The Majority between the Quran and Democracy

آحمد صبحي منصور Ýí 2017-01-17

The Majority between the Quran and Democracy


Published in January 16, 2017

Translated by Ahmed Fathy


He said to me: You are a Muslim thinker who is very different from the others, as you defend and propagate human rights from within the Quran, right?

We said to him: Yes.

He said: And you call for democracy, right?

We said: Yes, and we mean direct democracy, mentioned in the Quran using the term ''Shura'' (mutual consultation).

He said: But democracy, whether using representatives in a parliament or direct on including all citizens equally, means the same: the nation of most citizens ruling themselves, but you maintain that parliaments are partial democracy and not a direct one.

We said: Yes; to what do you allude, sir?

He said: I mean that if you recommend yourself to any post inside Egypt or any other Arab country, you will be rejected, if not put to death for being an apostate in their own view; most people there are Wahabis who agree on that you are a person who rejects Islam, and yet, you call for making people the source of rule and authority.

We said: What do you mean exactly?!

He said: I think you contradict the Quran by adopting that stance of yours?

We said: How is that?!

He said: The majority of people are misguided as per the Quranic assertions in several verses, and this contradicts your view of making Shura means direct democracy of the majority of citizens ruling  themselves, since any majority of any given society is misguided ones as per the Quranist view.    

We said: You are under some misconception; yes, we have asserted that as per the Quran, the majority of people are misguided in terms of faith tenets and beliefs and in adopting erroneous, incorrect, polytheistic views regarding God the Creator and how to worship Him; most people do not believe in the Quran nor in the Last Day: "…but most people do not give thanks to God." (12:38); "…God is Gracious towards the people, but most people are not appreciative." (2:243); "…God is bountiful towards the people, but most of them do not give thanks." (10:60); "Your Lord is gracious towards humanity, but most of them are not thankful." (27:73); "God is gracious towards the people, but most people do not give thanks." (40:61); "But most people, for all your eagerness, are not believers." (12:103); "And most of them do not believe in God unless while they are polytheists" (12:106); "…So have no doubt about it. It is the truth from your Lord, but most people do not believe." (11:17); "…These are the signs of the Scripture. What is revealed to you from your Lord is the truth, but most people do not believe." (13:1); "We have displayed for humankind in this Quran every kind of parables, but most people insist on denying the truth." (17:89); "Indeed, the Hour is coming; there is no doubt about it; but most people do not believe." (40:59). 

He said: You see; the majority of people are misguided ones.

We said: Yes, and most of them are misguiding others as well; God has even told Muhammad the following: "If you were to obey most of those on earth, they would divert you from God's path…" (6:116).

He said: You agree with me, then, that the misguiding and misguided majority cannot rule, right?

We said: No; you did not ponder on the Quranic verse following 6:116, "Your Lord knows best who strays from His path, and He knows best the guided ones." (6:117). The meaning of 6:117 is repeated in other Quranic verses: "…Your Lord is aware of those who stray from His path, and He is aware of those who are guided." (16:125); "…Your Lord knows best who has strayed from His path, and He knows best who has accepted guidance." (53:30); "Your Lord knows best who has strayed from His path, and He knows best the well-guided." (68:7). 

He said: What do you mean exactly?!

We said: God tells us in the above Quranic verses about Islam/belief  within one's heart, soul, and mind; that is, obedience and submission only to God alone (i.e., There is no God but Allah) without deifying or sanctifying mortals or items. Only God (and therefore no mortals) will decide the guided and the misguided on the Day of Resurrection: "…He is fully aware of the righteous." (53:32); "Say, "Each does according to his disposition. Your Lord knows best who is better guided in the way."" (17:84).

He said: What about Prophet Muhammad?

We said: Within the topic of faith/belief in one's heart and mind, we read the following verses about the society surrounding Muhammad during his lifetime: "…God is well aware of your faith. You are from one another…" (4:25); "Among the Desert-Arabs around you there are some hypocrites, and among the inhabitants of Medina too. They have become adamant in hypocrisy. You do not know them, but We know them. We will punish them twice; then they will be returned to a severe torment." (9:101). This means that among the so-called companions of Muhammad, or his contemporaries, there were hypocrites and Muhammad never knew them by the name during his lifetime; they were adamant in hypocrisy. In 9:101, God promised them to punish them twice during their lifetime and eternally on the Last Day. This is a Quranic prediction that after Muhammad dies, they will commit atrocities that incur such punishment in this world and the next, as they will die as disbelievers. This also indicates the historical fact that they were very near and close to Muhammad; we assert that those were the ones who took over authority in Yathreb once Muhammad died. Their crime was the so-called Arab conquests that cause corruption on earth and distortion of Islam and rejection of its Quranic sharia and its essence of justice and peace. Their hearts were filled with disbelief in the Quran, and Muhammad never knew of that; God in the Quran exposed their bad deeds without naming them, and He tells in the Quran that they will be inside the lowest depth in Hell. Of course, such hypocrites had participated in the political Shura in Yathreb, as for their false faiths and their torment, this is up to God on the Day of Resurrection.          

He said: You mean to tell me that Muhammad had no political authority to verify beliefs and faiths within hearts of those who were around him, right?

We said: Exactly. To judge faiths of others is a matter pertaining to God alone on the Last Day. God has said the following to Muhammad: "Your Lord knows you best. If He wills, He will have mercy on you; and if He wills, He will punish you. We did not send you as their advocate." (17:54). Hence, Muhammad was not responsible for belief or disbelief of anyone around him, and God is Omniscient and will punish disbelievers and reward faithful believers on the Last Day. Muhammad's sole mission was to preach and remind people using the Quran, even if they tell lies about him: "We are fully aware of what they say, and you are not a dictator over them. So remind by the Quran whoever fears My warning." (50:45), and if they denied what Muhammad had conveyed from God, he was to avoid them and wait for God's judgment on the Last Day: "But if they dispute with you, say, "God is fully aware of what you do."God will judge between you on the Day of Resurrection regarding what you disagree about." (22:68-69).     

He said: Could you briefly tell me what do you mean by all this?!

We said: Briefly, the majority described in the Quran as misguided or lacking faith is not to judge in matters related to religion, as this is God's business on the Last Day to settle disputes in these matters. Yet, this very same majority should participate in rule within worldly affairs, social and political issues, and everyday-life matters as per Islamic Shura in the Quran: "And those who respond to their Lord,… and conduct their affairs by mutual consultation…" (42:38). This Shura should include all citizens equally regardless of gender, color, race, financial status, etc. within a given homeland. The only condition is one should be peaceful in terms of demeanor and adhering to safety and security, and this is Islam in terms of behavior. Hence, this majority should busy itself by how to apply human rights and leave what pertains to religion to God, the Owner and Controller of the Last Day.         

He said: What does this mean?!

We said: We mean to say that Islamic/Quranic direct democracy entails absolute and complete religious freedom for all citizens, regardless of gender and religious affiliations, and this includes the free choice to convert to any other creed/religion/doctrine, and even to atheism, without being persecuted and punished. This religious freedom includes establishing houses of worship and performing rituals without restrictions and the freedom to proselytize without coercion or compulsion in religion. Hence, this excludes any call for bloodshed in the name of religion. This religious freedom is part and parcel of real Islam (Quranism): a secular religion that is based on freedom, justice, peace, mercy, equality, and human  dignity, with no room for tyranny and clergymen at all.       

He said: How come this religious freedom would help in establishing democracy?

We said: When clergymen dominate, they enslave people for their financial (and power) benefits and for the sake of gratifying tyrants who rule. This makes earthly man-made religion mix with political life; this results in prohibiting anyone discussing deep-rooted inherited traditional religious notions of the forefathers and prohibits strictly as a taboo to discuss or criticize tyrannical rulers and their decisions. Hence, tyrants and clergymen (with the latter controlled fully by the former) turn into infallible deities or demi-gods. This is the case with all countries of the Muhammadans. This is why the Quranist reformers who call for religious reform using the Quran itself are chased and persecuted by tyrants and clergymen; Quranists and their school of thought and their intellectual endeavors of religious reform pose veritable danger to authority and power of the Muhammadan tyrants and clergymen.   

He said: How absolute religious freedom would put an end to the full control, authority, and power of clergymen?

We said: Applying absolute religious freedom for all citizens will make influence and power of clergymen dwindle and then vanish totally; authority of clergymen is based on myths that can never stand discussion, criticism, and refutation. Those myths are protected by political authorities that impose by force such myths pertaining to earthly, man-made regions of the Muhammadans on citizens and terrorize and threaten those who dare to refute them and to put compulsion in religious matters to question. hence absolute religious freedom will make clergymen vanish by exposing them and putting an end to their power and authority, as deification and sanctification of mortals will end this way as holy cows and false gods will be debunked and myths exposed and refuted. Once this is established, it will be easier to end tyranny of tyrants who rule as they attain power by terrorizing people; when people dare to confront and discuss tyrants and their deeds, tyrants will vanish as well.      

He said: This means that absolute religious freedom help establish political freedom and prepare citizens to apply democracy as far as worldly affairs, everyday-life matters, and human rights and duties are concerned, right? 

We said: Exactly; this is why religious reform is the basis of reform on the political, educational, legislative, and economic levels in any given nation. Legislative reform will assert and reinforce absolute religious freedom to all citizens, and what will follow suit are freedom of expression, speech, artistic expression, media, press, etc., leading to the downfall of religious tyranny and political tyranny; as the Muhammadans kiss hands of clergymen and kneel before tyrants who control clergymen as well.

He said: In your own opinion, why did the so-called Arab Spring fail?

We said: Because it was not preceded by establishing religious reform and absolute religious freedom we talk about now. Some tyrannical rulers were deposed, but clergymen and religious tyranny have remained all over the Arab world, as well as tyrannical institutions like Al-Azhar and similar Wahabi 'religious' groups that brainwash the masses, like the terrorist MB and Salafists. Those religious  terrorists fill in the void when tyrants of Egypt, Tunisia, etc. stepped down. We tend to think that the military generals in Egypt deployed and manipulated those religious/Wahabi  political groups, while those groups caused civil wars in Syria, Libya, and Iraq. All of them are tyrannical and demand something no less than full control of citizens and the masses.   

He said: What is the solution in your opinion?

We said: to establish democracy entails propagating culture of democracy; this entails in its turn freedom of thought, intellectual endeavors, criticism, discussion of everything, and a deep belief in justice and equality. This entails many sacrifices; "…God does not change the condition of a people until they change what is within themselves…" (13:11). Hence, people must replace their submission to mortals and their cowardice and acquiescence and their acceptance of status quo by adherence to human dignity and never to dear or deify anyone among mortals, as we must only deify and sanctify God Our Creator. This awareness, if raised, will lead to good riddance of political and religious tyranny.   

He said: This type of endeavor entails long, hard struggle, because those in power do not cede it easily; I fear bloodshed might occur as a result of such struggle.

We said: There are two paths: the one we wish people would avoid is bloodshed, Europe took that path against the corrupt Church and the corrupt royalty, under the motto "hang the last tyrant with the entrails of the last priest!". The other path we desire is that tyrants be reasonable and flee in safety by leaving their countries and stepping down; this will allow these countries to establish interim governments to build the basis we talk about here and to create the desired democratic transition.  

He said: Some assert that some nations are on the brink of (hunger) revolts, borders of the Middle East are about to change, an some regimes will collapse, explode, or cause civil strife; would these nations be destroyed or wiped out?! 

We said: This can be avoided if tyrants would be reasonable and save themselves and their countries from the fate of Saddam Hussein, in Iraq and Kaddafi in Libya.   

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