From the Archive
Ponderings on the Quranic Phrase "Pharaoh Exalted himself as Superior on Earth, and Divided its People into Factions. He Persecuted a Group of Them..." (28:4), PARTS I, II and III
Immigration between the Quranic Sharia Legislations and Man-Made Legislations
Fatwas Part Fifty-Six
Man of the year
Al-Makrizi as a Witness against an Era: Details about the Big Criminals of the Year 825 A.H. – 1
Quranic Terminology: (Ilhad – Root: l/h/d)
"But Speak to him Mildly. Perhaps he Will Remember, or Have Some Fear." (Quran 20:44)
Quranic Terminology: Al-Hasana & Al-Sayye'a
The Best of Hosts
Causing Human Beings to Forget Is The Means of Satan to Tempt Them
Wearing of the Veil - Part 1
The latest suicide operations in Israel and their implications
Another Message from a Homosexual Muslim Young Man
Torture within Quranist Viewpoint (16): Torment and the Divine Justice of the Almighty Lord God
The Execution of the Shiite Sheikh Nimr Al-Nimr Is a Nail in the Coffin of the KSA Regime
Fatwas Part One-Hundred-and-Forty-Eight
Unjustified and Justified Aggression
"...I See What You Do Not See..." (Quran 8:48)
The Actual War on Christians
Western Prejudice and Islamic Problems
Western Attitudes, Muslims and Islam

I think the first problem is that we Muslims don’t know our roots. I think everyone has heard that if you know your roots you will know yourself better. I think Quranists have begun that journey by questioning the hadeeth, but there are those Quranists out there who take things too far as I see it. So I’ll go back bit by bit to explain some of the things I think have influenced us profoundly and why. First let’s go back to 70’s. The spirit of the seventies and the fight against “the Man’’ has definitely taken shape at least within some components of the Quranist community. This is a problem because if the only reason we are questioning the hadeeth is because we believe that the “establishment” and everything associated with it is bad then there is something wrong with us. I do believe that there are sometimes conspiracies and there are companions of Iblis out there trying to ruin the minds of many. But we need to be able to distinguish content and not give the blame because of association. As I will do my best to explain here, origins are not always the same as end results, and our ancestors didn’t have to think like or look like we, the descendents, do today. So when we look at the Muslim mind especially the Modernists or some components of the Quranists we should take into consideration the affect of the American cultural revolution (and other cultures and ideological movements) and how its ideas have influenced the world.

Next we go to European colonialism. This has been the bane of most of the world, and many cultures have come out of this experience with very reactionary attitudes and imaginative versions of history (as a reaction to Europeans’ often imaginary and always biased versions). What it taught us is that no conqueror or leader is bound to tell the truth about anything especially the history of his people or the people he has conquered. The earliest versions of this colonialism is with the conquering of the New World and the enslavement of native West Africans in the Atlantic Slave Trade. Europeans back then were stained with fresh ideas from the inquisition about the purity and superiority of the most Caucasoid and Trinitarian Europeans and the evils and barbarity of the Moors, with whom they associated Black and Mulatoe peoples (Arabs, Berbers and Indians included) and Asiatic blacks and Asiatic-black mixes (Philipinos, Malaysians and other peoples of Old Indonesia included). These Europeans lived in fear and hatred of the Moors and all they associated with them, which was mainly Islam and all darker peoples. So when the Europeans exploded out into the world they brought these negative ideas that had been formed about areas that they had known about through negative and envy-producing lore. Unfortunately, many of these places to be conquered had no idea about the extreme hate that had developed in the European psyche, especially Northern Europeans (the Dutch, French, German and British included). The Muslim lands had gotten a taste of this during the Crusades, but no one knew the gravity of these festering prejudices (except for Native Americans, and Africans and their American progeny in Spanish, Portuguese and especially British, Dutch and French Colonies, as well as the Moors who stayed in Southern Europe) until Europe’s New World Colonies through racist African slave labor and the racistly motivated confiscation of Native American lands had come to fruition. When these immorally acquired goods bore fruit it provided the wealth and materials to Europe to start their quest to conquer all who they considered heathens and their lands where they would seek to “civilize” them by purging their non European-Christian ways and then keep them in perpetual disdain as inferior remnants of their heathen pasts.

To help the reader understand this, in Spanish lands, the northern Spaniards who conquered the rest of southern Spain from the Moors held inquisitions for all who had any visible African ancestry (and that can be seen up to a 1/16 in some cases. (just about all Arabs and Berbers have it to a very visible degree). So if you were brown in Spain you would be interrogated, tortured and most likely killed. The prominent Castilian empire of Spain would harass, torture and kill anyone whom they thought had Muslim or Jacobic affilation or ancestry (Jews were in former Roman territories in Europe before the Moors, but they also came to Spain with the Moors as Moorish lands also had great numbers of Jews in those days. They were in essence Moorish Jews). So if these were the attitudes of the Christian Europeans who were closest to the Moorish empire (not those within the empire) imagine what those further north thought. The dynamics of the ideas present in European lands is most evident in their manifestation in the form of policies for African slaves in the Americas, and how they dealt with Native Americans. Spanish and Portuguese colonies were slightly less cruel in their practices because of the recent African ancestries of many of those who participated in this system in the Americas. Whether they were white enough to stay in Iberia or not giving their labor in the New World was a sure way to escape the inquisitions back home.

These nasty racist and anti-Islamic ideas played out all around the world with the advent of European colonialism and continued in full motion until its interment in the 70’s. Its affects however are still felt today, and the attitudes created by hundreds of years of prejudice towards colored people and Islam are far from completely gone. They are not the same as they were in 1550 but they have survived in cultural traditions and cultural ideas that still exist in the minds of Europeans and their descendents in all of their previous colonies. How has this affected Muslims? Despite the corruptions that Muslims brought from all the empires and cultures that Islam inherited the European colonial experience created false racial classifications and senses of racial pride amongst people who were never really races and whereas these were used by the Europeans to separate and divide, Muslims have often ignored facts to try to unite people on false premises created by the colonial era. Iranians for instance named their country after their Aryan ancestors and have totally ignored and marginalized their Black Dravidian ancestors who produced some of the earliest civilizations in that land. Pakistanis and Bangladeshis still have more pronounced Black Dravidians populations, however the caste-like culture based on skin color (not a caste system, but a caste-like culture) they inherited form the most ancient Aryan invaders was only strengthened with the arrival of the British whose disdain for darker skin was so strong that they didn’t even bother to mix with local peoples like the ancient Aryans had eventually done in the past.

The Europeans succeeded in convincing the Arabs and the Indian Muslims (who knew better) that they were somehow a part of the white race (although not white enough to not be called niggers) despite their obvious black intermixture and the Blacks of different stock who live in these lands. Even the most ancient Greek and Roman writers describe Arabia and India as being full of Ethiopian stocks of people. Al-Jaahiz an early Muslim writer from Iraq, of East African derivation stated how many Arab tribes were Black and ancient historians have quoted how in the distant past the noblest of the peoples of Hindic lands were the Blackest of them. Who, with any knowledge, can deny the almost exact similitude between known Mulatoe groups in the Americas (every Latin American country with a Caribbean shore) and almost all Arab groups today and most Hindic groups. Moreover, who with any knowledge can deny the presence of native Blacks of both these groups who still can be found amidst these populations? Consider the native Mahra of Southern Arabia and the Persian Gulf and the black populations to still be found in every Latin American country, as well as the Black Daleet. So Arabs are not a race and nor are Indic peoples, no more than Hispanic peoples are a race. They are mixtures of different Caucasoid, Negroid and Mongoloid stocks bound by similar cultures, languages or geography. The Dark Asians of Old Indonesia, Malaysia and the Pacific Islands are mixtures between Negroid and Mongoloid groups. But the Europeans created racist policies and classifications of the people they conquered and got them to swallow them and create divides amongst themselves by making them impose ideas on themselves that don‘t fit the truth of their people. You’ll find a similar thing happening amongst Latin America and its relations with the more European American countries like the U.S. and Canada. Latin Americans who are of mixed racial parentage, now find themselves in the U.S. and Canada being classified as a separate race; Latino or Hispanic. These terms are really only linguistic terms, but because like the Old Europeans, White Americans (and now by consequence, Afro-Americans despite their mixture) don’t believe in racial mixing or in peoples who are racially mixed they have invented new races in order to continue old ideas. Such mixing does not fit into their ideas of what is proper so they would rather invent whole races than realize the truth of mixing between Caucasoid, Negroid and Mongoloid groups as real and the reason for the many phenotypes we find today.

I guess it is a whole lot easier to oversimplify. What exactly is a quadroon who has European -like features but brown skin, dark hair and the slight influence of Negroid features in his face and body? That can elude classification, I guess. In the eyes of the earliest Europeans and North Americans of European extract that person would be Black, a Moor, or a “nigger” of some form. But when the Europeans realized the achievements of the Moors, the Arabs, Berbers, and Indians who they knew were mixed they found some worth in these cultures and started to associate them with the Caucasoid side of their ancestries, giving them value by negating the Negroid elements of their blood and cultures. It is for that reason the original Negroid character of ancient Egypt is still a topic of debate amongst scholars. It is mainly because of ideas invented and imported to the world through European colonialism that Arabs somehow feel that they are the only true Muslims and try to connect Arab nationalism with Islam dividing them from uniting with the rest of the Muslim world. It is also the reason why Arabs feel that they are a race when they were never a race but a group of tribes derived from the mixing of different racial and ethnic stocks which still exist among them. The purely patrilineal nature of Arab identity is the main reason for the ease of assimilation of any ethnicity that blends with a tribally affiliated Arab man. This patrilineal nature of ethnic identification is not unique to the Arabs nor is it unheard of for ethnicities to be swallowed up by conquering ethnicities through mixture and cultural supremacy.

But it doesn’t stop there. Muslims and the Islamic world were on a downwards spiral before European Colonialism. The Jahiliyyah element of the early Arab-Islamic empires quickly assumed the reins of power after the passing of the last prophet (GBH) and in the name of what they saw as a native Arab religion on par with Christianity and Judaism quickly took hold of the proxy Arab empires of Byzantine and Persia (the Ghassanids and Lakhmids) and then Byzantium and Persia themselves. Most likely only nominal Muslims, most of the Arab tribes only had the Quran to use to justify and investigate the rites, rituals and ideas of their religion. But as they absorbed the elements of Persian, Byzantine Christian, Nestorian and Jewish sects their religion got a little more complicated. We can see the perfect example of the prophet’s ideas of religion in the Quran and in the early truces written on the polices of Yathrib (now known as Medina). We find freedom of religion and mutual consultation about criminals who transgress community bounds. But we know the Shariah that we have inherited today is far from this, and definitely far from the Quran. We find theologians popping up as the Arabs conquer Byzantium and Persian lands. The first widely accepted explanation of Islam we have is from Al-Shafií, who obviously found a need to explain this title because it is not used in the Quran as a title in any way. The word in Arabic means submission, surrender, peace making, paying early, being in peace, saving or possible being saved. So this theologian had to expand on these meanings and give justification for why the people of the Quran were calling themselves Muslims. With the theologians we start getting our first material and textual corruption of the religion of the people of the Quran. They insert Persian, Greek, Jewish and Christian ideas into the religion in addition to the pre-Islamic ones that had been inserted culturally by the Arab conquerors of these lands.

Many anti-Islamists usually try to make it seem like the Muslim Arabs forced conversions wherever they went. This I find hard to believe. Firstly because there is little proof for it and secondly because many of these early Arab Muslims had been profoundly familiar with and influenced by Judaism, Christianity and even pagan religions before they accepted the Quran, and later the term Islam. That is why under the first Arab-Islamic empires we find a very tolerant society although one with clear supremacist inclinations towards the Arab tribes. The Persians brought the idea of hereditary leadership from their Persian monarchies leading to the Shiite break, which was materialized after the unquranic dealings of Arab leadership mainly between the parties of Ma’mun and Ali. The unquranic dealings of the Arab leadership led to a lot of division between the people of the Quran during the early days of the Islamic empires. Many of these differences were the product of different Arab and non-Arab cultural influences being combined with and sometimes made to overshadow the Quran. We find the Mu’taziltes to be a pleasant encounter between Quranic study and the study of Greek Philosophy. The Kharijites on the other hand are the product of an encounter between the idea of absolutism and the study of the Quran. The fact is that numerous encounters of the people of the Quran with ideas from areas that had been influenced by many empires over the centuries created a fertile but unstable environment. The end result was the use of particular doctrines to stamp out the spirit of thinking, analysis and criticism of authorities and the maintenance of a subjugated population. It is through this process of maintaining a doctrine of control that we get much of the Shariah we have today. But we shouldn’t feel too bad as people of the Quran because the whole Arab experiment in ruling was a totally unquranic effort although it did serve to spread the Quran and Classical Arabic and its study far and wide. Also it was the original freedom of thought, religion, philosophy and science that brought together the best of all the cultures that met in the Islamic world. It was the shutting down of this freedom that led to the demise of it. And this has been our problem ever since.

We became the casualty of the power of empires and have been such ever since from the early Arab empires, the Ottoman empire, and European colonialism to the modern Muslim states of today. All their policies have centered around maintenance of the power of leadership through controlling and suppressing ideas that have the potential to create any type of intellectual resistance. So what is wrong with the Muslims today is what was wrong with us when we decided that Islamic empires instead of Roman, Greek, Ethiopian and Persian ones were okay. As people of the Quran we set the Quran and truth aside to fulfill the duties of our collective and individual egos and we took the ideas of others as gold and on par with the Quran before filtering them through the Quran. This, in addition to native Western European and Euro-Christian attitudes towards Muslims in general and darker skinned Muslims in particular and the way we have let it influence us in our societies has created a cultural quagmire that only a discipline exclusively and intensively based on the Quran can remedy. And that in the end is the choice of the Muslim; to put his traditional culture to the side and infuse the ideas held into the Quran into his heart and make that his new culture. Not lip service to the book while serving the gods of traditionalism, ego, envy, desperation and tribalism.

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