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Fatwas Part Fifty-One
EN QUÊTE D’UN SOURIRE…
The Falsehood of "The Lord Is My Shepherd" Is Contrary to the Islamic Faith

 

The Falsehood of "The Lord Is My Shepherd" Is Contrary to the Islamic Faith

Was published in Arabic in October 19, 2015

Translated by Ahmed Fathy

 

Firstly: In Matters of Faith:

1- We find in the traditions of the Christian people the well-known phrase "the Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want''. A similar motto or catch-phrase used to be uttered in the city Yathreb during the time of the revelation of the Quran to Prophet Muhammad. Some believers used to utter such phrase as a type of supplication. God forbids this type of supplication in the Quran: "O ye who believe, say not: "Observe us" but say "Look upon us," and be ye listeners. For disbelievers is a painful doom."(2:104). This verse implies that the matter is a core issue in tenets of the Islamic faith. The term ''observe us'' in this context in Arabic implies a metaphor that compares God to a shepherd. Such metaphors of embodiment are blasphemous in Islam. The Quran guides us to supplicate to God by saying to Him: look upon us with Your mercy and generosity, O God!

2- Christians and Jews (we are referring to the term Hosanna) are still using the same expression among their traditions past and present. The Quran tell us: "Among the Jews are some who take words out of context, and say, "We hear and we disobey", and "Hear without listening", and "Observe us," twisting with their tongues and slandering the religion. Had they said, "We hear and we obey", and "Listen", and "Give us your attention," it would have been better for them, and more upright. But God has cursed them for their disbelief; they do not believe except a little." (4:46). Hence, the Jews in this context mocked the divine order, and God says in the Quran that their stance has been akin to casting doubt on faith; God curses them in the Quran due to their unbelief.  

3- The term ''observe" and its derivations come recurrently in the Quran associated with people, not the Creator. For instance: about the features of true believers: "Those who are observing their trusts and pledges."(23:8) and "And those who honor and observe their trusts and their pledges." (70:32), about the Christian monasticism: "…But they did not observe it with its due observance…"(57:27), and finally about shepherding: "Eat and observe your livestock. In that are signs for those with understanding." (20:54) and "He who produces the pasture."(87:4). The Quran never describes God as a shepherd or and human beings are never described in it as cattle or herd.

4- We find the contrary description of human beings in the Quran: for instance: "We have honored the Children of Adam, and carried them on land and sea, and provided them with good things, and greatly favored them over many of those We created." (17:70), "And He placed at your service whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on earth-all is from Him. In that are signs for a people who think. "(45:13). Animals are among creatures in service of humankind: "And the livestock-He created them for you. In them are warmth and benefits for you, and of them you eat. And there is beauty in them for you, when you bring them home, and when you drive them to pasture. And they carry your loads to territory you could not have reached without great hardship. Your Lord is Clement and Merciful. And the horses, and the mules, and the donkeys-for you to ride, and for luxury. And He creates what you do not know. "(16:5-8), and "Neither their flesh, nor their blood, ever reaches God. What reaches Him is the righteousness from you. Thus He subdued them to you, that you may glorify God for guiding you. And give good news to the charitable."(22:37)

5- God prefers human beings among His creatures: He has given them brains and divine books to guide them; people should honor and worship God alone; otherwise, people of unbelief who are polytheists because they worship things and mortals as deities beside God are akin to animals. See (7:179) and (25:43-44).

 

Secondly: From Faith to Politics:

1- God has created humankind equal to one another in terms of how they are created and in their worship of God. We have written about this point in previous articles. Here is a quick review of some major features of the subject:

1/1: All human beings are equal as they are created from one soul; that is why God addresses them in the Quran by the phrase "O people!" to exemplify this: "O people! Fear your Lord, who created you from a single soul, and created from it its mate, and propagated from them many men and women. And revere God whom you ask about, and the parents. Surely, God is Watchful over you." (4:1), and "O people! Be conscious of your Lord, and dread a Day when no parent can avail his child, nor can a child avail his parent, in anything. The promise of God is true. Therefore, do not let this life deceive you, nor let illusions deceive you regarding God." (31:33).

1/2: All human beings have been generated from one man and one woman, Adam and Eve, despite the human beings' differences in races and tongues. The more pious are the ones nearer to God: "O people! We created you from a male and a female, and made you races and tribes, that you may know one another. The best among you in the sight of God is the most righteous. God is All-Knowing, Well-Experienced." (49:13).

1/3: Everyone is born with certain individuality; this is exemplified by the unique fingerprint. In the Day of Judgment, one feels alone as an individual before the sight of God: "There is none in the heavens and the earth but will come to the Most Merciful as a servant. He has enumerated them, and counted them one by one. And each one of them will come to Him on the Day of Resurrection alone."(19:93-95).

2: This individual equality imposes itself in direct democracy in the proper, but currently nonexistent, Muslim society. An Islamic society ought to govern itself according to mechanisms explained in the research published here on our website titled "Consultation in Islam". Hence, there is no ''ruler''; a society should be governed by all individuals regardless of their race, gender, monetary status…etc. by choosing their governors who are experts in their fields (see 4:59 and 4:83) and a given society should hold such governors responsible within law. Governors are to be obeyed within their observance and obedience to God and His law (the Quran); people are not to obey rulers who disobey God and divine orders in the Quran.

3- According to this type of individuality and equality among human beings, all people should participate fully in political matters. They should attend all gatherings of this type; see (24:6264) and (42:38). Consultation was imposed on Prophet Muhammad, with the assertion of the fact that he used to receive his authority in Yathreb from the people: the source of true authorities. See (3:159). Hence, those who refuse consultation as a whole, position themselves above the stature of Prophet Muhammad. This is a sort of unbelief.

4- Accordingly, consultation is linked to the faith of Islam (Islam here means the testimony: there is no god but God/Allah). This means that rulers should not be deified/sanctified/worshiped; this goes contrary to the equality ordained by God in the Quran. Muhammad used to be a leader who practiced consultation and democracy. Moses' Pharaoh is the epitome/symbol of any tyrant who deified himself and ordered people to worship him.

5- Hence, Moses' Pharaoh raised himself above his fellow human beings: he ordered others to kneel before him; they became animals or cattle and he their shepherd. We understand now the traditional notion of any monarch/caliph as a caretaker of the people; this is wholly wrong.

6- Let us be reminded of this Quranic verse: "Pharaoh exalted himself in the land, and divided its people into factions. He persecuted a group of them, slaughtering their sons, while sparing their daughters. He was truly a corrupter" (28:4). Hence, Moses' Pharaoh divided people into a group of strong persecutors and those weak persecuted groups in perpetual fear. "But none believed in Moses except some children of his people, for fear that Pharaoh and his chiefs would persecute them. Pharaoh was high and mighty in the land. He was a tyrant. "(10:83).

7- When Moses' Pharaoh exalted himself above others, he deified himself as if he were God: God describes Himself in the Quran as follows: "…the Grand, the Supreme"(13:9). Those mortals who think of themselves as grand and supreme are following the footsteps of Moses' Pharaoh. Winners of Paradise in the Afterlife are those who do not seek to be superior over others and eschew corruption: "That Home of the Hereafter-We assign it for those who seek no superiority on earth, nor corruption. And the outcome is for the pious." (28:83).

8- Hence, we see clearly that the Quran links tyranny (i.e. superiority above others on earth) with injustice and corruption.

9- Such tyranny has been always in need for an earthly, human-made, fabricated creed to justify, legalize, and endorse tyranny. That is why any tyrant – like in the case of Moses' Pharaoh – needs to control clergy of the fabricated creeds, who in their turn control citizens within a given society. History is filled with narratives of the unholy alliance between tyrants and clergy; hence, the spread of the falsehood of the shepherds and their cattle: rulers and people. A traditional terrorist fatwa in the Sunnite creed which is as old as its establishment centuries ago in the Umayyads era goes as follows: a ruler/imam in a theocracy hold the right to massacre even up to the one-third of the people he rules for the sake of prosperity of the other two-thirds. A tyrant cannot kill all the people; otherwise, how could he rape, terrorize, punish, imprison, torture, steal, rob, control…etc. This is a terrorist fatwa that has nothing to do with Islam for sure!                 


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