Sunday, 29 July 2012
"Rivers that flow beneath"
The rivers are described as having water, milk, wine and honey:
47:15 Is the example of Paradise; that the righteous have been promised with rivers of pure water, and rivers of milk whose taste does not change, and rivers of wine that are delicious for the drinkers, and rivers of strained honey, and for them in it are all kinds of fruits, and a forgiveness from their Lord; like that of those who abide in the Fire, and are given to drink boiling water that cuts-up their intestines?
The rivers (l-anhāru) (or the Jannatin) contain fruit (thamaratin) as provision (riz'qan) (2:25 - see "minha" and query the masculine/feminine sing/plural preposition)
2:25 And give good news to those who believe and do good works that they will have jannātin with rivers flowing beneath. Every time they receive of its fruit, they say: "This is what we have been provisioned before," and they are given its likeness. And there they will have pure spouses, and in it they will abide.
Generations from before had these rivers flowing beneath them:
6:6 Did they not see how many generations We have destroyed before them? We granted them dominance over the land more than what We granted you, and We sent the clouds to them abundantly, and We made rivers flow beneath them; then We destroyed them for their sins, and established after them a new generation.
Pharaoh had rivers that flowed beneath him:
43:51 And Pharaoh proclaimed among his people: "O my people, do I not possess the kingship of Egypt, and these rivers that flow below me? Do you not see?"
Friday, 14 October 2011
When I feel like using the term “Quran Alone-ism” or “Quran Alone-ness”, I just use the term Quranism. It is pretty much the same thing.
Quranism is the belief that the Quran is the sole divine source of islam. Quranists are muslims who follow Quranism.
I wondered though, due to my over-active mind, whether there is a difference between being a Quran Alone muslim and a Quranist muslim.
The term “Quran Alone” can be taken very literally, or not.
Red Carpet example
If you take it to mean nothing but Quran Alone then what you will have is a set of beliefs where ALL other sources of guidance are discarded and taken to be not right. For example if I tell you my carpet is red but you do not see it stated explicitly in the Quran, then this could be rejected as incorrect according to the belief that the only legitimate facts comes directly from the Quran.
Now of course this is a absurd demonstration of taking the meaning of words to their extreme and absolute limit.
What follows is some of the different types of Quran Alone-ness (Quranism)
A. Some who claim to follow the Quran Alone for their religion usually follow what is in fact “Translations of the Quran Alone”
This could be one particular translation by a preferred translator or a more un-biased attitude where a number of Quran translations are compared side by side.
B. Some who declare to follow the Quran alone don’t “label” themselves as “Quran Alone muslims” or “Quranist muslims”, choosing to state that they are simply muslims. This may be either due to concerns that giving a descriptive term to their belief that the Quran has the sole authority might imply they had become part of a sect OR due to present day Sunni Islam (usually referred to by those Muslims as “Mainstream” Islam*) critical of the Quranist viewpoint, leading usually to excommunication of those who turn from the Mainstream view to the Quranist view. Some of these Quran Alone muslims do not profess to deny all Hadiths, merely the ones that go counter to the Quran. This can allow more integration into the “cultural” aspect of Islam, where some translations of Quranic verses can be utilized to justify some of the cultural or traditional understandings of Islam. For a convert to Islam who does not have any familiarity of the cultural/traditional associations of Islam it can be a daunting mission to try to make these associations using the Quran alone.
* Quranists refer to Mainstream muslims as “Traditionalists” due to “Mainstream” being defined as such only due to majority numbers. If Quranism (the belief that the Quran is the sole source of islam) became the belief held by the majority of Muslims then the term “Mainstream” would become less clear.
C. Some Quran Alone muslims – typically self proclaimed Quranists, (the ones who do welcome the usage of the term as a no-nonsense tool to assist communication) tend to concentrate on trying to weed out the true meanings of the original Arabic with the intention of understanding the Quran as a whole by not taking verses out of context. Some use a methodology of investigating the Quran thoroughly, investigating the words used with the belief that "the Quran explains the Quran". Their belief is that every solitary word of the original Arabic Quran is there to enlighten, give examples and parables and make the Quran clear; THE Divine Guidance. Usually for this type of approach, a very open mind free of all previous pre-conceptions or projections from the Traditionalist view is required. Context, Arabic vocabulary and grammar all have a huge role in proceeding with this kind of study which consequently results in “evolving beliefs” as the student takes on his individual journey of enlightenment with a deeply personal engagement with the text. This kind of investigation is done by some Quranists using literally the Quran alone or with the assistance of study tools such as Classical Arabic dictionaries, Quran Concordances and online Quran databases. It could be argued whether these so-called tools are classed as Non-Quranic Sources (NQS) or simply tools or study aids.
Usually, all “Quran Aloners”, “Quran Alone muslims”, “Quranic muslims” and “Quranists” are labelled indiscriminately as “Hadith Rejectors” (see Quranist’s response to this term) by those who disagree with the principle that the Quran can be c without the recognition of the Authentic Hadith compilations. Rejection of Hadith can mean rejecting the Authority of the Hadith or the Authenticity of it. In Quranist terms, to reject the Authority of a hadith means to acknowledge that the Quran has not mentioned this piece of information. To reject the Authenticity of a hadith means a belief that the information is simply not true.
Read more / see the original article at Quranists.net
Sunday, 11 September 2011
Read more at quranistvoices.wordpress.com
9/11 and the Formation of a Quranist Identity
Today is the anniversary of 9/11. 10 years have passed since the day I stood in my parents living room, staring at the impossible images on TV. I had a gut feeling then that life as we knew it was about to change. I remember saying to another Quranist a few laters that ‘the twin pillars of civilisation’ had come crashing down’. Whoever perpetrated 9/11 didn’t matter. What mattered was that now there were more believers in the ‘global Islamic threat’. Many, many more.
Ten years have now gone by. Afghanistan was invaded, then Iraq. 7/7 happened in London and we don’t know where it will all end. It all seems beyond our control but we must remember that everything comes from Allah and can, despite their difficulties, be a boon.
Being a Quranist does not dissociate me with the problems of Islam. On the contrary, I am now charged with the question ‘if the Quran doesn’t preach terror, why are there Islamic terrorists’. It’s a fair question. After all, it’s not like the terrorists are simply nominally Muslim. No, no, lets be honest here. They claim to be jihad-ing for Islam! They try to speak for Islam and Muslims everywhere.
However, Islam, like any human civilisation, has a variety of adherents. There is Traditionalist Islam (Sunni and Shia), Mystical Islam (Sufi), Puritanical Islam (Wahabi) and of course, us – Quranist Islam. We are a type of Islam.
Today, I was given the honour of speaking at the South African Quranic Conference where I spoke about ‘The Formation of the Quranist Identity’. I do believe that the Quranist Identity will be a powerful tool to stop the slow descent of Islam into Islamofascism. The ‘Quranist space’ is a space where free thinking is allowed, even encouraged. Free thinking is something Islamofascists fear because it unravels their lies.
Our job now as Quranists is to nurture this space to allow its ideas to take root in the Ummah. Please see the rest of my presentation here:
Formation of a Quranist Identity A:
Formation of a Quranist Identity B:
Wednesday, 27 July 2011
A few days ago I found a great, easy to use program that lets you create animated videos simply and quickly. I used this software myself to make some Quranism Awareness type videos for helping to dispel the misconceptions about islam as described by the Quran, Quranism and Quranists. You can watch them here
Today I was very disappointed by what I saw in this FB group. It seems that the same program I used (“goanimate”) is being used by some Quranist Fundamentalists to monger hate and intolerance towards Traditionalists (they refer to them as “Hadithers”) and the links to their versions of the videos were posted in the said group.
It is hugely disappointing and bitterly ironic that the message of peace, tolerance and inclusiveness that the Quran teaches is found nowhere in these videos. This not only undermines the work that Quranists are doing to promote the vision of Quranism, but also creates a false first impression / perception of association or collaboration. Although Quranist Fundamentalists (QFists) are considered by Quranists to be within the description of what a quranist is (one who holds a belief that the Quran is the sole divine source of islam) this does not in any way mean that QFist views speak on behalf of Quranists or all quranists’ beliefs. To anyone who doesn’t know the terminology it might sound confusing but it is not. Basically the term Quranist Fundamentalist is a term which is described here. You can see a striking difference in the mentality and attitude of such an approach. This does not make QFists any less believers in God and the Quran and only God knows what is in the hearts. The approach of Quranists is simply not the not same as the approach of Quranist Fundamentalists. The fact that the same animation software has been used to create videos and that the Quran is being discussed in them can lead people to make false assumptions.
Basically I am saying, even though I, Asfora, made some cute animated videos which were intended to help to spread a positive and welcoming message for quranists, new muslims, reverts and converts, I do not want people to see the other videos which contain rudeness, insults and prejudice and think that I have anything to do with them or that they are videos that Quranists.net or QNet TV will ever promote.
I, as a Quranist, do not support this mentality of intolerance and hatred towards a generalized group of people. I do not support the use of vulgar and obscene language in videos which are supposed to be inviting to the path of God. I do not want to be associated with this at all. I personally find it tasteless, juvenile and disgraceful. We are to invite to the path of God and debate in the best way. Rude, insulting, sarcastic videos only seek to repel. We need to remember to humble ourselves and purify our intentions, inshaaAllah.
It is very difficult for me to make this disassociation crystal clear if videos from the Quranist Network TV channel are being promoted on Quranist Fundamentalist sites and Youtube channels. Unfortunately there is no way to stop people adding YouTube uploads onto their channel as part of a favourites list or Playlist. After all, people have the same right to use the software as anyone else. I am sure there are other people using “goanimate” to make anti-islam vids too or anti-Quran vids, and if there are not yet, then there no doubt will be soon.
I trust that readers and viewers will be able to detect from the type of content contained in videos whether it is promoting a Quranist attitude or a Quranist Fundamentalist attitude, and will not conflate one with the other. And also to remember that a video on an individual’s personal Youtube Channel does not mean that the author of the video has the right to speak on behalf of the views of any group. Each person is an individual and is responsible for their own content.
I hope I have made my point clear, inshaaAllah. Any questions, comments on this, please ask in the comments below.
Special thanks also to Marisa who also made a wonderful animated video here : Telling your parents about your conversion to islam . It was a pleasure working together with you on this, maashaaAllah. And thanks also to Yasin who generously bought the upgraded version of the software for us to use.
Read more at quranistvoices.wordpress.com
We hope to be able to continue working together to bring more animated videos focussing on Quranism, and reverts and converts in the future, inshaaAllah.
Tuesday, 26 July 2011
Read more at quranistvoices.wordpress.com
Responses to Critics – responding to Sheikh Feiz
Sheikh Feiz’s video, called ”The Quranists – The Importance of The Path of Rasulullah” has invited some reactions from the Quranist community. Although Sheikh Feiz received a mixture of ad-hominem attacks and disapproval on his original Youtube video comments, the points Sheikh Feiz makes in his attack on Quranists in his video are addressed and discussed methodically in these well-evidenced rebuttals. This 3 part video responding to Sheikh Feiz’s claims on the Quranists Network TV Channel (QNet TV) leaves no stone unturned. This blog post is another refutation of SheikhFeiz’s allegations.
Read more at quranistvoices.wordpress.com
Why roots are super-awesome
This is a rant. This post is angry. If you’re a happy unicorn folk, go away. Shoo!
Why are roots of the Arabic/Quranic language so super-awesome? Simply because they are the foundation of that language we’re supposed to know about in order to understand the Quran. I’m not saying you need to know Arabic to read Quran, but I’m saying you need the REAL Arabic to read Quran, whether you can actually read/speak Classical Arabic language or not.
Actually, the “Qurano-Arabic” language is dead easy and 100% consistent. We just don’t see it that way because it hasn’t been fully documented although many scholars and researchers wrote so much about the Quranic language. Now, now, don’t turn your back! If you want to read the Quran, you’ll need logic, a clean heart, and yes, you will need to know what words mean.
You want to trust the words in translations? Well, these words were transformed into other meanings thanks to HADITH, your biggest enemy yet again. (Wow, it keeps striking back like in a Comic! Darn!)
No, you don’t need to take Arabic lessons. I know so many who study the Quran without being able to speak Arabic, but rather to speak “Quran-ic”, this is because Arabic itself does not even fit in the Quran.
So before you mock our need to re-evaluate the “Qurano-Arabic” language, please go get a life and then maybe re-consider your decision. We’re not trying to ruin the Quran, we’re trying to reestablish a sane method of reading it. Now, is that so bad?
You can go whore for your translators all you want. It will never be REAL Arabic, just fake, hadith-based sad and pathetic Arabic.
Again, we, oh so humbly, apologize for trying to understand the Quran in an alternative way. Oh, so sorry! But we’re not going to stop, so get over it and buy a puppy or something.
Read more at quranistvoices.wordpress.com
Race to the finish – reading Quran in Ramadan
I just saw a Question on Yahoo Answers
“What is the most times you have completed the Quran in Ramadan?
I see many who complete it more then once mashaAllah. I have only been able to complete it once in the month, but this year I hope to try and complete it twice. But I don’t want to be one that reads with out taking it in, that is more important after all.
Allah knows best”
My Answer : Salaam Aleykum. I am a Quranist. I think the mindset of judging piety on how many times it is read and how fast within a given period is contrary to the teachings of the Quran. Maybe some like to be seen to be able to read it at record speed. I know there are some people who read Quran every day little by little all year round not just during Ramadan. You can look at 17:106 which mentions “gradually” and 20:114 which mentions about being “hasty” specifically with the Quran. 23:68 mentions about “pondering” . Reflecting on the Quran is mentioned here: 4:82; 47:24; and 59:21; 17:78-79 and 38:29 mentions reflecting on the book. and these verses mention reflecting on the Ayats 2:266; 30:21; 38:29; 45:13 . So I think you hit the nail on the head – it’s more important to read and understand and “take it in” than to rush through to finish it without pausing for thought.