"It is one of the great ones. A warning to humanity. For any among you who wishes to progress or regress" (74:36-37).
After the death of the Prophet Muhammad, a diabolic event happened. In direct contradiction to the teachings of the Quran, male clerics dedicated the religion not to God alone, but to a "holy" corporation consisting of:
Muhammad's companions +
The companions of Muhammad's companions +
Early sect leaders +
Late sect leaders +
Early scholars of a particular sect +
Late scholars of a particular sect, and so on.
The product of this corporation was the hadith (teachings attributed to Muhammad), the Sunna (actions attributed to Muhammad), the Ijma (consensus of a select group of early scholars), and the Sharia (religious decrees by early scholars). The result was numerous hostile factions that afflicted a great amount of division and atrocities in the land about thirty years after departure of Muhammad (6:159; -56). This concoction of medieval Arab/Christian/Jewish cultures was introduced to the masses as God's infallible religion, as delivered by the last prophet. The only thing actually delivered by God to Muhammad, however, was the text of the Holy Quran, which is set out as the final and authoritative divine message to humankind:
"Once We recite it, you shall follow such a recitation (Quran). Then, it is We who will explain it." (75:18-19)
Unfortunately, ignorance, intolerance, misogynist teachings, superstitions, and outdated practices have accumulated over the centuries in interpreting and translating the holy book of Islam. It is time to re-introduce the actual message of the Quran. It is time to remove the accumulated layers of man-made dogmas and traditions that have attached themselves to the text. (6:21; 7:29; 9:31; 16:52; 39:2,11,14; 40:14,65; 42:21; 45.17; 74:1-56; 98:5).
Under a very cruel theocratic state terror, many men mobilized to participate in the creation what we rightly call Hislam. They did not have much chance to add or subtract to what was considered The Quran, but there was a lot of room for innovations, superstitions, additions and distortions through fabricating hadith. When a man from Bukhara started collecting hearsay more than two hundred years after the departure of the prophet Muhammad, the landscape and social demographics were fertile for all kinds of theological concoctions and mutations. These people and their parents had participated in numerous sectarian wars and atrocities. Many educated Gentiles, Christians and Jews were converted to Islam for dubious reasons. Most of these converts had never experienced a paradigm change; they just found it convenient to integrate their culture and most of their previous religious ideas with the new one. To justify and promote their version of religion, the elite started packaging and introducing their religious, cultural, and political ideas and practices under the brand names of hadith, sunna, commentaries, and fatwas. Besides, they fabricated numerous stories called "asbab ul-nuzul" (the reasons for revelation) about why each verse was revealed, thereby distorting the meaning or limiting the scope of many Quranic verses. There was great effort and competition to distort the meaning of words, taking them out of context to promote the agenda of a certain religion, culture, tribe, sect, cult, or king. Male chauvinists, hermits, misogynists too took advantage of this deformation movement. Hearsay statements attributing words and deeds to Muhammad and his idolized comrades became the most powerful tool or Trojan horse, for promotion of diverse political propaganda, cultural assimilation, and even commercial advertisement. As a result, the Quran was deserted and its message was heavily distorted.
Soon after Muhammad's death, thousands of hadiths (words attributed to Muhammad) were fabricated and two centuries later collected, and centuries later were compiled and written in the so-called "authentic" hadith books:
to support the teaching of a particular sect against another (for instance, what nullifies ablution; which sea food is prohibited);
to flatter or justify the authority and practice of a particular king against dissidents (such as, Mahdy and Dajjal);
to promote the interest of a particular tribe or family (such as, favoring Quraysh tribe or Muhammad's family);
to justify sexual abuse and misogyny (such as, Aisha's age; barring women from leading Salat prayers);
to justify violence, oppression and tyranny (such as, torturing members of Urayna and Uqayla tribes, massacring Jewish population in Medina, assassinating a female poet for her critical poems);
to exhort more rituals and righteousness (such as, nawafil prayers);
to validate superstitions (such as, magic; worshiping the black stone near Kaba);
to prohibit certain things and actions (such as, prohibiting drawing animal and human figures, playing musical instruments, chess);
to import Jewish and Christian beliefs and practices (such as, death by stoning, circumcision, head scarf, hermitism, rosary);
to resurrect pre-islamic beliefs and practices common among Meccans (such as, intercession; slavery; tribalism; mysoginism);
to please crowds with stories (such as the story of Mirage (ascension to heaven) and bargaining for prayers);
to idolize Muhammad and claim his superiority to other messengers (such as, numerous miracles, including splitting the moon);
to defend hadith fabrications against monotheists (such as, condemning those who find the Quran alone sufficient); and even
to advertise products of a particular farm (such as, the benefits of dates grown in a town called Ajwa).
In addition to the above mentioned reasons, many hadith were fabricated to explain the meaning of the "difficult" Quranic words or phrases, or to distort the meaning of verses that contradicted the fabricated hadith, or to provide trivial information not mentioned in the Quran (such as, Saqar, 2:187; 8:35…)
Islam versus Hislam
Let's first check the Quran and enumerate some of the characteristics of Islam, the system of peace, submission and surrender to God alone.
is not a proper name, but a descriptive noun coming from the Arabic root of surrendering/submission/peace, used by God to describe the system delivered by all His messengers and prophets (5:111; 10:72; 98:5), which reached another stage with Abraham (4:125; 22:78).
is surrendering to God alone (2:112,131; 4:125; 6:71; ; 40:66).
is a system with universal principles, which are in harmony with nature (3:83; 33:30; 35:43).
requires objective evidence besides personal experience (3:86; 2:111; ; 74:30).
demands conviction not based on wishful thinking or feelings, but based on reason and evidence (; 4:174; ; 10:100; ; 74:30-31).
encourages charity and caring for the poor (6:141; 7:156).
unifies humanity by promoting gender and race equality. (49:13).
values women (3:195; 4:124; 16:97).
values intellect (5:90).
offers peace among nations (2:62; 2:135-136, 208).
considers the entire world belonging to all humanity and supports immigration (4:97-98).
promotes peace, while deterring the aggressive parties (60:8,9; 8:60).
pursues the golden-plated brazen rule of equivalence, that is, retaliation with occasional forgiveness (42:20; ).
stands for human rights and the oppressed (4:75).
encourages competition in righteousness and morality. (16:90)
stands for peace, honesty, kindness, and deterring from wrong doing. (3:110)
expects high moral standards (25:63-76; 31:12-20; 23:1-11).
asks us to be in harmony with nature and environment (30:41).
teaches that the only system/law approved by god is Islam (,85).
Through hadith, Sunna and sectarian jurisprudence, scholars produced a religion, which we properly call Hislam to replace God's system called islam or surrender and peace. The breadth and depth of distortion is astonishing. (See the EXPOSITION for a sample list of distortions).
Acknowledge the Truth, so that the truth will set us Free
The following words are not from an enemy of yours, but from someone who shares the same book and the same history. These are the words of someone who cares a great deal about you. Someone who cries at night for your plight, for the tragedies which have befallen you. This is someone who knows your generosity, your sincerity, your unfulfilled dreams, your aspirations, your tragedies, your fears, your follies and delusions. You should listen, at least once. Enough prejudice and bigotry. Enough paranoia and hatred.
We must acknowledge the truth so that the truth will set us free.
Before looking around to point fingers at the cause of your problems, first look at the mirror. I do not mean that you should ignore the imperialistic ambitions of other nations and their open or clandestine interferences with the politics, economy and culture of your people. But, you cannot change your condition unless you change yourself. You cannot glorify the invasions, aggressions, massacres, and imperialistic policy of corrupt Umayyad, Abbasid, and Ottoman caliphs in your history and at the same time morally be critical of others for doing the same. Had God given you the same superiority, perhaps you would inflict the earth with more corruption and destruction than your current powerful enemies. You cannot kick them out from your home unless you reform yourself and your home. You cannot demand mercy from others if you do not have mercy on yourself.
We must acknowledge the truth so that the truth will set us free from self-righteousness.
Go check the list of patents issued last year. Check and see how many of them belong to a group, nation, religion you identify with. It should tell you a lot you a lot about your position in a world where information and technological progress is so crucial. Go check the list of prosperous countries. Check see how many of them belong to a group, nation, religion you identify with. Centuries ago, you were a role model for civilization, justice, democracy, and freedom; once you were a pioneer in mathematics, astronomy, medicine, and philosophy. Now look around and look at the mirror; who are you? You followed the religious fatwa of a sheikh ul-islam (highest cleric within the Ottoman Empire) who prohibited the use of printing machine from 1455 to 1727 for 272 years, for 100,000 precious days, in a vast land stretching from North Africa to Iran, from today's Turkey to Arabian Peninsula. While Europe indulged in learning God's signs in nature, shared the knowledge via printing machines, and was rewarded by God with renaissance, reform, technology, and prosperity; you devolved and sunk further in your ignorance. While Europeans engaged in philosophical arguments, you recited the holy book no better than a parrot, the book that highlighted the importance of learning, questioning, discovery, and pursuit of knowledge. You marveled at handwritten books of hearsay and superstition, at the lousy arguments developed by Gazzali who with the full support of a king aimed to banish philosophy. While Europe sought for a better system to save themselves from the tyranny of kings and church, you recited handwritten poems to praise your corrupt kings and idols. No wonder why, your land, your name, your face, your religion is now associated with backwardness, ignorance, oppression, violence, and poverty. You have become the bum of the world.
We must acknowledge the truth so that the truth will set us free from our ignorance.
Once the religious among you hoped that the theocracy of mullahs would fulfill your dream, would bring back the glorious days of your past. They promised "istiqlal, azadi, hukumet-i islami" (independence, freedom, Islamic government); yet what you ended up with a swarm of leaches with turbans, repression, and a satanic government. Some of you hoped that a Sunni Taliban in Afghanistan would bring dignity and glory to you. What they brought was worse than the Saudi regime: they put women in black sacks, revived the barbaric stoning practice, regressed to the times of tribalism, denied women education, exponentially increased ignorance, and turned Afghanistan into an international farm for opium. You did not question the religion and sect you inherited from your parents or the teachings of the mullah, the sheikh, or the imam. You little examined the nightmare sold to you as dreams.
We must acknowledge the truth so that the truth will set us free from our own transgression.
God blessed you with crucial natural resources, so that you could utilize it for your prosperity. Yet, their proceeds are wasted by corrupt, hedonistic, shortsighted, backward and oppressive kings, emirs, tribal leaders, and mullahs. Instead of gaining your freedom, instead of establishing the democratic system instructed by the holy book you claim allegiance, you are wasting your time in cafeterias, on the streets, and in rotten offices of antiquity, which produces nothing but zeros.
We must acknowledge the truth so that the truth will set us free from apathy and slavery.
Look at half of your population, your wives, mothers, sisters, daughters. What have you done to them? How can you hope to progress and attain peace, prosperity and God's mercy, while you have buried many of them alive? You cannot expect happiness, while you despise half of God's creation, your wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters; while you deprive them of their human rights given by their Creator, turn them to fractionally humans. You cannot tell God that you did all those evil things to please your idols called Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmizi, Ibn Hanbal, Ibn Maja, Abu Dawud, Malik, Kafi, and a herd of other imams, mullahs and clergymen. None of those idols will save you from God's justice. You are already paying dearly for your misogynistic beliefs and practices. You must apologize to your mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters for treating them like your slaves; you must repent for acting like Pharaohs against them.
We must acknowledge the truth so that the truth will set us free from the dark holes of our deception.
The world knows that Israel has transformed from a victim nation to a racist colonial power. Many progressive Jews too are painfully accepting this fact and they are fighting against it. The world sees and most people acknowledge the fascist policy, occupation, atrocities, massacres, and humiliation committed against the Palestinian people since 1948. The world knows that Israel has killed many more Palestinian children than the Palestinian suicide bombers have done. The numbers and events are out there recorded to prove that Israel has used state terrorism against Palestinian people. The world knows that a coalition of Crusaders, Zionists, and weapon/oil and other interest groups, nested in towers of power are using American tax money, military, and political power to perpetuate this tragedy, hoping for the Armageddon, more land, or bloody profits from wars. Nevertheless, again you must look in the mirror. What have you done, what have you become? You have become as racist as the Zionist you condemn. You condemn Jews without discrimination, Jews that raised many great prophets, philosophers, scientists, and inventors whom you revere and admire. You have become a suicidal nation. Though there was more than mere pacifism into Gandhi's resistance against British colonialism, Gandhi's struggle provided a great example for you. Instead, you followed ignorant leaders, racist and manipulative politicians, terror organizations, misguided religious clerics, and your hormones. If you had taken lessons from modern history and you had used your mind more than your animalistic instincts, if you had followed the Quran rather than the religious teachings that promote violence and racism, by now you would be living next to Israel sharing Jerusalem peacefully as brothers and sisters. You cannot have God's mercy if you respond to hatred with hatred, racism with racism, atrocities with atrocities. You cannot attain freedom and peace without sincerely asking the same thing for your enemies. How can you claim to be muSLiMs, while you have taken SiLM (peace), out of it?
We must acknowledge the truth so that the truth will set us free from violence that has surrounded us.
By continuing along the path of denial and sectarianism, you are risking more than just happiness and dignity in this world, but you also risk shame and retribution in the Hereafter…
"Those who had rejected will be told: ‘God's abhorrence towards you is greater than your abhorrence towards yourselves, for you were invited to acknowledge, but you chose to reject.’ They will Say, ‘Our Lord, You have made us die twice, and You have given us life twice. Now we have confessed our sins. Is there any way out of this path?’ This is because when God Alone was mentioned, you rejected, but when partners were associated with Him, you believed. Therefore, the judgment is for God, the Most High, the Most Great." (40:10-12)
Unless you are willing to take the necessary and painful steps of reform through self-examination and research, you will be led by the mould of complacency and blind followings into the abyss that is becoming your fate. You must turn to the true system of Islam, as revealed by God through His messenger, and stop blindly following your scholars and leaders into distortions and unauthorized teachings. You have been losing continuously because you have abandoned the word of God and replaced it with other religious laws and teachings which in-turn has caused God to abandon you and leave you to your folly.
This life is not just about fun and games…it is about fulfilling our part of the pledge with God and proving that we can serve Him Alone.
"And when God Alone is mentioned, the hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter are filled with aversion; and when others are mentioned beside Him, they rejoice!" (39:45)
Are you ready to embrace the path of God Alone and abandon all your idolatry? Or, will you continue to lose? We must acknowledge the truth so that the truth will set us free.
Let's reject all other religious teachings besides the Quran, and let's dedicate the system to God alone.
Let's stop the plans of Crusader-Zionist coalition to depict Islam and Muslims evil by provoking marginal elements among us through planting oppressive puppet regimes, brutal wars, occupations, and clandestine operations.
Let's topple the oppressive monarchs, and elect our own leaders so that we can have peace, liberty and justice. So that we can eliminate the excuse of the Crusader-Zionist coalition that uses "liberty" as a pretext to bomb our cities, occupy our lands, plunder our natural resources, and deceive their own people.
Let's fight not with bullets or bombs, but with intelligence and wisdom.
Let's give up superstitions and medieval culture, and start engaging in scientific enterprise.
Let's stop subjugating our mothers, sisters, daughters and wives; let's give them back their dignity, equal rights, liberty, and identity.
Let's unite our voice and prayers with Christians, Buddhists, Jews, Agnostics, anyone who seek justice and peace, rather than injustice and war.
Let's organize local and international conferences to discuss this issue. We may invite religious scholars of every sect or cult, but we should not let them run them, since our experience shows that they have not done a good job in leading Muslims.
For supportive theological and philosophical arguments, read the EXPOSITION on the Manifesto, at islamicreform.org