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Saturday, August 12, 2006

And they say we liberals are heretics?

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The Allied Coordinating Committee of Islamic NGOs (Accin) has organized a seminar entitled "Challenges against the Rights of Muslims" this Sunday, as reported by Malaysiakini (subscription required for the complete article - alternatively, you may read it in full here).

On July 25, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi called for a stop to open forums discussing Islam by all parties, due to the heating up of sensitivities, evidenced by the protests against the Article 11 coalition, and through postings on numerous weblogs, portals and websites.

In the Malaysiakini article, the current Accin chairperson (who is also the Muslim Youth Movement - ABIM) stated that this event was part of ABIM's ongoing awareness program. He also stated that issues related to Articles 11 and 121(1A) would also be discussed.

Say what?

Yesterday, Home Minister Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad reminded all groups that the call by the PM was meant for everyone, and not just the non-Muslims, as reported by The Star.

Fair is fair, no?

So what is the so-called Muslim Mainstream afraid of? A clue of their definition of "Muslim Rights" could perhaps be found in the Masjid Wilayah Resolution, issued on July 23. Notice the proximity of the date the resolution was released, and when the PM made the call for all parties to cool off.

Coincidence? You decide for yourself.

Nevertheless, this post will not address whether or not the fears expressed are warranted or not. The Resolution speaks for itself, and has been commented on in an earlier post.

Rather this post is about the real agenda: that the laws of the land be tightened such that all Muslims have no choice but to be subjected to Shariah laws, as they are defined in Malaysia.

More specifically this post is about the Shariah laws. Shariah laws, say the mainstream, are the ordained laws of God, . But are they, really? Enquiring liberal Muslim minds want to know...
(in the full post)

The blog-mouthpiece for conservative Muslims, Bukan Islam Liberal, recently put up an article entitled 'Discussion on the Punishment for the Crime of Apostacy' (Diskusi Hukuman Jenayah Murtad). The article, in Malay, was written by Ustaz Zaharuddin Ab. Rahman (Yarmouk University, Jordan). Although the article is long, drawn and academic, one portion of it piqued Walski's interest tremendously.

Towards the end of the article, a section rebutts dissenting opinions of why aspostates should be subjected the death penalty. This section reads (emphasis and translation by myAsylum):


1 b) Kiranya hadith Ahad tidak diterima dalam hukum. Ini bermakna hampir 95% sumber perundangan hukum Islam akan ditolak. Kerana semuanya bersumber dari hadith Ahad.
1 b) If hadith Ahad are not accepted in formulation of law, this means almost 95% of sources for Islamic jurisprudence and law would be rejected. This is because the sources for these are the hadith Ahad

95% of all Islamic jurisprudence is based on the hadith, or use the hadith as justification (Ahad or otherwise)?

Walski's note: the definition of Ahad is irrelevant to the argument presented here, and therefore will not be elaborated.

Very interesting indeed. But aren't the Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad supposed to only be the second most important source of Islamic law? What about the Quran?

Bar none, Muslims will agree that the Quran is the revealed word of God, and within it are guarantees that it shall be preserved until the end of time. 1,400 years down the road, this is still the case - the Quran we have today is the same Quran revealed to Muhammad. And 1,400 years is a tremendously long time for any document to survive. So far, God's kept His word.

God also proclaims, in the Quran, that no other scripture shall be used as the basis of religious law. In fact, a challenge is made to mankind, naming "Hadith" by name.

Image hosting by PhotobucketImage from YAQB: Quran Browser

(Surah 45 [Al-Jatheyah] verse 6): These are GOD's revelations that we recite to you truthfully. In which Hadith other than GOD and His revelations do they believe?

And this is not the only verse in the Quran that makes that challenge. And what about the Hadith, that forms the basis of a large portion of the Shariah laws?

Historically, the Hadith were compiled some 150 - 200 years after the death of Prophet Muhammad. Why so long after? Probably because Muhammad himself forbade any compilation or recording of what he said, other than what was revealed (i.e. the Quran). A prohibition that was upheld during his lifetime, and during the reign of the Four Guided Caliphs after him. And because the compilers of the Prophet's hadith did so without much regard for content, only authenthicity of transmission, the Prophet's prohibitions have also been included in this massive compilation.

The traditionalists, Ulama and conservative Muslims will say, however, that the Quran implores Muslims to obey the Messenger, hence the need for the Prophet's Hadith (sayings) and Sunnah (actions/examples). No argument there. But didn't Muhammad preach and rule based on the Quran alone? This is a reasonable assumption, based on his prohibition.

The Quran also proclaims that it is "complete and detailed" (surah 7 [Al-A'araf] verse 52). So why the need to augment and add to something that is already complete? On top of that detailed, too.

The Quran declares that it is "easy to learn" (mentioned four times in one surah alone - surah 54 [Al-Qamar] verses 17, 22, 32 and 40).

And yet, the traditionalist, Ulamas and conservative Muslims will maintain that only the Prophet had the authority to interpret the Quran, and that Man, even with the intelligence and intellect bestowed by God, cannot and must not. Hence the need for the Hadith.

But if this were the case, why does the Quran state that it is easy to learn? If we're not allowed to interpret the Quran, why bother learning it, easy or otherwise?

The Prophet's Hadiths, in general, are generally considered to be the second most important source of jurisprudence after the Quran. But from the article by Ustaz Zaharuddin it seems that in reality, the Hadiths have apparently superceded the Quran in authority when it comes to "Islamic" jurisprudence.

The Quran mentions the Hadith, again, in this verse:

Image hosting by PhotobucketImage from YAQB: Quran Browser

(Surah 39 [Az-Zumar] verse 6): GOD has revealed herein the best Hadith; a book that is consistent, and points out both ways (to Heaven and Hell). The skins of those who reverence their Lord cringe therefrom, then their skins and their hearts soften up for GOD's message. Such is GOD's guidance; He bestows it upon whoever wills (to be guided). As for those sent astray by GOD, nothing can guide them.

So, if the Quran says it is the best hadith, why are the Hadith of the Prophet held in such high esteem, to the extent that Islamic laws and punishment are based more on it, rather than based on the Quran alone?

From the arguments presented above, how can anyone claim Shariah law to be God's ordained law, when a large portion of that law is derived from sources other than God's own words (the Quran)?

And as for the mainstream's assertion that because their number far exceeds the number of Muslims who dare question (the dogmatic hold that tradition has on them), and therefore cannot be wrong, the Quran has this to say

Image hosting by PhotobucketImage from YAQB: Quran Browser

(Surah 19 [Maryam] verse 23): When our revelations are recited to them, clearly, those who disbelieve say to those who believe, "Which of us is more prosperous? Which of us is in the majority?"

And they dare label us liberal Muslims heretics?