24
Dec
07

Statements of Belief

As we live in a world full of stereotypes, ever more so today, we believe that it is fundamental that we first identify and clarify our statements of belief. Doing so will erase any prejudice and judgments that might easily prevail once we assign ourselves any label whatsoever.That being said, we are followers and believers of Islam. While there might not be many sects under the umbrella of Islam, there are however many different manners of belief and practice when it comes to Islam. We believe solely in the Quran, as all that was descended upon all the prophets and messengers of God mentioned in the Quran. While we do consider the Hadith and all other holy texts to be often essential in explaining and highlighting some points in the Quran, we do not however take them to be indisputable words of God.The Quran alone, as it has directly descended to us from God, is what we regard as the source of all Islamic teachings. We therefore can look to the Hadith from a cricitical point of view, agreeing and disagreeing with its constituents whenever we see necessary.The Hadith and other holy texts might help us understand the context within which Islam descended. We value context and see that while the Quran is a transcendent text and is applicable to any age or time, it is still important to study its historical context to better understand it as a whole. The Quran is indeed timeless, however, some of its verses served immediate purposes specific to the time in which it descended. Similarly, the Quran does not stand as the sole governing power and that while it contains all the general codes of life, we still do require other governing bodies to lay down the complicated and detailed rules needed to serve daily needs and to suit our times.

We believe:

Any sort of aggression projected upon innocent human beings is wrong. This concerns both Muslim and non-Muslim communities and organizations. Whatever be it the cause, the act of using innocent lives to gain any right or power is impermissible.

As we derive all our beliefs from the Holy Quran, we see that to be a Muslim requires first and foremost that one accepts and lives according to the ‘Righteous Path’ (6:151,152,153). This should not be reduced only to the 5 pillars of Islam, as so popularly accepted. Also, Being a Muslim does not require any of the teachings stated in the Hadith unless they are purely a reiteration of those previously mentioned in the Quran.

In this same light, we find it perhaps important to highlight several of the commandments of the Quran that are fundamental to the religion and that have unfortunately often been misinterpreted, wrongly explained, and falsely inherited. Namely,

  • Unlike Sunni and Shia laws that condemn any apostate to death for rejecting Islam, the Quran allows for absolute Freedom of Faith (2:256, 10:99; 18:29).

  • Unlike the popular misbelief that Islam allows raids and attacks on other non-Mulsim entities in the name of Holy War, we believe in the Quran that states that war is justified only in the case of self-defense, not in offense.

  • Unlike in popular Sunni and Shiia practice where polygamy is allowed freely and wrongly misused, we believe that polygamy was made permissible by the Quran only under certain circumstances, namely, marrying mothers of the orphans of the men who had died during the war (4:3). This was mainly inserted in the Quran to solve the problem of all the women who were left widows when there husbands did not return from battle. Otherwise, Monogamy is therefore the main marital status permitted by the Quran.

  • Unlike accepted Sharia practice that rules that any thief should be punished by having his/her hand cut-off, we believe that as in the Quran, thieves must not have their hands cut-off but should rather be made to work in order to return what they have stolen. There should not be one absolute ruling that decides the punishment for a thief for there are many conditions that might differ the ruling from one case to the other. The cutting-off of hands was identified in the Quran as the utmost possible punishment for theft, not as the sole and only punishment for every act of theft.

  • Unlike common belief, adultery is not punished by being killed or stoned (24:2). Its maximum punishment, for both man and woman, is a hundred lashes and that requires that there be 4 witnesses. In this same regard, any witness that falsely accuses another person of adultery is punished by 80 lashes. And above all this, the Quran still allows for forgiveness and mercy in some cases of adultery.

  • Unlike Sunni and Shia practices that have included many superstitious and non Islamic rituals within the requirements of the Pilgrimage, we believe that the Pilgrimage was made to cononorate the sense of togetherness and unity amongst Muslims and does not entail any specific acts or rituals (i.e stoning the devil or the touching of the black stone).

  • Unlike Sunni belief that forbids silk and gold to be worn on men and deem music, statues, dogs unlawful, we believe that in Islam, music, statues, gold and silk are lawful (7:3233, 16:116).

  • Unlike Sunni and Shia rulings that have allowed for the nurture of dictatorships and monarchs that have abolished any form of democracy, we believe that according to the Islamic teachings, government should be based on consultation and on the freedom of speech.

  • Unlike Sunni and Shia teachings that allow for abrogation of verses of the Quran whereby some verses can erase or replace any of the older verses, we believe that the Quran in its entirety is perfect and free of any contradictions. Any verse is included there for a reason and serves its own unique purpose.

This list is by no mean exhaustive, we are simply trying to clarify certain points of our belief system to avoid being categorized or stereotyped by the numerous of the false pretexts that surround Islam today. We believe in Islam’s coherent and flawless teachings, and though they might have been misinterpreted by some of Islam’s followers, this should by no means reflect the nature of Islam itself.



5 Responses to “Statements of Belief”


  1. December 25, 2007 at 7:10 pm

    The listing of some specific beliefs we, as Muslims, have, or should have, could be duly appreciated. Such beliefs are generally labeled as those of “moderate Muslims”. However, the introductory notes send confusing messages. While accepting the Quran as “the source of all Islamic teachings,” the Hadith and other so-called “holy” texts are also considered “essential” for explaining certain points of the Quran. The statement “the Quran does not stand as the sole governing power and that while it contains all the general codes of life, we still do require other governing bodies to lay down the complicated and detailed rules needed to serve daily needs and to suit our times” is totally confusing and misleading. What are these “other governign bodies”? This statement directly contradicts the Quran, which states that it is easy, complete, detailed and fully explained guidance for mankind (44:58; 54:17, 22, 32, 40; 39:27-28; 12:111; 16:89).

    The listed beliefs clearly demonstrate that there are things that are at variance with the Hadith, which ifso facto, means serious problems with the Hadith. So, why accept the Hadith as an “essential” complement? This is the problem with our modern Islamic scholars who portray Islam in a good light by tapping the best of traditions. However, the issue is not really about whether we choose between good and bad traditions; the issue is really about whether we can continue to rely on traditions that often misguide us. If we are believers in the Quran, we must also believe that the Quran provides us complete guidance, fully detailed and self-explained (references as above). Also, God says in the Quran that the Messenger is not responsible for explaining the Quran; the responsibility rests with God Himself (75:16-19). The Quran also states that the Prophet’s sole duty was to deliver this Book to mankind (5:67, 92, 99; 13:40 and more verses]: “But if ye turn away, then know that Our Messenger’s duty is only to deliver (the Message)” (5:92). What else do we need for our guidance? Do we need another book in addition to the Quran? Indeed God has made following the Quran binding (fard) on us (28:85). It is rather the Prophet who lamented to God that his people have treated the Quran as a forsaken thing: “The Messenger said: O my Lord! Surely my own people have treated this Quran as a forsaken thing” (25:30).

  2. January 12, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    Thank you for your interest in becoming a volunteer reviewer for the blog.

    I do see your point, but I’m not sure if this is going to be so easy on the reader.However, I know I will soon rewrite this post and I will take your suggestions into consideration.

    Thank you so much for your time, I appreciate your concern.


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