Wednesday, 27 July 2011

When tools fall into the wrong hands

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.

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. :)

Read more at quranistvoices.wordpress.com
 

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Responses to Critics – responding to Sheikh Feiz

Responses to Critics – responding to Sheikh Feiz




July 26, 2011 by Asfora Leave a Comment (Edit)




 
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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

Why roots are super-awesome




July 25, 2011 by revolutionpsyche 1 Comment (Edit)




 
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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

Race to the finish – reading Quran in Ramadan




July 25, 2011 by Asfora 4 Comments (Edit)




 
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I just saw a Question on Yahoo Answers


What is the most times you have completed the Quran in Ramadan?


Asalam Alaikum

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.

Read more at quranistvoices.wordpress.com
 

Friday, 22 July 2011

Is Dawah Counter Productive?

Is Dawah Counter Productive?

This is a question from Yahoo Answers which has since been deleted, but here is my reply

Is Dawah Counter-Productive?

my reply:

From a Quranist point of view dawah or inviting to the path of God means revealing what is in the Quran, truthfully and not concealing it with falsehood. Islam as described by the Quran appears to be quite different from Islam as described by traditional narrations. So yes it could be said that encouraging people to read the Quran for themselves is counter productive to Traditionalist Islam, though of course not counter productive to the point of Dawah which is to invite to the path of God. Unfortunately in Traditionalist Islam, any verses from the Quran too often have to be used out of context and with lots of words inserted in brackets to try to make it fit with the Traditionalist approach, and then buried under long lists of narrations (not from the Quran) which are considered to be explanations of the Quranic verses.  Though to be fair this only seems to happen once the Dawah is completed and a new convert has decided to embrace Islam, but by this point ( in theory) the new convert still has the option to decide which approach to islam they are going to take – Stick with Book A or be led away from Book A, convinced it is too holy for mere mortals to understand and directed towards the hadith collections.  It’s not really a choice a new convert is encouraged to make as discussing approaches seems to be a little on the “taboo” side. Of course no-one in their right mind would recommend shiaism if they were a sunni and vice versa.

Quranist Islam or Quranism tends to view the the Quran as its own best explanation and Quranists believe the Quran is the sole divine source of islam. Inviting to the path of God by inviting them to read the Quran in context in a language they understand is not counter-productive to the Quranist vision or counter productive to anyone seeking the Truth. I am not saying the Traditionalist approach is all bad, not at all, as it seems that many Traditionalists are turning to a more Quranist-type approach anyway, albeit often by ignoring the fact that some narrations are marked as Sahih (authentic) even though they contradict the Quran. Not everything is black and white and I think there is some kind of “zone” merging Quranism and Traditionalism too where narrations that don’t contradict the Quran or that can be reasonably backed up by an interpretation of the Quran are used and people find inspiration in such statements – ones that are positive and inspire goodness, kindness and a humble attitude, and emphasise “Tawheed” the oneness of God. I don’t see anything bad about that at all.

Read more at quranistvoices.wordpress.com
 

What you need to know before converting to islam

What you need to know before converting to islam

There was a recent question on Yahoo Answers :

“As a woman what do I need to know about converting to being muslim?

I am currently christian and have been all my life. I’m willing and ready I just do not know were to start although I must admitt that im alittle worried about the reaction of others about my decision.”

My reply:
Salaam Aleykum – Peace be upon you! I am a muslim Convert. I would say one of the things I think people should be aware of before they convert to islam is that there are many different approaches to islam. Traditional Islam, for example, is not based solely on the Quran. I am a Quranist muslim which means I believe the Quran is the sole divine source of islam. The likelihood is, when you convert to islam, if you do, inshaaAllah (God Willing) is that you will be taught Sunni Islam (Traditional Islam, Mainstream Islam)
You might want to find out more about Hadiths and their origins, and not just their authenticity but also what authority they hold in islam not only from Traditionalist point of view but try to also find out what the Quran itself says about Hadiths. You can use an online Quran and do a search for the word “hadith”.
Unfortunately Islam is being sold as a package deal these days. To be considered a “valid” muslim you cannot accept just the Quran on its own, you must accept all the hadiths too. If you reject the hadiths, this is quite a big deal and you may find yourself made to feel “outside” the fold of Islam. There are a lot of hadiths which do not contradict the Quran and which DO have their basis in the Quran – it’s likely you will be taught these first. The problem is that the hadiths sometimes contradict each other and often either have no basis in the Quran or even in some cases contradict the Quran.
The good news is that there are many muslims including a very high percentage of converts that think ex-communication is an unfair way to treat sincere believers who also believe that the Quran is the Holy Word of God and that the hadiths, whilst a rich source of information, are not divinely inspired. Should you decide to follow a more Quranist type approach, you would be very welcome to join the Quranists Reverts and Converts Support Network on Facebook . I would recommend giving the Sunni approach a trial first though so you can have first hand experiences of the teachings of Traditional Islam. Don’t get me wrong, there is a LOT of good in Sunni islam as well as in Shia islam, and most of the followers of the Traditional kind that I have ever met are sincere friendly honest kind and good people. May God guide you (inshaaAllah – God Willing) and make your journey pleasant and rewarding. God Bless.
Read more at quranistvoices.wordpress.com
 

Marrying a Revert

Marrying a Revert

Here is a question about Marrying a Revert on Yahoo Answers

This is the question:

I want to marry a ” reverted to islam ” girl ?

i am a muslim guy and i always had a dream of marrying a ” revert to islam ” girl from another culture for so many reasons , i believe that reverted are the most believer of islam , i envy them , sure iam grateful to God i was born as a muslim but i see that reverted had the chance to choose they leave there old life and pay a high cost and face alot of Obstacles in there way to become a muslim , i know its a very great feeling to choose islam and work for it , i wish i was reverted and choose islam by myself , but iam grateful to god for what iam anyway ,also as i can see from few friends its the best to have a Partner from another culture , the relationship is very very rich


so my question is : my dream is that i want to marry a reverted girl from different culture but it seem that it is diffcult to meet and know anyone in my country as i live already in a muslim country ” Egypt ” , i think it the time to marry now , so do i keep looking for what i want or i just stop looking and just marry a muslim girl from my country ?


also am i wronge and shallow in this thinking ? to put these rules in my searching ? or iam right to try to find what i dream of ,what i want and what i see it the best or me or what ?


what do u think ? also if u have any ideas about where i can meet reverted girl tell me ?


My reply:

Salaam Aleykum

There are thousands of Reverts and Converts to Islam. You just have to know where to look! One of the risky things though about Reverts / Converts is that they are undergoing an intense spiritual journey and learning about Quran and Islam. The danger of studying the Quran is that it highlights how much out of sync SOME OF the hadiths are with the Quran. This inevitably leads to the Revert being very wary of hadiths in general and wanting to verify their authenticity and authority. When they study the Quran, this leads to them having some insight about islam as described by the Quran itself which may appear to be VERY different from Islam taught in some Traditional circles which is often very much hadith based. So if you have your heart set on marrying a revert, you may wish to consider finding out more about the Quranist approach to islam which is one of the naturally preferred approaches for Reverts and Converts AFTER they have become disillusioned with contradictions and dogma within Traditional Islam. No offense intended. Just trying to give the best advice I can, inshaaAllah, speaking as a Quranist Revert myself. (I am already married btw) Also bear in mind possible language barriers and / or possible differences in culture, if the revert is from a different country. It may seem exotic at first but once the novelty wears off, you may find it difficult to bridge the gaps. If you meet someone, who fills the criteria of being a Revert Muslimah, be honest, sincere and realistic about your expectations of her as a future wife and find out hers about you as a future husband. Be very aware that Reverts (new ones especially) on a spiritual journey may not yet have settled into 1 closed set of defined beliefs and may still be seeking the truth and their beliefs can evolve with time. Changes of beliefs even though they still believe in the Quran and 1 God does not mean they will always conform to what YOUR personal interpretation / understanding / expectation of what Islam is. InshaaAllah you will have many very deep, philosophical and thought provoking discussions with your bride-to-be. I wish you all the best and much happiness inshaaAllah.
Read more at quranistvoices.wordpress.com
 

Quranists and Division

Yahoo Answers – Quranists and Division

If quranists were more common would there be even worse division?

it appears that every single quranist would be a different sect or even religion by the looks of it.

for example in that question the quranists couldnt agree on something as fundamental as salaah, with some saying its 3 times per day, some saying 5, and even saying that they dont believe in doing ritual “sit ups”.

even with fasting, they couldnt agree on when to fast. same with hijab, dating etc it seems they only agree on rejecting hadith.

it seems that if 1 billion muslims became quranist, then we would have 1 billion sects.

what do you think? agree or disagree?

just a point i want to bring up because i see some quranists criticizing what they see as sects and all muslims not on their methodology, but it seems that approach is sectarian anyway and just creates even more sects.

Read more at quranistvoices.wordpress.com
 

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Quran Study Tips

Thanks to Mushu and Wakas for this info:

Suggestions ... How to Study Quran  http://free-minds.org/quran/PM/A01 If you would like to hone in on a particular topic, try


And use the Topics Index on the links on the left. This will give a nice overview of topics covered in quran and give you verse references. For example, if you wanted to know how quran addresses the concept of retribution, scroll down to 'R', click 'Retribution' and all the relevant verses will come up.

Or, you could do a word search to see if there is any mention of it in quran.

If you would like to compare translations, try the following:


or


You may have your own favourite, but I tend to use the above.

Quranix.com and other quran translation comparison sites are not always the best to get the flow of an entire passage, as there are many breaks and you have to keep going to a new page every 5 or so verses. It is important to identify context, flow and theme of a quranic passage for it to give guidance. Many translations will have several verses regarding a particular theme, and then out of the blue a verse will appear about something completely different. To help me with getting a feel of what a passage is saying and identify where translators may have mistranslated a verse, I like using http://quran.com/ and unselect everything on the left except Sahih International translation which is truest to the Arabic I've seen (but again this is down to preference). You can then read an entire passage and reflect on the overall theme and flow of the message without excess lines of commentary/translations. Where a verse talks about something which doesn't seem to fit with the flow of the surrounding verses, you may wish to investigate further.

Once you've decided on the verses you wish to study using the above links, and have compared translations and tried to get a feel for the theme and flow, you can start analysing the words in more detail.

For this, use:


Choose the verse and start looking at the way the words have been translated. The site allows you to click any word and get a short analysis of it. It also allows you to check the occurrences of the word in the quran. If you click on a word and find that every other occurrence is translated exactly the same way, you can be fairly confident that it is correct. Where you find that the same word is translated differently in different verses, you may have reason to suspect that something fishy is going on. The above site is also the most powerful for identifying where translators are inserting and twisting words. Many times you will find words in a translation that is simply not there in the Arabic, or very simple prepositions like 'with', 'of', 'to' and 'from' are twisted to give the verse an entire different meaning. If you see a word that you suspect is mistranslated, and you've checked the occurrences and you're not satisfied, you should make note of the root letters of that particular word given in the analysis. With the root letters at hand, you should reference a classical Arabic dictionary to see what the possible meanings of the word really are.

Once you have the root letters of the word you wish to study, visit:


This is a Quran concordance, grammar and dictionary in one. It is primarily based on the classical Arabic Dictionary called Lane's Lexicon. It's not necessarily the best, but it's certainly the most accessible for us English speakers on the Internet and considered very reliable. Click on the first root letter along the top and scroll down to the sequence you're interested in. What you should find is possible meanings of the word that all revolve around a particular root meaning. You can then reflect on which words would best fit in with the verse in question and also whether it would fit in with other verses that use the same word.

These and more Quran Study Tips at the Qnet forum  http://www.quranists.net/forum/index.php?topic=71.msg372#msg372


Saturday, 2 July 2011

Quranists Response to Critics - Abu Usamah 1

Amplify’d from www.youtube.com
Responses To Critics - Abu Usamah 1

Farouk A. Peru responds to Shaikh Abu Usamah Adh Dhahabi's views about Quranists and clears up misconceptions about Quranists' beliefs.

Point 1. Predicting the future, versions of the Sunnah, Sunni and Salafi, Bida'a / Innovation

Point 2. How to enter Paradise


More information about Quranists on http://quranists.net

Visit the Quranist Voices blog http://quranistvoices.wordpress.com

The original Shaikh Abu Usamah Adh Dhahabi video is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKsDRzU1KPk


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Responses To Critics - Abu Usamah 1

Farouk A. Peru responds to Shaikh Abu Usamah Adh Dhahabi's views about Quranists and clears up misconceptions about Quranists' beliefs.

Point 1. Predicting the future, versions of the Sunnah, Sunni and Salafi, Bida'a / Innovation

Point 2. How to enter Paradise


More information about Quranists on http://quranists.net

Visit the Quranist Voices blog http://quranistvoices.wordpress.com

The original Shaikh Abu Usamah Adh Dhahabi video is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKsDRzU1KPk


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(less info)


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