August 1986: Page 1, 2, 3

Masjid Tucson

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In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Muslim Perspective

Monthly Bulletin of United Submitters International ***

Proclaiming the only religion acceptable to God

August 1986

[No 19]

Dhul Hijja 1406

Editor: Rashad Khalifa, Ph.D.

Final Issue of the Old Era.
The New Era begins Muharram 1st, 1407 (September 6, 1986)

Why Muslims must now turn away from Hadith

This article is reproduced from Malaysia’s THE SUNDAY STAR of June 22, 1986 (Page 13). It was written by Dr. Kassim Ahmad, renowned Malaysian Leader, Prominent Muslim Scholar, and, first and foremost, a true Muslim who raises the banner of true Islam as originally preached by God’s final prophet Muhammad. There is no doubt that God and His invisible and invincible soldiers are supporting Kassim in his current historical stand against Satan’s feeble troops who call themselves “Ulama” (Muslim Scholars!!!). See Qur’an 22:40, 37:171-173, & 40:51. (The Editor)

By Kassim Ahmad

THE Muslims have two sets of ‘authentic’ collections of Hadith, compiled reported alleged sayings and actions of Prophet Muhammad,  firstly, by Sunni (‘orthodox’) and, secondly, by Shia (‘heretical’) compilers between 250 an 350 years after his death.

Although these compilers adopted what they considered were ‘foolproof’ methods against errors, the authenticity of the Hadith has been a subject of endless controversy down the centuries. The majority of Muslim orthodox theologians and jurists since that time had decreed that any Muslim not upholding the Hadith as a source of guidance and law puts himself outside the fold of Islam.

In a nutshell, this is the greatest dilemma facing the Muslims today: Will they continue to uphold the Hadith in spite of its self-contradictions, as their theologians have taught, or undertake a critical re-evaluation in the face of strong opposition by the conservative ulama.

The critical re-evaluation is absolutely necessary in order to remove what I consider to be the greatest impediment to the development of Muslim thought and social progress in the modern world. Anyone who examines the Hadith objectively and dispassionately would find many of them contradicting the clear teachings of the Quran, contradicting itself and contradicting science and history and common sense.

In my small book. I have given examples of such Hadith. In short, the Hadith is anti-science and contrary to Quranic humanism. This is the basis of my argument that the Hadith impedes the development of modern Muslim thought and social progress.

As history has recorded, the early Muslims were world leaders in empire-making, just administration, intellectual and scientific culture and military strategy and warfare.

This was the time when they were wholly inspired and fully imbued by the liberating message of the divine Quran, the only scripture and teaching brought by Prophet Muhammad to the Arabs and mankind.

When, beginning from the Third Century of Islam onwards, the Muslims began to turn their minds to other sources of guidance, particularly the Hadith, the downward slide started. As everybody can see, the Muslims today are badly spilt, warring against each other, one group ever ready to quarrel with another and differing with one another on the smallest of issues, such as purdah and mannerisms in prayer, and consequently, occupying the bottommost position in the international community.

In spite of this, most of the ulama are quite complacent and feel self-righteous about the state of their religion. They view any attack on them or any attempt at a critical re-evaluation of their teachings as an attack on Islam itself.

They have in fact arrogated to themselves the role of custodians of the religion. They assert that there is nothing wrong with the state of Islam as taught by them; the error lies in its non-application by politicians.

They therefore are now clamouring for a greater role for themselves in government. PAS is in fact proposing to set up such a dismal medieval theologian-led state in Malaysia.

The trouble is that the majority of the ulama is no longer the learned of the Ummah, as their name implies.

Since the time they assumed the form of a priestly class about the Fifteenth Century and devoted themselves purely

to the “religious” sciences, their knowledge froze and along with it Muslim science and thought. Since nature abhors extremes, the extremes wing of the religious intelligentsia gave rise to the extreme wing of the secular intelligentsia who severed the connection between religion and politics.

This is the root cause of the alienation of the ulama from modern knowledge and contemporary society.

This explains their near-hysterical reaction to my book and their inability to confront its scientific challenge rationally.

Unable to confront the book’s scientific challenge rationally, they resorted to character assassination and mystification, with such remarks as the author was a former socialist leader, that having rejected the Hadith he is now an ‘apostate’,that he does not read the Quran in Arabic, that he uses Orientalist sources and not primary sources and so on.

Such arguments, of course, cut no ice with the enlightened, but their target is the unenlightened.

The aim of their campaign is to confuse the people as to the true contents of my book, whip up public support for their untenable position and pressure the authorities to ban it.

All of these go to show their great fear of the people’s rejection of the Hadith. They even irrationally argue that a rejection of the Hadith means a rejection of the Quran, when they very well know that the Quran is a protected divine scripture standing separately by itself.

On closer examination, this fear is linked to the fact that most of the so-called authentic Hadith cannot be said to originate from the Prophet, since they contradict the teachings

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