Zahir Ebrahim | Project Humanbeingsfirst.org
Part-IV focuses on the scribes of Muslim history and the timelines of both, the “wassael-e-sunni” and the “wassael-e-shia”, namely, all the primary Muslim written sources which exist today. Together these comprise less than a handful of earliest primary written works entirely responsible for the state of Muslim dysfunction today. The understanding of the Religion of Islam today simply cannot be divorced from the work of these fallible hands – none of whom are mentioned in the Holy Qur’an. Therefore, to gratuitously assert that the Holy Qur’an, a Book “without doubt”, must depend upon these authors’ books to explain itself to mankind, is patently absurd. But what is even more absurd is to base aspects of faith upon these books which are not to be found in the Holy Qur’an. That first absurdity is the sine qua non of all other absurdities plaguing the Muslim mind from antiquity to modernity. It begins with theological dispersion into sectarianism, initially appearing harmless unto itself as merely differences of opinion; quickly mutates into serving narrow imperial interests; and culminates in Muslims killing Muslims to advance those same imperial interests. This is the basic continuum of subversion of the Religion of Islam which is common to both antiquity and modernity.
Understanding the dialectical mechanisms of that Machiavellian process – one which has tied such a Gordian knot on the religion of Islam that even fourteen-fifteen centuries later it is still working its miracle in the service of empire – is the driving motivation in this study. However, if the earlier Parts only succeeded in offending the sensibilities of the gentle mind without inducing cognitive dissonance – its main objective – what follows will also only induce a migraine headache instead of metanoia, the key objective of this study.
As was emphatically reasoned previously, every generation has the new opportunity to start afresh – for the natural cyclical process of birth and death can also have a beneficial cleansing effect upon the baggage of legacy. Why should a new generation born into their own times be shackled by what went before? Which is why the Holy Qur’an itself advocates starting afresh for every man and woman rather than remain shackled by the holiness of others who came before:
“That was a people that hath passed away. They shall reap the fruit of what they did, and ye of what ye do! Of their merits there is no question in your case!” (Surah Al-Baqara, 2:134, repeated 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)
It must first be acknowledged at the outset that unlike other Messengers and Prophets, for instance Prophet Jesus and Prophet Moses mentioned among the five Great Prophets in the Holy Qur’an, the Prophet of Islam had remarkably succeeded in creating a ruling state in his own lifetime. Despite the rather humble beginnings in 613 A.D. in Medina, the power of the state for officially documenting Islam’s first years and its Messenger’s teachings had already come into existence during Prophet Muhammad’s own lifetime. That’s primarily how and why we have the same pristine text of the Holy Qur’an reaching us today some fourteen-fifteen centuries later as was delivered by the Prophet of Islam and sanctioned by his state power. Without state power during the lifetime of the Messenger himself, the Holy Qur’an would possibly have suffered the same fate as Prophet Jesus’ Gospel. We can see that even in that case, it took Emperor Constantine’s state power of the Roman empire to set what became the New Testament at the First Council of Nicaea in about 325 A.D. And it further took state power of the emerging British empire during the sixteenth century to further fix it into the King James Version that is today the primary source of the English language Bible in Western Christianity. That same state power of Islam which brought us the Holy Qur’an in its exact pristine state such that all Muslims today agree on that fact, was also put to good use for establishing ad hoc political successions and its copious narratives immediately after the death of the Prophet of Islam. State power can obviously cut both ways! And so can narratives. Deriving articles of faith from the narratives of history is always risky business. For any people.
Since there is no mention of any of the temporal rulers who came after the Prophet of Islam in the Holy Qur’an by name, is the Holy Qur’an silent upon such an important existential matter as the Messenger’s immediate political succession? Prophet Muhammad, after all, unlike any other Messenger in recorded history who brought a Book, was already an all powerful political ruler when the Holy Qur’an asserted the perfection and completion of its Message in verse 5:3 in 623 A.D. The Messenger died within a few months soon afterwards. Verse 4:59 patently established the existence of some apostolic heirs to whom the Author of the Holy Qur’an had devolved the same command obedience as to the Prophet of Islam. The analysis in this study previously uncovered the logical criterion that such heirs to the Messengership of the Prophet of Islam to act as his successor Exemplars, could only emanate from his Ahlul Bayt. While the fact that the Messenger left apostolic heirs is irrefutable due to the unequivocal declaration of verse 4:59; but that these heirs must be from the Ahlul Bayt is a logical deduction derived from the rest of the Holy Qur’an. Is that deduction principally correct? Can it be logically refuted and the refutation itself stand the acid test of logic from the Holy Qur’an?
Noteworthy here is the uncanny deterministic beauty of the Indeterminates which is always predictable due to the momentous declaration of the Holy Qur’an in verse 3:7. That, Indeterminates tend to take on any meaning the public mind or the pulpit wishes to attribute to them; that, doing so may lead to a false path; that, it is even easy to know that it is a false path if it sows discord among mankind; and that, not all people will understand that point. Therefore, the only rational and final adjudication of Indeterminates, at least for those who do comprehend that point, is by way of empiricism of the Prophet’s own explanation. Provided an explanation was given, and also recorded with the same due diligence as the Holy Qur’an for those to come in later times.
After all, the speech of the Messenger, the Speaking Qur’an, the Qur’an-e-Natiq, the Exemplar who “does not err, nor does he go astray; Nor does he speak out of desire. It is naught but revelation that is revealed,” (Surah An-Najm 53:2-4, see Part-III), commanded the same obligatory obedience for Muslims as the speech of the Author Himself as per the explicit declaration of verse 4:59. Therefore, why should the Messenger’s Speech not be accorded the same pristine preservation by Muslim state power after the Messenger’s demise as the Holy Qur’an? So the Muslim public mind, too indoctrinated to be skeptical of power, and too lazy to study matters on its own, innocently imagines that the Messenger’s acts and speech, just as his life story, are indeed authentically preserved. What’s more, of the same exact content as when the Messenger was Exemplifying for his followers in person; sufficiently exact to use fourteen-fifteen centuries later for deriving their religion.
Therefore, it is reasonable to inquire that when a deduction from the Holy Qur’an is singularly logical, is there any empirical evidence from the pen of these scribes to unequivocally adjudicate that logic today?
Specifically, if the Messenger left apostolic heirs to bear the great burden of 4:59, then who are they? And if he did not leave heirs, the Holy Qur’an is falsified for 4:59. Most Muslims would instinctively reject the latter as being repugnant to their religion. Therefore, they are forced to look for the former. By simply asking that right question, Muslims automatically open the doors to understanding the matter for themselves. It is the successful prevention of asking that question throughout history that is remarkable – for the question itself is rather obvious and falls right out of even a simple study of the Holy Qur’an.
The history’s scribes have played a most crucial role in documenting, and omitting to document, the reactionary epochs of the first few centuries of the meteoric rise of Islam as a world religion and in fixing the Indeterminates of the Holy Qur’an to match that historic rise. It is principally the works of these scribes of history from whence virtually all Muslims, divided into sects and theologies that often violently opposed each other throughout history and continue to do so even today, derive their differentiating understanding of the religion of Islam. Extensive “sharia” systems, i.e., systems of jurisprudence, have evolved along sectarian and partisan boundaries that inevitably anchor their uncommon rulings to what is documented by these early scribes, some of them jurists and scholars themselves. These early scribes carrying the burden of religion upon their backs, sometimes with lashes from state power, and other times in cooperation with state power, followed the same differentiating principle recursively, tracing the genealogy of their own verdicts and narratives to the Prophet of Islam through mostly oral scribes of the earliest period, say the first two centuries of Islam. Generations of these oral scribes became the source material of the first written scribes in subsequent centuries. And it is that latter work which has reached modern times. Therefore, the primary works of these written scribes of history, the sine qua non of sectarianism, is the next focus of forensic examination.
It will be witnessed in what follows that Muslim scholarship at its earliest written sources which have reached us today, while living through the vicissitudes of “imperial mobilizations” of rulers and dynastic empires that soon followed the early succession period, grotesquely suffers from both, historiography by partisans of power, and hagiography by partisans of victims of that power. That is the common characteristic of the primary epistemology in virtually all Muslim scholarship – just as it is in any scholarship of any people emotionally attached to their subject. While such attachments can lend considerable insight denied to outsiders of that time and space, emotions and sympathies, it can also take away some measure of objectivity. That is not to say that outsiders are any more objective. As we have witnessed, that scholarship can just as easily suffer from other psychological cataracts, such as the all too familiar “orientalism” (looking at the East with jaundiced eyes), “occidentalism” (looking at the West with jaundiced eyes), not to forget deliberate demonization, obfuscation, and myth construction with half-truths, quarter-truths, and fundamental lies wrapped in veneers of truth.
Therefore, all history, even in its most pristine narrative form, harbors a germ of falsehood and has to be prudently examined with a forensic eye to improve its reality to myth ratio. Sometimes, a narrative may capture a world of events to accurately express the perception of reality, like Plato’s depiction of the trial and defence of Socrates; but it cannot be shown that Socrates ever uttered any of those sentences which Plato attributes to him in his famous trilogy: The Apologia, The Crito and The Phædo, all of which have reference to the trial, imprisonment and death of Socrates. At other times, there are fundamental impediments to capturing the reality as it actually is, rather than as it is perceived – and once again Plato gives a defining example of it in his classic Simile of the Cave in his most seminal book: The Republic.
Here is the fundamental problem. It was first described by this author in his deconstruction of the Zionist conquest of Palestine, in the pamphlet: How to Return to Palestine.
As a practicing engineer – used to examining complex systems in order to build them – turned social scientist, puzzled by this bizarre empiricism of the slaughter of the goy in massive numbers and the systematic destruction of their power-base, with the Jews successively coming out on top after each slaughter-cycle in such a short span, I decided to probe deeper. This paper is the result of my progressively refined research into this question since that very day of infamy, September 11, 2001. Since the day when I had decided to dump all a priori pre-suppositions, and all pied-pipers, and had curled up with William Shirer’s Rise and Fall of The Third Reich, and Hitler’s Mein Kampf, to attempt to comprehend the Nazi’s self-inflicted Operation Canned Goods as a pretext for their war of German Lebensraum. I have, by now, studied countless historical narratives to understand current affairs and empirical matters always cloaked in deception. My comprehension today is layered upon facts uncovered by many a rational, un-afraid detective who has tread this path before me.
But it is not mere facts which create perspectives. Although, no doubt, facts must be built upon in order to be empirical in one’s analysis. In an age when:
“deception is the state of mind and the mind of state”;
when power decides what is fact and what is recorded as fact in its primary documentation and in the popular Press, which in turn are subsequently used by others down the chain of narrators echoing what was by fiat deemed to be fact, as absolute fact, without being cognizant of that very fact of fiat;
when the enactment of puppetshows is construed as displaying “facts”, and recorded as such by historians;
facts by themselves are meaningless in such a landscape when “waging war by way of deception” upon the public is the norm rather than the exception.
So, for instance, is it a fact that ’19 Muslim Jihadis’ rammed hijacked airplanes into two tall buildings bringing both of them down into their own footprint (watch wtc1, wtc2), bringing a third tall building down into its own footprint a few hours later without even hitting it (watch wtc7)? In this example, the scientific observation that three very tall buildings comprising millions of tons of steel exploded into powder and/or collapsed into their own footprint at near free-fall speed, is an unarguable empirical fact. And the only fact. The rest, who dunnit, how it was done, and why it was done, as officially recorded in the current affairs books and the Press, are assertions by the fiat of power using its control of the narrative, i.e., the Mighty Wurlitzer. The official narratives of today are the absolute facts of the historians of tomorrow with no minority report on the official record. Popular dissenting voices of course are merely ‘conspiracy theories’ (http://tinyurl.com/Anatomy-Conspiracy-Theory), shortly to be medically diagnosed as victims of delusions suffering from mental illnesses for which medical and legal groundwork is now being laid.
As George Orwell shrewdly but accurately observed in the opening of his seminal prognostications in “1984”:
“Who controls the past, controls the future; who controls the present, controls the past”
Therefore, empirically, control of the narrative of history, as of current affairs, has been the imperative of all empires. It is a tool as old as hegemony, as old as mankind. Only fools, and imperial scholars in the service of empire, regardless of their garb, ignore it.
Ergo, it follows that the purported facts of history, as well as of current affairs, have to be treated as being more akin to clues, at times false clues and red herrings as in a crime scene, rather than as statements of fact. Therefore, the most rational model for understanding history and its linkages to current affairs, is the forensic one. Like the forensic eye of a crime detective, such as Agatha Christie’s famous character Hercule Poirot, pondering upon the interconnections of clues, statements of purported eyewitnesses, drawing deductions, making logical inferences, and using new methods for uncovering unknown clues not visible to the naked eye in the visible light spectrum, such as employing ultraviolet and infrared regions of the spectrum to see what the naked eye can’t perceive – all part and parcel of the forensics employed for apprehending a convoluted crime, solving a puzzle.
Thus, studying history and current affairs is like studying a crime scene or solving a puzzle. Its path is almost like the weaving of the many horizontal and vertical threads on a loom to fashion a carpet, or knit a Jacquard. That fashions a perspective from the underlying clues borne of empiricism. Weaving many perspectives from the same empirical elements, just like weaving many carpets from the same colored threads, is possible. And just like some detectives are plain wrong, and one right in identifying the real criminal, the same challenges beset the study of history. To find that right one master criminal, or the right perspective which explains the engagement of power and its narrative, surrounded tous azimuth by an endless trail of false clues, patsies taking the fall, and lies turned into sacred truths.
To the extent that a perspective is empirical, cohesive, is able to coherently resolve the riddles of power and its infestations of the mind, it cannot be refuted by mere assertions, threats, and calumny. It can stand in a court of law on its own merit, provided of course, it isn’t a kangaroo court administering the sovereign’s justice, a Military Tribunal administering the victor’s justice, or a tournament of justice run by the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland.
We can easily appreciate from the preceding analysis of historiography that conclusions derived from the records of history must always remain tentative; subject to refinement – for history can just as much lie as it can tell the truth. But even that truth, when history does factually convey it, is often merely a chronicle of visible events, dates and places, who came into and out of power when, which battles were fought and won, speeches that were handed down, etc. It is almost always devoid of any examination of the hidden forces and invisible motivations that shaped those events, sometimes near, sometimes far, and sometimes disparate. There is obviously never an examination of history as a crime scene. Sometimes, truth from fiction is as indiscernible for history as it is for current affairs. GIGO epistemology straightforwardly ensures that outcome – garbage of current affairs manufactured by the Mighty Wurlitzer (see http://tinyurl.com/MightyWurlitzer) becomes the veritable records of history for future generations to examine as “truths”.
We can even experience that for ourselves today in how myths masquerade as truth from all pulpits in the service of power. What makes the past pulpits any more holier, any more different? It is the same God now as was then. The same gods too. And the same man, as well as the same superman.
Ergo, if today we see deceit with our own eyes in the inflection of power and its narratives, it is foolish to expect that the past was any different. The fact is that it isn’t any different. To assert exceptionalism that it is some how different when it comes to Muslims, that these ancient scholars and scribes were extra holy, immune to human tendencies empirically understood today from the many disciplines of social sciences – from psychology to sociology, from psychological warfare to the banality of evil – and that these past scribes left a veritable trail of guidance which should be followed by future generations, contradicts the Determinate verses of the Holy Qur’an itself. See verses 2:134, and 2:166—167 of Surah Al-Baqara quoted above.
Which is also why every sensible Muslim scholarship today, virtually across all sects, does not treat the works of these ancient Muslim scribes as being as authentic as the Holy Qur’an. The problem is that it almost universally also treats many of these works as being only slightly less authentic than the Holy Qur’an! While the Holy Qur’an is the foundation of faith for Muslims, history too has been parsed on the yardstick of faith more than on the yardstick of intellectual rigor, to create a severely crippled epistemology. The tragedy is that Muslim faith is based more on that crippled epistemology than on the Determinates of the Holy Qur’an itself.
The primary written scribes and scholars of Muslim history did indeed develop some reasonable rejection criterion to filter out the preceding epochs’ historical noise when chronicling facts and events – material which patently conflicted with the Holy Qur’an, or the empirical reality, and thus was just too easily falsified because of it as more myth than historical reality – in sound historical scholarship. However, these very same holy scribes of “Islam” also found imaginative ways of filling in the many Indeterminates of the Holy Qur’an with the most atrocious and absurd acceptance criterion deemed to be “signals”, in totally bogus penmanship. By modern standards these cannot stand up to any rigorous intellectual scrutiny. Today we’d call such scholarship “hearsay”, i.e., “he said, she said”. An entire pious industry got developed on hearsay with specious rules to confer some legitimacy to quackery. Were the same processes applied today to any other matter, or as rules of evidence in legal court to understand a crime, it would be dismissed as nothing but hearsay; quackery wearing the pious robe of faith. Concatenated with the holy works of successive generations of even more imaginative Arab, Persian, and Indian subcontinental scribes incestuously employing GIGO epistemology (i.e., Garbage-In Garbage-Out) on these handful of earliest written sources, these together succeeded in inducing the cognitive and spiritual infiltration of the religion of Islam.
It is that first historical noise and rulership precedents harvested due to the Indeterminates in the name of religion, and subsequently amplified in every age according to each epoch’s natural proclivity to perpetuate their own socialization biases and self-interests, which has continually shackled the understanding of the religion of Islam into the “foolish nonsense” the Holy Qur’an vouches:
‘Then the Messenger will say: “O my Lord! Truly my people took this Qur’an for just foolish nonsense.”’ (Surah Al-Furqaan, 25:30 )
A useful backdrop to cradle the examination of these works of fallible minds and hands is to simultaneously conduct a rational thought experiment: If all these primary written books were to get suddenly wiped off from the face of existence by a magical hand, what understanding of the religion of Islam would be left behind for mankind? That understanding is principally what is being taught by the Author of the Holy Qur’an in His Book to all succeeding generations after the epoch of the Prophet of Islam.
Since the Author did not mandate the existence of these primary written works in the Holy Qur’an when He asserted that He perfected the religion of Islam: “This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” (Surah Al-Maeda 5:3), these books of fallible minds and hands are therefore irrelevant to the Author of the Holy Qur’an. What the Author of the Holy Qur’an deems irrelevant, the enlightened Muslim mind cannot justify as relevant. Only the perversely indoctrinated mind naturally gravitates towards the absurd, unable to see the absurdity of arguing against the Book which it also believes as the untampered word of God!
At the same time, another useful backdrop to keep in mind are the discoveries made previously in this study: that indeed, while the Author did not mandate the existence of these books written by fallible hands in the Holy Qur’an, He mandated two things to the people of the time which are not further documented in the Holy Qur’an: “O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you.” (Surah an-Nisaa’ 4:59). To obey the Messenger means to follow his directives as the Exemplar of the Holy Qur’an, and the same meaning for “those charged with authority among you”. Furthermore, verse 5:35 of Surah Al-Maeda stated the requirement of seeking ( الْوَسِيلَةَ ) categorically, unbounded by time and space, even if the “Wasilah” itself is unspecified in the verse. But since the Author deliberately chose not to record their Exemplariness, their decisions and directives in the Holy Qur’an, it follows that their Exemplariness, and their decisions and directives, could arguably only have been pertinent for the peoples living in the respective epochs of the Messenger and “those charged with authority among you”. That is because the public already knew who was meant – but we no longer know without resorting to the fallible and partisan scribes of history. That sensible inference is of course tampered and even discouraged by the categorical statement of 5:35 as previously examined.
However, if only for a moment, we entertain the aforementioned thought experiment, we suddenly observe that remarkably, both shia and sunni differentiation immediately goes away. Obviously this is only a thought experiment and not about to transpire in the real world, but it lends clarity to the matter as to the primary source of sectarian schism among the sects. Once that seed was planted millennia ago by the Holy Qur’an itself, the natural outcome with the passage of time is the mushrooming divergence into all sorts of beliefs and practices that is simply not in the Holy Qur’an. At least, not in the Holy Qur’an that is completed to perfection by the verse 5:3. And that Holy Qur’an is deliberately ambiguous on many fronts as the Indeterminates already examined in Part-II.
With the aforementioned thought experiment at the back of one’s mind, the proportionate significance of these primary written books potentially rematerializes. These primary works, commentaries upon these primary works, and commentaries upon commentaries ad infinitum, no longer define articles, expositions and prescriptions of faith that is narrated by fallible minds and hands. Rather, this historical legacy is now treated as the revealing and well documented history of a people who rose to political power from the pagan sands of Arabia under the leadership of a monotheistic Prophet, and who dominated the affairs of the known world for nearly a millennia through several empires that ruled in the name of the religion brought by their Prophet.
In that rational and commonsensical perspective, these historical narratives and commentaries, compilation of prayers and invocations, and wisdom taught through parables and anecdotes, can finally be studied and benefitted from accordingly, as a treasure trove of Muslim heritage like any other peoples’ heritage: an amalgam of officialdom, reportage, recording of prior events often carried by word of mouth for generations, narratives explaining those events, folklore, myths, fiction, half truths, quarter truths, and grains of truth sprinkled in the mix as veritable statements of empirical fact.
That is how history principally is — a narrative — the professional pulpits’ self-serving endeavors throughout the ages to extract divine interpretations out of it to administer a fossilized religion to the public notwithstanding.
This thought experiment is just something to keep at the back of one’s mind while perusing what follows. It lends useful perspective that, just as the Muslim mind imputes these same considerations to the compilation of the Bible for instance, that perhaps their own hagiographic historiography ought to be subjected to that same yardstick. If the Muslim pulpit has a problem with the Bible introducing the alien concept of Trinity from Islam’s point of view, what egotistical considerations of godly exceptionalism prevents it from reflecting on what, and how much, could have infiltrated into the religion of Islam’s own theology in the guise of pious penmanship of holy scribes?
The entire domain of eschatology, the domain of savior and the so called Divine Rule, the domain of statements attributed to the Prophet of Islam in the most reliable Hadith literature that he might never have made, are all in this category. Conversely, the statements actually made by the Prophet of Islam as its Exemplar and not recorded by the most pious scribes of history due to political considerations, or distorted and misrepresented, or not emphasized to their contextual significance, are also in the same category. No religion may be extracted from that compendium of what is — to claim its station holier than the Bible!
When one has the Holy Qur’an, why would a Muslim mind reach for its bible version – except just out of curiosity, or to inform oneself of the rich heritage of Muslims, and only in such educational context, instead of trying to extract “religion” from the fallible scribes of history!
It is for the Muslim mind to adjudicate how much it is willing to be controlled by its socialization biases by birth, how much by incestuously self-reinforcing GIGO epistemology of its pulpits, and how much by the empirical understanding before it using that magnificent mind itself to adjudicate matters.
Since most people are just ordinary human beings and not the ever logical and all rational Mr. Spock of Part-II, perhaps they don’t wish to be rational, logical, and all left-brained; perhaps our emotional makeup is what primarily defines our existence for many of us. If that wasn’t the case at least to some extent, there’d hardly be any reason to believe in the Unseen in the first place which requires far more than logical empiricism to apprehend. The Author of the Holy Qur’an clearly understands that fact about human beings. After all, He does indeed claim in His Book that it is “A Revelation from the Lord of the Worlds.” (56:80); and that it is He Who Fashioned man:
“He Who has made everything which He has created most good: He began the creation of man with (nothing more than) clay, (32:07)
ٱلَّذِىٓ أَحْسَنَ كُلَّ شَىْءٍ خَلَقَهُۥ ۖ وَبَدَأَ خَلْقَ ٱلْإِنسَٰنِ مِن طِينٍ
And made his progeny from a quintessence of the nature of a fluid despised: (32:08)
ثُمَّ جَعَلَ نَسْلَهُۥ مِن سُلَٰلَةٍ مِّن مَّآءٍ مَّهِينٍ
But He fashioned him in due proportion, and breathed into him something of His spirit. And He gave you (the faculties of) hearing and sight and feeling (and understanding): little thanks do ye give!” (Surah As-Sajdah 32:09)
ثُمَّ سَوَّىٰهُ وَنَفَخَ فِيهِ مِن رُّوحِهِۦ ۖ وَجَعَلَ لَكُمُ ٱلسَّمْعَ وَٱلْأَبْصَٰرَ وَٱلْأَفْـِٔدَةَ ۚ قَلِيلًا مَّا تَشْكُرُونَ
Caption Surah As-Sajdah verses 32:7-9 declaring that the Author of the Holy Qur’an fashioned man in due proportion (and not as a random event)
Therefore, when “He fashioned him in due proportion, and breathed into him something of His spirit. And He gave you (the faculties of) hearing and sight and feeling (and understanding)”, He surely must also Know the psychological bent of every human mind, borne of its natural socialization and cultural programming due to being born in a specific nation and specific tribe. The Author therefore also Knows the “fitrat”, i.e., nature, of every man, specifically, what he is susceptible to. Only because of the empirical fact of natural socialization by birth, that the Author of the Holy Qur’an strongly Countenances the pursuit of: فَاسْتَبِقُوا الْخَيْرَاتِ , instead of theological upmanship, clearly predicting that the human mind that He Fashioned, and that He Knows well, will face grave difficulty overcoming its natural programming without expending considerable striving.
Therefore, those unable to fully indulge in such strenuous mental (and spiritual) effort should instead be guided on the following Determinate path rather than embark on some self-appointed la mission civilisatrice:
“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, verse fragment 5:48)
One can decide for oneself what one is now, and rather strive to be: a programmed robot unable to reason beyond the worldview inherited, meaning 98% of the Muslim mind; or trenchantly able to confront that programming by reasoning just one single step beyond?
In the first case, the path is clear:
Strive to implement verse 5:48 of Surah Al-Maeda without taxing one’s mind, imagination, and emotional makeup too much. One may stay happily attached to one’s own sect (by birth or by inclination), fiqh, books, and set of beliefs, and instead, focus on pursuing فَاسْتَبِقُوا الْخَيْرَاتِ in this life in relationship to others. Let the Afterlife take care of its own – and should one disagree with others in matters of faith: “it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute.” That does not mean to dig up one’s favored interpretation from the Holy Qur’an to condemn others, but rather, to build consensus on the common Determinates of the Holy Qur’an and leave the Indeterminates to people as their own choice. But do keep in mind the Author’s promise that one shall be raised with the Imam one followed: “One day We shall call together all human beings with their (respective) Imams” ( يَوْمَ نَدْعُو كُلَّ أُنَاسٍ بِإِمَامِهِمْ ) (Surah al-Israa’ 17:71). The word “Imam” according to The Arabic-English dictionary of the Holy Qur’an in this scribe’s reference is defined as: “Leader; President; Any object that is followed, whether a human being or a book or a highway”. The “imam” one follows is obviously one’s choice. Permit the same right to choice to others without passing judgment, and suddenly, for the vast majority of Muslim public divided into sectarianism from birth, we get one hundred different self-righteous sects able to live peaceably with each other, accommodating each other, and competing with each other “as in a race in all virtues.” Surely the Biblical follower would be looking at this remarkable religion of Islam with some envy – given the burden put upon the poor Crusading soldier to go save everyone’s soul in order to save his own! In Islam, worry about your own soul. Obviously, this commonsense has never transpired among any people, and is surely not about to transpire among Muslims either – left to their own devices. See the Path Forward in Part-III.
In the second case the journey is more strenuous:
One surely can get out of one’s own shoes and endeavor to look at one’s own epistemology with the same measure of objectivity that one employs to condemn others’. This new path does require expending strenuous mental activity. Firstly, in becoming cognizant of one’s own socialization and perception biases. That requires a heightened degree of self-awareness, an acute penchant for intellectual honesty, and an intellect that is able to bear witness against its own self and its heroes. Such an intellect is not born pre-built anymore than a child is born with its clothes on. It has to be developed and sharpened on the anvil of ego suppression in an honest search for truth, especially for the objective study of any matter that one is emotionally attached to. Only with an intellect that soars on Mt. Fuji in purposeful honesty, can one put the necessary scrutinizing filters on to cancel out one’s socialization biases in order to create some detachment between the subject under study and the observer. It is a road much less traveled by the Muslim mind – scholar and laity alike – perpetually weaned on the scholarship of incestuous self-reinforcement. But it may serendipitously take one to wherever it will:
‘I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.’
(The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost)
Only the journey of a people on that road not taken can eventually lead to the fulfillment of the divine prayer: “Our Lord! make of us Muslims, bowing to Thy (Will), and of our progeny a Muslim nation, bowing to Thy (will);” (2:128) — for all the roads taken obviously have not!
We begin next with the timeline of all the known primary written works of Muslim history in existence. Let the evidence speak for itself.
Continued in Part-V
First Published Friday, August 19, 2011, 19th day of Ramadan in the US, Muslim year 1432 | Last Revised February 2013 (Material which was previously in Part-II revised and expanded into this Part-IV)
pg 6 Zahir Ebrahim, Islam and Knowledge vs. Socialization, http://faith-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2011/07/islam-and-knowledge-vs-socialization.html
pg 7 Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, 1996
pg 7 Bernard Lewis, The Crisis of Islam – Holy War and Unholy Terror, 2003
pg 7 Zbigniew Brzezinski, “God is on your side”, Documentary, http://sites.google.com/site/humanbeingsfirst/download-pdf/god_is_on_your_side.wmv
pg 7 Zbigniew Brzezinski, “giving to the USSR its Vietnam War”, interview to French magazine Le Nouvel Observateur, January 1998, http://globalresearch.ca/articles/BRZ110A.html
pg 8 Zbigniew Brzezinski, “War on Terror” as a “self-fulfilling prophecy”: ‘To argue that America is already at war in the region with a wider Islamic threat, of which Iran is the epicenter, is to promote a self-fulfilling prophecy.’, Testimony before the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee, February 1, 2007, http://humanbeingsfirst.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/cacheof-us-sfrc-brzezinskitestimony070201.pdf
pg 8 Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard, 1997
pg 8 Militant Islam vs Moderate Islam Hegelian Dialectic, see Zahir Ebrahim, The Mighty Wurlitzer, http://print-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2009/05/note-on-mighty-wurlitzer.html
pg 8 Zahir Ebrahim, Response to the Fatwa on Terrorism in the Service of Empire, http://print-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2011/03/resp-terror-fatwa-in-service-of-empire.html
pg 9 Zahir Ebrahim, Islam vs. Secular Humanism and World Government, http://faith-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2011/07/islam-vs-secular-humanism.html
pg 9 Zahir Ebrahim, Case Study in Mantra Creation, The Mighty Wurlitzer, http://print-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2009/05/note-on-mighty-wurlitzer.html#Case-Study-Mantra-Creation
pg 9 Anon, Memoirs Of Mr. Hempher, The British Spy To The Middle East, Historical Fiction, Part Six: http://humanbeingsfirst.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/excerpt-from-part-six-of-memoirs-of-mr-hempher-the-british-spy-to-the-middle-east.pdf
pg 9 Edward Mandell House, Philip Dru Administrator : a Story of Tomorrow 1920 – 1935,
pg 10 Zahir Ebrahim, Editor, Three Political Dialogs To Screw Your Enemy: Protocols of the Elders of Zion, The Prince, The Art of War, http://humanbeingsfirst.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/cacheof-three-political-dialogs-to-screw-your-enemy-via-gutenberg-and-aztlan.pdf
pg 10 Zahir Ebrahim, Egypt and Tunisia – The ‘arc of crisis’ being radicalized! http://print-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2011/01/egypt-tunisia-arc-of-crisis-radicalized.html
pg 10 Zahir Ebrahim, Unlayering the Middle East War Agenda: Making Sense of Absurdities, http://print-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2011/01/unlayering-middle-east-war-agenda.html
pg 10 Zbigniew Brzezinski, “Arc of Crisis”, Iran: The Crescent of Crisis, Time Magazine, Monday, January 15, 1979, http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,919995,00.html
pg 11 Richard N. Gardner, The Hard Road To World Order, The Council on Foreign Relations magazine Foreign Affairs, April 1974 issue, pages 558-559
pg 11 Zahir Ebrahim, Of Ostriches and Rebels on The Hard Road to World Order, http://print-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2010/12/of-ostriches-and-rebels-zahirebrahim.html
pg 16 Zbigniew Brzezinski, “Democracy is inimical to imperial mobilization.”, The Grand Chessboard, 1997
pg 21 James Woolsey, CNN, Thursday, April 3, 2003: Ex-CIA director: U.S. faces ‘World War IV’, http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/04/03/sprj.irq.woolsey.world.war/
pg 26 Zahir Ebrahim, Prisoners of the Cave, 2003, see Introduction for excerpt from Plato’s Simile of the Cave, http://prisonersofthecave.blogspot.com/2007/04/introduction.html#Myth-of-the-Cave
pg 27 Abdus Salam quoting Albert Einstein, Nobel Speech, 1979, http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1979/salam-speech.html
pg 30 Charles Townes, 1964 Nobel physics laureate, http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1964/townes-bio.html
pg 30 Abdus Salam, op. cit., also see http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1979/salam-bio.html
pg 30 Arthur L. Schawlow, 1981 Nobel Prize in Physics, http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1981/schawlow-autobio.html
pg 30 Max Planck, 1918 Nobel Prize in Physics, cited in Critique of Western Philosophy and Social Theory By David Sprintzen, also see http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1918/
pg 31 Richard P. Feynman, 1965 Nobel Prize in Physics, Surely You are Joking Mr. Feynman, also see http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1965/feynman-bio.html
pg 31 Zahir Ebrahim, Behavior Control: Architecture of Modern Propaganda, http://print-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2009/05/note-on-mighty-wurlitzer.html
pg 32 Zahir Ebrahim, Morality derived from the Intellect leads to Enslavement!, http://print-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2009/12/morality-from-intellect-is-enslavement.html
pg 33 Allama Iqbal, Zarbe-e-Kaleem, http://youtube.com/watch?v=TsuXQSJci6o
pg 38 “see what the Holy Qur’an means to you” is in reference to a similar statement made in the Preface of the English translation titled: The Sublime Quran, by the translator Laleh Bakhtiar, who evidently advocates that literary approach to the study of the Holy Qur’an. This approach is ubiquitous in modernity and the Western mind attuned to reading fine literature especially gravitates towards this absurd style of studying the Holy Qur’an. The model for studying the Holy Qur’an as a cipher text developed here demonstrates the egregious error of the specious method “see what the Holy Qur’an means to you”. The pithy saying in Urdu captures this situation aptly: half a doctor danger to the body, half a mullah danger to the soul!
pg 64 See Recommended Reading in Zahir Ebrahim, The Poor-Man’s Guide to Modernity, 2013, http://print-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2011/06/poor-mans-guide-to-modernity.html
pg 68 See Plato’s Simile of the Cave in The Republic, Machiavelli’s The Prince, and Zahir Ebrahim’s The Mighty Wurlitzer, for reference to “prisoners of the cave” in order to understand perception management and how it is used for behavior control of the public mind at all levels from antiquity to modernity. Ibid. This matter deeply underscores epistemology. It subjects the pious narratives of history, dutifully recorded by scribes under ruling paradigms and often paid for by the ruling establishment, to re-visitation by scholars who acquire a clearer more forensic understanding of epistemology. It was precisely due to the profound appreciation of this fact that George Orwell presciently observed in his book 1984: “Who controls the past controls the future, who controls the present controls the past”
pg 69 Zahir Ebrahim, Islam and Knowledge vs. Socialization, http://faith-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2011/07/islam-and-knowledge-vs-socialization.html
pg 73 Mighty Wurlitzer, humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2009/05/note-on-mighty-wurlitzer.html
pgs 77-78 and pg 83 footnote , for How to Study the Holy Qur’an, see Murtada Mutahhari, Understanding the Uniqueness of the Qur’an, http://www.al-islam.org/al-tawhid/unique-quran.htm . The fact of ingrained socialization and perception bias natural to all human beings is unfortunately not acknowledged by Mutahhari in his exposition, even though the fact of socialization is explicitly embedded in the teachings of the Holy Qur’an in its emphasis on the separation of righteous beliefs (Haquq-Allah 42:10) from righteous acts (Haquq-al-ibad 5:48: “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.”). The Holy Qur’an calls itself Al-Furqaan, the criterion, by which to judge both for one’s own strivings in the path of “haq”. That forthright lack of recognition fortunately does not detract from the Persian Shia Muslim scholar Murtada Mutahhari’s sensible examination of how to study the Holy Quran despite that fact that he does lend an a priori conclusion to such study based on his own narrow socialization bias which is amply in evidence in his exposition. It is in fact hard to find a scholar of any religion of great caliber who fervently believes in that religion, who would be immune to such a priori conclusions even as he might endeavor to teach others how to study his religion and letting them arrive at their own conclusions AFTER such study!
This human tendency towards a priori conclusions despite all earnest protestations of due diligence, appears to be the inherent nature of socialization, and of the subjectivity therein, and hence the religiosity conferred to one’s socialized perspective by the right-half brain. Hard logic and rational reasoning of the left-half brain is quite unable to penetrate that socialization shield of soft bias subconsciously built up by the right-half brain. Its only antidote is self-awareness. This is perhaps why the Holy Qur’an, while accepting socialization as a human fact, has also laid so much emphasis on striving for “haq” (truth, justice, calling a spade a spade even against one’s own self) under all conditions, for everyone among mankind, whereby, striving for overcoming one’s “nafs”, the personal inclination and whim due to natural bent of mind, proclivity, socialization, and desires and fears (both conscious and subconscious), is termed the greater jihad and is made a hard co-requisite to the reflective study of the Holy Qur’an (Surah Al-Waqia, 56:78-79: “In a Book well-guarded, Which none shall touch but those who are clean (purified)”).
Also see Zahir Ebrahim, Case Study in Mantra Creation, The Mighty Wurlitzer, http://print-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2009/05/note-on-mighty-wurlitzer.html#Case-Study-Mantra-Creation for how socialization bias among the unwary public is easily harvested for perception management of the public mind. Especially pay attention to the works of Edward Bernays and political psychologists referenced therein — a social science field that is entirely alien to the Muslim mind, plebeians and patricians alike, nurtured on Allah and salvation through rituals on the one hand, and secular humanism on the other. That unsophisticated public mind, Muslim and non Muslim alike, is easy picking for the diabolical Western hegemons who have today penetrated not just psychology and behavior control, but are rapidly moving towards full spectrum human control. See Zbigniew Brzezinski’s Between Two Ages, Aldous Huxley’s A Brave New World, and Aldous Huxley’s 1961 talk at University of California, Berkeley, The Ultimate Revolution, all referenced in The Mighty Wurlitzer.
pg 78 Surah Abasa 80:1-12: the most shocking example of this sorry fact of pronoun fixing for narrow self-interests is demonstrated by some translators of verses 80:1-12 of Surah Abasa. While no explicit reference to the Prophet of Islam is made in these verses, or in the entire Surah, some Sunni translators drawing upon early tafsirs dating back to the Abbasside dynastic rule, have added the word (Prophet) in parenthesis to indicate it is the Prophet of Islam who is being chastised by Allah for the mistake of turning away from the blind man: “(The Prophet) frowned and turned away” (80:1, tr. Yusufali); the un-stated motivation of the early scribes being to argue that the Prophet made mistakes and was not inerrant, and therefore anyone could succeed the Prophet of Islam as the temporal ruler of the nascent but rapidly expanding Muslim empire after the Prophet’s demise. That wicked legacy has been blindly mimicked by subsequent scholars without reflection upon what the Holy Qur’an is itself stating most plainly on that subject of inerrancy! This is shocking mistreatment of the Prophet of Islam by Muslim scribes shilling for the ruling interests who had become caliphs and rulers by making recourse to verse 4:59, the Verse of Obedience, despite the most clear exposition of the Principle of Inerrancy being the co-requisite for succeeding the Prophet of Islam. To patronize the rulers, the Muslim pulpit evidently had no compunction even belittling their own noble Prophet! This unfortunate mistreatment concerning the stature of the Prophet of Islam has now become the permanent ethos of the majority Sunni sect and remains a point of major contention with the minority Shia sect. Speak of Western hectoring hegemons hijacking Islam for imperial mobilization! Pious Muslims beat that subversion to the punch by a long shot. See article: What does the Holy Qur’an say about Inerrancy of Prophet Muhammad? which explores this topic further, http://islam-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2013/08/what-does-quran-say-about-inerrancy.html
pg 93 and 108 Lecture Discusses Qur’an Translations, The Harvard Crimson, October 29, 2010, “The Qur’an is fundamentally untranslatable, according to Bonn University Professor Emeritus of Semitic Languages and Islamic Studies Stefan Wild. In a lecture sponsored by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Wild said yesterday that the sacred Islamic text cannot be perfectly replicated in another language. … Wild’s lecture—titled “The Qur’an Today: Why Translate the Untranslatable?”—was the final installment of the three-part Fall 2010 H.A.R. Gibb Arabic & Islamic Studies Lectures series.” http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2010/10/29/wild-quran-translate-arabic/
pg 121 “wasn’t Qur’an alone sufficient” is reference to Caliph Umar, the companion of the Prophet of Islam who became the second Muslim Caliph to rule Muslimdom under whose watch Jerusalem was conquered and his version of Islam spread to distant shores. He is recorded to have uttered the famous “Qur’an alone is sufficient for us” statement when the Prophet of Islam, during his last days of terminal illness, had supposedly asked for some ink and paper to be brought to him so that his Last Will and Testament could be written down for posterity. Myth or reality? Part-V deals with what these scribes of history have written, and not written, or watered down with half-truths, from which, while no “religion” can sensibly be derived, a forensic sense of the political climate of the time can still be inferred. Especially the context for verse 33:36 condemning the believers among the companions of the Prophet of Islam for following “clearly the wrong path”. The forensic scrutiny of historical data to update our largely hagiographic understanding of the early period of Islam after the death of its Prophet, evidently has the same “cleansed hearted” considerations that are pre-requisite for the Study of the Holy Qur’an.
pg 154 “Waiting for Allah” is the title of 1992 book on the Pakistani people and their psyche by Foreign Affairs Correspondent for the Sunday Times, Christina Lamb, http://www.christinalamb.net/
pg 173 Ayn Rand, see Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, and Collection of Essays: The Virtue of Selfishness.
pg 173 Biblical Golden Rule: Do unto others as you have others do unto you.
pg 175 Ayatollah Khomeini, Islam and Revolution, translated by Hamid Algar, 1981, http://humanbeingsfirst.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/cacheof-islam-and-revolution-writings-and-declarations-of-imam-khomeini-translated-by-hamid-algar-1981-mizan-press.pdf
pg 176 Zahir Ebrahim, The Arc of Crisis, http://print-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2011/01/egypt-tunisia-arc-of-crisis-radicalized.html
pg 179 Zbigniew Brzezinski, Iran: The Crescent of Crisis, Time Magazine, Monday, January 15, 1979, http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,919995,00.html
pg 210 See Leon Festinger for cognitive dissonance.
pg 210 Metanoia, Greek word for transformation, often used in Biblical literature to denote a change of heart due to repentance. Used here in the context of radical transformation of one’s perspective due to the discomfort of cognitive dissonance induced by contradictions. For instance, a closely held prior false belief that is contradicted by empirically supported new evidence or understanding. To move to the new belief, or to become even more convinced of prior false belief, is the result of resolving cognitive dissonance. The stubborn irrational mind resolves it by the latter, becoming even more adamant about prior belief now known to be false. The rational self-aware mind however resolves it by abandoning the former false beliefs in the face of the new awareness. This scribe has come to the cold realization that without the onset of cognitive dissonance, no metanoia is possible in the human mind. In other words, facts and empiricism are not sufficient to induce transformation by themselves. It requires a concomitant emotional and psychological discomfort, the realm of the right-half brain, for the analysis of the left-half brain to leave its mark upon the human mind. And even there, Festinger predicted, and empirically demonstrated, that the human mind will gravitate towards becoming even firmer in its prior false beliefs as a means of resolving its cognitive dissonance, instead of accepting the new coherent reality. What finally induces Metanoia, the kick to the human mind to accept the rational analysis of its own left-half logical brain, or its own guilty conscience, and to have it prevail upon the emotional and stubborn right-half brain steeped in superstition and irrationalism, no one can really predict. Conversely, what human forces prevail upon the left-half brain to not make it accept what only the right-half brain can intuitively and spiritually perceive, no one can predict either. The human mind is the most complex and sophisticated system in creation. It can do science and overcome the illogic of superstition, and yet also perceive that which science cannot comprehend. It is like the non-human Mr. Spock unable to compete with the intuitive decision making prowess of his human Captain. The latter draws upon both halves of his human brain to always arrive at a superior decision than his logic-only science officer possessing only the left-half brain.
pg 211 For the bizarre details on how the First Council of Nicaea canonized the four books of the New Testament and destroyed other gospels, see Muhammad ‘Ata ur-Rahim, Jesus: Prophet of Islam, 1991
pg 215 Zahir Ebrahim, How to Return to Palestine, http://humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/p/pamphlet-how-to-return-to-palestine.html
pg 216 watch wtc7 http://sites.google.com/site/humanbeingsfirst/download-pdf/wtc_7_cbs.mpg
pg 224 For Surah As-Sajdah verses 32:7-9, and the statement: ‘The Author therefore also Knows the “fitrat”, i.e., nature, of every man,’ see explanation of Metanoia, op. cit., and elaboration of How to Study the Holy Qur’an, op. cit.
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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.
Part-IV Islam: Why is the Holy Qur’an so easy to hijack?