UI – Part 224 – Playing Allah
The question Muslims must ask of themselves, “Is it a sin to play Allah?” Playing Allah, is that not what the terrorist crying “Allahu Akbar” is doing prior to a strike? Is that not what a scholar, self-proclaimed or credentialed, is doing when they profess their superiority and interpretation of the books of Islam as ‘truth’. Is that not what a Muslim that refuses to share in debate on the same stage with a Jew, Christian or atheist is doing? Is that not what a Muslim that professes Islamic Truth is the only Truth and if you do not believe, their call for jihad includes death to the non-believer, apostate or infidel, is doing?
There should be no stigma to an association with a non-Muslim; as it is Allah that makes the choice, not man.
Muhammad was a self-proclaimed prophet, but he also said of himself. ‘I am a mortal.’ I am not infallible.’ He made mistakes, he was tempted, he sinned, he was judgmental and he killed others. Was he too ‘playing Allah’? His stated goal was for his people, those of the Arabian Peninsula, to be monotheistic, to have but one God in their lives. He professed there was but one God and that is how his people should think and believe. All other gods were false idols used for selfish purposes. His foundation was in the Bible. He was guided also by the cousin of his first wife (only wife at the time), Khadija, who had translated the Bible into Arabic. Muhammad may not have been able to read it, but others were, and certainly the cousin, Waraqah, was able to tell him what it contained and even read passages to him. The Creator was God. All others are created. But then Muhammad applied his own ‘interpretation’ and made alterations convenient to him and useful in his effort to reform those around him that did not accept his monotheistic program for believing. His patience wore thin as well. Enough proselytizing on the corners of the bazaar in Mecca, receiving poor treatment from the locals and visiting traders, being persecuted by those he claimed were in denial, he left for a friendlier climate. There he became more violent and enjoyed successful conversions, as it were.
This practice of conversion to Islam using violence and fear continues to this day. It was used by the Al Saud family and monarchy to have Arabs adopt the principles of Abdul Wahhab and his own views which is now practiced in Saudi Arabia and espoused by the Muslim Brotherhood and affiliates.
The Imam’s of the Shia branch of Islam changed their thinking to reform the youth who were embracing and adapting to modern day thinking, dress and habits, to include greater tolerance of others. This took place in the mid-1900’s. From a passive posture towards governance and relying on their faith in Allah, they became more involved in governing, seeing a theocracy as the mechanism to control their subjects. The spiritual guides became overseers of their own positions and imposed their ‘interpretation’, altering the meaning of Husayn in fact, to have the Shia act more militantly towards those who disagreed or did not follow the path they laid out. We see this in Iran where the Ayatollah and the President, his counsel and military, cooperate to tell the people what they are, what they are to believe, and how they are to conduct themselves. Freedom of thought, conscious and religion is severely restrained. Modernity, what the West represents, became and remains a focus of their objection and desire to replace Allah with them.
A leader of discussions in the UK on subjects related to Islam, Mehdi Hasan[i], in a presentation with Muslim reformist Irshad Manji[ii], stated, “You (meaning all people, faiths, Christian, Jew, atheist or Muslim) should be able to criticize people you disagree with.” This is a refreshing thought.
Grace and Peace
[i] Mehdi Hasan – Huffington Post UK’s political director, co-biographer of Ed Miliband & presenter on Al Jazeera.
[ii] Irshad Manji, author, The Trouble with Islam Today, and Allah, Liberty and Love. A Canadian Muslim Reformist leading the way for independent thinking Muslims to free themselves from cultural fears and peer pressure to express themselves. She calls for a love of Allah, having a relationship with Allah, and to be a more peaceful and tolerant of other Truths mitigating the professed ‘superiority’ of Islamic scholars that Islam is the only Truth.