The Inconsistency of the Muslim Mimic

A mimic is marked by the lack of consistency in his [reactive] ‘thinking’. His or her affirmation or negation of certain concepts is not based on a pre-determined framework for authentication and verification (which in Islam, was primarily the role of Usul al-Fiqh) but rather concepts are deemed legitimate and/or ‘authentic’ based on the extent to which they conform to the paradigm to which the mimic wishes to emulate. In short, the mimic cannot but be inconsistent because the very adoption of a pre-constructed methodology would make turn his mode-of-thinking (emulation/mimicry) into one of independent thinking. Two examples relating to the idea of the Caliphate, illustrate this point;

[1] Accommodating Liberal-Democratic modes-of-governance require the negation of an Islamic Ruling System. This is often done by claiming that Islam does not provide a Ruling System per se but rather a broad set of guiding principles[1]. These claims are supported by “historical evidences” – here lays the first problem; history is not a normative referent in Islam – but for the sake of illustrating the superficiality of this argument – we will concede and show how historically, this argument is self-defeating, even on the basis of its own logic (i.e. “historical evidences”). The mimic will claim that there are numerous ways in which the head of state can be brought to power and will point to the “fact” that the four Caliphs were all brought to power in different ways. For example, Abu Bakr (radiyallahu ‘anhu) was elected by the ahl al-hal wal-aqd of the Madinese community, ‘Umar (radiyallahu ‘anhu) was single-handedlyappointed by Abu Bakr, Othman (radiyallahu ‘anhu) was appointed by the Madinese community at large and so forth. On historical grounds alone, this is completely inaccurate and is a gross re-reading of Muslim history[2]. However, let us suppose this was correct and in turn look at the consequences of this historical reading; if the bay’ah and shura’ are not fixed methods (ahkaam shari’iyyah) for appointing the head of state then on what basis is Democracy considered to be Islamic and normatively binding?

[2] Another strategy employed by mimics in order to legitimize their importation of Western modes-of-governance is the claim that the ‘Caliphate’ or the Ruling System in Islam was specific to a particular socio-political and economic epoch, more so, the ‘Caliphate’ was shaped by those particularities and in turn cannot be accommodated in the ‘Modern’ epoch. This claim begs the question as to what constitutes a fixed Islamic legal ruling versus what is specific to the Prophet (a matter dealt with in Usul al-Fiqh at length) and is also presupposes certain claims about the nature of societies and societal change (e.g. what historical factors influence societal structures; economy, ‘ideas’, a natural progression of history, and so forth). But again, we want to deal with these arguments on the level of their consistency or lack thereof[3]. If the ‘Caliphate’ was conditioned and is the product of a particular epoch, then what excludes the Liberal-Democratic State or the Democratic State in general from these limitations? We now have, at our disposal, a plethora of literature which inextricably links the rise of the Modern State to the rise of Secularism, Capitalism and Colonialism. In fact, the very rise of the Modern State was predicated on distinct objective material conditions – Capitalism – and ideological currents – Secularism. Why does the mimic feel the need to historicize a system based on revelatory texts and universalize a system based on tumultuous historical conditions?[4]

This inconsistency is not limited to the realm of ‘politics’ but is also prevalent in other realms like ‘gender relations’ and so forth. In all cases however there is a glaring pattern; the aspects of Islam which are called into question and subsequently “re-visited” just so happen (sarcasm) to be those aspects of Islam which do not confirm to the normative claims and sensitivities of the hegemonic liberal paradigm. The mimic’s inconsistency renders his or her attempts to “re-read” or provide an “alternative hermeneutics” of Islam a humiliating and self-defeating project.

– Ali Harfouch (@asharfouch)


[1] This claim is problematic on numerous levels but for now, we want to deal with it on the level of consistency (or lack thereof). In the near future, we will deal with these arguments in a more methodic fashion and at length, insha Allah ta’alaa.

[2] For a rebuttal of this historical misrepresentation one can refer to Louay Safi’s (ironically one of the leading modernist of our time) Al-‘Aqeedah wal-Siyassa.

[3] It is worth noting however that despite the political conditions and changing historical particularities in Muslim history (across 1400 years) – which according to the logic of the mimic would lead to fundamental changes in the prevailing political system – the theoretical and academic literature on the Caliphate (refer to all classical texts of Siyassa Shari’yyah) remained unchanged. Wael Hallaq, an Arab Christian academic and scholar of Islamic law explains that despite “the transformation of legal scholarship from a highly independent enterprise to a markedly subordinate system that came to serve the ruler” the precepts of Islamic law remain uncompromised by any political accommodation. In fact, it was the ruler who – from the beginning of Islam until the middle of the nineteenth century – consistently had to bow to the jural wishes of the Shar’ia”.

[4]  It can be said that this process of ‘historicizing’ is largely a postmodern (Postmodernity) concept whereas the idea of universalizing and essentializing is a ‘modern’ concept (Modernity). Ironically, the mimic is a postmodernist when it comes to Islamic phenomena (by rendering it to be relative and historical) but modernist when it comes to Western phenomena (by rendering it to be universal and timeless).

Categories: MDI UK

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    Contrary to the Muslim claim that the Koran is perfect and free from contradiction, the Koran is not only a bundle of contradictions, but a volume of confusion. The following examples prove the point:

    “Those who believe [in the], and those who follow the Jewish [Scriptures], and the Christians and the Sabians, any one who believe in God and the last day, and work righteousness shall have their reward with their Lord: on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.” (Sura 2:62).

    Now, read a counter “revelation” in Sura Imran:

    “If anyone desires a religion other than Islam [Submission to God] he will be in the ranks of those who have lost all spiritual good” (Sura 3:85)

    The Koran rightly condemns hypocrisy (Sura 4:138; 9:64-68) and teaches that hypocrites will occupy the lowest part of Hell fire, (Sura 4:145). Yet Allah commands Muhammad to compel men to Islam at the point of the sword , i.e., in a Jihad (see Sura 47:4; 2:191; 4:74-77) while elsewhere stating that there should be no compulsion in religion (Sura 2:256). These statements cannot be logically reconciled. To condemn religious coercion while making Jihad incumbent on Muslims is surely hypocritical and an obvious contradiction.

    In Sura 2:6-7, Muhammad is told that his attempt to convert the unbelievers will not avail anything because Allah has sealed their heart and their ears and blindfolded their eyes. But elsewhere Muhammad is told to attempt their conversion, by peaceful means anyway (Sura 24:54). In Surat al-Ghashiya, Muhammad is reminded of his role as a warner only and that the disbelievers will be punished by Allah himself.

    “Thou art not one to manage [men’s] affairs. But if any turn away and reject God, God will punish him with a mighty punishment, for to us will be their return.” (Sura 88:22-25).

    The very contrary is taught in other passages as the great prophet of Islam claims that Allah has commanded him to spread Islam with the sword. In Sura 4:48, 116, we learned that Shirk,1 (idolatry) is an unpardonable sin, yet Abraham (Ibrahim), the friend of God, is alleged to be guilty of this sin (see Sura 6:75-78).

    The power to create and impart life is the exclusive right of God alone. He cannot permit angels or prophets to create life or they would also be God. Yet Koran on the one hand teaches that Jesus fashioned a bird out of clay and imparted life into the bird (Sura 3:49), while on the other hand, the same Koran teaches that Jesus is no more than a prophet.

    It is common knowledge that only God is worthy of worship, yet the Koran teaches that Iblis or Satan was cast out of heaven for his refusal to worship Adam (Sura 2:34; 7:11-13; 38:72-77). Wine is forbidden to Muslims here on earth (Sura 5:92, 2:219) but rivers of wine are promised them in Aljana, the Muslim heaven (Sura 47:15; 76:6; 83:25).

    The true God is neither the author of confusion nor contradictions.
    These confusions and contradictions coupled with the historic blunders and errors may explain why Muslim scholars resist any serious analysis of the Koran.

    In view of all the above, the question that comes to mind is this:

    “Who wrote the Koran?” Muslims believe that Allah sent the angel Gabriel at various times to dictate the Koran to Muhammad. Their reasoning is that Muhammad being an Ummie (i.e. illiterate), could not have written a book like the Koran by himself. At this juncture, it is wise to ask the following questions:

    (1) Which university did Jesus attend?
    (2) Prophet Noah (Nuhu), David (Dauda), Jonah (Yunus) etc. graduated from which academy?

    Illiteracy is neither synonymous with imbecility nor does it necessarily mean disability of the intellect nor lack of ingenuity. Educational qualifications are not the credentials for divine commission. But though Muhammad himself was illiterate, his advisers were not. Muhammad had some very able secretaries and religious advisers such as Zaid Ibn -Thabit, a learned man who later headed the board of editors that edited the Uthmanic edition of the Koran.

    Before Jihad was declared against them, the people of Mecca were not taken in by Muhammad’s “revelations.” In many suras, the Koran itself records the Meccan allegation against Muhammad, that he forged the Koran with the help of other men:

    “But the misbelievers say: Naught is this but a lie which he has forged, and others have helped him in it . . .” (Sura 25:4; See also Sura 16:101, 103; 46:8).

    The Meccans held on to that accusation until they were brutally overwhelmed by the bloody edge of the Islamic sword. Their accusations were not without merit. Muhammad did have a lot of editorial help.1

    1 Other advisers were: Waraqa ibn Naufal (Khadija’s cousin). History has proved
    he was a Roman Catholic monk before pitching his tent with Muhammad as a
    religious adviser (cf. Yusuf Ali’s Comm. No. 32). Abdullah ibn Salam, a learned
    Jewish rabbi before joining Muhammad. Others are Uthman Ibn Huwairith; Abu
    Faqaihah; a Greek renamed Abu Takbiha etc. (See Ibn Hisham, Siratu’r Rasul Vol.
    1, p. 184; cf.. The Mizanul Haqq, Part 3, pp. 271, 272.).

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