Journeying With The Qur’an

إنَّكم لا ترجِعون إلى اللهِ بشيءٍ أفضلَ ممَّا خرج منه يعني القرآنَ

“None of you will return to God with something better than that which came from Him (in other words, the Qur’an).”Abu Dharr al-Ghifari, al-Targhib wa al-Tarhib

Poetic.

Islamic Reformation – Why It Continues To Fail

“The only universally accepted dogma in the modern world is the rejection of tradition.” — William Chittick1

Until the call (and the callers) for a so-called Islamic reformation moves beyond its craven commitment to a totalizing and unprincipled commitment to the rejection of all tradition it will neither be taken seriously by the bulk of the Muslim community nor will it bring any benefit to Muslims, which is where it reveals its lack of authenticity: Muslim scholastic endeavors (fiqh, Shari’ah, spiritual rumination, etc.) have always primarily focused on bringing benefit to the Children of Adam by centering God’s pleasure as the aim of its objective. And while we can argue, debate, and interrogate these endeavors and ask whether they’ve achieved their goals, the sincerity of these men and women trying to follow and please their Lord and Master ﷺ is not.

What’s telling about the so-called Islamic reformist movement is that they are more akin to those desert Arabs who opposed the Prophet, but not necessarily God: They could accept that there was a god, even The God (Allah), but that He would have a Messenger would could have earthly authority? That they fought against. So in the same vein, while the so-called Islamic reformers reject the authority of the Prophet, they still in some manner attempt to affirm the Qur’an as a valid and (somewhat) authoritative document, by means of appealing to its transmission: “The Qur’an is mutawatir” many will say, the definition of which is meant that the Book’s transmission and dispersement — with such range and authenticity — that its truthfulness, at least as pertains to its contents, is beyond question from a Muslim perspective. What’s ironic is that the same transmission and dispersement is reliant upon the very same men and women who have transmitted the hadith, or the Prophetic traditions, which would (inconveniently?) challenge many of their so-called reforms.

If the Muslim reformists wish to be taken seriously by the majority of Muslims then they should prioritize benefit and authenticity if they hope to come across as genuinely concerned for the well-being of the Muslim community, versus looking for ways to blackmail the religion to achieve (perceived) social gains.

ما جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لِرَجُلٍ مِن قَلبَينِ في جَوفِهِ

“God hasn’t placed two hearts in any man’s chest.” Qur’an 33: 4

Resources

1. Chittick, William C. Science of the Cosmos, Science of the Soul: The Pertinence of Islamic Cosmology in the Modern World. Oxford: One World. Pg. 19.

More Thoughts on Reza Aslan and Historical Hadith

On August 13th, Reza Aslan, scholar of religions and professor of creative writing at the UC Riverside, posted a tweet stating that all hadith were, “created to justify orthodox behavior”.

reza-aslan-hadith

To this I posted a rebuttal of his comment,

This is why Reza Aslan is a source of misguidance for Muslims. He utters statements of kufr. Sorry if this hurts.

Since the nature of social media is in itself somewhat difficult to speak clearly I decided to clarify my intentions and points with a short video. Enjoy,

The Sweetness of the Qur’an

In a hadith transmitted by Sa’id ibn ‘Ubaydah, from Qutadah from Anas, from Abu Musa, from the Prophet,

في الصحيح  من حديث سعيد عن قتادة عن أنس عن أبي موسى عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: المؤمن الذي يقرأ القرآن ويعمل به كالأترجة طعمها وريحها طيب والمؤمن لا يقرأ القرآن ويعمل به  كالثمرة طعمها طيب ولا ريح لها ومثل المنافق الذي يقرأ القرآن  كالريحانة ريحها طيب وطعمها مر ومثل المنافق الذي لا يقرأ القرآن كالحنظلة طعمها مر أوخبيث وريحها مر

“A believer who recites the Qur’an and acts according to it is a like a citron, whose taste and scent are excellent (tayyib). A believer who does not recite the Qur’an but still acts upon it like a fruit whose taste is sweet but has no odor. The likeness of the hypocrite who recites the Qur’an is that of an herb whose odor is sweet but whose taste is bitter. The likeness of the hypocrite who does not even recite the Qur’an is like a bitter melon, whose taste is bitter and whose odor is foul.”

Recorded by Imam al-Bukhari, noted in al-Qabisi’s al-Risalah al-Mufassilah l’Ahwal al-Muta’allimin wa A’hkam al-Mu’allimin wa’l Muta’allimin, A Epistle Concerning the Conditions surrounding Students and the Rules Governing Teachers and Students Alike.