You are a thinking, sensitive human being. Much of what you said applies to today's Islam, as you said, distorted by our religious leadership. I have had very similar thoughts but you may find some light in the following article.
Please find time to study my rebuttals to ISLAM: WHAT THE WEST NEEDS TO KNOW.
THE NUMBER TWO ISLAM
It is unfortunate that the Islam we see in the world today is not the one embodied in the only inviolable authority, Al-Qur’an. Rather, it is based on very questionable history and traditions in manmade books written centuries after the exalted Prophet. It is a set of false dogmas, irrationalities, superstitions and empty rituals.Various great minds have named this degenerate Islam variously. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan of India (1817-1898) called it Invented Islam in 1885. Syed Jamaluddin Afghani (d.1897) dubbed it as The Fatalistic Religion. The celebrated Egyptian scholar Mufti Muhammad Abde Rabbuhu (d.1905) gave it the name Deen-il-Ghareeb (The Strange Religion) around 1900. Allama Sir Muhammad Iqbal (d.1938) termed it Ajami (Alien) Islam around 1918. Allama Inayatullah Khan Al-Mashriqi (d.1965) called it Maulvi Ka Ghalat Mazhab (The Mullah's Wrong Religion) in the 1940s. Going by the modern trends, I have chosen to call it The Number Two Islam in keeping with the name given to the counterfeit medicines.
Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.
- Voltaire, 1694-1778
You cannot trust your judgment if your imagination is out of focus.
- Mark Twain, 1835-1910
I think any distorted belief system throws our imagination out of focus. Consequently, our judgment and the resulting actions end up being wrong. While there is no room for clergy, priesthood or Mullahism in Deen-il-Islam, this vicious band emerged side-by-side when the Muslim rulers, although still called caliphs, became despotic monarchs. The Mullahs or “Imams” then converted Ad-Deen into Religion (Mazhab or the Number Two Islam) with a deplorable set of empty rituals, non-Qur’anic dogmas, superstitions and fabrications of all kind.
Even today, they are the ones who refuse to grasp the Qur’an in its pristine form and to think rationally. And thus, they fall victims to blind following of their ancestors. Yet, they claim to be the custodians of Islam to the exclusion of all sensible ideas, and mislead the masses. I will not suspect every Mullah’s sincerity since their formal teaching in the Madrassahs disables them from independent thinking and reflecting on the Qur’an.
The Book very clearly stresses upon reason and rationality.
12:108 Say (O Prophet), “This is my way. Resting my call upon reason, I am calling you all to God, I and those who follow me. Glory to God! And I am not one of those who ascribe divinity in any form besides Him.” [We do not invite through blind faith, vague dogmas or by stunning your intellect with miracles]
But the Muslim clergy are in the habit of disregarding the Qur’an.
25:30 And the Messenger will say, “O My Lord! These are my people, the ones who had disabled this Qur’an making it of no account.” [Mahjoor = Disabled = Abandoned = Neglected. They had immobilized it like villagers who bind a cow by tying her front foot to her horn]
The latest example has been shown by the Taliban. Under very questionable practices similar to the “rain dance” of old Native Americans, the Taliban Mullahs had been conducting regular rain prayers (Namaaz-e-Istisqa) to end the severe drought in Afghanistan during 1996-2000. Results remained conspicuous by their absence. Did they stop and think for a moment? Yes and no! They thought they were not praying enough!
The True Islam was implemented in the lifetime of the exalted Prophet Muhammad and his noble companions 14 centuries ago. No seeking mind can deny the glory of humanity in that era. Human dignity, women’s rights, rule of law, justice and equity, freedom of religion, speech, true democracy, and sanctity of human life, honor and property have been well documented in the surviving golden pages of history. Never since that noble era has the world seen Islam as a collective System of Life anywhere. To mention economic prosperity, the Islamic state of Madinah was the only Empire in all history where it had become impossible to find a person willing to accept charity. The would-be second Caliph of Islam, Omar the great, was the Chief Justice of the Empire in 633-34 CE. It is mind-boggling to learn that not a single case was brought to his court about theft, rape, murder, robbery, or any form of violent crime. Non-Muslims used to embrace Islam by watching and experiencing the beauty of the True Islam.
Now, the unfortunate antithesis: For the first time ever in the history of mankind the Number Two Islam which guarantees misery, was implemented in full force by the Taliban. (Even the Arab Kingdoms and Sheikdoms were no match to them.) They were destined to be routed and thoroughly capitulated, and they have been.
The Qur’an boldly declares, “Do not ever, then, lose heart, and do not grieve, for you are bound to prevail if you are truly believers. (3:139)
It further states, “God has promised that those of you who will believe in the Divine laws and strengthen human resources, He will make them rulers on earth, as He granted rule to the previous nations. ..”(24:55)
It appears that the developed countries, consciously or unconsciously, are greater and practical believers in the Qur’anic Laws.
It is about time that the Muslims worldwide stop and think. Is the Qur’an wrong? Nay, a great, great majority of Muslims in the world are not indeed believers. They consider themselves believers “by birth”. Well, weren’t they born into the so-called Muslim families? Don’t they UTTER belief in God and His Messengers? Actually, the so-called Muslims of today remain slaves of false tradition and blind following.
THE LITMUS TEST: Before proceeding with the Number Two Islam (N2I) further, let me present a litmus test for the representatives of N2I. Any person, male or female, that preaches beard and Hijab (veiling) belongs to Number Two. This is because beard and veiling are not ordained in the Qur’an. They were borrowed by ancient Mullahs from their culture. Beard and veiling have become tools for them to get a false sense of gratification, of displaying piety, enslaving women, feeling proud and taking delight in ridiculing those who won’t grow beards or use Hijab. The Qur’an is the great Equalizer of humanity and the foremost Liberator of humans from all kinds of mental and physical bondage.
It very strongly upholds human rights and very forcefully declares, “There is no compulsion or coercion in religion.” (2:256). This rule has absolutely no exceptions.
Being a student of the Qur’an, the Bible and history, I have reached a conclusion. What is that conclusion? - That in the third century after Prophet Muhammad (S), the so-called Imams of tradition, history, Fiqh (religious jurisprudence) and Hadith (the most unreliable sayings of the exalted Prophet Muhammad collected on hearsay centuries after his demise) imposed a religious Martial Law on people. They tried to extinguish the Qur’anic Light and very successfully bound the Muslim masses back in the same shackles that the Qur’an had so effectively smashed. These criminals got vehement support from the rulers because the Number Two Islam catered to their evil and wicked desires; desires for harems, palaces, concubines, slaves, pomp and luxury.
The Qur’an, being the foremost equalizer of humanity, had taught that just as God is One, all mankind is one community. The only distinction among people could be based on good conduct. Color, wealth, ethnic origin, gender, geography, family, lineage, would not incur superiority or inferiority upon any human being. (49:13)
The inventors of the N2I i.e. the Mullahs and Sufis in various ways reverted the Muslims back to the era of Jahiliyyah (the Age of Ignorance). Writing books contrary to the Qur’an was only one of their methodologies. They stand responsible for throwing the imagination of Muslims out of focus. And we have seen that when our imagination is out of focus we cannot trust our judgment. The results have been horrendous. Muslims not only continue to live at subhuman levels, but their actions have harmed themselves and the “Family of God”.
Just as I believe that the Number Two Islam is a scourge of humanity, it is my conviction that the True Islam encompassed by the Qur’an is the only hope for humanity. When I state that Islam is the only hope for humanity, I am in good company with such greats as George Bernard Shaw, Johann Goethe, Allama Iqbal, Alphonse Lamartine, Rev. Bosworth Smith and the like.
The ideas that inspired the French Revolution and the Declaration of Rights that guided the Framing of the American Constitution and inflamed the struggle for independence in the Latin American countries [and elsewhere] were not inventions of the West. They find their ultimate inspiration and source in the Holy Koran.
- Robert Briffault (Making of Humanity)
Allow me to share one of my special concerns. I was naïve, and probably justifiably so, about twenty five years ago in thinking that the PhD Mullahs and the Western Islamic scholars would belong to a different stock than an ignorant Imam in a village in the East. No, no, not at all! The ‘Imamist’ Martial Law I referred to was so far reaching that even today it remains in full force behind the college degrees as much as behind the beard and veil.
We need to reform our Islamic schools in the East and West. They must refrain from preaching N2I (The Number Two Islam). They will be doing a great service to Islam and Muslims, the West, and the entire world if they revert to the Glorious Qur’an. Even here I have a word of caution. Almost all translations and tafseers (explanations) of the Qur’an have been done by the proponents and followers of the Man-made, ‘Ajami’, Alien, Counterfeit Islam, the N2I. Let us not accept any interpretation without due reflection.
Trying my best to find a satisfactory translation and failing in my quest, I had to undertake the daunting task myself. (This may be a good occasion to see my biography on this Blog.) Numerous knowledgeable people consider my humble English rendition of the Qur’an simple, accurate and reliable - “THE QUR’AN AS IT EXPLAINS ITSELF”.
If my Muslim brothers and sisters feel offended on seeing the reality, they should feel free to call me with questions, comments, and tantrums seven days a week at 954-746-2115.
A few words about terrorism: The Qur’an declares in no uncertain terms, “Persecution or terrorism is a crime more grievous than killing” (2:217). The Glorious Book also advises all mankind that the best way to ensure peace and to avoid fear and grief is to benefit the fellow humans and do justice even with the enemy (5:8).
Thanks, and may God bless you!
Shabbir, a life-long student