Early Muslim History needs fresh appraisal — XIV
The beauty of Islam is that it is simple to observe and close to commonsense. The current version of Muslim history cannot be accepted as truthful if it departs from the Quran.
M Aamer Sarfraz
JANUARY 2, 2019
I have exhibited with two examples how early Muslim history, that has reached us via Ahadith and Imam al-Tibri, is chiefly responsible for breaking the spirit of Islam and causing schisms among Muslims. I am not the first person to highlight the aetiology of this Phantom Islam we suffer from; even the non-Muslims like the historian Dr Gibbs, have recognised this.
The Quran is an absolute reality. It gave birth (read re-birth) to Islam, set the Muslims on the path of glory, and has sustained them despite their betrayal. It is a dire necessity that they get back to the basics (Quran) urgently, and abandon anything which conflicts with the Quran. The current version of Muslim history cannot be accepted as truthful if it departs from the Quran (and where alterative versions are also available). This view must prevail, no matter how great an Imam had written that history or narrated those Ahadith. The Quran is here to stay, and be followed.
The Quran has always been there to rescue Muslims and the mankind. It proposes a simple Deen (way of life)called Islam which is the same as was revealed to the other Prophets. The Quran lays down broad and practical principles of peaceful and prosperous existence as a community. These principles are permanent yet so flexible that they are appropriate for all times to come. If they ever seem out-dated or impractical, it means our understanding or interpretation is incorrect. Halal, Hijab and Polygamy are prime examples of how Muslims are stuck by getting them wrong.
All prayers in Islam are communal and have a purpose to them, as prescribed by the Quran. Muslims have abandoned the spirit of Islam; but their fixation with the rituals and their intricate details has crossed all limits. It is interesting to note that our five-times-a-day Namazis very similar to that which is offered (Bandagi) by the Zoroastrians.
But similar to Judaism, we have made-up so many features just to make Islam complicated. For example, the observance of Shab-e-Barat
Like Zakat, Hajj is also a part of the Salat system of Deen given in the Quran. It has nothing to do with the current ritual where thousands upon thousands turn up in Mecca annually to be forgiven for their sins. It was supposed to be a general assembly of Muslims (and willing non-Muslims) arriving from all corners of the world. The Quran does not stipulate sacrifice for those who are not present on the occasion. Current tradition of sacrifice among non-Hajji Muslims and the associated Eid-ul-Adha are not supported by the Quran.
The beauty of Islam is that it is simple to observe and close to commonsense. The Quran repeatedly advises Muslims not to make life difficult for themselves and others. But similar to Judaism, we have made-up so many features just to make Islam complicated. For example, the observance of Shab-e-Barat. This is a night when the balance-sheet of past year’s sins-rewards is presented somewhere, and fortunes for the next year are decided.We are supposed to pray hard and shed tears to be forgiven for the past and be rewarded next year. This is a great legend with an optimistic outcome, but has nothing to do with the Quran and Islam. (to be continued)
The writer is a Consultant Psychiatrist &Visiting Professor. He tweets @AamerSarfraz