Zahir Ebrahim | Project Humanbeingsfirst.org
Part IV of Raahe-Nijaat (the way out) series on Pakistan
As far as Mr. Spock has been able to ascertain from his study of the Holy Qur'an, there are no Imams (Guides, Leaders, Rulers to rule over the Muslim nation after the Prophet of Islam) mentioned in the Holy Qur'an by name, nor the fact of their number, as in how many, except for the sole fact of the veritable existence of some unnamed وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ to whom allegiance, obedience, is made as much compulsory for Muslims as is allegiance and obedience to the Prophet of Islam. That latter fact is categorical. The verse of obedience, 4:59, is categorical, blanket, general, and most clear. It cannot be denied (which is why, instead of denying it, the verse of obedience is resemantified, distorted and misinterpreted by the anointed experts from the clergy class to legitimize just about anyone's rule, including their own). Nor can it be denied that logical deductions from the verses of the Holy Qur'an have led Mr. Spock to the conclusion that these could only be from the Ahlul Bayt because of the requirement for being inerrant, infallible, if such absolute obedience commanded to any mortal man is made equivalent to obedience to God. And such perfect cleansing, from mistakes and errors, has only been afforded to the Ahlul Bayt in the entire Holy Qur'an, in the verse of perfect cleansing, 33:33 – and to no one else! The identity of who exactly comprise the Ahlul Bayt is not specified in the Holy Qur'an. Nor is it specified who these unnamed valih-e-amr ( وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ ) are. Their precise identity therefore, if pertinence demands knowing who these are in future history, meaning outside of their own respective lifetime, requires adjudication from empirical data. Meaning, from the recorded pages of history, meaning going to sources outside of the pages of the Holy Qur'an – the first-cause source of pluralistic interpretations of Islam as already discussed in the preceding sections.
Beyond that, everything else on the subject of rulership of Muslims is shrouded in metaphorical verses of the Indeterminates. These are open to interpretation and historical fixing, and usually almost entirely by socialization bias. Neither the names of the members of the Ahlul Bayt, nor the names of the four Caliphs who took power in temporal succession after the Messenger's demise, nor the names of the Ummayad and Abbaside imperial rulers who came thereafter to create the Muslim dynastic empires, nor the names of the famous Hadith compilers and exegesis writers, nor the prominent jurists who formed their schools of jurisprudence by which Muslims identify themselves in sectarian affiliations, nor the names of any of the companions of the Messenger, nor the names of his wives, are mentioned in the Holy Qur'an. This silence is also a fact.
It begs the obvious question: Why is the Holy Qur'an not explicit in its own categorical verses on the question of Rulership of Islam after the Messenger of Islam? Why is there not a single verse in the Holy Qur'an which unequivocally identifies who precisely is to succeed the Prophet of Islam in the rulership and imammate of the nascent Islamic state after his demise? There is so much repetition of the mundane matters, including bedroom etiquette, and not one verse on guidance of how the Muslims are to be politically governed after the Prophet, let alone who is to take up his political and spiritual mantle? The Prophet of Islam, after all, had established the first Islamic state. What were the rules of successorship to be after him? And how were these to apply after that epoch, in future times? Instead, there are verses after verses on the concept of Imam, wilayat, valih, wasilah, etc., all forming a multiplicity of riddles couched in indirections and Indeterminates which must be solved, objectively and logically to say the least, in order to extract the Message contained in the Holy Qur'an accurately.
What bothers Mr. Spock is not that silence in preciseness itself, because his logical mind straightforwardly discerns that fact of omission itself to be part of the Message of the Holy Qur'an, and therefore only to be deciphered correctly by its proclaimed adherents, but the more fundamental question: Why is that question not asked by Muslims themselves? Mr. Spock is more perturbed by their illogical rush to the scribes and pages of history to assert their own myopic inheritance as the principal message of Islam, often exclusively by socialization bias, and of the sect and home each is born into. Hardly the most sensible way to understand a Book as momentous as the Holy Qur'an!
What the Holy Qur'an has instead specified is exclusively the criterion by which to judge, adjudicate, ascertain and affirm, all matters pertaining to the religion of Islam in its categorical verses. Some of these criterion have been used by Mr. Spock to figure out many things, some shocking, like the admonishment that some Muslims in the time of the Messenger were “on a clearly wrong Path” (Surah Al-Ahzaab, 33:36). Similarly, on the topic which principally divides Sunnis and Shias and from which all their other sectarian differences follow – was there, or was there not, appointment of an Apostolic Successor by Divine Decree and proclaimed by the Messenger? So judge by the Determinate criterion of the Holy Qur'an alone, to your own good heart's content, who is entitled to be وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ from among the distinguished players of history. Mr. Spock's path to understand the Qur'anic criterion is summarized in the Self Study section at the end.
But also observe that its relevance today is principally only of theoretical and academic interest from the point of view of the Determinate verses of the Holy Qur'an. Because, if it wasn't, these historically entitled وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ would have been identified in the Holy Qur'an by name and details about them would be contained in the Determinates of the Holy Qur'an for subsequent generations to follow categorically, until the end of time. The reason they are not identified by name, is arguably because they were clearly known to the peoples in the era they each lived in, and were principally meant for. Whereas, the theologies surrounding them which have reached Muslims some millennia later, are not to be found in the Holy Qur'an except by way of interpretation of the Indeterminates, largely drawn from the preferred penmanship of history. What would have happened if none of these scribes existed, or had written anything – just as nothing was written down for more than a century after the demise of the Prophet of Islam? On what logical basis, deduced from the criterion of the Holy Qur'an, are these fallible scribes predicates to the understanding of the infallible Holy Qur'an? Mr. Spock found no reference in the Holy Qur'an mandating the existence of these scribes. There is no mention in the Holy Qur'an of scribes who have been “perfected” for this task of faultless preservation of historical narratives that exist today as the primary written sources of Islam outside of the Holy Qur'an.
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 them:
“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 again for emphasis in 2:141)
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 explicit 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. 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, 2:166-167)
The Indeterminates of the Holy Qur'an weren't meant to be filled in by the imaginative scribes in pious robes, nor spawn Muslim empires by subverting their meanings from the pulpit, nor the latter day lucrative industry of madrassas, howzas, and seminaries which run into unaccountable billions of dollars of annual zakat, khums, and endowment funds. Like the financial secrecy enjoyed by the Papacy, no one has any accounting for these funds. No nation demands it. No accounting firm produces the balance sheet for the public for the funds harvest from the public in the name of religion. This holy industry feeds for lifetime, generations of savants who often cannot be gainfully employed in any competitive sector of society. In modernity, if you are a mental midget who cannot get into college, or are too poor to feed yourself, you become an “alim”. If you are more fortunate, you become a “revolutionary”, or acquire a Ph.D. to “bring reform to Islam”. The religion of Islam remaining in the clutches of the pulpit that feeds off of it, for profit, power, or glory, can never stand up to the hectoring hegemons. It becomes the stage for house niggers, useful idiots, and mercenaries of empire to rally the public mind to its agendas. We even empirically witness this in our own times. Caught between the Hegelian Dialectic of “militant Islam” and “moderate Islam”, with “revolutionary Islam” soon to be added to its mix to foment more “revolutionary times” of internecine violence, the sectarian pulpit spells worldwide national suicide for Muslims today.
Just as the ancient scribes fixed the Indeterminates of the Holy Qur'an to suit their narrow self-interests, we have the opportunity to rationally unfix the Indeterminates of their subversive bindings to suit our broader existential self-interests. We have the same ability to de-emphasize the Indeterminates in our religious ethos, or to treat them as options not to be fought or disunited over, just as the earlier times went in the opposite direction. We have the opportunity to actively build on what is common ground so easily forged by the Determinates of the Holy Qur'an, just as those who went before us differentiated on the basis of the Indeterminates.
Only that sensible path offers any coherent possibilities for Muslims to finally stop being puppets on a string. Only that approach permits the sectarianly divided Muslims to come together against common global predators whose only real leverage upon Muslims is their superior Machiavellian ability to divide and conquer the simpleton public mind.
Muslims in every new generation get the opportunity afresh to stop being simpletons. That is why man is given his own little “zulfiqar”, his intellect! But it is born dull just as man is born naked at birth. And just as we don't go prancing about in our birth-day clothes au natural for the rest of our lives just because we are born naked, and if someone did they'd be simply locked away in an asylum, those still prancing about in their birth-day mind au natural, are just as simply harvested for fodder by the Nietzschean superman.
Focussing on the Determinates effectively checkmates the hijacking of the religion of Islam from all pulpits. It helps overcome the sectarian divide among Muslims without either requiring anyone to give up their own socialization biases, nor requiring anyone to accept any particular sect's supremacy as the sole custodian of the religion of Islam some fourteen-fifteen centuries later.
Just acquiring that first crucial understanding, that Indeterminates by definition seed diversity of viewpoints, and those viewpoints that are inimical to the spirit of Islam expressed in its Determinates will always sow discord, is sufficient for this coming together of the Muslim public mind. Such common ground does not require a common pulpit. It only requires reaching a common understanding of the above principle so lucidly visible in the Holy Qur'an with even a modicum of reflection. All else will naturally follow with the realization that Muslims should abstain from building the core religious values of their faith upon the narratives of the scribes of history who fixed these Indeterminates according to their own logic and motivations pertinent to their own epoch, when today Muslims have the same pristine text of the same Holy Qur'an untampered by human hand also available to them to guide them in their own epoch!
Muslims today have that momentous benefit denied all other peoples none of whose sacred scriptures can stand that test of time. To then journey voluntarily on the path that peoples of other religions are involuntarily forced to adopt because they do not have such un-tampered sacred scriptures, and that path lead to disunity and infighting, is outright stupidity. Nay, asininity. When such foolishness leads to internecine warfare, it is outright criminal. And not to fight back that criminalist path when it perches a people on the very brink of existentialism, a national suicide!
Who can liberate the Muslim public mind so steeped in rituals, so manipulated from the pulpit in every sect, and so incestuously socialized into their respective sectarian ethos generation after generation? How to bootstrap that transformation of the Muslim public mind without wiping out that cultural history? How to fight back that national suicide?
If Mustafa Kemal Atatürk can ruthlessly separate a domineering people from their 300 year old Muslim heritage of Ottoman empire within a single generation to create Westernized Turkey, if Ayatollah Khomeini can wipe out 2500 year old heritage of monarchy in Persia in far less time than that to create a Revolutionary theological Iran, it surely can be done. But can it be done without bloodshed, internecine violence, and a forced separation from who we are? Both those cited transformations of the twentieth century came at the expense of that forced separation of a people from their heritage; and much spilled Muslim blood – mostly by Muslims themselves! Neither is necessary nor desirable in order to end the divisiveness of sectarianism.
All it takes is pulpits in all sects to perceptively understand, and judiciously promulgate, the concepts of Determinates and Indeterminates to their respective flock. The rest will naturally follow. That initial first step will surely take state power to affect at national and international levels – for, if the pulpit was ever so rational, it had the choice of addressing the problem in the previous centuries on their own. Just as it took state power to first preserve the Holy Qur'an, it will also take state power to first push its common Determinate meaning through. The rest will surely be organic once a new generation grows up learning the new understanding. Other principled measures can also be adopted by any state, such as mandating Determinate verse 5:48 of Surah Al-Maeda as the overarching mission statement of every Muslim sect under its suzerainty in order for the sect to be accorded state recognition and constitutional protection of rights as a legitimate Islamic sect.
There is no fundamental political problem in sowing beneficial ideas by a state irrespective of its national or ideological predicates – popular atheist philosopher and novelist Ayn Rand's twentieth-century theology of Objectivism and individual selfishness notwithstanding. Holy Qur'an is inimical to such ideas and therefore, to not accord ideas inimical to the religion of Islam any protection in a Muslim dominated state is rational and self-consistent with the theology that is espoused by the people of that state. It is no different than the United States not according space to Communist ideology in its state and global sphere of influence. In the same vein, fraternal ideas the Holy Qur'an engenders in its Determinate verses are both a spiritual as well as political constitution to live by for Muslims and therefore, there is no principal reason why certain key political principles extracted from the Good Book not be adopted as governing principles of a state even if it is a secular state. Just that one simple fundamental measure, like its Biblical counterpart known as The Golden Rule, will ensure that vitriolic sects whose entire raison d'être is ominously self-righteousness and exclusionary, declaring others “non-Muslim” their axiomatic enactment of their philosophy (takfirism), get naturally wiped out by making the soil infertile for their growth. That soil conditioning ingredient is categorically provided in the Holy Qur'an.
The power of political sagaciousness and beneficial mutual co-existence inherent in the Determinate verse 5:48 of Surah Al-Maeda both checkmates, and preempts, all internecine warfare among Muslims. No outside or inside Machiavelli can harvest Muslim cracks and lacunas with the universal adoption of verse 5:48 as part of the state constitution where diverse Muslim sects live in any substantial numbers and permitted to practice their religion with state protection of their rights. Those religious rights can be made contingent on the directives of the very religion that is being accorded state political rights. It is akin to making the Biblical Golden Rule “Do unto others as you have others do unto you” the cornerstone of all nations' constitutions by international law.
This line of reasoning is neither platitudinous nor theoretical. But straightforward Qur'anic political science to defeat Machiavellian political science. Take political science out of religion, out of the moral calculus of governance, and all a people are left with is the empty shell of banal rituals ripe for harvesting by Machiavelli to create hell on earth. That's how the Religion of Islam was principally hijacked, and that's also how it will ever be un-hijacked! And as in all battles between good and evil, between masters and slaves, between hegemony and servitude, between supremacy and equitable co-existence, between international law and aggression, this battle too needs to be fought. It needs its champions and its powerbase no differently than primacy needs its champions and its powerbase. Without their respective champions, neither side can dominate. The reason primacy continually succeeds to dominate is because it is not shackled by moral calculus and has instead made itself adept at shackling all others. Qur'anic political science is its antidote.
The world might pay attention to this if they care to rid themselves of the curse of the repeated diabolical harvesting of the religion of Islam for “imperial mobilization”. The world might also pay attention to the political evils spread in the name of “freedom” that is nipped in the bud with such cautious political adoption – even if it may sound exclusionary to the nihilistic advocates of unlimited freedom. This includes the so called avant-garde in political thought who want freedom to spread political evil in the name of political freedom, freedom to destroy with vile speech in the name of freedom of speech, freedom to belittle others' religion in the name of freedom of religion, and freedom to spread anarchy in the name of freedom of individualism. No civilization can exist for long with predators flourishing among them in the name of freedom and devouring its every moral civilizational construct in the lofty guise of liberté, égalité, fraternité.
The aforementioned solution-space is applicable even when the political governance system that Muslims live in is a theological state of any sectarian flavor. Today, these span the full gamut of defining governance characteristics that are not to be found in the Holy Qur'an but is presented as being part of the religion of Islam. Drawn entirely from the Indeterminates, it spans the gamut of extremes: from the strict orthodox Wahabi-Salafi Sunni sect that rules Islam's holiest places as a private kingdom named after their own ruling family which interprets ( وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ ) of verse 4:59 as anyone vested in temporal power by any means (amply supported by their own preferred history's scribes and precedents); to the “virtuous philosopher-king” model of the Iranian Shia sect asserting a mandate for “Imammate by proxy” also based on the same verse 4:59 (and also amply supported by their own preferred history's scribes and precedents)!
The Iranian Revolution of Ayatollah (imam) Khomeini (imam in the ordinary sense of political and spiritual leader whom people followed, hence lower case usage) however was somewhat more creative and principled than the Wahabis pernicious takeover of Islam's sacred soil under the banner of the House of Saud.
The latter were largely an ignorant but locally powerful tribe, cognitively infiltrated by the Wahabi sect invented by the British empire as part of its ongoing subversive warfare upon the Muslim Ottoman empire, and brought to state power in the Hijaz by the interplay of victorious superpowers on the grand chessboard of the early twentieth century.
Whereas, the Iranian Revolution in the second half of the twentieth century was led largely by well-read scholars and theologians. Ayatollah (imam) Khomeini easily adapted Plato's “philosopher-king” for his “governance of the faqih” (vilayat-i faqih) model, seamlessly tying it to the Shia jurisprudence principle of “taqlid” to shepherd the flock. The philosopher-faqih and stoic antagonist of the despotic American imposed monarchy in Iran, equally easily sold the new franchise of “revolutionary Islam” to the Iranian public mind which had been readily primed for the revolution through the good graces of the ignoble Shah's CIA trained SAVAK. That, it was far nobler in the mind to be ruled by an enlightened clergy in the name of God under Divine Rule as the perpetual enemy of America (the Great Satan), rather than by America's own Shahanshah in his own royal name – without the conception of Hegelian Dialectic ever becoming part of the discourse space. The arc of crisis was lighted simultaneously on the Grand Chessboard by American President Jimmy Carter and his National Security Advisor with diabolical opposites: revolutionary Sunnis in Afghanistan as the sacred Mujahideens with “God is on your side”, and revolutionary Shias in Iran as the infernal enemy.
See respectively, “Selling the Carter Doctrine”, Time Magazine, February 18, 1980 ; and “IRAN: The Crescent of Crisis”, Time Magazine, January 15, 1979. Nothing is as it is made to appear in current affairs where beliefs based on half-truths and outright lies are diabolically implanted in the public mind – virtually everything the public is made to believe in international relations is myth. See “Unlayering the Middle East War Agenda: Making Sense of Absurdities” ( tinyurl.com/making-sense-of-absurdities ). The same is true of the theological construct of valih-e-faqih that draws upon Divine Mandate to make the public mind. It bears closer scrutiny.
Is it Determinate in the Holy Qur'an?
A non hagiographic examination of the conception of vilayat-i faqih in both Ayatollah (imam) Khomeini's book: “Islam and Revolution” (translated by Hamid Algar, 1981), and how it has been enacted in post Revolutionary Iran, reveals that it is little different in terms of absolutist governance than what it replaced: both autocratic rules by those who ascribe to themselves the divine right of kings to rule and consequently, absolutely intolerant of dissenting ideology and dissenting politics. Both demonized their respective antagonists at home (never mind abroad) with the absolute righteousness of divine authority. Both asserting with unsurpassed oratory, and with the power of the state backing their oration, that the chosen elite, respectively themselves, is more entitled to govern the public than the public itself. And that, like the king's rule, the valih-e-faqih's rule too is absolute, with no limits, and no checks and balances, so long as he rules “justly”. The valih-e-faqih defines what is just and what isn't in all matters, including political matters of the state, as the imam (leader), and in theory can only be replaced if he leaves the bounds of Islamic Sharia. The absolute rule by the valih-e-faqih as the representative of the “hidden Imam”, is deemed by the jurist to be an obligatory religious duty as an integral part of the concept of “wilayah”, Divine Rule, prescribed by the religion of Islam for ruling the Islamic state.
Meaning, the Islamic state must be ruled by the jurist, and it is incumbent upon the jurist to create the Islamic state for Muslims and to rule it with absolute authority demanding absolute obedience just as the Prophet of Islam and his designated successor ruled with absolute authority.
In a 6 January 1988 letter to Iran's president and Friday prayer leader Sayyed Ali Khamenei on Determining the limitations of the authority of the Islamic government under the valih-e-faqih's rule, Ayatollah (imam) Khomeini addressing the president of Iran as “Hojjat al-Islam Mr. Khamenei” (and not as “Ayatollah Khamenei” as he is presently saluted and unquestioningly followed as the “marja taqlid”), and while paying elegant lip-service to accepting criticism as a “divine gift” in these pious words: “And of course we should not assume that whatever we say and do, no one has the right to criticize. Criticism, even condemnation, is a divine gift for the growth of humans.”, unequivocally asserted the principle of boundarylessness of “Absolute Divine Rule” vested in the ruler of the Islamic state:
“I must state that governance, which is a branch of the Absolute Rule of the Prophet (PBUH), is one of the primary laws of Islam; and it takes precedence over all secondary Laws, even prayer and fasting and the hajj pilgrimage. The ruler can destroy a mosque or a house that sits in the route for a road, and avoid the money to the owner. The ruler can shut down mosques in times of necessity; and destroy a mosque belonging to pretenders [zerar], if a resolution is not possible without destruction. The government may unilaterally void Sharia-based contracts that it itself has made with the people in situations where that contract is contrary to the good of the nation and Islam. And it can prevent any action – be it devotional or not – that is contrary to the interests of Islam - as long as it continues to be so. The government can temporarily prevent the hajj pilgrimage – which is one of the most important divine practices – in situations where it deems it to be contrary to the interests of the Islamic country.” --- Translation via the Iran Data Portal at Princeton University, http://tinyurl.com/khomeini-letter-govlimits-1988 (link to Original Persian Text)
While one cannot vouch for the accuracy of this translation as it is the habit of orientalists to deliberately mistranslate and misrepresent the Iranian leadership, it is presumed to be accurate enough for the purpose of this analysis as it is consistent with the ideas put forth in “Islam and Revolution”.
All the aforesaid determinations by Ayatollah (imam) Khomeini underline the principle of Absolute Rule being the purview of the valih-e-faqih. And evidently, it is made noble and legitimate because these absolute determinations are in the name of Islam as “divine guidance”. It begs the obvious question to the discerning mind of Mr. Spock, that how is that absoluteness qualitatively any different from the divine king's self-ascribed right to absolute rule, absolute powers, absolute opinions, absolute directives, and absolute wisdom as the vicegerent of his gods on earth? The king does it to preserve his monarchy and makes recourse to his god as having received a mandate. The valih-e-faqih does the same thing to preserve his rule by making arguable reference to mandate given to him by his God. Both employ the same means: absolute control of the public mind, and absolute control of the state, both demanding absolute obedience from the people. Absolute Rule is evidently more endearing to the philosopher jurist of Islam if it is in his God's name. Why is it philosophically so, even if one ignores self-interest and conflict of interest – meaning, even if the valih-e-faqih is obviously making a case for acquiring state power and authority over the people of which he and his jurist class are the prima facie beneficiary?
Harken back to Plato and the “philosopher-king”. It is the primary axiom upon which valih-e-faqih is principally based – that the religious philosopher is closer to God than all the rest of mankind, and hence closest to truth and justice than all the rest of mankind, and consequently better able to (or more entitled to) govern the republic and its masses with truth and justice than anyone else among mankind!
Upon that priceless axiom which remains conveniently hidden in the prolific arguments made to dignify vilayat-i faqih, the verses of “wilayah” in the Holy Qur'an, namely those verses speaking of “wasilah”, “Imam”, and “obedience”, are interpreted by the jurist as being Exemplary of Divine Rule set forth in the leadership of the Prophet of Islam as the first head of the Islamic state in Medina, and in the short tenure of Imam Ali, the fourth Caliph, as the only legitimate Divinely appointed successor head of the Islamic state after the Prophet's death. Because they are both Exemplars of the Holy Qur'an and the system of governance espoused in the religion of Islam for all times, and not just for their own time, so argues the valih-e-faqih, how is the Divine Rule to continue in other times?
Specifically, under the Shia theology, during the absence (ghaibat) of the “hidden Imam”? The earth cannot be deprived of Divine Rule argues the brilliant faqih, otherwise tyrants will rule by enslaving the masses, and God's Guidance to mankind will remain un implemented, constricted, “mahjoor” (see Surah Al-Furqaan 25:30 quoted above). The core argument is principally laid out by Plato in The Republic to dignify state rulership by the virtuous “philosopher-king”. Plato argued 2500 years ago, a thousand years before the advent of the Holy Qur'an, that if the most virtuous philosopher is not king, the masses will be ruled by diabolical controllers who will enslave the public mind in far constricting invisible chains of perception management than mere physical chains can ever hold any man captive. These prisoners of the mind will actually come to love their own enslavement, and resist all attempts to be freed.
Plato illustrated that idea most poignantly in his famous allegory titled The Simile of the Cave. (See http://tinyurl.com/Plato-Myth-of-the-Cave-Excerpt ) The philosophical etiology of virtually all discourses on voluntary servitude, behavior control, mind control, virtuous leadership, virtuous statism, shepherding the public mind, and even Nietzsche's Übermensch (see Morality derived from the Intellect leads to Enslavement!), ultimately anchor in Plato. As far as Mr. Spock can ascertain, none have surpassed Plato in their own derivatives. Some scholars are honest enough to acknowledge their ancient benefactor, while others merely plagiarize from him. But the audience of these latter demagogues does not know when Plato is being plagiarized in the garb of new theory because the public mind is at best only familiar with the name Plato, often in their own native language. Hardly anyone among hoi polloi, even among the college educated professional class, has actually read The Republic, let alone studied it for the due diligence it deserves to comprehend that foundational scholar of the Hellenic Civilization that became not just the cradle of Western civilization, but Muslim scholarship as well. Muslim scholars in Spain were the first to translate the Greek scholarship into Arabic, from where the Western Crusaders got their source material to translate into Latin and subsequently into English. Today, the neo-cons for instance, are all Plato scholars. All significant liars and aggressors today advocating military invasion of Muslim nations under the pretext of defending themselves from the tyranny of Islam also turn out to be Plato scholars in their background. (See http://tinyurl.com/Leo-Strauss-Noble-Lies-Excerpt )
Plato's characterization of mental chains through perception management from birth to death is so powerful that the diabolical superman, the state intelligence apparatuses, the military covert-ops, the Mighty Wurlitzer, Machiavelli, all harnesses it for themselves (see http://tinyurl.com/MightyWurlitzer). Virtually every Western philosopher of the age of enlightenment and onwards penning ideas on good and evil has borrowed at least something from Plato. The famous quotable statement of Goethe, the German philosopher, “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. They feed them on falsehoods till wrong looks like right in their eyes.”, owes a great deal of inspiration to Plato just on the very face of it. It is a paraphrase from the Simile of the Cave.
Anything to do with deception and the control of the public mind, and conversely, shepherding the public mind to higher enlightenment in a virtuous state led by its most enlightened stewards, Plato expressed its philosophy so comprehensively 2500 years ago that it is hard to add anything new to its principles, or to the perceptive understanding he displayed of the frailty of the human mind and how it is harvested by unseen controllers in society. Edward Bernays, known as the father of modern perception management, also called advertising when selling soap, public relations when selling agendas, and propaganda when selling lies, opened his 1928 Book titled Propaganda, with these famous words which are again mere corollaries of Platonic description: “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.”
Muslim scholarship borrowing fundamental notions and key ideas of intellectualism for their own intellectual tradition when they were the dominant superpower in the world for 700 years, not just from Plato, but from the Hellenic culture of learning, is only to be expected, and is indeed what happened.
The entire realm of ilm al-Kalam, the wholly speculative intellectual discourse on topics of the Holy Qur'an, is fundamentally Platonic for instance, and is little different from Plato's Shapes --- entirely immanent, non-falsifiable, without any empirical reality-check possible. It is as rich as the human mind is fertile, and is freed from any bounds of reality and verification – an occupation of idle minds who do not have to strive to earn a living and can sit around all day in their seminaries (or ivory towers) eruditely discoursing important matters like how many angels can dance on a pin-head and whether the Holy Qur'an, as the Word of God, is created or uncreated! It is the contemporary Muslim scholarship today which plagiarizes more than just borrow with acknowledgment. The feeble intellectual mind unfamiliar with the genesis and etiological significance of ideas presented to him by the superman, never knows the difference. So forget about the public mind being any more the wiser just because collectively they are far greater in number. Plagiarized ideas can easily be ascribed to anyone, including to oneself as its inventor which is typically the case, but also to God to achieve some purpose. The latter takes an exceptionally clever mind to pull it off. In this exclusive club of the Übermensch, Nietzschean superman, one is arguably dealing with a most superior mind. To dismiss it as ignorant, short-sighted, or a stooge, is to not just not give the devil its due, but to also not recognize the formidable enemy for what it is. As Mr. Spock well knows, the sword of intellect can cut both ways. He is undeterred as he systematically unpeels the many layers of the question down to the very bottom of the Pandora's box. As that legend goes, opening the Pandora's box initially opens a can of worms but when you get to its very bottom, the entire mystery is solved.
With that overview of philosopher-king and the overarching impact of Plato on the world of intellectual thought, the responsibility for implementing Islam's Divine Rule too, it is argued, must consequently fall to those philosophers and virtuous scholars of Islam who know and understand Islam the best. Otherwise, the Muslim polity, as history bears witness, will always be ruled by tyrants and usurpers. Well, who is best fit for that leadership role of shepherding the plebeian mind away from the wolves, but the pious jurist!
Thus, Ayatollah (imam) Khomeini deemed his own clergy class the latter day “philosopher-king” ruling class since they presume to know Islam the best. They are closest to the mind of God, closest to truth and justice, and consequently make the best executors of His Divine Rule. The most capable jurist among this tiny coterie able to stand up to tyrants and falsehoods, able to exercise political and temporal leadership, is the “philosopher-king”. Ahem, the “wasilah” (already covered in Part-II, see Al-Wasilah): “O ye who believe! Do your duty to Allah, seek the means of approach unto Him,” (Surah Al-Maeda 5:35), “These are they whom Allah guided, therefore follow their guidance” (Surah Al An'aam 6:90), the valih-e-faqih!
Since the Prophet of Islam and his designated successor implemented that Divine Rule with Absolute Authority, and since they demanded absolute obedience from the public as per the verse of obedience, 4:59, so must the valih-e-faqih who is only the heir to the third entity in the verse of obedience, ( وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ ), the “ulul-amr”, also referred to as “valih-e-amr”, an unnamed third party to whom absolute obedience is also commanded by the Author of the Holy Qur'an! The valih-e-faqih therefore is only implementing God's prescription on his side of the elite fence as his religious duty as the heir to the noble Prophet's mantle, and the governed must implement its part and obey the noble valih-e-faqih in absolute terms on its commoner's side of the elite fence as its religious duty.
Here is that most dreadfully interpreted Verse of Obedience once again, from Part-II:
“O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you.
If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if ye do believe in Allah and the Last Day: That is best, and most suitable for final determination.” (Surah an-Nisaa' 4:59 )
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ ۖ
فَإِنْ تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَحْسَنُ تَأْوِيلًا
Caption Verse 4:59 of Surah an-Nisaa', the Verse of Obedience, itself opening the door to sectarian schism, the source of fundamental bifurcation between Sunni and Shia sects during the Muslim expansion into world dominating empires after the demise of the Messenger. The Verse of Obedience specifically underwrites the Principle of Inerrancy as a requirement for holding any Apostolic office that demands obedience from the flock.
Once the mantle of Absolute Rule is claimed by axiomatic assertion, it inevitably leads to demanding absolute obedience as a self-evident matter, which further leads to the inevitable corollary that no one may even disagree with the valih-e-faqih once he has made up his mind just as no one may disagree with, or disobey, the Prophet of Islam once he has made up his mind as per verse 33:36 of Surah Al-Ahzaab “It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path.” By extrapolating the proper noun Exemplar which singularly refers to someone specific, to the common noun exemplar, the same semantic construct in any language opens itself up to a group membership of ordinary peoples such that to disagree or to disobey this new plurality of exemplars of Divine Rule is also to be “on a clearly wrong Path”. To disobey the valih-e-faqih is to become a sinner! As a reminder to the forgetful mind, the hectoring hegemons who hijack the religion of Islam for waging world wars under the pretext of defending themselves against the corrupted Islam and its barbarian followers, routinely do the same resemantification: alias proper nouns into common nouns. Professor Bernard Lewis extrapolated the word “Islam”, a proper noun of the Holy Qur'an, into a common noun when he cunningly resemantified it to mean a kitchen-sink of semantics in his book: Crisis of Islam – Holy War and Unholy Terror (see Hijacking the word “Islam” for Mantra Creation). Here, a concept instead of a word is being aliased.
Indeed, to not follow and obey some marja-e taqlid from that elite set who deem themselves “worthy of emulation” – never mind the pompous title incestuously awarded among the clan by themselves under some unspecified and entirely subjective secret calculus of who is more learned in esoterica – is to be a sinner. To avoid that sin, an absurd set of restrictions is put upon the believer such that in practice she has little choice but to accept taqlid of someone from among that new divine set of exemplars. It does not matter whom she chooses from that elite set --- for she is now roped in for life into that church of taqlid and will pay her religiously mandated donations into those unaccountable coffers that run into sums higher than the GDP of many nations combined. But more importantly, the voluntary obedience is the foundational cornerstone of the fatwas issued by the marja-e-taqlid which define the halal and haram status not just in spiritual matters, but also in national, political, and temporal matters that the follower is now obliged to accept from her marja-e-taqlid.
The valih-e-faqih who is a grade above that station is like the Pope central, and his fatwa is binding upon all over whom he is a guardian, vali. The valih-e-faqih's canvas is far greater. He imposes upon the public mind of the far larger audience space what is permissible and what isn't by way of his own ijtihad at the threat of eternal damnation on the follower for disobedience and salvation for strict obedience. He defines and enacts national laws based on predicates of his personal divine ijtihad and imposes legal entitlements for breaking the law even in this life! Whereas the lower ranking marja-e-taqlid only govern the reward and punishment in the Afterlife by exercising behavior control of their flock in this life, the valih-e-faqih also controls reward and punishment in this life. While all governments do that too, define and legislate laws, and police them, none of them have the chutzpah to draw their mandate from God, unless it is the Jews in the Jewish state, and the Muslims in the Muslim states. Christians seem to have overcome that phase of their spirituality after their dark ages, with the Vatican today more an appendage of a narrow elite mired in antiquated rituals than for exercising spiritual or temporal control over its flock in comparison to its other monotheist brethren.
“God”, from time immemorial, has always entered the political realm of mass behavior control through his proxy service providers. It is irrelevant that these service providers can produce no “certificate” from God in their own name. The topic of inquiry, as a reminder to the reader, is not whether God exists, Prophets exist, Divine Guidance exists, Divine Books exist (or not exist). That may be a topic of examination for another day and is beyond the scope of the present work. The topic of inquiry at hand is how is the religion of Islam hijacked so easily for self-interests by Muslims themselves who do believe in all the preceding presuppositions as an axiom of faith. It is demanded in the Holy Qur'an which defines both itself and its audience: “This is the Scripture whereof there is no doubt, a guidance unto those who ward off (evil). Who believe in the Unseen, ...” (Surah Al-Baqara 2:2-2:3). So how do Muslims fall prey to evil if their Holy Book is only for those who ward off evil? In this instance, the inquiry has reached the threshold of logic which begs the question of where is the jurist's certificate from God as his holy emissary that he can define halal and haram by his own ijtihad and impose it upon the public mind not just as a spiritual matter, but also a legal matter as the state ruler?
Just making the claim however is evidently sufficient because there are always followers. Orators and demagogues both attract followers faster than trash bins attract flies. Human beings evidently find a compelling need for emotional and psychological security blankets. That natural need leaves the public mind wide open for any cognitive infiltration that comes suitably wrapped in relevant security guarantees by authority figures. The ancient man offered blood sacrifices to appease his god's anger under dispensation from their witch doctors. That was improved upon by the abstraction of an Afterlife in monotheism. Belief in the Day of Judgment is an axiom of faith required by the Holy Qur'an. Thus a successful jurist marja-e-taqlid now dispenses the certificates of do's and don'ts of daily life for essentially the same purpose as ancient priests but for the Afterlife.
The modern jurist no longer needs to sell God and its common axioms to his masses as they already believe in these axioms fervently by way of socialization and cultural acceptance. All the jurist has to do is carefully interpose himself in the public's path to Afterlife by drawing justification for his indispensability from the Indeterminates of the Holy Qur'an. With his learned confabulations in arcane subjects, he gets away with it in front of the modern busy man unfamiliar with ancient books that the jurist draws upon to impress the public mind. The truth of this timeless observation of the frailty of human psyche and how it is abused from time immemorial is without doubt. It is self-evident. That human frailty to be a follower is open game for anyone able to harness it. And especially because of the doctrine of “taqlid” already in place for centuries, the valih-e-faqih's mandate for Absolute Rule is made a practical political reality under the banner of “revolutionary Islam”.
Just as antisemitism has been the Zionist Jews best friend in founding the Jewish state, and oppression upon the Muslims of India through the Hindu-Muslim riots was the best friend of the Muslim League for founding the divine state of Pakistan, oppression upon the Shia Muslims is its latter day equivalent. Absolutely essential for the founding of revolutionary Islamic state. These ideologies only thrive under oppression of their own people and only come to fruition when the oppression is perceived as reaching cataclysmic proportions – whence divine help comes galloping on a white horse to end the tribulation period and all the bloodshed of innocent masses is justified and dignified as the reason for the new state. The people rejoice – momentarily, while the diabolical Hegelian Dialectic is birth-panged in Eurasia as the absolute sworn enemy of Oceania to carry on a perpetual war. One can't make this up except in a fable, but one sees it being enacted on the Grand Chessboard over and over again! All the revolutions of the twentieth century started in blood, and ended in blood, of innocent people. And they all exhibit the same common template – the creation of an enemy to wage world wars. The bibliography on this subject is vast indeed and it is not the intent to rehearse what is already been written elsewhere except to lend the aforesaid brief context. Here, Mr. Spock is keenly desirous of treading new ground in logical pursuit of the question at hand, suitably armed by the accumulated wisdom of what he has seen of man's history of waging wars by way of deception for the control of the public mind. From this first control, all evil naturally follows. Conversely, from its liberation, all else naturally follows too: “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.”
The brilliance of the argument for Absolute Rule by the valih-e-faqih is without question. The political circumstances leading to it no more unprecedented and no less conspiratorial than what led to the creation of the Jewish state from partitioned Palestine and the Muslim state from partitioned India. The natural arguments posited by Ayatollah (imam) Khomeini for the raison d'être of an Islamic state that implements the real religion of Islam, asserted as being self-evident.
To Mr. Spock's logical mind always searching for unstated axioms and implicit presuppositions in supposedly “self-evident” arguments presented as concentric proofs, the problem is glaring. Apart from the despotism that absolute rule demanding absolute obedience can take even the best of ordinary mortals to, the core problem is also just as straightforward as it is glaring.
While the Author of the Holy Qur'an both explicitly and unequivocally vouched for the Prophet of Islam in that categorical verse of obedience as an obligatory religious command on Muslims, and the Prophet as the first head of the Islamic state which he founded in Medina may have veritably vouched for the sole father of the source of his prolific progeny, Imam Ali, as history books have recorded thus establishing a chain of explicit vouching that directly connects to the Author of the Holy Qur'an (even though that fact is not explicitly recorded in the Holy Qur'an and has thus become a source of partisan interpretation throughout the short history of Muslim dominance of the world by its despotic rulers vying to establish their Islamic legitimacy by employing the same clergy class to serve their own imperial interests), who vouched for Ayatollah (imam) Khomeini as the Divinely designated Imam sanctioned for Divine Rule?
On what Qur'anic Determinates specifically did Ayatollah (imam) Khomeini apply the verse of obedience to himself to legitimize his own Absolute Rule as the “valih-e-amr”?
As a most learned jurist and scholar of Islam, was the revolutionary imam who so boldly altered the destiny of an entire nation, watered its cemeteries with the blood of a generation of its finest youth in the name of God without showing much compunction, unaware of the logic of verse 4:59 which imparts certain implicit characteristics of unerringness as already analyzed in Part-II? No jurist worth his salt can be unaware of it if Mr. Spock can so trivially deduce it.
How can Ayatollah (imam) Khomeini claim to be the “valih-e-amr” of verse 4:59 with any more intellectual integrity and moral gravitas than the autocratic House of Saud, or any of the other past claimants to absolute rule demanding absolute obedience throughout the imperial history of despotic Muslim rulers, all of whom having occupied the seat of the Prophet of Islam with theological sanctions from the self-serving pulpits drawing upon the same verse?
In fact, the pulpit did not even shy from applying that verse of obedience to the British colonial masters of India as the Qadiani-Ahmadi pontiffs did at the turn of the twentieth-century; Maulana Muhammad Ali, laying its diabolical foundations in his seminal English translation of the Holy Qur'an, first in the Preface under the heading: Reverence for authority, pg. xv wrote: “But while teaching equality of rights, Islam teaches the highest reverence for authority. ... By those in authority are meant not only the actual rulers of a country, but all those who are in any way entrusted with authority”, then elaborated it further in his footnote number 593 for his English translation of verse 4:59 “The words ulul-amr, or those in authority, have a wide significance, ... among those in authority are included the rulers of a land, though they may belong to an alien religion,”! (see MMA 1917 PDF).
Just because someone else does the same gratuitous extrapolation, but applies it a tad more narrowly to the more holier than thou philosopher-king-jurist, and nominates himself as the vali-amr, the valih-e-faqih-e-muslimeen, and does it in the name of the Ahlul-Bayt because of his own convictions on the matter, and the people of Iran show their approval with an applause, hardly makes the assertion any more relevant, let alone applicable.
Is the concept of Absolute Rule by Valih-e-Faqih demanding absolute obedience even arguably sanctioned in the Determinates of the Holy Qur'an? See the examination of taqlid below which is the cornerstone of the theology of valih-e-faqih.
In the case of Revolutionary Iran in 1979, the Iranian public evidently did not think it necessary to ask for such a “certificate” of divine sanction from Ayatollah (imam) Khomeini as the “ulul-amr” of 4:59, never mind think of how they might have actually verified it had he presented one. Just being against the Shah of Iran, against the absolute tyrant working for the imperialist United States of America, was sufficient certificate for ushering in everlasting absolute rule by the valih-e-faqih in God's name; a divine provenance even gloriously fulfilled with the triumphant return of Ayatollah (imam) Khomeini to Iran on February 1, 1979, warming the hearts of the Persian masses to the miraculous divine intervention.
The Iranian people agreed to accept their new rebel imam's absolute rule as the “valih-e-amr” designate of verse 4:59 in an unprecedented public referendum which remains unsurpassed as a willing choice exercised by a fed-up people to be eagerly ruled by their clergy class brought to political power on a (Air France?) jet airliner flying safely through America's NATO controlled French skies to land in Tehran, instead of continuing to live under the suzerainty of the most tyrannical and narcissistic King of kings who had previously been brought to political power in Tehran by America's CIA.
It begs the patently obvious question: Why was the airliner carrying the renegade Grand Ayatollah to power in Iran not shot down by NATO military forces (and easily blamed on the Shah's military) if revolutionary Islam was such a great threat to the Western hegemons? Ayatollah (imam) Khomeini had been most vocal about his revolutionary ideology and the rule of the faqih throughout his exile years. His Shia ethos of Karbala was well-known. He had made no secret of the fact that he hated the Great Satan and all those who sided with her. It would have certainly nipped the problem in the bud for the West. The Americans have shown no qualms about shooting down passenger airliners, as they demonstrated a decade later by shooting down Iranian passenger Airbus plane, Iran Air Flight 655, over the Persian Gulf killing all 290 Muslim pilgrims aboard, “by mistake” of course. They could have made the same “by mistake” a whole decade sooner and spared the world a great deal of Muslim on Muslim violence witnessed in the Iran-Iraq war. Not only did the Western Alliance not do that, but the BBC gave away free air time to the speeches of Ayatollah (imam) Khomeini broadcast to Iran, the French government extended great hospitality to the imam, even hosted the media circus which surrounded the revolutionary imam for months until the very day he departed for his homeland after the Shah's ignominious exit, and on and on and on. The list is long and undeniable of how the West supported the revolutionary imam to power against the interest of the Shah who had formerly been brought to power as their own “policeman” of the Gulf.
The Iranian public was shown their revolutionary savior repeatedly calling for the overthrow of the despotic monarchy by revolutionary means by the Western press. Why?
Why did the West not support their own dictator as part of their collective antagonism against the revolutionary Islam in their former police-man's oil rich territory? Why was the Shah not setup in exile and immediately recognized as the de facto government of Iran to challenge and contain the threat of revolutionary Islam?
This fact of reality which anyone can observe by simply back reading and back watching the news coverage of the era, has put the entire antagonism of the West against Iran in question as deliberately manufactured, and Ayatollah (imam) Khomeini's own principled antagonism to the Shah given great press coverage only for the Iranian public's consumption to bring their new “enemy” into power as part of lighting the “arc of crisis” referenced above.
For the public mind, enemy of my enemy is my friend indeed, and more so when he claims an almost believable divine mandate for extracting absolute obedience from the masses consistent with the shared religious ethos of the people. The Catholic Pope and clergy draw on the same quality of shared ethos among the Catholic Christian flock to be accepted as their anointed spiritual leadership, and in not too distant a past, before the Reformation period tore their state powers asunder, also as their anointed political leadership. Shared ethos is a common denominator and without it, such a voluntary servitude of absolute obedience to the Popes of any religion cannot be implemented without brute force. This also means forcing valih-e-faqih upon non Shia Muslims who do not share that common ethos will only lead to more “revolutionary times”.
This is so obvious a political science truth that those who deliberately wish to create “revolutionary times” going forward in Sunni majority nations like Pakistan with a substantial Shia minority, can find great utility in creating the tortuous conditions of tyranny upon the Shia in which such a construct of “revolutionary Islam” can find its natural raison d'être for existence --- just as it transpired in Iran under the Shah with the help of his American trained secret police SAVAK!
Revealingly, the public in post Revolutionary Iran, just like in America, comes out to vote periodically to elect from among its respective ruling class who will govern them under their pre-established structures of administrative power. These structures implement the sacred ideologies and pre-determined state polices crafted by the real power behind the scenes, the valih-e-faqih, making it quite irrelevant whom the public elects as president in the much touted elections no differently than it is in the United States of America where its oligarchy holds all the key controlling cards.
The categorical fact remains that irrespective of whether a public makes their political choice with their ballot, or a “choice” is foisted upon a public with the bullet, theology, “democracy”, whatever, neither is “rule by kingdom” specified in the Holy Qur'an, nor is “rule by clergy” specified in the Holy Qur'an, and nor is “rule by parliament”, or “rule by Western power puppets and fabricated enemies of any flavor specified in the Holy Qur'an. A people are entitled to their choice of governance, or whether they wish to resist an evil one foisted upon them inspired by the moral platitudes, but they are not entitled to call whatever government they choose as exclusively sanctioned in the Determinates of the Holy Qur'an. Because it isn't.
There is no method of governance commanded, specified, or even outlined in the Holy Qur'an, at least not any that Mr. Spock has been able to discover in its Determinate verses, except the platitudinous guidance to build a righteous and just society in which no one takes unfair advantage of another, and where people do not suffer tyrants, false gods, exploitation, and pay their taxes on time. Mr. Spock notes that the key characteristics of a noble governance system for a just Islamic society are outlined as basic principles only, such as in waging wars of self-defence to not transgress limits, to protect the weak and the infirm, to manage state treasury for public good instead of private gain, to abstain from usury, etc., whereas other matters like its inheritance laws, moral code of conduct, rights and responsibilities of parents, individuals, social and business interactions, marriage rules, are spelled out in minute detail. Corollaries and theorems are easily derived from these basic principles which form the basis of what's come to be known as Islamic Sharia. However, the implementation structures of governance, the form and shape of government, the method of government, who rules, is left unspecified.
It is of course self-evident that intellectuals and scholars of Islam ought to have a leading role in crafting any just society that is based on the singular scripture of Islam, the Holy Qur'an, just as it is for any system whose intellectuals and scholars play important roles in defining their system. Scholars and intellectuals are the bedrock of any enlightened society that draws its foundation from intellectual and spiritual capital. Plato would of course have the philosopher be the rulers. But the Holy Qur'an has left it unspecified. Unarguably, the matter is left Indeterminate like many other matters. Ostensibly, one may reasonably surmise, so that the core principles of Divine Guidance remain timeless and people of all levels of talent and expertise in every epoch are able to implement these principles according to their own requirements and social genius.
To therefore speciously assert that the religion of Islam has given a specific Divine mandate to rule solely to a particular class of people, namely to the faqih, is to mislead the public mind. Yes the capable faqih is just as much entitled to govern, and to provide intellectual and spiritual capital, as any other capable person of his time as a citizen of a state. What he is not entitled to is to rule, claim to be the beneficiary of the verse of obedience, claim to have special authority from God, and demand absolute obedience.
The example of King David, Prophet Daud, an ordinary sheep herder who came to lead his people as their Imam because of his unmatched bravery in taking down “Jalut”, illustrates the point. Daud became the ruler of his nation as vouched in the Holy Qur'an, as a king no less, but he was hardly a theologian, or even an intellectual by his profession. He was surely very intelligent to have hit his enemy at his weakest point, and he ruled justly and with courage. Those qualities evidently were his qualifications to be anointed King of the Jews. This is quite contrary to Plato's philosopher-king and it is the Holy Qur'an that is making that assertion by retelling the story of Prophet Daud. As in all Qur'anic stories and parables, there is wisdom that is being conveyed.
The form of government is immaterial in the religion of Islam which lays a great deal of emphasis in its many verses on veritable moral principles as Divine Guidance to mankind. It is silent on what form the government should take, or who should become the rulers in future times.
The Holy Qur'an instead affirms the lovely beatitudinous (from beatitude: supreme blessedness; exalted happiness) promise:
“And We desired to bestow a favor upon those who were deemed weak in the land, and to make them the Imams, and to make them the heirs,” (Surah Al-Qasas 28:5)
وَنُرِيدُ أَن نَّمُنَّ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ ٱسْتُضْعِفُوا۟ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ وَنَجْعَلَهُمْ أَئِمَّةً وَنَجْعَلَهُمُ ٱلْوَٰرِثِينَ
“Allah has decreed: "It is I and My messengers who must prevail": For Allah is One full of strength, able to enforce His Will.” (Surah Al-Mujaadila 58:21)
كَتَبَ ٱللَّهُ لَأَغْلِبَنَّ أَنَا۠ وَرُسُلِىٓ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ قَوِىٌّ عَزِيزٌ
Before this We wrote in the Psalms, after the Message (given to Moses): "My servants, the righteous, shall inherit the earth." (Surah Al-Anbiyaa 21:105)
وَلَقَدْ كَتَبْنَا فِى ٱلزَّبُورِ مِنۢ بَعْدِ ٱلذِّكْرِ أَنَّ ٱلْأَرْضَ يَرِثُهَا عِبَادِىَ ٱلصَّٰلِحُونَ
Caption The Holy Qur'an's equivalent of the Biblical Beatitude: “the meek shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5 Holy Bible KJV). Is the Holy Qur'an proclaiming Divine Rule as the natural culmination of Islam? Or, are these verses proclaiming that the ordinary human beings among mankind will eventually prevail; they shall eventually establish justice among mankind and reach the highest station of creation in accordance with Divine Teachings that have been revealed to mankind by messengers and prophets throughout the ages? The twain are not the same propositions semantically – obviously – despite the pious pulpits insistence upon the former interpretation of these verses! If Divine Rule is to be implemented by God's own appointed Imams, it is a tacit admission of failure of Islam to transform man upon his own volition! Only a foolish human author would set his own guidance system up for such an abject failure by predicating that no matter what man will do, mankind will still need divine intervention to reach Islam's culmination! Then what was the point of Islam? God could just as well have created the perfect man with Adam and Eve rather than the imperfect man who is destined to reach perfection by seeking Divine Guidance revealed in Islam's sacred scripture.
Straightforward inspection once again reveals that all these verses often brought up by the pulpits are prima facie Indeterminates. Like verse 4:59, verse 28:5 “who were deemed weak in the land,” is unknown. Perhaps it can be similarly qualitatively reasoned from other verses of the Holy Qur'an, but without specific context which is not in the Holy Qur'an, it would either remain temporal, meaning applicable only to the time of the Prophet when he was constantly under attack, or metaphorical and strictly Indeterminate. It can just as easily be argued by all oppressed to apply to themselves to encourage themselves with hope to continue in their perseverance! And it can also be argued by Machiavelli to apply to the oppressed to foment manufactured revolutions. However, a closer analytical examination also reveals that for the promise: “to make them the Imams, and to make them the heirs,” these heirs must logically also share common characteristics with the Imams the Holy Qur'an has referenced elsewhere. For instance, in Surah Al-Baqara verse 2:124 (already quoted above) where the Author proclaims that He alone makes Imams by Divine appointment: “He said: Surely I will make you an Imam of men. Ibrahim said: And of my offspring? My covenant does not include the unjust, said He.”
When the Author of the Holy Qur'an appoints Imams as per his covenant with Prophet Ibrahim, the word “Imam” is used in a specific sense from its common meaning as the proper noun expressing Divine Appointment. The Arabic-English dictionary of the Holy Qur'an defines the common meaning of the word “Imam” thusly: “Leader; President; Any object that is followed, whether a human being or a book or a highway”. That common meaning of the word “Imam” for instance is prima facie evident in verse 17:71 of Surah al-Israa' (examined in Part-II): “One day We shall call together all human beings with their (respective) Imams”. One word, two distinct meanings, by the very definitions present in the Holy Qur'an in the semantics of the verse. The problem arises when attempt is cunningly or perhaps unwittingly made to alias the proper noun version as the common noun version.
As Machiavellian as that aliasing is for successfully marginalizing Islam, far greater damage is done when the Muslim pulpit and the plentiful exegesis writers who become sanctified in history as the source to go to for understanding the meaning of the Holy Qur'an, do the same aliasing to serve their own narrow interests. And whether they do it wittingly at the behest of their masters, or unwittingly due to incompetence or bias becomes irrelevant, for the impact in either case is resemantification of the verse and distortion of its meaning. It is the easiest subterfuge – you can't change the syntax and wording of the Holy Qur'an because that is protected by systematic oral memorization of the entire Holy Qur'an by plain ordinary Muslims from generation to generation beginning from the very time of the Prophet of Islam, so change its meaning! Only the very learned turbans can accomplish that most successfully. Especially when the verses are even partly or fully Indeterminate. But this travesty of the holy pen is plenty observable even for what is Determinate and what is categorical in verses which does not suit the ruling genius. The best example of this travesty is the watering down of the Principle of Inerrancy as applied to the Prophet of Islam by the holy scribes. Its idiotic resemantification is visible in countless respected books of exegesis from antiquity to modernity. These exegeses have misinformed generation upon generation of Muslims who have reached for the Cliff notes on the Holy Qur'an.
This subversion of the Holy Qur'an is exactly identical to how the learned Jewish rabbis caveated their Ten Commandments from their universal form to exceptional form in order to claim moral exemptions for themselves so that actually doing the universal refrains to the goy was no longer forbidden to them. Thus, Thou Shall Not Kill, the First Commandment for instance, was changed to Thou Shall Not Kill (a Jew) in meaning. See Morality derived from the Intellect leads to Enslavement! for even more shocking contortions by the rabbis who superseded the spirit of the Torah with the spirit of the Talmud. The scribes of the Torah had already visited the same travesty upon the teachings of Prophet Moses. The Talmuds just took it ten steps further in perversity which today underwrites the Jewish ethos more than anything Prophet Moses ever taught. And the world amply sees this in Zionism which is but an expression of Jewish exceptionalism taught in the Talmud. The unequivocal condemnation in the Holy Qur'an of the Jews distorting their Good Book of Divine Guidance to suit their whim and fancy, is but a clear warning to the believers of the Holy Qur'an to refrain from doing the same. And yet, the Muslim turbans have visited the same travesty upon the Holy Qur'an and its religion Islam such that no two Muslims will necessarily agree on what something means. Each will bring their respective socialized understanding from the pens of these holy scribes to assert its meaning. The truth of these words is empirical, and without doubt. It is self-evident, except to those who are caught in its trap.
Therefore, keeping all that preceding clarity at the forefront of cognitive thinking, in the specific sense of Imam appointed by the Author in the context of 2:124, as opposed to just any ordinary leader that has a following in the context of 17:71, obedience is made obligatory for those for whom they are Imams, and the entire discussion of وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ of verse 4:59 in Part-II also carries over wherever and whenever obedience is made obligatory to any man by the Author. As already reasoned out in preceding sections, the Author of the Holy Qur'an cannot make obedience obligatory towards anyone who can make an error and not make a mockery of His Own divine Guidance System as the right path. Imam, obedience to the Imam, and the Principle of Inerrancy sort of go together as a package – in order for it to make any logical and rational sense to demand obedience to a man and still remain on the path of Divine Guidance which is proclaimed to be error free, infallible. Which is why, in its resemantification to serve self-interest, “ulul amar” is aliased as a common noun – and voilà, just about anyone can be it who can get away with it! That is the history of its corruption from the very day of the death of the Prophet of Islam until today where anyone has been able to become emperor, caliph, king, amir-ul-momineen, and today valih-e faqih, by including himself in that set and insisting on his entitlement by mere assertion and recourse to texts outside the pages of the Holy Qur'an. Why do they have to go outside for proof of their divine sanction? Precisely, because there isn't any in the Determinate verses of the Holy Qur'an. All one finds in its pristine pages is the categorical prohibition to being a follower, without caveat, as one can witness in the deconstruction of Taqlid below.
So, if the word “Imam” is used in verse 28:5 in that specific sense of 2:124, the verse is still only a Beatitude, an uplifting promise of some future time. The brilliant ability to harvest that theological concept for self-interest by the superman among both: the Shia pulpit to orchestrate “Imammate by proxy” to seed IRAN: The Crescent of Crisis as the birth of the uncompromising “Revolutionary Islam”, and among the hectoring hegemons to orchestrate the fiction of “Armageddon”, not withstanding. A contorted “doctrinal motivation” on two opposing sides for synthesizing the fear of “Clash of Civilizations” in order to continually lend credence to the threat of “End Times”. It enables manufacturing a brilliant Hegelian Dialectic which cannot be disputed by those caught in its web – as it is already written in the sacred books that more than half the world's population believes in. It promotes the fiction of the existence of a global existential threat, putting the entire world on perpetual crisis footing.
And if the word “Imam” represents the common meaning of 17:71 as an ordinary leader, it is exactly akin to the Biblical Beatitude: “the meek shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5 Holy Bible KJV). Once again no reason to obey the meek when they inherit the earth – for they could become the next tyrants as was amply witnessed in the French Revolution and in the military dictatorship and conquests of Napoleon that followed.
Even whether verse 28:5 is speaking of the Messenger's own contemporary epoch when Prophet Muhammad finally prevailed over his own oppressors of twenty three long years and conquered Mecca just before he died, or of some future time, is Indeterminate. As is verse 58:21 affirming: "It is I and My messengers who must prevail"; and verse 21:105 similarly affirming: "My servants, the righteous, shall inherit the earth". All remarkably akin to the aforementioned uplifting promise in the Biblical Beatitude, and all recipient of the preceding analysis in toto.
When will such bliss transpire on earth is of course an ageless open question. It has been the source of speculation and anticipation from time immemorial, and the principal argument for Divine Rule since the adoption of Christianity by the Roman Empire. As far as the Holy Qur'an is concerned, it is Indeterminate.
It is of course also extraordinarily utilitarian for any believer or their chief to claim that inheritance for oneself in any era – mostly to survive with hope and dignity through dark periods of tyranny – for who can challenge that presumption? No certificates are required!
Especially if one succeeds in acquiring state powers and engages a thousand scribes and orators to extol one's divine rights to that inheritance as the vilayat-i faqih. Since it is an Indeterminate, it can be posited any which way one wishes to dignify it, limited only by the fertility of one's imagination and foundation of one's eruditeness. The beatitude cannot be disproved from the Holy Qur'an because it is anchored as an Indeterminate! And it can certainly be proved to one's own audience by drawing upon one's own historical narratives that are collectively subscribed by the group. It is the empirical principle which seeds both group-think, conformity within a group, as well as diversity of thoughts and beliefs among different groups in mankind each exercising its own group-think.
"That which is left you by Allah is best for you, if ye (but) believed! but I am not set over you to keep watch!" (Surah Hud, 11:86)
بَقِيَّتُ ٱللَّهِ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ ۚ وَمَآ أَنَا۠ عَلَيْكُم بِحَفِيظٍ
Say: "Each one (of us) is waiting: wait ye, therefore, and soon shall ye know who it is that is on the straight and even way, and who it is that has received Guidance." (Surah Ta-Ha, 20:135)
قُلْ كُلٌّ مُّتَرَبِّصٌ فَتَرَبَّصُوا۟ ۖ فَسَتَعْلَمُونَ مَنْ أَصْحَٰبُ ٱلصِّرَٰطِ ٱلسَّوِىِّ وَمَنِ ٱهْتَدَىٰ
Caption Is the Holy Qur'an proclaiming a Savior?
Verses 11:86 and 20:135 of the Holy Qur'an are intriguing examples of Indeterminates along the same lines of allegorical Beatitudes, but which directly fall on the Shia-Sunni sectarian divide on how these are understood by the Muslim mind. One must in fact go to sources outside the Holy Qur'an to even get an inkling of who or what (the people in the past believed) is being spoken of by the Author: بَقِيَّتُ ٱللَّهِ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ . These exemplary verses, and a few more like these, are esoterically proclaimed by some of these outside sources to be about Imam Mahdi – the Awaited Savior of humanity who will rule in End Times --- that entire eschatology itself being only in pages outside of the Holy Qur'an. Why are these verses not categorical rather than metaphorical if the knowledge of eschatology is of pertinence to every people in every epoch? Speculation upon these verses is rife with absurdities.
Whereas, the prima facie meaning of verse 11:86 refers to some object ( بَقِيَّتُ ), a nominative feminine noun, which can mean anything including persons or thing or guidance, that Allah leaves for “you” ( لَّكُمْ , both male and female) as a gift or benefit or mercy that you need for your divine guidance ( خَيْرٌ ).
Straightforwardly, to the ordinary non doctrinaire mind, بَقِيَّتُ can represent the Holy Qur'an itself, which Allah has left those who believe ( مُّؤْمِنِينَ ), as being best for them. Or it could mean the أُولِي الْأَمْرِ of verse 4:59. Which one, if either, is not further disambiguated. The remaining part of the verse indicates Allah is not going to shepherd the believers beyond what He has already left them – it is entirely up to the believers to run with the remnant of Allah, بَقِيَّتُ ٱللَّهِ , and: “Surely We have shown him the way: he may be thankful or unthankful.” (see verse 76:3 quoted above)
The remnant of Allah, بَقِيَّتُ ٱللَّهِ , in this verse is just a common noun, a symbol, a placeholder variable waiting to take on the instance of the object, or objects it represents, and not the object itself. Surely the Messenger of Allah must have explained what it means – but that explanation is not contained in the Holy Qur'an itself.
Therefore, verse 11:86 is prima facie allegorical, metaphorical, and not categorical; it is آيَاتٌ مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ and therefore Indeterminate. This verse, like all the other مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ , as a cynic would surely surmise, evidently exist only to sow confusion and discord among the Believers, perhaps to separate those who think ( أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ ) from those who do not: “and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding.” In addition, to stochastically seed diversity of beliefs based on natural socialization, tribe and nation that one is born into – which it has also always succeeded in doing, in every era. That observation is empirical. The veracity of these words is beyond doubt. It is self-evident.
Notice that the Sunnis and the Shias each fill in the variable according to their respective sacred books. Being entitled to one's belief system whatever it may be as the most basic human right, the Sunni Muslims are not remiss if they think بَقِيَّتُ ٱللَّهِ might mean the Holy Qur'an, or the Caliphate; and the Shia Muslims are not remiss if they think it is the أُولِي الْأَمْرِ of verse 4:59. Since the latter today is the twelfth Imam, Imam Mahdi, according to the dogma found in Shia Ithna Ashari books of history, that's how that variable is fixed by them accordingly. Whereas the Shia Ismaili Muslim aren't remiss if some among them might believe بَقِيَّتُ ٱللَّهِ represents their Hazir Imam, the Aga Khan.
Believe whatever you want. However, unless it can be logically adduced from the Determinates alone who or what is being referenced by the Author in Surah Hud 11:86, it is categorically an Indeterminate. The Determinate verses at times provide an unequivocal rejection criterion for exclusion of what is willy-nilly fixed in the Indeterminates even when these Determinates may be silent on the acceptance criterion for the Indeterminates. The rejection criterion though powerful when applied logically and rationally, still leaves the door wide open for the acceptance of whatever that can be plausibly passed off by the boundless imagination of man in the Indeterminates! This is an undeniable problem that the Holy Qur'an has faced at the hands of the holy man. But it is a problem which it has itself enabled ab initio by the very presence of the Indeterminates. It is almost as if the Author of the Holy Qur'an wanted this to happen – why else would He leave that door wide open for it – thus laying the foundation of diversity of interpretations right there in the religion of Islam's singular scripture that the Author asserts he perfected: “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 verse fragment 5:3) Well, if the Author perfected and completed the guidance system and the system itself plays out among its own audience in multiple themes using its own Indeterminates, what else to make of it? Tell a child not to do something, and what's the first thing he will do?
Similarly, in the case of Surah Ta-Ha 20:135 where the Author commands, Say: "Each one (of us) is waiting: wait ye,", the object noun for “wait ye” is noticeably absent, making the verse also an Indeterminate even on first reading. However, whatever that “wait ye,” might be for, the verse avers that it will unequivocally permit clear adjudication when that wait eventually does expire: “soon shall ye know who it is that is on the straight and even way, and who it is that has received Guidance." Once again we are immediately besieged by more imponderables. What does “soon” mean? How soon is soon? Is that the final Day of judgment? Or is that the arrival of the day of fulfillment of the promise made in the Qur'anic Beatitudes quoted above? Is that perhaps also what بَقِيَّتُ ٱللَّهِ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ refers to, the fulfillment of the divine promise which is the remnant of Allah: “That which is left you by Allah is best for you”?
Thus, whichever way one examines it, بَقِيَّتُ ٱللَّهِ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ is at best a metaphor whose semantics, never mind hidden meaning, is known only to Allah, (and as per the alternate parsing of verse 3:7 of Surah Aal-'Imran already discussed in Part-II) and to “Ar-Rasikhoon-fil-ilm” ( الرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ ).
All these inquiry questions are clearly Indeterminate, each one leading to more questions than answers, and thus entirely speculative to ponder upon. It is for this reason that these verses have been speciously speculated upon throughout the ages – an occupation of idle minds who perhaps never had to pursue a day's honest labor to earn their keep in their lifetime of paid employment from public funds as glorified theologians and scribes. The only function they ended up serving is causing needless differentiation to arise among Muslims based purely on speculative hearsay and verbal reportage centuries downstream – the “he said she said” which became known as the hadith literature – leading the foolish public mind deeper and deeper into the sectarian quagmire. Integrated over time and space, this socialized ethos has become a permanent and virtually unshakable part of religious beliefs of virtually all Muslims, in all sects.
Today, the same public mind will comply in voluntary servitude under the demand of absolute obedience to authority on matters entirely Indeterminate and drawn from pages outside of the Holy Qur'an. If its Author wanted the people in future times to know any matter of religion of Islam not already covered in the Holy Qur'an, He would have clearly stated it categorically in the foundational verses and made it clearly Determinate, Mr. Spock sensibly surmises, so that all peoples in all times would understand it straightforwardly without juristic misinterpretation and chance of being misled by what is erringly human, the pen of fallible man. The Holy Qur'an unequivocally prescribes the accumulating fortunes of such imams in Surah An-Nahl:
Let them bear, on the Day of Judgment, their own burdens in full, and also (something) of the burdens of those without knowledge, whom they misled. Alas, how grievous the burdens they will bear! (Surah An-Nahl 16:25)
لِيَحْمِلُوٓا۟ أَوْزَارَهُمْ كَامِلَةً يَوْمَ ٱلْقِيَٰمَةِ ۙ وَمِنْ أَوْزَارِ ٱلَّذِينَ يُضِلُّونَهُم بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ ۗ أَلَا سَآءَ مَا يَزِرُونَ
Examining the Question of Following the Jurist
Verse of 16:25 of Surah An-Nahl quoted above is also stupendous in its overarching import. It straightforwardly exposes core lies which have become sanctified as “religion” in specious dogmas among Muslims. For one, it exposes “taqlid”, the practice of blind emulation and prescribed following of a jurist by the laity – a practice equally prevalent in both Shiadom and Sunnidom – as a master fraud for social control. Upon that master fraud is the edifice of the entire conception of sectarian Sharia laws, i.e., jurisprudence (religious legalisms that vary for each Muslim sect based on the opinions of its dominant jurists who have appointed themselves Interpreter of faith), constructed.
Expose its very foundation as being based on a core lie – and the entire sacred totem pole comes crashing down under its own weight!
The Holy Qur'an which daringly calls itself “Al-Furqaan” – the Author's Criterion by which to judge the truth or falsity of any proposition (or understanding) pertaining to His Own Revealed Guidance System for mankind ( مِّنَ ٱلْهُدَىٰ وَٱلْفُرْقَانِ ۚ ); which He even asserts He “perfected” and “completed” and named it “Islam” ( الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الْإِسْلَامَ دِينًا ۚ ), and therefore there is no further room in its specification for additions and subtractions – does precisely that. (Verse fragments from Surah Al-Baqara 2:185 and Surah Al-Maeda 5:3 respectively,)
Even a tiny bit of logical reflection on the concatenation of verses pertinent to the Qur'anic Principle of Inerrancy already examined previously with verse of 16:25 of Surah An-Nahl exposes “taqlid” as a fabrication of the pulpit!
Perhaps it is necessary to restate for the sake of completeness, that only “These are they whom Allah guided, therefore follow their guidance” (Surah Al An'aam verse 6:90 quoted earlier), can ever be exempt from the damnation of this most electrifying verse 16:25 of Surah An-Nahl! Only the specific inerrant persons whom Allah is commanding the believers to follow – for indeed these have to be inerrant if Allah has directly guided them – can also be the “ulul-amar” of verse 4:59 already discussed earlier. No one else is permitted to be followed, and obeyed, in the religion of Islam! With that singular exception of obedience to the inerrant “imam” who is solely appointed by Allah (by His Own Declarations in the Holy Qur'an already examined above) and is not selected, elected, or anointed by the fiat of man, the entire concept of “following” and “followers” is unequivocally condemned in the Holy Qur'an. Most emphatically, in Surah Al-Baqara verses 2:166-2:167 (already quoted above). Due to its categorical significance, it is reproduced yet one more time to remind the reader of what the Good Book itself says categorically, in the clearest of terms, without caveats or exemptions:
“(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.
إِذْ تَبَرَّأَ الَّذِينَ اتُّبِعُوا مِنَ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوا وَرَأَوُا الْعَذَابَ وَتَقَطَّعَتْ بِهِمُ الْأَسْبَابُ
وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوا لَوْ أَنَّ لَنَا كَرَّةً فَنَتَبَرَّأَ مِنْهُمْ كَمَا تَبَرَّءُوا مِنَّا ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ يُرِيهِمُ اللَّهُ أَعْمَالَهُمْ حَسَرَاتٍ عَلَيْهِمْ ۖ وَمَا هُمْ بِخَارِجِينَ مِنَ النَّارِ
So how can “taqlid” of the fallible jurist be part of the religion of Islam when the very concept of following itself, ab initio, is not only most clearly deprecated, but Surah An-Nahl verse 16:25 also most clearly apportions culpability to those who are followed?
If “taqlid” of a fallible jurist was a part of the religion of Islam, then the Author of the Holy Qur'an created an absurdity, a foolishness; the Author commanded Muslims to follow an ordinary mortal who is not infallible, but since the jurist is not inerrant, and neither does any respectable jurist ever claim to be inerrant, foolish and sheepish people among the masses, those without knowledge and understanding, will also follow him. In point of fact and reality-check, in actual sectarian practice of Muslims, obedience is extorted from the public mind at the threat of eternal damnation – otherwise why would the sheepish laity follow the anointed popes except for that irrational fear which is continually cultivated and harvested by the church of man?
If “taqlid” of a fallible jurist was sanctioned by the religion of Islam, then, as per verse 16:25, these persons whom Allah is commanding to be followed will be apportioned their measure of blame if they are followed in their errors and the people are misled! That is a patent absurdity; a Kafkaesque double jeopardy: follow and be damned (verses 2:166-2:167), don't follow and be damned (“taqlid”), and the imam is damned because he is not inerrant and is followed and obeyed as ordered even in his mistakes, confabulations, distortions, half-truths, innovations, Indeterminate fixing, etceteras, which of course no one can adjudicate or catch or challenge because only the ignorant laity follows him (verse 16:25)! This is the base reality of Muslim jurists and their blind followers since the inception of the church of jurisprudence!
The Author of the Holy Qur'an Who claims to be the most Just and the most Wise Creator of all creation, cannot command “imams” to be followed and obeyed, and when they are followed and obeyed as per ordered, the “imams” are apportioned blame for their blind following when they venture their fallible opinions dependent solely on their particular bent of mind, proclivity, psychological tendencies, socialization bias, natural talent (and un-talent), ability to think and reason, knowledge, understanding, etceteras, in their verdict! No two people think the same, never mind agree on any matter --- and yet they are commanded to be followed!
Indeed, if this absurd proposition of “taqlid” is true, then the Author has made a mockery of His own Guidance System! Whereas the Author is most sensitive about taking His Message lightly. He has repeatedly Admonished mankind to not mock the Holy Qur'an: “Is it such a Message that ye would hold in light esteem?” (Surah Al-Waqia 56:81 quoted in Part-II); that: “Verily this is no less than a Message to (all) the Worlds” (Surah At-Takwir 81:27 quoted above); and: 'Then the Messenger will say: “O my Lord! Truly my people took this Qur'an for just foolish nonsense.”' (Surah Al-Furqaan 25:30).
After all these straightforward admonitions to Muslims in the clearest of terms to take the Scripture seriously, the Author then ventures to mock His Own Message by mandating to the Muslim masses the “taqlid” of fallible jurists, and subsequently hanging these jurists for misleading the people because they are not inerrant and foolish people have inevitably followed them as commanded?
What a fickle-minded creator who damns if you do and damns if you don't --- only in the mind of man!
By reductio ad absurdum, when a proposition reduces to an absurdity, the premise it is predicated upon is false.
Since verses 2:166-2:167 and verse 16:25 are categorical, and presumed to be true ab initio as an axiom of faith that the Holy Qur'an has not been tampered with by the hand of man (no “tahreef”), therefore, Taqlid must be false as presuming it to be true in the presence of these verses leads to absurdity. If one still insists Taqlid to be true, then one also has to accept the consequent fact that the Holy Qur'an contains absurdities. No Muslim mind on planet earth will accept that outcome. It's easier for it to accept Taqlid as falsehood.
Directly from the Holy Qur'an.
Blind emulation, “taqlid”, of a fallible imam jurist who is incestuously proclaimed Marja-e-taqlid by his coterie of equally fallible peers in Shiadom, is an absurdity in the religion of Islam in no less a measure than blanket obedience demanded to a fallible imam caliph who is speciously anointed “ulul-amar” by the shenanigans of political power around him, is in Sunnidom! Both are weighty fabrications of the respective pious Muslim pulpits; vile slanders upon the religion of Islam. It is categorically proscribed in the Holy Qur'an. There is no room for any doubt or interpretation. The veritable logic of Al-Furqaan, so clear and simple in adjudication with its Determinate verses that even a sixth grader can straightforwardly follow its steps, coldly attests to that statement of fact. The previous examination of the Principle of Inerrancy which unequivocally established the singular prerequisite for complete obedience to “al-Wasilah” from the Determinate verses, also attests to that fact. “Alas, how grievous the burdens they will bear!”
Which is why, failing to find support in the Holy Qur'an, recourse is often made to pages outside the Holy Qur'an to legitimize this absurdity. Applying the same logic method of reductio ad absurdum recursively to every argument and every evidence presented from outside the Holy Qur'an, trivially demolishes them all. Sometimes evidence is presented from a recorded act of history, such as the Prophet or Imams of the Ahlul Bayt having appointed their own representatives and mandating the people over whom they exercised authority to obey their representatives on their behalf. Well, even philosophically, the burden of the acts and decisions of a representative ultimately still rests upon the one whom he represents, and who is still ultimately in authority to rectify matters if the need ever arose, to hear dissatisfaction, and to adjudicate. This is self-evident by definition of “representative” in this semantic context. Which is why it is a false argument of the self-appointed valih-e-faqih (or appointed by a consultative committee of self-styled holy jurists) for speciously conferring legitimacy upon himself because one, he can produce no certificate of such divine appointment, and two, he is now the highest authority next to God. No one can challenge his authority even legally. A throwback to the stone age to say the least, and no different than any vanilla don or king, including the King of kings the valih-e-faqih replaced with such fanfare in so much Persian blood tribute. Absolute rule which went away in the Age of Enlightenment in the West has been brought back with a new vengeance to the backward Muslims to help shape world order as proxy service providers of the West.
To be vigilant of false friends, false guides, false imams making false claims, is veritably underscored in Surah Al-Furqaan itself:
The Day that the wrong-doer will bite at his hands, he will say, 'Oh! Would that I had taken a (straight) path with the Messenger!' 25:27
وَيَوْمَ يَعَضُّ الظَّالِمُ عَلَىٰ يَدَيْهِ يَقُولُ يَا لَيْتَنِي اتَّخَذْتُ مَعَ الرَّسُولِ سَبِيلًا
'Ah! Woe is me! Would that I had never taken such a one for a friend!' 25:28
يَا وَيْلَتَىٰ لَيْتَنِي لَمْ أَتَّخِذْ فُلَانًا خَلِيلًا
'He did lead me astray from the Message (of Allah) after it had come to me! Ah! the Evil One is but a traitor to man!' 25:29
لَقَدْ أَضَلَّنِي عَنِ الذِّكْرِ بَعْدَ إِذْ جَاءَنِي ۗ وَكَانَ الشَّيْطَانُ لِلْإِنْسَانِ خَذُولًا
Then the Messenger will say: 'O my Lord! Truly my people took this Qur'an for just foolish nonsense.' Holy Qur’an, Surah Al-Furqaan 25:30
وَقَالَ الرَّسُولُ يَا رَبِّ إِنَّ قَوْمِي اتَّخَذُوا هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ مَهْجُورًا
Caption Surah Al-Furqaan 25:27-30 The ex post facto lament on the Day of Judgment by believers of having taken someone for a friend and being led astray by them, in the language of the Holy Qur'an is a categorical admonishment before the fact, referring to those who come posing as friends and not overtly as enemies. This is a warning to all peoples to be wary of their own kind betraying them, for one usually takes those whom one knows and trusts as one's friends, guardians, protectors, guides, and imams. Only friends can betray because the concept of betrayal is tied to trust. In other words, the Holy Qur'an, Al-Furqaan, is warning the simpleton mind in every age to be wary of false friends, false imams, Trojan Horse, Machiavelli, who win the public trust with cognitive infiltration, and all the rest of the techniques of deception used in betrayal where the ones being betrayed do not realize it then. The purpose of the warning is obvious – so that the believers can shrewdly protect themselves from that outcome rather than lament on the Day of Accountability that they did not know. If they still don't wakeup today to their false friends and false imams who often come wearing the garbs and turbans endearing to the public mind, then the Prophet of Islam's strong lament is also recorded. Referring to the misled people as “my people” to show his deep anguish, the Prophet of Islam cries out that they did not take the Guidance in the Holy Qur'an seriously, shackling its meaning down to idiocy, down to their own whim and fancy, making the Deen-e-mubeen “mahjoor”!
These verses of Surah Al-Furqaan, 25:27-30, also unequivocally strike down false notions fed to the masses to legitimize taqlid of the fallible jurist that the follower may claim exemption from condemnation in Afterlife if one's own intention is good and one followed an imam who leads one astray by honest mistake of his ijtihad: “Ah! Woe is me! Would that I had never taken such a one for a friend! He did lead me astray from the Message (of Allah) after it had come to me! Ah! the Evil One is but a traitor to man!”
Sadly, no Muslim mind ever believes that these admonishments can ever apply to it. These always only apply to all the other fools over there in the other sects! The Sunnis believe this of the Shia with as much divine conviction as the Shias believe this of the Sunni, both opening the door wide open to Dr. Machiavelli to come rape them both.
This characteristic of self-righteousness is itself an inherent part of the religion of man. The fear and discomfort of cognitive dissonance evidently inhibits its very occurrence. Without experiencing cognitive dissonance, the psychological state of inner mental conflict between two contrarian positions, no transformation can transpire. Which is why, when faced with contrarian facts or evidence, the degree to which a man violently resists giving up his prior beliefs is directly proportional to his inner insecurities and is an index to his desires (as philosopher Bertrand Russell observed of the frailty of the human mind). Desires of which he may himself be unconscious of, as its seat is in the subconscious mind. Freud established this as an empirical fact of the irrational mind at the turn of the twentieth century. It is what the multi-trillion dollar global advertising industry is built upon. It is why masses of human beings fall easy prey to anyone who can cater to their base desires and insecurities – the sine qua non for the mass success of both religion and marketing. Advertising professionals and Machiavelli understand this human frailty better than the common mind. It is the cornerstone of success for well-designed propaganda as well as marketing campaigns. It is why the ministry of truth (as Geroge Orwell termed it in Nineteen Eighty-four) all around the world have come into existence to more effectively make the public mind. So who is your imam now?
Which is why, at the risk of stating the obvious once again, in the matters of the straight path, the Author of the Holy Qur'an is categorically making each human being accountable for his every decision, including the decision to follow or not to follow others, to have one's mind made or not made by others. There is no exemption for “oops!” for anyone as these categorical verses of Surah Al-Baqara 2:166-2:167 and Surah Al-Furqaan 25:27-30 unequivocally assert. Neither in this life which becomes hellish not just for oneself but also for others when one follows false imams. Nor evidently in the Afterlife of Islam where everyone is called to account in the company of the “imam” they each followed: “One day We shall call together all human beings with their (respective) Imams” (Surah al-Israa', 17:71). So if one followed a false guide and did not realize it, there is no “oops!” exemption!
After this analytical presentation, why should anyone still believe that the holy marja-e-taqlid is exempt from the condemnation of verse 16:25? That those who follow him are exempt from the condemnation of verses 2:166-2:167 and 25:27-30? Precisely, because of a socialized culture of religion rather than of learning that dominates the public mind.
If one was born a Hindu instead of a Muslim, one would be shouting the virtues of Krishna from the mandirs. Today, the Hindu mind is on safer ground because Machiavelli has found little use for it in fueling imperial mobilization. If for nothing else, then just for that reason alone this subject is of grave public concern. The “arc of crisis” like a spreading fire, as the world is continually witnessing, spares no one in its path. To put it out effectively takes getting the core fundamentals that are being harvested for this purpose in the name of Islam, better scrutinized in the public eye. Virtually all of these so called axioms of faith are the creation of Machiavelli, are not supported in the Good Book, and hence are not part of the religion of Islam expressed in it.
While much has been stated about both “militant Islam” and “moderate Islam” being alien to the religion of Islam, the third part of the trifecta for the recipe of creating perfect storm for Muslim on Muslim violence, “revolutionary Islam” and its enabling axiom of “taqlid”, has escaped forensic scrutiny by the more learned minds who surely have better “ma'rifat” (deeper understanding) of the subject. The analytical mind that goes on facts permits no room for absurdities and gratuitous assumptions of faith. Things have to make logical sense given all the facts, and all their linkages. Some linkages are directly visible, while others are made visible by the logic of adding two plus two correctly equal to four. This analytical deconstruction of “taqlid” without prejudice by a layman, is the product of that basic arithematic. A challenge directly to the valih-e-faqih du jour to respond, explain, and refute if there is any Qur'anic truth on his side. Silence is the domain of cowards. No one who claims Imam Ali as his guide has even a passing acquaintance with cowardice.
The controlling practice of “taqlid” as it has unfolded in Muslim civilizations, the underpinning of sects that were manufactured when the largely sheepish masses were encouraged to follow the anointed imam of their natural socialization by birth thus dividing into schools of thought, is a man-made divisive construct of the church of man. Its purpose is predatory social control of man by fellow man, be it among the Shia, the Sunni, the Ismaili, or any other group-think composition, in any religion. Like Christianity, the man of cloth as the interpreter of faith for the Muslims became a useful tool.
Is man so feeble minded, so inadequate in his talents, so corrupted in his heart, that he needs a fierce looking bearded shepherd until eternity to “Islamize” him? What an insult to God's creation --- and to God, that He Created such an absurdity in which imperfect man shall forever remain beholden to another imperfect man for guidance. Such an absurd God can only exist in the mind of Mephistopheles to enslave and control fellow man.
Any place where fallible man is anointed as the interpreter of faith for another, or obedience is demanded in the name of the divine, is a place where social control is being practiced in the name of the divine. Lift the pious robes and underneath one shall find, linked to the predatory social control, a bountiful and easy harvest of public's wealth being paid into the coffers of the pulpit, and empire. Perhaps this is why it is often hard to find clergy who is familiar with honest toil and labor. The bulging waist-lines alone testify to the vulgar empirical truth of virtually all priestly class living off of public donations in the name of religion.
The superman rulers have comprehended this vile modus operandi of social control far more perceptively than the sheepish public they govern! And the clergy class in every religion has served that ruling interest with an iron-clad regimentation from time immemorial. (Superman is reference to Nietzsche's superman and not to the Marvel comic book hero; the ubermensch, the uber alles, deems himself above all the others, is beyond good and evil, tells noble lies and thinks nothing of it, and strives with his own “will to power” instead of superstitious religions to achieve lordship over mankind who refuse to evolve past their sheep state.) But when the clergy class has itself become the state, the public has been reduced to intellectual servitude to fellow man in the name of divine. To have done that damage to the pristine religion Islam which its Author claims to have “perfected” as the Divine Guidance System revealed to free man from the clutches of fellow man, is an immodest and unpardonable travesty for which verse 16:25 of Surah An-Nahl plainly vouches: “Let them bear, on the Day of Judgment, their own burdens in full, and also (something) of the burdens of those without knowledge, whom they misled. Alas, how grievous the burdens they will bear!”
Unsurprisingly, no Muslim and his pope is going to give up their socialized interpretation of religion anymore than a socialized Zionist Jew is going to give up Zionism and a Brahmin priest is going to give up racism. And it is not because they each don't know or realize that their respective ideology is misanthropic and leads to the enslavement of the 'lesser peoples'. Knowing this general fact of obduracy about His Own Creation which, by His own Admission, “He fashioned him in due proportion” (see Surah As-Sajdah verses 32:07-32:09), is perhaps why the Author of the Holy Qur'an proffered that straightforward Admonition to people driven by self-interests and socialization bias even when truth has clearly been made manifest from error, of scores only being settled on the Day of Judgment. That, in this life, to wholeheartedly “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.” (Surah Al-Maeda 5:48)
Therefore, as per the noble advocacy of this verse to eliminate conflict among mankind, one may hastily conclude that if “taqlid”, or any other harmonious system for that matter, leads to that wonderful race in all virtues, all power to it. That is the point – that any principled system can be made as virtuous in theory as it can be made evil in practice. The choice is evidently left up to man in the Holy Qur'an. The problem comes in when it is the latter and reduces an entire nation in willing servitude to the whims and ideas of one man, the self-anointed philosopher-king, with his subjects loving their state of bondage in the name of the Divine.
For those unfamiliar with the principal axiom of the Divine Guidance System of the religion of Islam, the topic is covered in the tutorial derived from this study: What does the Holy Qur'an say about Taqlid - Blind Following the Non-Infallible? (http://tinyurl.com/what-quran-says-about-taqlid). The axiom of inerrancy is also extracted into a tutorial due to its enormous significance in understanding the exhortation to obey the Messenger and which cannot be extended to anyone else but the inerrant “ulul amar”: What does the Holy Qur'an say about Inerrancy of Prophet Muhammad?.(http://tinyurl.com/what-quran-say-about-inerrancy)
To resume and reach respectable closure on the earlier thread on the examination of Qur'anic Beatitudes and the pulpits' appeal to divinely sanctioned rule in its many different formulations by fixing the Indeterminates to suit their socialization bias, we can now appreciate that there are layers of meaning to these metaphorical verses not resolved by the Determinates, and hence are Indeterminate. And unless these do become resolved by Determinates, either by acquiring new understanding, or new knowledge that is discovered over time that makes comprehending the Indeterminates in the light of the Determinates better, these categorically remain Indeterminate and open-ended! Perhaps the Messenger had explained their hidden meanings to his contemporaries. Those who believe they still retain these explanations accurately in their socialization context, can of course believe whatever they like – they are socialized, nay entirely indoctrinated, into these belief systems anyway with little real choice exercised by them.
Indeed, the more honest ones among them openly proclaim their religion as an inheritance, especially the descendants of the Ahlul Bayt. They announce it publicly too --- by prepending “Syed” and similar appellation before or after their name to advertise to the world that their lineage descends directly from the Prophet of Islam. The pontiffs advertise it proudly too, by wearing the black colored turban tied in a specific way to indicate their special status as the children of the Prophet and his Ahlul Bayt. And the most open and bold admission is of course by the Western educated Aga Khan IV, who avers that he is the 49th continuous hereditary imam of the Ismaili Nizari Shia Muslims. A global imam without territory who exercises complete control as well as full responsibility over his flock from his one of a kind headquarters in France. He also represents the best spirit of the pluralism of Islam among all Muslim sects by his social welfare work worldwide, benefitting all peoples, as principally advocated in Surah Al-Hujraat 49:13 (see below). No other Muslim sect or imam can hold a candle to, or lay claims to, such demonstrated pluralism. However, the proverbial pound of flesh has equally been extracted from these long running hereditary imams as well. Witness the Aga Khan's most unusual level of co-option in working hand in glove with empire in: Ismaili Muslims and Aga Khan's Doctrine of Neutrality
(http://tinyurl.com/Aga-Khan-Neutrality). And further witness the exhibition of banal self-righteousness that is little different from all the other Muslim sects' despite genuine attempts at pluralism, in: The Amman Message (http://tinyurl.com/Amman-Message-Aga-Khan). A pluralism when it is not in conflict with self-righteousness!
(http://tinyurl.com/Aga-Khan-Neutrality). And further witness the exhibition of banal self-righteousness that is little different from all the other Muslim sects' despite genuine attempts at pluralism, in: The Amman Message (http://tinyurl.com/Amman-Message-Aga-Khan). A pluralism when it is not in conflict with self-righteousness!
When religion is an inheritance, and makes one self-righteous, one can at best acquire mastery and scholarship only upon one's inheritance.
We observe that fact in practice. It is foolish to require anyone to give up their inheritance --- it is what defines us like our gender, it is who we are, the tribe and nation we belong to.
O mankind! Lo! We have created you from male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. Lo! the noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Lo! Allah is Knower, Aware. (Surah Al-Hujraat, 49:13)
يا أيها الناس إنا خلقناكم من ذكر وأنثى وجعلناكم شعوبا وقبائل لتعارفوا ۚ إن أكرمكم عند الله أتقاكم ۚ إن الله عليم خبير
That empirical fact of the hard genetic structure which expresses itself in the plurality of strains that is mankind, has evidently been extended to its programming, i.e., religion, as well. That undeniable fact of empiricism too is categorically recorded in Surah Al-Maeda, 5:44-48 (See Islam and Knowledge vs Socialization, http://tinyurl.com/Islam-Socialization)
However, the men and woman of understanding among them, ( أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ ), must also force their pulpits to publicly acknowledge to their own flock that their fixing of an Indeterminate is drawn from sources outside the pages of the Holy Qur'an, from their respective holy books and sectarian dogmas. If one is to stay within the pages of the Holy Qur'an, one is forced to leave these matters as the Author Himself counsels in verse 3:7, as metaphorical, and therefore, Indeterminate. Meaning, as unknowns, without feeling any inner compulsion to fix their meaning at all.
Observe that despite the arguable metaphorical allusions to divinely sanctioned rule in its Indeterminates, the Holy Qur'an does not categorically prescribe in its Determinate verses any kind of governance, never mind specify who must rule apart from أُولِي الْأَمْرِ of verse 4:59 previously analyzed, and which is itself left as an Indeterminate. It is arguably to transpire only in some unknown and unspecified epoch whence all the Qur'anic Beatitudes quoted above are finally realized: “It is I and My messengers who must prevail”. Thus far, that allegorical promise of both the Holy Bible and the Holy Qur'an have not been realized. We still live in a world of tyranny run by vile Hectoring Hegemons, now even more sophisticated than ever, employing diabolical instruments and philosophies to continually corral mankind from one misery to another under different Hegelian Dialectics. So who governs in the mean time? Sensibly, the people have to govern themselves! The Holy Qur'an has categorically prescribed its recipe that man must willingly stand up to these usurpers and exploiters of mankind among them (see http://tinyurl.com/Surah-Asr-Tafsir). However, the Holy Qur'an has not prescribed in its Determinate verses what such governance must look like that stands up to tyranny, except for some desirable general characteristics of righteous collectivism which it categorically prescribes for realizing the good Islamic society that is the harbinger of justice for all mankind.
In fact, these Qur'anic platitudes are not that much different in principle from what Solon, the ancient Athenian law-giver, advocated for social responsibility. When asked which city he thought was well-governed, Solon said: “That city where those who have not been injured take up the cause of one who has, and prosecute the case as earnestly as if the wrong had been done to themselves.”
For that matter, even the United States Constitution and its famous American Bill of Rights are not inconsistent with the Holy Qur'an. There isn't anything in that manmade republican governance principle that is intrinsically in conflict with the Good Book. In fact, it can be cogently argued to be implementing some of the principles of Islam itself. Unlike others claiming the divine right to rule through 4:59, the American Constitution however does not claim itself to be divine – but Declares itself to be self-evident for the spelled out inalienable rights of the people.
It is a travesty that all these lofty platitudes on lovely parchment have been instrumented in society with the same inimical zest for justice and fairness as any other lovely words in any Sacred text from time immemorial, including the Ten Commandments, and the Holy Qur'an. This topic has been examined in depth in Islam and Knowledge vs. Socialization (see http://tinyurl.com/Islam-Socialization).
Rule in the name of divine went away during Christendom's reformation period. It was replaced by people choosing to govern themselves. Whereas, it has been the principal raison d'être of governance of all Muslim empires and Caliphates, including latter day Muslim oligarchic states. None of which is to be found in the Determinates of the Holy Qur'an itself; appeal is always made to its Indeterminates in every era to justify and sanction man's rule in the name of divine.
There is surely no name more abused for narrow self-interests than the name of Divine since the dawn of civilization. In the past it was to verse 4:59 that thirteen centuries of Muslim empires looked to justify their rule. In the contemporary present, the principle of vilayat-i faqih in the Islamic Republic of Iran has most imaginatively made that appeal inter alia to both 4:59 and 28:5, asserting that its clergy class are representatives of those inheritors of the promise made in 28:5, and therefore must be obeyed as per 4:59. The ubiquitous practice of “taqlid” (already examined above) helped secure that blind obedience to religious authority from the sheepish masses. While Iran today proudly boasts of being the only Eastern nation which disobediently stands up to the Western hegemons as the permanent enemy of the Great Satan, its majority public meekly bows their head in blind obedience to their popes in full conviction of eternal salvation.
One can see that the Indeterminates permit open interpretation – and that's the premeditated diversity engine of the religion of Islam. When diversity based on the Indeterminates does not sow discord, is in the spirit of Islam as categorically outlined by its Determinates, then it is theologically not deprecated in the religion of Islam as should be evident from all the preceding discussions. It is the sowing of discord by interpreting what is metaphorical and allegorical in the Holy Qur'an that is deprecated. If interpretation was in fact not expected by the Author despite His Counsel against it, arguably there'd be no Indeterminates in the Book which claims itself a Divine Guidance for all mankind. The ambiguity in its specification is prima facie evidence of its sophisticated and pragmatic engine to seed diversity because man, by the very nature of his construction (creation), will argue and dispute, be socialized and group-think: “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.” (Surah Al-Maeda 5:48). The Qur'anic guidance system endeavors to take man from that disputative warring state of nascent creation, to willingly rising to a stature in which he will come to excel the angels. Only the journey on the road of “fuss-tabi-qul-khairaat” ( فَاسْتَبِقُوا الْخَيْرَاتِ ), “so strive as in a race in all virtues”, can take a disputative, ethnocentric, tribalistic, nationalistic, and fiqhilistic people to the heights of that station. It is self-evident that part and parcel of striving “as in a race in all virtues” includes standing up to tyrants and creating social justice. All people are capable of doing that. What further Divine intervention is needed?
To even begin the process of transformation of coming together on the Determinates of the Holy Qur'an, since no Muslim sect is going to give up their emotional and theological attachments to their historical legacy any time soon, if ever, the realities of the matter and the dangers of fratricide facing Muslims, call for immediate co-existence of sects as they are. Arguably therefore, so long as the interpretations and fixing of the Indeterminates do not sow discord among Muslims as per verse 3:7, why should any particular fixing by one sect be deemed any more holier than any other sect's? All fixing make recourse to material outside the Holy Qur'an anyway --- whatever may be deemed to be its sacredness by the socialization in the respective sect. It is still not in the Holy Qur'an.
That is the singular recognition which must finally be truthfully admitted from every pulpit in order to form any kind of coherence among the disparate Muslim sects.
The abstractions Determinate and Indeterminate naturally permit such realization to first be articulated, and then percolated inwards, outwards, upwards, and downwards. A bold public admission of just this reality of the actual sources of their beliefs, driven from all Muslim pulpits, either voluntarily, or through state power according religious rights to Muslim sects, is the first step of coming together as one Muslim nation – without coercing anyone to change their emotional attachments to their respective heroes of history or come under the stewardship of any one sect's ideology.
Consequently, regardless of which Muslim sect or political group defines their nation's philosophical and national characteristics, if they employ the Determinate verse 5:48 of Surah Al-Maeda as the cornerstone of their state's constitution ; if they espouse the fairness expressed in the Biblical Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you have others do unto you”, and adopt the powerful corollary that naturally falls out of it as their force majeure to preempt exploitation: “no one shall take unfair advantage of another” ; and make these worthy first principles of fairness and justice the very foundation of their governance structures whereby all civil, political, and religious rights are accorded to its citizens irrespective of their own theological beliefs with equality and without prejudice, both in theory and in practice, such a state would be sufficiently Islamic to legitimately call itself an “Islamic state” – even if it was entirely a secular state! It would be irrespective of the rest of its colorful artifacts, whether theologically drawn from the Indeterminates and therefore not something to be sown discord over as verse 3:7 clearly avers, or a separation of state and religion in terms of the philosophical outlook of the state itself! What does it matter to the ordinary man and woman what type of state it is if the state gives the public the liberty to better themselves in fairness, justice, is not exploitive, does not usurp, does not plunder, is not a vassal of foreign powers, and lends all its denizens the opportunity to believe and practice as a community what they each commonly hold sacred?
As one can immediately see, an almost infinite array of diverse governance systems are possible under that enlightened rubric – only limited by the creative energies of the people and their enlightened stewards. The stony silence of the Holy Qur'an on the governance structure, and its explicit categorical articulation of the general social principles to enact among Muslims in its Determinates, yields only this logical deduction, and no other!
This isn't a utopia. Many Muslim governments exist today – they can just as easily adopt the political recommendations noted above to eliminate fratricide and foster amity among Muslims in their own nations. That would of course only be possible if these states were themselves not part of this Machiavellian fratricide, state sponsored, both nationally and globally, as surrogate vassals of the hectoring hegemons.
Therefore, if any presumptuously “Islamic” state sheds the blood of Muslims in the name of Islam, sows discord, then it is clearly not an Islamic state by definition of the religion of Islam – but a tyrannical state no different than any other tyrannical state, Islam's lofty symbols proudly adorning its national flag notwithstanding.
What is perhaps of utmost most significance however, is the recognition that the Hectoring Hegemons not only perceptively understand these matters concerning the religion of Islam, they also understand the cracks, fissures, and lacunas among the Muslim sects, and how to both tickle these further, and how to harvest the subsequent fruits. They know how to invent new sects just as well as they know how to create revolutions by harnessing the indigenous discontent which they ab initio create in the first place.
As in recent past, internecine warfare is the unnatural destiny that has been planned for Muslims in the twenty-first century as well – and they had better wizen up before it is enacted on the scale which has been apportioned. To appreciate the urgency, and just how much of an existential necessity it is to immediately overcome sectarianism which continues to directly play into the hands of hectoring hegemons, see the excerpt from the political novel (or historical fiction) “Memoirs Of Mr. Hempher, The British Spy To The Middle East”
(http://tinyurl.com/excerpt-memoirs-of-mr-hempher). It is sure to distress the naïve and the erudite mind alike to learn just how accurately the hectoring hegemons understand and exploit the cracks and lacunas among the two major sects of Islam comprising nearly 99 percent of the 1.6 to 2 billion Muslims on planet earth today.
(http://tinyurl.com/excerpt-memoirs-of-mr-hempher). It is sure to distress the naïve and the erudite mind alike to learn just how accurately the hectoring hegemons understand and exploit the cracks and lacunas among the two major sects of Islam comprising nearly 99 percent of the 1.6 to 2 billion Muslims on planet earth today.
This case study set out to examine the question posed at the beginning:
What are the inherent impediments for studying the message of the Holy Qur'an which make the Book so amenable to self-serving interpretation, socialization, and even bastardization by anyone?
If the reader's mind hasn't been entirely asleep through this long perusal, the discovery that the presence of Indeterminates in the Holy Qur'an which necessitates going outside of its pristine pages to resolve them, is primarily responsible for the paradox that the Holy Qur'an has itself contributed to its subversion, must be disconcerting to the honest mind. The Muslims, generation after generation, have themselves contributed to this state of affairs by remaining ossified in the narratives of history rather than progressively evolving their understanding of the principles of Islam as espoused directly in the text of the Holy Qur'an. That lamentable fact has arrested their evolution as a people, mired them in rituals and rites which dominate their socialization and their practice of religion, and opened them to sectarian schisms which has made them easy prey to the supermen and Machiavelli. The unfortunate truth of these observations is straightforwardly validated by the lamentable fact that even in today's modernity, one which is run exclusively by superior intellects who use game theory, psychology, social engineering, and political science to orchestrate “imperial mobilization” under the primacy imperatives of the new White Man's Burden for one-world government, even the best among the Muslim scholars and intellectuals, politicians and statesmen, poets and dreamers, pressmen and prostitutes, remain nonetheless wiser. In fact, many have become house niggers willingly carrying the White Man's Burden. And like the Muslim masses, many also offer their daily prayers on time, keep all their fasts, feed the poor, and perform their Hajj, preferably multiple times. And if one informs them that they are in fact destined for hell, hell right here on earth, they confidently reply that they are looking forward to Heaven elsewhere.
The ease with which the masters of religion divided the Muslims since its very inception, with even far greater ease the Muslims can become united on the Holy Qur'an by acquiring intimacy with the abstractions natural to the Holy Qur'an: Determinates and Indeterminates. The Muslims have been made victims by their own pulpits no differently than the Christians. Neither the Sunni nor the Shia pulpit is able to reason, nor logically prove their differentiating theology from the Holy Qur'an directly, blanket assertions with appeal to authority and historical sources being their only blunt instrument of argumentation. This is clearly visible among both the Shia and Sunni pulpits each of which have created their own sacred axioms that they each swear by, based exclusively on the scribes of history and selective fixing of the Indeterminates to suit their respective socialization bias. That has led to the senseless differentiation which is guaranteed to be irreconcilable under any one sect's ideological banner, remaining perennially ripe for a good harvest by Machiavelli in every era.
Adoption of the Qur'anic abstractions Determinate and Indeterminate in promulgating the understanding of the religion of Islam from both the Shia and Sunni pulpits, permits a mutual co-existence with greater amity and friendship among all the major Muslim sects. It simultaneously raises awareness of the actual sources of their own religion from which the Muslim mind draws its various beliefs. These simple abstractions lend a vocabulary and nomenclature to even begin sensible and rational discussions of matters that have previously often been steeped in blind faith, shrouded in ignorance, clothed in baseless assertions, and ripe for gratuitous cognitive infiltration into the religion of Islam.
It permits the Muslim mind to “legally” agree to disagree on matters which are Indeterminate without calling each other misguided or kafir, while automatically permitting rational agreements to be forged on what is Determinate. This also resolves forging agreement on matters that fall on the delicate boundary between what is Determinate and what is Indeterminate, as for instance is betrayed by the two different parsing of verse 3:7 along the Shia-Sunni sectarian divide. Which parsing is correct is itself an Indeterminate. Therefore, what is not categorically deemed Determinate by both pulpits is sensibly treated as Indeterminate by definition, rather than sow discord. That approach is counseled by verse 3:7 itself.
Only under that singular categorical banner of the Determinates of the Holy Qur'an, can Muslims ever forge themselves into one Muslim nation. The Determinates also easily permit expunging abhorrent ideologies, gratuitous doctrines, dogmas, and practices which have vilely infiltrated the religion of Islam as amply demonstrated by the examination of the question of “taqlid” above. Self-interest of both the pulpit and the throne is clearly brought to light in that examination because the question is a Determinate question, most emphatically and straightforwardly answered in the Holy Qur'an. Similarly, the Principle of Inerrancy is stated so plainly in the Holy Qur'an that the self-interest of the entire Sunni pulpit in asserting the contrary in service of the caliphates and Muslim empires is most clearly visible. Without vilely negating that first Determinate principle of the Holy Qur'an, the very first Caliph after the death of the Prophet of Islam could never have occupied the rulership of the nascent Muslims – and perhaps the history may have unfolded differently! These are clear examples of guile, deception, subterfuge, and hijacking, among both Shiadom and Sunnidom. If it is so easy for power to subvert the Determinates, just imagine how easy it is to fill the Indeterminates! By the same yardstick, sympathetic power can equally affect the alternate outcome. But why would power slaughter its own prized goose that lays the golden egg in every epoch?
The benefits of rational assemblage of the worldwide Muslim public mind on the Determinates of the Holy Qur'an today is so obvious that to even state it fourteen-fifteen centuries later sounds entirely platitudinous; sort of like rehearsing the lofty Ten Commandments in wonderment as if they were just revealed yesterday! Only narrow self-interests of both the pulpit and the throne preclude that assemblage!
Nevertheless, the lead principle to drive this Muslim umma unification process globally while retaining the rich diversity among Muslims, is the verse of unification, verse 5:48 of Surah Al-Maeda of the Holy Qur'an. Its rational adoption as the political and spiritual mandate of all Muslim sects, tribes and nations in its myriad civilizations from the East to the West, organically launches the Muslim public mind on that road to political and spiritual recovery without being under the headmastership of any sect and their specious dogmas. The rest will happen naturally, over time, by the natural system dynamics unleashed with the adoption and active promulgation of that simple political science first principle from the Holy Qur'an itself.
This evolution of the understanding of the religion of Islam among the Muslims is the only choice to survive in the coming age without both, internecine warfare that is diabolically crafted by Machiavelli, and losing the spirit of their religion further to the shell of empty rituals.
The Machiavelli in the meantime is active by way of divide and conquer to spread the scourge of Secular Humanism in all civilizations to wipe out all traces of theism. The religion of Islam, evidently, is its most resolute obstruction (see http://tinyurl.com/Islam-vs-Secular-Humanism ). It is foolhardy to not capitalize on one's natural advantage in the art of war! The full spectrum capitalization of that asset is the principal raison d'être of this report.
As the first baby step towards better understanding their own differences – the Shia and Sunni pulpits are invited to proclaim their own beliefs at their own learned scholarly level, using these new abstractions. Then let's sit together to examine what each sect has itself determined to be Determinate vs. Indeterminate on matters that are differentiating between Shia and Sunni pulpits. It will surely surprise them both! Just as it has surprised this scribe how easy and straightforward the resolution is – its only obstruction being the hectoring hegemons and their insidious vassals throughout the Muslim world. It is perhaps for this insightful realization that a pen awarded to this scribe's little boy a score years ago by the Sunday School in California in the United States of America, for Qur'an recitation on stage at age 4 or 5, had inscribed on it the farsighted statement:
“Those who differentiate between Shia and Sunni are neither of the Sunnis nor of the Shias.”
Incestuous self-reinforcement is the bane of objective scholarship. This is why the scientific process came into existence to study any matter objectively. Putting the data and its analysis before others to scrutinize and adjudicate, enables defeating all forms of crippled epistemology and ingrained bias which are often a consequence of incestuous self-reinforcement. One has the opportunity to examine the same data, and examine the analysis performed on that data, conduct one's own experiments so to speak, and either substantiate or refute the thesis and conclusions so reached. This process, when honestly followed, itself advances not just the state of understanding, but enables new discoveries.
But the scientific process itself, carried out by human beings, is also beholden to the limitations of the human being in his subconscious ability to be perfectly objective on any matter. This means all the natural forces of bias that the human mind is unconsciously susceptible to that work their magic to co-opt the rational mind from seeing matters, reality, existence, the way it actually is, have to be overcome to ensure objectivity at the cognitive level and accuracy in the pursuit of understanding by the scientific method. A faulty method in implementation, or its deliberate corruption due to vested interests, will only lead to faulty results and false conclusions in the name of science and objectivity.
This is all the more crucial in social sciences where subjectivity is inherent and inescapable – the species is studying itself. And also because the social sciences can be diabolically harnessed to Machiavellianly foist unpopular political agendas on the public mind disguised as science, or, by appeal to suitably co-opted scientific authority, peddle propaganda and “religion” as science (see “Disambiguating Religion, Science and Psychological Warfare Operations”, http://tinyurl.com/Human-Limits-Scientific-Method). There are many examples that illustrate the truth of this statement that span the gamut of engineering unpopular public policy, from the eugenics movement in the early twentieth century to limit immigration to selected races to global warming in the early twenty-first to usher in carbon credit for limiting growth. All based on appeal to pseudo science and deployed with the full force of perception management of the public mind!
Religion is the same way.
The forces of subconscious bias infecting the human mind include (the following breakdown is adapted from the more detailed examination of the forces of co-option in “The Art and Science of Co-option”, http://tinyurl.com/art-and-science-of-co-option):
- (1) socialization bias (nurture, social programming, learning) ;
- (2) perception bias (nature, hardware, DNA, limits imposed by the five perception senses and the brain capacity, natural inclination, propensity, hardwired intellectual capacity to think and reflect, IQ or Intelligence Quotient, hardwired psychological bent of mind, EQ or Emotional Quotient, hardwired spiritual capacity to transcend materialism, proclivity toward transcendentalism, awareness, consciousness, animatism, superstition, etc., SQ or Spiritual Quotient) ;
- (3) data availability bias (what data is used, what books one reads for instance) ;
- (4) confirmation bias (how data is used to preselect a desired outcome, narrowing the scope of data, massaging the data to confirm an a priori conclusion) ;
The question posed in Part-I is empirical and not rhetorical: “everyone quotes their favorite verses to justify their own narrow positions;”. However, has the author of this report done anything different, as far as the alert reader is concerned, when the report inter alia asserts in Part-III :
It sure explains empirical reality coherently, but most importantly, in self-sufficiency and self-consistency drawn solely from the Holy Qur'an and no other source!
How is the skeptical reader, and the seeker of understanding desirous of being counted among those addressed as أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ in the Holy Qur'an, to defend their levying that same charge of Part-I against this report beyond their own knee-jerk emotional reaction which the report is sure to induce in a Muslim?
Only by following the scientific process! And by being aware of the natural forces of bias infecting the human mind. This study is not about faith, or about questioning faith. It is about epistemology – how we know what we know. It is about rational examination of data and its analysis akin to what one might pursue in any academic science. Here, logical reasoning as the standard of analysis, “aqal ki kassoti” as one might say in Urdu, and not faith, is applied to the study of a complex Book whose author is named “Author” in this examination. What is the Author specifying in His Own Words? That is the primary yardstick driving this investigation of what the Author means and wants to convey in his own Words.
This endeavor of due diligence is as simple and as straightforward as the effort expended for any honest book report written by a college, or even high school, student, nay even elementary school student. The student can cheat and read the Cliff notes, seek other writers' opinions and commentaries, ask his parents, or he can faithfully read the assigned book directly and see what its own author is saying in her own words without projecting his own a priori conclusions and presuppositions upon it. This is so basic an academic value that even to state it in the classroom implies that there is a basic need for making this statement --- because all the students in the class are cheating! The Holy Qur'an itself condemns such short cuts taken by the lazy mind, or the mind prejudiced by all the artifacts of bias enumerated above, as not the best way of understanding its Message: “Do they not then reflect on the Qur'an? Nay, on the hearts there are locks.” (Surah Muhammad 47:24)
That minimal level of basic due diligence, the prerequisite to acquiring “ma'rifat” on any subject, makes it apparent what the Author of the Holy Qur'an in his own best wisdom has chosen to leave ambiguous, metaphorical, open ended, temporal, timeless, accessible only to the “Rasikhoon-fil-ilm” (3:7), and what He has chosen to state categorically, straightforwardly, without being colored by others projecting their own two cents worth on what the Author means from the tunnel vision and co-opting constraints of their own epoch, both time and space. For indeed, in comparison to any author's own words for what he wants to convey, everyone else's description of what that author wants to covey pale in comparison. Own words always trump others' explanations of it. The truth of that statement is universal and without doubt. It is self-evident. When that is a truism for even ordinary authors, it is a grotesque perversity and corruption beyond measure to not apply it sensibly to the Author of the Holy Qur'an. The fact that one see this travesty transpiring timelessly in virtually every Muslim microcosm where pulpit is big business, is the state organ, or the state itself, is its own self-incriminating condemnation.
The lazy mind, the foolish mind, the socialized mind, the undisciplined mind, the uninformed mind, the conformant mind, the parrot mind, and societies that nurture them, all lose for the simple want of individual due diligence. Co-option takes care of the rest who do try to overcome these mental chains. Co-option is a pivotal and defining constraint for not just honest intellectual scholarship, but also for the ordinary individual seeking to do the right thing but deeming “united we stand” the better part of valor. It permits the continuation of the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness! See The Art and Science of Co-option (http://tinyurl.com/art-and-science-of-co-option).
This author, an ordinary engineer in Silicon Valley California in a past life, well-versed in building systems that work and interoperate from initially incomplete or ambiguous specifications or merely wish lists, and in developing and writing specifications ab initio to create systems which work and solve customers' problems and for which customers paid real money to purchase, has explored the stated inquiry question from that analytical perspective, of a systems architect who is hypothetically tasked to engineer the system specified in the Holy Qur'an. In order to do so, the Qur'anic specification must first be understood by him. And understood in terms of what its Author has specified, and not what this author has imagined the Author has specified, interpreted, or what others have thought what the Author has specified. Compliance testing reins in the fertile imagination of an engineer to ensure that the specification is followed rigorously and accurately:
- by “Functional Tests” (employing the electrical engineering parlance) which the Author will administer for pass or fail on the Day of Accountability (this means no interpretation, akin to understanding the DMV driver's manual correctly in order to pass the road test, or an engineering spec in order to build the product as specified by the authors of the spec);
- by seamless interoperability with others pursuing similar mandate (this means being constrained to the Determinates, akin to driving on the public roads in harmony and without causing fatal accidents or discord with all the other drivers).
This study of the Holy Qur'an, and Part-IV that follows which looks at the primary sources of understanding the religion of Islam outside of the Holy Qur'an, have principally been conducted thus far with the left-half brain, logic-only mind, of a practical scientist engaged in existential battles like the metaphorical Mr. Spock (and not an ideologue ensconced in some ivory tower who has never lived in the real world, never competed for livelihood, never fought an enemy, never stood up to Machiavellian power with courage and fortitude, and never lived the hell on earth except on paper and on television).
Often called upon to make urgent split-second factual analysis of weighty matters – at times ambiguous with incomplete or probabilistic data, at times concrete with accurate data, and at times cloaked in layers of deception by the enemy where the data itself is misleading – on which depend the life and death survival decisions of his Captain, Mr. Spock cannot ever be wrong in his analysis, logical deductions, and recommendations. But his recommendations may or may not be acceptable to the Captain who steers his own decision making process by more than just his own left-half brain. The Captain can never refute Mr. Spock's analysis and deductions, and at times his right-half brain led decisions appear illogical to Mr. Spock. And yet, invariably turn out to be more effective in certain cases that require gut-feel, intuition, insight, faith, spiritual know-how; all esoterica that remain beyond the purview of empirical analysis and logical reasoning. The limitations of Mr. Spock and this approach to studying a divine text have already been addressed in the preamble of Part-II.
The fact that Mr. Spock classified the divine text as a ciphertext which must be deciphered correctly to a single plaintext, i.e., uncover the meaning intended to be conveyed by the Author of the Holy Qur'an as in a law book or the DMV driver's manual, rather than as a book of literature and poetry which may interpreted according to each individual's bent of mind and proclivity, is the first axiom that could itself be perceived as being in error by the right-brain dominant human mind that feels more than it is able to think and reason. Is the Holy Qur'an not intended as guidance for them too? They can neither reason effectively nor think clearly – but who is to say that they do not understand the spiritual essence of the Divine Guidance better than those empiricists who can think and reason? No reference decoding is available today to adjudicate! The Messenger and those designated “ulul-amar” of verse 4:59 are no longer living among us to tell us who is right, and who isn't.
Which is why a sensible and rational interpretation of remnant of Allah, “That which is left you by Allah is best for you”?, بَقِيَّتُ ٱللَّهِ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ , inter alia, is the verse 5:48. It is the categorical best for all of us: “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.” It works for both types of people, those who think and analyze, and those unable to reason for themselves and follow by faith, sect, emotionalism, socialization, indoctrination, superstition, and whatever or whoever appeals to the insecurities of their own subconscious mind.
More importantly, as the rational protocol for understanding the message of the Holy Qur'an demands, it permits staying within the pages of the Holy Qur'an, solely referring to its Determinate verses for guidance in understanding what its Indeterminate are proclaiming, and therefore all sects and schools of thought among Muslims can easily come to agree upon such a first order common ground. These are the rational seeds for the making of the “Muslim Ummah” – one people, though divided in geography, race, culture, and civilization, wholly undivided in the core beliefs and core values, basing them exclusively on the Divine Scripture they each posses in common that they each unequivocally proclaim to be un-adulterated by human hand.
Of course, socialized Muslims following the schools of jurisprudence that assert in their respective eschatological doctrines that it refers to the Awaited Savior and the Last of the Divinely appointed Imams – who, for the majority of Shias is Imam Mahdi (AS) who is already born twelve centuries ago but in Occultation by Divine Command and waiting patiently for the right conditions before he reappears by the Will of God to fill the earth with justice; and for the majority of Sunnis is also Imam Mahdi (RA) but who is yet to be born in some future time by the Will of God for the same purpose – will remain socialized in their own inherited dogmas regardless of how rational, compelling, straightforward, natural, non convoluted, non supernatural, and self-empowering the resolution is in the Holy Qur'an itself when one let's it speak. This is why mullahs in every sect, often indistinguishable from their more learned brethren who call themselves “alim” and feel affronted if not given due deference as the “signs of God” on earth, are able to control the public mind so easily.
The feeble quality of the public mind that Adolph Hitler spoke of in Mein Kampf, and which he called for the press to exploit to engineer the public's consent to their own enslavement in the name of national education and enlightenment, is the same quality exploited by the leaders of religion. But with far greater authority and effectiveness due to the presumption of divine mandate!
Waiting for Allah, not just in day to day affairs, but to intervene in the Last Days to finally bring “haq”, justice, to mankind, is a dogma that has usually only worked in the service of primacy – and thus for good reason it cannot be found in any of the Determinates of the Holy Qur'an. For, if “haq” is only to be brought about at the End Time, and only through Divine intervention of sending yet another emissary Imam to lead mankind to institute justice among themselves, then what is the point of this profound religion of “haq” preaching truth and justice to mankind? That paradox alone invites reflection making the resolution obvious: Why is the Holy Qur'an not categorical about this subject? Why is it silent on this aspect of Eschatology? Why does it not use “ayat-e-muhkamat” ( آيَاتٌ مُحْكَمَاتٌ ), the foundational verses as per verse 3:7 whose meaning is straightforward and clear, for this topic? The answer really is obvious – except for socialization and the attendant biases that accompany it!
Honest intellectual pursuit of all these paradoxical questions taken up in this study, with competence and wherewithal, “ma'rifat”, permits exercising the left half-brain to counter the socialization into religion by birth, which, lamentably, is often indistinguishable from superstition. Where will that honest pursuit of reflecting on the Holy Qur'an as the singular unadulterated Scripture containing some Message by its Author, ultimately lead to --- it is foolish to presuppose an answer as that would only be theoretical at this time! Anyone can forge any theory of platitudes. The empirical reality is that fourteen centuries into the Holy Qur'an, and mankind still lives in the Age of Jahiliya. Progress today is empirically captured by the record of the past one hundred years and can be summed up in the great material progress, great world wars, great poverty, and great misery for the majority of mankind.
Let empiricism speak the loudest and with honesty for the Message of the Holy Qur'an if its mission is to guide mankind. The scorecard as of this writing, in the second decade of the twenty-first century, says little of the collective acumen of Muslims. Drowning in a surfeit of piety, they are subjugated, colonized, and bombed from continent to continent. Villainy is cunningly perpetrated in the name of Islam, from “militant Islam” and ISIS/ISIL on the one hand, to “moderate Islam” and “reform Islam” on the other, while the Muslim governments appear helpless before it all, running helter-skelter between competing narratives crafted for them by predatory minds far superior. That scorecard is not Mr. Spock's gratuitous thinking, but merely an empirical observation of the stoic validity until present, of the verse of the Holy Qur'an itself: “Then the Messenger will say: 'O my Lord! Truly my people took this Qur'an for just foolish nonsense.'” (Surah Al-Furqaan 25:30)
Thus the import, nay mandate, for thinking afresh with new intellectual tools to forge a new direction is clear. The traditional scholars of Islam, both in the East and the West, have only taken us down the past. They are ill-equipped to take us into a future that is different for Muslims in a world as modern, sophisticated, and complex as the one that mankind is living in today. Minimally bringing the left half-brain to accurately decipher and comprehend the message of the Holy Qur'an minus the incestuous self-reinforcements, independent of what the mullahs, the ayatollahs, the exegeses writers, the hadith compilers, and the historical narratives penned a thousand years ago say it means, is the first step to heed that aforementioned drastic Qur'anic warning to Muslims.
One useful way to think about this abstraction for those who possess both half brains in some balanced non-zero quantity, might be:
- the right-half brain feels a compelling need to climb a specific mountain but does not know how except to extol the virtues of climbing that mountain in verse and oratory;
- the left-half brain comes up with the practical analysis for such a journey, the engineering and logistics plan to get there, and the battle plan to defeat the many anticipated obstructions lurking in the path including those that are unpredictable like the bad weather, flash floods, and robbers hiding in bushes;
- the right-half brain sustains the human spirit with faith and fortitude throughout that agonizing journey to finally be able to climb that mountain with any kind of engineered plan rather than to merely have dreamed of climbing it.
One can no more engineer a plan with one's right-half brain than one can imagine success with one's left-half brain in the face of hopelessness and dark clouds. The reader's job is to verify the engineered plan, which means to first understand the specification in order to even be able to adjudicate, before he and she embarks on that arduous journey to climb that mountain with nothing but faith sustaining thine spirit, and nothing but shrewd planning guiding thine little “zulfiqar”. Just another way to think about how to engage the human mind (intellect plus intuition – respectively the left and the right half brains) to its fullest potential.
Yet another useful way to look at this abstraction of the human mind and human intellect that encompasses both objective logic and subjective insight, is to recognize that cognitive reasoning based on the five perceptive senses that can be made fairly objective, and therefore falsifiable, is the contribution of a functioning left-half brain to human knowledge of the surrounding world. Intuitive reasoning, sense of the abstract, sense of beauty, sense of harmony, sense of insecurity, all of which is non-quantifiable and subjective, but which enhances insight, wherewithal, wisdom, commonsense, shrewdness, sophistication, street-smartness, deeper understanding, “ma'rifat”, creativity, etc., and which transcend the available empirical data and what is made visible to the five perceptive senses, is contributed by the right-half brain to human awareness. One without the other is incomplete. One can no more live without logic than one can live without insight and foresight, love and feelings. Those who do are reduced to being useful idiots and useless eaters. Without a functioning right-half brain, the human mind is reduced to a mere computational resource, devoid of any insight and feelings. Without a functioning left-half brain, the human mind becomes steeped in superstition and base desires; desires which may be unconscious, but which drive beliefs and actions like voodoo, without rhyme or reason.
The rational analysis presented here therefore, to be of any use to anyone, should be examined solely for what it is, and not with religious sentiments, beliefs, and socialization bias (right-half brain) interfering with the facts and logical analysis (left-half brain). The logic of inquiry here is only on what is objective, or can be made objective. Let the subjective insights be the reader's own contribution to her own deeper understanding; to be built upon what is objectively, and falsifiably (meaning, can be shown to be either true or false), reasoned here.
For the reader's convenience, the table below lists all the verses of the Holy Qur'an which appear in the examination of the question: Why it is easy to hijack the Holy Qur'an and the religion of Islam, and upon which the analysis and deductions of this report are based. But only to the best ability of this scribe who is obviously not Mr. Spock, is as socialized into his own ethos, and is as limited in his intellectual capabilities by virtue of being fully human, as anyone else. The only difference from other earnest seekers of understanding perhaps being, that this scribe has cognitively endeavored to rise to the many challenges outlined in this report; to remain aware of his own limitations in perfectly overcoming all the subconscious forces of bias working against the cognitive mind, cradling it, cajoling it, luring it, enticing it, towards comfort zones. The ancient adage: know thy self to know the world, has never been more true than in this endeavor to become objective about what pertains to one self. Anyone with even a modicum of seriousness in their disposition can surely rise to the same challenges of epistemology, how do we know what we know, and better the analysis!
Minimally, the profound scholar of Islam who claims a higher station by virtue of greater learning, the “muballig”, the ayatollah, the imam, the exponent of the religion of Islam as an authority figure claiming to be the inheritor of the Prophetic mission and its authority, is invited to demonstrate what he or she might believe is in logical error. Silence is not just plain cowardice, but also a bold admission of the inability of the pretenders who have seated themselves comfortably on the pulpit of the noble Prophet of Islam to engage intellectually once the aura of their untouchable robe is stripped off. Silence of learned scholars is an equal admission that “iss hammaam mein sub nungay hain” (every one is naked in the bath hall)!
Surah Hud 11:86
Surah Ta-Ha 20:135
Surah An-Nahl 16:25
Caption Verses of the Holy Qur'an principally employed in Part-II and Part-III to examine the question: Why it is easy to hijack the Holy Qur'an and the religion of Islam. Click on verse number to listen to the Arabic recitation by Shaykh Mahmoud Khalil al-Husary. The verse in oral Arabic trumps the written version.
Given that there are 6236 total verses in the Holy Qur'an, and it is itself a deep bottomless ocean, this study has barely scratched the surface of acquiring an analytical understanding of the singular Sacred Scripture of Islam. But to the extent this study has dived into this ocean, its discoveries just on this one narrow question are before the reader to adjudicate, to validate, to refute, to enhance, or to remain indifferent.
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.
 David Ben-Gurion had lucidly explained the utility of crisis creation during the violent fabrication of the Jewish State in Palestine: “What is inconceivable in normal times is possible in revolutionary times; and if at this time the opportunity is missed and what is possible at such great hours is not carried out – a whole world is lost”. This diabolical political science principle was reiterated some three score years and ten later by Rahm Emanuel, American President Barack Obama's Jewish White House Chief of Staff (January 20, 2009 – October 1, 2010), whose father was part of the terrorist gang “Irgun” that had so successfully utilized the Ben-Gurion principle for the creation of Israel in Palestine. Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Rahm Emanuel emphasized: “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.” Watch the news clip in: http://youtube.com/watch?v=tM5ZdO-IgEE (at time 1m 3s)
 Name of the legendary double-pincer sword of Imam Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib before which no nemesis could stand for long in mortal combat. Legend has it that the sword was given to Imam Ali by the Prophet of Islam after (or during) the battle of Uhad in the second year of the Hijra, 614 A.D. The intellect, given to every individual in mankind by the Creator in varying amounts, called “aqal”, is akin to that famous sword. One need only learn to sharpen it, and to wield it with both skill and expertise, and no hectoring hegemon can ever prevail with their weapons of mass deception in any battle. It is the only effective antidote against the villainy of perception management.
See Original Source
Source URL: http://faith-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2013/02/path-forward-impacting-muslim-existence.html
Excerpted From URL: http://faith-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2011/08/islam-why-is-quran-easy-to-hijack-pt3.html
Read Book Online at URL: http://hijacking-quran.blogspot.com/
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 06:00 pm 52087
Path Forward: Impacting Muslim Existence with Qur'anic Political Science By Zahir Ebrahim