Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Malaysia's Ex-PM Mahathir Stirs Up Hadith Controversy

Dr. Mahathir Mohammad, the ex-prime minister of Malaysia who is credited with transforming his country into an Asian Tiger economy,  recently made a controversial speech about the Hadith, the sayings of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

Here are a few excerpts of what Dr. Mahathir is reported by Malaysia's FMT news to have said last week at a conference in Putrajaya:

1. “We seem to have rejected the Quran in favor of the Hadith"

2. “The teachings, or the performance, or the traditions of the Prophet come after he had been given the message of Allah, which is recorded in the Quran.”

3. “Between the two (Quran and Hadith),  it is obviously the Quran that is superior.”

4. “Allah is merciful and compassionate. One who is merciful and compassionate would not enjoy stoning people to death.”

To put the above quotes in perspective, let's consider the following:

1.  The words of the Holy Quran were meticulously recorded and preserved in writing by the companions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) during his lifetime in the 7th century AD. However, the Hadith collections were compiled two centuries later by Persian scholars who lived and died in Khorasan (now Uzbekistan) and Persian (now Iran).

2. Many scientific studies have shown that honest people routinely make mistakes in recalling what they have directly seen and heard in person. Sahih Muslim and Sahih Bukhari were compiled in 9th century by people who were distant from the source in both time and space. They relied entirely on long and complex chains of narrations for their work.

3. There's an old communications game, telegraph, that's played in a circle as a communication class exercise. A message is whispered around from person to person. What the exercise usually proves is how profoundly the message changes as it passes through the distortion of each person's inner "filter."

As we ponder over the above, let's deal with the suggestion to leave such matters to the "religious scholars". Should we really? Haven't we been doing it for centuries?

Leaving it to the "religious experts" has clearly not helped the Muslim ummah. It is widely believed among watchers of Islam and Muslims that taqlid is responsible for the end of the Golden Age of the Islamic Civilization (800-1100AD) and continuing decline since then, particularly in terms of the sciences and the arts.

The Holy Quran tells its readers repeatedly to seek knowledge, think, reason and reflect on our own. Afala Ta'qilun, Afala Yatadabbarun, Afala Tatafakkarun, Afala Tubsirun and similar verses appear over 700 times in the Holy Book of Muslims, far more often than exhortation to salat (prayer), zakat (charity) and saum (fasting).

To rise again, let us Muslims do what Allah commands us to do in The Holy Quran: Learn, think, reason and reflect on our own to draw our own conclusions.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Rise and Fall of Islamic Civilization

The Prophet I Know

Muslims Have Few Nobel Prizes

Riaz Haq's Ramadan Sermon

Ibn Khaldun: The Father of Modern Social Sciences

Quaid-e-Azam Vision of Pakistan Inspired by Misaq-e-Madina

Obama Speaks to the Muslim World

Lost Discoveries by Dick Teresi

Physics of Christianity by Frank Tipler

What is Not Taught in School

How Islamic Inventors Changed the World

Jinnah's Pakistan Booms Amidst Doom and Gloom


Mohammad said...

True Hadiths are the interpretatoin of the Holy Quran but their are some Hadiths which are "Zaeef". The thing is if a Haidth is in conflict with any verse in the Quran, which shouldn't be the case, then the Holy Quran truely is superior and should be consulted.
I like the idea of not doing Taqleed. muslims should be open minded and shouldn't consider anyone but Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as their ideal. With true reason and judgment, i think we can solve our problems even political ones.

Abdul said...

Mahathir has always critize Muslim extremists. His daughter is a member of Sisters in Islam which always fight for the rights of Muslim women.
Mahathir outlawed the entire Al Arcam movement. Nobody dare to touch Muslim institutions except Mahathir.
Mahathir even dare to go against the Sultans (The Elites of the elites). The nine sultans are now under the law because of him.

Once 2 Malay girls was detained by Muslim clerics after they had won a beauty contest. Mahathir and his daughter condemmed the Muslims cleric. Telling them that they should spend more time to help fix the so many social problem facing Malay Muslim youth instead of catching people not wearing tudung or catching unmarried couple holding hands etc.

Mahathir is always speak out against Religious symbolism. That is why his wife do not wear tudung.

Anwar wife on the other hand wears tudung.

Rizwan said...

This is a difficult issue that is going to take some time to sort out. I think the long term solution is not to get into debates about the relative importance of Quran and Hadith, etc. Even those who use Hadith-based fatwas will never disagree that the Quran takes primacy over the Hadith. In addition, there are multiple schools of thought, both Sunni and Shia, with different opinions on these matters. The only long term solution to this problem is to have a nonbiased constitution based on general Islamic principles like equality and justice. Issues of worship should not be covered by public law, so eg. not wearing hijab, not growing a beard, not going for Jum'a prayer or not praying 5 times a day, should not be punishable offences. They should be considered private matters under the general Quranic principle of, "there is no compulsion in religion', ie not only is no compulsion in choosing your religion, but there is no compulsion in how you follow your religion. For specific public crimes, people would have the option of being tried in secular court or Shariah court of their choice. Muslims understand that Shariah punishments are "payment" for the crime committed, thus receiving the punishment has an absolving power, and the crime is considered to be forgiven by God if the Shariah punishment is given, provided the court proceedings were held in a fair and just manner. Whether Shariah court proceedings are fair or not is an entirely separate issue. The issue of 4 witnesses for a rape allegation is a travesty of justice, since that requirement is for an accusation of adultery, not rape. If someone accuses someone of adultery, they have to produce 4 witnesses to support that allegation. But if a woman (or nowadays even a man) accuses someone of rape, that is an entirely different issue.

S Qureshi said...

Ghulam Ahmad Pervez has written a number of books on this subject. He published a magazine Tolu e Islam from Lahore, where he also gave weekly Dars-e-Quran.


Anwar said...

Quran is understood through the lense of Hadith.Those people who have neither read enough of hadith or hadith sciences may make such fantastic claim. Each verse has to be understood in context and context is provided by hadith predominatly , seerah, otherwise you may reach the same foolish conclusion that Islamophobe try to imp-ose by translating verses out of context.
Taqlid and dogma are for faith and religion for science and knowledge inquisitiveness and questioning are necessary, no ulema ever told not to qestion , new ijtihad have been taking place daily what has been shut is that for fiqh you have to follow in sunni islam prescribed method of deduction. Hanafi school gives precedence to quran the hadith the hadith is graded as per a certain doctrine then follows deduction based on these primary sources, now you can not change and say that another primary source is west sensibility so legalize homosexuality .
As for ijtihad whole new islamic finance is based on ijtihad, classical positon was that Juma can only be established by islamic state when Britishers enslaved India the highest ulema said that Juma can not be prayed as there is no Muslim sovereignty left but every Zaid , Bakar Omar did ijtihad and prayed juma lo and behold it is now being prayed everywhere.One of classical position was that at least 40 people should attend then only congregation will be valid lo and behold in most places in west juma started with even 2 or 3 person and there are hundreds example of continuous ijtihad those who lament closure of ijtihad and taqlid they mean in their heart of heart that they should be able to import western Godless civilization in toto in muslim world in the name of ijtihad that must include interest based economy , total sexual freedom, licence for debauchery pronography , (it is free speech dear) going naked abusing sacred things and of course religion should only be some sort of celebration and not a constant connection with your creator. The contrast in both culture is clear in the west life night is Club , theater, opera booze dating and debauchery, in Islam it is praying , Isha and Tahajjud remebering your lord, reflecting on your deeds and asking forgiveness loving yor lord so much that you every night have a date with Him and rejoicing in Him.

Riaz Haq said...

#Islamic scripture is not the problem, #US should not fund dissident #Muslims like Ayan Hirsi Ali. #Islamophobia http://brook.gs/1BsSS53

Some Muslims have cited Scripture to justify violence, and some have cited it to justify peace. If Scripture is a constant but the behavior of its followers is not, then one should look elsewhere to explain why some Muslims engage in terrorism. And if Islamic Scripture doesn’t automatically lead to terrorism, then one should not expect the reform of Islam to end terrorism. Indeed, even the ultratextualist followers of the self-proclaimed Islamic State ignore Scripture that is inconvenient for their brutal brand of insurgency.

Consider the Gospels, Scriptures that advocate far less violence than the Koran or the Hebrew Bible. Jesus taught his followers to turn the other cheek. Yet the crusaders murdered thousands in their rampage across the Middle East, and U.S. President George W. Bush, a devout Christian, invaded Iraq without military provocation. Readers may object to these examples, arguing that other factors were at play—but that is exactly the point: Christian Scripture doesn’t always determine the behavior of its followers, and the same goes for Islamic Scripture.


The faulty causal chain is the biggest flaw in Hirsi Ali’s essay, but there are others. Even assuming that the liberal reform of Islam would help reduce terrorism—and indeed, few outsiders would complain if the majority of Muslims decided that some of the harsher passages of their Scriptures weren’t relevant to modern life—the picture Hirsi Ali paints of lonely Muslim dissidents trying to start an Islamic reformation is not accurate. A liberal reformation of Islam has been ongoing for two centuries; the problem is that it has faced some stiff competition.

As with the Protestant Reformation, there is a conservative reform movement in Islam today that competes with the liberal reformers. Foremost among the conservatives are the ultraconservative Salafists—Islam’s Puritans. They want to scrape off all the foreign accretions, such as Greek philosophy, that have attached themselves to Islam over the centuries and go back to a supposedly pure version of the faith. One big reason the conservative reformers have won the day so far is that some governments, especially the wealthy states of the Persian Gulf, have sponsored the ultraconservatives. Because rich Muslim governments have put their thumbs on the conservative side of the scale, Hirsi Ali wants the United States and other Western countries to do the same on the liberal side.

There are many problems with this approach. For one thing, the United States has laws against promoting one set of religious beliefs over another. Before 9/11, the U.S. government refused to fund programs that gave preference to one sect over others or a more tolerant version of a faith over a less tolerant form, although there was some wiggle room for secular programs, such as science education, overseen by religious institutions. Better, officials argued, to promote human rights and freedoms without the trappings of religion. But after the attacks, the U.S. government began to make a few exceptions to this long-standing tradition by funding some Muslim institutions overseas to promote pluralistic versions of Islam. For example, the U.S. Agency for International Development mission in Indonesia funded a group that put pluralistic messages in religious sermons delivered by women and sponsored a radio show about religion and tolerance. That’s not quite what Hirsi Ali wants—the programs didn’t repudiate parts of Islamic Scripture or seek to reform the religion wholesale—but it’s close.


Riaz Haq said...

Why Sir Syed loses and Allama Iqbal wins in #Pakistan? Rationalists vs Traditionalists. #Islam http://tribune.com.pk/story/504576/why-sir-syed-loses-and-allama-iqbal-wins-in-pakistan/ …

Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy's Op Ed on Sir Syed and Allama Iqbal:

In Tahzib-ul-Akhlaq, he writes: “Yes, if the Mussulman be a true warrior and thinks his religion correct, then let him come fearlessly to the battleground and do unto Western knowledge and modern research what his forefathers did to Greek philosophy. Only then shall our religious books be of any real use. Mere parroting and praising ourselves will not do.” (“Apnay moon mian mithoo kahney say koee faida nahin”)

In his mind, the way forward was clear: Indian Muslims must learn the English language, practice the scientific method, accept that physical phenomena are explainable by physics only, and support British imperial rule against the rule of Mughals (who had by then sunk into decadence and depravity). This last piece of advice made him a target of bitter ridicule by secular nationalists such as Jamaluddin Afghani.

Sir Syed accepted the Holy Quran as divinely revealed but he frequently reminded his readers of Islam’s forgotten rationalist (Mutazilite) tradition, as in the works of Averroes. He proposed a radical reinterpretation of the Holy Quran to make it compatible with science and modernity. Among other matters this involved understanding miracles, which science cannot accept as factual. Sir Syed therefore explained the Great Flood, as well as various miracles of Jesus, to be purely allegorical and symbolic. He also interpreted Islamic laws as actually forbidding polygamy and amputation of limbs. Quite expectedly, his claims provoked a furious reaction from the ulema of the time and he was decried as a heretic.

Sir Syed’s writings are all in Urdu and, whether or not one agrees with him, his clarity in supporting modernity and science is manifest. Equally, his remedies for social reform are clear and unambiguous. On the other hand the Allama’s only serious prose is to be found in English, and he leaves key questions unanswered or ambiguous. At times, to revive Islamic civilisation, Iqbal appears to call for a return to the sword. But at other times he stresses the enhancement of khudi — a sophisticated philosophical construct roughly describable as self-esteem. This construct, however, has a plethora of interpretations. Does it belong to the physical world? Will more khudi bring more order or more anarchy?

Iqbal’s politics, routed through his soul-stirring poetry, is the real reason why he is Pakistan’s supreme icon today. In his epic poem shikwa, like Samuel Huntington, he frames the world exclusively in terms of us-versus-them and the superiority of one civilization over all others. His pan-Islamic mard-e-momin belongs to the ummah and this perfect human aspires to martyrdom: shahadat hai matloob o maqsood-e-momin. Like a falcon, the mard-e-momin is a fighter and above worldly desire: tu shaheen hai basera kar paharon kee chatanon main. These verses can be found in Pakistan Army magazines, on its recruiting banners, and are sung with great fervour.

Iqbal, unlike Sir Syed, leaves the gap between science and religion unbridged. He takes no explicit position on miracles. On the contrary, he asserts that, “Classical Physics has learned to criticise its own foundations. As a result of this criticism the kind of materialism, which it originally necessitated, is rapidly disappearing.” But no real physicist can take this statement seriously. Even with the discovery of quantum physics — which superseded and improved upon classical physics — the description of observed physical phenomena requires nothing beyond material causes. In the battle for Pakistan’s soul, Sir Syed’s rational approach ultimately lost out and the Allama’s call on emotive reasoning won. Iqbal said what people wanted to hear — and his genius lay in crafting it with beautifully chosen words. Unfortunately, his prescriptions for reconstructing society cannot help us in digging ourselves out of a hole.

Riaz Haq said...

Remembering Dr Shakeel Auj: The man who wasn't afraid

The loss of a rebel
Dr Shakil Auj was a man who enjoyed and encouraged difference of opinion. Every Eidul Azha, he used to carry out the qurbaani ritual together with Mufti Muneebur Rehman, who currently heads the Ruet-i-Hilal Committee.

The two were friends, but at the same time, had differing viewpoints on various subjects when it came to religion. Dr Auj would bring up so many points of disagreement in a single conversation that Mufti Munib once joked with his eldest son, saying, “Tum apnay abbu jaisay na banna!” (“Please don’t become like your father!”).

Dr Auj’s eldest son Hassan recounts that his abbu’s life revolved around asking questions about everything. He said his father had the tenacity to stick to his own argument if he had researched upon it and believed in it no matter how contentious it may be. He was someone who wouldn’t give in just because other experts held a different opinion. It was on the basis of his research that he came up with conclusions that would put off many clerics and religious scholars.

“My father was of the opinion that Muslim women can marry men who are not Muslims. He was of the opinion that Islamic war (jihad) is strictly supposed to be defensive in nature; it can never be offensive in character. He used to say that natural disasters are basically acts of nature, not results of the wrath of God. He used to say that Ramazan is about the self-restraint of an individual and it doesn’t befit the spirit of the month to close down shops and eateries by force during daytime,” recalls Hassan, while talking about what made his father different from so many others in Pakistan who have studied and researched upon Islam.

In his earlier years, Dr Auj was appointed as a ‘khateeb’ at several mosques. His family says he was dismissed from service at most of these mosques and was even banned from entering one when he didn’t tow that mosque’s hardline stance. “Haath pakar ke mimbar se le jaaye gaye thay abbu (They took abbu’s hand and removed him from the pulpit)”, Hassan says with a smile.

Hassan particularly recalls a time when a group of students approached his father and a girl among them asked, “Sir hum dance kar liya karain? (Sir, is it okay if we dance)?” To which he replied, “Haan kar liya karo, khushi ke mauqay pe tou sab dance kartay hain (Yes, one's allowed to dance. Everybody dances when they are happy).”


Riaz Haq said...

There's an old communications game, telegraph, that's played in a circle. A message is whispered around from person to person. What the exercise usually proves is how profoundly the message changes as it passes through the distortion of each person's inner "filter."


Riaz Haq said...

How #Muslim Governments Impose Ignorance, intellectually impoverish minds via censorship #Pakistan #Islam #Blasphemy http://nyti.ms/1M7oouA

These censors like to think that by protecting believers from dangerous ideas they are doing a great favor to Muslim societies. They are doing the opposite. Their thought-policing only helps enfeeble and intellectually impoverish Muslims: When Muslim minds aren’t challenged by “dangerous” ideas they cannot develop the sophistication needed to articulate their own...
This willful closed-mindedness is not an inherent feature of Islam. A thousand years ago, Muslim societies were open and curious, while Christian Europe was insular and fearful of “blasphemy.” Aristotle’s books were translated and studied in Baghdad and Córdoba, and banned in Paris and Rome. No wonder the Muslim world was then the home to groundbreaking discoveries in science, medicine and mathematics. In theology, too, Muslim thinkers like Ibn Rushd, also known as Averroës, developed sophisticated arguments that would inspire Christian thinkers like Thomas Aquinas — thanks to the Muslim engagement with Greek philosophy.
Today, many Muslims, including those who censor books or punish “heretics,” long for that “golden age of Islam” and lament that our civilization is no longer great. Few seem to realize, however, that the greatness of Islam was made possible thanks to its openness to foreign cultures and ideas. The Muslim world began to stagnate and then decline after the 13th century, as this cosmopolitanism was replaced with self-isolating dogmatism. In the meantime, Europe flourished as Europeans began to think more openly.
The Muslim world today is in a state of malaise. Muslim societies are underdeveloped in science, technology, economics and culture. This will be overcome only with more freedom. Progress depends on more Muslims questioning whether policies that promote ignorance are really devised to protect their faith — or to protect the power of those who rule in its name.

Riaz Haq said...

Textual analysis reveals less violence, more forgiveness in #Quran than #Bible. #Islam #Christianity #Judaism

Those who have not read or are not fairly familiar with the content of all three texts may be surprised to learn that no, the Quran is not really more violent than its Judeo-Christian counterparts.

Personally, I’ll admit that I was a bit surprised that the concept of ‘Mercy’ was most prevalent in the Quran; I expected that the New Testament would rank highest there, as it did in the concept of ‘Love’.

Overall, the three texts rated similarly in terms of positive and negative sentiment, as well, but from an emotional read, the Quran and the New Testament also appear more similar to one another than either of them is to the significantly “angrier” Old Testament.

Of course, we’ve only scratched the surface here. A deep analysis of unstructured data of this complexity requires contextual knowledge, and, of course, some higher level judgment and interpretation.

That being said, I think this exercise demonstrates how advanced text analytics and data mining technology may be applied to answer questions or make inquiries objectively and consistently outside of the sphere of conventional business intelligence for which our clients rely on OdinText.

I hope you found this project as interesting as I did and I welcome your thoughts.


For instance—and not surprisingly—“Jesus” is the most unique and frequently mentioned term in the New Testament, and when he is mentioned, he is mentioned positively (color coding represents sentiment).

“Jesus” is also mentioned a few times in the Quran, and, for obvious reasons, not mentioned at all in the Old Testament. But when “Jesus” is mentioned in the New Testament, terms that are more common in the Old Testament—such as “God” and “Lord”—often appear with his name; therefore the placement of “Jesus” on the map above, though definitely most closely associated with the New Testament, is still more closely related to the Old Testament than the Quran because these terms appear more often in the former.

Similarly, it may be surprising to some that “Israel” is mentioned more often in the Quran than the New Testament, and so the Quran and the Old Testament are more textually similar in this respect.

Old Testament is Most Violent

A look into the verbatim text suggests that the content in the Quran is not more violent than its Judeo-Christian counterparts. In fact, of the three texts, the content in the Old Testament appears to be the most violent.

Killing and destruction are referenced slightly more often in the New Testament than in the Quran (2.8% vs. 2.1%), but the Old Testament clearly leads—more than twice that of the Quran—in mentions of destruction and killing (5.3%).

New Testament Highest in ‘Love’, Quran Highest in ‘Mercy’

The concept of ‘Love’ is more often mentioned in the New Testament (3.0%) than either the Old Testament (1.9%) or the Quran (1.26%).

But the concept of ‘Forgiveness/Grace’ actually occurs more often in the Quran (6.3%) than the New Testament (2.9%) or the Old Testament (0.7%). This is partly because references to “Allah” in the Quran are frequently accompanied by “The Merciful.” Some might dismiss this as a tag or title, but we believe it’s meaningful because mercy was chosen above other attributes like “Almighty” that are arguably more closely associated with deities.

Riaz Haq said...

A Saudi Morals Enforcer Called for a More Liberal Islam. Then the Death Threats Began.


JIDDA, Saudi Arabia — For most of his adult life, Ahmed Qassim al-Ghamdi worked among the bearded enforcers of Saudi Arabia. He was a dedicated employee of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice — known abroad as the religious police — serving with the front-line troops protecting the Islamic kingdom from Westernization, secularism and anything but the most conservative Islamic practices.

Some of that resembled ordinary police work: busting drug dealers and bootleggers in a country that bans alcohol. But the men of “the Commission,” as Saudis call it, spent most of their time maintaining the puritanical public norms that set Saudi Arabia apart not only from the West, but from most of the Muslim world.

A key offense was ikhtilat, or unauthorized mixing between men and women. The kingdom’s clerics warn that it could lead to fornication, adultery, broken homes, children born of unmarried couples and full-blown societal collapse.

For years, Mr. Ghamdi stuck with the program and was eventually put in charge of the Commission for the region of Mecca, Islam’s holiest city. Then he had a reckoning and began to question the rules. So he turned to the Quran and the stories of the Prophet Muhammad and his companions, considered the exemplars of Islamic conduct. What he found was striking and life altering: There had been plenty of mixing among the first generation of Muslims, and no one had seemed to mind.

So he spoke out. In articles and television appearances, he argued that much of what Saudis practiced as religion was in fact Arabian cultural practices that had been mixed up with their faith.

There was no need to close shops for prayer, he said, nor to bar women from driving, as Saudi Arabia does. At the time of the Prophet, women rode around on camels, which he said was far more provocative than veiled women piloting S.U.V.s.


The Unexpected Reformer

The first time I met Mr. Ghamdi, 51, formerly of the religious police, was this year in a sitting room in his apartment in Jidda, the port city on the Red Sea. The room had been outfitted to look like a Bedouin tent. Burgundy fabric adorned the walls, gold tassels hung from the ceiling, and carpets covered the floor, to which Mr. Ghamdi pressed his forehead in prayer during breaks in our conversation.

He spoke of how the world of sheikhs, fatwas and the meticulous application of religion to everything had defined his life.

But that world — his world — had frozen him out.

Little in his background suggested that he would become a religious reformer. While at a university, he quit a job at the customs office in the Jidda port because a sheikh told him that collecting duties was haram.

After graduation, he studied religion in his spare time and handled international accounts for a government office — a job requiring travel to non-Muslim countries.


Kaust followed the precedent of Saudi Aramco, the state oil company, which had also been shielded from clerical interference, highlighting one of the great contradictions of Saudi Arabia: Regardless of how much the royal family lauds its Islamic values, when it wants to earn money or innovate, it does not turn to the clerics for advice. It puts up a wall and locks them out.

Most clerics kept quiet out of deference to the king. But one member of the top clerical body addressed the issue on a call-in show, warning of the dangers of mixed universities: sexual harassment; men and women flirting and getting distracted from their studies; husbands growing jealous of their wives; rape.

Riaz Haq said...

Sharia law compatible with human rights, argues leading barrister
In 2008, Rowan Williams, archbishop of Canterbury, sparked controversy when he appeared to suggest that sharia law should be more widely adopted.

A leading barrister has called for the UK to become more sharia-literate, while arguing that Islamic law can be compatible with the toughest human rights legislation.

Sadakat Kadri told the Guardian that so-called "sharia courts", such as the Muslim arbitration tribunal, were good for "the community as a whole" by putting Sharia on a transparent, public footing and should be more widely accessible to those who want to use them.

Kadri said they played a role in safeguarding human rights: "It's very important that they be acknowledged and allowed to exist. So long as they're voluntary, which is crucial, it's in everyone's interests these things be transparent and publicly accessible. If you don't have open tribunals, they're going to happen anyway, but behind closed doors."

Top five sharia myths

That amputation is a typical punishment for theft in Muslim countries

Of the world's 50 or so Muslim-majority states, only about half a dozen allow for amputations and at least one of those countries – Pakistan – has never carried out the penalty in practice

That veiling is mandatory under sharia law

Women are simply advised by the Qur'an to wear modest clothing and – like men – to lower their eyes and maintain their chastity

That suicide bombing is permissable under sharia law

Most interpreters of the Qur'an understand it to forbid suicide. The first suicide bombing by Muslims was carried out in 1983 during the Lebanese civil war

Stoning is mentioned in the Qur'an

Stoning is not mentioned as a punishment in the Qur'an. It was institutionalised on the basis of hadiths (reports about Muhammad) which were themselves not written down until more than a century after his death

Capital punishment for apostasy is mentioned by the Qur'an

The Qur'an repeatedly warns believers who abandon their faith that they will have to account to God in the afterlife, but it does not provide for their punishment on earth. Again, it was hadiths that later served to justify the death penalty


Riaz Haq said...

Einstein: "Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind"


Riaz Haq said...

#Saudi Prince: #Arabs Have 'Wronged #Islam And Distorted The Image Of #Muslims'


Arabs have "wronged Islam and distorted the image of Muslims," Saudi Prince Khaled Al-Faisal warned in a speech this week. The prince said Muslims should "not allow colonialism to return, or for divisions to prevail."

The prince's remarks were brief and did not reference any recent events in the Arab world. It's unclear what he was referring to, but his comments come as the Islamic State group has carried out terror attacks against Muslims across the Middle East and as Saudi Arabia is locked in a struggle against Iran for influence over the region.

"I do not envy anyone who stands to speak on behalf of Arabs today. We have wronged Islam and distorted the image of Muslims," Prince Saud, who has served as foreign minister of Saudi Arabia, said during the opening remarks at the 15th Arab Thought Foundation conference in Abu Dhabi. The theme of the event was: "Arab Integration: The Gulf Cooperation Council and the United Arab Emirates."

"Excuse me if my candor is painful, but the wounds are glaring," he added. "Arise Arabs, wake up Muslims, do not allow colonialism to return, or for divisions to prevail."

In July, Saudi officials accused the Islamic State group of bombing the holy city of Medina, the site of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad's tomb and his house, in an attack that killed four security officers and injured five others.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman has urged Muslims to unite against an epidemic of "extremism." But earlier this year, Saudi Arabia's top religious authority, the Grand Mufti, said Iran's leaders were not Muslims. Saudi Arabia and Iran represent opposite sides in Syria's civil war and other Middle East conflicts, including Yemen. Saudi Arabia cut off relations with Iran in January after its embassy was attacked in Tehran.