This article is also Part-IV of the Raahe-Nijaat series on Pakistan:
Excerpted from Islam: Why is the Holy Qur'an so easy to hijack? Part-III Section IV
As far as Mr. Spock has been able to ascertain from his study of the Holy Qur'an, there are no Imams 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 existence of some وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ . That latter fact is categorical. It cannot be denied. Nor can it be denied that logical deductions from the verses of the Holy Quran have led Mr. Spock to the conclusion that these could only be from the Ahlul Bayt. That point does require adjudication from empirical data as already discussed in the preceding sections. Beyond that, everything else on the subject 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 empires, nor the names of the Hadith compilers and jurists, 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.
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.
We have the opportunity to stop being simpletons. That is why we are each given our own little “zulfiqar”, our 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, 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 of the Nietzscheian 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 good – 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 state is rational and self-consistent with the theology that is espoused by the state. In the same vein, fraternal ideas the Holy Qur'an engenders in its Determinate verses are both a spiritual and political constitution to live by for Muslims and therefore, there is no principal reason why certain key political principles extracted from it 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, declaring others non-Muslim their principle enactment of their philosophy, get naturally wiped out by making the soil infertile for their growth.
The power of political sagaciousness and beneficial mutual co-existence inherent in the Determinate verse 5:48 of Surah Al-Maeda both checkmates, as well as preempts, all internecine warfare among Muslims. No outside or inside Machiavelli can harvest Muslims cracks and lacunas with the 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.
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, and all a people are left with is the empty shell of banal rituals ripe for harvesting by the Machiavelli. That's how the Religion of Islam was principally hijacked, and that's also how it will ever be un-hijacked!
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 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 “taqleed” 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 Shahansha 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, SOUTHWEST ASIA: 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 examination.
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 afore-stated 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, even if one ignores any self-interest – meaning, even if the valih-e-faqih is obviously making a case for acquiring state power 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 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 above). The core argument is brilliantly laid out by Plato in The Republic to dignify the state rulership by the virtuous “philosopher-king”. The responsibility for implementing Islam's Divine Rule must consequently fall to those philosophers and virtuous scholars of Islam who know and understand Islam the best. Well, who else 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. Therefore, they are closest to 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 valih-e-faqih!
And since the Prophet of Islam and his designated successor implemented that Divine Rule with Absolute Authority, 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 “valih-e-amr”, to whom absolute obedience is also commanded by the Author of the Holy Qur'an! The valih-e-faqih is only implementing God's prescription on his side, and the governed must implement their part and obey the valih-e-faqih in absolute terms.
Once the mantle of Absolute Rule is claimed by 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. To disagree or to disobey the commandments of the exponents of Divine Rule is to be “on a clearly wrong Path”. To disobey the valih-e-faqih is to become a sinner! That is the foundational basis of the fatwas issued by the valih-e-faqih which define the halal and haram status not just in spiritual matters but also in political matters. “God”, from time immemorial, has always entered the political realm through his proxy service providers. It is irrelevant that they can produce no “certificate” from God in their own name. Just making the claim is sufficient because there are always followers. And especially because of the doctrine of “taqlid” already in place for centuries, the valih-e-faqih's mandate for Absolute Rule is made practical political reality.
The brilliance of the argument for Absolute Rule by the valih-e-faqih is without question. It is even posited by Ayatollah (imam) Khomeini as being self-evident.
However, to Mr. Spock's experienced mind always searching for unstated axioms and implicit presuppositions in “self-evident” arguments and 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 problem is also just as straightforward as it is glaring.
While the Author of the Holy Qur'an explicitly vouched for the Prophet of Islam in that unequivocal verse of obedience as an obligatory religious command on Muslims, and the Prophet 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 basis 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 altered the destiny of an entire nation, unaware of the logic of verse 4:59 which imparts certain implicit characteristics of unerringness as already analyzed above? How can he claim to be the “valih-e-amr” of verse 4:59 with any more intellectual integrity than the House of Saud, or any of the other claimants to absolute rule and absolute obedience throughout the imperial history of despotic Muslim rulers?
Is the concept of Absolute Rule by valih-e-faqih demanding absolute obedience from the governed supported or even condoned in the Holy Qur'an? See the examination of taqlid below.
In the case of Revolutionary Iran in 1979, the Iranian people evidently did not think it necessary to ask for such a “certificate” of Divine sanction from Ayatollah (imam) Khomeini. 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 an Air France jet airliner flying through America's NATO controlled skies, 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 by America's CIA.
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”.
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.
Irrespective of whether a public makes their political choice with their ballot, or a “choice” is foisted upon a public with the bullet, theology, or “democracy”, 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.
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, and exploitation. 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 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, is left unspecified in the religion of Islam.
It is of course self-evident that the learned intellectuals and scholars of Islam must 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 them 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 entitled to rule, and to provide intellectual and spiritual capital, as any other capable person of his time.
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 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 (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.
These verses are 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 context which is not in the Holy Qur'an, it would remain 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, 2:124, 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 makes Imams as per his covenant with Prophet Ibrahim, the word is used in a specific sense from its common meaning. 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 in verse 17:71: “One day We shall call together all human beings with their (respective) Imams”.
Therefore, 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 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 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 inerrancy sort of go together as a package – in order for it to make any logical sense to demand obedience to a man and still remain on the path of divine guidance which is proclaimed to be error free, infallible.
Therefore, 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.
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. It 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 as well as diversity of thoughts and beliefs in mankind.
"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 ( 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 socialization, tribe and nation that one is born into – which it has also always succeeded in doing, in every era. That observation is empirical.
Notice that the Sunnis and the Shias each fill in the variable according to their respective sacred books. 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. 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, even when these verses are silent on the acceptance criterion for the Indeterminates. This feature of the Holy Qur'an has now been amply demonstrated in the examination of several concepts in this report, including the examination of the question of “taqlid” that follows.
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) 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 obey in voluntary servitude in the name of “Islam”, kill and die in the name of “Islam”, the virtuous of course only for the sake of “jihad” in “sacred defence”, in “truth”, in “justice”, and the “Islamic way” 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
The Question of Absolute Obedience to Religious Authority
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 based on a core lie and the entire sacred totem pole comes crashing down.
The Holy Qur'an which daringly called itself “Al-Furqaan” – the Author's Criterion by which to judge the truth or falsity of any proposition (or understanding) pertaining to the Author's Guidance System for mankind ( مِّنَ ٱلْهُدَىٰ وَٱلْفُرْقَانِ ۚ ) which He asserts He “perfected” and “completed” and named it “Islam” ( الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الْإِسْلَامَ دِينًا ۚ ) – does precisely that.
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)!
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 mistakes and distortions 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, Indeterminates' 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 quoted above).
After all these straightforward warnings to Muslims in the clearest of terms, the Author then ventures to mock His Own Message by mandating to the Muslim masses the “taqlid” of fallible imams and jurists, and then hanging these turbans because they are fallible and foolish people have inevitably followed them blindly as commanded?
What a fickle-minded creator who damns if you do and damns if you don't --- only in the mind of man!
Blind emulation, “taqlid”, of a fallible imam jurist who is incestuously proclaimed Marja-e-taqlid by his coterie of fallible peers is an absurdity in the religion of Islam in no less a measure than blanket obedience demanded to a fallible imam who is anointed “ulul-amar” by those around him! Both are fabrications of the Muslim pulpit; vile slanders upon the religion of Islam. 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 logic, coldly attests to that statement of fact!
The enslaving 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 specially anointed imam of their socialization, 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.
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. 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. (See for instance vilayat-i faqih below for a contemporary example). To have done that 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 any more 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 32:7-9 in Part-IV), 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.” (5:48)
To conclude this mini thread on the examination of Qur'anic Beatitudes and appeal to divinely sanctioned rule in its many different formulations, 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 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 into these beliefs anyway with little choice exercised by them.
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 the very foundation of their governance structure 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 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 Muslims 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.
We set out to address the question posed at the top in this Part-II:
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 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 and practices which have vilely or inadvertently been aliased as part of 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 self-evident in that examination because the question is clearly 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, now on the engineered rise 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.”
Source URL: http://faith-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2013/02/path-forward-impacting-muslim-existence.html
Original Source URL: http://faith-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2011/08/islam-why-is-quran-easy-to-hijack-pt3.html
The author, an ordinary researcher and writer on contemporary geopolitics, a minor justice activist, grew up in Pakistan, studied EECS at MIT, engineered for a while in high-tech Silicon Valley ( http://tinyurl.com/zahir-patents ), and retired early to pursue other responsible interests. His maiden 2003 book was rejected by numerous publishers and can be read on the web at http://PrisonersoftheCave.org. He may be reached at http://Humanbeingsfirst.org. Verbatim reproduction license at http://humanbeingsfirst.org#Copyright.
First Published Friday, August 19, 2011, 19th day of Ramadan in the US, Muslim year 1432 | Updated March 2015 for 2nd Edition.
Path Forward Islam: Why is the Holy Qur'an so easy to hijack?