Are There Many Islams? Or Just One?

one-or-two-islamsBy Citizen Warrior:

The following was written by Traeh Lledew, creator of the two excellent resources, A Chronological Qur’an and Quoting Islam:

Many media discussions nowadays seem to hinge on the answer to the above question.
To support the idea that there is no single Islam, some point to the varied behavior of Muslims and the contradictory aspects of the Qur’an (tolerant verses as against totalitarian verses). Other analysts claim such contradictions are resolved by the Qur’an itself, and point to the Qur’an’s own doctrine of abrogation (Qur’an 2:106 and 16:101). Thus many Muslim scholars of Islam teach that the militant and totalitarian verses produced later in Muhammad’s career abrogate (cancel) the tolerant verses produced earlier in his career. From that point of view, there are no real contradictions and in the end only one Islam, the totalitarian, final, perfected Islam.
However, Bill Warner, who runs the Center for the Study of Political Islam, balances against the doctrine of abrogation a contrary perspective: many Muslims take everything in the Qur’an as eternally true. Warner concludes that Islam is dualistic, not logically consistent. A Muslim can believe two contradictory things at once, so long as the contradiction is present in the Qur’an. From that point of view, while the doctrine of abrogation does to some extent resolve contradictions, it is simultaneously true that it doesn’t — that the whole Qur’an, including both sides of any contradictions in it, is considered by Muslims eternally true. Allah is so dictatorially all powerful that he is not bound by anything, not even logic.
But having found the Qur’an at least somewhat contradictory and dualistic, does Warner stop there? Does he claim there is no single Islam? No. That would be too imprecise an answer. Warner comes out of a scientific background, and tries to drill down into the details. He takes a statistical approach, and looks at the trilogy of core Islamic texts — Qur’an, Hadith, Sira — quantitatively, asking how much of the trilogy is tolerant and peaceful, versus how much is totalitarian and violent. He finds that the percentage of tolerant statements is quite small, of totalitarian statements quite large. So although he doesn’t say there is one Islam, he does find an overwhelmingly predominant form of Islam. For example, in the most canonical hadith collection, Sahih al-Bukhari, Warner finds that over 98% of jihad hadiths refer to violent jihad. This confirms historian Bernard Lewis’ similar contention that in the core Islamic texts, “jihad” almost always means military jihad to defend or expand Muslim power.
So Warner’s view, by getting into specifics, really goes beyond the imprecise alternatives: Islam is One/Islam is Many.
Another perspective that influences the debate about this question is what might be called the “decontructionist” view. Even if you don’t know what the philosophy of “deconstruction” is, there’s a good chance its claims have seeped to some extent into your consciousness by a sort of cultural osmosis. The deconstructionist viewpoint is that a text can be interpreted in an infinite number of ways and can mean just about anything.
The more one thinks about that claim, however, the more it seems a gross exaggeration. While texts have elasticity of meaning to varying degrees, such elasticity is hardly infinite, and that is even more true with texts that are not largely poetic or mythical in content. The Qur’an, Hadith, and Sira are full of quite literal statements and commands. Because of that, Islam’s texts and past history have virtually always steered most interpretation into fairly similar and fairly definite grooves. Islam is not whatever one wants it to be. It is a rather definite historical reality. Many years ago, the eminent historian Bernard Lewis wrote of Islam’s inherent totalitarianism.
So we should not go to the deconstructionist extreme of suggesting that anything can mean anything. While Lewis Carroll or some other fantasist might be able to treat Islam’s core texts as almost a blank slate on which one could write just about any meaning whatever, the people who most seriously and religiously approach Islam’s texts generally go by what the texts actually say. Minor ambiguities of meaning dispersed throughout those texts do not erase their clear overall thrust.
So is there one Islam? Are there many Islams? The answer is much closer to the first alternative, though the second has some validity. The bottom line is that, despite real diversity among Muslims globally, there are also overwhelming commonalities of interpretation worldwide, as numerous international polls of Muslim opinion have shown. While there are many liberal Muslims, totalitarianism, to one degree or another, is and always has been the majority interpretation. It is no accident that the core Islamic region of the world has the worst human rights record of any region on the globe: Islam’s core texts, despite some vagaries, at bottom teach an expansionist theocratic totalitarian program.

 

Muhammad, the Sexual Superman

Front Page:

By Raymond Ibrahim

Apparently the prophet of Islam, Muhammad, was something of a sexual superman—indeed, possessing the sexual appetite and potency of 4,000 mortal men.

According to Islam’s most trusted and traditional sources, the story is as follows: Muhammad used to visit and have sex with his nine wives in a single hour (other accounts indicate 11 wives in a single hour).  This averages to about six minutes per wife (not counting traveling time from tent to tent).  When one of Muhammad’s companions wondered at the prophet’s superhuman feats of libido and speed, another companion, the famous Anas, responded that the prophet had the potency of 40 men.

This account was deemed authentic enough to include in Sahih Bukhari—the most canonical hadith collection, second in authority only to the Quran itself—meaning that mainstream Islam accepts it as fact.

But alas, the matter doesn’t just end there.

Another, more fabulous, account says that Muhammad had the strength of 400 “heavenly men”—each of whom are said to have the strength of 100 mortal men.  Strength for what, you ask?  In the words of Islam’s prophet, “a [heavenly] man will be given the strength of a hundred men to eat, drink, feel desire [i.e., libido], and have sexual intercourse.”

Thus, according to Islam, when he was alive on earth, Muhammad had the sexual lust and potency of 400 “heavenly men,” which is equivalent to 4,000 mortal men.

Lest the reader think all this a joke (or a “hoax”), here is a video of popular Muslim preacher Sheikh Mahmoud al-Misri confirming all the above. After declaring that Muhammad had the sexual strength of 4,000 men, he assured his audience that this is not just some rumor, but was “verified through scientific research.” He then recounted the above narrative—that Muhammad used to copulate with his nine wives in one hour and that he had the strength of 400 heavenly men.

He even quoted from yet another authoritative Islamic text—telling his audience to “commit this reference to memory, so you can recall it when people ask for proof.”  According to the authoritative Fath al-Bari, compiled by the esteemed Muslim scholar Ibn Hajar, “based on these calculations [400 heavenly men x 100 mortal men], our prophet Muhammad—prayers and blessings upon him—had the strength of 4,000 men.”

Accordingly, Sheikh Mahmoud marveled at the fact that, despite Muhammad’s sexual superpowers—“which required 4,000 mortal wives”—he was married to only one woman for 15 years, Khadija, his elderly wife and patroness.

This approach—boasting about the prophet’s lasciviousness, only to try to rationalize it into some magnanimous point—is common among Islam’s clerics.  For example, discussing pedophilia in Islam, another TV cleric spoke in awe concerning Muhammad’s “patience” with his 9-year-old child bride Aisha:

We know that Asia’s mother went to take her down from the swing that she was playing on to fix her hair and prepare her for the prophet so he could enter her [have sex with her]—and she did that all on the same day. So you see, she was playing with her fellow playmates even though her day of consummation was that very same day—and all that they did was to fix her up for the prophet so he could have sex with her. Now what do we see when the prophet married Aisha? Did he go to her and say “Okay that’s it, you’re married, you’re now a grown up, you’re supposed to be mature, you need to do this and that; you need to forget about your toys and your little friends; you are now a wife of a man, you have to see to my needs” and that’s it? No. The prophet allowed her to continue playing with her toy dolls—indeed, the prophet even sometimes gave her such things to play with.

Three observations:

  • What other religion portrays its head figure and prophet in such a manner?  What do these accounts of Muhammad—having sex with several women in a single hour, having sex with a 9-year-old—say about the founder and role model of Islam?  What does a sexual paradise—where men will be granted 400 times the power and pleasure for life’s most carnal pursuits, food, drink, and sex, indicate?  Understanding this great divide between Islam and other religions is key to understanding why Islam is at conflict with the rest of the world (hint: it’s not because of land, politics, or grievances).
  • With such obsessions and priorities, is it any wonder that countless stories concerning sex-slavery, female abduction, and rape—especially for infidel non-Muslims—flood the (non-mainstream) media?
  • Muslims are obligated to accept such accounts about their prophet.  These stories concerning Muhammad’s superhuman sexuality are contained in Sahih Bukhari, Sunan al-Tirmidhi, and Fath al-Bari—all mainstays of Islamic teachings.  To cast doubt on one of the accounts contained in them is to cast doubt on the entire collections—and hence, to cast doubt on Islam.  This is why the guardians of Allah’s religion insist all these accounts be accepted without question, and why Muslims are compelled to uphold their prophet’s teachings, from “adult breastfeeding” to drinking camel urine.

Incidentally, any Muslim offended by all this should consider: Who is truly responsible for defaming the prophet of Islam—people like me, for translating and sharing the texts of Islam and the teachings of its clerics, or the texts and clerics of Islam themselves?

Muslim Rage over ‘Innocence of Muslims’ Film: Should Deference or Factuality Act as Cover for Defense?

By Louis Palme:

If factuality would be the cover for defence, a defamation case against the “Innocence of Muslims” film-maker in a court of law would not stand a chance…


September of 2012 will go down in history as a month of rioting, murder, and intimidation over a poorly-produced 14-minute trailer about Islam’s prophet Muhammad.  Over fifty people – among them Libya-based American Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three colleagues, the rest Muslim – were killed, Muslim-owned businesses were torched, and numerous pundits and scholars were forced to go into hiding. Meanwhile, Muslim nations in the U.N. and the O.I.C., as well as many Muslim organizations, have called for international laws to criminalize any defamation of Muhammad, the Quran, or Islam. Fatwas and rewards have been posted calling for the assassination of those involved in the notorious YouTube clip. Even the bounty for the head of Salman Rushdie, who had no connection with the film, was revived and increased.

There is scarce acknowledgement, however, that most of the crudely-dramatized vignettes in the video were taken directly from highly-respected hadith and biography accounts of Muhammad (see Analysis of ‘Innocence of Muslims’ film below). The outrage was not over the inaccuracy of the portrayals, but rather about the exposure of the shameful side of a man, whose reputation has been protected through extreme deference by faithful Muslims. For their part, the producers of the clip would probably argue that uncritical reverence for Muhammad has allowed militants to parley his violent pronouncements into an international call-to-arms that threatens all non-Muslim civilizations. So the question becomes, “Should respect for X prevent the public from knowing about the imminent danger of blindly respecting X?

Consumers Union and its publication, Consumer Reports, have provided American with a world-renown product testing and evaluation for over sixty years. Engineers and scientists purchase products and put them through rigorous tests to determine, if they are safe, if they have hidden defects or hazards, and if they own up to the manufacturers’ claims. In 1988, while testing the compact SUV Suzuki Samurai, engineers found they could easily cause the vehicle to tip over while navigating their standard short, “avoidance maneuver” course. As a result, the prestigious magazine deemed the Suzuki Samurai “Not acceptable” – the only car in history to earn such a rating. Suzuki auto sales in the U.S. plummeted. Suzuki sued the Consumer Union for $60 million in damages and unspecified punitive damages for what Suzuki claimed was willfully fraudulent testing. While the suit was developing and progressing through the courts, Suzuki rollover incidents resulted in 213 deaths and 8,200 injuries. Suzuki’s own internal documents confirmed that they were aware of the serious safety problem in the vehicle’s design. In 2004, the lawsuit was dismissed with no penalties paid by the Consumer Union. Meanwhile, Suzuki partnered with General Motors to develop a new SUV model that met or exceeded all the national auto safety standards. The moral of this story is that speaking up truthfully about something that is dangerous saves lives and is to be commended, not condemned.

Islam might be called the Suzuki Samarai of religious ideologies. Analysis of the film trailer below will show how everything portrayed in the movie was accurate. Therefore, any case against the film-maker, claiming defamation of Islam and Prophet Muhammad in the court of law, would not stand a chance like the faulty Suzuki Samarai car case.

Analysis of the ‘Innocence of Muslims’ film

Was the “Innocence of the Muslims” video trailer inaccurate?

Most of us have seen “Innocence of the Muslims”, the film trailer that sparked rioting resulting in over 50 deaths and damage of properties worth millions of dollars. Here is the link, just in case:

Listed below are the scenes (by time-stamp and theme) along with the references to Islamic sacred texts that provide support for the assertions:

3:02 – Muhammad’s father is unknown. (His father died before he was born, and his mother never raised him.) Ishaq, The Life of Muhammad, para. 105

3:45 – Young Muhammad taking orders from and married to older Khadija – Ishaq, para. 120

4:43 – Muhammad buries his face in Khadija’s garments to determine if visions are divine or satanic – Ishaq, para. 154

5:24 – Khadija’s cousin Waraqa is a Christian scholar who helped Muhammad – Ishaq, para. 121

5:43 – Muhammad’s revelations stopped when Waraqa died, prompting him to consider suicide – Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 6, No. 478

6:27 – Muslims used booty for their income – Quran Surah 48:20

6:35 – “Muhammad is our messenger and the Quran is our constitution.” – taken from the Muslim Brotherhood oath

7:19 – Muhammad given special privileges regarding women and marriage – Quran Surah 33:37-38

8:37 – Muhammad is linked to Allah in authority and worship – Quran Surahs 3:32, 4:80, 8:20, 9:71, 24:47, 24:54, 47:33, 61:11, 64:8, 64:12, and many others

9:11 – Abu Bakr gives his 9-year-old Aisha in marriage to 53-year-old Muhammad – Sahih al-Bukhari Vol. 5, No. 234

9:27 – Muhammad and Omar are “gay”. (With nineteen wives and concubines, Muhammad had very few children and no male heirs.) References to bizarre sexual behavior can be found in Sahih al-Bukhari, Book 4, No. 143, Sahih al-Bukhari, No. 2393, and Sahih Muslim, Nos. 3663 and 3674. The story about Omar apparently comes from this Shiite cleric’s speech: http://ibloga.blogspot.com/2012/06/london-based-shiite-cleric-yasser-al.html

11:15 – An elderly woman, Umm Qirfa, is torn in two by two camels – Ishaq, para. 980

11:32 – “Whoever refuses to follow Islam has only two choices – pay extortion or die.” – Quran Surah 9:29

12:38 – Torture of Kinana bin al-Rabi (a Jew) in front of his wife, Safiya, who Muhammad later raped – Ishaq, paras. 764 – 767

13:10 – Fight between Muhammad and two of his wives – Hafsa and Aisha – when he is caught in bed with Hafsa’s Coptic slave Maryah after he had promised not to sleep with her.  This is the subject of Quran Surah 66.

13:43 – “Every non-Muslim is an infidel; their land, women and children are our spoils.” – Ishaq, para. 484

Several scholars, who have studied the origins of the Quran, have concluded that the traditional Islamic claim of the Quran being the “verbal word of God”, transmitted to Muhammad by Angel Gabriel, is not true. For example, the quotations enshrined on the Dome of the Rock mosque in Jerusalem do not match the canonical texts of the Quran. The Quran seems to be a collection of religious and political statements from various sources that was assembled in its final form as an Arab national religious text during the rivalry between Caliph Abd al-Malik and Abdullah ibn As-Zubair around 685 – some 53 years after Muhammad died (See “Did Muhammad Exist?” by Robert Spencer, pg.58). Prior to that time there is no clear reference to Muhammad as a prophet of Islam in either Islamic or secular accounts.

Read more at Islam Watch

Don’t Make Fun of Muhammad

David Wood:

Muslim protesters have been trying to send the world a message: “Don’t make fun of Muhammad . . . or else!”

 

For those who would like to verify the sources I cited, here you
go:

Qur’an 9:29—Fight those who believe not in Allah.

Qur’an 9:123—O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers
who are near to you and let them find in you hardness.

Qur’an
48:29
—Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are
severe against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves.

Qur’an
98:6
—Verily, those who disbelieve (in the religion of Islam, the Qur’an and
Prophet Muhammad) from among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)
and Al-Mushrikun will abide in the Fire of Hell. They are the worst of
creatures.

Sahih Muslim 33—“I have been commanded to fight
against people till they testify that there is no god but Allah.”

Qur’an 5:51—O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the
Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you
takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not
guide the unjust people.

Sahih Muslim 4366—It has been narrated
by ‘Umar b. al-Khattab that he heard the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon
him) say: I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and
will not leave any but Muslim.

Qur’an 4:34—Men are in charge of
women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because
they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the
obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from
whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge
them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever
High, Exalted, Great.

Sahih Muslim 2127— . . . [H]e (the Holy
Prophet) entered the (house), and said: Why is it, O Aisha, that you are out of
breath? I said: There is nothing. He said: Tell me or the Subtle and the Aware
would inform me. I said: Messenger of Allah, may my father and mother be ransom
for you, and then I told him (the whole story). He said: Was it the darkness (of
your shadow) that I saw in front of me? I said: Yes. He struck me on the chest
which caused me pain, and then said: Did you think that Allah and His Apostle
would deal unjustly with you? . . .

Qur’an 2:223—Your women are
your tilth, so come into your tillage how you choose; but do a previous good act
for yourselves, and fear God, and know that ye are going to meet Him; and give
good tidings unto those who do believe.

Qur’an 2:282— . . . and
call in to witness from among your men two witnesses; but if there are not two
men, then one man and two women from among those whom you choose to be
witnesses, so that if one of the two errs, the second of the two may remind the
other . . .

Sahih al-Bukhari 2658—The Prophet said: “Isn’t the
witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?” The women said: “Yes.” He
said: “This is because of the deficiency of her mind.”

Qur’an
70:29-30
—And those who guard their private parts, except in the case of
their wives or those whom their right hands possess—for these surely are not to
be blamed,

Qur’an 4:24—And all married women (are forbidden unto
you) save those (captives) whom your right hands possess. It is a decree of
Allah for you. Lawful unto you are all beyond those mentioned, so that ye seek
them with your wealth in honest wedlock, not debauchery. And those of whom ye
seek content (by marrying them), give unto them their portions as a duty. And
there is no sin for you in what ye do by mutual agreement after the duty (hath
been done). Lo! Allah is ever Knower, Wise.

Sunan Abu Dawud
2150
—Abu Said al-Khudri said: “The apostle of Allah sent a military
expedition to Awtas on the occasion of the battle of Hunain. They met their
enemy and fought with them. They defeated them and took them captives. Some of
the Companions of the apostle of Allah were reluctant to have intercourse with
the female captives in the presence of their husbands who were unbelievers. So
Allah, the Exalted, sent down the Quranic verse, “And all married women (are
forbidden) unto you save those (captives) whom your right hands possess” [Qur’an
4:24]. That is to say, they are lawful for them when they complete their waiting
period.”

Sahih al-Bukhari 4200—Narrated Anas: The Prophet offered
the Fajr (morning) prayer near Khaibar when it was still dark and then said,
“Allahu Akbar! Khaibar is destroyed, for whenever we approach a (hostile) nation
(to fight), then evil will be the morning for those who have been warned.” Then
the inhabitants of Khaibar came out running on the roads. The Prophet had their
warriors killed, their offspring and women taken as captives. Safiyya was
amongst the captives, she first came in the share of Dihya Al-Kalbi but later on
she belonged to the Prophet. The Prophet made her manumission as her Mahr.

Al-Tabari, Volume 39, p. 185—Ibn ‘Umar [al-Waqidi] – Kathir b.
Zayd – al-Walid b. Rabah – Abu Hurayrah: While the Prophet was lying with
Safiyyah Abu Ayyub stayed the night at his door. When he saw the Prophet in the
morning he said “God is the Greatest.” He had a sword with him; he said to the
Prophet, “O Messenger of God, this young woman had just been married, and you
killed her father, her brother and her husband, so I did not trust her (not to
harm) you.” The Prophet laughed and said “Good.”

Al-Tabari, Volume
39, p. 194
—The Prophet admired Umm Ibrahaim [Mary the Copt], who was
fair-skinned and beautiful. He lodged her in al-Aliyah, at the property nowadays
called the mashrabah of Umm Ibrahim. He used to visit her there and ordered her
to veil herself, [but] he had intercourse with her by virtue of her being his
property.

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Qur’an in Context 1: “Fight Those Who Do Not Believe” (Surah 9:29)

Answering Muslims:

The Qur’an is filled with violent passages. Yet Muslims assure us that these passages, when read in context, are peaceful. In this video, we examine the historical, immediate, and extended literary contexts of Surah 9:29, which commands Muslims to “fight those who do not believe in Allah.”

Here are the Qur’an, Hadith, and Tafsir passage cited in the video:
Qur’an 9:28—O ye who believe! Truly the Pagans are unclean; so let them not, after this year of theirs, approach the Sacred Mosque. And if ye fear poverty, soon will Allah enrich you, if He wills, out of His bounty, for Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.
Qur’an 9:29—Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth, from among the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.
Qur’an 9:30—The Jews call Uzair a son of God, and the Christians call Christ the son of God. That is a saying from their mouth; (In this) they but imitate what the Unbelievers of old used to say. Allah’s curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth!
Qur’an 9:31—They take their priests and their anchorites to be their lords in derogation of Allah, and (they take as their Lord) Christ, the son of Mary; yet they were commanded to worship but One God: there is no god but He. Praise and glory to Him: (Far is He) from having the partners they associate (with Him).
Qur’an 9:32—Fain would they extinguish Allah’s Light with their mouths, but Allah will not allow but that His Light should be perfected, even though the Unbelievers may detest (it).
Qur’an 9:33—It is He Who hath sent His Messenger with Guidance and the Religion of Truth, to prevail it over all religion, even though the Pagans may detest (it).
Qur’an 5:51—O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other.
Qur’an 9:73—O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be unyielding to them.
Qur’an 9:111—Surely Allah has bought of the believers their persons and their property for this, that they shall have the garden; they fight in Allah’s way, so they slay and are slain.
Qur’an 9:123—O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness.
Qur’an 47:35—Be not weary and fainthearted, crying for peace, when ye should be uppermost.
Qur’an 48:29—Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are severe against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves.
Sahih Muslim 30—Muhammad said: “I have been commanded to fight against people so long as they do not declare that there is no god but Allah.”
Sahih Muslim 4366—Muhammad said: “I will expel the Jews and Christians from the Arabian Peninsula and will not leave any but Muslims.”
Sunan An-Nasa’i 3099—The Prophet said: “Whoever dies without having fought or having thought of fighting, he dies on one of the branches of hypocrisy.”
Sunan Ibn Majah 2763—The Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever meets Allah with no mark on him (as a result of fighting) in His cause, he will meet Him with a deficiency.”
Sahih al-Bukhari 6922—Allah’s Messenger said, “If anyone changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.”

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