Thursday, December 20, 2012

When A Humanist Approaches Qur’an - I (a)

 Muslims confront Humanists everywhere with the claim that

 Quran is the best guide for rational thinking, a just social 

 system and scientific statements. The claims, to say the least,

 are exaggerated. The proponents range from Islamo-Fascists to 

 Apologetic  Modernists. We find, now and then, interesting 

 examples of  pseudo-modernist analyses as articles and 

 speeches. The following is an attempt to clarify the Humanist

 position while Qur'aan is approached in a series of short 


 When A Humanist Approaches Qur’an -I

Abdul Majeed. U.P.

Muslim modernists are always eloquent while inviting Rationalists to look at the argumentative nature of Qur’an. What can Qur’an’s status be when its appeal to rationalism and humanism is considered? In the chapter 'Al-furquan' (25:73, Qur’an) one can see:
“Those who, when they are
Admonished with the signs
Of their Lord, droop not down
At them as if they were
Deaf or blind;”*
In the context of detailing the virtues of Believers, Allah admonishes to open their ears to assess the worth of the signs and open their eyes so that they see the context in to which His words about the Signs fit in. This verse directs Muslims to be analytic and not dogmatic; doesn’t it?

    1. (a) There are assertions, but………………  

 Let us examine the following verse (4:171, Ch: 'Nisa'):

“O people of the Book!
Commit no excesses
In your religion; nor say
Of God aught but the truth.
Christ Jesus the son of Mary
Was (no more than)
An apostle of God,
And His Word,
Which He bestowed on Mary,
And a spirit proceeding
From Him: so believe
In God and His apostles.
Say not “Trinity”; desist;
It will be better for you;
For God is One God;
Glory be to Him:
(Far exalted is He) above
Having a son. To Him
Belong all things in the heavens
And on earth.And enough
Is God as a Disposer of affairs.”(*)
On a superfluous consideration, Allah’s question may seem to be rational. What use is served by a son since He is almighty and omnipotent?
Will you venture to suggest that there is no wrong in having a son- not as a helping hand, but just a son? If you did so, you stepped in to the danger zone.
You might be having some doubts in your mind: Why should Allah engage Angels( Malaa’ika) for delivering His messages to prophets and transport the souls of the dying if Allah is Self Sufficient as the One and Only God ?Isn’t HE enough as a disposer of affairs? Let us grant, for arguments’ sake, that the above verse descended from Allah. What is wrong if there are two more Gods with all the good qualities of Allah minus just two, namely: the One and Omnipresent? Won’t they be tolerant enough to exist in co-operation and goodwill? There is a hint in the Quran somewhere else that they will fight like humans! What we see in the above quoted verse is that He positively dislikes the very discussion on those lines. One is led to the conclusion that the creation of the concept of Allah is made possible by attributing exaggerated qualities of human beings and exaggerated conceptions that are possible for human beings. But the sum total of it all mocks human reason. The picture lies shattered in incoherent pieces!
Allah has angels, but He has not fathered children; You may understand that much and never utter the word “Trinity”.
Enough for you humble lot with limited knowledge!
And how about it if there is not even one, not to say of two or three?
The devout get over excited. They lose their rhyme and reason.
They are HURT!
Will a Scripture upheld by some of its adherents as the supreme model of rationality sanction such violent responses?
I think this is a problem worth examining by all Muslims.

*The translation of all verses from Quran is that of Abdullah Yusuf Ali
As reprinted in the 2006 edition
By Kitab Bhavan,
1784, Kalan Mahal,
Darya Ganj,
New Delhi,
                                               ( to be continued)

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