The main argument about the criticisms of Early Islamic history has been put forward in recent times by Tom Holland, the fiction writer and historian (Islam – The Untold Story). His argument can be summarised as:
- The religion was invented – about a century after the Arab Conquest – to justify Muslim rule; and
- Prophet Muhammad did not exist at all (in the way history, so far, has told us).
Putting aside the absolute hilarity of his claims, his points have, nonetheless, been critiqued – as weak – in many places, the most succinct of which (on the net) includes:
Theo Hobson identifies that though there is a stronger secular liberalism, which he acknowledges as more aggressive, he does spell out the existence of a softer, more inclusive one too. He asks the Muslim panel if they recognise and acknowledge the latter, softer type. I sense it is this question that is perceived as being (apparently) ‘skirted’: an accusation from the non Muslim party. The way the Muslim panel respond is as though this softer type of secular liberalism either doesn’t exist or doesn’t matter even if it existed. Presumably, this is because of soft liberalism’s perceived irrelevance given the current context of tighter measures around freedom and self autonomy ostensibly against terrorists but actually against mainstream practicing British Muslims. I sense the non Muslim cannot fathom the motivation for the Muslim panel’s defensiveness. They are accused of ‘playing the victim’. They respond: they’re merely representing reality.
A brilliant debate. A must watch video.
Public Debate: Is Humanity Better Off Without Religion? Dr Robert Stovold vs Abdullah al Andalusi – http://wp.me/p3k8xr-3dq
Checking out a dictionary for the word ‘Authentic’ and you will probably find an answer like this:
- Of undisputed origin; genuine.
- Made or done in the traditional or original way. Continue reading
Often the ‘truth’ in what someone says (with mouth)
Is unheard (by ears),
When we see (with eyes)
The speaker is not of our own kind (with our minds, closed).
By Arif uz Zaman
This was a very interesting discussion.
In brief, Mehdi Hasan explains that “in trying to disparage faith, Dawkins and his allies constantly confuse evidence with proof; those of us who believe in God do so without proof but not without evidence.” (Emphasis added – mine.)
This is an important point. The Qur’an constantly asks us to ‘reflect’, to use our ‘reason’, to look at nature, for instance, and see or recognise the clear ‘signs’ or ‘evidences’ for God. Why the sense of mystery? Or the sense of ‘seeking God’? Well that’s precisely because of a certain conception of life that this religion, Islam, takes – as opposed to an Atheist’s conception. Islam sees life as a sojourn, journey and a test, whereas Atheism doesn’t, necessarily. This conception will undoubtedly steer one’s perspective prior to any ‘debate’ to very different directions. That’s the first thing to mention.
Why is there so much discussion as to what constitutes ‘Islam’ or what constitutes ‘modernity’? And is the discussion a healthy thing? This a two-fold question with a two-fold answer.
An Introduction to Approaching a Tradition
When reading Western literature as a Muslim born to the West how should I respond? Surely one would respond to literature in the same way whether it were Western, Eastern, Northern or Southern. No?
Well actually, Western literature has a special significance (as opposed to most of the other ‘types’ indicated above). This is due to how Continue reading