Monthly Archives: September 2012

Case Study: Why is the Holy Qur’an so easy to Hijack? Zahir Ebrahim

Case Study Why is the Holy Qur’an so easy to Hijack?

Vol. I

Click to Download PDF: Case Study Why is the Holy Qur'an so easy to Hijack? Vol. I  By Zahir Ebrahim First Edition August 2013

Download PDF: Pamphlet What does the Holy Qur'an Say Vol. I  By Zahir Ebrahim First Edition August 2013


بِسْمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Table of Contents

I

Case Study: Why is the Holy Qur’an so easy to Hijack? Part-I

1

Part-II

15

Part-III

87

Path Forward

167

Proposal to the Pulpits

199

Part-IV

209

Additional Bibliography and Endnotes Chapter One

229

Backcover Book Summary

246


Case Study: Why is the Holy Qur’an so easy to Hijack?

Why is the Holy Qur’an so easy to hijack?

Part-I

I

[ Tuesday, August 02, 2011, 2nd day of Ramadan in the United States, Muslim year 1432 ] Despite a slight throbbing headache due to abstinence from my usual cups of morning tea on my second day of fasting, I feel motivated to address an observation made by a fellow Muslim at an Iftar dinner in a Pakistani restaurant in Islamabad many years ago. In the past few years I have spent many a Ramadan in Pakistan and often visited the same restaurant for breaking the fast with a lavish buffet meal. Servicing a mere day’s hunger from self-imposed deprivation can be a sight to behold. Any sensible person watching privileged Muslims feast at Iftar with perfunctory courtesy to Islam would surely wonder about our religion. Thank goodness non-Muslims don’t approach Islam by looking at the behavior of us gluttonous Muslims, but rather, by approaching the Holy Qur’an directly. And that’s the topic of this column – understanding Islam directly from its singular source, the Holy Qur’an.

The good fellow who was one of the restaurant managers and was pursuing part-time studies in Arabic, sometimes would sit with me for a cup of tea. As I vividly recall, on one of these visits for a hearty meal, he had asked me a rhetorical question to which I had partly replied in some seriousness with reference to the Holy Qur’an. My interlocutor’s immediate riposte to me was something like this:

don’t quote me the Qur’an; everyone quotes their favorite verses to justify their own narrow positions; the shias quote it, the sunnis quote it, the wahabis quote it, the barelvis quote it, the deobandis quote it, the qadianis quote it, and yet they all have slightly different understanding of the same Holy Qur’an and each would rather die for that difference than relent in their view.”

Indeed, as many Muslims who have read the Holy Qur’an are aware, anyone can pretty much find at least some justification for any agenda, any belief, and mainly the one into which one is socialized at birth, in that most unusual Book.

It is an empirical fact that that’s how Muslims become divided into sectarianism. Not by rationalism, logic or investigation, but by the fact of being born into a Muslim home and adopting the dominant theology and practices of the sect to which the parents belong – whether or not they be practicing Muslims. Often times, the de facto socialization parameters are determined by the dominant sect of the culture, nation, or civilization where one is raised. This is why the majority of Muslims in the world are classified in general terms as sunnis – the dominant sect among the Muslims. This is also why a Saudi Muslim is different from an Iranian Muslim, for example. Neither chooses their sectarian version of Islam – each is born into it. But each claims to be the sole custodian of Islam’s true interpretation. As the dominant mainstream, the sunnis don’t consider themselves to be a “sect” by the fact of being the majority. Only the other minority is a “sect”. Every minority of course think the majority is usually wrong pointing to how it killed Socrates. Some ask: is the religion of Islam a “democracy” – that fifty one percent of the people who are born into it define what Islam and its Book must mean for the rest of the forty nine percent? Isn’t that also called mob rule – where majority ignorance rules? Should one follow the majority just because they are a majority irrespective of the merit of their position? And what objective merit is that when every group, big and small, sees maximum merit only in their own socialized interpretation of Islam?

The vast majority of the 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide are directly socialized into our sectarian beliefs from birth. As adults, our understanding of the religion of Islam is thence derived almost exclusively from our birth-sect’s dominant worldviews. Our respective beliefs are further strengthened when we see our sect’s ullema (Muslim religious scholars) most eloquently argue their respective theological raison d’être for differing with that other sect’s mumbo jumbo directly from the Holy Qur’an, and from other secondary and tertiary books of their own sect. That fact of socialization applies recursively to all scholars and compilers of antiquity as well. The bulk of their writings constituting the secondary and tertiary sources of information for subsequent generations of Muslim scholarship. Each group or sect naturally selecting the narrow views of their respective socialization to promulgate forward to the next generation in a classic example of a crippled epistemology which incestuously feeds upon itself.

This is quite empirical. Pick up any book of antiquity, from tafseer to hadith compilation to history, and one will see the clear separation of shia vs. sunni dichotomy run through them. Examine the background of the authors and they invariably exactly fall along that same boundary. A very peculiar state of affairs which is inexplicable, since all sects claim to have the same exact text of the Holy Qur’an, unless one begins to understand the power and influence of incestuous socialization in Muslim scholarship. Few escape it. And this fact is evidenced by the straightforward observation that socialized masses and scholars alike, don’t account for their own socialization in their self-righteous proclamations entirely rooted in the superiority complex of their respective inheritance.

Is the religion of the masses therefore, practically speaking, merely reduced to an inheritance?

The Author of the Holy Qur’an vociferously decries that notion of following in the footsteps of one’s forefathers, unequivocally warning not to follow the religion of one’s ancestors just because one is born into that religion. Surah Al-Baqara is replete with that theme. E.g.,

This is a people that have passed away; they shall have what they earned and you shall have what you earn, and you shall not be called upon to answer for what they did.” (Surah Al-Baqara, 2:141);

(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, 2:166167)

The Holy Qur’an repeatedly invites individual reflection of every human being in the matters of beliefs instead of merely inheriting the beliefs from one’s forefathers, as in Surah Al An’aam:

So when the night over-shadowed him, he saw a star; said he: Is this my Lord? So when it set, he said: I do not love the setting ones. Then when he saw the moon rising, he said: Is this my Lord? So when it set, he said: If my Lord had not guided me I should certainly be of the erring people. Then when he saw the sun rising, he said: Is this my Lord? Is this the greatest? So when it set, he said: O my people! surely I am clear of what you set up (with Allah). Surely I have turned myself, being upright, wholly to Him Who originated the heavens and the earth, and I am not of the polytheists.” (Surah Al An’aam, 6:76777879)

The Holy Qur’an enjoins such reflection even while also accepting socialization as an empirical fact among mankind. The Author of the Holy Qur’an Itself proclaims that It created mankind in tribes and nations:

O mankind! Lo! We have created you from male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. Lo! the noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Lo! Allah is Knower, Aware.” (Surah Al-Hujraat, 49:13).

And sent His message to them all in their own languages:

And We never sent a messenger save with the language of his folk, (بِلِسَانِ قَوْمِهِۦ ) that he might make (the message) clear for them.” (Surah Ibrahim, 14:4)

And that:

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:” (Surah Al-Maeda, 5:48)

So, as the verse continues its advocacy:

so strive as in a race in all virtues (فَاسْتَبِقُوا الْخَيْرَاتِ ۚ ). 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 Holy Qur’an therefore rationally countenances socialization for those pursuing their respective beliefs other than Islam, despite the Holy Qur’an oft stating that Islam supplants them all as the final Revelation in a tamper-proof package:

In a Book well-guarded, Which none shall touch but those who are clean.” (Surah Al-Waqia, 56:7879)

See the examination of Surah Al-Fatiha and Surah Al-Maeda in Islam and Knowledge vs. Socialization for the consequent principles of pluralism for virtuous conduct regardless of beliefs inherent in the message of the Holy Qur’an which unequivocally avers:

There is no compulsion in religion.” (Surah Al-Baqara, 2:256)

Surely We have shown him the way: he may be thankful or unthankful.” (Surah Al-insaan 76:3)

While accepting socialization as a fact, the Qur’anic recipe to circumvent socialization as a means for independent evaluation of beliefs, is to approach the Holy Qur’an with a cleansed heart. (Ibid.) But one still observes all the cleansed hearts throughout the ages still pretty much fall along the same sectarian demarcation among the Muslims. Why does the cleansed heart recipe evidently fail when it comes to sectarianism for the topics which divide the Muslims? Perhaps the hearts aren’t cleansed enough? That platitudinous metaphor for bringing utmost earnestness when seeking a rational as well as spiritual understanding of the Holy Qur’an, not bringing preconceptions and prejudices to its study and reflection, doesn’t really lend any additional insight into the subject of why even the most earnest seekers of truth come away understanding the Holy Book pretty much along the axis of their socialization. Focusing on the heart is a dead-end as far as further intellectual inquiry is concerned.

Therefore, the question naturally arises, that if it is empirically observed that everyone finds their own self-serving justifications to validate their respective socialization in the Holy Qur’an, how is one to study the Holy Qur’an objectively, independent of one’s own socialization, in order to learn and comprehend what its own Author wanted to convey in that most revered Book of the Muslims?

How are we to prevent the hijacking of the Holy Qur’an from a self-serving understanding of it for our own selves?

Before one can even begin to perceptively answer that crucial question, commonsense suggests that one has to first diagnose and dissect the problem more precisely.

Therefore, we begin by formulating the problem in this way:

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?

Just to briefly footnote the usage of the latter villainous word, bastardization, it is no secret that today, its harbingers include the most notable Western propagandists. E.g., Bernard Lewis of Princeton University who skillfully crafted the mantra of ‘Clash of Civilizations’ and subsequently wrote the thesis “Crisis of Islam – Holy War and Unholy Terror”; and Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski who easily gave to the USSR its Vietnam War in Afghanistan in Muslim blood with nothing more profound than a simple retake on the German Third Reich’s battle cry “Gott mit uns” (God is with us): “God is on your side”.

In 1990 Bernard Lewis, a leading Western scholar of Islam, analyzed ‘The Roots of Muslim Rage,’ and concluded: ‘It should now be clear that we are facing a mood and a movement far transcending the level of issues and policies and the governments that pursue them. This is no less than a clash of civilizations – that perhaps irrational but surely historic reaction of an ancient rival against our Judeo-Christian heritage, our secular present, and the worldwide expansion of both. It is crucially important that we on our side should not be provoked into an equally historic but also equally irrational reaction against our rival.’” (Samuel Huntington in The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, page 213)

That supposed “Muslim Rage” of 1990 was turned into the egregiously titled full blown propaganda treatise The Clash of Civilizations by Bernard Lewis’ Zionist-imperialist confrere at Harvard University, Samuel Huntington, in 1995:

The underlying problem for the West is not Islamic fundamentalism. It is Islam, a different civilization whose people are convinced of the superiority of their culture and are obsessed with the inferiority of their power. The problem for Islam is not the CIA or the US Department of Defense. It is the West, a different civilization whose people are convinced of the universality of their culture and believe that their superior, if declining, power imposes on them the obligation to extend that culture throughout the world. These are the basic ingredient that fuel conflict between Islam and the West.” (Ibid. pages 217-218)

And Huntington’s myth crafting of 1995 was turned into the perpetual “War on Terrorism” on September 11, 2001 by the Zionist-imperialists’ errand boy, George W. Bush Jr., the President of the United States, with “either you are with us, or with the terrorists”!

Moreover, today, both “militant Islam” and “moderate Islam”, the Hegelian Dialectic to continually advance and sustain the cause of empire’s “War on Terror” as a “self-fulfilling prophecy”, draw justifications from the Holy Qur’an. One for Holy War, the other for Holy Peace. Each side has its partisans among the public because each side easily sees the correctness of their own position – it is, after all, (selectively) rooted in the Holy Qur’an they each claim. See Response to the Fatwa on Terrorism in the Service of Empire.

However, mechanisms for the bastardization of a religion is not the focus of this analysis. See Islam and Knowledge vs. Socialization, Islam vs. Secular Humanism and World Government, and Case Study in Mantra Creation for these details. The political novel (or historical fiction – the only fair way to characterize it) “Memoirs Of Mr. Hempher, The British Spy To The Middle East” is further revealing of how the hijacking of the religion of Islam can be so diabolically engineered by planting and cultivating stooges for cognitive infiltration into the religion via a subversive sect creation in the 18th century. In PART SIX of the novel, key insightful observations are made about the religion of Islam and the Muslim psyche which, regardless of who authored them – whether as historical fiction or a real handbook of subverting Islam – are empirically visible even today. Empiricism lends direct credence to the description of the Machiavellian methods of subversion of the religion of Islam in that political treatise (read pertinent excerpt) irrespective of who is its author or what literary device is employed to convey the malignant thesis.

Just as “Philip Dru Administrator : a Story of Tomorrow 1920 – 1935”, by Edward Mandell House, depicts in a fictional narrative, the first principles used for the author’s own Trojan Horse role in controlling President Woodrow Wilson’s presidency (1912-1920) as a puppet on behalf of oligarchic powers behind the scenes. First principles which one can observe being practiced for all American presidencies ever since, including today for President Obama’s puppet presidency. Just as empiricism also lends incontrovertible weight to the Machiavellian methods in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion regardless of who wrote that malignant treatise whose effects in the world today are plainly visible as if blueprinted directly from that villainous recipe book of subversion. All these political treatises in varying forms are akin to the political novel The Prince by Machiavelli, written in the 16th century which still forms the guide-book for modern statecraft, and that is the heart of the matter – the principles of subversion espoused in them. Just as Machiavelli is read and followed in statecraft, so are any recipe books which permit subverting the enemy, including the 2500 years old Chinese treatise of Sun Tzu, The Art of War (read all these works).

And lastly, in that same vein of subversion of a lofty religion for seeding havoc among its followers, the two articles Egypt and Tunisia – The ‘arc of crisis‘ being radicalized! and Unlayering the Middle East War Agenda: Making Sense of Absurdities, delve into the more recent cultivation of the shia Iranian Revolution of yesteryear to connect with the present “revolutions” suddenly erupting in the Middle East against the same tyrannical rulers who were previously aided and abetted to remain in power over their peoples just like Saddam Hussein of Iraq. Its juxtaposition to the cultivation of the sunni “Mujahideens” in Afghanistan at exactly the same time period, both of them to fertilize the “arc of crisis” with bipartisan Muslim blood, is frightening testimony of the persistence of vulnerable fracture points among the followers of Islam which are perennially ripe for harvesting.

The Muslim fratricide of Iran-Iraq war was only made possible by deftly employing the age old historical schisms of shia-vs-sunni, arming both sides and contriving the fratricide in untold millions. That contrivance is a textbook example of game theory being put into practice for a global agenda. The effects of fertilizing the “arc of crisis” in Muslim blood predictively percolated into enabling other premeditated global events, ultimately setting into motion the creation of a New World Order – of one world government. Read the aforementioned two articles to fathom the self-serving Cassandra-like predictions made by Zbigniew Brzezinski right after lighting that fuse to what he prophetically (sic!) called the “arc of crisis”. A fuller understanding of that epoch of the latter half of the twentieth century minimally requires a book-length read which perceptively re-links the seemingly disparate and often unlinked antecedent and subsequent events, wars, collapses, revolutions of the past century, melding directly into the searing event of the New Pearl Harbor on September 11, 2001. See a précis in Of Ostriches and Rebels on The Hard Road to World Order.

With the preceding bird’s eye view of the age old villainous methods of subversion and harvesting of the religion of Islam from within, the focus in this article is exclusively on the natural impediments to the earnest study of the Holy Qur’an by a genuine seeker of its knowledge who willingly comes to the Book with an intent to learn its contents.

So now you open the Holy Qur’an to read, reflect, and study, with a cleansed heart, Muslim or non-Muslim, native Arabic speaker or reading many translations in your own language alongside. Common impediments now make the study of the Holy Qur’an uncongenial to the ordered mind. Let’s dissect that uncongeniality with a surgeon’s scalpel. The result is not as obvious as it might first appear.


II

Let’s begin with a thought experiment. Imagine Mr. Spock from Star Trek curiously picking up the Holy Qur’an to examine its fascinating contents. What will he find?

For those unfamiliar with Mr. Spock, he is a fictional character in a science fiction television series of the 1960s. Spock is a completely logical being. He exhibits no human characteristics of subjectivity and emotionalism. He has no intuition, no imagination, and no inspiration. He makes rational analysis of any matter based solely on available facts and data. He draws linkages, makes inferences and deduction, theorizes and opines, based solely on factual logic and not on intuition or other un-quantifiable human notions of tea-leaves reading, sixth sense, gut feel, love, hate, etc., all of which transcend rational logic.

Therefore, Mr. Spock can put no subjective spin on his analysis. His opinion is always supported by facts at hand. When he is forced to speculate, he refrains by saying one needs facts to even speculate. When he theorizes for the unknown, he only does so based on available factual evidence. He is entirely impervious to the following human tendency:

‘What a man believes upon grossly insufficient evidence is an index to his desires – desires of which he himself is often unconscious. If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts [or worldview], he will scrutinize it closely, and unless [and at times even when] the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance with his instincts [or worldview], he will accept it even on the slenderest evidence.’ — Bertrand Russell, Proposed Roads to Freedom, 1919, page 147

It is fair to say that Mr. Spock is completely un-socialized into any worldview other than of pure logic, facts, and empiricism. Therefore, unlike normal human beings, Spock brings no presuppositions and no prejudices to his testimony other than that which naturally falls out from pure logic applied to empirical data.

An example to illustrate his logic mind is from the episode titled “Court Martial” where Mr. Spock is being asked to testify in a court martial of his captain. When Mr. Spock asserted that it was not possible for his captain to be guilty as charged because it was not in his nature to make such an error, he was accused by the prosecutor of bias due to loyalty to his captain; that Spock hadn’t actually watched the captain not do what he was charged with doing. Mr. Spock’s response is elegantly logical: “I know the captain. Lieutenant, I am half Vulcanian. Vulcanians do not speculate. I speak from pure logic. If I let go of a hammer on a planet that has a positive gravity, I need not see it fall to know that it has in fact fallen.”

As the science officer aboard the Starship Enterprise, Mr. Spock is the second in command and has the distinguished record of one hundred percent objective situational analysis of fast breaking crises one hundred percent of the time. Just the kind of mind we need to launch our forensic examination of the Holy Qur’an – the separation between the object under study and the observer. Mr. Spock’s logical mind lends us that much needed cleavage.

Continued in Part-II

Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/Hijacking-Quran-pt1

Source URL: http://faith-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2011/08/islam-why-is-quran-easy-to-hijack-pt1.html

First Published August 03, 2011


Why is the Holy Qur’an so easy to hijack?

Part-II

I

Introduction

In Part-Iof this study, Mr. Spock from Star Trek had just picked up the Holy Qur’an and with a cleansed heart as is natural to him on all matters (i.e., without prejudice and socialization bias – see Islam and Knowledge vs. Socialization), delved into the inquiry of what is in that Holy Book of 1.6 to 2 billion Muslims on planet earth. While it will surely take a good book-length report to cover all that he learnt, this Part-IIand sequels to follow narrowly focus on the factual and analytical portions of his discovery as directly pertinent to the overarching inquiry question raised in Part-I:

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?

While this investigative study is intended primarily for the benefit of ordinary Muslims to foster a greater analytical understanding of our own religion, Islam, ordinary Non-Muslim peoples will, perhaps for the first time in the English language – the language of the Anglo-Saxon masters du jour of the affairs of the world – perceptively glimpse the scriptural reasons for the delicate fracture points of disunity among Muslims. These fracture points have been rife for exploitation by all imperial mobilizations of all empires, both past and present.

But “Islam”, the proper noun, a “deen” chosen by Allah, the Author designate of the Holy Qur’an, and by the Author’s own proclamation, a “favor” unto mankind to show them an enlightened and divinely guided way of life, has nothing to do with empires:

This is the Scripture whereof there is no doubt, a guidance unto those who ward off (evil). (2:2)

Who believe in the Unseen, and establish worship, and spend of that We have bestowed upon them (Surah Al-Baqara 2:3)

ذَٰلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لَا رَيْبَ ۛ فِيهِ ۛ هُدًى لِلْمُتَّقِينَ

ٱلَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِٱلْغَيْبِ وَيُقِيمُونَ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَٰهُمْ يُنفِقُونَ

Ramadhan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur’an, as a guide to mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (Between right and wrong). (Surah Al-Baqara verse fragment 2:185)

شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أُنزِلَ فِيهِ ٱلْقُرْءَانُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَٰتٍ مِّنَ ٱلْهُدَىٰ وَٱلْفُرْقَانِ ۚ

Alif. Lam. Ra. (This is) a Scripture which We have revealed unto thee (Muhammad) that thereby thou mayst bring forth mankind from darkness unto light, by the permission of their Lord, unto the path of the Mighty, the Owner of Praise, (Surah Ibrahim 14:1)

بِسْمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ الٓر ۚ كِتَٰبٌ أَنزَلْنَٰهُ إِلَيْكَ لِتُخْرِجَ ٱلنَّاسَ مِنَ ٱلظُّلُمَٰتِ إِلَى ٱلنُّورِ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِمْ إِلَىٰ صِرَٰطِ ٱلْعَزِيزِ ٱلْحَمِيدِ

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 )

وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ لَجَعَلَكُمْ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَلَٰكِنْ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ فِي مَا آتَاكُمْ ۖ فَاسْتَبِقُوا الْخَيْرَاتِ ۚ إِلَى اللَّهِ مَرْجِعُكُمْ جَمِيعًا فَيُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ فِيهِ تَخْتَلِفُونَ

For Muslim men and women,- for believing men and women, for devout men and women, for true men and women, for men and women who are patient and constant, for men and women who humble themselves, for men and women who give in charity, for men and women who fast (and deny themselves), for men and women who guard their chastity, and for men and women who engage much in Allah’s praise,- for them has Allah prepared forgiveness and great reward.” (Surah Al-Ahzaab, 33:35)

إِنَّ ٱلْمُسْلِمِينَ وَٱلْمُسْلِمَٰتِ وَٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَٱلْمُؤْمِنَٰتِ وَٱلْقَٰنِتِينَ وَٱلْقَٰنِتَٰتِ وَٱلصَّٰدِقِينَ وَٱلصَّٰدِقَٰتِ وَٱلصَّٰبِرِينَ وَٱلصَّٰبِرَٰتِ وَٱلْخَٰشِعِينَ وَٱلْخَٰشِعَٰتِ وَٱلْمُتَصَدِّقِينَ وَٱلْمُتَصَدِّقَٰتِ وَٱلصَّٰٓئِمِينَ وَٱلصَّٰٓئِمَٰتِ وَٱلْحَٰفِظِينَ فُرُوجَهُمْ وَٱلْحَٰفِظَٰتِ وَٱلذَّٰكِرِينَ ٱللَّهَ كَثِيرًا وَٱلذَّٰكِرَٰتِ أَعَدَّ ٱللَّهُ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةً وَأَجْرًا عَظِيمًا

By the declining day, (103:1)

Lo! man is in a state of loss (103:2)

Save those who believe,

and do good works,

and strive for “haq”,

and are patient (Surah Al-Asr 103:3)

وَالۡعَصۡرِۙ‏

اِنَّ الۡاِنۡسَانَ لَفِىۡ خُسۡرٍۙ‏

اِلَّا الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا

وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ

وَتَوَاصَوۡا بِالۡحَقِّ

ۙ وَتَوَاصَوۡا بِالصَّبۡرِ

O soul that art at rest! (89:27)

Return to your Lord, well-pleased (with him), well-pleasing (Him), (89:28)

So enter among My servants, (89:29)

And enter into My garden. (Surah Al-Fajr, 89:30)

يَٰٓأَيَّتُهَا ٱلنَّفْسُ ٱلْمُطْمَئِنَّةُ

ٱرْجِعِىٓ إِلَىٰ رَبِّكِ رَاضِيَةً مَّرْضِيَّةً

فَٱدْخُلِى فِى عِبَٰدِى

وَٱدْخُلِى جَنَّتِى

This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” (Surah Al-Maeda verse fragment 5:3)

الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الْإِسْلَامَ دِينًا ۚ

Caption Verses capturing the primary mission statement of the Religion of Islam in a nutshell. See any empire?

The above table captures the primary mission statement of the Religion of Islam in its own words in a nutshell. There is no mention or even conception of empire in it. Nor in the rest of the Holy Qur’an. There is not even a word for “empire” in the vocabulary-rich language of the Holy Qur’an, never mind an advocacy to strive for it as the purpose of life. The purpose of man’s striving is specified entirely different from what it would be if “imperial mobilization” of Islam (under any flag, banner, label, or pretext) was among the purposes of its constitution for a moral existence that its Author claims He already “perfected”. Meaning, there is no room for more specification in it. And there is exactly zero specification for empire in it.

Then, the obvious pertinent question must be asked. How did a “deen”:

  • which Allah “perfected” (أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ ) as moral guidance for the pious (هُدًى لِلْمُتَّقِينَ ) to: “bring forth mankind from darkness unto light” (ٱلنَّاسَ مِنَ ٱلظُّلُمَٰتِ إِلَى ٱلنُّورِ ) ;

  • showing a path of perseverance (تَوَاصَوۡا بِالصَّبۡرِ ) for doing “good works” (عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ ) and establishing “haq” (تَوَاصَوۡا بِالۡحَقِّ ) as if “in a race in all virtues” (فَاسْتَبِقُوا الْخَيْرَاتِ ۚ) ;

  • whose main prize is proclaimed to be: “forgiveness and great reward” (مَّغْفِرَةً وَأَجْرًا عَظِيمًا ) for a “soul that art at rest” (يَٰٓأَيَّتُهَا ٱلنَّفْسُ ٱلْمُطْمَئِنَّةُ ) upon its “Return to your Lord, well-pleased (with him), well-pleasing (Him)” (ٱرْجِعِىٓ إِلَىٰ رَبِّكِ رَاضِيَةً مَّرْضِيَّةً ) ;

  • and whose “great reward” being: “So enter among My servants, And enter into My garden” (فَٱدْخُلِى فِى عِبَٰدِى وَٱدْخُلِى جَنَّتِى ) ;

become world-dominating empires soon after the death of its Prophet?

That’s a pretty straightforward prescription above, a rather simple constitution to comprehend by even the laity requiring no industry of the clergy class, nor the pulpit, to expound it. So what went wrong?

These “Islamic” empires ruled unsurpassed vast territories in the name of Islam under various Muslim dynasties say from 700 A.D. to 1400 A.D., and for another 500 years afterwards in stiff competition with European empires, the last remnants of which were forcibly laid to rest by the Anglo-Saxon masters in the early twentieth century in full capitulation to the white man’s burden. How that came about is a study of history of rise and fall of empires in all its broad dimensions that has been repeated many times by others. A notable reading is Philip K. Hitti’s History of the Arabs. Such is not the direction of this far humbler work.

These Muslim empires unfortunately bequeathed to mankind what it has largely come to understand of Islam today. This is true of Muslims and non-Muslims alike. If you just bother to open Bernard Lewis’ many books on Islam for instance, and the Princeton University’s most famous Zionist propagandist is touted as a “leading Western scholar of Islam”, you will immediately see that he eruditely opines about Islam largely from sources penned by history’s scribes rather than from the Holy Qur’an itself. Care to ponder why? Can’t the incredibly well-read multi-lingual vulgar propagandist find sufficient ammunition in the Holy Qur’an to malign Islam pedantically like some of the lower-order propagandists such as the Qur’an burning pastor from Florida do? Why does Bernard Lewis so eagerly reach for the scribes of history for his propaganda manuals? His “Crisis of Islam – Holy War and Unholy Terror”, as does his “What Went Wrong? – The Clash Between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East”, both draw sustenance from history’s scribes to respectively demonstrate the “terrorism” and backwardness of Muslims being rooted in “Islam” (see Hijacking the word “Islam” for Mantra Creation).

Tragically, in almost exactly the same way, Muslims trying to escape their socialization biases by studying Islam for themselves, also always first reach for the same history’s scribes to understand Islam, and invariably end up basing their understanding of their religion almost entirely on expositions of these history’s scribes. And as expected, they also end up incestuously self-reinforcing their socialization biases by first, and often only, reaching for history’s scribes favored by their own narrow socialization in a naturally self-selecting way. While Bernard Lewis does it self-servingly for his inimical self-serving agenda, Muslims end up following the same epistemological process unwittingly, without necessarily having any agenda other than to earnestly learn their religion to better themselves.

This crippled epistemological process is nearly universal. It transcends all sectarian divides among Muslims. Sunni Muslims get their understanding of Islam from their respective “wassael-e-sunni” penned by their history’s favored scribes, and Shia Muslims get their understanding of Islam from their respective “wassael-e-shia” penned by their history’s favored scribes, just as Bernard Lewis gets his Islam from both their collective works. None of them principally get their understanding of Islam directly from the Holy Qur’an despite often having an intense familiarity with its words. The truth of these observations is beyond doubt. It is empirical. And therefore, also easily falsifiable if not rooted in factual observation. Muslims today would have been a single Muslim nation (أُمَّةً مُسْلِمَةً ) if these words are false. And Bernard Lewis not the very successful propagandist for “World War IV” – West’s perpetual “War on Terror” as labeled by a former director of the CIA – that he has become, adorning Goebbels’ shoes without fear of retribution. And the 1.6 to 2 billion Muslims worldwide would not be running helter-skelter foolishly asking their own predators to come save them like puppets on a string.

This study principally examines the narrow question which to this scribe’s knowledge has not been addressed in Muslim and non-Muslim scholarship alike: Has the Holy Qur’an, the Book of divine guidance to the pious, itself contributed to its own “subversion”? Meaning, its own proclaimed goal of a single Muslim nation (أُمَّةً مُسْلِمَةً ):

Our Lord! make of us Muslims, bowing to Thy (Will), and of our progeny a Muslim nation, bowing to Thy (will); and show us our place for the celebration of (due) rites; and turn unto us (in Mercy); for Thou art the Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.” (Surah Al-Baqara 2:128 )

رَبَّنَا وَاجْعَلْنَا مُسْلِمَيْنِ لَكَ وَمِنْ ذُرِّيَّتِنَا أُمَّةً مُسْلِمَةً لَكَ وَأَرِنَا مَنَاسِكَنَا وَتُبْ عَلَيْنَا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ

This is a frightening question to ask, let alone explore with unabated courage. But it is a legitimate question to inquire into because its seeds are directly planted in the Holy Qur’an itself, just waiting to be ploughed by an alert mind seeking the fruits of its divine message rather than foolishly parrot its words without comprehension as a cultural inheritance in socially acceptable ritualistic ways:

‘Then the Messenger will say: “O my Lord! Truly my people took this Qur’an for just foolish nonsense.”’ (Surah Al-Furqaan 25:30 )

وَقَالَ الرَّسُولُ يَا رَبِّ إِنَّ قَوْمِي اتَّخَذُوا هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ مَهْجُورًا

Apart from the Prophet of Islam himself condemning his people for shackling the Qur’an into “foolish nonsense” (مَهْجُورًا ) – an un-implemented constitution that was taught and repeated verbatim mainly as a prayer book for earning rewards in Heaven as if the Holy Qur’an was not something to be implemented for the living to create equity and justice in society which it principally advocated as the Deen-ul-Haq (see exposition of Surah Al-Asr) – what are some other seeds planted in the Holy Qur’an which further beg the question posed in this study?

Witness:

Mankind was but one nation, but differed (later). Had it not been for a Word that went forth before from thy Lord, their differences would have been settled between them.” (Surah Yunus 10:19 )

وَمَا كَانَ النَّاسُ إِلَّا أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً فَاخْتَلَفُوا ۚ وَلَوْلَا كَلِمَةٌ سَبَقَتْ مِنْ رَبِّكَ لَقُضِيَ بَيْنَهُمْ فِيمَا فِيهِ يَخْتَلِفُونَ

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 )

وَلَوْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ لَجَعَلَكُمْ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَلَٰكِنْ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ فِي مَا آتَاكُمْ ۖ فَاسْتَبِقُوا الْخَيْرَاتِ ۚ إِلَى اللَّهِ مَرْجِعُكُمْ جَمِيعًا فَيُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ فِيهِ تَخْتَلِفُونَ

Caption Surah Yunus 10:19, Verse of Separation; and Surah Al-Maeda verse fragment 5:48, Verse of Unification

It says it right there – in the momentous words of the Holy Qur’an: “If Allah had so willed, He would have made you a single people,”! And “Had it not been for a Word that went forth before from thy Lord, their differences would have been settled between them.” Had God wanted to, matters of disunity would have been settled in the very beginning. But, the verse of the Holy Qur’an vouches, it was by the Lord’s Word instead, that differences arose, and the settlement day deferred to be the Day of Reckoning:

And for every nation there is a messenger. And when their messenger cometh (on the Day of Judgment) it will be judged between them fairly, and they will not be wronged.” (Surah Yunus 10:47 )

وَلِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَسُولٌ ۖ فَإِذَا جَاءَ رَسُولُهُمْ قُضِيَ بَيْنَهُمْ بِالْقِسْطِ وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُونَ

But, until then, “(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.” And that divine plan is one of choice for man, whether man is thankful or unthankful for the guidance:

Surely We have shown him the way: he may be thankful or unthankful.” (Surah Al-insaan 76:3 )

إِنَّا هَدَيْنَاهُ السَّبِيلَ إِمَّا شَاكِرًا وَإِمَّا كَفُورًا

The topic of inter-civilizational and inter-religion striving: “as in a race in all virtues” ( فَاسْتَبِقُوا الْخَيْرَاتِ ), transliteration fuss-tabi-qul-khairaat (5:48 quoted above), has already been examined in the study Islam and Knowledge vs. Socialization where religion as socialization among different peoples of different religions, cultures, and civilizations, is explored in some depth.

The same considerations apply to Muslims as well who, as one empirically observes, also become divided into sects and nations by way of socialization and inheritance no differently than the rest of the people on earth.

An alert mind can therefore legitimately inquire into the same Qur’anic concepts noted above also being applicable among Muslims themselves! Had God wanted to, He could have surely clarified all matters in the Holy Qur’an unambiguously, but as we shall discover in this study done through the metaphor of Mr. Spock, the Author of the Holy Qur’an instead announced the following:

He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are allegorical.

But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah.

And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: ‘We believe in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord:’ and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding.” (Surah Aal-‘Imran 3:7, Tr. Abdullah Yusuf Ali)

هُوَ الَّذِي أَنْزَلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ مِنْهُ آيَاتٌ مُحْكَمَاتٌ هُنَّ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ وَأُخَرُ مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ ۖ

فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ زَيْغٌ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ مَا تَشَابَهَ مِنْهُ ابْتِغَاءَ الْفِتْنَةِ وَابْتِغَاءَ تَأْوِيلِهِ ۗ وَمَا يَعْلَمُ تَأْوِيلَهُ إِلَّا اللَّهُ ۗ

وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ

يَقُولُونَ آمَنَّا بِهِ كُلٌّ مِنْ عِنْدِ رَبِّنَا ۗ وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلَّا أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ

Caption Verse 3:7 Surah Aal-‘Imran, defining the first source of confusion about the religion of Islam

As is examined in-depth later on, the afore-quoted verse 3:7 of Surah Aal-‘Imran lends prima facie justification into this inquiry which is evidently long overdue (by fourteen centuries it would appear). The poorly understood nature of sectarianism among Muslims which is always examined as events of history and not as a prima facie consequence of the ambiguity in the Scripture itself, testifies to this bold observation.

Just as the “Word” ( وَلَوْلَا كَلِمَةٌ ) caused differences to appear among mankind to be settled on the Day of Reckoning: “And when their messenger cometh (on the Day of Judgment) it will be judged between them fairly, and they will not be wronged.”, did the Qur’anic Word also deliberately induce differences to appear among the Muslims: “But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings,”, for the same considerations: “(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.” ; and to offer them the same choice: “Surely We have shown him the way: he may be thankful or unthankful.”, in almost exactly the same parallel:

One day We shall call together all human beings with their (respective) Imams” (Surah al-Israa’ 17:71 )

يَوْمَ نَدْعُو كُلَّ أُنَاسٍ بِإِمَامِهِمْ

Caption Verse 17:71 Surah al-Israa’, the fundamental verse of the Holy Qur’an introducing the notion of Accountability with the imam one followed! The verse yields the logical deduction: better be aware of what, or who, one is following as one’s imam, including from whence one derives one’s path attributed to whom one presumes one is following. The Arabic-English dictionary of the Holy Qur’an defines the word “Imam” thusly: “Leader; President; Any object that is followed, whether a human being or a book or a highway”.

It is like opening the Pandora’s box – but as the legend declares, if one has the patience and the determination to dig through to its very bottom, the understanding will be found.

A cautionary negative side effect falls out from the afore-quoted verse 17:71 which is perhaps pertinent to mention here just briefly before continuing. The Holy Qur’an emphatically avers that all human beings will be held to account on the Day of Judgment in the company of the leader, the Imam, they each followed. So if one correctly followed any Prophet of God, since Messengers have been sent to all peoples, no problem for them, as expected. That is the pluralism of Islam – the only religion bequeathed by antiquity to the modern world to espouse such liberalism. See Islam and Knowledge vs. Socialization for details. But what if one inadvertently made a fast-talking ignoramus one’s “Imam”; or followed learned discourses written by kings and shrewd apprentices of Machiavelli who obfuscated and subverted the religions to control their peoples; or simply remained socialized under the iconic authority figures they grew up with? It would be hell to pay on the Day of Judgment – for both Muslims and non-Muslims alike, since verse 17:71 is addressed to all human beings. You are whom you follow and learn from – better choose your teachers and Imams wisely! That’s the principal Qur’anic message here, to Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, to all human beings whatever their persuasion and inheritance. (Also see verses 2:166-167 of Surah Al-Baqara).

Coming back to the main theme of opening a Pandora’s box in this inquiry, the Holy Qur’an’s focus upon the virtuous, هُدًى لِلْمُتَّقِينَ (verse 2:2 above), those who are perpetually on the straight path of becoming the perfectman (or marde-momin)[1], also seems rather simplistic on the surface. Especially so in a modernity which is run entirely by soulless, psychopathic, Machiavellian, Nietzscheian, manipulative controllers who create prisoners of the cave with the ease of perception management described by Plato in The Republic.

What can the virtuous possibly ever do to overcome that perception management for regimented social control if they only journey from cradle to grave as prisoners of the cave? (See The Mighty Wurlitzer http://tinyurl.com/MightyWurlitzer & Plato http://tinyurl.com/Plato-Myth-of-the-Cave )

Plato’s book was written one thousand years before the Holy Qur’an was disseminated to mankind in Arabia. And it begs the pertinent question: has the Holy Qur’an provided any recipe for extracting oneself from the matrix of perception management for prisoners of the cave? Can a prisoner of the cave ever escape the chains of the cave using purely his own cognitive reasoning abilities? Is logical examination of observed facts based on the five human senses, the empiricism of scientists, alone sufficient to extract oneself from such perception-management which is now akin to mind-control?

The rational materialist scientists oft proclaim of their left-brain dominated scientific processes:

The only means of knowledge is reasoning from observed facts; The senses provide our only direct contact with reality; Pure logical thinking cannot yield us any knowledge of the empirical world; all knowledge of reality starts from experience and ends in it;” (Albert Einstein, as noted by Dr. Abdus Salam in his Nobel speech, 1979)

A thoughtful reading of Plato’s Myth of the Cave is essential to apprehend the depth and dimensions of this question. The reader is referred to Plato’s The Republic if unfamiliar with the simile of the cave. (See excerpt titled Myth of the Cave in the Introduction of Prisoners of the Cave http://tinyurl.com/Plato-Myth-of-the-Cave ) This question, which addresses the mind that is itself under intense psychological manipulation by both, the forces of socialization from birth, and Machiavellian social engineering by the “controllers outside the cave” (using Plato’s vernacular), and therefore, it being a self-referential problem, appears intractable using only empirical and experiential logic.

This question is therefore at the very heart of epistemology – the study of knowledge, how we know what we know. The totality of cognitive, subliminal, and primal forces diabolically manipulating the mind which remain entirely incognizant to the logical mind, known as psychological forces, compound the already self-referential problem. Twentieth century Austrian logician, mathematician and philosopher, Kurt Friedrich Gödel, demonstrated the intractability of such a problem if it is constrained to the dimension in which the problem is formulated, in his Incompleteness Theorem. One has to transcend to a higher dimension which contains the dimension of the problem being solved within it, in order to examine the lower dimension’s axioms for self-consistency and completeness. This is as true in mathematics and in immanent philosophy, as perhaps in practicably escaping the mental chains of Plato’s Cave. Perhaps we shall also uncover that dimension, a higher evolutionary consciousness which transcends the five senses and simplistic notions of piety, in this study in many parts, and come up with some sensible understanding of Islam’s role in addressing this question as well.

Before we can follow Mr. Spock’s trail of discovery of the Holy Qur’an, some further elaboration on the Mr. Spock metaphor is necessary for those unfamiliar with Star Trek and don’t immediately get the concept of the logic mind in contrast to the intuitive mind.


II

Why Mr. Spock Abstraction

Briefly introduced as an abstraction at the conclusion of Part-I as a lead into the analytical study of the Holy Qur’an, Mr. Spock is a fictional character from the 1960s television series fable called Star Trek. As fables usually are, this fable also carries within it many intriguing lessons. Mr. Spock is a useful literary device for purely logical and purely analytical exploration of any subject matter. That is so because this character possesses no intuitive understanding of, or susceptibility to, faith or to faith inducing artifacts including socialization, love, hate, emotional attachments, imagination, intuition, gut-feel, etc. Mr. Spock only goes by facts alone, and reasons by factual logic alone, in a very sterile methodical manner like a computer. He is strictly bound by causality which is empirical, and not fettered by imagination and intuition which perpetually remain beyond the bounds of causality.

Since Mr. Spock is entirely what might be classically called “left brained”, the spiritual aspects of the Holy Qur’an which often impact the human heart and imagination, the human soul, have no impact on him. This “left brained” metaphor for mathematically precise logical behavior requires some elaboration for readers unfamiliar with the anatomy of the human brain.

The human brain is principally in two distinguishable halves, the left and the right. For an undamaged brain which hasn’t re-mapped its functions to its non-damaged parts in the self-healing process of an injured brain, the left-half typically deals in the more concrete matters of logic, analytical reasoning, engineering, math and science. And the right-half typically deals in the abstract, creative, artistic, verbal, linguistic, imaginative, poetic, spiritual, insight that is intuition based, and intuition and inspiration related matters that are not necessarily bound by causality and empiricism.

Narrowly specialized scientists generally tend to have left-half brain dominance which is what makes many of them such dorks on spiritual matters but brilliant in scientific endeavors. Whereas narrowly specialized artists and touch-feely people generally tend to have right-half brain dominance which is what often makes some so hopelessly romantic, and some others great sensitive, imaginative poets. The rest of humanity is somewhere in between that spectrum, more or less on a bell curve.

The best scientists however, those not narrowly and overly specialized, well understand the role both imagination and intuition, i.e., what appears to be faith to others, plays in one’s scientific pursuits. As Charles Townes, 1964 Nobel physics laureate stated it: “Science wants to know the mechanism of the universe, religion the meaning. The two cannot be separated. Many scientists feel there is no place in research for discussion of anything that sounds mystical. But it is unreasonable to think we already know enough about the natural world to be confident about the totality of forces.” Abdus Salam, who shared the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics with Wienberg and Glashow, noted the role of faith in physics by first reciting verses 67:34 of Surah Al-Mulk from the Holy Qur’an on the Nobel podium in Stockholm, and stated: “This in effect is, the faith of all physicists; the deeper we seek, the more is our wonder excited, the more is the dazzlement for our gaze.” Arthur L. Schawlow, 1981 Nobel Prize in Physics observed: “It seems to me that when confronted with the marvels of life and the universe, one must ask why and not just how. The only possible answers are religious. … I find a need for God in the universe and in my own life.” And Max Planck the pioneer of modern physics, 1918 Nobel Prize in Physics, is famous for his insight (see full quote below): “It is impossible to make a clear cut between science, religion and art.”

All these Nobel laureates espoused something far greater than logic and reasoning aptitude of the left-brain. They also engaged their right-brain to fully employ their entire mind to perceive reality. Such broad-band scientists evidently style their life’s pursuits in accordance with what they perceive by imagination and faith. Since the domain is physics, it naturally lends itself to empiricism and measurement to confirm to others what one discovers running on faith and imagination. And then it becomes science. But when the domain is metaphysics which is not amenable to empiricism and measurements, demonstrating the truths one uncovers can be a difficult problem. This was demonstrated by Richard P. Feynman, 1965 Nobel Prize in Physics, by his out of body experiments in a sensory deprivation tank in which he experienced a state of mind and consciousness which no one else can reproduce, let alone measure. And this problem was also marvelously portrayed by Rudyard Kipling in his novel “Kim”. Once the lama discovers the River of the Arrow after a lifetime of quest, he is unable to explain its wondrousness to anyone, including to his most ardent disciple!

That is the general problem of subjectivity inherent in imagination and intuition, gut-feel and insight, the purview of the right-brain abstraction. The two halves together constitute human consciousness — the raison d’être for the human mind which enabled the human Captain Kirk to trump the logic-only Mr. Spock every single time in every Star Trek episode. We see that both literature and science understand the meta logic of the mind – that it is not constrained by logic, causality, or being able to measure something quantifiably in order to assert its existence, in its most heightened state of awareness.

This is obviously a first order model because human beings are clearly multifaceted and rather complex. Scientists have barely scratched the surface of the human mind even though the human brain has already been under the modern microscope for well over a hundred years, and even though much understanding has been gained on behavioral and cognitive psychology fronts which form the core basis of modern behavior control via perception management and propaganda. See the report Behavior Control: Architecture of Modern Propaganda for comprehending the degree of perception management achieved in today’s modernity where the difference between reality and the image of reality is akin to day and night.

All of Mr. Spock’s brain is what would be only the left-half brain in humans, multiplied by two to occupy the entire cranial space which is the same physical size as in humans.

Thus, using Spock to perform this narrow study is equivalent to using an IR filter in a camera to block out unwanted infra red wavelengths from being captured in the image and leaving its indelible artifacts upon the image, when one is specifically only interested in seeing what the image looks like in the narrow visible light spectrum. This is also called controlling the selectivity in engineering parlance. Mr. Spock’s limitation of not having what we humans have in the right-half brain, lends a natural selectivity switch for intellectually understanding the Holy Qur’an without interference from the spiritual right-half brain which typically drives matters pertinent to human faith.

This is only a useful abstraction, an intellectual tool, and not to be taken too literally – for first and foremost, the Holy Qur’an is a spiritual message to mankind: to believe in an unseen Creator (يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْغَيْبِ ) on faith alone! (verse 2:3)

The Holy Qur’an asks man to believe in several matters of Divine provenance which defy man’s analytical and experiential logic, such as Revelation, Prophethood, Resurrection, Day of Judgment, Hereafter, Heaven, Hell, etc. But these do not defy the spirit of man whose essence is clearly spiritual, i.e., non material. Empiricism indicates that man, despite the overt formulation of his material body, is not just a collection of atoms and chemical reactions which can be analytically reasoned about in a laboratory or in philosophy (despite the insistence of scientists & philosophers). Love, moral-sense, self-sacrifice, the language of the heart and its tribulations, all defy pat formulations of the materialist. The intellect which enslaves the heart often turns it into stone. (See Morality derived from the Intellect leads to Enslavement!) The twentieth century poet-philosopher of Muslims from the Indian subcontinent, “Sir”[2] Muhammad Iqbal, also known as Allama Iqbal (1877-1938), who surely only endeavored in his lovely poetry to free man from the shackles of all servitude to fellow man and to his enslaving intellectual ideologies, put it this way in a famous verse in Urdu:

صبح ازل یہ مجھ سے کہا جبرئیل نے

جو عقل کا غلام ہو ، وہ دل نہ کر قبول

‘Subh-e-Azal yeh Mujh Se Kaha Jibraeel Ne

Jo Aqal Ka Ghulam Ho Woh Dil Na Ker Qabool’

Gabriel on the Morning of Creation a piece of useful counsel gave:

Accept not the heart from a beloved whose mind enslaves it” (Allama Iqbal, Zarbe-e-Kaleem, source)

And Rabindranath Tagore put the limitations of one sided use of the intellect thusly:

A mind all logic is like a knife all blade. It makes the hand bleed that uses it.”

What gives a protective handle to this “knife all blade”, and breathes humanity into this collection of atoms and molecules called man, is a spiritual essence, and it is to that essence that the Holy Qur’an speaks for imparting spiritual guidance, to the هُدًى لِلْمُتَّقِينَ who believe in the unseen يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْغَيْبِ (verses 2:2-3 and onwards), while also inviting reflection with logic and analytical reasoning (e.g. Verses 67:34; 6:7679). Neither is sufficient by itself for human beings. We require both logic and reason (left-half brain) to understand and discern cognitively, and imagination and faith (right-half brain) to perceive spiritually. The left-brain parses the language of logic. The right-brain parses the language of the heart. In the Urdu language, the latter is called “sha-oor”, which in English is only loosely translated as “wisdom” or “insight”, and like “love”, another instinctual construct rooted in the language of the heart, it defies pat formulations.

To ignore either brain function is to deliberately be one-eyed when most are endowed with two for full depth perception. Such full spectrum apprehension with both eyes, the eye of logic and reason, and the eye of faith and intuition, enables thwarting cognitive as well as subliminal infiltration used for perception management and behavior control by the vile among mankind. It helps man perceive and react to reality the way reality actually is, rather than the way it is made manifest on the screen of Plato’s cave.

Abstractions like the one employed here therefore can help formulate and understand an otherwise intractable problem by breaking it down into logical components. This can be done recursively to each component until one gets down to a level at which one can completely (or at least satisfactorily) comprehend or manage it. However, as Max Planck sensibly wrote on the process of knowledge acquisition demonstrating that he well understood the role of both the left and right half brain abstractions in the service of the entire mind seeking knowledge:

Modern physics has taught us that the nature of any system cannot be discovered by dividing it into its component parts and studying each part by itself, since such a method often implies the loss of important properties of the system. We must keep our attention fixed on the whole and on the interconnection between the parts. … The same is true of our intellectual life. It is impossible to make a clear cut between science, religion and art. The whole is never equal simply to the sum of its various parts.” (Max Planck, Partly cited in Critique of Western Philosophy and Social Theory By David Sprintzen, pg. 76)

To engage such abstract analytical methods one requires a great deal of selectivity as a tool to enable focussing on matters pertinent to each level of abstraction. After the decomposition exercise is completed, reassembling the smaller well-understood pieces into an interconnected greater whole enables conquering the once insurmountable problem.

This additive reassembly is often termed superposition in engineering parlance. In the illustrative example, it is akin to removing the IR filter from the camera to see what the composite image finally looks like in the presence of the unseen-to-the-naked-eye infrared wavelengths.

Since human beings are a combination of BOTH, left and right half brain which perform different functions, it would be foolish to take a one-half brained understanding of any matter as the complete understanding of the matter when we actually possess two distinct halves to yield to us a much greater and richer understanding when we maximally use both halves. But it can be quite insightful to use each half independently, employing tools pertinent to each, and superpositioning the understanding gleaned separately from the two different halves into a greater whole.

It is pertinent to recall from Star Trek that the captain, James T. Kirk, is a human being who draws upon Mr. Spock’s analytical abilities as needed, but runs his ship as a human being, full of intuition, full of insights, gut feels, and other non-logical things which bedevil Mr. Spock. But doing so enables the ship’s captain to do far more than the solely logical Mr. Spock ever can. The interesting characteristic of Spock is that he does not deny nor oppose the understanding acquired via the right-half brain by the captain. He merely accepts that it is not within his limited capabilities, being a solely left-half brained creature, to fully comprehend the captain’s intuitions. Such logic of acceptance might shame the humility challenged who reduce human beings to the material lives of a cell!

So we use Mr. Spock just as Captain Kirk uses him for logical analysis, and no more.

Let’s now follow Mr. Spock’s trail of discovery on that aforementioned narrow question whose exploration is surprisingly very broad.


III

The Holy Qur’an is not a book of literature

The first thing Mr. Spock did before he began his study was to classify the genre of the Holy Qur’an as a law book, as a rule book, as a specification manual, as a specific message conveyed through a Messenger, rather than as a book of literature, fiction, poetry, philosophy, theosophy, mysticism, science, or history. Spock recognized the import of such a core classification. He understood that the Holy Qur’an was a message by its Author to its audience. It was like an important letter or cipher conveying a singular message. Therefore, accurate extraction and understanding of the message was essential in the exact context conveyed by the Author of the Message, and not in the context of the reader – or the reader can misunderstand and misinterpret the message or parts of the message, and believe and act in ways not intended by the Author. And Mr. Spock of course was embarking on his study of the Holy Qur’an in order to learn exactly what the Author of the Holy Qur’an had specifically intended to convey in that Message as opposed to how he might interpret it on his own fancy.

Being of logical and sensible scientific acumen, Mr. Spock well understood the difference between reading literature which is amenable to personal interpretation and localized understanding such as what does a poem or philosophy mean to a human being or to a culture (in their own particular circumstance), and reading a rules and regulations manual delivered in a particular cultural context, or a design specification manual in a particular technology, where there is no room for personal and localized interpretation otherwise one gets it wrong and fails the interoperability and system integration tests. One has to comprehend exactly what the author has stated and meant, both in the letter and the spirit of the specification in the totality of the system specification.

Imagine trying to interpret the DMV driver’s manual for the rules of the road, or the income tax code by one’s own fancy. It is empirical that in the latter cases one endeavors to exactly understand what the relevant authority has meant to convey in its own, often convoluted, legalese language of expression and cultural context, or one does not pass the driver’s license test and gets a tax audit, respectively! Foreigners coming to the United States for instance, have to learn English and the road rules and road signs which are in English, in order to pass the DMV driving test which is particular to each of its fifty states. No Pakistani can try to interpret these unfamiliar traffic rules in his or her own Pakistani cultural context – which would be absurd and rather hazardous in any case if one is driving in the streets of America.

Even though Mr. Spock is left brained and does not interpret based on personal inclination by definition, doing his due diligence to address the posed question, he classified the Holy Qur’an as not open to personal interpretation.

Instead, Mr. Spock deemed the Holy Qur’an akin to a cipher which must be deciphered into a singular plaintext. Correct deciphering entails exactly recovering the plaintext message which its Author has meant to convey through the cipher.

The result of this classification has far reaching consequences for the question posed at the top. And this is the first commonsense conclusion Mr. Spock reached – without even opening the Holy Qur’an.

Knowing that human beings are generally prone to the right-half brain interfering via personal subjectivity in even logical matters, he logically deduces that people would also try to interpret the Holy Qur’an according to their own proclivities and socialization contexts just as they might a fine book of literature or poetry.

That instead of first judiciously trying to comprehend the principles which the Author of the Holy Qur’an had laid down in its specification in both letter and in spirit (as when using the DMV manual for instance to pass the driver’s license test) and then applying those principles to one’s own epoch (just as one might apply the DMV traffic rule book to one’s own specific road conditions), the believers of the religion of Islam would be naturally inclined to interpret the Holy Qur’an in their own respective socialization contexts.

And therefore, when they did that, they would each understand something different from reading or hearing the same text and that would explain the empiricism of Muslims being always divided on the meanings of the same verses of the Holy Qur’an ever since the demise of the Messenger of the Author of the Holy Qur’an who had acted as its Exemplar.

This condition is akin to different human beings reading the DMV driver’s handbook interpretively and coming away with a different understanding of the traffic laws because no DMV inspector is sitting next to them in the car and being their exemplar for every emerging driving condition. Wouldn’t that create chaos and mayhem on the road?

The same chaos is seen on the spiritual road of Islam in the mayhem of sectarian divides and mis-interpretations when people mis-classify a spiritual specification book and sub-consciously or deliberately read it as fine subjective literature because they are taught: read and see what the Holy Qur’an means to you!

Imagine if the DMV inspector said that to the learner waiting patiently for his turn to pick up the DMV rule book to pass the driving test: here take this DMV driver’s manual and see what it means to you! The burden is always upon the prospective driver to exactly learn what the DMV driver’s manual intends to teach, and not what it might mean to him in his flights of fancy as a race car maniac.


The Holy Qur’an is not primarily a written book

The first thing Mr. Spock discovers upon checking out the Holy Qur’an from his space ship’s library is that there is no name of author imprinted on the cover page of the Holy Qur’an. Since a name is always a proper noun, Spock decides to call its author, Author of the Holy Qur’an, or just Author (with a capitalized A).

The next thing Spock discovers is that the Holy Qur’an is really an aural tape, an oral recitation in Arabic, and its medium of ingestion is primarily through the ears. He is initially delighted because he has big pointed ears. So he quickly learned the Qur’anic Arabic from the computer library to the point of understanding the Arabic language (but not the lingua franca of the day, بِلِسَانِ قَوْمِهِۦ , in which the Holy Qur’an was made manifest as a Book – Mr. Spock hasn’t as yet discovered the pertinence of that lingua franca in this specialized study). After mastering Classical Arabic grammar, syntax, morphology, Qur’anic phonology (styles of recitation), and formal semantics of nuanced words and idioms quickly (remember his left-half brain is twice the physical size of humans and thus carries an exponential higher capacity to learn a language formally), he listened intently to the entire Holy Qur’an. It made no soulful impression on him (as expected, remember he has no right-half brain). So Mr. Spock delved directly into its contents.

But since Spock was used to reading specification manuals with his eyes-brain combination rather than ears-brain combination – despite large ears – he decided to focus on the written version of the Holy Qur’an so that he could easily sift back and forth as he would a science encyclopedia, but much more complicated in the case of the Holy Qur’an.

The Holy Qur’an, he discovered to his consternation, did not read contiguously for a topic like every other specification manual he had ever read – and being a well-traveled man of space, he had read most works of science as well as literature of not just mankind but also of many other beings in the galaxy. His captain usually quoted from the Bible and Milton, and Mr. Spock was quite familiar with their contents, if not their appreciation. Reading the Holy Qur’an as a Book and digesting its information wasn’t going to be as straightforward as Spock had imagined, having given himself only a few hours for the examination – which now stretched into days.


The Holy Qur’an is complicated to understand

While reading the Holy Qur’an sequentially, Mr. Spock discovers that the context of the verses, such as which verses are related to which verse, the antecedents and the precedents, unless the subject matter is explicit and obvious, is impossible to determine from the text of the Holy Qur’an. The Holy Qur’an does not carry the context for all the verses within it, nor the order in which the verses were revealed by the Author of the Holy Qur’an to His Messenger to convey to the people, and nor on what occasions and in which local contexts did they apply and to whom did they apply.

Therefore, to infer the general meaning of a topic without having the local context is not only subject to error, but can lead to multiple interpretations. As the causality among the various verses is impossible to ascertain with certainty in all cases from the Holy Qur’an except where it might be patently obvious, it also introduces error in understanding the full import by not always knowing all the verses and their full contexts pertinent to a topic. Mr. Spock also discovers that nor is it possible to determine the meaning of many of the allegorical verses, nor always categorically know which verse is metaphorical and which categorical.

Mr. Spock uncovers that verse 3:7 of Surah Aal-‘Imran (quoted in the Introduction above and reproduced in the table below with several translations) even confirms that no one may know their full meaning apart from the Author of the Holy Qur’an. And that none will grasp that Message except men of understanding ( أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ ). The implication of that Qur’anic statement made Mr. Spock ponder: Why have verses in the Holy Qur’an when the Author asserts that the purpose of its “Scripture” is guidance to “bring forth mankind from darkness unto light .. unto the path of the Mighty, the Owner of Praise,” (see verse 14:1 quoted above), but which none but the Author Himself will understand: “but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah”?

Mr. Spock pushes that puzzle onto his puzzle evaluation stack[3] which is steadily growing.

The puzzle obviously created a logical absurdity for Mr. Spock’s rational mind. Perhaps, Mr. Spock reasoned, an alternate parsing of the verse with different emphasis and punctuation might make more rational sense for the benefit of a Left-brained scientist. The alternate parsing of the verse fragment of 3:7 leads to an entirely different semantics as captured in the table below.

He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are allegorical.

But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings,

but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah [,] And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge[;]

[they] say: ‘We believe in the Book; the whole of it is from our Lord:’ and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding.” (Surah Aal-‘Imran 3:7, Tr. Abdullah Yusuf Ali, alternate punctuation in [brackets])

هُوَ الَّذِي أَنْزَلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ مِنْهُ آيَاتٌ مُحْكَمَاتٌ هُنَّ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ وَأُخَرُ مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ ۖ

فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ زَيْغٌ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ مَا تَشَابَهَ مِنْهُ ابْتِغَاءَ الْفِتْنَةِ وَابْتِغَاءَ تَأْوِيلِهِ ۗ

وَمَا يَعْلَمُ تَأْوِيلَهُ إِلَّا اللَّهُ ۗ وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ

يَقُولُونَ آمَنَّا بِهِ كُلٌّ مِنْ عِنْدِ رَبِّنَا ۗ وَمَا يَذَّكَّرُ إِلَّا أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ

Caption Alternate parsing of verse fragment 3:7 Surah Aal-‘Imran with slightly different grammatically correct punctuation in [brackets]. It changes the sense entirely. The fragment beginning with “Say:” is now read with an implied [they] to be grammatically correct (as done by Ali Quli Qara’i in his translation for which it is stated: “the translation is based on Hafs’ version of the reading of ‘Asim,”). In the absence of explicit punctuation, the recitation style, i.e., Qira’t, determines implicit punctuation, or the boundary that makes coherent sense, and since there are at least Seven accepted Qira’at that have been handed down from antiquity, it leaves the door open to interpretation as to the punctuation that most accurately captures the Divine intent. Since the oral recitation, Qira’t, came before the written text, which oral recitation, or reading style, of the same Qur’anic words defines the correct punctuation, and hence the correct deciphering of the verse? That creates an ambiguity ab initio. Ironically, the verse that is itself defining the category of مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ , metaphorical verses that have hidden meanings which can sow discord by the perverse hearted by self-interpretation and needless argumentation, itself appears to be a مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ when it comes to describing who alone besides Allah will understand these hidden meanings! Thus the caution contained in the verse: “But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings”, applies to its own parsing as well! (Ali Quli Qara’i is courtesy of http://imamreza.net/eng/imamreza.php?id=1389 ; see translator’s preface: http://cthq.ir/translations/english/preface.pdf )

He it is Who hath revealed unto thee (Muhammad) the Scripture wherein are clear revelations – they are the substance of the Book – and others (which are) allegorical. But those in whose hearts is doubt pursue, forsooth, that which is allegorical seeking (to cause) dissension by seeking to explain it. None knoweth its explanation save Allah. And those who are of sound instruction say: We believe therein; the whole is from our Lord; but only men of understanding really heed. (Marmaduke Pickthall)

He has sent down this Book which contains some verses that are categorical and basic to the Book, and others allegorical. But those who are twisted of mind look for verses metaphorical, seeking deviation and giving to them interpretations of their own; but none knows their meaning except God; and those who are steeped in knowledge affirm: “We believe in them as all of them are from the Lord.” But only those who have wisdom understand. (Ahmed Ali)

It is He Who has revealed the Book to you. Some of its verses are absolutely clear and lucid, and these are the core of the Book. Others are ambiguous. Those in whose hearts there is perversity, always go about the part which is ambiguous, seeking mischief and seeking to arrive at its meaning arbitrarily, although none knows their true meaning except Allah. On the contrary, those firmly rooted in knowledge say: ‘We believe in it; it is all from our Lord alone.’ No one derives true admonition from anything except the men of understanding. (Abul Ala Maududi)

It is He who sent down upon thee the Book, wherein are verses clear that are the Essence of the Book, and others ambiguous. As for those in whose hearts is swerving, they follow the ambiguous part, desiring dissension, and desiring its interpretation; and none knows its interpretation, save only God. And those firmly rooted in knowledge say, ‘We believe in it; all is from our Lord’; yet none remembers, but men possessed of minds.
(Arthur John Arberry)

He it is who has bestowed upon thee from on high this divine writ, containing messages that are clear in and by themselves – and these are the essence of the divine writ – as well as others that are allegorical. Now those whose hearts are given to swerving from the truth go after that part of the divine writ which has been expressed in allegory, seeking out [what is bound to create] confusion, and seeking [to arrive at] its final meaning [in an arbitrary manner]; but none save God knows its final meaning. Hence, those who are deeply rooted in knowledge say: “We believe in it; the whole [of the divine writ] is from our Sustainer – albeit none takes this to heart save those who are endowed with insight. (Muhammad Asad)

He it is who hath sent down unto thee the Book, wherein some verses are firmly constructed they are the mother of the Book: and others consimilar. But those in whose hearts is and deviation follow that which is consimilar therein, seeking discord and seeking to misinterpret the same whereas none knoweth the interpretation thereof a save Allah. And the firmly- grounded in knowledge Say: we believe therein, the whole is from our Lord. And none receiveth admonition save men of understanding. (Abdul Majid Daryabadi)

It is He who has sent down to you the Book. Parts of it are definitive verses, which are the mother of the Book, while others are metaphorical. As for those in whose hearts is deviance, they pursue what is metaphorical in it, courting temptation and courting its interpretation. But no one knows its interpretation except Allah and those firmly grounded in knowledge; they say, ‘We believe in it; all of it is from our Lord.’ And none takes admonition except those who possess intellect. (Ali Quli Qara’i)

He it is Who has revealed the Book to you; some of its verses are decisive, they are the basis of the Book, and others are allegorical; then as for those in whose hearts there is perversity they follow the part of it which is allegorical, seeking to mislead and seeking to give it (their own) interpretation. but none knows its interpretation except Allah, and those who are firmly rooted in knowledge say: We believe in it, it is all from our Lord; and none do mind except those having understanding. (Muhammad Ali Habib Shakir, House of Habib, Pakistan — Derived from Maulana Muhammad Ali, MMA 1917 PDF, verse is labeled 3:6 ; Muhammad Hussain Tabatabai, uses MMA 1917 PDF in the English version of his tafsir)

وہی ہے جس نے تجھ پر کتاب اتاری اس میں بعض آیتیں محکم ہیں (جن کے معنیٰ واضح ہیں) وہ کتاب کی اصل ہیں اور دوسری مشابہ ہیں (جن کے معنیٰ معلوم یا معین نہیں) سو جن لوگو ں کے دل ٹیڑھے ہیں وہ گمراہی پھیلانے کی غرض سے اور مطلب معلوم کرنے کی غرض سے متشابہات کے پیچھے لگتے ہیں اور حالانکہ ان کا مطلب سوائے الله کے اور کوئی نہیں جانتا اور مضبوط علم والے کہتے ہیں ہمارا ان چیزوں پر ایمان ہے یہ سب ہمارے رب کی طرف سے ہیں اور نصیحت وہی لوگ مانتے ہیں جو عقلمند ہیں

(Ahmed Ali)

وہی خدا ہے، جس نے یہ کتاب تم پر نازل کی ہے اِس کتاب میں دو طرح کی آیات ہیں: ایک محکمات، جو کتاب کی اصل بنیاد ہیں اور دوسری متشابہات جن لوگوں کے دلو ں میں ٹیڑھ ہے، وہ فتنے کی تلاش میں ہمیشہ متشابہات ہی کے پیچھے پڑے رہتے ہیں اور اُن کو معنی پہنانے کی کوشش کیا کرتے ہیں، حالانکہ ان کا حقیقی مفہوم اللہ کے سوا کوئی نہیں جانتا بخلا ف اِس کے جو لوگ علم میں پختہ کار ہیں، وہ کہتے ہیں کہ ہمارا اُن پر ایمان ہے، یہ سب ہمارے رب ہی کی طرف سے ہیں اور سچ یہ ہے کہ کسی چیز سے صحیح سبق صرف دانشمند لوگ ہی حاصل کرتے ہیں
(Abul Ala Maududi)

اس نے آپ پروہ کتاب نازل کی ہے جس میں سے کچھ آیتیں لَحکم اور واضح ہیں جو اصل کتاب ہیں اور کچھ متشابہ ہیں اب جن کے دلوں میں کجی ہے وہ ا ن ہی متشابہات کے پیچھے لگ جاتے ہیں تاکہ فتنہ برپا کریں اور من مانی تاویلیں کریں حالانکہ اس کی تاویل کا حکم صرف خدا کو ہے اور انہیں جو علم میں رسوخ رکھنے والے ہیں جن کا کہنا یہ ہے کہ ہم اس کتاب پر ایمان رکھتے ہیں اور یہ سب کی سب محکم و متشابہ ہمارے پروردگار ہی کی طرف سے ہے اور یہ بات سوائے صاحبانِ عقل کے کوئی نہیں سمجھ سکتا ہے
(Syed Zeeshan Haider Jawadi)

وہ وہی ہے جس نے آپ پر ایسی کتاب نازل کی جس میں کچھ آیتیں تو محکم ہیں۔ جو کتاب کی اصل و بنیاد ہیں اور کچھ متشابہ ہیں اب جن لوگوں کے دلوں میں کجی (ٹیڑھ) ہے۔ تو وہ فتنہ برپا کرنے اور من مانی تاویلیں کرنے کی خاطر متشابہ آیتوں کے پیچھے پڑے رہتے ہیں۔ حالانکہ خدا اور ان لوگوں کے سوا جو علم میں مضبوط و پختہ کار ہیں اور کوئی ان کی تاویل (اصل معنی) کو نہیں جانتا۔ جو کہتے ہیں کہ ہم اس (کتاب) پر ایمان لائے ہیں یہ سب (آیتیں) ہمارے پروردگار کی طرف سے ہیں اور نصیحت کا اثر صرف عقل والے ہی لیتے ہیں۔

(Ayatollah Muhammad Hussain Najafi)

Caption Various translations of Surah Aal-‘Imran 3:7. Is it merely a coincidence that all Sunni translators quoted in the table without exception employ the first parsing, that only Allah knows the hidden meanings of مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ ; whereas the Shia translators (Jawadi, Najafi, Qara’i whose translations are their own work) employ the second parsing, that in addition to Allah, the وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ also know the hidden meanings! (Tabatabai’s and Shakir’s English translation are not originally theirs but closely follow MMA 1917; Tabatabai’s tafsir, while employing MMA 1917 translation in its online English version, argues for the second parsing consistent with his Shia orientation) But which of the two is the correct parsing outside of one’s socialization bias, that leads to the correct singular deciphering of the verse? Both parsings cannot be simultaneously correct as they are conflicting and alter the meaning drastically – it is one or the other! The first parsing creates an absurdity. The second parsing asserts there exists a group of persons وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ who also know the hidden meaning of the Holy Qur’an on par with Allah. Observe that a simple punctuation emphasis can change what is understood from the verse. It immediately opens the door to argumentative interpretation (in this case exactly along the sectarian divide) – precisely the warning issued in the same verse not to pursue! What’s more, the last fragment of the verse asserts that none but those with any brains, أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ , the men of understanding, the intelligent people who have any commonsense, صاحبانِ عقل, will comprehend this matter!!! (Translations are from the electronic versions at tanzil.net/trans/ ; MMA 1917 PDF is courtesy of aaiil.org ; Tabatabai is courtesy of shiasource.com/al-mizan/ ; Ali Quli Qara’i is courtesy of islamawakened.com/Quran/3/7/default.htm )

Using the alternate logical parsing in the above table with only a punctuating semicolon added, leads to an outright different and conflicting semantics for the pertinent verse segment. It now includes some unnamed persons who are “firmly grounded in knowledge” ( الرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ ), transliteration Ar-Rasikhoon-fil-ilm, who also know the hidden meaning of the allegorical verses at the same level of understanding as the Author of the Holy Qur’an Himself.

Following the logical trail of that revised semantics opens up the obvious (largely academic) question: are these unnamed persons exclusively the Author’s Messengers and “those vested in authority over you” (see 4:59 below) who are made “firmly grounded in knowledge” so that they may discharge their duties as guides of the people inerrantly, or can anyone become “Ar-Rasikhoon-fil-ilm” by their own striving of due diligence? That question remains unanswered in the verse itself for the second parsing which naturally creates that question ab initio.

Which parsing of the two correctly decodes the cipher text? An irrational but grammatically correct parsing in which the Author writes a specification for all mankind to follow but which only He alone shall understand? Or, the more logical also grammatically correct parsing that some other unnamed persons also understand its hidden meanings?

In the absence of explicit punctuation, the punctuation is determined entirely by the Qira’t, or what makes logical sense. Since no reference decoding is available, obviously, as the Messenger who brought the Message is no longer present to adjudicate the parsing, how is one to know that one has decoded the verse correctly? A simple punctuation emphasis can drastically change what is understood from the verse!

Interestingly, the question itself only has academic merit long after the actual epoch of the Messenger. Its relevance for establishing the Messenger’s supremacy over his followers, and thus the reason for command obedience authority delegated to him in verse 4:59 as the inerrant Messenger of Surah An-Najm 53:1-5 (see Part-III), also being the لرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ who intimately knew the hidden meanings of the verses of the Holy Qur’an, would surely have been of immediate pertinence. By extension, it would also have been pertinent in establishing the authority of وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ over other Muslims.

Ironically, the verse that is itself defining the category of مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ , verses that have hidden meanings which can sow discord by the perverse hearted by needless argumentation upon its meanings, itself appears to be a مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ when it comes to describing who alone besides Allah will understand these hidden meanings! Thus the caution contained in the verse: “But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings,”, applies to its own parsing as well!

The above table capturing several translations however empirically validates the primary thesis of this analysis. It is evident that even a mere semicolon emphasis is placed in accordance with one’s socialization bias to always support one’s own socialized interpretation! Otherwise, the translations of 3:7 above would not so cleanly fall on the Sunni-Shia dogmatic divide with such precision. Now would it?

Principally, verse 3:7 Surah Aal-‘Imran is a defining verse in the Holy Qur’an. The Book is explaining its own contents. The verse identifies two main category of verses in the Holy Qur’an, آيَاتٌ مُحْكَمَاتٌ , the foundational verses whose meaning is plain and straightforward. The verse proclaims that these constitute the heart of the Holy Qur’an, أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ . And وَأُخَرُ مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ , the allegorical verses whose meaning is not so straightforward. The verse proclaims that their layered meaning is in fact hidden, and known only to the Author. And, in its alternate logical parsing, their hidden meaning is known to وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ as well. Mr. Spock has decided to carry both parsing in his head for a while until matters become clearer during the study and perhaps automatically resolve themselves as either knowable, or unknowable.

What Mr. Spock found particularly fascinating in this self-description of the Holy Qur’an, is the cold prediction made by the Author of the Holy Qur’an that those with perversity in their heart, or from sheer ignorance, will pursue the latter, ( آيَاتٌ مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ ), deliberately sowing discord instead of harmony. But “those who are firmly grounded in knowledge” will not fall for this trick for they either understand the hidden meaning of the verses exactly and don’t need to speculate (the second parsing), or accept whatever is in the Book and accept it whether or not they fully understand it (the first parsing), and yet, “none will grasp the Message except men of understanding.”

Thus a significant source of misunderstanding and misreading of the Holy Qur’an is made known by the Holy Qur’an itself! Even in the very verse that is itself describing that fact!

How many mortal minds in the public who read this Book, wondered Mr. Spock, would be “firmly grounded in knowledge” ( وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ ), and “men of understanding” (أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ )?

Why put such tall prerequisites in a Book which its Author asserts is “as a guide to mankind,” ( هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ ), to “bring forth mankind from darkness unto light” (see verses 2:185 and 14:1 quoted above)?

Why posit such a high degree of mental acuity: “men of understanding” (أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ ), objective learning: “firmly grounded in knowledge” ( وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ ), and spiritual enlightenment: “a guidance unto those who ward off (evil)” ( هُدًى لِلْمُتَّقِينَ ) (see verses 3:7 and 2:2 above), as predicates in order to fathom the guide which is even addressed as “an admonition to all creatures” (see verse 25:1 below) rather than being just a guide to all mankind (as in 2:185 above)?

It is, after all, a guidance from the Self-proclaimed “Lord of the Worlds” (see verse 56:80 below and also 1:2) Who, by definition, understands all matters including all that which can confuse people.

Therefore, it naturally follows to ask that why[4] not make its understanding straightforward so that anyone with even an iota of brain cells can simply comprehend the Holy Qur’an, like say the Ten Commandments? Comprehension alone does not of course mean people will follow virtuous platitudes, as had amply been demonstrated by the pious Jews in the conquest of Palestine, lamented Mr. Spock, despite possessing a very easy to understand moral guidance given them, it even being carved in stone tablet to prevent its obliteration.

But making the Book difficult to comprehend for the ordinary peoples, and turning it into a cipher which only the qualified people as quoted above will comprehend, needlessly creates an order of magnitude new obstacles.

For one, it naturally seeds different misunderstandings of the same text depending upon the intelligence level, bent of mind, and socialization biases of the people – none of whom are able to correctly decipher the cipher text anyway since none possess the reference plaintext to objectively adjudicate their deciphered text against. Thus everyone and anyone is free to proclaim their own version the most authentic. This cipher therefore becomes a great system for seeding natural diversity of beliefs in which everyone can arguably stand their ground. Their natural inclination afterwards is to damn everyone else.

Second, statistics alone favor a misunderstanding of the Message of the Holy Qur’an. Mr. Spock recalled the favorite lament of interstellar-sociologists about the war-faring indoctrinated masses of human beings who had refused to evolve in several millennia, and remained under the unrestrained control of Machiavelli despite the never-ending stream of prophets that its literatures in many human languages proclaimed to have visited them:

‘at best less than 2% of the people think, about 8% think they think, and 90% wouldn’t be caught dead thinking!’

Mr. Spock further notes that the Author of the Holy Qur’an in verse 4:59 of Surah an-Nisaa’ had delegated His command Authority to His Messenger and Exemplar at the same precedence level of obedience as He demanded for Himself:

O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you.

If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if ye do believe in Allah and the Last Day: That is best, and most suitable for final determination.” (Surah an-Nisaa’ 4:59 )

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ ۖ

فَإِنْ تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَحْسَنُ تَأْوِيلًا

Caption Verse 4:59 of Surah an-Nisaa’, the Verse of Obedience, itself opening the door to sectarian schism, the source of fundamental bifurcation between Sunni and Shia sects during the Muslim expansion into world dominating empires after the demise of the Messenger. The Verse of Obedience specifically underwrites the Principle of Inerrancy as a requirement for holding any Apostolic office that demands obedience from the flock.

But what the Messenger had conveyed to his people based on this divinely delegated authority and which was made binding upon the people by the Author of the Holy Qur’an, had not been recorded in the Holy Qur’an apart from the fact of this delegation of authority!

For example, in the above quoted verse, who are “those charged with authority among you” as the extension of the Exemplar, are not unambiguously identified by name in the Holy Qur’an.

However, Mr. Spock’s keen mind does note that a great deal of subtext is implicit in that most succinct verse, the Verse of Obedience. It specifically underwrites the Principle of Inerrancy as a requirement for holding any Apostolic office that demands obedience from the flock. This is examined in more depth in Part-III.

Mr. Spock is perplexed by the fact that only the Author’s own message is preserved in the Holy Qur’an, and not those articulated by the Messenger, even though the Messenger, by the accurate grammatical parsing of verse 4:59, has equal command obedience authority to the Author. Therefore, whatever the Messenger of the Author gives to his people as guidance, doctrine, or verdict, or explains to them as Exemplar of the Holy Qur’an, obeying it has the same obligation as if the Author Himself issued the directive in the Holy Qur’an.

While the Exemplar was living among his peoples, his followers were surely informed of all the contextual matters pertaining to adequate comprehension of all آيَاتٌ مُحْكَمَاتٌ , the foundational verses in the Holy Qur’an, such as who are the persons identified as “those charged with authority among you” to whom, evidently, by the logic of the verse, command obedience is as obligatory as to the Prophet of Islam himself.

Mr. Spock is baffled. The Muslim flock is ordered to Obey the Messenger in all that the Messenger conveys, but these articles of obedience, and exponentiation of the full context of the Qur’anic verses, are not recorded in the Holy Qur’an by the Author of the Holy Qur’an.

How are the succeeding generations to know? From the doubtful hands of fallible scribes and partisan narratives of imperial history? This seemed very illogical to Mr. Spock. It created a primary paradox for a Book which claimed to have “no doubt” and “perfected” (as per verses 2:2 and 5:3 quoted earlier).

Mr. Spock realized that a perpetual open-ended gaping hole is left in the Qur’anic guidance system to mankind. Spock wondered if that was calculated, to introduce deliberate ambiguousness in the specification, just as the presence of آيَاتٌ مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ , the allegorical verses described in verse 3:7 quoted earlier, was deliberate in order to mislead those with perversity in their heart: “But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah.”


Ambiguity: A Design Objective Of The Author Of The Holy Qur’an

What could be the Author’s motive to offer such an ambiguous specification to mankind which could deliberately mislead them? Is it perhaps part of the process of spiritual ascendance in Islam, pondered Mr. Spock at the illogic of an ambiguous specification which proclaimed itself to be universal guidance to mankind, by which man is supposed to elevate himself (and herself) with the help of divine guidance to those who are cleansed of heart, to the status of Ashraf-ul-Maklooqat, the best in creation? For the verse fragment 4:59 continues: “If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if ye do believe in Allah and the Last Day: That is best, and most suitable for final determination.”

This appears convoluted (at least on the surface). First, the specification is deliberately made ambiguous permitting differences to arise. Then it is noted that it is okay if you disagree – “There is no compulsion in religion.” (2:256 quoted above) – just refer the matter to the Author or His Messenger, or to those unnamed (وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ ) who are charged with authority among you because you are commanded to obey them. While simultaneously reminding the flock the oft repeated admonishment of the Day of Accountability so that they would take heed not to fall victim to personal whims and fancies, and strictly accept, and follow, whatever is given to them by the Messenger. Since the Messenger is no longer living in subsequent epochs, that additional directive of verse 4:59 can logically only mean: refer all matters of disagreement, or confusion, to Allah, or, to “those charged with authority among you” (if they are still living) because they are a divine extension of the authority of the Messenger if obedience is commanded to them at the same command obedience level as the Messenger.

Look closely at the convolution. In the first part of 4:59, the Author lays out command obedience unequivocally to three items: to Himself, to His Messenger, and to the أُولِي الْأَمْرِ . There are no options and caveats to that command directive. It is an absolute and complete command. The next part of 4:59 states that if people don’t like or dispute any matter, implying, including any matter that the Prophet has decided, including the appointment of أُولِي الْأَمْرِ , to refer the matter back to the Messenger, or to the Author (meaning to the Holy Qur’an). But what if the Messenger has passed away and his designated أُولِي الْأَمْرِ are still living? Then, the dispute must logically be referred back to the أُولِي الْأَمْرِ as they are now standing in place of the Prophet as his designated Exemplars of the Holy Qur’an. They are empowered to resolve any dispute, including about themselves (if the Holy Qur’an does not resolve it) because obedience to the أُولِي الْأَمْرِ is also made mandatory in the first part of 4:59. One cannot escape the powerful logic – the convolution not withstanding! The word of the أُولِي الْأَمْرِis binding, their dispute resolution is final, even if the dispute among others is about themselves! The word of أُولِي الْأَمْرِabout any matter, including about themselves, is as veracious as the Messenger’s word about any matter, including about himself. Only under that logic, as any sensible person with an iota of reasoning ability will immediately perceive, can the Author of the Holy Qur’an demand command obedience to both the Messenger and the أُولِي الْأَمْرِ on par with Himself as he does in 4:59.

It cannot be any other way because the semantic logic of the verse can be no other way. When the Messenger is living, his word trumps the word of all others (including the أُولِي الْأَمْرِwere the two to ever disagree – and that’s impossible as they both obey the same Author). When the Messenger is no longer living, the word of أُولِي الْأَمْرِtrumps the word of all others in exactly the same way as the Messenger’s did when he was alive! Mr. Spock reflected on the density of the Author’s logic in such a pithy statement – a remarkable characteristic of sophisticated law that always requires jurists and judges to parse down to their logic but which often befuddles the common mind.

This is perhaps why, realized Mr. Spock, the Author repeatedly admonishes in the Holy Qur’an a people who might have been constantly challenging the Messenger’s decisions when these decisions went against their narrow acumen or narrow self-interests. For there is no other logical reason for such repeated admonishment to obey the Messenger and to not dispute his decisions, unless there is need of such admonishments. Mr. Spock found yet another instance of the Author’s admonishment, more plain than before, more shocking than before, addressing the “Believer” (لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ ) this time:

It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path.” (Surah Al-Ahzaab, 33:36 )

وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى ٱللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُۥٓ أَمْرًا أَن يَكُونَ لَهُمُ ٱلْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ ۗ وَمَن يَعْصِ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُۥ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَٰلًا مُّبِينًا

Caption Verse 33:36 Surah Al-Ahzaab, the most shocking admonition to the companions, believing man and woman, of the Messenger! Why is this admonition even present in the Holy Qur’an – unless there was a need for it in some circumstance?

That warning of 33:36 is remarkable. The Author, directly addressing the Muslim contemporaries of the Messenger and not the unbelievers or the hypocrites, unequivocally calls those Believing man and Believing woman who dispute and disobey the decisions of the Messenger on any matter, as being “on a clearly wrong Path”! To Mr. Spock’s sociologist’s mind, the verse is prima facie evidence of undercurrents among these contemporary Muslim followers of the Messenger, including those who actually Believe in his Apostleship (implied by the words “momineen” and “mominaat” in the verse), as not always entirely happy with the Messenger’s proclamations. They are being admonished emphatically in 33:36. Who exactly these people “on a clearly wrong Path” are remain unnamed in the Holy Qur’an, just as who exactly “those charged with authority among you” remain unnamed. One is deemed clearly on the wrong path to the point of condemnation by the Author, and one is deemed on the right path to the point of commanding absolute obedience akin to obedience to the Author, and no identifications by name.

Furthermore, the Author, who introduced the Holy Qur’an as “A Revelation from the Lord of the Worlds”, also asserts that it has made Its definitive reference handbook available to all peoples, for all times, “In a Book well-guarded”:

That this is indeed a Qur’an Most Honourable, (56:77)

إِنَّهُ لَقُرْآنٌ كَرِيمٌ

In a Book well-guarded, (78)

فِي كِتَابٍ مَكْنُونٍ

Which none shall touch but those who are clean (purified) (79)

لَا يَمَسُّهُ إِلَّا الْمُطَهَّرُونَ

A Revelation from the Lord of the Worlds. (80)

تَنْزِيلٌ مِنْ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

Is it such a Message that ye would hold in light esteem?” (Surah Al-Waqia, 56:81)

أَفَبِهَٰذَا الْحَدِيثِ أَنْتُمْ مُدْهِنُونَ

Caption Holy Qur’an Surah Al-Waqia, 56:77-81

Such a momentous conflict resolution protocol to boot; such power devolved upon “those charged with authority among you”; and yet, these أُولِي الْأَمْرِ go un-named in the Holy Qur’an. What a cipher! Or more straightforwardly, perhaps these verses are not pertinent to any other time and place other than that epoch where their identities are naturally known to the people in question. Sensible, but is the latter what the Holy Qur’an intends to teach? How to know that one has deciphered its cipher correctly?

Mr. Spock’s ever vigilant mind observes that the Holy Qur’an refers to itself as al-Furqaan, الْفُرْقَانَ , the criterion by which to judge and adjudicate the truth or falsity of all matters, and all propositions, pertaining to Islam; and that it also refers to itself as a Guide, a Mercy, that explains all things:

Blessed is He who sent down the criterion to His servant, that it may be an admonition to all creatures;” (Surah al-Furqaan 25:1)

تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي نَزَّلَ الْفُرْقَانَ عَلَىٰ عَبْدِهِ لِيَكُونَ لِلْعَالَمِينَ نَذِيرًا

Ramadhan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur’an, as a guide to mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (Between right and wrong). (Surah Al-Baqara verse fragment 2:185)

شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أُنزِلَ فِيهِ ٱلْقُرْءَانُ هُدًى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَٰتٍ مِّنَ ٱلْهُدَىٰ وَٱلْفُرْقَانِ ۚ

and We have sent down to thee the Book explaining all things, a Guide, a Mercy, and Glad Tidings to Muslims.” (Surah An-Nahl verse fragment 16:89)

وَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكَ ٱلْكِتَٰبَ تِبْيَٰنًا لِّكُلِّ شَىْءٍ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً وَبُشْرَىٰ لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ

Caption Verses proclaiming that the Holy Qur’an is a criterion, Al-Furqaan

Therefore, Mr. Spock reasons based on the unequivocal assertion of these verses, that the gaping holes which he had identified as an impediment to understanding the Holy Qur’an, indeed appeared deliberate, and by design. They were certainly not inadvertent. They just had to be deciphered correctly by reasoning correctly. Their resolution, if it is of pertinence as Guidance to man that he must become aware of, is also present in the Holy Qur’an in the foundational verses, آيَاتٌ مُحْكَمَاتٌ , whose meaning is plain and straightforward as classified in verse 3:7 (quoted earlier). And by the self-classification of the Holy Qur’an itself in verse 25:1 and 16:89 above, the Holy Qur’an contains within itself, by its own assertion, the complete criterion and explanation by which to adjudicate all that appears unknown and ambiguous in the Holy Qur’an if it is to be knowable by man, because, after all, as is claimed by its Author, it is a Book in which there is “no doubt”, ذَٰلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لَا رَيْبَ ۛ فِيهِ ۛ , and which had been “perfected” as a “religion”, الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ (see verses 2:2 and 5:3 quoted earlier).

Furthermore, the Holy Qur’an even affirmed its own understandability:

So have We made the (Qur’an) easy in thine own tongue, that with it thou mayest give Glad Tidings to the righteous, and warnings to people given to contention. (Surah Maryam, 19:97)

فَإِنَّمَا يَسَّرْنَٰهُ بِلِسَانِكَ لِتُبَشِّرَ بِهِ ٱلْمُتَّقِينَ وَتُنذِرَ بِهِۦ قَوْمًا لُّدًّا

And We never sent a messenger save with the language of his folk, that he might make (the message) clear for them. Then Allah sendeth whom He will astray, and guideth whom He will. He is the Mighty, the Wise.” (Surah Ibrahim, 14:4)

وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلَّا بِلِسَانِ قَوْمِهِۦ لِيُبَيِّنَ لَهُمْ ۖ فَيُضِلُّ ٱللَّهُ مَن يَشَآءُ وَيَهْدِى مَن يَشَآءُ ۚ وَهُوَ ٱلْعَزِيزُ ٱلْحَكِيمُ

Caption Verses proclaiming that the Holy Qur’an is clear, and easy to understand, and that it is in the “language of his folk” ( بِلِسَانِ قَوْمِهِ ) so that the Messenger can explain the Message to them in their own tongue!

Therefore, there couldn’t be any holes in the specification which could not be unequivocally resolved if these proclamations of the Holy Qur’an are taken to be truthful and on face value, including the affirmation: “We made the (Qur’an) easy in thine own tongue,” and “We never sent a messenger save with the language of his folk, that he might make (the message) clear for them.” Mr. Spock decided to entertain these assertions of the Author because that’s what the specification itself stated, that the Book will eventually reveal itself despite it being in the tongue of the people among whom it was revealed (بِلِسَانِ قَوْمِهِۦ ), rather than hastily conclude based on what he had studied thus far that the Holy Qur’an was fallacious. It just meant that Mr. Spock will have to acquire their lingua franca (see below).

But that comforting realization based on the logic of the statements of the Holy Qur’an, does not by itself solve the problem for the ever logical Mr. Spock because of the inherent incompleteness of context specification, causality specification, and verse 3:7 statement which bizarrely asserted “but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah”? (See earlier discussion of 3:7 on its alternate parsing). Which sensible author ever composes a major specification like that, wherein, he first claims it is for everyone to follow as essential specification, but then includes clauses, ambiguities, allegories, and metaphors which no one other than the author himself can understand? Mr. Spock had not encountered a specification Book or an Author like this one in the entire cosmos.

Furthermore, because the specification is now incomprehensible at first glance with many unknowns rather than straightforward, not only is it enormously time consuming to figure it all out (assuming it is possible to do so), perhaps even requiring “experts” like jurist-doctors and other narrow-gauge specialists to expound it, but it is also replete with the subjectivity inherent in such exercise. Different human beings having different levels of brain-power, psychological bent of mind, socialization, and perception biases naturally tend to understand things differently when they try to figure it all out based on their own study and due diligence. This is why even rational and most logical scientific people will still disagree on many matters when these extend into the purview of human subjectivity and opinion mongering from cold empiricism that is amenable to experimentation and scientific measurement.

And here Mr. Spock realizes is the next core-reason for human beings to understand the same text of the Holy Qur’an differently from each other.

The moment Muslims and non-Muslims alike, step outside the pages of the Holy Qur’an to gather what was incomplete in the Holy Qur’an as a specification which can be fully comprehended – namely, the temporal and social context of the Qur’anic verses for which they were revealed, their causality, the identification of the unknown persons and events, and what the Exemplar had explained to the people for twenty three years by the authority explicitly delegated to him as in verse 4:59, called the Sunnah of the Prophet – by perusing the pages of history, or vicariously from their cultural contexts as most are wont, they fall unwitting victim to socialization and history-writing artifacts. Including, books upon books, and treatise upon treatise of scholarly opinions compiled by people other than the Author of the Holy Qur’an, under the suzerainty of the most oppressive dynastic kingdoms and rulers among the Muslims. (See Part-I , Part-IV , Islam and Knowledge vs. Socialization , and Islam vs. Secular Humanism and World Government for what socialization and history-writing artifacts mean.)

Mr. Spock is struck by the remarkable disparity of preservation between the Sunnah of the Prophet by doubtful hands in history and the Author’s own pristine words for which He claimed there was “no doubt”, despite the assurances from the Holy Qur’an that it contains the criterion for deciding all pertinent matters.

Why is the full and complete message of Islam not straightforwardly recorded within the Holy Qur’an itself?

Why is it left to the native human scribes who are never immune to socialization and prejudicial artifacts themselves in the best case, and self-interest in the worst?

Was the Sunnah of the Prophet of Islam merely intended to be ephemeral, temporal, only binding upon the then existing people for the limited lifetime of the Exemplar, and not of any pertinence to subsequent generations of Muslims? If the Sunnah was of pertinence in perpetuity, then why was it not recorded in the same Holy Qur’an for the same degree of its preservation as the verses of the Holy Qur’an themselves, especially when the command obedience to both is on par?

Did the Author of the Holy Qur’an who claims to be the Creator of mankind, not know that its recording will be at the capricious whim and fancy of the rulers, the obliging narrators, and subject to the artifacts of historicity, hagiography, and other narrative vestigials under the forces of socialization, coercion, perception management, hidden motivations, human weaknesses, and the cumulative hystereses of cultural memories of every group and sect who’d be passing it on as legacy to the next generation? That, noisy cultural texts susceptible to myth amplification and all inconvenient truth attenuation, would become the key source of interpretation of the pristine guidance to mankind, a perfection, as claimed by the Holy Qur’an?

Or, as Mr. Spock reasoned, is the Holy Qur’an itself to be used to separate the chaff from the wheat? How is that possible to the same level of reliability for socialized texts written by fallible human scribes with hidden motivations and vested interests over a period of centuries, as the pristine text of the Holy Qur’an which all Muslims accept remains un-tampered by the hand of human scribes? Mr. Spock wondered how could a specification which claimed to be divine guidance for هُدًى لِلْمُتَّقِينَ in which there was “no doubt”, require Muslims in subsequent generations to put their faith in the hands of these scribes of history whose mother’s name they even did not know? It was illogical.

Mr. Spock pondered at the stark contrast between this, and the Holy Qur’an asking the people to put their faith in the Prophet of Islam who, as was observed in the Holy Qur’an, not only belonged to a well known prophetic pedigree, but as the historical narratives unanimously affirmed, within his own lifetime among his own peoples had been anointed “Sadiq” and “Ameen”, the most truthful, and the most trustworthy, by the peoples themselves even before he brought the Message of the Holy Qur’an to them.

No such guarantees are vouchsafed for these largely unknown scribes of history who claim to have gathered the Sunnah of the Prophet of Islam some two centuries later amidst the cloud of internecine violence and tyrannical rulers – and as Mr. Spock reasonably asked, what value is anyone’s piousness to another, except to oneself? In any case, how can anyone judge another’s piety, intentions, hidden motivations, proclivities, bent of mind? By how many times they are reputed to have bowed in prostration? Besides, they could be blithering idiots, house niggers, or Machiavellis and still live on their forehead. There are plenty of Muslim Stooges in the Service of Empire in every epoch. Society today lends substantial empiricism to hold that conclusion. See for instance, Response to the Fatwa on Terrorism in the Service of Empire as an example of a Muslim cleric’s selective story-telling to service empire. He was rewarded with a place-seating next to the massa at the 2011 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. His 600-page Fatwa on Terrorism was published with much fanfare in the UK and will survive as long as the empire needs the ‘war on terror’. Anyone examining that document a hundred years from now will firmly believe in that narrative, penned by a Muslim scholar no less, for there won’t be any dissenting voices on the bookshelves deconstructing its egregious omissions of vile servility to empire. Arguably, the survival of the names of Muslim scribes and their prodigious works through the vicissitudes of history had a lot more to do with ruling interests, than necessarily their own merit.

It is visible even today for works of scholarship which tend to never make it to the bookshelves, or simply disappear even from prestigious libraries, if they oppose the paradigms of ruling interests. The books listed in Recommended Reading (in “The Poor-Man’s Guide to Modernity”) is evidence of that tortuous fact. Except for one, I believe all are out of print, and rarely available even in public libraries. They might even disappear from the Internet someday and possessing them may even be deemed a thought crime, just as is depicted in the fable by George Orwell, 1984.

And behold, Mr. Spock, while diligently perusing the Holy Qur’an, encounters this remarkable warning by the Author of the Holy Qur’an to precisely clarify just this matter, almost as if it was waiting there patiently all this time for someone like Mr. Spock to precisely ponder that dilemma:

(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, 2:1662:167)

إِذْ تَبَرَّأَ الَّذِينَ اتُّبِعُوا مِنَ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوا وَرَأَوُا الْعَذَابَ وَتَقَطَّعَتْ بِهِمُ الْأَسْبَابُ

وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوا لَوْ أَنَّ لَنَا كَرَّةً فَنَتَبَرَّأَ مِنْهُمْ كَمَا تَبَرَّءُوا مِنَّا ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ يُرِيهِمُ اللَّهُ أَعْمَالَهُمْ حَسَرَاتٍ عَلَيْهِمْ ۖ وَمَا هُمْ بِخَارِجِينَ مِنَ النَّارِ

Caption Verse 2:166 and 2:167 Surah Al-Baqara, a most unexpected blanket warning in the Holy Qur’an. When read in conjunction with: verses 1:6-7 of Surah Al-Fatiha teaching man the path to choose and the paths to avoid in order to acquire divine guidance for the straight path; verse 5:35 of Surah Al-Maeda clarifying to seek divine guidance only through “wasilah” as “your duty to Allah”; and verse 17:71 of Surah al-Israa’ promising every human being will be raised in the company of the “imam” they each followed, for Accountability; the fundamental basis of the divine guidance system of the Holy Qur’an becomes apparent. Namely, beware of false imams, false caliphs, false leaders, false guides, false paths penned in books and announced from pulpits; seek the path shown by legitimate guides whom Allah has guided: “These are they whom Allah guided, therefore follow their guidance”! (Surah Al An’aam 6:90) The question is: How does one discover that path? How does one know whom has Allah guided? An open-ended Indeterminate specification? Or a Determinate puzzle specification, a soluble cipher? See the definitions of these terms below. In practice, the question is almost always solved by socialization bias by the pope shepherding the laity instead of analysis of the Determinate verses of the Holy Qur’an – like everything else about understanding Islam. See in Part-III, the critical examination of Principle of Inerrancy, and “taqlid” (blind following of a jurist in both Shiadom and Sunnidom), reasoned solely from the Determinate verses of the Holy Qur’an to reveal more logical surprises. If only Muslims undertook to read and understand the Good Book with more due diligence taking it as a Message of Guidance in a cipher form for living a life that is “not at a loss” in the here (see Surah Al-Asr) rather than in the Hereafter! This profound concept, of actively taking care of the here so that the Hereafter takes care of itself, became the very first victim of subversion of the lofty precepts of Islam by noble caliphs and pious pontiffs. Ordinary mortals anointed themselves the Interpreter of faith and employed Islam as a force for social control to engineer the behavior of those who accepted and followed them, inducing the public mind to focus upon the Hereafter instead of the here! Verse 2:166-2:167 clearly attest to this dismal fact of servitude extracted from the Muslim masses by introducing false paths. These false paths have been repeatedly warned against, most shockingly in verse 33:36 as “clearly the wrong path” (quoted above). This vile legacy of Interpreter of faith still endures in controlling the public mind, well into this twenty-first century!

So here we have a self-proclaimed Divine Guidance System which is not fully specified, requiring going to a multitude of human scribes of antiquity outside the Holy Qur’an to learn the Sunnah of the Prophet of Islam, while its Author simultaneously issues the warning not to follow others (blindly). Also see the earlier cautionary discussion on verse 17:71 above. Mr. Spock realized that the Author goes even further, categorically stating:

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)

تِلْكَ أُمَّةٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ ۖ لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَلَكُم مَّا كَسَبْتُمْ ۖ وَلَا تُسْـَٔلُونَ عَمَّا كَانُوا۟ يَعْمَلُونَ

Caption Verse 2:134 of Surah Al-Baqara, categorically asserting about those who went before: “Of their merits there is no question in your case”; the straightforward counsel is repeated again for emphasis in verse 2:141

When the Holy Qur’an so clearly vouches for that separation of deeds of the people who went before from those who come afterwards without equivocation: “Of their merits there is no question in your case”, then how can the Author condone the acceptance of their voluntary workmanship in the documentation of what is not explained in the Holy Qur’an, for those coming afterwards to follow for their own merit? That would create a contradiction, especially if it is mandated that one must refer to the craftsmanship of those fallible scribes of antiquity who went before to acquire the authentic decoding of the pristine text of the Holy Qur’an.

Furthermore, it is not an easy burden being a scholar, scribe, and imam in the religion of Islam lest one mislead and misguide those fools without knowledge who are wont to follow others blindly. The Holy Qur’an categorically apportions each their culpability in Surah An-Nahl (and Surah al-Israa’ 17:71 quoted above):

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

Verse 16:25 categorically informs those able to understand, أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ , that a fallible mind cannot lead another and not be the recipient of the “the burdens of those without knowledge, whom they misled” in some distinct measure! Mr. Spock, capable of drawing logical inferences with unsurpassed alacrity, immediately grasps that only an infallible mind that never errs, never makes a mistake, and therefore can never misguide anyone who follows them even blindly, can ever be exempt from that categorical statement! One such mind was the Messenger himself as is categorically proclaimed by the Author of the Holy Qur’an in Surah An-Najm verses 53:1-5 “Your companion does not err, nor does he go astray; Nor does he speak out of desire. It is naught but revelation that is revealed,” (see Part-III for detailed exposition).

Ergo, follow the Prophet of Islam, even blindly, in full faith, blind faith, and in absolute obedience, ’cause he can never make an error and consequently can never misguide his flock.

So what did the Prophet of Islam teach by way of the command authority delegated to him in verse 4:59? Where to get that Sunnah from? Whom to follow, whose books to read, whose word of mouth passed from generation to generation to accept, if one cannot even count on the imagined absolute honesty and hypothetical unsurpassed integrity of the scribes of history which the Holy Qur’an categorically proclaims is of no merit for those who come afterwards: “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!”?

Furthermore, how does one differentiate between following blindly and following due to socialization? Aren’t they exactly the same thing? How does one tell fact from fiction, mis-interpretation from dis-information, plausible sounding from actuality, in the presence of Machiavelli who can enact prisoners of the cave generations downstream by the fiat of writing the historical narratives of its liking? Besides, the natural process of myth amplification, inconvenient truth attenuation, even when empires are not built upon it, makes parsing of any history always tentative, and seldom definitive. Even incontrovertible facts can be cradled in differing contexts to give them different meanings and justifications out of vested interests.

Furthermore, not everyone in mankind has the natural skills to be a doctor, scientist, or engineer, anymore than the ordinary peoples among the masses have the time or the talent to become scholars of the Holy Qur’an and study all matters for themselves first hand. Therefore, most are naturally inclined to follow “experts” whom they revere. These “experts” themselves, as human beings, are always constrained by the socialization and historical narratives passed onto them from previous scribes. The Qur’anic admonishments quoted above apply to both the “expert” and the laity following them, as the most honest “experts” too, sensibly, have presumably followed someone else to get their data and not just invented their own (i.e., speculated, which the subsequent generation of scribes then take as gospel truth leading to more myth and noise amplification).

Even when one finds the “honest” “expert” to follow after all the due diligence one can muster, how does one still tell whether the “honest” “expert” is the “momin” of the Holy Qur’an or the “superman” of Nietzsche? See: Allama Iqbal – marde-momin or superman? ( http://tinyurl.com/Allama-Iqbal-ubermensch ).

These are the very real pitfalls due to the pious layers of masks put on the endless abyss of the human soul that none outside may peer through, and therefore be easily deceived into taking actions that are inimical to their own interests, for here or in the Hereafter.

That is the primary reason for the categorical admonishment in verses 2:166-167 of following others (blindly), and verse 16:25 categorically warning those who might be presumptuous enough to imagine they ought to lead or guide others and end up misguiding those without knowledge who follow them. And the warning to the followers in verse 17:71 that they will be raised for Accountability in the company of those whom they each followed.

In contrast to these emphatic and categorical warnings of (blind) following, and trying to lead others when one is oneself fallible, Mr. Spock discovers that the Author of the Holy Qur’an simultaneously asserts: “seek the means of approach unto Him,” the “Wasilah” ( الْوَسِيلَةَ ), in Surah Al-Maeda 5:35. In order to avoid unnecessary repetition of previously tread ground, it is necessary to reproduce the following conclusion already reached in an earlier report Islam and Knowledge vs. Socialization:

Begin Quote

Evidently, according to the prima facie prescription of Islam itself, the cleansed hearted journey to understand the Holy Qur’an for Muslims (like all other peoples seeking divine guidance) can only be undertaken by seeking out the path of some unnamed people whom God has favored. This is further underscored:

O ye who believe! Do your duty to Allah, seek the means of approach unto Him,” Holy Qur’an, Surah Al-Maeda 5:35

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَابْتَغُوا إِلَيْهِ الْوَسِيلَةَ

Caption Holy Qur’an, Surah Al-Maeda 5:35, Verse of Wasilah, unequivocally putting to bed for all times the argument on how to approach Allah: “O ye who believe! Do your duty to Allah, seek the means of approach unto Him,” Who are these “means of approach unto Him”? See below Surah Al-Baqara verse 2:166-2:167, and Surah An-Nahl 16:25, for Qur’anic constraints on الْوَسِيلَةَ , “Wasilah”, whereby both followers and leaders are respectively condemned! Who specifically then meets the highly constrained requirements of “Wasilah” of this pivotal verse 5:35 wherein “believers” are commanded to “seek the means of approach unto Him,” as an obligatory “Duty to Allah”?

It follows therefore, rather straightforwardly in fact from the logic of the Qur’anic Message, that ONLY “the path of those whom Thou hast favoured” as proclaimed in Surah Al-Fatiha 1:7, and subsequently clarified as “seek the means of approach unto Him,” the “Wasilah” ( الْوَسِيلَةَ ) in Surah Al-Maeda 5:35, can exemplify, interpret, and explain the journey of the straight path (الصِّرَاطَ الۡمُسۡتَقِيۡمَۙ )!

Verse 1:7 teaches the supplicant to beseech the Creator to show the path of His favored ones. And verse 5:35 commands the supplicant to first seek the means of approach unto Him as his duty to the Creator, in order to even approach the straight path!

In simpler words for the language and logic challenged, by the proclamation of the Holy Qur’an itself, the supplicant cannot approach the Creator directly, but only through the designated means of seeking the “Wasilah”. For emphasis, it is even couched as a “duty” of the “believers” to first seek the “Wasilah”! And it is further emphasized that only the Author’s own favored ones can delineate the straight path unto Him for the rest of mankind. The favored ones are the Wasilah, “the means of approach unto Him.”

The Holy Qur’an straightforwardly informs us that the straight path is guided journey by the divinely favored ones, the Al-Wasilah, and not a solo journey by one’s own interpretation!

Mind blowing… putting to bed all facile views pertaining to the path of spiritual guidance and spiritual ascendance in Islam.

Putting it together with verse 39:9 of Surah Az-Zumar then makes that rhetorical question obviously prescriptive, rather than being merely tautological: “Are those equal, those who know and those who do not know?”

Meaning, these “Wasilah”, the show-ers of the straight path upon whom God has bestowed favors, must also be the ones highest in knowledge and inerrant in their understanding of the divinely crafted straight path. Otherwise, how can they guide others more knowledgeable than themselves? Or, if their own understanding concerning this straight path was error prone? Especially of an obscure path which Allah ordained that no man may otherwise know of his and her own accord, except through those who were divinely favored. Which, of course, also automatically implies that their teacher can be none among those whom they have been divinely chosen and ordained to guide! And the Holy Qur’an precisely confirms this, that their teacher is only Allah, in verse 6:90 of Surah Al An’aam: “These are they whom Allah guided, therefore follow their guidance”!

End Quote

Mr. Spock, having perused the aforementioned study to further reinforce his own rapidly evolving understanding of the Author’s principal modus operandi of administering Divine guidance to mankind:

  • only by way of seeking the “Wasilah”;

  • and only by following the path tread by the Divinely favored ones;

  • and by avoiding the path tread by all others;

realized the gravity of the conundrum posed by the Holy Qur’an.[6] The Believer is cautioned on the one hand to being a (blind) follower, the learned is cautioned of misleading the uninformed by virtue of their fallibility and the fools’ inability to tell the difference, and on the other hand simultaneously commanded to seek the “the means of approach unto Him” as even a “duty to Allah” no less! The prima facie text of the verse – since it is addressing the Believer, “O ye who believe!”, namely, the person who already believes in the Messengership of Prophet Muhammad, is now commanding him to seek the “Wasilah” as his or her “duty to Allah” – is clearly speaking of some resource other than the Messenger. Who or What is that “Wasilah” is not specified — thus naturally leading to a great diversity of paths, and people automatically choosing their own “Wasilahs” as per their socialization bias and sectarian teaching.

The Author was being clearly adamant at not being straightforward in His Divine Guidance cipher despite His Own Proclamations: “We made the (Qur’an) easy in thine own tongue,” and “We never sent a messenger save with the language of his folk, that he might make (the message) clear for them.”!

It was more and more evident to Mr. Spock that the Holy Qur’an is deliberately contributing to the diversity of perspectives among its Believers, the natural outcome of any open-ended specification. If that wasn’t the intent, there’d be no reason to speak in variables like the unnamed “al Wasilah”, when the verse could just as straightforwardly have provided a constant instead of a variable if it deterministically wanted to force a single understanding. Mr. Spock began to appreciate the emphasis in verse 3:7 on “men of understanding” (أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ ) even more! And that only increased the scale of the conundrum because as previously discussed, the public mind can hardly be characterized as أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ !

Returning back to the conundrum posed by the open-ended specification in verse 4:59, Mr. Spock consciously refrained from leaping to the most obvious logical deduction as a way out of this conundrum. That, verse 4:59 was principally temporal, and only for the time and age of the Prophet of Islam. For then, those people had the Messenger living among them to explain what is not explained or elaborated further in the Holy Qur’an. Verse 4:59, along with the profound attestation of infallibility made in Surah An-Najm: “Your companion 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), established for those people the unchallenged supremacy of the Messenger over them in order to command unfaltering obedience to him so that the process of enacting the religion of Islam could be bootstrapped into a political reality – which empirically did transpire in Medina. It was like a national constitution that demands obedience to state laws in order to execute governance. The fact that such directives were necessary is underscored by the fact of existence of the shocking disclosure by verse33:36 (quoted above) that there were Believers in the Messenger’s congregation who disputed the authority of the Messenger. Mr. Spock realized that he lacked the positive evidence and fuller comprehension of the Holy Qur’an to reach such a logical deduction of temporal restriction. Verse 5:35 of Surah Al-Maeda (quoted above) also dissuaded from that hasty deduction. The requirement for seeking ( الْوَسِيلَةَ ) is categorical, unbounded by time and space, even if the “Wasilah” itself is unspecified in the verse, just like “those vested in authority over you” ( أُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ ) is unspecified in verse 4:59.

Nevertheless, the mathematical incompleteness of this system is inherent, and Mr. Spock could not escape that obviously compelling logical deduction. That observation was obvious to him because he understood mathematical closure. It is like having a closely guarded pristine cipher (the Holy Qur’an) protected by an un-challengeable superpower (Allah), while leaving its cryptographic keys (the Sunnah) in the protection of the noisy press (the scribes of history) which can publish whatever it wants under the supreme orchestration of the Mighty Wurlitzer.

Unless of course, these apparent cipher keys to the elusive door past which one can’t see, are irrelevant to deciphering the cipher by succeeding generations. Perhaps some other keys within each human being is to be utilized – such as engaging the right-half brain for spiritual reflection and intuition (which Mr. Spock of course is not capable of, but he did not deny its existence and the superior abilities it conferred upon Captain Kirk, and nor its utility in commanding a Starship, and nor it being the official requirement for holding the position of command as the captain of a Starship, which Mr. Spock consequently did not hold and remained just the indispensable logical science officer).

Given the assurance of the Holy Qur’an that it contains all the necessary and sufficient criterion for evaluation and adjudication of all pertinent matters, Mr. Spock decides to dig deeper more systematically.


Adopting a Systematic Systems Approach

Mr. Spock decides to identify all that is precisely knowable, and all that which is not precisely knowable, from the text of the Holy Qur’an alone. A study such as this would exactly delineate all the vicarious notions Muslims have about Islam which are not explicitly contained in the Holy Qur’an, or only ambiguously specified by its Author and open to interpretation and socialization, creating the unnecessary and illogical fracture lines among the أُمَّةً مُسْلِمَةً even when they are supposedly following the same textual Holy Qur’an!

This is empirical and not speculation since no such divisions evidently existed on the surface while its Exemplar was still living among the Muslims and able to forcefully arbitrate on all matters in which the early Muslims might have disputed based on the authority vested in him by verse such as 4:59.

But the moment the Messenger is gone and the burden is put upon the Muslims to arbitrate themselves based on the al-Furqaan, the criterion, left behind by the Messenger, disputes, interpretations, mis-interpretations, some deliberate borne of vested interests, others natural borne of ignorance, arose directly due to the fact of these gaping holes present in the Holy Qur’an.

Evidently, as was gleaned by Mr. Spock by examining the sociological context, some concerted efforts were made by the rulers to not document and write down the Prophet’s rulings and explanations on all Qur’anic matters after his death. The argument speciously put forth by many an apologetic scholar of antiquity being, to seemingly protect the statements of the Holy Qur’an from being confused with those of the Messenger’s by the uneducated public, for had the Author of the Holy Qur’an wanted, they argued, It would have made the Messenger’s statements part of the Holy Qur’an ab initio.

The sophistry of these apologetics for not immediately preserving and writing down the binding rulings of the Exemplar after his death in a separate compilation from the Holy Qur’an in order to prevent them from being lost to the vicissitudes of time, was not lost on the sophisticated Mr. Spock. But something else also puzzled him.

To Mr. Spock’s logical and scientific mind attuned to studying complex specifications from which even the most sophisticated and enduring material systems could be fabricated by very large teams of different beings on different planets and still have the designs pass the interoperability tests to function as specified in a working system, there appeared to be too many unknowns in this هُدًى لِلْمُتَّقِينَ , divine specification for the guidance of mankind, for any reasonable interoperability as a single أُمَّةً مُسْلِمَةً , its own stated goal.

To Spock, ambiguity appeared to be a specification objective by design. It could have been trivially addressed ab initio, had the Author of the Holy Qur’an wanted to address it unambiguously. Namely, have the Holy Qur’an contain all which Mr. Spock identified as missing but logically necessary for its completeness and self-sufficiency by its own Qur’anic metric, for comprehensibility by all without leaving its pristine pages. Then, there’d there would have been no fracture lines among the Muslims.

Indeed, why have divine guidance in the first place if it is to remain ambiguous, is a dogged question which arises in any logical mind.

As Mr. Spock began to comprehend the sociological contexts and the turbulent times which cradled the first 200 years of the death of the Messenger, he put the following hypothesis on the puzzle stack for further examination: Was it this deliberate ambiguity in the specification which enabled the Holy Qur’an itself to survive the early power struggles, the vicissitudes of empires and kingdoms, after the death of the prophet of Islam, such that today, fourteen centuries into the advent of Islam, all Muslims of every race, ethnicity, culture, language, and geographic origin, emphatically assert that there is no “tahrif” (changes) in the text of the Holy Qur’an like the scriptures of the past? That, unlike other holy books of antiquity, Muslims’ remains un-tampered by the hand of man such that even today, one can glean the same pristine text with certainty![5]

And Mr. Spock confirmed this most unusual fact by examining the many different editions of the Arabic text (in differing scripts) and the Arabic aural recitations of the Holy Qur’an in the ship’s library. They were identical. There did not appear to be any equivalent of the King James Version, the Gideons International Version, the New International Version, the Babylonian Talmud, the Sanhedrin Talmud, Mishneh Torah of Maimonides, the Five Books of Moses in the Old Testament with the Christians, the Five Books of Moses in the Torah scriptures with the Jews, etceteras. The Arabic text of the Holy Qur’an was identical no matter which Muslim culture, sect, and epoch had published it in the written and aural mediums. Mr. Spock could only exclaim: fascinating.

And Spock further confirmed his analysis that in the vast majority of instances, the expositions on the Holy Qur’an and the Prophet of Islam written by scribes throughout the ages more or less differed exactly along the holes and ambiguities in the Holy Qur’an itself that he had identified.

Mr. Spock noted that there are 114 Chapters called Surahs, comprising 6236 total verses, uttered by the Prophet of Islam often in fragments over a 23 year period. Except for the visible contiguity in long narratives of what appears to be tales of ancient peoples as allegorical guidance, topics are not necessarily contiguous in the Holy Qur’an, even in the adjacent verses, or even within a Surah. Topics appear to be randomly spread out across many surahs, and even in-between verses, often with much repetition, and often employing different parables and similes to explain the same concepts as if the Holy Qur’an is addressing the most feeble public mind.

There is also no explicit indication that a verse is co-related to another verse within the Holy Qur’an. It is impossible to establish causality between verses from the text of the Holy Qur’an. There is not even the indication which verse was revealed first, nor which verse was revealed last, nor which was revealed second last, and so on, as the surahs and verses are not arranged chronologically.

Mr. Spock also noted that within a verse, a verse fragment could be speaking of some entirely different topic from the rest of the verse (as for instance in 5:3, 8:41, and 33:33). Mr. Spock further discovers that the subtleties of Arabic grammar and its gender specificity of nouns and pronouns, verbs and adjectives, enabled changing the point of reference suddenly within a verse just by changing the gender, or the pronoun. It wasn’t always obvious who or what those new points of reference were without knowing the exact localized context in which the verse was revealed (as for instance in Surah Al-Ahzaab 33:33 for the sudden change in the gender of the 2nd person pronoun when referring to the Ahlul Bayt, explained in Part-III; and in Surah Abasa 80:1-12 for rapidly switching pronouns to indicate that the verse is speaking of different persons, but who, remain unspecified, and thus open to interpretation and pronoun fixing by the scribes of history).

Mr. Spock also noted that the refined diction and subtleties of the Arabic language permitted poetic allusions and implicit similes which the people of that epoch in whose lingua franca the Holy Qur’an spoke to them, would have certainly understood. But those living in the future time and space would not necessarily know the intended meaning and easily get it entirely wrong. Such comprehension was only attainable by acquiring the lingua franca of the epoch. Mr. Spock had already recognized that he would also have to study the epoch itself when the Holy Qur’an was revealed in order to acquire its sociological context. Without acquiring that sociological backdrop, an acute sense of the public mind of that epoch, and the lingua franca of its peoples, just proficiency in the Arabic language and its grammar appeared insufficient to Mr. Spock to comprehend the finer subtleties expressed in the language of the Holy Qur’an which outright asserted that: “And We never sent a messenger save with the language of his folk, (بِلِسَانِ قَوْمِهِۦ ) that he might make (the message) clear for them.” (Surah Ibrahim 14:4 quoted above). That made the task of apprehending the finer subtleties of the Holy Qur’an non-trivial for people not of the revelation period and its lingua franca, including for native speakers of the Arabic language, unless they acquired that specific بِلِسَانِ قَوْمِهِۦ which the Holy Qur’an itself declared was its primary language!

The fact that context and causality of the verses is not carried within the Holy Qur’an also made it impossible to extract information which is not there to begin with, thus significantly hampering understandability.

The task of studying the message of the Holy Qur’an had suddenly become monumental, and not at all akin to the straightforward reading of Milton, Plato, Shakespeare, or the DMV driver’s manual – even when one spoke that language.

Nevertheless, intrigued by the total lack of traditional structure and visible cohesiveness to the Holy Qur’an normal to any typical system specification where everything pertaining to that specification is clearly and unambiguously specified within the specification itself, without requiring reference to vicarious outside sources to ascertain their meaning, Mr. Spock decided to treat his study akin to solving a most complex puzzle. A cryptographic cipher, as he had classified the genre, but also under time pressure – as Spock also had other science duties to perform and could not spend his entire life decoding a most interesting cipher.

Mr. Spock began his systematic analysis by classifying and identifying the entire text of the Holy Qur’an according to the following nomenclature:

  • Determinate: A topic, or the full meaning of a verse or verse fragment, in context, is fully determinable from the full context of the 114 Surahs of Holy Qur’an. For instance, verse 5:48 is evidently in this category, it is categorical, as are all the foundational verses ( آيَاتٌ مُحْكَمَاتٌ ) by definition as per verse 3:7.

  • Indeterminate: A topic, or the full meaning of a verse or verse fragment, in context, cannot be fully established from even the full context of the Holy Qur’an including the Determinate verses due to insufficient information in the Holy Qur’an. For instance, verse 4:59 is evidently in this category, as are all the allegorical and metaphorical verses ( آيَاتٌ مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ ) by definition as per verse 3:7.

  • Layered: A topic, or word, or verse, or verse fragment, or context has obvious or un-obvious multiple bindings or points of reference, and which meaning or point of reference is implied in a given context is Indeterminate.

  • Nuanced: A topic, or word, or verse, or verse fragment, or context is highly nuanced, even when not Layered (i.e., it has exactly one applicable meaning from a plurality of nuanced meanings in the language of exposition), and the context for the nuance is Indeterminate.

Mr. Spock could already perceive just by the construction of these definitions that even to enumerate every verse and verse fragment of the Holy Qur’an as Determinate or Indeterminate was going to require a great deal of study. But without this classification work as prerequisite, making headway into deciphering the message of the Holy Qur’an appeared intractable. One could spend an infinite time on the Indeterminate verses for instance and never decipher them accurately as they were by definition not fully decipherable. Which is why it was essential to identify verses accordingly, so that the main focus of deciphering could be brought to bear on what was indeed straightforward and soluble.

It is part of the cipher, lamented Mr. Spock, that the Holy Qur’an itself did not straightforwardly identify which verses are in which category as defined in verse 3:7 – just like other matters of missing information – leaving it to the intelligence of “men of understanding” who are “firmly grounded in knowledge” to decipher the text with deep reflection. However, as the ubiquitous understanding of the Muslims of verse 4:59 demonstrated, Mr. Spock could already see the result of the requirement for public intelligence and reflection. Muslims, invariably socialized into its dogmatic sectarian interpretations from birth, irrespective of the fact that verse 4:59 itself appeared to be an Indeterminate, remained at loggerheads throughout history over its meaning to the point of extreme internecine warfare and sectarian hatred. Virtually all sectarianism among Muslims is directly rooted in different interpretation of 4:59. On the other hand, Muslims also largely ignored the straightforward meaning of verse 5:48 which ab initio provided the bedrock for peaceable co-existence among all socialized interpretations of 4:59.

The Muslim public intelligence over the past millennia, were it on par with that required to understand the Holy Qur’an as stipulated by verse 3:7, would not have shackled the Holy Qur’an into مَهْجُورًا as vouchsafed would be lamented by the Prophet of Islam in verse 25:30. With even a modicum of understanding of the Holy Qur’an, the Muslims could have easily formed one unbreachable أُمَّةً مُسْلِمَةً , a single Muslim nation, which now entirely eluded them despite the repeated entreaties by the Holy Qur’an: “Is it such a Message that ye would hold in light esteem?” Surely, the “people took this Qur’an for just foolish nonsense”!

Mr. Spock’s evaluation stack is growing rapidly with accumulating conundrums, not to mention the monumental task before him for the primary classification of all verses and verse fragments according to the aforementioned nomenclature. Being an expert science officer, Mr. Spock set out to develop the framework on his advanced computing system to manage this classification, down to morphology and syntax on word boundary. He deemed this resolution necessary because he had discovered that much semantic knowledge is embedded in the gender-sensitive Qur’anic Arabic syntax and its parts of speech, especially in its usage of gender-specific second person pronouns which few human languages apart from Classical Arabic even supported (as seen in verse 33:33).

He had discovered phonology, recitation style, also important because it determined implicit punctuation (as seen in the alternate parsing of verse 3:7). Such linguistic features, and the unsurpassed unique style employed by the Holy Qur’an, made both translating as well as understanding the Good Book difficult for the socialized adult mind not socialized into thinking in such explicit and subtle language features which was the natural oral lingua franca ( بِلِسَانِ قَوْمِهِۦ ) of the Arabs of antiquity to whom it was originally revealed.

Unless one explicitly focussed on it, sort of like thinking about how one is walking with every step one takes rather than just walking naturally without thinking, it is easy to overlook these linguistic characteristics leading to misunderstanding and misinterpretation of what is otherwise patently obvious in some cases.

Continued in Part-III


Footnotes

[1] See Sacred Cow: Allama Iqbal – marde-momin or superman? By Zahir Ebrahim, http://tinyurl.com/Allama-Iqbal-ubermensch

[2] Ibid. See Caveat on quotation http://humanbeingsfirst.org/#No-Affiliation-Notice

[3] An evaluation stack is an abstraction, an idea from computer science. It can be used to solve almost any computational problem. An entire computer can be built using just this form of underlying computation. Not very efficient, but simple to implement. My very first course in computer science as an undergraduate at MIT taught this basic abstraction of a stack machine. As the terminology prima facie suggests, an evaluation stack is a stack, just like a stack of dirty dishes. You push a dirty dish onto the top of stack for cleaning, and you take the top most dish from the top of the stack to clean it first (called pop). Using this metaphor here is just for the convenience of thinking that the puzzles are soluble and not intractable – they just need solving.

[4] This analysis is to understand the system design of Islam as disclosed in the Holy Qur’an. It is not to lay out an alternate system design that betters the “Revelation from the Lord of the Worlds.” (56:80) Asking the questions “why” and “why not” to forensically comprehend the Holy Qur’an’s system design is not the same thing as proposing why the Holy Qur’an itself is not a different system design. The intent of this report is to field a serious inquiry into the former purpose and not for indulging the facile mind into specious endeavors.

[5] For a short history of its written compilation see: Some Old Manuscripts of the Holy Qur’an, Kazim Mudir Shanehchi, http://tinyurl.com/Old-Manuscripts-Quran ; for Understanding the Uniqueness of the Qur’an and how to sensibly approach its study from a real Muslim scholar’s point of view as opposed to logic-only Mr. Spock’s who prefers his own left-brain forensic-science for the examination of any matter, be it pertaining to hard science, social science, engineering, art, religion, history, or warfare, see footnote[5] in Islam and Knowledge vs. Socialization .

[6] An inquisitive mind may perhaps stop to ponder that why did the Author of the Holy Qur’an not directly impart its self-proclaimed divine guidance directly to every human being instead of employing the convoluted Indeterminates, Messengers, Imams, and Wasilah, mandating “the means of approach unto Him”? In an alternate and rather straightforward system, an energetic mind may perhaps theorize, every human being could have just as easily been his or her own Messenger, Imam, Wasilah, employing direct Divine Inspiration – the perfect egalitarian system with direct connection to the Creator – thus obviating the need for chosen Messengers, divine Books, etc. This could have also avoided the corruption of the pulpit and the concomitant bloodshed of several millennia altogether! Why such an obviously egalitarian approach was not adopted by the Self-Proclaimed All Knowing and All Seeing Author of the Holy Qur’an, may at best only be baselessly speculated upon by the brilliant mind. For that’s clearly not the method adopted by the Author of the Holy Qur’an! The Author proclaims the Holy Qur’an to be not just Guidance for the individual, but also for the collective; beginning with the self, reaching to the immediate family unit, and extending to a Muslim nation: “Our Lord! make of us Muslims, bowing to Thy (Will), and of our progeny a Muslim nation, bowing to Thy (will);” (2:128) Perhaps the Holy Qur’an has itself answered that question!

Credits

Arabic Qur’an recitation by Shaykh Mahmoud Khalil al-Husary, audio courtesy of Verse By Verse Quran, acquired 8/13/2011 from http://www.versebyversequran.com

Arabic verses courtesy of the open source Qur’an Tanzil Project, acquired 8/13/2011 from http://tanzil.net/download/

Most (not all) English translation of Qur’an verses are by Yusuf Ali, Shakir, and Pickthall, acquired 8/13/2011 from http://tanzil.net/trans/ (archived Yusufali, Shakir, Pickthall).

English translation by Ali Quli Qara’i acquired January 24, 2013 from http://islamawakened.com/Quran/

Reference to Muhammad Hussain Tabatabai’s parsing of verse 3:7 from http://shiasource.com/al-mizan/

With most humble thanks to all!

Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/Hijacking-Quran-pt2

Source URL: http://faith-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2011/08/islam-why-is-quran-easy-to-hijack-pt2.html

First Published Friday, August 19, 2011, 19th day of Ramadan in the US, Muslim year 1432 | Last Revised August 01, 2013, 22nd Ramadan in Pakistan, Muslim year 1434 (Material which was previously in Part-II moved to Part-III and Part-IV)


Why is the Holy Qur’an so easy to hijack?

Part-III

I

Continuing seamlessly from where Part-II left off, Mr. Spock probes deeper into the question guiding this inquiry using his new nomenclature: Determinate and Indeterminate. The key question guiding this inquiry is restated:

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?

The purpose in Part-III is to illustrate the inherent difficulties in comprehending the Speech of the Author of the Holy Qur’an due to its Indeterminates, and how to even begin to decipher the Message by logical reasoning from the Holy Qur’an itself without resorting to any outside sources, and without resorting to speculation and baseless interpretation that fly in the face of the prima facie meaning of the verses. Technically, this process of reasoning from the Holy Qur’an is sometimes referred to as “tawil” (تَأْوِيلِهِ ). And just like there is poor scholarship and outstanding scholarship, there is also poor “tawil” which indulges in baseless speculation and self-serving interpretation of the metaphorical verses ( آيَاتٌ مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ ) and even the categorical verses (آيَاتٌ مُحْكَمَاتٌ ), and outstanding non speculative “tawil” which confines itself to the logical reasoning based on the prima facie meaning of the verses as demonstrated by Mr. Spock. It is mandated by the Holy Qur’an itself to the “men of understanding” (أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ ) in Surah Aal-‘Imran 3:7 for correctly deciphering the Determinates of its Divine Guidance System. Mr. Spock will discover to what extent can that logical reasoning process of deciphering the Holy Qur’an take the inquiry after which matters become patently Indeterminate, and what sensible lessons may be drawn from this conspicuous limitation of the Divine Book that continually plagues all those among mankind who are not the “Ar-Rasikhoon-fil-ilm” (الرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ ) referenced in the Holy Qur’an (3:7, 4:162).

The focus of exposition continues to remain the exploration of verses that have fueled sectarianism. The text draws on Part-II when making reference to verses already quoted, with the phrase “quoted above”.


II

Sociological factors and contextless verses

Being a well-traveled science officer aboard the Starship Enterprise and having visited many different worlds and civilizations in their differing stages of sociological development throughout the traversable universe, Mr. Spock is well aware that the general knowledge of history and other sociological material can always lend some context to any matter when it pertains to living creatures.

But Spock is also well aware from the blood-drenched history of early civilizations that history is typically written by the victors of history. Only the works of those scribes typically survive in the libraries or in the cultural memory of the majority of the people, who either echo, or don’t challenge, the core-axioms of the victors. All narratives consequently harbor a germ of untruth and falsehood in them even when they appear to narrate honestly, due to ingrained biases, vested interests, loyalties, infidelities, and other psychologically and sociologically induced tendencies of the living authors. (This is explored in more depth in Part-IV.) Mr. Spock also well understood that this characteristic was common to most if not all species in the universe he had visited. Even the history of his own planet, despite being all logic and event based, was not devoid of falsehoods and power-plays of hidden motivations of his peoples – for good and evil are merely tools for the superior intellect to achieve its end. Whether an end is noble or not is merely the moralizing semantics put on it by those who wish to see matters in that light. Whereas, in reality, these have no a priori moral and spiritual bounds put on them by creatures who lack the right-half brain function to feel, to empathize, and to moralize. (See Morality derived from the Intellect leads to Enslavement!)

In addition, human beings especially, are among the most subjective and highly malleable of cognitive creatures. Mr. Spock well knows after his lifelong sojourn among them that it is the race of mankind, more than any other cognitive race in the vast expanse of the universe, that most naturally espouses irrational feelings, uncalled for emotions, loves, hates, anxieties, fears, wants, sense of belonging, and are often driven by hidden subconscious motivations of which they themselves remain cognitively unaware of. These psychological forces and innate proclivity towards partisanship, tribalism, ethnocentrism, and ideological alliance shared with relevant political community, etc., naturally color their perception of events, epochs, and history which they record as its scholars, no differently than those who sanction or orchestrate those events, epochs, and history as the “history’s actors”. No scientist, historian, sociological commentator and scholar is immune from these psychological forces.

Its undesirable consequence to accurate scholarship is that myths and falsehoods get easily amplified with successive generation of historians just as much as unpopular truths get easily attenuated. The truth of these words is beyond doubt. It is in fact self-evident. It can be witnessed in the scholarship of any people and any civilization among mankind. Just the straightforward observation that heroes of one civilization often turn out to be the villains of another, and vice versa, is sufficient to create caution in the mind of the non dogmatic student of both history and current affairs that even the most scholarly narratives minimally have to be studied with the forensic eye of scrutiny. Without awareness of psychological and sociological forces, the human student seeking understanding of history is as compelled to ‘United We Stand’ with the narratives due to “group-think” as the narrators themselves. Mr. Spock fortunately is not human.

For the case at hand, Mr. Spock discovers that no written records exist of the early period of the advent of Islam until after more than a century of the death of its Prophet. Several generations until then, as was noted by the first historians writing of that period some two centuries later, had carried the Sunnah of the Prophet of Islam, the Qur’anic directive “Obey the Messenger”, in their cultural memories, or word of mouth, and passed them from father to son, mother to daughter, generation after generation, due to the tyranny of the Muslim rulers who were crafting dynastic empires on Islam. These rulers, it was evident, had themselves sanctioned historical narratives and compilations of Sunnah which were not inimical to their own ruling interests.

Nevertheless, Mr. Spock also realized that facts are facts. And so he began searching the vast computer libraries of millions of books on Islam beginning from its earliest primary written works in search of what might be unarguable, reliable, and authenticated facts and events pertaining to the epoch of the Messenger of the Holy Qur’an and those that immediately followed, to lend some sociological context to his study. To further identify what is a real fact vs. merely a narrative which might or might not be true, Spock clarified his thinking thusly. He took the most shocking example of a fact to delineate what he considered incontrovertible fact vs. merely a historical narrative.

The following is an exemplar case study to illustrate the issues, the difficulties, and the forensic approach to resolving indirections using guidance from the Determinate verses of the Holy Qur’an which has called itself: Al-Furqaan, الْفُرْقَانَ (verse 25:1). Many other Qur’anic indirections and conundrums can similarly be examined using this exemplary approach.

An incontrovertible fact is of the following type: The historical narrative indicated that a Muslim ruler in the Ummayad Dynasty, in 680 AD, slaughtered Hussein ibn Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib, the revered grandson of the Prophet of Islam, along with many other male members of his family including children. And this act transpired despite the Author of the Holy Qur’an’s remarkable and explicit commandment to Muslims to both honor the Author’s Messenger, and to honor and love the Messenger’s “near of kin”, which obviously includes his progeny:

‘Say: “No reward do I ask of you for this except the love of those near of kin.”’ (Surah Ash-Shura 42:23)

قُل لَّآ أَسْـَٔلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ أَجْرًا إِلَّا ٱلْمَوَدَّةَ فِى ٱلْقُرْبَىٰ ۗ

Evidently, even to the untrained prima facie eye, never mind to the super-trained mind of a forensic detective of history like Mr. Spock, something major appeared to have gone systemically wrong after the death of the Prophet of Islam. Only within the passage of a mere sixty years, matters came to this criminal abhorrence of internecine Muslim upon Muslim state violence inflicted upon the family of the Messenger. And this despite the most lucid and clear-text commandment of the Holy Qur’an to the Muslim polity: ‘Say: “No reward do I ask of you for this except the love of those near of kin.”’


Identity of Ahlul Bayt in the Holy Qur’an – An Indeterminate

The reasonable question arose in Mr. Spock’s mind: why this commandment to honor and love the Exemplar’s progeny, his “zurriyat”, those near of kin, فِى ٱلْقُرْبَىٰ ? What is so special about the Prophet of Islam’s kin? And again, what is the purpose for loving them? Note that in this verse there is no command to obey them. It is to actually love them, ٱلْمَوَدَّةَ , with emotional content. Rather unusual to ask people to love someone else’s progeny. What is the context for showing such love and faithfulness to them?

Indeed, much preference and affinity is shown for the family of the Prophet of Islam by the Author of the Holy Qur’an, by referring to them as أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ , Ahlul Bayt. and sanctifying them with a وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا , a thorough purification:

And stay quietly in your houses, and make not a dazzling display, like that of the former Times of Ignorance; and establish regular Prayer, and give regular Charity; and obey Allah and His Messenger.

And Allah only wishes to remove all abomination from you, ye members of the Family, and to make you pure and spotless.” (Surah Al-Ahzaab, 33:33)

وَقَرْنَ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ وَلَا تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ الْأُولَىٰ ۖ وَأَقِمْنَ الصَّلَاةَ وَآتِينَ الزَّكَاةَ وَأَطِعْنَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۚ

إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا

Caption Verse 33:33 Surah Al-Ahzaab – the Verse of Purification. Incredible verse that hides a wellspring of semantics by employing the gender sensitivity of Arabic grammar in its second person pronoun to describe the composition of Ahlul Bayt. Another reason for misunderstanding the Holy Qur’an – its sophistication of using the Classical Arabic language constructs to hide a wellspring of secrets that none among the ordinary people seeking guidance from it shall fathom except those who are capable of understanding أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ (see verse 3:7) and having command of its unsurpassed natural language of exposition بِلِسَانِ قَوْمِهِۦ (see verse 14:4)! Verse 33:33 is a categorical example of why the Holy Qur’an is simply untranslatable, even syntactically, let alone semantically! Even the “Orientalism” jaundiced West is reluctantly forced to admit this characteristic of the Holy Qur’an: “The miraculous rhetorical quality that the Qur’an has for the reader is lost in translation, … mistranslation usually occurs when translators retain Arabic terms or force a single meaning upon Arabic words.” (http://tinyurl.com/Quran-Untranslatable-Harvard).

Why is the Prophet’s family so important to the Author of the Holy Qur’an, persisted Mr. Spock? Why is the Prophet’s Ahlul Bayt given such preeminence based merely on their DNA, as it would appear?

Before we proceed further in hot pursuit of that question, this remarkable verse fragment of 33:33 (إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا ) bears closer examination as it is exemplary of the most commonly misperceived verses of the Holy Qur’an, especially when read in translation.

As was only briefly alluded to earlier, Mr. Spock had already noted of the difficulty of understanding the Holy Qur’an, that within a verse, a verse fragment could be speaking of some entirely different topic from the rest of the verse, as for instance in 5:3, 8:41, and 33:33. And that the profound subtleties of Arabic grammar and its gender specificity, enabled changing the point of reference suddenly within a verse by simply changing the gender of the verb, noun, pronoun, etc., as for instance in the verse fragment of 33:33 which refers to the purification of the Ahlul Bayt. Let’s look at the complete verses preceding 33:33 which ostensibly establish the overarching context for that Verse of Purification of the Ahlul Bayt. But do they? Not if you read it in Arabic and know Arabic grammar. Whereas, when you read it in translation, you are easily misled unless the translator took the pains to accurately capture the gender change of the pronoun in a footnote or in parenthesis to clarify matters which could not be translated in a non-gender sensitive language. And, the publisher also continued to reprint the translation with footnotes un-modified until the time you got hold of that translation.[7]

The savvy Mr. Spock trenchantly noted the games played in translations, and also by publishers, for deliberate sectarian obfuscation of what was plainly manifest in the Qur’anic Arabic. From his ship’s vast library collection, Mr. Spock compared editions of the same translations from different publishers and warily noted the remarkable dropping or subtle modification of the clarification footnotes posthumously in some subsequent editions even when the translator had taken pains to footnote the gender change and its implication in understanding the verse accurately in his original work.

The following table captures the complete context of the topic under discussion in Surah Al-Ahzaab, verses 33:28-34, using Yusuf Ali’s translation.

O Prophet! Say to thy Consorts: “If it be that ye desire the life of this World, and its glitter,- then come! I will provide for your enjoyment and set you free in a handsome manner. (28)

يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّبِىُّ قُل لِّأَزْوَٰجِكَ إِن كُنتُنَّ تُرِدْنَ ٱلْحَيَوٰةَ ٱلدُّنْيَا وَزِينَتَهَا فَتَعَالَيْنَ أُمَتِّعْكُنَّ وَأُسَرِّحْكُنَّ سَرَاحًا جَمِيلًا

But if ye seek Allah and His Messenger, and the Home of the Hereafter, verily Allah has prepared for the well-doers amongst you a great reward, (29)

وَإِن كُنتُنَّ تُرِدْنَ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُۥ وَٱلدَّارَ ٱلْءَاخِرَةَ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ أَعَدَّ لِلْمُحْسِنَٰتِ مِنكُنَّ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا

O Consorts of the Prophet! If any of you were guilty of evident unseemly conduct, the Punishment would be doubled to her, and that is easy for Allah. (30)

يَٰنِسَآءَ ٱلنَّبِىِّ مَن يَأْتِ مِنكُنَّ بِفَٰحِشَةٍ مُّبَيِّنَةٍ يُضَٰعَفْ لَهَا ٱلْعَذَابُ ضِعْفَيْنِ ۚ وَكَانَ ذَٰلِكَ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ يَسِيرًا

But any of you that is devout in the service of Allah and His Messenger, and works righteousness,- to her shall We grant her reward twice: and We have prepared for her a generous Sustenance. (31)

وَمَن يَقْنُتْ مِنكُنَّ لِلَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِۦ وَتَعْمَلْ صَٰلِحًا نُّؤْتِهَآ أَجْرَهَا مَرَّتَيْنِ وَأَعْتَدْنَا لَهَا رِزْقًا كَرِيمًا

O Consorts of the Prophet! Ye are not like any of the (other) women: if ye do fear (Allah), be not too complacent of speech, lest one in whose heart is a disease should be moved with desire: but speak ye a speech (that is) just. (32)

يَٰنِسَآءَ ٱلنَّبِىِّ لَسْتُنَّ كَأَحَدٍ مِّنَ ٱلنِّسَآءِ ۚ إِنِ ٱتَّقَيْتُنَّ فَلَا تَخْضَعْنَ بِٱلْقَوْلِ فَيَطْمَعَ ٱلَّذِى فِى قَلْبِهِۦ مَرَضٌ وَقُلْنَ قَوْلًا مَّعْرُوفًا

And stay quietly in your houses, and make not a dazzling display, like that of the former Times of Ignorance; and establish regular Prayer, and give regular Charity; and obey Allah and His Messenger.

And Allah only wishes to remove all abomination from you, ye members of the Family, and to make you pure and spotless. (33:33)

وَقَرْنَ فِى بُيُوتِكُنَّ وَلَا تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ ٱلْجَٰهِلِيَّةِ ٱلْأُولَىٰ ۖ وَأَقِمْنَ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَءَاتِينَ ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ وَأَطِعْنَ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُۥٓ ۚ

إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ ٱللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنكُمُ ٱلرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ ٱلْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا

And recite what is rehearsed to you in your homes, of the Signs of Allah and His Wisdom: for Allah understands the finest mysteries and is well-acquainted (with them). (Surah Al-Ahzaab, 33:34) (Tr. Abdullah Yusuf Ali)

وَٱذْكُرْنَ مَا يُتْلَىٰ فِى بُيُوتِكُنَّ مِنْ ءَايَٰتِ ٱللَّهِ وَٱلْحِكْمَةِ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ لَطِيفًا خَبِيرًا

Caption Surah Al-Ahzaab, verses 33:28-34 – An illustrative case of how a translation fails to capture the semantics of the Qur’anic Arabic grammar accurately due to language limitations of English which does not have gender-specific second person pronouns and possessive pronouns. In this instance, it leads to the misperception that the interspersed verse fragment purifying the Ahlul Bayt in 33:33 is referring to the Messenger’s wives just because the wives are being addressed by the Author earlier in that verse, and also in the preceding verses, and in the succeeding verse! This switch in topic for the verse of purification cannot be captured in a translated language which does not have gender-specific 2nd person pronoun with the same semantics as the Classical Qur’anic Arabic does, without explicit elaboration.

The following table completely decomposes verses 33:33 and 33:34 word by word. Please take a few minutes to study the switch in pronoun from 2nd person feminine plural possessive pronoun when referring to the houses of the wives, to 2nd person masculine plural object pronoun when referring to the Ahlul Bayt, and back to 2nd person feminine plural possessive pronoun when referring again to the houses of the wives in 33:34:

  • 2nd person feminine plural possessive pronoun

  • (33:33:3) بُيُوتِكُنَّ buyūtikunna your houses

  • 2nd person masculine plural object pronoun

  • (33:33:20) عَنكُمُ ankumu from you,

  • (33:33:24) وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ wayuṭahhirakum And to purify you

  • 2nd person feminine plural possessive pronoun

  • (33:34:5) بُيُوتِكُنَّ buyūtikunna your houses

The significance of this switch in pronouns is not lost on the super analytical Mr. Spock.

Having become an instant grammarian of the classical Arabic language, Mr. Spock knows that the 2nd person masculine pronoun كُمُ “kum”, and 2nd person feminine pronoun كُنَّ “kunna”, unambiguously represent the following semantics in order to be grammatically correct in their usage:

  • kum” when used with a plural object or possessive case represents a composition that must contain at least one or more males, and may contain zero or more females (it is equivalent of 2nd person pronoun “you”, “ تمand “vous” in gender neutral English, Urdu, and French respectively) ;

  • kunna” represents an all female composition (it has no equivalent in English, Urdu, French, et. al.; consequently, the same 2nd person pronoun “you”, “ تمand “vous” are respectively re-used causing a loss in semantics in translation).

Word by Word Decomposition of Surah Al-Ahzaab 33:3334

Translation

Arabic word

Syntax and morphology

(33:33:1)
waqarna
And stay

CONJ – prefixed conjunction wa (and)
V – 2nd person feminine plural imperative verb
PRON – subject pronoun

الواو عاطفة
فعل أمر والتاء ضمير متصل في محل رفع فاعل

(33:33:2)

in

P – preposition

حرف جر

(33:33:3)
buyūtikunna
your houses

N – genitive masculine plural noun
PRON – 2nd person feminine plural possessive pronoun

اسم مجرور والكاف ضمير متصل في محل جر بالاضافة

(33:33:4)
walā
and (do) not

CONJ – prefixed conjunction wa (and)
PRO – prohibition particle

الواو عاطفة
حرف نهي

(33:33:5)
tabarrajna
display yourselves

V – 2nd person feminine plural (form V) imperfect verb, jussive mood
PRON – subject pronoun

فعل مضارع مجزوم والتاء ضمير متصل في محل رفع فاعل

(33:33:6)
tabarruja
(as was the) display

N – accusative masculine (form V) verbal noun

اسم منصوب

(33:33:7)
l-jāhiliyati
(of the times of) ignorance

PN – genitive feminine proper noun → Al-Jahiliyah

اسم علم مجرور

(33:33:8)
l-ūlā
the former.

N – nominative feminine noun

اسم مرفوع

(33:33:9)
wa-aqim’na
And establish

CONJ – prefixed conjunction wa (and)
V – 2nd person feminine plural (form IV) imperative verb
PRON – subject pronoun

الواو عاطفة
فعل أمر والتاء ضمير متصل في محل رفع فاعل

(33:33:10)
l-ṣalata
the prayer

N – accusative feminine noun

اسم منصوب

(33:33:11)
waātīna
and give

CONJ – prefixed conjunction wa (and)
V – 2nd person feminine plural (form IV) imperative verb
PRON – subject pronoun

الواو عاطفة
فعل أمر والتاء ضمير متصل في محل رفع فاعل

(33:33:12)
l-zakata
zakah

N – accusative feminine noun

اسم منصوب

(33:33:13)
wa-aṭiʿ’na
and obey

CONJ – prefixed conjunction wa (and)
V – 2nd person feminine plural (form IV) imperative verb
PRON – subject pronoun

الواو عاطفة
فعل أمر والتاء ضمير متصل في محل رفع فاعل

(33:33:14)
l-laha
Allah

PN – accusative proper noun → Allah

لفظ الجلالة منصوب

(33:33:15)
warasūlahu
and His Messenger.

CONJ – prefixed conjunction wa (and)
N – accusative masculine noun
PRON – 3rd person masculine singular possessive pronoun

الواو عاطفة
اسم منصوب والهاء ضمير متصل في محل جر بالاضافة

(33:33:16)
innamā
Only

ACC – accusative particle
PREV – preventive particle

كافة ومكفوفة

(33:33:17)
yurīdu
Allah wishes

V – 3rd person masculine singular (form IV) imperfect verb

فعل مضارع

(33:33:18)
l-lahu
Allah wishes

PN – nominative proper noun → Allah

لفظ الجلالة مرفوع

(33:33:19)
liyudh’hiba
to remove

PRP – prefixed particle of purpose lām
V – 3rd person masculine singular (form IV) imperfect verb, subjunctive mood

اللام لام التعليل
فعل مضارع منصوب

(33:33:20)
ʿankumu
from you

P – preposition
PRON – 2nd person masculine plural object pronoun

جار ومجرور

(33:33:21)
l-rij’sa
the impurity,

N – accusative masculine noun

اسم منصوب

(33:33:22)
ahla
(O) People

N – accusative masculine noun

اسم منصوب

(33:33:23)
l-bayti
(of) the House!

N – genitive masculine noun

اسم مجرور

(33:33:24)
wayuṭahhirakum
And to purify you

CONJ – prefixed conjunction wa (and)
V – 3rd person masculine singular (form II) imperfect verb, subjunctive mood
PRON – 2nd person masculine plural object pronoun

الواو عاطفة
فعل مضارع منصوب والكاف ضمير متصل في محل نصب مفعول به

(33:33:25)
taṭhīran
(with thorough) purification.

N – accusative masculine indefinite (form II) verbal noun

اسم منصوب

(33:34:1)
wa-udh’kur’na
And remember

CONJ – prefixed conjunction wa (and)
V – 2nd person feminine plural imperative verb
PRON – subject pronoun

الواو عاطفة
فعل أمر والتاء ضمير متصل في محل رفع فاعل

(33:34:2)

what

REL – relative pronoun

اسم موصول

(33:34:3)
yut’lā
is recited

V – 3rd person masculine singular passive imperfect verb, subjunctive mood

فعل مضارع مبني للمجهول منصوب

(33:34:4)

in

P – preposition

حرف جر

(33:34:5)
buyūtikunna
your houses

N – genitive masculine plural noun
PRON – 2nd person feminine plural possessive pronoun

اسم مجرور والكاف ضمير متصل في محل جر بالاضافة

(33:34:6)
min
of

P – preposition

حرف جر

(33:34:7)
āyāti
(the) Verses

N – genitive feminine plural noun

اسم مجرور

(33:34:8)
l-lahi
(of) Allah

PN – genitive proper noun → Allah

لفظ الجلالة مجرور

(33:34:9)
wal-ḥik’mati
and the wisdom.

CONJ – prefixed conjunction wa (and)
N – genitive feminine noun

الواو عاطفة
اسم مجرور

(33:34:10)
inna
Indeed,

ACC – accusative particle

حرف نصب

(33:34:11)
l-laha
Allah

PN – accusative proper noun → Allah

لفظ الجلالة منصوب

(33:34:12)
kāna
is

V – 3rd person masculine singular perfect verb

فعل ماض

(33:34:13)
laṭīfan
All-Subtle,

N – accusative masculine singular indefinite noun

اسم منصوب

(33:34:14)
khabīran
All-Aware.

ADJ – accusative masculine singular indefinite adjective

صفة منصوبة

Caption Surah Al-Ahzaab, verse 33:33-34 Word by Word syntactical decomposition. (Arabic syntax and grammar courtesy of corpus.quran.com/documentation/grammar.jsp ; corpus.quran.com/wordbyword.jsp?chapter=33&verse=33 )

The following table captures some prominent English and Urdu translations of verse 33:33, all of them spectacularly failing to capture the gender switch of the 2nd person pronoun from feminine to masculine form of the original verse in Arabic when referring to the Ahlul Bayt. Whether or not this translated language limitation is footnoted in the original printed editions by their respective translators to draw attention to the significance of this switch in pronouns, is not known.

And stay in your houses and do not display your finery like the displaying of the ignorance of yore; and keep up prayer, and pay the poor-rate, and obey Allah and His Apostle. Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House! and to purify you a (thorough) purifying. (Muhammad Ali Habib Shakir, House of Habib, Pakistan)

And stay in your houses and do not display your finery like the displaying of the ignorance of yore; and keep up prayer, and pay the poorrate, and obey Allah and His Apostle; Allah only desires to take away the uncleanness from you, O people of the household! and to purify you a (thorough) purifying. (Maulana Muhammad Ali MMA 1917 PDF)

And stay in your houses. Bedizen not yourselves with the bedizenment of the Time of Ignorance. Be regular in prayer, and pay the poor-due, and obey Allah and His messenger. Allah’s wish is but to remove uncleanness far from you, O Folk of the Household, and cleanse you with a thorough cleansing. (Marmaduke Pickthall)

Remain in your houses; and display not your finery, as did the pagans of old. And perform the prayer, and pay the alms, and obey God and His Messenger. People of the House, God only desires to put away from you abomination and to cleanse you. (Arthur John Arberry)

Stay at home, and do not deck yourselves with ostentation as in the days of paganism; fulfil your devotional obligations, pay the zakat, and obey God and His Apostle. God desires to remove impurities from you, O inmates of this house, and to cleanse and bring out the best in you. (Ahmed Ali)

And stay in Your houses. and display not yourselves! with the display of the times of former Paganism; and establish the prayer and give the poor-rate and obey Allah and His apostle. Allah only desireth to take away uncleanness from you, people of the house-hold, and to purify you with a thorough purification. (Abdul Majid Daryabadi)

And abide quietly in your homes, and do not flaunt your charms as they used to flaunt them in the old days of pagan ignorance; and be constant in prayer, and render the purifying dues, and pay heed unto God and His Apostle: for God only wants to remove from you all that might be loathsome, O you members of the [Prophet’s] household, and to purify you to utmost purity. (Muhammad Asad)

And stay in your homes and do not go about displaying your allurements as in the former Time of Ignorance. Establish Prayer, give Zakah, and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah only wishes to remove uncleanness from you, O members of the (Prophet’s) household, and to purify you completely. (Abul Ala Maududi)

Stay in your houses and do not display your finery with the display of the former [days of ] ignorance. Maintain the prayer and pay the zakat and obey Allah and His Apostle. Indeed Allah desires to repel all impurity from you, O People of the Household, and purify you with a thorough purification. (Ali Quli Qara’i)

اپنے گھروں میں ٹِک کر رہو اور سابق دور جاہلیت کی سی سج دھج نہ دکھاتی پھرو نماز قائم کرو، زکوٰۃ دو اور اللہ اور اُس کے رسولؐ کی اطاعت کرو اللہ تو یہ چاہتا ہے کہ اہلِ بیتِ نبیؐ سے گندگی کو دور کرے اور تمہیں پوری طرح پاک کر دے
(Abul Ala Maududi)

اور اپنے گھروں میں بیٹھی رہو اور گزشتہ زمانہ جاہلیت کی طرح بناؤ سنگھار دکھاتی نہ پھرو اور نماز پڑھو اور زکواة دو اور الله اور اس کے رسول کی فرمانبرداری کرو الله یہی چاہتا ہے کہ اے اس گھر والو تم سے ناپاکی دور کرے اور تمہیں خوب پاک کرے
(Ahmed Ali)

اور اپنے گھر میں بیٹھی رہو اور پہلی جاہلیت جیسا بناؤ سنگھار نہ کرو اور نماز قائم کرو اور زکوِٰادا کرو اوراللہ اور اس کے رسول کی اطاعت کرو بس اللہ کا ارادہ یہ ہے اے اہلبیت علیھ السّلام کہ تم سے ہر برائی کو دور رکھے اور اس طرح پاک و پاکیزہ رکھے جو پاک و پاکیزہ رکھنے کا حق ہے
(Syed Zeeshan Haider Jawadi)

اور اپنے گھروں میں قرار سے رہو اور سابقہ زمانۂ جاہلیت کی طرح اپنی آرائش کی نمائش نہ کرتی پھرو (باہر نہ نکلا کرو) اور نماز قائم کرو اور زکوٰۃ ادا کرو اور اللہ اور اس کے رسول کی اطاعت کیا کرو۔ اے اہل بیت! اللہ تو بس یہی چاہتا ہے کہ تم سے ہر قسم کے رجس (آلودگی) کو دور رکھے اور تمہیں اس طرح پاک و پاکیزہ رکھے جس طرح پاک رکھنے کا حق ہے۔

(Ayatollah Muhammad Hussain Najafi)

Caption various translations of Surah Al-Ahzaab verse 33:33 into English and Urdu, the non-gender sensitive languages, all spectacularly failing to capture the semantics created due to the gender change from feminine to masculine form of the 2nd person pronoun when referring to the Ahlul Bayt. (Translations are from the electronic versions at tanzil.net/trans/ ; MMA 1917 PDF courtesy of aaiil.org ; Ali Quli Qara’i courtesy of islamawakened.com/Quran/33/33/default.htm )

In French, which is more gender sensitive than either English or Urdu but less so than Classical Arabic, the translation of verse 33:33 is given below. The 2nd person pronoun “vous” in French, like its Urdu and English 2nd person pronoun counterpart “ تم ” and “you” respectively, including the possessive case variations thereof, are unfortunately gender neutral and unable to distinguish between singular and plural object, leading to the same loss in semantics.

Restez dans vos foyers; et ne vous exhibez pas à la manière des femmes d’avant l’Islam (Jâhiliyah). Accomplissez la Salât, acquittez la Zakât et obéissez à Allah et à Son messager. Allah ne veut que vous débarrasser de toute souillure, ô gens de la maison [du prophète], et veut vous purifier pleinement. (verse 33:33 Tr. Muhammad Hamidullah)

Caption Translation of verse 33:33 into French. The second person pronoun vous is gender neutral just like in Urdu and English, despite French being more gender sensitive than either English or Urdu, therefore leading to the same loss in semantics.

In Spanish however, the matter is salvaged. Spanish enables expressing gender sensitivity of the object by addition of either “os” or “as” to the verb. Therefore, a correct semantic translation of verse 33:33 from Arabic into Spanish is possible by reflecting the 2nd person plural gender sensitivity of the pronoun in Arabic, to the correct conjugated form of the verb expressing the gender and plurality of the object. So, if “gente de la casa” (Ahlul Bayt) was referring to only the wives of the Messenger, the grammatically correct verb conjugation of the root verbs ‘librar’ and ‘purificar’ in Spanish would have been “libraras” and “purificaras” instead of “libraros” and “purificaros”.

¡Quedaos en vuestras casas! ¡No os acicaléis como se acicalaban las natiguas paganas! ¡Haced la azalá! ¡Dad el azaque! ¡Obedeced a Alá y a Su Enviado! Alá sólo quiere libraros de la mancha, gente de la casa, y purificaros por completo. (verse 33:33 Tr. Julio Cortes)

Caption Translation of verse 33:33 into Spanish. The loss of semantics in translation is prevented by reflecting the 2nd person plural masculine pronoun of Arabic on the correct selection of masculine or feminine verb conjugation, since both choices are available in Spanish to indicate object composition and its plurality.

That language limitation conundrum disclosed above, noted Mr. Spock, is yet another source of misunderstanding the Holy Qur’an – studying it in translation! The Holy Qur’an is simply untranslatable, in any language. Which is why the famous translator Arthur J. Arberry, in deep humility, called his excellent rendition into English: “The Koran Interpreted”. Even the “Orientalism” jaundiced West is reluctantly forced to admit this characteristic of the Holy Qur’an: “The miraculous rhetorical quality that the Qur’an has for the reader is lost in translation, … mistranslation usually occurs when translators retain Arabic terms or force a single meaning upon Arabic words.” (see http://tinyurl.com/Quran-Untranslatable-Harvard).

Furthermore, a translation also lends itself easily to both Machiavellian as well as inadvertent perception management of the public mind. We can see this pernicious cognitive infiltration in the contemporary English translation of the Holy Qur’an titled: The Sublime Quran (see http://tinyurl.com/Critique-Laleh-Bakhtiar-Zahir).

To this day, countless generations of Muslims growing up in non Arabic speaking Muslim countries do not perceive what has so straightforwardly been demonstrated above, as the sophistication of the classical Arabic language to mask its secrets from the unwary by something so elegant as simply a gender change in its 2nd person pronoun. The syntactic as well as semantic limitations of any translation language in comparison to the intrinsic richness and succinctness of Qur’anic Arabic requires much reframing for the target language in order to preserve both literal as well as semantic accuracy, which, as in the case of verse 33:33, simply cannot be maintained without additional footnotes and parenthetical annotations.

These language limitations naturally create additional motivation to seek sources of explanation and exegeses outside of the pages of the Holy Qur’an, called “tafsir”, especially for those who do not speak Arabic, which is approximately 90 percent of the 1.6 to 2 billion Muslim public spread throughout the world in many different cultures and civilizations. That fact automatically leads to the very paradox being explored in this analysis: fallible hands, fallible minds, and fallible hearts, some clean and some unclean, some competent and some incompetent, none of them categorically known to be among the “Ar-Rasikhoon-fil-ilm” (الرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ ) of verse 3:7 of the Holy Qur’an, expositing the pristine text of the Holy Qur’an according to their own perception and socialization bias – rather than the Word of its own Author explain itself. (See a detailed examination of the translation issue in: Critique: Laleh Bakhtiar and The Sublime Quran , http://tinyurl.com/Critique-Laleh-Bakhtiar-Zahir )

At least with respect to this verse fragment 33:33, the native Arabic speaker has a leg-up on the non Arabic speaker. The former knows that Ahlul Bayt is being referred to with a masculine pronoun and therefore its composition, by definition, comprises one or more males, and cannot comprise only females, and therefore the verse fragment 33:33 is not necessarily referring to the wives, or even just the wives alone. If that verse fragment was indeed referring to only the wives, an all female group, then the feminine form of the pronoun would have been used to refer to the Ahlul Bayt as is done when referring to the houses of the wives before and after that verse of purification.

But that’s also where the native Arabic speaker’s advantage over the non-speaker ends. Neither knows the actual composition of the Ahlul Bayt beyond that prima facie information contained in that sequence of verses 33:28-34 reproduced above, that it is a Household of the Prophet, and comprises one or more males, and zero or more females, and it may or may not contain the wives of the Prophet, irrespective of the fact that the verse fragment is interspersed in between where the Author of the Holy Qur’an is commanding the wives of the Prophet of Islam what they are supposed to do. Whereas, in the purification fragment of verse 33:33, the Author declares what He Himself intends to do to the Ahlul Bayt. That change of “actor” from the wives to the Author and back to the wives is most conspicuous in the verse. In that interspersed switch, the Author pledged some abstract “perfect purification” to the Ahlul Bayt. What that “perfect purification” means remains as foreign to the native speaker of Arabic as to the non-speaker. It requires for both to indulge in much due diligence to uncover. Mr. Spock was finding that the Holy Qur’an is hardly the Book that is so easy to understand or so clear as claimed by its Author.


Returning to the thread of analysis before that closer look at verse 33:33, the same verse fragment of “perfect purification” begs the obvious question: Why are only the Ahlul Bayt chosen by the Author of the Holy Qur’an and sanctified so specially with such a profound divine benefaction: “Allah only wishes to remove all abomination from you, ye members of the Family, and to make you pure and spotless” (إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا ), and no one else is chosen for this benefaction from among the vast number of respected companions and close familial ties of the Prophet of Islam?

What did this unusual “purification” actually mean in the language of the Holy Qur’an such that it exclusively only applied to the Ahlul Bayt?

How should (وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا ) be accurately understood from its cipher-text form? Having witnessed the ease of straightforward obfuscation possible due to the gender-specific Arabic grammar cleverly employed in this verse to suddenly change the context, Mr. Spock is exceptionally vigilant for correct and un-careless decoding of the cipher text of the Holy Qur’an, and especially for this verse fragment which evidently is hiding some secret. It appeared to be another one of those bedeviling verses (مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ ) defined in verse 3:7 on the face of it. Perhaps it was an Indeterminate, and perhaps it wasn’t. To further his understanding of what was meant by “purification”, Mr. Spock therefore pushes onto the ever growing evaluation stack the words “Tahira kum Tathira” (وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا ) of verse 33:33, and the related “Mutaharoon” (الْمُطَهَّرُونَ ) of verse 56:79 (see Surah Al-Waqia quoted above).

Perhaps that held an important clue to the identity of who were being purified if what “purification” actually meant in the language of the Holy Qur’an could be correctly deciphered. Then its purpose, the why, would become known, which would in turn perhaps lead to the who, as in who could achieve that purpose. Even in the prima facie meaning, it obviously was not an exoteric physical purification, such as cleansing of the physical body. Rather, it implied some esoteric “religious” purification just from examining the verses 56:78 and 56:79 which a priori defined who could even access the Holy Qur’an: “In a Book well-guarded, Which none shall touch but those who are clean (purified).” (الْمُطَهَّرُونَ )

To Mr. Spock’s perceptive mind already attuned to different methods of access control for managing hierarchical access to privileged information, the concept of “purification” in the light of verses 56:78-79 appeared akin to the Author of the Holy Qur’an requiring a “security clearance” for access to His Message in the “Book well-guarded”. And the Book progressively revealing more and more of its inner secrets higher the “security clearance” of the seeker of its Guidance. Therefore, “perfect purification” would logically mean the highest level of “security clearance” and the complete revealing of all its deep secrets to those who possessed that rank – the “Ar-Rasikhoon-fil-ilm” (الرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ ) described in verse 3:7 (already quoted above). Thus, the Author of the Holy Qur’an choosing the Ahlul Bayt for “perfect purification” appeared to harbor a far deeper context beyond what was superficially apparent from a careless reading of verse 33:33 which was in outright error. The matter demanded careful analysis and deeper study. The Holy Qur’an itself demanded such due diligence by straightforwardly asserting: “Do they not then reflect on the Qur’an? Nay, on the hearts there are locks.” (see 47:24 quoted below).

To Mr. Spock’s observant mind, preference for a choosing a particular family and lineage, a particular strand of human DNA above all the nations, and continuing to choose from that strand generation after generation for the divinely appointed stewardship of man, لِلنَّاسِ إِمَامًا , appeared to play a principal role in the overall provenance and sequence of divine guidance by the Author of the Holy Qur’an:

Surely Allah chose Adam and Nuh and the descendants of Ibrahim and the descendants of Imran above the nations.

Offspring one of the other; and Allah is Hearing, Knowing.” (Surah Aal-e-Imran 3:3334)

إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ ٱصْطَفَىٰٓ ءَادَمَ وَنُوحًا وَءَالَ إِبْرَٰهِيمَ وَءَالَ عِمْرَٰنَ عَلَى ٱلْعَٰلَمِينَ

ذُرِّيَّةًۢ بَعْضُهَا مِنۢ بَعْضٍ ۗ وَٱللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

And when his Lord tried Ibrahim with certain words, he fulfilled them.

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” (Surah Al-Baqara, 2:124)

وَإِذِ ٱبْتَلَىٰٓ إِبْرَٰهِۦمَ رَبُّهُۥ بِكَلِمَٰتٍ فَأَتَمَّهُنَّ ۖ

قَالَ إِنِّى جَاعِلُكَ لِلنَّاسِ إِمَامًا ۖ

قَالَ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِى ۖ

قَالَ لَا يَنَالُ عَهْدِى ٱلظَّٰلِمِينَ

Caption Verses of the Holy Qur’an laying out the Principle of Divine Appointment of leadership bestowed upon Apostles, Messengers, and Imams. The verses of Surah Aal-e-Imran 3:33-34, and Surah Al-Baqara 2:124, clearly and succinctly state that Allah chooses His Imams above the nations as Divinely Appointed guides for the people whom people can follow (the word “Imam” لِلنَّاسِ إِمَامًا ), that these chosen people are offspring one of the other, and that it is not a democratic selection by the people! (See Principle of Inerrancy below as the co-requisite for Divine Appointment of leadership)

So, once again encountering a preference for a specific family, the Ahlul Bayt, which Allah chose in 33:33 for a thorough purification, and in 42:23 commanded the Prophet to tell the people to love his “those near of kin”, was not unusual to Mr. Spock’s perceptive mind. It followed a consistent pattern, that the Author of the Holy Qur’an chose whomsoever as His Messengers, Exemplars, and Imams above all the other peoples. And verses 3:33-34 and 2:124 unambiguously and unequivocally indicated the Author’s particular preference for a very specific lineage starting from Prophet Adam, “Offspring one of the other”, to choose Prophets and Imams from among that lineage only, to bring His Divine Message to all peoples among mankind (see verse 10:47 quoted above, and many others like 16:36 “And verily We have raised in every nation a messenger, (proclaiming): Serve Allah and shun false gods”). The Author’s preference for the Prophet of Islam’s Ahlul Bayt in verse 33:33 was from the same DNA strand of Prophet Ibrahim. Which, according to verse 2:124, قَالَ إِنِّى جَاعِلُكَ لِلنَّاسِ إِمَامًا ۖ قَالَ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِى ۖ قَالَ لَا يَنَالُ عَهْدِى ٱلظَّٰلِمِينَ , was also going to spawn Imams of the people throughout the ages in Prophet Ibrahim’s progeny.

Mr. Spock noted that verse 2:124 proffered an unambiguous criterion for such appointment. That, if there were to be any divinely appointed Imams among the people of Arabia, they had to emerge from the genetic seed of Prophet Ibrahim only, as per the Author’s Promise to Prophet Ibrahim. That criterion was just as applicable to Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, as to his Ahlul Bayt. Mr. Spock ascertained from the historical record that Prophet Muhammad was considered a descendent of Prophet Ibrahim by the people of Arabia, coming from the distinguished prophetic lineage of Bani Hashim who had been the keepers of the pilgrims’ structure called the Holy Kaaba for generations. The Author of the Holy Qur’an too attested to the fact that Prophet Muhammad was indeed a descendent of Prophet Ibrahim, by the act of choosing him over all others in Arabia as His Messenger – since the Author by His own admission only chose successive Prophets, Messengers, and Imams, from a single lineage as per His proclamation noted in verse 3:33-34.

Therefore, if there were to be any additional Imams as per the promise in verse 2:124 to Ibrahim, reasoned Mr. Spock, these Imams had to carry the seeds of Prophet Ibrahim or Prophet Muhammad in order to continue the Author’s self-proclaimed modus operandi for conveying His Guidance to the people: “Offspring one of the other”.

Furthermore, the Holy Qur’an attested to the fact that Muhammad was not a father of any men among the people:

Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Apostle of Allah and the Last of the prophets; and Allah is cognizant of all things.” (Surah Al-Ahzaab, 33:40)

مَّا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَآ أَحَدٍ مِّن رِّجَالِكُمْ وَلَٰكِن رَّسُولَ ٱللَّهِ وَخَاتَمَ ٱلنَّبِيِّۦنَ ۗ وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ عَلِيمًا

This automatically meant, reasoned Mr. Spock, that if such leadership as promised in verse 2:124 was to continue after the Prophet of Islam – Muhammad being the last of the Messengers according to the bold proclamation of the afore-quoted 33:40: رَّسُولَ ٱللَّهِ وَخَاتَمَ ٱلنَّبِيِّۦنَ as it evidently did by virtue of the Qur’anic commandment of 4:59: “obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you”, the latter “those charged with authority among you” could only emanate from either Prophet Ibrahim’s seed of which Muhammad was himself a progeny, or Prophet Muhammad’s own progeny.

The fact that Muhammad had a progeny is testified by the Holy Qur’an in the verse where its Author is evidently consoling His Messenger that it is the Messenger’s enemies who will be without progeny (and not him):

Surely your enemy is the one who shall be without posterity.” (Surah Al-Kauthar, 108:3)

إِنَّ شَانِئَكَ هُوَ ٱلْأَبْتَرُ

Therefore, in order for the Holy Qur’an to not be falsified, verses 33:40 and 108:3 straightforwardly imply that Prophet Muhammad’s progeny must be through his female offspring only as “Muhammad is not the father of any of your men”.

This criterion, adduced directly from the Holy Qur’an, automatically implied the composition of the Ahlul Bayt from which to search for Imams, leaving the straightforward identification of “Offspring one of the other” from the factual historical records by seeking out the Prophet of Islam’s female progeny. Provided of course that such factual historical records are incontrovertible, reliably documented. Fortunately, history documents to the same degree of empirical veracity as it documents that Prophet Muhammad is a real figure of history, that lady Fatima Zahra is Prophet Muhammad’s only seed, and her two sons, Hassan ibn Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib, and Hussein ibn Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib, are her only two offspring, the latter being killed by the Muslim Ummayad ruler’s army as noted at the beginning of this section. All recorded historical facts that remain incontrovertible.

However, the precise identity of the progeny is still held as an unknown variable in Mr. Spock’s logical mind in this specific thread despite being fully aware of the sociological context and documentation of Muslim history. Because, as already noted, in this study Mr. Spock is keenly interested in separating what the Holy Qur’an has itself conveyed in the “criterion” of “no doubt”, without confusing it with the historical records or the narratives of doubtful scribes of history. The criterion, once adduced from the Holy Qur’an and correctly understood, can always be applied for extracting any valid signals from the partisan noise of history to understand that history itself.

The general problem Mr. Spock is wrestling with, in case the reader has lost track, is the enigma that instead of applying the criterion learnt from the Holy Qur’an to parse history recorded by fallible scribes in order to improve its signal to noise ratio, history is evidently necessary to understand the meaning of the text of the Holy Qur’an due to its Indeterminates. That’s like putting the cart before the horse! Mr. Spock in this forensic study is sensibly trying to adduce the criterion first from the self-described “criterion” of “no doubt” revealed by the “Lord of the Worlds” on how to even go about selecting valid signals from the doubtful penmanship of history which could, in turn, perhaps enable deciphering the message of the Holy Qur’an to some degree of objectivity when at all necessary. In order to not lose sight of that primary motivation, Mr. Spock is explicitly holding what is an Indeterminate as an explicit variable (that is fixed from history by Muslims, often subjectively, based entirely on their socialization biases and/or vested interests), and what is Determinate as a known constant (which is lamentably often ignored by Muslims).

That is the main objective in Mr. Spock’s search for identifying the Ahlul Bayt from the Holy Qur’an, by understanding the criterion established in the Holy Qur’an itself, the book that called itself the “Criterion”, for their identification. Otherwise, if Mr. Spock is to ask even a laity Muslim during any epoch at any place, who the daughter of the Prophet of Islam and her children are, the laity will unanimously rush to inform him with a single answer – another incontrovertible fact of recorded history which unites all Muslims in all civilizations across time and space. It is this universal unity among Muslims on the fact of the identify of the Messenger’s progeny, just as their unity on the fact of the text of the Holy Qur’an being un-tampered by the hand of man, which lends more than just academic and existential veracity to the historical record documenting both. It is a component of the unshakable belief of a Muslim that has continued to be so throughout history right from the time of the Prophet of Islam.

Because of this unusual empiricism, the enigma posed in this section of the Prophet’s grandson being killed so mercilessly by the Muslim Ummayad army despite the clear-text Qur’anic commandment of verse 42:23 to love them, and the Muslims of the epoch clearly recognizing the Messenger’s progeny who weren’t an unknown to the people, is being examined in such great depth.

To Mr. Spock’s objective mind unsocialized into the Muslim ethos, just the fact that this violence upon the Messenger’s immediate grandchildren could even transpire at the hands of a Muslim ruler, and the Muslims of the time even permitted it to transpire, is indicative that both, historiography by partisans of power, and hagiography by partisans of victims of that power, is the defining epistemology of Muslim scholarship. And therefore, the latter had to be examined with an acute forensic eye to improve its reality to myth ratio. It lent further substance to the paradox Mr. Spock is grappling with that how could the “perfected” ciphertext of the Holy Qur’an require itself to be decoded by such an epistemology of imperfect pens of history? This is taken up in more depth in Part-IV.

Mr. Spock, persistent in his study, continues to qualitatively observe that the remarkable show of preference for the Messenger’s Ahlul Bayt was entirely self-consistent with the Author’s overarching narrative in the Holy Qur’an for choosing some over all others for His special favors. This idea of granting special favors to some people over all others during the period of providing guidance to the people, Mr. Spock discovered, is almost over-emphasized by the Author of the Holy Qur’an, as for instance in:

And this was Our argument which we gave to Ibrahim against his people; We exalt in dignity whom We please; surely your Lord is Wise, Knowing.” (Surah Al An’aam, 6:83)

وَتِلْكَ حُجَّتُنَآ ءَاتَيْنَٰهَآ إِبْرَٰهِيمَ عَلَىٰ قَوْمِهِۦ ۚ نَرْفَعُ دَرَجَٰتٍ مَّن نَّشَآءُ ۗ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ حَكِيمٌ عَلِيمٌ

Caption The Holy Qur’an elaborating upon the Principle of Divine Appointment of leadership and disclosing the fact that the people are often unhappy or jealous with such appointment! Verse 33:36 of Surah Al-Ahzaab (quoted above) testifies to the pathetic existence of this fact even among the Muslim believing companions of the Prophet of Islam! Surah Al An’aam verse 6:83 further sets the principle that the Divine Appointment by fiat by the Lord of the Worlds is even accompanied by the Lord’s Argument on behalf of His Appointee and against his people that is given to the Appointee. This verse lays out a hint to search in the Holy Qur’an for Divine Arguments when it comes to any question of Divine Appointment – since the Holy Qur’an speaks in its own explanation!

Mr. Spock recognizes that the continuation of verse 6:83 of Surah Al An’aam was further revealing of the Author’s principal modus operandi of choosing some over others for special favors, especially verse 6:87 “And from among their fathers and their descendants and their brethren, and We chose them and guided them into the right way.”

And verse fragments 6:89-90 asserted a pertinent purpose which further explained why “those charged with authority among you” existed in addition to the Prophet of Islam: “We have already entrusted with it a people who are not disbelievers in it. These are they whom Allah guided, therefore follow their guidance.”

And We gave to him Ishaq and Yaqoub; each did We guide, and Nuh did We guide before, and of his descendants, Dawood and Sulaiman and Ayub and Yusuf and Musa and Haroun; and thus do We reward those who do good (to others). (6:84)

وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُۥٓ إِسْحَٰقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ ۚ كُلًّا هَدَيْنَا ۚ وَنُوحًا هَدَيْنَا مِن قَبْلُ ۖ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِهِۦ دَاوُۥدَ وَسُلَيْمَٰنَ وَأَيُّوبَ وَيُوسُفَ وَمُوسَىٰ وَهَٰرُونَ ۚ وَكَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِى ٱلْمُحْسِنِينَ

And Zakariya and Yahya and Isa and Ilyas; every one was of the good; (6:85)

وَزَكَرِيَّا وَيَحْيَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ وَإِلْيَاسَ ۖ كُلٌّ مِّنَ ٱلصَّٰلِحِينَ

And Ismail and Al-Yasha and Yunus and Lut; and every one We made to excel (in) the worlds: (6:86)

وَإِسْمَٰعِيلَ وَٱلْيَسَعَ وَيُونُسَ وَلُوطًا ۚ وَكُلًّا فَضَّلْنَا عَلَى ٱلْعَٰلَمِينَ

And from among their fathers and their descendants and their brethren, and We chose them and guided them into the right way. (6:87)

وَمِنْ ءَابَآئِهِمْ وَذُرِّيَّٰتِهِمْ وَإِخْوَٰنِهِمْ ۖ وَٱجْتَبَيْنَٰهُمْ وَهَدَيْنَٰهُمْ إِلَىٰ صِرَٰطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ

This is Allah’s guidance, He guides thereby whom He pleases of His servants; and if they had set up others (with Him), certainly what they did would have become ineffectual for them. (6:88)

ذَٰلِكَ هُدَى ٱللَّهِ يَهْدِى بِهِۦ مَن يَشَآءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِۦ ۚ وَلَوْ أَشْرَكُوا۟ لَحَبِطَ عَنْهُم مَّا كَانُوا۟ يَعْمَلُونَ

These are they to whom We gave the book and the wisdom and the prophecy; therefore if these disbelieve in it We have already entrusted with it a people who are not disbelievers in it. (6:89)

أُو۟لَٰٓئِكَ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَاتَيْنَٰهُمُ ٱلْكِتَٰبَ وَٱلْحُكْمَ وَٱلنُّبُوَّةَ ۚ فَإِن يَكْفُرْ بِهَا هَٰٓؤُلَآءِ فَقَدْ وَكَّلْنَا بِهَا قَوْمًا لَّيْسُوا۟ بِهَا بِكَٰفِرِينَ

These are they whom Allah guided, therefore follow their guidance. Say: I do not ask you for any reward for it; it is nothing but a reminder to the nations. (6:90)

أُو۟لَٰٓئِكَ ٱلَّذِينَ هَدَى ٱللَّهُ ۖ فَبِهُدَىٰهُمُ ٱقْتَدِهْ ۗ قُل لَّآ أَسْـَٔلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ أَجْرًا ۖ إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا ذِكْرَىٰ لِلْعَٰلَمِينَ

Caption Surah Al An’aam verses 6:84-90 elaborating upon the Principle of Divine Appointment of leadership for the continued guidance of nations among mankind from time immemorial.

Unless Mr. Spock was erroneous in his analysis despite applying his best reasoning and logic capabilities which had earned him the most difficult position as the solo science officer aboard the Starship Enterprise, application of straightforward logic to the study of the Holy Qur’an had been incredibly revealing thus far. It was heartening to Mr. Spock that the Holy Qur’an emphatically admonished the people who did not reflect on its Message, or treated it as “just foolish nonsense” ( مَهْجُورًا see verse 25:30 quoted above):

Do they not then reflect on the Qur’an? Nay, on the hearts there are locks.” (Surah Muhammad 47:24)

أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ أَمْ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبٍ أَقْفَالُهَا

Whereas, even rudimentary logical reflection on theآيَاتٌ مُحْكَمَاتٌ texts of the Holy Qur’an, the categorical foundational verses which formed the heart of the Holy Qur’an as per its Author’s own declaration of أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ , automatically led the earnest detective to such inescapable logical deductions as demonstrated in the aforementioned reasoning process by Mr. Spock. But such reasoned deductions also begged the layman’s foolish question, for what purpose? – As if it isn’t already patently obvious by now.

Because, after all, it could also be argued that verse 5:3 had already categorically asserted that the Qur’an was completed in the Prophet’s own lifetime: “This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.”

Therefore, wasn’t Qur’an alone sufficient? Mr. Spock recalled the rebuke to Believers in Surah Al-Ahzaab verse 33:36, “It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path.” (quoted above). It takes no speculation to infer from this shocking verse the presence of undercurrents of dissent and disputation with the Messenger among some Believers. Such disputing could easily lead to the suggestion that Qur’an alone is sufficient in order to suppress the decisions of the Messenger not contained in the Holy Qur’an which the Believers in his congregation did not like. Which, at least to Mr. Spock’s intelligent mind gave an explanation for why the first Caliphs after the Prophet’s demise forbid the documenting of the Messenger’s verdicts and statements, called Hadiths.

It now becomes self-evident to Mr. Spock that:

  1. by the categorical statement of 4:59, that there existed some unnamed persons besides the Messenger, “those charged with authority among you” to whom obedience was made obligatory ;

  2. by the assertion of verse fragments 6:89-90 in full context that “We have already entrusted with it a people who are not disbelievers in it. These are they whom Allah guided, therefore follow their guidance.”

  3. by the categorical directive of 5:35 to the Muslims: “O ye who believe! Do your duty to Allah, seek the means of approach unto Him,”

  4. and in the light of 5:3 that the religion of Islam had been “perfected” ;

there was a pretty clear logical reason for the presence of “those charged with authority among you” apart from the Messenger, and to whom obedience was made as obligatory by the Holy Qur’an as to the Messenger for all Muslims.

That, by the commandment “those charged with authority among you”, the Author of the Holy Qur’an had very clearly provided to the early Muslims, additional temporal Exemplars, Imams, besides the Prophet of Islam, “Offspring one of the other”, who were meant to continue teaching to the people the “perfected” religion which Prophet Muhammad had brought to them as the Messenger, even after the Messenger was no longer among them. This is a straightforward logical conclusion based upon its Author’s own statements. Otherwise, the Holy Qur’an is falsified by verse 4:59 if there were no Imams after the Prophet of Islam!

That, dereferencing the indirect pointers given in the Determinate verses of the Holy Qur’an for the identity of these additional Imams:

  1. by the criterion of 2:124, that the Author promised to choose leaders and Imams only from the seed of Ibrahim after Ibrahim passed his “test”;

  2. by the fact that there is no verse in the Holy Qur’an to suggest that 2:124 is not an exclusive promise to the family of Ibrahim, quite the contrary, the assertion of 3:33-34 indicates the Author’s sole criterion for choosing the Imams of mankind, from the limited subset of a single family: “Offspring one of the other” ;

  3. by the benefaction of 33:33, that the Ahlul Bayt were elevated above all others with a thorough spiritual purification ;

  4. and by the commandment of 42:23, that the people were asked to love (in its most superlative form) and honor the Messenger’s near of kin ;

naturally lead to identifying them as being only from the Ahlul Bayt.

The above logical reasoning leads to the following conclusions:

  1. That, there appeared to be no other competing, or even plausible solution based on the Determinate verses of the Holy Qur’an, to decipher this inquiry in any other direction for the straightforward logic of the matter that these Imams “whom Allah guided, therefore follow their guidance” had to be “Offspring one of the other”, and also possess the same degree of knowledge and understanding of the Holy Qur’an as the Messenger in order to continue the Messenger’s mission of divinely guiding the Muslims as his successor exemplars of the Holy Qur’an.

  2. That, it appeared to be a sophisticated bootstrap process of Islam whose legal texts had been perfected and completely revealed, to guide a stubborn pagan civilization that had inflicted so much physical warfare upon the Prophet of Islam during his entire tenure of Prophethood, onto the straight path for at least some additional time period after the Messenger had passed away.

  3. That, just as Surah Al-Fatiha verses 1:6 and 1:7 informed the Believers how to beseech the Author to show them how to seek the path of divine guidance, the very narrow separation pointed out in 1:7 between the straight path ( ٱهْدِنَا ٱلصِّرَٰطَ ٱلْمُسْتَقِيمَ ) and wrong path ( غَيْرِ ٱلْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا ٱلضَّآلِّينَ ) of those who go astray – both paths being tread by Believers themselves and not the obvious unbelievers who were easily identified – was very clearly delineated for the early Muslims by bequeathing to them the Ahlul Bayt ( صِرَٰطَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ ) who alone were elevated above all others with a most unusual divine favor of perfect purification in verse 33:33 ( وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا ).

  4. That, the Ahlul Bayt was therefore the crucial differentiator as “The path of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed favors” of verse 1:7 given to the early Muslims to protect them from unwittingly following the other Believers who were reprimanded as “on a clearly wrong Path” (Surah Al-Ahzaab, 33:36 ).

  5. That, it was indeed the same protocol for Prophet Muhammad’s succession as it had been the Prophetic tradition of all previous Messengers of the Author, to leave designated successors behind to protect and carry-on their mission. Which, in that early bootstrap phase of Islam, was to protect and safeguard the journey of reaching the common goal of forming a single Muslim nation: “Our Lord! make of us Muslims, bowing to Thy (Will), and of our progeny a Muslim nation, bowing to Thy (will);” (Surah Al-Baqara 2:128 )

  6. That, the Ahlul Bayt construct was an additional divine favor given by the Author of the Holy Qur’an to the early Muslims as fulfillment of the prayer that the Author had Himself taught the Believers in Surah Al-Fatiha, and for which the Author also emphatically declared in verse 76:3 “Surely We have shown him the way: he may be thankful or unthankful.”

  7. That, these self-consistent conclusions when applied to empiricism explained reality as it had principally unfolded, most accurately. The goal of verse 2:128 obviously never transpired. The Muslims instead killed the grandson of the Messenger after a tumultuous ad hoc political succession process which tied a Gordian knot on the process of transformation itself. Unless verse 33:36 is wiped off the pages of the Holy Qur’an by some fiendish technology, it is in perpetual Testimony by the Author Himself that some Believers who challenged the Prophet’s decisions existed during his own time. The path of these same people so emphatically condemned by the Author in 33:36 as “clearly wrong Path” must have indeed taken over after the demise of the Messenger instead of the path of the rightful heirs from among the Ahlul Bayt, in order for the empirical reality to become manifested as it did. Otherwise, the Holy Qur’an is falsified if it is asserted that the right path was followed in the succession. The empiricism of the slaughtered grandson of the Prophet of Islam is prima facie testimony that this abhorrent destination was reached by only following the “clearly wrong Path”! Because, if this abhorrent destination was reached by following the right path, than the Holy Qur’an lied that such was a good path of “whom Allah guided, therefore follow their guidance” in Surah Al An’aam 6:90, as it still ended in that same abhorrence. In order for the Holy Qur’an to not be falsified by empiricism, abhorrence can only be reached by following “clearly wrong Path”!

As Mr. Spock well understands, empiricism is the only reality for a left-brained scientist. Any analysis, any model, any theory that goes against explaining reality is just imaginary and useless. Unless the analysis presented here is shown to be seriously flawed, the conclusions reached by the line of reasoning employed by Mr. Spock from the Determinate verses of the Holy Qur’an is remarkable discovery.

It sure explains empirical reality coherently, but most importantly, in self-sufficiency and self-consistency drawn solely from the Holy Qur’an and no other source!

For, as Mr. Spock ascertained perusing the historical record of early Muslim rulers and empires, few Muslims among the masses living under their dominions seemed to have been aware of this rather straightforward logical deduction regarding the Ahlul Bayt, despite knowing, respecting, and also loving the progeny of the Prophet of Islam as some sort of revered objects thought to bring them divine blessings if salutations were continually showered upon them in daily prayers. And despite the fact of this discovery being made only from the Determinate verses of the Holy Qur’an in its آيَاتٌ مُحْكَمَاتٌ texts requiring only a bare modicum of reflection to uncover the matter. And despite their daily recitation of the same Determinate verses of the Holy Qur’an with the most ardent religious fervor!

It was almost as if, observed Mr. Spock, this logically derived conclusion had been calculatingly masked off from the Muslim mind under the ruling paradigms of caliphs and dynastic empires.

Even today, lamentably, few Muslims are aware that this is a conclusion adduced directly from the straightforward statements and simple logic of the Holy Qur’an without making any recourse to vicarious outside sources and doubtful human scribes.

And that mass ignorance of the Muslim public, mused Mr. Spock, perhaps also explained the context for the Messenger’s prescient but strange lament recorded in verse 25:30 of Surah Al-Furqaan (quoted above) after the ascent of Islam as the dominant religion of Arabia: ‘Then the Messenger will say: “O my Lord! Truly my people took this Qur’an for just foolish nonsense.”’

What more can be gleaned from other eligibility criterion established in the Holy Qur’an to better comprehend the attributes and characteristics of “those charged with authority among you” that might enable identifying them more precisely?


Reasoning it out from the Holy Qur’an itself – Taking it one step deeper and further

Principle of Inerrancy

The Qur’anic eligibility criterion of 2:124 and 3:33-34 have come only one step closer in the direction of identifying “those charged with authority among you”. That eligibility criterion had indicated to Mr. Spock that the only persons even eligible for this divine appointment of leadership, “those charged with authority among you” to whom obedience is made as obligatory as to the Prophet of Islam, must come from the Ahlul Bayt and no where else. Because, only that singular family automatically includes both the seed of Prophet Ibrahim and the seed of Prophet Muhammad, “Offspring one of the other” as already reasoned by Mr. Spock. That reasoning also lends sensible context to why the people are commanded to love the Prophet’s near of kin. Even the way it is propositioned to the people by the Author of the Holy Qur’an, and the choice of Arabic word employed which only loosely translates to “love” in English but is the superlative form of love in Arabic, ٱلْمَوَدَّةَ , is revealing of its motivation: ‘Say: “No reward do I ask of you for this except the love of those near of kin.”’

The Prophet is asked by the Author of the Holy Qur’an to demand the love of his near of kin as a gratitude from the people – not as a favor the people are asked to do the Prophet, but in return for the favor done to the people by the Prophet of Islam of being God’s Messenger among them!

In other words, it is an obligation put on the people to “love” the Prophet’s near of kin in the most superlative degree that the semantic-rich Arabic language can convey for terms of endearment and affection to other human beings!

The logical connection among the many verses outlined above, and making the love and affection of Prophet’s near of kin an obligation upon the people, thus making it psychologically easier for the people to accept Exemplars from among the Ahlul Bayt, conclusively indicated to Mr. Spock that “those charged with authority among you” could only emanate from among the Ahlul Bayt. But who among the Ahlul Bayt meets that criterion and are also “Offspring one of the other”?

Mr. Spock, solely on the anvil of pure reasoned logic applied to al-Furqaan (see discussion of verse 25:1, Surah al-Furqaan quoted above), could straightforwardly deduce still additional eligibility and rejection criterion to further narrow down the field for who could possibly meet the Qur’anic criterion to comprise the set of “those charged with authority among you”.

That, as per verse 4:59, any such persons to whom command obedience is extended from the Prophet of Islam as an Exemplar of the Holy Qur’an, must also be Exemplars of the Holy Qur’an themselves! That conclusion is simply inescapable. Because, as Mr. Spock reasoned, they couldn’t be just any prominent persons occupying the throne or the pulpit, no matter how learned or respectable, for in order to have command obedience to them as per verse 4:59, they’d have to possess knowledge and understanding of the divine message of the Holy Qur’an to the same level of unerring comprehension as the Prophet of Islam! Otherwise, they could possibly misinform and misguide the people using their own interpretation (despite their best intentions to be accurate). Which, of course, also automatically implied that their teacher could be none among those whom they have been divinely chosen to guide! The logic of that sequence of impeccable deductions is also undeniable. Not surprisingly, the deduction is directly underscored by the Holy Qur’an itself, as in verse fragments 6:89-90 (quoted above): “We have already entrusted with it a people who are not disbelievers in it. These are they whom Allah guided, therefore follow their guidance.” Allah is their teacher!

Therefore, Mr. Spock continued to reason, these could only be persons who were specially favored by the Author of the Holy Qur’an to also be unerring like the Messenger. Unerringness being the primary logical criterion to being an Exemplar of the Holy Qur’an in order to faithfully convey the message of the Author who claims to be the Creator of Mankind and the “Lord of the Worlds”, to the people without any alterations, additions and subtractions, in full and accurate context, in both letter and spirit. This deduction is also simply logical and straightforward. The verse of purification already analyzed in 33:33 arguably conveys at least some sense of bestowing unerringness, وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا , by keeping away all “rijis”, الرِّجْسَ , from the Ahlul Bayt.

Once again, the Arabic words employed by the Author of the Holy Qur’an to convey to the people what is being kept away from the Ahlul Bayt (all abominations) and for what purpose (purification) are far richer in semantics than can be captured straightforwardly in semantic-starved translated English. As already discussed earlier, and pending further discovery by Mr. Spock of the most accurate meaning of the concept of “Mutaharoon” , الْمُطَهَّرُونَ , of verse 56:79as the bearers of the secrets of the Holy Qur’an, the reasonable metaphor of privileged access control to those with “security clearance” implied by that verse of Surah Al-Waqia (quoted above), also led to the comprehension that perfect purification from “rijis” of verse 33:33 would necessarily mean perfect unerring knowledge of the Holy Qur’an – knowledge that is necessary and sufficient to guide others only if the guides themselves are without error.

After all, not given to error is a declared gift bestowed by the Author and not an endeavor of man himself to acquire that state of perfect knowledge. Only the Author can confer perfect unerring knowledge of His Divine Message such that He can blithely command Muslims to: “Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you” on par with His own Word because He has also declared in Surah An-Najm: “Your companion does not err, nor does he go astray; Nor does he speak out of desire. It is naught but revelation that is revealed”!

I swear by the star when it goes down. (53:1)

وَٱلنَّجْمِ إِذَا هَوَىٰ

Your companion does not err, nor does he go astray; (53:2)

مَا ضَلَّ صَاحِبُكُمْ وَمَا غَوَىٰ

Nor does he speak out of desire. (53:3)

وَمَا يَنطِقُ عَنِ ٱلْهَوَىٰٓ

It is naught but revelation that is revealed, (53:4)

إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْىٌ يُوحَىٰ

The Lord of Mighty Power has taught him, (Holy Qur’an, Surah An-Najm 53:5)

عَلَّمَهُۥ شَدِيدُ ٱلْقُوَىٰ

Verily this is the word of a most honourable Messenger, (81:19)

إِنَّهُۥ لَقَوْلُ رَسُولٍ كَرِيمٍ

Endued with Power, with rank before the Lord of the Throne, (81:20)

ذِى قُوَّةٍ عِندَ ذِى ٱلْعَرْشِ مَكِينٍ

With authority there, (and) faithful to his trust. (81:21)

مُّطَاعٍ ثَمَّ أَمِينٍ

And (O people!) your companion is not one possessed; (81:22)

وَمَا صَاحِبُكُم بِمَجْنُونٍ

And without doubt he saw him in the clear horizon. (81:23)

وَلَقَدْ رَءَاهُ بِٱلْأُفُقِ ٱلْمُبِينِ

Neither doth he withhold grudgingly a knowledge of the Unseen. (81:24)

وَمَا هُوَ عَلَى ٱلْغَيْبِ بِضَنِينٍ

Nor is it the word of an evil spirit accursed. (81:25)

وَمَا هُوَ بِقَوْلِ شَيْطَٰنٍ رَّجِيمٍ

When whither go ye? (81:26)

فَأَيْنَ تَذْهَبُونَ

Verily this is no less than a Message to (all) the Worlds: (81:27)

إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا ذِكْرٌ لِّلْعَٰلَمِينَ

(With profit) to whoever among you wills to go straight: (81:28)

لِمَن شَآءَ مِنكُمْ أَن يَسْتَقِيمَ

But ye shall not will except as Allah wills,- the Cherisher of the Worlds. (Holy Qur’an Surah At-Takwir (81:29)

وَمَا تَشَآءُونَ إِلَّآ أَن يَشَآءَ ٱللَّهُ رَبُّ ٱلْعَٰلَمِينَ

Caption The Holy Qur’an establishes the Principle of Inerrancy very clearly and most categorically for the Prophet of Islam in at least two notable places in two Surahs. Surah An-Najm verses 53:1-5 unequivocally declaring the Prophet of Islam inerrant, infallible, and whose speech is naught but revelation that is revealed! And Surah At-Takwir verses 81:19-29 which similarly corrects the misconception among the companions of the Prophet about the utterances of the Messenger of Islam, unequivocally declaring that the Prophet is invested with special power and rank by Allah, that his speech are the words of a most honorable Messenger, and that his words are a Message to (all) the Worlds, to benefit from if they so choose to do so. Only on such categorical basis of inerrancy, is obedience commanded to the Messenger on par with the Author of the Holy Qur’an in verse 4:59 of Surah an-Nisaa’, the Verse of Obedience. This same categorical inerrancy is extended to “those vested in authority over you” ( أُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ ) by the syntactical construction of verse 4:59. No Arabic language linguist with any command of Qur’anic grammar can deny this most profound construction of verse 4:59 which so succinctly extends the semantics of inerrancy from God, to Prophet, both of whom are commanded to be obeyed unequivocally, to some unnamed أُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ . The extension of command obedience to the latter is made via the Prophet of Islam in verse 4:59, thus making the same characteristic of inerrancy bestowed upon the Messenger, also available to the “ulul-amar”. If not for the logic of this fact, the أُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ would be subject to verse 16:25 of Surah An-Nahl (quoted below), thus making a mockery of verse 4:59. Only “These are they whom Allah guided, therefore follow their guidance” of verse 6:90 of Surah Al An’aam can ever be exempt from the damnation of verse 16:25! And only these inerrant people whom Allah is asking Muslims to follow, for indeed these have to be inerrant if Allah has directly guided them, can be the “ulul-amar” of verse 4:59! For if these people are not inerrant, then it creates a double jeopardy: Allah is asking Muslims to follow them but since they can make mistakes, foolish people without knowledge will also follow them, and as per 16:25, these people whom Allah is commanding to be followed will be damned! Since that is an absurdity, ergo, Allah can only command inerrant people to be followed! This first subversive hijacking of the religion of Islam, to deny this inerrancy requirement so that anyone could acquire power to caliphate and demand obedience from the Muslim public in the name of verse 4:59, was not orchestrated by the “vulgar propagandist” Bernard Lewis; it was fabricated by the first Muslims themselves, aided and abetted by the Muslim pulpit, and quietly accepted by the public. This first subversion continues to this very day – and it quite pales everything else in comparison that the hectoring hegemons and vulgar propagandists have been able to wreck upon the Muslims!

Qualitatively, observes Mr. Spock, the concept of inerrancy is most clearly, most emphatically, and most unambiguously, asserted in Surah An-Najm verses 53:1-5, and Surah At-Takwir verses 81:19-29 (both quoted above). These are clearly Determinate verses, notes Mr. Spock, self-sufficient, clear, and without any indirections, allegories, and metaphors. To Mr. Spock’s mind, it is the most obvious and applicable meaning behind “purification”, “Mutaharoon” , الْمُطَهَّرُونَ , of verse 56:79, and is the underpinning of the blanket command obedience to the Prophet of Islam on par with the Author of the Holy Qur’an in Surah an-Nisaa’ 4:59.

Surah An-Najm 53:1-5 further preempts the questions: How is the Messenger communicating the Author’s Word unerringly to the people; How is the Messenger being an unerring Exemplar of the Holy Qur’an; How can the Messenger’s companions know when to believe and obey the Messenger and when to follow their own opinion on any matter?

Firstly, verse 33:36 has already made it clear that the Messenger’s decisions have to be abided by at all times: “It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path.”

Secondly, verses 53:1-5 categorically put to bed the capricious speculation that the Messenger is only inerrant in some speech and not in others and therefore people can follow their own opinions in the latter: “Your companion does not err, nor does he go astray; Nor does he speak out of desire. It is naught but revelation that is revealed,”.

If that absurd proposition were true, perceptively observed Mr. Spock, it would create a logical conundrum: How could the Messenger’s companions ever know when is the Messenger errant and when is he inerrant? They’d obviously have to rely on the Messenger’s own word to even know that in the first place. But if the Messenger is capable of making an error, he is also capable of making an error in that determination as well.

If the Messenger is not inerrant in every single matter, every single act, every single speech, every single thought, then even one errancy is sufficient to put his entire Messengership in doubt – due to transmission error for instance. If not infallible, the Messenger could have made an error in a hundred thousand different ways that would remain undetectable by the people and they would be misled by the Messenger masquerading his own fallible opinion for the Author’s infallible Word. The Messenger’s own word for instance, differentiating what is the Author’s Words vs. his own word, could itself be in error if the Messenger is ever capable of even a single error – and that opens the Pandora’s box: Is the Holy Qur’an error-free from transmission errors of the Author’s Message?

One must not forget that it is the Messenger who is ab initio introducing the Holy Qur’an, and not vice versa. It is the belief of the peoples in the Messenger’s truthfulness upon which the Holy Qur’an itself is predicated. Unless the Messenger of the Holy Qur’an is infallible, it puts the words uttered by the Prophet, who alone designated that the specified words belonged to the Author of the Holy Qur’an and not to himself, into jeopardy.

The logic implicit in the Verse of Obedience, verse 4:59, is elegantly simple. Its “AND” conjunction, وَ , to join the three entities to whom obedience is demanded, is at best a sixth grade grammar composition question. The verse is that straightforward in its syntactical parsing. All three in that Verse of Obedience must always agree in order for the verse to not be falsified! The logic itself is straightforward. If the Prophet can make an error, then his will can differ from the Will of the Author of the Holy Qur’an. The Verse of Obedience asserts that that outcome is impossible, by making obedience to the Prophet of Islam akin, at the same precedence level, to obedience to the Author of the Holy Qur’an. The two cannot disagree or there will be a conflict as both must be obeyed; and if they ever disagree then there is no divine religion as God and His Messenger can’t even agree on the Message! The same logical reasoning extends to the third entity in verse 4:59, the “ulul-amar”, who derive its authority from the authority of the Messenger due to the way the verse is grammatically structured. The command “obey” is not repeated again for the “ulul-amar”, but the clause is concatenated with the previous “obey” of the Messenger with the “AND” conjunction. If the will of “ulul-amar” ever differs from that of the Messenger, there is again a conflict as both are commanded to be obeyed. As per the semantics of the verse 4:59 implied from its straightforward syntax, the latter two cannot disagree with the Will of the Author of the Holy Qur’an and therefore the Messenger and the “ulul-amar” must also always agree.

Thus it follows that if the Author of the Holy Qur’an is Error-Free, there is no “Oops!” for Him, then so must His Messenger and “ulul-amar” be just as free from their own “oops”; they must not be touched by any “rijis” and always reflect the Will of the Author of the Holy Qur’an in both letter and spirit throughout their respective mission!

That semantic property of the Messenger having his own will exactly reflect the Will of the Author of the Holy Qur’an implicit in the syntactical composition of verse 4:59, is explicitly confirmed in Surah An-Najm verses 53:1-5, and Surah At-Takwir verses 81:19-29, by the Author of the Holy Qur’an! This is complete closure. If the reader is still unable to grammatically parse an “AND” conjunctive clause in a sentence in any language correctly, he or she better return to sixth grade – for that is the level of reading skills necessary to parse the syntax of the Verse of Obedience.

It is only after the trust in the Messenger’s veracity and truthfulness is established among his contemporaries, that the people are invited to come to the Holy Qur’an. It is only at that point, after the Messenger has already established his veracity among the peoples, that the Holy Qur’an subsequently confirms, through the speech of the Messenger itself and not via some other independent source, that the Messenger does not even err, always exactly reflecting the Will of the Author of the Holy Qur’an. To not err in his role as the Messenger to mankind means that the Messenger is infallible! The Author of the Holy Qur’an, speaking through the mouth of the Messenger, explicitly confirms and extends the people’s earlier adjudication of Muhammad’s integrity, by first swearing some unexplainable oath: “I swear by the star when it goes down.” ( وَٱلنَّجْمِ إِذَا هَوَىٰ ), and then categorically confirming to the Messenger’s contemporaries: “Your companion does not err, nor does he go astray; Nor does he speak out of desire. It is naught but revelation that is revealed”!

Fascinating”, murmurs Mr. Spock to himself at the finesse of this bootstrapping process for launching the Divine Guidance System to mankind with an infallible human Messenger. Once the delivery of the Guidance System is completed to perfection, the Messenger is simply recalled! And man is left to his own devices whether or not he is thankful (Surah Al-insaan 76:3, quoted above) for all that is left behind for him (Surah Hud, 11:86, quoted below).

Mr. Spock ponders on the obvious genius of this bootstrap process. If there is no belief in the Prophet, there is no belief in the Holy Qur’an! Once that belief is established, only then the Holy Qur’an has any meaning. And only at that point does the Author of the Holy Qur’an avers, putting no caveat to His Declaration of the Prophet’s infallibility, making His Proclamation unequivocal, categorical, universal, not subject to any doubt or debate, affirming both the success of Muhammad’s Messengership of having accurately delivered the Author’s Message (Surah Al-Maeda 5:3, quoted above). And also Muhammad’s Exemplarship of having accurately explained the Divine Guidance System to his companions and contemporaries for which complete obedience to him was mandated for the believers so that the Author’s Message in its entirety would not get distorted or questioned (verse 33:36, quoted above). The lamentable fact, now preserved for all times in verse 33:36 in the Holy Qur’an, that not all believers among his companions were happy with some of the decisions the Prophet of Islam made, and for which they are categorically chastised as being “on a clearly wrong Path.”, makes the import of verse 5:3 increase in magnitude even further. That the Messenger completed his mission to perfection despite not just the opposition from the overt and hidden enemies of Islam respectively referred to as disbelievers and hypocrites in the Holy Qur’an, but also the undercurrent of opposition from among the believers themselves!

Therefore, returning back to the Verse of Obedience, by extending that command delegation authority of 4:59 from the Messenger to also obey “those charged with authority among you”, and for the foolish unthinking masses not ever to be misled by obeying them and the “ulul-amar” be held liable for misleading them as per verse 16:25 of Surah An-Nahl (quoted below), the وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ must logically share the same attributes, the same “security clearance” so to speak, as the Messenger! There is simply no escaping that equivalence logic.

Ergo, it follows that the وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ of the Verse of Obedience must also be inerrant like the Apostle. The Verse of Purification cleansing the Ahlul Bayt to “perfect purification” now delivers some meaningful context for its full understanding. Only the Ahlul Bayt are explicitly being favored with this most potent Divine Favor, of some blanket “perfect purification” no less, وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا , from all “rijis” as their spiritual conditioning for being obeyed without equivocation!

According to the Qur’anic criterion, only such specially favored “purified” persons, who also are the offspring of Ibrahim or Muhammad, can even be eligible to be the subsequent Exemplars, Imams, of the people, لِلنَّاسِ إِمَامًا , after the Prophet of Islam. Only these favored persons can guide the Muslims immediately after the death of their Prophet on the Straight path of Surah Al-Fatiha. The logical analysis from the criterion established by the Holy Qur’an now confirms that the أُولِي الْأَمْرِ are indeed from the Messenger’s own Ahlul Bayt! For how long should they continue guiding the people in the way of the Messenger? The Holy Qur’an is silent on that question, making it an Indeterminate!

The successive application of Qur’anic eligibility criterions had narrowed down the search considerably for Mr. Spock to get him closer to identifying “those charged with authority among you” solely from their Divine characteristics deduced from the Holy Qur’an.

Remarkable what could be learnt from even a convoluted law book when one begins to decipher it accurately rather than rehearse it like a parrot or as the unwitting victim of socialization and perception management! All it had taken was a bit of reflection to tease it all out.

In equivalent terms, Mr. Spock now had the legal definitions, and the beginning of the understanding of what the letter and spirit of the Qur’anic law actually is. That law now needed to be applied to the empirical historical evidence in order to adjudicate, to separate the chaff from the wheat, the usurpers from the legitimate owners – which is the purpose of all law, both divine and man-made.

As Mr. Spock knew, meeting a criterion only determines eligibility. It does not necessarily indicate specific appointment – the specific “choosing”, or “charged”, or “entrusting”, as expressed in verses like: “We have already entrusted with it a people who are not disbelievers in it. These are they whom Allah guided, therefore follow their guidance. Say: I do not ask you for any reward for it; it is nothing but a reminder to the nations.” (6:89-90 quoted above). The specific “entrusting” requires explicit evidence of appointment – some empirical evidence – not merely the general statements of law unless it specifically names the entrusted. Even the most logical deductions from law is merely theory in the absence of empiricism. Albeit, such reasoning of law and logic is surely necessary as a qualitative criterion; it helps one legally, i.e., objectively, without equivocation, exclude usurpers presumptuous enough to claim false entitlements.

While it may be argued by the learned doctrinaire that after everyone else is excluded by the accurate application of the criterion, those who remain standing are automatically selected as the bearers of that “entrusting”, empirical affirmation as well as commonsense of the laity both demand explicit evidence of specific appointment and clear identification. Especially, when the matter is made contentious and kept locked for centuries within the suffocating ambit of empires which ruled in the name of “God”, and which controlled all the dominant narratives and expositions on Islam. To this very day when Mr. Spock took up the study of the Holy Qur’an millennia later, their legacy evidently endured in the socialization of the Muslim public across cultures and civilizations.

Thus Mr. Spock pondered, if this matter is important to the Author, why aren’t the names of “those charged with authority among you” explicitly mentioned in the Holy Qur’an? Why just give the criterion to establish their identity – why not also their names? How are people in subsequent generations to know their identity without relying on the doubtful and partisan pens of the scribes of history? Because, that is the only place to go seeking empirical evidence of such “entrusting” in all subsequent time and space!

Mr. Spock reasoned that unless the Messenger had shirked his duty to the Author of the Holy Qur’an, in which case verse 5:3 would not exist affirming the completion and perfection of the delivery of the message of Islam as a “deen” for mankind, the Messenger must have categorically informed the people of Arabia, the first Muslim generation, of all the unknowns noted above based on the explicit authority delegated to him in 4:59: “Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger,”. Specifically, the Messenger would have informed the people who had the entitlement to be included in that characterization of Ahlul Bayt, أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ , for whom “Allah only wishes to remove all abomination”, and the exact identity of “those charged with authority among you” whom the Muslims had to obey on par with himself.

The people of the time would have also naturally known who the Messenger’s near of kin were whom they were asked to love as a mark of gratitude to the Prophet by divine commandment, by the simple virtue of the fact that the Prophet of Islam and his family lived among them his entire life. It is logical to presume, reasoned Mr. Spock, that the Messenger would have been asked by new Muslims coming from elsewhere, on hearing this verse, about the identity of who his near of kin were, and who “those charged with authority among you” were, and the Messenger of course would have hastened to inform them personally in order to discharge his duty faithfully as the Messenger.

How are we to know all that today when new Muslims, un-socialized into their new religion as an inheritance, similarly wish to inquire?

By leaving all this knowledge out of the pristine un-tampered pages of the Holy Qur’an, reflected Mr. Spock, why deny to subsequent generations of Muslims that certainty of knowing about this possibly momentous matter? What was the Author’s wisdom in leaving them pitifully at the mercy of the doubtful scribes of history, their partisan pens, and cultural inheritance?

If in fact this was not important for subsequent generations to know, then why not just state so directly in the Holy Qur’an that this matter was only of temporal significance during that early epoch and not worth bickering about in subsequent times? And if it was important, why not just give the names of “those charged with authority among you” directly in the Holy Qur’an and be done with it?

These glaring omissions of the Author in the Holy Qur’an were evidently responsible for the flourishing sectarianism millennia later. And all indications still continued to lead to the same inescapable conclusion already noted earlier, that these ambiguities were deliberate and evidently well thought out by the Author as a system design of Islam for divine guidance to all mankind.

Mr. Spock muses how he could learn the precise identity of “those charged with authority among you” without the ease of reliance on the partisan narratives of history to which Muslims had fallen victim. Having browsed sufficient sociological context, Mr. Spock wanted to focus solely on what, and how much, did the Holy Qur’an itself communicate on the question which appeared to be an Indeterminate from the outset.

Were there other straightforward verses in the Holy Qur’an which enabled and assisted in their further identification? Without the correct context for the verses which spoke in indirections and in unknowns, as verse 4:59 did, how was one to even identify such verses that spoke to their identity? Perhaps there were some other incontrovertible facts in recorded history, despite the partisanship of scribes and imperial craftsmanship – like the incontrovertible fact of the slaughter of the Prophet’s progeny by the Ummayad army already cited above to which there can be no doubt that it transpired in history – which assisted in unequivocally affirming their identity? It persistently begged the question that why had the Author of the Holy Qur’an relied on the doubtful scribes of history to complete their identification – if that identification was of any significance to subsequent generations after the first crop of Muslim?

Mr. Spock began to realize that this puzzle was almost akin to solving a system of linear equations with several unknown variables, but which could only be solved if the number of equations were at least equal to the number of unknown variables. However, as already explored in depth in Islam and Knowledge vs. Socialization, and alluded above by verses like:

  • One day We shall call together all human beings with their (respective) Imams”, (17:71) ;

  • 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.” (5:48) ;

  • And for every nation there is a messenger. And when their messenger cometh (on the Day of Judgment) it will be judged between them fairly, and they will not be wronged.” (10:47) ;

the operative principle “so strive as in a race in all virtues” arguably indicated many solutions, not just one, which could satisfy these equations!

It appeared to Mr. Spock that the Author had very astutely, and quite sensibly, accounted for socialization biases by offering mankind the core guidance: “so strive as in a race in all virtues”, and the conflict resolution principle when they differed: “The goal of you all is to Allah; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute.”

Mr. Spock realized that he had made substantial progress already, and thus makes the assumption that it must be true that this puzzle of pertinent guidance is completely soluble by man in its cipher form, taking the Holy Qur’an at its word. Otherwise, he reasoned, the entire edifice of the guidance system to mankind proclaimed by the Holy Qur’an falls flat on its face. It becomes relegated to mean whatever anyone in power wants it to mean, or can write the dominant narrative for it which survives through history.

As per the first classification of the Holy Qur’an by Mr. Spock, as a cipher message of the Author to mankind that had to be decoded correctly, and therefore, was not open to individual interpretation or the recovery of the singular plaintext could be in error, Mr. Spock saw it being self-evident, that the correct meaning, interpretation, and understanding of the verses of the Holy Qur’an, in addition from the Prophet of Islam, and from the Holy Qur’an itself, could only be taken from these designated but unnamed persons as per the Author’s declaration of obedience to them in 4:59. And not from just any pretentious scholar gurgling Arabic, or legitimately or illegitimately occupying the throne or pulpit of Islam.

This logical conclusion, argued Mr. Spock, is most significant and the key to the entire matter.

However, if, “those charged with authority among you” had been thrust aside or ignored after the death of the Messenger, their guidance not sought, not recorded, and not followed, then all the evil which followed from that first transgression of the first few generation of Muslims fourteen centuries ago accumulated into the greater whole of sectarianism and dynastic empires that have existed ever since. In other words, their crime was not mere disobedience, but a supreme crime as it contained within it the seeds of all the evil that followed, leaving Muslims today, as yesterday, a pathetic people mired in rituals, schisms, sectarian blood-shed, kingdoms, and servility to empire.

The fact that hardly anyone among the Muslim public outside of their myopic socialization biases is even aware of there being some specially designated (but unnamed) persons in the Holy Qur’an in addition to the Messenger who are meant to be its Exemplars after the Prophet of Islam, and obedience to them is made as obligatory as to the Prophet of Islam, lends credence to the logical surmising that “those charged with authority among you” must have been shunted aside by those coveting the highest pulpit of Islam.

It explains the empirical observation that today each Muslim understands the same verses slightly differently. There are, and were, too many “imams” interpreting and explaining the Holy Qur’an by their own fancy and judgment, even vested interest, having lost or ignored the explanation and interpretation by its authentic stewards! Despite the plaintext warning to the people to be wary of such “imams”: “One day We shall call together all human beings with their (respective) Imams” (see verse 17:71 quoted above). Mr. Spock recalled with marvel the foresight of the Author of the Holy Qur’an: “Surely We have shown him the way: he may be thankful or unthankful.” (see verse 76:3 quoted above)

Given the documented reality of the ensuing power-struggle immediately after the death of the Prophet of Islam which pitted the family of the Prophet of Islam against the first Muslim caliphs, and the sociological context surrounding the events of power and its vile inflection in the name of God which culminated in the slaughter of the progeny of the Prophet of Islam and the emergence of the most abhorrent dynastic empires that led the Muslim world to its seven hundred years of unsurpassed global ascendency among much internecine state violence, Mr. Spock realizes that objectively extracting incontrovertible evidence of the appointment of “those charged with authority among you” in order to establish their clear identity from the historical records of imperial craftsmanship and outright suppression for two hundred years, would be akin to extracting a weak signal from a vast sea of background noise in communication theory in electrical engineering!

Mr. Spock recognizes that he would have to be a forensic detective in order to recreate the fuller contexts for the understanding of the largely contextless verses of the Holy Qur’an. He also recognizes however that such a detective work would surely identify the principal first cause of dissension among the Muslims which had led to all the subsequent multiplication into sectarianism. Identification and extraction of that principal first cause could be key to uniting the Muslims once again as they once were under the single banner of أُمَّةً مُسْلِمَةً during the lifetime of the Prophet of Islam. Mr. Spock quickly pushes this overarching puzzle on his evaluation stack.

Mr. Spock’s puzzle evaluation stack is growing rapidly with his increasing understanding of the complexity of the issues… For, indeed, the narratives which survived past those early period are clearly partisan, with scribes and rulers taking sides as already noted. Thus the richer context for the verses of the Holy Qur’an is now deeply mired in this blood-drenched early history of the Muslims and cannot be straightforwardly extracted merely by perusing the early literature. As is the case for all such histories, even including the contemporary history examined in this volume under the orchestration of the Mighty Wurlitzer, myths get naturally amplified by successive generation of scribes, and facts and factors inconvenient to their narratives, or to their rulers, are naturally attenuated as already explained above leading to a crippled epistemology for those who study things on faith or without any forensic talent.


III

Summation and Impact Analysis

In summation, so far, Mr. Spock, well-read in both the sociological histories of empires and their social engineering of the public, has recognized that all works outside of the Holy Qur’an (including the Holy Qur’an itself) have been composed in sociological contexts and not in an abstract or sterile vacuum free from the influence of the ruling paradigms. And that these sociological contexts are most essential to fully identify and perceptively comprehend, especially when the early history of the advent of religion of Islam after its Messenger’s demise is soaked in so much internecine state violence and obfuscation. To understand those outside written works therefore, Mr. Spock ascertains that the full sociological context under which all these books on Islam were originally compiled, must first be understood – as facts in a void can convey any meaning its compiler wants. Therefore, Mr. Spock decides that facts alone will not be sufficient to establish clues to resolving the Indeterminates of the Holy Qur’an. That it would also be necessary to cradle facts in the rich sociological context and the narratives of history which caused the strange paradoxical artifact: that the Author of the Holy Qur’an chose not to protect its Exemplar’s Sunnah within the Holy Qur’an itself but to which it issued command obedience as per 4:59.

Furthermore, that such historical facts would have to be not just cradled, but forensically cradled in the sociological realities of realpolitik forces and often unrecorded motivations which gave birth to those facts, and to their narratives, in order to fully comprehend them.

And Mr. Spock immediately surmises that as the evidence of history in every civilization indicates, these narratives too are invariably the sectarian narratives of partisans taking sides. Historians, compilers, exegeses writers, essayists and poets, all taking sides, omitting and attenuating facts and contexts inconvenient either to their narrative, or to their socialization bias, or to the sanction of the rulers under whom they scribed, while amplifying myths and opinions conducive to their narrative and socialization outlook whereby the victors ruled creating the facts on the ground, and the victims mourned exaggerating and perhaps mythifying the victimizing circumstances in cultural memory for centuries that might pale the Homer’s Iliad by comparison. This natural cause and effect relationship of history, narrated by those most affected by it, on either side of it, becoming the de facto source of exposition and explanation of the Indeterminates of the Holy Qur’an as soon as one stepped out of its boundaries to figure out the unknowns.

The divine irony (or perhaps the divine comedy) poignantly strikes Mr. Spock’s analytical mind: Mortal fallible pens seemingly completing a Book whose Author claims it is “Perfection” (5:3) and “A Revelation from the Lord of the Worlds.” (56:80).

To Mr. Spock’s mind, prima facie logic alone would dictate not to use the fallible pens to parse the Infallible pen of the Author Who claims Itself to be Perfection Incarnate and the “Lord of the Worlds”. The Author of the Holy Qur’an is so assertive of the perfection of His Word that He asserts repeatedly, as in verse 2:2, that it is a Book in which there is no doubt, and a guidance to only those pious of heart who earnestly seek it. So why then use the fallible pen of scribes which is always full of doubt, to gain comprehension of the Infallible Words of the Author for which the Author asserts there is no doubt?

But the same Author has also, evidently by design, practically necessitated the very use of fallible pens by virtue of verses like 4:59 which create importance for the Sunnah of the Prophet of Islam on par with the Qur’an and to the obedience to it, but not recording those Sunnah within the pages of the Holy Qur’an and leaving the verses of the Qur’an as Indeterminates. This is a paradox in the Holy Qur’an.

This is why, Mr. Spock logically concludes, the Muslims from the very beginning had become preoccupied with the temporal, and often reactionary sociological contexts, deliberately drowning the holistic and timeless text of the Holy Qur’an by insisting on partisan hadiths, tafseers, and narratives of history penned in the fallible ink and cultural memories largely due to commandments like 4:59 which made the Holy Qur’an subject to easy abuse.

The Muslims, it became evident to Mr. Spock, through the subsequent generations after the first, had paradoxically become its unwitting victims because they had insisted on following the commandment 4:59 of the Holy Qur’an to the letter, without understanding its accurate import in the larger context of the entire message of the Holy Qur’an. And they used the scribes of history literally, along their own socialization axis, becoming putty in the hands of rulers who could trivially inflict internecine violence for political expediency upon those who fell out of favor.

The Muslims had not bothered to elevate themselves beyond the baggage of their respective narrow socialization which often leads to close-mindedness, and partisanship.

Their collective understanding of Islam in the successive Muslim empires and subsequent servile civilizations had therefore become ossified in the imperial narratives of history expounded from the “Roman pulpit”, and in reaction to it in its many “Protestant movements”, rather than become progressive and egalitarian based on the sublimity of its timeless doctrines principled in the Holy Qur’an. What had been intended as a sublime force of transformation for the evolution of societies from its barbarisms and exploitations to an enlightened state of mankind’s existence over time, had become the force majeure for building absolutist enduring empires instead.

The Muslims had inexorably fallen victim to the same sort of corruption which was emphatically admonished by the Holy Qur’an about their cousins, the Jews and the Christians – the persistent distortion of the Author’s message delivered to the Abrahamic seed!

Except, in the case of the Muslims, they continued to claim, in every epoch, to possess the Author’s Message in its unadulterated most pristine cipher form. And demonstrably so. But Muslims could neither decipher nor implement it effectively because of the hijacking that the Holy Qur’an itself permitted by virtue of it being a cipher-text rather than a straightforward plaintext!

Of course, the aliasing of proper nouns in the Holy Qur’an into common nouns had been, and continues to be, the most common and obvious subversion of the Holy Qur’an by Muslims and Non-Muslims alike. For example, as already discussed in Islam and Knowledge vs. Socialization, Muslims using the proper noun “Imam” as a common noun for anointing anyone with it, whereas the Holy Qur’an explicitly used لِلنَّاسِ إِمَامًا to anoint only the Author’s own favored ones with that station of leadership among mankind. Similarly, as also already deconstructed in considerable depth in “Hijacking the word ‘Islam’ for Mantra Creation”, Western demagogues inimical to Islam, like Bernard Lewis and Samuel Huntington, overloading the proper noun “Islam” to designate a kitchen sink of semantics, whereas the Holy Qur’an used الْإِسْلَامَ دِينًا to explicitly designate a “deen” which Allah “perfected”.

The use of Indeterminates in the Holy Qur’an had only facilitated such calculated hijacking, permitting the easy fixing of these values by anyone. The brilliant could subvert it easily for their power-interests to build empires. And the foolish remained socialized in it to find justification for whatever sect they grew up in!

Even its very first chapter, Surah Al-Fatiha, which Mr. Spock observed was parroted daily by all Muslims who reverently bowed in prayer, was a mini cipher (see its examination in Islam and Knowledge vs. Socialization).

The Holy Qur’an was certainly turning out to be nothing like the plaintext Bible, the holy book of Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise, lamented Mr. Spock. He recalled the fluency and the ease with which his human captain sometimes quoted from it to teach him interesting lessons in selflessness of the most sublime in human endeavors. Mr. Spock had always found these lessons perplexing due to his logic-only rational mind. It is interesting to footnote in passing however, that in this 1960s’ fable that was turned into movies in the 1980s and 1990s, Mr. Spock gave his own life selflessly in one of these episodes to save his spaceship in the Genesis project, making the rational irrefutable argument to his captain’s chagrin and intense grief that in order for the Starship to continue its endless mission of discovery of the cosmos, the life of one over the life of many is a purely logical decision.

In any case, Mr. Spock pondered that how could this blatant self-contradiction, a macro puzzle, a paradox of the Holy Qur’an, of the Holy Qur’an ostensibly facilitating its own subversion, have escaped the acumen of Muslim sages throughout the ages?

More pertinently, why had it not been resolved all this time?


How Islam became an empire

To Mr. Spock’s logical mind, if conundrums and paradoxes borne of pure logic of the matter cannot be resolved with logic alone, they remain perpetual conundrums, and therefore, always ripe for subjective interpretation and harvesting for narrow interests. Here was the principal reason, within the text of the Holy Qur’an itself, which continually leads to seeking and following material outside the confines of the Authorship of the Holy Qur’an. And no Muslim sage is inclined to address it!

Perceptive as he is, the motivation to not solve this paradox, especially during the heyday of Muslim civilizations, is now readily apparent to Mr. Spock. This persistent puzzle of the Holy Qur’an to Mr. Spock is indicative of both, the deep sociological contexts which cradled the message of Islam from its earliest inception to the present day, and its pathological transformation into enduring empires. As Mr. Spock dispassionately observed, the religion of Islam had been morphed into an unsurpassed absolutist system for the exercise of imperial power by Muslim rulers. Anyone on the throne and the pulpit could interpret the verses of the Holy Qur’an any which way they liked simply by making recourse to any outside text written by themselves, or by their own favored scribes, or to their own favored narrative of history. By thus fixing values of its Indeterminates to suit their narrow self-interests, it was easy to hijack Islam to one’s primacy advantage.

The intoxicating, almost mesmerizing, effect the Holy Qur’an has upon the Muslim masses makes it especially easy to manipulate and control them by distorting the largely contextless verses of the Holy Qur’an and giving these any meaning that is expedient. Promising the masses Heaven in After-life for their sufferance of hell right here in this life. A messiah in the future who would free them of their misery and establish justice and equity if only they were patient in their afflictions and injustices here, and relegated themselves to dutifully mind their religious rituals instead. And, instead of challenging, either participated in, or suffered in silence, the kingly opulence and tyrannical adventures of their rulers as it was indeed God who had appointment them the absolute sovereign of the lands. After all, didn’t the Holy Qur’an unequivocally command Muslims to obey: “those charged with authority among you”, and “to be patient” in their suffering!!

While musing this pathocracy of social control, Mr. Spock recalled a global primacy strategist’s rational observations of absolutist empires which most aptly captured the global ascendence of these despotic Muslim empires:

The earlier empires were built by aristocratic political elites and were in most cases ruled by essentially authoritarian or absolutist regimes. The bulk of the populations of the imperial states were either politically indifferent or, in more recent times, infected by imperialist emotions and symbols. The quest for national glory, “the white man’s burden,” “la mission civilisatrice,” not to speak of the opportunities for personal profit—all served to mobilize support for imperial adventures and to sustain essentially hierarchical imperial power pyramids.”[8]

The Muslim empires, with their absolute sovereignty ruthlessly secured in the name of Islam’s “God” from all domestic challenge, became great patrons of the arts, the sciences, and the humanities. They become the first to bring the translations of the works of the Classical civilizations into Arabic, from where it reached the Western shores centuries later. The enterprising and talented ones among the Muslim populations labored under the parallel personal motivations to impel empire forward as already explored in the Fable of the Bees for the modern contemporary times under Western empires. The pertinent verses from the Holy Qur’an that encouraged astronomy, the study of the cosmos, in fact the study of all creation (as in verses 67:34 of Surah Al-Mulk which were also quoted by Dr. Abdus Salam when receiving his shared 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics and which precisely underscores this very point), and indeed the boundless pursuit of all forms of knowledge ( “and say: My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.” Surah Ta-Ha, 20:114 , Arabic: وَقُلْ رَّبِّ زِدۡنِىۡ عِلۡمًا ), helped propel Muslim civilizations to the forefront of global supremacy on all fronts in their heyday just as it has done for American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives in this day and age. Except, in the development of political thought.

That necessary re-discovery had to await the Renaissance during the Middle Ages in the West, to finally end the reign of their own pulpit-led supreme Dark Ages that had principally been seeded in the hijacking of Christianity as the official state religion of the Roman Empire centuries earlier (in approx. 300 AD under Emperor Constantine).

Why had such Renaissance against the Muslim pulpit’s hijacking of Islam likewise centuries earlier, right after the death of its Prophet, similarly not transpired in the Muslim civilizations despite their own un-challenged global supremacy of vast territories on Earth for a period far exceeding the Roman Empire? Considering that the Muslims were the first to be exposed to Greek classics and to their Classical Hellenic culture of political self-empowerment (such as republic, democracy), egalitarian ideas of social justice (such as Solon’s, considered among the ten greatest law givers of Athenian antiquity according to Plutarch’s Lives), etc., for these socio-political ideas to have never taken root in absolutist Muslim civilizations which likewise ruled dynastically with an iron-fist in the name of Islam’s “God”, while they borrowed liberally from Hellenic math, sciences, and military warfare methods to become the supreme empires of their time, is revealing in and of itself. If one simply compares that state of affairs to the political indifference of the learned in society today, all matters become patently obvious.

Of the hundreds of living Nobel laureates in the sciences and humanities in America and the Western world, how many learned minds rose to challenge the empire’s narratives of 9/11, or called it for its prima facie enactment, an inside job, or showed any skepticism when BBC reported the destruction of WTC-7 the very same evening a full twenty-five minutes before it nearly free-fall collapsed into its own footprints with no airliner ever hitting it, or forensically deconstructed the so called Catastrophic Terrorism of 9/11 to uncover and publicly protest that it was to launch imperial mobilization for one-world government?

These most brilliant high achieving minds of America, like the rest of the American masses caught between their daily bread and circuses, watched their beloved Western world descend into police-states, lose their vaunted civil liberties, stood meekly at airports first with their own shoes in hands, and subsequently with their private parts in TSA’s hands, all in the name of outright idiotic and villainous absurdities. To this scribe’s last count as of the year 2012 AD, exactly zero have arisen to call America’s War on Terror for what it is, or handed in their vaunted Nobel prize in protest to its open barbarianism upon the ‘lesser peoples’. This silence and show of political indifference of the supposed “learned” of Western society during the exercise and expansion of Western hegemony is not a singularity. It is the norm under every empire from time immemorial. One cannot stand tall against the tyranny of ruling interests and thrive at the same time.

Mr. Spock perceptively observed with the precision of a sociologist and science officer, that a revolutionary religion, intended primarily for the transformation of man – both men and women – into the perfectman submitting wholly to its Creator “bowing to Thy (Will)”, and society into the perfect egalitarian system of social justice and sublime morality (as for instance had been noted by Solon in Athens a thousand years before Islam (Ibid.), and most succinctly outlined in Surah al-Asr, chapter 103 of the Holy Qur’an), had been trivially transformed on the one hand into the opiate of the people waiting for Allah, and on the other into a natural force for imperial mobilization throughout the ages!

No system of absolute rule, marveled Mr. Spock, has been able to surpass this tortuous mass control of the public mind that could so trivially persuade people to accept and enjoy their own servitude with just the mere promise of the Hereafter which not even the rulers, but their almighty God had undertaken to fulfill. The rulers got a free ride with no promises of their own to keep! Whereas today, a lot more sophistication and technical expertise, not to mention considerable expense and talent, is brought to bear to achieve the same effect under “democracy” (see The Mighty Wurlitzer), and a hell of a lot of bayonets under Stalinist like dictatorship.

This has been the real prime-mover behind the villainous history of the oft glorified Muslim empires of the past, where the first caliphate came into existence after the death of the Prophet of Islam under a cloud of dissent from the progeny of the Prophet of Islam, where the first Ummayad Empire came into existence by killing the progeny of the Prophet of Islam, where the follow-on Abbasside empire came into existence on the pretext of rectifying the wrong done by the Ummayads but then took over the imperial mobilization from where the previous tyrannical empire had left off. The Mongols conquered Eurasia, assimilated with the local population, and spawned the two new Muslim Empires of the Ottomans in Central Asia, and the Mughals in Persia and India. This is what Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote in The Grand Chessboard of their precursors, the Mongols’ phenomenal conquest of Eurasia which gave birth to these Muslim empires:

To find a somewhat closer analogy to today’s definition of a global power, we must turn to the remarkable phenomenon of the Mongol Empire. Its emergence was achieved through an intense struggle with major and well-organized opponents. Among those defeated were the kingdoms of Poland and Hungary, the forces of the Holy Roman Empire, several Russian and Rus’ principalities, the Caliphate of Baghdad, and later, even the Sung dynasty of China.

Genghis Khan and his successors, by defeating their regional rivals, established centralized control over the territory that latterday scholars of geopolitics have identified as the global heartland, or the pivot for world power. Their Eurasian continental empire ranged from the shores of the China Sea to Anatolia in Asia Minor and to Central Europe (see map). It was not until the heyday of the Stalinist Sino-Soviet bloc that the Mongol Empire on the Eurasian continent was finally matched, insofar as the scope of centralized control over contiguous territory is concerned.

The Roman, Chinese, and Mongol empires were regional precursors of subsequent aspirants to global power. In the case of Rome and China, as already noted, their imperial structures were highly developed, both politically and economically, while the widespread acceptance of the cultural superiority of the center exercised an important cementing role. In contrast, the Mongol Empire sustained political control by relying more directly on military conquest followed by adaptation (and even assimilation) to local conditions.

Mongol imperial power was largely based on military domination. Achieved through the brilliant and ruthless application of superior military tactics that combined a remarkable capacity for rapid movement of forces with their timely concentration, Mongol rule entailed no organized economic or financial system, nor was Mongol authority derived from any assertive sense of cultural superiority. The Mongol rulers were too thin numerically to represent a self-regenerating ruling class, and in any case, the absence of a defined and self-conscious sense of cultural or even ethnic superiority deprived the imperial elite of the needed subjective confidence.

In fact, the Mongol rulers proved quite susceptible to gradual assimilation by the often culturally more advanced peoples they had conquered. Thus, one of the grandsons of Genghis Khan, who had become the emperor of the Chinese part of the great Khan’s realm, became a fervent propagator of Confucianism; another became a devout Muslim in his capacity as the sultan of Persia; and a third became the culturally Persian ruler of Central Asia.

It was that factor—assimilation of the rulers by the ruled because of the absence of a dominant political culture—as well as unresolved problems of succession to the great Khan who had founded the empire, that caused the empire’s eventual demise. The Mongol realm had become too big to be governed from a single center, but the solution attempted—dividing the empire into several self-contained parts—prompted still more rapid local assimilation and accelerated the imperial disintegration. After lasting two centuries, from 1206 to 1405, the world’s largest land-based empire disappeared without a trace.” — Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard, pgs. 15-17

Leaving behind their Muslim legatees, the Ottoman and the Mughal Empires. Little changed with their assimilation by the conquered peoples, as now these new absolutist regimes of the assimilated ruling class exercised ruthless power in the name of the same “God” of Islam, rather than formerly as the Central Asian Mongol barbarians. The Ottomans and the Mughals took imperial suzerainty from where the Ummayads, the Abbassides, and the Fatimides had left off, abusing Islam exactly as their predecessors, to inflict social control upon the masses in the name of “God”, and to infect the public with their own ‘la mission civilisatrice’ which supported imperial objectives, now largely held in check by the burgeoning European empire. And it is now, the contemporary history in the making of the Anglo Saxon’s drive for a world government empire.

All principally enabled by the fracture lines among the Muslims themselves because of their slightly different theological understanding of the Holy Qur’an due to the open-ended interpretation of the verses of the Holy Qur’an that is possible, leading to losing the original message intended by the Author for the guidance to man. Once the Author’s message is lost to individual interpretation, all the evil follows when the fault lines thus created fall into the grubby hands of Supermen and Machiavelli who know how to diabolically harness them in the name of “God” and “imperial mobilization”.

One can see perfect contemporary examples of the West’s harvesting of Islam in Zbigniew Brzezinski crafting the Afghan Mujahideens in yesteryear as already examined in Islam and Knowledge vs. Socialization. And today, in the crafting of ‘militant Islam’ vs. ‘moderate Islam’ Hegelian Dialectic, to create the “revolutionary times” necessary to seed the transformation into one-world government empire as already examined in The Mighty Wurlitzer.

It is only that, the abuse of the religion of Islam as an unmatched force for absolute social control in the name of “God”, and not its lofty purpose, concluded Mr. Spock, which led the Muslims to dizzying heights of unsurpassed empires for over seven hundred years, from 700 AD to 1400 AD. Muslim empires limped along, often in the throes of mediocrity, in competition with the rapidly burgeoning Western hegemony in Europe for another five hundred years, until they were finally put out of their misery by an even more diabolical foe that had now surpassed the dynastic Muslim rulers in the arts and sciences of societal control and behavior manipulation. The authority of “God” was replaced with that of “Democracy” (“We, the People”), and the pulpit by the Mighty Wurlitzer (wily mechanisms for the perception-management of “We, the People”).


Failure to Transform Society

While Islam has indubitably played a transformative role in the lives of individuals, and in creating the culture of religion – common ethos and rituals shared with the relevant political and religious communities – why has the Religion of Islam as “perfected” in verse 5:3, failed to transform society as it is primarily intended, rather than be continually hijacked for “imperial mobilization”, pondered Mr. Spock. He again recalled another sociologist and political scientist, a “leading Western scholar of Islam”, Bernard Lewis, describing the meteoric rise and dominance of “Islam” (see Hijacking the word “Islam” for Mantra Creation), and it puzzled Mr. Spock why all that was even true despite there being no “empire” in the Religion of Islam:

It is difficult to generalize about Islam. To begin with, the word itself is commonly used with two related but distinct meanings, as the equivalents both of Christianity, and Christendom. In the one sense, it denotes a religion, as system of beliefs and worship; in the other, the civilization that grew up and flourished under the aegis of that religion. The word Islam thus denotes more than fourteen centuries of history, a billion and a third people, and a religious and cultural tradition of enormous diversity. … For more than a thousand years, Islam provided the only universally acceptable set of rules and principles for the regulation of public and social life. Even during the period of maximum European influence, in the countries ruled or dominated by European imperial powers as well as in those that remained independent, Islamic political notions and attitudes remained a profound and pervasive influence.” — Bernard Lewis, Crisis of Islam – Holy War and Unholy Terror, pgs. 1 and 13

The key to that puzzle is in the text of the Holy Qur’an itself.

The very concept of spiritual guidance in the Holy Qur’an is addressed to a very narrow audience, those who approach it with a “cleansed heart” (see detailed exposition in Islam and Knowledge vs. Socialization). The rest are destined to be misled, as per the many admonishing proclamations in the Holy Qur’an.

But, as Mr. Spock already understood by way of considerable empiricism, no society, from time immemorial, possesses such wonderfully pious public with a “cleansed heart” in the majority! “Hegemony is as old as mankind”[9]; and so is its power to corrupt and to co-opt: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”[10] And their core instrument of extracting obedience from the public mind is Machiavellian political science. That succeeds primarily because, as is also an observed empirical fact, the general mass intelligence among human beings is rather low, irrespective of the civilization and epoch they belong to. A human philosopher had once captured this empiricism with wit: “Most people would rather die than think; in fact, they do so”.[11]

Therefore, questioned Mr. Spock, how is this guidance of the Holy Qur’an which is initially meant for only a small minority among the public who are required to both reason and think, and also bring a “cleansed heart” to bear upon the divine message, supposed to transform the majority of the people in any society?

One brimming with unbridled optimism may perhaps blindly speculate that the first seeds of moral enlightenment among the minority will eventually germinate and percolate to the rest of society – the evolution of societies under Islam to their more egalitarian and sublime state of equity, social justice, and spiritual ascendency – just like it arguably was on such a transforming path in the most backward piece of geography on earth at the time. In the desert of Arabia, when the Prophet of Islam established his ruling state in the small oasis called Medina during his own lifetime.

But not Mr. Spock, who had in fact been quite bored reading Pollyanna from the ship’s library. He could already perceive that these are wonderfully lofty ideals of Islam no doubt, just like its predecessors’ the Ten Commandments brought by Prophet Moses to the ‘chosen peoples’, and the ‘love thy neighbor’ Gospel brought by Prophet Jesus to their legatees subsequently known as Christians. None has transpired yet! But all have succeeded in leaving high-minded platitudes on elevated bookshelves of over 5 billion peoples who today claim to follow the Abrahamic creeds!

Practically speaking, reasoned Spock, if the masses are mainly unthinking creatures of habit and socialization, what does transformation really mean, apart from merely implanting new habits among the masses by social engineering – no cleansed hearts needed.

Mr. Spock is well aware that according to sociologists’ empirical study of human societies still existing in the twenty-first century, at best less than 2% of the people think, about 8% think they think, and 90% wouldn’t be caught dead thinking! In fact, stupider the masses, more gullibly they are led to any destination by the Machiavelli with social engineering, and with bread and circuses – and that has been a fact from time immemorial.

How can the Holy Qur’an counter that empirical reality among the wider populations of human beings with its platitudinous cleansed heart recipe? The way the Holy Qur’an is structured, that recipe principally requires the ability to think and to reason, like Mr. Spock’s mind, while overcoming the chains of socialization and indoctrination inflicted upon the public from birth, in order to fully decipher the message of the Holy Qur’an.

But if not more than 2% of any human society realistically has such rational capacity at this stage of their human development on earth, as is empirically visible, genuine heart cleansing can only remain un-implementable. This automatically implies that holding diversity of views and remaining fragmented is the only practical outcome for such primitive societies, leaving the incredible statements of the Holy Qur’an to ultimately prevail to explain that empiricism:

  • If Allah had so willed, He would have made you a single people,” ;

  • (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.” ;

  • If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if ye do believe in Allah and the Last Day: That is best, and most suitable for final determination.” ;

  • Surely We have shown him the way: he may be thankful or unthankful.” ;

  • One day We shall call together all human beings with their (respective) Imams” ;

  • ‘Then the Messenger will say: “O my Lord! Truly my people took this Qur’an for just foolish nonsense.”’ ;

  • This is a people that have passed away; they shall have what they earned and you shall have what you earn, and you shall not be called upon to answer for what they did.” (all cited above)

As evidenced in the verses above, the Author of the Holy Qur’an asserts to have fully empowered individuals, societies, and civilizations from time immemorial with His Divine Guidance System whether they be thankful or unthankful. And will hold all human beings to account for its implementation in their own lives and their own times in the company of their respective Imams. Be that as it may, the implementation of the Author’s Divine Guidance System is nevertheless made even more impractical by the meta paradox of the Holy Qur’an, that the hijacking of its understanding has been enabled by the Holy Qur’an itself. Even the smartest minds in sophisticated societies have to deal with the challenge of accurately deciphering the Holy Qur’an due to its Indeterminates!

But the twain of that paradox is still another paradox – that perhaps it was this first paradox which enabled the Holy Qur’an to even survive in its cipher form as a pristine un-tampered text through the vicissitudes of empires built upon the abuse of the religion of Islam as a force for social engineering, in the first place. When Muslim power-mongers at the very inception of Islam’s ascendance did not hesitate from slaughtering the progeny of the Prophet of Islam to occupy its highest pulpits despite the clear Qur’anic commandment to Muslims that loving the Messenger’s near of kin in gratitude is a moral obligation put upon them, ‘Say: “No reward do I ask of you for this except the love of those near of kin.”’, the verses of the Holy Qur’an themselves would surely not have survived un-tampered had they effectively got in the way of imperial mobilization.

By using open-ended statements and indirections in its verses, i.e., by becoming a cipher, and by encouraging its verbatim memorization and recitation on every occasion imaginable primarily as an oral message, the Author has certainly been able to safeguard the text of the Holy Qur’an from the villainy of human scribes and the vicissitudes of time. And here is the twain paradox – but who can decipher that pristine un-tampered cipher message of “no doubt” into its singular plaintext today without any doubt? Albeit, the Holy Qur’an has provided a cipher key for breaking this deadlock condition, to approach its cipher with a “cleansed heart” and all would be revealed: “In a Book well-guarded, Which none shall touch but those who are clean (purified)”, Surah Al-Waqia, 56:78-79, already quoted above.

Many millenniums later, despite the indirections and the unknowns, the pristine text of the Holy Qur’an has still enabled the solely left-brained Mr. Spock to reason through the cipher using only the Holy Qur’an itself as the criterion to adjudicate his reasoning. As should be readily apparent to the reader, validating the broad claims of the Holy Qur’an, Mr. Spock has certainly comprehended quite a bit already.

But the paradox of trying to comprehend in totality, the Infallible Words of the Author from the fallible words of the scribes of history persists. This paradox is deeply inherent in the Holy Qur’an and no amount of rationalization of how pristine and un-tampered the Qur’anic text really is, can wipe it way. While its words and verses may be intact and pristine, the meaning of those words and verses on the precise fault-lines of sectarianism is far from Determinate.

Mr. Spock pushes this macro meta puzzle on the top of his evaluation stack, realizing fully well that albeit a totality of understanding may be difficult to acquire, a reasonable, even if ultimately partial, understanding may still be achieved to finally resolve all paradoxes with logical self-consistency once he has dug his way to the very bottom of the Pandora’s box.

Mr. Spock has also insightfully realized that unlike peoples of other religions, Islam and the Holy Qur’an evidently continue to play a much greater role in the daily lives of Muslim nations on earth in nearly all cultures and civilizations of the East. The West is also not immune to its intoxicating grip upon the Muslim peoples living there. The public’s oral recitation of the Holy Qur’an, if not its penetrating study, is ubiquitous among the Muslim masses and comprises their essential Islamic ethos. It is a pathetic shame therefore, muses Mr. Spock, that they each understand the same text of their Good Book differently leading to needless fracture lines among them that are always ripe for harvesting by the vile and the villainous. Something really should be done about this – despite the potential of the Prime Directive adversely interfering with that lofty objective (Prime Directive: a social Darwinian concept to not have the highly evolved Star Trek folks in the fable meddle with primitive war-mongering civilizations in the galaxy, to instead afford them the opportunity to either evolve, or naturally die away and be replaced by a better civilization more eager and able to evolve).

Accurately unraveling the principal first cause of disunity among Muslims from which every schism, every empire, and every evil has followed, logically surmised Mr. Spock, would minimally lead to eliminating all sectarianism from among them; the Muslims already possess the common text of the Holy Qur’an which they are all already united upon, and mainly only differ in what it means. A rational elimination of these now very powerful fracture lines, a happenstance of history, would also eliminate the ease of abuse of Islam by rulers and empires who thrive on historical obfuscation, on aiding and abetting internecine violence, on fanning sectarian divides, pitting one narrative against the other among the ignorant partisans to assert their own primacy and its geostrategic imperatives. Eliminating just that singular source of global threat to other worlds and other civilizations, would be worth violating the Prime Directive for, reasons Mr. Spock.

Because of his long exposure to the exercise of hegemony and evolution of primitive societies, Mr. Spock well understands that a society often only evolves due to being conquered, or sometimes due to resistance to being conquered, and rarely voluntarily without a motivating force. Industrial and technological advancement had been a primal force of social evolution – but rather than evolve the mental styles of man, it had only principally evolved the living styles of mankind. No spiritual advancement had taken place over at least 5000 years of mankind’s existence despite copious visitations by prophets. Therefore, Mr. Spock recognizes that if Muslim societies now under dire existential threat, are permitted or coached into evolving their comprehension of the real meaning of Islam and the sublime guidance to mankind offered in the Holy Qur’an, and if knowledge of this new egalitarian understanding of the religion of Islam is encouraged to percolate downwards to the Muslim masses and upwards to the Muslim pontiffs, that:

  • firstly, all such subversions for “imperial mobilizations” would automatically be thwarted (See exposition of Surah Al-Asr , Chapter 103 of the Holy Qur’an, to understand how the banality of evil is easily overcome once the implementation of Deen-ul-Haq is liberated from the clutches of pious rituals and pious mullahs) ;

  • and secondly, the concomitant societal journey towards a progressive more egalitarian state of spiritual as well as equitable material existence would become naturally organic and automatic.

But, Mr. Spock also lamentably ponders, which ruling class and threatened interests among them would ever permit such a positive transformation to occur on its own, without substantial use of a counter force, when it would kill the golden goose which lays the imperial egg? Especially, if such revolutionizing transformation could finally even unite the Muslims into one enlightened people who would be next to impossible to conquer for inimical interests.

However, a bent tree can hardly ever be straightened without breaking it, as Mr. Spock well knows. And that unfortunate empiricism may necessitate that the religion of Islam, as preserved in its un-tampered scripture, continually resuscitate itself in new cultures and new civilizations, among new peoples, each time for a better implementation of divine guidance, while leaving the corrupted and hijacked nations to naturally decay away into oblivion. There is no arresting, never mind curing, cancer in an already decaying society.

With that as the overarching backdrop of the import of his study, Mr. Spock decides to dig his electrified mind into a deeper more penetrating examination of the Holy Qur’an. His mathematical genius simply had to solve these puzzles and paradoxes of the enigmatic text which appeared to offer some sensible guidance for mutual co-existence in the stochastic process of mankind’s existence – a random process which seeds natural diversity among mankind via socialization bias that only depends upon which side of the railroad tracks people are born, but offering them a breathtaking unity of purpose as expressed in Surah Al-Maeda 5:48.


IV

Path Forward: Altering The Legacy With Qur’anic Political Science – Impacting Muslim Existence

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, 2:166167)

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 5:48of 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. He 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 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 by American President Jimmy Carter with both revolutionary Sunnis in Afghanistan and revolutionary Shias in Iran.

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. In the case of Revolutionary Iran, the people agreed to accept that determination with an unprecedented public referendum which remains unsurpassed as a choice exercised by a fed-up people to be willingly ruled by their clergy class, brought to political power on an Air France jet airliner flying through America’s NATO controlled skies, instead of living under the suzerainty of the most cruel King of kings who had previously been brought to political power by America’s CIA.

The public in post Revolutionary Iran, just like in America, comes out to vote periodically to select from among their respective ruling elite who will govern them under their respectively pre-established structures of power espousing unchangeable sacred ideologies, making it quite irrelevant whom the public selects in both nations. It is the power structure, once established, that governs, with new faces only representing who gets to occupy the established musical chairs and put their signatures on pieces of parchment.

All of the preceding is just reporting palpably recorded facts. None of it is state secret, or speculation. No conclusions are being drawn from it in terms of the legitimacy of governance, only of how power actually flows in reality, stripped off its mythological air and public relations veneers, and the public’s acceptance of one form of power over another when both have served an insidious function for the same Great Satan. One as its policeman, the other as its fabricated enemy to continue sustaining its superpower war footings upon the peaceable instincts of its own democratic public (see Zbigniew Brzezinski in The Arc of Crisis and The Grand Chessboard cited in reports referenced in Part-I).

Irrespective of whether a public makes the choice of governance with their ballot, or a “choice” is imposed upon a public with the bullet or even “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 powers’ orchestrated friendly puppets and fabricated enemies of any flavor, religious and secular” specified in the Holy Qur’an.

In fact, there is no method of governance demanded, 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 articulation of the general and platitudinous mandate to build a righteous and just society in which no one takes unfair advantage of another. The Holy Qur’an instead affirms the lovely beatitudinous (exalted in 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.[12]

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?

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 sect.

“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. Today, the same public mind will kill, and die, for these same beliefs on matters entirely Indeterminate. The Holy Qur’an clearly prescribes the accumulating fortunes of such scribes, scholars, and 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 “Taqlid”

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!

Marja-e-taqlid: right!

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!

Q.E.D.

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 its construction, will argue and dispute: “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 Qur’anic guidance system endeavors to take man from that disputative warring state, 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 ) can take a disputative, ethnocentric, tribalistic, nationalistic, and fiqhilistic people there.

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.


V

Conclusion

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.

Solution Space

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.

Proposal to the Pulpits

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.”

Self Study for Seekers of Understanding ( أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ )

Incestuous self-reinforcement is the bane of objective scholarship. This is why the scientific process came into existence to study any matter objectively. Putting the data and its analysis before others to examine, enables defeating crippled epistemology and incestuous self-reinforcement. One has the opportunity to examine the same data, and the analysis performed on that data, conduct one’s own experiments so to speak, and either substantiate or refute the thesis and conclusions so reached. The process itself advances not just the state of understanding, but enables new discoveries. The question posed in Part-I is empirical: “everyone quotes their favorite verses to justify their own narrow positions;”. However, has the author of this report done anything different, as far as the alert reader is concerned, when the report inter alia asserts in Part-III :

It sure explains empirical reality coherently, but most importantly, in self-sufficiency and self-consistency drawn solely from the Holy Qur’an and no other source!

How is the skeptical reader, and the seeker of understanding desirous of being counted among those addressed as أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ in the Holy Qur’an, to defend their levying that same charge of Part-I against this report beyond their own knee-jerk emotional reaction which the report is sure to induce in a Muslim?

Only by following the scientific process! This study is not about faith, or about questioning faith. It is about epistemology – how we know what we know. It is about rational examination of data and its analysis akin to what one might pursue in any academic science. Here, logical reasoning as the standard of analysis, “aqal ki kassoti” (أقل كي كسو تي ) as one might say in Urdu, and not faith, is applied to the study of a complex Book by someone named Author. What is the Author specifying in His Own Words? That is the primary yardstick driving this investigation.

This author, an ordinary engineer in Silicon Valley California in a past life, well-versed in building systems that work and interoperate from initially incomplete or ambiguous specifications or merely wish lists, and in developing and writing specifications ab initio to create systems which work and solve customers’ problems and for which customers paid real money to purchase, has explored the stated inquiry question from that analytical perspective, of a systems architect who is hypothetically tasked to engineer the system specified in the Holy Qur’an. In order to do so, the Qur’anic specification must first be understood. And understood in terms of what its Author has specified, and not what this author has imagined, or interpreted. Compliance testing reigns in the fertile imagination of an engineer:

  • by Functional Tests which the Author will administer for pass or fail on the Day of Accountability (this means no interpretation, akin to understanding the DMV driver’s manual correctly in order to pass the road test);

  • by seamless interoperability with others pursuing similar mandate (this means being constrained to the Determinates, akin to driving on the public roads in harmony and without causing fatal accidents or discord with all the other drivers).

This study of the Holy Qur’an, and Part-IV that follows which looks at the primary sources of understanding the religion of Islam outside of the Holy Qur’an, have principally been conducted thus far with the left-half brain, logic-only mind, of a practical scientist engaged in existential battles like the metaphorical Mr. Spock (and not an ideologue ensconced in some ivory tower who has never lived in the real world, never competed for livelihood, never fought an enemy, never stood up to Machiavellian power with courage and fortitude, and never lived the hell on earth except on paper and on television). Often called to make urgent split-second factual analysis of weighty matters, at times ambiguous, at times concrete, and at times cloaked in layers of deception by the enemy, upon which depend life and death decisions of his Captain, Mr. Spock cannot ever be wrong in his factual analysis and logical deductions. But his recommendations may or may not be acceptable to the Captain who steers his decisions by more than just his own left-half brain. The Captain can never refute Mr. Spock’s analysis and deductions, and at times his right-half brain led decisions appear illogical to Mr. Spock. And yet, invariably turn out to be more effective in certain cases that require gut-feel, intuition, insight, faith, spiritual know-how; all esoterica that remain beyond the purview of empirical analysis and logical reasoning. The limitations of Mr. Spock and this approach to studying a divine text have already been addressed in the preamble of Part-II.

The fact that Mr. Spock classified the divine text as a ciphertext which must be deciphered correctly to a single plaintext, i.e., uncover the meaning intended to be conveyed by the Author of the Holy Qur’an as in a law book or the DMV driver’s manual, rather than as a book of literature and poetry which may interpreted according to each individual’s bent of mind and proclivity, is the first axiom that could itself be perceived as being in error by the right-brain dominant human mind that feels more than it is able to think and reason. Is the Holy Qur’an not intended as guidance for them too? They can neither reason effectively nor think clearly – but who is to say that they do not understand the spiritual essence of the Holy Qur’an better than those empiricists who can think and reason? No reference decoding is available today to adjudicate! The Messenger is no longer among us to tell us who is right, and who isn’t.

Which is why the sensible remnant of Allah, “That which is left you by Allah is best for you”?, بَقِيَّتُ ٱللَّهِ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ , inter alia is the verse 5:48. It is the categorical best for all of us: “so strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to Allah; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute.” It works for both types of people, those who think and analyze, and those unable to reason for themselves and follow by faith, sect, emotionalism, socialization, indoctrination, and whatever or whoever appeals to their own subconscious mind.

One useful way to think about this abstraction for those who possess both half brains in some balanced non-zero quantity, might be:

  • the right-half brain feels a compelling need to climb a specific mountain but does not know how except to extol the virtues of climbing that mountain in verse and oratory;

  • the left-half brain comes up with the practical analysis for such a journey, the engineering and logistics plan to get there, and the battle plan to defeat the many anticipated obstructions lurking in the path including those that are unpredictable like the bad weather, flash floods, and robbers hiding in bushes;

  • the right-half brain sustains the human spirit with faith and fortitude throughout that agonizing journey to finally be able to climb that mountain with any kind of engineered plan rather than to merely have dreamed of climbing it.

One can no more engineer a plan with one’s right-half brain than one can imagine success with one’s left-half brain in the face of hopelessness and dark clouds. The reader’s job is to verify the engineered plan, which means to first understand the specification in order to even be able to adjudicate, before he and she embarks on that arduous journey to climb that mountain with nothing but faith sustaining thine spirit, and nothing but shrewd planning guiding thine little “zulfiqar”[13]. Just another way to think about how to engage the human mind (intellect plus intuition – respectively the left and the right half brains) to its fullest potential. The analysis presented here therefore, to be of any use to anyone, should be examined solely for what it is, and not with “religious” sentiments (right-half brain) interfering with the facts and logical analysis (left-half brain).

For the reader’s convenience, the table below lists all the verses of the Holy Qur’an which appear in the examination of the question: Why it is easy to hijack the Holy Qur’an and the religion of Islam, and upon which the analysis and deductions of this report are solely based – to the best ability of this scribe who is not Mr. Spock, and is as socialized into his own ethos, by virtue of being fully human, as anyone else. The only difference from others being, the scribe has cognitively endeavored to rise to the many challenges outlined in this report. You can surely do the same, and better the analysis.

Aal-‘Imran 3:7

Al-insaan 76:3

Al An’aam 6:83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90

an-Nisaa’ 4:59

al-Israa’ 17:71

Muhammad 47:24

Al-Maeda 5:48

Al-Ahzaab 33:36

Al-Maeda 5:35

Al-Baqara 2:2, 3

Al-Waqia 56:77, 78, 79, 80, 81

An-Najm 53:1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Al-Baqara 2:185

al-Furqaan 25:1

Al-Fatiha 1:61:7

Ibrahim 14:1

Maryam 19:97

Ta-Ha 20:114

Al-Ahzaab 33:35

Ibrahim 14:4

Al-Baqara 2:134, 141

Al-Asr 103:1, 2, 3

Al-Baqara 2:166, 167

Al-Qasas 28:5

Al-Fajr 89:27, 28, 29, 30

Ash-Shura 42:23

Al-Mujaadila 58:21

Al-Maeda 5:3

Al-Ahzaab 33:28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34

Al-Anbiyaa 21:105

Al-Furqaan 25:30

Aal-e-Imran 3:33, 34

Surah Hud 11:86

Al-Baqara 2:128

Al-Baqara 2:124

Surah Ta-Ha 20:135

Yunus 10:19, 47

Al-Ahzaab 33:40

Surah An-Nahl 16:25

Al-Kauthar 108:3

Surah At-Takwir 81:19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29

Caption Verses of the Holy Qur’an employed in Part-II and Part-III to examine the question: Why it is easy to hijack the Holy Qur’an and the religion of Islam.

Given that there are 6236 total verses in the Holy Qur’an, and it is itself a deep bottomless ocean, this study has barely scratched the surface of acquiring an analytical understanding of the singular Sacred Scripture of Islam. But to the extent this study has dived into this ocean, its discoveries just on this one narrow question are before the reader to adjudicate, to validate, to refute, to enhance, or to remain indifferent.

Continued in Part-IV


Footnotes

[7] The contemporary and popular English translation of M.H. Shakir by TTQ, New York, has dropped all his footnotes in their hard copy edition (with posthumous apologies to the author!). The scribe possesses the original first edition with its sporadic footnotes intact. Similarly, the extensive footnotes in the English translation of Yusuf Ali have been openly doctored in posthumous reprints published by Amana Publications, Saudi Arabia. The scribe also possess a copy of the 1934 first edition with the unadulterated original footnotes intact.

[8] Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard, 1997, pg. 24

[9] Ibid. pg. 3

[10] Lord Acton

[11] Bertrand Russell

[12] David Ben-Gurion had lucidly explained the utility of crisis creation during the violent fabrication of the Jewish State in Palestine: “What is inconceivable in normal times is possible in revolutionary times; and if at this time the opportunity is missed and what is possible at such great hours is not carried out – a whole world is lost”. This diabolical political science principle was reiterated some three score years and ten later by Rahm Emanuel, American President Barack Obama’s Jewish White House Chief of Staff (January 20, 2009 – October 1, 2010) whose father was part of the terrorist gang “Irgun” that had so successfully utilized the Ben-Gurion principle for the creation of Israel in Palestine: “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.” Rahm Emanuel’s statement to the press, http://youtube.com/watch?v=tM5ZdO-IgEE (at time 1m 3s)

[13] Name of the legendary double-pincer sword of Imam Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib before which no nemesis could stand for long in mortal combat. Legend has it that the sword was given to Imam Ali by the Prophet of Islam after (or during) the battle of Uhad in the second year of the Hijra, 614 A.D. The intellect, given to every individual in mankind by the Creator in varying amounts, called “aqal”, is akin to that famous sword. One need only learn to sharpen it, and to wield it with both skill and expertise, and no hectoring hegemon can ever prevail with their weapons of mass deception in any battle. It is the only effective antidote against the villainy of perception management.

Credits

Arabic Qur’an recitation by Shaykh Mahmoud Khalil al-Husary, audio courtesy of Verse By Verse Quran, acquired 8/13/2011 from http://www.versebyversequran.com

Arabic verses courtesy of the open source Qur’an Tanzil Project, acquired 8/13/2011 from http://tanzil.net/download/

Most (not all) English translation of Qur’an verses are by Yusuf Ali, Shakir, and Pickthall, acquired 8/13/2011 from http://tanzil.net/trans/ (archived Yusufali, Shakir, Pickthall).

French translation by Hamidullah acquired 1/18/2013 http://tanzil.net/trans/fr.hamidullah

Spanish translation by Cortes acquired 3/2/2013 http://tanzil.net/trans/es.cortes

Arabic grammar decomposition courtesy of the open source Quranic Arabic Corpus project at Language Research Group University of Leeds, acquired January 24, 2013 from http://corpus.quran.com/

English translation by Ali Quli Qara’i acquired January 24, 2013 from http://islamawakened.com/Quran/

Reference to Muhammad Hussain Tabatabai’s parsing of verse 3:7 from http://shiasource.com/al-mizan/

With most humble thanks to all!

Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/Hijacking-Quran-pt3

Source URL: http://faith-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2011/08/islam-why-is-quran-easy-to-hijack-pt3.html

First Published Friday, August 19, 2011, 19th day of Ramadan in the US, Muslim year 1432 | Last Revised August 01, 2013, 22nd Ramadan in Pakistan, Muslim year 1434 (Material which was previously in Part-II revised and expanded into this Part-III)


Why is the Holy Qur’an so easy to hijack?

Part-IV

I

Introduction

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, 2:166167)

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.

Begin Excerpt

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.

End Excerpt

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 2:166167 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

Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/Hijacking-Quran-pt4

Source URL: http://faith-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2011/08/islam-why-is-quran-easy-to-hijack-pt4.html

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)


Additional Bibliography and Endnotes

Part-I

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

Part-II

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

Preface http://print-humanbeingsfirst.blogspot.com/2013/02/poor-mans-guide-to-modernity-preface.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 [5], 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

Part-III

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

Part-IV

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 wtc1 http://sites.google.com/site/humanbeingsfirst/download-pdf/north_tower_collapse.mpeg ;

pg 216 watch wtc2 http://sites.google.com/site/humanbeingsfirst/download-pdf/south_tower_collapse.mpeg ;

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.