Zahir Ebrahim | Project Humanbeingsfirst.org
We now turn our focus of study on the holy scribes of Muslim history and the timelines of both, the “wassael-e-sunni” and the “wassael-e-shia”. Meaning, all the primary Muslim written sources of religious narratives and history scholarship which exist today. Together these comprise less than a handful of the earliest primary written works entirely responsible for the state of Muslim dysfunction today. The understanding of the Religion of Islam today simply cannot be divorced from the work of these fallible hands – none of whom are mentioned in the Holy Qur'an. Therefore, to gratuitously assert that the Holy Qur'an, a Book “without doubt”, must depend upon these authors' books to explain itself to mankind, is patently absurd. But what is even more absurd is to base aspects of faith upon these books which are not to be found in the Determinates of the Holy Qur'an.
That first absurdity is the sine qua non of all other absurdities plaguing the Muslim mind from antiquity to modernity. It begins with theological dispersion due to self-interpretations, initially appearing harmless as merely differences of opinion, but which naturally lead to the creation of different schools of thought, which subsequently become canonized into sects if they can serve narrow imperial interests, or gather sufficient following, becoming “Islam”; and culminates in Muslims killing Muslims to advance those same imperial interests. This is the basic continuum of subversion of the Religion of Islam which is common to both antiquity and modernity. Some of it is unwitting, as the religion and Arabs expanded into other civilizations. As much as the new religion transformed them, these alien cultures also imparted their own tenor to what became “Islam”. Fourteen centuries hence, we are the recipient of all of that combination “Islam”. This “Islam” is ripe for harvest in the hands of Machiavelli.
Here is one of them accurately capturing what that combination word “Islam” now entails – and as the Muslim mind will quickly grasp, it has nothing to do with the religion of Islam:
“It is difficult to generalize about Islam. To begin with, the word itself is commonly used with two related but distinct meanings, as the equivalents both of Christianity, and Christendom. In the one sense, it denotes a religion, as system of beliefs and worship; in the other, the civilization that grew up and flourished under the aegis of that religion. The word Islam thus denotes more than fourteen centuries of history, a billion and a third people, and a religious and cultural tradition of enormous diversity.” --- Bernard Lewis, Crisis of Islam, pg. 1
Understanding the dialectical mechanisms of that Machiavellian process – one which has tied such a Gordian knot on the religion of Islam that even fourteen-fifteen centuries later it is still working its miracle in the service of empire – is the driving motivation in this study. However, if the earlier Parts only succeeded in offending the sensibilities of the gentle mind without inducing cognitive dissonance – its main objective – what follows will also only induce a migraine headache instead of metanoia, the key objective of this study.
As was reasoned previously, every generation has the new opportunity to start afresh – for the natural cyclical process of birth and death can also have a beneficial cleansing effect upon the baggage of legacy. Why should a new generation born into their own times be shackled by what went before? Which is why the Holy Qur'an itself advocates starting afresh for every man and woman rather than remain shackled by the holiness of others who came before:
“That was a people that hath passed away. They shall reap the fruit of what they did, and ye of what ye do! Of their merits there is no question in your case!” (Surah Al-Baqara, 2:134, repeated for emphasis in 2:141)
تِلْكَ أُمَّةٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ ۖ لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَلَكُم مَّا كَسَبْتُمْ ۖ وَلَا تُسْـَٔلُونَ عَمَّا كَانُوا۟ يَعْمَلُونَ
When the Holy Qur'an so clearly vouches for that separation from the people who went before without equivocation: “Of their merits there is no question in your case”, then how can it endorse the acceptance of their workmanship for you to follow for your merit? That would create a contradiction!
Indeed, the Holy Qur'an unequivocally confirms that conclusion with the following categorical warning:
“(On the day) when those who were followed disown those who followed (them), and they behold the doom, and all their aims collapse with them. (Surah Al-Baqara, 2:166 )
إِذْ تَبَرَّأَ الَّذِينَ اتُّبِعُوا مِنَ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوا وَرَأَوُا الْعَذَابَ وَتَقَطَّعَتْ بِهِمُ الْأَسْبَابُ
And those who were but followers will say: If a return were possible for us, we would disown them even as they have disowned us. Thus will Allah show them their own deeds as anguish for them, and they will not emerge from the Fire.” (Surah Al-Baqara, 2:167)
وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوا لَوْ أَنَّ لَنَا كَرَّةً فَنَتَبَرَّأَ مِنْهُمْ كَمَا تَبَرَّءُوا مِنَّا ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ يُرِيهِمُ اللَّهُ أَعْمَالَهُمْ حَسَرَاتٍ عَلَيْهِمْ ۖ وَمَا هُمْ بِخَارِجِينَ مِنَ النَّارِ
It must first be acknowledged at the outset that unlike other Messengers and Prophets, for instance Prophet Jesus and Prophet Moses mentioned among the five Great Prophets in the Holy Qur'an, the Prophet of Islam had remarkably succeeded in creating a ruling state in his own lifetime. Despite the rather humble beginnings in 613 A.D. in Medina, the power of the state for officially documenting Islam's first years and its Messenger's teachings had already come into existence during Prophet Muhammad's own lifetime. That's primarily how and why we have the same pristine text of the Holy Qur'an reaching us today some fourteen-fifteen centuries later as was delivered by the Prophet of Islam and sanctioned by his state power. Without state power during the lifetime of the Messenger himself, the Holy Qur'an would possibly have suffered the same fate as Prophet Jesus' Gospel. We can see that even in that case, it took Emperor Constantine's state power of the Roman empire to set what became the New Testament at the First Council of Nicaea in about 325 A.D. And it further took state power of the emerging British empire during the sixteenth century to further fix it into the King James Version that is today the primary source of the English language Bible in Western Christianity. That same state power of Islam which brought us the Holy Qur'an in its exact pristine state such that all Muslims today agree on that fact, was also put to good use for establishing ad hoc political successions and its copious narratives immediately after the death of the Prophet of Islam. State power can obviously cut both ways! And so can narratives. Deriving articles of faith from the narratives of history is always risky business. For any people.
Since there is no mention of any of the temporal rulers who came after the Prophet of Islam in the Holy Qur'an by name, is the Holy Qur'an silent upon such an important existential matter as the Messenger's immediate political succession? Prophet Muhammad, after all, unlike any other Messenger in recorded history who brought a Book, was already an all powerful political ruler when the Holy Qur'an asserted the perfection and completion of its Message in verse 5:3 in 623 A.D. The Messenger died within a few months soon afterwards. Verse 4:59 patently established the existence of some apostolic heirs to whom the Author of the Holy Qur'an had devolved the same command obedience as to the Prophet of Islam. The analysis in this study previously uncovered the logical criterion that such heirs to the Messengership of the Prophet of Islam to act as his successor Exemplars, could only emanate from his Ahlul Bayt. While the fact that the Messenger left apostolic heirs is irrefutable due to the unequivocal declaration of verse 4:59; but that these heirs must be from the Ahlul Bayt is a logical deduction derived from the rest of the Holy Qur'an. Is that deduction principally correct? Can it be logically refuted and the refutation itself stand the acid test of logic from the Holy Qur'an?
Noteworthy here is the uncanny deterministic beauty of the Indeterminates which is always predictable due to the momentous declaration of the Holy Qur'an in verse 3:7. That, Indeterminates tend to take on any meaning the public mind or the pulpit wishes to attribute to them; that, doing so may lead to a false path; that, it is even easy to know that it is a false path if it sows discord among mankind; and that, not all people will understand that point. Therefore, the only rational and final adjudication of Indeterminates, at least for those who do comprehend that point, is by way of empiricism of the Prophet's own explanation. Provided an explanation was given, and also recorded with the same due diligence as the Holy Qur'an for those to come in later times.
After all, the speech of the Messenger, the Speaking Qur'an, the Qur'an-e-Natiq, the Exemplar who “does not err, nor does he go astray; Nor does he speak out of desire. It is naught but revelation that is revealed,” (Surah An-Najm 53:2-4, see Part-III), commanded the same obligatory obedience for Muslims as the speech of the Author Himself as per the explicit declaration of verse 4:59. Therefore, why should the Messenger's Speech not be accorded the same pristine preservation by Muslim state power after the Messenger's demise as the Holy Qur'an? So the Muslim public mind, too indoctrinated to be skeptical of power, and too lazy to study matters on its own, innocently imagines that the Messenger's acts and speech, just as his life story, are indeed authentically preserved. What's more, of the same exact content as when the Messenger was Exemplifying for his followers in person; sufficiently exact to use fourteen-fifteen centuries later for deriving their religion.
Therefore, it is reasonable to inquire that when a deduction from the Holy Qur'an is singularly logical, is there any empirical evidence from the pen of these scribes to unequivocally adjudicate that logic today?
Specifically, if the Messenger left apostolic heirs to bear the great burden of 4:59, then who are they? And if he did not leave heirs, the Holy Qur'an is falsified for 4:59. Most Muslims would instinctively reject the latter as being repugnant to their religion. Therefore, they are forced to look for the former. By simply asking that right question, Muslims automatically open the doors to understanding the matter for themselves. It is the successful prevention of asking that question throughout history that is remarkable – for the question itself is rather obvious and falls right out of even a simple study of the Holy Qur'an.
The history's scribes have played a most crucial role in documenting, and omitting to document, the reactionary epochs of the first few centuries of the meteoric rise of Islam as a world religion and in fixing the Indeterminates of the Holy Qur'an to match that historic rise. It is principally the works of these scribes of history from whence virtually all Muslims, divided into sects and theologies that often violently opposed each other throughout history and continue to do so even today, derive their differentiating understanding of the religion of Islam. Extensive “sharia” systems, i.e., systems of jurisprudence, have evolved along sectarian and partisan boundaries that inevitably anchor their uncommon rulings to what is documented by these early scribes, some of them jurists and scholars themselves. These early scribes carrying the burden of religion upon their backs, sometimes with lashes from state power, and other times in cooperation with state power, followed the same differentiating principle recursively, tracing the genealogy of their own verdicts and narratives to the Prophet of Islam through mostly oral scribes of the earliest period, say the first two centuries of Islam. Generations of these oral scribes became the source material of the first written scribes in subsequent centuries. And it is that latter work which has reached modern times. Therefore, the primary works of these written scribes of history, the sine qua non of sectarianism, is the next focus of forensic examination.
It will be witnessed in what follows that Muslim scholarship at its earliest written sources which have reached us today, while living through the vicissitudes of “imperial mobilizations” of rulers and dynastic empires that soon followed the early succession period, grotesquely suffers from both, historiography by partisans of power, and hagiography by partisans of victims of that power. That is the common characteristic of the primary epistemology in virtually all Muslim scholarship – just as it is in any scholarship of any people emotionally attached to their subject. While such attachments can lend considerable insight denied to outsiders of that time and space, emotions and sympathies, it can also take away some measure of objectivity. That is not to say that outsiders are any more objective. As we have witnessed, that scholarship can just as easily suffer from other psychological cataracts, such as the all too familiar “orientalism” (looking at the East with jaundiced eyes), “occidentalism” (looking at the West with jaundiced eyes), not to forget deliberate demonization, obfuscation, and myth construction with half-truths, quarter-truths, and fundamental lies wrapped in veneers of truth.
Therefore, all history, even in its most pristine narrative form, harbors a germ of falsehood and has to be prudently examined with a forensic eye to improve its reality to myth ratio. Sometimes, a narrative may capture a world of events to accurately express the perception of reality, like Plato's depiction of the trial and defence of Socrates; but it cannot be shown that Socrates ever uttered any of those sentences which Plato attributes to him in his famous trilogy: The Apologia, The Crito and The Phædo, all of which have reference to the trial, imprisonment and death of Socrates. At other times, there are fundamental impediments to capturing the reality as it actually is, rather than as it is perceived – and once again Plato gives a defining example of it in his classic Simile of the Cave in his most seminal book: The Republic.
Here is the fundamental problem. It was first described by this author in his deconstruction of the Zionist conquest of Palestine, in the pamphlet: How to Return to Palestine.
As a practicing engineer – used to examining complex systems in order to build them – turned social scientist, puzzled by this bizarre empiricism of the slaughter of the goy in massive numbers and the systematic destruction of their power-base, with the Jews successively coming out on top after each slaughter-cycle in such a short span, I decided to probe deeper. This paper is the result of my progressively refined research into this question since that very day of infamy, September 11, 2001. Since the day when I had decided to dump all a priori pre-suppositions, and all pied-pipers, and had curled up with William Shirer's Rise and Fall of The Third Reich, and Hitler's Mein Kampf, to attempt to comprehend the Nazi's self-inflicted Operation Canned Goods as a pretext for their war of German Lebensraum. I have, by now, studied countless historical narratives to understand current affairs and empirical matters always cloaked in deception. My comprehension today is layered upon facts uncovered by many a rational, un-afraid detective who has tread this path before me.
But it is not mere facts which create perspectives. Although, no doubt, facts must be built upon in order to be empirical in one's analysis. In an age when:
- “deception is the state of mind and the mind of state”;
- when power decides what is fact and what is recorded as fact in its primary documentation and in the popular Press, which in turn are subsequently used by others down the chain of narrators echoing what was by fiat deemed to be fact, as absolute fact, without being cognizant of that very fact of fiat;
- when the enactment of puppetshows is construed as displaying “facts”, and recorded as such by historians;
facts by themselves are meaningless in such a landscape when “waging war by way of deception” upon the public is the norm rather than the exception.
So, for instance, is it a fact that '19 Muslim Jihadis' rammed hijacked airplanes into two tall buildings bringing both of them down into their own footprint (watch wtc1, wtc2), bringing a third tall building down into its own footprint a few hours later without even hitting it (watch wtc7)? In this example, the scientific observation that three very tall buildings comprising millions of tons of steel exploded into powder and/or collapsed into their own footprint at near free-fall speed, is an unarguable empirical fact. And the only fact. The rest, who dunnit, how it was done, and why it was done, as officially recorded in the current affairs books and the Press, are assertions by the fiat of power using its control of the narrative, i.e., the Mighty Wurlitzer. The official narratives of today are the absolute facts of the historians of tomorrow with no minority report on the official record. Popular dissenting voices of course are merely 'conspiracy theories' (http://tinyurl.com/Anatomy-Conspiracy-Theory), shortly to be medically diagnosed as victims of delusions suffering from mental illnesses for which medical and legal groundwork is now being laid.
George Orwell captured the hard reality of historiography and its significance to the manufacturing of myths that come to control the public mind in the present, in the opening pages of his seminal fable “Nineteen Eighty-Four”. Written in the aftermath of World War II when narrative control of the causes of the two inexplicable world wars and their cataclysmic events were at its zenith, Orwell blurted out the key political axiom underwriting what passes as “knowledge”:
“Who controls the past, controls the future ;
who controls the present, controls the past”
Therefore, as is empirically evidenced throughout history and in our present modernity, control of the narrative of history, and of current affairs, has been the imperative of all rulers from time immemorial. It is a tool as old as hegemony, as old as mankind. Only fools, and imperial scholars in the service of empire, whether playing their protagonist or antagonist in fake opposition, ignore it, omit to disclose it, or minimize its impact on the theology and doctrines they happen to be preaching to their flock. And that's also how we can identify the mercenaries and prostitutes despite the color and style of their garb, robe, wedding dress, or turban. It is to be expected that they are presented to the public in the most pious and virtuous moral tones that Machiavelli and Hegelian Dialectic can muster.
Ergo, it follows that the purported facts of history, as well as of current affairs, have to be treated as being more akin to clues, at times false clues and red herrings as in a crime scene, rather than as statements of fact. Therefore, the most rational model for understanding history and its linkages to current affairs, is the forensic one. Like the forensic eye of a crime detective, such as Agatha Christie's famous fictional character Hercule Poirot, pondering upon the interconnections of clues, statements of purported eyewitnesses, drawing deductions, making logical inferences, and using new methods for uncovering unknown clues not visible to the naked eye in the visible light spectrum, such as employing ultraviolet and infrared regions of the spectrum to see what the naked eye can't perceive – all part and parcel of the forensics employed for apprehending a convoluted crime, solving a puzzle.
Thus, studying history and current affairs is like studying a crime scene or solving a puzzle. Its path is almost like the weaving of the many horizontal and vertical threads on a loom to fashion a carpet, or knit a Jacquard. That fashions a perspective from the underlying clues borne of empiricism. Weaving many perspectives from the same empirical elements, just like weaving many carpets from the same colored threads, is possible. And just like some detectives are plain wrong, and one right in identifying the real criminal, the same challenges beset the study of history. To find that right one master criminal, or the right perspective which explains the engagement of power and its narrative, surrounded tous azimuth by an endless trail of false clues, patsies taking the fall, and lies turned into sacred truths.
To the extent that a perspective is empirical, cohesive, is able to coherently resolve the riddles of power and its infestations of the mind, it cannot be refuted by mere assertions, threats, and calumny. It can stand in a court of law on its own merit, provided of course, it isn't a kangaroo court administering the sovereign's justice, a Military Tribunal administering the victor's justice, or a tournament of justice run by the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland.
We can easily appreciate from the preceding analysis of historiography that conclusions derived from the records of history must always remain tentative; subject to refinement – for history can just as much lie as it can tell the truth. But even that truth, when history does factually convey it, is often merely a chronicle of visible events, dates and places, who came into and out of power when, which battles were fought and won, speeches that were handed down, etc. It is almost always devoid of any examination of the hidden forces and invisible motivations that shaped those events, sometimes near, sometimes far, and sometimes disparate. There is obviously never an examination of history as a crime scene. Sometimes, truth from fiction is as indiscernible for history as it is for current affairs. GIGO epistemology straightforwardly ensures that outcome – garbage of current affairs manufactured by the Mighty Wurlitzer (see http://tinyurl.com/MightyWurlitzer) becomes the veritable records of history for future generations to examine as “truths”.
We can even experience that for ourselves today in how myths masquerade as truth from all pulpits in the service of power. What makes the past pulpits any more holier, any more different? It is the same God now as was then. The same gods too. And the same man, as well as the same superman.
Ergo, if today we see deceit with our own eyes in the inflection of power and its narratives, it is foolish to expect that the past was any different. The fact is that it isn't any different. To assert exceptionalism that it is some how different when it comes to Muslims, that these ancient scholars and scribes were extra holy, immune to human tendencies empirically understood today from the many disciplines of social sciences – from psychology to sociology, from psychological warfare to the banality of evil – and that these past scribes left a veritable trail of guidance which should be followed by future generations, contradicts the Determinate verses of the Holy Qur'an itself. See verses 2:134, and 2:166--167 of Surah Al-Baqara quoted above.
Which is also why every sensible Muslim scholarship today, virtually across all sects, does not treat the works of these ancient Muslim scribes as being as authentic as the Holy Qur'an. The problem is that it almost universally also treats many of these works as being only slightly less authentic than the Holy Qur'an! While the Holy Qur'an is the foundation of faith for Muslims, history too has been parsed on the yardstick of faith more than on the yardstick of intellectual rigor, to create a severely crippled epistemology. The tragedy is that Muslim faith is based more on that crippled epistemology than on the Determinates of the Holy Qur'an itself.
The primary written scribes and scholars of Muslim history did indeed develop some reasonable rejection criterion to filter out the preceding epochs' historical noise when chronicling facts and events – material which patently conflicted with the Holy Qur'an, or the empirical reality, and thus was just too easily falsified because of it as more myth than historical reality – in sound historical scholarship. However, these very same holy scribes of “Islam” also found imaginative ways of filling in the many Indeterminates of the Holy Qur'an with the most atrocious and absurd acceptance criterion deemed to be “signals”, in totally bogus penmanship. By modern standards these cannot stand up to any rigorous intellectual scrutiny. Today we'd call such scholarship “hearsay”, i.e., “he said, she said”. An entire pious industry got developed on hearsay with specious rules to confer some legitimacy to quackery. Were the same processes applied today to any other matter, or as rules of evidence in legal court to understand a crime, it would be dismissed as nothing but hearsay; quackery wearing the pious robe of faith. Concatenated with the holy works of successive generations of even more imaginative Arab, Persian, and Indian subcontinental scribes incestuously employing GIGO epistemology (i.e., Garbage-In Garbage-Out) on these handful of earliest written sources, these together succeeded in inducing the cognitive and spiritual infiltration of the religion of Islam.
It is that first historical noise and rulership precedents harvested due to the Indeterminates in the name of religion, and subsequently amplified in every age according to each epoch's natural proclivity to perpetuate their own socialization biases and self-interests, which has continually shackled the understanding of the religion of Islam into the “foolish nonsense” the Holy Qur'an vouches:
'Then the Messenger will say: “O my Lord! Truly my people took this Qur'an for just foolish nonsense.”' (Surah Al-Furqaan 25:30)
وَقَالَ الرَّسُولُ يَا رَبِّ إِنَّ قَوْمِي اتَّخَذُوا هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ مَهْجُورًا
A useful backdrop to cradle the examination of these works of fallible minds and hands is to simultaneously conduct a rational thought experiment: If all these primary written books were to get suddenly wiped off from the face of existence by a magical hand, what understanding of the religion of Islam would be left behind for mankind? That understanding is principally what is being taught by the Author of the Holy Qur'an in His Book to all succeeding generations after the epoch of the Prophet of Islam.
Since the Author did not mandate the existence of these primary written works in the Holy Qur'an when He asserted that He perfected the religion of Islam: “This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” (Surah Al-Maeda 5:3), these books of fallible minds and hands are therefore irrelevant to the Author of the Holy Qur'an. What the Author of the Holy Qur'an deems irrelevant, the enlightened Muslim mind cannot justify as relevant. Only the perversely indoctrinated mind naturally gravitates towards the absurd, unable to see the absurdity of arguing against the Book which it also believes as the untampered word of God!
At the same time, another useful backdrop to keep in mind are the discoveries made previously in this study: that indeed, while the Author did not mandate the existence of these books written by fallible hands in the Holy Qur'an, He mandated two things to the people of the time which are not further documented in the Holy Qur'an: “O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you.” (Surah an-Nisaa' 4:59). To obey the Messenger means to follow his directives as the Exemplar of the Holy Qur'an, and the same meaning for “those charged with authority among you”. Furthermore, verse 5:35 of Surah Al-Maeda stated the requirement of seeking ( الْوَسِيلَةَ ) categorically, unbounded by time and space, even if the “Wasilah” itself is unspecified in the verse. But since the Author deliberately chose not to record their Exemplariness, their decisions and directives in the Holy Qur'an, it follows that their Exemplariness, and their decisions and directives, could arguably only have been pertinent for the peoples living in the respective epochs of the Messenger and “those charged with authority among you”. That is because the public already knew who was meant – but we no longer know without resorting to the fallible and partisan scribes of history. That sensible inference is of course tampered and even discouraged by the categorical statement of 5:35 as previously examined.
However, if only for a moment, we entertain the aforementioned thought experiment, we suddenly observe that remarkably, both shia and sunni differentiation immediately goes away. Obviously this is only a thought experiment and not about to transpire in the real world, but it lends clarity to the matter as to the primary source of sectarian schism among the sects. Once that seed was planted millennia ago by the Holy Qur'an itself, the natural outcome with the passage of time is the mushrooming divergence into all sorts of beliefs and practices that is simply not in the Holy Qur'an. At least, not in the Holy Qur'an that is completed to perfection by the verse 5:3. And that Holy Qur'an is deliberately ambiguous on many fronts as the Indeterminates already examined in Part-II.
With the aforementioned thought experiment at the back of one's mind, the proportionate significance of these primary written books potentially rematerializes. These primary works, commentaries upon these primary works, and commentaries upon commentaries ad infinitum, no longer define articles, expositions and prescriptions of faith that is narrated by fallible minds and hands. Rather, this historical legacy is now treated as the revealing and well documented history of a people who rose to political power from the pagan sands of Arabia under the leadership of a monotheistic Prophet, and who dominated the affairs of the known world for nearly a millennia through several empires that ruled in the name of the religion brought by their Prophet.
In that rational and commonsensical perspective, these historical narratives and commentaries, compilation of prayers and invocations, and wisdom taught through parables and anecdotes, can finally be studied and benefitted from accordingly, as a treasure trove of Muslim heritage like any other peoples' heritage: an amalgam of officialdom, reportage, recording of prior events often carried by word of mouth for generations, narratives explaining those events, folklore, myths, fiction, half truths, quarter truths, and grains of truth sprinkled in the mix as veritable statements of empirical fact.
That is how history principally is --- a narrative --- the professional pulpits' self-serving endeavors throughout the ages to extract divine interpretations out of it to administer a fossilized religion to the public notwithstanding.
This thought experiment is just something to keep at the back of one's mind while perusing what follows. It lends useful perspective that, just as the Muslim mind imputes these same considerations to the compilation of the Bible for instance, that perhaps their own hagiographic historiography ought to be subjected to that same yardstick. If the Muslim pulpit has a problem with the Bible introducing the alien concept of Trinity from Islam's point of view, what egotistical considerations of godly exceptionalism prevents it from reflecting on what, and how much, could have infiltrated into the religion of Islam's own theology in the guise of pious penmanship of holy scribes?
The entire domain of eschatology, the domain of savior and the so called Divine Rule, the domain of statements attributed to the Prophet of Islam in the most reliable Hadith literature that he might never have made, are all in this category. Conversely, the statements actually made by the Prophet of Islam as its Exemplar and not recorded by the most pious scribes of history due to political considerations, or distorted and misrepresented, or not emphasized to their contextual significance, are also in the same category. No religion may be extracted from that compendium of what is --- to claim its station holier than the Bible!
When one has the Holy Qur'an, why would a Muslim mind reach for its bible version – except just out of curiosity, or to inform oneself of the rich heritage of Muslims, and only in such educational context, instead of trying to extract “religion” from the fallible scribes of history!
It is for the Muslim mind to adjudicate how much it is willing to be controlled by its socialization biases by birth, how much by incestuously self-reinforcing GIGO epistemology of its pulpits, and how much by the empirical understanding before it using that magnificent mind itself to adjudicate matters.
Since most people are just ordinary human beings and not the ever logical and all rational Mr. Spock of Part-II, perhaps they don't wish to be rational, logical, and all left-brained; perhaps our emotional makeup is what primarily defines our existence for many of us. If that wasn't the case at least to some extent, there'd hardly be any reason to believe in the Unseen in the first place which requires far more than logical empiricism to apprehend. The Author of the Holy Qur'an clearly understands that fact about human beings. After all, He does indeed claim in His Book that it is “A Revelation from the Lord of the Worlds.” (56:80); and that it is He Who Fashioned man:
“He Who has made everything which He has created most good: He began the creation of man with (nothing more than) clay, (32:07)
ٱلَّذِىٓ أَحْسَنَ كُلَّ شَىْءٍ خَلَقَهُۥ ۖ وَبَدَأَ خَلْقَ ٱلْإِنسَٰنِ مِن طِينٍ
And made his progeny from a quintessence of the nature of a fluid despised: (32:08)
ثُمَّ جَعَلَ نَسْلَهُۥ مِن سُلَٰلَةٍ مِّن مَّآءٍ مَّهِينٍ
But He fashioned him in due proportion, and breathed into him something of His spirit. And He gave you (the faculties of) hearing and sight and feeling (and understanding): little thanks do ye give!” (Surah As-Sajdah 32:09)
ثُمَّ سَوَّىٰهُ وَنَفَخَ فِيهِ مِن رُّوحِهِۦ ۖ وَجَعَلَ لَكُمُ ٱلسَّمْعَ وَٱلْأَبْصَٰرَ وَٱلْأَفْـِٔدَةَ ۚ قَلِيلًا مَّا تَشْكُرُونَ
Caption Surah As-Sajdah verses 32:7-9 declares that the Author of the Holy Qur'an “fashioned”, designed, engineered, man in “due proportion” (and not as a random event)
Therefore, when “He fashioned him in due proportion, and breathed into him something of His spirit. And He gave you (the faculties of) hearing and sight and feeling (and understanding)”, He, the Author of the Holy Qur'an, surely must also Know the psychological bent of every human mind, borne of its natural socialization and cultural programming due to being born in a specific nation and specific tribe. The Author therefore also Knows the “fitrat”, i.e., nature, of every man, specifically, what he is susceptible to. Only because of the empirical fact of natural socialization by birth, that the Author of the Holy Qur'an strongly Countenances the pursuit of: فَاسْتَبِقُوا الْخَيْرَاتِ , instead of theological upmanship, clearly predicting that the human mind that He Fashioned, and that He Knows well, will face grave difficulty overcoming its natural programming which is naturally self-reinforcing by incestuous self-selection and confirmation bias, without expending considerable striving.
While natural programming of the human mind may appear to be a fine point to those unfamiliar with the making of the human mind, it is a crucial one nevertheless. Epistemology, how we know what we know, cannot be ignored in any learned scholarship that claims to be in genuine pursuit of “knowing”, the discovery of what is, without imparting any personal coloring of one's own to it. Meaning, keeping the observer and the observed separate and non-influencing, often impossible in social sciences where man is observing his own species. And of course, also impossible in the Schrödinger's cat physics paradox, of the act of observation itself disturbing the observed, and therefore making it paradoxical to learn what was the state of the observed before one tried observing it! In the human sense, since the mind that is being used to understand the world, is part of that world itself, there is an automatic self-referential limit to what is objectively knowable. It is the limiting factor of epistemology whereby the judgment of the mind not only colors what is being observed, but is unable to objectively observe itself. It carves a self-limit for discovering what is using the scientific method. Its well-known processes, which basically involve four recursive steps, or stages, any of which may be absent or combined in a given endeavor: (1) theorizing, hypothesizing, modeling; (2) testability (of the model), observability, reproducibility (by others); (3) measurability, quantifiability; and (4) predictability, anticipatability (based on the model); cannot deal with self-reference.
That fundamental limit was discovered/proved by the twentieth century Austrian logician, mathematician and philosopher, Kurt Friedrich Gödel, and has come to be known as Gödel's incompleteness theorem. How far does this fundamental limit extend from its self-referential hard limit clearly depends on the observer. Some minds are more limited in their abilities to be objective than others and hence encounter the limits of knowability sooner than they need to. The ultimate knower of all things therefore, even by its philosophical definition, the one who can transcend this hard limit, is the one outside of the domain of all things. That is the definition of God, both philosophically as well as mathematically. And it is precisely that definition of God that is also categorically expressed in the Holy Qur'an.
Only God can be the Knower of all things. Aleem ( العليم ). It is no surprise that ( العليم ) is among the 99 names of God in the Holy Qur'an, each name expressing a characteristic of God that can only apply to God in its most superlative degree. Which is why postulating the existence of God is so much easier than proving His existence --- the superlative degrees can only apply to the one who is by definition God. Which is why atheism that seeks only empiricism as its standard for argument and falsification falls on its face philosophically. Agnosticism is philosophically far more tenable and even sensible. And the super atheist of the twentieth century, Lord Bertrand Russell, admitted it as such in his debate with a priest in New York in 1948 that was broadcast by the BBC (see The Existence of God – A debate between Bertrand Russell and Father F. C. Copleston, Chapter 13, Why I am not a Christian, Routledge), that atheism cannot be proved or disproved, just as theism cannot be proved or disproved, and therefore they are both similar in terms of having beliefs on either end of the spectrum which cannot be falsified, and consequently the more tenable state is that of agnosticism. While empiricism is neutral towards both if we ignore existence as a self-evident proof in itself, philosophy swings the balance on the side of theism. Atheism is an absurdity of the one-half brained creature quite unlike the logical Mr. Spock who would straightforwardly see the philosophical logic of at least a philosophical God, one who can know all things, one who is not constrained by the material laws of nature and above it by definition. But when laws of nature is made god, then that axiom automatically precludes the existence of a philosophical God, and thus remains crippled philosophically by accepting the limits to knowability. Nothing is knowable outside of the laws of nature, which is limited by empiricism as its defining epistemology.
By definition then, accepting the limits to knowability confines knowability, alongside the imagination to believe that something greater than what's knowable by the mind can exist. If one accepts such limits to existence, one can really not make any sensible or rational statement of what one admits is beyond the realm of existence, i.e., nothing exists outside of the laws of nature. Thus, atheism remains crippled by absurdity as it ventures to make a negative statement outside the limits of its own self-defined limits to knowability. The atheist dug his own grave by making the laws of nature his supreme god because Gödel's incompleteness theorem provides a hard mathematical limit to perfect knowability, or perhaps better stated, proof of perfect knowability that what is knowable within the laws of nature is both complete and self-consistent. Since there is nothing outside of the laws of nature as the atheist's axiom of faith, his knowledge remains subjected to Gödel's incompleteness theorem. Therefore with his incomplete knowledge, he cannot deny that something does not exist for such an assertion logically requires complete and perfect knowledge in order to provably know what exists and what does not exist. For the theist however, the laws of nature are but a part of creation, like all other creation, even if the former may appear to be mechanistically governing the inner workings of the rest of creation. And thus, philosophically at least, there can exist one who can know beyond the laws of nature by being outside of the creation that is governed by the laws of nature! It violates no principle of logic to imagine it and is self-consistent with its own axiom of faith of theism. Ergo, God! An entity that is not governed by the laws of nature by definition, but who created the laws of nature as God, and transcends His own creation.
To Mr. Spock's fascination, the Holy Qur'an introduced man to just such a philosophically adjudicated God, self-consistent with the mathematical idea that in order to have perfect knowledge of a system, one must exist outside of it, and beyond it, and if one postulates that it is possible to have perfect knowledge of the system that is governed by the laws of nature, then one is also compelled to postulate God who must exist outside of that system. It is only logical. And conversely, in order to deny that God exists, one must also deny that perfect knowledge can exist, and then one is caught in one's own inconsistency trap for one cannot assert something does not exist if one accepts that perfect knowledge does not exist. For only perfect knowledge can provably claim what does and does not exist! Q.E.D.
Atheists who by definition claim absolute knowledge by asserting the negative, die by the hand of reductio ad absurdum. Which is why Bertrand Russell, as the philosopher-mathematician who understood logic, was way smarter than his modern progeny to quickly squirrel out of that charge of atheism by claiming agnosticism. And he did so in the very second sentence uttered by him in that debate with Father F. C. Copleston! For the sensible types who accept hard limits to knowledge amenable to both logic and the human mind and who don't make absurd claims beyond its logical purview, there is natural limits to perfect knowing. This has direct implications for epistemology and assertive axioms of faith which are its consequent; statements that cannot be proved to be true and are simply assumed to be true by faith alone because they might appear sensible, obvious, appeal to the heart or mind, or for convenience. The entire Euclidean Geometry is built upon such an axiom of faith for instance, that parallel lines don't meet at infinity! No one can prove this axiom to be true but it is both convenient and sensible under the assumption of non-relativistic physics in everyday existence.
Now that we better understand the unconquerable hard limits to knowing, to objective study, to absolute knowledge, that man is not God, and also understand the role of axioms in epistemology, it is easier to accept even the softer but somewhat more conquerable limits to knowing that are the consequent of our very nature of being a socialized species which defines our worldview from birth. It outlines and confines our “system” of existence so to speak. This human system has its own set of axioms, its presuppositions of faith, values, and beliefs that become ingrained into cultures and civilizations and which are taught to its every new generation born as “truths”. This natural human process of socialization and cultural memory creates a self-perpetuating system of subjectivity, and of myths that come to govern even the minutest details of daily lives spanning the gamut of existence from behavior to beliefs.
Even if there was no deliberate social engineering to make the public mind in calculated directions, the nature of human societies by definition creates social control that is beholden not always to a group of people, but to shared memory, shared habits, shared ethos, all of which drive the social norms and values, and consequently both individual and collective behavior. In other words, to be part of society is to be part of some behavior and belief control system by definition. To get an accurate and more objective knowledge of our own “system”, we have to extract ourselves from the confines of our worldviews and baseless presuppositions, and rise above them. The truth of this statement is most assuredly beyond doubt. It is in fact self-evident. No reasonable person can deny its commonsense even from their own daily experience of life. The uncomfortable fact that the subconscious human tendency towards a priori conclusions and predisposition, despite all earnest protestations of due diligence in having no presuppositions, appears to be the inherent nature of socialization bias, and of the subjectivity therein, and of the religiosity and self-righteousness conferred to one's socialized perspective, makes it hard to transcend our ingrained worldviews. Recall from the text in Part-II that the left and right half brains are abstractions of the logic and intuition functions of the mind loosely mapped to the brain geography and not necessarily a hard physical demarcation. Logic and rational reasoning abilities of the IQ (Intelligence Quotient) dominated left-half brain is quite unable to penetrate that socialization shield of soft bias subconsciously built up by the EQ (Emotional Quotient) dominated right-half brain. The latter evidently cocoons, or at least interferes with, the left-half's logic function of the mind in as yet unquantifiable but still visibly undeniable ways.
This visibility of their being separate functional entities that directly affect the understanding of reality is easily seen in the marked contrast between the characters of Mr. Spock and Captain Kirk in the Star Trek fable explored in Part-II. It is mentioned here only as a reminder of the full context of how the non-logic subjective mind can both help and hinder the objective logic mind. The only effective antidote to overcome the hindrance aspect which cripples human epistemology and the consequent understanding of reality, is increasing self-awareness. One must rationally attempt to compensate for all the accumulated filters of years of socialization biases by new cognitive filters that can negate their distortion effects of subjectivity. Know thy self to know the world! In electrical engineering parlance, it's like having compensation filters in the signal processing path to improve its signal to noise ratio – an analogy more apt for social sciences than may first be apparent to the un-initiated. Think of tuning an AM radio signal. It uses a tuned LC circuit to reject the noise and extract and amplify the broadcast signal. Un crippled epistemology in the social sciences as well as in physical sciences that purports to understand and know reality the way it is, shares this common characteristic --- the requirement to remove the layers of noise first in order to even receive the signal. Its accurate detection, extraction, decoding, verification of correct decoding, and making sense comes much later. History is exactly like that --- wrapped in accumulated layers of generations of socialized noise and willful as well as subconscious self-interests. The narratives that survive do so either by rulers' sanctions, or by oral history that is passed from generation to generation until it gets penned when the new rulers permit it. What is the signal? It needs that basic AM radio tuned circuit abstraction for detection, extraction, and making sense!
This is perhaps why the Holy Qur'an, while accepting socialization as a human fact of God's own Creation, has also laid such categorical emphasis on striving for “haq” (knowing reality, truth, justice, calling a spade a spade even against one's own self) under all conditions, for everyone among mankind, whereby, striving for overcoming one's “nafs”, the personal inclination and whim due to natural bent of mind, proclivity, socialization, predisposition, self-interests, and desires and fears (both conscious and subconscious), is termed the greater jihad and is made a hard co-requisite to the reflective study of the Holy Qur'an (for instance see Surah Al-Waqia, 56:78-79: “In a Book well-guarded, Which none shall touch but those who are clean (purified)”).
This is also why the sensible first order model of a cryptogram ciphertext from which the plaintext message needs to be accurately extracted, with graduated access control to its meaning based on shedding all biases as precondition, developed in this study is the most apt model for logically deciphering the message contained in this most unique Book of all books. Without this perceptive model that lends some measure of objectivity to the study of the Holy Qur'an, socialization bias virtually determines its entire meaning for both an individual and his society. That exercise of socialization, for the lack of a more sanitizing description, lays the first foundation of indoctrinating systems to control public behavior. For religion to have any philosophical significance beyond man-made as a method of social control, and beyond personal as a method of self-catharsis and self-gratification, meaning, for religion to be viewed as being of Divine origin and Divine purpose as the Divine Guidance from a Transcendental Source rather than of human origin, accurately deciphering its specification irrespective of the observer, mandates such a rational model for understanding it.
The fact that virtually zero understanding of this aspect of social science is betrayed by any notable Muslim scholar that has passed by this scribe's slovenly gaze over the years of his study, bespeaks of the moribund state of intellectual thought in Muslim scholarship which has progressively only degenerated into incestuously self-reinforced dogmas and doctrines that find scant support in the Determinates of the Holy Qur'an.
The proof of that pudding is in its eating. It is self-evident by just looking at the state of Muslims and at the state of the enemies of Muslims – both are driven almost exclusively by their respective socialized predisposition instead of what the Good Book itself says. The same text is interpreted by them based on their own narrow socialization bias when subconscious, and pathetic self-interests when conscious. The staunchest enemies of the Muslims, the Jews, are driven exclusively by their blind hatred of Prophet Muhammad and Islam, just as they are driven by their blind hatred of Christ and Christianity – although the two are today cozy bed fellows of strange mutual convenience with the Jew wagging the goy in their combined onslaught against Islam and Muslims – and both enemies of Muslims exaggerate and amplify their hatred along their respective narrow socialization biases in about the same measure as the Shia and Sunni Muslims are each driven by their blind love of Prophet Muhammad and Islam, while differing in their respective understanding exactly along their own narrow socialization biases. Qualitatively, to the observant student of sociology at least, one who has succeeded in distancing himself to some measure from what he is observing, these are different manifestations of the same primary phenomena: socialization under crippled epistemology. It yields a plentiful harvest of useful idiots for Machiavelli and Übermensch.
The Case Study in Mantra Creation in the report on The Mighty Wurlitzer explains how the socialization biases and cultural memories of the unwary public are cunningly harvested for their own perception management. Specific attention is paid to the works of Edward Bernays and political psychologists referenced therein --- a social science field that appears to be entirely foreign to the Muslim intellect. That unsophisticated public mind, Muslim and non Muslim alike, is easy picking for the diabolical Western hegemons who have today penetrated not just psychology and behavior control, but are rapidly moving towards full spectrum human control. See Zbigniew Brzezinski's presaging in Between Two Ages, Aldous Huxley's dystopic fable: A Brave New World, and Aldous Huxley's talk at the University of California, Berkeley, titled The Ultimate Revolution, March 20, 1962, all fully referenced and examined in The Mighty Wurlitzer, ibid., to realize how little independence of thought even an intellectual really exercises upon his own mind today.
The trifecta of the forces of nature, nurture, and perception managers all conspire to extract obedience and conformity from the human mind. The truly independent mind may exist only in philosophy, in fables, and as an abstraction. It arguably cannot exist in socialized man. Especially when he is compelled to “United We Stand”. Self-serving forces of co-option and cognitive dissonance ensure that outcome, often subconsciously when one is not an outright mercenary or superman. This complex reality directly colors the acquisition of knowledge, and the subsequent expression of knowledge. Especially for studying the untermensch, the lesser peoples, meaning others different from us, their belief systems, their value systems, their histories, their literatures, and their civilizations whence one man's treasures become another man's trash.
A telling quote from Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay of the British Empire, speaking to the British Parliament to redefine the Indian subcontinent's education policy under British colonial rule, captures the veritable truth of these words which have universal import for the pursuit of all social sciences:
“I have no knowledge of either Sanscrit or Arabic. But I have done what I could to form a correct estimate of their value. I have read translations of the most celebrated Arabic and Sanscrit works. I have conversed, both here and at home, with men distinguished by their proficiency in the Eastern tongues. I am quite ready to take the oriental learning at the valuation of the orientalists themselves. I have never found one among them who could deny that a single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia. The intrinsic superiority of the Western literature is indeed fully admitted by those members of the committee who support the oriental plan of education.” --- Minute on Indian Education, Minute by the Hon'ble T. B. Macaulay, dated the 2nd February 1835
While the aforementioned example is one of shocking denigration from a colonizing power flushed with the hubris of imperalism and suffering from the superiority complex of all conquerors, the same qualitatively applies in converse as well, when one is hagiographically studying one's own civilization, literature, history, or religion, and gloats as Macaulay does in the above example. Also when one is suffering from an abject inferiority complex as the colonized and enslaved people and studying the ruling class whereby everything that is one's own is deemed inferior and unworthy. It is often accompanied by a mad rush to adopt everything foreign, from ideas, language, and solutions to objects, lifestyles, and amenities.
The first step towards objectivity therefore, on any subject, is none other than becoming aware of one's own innate subjectivity, and its immersion in crippled epistemology, and confronting it head on. Everything else just follows from it.
No sensible person can deny the truth of these words for the matter is self-evident. Except perhaps when applying to one self. This scribe has yet to meet a person, from the man of cloth to the man of science, arts, humanities, or letters, who believes he is anything but objective! That is the tragedy of man from time immemorial; living and dying self-righteously off of a crippled epistemology! Which is why this scribe calls this age the Age of Jahiliya. It is an age from which self-awareness has been most cunningly stripped off and substituted with, as Zbigniew Brzezinski put it in Between Two Ages, “narrow-gauged specialists or superficial generalists”. This makes for a perfect golden age for the Machiavellian scientific controllers behind the scenes as depicted in Plato's Allegory of the Cave. The age, and the methods of human behavior control in that age, go hand in hand:
“In the technetronic society the trend seems to be toward aggregating the individual support of millions of unorganized citizens, who are easily within the reach of magnetic and attractive personalities, and effectively exploiting the latest communication techniques to manipulate emotions and control reason.
Reliance on television—and hence the tendency to replace language with imagery, which is international rather than national, and to include war coverage or scenes of hunger in places as distant as, for example, India—creates a somewhat more cosmopolitan, though highly impressionistic, involvement in global affairs.” --- Zbigniew Brzezinski, Between Two Ages, 1970, pg. 11
The possibilities of scientific human control in the technetronic society is also examined in great depth in Bertrand Russell's Impact of Science on Society, 1952, where the British Fabian philosopher of the oligarchic ruling class made the argument for absolute control of the masses finally being made possible in the modern scientific era. It was the same wine in a new bottle which was corked by Zbigniew Brzezinski for the same oligarchy in Between Two Ages some two decades later. The British philosopher observed that global scientific control in a world police-state is the only effective way for a stable society to exist in which all the undesirable useless eaters have been population controlled like game on a natural preserve, and the preferred races, mainly the European white man, given unlimited liberty to procreate their superior progeny at will. Russell's purpose being the same as Brzezinski's, Huxley's, Wells', and many others going all the way back to Plato. While the latter was warning the public against the Übermensch social engineers with the best of intent to have noble men become their wise shepherd as the philosopher-king, others arguably presaged the techniques of mind manipulation and behavior control as a self-serving self-fullfilling prophecy for the Social Darwinian Übermensch continuing as their natural shepherd in the scientific era just as he has been from time immemorial with more primitive techniques:
“There is, it must be confessed, a psychological difficulty about a single world government. The chief source of social cohesion in the past, I repeat, has been war: the passions that inspire feeling of unity are hate and fear. These depend upon the existence of an enemy, actual or potential. It seems to follow that a world government could only be kept in being by force, not by the spontaneous loyalty that now inspires a nation at war.” --- Bertrand Russell, Impact of Science on Society, 1952, Chapter 2, General Effects of Scientific Technique, pg 37
As one can easily see, these dystopic forces of social engineering have direct implications for the creation, promulgation and acquisition of knowledge; for both suppression of accurate knowledge, and for making it difficult to acquire the pertinent facts and analysis in a timely manner when its widespread public disclosure can prevent a fait accompli. Control of knowledge, of reporting of events of history and current affairs, and of the perceptive understanding of these matters, is the cornerstone of controlling humanity. Control, control, control, is the mantra of the superman in every era --- Why? Because he claims to know best because of his higher intelligence, greater wealth, or the privilege of being closer to God, if not god himself. Aldous Huxley warned of the grotesque reality of that style of social control for inducing voluntary servitude, and the arrival of the scientific era which is enabling this brave new world of engineered social control at an accelerated pace. Huxley called it the era of the Ultimate Revolution in social control, an era in which people can be made to love their servitude:
'You can do everything with bayonets except sit on them! If you are going to control any population for any length of time you must have some measure of consent. It's exceedingly difficult to see how pure terrorism can function indefinitely. It can function for a fairly long time, but I think sooner or later you have to bring in an element of persuasion. An element of getting people to consent to what is happening to them.
Well, it seems to me that the nature of the Ultimate Revolution with which we are now faced is precisely this: that we are in process of developing a whole series of techniques which will enable the controlling oligarchy who have always existed and presumably always will exist, to get people actually to love their servitude!
This is the, it seems to me the ultimate in malevolent revolution shall we say.' --- Aldous Huxley, The Ultimate Revolution, speech at the University of California, Berkeley, March 20, 1962, minute 04:06
Overcoming such dystopic forces of social engineering requires overcoming the reality captured by Brzezinski, of the macro economics of nations and the rapid pace of scientific development fashioning “narrow-gauged specialists or superficial generalists” who are content to labor hard all day long, and loving it.
This counter exercise to perverse social control requires a great deal of societal transformation in who wields its power, an exercise which is nothing short of revolutionary, the least of which, to begin its public demand, is the public:
- acquiring a perceptive understanding of power and its role in the making of the human mind;
- acquiring wherewithal of social forces by not merely training to become blind-folded economic widgets chasing the “American Dream”;
- acquiring knowledge that leads to better understanding of reality and the forces that have shaped it, and continue to shape it;
- and consequently, requiring the expenditure of a great deal of mental and physical personal energy despite the needs of the stomach and career and for which there may not be any immediately gratifying pot of gold waiting at the end of the rainbow.
A tall order to think important, let alone to pursue, in an age that is by design engineered to fashion only “a large number of men who are content to labor hard all day long”:
'The economic well-being of the nation depends on the presence of a large number of men who are content to labor hard all day long. Because men are naturally lazy they will not work unless forced by necessity to do so.' --- Bernard de Mandeville, The Fable of the Bees, 1705
These are all the very real forces behind the man-made soft limits to knowledge, difficult to overcome, but not impossible to overcome. Nevertheless, it is also not so straightforward to overcome either because in the age of universal deceit, to discover the truth is a revolutionary act!! The levels of co-option hiding in the dark recesses of the human mind, and in the human stomach, are not separated from the pursuit of this revolutionary act. And it all hinges upon the Qur'anic prescription of “jihad-un-nafs” – the first principle from which all truth shines through its protective layers.
Now we understand the full dimensions of the many impediments to both acquiring knowledge of reality the way it actually is, past and present, and using that knowledge productively rather than just for amusing ourselves when we do dare to seek it forthrightly.
Therefore, the public mind that is largely unable to fully indulge in such strenuous mental (and spiritual) effort to extract signals from a sea of epistemological noise, should instead be guided on the following Determinate path of the Holy Qur'an rather than embark on some self-appointed la mission civilisatrice to get all others to agree with one's own narrow worldview:
“If Allah had so willed, He would have made you a single people, but (His plan is) to test you in what He hath given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to Allah; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute.” (verse fragment 5:48)
One can decide for oneself what one is now, and rather strive to be: a programmed robot unable to reason beyond the worldview inherited, meaning 98% of the Muslim mind; or trenchantly able to confront that incestuous programming by reasoning just one single step beyond?
In the first case, the path is clear:
- Strive to implement verse 5:48 of Surah Al-Maeda without taxing one's mind, imagination, and emotional makeup too much.
- One may stay happily attached to one's own sect (by birth or by inclination), fiqh, books, and set of beliefs, and instead, focus on pursuing فَاسْتَبِقُوا الْخَيْرَاتِ in this life in relationship to others. Let the Afterlife take care of its own – and should one disagree with others in matters of faith: “it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute.”
- That does not mean to dig up one's favored interpretation from the Holy Qur'an to condemn others, but rather, to build consensus on the common Determinates of the Holy Qur'an and leave the Indeterminates to people as their own choice.
- But do keep in mind the Author's promise that one shall be raised with the Imam one followed: “One day We shall call together all human beings with their (respective) Imams” ( يَوْمَ نَدْعُو كُلَّ أُنَاسٍ بِإِمَامِهِمْ ) (Surah al-Israa' 17:71). The word “Imam” according to The Arabic-English dictionary of the Holy Qur'an in this scribe's reference is defined as: “Leader; President; Any object that is followed, whether a human being or a book or a highway”. The “imam” one follows is obviously one's choice. Permit the same right to choice to others without passing judgment, and suddenly, for the vast majority of Muslim public divided into sectarianism from birth, we get one hundred different self-righteous sects able to live peaceably with each other, accommodating each other, and competing with each other “as in a race in all virtues.” ( فَاسْتَبِقُوا الْخَيْرَاتِ )
- Surely the Biblical follower would be looking at this remarkable religion of Islam with some envy – given the burden put upon the poor Crusading soldier to go save everyone's soul in order to save his own! In Islam, worry about your own soul. Obviously, this commonsense has never transpired among any people, and is surely not about to transpire among Muslims either – left to their own devices. See the Path Forward in Part-III.
In the second case the journey is more strenuous:
- One surely can get out of one's own shoes and endeavor to look at one's own epistemology with the same measure of objectivity that one employs to condemn others'.
- This new path does require expending strenuous mental activity. Firstly, in becoming cognizant of one's own socialization and perception biases. That exercise requires a heightened degree of self-awareness, an acute penchant for intellectual honesty, and an intellect that is able to bear witness against its own self and against its own heroes when called for. Such an intellect is not born pre-built any more than a child is born with its clothes on. It has to be developed and sharpened on the anvil of ego suppression in an honest search for truth, especially for the objective study of any matter that one is emotionally attached to. Secondly, only with an intellect that soars on Mt. Fuji in purposeful honesty and cognizant of its own limitations, can one put the necessary scrutinizing filters on the mind to cancel out one's natural socialization biases and proclivity towards self-selecting sources seeking subconscious confirmation of presuppositions, in order to create some detachment between the subject under study and the observer. This exercise takes one on a road much less traveled, especially by the Muslim mind – scholar and laity alike – perpetually weaned on the scholarship of incestuous self-reinforcement. But this arduous journey on the road less traveled may serendipitously take one to wherever truth dwells:
'I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.'
(The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost)
Only the journey of a people on that road not taken can eventually lead to the fulfillment of the divine prayer to fashion the fractious Muslims into a single nation without extracting everyone else from its definition: “Our Lord! make of us Muslims, bowing to Thy (Will), and of our progeny a Muslim nation, bowing to Thy (will);” (2:128) --- for all the roads taken obviously have not!
We begin next with the timeline of all the earliest primary written works of Muslim history and Muslim scholarship in existence today which is the source of all secondary works, commentaries, histories, and analyses throughout the past one thousand years. Let the evidence of where Muslims get most of their Islam from speak for itself.
Continued in Part-V
About The Author
Please be advised that the author is not a scholar of Islam. Only its student.
The author, an ordinary justice activist, formerly an ordinary engineer in Silicon Valley, California (see engineering patents at http://tinyurl.com/zahir-patents ), founded Project Humanbeingsfirst.org in the aftermath of 9/11. He was, mercifully, most imperfectly educated in the United States of America despite attending its elite schools on both coasts. This might perhaps explain how he could escape the fate of “likkha-parrha-jahils” (educated morons) mass produced in its technetronic society with all his neurons still intact and still firing on all cylinders. He is inspired by plain ordinary people rising to extraordinary challenges of their time more than by privileged and gifted people achieving extraordinary things. He chose his byline to reflect that motivation: The Plebeian Antidote to Hectoring Hegemons. Bio at http://zahirebrahim.org. Email: email@example.com. Verbatim reproduction license for all his work at http://humanbeingsfirst.org/#Copyright.
Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/Hijacking-Quran-pt4
Source URL: http://faith-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2011/08/islam-why-is-quran-easy-to-hijack-pt4.html
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First Published Friday, August 19, 2011, 19th day of Ramadan in the US, Muslim year 1432 | Extended April 2015 for 2nd Edition.
Last updated April 17, 2015 07:00 pm 11599
Part-IV Islam: Why is the Holy Qur'an so easy to hijack? Zahir Ebrahim 28/28