"History is philosophy teaching by example." (Lord Bolingbroke)

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Friday, July 09, 2004

Basics of Islam (I)

“Know thine enemy,” remains essential to defeating any enemy. Fortunately, our enemy, Islam and its Jihad, is simple – really simple, which is one reason for its success. Before we can address what is wrong with Islam, we need to get to common ground about what is Islam.

All quotes to follow come from The Noble Qur’an, the Saudi version. (Translated by Muhsin Khan and Al-Hilati, Darussalam Publications, Riyadh, ISBN: 9960-740-79-X, 1996), pages 916-922. The Appendix to this Qur’an presents the essentials of Islam as principles.

Islamists call Islamic Monotheism, Tauhid. Tauhid holds three principles as axioms:

1. Lordship of Allah. “To believe that there is only one Lord for all the universe and He is, its Creator, Organizer, Planner, Sustainer, and the Giver of security...”

2. Worship of Allah. “...None has the right to be worshipped...but Allah.”

3. Names and Qualities of Allah. “We must not name or qualify Allah except what He or His Messenger [Muhammad] has name or qualified Him [to be and have].” Further, Muslims must believe in all qualities of Allah mentioned in the Qur’an or exactly as alleged to have been stated by Muhammad, without deviation or interpretation.

Muslims must believe in Allah, his angels, his messengers (particularly Muhammad), his revealed books (principally, the Qur’an), the Day of Resurrection, and Al-Qadar. This sixth element of faith, Al-Qadar, refers to predestination, i.e., that whatever Allah has ordained, must come to pass; Allah has preordained everything. Muslims must perform “righteous deeds” without regard to any personal benefit and perform them in accordance with the Sunnah (the legal ways, orders, acts of worship, and statements of Muhammad).

Allah has extraordinary attributes which are to be accepted without question. Allah created and rules “all that exists.” Further, Allah is the organizer and planner of all that happens in “all that exists,” i.e., the universe. Allah gives life and death. Allah hears all, sees all, knows all, and Allah is everywhere, aware of all. Allah is unknowable (they assert that the Qur’an proves Allah has hands, but no one has ever seen Allah’s hands because no one has ever seen Allah.

The take-home lesson is that Muslims must believe Muhammad who provides the sole account of the words and will of Allah. Allah, according to Muhammad, revealed his words to Muhammad, which became the the Holy Koran. As the direct words of Allah, the Koran may never be changed. The entire body of evidence derives from what one man said, i.e., Muhammad, with no witnesses, no substantiation, no documentation, and no evidence whatsoever. No doubt, no questioning of validity, no appeal for evidence have ever been tolerated in Islam.

These principles allegedly come from Allah via Muhammad. We will next look at the founding documents of Islam, and later on at other principles and commandments of Islam.

[To be continued]


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