Islam: An arduous and unnecessary journey in the 21st century.
This is a guest post by André the Kafir. André is a Midwest-based student studying astrophysics. This is his first piece about Islam.
What really irks me about Islam, and other religions, are the unnecessary complexities its followers have to grapple with. I think there might be a way for one to follow a half-moral version of Islam. Exempli gratia, Al-Baji, who was a Maliki scholar from Al-Andalus, made a strong argument that leaving Islam is not punishable, only treason against the Muslim empire is so (1). I am fully against the death penalty, regardless of the act, but I think that Al-Baji’s opinion is much more morally sound than what is formally and universally accepted in mainstream Islam today. There are other scholars, throughout history, who bore similar opinions to Al-Baji.
A similar discussion can be made about the acts of the Islamic State. Ali psychopathically burnt a group of Saba`is when they believed he was god (2). The Ottomans weren’t so merciful as well in their conquests in Europe and their public executions. Vlad the Impaler, who grew up among the Ottomans, was decapitated and his head was brought to Sultan Mehmed preserved with honey (3). Mansur Al-Hallaj was executed in public in Baghdad. Whilst alive, he was being cut into pieces and then his remains were burnt. He kept repeating “I am the Truth” as they kept cutting his arms, legs, tongue and finally his head (4). We also know about the brutal assassination of Ka`ab Bin Al-Ashraf as mentioned by Ibn Taymiyah in Al-Sarem Al-Masloul. The death of Ka`ab was succeed by the vicious killing of Abu Rafi`. Both assassinations were preapproved by Mohammad as they spoke against him and Muslims. It seems, therefore, that the actions of Kouachi brothers in France are perfectly justified in Islam.
There is a famous Hadith in Bukhari that clearly specifies that disfiguring others in war is unacceptable, as well as killing older men, women, and children. On the other hand, the famous blacklist of Mohammad contained women who weren’t even militants. Mohammad ordered their killings even if they were to cling to the Kiswah of Al-Kaaba. Their deaths were ordered because they spoke against Mohammad and Islam. Some of the women in the list were slaves, and the general ruling in Islam is that slaves have no free well in many of their actions. This is due to the fact that, many times, their actions are merely them following the orders of their masters…
Nota Bene: Abominable acts are ubiquitous throughout the history of Islam, even when Mohammad was still alive.
We could try to take a different side and say that Ibn-Abbas denounced the act of Ali when he burnt the Saba`is. Furthermore, even the famous Salafi Jihadi Sheikh, Al-Maqdisi, has been verbally opposed to IS (5). There are many stories in which brutal acts were denounced throughout Islam. One could therefore argue that there could be a valid and less violent version Islam.
Regarding the theory of evolution, the mainstream opinion today is that it is a major Kufr (apostasy) notion as it goes directly against the Quran. Al Jahiz, however, may have proposed evolution and natural selection more than a millennium ago (6). It doesn’t seem like anyone has labelled Al-Jahiz as Kafir. In addition to being a zoologist, Al-Jahiz was also a speaker of Al-Mu`tazila. There is possibly a non-trivial way to make Islam consistent with evolution…
But living like this, on a daily basis for a Muslim is utter non-sense. This is not life, trying full-time to patch up a malfunctioning religion brimming and proliferated with superseded claims and immoral rulings. And why should one even try to find the non-obvious…
After all, the Quran, and other texts, state many non-obvious, as well as erroneous, physical and biological claims as though they are obvious. The Quran sickeningly reiterates that its claims are intuitive and, therefore, “Allah” must exists. It expects us to ratiocinate in the “obvious” manner, so why should we even try the non-obvious approach in Fiqh and Aqeedah.
The reality is that nothing is ever obvious and the language of the Quran is absolutely alien to science. One plus one is not obviously equal to two and it didn’t have to be this way. It is not physically precluded that there could be a universe where one plus one is equal to three. There is absolutely no scientific or methodically rational claim that one should begin with “obviously” or “ألم يروا؟” or “haven’t they seen?”
The idea of god itself is rather troublesome. It feels very much like randomly picking up an explanation for the beginning of the universe among an infinitude of possibilities. It is arbitrary and unimpressive. The trouble with the god notion in the many religions that are plaguing the earth is verification. As proposed, the god of Islam is not really falsifiable and therefore cannot be tested. If the notion of god were to be reduced to simply “creator of the universe,” then we still have a big problem with causality and establishing a five-sigma experimental proof for god’s existence (as is normally required in experimental physics). If I were to perform a supernatural act, I cannot succeed it by saying therefore I am god. There is no such link that can be detailed with symbolic logic using valid premises. The idea of god is almost contradictory to causality and it is far more likely that something along the lines of a multiverse exists given that is consistent with causality and possibly testable…
1- الباجي، المنتقى شرح الموطأ، جـ 5 ص 282 (ط القاهرة 1332هـ)
2- The story was narrated by Bukhari 3017.
3- There are other variants regarding the death of Vlad.
4- Massignon: “Perspective Transhistorique.” Pg 79
6- Conway Zirkle (1941). Natural Selection before the “Origin of Species”, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 84 (1), pp. 71–123