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Why so many continue to misunderstand Islam

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Don’t be deceived by Muslims’ Tayyiqa.

by DrThomas Ahmed on Thursday, September 2, 2010 at 10:48am
  
  
  
additional note: to order the Islamic trilogy: Hadiths, Sira, Qur’an in ENGLISH in its’ entirety, please log onto http://www.PoliticalIslam.com
Many people make the mistake of trying to understand Islam by reading the Qur’an alone. Muslims succeeded in convincing large number of non-Muslims that Islam can be found only in the Qur’an. They argue that the sunna or the hadiths of the prophet Muhammad are not always reliable sources of Islam because there are authentic and unauthentic sunna or hadiths. If you fall into that trap then you cannot establish any valid arguments against the teachings of Islam on terrorism and the abuse of women. 75% of the teachings of Islam on those two topics come from the hadiths. Therefore, Islam is to learn about the life, teachings, and wars of the prophet Muhammad. In other words to understand the core teachings of Islam is to know Muhammad from the time he was born until he breathed his last breath.  

In order to know Muhammad you need to read his biography, hadiths, the Qur’an, and commentaries on the Qur’an. The hadith is what Muhammad taught and did. The hadiths and the Qur’an are two faces to one coin. Both are believed to be the words of Allah. The hadith is believed to be nothing short of revelation [for the Qur’an says of Muhammad] `he does not speak out of low desires. It is not but inspiration inspired” (Qur’an Surah al-Najim 53: 3-4). The only difference between the Qur’an and the hadith is that whereas the former was revealed directly through the angel Gabriel with the very letters that are embodied by Allah, the latter was revealed without letters and words” (Haqq & Newton 1996: 1). The Qur’an strongly testifies to the importance and the authenticity of the hadith and doesn’t allow Muslim men and women to choose between the two: “Whenever Allah and the Apostle have decided a matter, it is not for a faithful man or woman to follow a course of their own choice” (Qur’an al-Ahzab 33: 36).  

The biography of Muhammad contains his marriage life, wars, and teachings about various topics. There are four well-known biographies of Muhammad written by Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Hisham, Bihaqi, Tabari, and Ibn Sa’ad. The earliest of those biographies was written by Ibn Ishaq which was lost and only quotations of it could be found in the other four biographies. Again none of those biographies can give you everything about Muhammad. You need to read all of them to get full story of Muhammad. For example, the famous story of the satanic verses could not be found in the widely accepted biography of Muhammad by Ibn Hisham.  

There are nine collections of the hadiths of the prophet Muhammad accepted by the Sunni sect (85% of Muslims are Sunnis)– Sahih al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Sunnan Abu Dawud, Sunnan Al-Tirmizi, Muttwa Malik, Musnad Ahmad, Sunnan al-Nasa’i, Sunnan Ibn Majah, and Sunnan al-Darami. There are 600.000 hadiths. After editing them the Muslim scholars reduced the number of the hadiths to 60.000 hadith. This big number of the hadiths are scattered in a chaotic fashion in those accepted collections of the sayings and deeds of Muhammad. You can get all these 60.000 hadiths in something called Mishakat Al-Masaabih. Al-Bukhari included 7275 hadith in his Sahih, many of which were variants of others with different chains of transmission. Of these, 2712 were not duplicates. It was reported that he had originally collected 600,000 hadith before subjecting them to his critical method. The method that he used was emotional and religious rather than academic. He used to pray and then ask Allah after his prayer to give him peace in his heart and on that basis he would determine whether the hadith is acceptable or not. He did not use any intellectual or academic method except his prayers and beliefs. Sahih Muslim included 9,200 hadith, of which 4,000 were not duplicated. Originally, he had collected 300,000 hadith. Out of these 300,000 only 9200 met his criteria of authenticity. Muslim used the same method that al-Bukhari followed in his selection of what to include and not to include in his collection.  

It is impossible to read and understand the Qur’an without reading the four accepted commentaries written by Ibn Kathir, Al-Quortobi, Al-Tabari, and Al-Jalalin. Besides that you need to read the nine collections of the hadiths and the four biographies of Muhammad to know what the Qur’an is meant by every verse and every Sorah. Moreover, no commentator would give you a clear-cut explanation of a particular verse or passage in the Qur’an. The commentary gives the views of at least ten to fifteen Companions of the prophet on that verse and it is up to you which one you would like to choose. (And there is something very important you need to keep in mind while you are trying to learn Islam; you must grasp the theory of abrogation to help you bridge the gap between the huge contradiction of the Makkan verses which granted freedom of faith and the Medinian verses which denied freedom of choice and made Islam compulsory for every infidel if he wanted to escape the death and save the honor of his family and protect his wealth and property).  

The most difficult of all the above is the task of trying to know the Shari’a Law. Shari’a is the body of legal rulings that defines how a Muslim man/woman should behave in all circumstances wherever he/she lives. The main sources of the Shari’a laws are the Qur’an and the hadiths. Those laws are formed by the founders of the four legal schools of Islam – Shafi’, Maliki, Hanifi, and Hanbali.     

Accordingly, you need over twenty years of rigorous studying and researching to read the writings of the five biographers, the nine collections of the hadiths, the four commentaries of the Qur’an, and the works of the four founders of the Shari’a schools. I began my journey in learning Islam and comparing it with other religions in 1986 and finished my last degree in 2009. During this long period I obtained two Bachelor degrees, two Master degrees, and a (PhD) Doctorate degree in philosophy and religious studies. Therefore, it took me over twenty years to learn Islam and still I can’t claim that I have finished my study of it. However, I can correctly claim that I have learned a great deal of it and that enabled me to write twelve books on the issues of Muslim women and the teachings of Islam on terror. Accordingly, I invite you to look into my writings and that may save you the troubles of going through those huge volumes which most of them are in Arabic language and have not yet been translated into English or any other Western languages. Information on how to view my books is listed below.  

“Irshad and the Abuse of Muslim Women”  http://www.publishamerica.net/product90819.html  

“Ibtihal and Muslims’ Liberation Movement” http://www.publishamerica.net/product56703.html  

“THE HIDDEN LIFE OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD” http://www.amazon.com/Hidden-Life-Prophet-Muhammad/dp/1425905714/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1230517064&sr=1-1  

“Insaaf: A Story of an Arab Girl” http://www.amazon.com/Insaaf-Story-Arab-Girl-Ahmed/dp/1414000707/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1230705999&sr=1-1  

“Intisar: A Story of a Muslim Girl” http://www.amazon.com/Intisar-Story-Muslim-Girl-Ahmed/dp/1403306273/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1230704235&sr=1-1  

Diana Stone wrote: “Dr. Ahmed, I’m reading your book, Ibtihal and Muslims’ Liberation Movement. You did an outstanding job of providing more information about Islam in one book than I have read anywhere. Writing it in a novel format made it easier to understand and retain the information. It’s a massive volume you must have spent years working on it”.  

   

Diana Stone wrote again, “”Folks, I’m reading this book. It’s a wonderfully written and very informative book, written in a novel format, about Islam. It is a scholarly work of almost 700 pages. If you want to learn more about this religion and read it in an interesting format, this is the book. And know, I am not getting paid for advertising!”.  

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