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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Are Mohammad Shaikh and the IIPC anti-Hadith?

Wrote this recently to clarify some misconceptions being spread about Mohammad Shaikh and the IIPC, in response to the article at this link:

You wrote:
As radical as their stance is, but still there isn’t enough evidence that the men and women at IIPC are deliberately trying to start a new cult. A quick glance suggests a dearth of profound knowledge required to instrument the progressiveness of religious dogmas and harmonization of modern-day life with the teachings of the Holy Quran and the Ahadith. IIPC should at least study the Hadith and the other books of knowledge before embarking on a mission to revise the doctrines held secured and sacred by the major contemporary Muslim schools of thought.
In a similar vein, contemporary scholars should invite Muhammad Shaikh and his disciples for peaceful dialogue and debate, before labelling them as non-believers or anything.They should do it at the least for the sake of clearing common man’s misconceptions.
First I appreciate that you didn’t outright label them as non-believers or anything and that you encourage peaceful dialogue and debate. It is important to hear the other side of the story as well. I will attempt here to clarify that they are not rejectors of Hadiths, and it will be very unjust to label them as anti-hadith or any such thing.
The next two statements, work in tandem to shed some light at their level of expertize at reasoning and logic.  …

I have not read the hadith, I am honestly telling you I have … not … read … any hadith; except few … after that I stopped. That is my stand, but those who want to argue with me, they must read it first …

… No hadith explains any Ayat! …

IIPC uses her own “interpretation” of the words of Holy Quran to turn down all other “interpretations”, like for example interpreting that the Holy Quran is the “Furqan” (criterion) that rejects the Hadith (IIPC better come up with at least one concrete example to prove their point).
The Quran is indeed the Furqan/Discriminator/Criterion(2/185), but the purpose of the Furqan is not to reject outright, but to evaluate, to discriminate/distinguish between right and wrong, truth and falsehood. That is precisely how the Quran/Furqan is used at the IIPC. Shaikh made it clear that they are not anti-Hadith, but rather pro-Quran.

According to their understanding, the Quran comes before, or above, any other book or information. Any hadees/narration, be it in the Bible, Hadith or from any other book or person, any information at all about any topic that is dealt with in the Quran, must be compared with the Quran for its verification.

Mr Shaikh has done comparative studies between the Quran and the Bible but not with the Hadiths, therefore he does not reject the Hadith collection but would rather have it evaluated in the light of the Quran by those who also study the Hadiths.
Apparently, this looks like an axiom to which there is no counter-proof, but a little digging out deep reveals that there are a lot of Ahadith that definitely and most definitely explain, and in some cases even refine, the meanings of the Quranic verses. Obviously, one would demand an example or two.
That is not logically possible.

It is possible that a hadees is confirmed by the Quran. But it is not possible that it can detail the Quran. The important point to understand is that a criterion cannot be lacking details. The Quran is The Criterion that will judge(and not necessarily reject) the Hadiths and the Bibles etc as well as all other information. So if one wants to verify the Hadiths, first he will read and understand the Quran alone(without help from Hadiths of course), and THEN judge the Hadiths according to what he has read in the Quran.

The irrefutable logic above shows that the Quran does not require Hadiths to be detailed. Because if the Criterion requires Hadiths to be detailed, then it is not much of a criterion to begin with, because then it would not be a criterion over those Hadiths which detail it. If I remember correctly, Shaikh explained this in his lecture about the Quranic concept of hadees.
On a different note, the type of picture that IIPC tries to paint is that a majority of Ahadith overrule some verse of the Holy Quran, and that the Muslims have probably invented a lot of Ahadith, and that they are so stubborn to prove their point that they would even challenge the Holy Quran by projecting an orthogonal Hadith. Such a standpoint is very much a reactive offense than anything substantial; an invention out of necessity. For anyone who tries to interpret the Holy Quran in radically new ways antonymic to existing doctrines, breaking the barrier of established rulings purported by the great majority of Muslims, across a wide span of time, is a showstopper.
Majority is not the criterion. The Quran is. In fact, the Quran warns us:

25/44: Or do you think that most of them hear or understand? They are just like cattle. No, they are worse off.

Majority of people are worse than cattle. Do you really think that they verify all the traditions they claim to accept? Do you think they have read even half of them?

Also read 6/113-116:

6/113-116: Additionally we have appointed for every prophet enemies from among the human devils and the jinn devils, who invent and narrate to each other fancy speech in order to deceive. Had your Lord willed, they would not have done it. You shall disregard them and their inventions. This is God’s will so that the minds of those who do not really believe in the Hereafter may listen thereto, and accept it, and to have them commit what they are supposed to commit. Shall I seek other than God as a ruler/judge, when He revealed to you the Book fully detailed? Those who received the Book recognize that it came down from your Lord, truthfully. Therefore, you shall not harbor any doubt. The word of your Lord is complete, in truth and justice. Nothing shall abrogate His Words. He is the Hearer, the Knower. If you obey the majority of people on earth, they will divert you from the path of God. They only follow conjecture, and they only guess.

What we understand from the above verse:

1. Allah has allowed the enemies of the prophet to inspire zukhruf al-qawl/”fancy saying” in order to deceive.

2. The believers should disregard such inventions. These inventions are designed to deceive those who do not believe in al-akhira. The believers should therefore be aware that there are many fabrications out there about all the prophets. We cannot prevent people from making these fabrications, but we can at least not allow ourselves to be deceived, by comparing with the Quran all stories attributed to the prophets before accepting them.

3. Look how the disregarding the inventions is linked with the book of Allah being fully detailed. Why should we judge according to anything other than the book of Allah, when all details are right there? Even when Allah tells us that we should not doubt that?

4. We should not doubt. If Allah says that it is fully detailed, then fully detailed it is. If the attributed stories/sayings circulating about the prophets are not confirmed by the Quran, so be it.

5. If we choose to take the majority as the criterion instead of the words of Allah, then they will definitely lead us astray. What they follow is conjecture, without any verification or evidence.
The biggest hurdle in their way is the knowledge of Ahadith; the Fiqh and the rest, everything, stems from it. It is therefore a dire must for them to undermine the importance of the Ahadith. Different groups have employed different strategies to their benefit, and IIPC treads along the most blunt lines of flat-out rejection.
Again, the IIPC does not flat-out reject Hadith. Shaikh’s comparative study is between Quran and the Bible. You will not even see Shaikh comparing the Quran with the Hadiths(like he does with the Bible), let alone flat-out rejecting it altogether.

Their intent is not to reject everything other than the Quran but to have everything else evaluated in the light of the Quran. He tells people to read the contents of the Hadiths for themselves and verify them in the light of the Quran. I think no reasonable Muslim should have a problem with this stance.

Fahad Ali Khan

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Zina / Adultery

Salaam alaikum,

If we pay close attention to the context of 24/2(the verse ordaining punishment for the az-zina), we realize that for az-zina to occur, az-zaani can be any man, "married" or not, but az-zaaniya must be a "married" woman:

Verse 24/4 talks about those who accuse al-muhsanaat of committing az-zina:

24/4: And those who accuse al-muhsanaat, then do not bring four witnesses, therefore you shall lash them eighty lashes,....
Al-muhsanaat is a category of women, coming from the root Ha-Saad-Nun, meaning secured, reserved, immune, fortified/impenetrable, inaccessible etc. According to verse 4/25, a woman is made muhsana through nikah/"marriage". That is, a Muhsana is a "married" woman.

Then again, in 24/6 it talks about husbands accusing their wives(i.e. women "married" to them):
24/6: And those who accuse their azwaaj, and have no witnesses for them except themselves,....
Both verses are about the accusation of women, and more importantly married women, and not about men. Why not about men? Because the man's role was secondary; the act could not have been az-zina, had the woman not been "married". Az-zina, therefore, is a polyandrous act.

I think this is why verse 24/2 mentions the zaainya first and the zaani second, as it could not have been az-zina without the polyandrous woman. Everywhere else that I can remember, the man is always mentioned first, and the woman second.(Except in the case of al-fahisha in 4/15-16 where the women are also mentioned first)

Even in the story of Yusuf, the woman who tried to force herself on him was married. Zina therefore, being a polyandrous act, betrays the trust of the husband, (which of course she was unsuccessful at):
12/52, "...I have not akhnu-hu/betrayed him in the absence",
(...she said referring to her husband.)

Therefore the punishment of az-zina is for the act of committing and assisting polyandry, i.e. for the woman betraying her husband, and for the man "accessing" the woman reserved for her husband.

Fahad Ali Khan

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I have made a correction to the previous post. I wrote initially:
This equates exclusive ibadah/service of Allah(15/40-41) with walking the path of the Quran(36-60-61, 6/126), meaning that those who obey sources OTHER THAN the Quran are not among the 'ibaad al-mukhliseen'.
What I should have written is : those who obey sources CONTRADICTORY TO the Quran are not among the 'ibaad al-mukhliseen'. Because the Quran informs us that the nabiyeen/"prophets" and the momineen also have/had 'ibaad'(male) and 'aabidaat'(female):

24/32: And marry such of you as are solitary and the pious of IBAADIKUM/YOUR MALE SERVANTS and female slaves. If they be poor, Allah will enrich them of His bounty. Allah is of ample means, Aware.
66/5: It may be that his Lord, if he divorced you (all), will substitute for him wives better than you (all),- muslimaat, mominaat, qanitaat, taaibaat, AABIDAAT/FEMALE SERVANTS, saaihaatin sayyibaat and abkaar.

But the important thing to note is that these ibaad serve and obey them only in matters other than those dealt with in the book of Allah:

3/79: It is not (possible) for any human being unto whom Allah had given the Scripture and wisdom and the prophethood that he should afterwards have said unto mankind: Be IBAAD/SERVANTS of me INSTEAD OF ALLAH; but (what he said was): Be ye faithful servants of the Lord by virtue of your constant teaching of the Scripture and of your constant study thereof.

Therefore it is OK to obey and serve someone as long as it is not done in Allah's stead i.e. as long as his orders are not contradictory to Allah's.


Friday, April 10, 2009

The Quranic Concept of Ibadah - part 1

Mankind, according to the Quran, was created for nothing other than to give their 'ibadah' to Allah.

The Quran 51/56: And I have not created the jinns and humans except that they may give ibadah to Me.

19/93: There is none in the heavens and the earth but comes to Ar-rehman as a servant/'abd.

This indicates that the concept of ibadah is of utmost importance in the Quran.

The meaning of 'Ibadah' is usually falsely understood as "worship" or paying homage to deity/deities and is reduced to a few rituals when in fact Ibadah does not end with the completion of some rituals, but it is a person's ongoing state of subservience and obedience(to someone/something). Let us refer to the Quran, Criterion/Furqan, for confirmation:

23/45-47: Then We sent Musa and his brother Haroon, with Our signs and manifest authority,
towards Firaun and his chiefs, so they behaved arrogantly, and they were haughty people.
So they said "Should we believe two mere humans like ourselves, while their people(the children of israeel) are servants to us?"

In the above verses Firaun and his chiefs call Bani Israeel their servants/aabidoon(plural of abd; the one who gives ibadah). It does not mean that they considered Firaun their ilah or rabb or ascribed divinity to them. They did not worship them. They only regarded Allah as their rabb and ilah:

10/86: So they(children of Isra'eel) said, 'in Allah we put our trust; our rabb, do not make us a temptation for the oppressing people;

10/90: ... he(Firaun) said, 'I believe that there is no ilah but He in whom the children of Israel believe, and I am of those who surrender'.

So even though they considered only Allah as their rabb and ilah, they were made to give their ibadah to Firaun i.e. Firaun was their ma'bood. That even though they had "freedom of religion and beliefs", they were servants/ibaad to those whom they did not ascribe any divine status. This is what the word ibadah has been used to mean throughout the Quran: Service, subservience, and NOT worship or paying homage to any deity.

Ibadah is done by all people all the time. But while some give their ibadah to Allah, others give it to the Shaitaan. The Shaitaan vowed to take all except the the ibaad al-mukhkliseen, those who are exclusive in their ibadat of Allah.
The verse below also refers to 'mukhlis/exclusive ibadah' as the siraat-e-mustaqeem/straight path(leading towards Allah):

38/82: He(Shaitaan) said: "By Your majesty, I will assuredly mislead them all."
38/83: "Except for those among Your ibaad/servants who are al-mukhliseen/Exclusive(to You)."

15/39: He(Shiataan) said: My Lord! Because You have sent me astray, I will certainly adorn the path of error for them in the earth, and shall mislead them collectively
15/40: Except for those among Your ibaad/servants who are mukhliseen/exclusive(to You).

15/41: He(Allah) said: This(mukhlis/exclusive ibadah) is the siraat-e-mustaqeem/straight path upon Me.

The verse below confirms that the only other receiver of ibadah is ultimately Shaitaan:

36/60-61: Did I not enjoin upon you, O children of Adam, not to give your 'ibadah to Satan, for he is an open enemy to you, but to give it to Me instead? And this(Quran) is the siraat-e-mustaqeem/straight path.

Therefore all aspects of our lives which are devoid of Allah's ibadah, (i.e. obedience to Him in all matters dealt with in His book) are filled by the ibadah of Shaitaan. It is important to note that in the verse above as well as in 6/126, the Quran refers to itself as 'siraat-e-mustaqeem'(while in 15/40-41, it is 'mukhlis ibadah' that is referred to as the 'siraat-e-mustaqeem':

6/126: And this(Quran) is your rabb's siraate mustaqeem/straight path. We have indeed detailed the Ayaat to a people who are mindful.

This equates exclusive ibadah/service of Allah(15/40-41) with walking the path of the Quran(36-60-61, 6/126), meaning that those who obey sources that are contradictory to the Quran are not among the 'ibaad al-mukhliseen'.

More later inshaallah.

Fahad Ali Khan.