٓ إِبْرَٰهِۦمَ وَإِسْمَٰعِيلَ وَإِسْحَٰقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَٱلْأَسْبَاطِ وَمَآ أُوتِىَ مُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ وَمَآ أُوتِىَ ٱلنَّبِيُّونَ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّنْهُمْ وَنَحْنُ لَهُۥ مُسْلِمُونَ
The Messenger believeth in what hath been revealed to him from his Lord, as do the men of faith. Each one (of them) believeth in Allah, His angels, His books, and His messengers. 'We make no distinction (they say) between one and another of His messengers.' And they say: 'We hear, and we obey: (We seek) Thy forgiveness, our Lord, and to Thee is the end of all journeys'” Holy Qur'an, Surah Al-Baqara 2:285
ءَامَنَ ٱلرَّسُولُ بِمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِن رَّبِّهِۦ وَٱلْمُؤْمِنُونَ ۚ كُلٌّ ءَامَنَ بِٱللَّهِ وَمَلَٰٓئِكَتِهِۦ وَكُتُبِهِۦ وَرُسُلِهِۦ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِّن رُّسُلِهِۦ ۚ وَقَالُوا۟ سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا ۖ غُفْرَانَكَ رَبَّنَا وَإِلَيْكَ ٱلْمَصِيرُ
Surah Al-Maeda verses 5:44 to 5:48 further underscore that principled teaching of the Divine Guidance System for all mankind and not just for Muslims. It is most elegantly and pragmatically summed up by verse 5:48 which applies equally to Muslims and to their intra-Muslim disputes:
If Allah had so willed, He would have made you a single people, but (His plan is) to test you in what He hath given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to Allah; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute.” (Surah Al-Maeda, 5:48)
وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ لَجَعَلَكُمْ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَلَٰكِنْ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ فِي مَا آتَاكُمْ ۖ فَاسْتَبِقُوا الْخَيْرَاتِ ۚ إِلَى اللَّهِ مَرْجِعُكُمْ جَمِيعًا فَيُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ فِيهِ تَخْتَلِفُونَ
Indeed, “strive as in a race in all virtues” and leave disputations on whose god is greater, or whose sect is correct, to God, rather than make it a mission to civilize others, 'la mission civilisatrice', and wage divisive propaganda warfare upon each other. See elaboration of this concept of inter-religion and inter-people Guidance to all mankind for amicable mutual co-existence in the religion of Islam in this scribe's article Islam and Knowledge vs. Socialization. What is briefly summarized in the above passages is sufficient in completeness to continue this focussed presentation on Muslims without further digression into what the Holy Qur'an speaks to benefit non Muslims in its Overarching Architecture for Divine Guidance for all mankind.
The Holy Qur'an then goes on to further clarify verse 1:7, that not all paths are the same, some are clearly the wrong path, even when tread by noble companions and contemporaries of the Messenger, even when they may be the highest category of Believers annotated in the Holy Qur'an as momineen and mominaat, لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ :
It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path.” (Surah Al-Ahzaab, 33:36)
وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى ٱللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُۥٓ أَمْرًا أَن يَكُونَ لَهُمُ ٱلْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ ۗ وَمَن يَعْصِ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُۥ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَٰلًا مُّبِينًا
Caption Verse 33:36 Surah Al-Ahzaab, Verse of Wrong Path, the path not to tread, even when tread by the highest category of the most holy and the most pious among the Messenger's own contemporaries. This is a shocking statement in the Holy Qur'an --- for it falsifies the popular notion among the mainstream Muslims that all the companions of the Prophet of Islam were like stars in the sky, anyone can be used for navigation. The verse not only categorically condemns that notion, but goes to the extent of noting that even the Believers who believe in the prophet of Islam can end up on the wrong path by their disobedience to the Prophet's directives, in letter or in spirit.
The Messenger's word is akin to God's Word and has to be obeyed without question by believers in the religion of Islam in order for them to continue to journey on the “straight path” of Surah Al-Fatiha, 1:6, ٱلصِّرَٰطَ ٱلْمُسْتَقِيمَ . Even a slight disobedience or questioning the decision and edict of the Messenger is sufficient to put a believer “on a clearly wrong Path.” In other words, until the moment one breathes the very last breadth of life, for even the most pious believer it is still possible to end up on the wrong side of the road to Heaven!
The object lesson implicit in verse 33:36 is wisely telling: followers of the religion of Islam have to remain mindful that they can easily be misled onto the wrong path if they follow merely the Believers, لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ , even when presumed to be holy and pious by the scribes and narratives of history or contemporary opinion. The Holy Qur'an is categorically clear, and at the risk of being repetitive but by necessity of its importance, restating it: seek the designated ones who are the “Wasilah” (5:35), الْوَسِيلَةَ , “whom Allah guided, therefore follow their guidance” (6:90)! And when Allah guides, they do not make a mistake, they do not err, nor are they led astray. In other words, they are inerrant. See What does the Holy Qur'an say about Inerrancy of Prophet Muhammad? for further elucidation of this matter of inerrancy, and the Determinate logic of the quoted verses which automatically and inescapably extends inerrancy to the “ulul-amar” of Surah an-Nisaa' verse 4:59: “O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you.”
In that remarkable Verse of Obedience, 4:59, already examined in the aforementioned article, apart from Allah, only His Messenger and some unnamed “ulul-amar”, “those charged with authority among you”, are categorically commanded to be obeyed and followed by all those who wish to seek the “straight-path”. Therefore, these latter two entities must also exclusively be the ONLY “Wasilah” of verse 5:35 whom the Author of the Holy Qur'an is categorically commanding the believer to seek as a “Duty to Allah”; because, most revealingly, no one else is commanded to be obeyed and followed in the entire Holy Qur'an for seeking the “straight path”! This is a categorical statement.
There is not a single mention of companions of the Prophet of Islam as someone one should follow and obey just because they are Believers and the companions of the Messenger! There is also not a single mention of the later scribes of Islam who should be followed and obeyed for what they pen with their hands attributing what they write to the words of the Messenger. Both those statements of fact are also categorical.
One can write anything in any book – the Holy Qur'an is the only scripture that is deemed to be of Divine origin and complete. Therefore, the journey to the “straight-path” can also only commence in the Holy Qur'an by using its own Criteria to judge and adjudicate all other matters. It is the last word.
Part-II
What does the Holy Qur'an say about following non-Wasilah?
Now we come to the topic at hand, the adjudication of the legitimacy of the self-anointed role of Interpreter of Faith for those who are not inerrant, not the “Wasilah” of verse 5:35. Can they be followed? Should they be obeyed as if some divine authority is vested in them? Have they been sanctioned by the Holy Qur'an to be the Interpreter of Faith?
The Holy Qur'an once again avers categorically on the concept of followers and following as the Interpreter of Faith, making its own aforementioned prescription to the “straight-path” the singular golden rule and all others explicitly forbidden, without exception.
Behold – the foundational verses of the Holy Qur'an categorically explain the Message of the religion of Islam in the most simple language that every laity and common man can understand:
(On the day) when those who were followed disown those who followed (them), and they behold the doom, and all their aims collapse with them. (2:166)
إِذْ تَبَرَّأَ الَّذِينَ اتُّبِعُوا مِنَ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوا وَرَأَوُا الْعَذَابَ وَتَقَطَّعَتْ بِهِمُ الْأَسْبَابُ
And those who were but followers will say: If a return were possible for us, we would disown them even as they have disowned us. Thus will Allah show them their own deeds as anguish for them, and they will not emerge from the Fire.” (Surah Al-Baqara, 2:167)
وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوا لَوْ أَنَّ لَنَا كَرَّةً فَنَتَبَرَّأَ مِنْهُمْ كَمَا تَبَرَّءُوا مِنَّا ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ يُرِيهِمُ اللَّهُ أَعْمَالَهُمْ حَسَرَاتٍ عَلَيْهِمْ ۖ وَمَا هُمْ بِخَارِجِينَ مِنَ النَّارِ
Let them bear, on the Day of Judgment, their own burdens in full, and also (something) of the burdens of those without knowledge, whom they misled. Alas, how grievous the burdens they will bear! (Surah An-Nahl 16:25)
لِيَحْمِلُوٓا۟ أَوْزَارَهُمْ كَامِلَةً يَوْمَ ٱلْقِيَٰمَةِ ۙ وَمِنْ أَوْزَارِ ٱلَّذِينَ يُضِلُّونَهُم بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ ۗ أَلَا سَآءَ مَا يَزِرُونَ
Caption Holy Qur’an Surah Al-Baqara 2:166-2:167, the Verses of Not Following, unequivocally disclaiming followers; and Surah An-Nahl 16:25, the Verse of Burdens, unequivocally disclaiming false imams who will equally be apportioned their due for misguiding the foolish people without knowledge who followed them! These few categorical verses most clearly specifying what is impermissible, in conjunction with the verses examined in Part-I above most clearly specifying what is permissible, explicitly establish for all times the Do and the Don'ts of the overall Architecture of the Divine Guidance System. After that categorical disclosure in the Holy Qur'an of its own System of Guidance, the question that now remains for the seeker of the “straight path”: How does one, fourteen and half centuries later, know whom has Allah guided? How does one know who are the legitimate “Wasilah” of verse 5:35, the legitimate “ulul-amar” of verse 4:59, apart from the obvious one, the Messenger whose identity is well known even to non Muslims? An open-ended Indeterminate specification? Or a Determinate puzzle specification, a soluble cipher? See the author's book cited at the end of this article for the definitions of these terms, and how to continue on the trail of discovery as a detective solving a puzzle, a logician solving a cipher, solely from within the criteria established for their identification in the scripture which calls itself The Criterion, Al-Furqaan.
Verse 2:166 and 2:167 Surah Al-Baqara convey a most unexpected categorical warning. Its import is far-reaching, and altogether pulpit shattering. These verses are so clear as to require no further elucidation from the pen of man. When read in conjunction with:
  • verses 1:6 and 1:7 of Surah Al-Fatiha teaching man the path to choose and the paths to avoid in order to acquire Divine Guidance for the “straight path”;
  • verse 5:35 of Surah Al-Maeda clarifying to seek divine guidance only through “Wasilah” as “your duty to Allah”;
  • and verse 17:71 of Surah al-Israa' promising every human being will be raised in the company of the “imam” they each followed, for Accountability: “One day We shall call together all human beings with their (respective) Imams” ( يَوْمَ نَدْعُو كُلَّ أُنَاسٍ بِإِمَامِهِمْ );
the fundamental Architecture of the Divine Guidance System of the Holy Qur'an reaches full closure.
The Arabic-English dictionary of the Holy Qur'an in the hands of this scribe defines the word “Imam” thusly: “Leader; President; Any object that is followed, whether a human being or a book or a highway”.
In Part-I we saw the “Do” categorically asserted. In Part-II we have the “Don'ts” equally categorically asserted. Namely, beware of false imams, false caliphs, false leaders, false guides, false saints, false ayatollahs, false muftis, and false paths penned in books and announced from pulpits; for indeed, each and every human being, as per the categorical warning of the Author of the Holy Qur'an, shall be held to account One Day with the “imam” they each followed! Commonsense alone reaffirms to avoid the seductive and socialized path of familiarity tread by heroes and heroines which may well turn out to be false at the end of the road as clearly vouchsafed by Surah Al-Baqara verses 2:166-2:167. What remains therefore, as per the categorical Protocol of the Divine Guidance System of the religion of Islam is to dutifully seek only the path tread by the legitimate guides whom Allah has Himself guided: “These are they whom Allah guided, therefore follow their guidance” (6:90). And they are commanded, categorically, to be obeyed: “O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you.” (4:59). And furthermore, obeyed without question or hesitation: “It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path.” (33:36).
This begs the obvious question: How does one, fourteen and half centuries later, know whom has Allah guided? Who are the “Wasilah”? Who are the “ulul-amar”? Why isn't merely the Messenger exclusively both of these? Why are additional persons mentioned through the indirection of “ulul-amar” in verse 4:59 of Surah an-Nisaa'? Instead of straightforwardly stating to follow only the Messenger, why does verse 5:35 of Surah Al-Maeda speak in indirections of seeking some unknown “Wasilah”? Examination of these weighty questions is not the topic of this article as the focus here is to critically understand the criteria for following and not following. The subject is analyzed in more critical depth in the author's book cited at the end where, instead of catching the proverbial fish for lazy readers, the curious readers are taught the art and science of fishing in the Holy Qur'an by showing the reasoning and thought processes of a forensic detective as in an Agatha Christie novel.
As pulpit shattering as the above quoted verses 2:166 and 2:167 are, the next verse, 16:25 of Surah An-Nahl quoted above, is altogether an earthquake! It demolishes all pulpits and churches fabricated by Muslim popes, pontiffs, and caliphs who ruled in the name of Islam as if some divine authority was vested in them. Verse 16:25 straightforwardly exposes the core lies which have become sanctified as “religion” in specious dogmas among Muslim sects. For one, it exposes “taqlid”, the practice of blind emulation of a jurist by the laity – a practice equally prevalent in both Shiadom and Sunnidom – as a master fraud for social control. Upon that master fraud is the edifice of the entire conception of sectarian Sharia laws, i.e., jurisprudence, constructed.
Before we proceed further with the checkmate from the Holy Qur'an, this religious word “jurisprudence” and its impact must be explained in some depth to those unfamiliar with it. It is not just Western readers who remain unfamiliar with such esoteric Eastern matters. Even educated Muslims of modernity, some with Ph.D. degrees, and others who think of themselves as mighty “scholars”, often call Islam what is clearly the opinion of man and not to be found in the Holy Qur'an. Few have any understanding whatsoever of the forces that have given birth to what Muslims have been socialized into calling and practicing as Islam. And this word represents what's at the very top of the heap.
Jurisprudence means the derivation of religious legalisms for the faithful. It varies for each Muslim sect based exclusively on the “learned” opinions of its dominant jurist or leaders who have either:
  • appointed themselves Interpreter of faith (Sunnidom, the random turban who impresses the sheep by his rhetoric to become their self-acclaimed “alim”, “pir”, “sheikh”, “imam”, and his flock willingly follows him – example: all the random religious scholars and turbans of India and Pakistan who follow one of the four canonized Sunni jurists, hard pressed to know how they are “certified” for their perch to be so anointed as Interpreter of faith, same in the rest of the world where self-styled “sheikhs” and Ph.D. “scholars” abound each having their own flock who swear by their respective pied piper's interpretation of faith);
  • or have been incestuously chosen Interpreter of faith by a coterie of like-minded turbans who have similarly been previously chosen, recursively, generation after generation, by those who have each claimed the title of Interpreter of faith (Shiadom, all of whom claim to follow the Jaffaria School of jurisprudence established by the great grandson of the Prophet of Islam, Jaffar-as-Sadiq, in his own lifetime by himself without state anointment, a hundred and fifty years or so after the death of the Messenger – example: all Marja-e-taqlids in Iran and Iraq, including the late Ayatollah Khomeini of Qom, the aging Ayatollah Sistani of Najaf, and the present spiritual-political leader as the valih-e-faqih of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei);
  • or make claims to Interpreter of faith by lineage to the Prophet of Islam (the Ismailis, a sub-sect of Shiadom, but derided by other non Ismaili Shia pulpits – example: Prince Karim Aga Khan IV who claims his role as the hereditary Interpreter of faith for his Ismaili flock solely on his ancestral family's claims as being the descendant of the Prophet of Islam via his great grandson Ismail who was the son of Jaffar-as-Sadiq, the founder of Shia Jurisprudence);
  • or have been anointed Interpreter of faith by the ruling political establishment whose interests are so served (Sunnidom – example: the four canonized schools of jurisprudence that developed posthumously during the Abbasside dynastic rule by their tacit as well as explicit support; named after their respective founders who lived over a millennium ago in relative obscurity and without much of any following during their own lifetime; their works today continue to control the understanding of Islam in mainstream Sunnidom and are foundational for the Sunni Sharia laws: Maliki, Shafii, Hanbali, and Hanafi).
Jurists and Jurisprudence have become an integral part of the institutionalization of the religion of Islam in Muslim societies. It is big business among both Shiadom and Sunnidom. Unlike other matters esoterica Islam, in this rare instance, remarkably, both pulpits and their sub-pulpits tend to unanimously agree on the need for Interpreter of Faith to guide the laity in the way of Allah lest they make mistakes in their ritual practices and be damned to perdition. From humble beginnings of individual scholar's opinions borne from voluntary labor of love as in any passionate scholarship but without state sponsorship, institutionalization, and consideration of pecuniary matters, jurisprudence has grown to become a powerful political and psychological tool used almost exclusively to control the Muslim public mind. It demands blind following from the Muslim masses who accept it from any of its schools of jurisprudence.
These schools of thought for interpreting the canons, precepts, laws and rituals of Islam for the non-expert laity, principally evolved after about a hundred fifty years of the demise of the Prophet of Islam. For Sunnidom these schools became state-sponsored and official Islam administered throughout its vast Caliphatic empires, while for Shiadom its singular school became the counterpoint to state's anointment and officialdom. All the early Sunni jurists while they were living remained largely unknown among the public, at times even lashed by the rulers. They got their prominence and anointment as jurists par excellence posthumously under the Muslim caliphate's burden of la mission civilisatrice, and its ongoing need of legitimizing its very existence by sanctioning a standard state religion that wasn't inimical to its ruling interests in the face of challenges to its legitimacy from Shiadom then being led by the direct descendant Imams of the Ahlul Bayt of the Prophet of Islam. These Imams remained steadfast in their non-acceptance of the caliphate, even if they remained subdued in their overt opposition to the state after their great grandfather's and his family's massacre at Karbala in 680 A.D. None of the Sunni schools of jurisprudence that arose by state sanction were principally inimical to the caliphatic empire then, as now. The legitimacy of caliphate is woven into their very fabric, as is the marginalizing of the precept of “Imamate” which constitutes the bedrock of Shiadom.
Despite these fundamental differences, the pulpits in Shiadom and Sunnidom have remained united on the fundamental need of Interpreter of Faith. The practice known as “taqlid”, blind emulation of a jurist by the laity, not only in matters related to the ritual practicing of Islam, but on all matters that are decided by the jurist, came into being by the needs to administer their respective flock. This included political matters, social matters, and of course theological and ritualistic matters. Today, juristic edicts called “fatwas” are issued on wide ranging topics spanning the full gamut of social engineering, from legitimizing the rule of anyone who acquires political power, among both Sunnidom and Shiadom (Saudi Arabia to Iran for instance), to condemning terrorism in the service of power (Fatwa on Terrorism by Tahir-ul Qadri for instance), to passing death-sentences on undesirables (Fatwa by Ayatollah Khomeini on Salman Rushdi for instance), to declaring birth-control both “legal” and “illegal” (or permissible vs. impermissible) at varying times depending on the population growth (in Iran for instance), to esoteric minutiae like whether or not to fold one's hands in prayer and whether or not to wash one's feet in ritual purification (idiotic differences between Sunni and Shia preparation for their personal ritual prayers to their Creator that are exacerbated by the pious jurists).
Revealingly, every Muslim pope has his own opinions that he dignifies by some seemingly persuasive argument, and these can easily differ from all other popes' equally persuasive arguments. Jurisprudence is also employed for legislating national and local laws in societies which like to call themselves “Islamic”. This latter aspect of jurisprudence pertaining to “personal law” that is given legal entitlement is not the topic of examination here. The practice of “taqlid” is more prevalent as an institutionalized method of social control and public mobilization among the masses in Shiadom than in Sunnidom today. “Taqlid” is a force majeure for full spectrum behavior control of the Shia flock, both religious and secular. A detailed examination of this “Catholic church” of Shiadom, its institutionalized system of training the clergy and creating Ayatollahs and Marja-e-taqlids, and the immense wealth it commands for social engineering by extracting “voluntary” religious donations of the “khums” tax from the observing Shia flock worldwide for which no accounting or public audit is ever produced, would require a book to do it justice.
It must suffice here to only briefly illustrate the core lie upon which the tortuous dogma for extorting voluntary servitude in Shiadom is based which benumbs the mind of otherwise even the most rational and educated men and women into blind obedience. The Third Reich had nothing comparable and had to rely on both the bayonet of Gestapo and the propaganda of Goebbels in Adolf Hitler's mobilizing call of “Gott mit uns” (God is with us). Neither does the Machiavellian Fourth presently under construction despite its full repertoire of perception management tools of the Mighty Wurlitzer to “United We Stand” with “either you are with us or with the terrorists”. It may perhaps surprise both the young and old generations today to learn that Hitler too had pushed Christianity's Catholic God in Mein Kampf as the religion of Nazi Socialism to implant the seeds of World War II: “God does not make cowardly nations free.”; “I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord,”! George W. Bush Jr. too pushed the Christian Protestant God to dignify his perpetual World War IV: “God told me to strike at al-Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East.”! The pious from time immemorial have been kept busy with increasing sophistication both in seeking salvation to augment the plebes' general occupation with bread and circuses, and adeptly mobilized for any villainous cause célébré which a sensible public really ought not to stand for! Shiadom today is perhaps the most successful of them all as the faith of over two hundred million zealous followers worldwide among its nearly two billion Muslims. The Marja-e-taqlid of course only does it to benefit the people in the name of Islam's God unlike the Christians. Briefly, here is the principal dogma as articulated by the founder of the throne of vilayat-e-faqih, the late Ayatollah Uzma and father of modern Islamic Republic of Iran, imam Ayatollah Ruhallah Khomeini.
In his book Principles of Jurisprudence (English translation), imam Khomeini opens its very first page with the principal dogma of taqlid which remains unchallenged from pulpit to pulpit as an axiom of Shia faith. Paraphrasing the axiomatic dogma (as the book is not at hand), an adult Shia Muslim of sound mind must do one of the following:
  1. Be a Mujtahid himself (or herself) ;
  2. Follow a living Mujtahid who is Marja-e-taqlid ;
  3. Follow the most conservative opinion on every issue among all the Marja-e-taqlids ;
The word “Mujtahid” is a religious credential typically conferred by “authorities” of Shia jurisprudence. It means one who is deemed qualified at making his or her own “Ijtihad”, meaning, capable of arriving at his or her own religious decisions and juristic verdicts independently, for his or her own self. “Marja-e-taqlid” means a Mujtahid who has risen to the enormous stature in the eyes of his school of peers and other Marja-e-taqlids, for the general public to willingly follow his “Ijtihad”.
The aforementioned dogma of taqlid is perhaps better comprehended with an apt analogy. Imagine that Western medicine under the power of its umbrella organizations AMA, FDA and WHO is able to globally assert the following rule for every man, woman, and child on earth: that Jesus Christ ordained in his last breadth in Saul's (Paul's) dream on the road to Damascus, that for being on the straight path of good health and to avoid damnation, all mankind must either:
  1. Be a physician ;
  2. Follow a master physician from Kaiser or another sanctioned HMO like it ;
  3. Follow the most conservative opinion of all master physicians on any illness and issue;
And these master physicians institutionally agree (in order to continue being licensed for practicing medicine) that all mankind must be vaccinated against Swine Flu or God will cause the Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse to descend in full vengeance!
Edward Bernays (http://tinyurl.com/mightywurlitzer), the master behavioral psychologist of the twentieth century who invented some of the most diabolical methods for engineering consent based on manipulating the forces that operate on the irrational mind in the subconscious, would surely turn green with envy at what is achieved in Shiadom for making the public mind without any advertising budget. A single call from a Shia Marja-e-taqlid can voluntarily bring a ripened nation to revolution primarily because of the dogma of taqlid. The Iranian Islamic Revolution was singularly wrought by precisely such juristic edicts issued by imam Ayatollah Khomeini to followers under his taqlid in Iran, while living comfortably in exile in Iraq under the protection of Saddaam Hussein, and then France under the protection of the French government and NATO intelligence, all of whom guarded him round the clock against assassination by SAVAK agents of the Shah of Iran. The calculus of revolution is never quite so simple and there are innumerable forces at play when a society is moved to revolutionary times, some overt and visible, and others covert and invisible like the 90% mass of an iceberg. Nevertheless, the Islamic Revolution in Iran without the fundamental doctrine of taqlid to successfully harvest the public's discontent against the Shah, and subsequently rebuild a new nation from its ashes all the while carefully protecting it from disintegration both internally, like the French revolution did, and externally through decades of imposed war and economic sanctions, would have been impossible. This is a statement of fact. Even the Catholic Church cannot inflict such intimate behavior control upon its huge flock!
There is of course no doubt that any conformist dogma, and especially one in the divine role of Interpreter of Faith which pragmatically obliges 99.9 percent of the flock to obediently follow the institutionally anointed shepherds (for, practically speaking, who has the time, talent, inclination, and opportunity to all become Mujtahid which often takes decades of monastic study), is highly utilitarian for organizing public habits and managing the public mind. The public mind may even be shepherded by the most altruistic princes and pious “garlic eaters” on earth as the veritable Platonic dream of philosopher-king come true in a one-world Republic. The only question being addressed here is what does the Holy Qur'an have to say about the foundational axiom of taqlid, and not whether or not it is utilitarian for corralling the public mind (because it undeniably is as demonstrated in Iran). And not whether or not there is merit in utopian rule by philosopher-king (from Platonic point of view arguably there is great merit in rule by the virtuous thinker to preempt dystopia of Machiavelli and social Darwinianism of the superman, see Plato's The Republic and Nietzsche's Will to Power). That latter question, rule by philosopher-king in Islam, is examined in: What does the Holy Qur'an say about Vilayat-i Faqih? (http://tinyurl.com/Divine-Rule-By-Valih-e-Faqih).
Expose its very foundation as being based on a core lie – and the entire sacred totem pole comes crashing down under its own weight!
The Holy Qur'an which daringly calls itself “Al-Furqaan” – the Author's Criterion by which to judge the truth or falsity of any proposition (or understanding) pertaining to His Own Revealed Guidance System for mankind ( مِّنَ ٱلْهُدَىٰ وَٱلْفُرْقَانِ ۚ ); which He even asserts He “perfected” and “completed” and named it “Islam” ( الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الْإِسْلَامَ دِينًا ۚ ), and therefore there is no further room in its specification for additions and subtractions – does precisely that. (Verse fragments from Surah Al-Baqara 2:185 and Surah Al-Maeda 5:3, respectively,)
Even a tiny bit of logical reflection on the concatenation of verses pertinent to the Qur'anic Principle of Inerrancy already examined previously in the article: What does the Holy Qur'an say about Inerrancy of Prophet Muhammad?, and in verses elucidated in Part-I above, with verse of 16:25 of Surah An-Nahl, trivially exposes “taqlid” as a fabrication of the pulpit! Perhaps it is only an “ijtihad” of the inventive mind – but it is straightforwardly depricated in the Holy Qur'an as we shall see. Why it should be such a well-kept secret from the public is mind numbing.
Perhaps it is necessary to observe explicitly as it may not be already obvious to the careless reader, that only “These are they whom Allah guided, therefore follow their guidance” (Surah Al An'aam verse 6:90 quoted earlier), can ever be exempt from the damnation of this most electrifying verse 16:25 of Surah An-Nahl! Only the specific inerrant persons whom Allah is commanding the believers to follow, cannot mislead anyone, even the foolish people who follow blindly! No one else is permitted to be followed, or obeyed, in the religion of Islam as per the categorical verses 2:166-2:167 because everyone else in mankind is liable to verse 16:25 on account of not being infallible!
So how can “taqlid” of the fallible jurist as Interpreter of faith be part of the religion of Islam when the very concept of following itself, ab initio, is not only most clearly deprecated, but Surah An-Nahl verse 16:25 also most clearly apportions culpability to those imams who are followed?
Here is the logic.
Witness the brilliant checkmate administered by verse 16:25 to the pulpits that push the specious dogma of “taqlid” upon their flock. The reader unfortunately has to be wide awake to follow even this straightforward logic. So take a short coffee break if your head is already spinning...
If “taqlid” of a fallible jurist was a part of the religion of Islam, then the Author of the Holy Qur'an created an absurdity, a foolishness; the Author commanded Muslims to follow an ordinary mortal who is not infallible, but since the jurist is not inerrant, and neither does any respectable jurist ever claim to be inerrant, foolish and sheepish people among the masses, those without knowledge and understanding, will also follow him. In point of fact and reality-check, in actual sectarian practice of Muslims, obedience is extorted from the public mind at the threat of eternal damnation – otherwise why would the sheepish laity follow the anointed popes except for that irrational fear which is continually cultivated and harvested by the church of man?
If “taqlid” of a fallible jurist was sanctioned by the religion of Islam, then, as per verse 16:25, these persons whom Allah is commanding to be followed will be apportioned their measure of blame if they are followed in their errors and the people are misled! That is a patent absurdity; a Kafkaesque double jeopardy: follow and be damned (verses 2:166-2:167), don't follow and be damned (“taqlid”), and the imam is damned because he is not inerrant and is followed and obeyed as ordered even in his mistakes, confabulations, distortions, half-truths, innovations, Indeterminate fixing, etceteras, which of course no one can adjudicate or catch or challenge because only the ignorant laity follows him (verse 16:25)! This is the base reality of Muslim jurists and their blind followers since the inception of the church of jurisprudence!
The Author of the Holy Qur'an Who claims to be the most Just and the most Wise Creator of all creation, cannot command “imams” to be followed and obeyed, and when they are followed and obeyed as per ordered, the “imams” are apportioned blame for their blind following when they venture their fallible opinions dependent solely on their particular bent of mind, proclivity, psychological tendencies, socialization bias, natural talent (and un-talent), ability to think and reason, knowledge, understanding, etceteras, in their verdict! No two people think the same, never mind agree on any matter --- and yet they are commanded to be followed!
Indeed, if this absurd proposition of “taqlid” is true, then the Author has made a mockery of His own Guidance System! Whereas the Author is most sensitive about taking His Message lightly. He has repeatedly Admonished mankind to not mock the Holy Qur'an: “Is it such a Message that ye would hold in light esteem?” (Surah Al-Waqia 56:81); that: “Verily this is no less than a Message to (all) the Worlds” (Surah At-Takwir 81:27); and: 'Then the Messenger will say: “O my Lord! Truly my people took this Qur'an for just foolish nonsense.”' (Surah Al-Furqaan 25:30).
After all these straightforward admonitions to Muslims in the clearest of terms to take the Scripture seriously, the Author then ventures to mock His Own Message by mandating to the Muslim masses the “taqlid” of fallible jurists, and subsequently hanging these jurists for misleading the people because they are not inerrant and foolish people have inevitably followed them as commanded?
What a fickle-minded creator who damns if you do and damns if you don't --- only in the mind of man!
By reductio ad absurdum, when a proposition reduces to an absurdity, the premise it is predicated upon is false.
Since verses 2:166-2:167 and verse 16:25 are categorical and presumed to be true ab initio as an axiom of faith that the Holy Qur'an has not been tampered with by the hand of man (no “tahreef”), therefore, Taqlid must be false as presuming it to be true in the presence of these verses leads to absurdity. If one still insists Taqlid to be true, then one also has to accept the consequent fact that the Holy Qur'an contains absurdities. No Muslim mind on planet earth will accept that outcome. It's easier for it to accept Taqlid as falsehood.
Checkmate!
From the Holy Qur'an itself.
Q.E.D.
Marja-e-taqlid: right!
The Aga Khan as Interpreter of Faith: evidently not of Islam!
Maliki-Shafii-Hanbali-Hanafi: most convenient for aiding and abetting Muslim empires!
Blind emulation, “taqlid”, of a fallible imam jurist who is incestuously proclaimed Marja-e-taqlid by his coterie of equally fallible peers in Shiadom, is an absurdity in the religion of Islam in no less a measure than blanket obedience demanded to a fallible imam caliph who is speciously anointed “ulul-amar” by the shenanigans of political power around him, is in Sunnidom! Both are weighty fabrications of the respective pious Muslim pulpits; vile slanders upon the religion of Islam. It is categorically proscribed in the Holy Qur'an. There is no room for any doubt or interpretation. The veritable logic of Al-Furqaan, so clear and simple in adjudication with its Determinate verses that even a sixth grader can straightforwardly follow its steps, coldly attests to that statement of fact. The previous examination of the Principle of Inerrancy which unequivocally established the singular prerequisite for complete obedience to “al-Wasilah” from the Determinate verses, also attests to that fact. “Alas, how grievous the burdens they will bear!”
Which is why, failing to find support in the Holy Qur'an, recourse is often made to pages outside the Holy Qur'an to legitimize this absurdity. Applying the same logic method of reductio ad absurdum recursively to every argument and every evidence presented from outside the Holy Qur'an, trivially demolishes them all. Sometimes evidence is presented from a recorded act of history, such as the Prophet or Imams of the Ahlul Bayt having appointed their own representatives and mandating the people over whom they exercised authority to obey their representatives on their behalf. Well, even philosophically, the burden of the acts and decisions of a representative ultimately still rests upon the one whom he represents, and who is still ultimately in authority to rectify matters if the need ever arose, to hear dissatisfaction, and to adjudicate. This is self-evident by definition of “representative” in this semantic context. Which is why it is a false argument of the self-appointed valih-e-faqih (or appointed by a consultative committee of self-styled holy jurists) for speciously conferring legitimacy upon himself because one, he can produce no certificate of such divine appointment, and two, he is now the highest authority next to God. No one can challenge his authority even legally. A throwback to the stone age to say the least, and no different than any vanilla don or king, including the King of kings the valih-e-faqih replaced with such fanfare in so much Persian blood tribute. Absolute rule which went away in the Age of Enlightenment in the West has been brought back with a new vengeance to the backward Muslims to help shape world order as proxy service providers of the West.
To be vigilant of false friends, false guides, false imams making false claims, is veritably underscored in Surah Al-Furqaan itself:
The Day that the wrong-doer will bite at his hands, he will say, 'Oh! Would that I had taken a (straight) path with the Messenger!' 25:27
وَيَوْمَ يَعَضُّ الظَّالِمُ عَلَىٰ يَدَيْهِ يَقُولُ يَا لَيْتَنِي اتَّخَذْتُ مَعَ الرَّسُولِ سَبِيلًا
'Ah! Woe is me! Would that I had never taken such a one for a friend!' 25:28
يَا وَيْلَتَىٰ لَيْتَنِي لَمْ أَتَّخِذْ فُلَانًا خَلِيلًا
'He did lead me astray from the Message (of Allah) after it had come to me! Ah! the Evil One is but a traitor to man!' 25:29
لَقَدْ أَضَلَّنِي عَنِ الذِّكْرِ بَعْدَ إِذْ جَاءَنِي ۗ وَكَانَ الشَّيْطَانُ لِلْإِنْسَانِ خَذُولًا
Then the Messenger will say: 'O my Lord! Truly my people took this Qur'an for just foolish nonsense.' Holy Qur’an, Surah Al-Furqaan 25:30
وَقَالَ الرَّسُولُ يَا رَبِّ إِنَّ قَوْمِي اتَّخَذُوا هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ مَهْجُورًا
Caption Surah Al-Furqaan 25:27-30 The ex post facto lament on the Day of Judgment by believers of having taken someone for a friend and being led astray by them, in the language of the Holy Qur'an is a categorical admonishment before the fact, referring to those who come posing as friends and not overtly as enemies. This is a warning to all peoples to be wary of their own kind betraying them, for one usually takes those whom one knows and trusts as one's friends, guardians, protectors, guides, and imams. Only friends can betray because the concept of betrayal is tied to trust. In other words, the Holy Qur'an, Al-Furqaan, is warning the simpleton mind in every age to be wary of false friends, false imams, Trojan Horse, Machiavelli, who win the public trust with cognitive infiltration, and all the rest of the techniques of deception used in betrayal where the ones being betrayed do not realize it then. The purpose of the warning is obvious – so that the believers can shrewdly protect themselves from that outcome rather than lament on the Day of Accountability that they did not know. If they still don't wakeup today to their false friends and false imams who often come wearing the garbs and turbans endearing to the public mind, then the Prophet of Islam's strong lament is also recorded. Referring to the misled people as “my people” to show his deep anguish, the Prophet of Islam cries out that they did not take the Guidance in the Holy Qur'an seriously, shackling its meaning down to idiocy, down to their own whim and fancy, making the Deen-e-mubeen “mahjoor”!
These verses of Surah Al-Furqaan, 25:27-30, also unequivocally strike down false notions fed to the masses to legitimize taqlid of the fallible jurist that the follower may claim exemption from condemnation in Afterlife if one's own intention is good and one followed an imam who leads one astray by honest mistake of his ijtihad: “Ah! Woe is me! Would that I had never taken such a one for a friend! He did lead me astray from the Message (of Allah) after it had come to me! Ah! the Evil One is but a traitor to man!”
Sadly, no Muslim mind ever believes that these admonishments can ever apply to it. These always only apply to all the other fools over there in the other sects! The Sunnis believe this of the Shia with as much divine conviction as the Shias believe this of the Sunni, both opening the door wide open to Dr. Machiavelli to come rape them both.
This characteristic of self-righteousness is itself an inherent part of the religion of man. The fear and discomfort of cognitive dissonance evidently inhibits its very occurrence. Without experiencing cognitive dissonance, the psychological state of inner mental conflict between two contrarian positions, no transformation can transpire. Which is why, when faced with contrarian facts or evidence, the degree to which a man violently resists giving up his prior beliefs is directly proportional to his inner insecurities and is an index to his desires (as philosopher Bertrand Russell observed of the frailty of the human mind). Desires of which he may himself be unconscious of, as its seat is in the subconscious mind. Freud established this as an empirical fact of the irrational mind at the turn of the twentieth century. It is what the multi-trillion dollar global advertising industry is built upon. It is why masses of human beings fall easy prey to anyone who can cater to their base desires and insecurities – the sine qua non for the mass success of both religion and marketing. Advertising professionals and Machiavelli understand this human frailty better than the common mind. It is the cornerstone of success for well-designed propaganda as well as marketing campaigns. It is why the ministry of truth (as Geroge Orwell termed it in Nineteen Eighty-four) all around the world have come into existence to more effectively make the public mind. So who is your imam now?
Which is why, at the risk of stating the obvious once again, in the matters of the straight path, the Author of the Holy Qur'an is categorically making each human being accountable for his every decision, including the decision to follow or not to follow others, to have one's mind made or not made by others. There is no exemption for “oops!” for anyone as these categorical verses of Surah Al-Baqara 2:166-2:167 and Surah Al-Furqaan 25:27-30 unequivocally assert. Neither in this life which becomes hellish not just for oneself but also for others when one follows false imams. Nor evidently in the Afterlife of Islam where everyone is called to account in the company of the “imam” they each followed: “One day We shall call together all human beings with their (respective) Imams” (Surah al-Israa', 17:71). So if one followed a false guide and did not realize it, there is no “oops!” exemption!
After this analytical presentation, why should anyone still believe that the holy marja-e-taqlid is exempt from the condemnation of verse 16:25? That those who follow him are exempt from the condemnation of verses 2:166-2:167 and 25:27-30? Precisely, because of a socialized culture of religion rather than of learning that dominates the public mind.
If one was born a Hindu instead of a Muslim, one would be shouting the virtues of Krishna from the mandirs. Today, the Hindu mind is on safer ground because Machiavelli has found little use for it in fueling imperial mobilization. If for nothing else, then just for that reason alone this subject is of grave public concern. The “arc of crisis” like a spreading fire, as the world is continually witnessing, spares no one in its path. To put it out effectively takes getting the core fundamentals that are being harvested for this purpose in the name of Islam, better scrutinized in the public eye. Virtually all of these so called axioms of faith are the creation of Machiavelli, are not supported in the Good Book, and hence are not part of the religion of Islam expressed in it.
While much has been stated about both “militant Islam” and “moderate Islam” being alien to the religion of Islam, the third part of the trifecta for the recipe of creating perfect storm for Muslim on Muslim violence, “revolutionary Islam” and its enabling axiom of “taqlid”, has escaped forensic scrutiny by the more learned minds who surely have better “ma'rifat” (deeper understanding) of the subject. The analytical mind that goes on facts permits no room for absurdities and gratuitous assumptions of faith. Things have to make logical sense given all the facts, and all their linkages. Some linkages are directly visible, while others are made visible by the logic of adding two plus two correctly equal to four. This analytical deconstruction of “taqlid” without prejudice by a layman, is the product of that basic arithematic. A challenge directly to the valih-e-faqih du jour to respond, explain, and refute if there is any Qur'anic truth on his side. Silence is the domain of cowards. No one who claims Imam Ali as his guide has even a passing acquaintance with cowardice.
The controlling practice of “taqlid” as it has unfolded in Muslim civilizations, the underpinning of sects that were manufactured when the largely sheepish masses were encouraged to follow the anointed imam of their natural socialization by birth thus dividing into schools of thought, is a man-made divisive construct of the church of man. Its purpose is predatory social control of man by fellow man, be it among the Shia, the Sunni, the Ismaili, or any other group-think composition, in any religion. Like Christianity, the man of cloth as the interpreter of faith for the Muslims became a useful tool.
Is man so feeble minded, so inadequate in his talents, so corrupted in his heart, that he needs a fierce looking bearded shepherd until eternity to “Islamize” him? What an insult to God's creation --- and to God, that He Created such an absurdity in which imperfect man shall forever remain beholden to another imperfect man for guidance. Such an absurd God can only exist in the mind of Mephistopheles to enslave and control fellow man.
Any place where fallible man is anointed as the interpreter of faith for another, or obedience is demanded in the name of the divine, is a place where social control is being practiced in the name of the divine. Lift the pious robes and underneath one shall find, linked to the predatory social control, a bountiful and easy harvest of public's wealth being paid into the coffers of the pulpit, and empire. Perhaps this is why it is often hard to find clergy who is familiar with honest toil and labor. The bulging waist-lines alone testify to the vulgar empirical truth of virtually all priestly class living off of public donations in the name of religion.
The superman rulers have comprehended this vile modus operandi of social control far more perceptively than the sheepish public they govern! And the clergy class in every religion has served that ruling interest with an iron-clad regimentation from time immemorial. (Superman is reference to Nietzsche's superman and not to the Marvel comic book hero; the ubermensch, the uber alles, deems himself above all the others, is beyond good and evil, tells noble lies and thinks nothing of it, and strives with his own “will to power” instead of superstitious religions to achieve lordship over mankind who refuse to evolve past their sheep state.) But when the clergy class has itself become the state, the public has been reduced to intellectual servitude to fellow man in the name of divine. To have done that damage to the pristine religion Islam which its Author claims to have “perfected” as the Divine Guidance System revealed to free man from the clutches of fellow man, is an immodest and unpardonable travesty for which verse 16:25 of Surah An-Nahl plainly vouches: “Let them bear, on the Day of Judgment, their own burdens in full, and also (something) of the burdens of those without knowledge, whom they misled. Alas, how grievous the burdens they will bear!”
Unsurprisingly, no Muslim and his pope is going to give up their socialized interpretation of religion anymore than a socialized Zionist Jew is going to give up Zionism and a Brahmin priest is going to give up racism. And it is not because they each don't know or realize that their respective ideology is misanthropic and leads to the enslavement of the 'lesser peoples'. Knowing this general fact of obduracy about His Own Creation which, by His own Admission, “He fashioned him in due proportion” (see Surah As-Sajdah verses 32:07-32:09), is perhaps why the Author of the Holy Qur'an proffered that straightforward Admonition to people driven by self-interests and socialization bias even when truth has clearly been made manifest from error, of scores only being settled on the Day of Judgment. That, in this life, to wholeheartedly “strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to Allah; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute.” (Surah Al-Maeda 5:48)
Therefore, as per the noble advocacy of this verse to eliminate conflict among mankind, one may hastily conclude that if “taqlid”, or any other harmonious system for that matter, leads to that wonderful race in all virtues, all power to it. That is the point – that any principled system can be made as virtuous in theory as it can be made evil in practice. The choice is evidently left up to man in the Holy Qur'an. The problem comes in when it is the latter and reduces an entire nation in willing servitude to the whims and ideas of one man, the self-anointed philosopher-king, with his subjects loving their state of bondage in the name of the Divine.
Corrections are invited from both the pulpits.* Surely, the learned uber alles presumptuous enough to deem themselves Interpreter of Faith, as the “ulul-albab” of the Holy Qur'an can trivially counter this bold challenge to their power base if it is mistaken or flawed in its evidence based logical assessment.
Eid Mubarak.
And a last happy birthday to the Holy Qur'an as we bid au revoir to this holy month of Ramadan.
Written Thursday, August 08, 2013, on the 29th of Ramadan, Muslim year 1434 A.H.
Updated Friday, September 18, 2015 02:00 am, on the 22nd Ramadan, Muslim year 1436 A.H.


Footnote * As this article goes against the ingrained ethos of both the Shia and Sunni laity who respectively swear by taqlid and their four institutionalized jurists as Interpreter of Faith – each macro group respectively representing approximately ten and ninety percent of the two billion Muslim population on earth today – it is mainly their preeminent stewards who are invited to the table of critique and interlocution. The scribe is sure to be demonized by the laity in both groups, but perhaps more stridently by the Shia. In the previous episode of What does the Holy Qur'an say about Inerrancy of Prophet Muhammad?, the Shia laity surely anointed him their “scholar” when the facts and analysis brought to the surface from the verses of the Holy Qur'an in the full context of its Message was generally in favor of Shiadom's understanding of the inerrant status of Prophet of Islam, and opposed the Sunnidom's self-contradictory gibberish which marginalized their own Prophet to dignify caliphate. The same good people will now surely be demonizing him, or at least exhibiting the knee-jerk reaction of denial and increased intransigence that is characteristic of an unpleasant experience of cognitive dissonance, because, in this episode, the facts and analysis brought to the surface from the same Holy Qur'an condemn what they live by! Get Marja-e-taqlids in Qom and Najaf to respond instead – by sending them this critique and as their follower inviting a fatwa either refuting it with full elucidation, or boldly affirming it with any caveats and corrections.
The scribe predicts that only stoned silence will greet him. It is easier to ignore unpleasant facts which demolish tall totem poles which are principally erected for the unthinking masses in the first place, rather than attempt to counter those intelligent peoples who do no buy into propaganda systems designed to cater to the lowest common denominator in the sheepish masses. Refer to Mein Kampf to understand why the handful of critical thinkers in the population must be either ignored or demonized, if they cannot be co-opted to join the system. They can never be given space for public interlocution. Any debate, even in free societies, let alone in dogma based dictatorships, must always be narrowly confined within “acceptable” limits, with vigorous “debate” permitted only within those bounding boxes to give the illusion of freedom to think and choose. The “ultimate revolution” in human enslavement, in the words of the iconic Western sociologist, Aldous Huxley, is when the public is made to enjoy its own servitude. Shiadom exemplifies that “ultimate revolution”. Every adult Shia Muslim who is under taqlid behaves virtually like a mind-controlled robot – and that is also principally how Ayatollah Khomeini as the valih-i-faqih was able to command the foot-soldier fodder in Iran to continue the debilitating war against its brother nation of Iraq that was imposed by the West upon both the peoples of Iran and Iraq equally, for eight long years! Taqlid, the social engineers' dream that is denied to the West for controlling its own peoples, opens the door wide for the West's harvesting of Muslim ignorance, our cracks and lacunae, our asininity, and our divisive socialization into sectarianism, to serve their interests!
Since the highest pulpits in both Shiadom and Sunnidom today principally serve Western interests as the best part of their Hegelian Dialectic that diabolically fabricates the synthetic cause and effect of international relations to naturally seed the transformation of the world into one-world government, none of the pulpits left to themselves will dare to touch this short article. This scribe intends to not let predatory nature take its course – and therefore, solicits assistance from those who care among the worldwide Muslim scholarship to force their respective pulpits to respond.
Footnote Added Thursday, July 9, 2015 09:01 pm, 22nd Ramadan, Muslim year 1436 A.H. Two years later, still waiting...




Credits
Arabic Qur'an recitation by Shaykh Mahmoud Khalil al-Husary, audio courtesy of Verse By Verse Quran, acquired 8/13/2011 from http://www.versebyversequran.com
Arabic verses courtesy of the open source Qur'an Tanzil Project, acquired 8/13/2011 from http://tanzil.net/download/
Most (not all) English translation of Qur'an verses are by Yusuf Ali, Shakir, and Pickthall, acquired 8/13/2011 from http://tanzil.net/trans/ (archived Yusufali, Shakir, Pickthall).


First Published Friday, August 9, 2013 12:00 am, Eid Day, Muslim year 1434 A.H. | Footnote added on August 17, 2013 | Footnote “still waiting...” added Thursday, July 9, 2015 09:01 pm, 22nd Ramadan, Muslim year 1436 A.H. 13152





The Noble Path: Denying to Caesar what is not Caesar’s - Surah Al-Asr of the Holy Qur'an
California, United States of America
Sunday, July 31, 2011, Ramadan eve in the United States, Muslim year 1432 A.H.
Abstract
There is evidently a great deal of confusion among the pious regarding Islam's pathway to Heaven. Mosques in the United States as in all Muslim countries are filled in Ramadan with worshippers seeking the spiritual blessings of the Night of a thousand nights of prayer. In their efforts at spiritual self-cleansing for a life that is not in a state of loss, most ignore the abysmal fact that tyranny is spreading faster than virtue, worldwide. Few dare to standup to it as readings of the Holy Qur'an resonate throughout Ramadan. The pulpits worldwide of both Sunnidom and Shiadom lead the flock in obsessing about ritual worship. What does the Holy Qur'an have to say about the life that is not in a state of loss?
Reproduced here is the full recipe of the pithy Surah Al-Asr of the Holy Qur'an for a noble life which is “not in a state of loss”.
Notice what's stated and what's omitted in this self-sufficient tiny Surah which evidently requires reflection in inverse proportion to its length.
There is no reference to Muslims, or to Islam, or to any particular people or religion.
The Surah is directly addressed to man, “insaan” ( الۡاِنۡسَانَ ), to every people of all religions, and to people of no religion (the overarching pluralistic context for peoples of different faiths has previously been established in the article: Islam and Knowledge vs. Socialization).
Islam: The AND Logic of Surah Al-Asr of the Holy Qur’an
Caption Islam: The AND Logic of Surah Al-Asr of the Holy Qur’an, Chapter 103* (Engineering representation of the semantic logic of Surah Al-Asr; author's conception)
By the declining day, (1)
وَالۡعَصۡرِۙ‏
Lo! man is in a state of loss (2)
اِنَّ الۡاِنۡسَانَ لَفِىۡ خُسۡرٍۙ‏
Save those who believe,
and do good works,
and strive for “haq”,
and are patient** (103:3)
اِلَّا الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا
وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ
وَتَوَاصَوۡا بِالۡحَقِّ
ۙ وَتَوَاصَوۡا بِالصَّبۡرِ
Caption Full text of Surah Al-Asr, Chapter 103 of the Holy Qur'an
The logic of the verses 2-3 is the AND conjunctive clause. Meaning, a concatenation of conditions joined by the AND clause (Arabic وَ ). Every one of the listed conditions in such a statement has to be individually true in order for the overall statement to be true. Otherwise the statement is false.
Being a techie engineer, I have depicted this AND conjunction in electrical engineering parlance in the top figure using a simple electronic device called the AND Gate. One can purchase it for a few cents at Radio Shack. The logic device is made out of a few transistors and implements this AND conjunctive clause function.
The 4-input AND Gate in the diagram captures the logic of Surah Al-Asr verses 2:3 with exact precision. Those more inclined to be “Left-brained” (logic, math, and problem-solving dominated) than “Right-brained” (art, creativity, and language dominated) can perhaps appreciate the import of Surah Al-Asr better in this representation.
Imagine that an LED is attached to the pin labeled Output (metaphor for a man's life).
  • It glows green (to indicate a life which is not at a loss) only if all four inputs of the AND Gate labeled I1, I2, I3, and I4 are TRUE (represented by a “one” in the truth table). Observe that there is only a single statement in the truth table when the LED is ever green.
  • It glows red (to indicate a life which is at a loss) if one or more input is FALSE (represented by the corresponding “zero” in the truth table). Observe that there are fifteen statements in the truth table representing all the remaining permutations for which the LED is red!! The obvious first statement of all zero inputs clearly captures the vile hectoring hegemons of the planet and is of no surprise to anyone. But the remaining fourteen can indeed be very surprising.
Meaning:
  • it doesn't matter how many prayers one offered and how many Hajj one performed to “believe” ( اٰمَنُوۡا );
  • or how many hungry mouths one fed, how many hospitals and schools one built, and how honestly one earned one's income and paid one's zakat to do “good works” ( عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ ) ;
  • if one didn't strive to oppose falsehoods and uphold “haq” ( حَقّ ), the life, even if otherwise piously and well-lived, is still one of “loss” ( خُسۡرٍۙ ).
I am not making this up. That's what the Holy Qur'an itself states, unequivocally – reflect on it yourself while further recalling the admonishment of the Author of the Book of Reflection:
'That this is indeed a Qur'an Most Honourable, In a Book well-guarded, Which none shall touch but those who are clean: A Revelation from the Lord of the Worlds. Is it such a Message that ye would hold in light esteem?' Holy Qur'an, Surah Al-Waqia, 56:77-81
Witness that the hardest thing to do in modern life is to stand up to oppression and tyranny ( وَتَوَاصَوۡا بِالۡحَقِّ ). And also to persevere in adversity when one is experiencing the jackboots of the new Nazis upon one's neck ( ۙوَتَوَاصَوۡا بِالصَّبۡرِ ).
Whereas the easiest thing to do is to sit in a mosque, and/or to feed the hungry in atonement of a guilty conscience.
We already see what the pious Muslims worldwide tend to excel in. We pay our zakat, khums, fitra (religiously mandated donations) on time, pray our namaz on time, and keep our fasts on time. Aspire to go for Hajj at least once, while the privileged take great pride in performing it repeatedly. Many among the oppressed are also incredibly patient in affliction. Indeed, we are so patient that we oft proclaim “Allah chala raha hai” (God is running the world), “Allah malik hai” (God is our provider), and often cry ourselves to sleep with utmost sabr (patience in the sense of resignation to fate), repeating to ourselves with quivering lips and glistening eyes: “hasbun allahu wa naimal wakeel” (Allah is sufficient for us and most excellent is the Protector, Arabic: حَسْبُنَا اللَّهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيلُ Holy Qur'an, Surah Al-e-Imran 3:173).
According to the testimony of Surah Al-Asr, take it any which you want, the fact remains that most of us are still in خُسۡرٍۙ unless we stand up to oppression and unequivocally affirm حَقّ with some measure of constancy to the best of our individual capacity. While it is true that only Allah can be the fair judge of that capacity and to what measure each individual is at a loss and not at a loss, silence and acquiescence to tyranny are the obvious antithesis of ( وَتَوَاصَوۡا بِالۡحَقِّ ). And that, lamentably, seems to be the modus vivendi of the majority of Muslims today.
The crafting of that antithesis, evidently, has also come about courtesy of the imperial scholars subverting the meaning of the religion of Islam in the service of tyrants and kings throughout the ages, modernity being no exception. Language being the first target of corruption.
Thus, وَتَوَاصَوۡا بِالۡحَقِّ has been reduced to some nonsensical gibberish by the pious turbaned man on the pulpit to mean: just talk about justice حَقّ with utmost earnestness while occupying oneself in the mosque believing اٰمَنُوۡا and in doing good deeds عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰت ! The exposition of وَتَوَاصَوۡا بِالۡحَقِّ from the pulpit and among the masses never includes standing up to kings, rulers, governments, and to their usurpation, oppression, injustices, and “imperial mobilizations” writ large in the blood of the masses.
The ullema (plural for the Muslim man on the pulpit) today, as yesterday, selectively focus people's attention with verses from the Holy Qur'an that exhort people to good works and belief promising a pleasing Hereafter (e.g. Surah Al Baqara 2:25), to mask their crafty omissions in the service of empire.
Keeping the masses occupied in rituals and salvation, and “rendering unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s,” is not merely a Biblical saying (Matthew 22:21). That semantics has existed from time immemorial. Its biggest harbingers have always been the man on the pulpit.
Witness the 600-page one-sided Fatwa on Terrorism by the vaunted “scholar of Islam”, the posterboy of “moderate Islam” who issued a jurist's proclamation (Fatwa) against the terrorism of the pirates (see http://tinyurl.com/Fabricating-Pirates ) but not the emperor's. For services rendered to empire, the house nigger (see Faq: What is a house nigger) soon found a place-setting at the massa's table. As previously examined in Islam vs. Secular Humanism and World Government (http://tinyurl.com/Islam-vs-Secular-Humanism), the religion of Islam was hijacked from its very early days to service “empire” - Muslims' own. Nothing has principally changed today except for the color of the imperial flag.
Liberating the meaning of the religion of Islam, the Deen-ul-Haq (religion of حَقّ ) from the clutches of the so called scholars and jurists among Muslims is only as difficult as the uncongeniality of pondering the message of the Holy Qur'an directly, with one's own head and commonsense, rather than merely mouthing its melodic and soothing verses which no doubt are magic to the soul.
To strive for “haq” ( وَتَوَاصَوۡا بِالۡحَقِّ ) against anyone's tyranny requires no man's sanction – when Allah Itself has sanctioned it for every man and woman ( اِنۡسَانَ ) in creation.
That is the momentous import of Surah Al-Asr – that tiniest Surah of the Holy Qur'an comprising a mere 27 words (as counted for the English translation used here). Its utility as a rallying call for denying to Caesar what is not Caesar’s, for affirming to God what is God's, and to man what is man's, remains unsurpassed.
But, at the end of the day, only Allah is also the final Judge of the extent to which we each did our own due diligence to Allah's guidance given our individual trials and tribulations, and our individual bounties and blessings, on all four criterion for a life which only Allah shall Deem as “not in a state of loss”!
Q.E.D.
The holy month of Ramadan, a joyous month of fasting and reflection, commences tomorrow (or the day after) worldwide for 1.6 billion Muslims. Perhaps while rushing to “finish” the recitation of the Holy Qur'an in this month for nourishing the starved soul, the hunger in the stomach from not eating all day will be matched with a hunger in the intellect from not thinking at all.
Ramadan Mubarik.


Footnotes
* For those “Left-brained” readers with a precision oriented engineering bent of mind, there is an implicit A/D convertor at each of the four inputs in the figure above to characterize the threshold of conversion from a “zero” to a “one” for every individual. This is consistent with the Accountability Equation of the religion of Islam for every individual: Output / Input, wherein, the Output is the individual's voluntary behavior, choice of acts, performance, thoughts, beliefs; and Input is the individual's involuntary assets and liabilities, more specifically: inheritance, DNA, innate abilities and limitations, psychological bent of mind, involuntary nurturing and opportunities or lack thereof due to the general lot in life, and life's trials and tribulations upon which the individual exercised little or no control. The calculus of Output / Input is merely the verse fragment of Surah Al-Baqara 2:286: “On no soul doth Allah Place a burden greater than it can bear. It gets every good that it earns, and it suffers every ill that it earns.” expressed mathematically. Thus, for the purpose of individual Accountability in reference to Surah Al-Asr, in order to be fair and just to every individual given their respective limiting or extenuating circumstances, the measurement of individual Accountability is sensibly not Absolute Output, but Relative Output / Input, whereby the threshold of a “one” or “zero”, i.e., threshold of pass or fail on every criterion, in this abstraction is also set individually for every human being. And according to the religion of Islam, only God has the perfect knowledge to determine this threshold for every human being. This also automatically implies not to judge others, of who is “pass” and who is “fail”. That determination is exclusively the Right of Allah, Haquq-Allah, in the religion of Islam! See the travesty done to minorities among Muslims for political reasons by encroaching upon this Haquq-Allah, as for instance: What Role did Shias Play in Condemning Qadianis to Kafirdom in Cahoots with Sunni Scholars in 1974? (http://tinyurl.com/The-Plague-of-Kafirdom).
** وَتَوَاصَوۡا بِالصَّبۡرِ To strive with perseverance, constancy, steadfastness – and not passivity or self-defeatist resignation to fate. The word “sabr” is often misused, at times deliberately, to incapacitate strident action in the face of adversity. Once again, linguistic hijacking permits subversion of the mind and consequently controlling of mass behavior. The popular meaning of the word “sabr” in the Muslim public mind has been transformed into what is perhaps most closely akin to the Hindu Karma --- it is just one's lot in life to be born under oppression, so grin and bear it for in the next life one will surely be compensated for the full resignation to fate in this one! No devil could have incapacitated human endeavor to strive to better their condition more than this hijacking of semantics.


First Published Sunday, July 31, 2011, Ramadan eve in the United States, Muslim year 1432
Footnotes Revised July 11, 2013, 1st of Ramadan in Pakistan, Muslim year 1434
Abstract added 29th Ramadan, August 09, 2013, for inclusion in Pamphlet What does the Holy Qur'an Say Volume I
Footnotes Revised September 2015 to sync with 2nd Edition of Hijacking Holy Qur'an And Islam







This Pamphlet is based on the author's book: Hijacking The Holy Qur'an And Its Religion Islam – Muslims and Imperial Mobilization, abbreviated to Hijacking Holy Qur'an And Islam.
Click to Download PDF: Hijacking the Holy Qur'an and Islam  By Zahir Ebrahim | Project Humanbeingsfirst.org Revised and Expanded 2nd Edition, September 11, 2015


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