Written by: Dr. Hasan Hammad *
In the recent times, the Arab and international scene, witnesses terrible terrorist and bloody events, practiced in the name of Islam. There are sectarian and Islamic conflicts between the Sunnis and Shiites, and perhaps between the Sunnis and Sunnis. The Muslim weapon is no longer directed to enemies; it is directed to the hearts of Muslims themselves.
These horrific events led to the emergence to a need to review the Islamic religious heritage and explore the hidden causes that drive a rogue community such as “ISIS” to practice all this amount of killing, terror and intimidation. ISIS terrorizes and kills innocent women and children under the banner of Allah. What might be the motivations for a terrorist who blows himself up on a bus full of civilians, or to slaughter small children who are helpless, their only guilt is that they belong to Christianity or to the Shiite sect!
These and other events have led many researchers to say that the religious discourse should be reviewed, changed, renewed and edited from the texts, accounts and interpretations of jurisprudence that justify all this excess of violence and terrorism. This terrorism has become the title of contemporary Islamic discourse. In this context, we find the attempt of the researcher Ali Mohammed Al Shurafa Al Hammadi in his book «Muslims between the religious speech and the divine speech», issued this year by the «Al Nokhba House for Publishing, Printing and Distribution».
In the beginning, the researcher distinguishes between two types of discourse: the religious discourse, meaning all the texts added to the original sacred text, namely the Holy Quran, or, more simply, the religious discourse: is the religious heritage accumulated after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. This heritage in fact is a human heritage that was consecrated, or converting it into a legend, and then became sacred. What the researcher intends to address is the divine, the founding text of the Islamic religion, the Holy Qur’an.
In this study, the researcher makes a great effort to defend this founding text and to absolve it of all the false accusations such as: anti-science, intolerance, violence, inertia, hatred of the other, fighting tendency and aggression against women, etc.
In order to reach this goal, the researcher provides an open, bilateral and liberal reading of the traditional frameworks. The researcher, in every page of his book, assures that the holy Qur’an has never been theological, nor established any theological tendency, but rather a message that aims to liberate man from injustice, ignorance and slavery. The faith of Islam aims at spreading tolerance, justice, rationality, acceptance of the other, peace, pursuit of knowledge, science, creativity, humanism and respect for man as successor of Allah Almighty on earth.
The researcher believes that we should refer to the text of the holy Qur’an as the basic and only reference for Muslims as the solution to get out of the predicament in which we put the references and interpretations developed by Hadith scholars and scribes. These narrations were the reason to blur the bright face of Islam and distort its image. In this context, the researcher says that there are only two ways for Muslims: either to believe in the one Allah and in the holy book, the Qur’an, as the leader and guide for us, or to follow the narrations promoted by those who call themselves religious scholars, Hadith scholars, and sheikhs of Islam. They spread these narrations in the beliefs of Muslims and thus caused Muslims to divide into groups and sects who consider each other as unbelievers who deserve to be killed.
The researcher quotes verses from the Holy Quran confirming his vision that the text of the holy Qur’an is the reference that Muslims should use in their lives and in their relationships as clarified in the verse: ” So, these are cosmic signs characteristic of the vast scale of the universe and its changes which We relate to you O Muhammad in truth by inspiration actuated by the Spirit Jibril (Gabriel). If they -the infidels- refuse to acknowledge the truth as is featured in these signs; what then will convince them if this Quran and these signs do not? ” (Al Jathiya 6). Moreover, Prophet Mohammed complains to Allah that Muslims has been driven away from the holy Qur’an and went away off the right path. Allah Almighty says: “And there shall the Messenger express to Allah, his Creator his discontent at his people; he says now as he said earlier in life below «O Allah my Creator, I presented to my people Your divine message but my people took a dislike to Your divine discourse -the Quran- and they rejected it as a groundless fiction, and what they formed in their minds they exhibited in action ” (al-Furqan 30).
In his book, Muhammad Al Shurafa Al Hammadi concludes that the divine discourse is the only sacred one. It is a discourse for life, not for the dead or the past. This means that it is a renewed and interactive discourse with the changing reality of human life, or, as he concludes, the speech is not a speech to the dead, nor is it to the former nations; it is a speech to the living people who read the book of Allah Almighty, listen to it and interact with its texts. The aim is to achieve the connection between Allah Almighty and His creation with a connection of Allah extending from earth to heaven. This cannot be achieved except through commitment to the teachings of the holy Qur’an.
The reading presented by Ali Muhammad Al Shurafa for the Holy Qur’an is a bold and new attempt worthy of consideration and study. The importance of this study stems from the fact that it opens the door to more readings and interpretations that free the text from the hegemony of the monotheistic and formal interpretations that have confiscated the text for its own benefit and helped to kidnap and steal it by the takfir and obscene terrorist organizations.
* Professor of Philosophy and former Dean – Faculty of Arts, Zagazig University