Since this blog was started last Ramadan, when my intention was to write a little every day on the subject of the Quran, it seems only fitting that this Ramadan I try again to do the same. It’s not a diary in the sense of focusing on something in my daily life, but rather in the sense of doing something every day, thinking and writing about the Quran during the month in which we remember and commemorate the revelation of this final Book of Allah.
Ramadan is a time of repentance, fasting, prayer and salat, and reading Quran. It is the premier month for thikr al-Hakeem which refers to the Quran. Islam and the Islamic world is at a crossroads, a time of transformation and self-examination. War is prohibited during this month, and it is supposed to be a month for showing compassion, yet we see the Muslim world under siege. The brutal dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad, backed by Putin’s Russia, is barrel-bombing whole neighborhoods of families, including women and children, all non-combatants. This is totally prohibited and is a horrific crime of mass murder, of innocents. It is pure oppression.
Yet Bashar is in name a “Muslim,” in fact of the “Alawiya” sect, which is an offshoot of the shi’a. Mubarak and now Sisi, the ousted and current dictators of Egypt, govern by murder, torture, and brutal oppression of innocents. Sisi has recently taken to barrel-bombing whole neighborhoods of his own citizens. He is creating an enmity between the armed forces and Egyptian citizens, wherein the police and armed forces have united to sexually humiliate and rape Muslim women in particular as a means of suppressing dissent against his corrupt, ineffectual, brutal, harmful, and economically ruinous rule to stay in power so there will be no longer a nation called “Egypt” as we know it. These are in name only Muslim. They use their Muslim names to dupe their victims——who are entire civilian populations of large, important nations——into obeying or at least acquiescing to their rule.
But the path of Allah prohibits such acquiescence. True “jihad,” not the beheading or suicide-bombing of innocents over matters of personal choice, but struggle in behalf of justice and freedom of choice, is enjoined on all Muslims genuinely capable of it, utilizing whatever resources they have. The idea of killing “non-Muslims” as “jihad” is nonexistent in the Quran. War is only allowed as actual defense against an aggressor, or in defense of basic human rights and freedoms against oppressors, including oppressive regimes. Actual governance is required to involve “shura” or mutual discussion and consultation. This means free and fair elections as the means of selecting a ruler, and it means no Islamic ruler can be self-proclaimed, brought to power by inheritance, or seize power against the will of the people or by stealth. The famous Sunni/Shi’a rift was caused by disobedience to these rules, which are actually divine commandments. The Quran warned against “munafiqeen” or hypocrites, and these dictators are absolutely hypocrites.
The Quran also warned against taking as guidance any writings, book, or other source other than the Quran, and now we can see clearly what has happened. Muslims overall have abandoned the Quran, except for use as a good luck charm or magic token placed on a shelf or high place to bring blessings to the room. But to read it? Wha?
Instead, endless sayings attributed to Prophet Mohammad are taken as guidance, to where people have more erroneous notions about their religion than actual faith in the actual message sent down to them as guidance. The so-called “hadeeths” often sound sort of good or at least harmless, written in a style that sounds religious to the uneducated Arab ear. Those who have knowledge of the Quran should easily know better. Yet we find many sheikhs referring to hadeeths to interpret the Quran. The gist of these hadeeths varies sharply from the Quran in certain obvious ways, which I shall delineate tomorrow insha’ Allah.