From the Archive
The Struggle for Libyan Liberation
Wearing of the Veil - Part 2
Fatwas Part Fifty-Four Issued by: Dr. Ahmed Subhy Mansour, translated by: Ahmed Fathy
Conclusion du livre intitulé ''Une vision coraniste du massacre des deux mosquées en Nouvelle-Zélande"
Is It Possible to Reform the KSA?
The Quranic Terminology: Egyptian Prison
The Living Creatures inside the Metaphysical Realm of the Barsakh Levels
The Meaning of Islam and the Meaning of Taghut
Messengers and Prophets of Africa, China, India, the Two Americas, and Australia
Quranic Terminology: Good
"…I did not do it of my own accord …" (Quran 18:82)
Fatwas: Part Fourteen
When Will the KSA Purify Itself from the Abomination of Wahabism?! An Introductory Article
Chapter one: Historical roots of war of ideas in Islam and Muslims
Abraham, the First Muslim
The straw that may break Egypt's back
Between Fulfillment of Vows and Charity Donations
The Al-Aqsa Rock in Jerusalem Is the Golden Pagan Idol for the Muhammadans
Religious freedom between Islam and fanatic Muslims
Preface: How to understand the Quran and the Real Islam

Part One: Freedom of Religion in Islam

 Preface: How to understand the Quran and the Real Islam

There are two different ways of understanding the Quran and the religion of Islam.

A - The first is to see Islam through its divine source, namely the Quran, provided that Quranic terminology should be solely understood based on Quranic explanation and definitions of the term concerned. Arabic language's rich history and vocabulary usually leaves room for different interpretations of any one particular term, yet our approach is to confine ourselves only to the Quranic explanation of the Quranic term. Therefore, this Quranic approach necessitates a thorough knowledge of the full Quranic text so that definitions of terms would be developed only after going through all the verses connected to the subject being researched, otherwise, interpretation may deviate and lacks precision.

B - The second way to understand Islam is through Muslim traditions. By definition, traditions is a human source as its contributors vary, ranging from the sayings ascribed to the Prophet Mohammed and recorded more than two centuries after his death, the "folklore" developed concerning Quranic stories with a view to proving or promoting certain emphasis, and the sayings of renown Muslim Scholars or ‘the Imams of the Muslim Jurisprudence and the other scholars’. Islam can be understood through the prism of the body of knowledge produced by these human resources, and the Quran, the divine source of the religion, is understood according to the views and explanations of any possible combination(s) of these human sources.

It’s thus clearly natural to face the product of these human sources in the form of contradicting views and opinions, each of which searches for supporting verses in the Quran, and in most cases leading to in slippages in interpretations as relevant verses would be interpreted based on terminology definitions derived from these human schools of thought, influenced by all sorts of political, cultural and historical factors, rather than from the Quranic definitions themselves as explained above.

 The difference between the two ways:

The second method is the one which is overwhelmingly followed by the fanatic Muslims of today, and their behavior is heavily influenced by its precepts. The main part of this human body of knowledge has stopped developing by the 12th century AD; therefore it is heavily influenced by the ethos and mentality of the Middle Ages, such as fundamentalism, fanaticism, holy wars and religious trials, and persecutions, which is found today in the behavior of Wahabism and fanatic Shiites.

This understanding of Islam, based on traditions that froze since the crusades, is the bases of contemporary judicial opinions (fatwa) which is responsible for conferring to Islam the image of a religion keen on terrorism, violence, contradiction and fanaticism (which is no wonder if the bases belong to the age of the crusades.) When Muslims established their mighty empires, it was natural that pure Quranic meanings would be twisted to fit political realities.

The main part of the traditions is Hadith or Sunnah, which is the saying attributed falsely to the prophet Mohamed. They invented sayings that served their purpose and attributed these to the prophet as holy texts that should be obeyed by believers as part of the religion. This is the belief of the Sunni Muslims. It is noteworthy that the Shiite Muslims followed other sayings attributed to the Prophet and his relatives and descendents, while the Sufi Muslims have followed the sayings of their holy saints.

Thus whoever views Islam through the lenses of these traditions will find nothing mixtures of Medieval culture, some full of superstitions (Sufi tradition), violence (Sunni tradition), and a combination of the two (Shiite tradition).

If, however, the first method is followed, the result would be surprising, as Islam would be discovered as a religion of unlimited religious freedom, peace, justice and forgiveness and other lofty values.

I chose the first method of understanding Islam first of all because the Quran is the only confirmed source of Islam. As indicated earlier, interpreting the Quran through its own explanations of its own terms yields totally different results.


Freedom of religion in Islam at a quick glance


Freedom of religion is defined here as man’s total freedom of creed and thinking, as well as his freedom of declaring and expressing his rituals and advocating his religion peacefully without imposing it on others. This definition is taken from the Quran. The full religious freedom is a principle that was assured by Islam since it emerged, and applied by Muhammad and some of his successors (caliphs). Yet religious freedom has been abrogated by force during the reign of the Qurayshy Umayyad Caliphates (655-750 AD). Thereafter, the Abbasid Caliphates came up with a theocratic concept of governing the state. That concept was established by fabricating religious texts, distinct from the Quran, but connected to the Prophet through the claim that the texts are his sayings. These texts were so manipulated and elevated to the status of a man-made religion, as Abbasid theocratic concepts, through the long time of Abbasid sovereignty during which these traditions were recorded, were gradually and accumulatively transformed into divine dictates, thus becoming an integral part of Islam, although in reality, these stand at odds with pure Islamic values.
Through the Saudi/Wahaby influence, this Middle Age heritage has became the legislative framework and political doctrine of fanatic Sunni leaders (like Muslim Brotherhood) who in essence call for the application of Abbasid religious and political system. Sharia in their dictionary means the re-establishment of the Abbasid Caliphate, going back to medieval values, viewing the world of international relations through the same lenses of the Abbasids, i.e. the camp of war (largely Christendom) vs. the camp of peace (Islamdom), with continuous war until Islam prevails (being the only true religion). As strange as it may sound to one who does not see deep from within, these are the doctrinal bases of theocratic regimes like that of the Saudi Arabia, and also of other autocratic regimes, such as the Mubarak regime in Egypt, albeit a seemingly secular facade. Dictators in the Arab and Muslim worlds have their own official religious scholars who control education, media and mosques to suppress any religious reform that advocate democracy, tolerance and religious freedom from within Islam. Mubarak needs the Muslim Brotherhood to use them as excuse to stay in power, so he defends their Sunni Wahabi traditions, persecuting the Islamic peaceful reformers who are experts in the war of ideas from within Islam having Islamic values against the terrorism.
As a fact, those dictators and their Scholars along with the fanatic religious oppositions (like Muslim Brotherhood) represent the biggest danger to Islam and the Muslim World and to the safety of the international community. Those dictators usually fight with their fanatic religious oppositions, but they become immediately united in one camp against any Islamic religious reform, advocating –peacefully - the real Islamic values of freedom, justice, tolerance and human rights.

Efficiently fighting against these legalistic fanatics can be conducted by exposing their falsehood from within Islam. The endeavor should start with a call for reforming the Arab and Muslim legislation – especially the penal code – to secure religious freedom and human rights for the entire citizenry, and to establish democratic regimes. Achieving this objective requires endeavor to enlighten and educate Muslims from within Islam so that Muslims realize that true Islam is based on unlimited freedom of belief and speech, justice and tolerance and peace, while the fanatic Sharia contradicts Islam.
Thanks to the United States Commission of international freedom for its help in writing this research in the field of religious freedom in Islam and how the fanatic Muslims have violated it.

The views and opinions of authors whose articles and comments are posted on this site do not necessarily reflect the views of IQC.