Search:
From the Archive
Judicial Activism
Kaddafi and Ourselves: A Testimony for the Sake of History
The Philosophy of Submission
Repeating the same mistakes
Egypt's Facebook showdown
The Relation between the Yathreb City-State of Prophet Muhammad and the People of the Book
Fatwas: Part Thirteen
MATIERE A REFLEXION
The Lie of”The Grave torture and the bald serpent”( part one )
A great German Muslim, God bless him!
Pakistan needs more than elections. Only a new political class will do
This Concerns God the Almighty, O People!
The Stoning Myth
One God, one Religion and one Book
"…Even If They Themselves Are Needy…" (Quran 59:9)
Women's Rights in Islam
HOW SHARIA LAW PUNISHES RAPED WOMEN
Fatwas: Part Twenty-Five
Aspects of their war of ideas in rejecting the Quran
Did the war return between Persia and Byzantium?
Quranists: the Beginning and the Development

Was published in Arabic in August 22, 2015

Translated by Ahmed Fathy

1- The Quranists constitute a line of reformist thought; they are not a sect, a doctrine, or even a mere religious group. Because they form a unique school of thought, they contain several different cultural and intellectual levels. We, ourselves, have passed through many intellectual levels as a researcher who seeks knowledge and Quranic guidance. We used to be an Azharite student and scholar. Al-Azhar is the highest and most prominent Sunnite center located in Cairo, Egypt. We have learned the traditional Azharite branches of thought since our childhood, and we thought at the time that these branches of thought constitute ''Islam''. After thorough research, we have discovered gradually over the years that these branches of thought are against the Quran. We cite here the quotation of (the late Egyptian Azharite reformist imam) Muhammad Abdou that until the end of his days, he was used to clear his mind from "the dirty Azharite notions." The same has happened to us; we have cleared our head from the dirty notions of the Azharite thought, and this process is still on-going. Al-Azhar, the renowned Sunnite bulwark, is the repository and staunch defender of the faulty traditional Salafi thought, which is against the Quran. That is why Azharite scholars fought against Muhammad Abdou in the prime of his authority and renown until his death in 1905. He lived during the early age of liberal Egypt, when the enlightenment has been the keyword or 'mot d'ordre' of this era. Wahabism has not reached Egypt at the time. The KSA and its oil-rich monarchy have not come yet into existence at that time.What about a youth like ourselves who used to be nothing but a teacher in the Azharite University and refused to kiss the hands of his seniors as done by his peers? Let alone our decision to stand against all Azharite scholars and sheikhs and refute their lines of thought.

2- We have begun our reformist intellectual strife in our youth at the time when the Sufi creeds have been dominant at the Azharite University. Having refuted Sufism and its notions and proved them against the Quran in our Ph.D. thesis, we have undertaken the arduous mission to refute the Sunnite creed in the same manner. Eventually, confronting the Wahabi creed seemed inevitable. It continues to this very day.

3- During this on-going confrontation, we used to consider ourselves the so-called ''moderate Sunnite man'' who believes in both the Quran and the so-called Sunna/Fiqh/hadiths. We used to consider some, and not all, hadiths to be correct. We used to revere – not worship and deify – some companions contemporary with Prophet Muhammad. We never deified or worshipped Prophet Muhammad. We used to consider Arab conquests to other people's lands as 'holy' wars. We used to accept the testimony of Islam as: "There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is His prophet." Our early books have held these views before being revised later on. We used to be a Sunnite moderate scholar whose aim has been to refute Sufism and ''reform'' the Sunnite creed using the Quranic verses and hadiths that we deemed 'correct' at the time. This has been exemplified in our Ph.D. thesis in which we criticized and refuted Al-Bokhari books – Al-Bokhari is the greatest mortal god to the Sunnites – and we have proved that his hadiths are false and go against the Quran, and that he phrased them to support the Sufism notions that are against the Quran. One of the major Al-Bokhari hadiths refuted by us is the following: "God says that if anyone harms any of my holy saints, We declare war against him". When we have published the omitted part of my Ph.D. later on in a book form, we edited and omitted any Sunnite notions we used to believe in, as we were affected by Azharite Sunnite thought at the time (1980s). My first published book titled "Al-Sayed Al-Badawi between Truth and Myth", we have asserted in the final chapter that Sufism should be refuted by Quranic verses and 'correct' hadiths, and we quoted a hadith. Now, all this is omitted when this book has been published online, with proper notice to give reasons for this omission. It is noteworthy that the Inquisition-like persecution suffered by us via Azharite scholars contained no accusations then like negating the Sunnite creed in 1985. They accused us with negating 1) the assumed inviolability and infallibility of Prophet Muhammad's deeds and sayings, 2) the assumed intercession of Prophet Muhammad in the Day of Resurrection for his followers who are condemned to Hell, and 3) the assumed notion that Prophet Muhammad is better than other prophets before him and preferred by God over them. They leveled such accusations against us after reading our book titled "Prophets in the Holy Quran: An Analytical Study", and later in 1986 another accusation was added: undermining the Sunna and hadiths. Our book that caused this additional accusation is titled "The History of Intellectual Life in the Islamic Civilization". Eventually, we have reached the conclusion that the Quran is the only book needed by Muslims; no discourse in religion should be adhered to except the Holy Writ: the Quran. This has been published for the first time in 1990 in our book titled "the Quran Is Enough", among other studies published at the time. We have discovered soon enough the contradiction between Arab conquests of neighboring lands on the one hand and the Sharia (i.e., the Quran only). These conquests have been done for venal and political reasons of greed and worldly ambition, and they spread a creed that has nothing to do with Islam. These conquests have established the man-made earthly religions of Sunnite, Shiite, and Sufi denominations that all claim to be 'true' Islam. We have coined new terms like "earthly religions'' (as opposed to the celestial one in the Quran), ''Arab conquests companions'', and "Muhamadans" which was used earlier by orientalists and historians, but we give it a new sense that such people worship Prophet Muhammad as a deity along with Allah (God). We have given new levels of meaning to words like ''polytheism'', ''faith'', "Islam'', and ''disbelief''. We have published many profound studies since then about companions of Prophet Muhammad and jihad in Islam and how its notion in the Quran is contrary to the notion Arab conquests. Eventually, we have reached the conclusion that the true testimony of Islam is "There is no god but Allah", without any further words. Our writings a\in this website reflect all these notions in detail alongside with discussions about them.  To sum up, we have started our intellectual journey as a researcher whose aim is to scrutinize, and later refute, Sufism, and we have ended up refuting Sunnite and Shiite doctrines as they are opposed to the Quranic verses in so many respects. Our deep-seated faith is based on the fact that the Quran is the only source of Islam, and we all should refer to it as the sole guide to reform Muslims. We have established Quranism as a line of reformist thought with objective, scientific methodology to understand the Quranic text using the unique language and terminology of the Quran that differs greatly from classical Arabic. We have laid the foundations of a critical methodology to scrutinize Salafi books of traditions and heritage tomes and history of early middle-ages Muslims, parting away from justification, deification, and glorification.

4- During this gradual intellectual journey, some people deserted us and some supported us. Many moderate Sunnite scholars supported us in our refutation of Sufism. We remember especially the Sunnite group called Dawat Al-Haq (the Right Call), whose leaders included us at the time. We left this group later on, and during the Azharite Inquisition that persecuted us, we used to preach in many mosques and thus, many people have become Quranists. Some of these Egyptian Quranists have been imprisoned with us in November 1987. Later on, we worked as a full-time researcher, writer, journalist, and political activist in Egypt from 1989 to 2001. Once we have declared that the Quran is enough as the sole source of Islam, some friends deserted us, and hundreds followed Quranism, especially with the publishing of hundreds of my journalist articles inside and outside Egypt. Quranists increased in number after our work in Ibn Khaldoun Center in Cairo and managing its weekly forum from January 1996 to June 2000. These forums used to be published in Egyptian newspapers. Attacks on us by Salafis and MB terrorist men as well as the Mubarak-era media have led to the increase in number of Quranists from among the formerly extremists. The term ''Quranists'' has been used by the Mubarak-era media in Egypt. We later on adopted the term with pleasure and joy. We used to prefer the epithet ''People of the Quran'' as opposed to "People of the Bible", "People of the Sunna"," People of the Sufism", and "People of the Shiite". This stage of our life ended in our immigration to the USA.     

5- After gaining some form of stability in the USA, we have begun publishing articles in some websites such as www.arabtimes.com and www.ahewar.org.   Later on, we have launched our website www.ahl-alquran.comin 2006 and we continue to publish our articles in it and in www.ahewar.org, whose readership is over thousands per day. http://www.ahewar.org/m.asp?i=627

6- On-line publishing made Quranism an international idea that opened the field for all to criticize hadiths collectors/authors that are deified by Sunnite people who declare that criticizing these mortal gods renders one as an apostate who forsake Islam and should be killed! All our writings published on paper have been re-published online. That includes refutation of 1) killing former Muslims who left Islam, 2) stoning people to death as a punishment for sins, and 3) myths of torture suffered by souls after death and before Doomsday. Our writings include criticism and refutation of Al-Bokhari writings - among others – and that has encouraged others to criticize online the ''sanctified'' and ''holy'' notions and their deified mortal authors. The lack of censorship in the internet has encouraged researchers to express themselves freely. Thousands have joined our website as commentators and writers. Some Quranist writers hold different views from us regarding some notions.

7- The diversity of the Quranists is due to the differences in levels of intellect, knowledge, and cultural backgrounds. Some secular people refused to pray some of the five daily prayers and some refused nay rituals and decided to confine themselves to reciting the Quran, and still they call themselves Quranists! Some hold notions of allowing extramarital sex and wine drinking. Some still worship the Prophet Muhammad and his companions who conquered neighboring countries. Those secular people have attacked us many times for our notions. Some secular people decided to believe in hadiths partially and attacked Al-Bokhari books of hadiths collected by Al-Bokhari. These people of the last group have stopped at the stage passed by us in the 1990s. yet, they call themselves Quranists, but in fact, they ignore Quranist research methodology and criticism tools of Sunnite traditions adopted by Quranists now.  But these people have attacked Sunnite notions, encouraged by the ignorance of Sunnite scholars. Some were megalomaniacs, like Rashad Khalifa, killed in the USA in a mysterious murder, who claimed being a prophet inspired by God with new revelation, and he gathered followers as well. All these men have made use of freedom of expression made possible via internet.  This difference in Quranists asserts that Quranism is a dynamic intellectual line of thought, not a sect, a doctrine, an organization, or even a group. Among Quranists, People of the Quran have a certain, clear methodology and a published constitution in Arabic and in English. Please visit the following links to view this constitution.

http://www.ahl-alquran.com/arabic/show_article.php?main_id=11598

http://www.ahl-alquran.com/English/show_article.php?main_id=11634       


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