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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Pervasive Secularism - Muzaffar Iqbal

My comments in italics ~ t

Under the impact of this pervasive new "religion," a new category of "Muslims" has now come into existence: "secular Muslims." Some of them openly claim to be so, others would not like this label but they do not think that the Quran and the Sunnah--the two sources of Islam--are to be taken literally, or as they were understood fourteen hundred years ago. [does not Qur'an intone us to ponder, think and reflect time and again? And if we stopped doing that some hundred years back and are slowly beginning to do now, what is wrong with it?]

They would like to reinterpret the Quran and either discard the Sunnah all together or take from it what they consider to be applicable to the modern world. [Discard Sunnah? well, first whose "version" of Sunnah? And I mean this reverentially. If Al Qur'an is a complete code of living, then why should everything handed down to us should not be judged according to it?]

One of the most important tenants of secularism is the belief in progress. Humanity has progressed on all accounts, it is maintained, and hence old revealed texts need to be reinterpreted in the light of the contemporary. [This premise can be applied equally to Islam. Let me repeat here Muzaffar's words with ONE change - One of the most important tenants of secularism Islam is the belief in progress...Is Islam anti-progress? Did it not give guidance to the early Muslims to bring them out of Daur e Jahiliya? Did it not give show them the path to achieve greater humanity?]

Thus those injections of the Quran which do not conform to the modern concepts of personal freedom, liberty, equality, and progress should be reinterpreted. [One of the core beliefs of Islam is that the word of God is for all times. It cannot be changed. If there is a 'code' or 'constitution' for all times, then there must be a inbuilt system to interpret and reinterpret it according to changing times. This who are more knowledgeable tell me that this system in Islam is called variously as Ijtihaad, Ijma, Qiyas, etc....And this system was used and should be used by Muslims]

This especially applies to the Quranic formulations centred around the main concept of Boundaries of Allah (Hudud Allah). Thus, secular Muslims have great issues with all injunctions related to those who transgress the boundaries set by Allah for human behaviour. These range from corrective measures and punishments for theft, fornication, drinking, gambling, stealing, to the concept of hijab for both men and women. [This oversimplification is a leap of logic by Muzaffar. The issue is transgressing those hudoods. Pork is haraam and no amount of pondering would make it halaal. But this cannot be equated with cutting off hands for theft. Consensus over punishment has been the policy adopted by early Caliphs. He ought to know better.]

  • I could write more in the same vein. The rest of his article is full of similar conjectures and reflect his tinted view, just as the italics reflect mine. Allah knows best!

Allah is Merciful and All Knowing


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Question: How many of us have read Holy Quran the language we understand?
Very few....we still continue to depend on the neighborhood Imams and "scholars" for knowledge of what is in the Quran.
We need to stop READING Quran and start UNDERSTANDING Quran.

August 28, 2009 9:25 AM  
Blogger paki said...

Let's have an analysis of your response to Dr.Muzzafer's article:
"does not Qur'an intone us to ponder, think and reflect time and again?"Unlike Secualrism,Islam doesn't ask to ponder over making mercedez and then marketing it innovately for making money.
"Discard Sunnah? well, first whose Sunnah?"
You are ceratainly unaware of the importance of sunnah.How would you say prayers if you don't follow sunnah or don't want to follow it.

"One of the most important tenants of secularism Islam is the belief in progress...Is Islam anti-progress?"
what do you mean by progress?Do you call money making progress?Is materialism progress?Is promoting vulgarity progress/What do you call progress?Islam certainly shuns such progress.In Islam progress mean you are improving and commiting less sins.


Secualrism doesn't have anything to do with Islam.Muslims are of two types:1-Momim and 2-Musliman
There are no seculars in Islam.WHo came up with the word secular?Did Holy Prophet use this word?

August 29, 2009 7:04 AM  

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