It takes a nation to protect the nation
This is part of a discussion over at Islam Watch. As I've come across a couple of koran-only muslims (who I have managed to reject islam altogether), I think it is worthwhile that people be aware of the phenomenon, and know how to tease out the problems with this position.
http://www.islam-watch.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=ar... Rise of the Quran-only Muslims
To pious and devout Muslims, the Quran and the Sahih (authentic) Hadiths (Prophet Muhammad’s sayings and deeds) forms the foundation of Islam. Neither of them is questionable. But the Quran-only Muslims – a rather modern brand of Muslims – who constitute only a minuscule proportion of the global Muslim population, claim to accept only the Quran as the foundation of Islam. To them, Hadiths have no relevance to Islam and should not be consulted in defining Islamic theology.
These Quran-only Muslims started appearing in the 19th-century colonial age and more in the last couple of decades. After the Western powers – having suffered the scourge of Islamic Jihadi aggression and violence for a millennium – hit back and gradually spread their colonial rule over the Muslim world, they faced a couple of serious challenges from the Muslim populations of those lands.
Europeans, in the face of persistent Islam-inspired Jihadi aggression on Europe, had been studying Islam for many centuries, but the above-mentioned two issues they faced in their Islamic colonies prodded them into taking a close look at Islam again. And this time, they had unfettered access to all the sacred Islamic texts and other literature, and historical documents to make a more appropriate judgment on Islam.
As a result, for the first time, the weak points of Islam – its command for unrestrained Jihad aggression against the infidels and to oppress the dhimmi subjects, its oppression of women, its polygamy and slavery etc. – came in for criticism like never before. Previously, critical literature had been produced in Europe, often not so accurate and detailed because of limited access to sacred Islamic texts, and their circulation was limited amongst Christian readers in European territories only. In the colonial age, this new and more research-oriented and scholarly critical literature were also freely distributed in Islamic lands.
So, Muslims, for the first time, were faced with literature, critical of their religion, which showed Islam as a violent, oppressive, and even barbaric religion. And these aspects of Islam are most clearly evident in the Hadith, not so much in the Quran – because in Hadiths, Prophet Muhammad’s actions and deeds are vividly described, while the language of the Quranic verses is often vague, and also there are verses in the Quran that says opposite things on certain issues.
In other words, the Hadith (and Sira) description of the events of the Islamic prophet's life and actions are undeniably transparent, which present Islam as an irrefutably violent, oppressive, and barbaric religion. At least, its prophet is depicted as such. No Muslim can deny or refute that. But, since the Quranic verses are often vague and also say opposite things on certain issues, Muslims could interpret the vagueness of the Quranic verses or use only the favorable set of verses (ignoring the other set that says opposite things) to their advantage and try to show Islam differently from what the Hadiths present it as.
In sum: 1) Hadiths present Islam as irrefutably violent, oppressive, and barbaric; 2) the Quran is vague and contradictory, which allows Muslims to interpret its verses to a meaning that helps them to show Islam as not violent, oppressive, and barbaric.
Rashad Khalifa: Leading 20th-century Quranist,
who was assassinated by enraged Islamic
zealots for distorting Islam
And there arose the Quran-only Muslims for the first time after nearly 1,000 years of Islam. And in the age of globalization today, when Islam is under most intense scrutiny, their ranks are growing faster than ever. They take only the Quran as the sole foundation of Islam. Since Hadiths present Islam as violent, oppressive, and barbaric – they want to discount them or dissociate them from Islam. Distortion of the Quran’s messages by Quranists
To be added that the Quran itself is not sufficient to show Islam as a civilized and peaceful religion. The Quran is cluttered with verses, inciting violence, oppression and discrimination, which portray Islam as a violent, oppressive, and barbaric religion. So, what these Quranist Muslims do about those verses. They take recourse of lies and deception to translate those verses or interpret them deceptively so as to make them appear to mean what they don't, often exactly the opposite.
The leading Quranist of the 20th-century was Egyptian Islamist Rashad Khalifa, based in the USA, who obtained a Master's Degree in Biochemistry from Arizona State University and a PhD from University of California. (see his website, submission.org). He translated the Quran into English and wrote many articles to justify every civilized things Islam disagree with. His messages distorted Islam so badly that it enraged devout Muslims to the extent that they shot him to death in 1990.
Quran-only or semi-Quran-only?
This brand of Muslims, who proudly claim to be Quranist, or Quran-only, are not Quran-only at all. For example, how Islamic rituals, such as how prayers, fasting, hajj etc., must be performed cannot be deduced from the Quran. The Quran even does not say that prayers should be five times a day. According to Quranic description, prayers should be, at best, 3 times a day. Muslims pay 2.5% of their excess income as zakaat, but the Quran does not specify zakaat as 2.5%. If Muslims have to depend on the Quran alone to practice Islam, they have to discard all these foundational rituals of Islam. And without these rituals, Islam would be nothing. The Quran-only Muslims perform these rituals by referring to extra-Quranic texts only, which, they claim, have no relevance to Islam. So, they are obviously not Quran-only Muslims. In their practice of Islam, they shamelessly use extra-Quranic texts, such as the Hadith, which they try hard to discredit.
Apart from these foundational rituals of Islam, they also use Hadiths, whenever a saying or action of the prophet described in them present him as a good, generous and noble person. For example, they will often say, "The Prophet Said: Go even to China for gaining knowledge" – which itself is a lie and forgery, as this so-called Hadith is not found in any Sahih Hadith collections.
They only disagree to those references in the Hadith that show Prophet Muhammad and Islam in a bad light. Quran-only or Quran-opponent?
To the Quranists, i.e. Quran-only Muslims, only the words of Allah in divine verses of the Quran are inviolable and sacred to Muslims. Islam should be defined in reference to Allah words, i.e. in reference to verses of the Quran only. To them, Prophet Muhammad was only a human being, appointed to transmit Allah’s words to mankind for guiding their life. So, Prophet Muhammad’s personal actions and sayings have no relevance to Islam. In other words, Prophet Muhammad’s sayings and deeds have no place in defining Islam.
But if Muslims have to agree to Allah’s words, i.e. if they agree that what the Quran’s verses command forms the inviolable foundation of Islam, they cannot dissociate reference to Prophet Muhammad’s personal sayings and deeds from the foundation of Islam. For example, many verses of the Quran command Muslims to follow Allah (i.e. Allah’s words in the Quran) and His Messenger (i.e. Prophet Muhammad). I quote below a few such verses:
There are many more verses (see 3:32; 4:14,59,69; 5:92; 8:1,46; 9:71; 24:47,51–52,54,56; 33:33; 47:33; 49:14; 58:13; 64:12), in which Allah commands Muslims to obey Allah and His Messenger Muhammad. So, obeying what Prophet Muhammad said, recommended and commanded has the same importance in forming the foundation of Islam as obeying Allah’s commands in verses of the Quran. So, if Muslims think that what Allah’s words in the Quran say forms inviolable foundation of Islam, then they must obey Prophet Muhammad’s personal recommendations and commands too. And Prophet Muhammad's recommendations and commands are found in the Hadiths (and Prophet’s biographies) only. So, by rejecting the Hadiths, the Quran-only Muslims discard one-half of Islam.
In sum, the Quran repeatedly says: "Obey His (Allah’s) Messenger" – i.e. Prophet Muhammad. But the allegedly Quranist Muslims say: "Do not obey Allah's Messenger". In other words, Quran-only Muslims’ central idea goes against a central idea of the Quran. In other words, the so-called Quran-only Muslims are actually Quran-opponent in their most important claim about Islam that Prophet Muhammad’s personal sayings, commands and deeds have no relevance to Islam, but the Quran (aka Allah) says that Prophet Muhammad’s personal sayings, commands and deeds are integral to Islam. Quran-only Muslims: Moderate or Charlatans?
The above description defines the so-called Quran-only Muslims in accurate terms. Are they moderate or charlatan Muslims? The best description would: they are "hypocrite" Muslims, because 1) they claim that they are Quran-only, but liberally use non-Quranic texts in their practice of Islam; 2) they claim to be Quran-only, but they reject the Quran’s repeated command to “Obey Allah’s Messenger”.
Are they moderate Muslims? It's a very hard to define. These Muslims are highly educated, are fully aware and inspired by the modern humanistic ideals, and are not at all strict in following Islamic rituals, such as praying five times a day. They will also audaciously disregard the Quran’s command of not taking infidels as friends; in blatant defiance of Allah verdict that "infidels are the worst beast" (8:55), they will believe that infidels could be excellent human beings, even better than Muslims.
One may call these brands of Muslims moderate. And they are likely to be involved in interfaith dialogue etc. But the accurate description of them is: they are the most shameless hypocrites and liars amongst Muslims, who contradict, oppose and break all of the central claims of their own and of Islam without any compunction.
I had a realisation about koran-only muslims last night.
Of course, the first thing is, they are liars. They are so ashamed of the evidence contained in Ibn Ishaq/Hadiths (such as Mohammed being a child-murderer), that they want to consign this evidence to irrelevance. However, as PP used to point out, koran-only muslims are an impossibility (they don't even know when Ramadan is, except by following hadith-using muslims).
However, the response to them can be even more powerful. These are people who claim the koran is the start and the end of islamic doctrine. This means, they reject the (maybe mythical) Pact of Omar, which confers dhimmitude on non-muslims. The story goes, that Omar realised that if they continued with the genocide carried out by Mohammed, there would be nobody but muslims i.e they would lose all their slaves, etc.
So Omar introduced dhimmitude. This was a modification of Mohammed's koranic doctrines. The koran ends with chapter 9, which commands muslims to "kill the unbelievers wherever you find them."
Thus, those muslim liars who claim they are koran-only, are in fact saying that the last word in islamic doctrine, is that all non-muslims must be killed. They are saying that they reject dhimmitude and promote genocide.
Nice one :-)
One of the things Peter Pedant used to point out, was that koran-only muslims cannot know when to celebrate Ramadan. I came across this list (presumably from Peter Townsend's book "Questioning Islam"). Here he lists trivial things which are supposedly fundamental to islam which are not in the koran, and things which are in the koran which the Qusilings tell us are Nothing To Do With Islam.